Saturday, January 12, 2013

Today in Comics History, January 12, 1939: Alliteration is invented

from "Sal's Scrapbook" backup in Watchmen #9 (DC, May 1987), script by Alan Moore, illustrations penciled and inked by Dave Gibbons

Psylocke Psaturday #1: Cause I'm a blonde, yeah yeah yeah

Panels from Captain Britain v.1 #8 (Marvel UK, December 1, 1976), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Herb Trimpe, inks by Fred Kida, colors by Marie Severin, letters by Irving Watanabe

She first appears here in this British colour comic (which also features reprints of Fantastic Four #113 and Strange Tales #162). Hair color: blonde. She's an airplane pilot. And if you've ever wondered why Chris Claremont has been so territorial about her...well, he's entitled. He and Herb Trimpe created her.

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 12

House ad for new DC series beginning in 1982; printed in The Brave and the Bold #192 (November 1982)
(Click picture to Camelot-size*)

*(It's only a model.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Today in Comics History, January 11, 1954: Tom Beckett and Batman also have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

from "The Man Who Wanted to Die With Batman" in World's Finest Comics #69 (DC, March 1954), script by Bill Finger (?), Batman and Robin figure pencils by Bob Kane, all other pencils by Lew Sayre Schwartz, inks by Stan Kaye

Today in Comics History, January 11, 1950: Tom Weaver and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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

*Seriously, such a great title.

Zatara is a jerk again

Nobody likes a practical joker. Especially one like Harold Dake, star of this cautionary tale from the Golden Age made to frighten the willied be-jibbers out of you, young impressionable post-War youth! (Also: you'll shoot your darn eye out!) Harold Dake is an unrepentant jokester. Make no mistake about it: he will pull the snapping gum trick on you, or the squirting flower gag, or the face full of Joker gas old clichéd "fish in the hand" trick. But when you pull a practical joke on the great Zatara, who, after all, makes a career out of tricking people...well, you're going to soon wish you were dead, Harold Dake! BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

Panels from "Hilarious Harold" in World's Finest Comics #31 (November-December 1947), script by Joe Samachson (?), pencils and inks by William F. White

Because much like a circus elephant or the Psycho-Pirate, Zatara never completely escalate his payback beyond all human reason.

So, okay. Looks like Harold had that one comin', and once they managed to get Harold's ear out of the shark's gullet, everybody had a good larf over the whole thing and Zatara gave them all tickets to his latest show at the Metropolis Metropolitan. The shark got to sit right next to Harold!

However, if we know Zatara (and boy, do we know Zatara!), that ain't gonna be the end of it. No no no no.

Now, I'm not excusing Harold's behavior, but hey, the left-handed monkey wrench is the oldest joke in the book. So that office boy shoulda known that monkey wrenches only come in right-handed models. The noive of him! Still, it's all in good fun, even if everyone loathes the boss and spits in his coffee cup when he's out of his office. But, as I'm sure we're all asking, has Zatara finished being a jerk in this story? No. No, he has not.

You'd think that Happy Harold would have learned his lesson by now, but nooooooo. You do realize that the next practical joke you play will be met with Zatara killing you, right, Harold?

It's raining men snow! Hallelujah! And I just bet that Zatara knew Harold left his Van Gogh out in the back yard to get some sun today!

Then Zatara arrives with a giant noose so Harold can put himself out of his misery. Oh, no,'s actually a giant skyhook. Say, what's that thing attached to? A giant turtle, maybe? But what's the turtle hanging from? Why, another, larger turtle. And what is that turtle hanging from? Awwww, you can't fool me. It's turtles all the way up.

Then Zatara sets Harold on fire and drowns him. Then, as the night began to fall, a hungry lion paid a call. He looked Harold right in the eye, and asked him if he'd like to die. Harold said, "What is this thing? Some kind of album by Carole King?" So the lion ate Harold.

What have we learned from this? That Zatara doesn't like practical jokes and he can be a real jerk about them. We all know that when Zatanna was a teenager, she played a practical joke on her dad by swapping his coffee beans for Folger's Crystals. In revenge Zatara set Zatanna up on a blind date with John Constantine. Man, that's stone cold.

So let that be a lesson to you, kids! No practical jokes! And now, to fulfill Stuffed Animal Comics Bloggers Local No. 321's new union law that all posts must have some sort of education content at the end, here's the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise to warn all of you about practical jokes. Take it away, Kirk and Spock and Mister Sulu! ("Oh, yes!")

And that's one to grow on!

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 11

House ad for The Flash #105 (first issue; February-March 1959); printed in Lois Lane #7 (February 1959)
Comic cover art: pencils by Carmine Infantino, inks by Joe Giella
Ad designed and lettered by Ira Schnapp

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Today in Comics History, January 10: Batman catches a cold

from Batman: D.O.A. one-shot (DC, December 1999); script, pencils and inks by Bob Hall; colors by Digital Chameleon; letters by John Costanza

Don't you be like Batman and catch the cold and/or flu! Be sure to get your flu shot today! Unless you are the children of Jenny McCarthy, in which case, I just express my deepest, saddest regrets.

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 10

House ad for Action Comics #347 (March 1967); printed in House of Mystery #165 (March 1967)
Comic cover art: pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein, letters by Ira Schnapp
Ad designed and lettered by Ira Schnapp

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Eventually even Batman got tired of endlessly fighting crime

Panel from Batman #301 (July 1978), script by David Vern, pencils by John Calnan, inks by Tex Blaisdell, colors by Jerry Serpe, letters by Ben Oda

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 9

House ad for Action Comics #360 (March-April 1968); printed in Batman #200 (March 1968)
Comic cover art: pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein, letters by Ira Schnapp
Ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


And now presenting a new regular feature here on Comics Oughta Be Fun!, a little item I like to call


Panels from "Mystery of the Millionaire Cowboy!" in Detective Comics #340 (June 1965), script by John Broome, pencils by Carmine Infantino, inks by Sid Greene





365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 8

House ad for Superboy #1 (March-April 1949); printed in Batman #51 (February-March 1949)
Comic cover art: pencils by Wayne Boring, inks by Stan Kaye

Monday, January 07, 2013

Based on an Original Idea by Stan Lee

Hi, everybody! (There will now be a slight pause for you to say "Hi, Bully!") I'm back. And I hope you had a very merry holiday season of your choice and that you got to read some fun comics over the seasonal break. Me, I'm diggin' Marvel Now. Well, I mean, I've always digged Marvel. I mean I dig Marvel Now. Now.

One of my surprise new favorites is Brian Michael Bendis's All-New X-Men. Favorite because I loves me the five original X-Men, surprise because I'm not a biiiiiiig little stuffed fan of Mister BMB's patented decompression. (Seriously, it takes four issues to get to that point? Ooooookay.) But I like the concept: Comics Oughta Be Fun-favorite The Beast brings the first X-Men (not to be confused with the Neal Adams miniseries The First X-Men) forward in time to meet the All-New X-Men (not to be confused with the All-New All-Different X-Men of X-Men #94). Although I think Thunderbird was involved with the decision of both.

But hey, we're all wondering, just where did Future/Now Beast pluck Previous/Past Beast and company from? And after a trip down to the Bully Temperature-Regulated and Climate-Controlled Vault o' Comics to the "X" section, aisle 1, we can find that Henry McCoy-2013 picked up Henry McCoy-1964 from page six of X-Men #8. Very precise time travel there...hey when did the X-Men get a time machine?

Let's see this Quantum Leaping in action, shall we? Just peer through the time-scope with your chronal-adjusted goggles...or, if you don't have those on hand, take a look at the panels below. Here's the past...

Panel from The [Uncanny] X-Men v.1 #8 (November 1964), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Chic Stone, letters by Sam Rosen

...and here's the present. (And as we all know, I love presents!)

Panel from All-New X-Men #1 (January 2013), script by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils by Stuart Immonen, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, colors by Marte Gracia, letters by Cory Petit

Looks like Mister Bendis also has a comic book vault he can consult (as does artist Stuart Immonen), because here's an...uncanny...(heh heh heh!) new interpretation of the saga of Hank McCoy's ripped jacket. (What the story doesn't tell you: he bought a new one at Robert Hall the very next day.)

Whoops, Bendis-decompression™ kicks in (vrrrrroooooom!) as Bendis finds a way to stretch a single Lee/Kirby panel into three. Well, it's not as drastic as expanding eleven pages from Amazing Fantasy #15 in six issues in Ultimate Spider-Man.

I'd suggest that the juxtaposition of these two scenes is like the movie Rashomon, but you may have a different story.


Timeline: successfully derailed! Now, as it has been rendered no-longer-happened through the wonders of time travel, please throw out your copies of X-Men #8. Do it! Do it now!

Say, let's see what this same scene looked like in the 1990s, through the medium of the Marvel series Professor Xavier and the X-Men, which (bwah-ha-ha!) attempted to (haw-haw!) "do Stan 'n' Jack right" (HA HA HA HA HA HA!)

Page from Professor Xavier and the X-Men #9 (July 1996), script by Jorge Gonzalez, pencils by Nick Gnazzo, inks by Ian Akin, colors by Matt Webb, color separations by Malibu, letters by Phil Felix

It's good to know that Hank McCoy will have a successful career away from the X-Men smuggling coconuts in his shoulder pads. What can we was the nineties.

Hey, just for fun, here's the entire script to All-New X-Men convenient word cloud format.

Click image to imBeasten

So, whatever else, we know what's happening in this story: mutants like going mutant. Also, humans need war. Same as it ever was. Play us off, all-new X-Men theme song!

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 7

House ad for Action Comics #373 (March 1969); printed in Batman #210 (March 1969)
Comic cover art: pencils by Curt Swan, inks by Neal Adams
Ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Today in Comics History, January 6: The phrase "Shaddap You Face" is invented

from Batman: Dark Victory #5 (DC, April 2000), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, color separations by Heroic Age, letters by Richard Starkings

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 6

House ad for Detective Comics #572 (March 1987); printed in Batman #405 (March 1987); art by Alan Davis and Paul Neary

Happy 158th birthday, Sherlock Holmes!