Monday, October 08, 2018

365 Days of Defiance, Day 369: Dare to Defy

Panels from Dan Dare #5 (Virgin Comics, March 2008), script by Garth Ennis, pencils and inks by Gary Erskine, colors by A. Parasuraman, letters by Rakesh B. Mahadik and Nilesh S. Mahadik

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

An Adora-bull Song I'll Love For-heifer!

HOLY COW My online pal Chelsea, akak Twitter's TravelsWithBrindle (Brindle is the name of her trusty uke!), has written me a Theme Song as part of her ongoing 100 Days of Ukulele Songs! WOW. I am bestonished and flabberwhelmed! And one, two, three four hit it Chelsea!:


You too can find her and follow her on the social medias and support her fine project! THIS LITTLE BULL HEARTILY SUPPORTS HER!
Now if you'll excuse me, I'mma gonna go sing this song to everyone I know!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Today in Comics History: Bad News, Good News

There are newspapers! Of course there are. Well, let's read the terrible headline first:

Page from Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #5 (June 2017), story and script by Bob Gale and Derek Fridolfs, pencils by Alan Robinson, inks by Alan Robinson and Jaime Castro, colors by Maria Santaolalla, letter by Shawn Lee

GREAT SCOTT! How's Doc Brown gonna get out of this one? Oh! (sees there is one issue left) Well, it's not like a comic book ever served up a cliffhanger before, but I'll wait and see.

Meanwhile, here's the good news, or at least the puff piece. Really, was it that newsless in Metropolis on that day, Perry?

Panels from Wonder Woman (1987 series) #170 (July 2001), script by Phil Jimenez and Joe Kelly, pencils by Phil Jimenez, inks by Andy Lanning, colors by Patricia Mulvihill, color separations by Heroic Age, letters by Comicraft

Geez, why doncha marry her, Lois?

Meanwhile, here's some bad news and good news about yours little stuffed truly: I haven't had much time to work on my blog lately (that's the bad news, smartass), so you haven't seen many updates, and I do hereby little stuffed apologize for that. I just wanted top assure you that this blog ain't out of business, defunct, closed or even out to pasture, which is not a lifestyle for this little bull.

Nope! I promise you we'll see more of Mxyzptlk this year and more Days of Defiance (because we simply can't not) and more Todays in Comics History even if they're not precisely all exactly on the right day and probably more declarations COCAINE! So hang in there, because today is this blog's THIRTEENTH BIRTHDAY, even though I'm only seven (which is a very good age to be). Yep, thirteen years have I been bugging you with that Angel Love joke.

So keep on checkin' in occasionally and I'll be here for you. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Today in Comics History: Clint and Barney Barton Go Bad

Panel from "The Barton Brothers!" in Star-Spangled Comics #86 (November 1948), script by Bill Finger (?), pencils and inks by Jim Mooney, letters by Ira Schnapp

Now Robin, there was a boy! Wouldn't you agree, Nat "King" Cole?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Today in Comics History, May 20, 1775: The JLA claims North Carolina through the cunning use of flags

North Carolina variant cover of Justice League of America (2013 series) #1 (DC, April 2013), pencils and inks by David Finch

Déjà vu?

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Angel Love, Interpol Agent

Panels from "Double Dealers!" in Primus #1 (Charlton, February 1972), script by Joe Gill, pencils and inks by Joe Staton, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Charlotte Jetter
and from Angel Love #1 (August 1986); script and pencils by Barbara Slate, inks by John William Lopez, colors by Bob LeRose, letters by Bill Yoshida

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Today in Comics History, April 4, 1960 (Oscar Night): Charlton Heston clubs a damn dirty ape to death with his Oscar

Hey look, it's Celebrity in Comics Charlton Heston, making on of his early and rare four-color appearances years before he would get a title of his own in Marvel's Planet of the Apes series! Don't shoot us, Chuck! Heh heh heh heh. Ehhhhh.

from Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #2 (February 2017), co-plot and script by Bob Gale, co-plot by Derek Fridolfs, pencils by Alan Robinson, inks by Alan Robinson and Jaime Castro, colors by Maria Santaolalla, letters by Chris Mowry

Monday, April 02, 2018

Ten of a Kind: What Do You Know About My Image Duplicator?

(More Ten of a Kind here.)

The title of this ten take-downs of Roy Lichtenstein (notice how every one of 'em has better lettering than the Larcenous Mr. L) is from this 1963 Lichtenstein artwork. You probably recognize the laid-back dude in it.

"What Do You Know About My Image Duplicator?" is...let's be frank and use the right word...plagiarized, as is most of Lichtenstein's comic-based art, from the good work of comic book writers and artists. So yeah, that's what I know about your fershluggin' image duplicator, Roy: it stinks.

Here's "Image Duplicator"'s original sources:

Panels from (L): The X-Men (1963 series) #1 (September 1963), sript by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Paul Reinman, letters by Sam Rosen
(R): "The Return of General Immortus" in My Greatest Adventure (1955 series) #84 (December 1963), script by Arnold Drake, pencils and inks by Bruno Premiani

Ooooh boy, big man Roy, rippin' off Kirby and Arnold Drake. I extend my fuzzy bare butt in your general direction.

