Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This Man This Monster Tuesday

Because there hasn´t been a lot of real comic content in my last posts - which were just some public announcements and me bitching that I don´t get to do new posts - I thought it appropriate to center on one of my favorite comic characters / series of all times : the Incredible Hulk.


I have been planning to do a new post about the strongest there is for various reasons and there did begin to pile up more and more Hulk stuff.

Every time I´m on the internet - even if I´m not writing a new post or doing the research for one - I´m very conscious about good, quality picture material because on one side that´s always hard to come by and you don´t always find the stuff when you need it ( quite the opposite is true in most cases ). And of course there´s also the fact that you never know what you might need, especially with my kind of writing style where I start with Dreadstar and end with a lot of stuff about Marvel´s graphic novels back when that actually meant special artists on special projects and higher production values. Now naturally I can´t use all the material I find right away and therefore it gets dumped into certain folders to be used at a later date. But I don´t always do as many posts as I want to do - as is apparent by my total lack of posting last week - and I also don´t get to post when I want to. So the posts get postponed ( no pun intended ).

And the folders fill up. To add another wrinkle on it, since my old computer self destructed and I had to buy the new laptop my old picture archive is gone. Which in turn not only means that more often than not I find that I don´t have a certain picture I thought I have, but also that I don´t have the slightest idea which pictures I already posted and which I didn´t. Okay, that might not seem so tragic - especially the second part - but I don´t want to post the same pictures again and again. Because that looks just boring. Now when I started this blog I prided myself that I never used the same picture twice but I have had to restart my picture archive a few times since then so I´m pretty sure there must be a lot of pictures I used twice. Now mind you, the exception is - at least for me - if I use the original cover of a comic and the german or spanish version has the same cover. While that is per se the same cover it may be important to post that particular version so I´m making an exception in that case.


Aside from that I´m really trying to keep the look of the blog interesting and not reuse the same pictures ad nauseum although that can´t be helped in some cases. I hope you can give me some leniency on this.

YE OLDE BLOGGE LAYOUT - SAME AS IT NEVER WAS

Speaking about the look of the blog : you may have noticed that this weekend the blog looked quite different, in fact all kinds of different with over a dozen different background pictures that just kept changing. Well, the truth is that since winter is now almost over ( all of March has been exceptionally warm here in Germany but now it has been getting colder and colder ) I wanted to try out a different background image that´s not so cold and frosty which says : " Yay, it´s spring / summer ! " and peps up the blog a little. I have had the current background image for quite some time now so I thought I could improve the blog a bit. Yes, I´m always trying to be harder, better, faster, stronger ( cue Daft Punk music ).

So I tried out a few but I just couldn´t find the right one. My main reason for the layout I chose when I picked my current one is that I want my readers to have a good time reading what I write here, enjoy the pictures and all the other stuff I put up like links or videos. What I don´t want is to distract them from the main posts by flashy gadgets, moving parts or attention grabbing background pictures. The main focus is the new post. Which is one of the reasons I have gone back to my old look. There were some background pictures with lots of books or robots or such but they didn´t feel right. I wanted to go with something simple like sand or water or grass in the background but either I didn´t find the right one or they were diverting my attention. The last one I picked was simply a blue sky but after trying it out for two days it started to really annoy me so here we are back in white stuck with the old look for the foreseeable future.


YOU KNOW THIS MEANS WAR - WORLD WAR HULK, THAT IS 

But let´s get back to Hulk : ( I know, whew, finally ! ) another reason for me wanting to do another post on The Incredible Hulk is that it has been a really long time since I did my last hulkcentric post on this blog.

Because it´s been a really long time since I did read my last Hulk comic.

Yes, you must be tired of hearing me bitch about the current state of comics and Marvel comics in particular but the last few incarnations of the book - with all that Banner trying to kill Hulk or whatever that nonsense was - and now with the Hulk as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. just doesn´t grab my attention. I bought one issue of the former because Carlos Pacheco did the art ( he´s always worth spending money )


and an issue of the latter was in the last DAREDEVIL book I got ( one of the few good Marvel titles left I´m still reading ) but none of them had a story that was interesting enough to buy consecutive / preceeding issues.

There is one trade / hardcover of INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK by Mark Waid that interests me because it has art by comic icon Walter Simonson in it that also guest stars Thor that´s really scratching my itch right now. But I still have to pay for the latest DVD I ordered from amazon ( The Sally Lockhardt Mysteries with Billie Piper and Matt Smith, talk about a remedy for Doctor Who deprivation ) and my last order for my brother´s birthday in April which hasn´t arrived yet so I will have to wait a bit with getting new comics from amazon. There´s also the fact that Erlangen is coming up so I might go easy on acquiring new comics since there are always dealers where you can get them at quite a bargain price. I hope the guy from last time is there again who had all the hardcovers at ten bucks.

