Monday, December 20, 2010

My Christmas List

Hey, all! Hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday season as we enter this final stretch before Christmas. I thought I'd share a few items from my letter to Santa. Here we go!

1) A live-action Herculoids movie: Because that would be awesome

2) Gargoyles Season 2 Volume 2: Dammit, Disney, stop being the Grinch who steals my Christmas and release this on DVD already! And while you're at it, renew the license with SLG so's I can get more Gargoyles comics!

3) A three year moratorium on company wide comic book crossovers: I can't take it anymore!

4) Teen Titans: The Judas Contract full length animated DVD: When DC and WB Animation first announced their DC DVD animated features, one of the films promised was The Judas Contract. Three years later, no Judas Contract. There have been plenty of films featuring Superman and Batman, but no Judas Contract! That makes Baby Jesus cry.

5) Romance!: Maybe, this holiday season, some 12th level Mamacita with 18/00 in Intelligence and Charisma, with several ranks of the Attractive feat, will manage to break through the GM screen around my heart, roll a natural 20 on a seduction roll, and thus cause me to fail my saving throw versus love.

Finally, I'd like for Glenn Beck to man up and accept my challenge already! Come on, Glenn! What are you, chicken? Is your name Glenn Beck, or Glenn Beak? Wait, that was terrible. Are you Glenn Beck, or Glenn Peck For Corn? No, that was even worse. Wait, I got it. Is your name Glenn Beck, or Glenn Buh-kawk*! You big chicken!

*"Buh-kawk" is, obviously, the sound a chicken makes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Big Shot Christmas

The Golden Age series Big Shots (alternatively Big Shot Comics) didn't have a long run, but they did manage to rack up quite a few holiday covers in their hundred or so issues. So, let's take a look-see!

I was really hoping one of those kids would get a hoop and stick.

... Honestly, I got nothing for this one. This cover makes the Mexican Santa Claus movie look sane and logical.

"Santa, this Christmas I want immunity from any lawsuits that might be filed from the creators of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or the Absent-Minded Professor!"

Y'know, if you added just a touch more shadow to this cover, it goes from being a delightful holiday scene to an image from a horror comic.

I'm almost positive that this is how they celebrate Christmas in Japan.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hero for Hire for the Holidays!

Since it's the holiday season, one of the things I wanted to do was a Yuletide tribute to Luke Cage. Because, as you know, his catchphrase is "Sweet Christmas!" Unfortunately, there are no covers depicting the Hero for Hire in a Christmas setting, and I've been unable to find any fan art to that effect. You have failed me, Interntet.

So, I decided to do the next best thing. One of my favorite pieces of Christmas lore is "Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus." So, I got to thinking, what if Luke Cage had written it? With the help of an online English to Jive translator (real thing, google it if you don't believe me), here is what that may look like. And yes, I'm well aware that this might be the single most offensive thing I've ever done.

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, yo' little homeys is wrong. What it is, Mama! Dey gots been affected by de skep'icism uh a skep'ical age. Dey do not recon' 'sept [whut] dey see. Dey dink dat nodin' kin be which be not comprehensible by deir little minds. All minds, Virginia, wheda' dey be men's o' children's, is little. In dis great universe uh ours joker is some mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared wid de boundless wo'ld about him, as measho' mand by de intelligence capable uh graspin' de whole uh trud and knowledge.

Yeah man, VIRGINIA, dere be a Santa Claus. He 'esists as certainly as love and generosity and devoshun 'esist, and ya' know dat dey abound and cut to yo' life its highest beauty and joy. Slap mah fro! Alas! Right on! how dreary would be da damn wo'ld if dere wuz no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if dere wuz no VIRGINIAS. Dere would be no childlikes faid den, no poetry, no romance t'make tolerable dis 'esistence. We should gots no enjoyment, 'sept in sense and sight. Man! De eternal light wid which childhood fills de wo'ld would be 'estin'uished.

