Saturday, June 04, 2011

Same Story, Different Cover: To Get You Ready for September's Duke of Oil #1

L: The Outsiders #7 (May 1986), cover art by Jim Aparo
R: Adventures of the Outsiders #35 (May 1987), reprinting Outsiders #7, cover art by Brian Bolland

(Click picture to Exxon-size)

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 155

Character designs for Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg from Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011),

Friday, June 03, 2011

Friday Night Fury Freakout: Done in One

Hey, we haven't done one of these in a while now, have we? It's time for your Hell's Kitchen Howler, the Roarin' Ranger himself, Sgt. Nick Fury! And...once again, he's freaking out. But what's got his goose in a simmer this time, ya think? Wouldja believe...

Panels from Sgt. Fury [and His Howling Commandos] #5 (January 1964), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by George Roussos, letters by Sam Rosen

...he's steamed over continued stories in comic books. Uh oh! Better not pick up any Marvel or DC books these days, Nick! (If he sees War of the Green Lanterns or Fear Itself, his bullet-shaped head might just explode!

But just what do G.I. Joes (the original real America heroes) like Fury, Dugan, Jones, Manelli, Cohen, Pinkerton, Koenig, and Forbush read instead of multi-issue comic book sagas?

Panel from Battle Action #30 (August 1957), art by Jay Scott Pike

Well, they're much more likely to be hunkering down under enemy fire reading military-focused newspapers and magazines featuring panel and strip cartoons like George Baker's Sad Sack, Milton Caniff's Male Call, Willie and Joe by Bill Mauldin or Dr. Seuss's Private Snafu.

The Sad Sack you might be familiar with is the eponymous hero of pretty much every Harvey comic book that didn't star Richie Rich or Casper or that scary giant talking duck in a diaper...seriously, what was up with that thing? Serious nightmare fuel. Anyway:

Panels from Sad Sack 359 (June 1956)

But the Sad Sack of WWII was a strip cartoon published in Yank, one of the era's leading military-only publications, written by and for servicemen. Below are a couple spreads from a contemporary issue of Life magazine (November 15, 1943), spotlighting Yank and its cartoons and artists. "Yank [is a] weekly magazine which is the most famous of all service publications. Despite its occasional amateurness, Yank's effective combination of serious war stories and pictures, cartoons, pin-ups, editorials and question-and-answer columns give it great popularity with soldiers everywhere....No officers write for Yank. Its editors and contributors are all enlisted men."

(Click to "Life"-size...and you can read more of the Life magazine article at Google Books.)

Which is not to say that there weren't comic books being produced during the Second Big One. Here's some actual on-the-lines footage of Sergeant Stan Lee and Corporal Dick Ayers following the antics of Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos. Later, of course, Lee and Ayers served in Korea as well, where Lee's life was saved by a team of wisecracking sardonic Army frontline doctors. So grateful was Sgt. Lee that he vowed to one day name one of his comic book characters after the unit's head surgeon. Now you know...the rest of the story.

Panels from Sgt. Fury [and His Howling Commandos] #22 (September 1965), written by (and starring) Stan Lee and drawn by (and starring) Dick Ayers

But if you look back at the sequence at the top of this post (oh yeah, forgot about that!) you'll notice Nick wanted to make sure that Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, Nazi and later head of HYDRA*, didn't read any lengthy comic book stories. Hmmm, what kind of comic books do you think Nazis read in the forties, huh?

Page from Wolverine: Origins #20 (February 2008), script by Daniel Way, pencils and inks by Steve Dillon, colors by Matt Milla, letters by Cory Petit

Oh. Apparently they were reading the DC/National Comics editions of Captain America.

To wrap up, here's another three-panel sequence of a Friday Night Fury Flippin' Freakout:

Panels from Sgt. Fury [and His Howling Commandos] #25 (December 1965), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Dick Ayers, inks by John Tartaglione, letters by Sam Rosen

Uh oh! That color ain't good for you, Nick! And so it proved to be: Nick Fury died of a massive coronary heart attack in 1946....and he was never seen again.

Then, he got funky.

*High-Pitched Yodeling Duet Recital Association

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 154

Panel from Thor (Burger King Exclusive Digital Comic) #2 (May 2011), script by Brian J.L. Glass, pencils and inks by Scott Koblish, colors by Antonio Fabela, letters by Clayton Cowles

Great Moments in Comic Book History: The Watcher moves out of his mom's basement and gets himself a groovy chick-magnet pad

Panel from Tales to Astonish #73 (November 1965), script by Stan Lee, layouts by Jack Kirby, finishes by Bob Powell and Mike Esposito, letters by Artie Simek

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The New DC: There's No Stopping Us Now

FLASH!: The entire DC Comics line of comic books will be re-launched with 52 new #1 issues in the month of September.

