Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Last Box Of Marvel: The oldest ones are the movie ones

#6 in a 27-issue limited series
There are pieces of pure childhood floating around in this box, even though they have nothing to do with the Marvel Universe, and I just can't ever give them up after all this tine.

There's issues of The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Doctor Who, and I've had them all since I was nine and I used to read them over and over and over and over again, until every panel is imprinted on my brain like neurological silly putty.

There are some good comics in there - there's David Mazzucchelli doing some terrifically moody Indiana Jones, and Walt Simonson's art on his Star Wars comics is absolutely divine - but I'm not kidding anybody.

I'm not holding onto these things because of any artistic merit, I'm holding onto them because these comics are foundational in my actual personality, I can't take them out without losing something I would never get back. I'm just that fucking shallow.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Last Box Of Marvel: The zen cool of the Nth Man

#5 in a 27-issue limited series

You know that I've got every issue of the Nth Man. With zen ninjas and global conflict and a weirdo dork who can bend reality to his whims, it's Larry Hama's masterpiece, and they'll be some of the last comics I ever hold onto, even as I sell the rest of the collection for gruel money. 

Hama forever.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Last Box Of Marvel: Oh my God, it's full of stars

#4 in a 27-issue limited series 

I wouldn't trust anybody who says they've got a comic book collection, but doesn't have any issues of Kirby's 2001. It's essential and witty and bombastic and overwrought, and it never gets republished. Everyone needs more 2001 comics in their diet.

I've almost got them all, with just a couple to go, and only just got #5 this year. I would give anything for the original Marvel Treasury comic that adapts the movie, but I'm sure I'll get there one day.

And even though they're a spin-off from one of the greatest movies ever made, they're also 70s Kirby at his purest. In a decade when he was still tossing out thousands of crazy ideas about art and philosophy and the nature of power that everybody else is still catching up on, his 2001 stories have a fair chunk of those ideas in every issue.

Free of the capes and spandex requirements (which he still brought into a couple of issues in a particularly demented manner), this is hardcore Kirby, stabbing right into the brain. It's comics at its very best.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Last Box Of Marvel: Time is flat in the Marvel Universe

#3 in a 27-issue limited series 

Most of the comics in this box come from the 80s and 90s, because the best Marvels are always from when you were 13-16 years old. There's just a handful from the past couple of decades, and the most recent thing in there is the Marvels epilogue by Busiek and Ross that came out a few months ago

The oldest Marvel comic story is in there right next to it too - a reprint of Marvel Mystery Comics #8-10, with the epic and slamming throwdown between the Human Torch and Namor, a battle which was a key cornerstone of that original Marvels series.

There are decades and decades of weird and wonderful comics between these two stories, and they're just two parts of many in the multi-level Marvel tapestry, but you can find almost everything that makes Marvel comics so addictive in those two stories.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Last Box Of Marvel: The only Hulk (with Marlo and Motormouth)

#2 in a 27-issue limited series 

I've got a couple of the Essential books, the Future Imperfect comic with the lovely Perez art, and a surprising amount of Australian reprints of the Sal Buscema era. But after selling off my copy of #115 the other day, the only Hulk comics I still have left in this box of Marvels are three issues of the Peter David/Gary Frank run from the early nineties.

Actually - apart from a significant amount of the dorkiest Star Trek comics ever created - these Hulks might also be the only Peter David comics I have left. It was all those awful puns and pop culture references that did me in. I got rid of all the other Hulks and X-Factors and Aquaman comics long, long ago.

His Hulk run was long and prodigious, and had many ups and downs, but I was right on target for those ultra-slick Gary Frank issues. Frank was only a couple of years into his professional career, and still had some serious issues with his anatomy work, but his art was clean and clear and so, so shiny.

I couldn't tell you why I have a fondness for Motormouth and Killpower's appearance, but the other two issues are there because I am a ridiculously soft romantic, and I always cry at weddings. And at Captain America's face on that bachelor party cover.

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Last Box Of Marvel

#1 in a 27-issue limited series

I keep my comics in banana boxes, because you can fit a couple of hundred regular-sized individual issues in each one of those bad boys - along with more than a few Stephen King and Fighting Fantasy books -  and they're so easy to stack and hide under the bed.

And after years and years of buying every single Marvel comic I could get my hands on, and even more years pruning and refining and sharpening that collection, I now just have one. There's only one box left of Marvels.

There are hundreds of other issues elsewhere, on bookshelves and in parts of the collection that are devoted to creators – there are Marvel comics in other boxes full of stories by Morrison, Waid, Brubaker, Moore, Millar, Davis, Ennis, Mignola and Miller. There is also a significant amount of X-Men comics that live in their own pile in the corner and a lot of Alex Ross and Punisher and Steranko comics on the main bookshelf.

But all the rest fit inside one single banana box, and for the next 27 days, I'm taking advantage of the rights of the proprietor of this Tearoom to catalogue the shit out of them, getting a snapshot of the Marvel comics that are worth keeping in the year 2020, and trying to explain why they're still there.

(It's no great secret. The reason they're still here is almost always nostalgia and/or great art. There's nothing else.)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

No matter how far, don't worry baby

The baby is nearly 13 months old and still can't walk, but she can shake her moneymaker something fierce. Her absolute favourite music is obvious stuff like Gorillaz and Bowie and the Ramones and the Doctor Who theme and Run The Jewels - I have no fucking idea what to do when she start to understands the lyrics - but her absolute favourite music is old soul stuff. Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and the queen Aretha - they always get her grooving.

She also seems to approve of her father's recent binging of Treme, because this kid loves the jazz. I don't know where that came from.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

That beats any meat injection

I've never tried heroin and probably never will, but the closest I've ever come to the ecstasy of Allison in Trainspotting - and her sheer fucking pleasure of spiking up in Trainspotting - is when I had an ear infection recently that gummed everything up good and proper, and the ear popped for the first time in many days and stayed clear.

That beats any fucking cock in the world.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Even the Demon knows how deal with Nazis

It appears that many people, including the world's largest social media companies, are very troubled by how they should deal with Nazi scum, but even Etrigan The Demon always knows how to deal with that shit.

- From The Demon #48 (1994)
By Garth Ennis and John McCrea