Fire & Water #175 – Doctor Who in Marvel Premiere #57

Walt Simonson! Dave Gibbons! Dave Cockrum! All in one comic!

Shag and guest Siskoid step sideways in time and space to cover MARVEL PREMIERE #57 from 1980 featuring DOCTOR WHO! The Doctor’s first American comic book appearance!

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14 responses to “Fire & Water #175 – Doctor Who in Marvel Premiere #57

  1. “Maximus Bilious” is one of those quaintly English word plays, of course, back from the days when every schoolboy learned a bit of Latin. Bilious means “I’m gonna hurl…”

    I came here via Siskoid’s blog, which I got to via his extra-canonical Doctor resources.
    Before listening to the podcast I left him a few comments which are interesting now that I’ve listened. The first was in regards to the colouring of the American 1981 reprint. Not realising it WAS a reprint I’d not thought to look for Gibbons’s original black & whites. Having subscribed to 2000AD as a kid I was a total believer in the British style of linework… it had to stand on its own and look amazing, unlike the US DCs and Marvels which had to leave room for colour. It’s little wonder many of the 2000ad artists took the talent to the US where their style made them superstars. Bolland, for example, only executed a handful of real masterpieces (I can pick two Dredd stories and one Batman story) but those put him next to Leonardo DaVinci in my mind.

    For some reason I always took Gibbons for granted, but Iron Legion (part two, marvel-wise) which I bought in ’81 was a treasure I kept for years until a pal bribed me hugely for it.
    It’s interesting that while the colouring was murky it was the version I knew at the time. Later I found a direct reprint of the story with the same colours but different paper and I was bitterly disappointed! Why? Because the murk had gone and was replaced with bold and garish! The Newsprint of earlier days soaked up the ink and blended colour together. Better quality paper actually spoiled the intended effect… the yellow and red dots intended to look like skin, on better paper becomes distinct yellow and red dots, no longer skin tone. Browns became an obvious layer of magenta on cyan on yellow! Yekk! The blended edges became distinct like paper cutouts. The blur I’d known had caused me to imagine the original “paint” was better, the crisp representation showed me it WASN’T. Much like moving up from VCR to bluray.

    As a cartoonist (yep, that issue had some effect on my artistic development. Where else do you get rotting robots!!) I’m glad today I don’t have to learn the ropes of colour separations (CMYK) and of the effects of newsprint on your colour choices, it was fraught with potential pitfalls.

    During the podcast I was interested to learn there’s a newer recoloured version of the story. Googling it revealed it WAS a ton better… but OY VEY! That “airbrushed” photoshop style always looks so cheap.
    If I was cheeky enough to go there I reckon it should be disguised by a nice retro halftone dot-screen filter.
    With today’s nifty print standards, (and hi res screens) good and bad brushwork really shows up.

  2. I was a huge Dr Who fan growing, bigger than anyone else here I bet. This issue was one that always taunted me. I knew of it’s existence from local Who ‘zines, but never saw one in the wild.

    1. I will take that bet. As evidence look at my handle it is a specific misspelling of Sontaran. I garbed it from TARDIS 22 in Chicago.

  3. Glad to see I’m not the only person who puts the 7th doctor as a top choice.

    “Your species has the most amazing capacity for self-deception, matched only by its ingenuity when trying to destroy itself.” -The Doctor

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