Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Marvel's Corner Box Icons: The X-Men

Dork Note: The Corner Box Icon tells a story all it's own from issue to issue. We see Banshee leave, Kitty Pryde and Rogue join the team and Storm change her hairdo...and it's all in the corner!

1970's Batman Bathroom Gear

Batman Bathroom Gear I had as a kid, the toothbrush, hair brush, and bubble bath. All the gear a young crime fighter or is that...grime fighter...needs to battle the filth.

The Avon packaging is as cool as the product inside. Three more things in a long list of items I should track down for my collection.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wanted TPB : Gotham Girls

Writer: Paul D. Storrie
Artist: Jennifer Graves
Publisher: DC Comics (2002)
Includes: Gotham Girls #1-5

Clipped from www.comicsbulletin.com and written by Ray Tate:
Jennifer Graves has done a fine job with the series as has Paul Storrie, and it could not have been easy to...

a) find a means to bring all the women of Batman's animated world together as well as

b) make the story coherent as well as more meaningful than one may expect.

Much has been implied and inferred in Harley's and Ivy's relationship both in the series and the comic book spin-offs. Ivy's betrayal of Harley here while making perfect sense still is hurtful, but it's this type of character-driven moment that takes you by surprise and makes the book different than the empty dross in the so called original Universe.

Batgirl also comes out of the series a little more haggard than usual. She's been beaten up, run ragged and forced to question, without angst thank Rao, why she puts on a mask to fight crime every night. She sees her similarities and differences to the much meaner Selina Kyle.

These little nuggets of thought are simply unexpected but welcome. It's the kind of writing that used to be so easy to find but now is a rare treat.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wanted TPB: Flashpoint

Writer: Pat McGreal
Artist: Norm Keith Breyfogle
DC Comics (1999-2000)

Flashpoint #1-3

Clipped from www. speedforce.org posted by Kelson:
In this story, a paralyzed Barry Allen has turned his super-fast mind to scientific research and development. A mission to Mars discovers a key designed to open a gateway to (essentially) the speed force, which they call the Flashpoint, and which appears to be linked to other realities.

Only one problem: the last time it was used, it destroyed all life on Mars. (Interesting side note: The current Flash logo is actually based on the Flashpoint logo, rather than the other way around!)
Dork Note: The buzz on-line (back in April-I'm slow to these things) is that a series called Flashpoint from Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert will be coming in 2011. Does this new series tie into the original mini-series...uh, of course. So if I was a betting man I'd say the Flashpoint mini-series as a TPB will be coming soon to a shelf near you.

Sideshow Collectibles: X-Men VS Sentinel

I admire the craftsmanship and artistry of statues in the land comicdom, but usually the cost and space requirements stop me from buying them. However, these three X-Men VS Sentinel came very close to being bought; especially the Colossus/Cyclops statue; which lights up. Pretty F-in' awesome.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wanted TPB : Zatanna's Solo Adventure

Writer: Gerry Conway
Artist: Various
Publisher: DC Comics (1981)
Includes: World's Finest Comics #274-278. Including Justice League of America #187 and New Teen Titans #4-5 would be cool.

These solo stories; which ran through the World Finest books were great. We had Hawkman, Green Arrow, Zatanna, and others. It would be nice if these solo adventures were each collected into their own TPB for each character.

I would start with Zatanna.

Dork Note: By the way, it's great DC has brought back the back-up stories or secondary stories as they are calling them now. So they might as well bring back DC's World's Finest; which was comprised of nothing but secondary stories.

Side Note: A LOT of people prefer the current and retro Zatanna in her original stage performer outfit with top hat, coat tails, and fishnet stockings. Bruce Timm, Alex Ross, Ryan Sook, Adam Hughes, Terry Dodson, and Frank Cho all seem to fit into that category.

However, I prefer her Satellite-Era Zatanna outfit.

George Perez created the Satellite-Era costume for Zatanna; which first appeared in print in Justice League of America issue #187 drawn by Don Heck. George Perez did not draw this new costume until New Teen Titans #4; which came out a week later. Both were listed as February of 1981.

Fun Fact
: During Zatanna's Satellite-Era she began a flirtation relationship with the Flash (Barry Allen). See below the costume change and the suggestive pages.

Cool or Crazy Comic Book Tattoos!

