Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Gal" Friday! Liz Katz

I know that this post is yet another in a long line of late entries, but by next Friday afternoon I will have worked nineteen out of twenty days (plus additional hours on top of that) - - - so cut me some slack!

This week's official "gal" Friday selection is one that is really long overdue. Liz Katz possesses the kind of stuff that dreams are made of!  Here is a brief description taken from her very own webpage:
"Sexy lil Actress, Model, Writer, Cosplayer & Muse. Silly, Snarky, Professional Eccentric, Part Time Flake, Social Media Powerhouse, Feisty lil’ Firecracker. Whether Hero or Villain she is still pretty super. Liz Katz comes from a state of mind. Half nerd on her father’s side and half mystical creature on her mother’s."

That about sums her up in my estimation, but further than that, she is one seriously smoking hot young lady. I've seen several of her video posts, and can attest that her speaking voice will also melt your heart too! I sampled a single photo image to whet your appetite today, but don't let that hold you back - - - go, surf. You are welcome, Grasshopper!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blackhawk in "The Horde of the Bat" (Quality; 1956)

Today take some time to step back to a simpler era, when most comics were just meant to be enjoyed as nothing more than escapist fun. This tale is from Blackhawk #97 (Feb.1956); originally published by Quality with beautiful art by Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera. Say what you will about the popular series stereotypical Asian supporting character, but in “The Horde of the Bat” the plucky Chop-Chop heroically goes undercover (even against Blackhawk's orders) to locate a gang of bat-winged raiders causing trouble in China, led by the evil Lady Vampira. The Catacombs acknowledges "Comic Book Plus" as the source of this classic comic story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belongs to the original publishers and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hermes Press to Publish An All-New Series of Phantom Comic Books!!

Starting in September, Hermes Press will release an all-new, six part mini-series featuring the classic Ghost Who Walks, helmed by super-star writer Peter David with artwork by seasoned veteran and Phantom chronicler extraordinaire Sal Velluto. Hermes Press Publisher Daniel Herman notes that, “When we asked King Features to allow us to build on the mythos of The Phantom we were clear that we wanted to expand the canon of one of comics’ greatest legends by embracing the character and his history, and by building on it. We want to create new stories that Lee Falk would be proud of!”

 Herman added that the selection of Peter David was the obvious choice as he is a known fan of the classic strip and understands its mythos. David has written extensively for comic books for over twenty-five years, as well as his own novels, television and film credits. He is currently hard at work creating a story arc that fans won't want to miss. David pointed out that, “I've been a huge Phantom fan for years, and even had the chance to work on him for DC many years ago. I'm thrilled that Daniel approached me about this series and I'm taking the opportunity to produce a story I've literally been thinking about for a couple of decades. I'm very much looking forward to seeing Sal's pencils and putting the book out there for the fans.” Velluto is also hard at work crafting the art for issue #1. “This will be a classic story that will attract both fans and those who have yet to enjoy the adventures of The Phantom,” he commented.

Issue #1 will be solicited in the August Previews and will hit comic shops boasting two covers by Velluto as well as variants by seasoned Phantom artists Alex Saviuk and Graham Nolan. A special poster created by Velluto will also be released at the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con to mark the new series. “For the last five years Hermes Press has published reprints of Lee Falk’s classic comic strip together with our comprehensive reprint series of the Gold Key, King, and Charlton Comics adventures of The Phantom—now we’ll have the opportunity to add to that material with original comic books,” Herman said, adding, “We couldn’t be more excited and we think fans will be too.”

The Catacombs really thanks Sabrina at Hermes Press for allowing us to share this news with you> Check out The Phantom this September; I know that I will be grabbing a copy!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"Gal" Friday! Patriotic Wonder Women

You may have noticed that the 4th of July has already passed us by. You may also have noted that my previous post indicated that I specifically intended to introduce a pair of lovely ladies on "gal" Friday - - - two Fridays ago.

