Saturday, September 03, 2016

Today in Comics History, September 3, 1993: Really, no joke I could make here would be better than the panel itself

from Miracleman #19 (Eclipse, November 1990), cover art by Dave McKean, script by Neil Gaiman, pencils by Mark Buckingham, inks and colors by Sam Parsons, letters by Wayne Truman

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 247: Appearance of black Spider-Man confounds press, confuses panel reading order

Panels from Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #3 (September 2014), script by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils and inks by David Marquez, colors by Justin Ponsor, letters by Cory Petit

Friday, September 02, 2016

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 246: I, Aged Bully

Page from Fun and Games Magazine #9 (May 1980), writer and artist uncredited

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Today in Comics History, September 1, 1945: Golden Age Daredevil declares war on black marketeers and this one newspaper

from Daredevil Comics #32 (Lev Gleason, September 1945), pencils and inks by Charles Biro

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 245: Hostile Neighborhood Spider-Man

Panel from Spider-Man Adventures #2 (January 1995), script by Neil Yomtov, pencils and inks by Alex Saviuk, colors by Kevin Tinsley, letters by Steve Dutro

The MAD 1960 2016 calendar for Stupid September!

"The MAD 1960 Calendar: September" from MAD #52 (January 1960), script by Larry Siegel, art by George Woodbridge

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 31: Play visually or die!

Back around Day 18 of this feature, oh, seventy-eight months ago, Smurfswacker of the great (and sadly late) comics blog Words and Pictures pointed out, and quite correctly, I must say:
I get the strangest impression that all these games are basically the same game: advance, lose turn, return to start, go back spaces, etc. I guess no one figured it was worth the effort to create an original, more complex game.
Ain't that the truth, and thanks for smurfing it out, Smurfswacker. I've mentioned several times that there's basically two templates for these simplified games: Candyland or Parcheesi/Sorry — you try to move your token(s) safely either back to your beginning or to a designated end. A few of them have had some slightly more complicated rules, but they're fundamentally a pasttime that's going to occupy you for maybe an hour or so, and not become a craze of a lifetime, like my crippling addiction to Hands Down.

To be fair, I've posted most of the games for their artwork or design sense (and some to pure poke a li'l fun at 'em), but once in a while a truly innovative board game gets printed in the pages of a comic or annual or...or even Foom, the fan magazine for Marvel Maniacs during the funky seventies. And who better to provide us with a game that goes above and beyond than the writer and artist who took comics above and beyond during the '70s, the one, the only Jim Steranko! It's an all-out battle between the nogoodniks of HYDRA and the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.*, and it's gonna be exciting even than your average episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.**! Then again, so would a colonsocopy.

"Moving Target" in FOOM #1 (February 1973); by Jim Steranko
(Click picture to STERANKO!-size)

This is no ordinary start-and-the-beginning and move-your-token-to-the-end: there is literal backstabbing involved in this game! (Note: not literally.) Check out not only the most involving rules to a comic book game ever, but the best-written:

And in conclusion to the rules and to this series that took me a lot longer to research and write than I had expected, here's a final word from Steranko:

See? Jim's got the idea. Mix and match the rules for maximum enjoyment! If you're bored with a board game, mix a little unpredictability into by tossing out the rules — say, a version of Monopoly where one player builds hotels and the other is Godzilla, knockin' 'em down! Or combine two or more board games for maximum Amalgam Universe action: "It was Colonel Mustard with the Mousetrap in Kamchatka!"

To paraphrase the Great Mister S., and perhaps sum up my entire exploration of these comic book games, I'll just leave you with this thought:

Board Games Oughta Be Fun!

