Saturday, August 13, 2011

Same Story, Different Cover: When will my reflection show who I am inside?

L: Marvel Tales #104 (December 1951), cover art by Russ Heath
R: Weird Wonder Tales #9 (April 1975), reprinting Marvel Tales #104, cover art by Ron Wilson and Frank Giacoia

(Click picture to full-length-size)

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 225

Panel from Dazzler #16 (June 1982), script by Danny Fingeroth, pencils by Frank Springer, inks by Vince Colletta, colors by Don Warfield, letters by Janice Chiang

Stan Lee Saturdays #5: And this is where all the trouble started

Page from Fantastic Four #10 (January 1963), the first acknowledged appearance of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the Marvel Universe. Script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Zen of Batman: Sea Cruises

From Batman: "The Londinium Larcenies" (November 23, 1967), script by Charles Hoffman and Elkan Allen

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 224

Panels from Ultimate Thor #3 (February 2011), script by Jonathan Hickman, pencils by Carlos Pacheco, inks by Dexter Vines, colors by Edgar Delgado, letters by Clayton Cowles

Marvel Value Stamps, Day 5: Back on the Value Stamp Again

Marvel Value Stamps Series C #1-8, from Marvel Spotlight #3 [Warren Ellis and Jim Cheung] (2006)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Table Talk

So, here's a very famous comic book cover:

All Star Comics #37 (October-November 1947), art by Irwin Hasen

So, some questions about this iconic image:

  • Is the JSA's meeting room wedge-shaped? Because that's an awful narrow wall their seal is on. Do they perhaps, meet in the Flatiron Building?

  • I'm assuming the JSA meeting room doesn't normally have restraints screwed into the wall. Did the Injustice Society bring them along? Also, screws and drywall anchors? Did this necessitate a stop at a hardware store? We know that Wonder Woman of this era loses her strength when she's bound by a man, but couldn't The Atom or Hawkman rip those manacles out of the wall? Why isn't Johnny Thunder saying "Cei-U?" Was he warned not to by the Canada Employment and Immigration Union? Do you think the ISW teased the Atom because they had to mount his manacles so low? Did the Atom cry? I bet he cried.
  • Where's WIldcat? Wildcat wouldn't have stood for this nonsense. Wildcat would have hit them. With his fists.
  • Uh oh...I think Per Degaton has spotted us. Quick, hide!
  • So, who makes off with the best part of the country? Vandal Savage, as fitting his high ranking in the DC Universe's Rogue's Gallery, seems to be capturing the largest square mileage of America: he's pretty much carving himself out the Louisiana Purchase. Those wealth-building Texas oil wells and rich Wisconsin cheese will come in handy in his new criminal empire.
  • On the other hand, Vandal Savage could have just sat back and pointed at the area he wanted, because between the Brain Wave and the Wizard, they're pretty much leaving him some wide open spaces to occupy. In fact, Savage is conning himself out of Idaho and the Oklahoma Panhandle! I guess they decided nobody needs to criminally reign over those states.
  • Likewise, the Gambler is smart in staking out Las Vegas and Reno for himself, but he's missed out on the rich vineyards of Northern California! And he'll be sorry he stuck so close to the coast when Lex Luthor drops California into the Pacific Ocean.
  • Most foolish choice in criminal empire: Per Degaton. Sooner or later he will realize his silly mistake and be very irritated with the others when he realizes he doesn't actually have any land to call his own. Ah, well, perhaps he's planning on installing service stations with exorbitant prices along Interstate Route 81. Three bucks for a package of Hostess Cupcakes? That is highway robbery.
  • Do you think they all brought their own knives? Did they get a value bargain deal by buying six of them at the same time? Or, maybe those are the JSA's steak knives.
  • Do you think that's the same table that's seen on this famous cover?

All Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940-1941), art by Everett E. Hibbard

Man, Ma Hunkel's gonna be honked if she has to polish all those deep knife gouges out of the surface of the table. Still, some people think a table is for sitting on and don't seem to have any respect for history:

Justice Society of America #1 (February 2007), art by Alex Ross

So, there you go: a lesson we should all learn—if you do happen to get captured within your own headquarters by a team of supervillains who are too dumb to divide up a country into equal shares, at least ask them to put down some cardboard or a cutting board before they cut into your nice new table. The Avengers' table never has these problems!

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 223

Panel from Thor #196 (February 1972), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Vince Colletta, letters by John Costanza

Marvel Value Stamps, Day 4: Banned for his love of pot

Marvel Value Stamp #101, from Marvel Legacy: The 1970s Handbook #147 (2006)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bully's Blog Bits!

Greetings, fans of all things stuffed with fluff and beans! Tonight, rather than one post, let's try a plateful of mini-posts to whet your appetite. Remember, take the one closest to you on the tray, and don't throw your toothpicks in the potted plant! It's a little potpourri I like to call Bully's Blog Bits! (Because it won't answer to "Fred.")

