Saturday, March 07, 2009

Separated at Birth: Who can it be now?

Mad #1/It's Science #5/Donald Duck Adventures #11/Batman: Gotham Adventures #13
Top L: MAD #1 (October-November 1952), art by Harvey Kurtzman
Top R: It's Science with Dr. Radium #5 (Summer 1987), art by Scott Saavedra
Bottom L: Donald Duck Adventures v. 2 #11 (April 1991), art by Bob Foster, Todd Kurosawa, Scott Shaw!, and Gail Bailey
Bottom R: Batman: Gotham Adventures #13 (June 1999), art by Rick Burchett and Lee Loughridge
(Click picture to Melvin-size)



365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 66

Muscle & Fitness
Cover to Muscle & Fitness (July 2005), featuring The Thing and Michael Chiklis. Thing illustration by Joe Ng, colors by Shane Law



Saturday Morning Cartoon: Flash!


Queen's "Flash Gordon" set to a mash-up of scenes from the Filmation animated series Flash Gordon and the artwork of Flash creator Alex Raymond, remixed and mashed by YouTube user assurbanipalsegundo. He'll save every one of us!


Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Night Craft Night: Dakota North paper doll

No, not Fargo North, Decoder...



...but rather Dakota North, P.I. Before Sunny Randall, before Jessica Jones, and thankfully before Anita Blake, Dakota was the Marvel universe's answer to Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, and Jake and the Fat Man, although Ms. North definitely looks better in her underwear than any of those guys. (Especially William Conrad). See?:
Dakota North paper doll from Marvel Age Annual #2
Dakota North paper doll from Marvel Age Annual #2 (1986),
script by Martha Thomases, art by Tony Salmons
Click image to North Dakota-size


All you need for some jet-setting, fashion-world private investigator action and thrills is a color printer, a piece of cardboard, some glue and scissors! And I think you can figure out the rest from there. Make sure you cut out every weapon! Then, you can draw and create your own costumes for the delightful Ms. North! Put her in that J. Lo dress! Or the swan gown made famous by Iceland's Bjork! How about dressing her up as the Fantastic Four's Susan Storm? Or Kill Bill's banana-hued Beatrix Kiddo? Or how about Lara Croft, Tomb Raider? Or...well, maybe that's best left to the privacy of your own home.

Wondering just who the heck Dakota North is? Well, although she's appeared in recent issues of Daredevil as investigator for the Nelson & Murdock law firm, Dakota's been around in the Marvel Universe since the mid-eighties...that's longer than Gambit (And believe me, it seems like Gambit's been around for freakin' ever). If you can't hunt down her appearances, especially her long out-of-print eponymous miniseries, take the cheat-sheet approach by studying her Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entry (conveniently alpha-located right between Night Shift and Numinus. Now that they're all such big stars in the Marvel Universe, isn't it fun to see how they got their start?).

Dakota North, Private Investigator
From The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #5 (October 1989),
text written by Peter Sanderson, pencils by Marc McLauren,
inks by Josef Rubenstein, colors by Andy Yanchus


And now you know (in the words of the late great Paul Harvey) the rest of the Dakota North story. And even tho' she's a DD supporting character, I've always had a great fondness for Ms. North, and wouldn't mind seeing her return in an all-new miniseries. Which might get so popular it could get turned into an ongoing series. Which might spawn a regular Dakota North comeback craze. And then you know what that means:

Dakota North: The Motion Picture


Hey...it could happen.


365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 65

Fantastic Four v.3 #62
Panel from Fantastic Four v.3 #62 (December 2002), script by Mark Waid, pencils by Mike Wieringo, inks by Karl Kesel, colors by Paul Mounts, letters by Richard Starkings and Albert Deschesne
(Click picture to seaQuest DSV-size)



Thursday, March 05, 2009

365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 64

The Thing house ad
Marvel house ad for The Thing (1983), art by Ron Wilson and Joe Sinnott



Long tails and ears for hats not included

Mark your calendars now, Beatlemaniacs...on 09/09/09 (hey!), MTV Games will release the sure-to-be-played-until- the-Yoko-player-breaks-it-up video game Rock Band: The Beatles. I'll be right there, jammin' along with all the great hits that made the Beatles the legends they are today: "Octopus's Garden," "Wild Honey Pie," "Dig a Pony," "Revolution No. 9," "Last Train to Clarksville," "Cheese and Onions," and all the rest.

