Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Big Catch-Up, Week Four: Questions Abound?

As we approach the anniversary of the creation of this Blog (willickers!) another week of strips is commented upon! Will the backlog be complete in time for the anniversary? Is anyone still reading this? The answers and more eventually?!

09/15:I would like this more if we focused on the battle between super-people and ignored the misadventures of Jonah and Maria. I'm surprised the Shocker is still holding the bag, and wonder if he will still be holding it when he's inevitably caught.

TIL: The "ZRRAKT!" sound effect.

09/16:I am so glad they wasted a Sunday strip with Jonah and Maria. The Sunday strips are nearly always better-looking than the weekday ones, and Alex Saviuk (supposed artist of the Sunday strips) is a man who can draw a pleasing Spider-Man battle. I mean, look at the first and last actual panels in this one. Instead, we get Jonah and Maria flirting. THANKS A LOT.

TIL: As mentioned above, I find the first (er, first actual story panel) and last ones particularly pleasing.

Larry Lieber is also a man who supposedly knows his way around Spider-Man and his fights. Why, then, is his work not as visually dynamic as Saviuk's? The answer for this is probably that the man was born in 1931, currently making him seventy-six years old. Seventy-six years old, and they expect him to draw a daily comic strip. That is six comic strips a week, for fifty-two weeks a year. That's three-hundred and twelve strips. Factor in the fact that each strip has three panels (for the sake of argument, we'll call it 2.5 panels) and the man draws 780 panels a year of this comic strip.

Now if this was "Peanuts" or something, that wouldn't be so bad, since the characters in most other strips are stylized to make them a bit easier to draw. Mister Lieber does not have that crutch. He has to draw somewhat realistic people in little boxes somewhere around 780 times over a given year. And, in some of those, he has to draw Spider-Man or the Shocker or Doctor Octopus. In fact, forget the others. He has to sometimes draw Spider-Man. Look at Spider-Man up there, with all those webs on his costume and whatnot.

Larry Lieber has to probably draw those webs, on a deadline, about three hundred times a year.

More so, he has to draw them accurately.

And he's over seventy.

That's pretty hardcore.

(The thing where he draws Jameson as trapped in a television is still pretty silly, though.)

TIL: The "FROK" sound effect.

I was wondering how the Shocker would be able to actually hurt Spider-Man with a punch. On another note, there's an email address hovering there between the second and third panels. I can't make out what it says, and my image editing program is being of little help. I can see it's "@aol", though. Can anyone make it out?

TIL: The fact that, supposedly, Larry Lieber agreed to draw Spider-Man's webs and Shocker's quilty costume for several weeks. At least, I hope he agreed to it. I would hate to find out that Stan Lee was just kind of like, "You have to draw Spider-Man and the Shocker for a bit." Which is kind of extra terrible, because Larry is Stan's brother. No joke.

Years later, Jonah would tell this story a bit differently. In his version, he intentionally threw himself into the Shocker's blast to save Spider-Man's life. Also, Jameson had better hair and a better physique, and Spider-Man let out a cry of anguish upon seeing "his personal hero" (Jameson's words) go down in the heat of battle. This supposedly gave Spider-Man the strength to beat "the monster who had scared him into hiding".

Oh, and the Shocker had caused a massive earthquake which killed thousands and kicked a blind puppy.

TIL: The sound effect "SZZRAK".

Way to point out the obvious, Spider-Man. That blast obviously hit Jameson in the elbow. Unless he has some sort of weird anatomical thing where his elbow houses an important or sensitive organ, there is no reason he should be down for the count like that. Yes, I know getting hit in the elbow hurts a bit, but I doubt it would hurt that much.

TIL: The way the signature box casts a shadow.

Spider-Man just pimp-slapped the Shocker, as you can no doubt see. Wasn't the Shocker mocking Spider-Man's webbing as being puny earlier, though? Yes, he was, in the first comic of this update. I'm guessing Mister Lieber put his foot down on drawing both of these guys for so long.

TIL: Shocker's head being engulfed in yellow flames.


michael said...

Of course is at least somebody reading this Blog and your posts!!! Keep up the work please, I'm waiting for the weeding between J.J.J. and Maria Lopez :-)

jvwalt said...

It was real nice of the Shocker to wait... oh... 10 or 15 seconds between blasts, to give Spider-Man time to (a) check on Jonah's condition, (b) formulate a plan and express it in a thought, (c) get up, and (d) shoot his liddle webbies.

Does the Shocker's equipment have a lengthy warm-up time? Is he just really, really stupid? Well, maybe, but my vote is for "the writer has absolutely no sense of realistic pacing." All these fights are in slow motion, with each combatant getting time between punches to think, move about, make snide comments, even brew a cup of coffee.

that guy said...

I've never understood how the Shocker's shockwaves make sounds similar to Electro's lightning blasts. Shouldn't they be completely silent, with the only noise being debris being smashed? Just asking is all.