JOURNEY TO THE PLANET OF THE HULKS AND BACK AGAIN

Well, right now the only lengthy run on Hulk that would interest me to buy in hardcover - or better yet as big, oversized omnibus hardcovers - is the Jeph Loeb / Greg Pak run when Ed McGuiness was doing the art.


You can argue about the quality of the writing of the restarted Hulk book in it´s initial stages if you want but there was some solid art on it, at least solid enough for me to buy the book again on a regular basis.

I haven´t read all of Greg Pak´s PLANET HULK. I got one of those HULK MARVEL MONSTER books by Panini as a birthday present some years ago ( longtime readers might remember the post ) which contained the first part but while there was some good stuff in it there also were some really cheesy and outright ridiculous things there like the Silver Surfer using his surfboard ( cue Beyonce music ) as a giant sword which didn´t motivate me to look for the rest of it. However, all that followed after that like WORLD WAR HULK and the new Hulk series really got my comic geek juices flowing. Man, just the gorgeous John Romita Jr art on WORLD WAR HULK and then later on during the FALL OF THE HULKS was so incredible. Add to that the brilliant pencils of Paul Pelletier, the hot babes of Frank Cho and Ed McGuiness´pep and you got a quartet of excellent artists.

All of it was so exciting I even did a special post after the first issue of the new Hulk series by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness speculating about the identity of the Red Hulk. Okay, I didn´t really predict it, but General Thunderbolt Ross WAS one of my main suspects and they did kind of cheat with the LMDs so there you go. Storywise the first issues were just the new Red Hulk going against the toughest guys of the Marvel universe but the Hulk book has often been at his best when it was just the Hulk going up against the monster of the week, or rather the monster of the month as this was a monthly publication.  I mean, who could ever forget the Hulk´s titanic battles against such formidable opponents like the Wendigo ( which had the first appearance of Wolverine in it ), Jack of Hearts, the Quintronic Man, Constrictor, one eyed Captain Barracuda or Bi - Beast ?


I HAVE TWO HEADS AND I MUST SCREAM

Now that´s a chunk of Hulk lore I would most definitely like to see collected in a big, fat omnibus hardcover. Even if I don´t need it.

You see, I´m not entirely sure but I think I already mentioned in one or two posts, that the Hulk issues by Sal Buscema and Ernie Chan with the Hulk fighting Jack of Hearts and the Bi - Beast are some of the issues I buy over and over again. It is one of my theories about comics and comic reading that we tend to buy the same comics again and again - IF they are really good. And they really don´t come much better than this part of the series. So I got the german version of it when it appeared as a back up in DIE SPINNE with some pages missing, I got the Condor Taschenbuch which had all of the pages but almost none of the text, I got the spanish issues from COMICS FORUM which were single issues and in color, I got the spanish issues from Panini´s BIBLIOTEKA MARVEL line which were in black and white and contained all the issues with Ernie Chan and I even got two french BDs, the first one with special glossy cover that had the issues with Jack of Heart and Bi - Beast ( or Bi Bete like he is called in french ) and the second one with regular paper that had the issues with Robinson Crusoe ( ? ) and Captain Barracuda. And I would buy it again.

It´s one of my all time favorite Hulk epoch´s and it would be really nice to have it all in one collection you could put up on your shelf porn. I really don´t know why Marvel hasn´t come out with a collection of it yet. Even if it didn´t contain all of the material it would be worth it and for me the rendition of the Hulk in these issues is just the classic one. I mean, for me Sal Buscema has always been the definite Hulk artist bar none, but when you add the Airwolf inks of Ernie Chan it just becomes epic.


Okay, so which INCREDIBLE HULK issues would be a must for a successful collection ( at least in my opinion ) of the Sal Buscema / Ernie Chan run ?

You just have to start with issues 214, 215 and 216 which contain the fight against Jack of Hearts and the confrontation with Bi - Beast. Then you can build up from there but that has got to be the foundation. Sal Buscema´s rendition of Jack of Hearts is just so awesome ( the man doesn´t shrink on any details on the costume and it has a lot of that )


and the issues with Bi - Beast exemplify what Hulk has always stood for when I was starting to read comics : big monsters which the Hulk can fight, mad science gone wrong and those huge sets like the flying S.H.I.E.L.D. carrier. Another given is issue 217, one of my all time favorite issues and probably one of the best " done in one " like EVER.

It takes place right after Hulk´s titanic tussle against Bi - Beast which ended with both of them dropping off the Helicarrier ( Ouch ! ) and , yes, big spoiler for a comic that´s more than 30 years old, gimme some slack !

