Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 20: Get the Rolls Royce...we're going for a little game

Another Tracy Island Sunday...where the whole family is just sittin' around with nothing to do but drink in each other's cool vests and groovy cardigan sweaters.

Hey dudes, why not plop down a board game on that coffee table that probably transforms into a video alert view screen instead of propping your supermarionated foot up on it, Captain Morgan?

"Danger Zone" from Thunderbirds Annual 1969 (Century 21 Publishing Ltd and City Magazines Ltd, 1968)
(Click picture to Thunderbird 5-size)

Yes, truly are the Tracys taking the highway to the...Danger Zone!

Today in Comics History, Saturday the 20th: Popeye's pappy and chile stay in the water so long their forearms swell up

Poopdeck Pappy and Swee'Pea take a bath every Saturday the 20th, whether they need it or not.

cover of Classic Popeye #13 (August 2013), pencils and inks by Bud Sagendorf; reprinted from Popeye #13 (Dell, June 1950), of which I can't find a good cover scan that isn't all written over

Golly, I wonder if I can get my bathtime frequency down to that!

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 233: How can I miss you when you won't go away

Panels from Marvel Team-Up (1997 series) #1 (September 1997), script by Tom Peyer, pencils by Pat Olliffe, inks by Al Williamson, colors by Tom Smith, letters by Bill Oakley

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 19: What Does the Fox Say?*

Let's learn a little about a British television and comics character you probably don't know about unless you grew up in the UK: Basil Brush!

Like another famous British pop culture legend, this guffawing fox hand puppet made his first television appearance in 1963, and tho' he's been on and off the air since then, still has a special part in the heart of his many, many fans who love his cheeky, irreverent humor, over-the-top Terry-Thomas impersonation, and fluffy, fuzzy tail. There's no real American equivalent of Basil — possibly the closest equivalent is Kermit the Frog, but while Kermit's known world-wide, Basil has never been a big hit outside the British Empire. Remember Topo Gigio? Pretend he's still popular in America today. And like Signore Gigio, Basil Brush has occasionally had his very own comic book:

And of course, in those comics, he had (as you may have guessed from this post) his own board game!

"Basil's Spanish Holiday" in TV Comics Basil Brush Holiday Special 1978 (Polystyle Publications, 1978); artist unknown
(Click picture to Fantastic Mister Fox-size)

I became a Basil fan back in 2011 (when I was only six) when I holidayed in London and attended the BBC Radio 3 Comic Relief Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, at which I (and several thousand other concertgoers) set the Guinness World Record for Most Kazoos Played at One Time by People (and a Little Stuffed Bull). one of the show's hosts was — you guessed it — Basil Brush! Here's my personal photograph of of Basil from my seat. I really zoomed in on him.

Wanna see more? You can watch some Basil Brush short videos here:

And he's got an entire YouTube Channel devoted to his foxy deeds!

* Oh, and to answer that question I posed in the header, Basil's frequent catchphrase is..."BOOM BOOM!"

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 232: Spider-Man and His Amazing, Cloaked, Cleavage-Baring, Venomous Friends

Two-page spread from Spider-Man (1990 series) #36 (July 1993); script by Terry Kavanagh, pencils by Tom Lyle, inks by Scott Hanna, colors by Kevin Tinsley and Ericka Moran, letters by Rick Parker
(Click picture to Maximum Crossover-size)

Maximum Carnage, Part Eight. What can we say? It was the Nineties.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 18: Pimp Your TARDIS

In this series so far I've shown you one or two early Doctor Who board games from the Doctor Who Annual. The BBC still faithfully puts out DW Annuals every year (frequently available for the "get 'em out of here" cost of 99p in your local British Waterstones' the day after Christmas), but the beautiful hand-drawn and -colored games of the '60s and '70s have given way to computer-designed, photo-illustrated, font-lettered games of today:

"Race Against Time" in Doctor Who: The Official Annual 2010 (BBC Children's Books, August 2009)
(Click picture to Broadchurch-size)

As you can see, nothing too game-changing (hah!) here in design or play, although if I were you, BBC, I would have deleted that second-to-last square because we're all still pretty sensitive about that. But I wanted to spotlight this one because of its diabolically trope-breaking game counters. While the games (and I) usually encourage you to dig into your Paddington coin bank and dig out a few farthings and thrupenny bits, here it's absolutely necessary that you clip out the multi-colored Tardii:

It's the Legion of Multicolored Tardises!

The Green Doctor saves the earth but environmentally. The Red Doctor is annoyed that people keep wandering into his TARDIS to make a phone call. The Yellow Doctor is rich with potassium.

Today in Comics History, August 18, 1931: Neil deGrasse Tyson exacts his terrible revenge

from Back to the Future: Citizen Brown #1 (IDW, May 2016); adapted from the video game story by Bob Gale, Michael Stemmle, Andy Hartzell, and Jonathan Straw; adapted by Bob Gale and Erik Burnnham; script by Erik Burnham; pencils and inks by Alan Robinson; colors by Maria Santrolalla; letters by Shawn Lee

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 231: One of Thomas Pynchon's lesser-known works

In the middle of scouring (well, not literally, as I haven't got a scrubby sponge) my British comics annuals for pop culture and comic book board games, I found this treat: a Spider-Man prose story featuring, and with a picture of, J. Jonah Jameson! Or, as he's called in the UK: Jamesoun.

Page from text story "Eight Legs Hath the Spider!" in Spider-Man Annual 1985 (Grandreams Ltd. UK, 1984), creators unknown

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 17: I'll turn this car around if you kids don't play this game back there

Yes, it's Sam & Max, America's Favorite Dog 'n' Rabbit Private Investigators (take that, Sam Spayed and Auguste Lapin!) and they're traveling this great land of ours in a big gas-guzzlin' automobile, running down shady-lookin' hitchhikers and stopping in at Stuckey's for that delicious Pecan Log Roll. It's the American Way! And so is their board game!

Left: Sam & Max Freelance Police Special #1 (Comico, January 1989); script, pencils, and inks by Steve Purcell; colors by Rick Taylor; letters by L. Lois Buhalis;
(Click picture to another-roadside-attraction-size)

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 230: Totally Airwolf

Panels from Deadpool (2016 series) #14 (October 2016), script by Gerry Duggan, pencils by Mike Hawthorne, inks by Terry Pallot, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by Joe Sabino

Today in Comics History, August 17, 1931: Marty McFly travels through time to watch the first Merry Melodie cartoon*

from Back to the Future: Citizen Brown #1 (IDW, May 2016); adapted from the video game story by Bob Gale, Michael Stemmle, Andy Hartzell, and Jonathan Straw; adapted by Bob Gale and Erik Burnnham; script by Erik Burnham; pencils and inks by Alan Robinson; colors by Maria Santrolalla; letters by Shawn Lee

*"Lady, Play Your Mandolin!" was the first Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Rudolf Ising of Harman and Ising. It was originally released in August 1931.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 16: In Which I Play the Race Card



Cover of Mike Mercury in Supercar (Wm Collins Sons & Co., Ltd., London and Glasgow, 1961); art by Brian Lewis

Yes, it’s Supercar, strange automobile from another planet! Who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal cars. Supercar, who can drive down the length of mighty rivers, made of steel constructed by bare hands! And who, disguised as Park Dent, mild-mannered taxicab in a great metropolitan city, runs a never-ending race for truth, justice and burning rubber! And now another exciting board game in The Adventures of Supercar!