Not recon' in Santa Claus! Right on! You's might as well not recon' in fairies! Right on! You's might dig yo' papa t'hire dudes to watch in all de chimneys on Christmas Eve t'catch Santa Claus, but even if dey dun did not see Santa Claus comin' waaay down, whut would dat prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but dat be no sign dat dere be no Santa Claus. De most real doodads in de wo'ld is dose dat neida' children no' dudes can see. Did ya' eva' see fairies boogeyin' on de lawn? Of course not, but dat's no proof dat dey is not dere. Nobody kin conceive o' imagine all de wonders dere is unseen and unseeable in de wo'ld.

You's may tear apart da damn baby's rattle and see whut makes de noise inside, but dere be a veil coverin' de unseen wo'ld which not da damn strongest man, no' even de united strengd uh all de strongest dudes dat eva' lived, could tear apart. Man! Only faid, fancy, poetry, love, romance, kin push aside dat curtain and view and picture da damn supuh'nal beauty and glo'y beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all dis wo'ld dere be nodin' else real and abidin'.

No Santa Claus! Right on! Dank God! Right on! he lives, and he lives fo'ever. Ah be baaad... A dousand years fum now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten dousand years fum now, he gots'ta continue t'make glad da damn heart uh childhood.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas with the Marvel Family!

So, it's December now, so that means I can officially start being all Christmasy without the Grinchy McScrooges of the world trying to poop on my holiday party. So, at random intervals this month, I will post all manner of Christmas things, from holiday covers, to remembering old goofy tv specials, to whatever strikes my fancy.

I decided to start off this yuletide shindig with a Big Red Cheeselog, with holiday covers featuring the World's Mighiest Mortal, Captain Marvel! For those of you who don't know about the good Captain, this should explain things. Anyway, I love Captain Marvel. When I was a kid, I had one of those children's books with the gold spine (do they still make those? My fellow old fogeys know what I'm talking about, right?) starring Captain and Mary Marvel. A circus train derailed, and the Marvel Family rushed in to save the day. They then stayed on to help put on the Mightiest Show on Earth. It was a fun, whimsical little story, and I've had a fondness for Cap ever since.

So, here are some covers from Fawcett's Golden Age. For the record, while I'll do my obligatory joke, I find the lion's share of these absolutely charming. Here we go!

Santa seems to be enjoying Cap's "chimney" a little TOO much, if you catch my drift.

"Merry Christmas, St. Paul! Go f*** yourself, Duluth!"

You know, I always expect CM3 to say "God Bless Us, Everyone!" Also, who knew St. Nick was a cosplayer?

If Billy and Cap are separate, then they must be at the Rock of Eternity, which can only mean that Giant Santa has come to wreak havoc on the cosmos! FLEE!!!

Santa looks grumpy, probably because this year Cap filed that restraining order....

Now I have a bizarre idea for a story where Gorilla Grodd is taught the meaning of Christmas with Sherlock Monk as Christmas past, Detective Chimp as Christmas Present, and Dr. Zaius as Christmas Yet to Come.

Darn it, Santa, I asked for mint-in-box!

"Put my ornament highest on the tree. Santa's always trying to do something creepy with it ever since I stopped letting him cling tenaciously to my buttocks."

"Darn it, Santa, first you give me a bunch of packageless action figures, then you give me comics without bags or boards! Do you know nothing of resale value?!?"

From now on, I will wish everyone a Mighty Christmas!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Soldiering on....

It's Veteran's Day, a day to pay tribute to those fine men and women who've served our country with honor. They are especially deserving of a tribute, in my opinion, because, if comics are to be believed (and I see no reason why they shouldn't be), soldiers do nothing except battle against robots, apes, and hordes of the undead. A fearsome task.

So, to celebrate, here are some covers from DC's Weird War Tales!

You'll notice a pattern for many of the covers. WWT follows a simple format for designing their stories.
Step 1: Take a wartime scenario.
Step 2: Add skeletons.
Step 3: PROFIT!