THE TIME HULK HOOKED UP WITH CIRCUS FREAKS AND A MERMAID

This is rather a strange issue, but also one of the most captivating ones. After the Hulk is washed ashore some unknown beach he encounters a group of former circus performers who happen to travel with a mermaid.


What can I say, man, this was 1977 and this was just the way we rolled back then. You had a rough battle with a two - headed monster and woke up the next morning with a bunch of weird people. Don´t judge, man.

So the motley crew consists of the usual circus stereotypes : the thin man, the fat lady, the dog - faced boy and the midget which makes the story interesting as the Hulk is not really an outcast among them. Much rather he embodies another circus stereotype ( Can you guess which one ? ) and so he is accepted by the group without reservations, getting almost seamlessly incorporated as the strong guy. That´s a nice contrast to most Hulk stories where he plays the part of the ugly monster that is feared and haunted by all people it encounters. Here the Hulk finds acceptance with others because - like him - they don´t fit into the norms of our strictly regulated society which is a nice social commentary in itself.

I don´t want to go into too much detail ( I will have to leave that for another post on this incredible run that is sure to follow one of these days since it seems I can´t shut up about these issues ) but the mermaid is also a part of the group and the reason for their following fight against the Circus of Crime, their former employers. After Jarella ( more about her in a future post ) Meriam is the Hulk´s second big love interest and while she only appears in this issue she leaves a lasting impression - as do all of the protagonists of this issue. It is just so well crafted from start to finish and has one of the most poetic and heart wrenching endings.


So with this issue included we have four issues which is not enough for a good hardcover. It would be enough for the guys who are currently in control of Marvel - or rather Disney - who throw together any old four issues and pad it with a lot of filler just to sell another hardcover.

But since we are the ones wasting our time coming up with this list ( me a bit more than you are since writing this post takes longer than reading it ) let´s do it right. Personally I would want to include issues 219 and 220 in which the Hulk is stranded on a tropical island - after an encounter with the pirate crew of Captain Barracuda - where he meets Robinson Crusoe.


Yep - again - those were the 70s. It´s a nice two parter that examines the fine line between beast, monster and man ( or monkey man in this case ) with great art by Sal Buscema and Ernie Chan. You can see the splash page of issue 219 called NO MAN IS AN ISLAND further above in this post.

Okay, I said that I would want to include issues 219 and 220 and you may have noticed that I didn´t mention issue 218. That´s because the issue is drawn entirely by Ernie Chan and while he´s a capable artist on his own I like the HULK issues where he is inking Sal Buscema better. Another reason why I would exclude this issue ( unless it´s a really big omnibus hardcover in which case I would throw in everything from issue 210 to 221 ) is that it´s just one big fight of Doc Samson versus the Rhino without an appearance by the Hulk. A fill in issue without importance.

What I would much rather include are issues 210 and 211 which are the first ones of the Sal Buscema / Ernie Chan collaboration which strangely enough features the first appearance of the revamped Doctor Druid. And of course issues 213 and 212 which contains one of the best splash pages.


Not that the other splash pages are anything to sneeze at but I especially like the intricate linework on the wall with the Hulk poster in this one.

So with these two issues included we have eight issues, 212 to 217 and 219 to 220, which would make for a really good hardcover. We have the Avengers villain the Constrictor, future Avengers member Jack of Hearts, the Qunitronic Man, a beast with two heads, good circus freaks vs evil circus freaks, a mermaid, monkey men and even pirates in it, arr ! Not to mention General Thunderbolt Ross, Clay Quartermain, Betty Ross with a new hairdo, Hulk sidekick Jim Wilson and magician The Great Kropotkin.

If we include issues 210 and 211 we even have the first appearance of the man who would be known later on as the destroyer of the Avengers ( long before Brian Michael Bendis did it ) Doctor Druid. He was formerly known as Doctor Droom, a precursor of Doctor Strange whose name was changed because it sounded too much like Doctor Doom. That´s quite a varied collection of characters that has something for every taste I would think.

So why is it I can´t buy something like that from Marvel right NOW ?

I have my own theories about that but because elaborations on my part of that train of thought would sound too negative I leave you to your own conclusions and the continuation of my Hulk ramblings for another day. It is once again time to wrap up this post and call it a day. Originally there was another DEJA VUE part I wanted to add to this post but I think it´s already long enough as it is, so I´ll keep that for my next Hulk post.


Before I put a bow on this post I have to credit where credit is due which means mentioning the guys or websites that helped make this post :

SOULMANIA COMICS GROUP by Simon Williams ( no kidding, s - word ! ) is where I found the splash page of Incredible Hulk 219, thanks for that.

