Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy birthday mi paisano Pasqual Ferry !

After some much needed sleep - and some more cleaning up on the laptop - I can finally do another post in honor of one of my favorite comic artists.

And it´s about damn time because I thought I had done another one just a few years ago but going through my posts I found out that I only ever did one Pasqual Ferry post and that was in 2011 on his 50th anniversary !

What made my search even more difficult was that I didn´t even put a tag on the post. I wrote it and then I made a special folder where I put all the pictures by Pasqual Ferry and it seems every year I looked in that folder and said : " Well, there is just a lot of Superman, Fantastic Four and Thor stuff in there and since I already had that in the last post I will just wait until next year. Maybe by then there will be a bit more variety in here. "

Well, I´m done with waiting. Although there will be no elaborate insights into Pasqual Ferry´s art, his trajectory through the various series and why I despised the new take on THOR - for all that you can check out the first post since I have nothing to add to it at this point - it´s time for more art. And since the situation in that folder hasn´t improved I did what every man would do - go to the internet for the hottest and coolest art pieces by Pasqual Ferry. So feast your peepers on this and chupate esto, tronco.

So these are the pictures I selected and I hope you like at least some of them. It does look though as if Pasqual is mostly doing variant covers these days and I hope we get to see him doing interiors again one of these days. Asi que feliz cumpleano, Pasqual, happy 56th birthday und alles gute zum Burzeltag, like we say in Swabia. Don´t party too hard. 

Since I don´t have any links for this post in particular but as I need to decrease the bookmarked links somehow I have decided to include some that I have bookmarked ages ago and I´m putting them on the blog because if I haven´t done so until now I probably won´t in the future.

We start with a throwback to my last posts because as usual I find the links I need after I have done the post. As I don´t want to go back and re - write them again here is DEZ SKINN with an article on the Marvel UK black and white publications with lots of beautiful pages by the likes of David Lloyd, Steve Dillon or Dave Gibbons and one indispensable resource for the Williams Marvel post was the WILLIAMS MARVEL COMIC ARCHIV . I don´t know if I will ever write a post involving the Guardians Of The Galaxy again keeping in mind how Disney has treated the characters so here´s Brian Cronin´s post about The Unlikely Journey Of Guardians Of The Galaxy Star Rocket Racoon on COMIC BOOK RESOURCES which started with a Beatles song . Also worth of a look are FLASHBACK UNIVERSETHE MARVEL PROJECT70s CHILD which as the blog name implies is all about recollections of an era that will never be again, FANBOY WIFE the survival guide for a relationship with a fanboy, SEDUCTION OF THE INDIFFERENT is about comics, movies, travel and life in Toronto, LEYENDO TEBEOS where you can read comics - for my non spanish speaking readers - and don´t worry, even though the name is spanish a lot of the comic stories on the blog are in the original english language, THE SUPERHERO SATELLITE tackles commentary on the subjects of comic books, tv and the world of pro wrestling and SUPER TEAM FAMILY - THE LOST ISSUES presents those crossovers that didn´t but should´ve happened in a perfect universe. 

I also want to include Paolo Rivera´s comic art blog THE SELF - ABSORBING MAN and I think I already posted the link for FIRESTORM FAN the website for everything about the nuclear teen hero but I want to re - up it just in case somebody missed it since he is now one of the stars on DC´s Legends Of Tomorrow. Finally I already posted various links to GIANT - SIZE MARVEL

We start the obligatory birthday roll call ( and when I say obligatory I mean totally randomly chosen by yours truly ) with Lara Flynn Boyle who turns 47. You might have seen her in movies likes Poltergeist III, The Rookie, Wayne´s World or Red Rock West and we´ll just ignore Men In Black II in which she totally failed in making the role of an evil alien nympho vamp who wants to infiltrate earth by becoming an underwear model believable.

I don´t know if it was the make up or the fact that the producers thought they had to go for a PG rating so she couldn´t show as much skin as you would expect from an aspiring underwear model but there was no sparkle and Lara looked much better on Twin Peaks - and so did HER twin peaks.

Now for all the poor souls out there who saw Men In Black II I got a little something to ease your pain : please look directly into the light. Good.

Okay, so what happened is that when you were just about to watch Men In Black II you met this guy you haven´t seen since high school and then you went to that bar and you were having drinks and he told you that funny joke about the orthodox priest, the catholic priest and the rabbi where you always forget the punchline and you simply forgot time. And then when you wanted to see the movie the next day you read a critic that said the movie was not so good and you never ended up seeing it. You will also get an irresistible urge to go to the toilet for an hour when you think about watching the movie. And to donate a small, unspecified fee to the next government charity you encounter. You´re welcome !

As a last comic trivia tidbit Lara Flynn Boyle was also in an episode of the terrible Sable tv series based on Mike Grell´s great independent comic.

Speaking about comics, I thought that I had Kelly Le Brock´s 57th birthday covered since I already mentioned a few times that she is best known for The Woman In Red - which is a remake by the way and not as good as the original version - and Weird Science which is based on the old EC comic series even if it is only in name. She also was in Hard To Kill which was from the phase where you could still watch Steven Seagal movies and I posted an animated GIF of The Sorcerer´s Apprentice. Or so I thought because I could find no trace of this on the blog. So either I had the weirdest kind of deja vu or this all happened in a parallel universe. 

I also thought I had a video for this but then it turned out to be a video of Kelly Brook who also is pretty busty but apparently somebody completely different. So since I am not sure if I have written about this before I want to point out that the reason why I don´t think the movie Weird Science is based on an actual story in the comic of the same name is that in those stories people who get the perfect woman - there are several that go in that direction - never have tried to use her to score with another woman.

I mean, why go through all the trouble of creating a perfect woman in the first place when you are then trying to get it on with another woman ? If that is what you want then you have to come up with a plan to woo that woman from the start and not put so much time and effort into making a perfect woman that you are just going to ignore except in ways that help you win this other woman. Who is not the perfect woman by any means.

What I do kind of get is that the whole thing with trying to score with the other girls is initially started by the woman those two guys create because she sees where the train is heading and she has no desire to become their blow up doll. So she sets them on another path to keep them occupied ( also they probably didn´t measure up ) and because she gets hornier than an alley cat in heat she does it with the whole sports class or whatever the scene where she appears as the new coach is supposed to mean.

Anyways, I picked the cover below because the woman does look a bit like Kelly LeBrock and the two guys could be the two hapless science nerds.

As always when old EC comics are involved I did not find what I was looking for but here are some links to other horror stories. PAPPY`S GOLDEN AGE COMICS BLOGZINE delivers two stories, While The Cat´s Away from The Vault Of Horror 34 and Kaleidoscope from Incredible Science Fiction 33, THE CRYPT CAST offers Lower Berth from Tales From The Crypt 33, iO9 has quite possibly the most ridiculous story you will ever read ( at least according to Cyrlaque Lamar ) Only Skin Deep from Tales From The Crypt 38 and FRIGHT COMICS USA whips up Pearly To Dead from Tales From The Crypt 40. Finally, even if it´s not an EC comic I want to include The Corpse That Lived from Forbidden Worlds 33 from THE HORRORS OF IT ALL.

Burkhard Ihme, the man, the myth, the legend turns 63 and what hasn´t he done ? Musician, comic artist, self publishing editor he has done it all.

He has a place in german comic history as one of the founding members of not only the biannual International Comic Salon in Erlangen ( which is Germany´s most important comic convention ) but also of the ICOM , the Interest group Comic, Cartoon and Illustration which is the most important association in Germany for comic people from normal fans to professional. The ICOM is a place where all kind of comic afficionados can interact and it provides not only the ICOM Yearbook full with articles about everything important that has happened that year ( which is also done by Burkhard ) but also a handbook to facilitate the contact between members but also a guide with everything you need to know about page rates, contracts and copyright laws. Did I mention that he´s also the president of the ICOM since 1995 ? But that´s not enough. He is also a founding member of the Society for Comic Book Scholarship and for my german readers there is an article on the Society for Comic Book Scholarship website about The Unreliable Narrator which analyzes the things that happen in the gutters, the space between the panels. Since I couldn´t find a video with him here is a short report from the International Comic Salon in Erlangen in 2016.

Well, there is a video of Burkhard playing the guitar but I had to skip that so I can add a video of a music legend, the great Peret. Here is The Ballad Of The Bouncer or how the original title goes The Party Is Not For Uglies.

From a music legend we come to a silver screen legend : Yesterday we had Akira Kurosawa´s anniversary Today it´s Steve McQueen´s turn who was one of the stars of the John Sturges western The Magnificient Seven, the best known re - make of Kurosawa´s cult classic The Seven Samurai.

This movie in turn has inspired other things in pop culture like the approach Bruce Timm took to the brilliant Justice League cartoon.

While Steve McQueen is not the main hero of the movie ( that was Yul Brynner ) he very quickly becomes the center of attention because of his charismatic persona and engaging performance which earns him not only a place on Andreina Matos list of Los 7 actores más representativos del western at VIX but also two entries on Emily Kelley´s 10 Movies My Dad Introduced Me To Growing Up That I´m Still Completely Obsessed With To This Day on BUSTLE , the second one being The Great Escape from 1963.

And speaking of ensemble casts I want to finish with the Super 6 cartoon which most of the younger readers have probably never seen before.

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Doing good for selfish reasons doesn´t make you good, it just makes you good at being selfish.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Road to Flash Friday part 1 : Green Lantern

Once again I´m taking a short break from cleaning up the laptop to finally start the three part crossover Three Of A Kind that was going through GREEN LANTERN and GREEN ARROW and culminated in FLASH issue 135.

I don´t think I can do four posts in one day so we will probably have to skip the FLASH FRIDAY post for this week but since I finally did manage to do the obligatory Marvel post before a DC post I wanted to put it up on the blog just in case. And to have some new content. I don´t know what my next post will be but don´t be too surprised if the next DC post is not the next part of this story but rather a remembrance post in honor of the great. late Bernie Wrightson as he did the bulk of his work on DC titles. 

Coming back to the story at hand it was a team up between the three new versions of The Flash, Green Lantern and Green Arrow who had all taken up the hero mantle of their predecessors after their death - well temporary death as it later turned out - and in one case after the original had gone rogue. I´m talking about Green Lantern Hal Jordan here who had gone over to the dark side as Parallax and butchered the entire Green Lantern Corps. Well, he left some stranded in the vastness of outer space without ring power and some of them survived but no thanks to him. He didn´t care if they lived or died so he might as well have killed them given the chance. In any case the three heroes are taking a vacation together mainly to smooth out the problems between Wally West and Kyle Rayner with Connor Hawke as the operating conseglieri or mediator if you will.

And Wally West had any right not to like Kyle Rayner. I remember back at the time when Kyle was introduced into the DC universe he brought a lot of new readers to the title but a lot of old readers left - me included - and not only because of the disparaging and stupid way in which Hal Jordan´s entire history as a hero ( and also the complete Green Lantern Corps ) was wiped out for a cheap sales gimmick. Most of the newbie readers who were Kyle Rayner fans accused the older readers of just not being open to change and in some cases that might have been true but there was more to it. Now here somebody will probably come with the old - and absolutely incorrect - argument that you like the version of a hero you encounter first the most and since you get attached to that version it will always be the one you prefer. That kind of school of thinking has always be around and I don´t think at this point in time they can ever be taught otherwise.

How I know that this is not true ? Simple. When I started reading comics Hal Jordan was Green Lantern. There were some other Green Lanterns in the comics but Hal Jordan was always the Green Lantern of earth. But Hal Jordan is not my favorite Green Lantern. Anybody who has read this blog for a longer period of time knows that my favorite Green Lantern is Guy Gardner. Whom I didn´t read until my military service got me stationed in Munich where they had a real comic shop with a lot of american comics. And at that time the Norbert Hethke Verlag published the first issues of the Keith Giffen / J. M. DeMatteis JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA in Germany for the first time. So you might say that this was just a fluke.

But it was the same with the Flash. When I started reading comic books Barry Allen was the Flash. But my favorite Flash is Wally West. And the first time I read his adventures as the Flash was at the same time when I first met Guy Gardner. Now you might say that this is the common factor and that this is the reason why I like both versions of them better than their previous incarnations. Which might be true but then it goes against the argument that you like the first version you encounter the most since this was more than a decade after I first encountered the original heroes.

Talk about a late bloomer. And then there´s the matter of Green Arrow. Okay, I know some people will write some nasty comments about this but I never liked Connor Hawke. But not because I hated him but because I had no real interest in him as a character. I was always an Oliver Queen guy. Ever since he evolved from a´the cheap Batman knock off with a bow and arrow you might know from BATMAN - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD carton series into the social consciousness of the Justice League he was my man and the best series he ever had was LONGBOW HUNTERS followed by the Mike Grell penned series that DC is now finally making available again for a new generation in trade. That is the best Green Arrow you will EVER read.

Okay, now that we have debunked the myth that you always like the first version you read the most you might ask where my dislike of Kyle Rayner stemmed from and the answer to that is very simple. Like the readers who defended him so vehemently he just didn´t get it. And that is one of the reasons why I could understand Wally West. Because Kyle Rayner didn´t get him and never could. He didn´t come in where Wally West came in.

He didn´t start out as a kid sidekick and had to work his way through the ranks. He did not have to work hard for years to earn the trust of the superhero community that he could take up the mantle and be as capable as his role model had been. He didn´t have to defeat his predecessor´s worst enemy in a baptism of fire during which he even surpassed him. He did not have to go through all of this to become a hero so he never could understand what being a hero really means to someone like Wally West.

And that is the second reason why I never liked Kyle Rayner. Because he didn´t get it. He did not get it what it means to be a hero and especially a Green Lantern. On most planets when you were chosen as the acting Green Lantern of your space sector your old life was over. It didn´t matter if you were a doctor or a banker or a factory worker from the moment that little green ring slipped itself on your finger Green Lantern you were. But not Kyle Rayner. Despite now being the only Green Lantern for the entire universe he still treated it like a job that you could do eight hours of the week and then do something else like he would pursue his art stuff. Where he also never quite succeeded which should be no surprise to anybody who had seen his ringslinging. The two laws of design I always believed in are Form Follows Function and Keep It Simple and it is clearly apparent that with his needlessly over elaborated ring creations Kyle spends way too much energy on looks and not enough on great ideas.

Okay, back to Kyle Rayner´s new role of hero, his defenders would say that he was thrown into it without a handbook and that he had a really rough start with his dead girlfriend stuffed into a refrigerator which started and entire feminist movement. But it´s not like he later made much efforts to find said handbook. I mean there was a storyline where he finally thought about asking some other heroes for advice how they go about their heroing stuff - but that was in issue 72 and he had become the new Green Lantern with issue 51. so for two years and a half he was only winging it ? And it was not like ALL the former members of the Green Lantern Corps were dead and he couldn´t ask them for advice. Gnort was still around, Guy Gardner was still around and even if he didn´t want to ask him for help which excuse did Kyle have for not talking with John Stewart ?

No, people may call Kyle Rayner the torchbearer and say that he kept the Green Lantern Corps alive when nobody else did but he never understood what a Green Lantern is and what he can do. The two most significant moments in that regard were in a Justice League Of America story where the new Lord of Dreams had to explain to him that that ring he has on his finger is basically a wish ring from the fairy tales and in GREEN LANTERN REBIRTH when his ring suddenly spoke and Kyle Rayner said : " I never knew you could speak. " to which the ring simply replied : " You never asked. " Which is something every reader of the old GREEN LANTERN comics knew. Yep, the ring is like an Encyclopedia Intergalactica which can tell you anything you wish to know provided you ask the right question.

Rest my case. Anyway, here is the first part of the crossover and over the years Wally West has learned to work with Kyle in the JLA and they even gained some kind of friendship although I doubt Kyle will ever understand what a pauper he is compared to someone of Wally West´s Airwolf - ness.   

Finishing this post took a bit longer than I thought because I had to prepare some material so I can do a Pascual Ferry post on his birthday Tomorrow but before we start with the fun part of the post I want to include a few links I have saved for a long time. But since I mentioned Kyle Rayner I can use them to show you that I´m not alone with my opinion about him : M´Rabo Mhulargo on BRAINSTOMPING has an enlightening post on Kyle Rayner, el infame as well as two posts on the so - called Mary Sues which seem to be the female counterpart to Wesleys like Kyle Rayner.


We kick off the bonus section with model / actress Karen McDougal who celebrates her 46th birthday and believe it or not the brunette sexbomb taught pre- Kindergarten before winning a swimsuit competition which launched her career as a glamour, promotional and swimsuit model.

In high school Karen was a cheerleader going by the nickname of Barbie which might have had more to do with her 34D - 24 - 34 measurements than her wholesome sweetness like they told her. They are also largely responsible for her becoming first Playmate Of The Month in December 1997 and subsequently Playmate Of The Year 1998. I pity the generation who has to grow up with a PLAYBOY without nudie pictures and I´m glad I got to see Karen´s pictures. She´s one of the hottest women to ever be featured inside Hugh Hefner´s famous mag in fact the readers of PLAYBOY voted her as the No 2 Sexiest Playmate Of The 1990s. She also pursued an acting career during which she appeared on Charlie´s Angels, the movie Joe Dirt and as Shelly in an episode of Anger Management in 2013.

Pretty boy Richard Grieco turns 52 and I remember that when he was on 21 Jump Street everybody thought he would have the big career but Johnny Depp ended up with that destiny while Richard had the short lived spin - off series Booker which probably nobody remembers anymore.

On a comic book related note he did the voice of Ghost Rider in the Fantastic Four and Incredible Hulk cartoon and Tony Dracon on Gargoyles.

He also played Loki in Almighty Thor and if that doesn´t sound familiar don´t worry it was not a Marvel production. Besides guest - starring as Steve Botando on Veronica Mars his greatest claims to fame were If Looks Could Kill in which he gets mistaken for a spy and skin flick Mutual Needs with Rochelle Swanson although he didn´t have any sex scenes with her. 

Speaking of midnight movies, Serena Grandi, famous sex symbol of italian cinema in the 1980s and 1990s celebrates her 59th birthday. She had wild success in many erotic movies with famous director Tinto Brass because of her voluptuous body and 40D - 24 - 40 measurements and most often the plot of the movie was that she is too much woman to handle and tries out various horny candidates which leaves them satisfied but her frustrated.

Besides her nude roles she is known to horror fans from Le Foto Di Gioa, called Das Unheimliche Auge in german and better known as Delirium in the english language. In the movie she uncharacteristically doesn´t take her clothes off but the movie was still a success because Sabrina Salerno, the italian pop queen with the built - in bouncing action ( whose cult siren post I just re - posted last week ) had a nude scene in it. Serena also played the role of Euryale in the second Hercules movie with Lou Ferrigno because they needed to fill the cleavages Sybil Danning had left empty.

What wikipedia won´t tell you is that Serena also was in Stormtroopers II based on the comic by Bonvi which strangely enough was very popular in Germany and during my time in the military everybody was reading this.

Now I had written in an earlier post that it´s a german comic series but it actually comes from Italy and they did two live action movies, one in 1976 and the second one in 1982 which is the one with Serena Grandi. I could only find episodes in italian because since Star Wars came out you can just forget searching for this on google, all you get are stormtroopers.

