This week has officially started good. Today I´m celebrating 40 years of excellence with pizza, pie and lemon beer. That´s what celebrations are all about : pie and lots of lemon beer. Life is good.
When I was still in school I could never celebrate my birthday with the other kids because it was always during the simmer holidays. And in my family we never had a big celebration on my birthday. Since my younger brother and I always had our birthday one day apart we celebrated both of them on one day and it was mostly when my brother had his birthday. So I never had one of those birthday parties where you invite all your friends. The kind you see on tv and in the movies. I´m not entirely sure if there really are these kind of birthday parties. I mean, I have been to one or two of my relatives but maybe that was all show.
Anyway for me and my brothers having a birthday party usually means hanging around and doing what the one who is having the birthday wants. Going to a certain movie, renting DVDs or just eating pizza and pie. Normally the birthday person has to get the pie to get his presents but I think this year we are going to ignore this tradition. My older brother didn´t buy any pie for his birthday and we had to get it.....I am totally broke and couldn´t buy any pie either.....and my younger brother is going to be in Spain on his birthday so we will ahve to throw his party when he comes back. But that´s okay.
As usual I got no presents from my older brother. What´s new is that he told that I´m too old for presents. But that just a scam. Nice try though. Maybe I´ll try it someday.
Oddly enough one of the presents I got was the AVENGERS VISIONARIES : GEORGE PEREZ trade. 154 pages of the best issues of George´s first run on the Avengers.
My last entry on this blog was about George Perez on AVENGERS / JLA and yesterday and today I was listening to part 3b and 4 of the CGS footnotes episodes. Talk about synchronisity. I think when I have finished with the footnotes I´ll reread the miniseries.
I also got the MARVEL MONSTER EDITION of PLANET HULK from PANINI. This storyline was on my mental reading list and a few months ago I found all the issues at my local comic book shop but couldn´t buy it. Not enough money.
So I was waiting for the trade or better I wanted to see if I could get it for half price at this year´s Comic Action in Essen. Thankfully I now have it and I think it also includes the prologue since the Hulk comic is not published in Germany. I think they will put it out in two volumes.
I had tought about buying the PANINI edition but since it was translated by the ONE GUY I always try to avoid - Germany´s own translation antichrist. But now I got it anyway. That´s Kismet for you. Just when I tought I was out - they pulled me back in.
The last present was the second TORPEDO volume from crosscult. Like the HELLBOY and WALKING DEAD collections this one is also pocket sized. I was thinking about getting the volumes because they will publish the whole series in five volumes and I would really like to have it all in one collection. So far I have scattered issues, a few albums but by far not all of them.
At this year´s Salon del Comic GLENAT was also offering a newly released edition of TORPEDO but since it was in hardcover albums it was way too expensive for me.
Now I don´t know how good the translation is. I guess they have a qualified person and if not that´s not my problem. It´s not as if they didn´t know I was available. Anyway if you don´t know TORPEDO you haven´t been in a spanish comic shop. Because it´s the most famous spanish comic there is. The main character Lucca Torelli is a member of the mob in the 1930s and because his temper he is called " Torpedo ". He´s like the Punisher - but without a conscience. He´s totally badass.
I´m a little late with my post because I was once again surfing on deviantart and putting the material for my blog in order. But I wanted to drop a few lines before BLADE and ALIAS starts. So I hope you all have a good night and I´m off for today. Tomorrow I have to go to the unemployment office. I just hope that my money has been finally transferred for the next month because I´m going to spend my last bucks on the bus ticket to Ludwigsburg. But that´s tomorrow. Today it´s party time. Yay !
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The last few days I have been listening to the footnotes episodes of ComicGeekSpeak about the AVENGERS / JLA four issue prestige crossover miniseries written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by George Perez that was published in 2003.
Now you may ask : what is a footnote episode ?
The guys form ComicGeekSpeak do their normal episodes with interviews, off the racks, stump the Rios and the usual stuff and then there are the special episodes. Like Indie spinner rack spotlighting the indie creators, the con specials and of course the Book of the Month episodes which are my favorites and which introduced me to some great comics like DEATHNOTE a true manga masterpiece.
But while the Book of the Month club episodes are pretty lenghty there is sometimes not enough time to talk about every little bit of information about such big comic projects like AVENGERS / JLA. Especially when a writer who knows his continuity so well like Kurt Busiek is involved. I know, there are some comic readers who hate continuity. And that´s just normal. When I was in school I hated geography - because it was something I was not good at. I couldn´t wrap my head around the subject and my father who had served in the U.S. Navy and could have taught me a lot of geography from his first - hand experience pretty much left me alone. So I had bad grades because I was not good at geography.
But that´s okay. And the same is true with continuity. There are some people who never get their head around it and can´t remember all the little bits of trivia that appear in comics now and then. But I like continuity. I just love it when Batman tells Amanda Waller in one comic that he thinks he is better suited to deprogramm somebody and she reminds him with one short line that he was brainwashed in a past adventure. Now that is done with the mention of one name and for the reader who doesn´t know what they are talking about it is strange - but the comic continuity guy just remembers the Batman miniseries THE CULT and instantly sees the cool Bernie Wrightson art flashing before his inner eye.
So the footnote episodes are full of comic book trivia for your inner geek. The two hosts of the show are of course Peter Rios ( walking superhero encyclopedia and the man to beat at stump the rios ) and Adam Murdock ( king of comic book trivia ) who are just two fountains of comic knowledge.
By the way, I hope I spelled Adam Murdock´s name right. I tried but I couldn´t find his name on the ComicGeekSpeak homepage. So I picked the spelling I was familiar with. Now I just wonder if that is the right spelling is he the lost Daredevil brother ? And who was really in the Daredevil costume while Matt was in jail ? Maybe someone from ComicGeekSpeak ?
Unlike the Book of the Month club episodes it´s not so much about the story and more a page by page ( and sometimes panel by panel ! ) review of all the hidden earter eggs in the 4 issues. Because the other reason for this extra episodes was that George Perez packed so much detail into every little panel of the comic that you need a travel guide not to miss it.
George Perez is not only one of the best comic artists ever and a master storyteller. No he also is the wizard of panel layouts with breathtaking perspectives that lesser artists whish they could pull off. But his greates strenght is that nobody packs as many people on a comic page.
Which is the reason why he does so many anniversary promo pieces for the Avengers. Counting in the fact that he was the artist on both books and he was also the artist who should have drawn it 20 years before it was published you know why he put so much work in it.
There are small things in every panel that build on the history of the Avengers or the JLA and on the cover to issue 3 everyone who was ever a member. The footnotes episode on the cover alone is 2 hours and 45 minutes long !!!
And that´s the least you can do for a cover that gave George Perez carpal tunnel syndrome and was the reason why the last issues were delayed. That´s real dedication to his craft.
So if you always wondered who the hairy dude right behind the Invisible Woman on the cover to issue three is or why the DC heroes never intervened in the second World War according to the DC continuity you should check the footnote episodes out. Even if you are not that much of a continuity geek maybe you will enjoy it. Of course it´s full of spoilers like the Book of the Month episodes but the book has been out so long now that you should have read it. Listening to the episodes I remembered why George Perez second run on the Avengers was number two on my list of favorite Avengers runs.
Number one is clearly the second John Buscema / Tom Palmer run that included such great Avengers classics like WAR ON OLYMPUS and UNDER SIEGE the storyline that introduced the THUNDERBOLTS. And number three is the run by Alan Davis which was only six issues long but for me is one of the best.
On the second run of George Perez on Avengers there were some really fantastic stories like the ULTRON story which I bought also in the german version. One of the few things PANINI did right was to put this story in one comic and since it had nice glossy paper I just had to buy it. Because the original version had this paper that made all the color look faded and dark. Anyway it was a brilliant story with outstanding moments like when the battered Avengers confronted Ultron. Or when Justice saved the day though he had broken legs and could not fight.
We also were introduced to Triathlon and Silverclaw who was not only a spanish speaking superhero ( yay ! ) but she also took on Diablo single handedly. She was adopted by the Avengers own butler Jarvis and is one of the most original new characters introduced in the pages of the Avengers.
And of course the run also introduced the Scarlett Witch´s gypsy costume designed by George Perez. No wonder Alan Davis felt the need to use a simpler costume on his issues of Avengers.
Back to AVENGERS / JLA it´s one of my favorite comics. It has everything a big crossover needs. Two superhero teams fighting against each other in little one - on - one or two - on - two fights as well as in a big free - ro - all battle royal.
And of course the two greatest superhero teams finding similarities and working together.
The fate of whole universes and multiverses in the balance.
Cosmic beings like the Watcher or the Grandmaster and plans within plans.
Cameo appearances by guys like the Phantom Stranger or Snapper Carr. Oh.....and giant alien worldconquering starfish monsters. And little facehugging ones too.
Marvel heroes fighting DC heroes. Marvel heroes fighting DC villains and vice versa. DC and Marvel villains teaming up.
And that´s all for today. Tomorrow is my big day and altough it´s one year less than on this picture I want to put it here anyway since I don´t know if I get to post tomorrow. So here´s a happy anniversary to myself.
And since he has his birthday at the same day as me I also want to wish Arnold Schwarzenegger a happy anniversary.
Alles Gute zum 60ten Gebutstag.
Todays clips are made by fans of the JLA and the Avengers. Enjoy !
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This Wednesday was my Namenstag which according to my englisch lexikon is called nameday in Amerika.
