Tuesday, March 29, 2011

29th Salon del Comic de Barcelona and other comic news

Wow, my 7th post this month. Which is kind of a record lately...although judging from the post in last years March is a busy month. And speaking about posts and records : next month this blog celebrates it´s 5th anniversary.


That´s right, 5 years ago on Tuesday, the 11th of April 2006 at 7:25 PM TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN started and I just hope I can do a post on the anniversary. But let´s get right to the topic of this post which is a bit of comic news since the last post was about comics, namely artist extraordinaire Pasquale Ferry. So we´re changing the subject but stay in Spain since the first piece of business is to announce that the 29th Salon del Comic de Barcelona will be taking place from the 14th of April to the 17th of April.

I already wanted to put the news on the blog last week but then I had to do the post for Pasqual Ferry´s 50th birthday. But better late than never - as they say here in Germany - and yes, it´s nothing new since I post the same information and the same links each year. The first link is for the main page where you can get info about the Salon del Comic de Barcelona past and present as well as about the Salon del Manga.

Here you can get the all important general information like a map, how to get there and the opening hours which this year are :

Thursday 14 of April : from 10:00 till 20:00 h.
Friday 15 of April : from 10:00 till 21:00 h.
Saturday 16 of April : from 10:00 till 21:00 h.
sunday 17 of April : from 10:00 till 20:00 h.


Tickets are 6 EUROS and as usual you get a free comic for your ticket at the FICOMIC booth.

Comic creators this year include Eddie Campbell, Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Garth Ennis, Charles Adlard, Alfredo Castelli, Luisa Zancanella and from Germany Reinhard Kleist ( Johnny Cash - I see darkness ). You can get the full list ( which will probably be updated ) here

And - last but not least - there are the usual expositions which this year include one about zombies, cats in comics, comic artists Alfonso Zapico, Rubén Pellejero and the comic album EL ARTE DE VOLAR ( the art of flying ) which won all the big comic awards in 2010.

As usual I will not manage to attend ( even though there is no Comicsalon in Erlangen this year at the same time ) but I hope all visitors will have a good time. Now to the rest of the comics news :

WHAT CONDITION MY CONDITION WAS IN

At this year´s Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo a panel was held about the state of the comicsphere in 2011 which - among other things - came to the conclusion that the majority of growth came not from the big two publishers but from smaller companies and indie creators.


Which isn´t surprising if you keep in mind that Marvel - for instance - promised it´s readers at least one year without any major crossover´s after THE SIEGE. Only to instantly follow with FEAR ITSELF.

And speaking about the comic industry here´s an episode of ComicGeekSpeak with Brian Hibbs about the subject .

Another big topic at the panel were digital comics like in this article about the comic book industry in the midst of change . What I find a bit strange is how many people have the viewpoint that, like in evolution theory, digital comics will replace print comics. Scientists have found out that the Neanderthal man co - existed with the Chro Magnon and that one was not replaced by the other. Still people cling this idea that evolution means that there can be only one - like in HIGHLANDER.

Speaking of digital comics, like always Marvel is years behind in everything but now they have made a giant step by joining starbuck´s digital network , And speaking about Marvel, the NEW YORK TIMES takes a look at Marvel Comics in 2011 that also presents some of the company´s problems.

“ In order to read THOR, ” Mr. Johnston ( from BLEEDING COOL - but more about that later on ) said, “ you have to buy 10 mini - series for $4 an issue at 22 pages each. ” Anticipating a reader’s reaction, he added: “ You know what ? Let’s not. ”


A more worrisome problem, Mr. Johnston said, was a sense of “ ennui amongst Marvel readers, ” who have become tired of the publisher’s reliance on annual companywide mini - series, like HOUSE OF M and CIVIL WAR, to shake up the status quo in its narratives while its monthly comics advance these soap operas infinitesimally.

Mr. Spurgeon of THE COMICS REPORTER agreed that comics fans “ feel the strategy of it, ” and that “ it’s really easy for an exhaustion to set in. ”

Rest my case.

More news on the digital front : IDW Publishing announced its library of DOCTOR WHO comics will be available worldwide on the iPad, iPhone and other iOS devices effective immediately, with a launch on the Sony PSP within weeks. The current and recent ongoing series written by Tony Lee, as well as several miniseries and the CLASSICS line, will be included at launch in a DOCTOR WHO branded app.

And we´re staying with the independent companies. Here is an interview with FIRST SECOND´s Editorial Director Mark Siegel about the company´s releases for 2011 that includes the highly anticipated LEWIS & CLARK.


As somebody who has been in a lot of comicshops I know that a lot of them could improve and have more customers so whenever I find an example of a good idea like a comic shop that has added the Geek Easy coed lounge to attract more female customers and help the ones they already have meet. A good idea to start a community and more fun for customers than just going shopping.

And speaking about shopping, in light of the upcoming TINTIN movie here´s a well researched article about how tintin comics became a rich investment although I have to say that it fails to grasp the real value of comics, only seeing them as a way to get money. I might feel a bit sorry for people who only see comics as an investment - on the other side do you really feel sorry for fruit flies ?

And we come to comic books. It seems that the series SUPREME POWER is making a return , and I have to say I had to google for this research. The book was on my reading list when JMS was writing it but when it went from a MAX book to a regular Marvel book the overall quality just took a huge nosedive in the crapper, and there was some guest artist so I didn´t buy some issues.


It was announced to return with Mike Deodato as the new artist but that never came about. Then followed - at least to what the internet says - a new series written by Howard Chaykin and art by Marco Turini or Marco Brechetto or both but my old comicshop closed and I had to change all my subscriptions to the one I´m now with. Somehow SUPREME POWER got lost in the shuffle and ended up on my TO BUY LATER pile.

Nevertheless it´s back again with a new four issue MAX series so we´ll have to wait and see if it can restore it´s former glory.

And - as they say in Mexico - speaking about former glory I can´t believe I´ve actually writing about Spider - Man again. Being someone who prefers to write nothing at all instead of only writing negative things the last months have been Spider - Man - free for that very reason. Okay, it´s not like I haven´t expressed my disappointment in the Spiderfranchise after the ONE MORE DAY / BRAND NEW DAY fiasko.

As someone who´s read that title for about 35 years you ask yourself if it was really necessary as there have been very few stories so far that have really profited from the new status quo ( which could have been reached without so much collateral damage ). Of the new stories only NEW WAYS TO DIE stands out and that´s more because of John Romita Jr´s art than anything else.


Most stories have happened in the same way before with better writing and better art. And there are some artists on the Spider - Man books I really like : Marcos Martin for example.


He illustrated such classics like DOCTOR STRANGE - THE OATH as well as the almost brilliant BATGIRL : YEAR ONE that brought us LIL BATGIRL. Yes, the story in which Batgirl is shorter than Robin. But his art is always a treat.

So there is an upcoming story in AMAZING SPIDER - MAN 661 and 662 in which Spider - Man goes back to school as a substitute teacher at Avengers Academy . Since Peter has been a teacher before and knows best how it is to be a teenager with powers far beyond the keen of mortal men this could turn out rather interesting. And it may give me an excuse to check out AVENGERS ACADEMY, one of the few new Avenger - centric books I haven´t read so far.


The other comic involving Spider - Man worth mentioning - at least in my opinion - is Amazing Spider - Man 657 ( click for preview ) that deals with the demise of a certain member of the Fantastic Four and it´s aptly named TORCH SONG. The art on this story by Dan Slott is by Marcos Martin, Ty Templeton, Stefano Caselli and Nuno Plati. It only makes sense to have a special issue in the series since Peter always had a special relationship with our fallen hero.

Another preview for a special issue is Captain America 616 that celebrates his 70th anniversary with artists like Howard Chayking, Mike Deodato, Ed McGuiness, Travis Charest and Paul Grist.


Not that I´m complaining about getting new pages by Stefano Caselli or Ed McGuiness but could they please come back to monthly titles ? It seems like Ed McGuiness - at least that´s how is looks for us readers - isn´t interested in doing HULK unless it involves a composite Hulk / Red Hulk and a slugfest against Woodgod and Xemnu.

Speaking about Captain America there´s an episode about Captain America in the 00´s on ComicGeekSpeak .

But there are artists who are back to their titles like Arthur Adams who returns to ULTIMATE X - at least according to the preview of issue 4 .


The pages look astounding - as always - and let´s hope the new kid doesn´t prevent the comic to come out at a more regular pace in the future.

To finish this part here are previews for batman the dark knight 1 and issue 2 . Really inspired artwork by Dave Finch on this one and I wanted to make sure my readers didn´t miss it.

Another thing that´s not to be missed by any comic fan worth his salt is the new ROCKETEER ADVENTURES from IDW , a new anthology featuring the art of John Cassaday, Mike Allred, Michael Kaluta, Alex Ross, Darwyn Cooke and Bruce Timm. Among others.


The four issue miniseries features the most famous creation of Dave Stevens, who sadly passed away too early and a portion of the profits will be donated to hairy cell leukemia research.

And we´re staying on the subject of imporatant causes as Archie Double Digest 217 talks about drunk driving . Lately Archie comics have been in the news quite alot, first for finally marrying Archie to Betty AND Veronica in two alternate universes then for bringing the series into our modern world by introducing new characters like Kevin Keller, the first gay character on the book ( reported on this very blog ).

Now some people may call this a mad publicity stunt but only if you spell it MADD which is MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING who contacted the publisher to do a special issue for PowerTalk 21, an April 21 national event that seeks to have parents talking to their children about underage drinking.

Coming to the creator´s section of the news we start a bit morbid as Milestone creator Dwayne McDuffie has died . Man, February was not a good month since pop culture icon Tura Satana also died that very month. The reason why I´m only reporting this now is that - as usual - I´m way behind on my news. Dwayne McDuffie is probably best known for starting the Milestone imprint at DC and as editor on one of my favorite cartoon shows : JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED.

As someone who hasn´t read much of the MILESTONE books apart from a crossover with Superman ( I also was under the misconception that it was all about black characters ) I always associated his name with books like DAMAGE CONTROL, X - O MANOWAR and DEATHLOCK.


He also wrote a really underrated Fantastic four storyarc with art by Paul Pelletier which had the bad luck to preceed Mark Millar´s and Brian Hitch´s run on the title. Too many waited for the big thing and missed this little gem.


The funny thing is that a lot of these people were disappointed with Brian Hitch´s art because he was experimenting with a new art style to fulfill his monthly schedule. Whatever you do is wrong.

I liked both runs so I´m trying not to think too much about it. But I can only recommend the THE NEW FANTASTIC FOUR trade ( or the hardcover which I happen to own ) to all comic readers who missed it and to all fans of Dwayne McDuffie.


Here´s a link where some friends and colleagues remember Dwayne McDuffie and a post from fellow blogger Max Romero on GREAT CEASAR´S POST about the news .

But DC has to make negative press with the press release that the upcoming Dwayne McDuffie tribute is not a charity book for the McDuffie family . Yeah, who ever had that idea with a tribute book ? And I mean we have to be thankful that Dc even does something like that as I recall there were no special projects after Jim Aparo´s demise. I mean Jim Aparo drew half the Dc universe during the 70s and 80s and the least I expected was a special SHOWCASE PRESENTS JIM APARO line. Well, I still have the Jim Aparo special CLASSICOS DC to read.


Not really related but still on the subject matter here´s an episode of ComicGeekSpeak about the first appearances of Black Panther, Black Lightning and Bring the Thunder .

More bad news involving DC - although this time it´s the mother company WARNERS BROS - that received a posthumous appeal by Joanne Siegel to end the ridiculous fight for the rights to Superman which slowly border on the absurd. I know that as a company you try not to loose one of your cashcows but it´s not like they have done so much with the guy in the comics. And one thing is fighting for your rights and another being too stubborn to notice when you are besmirching a franchise by the way you behave. If Warner Bros keeps this up people will start to boycot Superman. Which - again - might go unnoticed the way sales on the title are.


Back to the living and a series that should never go unnoticed, here´s another interview with Courtney Crumrin´s Ted Naifeh about the second installment of Courtney Crumrin Tales. It´s a sequel to the first part and features once again young Aloysius Crumrin.

Terry Moore´s ECHO is another series I want to pimp, even if it´s ending soon. The book is his big opus version of a metal bikini story and here´s an interview in which he also talks about the possible future of comics.


More comic creator articles : the Comics College presents Frank Miller and it seems that there are still alot of people out there who haven´t understood THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN. I concur that ELEKTRA LIVES AGAIN is way underrated but RONIN is a bit overrated in my opinion, a lot of brilliant ideas but the execution fell a bit flat. Still, the article is an interesting read and might compell you to get the few comics on the checklist you´re still missing. Or pull out your favorites from your collection to re - read them one more time.

A few comic creators discuss their first favorite book and here´s a list of the 14 best comic book websites that strangely doesn´t include this very blog. So either TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN was number 15 or as a blog it didn´t fit into the " best websites " category. There´s no other explanation.

To close things out on a bit lighter note here are 13 comic book characters with convoluted origins and THE LINE IT IS DRAWN newset installment has superheroes in famous music videos .


Speaking about music videos, Today´s first clip is from the french movie OSS 117 : CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES ( german title : the spy who loved himself ) a incredibly funny James Bond spoof starring Jean Dujardin from LUCKY LUKE. There exists a sequel, OSS 117 - LOST IN RIO and a third part with french superspy Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath is on the horizon.



Besides Jean Dujardin OSS 117 - LOST IN RIO also stars the magnificent Reem Kherici who plays typical bondesque big breasted bad girl Carlotta


who turns out to be a Nazi spy. Isn´t that always the case ? Yes, she´s evil but, god, that is some heavy ordenance she is carrying around. With such big DD twin torpedoes I bet her german code name is " Busenwunder ".


Here are two clips with Reem Kherici´s best scenes from the movie.





Since I mentioned Doctor Who and I have too many Doctor Who related videos to pass up the chance here´s a documentary from the 30th anniversary that takes a look at all the Doctors - well, up until then ....



But I also want more comic related videos on the post and since I also mentioned J.M.S´ SUPREME POWER series here´s a review of the very first issue of the ORIGINAL miniseries SQUADRON SUPREME which for me has always been superior to WATCHMEN. Not to take anything away from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons´ miniseries ( not graphic novel ) but he had an entirely new universe to play with and he had practically carte blanche.


Mark Gruenwald on the other hand came into an already existing continuity and at the end he still had to keep the integrity intact. So if you have already read WATCHMEN - and at this point most people probably have - you might give the opus a chance which did it first.



And to close things out here is a video from the 1966 CAPTAIN AMERICA cartoon show. I have already posted various episodes but this are the first seven episodes which give you more than two hours of Cap nostalgia.



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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy birthday Pasqual Ferry !

Today my paisano, artist extraordinaire Pasqual Ferry celebrates his 50th birthday. Feliz cumpleaños, maestro.


Pasqual is one of my favorite artists and not only because he´s also from Spain, namely from Barcelona, city of cities in the old country. I think the first comic I bought because of him was DOCTOR STRANGE 86 - which was too bad because it was drawn by somebody else.

I had just gotten into the storyarc with issue 85 that somehow involved Baron Mordo doing bad stuff to Dr. Strange like forever and it was drawn by that guy I never heard of. Really weird art but in a good way. So I got the next issue but the thing was Mark Buckingham was the regular artist and Pasqual Ferry was just the fill - in artist for one issue. I was never more sorry to have Mark Buckingham draw an issue.


In any case, I put this Pasqual Ferry dude on the list of artists to keep an eye out for and when he started on HEROES FOR HIRE my brother put that title on his pull list. I´m not sure if I read the whole run but the way my brother keeps his comics it would be easier to find the lost arc.

And speaking about pull lists, it took along time for Pasqual to land on my pull list. I remember buying all his WARLOCK issues ( except the last two I think ) but they were not on my pull list. Somehow I was undecided to put WARLOCK on my list and by the time I had reached a decision it was already at issue 3. Luckily my old comic shop ( the one I went to before the Sammlerecke ) was big on back issues so I bought the first three issues on the same day and every month I went to pick up my comics WARLOCK went on the pile of comics I bought that were not on my pull list. Which was a bigger pile at that time because comics were not as expensive as now.

If there ever was an artist born to take on an artistically challenging character like the ever - changing mutant shapechanging morph - robot known as WARLOCK it´s Pasqual Ferry. And with his excellent page layout this series should have been a success. Why it never got off the ground and was cancelled after 9 issues ( even with guest stars like IRON MAN and SPIDER - MAN ) is hard to tell.


Maybe the character was too unknown or maybe MARVEL was flooding the market with too many titles that it got lost between all the heavy hitters ( my money is on the latter ). Or maybe nobody was interested in the adventures of an artificial lifeform that tried to be human and had the ability to infect people and stuff with a techno - biological virus......in any case the series ended. Maybe Pasqual´s time hadn´t come.

  • article on warlock ( in spanish )


  • He went to DC where he worked on SUPERBOY but he still didn´t make it on my pull list. There were some artists doing issues in - between so I only got the issues done by him. He then went big time when he finally did SUPERMAN which was on my brothers pull list but I also bought the issues I liked. Nothing spectacular happened.


  • article on superman by pasqual ferry ( in spanish )


  • Well, this was all about to change when ADAM STRANGE - PLANET HEIST came out. Adam Strange has always been one of my favorite character, not a member of the Justice League, more an associate and a throwback to the spacefaring adventure heroes of the newspaper strips like FLASH GORDON or BUCK ROGERS. Archeologist Adam Strange one day found himself transported to the planet Rann via the " Zeta Beam " to protect the planet from extra - terrestial threats because the people of Rann had become too evolved to remember how to engage in such ancient techniques like " fisticuffs ".


  • adam strange picture by fwatanabe on deviantart


  • As romantic science fiction stories go Adam fell in love with Alanna, daughter of Sardath the scientist who invented the Zeta Beams but at the end of the adventure the effects of the Zeta Beams wore off and Adam was returned to Earth. But before Sardath managed to provide Adam with coordinates for subsequent beams firing on earth. So Adam Strange was always waiting to be hit by the next Zeta Beam to be reunited with his love on another planet.


    Of course the beams would sometimes hit places that were difficult to get access to, like a guarded museum or the inside of a volcano - or they ended 100 feet above ground which added an element of excitement to the series.

    Like Batman, Adam Strange has no superpowers and solves all his problems with his brain and his scientific knowledge. He also was in a JUSTICE LEAGUE story by Mark Waid - a two part story during the Morrison run - where he salvaged a seemingly impossible situation by thinking four steps ahead.


    So when Andy Diggle started his new interpretation of the character - with a new spacesuit designed by Pasqual Ferry - the miniseries went instantly on my pull list. In the story Adam Strange tries to convince the Justice League that he is a hero and that they know him. Somehow nobody remembers him and when they try to find out why the latest Zeta Beam that was supposed to bring him to Rann never arrived they find out that Rann has been destroyed - and Adam Strange is blamed for it.


    I don´t want to spoil more of the story but whatever his former projects had been missing this 8 part miniseries had it all, a solid story that was fun and exciting and intriguing, a fan favorite main character and the possibility for Pasqual Ferry to flex his artistic muscles. It was also the first series where Pasqual used his new grey tone technique that looks so much better than the colored version.

    And it seems that I was not the only one who was a big fan of PLANET HEIST, the 8 part miniseries as it got high praise from fans and roaring reviews from critics. If you´re a fan of Adam Strange you should already own this and if not you will become one after reading this. It comes with the highest recommendation and it´s a must - read for all Pasqual Ferry fans. This is a comic well worth your money.

  • planet heist review by collected editions ( with spoilers )


  • planet heist review at it´s a dan´s world ( with spoilers )


  • planet heist review on now read this


  • a year of cool comics day 74 - planet heist


  • After the success - and finally getting the recognition he deserves - of the ADAM STRANGE series Pasqual Ferry returned to Marvel where the series he worked on were pretty well received. He worked on ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR, ULTIMATE X - MEN VS FANTASTIC FOUR, ULTIMATE IRON MAN and ENDER´S GAME : BATTLE SCHOOL based on the popular ( and winner of the 1985 Nebula Award as well as the 1986 Hugo Award for best novel ) science fiction novel series .


    Right now Pasqual is ending his run on the THOR book before Matt Fraction and Olivier Coipel relaunch the title as THE MIGHTY THOR with a new number 1.

  • preview the mighty thor 1


  • I have to say that I buy the issues mainly for the art ( it is four bucks after all ) as there are certain aspects of the story that don´t sit well with me - speak : don´t make any sense. I had left the title after JMS´and Olivier Coipel´s departure but Pasqual brought me back.


    Warning : don´t read the following paragraphs if you don´t want to be spoiled about the lastest things in Asgard

    TWO THINGS THAT MAKE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE IN THOR

    1 - Asgard not being in Asgard but on Earth

    Okay, who thinks it´s a good idea to take a whale out of the ocean and putting it on top of a Martini ? Because that´s basically what Thor did by bringing Asgard to Earth to " inspire mortals ". Not only that it didn´t work ( earthlings are a difficult breed to inspire ) but it also left Asgard vulnerable to attacks like in SIEGE or the current storyline. Tactically speaking not the best move to relocate your base of operation from a strategically well guarded area to a more accessible locale.


    And besides all that it´s just a bad idea. Everybody tells Thor it´s a bad idea but he just doesn´t listen. Because not only is Asgard not where it belongs disrupting the cosmic order of things it also creates a void by it´s absence that has got to be filled somehow - and you can bet your uru hammer it´s not going to be something good. The whole thing just reminds me of the time when Asgard was floating around the cosmos and ugly aliens like Annihillus tried to invade it.

    2 - Thor bringing back Loki from the dead

    Yes, you read right. Loki died. Deal with it. He died and as far as comic deaths go it was not an entirely stupid way to die - like when Hawkeye´s quiver caught fire and he was to stupid to just take it off ( you still owe me for that one Mr. Bendis ). And what is Thor´s reaction ?


    " Oh, I don´t know. Now that my half brother is gone I kind of miss him. He was quite the prankster when we were little kids and he always made me laugh. I could use something to cheer me up. Why not bring him back ? "

    Oh, I don´t know, maybe because he´s grown up to hate you and all Asgardians and has always tried to KILL YOU, KILL ALL ASGARDIANS, DESTROY ASGARD, THE NINE REALMS and THE WHOLE UNIVERSE while he´s at it ?

    Man, that Thor got some tunnel vision.

    Affirmation : you can continue reading - the spoilers are over

    So, if you can overcome this things that make absolutely no sense - and the fugliest Thor costume ever that Marvel solely came up with because of the upcoming film - Pasqual Ferry delivers his usual stunning visuals to the title.



    What bugs me is that Marvel still hasn´t the stones to print Ferry´s work in the greyscale version as I think it looks much better this way. But Marvel´s not exactly known for having cojones, just ask Mr. Quesada when the uncensored version of SHANNA is going to come out the next time you see him. Anyway, you can judge by yourself :


  • click for full - size version



  • click for full - size version


  • Ye olde link section :

  • pasqual ferry on lambiek


  • pasqual ferry profile on guia del comic ( in spanish )


  • preview thor 615
  • / 616 / 617 / 618 / 619 / 620 / 621

    As far as Pasqual Ferry´s future projects are concerned he´s slated to come back to Thor in an upcoming storyarc on THE MIGHTY THOR " that couldn´t been drawn by anybody else ". In any case I´m excited about his next work, I say thank you for all your wonderful work and I wish him all the best for his 50th birthday, he´s earned it.


    Since I already used the AVENGERS - EARTH´S MIGHTIEST HEROES video in my last post here´s an interview with Pasqual Ferry. Sorry, it´s in catalan.



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  • Monday, March 21, 2011

    2nd Salita del Cómic de Cáceres

    Sorry, it took me so long to finish this post but thanks to the experiments my brother conducts in the kitchen I have had heavy stomach cramps since dinner. It seems my stomach doesn´t react too good to half cooked potatoes.


    Yes, I just wanted do do a quick post - 30 minutes, 1 hour tops - but fate had other plans. The reason for this post is another comic convention in Spain that´s taking place - well, it starts tomorrow. Not a big salon but rather a salita the 2nd SALITA DEL COMIC IBEROAMERICANO takes place in Cáceres ( I have no idea where that is ) from the 22nd to the 27th of March 2011.

    I have thought about sharing this information with german comic news sites but since my last two reports have been ignored I decided to post it here. Since I´ve never been to this particular comic convention I can´t comment on the quality but judging from articles I´ve read online it seems to be a small but fun con. So if you´re in Spain around that time you might want to check it out.


    From next Tuesday, the 22nd and till Sunday 27th of March, you can attend the second edition of the SALITA DEL COMIC in Cáceres, named so with a lot of humor last year by its organisators. Before the inauguration, on Wednesday the movie MARIA Y YO can be seen, and the exhibition VINILOS DE COMIC in the Filmoteca de Extremadura.

    On Wednesday the starting shot will be given to the comic week in Cáceres, situated in the Sala Vintage. There will be exhibitions of Dario Adanti, Ed or Lluisot. On Thursday there will be a round table panel titled COMICS AND HORROR in the Sala Belles Artes, and the movie EL GRAN VAZQUEZ can be seen in the Filmoteca de Extremadura.

    On Friday there will be another round table ( in the Sala Belles Artes ) which will be most interesting about Chris Ware and his influence. There will also be a screening of NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND and to liven up the night, a concert by Victor Coyote in the Sala Belles Artes. On Saturday another talk about HUMOR AND IBERAMERICAN COMICS, and the presentation of some new comics like NAVIO DE TUERTOS de Fermín Solis, YUPULCA de Miguel Farrona y José Luis Forte, ROLAND de Borja González and the second issue of the fanzine HARTO.


    The last day is dedicated entirely to the comic fleamarket starting at high noon at the Sala Belle Artes.

    The official poster was done by Fermin Solis and the salita is organized by Extrebeo and Cexeci. For more information - and a short podcast about the announcement of the event on a radioshow - you can follow this link that will lead you to the official blog. And you can read the spanish version of the text above right here

    Official announcement :

    The II Salita del Cómic Iberoamericano, that wants to spread comics, their reknown and appreciation will be celebrated in Cáceres between the 22nd and 27th of March, organized by the Centro Extremeño de Estudios y Cooperación con Iberoamérica ( Cexeci ) and exTreBeO, Asociación Cultural de Amigos del Cómic de Extremadura.


    This event wants to make comics known as a " complete art form at the height of the XXI century " with authors from Spain and Latin America, also inviting all comic artists that exist in Extremadurs, professionals and aficionados alike.

    This year we have as invited artist Darío Adanti, argentinian artist and animator especially known for his work on the spanish cult humor magazine EL JUEVES. For this occasion the publishing house Glénat just published a book that collects all his work for the weekly publication titled ALL THAT RADIOACTIVE DANDRUFF.



    Also attending will be Ed, illustrator and graphic designer from Argentina from the publishing house Mamut, specialized in comics for the youngest readers, like the Comitte of Extremadura informed in its press release.

    Lluïsot is another invited artist, a spanish illustrator who won the Lazarillo de ilustración award last year, together with Enrique Flores, artist and illustrator from Extremadura. The Lazarillo award is the most important award dedicated to children´s illustration. Lluïsot´s pages of CARNE DE PSIQUIATRA for the magazine EL JUEVES " have set the highest bar of surreal humor in this country ".

    The three artists will be showing examples of their work in the Sala Belles Artes, on Viena Street 16, in Cáceres, and will hold a conference in the Public Library Antonio Rodríguez Moñino / María Brey on Saturday the 26th of March.



    The week will be rounded up with a series about movies and comics in the Filmoteca de Extremadura, various round tables dedicated to comics, presentations of comic publications of authors from Extremadura and the already usual successful ending on Sunday the 27th with the comic flea market.

    Well, I hope all who attend will have a great time and thanks to my peeps from Rantifuso for sending me the link about YUPULCA.


    Today´s video is AVENGERS - EARTH´S MIGHTIEST HEROES from Marvel. It´s nothing new for american audiences but here in Germany we´re still waiting for it. I don´t know if this was made in anticipation of the upcoming Avengers movie but the series is quite good and they even got the characters of Hulk and Thor right.

    Best Thor line : That is a very big head.



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  • Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Cinema cult siren Tura Satana dead

    This is my first post about a dead cult siren - at least I think - which is typical because I wanted to do a post about Russ Meyer, one of the men who most influenced my life, long ago. I also wanted to put this on the blog because there has been nothing about it on german news.


    I know I´m risking it a bit because readers tend to riot if the boob factor is too high on my posts but this is about art - pop culture art and stuff.


    Russ Meyer´s most famous movie ( if you never heard of Russ Meyer you still know this movie ) is without a doubt FASTER PUSSYCAT ! KILL ! KILL !


    Of course Tura Satana plays the lead : Varla, boss of the three - go - go - dancer gang of rough riding, hard drinking, hard f - wording amazons.


    As there is very little nudity but a lot of violence in the movie I could see it when I finally discovered Russ Meyer. And I have to say, Tura´s voluptuous cleavage did quite an impression on me.


    She´s one of the iconic cult sirens of the world and as other people are quite more eloquent in this case it may be forgiven that I quote from them. We will miss you, Tura.



    Now for those who never heard of the movie, what´s it about ? I think FOR THE DISHWASHER says it best :

    Bisexual Go - Go dancing vixens with extremely large ( and real ) breasts who drive really, really fast cars, beat men up, and at times thrill kill. That's pretty much all I can say about Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!


    Wait!

    It's got a catchy theme song.




    Lori Williams plays Billie the blonde with the hourglass figure


    For more read the full faster pussycat entry

    review of die satansweiber von tittfield

    FASTER PUSSYCAT ! KILL ! KILL ! ( or DIE SATANSWEIBER VON TITTFIELD how it is called in german ) has inspired tons of movies and some scenes from the movie even appeared in Jean Park´s music video SOUL TWISTER - the only music video which was directed by Russ Meyer. Or so I read online.



    Here are two articles about Tura ( more would be too depressing but there are some links further down ) : Tura Satana obituary - Actor best known for her role as a go - go dancer in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!


    The actor Tura Satana, who has died aged 72, lived a life as eventful as the plots of the lurid B-movies that made her a star. Almost 6ft tall and trained in martial arts, she specialised in a kind of tough charisma that has rarely been matched on screen.


    She was best known for her role in the Russ Meyer sexploitation movie Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! ( 1965, tagline: " Superwomen ! Belted, buckled and booted ! " ). As Varla, the leather - clad leader of a gang of thrill - seeking go - go dancers, Satana was given an opportunity by Meyer to perform her own stunts and choreograph fight scenes, as well as to adlib dialogue. She responded by channelling a kind of controlled rage, stating in an interview: " I took a lot of my anger that had been stored inside for many years and let it loose. " Made for $45,000, the film became a cult classic, inspiring directors including John Waters and Quentin Tarantino.



    Haji plays Rosie the exotic wildcat

    Satana was born Tura Yamaguchi in Hokkaido, Japan, where her part - Filipino father acted in silent films and her mother was a circus performer of mixed Native American and Scottish heritage. The family moved to the US in 1942, but Tura and her father were interned for two and half years in the Manzanar relocation centre for Japanese-Americans in California.

    The family were eventually reunited and settled in Chicago. At a time when anti-Japanese feeling was still prevalent, the young Tura suffered constant bullying at school. One evening, just before her 10th birthday, she was sent out by her mother to buy bread. On the way home she was raped by a gang of teenagers. The five youths were never prosecuted, although in interviews she claimed that over the course of the next 15 years, she tracked down each of her assailants and exacted an unspecified revenge.



    Her father responded to the attack by teaching her the martial arts akido and karate. Tura was soon afterwards sent to reform school as a result of her frequent delinquency. When she was 13, her parents arranged for her to marry a 17 - year - old family friend, John Satana. The marriage lasted nine months, by which time Tura was appearing in Illinois nightclubs as a burlesque dancer and a nude model – her act combined martial - arts displays with the usual tassle - twirling.


    Moving to Los Angeles, Satana dated Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra before being spotted performing at the Follies theatre and offered a role in the television series Hawaiian Eye. Her martial arts skills led to bit parts in shows such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and she appeared in Billy Wilder's Irma La Douce ( 1963 ) and alongside Dean Martin in Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? ( 1963 ). In the former she played a prostitute and the latter, a stripper.



    It took the softcore king Meyer to fully recognise Satana's potential, even if he did not exactly cast her against type. After Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, she appeared in two more films, The Astro-Zombies ( 1968 ) and The Doll Squad ( 1973 ), before she was hospitalised after being shot in the stomach by an ex-boyfriend.



    She had abandoned her burlesque career when changes in California licensing laws led many club owners to require dancers to perform topless. Satana gave up acting to become a nurse and, later, a police radio operator. In 1981 she married a former policeman, Endel Jurman. Soon afterwards, she was injured in a serious car accident.


    For much of her later life, she worked in hotel security in Reno, Nevada. She was a canny businesswoman, trademarking her image, which appeared as an action figure, a Halloween mask and on T - shirts. She was also a good - natured regular at cult film conventions and, despite having a pacemaker fitted in 2003, seemed as tough as ever. Indeed, in one interview she recounted what had happened when an over - enthusiastic fan hid in her hotel room after a signing: " He went flying across the room and wound up with a broken arm, busted nose and badly twisted leg. The house detective carried him out. "

    Jurman died in 2000. Satana is survived by her daughters, Kalani and Jade, and her sisters, Pamela and Kim.

    Tura Satana, dancer and actor, born 10 July 1938; died 4 February 2011.


    Tura Satana, Cult Actress, Dies by Dave Itzkoff


    Tura Satana, the actress whose authoritative presence, exotic looks and buxom frame commanded the attention of viewers of Russ Meyer’s 1965 cult movie “ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! ”, died on Friday evening in Reno.


    The death was announced by her longtime manager, Siouxzan Perry, who said the cause of death was believed to be heart failure. Ms. Perry said Ms. Satana was 72 when she died, though other sources listed her birth year as 1935.

    Born Tura Luna Pascual Yamaguchi in Hokkaido, Japan, to a father of Japanese and Filipino descent and a mother who was Cheyenne Indian and Scots - Irish, Ms. Satana spent part of her childhood in the Manzanar internment camp near Independence, Calif., before her family settled in Chicago.



    Her Asian background and looks and the fact that she developed early led to frequent harassment and assaults, and she led an itinerant lifestyle, working as an exotic dancer and nude model. She even posed for erotic photographs taken by Harold Lloyd, the former silent comedian, who suggested she pursue an acting career.

    Her breakthrough role came in “ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! ”, a Meyer exploitation film that, in stark opposition to the director’s later works, featured no nudity. In that film, Ms. Satana played Varla, the leader of a gang of go - go dancers who kidnap a couple, murder the boyfriend and force the girlfriend to follow them on further lawless adventures.



    Ms. Satana’s portrayal of Varla as a brazenly violent but unapologetically feminine woman who frequently upbraids the men who dare to ogle her — when a gas - station attendant tells her he believes in “ seeing America first, ” Varla replies, “ You won’t find it down there, Columbus ! ” — earned her a cult following that endured long after the drive - in era.



    In later decades, the influence of Ms. Satana’s no - nonsense attitude could be seen in pop - cultural artifacts ranging from “ Xena, Warrior Princess ” to Quentin Tarantino’s “ Kill Bill ” movies.


    Ms. Satana is survived by two daughters, Kalani and Jade, and two sisters, Pamela and Kim, according to Ms. Perry. Ms. Perry said a memorial service was being planned for around July 10, Ms. Satana’s birthday.




    The promised articles :

    R.I.P., Tura Satana: 'Faster, Pussycat' actress dies / Tura Satana dies at 72; actress starred in 'Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!'

    Cult actress Tura Satana dies at 72 / Tura Satana R.I.P.

    Tura Satana orbituary / Actress Tura Satana dies

    Russ Meyer Kurvenstar Tura Satana ist tot

    Satansweib von Tittfield Tura Satana gestorben

    Now let us not forget to celebrate Tura´s life so here is her entry at CINEMA CULT SIRENS which I quoted - something I do whenever I´m not the expert in movie babes :


    Still today, Tura Satana's influence can be glimpsed in popular culture, even if the people inspired have no clue as who she really is. An unique figure in American entertainment, I can find no other celebrity that could compare.


    Her main contention to glory is of course Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, classic cult-movie directed by Russ Meyer. But why not start at the very beginning ? Fasten your seat belts, though, because this could be a memorable rollercoaster ride.



    Tura Yamaguchi was born in July 10, 1935 ( or is it 1938 ? ). Sometimes after the end of WWII, after moving to Chicago, she was raped by five thugs. This prompted her to learn martial arts, mainly karate. She soon became main honcho of a gang of teenage girls. Tura admits to having been a rebellious juvenile delinquent, as many teased her about her oriental heritage ( the war was still fresh in many memories ). In fact, the father was from Japan and the Philippines and the mother was American Indian and Scots-Irish. She kicked everyone's ass in reform school ( but also learned how to knit ! ). At 13 years of age, she got married ( a fixed union by the two families involved ) with a guy of 17! This relationship would of course not work out.



    Tura became soon after an exotic dancer in Los Angeles. The single thought of enjoying the sight of a very young and big-breasted Oriental hoochie-cooching on stage seemed to dissipate the patriotic elan of many American males: she turned out to be a real success. In that time, dancers traveled from city to city, to propose a more elaborate production than the ones seen in these more sordid times ( no lap dances or Champagne Room nonsense ). It's a complete tragedy that no existing film footage of Tura performing her craft with real passion exists. Here are some famous names that Tura worked with in those years: Rose Le Rose, Maxine Martin The Skyscraper Girl, Tempest Storm, Candy Barr and Stunning Smith the Purple Lady. Hummmm..........


    At 19, Tura became pregnant, but she would still dance for the upcoming eight months! In general, a typical week of work earned her around $15,000. She still thinks that this experience was the best school she could ever learn in, even if she sometimes found guys hiding in closets in her hotel rooms. Fearless, she disposed of them in her own personal fashion. Of course, like many starlets of the era, Tura began a relationship with Elvis, for a few months, as the King lived his life to the fullest. Oddly, his future spouse, Priscilla Presley would begin later to display a Tura look ( hair, makeup, etc. ) !


    We now arrive at the start of the sixties; this is when Tura finally exposed her fabulous figure on film. There were some television appearances on Hawaiian Eye, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., The Greatest Show On Earth with Jack Palance, Valentine's Day, Burke's Law, etc. For the movies, she played a dancer ( what else? ) in Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? ( 1963 ) with Dean Martin and Elizabeth Montgomery. The same year, she could be seen as a Paris prostitute in the musical Irma La Douce with Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine. 


    She came back in 1965 as a dancer in Our Man Flint, a riotous James Bond spoof starring James Coburn.

    It's very soon after that the role of a lifetime came her way: Varla in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Seeing this as an opportunity to play a real character instead of being mere decoration she accepted the challenge. 



    Results: an aggressive female character ( for the time ), very sexual in a different way, enjoying some very quotable dialogue. Let's note that Tura executed all her stunts and fights herself. With great relish. The movie's success was not instant: a cult would form in the years to come from word of mouth. There even was a rock band in the nineties named Tura Satana. Some lines from Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! were heard in White Zombie tunes. Even the Cramps were inspired by the movie ( and particularly by Tura ).


    Astro - Zombies in 1969 was her first horror film. Sadly, it's pretty shoddy. Director Ted V. Mikels ( who still lives to this day in a castle with ten women ! ) saw Tura on stage and enjoyed the fact that she beat up a female patron who just threw her an ashtray by jealousy. So she played a spy named Satana, sharing the screen with veteran John Carradine, who took a shine to her during shooting. But the film remains juvenile and disappointing ( but can be enjoyed for a few laughs ), even with super - sexy Tura wearing a slit skirt and smoking languidly.

    Her last film for a while was from the same Mikels, The Doll Squad ( 1973 ), famous for supposedly inspiring the creation of TV sensation Charlie's Angels.




    The Doll Squad, in fact, presents the right - doers of a group of female adventurers battling it out with a megalomanical intend of ruling the world ( and why not ? ). Soon after this shoot, tragedy struck as Tura was shot down by a former possessive lover with a gun. Needless to say, there was a forced period of convalescence. Tura became employed in an hospital, then found work as a dispatcher for the LAPD!


    In 1981, she broke her back in a car crash, which resulted in two years in and out of hospitals and many operations. She was married to a retired L.A. cop and has two daughters. She has her own website and fan club. In 2002, Tura made a comeback to movies in Mark of the Astro - Zombies, alongside Brinke Stevens, Liz Renay and John Carradine's disembodied head ( ? ).


    Her humor and honesty in interviews are pure delight. If only she could have shot more films. If many still think of Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! as a Ed Wood kind of filmaking ( which it isn't ), how can we not admit that it was ahead of its time, still today ? Can you find me a similar production with three female characters with so much presence? I can only think of The Heroic Trio, but still at another end of the spectrum.



    In my brain, there are many classic cinematic images : Greta Garbo's closeup in Queen Christina, Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments, King Kong at the top of the Empire State Building, Toshiro Mifune in any scene in Seven Samurai... and Tura Satana in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! whupping the butt of that stupid guy in bermudas. I demand her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now.
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