Saturday, October 01, 2011

Same Story, Different Cover: Screamin', screamin', screamin' on the river

L: Four Color #108 (May 1946), cover art by Carl Buettner
M: The Carl Barks Library of Walt Disney's Donald Duck Adventures in Color #4 (April 1994), cover art by Carl Barks (created by Bruce Hamilton and John Clark using Barks images)
R: Walt Disney's Donald Duck Adventures #26 (June 1994), art by Carl Barks, adapted by Bruce Hamilton
(Click picture to terror-size)

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 274

Page from Secret Invasion: Thor #3 (December 2008), script by Matt Fraction, pencils and inks by Doug Braithwaite, colors by Brian Reber, letters by Joe Caramagna

Stan Lee Saturdays #11: It's the principal of the thing

Panels from "Principal Stanley" in Stan Lee Meets Doctor Strange one-shot (November 2006), script, art, and letters by Chris Giarrusso

Duckburg: Hellmouth (Day 1)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck and Friends #320 (October 2004), cover art by Daniel Branca and Susan Daigle-Leach

It's Halloween Month here at Comics Oughta Be Fun Spooky, and what better time to celebrate the beasts, brutes, and Beagle Boys that populate our favorite canardian city, Duckburg, Calisota! As part of the celebration, I'll be joining John Rozum's Countdown to Halloween 2011 with a daily dose of duck dread and danger. And it doesn't cost you anything, not even one thin Lucky Dime...I'll just put it on your bill!

But that's not all, my ghosties and ghoulies! Throughout the entire month of Ducktober there'll be Halloween-themed Tens of a Kind; Same Story Different Covers; Midday Matinees and the proverbian monstrous more! So don't panic, be manic as we Countdown to Halloween! It'll be boo-tiful!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Let's all go to the movies / At the New York Film Festival

Sorry for no comics-related post tonight, folks, as I've been in Movies Oughta Be Fun! mode over the past week...I've been attending the prestigious and pleasant New York Film Festival as a reviewer! You can tell because I have my "press" badge on. Or maybe that just means I need to take my shirt to get ironed.

There are many fine films to see by important directors from around the world! Unfortunately, they have chosen not to screen my submission, the eight-hour video opus Bully Plays with Toy Cars. I guess I'll have to edit it down to YouTube length first.

My best friend John is writing reviews of some of the films for our pal DB over at Unseen Films. He and I highly recommend Aki Kaurismaki's Le Havre (click here to read John's review), and we were both slightly baffled by Nicholas Ray's experimental We Can't Go Home Again (click here to read John's review). And many of the other NYFF movies are being reviewed by DB. You can find all the New York Film Festival reviews here!

If you're in New York, New York (the city so nice they named it New York), why not check out some of the great films at the NYFF? You can see some critically acclaimed alternative cinema weeks before your snooty neighbors and then talk it up to them from now until Oscar season! Who's rubbing shoulders with Martin Scorsese now, guy next door?

If, on the other hand, you need to see Gone with the Wind with me and Shelly the Little Otter Puppet once again, then click here or on the picture below, because you know you can't see Gone with the Wind with two cute little stuffed animals often enough!

Until then, see you at the movies!

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 273

Panel from Thor #194 (December 1971), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Sal Buscema, letters by Artie Simek

Evel Knievel Week, Day 5: Viva Knievel!

To misquote one of the greatest thinkers of our time:
Evel Knievel never had his own comic book, did he? Have you ever seen his own comic book? Hmmm? How can you say someone is great who's never had his own comic book?
Hey! Watch those words! We're not talkin' 'bout Gary Busey, Lucy!

Evel Knievel one-shot giveaway (1974), cover art by John Romita Sr. and Joe Sinnott

You can read the Evel Knievel comic book here!

More Knievelads!:

Ad from Marvel Spotlight #20 (February 1975)

Ad from The Secret Society of Super-Villains #5 (January-February 1977)

Ad from Batman Family #3 (January-February 1976)

And finally...The Greatest Beach Towel of All Time!

Ad from Fantastic Four #160 (July 1975)

Viva Knievel!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Captain America is terrible at knock-knock jokes

Panels from Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941), script by Ed Herron, pencils and inks by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 272

Panel from Warriors Three #1 (January 2011), script by Bill Willingham, pencils by Neil Edwards, inks by Scott Hanna, colors by Frank Martin, letters by Clayton Cowles

Evel Knievel Week, Day 4: The Evel Mad

from MAD #217 (September 1980), script by Dennis Snee, pencils and inks by Harry North

from MAD #178 (October 1975), script by Paul Peter Porges, pencils and inks by Sandy Kossin

from MAD #205 (February 1972), script by Lou Silverstone, pencils and inks by Jack Davis
(Click picture to Snake Canyon-size)

Special Thursday Bat-Bonus! Is that Evel Knievel himself the Batman is facing off against?

Cover of Batman #326 (August 1980), cover art by Jim Aparo

Sadly, no. It's not Evel Knievel. But the Great One is name-checked (and I don't mean Batman!)

Panels from Batman #326 (August 1980), script by Len Wein, pencils by Irv Novick, inks by Frank McLaughlin, colors by Adrienne Roy, letters by John Costanza

And before you, Batman isn't actually misspelling (in his mind) Mister Knievel's first name. Note that it is in quotes...Batman is making an internal pun!

Batman: master of wordplay.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Special "I Have a Cold" "Fever Dream" Edition

Say, who do you think is the criminal mastermind behind the deadly events in this issue of Batman and Robin?

