Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Instead of STAR WARS : Subzero rambles on

I wanted to do a special post for STAR WARS DAY ( May the 4th be with you ! ) but since I still haven´t read the first STAR WARS : THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS omnibus which I bought right after finishing my Master of Kung Fu Monday with Gil Kane ! post I can not write a review on that.

Yes, I really need to listen to myself more. In that post I said that volume two which was in the bargain books section for 75 EUROS would not stay long at that price and as soon as I finished the post it was back at 110 EUROS. So I went and got the first volume - which is still at 70 EUROS - right away. I haven´t read it yet because I want to wait until I have all three volumes so I can devour them in one go. The plan was to get the consecutive volumes over the course of a few weeks as soon as I got the money - because my mother would flip if both arrived on the same day. As usual I hit a bit of a snag. Another book I had my eye on for quite some time - the SPIDER - MAN BY ROGER STERN omnibus - was offered at a real bargain price by two dealers. With over 1250 pages this book is really worth the 125 bucks price tag so to find it offered for a measly 71 EUROS, including 3 EUROS for shipping was a real opportunity and after missing my chance with the second STAR WARS omnibus I just had to react. The only problem was that it was offered by two dealers, one was a completely new dealer so there were no dealer ratings yet and the other one had a few negative reviews. The book from the new dealer was a new copy but seeing as nobody else had ordered from him so far and the shipping from India took a very long time I went for the other dealer. That book was only in good condition, not new and there were a few negative reviews but at least I knew people had dealt with him before. It might have been the right decision as I haven´t seen books by the dealer from India since.

Aside from this omnibus I also ordered three Epic Collections, Daredevil - A Touch of Thyphoid by Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr and Iron Man - The Enemy Within and Iron Man - Duel of Iron by Denny O´Neill and Luke McDonnell. I know that I already have all the issues from the DAREDEVIL trade but lately I have flipped through my old issues and the printing quality is not as good as the DC Baxter issues. Having recently read the DAREDEVIL issues in the X - MEN : INFERNO CROSSOVER and MARVEL VISIONARIES : JOHN ROMITA JR I have to say I would like to have all the issues in a nicely printed hardcover but seeing as such a book is not available the Epic Collection is the next best thing. As for the IRON MAN trades, back when I first found issues of american comics at the kiosk at the Rathaus bus station in Ludwigsburg there were some IRON MAN issues where James Rhodes had already taken over the mantle of the Iron Man.

There also was MARVEL COMIC SONDERHEFT NR 17 by german publisher Condor Verlag in which James Rhodes teamed up with the Eternals.

So while I have read bits and pieces from Tony Stark´s second bout with alcoholism I never read the full story and it would be nice to fill in the gap between the IRON MAN BY MICHELINE, LAYTON AND ROMITA JR omnibus ( man, I´m so glad I bought that when it was offered for just 57 EUROS at amazon - longtime readers may remember that I pimped it heavily on the blog ) and the Epic Collection Iron Man - Stark Wars. Okay, there may be a few issues missing between them so maybe there will be another trade for that but that would fill a huge gap in my Iron Man collection. And who knows ? Maybe it will even get me to finally read the Iron Man omnibus.

Now with these three books and the SPIDER - MAN omnibus you might think I had enough on my plate but since those books wouldn´t arrive for at least two weeks I did another order at one of my online comic shops which still had a super sale going on. I already ordered some of these bargain comics which I mentioned in this post ( which is mainly about old Valiant comics ) and this post ( which had much more trade paperbacks and hardcovers ) and while all the trades had gone back to their old price there were still some single issues left. And seeing as nothing good lasts forever I bought a few more. I had to drop at least a dozen of comics because there were some where I was not such if I really wanted them or just added them because they were at a low price or if I didn´t already have those issues. In the end I ordered 42 comic for 23 EUROS, mainly Milestone books like HARDWARE and ICON and a lot of HARDCORPS from Valiant. Right now I´m still waiting for any of the orders to arrive but keeping my track record in mind when it comes to these things they will probably arrive on the same day finally giving my Mother an aneurysm.

