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#1227424 - Fri Oct 19 2018 02:10 PM Jim Starlin interview
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 19029
Loc: A glorious bold new America

Jim Starlin on Creating Thanos, Killing Robin and His Split with Marvel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGzUnhvcROs



I'm sorry he didn't talk about his EPIC ILLUSTRATED and DREADSTAR work. Among my favorites. I wish he went more into the behind the scenes about his interaction with creators at Marvel in the 1970's/1980's, but still informative.

Thanos is a ripoff of Darkseid.
Mongul at DC is a ripoff of Thanos, who is a ripoff of Darkseid. And Starlin created both ripoffs. Regardless, Starlin did them well, and both characters rival the popularity of Darkseid.

Overall, particularly in the first 20 years of his career, Starlin had a remarkably high ratio of quality material.


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#1227723 - Sat Nov 17 2018 07:08 PM Re: Jim Starlin interview [Re: Wonder Boy]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 19029
Loc: A glorious bold new America




Has anyone not read Starlin's WARLOCK run? That's Basic Comics Collecting 1101. I always prefered WARLOCK to his CAPTAIN MARVEL run. Although they are intertwined. While I saw these on the stands when they came out, I was a little too young to appreciate them. I didn't buy and read them until I was in high school 3 or 4 years after the fact.

And then a few years later they were released again with far better printing in the WARLOCK: SPECIAL EDITION 6-issue reprint series in 1982-1983, when I bought them again and appreciated them even more.
And reprinted again in another 6 issue series in 1990.

Likewise the CAPTAIN MARVEL series was reprinted as a SPECIAL EDITION series. But didn't include the DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL graphic novel in that printing, that originally came out a few years earlier in late 1981. I think the CAPAIN MARVEL collected trade now does reprint Starlin's complete run, including the graphic novel.

After WARLOCK concluded in 1977, Starlin did a story here and there, but no major runs for awhile.

Then Starlin became very visible again doing "Metamorphosis Odyssey" in 1980-1981 in EPIC ILLUSTRATED 1-9, that I thought was a fantastic story, with very sophisticated painted art.
Starlin continued the series with THE PRICE graphic novel in Oct 1981.
And then the DREADSTAR graphic novel in Oct 1982. All with painted art, and equally good.

Then the DREASTAR comics series in Nov 1982, the first series in the Epic comics line. And while it reverted to pen-and-ink art the first 5 issues were equally fantastic.
Afterward, the art remained consistently good for 32 issues, but the story was slightly diminished after those first few issues. I spoke to Starlin at a convention in 1992, and he let on that the lack of energy at that stage was due to Marvel being slow with paying him, which is why he eventually moved with the series to First Comics. But I still enjoyed the series, it was still consistently good until Starlin left as writer/artist, and farmed it out to others.


So those are Starlin's major works. There's a lot of great series work and single issues Starlin did on other characters, but for me those are the ones that are definitively Starlin. And I think for most readers.

I never got into the INFINITY GAUNTLET and other sequels. Others rave about those, but I just considered them weak retreads of what Starlin did perfectly the first time. Kind of like doing sequels to WATCHMEN, or to Englehart/Rogers' DETECTIVE run. That to me was just diminishing a classic. Why mess with perfection?


Although there are a lot of other great shorter works by Starlin.



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#1227739 - Sun Nov 18 2018 06:47 PM Re: Jim Starlin interview [Re: Wonder Boy]
Matter-eater Man
Offline Fair Play!

Registered: Sat Jun 07 2003
Posts: 14016
I've picked up the different reprints as they've come out. At some point I sold the Masterwork and it will probably cost me a bit to pick it up again. It is good stuff!

Fair play!

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#1227753 - Tue Nov 20 2018 01:57 AM Re: Jim Starlin interview [Re: Matter-eater Man]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 19029
Loc: A glorious bold new America



Glad we can agree on that. Starlin's WARLOCK has remarkable closure, particularly for a time that was unheard of in a comic series.

"Metamorphosis Odyssey" in EPIC ILLUSTRATED 1-9, THE PRICE graphic novel, and the DREADSTAR graphic novel, are all collected in comic book size in the DREADSTAR: THE BEGINNING hardcover, highly recommended. I bought it a few years ago for about 20 bucks, I haven't priced it recently. But like the WARLOCK masterworks hardcover, it's nice to have that Starlin painted art run of the DREADSTAR series all in one volume.




