Please login or register.

Login with email, password and session length
 

News:

Happy 15th Birthday, Freedom Force!


Author Topic: Into the Bronze Age  (Read 7374 times)

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Into the Bronze Age
« on: January 02, 2016, 09:16:24 PM »
Howdy gents, I'm starting a new semi-regular (maybe once a month or so) feature on the Greylands as a break from my doctoral work.  In it I'll be reading through the breadth of DC Comics through the Bronze Age and offering commentary and assessment.  If that sounds interesting to you, check out the maiden voyage here:
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2016/01/02/into-the-bronze-age/
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline Epimethee

  • Patron god of afterthought
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2758
  • Currently in suspended animation
    • FFX add-on for FFvsTTR
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2016, 03:09:19 AM »
I quite enjoyed reading your column, Benton. Nice touch using good ol' Frank Stiles for your reviews.

A question, since I've read very little DC before Crisis: Did they credit the authors? If so, it could be a nice touch to add them after each title, if only to help search engines find your entries. While I'm at it, a couple more suggestions: If you can get larger images, so much the better. The full-width ones convey a much better sense of the story. Lastly—sorry for the typographic rant—, the text alignment switches back and forth between ragged left and justified. The former is so much better, as current browsers justification algorithms and low-resolution screens can't compete with traditional desktop publishing, manual type setting and the high resolution of traditional printing.
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2016, 05:54:01 AM »
Howdy Epimethee, thanks so much for reading it and offering feedback; I really appreciate that!

They did not usually credit creative teams at this time, but I CAN get that information without too much trouble thanks to the wonders of the internet.  It actually occurred to me that I should do so JUST as I finished the post today, and I didn't want to go back and mess with all of that at the moment, but I will add it in and be sure to include it for future posts.

I agonized over the format questions.  I really did.  Wordpress just won't do what I really want it to do, which is to wrap the text neatly around the images adn let me make the images pop out when you click on them.  I've gone back and edited it a bit to make the images larger and the text all less justified (looks a bit messy to me), what do you think?  I'm worried about the images overpowering the text, but I welcome feedback and suggestions, as well as tips from those more tech-savvy than myself.

I'm really happy to hear that you enjoyed my musings, and I'm glad you liked my ratings system.  I thought that would be fun. :D
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline Epimethee

  • Patron god of afterthought
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2758
  • Currently in suspended animation
    • FFX add-on for FFvsTTR
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2016, 02:07:08 AM »
Good job on the update! The added credits made me realize why the name Cary Bates (behind Action Comics #384) ringed a bells: He wrote Video Jack for Epic, with pencils by Giffen. The concept played to Bates' (and Giffen's) strengths much better than Superman, IIRC.

Quote
Wordpress just won't do what I really want it to do, which is to wrap the text neatly around the images and let me make the images pop out when you click on them.  I've gone back and edited it a bit to make the images larger and the text all less justified (looks a bit messy to me), what do you think?  I'm worried about the images overpowering the text (…)

Personally, I think it's better now. On one hand, I wouldn't worry about the images overpowering the text too much—comics are the topic, after all. On the other, however, wrapping text around images without interfering with reading comfort is hard, especially on the Web, and probably more so using a CMS such as Wordpress. The full-width images are good, and so are the smaller images aligned left, as you used for the covers. The smallest recommended number of characters per lines is around 35-40, spaces included. Under the Action Comics #384 review, the second image, action-384-07-06.jpg is too large (less than 20 characters fit beside it), while the last one, action-384-22-04.jpg, even if it's aligned right, still works, as its column is 40-character wide; of course, the fact that the words on its left are short also help, by avoiding any huge line length variation.
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2016, 03:11:02 AM »
And post #2 is up!  This covers February 1970, or rather, the first half of the issues for that month.  I've decided to break the posts up to make them a little less overwhelming and to get them out a bit more often:
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/into-the-bronze-age-february-1970/

Thanks Epimethee!  I really appreciate your feedback on format, as this is fairly new territory for me.  I've tried to take your advice to heart in this latest post.

I'm rather excited that this outing brought me to both Aquaman and JLA.  I'm excited to be covering those books.  Well, I hope y'all will find this interesting and will share your feedback with me!
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline Epimethee

  • Patron god of afterthought
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2758
  • Currently in suspended animation
    • FFX add-on for FFvsTTR
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2016, 07:00:50 PM »
Interesting read! I never realized Frank Robbins, renowned Johnny Hazard artist, was mainly a writer. Aparo… He's not an artist I ever liked much (mind you, I read very little vintage DC), because of the way he drew faces. From the screenshots, though, I can see why you liked his work so much. Smooth and spectacular. There's also a hint of Milton Caniff in the art at Diversions of the Groovy Kind you linked to (and interestingly, the Caniff influence is very different to what's seen in the aforementioned Robbins).

