I don’t have any particular reason for it and I’ve never been there, but I think I’m safe to say I like Australia. That’s pretty much it for this post.
I don’t have any particular reason for it and I’ve never been there, but I think I’m safe to say I like Australia. That’s pretty much it for this post.
I was going through some old files for eBay listings and found a group of pictures. There was a run of X-Men that I posted some time ago. Apparently I never sold them since they’re in a box I still have. Anyway, for your viewing pleasure and reference, here are 60 various images in 481×754 dimensions of Uncanny X-Men from issues 255-343, plus Annuals 8, 12, 14, and 18. Sorry I don’t have the whole run. Actually, I’m not that sorry. It is what it is. One thing I am sorry about though is that the Media loader in WordPress didn’t put them in numeric order so the comics from 314 forward go until the annuals. Then, the covers pick back up again at 255. Anyway, you’ll get it.
I was going to save the 400th post for this spot, but after getting a chance to see a special screening for Man of Steel, I had to go with that one first. Sooooo, this is the 401th post that should have been the 400th.
In celebration, I figured it would be fun to show off the covers for some of the major comic book series that have reached the 400th issue. This isn’t supposed to be a comprehensive list, but it’s a lot of them since having a title run to 400 issues means the series has been in steady publication for over 30 years (if the comic comes out in the normal monthly release format).
Except for funny books like Disney, Archie, Dell, Whitman, etc., the majority of the comic books that have arrived at the illustrious number 400 are from Marvel and DC. There are several ongoing gag books, particularly in Europe that have run the total number of issues into the 1000s but we’re focusing mostly on comics with continuous stories — typically superhero tales.
So, here are covers from comic books that have reached the 400th issue. This is not a comprehensive list since I didn’t do much research. If I’ve missed any big ones, leave me a comment.
I love this comic. It was one of the first comic books I bought back in college. This anniversary comic that actually had some thought put into it. It has a wicked cool Bill Sienkiewicz (pronounced “Bill Smith”) and a fantastic Doug Moench story. It’s a thick comic that has several contributing artists including some of my favorites: Art Adams, Brian Bolland, Michael Kaluta, Rick Leonardi, Steve Lightle, Steve Rude, and Berni Wrighton plus several more.
What’s cool about this anniversary issue is that it’s not only a Neal Adams issue (the cover and the interior), it’s also the origin and first appearance of the Mat-Bat.
Painted cover by Alden McWilliams. I like that. I also like the name of the comic. It’s as unintentionally funny in the modern day context as as Gay Comics (1955). Speaking of gay, here’s a version we modified for a bit of fun. As you gaze upon it hum “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady.
The Uncanny X-Men and its derivatives are titles that we cut our teeth on in the 1980s before they become too confusing and commercial for my tastes in the 1990s. By issue 400, I had actually stopped reading X-Men altogether. Still, cool cover by Ashley Wood.
War comics are hit or miss with me but it’s worth noting that this particular war hero’s stories had a very long run. The series actually began as Our Army at War with a title change to Sgt. Rock in issue #302. Sgt. Rock actually didn’t even enter the series until issue #83. Hmm. Maybe we shouldn’t give this title credit as a 400 issue. Oh, well. Clever cover by Joe Kubert.
The issue had two different covers, both drawn by Mark Bagley and Larry Mahlstedt. The version shown below is a white embossed special issue of the newsstand version. If you can’t tell, it shows a tombstone with Spider-man swinging in front of it. The storyline is titled Death in the Family and in it, Aunt May or a clone or an actress or an old lady that happens to be Aunt May 269 reveals to Peter Parker or or Ben Reilly or Tom Jones or some sort of doppelgänger or who-knows-what that she has always known he was Spider-man or the Scarlet Spider or Spider-bot or Spider-Balls or something. I can’t keep track of which is who and what is how much.
Painted cover by one of my favorites: Howard Chaykin.
The cover by Paul Ryan is made from a foil-like substance that refracts colors in a cool way. Is that Dr. Doom on the cover? Does the Thing have boobs? And what’s the deal with the Watchers dying? And where’s Mister Fantastic (Reid Richards)? You can tell we don’t read FF either.
Prismatic cover by British artist Gary Frank.
Giant Size issue with wraparound cover by Mike Deadato and Tom Palmer.
Sort of a big Kirby-esque cover by Ron Frenz and Brett Breeding.
Superman sure seems to get a lot of gimmicky covers. Here’s a goofy one by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano.
We’re not big fans of this title, but it’s a 400 issue, so here it is. The story and art were provided by Mike Sekowsky, who was famous for creating the Legion of Superheroes and several of the characters in its membership.
