Saturday, December 04, 2010

Same Story, Different Cover: Omnia interit, nihil mutantur

God Loves, Man Kills

L-R: 1. Marvel Graphic Novel #5 (1982), art by Brent Anderson
2. X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills one-shot (August 1994), art by Bill Sienkiewicz
3. X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills Special Edition one-shot (2003), art by Adam Hughes. Hey, what's Phoenix and Banshee doin' here?
4. X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills hardcover (2007), art by Brent Anderson
5. The Uncanny X-Men: God Loves Man Kills Pocketbook (2007), art by ?

(Click picture to taller-than-Jesus-size)

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 338

Amazing Adventures #13
Panel from Amazing Adventures #13 (July 1972), script by Steve Englehart, pencils by Tom Sutton, inks by Frank Giacoia, letters by John Costanza

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 4: So Bring 'Em On Already!

You know you want it.

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Wiley vs. Rhodes

Despite the name of this feature, it's not a cartoon...or is it?

Wiley vs. Rhodes (2010) by Apache Pictures

Via my pal dbborroughs

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 4

Archie Giant Series #20
Archie Giant Series Magazine #20 (January 1963)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Steve Austin vs. a Crocodile!

No, no, not "Stone Cold" Steve Austin...sorry, wrestling fans...but actually Colonel Steve Austin, the Twenty-Six and a Half Million Dollar Man (adjusted for inflation).

The Six Million Dollar Man #4
Cover of The Six Million Dollar Man #4 (December 1976), cover art by Jack Sparling

Oh, sure, we all remember when Steve fought Bionic Bigfoot and the Fembots. (That great alt-rock band of the mid-seventies). But have we ever seen The Man with the Scientific Kung-Fu Grip battle an actual crocodile? No, we have not. Hey, and he'd better get there quick, because apparently that cold-blooded reptile is stalking a Disney Princess! Better sing your longing song quick, princess!

The Six Million Dollar Man #4
Pages from The Six Million Dollar Man #4 (December 1976), script by Joe Gill; pencils, inks, and letters by Joe Staton, except for: inks by Jack Sparling on Steve's face throughout, colors by Wendy Fiore

Will be be in time to prevent the Princess? It's pretty tense even when we can't hear that familiar neh-neh-neh-neh-neh of Dr. Rudy Wells's patented steam-powered bionics in action!

But don't be too worried, folks! All of Colonel Austin's dangerous underwater stunts are actually performed by Hollywood stuntman Colt Seavers! (He's been seen with Farrah, too.)

The Six Million Dollar Man #4

YEE-HAW! Ride 'em, Cyborg!

The Six Million Dollar Man #4

And now we find out that this crocodile infested sea is in...the desert? What the heck, Charlton Comics? I call shenanigans on that! But, hey, Steve always gets the girl...even if she does have eggs instead of ears.

The Six Million Dollar Man #4

Ummm, maybe the guys with the rifles could have done something about that crocodile? Huh, guys? Or was it your hookah break? Well, you can't blame them for slackin' off, seeing as their sun is going supernova behind them.

So there you go. Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, our country's most advanced human/cyborg weapon, is a powerful deterrent against the invasion of aquatic reptiles. Put that in your report and toss it on Oscar Goldman's desk without checking in with his secretary Peggy Callahan first, huh? Now that's a real man's man! Betcha NBC's Saturday night spin-off bionictress Jaime Sommers couldn't fight a big aquatic beast...

The Bionic Woman #2

Oh. Wow. I...I stand corrected, Ms. Sommers.

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 337

X-Men/Power Pack #2
Page from X-Men and Power Pack #2 (January 2006), script by Marc Sumerak, art by GuriHiru Studios, letters by Dave Sharpe

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 3: Buy It Before We Bury It

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 3

Veronica #197
Veronica #197 (January 2010), art by Dan Parent

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Obscure Pop Culture References of Grant Morrison, #428

JLA #39
Panels from JLA #39 (March 2000), script by Grant Morrison, pencils by Howard Porter, inks by John Dell, colors by Pat Garrahy, letters by Ken Lopez

"Child Psychology" by Black Box Recorder (1998)
Video will open in a new window

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 336

Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe #1

Page portion from Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe (July 1989), script and pencils by Fred Hembeck, inks by Vince Colletta, colors by Steve Mellor, letters by Janice Chiang
Say, just where are Beast and Spidey "going up" to? Click on the panel for the full-page shocker!

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 2: Even Our Name Says Merry Christmas (If You Spell it Wrong)

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 2

Archie Giant Series Magazine #205
Archie Giant Series Magazine #205 (January 1973), art by Stan Goldberg

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Business Cards of the Superheroes

Sense & SensibilityBusiness cards! What do they have to do with comic books? And that's a very good question. Me, I say instead to you...what don't they have to do with comic books? (And that's another very good question.) To answer one or another or maybe both or perhaps neither of those questions, let's go right to the expert, Marvel Comics writer "Jolly" Jane Austen:
"I did myself the honour of calling in Berkeley Street last Tuesday, and very much regretted that I was not fortunate enough to find yourselves and Mrs. Jennings at home. My card was not lost, I hope."—Willoughby to Elinor in Sense and Sensibility
Also, Jane Austen wrote that dynamite Marvel Team-Up which teamed up Peter Parker and Lizzy Bennet against the Mephisto-possessed Mr. Darcy. Oh, how I read that comic again and again and again until it fell to pieces. Pity they published it on a cracker.

In any case, today's modern business cards have their origin in the calling cards of Victorian days, and just like the those gas-lit, cobble-stoned, horse-dunged years, the strict etiquette of leaving behind a calling card when visiting another's house isn't followed much anymore. Especially by Ben Grimm, whose calling card is your front door busted into bits.

But today's superheroes and villains and mutants and aliens and Galacti need to advertise themselves and their services, and in the absence of spinning a spider web around a crook or punching a nogoodnik in the chin so hard he has a skull scar for the rest of his life (and I think we all know how fateful that can be), a simple printed 3.5 x 2 inch pasteboard card can bring in the business opportunities every leotard-wearin' crimefighter craves. In other words: 1: Business card. 2: ??? 3. CRIMEFIGHTING!

Now, we're not talking about one of those newfangled identity cards:

Captain America #125

...but rather an informational, if somewhat obscure, guide to contacting someone who may be able to help you (emphasis not mine). Once in possession of this card, you can then go to Westchester, New York and...well, I dunno, stand in a field and yell "XAVIER?" for a while.

FF #203

Superheroes were slow to adopt the idea of handing out business cards, but they were continually surrounded by employees of industries who used them daily. Like, say, the mad men of the Carter & Lombardo Advertising Agency: "Rascally" Carter and "Smilin'" Lombardo. They didn't have a phone, but they had a lot of heart. Also, five-martini lunches.

Amazing Spider-Man #126

To avoid being pestered by the millions of readers who bought Marvel Comics monthly, local businesses often blurred or faded the phone numbers on their business cards when they let the Marvel Bullpen product-place 'em in a story:

Vision & the Scarlet Witch

Of course, there are other businessmen...even other Normans...who don't mind if you give 'em a ring. Go ahead, dial the number! Maybe you can ask him why his base of operations is in midtown Manhattan and his phone number is in Seattle. Then, ask him if his refrigerator is functioning properly!

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #4

Yes, even cool execs with hearts of steel and yet no necks use business cards:

Iron Man v.3 #70

Sometimes you can trace a business's evolution through archeology of its business cards. When irrepressible private jokester and professional hair dye model Matt Murdock thrusts his business card at a crook under arrest (or, at least, a crook kept moving), it's lucky that he can't see what it is that he's offering.

Amazing Spider-Man #16

No, no, he hasn't handed out his loyalty card for one free gyro with purchase of ten at Natchios' Greek Diner! (He can tell that one by its distinctive scent of tahini sauce.) Instead, take a big steaming gawking gander at this beauty of hip swinging fab groovy typography, baby!:

Daredevil #130

Later, Matt developed a certain knack for blindly handing out business cards to purple-and-green suited master criminals. Yep, gentlemen that Mr. Murdock was certain were already guilty because he "saw" them commit the crime and apprehended them as Daredevil, but hey, what the heck, he'll defend them in court anyway. What a unique way to keep your secret identity, Matt! So much for all that "I will not counsel or maintain any suit_or proceeding which shall appear to me to be unjust,_nor any defense except such as I believe to be_honestly debatable under the law of the land" nonsense, huh?

Spidey-Super Stories #43

Still, and this is the important part, at least his business card looks a little more professional now. Don't try to find their offices, though! Just for a laugh, they've relocated from Hell's Kitchen to New Jersey, judging by the area code.

