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    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008 edited
    well, yeah. thats why its good. that is where i was introduced to him, as probably a 12 year old, and have followed everything he has done since then. its actually kind of disappointing that i met him when i was a retarded young autograph seeker instead of now, as an appreciative fan with an understanding of just how influential he is on my own small work.. editing while boozed? always good.
  1.  (1291.22)
    Random point of order: I suggest anyone who can look at the artist and co-creator on those first issues of Harbinger. And consider the best comic that came out this week....

    ...and the rest of us will wonder what the fuck you're talking about...?
    • CommentAuthorzenbullet
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
    For sure, I read Valiant for a minute, and really what I liked was the narrative superstructure of the two universes/timeline thingy more than I liked the stories.

    It was like a cool mystery to unravel, like easter eggs in DVDs.

    I was a big Crossgen fan for the same reason really.
    {company wide superstructure dingus thingy is up there on things I look for apparently}
    Same problem too.
    Although I dare anyone to tell me they didn't like WAY OF THE RAT...
    "Find a staff!"

    ...still kills me...
    • CommentAuthorScottS
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
    Zenbullet, I never picked up a Crossgen comic so I can tell you, "I didn't like WAY OF THE RAT" .. because I never read it. On the flip side I can't say I *wouldn't* like it if I did read it.

    I should take a look for back issues of Solus though, if only for Perez's artwork (he did he artwork for that one, right?)
  2.  (1291.25)

    David Lapham got his start on Harbinger. (which I am sure you know and that was more "don't be vague").

    So to be less vague.

    That alone justifies the purchasing the the hardback if someone wants to see where he started off, in addition, it was more then just BWS that made these books stand out a bit.
      CommentAuthorIan Mayor
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
    I'm unashamedly a VALIANT fan (all caps, all the time, according to Shooter's editorials), some of this is undoubtedly nostalgia for the era I 'got into' American comics, but not all of it; there are concepts in VALIANT that could stand a revisit, and although the form of the books has dated fairly badly, there's still content that's worth your time... and cash too, probably.

    Editorially, under Shooter anyway, the books did a number of things I found utterly compelling as a teenager.

    The continuity was strictly controlled, events in one book effecting others in ways both subtle and profound, for example; there was a huge explosion at the South pole in an issue of Solar Man Of The Atom, effected the weather in every title published for the following couple of months, torrential rain lashed the pages of Shadowman and Harbinger and so on.

    Time was played with in the similar manner, with a message sent by an Alien fleet in 1990'-whatever was answered thousands of years and light years later in the pages of Magnus (or maybe Rai, I'm a bit hazy on the specifics).

    These environmental and temporal links were never essential, but I remember the feeling of seeing them and marvelling at the completeness of the world.

    Also, a pretense to 'real' science was adhered to, a super strong lass strapped weights to her body to better use that strength, X-O dropped from space through the atmosphere and was red hot the time he landed, boiling a swimming pool in the process... little things, but they all added to my connection to universe.

    Narratively too, I'd still reccomend a number of highlights to those interested in sci-fi. Solar: Man of the Atom features a number of cute sci-fi tricks and a protagonist that is (kind of) a figment of another character's imagination. Magnus Robot Fighter and Rai are both part of a fun, pulp, distopian future.

    What's not to like?
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
    @ Zen,
    Besides my cheerleading for Solar that's really what I think was truly brilliant about Valiant, was the hard continuity rules. The concept that before the first issue started Shooter had written down somewhere the beginning of his universe all the way through the end of it. I imagine that writing for any of the mainstream comic titles is impossible given the sheer volume of material one has to be familiar with, and sometimes that chore falls on the reader, as well. Although, as I said, people could argue about the execution. That being said, I think there's more better executed examples of a cohesive universe with its own massive history and future to explore, examples that come to mind being Astro City and Warren's Planetary. Obviously these are very different from what Valiant was aiming for, but in my head this all makes sense. By brain juice is bad.

    Now that Warren yelled at you to be less vague, I still need clearing up. What is Lapham working on these days? Back in the good old days(right around when my voice dropped and my chest hair started to grow) I had a prized signed copy of Rai #0 that he had autographed. It only took a year or two for me to find Stray Bullets and lose all interest in mainstream fare like Valiant, but I kept that issues for a lot of years, if only because of how much I liked Lapham's later work. I think I wound up selling it for whiskey money.
  3.  (1291.28)

    Best comic of the week:

    • CommentAuthorzacharius
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
    I really enjoyed the early valiant. most of it holds up really well today, actually. I'd say everything up to and including the unity crossover is a wonder of tight plotting and continuity and seamless conception. It's miles ahead of most of the superhero books of time.

    but I guess the thing is it flies in the face of the wave of creator-empowerment that image represented around the same time. the valiant books were essentially written by committee, with shooter at the head. there was a valiant house style so as to keep the look of the books consistant, and the whole thing was operating within a total framework that shooter crafted. I guess it a was a refinement of the studio system of making comics, which I guess is how they still do television and animation, but comics are moving away from that except in terms of big company events.

    In that sense, by modern standards of the kind of power writers/artists have now, the ship that shooter was running would be a horror show, I'm sure, but he's helped turn out some pretty good talent over the years, I think you would have to agree.

    I think there's a place for both styles, and I've enjoyed shooter many times over the years, even in his abortive works.
  4.  (1291.30)
    I guess the thing is it flies in the face of the wave of creator-empowerment

    Well the key issue here is the early 90s were not about the same creator empowerment developed in 1980s (the indie surge underscored by the Creators Bill of Rights had sort of cooled a bit by 1990), or again in the late 1990s when the Internet became a tool for individual marketing (our host here being a key figure in that obviously). The early 1990s was about the creator as famous, but not really about creating books. It was a good time for about eight or nine people who got very rich, by essentially not making comics while taking allot about the comics they were not drawing, oh and also while insisting writers were more or less unneeded.

    Early Valiant was no bastion of Creator's rights, and the studio system is an excellent way to put it, but it actually had concerns about the craft. In 1990-1993 evidence of craft in a superhero book was a big deal.
    • CommentAuthorzacharius
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2008
    evidence of craft is a good way to put it. at that age, I couldn't quite figure out why watchmen was so good, or daredevil was so good, when I fished them out of the back issue bins, but everything else was so awfull, except these valiant books.

    shooter is a bit of a pariah lately, but from everything I've read by or about him, his major fault was insisting that everyone who was going to do his books care enough to do them properly. Not showboat or mail it in or try to get rich and famous. He did something that I'm not sure I've even seen before or since, which is a line of books that actually works as a line. Not just a bunch of books nominally set in the same world. He figured out a way to set up the line so that if you had more than one title going as a reader, it was more than the sum of it's parts.