This cover by Rick Levins and Dan Panosian is pretty bland. Therefore my comment about it is too.
We weren’t going to do an Archie, but that wouldn’t be fair. Besides, I needed a #16. The Cover is by Rex Lindsey. As for me, it has always been Veronica.
I went to a special screening last night for the Man of Steel. Question: why do the front five rows exist in a movie theater? Oh, yeah. Revenue. Alright, that’s fine. But what a horrible experience for the patrons that sit on the sides of Row A. Yeah, that’s right, true believers; I was assigned to Row A. If the movie had all taken place in the lower right hand quadrant, I still wouldn’t have been able to see anything. Fortunately, the people in the assigned seating in the middle of Row B didn’t show up so my date and I moved there. Still a strain on the neck, but much better than the other option.
So, here’s the skinny.
THE GOOD: The film opens with a lot of background on the planet Krypton. Jor-El (played by Russel Crowe) figures heavily into that sequence. We are given a pretty decent understanding about the origin of Kal-El (Superman, played by Henry Cavill). We are given to understand the motivation behind General Zod’s (Michael Shannon) campaign to stop Jor-El and reclaim Kal-El.
In spite of the fact that a significant amount of time was dedicated to Clark Kent’s growing up period, there was no scene associated with the recovery of him as a baby. It was all implied. I thought that was a good use of screen time since it focused attention on foundational events Clark experienced as he grew in knowledge about his capabilities and potential future role.
The action sequences were both good and bad. The bad is that they went on too long (which is weird for me to say since, like most guys, I like watching things blow up and get smashed). The good was that the special effects for the scenes were incredible. The destruction scenes of Smallville and Metropolis are amazing. Between the juggernaut fist fights and building slamming by Zod and Superman, and the earth-wrenching world machine (very cool effects), the sheer destruction of everything around the super-beings made the similar scenes in The Avengers look like tea parties.
THE BAD: The film is 143 minutes long. That’s about 20 minutes more than it should have been. I loved that the extra length was in a battle between Superman and General Zod but the fighting did take up a huge amount of the run time. Maybe it’s because the story started wearing thin in the second half. As for the actors, Amy Adams wasn’t a good cast. Unlike Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, who we thought was going to be a bad fit but didn’t end up that way, Amy as Lois Lane didn’t work for me. To be fair, she played the role just fine but the role with her in it just didn’t make sense. Henry Cavill was serviceable as Superman. He was chiseled and had a manly face and a thick head of hair and hairy chest and was tall and had good posture and clean teeth so that was probably good enough. Diane Lane was cast as Martha Kent which was fine but pretty much anyone could have filled that uninspired role. Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent was a better fit for his role. Kevin has gotten to the point that he looks and acts convincingly like a stern father figure.
THE UGLY: You know a fantasy film has issues when the difficulty in suspending your belief isn’t in the scientifically unsound elements but rather in the human interest ones. The relationship between Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman is annoying. She appears in scenes unnecessarily and her participation feels forced like maybe Amy Adams’ agent was too successful in getting her as much airtime as possible.
In re-reading our review, I think I’m painting a picture of a movie that wasn’t as good as it actually is. If you’re looking for some superb drama, dialogue, and character depth, this is an average film. If you’re looking for a big screen superhero romp, big thumbs up for that.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Well, after sorting everything from the infamous long box, we grouped them into three categories: (1) Sheer dross, (2) Specials (chromium covers, ashcans, signed and/or numbered items, etc.), and (3) Sex and Violence. We’ll do more on the other categories later … well on the second one anyway. Nobody really needs to read up or see anything on Valiant Comics or X-Men 2099.
We’ve already talked about how sex played a big part into the 1990s and how extreme violence, either horror or action oriented, merged to create a Bad Girl phenomenon. Demonesses like Lady Death, or priestesses like Areala Warrior Nun stuffed the racks at the local shop bringing joy to awkward and anger-repressed fans. We were obviously not awkward or angry since we never owned any of these books. Don’t get us wrong, fantasy girls still have their appeal. Dave Stevens’ good girl art was more our thing. Actually, now that we talked about it, yes. We were awkward. Still are. It’s endearing.
Historical subnote: a group of us attended our first Comic-Con in the early 90s and as we entered the hall we saw Dave Stevens booth near the front. Dave had moved on from his Rocketeer stuff (damn) to focus on his Good Girl art. Well, being the fan boys that we were, we stopped and chatted Dave up. He wasn’t really interested in talking to us since we didn’t look like we were old enough to buy erotica. But we persisted and after a couple of minutes, we figured we’d cajone-up and ask him for a couple of sketches. He relented after some pleading and we ended up with a Rocketeer helmet sketch and a Betty head shot. Sweet! We’ll post the Rocketeer sketch later. Can’t do it for the Betty picture since the group disbanded as we went our separate ways and the sketch disappeared another kid.
Well, you probably didn’t come for the jibber-jabber, so here’s a bunch of sex mixed with violence to quench your thirst for such things. Even though the outfits and poses are pretty suggestive, only the last image actually has a nude, but we’d still recommend underage viewers and others concerned by these types of images steer clear. These are mature viewers only pictures.
We’ve mentioned in previous posts that the 1990s was a period of ridiculous excess. From the extreme steroidal juggernauts of Image Comics and its spawn (heh…) to the shameless combination of sex and violence in countless mature-audience titles that seemed to pop up all over the place regardless of the lack of talent on the parts of the creator, the best way to describe the comic book experience during that era was to compare it to an unending migraine. It was hard to enjoy comics for a very long time.
Well, anyway, whatever. We’ve dealt with testostorone overdrive on other posts as it relates to big muscles and big guns, so we’ll shift to the only other genre in the 1990s: sexploitation, specifically horror stories whose title characters were scantily clad, impossibly sexy, typically religious, and always kick-ass ready female protagonists (and a few bad girls too). Why? Because our stats show that the posts that deal with sex give us the biggest hits. The Internet really is for porn, apparently. And we don’t mind being page view whores.
One of the artists that made his way to fame during that time period was Paul Abrams. Paul is actually a fine art painter by trade, but somehow made his way into comic booking. We didn’t find anything readily available online about him other than that he is classically trained and seems to have been successful. Anyway, he ended up working for Lightning Comics, a mid 90s start-up that specialized in Bad Girl comics. Paul had a successful run on Hellina, one of the publisher’s most popular titles. We found some adverts for his portfolio book in the back of a Hellina comic that we found in the infamous 1990s long box we acquired for shits and giggles. So, we’ve scanned the images for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.
Go check out his other stuff. His comic art is good, but his fantasy art and fine art are tremendous.
As we were mopping up the last post, we stumbled on these forgotten gems. Rob Liefeld is at it again!
We all know Rob has a hard time with anatomy. Bizarre musculature, tiny feet (or massive boots), almost non-existent noses, the list goes on. When we first saw Rob’s stuff, we were somewhat taken in. It was different. It was more extreme than Jack Kirby or his offspring. But that only lasted an issue or two when we started noticing the annoying lack of talent. Frustratingly, rather than improve his art form over the years, Rob just made it more bombastic.
But why the vicious poking? Because Rob virtually destroyed the mainstream comic book art form at his peak and he hasn’t bothered to invent an appropriate apology. Whether it’s laziness or arrogance, Rob’s approach to comic book creation is irresponsible. And we know something about irresponsibility.
First up: Cable! Notice the head of the original. Rob is notorious for drawing the head up on Cable’s shoulders of about the size of Captain America’s penis. We modified the second picture down to make it as proportional as possible given the absurdity of the rest of Cap’s anatomy and armor. Lastly, we figured we’d go the opposite direction and make Cable a Big Head. Why not?
Let’s see, next up is Doom’s IV. Now, here’s is a bit of a conundrum. We’re not exactly sure if Rob did this one himself since he didn’t put his “signature” signature on it. One of his acolytes like maybe Mark Pacella could have drawn it. Either way, it’s in the vein of Liefeld.
This one has got a lot of fun going on. Here’s a list:
1. The monster/deformed thumbs remind us of Lana Kane and Megan Fox. Maybe it’s built up scar tissue from all that fire shooting shit that comes out of Burn’s hands. Yeah, that’s right. Her name is Burn.
2. Wolverine called and he’s pissed. So is Feral. So is Wildside. So is Troll. So is … there must be more. Rob is such an awesome imitator that he imitates his own imitations … without limitations. That was bad.
3. No feet! What? Does she have them tucked up her ass? Feet are Rob’s Achilles Heel. For as bad as his other anatomy drawing skills are, this is one part of the human body he’s actually embarrassed about. Ergo, that’s why he tries to hide them as much as possible.
4. Boobs the size of hams, a knock-off Power Girl Power Window, and some improbable stretching of the material between the titties. We don’t understand what kind of fabric does that, but in the Rob Liefeld universe, anything goes.
Well, hey. At least Burn’s mouth is closed unlike how it is usually drawn in most of his action frames. And her cute, button nose is slightly bigger than invisible. Good on ya, Robbie.
And finally, Avengelyne. We’ll go into the 1990s Vengeful Scantily-Clad Female Righteous Warrior thing in the next post. This is mostly to show: (a) even though this isn’t Rob’s artwork (it was drawn by another Liefeld acolyte, John Stinsman), it’s a ridiculous Rob Liefeld character, and (b) it’s an example of the type of gimmickry so prevalent in the 1990s. We have to admit the chromium effect was cool … the first couple of times we saw it … but it wore very thin on us after we realized we’d been duped by the jerks that dumped thousands of variant covers on the market to garner multiple sales of essentially the same thing. We don’t begrudge a creator’s (or a publisher’s) desire to boost their sales. We just wish it was with quality. This sort of lazy shit just meant that the angst-ridden collecting-for-collection’s sake fan boy spent all of his extra dollars on exactly the sme comic rather than buying other comics to support titles that probably deserved more airtime.
And here’s your bonus. Is anyone else uncomfortable besides us?
After cracking open that old box of 1990s comic book garbage our friend gave to us, we thumbed through the 150 or so comics to see if there were any gems. No, not really. What a terrible mess it was in the 90s. Reading was overcome by speculative collecting. Art was overcome by kids on meth. The biggest culprit was probably the House that Shit Built — Image Comics — which had enough hits to count only on one hand yet dozens of horrible titles that now fill up quarter-bins and still don’t move. There was plenty of pain to spread around, though. Small press printing (high quality or not) was becoming more affordable and with an influx of investors from the sports card market, anybody with a turd of an idea could start a miserable little company.
Anyway, we kept going and then … we stumbled on this horror.
Rob Liefeld was one of the most prominent purveyors of perfidy. It seemed like every time we turned around there was a Liefeld cover, new title or character, guest appearance, or co-marketing trash. Rob taught us that no amount of missing talent could stop a kid with a dream. We’ve highlighted him several times on comicsagogo.com, so it only seems fitting we do it again.
Alan Moore, one of the best writers in comic-dom, is not someone we thought would ever associate himself with the likes of Image Comics. Apparently, we can all be wrong sometimes. In 1996, Alan teamed up with Rob to produce an abomination called Warchild. See, the thing is, we know Alan didn’t do it for the craft. He did it for the money. And Rob had gobs of it to share. So many other quality writers had sold out, so why not Ol’ Itchy Al? Anyway, who are we to challenge the right for a goblin to earn his scratch?
Here’s a promo for the series. Can you spot the six things wrong with the image? We listed them below so no peaking until you’re done.
1. This is the most obvious one: Alan Moore + Rob Liefeld. That’s like teaming up Dylan Thomas with a sober Andy Warhol. Or putting pineapple on pizza. Or having George W. Bush pen the autobiography of Thomas Jefferson. Some odd pairings are serendipitously wonderful (like chocolate ice cream and peaches) but some things just shouldn’t be.
2. Where the hell is Warchild’s spine going? How did his head get all of the way back there? Is that an arm? Is that grass growing out of his head? What the HELL is that on his face?! What the does he keep in those damnable pouches????!!!!!
3. It isn’t just his art; Rob can be credited for coming up with some of the worst names for comic book characters. Shatterstar, Knightsabre, Psilence, Riptide, Stryfe, Thornn, Wildside … are among the eye-rolling list. But Warchild. Gross.
4. “Epic Tale.” Right.
5. We don’t want to know what a Farmergeddon means. We know we would regret it if we did.
6. “I think WARCHILD is the best stuff I’ve written for Image yet” — Alan Moore, Wizard Magazine #52. It isn’t clear but it appears that Alan was either (a) very, very high on mushrooms, or (b) very, very relieved when he discovered he had no self-respect and that he was now very, very wealthy.
Well, since we’re on a Kick Liefeld kick, here’s a bonus for you. That ass is asking to be spanked. No, not Vogue’s ass. Rob the Ass. Haters be hatin’.
Just felt like posting some pics today, izall. Here you go and stuff.
Who: Simon Bisley (artist).
What: A comic book by Matt Wagner (writer).
Where: Comic-Con 2012. Legendary booth.
When: How should we know? Sometime during the Con.
Why: ‘Cuz it was free. And it was Matt Wagner. And Simon Bisley.
How: Standing in line. Like always.
Who: Quentin Tarantino.
What: We just said it … Promo Poster.
Where: Outside, on the other side of the pedestrian path in yonder Stadium parking lot.
When: When it was hot and we were heading back to the hotel for a li’l nippy nap.
Why: Because it was the consolation prize for standing in line in hopes of getting a T-shirt. We really wanted a T-shirt. Curse you Quent.
How: Again, standing in line. Duh. Comic-Con. Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong lines. You know what I’m talking about.
Who: Very attractive booth babes in white berets. Yeah, that’s right. We noticed the berets. After we noticed the tits. OK, we noticed the tits first. So sue us.
What: The coolest temporary tattoo we’ve ever seen.
Where: The Lionsgate Booth in the Exhibits Hall.
When: We don’t remember. But did we mention the berets?
Why: Uh. A hot booth babe applying a very cool tattoo to our bodies doesn’t need any explaining. Pathetic you say? Go to hell we say.
How: She licked them sensuously and applied them gently to each buttock while giggling coyly. You weren’t there so you can’t say it didn’t happen.
Oops! We did it again. We’re picking on Rob Liefeld for the umpteenth time.
Recently, a friend brought us a long box of 1990s comics that he’d acquired from a now defunct store. You remember the comic book market in the 1990s, right? Valiant, Image, and a host of other ill-conceived start ups went all Dresden on us with variant covers, chromium covers, limited edition covers, horribly drawn covers … you get the point. Back in the day, we almost never made it past the covers, so we assume that there may have been more of the same inside. Whereas the 1980s was a period of excellent experimentation. more mature story-telling, and innovative art, the 1990s was devoid of substance and replaced by mountainous “T” & G-stringed “A”, massive weapons, over the top action sequences, special effect compensations, and company interbreeding.
Rob is one of the primary horsemen of the comic book apocalypse. His drawings were born out of a genuine albeit misguided talent and a clearly untrained art style.What’s bizarre is that he spawned a whole generation of copycats. Anyway, whatever, here are some ridiculous examples of Rob’s hackery.
Comic books from North Korea are rare It’s tough to find good paper and nobody buys the propoganda shit unless they’re forced to do so. The topics range from not so funny send-ups of South Koreans and Americans to the amazing exploits of The Great Leader, The Dear Leader, and the Chubby Bunny Leader. Actually, there is no range. Those are pretty much the only two topics.
Here’s an extremely rare comic from 1983. While over 4 million copies were printed, only 12 survive. During the 1993 famine, people ate whatever they could get their hands on and since the comic book was printed on rice paper, it was one of the first things to go.
The comic book, “Of Course You Realize, This Means War!” featured several stories by Kim il-Sung and several of his cronies. Steve Ditko contributed the art for a two-page story about South Koreans defecting to the North. Kim was quite the accomplished artist, we are lead to believe, but like all of the tripe out of North Korea, we believe The Great Leader was as involved in the creation of this comic book as he was in the architecture of Pyongyang. It’s practically worthless outside of North Korea except as a novelty, but a copy recently sold for 7,000,000,000 ₩ (which is actually only about US$8,000) at the Great Leader’s Comic-Con and Revolutionary Cultural Celebration in Hamhung.
In 1982, DC released Camelot 3000, a 12-issue series mixing Arthurian legend with futurist Sci-Fi. It was written by Mike Barr and illustrated by one of our favorites, Brian Bolland.
What made this comic book series unique is two-fold: it was a direct-to-market comic and it was a maxi-series (i.e., it was published in more than 4-6 issues). The direct-to-market experiment changed the comic book market significantly. Up until the end of the 1970s, most comic books were purchased through retail outlets like newsstands and convenience stores. But with the entry of more mature story-telling and the surge of independents, stand-alone comic book stores began to spring up to cater to the serious reader and collector. DC took advantage of this phenomenon to widen its readership opportunities and did a pretty slick job reclaiming market share over the 1980s (after having suffered serious declines in the 1960s and 1970s). Some of our favorite comic books came from this period.
The plot of Camelot 3000 is based on the resurrection of King Arthur and the reincarnation of his knights of old in a future world where an alien invasion threatens the planet. Merlin has been ensnared for centuries but is freed to combat the sorcery of Morgan La Fey and the fiendish scheming of a future version of Mordred.
The series is rife with fantasy elements from the legends but with plenty of science fiction fantasy as well as just normal everyday relationships. There is duplicity, thrills, and sexy babes like Morgan, Isolde, and … Tristan?! Yep, the reincarnation of Tristan is a woman and this element plays an important role in the story. So, if you’re feeling all messed up because you’re attracted to Tristan, you may not actually be gay … or straight. But, there is no doubt that you are interested in transvestism or transgenderism or both.
Incidentally, Sir Tristan (as a man) sports a mustache, trendy clothes, and gelled up hair in this story. That can only mean one thing. 1980s Porno Knight!