"Swamp Thing, have you lost weight? You look fantastic! Jenny Craig, right?"

I have no humorous comment to add here; I just think it's awesome.

If they're frozen, it should be relatively simple to just go around.

Equipping skeletons with parachutes? And they say the defense budget is wasteful....

Terry Funk comes out of retirement yet again.

War is pretty metal, when you think about it.

"No! Don't bayonet my lap!"

"Something white is emerging from that long, hard tube filled with seamen!"
"Dammit, Frank, we've talked about this...."

Like a skeletonized dog is even going to have the membranes and tissues to track by scent.

It's good to know that those skeleton paratroopers from a few issues back made it down safely.

I don't see what those kids find so fascinating, but then, I never understood the appeal of Yu-Gi-Oh, either.

Editor: "Having soldiers run away from skeletons is old hat. We need something new and exciting to draw the kids in."
Artist: "We could have soldiers run away from skeletons riding dragons."
Editor: "... BRILLIANT!"

It's like if Superman and Ghost Rider had a love child, and now I'll never get that scenario out of my head.

I LOVE Hitler's expression in this one. He's all, "Huh. This is unusual."

When a robot, a skeleton, and John Belushi's samurai character from Saturday Night Live get into a fight, do you know who wins? THE FANS!

It took me a second to figure out what constituted the "weird" part of this cover, but if you look carefully, you can see UFOs there to the right. At least, I think they're UFOs. They might be frisbees.

That soldier always wants to be the centaur of attention! Also, cavalry? I think you could make the argument that a centaur could qualify as infantry, depending on your point of view.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Giant-Sized 100th Post Super Spectacular Blogstravaganza!!!

We're here! This post marks my blog's One Hundredth! Huzzah! Let's have attractive women and booze!

Ms. Marvel actually covers both.

Now, I promised a major announcement, and make no mistake, a major announcement will come. But first, I'd like to look back at the previous 99 posts and share my top ten favorites, along with the occasional pithy comment.

Iron Age Week: Rob Liefeld- This one was a lot of fun to write. Of course, making fun of Rob Liefeld is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel, but it amused me nonetheless. Also, I got to use the word "blasphenomenal", so points for that.

Exciting Business Opportunity!- This might possibly be the strangest, silliest blog entry I've done so far. I came up with on a commute via Septa early in the morning (early for me, anyway), so that might explain a few things. Nevertheless, I really like this one. Also, a friend of mine who doesn't really like comics read this and she thought it was really funny.

Capes to Cowboys and Back Again- This was originally a term paper for a college course I took last year on how the American Frontier is presented. Normally, when I write a paper, I come up with something vaguely resembling a thesis statement and then see where it takes me. With this one, I had a stronger idea of what I would present, my theory being that the Comics Code Authority ruined the Western genre just like it did all the other genres. While doing research, however, I realized that wouldn't fly, as many pre-Code Western comics had already toned down the violence, thanks to the influence of "singing cowboys" like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. So I went back to the drawing board and wound up concocting a stronger argument when I realized that a combination of media proliferation and changing superhero tropes were jointly responsible for the Western's decline. Me smart!

Kraven's Last Hunt- Many times when I review an older piece, I'll assume everyone's read it, add a comment, grunt, and then go on my merry way. With this one, I actually tried to analyze WHY it's such a good story.

Watchmen Translated!- I've done a few of these Translated ones, but this was the first. I like doing these. I take something someone else wrote, feed it into a program someone else designed, and then take credit for it. Genius. On retrospect, however, I do hope my readers from other countries get that I'm not making fun of people for whom English is a second language.

Racial Sensitivity via Superman Comics- I'd go on to talk about the issue of race in comics a bit more seriously later on, but I like this one. I'm particularly proud (if that's the right word) of "Ku Klux Kryptonians".

Comics 101- This was one of my few serious posts, and I like it. Granted, it's just rambling, but I hope eventually there's a larger body of criticism and analysis about comics. Comics are an important part of our cultural heritage, and I think they deserve a more in-depth look at times. And I'm not just talking about the easy ones, like Maus or Watchmen. I think my Western piece shows that looking at the trends of lesser known comics can bring a greater appreciation and enjoyment of those comics.