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#1227754 - Tue Nov 20 2018 02:08 AM Re: Jim Starlin interview [Re: Wonder Boy]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 19029
Loc: A glorious bold new America





Another favorite of mine from Starlin. The complete Killraven series just came out in a Masterworks hardcover. And while Starlin only ever did this one cover for the series in 1974, it's nice to see his one-time interpretation of the characters. I love the Neal Adams/Chiaramonte work in the first issue of the series (issue 18), the early issues by McGregor where he quickly defined the series despite medicore at best Trimpe art (21-24), McGregor's collaborations with Buckler/Janson (25), and Colan (26), before the series really hit its stride with Craig Russell (in 27-32, 34, 35-37, and 39). With a few fill-in issues by Mantlo and Royer (33), and Mantlo/Giffen ( 38).

That Starlin managed to get a page into one of my favorite series is just the icing on the cake.




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#1227755 - Tue Nov 20 2018 03:06 PM Re: Jim Starlin interview [Re: Wonder Boy]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 19029
Loc: A glorious bold new America


I took the liberty of pulling up a chronological list of Starlin's work:

https://www.comics.org/penciller/name/jim%20starlin/sort/chrono/


I'd forgotten about the "Dr Weird" stories Starlin did for several years across several amateur fanzines, before he turned pro in 1972. Without knowing it, I purchased 3 of the 4 issues in October 1972 that published Starlin's first pro work.
An uncredited 2-page story called "The Spell" in HOUSE OF MYSTERY 207.
And a beautiful 6-page story inked by Mike Ploog in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 1. And a Starlin-pencilled cover on X-MEN 78.



The first two of which are among my favorites, for the other anthology material in those issues. HOUSE OF MYSTERY 207 has both a beautiful Wrightson cover and an equally beautiful splash page, an innovative and very detailed story by an artist named William Payne who regrettably did very little work in comics (about 30 anthology stories, mostly for DC), the Starlin 2-pager, and "This Evil Demon Loves People" by Sheldon Mayer and Jack Sparling that as a 9 year old kid I found particularly creepy.
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 1 starts with a Robert E. Howard adaptation by Thomas/Gil Kane/Palmer, "Dig Me No Grave", and "House" by Englehart/Reese, and concluding with the Skeates/Starlin/Ploog story.
The X-MEN 78 issue I realized after the fact I had picked up back then too. While it wasn't one of my favorites, I still enjoyed it. It was a reprint book with a new Starlin/Tuska/Giacoia cover, back at a time when not many really cared who the X-Men were.



It's amazing to me that Starlin just five months later took over CAPTAIN MARVEL with issue 25 in March 1973, at which point he instantly became one of Marvel's star artists. The first few issues were co-scripted with Mike Friedrich, but it quickly became clear Starlin could sail the ship on his own.









Edited by Wonder Boy (Wed Nov 21 2018 02:34 PM)
Edit Reason: X-Men cover and comments added after-the-fact.

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#1227756 - Tue Nov 20 2018 07:27 PM Re: Jim Starlin interview [Re: Wonder Boy]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 19029
Loc: A glorious bold new America

Another Jim Starlin interview, accompanied by Al Milgrom and Al Weiss, mostly covering the 1970's era at Marvel, from COMIC BOOK ARTIST 18.

http://twomorrows.com/comicbookartist/articles/18cosmic.html

I like that it starts out covering their experience as fans in the early/mid 1960's, trying to meet and learn from pro artists like Ditko, early work doing stories in fanzines, in Starlin's case drawing stories and submitting them while serving in Vietnam. Starlin was pretty ballsy, he just looked up artists in the New York phone book, and even persisted after he knew they didn't want to talk!
I'd forgotten that Steve Englehart initially wanted to be an artist and not a writer. I have a story he did inked Neal Adams for an early VAMPIRELLA issue.


A part that stood out for me:

 Quote:
Allen [Milgrom]: Marvel was trying to expand in the early '70s, when all the new guys started getting into the business. Warlock was essentially a new character, and they didn't know what to do with Captain Marvel... first he was a Kree soldier in that ugly green-&-white costume. We had different points of view, different attitudes, and different things we wanted to convey, and it was a time of turmoil in the world. So when we were given these characters, we went off on some tangents. Plus, we were probably the first generation that got into comics because we wanted to do comic books. It wasn't, "I can't make it in illustration, I can't get a newspaper strip, this is a stepping stone." We were really aiming to have a career in comics, period. For us, that was the pinnacle! What do you want to do a newspaper strip for?

