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  1. #1
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    Default CBR: When Words Collide - Feb 22, 2010

    Tim returns this week and concludes his in-depth three-part analysis at the "Daredevil" comics of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, explaining why their run is such an important milestone in the modern Marvel era.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    unwshd & smwht slitly dzd Schmakt's Avatar
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    Sweet.

    DD is my favorite mainstream super-hero, hands down, and the Bendis run was definitely something special. Thanks for the interesting retrospective.
    No one responds to street art anymore.
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  3. #3

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    Never was a fan due to Maleev's work. No sense of movement, no energy. It's like watching someone pose mannequins in a department store window.

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    Member Benel Germosen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony W View Post
    Never was a fan due to Maleev's work. No sense of movement, no energy. It's like watching someone pose mannequins in a department store window.
    Yeah! He no make things go boom! like other color books!

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    Cool

    Hey Callahan,

    Thanks for for Wiki links as well. I like that. use your knowledge & thanks for sharing it.

    I also wanted to say I also read your DD #505 review too. Keen. I like how you just caught me up P.D.Q. on what's going on with Matt Murdock. leader of the Hand...I can see that.

    I read this regularly before I started to read Ultimate Spider-Man. DD was my first Bendis. Then Powers. Torso. yet to read Jinx (and I'm not spoiled thanks to say). I love his letter columns. I love the cut of his jib. I love how he went toe-to-toe with Kirkman last year. A year later, I just caught up on that but both sides have such great ideas! but iDigress...

    And I love in the end of this three-parter, all I wanna do is go read the Bendis/Maleev DD again...and I will read ALIAS in all the right places too along side of it when congruent. It's time to raid the ancient longboxes. I got a $#itload of DD funnybooks by Bendis/Maleev. not the whole story but enough to keep me entertained for a day.

    C'mon Callahan, next week gimme the Postscript on ALIAS with you. very much the same funnybook in a way. Same continuity space/time. have you spoke of it before or didn't like it? I'd like to hear your thoughts on Bendis' "side piece" Jessica Jones? We don't have to mention anything blue either...that's between Luke, herself and anyone who figures that panel out, Okay?

    crea shaakti,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony W View Post
    Never was a fan due to Maleev's work. No sense of movement, no energy. It's like watching someone pose mannequins in a department store window.
    Too bad. It was a great run!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benel Germosen View Post
    Yeah! He no make things go boom! like other color books!

    Sorry but Maleev can't pull off the illusion of movement, which has nothing to do with stuff blowing up. The work is stiff and posed IMO, hence "the mannequin in a store window" remark.

    Now that you have gotten your kneejerk fanboy reaction out of your system and I have taken down the strawman you tried to erect you can make a more reasoned defense of Maleev...or not.
    Last edited by Anthony W; 02-23-2010 at 03:18 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by billcomics View Post
    Too bad. It was a great run!
    Glad you liked it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony W View Post
    Sorry but Maleev can't pull off the illussion of movement, which has nothing to do with stuff blowing up. The work is stiff and posed IMO, hence "the mannequin in a store window" remark.

    Now that you have gotten your kneejerk fanboy reaction out of your system and I have taken down the strawman you tried to erect you can make a more reasoned defense of Maleev...or not.
    Here's a supporting opinion of Maleev's DAREDEVIL artwork:

    Maleev's reliance on photorealistic modeling and on the graphic manipulations possible with computers -- most prominently duplication -- tend to make warm-blooded characters appear cold and stiff. Panels wind up frequently resembling overwrought fumetti. Action sequences are stilted, wooden. Interludes are dotted with wandering glances and spatial disconnects. Passion is denoted by overacting and contortions up to the point of facial hysteria. While Maleev depicts a single panel's static scene well, Bendis' writing must supplement the sense of movement.

    From http://archives.tcj.com/271/r_bendis.html

    I'm put off by the number of issues. Fifty-six issues for one storyline seems extraordinarily long, and raises the question of whether decompression and the lack of thoughts were appropriate techniques. Approaching a situation from multiple viewpoints might make some sense in cinema, but comic books aren't cinema, and I'm unaware of prose works that have done that.

    Decompression is a stylistic choice, not a basic element of writing, and if "compressed" writing would have resulted in the storyline being done in 24-36 issues instead of 56, then it was the better option. I have yet to see a defense of decompression that actually describes how the technique benefits the reader. People just assert that it's better and more modern, and that preferring compression is somehow backward. It's just as easy to think that in attempting to emulate cinema, those who practice compression are saying that cinema is inherently superior to comics, and that given a choice between a movie and comic with the same material, the movie is automatically superior.

    SRS

  10. #10

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    Good find Steven. Wow, I thought I was the only one that felt that way about Maleev's work. I'm curious to see what Maleev's work would look like without the absolute focus on realism.
    Last edited by Anthony W; 02-23-2010 at 05:50 PM.

  11. #11

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    Yes! Steven showed up to the party, and he's wearing, as always, his didactic outfit!

    Compression is something we've been conditioned to accept in mainstream comics because of the publishing realities of the good old days, when single issues were the format, and stories had to end in 22 pages or the reader might never find out what happened. Of course, in the good older days, stories were 8 pages (or less) and were even more compressed. Because that way more stories could be packed into a single issue, and your whole family could find something to enjoy! Are 22-page stories decompressed, compared to a Spirit insert by Will Eisner? Hell, yeah.

    I prefer compression, though. But I realize it's the way I've been conditioned to read comic book stories, not because it's inherently better. Decompression, done well, focuses on character more than plot. Which is, ultimately, a far more literary approach.

    And you've never seen any novels that use multiple narrators? Do you want me to list them? How about you start with "Moby Dick" and then read everything since then.

