Saturday, July 16, 2011

Same Story, Different Cover: Sometimes I'm glad we don't live in New Zealand anymore. All those penguins...

L: Detective Comics #473 (November 1977), cover art by Marshall Rogers
R: Shadow of the Batman #3 (February 1986), reprinting Detective #473, cover art by Marshall Rogers

(Click picture to emperor penguin-size)

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 197

Panel from Thor #197 (March 1972), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Vince Colletta, letters by Artie Simek

Stan Lee Saturdays #1: It's the thought of Stan that counts

Panels from Fantastic Four #543 (January 2007), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Nick Dragotta, inks by Mike Allred, colors by Laura Allred, letters by Rus Wooton

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gold Key Comics Pin-Ups Extra: Up and At Them!

No survey of Gold Key back cover pin-ups is complete without a look at one of the great modern homages to those painted mini-masterpieces, 2002's Radioactive Man v.2 #6 from Bongo Comics:

Back cover pin-up from Radioactive Man v.2 #6, November 2002 ("#106, November 1963"), cover art by Batton Lash and Bill Morrison

(And here's the cover:)

Pretty cool salute, huh? All that's missing from the Radioactive Man pin-up are the, "Radioactive Man Pin-Up."

But the homage to the gold age of Classic Key...I mean the classic age of Gold Key..doesn't end at the covers. From stem to stern this ish of Radioactive Man mimics its inspiration and milks it for fun, from the inside cover "educational" comic... the "Club News"...

...and even Gold Key's infamous cartoon contests!

Even the comic itself is a salute: like most issues of Radioactive Man, the interior art style mimics the comic it's inspired by, in this case Gold Key's sixties borderless panels and rectangular speech balloons:

Gold Key Comics! From a time where every cartoon character and every nightly TV show had its own comic book. No elaborate crossovers, they only cost 12 or 15 cents, and they actually went far out of their way to avoid restarting a series with a new #1!

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 196

Panel from Thor #354 (April 1985), script, pencils, and inks by Walt Simonson; colors by Christie Scheele; letters by John Workman

Gold Key Comics Pin-Ups, Day 5: Well, I'll be superamalgamated!

Back cover pin-up from Doc Savage one-shot (November 1966), art by James Bama

(And here's the cover, and the James Bama paperback cover it's adapted from:)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How can you say someone is great who's never had his picture on bubblegum cards?

So, on Monday I was talking about this Volstagg trading card sticker:

...and I thought it would be fun to feature an entire week of Warriors Three Marvel trading cards from all those various series licensed to card companies! far as I can tell (and let me know if I'm wrong, Bully-boosters!), none of the various 1990s Marvel cards featured our trio of titanic troopers. By Odin! What's up with that?!?

Yeah, sure, there's a card featuring the Asgardians, but only Thor, Odin, and Loki appear on it.

In fact, it's usually only Thor and Loki, and occasionally Beta Ray Bill, who make any appearances at all on Marvel cards. (Tough luck for you Sif fans, huh?) And even when he is featured, Thor, not unlike his Midgardian secret identity Rodney Dangerfield, seldom gets any respect. Here's a mural of nine cards featuring the "mythic" characters of 1990s Marvel. Sure, Thor's on there...but is he in the middle?

No. He is not. Instead, that honor is reserved for one of Marvel's most popular and enduring characters:

COBWEB! With the power of...mildly making your home a little more disheveled. Yep, remember when Sleepwalker was popular? Sleepwalker!: Created with the express purpose of being more Sandman than anything else Marvel published, including that Spider-Man villain spin-off Sandman. And he had a dog named Rambo! Yep, that topical reference will never get old!

Say, Bully, (you're probably asking), what other Marvel characters were considered more worthy of being featured on a bubblegum card than three immortal warrior-gods co-created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby? And, how do you keep your fuzzy fur so shiny and glossy? Answers: plenty of raw eggs and a nightly dose of castor oil. Also, these guys:

Cardinal! The superhero with the power of voting for the next Pope!

Heart Attack! She strikes...with the proportionate strength of a stick of butter!

Splice! He'll fix your ruined VHS and Betamax tapes!

MLF! Hey, how come Marvel never uses that acronym anymore?

Proctor! Don't cheat on that standardized test near him!

Blackheart! From the post-Frank Miller, ultra-gritty and realistic years of Daredevil!

Calypso! She's...not wearing a bra. Geez, lady!

Deadzone! One of the terrifying members of the supervillain team King's Klan, including Cujo, It, Night Shift, Tommyknocker, and Stephen King Goes to the Movies!

Slayback! Alt-rock band out of Austin, Texas!

Wild Heart! Stevie Nicks's second LP!

Hardcore! Even his name says Merry Christmas he's hardcore!

Goddess! Her real name is Goddess! Her parents must have met at Woodstock!

And then there's this guy.

Whoa, enough cards there, Gambit? Remember the rule of this blog, folks: this is the only acceptable Gambit, in card form or otherwise!

Well, that's just plain Ragnarok-grettable. So many chances to feature the Warriors Three, so many cards tossed away on second- or third-stringer has-beens whose action figures gather dust in the Big Lots of America's strip malls. Remember folks, Kirby Kharacters will endure! Also, kooler to kollect.

To be absolutely fair, earlier this year the W3 were featured on cards tying in with Marvel's hit movie Captain America Thor! It was really rather humiliating, however, that the Warriors Three had to cut patches out their undershortsr to create these cards.

Say, what was that Lucy van Pelt said at the beginning?
He never got his picture on bubblegum cards, did he? Have you ever seen his picture on a bubblegum card? Hmmm? How can you say someone is great who's never had his picture on bubblegum cards?
Huh. Well, this blog is all about righting rights and Jane Wiedlin, so let me introduce, for the very first time ever, straight outta Asgard...

Warriors Three Bubblegum cards!

There ya go, kids! Cut them out and collect 'em all! Trade 'em with your friends! Put 'em in your bicycle wheel spokes! Use them to whup the asses of anybody playing the Pokemon trading card game! Slip 'em into a deck of cards at a Vegas gaming table! But most of all, love them. And they'll love you right back. That's how cool they are.

Oh yeah! And here's your gum.

Warning: do not eat gum.

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 195: Volstagg by Chris Giarrusso

Volstagg by Chris Giarrusso

Here's the voluminous Volstagg, drawn by Chris Giarrusso, writer and artist of G-Man and Mini Marvels and creator of quite possibly the world's greatest elephant hero, Elephant Steve! (Sorry about that, Electrolux, but it's true.)

Mister G. drew this sketch for me for donating to a well-worthy event, the NYC Liver Life Walk. I've really got to give a salute to the artists and creators who often support great causes by contributing artwork for donations. Everybody wins! Especially since I pictured the sketch would be a three-by-four sketchcard...imagine my little stuffed surprise and delight when an envelope arrived with this lovely 8½ by 11 art, plus a signed G-Man comic book! Wow! (To get the fullest Volstaggariffic look at the sketch, click on the artwork above.)

Thank you, Chris!

Gold Key Comics Pin-Ups, Day 4: The Nurse should not be the one who puts salt in your wounds

Back cover pin-up from The Nurses #3 (October 1963), artist unknown

(And here's the cover:)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Unintentional Zing!

Panels from X-Men: Schism #1 (September 2011), script by Jason Aaron, pencils by Carlos Pacheco, inks by Cam Smith, colors by Frank D'Armata, letters by Jared K. Fletcher

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 194

Frontispiece from The Marvel Comics Index #5 (1977), art by Frank Reyes

Gold Key Comics Pin-Ups, Day 3: You Are My Sweetest Downfall

Back cover pin-up from Mighty Samson #4 (December 1965), art by Mo Gollub

(And here's the cover:)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011