Jim [Starlin]: We were also some of the first new professionals to come into the business in 30 years, with the exception of Neal [Adams], Steranko, Roy, and Denny [O'Neil]. Before that, it was a closed shop. But in terms of that time period, just like everybody else post-Watergate, post-Vietnam, I was just as crazy as the rest of them. Each one of those stories was me taking that stuff that had gone before and trying to put my own personal slant on it. Mar-Vell was a warrior who decided he was going to become a god, and that's where his trip was. But Warlock was already a god from the Gil Kane run, so I had to take the god and make him back into the man. And a suicidal paranoid-schizophrenic man seemed to be the most interesting one to write about at that point. [laughter]

CBA [editor Jon B. Cooke]: How cheerful!

Jim [Starlin]: Everybody's out to get him, including himself, and he kills himself at the end. Twice! [laughter]

Alan [Weiss]: I always loved your happy endings!




Starlin in another interview said that he was lucky enough to apply at Marvel when they were vastly expanding from like 10 titles to about 40. With some modesty, he said "They were hiring anyone who could pick up a pencil."






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#1227762 - Wed Nov 21 2018 03:23 PM Re: Jim Starlin interview [Re: Wonder Boy]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 19029
Loc: A glorious bold new America


I'm glad I read Starlin's Warlock run as back issues, because I never would have been able to follow it when it was coming out. First the material that preceded Starlin was very random and all over the place.

The character debuted as "Him" an experimentally bred human-like creature whose scientist creators didn't give him a name, by Lee and Kirby in FANTASTIC FOUR 66 and 67 (Sept and Oct 1967).
Then a follow-up appearance in THOR 165 and 166 (June and July 1969).
I think he officially became Warlock in MARVEL PREMIERE 1 and 2, by Thomas and Gil Kane (April and May 1972).
Followed by a WARLOCK series 1-8 in his own title, with a disjointed merry-go-round of different writers including Roy Thomas, Mike Friedrich, and Ron Goulart. And artists Gil Kane, John Buscema, and Bob Brown, and the only consistency across its 8 issues was all were inked by Tom Sutton (bi-monthly, from Aug 1972 till Oct 1973).

Then what few people probably even know about, Warlock orphaned from his own title made a guest appearance across INCREDIBLE HULK 176-178, in a 3-part story by Thomas/Conway, with art by Trimpe/Abel.

Then Starlin got a shot at the character, revived in STRANGE TALES 178-181 (Feb 1975-Aug 1975). Which apparently was popular enough to revive the WARLOCK title in WARLOCK 9-15 (Oct 1975-Nov 1976) before apparently being unpopular enough to be cancelled again!

And while the series didn't miss a beat in its bimonthly schedule from STRANGE TALES 181 to WARLOCK 9, it wasn't at all clear in 181 that it would be continuing in WARLOCK 9. I could picture a lot of readers picking up STRANGE TALES 182 with Millie the model (I'm joking, it was a Lee/Ditko Doctor Strange reprint), thinking the series ended there. Starlin probably lost a big chunk of readers who thought the series was cancelled mid-story, unless they were lucky enough to see WARLOCK 9.

And in any case the series was cancelled anyway with WARLOCK 15 (Nov 1976).

With a random Warlock appearance by Mantlo and Byrne in MARVEL TEAM-UP 55 (March 1977).

And then again, only by being very lucky or through psychic osmosis would you know that the WARLOCK series was concluded by Starlin in a 2-part story across AVENGERS ANNUAL 7 and MARVEL 2-IN-ONE ANNUAL 2 sometime in the summer or fall of 1977.

So... it was far easier to buy and read the complete series as back issues and collected form much later, than it was when it came out.

I saw the WARLOCK issues on the stands but as a 12-year-old it didn't interest me and I didn't buy them, probably partly because I would have been walking in mid story, with no easy access to back issues then.
I first read the Starlin WARLOCK stories as backups in FANTASY MASTERPIECES (backup to Lee/Buscema SILVER SURFER reprints), which again got cancelled before the reprint was concluded! So I sought out the back issues at that point in 1980-1981. A comic shop owner guided me to AVENGERS ANNUAL 7, that I thought was the conclusion. A year or so later a Marvel zombie friend let me know about MARVEL TWO IN ONE ANNUAL 2. And not even a year later, Marvel released WARLOCK SPECIAL EDITION 1-6 reprinting the entire series in a much nicer format.

And then 10 years later (1990) Marvel reprinted it again in a second 6-issue reprint series. I don't know exactly when someone had the brilliant idea to reprint the whole series in collected book form (although for some reason, they deleted the Byrne story from the trade, possibly from the Masterworks hardcover too.)

So you young pups have no idea how much easier it is to read this stuff now! I had to walk 20 miles each way in the snow to buy these issues! And even then, it took me years to complete the run. Although quite honestly, the chase of seeking out and finally getting these issues and other 60's/70's material was actually kind of fun, even if a prolonged adventure.



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