I know I should probably not order that many comics - or spend that much money on comics - since GRATIS COMIC TAG will be next Saturday which means I will have to make the long, strenuous trek to the Sammlerecke in Esslingen to get some free comics and the new issues of SAVAGE DRAGON that have accumulated since my last visit. And let´s not forget 2016´s FREE COMIC BOOK DAY which is this Saturday. Which is one of the reasons why I ordered from the super sale instead of making the usual order from my regular online comic shop. You see, the last few years I have done THE BIG CHRISTMAS CONTEST on Tales from the Kryptonian which is really not a real contest at all and just an excuse for me to give away free comics.

Which are for the greatest part the free comics from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY and GRATIS COMIC TAG. During the last two contests I have noticed that most of the people who applied for the free comics were much more interested in FREE COMIC BOOK DAY than GRATIS COMIC TAG issues.

Which sounds logical as those issues are probably much harder to find than the german free comics you can find in german comic shops. So I have decided that I will probably get the few comics from GRATIS COMIC TAG that really interest me like JOMMEKE, Weissblech´s ZOMBIE TERROR, Hugo Pratt´s CORTO MALTESE, BEAT COMIC WUNDERT√úTE, SHERLOCK HOLMES UND DIE ZEITREISENDEN ( last year´s issue was really good ) and maybe a few classics like THE SMURFS and LUCKY LUKE but apart from that I will get as many comics from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY as I can.

Now you may ask yourself where I get all these free comics - and readers who have already participated in one of the contest and know the answer may skip this part - but I get the customary six free comics from GRATIS COMIC TAG from my trusty comic shop in Esslingen and if there are two or three additional issues I need I can also get them there. There rest I get from my regular online comic shop where you get one GRATIS COMIC TAG or one FREE COMIC BOOK DAY issue for every 10 EUROS of your comic order. Now you don´t get that many free comics from one order - unless it´s something like the SECRET WARS II omnibus which I couldn´t find anywhere else and had to buy for the full price which netted me 11 free comics at once. But doing a few orders here and there the free comics sum up and for years I didn´t know this so there were dozens of free comics I was loosing out on. So this is where I get my free comics.

But the thing is that I already have all the comics from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2015 I´m interested so until the new FREE COMIC BOOK DAY comics arrive it makes no sense to place an order. And there are so many trades or comics like the collected editions of NATASCHA and YOKO TSUNO I would like to buy but unless there was a way to order comics from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2016 and have them delivered as soon as they are available I won´t. I just hope that the shop will get issues from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY this year. Usually all the new issues are announced ready for pre - order but this year neither FREE COMIC BOOK DAY nor GRATIS COMIC TAG comics can be found anywhere on the website. I hope they are just waiting until they have the actual comics before putting them online because otherwise this would throw a monkey wrench in my plans for THE BIG CHRISTMAS CONTEST. Not mentioning that I really enjoy being able to read all the series I would not bother with thanks to all the free comics.

Be that as it may, in the hopes that the free comics DO arrive in due time I´m laying off placing orders at that online comic shop concentrating on the occasional bargains found at amazon or other online comic shops. Another option would be to visit the Sammlerecke in Esslingen more often and check out their used comics per kilo section for comic hauls but right now my health doesn´t allow me to make the long journey that often.

Wow, I really didn´t talk much about the STAR WARS comics except the omnibus books at all did I ? To make up for that and so to have a little tribute to the biggest space opera here are some original art samples.  

Sometimes it´s uncanny how I can find videos for all the birthdays I put on the blog at the drop of a hat even when I go through the wrong ones.

That´s right, attentive readers may have noticed that I didn´t list the birthdays for May, the 3rd but instead I listed the ones for April, the 3rd. So since I don´t want to go back and mess with Yesterday´s post - and because there is only one birthday from Today I want to mention ( as the other two would only get me into trouble ) here are Yesterday´s celebs.

We start with Christina Hendricks known from MAD MEN who turned 41.

I know, that´s unforgivable. Not only did I cast her as Maxima in my first ever Casting the Justice League of America Movie post I also made a bookmark in the hopes of doing a solo post on her birthday in 2016.

To make up for my incredible snafu go to THE STIR which has 14 Times Christina Hendricks Totally Nailed Exactly How You Feel , Josh Robertson at COMPLEX who has the 30 sexiest GIFs of Christina Hendricks ( you might shut down your other windows to see this one as it tends to take up all your available memory ) and you can find a few more Christina GIFs at FOR THE LOVE OF GIF . Thanks for the mammaries, Christina !

