Saturday, April 14, 2007

Separated at Birth: Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na...Icon!

Batman #1 and Icon #31

L: Batman #1 (Spring 1940), art by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson
R: Icon #31 (November 1995), art by Howard Chaykin
(Click picture to Icon-size)



Here's my favorite part:
Icon #1 blurb


See also.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Night Fights: Always Bet on Black

I've missed out on dog-piling on with the mighty Bahlactus's weekly Friday Night Fights over the past month, so hope he doesn't mind a little stuffed bull tentatively climbing over the ropes into the ring, falling flat on his stuffed bottom and overtipping the spit pail...because it's smackdown time, baby!

Now, I do know you're asked to change the balloons on the panels you post to get in some trash-talkin', but I stared and stared and stared at this splash panel until my little button eyes were dazzled by every detail and still I could not think of a better word balloon than a defiant boast cut off in mid-gasconade: "I'm not through yet—ugh!" Haw! Take that Boasty! 'Coz nobody kicks more ass than the Black Panther, and the Black Panther never kicks ass harder than when he's written and drawn by Jack Kirby!:

All panels in this post are from Black Panther #8 (March 1978),
written and drawn by Jack Kirby


You think that's action? You think that's fighting? You think that's high comic art? You think that's a kick to the teeth? Well, think again, big man, because turn the page and Kirby socks you between the eyes with a double-page spread that'll have your teeth flying and those little birds 'n' stars flyin' around your head!:
Black Panther #8 panel
Click this panel to King-size!


That's amazing, huh? That's pure visceral action that you can't stare at for too long or your eyes start to swell up, huh? Well, that isn't even the most awesome part of it. Y'see...that ain't T'Challa in that Black Panther costume! That's his guardian and regent, and that's T'Challa in the homemade Rorshach mask in the lower right hand corner. And as soon as he's done mopping the floor with his predecessor, how can you do anything but stand up and chant the name of the new King of Wakanda along with his royal subjects?:
Black Panther #8 panels


Shout it along with me: "T'Challa! T'Challa! T'CHALLA!"

The moral of the story? Always bet on black. An' even more important: always bet on the King.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Celebrity bull-spotting

MobySPOTTED: at the W. W. Norton sales conference: Pop sensation and celebrity author Moby, popping into tell all us Norton folk about the cool new book he's editing for The New Press: 10 Excellent Reasons to Think Twice About Meat. Moby was quite entertaining as he told us about his new album and the book and answered questions flyin' at him from all directions from the Norton sales staff. He answered all sorts of questions altho' John kept me from raising my hoof and asking him things silly ones ("Are we really all made of stars? What's Gwen Stefani really like?"). 10 Excellent Reasons to Think Twice About Meat sounds like a fairly balanced book that doesn't ram (no pun intended) the anti-meat agenda down your throat. In fact, half the pieces in the edited book are written by carnivores; it's an information and alternatives book rather than a "if you eat meat Moby will never be your friend" book. Moby's got a wickedly dry sense of humor, and I am gonna have fun selling the book. Knowing his apparent love of all things bovine and living, I wanted to asked him to pose for a photo with me after the session, but he had to dash to teach a class at the New School downtown. It was a swift and graceful exit worthy of Clark Kent himself. Teach a class...or fight crime, Moby?

Tony SiricoSPOTTED!: At the Bryant Park Grill during the Norton cocktail party: Paulie Walnuts himself, Tony Sirico, enjoying a meal with a large group of people not ten feet away from where I was sipping my Shirley Temple. John won't let me watch The Sopranos because apparently there are scenes where rats get whacked, but I know and can recognize Tony Soprano and Christopher and Big Pussy and Silvio and the rest, and if there's a guy who I want to take personal tailoring advice from, it's Paulie Walnuts and his gorgeous dapper suits. Can we go shopping sometime together, Mister Sirico? I got yer back if you're nervous about it. I am quite a shy bull when it comes to invading celebrity's personal space, so I didn't pester him for an autograph or take his photo, instead just choosing to gawk respectfully from a distance. Which, if you think about it, since I don't have anything to prove my celeb-spotting of Moby or Tony, means that in my next item I can just make up that I spotted fabulous, amazing celebrities in and around Bullhattan!

SPOTTED!....ehhh, I got nuthin'. Those were the only two celebrities I saw, and I won't lie to ya. I did keep my eyes open all the way back to the hotel, and I thought I saw Angelina Jolie driving a pedi-cab, but I may have been mistaken.

