Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Greatest Comic Series Ever Made!

That's a big and bold statement for my header but this Marvel comic series that started in 1974 (when I was 4 years old) was THE reason I started reading comics and started reading in general. There are many reasons for me liking this series and I'll go into them later on as a podcast or on other posts. THIS comic cover that is shown IS my very first comic I ever saw and owned in 1975. Most people remember the first record they bought, but I remember my first comic! Spider-Man became my favorite character, which has lasted to this day, and my interest in the Lizard character which stayed with me as well. The Lizard was a great villain of sorts for the webslinger. There's something about a human lizard in the white lab coat that attracted my eye visually and made me want to read this comic and see what it was all about! The way artist John Romita drew Spider-Man on the cover (and his art was on other countless toys, comics, and other comic-related things I grew up on) remains THE definitive version of Spidey to me. Spidey and the Lizard were such a visual fascination for me that in 1982 when I saw a comic cover (Marvel Tales #143) with the Lizard fighting Spidey, I was hooked once again! I was in a local 7-11 after school and soon after I bought the comic for 60 cents and read it at home, it started my comic book collecting hobby which has lasted to this day.

This comic series started in 1974 and lasted for 57 issues. John Romita's beautiful artwork graced many of the covers in this series early on. The series was an innovative and educational effort between Marvel Comics and The Children’s Television Workshop, Spidey Super Stories was the first nationally distributed comic book created specifically to be an “easy to read” comic series in the early 1970s and featured Marvel Comics’ flagship character, The Amazing Spider-Man.

Here are some pages from the inside to give you an idea of the format and how little dialogue and word balloons are used as opposed to the normal comic book. The guidelines for the comic were based upon the Children’s Television Workshop research and eye-movement studies conducted by Dr. Kenneth O’Bryan at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. As a result, Spidey Super Stories used an average of fewer frames per page, fewer balloons per frame, and fewer words per balloon than other comic books. The stories are written in a controlled vocabulary, and speech balloons are strategically placed to capture the eye of the reader.

This comic series was such a hit with me in my early years that I decided to use the comic as a model or template for my own comic book series starring Alfie. There are very few comics made for the little ones in today's world, so it's my attempt to use this format hoping to attract young readers who will want to pick up and read The Adventures of Alfie and see the many adventures that this little dog can get into. Spidey Super Stories succeeded and The Adventures of Alfie will attempt to follow suit by making reading a positive and exciting experience to young readers and to get them excited about reading comics and the thrill of the sequential art of storytelling!

No comments: