A cascading cornucopia of cool comics, cartoons & classic collectables - plus other completely captivating & occasionally controversial content! With nostalgic notions, sentimental sighings, wistful wonderings, rueful reflections, remorseful ruminations, melancholy musings, poignant ponderings & yearnings for yesteryear! (To say nothing of a few profound perplexities & puzzling paradoxes thrown in for good measure.) Plus a bevy of beautiful, bedazzling, and buxom 'Babes'!
Saturday, 16 November 2019
MARVEL MUSINGS ON THE DEMISE OF MWOM...
Copyright MARVEL COMICS
When The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL first hit the shops on September 30th 1972, I was a (nearly) 14 year-old instant fan. Having been a hopeless nostalgist from around the age of 5, it gave me the chance to relive almost half my life away to when I'd read the same stories in the ODHAMS PRESS POWER COMICS in the '60s. (And if you're a true believer, you'll know that they consisted of WHAM!, SMASH!, POW!, FANTASTIC, and TERRIFIC.)
I loved MWOM and SPIDER-MAN COMICS WEEKLY (SMCW), and when I look at the early matt-paper covered issues today, I feel like I'm 14 again. There's something about the colour (whether full or spot), that has a certain charm. However, much as I love them, it has to be admitted that they were a bit 'piecemeal' in the way they were put together. Some of the lettering amendments* (changing US spelling to UK), and the way the panels were cropped (sometimes removing border lines completely), were amateurish in the extreme.
(*I'm talking about lettering amendments made in the US, not ones made in the UK of ones that had been missed in the US.)
That such a big outfit as Marvel could put out such a 'technically' substandard products is difficult to understand. I'm not talking about the stories of course, just the way they were butchered to accommodate the UK page size. Obviously, the editor has to shoulder the blame for such inadequacies, but it wasn't the nominal UK editor's fault, as she/he was really just a handler at our end. The real fault lies in the States, where the package was assembled and then sent over here to be published.
And when the switch to glossy covers with muddy interiors happened, why wasn't it sorted out sooner? Whoever was responsible in America must've been asleep at the wheel not to notice that panel detail was often obliterated by the over-zealous application of 'Zipatone' - though, to be fair, it was really inferior printing that rendered it that way. However, the US editor should have noticed these problems and sorted them out sooner.
Truth to tell, the Power Comics hadn't been much better (and often worse) in the way they re-sized their Marvel material. Panels were extended and drawn-up by bodgers who clearly had no idea what they were looking at, which resulted in some panels making absolutely no visual sense. MWOM though, was an official Marvel pub-lication, and as such, should have received better treatment, as should all the early Marvel UK periodicals.
Think I'm exaggerating? Take a look at the page below (from SMCW #50) to see how JOHN ROMITA's art was ruined by too much Zipatone and inferior printing, and you'll see for yourself that my assertions are no mere hyperbole. The PANINI incarnation of MWOM, first launched in 2003, had much better production values, though didn't seem able to match the magic of the 1970s version of the mag.
One day, perhaps, we'll see the return of MWOM, but hopefully in the traditional UK weekly comics mould of yesteryear. Wouldn't that be something?!