Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today in Comics History, August 11: Yankee Candle Company posts a record profit

from "The Death of a Romantic" in Heartthrobs #3 (DC/Vertigo, March 1999), script by Peter Milligan, pencils and inks by Eduardo Risso, colors by Grant Goleash, letters by Clem Robins

Same Story, Different Cover: You too can make a cover with scissors and glue

Left: Tales to Astonish #67 (May 1965), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Chic Stone
Right: Daredevil #6 (February 1965), pencils and inks by Wally Woods
Bottom: Marvel Super-Heroes #26 (May 1970, repurposed from above covers

(Click picture to cut-and-paste-size)

Today in Comics History, August 11, 1945: Hack Dawes/Thor Team-Up #1 is published

from "The Death-Cheaters of Gotham City!" in Batman (1940 series) #72 (DC, August 1952), script by David Vern, pencils and inks by Jim Mooney, letters by Ira Schnapp

366 Days with Alfred Pennyworth, Day 224

Panels from Batman #275 (May 1976), script by David Vern, pencils by Ernie Chan, inks by Tex Blaisdell,

The Official Comic Book Panels of the Day of the 2012 Olympics, Day 16

Panels from Asterix at the Olympic Games (1968), script by René Goscinny, pencils and inks by Albert Uderzo

Today in Comics History, August 11, 2040: Gog travels to the year 2040; is still a terrible character

from The Kingdom #1 (DC, February 1999), script by Mark Waid, pencils and inks by Ariel Olivetti, colors by John Kalisz, color separations by Chris Chuckry, letters by Phil Felix

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Moment of DC Animated Universe Awesome: Catches girls, any size

It's time for another Moment of DC Animated Universe Awesome! So why, oh why are we starting out with...Spider-Man? Well, why not? After all it is his fiftieth anniversary!

Panels from Amazing Spider-Man #121 (June 1973), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by Gil Kane, inks by John Romita Sr. and Tony Mortellaro, colors by David Hunt, letters by Artie Simek

Yes, once more, it's that Excessively Evil Executive Norman Osborn in his nom-de-bande-dessinée the Green Goblin, engaging in the urban sport of, what we here at Comics Oughta Be Fun, regardless of our crush on Ms. G. Stacy, affectionally refer to as Gwen-Tossin'. All together now...aiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

But don't worry! Spider-Man is here!

Webbing! That never fails*. *Caution: webbing may sometimes fail.


So, let's shuffle over with that "nothing more to see here, folks" expression to the DC Animated Universe, where Superman is faced with the threat of mechnical menace Metallo has kidnapped Earth-1A's Jenn Tracy (caution: character name may have been made up by me for comedic effect) and is threatening to toss her off Metropolis's George Washington Brooklyn Shuster Bridge! It's the popular sport of...wait for it...Jenn-Tossin'!

Panels from Superman Adventures #2 (December 1996), script by Scott McCloud, pencils by Rick Burchett, inks by Terry Austin, colors by Marie Severin, letters by L. Lois Buhalis

It's Superman! Hooray! Let's all sing along to the Superman: The Animated Series theme song. You all know the words!

Superman, Superman
This is a guy, name of Superman
Superman, Superman
He is a man known as Superman

He's faster than a spee-eding train
He'll soar through skies just to save Lois Lane ('coz he's)

Superman, Superman
Don't call him Clark, call him Superman
Superman, Superman
The Man of Steel, he is Superman

Superman, Superman
Superman, Superman,

So, can Superman save a girl from falling off a bridge just the way Spider-Man didn't?

Why, yes. Yes, he can.


So: Superman > Spider-Man. Oh, c'mon, you knew it all along.

Panels from Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man (January 1976), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by Ross Andru, Superman redraws by Neal Adams, inks by Dick Giordano, inking assists by Josef Rubinstein and Bob Wiacek, colors by Jerry Serpe, letters by Gaspar Saladino

So...Happy Anniversary, Spidey! Um...sorry.

Today in Comics History: The Games magazine logic puzzle is invented

from "The Mystery of the Vanishing Detectives!" in All-Star Comics #57 (DC, February 1951), script by John Broome, pencils and inks by Frank Giacoia

366 Days with Alfred Pennyworth, Day 223

Panels from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #60 (May 1994), script by Dennis O'Neil, pencils and inks by Eduardo Barreto, colors by Digital Chameleon, letters by Willie Schubert

Adventures with Shelly the Little Otter Puppet: Otter-lympics

The Official Comic Book Panels of the Day of the 2012 Olympics, Day 15

Panels from the Man-Monster story in Tales of Evil #3 (July 1975), plot by Tony Isabella and Rich Buckler, script by Gary Friedrich, pencils by Rich Buckler, inks by Mike Vosburg

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Well, that'll happen

Panel from "Roulf's Fifth Column" in Fantastic Comics #12 (November 1940), script by Toni Blum (?), pencils and inks by Alex Blum

366 Days with Alfred Pennyworth, Day 222

Page from Batman #681 (October 2009), script by Judd Winick, pencils by Mark Bagley, inks by Rob Hunter, colors by Ian Hannin, letters by Jared K. Fletcher

