Posts from 30th May 2008

May 08

Comics: A Beginner’s Guide: Old Superhero Comics: Marvel

The Brown Wedge9 comments • 2,127 views

There’s a limited amount of pleasure to be had in the really early superhero comics (1938 onwards), but there was a real leap forwards in the early ’60s, thanks to two people at Marvel comics – and no, I am not including Stan Lee in that.

Jack Kirby

Kirby had been working in comics since the late ’30s, and had co-created Captain America back then. When Marvel heard that DC’s new superteam book, the Justice League of America, was selling well, they decided to create one. It was a slightly rough job, and not a lot of thought went into the early issues, but the Fantastic Four was a huge hit, and Kirby created lots more characters – the Hulk, the Avengers, the X-Men, and lots more, and he also revived Cap and others. He brought a power and excitement to superheroes, indeed to comics, that had never been seen before, and for several years he created most of what has sustained Marvel for nearly 50 years, and defined the style of superheroes ever since. I don’t know if there has ever been someone with as fertile an imagination, in any field, and to have sustained such standards for so many years, working at such a fast pace (much, much faster than any other modern Western artist), makes it even more extraordinary.


LEO SAYER – “When I Need You”

FT + Popular29 comments • 4,343 views

#401, 19th February 1977

Another in the recent string of soft, sumptuously arranged ballads, and like the others this is something I can think myself into enjoying – the polished class of the instrumentation in particular – but find it hard to feel. Some of my reserve is down to Sayer’s voice, which is like a thinned-out version of Elton and comes across as a little too whiney. On the positive side, the dynamics of “When I Need You” stop it being pure sap: good pause-and-punch effects on “it’s cold out – but hold out” and the chorus’ return after the sax break, and when Sayer starts improvising a little at the end it works as a payoff.

the proof at last!: alien caught blinking

Proven By Science////Post a comment • 235 views

“authentic” video released today (authentic here seems to mean that YES it is indeed a video, and not for example a sellotape dispenser)


FT4 comments • 3,303 views

14. Messiah – Temple Of Dreams

Without further ado! The engines are throbbing at the start line, ready for Richard Dawson’s Running Man evocation to wave the chequered flag: “It’s time… to start…. RUNNING!” And we’re off! ‘Temple Of Dreams’ accelerates up and up through the gears, before levelling out on a smooth cruise control in the stratosphere, burbling along whilst our in-flight hostess Liz Fraser whispers soothing lullabies. Wonderful stuff.

But hang on, haven’t we already had a track by Messiah?