Sunday, June 01, 2008

Blog Hero Team-Up

Back in the '70's and '80's, Marvel published a comic book called MARVEL TEAM-UP. The original idea was probably that all sorts of characters would team up with each other; but eventually the company took its best-selling character -- Spider-Man -- and featured him in every issue teaming up with other characters. This would (a) preserve the trademarks for characters who didn't have their own series and (b) theoretically give a sales boost to characters who weren't as well known as Spidey.

Because Marvel's heroes are a prickly bunch, the standard formula was that (1) characters would meet in a situation that made one or both believe the other was a crook or assailant; (2) the characters would brawl; and (3) realizing the mistake, the characters would, yes, team up and defeat the true evildoer.

Today's blogs feature a team-up of bloggers whose sites I frequent. My cousin Lee Goldberg blogs about the Book Expo which is being held at the LA Convention Center (site of next month's Anime Expo). Meanwhile, TV/animation/comics/everything writer Mark Evanier -- who has written some superhero team-ups in his time -- not only blogs about the same book expo, but talks about seeing Lee there. Contrary to formula, the two titans of the typewriter did not brawl when they encountered each other. To the contrary, Mark praises Lee as a "champion" because of Lee's campaign to alert beginning writers to the perils of vanity presses that market themselves as publishers.

Mark and Lee (and about 125,000 others, including Amy and me) will be at Comic-con International: San Diego next month. I've no doubt that if they meet there, they will continue to flout formula, and proceed straight to the team-up.

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