Curiously, Roy Lichtenstein actually exists within the Marvel Universe, as seen in this set of panels from Web of Spidey #73:

Panels from Web of Spider-Man (1985 series) #73 (February 1991), script by John Byrne, pencils by Alex Saviuk, inks by Keith Williams, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Rick Parker

Didja spot Lichtenstein-616? He's the one living in the panel that's been Lichtensteinated.

We can but hope that Lichtenstein-616 died painfully under a pile of his trash paintings when the Incursion of May 2015 destroyed the Earth.

Sure, I'm as disappointed as you are that John Byrne didn't have Peter Parker punch the daylights out of Lichtenstein, but I guess he was too busy with changing to Spider-Man and saving Alicia Storm-Masters when villains attack her art exhibit.

Me, I'm just wondering why Alicia didn't ask "Peter, why are you wearing gloves now? And why does your voice sound muffled?"

Anyway, to wrap up, what do you think about high art, Calvin and Hobbes?

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Today in Comics History, April 1, 1948: Jealous of Batman's success, Green Lantern also gets himself a joke-themed nemesis

from "The April Fool's Day Crimes!" in Comic Cavalcade #27 (DC, June 1948), script by John Broome, pencils and inks by Alex Toth

Oh hey! Today also appears to be the day Doiby Dickles was killed by gangsters.

Other heroes that Green Lantern appear to be jealous of include Fawcett's Captain Marvel, what with Billy Batson working in a radio station...

And, despite the fact that they would not premiere for another thirteen years...the Fantastic Four and their trademark flare alert!

Jealous, jealous, Alan Scott. No wonder they called him the Green Lantern!

That supervillain the Fool certain is some kind of criminal joker, isn't he? (nudge nudge wink wink)

Eh, on closer inspector, he really is much more of a Riddler. Your compulsion to leave clues will continue to be your downfall, guys! I'm jus' sayin'.

Anyway, all's fool that ends fool! Happy April Fool's Day!

The 1990 2018 Marvel Age Calendar: Fantastic Four

"The 1990 Marvel Age Calendar: April" from Marvel Age #88 (May 1990); text by Chris Eliopolous and Barry Dutter, art by Ron Zalme, colors by Gregory Wright
(Click picture to Aprilize)

A Year of Mxyzptlk 3: Hey, Did You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Girl in the World?

It's April Fool's Day, so what better time than to check in on Mr. Mxyzptlk (or indeed, even Mxyztplk) for his long-overdue appearance in this blog. Well, after all, it has pretty much been 90 days, right?

When we last left our dimensional imp, he had been busy overseeing the superhuman romance of Miss Dreamface and the Metropolis Ace, which is not something we call him that much anymore, but it's kind cool when you can make it rhyme. But let's not be too alarmed over Kal-El and his beautiful belle. After all, you really can't fool Superman, can you? You couldn't fool Superman on the foolingest day of your life if you had an electrified fooling machine. that means you, Luthor

Panels from the Superman daily newspaper comic strip (June 14, 1944), script by Whitney Ellsworth, art by Wayne Boring.
(From this point on, I'll identify the date of strip or panels within the alt-text of each image.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Today in Comics History, March 28, 1958: Result of small-town horse race is printed in slim magazine-sized sports almanac

from Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #1 (IDW, January 2017), co-plot and script by Bob Gale, co-plot by Derek Fridolfs, pencils by Alan Robinson, inks by Alan Robinson and Jaime Castro, colors by Maria Santaolalla, letters by Chris Mowry

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Today in Comics History, March 25: Rowena mysteriously disappears and is never seen again

from Kathy #4 (Marvel/Atlas, April 1960), script by Stan Lee, pencils and inks by Stan Goldberg

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Today in Comics History, March 21, 1983: BullQuest

I've been behind several months on reading my digital new comics (that darn iPad touchscreen doesn't work so well with hooves). It came out last year, but I only recently read and very much enjoyed the new Swordquest miniseries, continuing the tale of those classic early-80s Atari 2600 8-bit cartridges — and yes, I had Earthworld and Fireworld to play on my Sears Video Arcade with real simulated wood panelling! Even more than those original classic games, I loved the set of DC minicomics included with art by George freakin' Pérez. My little brain full of oatmeal and pins is properly blown.

The new Swordquest comics are written by Chad Bowers and my good pal Chris Sims, creators of X-Men '92, so I knew this was gonna be good, too. Also: another good pal, Josh Krach, did the lettering! Lettering: without it comics themselves would be nearly impossible!