Have fun spotting your celebrities wherever you may find 'em!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I Miss (Captain) America

Like he did every single day of his freakin' amazing life, Cap lays down the awesome, not on the Red Skull, not on Batroc the Leaper, not on Baron Heinrich "Ach, mein mask ist verschtucken!" Zemo, but on some punks with snowballs:
Avengers #194 panels
Avengers #194 panels
Avengers #194 panels
Avengers #194 panels
All panels are from Avengers #194, April 1980, written by David Michelinie,
art by George Perez, Josef Rubenstein, and Ben Sean


Moral number one: Don't screw with Captain America.

Moral number two: No way a guy who could do this could get surprised by a sniper.

Moral number three: Nobody draws snow better than George Perez.

Moral number four: Yes, comic book printing did really used to be that crappy.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

One-note review

"I'm not quite all here this week" Department: Off I go to help John at the big thrilling busy Norton sales conference, and how exciting it will be, sitting around the big conference table and listening to our fine publishers present exciting books, and I'm going to get to meet pop sensation Moby this week! Hooray for Moby! I will have to ask him about if he's still mad at Captain Ahab or if they have worked out all those awkward difficulties, p'raps over a cup of International Coffees.

While I'm off jotting down endless notes about fine, fine, books to come out this Christmas and beyond, however, I ain't gonna leave you alone: I will still be posting an entry a day, but in my patented Bully low-pressure mode: they'll be short posts, some of them more picture oriented, all timed to go off with little explosions every day to keep you up to your ears in brief but delightful new bully content, and don't despair; before you know it the weekend will roll around and it'll be time for "Separated at Birth" and "Ten of a Kind" again, and who knows what goodies I'll have for you in the weeks ahead? Maybe I'll finally talk about the busiest intersection of space and time, or the most fun Fantastic Four comic ever, or when Fred Flintstone lost his clamshell wallet at the World's Fair, or even bring you my much-improved version of a Star Wars movie...

But for today, let's review a comic. Yay!

52 Week 4852 WEEK 48: This comic is fun. What, Bully's only reviewing one comic this week? Well, to tell the truth, economic reasons have caused me to rethink my weekly purchasing habits—I simply can't justify spending my hard-earned dimes on many of the weekly floppies that cost three bucks and take me five minutes to read, especially when I can often get them for cheaper than the original price in trade paperback later (even less if'n I buy 'em on Amazon...sorry, comics shops!) So yes...I am the bull responsible for killing the comic book industry. Sorry! But I will continue to buy a handful of monthlies, probably including The Spirit, All Star Superman, probably Simpsons Comics, and this close to the end I simply can't stop buyin' 52 with one month to go until all the bajillion plotlines end. This issue brings us Renee Montoya making her debut as The New Question, a story point that been as obvious and inevitable as The Return of Superman. (Really, who hasn't seen this coming since about week six?) But it's all done with such a triumphant and energetic flair that I don't mind the predictability, even though it seems to lead to the death of a character who was heralded as The Next Big Thing from DC. (Altho' I fully realize 52 has pulled the big fake-out several times on me before, so I'm not strapping on my black bat-arm band yet). In other news, get your PayPal fired up, because Egg Fu is getting ready to auction off the battered and defeated Black Adam. Oooh, I don't want to tell you guys what you're doing, okay, but that ranks right up there with tugging on Superman's cape, huh? That leaves Black Adam four weeks to whip up an enormous omelette. Mmmmm, omelettes. Make mine cheese and I'll be back next week to see how the Metal Men make their triumphant return!


Sunday, April 08, 2007

The story of Easter...as told by cover book covers with bunnies on them.

This is a re-run of my Easter post from last year, but I think some of you haven't seen it yet.

Once, long ago, a man was born on Christmas.


He looked like an ordinary man...


...but he had amazing powers.


In the years following, his fame spread.


He gained quite a following...


...and gathered around him a group of learned companions.


He walked on water...


...and many other amazing feats...


...more impressive than the Roman gods.


But most important, he preached a message of love.


Not everyone loved him, however.


The powers-that-be were annoyed...


...and kept a close eye on him...


...and his unusual ways.


They condemned his message of love.


Following his last supper,


...almost everyone turned against him.


Even his close friends betrayed him.


The Romans pursued him...


...and finally got him in the end.


Although he could have defied them,


...he accepted that his fate was sealed.


They marched him up a hill.


The decree was death...


...and they killed him.


He rose up in three days.


He was back!


He ascended to be alongside his father and spirit.


Today, many tales are told of him...


Sadly, much violence is done "in his name."


But those who truly know him, know that he taught us to stand against evil,


To be kind to our brothers,


And most important, he taught us to love.


Happy Easter, everyone.