Saturday, September 20, 2014

Come in, it´s Technicolor Teen Titans Day !

So, I have still been pimping my posts these last few days but the good news it that I think I finally found one comic relevant application for animated GIFs on my blog. Here´s one of my first self made ones.

You know, when I write about these classic Bronze Age series there are always covers from all over the world ( or a few different countries ) and it´s always hard to choose. But here I can keep my cake and eat it.

Because here I can slap them all on top of each other and put the whole bunch in one picture. And the good thing is that it doesn´t have to be in good resolution since you already know them by heart. Or at least you should ! Man, NEW TEEN TITANSby Marv Wolfman and George Perez ? That´s like required reading for any comic fan of good standing.

Now I used the free GIF maker provided by the fine folks at imgflip to do these cover samplers and the hardware is not too sophisticated. The max size is 360 pixels in any direction so it´s not that big but if you want that and have more options there are probably some that are reasonably priced. As an unemployed Alpha Primitive again ( kudos for the boys and gals at the jobcenter for making that possible ) I don´t have the money to buy a better one. I know it´s kind of a blunt instrument but if you have seen me do anything on a computer or that´s in the least way connected to technology you know that this caveman has finally found his club.

Now the reason why I started looking for a way to make GIFs for myself is that I wanted to get some sleep. In the last few days I have spent way too much time uploading a lot of pictures on blogger to see if it gets turned into a GIF somehow. I still don´t know if it´s a subroutine or internet trolls but I know so far my chances have not been good. So I decided to try my luck and although the GIFs are limited to 360 pixels in most cases it´s not that bad because they are mostly done from screenshots and the quality of them is not that great so making it smaller acts in its favor.

I just have to be careful and not flood the blog with too many GIFs because they take a lot of time to load. Keep it in moderation.

Now back to the NEW TEEN TITANS covers, not only do I get to post more than one cover, by having them on top of each other - so to speak - and being able to flip them you can see the differences between them quite good. I just hope it´s not still to fast ( I had to slow it down considerably ) and you don´t get nausea. That´s another benefit when you are making your own GIFs : you can decide in which speed the pictures are shown and you can even start with the last one and go reverse back to the first one.

As you may have noticed I´m experimenting a bit with what is possible on the blog so my posts may seem a bit overloaded at times. Especially where the ladies are concerned. But it´s like the old saying goes : evolve or die. And some 9 years ago I started out with this little blog, I didn´t know HTML, I had no idea how to read it or how to upload pictures. And now this little blog is just chockful with little bells and whistles. Anyway, I´m probably talking too much about me but I haven´t slept too much these last few days and even if there was no new post I have been working most of the time on the blog. Which brings me back to the NEW TEEN TITANS GIFs which I made most of the day instead of resting.

So you might ask yourself ( or you´re probably asking me since it doesn´t make much sense to ask yourself about something you don´t know ) why I decided to make this day a " technicolor " day. The truth is I didn´t.

You may remember that last weekend I inaugurated my new BLACK AND WHITE section with a post about Will Eisner´s classic THE SPIRIT and that I already announced the next black and white post would be TEEN TITANS.

Now the thing is, and I´m as surprised as you, maybe a bit more even, is that when I started to make these GIFs as a little something something to bribe my readers because I haven´t done that many new posts this week.

Although with 13 posts so far this month you really have no reason to complain. So as a special goodie I thought it would be nice to have an animated GIF with various Teen Titans covers - naturally in black and white - to get you in the mood. But the thing is - like I said - I´m a caveman when it comes to all this tech stuff so I have no idea how to make these color comic covers black and white. The other thing is - as you may have noticed by now looking at the covers there are quite a few differences. Sometimes it´s something as nuanced as a different logo or a color may be changed here and there but there are a few flabbergasting discrepancies that my readers might have missed in black and white.

For instance Titans villain Dr. Light is the mere definition of a black and white comic book character and his costume is also very black and white.

Yeah, I guess spanish publisher ZINCO decided to pep it up a little and make him look like a Flash Gordon villain. Or they thought those damn gringos in the States were too cheap to spring the extra buck for a splash of color. Hey, you know what they say in Spain : living la vida loca, amigo.

And it´s not the only instance where they have different colors on covers. Like with the second issue, that Deathstroke guy must be really rich because instead of regular chain mail he and his son Ravager wear in the regular version in the spanish edition they´re wearing pure gold, man !

Who used to be made out of gold or at least some yellow metal was Robotman and they turned it into regular looking steel. I guess they thought if his name is Robotman shouldn´t he look like one ?

What I find hilarious ( and you probably can´t see this on the GIF ) is that the german publisher Ewas thinking that comics are read mainly by kids.