Valerie Perez
Well, turmoil at work somewhat tailgunned that good intention on the first pass, and then again when I thought they might be more welcome on the holiday. A portion of my staff decided that trying to kill themselves might be interesting. One old chap ran himself full bore into a tree, and the tree didn't budge. He still lives but he is out of the picture and will not be able to resume his duties. Another old chap decided to throw himself down a flight of stairs at home. Fortunately, he is still with us, but now sporting a back brace and cane to get around during his convalescence. The latest incident involved a younger fellow who took a couple of days off last week at the nearest beach, and then spent six hours playing volleyball in the hot sand. Of all the things that might have gotten a little sunburned with such exposure, his poor feet took the brunt of the damage. The dude is in pain and now can't work for a week. All three were my "go to guys" when extra hours needed coverage during holidays and emergencies. Or anytime when I actually manage to take a holiday off, and when I left work each of the previous two Fridays, I truly had forebodings of doom; mostly because I've been this route so many times that my instincts are spot on. Go figure!

Anyway forget all of that whining, and simply enjoy gazing at the incredible Valerie Perez and Katie Cosplays [nee 'George'], and yours truly at the recent Heroes Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. These fine young ladies are talented, friendly, beautiful, and they both have a great sense of humor. It is always a pleasure to see them at conventions and other appearances. If you've not had a chance to see them in person, I highly recommend that you change your stars. These "gals" truly give cosplay a good name. Enjoy!

Katie Cosplays

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS’ “JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS” RETURNS IN ALL-NEW DIGITAL WEBCOMIC!!

The Catacombs would like to thank Ed Catto of the Bonfire Agency for allowing me to share this preview with you.


Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., the company founded by the author to protect and maintain his original literary creations, has reintroduced Burroughs’ first adventure hero – John Carter of Mars – in an all-new digital comic series written by legendary comics scribe Roy Thomas and illustrated by renowned Mexican artist Rodolfo PĂ©rez Garcia, better known to fans as Pegaso.

The new series called “John Carter Warlord of Mars,” debuted on June 14 (with a Spanish language option), joining other classic Burroughs creations like Tarzan, Korak the Killer, Carson of Venus and Pellucidar as part of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Digital Comic Strip Service (www.edgarriceburroughs.com/comics).

“I've been a fan of the writings and concepts of Edgar Rice Burroughs ever since I first discovered most of his works at the Jackson, Missouri public library when I was 8 or 10. Tarzan and John Carter of Mars were always my favorites. In later years, I realized how much both – and, to my mind, John Carter in particular – had contributed to the comic book super-heroes that became first my childhood passion, then – weirdly – my life's work,” said author Roy Thomas. “I can't think of a better way to live out the rest of my life (and my family is generally rather long-lived) adapting and continuing the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs. And Pegaso is helping to bring it all alive!”

The character of John Carter has captivated audiences since 1912, when he debuted in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first novel, serialized as Under the Moons of Mars and later published as a complete novel, A Princess of Mars. Since then, his adventures have been chronicled in subsequent novels, a newspaper comic strip by the author’s son, John Coleman Burroughs, and a variety of comic book series published over the years by Dell, Gold Key, DC Comics, Marvel, and Dark Horse. As many literary and cultural scholars attest, John Carter served as the template for a litany of adventure heroes that followed, from Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and Superman to the Jedi knights of Stars Wars and, more recently, Avatar.

This digital initiative comes on the heels of the reacquisition by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. of comic book and comic strip rights that had been held by Walt Disney Pictures and its Marvel Entertainment subsidiary. And the company is pleased to announce a brand new license with Dynamite Entertainment which will return the original "John Carter Warlord of Mars" to comic books! Dynamite will also republish other John Carter assets, going back as far as the early 1940s comic strips by John Coleman Burroughs, the son of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

“Over the years, the exploits of John Carter of Mars have been presented by a who’s who of comic book greats, including Gil Kane, Marv Wolfman, Murphy Anderson, Joe Jusko, Carmine Infantino, Dave Cockrum, Rudy Nebres, Jesse Marsh, Gaylord Du Bois, Bruce Jones and Bret Blevins,” said James Sullos, President of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. “We’re proud to be able to add Roy Thomas and Pegaso to this distinguished heritage and, like so many fans, we can’t wait to see what adventures they have in store for us.”

As with all the series featured at edgarriceburroughs.com/comics, the first four episodes of “John Carter Warlord of Mars” will be made available at no charge. Fans can then gain unlimited access to the entire site and all the strips from the very beginning for only $1.99 per month or $21.99 per year.
 

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Heroes Convention 2014 Report!

