Monday, January 27, 2014

Make Mein Marvel Monday

Keeping the theme of continuing posts I couldn´t finish going, here are some things that I couldn´t include in my last post about DIE SPINNE.

As for the title of Todays post, that´s something you kids might not know. Back in the days when I was in my formative comic reading years that was something we used to say - or readers included in the letters to Marvel.

" Make Mine Marvel " - or " Mach Mir Mein Marvel " like we used to say in Germany - was always included at the end of the letters that were sent to the offices of Marvel. It was always the follow up to some really ridiculous notion about things that would never happen in the Marvel Universe. Ah yes, the good times when Marvel had letter pages. Oh, wait, what is that you say ? They still have those ? Oh yes, that´s right. They brought back the letters pages. But I don´t think the whole " Make Mine Marvel " thing still works. Because back in the day they really did. They Made Mine Marvel. As well as everybody else´s. Now I don´t know what the hell they´re doing. And how would you end those letters NOW anyway ?

Until Doctor Octopus takes over Spider - Man´s body and tries to make out with Mary Jane, Make Mine Marvel. No, because they did that.

Until Wolverine loses his healing factor and starts killing people with knives and guns, Make Mine Marvel. Again, they went ahead and did that.

Until Nova becomes a third grader, Make Mine Marvel. Not this one either.

Until Ghost Rider starts driving a car, Make Mine Marvel. No cigar, bub.

We used to make up this stupid ideas but now Marvel is really printing them. And when I say printing them I mean making them into actual comic books. It´s like they collected every idiotic idea and now they are going through their entire catalogue of bat - s - word crazy stuff.

But back to DIE SPINNE : when we last left our hero, Spider - Man was still published by Williams Verlag, but all good things have to end some day.

So in May 1979 the last german issue of Spider - Man was published, issue 137 which contained issue 136 of AMAZING SPIDER - MAN ( and if you want to know why they had a different numbering you have to check out my last post about DIE SPINNE ) by Gerry Conway and Ross Andru, THE GREEN GOBLIN LIVES AGAIN ! ( DER GRÜNE KOBOLD LEBT WIEDER ! ) Like DIE FANTASTISCHEN VIER the series ended in the middle of a story, a two parter that was finished for american readers in issue 137, THE GREEN GOBLIN STRIKES ! But for german readers the wait was a bit longer.


In 1980, Condor Verlag began publishing Marvel Comics in Germany and I was tickled pink to read the adventures of my favorite wallcrawler again.

What I didn´t know was that Condor didn´t continue the series with issue 137. Also not with issue 138, nor 139 or 140. No, the first issue they published was issue 150, the first issue AFTER the whole Clone Saga.

The FIRST Clone Saga. Again, this is something younger readers may not know : before the whole train wreck that is known Today as the Clone Saga ever happened there was a first storyline with a clone of Peter Parker / Spider - Man that ran from issue 139 from issue 149. In issue 150 Peter dumps what readers believed to be a clone of himself at that time in a factory chimney and we now know that if he had burned that body he would have saved us all a lot of grief. For german readers the whole scene made no sense when it appeared in the opening pages of DIE SPINNE 1 from Condor because the entire " classic " clone saga that came before it was missing. So the collective german readership was left scratching their heads, trying to figure this thing out. I remember that when I read this I was completely puzzled that there were suddenly two Peter Parkers around and one of them was disposed like so much garbage.

And speaking about garbage, one of the issues that the german readers fortunately missed was number 139 introducing The Grizzly ! WTF ?

Yes, not everything that was published back then was gold. Does anybody remember The Gibbon or The Kangaroo ? At least The Gibbon looked like a real ape. The Kangaroo was just some He - Man with taped hands who could jump really good. Let´s hope he never makes it to the big screen.

Now some of you may be asking when issue 137 of AMAZING SPIDER - MAN was finally published in Germany - if it was published at all. You see, some of the biggest stories of the Marvel Universe are still not available in a german translation like the X - MEN´s INFERNO saga that tied up loose story ends of 5 or 10 years of  x - continuity. Which wasn´t the case with this storyline of Spider - Man but it didn´t happen until 1999 when PANINI was publishing Spider - Man after Condor folded in 1996.

Under the title of DIE SPINNE - DAS FEHLENDE JAHR ( SPIDER - MAN - THE MISSING YEAR ) Panini Germany released a slipcase containing issues 137 to 150 in single issue format with the original covers and an additional Thor story by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Vince Coletta which is simply awe inspiring : 3 masters at the top of the game. They included the previously released issue 150 because it´s the epilogue of the whole story arc and without it it wouldn´t be complete. An indispensable collection for any german Spider - Man fan with an amazing cover by Gabriele Dell´ Otto.

So it only took 20 years until issue 137 was finally published in Germany, as issue 138 of DIE SPINNE which continued the numbering from Williams.

