Friday, June 05, 2009

Thank You and Bad Afternoon.

As I slowly, but surely, do comics reviews (12 capsules done, 28 more to go...), I thought it might be neat to put this up for all to see, having recently...acquired...a set of scanned issues of that comics series that I tend to run on about,Thriller.

Of course, one of the issues included in this set was the last one, #12. And in those dim and distant days, comics used to have these things called "letters pages", in which people just like you and me could sit down at a typewriter and bang out a missive of condemnation or praise or just plain weirdness. As I was growing up, I did a fair amount of said letter writing, desiring to get my opinions out there, and this was the only game in town for that sort of thing. These days, we have blogs for that but like I said, this was a long time ago, 1984 (beware the savage lore) as a matter of fact. Young David Allen Jones, every bit of 24 years of age, in the prime of his life and infatuated with that weird-ass Thriller comic that DC had been putting out, was nevertheless quite dismayed by recent events involving his beloved book, seeing original creators Robert Loren Fleming and Trevor Von Eeden suddenly bail on the series that they had (by all appearances, not a half-year ago) sought to hitch their respective wagons to stardom on, with very little in the way of explanation...and they were replaced by Bill Dubay, whose previous work had mostly been in service of Jim Warren, and the even-then-legendary artist Alex Nino, also a Warren vet but also branching out into other endeavors- and if DC had drawn names at random out of a hat (and I'm not sure they didn't do this), they couldn't have come up with two less likely people to continue the series, especially in the unique style which had captivated young Dave (and precious few others, it seems) so.

OK, I'll stop the cutesy third person stuff now.

Anyway, I was quite dismayed by what I saw after reading Thriller #9, and sat down at the typewriter at my in-laws' office (mine was busted) to compose what would be my last appearance in a lettercol (short for letter column, another fannish name), well, probably ever. I still remember sitting in the empty office (it was on Saturday, I think) and batting that thing out. Anyway, and I think you've figured this out by now, you will see that letter, in its entirety, above. It features a less jaded me, I think, as well as a more naive one, and certainly not one who is as, shall we say, knowledgeable about the way things go in the comics biz these days. Remember, we didn't have access to the people who made the funnybooks in 1984 like we do now...even at 24, these men were distant and mysterious, and I wouldn't have dreamed that 18 years later, I would go on to contact, and even dare I say befriend, both of the men responsible for the creation of the comic I cared about so deeply and grabbed my even-then fading imagination so hard. When I reread this thing now, I am alternately proud and cringing inside- I make some truly dumb assumptions and sound like the kind of geek we all make fun of now mercilessly in others. Still, I think I made my point- this new team was nowhere near a patch on what we had been given before- and hey! I got a letter printed in what was left of my favorite comic series of the 1980's! The beer offer still stands, by the way.

So here it is, make of it what you will. Of course, click to embiggen.

Oh, and yes, this scan acquisitioning is part of my long-delayed commitment to revamping my Thriller webpage; to get it off Angelfire with its myriads of popups, and add a lot of the neat stuff I've gotten from both Trevor and Bob since it went live back in 2002. I'm taking a crash course in Dreamweaver at this very minute, and despite the fact that I will soon lose my laptop, and thusly will have less Web time until I get a new one, I hope to get started with the reconstruction this Fall, maybe later this Summer even. These scans will help immensely, keeping me from having to dig out and rescan my copies. Keep watching the skies!

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