Saturday, December 18, 2010

Same Story, Different Cover: Ice, Ice, Baby

Avengers and Avengers Classic #4

L: Avengers #4 (March 1964), art by Jack Kirby and George Roussos
R: Avengers Classic #4 (November 2007), art by Arthur Adams and Laura Martin

(Click picture to Star-Spangled-Banner*-size)

*Not to be confused with Robert Bruce Banner-size.

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 352

Marvel Holiday Special 1994
Page from Marvel Holiday Special 1994 one-shot (1994), script by Kurt Busiek, pencils by James Fry, inks by Neil Vokes, colors by Steve Mattson, letters by Richard Starkings f

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 18: We're cavemen who don't have paper but do we have cereal. And Christmas.

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Toy Tinkers (1949)

Toy Tinkers starring Donald Duck and Chip 'n Dale (December 16, 1949), directed by Jack Hannah (1949)

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 18

Archie Giant Series Magazine #455
Archie Giant Series Magazine #455 (January 1977)

Friday, December 17, 2010

At least one thing Deadpool does better than Batman...

...he tells a joke better than Batman.

Wolverine Origins #23
Panels from Wolverine: Origins #23 (May 2008), script by Daniel Way, pencils and inks by Steve Dillon, colors by Matt Milla, letters by Cory Petit

You wanna know the impressive part? Deadpool got his fingers cut off just before telling this joke. You think that's easy? Well, let me remind you: Bob Newhart, Lenny Bruce, Robert Klein, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Bill Hicks, Eddie Izzard...not one of these greats have performed without their fingers. If James Doohan had done stand-up comedy, he might be one-tenth as impressive as Deadpool. But he didn't. So there you go: another superhero who can tell a joke better than Batman.

Join us again next week when Storm recites dirty limericks better than Batman!

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 351

Uncanny X-Men #341
Splash page from Uncanny X-Men #341 (February 1997), credits are right up there on the page, look 'em up yourself

This is, of course, a riff on an earlier, splash page from [Uncanny] X-Men #98 (which I talked about a little during 24 Hours with Jack Kirby) Sure, this earlier one's a pretty good splash by the great Dave Cockrum...but does it have Hank McCoy? It does not.

Uncanny X-Men #98

My point...and I do have that if you're going to hang around Rockefeller Center, make it either with Hank McCoy or with Liz Lemon. Or, for maximum fun, both.

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 17: Even Batman loves Goldfrapp

Go ahead, give yourself an early Christmas present.

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 17

Archie Giant Series Magazine #31
Archie Giant Series Magazine #31 (January 1965)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Men are from Mars, Women are from Themyscira

Ladies and gentlemen: meet Colonel Steve Trevor: jerk:

Wonder Woman #211
Panels from Wonder Woman #130 (May 1962), script by Robert Kanigher, pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Mike Esposito

Wait a minute, why is Diana even asking Steve to go out if he's already scheduled something with Wonder Woman? Is she just testing him? Is she trying to play with his mind? Is she as jerky as he is? Why, yes. Yes. And yes.

Wonder Woman #211

Well, that's certainly no way to behave on a date, huh? That's like going out to dinner with Clark Kent and just talking about how wonderful Superman is. And I think we've all done that. (Lookin' at you, Lois.) But is vivacious, modern, ambitious military woman Lt. Diana Prince gonna sit back and take this? Why, yes. Yes, she is. Pretty much, yes.

Wonder Woman #211

But, in a rare moment when Diana isn't accidentally stabbing herself on the edge of her glasses, and in a common moment when Robert Kanigher is continuing to write sexist captions, Diana puts aside her plot for hidiously demeaning revenge and instead accepts a date from Steve. A date that tells her exactly how worthy she is in Steve's hundred dollars, worth, in fact. (And that's in 1962 money!)

Wonder Woman #211

Now, if you had any doubt in your mind that Steve Trevor is a cold-hearted snake, just look into his eyes! He's been telling lies; he's a lover boy at play! He don't play by rules, so Diana, don't play the fool! (Also, don't dance with that cartoon cat...he's only in it for the cheezeburgers.)

Wonder Woman #211

Let's just skip all the in-between boring bits with a carnival and magic mirrors that show weird reflections of a person's personality and Wonder Woman acting like Bouncing Boy and a high-tech theft plotted by...heh heh heh...Angle Man...hee hee!...and just skip right to The Revenge of Diana, shall we?

Wonder Woman #211

Next issue: Lois Lane and Diana Prince: catfight! Or, so Kanigher promises us.

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 350

Marvel Treasury Edition #13
Marvel Treasury Edition #13
Panels from Marvel Treasury Edition #13 (1976), script by Roger Stern, pencils by George Tuska, inks by Don Perlin, colors by Don Warfield, letters by Gaspar Saladino

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 16: I got arms that long to hold you

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 16

Archie Giant Series Magazine #607
Archie Giant Series Magazine #607 (January 1990), art by Bob Bolling and Rudy Lapick

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Batman Tells Another Joke

As we saw in a previous installment, Batman has no sense of comedy timing. Or...does he?