Good job on the layout: the text/images interplay has a really nice flow, each reinforcing the other.
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2016, 12:52:48 AM »
Thanks Ep!  Yeah, I am really learning a lot by doing this.  I'm getting a much broader perspective on who's doing what and such.  Well, if you haven't read DC in the 70s, you haven't seen Aparo in his heyday.  As he got older, his vision began to fail, and his work wasn't quite as good, naturally.  He definitely brings something utterly fitting to Aquaman, though.  As you say, smooth and spectacular. 

Thanks!  I think it's looking a good deal better.

I'm really glad you're enjoying this little project, man.  Thanks for the support and the feedback!
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2016, 06:26:28 AM »
Annnd February Part 2 is up, including a really painful Superman issue!  :P
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/into-the-bronze-age-february-1970-part-2/
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2016, 11:09:29 PM »
Ohh, and I've got a question for anyone reading along at home.  How many issues would be the right amount for coverage in a single post?  Is breaking a month in half good, or should I subdivide even further?  I welcome feedback on this.
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Online kkhohoho

  • Evil (but a hero) Santa Claus look-a-like
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 3068
  • "He sees you when you're sleeping...
    • The Golden Age: Not Your Ordinary Fanfic
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 05:41:07 AM »
Ohh, and I've got a question for anyone reading along at home.  How many issues would be the right amount for coverage in a single post?  Is breaking a month in half good, or should I subdivide even further?  I welcome feedback on this.

I'd say two issues for a post would a nice number; three at most. As is, it takes me three-five minutes to read through your coverage of just one issue, so splitting the posts into bite-sized chunks would make them more digestible, I think.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 05:22:17 AM by kkhohoho »
The Golden Age; 'A different look at a different era.'

http://archiveofourown.org/works/1089779/chapters/2193203

Offline Epimethee

  • Patron god of afterthought
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2758
  • Currently in suspended animation
    • FFX add-on for FFvsTTR
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2016, 03:32:31 AM »
I agree with Kkhohoho, 2-3 would be the sweet spot.
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2016, 05:10:02 AM »
Thanks guys, I imagine you're right on the money!
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2016, 11:05:14 PM »
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline Epimethee

  • Patron god of afterthought
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2758
  • Currently in suspended animation
    • FFX add-on for FFvsTTR
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2016, 07:07:14 PM »
Enjoyable read again, Benton. :)

Interesting to see an old hand like Novick (it's one of his work which was famously “lichtensteinified”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaam!#/media/File:Roy_Lichtenstein_Whaam.jpg ) change his clearly classic style to follow the trendy style of Neal Adam.
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2016, 06:20:21 AM »
Well folks, here is this week's post, just barely under the wire:
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/into-the-bronze-age-march-1970-part-2/

I've also given the site a visual overhaul.  I hope y'all will give me some feedback on its looks!  I agonized over the theme, as there just aren't any that are interesting to look at, readable, and had the format I wanted, at least not for free.  I'm not a hundred percent on anything yet, but I do like the layout of this theme better, and it is certainly easier to read, which is necessary now that I'm using this for more than just a collection for my mods.  Please tell me what y'all think!

Yeah, there's a perceptible movement in the comics of this era towards the more realistic style of folks like Adams.

God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline Epimethee

  • Patron god of afterthought
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2758
  • Currently in suspended animation
    • FFX add-on for FFvsTTR
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2016, 05:10:51 AM »
Much better on larger-resolution screens indeed. It breathes better, and the beige background makes reading more comfortable.

Nitpicks: The Header and background images are too compressed. The header, in particular, is displaying extreme JPEG compression artifacts. The Kirby background image, for its part, is, by itself, amazing, but, as a background decoration, too busy and distracts from the content. You could try to reduce its contrast and give it a tint, but then again, the image would lose much of its cachet.

And yes, I enjoyed reading you, of course! ;)
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2016, 04:57:18 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, Em! 

Yeah, I think this design is really growing on me.  I'm starting to get used to it. 

I assume you mean that image is a bit pixilated, would that be correct?  I'm afraid your vocabulary is a bit too technical for me!  :P  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any larger resolution images of that Aquaman pic, so I'm limited in that department.  I agree about the Kirby tech background, but I just love that image, so I have had a hard time bringing myself to change it.  Plus, I've had a hard time finding something to change it TO. 

I've been looking for a nice Kirby starfield, and I found something I like pretty well.  Check it out and tell me what y'all think!  I think it may work.

