Saturday, February 04, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 35: Until issue 32, at least

Panels from Batman and the Outsiders (1983 series) #3 (October 1983); script by Mike W. Barr; pencils, inks, and letters by Jim Aparo; colors by Adrienne Roy

Friday, February 03, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 34: I'm Still Standing (Yeah Yeah Yeah)

Panels from Avengers (2013 series) #1 (February 2013), script by Jonathan Hickman, pencils by Jerome Opeña, colors by Dean White, letters by Cory Petit

Thursday, February 02, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 33: Don't be a Logan, be a Sue Storm

Panels from [Uncanny] X-Men Annual #5 (1981), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Brent Anderson, inks by Bob McLeod, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Tom Orzechowski

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Fun with (Archie) Comics: This is canon on the CW show Riverdale

365 Days of Defiance, Day 32: When I say you're a pork chop you best believe you're a pork chop

As we saw yesterday, Spider-Man will overcome all odds and lift a big-ass piece of machinery, in one of the most iconic sequences of the Marvel Age of Comics! So iconic, in fact, that comics will be referencing it for decades. Even pig comics!

Panels from Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham one-shot (November 1983), script by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Mark Armstrong, inks by Joe Albelo, colors by Steve Mellor, letters by Rick Parker and Jack Morelli

Spider-Ham is stronger than everything!...except the floorboards.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 31: And it feels like fear / Like I'll disappear / Gets so hard to steer / Yet I go on

Panels from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #33 (February 1966); plot, pencils, and inks by Steve Ditko; script by Stan Lee, letters by Artie Simek

A special No-Bull Prize and thanks to Sean Murphy for encouraging this entry.

A Month of... Celebrities in Comics, Day 31: Jane, stop this crazy thing...called love

Well, this here's now the unexpectedly final day of A Month of... Celebrities in Comics, so what better or more obvious way for me to wrap up the feature (for now) than with the Best Celebrity I Ever Met: Ms. Jane Wiedlin!

There's been plenty of celebrities playing themselves in comic books, from Pat Boone and Bob Hope to Chuck Norris and Mr. T. (Not to mention Adam West and Stan Lee!!) But the one celebrity-as-comic-star book I lined up overnight at the comic book shop for is the delightful Jane, who had a very short-lived series from Image in the early 2010s. (Then again, which of us can say we didn't have an Image series at one point or another? Sit down, Ballistic!

covers of Jane Wiedlin's Lady Robotika #1-2 (Image, July-August 2010), pencils and inks by Bill Morrison, colors by Rachelle Rosenberg

I've covered Jane Wiedlin in comics previously but I only hinted at the sheer insanity that is Jane Wiedlin's Lady Robotika, which is kinda a sci-fi/cyberpunk/bondage/rock musical comic book co-written by Jane and Bill Morrison from Bongo Comics. Jane plays a perky punky rock grrrl (so, not really flexing her comic book dramatic chops here).

Out in the crowd she spots a mysterious handsome sexy stranger who immediately captures her attention and affection. Note: the following two panels might have been very slightly edited for content.

Yes Jane, lay off the greyhounds!

Later, Jane is mysteriously abducted by aliens! With a special guest appearance by Homer Simpson! BONGO COMICS CROSSOVER!


Turns out the aliens are really big Jane Wiedlin fans (that is. totally believable) after having followed Earth pop culture for years and adapting their own culture after it and hey wait a minute this is the plot of Galaxy Quest and they've kidnapped Jane to perform a big concert on their far-away world in a completely different solar system many light-years away. Even so, Ticketmaster is charging a $20 concession fee.

But suppose Jane doesn't agree to doing the concert?

Oh, okay. That makes sense. As does Jane waking up on the journey to find she's grown a cybernetic arm! Who among us can say that's never happened to us? Sit down, Ballistic.

In issue #2, Jane and that other guy who's not me arrives on the alien's planet, which is a cross between The Jetsons and Itchy and Scratchy World. Everybody remember: we're parked in the Belinda Carlisle lot!

