Saturday, October 05, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 278: Also, for sheer nighties.

House ad for The House of Secrets #95 (January 1972); printed in The Brave and the Bold #99 (January 1972)
Ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino

Cover of The House of Secrets #95 (December 1971-January 1972), pencils and inks by Nick Cardy, colors by Harold

Today in Comics History, October 5: Don't forget your appointment today, Lois

from Dazzler #27 (Marvel, June 1983), script and pencils by Frank Springer, inks by Vince Colletta, colors by Andy Yanchus, letters by Janice Chiang

Today in Comics History, October 5, 1990: Jimmy Olsen forgets to clean his camera lens

from Superman: Secret Identity #1 (DC, January 2004), script by Kurt Busiek; pencils, inks, and colors by Stuart Immonen; letters by Todd Klein

Hellmouth: Dell/Gold Key, Night 5: Match wits with Ellery Queen

Cover of Four Color #1243 [Ellery Queen] (Dell, November 1961-January 1962), painting by George Wilson

Friday, October 04, 2013

Ben Grimm, Graffiti Artist

(More Ben Grimm, Graffiti Artist here.)

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 277: Whoa, whoa! Wait, this is something I never knew about Gwen Stacy and Liz Allan!

House ad for Young Romance #197 (January-February 1974); printed in Lois Lane #136 (January-February 1974)
Comic cover art; top panel: pencils by Jerry Grandenetti (?), inks by Vince Colletta; bottom 3 panels: pencils and inks by Win Mortimer
Ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino

Today in Comics History, October 4, 1982: Wolverine discovers that as falls Rennselaer, so falls Rennselaer Falls

from Captain America Annual #8 (Marvel, 1986), script by Mark Gruenwald, pencils by Mike Zeck, inks by John Beatty and Joe Rubinstein, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Jim Novak

Hellmouth: Dell/Gold Key, Night 4: I'm just a Shriner in a gilded cage

Cover of Ripley's Believe It or Not! [: True Weird Stories] #20 (Gold Key, June 1970), painted cover, artist unknown

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Comics News for October 3, 2013

Top: from "The Pied Un-Piper!" in Shazam! #17 (March 1975), script by Denny O'Neil, pencils and inks by Kurt Schaffenberger
Middle: from Sheriff of Cochise one-shot (1957), script by Richard Hughes (?), pencils and inks by Kurt Schaffenberger, letters by Ed Hamilton
Bottom: from the Martian Manhunter story "The Menace of the Super Weapons" in Detective Comics #252 (February 1958), script by Jack Miller, pencils and inks by Joe Certa

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 276: But do you double dog dare me?

House ad for House of Mystery (circa 1970); printed in The Flash (1959 series) #194 (February 1970)

Hellmouth: Dell/Gold Key, Night 3: Because every evening its Halloween / At the Munsters' / At the Munsters'!

Cover of The Munsters #6 (Gold Key, April 1966), photographs of Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis, and the Munsters's DRAG-U-LA racer

I was always more of an Addams Family fanbull, but I always loved the theme from The Munsters better! Even as a tiny stuffed bull I was appreciative of surf rock!

And you can read more about Grandpa's DRAG-U-LA race car here!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Today in Comics History, October 2: Happy birthday, guy who comes in second on superstitious girl's love interest list!

from "Pity Poor Pisces..." in Sweethearts (1954 series) #116 (Charlton, May 1971), pencils by Art Cappello, inks by Charles Nicholas, with Keuffel & Esser Leroy lettering

Creator Feature: Milt Caniff

I don't have a full post for you tonight, here's somethin' fun: a feature page on Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon creator Milton Caniff!

Creator feature on Milt Caniff, from Steve Canyon (1948 Harvey series) #4 (August 1948)

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 275: "Do not bring your evil comic here."

House ad for Swamp Thing (1972 series) #1 (October-November 1972); printed in Detective Comics #426 (August 1972)
Ad designed and lettered by ?

Today in Comics History, October 2, 1949: The Spirit mixes up the words "barrage" and "garage"

from "Fan Mail" in The Spirit Section (Register and Tribune Syndicate, January 1, 1950), script by Jules Feiffer, pencils and inks by Will Eisner, letters by Abe Kanegson

Hellmouth: Dell/Gold Key, Night 2: Oh, he's just saying in German, "The Monster, The."