FLASH: Most of the titles have yet to be announced.

GREEN LANTERN!: But if yours little stuffed truly* owned DC, I think it would go...something like this:


  1. Superman #1
  2. Action Comics with Some Actual Action In It for Once #1/905
  3. Batman #1
  4. Detective Comics in Which Batman Detects Instead of Just Punching #1/882
  5. Batman, LLLP (Except in Delaware) #1

  1. Batgirl, Inc. starring Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown, and Cassandra Cain and Anyone Else You Want; Are You Happy Now? #1
  2. Birds of Prey and Hey, Let's Throw Hawkman in There Too #1
  3. Green Lantern Flip Book #1 (same story told on each side, one with Hal Jordan, one with Kyle Rayner)
  4. The Red and Orange and Yellow and Green and Blue and Indigo and Violet Lantern Corps #1
  5. Green Lantern's Butt #1 (for Sally)

  1. Batwoman: Did We Mention She's a Lesbian? #1
  2. I Shall Call This One The Time That Aquaman Spoke As If He Were Brian Blessed and Got His Own Book #1
  3. Green Arrow and Black Canary Boink #1
  4. Justice League of America and American Associated Free States and Possessions #1
  5. JLB: Justice League Bwah-Ha-Ha-Ha! #1

  1. The Not-Quite-All-New But Once Again Asian-American Atom #1
  2. The Flash Family of Fine Fleetfeets #1
  3. Two or Three Legions of Super-Heroes: We Hope You Can Tell Them Apart #1
  4. L.E.G.I.O.N. '11 #1
  5. ¡Arriba! ¡Blue Beetle! #1

  1. Jack Kirby's Fifth World starring Jack Kirby's Mr. Miracle and Jack Kirby's New Gods as Created by Jack Kirby #1
  2. Secret Sixty-Six #1
  3. Wonder Woman and Her Invisible Jet and Her Incredibly Supportive Boyfriend Steve Trevor #1 (for Ragnell)
  4. Teen Titans #1 — I don't care who's in it or what they do, just shove 'em all in there and let them sort it out themselves
  5. Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Press Agent #1

  1. Booster Gold and His Agents of DC Comics Canon Continuity #1
  2. Swamp Thing/All Star Batman and Robin Team-Up #1 (for Mike Sterling)
  3. The Adventures of Bob Hope #1
  4. The Adventures of Conan O'Brien #1
  5. The Adventures of Bill Hicks #1 (Vertigo Comics)

  1. Jack Knight, Viewmaster Reel Collector #1
  2. The Shazam! Family #1 — or, if i were running Marvel Comics, I'd let them call it The Captain Marvel Family #1
  3. Power Girl and Her Supporting Cast #1
  4. Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! featuring The Three Mousketeers and the Fox and the Crow #1
  5. Superboy and the Ravers #1

  1. Zatanna and the Fishnet Four #1
  2. Sandman Inc. (featuring the Endless Ensemble) #1
  3. Firestorm and the Female Furies #1
  4. A Date with Debbi to Swing with Scooter #1
  5. The Scooby Doo/Batman Mysteries #1

  1. The Challenge of the Super Friends #1
  2. Jonah Hex in the Twenty-Fifth Century #1
  3. Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth-51 #1
  4. The Riddler, P.I. #1
  5. Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Ninth Grade #1

  1. Just Let Darwyn Cooke Do Whatever The Heck He Wants Every Month #1
  2. Ditto for Sergio Aragonés #1
  3. Sugar and Spike #1
  4. Wildcat Takes His Shirt Off and Punches People for 32 Pages #1 (for Dorian)
  5. Ace the Bat-Hound #1

  1. Stanley and His Monster Squad #1
  2. Showcase Presents Arms Being Ripped Off and Heads Exploding #1 by Geoff Johns and Brad Meltzer

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 153

Page from Marvel Fanfare #34 (July 1987), script by Alan Zelenetz, pencils and inks by Charles Vess, colors by Elaine Lee, letters by John Workman

Great Moments in Comic Book History: Marvel reveals the one thing Daredevil won't do

Panels from Daredevil #125 (September 1975), script by Marv Wolfman, pencils by Bob Brown, inks and colors by by Klaus Janson, letters by John Costanza

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Sluggo the Fugitive



Selected panels from throughout Dell Giant #34: Nancy and Sluggo: Summer Camp (September 1960), by John Stanley
(with apologies to Mike Sterling)