The best news is, however, that with the surviving Beatles authorizing a Rock Band version of their musical canon, it won't be long until we all get what we really want: a chance to play along with the greatest musical group of our time:

Rock Band


Dibs on being Valerie! Dibs on Valerie!


Arroooo from You: Mike P. presents Flash Gordon

Ladies and gentlebulls, may I present...the single finest theme song to a comic book movie, ever:



Sing it along with me! Flash! Arroooo! Savior of the universe! Flash! Arroooo! He'll save every one of us!

What's that...that's not the way the song goes, you're saying? Well, who the heck do you think you are...Freddy Mercury?!? If I'm takin' some liberties with the lyrics of the single finest theme song to a comic book movie, ever, then it's just because Flash Gordon oughta have fought werewolves, don't you think? I can picture him zooming around on his jet pack, quoting quirky quips at cutie-pie Dale Arden and trading laser beam blasts with the evil minions of wicked Ming the Merciless...and fighting werewolves! Werewolves...in spaaaaaaaaaaace! Can't you just imagine it?

Flash GordonBut lucky you! You don't have to imagine it, because ace blogger Bill P. at The Meerkat Entertainment Group (along with Flash artist Jim Keefe) pits Flash and his fabulous pal King Barin (or is that Baron King? Actually, isn't he a president, too?) against the "End of the Space Werewolves!" And wouldn't you know it, there's a real humdinger of an arroooo in the final panel of the comic strip.
Check it out here!

Whoo! That was some arroooo wasn't it, kids? Scared the pants right off me! Okay, okay, I wasn't wearing any pants to begin with. (Also scary: the Mark Trail-style word balloons that look like the wolf is talking in the final panel.)

While you're there, give yourself a treat and spend some time exploring, Flash-style, Mike's big, bold, beautiful, bright, blog. Don't miss the "Comic Strip Commentary" feature (my fave!), fun looks at the daily adventure strips The Phantom, Flash Gordon, and The Amazing Spider-Man. Great comics...an attractive blog...and arroooo? I'm so there!

Brian BlessedFor services to arroooo above and beyond, Mike, we hereby award you this Brian Blessed Bull-Prize, twice as big, boistrous, boastful and bearded as your leading brand of Bull-Prizes! In the words of Brian Blessed himself: "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! I'M BRIAN BLESSED! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!"

So, Mike's got a Bull-Prize. Jealous? Don't be green, be keen, by sending me in your own arroooo? Just email me a panel or panels featuring the sound effect arroooo (or a similar sound effect) scanned from any comic book we haven't covered here yet. Make sure you tell me what comic book it comes from, and email your scans to this address: email address

Or, like Mike, you can post it on your own blog and send me a link so I can link back and properly credit you for your arroooo!

Just remember, folks: arroooo! And if you can't arroooo...well, here's the next best thing:



Wednesday, March 04, 2009

So just how amazing is Spider-Woman?

...So amazing that she can fire her venom blasts diagonally across the panel gutters of her own comic book!:

Spider-Woman #19
Panels from Spider-Woman #19 (October 1979), script by Mark Gruenwald and Steven Grant, pencils by Carmine Infantino, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Ben Sean, letters by Jim Novak


Ha! Take that, Scott McCloud! Jessica Drew laughs at your petty definition of comics panels as sequential static visual representations of physical action marking the passage of time! Ha!


365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 63

FF #40
Panels from Fantastic Four #40 (July 1965), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Vince Colletta, letters by Artie Simek, colors probably by Stan Goldberg



Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Bad Babysitters of the Marvel Universe

Bad babysitter: Wolverine

Uncanny X-Men #195
Cover of Uncanny X-Men #195 (July 1985), art by Bill Sienkiewicz and Dan Green


Worse babysitter: Kitty Pryde

MTU #135
MTU #135
MTU #135
MTU #135
MTU #135
Panels from Marvel Team-Up #135 (November 1983), script by Bill Mantlo, pencils by Ron Frenz, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by George Roussos, letters by Joe Rosen


Extremely inappropriate babysitters: Tarantula and Black Cat

Heroes for Hire #7
Panel from Heroes for Hire v.2 #7 (April 2007), script by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Zeb Wells, pencils by Al Rio, inks by Tom Palmer and Terry Pallot, colors by Brad Anderson, letters by Randy Gentile


Worst babysitter: Spider-Man

MTU #133
MTU #133
MTU #133
MTU #133
Panels from Marvel Team-Up #133 (September 1983), script by J. M. Dematteis, pencils by Sal Buscema, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Diana Albers


And, oddly enough...