Cover of Movie Classic #175 [Die, Monster, Die!] (Dell, March 1966), cover photograph of Boris Karloff, Nick Adams, and Freda Jackson; letters by Ben Oda

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

I'm Seeing All Red

A few weeks ago I resurrected my sleeping feature Monday Night Murals just to spotlight an amazing interlocked set of covers by one of my favorite comic artists, Mike "Madman" Allred! Tonight I'll do the same with another dormant blog feature, the superannuated Separated at Birth. And yet, it's starring that same Mike Allred guy I was talking to you about in the last sentence (remember?). Why? Because I love Mike Allred! Tale it away, Mister Mike, with a post-modern retelling of a classic post-Kirby FF F4 cover!

Left: Fantastic Four (1961 series) #109 (April 1971); pencils by John Buscema, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Sam Rosen
Right: FF (2013 series) #7 (July 2013); pencils and inks by Michael Allred, colors by Laura Allred

(Click picture to fantasticize)

Cool, huh? Say, have another one...they're fun!

Left: [Uncanny] X-Men (1963 series) #1 (September 1963); pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Sol Brodsky or Frank Giacoia (?), colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Art Simek
Right: Comicology #3 (Fall 2000); pencils and inks by Michael Allred, colors by Laura Allred

(Click picture twomorrowsize)

Whoa, baby! That's almost more Mike ('n' Laura!) Allred that we can all stand. In that case, how will you react to this: the only pogs I ever would have bought in my entire li'l stuffed life, if only they had been printed! Why, these pogs themselves might have completely redeemed the reputation of those little cardboard discs from laughing stock anti-collectibles to pogs of which future generations would have spoken of in hushed, reverent tones...naw, who am I kidding. They'd still have been pogs. But they would have been Marvel Universe Pogs by Mike Allred, mind you!

Article from Marvel Vision #21 (September 1997), pog art by Mike Allred

Sheesh, that's the most I've ever used the word pog on my blog. If you're not all at the door later tonight with a lynch party, p'raps I will hunt up the article promising Steranko, Rude, McDaniel and Darrow pogs. But hey, always remember: they're still pogs. Even when they're All Red!

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 274: Meddling Kids to the Rescue

House ad for Scooby-Doo (DC series); printed in Cartoon Network Block Party #18 (April 2006)

Hellmouth: Dell/Gold Key, Night 1: Well, you caught her, now what are you gonna do with her, Drac?

Welcome to October, which means a new monthly feature as well as this here blog's traditional Octember Countdown to Halloween! Each and every day, at least one Halloween-flavored (mmmm!) post spotlighting comics most scary and spooky denizens (and I'm not just talkin' about Wonder Woman on a bad hair day!) There will be periodic pumpkin-scented editions of our regular features like Ten of a Kind, Today in Comics History and 365 Days of DC House Ads, as well as the Octabulous daily feature at the precise stroke of midnight, Hellmouth: Dell/Gold Key, casting a bloodshot eye on the monster, horror, and Halloweeny covers of the world's greatest comic book company based in Poughkeepsie, New York! What better way to kick off our Countdown to Halloween than with the Monster with the Mostest, the Terror with the Teeth, that Vampire You Desire...Dracula!

Cover of Dracula #1 (Dell, October-November 1962), painted cover by L. B. Cole or Vic Prezio (?)

And don't forget, just like last year and the year before, this blog is a part of the spookily massive (or is that massively spooky?) ring of Halloween-featurin' blogs over at Jolly John Rozum's Countdown to Halloween, where you'll find a veritable graveyard of links to online ghoulies and ghosties at dozens of blogs all month long. And remember...we all get candy at the end! WHEEEE! If April is the cruelest month, then October surely is the best. And scariest. Join us here and don't miss a minute of the blood-curdling, candy-appled fun! Boo!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Comics Within Comics Month, Day 30: And then there's the time Gambit broke the Marvel Universe

It's Day 30 of a thirty-day month (I had to check that be sure, because it's hard to do that count when you have hooves and not fingers), so here's the finale and the culmination of Comics Within Comics Month! I hope you've been enjoying these little daily Oreo-sandwich-cookies of reality half as much as I have, and if you've enjoyed them half as much as I have, why haven't you been enjoying them twice as much so our enjoyment levels match? I lay up nights worrying about these things. Also: snakes.

