Saturday, February 09, 2013

Psylocke Psaturday #4: My whole life was ruined because of the puffy shirt

Annnnnnnd...she's blonde again.

Panels from Captain Britain v.1 #12 (December 29, 1976), script by Gary Friedrich, pencils by Herb Trimpe, inks by Fred Kida, colors by Don Warfield, letters by Irving Watanabe


Today in Comics History: The "Giant Mecha Only" parking space is invented


Panel from Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time #5 (September 2009), script by Brian Clevinger, pencils and inks by Scott Wegener, colors by Ronda Pattison, letters by Jeff Powell


365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 40: DC House Ads Super-Subscription Week, Day 7



Subscription ad for 'Mazing Man (1986); printed in The Legend of Wonder Woman #1 (May 1986)
Ad art: pencils by Stephen DeStefano, inks by Karl Kesel (signed)


Today in Comics History: Graffiti artists deface a Gotham City building


Panel from "The Last Days of Batman" in Batman #125 (August 1959), script by Bill Finger, pencils by Sheldon Moldoff, inks by Charles Paris, letters by Stan Starkman


Today in Comics History: Black Widow needs a shave


Panel from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns


Today in Comics History: An airplane lands in the middle of downtown Moscow


Panel from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns


Today in Comics History: Black Widow earns a kopeck


Panel from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns


Friday, February 08, 2013

Today in Comics History Future: The Legion of Super-Heroes all get Amazon Kindles


Back-up page from Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #8 (June 1990), script by Tom Bierbaum and Mary Bierbaum


365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 39: DC House Ads Super-Subscription Week, Day 6



Subscription ad for Detective Comics; printed in Detective Comics #489 (April 1980)


Today in Comics History: I run those same Batman Club of Dead Men panels again


Panels from "The Death-Cheaters of Gotham City!" in Batman #72 (August-September 1952), pencils by Dick Sprang, inks by Charles Paris, letters by Pat Gordon


Today in Comics History: Everybody is heading for Pizzeria Uno at South Street Seaport*


Panel from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns

*Actual unretouched photo of Black Widow at South Street Seaport in front of the Pizzeria Uno::


Thursday, February 07, 2013

Everybody Hates the Chitauri



365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 38: DC House Ads Super-Subscription Week, Day 5



Subscription ad for The Adventures of Bob Hope and other National Comics; printed in Batman #175 (November 1965)
Comic cover art: The Adventures of Bob Hope #96 (December 1965-January 1966),
script by Arnold Drake, pencils and inks by Bob Oksner, letters by Stan Quill
Ad designed and lettered by Ira Schnapp; Super-Hip art by Bob Oksner


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Who's that girl, who's that girl? It's Jess!

Sometimes comics focus too much on the hitting and the fighting and the kicking with the feet and the don't punch me in the face, oh missus lady person! So let's begin a new feature that focuses strictly o n the pretty-much civilian social life one of of your and my favorite heroines! Yes, it's time for some perfectly ordinary scenes of Spider-Woman Jessica Drew having a perfectly ordinary romantic life with perfectly ordinary consequences! And as befits her position as Marvel's swingin'-est gal of the High-Flying Seventies, Jessica ain't at no party...she's at a disco!


Panel from Spider-Woman v.1 #17 (August 1979), script by Mark Gruenwald, plot assist by Josh Wilburn, pencils by Carmine Infantino, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Ben Sean, letters by Diana Albers, hairstyle by Clea of the Dark Dimension

Say, why so blue, Jess? Honestly, don't worry...people won't laugh at you when you order a sloe gin fizz, and even if it makes you hallucinate the floating head of Tony Stark and other eligible bachelors of the Marvel Universe. (Whoa, heckuva birthmark on that one guy's face.) Why, here comes one now! I'm pretty sure he's a roguish extra left over from one of Infantino's Star Wars stories, but that's okay: he goes right with Jessica's Shi'ar-styled haircut! So boogie down, Spider-Woman! (What is wrong with me?)


