Saturday, November 07, 2009

Hail, hail, Bearsylvania, land of the brave and free!


Page from Four Color #1349 [Yogi Bear Visits the U.N.] (January 1962), script by Paul S. Newman, pencils and inks by Fred Fredericks


Separated at Birth: Hey, we pay good taxes for those roads, you vandals!

Ultimate X-Men #1/Dark Wolverine #75
L: Ultimate X-Men #1 (February 2001), art by Adam Kubert and Richard Isanove
R: Dark Wolverine #75 second-print variant cover (August 2009), art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Onofrio Catacchio

(Click picture to nobody-likes-either-one-of-these-Wolverines-size)





365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 311

FF #236
Panel from Fantastic Four #236 (November 1981), script, pencils, and inks by John Byrne, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Jim Novak



Saturday Morning Cartoon: King Kong and the Volkswagen


Volkswagen Commercial featuring King Kong (1972), animated by David W. Allen


From Wikipedia:
Allen's ground-breaking model animation opus contribution was a legendary Volkswagen commercial made in 1972 in which King Kong spots a giant version of the car from his Empire State Building perch in New York. Climbing down from the building, Kong puts his human "date" into the passenger seat, gets in the car, and drives down Fifth Avenue out of sight. The spot aired only once on network TV, and in spite of favorable public response, was pulled because VW executives decided that they did not like the image of an ape driving their car.



Friday, November 06, 2009

Lose your load, leave your mind behind, Baby Kal

Christopher Reeve in a sombreroHola, amigos. How's it going? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I've been digging up more painted Mexican Superman covers! Let's scope 'em out, huh?

Who can forget the time Superman and Brainiac had a super-duel in outer space, in the aptly-titled "Super-Duel in Outer Space!" Not me, that's for sure! That's why I was surprised to see that in Mexico, the Supes/Brains battle takes place in...well, it looks like a cave full of gold bullion and floating eyeballs. Quite possibly they're fighting in Pepperland!

Mexican Superman
Action Comics #242 and Superman Libro Comic #8
(Click all covers to Quetzalcoatl-size)




In the US we have Kool-Aid, who busts through a wall and yells "Oh Yeah!" He then is arrested and brought up on charges of property damage, reckless endangerment, and delicious, refreshing fruitiness. But in Metropolis...and apparently in Mexopolis...we have Smashy the Invulnerable Enemy, aka The Petrified Spaceman! (Man, I loved that Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band song!)

Mexican Superman
Action Comics #226 and Superman Libro Comic #3



I actually really like this Editorial Novaro a lot...a beautiful background that doesn't look like it drops away like the end of the Earth's ten feet away and a really dynamic Superman toss...ow, that hurts! Batter up, Super-Hombre!

Mexican Superman
Action Comics #134 and Superman Libro Comic #11



This Mexican version updates its 1950s inspiration in more than a few ways: instead of stealing pennies, the rolling patchwork robot ball o' crime is stealing "$". Looks like he just robbed Richard Rich Sr.'s money vault! (Good.) And now, Lois has a fashionable bob, a miniskirt, and a Wonder Bra. That's how you can tell it's from a country of romance!

Mexican Superman
Action Comics #167 and Superman Libro Comic #7



Looks like showing a little bit of leg caught Clark's eye and hey! They're getting married! Everybody sing!: "Here comes the bride/By Superman's side...Luthor will catch her and she'll soon be fried!" Please note that in neither universe was Jimmy Olsen invited.

Mexican Superman
Action Comics #206 and Superman Libro Comic #16



Even when the painted covers don't exactly match their American counterparts, you can still guess which story they're reprinting. Here's two American comics where Superman stupidly got his head stuck up a lion's neck...serves him right for putting it in there! But I really like the Mexican version...stripped of the melodramatic narration and captions, it's a real tear-jerker when you see Kal's sad fuzzy face. But Lois, girl...those chunky heels with that miniskirt? For shame, sister!

Mexican Superman
Action Comics #243, Superman #165 and Superman Libro Comic #14



And of course, in the grand tradition of DC team-up books like Green Lantern/Green Arrow, DC Comics Presents, The Brave and the Bold and Bob Hope vs. Jerry Lewis, Editorial Novaro gives Mexi-Supes his own team-ups in many issues. Here's the return of Guy Who Bought a Batman Costume Down at the Corner Store, who sits around while Superman fights robots and stuff...

Mexican Superman




Who can forget Superman's team-up with Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name in the classic tale entitled "A Fistful of Mxyzptlks!" (Spoiler alert: his name was Dave.)

Mexican Superman




Sure, we all remember those great Superman tales like "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?," "For the Man Who Has Everything," "Red Son" and "Hey Look, Jimmy's Wearing a Dress...Again"...but do you remember "Superman and Elderly Sean Connery: Cheese Bandits!"? Do you? Do you?!?

Mexican Superman




Also: Hippie Greatest American Hero.

Mexican Superman




I hope you've enjoyed our little fiesta of Mexican Superman comic books. (D'you see what I did there? "Fiesta"? Tee hee!) I'm just sorry that after these, it doesn't look like Superman flew down from Metropolis to Mexico very much. Well, there was that one time he re-visited Mexico...

