Saturday, March 21, 2009

Separated at Birth: Re-drawing Comics the Marvel Way

FF #3/Black Panther #27
L: Fantastic Four #39 (June 1965), art by Jack Kirby, Chic Stone and Wally Wood
R: The Marvel Saga #20 (July 1987), art by Keith Pollard and Jose Marzan Jr.
(Click picture to Saga-size)

365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 80

Fallen Son: Avengers #2
Panel from Fallen Son: The Death Of Captain America #2 (June 2007), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils by Ed McGuinness, inks by Dexter Vines, colors by Jason Keith, letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Swing You Sinners!

Swing You Sinners! (1930), a Fleischer Studios Talkartoon directed by Dave Fleischer

Friday, March 20, 2009

365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 79

Marvel Age #10
Panel from Marvel Age #10 (January 1984), art by Terry Austin

Thursday, March 19, 2009

365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 78

MTIO #13
Panel from Marvel Two-in-One #13 (January 1976), script by Roger Slifer and Len Wein, plot by Marv Wolfman, pencils by Ron Wilson, inks by Vince Colletta, colors by Petra Goldberg, letters by Joe Rosen

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dumbass Things You Shouldn't Do in the Marvel Universe, Number 3

Here's a fair warning to those ordinary civilians of the Marvel Universe. Sure, Spidey's a friendly guy who'll wave at you as he swings over Manhattan, and Captain America will stop and shake your hand and remind you that folks like you are the real hero. Even The Thing will shoot back a gruff but charmingly witty rejoinder if you remind him about that time Terrax punched him through the Chrysler Building.

But never, ever, even dare to tell Namor the Sub-Mariner no shirt, no service...
Namor #3
All comics panels in this post are from Namor, The Sub-Mariner #3 (June 1990), script and pencils by John Byrne, inks by Bob Wiacek, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Ken Lopez

Because he'll give you the Atlantean Withering Gaze of Utter Disdain™.
Namor #3

So, remember. Don't do that thing.

And say hey, true bullievers, what magazine is that nurse reading anyway? Could it be the hot-off-the-newsstand latest issue of J. Jonah Jameson's Now (cover story: 'Spider-Man, His Makeup and Hairdo Tips: Are They Threat or Menace?")? Well, whatever the magazine is, let's take a little closer gander at its pages:
Namor #3

Hmmm, just who are those two guys spotlighted in the mag? Sadly, we never find out, as the Marvel Implosion of 1990 cancelled the debut issue Wisecracking Sassy Nurse #1 before it even came off the presses. (And she was dressing down Wolverine for eating a ham without a fork and knife in the first issue, too!) So, in the words of that Tootsie Pop narrator, "the world may never know."

But here's my guess...could it be...Namor inker Bob Wiacek and writer/penciller John Byrne (seen here in photos from the entries on Wiacek and Byrne?:
Wiacek and Byrne

Honestly, that's just a guess. I really don't know. And short of venturing into the wild, untamed territory of the Byrne Robotics Forum and posing a question for "JB" (remember, it's rude to answer the question before Mister B. gets a chance to!), I'm probably not gonna know.

But I like to think that in a word where Norse gods walk the earth and intelligent robots get to marry hot Balkan chicks who later go nutzoid and remake the world in the image of an issue of What If?, that maybe there are magazines that celebrate that cadre of creators at Marvels Comics who portray our amazing, uncanny, incredible, invincible, and fantastic heroes.

All the same, if Byrne and Wiacek walk into her hospital, they darn well better be wearing shirts.

365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 77

FF #67
Panel from Fantastic Four #67 (October 1967), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Artie Simek

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Well, that'll happen.

Tales of Suspense #41
Panel from Tales of Suspense #41 (March 1963), plot by Stan Lee, script by Robert Bernstein (aka R. Berns), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers, letters by Marty Epp

365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 76

Strange Tales #105
Panel from Franklin Richards: Sons of Geniuses #1 (January 2009), story and script by Marc Sumerak, story, art and letters by Chris Eliopoulos, color by Brad Anderson

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Visit to Bergen Street Comics!

Bonjour from Brooklyn, my home town! Here we are in beautiful Park Slope, my own stompin' grounds (please do not stomp after ten PM), and I'm out and about to Bergen Street (just off Flatbush Avenue, take the 2 train to Bergen Street and look for the giant cow statue outside Pintchik Hardware), making a voyage to the new comic book and graphic novel shop in the neighborhood, Bergen Street Comics. Come along with me, woncha? (C'mon! I'll buy you an issue of Action Philosophers, 'kay?)

Today's excursion is to Bergen Street Comics

Bergen Street Comics is run by friendly, amiable Brooklyn locals Tom and Amy Adams, who greeted me with a smile and a cheerful hello as I strolled in through the door. And it's not like they knew I was a celebrity or nothin'...I coulda been any little stuffed bull wandering into the shop! We didn't get a chance to go to their opening party the evening before, but Amy told us it had been a roaring success with lots of people and a good deal of celebration. Way to go, guys!

Where's Bully? It's like Waldo, but with comics. And Bully.
It's a gorgeous space...bright and airy but also warm and cozy, well-stocked but not overcrowded. The store is "L" shaped which allows a nice open space towards the back, and the walls have original artwork by the rotating current exhibiting artist. There's a wide range of recent floppies, both superhero and indies, against the back wall in an wide rack, and apparently even this space will be expanded in the not-too-distant future.

But where I was really impressed with Bergen Street is their very strong selection of graphic novels, displayed prominently not only on a large release table:

So much to see and read on the display table

...but also in extensive subject sections around the store that'll appeal to your interests in any type or category of graphic novels. Say that you like Ed McBain or Len Deighton? Well, they've got crime graphic novels for you, bub!:

You'll never take me alive, coppers!

In addition to well-rounded subject sections, lots and lots of indie graphic novels by Fantagraphics, Dark Horse, Oni, Drawn + Quarterly, First Second, more publishers large and small, lotsa manga, and large shelves of DC/Marvel—Bergen Street is also a very kid-friendly shop, with all-ages graphic novels located close to the ground (hooray on behalf of us short beings!) and right in front of the register.

Hooray! Books I'm allowed to look at

You know me: I can't step hoof inside a good shop without digging into my change purse, so I picked up a stack of cool stuff and trotted off to the register. Tom rang us up and chatted with us cheerfully. I think I've discovered my new LCS!

Tom rings up our purchases

Bergen Street Comics will be doing signings and other events, plus participating in Free Comic Book Day, but don't wait for a special occasion to visit—if you're in the New York/Brooklyn area, it's well worth a visit. It's very cheering to see beautifully laid-out and well-managed shops like Bergen Street, Rocketship and Desert Island in Brooklyn, and I wish them well and hope they thrive. I do stump for Amazon a bit in this blog, but don't think I only shop by oughta always support your local comic book store! Drop by, say hi to Tom and Amy Adams, pick up a few fun comics and GNs, and tell 'em a little stuffed bull sent ya!

I will come by and help you finish putting up your sign, Tom and Amy

365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 75

Strange Tales #105
Panel from Strange Tales #105 (February 1963), plot by Stan Lee, script by Larry Lieber, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dick Ayers, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Art Simek

Sunday, March 15, 2009

365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 74

X-Men: The Hidden Years #8
from X-Men: The Hidden Years #9 (Marvel, August 2000), script, pencils, and letters by John Byrne, inks by Tom Palmer, colors by Greg Wright