Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Manga influences and formats are prevalent, enhanced (& speedier) computer techniques have replaced many of the old “by hand” methods of coloring, lettering, etc. Many younger readers [and the “actual” age of these readers is irrelevant] think that anything other than full-page-bleed artwork is archaic, antiquated or “old school”. Traditional panel borders and other recognized tools of the comic book storytelling format – like gutters - have largely fallen by the wayside.
DC Comics Scooby-Doo! #140 (March 2009) filled me with an abiding joy as I flipped through its terrific pages over the past weekend. This was a "real" comic book folks! Writer John Rozum penned all three wonderful short stories within the issue and each of them was interesting, entertaining and true to what I recall of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon show upon which this series is based. Rozum’s partners on the first two tales are veteran penciller Joe Staton & inker Horacio Ottolini. There are no cheats within either of these stories; the reader is treated to lush, full artwork that cuts no corners. The backgrounds are fully realized, Staton's visual characterization enhances the script and even at only 8 and 6 pages in length, the two adventures have a recognizable beginning, middle and end. The third story illustrated by Robert Pope & Scott McCrae is also loads of fun, but simply not of the caliber of Staton and Ottolini’s stuff.
Heck the book even smells like a comic book!
Why the devil the main comics publishers insist on using that spray-painted, shellac-coated junk for the majority of their comics these days is beyond me. DC has wisely chosen to keep overhead low, by using a more affordable interior paper and cover stock on the comics they publish for all ages. This stuff not only looks like a comic, feels like a comic and SMELLS like a regular old comic book. It is one!
The talent that’s behind this book is far and away superior to the angst driven, mega-crossover, marketing-minded, bullshit banality of what is passing for both DC and Marvel’s standard fictional universes at the moment.
Buy this book people, I just added it to my pull list, and now I get to go on an egg hunt for many wonderful back issues of Scooby-Do!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Fans of the famed horror directors work (1968’s original Night of the Living Dead, 1978’s original Dawn of the Dead, 1985’s original Day of the Dead, 1973’s The Crazies, 1977’s Martin, 1982’s Creepshow, 1993’s The Dark Half, etc.) arrived early – en mass – to receive a chit good for an autograph. Signed items were signaled to run $15 a pop, not too bad for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My groups numbers were 207 & 208, which may sound high, but literally HUNDREDS of people swamped both the interior and exterior of the local comics shop. Romero’s presence was meant to last from 3pm until 5pm; however even extending his signing for an additional hour didn’t guarantee us an autograph. As of when we bailed out of the event to go in search of sustenance at 4:45pm, the line was only up to about number 75 (give or take).
It was well over an hour and a half (out of a two hour event) BEFORE they decided that it might be a good idea to limit the number of signatures that were being requested individually to two-per-person. The event was promoted rather heavily in the local area through print and media venues, above and beyond the normal comic scene crowd. Remember, this event was held in support of a three day festival. I understand that the Heroes staff may have been a bit overwhelmed by the response, but again, the hundreds that arrived were really relaxed and chilled, and you know what, maybe that was the problem here.
People just weren’t bitching enough!
I heard comments being made by Light Factory reps as we left, that time would be set aside that evening to accommodate chit-holders who also attended the screening of “Night of the Living Dead”, but whether this happened or not, I couldn’t tell you. In the photos [above;top] Mr. Romero is - of course - the one signing stuff. Shelton Drum (wearing a long-sleeved blue t-shirt), the owner of Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, sits beside Romero and the unknown dude who stuck his head into one the shots remains nameless (like all good little zombies).
Three of us drove from out of state (or town) to “see” George Romero and despite our lack of autographs, we did manage to at least "see" him. I had fun, visited with friends, ate some great barbecue (another hour or so away) and picked up a few comics, but I have seen similar events over the years that were far, far better organized. Even by the same folks that held this one!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Our favorite jungle goddess turns somewhat into an ersatz ghost-buster in this short feature from golden age publisher Fox's Rulah Jungle Goddess #23; November 1948. Remember kiddies, looks can be deceiving, but girls wearing animal skin bikinis can't be fooled.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The shape of things to come became apparent in Legion of Super-Heroes #260 (Feb. 1980) with “Come to the Circus and Die!” a swift seventeen-pager from writer Gerry Conway and artists Joe Staton & John Calnan. Part murder-mystery, the issue begins with the death of an alien gymnast, who disintegrates during his performance for the Bacaro Bailey Interstellar Traveling Carnival Show. It seems that his isn’t the first death by violence that the carnies have experienced lately, so with the assistance of Earth-Gov, the Legion is quickly assigned the task of ferreting out the identity of the killer.
Of course, with only seventeen pages to tell the tale, there is still time to stop the incoming crash of a robot shuttle that’s out of control. Not one to sit around on their laurels, the Legion quickly springs into action, mops up the debris and then settles in to plot their mission strategy.
