Saturday, February 01, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 32: The Fantastic Four Lamp

Now, as far as futuristic technology goes, this piece of KirbyTech isn't really that far out...but how can you resist, how can I pass up, the Fantastic Four Lamp?!?


Panel from "Sub-Mariner Versus the Human Race!" in Fantastic Four Annual #1 (September 1963), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek

That's not even mentioning Reed's come-hither sprawl on the Fantastic Recliner Lounge, where Namor has interrupted him in the middle of his hamburger and flask of whiskey.

Or this next panel, which surely must be accompanied by the sound effect of an accordion.


Coming soon!

Riddle me this, Bully-fans! What popular annual comics blog event is fast approaching and mixes both animals from the quiz page in the same issue of Adventure Comics that debuted Starman? Huh? What is it? I'm askin' you!


from "The Quiz Page" in Adventure Comics #61 (April 1941); script, pencils, and inks by Henry Boltinoff

Can't guess? Well, stay around through midnight...and keep checking your shadow!

Friday, January 31, 2014

These days, she says, "I feel my life / Just like a river running through" / The year of the bat

Happy Chinese New Year! Now begins the Year of the Horse. (But I'm sure I'll still be writing "Year of the Snake" on my checks for a couple more months.) Me, I can't wait until 2021 (I'll be six) and the next Year of the Bull, but until then, please enjoy The Year of the Bat! Note: A Year of the Bat does not actually exist in the Chinese Zodiac.


Splash panel from The Brave and the Bold #75 (December 1967-January 1968), script by Bob Haney, pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Mike Esposito

And who's that colorfully costumed Bat-Guy in green? Why, it's Batman himself! Say, they really should make an action figure of that outfit.


Whoa! That's a whole lotta grin for the Dark Knight. This must be Earth-Haney! Yep, as we can tell from the swingin' Chinese teens! Aside from the unfortunate orange "flesh' coloring, which was a constant for all of DC's Asian characters for many years, this is actually a fairly nuanced and, despite the pageantry, a non-stereotypical scene. Especially Haney writing any father who approves of his kid! (See: Teen Titans.) Why, this story is just plain fun for everybody!


Then there's some adventures and crimes and hitting and, oh, looks like the bad guy dies along the way, but all's well that ends with the divine spirit of God's wrath on Earth makin' jokes with Batman.


So, Happy New Year, everybody! And in this Year of the Horse, please try to be more tolerant of bronies.

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 31: The Soul Gun

The Soooooooooooooul Gun! The hippest trip in outer space!


Panel from "Soul Gun Warrior" in 2000 AD Progs 867-872 (25 December 1993-28 January 1994), script by Alan McKenzie, pencils and inks by Shaky Kane




Thursday, January 30, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 30: The 297th Bounty Hunters' Squad Cruiser

Double-page spread from Jack Kirby's Galactic Bounty Hunters #2 (October 2006); script by Lisa Kirby, Michael Thibodeaux, Steve Robertson, Richard French; pencils by Michael Thibodeaux; inks by Karl Kesel, Scott Hanna, and Mike Royer; colors by Wil Quintana; letters by Dave Lanphear
(Click picture to King-size)

Jack Kirby's Galactic Bounty Hunters was a miniseries published by Marvel's Icon imprint, based on Kirby's unpublished sketches and notes for his Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers series at Pacific in the early 1980s. Kirby's daughter Lisa, along with Michael Thibodeaux (The Last of the Viking Heroes, Phantom Force) developed the concepts into this six-issue series. So yes, Jack Kirby finally got a creator-owned title at Marvel, and the Kirby family gets the royalties from it. It only happened, however, after Jack had passed away. Isn't it ironic? Doncha think?

At 13th Dimension: "The Marvels That Time Forgot: Homer, The Happy Ghost"

Tonight on 13th Dimension, my pal John has written about a Marvel Comic you've probably never heard of: Homer, the Happy Ghost!


Panels from Homer, The Happy Ghost #1 (November 1969), script by Stan Lee, art by Dan DeCarlo.

YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO READ ABOUT HOMER THE HAPPY GHOST SO GO READ

And if you haven't bookmarked 13th Dimension already for comics news, features, and fun, go do it now!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 29: Hydra's Spy Camera

As one of the great thinkers of our age once orated
I always feel like somebody's watching me
And I have no privacy
Whoa, I always feel like somebody's watching me
Tell me is it just a dream?
Words so true they cut deep to the heart of our paranoia about the NSA watching us argue on comic book board discussion groups about whether the Powerpuff Girls should grow up or not. But even smack dab in the rich nougaty center of the Cold War, some guys were watching other guys. In this case, an agent of HYDRA* is peeping in on Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.**!


Panel from "Find Fury or Die!" in Strange Tales #136 (September 1965), co-plot and script by Stan Lee, co-plot and layouts by Jack Kirby, finishes by John Severin, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek

Geez, Hydra-Guy. Could that super-secret spy camera be more conspicuouslistenstar (he said, in his Chandler Bing voice)? For Pete's sake, dude, use a Polaroid One Step! It's less suspicious! And if it was good enough for Jim Rockford and Zarabeth, it oughta be good enough for HYDRA!



Wow, that was so close to being the world's first selfie, wasn't it?

Here's a longer view of the Hydra Spy Camera in action, and whoa mama! i hope that guy doesn't have acrophobia! That's a bee-yootiful panel, isn't it, by the way? Great all around: Jack's layouts, Sevrein's very sharp inks, and a wonderful color palette from Stan Goldberg. And since that HYDRA spy is sixty-seven stories up on the facade of the Chrysler Building, it made have one humdinger of a zoom lens.


My conclusion from all this: 10,000 Maniacs were HYDRA agents. Aw, no, Natalie, say it ain't so!



*Hanging Yonder, Dangling Really Acrobatically
**See How I Espy Little Dudes


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 28: Baron Zemo's Vibra-Gun

The Vibra-Gun wielded by the Amazonian slaves of Baron Zemo against Captain America isn't one of Kirby's most cosmic devices, but it's pretty impressive. Early in the Marvel Age, Jack's devices were often more symmetrical and easier to suss out their purpose. (Not much KirbyTech has tires on it.)


Panels from The Avengers (1963 series) #7 (August 1964), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Chic Stone, letters by Artie Simek

Then again, the Vibra-Gun certainly has the most bizarre and probably imprecise sights ever invented. Hey, look, Cap is doing his Harry Potter cosplay! Although it's not elaborated on in the text or dialogue, the Vibra-Gun seems to destroy things by emitting a massive vibrating ray which shakes its targets to pieces. (See, for comparison, the gloves of Spider-Man foe the Shocker)


Whatever the workings of the Vibra-Gun, you have to tip your 5,000 hats of Jack Kirby to the King, who's designed it to be earth-shattering yet so simple to use that Captain America can suss out how to use it in an instant, right on the battlefield. Here he instantly destroys Zemo' "Palace," which if you ask me looks like a wooden hut covered with palm fronds. Geez, Cap, way to use overkill. A stiff breeze woulda knocked that thing over.


On the other hand, not every one of Kirby's fancy electronic devices was a winner.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Today in Comics History: Paparazzi capture scandalous nude photographs of the Pleiades


Panels from "Our Strange Universe" in Showcase #19 (March-April 1959), scripter and artist unknown

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 27: The Celestials' Three Passenger Descent Vehicle

Well, we can say at least this about the Celestials...


Page from The Eternals (1976 series) #1 (July 1976), script and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by John Verpoorten, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Gaspar Saladino

...THEIR ELEVATOR TECHNOLOGY WAS LIGHT-YEARS BEYOND OURS.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Today in Comics History: The first episode of "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" is not a huge success


Panel from "The BBC Riot Panic" in The Big Book of Hoaxes (September 1996), script by Carl Sifakis, pencils by Lee Moder

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 26: Virman Vundabar's Murder Machine

Yesterday we said "hello" to The Murder Machine! (Hi, Murder Machine!) It's a name so nice Jack used it twice! You've seen the Psycho-Man's Murder Machine, now meet Doctor Virman Vundabar's Murder Machine!


Cover of Mister Miracle #5 (November-December 1971), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks and letters by Mike Royer

Holy cow. That's one murdery machine.



Today in Comics History: Big-screen TVs are invented just in time for Super Bowl XXIV


Panel from "Starlord: First House: Earth!" in Marvel Preview #4 (January 1976), script by Steve Englehart, pencils and inks by Steve Gan