Characters Appearing: Captain America
Captain America #240
Issue(s): Captain America #240
Captain America rescues an old man from a group of thugs at Coney Island. The man turns out to be living in an abandoned building, and the thugs were sent by a gang boss that wants to clear him out so he can use the building to stash things for the mob.
What i love about this issue is that the gang consists of just this totally disparate group of guys. A guy in a trenchcoat, one with a tommy gun, a sleeveless bald guy with a chain. Just totally random. I demand that a cowboy and a ninja be added to the group.
Besides that, there's boss, "Big Thunder" himself, a bearded hippie in sandals.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is a context-free fill-in story.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Some of Jim Shooter's notes on Alan's artwork can be found on this site:
Posted by: JSfan | September 17, 2014 10:44 AM
Thanks for linking to that, JSFan. I find it instructive.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 17, 2014 1:03 PM
I could be wrong (and if I am please feel free to correct me) but I think that this is the only time that Alan and Paul Kupperberg actually worked together.
By the way, now that fnord points it out, that grab bag of various & sundry henchmen is pretty humorous!
Posted by: Ben Herman | July 21, 2015 1:49 PM
Having read Shooter's comments on the artwork for this issue, which looked good to me before being inked, I wonder what would have happened with regard to the likes of Liefeld had Shooter remained as EiC into the early 90s... ;)
Posted by: Harry | July 21, 2015 6:21 PM
the fact that Big Thunder wears flip-flops to a fight, too awesome for words.
Posted by: kveto | July 24, 2016 5:11 PM
The link to Shooter's comments is indeed "instructive" in the sense that it shows why Shooter was hated by so many people. It is not "instructive" in the sense of instructing the artist how to make better art. Many of the comments may be accurate, but are not helpful, like "doesn't work", "wrong head shape", and "not an arm." And, as the article notes, Kupperberg had to draw twice, but only get paid once. That may be fair, but it's demoralizing, and demoralized artists do not turn in their best work. Also, and this is key, the "improved" art isn't really any better than the original; it's just closer to what Shooter wants. He could have just said, next issue come to me with very rough pencils and we'll improve them together. It's also a sharp contrast to the Lee/Romita method, where they just fixed things as they felt necessary. The original artist may have felt slighted, but not belittled.
Posted by: Andrew | January 11, 2017 8:36 AM
@Andrew - I agree that Shooter could often be *very* heavy-handed. I've read commentary from a number of pencilers who found Shooter's art direction to be stifling.
I think there are a couple of things at play here. First off, Shooter got his start as a teenager at DC not just writing but doing layouts for the Legion of Super-Heroes feature in the mid-1960s. In later years at Marvel he would occasionally do layouts when deadlines were tight. When he gave various pencilers excruciatingly-detailed instructions as to how their storytelling & panel compositions should appear, I feel that he sometimes was unable to tell the difference between what worked as comic book art and how he specifically would have done it. In other words, Shooter unfortunately seemed to want all of the pencilers at Marvel to do exactly the type of layouts he did.
Second, as has been noted on various occasions, in his early years Shooter was under the wing of editor Mort Weisinger, who was infamous for his brutal rudeness towards freelancers, frequently heaping verbal abuse on them. When freelancers complained about Shooter's editorial style, he would respond with something along the lines of how he was a saint compared to Weisinger. I think he might have missed the point, though, in that his training under Weisinger left him perhaps lacking in the necessary interpersonal skills needed to communicate diplomatically to creators, something that is important in being an effective editor.
Posted by: Ben Herman | January 13, 2017 12:43 PM
Comments are now closed.
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