Stan Lee

12 Nov

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Stan Lee loved a shared universe. Prior to 1961, comic book crossovers between series within the same company rarely happened. Team books like JSA and 7 Soldiers had team-ups of series leads but that never spilled over into individual titles. There was the one time that the JSA met Hop Harrigan, and that time the Sandman interacted with the Newsboy Legion and the Boys Commandos. Over in Marvel, we had the Human Torch fighting Sub-Mariner. Fawcett had a few rare team-ups as well outside the Marvel Family.

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In the 50s, Worlds Finest brought the worlds of Superman and Batman together, and that would sometimes spill over into other titles. And Adventure Comics played with some inter-series crossovers between Superboy, Green Arrow, and Aquaman. When pre-Marvel tried to bring back the Golden Age in the 50s, we got to see Cap meeting Human Torch and Sub-Mariner.

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But then Stan Lee, tired of the same old comics, decided to quit. His wife convinced him that before he does that, he should try doing comics his way. Because of the success of the JLA for DC, Lee was able to put out his own super-hero team, the Fantastic Four, and it took off.

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Creating realistic heroes with personalities that we can identify with, and placing them in a realistic city was just part of the appeal of what made the Marvel Silver Age great.

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But Stan Lee had a wonderful opportunity of writing all the comics, and having placed them all in the same city. So having heroes team up (and fight, because we all love super-hero fights) because a regular thing. Even having characters make minor cameos, just because they happened to be in the neighborhood, was a thing, reminding us constantly that they all shared a single universe. Villains introduced in one series would make their way to another. Let’s face it, Doctor Doom was everyone’s enemy.

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Nowadays, the comic book shared universe is a given, so much so we don’t even count them as crossovers. But it was Stan Lee who normalized what had previously been a rare happening.

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It’s not surprising then, that Marvel became such a well known cinematic universe. Granted, it’s not the first shared cinematic universe. We had the Universal Horror and the Toho Kaiju before. But the MCU, just like the MU before, took a rarity and created a trend. Now, everyone’s trying to create their own shared cinematic universe. DC’s doing it. Universal tried to do a revival. Hasbro has been working on one. But Marvel was able to start the trend now because they were able to do the same thing in comics then. And that’s because of Stan Lee.

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There is a lot of controversy of course, regarding giving Lee all the credit for Marvel, and of course, I don’t give him all the credit. He had a bullpen full of other writers and artists who helped create the Marvel Universe. It wasn’t all Stan. But when it comes to the crossovers, to the creation of the Marvel Shared Universe, that, in my opinion, was mostly to the credit of Stan Lee.

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And for me, as a crossoverist, I would have never gotten into crossovers if it weren’t for Marvel Team-Up, the Avengers, and other similar books that showed a young me the greatness of shared universes.

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New book! Darker Shades!

7 Nov


Stop the presses and Happy Halloween! The first publication from Wild Hunt Press — founded by yours truly *takes a bow, careful not to pull a disc* — is now available for pre-order in digital format and for free rental for those who have Kindle Unlimited. It goes “live” on Halloween! It’s just $2.99 for the first ever anthology of new prose tales devoted entirely to the character of Dorian Gray. And it’s the first official publication from Wild Hunt Press.

It includes short stories by Ivan Ronald Schablotski, T. Casey Brennan, and Peter Rawlik; novellas by Micah Harris and yours truly; a short play by Zahir Al Daoud; and an extensive, detailed Dorian Gray Timeline describing his entire history as part of the Wild Hunt Universe (WHU) and various alternate universes and futures co-authored by the master of the craft, Robyn Wronski and yours truly. It was a huge honor for my first publication to receive submissions from this august body of authors, and I shall forever be thanking the Great Pumpkin for this awesome gift! Which I also extend to you, of course!

The print version is in the works and shall be available soon!

Spread the word as far as you can and give yourself a special treat for Halloween! (In other words, buy it lol!).…


DORIAN GRAY: DARKER SHADES by [Nigro, Christofer, Rawlik, Peter, MacDowell Blue, David, Brennan, T. Casey, Heim, Kevin, Harris, Micah S., Wronski Jr., Robert E.]

Once, When No One Was Looking…

4 Oct

Once, when no one was looking…

I danced down Old South Street.

Once, when no one was looking, I picked my nose and put the “stuff” under my friend’s bed.

Once, when no one was looking, I slipped $20 into my mom’s suitcase.

Once, when no one was looking, I took a piss on the side of the Orange Town Hall.

Once, when no one was looking, I looked at someone in a way longing to be loved.

Once, when no one was looking, I took the last slice of pizza.

Once, when no one was looking, I let myself be me with the walls down.

Once, when no one was looking, I allowed myself to laugh without insecurity.

Once, when no one was looking, I expressed my emotions.

