Sunday, February 28, 2010

Free Comic Book Day 2010! 62 Days and counting .....


The eighth annual "Free Comic Book Day" returns on Saturday, May 1, 2010. This is the blessed day when participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops. This years sponsors include Ape Entertainment, Archie Comics, Archaia Studios Press, Boom Studios, Dark Horse, DC, Drawn & Quarterly, IDW, Image and Marvel. (Thank you all very much!)

With almost three dozen books being offered by a variety of publishers, needless to say there is something for everyone. I'm particularly looking forward to the titles that are pictured above from Archie Comics, Dark Horse offers a new Dr. Solar and Magnus Robot Fighter relaunch, by former Valiant chief Jim Shooter, IDW reunites creator Larry Hama with his 1980's property, G.I. Joe, Drawn & Quarterly issues another outstanding collection of John Stanley material (perhaps my favorite freebie last year), The Library of American Comics presents an assortment of classic newspaper strips by top artists and Jim Woodring's "Frank" features in Weathercraft from Fantagraphics.

For the first time, legendary artist Sergio Aragon├ęs has created the first-ever Free Comic Book Day Commemorative Artist T-Shirt. This shirt is intended as the start of a new tradition, with a different artist selected each year to provide a special design. This year's shirt from the fan-favorite Groo creator and MAD Magazine legend will be available in white, black, and purple, in sizes ranging from Small through XXL. Proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go to support FCBD's marketing and promotional efforts, with $1 from each T-shirt sale also being donated to Sergio's elected charity, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. T-shirts will be available for purchase in comic book shops starting in early April, 2010.

Hope to see you in the shops in May for Free Comic Book Day!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jungleman in "Island Survival" (Harvey; 1940)







Welcome to the weekend!

Writer/artist Charles A. Winter returns to the Catacombs today with Jungleman who is culled from Champion Comics #7 (May 1940); originally published by Harvey. A different writer/artist worked on Jungleman in the Harvey series, Champ Comics and some of those stories will be posted here early next week for a comparison basis.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.

Enjoy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Gal" Friday & Classic Cutie! Joi Lansing







Joi Lansing began modeling in her teens and at the age of 14, was signed to an acting contract at MGM Studios, where she completed high school on the studio lot. Lansing was often cast in bombshell roles similar to those played by her 1950's contemporaries, Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren. Joi was frequently clad in skimpy costumes and bikinis that accentuated her attractive figure.

After Lansing's film career began in 1948, she played an uncredited role in MGM's Singin' in the Rain in 1952. She received top billing in Hot Cars (1956) and in the opening sequence of Orson Welles's Touch of Evil (1958), she appeared as Zita, the dancer who dies at the end of the films famous first tracking shot, during which her character exclaims to a border guard, "I keep hearing this ticking noise inside my head!" Lansing had a brief role as an astronaut's girlfriend in the 1958 sci-fi classic Queen of Outer Space. During the 1950s, she starred in short musical films for the Scopitone video-jukebox system. Her recorded songs include "The Web of Love" and "The Silencers".

By 1956, Joi Lansing had appeared in more than 200 television shows, including The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, I Love Lucy, State Trooper, This Man Dawson, Maverick and she had a recurring role in The Beverly Hillbillies. She is perhaps best known as Shirley Swanson in The Bob Cummings Show, plus she appeared as the title character in "Superman's Wife," a 1958 episode of The Adventures of Superman.

As a Mormon, Lansing did not drink or smoke and although she was often photographed in bikinis and swimsuits; she never posed nude. Joi Lansing died from breast cancer at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California in 1972 at the age of 43.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Camilla, Queen of the Lost Empire; Part IV (Fiction House; 1940)







As promised, here is the next chapter of Camilla. This one is from Jungle Comics #4 (Apr. 1940) by Fiction House and writer/artist Charles A. Winter. The Queen of the Lost Empire has a better disposition at story's end, and there is yet another large snake on hand to imperil her "guests". I will run more of this strips chapters at some point down the road, but my very next golden age jungle story post will star a jungle lord making his Catacombs debut. While I may post an additional item later today, don't forget to drop by tomorrow for my regular "Gal" Friday featurette.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Camilla, Queen of the Lost Empire; Part III (Fiction House; 1940)






Writer and artist Charles A. Winter certainly had a soft spot for wicked women, and he was definitely homaging Ayesha from H. R. Haggard's classic novel, She, as this serialized Camilla tale plays out from Jungle Comics #3 (Mar. 1940) published during the golden age by Fiction House. Capt. Stanley is replaced in this issues outing by Jon and Ruth. They will probably come to regret exploring this lost corner of the dark continent.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.

I will probably run the next sequential Camilla story again tomorrow, before introducing you to a new jungle lord here in the Catacombs this weekend. Today's strip is again taken from a grainy microfiche source, but the next chapter is crystal clear (and you get to see it tomorrow).

Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Camilla, Queen of the Lost Empire; Part II (Fiction House; 1940)









I posted the first story featuring Camilla back on January 14, 2010. Camilla was variously portrayed as a descendant of Genghis Khan, as the despotic queen of a lost empire founded by vikings, and eventually as just another sultry jungle girl in a print bikini. The first "Queen of the Lost Empire" story in Jungle Comics #1, actually showed her characters death, but that didn't stop her from rebounding here.