* Spy Hijinks Involving Electric Laser Destruction
** Someone High-up In Entertainment Loves Daisy


366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 244: Conspicuously absent at the Zebediah Killgrave Roast: Jessica Jones

from Marvel Team-Up Annual #4 (Marvel, 1981), script by Frank Miller, breakdowns by Herb Trimpe, finishes by Mike Esposito, colors by George Roussos, letters by Diana Albers

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 30: Play this boardgame, or we'll shoot Sarah Jane Smith

I told you we'd have a lot of Doctor Who games in store, and this kinda proves it: yet one more, this time (again) focused on not the Doctor but his nemesis, the BBC Daleks. It's back from an era where the Daleks were promoted separately from Doctor Who because they were were the co-intellectual property (with the Beeb) of creator Terry Nation (and designed by Raymond Cusick). There was, for quite some time, a completely separate licensing line for the Daleks apart from the good Doctor, which is how we eventually wound up with Abslom Daak, Dalek Killer. (The Delightful Mister D. has only recently been brought into DW canon by appearing within a computer screen in "Time Heist," an episode featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara. And he's resurfaced last year in Titan's authorized comics!)

Those separate licensing reasons is why Christmas 1976 was twice as nice for British kids, as they could get not merely the authorized Doctor Who Annual 1977 but also the seperately-published and equally-authorized Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1977!

I've gotta admit, if I had saved up my p's and q's by asking for pennies for the Guy and i could only buy one 1977 annual because I had in hoof was twelve shillings ha'penny and tupfarthings, I think I'd opt for Daleks value rather than Doctor, at least based on the cover. The DocAnn is just another painted image of Tom Baker vaguely looking displeased at something off screen: I imagine he may be shouting "Noooooo!" at a rubber-suited alien. No real action there.

There's much more value for money based on the cover of Daleks Annual '77, which appears to portray our favorite heroic crime-fighting pepperpot roborgs knocking down twin Super Dave Osbornes and then spraying them with oil and vinegar. Either that or they're falling over a tiny, tiny waterfall. Don't go chasing those, guys! I'd pick Daleks because the 1977 Doctor Who Annual is infamously known in fandom as target="_blank">"the annoying one that doesn't fit with the others on the bookshelf because it's slightly taller and wider".

Also, this cool Daleks board game with one bajillion special rules and a Penalty-Advantage Scale. "Any number of players can join in." Wow, it is really suited for "8 to 80"!

"Escape from Skaro!: A Race to Freedom" in Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1977 (BBC/World Distributors (Manchester) Ltd., 1976); creator unknown
(Click picture to New Paradigm-size)

In conclusion, don't forget in any upcoming election to vote Dalek! They never misrepresent themselves as something they're not in the least!

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 243: He used to be your victim / Now you're not the only one

Panels from Green Goblin #6 (March 1996), script by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Derek Fisher, colors by Gregory Wright, color separations by Malibu, letters by Jim Novak

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 29: Pardon me, groundhog, is this the Fun-Land Choo-Choo?

It's not a holiday season of board game givin' excitement unless you invite Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! And his shifty sidekick pal, Grover Groundhog, the star of Comics Oughta Be Fun's annual Groundhog Day!

"Take a Railroad Trip to Fun-Land!" from Limited Collectors' Edition #C-42 (February-March 1976), script and pencils by Sheldon Mayer, inks by Tenny Henson

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 242: Even back then, Marvel kept trying to kickstart a Clone Saga

Panels from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #161 (October 1976), script by Len Wein, breakdowns by Ross Andru, figure finishes by Mike Esposito, background finishes by Dave Hunt, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Irving Watanabe

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 28: Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get Who I Want

As you'll have noticed, there's a number of Doctor Who games I've featured in this series, mostly because I have a buncha old British Doctor Who annuals! Here's another one that I include not simply because it has a weird-ass flower-alien at the center centre of it...

"A Race Against Time!" in Doctor Who Annual 1978 (BBC, 1977); artist uncredited
(Click picture to Giant Robot-size)

...but mainly because it's got a picture of The Emo Doctor.

The Emo Doctor later declared that no one understood him, then he slammed shut the door of his black-painted room that is bigger on the inside and started playing his entire library of Smiths songs.

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 241: Spider-Man easily wins the 1963 National Poetry Award

Panels from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #6 (November 1963), script by Stan Lee, pencils and inks by Steve Ditko, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek