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!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Space Patrol in "The Cannibal Monster of the Pygmy Planet" (Centaur; 1940)

Here is a fantastically titled Space Patrol adventure called “The Cannibal Monster of the Pygmy Planet” from Amazing Mystery Funnies #24 (Sept.1940); originally published by Centaur and written & illustrated by the always interesting Basil Wolverton. This was the final issue of the series, and it is the kind of fun, wonky stuff that simply makes for great comics reading ! 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, May 7, 2014

Safari Cary in "The Plot!" (Fox Features Syndicate; 1948)

Safari Cary stars in “The Plot” from Dagar Desert Hawk # 19 (Aug.1948); originally published by Fox Feature Syndicate. Canadian artist Edmond Good is responsible for the artwork on this tale. 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, May 6, 2014

Free Comic Book Day 2014!

By this point most fans know that Free Comic Book Day is an annual promotional event held by the comic book industry that takes place on the first Saturday of May to help bring new readers into independent comic book stores. Depending upon the level of investment made by the individual retail locations, customers can experience quite a variety of often party-like store events. Some stores allow customers to select one of each available free comic, and others limit the quantity (as for the stores, these books are not free at all; they must purchase these volumes to some extent). Adding to the overall fun, most host locations feature established industry guest talent or regional favorites to sign their books or sketch for attendees. No matter how you slice it, FCBD is well worth standing in line for some good clean fun!
I really would have liked to have gotten the 2000 AD magazine, but my shop didn’t offer that one and since they limited attendees to seven items, I lost out on getting the Walt Disney Uncle Scrooge & Donald Duck issue once I made my picks which included: Archie Digest #1 from Archie Comics; Bongo Free-For-All from Bongo Comics; Future’s End from DC Comics; All Rocket Raccoon from Marvel Comics; Magic Wind from Epicenter Comics; the Archaia Hardcover Anthology (featuring Mouse Guard) from Boom Entertainment and the Sonic the Hedgehog/Megaman flipbook also from Archie Comics. As you can see, my choices lean towards all-ages fare. Most years I go for the Bongo, Archie, Walt Disney stuff as they are a nice break from what typically floods into stores most weeks throughout the year. This was the second year that a Mouse Guard hardcover was offered, so kudos to Boom for that nice volume, and I was very pleased with Magic Wind (a western with a horror twist). DC Comics tied their release into an upcoming event, and I'm glad to have had a chance to see this sneak peek, so that I won't waste my time with this mess any further.

Thanks to all the publishers, retailers, distributors and creative talent that played a part in bringing the 2014 books to our grubby little hands.

In Memorium: Dick Ayers

Hall of Fame artist Dick Ayers passed away on May 4, 2014 at the age of ninety.  Although his career began in the golden age, he was best known for his silver age work as one of Jack Kirby's regular inkers during the late-1950s and 1960s, including some of the earliest issues of Marvel Comics' The Fantastic Four. He was the primary artist on Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, drawing it over a 10-year run, and he was co-creator of the 1950s Western-horror version of the Ghost Rider, a character he would draw again for Marvel in the 1960s.

Ayers other notable work includes Adventures into Terror, Astonishing, Journey into Mystery, Journey into Unknown Worlds, Menace, Mystery Tales, Mystic, Strange Tales, Uncanny Tales, Amazing Adventures, Journey into Mystery, Strange Tales, Tales of Suspense, Tales to Astonish, Rawhide Kid and early appearances of Thor and The Incredible Hulk.
I 'm very glad to have to spoken with Mr. Ayers in person two or three times over the years and he was always very nice to his fans. The Catacombs extends its condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #23 [Oct. 1965]

Thursday, May 1, 2014

In Memorium: Al Feldstein

Industry legend Al Feldstein passed away on April 29, 2014 at the age of 88. As a writer, editor, and artist, he best known for his classic work at EC Comics on their New Trend group including Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror, Shock SuspenStories, Crime SuspenStories, Panic and Piracy; and later [1956 to 1985], as the editor of the satirical magazine Mad. After retiring, Feldstein concentrated on American paintings of Western wildlife.  

After industry and government pressures had forced Bill Gaines to shut down most of his EC titles, Feldstein was only briefly separated from the company. When Harvey Kurtzman left Mad in 1956, Gaines turned to his former editor Feldstein, who spent the next 29 years at the helm of what became one of the nation's leading and most influential magazines. Circulation multiplied more than eight times during his tenure, peaking at 2,850,000 in 1974, although Mad declined to three quarters of that figure by the end of his time as editor.

Many new cartoonists and writers surfaced during Feldstein's editorship as the magazine came to rely on a steady group of contributors. Feldstein's first issue as editor (#29) was also the first issue to display the twisted work of cartoonist Don Martin. A few months later, he hired Mort Drucker, who quickly established himself as their premier caricaturist on movie satires with Angelo Torres drawing the TV parodies. By 1961, with the introduction of Antonio Prohías and Dave Berg, he had fully established the format that kept the magazine a commercial success for decades.

The Catacombs extends its condolences to his family, friends and fans. I count myself lucky to have had a chance to meet him just a few years ago.