I'm glad you enjoyed the read, Em!  I'm quite enjoying the process of writing these posts, and it's nice to know I've got an audience.
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline Epimethee

  • Patron god of afterthought
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2758
  • Currently in suspended animation
    • FFX add-on for FFvsTTR
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2016, 05:18:44 AM »
Quote
I assume you mean that image is a bit pixilated, would that be correct?  I'm afraid your vocabulary is a bit too technical for me!
Sorry for the technical gibberish, Benton. The images do appear somewhat pixelated on my screen, but it probably won't be a big issue for most visitors. I was rather referring to the pattern (especially, here, the noisy halo around every outline) which appears when trying to reduce aggressively the filesize of an image using the JPEG format. (You can often see the same kind of issue in videos compressed with MPEG, as it uses the same algorithm.)
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2016, 02:41:05 AM »
Another week another post!  Join me for the next three issues in March 1970!
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/into-the-bronze-age-march-1970-part-3/

Em, thanks for the response!  I hadn't noticed that "noisy halo."  What can/should I do about that?  What do you think of the new background?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 05:22:13 AM by BentonGrey »
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline Epimethee

  • Patron god of afterthought
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2758
  • Currently in suspended animation
    • FFX add-on for FFvsTTR
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2016, 03:53:28 PM »
Quote
I hadn't noticed that "noisy halo."  What can/should I do about that?
Well, you could just ignore cranky nitpickers, of course. ;) 

Otherwise, do you have the original image? (Preferably not a JPEG, as it's a destructive format*, meaning that image quality will degrade every time you save it.)

What software do you use to edit and export images?

Quote
What do you think of the new background?
As much as I love the previous Kirby with its pre-columbian feel, the new one works much better here.

*Darkseid uses it a lot.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 02:33:29 AM by Epimethee »
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2016, 02:06:30 AM »
Haha, no, no, I appreciate the help and feedback!  Like I said, this is all out of my baliwick.  What's the best format to use for such things?

I use GIMP for any fancy edits, and I just use the default picture software on Windows for minor stuff.

Glad to hear it!  Yeah, I think this works nicely with the whole feel of the site. 
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline Epimethee

  • Patron god of afterthought
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2758
  • Currently in suspended animation
    • FFX add-on for FFvsTTR
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2016, 02:44:07 AM »
Quote
What's the best format to use for such things?
JPEG is perfectly fine as a final export format. If your original file doesn't have this halo effect, you're all set. Just export your composite image (i.e., the illustration + your title overlay) using a compression ratio you're satisfied with (i.e, not too many visible artefacts while keeping filesize reasonable).
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2016, 10:10:40 PM »
Thanks Ep!  I'll mess with it some more soon.

In the interim, here we go with another league further in our journey "Into the Bronze Age!"
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/into-the-bronze-age-march-1970-part-4/

(Bonus points if you catch that obscure old-time radio reference!)

This ends March 1970, though I'm afraid we go out with something of a whimper. 
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline daglob

  • Shape-Shifting Silly-Putty Android
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 7611
  • Da Glob
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2016, 02:38:18 AM »
Both a classic radio (Lone Ranger) and a classic television (Richard Diamond) reference.

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2016, 03:15:40 AM »
And one for The Voyage of the Scarlet Queen!

This week's post is up!
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/into-the-bronze-age-april-1970-part-1/
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2016, 12:49:02 AM »
It's been a while, but how about another journey Into the Bronze Age!
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/into-the-bronze-age-april-1970-part-2
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline Epimethee

  • Patron god of afterthought
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2758
  • Currently in suspended animation
    • FFX add-on for FFvsTTR
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2016, 02:10:46 AM »
Interesting reading again, BG. Keep it up! :)
FFX add-on for FFvsTTR at ffx.freedomforceforever.com

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2016, 01:21:13 PM »
Thanks Epi!  I really appreciate the feedback and encouragement.   :)

As Epi has already discovered, there's a new post Into the Bronze Age!:
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/into-the-bronze-age-may-1970-part-1/
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2

Offline JKCarrier

  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 3462
    • Fantasy Theater
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2016, 10:03:03 PM »
I've seen that Action Comics cover before, and always thought "There's no way the story could possibly live up to this". But from your description, it sounds like it does! Gotta track that issue down.

The Batman stories of this era have kind of a strange tension going on. On the one hand, they were trying really hard to remove any trace of Adam West-ish shenanigans. On the other hand, they also knew that their audience was still primarily kids, who wouldn't necessarily go for a strictly realistic crime drama. So you still get wacky stuff like killer trout and pyromaniacal Buddhas. It's interesting watching them try to figure out that balance between seriousness and over-the-top-ness.

Offline BentonGrey

  • Titans
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 14434
    • The Greylands
Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2016, 10:29:01 PM »
I've seen that Action Comics cover before, and always thought "There's no way the story could possibly live up to this". But from your description, it sounds like it does! Gotta track that issue down.
Haha, it certainly is entertaining! 

The Batman stories of this era have kind of a strange tension going on. On the one hand, they were trying really hard to remove any trace of Adam West-ish shenanigans. On the other hand, they also knew that their audience was still primarily kids, who wouldn't necessarily go for a strictly realistic crime drama. So you still get wacky stuff like killer trout and pyromaniacal Buddhas. It's interesting watching them try to figure out that balance between seriousness and over-the-top-ness.
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey/
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/bentongrey2