What's the terrible frightening Scary Door/Twilight Zone twist to this seemingly perfect paradise? Turns out they're man slaves! Man, I can just see Jane Wiedlin leading a planetwide rebellion!

Hey look Jane's cyber-arm is a weapon and wait why is there a dinosaur dressed as Elvis maybe you shouldn't have laid off the greyhounds this week Jane.

Then Jane's tossed into intergalactic jail. It's the same type of jail that we first see Jyn Erso in at the beginning of Rogue One. Coincidence? I think not.

What happens next, Jane Wiedlin? Wellllll...we shall never know, because the series ended with #2. Personally, I was hoping for a big musical number and then a rebellion featuring laser guitars and a guest appearance by the rest of the Go-Go's around ish 12, but that'll never happen now. Along with Sonic Disruptors, AllStar Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, and Kyle Baker's The Shadow, it's one of the lost storylines that shall never be completed, except in my head when Bull-Or, the mighty stuffed bull, swings by the planet to team up with Jane and together they ride off into the starset. Ah well.

Play us off, Jane Wiedlin as Lady Robotika!

"Ray Gun" by Jane Wiedlin from the Lady Robotika comic soundtrack (2008)

Wait, is that red cup full of greyhound?

Monday, January 30, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 30: "I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit."

Continued from today's A Month of Celebrities in Comics: Jesse Custer is fired up by the words of stand-up comic Bill Hicks:

Panels from Preacher #31 (November 1997), script by Garth Ennis, pencils and inks by Steve Dillon, colors by Pamela Rambo, letters by Clem Robins

Lots of people take as Preacher's central tenant the off-quoted "You gotta be one of the good guys. 'Cause there's way to many of the bad." And it's a fine line, and one I'll even spotlight at some point in this feature. But for me the heart of Preacher, a series which takes its strength from the power of the word, is "a guy who tells the truth in this bullshit world, he's worth his weight in gold."

"Like many kids growing up on a steady diet of westerns I always wanted to be the cowboy hero that lone voice in the wilderness fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth, and justice. And in my heart of hearts I still track the remnants of that dream wherever I go in my never ending ride into the setting sun." — Bill Hicks

A Month of... Celebrities in Comics, Day 30: "It's always funny until someone gets hurt. Then it's just hilarious."

I've been a huge fan of the late great stand-up comedian Bill Hicks since the late great record label Rykodisc reissued his routines on CD in the late '90s. His observations are vulgar, cutting, and, for so many of us, absolutely true. Bill's stand-up routines were less timed comedy than knife-sharp rants against culture and the system, and his work definitely isn't for everyone. Since he died of pancreatic cancer in 1994, I missed ever seeing Bill live on stage. But his live performances on CD are so immediate, raw and emotional that you can feel you're actually there. Like Jesse Custer was:

Panels from Preacher #31 (November 1997), script by Garth Ennis, pencils and inks by Steve Dillon, colors by Pamela Rambo, letters by Clem Robins

Without Bill Hicks to spur on Jesse, the events of the entire run of Preacher would have never taken place. That's a much larger lynchpin role than comics usually give to a celebrity guest appearance. You may laugh or you may wince at his routines, but becoming a Bill Hicks fan made me a better person, more critical and cautious about what we're told is the truth and why we should strive to pull ourselves out of the gutter.

(Continued in today's 365 Days of Defiance.)

Today in Comics History, January 30, 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1996: Spider-Man goes berserk; Daily Bugle runs out of black ink

cover of Web of Spider-Man #13 (Marvel, April 1986), pencils by Mark Beachum, inks by Joe Rubinstein

Sunday, January 29, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 29: Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Panels from Avengers (1998 series) #54 (July 2002), script by Kurt Busiek, pencils by Kieron Dwyer, inks by Rick Remender, colors by Tom Smith, letters by Richard Starkings

Today in Comics History, January 29, 1991: B. A. Baracus did not agree to be turned into an Army 4x4

from The A-Team: War Stories: Hannibal one-shot (IDW, March 2010), script by Chuck Dixon and Erik Burnham, pencils and inks by Hugo Petrus, colors by German Torres, letters by Neil Uyetake