Also kudos to Pete Albano ( sounds like a wrestler name ) from COMIC RECOMMENDED for his post about Hulk issues 212, 214 and 217 . There are a lot of nice pictures as well as a longer overview of the issues if you don´t mind possible spoilers. A really informative read and I´m sure it will be an invaluable source of info when I continue the Hulk posts.

And speaking of pictures and spoilers, more of both can be found at SUPER MEGA MONKEY´S MARVEL COMICS CHRONOLOGY where they have separate posts for issue 212 and 213 , 214 to 217 and 219 to 221 .

Also - last but not least - website HULK 365 provides " one panel of one issue of The Incredible Hulk every day for a year " which include some pictures that may or may not have been used in making this post or any future ones. Thanks to you and all of the above as the saying goes.


Now as always I wanted to add a video to this post that has something to do with the topics I discussed which was quite difficult because on one side you get lots of hits if you look for " Hulk " on YouTube on the other side none of them about the issues 210 to 221 with art by Sal Buscema.

I did find THIS VIDEO about Bi - Beast but because the first part is about an Herb Trimpe issue and only the second part about Sal Buscema I´m only including the link. Instead I´m posting two other videos from two german tv series I found rather by accident the other day. The first one is from UNTERWEGS MIT ODYSSEUS ( Along the way with Ulysses ) a series that aired around 1978 and which I watched voraciously. The series was part live movie and part animated with the live part covering the journey of a crew along Ulysses´ route while the animated part filled in the viewers about the legend part of Ulysses. It´s a cult series for germans from my generation that sadly isn´t available on DVD and it´s where I got most of my knowledge of greek mythology. You can find the intro here and here is the clip with the outro or finale ( what ever you call the end of an episode ) with some great music. Which is another thing that was so great about the series. By the way, the narrator in the series was Hans Clarin who´s better known to german audiences as the voice of Pumuckl.



The second clip is from another tv series by the same production company called ABENTEUER MIT HERAKLES ( Adventures with Hercules ) and the title is pretty much self explanatory. I wanted to include it because you see much more animated stuff in it. I´m getting all nostalgic seeing this.



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

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Slumming with John Difool Sunday

Since Today is Sunday I´m just relaxing, eating leftover spagettis and preparing for my next Moebius post which will be about one of the greatest - if not the greatest - sci fi comic series of all times : the Incal.


" What´s to prepare ? ", you might ask. Well, for one although I have already done a few Moebius posts from which I still have some pictures left most of them are just covers and if you want to do a decent post about the Incal series you have to post more than just the covers.

" Why now ? ", you might also be inclined to ask. Well, as always I like to place the blame with somebody else, in this case none other than fellow blogger Geier - whose excellent blog GEIERHEIM can be found on the blog roll . who reminded me that it has now been two years since the great Moebius passed away. Which is totally typical for me. The GREATEST COMIC ARTISTS EVER : JEAN GIRAUD post is one of the most spammed posts on this blog ( with the WORLD´S GREATEST COMICS : BLUEBERRY post becoming slowly the second most spammed on the blog ) so I have to check it constantly. Still I somehow missed the two year anniversary.

And after some readers have complained that my last post was too heavy on hot chicks and oversexed I decided to do more comic related posts in the next few days. Now this by no means starts a new direction for this blog, just wait until Monday when italian pop sensation / erotic movie actress / nude model / 80s pop culture icon and personal favorite Sabrina Salerno celebrates her 46th birthday. Then we´ll talk about oversexed !

I know, it´s a bit difficult to find the right balance of what I want to put on the blog and what is really necessary for understanding the topics I´m writing about. And I´m totally aware that while I always to find and post the best pictures on the net ( I´m not saying that I always succeed in that department, but I AM trying ) some people might find those pictures unnecessary. Of course there are others who tell me that my posts are too wordy and need more pictures. I guess everybody wants different things. 


I know I would like to post on a more regular basis but keeping in mind the amount of work required to prepare the posts I fear that a serious decline in quality would be an unavoidable result of that course of action.

And from time to time I just want to address the questions readers ask me in the comments section because - after all - that´s who I´m writing for. Somebody once said that if you want to write things other people might want to read you should mainly write what you find interesting because if you don´t even want to read it how can you expect others to read it ? Some people think that the best way is to go for an audience as broad as possible, and while I really try to write my postings so that people who don´t know that much about comics can understand it I don´t write them for just everybody. Because somebody else once said " If you are doing a movie for everybody you are doing a movie for nobody. "

This can lead to some really strange posts but also to some surprisingly fantastic ones and going back over my old posts and re - reading them I´m sometimes surprised how fascinating they can be and how well written they are. Whoever the guy is who writes them he´s a damn genius. Okay, all joking aside, writing these posts is always a balance act where sticking to the main topic is concerned but there are a lot of things I only learned through going off topic and the hard research that involved.


But back to readers questions, there may be some followers of this blog who are probably wondering who the heck - just as an example out of my head - asked about Akira Lane in my last post ( probably the ones who already knew who she is ) or if there really were that many people asking about her why there is nothing about it in the posts comments section ?

Well, that is because most people who use the comments either try to post spam who then gets deleted automatically or they can´t help but include the link to their blog or some other website they want to promote which then gets their comments flagged as spam - and then deleted. And while most of the comments are appreciated ( especially if they are about complimenting me ) not all of them really add something to the reading experience. I know some people might go for that but I simply don´t have the time to restore all comments that were deleted because they included a link. It also might look weird if every post included comments telling me how great I am. Not to mention that people might think they are fake.

So while I DO read and appreciate them all not all of them make the cut and some just because people are lazy. But whenever there is a legitimate question that I think might interest my readers - or that might provide an interesting post topic - I put it on the blog. Now, for those people that are sad because they put an important question in the comments section and it got deleted I´m going to address the most frequently asked questions in the comment section and give a few tips how to pimp your stuff .

First of all : I didn´t come up with the design of the blog. This may come as a shock to you but I´m a troglodyte where computers are concerned so I used one of the many templates blogger provides for its customers.


Which brings us to our next question. I have no idea which blog provider is the best or what the differences are between blogger or wordpress.

I´m using blogger because it´s free and I know just enough about HTML to get the things I want to get done done HOW I want them to get done. That´s right, I don´t have any money. So I have to use the free blog platforms and aside from the occasional layout change and restructuring that totally effs up things for a month or two ( or getting the blog deleted and then restored ) it´s not too nerve wrecking. And to tell you the truth, after writing this blog for almost eight years now I just don´t want to go to another blog provider and start all my posts over from scratch.

Which brings us to the next questions people ask. I don´t know anything about anything. My blog doesn´t load quick enough on your cell phone ? I don´t even have a cell phone. My blog loads faster than any other blog on your tablet ? Well, good for you but don´t expect any explanations from me. You can´t get the RSS feed from the blog to work ? I´m not sure if it´s even a real RSS feed. I know I tried to include one but since I can´t use it myself I have no idea how it works. Or if it works at all. The header of the blog doesn´t show up on your computer for some strange reason ( this one´s for you Mr. Hooper, but thanks for the info ) ? I really don´t know why that is, I can see it on my laptop. So if you want tech support this is the wrong address for that. This is just a blog about comics and despite what you might see on popular sitcoms not all comic geeks are also brilliant scientists. I hope that clears up that part of the questions.

Next question : do I accept guest writers on the post ? Absolutely. As long as you can fulfill three criteria. First up, don´t expect to get paid for it.


I don´t have any money and I don´t get any from this blog or the amazon store you can find on the blog. Although I´m not sure if it´s working since I never got a cent out of it. It might be busted. That would explain a lot.

So if you don´t have a problem with writing a guest post without getting a monetary compensation that´s fine. Thus far I have had two offers but none of them sent me anything after the first mail.The second stipulation I have is that if you want to write something for me it should be about comics. Okay, movies or tv shows would also be okay but generally this is a comic blog so it should be about comics. Now don´t laugh because that is not as obvious as you might think. You may not believe it but I had to turn down some offers because here I wax philosophic about comics and I want to keep it safe for work. Yes, that´s a fine line and I get very close to it sometimes but so far I haven´t crossed it and I don´t intend to.

And don´t think that I´m just being snobby when I say it has to be about comics, I just don´t think that if you write about something that has not much to do with comics that you have more luck somewhere else. I know this blog and what the numbers of clicks are so if you want to write about plants or seafood you will probably get ten times as much exposure if you don´t have to post it here. And last but not least, okay ..... this is totally random and more about the intention of this blog. I want something that is positive. When I started this blog one of my goals was to emulate - if only in small part - one of the blogs I was reading at that time that was funny, strange, surprising but always uplifting. So if you just want to trash some comic or a company then this is not the right place for you. I think we already have enough blogs out there who do that and I don´t want to add to that. So instead of telling us what you don´t like in the industry right now, write about comics you love and why they are great.


Now I don´t want you to sugarcoat things or lie about it. I have always called a spade a spade on this blog and I will continue to do so. And I expect the same from possible candidates for the role of guest authors.

I´m not against critique, that´s good but only as long as it´s not outright bashing. You can be mean if you do it in a funny or interesting way and most of all in an unusual way that makes people think. Then you can sent me your missives. Which brings us to the last part of this section : send me an e - mail. Now if you want to write for this blog, or want to promote something like your blog it helps if I have the web address or at least the name of your blog. Again, don´t laugh, but I get tons of spam comments from people who want me to mention their blog but who can´t mention it themselves - to me. And there are a lot of people who want to pimp stuff or do a link exchange but who say they can´t find my e - mail address.

Which means they didn´t try hard enough to find out more about this blog or about me. Because they maybe took the time to read the " About me " section but they didn´t care enough to click on the " View my complete profile " button. Which is where you can find my e - mail address. And that´s the whole secret. Not as difficult as one might think now, is it ?

So this covers most of the things people want to know about this blog or should know. If you put a link in your comments it will be deleted. If you want to pimp something or write for the blog send me an e - mail. If you want a blog like this go to blogger and just get one because if I managed to do it everybody can do it. And don´t ask me anything tech related as I don´t know anything about anything. Which finally brings us to the end of this post that should have been much but much shorter when I started it.


I really didn´t get to say too much about Moebius or the Incal in this post - which is all right because I didn´t want to get into all that anyway.

Today I just am collecting material and preparing for the post. Also, I do not know if I´m going to re - read the Incal again since I already did that once when I initially wanted to do the big Incal post. It´s not that it´s not a comic that you can read a few times, it´s just that I don´t know if I´ve the time to do it. I already waited with the post until I had read it another time and look what that got me. So I might play it fast and loose with this one and solely rely on my memories and recollections of it. Which is what I basically do on all my posts. But to make sure I don´t have to rely on my own impressions here are some links of useful posts and articles I read Today in preparation that I want to give props to. You might want to check them out if you want to know more about Moebius or the Incal series.

WESTWARDS THE COURSE OF EMPIRE TAKES ITS WAY has a post about Moebius with some really great art while THE COMICS OBSERVER has a short post about who Moebius was . I´m posting it just in case there are some people out there who have never heard of Moebius or the Incal. And you can find some preview pages at a post from the COMICS ALLIANCE about the glory that is the Incal which is in the words of Mark Millar " quite simply one of the most perfect comics ever conceived and probably the most beautiful piece of graphic literature ever drawn ". And since we are on the subject of the art of the Incal, there is a post on the german website PETER POLLUDA MEDIENVERTRIEB where I found some Incal pages I am probably going to use in my post. Like I said, it´s only in german, very short and doesn´t spoil too much so I wanted to mention it.


The next two links contain more spoilers - although small ones keeping in mind that the story has been published decades ago and you really can´t spoil that much with a comic so packed with ideas like the Incal series.

At THE COMIC PUSHER you can find the post Creating the Universe : The Incal by Jodorowski and Moebius which goes a bit more into detail of " some of the most influential science fiction imagery since Jack Kirby forged a universe ( and a visual language ) out of paper and pencil fifty years ago. " It´s a really fun read that can wheat your appetite to delve further into this great work. " DiFool wrestles his way back into his home, only to have different forces blast in try get to the Incal. Then all hell breaks loose. Really, really breaks loose. It seems every major governmental, scientific and religious power in two full galaxies are going after the Incal, all while the city riots on all levels by every conceivable faction of humanity against the ruling order. Then the Metabaron, the universe's most epic assassin shows up to take out DiFool. Then the nuclear bomb goes off. And that's just the beginning. "

Another post about this sci fi masterpiece comes from the FORBIDDEN PLANET INTERNATIONAL BLOG , and while it´s not as explicit as the one above it gives you a good idea what the Incal comic series is all about.
 

" You have it all here; massive space - battles, psychological breakdowns, hand to hand beat - em - ups, laser shoot - outs and everything else you’d expect in a simple action sci fi thriller, but all leading to something far, far, far deeper and metaphysical. This is Star Wars in deep, deep psych treatment, 2001: A Space Odyssey with fighting and ray guns, Chandler with head - expanding sci fi, and everything in between. " 

Now I have to admit I haven´t read the last two articles because I don´t have the time which might be better since I would be too depressed from the sheer excellency of them. I can probably never be as brilliant as that.

JOG - THE BLOG has a lengthy post about the Incal, Jodorowsky´s film work and other things that´s really in depth and full of useful insights and analysis. And last but in no way, shape or form least Bob Clark over at WONDERS IN THE DARK has the excellent article - although it´s more a thesis paper or a manifesto - called When the Fall is All That´s Left : Jodorowsky and Moebius´ " The Incal " on Page and Screen . As always I would have loved to talk more about the Incal and Moebius but I´m already one hour past the deadline so it´s time to wrap things up.


Since this post is not really about the Incal or Moebius but instead mainly about public announcement stuff I´m going to keep the Incal video for the real post. What I´m going to post here instead is another masterwork from Comicbookgirl19 about the first two TRIBUTES OF PANEM movies and the parallels between the society of Panem, the Roman Empire just before the fall and our society and where it may be going. Yeah, if you thought THE HUNGER GAMES was just some stupid popcorn blockbuster movie you are in for a rude awakening. They are really about some really political and socially important stuff and Comicbookgirl19 is just the one to give you the complete lowdown on it. There are lots of spoilers in it but I haven´t seen the movies and now I´m really " on fire " to watch them.