In Spain it´s called " el dia de my santo " ( day of my saint ) and it´s a big deal. One of the reasons is that in Spain christian mythology plays an important role in everyday life so the nameday is always celebrated in a grand manner. It´s almost as important as your birthday. And if you think about it one of things that defines us are our names. Not only in the occult realm names have power - and if you don´t believe me just think about the number of hollywood actors or singers that changed their name to be more successful.
The other reason why the 25th of July is always abig day in Spain is that my patron saint is also the patron saint of all Spain. Yep, with all the troubles, catastrophes and just crazy shit I get sucked into because of the crazy ideas of my brother, the stuff of my family and just ordinary life it´s a good thing that I have a very welltrained patron saint.
Now since my nameday and my birthday are only five days apart my brothers usually forget the first one. Okay, the important thing is that they remember my birthday, right ? At least my younger brother does because his birthday is on the day after my bithday. Which means that I get a present from him but I also have to get one for him. For this year I still haven´t gotten his present because I´m broke till my money arrives. I hope it arrives till Monday so that I can buy one because my brother flies to Spain on Tuesday ( probably before I get up ) and I would like to give him his present before that.
Anyway, that´s not what I wanted to write about. On San Santiago´s day ( the saint so nice they had to name him twice ) I wanted to make a quick post with something like " happay nameday to myself yadda yadda " and was searching a picture I once made. I had done it for the now sadly defunct LEAVE IT TO CHANCE, one of the best comics I have read, and I knew that I had posted it somewhere. I finally remembered that I had posted one version on fanart galleries and another version on deviantart ( it took me half an hour to remember the name of that particular website ) and started to look for them.
Now on fanartgalleries that was no big deal because all the galleries are listed in alphabetical order but on deviantart it was a totally different beast. The only way to search was by the name of the picture and it took me 4 tries to find my gallery typing in " leave it to chance ", " she dragon ", " dragon " and finally " dragon cop " which were some of the names of pictures my brother had posted back in the golden days when our scanner was working.
While searching for my pics I ran across a lot of other pics of Rogue
or Power Girl
( who seems to be a popular character to draw )
but mostly of Adam Warren.
Ever since the second DIRTY PAIR miniseries I have been a big fan of his work. I got the first issues when I was serving in Munich in Jürgen´s Comicshop and I bought the signed hardcover edition of the first trade at a comic fair years later. At that time I didn´t know what amerimanga was but I knew what I liked.
What can I say, at that time I didn´t read as much comics as today......aww, who am I kidding ? I read MORE comics than today but since comics cost a third of what they cost today I had more money to spend on hardcovers and signed editions. But back to Adam Warren.
Looking at all the pictures I realized that Adam Warren SHOULD have been on my " 100 reasons why I love comics " list and he really SHOULD be doing more comics. Now I love his pin ups for PSM and the other game magazines. Especially the swimsuit pin ups.........homina, homina...
Or his funny last pages for PSM
( that I sometimes don´t understand because I don´t know the particular game that it´s all about and so have no idea what he´s talking about )
but I sure whish he would do more mainstream stuff.
I´m not very picky, I don´t care if it´s another Dirty Pair miniseries or a one shot for the big two. Okay, maybe he´s a little frustrated because both his piches for a Dirty Pair / Superman crossover and a Dirty Pair / Gen 13 crossover ( that would have been totally airwolf ! ) were not accepted but don´t you think he would be totally awesome on a VALKYRIE or SHANNA oneshot ?
He´s high on my list of comic creators I want to see more of. I know he´s working on the second part of his EMPOWERED series but I would be happier if he did straight forward superhero stuff instead of another superhero satire series. Not that EMPOWERED is bad - it´s one of the funniest comics I´ve read. And the best character of the cast is a cthullu - like lovecraftian elder god who´s trapped in a high tech belt ( don´t ask - just buy it and read it ) which is a feat a comic writer has to pull off in the first place. I just don´t know how big the audience is for this title since it´s also a comic straight for adults with all the nudity and sexual innuendo.
Be that as it may I spent the next days putting all the pics in order and it took me three days to post it. I just hope I get to post my birthday post in time.
Oh, by the way this is the picture I was looking for in the first place. I did it a few years ago and even sent it to the letters page of LEAVE IT TO CHANCE but since I did that around the time the series went on hiatus ( I´m not sure if it´s been officially canceled ) I never found out if they received it or read it at all.
This was one of my earliest coloring jobs but I think it looks rather nicely. Being a big fan of crime stories that take place in sewers ( which I think must have something to do with all the EC comics I read ) I put the two main characters there. I thought about putting some of the gremlins there but then I opted to go for the simple design. Like one of the main rules of design says : Keep it simple ! ( That´s the one Kyle Rayner apparently never heard of - which to me was always kind of strange with him being an artist ). I did it in the style used in the series which I think I pulled off pretty well.
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