The Official Comic Book Panels of the Day of the 2012 Olympics, Day 14

Panels from "Solar Olympics of 3000 A.D." in Mystery in Space #39 (August-September 1957), script by John Broome, pencils and inks by Carmine Infantino

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

They don't scurry when something bigger comes their way

The Silver Age of comics is renowned as the age of the eye-catching comic...the book that demands "Hey you! Buy me, you rube! Yeah, me!" Because you've gotta find out how the situation on the cover can possibly happen: how can the Flash be turned into a puppet? How can Lois Lane be a black woman? How can Superman's trademark red shorts be stolen by an evil Manhattan conglomerate? These covers were crafted by wily Weisingers to lure us in and suck our dimes out of our little shorts pockets, and frequently they do so by lying to us through the traditional scheme of "This cover scene does not occur in this comic book!" Like, say, this comic book where the Teen Titans join with a group of urban teens to save their depressed and run-down neighborhood from demolition by the city:

Cover of The Brave and the Bold #102 (June-July 1972), pencils and inks by Nick Cardy

What's this?! (in my William Dozier voice) Batman bracing against a barricade of boys? (And girl.) Will the Teen Titans be run over like so much wildlife roadkill? Will they be flatter than a woodchuck trying to cross Interstate 481? Will Batman be able to return them to Titans HQ by slipping them under the door and running away? Of course not. Because "this cover scene does not occur in this comic book!"

Panel from of The Brave and the Bold #102 (June-July 1972), script by Bob Haney, pencils by Jim Aparo and Neal Adams, inks by Jim Aparo and Dick Giordano

Oh. Well. Okay then. I guess this is the comic they describe in Overstreet as (D: Teen Titans). it?

Oh! I get it now. Batman is working through the method of sarcasm. Well played, sir. Well played.

Even the Mayor of Gotham, conveniently cosplayed in this story by Alfred Pennyworth, is moved by Batman's crazy and wacky scheme, and he'll give the teens one slim month to renovate their neighborhood. (Because in Gotham City, even teenagers are certified to perform major urban renovation and re-construction. Also, I ask yet again: where do you buy an orange suit?

Say, why didn't they call these teens when Gotham needed rebuilding after No Man's Land? Then we could have seen Luthor curse them out with a frustrated "I would have gotten away with it too...if it wasn't for..." Aw, you know the rest. Anyway, over the next thirty days, the Teen Titans snap into action through the power of painting and sweeping! This was the month when the Mad Mod looted every fashion show on the east coast and stole Mary Quant's brain, and nobody was there to stop him, but hey, that's insignificant next to Wonder Chick Girl's mission of redecorating and wallpaper paste!

While Donna sharpens her natural Amazon skills and the ancient Themysciran art of Sher-Win Will-i-ams, Robin and Mal Duncan fight fists with fists to drive the gangs out of Barclayville. Hey, Mal did "save the Teen Titans from a street gang called the Hell Hawks by beating their leader in a boxing match." (Thank you, Wikipedia!) Their casual disruption of the street gang economy would affect the Barclayville economy for years to come, but that's more of a fiscal problem, not a social problem.

Kid Flash can clean up the whole town in a few minutes! Check him putting all that refuse into a Gotham City Department of Sanitation large steel waste receptacle! (I didn't use the word Dumpster™ as it is a trademarked name for the specific Dumpster brand of products, where these are very probably made by one of the three companies in America that make things, LexCorp, Wayne Industries, or whatever Oliver Queen called his company before he got put out of business and became a liberal jerk to Hal Jordan. "Arrow-Co.," I think.

Hey, why isn't his broom on fire?

So, if you've been keeping track, that's all of the Teen Titans accounted for except Speedy. (And Aqualad, but I see no canal running through Barclayville, do you?) What do you suppose Speedy is doing while the other Titans are beautifying, de-criminalfying, and sweepening the neighborhood, huh? Something probably indescribably noble and elegant, don't you think? Something that personifies the gentle and graceful beauty of the ancient art of archery: a task of the sort that Grecian gods themselves would gasp in admiration, right?

No. Speedy is skewering rats and putting them in a sack.

So, remember this, when you see Roy Harper later in life hopped up to his sharpshooter eyeballs in crack cocaine and swinging a dead cat around in an alley with the precision of a cat-slinger competing in the Olympics, this is where he got his start: catching rats and putting the dead little bodies in a sack and then throwing them on Kid Flash's feet. By the end of thirty days, Barclayville is a stunning and shining, revived, well-kept, crime-free, de-ratted suburb of Gotham City, and all the kids celebrate with (and I quote) a mind-blowin' party! Right on, Titans! Right on, indeed.

Say, Speedy isn't in that scene, is he? Could he still be...maybe nobody ever told him to stop...he could still be today in the New 52...catching rats and putting them in a sack.

Well, it'd make Red Hood and the Outlaws a lot more interesting, wouldn't it?

The Official Comic Book Panels of the Day of the 2012 Olympics, Day 13

Panels from "The Olympic Games of Crime!" in Batman #82 (March 1954), script by Bill Finger, pencils and inks by Dick Sprang, letters by Pat Gordon