Best babysitter: Doctor Doom

FF #258
FF #258
Panels from Fantastic Four #258 (September 1983), script, pencils, and inks by John Byrne, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Jim Novak


Then again, as soon as the parents are out of the house.,..
FF #258
FF #258
FF #258
FF #258
FF #258

Ah well. No babysitter is perfect. At least he doesn't rummage through your dresser drawers.


365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 62

FF #43
Panel from Fantastic Four #43 (October 1965), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Vince Colletta, letters by Artie Simek, colors probably by Stan Goldberg



Arroooo from You: Phaustus presents Zatanna Special #1

Zatanna Special #1Arroooo! It's that time again, in the dead of the night, where we dip into the spooky, scary, and spicy world of arroooo, the universal sound effect. To paraphrase Elton John, "Arroooo says so much"!

And just like Mister John, what arroooo also says is...sweet, sweet, love. Love of a man for a woman, and for her excellent bunny-pulling-out-of-a-hat talents. (Well, that's what I look for in a gilrfriend!) It's the kind of skill that just makes a mustached, fluffy-haired man of the 1980s go arroooo, or its closest DC Universe equivalent. What am I talkin' about? I'm talkin' about tonight's "Arroooo From You," submitted by fearless and frantic philosopher Phaustus aka Philippe, overloard of Tragical History, "The World's Most Obscure Comics Blog!" Well, I dunno know about that...Philippe's font choice for his header is flawless. Not only that, but he's contributed tonight's awesomely abracadrabric arroooo and you can find it by clickety-click-clicking right here to see his post on Zatanna Special #1, and by reading the scary, scary tale of a man who's so close to a werewolf, his hair is perfect.

The DC Wikia, which comes in twenty-three volumes you can buy at your local Piggly-Wiggly, tells us that the Zatanna Special was originally created as a four-issue miniseries, but edited into one single annual-size special, deleting many pages of Grey Morrow's beautiful artwork in the process. Well, we can at least be glad they didn't omit arroooo! Thanks, Philippe, for alerting us all to the joy and beauty that is arroooo in the world of stage magicians, their fishnet stockings, and their 1980s boyfriends. You're hereby awarded the extremely rare Bull-Prize known as the Ezirp-Llub!

Do you wanna arroooo? It's easy as pie! Just email me a panel or panels featuring the sound effect arroooo (or a similar sound effect) scanned from any comic book we haven't covered here yet. Make sure you tell me what comic book it comes from, and email your scans to this address: email address

Or, like Philippe, you can post it on your own blog and send me a link so I can link back and properly credit you for your arroooo!

So, in conclusion, folks, remember the words of Elton John: "She's got electric boots, a mohair suit/You know I read it in a magazine arroooo..."


Monday, March 02, 2009

Hawkeye, Hawkeye, or Hawkeye

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the delightful and mirth-provoking game that's got all American laughing: Hawkeye, Hawkeye, or Hawkeye? The rules are simple: match the Hawkeye quotes to the correct Hawkeye:

Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce from TV's M*A*S*H:
Hawkeye!




Nathaniel "Hawkeye" Bumppo, hunter/tracker from James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales (seen here in the 1992 movie of The Last of the Mohicans):
Hawkeye!




Or ace avenging archer Clint "Hawkeye" Barton!:
Hawkeye!


Now, cut the word balloons below out (get your parents' permission first before you use scissors!) and rearrange them above the pictures to achieve the proper balance of Hawkeye quip and Hawkeye mugshot! It's not merely fun and edutaintional...it's the Hawkeyeiest!

Hawkeye sez...
Hawkeye sez...
Hawkeye sez...
Hawkeye sez...
Hawkeye sez...
Hawkeye sez...
Hawkeye sez...
Hawkeye sez...
Hawkeye sez...


Did ya get 'em all right? Of course you did...because you know your Hawkeyes! (Hooray!)

Join us next time for another exciting episode when we pit Tony Stark, Ozzy Osbourne, and a guy who won a big athletic marathon competition, against each other in a contest we can only call...well, we haven't come up with a name for it yet. But see you then!

Oh, and by the way, print the word balloons before you cut them out. Don't cut out your computer screen. Whoops, shoulda told you that earlier. Sorry!


365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 61

Avengers/JLA #2
Panels from Avengers/JLA #2 (December 2003), written by Kurt Busiek, pencils and inks by George Perez, colors by Tom Smith, letters by Richard Starkings of Comicraft
(Click picture to Crossover-Earth-size)



Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ten of a Kind: Who Watches the Watcher





















(More Ten of a Kind here.)