But that wasn´t what I really wanted to talk about in this post. Like I said, when Condor started publishing the german version of Spider - Man I really didn´t think about the last issue of Williams DIE SPINNE. I was just happy that the series finally continued in the german translation.


One of the reasons why I probably never checked which had been my last DIE SPINNE issue from Williams was that I had most of my Williams Marvel comics in the form of MARVEL SUPERBAND SUPERHELDEN which I should probably explain to my non german audience. This comic collection was four issues just glued together from any of the many series, Marvel and otherwise, Williams was publishing or  - if you were extremely lucky - from one particular series. Some of them were in chronological order but mostly not so much and very often there were issues missing inbetween.

The issues that were put into this series were either issues that the newsstands couldn´t sell or overprinted issues. Ah, the golden days of comics when issues were overprinted and put into cheaply collections. Because they put these two kinds of overstock into it you would often have the case of old issues and issues that hadn´t gotten to your local comic newsstand or outlet from the same series in one collection. For the german comic readers this was a really cheap way to get comics not only because back issues were not always easy to find but also because these collections cost less than four single issues. Another reason was that you could find some rare issues in here and since they were glued together with cheap glue you could detach single issues and put in your collection.

Which is one of the reason why some of the SUPERBAND are still very sought after. They were published between April 1975 and February 1979 and a lot of them were shipped of to the germans favorite vacation spots like Italy or Spain up to the mid 80s. If you want to read more in detail about the subject, issue 7 of the german publication DAS SAGTE NUFF covers the whole minutea detail. Sorry, it´s only available in german.

But coming back to issue 137 of AMAZING SPIDER - MAN and the reasons why I didn´t think about it when DIE SPINNE started again. It also may have been because my mother had thrown away all my comic books around the time Condor began publishing Marvel in Germany again.

I know that it sounds like a cliche but it has happened to most comic fans of my generation. And while I´m not exactly certain at which point in my comic collecting career this was I know that when I restarted my comic collection to become bigger and better than my old one it was with some issues from Condor because there were no Williams issues left.

Now besides Spider - Man Condor also published the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and the Hulk, in their own comic books, albums and ( the much maligned ) pocketbooks. They also had other series for all those comics that didn´t have their own book ( yet ) like MARVEL COMIC STARS, a magazine sized publication where they just dumped all kind of stuff

or MARVEL COMIC SONDERHEFT, a regular sized comic book where Condor put oversized issues and specials like the - at that time - still unpublished finale to the Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont and John Byrne.

Williams had put only the issues of AMAZING SPIDER - MAN into their DIE SPINNE series. But when Condor restarted it Spider - Man also appeared in the pages of THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER - MAN and MARVEL TEAM UP.

One of the big problems of publishing american comics in Germany has always been that if they put just one issue in a monthly book they ran the risk of never catching up to the current issues. And if they put two issues into a monthly book they had to beware not to run out of material. Well, with three series to choose from that problem was eliminated and now their remaining big question was which material to put into the albums,

which material to put into the pocket books

and so on. Material from all three series ended up in DIE SPINNE.

My favorite issues by far were the ones from Chris Claremont and John Byrne´s MARVEL TEAM UP run that featured new characters like Woodgod and I fondly remember the one that introduced me to Captain Britain.

Another highlight of the series for me was when John Romita Jr began his stint on the old webslingers book ( I´m not sure which one ). Back then his art looked a lot more like his father´s than Today - which may or may not have been what Marvel expected from him when he started - but I was a really big fan of John Romita Senior so that didn´t really bother me.

It´s been a long time since I have held the issues of DIE SPINNE in my hands but I´m sure I got all the issues from number 1 to number 21. After that I´m not sure. I guess I was a bit slacking and bought the occasional John Byrne issue like the one with Captain Britain or the MARVEL TEAM UP story with Iron First, Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Coleen Wing. Which is two pages shorter in the german version although I didn´t find that out until many years later when I found some copies of the original MARVEL TEAM UP issues. Unlike british comic companies where they sometimes begin with the story right on the cover to get all  pages into the book

german comic companies are very strict. Which means that they have to have all the indicia on the front inside cover, or there must be an editorial or an introduction written by someone and they only have 44 pages for the story in an 48 page comic and if one of the stories is longer than 22 pages they would rather cut any pages from the comic than anything else.

Anyway, back to DIE SPINNE, I was not buying the series on a regular basis anymore but I got all the issues with John Romita Jr on art. I remember there was a story with Spider - Man and Namor going up against the evil Wizard and another incarnation of his Frightful Five ( or was it Four ? ) I really enjoyed reading. I don´t remember exactly who the figure in shadow is but I think it was a women brought in to handle Namor.

And once again that´s all we have time for Today as I´m already one hour into overtime and counting. Nevertheless I couldn´t finish this post without posting this weird looking cover of DIE SPINNE number 12.