But what's this? (I just can't stop impersonating WIlliam Dozier!) Spider-Woman shimmying seductively on the samba stand? But that can't be, because I'm Spider-Woman. I mean, she's Spider-Woman! Gosh, can't Jess just have a night off from belly-aching mysteries?


Let's flash back for a moment and check out the aptly named Fluffy McRedHead* who has stolen Jessica's purse! The hussy!** Despite apparently having cross eyes (and hey, who wouldn't with that haircut!), she sees the perfect opportunity to turn the head of her love interest Tony Mercury. Well, at least she has a chance. After all, it's not Freddie Mercury.


Luckily, Jess lunges right into the frame, Kirby-style, in time to see Faux-sica boogie on down out on the balcony and onto a pink thing that does not like being stepped on. Pepto-Bismol? Pink lemonade? Some discarded cotton candy? The liqufied remains of Elvis's Cadillac? The Psychedelic Furs's greatest hit?*** Alecia Moore?


Later, Jessica strips the costume off her and leaves her in her undies at the bottom of a cliff. So far this is running about the same course as most of her dates.


Well, that's done with! Time now for some parkin' and smoochin'****. Look out, Eric! Don't gouge your eye on Jessica's sharp, sharp hair spikes!


Then, just like any other ordinary date, her guy starts melting.


THIS WAS ONE OF JESSICA DREW'S BEST DATES EVER.

*She is not actually named that.
**Da da da da da da da da da, da da da da da da da da da...DO THE HUSSY! Da da da da da da da da da, da da da da da da da da da...
***Okay, "The Ghost in You" is pretty great, too.
****I only understand this concept theoretically, but my extensive research has shown me this is what does happen there.


563 Syad fo CD Esuoh Sda, Yad 73: CD Esuoh Sda Noitpircsbus-Repus Keew, Yad 4



National Comics subscription ad printed in Strange Adventures #185 (February 1966)
Ad: pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein, letters by Ira Schnapp
Comic book cover: Action Comics #33 (February 1966), pencils by Curt Swan, inks by Sheldon Moldoff

Today in Comics History: I'm Bankin' Stan Duff, it's a gas gas gas!


Panels from "The Death-Cheaters of Gotham City!" in Batman #72 (August-September 1952), pencils by Dick Sprang, inks by Charles Paris, letters by Pat Gordon


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Just another ordinary day in Smallville


Panel from "The Amazing Adventures of Krypto-Mouse" in Superboy #65 (June 1958), script by Jerry Coleman, pencils and inks by John Sikela


365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 36: DC House Ads Super-Subscription Week, Day 3


Two-page subscription ad for DC Comics (1972); printed in Batman #239 (February 1972)
Scripter and artist uncredited. (Is it Carmine Infantino and Dick Giordano?)
Click image to giant-savings-size

Here's a half-page version of the same ad, from Secrets of Sinister House #4 (April-May 1972). No scissors for Tommy in this one!



Monday, February 04, 2013

Today in Comics History: Boris Badenov lays down some session tracks for the band Yes


Panel from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns


Today in Comics History: Filming commences on the new Prince video


Panel from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns


An ode to monsters in little pants.

And now, my poem about monster underpants.


Splash page from "Lo-Karr, Bringer of Doom!" in Journey into Mystery #75 (December 1961), plot by Stan Lee, script by Larry Lieber, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers

Big and scary monsters, they'll put you in a trance
But from whatever realm they come they're always wearing pants



Splash page from "Zzutak, The Thing That Shouldn't Exist!!" in Strange Tales #88 (September 1961), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Steve Ditko

They'll shatter towns and eat armies and through the earth they'll tear
And you can always count on one thing; that's their underwear



Splash page from "Fin Fang Foom!" in Strange Tales #89 (October 1961), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers

They walk upright and also talk so they're not animals
The Comics Code protects us all from monster genitals



Splash page from "The Return of...Grogg!" in Strange Tales #87 (August 1961), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers

They'll tear up all your cities! They rip apart your beaches!
They'll stomp on towns and humankind, clad only in their breeches



Splash page from "What? What? What Was Gargantus!" in Strange Tales #80 (January 1961), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Steve Ditko

Their typography is ragged as if it's been bitten through
But they're wearing tiny pants whether they're orange or if they're blue



Splash page from "The Return of Gargantus" in Strange Tales #85 (June 1961), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers

Where do they get these shorts from? Marvel never even knew
But every one from A to Z wears pants, except Xemnu.