Cool or Crazy?

Cool or Crazy?

The Battle of the 1970's Pinball Machines!

Evel Knievel VS Superman

A few years back I wanted a pinball machine in a big way . I debated over and over again between these two mighty 1970's iconic marvels, Evil Knievel or Superman.

Both wore the American colors proudly...Red, White (yellow-is sort of white ), and Blue. Both had bad ass bitchin' names, and finally both could leap tall things in a single bound.

Sadly, life happened and I got neither, but I can still dream.

Adam Hughes' Wonder Woman model.

It is interesting to see an artist's model and reference material used in the creation of their work. It's like peeking behind the curtain at the wizard.

Dork Note:
Adam Hughe's model shown below is Julie Rapp as seen in Comic Book Artist #21.

Book and Record Set: Batman, Aquaman, and Flash

I played these two records again and again on my Dad's record player. In a time when we didn't have VHS/DVD/Net/On Demand these little LPs were the SHIT!!!

Thank you to Power Records Plaza for archiving and making these old 45s available.

Unfinished Fridays: The Silencers

Comic book series may not be completed for a variety of reasons...sales too low, the publisher ceases to be, personal conflict, or the creative team just gives up. For whatever reason...I just have to say I DO NOT GIVE A FUCK!!! I WANT TO SEE THE STORIES FINISHED!
THE SILENCERS, written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Steve Ellis

They did release a four issue mini-series from Moonstone Press; which was later reprinted in a trade paperback called The Silencers, The Black Kiss.
Unfortunately, when the series moved to a new publisher for whatever reason only one issue was produced in the second volume. Some pages from the second issue and the scripts for the remaining three unproduced books can be found on the writers website...www.fredvanlente.com/silencers.htm

Clipped from Wizard Magazine:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Art of: Animation by Filmation

Every Saturday morning I gobbled sugary cereals in front of my favorite shows from Filmation. Shows like...Star Trek, Shazam!, The Batman-Tarzan Adventure Hour, Ark II, Tarzan And The Super 7, The New Adventures Of Flash Gordon, and The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour, Blackstar, and The Kid Super Power Hour With Shazam!

This book needs a serious reprint. If you can find this book on Ebay and that is a big "IF" then it usually runs hundreds of dollars!

Review Animation by Filmation by Thomas R. Cook posted on Amazon.com:

The book is Awesome so if you get a chance... pick it up!!! I happen to have been an animator at Filmation Studios from 1980 until they closed their doors. It was best place I ever worked as far as the friendship between the artists and the fun we had daily.

My heart almost stopped when I heard that a French company was going to purchase Filmation and that they mainly wanted us because of the large library of shows that they could release on video and that they had NO desire to keep the Studio open for any new production.

Lou Scheimer battled as long as he could to keep us in business and I am "Eternia"lly grateful to him.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

X-Men Coloring Page for the Holidays

The cover of Amazing Comics #12 by Paul Smith

Review by Dana: Doctor Thirteen

Doctor Thirteen: Architecture & Mortality TPB, by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang

Think of writer Brian Azzarello, you probably think grim and gritty: His acclaimed series, 100 Bullets, or his various Batman projects (hopefully you don’t think of his incomprehensible, Superman: For Tomorrow). In Doctor Thirteen: Architecture & Mortality, Azzarello does a 180 turn, surprising us with a very entertaining ode to DC’s pre-crisis continuity.

One of DC’s more obscure characters, Doctor Thirteen is a paranormal investigator who has always found a mundane explanation behind each of his cases. Reasonably, he has become a complete skeptic despite existing in the DC universe.

In this storyline, originally published as a backup feature to the Spectre in Tales of the Unexpected #1-8(2006-2007), we find the good Doctor, who has been experiencing strange dreams, led to a plane crash in the French Alps. There, he and his daughter, Traci Thirteen, encounter D-list, horror character, I… Vampire! Things only get stranger and more absurd as Doctor Thirteen soon finds himself at the head of a small army of silver age characters so obscure, they had this comic reader of 35 years rushing to Wikipedia to find out who the hell most of them were! After battling Nazi gorillas and an animated Mount Rushmore, this motley cast of characters makes their way to New York City to battle against the ominous Architects, a quartet of men you might find vaguely familiar. Doctor Thirteen and his friends fight not just for survival, but for relevance in a “realistic” world.

Don’t pick this book up thinking it will be a piece of straight, in-continuity storytelling. It is a meta commentary on the direction of mainstream comics, that at times reads almost stream-of consciousness. That being said, the characters in Architecture & Mortality are written with such wit and warmth by Brian Azzarello, and are so beautifully illustrated by the thick line of Cliff Chiang, that this book can’t help but be a delight to longtime DC fans. In particular, those who feel a seemingly infinite number of Crises have excised a lot of wonder and fun from the comic book world.

Currently available through your local comic retailer, DCBS, or Amazon.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kryptonian Language Guide

Clipped from http://superman.nu/:

The "Kryptonian Language" has had many incarnations. In the early stages of the chronicles, it would sometimes appear as a set of random alien-looking characters. No concern was given to any sort of continuity, however, and from the 1950s to the 1960s, the appearance of these characters would vary wildly and were not always consistent from one story to the next.
Sometime in the late 1970s and/or early 1980s, DC Writer and Editor E. Nelson Bridwell researched these earlier incarnations of the language in order to consolidate them with the aim of creating an actual Kryptonian language. His language had its own complete grammar, a vocabulary, and an alphabet of 118 Kryptonian characters. His notes explaining this constructed language and its associated alphabet were never published, but a simplified version of it appeared in 1981's Krypton Chronicles mini-series and in other Bronze Age Superman books.
In 2000, when DC Direct started designing items that required Kryptonian, Design Director Georg Brewer, with input from DC's Superman office, created an "official" Kryptonian character set. This was an all-new version of the Kryptonian alphabet and is a direct mapping to the 26 letters of the English alphabet. It is used by both DC Direct and DC Comics.
The character-index was first released as a paper flyer insert with assorted DC Direct products, including the Kryptonite Prop and the Bottle City of Kandor Prop. This marked the first time that DC Comics had ever published an alphabet for the Kryptonian language.

Monday Who's Who: Mera

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Sixth Gun, First Story Arc Completed!

I usually don't post about individual issues; which are currently hitting the shelves, but Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt's The Sixth Gun is just so refreshingly good it deserves a nod.

I just finished reading the 6th issue and final issue in the first story arc and it stayed sharp from the first panel to the end. I've read The Damned series and enjoyed them both, but this series truly eclipses those previous mini-series.

The only thing; which makes me worried like a mother hen is that when Hollywood comes a knocking and they will, if they haven't already. I just hope the stars align so this story gets told by the right people and in the right way, because The Sixth Gun deserves it.

The Sixth Gun, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Brian Hurtt and published by Oni Press.

Clipped from Comic Alliance and reviewed by Chris Murphy:
What's been so great about this series, and what continues to be great about it, is that it's created a rich, complex world while very rarely lapsing into any sort of long periods of narration. As in previous issues, we learn about the characters and the setting as we watch the action unfold before us. The book doesn't feel the need to hold the audience's hand and walk it through, carefully explaining everything. It believes that if it shows the character's actions, shows the weapons in use, shows use the fantastic creatures and magic in the book, we'll be able to understand what's going on ourselves as long as the story's well told. It is, and we do.

It's halfway through November now, so I feel safe in saying that The Sixth Gun is the best new original series from an independent publisher to come out this year. If you haven't read the book yet and you're the patient type, make certain to pick up the trade paperback of the first volume when it comes out next year. If you're not the patient type, then I recommend finding the first six issues as soon as you can and catching up on this great story.

Chibi Marvel Capsule Toy Figurines

These vending machine toys ROCK! They come as a ball with the body inside. You pull the head apart and then reassemble them back together again as a figure...fucking brilliant!
I bought Spider-Man and Iron Man for my 2 year old daughter at my local comic shop's vending machine. However, before I could buy any more their supply was wiped out. She did however end up getting the Hulk too, because the shop owner had an extra one.

Every once in awhile I'll ask if they are going to get more in. They always say the same thing, "We ordered them and they haven't arrived. We don't know what's happening." I don't know what's happening either, but whoever is making these things needs to get on it!

Damn dude, seriously, you need to put them out there so we dorks can collect them all!

Clipped from On-line posted by WebMonkey:
I can’t get over how ingenious and cute these guys are. There are unfortunately only six figurines, The Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man. They are expected to retail at a vending machine near you for just $1 and they stand in at around 2″.