But before I dip into the final Comics Within Comics, I just wanted to give a tip o' the old Bully-cap to online pal Graeme Virtue, who only sounds like a character out of a Garth Ennis comic but who is actually a journalist for my very favorite (honest!) newspaper in the UK, The Guardian!, which no longer features all the typos that the panels on I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue attributed to it. (Barry Cryer: "The Guardian: Yesterday's headline should have read 'Caesar Slayed' not 'Caesar Salad.'") Graeme lives in Glasgow, my favorite Scottish city I've never visited, and someday I shall get up there and buy him a pint, especially since he was so kind to tweet

Jings! Thank you very much, Mister V. This one is dedicated to you. I'm sorry it's a Gambit story.

Cover of What If...? (1989 series) #100 (September 1997), pencils and inks by Klaus Janson

By this point in Marvel publishing history the Watcher had been unceremoniously booted from his host duties of What If?, so we're dropped right into the middle of the story which surely must have made sense to those who have read between the lines of every single X-Men title including Fallen Angels. As I can piece it together, this alternate reality isn't designated in any of the hefty colorful Official Handbooks of the Marvel Universe, but I'm gonna dub it Earth-99709, aka "The One Where Gambit Does Something Stupid." (Yes, yes, i to distinguish it from all other universes...universii? a problem.) As part of his life debt (or was that Chewbacca?) to Mr. Sinister, our ragin' Cajun has collected, gathered, and out and out stolen the Morlocks's "tithe boxe," in which is sealed the Ultimate Secret of the Universe™. I imagine it comes from the same store where Indy got the Ark, where Jules Winnfield got the briefcase with the nifty glowing interior, and that 1964 Chevrolet Malibu repo'd by Otto Maddox came from. Or maybe Naturally, Rogue and her thirty-five pound hairpiece vow to stop Gambit!

Panels from "Paper Skin" in What If...? (1989 series) #100 (September 1997); co-plot and script by Ivan Velez Jr.; co-plot, pencils, and inks by Klaus Janson, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Chris Eliopoulos

Gambit, of course, big cheaty-pants that he is, refuses to play fair and traps Rogue under a big-ass rock. Golly, Gambit is certainly getting boulder, isn't he BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA I'm so sorry.

Gambit contemplates possessing the Ring the Box for himself, which is so powerful that it has completely erased his inner mental Cajun accent.

Now possessing the Tithe Box, Sinister...well, I'm not really certain what he's doing here, but that fits in just fine with all the rest of his decade long plots to bedevil and baffle and tickle the X-Men, including that time when he made the young orphan Scott Summers go to bed without being able to watch the episode of Galactica 1980 with Starbuck in it. HE'S EVIL YOU SEE.

Rogue enters, and WHOA THAT'S NOT ROGUE THAT'S A MAN, BABY. Actually, it's the result of a kiss Rogue and Gambit had after Gambit delivered the box. Rogue's energy-stealing powers sucked (ewwww!) the powers and personality (and apparently he jawline) of Gambit and put it in Rogue, who can now probably call him/herself Rougbit. Or Gamogue. Take your pick. Vowing hir revenge upon Sinister, she attacks him but fails to comprehend the meaning of his words: that they, as Shakespeare put it are as mutant flies to wanton fanboys; they kill and resurrect and re-kill X-Men for their sport. Nope, Rogue doesn't get it...

...until the box falls open and Rogue discovers...hir reality is just a fiction created by the people who make comics books. What the--?

(And those comic books are...)

