There’s an excellent column by Erik Larsen this week on Comic Book Resources:

He basically talks about how in the early days of the Golden Age, comics creators were completely undisciplined and making up the rules as they went along. In fact they created the rules that are still used to this day, and while the results were perhaps not always the best comics have to offer, they were often a lot of fun.

Larsen is quite correct.

There’s a real magic to reading some of those early comic efforts of the late 1930s and early-40s. Looking at the first few appearances of the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner, it’s pretty clear that Burgos and Everett were making up the stories as they went along! There’s a breathless quality to the narrative — “and then this happened… and then this… and then this…! — that simply doesn’t occur in the work of more experienced writers.

Sure, the comics published today are of much better quality in terms of both story and art. It’s a bit of a sad truism that, in most cases, the best part of a Golden Age comic has gone once you’ve passed the cover. But, y’know, there’s an honesty, an innocence to much of that material, whereas a lot of today’s comics are overwrought, and over-thought; artificially extended to fit a trade paperback. When comics creators finally bowed to the rules they’d created, a certain something was lost.