Because in the american version the sign on Robotman´s body reads " Tresspassers will be executed ", in spanish it´s " Los intrusos seran ejecutado " and even the french version says " Tout intrus sera execute ". The german version is the only one that just says " Betreten bei Strafe verboten " which means that it´s forbidden to tresspass and when you do you will get punished. Which in Germany could well mean a firing squad.

But the best miscoloring ( and they are quite frequent on the spanish issues ) is issue 16 where they turned Robin´s cape from yellow to green and made Robin blonde. And changed the color of Starfire´s metal bikini.

But all the talk about miscolored comics aside, this is how I read most of my first issues of any good series : badly printed, cheap and in spanish.

Because in Germany there were huge gaps in publication when comic book series changed publishers. And it´s not like german comic publishing was without its own problems. I haven´t gotten around to do it because I´m hopelessly behind schedule with my posts as it is but when I can finally continue with my thoughts on Jim Aparo´s THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD ( still have to read my hardcovers ) I´m going to have to mention BATMAN SUPERBAND 16 and the story that I call " The case of the vanishing Nazis ".

Can you spot the difference between the german cover and the original ?

Coming back to TEEN TITANS, one reason why it took me almost all day to prepare the covers for Today´s post is that I put them in the right order.

I´m not sure if I have mentioned this before but this is not as easy as it sounds which is one of the reasons why so many people were miffed when DC decided to skip some issues for the TEEN TITANS OMNIBUS 3 which I happened to buy when it was again cheap at amazon. You really have to watch out for this because from time to time they are offered at a really low cost. Or at least so low you can actually afford these fat suckers. I have no idea who can afford to pay full price on 100, 125 dollar books.

Anyway, I had already bought the two hardcover collections of NUEVOS TITANES in Spain on my last trip there ( sometimes they are called Jovenes Titanes sometimes Nuevos Titanes depending on the publishers ) and I was really happy that I managed to get the third omnibus for a bit over 50 bucks because now the gap in my titans collection would be closed. Or at the very least reduced. Well, imagine my surprise when I learned that DC had decided to ..... well, play some sort of strange roulette as to which stories they include I must surmise. Because it doesn´t really follow any logic or the argument they make that they only wanted to include the stories of Marv Wolfman and George Perez.

Because there are also some issues in it by Steve Rude or Mark Bright in it. I can understand if they don´t think people will cough up the big money if Wolfman or Perez are not in it but then call it the Wolfman and Perez Titans Omnibus and not the Teen Titans Omnibus. So in MY LAST POST ABOUT THE NEW TEEN TITANS I explained a lot of stuff like the reading order of the different series, what a Baxter issue is and how the issues were published - or not - in Germany. So I won´t get into that again.

Now there are some people who are still not sure about how to read Titans and they asked me is there no easy way to explain it ? Sure there is.

And I can use the GIFs I made to explain this. So THE NEW TEEN TITANS starts with a new number 1 in November 1980 and lasts 40 issues. Then the name changes to TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS which continues with the regular numbering until issue 58. Issue 59 reprints the 1st appearance of the new team of the Titans published in DC COMICS PRESENTS 26.

So when I had to decide how to make the cover GIF for this post I thought about what would be most useful to get readers started on TEEN TITANS.

I could have put them all in one GIF but with the german, french, spanish and swedish covers that would have been a hell of a big file. So the first 4 GIFs contain all the issues of NEW TEEN TITANS and TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS from issue 1 to 58. The series continues in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS issue 60. Now at the same time a second series started which was THE NEW TITANS that reprinted the content of Tales issue 60 in its first issue but on better paper. So if you want to have it easy you can just follow the series in Tales but I recommend you go for the better paper. Yes, it´s more expensive than the regular issues but I have some regular issues in my collection and some with the better paper and the colors on the ones with the better paper are still as good as when I bought them.

So the thing is that sadly Tales ends oddly enough with issue 91. A really strange number. So issue 91 of the old series is the same as New Teen Titans 31 so the order how to read is as follows. New Teen Titans 1 to 40. Tales from the Teen Titans 41 to 91 and then the Teen Titans with the better paper until issue 49. Or if you want to get all the issues with the better paper again number 1 to 40 but then Tales from 41 to 58 and thenNew Teen Titans from issue 1 to issue 49. If that sounds a bit complicated it isn´t but to be on the safe side verify your list with the info on the GRAND COMICS DATABASE which I always do. So once again we have run out of time and I even haven´t gotten around to mention that the publishing schedule of the ZINCO issues start skipping issues somewhere along the way. Now I don´t know if the issues were published as part of another collection or if they simply were not published at all but the spanish issue 40 is the same as TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS 49.

So with all this confusing things going on you can understand why fans weren´t exactly thrilled that DC skipped some issues in the 3rd omnibus.

I mean it´s understandable that they skipped issue 38 in the second omnibus. WHO IS DONNA TROY is one of the best Titans stories ever but since the third omnibus has the later five part story called - oddly enough - WHO IS DONNA TROY it makes sense to include them in the same book. Especially since the second omnibus focuses on The Judas Contract. But in the third omnibus they go skip issues 51 to 58 of TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS, and issues 7 to 49 and issues 62 to 65 of THE NEW TITANS. That´s 55 isssues I think in total. And you can´t tell me that with artists like Jose Luis Garcia Lopez and Eduardo Baretto you can´t sell those issues. Also it´s not like DC seems very interested to make these issues available in a cheap trade or even a SHOWCASE PRESENTS. Right now they don´t want to remind their readers how good their books used to be.

So this brings us to the end of another Teen Titans post where I got into the subject of the omnibus but I guess I will continue to bitch about it until DC either does right by it´s readers or I have closed the gaps in my collection. I hope the GIFs help a bit with straightening out this whole thing and let me know if you think they are a good idea or not. I have thought about making some versions for my Deja Vue posts because I think that would be perfect since it´s mostly the same cover over and over again. I guess I should make the delay slower than on this ones.

Well, even without me making new GIFs there are a lot of comic cover GIFs I have found on the internet ( kudos to the cool people who made them ) but I try not to post too many. This post was a bit special  since I had to put several in here as a public service but on future posts I´ll try to limit it to one GIF per post since it´s already murder on the loading time and I had to reconnect various times during the making of this post.

Since I have already mentioned GIF maker imgflip and the Grand Comics Database there is nobody to thank and we can go right to the videos.  I posted two Yaya Han videos in my last post but since it will probably take me some time and a few buckets of ice cold water before I can make my long awaited post there are some other videos I want to continue with.

Since I also have used some german issues of TEEN TITANS ( or better DIE JUNGEN GIGANTEN ) I want to start Todays post with something from german television. We already covered crime series with TATORT and SCHIMANSKI  so here is the first episode of one of THE german cult sci fi series from 1966, six years before STAR TRECK first aired in West Germany : RAUMPATROUILLIE ORION, ATTACK FROM SPACE ( Angriff aus dem All ) with english subtitles. I remember that the monitoring desk of the spaceship Orion looked a bit like the Tardis because the set designer just put anything they could get their hands on in it including a flat iron. And the music was very strange and the people danced in strange ways to it. If I had to describe it now I would classify it as slow techno. Maybe the people who made the show were more visionary than they thought.

I still haven´t posted all the videos with Stan Sakai´s USAGI YOJIMBO guest starring on the TURTLES cartoon and I guess here´s our next one.

Naturally I wanted to include a Teen Titans video but all you can find on YouTube is from that awful cartoon show. So instead here´s a video I found while looking for Corto Maltese. It´s one hour and a half of TUROK, DINOSAUR HUNTER and I haven´t had time to watch it myself ( is it any wonder with how much time I spent on the blog ? ) so I don´t know how heavy handed the ecological message is on this one but I guess any day you can go dinosaur hunting is a good day. And I know that the name on the video says TUROK GUERRERO DE PIEDRA but trust me, it´s in english.

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


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

RAUMPATROUILLE ORION, ATTACK FROM SPACE is a classic. But the villains (their equivalent of the Klingsons) being called "the Frogs"? Erm. Well. And it has eva Pflug in it! I actually translated a German Raumpatrouille strip that had been translated into Hungarian to English for the Yahoo Raumpatrouille group a few years back. That was 'fun'!
The Gifs I think work well with the covers displayed.
And companies didn't care about continuity in comics -if I recall my conversations with Basteir, Ehapa and Condor editors rightly, most were just doing a job for a pay check and "They are ONLY comics" seemed to be their responses!

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

WHAAAAT???? Why are posts disappearing? Why does the link on my blog say Easter Egg Test but following it I get "This post does not exist"???? I'm worried. The sky looked odd, purplish last night. Is this the beginning of a new Crisis On Infinite Blogs??????

SUBZERO said...

Yes, that was kind of a snafu. I thought I had changed something on a post but I couldn´t see it on the blog. So I posted the latest version I had saved to see if I had done it or not.

Well, after I had verified that I hadn´t made the changes ( that´s what you get for barely sleeping ) I deleted this test post and finally made the necessary changes to the old post.

Blogger can be confusing.