Tony Stark Was a Jerk

More proof that Tony Stark frequently did behave like Robert Downey Jr. on an off day—remember that Tony Stark got hit with a sexual harassment suit filed by Pepper Potts! You file, Pep, file!

Panels from Iron Man: The Iron Age #1 (August 1998), script by Kurt Busiek, pencils by Patrick Zircher, inks by Bob McLeod, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Comicraft

This is why Tony Stark was voted Fortune magazine's Pinchiest Executive three years running.

The Most Polite Comic of All Time

After all those rude, uncouth #1 issues that hubristically declare they are "collector's items" and "the beginning of an all new era" and "Guest-starring: Wolverine!", it's rather nice to find a comic book #1 cover that takes our feelings into account and is actually about the experience of the reader rather than the comic book itself! Also, if you're not careful, you just might learn something!

Cover of Fat Albert [and the Cosby Kids] #1 (March 1974), art by Warren Tufts

Whoops! (S.H.I.E.L.D. Division)

Variant cover of S.H.I.E.L.D.* v.1 #3 (October 2010), art by Dustin Weaver and Christina Strain

Remember this handy mnemonic for spelling "Isaac," Marvel: I'm Smacked Amongst Apples Continuously. Or, you could, ya know, just look it up.

But the Little Cool Thing here is artist Dustin Weaver's homage, through the paintings reproduced on the wall, to the weird and disturbing images of Une semaine de bonté [A Week of Kindness], surrealist Max Ernst's bizarre 1934 series of five pamphlets...hey, it's a five-issue limited series! Ernst cut up, pasted and re-arranged etchings and illustrations from Victorian books to portray the days of the week and the elements of the earth.

Caution! Do not read Une semaine de bonté just before bedtime. (Read S.H.I.E.L.D. instead!)

Luckily, Marvel got the spelling right by the time they printed Isaac Newton's Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe page:

Page from S.H.I.E.L.D. v.2 #1 (August 2011 )

Oh, sure, sure, he's got a brain the size of a planet, yadda yadda yadda. What I wanna know is: what's his strength level and how long would he last in a throw-down against The Hulk? Not very long, I betcha, Mister So-Called Smarty-Pantaloons Newton, inventor of delicious fig cookies.

You can read more about Une semaine de bonté at Musée d'Orsay website, and check out Dustin Weaver's blog entry showcasing the original SHIELD cover artwork and a guh-orgeous grey tone sketch version!

Donald Duck likes girl-watching.

Donald Duck comic strip by Bob Karp and Al Taliaferro, reprinted in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #161 (February 1954)

I would scold Donald for ogling human women, but hey, I shouldn't talk.

Finally, a few words from The Watcher:

Watcher sticker from Topps Marvel Super Heroes Stickers (1976)

So, that's all, folks! Thanks for sampling the smorgasbord of silliness I whipped up for you!

Oh, wait...I promised you marshmallows, didn't I?

Panel from Uncanny X-Men Annual #8 (1984), concept by Mary Jo Duffy, script by Chris Claremont, pencils and inks by Steve Leialoha, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Tom Orzechowski

Panel from Uncanny X-Men #150 (October 1981), script by Chris Claremont, layouts by Dave Cockrum, finishes by Bob Wiacek, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Jean Simek

Panel from Wolverine v.2 #96 (December 1995), script by Larry Hama, pencils by Adam Kubert and Luciano Lima, inks by Dan Green, colors by Joe Rosas, letters by Richard Starkings

Wow. Wolverine really likes marshmallows, doesn't he?

*Salma Hayek Invents Electrical LASER Device

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 222

Page from Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica one-shot (2009)

Marvel Value Stamps, Day 3: Face it, Tiger, you just hit the...hey, stop licking my back

Marvel Value Stamp #82, from Fantastic Four #147 (June 1974)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I for one completely support the new Uncanny X-Men lineup

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 221

Panel from Thor #313 (November 1981), script by Doug Moench, layouts by by Keith Pollard, finishes by Gene Day, colors by George Roussos, letters by Joe Rosen

Marvel Value Stamps, Day 2: To be used only for First Class mail within Latveria, and certainly not for destroying the accursed Richards

Marvel Value Stamp #84, from Fantastic Four #159 (June 1975)

Monday, August 08, 2011


On this day in 1961, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby revolutionized the comic book industry with the introduction of a new and daringly different group of super heroes. Now we proudly invite you to join with us in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the World's Greatest Comic Magazine!*

Although it's been said, many times, many ways,

Happy Anniversary, Fantastic Four!