Cover of Batman and Robin v.1 #22 (June 2011), cover art by Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, and Alex Sinclair

Let me answer that question in the form of a riddle-me-this, shall I? When is 6 bigger than 8?


When it's upside-down.

If you're frightened by this unsettling image, you now know what the last 24 hours have been for me! Sweet dreams!

Comics Oughta Be Fun! does not guarantee that the mystery villain of this issue is Joker.

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 271

Panels from Thor #168 (September 1969), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by George Klein, letters by Artie Simek

Evel Knievel Week, Day 3: Who knows what Evel lurks in the hearts of men?

So, who's the greatest and most popular star-spangled hero whose exploits fab artist Cliff Chiang has illustrated? No, no, not that woman of wonder with her satin tights, not this week in this feature. After all, it's Evel Knievel week! Ever wonder why those toys I've been featuring this week were so popular? Who tried to jump over sharks before the Fonz? And what the heck was up with that "swagger stick"? Cliff Chiang explains it all for you in these panels from The Big Book of the '70s!

Panels from "The Decade of Evel" in The Big Book of the '70s (May 2000), script by Jonathan Ridgeway, art by Cliff Chiang

Wednesday Bonus! Even the mysterious and macabre Ghost Rider was not immune to the cult of Evel!

Panel from Marvel Spotlight #7 (December 1972), script by Gary Friedrich, pencils by Mike Ploog, inks by Frank Chiaramonte, letters by Herb Cooper

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kirby knocks all our blocks off

And now, a little rhyme about Hugh Jackman's latest motion picture:

"Real Steel"?
I don't see the appeal.

Thank you, thank you.

Aside from Real Steel being just a Marx Toy in a movie adaptation version, let me be the first to say this:

Jack Kirby did it better.

Panels from The Eternals v.1 #5 (November 1976), script and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks and letters by Mike Royer, colors by Glynis Wein

Bonus panel from Eternals #5: here Warlord Kro with a gentle and helpful reminder for the people of earth!

Deviant teeth: they may be pointy, but they're shiny and white. That's Celestial-dictated arrested evolution for ya, kids!

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 270

Panel from Thor #185 (February 1971), script by Stan Lee, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Sam Grainger, letters by Sam Rosen

Evel Knievel Week, Day 2: A Lesser Evel

Back cover ad from Avengers #155 (January 1977)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Batman done gone plumb loco

So! Here's something you don't see Batman do every day. And that's putting it mildly.

Panels from Batman v.1* #21 (February-March 1944), script by Jack Schiff, pencils and inks by Dick Sprang, letters by George Roussos

Whoa, what's goin' on here? A little too much Joker venom? Has Batman's mighty mind snapped from the pressure of his endless battle against crime? All we can say is...the worst is yet to come! Tune in tomorrow: same Bat-time, same Bat-stat...oh, wait, no, it's a comic book story, not TV. Ahem. So, we can find out right now. And hey, it looks like it involves horsies!

Batman and Robin are summoned out to the west (apparently all the crime in Gotham City having been cleaned up for the day) to investigate the Curious Case of the Cattle Rustlers! Which actually sounds like a Nancy Drew title. Luckily for Bruce and Dick, Nancy had been trampled earlier in the story, so it's Batman and Robin to the rescue of some of my relatives!

There's no time to lose, so Bruce and Dick infiltrate the ranch's cowhands (and horse feet) by disguising themselves as cowboys! Who said you can't sell a western comic book anymore, huh? Oh yeah...the comic book buying market.

A mysterious note! Even more mysterious because it was apparently carefully unwound from a notebook to avoid ripping the holes in the paper!

Let us all pause together here to quote Admiral Ackbar: "Once the shield is down, our cruisers will create a perimeter, while our fighters fly into the superstructure and attempt to knock out the main reactor.". ...what? What? Were you expecting a different quote of some sort?

Sigh. Here you go.

I bet Ackbar would have bugged George Lucas for more dialogue if he could have foreseen that was the only line anyone would remember from his nuanced and squiddy performance. Anyway! Why, yes, it is a trap. And OH NOES MY RELATIVES ARE TRAMPLING BATMAN!!!!!

Later, of course, all the cows felt really bad and got together and wrote a nice note of apology and sent Batman and Robin a Pick-Me-Up bouquet, so that's all right then. But then...another trap! (Not by cows, thankfully!)

Batman gets out of that one, but not before the cowardly and superstitious criminal forces Batman to eat something...I dunno, Fritos, maybe? No, it's even more deadly to the human body! That's where we came in, with Batman acting kuh-razy! The Sheriff's got the explanation...and the painful cure!

A tense moment! Will Batman die? Well, uh, no. But oh man, do he and Robin cry like a baby! That's another thing you don't see Batman do anymore. I actually think that love scene in Catwoman the other week could have been vastly improved if Batman had burst into tears during it. Sniff...I'm getting a little misty myself.

Later, Batman, Robin, and the Sheriff meet in front of a window somewhere near the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Batman has found a clue! Now, you've seen everything Batman has seen...well, except for the embarrassing sight of Robin's nose running. Match wits with Batman and see if you can find out...whodunit!

It was the banjo player! Guess he won't "pick on" Batman anymore! (I'm sorry. I'm so terribly sorry.) Also, there was a bunch of stuff involving cattle brands and moving cows around under cover of darkness, but that solves the mystery of the missing cows!

And so, wrongs righted, laws uplifted and bovines bailed, the Batplane zooms off into the sunset.

...hey, wait, it's heading east. That's not the sunset. Hey, Batman! That's not the sunset!

*I know, I know. Sigh.