Moving day finds: Letters to Comics Buyer’s Guide

Comics Buyer's Guide

COTB indulges in a little nostalgia through Comics Buyer’s Guide

One of the best things about moving to a new place is that you get to sort through all your old junk. In my recent move (in which I purchased my first home, complete with a basement suited for storing a comic book collection), I came across lots of junk, and among it were a string of clippings from my days of being a letterhack to Comics Buyer’s Guide.

It was fun to read them, and now, if you’ll bear with me, you might enjoy them too:

CBG No. 1195, Oct. 11, 1996 and my take on dialogue from the then forth-coming X-MEN and STAR TREK crossover …

Kirk: (Doing a double take when he notices Polaris.) Well, hello! I see you finally got off your shift at the stripclub! If I had known you were an X-Man, we would have “teamed up” years ago!

Polaris: Beat it, jerk!

Kirk: So how long have you been a mutant? I see your power, which you must share with all you fellow female X-Men, is to mold spandex around your … (I’ll just end that there.)

CBG No. 1245, Sept. 28, 1997 on assorted topics …

  • I went and saw SPAWN, or at least I saw part of it. I walked out about 20 minutes into it …
  • I’m really starting to warm up to the new Green Arrow. He’s really a likeable kid. I hope that boring old Oliver doesn’t return too soon, if at all.
  • DC’s YOUNG HEROES IN LOVE is the best new comic out there. I urge everyone to give it a try.
  • I think it’s hypocritical that everyone in the comics industry is up in arms about the possibility of Nicolas Cage playing Superman. Everyone says to get an unknown (to play the part), when the comics Industry — Marvel and DC in particular — itself won’t take chances on unknowns. Why should they expect the movie industry to do the same?
  • The rock band Weezer has a song on its self-titled album from 1994 called “In the Garage.” It’s lyrics start out “I’ve got a DUNGEON MASTER’S GUIDE, I’ve got a 12-sided die, I’ve got Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler, too — waiting there for me. I do. Yes, I do.” The song’s about the writer’s own personal place to hang out — his garage. It’s nice to know Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde’s names are booming out of stereos across the nation.

Mark Gruenwald remembered in Comics Buyer’s Guide

CBG No. 1193, Sept. 27, 1996 on the death of my absolute favorite comic-book person, Mark Gruenwald ….

Gruenwald used nearly every character with skill and caring, in a way that rang true to the character’s origins and ideals. Many of the heroes and villains he wrote about had more than just the next plot on their minds. They had friends, family, troubles, and pasts.

… His columns “Marks Remarks,” which often ran in the titles he edited and in MARVEL AGE were always eye-openers. The ones that always got me were about how hard it was getting into comics. They meant a lot to me, because like it or lump it, I learned that I had a long road ahead of me to get a job as a comics writer or editor. I found that out back in my teens, and still know it now in my twenties …

(On how Gruenwald may have defended his low-selling title, QUASAR, from cancelation.) “This is the comic book where I’m fixing all those problems fans are complaining about. This is the comic book where I’m showing our readers what happened to those characters whom we’ve just let drop off the face of the Earth. This comic book is the Marvel Universe’s repairman.” …

In (Gruenwald’s Pro-File) he wrote that the worst part of his job was “Saying goodbye to my daughter every morning.” I think the worst part about the Marvel Universe’s job was saying goodbye to Mark Gruenwald every night.

The New Mythology

CBG No. 1158, Jan. 26, 1996 on a new mythology in America …

I think that these new “monsters” — RoboCop, Gremlins, Terminator, Darth Vader, Aliens, Predators, and so on — are the new “Universal monsters” of this era. They have become this generation’s cultural icons. We have them in comics, in toys, in models and as Halloween masks. They are referred to in books, movies, TV shows, and even in light-hearted news reports. In 20 years, we might be able to go to Orlando and see Darth Vader sing “On the Dark Side” from the EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS soundtrack. …

Then we could wheel to the nearest Six Flags park and go on a roller coaster that the Gremlins got their hands on.

Comic book cards

CBG No. 1187, Aug. 16, 1996 on my nephew’s use of a Martian Manhunter DC Cosmic Card as a noise-maker in the spokes of his bicycle tire …

“He’s lasted a long time,” my nephew said. “The other ones only lasted about 20 minutes. He’s probably lasted a half hour so far.”

“Well, that’s because he’s so strong,” I said. “Martian Manhunter is really tough.”

“Yeah,” he agreed looking up to the rain and back at the card. “I guess so.”


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