Saturday, December 24, 2011

Same Story, Different Cover: Some folks drive the bears out of the wilderness

L: Four Color #178 (December 1947), pencils and inks by Dan Gormley
R: Walt Disney's Donald Duck Adventures #9 (February 1991), pencils and inks by Rick Hoover
(Click picture to bruin-size)

Of course, since Disney comic book stories are frequently reprinted every few years (especially the great ones like this), that's not the only two covers you'll find Carl Barks's classic "Christmas on Bear Mountain" behind. Here's a few others:

Note the Walt Disney's Comics and Stories reprint in the lower left-hand corner, featuring a grimacing Uncle Scrooge. Why, that's adapted directly from Carl Barks's art from the story itself!

Why the focus on Uncle Scrooge in a Donald Duck story? For a very simple and historically important debut: it's the first appearance of Scrooge McDuck in this very story, not quite evolved into his final form (he's a bit of a grumpy, misogynist trickster in "Christmas on Bear Mountain.") This story is actually such a vital and lynchpin moment in Duck history that it's commemorated on stamps published in the Commonwealth of Dominica...

...and Guyana!:

It's such a vital point in Scrooge's ficto-history that acclaimed duck storyteller Don Rosa sets the final chapter of his Life & Times Of Scrooge McDuck saga immediately following "Christmas on Bear Mountain," beginning the transformation of the early Barks Scrooge into the high-adventure character he later became. Rosa's attention to detail is so precise that even the scene setting in the panels below are the same for Barks (top) and Rosa (bottom)!

Keeping in the Christmas spirit, here's a poster by Don Rosa celebrating the many Christmastime adventures of Scrooge McDuck!

So if you're in an irritable and cranky mood, or just feeling sad and sorry for yourself...

...then snap outta it! (in my Cher voice). Just go and read yourself a Carl Barks or Don Rosa Uncle Scrooge or Donald Duck Christmas adventure. Like watching one of those heartwarming christmas commercials like the guy coming home to Folger's coffee or the Santa Claus who can speak German or the Santa skiing on the electric razor, it'll cheer your heart and bring a little bit of Christmas special to you that'll last all the way through tomorrow's delicious roast duck dinner.

Merry Christmas from Duckburg, everyone!

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 358

Panels from Thor #373 (November 1986), script by Walt Simonson, pencils and inks by Sal Buscema, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by John Workman, Jr.

A Duckburg Christmas, Day 24

The Carl Barks Library of 1940s Donald Duck Christmas Giveaways in Color one-shot (November 1992), cover artist unknown (but to my admittedly inexpert eyes it looks like a panel from Carl Barks's "Three Good Little Ducks" in Firestone Christmas Giveaway 1947, with new figures (by Don Rosa? The eyes seem to look like his) added over the art. "Cover design by Bruce Hamilton" is the only credit given.

Friday, December 23, 2011

How does Batman's mother call him to dinner?*

I've been guilty in the past (for example, here and here) of making the accusation that Batman can't tell a joke. Now, however, after much urging from the Batman Anti-Defamation Society (B.A.D.S.), I present some compelling arguments that Batman can indeed tell a joke. And you'll laugh. Oh, you bet you are gonna laugh.

Panels from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #131 (July 2000), script by Dennis O'Neil, pencils by Sergio Cariello, inks by Matt Ryan, colors by Rick Taylor, letters by Willie Schubert

Well, that's only because he hasn't had any needlepoint prep time. Anyway, what do you think he keeps Harold around for? Harold's a master with the cross-stitch. (As seen in Batman's Friends and Foes #54, "The Nefarious Needlepoint Nonsense!," March 1957)

A long-time professional at battle insane criminal masterminds based on Alice's Adventures In Wonderland like the Mad Hatter, Tweedledee and Tweeledum, and Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Batman's pretty well acquainted with humor of the absurd. It's been rumored the Dark Knight has up to three dozen joke writers on staff to generate these quips for him, most of them locked in shackles in a lower level of the Batcave. They also script-write the TV show Whitney.

Panels from JLA Classified #1 (January 2005), script by Grant Morrison, pencils by Ed McGuiness, inks by Dexter Vines, colors by Dave McCaig, letters by Phil Balsman

But if there's anything Batman does well, it's dark. His favorite type of night? Dark. (Also, his favorite type of knight.) His favorite publishing company? Why, Dark Horse, of course. His favorite kind of candy bar? Milky Way Dark. The way he takes his coffee? Milk, two sugars, in a styrofoam cup. And his favorite type of humor? Oh, man, you gotta believe it's darrrrrrk.

Panels from Batman & Superman Adventures: World's Finest one-shot (February 1997), script and co-plot by Paul Dini, co-plot by Alan Burnett, pencils by Joe Staton, inks by Terry Beatty, colors by Linda Medley, letters by Albert DeGuzman

Even Harley had to laugh at that one.

Look, I know. Batman is not gonna give stand-up greats like George Carlin, Lenny Bruce or Bill Hicks a run for their money on the stage of Dangerfield's. (Then again, let's see one of them bring in the Joker!) But even if Batman isn't the number one jokester in the DC Universe, at least I'm sure we can find somebody who's worse at telling a joke on Earth-1, right?

Panels from Justice League of America v.1 #112 (July-August 1974), script by Len Wein, pencils by Dick Dillin, inks by Dick Giordano, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Ben Oda

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they keep Green Arrow around the DC Universe: so nobody else feels like they're the worst at anything.

* 'My mother is DEAAAAAAAAAAD!'

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 357

I'm only going to reproduce a small piece of Chris Samnee's wonderful Thor-at-Christmas piece so that you click through and see it at his own site! I promise, it's gorgeous and worth it! And, yes, Jane, there is a Santa Claus!

Portion of Chris Samnee's Thor Christmas piece. Click through to see it!

A Duckburg Christmas, Day 23

Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #633 (February 1999), pencils and inks by Hank Porter (?), colors by Gary Leach

Thursday, December 22, 2011

To live outside the law you must be honest and have adamantium claws

At last, the law has prevailed and justice is served! Our long national nightmare is over!

I'm shocked, shocked to find that video piracy is going on in the internet! (I think it's over there in a very tiny corner, right next to the dirty photos.) Well, as I learned in " Bruce Wayne: Murderer", there's no video piracy in prison! (Also: no crying in baseball.) Pirates are, of course, a cowardly and superstitious lot (what with the Black Spots and hooks and parrots and grog), so however harsh the sentence, this guy shoulda known he'd never get away with it, thanks to those meddling mutants. After all, it's well-known, on official record, and even more important, it's canon that Wolverine does not tolerate theft of intellectual and creative property! Bub.

Panels from Wolverine: First Class #16 (August 2009), script by Peter David; pencils, inks, and colors by Gurihiru; letters by Ris Wooton

In order to assiduously protect his own copyright, Wolverine is now pursuing action through both legal and violent means against the University of Michigan Wolverines...

...mainly for their copying of his trademark blue-and-yellow uniform.

Not to mention tackling, in state supreme court and in dirty dark back alleys, Wolverine Boots...

...Wolverine Beer...

...the Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company...

And then he'll be targeting this guy.

Out of professional respect and concern for the safety of his own eyeballs, however, Wolverine will not be issuing legal writs or claws against this guy:

So, to sum up: always remember that Wolverine is the intellectual pirate's worst enemy.

Panels from Wolverine: First Class #18 (August 2009), script by Peter David, pencils and inks by Francis Portella, colors by Jim Charalampidis, letters by Joe Caramagna

Next time you're downloading something from the internet, be careful! You'll never hear the snikt with your name on it until it's too late.