So do yourself a big favor and watch this absolutely brilliant video that explains concepts like social engineering and where we might be going as a people that is so effing awesome she had to divide it into two parts.



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Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy shirtrippping birthday Kiana Tom !

Today one of tv´s hottest fitness babes celebrates her 49th birthday : Kiana Tom, mostly known for making men drool on FLEX APPEAL.


Of course like most shows with hot sexbombs FLEX APPEAL didn´t air in Germany. As I understand it - at least from the commentaries on the internet and later from the clips I could watch through the internet - the biggest pull of the show was Kiana Tom herself and her firm puppies ( 36Ds ! ) stretching the thin fabric of her tiny tops in a most fetching way.


According to wikipedia she was an original member of the ESPN fitness show " BodyShaping " until 1995 when she left to host " Kiana's Flex Appeal ". Being that her stunning 36D - 23 - 35 measurements were the only reason anybody watched " BodyShaping " in the first place, her show eventually became the more popular one. She has written a number of books on the subject of physical fitness and she even posed for Playboy magazine. In addition to hosting, she has made a few appearances on screen as an actress, most notably in Universal Soldier: The Return.


She also was on other shows like BLADE WARRIORS but I mostly missed the show because of work. But I caught a few episodes and I can say she really looks good in those. In fact, since I didn´t know she was born in Hawaii I cast her as Psylocke in multiple comic book casting posts.


Yeah, I know you´re probably tired of hearing me say that but asian girls are my kryptonite. And by assessory all exotic looking sexbombs. Damn, that´s one of the reasons cosplay queen Yaya Han still hasn´t gotten her own post. I want to give her props but I´m afraid it will turn into porn.


Which I have to look out for on basically any post involving hot cosplay girls if I don´t want to look like a pervert. Anyway, back to Kiana Tom. 

Born in Maui, Hawaii, she is the daughter of Chinese American child actor, Layne Tom Jr. She is part Chinese, Hawaiian and Irish. She was a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Raiders before becoming a TV personality.


As an actress her most famous part was in UNIVERSAL SOLDIER 2 or UNIVERSAL SOLDIER - THE RETURN how it is sometimes called were her short bit part at the beginning is the only redeeming value of the flick.

In the scene Jean Claude Van Damme and Kiana Tom´s character Maggie are running an exercise run against the universal soldiers. They are separated and Kiana Tom is captured by wrestler Goldberg. Now I don´t know where the logic is here as he´s supposed to be some kind of cyborg but he does what any healthy man would do in his situation. Namely tie the helpless Kiana Tom to a tree whose shirt reveals a really huge bulge.


But it gets even better as Goldberg ( named Romeo in the movie which might explain why he tries to get it on with Kiana ) rips open her shirt !

  
Now that´s what I call entertainment : we´re only six minutes into the movie and we already see Kiana´s bra - clad melons exposed ( sadly she doesn´t go bra - less although she definitely has the hardbody to pull it off, but since she doesn´t show more skin it is the erotic highlight ). It is just a quick glimpse, but you can see that Kiana really doesn´t have much to be ashamed of because those perfect heavenly hangers look amazing !


Like I said, this doesn´t make much sense since Goldberg is supposed to be some kind of machine here but as an AVENGERS fan I also bought that the Scarlett Witch has such a hot body that even an android got horny. As well as everybody else in the Marvel universe when the only women were her, the Wasp and Susan Storm. Looking back on old AVENGERS issues it´s kind of weird that all her male teammates had the hots for her.


Even her own brother it seems which is something they picked up again in ULTIMATES. Which was so oversexed and badly written that this really didn´t matter. But back in the day Wanda was the go - to damsel in distress and the top item for a villain´s bachelor base was probably to have her chained to a bed naked. I mean I get that all the villains like Arkon wanted to mate with her. Okay, in the comics they only kidnapped her but guess what they intended to do with her. Which wasn´t in the least bit awkward when it was revealed that Magneto was her father. Yes, that´s one way how writing as you make things up can bite you in the ass.


 Now all those times Magneto had Wanda under his spell and tried to turn her into his lust slave look really weird. Of course he played the old amnesia card but the truth is he probably knew all along that old dog.


For more on the Scarlet Witch the website SCARLET WITCHING has a post about The entire histoy of Wanda and Magneto´s relationship and THE PEERLESS POWER OF COMICS has an entry on her hex powers and her first glimpses as a villainess under John Byrne. You see ? Long before Bendis made Wanda a reality altering super mutant it was established that everything was possible for her ( she even had twins with an android ) and that she´s so hot she made her own father and a machine horny.