Most of who I really am is only exhibited when no one is looking.  When I am free to be me; without fear and insecurity.

Most of my life I am playing a character, like an actor on a stage.

I constantly question who I need to be in this scene.  What is my audience expecting?  Will I get rave reviews or harsh critiques?

But when no one is looking I get to be me.  I can be as geeky or as girly as I like.  I can sing and dance.  I can fart and belch.  I can laugh at inappropriate things and have full-length conversations with myself, when no one is looking.

An Apology to Candidates

28 Sep

I’m by no means neutral.  I certainly way in politically here.  However, recently, a candidate had asked me to write a letter of support to post here, and another I had considered writing a letter for.  But my to-do list of things to do was long and the priority for supporting these candidates through my blog honestly wasn’t that high on my list of priorities.  And so the primaries came and went.  I voted for those candidates.  I did post some comments on my social media.  But I neglected to offer them support through this blog.  And both of those candidates did not win.

I’m sure that it wasn’t my neglect that caused them to lose.  My influence is no where near that powerful.  But I think in the future, candidates should not ask me to write something for them on my blog.  My writing schedule is sporadic.  I write when my muse tells me to write, and I write what my muse tells me to write.  When I try to oppose my muse’s wishes, it seldom works out.

Stalker Issues Persist

13 Sep

For those who may recall, I have a no-harrassment order against Eugene Meyer. In February I can choose to renew the order or not renew it. Eugene’s girlfriend Damaris Vasquez keeps finding ways to harass me on Facebook. I block her, but she just seems to create new accounts and finds ways around it. It’s really frustrating. For one thing, it might not be her. It might be her abusive boyfriend going on to her account. He’s done it before. The grammar and spelling of the messages don’t match her poor grammar and spelling and are written the way he would write. It’s very frustrating for me and hard for me to figure out. You’d think since I can remove the order in a few months, that he wouldn’t be choosing to help me decide to renew the order, but instead, he keeps giving me incentive to renew the order. It’s kind of moronic. I get that he (or she) are drunk when they send the messages. They are active drunks. And we know what that does to judgement. But the other dumb thing is that she has a job that she only has because of me. After the previous harassment, she was going to get fired from her job, but I convinced her supervisor not to fire her because she needs the money. And yet not only does she and he continue to harass me, they even use her position where she works as a weapon of harassment. What should I do? I can’t prove that he may be harassing me in violation of the order using her account. I can’t get an order against her just for continuously insulting me on Facebook. I can probably get her fired from her job, but I really don’t want to do that. Why can’t people just be smart and not be dumb criminals?

Northampton Community Support Network Ending

6 Sep

I came up with an idea 16 months ago and it has been my primary passion for the past sixteen months. I’ve been pushing the idea at every venue possible for sixteen months to gain support for the project.

And now finally some folks with power and influence have taken on the idea and are running with it, but I’ve been pushed to the side, and am no longer part of this conversation that I started.

I’m very happy that my community center will come into existence. But my ego is a little bit crushed that I’m not allowed to be a part of my community center.

I’d like to thank all those who joined me in those early meetings about creating the Northampton community center when we would meet regularly at Bruegger’s and Forbes and later in the basement of First Churches.

Thanks to all those who helped with the car wash, the flyers and brochures, those who helped draft our mission statement and established safety protocols. Thanks to those who helped me find locations and helped with the logistical paperwork.

And thanks to those who supported us through monetary donations.

I’ll keep updating folks here with community news and event announcements but the Northampton Community Support Network is over. Northampton Connects is picking up the community center project and running with it without our involvement. They have more power and influence in their membership so they are more likely to be successful in the endeavor.

Ten Reasons that Doctor Who is like Scooby-Doo!

1 Sep
And now for something completely different!
Here’s a fun break for our usual chronologies…

Reasons that Doctor Who is like Scooby-Doo!

1. Running
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2. The supernatural menace always has a non-supernatural explanation.
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3. Occasionally there are annoying companions (i.e. Scrappy-Doo)
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4. Shaggy’s stomach is bigger on the inside.
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5. They are much older than they look.
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6. They spend all their time travelling, and very rarely are they looking for trouble. Usually they show up to visit a place and surprise, there’s a mystery to be solved.
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7. They’ve both been around since the 60s.
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8. Nobody believes in the supernatural, but they don’t question a talking dog. Likewise nobody seems to question a big blue box appearing in the oddest places.
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9. Alons-y, Geronimo, Zoinks, Jinkies
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10. Just like the Doctor, they were the same exact clothes every day.
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Image result for Just like the Doctor, they were the same exact clothes every day. Doctor WhoImage result for Just like the Doctor, they were the same exact clothes every day. Scooby-Doo
If you’d like to see more posts like this, let us know in the comments section or talk to us in the TVCU Facebook Forum.