The annual Heroes Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina has come and gone for another year. As usual, I had a great time and even enjoyed a few surprises. Two popular cosplayers were in attendance, and I had no prior knowledge that they would even be at the show this year, but their identities will have to wait until this Friday (when they will be jointly featured on "gal" Friday).

Cons aren't without their snafus, and unfortunately I totally bollixed the start time for the Inkwell Awards and got to the hall moments after the event had concluded, it was the first time that I had missed out on seeing the awards presented. Bummer! I've not been taking in too many panels in recent years, but I did sit in for the Jim Starlin panel, with Andy Smith (lots of fun) and also took in the very packed cosplay panel with Riddle, Valerie Perez, DJ Spider and Katie Cosplays. They are awesome women, they each have a great sense of humor, and all of them really seem to enjoy what they are doing with costuming.

My purchases included a full run [minus two issues; 34 out of 36] of Marvel Classics Comics at a terrific price. Those classic novel adaptations were originally published between 1976-1978, and I also found two high end issues that I had long sought: Captain Marvel #25 (now signed by Jim Starlin) and Marvel Premiere #50 featuring Alice Cooper. TwoMorrows set me up with a fantastic hardback Matt Baker: The Art of Glamour, which I highly recommend if you are a fan of this golden age great. Charles Vess signed a copy of his hefty volume Drawing Down the Moon; The Art of Charles Vess; again highly recommended. I bought a single page of original art from Kevin Maguire, from a Metal Men story for DC Comics and grabbed a lovely commission from Stephanie Gladden. Other than that, I took a few comics and original art pages to get signed by creators in attendance, ate some good grub at favorite places, ogled a bakers dozen or so cute gals dressed as their own favorite characters, and chatted up some old friends, dealers & pros with whom I'm famililar. T'was a fun, fun weekend same as always.

Remember to check back at the end of the week for visual evidence that goddesses were also present at this years show, but even before "gal" Friday blows into town; please stop by tomorrow for a sneak peek at an upcoming web comics series based upon a classic Edgar Rice Burroughs property.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dopsy Durvy in "Prefabricated" (Star Publications; 1949)

Today the Catacombs presents the last impromptu comics story chosen in an arbitrary fashion in anticipation of the annual Heroes Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina [which gets under way tomorrow morning]. I will be packing it in after this post and heading that way post haste, so hope you enjoyed this much more regular series than what I’ve been fielding lately. Keep your fingers crossed for some spiffy cosplay photos upon my return, provided that the young ladies will accommodate me (despite the copious amount of drooling that will probably be occurring). Today you get a nice anthropomorphic-funny animal story starring Dopsy Durvy in a previously untitled short that I've dubbed "Prefabricated" from Frisky Fables #v5#4 [38] Oct-Nov.1949; originally published by Star Publications. There are no creator credits to speak of, so you’re out of luck on that. The Catacombs acknowledges "Comic Book Plus" as the source of this classic comic story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belongs to the original publishers and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Black Knight in "Search for the Sheriff" (Toby; 1953)

Let’s continue our series of classic comics stories chosen in an arbitrary fashion in honor of this weeks annual Heroes Convention with today’s pick. “Search for the Sheriff” which is taken from The Black Knight #1 (May 1953); originally published by Toby/Minoan and illustrated by Ernest Schroeder. Sir Robert of Denhope, the Black Knight was a rich man before he left for the Crusades, but when he returned to England, he found himself a pauper, pawning the souvenirs he had collected during his adventures. He eventually became a mercenary knight, fighting in feudal battles.
The Black Knight was also an extraordinary sword fighter and horseman. He wore distinctive black armor, which was well known to all. Sir Robert believed that his intelligence and his faith in his lord would make him more successful than listening to the prophecies of druids and observing old superstitions. This issue of the Black Knight was reprinted in 1963 by I.W. Publishing.  The Catacombs acknowledges "Comic Book Plus" as the source of this classic comic story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belongs to the original publishers and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Doctor Frost in “The Underwater Graveyard” (Feature/Prize; 1942)

