Archive for September, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Russ Jones, the founding editor of Warren’s black and white comics magazines CREEPY and EERIE has a rather annoying website which is nonetheless worth traversing for its nuggest of comics (with Wood, Orlando and others) and comics history. Here’s a link to his page on the origins of those two venerable monster mags of the sixties and seventies.
The amazing Dutch historian of American comics, Ger Appeldorn, interrupts his sick leave from his blog, THE FABULEOUS FIFTIES (sic) in order to share a nicely drawn Mort Meskin tale of DC speedster JOHNNY QUICK.
Everett Raymond Kinstler, an artist who was too good for comics (and went on to much success as a portrait artist–http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everett_Raymond_Kinstler ) is on display at NEDOR-A-DAY with JIMMY COLE-BOY SLEUTH from a 1940′s issue of THRILLING COMICS.
The great humor cartoonist Scott Shaw! has long collected oddball comics and for the past few years, along with various contributors, has been sharing them over at his website, ODDBALL COMICS. The current offering is a 1952 issue of JUDO JOE. Check it out then roam the archives for hours of fun and historical comics facts.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
If you haven’t checked out THE AQUAMAN SHRINE yet, there are a ton of cool and rare illustrations of the one time Rodney Dangerfield of superheroes. No longer just a guy who “swims fast, talks to fish,” you’ll be surprised what a cool character Aquaman can be!
The site name may sound cheesy but HAIRY GREEN EYEBALL comes up with a classy winner today with a whole passel of NEW YORKER panel cartoons out of a 1970 collection.
Another site whose archives are well worth digging through is DC COMICS 40 YEARS AGO. Literally as the title says, you get a regular dose of covers, summaries and reviews of what the then NATIONAL PERIODICAL PUBLICATIONS was putting out on the stands back in (at this point)1969.
PENCIL INK serves up a nice mini-review of a choice Williamson/Frazetta western comic from the 1950′s complete with some prime art samples.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
If you’re a regular follower of the Arf-Lovers blog (known henceforth as Super ITCH) you know that yours truly, D.J. David B., is a big fan of the Batman TV show and its accompanying Batman Theme. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there has never been a bigger phenomenon than the 1966 Batman series.
If you want to sum up the Sixties it goes like this: 1. Beatles 2. Batman. 3. Woodstock. That’s it. Then came the Seventies and I don’t remember what came after that.
Man! I wish I had a version of the Batman Theme by The Beatles (wouldn’t that be the perfect combination?) but lots of other notable artists covered the song and I’ll be getting to them in the Tuesdays ahead. (I probably have enough to last several decades at the rate I’m going.) This one is by an obscure Italian group called The Bam-Bams. I’m assuming they take their name from Fred and Wilma’s offspring which makes this a cartoon tune in two categories!
The most significant aspect of this Bat-tune is its brevity. Just 35 seconds! Yet the Bam-Bams pack a lot of Bat-power into every one of ‘em. Just listen!
Click the link below and your Bat-track should begin playing:
Batman Theme – The Bam Bams
Next week, tune in for more. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.
— DJ David B.
Monday, September 28, 2009
COMIC BOOK CATACOMBS opens up today to reveal a 1953 tale of Taranga the Jungle King! The point of interest here is that the art is by Jay Disbrow, a veteran with a quirky style who revived his career doing minor independent product in the seventies and eighties and more recently beginning in 2000 did 312 Sunday strip style color webcomic episodes entitled AROC OF ZENITH. I met Disbrow at a Con in 1977 and he proceeded to explain to me how great and important he was in comics history. Eventually he talked me into buying a large Sunday strip style poster which he then signed. Not quite in Fletcher Hanks territory but an artist whose work is endlessly fascinating whether old or new!
Speaking of Sunday strips, BOB MITCHELL IN THE 21ST CENTURY is up to episode 79 of sequential reprints of the not bad late seventies DC strip, THE WORLD’S GREATEST SUPOERHEROES. Essentially a JUSTICE LEAGUE comic, Superman, Batman, Flash, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are currently teamed with Black Lightning in the continuity. Go back and read ‘em all for Bronze Age thrills you never saw before. Written by “Pesky” Marty Pasko and drawn by George Tuska and Vince ” Why does everybody hate me?” Colletta.
The Kirby Museum’s SIMON & KIRBY website continues a truly in-depth look at the pair’s creation of and early days in romance comic books. They’re up to Chapter 21, in fact, with a detailed analysis of a number of issues with art by S&K shop artists Mort Meskin and George “Inky” Roussos.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The other day we linked to THE OFFICIAL L’IL ABNER site. At least as interesting and practically as well known as that strip’s beloved hillbilly protagonist is his creator, Al Capp, who would have been 100 years old this very day! One of the highest in the hierarchy of cartoonist royalty, Capp has been described as “charming…, volatile, contentious, cynical, sarcastic, contradictory, iconoclastic, misanthropic, curmudgeonly, controversial, and sardonically funny…exasperating, infuriating, domineering, obnoxious, loud, lots of fun, acidic and lovable.” He was loved and hated both by those who knew him and by those with whom he came in contact. Politically liberal when the tide was conservative, he swung far to the right in the much more liberal sixties and seventies and in spite of decreased involvement in his own strip, L’IL ABNER genially reflected that switch which hastened its 1977 retirement from newspapers after 43 years. What one cannot take away from the man was that he created some of the most memorable and unique comic strip characters of all time and involved them in storylines that riveted the nation over and over, introducing countless catchphrases and concepts such as Sadie Hawkins Day into our pop culture. HaPpY BiRtHdAy Al, wherever you are…and it sounds like that is a question!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
For a Sunday afternoon, PAPPY celebrates his 600th post with a fun MARVEL FAMILY story by the great team of Otto Binder and Kurt Shaffenberger!