What I didn't expect was that Chad 'n' Chris would so thoughtfully place a Today in Comics History in the first issue for me to use! I know they did this specifically thinkin' of me. Thanks, guys!

from Swordquest (2017 series) #0 (Dynamite, May 2017 and hey, Dynamite, why you not put publication month on your comic books? it bugs me that you don't); script by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims; pencils, inks, and colors by Ghostwriter X (Scott Kowalchuk); color flats by Karl Fan; letters by Josh Krach

Yay! Thank you, C&C Comics Factory! And imagine my surprise when I got to issue #2 only to find that these guys had actually guest-starred me, your favorite little stuffed bull, in a few glorious panels drawn by Ghostwriter X who I think is the leader of the New Mutants now. here's let me show you the page and see if you can spot me, Bully the Little Stuffed Bull, in the panels below!

from Swordquest (2017 series) #2 (Dyanmite, August 2017); script by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims; pencils, inks, and colors by Ghostwriter X (Scott Kowalchuk); color flats by Karl Fan; letters by Josh Krach

I...I am honestly touched, guys, that it's such an accurate and faithful portrayal of me.

In all seriousness, I do heartily recommend Swordquest, which cleverly mixes the mythology inside the original games and comics with the real-life drama of Atari's creation and marketing of the cartridges. Bully says DON'T ASK: JUST BUY IT! Well, actually, you should ask, nicely, at your local comics store, where you can buy the Swordquest collected trade and probably back issues of the series. If, like me, you're into e-literature, check here on Comixology for the trade "paperback" and individual issues.

No, really: it's me. So lovely.

Today in Comics History, March 21, 1942: Super Soldier wins WWII and hey, wait a minute, why isn't that guy named Jimmy Jones or Rick Olsen?

from Super Soldier #1 (DC/Amalgam Comics, April 1996), co-plot and script by Mark Waid, co-lot, pencils, inks, and letters by Dave Gibbons; colors by Angus McKie

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

In which Bully finds that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting.

Doomsday Clock? The unauthorized sequel to Watchmen? Don't make me laugh. To get me to buy that, you'd have to put my favorite thing in the world on the cover and...

Cover of Doomsday Clock #4 (May 2018), art by Gary Frank

..oh, well played, DC.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Today in Comics History, March 19: Happy birthday, Calendar Man!

Hey, it's Calendar Man's birthday! (even though it doesn't say that on the probably-no-longer-canonical Super DC 1976 Calendar). Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Julian, happy birthday...y'see, I can sing that song because now, unlike Batman, it's in the public domain.

from Injustice 2 #3 (DC digital comic, April 2017), script by Tom Taylor, pencils by Bruno Redondo, inks by Juan Albarran, colors by Rex Lokus, letters by Wes Abbott

Oh, and I should probably point out that it's a dystopic alternative future where Superman killed the Joker and Batman has raised a rebellion against him and so both Supes and Bats kill people now and also Harley Quinn and Green Arrow had a meet cute. (It's all true!)\

Nooooo! Clock King! Magpie! Killer Moth! Wonder Bread Man!

So honestly, I wouldn't invite Future Murder Batman to your birthday party, but if you do, at least remember that he brings fireworks.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Today in Comics History, March 18, 1884: I got to double back again, double back again

Today's Today in Comics History comics history today (well, you know what I mean) doesn't begin on March 18th, but it winds up there eventually and momentarily. Confused? then you ought to have guessed it's another time-travelling with the original DeLorean DMC-12 — accept no ready player substitutes — in yet another alternate universal twist on Back to the Future, Part II! The one with two Marties.

All-around no-good-nik Biff Tannen is poised to take over the world...well, at least, become President of the United States, and you can't even conceive how wrong time would be if we elected to that prestigious office an orange-haired butthead. It's sometime in mid-1986, and Biff has captured Marty and Doc Brown and Doc's in-between-the-realities time machine. Biff orders Doc to set the TM™ for June 1, 1996 (and now you know which panel you can expect to see in this feature two-and-a-half months from now) so he can clean up in the stock market. Doc fiddles with the knobs and Biff steps into the time machine, which looks like a refrigerator. After all, if you're gonna build a time machine, why not make it cool?

from Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #6 (IDW, July 2017), story and script by Bob Gale and Derek Fridolfs, pencils by Alan Robinson, inks by Alan Robinson and Jaime Castro, colors by Maria Santaolalla, letter by Shawn Lee

Say, do you know what happened in Hill Valley, California, on March 18, 1884? me, I woulda guessed it was the date of Z.Z. Top's first single hitting the charts:

But no, it's not, and Doctor Emmett Brown knows exactly what happens at noon on March 18, 1884, as he very cleverly noted in the Biff Tannen Museum only (flips through pages in confusion) one issue before!

from Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #5 (IDW, June 2017), story and script by Bob Gale and Derek Fridolfs, pencils by Alan Robinson, inks by Alan Robinson and Jaime Castro, colors by Maria Santaolalla, letter by Shawn Lee

So it's clear that Doc's actually sent Biff back in time to 3/18/(18)84 and not back to the future of 6/1/(19)96. Placing Biff squarely in the middle of...

from Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #6

So, four minutes later, when Doc's microwave pizza is done the automatic retreval system on the time machine brings Biff Tannen back (as we say) to the future...

Time travel, ladies and gentlemen. It's confusing, but it usually works out in the end. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go watch President Clinton give her weekly press conference. Join me, won't you?