In honor of the annual Heroes Convention which begins later this very week in Charlotte, North Carolina, I’m continuing to present comics stories chosen completely arbitrary with little thought in advance. Today legendary champion Doctor Frost stars in “The Underwater Graveyard” from Prize Comics #18 (Jan.1942); originally published by Feature Publications and illustrated by Ben Thompson. Mysteriously hailing from the Great Arctic North, Doctor Frost could project intense cold beams from his hands, freezing objects (such as weapons), creating ice sleds on water, or enveloping himself in a sheet of ice so thick that it could withstand strong explosions. His ice powers could not work in hot or dry environments, but even without these powers he was a formidable fighter. Doctor Frost had no secret identity or given name.  The Catacombs acknowledges "Comic Book Plus" as the source of this classic comic story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belongs to the original publishers and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Abbie an' Slats (St. John; 1947)


The annual Heroes Convention begins later this very week in Charlotte, so you're getting a free week of comics which begins with a totally arbitrary choice starring Abbie an' Slats from A Treasury of Comics #4 (Sept.1947); originally published by St. John. Street-wise Aubrey Eustace Scrapple, aka Slats, recently orphaned in New York. Arriving by train in a small town of Crabtree Corners, where he was met by his older cousin, the spinster Abigail Scrapple, aka Abbie. Slats joined the household that also included Abbie's sister, the prim and proper Sally. Slats made an enemy of skinflint Jasper Hagstone when he drove into Hagstone's limousine while trying to avoid running over a dog. However, Hagstone's daughter, Judy, became the object of Slats's affection. Later, Becky Groggins became Slats's sweetheart. Becky's father, J. Pierpont "Bathless" Groggins, eventually became the central character of the popular Sunday newspaper strip (from which this is serialized). This chapter was likely written by original co-creator Al Capp [“who knows”], but it for darn certain was illustrated by Raeburn Van Buren. The Catacombs acknowledges "Comic Book Plus" as the source of this classic comic story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belongs to the original publishers and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Friday, June 6, 2014

"Gal" Friday! Ms. Inkwell

In just two short weeks the annual Heroes Convention will return to Charlotte, North Carolina from June 20-22, 2014. Heroes Con has been my primary summer show for it's entire run (beginning way back in 1982). In fact I regularly attended the mini-cons that preceded the inaugural convention, while I was still in high school. This year Bob Almond brings back the 7th Annual Inkwell Awards to the Queen City of the Carolinas, with Bill Sienkiewicz announced as Guest of Honor for the ceremony. Since today is "gal" Friday, I'm sure you won't mind if I post a photo of one of two featured "Ms. Inkwell" models that will be in attendance to greet fans and professionals alike. Anna White is merely one of a number of lovely lasses to wear the black & white ensemble of the awards spokescharacter, so come out and say hello to her while supporting the talented artists whose finishing work helps those pencils pop right off of the comic book page.

If that ain't enough ot an enticement, take a look at just a few of the attending professionals set to appear at Heroes Con this year: Arthur Adams, Mark Brooks, Cliff Chiang, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kevin Eastman, Matt Fraction, Ramona Fradon, Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez, Kevin Maguire, Steve Niles, Eric Powell, Mark Schultz, Jeff Smith, Jim Starlin, Ben Templesmith, Charles, Vess, Mark Waid and Bernie Wrightson. Folks that is literally just the tip of the iceberg, many more well-loved pros will be in Charlotte (again, in a mere two weeks). Come join those of us who've long known that this is one of the most fun cons of the summer season.
Anna White as "Ms. Inkwell"

Friday, May 23, 2014

"Gal" Friday! Abby Dark-Star

Praise the maker!!!!

I borrowed this photo from her Facebook fan page, and can claim no ownership. I know that it's got a cute kid and everything, but dear friends ...... brace yourselves and behold the cosplay wonder of San Francisco based Abby Dark-Star (as Frank Cho's Shanna) from the recent Big Wow ["which seems appropriate"] Comicfest. This talented young lady is one of the best of the army of fetching lady costumers making the rounds at far too many comic cons and shows for me to attend. I have apparently missed her at those venues where I'm sure we both were in attendance, so I definitely plan to say hello in person the very next time that I have an opportunity to do so. I think that she's married, which breaks my heart (not that I had a shot anyway, but one can fantasize). It is cosplay after all! Abby is this weeks official "gal" Friday, and trust me ..... she moves straight to the top of my personal favorites list. Enjoy!