Thursday, March 31, 2016

153 Pieces Of Hell!

You know all those cowboy/soldier/Roman legion billion piece playsets they used to advertise in the comical books?

This is the one I always wanted...

 Embiggened, for your reading pleasure--click to further embiggen:

I want all 153 pieces!!

From What The--?! #5 (1989)

The Best Cover You've Never Seen--Superman #289 (1975)

Sadly, the ghostly figure doesn't turn out to be a dimensionally-shifted Terra-Man...

Superman & the horseman by Curt Swan & Bob Oksner. The rest of the cover, according to GCD, is "Mostly photo cover, with photos of Bob Rozakis, Cary Bates, Jack C. Harris, Carl Gafford, and E. Nelson Bridwell. Julius Schwartz's records credit this cover to Jack Adler & Staff, indicating the cover was pasted up from other sources."

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Conspiracy Of Critics?

You know, there's a bunch of folderol out there about how critics who didn't like Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice have some sort of hidden agenda, or are on the Disney payroll, or just hate movies, or whatever.

Sure. If anyone disagrees with you, it must be a conspiracy, right? No one has legitimate differences of aesthetic preferences, right? If someone doesn't validate your opinion, they must be evil, and shunned.

Of course, that takes us back to the halcyon days of 1995:

Oh, yeah, that.

That film has an 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 0%--yes, ZERO--amongst "top" critics. Obviously, we acknowledge the caveats about a lot of that era's reviews not being available on the internet, etc. Maybe only the bad reviews survived Y2K...but obviously, the film was not well-received. Unless you want to argue there was some serious anti-Dredd plotting going on behind the scenes, or that the $227,000,000 global box office (after adjusting for inflation) means it was made for fans and not critics.

Ah, but not EVERYONE hated it. 2000 AD ran a review from then-famous TODAY show critic Gene Shalit (click to embiggen to full rave review size!):

Good lord, he even praises Rob Schneider's performance.

Look, Gene Shalit is 90 now, but if someone would get him to a theater, I'm sure he would enthusiastically help raise BvS's Rotten Tomatoes score...that will teach those (other) snooty critics!!

From 2000 AD #952 (1995). No, Dan Jurgens, Action Comics will NOT be the first comic book to reach #1000...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Justice League Of What Now?

A pop culture magazine is interviewing the Martian Manhunter about the recently reformed Justice League of America:

It is interesting to see some qualms about the full name Justice League Of America even back in 1997. FWIW, this "interview" was written by Mark Millar.

And I'll allow you to discuss amongst yourselves whether the "interview" is deliberately highlighting J'onn's non-Earth-native naivete about the implications of the name, and his lack of understanding of the freight associated with the name. Why else would he lump in the democratic Baltic States with Libya, Iraq and China? Unless Lithuania is secretly oppressing its people and developing nuclear weapons...

Of course, there are real-world implications, too: Warner has movies to market, and toys to sell. As far as I can tell, the forthcoming JLA movie hasn't an official name, just a working title: The Justice League Part One. But you can wager dollars to doughnuts that, whatever the eventual actual title, it won't include Justice League Of America. They gotta make sure this movie gets on screens in China, after all, and the toys onto shelves in St. Petersburg.

Which may result in a bit of fun blustering. Remember the hissy fit Fox News and others had with Superman Returns, when Perry White dropped "the American way" from "Truth, Justice and..."? While the JLA'a name is not so culturally embedded as Superman's slogan, I'm eagerly anticipating Bill O'Reilly's shit-fit when he discovers that they've dropped the "America" from the Justice League Of America.

Of course, as J'onn points out in the interview, the "America" is more about tradition and history. Certainly, by the time they hit the Satellite Era (if not earlier), the JLA had a global reach. And post-Crisis, the decision to use/not use "America" was more a signal of a new direction/new creative team than anything else. Even today, the sole purpose seems to be to differentiate the Hitch book from the Johns book.

I've no real point to make here. I'm certainly not suggesting that DC permanently drop the "Of America" from "Justice League." I have no problem with that (although readers in foreign countries might have a different viewpoint...?). I just find it fascinating that a random and no doubt hastily thrown together name from a defunct 1940s super-hero team continues to hold such a strong sway 75 years later.

From JLA Secret Files #1 (1997)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--The Most Crime-Ridden City In America?!?

Captain America and the Falcon and hunting for clues to the origin/location of villain-posing-as-hero Moonstone, and Steve manages to put 2 and 2 together!

Of course Steve Rogers knows trivia and the claim to fame of every American city. Of course he does.

But, it turns out that Moonstone isn't the only baddie haunting the Nashville environs:

True, Sean Cassidy--no one would think to look for the Banshee at a Merle Haggard concert.

Oh, yeah, this was back when Banshee was not-exactly-a-good-guy-and-on-the-run-from-the-Secret-Empire

Oh, hell, while we're here, let's look at banshee in full Sal Buscema and Vince Colletta glory:

Oh, yeah, this was also the era when Sean's face got all ugly when he used his powers:

Anyway...Moonstone hailing from Nashville, Banshee hiding out in Nashville...what the hell was going on there?

I don't know if I have any Nashville readers, but be careful out there, OK? Especially at Merle Haggard concerts or the museum...

From Captain America #172 (1974)

Manic Monday Bonus--Rang-A-Tang Vs. A Dying Elephant!

You know whom we haven't checked in with for a while?

Rang-A-Tang The Wonder Dog, that's who!

Let's tune in at a circus confrontation, as little person Shrimpo Shires is about to get busted for multiple murders. Except he has a big ally on his side!
Now that's choosing your friends wisely!

Fortunately, he's not the smartest elephant...

Ohs nos!!

Woo hoo, Rang-A-Tang is faster than a collapsing elephant!!

But why did the pachyderm die?

Let that be a lesson...don't carry strychnine in your pocket!!

From Blue Ribbon Comics #12 (1941)

Manic Monday--How To Tell That Hitler Was Not A Good Man

Blackhawk Chuck has stumbled across Adolf Hitler's personal courier, and after a spirited chase through a ramshackle, abandoned mansion...

"Der Fuhrer does not like little kittens."

Good gosh, whatever would the internet have been like had Germany won the war?!?

From Blackhawk #254 (1983)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bold Fashion Choices--Why Women Shouldn't Wear Lipstick To A Seance!!

Look, I'm spectacularly ill-positioned to offer anyone make-up advice.

But I can give the ladies one warning--Don't wear lipstick to a seance!! 


Well, let's watch as debutante Wendy Wilson attends a "fake" seance with "fake" swami Liarb and crooked politician Paul Ventresco:

Yow!!! Her great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother just called her a trollop because you're wearing lipstick!! And you thought your relatives were dicks!

Well, never let a good opportunity go to waste!

And so begins a supernatural reign of terror!!

Don't worry, Mr. Justice brings them to...well, justice!

But remember--if you do go to a seance...well, it wouldn't hurt to ease up and the make-up...just for safety's sake!!

From Blue Ribbon Comics #12 (1941)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

50 Shades Of Archie?

We start off with one of the lyingest covers ever:

That's Black Swan Comics #1 (1945). The sad thing is, there's not a single pirate anywhere in the interior--it's just a bunch of reprints from other Archie Comics publications. Boo!!

It gets...interesting, though, inside the front cover:

What the what?!?

An ad for Rollicking Bedside Fun--in an Archie book?!?

More blown up detail:

Lusty, merry recreation? Blueprint for uninhibited living?!?

You can find copies of the book on Amazon...or eBay...

And if you look at some of the pages, well, you can see that it's a book full of dirty risque stories and naughty to embiggen to see part of the tale of a wife having her maid seduce her husband so she can catch them in flagrante:

So, in 1945 an Archie Comics books ran ads for a contemporary version of Penthouse Forum. Not that there's anything wrong with that...but really?

What a world.

[BTW, you don't want to know some of the stuff I encountered while trying to research this. My soul will never be clean again...]

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Night Fights--Covered In Flint Style!!

We're running frightfully late tonight (thanks, Batman v. Superman, whose 151-minutes running time felt like 273 minutes...).

So let's get straight to Friday Night Fights!

It turns out that the Thing's new girlfriend, Hazel, is also the ex-girlfriend of the Sandman!! And he's not a particularly nice ex-bf:

Really, Flint? (Still, it later turns out that she was two-timing both of them with Crusher Creel, so, ewww).

Still, you just know this is going to end up in a fight...

Told ya.


But there's a messy ending...


Spacebooger wants you to know that Hazel didn't survive the series.

Flint on Grimm action from Startling Stories: The Thing--Night Falls On Yancy Street #2 (2003), by Evan Dorkin and Dean Haspiel

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight! Why? I've got no time to think of a reason--just go vote!!