Whoever’s making these should make more and expand the roster to also DC. I would seriously buy them all.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wanted TPB : Power Record's Book and Record Set

I know this is a major long shot, but it would be sweet to have these 1970's comics see the light of day again; especially if the TPB came with a CD of all the recordings.

Vanguard did it with Neal Adam's Monster storybook and record set...so I guess it's not totally impossible.
Thank you to Rob! at powerrecord.blogspot.com for making these available on-line.

Wanted TPB: Pre-Crisis Earth-Prime Heroes Ultraa and Superboy Prime

Writer: Various
DC Comics (1978-85)

Justice League of America #153 , #158, #170, and #201, DC Comics Presents #87, and Superman #414

Clipped from Wikipedia: The Jack Grey version of Ultraa was the first superhero to appear on his particular parallel Earth. The second was Superboy Prime.

With all the hoopla with Superboy Prime you'd think this would be a no brainer for DC...well, for the Superboy Prime stuff. As for the Ultraa stuff I want it included in this TPB. Well...

-First, both come from the same pre-crisis planet, our "real" Earth.

-Second, because Ultraa said something in one of the Justice League issues; which always stuck with me. I can't quote it from memory, I can't find it on-line, and I am not digging through thousands of issues of comics to find it, but the gist of it is this.

Does the creation of superheroes cause the creation of supervillains?

As a kid I was like, WHAT?! And it really got me thinking about the whole chicken/egg aspect of the hero myth in comics. Would the Joker exist if Batman hadn't dropped him in the vat. Or Lex Luthor if Superboy hadn't burned off his hair. Are SUPER-villains born from superheroes?

Of course, that's just storytelling in comics. In other storytelling mediums like movies and books usually the hero is born/created from/by the action's of a villain. Luke from Vadar (literally) or Paul Mau'dib from the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

Anyway, food for thought.

By the way anyone who says, "Batman was created by the actions of Joe Chill when he gunned down his parents." I'd say to them, "Joe Chill ain't a SUPER-villain he's just a common criminal...so there in your face!"

-Thirdly, in Ultraa's favor, who doesn't like a name; which ends in two copyright avoiding vowels...like aa.

NEW Comic Book Lingo

Batman reading in the BatCave by Gene Ha

Bleeding Off
[bled off]: –verb (used with a comic book series)
1. to leave or wean oneself off a series: He was bleeding off the X-Men for a few months.

Bulletproof : –adjective (used with a comic book series)
1. book sales are impervious to lateness:
Planetary was bulletproof.

Over-Publicized-Character (OPC) : –adjective (used with a comic book series)
1. when a character is in many titles: Wolverine was the most over-publicized-character in 2010.

Trade-Waiting: –verb (used with a comic book series)
1. buying the first issue of a series then waiting for the trade paperback: He was trade-waiting all of Grant Morrison's Batman books.

Cool Artist: Tom Whalen

One Shot WANT MORE: Arkadian, No Witness

Arkadian, No Witness by Stephen L. Antczak, Riq, and Dexter Vines, 2007

Clipped from AtomicAvenue.com by Eric Garneau :
A crime story that ends up being an interesting commentary on fate, Arkadian: No Witness is driven by the character of Senator Haskell, a politician currently running for re-election who finds himself in some shady dealings that have gotten out of hand—in particular, he’s involved with a mistress who claims to be a witch and who says she’ll curse him and his family if he doesn’t leave his wife for her. So it is that Haskell hires Arkadian, a killer employed by the rich and powerful to do things they can’t do themselves. Haskell’s instructions to Arkadian are clear: “no witnesses. None.” But things don’t go exactly as Arkadian wants… first someone witnesses his kill of the “witch,” then another random stranger happens upon his murder of the first bystander, etcetera. At first it seems funny, almost like slapstick, but when the tale reaches its end and Arkadian has indeed eliminated all his witnesses, the result is both shocking and sobering.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wanted TPB: Pigtale

Writer:Ovi Nedelcu
Artist: Ovi Nedelcu
Publisher: Image Comics (2005)
Pigtale #1-4

Clipped from www.portlandtribune.com and written by Joseph Gallivan:

