Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eisner/Miller, Part 1

Last week CBS re-ran the Big Bang Theory episode featuring the gang meeting Stan Lee. The Marvel exec has a cameo toward the end of the story.

But the best touch, I think, occurred when one of the protagonists had to appear in traffic court, rather than going to the comic book store where Lee was signing books. The camera lingered on the judge’s nameplate long enough for us to get the point — his name was “Judge J. Kirby.”

I remembered this in-joke when I was reading Charles Brownstein’s Eisner/Miller: A One-on-One Interview. Amidst the discussions of problematic dialog balloons and color headaches, Will Eisner, creator of The Spirit and the graphic novel itself, among other things, notes in the section called “Talking Out of School” that he’s “delighted to see at long last that (Steve) Ditko’s getting credit …” for co-creating Spider-Man.

Frank Miller, author and artist of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City, points out Lee wrote a New York Times article that finally gave tribute to the reclusive Ditko. Miller adds that Jack Kirby, too, was never “as exposed as Stan Lee was.”

The reason? Miller suggests “writers are often the ones who talk history the best. People who draw for a living tend to have less free time … and artists tend to be less articulate.”


More on this book to come.

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