Can't Fake Gravity- I haven't posted a lot of my fiction here yet, partly because I'm still holding out hope of getting it published somewhere, but this is kind of what got me to seriously consider making a go out of this writing business. Also, fun trivia fact- one of the titles that I had toyed with for this was "Waiting to X'Hal"; I found it hilarious, but soon realized that others would be confused and annoyed by the title.

Saddle Up- According to Google Analytics, this is one of my top viewed pages, so yay. After all the time and money I spent on that game, I'm proud to say that I managed to turn it into something productive.

And now, last but not least, there's this post....

Comics vs. Pundits- A controversial post, to say the least. In it, I expose the seamy underbelly of Glenn Beck's approach to writing and ultimately claimed victory over the pudgy fearmonger. But it was a hollow victory. I mean, victory without an opponent is like a Scooby cartoon with Scrappy Doo- an unsatisfying sham. Which leads me to my announcement.

I am hereby challenging Glenn Beck to a duel of wits! As a man of honor (he'd have to have honor, 'cause he had that rally to restore it), I fully expect him to accept.

If he does accept, the format of the duel will follow a Best-of-Three format. Round One will consist of a challenge that favors me. I initially envisioned a comic trivia round, but I've been considered a challenge of Who Can Make the Least Amount of Money from Writing. "But wait," you say, "That's totally unfair! Glenn Beck has made millions, and you've only managed to scrape out a meager pittance!" I've considered that, and it's not impossible for Mr. Beck to win. He could plug my blog on his show, or set me up with meetings with his publishing contacts.

Round Two would favor Beck. Perhaps a round of Fake Crying, or Ranting Via Chalkboard. Round Three, should it come to that (and two decades of watching pro wrestling have taught me that it ALWAYS comes to that), would see us on equal footing. Perhaps some phyiscal challenge, as we'd both be disadvantaged, what with him being somewhat plump and me being lazy. Or perhaps we could have a challenge of who's better at creeping out women; though, honestly, I've never managed to creep out a woman on national television.

This is something that I expect everyone can enjoy. For those who hate Beck, it's a chance to see him humbled by a plucky young underdog. For those who are Beck fans, wouldn't you like to see him embarass me after all those cheap shots I've taken at him? It's a win-win.

Because when it's me versus Glenn Beck, do you know who wins? AMERICA!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Spooktacular!

Hi, all! It's Halloween, so that means it's time to scare up some goofy horror covers!

No, no; that's TOO horrific...

Have we learned nothing from Jack Kirby? Embodiments of Death are only cool if they're NOT on skis!

Hey, it's a Christine O'Donnell comic!

Yes, apparently even Poe's "Cask of Amontillado" is not spared the curse of embarrassing, uncalled-for sequels.

"Hey dere, folks! Can I use yer phone? Dat no good Human Torch tricked me into walking thru some mud, so now I got's to call my buddy Stretch to come take me to Baxter Building so's I can take a shower!"

Q: If his nose is between his eyes, then how does he sneeze?
A: Very carefully.

Well, that's what you get for marrying a furry.

The Grim Reaper is really upset that that route only has an express line and not a local.

Those ghouls must have been trying to explain the ending of Lost.

You know, I'd believe she was trapped in a glass tube a lot better if the logo weren't BEHIND her.

Now, for this next one, I want you to pay close attention to the lady in red....

"Oh, I hate monsters! Maybe if I dyed my hair blonde, they'd stop coming after me?"

"No good! Maybe I should just move?"

"You know what it is? It's the blouse! It's the only one I wear, and it's starting to stink; I'll bet the smell is what's attracting the monsters. I'll go take a shower and change into something else."

I think I saw this on Cinemax the other night....

"They're playing smooth jazz! RUN!!!"

Happy Halloween, folks!