Friday, November 30, 2007
A New Form of Chinese Water Torture Unveiled
While admittedly not as serious as China's attempt to poison the youth of America with lead contaminated toys and baby items, the Chinese continue to act more like a country at war with the U.S. than one at peace.
All of this comes in the wake of the U.S.A.’s discovery of tons of imported Chinese food items that were contaminated with pesticides, and literally tons of tainted pet food containing melamine, a chemical contained in plastics and fertilizers.
Not to mention, the Chinese government previously denying entry to port for a U.S. vessel seeking safe harbor from a dangerous sea-storm.
Well, that EARNS the China the “Bad Conduct” Award; henceforth known as the Chop-Chop in honor of a golden age great who’s not likely to be revived anytime soon - - - for obvious reasons.
Strangely appropriate for this situation though. Cover images [above;left] taken from Quality Comics Blackhawk #18 (Spring 1948), Blackhawk #22 (December 1948) and Blackhawk #31 (June 1950).
[Why the hell we continue to do business with certain countries is beyond me. I say declare a moratorium on all inbound Chinese goods for a year or two and see how they fare, temporarily, without our considerable financial assistance. And we could always seize any Chinese assets stateside as recompense for their “undeclared economic assault”.]
Profile Antics: Milo Manara
Thursday, November 29, 2007
About Monkey Boy (his nickname; not mine)!
If you haven't heard, the perpetually late series has ultimately lost Mr. Cho, as he has left the series after completing the 6th issue. Reportedly each issue was taking poor Frank about ten weeks to complete. What a whiner! I mean twenty-two pages of comics illustration averages out to only three pages a week at that rate.
Sadly, for our pal Frank, I can't imagine Jack Kirby, John Romita, Big John Buscema, Don Heck, Dick Ayers, Steve Ditko, Marie Severin, or anybody else from the former House of Ideas complaining too damn much about the generous amount of time Herr Cho was allotted to turn in his "heavy" workload. Frank's problem comes down to one simple thing. Overcommitment!
He put his own Liberty Meadows on hold to tackle his various Marvel stuff, but there never seemed to be a single week during his time on Mighty Avengers, where some new Cho-stuff wasn't solicited. Covers or t-shirts for convention programs, limited editions prints, uhm, Jungle Girl for another publisher [which truth be told, is nothing more than a rip-off of his own Marvel title, Shanna the She-Devil].
So, yes, I remain grudgingly a Frank Cho fan, but please - Frank - buddy - henceforth, how about a little .... FOCUS.
Only George Perez could maintain the kind of workload that you attempted, and he even injured himself doing it - albeit late in his career. You're still a young guy, dude!
And about that [photo; above], Frank is lovingly caressing the mighty fine rear end of LianaK, a Canadian television entertainer who hosts the talk show, Ed's Night Party and travels to comic conventions in various costumes that show off her "assets." Lovely Liana Kerzner regularly posts on Frank's own Apes & Babes forum. Hell, I gotta say that for the lucky Mr. Cho, his getting to perform a pat down on the curvy cutie amounts to some seriously cool fringe benefits.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
1970's Flashback: The Joker
The Joker then received his own nine-issue series during the 1970s in which he faced off against a variety of superheroes and supervillains. Although he was the protagonist of the series, certain issues feature just as much murder as those in which he was the antagonist. Of the nine issues, he commits murder in seven.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Heroes: "TRUTH & CONSEQUENCES
Monday, November 26, 2007
1970's Flashback: The Beast
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Classic Cuties: Lynda Carter
Friday, November 23, 2007
In Memoriam: Gordon Scott & Herman Brix
At the Movies ..... Enchanted
From the Dust Bin: Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad was later re-launched with a similar premise in 2001 by the team of Peter Tomasi (editor) Keith Giffen (Script), Paco Medina (Pencils), Joe Sanchez (Inks), John Kalisz (Colors), Bill Oakley (Letters). This second volume managed to last only a single year (12 issues), but with respect to the first series, this version was much more to my personal tastes. Keith Giffen deployed his trademark tongue-in-cheek humor throughout the run and standout artist Paco Medina has been the only illustrator to make me enjoy any manga/anime-styled flavorings in traditional comics. Sadly the series never clicked with fans and the book ended with a terrific cliffhanger. Squad controllers Frank Rock and Bulldozer (purportedly the former Easy Co. vets of WWII) were revealed as ….. well, let’s just say they weren’t actually who they had been made out to be. I don’t know if this aspect was ever picked up in another title for a resolution. The title had really lived up to its name as the body count was exceptionally high. Recruits Big Sir, Bolt, Clock King, Cluemaster, Eliza, Havana, Larvanaut, Modem, Multi-Man, Putty and Reactron all perished during various Squad missions, leaving only Blackstarr, Deadshot, Killer Frost & Major Disaster still standing at the conclusion of the run.