The story is well-written, exciting, and long enough to feel like you got your money’s worth. Four issue limited series just don’t cut it for us. Mike W. Barr was a DC power-house back in the day and wrote a bunch of Batman stuff including Batman and the Outsiders, Batman: Year Two, and Batman: Son of the Demon. He apparently has a fetish for men trapped in women’s bodies. Besides the Sir/Lady Tristan thing in Camelot 3000, he penned the stories for Mantra, a Malibu Comics title that featured a … woman in a man’s body. We have to imagine that Mantra pleased the pants off of bisexual comic book readers the world over. Mike, good eye, sniper.
Merlin is apparently the Son of the Devil. We did not know that. So, that would make him the older brother of Daimon Hellstrom over in the Marvel Universe. We have a copy of Marvel Spotlight #12. It’s the origin of the dude also known as “Hellstorm.” We don’t recall there being any reference to Merlin in it. Oversight or jealousy? Merlin is also the half-brother of Kirk Cameron, another spawn of His Horrible Wretchedness. No, that’s not really nice is it? Kirk is just a distant cousin. Sheesh. Our blogging really is irresponsible!
Anyway, on to the …
And finally, here’s one for the road. In 2008, DC released a Deluxe Edition hardback compilation of the entire series.
We forgot to include this in our earlier post on Aztec Ace. This is an ad that ran in other issues of Eclipse Comics in 1984 and we’re including it because we have a very large scanned version of it (click on it), it gives you a quick summary of the plot, and it includes a hot chick. (Holy hell, we used the word “it” five times in the last sentence! Eh. Don’t care. Too lazy to reword the shiz-it).
Aztec Ace was a 15-issue series written by Doug Moench (who also did the Six from Sirius mini-series that we highlighted earlier) and illustrated by Dan Day. Doug has a lengthy bibliography that spans decades and includes long runs on several Batman titles as well as a couple hundred or more stories on dozens of other DC, Marvel, and independent titles. He is particularly good with sci-fi and horror stories. It’s difficult to track down information on Dan Day. We know he’s a Canadian artist and that he is the brother of the more famous Gene Day. He did some work with Sherlock Holmes. If any of you have additional information, feel free to comment.
One of my favorite artists is Sam Kieth. He was actually one of the very first comic book creators I stumbled upon when I was introduced to comics in college. Sam was the inker on Mage: The Hero Discovered by Matt Wagner, the first comic book I bought for myself after reading a bunch out of a box that a friend had. There’s a night and day difference between Matt’s own inks and Sam Kieth’s contribution that started in issue #6. Matt’s artwork is more primitive with his own inks, but Sam adds a layer of unusual shadowing and fine brushstrokes that makes the art pop.
Among his many credits, Sam Kieth is also the creator and artist for the Maxx character from Image, several DC and Marvel stories (including artwork for Sandman stories by Niel Gaiman)m, and the artist on the Batman: Secrets mini-series published in 2006 (which we’re highlighting here). An anthology of his artwork was released earlier this year by IDW and he is currently the artist on The Hollows, a post apocalyptic story set in near-future Japan. By the way, take a look at the black and white statuette based on Sam’s characterization of the Batman.
Batman: Secrets is a 5 issue mini-series that tells the tale of a brutal altercation between Batman and The Joker all under the frenzied eye of the media. The Joker knows a secret from Batman’s past and is threatening to expose it. The fourth estate (or maybe fifth column) goes viciously after The Batman decrying his behavior and Joker plays upon that … etc. Go buy the compendium or the individual issues. It’s worth it if you love Sam’s art.
Sam was the cover and interior artist on the fantastic Wolverine/Cyber story in Marvel Comics Presents (issues #85-92, written by Peter David). Just like his characterization of Batman, Sam’s version of Wolverine is one of the craziest I’ve ever seen.
Here’s are two versions of issue #100 by Sam Kieth featuring Wolverine and Ghost Rider on a funny cover. One version was on each side of the flip comic book. Which is your favorite?
OK, now go visit Sam Kieth’s blog for more fantastic art and information about the crazy mind that creates these concoctions.
I have so many pictures in my laptop that it’s impossible to get everything loaded and into a post. But, I might as well chip away at the stack. The reason most of you come to my site is because of the pictures (I have about 4,000 loaded already), so I figure I should share as many as I can. Here are a few items I picked up at Comic-Cons past.
