Monday, December 20, 2010

Why comics rule so much more in spanish

Man, I really hoped to do some comic relevant post Today but it´s once again a post with videos. Well, it´s comic related because it´s about Marvel cartoons but not comics - comic related if you get my meaning.

Quite some time ago ( in fact in June of 2007 ) I wrote that I liked some of the spanish names for superheroes better than the original names. Moon Knight, Avengers or Iron Man doesn´t sound as Airwolf as Caballero Luna, Vengadores and Hombre de Hierro.

Quote from myself : PEDAZOS DE ODIO ! Now doesn´t that sound better than any original title could ? Sometimes the spanish translations have a better ring to it than english. I mean Iron Man sounds cool but the spanish name " Hombre the Hierro " is just oozing with machismo. If I was a wrestler that would be the kind of name I would go for. Or even better " El mucho grande Hombre de Hierro ". Yeah, that´s perfect.

Watching the 60s Marvel cartoons I found something that just shows how superior the spanish adaption can be to the original work. I know that sounds contradictory but I want all the readers who remember the opening title of the 60s Thor cartoon show to get an earful of El Poderoso Thor :

Now doesn´t that sound infinitely better than the original version ? And they said disco was dead. But wait, you haven´t heard nothing yet. Just wait for the theme song for Hulk - or la Masa how he was sometimes called in Spain. That´s almost like the bellcanto of big operas.

Now I didn´t know these songs because - 1 - I haven´t seen a lot of these cartoons in the spanish version or - 2 - if I did it was a long time ago and I don´t remember.

Apparently they were done under the name of Capitan Memo Aguirre by Juan Guillermo Aguirre ( born 1951 ), better known as Memo Aguirre, a famous Chilean singer whose voice has been heard all over Latin America, particularly during the opening acts of superhero cartoon shows during the 1980s. They were done for Latin America but were exported to most spanish speaking countries.

Here´s the title song for El Hombre Araña or Spider - Man how he is also called. A catchy little tune. The video is with footage from the Spider - Man movies with Tobey Maguire. Sorry, but I couldn´t find one with the full spanish opening.

Man, I want a CD with these song SO bad. I would totally buy this if they had it on amazon. Or like my paisanos say : Compratelo ya !

Here are a few more songs from the Hombre Araña cartoons. I can´t decide which is my favorite, especially that SPIDER POWER song sounds like a sure hit.

And since we had so many spidersongs already here are some from La Mujer Araña how Spiderwoman is called in Spain. The show stars Jessica Drew who also fought more mystical opponents in the comics - I think. Her powers are a bit different from our favorite webslinger.

Last but not least a few tunes from Los Cuatro Fantasticos. How could I ever live without it ?

And to show you that it´s not just some prank by some spanish guy who took some intros and put music on it here´s an episode of La Mujer Araña called LA VENGANZA DE DRACULA. Because nothing says " Merry Christmas " like vampires.

Actually vampires, werewolves and a few Frankenstein monsters.

In the story Dracula is out for revenge ( hence the title ) on Dr. Van Helsing who lives in his castle after defeating Dracula. The cur, how dare he ? It just serves him right to get turned into a vampire as well as all the freeloaders who are crashing at Castle Dracula.

Meanwhile Jessica is at the cinema watching ALIEN SPIDER with Jeff ( who´s always trying to get some quality time with Jessica ) and Billy ( the little brat who always makes sure Jeff gets none ) as her spider instinct picks up a disturbance in the force. Under the excuse to get some popcorn she goes to confront Dracula and shoots some bolts on him. When she gets back the thing with the popcorn is never mentioned again as both Jeff and Billy think that was just an excuse to leave the cinema because tia Jessica was just scared.

Dracula - who managed to escape - naturally he is not satisfied with turning Van Helsing and his party guests into vampires ( with some special rayo vampiro that he shoots from his hand ). No, he also digs up the Wolf Man and Frankenstein´s monster.

Who also transform people into werewolves and Frankenstein monster by using beams they shoot out of their eyes ( Wolf Man ) or their metal bolts ( Frankenstein´s monster ). So in short there are a lot of beams shooting back and forth.

Jessica ( who always pretends to have fainted to become Spiderwoman - ay, mujer ) even gets turned into a vampire / werewolf hybrid but thanks to a nearby labaratory she can cook up a chemical cocktail that turns her normal. Ah, the 60s, when superheroes had the scientific knowledge to whip up an anti - vampire - werewolf - elixir in no time flat.

So here are Dracula, the Man Wolf and Frankenstein´s monster in spanish ( although only Dracula has a speaking role while the other two just growl ) and more innocent bystanders turned into classic movie monsters than you can shake a stick at. And in the case of Frankenstein´s monster there were really some people crazy enough to shake a stick ( or a pitchfork ) at him.

So that´s all for today and next time we´ll be talking comics - promise. There are a few days left till the deadline for the big Christmas contest so drop me an e - mail. You can find the rules and everything else about the contest here so enter and wins some comics.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

SUBZERO´s lazy video post

There hasn´t been a loot of posts on this blog in the last few days because I was waiting for a few comics I ordered. Sometimes when I´m waiting for new comics I get writer´s block - I don´t know why.

It´s not like I have nothing else to read, I´m re - reading my BIBLIOTEKA MARVEL THOR issues with the big Celestial Saga where Thor meets Odin´s missing eye and the mistery of his mother is revealed. The story is so entertaining because Roy Thomas took all the elements of the Niebelungen saga and the elements from nordic folklore, added some giant space gods and a few pantheons and just put it through the blender.

Besides reading that I´m also finishing book 5 of the collected ANDRAX edition from CrossCult. But somehow I didn´t have the impulse to write.

Some of the stuff I kept myself busy with were :

fellow blog Collected Editions interviewed for Berliner Tagesspiegel

Collected Editions top 10 JLA trades

the reason why Uncle Scrooge is called Dagobert in Germany

business cards of superheroes ( and villains )

10 unforgettable tv christmases

playing blockbreaker - highly addictive !

I also watched a lot of stuff on YouTube. Some people may tell you that there´s nothing good on YouTube but that´s because they don´t know how to look for it.

In my last post I had already posted two clips from the PRISONERS OF GRAVITY series, one of them with comic legend Jack Kirby. Through a video posted on ComicBitsOnline ( Terry Hooper´s blog that I hope you are reading especially if you are interested in some british comics that also appeared in the german KOBRA comics ) I found another video about Jack Kirby. It´s a bit shorter but nevertheless interesting if you haven´t seen it before.

The next thing I found were the animated movies NEXT AVENGERS - THE HEROES OF TOMORROW and PLANET HULK. Now I didn´t like the NEXT AVENGERS movie because by making the main characters even younger than in the comic they totally ruined it. Yes, there are some people in marketing who may think that by making the main characters younger their target audience can identify better with them.

Which is totally untrue because when I was a kid reading comics I identified with my heroes even when they were 15 years older than me, had a lot more money and weren´t even spanish. I know that a lot of comic readers are campaigning for superheroes who have the same gender, ethnic background, appearance or sexual preference as them and I say that´s okay. The superhero universes try to reflect the real world and as such the more diverse the better. But I never was interested in such superficial things because I always was more concerned with what´s inside a hero. What makes him tick. Everything else are just labels and a lot of noise - meaning nothing.

On top of that it also makes no sense to let kids of that age endanger their lives by figthing crime. But the worst thing were the metal boob thingies on Thorgirl. That´s just sicker than lego Catwoman shaking her hips.

It cannot recommend this movie.

On the other hand I liked PLANET HULK movie much more, especially that they exchanged the Silver Surfer with Beta Ray Bill. It looks just too stupid when Norrin Radd uses his surfboard as a giant shield like those elves in Final Fantasy with the giant sword. But you can see for yourself. Here are the links ( as the embedding was disabled ) :

next avengers - heroes of tomorrow / planet hulk - part 1

Now since it´s Christmas in a few days you may still have to get some presents. This year I was thinking about give away some animated movies but then I decided to stick with comics. That´s quite predictable but that´s just how I am. But back when I was thinking about getting some animated movies I was considering the DC movies.

The last one I gave away as a present was GREEN LANTERN - FIRST FLIGHT and I really like that one.

Just last week I watched it again because I´m a bit anxious for the new GREEN LANTERN movie and it was as good as I remembered. My only problem is that DC does so many of these movies. UNDER THE RED HOOD is already out as well as the SUPERMAN / BATMAN - DOOMSDAY and ALL STAR SUPERMAN has already been announced.

With my small budget I´ll have to wait till they are in the DVD shops to rent. Now if you have a tiny budget for comics and other pop art things you may opt for the cheaper version of the DVDs. Because DC always does two versions. The only problem with that is that there are exclusive short films among the extras on the special editions. So, to make your decision easier ( or more difficult - who knows ) here are two of the short films that were included in UNDER THE RED HOOD ( Jonah Hex ) and in SUPERMAN / BATMAN - APOKALYPSE ( Green Arrow ).

What I also considered were the WATCHMEN motion comic and the TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGTHER movie ( I have forgotten which one comes with the UNDER THE HOOD documantary - nice segueway with the Batman animated movie by the way ). I wasn´t sure how good they were but even if I have some qualms about motion comics ( I ´ve seen some bad ones ) the WATCHMEN version looks pretty good. Sorry, I only could find the spanish version. Here´s the first part of the first chapter.

And here´s TALES FROM THE BLACK FREIGTHER - in german. My, aren´t we multilingual Today ? This is a pretty good film even if you keep in mind that it should be part of the regular WATCHMEN movie.

Now there are a few movies I would like to buy for Christmas presents but I can´t. Because I can´t find them anywhere or I didn´t think of them when I ordered the Christmas presents. The first is from the last category and it´s the classic 60s cartoon THE HULK. I couldn´t believe it but there are really DVDS of this out there at amazon, SATURN or Weltbild. In fact it´s a 2 DVD set that contains the entire series.

The HULK series does have a kind of cheesy intro but the art is based on the actual comicbook drawings by Jack Kirby. And the dialogue is from Stan Lee. Even if I didn´t know that as a kid I would have been tripping if that had shown this on german tv. And the animation looks like the motion comics that are so " vogue " Today. So, no, that is no new idea. So without any further ado ( as they said in those days ) Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you : the Space Phantom !

Now, if you begin to think : " Boy, this SUBZERO fella such has weird taste. " Then you haven´t seen nothing yet. Because my next pick would be NICK FURY : AGENT of S.H.I.E.L.D. starring David Hasselhoff in the lead role.

This may sound crazy but the more I see of the movie the more I want to see it. The Hoff is like Nick Fury if he had stepped out of a comicbook in this movie and they even use the old " We thought you were dead. " " I got better. " shtick. Here are 8 minutes from the movie.

And to top it all off here´s my number 1 pick for a Christmas present : Roland Emmerich´s Fantastic Four movie from 1991 ( with Roger Corman as executive producer so you might have heard of it as the roger Corman Fantastic Four movie ) that was never released for cinemas. Yes, the special effects are laughable from Today´s point of view but in every other aspect it´s pretty good. The actors looke like the Fantastic Four in the comic book, Ben Grimm really looks more like his printed version and they even pull off the original Dr. Doom costume. Something that none of the two new movies managed.

So that´s all for Today. I hope some of this helps you with your Christmas shopping and if not the deadline for the big Christmas contest hasn´t expired yet. There are still good chances of being in the top five judging by the entries I´ve received so far.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The big Christmas contest

Today instead of looking back on 2010 I thought it was time for the promised Christmas contest here on Tales from the Kryptonian. And to get you in the right mood here´s a bit of music for you.

  • click here for the track

  • Now I wanted to do a contest for quite some time to say thanks to all my loyal readers. Tales from the Kryptonian will have it´s 5 year anniversary in 2011 and I thought it´s about time to give back something.

    As longtime readers may know I don´t get many review copies so all the prizes come out of my personal comic collection. I´ll try to get to my comicshop before the deadline expires so I can get more comics from the GRATIS COMIC TAG to include in the package.

    The stuff I give away is in great part promo stuff, Free comic Book Day comics and other goodies. But I´ll also include some normal comics which I have two of because of a trade I bought or that it was reprinted in a comic. Now I can´t promise that you will get all the good stuff but if you have some preferences ( say, you would rather have comic d than comic a ) be sure to mention it. Today I have gone through my longboxes and this is the stuff I have come up with so far :

    3 copies of COMIX issue 7 ( they were intended for a contest I never got around to make ), COMIX issue 8, MAX comics 10 : Hyperion vs Nighthawk, MAX comics 26 - Punisher : Die lange kalte Nacht, Marvel Exclusiv 26 : Daredevil Höllenfahrt, X - Men Sonderheft 6 - Generation M, X - Men Forever 6, X - Men and Spider - Man 1, Delete 3, Gratis Comic Tag Hellboy

    Gratis Comic Tag Ythaq, Gratis Comic Tag Star Wars Clone Wars, Curse of the Mutants Saga, Invincible Iron Man 1, Invincible 0, Savage Dragon 0, Free Comic Book Day Image Summer Special, Free Comic Book Day William Shatner presents, Free Comic Book Day Mercy Sparx - Under new management, Free Comic Book Day Archie presents the mighty Archie Art Players, Free Comic Book Day Wolverine - Origin of an X - Man and last but not least Vampire Boy 1 - Die Auferstehung.

    And yes, most of the Free Comic Book Day comics are from last year because from the 12 or 14 comics I ordered this year only 4 have arrived so far. But I´m going to split the pile up into 4 or 5 nice packages.

    Now you may ask yourself what you have to do to get some of this stuff. I could give it just all away to spread some holiday cheer but I know how much fun a good hunt can be. So here´s the contest rules. At the end of my posts - under the links to the top ten posts on this blog - there is a banner and under the banner I like to put some funny quotes from comics.

    Now I know I have been a bit lazy with this in my last few posts. Which is in part due that i´m not always writing a post when I come across a great quote. Or I´m writing a post and I don´t come across a good quote. Because I´m mostly looking for ones that still sound good when they are taken out of context. And not all of them are quotes from comics.

    What you have to do is to send an e - mail with 5 quotes ( don´t want to make it too difficult ) and from which comic they are taken. Now you may take last 5 quotes or you can pick 5 random quotes. Also, it doesn´t matter if they are from a comic, from a movie or from somebody famous. The important thing is that you send 5 quotes and the corresponding comics. And I´m not so anal that you have to know the exact issue number. However the more exact your answers are the higher your chances of winning.

    Okay, what happens if you can´t identify 5 quotes ? No problem, the packages will be going to the contestants with the most correct answers. Which means if you only have 4 and all others only have 3 your chances are pretty good. Yeah, I know kind of overkill for the 3 readers I have. But who knows, it could be fun. Anyway, send your answers and your preferences for comics via e - mail ( you can get the address by clicking the " view complete profile " link ) and put " Christmas contest " in the about line.

    Now because I have to send the comics by mail contestants from Germany have better chances to win. Most of the comics are in german anyway, sorry. Oh yes, the deadline will be on the 24th of December. It is the big Christmas contest after all.

    So good luck and I hope I can add a few more comics to the list till then.

    Today´s videos are from the show PRISONERS OF GRAVITY from the 80s ( at least I think so ) that I first encountered on Neil Gaiman´s blog. The first one is an episode about Jack Kirby and the seond one is all about Watchmen.

    I also wanted to mention that I´m still open for some review copies and if anyone wants to sponsor the contest with some comics that would be great. If you want to exchange links for your blog just send me an e - mail ( although it should be a blog that has something to do with comics or pop culture ) because the new spam function blocks some of the comments.

    And in case you haven´t noticed there´s also a link to my amazon store with my personal recommendations on this blog. Okay, enough pimping for Today. Next time another look at things that were Airwolf in 2010.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

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  • Ghost, why do you see plots and conspiracies everywhere ?

    Because.....there are.

    Tuesday, December 07, 2010

    The end is near - of 2010 that is....

    Checking my calendar Today I just realized we only got 24 days left for 2010 ! Which means right now is the right time to start with this year´s recap posts.

    Now some other blogs may start next week with this but with my posting quota I got probably less then 4 posts left this month. If I have counted correctly this must be my 296th post so I´ll be doing post 300 next year. And I still have to organize the Christmans contest if I want to get through with it. So in this first recap post I want to start with what was cool on tv in 2010.


    Yes, on top of my list must be the new season of SUPERNATURAL ( which should be season 4 - I think ). The series just gets better and better and the stakes get higher and higher. One of the worst things while watching the series is knowing that this is what the german tv series JOHN SINCLAIR, based on the pulps of Jason Dark could have been.

    When I first heard about this I thought , yes, the german tv people have finally gotten it. JOHN SINCLAIR could be like BUFFY meets X - FILES ( remember this was way before SUPERNATURAL ). Instead it was more like DER ALTE meets WALKER, TEXAS RANGER.

    Remember the Halloween episode on WALKLER ? Wow, that was bad. You could really see they tried to make it scary but they were not allowed to show anything really too exciting because of the parent groups. It was bad. It was Bernd Eichinger new Prince Valiant bad. One a good day with a lot of beer you couldn´t watch it. And the JOHN SINCLAIR tv series was worse. Oh, the horror !!! ( And not in a good " Hammer movie by way of Roger Corman " way )

    Maybe they should have gone with an animated version that´s closer to the series. Like this one :

    But what can you expect ? They even f - word - ed up the JOHN SINCLAIR comic.

    In the last issue they almost - ALMOST - managed to do an okay comic. Not a good one - an okay one. So that I bought the issue and thought that maybe the next issue would be better.

    Then they cancelled it. Anyway, I wanted to concentrate on the good stuff on tv and on SUPERNATURAL. One of the best things of the series are the recaps of the last season at the beginning of the first episode of the new season. Because they use really cool rock n roll tracks for this. I know the season that was last shown here ( they are currently showing reruns of season 2 ) was season 4 but I haven´t posted the intro for season 3 yet and if there´s one definite theme song for the series it is AC / DC´s classic " hell´s bells ". Of course the embedding has been disabled so here are the links.

  • SUPERNATURAL season 3 intro

  • SUPERNATURAL season 4 intro

  • The following haven´t been shown in Germany so far so don´t click them if you don´t want to be spoiled.

  • SUPERNATURAL season 5 intro

  • SUPERNATURAL season 6 intro

  • There have been a few comics based on the tv series ( for the longest time I didn´t know what came first - the comics or the tv series ) but they face the same problems most tv series comics do : since the readers already know the characters and what will happen to them stories from the past are not that exciting and because of future events in the series the things you can do with characters are limited. Also for new readers there may not be enough information to get hooked ( because the producers still hope they will buy the expensive DVDs ) and for old readers most of it is just a rehashing of old tv episodes.

    Kind of like EARTH´S MIGHTIEST AVENGERS : there was too much continuity knowledge needed to understand the story to be enjoyable for new readers, but not enough new stuff for longtime readers who have seen this stuff a few times - done by better writers AND artists. Or like in the case of the JOHN SINCLAIR comic the producers just don´t care. Which happens to a lot of franchise comics. Marketing thinks that the name alone will sell the comic so they don´t need good artists and we end up with something like the TOMB RAIDER comic.

    The only comics that are based on a tv series that don´t face that problem are BUFFY SEASON EIGHT and the last season of ANGEL because it comes after the end of the tv series. And because Joss Whedon is personally involved with it. John Byrne did a few issues for the ANGEL book which has been collected in a nice trade so I´ll probably get that.


    Another great series is FRINGE although there is also a kind of private joke involved with it - at least here in Germany. Now is it just me or does Lance Reddick who plays Agent Phillip Broyles like the lost brother of Bruce Darnell ? You know, the guy Heidi Klum fired from GERMANY´S NEXT TOP MODEL ?

    Separated at birth : Lance Reddick and Bruce Darnell ?

    In any case, Bruce did a campaign for a telephone company here in Germany and now whenever Agent Broyles appears on FRINGE I hear Bruce in my head.

    Du brauchst einen Wechselkurs. Let somebody from Germany explain it.

    Nevertheless, FRINGE is one of my favorite tv shows and I especially like the complex character of Walter Bishop. I didn´t think they would dare to make him so....villainous. He´s really done some bad, bad things in his live. But you also have to see that - unlike Gambit - he knows it an he´s trying to make amends. If you want to talk about a real villain just take Walternative.

    What a cool name. This show is of course borrowing from comics or how else would you describe the series premise than CRISIS ON PARALLEL EARTHS ?

    And I have to say the way they pulled the whole parrallel earths thing off without making it sound too unrealistic - fantastic.

    They are also showing reruns now but I have to say the season finale was just great. Especially the fake comic covers for the alternative universe.

    And what a cliffhanger. Although I have to say I kind of expected the switch. So I wasn´t really surprised by it. Still, can´t wait for the next season.

    Yep, there are also some FRINGE comics but so far I haven´t checked them out. What can I say, my budget is very small and so far I seem to be one of the few comic journalists who doesn´t get review copies.


    Since we´re already on the subject of tv series and comics here´s another one I have to mention. Okay, at first I wasn´t too keen on the idea of adapting the comic HUMAN TARGET as a tv series. Don´t get me wrong, it COULD be a great tv series. But after hearing that they changed a lot of things I thought : Oh great, here comes another disaster because the guys in Hollywood think they know better.

    In the original comic Christopher Chance was a unique combination of private detective and bodyguard who operated by impersonating his clients in order to eliminate threats to their safety. Thus becoming in fact a human target.

    Now in the tv series he´s just a bodyguard because of the old problem - the actor wants to show his face. Which you can´t do if you wear someone else´s face for 80 percent of the screentime. It´s the same reason Sylvester Stallone had to take of the helmet as Judge Dredd ( something he never did in the comics ) and why Peter Parker is so often unmasked in the first three Spider - Man movies.

    So they changed some things from the original concept ( not only to cut the budget for special effects ) but the remaining idea is still so strong that they came up with a good series.

    And I really like the characters, especially Guerrero played by Jackie Earl Haley who was Zack Snyder´s Rorschach in WATCHMEN. Although I find the whole " no killing " stick of Christopher Chance a bit unrealistic. On the other hand maybe you see it differently if you had done it for a living and wanted to get away from it.

    There is even a comic I read of the Human Target, the 1999 Vertigo 4 issue miniseries penned by Peter Milligan. It´s an intelliogent read that deals with the concept of identity and has great art by Edvin Biuković who tragically died soon afterwards. The series comes with the highest recommendation.


    Okay, it´s not something I have seen on german tv. Because as usual Germany is way behind with all tv series. I swear, every time my mother comes back from Spain, all the tv series that are " new " and " hot " here in Germany - she´s already seen ( at least ) the first season in Spain.

    So I have to thank the internet once again for this. And a guy at the Stuttgarter Comicbörse who just had to tell me most of the cool bits. As a fan of the Justice Society of America I just had to see SMALLVILLE´s rendition of the first superteam in DC history and let me tell you it´s just all kinds of totally Airwolf. I dare you to watch the trailer :

    As usual I tried to watch the episode on YouTube but they only had a lot of short clips. So I did a little research and found some download links instead. Usually I´m a bit hesitant about putting this kind of stuff on my comicblog but since it´s not out yet in Germany I´m willing to risk it. Once you´ve seen it you´ll want to buy the high definition DVD or Blue Ray anyway. And it´s in english so all german viewers have to wait for the translation on german tv version whether they like it or not.

    part 1/ part 2 / part 3 / part 4 or part 1/ part 2 / part 3 / part 4

    And that´s once again all for Today. There is still a lot to say about tv shows like LOST, the last season of HEROES or such shows like LEVERAGE or NCIS L.A. but maybe in another post. If I´m doing one with the not so good things on tv in 2010.

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  • Wednesday, December 01, 2010

    Comicbörse Stuttgart 2010

    Last Saturday the Comicbörse Stuttgart took once again place ( it´s twice a year, the next date is May the 28th 2011 ) and I wanted to write about it on Saturday but as always I was too wasted afterwards.

    I had already expected that the earliest I could post would be Sunday but on Sunday I was too tired. Saturday had really been exhausting and I needed to recuperate my strength. On Monday I had to go to Ludwigsburg to a copyshop to do a test printing for that new company but that was one trainwreck in and onto itself. Maybe I´ll write about it when we are in the final stages of the project. And the test printing was much more expensive than I thought. I had enough money left to pay for it but it ate almost all of my budget for this month. And on top of that I had an appointment with the unemployment office. Another grueling day.

    On Tuesday I had to write a few job applications and I was still a bit down from the experience at the copyshop. So no new post till Today. Which means that I only managed to do 5 posts in November but that´s still a good month. It seems my average posting ratio is between 4 and 5 posts a month now so 5 posts means a good month. Today I had to get up early to sent one of the two test prints to the fine folks at ZWERCHFELL who were so kind and gave me the data for the test prints in the first place. And a surprise package that goes overseas. Can´t wait to see how that will be received.

    Anyway, back to the happenings at the Comicbörse in Stuttgart before the comics I bought there disappear into the various comicboxes that are all over the house.

    The attendance looked like less than the last time but it´s already been so long that I don´t really remember how many people came last time. It sure was full just before I went home. I usually go there to find some stuff at half off prices or to meet the usual suspects. As someone who goes there regularly one already knows the dealers, some publishers and the big comicstars.

    It´s a welcome break from the usual treadmill and reminds you why you are a comicfan in the first place. You get there, meet people and the rest of the weekend is just comics, comics, comics. And it´s a chance for me to see what´s up in the german comicscene since that is one of the few venues where I can see all the new books that have come out in Germany especially from the smaller companies. Most german books are just too expensive so besides the ones I can get at the train station in Ludwigsburg there are not that many german series in my reading diet. Especially since most of them are the translations of american comics except HAMMERHARTE HORRORSCHOCKER which I am following religiously.

    I had hoped to find some Christmas presents there but it seems like I have to look somewhere else for them. Nobody had a copy of the CORALINE comic by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell so I´m probably going to have to order it at amazon. I already looked at all the bookshops and comicshops in Ludwigsburg but it seems I´m a few months late. Also I didn´t find any LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES or ELFQUEST issues. I think I totally forgot about them.

    I also totally forgot to look for new issues of DAS SAGTE NUFF.

    The event started at half past nine ( I think ) but because I went to bed really late the night before I just got up at nine. I had already prepared most of my stuff the day before ( something I learned when doing the course that ended in October ) so I just had to wash and go ( no pun intended ) to Stuttgart. The busride was uneventful as was the trainride but once I continued on foot it was another thing.

    I could have gotten something to eat at the central station in Ludwigsburg but I opted for a snack at Burger King at the train terminal in Stuttgart. Naturally there was only one counter open and it took extralong to get my food. Afterwards I had to use the toilet and there was one that just had been opened a few months ago. At least I think so because I hadn´t seen them before. They are on the exit in the middle of the train terminai where you take the escelator to the subway that has a special conveyor belt for the luggage.

    The new toilets were clean, quiet and not too expensive. Of course now that I was already late I had to wait 15 minutes because the police had to throw out some kind of bum or drug addict that had fallen asleep in one of the cabins. Talk about an eventful trip. In any case, when I finally arrived at the DGB Haus ( where the Comicbörse Stuttgart takes place ) it was already eleven o clock. Since I couldn´t see any of the Dinter Brothers on stage I went looking for the 50 % off table.

    There´s always one table where you get the thick comicbooks at half price but usually I tend to find it at the end of the con when I don´t have much money left. This time I went straight looking for that one. Although I first made a stop at the table of my usual comicshop where I got one comic at half price.

    So what did I get ? At 50 % off I got from PANINI Comics Germany DAREDEVIL 5 - HART ABER UNGERECHT collecting the US issues Daredevil 106 - 110 and Deredevil Tarantula.

    This volume comes directly after the last american trade I bought. There was also volumes 6 and 7 at a dealer´s table but with a price of 14 bucks for each one they were even more expensive than the original trades. So either I´ll get them via amazon or wait till the next Comicbörse.

    Daredevil is one of the series that I´m following in trade form ever since Bendis and Maleev took over and I usually can wait till I find them at discount price. It´s been so long since I read the last volume that I have re - read them again beginning with the MURDOCK PAPERS trade. And I have to say the change from Alex Maleev to Michael Lark is akin to the change from Salvador Larocca to Carlos Pacheco on FANTASTIC FOUR. One of the things I always found weird is how most comic readers praise the Bendis run as one of the best ever and this huge epos blablabla. Now I don´t want to say it´s not a good read ( otherwise I never would have suffered through Alex Maleev´s artwork ) but I think one of the reasons it stands out qualitywise is that it has ONE creative team for a very long time.

    And people have little to compare it to - speaking of actual titles. Aside from the books written by Bendis or Ed Brubaker you can count yourself lucky if a creative team stays on one title for six consecutive issues. There are really only a handful of current titles in the Marvel universe where you can see what can be achieved if one writer gets the chance to develop his own vision and longterm stories. So most readers have to compare it to the classic runs from Yesteryear which may be one of the reasons most think of it in terms of the great classic runs.

    Also at half price from PANINI I got GREEN LANTERN SONDERBAND 17 : AGENT ORANGE.

    Just last month I decided to get the back issues of GREEN LANTERN and GREEN LANTERN CORPS I was missing. The GREEN LANTERN movie is coming and thanks to the Green Lantern videos I posted in my last posts I got a hankering for Green Lantern centric stuff. GREEN LANTERN AGENT ORANGE collects issues 39 to 43 of GREEN LANTERN which I skipped mostly due to Billy Tan´s artwork of which I´m not that big a fan as to buy single issues. I think issue 43 is one of the issues still in my comicbag at the comicshop but I´ll just bring it back to the basement.

    RED ROBIN 1 : DER GRAL ( collecting issues 1 - 4 of the regular series ) is a comic I got because of a review I read on COLLECTED EDITIONS about the RED ROBIN : COLLISION trade paperback that sounded interesting. So that book was on my radar and I also was curious what Tim Drake was doing after the events of BATMAN R.I.P. It´s also a chance to see what my paisano Ramon Bachs is doing although I have to say it doesn´t look like they inked his stuff here. I mean there is an inker listed but the art looks like the usual " taken right from pencil and darkened digitally " comics I´ve seen here and there.

    Last but not least I got the BLACKEST NIGHT MONSTER EDITION at the table of my usual comicshop at half price because the back cover was damaged. It collects the BLACKEST NIGHT one shots ATOM AND HAWKMAN 46, THE POWER OF SHAZAM 48, THE QUESTION 37, WEIRD WESTERN TALES 71, CATWOMAN 83,THE PHANTOM STRANGER 42 and STARMAN 81 as well as the BLACKEST NIGHT tie - ins THE OUTSIDERS 24 and 25 and SECRET SIX 17 and 18. With a regular price of 30 EUROS it´s outside of my price range but at 15 bucks it´s okay.

    One of the main problems with the MONSTER EDITIONS of PANINI ( as well as some of the other collections ) is the price they charge. And I not only say that because I want cheaper comics but also because I see the huge piles of them people buy when they get them at 50 % off or even with just a small discount of ten or five EUROS. I don´t think they don´t sell so good because the material that´s collected is uninteresting to german readers. It´s more that they are mostly five EUROS above the pain threshold of the readers. Especially if you can get the US hardcover collection for the same price ( or sometimes even less ) as the german softcover collection. Which in some cases also has a bad translation.

    Another german comic I bought were volumes 3 and 5 of the CROSS CULT reprint of ANDRAX by Peter Wiechmann and Jordi Bernet. The series was originally published in Rolf Kauka´s PRIMO COMICS

    and later in ZACK.

    This is the first re - mastered complete edition that contains a few unpublished comics. I already got issues 2 and 4 at my usual comicshop with a big discount because the inside pages were printed upside down. Now I just need the first volume for the complete set.

    CROSS CULT is the company that got the german licenses for HELLBOY, B.R.P.D. and SIN CITY ( among others ) and it´s really difficult to get some of their hardcovers for less than regular price. I know because I´ve been trying for over a year to swap the first volumes of LONE RANGER and VAMPIRE BOY for some volumes of WALKING DEAD. Well, maybe I can put them on the pile of comics for the big Christmas contest if I ever get around to organize it. In any case, to get them at 10 bucks each was an opportunity I couldn´t let slip by.

    I also found something for an acquaintance but since he probably hasn´t received my mail yet I´m not going to mention it in case he reads my blog.

    After that I went up the stage because my brother had finally arrived and he told me that he had seen one of the Dinter Brothers there. Of course by the time I was on stage he had already left for parts unknown. And by the time I was once again on the floor looking for him he was back. So I had to go up a second time. Damn stairs.

    I also met Geier who was so generous to give me a copy of HORST volumes 2 and 3.

    Now I feel a bit bad about not having finished the next translation. Oy ! I heard that this time PANINI didn´t change as much as in the first volume but I still have to read them sometime. Right now I have a big pile of comics to read - and I love it.

    There are also a few US comics I bought at the Comicbörse Stuttgart. There was one dealer who sold american comics for 1 EURO and inbetween all the issues of YOUNGBLOOD and other comic jewels I found issues 32 to 34 of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, issues 53 and 57 of GREEN LANTERN ( another two issues that go back to the basement ), THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD issue 25 co - starring HARDWARE and BLUE BEETLE and issues 1 to 9 of JUSTICE LEAGUE GENERATION LOST.

    The Justice League issues were some I was still missing, the Green Lantern issues I wanted to buy anyway and I was really curious to see what was going on in Generation Lost now that Maxwell Lord is back after BLACKEST NIGHT and no - one except the surviving members of the Giffen League remember him.

    I was a bit reluctant to put the book on my pull list but at 1 EURO per issue I´m willing to check out the first 9 issues. And , okay, to say the truth, I only picked Brave and the Bold 25 ( the real series not the one based on the cartoonshow with the Batman with the monsterjaw )

    so that I had a nice number like 15. Maybe watching too much MONK is starting to rub off on me.

    So all things considered I didn´t get any presents for Chritsmas but I got a nice stack of comics at a really good price. And I got to stay in contact with all the folks I usually meet there. I´m definitely going to be at the next one in May.

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    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Something old, something new....

    Once again I´m between posts. Normally after finishing a post I have to collect the materials for the next one and also I´m kind of empty, exhausted.....spent - so I surf the net.

    It should be no surprise that I find stuff that I want to post on my blog but not always do I have a theme or topic into which it fits. In which case I usually do one of these posts into which I cram all this stuff.


    In one of my posts from last week I already reported the news about Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber´s comic UNDERGROUND that got an unexpected raise in sales when Steve Lieber entered an internet forum that had scanned and downloaded the entire comic.

    Most of you probably have already read all about it but I just wanted to add two new links. The first one is for the radio station on3 on which the topic was discussed how to make money with comics via the internet ( from bootleg to bestseller - giving away comics helps to sell ) in which David Boller from ZAMPANO comics participated :

  • Von der Raubkopie zum Bestseller - Verschenken hilft verkaufen

  • Being a curious guy I had to check out the UNDERGROUND comic ( via the preview for the first issue from the first blog ) and what can I say - I ordered it via amazon. I know that there is also another shop where you can order it but the shipping alone would cost as much as the graphic novel. The downside is that I won´t get it before Christmas so you´ll have to wait till then for my verdict.

    If you want to check it out for yourself, here´s a link where you can download the comic for free and also donate some money. I could have added the links to the old post but I wanted to draw more attention to them.

  • download UNDERGROUND for free ( and maybe donate money )


    Okay, the next stuff is old and new because - it´s something I wanted to post for quite some time. After this year´s trip to Erlangen I started kind of a diary but like always other stuff came up and I didn´t continue it. I always wanted to make one of the installments about the new webcomics which are also featured in PANIK ELEKTRO 7 - SEELENSTRIPS.