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 356

Panels from Warriors Three #2 (February 2011), script by Bill Willingham, pencils by Neil Edwards, inks by Scott Hanna, colors by Fabio D'Auria, letters by Clayton Cowles

A Duckburg Disneyland Christmas, Day 22

Christmas in Disneyland one-shot (December 1957), pencilled by Tony Strobl, painted by Norm McGary

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Here's What I Don't Get: When times are mysterious, serious numbers are easy to please

Now here's what I don't get.... (Geez, he's only been dead a few weeks and already I'm turning into Andy Rooney.)

So: Deadpool MAX ended with issue #12, cover-dated November 2011. Gsh, so long, Mister Deadpool Max, and with luck perhaps someday someone will bring back your comic book with a brand-new #1 issue...

...maybe, the very next month.

In the words of my Grampy Bull: what th' Sam Scratch is goin' on here?!? Sure, I know it's all the rage for comic books these days to end and start again with all-different brand-spankin'-new number ones, but when a November book is ended and a December book starts and there's no break in the storyline or characters why don't you just call that one #13, huh?

Why, that's ridiculous. Imagine if restarting a comic book every time a storyline finished had been the rule rather than the exception, huh? Go ahead...imagine it! You'd have this...

...followed by this!

...followed by this...

...followed by this...

...followed by...oh, you get the idea. Oh, in case you're wondering "what happened to issue #138 in there?" Well, of course it too would be renumbered:

Seriously, Marvel! This ridiculousness has got to stop. If you insist on renumbering everything back to number one, someday we might get something like this:

...and nobody wants that.

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 355

Page from Thor #155 (August 1968), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Vince Colletta, letters by Artie Simek

A Duckburg Christmas, Day 21

Four Color #203 [Walt Disney's Donald Duck] (December 1948), pencils and inks by Carl Barks

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hey, I'm back!

...and I'm sorry about the extended hiatus. Hiatus: from the Latin hiare: to yawn. Yep, it was my own fault that I touched that poisoned needle and ate that poisoned apple and went to stay at the Rip van Winkle Motor Lodge and...well, it took me a while and I had to borrow a time machine from Doc Doom, but I'm back! Of course, a couple weeks ago there was The Big Wedding, followed by The Big Winter Cold. Yep...Black Widow knows exactly I feel, huh, Miss Nastasha?

Panel from Daredevil #98 (April 1973), script by Gerry Conway and Steve Gerber, pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Ernie Chan, colors by George Roussos, letters by John Costanza

Black Widow: she hasn't got time for the pain. Also, when she says the word "out," she pronounces it "oooooooout." Hey, she's not from Russia; she's from Canada!

Anyway, during my cold, I was in even more pain, and I hadn't been hit by the Rhino. Six thousand eighteen sniffles and a bucket of Robitussin later, I finally put my pajamas in the wash and got dressed and out of bed.

Hmmm, what else have I been up to? Oh, yeah! I made an action movie.

Also, I bought a zoo.

So, yeah, that's pretty much what I've been up to.

Tomorrow: join me as I ask the musical question "Here's Something I Don't Get.*"

*Not actually a question.

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 354

Panels from Thor #180 (September 1970), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Neal Adams, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Sam Rosen

A Duckburg Christmas, Day 20

Uncle Scrooge #296 (February 1996), pencils and inks by Don Rosa, colors by Susan Daigle-Leach

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm hurrying on my way back home!

...but I'm taking it carefully because I don't want to get hit by a car.

Remember: cross at the green and not in between. And look both ways! And wear a warm coat!

Tomorrow I'll tell you all the exciting things I've been up to while away. And if you're good, then yes, I did bring you something! (It's in my pocket. Sorry, I've chewed it already.)

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 353

Panel from Thor #168 (September 1969), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by George Klein, letters by Artie Simek

A Duckburg Christmas, Day 19

Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #4 (January 1941), cover artist unknown

Sunday, December 18, 2011

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 352

Panel from Marvel Fanfare #36 (January 1988), script by Alan Zelenetz, pencils and inks by Charles Vess, colors by Elaine Lee, letters by John Workman

A Duckburg Christmas, Day 18

Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge #336 (December 2004), pencils and inks by Ulrich Schröeder, colors by Sue Kolberg