Charles Vess has beautiful fantasy artwork and I have several comics with his work. So, I was really happy to see him at a table and chatted him up a bit. Charles was giving away a preview of his then-upcoming personal project so I snagged one. It’s a thin, full-size, black-and-white promo that contains a couple of pages from a story written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Charles. What gorgeous stuff.
Geoff has done several projects for other people, but this is a solo comic book he’s created, co-written and illustrated. Shaolin Cowboy is a weird bit of science fiction-fantasy-western-dystopian-post-apocalyptic-drug-addled-European-comix-inspired comic book fun by one of the most detailed artists in the industry. Just the art alone is a viable reason to buy this book. It’s too bad Geof hasn’t made this story an on-going thing. Here’s a print we bought form him a few years back. He added a little sketch of the monk’s head on the lower right corner.
Instant Piano was an anthology project put out by Dark Horse Comics (which I’ve always considered to be the HBO of comic books) that took some of the most inventive yet less well known creators and gave them free reign to write and draw some short stories. The following promo sheet was handed out at a table where all of them were signing stuff. I was already a big fan of Evan Dorkin’s Milk and Cheese, and Kyle Baker’s art on The Shadow (which was a series of very good stories but also a hilarious send-up of the Howard Chaykin mini-series). The other artists were: Mark Badger, Robbie Busch, and Stephen DeStefano. Funny story: All the guys sketched and signed the sheet. Kyle Baker was last. He said something to the effect that I should buy the book because it was going to be the greatest thing ever. I kind of chuckled. He shot me back a dirty look and said something like “It IS! Why are you laughing?” I smiled, picked up my promo sheet, and hurried away. I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t actually bought the books. Hmm. Add those to my list.
And here’s your bonus: the covers to the Instant Piano Comics mini-series.
One of our readers, Beelzebub777, contributed a post recently that listed the Top 10 Colors for Guys. We thought it might be interesting to follow up and see what others thought about colors and dudes. So … it’s poll time! C’mon don’t be yellow, get green at the gills or red in the face, blue boy. You’re in the pink, Mr. Brown! It’s just black and white, is all. Orange you glad I didn’t say there were gray skies ahead.
By the way, if you looked at Bright Cerulean and said “that’s just light blue”, you are a dude. Or you are a chick that’s pretending there isn’t a difference.
Africa dislikes us. Not just a little. Since we began tracking statistics on Flag Counter a few months ago there have been no visitors from 28 of the 54 recognized sovereign countries on the world’s second largest and second most populated continent. Here are the no-shows:
|Name (official name)||Population||Capital||Official language(s)||Area (km2)|
|Benin (Republic of Benin)||8,439,000||Porto Novo||French||112,622|
|Burkina Faso (Burkina Faso)||13,228,000||Ouagadougou||French||274,000|
|Burundi (Republic of Burundi)||7,548,000||Bujumbura||Kirundi, French||27,830|
|Cape Verde (Republic of Cape Verde)||420,979||Praia||Portuguese||4,033|
|Central African Republic (Central African Republic)||4,216,666||Bangui||Sango, French||622,984|
|Chad (Republic of Chad)||10,146,000||N’Djamena||French, Arabic||1,284,000|
|Comoros (Union of the Comoros)||798,000||Moroni||Arabic, French, Comorian||2,235|
|Republic of the Congo (Republic of the Congo)||4,012,809||Brazzaville||French||342,000|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo)||71,712,867||Kinshasa||French||2,344,858|
|Djibouti (Republic of Djibouti)||906,000||Djibouti||Arabic, French||23,200|
|Equatorial Guinea (Republic of Equatorial Guinea)||504,000||Malabo||Spanish, French, Portuguese||28,051|
|Eritrea (State of Eritrea)||5,880,000||Asmara||Tigrinya, Arabic, English||117,600|
|Gabon (Gabonese Republic)||1,384,000||Libreville||French||267,668|
|Gambia (Republic of The Gambia)||1,517,000||Banjul||English||10,380|
|Guinea (Republic of Guinea)||9,402,000||Conakry||French||245,857|
|Guinea-Bissau (Republic of Guinea-Bissau)||1,586,000||Bissau||Portuguese||36,125|
|Liberia (Republic of Liberia)||3,283,000||Monrovia||English||111,369|
|Malawi (Republic of Malawi)||12,884,000||Lilongwe||English, Chichewa||118,484|
|Mali (Republic of Mali)||13,518,000||Bamako||French||1,240,192|
|Mauritania (Islamic Republic of Mauritania)||3,069,000||Nouakchott||Arabic||1,030,700|
|Niger (Republic of Niger)||13,957,000||Niamey||French||1,267,000|
|São Tomé and Príncipe (Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe)||157,000||São Tomé||Portuguese||964|
|Seychelles (Republic of Seychelles)||80,654||Victoria||English, French, Seychellois Creole||451|
|Sierra Leone (Republic of Sierra Leone)||6,144,562||Freetown||English||71,740|
|Somalia (Somali Republic)||9,832,017||Mogadishu||Somali, Arabic||637,657|
|South Sudan (Republic of South Sudan)||8,260,490||Juba||English||644,329|
|Swaziland (Kingdom of Swaziland)||1,032,000||Lobamba||English, Swati||17,364|
|Togo (Togolese Republic)||6,100,000||Lomé||French||56,785|
But, it gets worse. If we take all of the visitors from the rest of the continent combined, we have less than 500 people partaking of the forbidden fruit of our looms. So, out of over one billion people, .000005% fellow humans that call Africa their home know about Comics A-Go-Go! That just makes us sad.
