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Topic: Q for JB: Memoir? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Joe Smith
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 29 August 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 6586
Posted: 06 February 2023 at 5:24pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I feel pretty fortunate since finding this web page to have been reading his
“memoir” the whole time.
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 131932
Posted: 06 February 2023 at 8:47pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Pretty much the way I see it.
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Dave Kopperman
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Joined: 27 December 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3077
Posted: 07 February 2023 at 3:08pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Coincidentally turned up in my Facebook feed, and totally unknown to me until this moment, Paul Kupperberg has just released a book that seems to be in the general arena: Direct Conversations - "Talks with fellow DC Comics Bronze Age creators."  Title is kind of a mouthful and it's obviously very specific and limited in scope but also could be pretty interesting - though JB isn't mentioned as one of the subjects.
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 131932
Posted: 07 February 2023 at 5:05pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I do so loathe the term “Bronze Age”. It’s part of the ridiculous mashup of Olympic medals and historical epochs.

In medals, gold, silver and bronze represent first, second and third. But in history, the “Golden Age” is meant to be a society or culture’s peak of achievement. And unique.

The comic book “Golden Age” was an explosion of talent and innovation, but most of the work produced then was far from the best of the best. And once the medal mentality was applied it all became even more ludicrous. Most of what happened in the “Silver Age” was superior. The rebirth of DC, the coming of modern Marvel, and a whole raft of artists and writers entering the business by choice, not because they couldn’t break into newspaper strips.

And I really resent my career being lodged in the third best category. I’ve said for as long as I can recall that our history should be divided by decades, not arbitrary and ill-defined “ages”.

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James Woodcock
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Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7548
Posted: 07 February 2023 at 7:09pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Hear hear!
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Jose Zulueta
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Joined: 20 March 2022
Location: United States
Posts: 129
Posted: 07 February 2023 at 7:58pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I've heard of the Golden Age of Hollywood, of Television, and even of Radio ... but I've never heard of their respective Silver Ages. I wonder how "Silver Age of Comics" got started? Perhaps The Golden Age of Comics should have started with the publication of Showcase #4 and ended with ... I don't know, Jack Kirby's last issue of the FF, and just leave it at that. No more assigning of metallic Ages to comics periods. 

And what does one call the period after the "Bronze Age?" We've run out of medals at this point. 
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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 15674
Posted: 07 February 2023 at 10:02pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

 Jose wrote:
And what does one call the period after the "Bronze Age?" We've run out of medals at this point.

I don't subscribe to the notion that it comes from Olympic medals. There are plenty of Greek poets who all stick to the ages of Golden, silver, bronze in that order.

From my copy of "The Greek Myths" by Robert Graves:



According to Graves, the Golden Age derives from a tribe that worshipped the Bee-goddess, the Silver Age from tribes that worshipped the Moon-goddess,such as the Moesynoechians of the Black Sea, and the Bronze Age refers to the earliest Hellenic invaders.

Hesiod  -- the Greek poet who first wrote of these ages -- was (once again according to Graves) a miserable, pessimistic man who had lived a hard life. He believed men had once lived in harmony like bees (the Golden Age) and that everything was downhill after that (with one exceptional 'Heroic Age', that of the Perseid dynasty, encompassing the warrior-kings of Mycenae descended from Perseus, such as Agamemnon). 

The final age of man was the Iron Age, beginning with the Dorians of 1200BC, and encompassed the time at which Hesiod composed his poetry.

*Edited for a typo


Edited by Peter Martin on 07 February 2023 at 10:05pm
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 131932
Posted: 08 February 2023 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Graves’ use of “iron” confuses the issue. The term waa already used to denote the epoch in which artisans began using iron tools.
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Dave Kopperman
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Joined: 27 December 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3077
Posted: 08 February 2023 at 3:53pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

It's difficult to overcome the Olympic 'level of performance' connotation that 99% of people would have as their first point of reference.  I'm not sure decades works other than in a rough sense, particularly as the medium moved away from the newsstand and art comics and manga became prominent in bookstores - unless historians opt to cordon off Timely/Marvel, National/DC from other publishers.

Kind of ironic that a medium in which 'boxes' are the central element is so difficult to actually put IN boxes.
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 131932
Posted: 08 February 2023 at 4:28pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I think decades work pretty well. If we realize that what we think of as, say the Sixties was not exactly 1960 to 1969, we can see that for comics the Forties were quite different from the Fifties, as the Fifties were not the same as the Sixties. And so on.
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Michael Penn
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Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 12376
Posted: 08 February 2023 at 5:15pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

At least labelling by decades has no additional connotations that rank eras in any way, let alone in the baseless manner of metaphorical metals.
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Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 15674
Posted: 08 February 2023 at 6:35pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

A problem with decades is that the first half of the 50s is markedly different to the second half of the 50s. To lump in the horror and romance titles of the first half of the decade with the rejuvenated super heroes of the second half doesn't work for me, not forgetting that the Comics Code Authority came into existence about half way through as well.

 
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