EP 174: The Comic Book Show

This week Patrick is joined by guest host Kehaar, of the now concluded podcast Dissecting Worlds, to discuss the history of Capes and Tights by crafting a Mad Men style television series that spans four, maybe five seasons of comic book history.

Season 1:  The story arc begins as a young Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko launch into the swinging 1960’s with The Fantastic Four and the Amazing Spider-Man at the House of Ideas.   Conflict ensues when Stan brings on a young Roy Thomas in to reign in the talent and they all escape to the distinguished competition. All of this prompts flashbacks to the days of Bill Finger and Bob Kane in the 1930s.

Season 2: Season Two opens on a dsytopic early 1970s New York City and a look into the offices of D.C. and Jack Kirby pushing the boundaries of art and story with his New Gods. A brash young Dennis O’Neill pops onto the scene and attempts to buck the Comics Code Authority.   Flashbacks to the 1950s fill in the tale of the death of Horror comics and Cold War Paranoia thanks to Frederic Wertham and his book vilifying comics Seduction of the Innocent.

The season ends with Marvel facing bankruptcy fears but securing the rights to Star Wars and also bucking the Comic Code.

Season 3:  Opens in 1977 England, with the brash young talent of launching 2000 AD.  We fast forward five years and many British and Canadian writers and artists flood the offices of DC and Marvel.  The comics code is abandoned with the advent of Swamp Thing, Watchmen, and Dark Knight Returns for DC while X-Men reign supreme at Marvel.  Yet in the bowels of the artist tables late nights on the phone while working lead to a brewing revolt and flashbacks of creator credit fight that was Siegel and Shuster and the legacy of Superman.

Season 4: The 1990’s open the season with an open revolt of artists from Marvel escaping to form Image Comics.  All the while a speculator boom is growing with boomers buying up dozens of comic book “# 1’s” and inflating the market.  By the end of the 1990s lawsuits have crushed the Image Revolution and DC buys a large portion of the pie that is left.  The entire industry is in dire straights and on the ropes by 1997.

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