Proving that you can't keep a cool idea down for long, John Ostrander is now back with yet another new limited series, Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag, which seems to be nothing more than a rehash of certain elements from his first series and which were also factored into latter parts of the Giffen/Medina volume. Nothing is really new enough here to make me recommend the book to anyone, but to each his own.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Eat well, but not too much, folks!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Fun with Greg Horn!
1970's Flashback: Black Lightning
Saturday, November 17, 2007
1970's Flashback: Justice, Inc. (& The Avenger)
Like Doc Savage, Benson relies on a variety of special gadgets to help him overcome criminals. These include knockout gas bombs, miniature radios, and his special pistol "Mike" and throwing knife "Ike". Benson's trick was to shoot someone so that his bullet just touched their heads and knocked them out.
Algernon Heathcote Smith (known as "Smitty") is a gigantic man of incredible strength. Smitty looks slow and stupid but he is actually a genius with electronics. He was framed for a crime he did not commit.
Nellie Gray is a beautiful, delicate-looking young woman who is actually an expert at jujitsu and other martial arts. Her archaeologist father was killed by criminals for a treasure he had found.
Josh and Rosabel Newton are an African American couple whose employers were killed by criminals. They often go undercover as domestic servants, making use of the stereotypes of the time to hide their investigative abilities. The Avenger series is notable its presentation of minorities. Many of the pulp magazines of the time are well known for racist stereotypes but Josh and Rosabel are always presented as brave, intelligent people of good character.
Cole Wilson joins the group near the end of the series. He is much less distinctive than Benson's other assistants and has a light hearted manner that contrasts the Avenger's serious tone.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Love & Rockets ..... annually henceforth!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
1970's Flashback: Tigra
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
1970's Flashback: Freedom Fighters
Monday, November 12, 2007
Classic Cuties: Ella Raines
November Art Ephemera
Friday, November 9, 2007
New Comic Review: New Avengers: Illuminati #5
Star Trek XI casts Capt. Pike & Spock's Mother!
Christopher Pike, captained the Enterprise before James T. Kirk. The character was featured in the original series episode "The Menagerie", which actually incorporated the previously unaired 1st pilot that had starred Jeffrey Hunter as Pike. Due to crippling injuries suffered in a Delta Ray exposure/accident, Pike remained on the forbidden planet of Talos IV, where he was taken by former crewmate Mr. Spock. There he could experience the illusion of an active life under the care of its mentally advanced inhabitants.
Winona Ryder (Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Age of Innocence) has also joined the cast of 'Lost' creator JJ Abrams' 'Star Trek' movie, and will play Spock's human mother, Amanda Grayson.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Albus Dumbledore is GAY?
Last month in front of a full house of hardcore Harry Potter fans at Carnegie Hall in New York, British author J.K. Rowling, sitting on the stage on a red velvet and carved wood throne, read from her seventh and final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," then took select questions. One young fan asked whether Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of the series Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, had ever loved anyone. Rowling smiled. "Dumbledore is gay, actually," replied Rowling as the audience erupted in surprise. She added that, [in her mind] , Dumbledore had an unrequited love affair with Gellert Grindelwald, Voldemort's predecessor who appears in flashback during the seventh book. After several minutes of prolonged shouting and clapping from astonished fans, Rowling added. "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy."