HAIRY GREEN EYEBALL II shares two Warren horror tales from Archie Goodwin and the always underrated John Severin. Great snow scenes!
SILVER AGE COMICS offers up a nice in-depth review of a key SUPERBOY issue, the one in which buddy Pete Ross learns Clark’s secret identity.
Winsor McCay is back at TEN CENT DREAMS with some prime examples of his secondary strip, DREAM OF THE RAREBIT FIEND from about 100 years ago.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
One of the great British comic artists was Don Lawrence whose TRIGAN EMPIRE even made the trek across the pond as I recall us carrying a hardcover collection in a bookstore I was working in in 1982. Also an early MARVELMAN artist, THE WORLDS OF DON LAWRENCE is a site that celebrates his life and art.
THE OFFICIAL ALEX TOTH WEBSITE features a section of annotated reprints of everything from fifties romance stories to the late artist’s own BRAVO FOR ADVENTURE, all hand annotated in Toth’s inimitable curmudgeonly style. In spite of some curious blank spots here, it’ll keep the fan busy for hours.
DOUG GILFORD’S MAD COVER SITE offers, besides covers, an actual up-to-date index, timely responses to readers’ questions and lots of other fun stuff from the Kurtzman days through the huge success of the Feldstein years and beyond.
Even though he hasn’t been syndicated since 1977, Al Capp’s L’IL ABNER nonetheless has an official presence on the Net! Although it doesn’t really delve into much of the controversy behind the strip and its creator, there’s lots of character bios and background. Sadly, much of the art on the site seems out of focus and/or poorly computer colored. Lots of good info, though.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Looking for some interesting comics stuff of historical interest today? Howzabout checking out COMIC COVERAGE for a start? Mark Engblom recently retired from his blog but, like the previously mentioned DIAL B FOR BLOG, has left up the voluminous, educational and entertaining archives. Here’s a look at just a few of the highlights of COMIC COVERAGE.
In his piece, FRANKENSTEIN MEETS EVERYBODY, Mark offers a tongue-in-cheek history of comic book appearances by Mary Shelley’s famous creature.
A CRISIS OF INFINITE HOMAGE COVERS presents a massive group of comics covers with variations on the death theme and even goes so far as to suggest an antecedent for the iconography!
You want history? SUPERHEROES CATCH THE SPIRIT OF ’76 is just what it sounds like–a look at the Revolutionary War era and its related masked mystery men (and women!). Join the Founding Fathers as they meet, among others, Tomahawk, the Scarecrow and…SUPERBOY?
Some lovely art from the pens of Bob Oksner and Mort Drucker enlivens this survey of the many comic book covers featuring real life comic and comic book character Bob Hope in various stages of love and lust. THE (CADDISH) ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Gil Kane is at his best today with the Groovy Agent’s presentation of Kane’s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS story redefining the character of Raven. Kane’s redesigned costume and sleek artwork here was an amazing change from the dark Manny Stallman art the feature had previously seen.
One of the reasons for the success of DC’s mystery books of the late sixties and early seventies was the emergence of Berni(e) Wrightson as their main cover artist. Wrightson added a number of illustrations to the two little-known HOUSE OF MYSTERY short story collections written by former EC writer Jack Oleck also. Mr. Door Tree shows them to us today.
If I may toot my own bloghorn for a sec, I have a look at Esteban Maroto and the artists of the nigh-legendary 1971 Spanish DRACULA comic magazine up at BOOKSTEVE’S LIBRARY with some prime examples of their work.
Back over at COLE’S COMICS, Jack Cole’s MIDNIGHT comes around again in two more inventive stories (with analyses) from his early SMASH COMICS run.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
SILVER AGE COMICS reminds us that for some reason editor Julie Schwartz refused to revive the long missing Catwoman in his Silver Age BATMAN titles. That task was perhaps surprisingly taken up by SUPERMAN editor Mort Weisinger who, in the wake of Julie Newmar’s TV success in the role, brought back the character in–of all places–an issue of LOIS LANE.
BRONZE AGE BABIES is a fun site with male and female posters that give it the atmosphere of a comics-oriented morning drive-time radio show. Here the pair, Doug and Karen, tackle the first appearance of THE DEFENDERS and even address the question I’ve wondered about for decades now. Namely, what the heck is up with that freaky artwork? Try this and then go back and read more of their blog. Good stuff.
BAILSPROJECTS.COM hosts the online version of the late Dr. Jerry Bails’ indispensable comics resource, THE WHO’S WHO OF AMERICAN COMIC BOOKS 1928-1999. If you need info on anybody ever associated with comic books, start here.
COOL FRENCH COMICS is an English language site that deals with exactly that–cool French comics. BARBARELLA, LUC ORIENT, JODELLE and even a French version of CAPTAIN MARVEL, JR by ASTERIX artist Albert Uderzo are among the many strips covered here.
A-List: The I.T.C.H. Blog Contributors
MY FAVORITE SOURCES FOR COOL BOOKS
THE PUBLISHER OF YOE BOOKS
THE PUBLISHERS OF OTHER BOOKS BY CRAIG YOE
Every Wednesday is
WACKY WONDER WOMAN WEDNESDAY
DOLL MAN WEIRDNESS