Nedelcu’s eye for design pays off in “Pigtale,” which is beautifully drawn. The pacing is electric, the observation keen, but what will really thrill Portlanders is the roller-coaster ride through real landmarks. There goes the Steel Bridge, there’s the pointy top of the KOIN Tower, there’s Carmen on stage at the Ash Street Saloon.
Check out Ovi Nedelcu online comic strip Lunchbox at...http://lunchboxcomic.blogspot.com/

Unfinished Fridays: 1963

Comic book series may not be completed for a variety of reasons...sales too low, the publisher ceases to be, personal conflict, or the creative team just gives up. For whatever reason...I just have to say I DO NOT GIVE A FUCK!!! I WANT TO SEE THE STORIES FINISHED!
1963, written by Alan Moore and a variety of artist was originally released in 1993.

Clipped from Wikipedia: The series has never been finished as originally intended. When first announced, the limited series was supposed to be followed by an 80-page annual, illustrated by Jim Lee, in which the 1963 characters were sent thirty years into "the future", where they met then-contemporary 1993 characters published by Image Comics. Moore intended to make a commentary on how the air of "realism" brought to Marvel Comics in the early 1960s had paved the way for the "mature" and "grim and gritty" American comics of the 1990s. Unfortunately, Moore was less than halfway through writing the script for the annual when Jim Lee announced that he was taking a year-long sabbatical from comic book art. Moore put the script aside, and after that year had passed, many things had changed. Rob Liefeld had left Image, which meant that some of his characters could not be used. Jim Lee was swamped with work and unlikely to be able to complete the work. The tide had changed, and superhero comics had begun to get less and less gritty, and Moore states his growing disinterest with writing superheroes.

There was supposedly personal conflicts between creators, but that is just rumors.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coloring Books: 1970's Whitman Batman

I loved these coloring books as a kid. I know this will seem strange, but they seemed to have a magical quality to them. It was as if I was bringing these characters to life by coloring them.

I found this on-line an original painting.

Wanted TPB: Earth 2 Black Canary Funkyness

Writer: Various
Publisher: DC Comics
Includes: Secret Origins vol. 2 #50, Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #3, Brave and Bold #61-#61, Justice League of America #73-74 and #219-220, and Adventure Comics #418-419

"Hum, what's a weird collection for a TPB", you ask yourself. The selection is not as weird as the story; which runs through these issues.

It starts with a retired Pre-Crisis Earth 2 Black Canary who is coaxed out of retirement by Earth 2's Green Lantern in Secret Origins #50. Who entail drags Starman out of retirement in Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #3...OK, basic normal stuff.

In Brave and Bold #61-#62 Black Canary teams up with Starman to fight some villians. A team-up; which leads to an affair. An affair not revealed in those stories, but in Starman vol. 2 #21, forty years later (our time)...OK, a nice little bit of story telling; which connects the past and the present.

Then in
Justice League of America #73-74, Black Canary's husband Larry Lance is killed attempting to protect her. Grief stricken she moves to Earth 1 and begins a relationship with Green Arrow...OK, understandable. Her husband just died she wanted to get away and got herself a new boyfriend.

Finally, in Justice League of America #219-220 Black Canary's past is laid bare. We find out she and her husband had a daughter who was banished to Thunderbolt's (as in Johnny's Thunderbolt) dimension, because her sonic scream as a baby was uncontrollable. Where in suspended animation her body continued to mature even though her brain did not
...OK, that is just down right sad.

But Black Canary and her husband did not worry about their comatose daughter, because they believe she had died. All memories of the banishment were erased by Johnny's Thunderbolt...OK, hum, that seems kind of fucked up and wrong.

It is also revealed Black Canary while traveling to Earth 1 discovered she was dying from radiation poisoning. With the help of Superman and Johny's Thunderbolt she transferes her consciousness/soul into her comatosed daughter's body and becomes her daughter. Black Canary then continues her life uninterrupted...WHAT THE FUCK! Now that is just messed up. You have a kid then steal their body. Damn, that some serious cold hearted shit. Plus how the hell did Green Arrow not notice? Anyway, it didn't matter much, because months later Crisis happened and EVERYTHING was rewritten...problem solved.

You'll notice I added Adventure Comics #418-419 to the TPB list, because this is a story by Alex Toth; which is GREAT. This short story needs to be reprinted here and not in some expensive Archive volume like it is now.