    The concept of the PANIK ELEKTRO series is that there is always one topic ( like " Science Fiction " , " Super Heroes " or such ) and dozens of artists contribute short comics. In issue 7 it was autobiographical, slice - of - life webcomics. I even had the good fortune to meet some of the featured creators at the booth of SCHWARZER TURM. Now PANIK ELEKTRO 7 deserves a post of it´s own but since I don´t know when I´ll come around to it I want to post the links to the two webcomics for which I already have the material needed. Today I was on a site with a lot of webcomics so it´s no big deal to post them.

    The first one is BLATTONISCH by Leaf Van Genova which is mostly in black and white.

    I guess the title is a play of words since the word platonic was written like the german word for leaf which is the name of the artist. The strips are sometimes funny, sometimes strange and according to her the most traffic comes from the strips about Harry Potter.

    I wanted to buy a print version but either there was none available or I forgot to do it.

    The second one is GESTERN NOCH by Asya. I also met her in Erlangen and I bought some minicomics from her. The only bad thing is that I would like to have a small pocketbook with the strips as a giveaway for Christmas. That would be cool as a print - on - demand option where you could select your favorite strips and then have it printed as a nice small booklet.

    Like the first this is also slice - of - life and you should definitely check it out. Sorry, both of them are in german.


    As I said I was on a website with lots of webcomics today and I wanted to post a few more links. This is a purely random selection and just the ones that piqued my curiosity or the ones I had already heard about. Usually I don´t read much webcomis ( who has time for it all ? ) but I think these deserve some attention :

    MEMENTO MORI is a webcomic that takes place during the Roman Empire and it´s done entirely with action figures. Now this could be a stiff comic but thanks to the masterful way in which shadow and light is used the photos almost seem to come to life.

    There is a german version and an english version available.

    SANDRA AND WOO by Powree and Oliver Knörzer is another webcomic that is available in a german version and an english version. It tells the adventures of Sandra and Woo, a stray racoon that she adopts. The strips run the gamut from funny to absurd to thought provoking and serious. I especially like the clean line and the dynamic storytelling.

    DAS BUCH DER SCHATTEN is another german webcomic. Our protagonist Jason Scott has the assignment to bring the fabled " book of shadows " ( for my taste the translation " book of the shadow " sounds too much like an anthology title for a certain pulp character ) to the museum of London which is the beginning of an old fashioned adventure story - told on about 200 pages by now - that will lead him all across Europe in the year 1899.

    Secret Services, mysterious congregations, shady adventurers, arms dealers and the Vatican are all trying to get their hands on the book that seems to be some kind of " Necronomicon ". By horseback, by carriage, by zeppelin, by train or via submarine in any means of transportation that was available at that time. The trick is to oppose brigands, bandits, assasins and traitors, to outwit your adversaries and to stay alive. Aside from that I don´t want to spoil too much of the story.

    The special attraction of the comic - besides it´s innovative coloring - is that real people from that time appear as well as fictional ones like the ever present Inspektor Lestrade.

    There is also no shortage of clairvoyants, magicians, chinese bad guys, beautiful femme fatales and esoterics what may sound a bit strange ( the part about magicians and other occult practicers ) but at that time everything seemed possible to the general populace so it´s not out of place in the story.

    What I really liked is the coloring of the story that was painted on wood with acrylic colours ( !!! ). The story starts in Syldvania ( Transylvania ? ) in entirely blue tinted colors that envoke a really cold and creepy mood.

    While the story progresses other colors are added depending of the surroundings but in the parts that take place in other towns like London the primary color is once again blue.

    One thing that was a bit distracting is that even if most of the word balloons are placed outside of the panels the pictures can be a bit small at times.

    Aside from that I urge you to give it a chance. There are three chapters available so far and the first one has already been translated to english.

    For more information about Christoph Roos or updates on The book of shadow you can go to Christoph´s website or his blog.

    A really weird webcomic is GESCHICHTEN AUS DER VERBOTENEN STADT ( Stories from the forbidden city ). This comic has not been translated but that doesn´t really matter since it´s told without words.

    The reader is challenged to impart his own meaning into the story and figure out what is happening.

    Aside from the weird premiss of the comic one of the things that attracted me to it was that the main character is a skeleton with an detachable brainpan.

    A website that´s only funny for my german readers is LAST KISS by John Lustig that combines comic panels from vintage romance comics with punchlines from Today.

    As usual I´m open to any kind of link exchanges so if anyone wants to be fetured in my blog roll please contact me.


    If you are now tired from all these webcomics here are two videos. The first one is from Papiertourist in which he does a comic special in which he presents the comics GARULFO, CODEX ANGELIQUE, DIE MECHANISCHE WELT, DIE REISE MIT BILL and DIE VIER VON DER BAKER STREET. It´s not as lavishly produced as A COMICBOOK ORANGE but the animations are done very well. And the best part is that at the end of the video you can click some links for individual reviews. Who needs television ?

    And to close things for Today here´s the trailer for the new french film based on the classic BD LUCKY LUKE ( courtesy of Terry Hooper from ComicBitsOnline - make sure to check out his website ) .

    I haven´t seen the german movie adaption with Til Schweiger but this one looks promising. And you can´t go wrong with a main actor named Dujardin.

    So that´s all for Today and next time more about british comic. Or some old german comics. I never DID get around to write that post about the ZACK comics of my youth.

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  • I´m a humanoid - based repair and maintenance unit left behind by unknowable alien gods to make sure that the earth is still here and in good shape when they get back.

    Just like you are.