Splash page from "I Was a Slave of the Living Hulk!" in Journey into Mystery #62 (November 1960), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers

(Also Tabooooooooo!)


Splash page from "The Return of Taboo!" in Strange Tales #77 (June 1960), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers


365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 35: DC House Ads Super-Subscription Week, Day 2



Subscription ad for "The DC Explosion"; printed in Dynamic Classics #1 (September-October 1978)

Well, The DC Explosion didn't work quite as well as DC had hoped, and instead led to the infamous DC Implosion (Read more about it here).

Wikipedia tells us: "On June 22, 1978 DC Comics announced staff layoffs, and the cancellation of approximately 40% of its line." Yikes! Listed in this subscription ad were titles that were quickly cancelled (All-Star Comics, Batman Family, Black Lightning, Claw the Unconquered, Doorway to Nightmare, Firestorm, House of Secrets, Our Fighting Forces, Secrets of Haunted House [this resumed publication about a year after cancellation], Showcase, Star Hunters, Steel, and The Witching Hour), including a handful cancelled after their first and only issue (Army at War, Battle Classics, Dynamic Classics). Also cancelled were several titles not on this subscription list (Aquaman, Kamandi, Mister Miracle, Secret Society of Supervillains, and Shade the Changing Man). There were even victims of the DCI that were never published (Demand Classics, Western Classics, The Vixen and the not-listed-here Deserter and Starslayer).


Covers to Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #1 and 2 (1978), pencils and inks by Al Milgrom (#1) and Alex Saviuk (#2); logo by Todd Klein

Some of the ill-fated books eventually saw publication in the Xerox-only Cancelled Comics Cavalcade, two books released in editions of 35 copies each in order to protect DC's copyrights on the material. Scripts and artwork for some cancelled books were worked into other comics or eventually printed as back-up stories.

But did you know that DC's longest-running title was also on the chopping block for the DC Implosion until a timely eleventh-hour save? That's right: Detective Comics was planned to end with issue #480, "until the decision was overturned following strenuous arguments on behalf of saving the title within the DC office, and Detective was instead merged with the better-selling Batman Family." (Wikipedia). Whew! Now that was a cliffhanger escape from death worthy of the Batman himself!

Some comics critics have warned that the large amounts of material being published today could eventually lead to another implosion across the industry. We've seen it mostly in smaller publishers going out of business after overextending their lines (CrossGen, some manga publishers). It happened in 1957 to Atlas (later Marvel) and in 1978 to DC. If you're a fan of patterns and conspiracy theories, consider: 21 years elapsed between those events. In 1999, 21 years after DC's implosion, Kitchen Sink Press went out of business after an ill-fated expansion into merchandise (hey, I liked those chocolate bars). 21 years after 1999 is 2020. Shall we meet back here in seven years to see what the comics business is like then and who is going to go out of business then? Place yer bets!

To conclude, as it says in the ad: "Please allow 10 weeks for first copies to arrive." To which I add: "Plus eternity." Somewhere, somewhen, a little stuffed bull is still sitting by his mailbox, eagerly and patiently awaiting his mailed copy of Demand Classics. Wait on, little guy.

Today in Comics History: Or it might have been April 2 at 5 AM


Panel from "The Man Who Radiated Fear!" in Batman #200 (March 1968), script by Mike Friedrich, pencils by Chic Stone, inks by Joe Giella, letters by Gaspar Saladino


Today in Comics History: A building is built out of a horse


Panel from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns


Today in Comics History: The creative team for DC's New 52 is determined


Panel from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns


Today in Comics History: The pilot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a dismal failure


Panel from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns


Today in Comics History: Black Widow disguises herself as a Russian super-spy


Panel from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns