Saturday, June 29, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 180: The Greatest Lois Lane Ad Ever

House ad for Lois Lane #77 (October 1967); printed in World's Finest Comics #169 (September 1967)
Comic cover art: pencils and inks by Kurt Schaffenberger, letters by Ira Schnapp
"Lois as a witch" heads taken from "The Witch of Metropolis" in Lois Lane #77 (originally printed in Lois Lane #1), script by Otto Binder, pencils and inks by Kurt Schaffenberger

Ad designed and lettered by Ira Schnapp

One of the great things, I'd always thought alllll those years ago since I started my 365 Days with... project with Ben Grimm, was that I could post a panel, make a funny alt-text comment, and then boom! There it was, instant post! And yet this year I find myself adding more and more panels and commentary to the DC House Ads (like here and here and here) until they become more like what I like to call (ahem) "regular posts." (Which is also why there's no Psylocke Psaturday again tonight. Sorry!)

Because seriously, could I resist showing you panels from the story where Lois turns into a witch? No, I could not.

Bear Attack Month, Day 29: Duck, Bear, Duck!

And now, panels from the greatest Bear Attack story in the history of comics!*

Panel from Four Color #178 [Donald Duck in Christmas on Bear Mountain] (December 1947); script, pencils, inks and letters by Carl Barks

*And yes, Chris Sims, I have read that one about the Punisher and the polar bears.

Friday, June 28, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 179: Bob Hope explains global expansion

House ad for the final issue of The Adventures of Bob Hope (#108, December 1967-January 1968); printed in Green Lantern #57 (December 1967)

Comic cover art: pencils and inks by Neal Adams (!!!), letters by Ira Schnapp
"Dig What's Coming" pencilled, inked, and lettered by Henry Boltinoff

Today in Comics History, June 28: Flying City Room discovers it is not the Floating City Room

from "The Flying City Room" in Big Town #2 (DC, February 1951), script by France Herron, pencils by Dan Barry, inks by Sy Barry

Bear Attack! Month, Day 28: Clark was the only one in a sweatshirt and long pants at summer camp

Panels from "Superboy Meets Lois Lane" in Adventure Comics #261 (June 1959), script by Otto Binder, pencils and inks by George Papp

Yes, truly, this was The Greatest Lois Lane Story Ever.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

There Is No Hope at Haley's Circus

Yesterday I took you on a guided excursion...please do not stray outside the tour!—of Gotham City's Crime Alley: you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. (On this planet.) And I took you through some of the history, legend, and comic book stories of Crime Alley, explaining its importance and significance to our bat-garbed crimefighter. But tonight we're going to walk on a slightly more...bizarre path, looking at a few, quite different (and very possibly non-canonical) adventures in Crime Alley, and we'll end up with the explanation of why not just Bruce Wayne, but also Dick Grayson, the first Robin, can never forget what night Bruce Wayne's parents were murdered. Y'all ready? Please do not dawdle at the back there!

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 178: Turn me on, Deadman

House ad for DC Special Series #15 [Batman Spectacular] (Summer 1978); Showcase [Deadman] #105 (never published), Demand Classics #1 (never published); and Western Classics #1 (never published) printed in Batman #304 (October 1978)

I've discussed the DC Implosion earlier in this series, and here's a house ad for three out of four comics that fell like an abandoned building in the Implosion. That is, except for "Batman Spectacular" (actually DC Special Series #15), they were cancelled and never published. Demand Classics and Western Classics were to contain all reprints, so you didn't miss anything by them going kaput. What about the "25 all-new pages" of Deadman "from the pages of Adventure Comics..."? Well, they probably should have added at the bottom of that ad "To the pages of Adventure Comics, because yes, that story did see print ten months later in Adventure #464.

Cover of Adventure Comics #464 (July-August 1979), pencils and inks by Jim Aparo, colors by Tatjana Wood

Now, if you were the detail-oriented sort of comics reader, you may have specifically noticed that ad at the top had promised you a new 25-page Deadman thriller, but if you counted the story pages in Adventure #464, the Deadman story tops out at 22 pages. Where the Sam Scratch did the other three pages go? Into some sort of spooky limbo from which mortal man would seldom see them again?

Well, yes, sorta! Even tho' Adventure #464 was 68 hefty pages for a buck, three pages were cut from the original Deadman story to make it fit in the comic with the four other "all-new super-star features." As seen in Adventure, page four looked like this:

Panels from "Requiem for a Deadman!" in Adventure Comics #464 (July-August 1979); plot by Len Wein; script by Gerry Conway; pencils, inks, and letters by Jim Aparo; colors by Glynis Wein

The missing three pages fell between panels 2 and 3 of this page, and were published (to keep the copyright when Showcase ended) in the infamous Cancelled Comic Cavalcade, the Xeroxed book of stories that were left hanging high and dry after the DC Implosion. Here's what you were missing, a little ministory about Deadman saving a young kid in peril:

Pages from "Requiem for a Deadman!" in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2 (Fall 1978)

CCC #2 also published the artwork for what was to have been Showcase #105 (funny, why didn't they just adapt this for Adventure?)...

Original cover to Showcase #105 (unpublished), pencils and inks by Jim Aparo well as the covers for what would have been Demand Classics #1 (look familiar?) and Western Classics #1:

Original covers to Demand Classics #1 and Western Classics #1 (unpublished). Demand: pencils by Dick Dillin, inks by Frank McLaughlin. Western: pencils by James Sherman, inks by Maurice Whitman

Why, they even published the last can of Who-Hash the text page that would have accompanied "requiem for a Deadman" in Showcase #105—with an unfortunate ad at the bottom:

Text page from Showcase #105 (unpublished), written by Paul Levitz

According to this, those three issues of World of Krypton I featured back on April 12 were to have been published in the pages of Showcase #110-112! Instead, Showcase's cancellation inadvertently led to the first comic book miniseries ever!

And, for completists' sake, here's a letter from Adventure Comics #464 that addresses how DC were using the backlog of unpublished stories in books like this one:

So there you go: a Deadman story that, just like its protagonist, wouldn't quite stay dead.

Bear Attack! Month, Day 27: Only you

Panels from Bart Simpson #74 (August 2012), script by Mary Trainor, pencils by John Costanza, inks by Phyllis Novin, colors by Nathan Hamill, letters by Karen Bates

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

There Is No Hope in Crime Alley, Hour 24

Batman is unpredictable. No one can anticipate or foreknow his movements, actions or location at any one time...except right now, this very minute. At 10:48 PM GST (Gotham Standard Time), on today, June 26, you will find the Batman at one particular, specific location: in Gotham City's Crime Alley. The criminal among you however should be advised that now is not a good time to ambush the Dark Knight, or lay in wait on the rooftops with your high-powered sniper rifle. Even tho' he's got something else on his mind at this exact moment, Batman ain't never not paying attention to his surroundings. And attacking him on this day, at this time, at this place, here in Crime Alley? That'll earn you an extra-rough Bat-whupping.

But why here and now? Tonight we'll walk in the bat-soled steps of Bruce Wayne and find out, as I've been telling you all night long (and also last year, altho' an internet problem on 6/26/12 kept me from wrapping up that series as I'm doing tonight), that there is no hope in Crime Alley. there? So, let's begin our journey. Say, where's a good place to start, Batman?:

Panel from the Batman newspaper comic strip (November 27, 1989), art by Marshall Rogers

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 23

Panels from "Batman Trivia Quiz" in Batman #260 (January-February 1975), creators unknown

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 22

Two-page spread from Batman: Noël graphic novel (November 2011); script, pencils, and inks by Lee Bermejo; colors by Barbara Ciardo; letters by Todd Klein

(Click picture to Bamm-Bamm Rubble-size)

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 21

Panels from "Citizen Wayne" in The Batman Chronicles #21 (Summer 2000), script by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils and inks by Michael Gaydos, colors by Patricia Mulvihill, letters by Janice Chiang

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 20

Panels from Batman: Madness one-shot (1994), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright with Android Images Enhancements, letters by Todd Klein

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 19

Page from World's Finest Comics #321 (November 1985), script by Joey Cavalieri, pencils by Jose Delbo, inks by Alfredo Alcala, colors by Nansi Hoolahan, letters by Duncan Andrews

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 18

Panels from Justice League Unlimited #37 (November 2007), script by Matt Wayne, pencils by Min S. Ku, inks by Jeff Albrecht, colors by "Heroic Age," letters by Mike Sellers

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 177: There Is No Hope That John Byrne Will Draw More Than One Issue of This Miniseries

House ad for The Untold Legend of the Batman (top) #1 and (bottom) 2-3 (July-September 1980);
printed in Batman #324 & 325 (June & July 1980)

Comic cover art: #1: pencils and inks on #1 by José Luis Garcia-López, inks on #2-3 by Dick Giordano; inset art on top ad: pencils by John Byrne, inks by Dick Giordano

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 17

Panels from "To Kill a Legend" in Detective Comics #500 (March 1981), script by Alan Brennert, pencils and inks by Dick Giordano, colors by Adrienne Roy, letters by John Costanza

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 16

from Detective Comics #600 (DC, May 1989), script by Sam Hamm, pencils by Denys Cowan, inks by Dick Giordano and Frank McLaughlin, colors by Adrienne Roy, letters by Todd Klein

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 15

Panel from World's Finest Comics #285 (November 1982), script by Cary Burkett, layouts by Rich Buckler, finishes by Sam de la Rosa, colors by Gene D'Angelo, letters by Todd Klein

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 14

Panels from Batman: War on Crime graphic novel (November 1999), story and text by Paul Dini; story and painted art by Alex Ross

There Is No Hope In Crime Alley, Hour 13

Panels from Batman: The Dark Knight (volume 3, second 2011 series*) #12 (October 2012), script by Gregg Hurwitz, pencils and inks by David Finch, colors by Sonia Oback, letters by Carlos M. Mangual

*Yes, it's come to that to try and describe New 52 titles.

Bear Attack! Month, Day 26: There Is No Hope in Bear Alley

Panels from "A Grizzly End" in Scary Tales #8 (November 1976), script by Nicola Cuti, pencils and inks by Mike Zeck

I was originally hesitant to post so many panels from this comic book, but then I thought "Hey! It's Charlton! What're they gonna do, sue me?"