Saturday, December 05, 2015

Do not adjust your browser settings

Welcome to Comics Oughta Be Fun! I'm Andrew Otis Weiss. You may remember me from such internet phenomena as "Armagideon Time," "You Chose Wrong," and "That One Mean Thing I Said on Twitter About Some Geeky Thing You Enjoy!"

When I heard that everyone's favorite little stuffed bull was experiencing technical issues, I offered to fill in as a guest host for this magnificent site.

The joyful focus of Comics Oughta Be Fun may make this gig seem like an odd fit, as I have a (somewhat deserved) reputation for being a buzz-killing crankypants. Truth to tell, my cantankerous nature comes not from hate, but from love -- an abiding yet tough love for a medium (take your pick of which one) that has produced some truly great things and even more terrible ones.

It's not a matter of "high/low art," but one of intent and execution. To this end, I figured I'd use this guest hosting opportunity to spotlight some characters and comics I truly adore.

Our first entry should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with my work at Armagideon Time:

(from "Mr. Tawny Seeks Happiness" in Captain Marvel Adventures #117, Feb. 1951; by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck)

More than just an obvious example of the child-like whimsy at play in the Golden Age Marvel Family comics, Mister Tawny the Talking Tiger served as a plaid-jacketed everyman whose fallibility was offset by a noble heart and supportive peers.

Though he often played the Goofus to Billy Batson's and the Big Red Cheese's Gallant, the intent was to offer him as an instructional example for self-improvement rather than an object lesson to avoid.  He slipped, he stumbled, yet always emerged from these lapses as a better person.

Whether Binder and Beck intended it to be the case, Tawny's predicament mirrored that of America's newly elevated post-WW2 middle class in his attempts to navigate a confusing environment without a clear roadmap.

His origin -- a beast of the wild who aspires toward civilized behavior -- gave a nod not only to the foibles of farm folk turned semi-sophisticated suburbanite(like my maternal grandparents) but to the process of child-to-adult maturation in general.

That's some serious semiotic baggage for a great cat in golf pants.

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 339: Well, that explains the whole saga

Panel from Star Wars Episode I: Anakin Skywalker one-shot (May 1999), script by Timothy Truman, pencils by Steve Crespo, inks by George Freeman, colors by Dave Nestelle, letters by Vickie Williams

Friday, December 04, 2015

No computer no cry

Temporarily, Comics Oughta Be Fun will be paused because my computer has died. Services will be held at your local comic book shop, where you should buy something fun and hug your friends.

Back soon, hopefully next week. And remember: be good and be good to each other!

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 338: Groot: Jedi Master

Panels from Star Wars: Dark Empire II #3 (February 1995); script by Tom Veitch; pencils, inks, and colors by Cam Kennedy, letters by Todd Klein

Thursday, December 03, 2015

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 337: Jedis are jerks

Panels from "Twisted Toyfare Theatre: Sith Sandwich" in Toyfare #98 (October 2005), by Pat McCallum, Zach Oat, and Justin Aclin; with Jon Gutierrez, Andrew Kardon, and Chris Ward

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 336: Muppet Labs in the Star Wars Universe

Panels from Star Wars: Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse #1 (December 2011), script by John Ostrander, pencils by Stéphane Roux, inks by Julien Hugonnard-Bert, colors by Wes Dzioba, letters by Michael Heisler

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Comic books teach me numbers!

Yesterday Mike "My Comic Book Shop is Made Out of Silver" Sterling, proprietor of America's only comic book blog, asked the musical question, at the special request of pal Cathy Leamy, how do you keep the different editions of recently published comic books straight, especially when they been renumbered very recently? Which is a darn good question to ask.

I, for one, am a master of all things numbery, from chimpan-one to chimpan-three. Why, I've even read an entire comic book devoted to the art of how comics teach numbers, both whole and numbers between (and presumably up to eleventy-teen).

Comics Teach ##M-03 [Whole Numbers and Numbers Between]

Because comics have taught me many numbers. They've taught me how to count one-two-three:

Amazing Spider-Man #1, 2, and 3

They've taught me to count all the way up to 718, 719, and 720!

Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #718, 719, and 720

Comics have taught me how to count up to one thousand!

2000 AD Prog 1000, Wolverine #1000, Radioactive Man #1000

And even all the way, as of last week, to 1,958! Which was a pretty good year.

2000 AD Progs 1956, 1957, and 1958

Tho' I have to travel overseas, passport in hand, comics can teach me to count all the way up to 4,016!

