Saturday, August 19, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

They love me in Poland

(File this one under "Boring metapost about the mechanics of blogging"...)

StatCounter, the website hits and referrals tracker of choice here at Comics Oughta Be Fun, has just rolled out one of those bells-and-whistles features that might be of use to a business or commercial site but which is utterly useless but oh so fun to those of us in the Spider-Man Did What?!? Blogosphere Community: a Google Map image that shows you where your hits are coming from:

Google Map!

On the master image inside StatCounter, each individual "pin" is clickable to show you exactly what geographical location your surfers are coming from. (So thanks for browsing, Tom Giarrosso of 217 West Eighty-Seventh Street, Apartment 3A, from the left-hand side of the dining room table!)

I want to thank those of you all clustered around the tri-state area and up and down the Atlantic coast, my West Coast posse, the Bully-fans gathered in the Louisiana Purchase, all me mates in the UK, and I hope that sole browser in Canada found my 10% Canadian content by law (I think I blogged about Alpha Flight a few months ago.)

My only disappointment? No browsers from Iceland. Which must mean my celebrity crush is occupied with some other small cute animal right now...:
She gives me the bird


A six-word review

The title was the best thing.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Beware...The Memeingning

BeaucoupKevin started this one.

What, no Michael Caine?
Make your own here! (Unless you're a Mac user with Safari.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Kobayashi Maru

I'll be reviewing this week's comics as soon as I stop sniffling and when I can find my black-and-gold memorial armband, but in the meantime, let's look at this house ad from this week's DC comics:
JLoA House Ad

More specifically:
JLoA House Ad closeup

Whoa. Now that's what I call a no-win scenario.

Everybody has an evil twin...

...but I was kinda hoping mine would have a cool goatee.

Terror Bull

Also, I was hoping my evil twin wouldn't be quite so doughy.

From the paper of record, today's New York Daily News

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The World's Imitatedest Comic Magazine Logo!

A few months back I posted one of my patented Bully-Mega-Posts™ about the history and evolution of the title logo for the Fantastic Four comic book—and my love of that wacky, quirky, retro lettering that signals the World's Greatest Comic Magazine:
FF title logo

A thing of beauty. A joy forever.

On one of my many gleeful skips through the online treasure trove that is The Grand Comic Book Database, I found a few more examples of this font at work, but as opposed to my earlier examples, on non-Fantastic Four comics that celebrate the fury and the fun that is the FF not only in the logo but in parodying or pastiching famous FF covers.

The cover of the first issue Fantastic Four has been parodied or homaged dozens of times (a whole lotta them by John Byrne), but here's a cover that salutes not only the design but the logo of FF #1: last year's ultra-fun Fin Fang Four:
Fing Fang Four/FF #1

And when you're talking about fun comic books, you've got to include Alan Moore's genre-spanning Tom Strong series from ABC, which was to my little eyes one of the most gleeful celebrations of the joy and wonder of comics. Tom Strong referenced the FF logo not once but twice, adapting classic Kirby covers for Mister Strong and company, first in Tom Strong #15, substituting fire for water in a salute to the famous FF #4:
Tom Strong #15/FF# 4

...and again in Tom Strong #21, homaging FF #26:
Tom Strong #21/FF# 26

I know Mister Kirby was of two minds about referencing and homaging his work, but I hope he would have realized it's done out of respect and admiration in cases like these. Me, I just love any time anyone can adapt that 1960s Marvel design and those glorious bombastic caption boxes and jaggy-edged lettering to the modern day. Gotta love that "America's Best Comics" line at the top of the page!

Tom Strong referenced many, many different historical comics logos and covers in its run. Possibly I'll run 'em down some day in this blog, but for the moment my eyes are full of wonder and sparkle over these adaptations of my favorite comic book title logo. Excelsior to you, Fantastic Four logo...'nuff said, true believers!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ten of a Kind: Snakes on a Cover

In honor of the greatest motion picture in the history of the cinema opening this week at a theater near you:

Extra bonus tip from Bully: until you have read Snake 'n' Bacon's Cartoon Cabaret, your life is not complete. Simply the funniest collection of comic stories in the past few years. If you don't like it, I don't even wanna guess what you think is funny.

(More Ten of a Kind here.)

Meme Weekend continues: A League of Your Own

LOEG b/wSpeaking of memes, more than two months ago I inadvertently (well, at least not advertently) started a mini-meme: who would be in your modern League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? (My nominations: Sid Halley, Lovejoy, Hawk, Hermione Granger, and Steve Zizzou.) While I created my list mainly for my own amusement and the fewer-than-100 people who look at my blog daily, I was pleasantly surprised that a talented handful of Bully-readers responded with their own creative, innovative, and varied Leagues that made me exclaim with delight "Oooh, I wish I'd thought of that!" I'd promised at one point to round them all up but the combination of a hectic and harried summer and my intensive, time-consuming battles with the Lego Star Wars video game drove it out of my little stuffed mind.

