I often ask myself if my taste in comics is too old fashioned. I grew up reading comics in the era where the silver age was on its way out and the bronze age flush with monster books and sword and sorcery was coming in. Although I gravitated to the more “illustrative” books (monsters and barbarians) I still loyally read Spider Man, Captain America, The Avengers and the occasional new superhero (Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Warlock, etc). The superhero books of the 70’s still retained a strong Silver Age influence while taking conservative steps in trying to be more current with the changing times.
Comics back then were fun. There were romantic relationships that were not overtly sexual. Characters died emotional and tragic deaths without gratuitous violence and gore. Superheros engaged in epic battles with super villains without anyone getting as much as a bloody nose. The Comics Code was in full force and yet we still had stories with complex relationships (see Peter Parker and MJ or The Swordsman and Mantis and even the strange duo of Scarlett Witch and Vision) and bizarre uncommon story lines (see Steve Gerber’s Howard the Duck).
Writers and artist’s had to work harder to craft an adult or mature themed story into the confines of an all ages package. (see Steranko’s Captain America and Nick Fury or Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil’s Green Lantern/Green Arrow). There’s a reason Alfred Hitchcock is revered and no one knows the name of the guy who directed Friday the 13th (at least I don’t). I look back on my youth with fond memories of reading comics and having them transport me to a world that was imaginative, adventurous and (dare I say it?)….magical. Awwww, the good old days.
I have been fortunate with the last several projects I got to work on at DC. I tried to recapture the 70’s monster era with Garbage Man, I took a stroll through sliver age Kirby/Buscema- land (check out my Perraxus design; Galactus or Ronan the Accuser anyone?) with the New 52 JLI and currently I’m exploring my Barry Windsor-Smith with Amethyst.
Yeah, I guess I am old fashioned…..and proud of it!