Tuesday, June 24, 2014


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"