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!