"Test Flight" in Mike Mercury in Supercar (Wm Collins Sons & Co., Ltd., London and Glasgow, 1961)
(Click picture to Jeremy Clarkson-size)


Today in Comics History, August 16, 2016: El Marko™ is invented

from The Black Monday Murders #1 (Image, August 2016), script by Jonathan Hickman, pencils and inks by Tomm Coker, colors by Michael Garland, letters by Rus Wooten

TV commercial for El Marko felt tip pens by Papermate (c. 1968-1970s)

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 229: Those were the days, my Spider-Friend

Panel from Amazing Spider-Man (2015 series) #15 (September 2016), script by Dan Slott and Christos Gage, pencils by Giuseppe Camuncoli, inks by Cam Smith, colors by Marte Gracia, letters by Joe Caramagna

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 15: Batman and Robin Chute First

Here's another game from that Concordium of Fun, the Batman Giant Games Book! (Here's the first one.) It's not just fulla games, it also has pictures to colour! here's one of 'em. get out yer crayons!

Today, the exciting game of skill known as Gotham Run! Which I thought was what you do if you want Tex-Max fast food and the only Taco Penguin is in Gotham City itself. But I was wrong.

"Gotham Run" from Batman Giant Games Book (World Distributors, Manchester, 1966), creators unknown
(Click picture to fists-of-justice-size)

The instructions show you that unlike most of the other games I've presented so far in this series, the object is not a race to the end, but instead a carnival-type spin-the-coin competition. Pennies and ha'pennies are suggested for use, but I am instead saving those to feed the birds. I'd recommend pennies and dimes, or, if you live in Latveria: Doomducats and Minidooms. For best results and to avoid costly harm to funriture, do not use the giant penny found in the cave beneath your home.

Riddle me this, Batman: When does it rain money? A: When there's "change" in the weather! Also, when you drop the coins on the playing board using the patented Batchute. No, not this...

...but this! It's a make-it-yourself spinner to twirl and drop the coin! Ask your parents if you can use scissors. That's just good advice all the time.

(Click picture to giant-centrifuge-size)

Follow these instructions to make the Bat-Chute! Unless you're one of those people who never reads instructions. You know who you are.

That's all you need to play Gotham Run! Aside from an actual desire to play Gotham Run.

Also: free at no additional pounds and/or pence, a games board for draughts or chess! I imagine you can use pennies and nickels for the pieces to play draughts, which is checkers with the windows open. For chess...well, just take the pieces out of your chess set and use those. And I suppose you can use the board in your chess set, too. Wait, this board is useless for chess!

Unless you've been hoarding these fine collectibles! Yes, the Batman Chess Set, each fine piece available from the Franklin Mint for a low monthly price of $79.99 plus shipping and handling for each elegantly designed chess...guy.

Today in Comics History, August 15, 1962: Peter Parker goes back in time to score copies of Amazing Fantasy #15

from Spidey Sunday Spectacular! #1 (one-shot) (Marvel, July 2011), script by Stan Lee, pencils and inks by Marcos Martin, colors by Muntsa Vicente, letters by Joe Caramagna

Sure, go ahead, Petey! Travel back in time to your own origin! What could possibly go wrong?

from The Amazing Spider-Man & Silk: Spider(Fly) Effect Infinite Comic #2 (Marvel, February 2016), script by Robbie Thompson, storyboards (!) by Geoffo (!!), pencils and inks by Todd Nauck, colors by Veronica Gandini, letters by Cory Petit

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 228: Make America Berate Again

Panels from X-Factor (2006 series) #217 (May 2011), script by Peter David, pencils by Emanuela Lupacchino, inks by Guillermo Ortego, colors by Matt Milla, letters by Cory Petit

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 14: Some Fantastic Place

The thing I love about this one is that the game track is actually Reed Richards's stretchy body.

"The Race Through Doom Castle" from Fantastic Four Annual 1979 (Marvel UK/Grandreams Ltd, 1979)
(Click picture to Terror in a Tiny Town-size)

Yes, the only way this game track could be better would be if it took you down the Orange Brick Road. But here's the next best thing (even if it's not the right color because they're printed on one-colour pages):

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 227: If the rain comes they run and hide their heads

Panels from Peter Parker: Spider-Man (1999 series) #45 (August 2002), script by Paul Jenkins, pencils by Humberto Ramos, inks by Wayne Faucher, colors by Studio F, letters by Richard Starkings