Rock Bottom?

Sometimes I worry the comics posted on this blog are in bad taste and add little that’s interesting or entertaining to the Internet. Then I ran into this on Twitter …

I’d feel somewhat vindicated if I didn’t feel so ill …

With Great Chutzpah …

In the midst of the imbroglio over Alan Moore and Before Watchmen, Rob Steibel’s Kirby Dynamics blog reminds us that Marvel’s record of caring for creators isn’t any better.

In a new documentary about Stan Lee, “The Man” takes sole credit for creating the Black Panther when history indicates that some guy by the name of Jack Kirby had just as much – if not more – involvement in conceiving the character.

Lee also claims credit for The Falcon, when the idea – as originally revealed in the forward to a Marvel Masterworks Captain America volume – apparently originated from the mind of Gene Colan.

Guess those constant cameos in every single Marvel film, cartoon and video game weren’t enough to stroke Stan’s ego…

Hi! My Name Is …

"Leonard" The Duck

We’re back!

“Um. Wait a minute,” the millions …. AND THE MILLIONS … of readers in the Blogoverse™ must be wondering. “Who the heck is this guy and what the @#$%^ is he exactly returning from?”

Such fine questions. As virtual audiences go, you guys rank with the best of ‘em!

Permit me to reintroduce myself, then. For nearly four years, I ran a friendly, neighborhood comic-book blog known as The Fortress of Fortitude.

Adopting the not-so-secret identity of The Fortress Keeper, I pretty much evolved from a middle-aged – yet still wide-eyed – fanboy who eagerly anticipated such sure-to-be classics as Civil War and Infinite Crisis to a middle-aged – and thoroughly disillusioned – crank who expressed weary disdain over the fact that the aforementioned works … well … pretty much sucked.

Like many Boomer Backwash Babies who remember THOSE DAYS WHEN EVERYTHING WAS BETTER (insert decade of your choice), I spent the next few years railing against Marvel and DC’s Powers That Be until overwhelming evidence – namely, the fact that plenty of fans bought and enjoyed Identity Crisis, Secret Invasion, et al – finally drove me into the waiting and loving arms of Golden Age comic books.

At this point, the Fortress joined the wild and wooly world of scan blogs and even gained a bump in traffic thanks to Journalista, The Comics Reporter, Dave Tackett and many more Internet pals ‘n’ gals than I could possibly name.

Dragging old, musty comics back to the light of day was great fun, but after more than a year I hit the proverbial brick wall. The number of outstanding scan blogs on the Net made it more and more difficult to find stories worth sharing … unless I dipped heavily into the not-very-public-domain catalogue of Marvel and DC.

Adding further injury to the aforementioned injury, the Fortress Keeper identity no longer seemed a viable vehicle for saying much beyond platitudes and generalities that meant less and less to me personally. What’s the sense of setting up a blog to express one’s self when you end up doing everything BUT that particular little detail?!?

I suppose it would have been sensible at that point to take a step away from the ol’ blog-stead for a few weeks or months until my battery was recharged. Unfortunately, that particular approach seemed a sure route to failure. For better or worse, I’m the type who needs to blow up the proverbial bridge to truly start anew.

So, just like the time Howard The Duck escaped the Marvel universe and renamed himself Leonard, the one-time Fortress Keeper has exiled himself to Blogger re-emerged on WordPress and resolves to write in the first-person from this day forward.

And what will I write about, pray tell? There’ll still be plenty of Golden Age scans because the practice is just too much fun to abandon, but I hope to by and large abandon the historical aspect of such posts to explain just why I find certain stories and art so enjoyable.

I also want to talk a bit more about the formative comics and creators of my Bronze-Age youth and hopefully shed a bit of light on how the ’70s iteration of the House of Ideas tore down and rebuilt super-heroes in a peculiarly time-appropriate image long before the likes of Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and even Robert Mayer attempted such feats.

After that, who knows? To quote my old pal Seneca, “Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End.” The road is wide open … and maybe it’ll even end up in Buffalo!