    Comics that are cinematic are not inherently better. But it is a stylistic approach that's valid, certainly. Remember: Style + Tone = Theme. So it depends on the thematic emphasis of the story. Doesn't really make sense to explore the slow self-destruction of a hero in a compressed format, does it?
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  12. #12
    Senior Member pmpknface's Avatar
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    I really liked this look back at this run. I read it as it came out, but I'd like to re-read it sometime.

    FYI - DD took over the title of the Kingpin in #50, not #55. There was a 5 issue gap between #51 -> #55 where David Mack told an Echo story that followed up on her earlier appearrances in Daredevil. It also gave Bendis and Maleev a bit of a break.

    I also think it's worth mentioning that still to this day the only part of the current DD Vol. 2 that hasn't been reprinted is #20 -> #25 that was written by Bob Gale and most of the art done by Phil Winslade where Matt Murdock has to defend DAREDEVIL in court. It was kind of another Matt "will he be outed" arc that directly preceded the Bendis run.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimothyCallahan View Post
    Yes! Steven showed up to the party, and he's wearing, as always, his didactic outfit!

    Compression is something we've been conditioned to accept in mainstream comics because of the publishing realities of the good old days, when single issues were the format, and stories had to end in 22 pages or the reader might never find out what happened. Of course, in the good older days, stories were 8 pages (or less) and were even more compressed. Because that way more stories could be packed into a single issue, and your whole family could find something to enjoy! Are 22-page stories decompressed, compared to a Spirit insert by Will Eisner? Hell, yeah.

    I prefer compression, though. But I realize it's the way I've been conditioned to read comic book stories, not because it's inherently better. Decompression, done well, focuses on character more than plot. Which is, ultimately, a far more literary approach.

    And you've never seen any novels that use multiple narrators? Do you want me to list them? How about you start with "Moby Dick" and then read everything since then.

    Comics that are cinematic are not inherently better. But it is a stylistic approach that's valid, certainly. Remember: Style + Tone = Theme. So it depends on the thematic emphasis of the story. Doesn't really make sense to explore the slow self-destruction of a hero in a compressed format, does it?
    Don't be ridiculous, re the "multiple narrators." I have a B.A. in English and I've read over 1,000 books, so I know damn well what multiple narrators are. I'm referring to revisiting a single situation more than once, repeating the positioning of the characters, repeating dialogue, etc., and focusing on a different person with each repetition. That could be easily be avoided, since comics allows multiple viewpoints. One person per page would have allowed Bendis to do the same thing, but more efficiently than repeating situations in their entirety.

    If the situations weren't entirely repeated, then I'd have no complaints.

    We haven't been "conditioned" to "accept" compression. The amount of dialogue in scenes, combined with the transitions from scene to scene, is comparable to dialogue and transitions in prose stories.

    If the point of decompression is character examination, then why not use thought balloons or narration? The combination would be far more effective than dialogue alone.

    Someone intent on destroying himself could accomplish that in four issues. Doing something slowly for the sake of doing it slowly isn't laudable.

    SRS

  14. #14

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    You really haven't read "Moby Dick," huh? Or "As I Lay Dying" or any number of novels in which multiple narrators do, in fact, report on the same sequence of events from different perspectives.

    So, I guess you've been reading the wrong 1,000+ novels. Sorry to break it to you.

    Of course we've been conditioned to accept -- and probably prefer -- compression if we grew up reading comics in the 1970s and 1980s. That's clearly where YOU, in particular, developed your set of standards of what comics should be. You base everything you say on what Steve Englehart did, as if his comics were the ultimate example of what comics could be, when, in fact, he just took an approach that you prefer. And you seem to want everyone to replicate that approach.

    That's closed-minded, Steven.

    How about analyzing comics for what they are -- analyzing approaches for what they offer, both positive and negative -- instead of having a narrow view that doesn't account for the variety of storytelling techniques that give flavor to the genre, to the medium?

    That's all anyone would ask of you.

    That and to avoid saying really dumb things like, "Someone intent on destroying himself could accomplish that in four issues." Is it a race now?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimothyCallahan View Post
    You really haven't read "Moby Dick," huh? Or "As I Lay Dying" or any number of novels in which multiple narrators do, in fact, report on the same sequence of events from different perspectives.

    So, I guess you've been reading the wrong 1,000+ novels. Sorry to break it to you.

    Of course we've been conditioned to accept -- and probably prefer -- compression if we grew up reading comics in the 1970s and 1980s. That's clearly where YOU, in particular, developed your set of standards of what comics should be. You base everything you say on what Steve Englehart did, as if his comics were the ultimate example of what comics could be, when, in fact, he just took an approach that you prefer. And you seem to want everyone to replicate that approach.

    That's closed-minded, Steven.

    How about analyzing comics for what they are -- analyzing approaches for what they offer, both positive and negative -- instead of having a narrow view that doesn't account for the variety of storytelling techniques that give flavor to the genre, to the medium?

    That's all anyone would ask of you.

    That and to avoid saying really dumb things like, "Someone intent on destroying himself could accomplish that in four issues." Is it a race now?
    You're being ridiculous again, and evading the issue. Professional writers I've talked to have agreed that the structure of "old" comics parallels the structure of prose stories, and can provide the same experience, provided that the narration and thought balloons are handled well.

    By eschewing the use of thought balloons and narration, current writers are simply preventing themselves from developing characters fully. Instead of insisting that we've been "conditioned" to accept compression, why not consider how decompressed material might be handled in the "old" fashion?

    Avoiding any attempt to explain how thought balloons and narration are actually bad in terms of storytelling mechanics implies that you can't -- and your tone suggests that you're terrified of criticizing the preferred style. Insisting that thought balloons and narration are things to be avoided is as ridiculous as insisting that one narrative point of view is the best.

    SRS

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