Robbedoes #3518, The Dandy #3610, Spirou #4016

Yes, comics can teach you to count to a million. It takes a long time, and it's pretty confusing, but there's a really good story about Robin the Toy Wonder along the way.

Batman #1,000,000; Legionnaires #1,000,000; Starman #1,000,000

What, more? Yes! Comics have taught me to count backwards from 899!

Deadpool Team-Up #899, 898, and 897

Negative numbers equal something I've been taught by comics.

Silver Surfer #-1, Untold Tales of Spider-Man #-1, What If? #-1

Also, to embrace the cool mysticism of the simple, round zero given to us by famous ancient mathematicians who left clues behind, so that one day Indiana Jones and Lara Croft could find nothing.

Avengers vs. X-Men #0, Star Wars #0, Batman #0

They've taught me about fractions...

Spider-Man #½, The Twelve #½, Fathom

Those three above comics are each ONE-HALF, which makes one and a half comics, or therefore: one of these:

Avengers #1½

And from there it's merely a hop, skip and a jump to count in decimals:

Avengers #24.1, Wolverine #5.1, Fear Iitself #7.1

My comics done taught me the delicate art of counting and adding "AU" after the numbers...

Superior Spider-Man #6AU, Fearless Defenders #4AU, Uncanny Avengers #8AU

And when I'm done counting those then, I can count these now!

Nova #13.NOW, Iron Man #23.NOW, Guardians of the Galaxy #11.NOW

Yep, it's true: many comics have actually taught me how to count two numbers at the same time. Regular numbering, and extra-crispy< numbering!

Daredevil #22/402, Donald Duck #4/371, Fantastic Four #42/471

Comics have taught me that if you're counting, make sure you keep track, because if you wait a few years you might forget where you left off!

Daredevil Annual #4, Daredevil Annual #4 (should be #5)

Comics taught me not only my 1-2-3s but my A-B-Cs (copyright ©1970 the Jackson Five).

The Prisoner #A, B, and C

Ordinary school teaches you how to count using numerals, but comics teach you how to count using colors!

Deathmate Red, Yellow, and Blue

Above and beyond our puny human limits of numbering, comics have taught me how to count from alpha to omega, and even all about prime numbers!

X-Men Alpha, Omega, and Prime

Yes, comic numbers! They can take you to infinity! (And beyond!)

S.H.I.E.L.D.* #Infinity

Abiut the only things numbers in comics don't help you do is figger out which rassin'-frassin' volume of Howard the Duck #1 you're picking up from the shelf especially since they even look alike GRRRRRRRRRRR

Howard the Duck (2015 series) #1, Howard the Duck (2016 series) #1

And the same could be said of Squirrel Girl, except

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015 series) #1, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2016 series) #1

…because at least Squirrel Girl tips you off it's Volume 2.

As always: game, set, and match: Squirrel Girl.

* Start Helping In Elegant Little Decimals

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 335: Well, That'll Happen

Panels from Star Wars: Rebellion #16 (August 2008), script by Rob Williams, pencils and inks by Dustin Weaver, colors by Wil Glass, letters by Michael Heisler

The 1987 2015 Marvel Age Calendar for Daredevilish December!

December 1987 calendar from the back cover of Marvel Age #59 (February 1988),
script by Mike Carlin, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Paul Becton
(Click picture to Decidedly-Bigger-size!)

I hope you clipped 'n' saved every month of the 1987 2015 Marvel Age Calendar! Now, put them away safely and bring 'em back out in 2026, when you can use 'em again! Who says this isn't the Boisterous Bully Year of Calendar Cut-Price Savings?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Today in Comics History, November 30, 1982: Thing ditches FF, decides to get a little bit of that sweet, sweet MCU money

from Marvel Two-in-One (1974 series) #97 (Marvel, March 1983), script by David Michelinie, pencils by Ron Wilson, inks by Jon D'Agostino, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Rick Parker

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 334: Usagi Yo-yoda

Stan Sakai's variant cover for Star Wars #1, pencils and inks:

Variant cover of Star Wars (Marvel 2015 series) #1 (March 2015), pencils and inks by Stan Sakai

Colored version:

Colors by Tom Luth

And the finished cover:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 333: Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions in the Star Wars Universe

Panels from "Sabotaged Supplies" in Star Wars: Rebels Magazine (Egmont UK Ltd 2015 series) #7 (15 July-11 August 2015), script by Martin Fisher, art by Ingo Römling