Mexican Superman


...but we don't like to talk about that very much.


365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 310

FF #83
Panel from Fantastic Four #83 (February 1969), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Sam Rosen



Thursday, November 05, 2009

I'm on a Mexican (whoa-oh) Superman

Mexican S-ShieldHola, amigos! Let's head south of the border, down Mexico way! Now, when you think Mexican heroes, probably there are certain names that pop into your head: Zorro! El Santo! Speedy Gonzales! And, of course, El Chapulin Colorado (and other native Mexican heroes!) But there's always the man whose fame and legend has spread even beyond the Rio Grande, el Hombre de Acero himself, Superman!

Because yes, you can buy Superman comics in Mexico. Why, only the other day my Mexican cousin, Torito el Pequeño Toro Relleno Mexicano, was telling me that he'd saved up all his pesos and bought a grande stack of old Superman comics that were published in the early 1970s. And I was surprised and delighted to find out they had elaborate painted covers rather than the simple four-color press process we have had here in the USA. Even more startling, these painted covers were new versions of classic Action and Superman comic book covers from the 1950s! So there, Alex Ross...you were not the first person to invent the reimagining of classic comics through the medium of paint! Through the magic of the internet, let's take a look at Torito's collection, matched up with my American comics! The Mexican counterparts, published by Editorial Novaro starting in 1973, and while the covers took their design from DC's versions, they were frequently more colorful, bedazzling...sometimes even more dynamic than the American versions. Take a big gander at this example, f'r instance, which takes Superman #126's electrozapping memory machine and cranks it up about one bajillion levels in energy:

Mexican Superman
Superman #126 and Superman Libro Comic #5
(Click all covers to El Santo-size)




In this pair of covers, Superman Island looks even more mountainous and craggy, the jet plane faster and more powerful, and even Superman's in a more dynamic pose. I still can't figger out how millions of years of erosion resulted in an 'S' shaped plateau, but hey, imagine how much that beach-front property is worth!

Mexican Superman
Action Comics #224 and Superman Libro Comic #1



Q: What's even better than an evil Super-Ape? A: Un Estupendo-Mono Malvado!

Mexican Superman
Action Comics #238 and Superman Libro Comic #4



Here's a fairly close rendering between original and Mexican version, but the Editorial Novaro gives us more Super-Sphinx rock texture than ever before!

Mexican Superman
Action Comics #240 and Superman Libro Comic #6



Sometimes the Mexican comic is clearly based on the American version, but has been pumped up to even bigger action! Check out Mexican Gwen Stacy, young Ricardo Montalban and the Latino version of that guy freaking out on the corner of Action #1 on this Editorial Novaro version!

Mexican Superman
Action Comics #227 and Superman Libro Comic #2



After their first dozen or so issues, Superman Libro Comic moves into original covers...at least, I can't find their counterparts in Action or Superman...let me know in the comments if you spot that they're from any American versions. Here's Mexi-Supes getting his revenge on that eye-blasting Sphinx from up above:

Mexican Superman




Here's Superman and a symbolic, gold-spectacled Clark Kent looking over him. Where does he get those fabulous glasses? Maybe molded from the giant coins he's stolen from Scrooge McDuck's money bin?!?

Mexican Superman




And who can forget the issue where Superman hung out with his crimefighting partner...The Guy Who Bought a Batman Costume at the Local Corner Shop!

Mexican Superman




How can I top that, you ask? I can't! What I can do is bring you even more Mexican Superman comic covers tomorrow! Or, as Torito likes to say...mañana!


365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 309

The Baxter Effect
Cover painting of The Baxter Effect (2006) by Dave Stern, cover art by Glen Orbik


The opening scene of this pretty-good FF prose novel stars...who else? The ever-lovin' blue-eyed You-Know-Who, that's who!:

The Baxter Effect

Buy it! You know you want it!:



"Not so fast, Mr. Fawkes."

Guy Fawkes

(Psst! Happy Guy Fawkes Day!)



Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Spacemen don't cry

(Let's look in on what happened last Saturday night for Bully's Halloween, shall we?)

"Oh boy oh boy oh boy it's Halloween and I'm going trick or treating! Dentist bills, here I come!"

Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
WHY DIDN'T YOU BUY MORE?!?
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween
Bully's Halloween



Cracking search engine, Gromit!

Sure, today's Google-logo (Googlo?) celebrated the 40th anniversary of the show that taught me how to count twenty pinballs and that sometimes one out of four things are not like the other, Sesame Street:

Google Sesame Street
Google Sesame Street


But over in the UK, there's a couple entertainment legends that, tho' half as old, required a tip of the Googlo—it's the twentieth anniversary of Wallace and Gromit!

Google Wallace and Gromit


Here's to them both, and may they both last for twenties and forties of years more. (And how about an Aardman comic book to go with BOOM!'s delightful The Muppet Show Comic?)


365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 308

Black Panther #32
Panels from Black Panther #32 (January 2008), art by Reginald Hudlin, pencils and inks by Francis Portela and Andrea Divito, colors by Val Staples, letters by Cory Petit

(Click picture to Colossusize)