Panels from Ultimate Fantastic Four #8 (August 2004), script by Warren Ellis, pencils by Stuart Immonen, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Chris Eliopoulos
(Click picture to two-ply-size)
Read more about Bert and Harry Piels and the Piels Brothers ad campaign (and see more Piels Brothers commercials!) here, and read an excerpt from Gene Deitch's autobiography here about the complaint letter that almost killed the characters!
Bonjour, mes amis! Eet is moi, Batroc ze Leapair! And eef zair is a day which makes ze Leapair's heart jump jus' that petit extra, eet is today, Bastille Day! Ah, Bastille Day, where there zhall be much rejoicing in ze streets of ma beloved Paree, ze petite enfants running zhruogh ze parks zetting off firecrackers. Blam, zey go! Boom! It ees alzo ze day when le président, 'e ceases with ze ethnic slurs for just ze one day. Pairhaps un jolie mademoiselle zhall spy Batroc as 'e drinks 'is café au lait, lonely at ze restaurant where 'e bides away ze Bastille Day by 'imself. Pairhaps she zhall step up to Batroc and she zhall say..."Bonjour, m'sieur! Je m'appelle Marie. Ca va?" And zen I zhall say, 'Ca va." And I will sweep hair into my arms and make ze mad passionate love to her entire body. Because Batroc ees not only ze leapair...Batroc is also ze lovair!
While Batroc ees doing that zhing, merci enjoy zee le blog de petit taureau, for 'e 'as allowed me...Batroc ze Leapair...to once again create a Dizaines d'une sorte for all of you, all featuring l'Tour Eiffel! Eet even begins with Batroc 'imself on one of ze covairs! Zo remembair...Bastille Day, eet is not just for ze cutting of zee neck...eet is alzo for ze beating of ze heart!
"It is a truth universally acknowledged," wrote somebody famous named Jane who wasn't Jane Wiedlin, "that all the best people have birthdays in July." It's true! Starting on July First with Missy Elliott, Alan Ruck, Debbie Harry, Leslie Caron, and a way cool guy some of you may be familiar with, all the way up to July Thirty-First with J. K. Rowling, Ted Cassidy, and Dean Cain...with Kate Bush, Phil Proctor, Beatrix Potter, Gracie Allen, Mick Jagger, Arthur Treacher, Raymond Chandler, Diana Rigg, Patrick Stewart, Marty Feldman, Mitch Miller, we will not let you go (let him go!) Mitch Miller! We will not let you go (let me go) will not let you go (let me go) will not let you go...oh, wait a minute.
My point, and I do have one, is that the hippest cats and the top bananas all have their birthdays in July. And smack-dab in the middle of the month is one of the coolest of 'em all: my pal Colleen Coover is celebrating her birthday today! Hooray! Hooray! (throws confetti up in the air, fires up a light stick to wave around, attempts to get Small Favors off the top shelf without success).
In addition to creating some of the most fun and beautiful stories in the Marvel Universe recently (the Marvel Girl backups in X-Men: First Class, the origin of Throg in Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers, and the wonderful debut of the Hydraettes in Fantastic Four: Giant-Size Adventures) and Banana Sunday, the Most Fun Comic of 2005, Colleen has also been extraordinarily kind to yours little stuffed truly, and sent me a wonderful birthday present of my own. HOLY COW LOOK IT'S ME!:
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In the words of one of the greatest detectives of all time one of the greatest detectives of all time, wowzers! I've been lucky enough to have some extremely talented creators draw me, and Colleen's wonderful portrait of a young bull at his leisure is a delightful addition to my collection. Thanks, Colleen!
I do not have anything half as exciting to give Colleen for her birthday except my best wishes and some fluffy good wishes for many happy returns! Drop on by her blog and wish her the same, wontcha?
Happy birthday, Colleen! You have been very good and kind to me, and I thank you so much! Even if I had not gotten to know you, I'd still be a big little stuffed fan of your wonderful work. Thanks for all the fun!