Home > Commentary and Features
Five For Friday #41 -- Fly On The Wall
posted August 5, 2005
Name Five Comics Industry Events You Would Have Liked to Have Witnessed
1. A business meeting between Jack Kirby and Martin Goodman
2. Gil Kane in his prime, holding court
3. Wally Wood getting back original art commando-style as per Tom Sutton's story
4. George Herriman making a Sunday strip
5. William Gaines' Sub-Committee Testimony
Alan David Doane
1. Gary Groth interviewing Todd McFarlane for The Comics Journal
2. Paul Levitz finding out LOEG
was going to Top Shelf
3. Harvey Pekar and R. Crumb conceiving American Splendor
4. Alan Moore writing the final chapter of Voice of the Fire
5. Deni saying to Dave whatever it is that made him the way he is
1. Joe and Jerry signing the contract to give Superman to DC
2. Will Eisner's shop, day one
3. A typical day in the Marvel Bullpen, circa 1965
4. Crumb making and selling Zap around San Francisco in 1968
5. The initial Image organizational meeting
1.The fetching and feisty Flo Steinberg fending off a no-doubt overeager teenage Marv Wolman at Marvel in the 60s.
2. Stan in a meeting with either Jack or Steve discussing plots. (Bonus: If I could read the minds of any of the three at the time of the meeting. I know that's weird.)
3. Gil Kane and Steve Ditko discussing the Vietnam War (according to Archie Goodwiin, this happened and the words "bomb them out of existance" were bandied about by guess who....) OR the incident where Gil was nicely asked to return a few pages of original art by other artists because they hadn't printed yet.
4. If it happened, the legendary incident in the 50s or 60s where a DC editor was held out a window by a freelancer whose check was late.
5. An ordinary day in the studio with Charles Schulz in 1967.
1. The breakup between Image and Rob Leifeld.
2. The Day Disney told Jeff Smith they wanted his creation Bone in their book, Disney Adventures
. (Although I may be wrong about the title of the Disney Book.)
3. Neal Adams finding out Marvel wouldn't return Jack Kirby's Art.
4. Archie Goodwin's funeral/wake
5. Todd McFarlane in a chicken outfit vs. Peter David.
1. Cartoonist Jimmy Frise getting young Ernest Hemingway a job at the Toronto Star.
2. Cartoonist Adrian Dingle and painter Franz Johnston creating Nelvana of the North, Canada's first superhero.
3. Listening in to find out Who really said What When in the events depicted in Joe Matt's Peepshow
4. Goethe and Thackeray discussing Topffer's first graphic novel together in Weimar, Germany.
5. The first monk explaining to his abbott what that little ribbon coming out of his character's mouth was, after inventing comics (or at least the speech balloon), sometime in the Middle Ages.
* Follow Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster as they go from publisher to publisher in the late 1930s pitching their Superman concept
* Sit in on a Lee/Kirby or Lee/Ditko plotting session, circa 1963
* Watch Jack Kirby, Wally Wood or Steve Ditko draw during their prime
* Go to New York in 1964 and attend the first-ever comic book convention
* Sit in on a Captain America film story development session with Avi Arad
1. The meeting where Terry Kavanaugh suggested that bringing back Spider-Man's clone might be a fun way to fill a couple of issues...
2. The first comicbook funeral pyre of the 1950's purges. Bunch of fucking savages.
3. The phonecall/letter recieved by the office of the Comics Code Authority when Marvel Comics withdrew from the Code. I don't think people losing their jobs is funny, but defanging pointless bureaucracy definitely is.
4. George Lucas. Howard The Duck. A collapsible steel chair, like they use in the wrestling.
5. The day I got my very first comicbook - probably Spider-Man. Hell, it may not mean anything to you, but I reckon I can trace just about every good and bad thing in my life back to that moment.
Thank christ it wasn't ARCHIE.
1) Sitting in on a story session with surreal early 40's comics artist Fletcher Hanks/Hank Christy ("Fantomah" from Jungle Comics, "Stardust" from Fantastic Comics)
2) The editorial discussion at Charlton that led to changing "Cowboy Western" to "Space Western."
3) Sitting in on an average day at the "Eerie Publications" ("Weird", "Tales Of Voodoo", "Horror Tales") office in the early 70's, especially if Carl Burgos was trying to describe what he wanted in the next grisly cover painting.
4) Watching Simon and Kirby kick around ideas for the first Captain America story.
5) Watching Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster flipping through off-the-presses copies of Action #1.
* Frank Miller shreds Wizard Magazine
(figuratively and literally) at the Harvey Awards.
* Dave Sim and Gerhard put the finishing touches on the final issue of Cerebus
* Garry Trudeau meets George W. Bush at Yale.
* A script meeting for the Howard the Duck
* Any of Alex Ross' Hallowe'en parties.
1. I know this is morbid, but I doubt I'm the only one who would like to have looked over his shoulder seen what Jack Cole wrote in his suicide note. Remember, I'm a fly, I can't stop him from doing the deed.
2. Bill Gaines EC senate hearing testimony. Hell, the entire hearing.
3. One of the break sessions in Eisner's studio where the artists tried to draw the finest straight line in ink with a brush as a bullpen parlor game.
4. The out of control 80's con party where several industry folks (including a well-known cartoonist) paid a guy to get on a plane, buy more coke for the bash, and come back so they could re-toot.
5. Almost any old newspaper cartoonist gathering at a local watering hole, or a boisterous NCS get-together of yore.
BTW, I was at the Harveys where Miller tore up the copy of Wizard
. I wouldn't really recommend it. It was more uncomfortable and awkward than anything else. And you'd have been stuck in a dead suburb of Pittsburgh, to boot.
1.Watching the Bullpen bomb on stage as Carnegie Hall presents An Evening With Marvel Comics.
2. Looking over Jack Cole's shoulder to see just exactly what it was he wrote to his wife in that last, fateful letter to her.
3. Listening in to a typical phone conversation between Superman editor Mort Weisinger and teen-aged writer Jim Shooter as the elder man critiqued (i.e., tore apart) one of the younger man's scripts.
4. Sitting in the office with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as the pair was being interviewed by that reporter from the Herald Tribune
, neither of them realizing at the time the wide-ranging and lasting effects the published profile would have on their parnership, and the whole of Marvel Comics in general.
5. On vacation with Fred Toole and Al Wiseman as they gathered material for the one of the greatest comics ever published, Dennis The Menace In Hawaii
1. Steve Ditko and Stan Lee creating Amazing Fantasy
2. The meeting between Mat Brinkman, Brian Chippendale, and anyone else that was there that led to the creation of Fort Thunder
3. Seeing Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez draw Love and Rockets
4. That burning that supposedly took place of all those Shooter comics after he got fired at the Marvel Bullpen
5. Curiously enough, I now kinda want to see that softball game between the staffs of Fantagraphics and the Stranger
that Eric Reynolds mentioned over on the Fantagraphics blog where the Stranger
apparently scored like 30 runs on Fantagraphics.
[Editor's Note: No you don't.]