And, just so you don’t think our site is invisible to everyone else in the world, we have had 80 visitors from Iran, 75 from Saudi Arabia, 51 from China, and 34 from Syria. And those are places that shouldn’t even be able to access the Internet outside their repressive regimes. If we ever get any visitors from Cuba or North Korea, we’re going to shut the blog down and hide in our bomb shelter. And, for more perspective we’ve had over 45,000 visitors from the rest of the world (represented by 168 countries and territories) since we attached the Flag Counter widget a few months ago. Not surprisingly, most are from the U.S., Canada, and Europe, although we’ve had healthy volumes from Brazil (Oi) and India (Namaste).
OK, in fairness our superficial website is probably not top-of-mind for a lot of Africans what with their countries in turmoil, their limited access to reliable electricity and Internet-enabled devises, and a legitimate preoccupation with disease and starvation. But that image of Africa is narrow. There are plenty of places like Lagos, Nigeria and Cairo, Egypt that have open access to the world’s most irresponsible blog.
Oh, yeah. Here’s another interesting stat from another continent: 1.25% of the population of Vatican City has visited our website (i.e., one person) We don’t know if Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni came to read the Pope Francis with Fester Addams post if he was looking for Power Girl cosplayers.
Anyway, we look forward to getting visits from you guys over in The Congo(s), Burkina Faso, Gambia, South Sudan, and the rest of you. Drop us a line sometime. By the way, getting back to the DRC and Congo-Brazzaville for a sec, sorry about the offensive stuff from Tintin in the Congo. Blame the Belgians.
Dr. Sir Charles Robert Mugu, Esq.
Incidentally, we’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again. We’re particularly disappointed that no one from our motherland, Seychelles*, has visited us. We bought a patch of property on Bird Island (virtually) and go there as often as we can (never). We’ve spent plenty of time in Victoria (wishful thinking), fought off a shark in Praslin (uh, thank goodness, no), and ridden tortoises while hunting for treasure on Silhouette (that we actually have done … maybe). So, where’s the love?
*And finally, here’s your pronunciation guide for today. Seychelles is pronounced “Say SHELLS.” There you go.
We don’t get the whole words-on-sweatpants butt thing that seems to be popular among young women now-a-days. We like a nice bottom for sure, but it’s tacky to call attention to something like a school name or random words. And it’s completely improper if anything is written on the derriere of an underage girl. If one of our classmates in high school were to show up with something like that, she would have been sent home.
So, it’s time for another culture mockery event. If people are going to stamp their poop chutes with words, they ought to do so for hire. We thought it would be clever to grab some images of cosplayers and add some words to their back ends. If you traffic our site much, you know how lazy we are, so after manipulating a few pictures, we gave up since we were boring ourselves. So, this is what we got around to. By the way, we didn’t invent the term “assvertising” unfortunately. Female volleyball players have been doing it for years. Don’t even get us started on beach volleyball.
This one still cracks us up. At the 2006 Comic-Con, Rogue Pictures was promoting the film Balls of Fury by giving away packages of underwear with the film logo on it. We snagged a bag and promptly put it on eBay. It sold for something like $15. We still have the picture of the package (and added the open underwear from a pic we found on eBay tonight). Now THAT’s product placement!
Incidentally, we also grabbed a little box of ping pong balls. We sold these on eBay as well and guess what. They ended up in a ping pong museum. So if you’re ever at the International Table Tennis Federation museum in Lausanne, Switzerland go look for this box of Balls of Fury promo balls and think of how you’ve just experienced a bit of Comics A-Go-Go! history. You’re welcome.
Anyway, if any of you readers, female or male, wish to stitch our website address on your ass or brand it with a tattoo, you have our blessing.