Written and illustrated by Charles A. Winter (signed "CAW"), this story is taken from Jungle Comics #2 (Feb. 1940), originally published by Fiction House. Tune back in tomorrow for the next chapter of this serial adventure and I have to mention that the scans for this one are from a microfiche source, so it's a bit grainy.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Retro-View: Our Army At War #167 (DC Comics)


Our Army at War #167 (May 1966) stars Sgt. Rock of Easy in “Kill One – Save One!”; written by Robert Kanigher and illustrated by Joe Kubert. In this issue Easy Company stalwarts Bulldozer and Ice Cream Soldier amuse themselves by betting on which of their top-kick’s many battles was his roughest. Of course, Rock himself overhears their foxhole debate and while their picks bring back memories for old Frank (conveniently allowing Kubert the opportunity to draw these vignettes); it is an altogether different engagement that Rock recounts to the readers as his own roughest battle.

On an earlier two-man patrol with fellow grunt Pappy, Rock and his subordinate were fired upon by an unknown sniper. Pappy got drilled through the heart as he was reminiscing over his family back home, but Pappy’s demise allowed Rock a single moment to identify the treetop hideaway before he wildly sprays the gunners nest with his own burst. However as the snipers helmet rolls away, Rock is horrified to discover that he is just a boy in a man’s uniform, one of Hitler’s own handpicked “werewolves”. Struggling to come to terms with his actions, Rock is taken unawares by yet another of the youthful werewolves, who chooses to take the sergeant prisoner rather than shoot him.

Along the way, Rock’s veteran combat sensibilities recognize the likelihood that an open field might be mined, but the boy sloughs off Rock’s suggestion as a trick and pings another shot off of the captive sergeants helmet, knocking it onto the field where – you guessed it – a series of mines erupts in sequence. The young werewolf takes some shrapnel in his leg and also loses his rifle, but as Rock picks the wounded boy up, he finds that he has a death-grip on a live grenade and the Rock is still his prisoner.

Before long the two are targeted by a strafing fighter plane and driven into a nearby farmhouse, but that won’t stop the fighters deadly aerial bombardment moments later. Sgt. Rock leaps to safety, but hearing the boys weakened cry for help, Rock quickly dashes back to retrieve him. This heroic effort wins the boy over and he declares that Hitler had lied to the "werewolves" when he had said that the Americans would show no mercy. This is great, great stuff by the classic team of Kanigher & Kubert.

Plus, a second neat feature written by Howard Liss and drawn by Jack Abel details the story of a wounded German soldiers forced retirement and how a wayward GI patrol allows him an opportunity to engage in “One Last Fight!”
Thanks for handing this gem over, David!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lance Hale in "The Zango Cannibals" (Lev Gleason;1941)







The weekend bonus story from the golden age of comics comes to you from Silver Streak Comics #8 (March 1941) originally published by Lev Gleason, and under a super-spiffy Jack Cole cover featuring Daredevil vs. The Claw (which I've included at no extra charge).

Lance Hale was a soldier of fortune who moved to Africa and then "adapted" himself to life in the wild by cross-dressing (?). I wonder if he had issues with his own sexuality, because one look at his chosen jungle wardrobe proves that he wasn't really cut out for life as a Tarzan clone. I mean come on, green tights, yellow booties, red trunks and an off-the-shoulder animal skin. Lance, old boy, what were you thinking? Fred Guardineer gets all the credit for this oddball story as both writer and artist.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.

Enjoy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Gal" Friday! Lindsey Vonn



Lindsey Vonn, the 25-year-old alpine skier, won the Downhill Alpine gold medal on Wednesday at the 2010 Olympic Games, but Vonn sadly fell out of contention in the women's Super-G (a mix of downhill and giant slalom racing) today. Despite her painful, much-publicized shin injury, it was a simple mistake that ruined her shot at a second gold medal, when Lindsey failed to get her ski around a right-hand gate and fell in the slalom run of the super combined.

The Catacombs loves her anyway and she does look good in a bikini. Check out her recent issue of Sports Illustrated where she is featured in a nice photo spread (and that suggestive cover pic ain't too shabby either).

Keep 'em flying for Team USA in Vancouver, babe, cause you've already earned a spot as this weeks "Gal" Friday.

Asimov's Science Fiction



Asimov's Science Fiction celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2007, the magazine's current editor is Sheila Williams. After years of sampling random copies this excellent genre digest, I finally subscribed last January, and have simply devoured each subsequent issue. It is currently published by Dell Magazines 10 times a year, with double issues in April/May and October/November.

For cutting edge short fiction, you just can't beat this package. Asimov's stories have won numerous awards, including at least 40 Hugo awards and 24 Nebula awards. The magazine's editors have received 17 Hugo awards for Best Editor.

As a head's up to any Catacombs comic book fans who also enjoy science fiction, this is an unbeatable source for hours of pure reading pleasure. As a bonus, reading Asimov's is akin to channeling the old pulp magazines, even though you can also go the techie route and download each issue online. My subscription lapsed during my separation late last year, and I'm about to renew it now that I've established a new mailing address. Why not join me?

Recommended!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rulah Jungle Goddess in "The Slumbering City" (Fox Comics;1947)













The Catacombs favorite jungle vixen returns with today's golden age adventure featuring Rulah Jungle Goddess, from Zoot Comics #11 (Dec. 1947), originally published by Fox Comics. This spiffy thrill ride is fully pencilled by classic "good girl" artist, Matt Baker.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.

Enjoy!