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Category: 13 Guest Posts

Jim Shooter: A Second Opinion

Hi everyone,

Here’s a recent blog article by R. S. Martin titled Jim Shooter: A Second Opinion. It’s about Jim’s time as editor in chief of Marvel Comics. Jim thought it might be of interest to readers of the blog.

It’s a revised and expanded version of an article that was originally published at The Hooded Utilitarian on January 7, 2013.

Enjoy.

-JayJay

http://rsmwriter.blogspot.com/2016/06/jim-shooter-second-opinion.html

Mark Twain’s Rules of Literary Art

Excerpted from “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses” by Mark Twain.JayJay here. Over the years Jim has had a few classic sources of advice on writing that he would refer writers to. Here is one of them. Good things to keep in mind.

And I recommend reading the essay that these guidelines are taken from even if you have never read any Fenimore Cooper. It’s very funny. Over the years Jim has had many people ROTFL when he performed dramatic readings of it. Makes my sides hurt to even remember.


The rules governing literary art in the domain of romantic fiction require:

    1. That a tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere.
    2. They require that the episodes of a tale shall be necessary parts of the tale and shall help to develop it.
    3. They require that the personages of a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others.
    4. They require that the personages in a tale, both dead and alive, shall exhibit sufficient excuse for being there.
    5. They require that when personages of a tale deal in conversation, the talk shall sound like human talk, and be talk such as human beings would be likely to talk in the given circumstances, and have a discoverable meaning, also a discoverable purpose, and a show of relevancy, and remain in the neighborhood of the subject in hand, and be interesting to the reader, and help out the tale, and stop when people cannot think of anything more to say.
    6. They require that when the author describes the character of a personage in his tale, the conduct and conversation of that personage shall justify said description.
    7. They require that when a personage talks like an illustrated, gilt-edged, tree-calf, hand tooled, seven dollar Friendship’s Offering in the beginning of a paragraph, he shall not talk like a negro minstrel in the end of it.
    8. They require that crass stupidities shall not be played upon the reader as “the craft of the woodsman, the delicate art of the forest” by either the author or the people in the tale.
    9. They require that the personages of a tale shall confine themselves to possibilities and let miracles alone; or, if they venture a miracle, the author must so plausibly set it forth as to make it look possible and reasonable.
    10. They require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages in his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones.
    11. They require that the characters in a tale shall be so clearly defined that the reader can tell beforehand what each will do in a given emergency.In addition to the large rules there are some little ones. These require that the author shall:

 

  1. Say what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it.
  2. Use the right word, not its second cousin.
  3. Eschew surplusage.
  4. Not omit necessary details.
  5. Avoid slovenliness of form.
  6. Use good grammar.
  7. Employ a simple and straightforward style.

The Anti Gravity Room with Broadway Comics

JayJay Here. Back when Jim and I were working on Broadway Comics a Canadian TV show called The Anti Gravity Room came to film a segment with us. The episode is about how comics are made. I found an old video tape of the show a while back and got it transferred to DVD. It has Rob Liefeld and Ty Templeton. Jim and I are in the middle part (Part 2) of the show. The last part has an interesting bit about how comics are printed.

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Marvel Layoffs – 1996

JayJay here. Jim is taking care of other business today so I found another old news article for you. I thought it was an interesting aspect of Marvel history in the wake of some of Marvels’ most recent layoffs.

 

Marvel’s 25th Anniversary in Variety

JayJay here. Jim is otherwise occupied today so I thought I would come up with something to fill in and also spotlight what one of our readers, the wonderful JediJones, has accomplished… He has compiled a list of Jim’s work that is available on Amazon. We appreciate all the trouble he went to!

JediJones comments:

I just compiled a list of links of Jim’s trade paperbacks available on Amazon. I inserted Jim’s affiliate link code so he should get full referral fees if you buy through these links.

Jim, Amazon also has this bibliography page with a form for you to make updates to it. It’s missing most of your titles so you might want to update it and then you can link to it here. It might also be worth posting direct graphic links here to the pre-orders for the new Secret Wars I and II trade paperbacks. (Thanks! I will work on that!–JJ)