The reason for that is that the original cover of issue 38 of MARVEL TEAM UP has been completely redrawn for german readers. Strange, isn´t it ?

And that´s really the end - at least for now. There are still a few things to add about Die Spinne, about Spider - Man, about Condor or about those french issues of Marvel comics but that´s the topic for another post.

Todays video at the end of the post is one I wanted to post for quite some time. Around the time when Condor published Die Spinne I saw my first episodes of the original TWILIGHT ZONE series. I had seen the 1983 movie by John Landis before so I was anxious to see some episodes from the original series although in my case it was on the catalan network where it was called LA DIMENSIO DESCONEGUDA. Man, those catalan networks had all the good stuff like this, Dragon Ball and El Ataque dels Tomaquets Assasins. Anyway, the video is a classic among classics TIME ENOUGH AT LAST about Henry Bemis, a bank teller who just wants to have some peace and time to read - a sentiment we all can agree with.

The main lead is played by Burgess Meredith - better known as the trainer from the ROCKY movies Mickey - and not by William Shatner like some people believe. Shatner is in two episodes like in NIGHTMARE AT 20.000 FEET which was redone for the movie with John Lithgow but not in this.

I couldn´t find the catalan version but I have included the spanish video of the episode. You can find a lot of those - as well as the english ones - on YouTube if you don´t mind the black and white. You know, I know someone who doesn´t watch anything in black and white but if I was the owner of a television company I would do one channel with only black and white movies. There are so many fantastic ones of them out there.

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I don´t have a drinking problem, I have a stopping problem. I´m drinking just fine.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The return of Flash Friday - interrupted

You probably expected another post about the best or worst comics of 2013 but if you have been following this blog for any amount of time you know that I always try to change topics to avoid things from getting too boring. In this case I went over the last posts I did in 2013 and - since it´s a cool alliteration - decided to continue with this series.

And one of the reasons for that is, that in my first post I never got around to explain why Wally West was my favorite Flash. I was just too aggravated by the whole " no super hero marriage " ban by Dan Didio.

I also got sidetracked with pimping comics, so between that and mainly talking about the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen, there wasn´t much of Wally West in the entire post. Thankfully I already mentioned how much I hated Scott Kolins´ run on the book so we can ignore it in this post. We are going to talk about much older issues of the Flash anyway. I´m not sure if I haven´t written about this before but in most cases I always think I already wrote about this and that only to find out I really didn´t. So it´s time for another stroll down memory lane to the times when you could still read DC and they were 1 buck. Yes, we´ll go all the way back to the earliest issues of US comics with Wally West as the Flash that I read.

This is when I was doing my military service in Munich where I got my first exposure to a real comic shop and could buy american comics at three outlets. I have mentioned this pivotal time period a few times in earlier posts so I won´t go over it again here. Let me just say that I had three places where I bought FLASH comics then : Juergen´s Comic Shop in the city of Munich proper where I got the newest issues, a small comic shop under the moving stairs where the subways were and where I got the issues of the last three or four months and finally the international press newsstand at the main train terminal where I got even older back issues.

Ah, those first steps on unfamiliar soil venturing into unchartered comic territory. I had already found some original american comics back home in Ludwigsburg at some newsstands and I also had bought my first issue of ALPHA FLIGHT at an international press newsstand but here was my first visit to a comic store that had a ridiculously huge stock of US comics.

Not only did they have all the comics I already knew from Marvel and DC, they also had a lot of titles I never heard of. I was completely stunned by all the books I didn´t know and there were a lot of them especially by DC.

All this was during the 80s so they were just rolling off WATCHMEN and the whole restructuring after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS meaning not only were there dozens of new books, all the other books were restarted. On top of that the VERTIGO imprint was just starting thanks to the phenomenal success off HELLBLAZER and more importantly SANDMAN.

And that´s just the two companies that I already knew of. There were all those companies like Dark Horse, Studio Proteus, Warp Graphics, Eclipse or Comico that I never heard of. Some of the titles like Eclipse´s DNAgents had already been translated to german at that time but most of this stuff was brand new to me. A lot of the companies are gone now like Malibu or First but back then there were many new series to discover.

And thanks to the other two sources for comics it was easier to get into series because if I found something interesting I not only had the newest issues, it also wasn´t difficult to find older issues up to 6 months back.

Although in the case of FLASH I have to admit I didn´t take the effort. I picked up an issue here or there but I didn´t actually search out older issues if I remember correctly. It may also be the case that I didn´t find that many issues to begin with, it HAS been a long time since then and my memory is a bit foggy in some parts. What I do know is that my earliest issues had quite the few gaps between them and I think I only bought the first one, issue 21, because it was an INVASION tie in story.

The creative team of William Messner - Loebs and Greg LaRoque was already in place but they didn´t particularly impress me very much.

It´s funny, back then I didn´t really care about the book and now I would give my right arm for a series of trades collecting this run. Well, not really my right arm but you know what I mean. By the way, is it just me or were there a lot of writers with three names on DC´s books ? And also creative people with this weird names where the last name has a big letter than a small one followed by the rest. Like William Messner Loebs, J M DeMatteis, Greg LaRoque or Shawn McManus. Maybe that´s a thing.

Back to FLASH, the next issue I got was issue 29 by the creative team of writer Lew Strazewski, penciler Grant Miehn and inker Paul Fricke ( whose last name sounds very much like a german name although he would not have been very happy with a name like that in Germany ) and it´s a wonder I got any FLASH issues after that. I really didn´t like the art and I guess I mainly bought it because it featured the NEW Phantom Lady.

Funny Flash Fact for the audience of ARROW : one of the villains in the story is Merlyn who is Oliver Queen´s best friend in the tv version.

Back to Wally West, in those early issues of FLASH I read he was pretty much the obnoxious, horny jerk he is in the brilliant Justice League cartoons by Bruce Timm. I don´t know what the thought process behind Wally as the new Flash was but he was quite different from Barry Allen. For starters he had had some problems with his powers ever since his Teen Titans days, in fact he even temporarily lost them, so when he took over the mantle of his uncle not only was he nowhere near his speed he also had to eat constantly to be able to run. He also lived with his Mom and because he had to pay the bills he was always concerned about money and always talking about it. Which made him look a bit greedy. It looked like he was constantly trying to cash in his fame as a member of the Justice League and that in more ways than one if you know what I mean.

Yep, I´m talking about the ladies. Since this was still single Wally West the horny part of his character came into play and he hit on women a lot. Which you normally do if you are single. And in his case not only was he a celebrity he was a flaming superhero adored by the general public. Not only that but he was always surrounded by such hot superheroines like Black Canary, Fire and Ice, Wonder Woman and Power Girl. Especially by sexy Power Girl and her almost bursting magical cleavage window.

Aside from Power Girl and Guy Gardner this had the most potential because you just had to put them into a room or confront them with a situation and the story would practically write itself. Wally was always hitting on Power Girl, trying to score or play any practical jokes on her and Power Girl was always trying to just hit Wally, but he was too fast.

At this point you´re probably asking yourself how this moneygrubbing, horny pervert could ever become my favorite Flash ( or not if you are a longtime reader of my blog ) but in order to be able to talk about why I liked Wally as a Flash so much we have to talk about his starting point.

Unlike Kyle Rayner, who just became his superhero career handed to him with a nifty ring, Wally had to earn his stripes. First as a sidekick to his uncle and then as a member of the Teen Titans. So readers knew him for a long time. He didn´t suddenly appear in the superhero community but rather he had grown from a teen sidekick to his own teenage superhero persona even if he was still working under the Kid Flash moniker. When tragedy struck with CRISIS OF INFINITE EARTHS he decided to honor his mentor and role model by taking up the mantle and carrying on the name of the Flash. Which wasn´t an easy task because most heroes and villains - especially the Rogues - still treated him like Kid Flash. So yes, he was a bit of a jerk when he started his new career as the third Flash ( you have to count Jay Garrick as the first one ) but that was just a phase.

He made some mistakes but he also did some things no other hero at that time did - like going public with his secret identity. Some people may argue that the main reason for that was that he wanted the people to remember the big sacrifice of Barry Allen during the Crisis and stop asking him why he´s so different to how he used to be ( you can read all about Barry Allen´s and Wally West´s secret identities becoming public knowledge in this nifty article from the Comicbookbin ) . Be that as it may, it was a step he did take and for better or worse Wally West was the new Flash now and some people weren´t too happy about it. Not at all.

Like I said, I only read sporadic issues of William Messner - Loebs´ Flash run ( I still read about Wally West in the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE where I also encountered the new version of Power Girl for the first time - and the rest is history ) and I probably wouldn´t have stayed on the title if he hadn´t been followed by the equally brilliant Mark Waid.

I had the luck of finding all issues of his first storyline BORN TO RUN at the various comic outlets I mentioned before and boy what a story it was.

Mark Waid started his run on the title ( which is no pun, even if I use it constantly in this post ) by going back to the earliest days of Wally West as Kid Flash when he was wearing the same costume as Barry Allen. Which was kind of new to me since I hadn´t read that many Golden Age stories from that time. Yes, I read a lot of der issues mit DER ROTE BLITZ ( The Red Flash how he was called in Germany since there also was a Green Arrow ) but none of them had any team ups with young Wally West.

Sadly I have to wrap things up for Today as for some strange reason blogger suddenly stopped working for almost an hour which was extremely nerve wrecking. It seems okay now but I don´t want to tempt fate.

I almost lot the last three hours of work and while it is possible to write it all again it´s impossible to recreate the exact post. In any case I´m much to depressed now to continue so that´s it for Today. We will continue this at another Friday where I hopefully won´t have as much problems with the internet or blogger. It will take enough time to finish this post as it is.

Since I spend most of my day on this post I´ll probably continue with some must see tv as the seasons have been piling up on my desk. I have only seen the first episodes of BREAKING BAD and BOARDWALK EMPIRE so I still have the first two seasons of that to watch. I also haven´t even started with seasons 1 and 2 of MODERN FAMILY and just Yesterday I just started with season five of DEXTER. I´m always watching it with my Mom who´s really big into crime series ( especially when the spanish dubbing is on the discs ) so since she´s watching CSI or CRIMINAL MINDS right now I´ll have to find something else. I have also ran out of episodes of SUPER FRIENDS to watch so when I have finished with the few AQUAMAN episodes I still have I have to start with the second season of THE ADAMS FAMILY or season 1 and 2 of KIM POSSIBLE which I got for Christmas.

Now this is what I meant when I said that I didn´t get the best Christmas presents this year. Kim Possible ? Really ? I mean it´s a good series but if you don´t know what to get what´s wrong with a gift certificate from amazon ? I bet the Kim Possible DVDs don´t even have any saucy behind the scenes footage or blooper reels with the cast members in the extras.

Okay, wrapping things up. Most of this post I was talking about the 80s but since I already exhausted all of my videos for that in my last post ( how should I have known ? ) Today´s video at the end of the post picks up a few of the other things I wrote about. I mentioned the brilliant JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoon and secret identities so here´s a clip with one of the best Wally West Flash scenes from STARCROSSED bringing both together.

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A leader without followers is just a man taking a walk.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2013 - Best year in comics, like EVER !

Well, at least if you can believe everything you read on the internet. Then the last year 2013 has really been a totally airwolf ride for comic readers.

And I´m not saying this to be sarcastic or to diss all the bloggers who - unlike me - did their review of 2013 on time. It´s just that, as always, I didn´t get to read most of the books that landed on the top ten lists of comics of 2013 so I probably will read most of those best comics in 2014.

Which is one of the reasons why I still wanted to do this look back on the best of 2013 although we are already in the middle of January. It´s the only time I can really do this, even if I have to use the old excuse that I´m doing it for my readers. I´m sure most of my readers have already read them, if not all the comics per se than at least the best of the best lists. Nevertheless, reactions to my last post were quite encouraging so I thought I should keep up writing positive things about comics. And what is more positive than writing about all the good comics that came out in 2013 ? Not that there weren´t bad comics out there. I´m sure I´ll go into a rant on all the crap that happened in 2013´s comics BUT not in this post. Here I´m going to look at the silver lining of the methaphorical dark clouds hanging over the collective comic readers heads this past year.

Now that being said, I can´t talk about 2013 without talking about the big two so there may be some negative things I might say about them but nothing I haven´t said before. One of the reasons for that is that - in my opinion - how good a comic year 2013 was for you depends on big part how successful you were in staying away from DC and Marvel. A lot of the comics on the best of lists are from other companies so if you only read the big two you missed out on a lot of fantastic stuff. Which you can now discover through this post. The other reason is that there are also quite a lot of books from the big two on those lists, strange as that may sound.

I guess this comes from being a huge corporate monster : there are still some creators who manage to fly under the radar and make good comics.

With all the hype and constant renumbering and coming up with such wonderful ideas like Doctor Octopus becoming Spider - Man, Avengers going total sci - fi and Nova turning into Doogie Howser the bigwigs at Marvel just don´t have the time to look into all the stuff they put out. Especially when they have three or four books on guys like Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and whatnot. So it shouldn´t be a surprise that quality books like DAREDEVIL or HAWKEYE get a free pass until it´s too late to really " improve " them because the fans and comic critics have already discovered it. And I don´t want to say that Marvel wouldn´t try to f - word it up because they care so much about their fans or critics. We all know that Marvel is now Disney and they are totally without morals BUT the thing they really do care about is the Benjamins. So if the book is already selling great and chances are it will not sell as good if you go in and change something Disney will probably let it continue. Which in the case of DAREDEVIL means restarting it under Marvel NOW with a number 1.

Because we don´t have enough of them. If you want to know why Disney keeps on doing that you just have to look at the newest catalogue, there is a Spider - Man trade with all of Spidey´s plethora of first issues included. Now whoever came up with the idea for this trade clearly has no idea WHY first issues are so sought after by comic fans and demand such exorbitant prices. Because I can tell you right now that this trade is not a very good read. It may be nice for people who don´t have all of the issues - which is questionable the way some of the restarts have been hyped - and want to compare the different series throughout the decades.

If you are a comic historian and want to write about the differences of the first issues and you can´t pay big bucks for them the trade is probably an invaluable resource. For all others probably not so much. But still the guy who proposed it did get approval and since they probably will put out more of it they need more number 1s so that will be a fixture for 2014.

But like I said, that´s not what I want to talk about so let´s get back to all the good comics that came out in 2013 and of which I managed to read some. In the case of Rob Bricken over at io9 who comes to the conclusion that 2013 Was an Absurdly Great Year for Comics I haven´t read any of his picks - which for me means there are still a lot of great comics for me to discover. Aside from the parts of Dark Horse´s MIND MGMT I read in DARK HORSE PRESENTS, still one of the best anthology books out there which you won´t find on any best of lists out there. Because they mostly concentrate on new books. So I will be mentioning some of the really great books I read in 2013 that have been going for years and are still fantastic. And speaking of books being still fantastic it seems that my prediction for FF was just a bit off as Mike Allred has managed to stay on the book for more than 12 issues. Of course the book´s still canceled with issue 16 and Mike Allred is now off to do the new SILVER SURFER book.

FF still managed to make a few top comics lists for 2013 and quite deservedly so, like the one by Mark Peters on SALON . Okay, he focuses mainly on superheroes and I´m not so sure about including SUPERIOR SPIDER - MAN in the list, but the rest seems to be solid. Like Grant Morrison´s BATMAN INCORPORATED, one of the few good books at DC.

Douglas Wolk on TIME Entertainment has a more eclectic list of Top 10 Comics and Graphic Novels of 2013 and the only comic I´ve heard of is FRAN by the brilliant Jim Woodring. Without any doubt this will be one of the highlights of 2014 for me and it may be included in my list of BEST COMICS I DID NOT READ IN 2013 - if I get to do one. Now even if I had already finished FRAN it would still be on the list because the comics by Jim Woodring are not the kind of comics you can read. Because for starters they don´t have any words. So you don´t really read them but you rather experience them. It´s like being on a psychedelic trip or having a rather vivid daydream with really good art. Yes, I always recommend these books because if you haven´t tried them you´re really missing out. As always Jim Woodring breaks new ground as this new book - for which the term graphic novel is nowhere near to doing it justice - is both, a prequel AND a sequel to CONGRESS OF THE ANIMAL. And if you want to know how that works, well, you just have to get the book, don´t you ?

Speaking about books to get, there are quite a few on Sean Fagan´s list on BUZZ FEED GEEKY and you can get an indication of how good 2013 was as a comic year because instead of trying to narrow it down to 10 he just went with The 19 Greatest Comics of The Year .

Again, I´m not sure about the whole SUPERIOR SPIDER - MAN thing, but besides such great books I actually read like BATMAN INCORPORATED and the insanely good ALL NEW X - MEN he also includes some books that have been on my " must check out " list for quite some time like HAWKEYE, AVENGERS ARENA, SHADOWMAN, THE UNWRITTEN or THIEF OF THIEVES. Add to that more than a handful of books I never heard of but which look really promising and you know why I had to include it.

Likewise Oliver Sava from A V CLUB gives us The best mainstream and superhero comics of 2013 which narrows it down to 20 titles. One of these days I have to find out where Huffington is because The Huffington Post manages to do a top 10 again AND include the brilliant RACHEL RISING by Terry Moore, hats of to them. Kudos also to Nick Gazin at VICE who modestly titles his list Here are the ten best comics of 2013, or at least some good comics that came out this year that you should buy . The title is as long as the actual descriptions are short. But do you really want to read another long winded list at this point ? No, I didn´t think so.

Since I already mentioned The Huffington Post, The Washington Post also has a top 10 list by David Betancourt which is confusing for me because while it´s labeled as Comic Riffs Top 10 Superhero Comics of the year it includes AMERICAN VAMPIRE, DJANGO UNCHAINED and THE SIXTH GUN. It also includes AGE OF ULTRON which I haven´t read yet and which is either one of the best books of 2013 or an incredibly huge crapfest.

WIRED has a neat list of The Best Comics of 2013 - And How to Read Them Online , which is really helpful. Publishers Weekly´s The Best Books of 2013 only include five books but all come with links to previews and videos. And if you want a more engaging read, When Worlds Collide : The Ten Best Comics of 2013 are really the top 10 out of 25 and it includes the link to where Timothy Callahan counts down the numbers 25 to 11.

On MTV com I couldn´t find a top 10 list for 2013 but instead they have The 10 Best Comic Books of December 2013 . If you are acessing the site from Germany like me they immediately try to shove you off to the german site but I don´t think they have anything about comics there.

PASTE magazine also has a top 10 list for 2013 although various people contributed to it. Some of the picks are already mentioned in the lists above but there are still a few interesting comics and graphic novels that haven´t been mentioned yet. I would have included it higher up in the post, but you have to go to the second page for the second part of the list and - at least for me - a list is not a list if you have to turn the page or in the case of a page on the internet click a button. It´s not that I´m saying those are not as good as the others that are featured here so far. But I´m a lazy son of a you know what and I guess some of my readers are also lazy. So we´re coming to the lists where you have to click a lot.

UPROXX has The Fifteen Best Comic Books of 2013 which is still acceptable because - while in no particular order - the list includes such favorites of mine like ASTRO CITY and ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG. And I hear AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE is all the rage with the kids.

And finally, WHAT CULTURE has the 50 Best Comics Of 2013 which means more clicking but there are some nice picks like A USERS GUIDE TO NEGLECTFUL PARENTING, IT CAME !, BURN THE ORPHANAGE, YOU´RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK, THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERHERO GIRL or BANDETTE which you won´t find on the other lists. And that´s it.

I hope this wasn´t too boring and I will include my own picks in a future post. Where I will probably ramble about everything I hated this year. But the reason why I wanted to do this first is that - for the most part - the best comics I read all year are always the same. So, I don´t know what we will be talking about in my next post - not exactly - but you have enough comics you can check out until then. I mean if this doesn´t at least triple the comics you´re putting on your amazon list then nothing will. For me, initially I wanted to catch up on my sleep and watch the 2014 People´s Choice Awards ( I watched the Golden Globes Yesterday ) but I spent almost the whole day writing this post. Maybe I can sleep Tomorrow.


But as always, the post isn´t finished without the video at the end. Which in this case are more than one. The first one is a video for all my german readers because it´s in german. Duuh, obviously. It´s for people born before 1980 and it basically explains why that was the greatest generation and all following generations were such slackers, losers and whiners.

The next one I found is a spanish version although it says that it´s for people born before 1975. Which is still my generation so it´s okay.

Now I tried to find an english version but there seems to be none. Either because the americans put down everything or because they are still ashamed of what they all did in the 80s. I did found this one from the UK and I only post it because I know Terry Hooper will get a kick out of it.

Another good one is WE DIDN´T OWN AN iPAD and the title says it all.

Since I almost cracked the 900 mark with 883 views last week I have to include the next one for any potential readers in America. It´s a lot of music groups, movies, tv show and toys but it includes Doogie Howser who I have mentioned in this post ( some of the younger readers probably never heard of him ) and I like the song by Huey Lewis & the News.

And finally, the last one about the 80s with a somewhat different selection of pop culture icons and paraphernalia that shows pretty good why the guys from Hollywood and the music industry are still ripping it off.

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We cannot hold a torch to light another´s path without brightening our own.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another year another Traci Bingham post

Since it´s her 46th birthday Today I wanted to give a big shout - out to one of my favorite tv hardbodies, nubian sex goddess Traci Bingham.

She is of course best known for her role of Jordan Tate on BAYWATCH and I did the whole oversexed picture post lat year which was just one big excuse to put lots of Playboy Baywatch babes on the blog. And Halle Berry with her mega cleavage on The Tonight Show in 2013 because I hadn´t gotten around to do that on Halle Berry´s birthday from that same year.

So Today I wanted to do more kind of a comic post and talk a bit about the Chris Claremont / John Byrne run of UNCANNY X - MEN since there is a movie adaption of one of their most influential stories DAYS OF FUTURE PAST coming. And you know that those Hollywood guys better do a good job or they probably will be killed by an angry mob of raving X - Men fans.

I guess I´m probably the only one on the whole wide world who would cast Janet Jackson as Storm. In my opinion she got the best body in showbiz.

Especially her incredibly round derriere is awesome and could go head to head ( or butt to butt ) with the likes of Beyonce. Sadly, Janet doesn´t seem to think so but if you have seen her ultra raunchy live performance of her hit ALL NIGHT ( DON´T STOP ) at Jay Leno where she had one of her best almost wardrobe malfunctions EVER you know it´s true.

During that performance Janet had some problems with keeping her pants on as it seems that she miscalculated the weight of the cable box thingie.

Now Janet is already wearing her jeans way low but the added weight of it

plus the chains she put on her jeans are pulling her pants down showing

lots of butt cleavage ! Also her constant grinding and hip shaking doesn´t

help much either. But Janet is a real trooper and keeps going even if the

audience gets to see more than she initially intended to show. Throughout

the entire performance she keeps pulling up her jeans to cover up her

juicy cheeks and at the end she almost manages to get it under control

but at the beginning you can see that she really has no reason to be

ashamed in that department. She didn´t completely loose her pants - sigh

 - but it slid waay down to give a good view of her almost uncovered

bubble butt and you even could see her bum cleft for short periods.

A few more GIFs of Janet Jackson´s bootilicious ass in full out action  :

We don´t want to focus too much on sex symbol Janet´s derriere , since besides her fant - ASS - tic butt she´s also a wet dream from the front.

More grinding action and almost loosing the pants with Miss Jackson :

And the end of this little mix brings us to Janet´s signature move : the patented Jackson boob shake, more effective than viagra and cheaper.

Okay, let´s watch this part again but this time a little bit faster, Janet.

No, not the whole thing, just keep repeating the part with the boob thing.

Okay, I had three more like this but that are just variations on a theme and I guess you can wear yourself out on the GIFs I have already posted.

I´m sure I´ll find some place for them on other post. But for the moment I wanted to put the bulk of the Janet GIFs here. Now some of these may vanish from this post as there are a few redundancies among them just in case I need it on another post. This way I know where to find them. One last GIF of the whole bucnh I was able to make thanks to the fine folks at imgflip is a compilation of Janet´s best parts of the performance. Enjoy !

And here´s the video of Janet´s ASS - ential performance :

Man, that Jay Leno guy really gets to kiss all the best women in the world.

But back to celebrity birthday babe Traci Bingham, for a long time I was hoping that they would cast her as the next Storm, preferably donning the black " swimsuit with leather boots " outfit which she would totally rock

or maybe even the yellow bikini she wore in the Savage Land storyline.

Or maybe something even skimpier, in this case less is really more.

Boy, that John Byrne guy really knew how to draw some hot babes which was one of the reasons why I got hooked so easily by the series. Subzero wasn´t old enough to buy Playboy so comic book massitaas were my porn.

And sometimes it was even kinky bondage porn without my knowing.

Naturally John Byrne was good at drawing everything, not just bodacious babes. Here´s a splash page with Alpha Flight member the Guardian :

Okay, back to Traci Bingham - she is after all the celebrity birthday babe of Today - and my dashed dreams of ever seeing her in an X - Men movie as Storm in a yellow bikini. Here she is sporting a yellow two parter :

And here´s a close up of Storm in a yellow bikini by John Byrne.

Oh, if only we could have seen Traci Bingham going all the way on the big screen ( I know she went full frontal for Playboy ). I mean in the comics Storm always wanted to swim nude so it would not be out of character.

Or imagine Janet Jackson´s bare buttocks frollicking in the sand as she plays Storm relaxing at the X - Men beach party in Acapulco or Jamaica.

Alas, but so far that has not come to pass. And now that Halle Berry has announced she will reprise her role of Storm for the next X - Men movie I´m looking at it with - like the germans say - one crying eye and one laughing eye. The crying one because once again we won´t get to see Traci showing her naked hardbody getting it on with Janet all wet and the laughing one because we get Halle who still has a great looking cleavage.

And don´t forget her rack - tastic appearance on the Jay Leno show 2013. Man, at 46 she made all them eyes pop out with her sexed up f me dress !

Well, it looks like I wasn´t entirely successful in doing an entirely comic related post as I couldn´t resist the temptation of posting hot pics of showbiz Üeber MILFs Janet Jackson and Halle Berry. Even I´m only human.

But there was more comic content than last year. Who knows ? Maybe next year I will mention Traci Bingham briefly and then go to the comic part for the rest of the post. Hey, it could happen. Anyway, once again I want to say : Happy birthday Traci Banghim and many happy returns.

Like last year I didn´t find a good video with Traci Bingham to post and I don´t want to post the obvious trailer for the X - MEN : DAYS OF FUTURE PAST movie - or like it is for some unknown reason called in Germany X - MEN : ZUKUNFT IST VERGANGENHEIT ( X - MEN : FUTURE IS PAST, man I really want to know how the guys who come up with those stupid titles manage to get paid ) I´m posting something entirely different. Or not.

Since I have mentioned the hot women on the Jay Leno show here´s  a boob - tastic one with Mariah Carey in a black dress that has no hope of restraining her huge melons and Jay Leno is chest choking, just joking.

But seriously Mariah Carey looks just totally doable in her black dress.

Next up is Jessica Simpson´s wowing appearance on the Jay Leno show ( you might say she´s not the brightest lightbulb but daimn, she had a booming body back then ) where she looks almost like Marilyn Monroe.

Okay, the porn version. Did she ever play a femme fatale or porn star ?

Also here´s Jennifer Love Hewitt in a black dress on the Ellen Degeners show where she´s almost falling out of it. You go girl !

It´s been a long time since I posted a video with Janet Jackson on this blog, mainly because I did that kind of stuff over at my boobblog how  it was so aptly put by a reader. Man, I should have copyrighted the name.

But now that the blog is gone I´m posting this video I surely haven´t posted before. It´s Janet´s famous live performance of Black Cat at the 1990 Mtv Music Video Awards where she takes her shirt off. Yes, she wears a black bra beneath it but back then this was a big deal for me.

I know it´s a video that is not easy to find on the internet so enjoy it.

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