Alias #3

And then there's the phone number you can give to your clients when you don't care if they know you're a fictional character:

Spider-Woman: Origin #5

In today's cutthroat modern executive world, a great logo is also a must-have. Then again, comic books are the medium in which the very first issue of a series can have a logo completely obscured by Rob Liefeld's giant, giant heads. So it's probably no surprise that you could look at this one and pronounce it "Zorporation."

Cable & Deadpool #1

But remember: a really sharp, professionally designed business card with a great logo is worth the price of checking proofs and matching fonts and unrasterizing pdfs and putting a really cool spider design on your card.

Spider-Man Noir #3

Why, you can get great publicity with your business card simply by it being better designed than the local daily newspaper!

Spider-Man Noir #3

Business cards: before there was Facebook, they were around. They're a great way to spread the message of your firm or cause and handy and portable enough to hand out to girls on the street who lost out on their big audition for the cast of NYX:

Spider-Man: Extra #2

Still, just like avoiding predators (and aliens) on the internet, be cautious: you might wind up having a date with swingin' septuagenarian May Parker!

Spider-Man: Extra #2

Sometimes, to maintain a sense of mystery, your business card can be a "teaser" for your services. One look at this business card and you'll know for sure who's the hero behind the card:

Daredevil #122

That's right...everybody knows and loves Blackwing! Oh wait. I got that wrong. Nobody knows or loves Blackwing. Why do you think he was handing out those business cards? That is, until he was sued by Wayne Industries and Batman Inc. Now he has 34,979 cards sitting in his garage.

Daredevil #122

Of course, then there's the criminals too cheap to order personal business cards. You know how Batman always has trouble tracking down the Joker before the end of the story? How about asking game stores and playing card manufacturers about the guys who is buying several hundred decks of cards and tossing away fifty-two of them?

Batman #1

Or, y'know, you could just toss your business card in the gutter. Along with that dog carcass in the alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. Mmmm, beans.


So, let's do a roundup of some of the most important rules to remember about business card usage. Number one: If you're an employee of the United States government in the 1960s and you're handing a card to a black woman, your business card is probably gonna be blank.

Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #2

Two: Never print a card with script typography in all-caps. Seriously, you idiot. Don't do that. That's the reason people hate mutants, not the wings.

Astonishing Tales #2

Finally, supervillains: there's a wrong way and a right way to design a business card. Check out this design! It's the lamest of all possible worlds. Also, it's about six inches by four.

Taskmaster #1

Whereas this is the most freakin' awesome business card in the universe, folks!

Man-Thing #3

So in conclusion: for best results, hand out your business card and make certain your customer hangs onto it.

Ultimate X-Men #14

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 335

Avengers #200
Page from Avengers #200 (October 1980), co-plot by Jim Shooter and Bob Layton, co-plot and script by David Michelinie, co-plot and breakdowns by George Perez, finishes by Dan Green, colors by Ben Sean, letters by John Costanza, Ms. Marvel's baby by bad editorial decision

Read more about the Beast's calculator here. Who says this isn't the boisterous Bully age of historical backstory info?

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 1: Christmas Evil

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 1

Little Archie #17
The Adventures of Little Archie #17 (December 1960), art by Bob Bolling

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 334

Avengers #167
Panel from X-Men: First Class Giant-Size Special #1 (December 2008), script by Jeff Parker, art by Michael Cho, letters by Nate Piekos

Monday, November 29, 2010


Psst! Be quiet! Bully is sleeping.

Bully is sleeping

Due to many circumstances beyond his control, Bully has to take a short nap break for a couple days. (Don't make any loud noises, please!) He promises he'll be back on December 1 with usual features and some pre-Christmas countdown fun, and of course 365 Days with Hank McCoy continues even while he's dozing away!

So, shut off the light and let the little guy sleep for a wee bit. He had a rough weekend.

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 333

Avengers #167
Panel from Avengers #167 (January 1978), co-plot by Roger Stern, co-plot and script by Jim Shooter, pencils by George Pérez, inks by Pablo Marcos, colors by Phil Rachelson, letters by Joe Rosen

Sunday, November 28, 2010

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 332

Avengers #140
Panel from Avengers #140 (October 1975), script by Steve Englehart, pencils by George Tuska, inks by Vince Colletta, colors by Petra Goldberg, letters by Charlotte Jetter