Marvel Avengers: The Korvac Saga (Marvel Premiere Classic) (Collects Avengers #167-168, #170-177)
Marvel Secret Wars
Marvel Secret Wars II
Marvel Secret Wars Omnibus (Collects Secret Wars #1-12, Thor #383, She-Hulk #10)
Marvel Secret Wars Omnibus Alex Ross Variant Cover (Collects Secret Wars #1-12, Thor #383, She-Hulk #10)
Marvel 44 Years of the Fantastic Four DVD-ROM Collector’s Edition (Collects #1-519, Annual #1-32, with ALL comic pages including all Bullpen Bulletins written by Jim)
Marvel New Universe Star Brand Classic – Volume 1 (v. 1) (Collects #1-7)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 5 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Adventure Comics #340-349)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 6 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Adventure Comics #350-358)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 7 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Adventure Comics #359-367, Jimmy Olsen #106)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 8 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Adventure Comics #368-376, Superboy #147)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 9 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Adventure Comics #377-380, Action Comics #378-387, #389-392)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 11 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Superboy #203-212)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 12 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Superboy #213-223, Karate Kid #1)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes: Enemy Rising (Collects Vol. 4 #37-44)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes: Enemy Manifest (Collects Vol. 4 #45-50)
Dark Horse Gold Key Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom Volume 1 (Collects #1-4)
Dark Horse Gold Key Magnus, Robot Fighter Volume 1 (Collects #1-4)
Dark Horse Gold Key Turok, Son of Stone Volume 1: Aztlan (Collects #1-4)
Valiant Harbinger: The Beginning (Collects #0-7 recolored)
Valiant X-O Manowar: Birth (Collects #0-6 recolored)
Valiant Archer & Armstrong: First Impressions (Collects #0-6 recolored)
Valiant Solar, Man of the Atom: Alpha and Omega (Collects #1-10’s backup stories)
Valiant Solar, Man of the Atom: Second Death (Collects #1-4)
Valiant Magnus, Robot Fighter: Steel Nation (Collects #1-4)
Valiant Magnus, Robot Fighter: Invasion (Collects #5-8)
Valiant Rai (Collects #1-4)
Valiant Harbinger: Children of the Eighth Day (Collects #1-4)
Valiant X-O Manowar Retribution (Collects #1-4)
Valiant Shadowman (Collects #1-3, 6)
Valiant Unity Saga Volume 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Collects Unity crossover)
Defiant Warriors of Plasm The Collected Edition (Collects Warriors of Plasm #0-4, Splatterball #1)
Broadway Comics Inherit the Earth (Collects Powers That Be #1, Shadow State #1-2, Fatale #1-6)

I’ve been going through old stuff as well and I ran across an issue of Variety that had a special section for Marvel’s 25th Anniversary. I scanned some of the pages. Click the images to enlarge.

Jim has promised to tell the story of working with George Romero on Mongrel soon!

The X-Men Team’s 1985 European Tour

JayJay here. Jim is suffering through a power outage, so while he sits in the dark I thought we could just do a blog post ourselves, and by ourselves I mean done by our readers! There’s the Mickey Rooney/Andy Hardy side of me coming out! To add to Jim’s story from yesterday about the X-Men team’s European tour in 1985 our reader, the wonderful Stéphane Garrelie, has scanned an article from Strange Magazine and translated it for us. And many thanks as well to Ferran Delgado for the photos from the Barcelona convention.

Strange Magazine was published by Editions Lug located in Lyons, France and headed at the time by the lovely Claude Vistel, one of two French publishers, that did translated reprints of Marvel Comics. Our reader Xavier Lancel explains that Lug is short for Lugdunum, the roman name of Lyon. Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr., Ann Nocenti and Dan Green went to Paris to promote the X-men and partly to research issue 200 which has Magneto on trial in Paris. That story was, of course, reprinted in Special Strange as well.

And that sparked their European tour!

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Hijack!

JayJay here. Jim’s away and… well, I’m not a mouse, but I’ll play anyway. Here’s something I thought you might enjoy. When I found my old Marvel Tryout Book to scan the pages for yesterday’s blog there were some long forgotten newspaper articles stuck into it. Here’s one from New York City Business, February 1985, about the Marvel Secret Wars and DC Crisis on Infinite Earths rivalry among other things.

Tomorrow we’ll return to our regularly scheduled blogcast: The Startling Conclusion of the Submission Saga

Not-So-Secret Wars – Guest Post by JayJay

There was a sniper in the sales department of the Marvel Comics office.

We were hunkered down behind desks, chairs, filing cabinets but we were slowly getting picked off one by one. It was dark but a little light filtered in from the fluorescent lights of the editorial department behind us and from the windows the lights of New York city reached even to the tenth floor. We strained our eyes into the shadowy recesses, trying to see where the shots were coming from, but the sniper might as well have been Sue Storm.

So naturally we had to give up. Being all dead and all.

Jim Novak had started all of the trouble. He was the “miscreant” Jim mentioned in More Strange Tales: War at Marvel. Jim Novak, master letterer and major talent, was the production manager at the time. One day he brought in this cool pump action toy gun he had bought. It fired these soft rubber bullets and it was so cool! The bullpen and even some of the editors couldn’t stop playing with it. So, of course, we all had to have one. We plied Jim with money and waited anxiously until he went to the toy store again.

War was inevitable at that point.

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Jim Shooter Boards the Battlestar Galactica-Guest Blog

By J.C. Vaughn

Back in 1999 along with my friends Mark L. Haynes (now a writer-producer living in Los Angeles) and Jim Kuhoric (now VP of Avatar Press), I took over a small press company called Realm Press, which had the license for Battlestar Galactica. This was about five or six years before it would have been trendy to have the license, but we all loved the original series or at least its potential and so we made our plans and did what we could to create good comics. Jim K. wrote our main series. Mark handled the lettering, production, and the continuity editing (stuff like the Galactica terminology). I handled the story editing, working with the artists, and so on.

The main series was a painted comic and for a variety of reasons it ended up always being late. Even though we had our regular jobs to go to the next day, Mark and I (Jim K. was married and had a life) would end up doing rewrites overnight as Mark lettered the issues, trying to make Jim’s scripts match up with the art we received. Best quote ever during this period – Mark: “Which one of these four panels is Panel Six?”

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Jim Shooter, to me. By guest blogger JayJay

JayJay here. Jim will write about the comic book business and about his work, but he doesn’t often write about purely personal things. Mostly, no doubt, because his work has been the all-consuming thing in his life and he’s never really “off work” completely. But two incidents stand out in my mind that define who Jim Shooter is to me.

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