The Dougout
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Getting existensial on your tail

Yesterday I posted a list on the Oddball Comics Forum of the top ten best movie lines of all time. My first choice--although it was first from a play--was Shakespeares's "To be or not to be" from HAMLET. That about sums up the whole of human experience in six words. "To be or not to be?" Why be. It's a question I have struggled with most of adult life. Everything about this existence seems to be shadow-play, going after stuff I don't really need. The world just seems so surreal in the light of the eternal. In the light of Heaven or in the darkness of Hell. Gee, I'm Mr. Cheerful Charlie today.

I don't know. I can't seem to balance the seeming gulf between the farce of reality and the drama of eternity. On what will happen when I die and meet my maker.

Perhaps there is really one purpose of human existnce: to get people ready for eternity.

It reminds me of th classic movie SCHINDLER'S LIST The title character spends his time trying to by the lives of his Jewish Aquaintances.

Maybe that is the purpose of the Christian's existence. We can't make deals with God and buy the souls of our fellow human beings. We can, however, try to encourage them to accept Jesus as the Savior.
Sunday, August 03, 2003
Welcome to my World!

This is the blog of Douglas Allen Puthoff, incase you've happened to stumble onto it. I'm 41 years old, and I live in Evansville, a town of about 125,000 in the southwest corner of Indiana. Thanks for dropping by. My hobbies include comics, drawing, and music. To e-mail me, go to .

When did comics go downhill?

On one of my favorite forum, the ODDBALL COMICS forum , there was a discussio about the various wrong turns the comics industry has made. Some pointed out the rise of the Direct Sales Market; others pointed out the lack of comics for children. In this entry, I'd like to point my finger at another wrong made by the industry.

In the old days (pre-1961), the average comic book story was eight to fifteen pages long. Sometimes there would be a "Full-length Novel" that would take up a book's entired 25-page content. The average fight scene lasted no more than a page or two.

However, when Marvel Comics published FANTASTIC FOUR #1, that started to change. The fight scenes began to grow longer. When they did, the amount of plot had to be reduced, or the story had had to be expanded in two or more issues.

Marvel's emphasis on fight scenes over plot started to make its way across the whole comic book industry. especially at its number one competitor, DC Comics. Ironically the most insidious example of fight scenes over plots was in "Death of Superman" issue (SUPERMAN, Second Series, Number 75), in which the Man of Steel spends twenty-plus pages fighting Doomsday. There was no other plot, just the Man of Steel fighting an Incredible Hulk retread. And it was a hit (though I wonder how many people who bought the book actually read it).

Perhaps, if the comics industry wants to seek new readers, it should go back to making stories whose beginning, middle, and end all happen in one issue.

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