Detective Comics #780
Panels from Detective Comics #780 (May 2003), script by Ed Brubaker, pencils by Tommy Castillo, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, colors by Jason Wright, letters by Todd Klein, he doesn't.

On the other hand, every stand-up comic sometimes has a bad audience. What happens if Batman practices his stand-up routine on a guy who appreciates a good guffaw?

Detective Comics #781
Panels from Detective Comics #781 (June 2003), script by Ed Brubaker, pencils by Tommy Castillo, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, colors by Jason Wright, letters by Todd Klein

Ah, there you go! Batman was just playing to a tough audience. If you're ever attending Batman's comedy act in front of the brick wall down at the Chuckle Hut, make sure you laugh. You don't want to be that guy. Don't be...the Heckler!

Detective Comics #781
Panel from The Heckler #2 (October 1992), co-plot and pencils by Keith Giffen; co-plot by Tom Bierbaum and Mary Bierbaum; inks by Malcolm Jones III, colors by Tom McCraw, letters by Bob Pinaha

So remember: Criminals are a cowardly, superstitious, and easily-amused lot.

Detective Comics #781

Also, don't work blue. Isn't that right, Superman?

Darn Straight Superman!

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 349

Strange Tales #167

Panel portion from Marvel Digital Holiday Special #1 (December 2008), script by Jim McCann, pencils and inks by Todd Nanck, colors by Christopher Sotomayor, letters by Dave Sharpe
(Click picture to see the whole tableaux in holly-jolly-size)

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 15: After the Robot Holocaust

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 15

Betty and Veronica #204
Betty and Veronica #204 (January 2005)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our Animal Pals: "Hey, Where's Perry?"

Okay, everybody, you know the lyrics, sing along!:

Here come the animals
You'd better hide
They're going to stampede
(boom boom)
Hey, there's a monkey
Watch where you step
I think he's just peed

Tonight, on another exciting installment of "Our Animal Pals" (as seen in comic books throughout history), we spotlight...a freak of nature? Awww, is that any way to talk about our pal, the Voltron of the natural world, the platypus? (No. No, it is not, Charlton Comics. In retaliation, we will sell your characters to National Periodicals and later turn Captain Atom into a galactic super-tyrant. Justice...for the served!)

Blue Beetle v.2 #1
"Freaks of Nature!" from Blue Beetle v.2 #1 (June 1964), writer and artist unknown

So, ladies and gentlemen: the platypus. The Platypus.

Next time on "Our Animal Pals": either the baby kangaroo, or a giant mouse. We haven't figured out which one it is yet.

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 348

Marvel Holiday Special 1994
Panel from Marvel Holiday Special 1994 one-shot (1994), script by Kurt Busiek, pencils by James Fry, inks by Neil Vokes, colors by Steve Mattson, letters by Richard Starkings

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 14: When you can't get Angela Lansbury...

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 14

Jughead #65
Archie's Pal Jughead Comics #65 (February 1995), art by Stan Goldberg and Henry Scarpelli

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Night Murals: Stop Hurtfully Instigating Elaborate Loathsome Deeds

As we gear up for the greatest holiday of the year*, let's try something a little bit different in the mural department tonight. Let's not look at a cover mural...ah, c'mon, stop with the boos. (I'm too young to drink it!) Instead, feast your oculars upon comics' first four-page interconnected spread, from the mega-mind of Jim Steranko and his ground-breaking and senses-shattering work on the Nick Fury series in Strange Tales:

Strange Tales #167

Four pages from Strange Tales #167 (April 1968), script, pencils, and colors by Jim Steranko, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Sam Rosen
(Click picture to secret-volcano-lair-size)

Whoa. My little stuffed mind is officially blown. But let's let Jaunty Jim Steranko (and his pal Stan) explain it all for you:

Strange Tales #167

And how cool is Jolly Jim? So cool that he brings us another two-page spread at the end of the story:

Strange Tales #167

Huh...I'm beginning to suspect that that guy on the left is the same dude who I used to always lose to in Saturday Morning Chess Club. You know, I don't care what he haltingly told me...I don't think that's really Chess Grandmaster Lev Alburt after all!

*December 23: the birthday of Nick Fury, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.*

*Several Hippopotamuses Impersonating Elephants to Liqudate Dumbo

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 347

X-Men #25
Panel from X-Men Unlimited #25 (December 1999), script by Joe Pruett, pencils by Brett Booth, inks by Sal Regla, colors by Marie Javins and Jessica Ruffner, letters by Paul Tutrone

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 13: Later, he photographed the porpoises who saved his life

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 13

Betty and Veronica #60
Betty and Veronica #60 (February 1993), art by Dan DeCarlo and Alison Flood

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ten of a Kind: And in selected comics in 2-D

(More Ten of a Kind here.)

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 346

X-Men #27
Panel from X-Men #27 (December 1993), script by Fabian Nicieza, pencils by Richard Bennett, inks by Bob Wiacek and Scott Hanna, colors by Joe Rosas, letters by Bill Oakley

Christmas Commercial Countdown, Day 12: But don't watch it on the portable TV. It makes everybody look like John Candy!

A Riverdale Christmas, Day 12

Archie Giant Magazine Series #491
Archie Giant Magazine Series #491 (February 1980)