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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Godzilla

Will get back to regular posting of the usual nonsense soon. In the meantime, as a bit of a Halloween treat, enjoy this quickie sketch of Godzilla I got from Steve Bissette a few years back. I love the way Bissette draws the big G.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

EC - More Blessed to Give... (Krigstein)

More Blessed to Give...
art by Bernard Krigstein, story by Jack Oleck
Crime SuspenStories #24 (1954)


A pretty conventional story about a married couple who simultaneously decide to kill each other, made a little more interesting by some of the split-page narration tracing the murder plans (rat poison in the liquor and a bomb in a cake, exchanged on their anniversary. Not the most subtle couple). Even more of interest is some of Krigstein's artwork, as this is one of the stories where he somewhat rebelled against the strict layouts and tight page counts of the EC house style and played around with cutting single panels into multiple frames to get some different effects. Of course he'd continue that kind of experimentation in later stories, so that's the kind of thing he's best known for now, as well as the usual sharply detailed artwork.

Of course the story ends with the kind of unlikely twist that you'd expect, but the trip there both in writing and art makes it better than the usual such story.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

My Collection - GREEN LANTERN [1976 Series]

Green Lantern [1976 series]
40 issues [1977 - 1986]
95, 99, 112, 130 - 132, 136 - 156, 158, 160 - 162, 165, 167, 169 - 172, 186, 188, 203

This series continued the numbering from the Silver Age series starting with #90, continuing until the title was officially changed to GREEN LANTERN CORPS in 1986. I liked the character and started reading it in the early 1980s, when the creative team was Marv Wolfman and Joe Staton, which I liked a lot. Really fast moving and fanciful, using the history of the character and new ideas. I thought it was a shame they didn't stick around too long past #150, where the storyline moved GL off Earth for a while, and I still picked up a few issues but missed quite a few and didn't really make an effort to find them.

Later I picked up some back issues, a few of the early Dennis O'Neil ones were good. I also liked some of the back up stories, a few Adam Strange ones and I always like the idea of Green Lantern Corps story even more than I like GL. A 3600 member alien army, each with their own stories.

Keeping all of these, I guess, but not getting too many back-issues unless I can find the other O'Neil ones really cheap.

Particular favourites:

#112 - Two Green Lanterns and an Arrow. That was nice
#144 - The Tattooed Man, what a great comic-book villain
#188 - "Mogo Doesn't Socialize", one of the best GLC stories, by Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

DOCTOR WHO spin-off

News comes that the BBC has ordered up a spin-off series for DOCTOR WHO to air next year, following the second season of the new series, called TORCHWOOD and featuring Captain Jack Harkness as part of a "crack team investigating alien activities and crime in modern-day Britain".

Might be interesting, though a bit too X-FILES sounding.

TORCHWOOD, as the article mentions, is an anagram for DOCTOR WHO. So I guess if it does well we can look forward to HOOT CROWD, DOW COHORT and HOTROD COW in years to come (at right, what you see if you google one of those phrases).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Walt Kelly's OUR GANG

Publisher's Weekly has an article about upcoming books from Fantagraphics. Most noteworthy, and somewhat surprisingly, a collection of Walt Kelly's stories from Dell's OUR GANG comic of the 1940s. Should be good, especially since it's his comic work that I'm least familiar with. Something to tide us over until they begin a complete Pogo library (one hopes).

Also of note, a complete to date volume of Linda Medley's CASTLE WAITING followed by a new series. That was a fun book.

Dinosaur comics

To update an old post, Steve Bissette has just gotten a copy of the 1961 TREASURE CHEST comic about dinosaurs. Read about it and other dinosaur related comics on his blog.



Monday, October 17, 2005

It's Bushmilleriffic

The GCD's list of daily uploaded cover scans almost never fails to provide at least one good laugh. This bit of absurdity from 1946 is definitely it for today.



I'd be afraid to see what Nancy's going to do with the rest of those tools.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

THE QUESTION by O'Neil/Cowan #28 - #30

Technically speaking, this three-part story falls before the 1989 Annual crossover with Green Arrow covered earlier, as this is where Myra leaves the hospital, and she's already out and running the city by the Annuals. However, as I recall, the publishing schedule for the book really slipped around this time, so I tend to think of them in this order.

#28 - "A Place for the Arts" brings Shiva back to Hub City, in her never-ending quest for some sort of challenging combat. She's a great character in these stories, and of course has become a somewhat more major supporting character in the Batman family of books based on it, but as far as I've read never written quite as good as in these stories. In this story, Myra tries to bring some order to the city by bringing in the leaders of two rival gangs and making them the de facto police for the city. Bad idea, of course, but I really like O'Neil's writing of the two gang leaders.

#29 - "The Slaying" opens up with the big showdown between Vic and Shiva, which ends up being a bit anti-climactic, as Vic is way out of his league. Fortunately she's still willing to help him out in his part of Myra's plan, as long as it provides her with opportunities to practice her art.

#30 - "Whodunit" concludes the story-line with a few surprises, as we get to see Myra showing a bit of the wits that'll make her a good mayor, and Vic satisfying some of his curiosity, which is always a good thing.

Interestingly, the "Next Month" box in #29 promises a story with Randy Violent filming a story in Hub City, a story that wouldn't end up actually being told until a few years later in the QUESTION QUARTERLY title.

Next time, finishing off the regular run of the book, including the long-awaited return of Richard.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Stuff of Interest - December 2005

Interesting stuff, images of the same, as well as the solicitations and some of my comments.

THE BEST OF THE SPIRIT TP
Written by Will Eisner
Art and cover by Eisner
DC Comics is proud to present its first-ever collection celebrating the greatest stories by comics mastermind Will Eisner starring one of the most indelible characters ever created: The Spirit! THE BEST OF THE SPIRIT reprints 22 Spirit sections from 1940-1950, featuring famous first appearances, classic confrontations, human interest tales, and all those magnificent splash pages!
Eisner's blue-suit-clad, fedora-wearing crimefighter starred in hundreds of newspaper adventure stories that thrilled readers with Eisner's groundbreaking style. Eisner was a master of utilizing the comics format to its greatest strengths, and his Spirit stories are some of his finest examples!

This volume also features an introduction by New York Times best-selling novelist Neil Gaiman (THE SANDMAN).
On sale December 14 • 192 pg, FC, $14.99 US

Good to finally get an affordable volume of Eisner's classic. Hopefully the story selection will be smart enough to capture the variety of Eisner's best work.


A TREASURY OF VICTORIAN MURDER VOLUME 7: THE MURDER OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN SC
by Rick Geary
Now in paperback! Geary turns his attention to the most famous assassination of the Victorian era, that of President Lincoln. The details he reveals are fascinating. Booth worked with a group of disgruntled Southern sympathizers out to decapitate much of the US Executive branch, not just the President! Geary also details the flight of the culprits and the hot pursuit of federal agents.
SC, 6x9, 80pgs, B&W SRP: $8.95

I'm quite behind on these (I think I just have the first three), but I love Geary's artwork and look forward to reading this someday.


NAT TURNER #3
by Kyle Baker
All-action issue! AmericaÂ’s new favorite comic book hero Nat Turner wages his famed battle against the evil institution of slavery! Will he win? Witness the ultimate awesome shocking cataclysm, the results of which will change the universe forever!
32pgs, B&W (3 of 4) SRP: $3.00

NAT TURNER #4
by Kyle Baker
Everybody dies! The devastating conclusion! His army defeated, Natevades capture by fleeing into the swamp. After numerous close calls, he is apprehended, tried, and executed. His noble sacrifice inspires subsequent generations to bring true equality and freedom to the United States!
32pgs, B&W (4 of 4) SRP: $3.00

Read the first volume of this, and enjoyed it quite a bit, a lot more than some other recent Baker work. Good price, I'll probably continue picking up the individual issues rather than wait for the collection


AMELIA RULES! VOLUME 3: SUPERHEROES TP
by Jimmy Gownley
During the summer after fourth grade, Amelia and her friends dream of themselves with special powers in special situations: Reggie is a superhero, adventuring with sidekick Supertanner; Rhonda is Rapunzel, rescued by Reggie; and Amelia is a glowing fairy, pursued by an unknown menace.
SC, 7x10, 176pgs, FC SRP: $14.95

I've enjoyed the early issues of this I've read, so very good to see it coming out from a mainstream publisher.


DEADBEATS #75
by Richard Howell, Ricardo Villagran, & Louis Lachance
As the "Year of Climaxes" concludes, detective Mike Trigger uncovers the secret behind the roving city Chiroptolis and — along with Kirby, Mason, and Dakota Kane--invades it, to battle the bat-god Murcielago and discover the fates of the kidnapped Adam and Rachel Collier, in "The Unkindest Cult of All!"
32pgs, B&W SRP: $2.50

I've only read this occasionally, but it was pretty fun, and thought that Howell and Villagran getting up to 75 issues was worth a mention. You don't hear that noted often when long runs on comics are mentioned.


JACK STAFF #11
written by PAUL GRIST
art & cover by PAUL GRIST
He's the Eternal Warrior, a champion destined to wander through time and space for all eternity. Fighting. So what's he doing in the middle of a supermarket carpark in the center of Castletown? More fighting, really. And his fist opponent is John (Jack Staff) Smith! Also in this issue, find out the secret history of the Nazi Super Villain Kaptain Krieg!
December 29 • 32 pg • FC • $3.50

Yeah, there's no way #11 will be out by then. Still, a fun book whenever it does manage to straggle in.


AGE OF BRONZE #22
written by ERIC SHANOWER
art & cover by ERIC SHANOWER
“BETRAYAL” Part Three
Trojans attack! In the middle of a victory feast, battle erupts when Paris aims an arrow directly at Menelaus. Only the two Ajaxes stand between Menelaus and death. Then Achilles' fury mounts when he finds the feast started without him. Why don't Agamemnon and Odysseus mind the anger of Achilles?
December 7 • 24 pg • BW • $3.50

I'll probably stick with the eventual collections of this, but Shanower does manage to make each issue a satisfying and dense read for those who don't want to wait. Also he seems to be getting the issues out a bit faster now, which is nice to see.


PUNISHER: THE TYGER
Written by GARTH ENNIS
Penciled by JOHN SEVERIN
Cover by TIM BRADSTREET
DEADLY ONE-SHOT!
Long before he waged a one-man vendetta against organized crime, long before he was a young lieutenant waging war in the jungles of ‘Nam, Frank Castle was a 10-year-old boy growing up on the mean streets of Brooklyn. When a classmate commits suicide in the aftermath of an unspeakable act, young Frank uncovers a secret dark enough to blacken the purest of hearts. Thus begins his first journey on the road that will eventually turn him into the man known as the Punisher, a journey that will bring him face to face with the Tyger: a creature not made by God, but just as vital to the world as anything He created.
56 PGS. $4.99

I'll leaf through this for the Severin art, I'm not sure I'll buy it because of the Ennis writing, though. It'll have to be really top notch Severin. I do think the idea of stories of the Punisher as a 10-year-old is funny.


SHOWCASE PRESENTS: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA VOL. 1 TP
Written by Gardner Fox
Art by Mike Sekowsky, Carmine Infantino, Murphy Anderson and Bernard Sachs
Cover by Anderson
The newest installment in the SHOWCASE PRESENTS collection spotlights the JLA! In these stories from THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #28-30, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1-16 and MYSTERY IN SPACE #75, thrill to confrontations with intergalactic, mystical, and super-powered rogues such as Despero, Kanjar Ro, Dr. Destiny, Amos Fortune and Felix Faust!
On sale Dec 7 • 544 pg, B&W, $16.99 US

Loves me some early JLA, and nice to see the MYSTERY IN SPACE crossover issue with Adam Strange included.


CRISIS ON MULTIPLE EARTHS: THE TEAM-UPS VOL. 1 TP
Written by Gardner Fox and John Broome
Art by Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson
Cover by Jerry Ordway
In these eight stories from the pinnacle of the Silver Age of DC Comics, thrill to the exploits of Green Lantern, Flash, Dr. Fate, Hourman, Black Canary and Starman as they oppose the Shade, Captain Cold, Solomon Grundy, and more! This volume collects THE FLASH #123, 129, 137, 151; GREEN LANTERN #40; SHOWCASE #55-56; THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #61.
On sale Dec 21 • 224 pg, FC, $14.99 US

A great idea for a companion to the MULTIPLE EARTHS collections of JLA/JSA crossovers, I'm especially looking forward to some of those FLASH issues and the GREEN LANTERN, which I don't think I've read.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Smurfs

I know it's all over the net (including this post from Mark Evanier), but I can't resist mentioning the Peyo-estate approved charity bombing run on Smurf village.



I hope someone puts the whole thing up on the web someplace. I have to see this.
Weblog by BobH [bobh1970 at gmail dot com]