But it gets even better. Yesterday was also Bill Sienkiewicz´ 58th birthday. The man whom I dubbed " the world´s fastest artist " because I didn´t like his style when I started reading comics ( my ignorance ) is of cause famous for his work on such titles like DAREDEVIL, ELEKTRA and - thanks to the Epic Collections - MOON KNIGHT to a new generation of readers. 

This is one I looked up and I chose it because I always felt that Bill was better suited to ink artists who hadn´t developed their style yet or who had some flaws in their art. In my opinion he overpowers most artists which can be really annoying if you buy a comic for a specific penciler.

I´m not finished putting my foot in my mouth. Comic legend Denny O´Neil turned 77 and I had this video all ready to go for a few months now.

Yesterday would also have been the 83rd birthday of legend James Brown.

Since the STAR WARS video I had lined up has been deleted here is the only birthday of Today I can mention : Schlager singer Trude Herr. 

I did mention it in the post but I´ll take any excuse to post another CORTO MALTESE video. Not that there are that many of them left.

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I am your father, Luke.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

More DC art by Gil Kane - and a few others

As promised here are a more DC covers by the great Gil Kane. Because I didn´t want to do another covers only post I also started looking for some of the interior art and - as usual - I found that much material that this will probably have to be split up into two posts. We´ll see how far we´ll come.

It´s been a while since my last post and I spent the time with going over some of my old posts, preparing stuff for new posts and health problems.

On Sunday I was so tired from lack of sleep that I slept almost the whole day and Today before going to bed I made the mistake of eating a tuna sandwich before going to bed so I spent most of the day on the crapper, in my bed with stomach cramps or sneezing since I seem to be also nursing a cold. At the moment I feel a little better because I drank to cups of tea but while my stomach feels a little better my nose is still doing it´s best impression of a fountain and I go through handkerchiefs like wildfire. I haven´t eaten anything Today but at least I get to lose some weight this way. I have already lost a few pounds as I´m starting to loose my pants which were very tight. So with my nose running and a slight headache I´m trying to finish this post while the internet seems to get slower and even slower and my laptop keeps nagging me about doing a re - start now.

For this post I have selected a few DC covers from Gil Kane from the period I´m more familiar with so there will be no classic DC stuff and there will also be no GREEN LANTERN covers since I have decided to give them a post of their own. There were also a few strange and weird covers of series I didn´t know he had worked on ( like the CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN cover above for which I could not find any interior art ) but I kept most of them for a different post with all of Gil Kane´s WTF covers.

So let´s get going. DC COMICS PRESENTS 62 has Superman teaming up with the Freedom Fighters and the art is by Irv Novik and Dave Hunt.

Sadly I could only find this small part of a page from the issue.

Another great cover by Gil Kane for SUPERMAN 390 guest starring Sean Connery . . . I mean Superman´s best pal, Vartox. Is it just me or do people kick the bucket more than usual every time he´s around ? 

This kicks off a three part story by Cary Bates, Elliot S Maggin, Curt Swan and Dave Hunt and you can find some more interior pages at Deejay Dayton´s BABBLING ABOUT DC COMICS website. By the way, the blog has moved so if you want to read the newest entries using the following link.

Speaking about Deejay Dayton´s BABBLING ABOUT DC COMICS, he also has some interior pages from BATMAN 382 guest - starring Catwoman.

The story is by Steve Mitchell with art by Rich Hoberg and Rudy Nebres.

Sometimes Gil Kane only did one cover of a series like THE FURY OF FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MAN 30. The interior art was mostly done by Rafael Kayanan. I didn´t find any pages from issue 30 but you can sample some of his art from issue 26 and 27 on THE WATER AND FIRE podcast.

Fun fact : it was in this series that Firestorm first encountered Felicity Smoak from ARROW, behaving like a giant dick. COMIC BOOK RESOURCES has a whole post about the first appearances of the supporting cast where you can read all about how Firestorm ruined Felicity´s life - repeatedly.

A DC series Gil Kane did a few covers for is the first CHECKMATE series.

This and the following incarnations of the book have been on my reading list for quite some time and who knows, now that DC has as good as openly declared intellectual bankruptcy I might even get to read it.

CHECKMATE 17 written by Paul Kupperberg was part 5 of THE JANUS DIRECTIVE which crossed over with SUICIDE SQUAD and MARTIAN MANHUNTER. The art was done by Steve Erwin and Al Vey and while I couldn´t find art from the issue Siskoid from YOUR DAILY SPLASH PAGE has the splash page from issue 21 also done by Steve Erwin and Al Vey.