Panels from Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by George Klein, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek

Panels from Marvel Age Fantastic Four #1 (June 2004), script by Sean McKeever, pencils and inks by Makoto Nakatsuka, colors by Chris Sotomayor, letters by Dave Sharpe

Panels from The Thing #1 (July 1983), script by John Byrne, pencils by Ron Wilson, inks by Joe Sinnott, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Janice Chiang

Panels from Fantastic Four #296 (November 1986), plot by Jim Shooter, script by Stan Lee, pencils by Kerry Gammill, inks by Vince Colletta, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by John Workman

Panels from What If...? #6 (December 1977), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Jim Craig, inks by Sam Grainger, colors by Phil Rachelson, letters by John Costanza

Panels from Fantastic Four #126 (September 1972), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by John Costanza

Panels from Challengers of the Fantastic #1 (June 1997), script by Karl Kesel, pencils by Tom Grummett, inks by Al Vey, colors by Joe Rosas, letters by Richard Starkings

Panels from What If...? #36 (December 1982), script, pencils and inks by John Byrne; colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Joe Rosen

Panels from Fantastic Four v.2 #1 (November 1996), plot and pencils by Jim Lee, script by Brandon Choi, inks by Scott Williams, colors by Joe Chiodo and Martin Jimenez, letters by Richard Starkings and David Lanphear

Panels from Mythos: Fantastic Four one-shot (December 2007), script by Paul Jenkins, painted art by Paolo Rivera, letters by Joe Caramagna

Panels from Fantastic Four v.3 #50 (February 2002), script by Carlos Pacheco and Rafael Marin, pencils by Tom Grummett, inks by Scott Koblish, colors by Liquid!, letters by Richard Starkings

Screen shot from The Fantastic Four animated cartoon (1967)

Panels from Wha...Huh? one-shot (2005), script by Ed Brubaker, pencils and inks by Jim Mahfood, colors by Shaughn Struble, letters by Chris Eliopoulos

Panel from What If...? v.2 #41 (September 1992), script and layouts by Jim Valentino, finishes by Sam de la Rosa, colors by Tom Vincent, letters by Janice Chiang

Panels from Fantastic Four #11 (February 1963), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers, letters by Artie Simek

Panels from Ultimate Fantastic Four #2 (March 2004), script by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar, pencils by Adam Kubert, inks by Danny Miki, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Chris Eliopoulos

Panels from Marvel Action Hour featuring the Fantastic Four #1 (November 1994), script by Joey Cavalieri, pencils and inks by Quique Alcatena, colors by Joe Andreani, letters by John Costanza

Panels from The Thing #10 (April 1984), script by John Byrne, pencils by Ron Wilson, inks by Hilary Barta, colors by Julianna Ferriter, letters by Jim Novak

Panels from Not Brand Echh #7 (April 1968), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby and Marie Severin, inks by Tom Sutton, letters by Sam Rosen

Panels from Fantastic Four: The Movie one-shot (August 2005), script by Mike Carey, pencils by Dan Jurgens, inks by Sandu Florea, colors by J. Rauch, letters by Mike Sellers

Panels from What If...Doctor Doom Had Become the Thing? [#165] (February 2005), script by Karl Kesel, pencils and inks by Paul Smith, colors by Paul Mounts, letters by Randy Gentile

Panels from Fantastic Four #220 (July 1980), script and breakdowns by John Byrne, finishes by Joe Sinnott, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Jim Novak

Panels from Origins of Marvel Comics one-shot (July 2010), script by Fred van Lente, pencils and inks by Dale Eaglesham, color by Paul Mounts, letters by Nate Piekos

Splash page from What If: Fantastic Four one-shot [#171] (February 2006), script by Mike Carey, pencils and co-inks by Marshall Rogers, co-inks by Jonathan Glapion, colors by Soto Color, letters by David Lanphear, Chris Eliopoulos, and Rus Wooton

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

Panels from Fantastic Four #358 (November 1991), script by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Paul Ryan, inks by Danny Bulandi, colors by Christie Scheele and Reneé Witterstaetter, letters by Bill Oakley

Panels from Fear Itself: The Worthy #1 (September 2011), script by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, pencils and inks by Javier Pulido, colors by Muntsa Vincente, letters by Joe Sabino

Panels from What If...? v.2 #89 (September 1996), script by Ben Raab, pencils by Mark Miller, inks by Scott Koblish, colors by Tom Ziuko, letters by Chris Eliopoulos

And thank you again to Stan and Jack!

Panels from What If...? #11 ["What If the Original Marvel bullpen Had Become the Fantastic Four?] (October 1978), script and pencils by Jack Kirby; inks by Mike Royer, Bill Wray, Scott Shaw!, and Dave Stevens; colors by Carl Gafford, letters by Mike Royer


Cover of Fantastic Four #524 (May 2005), art by Mike Wieringo, Karl Kesel, and Paul Mounts


Panel 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

And fourever!

Panel from Fantastic Four #550 (December 2007), script by Dwayne McDuffie, pencils by Paul Pelletier, inks by Rick Magyar, colors by Paul Mounts, letters by Rus Wooton

*Text adapted from the masthead of FF #236, the twentieth anniversary issue of the Fantastic Four.