Until now. Let's take a look at your Leagues, shall we?

I imposed an artificial definition on each of the five members of my League: The Leader, The Rogue, The Muscle, The Woman of Mystery, and The Guy with a Boat, and most people took those definitions as gospel and slotted their League right in those spots. (For the record, I wouldn't have minded if you broke those definitions!) In addition, many people picked a sixth member to serve as the League Mastermind, the brainpower behind the field operations. That hadn't occurred to me, so it was a great addition!

Chawunky picked Mary Poppins, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Ford Prefect, Tock the Watchdog from The Phantom Tollbooth, Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, A Wrinkle in Time's Meg Murry and, as the brains of the operation, Willy Wonka. Brilliant!

The Fortress Keeper nominated Doctor Who (the fourth, fifth, or ninth Doctor), Lost in Space's Dr. Zachary Smith, Sin City's Marv (or Godzilla as a back-up choice!), Jiao Long from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea's Admiral Harriman Nelson, and, as his "bonus brainy guy," TV's Monk. "Imagine him cleaning up after these guys!" quips the FK.

Simon picks Al Giardello from Homicide: Life on the Street, The Talented Mr. (Tom) Ripley, Mrs. Emma Peel of The Avengers, Terry Tsurugi from The Street Fighter, Hagbard Celine from The Illuminatus! Trilogy, and TV's MacGyver (and he even spells it correctly, which gets him major points in my book!).

Mabster contributed a clever SF-themed League: Pham Nuwen from Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep, Ford Prefect, Batou from Ghost In The Shell, Teela Brown (Larry Niven's Ringworld series), Olmy/Thistledown from Greg Bear's novels, and, as the mastermind, Robert A. Heinlein's Lazarus Long. Sci-fi-riffic!!

Matthew gets extra bonus points for posting the following brilliant observation: "Did you realize that the A-Team fits this five-person team model perfectly? You have to change 'boat' to 'plane' to fit Murdock in, but other than that..." Brilliant, Matthew...I love it when a plan comes together! Matthew also contributes an amazing themed league: The League of Extraordinary Canadian Gentlemen: Dominic da Vinci from the TV show Da Vinci's Inquest, Keycase Milne from Arthur Hailey's Hotel, Buddy the Goon from Warren Zevon's "Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)", Victory Nelson (from the novels of Tanya Huff), and Tractor Jack, from the Arrogant Worms song "Pirates of the Saskatchewan." Even more bonus points for your maple-leaf themed League, Matthew!

Crucible nominated F'lar from Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series, Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne, David Gemmel's Druss ("why would you choose anyone but the man with the Axe?" asks Crucible...why indeed!), Elspeth Gordie from Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn Chronicles, and from Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga, Amos Trask. Literally fantastic!

Finally, Anonymous suggested a whole slew of potential candidates, a list so good s/he shouldn't have posted anonymously!: Willard Stiles from The Ratman's Notebooks by Gilbert Ralston, Charlie McGee from Stephen King's Firestarter, Ishmael from the novel by Daniel Quinn, Harry Potter's Severus Snape, Susan Fletcher from Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, Ronin Samurai from Sensei by John Donohue, three-inch tall George from William Joyce's George Shrinks (brilliant!), and Special Agent Mark Beamon from Kyle Mills's Rising Phoenix. Anonymous goes for extra credit by being the only memer to propose a villainous group for his League to battle: Agatha Christie's The Big Four.

You people impress the heck out of me, do you know that? Thanks one and all for playin', and I wouldn't say no to new nominations!

Bueller? Bueller?Finally, most posters reminded me I didn't assign anyone to the Mycroft Holmes role in the Alan Moore original. You're right, guys—every great League needs a mastermind, a brilliant brain whose quicksilver mind leaves his antagonists in the dust, who inspires awe, respect, admiration, and the utter devotion of his friends and followers, if not his siblings. No single man can fill that position in my League better than Ferris Bueller, as adept at plotting ten steps ahead as he is of diving into a situation on the fly. He's a master of disguise, whether it's as a voice on the phone or his uncanny impersonation of Abe Frohman, the Sausage King of Chicago. He takes good care of his friends. He's a folk hero to his peers. He knows how to fake out the parents with the clammy palms. And his philosophy is second to none: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." League or no, we should all live by such a creed. Go get 'em, big guy.

Who's in your League?