1970's Flashback: The Man Called Nova
Richard Rider was chosen at random by the alien Rhomann Dey, last surviving Nova Centurion of the planet Xandar's elite Nova Corps, to inherit his power and succeed him in the rank of Nova Prime following the destruction of his world by the intergalactic pirate Zorr. Having been mortally wounded in the battle that tore Xandar apart, Dey succeeded in tracking Zorr to Earth, but he was unable to exact vengeance due to the extent of his injuries. At death's door, Dey had little choice but to transfer his power to an unsuspecting human on the planet below, praying that whomever he found would take up his cause. In becoming a reluctant member of the Nova Corps (Xandar's intergalactic police force), Richard Rider gained enhanced strength, flight, injury resistance, and a uniform with life support. The character was originally created by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema in Nova #1, 1976, however the series lasted only 25 issues. Big John's brother, Sal Buscema, provided the bulk of the terrific interior art on the series after John pencilled the first issue.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
TV Buzz: "GHOST WHISPERER"
The title is a reference to lead character Melinda Gordon (portrayed by Jennifer Love Hewitt) who lives in the fictional town of Grandview, along with her husband Jim, and has the ability to see and communicate with the dead. Although initially the show seemed somewhat akin to such prior series as Highway to Heaven & Touched By An Angel, whose premise had supernatural characters aiding the living. Ghost Whisperer pulled a reversal on this theme and has Melinda Gordon assisting lost or confused spirits in the afterlife in “crossing over” to an eternal existence. No surprise when you consider that actual spirit communicator James Van Praagh is a co-executive producer on the series.
The Rock opts for Black Adam!
In Memoriam: Paul Norris
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Creator profile: Matt Baker
Clarence Matthew Baker (1921 - 1959) was a comic book artist best remembered for the costumed crime-fighter Phantom Lady and as the medium's first known African-American artist; he was active as early as the 1930s-40s Golden Age of comic books. Baker penciled what is arguably the first graphic novel, St. John Publications' digest-sized "picture novel" It Rhymes with Lust (1950). His speciality was drawing "good girl art", a comics sub-genre for which his available work is in high demand with collectors. Baker's career was launched at the Iger Studio, one of many 1940s "packagers" who provided outsourced comics on demand for eager publishers entering the new medium. Through Iger, Baker produced work for various publishers including St. John, Fiction House, Fox, and Quality Comics.
The Phantom Lady (created by Arthur Peddy in 1941) was a Quality Comics feature supplied by the Iger Studio. After Quality dropped her feature in Police Comics, Iger supplied her to Fox Comics, which had also requested a sexy costumed adventuress. Matt Baker redesigned the character into her best-known incarnation, and she debuted in Fox's Phantom Lady #13 (Aug. 1947), the premiere issue after taking over the numbering of the canceled comic Wotalife. Baker's Phantom Lady also appeared as a backup feature in All Top Comics #9-16.
His other notable work includes military-humor title Canteen Kate, Tales of The Mysterious Traveler; the feature "Sky Girl" in Fiction House's Jumbo Comics, the jungle adventures of "Tiger Girl"; "Flamingo", "South Sea Girl", "Glory Forbes", "Kayo Kirby"; and "Risks Unlimited". He also produced Flamingo [above, right] as a syndicated comic strip from 1952 through 1954.
He really hit his stride drawing romance titles prolifically for St. John Publications in the 1950’s. Love Romances, My Own Romance, and Teen-Age Romance; and Wartime Romances. His untimely passing in 1959 cut short what might have been a very lucrative period for Baker as the silver age of comics was really getting underway.
Monday, November 5, 2007
1970's Flashback: The Secret Society of Super-Villains
Friday, November 2, 2007
Creator Profile: Ernie Chan
Thursday, November 1, 2007
1970's Flashback: Isis
And you thought that Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman was the only "hottie" superheroine from the disco decade. Actress Joanna Cameron was equally appealing in the Saturday morning live-action kids show - The Secrets of Isis - which was broadcast by CBS for a single year, running from September 1975 to October 1976.