Saturday, August 31, 2013

Spoiler Saturday--Backgrounhd Check!

In reference to this week's Batman/Superman #3:

Let me say up front that I am not trying to diminish Jae Lee's artistic talents. I don't particularly care for his style--particularly in recent years--but that's just my personal taste. It cannot be denied, though, that the guy can draw pretty damn good.

But as a comic book artist/storyteller? Well...

Let's look at 3 sequences from the book.

1st, can you figure out where we are?

Gotham? Metropolis? On the ground? In the air? Atop a building? Daytime? Nighttime? In heaven, surrounded by swirly clouds? 


Spoiler alert--this is Smallville (a caption told us). Most of the earlier questions apply, though...


It begins to look like heaven might be the correct answer. A dry ice factory? Venus?

I'm just saying, Jack Kirby had more background in one panel than we got in this entire issue...

I shouldn't complain, though. If Lee can only finish 14 pages a month without backgrounds, it's probably a good thing he doesn't attempt them, or his output might drop to unmeasurable levels.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Night Fights--Are You My Mummy? Style!!

It's Friday Night Fights time again, and we're starting this match off with a powerful punch.

Shang-Chi and Moon Knight (!) are on the trail of a mysterious cult that may be kidnapping prospective new members. And they may be using the island which was the former headquarters of the magnificently mad Mordillo as their headquarters. An island chock full of weirdness.

Yes, those are talking robot bats.

With a lisp. 



Lots of mummies!!

Lots of robot mummies!!

Lots of robot mummies with LASER BEAM EYES!!

Oh, it is on!!

Ah, those sounds effects...

Spacebooger would like you to know that Moon Knight is actually a good character, albeit one who has been mishandled in 98.7% of his appearances...

Moon Knight and Shang-Chi go all Scorpion King on robot mummies with laser eyes in Moon Knight Special #1 (1992) by Doug Moench, Art Nichols and Chris Ivy.

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight. Why? ROBOT MUMMIES WITH LASER EYES!! So go vote!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

And Then There Was The Time Mike Sekowsky Got A Spirograph 10 Years Early

From After Dark #8 (1955)

The Exceptionally Rare Judge Dredd/Frank Zappa Crossover

From 2000 AD # 241 (1981):

Frank Zappa holds the answer to everything, Dredd...the answer to everything!!

Yes, I know that Dredd was referring to Frank Zappa Block, not the musician, but the thought still holds.


See? Everything's better with Zappa...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Holiest Of Holy Grails

I have a new goal in life.

The most recent issue of Mental Floss magazine reprinted excepts from an 2011 interview on the JeffRubinJeffRubin show. Jeff Rubin interviewed Kingston University's Will Brooker, who earned his PhD with a thesis on Batman.

It's a fun interview, you can listen to the whole thing here, you can buy the published version of the thesis here, but here's the important part, about the holiest of Holy Grails:

Brooker also mentions in the full interview that the library also had all of the newest issues that hadn't been published yet.

I want to be in that room.

I must be in that room.

How to get in that room? Do they do a credential check? I mean, of course, Chris Sims can just walk in--he's the internet's preeminent Batmanologist. But what about me? If I call up and claim to be doing a thesis on, say, Space Cabby--do I get in? Do I need to have someone available to take a phone call and pretend to be a university official to "confirm" my "legitimacy"?

Or maybe I have to put together a gang and Ocean's 11 my way in. Who's with me?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bold Fashion Choices--Ghost Rider Struts His Stuff!!

Oh, the 1990s at Marvel under Bob Harras. Will you never stop hating us?

Apparently, the Marvel brain trust decided that their desperate Image aping hadn't gone quite far enough.

And Ghost Rider's boring black leathers? Too tame, not extreeeeeeme enough.

And so, in Ghost Rider #79 (1996):


Maybe, just maybe, Jim Lee gets too much blame for the nu52 costume redesigns, given Harras' presence...

By the way, this was just a couple of issues before Ghost Rider teamed up with Howard The Duck to fight Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy.

No, I'm not making that up.


Oh, 90s, is there no limit to your crimes?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Manic Monday Bonus--Proof That Comics Are Educational!!

Look, this started as a post about something that just seemed like a silly name.

But then I decided to actually look it up before I posted, and well, I got sucked down a research hole like you wouldn't believe.

Well, if I had to learn something, you folk are damn well learning something, too. So pay attention!!

We start with a "real tales of crime" feature from inside the back cover of Mike Shayne Private Eye #1 (1962):

Damn you, poor people and your need to congregate!!

Damn you, poor people and your need for entertainment of small means!!

Wait a minute...Hot Corn Girl?? Yet another career option my high school guidance counselor neglected to inform me of...Hot Corn Girl?  "Most romantic creatures of the time and place?" Really??


Well, guess what: this was all true.

Hot corn girls were a real thing, one of the few ways female Irish immigrants had to earn money in the day. They sold hot corn on the street (and some, it was implied, sold themselves as well, if you take my meaning).

"Celebrated in rhyme and ballad?" Yes, indeed. Through exhausting personal research, I've managed to even find the sheet music to some of these ballads. You may not believe Dell Comics, but you've got to believe the Library Of Congress, right?

Look, I even have found a modern ballad someone wrote about hot corn girls.

And the murder story? 100% true, as well. Edward Coleman was one of the first notorious gangsters in New York City; he married a popular "hot corn girl;" he beat her severely when she didn't earn as much as he expected; she died from the wounds, and he was convicted of murder; and he was the first man hanged at the Tombs.

So there, we all learned something new today. It felt good, right?

Well, let's take our new found knowledge, get out there, and agitate for some Hot Corn Girl comic books!! And I want to see lots of Hot Corn Girl cosplay at future conventions! And maybe, just maybe, some sympathetic DC creator could sneak Stephanie Brown into the nu52 as the mysterious Hot Corn Girl Of Gotham...

Manic Monday--The Most Misleading Title In Comic Book History

What's this?

Man, this is going to be the greatest comic book ever, right? I don't know who Garrison is...but this comic has to star a whole bunch of gorillas, right?

I hate you, lying comic book.

It's not really Dell's fault. Garrison's Gorillas was an ABC television series that lasted all of one season in 1967-1968...and back in the day, Dell would rush out a comic adaptation of just about any TV series ever.

No, it's the show's fault, for not properly naming themselves Garrison's Guerrillas...the studio/network probably thought that the average American household wasn't ready for such sophisticated foreign words in the series title. That's no excuse, though, for deceiving monkey-obsessed comics fans (even inadvertently).

I've never seen it, but the plot description makes it clear the short-lived show was a pretty obvious rip-off of the Dirty Dozen, with crocks promised pardons for fighting Nazis. Interestingly enough, the show's Wikipedia page tells us that the show "managed to gather a cult following in China in the 1980s." Go figure.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What *Really* Good Marvel Stories Should Have?!?

From the "Mark's Remarks" column in Namor Annual #4 (1994):

All well and good, Mr. Gruenwald. And there are certain comic book companies out there that could stand to remember some of these rules, especially #8.

Oh, but he didn't stop there...

Well, no fair. You can't end it there, without telling us!!

Still, since this was 1994, it can't be too tough to look at what Marvel was publishing then, and deduce what the other top ten list should be, right?

And, dear reader, I have done that for you. So, presenting, based on the evidence of their own publications, What Really Good Marvel Stories Should Have (circa 1994):

1. Desperate Attempts To Spin Villains Into "Anti-Heroes" 

And hey, two for the price of one...

2. Clones!

3. Terrible, terrible costumes

4. Ridiculous, overpriced, and well-nigh unreadable gimmick covers

5. Never-ending attempts to "homage" Marvel's own past and claim past glory for current stories

6. Amazingly crappy logos, often rendered in fonts that made then even worse:

7. Punisher. Lots and Lots of Punisher

Those were all from one month...and there was one more we'll get to in a minute...

8. Attempts to reclaim the heat of departed prodigal sons; a.k.a. Image rip-offs

9. Inappropriate team-ups

10. Continual redonkulous crossovers

Well, there you have it. Although I thought those were supposed to be things "really good" Marvel Comics were supposed to have...we must be grading on a 1990s curve...

All covers from 1994