We are staying in that time period as Teresa Ganzel turns 60 who is best known as the blonde knockout in The Toy from 1982 where she co starred with Richard Pryor. Who gets to wear a Spider - Man costume in that film.

Bursting with bosomness and a sly, kittenish sense of humor Teresa often played ditzy, busty blonde bimbos and became famous as a recurring cast member of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, having replaced the late Carol Wayne as the Matinee Lady in the popular Tea Time Movie skits. You might remember that I mentioned Carol Wayne in Mike Zeck´s birthday post and if you missed that you absolutely HAVE to google Carol Wayne.

The blonde bombshell with the mega inflated body of a living blow up sex doll predestined for the adult industry ( her exact body measures are not known but it is assumed that they were around 39DD - 24 - 35 ) made dreams come true when she did a nude PLAYBOY pictorial in February 1984.

With a curvaceous body that must have been the envy of most porn stars of that time she had many fans who followed her guest appearances on such television shows like I Spy, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. , The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. or The Fall Guy. She had roles in the movies Gunn, The Party and Heartbreakers in which she had a nude scene. Carol appeared in many sketches on The Red Skelton Show but she gained her greatest fame for her 100 plus appearances as the Matinee Lady between 1971 and 1984. In Love American Style she played a secretary that constantly distracts her boss with her big gazongas . She would´ve made one hell of a Power Girl !

So both Carol Wayne and Teresa Ganzel got famous through appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson and I found a clip with both. 

The retro vibe continues as musical pioneer Chaka Khan celebrates her 64th birthday. She was the first R & B singer to have a crossover with a rapper and it was a big hit when I was in school because hip hop - as we called it back then - was the next big thing. Later on it was coined as rap music when it became a huge commercial success but I think they are using the term hip hop again. The more things change as they say ...

And how fitting is it that french actress Corinne Cléry turns 67 because she is best known for her roles in the scandalous erotic movie The Story of O and the Roger Moore vehicle Moonraker and it´s also Wernher von Braun´s anniversary who was a big part of the american space program.

To take things even further Corinne Cléry also starred in The Humanoid with Bond Girl Barbara Bach and Richard Kiel, who played Jaws, Roger Moore´s main antagonist in Moonraker. Since we had Mort Drucker´s birthday Yesterday I was looking for his version of the movie but I couldn´t find it mainly because the Moonraker spoof Moneyraker was drawn by Harry North and you can check it out at THE JAMES BOND 007 DOSSIER .

Our first candidate in the Dearly Departed section is the great italian actor and director Ugo Tognazzi and usually I would put him last but there are some connections at work here. Ugo was not only in Sunday Lovers with Roger Moore and I Viagiattori Della Sera with Corinne Cléry he also appeared in The Conspirators with Britt Ekland who was a Bond Girl in The Man With The Golden Gun with Roger Moore. Ugo Tognazzi also played Mark Hand in Roger Vadim´s comic adaption Barbarella although he is mostly known for La Cage Aux Folles. You may know the american remake The Birdcage which is one of the few remakes that is better than the original version. Because I tried to watch the original a few times and I just couldn´t while I managed to finish the version with Robin Williams.

Ugo also did a ton of rom coms with cult sirens like Gina Lollobrigida, Elke Sommer, Catharine Deneuve, Jodie Foster, Leslie Caron, Claudia Cardinale, Senta Berger, Romy Schneider, sexbomb Ornella Muti or Edwige Fenech.

Going through the movies with Ugo on YouTube I only found complete movies in italian and since I don´t have the time to go through them all I using the opportunity to put a video from one of his many collaborations with the delightful Ornella Muti wearing a swimming suit on the blog.

Last but not least a shoutout goes to movie legend Akira Kurosawa who put China on the map where the international cinema is concerned and now I am glad that I kept this for the end because it´s a nice bookend. I would like to continue with the Pasqual Ferry post but I should probably get some sleep before I pass out. Here are the Top 10 Kurosawa Films.

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Take me, subtract movies and you get zero.