Cover of [Peter Parker,] Spider-Man (1990 series) #82 (August 1997), pencils by John Romita Jr., inks by Scott Hanna, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by Richard Starkings

Cover of Maverick (1997 series) #1 (September 1997), pencils by Jim Cheung, inks by Andrew Pepoy

Cover of The Incredible Hulk (1968 series) #455 (August 1997), pencils by Adam Kubert, inks by Jesse Delperdang

Cover of X-Men (1991 series) #66 (August 1997), pencils by Carlos Pacheco, inks by Art Thibert, colors by Liquid Graphics

Cover of Alpha Flight (1997 series) #1 (August 1997), pencils by Scott Clark, inks by Chris Carlson

And of course...

Yeah, I agree: those cover repros in What If? #100 are not incredibly detailed. Notice that they took cover images, splashed a single color across them and then plastered the logo on top of it. But look carefully at the shadows and details that can be seen and you'll find they're all August or September 1997 books. Which you thought were going to be worth mucho moola and you have double-bagged in your own longboxes, so check 'em out!

Because this is the Mighty Marvel Age of Bountiful Bonuses from Bully, check out this article from Marvel Vision #21, aka "The Marvel Age of the 1990s created by someone who couldn't restrain themselves in desktop publishing," detailing the What If? #100 story! Just be warned, though: it's about Gambit.

(Click picture to Rogue Has a Headache So Big It's Got Gambit Written All Over It-size)

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 273: Comic books in hardcover form? It'll never work

House ad for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns trade paperback (November 1986); printed in Batman #404 (February 1987)
Ad art: pencils by Frank Miller, inks by Klaus Janson

Cover of the first printing of the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns trade paperback (November 1986), pencils by Frank Miller, inks by Klaus Janson, colors by Lynn Varley

Today in Comics History, September 30, 1944: Ma Kent embarks on her profitable bigamy career

cover of The World of Smallville #1 (DC, April 1988), pencils by John Byrne, inks by Alfred Alcala

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Comics Within Comics Month, Day 29: Well, that solves the mystery of the missing comic book

Panels from Fanboy #5 (July 1999), script by Mark Evanier, pencils and inks by Sergio Aragones, colors by Tom Luth, letters by Todd Klein

Cover of Batman (1940 series) #1 (Spring 1940), pencils by Bob Kane

There lots of comics within comics in the six-issue miniseries Fanboy, which features great art by the always-wonderful Sergio Aragonés but also multiple fantasy sequences in each book drawn by other big-name comics artists: Dave Gibbons and HGil Kane in a Green Lantern pastiche, Jerry Ordway in a Superman parody, Wendy Pini does a take-off on Elfquest...and in this Batman-focused issue, Dick Sprang, Jim Mooney, Joe Giella, Neal Adams, Frank miller and Bruce Timm, all in the style of their own Batman era-comics! It's not just the all-star line-up that makes Fanboy #5 my fave issue of the limited series, though: it's also the fair-play, you-to-can-solve-it Adventure of the Burgled Batman!

It was a dark and stormy knight! Er, well, dark at least. When our hero Finster the comic store clerk returns to the shop after turning the lights back on, he discovers the crime of the century:

Let's let Finster examine the scene of the crime and see if there are any clues or impossible alibis:

It's an Ellery Queen-style classic locked room mystery! Nobody went in or out, and the comic can't be found on the scene, but it has clearly been stolen! Where's Jim Hutton when you need him?

You have all the clues now...can you solve the crime? Okay, we'll give you one more big clue in the next set of panels, and then match wits with Finster and see if you can find out...whodunnit!

We're just in time for the solution to the mystery...not to mention another Comic Within a Comic! And whadaya's a new installment of Let's Destroy a Copy of Detective Comics #27!

Cover of Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), pencils and inks by Bob Kane

If this were a TV drama, this would be where we'd insert the "da-da-DAH!" musical stinger. Finster Explains It All For You™:

And, by the way, here's the cover of Fanboy #5. Look familiar?

Cover of Fanboy #5 (July 1999), pencils and inks by Bob Kane and Sergio Aragonés

My point, and I do have one, is that Fanboy is a pretty fun series and if you missed it, it's well worth picking up, especially if you're a fan of Sergio (and who isn't?...commies, that's who.). Check your local comic book store for the inexpensive back issues! If you want the trade paperback...well, it's out of print, but you can pick up used copies for pennies on the dollar at