communication between the writers of marvel comics + their readers

0    preface

most people who write about comics on the internet seem to have a view about the direction writers are taking a particular character.  the general format is: the readers know the previous storylines better than the current writer, who is figuratively running up the down escalator of logic + reason by ignoring the history of the character he or she is writing for + winding up the majority of the regular readership while doing so

the second largest category for articles about comics looks like either people describing what they’ve read in case anyone else is interested (see elsewhere on this site for egs), + the third is publishing actual interviews with industry professionals

reviews could + frequently do fall into all three categories; virtually no one writes about anything other than story + art

having become conscious of these things here is a (hopefully) unique article about 1970s letters pages illustrating the difference between what the writers say to the readers + what they presumably say to each other

1    young readers’ frequent enquiry about the hulk:

Q    ‘when dr banner (who is thin) transforms into the hulk (who is enormous) his shirt gets ripped to shreds, his shoes explode + even god doesn’t know what happens to the rest of his stuff.  while all hell is breaking loose with everything else, why do his trousers stay on’

A    ‘are you asking us to draw a giant nude body builder with his whacking great bionic dick all over the place in a magazine aimed at an audience of children + mid teens: if you are, we’ll do that next month + then, when we come out of prison, you can see how long it takes us to get another job in publishing’

a paraphrase of the usual response actually published is:

‘dr banner’s trousers are made of unstable molecules which stretch to fit the wearer … [etc]’

note the major difference there

2    apparently bobbi morse in marvel’s agents of shield (find a different actor to play her ex husband – there’s no chemistry there) is meant to be mockingbird, who some of us may remember from an issue of marvel team up

there were a lot of characters appearing in superhero books in the late 70s / early 80s with odd names like mocking bird: whereas iron man, the flash, the hulk, etc seem to have names which describe what the character is or does, heroes from this period usually don’t

illustrative Q + A on this subject:

who’s this new girl

        mocking bird

        can she fly like a bird

        no she can’t

        is her name a pun – does she mock people

        not especially – at least no more than anyone else would

        well why have you called her mocking bird then

        because it’s 1979 – all the obvious animal names have been taken by now – we’ve had to think up a new superhero every few weeks since 1960 for the old characters to encounter so the stories stay fresh + we don’t keep repeating ourselves.  she has to be called something + it may as well be mocking bird

[if anyone’s interested in the text of the actual published writer/reader communication it’s quoted on mockingbird’s wikipedia page]

post a reply below or use the contact email address on the home link above if anyone can think of any more of these

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