Gil Kane also did more than one cover for the WONDER WOMAN comic.

Here is the splash page for issue 314 by Dan Misking and Don Heck and you can see more interior pages at BABBLING ABOUT DC COMICS. Again.

Somehow when I think of Don Heck I always think about his Marvel work on AVENGERS or IRON MAN and totally blank on the fact that he also worked on DC´s FLASH, TEEN TITANS and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.

And I want to end the first part of this with THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY which I remember reading in Ehapa´s SUPERBOY reprints.

I couldn´t find any full pages from the issue but SISKOID`S BLOG OF GEEKERY has some interior art by Alex Saviuk and Kurt Schaffenberger.

The story with Sunburst went on for a few issues but I don´t remember if I ever got to read the big finale. We didn´t always get consecutive issues.

So in this post we have all the series where Gil Kane DIDN`T do any interiors and in the next post we will have beaucoup de Gil Kane art. As usual there are a few websites and links I have to mention which I could not fit into the post. I didn´t find any art from CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN for which Gil Kane did the cover but JAMES THE SHERMAN has a nice collection of original art from the series and the SECRET ORIGINS PODCAST talks about CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN and FURY in their 12th episode. Pat Broderick was the main cover artist for THE FURY OF FIRESTORM and FIRESTORM FAN has posts on him revisiting the covers for issue 1, 4 and 7 that include the original covers and the new inks.

So we will continue this topic soon but not in our next post because even if that post would be a Gil Kane post it would probably be a Marvel post.

We start Today´s birthdays with the Queen of Body Doudles, Shelley Michelle who turns 54 Today. Shelley became famous as the body double for Barbara Streisand in The Prince Of The Tides, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman ( she sure needed it ) and Kim Basinger in My Stepmother Is An Alien although I don´t know if Kim really had need of Shelley´s services.

Shelley also was in a few movies as an actress like Bikini Summer where she co starred with a few playmates. If you like " playmates go to the beach and take their bikinis off " movies it is a good and entertaining movie but sadly the trailer is not safe for work so I can´t post it here.

Also celebrating her 54th anniversary is Jennifer Rubin, who debuted in Nightmare on Elm Street 3 : Dream Warriors, the first movie from the franchise I saw in a movie theater ( yep, I´m really an old fart ). I remember watching it in a really tiny theater with a very small screen but after 15 minutes I was so enthralled by the movie I completely forgot about it. You can find a lengthy analysis of the movie on RIVERS OF GRUE.

In the movie Jennifer Rubin appeared with the mother of all mohawks.

Horror fans may have seen her on tv shows like The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt and tv movies like Twists of Terror where she showed some skin. She appeared naked in The Wasp Woman, Saints and Sinners, Stranger by Night, Bitter Harvest and A Woman, Her Men And Her Futon.

One year older is Eddie Murphy and since I couldn´t find One Night Only and all my bookmarked music videos have been erased here is Beverly Hills Cop which was still the best before they screwed up the formula.

Alec Baldwin turns 58 Today and while you probably expected me to post a video from his comic related movie The Shadow I´ve got something even better : his appearance on the show El Hormiguero promoting Torrente 5

Our next birthday is Hollywood legend Doris Day who celebrates her 92nd year. She appeared in a plethora of movies but my favorite is Pillow Talk.

Doris really was a great actress because she pulled off the shy and quiet wholesome housewife / Mom when she had the hot body of a playmate.

If you haven´t seen the movie check out MAKING NICE IN THE MIDWEST´s entry on Pillow Talk and Kimberly Truhler at GLAM AMOR takes a look at Doris Day´s stunning outfits in that movie in The Style Essentials - Doris Day makes a Statement in Jean Louis for 1959´s PILLOW TALK .

Today would have also been Marlon Brando´s birthday who was in the good Superman movies. Since I already posted the Making Of of the Richard Donner movie here´s a little video showcasing Superman´s more weird and strange powers from the comic which they thankfully didn´t use.

My last cartoon video was in french so to make up for it here is The Yellow Mark from Blake and Mortimer. You can find a lot of other videos of this on YouTube and I would be appalled if this is news to Terry Hooper.

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