Soon, Star Boy, Princess Projectra, Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, Mon-El and Timber Wolf infiltrate the carnival to trap the mystery killer from behind the scenes. Following two additional acts of mayhem, the Legionnaires settle upon three suspects within the ranks of the traveling circus. Ultimately, the resident juggler, Imik of Cygnus 4, is pegged as the villain, but as the issue closes, Brainy has an intuition that the “real” killer is still lurking about. Canny readers have already deduced the very same thing; since unlike the Legionnaires, we can plainly see the armed culprit standing among the shadows of an overhead catwalk, meaning that next issues “Space Circus of Death” will probably continue the interstellar merriment.
The writing by Conway is pretty plebian, and rather par for the course, considering when it was published. The Dave Cockrum & Mike Grell period was long over, even though the Legion members still wore their groovy 1970’s costumes and new penciller Joe Staton must have turned in some very loose layouts for this issue; unfortunately John Calnan didn’t do very much with them. Calnan is a name that I remember, but his inking is so “cookie-cutter” that is easily dismissed. There is only one decent thing about the entire issue, and that is Dick Giordano’s cover, and even that is a fairly middle of the road effort.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Today is my birthday, and although opinions on when the specific start date of the "Age of Aquarius" actually begins is an ongoing point of contention, this era was supposed to have brought the world increased spirituality and harmony among people.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The character known as “The Hunter” is the most unnecessary introduction that I’ve seen this year. I get it, Kring and company, he is supposed to be the hardcore, armed badass that takes the “powered-folk” down on behalf of the government (turncoat-brother, Sen. Nathan Petrelli & his briefly-glimpsed, Klingon President). So, Mr. Kring, have you ever heard of a guy by the name of Noah Bennett? Yeah, that guy, H.R.G. himself, who is surprisingly present for this very story arc, even as you’ve assigned his regular series role to an uninspired newbie. Stupid! Just stupid and poorly thought out. Even if you plan to kill off “The Hunter”, and you will, having Bennett perform all of the actions that the Hunter has would have heightened the tension between him and oh, say Claire and the other series characters that Noah has interacted with.
Now Brea Grant was a real breath of fresh air in this sorriest of seasons. There was no other character like Daphne on the show, and she was a welcome presence, so naturally you may have killed her off, but before she disappears entirely, let me ask a question about our resident speedster. Once the first bullet struck her, why didn’t she dash off, heck she could even have taken Matt Parkman with her – bullet or not. And we’ve seen that she has enough street smarts in her to have done so, unless for instance, this week’s script called for yet another character to act stupid.
I mean seriously, now that Peter IS finally acting like he has a set of balls, of course, somebody else has to serve as the weekly stooge, and I guess poor Daphne got the nod. Stupid! Just stupid and poorly thought out. About Peter, before I forget, thanks for clearing up the change in his powers, but you really should’ve done that last week.
Nathan Petrelli has been a flip-flopper since day one, but he really needs to take a dirt nap at the end of the day. And don’t try this redemption shit with Mohinder. You turned him into a villain, a monster even, and he’s got to pay, so Tim old boy, the hit list is really narrowing down, because the most glaring thing wrong with “Heroes” is the ongoing cast expansion. Sorta ruins the whole overarching conspiracy thing, to keep building away from the series premise and then having to dig your way out of the corners that additional characters eventually drag you into - doesn't it?
Tracy is a far cry from the crummy Nikki/Jessica thing, and Ali Larter is to-die-for good looking, but hopefully she’s learned her lesson and can finally get on with Peter’s anti-Nathan program – should she ever breakout again.
Last question: Sylar gets a sidekick? And yet you keep sending sweet little Claire back to Costa Verde. I say cram her tight young behind into another cheerleading outfit and have her do a few nice jump kicks or splits for the gang. That's about all she's good for and you ought to know, you are writing this damn show.
Now let me remind you that you chose to rid us all of Isaac’s presence back during the first season, and even though his power is probably the cheapest effects shot among the rest of the casts powers, Matt Parkman is a mind reader. Let’s get back to that. Stupid! Just stupid and poorly thought out.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Legion of 3 Worlds #3 has finally arrived after a Final Crisis-induced, publishing hiatus, but writer Geoff Johns, artist George Perez & inker Scott Koblish have pulled out all of the stops upon their very welcome return, and given the high quality of this book, you will probably forgive their long absence.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
“People are attracted by the stories, by the pace, and in the case of Stephenie Meyer, it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books. It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it’s not particularly threatening because it’s not overtly sexual.”
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Rulah Jungle Goddess makes her second 2009 appearance here in the Catacombs with a spiffy tale from Fox Comics November 1948 issue (#20). This time out, our lovely jungle goddess faces off against a nearby tyrannical queen, who is not at all happy that Rulah is hogging the jungle girl spotlight, so she’s handily enslaved some of our gals own jungle tribesmen to force them into building an idol that will steal Rulah’s power. Adding insult to injury, Rulah is re-united with an old flame with bittersweet results.