Publication history[ edit ] Created by writer Jim Shooter  and artist Mike Zeckthe Beyonder first appeared in Secret Wars 1,  as an unseen, apparently nearly omnipotent being.
Email Copy Link Copied Comic books are a great medium for telling strange stories. Their visual nature allows a writer and artist to bring to life bizarre and unreal things that might be hard to describe in prose form or costly to produce in film narratives. Of course, there is that old adage about truth being stranger than fiction, and in some cases, it's more hilarious, too.
Reign Delay" have been illustrating those two facts in their six-issue, creator-owned self-published series, "Comic Book Comics," examining the origins of comic books as a storytelling medium from an often humorous perspective. Issue 5 of the series hit stores this week and we spoke with Van Lente about it, the series as a whole and his past and future collaborations with Dunlavey.
He and I both went to Syracuse. We were roommates when we both first moved to Brooklyn. Inwe got a grant from Peter Laird's wonderful Xeric Foundation and Ryan named our Stranger than fiction from comics to company Evil Twin after the comic strip he did in college.
All the money went into our pockets! When Van Lente and Dunlavey were wrapping up "Action Philosophers," the duo realized that no one had ever really attempted a comic book series detailing the history of comics.
And so, "Comic Book Comics" was born. We wanted to do sort of the whole story and see how all these different aspects of the medium connected to each other, and they truly do.
I'm constantly shocked to see how many connections there are as we move through the history. Issue 4 tackled the rise of Marvel Comics, the underground comics revolution and the story behind the creation of Herge's "Tintin.
Captain Marvel was declared to be a rip-off of Superman. Fawcett had to later settle out of court and basically gave up their entire comics line as a result of the lawsuit," Van Lente said. It was why Marvelman was created in England.
Without Marvelman, we wouldn't have Miracleman and so on and so forth. And the latest development from that early lawsuit is probably Marvel Comics acquiring the rights to Marvelman from Mick Anglo, the original creator of that character.
That development raises the question of; where does that leaves the status of Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman's Miracleman stories from Eclipse Comics? Marvelman became Miracleman when Eclipse published it, so Marvel Comics wouldn't give them a hard time.
Their stories are more about presenting the facts in an interesting and humorous way than trying to prove any points. I read with great interest Jason Aaron's essay about Alan Moore here on CBR a few weeks backbecause we produced our own response in the context of our British Invasion story in issue 5, which is called ' AD.
We much more play things for the comedy value of them. We have notes on all of the sources we used for every issue up on our website. So you can fact check us if you so choose," Van Lente said. Plus, I feel like as long you don't seem like you are biased to any one side, or as long as everyone looks equally as bad in the stories, no one side is going to be all that ticked off.
That's definitely not my intention, so I hope that's not how it comes across. In fact, it took Van Lente and Dunlavey a year and a half to complete issue 5. These comics do take a while, though," Van Lente said. So from the research side of things, it's very time consuming.
I certainly knew more about that than I did about philosophy when we began 'Action Philosophers!
So I had a lot of resources available to me through there as well," Van Lente continued. For 6, we're doing a history of the graphic novel and we're looking at graphic novels before Will Eisner.
It's been fun tracking those down. So in explaining the history of the medium to the reader, I'm expanding my own knowledge and appreciation for it, which is always a great thing. For every panel, Van Lente has to write informative captions, set up the art direction and make sure the humor involved is properly set up and conveyed.
I've always been sort of a natural explainer, though. I was a college professor at one point. I enjoyed it -- except for the interacting with humans part," Van Lente joked. I think that's part of the reason we've been successful.
For whatever reason, I'm someone who likes to tell people how things work. My ideal is one sentence per panel. Unfortunately, I don't often achieve that goal, but a lot of what we do for 'Comic Book Comics' is hunting down reference.
We mention a lot of obscure stuff, which is not always online, so there's a lot of scanning involved," Van Lente said.Volume» Published by Bootleg Comix. Started in Comics. Pamphlets. The Bold Explorers; Time Management for Anarchists; Sword of My Mouth; Therefore Repent!
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