So maybe the producers use the same logic since Kiana´s mindboggling curves can overcome any programming. She´s so hot she melts metal !

  
The only thing that brings this down is that some sources claim that Kiana used a boob double for the scene. Which is hard to believe since it really isn´t necessary. Dammit, Kiana´s body is banging and if you check out the frames just before her pigeons fly loose you can see her big bust. So the only reason why they would have used a double would be that she was too erotic and they shot somebody with a smaller chest. I´m no expert on chest sizes especially when it comes to american chest sizes but I just like to believe that we get to see the real Kiana here. And if not then I stick to the theory that Kiana´s at least as gifted as her body double or that her chest is even bigger because otherwise it makes no sense.

In any case I´d like to get more information on who was her body double for the scene since she must also be a pretty hot number. Back to the scene, there isn’t a whole lot of skin here, but the bra busting moment might have you doing some serious Van Dammage to your man region !


As for her role in the film, Maggie is hardly used ( no pun intended ) and many reviewer bemoan that she didn´t get naked. I don´t know where the producers are coming from as they fumbled one of the biggest pulls of the movie when they decide not to make her a bigger part of the movie but some people suspect that one of the reasons why she is dumped so quickly in the movie is so the target audience doesn't have to deal with the suggestion of a mixed race relationship. Which I find a bit hard to believe since this really is no precedent in the history of US movies.

Secondly, it really doesn´t make any sense since what everybody hoped to see was more of Kiana Tom. Heck, I even found some fan fiction where Goldberg is not interrupted by JVCD ( typically he appears at the worst moment so we don´t see more of Kiana´s stunning physique ) and gets to unveil more of Kiana´s body before going down on her. And to show that others agree with me, here are some excerpts from various reviews :

After one of the most ridiculous opening jet - ski, machine gun scenes in cinema history, Kiana Tom's shirt got ripped open for a much too short bra shot. I immediately thought this movie, like sexpot Kiana, had potential.

 
The film opens with what the filmmakers hope is a pulse - pounding jaunt up a river, a jaunt filled with explosions, stunts, gunfire, and the briefest glimpse of Tom's incredibly fit form. As the mission grinds to a halt we learn several important things : Kiana Tom is incredibly hot but can't act her way out of a paper bag, JCVD has a daughter named Hillary who you just know will get into trouble at some point, and the only soldiers we must pay attention to are Goldberg and Michael Jai White.



Frankly, turning off the film immediately after glimpsing Tom's amazing physique is a good thing. Everything that follows is dull, predictable, and so full of plot holes as to defy description. " Universal Soldier 2 " feels like eighty minutes of dental surgery rather than an action film.


Plot holes in this film are innumerable, as uncountable as grains of sand on the beach or acne on a teenager's face, but let's instead discuss the performances - or the lack thereof. I should say I adore Kiana Tom; she's drop dead gorgeous with a body that could stop the earth's rotation, but watching her stumble through dialogue is like having your appendix taken out through your mouth. Another problem is the lumbering Bill Goldberg, whose " funny " lines are anything but. And the more I think about Heidi Schanz, the less I think of her. You have to wonder about a film where Jean Claude Van Damme is the best thespian in the cast.


Here I hoped that Heidi Schanz was the name german Playboy centerfold Nadine Tschantz used in Hollywood since they tend to have difficulties with german names ( as some playmates have used other names to break into the business ) but this is a totally different woman that doesn´t quite share her physical qualities - or her proneness to get naked on celluloid.


Before we end the topic of the movie I can´t withhold what one reviewer refers to as the Jean Claude Van Damme Matrix for reviewing movies :  

The Jean Claude Van Damme Review Matrix ( JCVD - RM )

1. Who is he ?

Luc Devereaux, the only remaining UNISOL from the first experiment. He now serves as technical expert to UNISOL 2500, the second generation, which has resulted in a stronger, faster, more deadly warrior.

2. Which family member / friend must be avenged ?

Not only does Dr. Dylan Cotner ( Xander Berkeley ) - the lead project scientist - get fried, but his daughter also falls into danger.

3. Does he take his shirt off ?

No, but Romeo, the alpha male of all the UNISOLs, is constantly shirtless. And Kiana´s shirt gets ripped off, although she wears a bra in the scene.


4. Does he have sex with a C - List actress ?

I hoped that there'd be copulation with his partner Maggie ( Kiana Tom ), but sad disappointment hit me when the credits rolled. Really guys, which producer who´s in his right mind passes up an opportunity to get a body like this naked ? Let´s just be realistic here. If a hot exotic sexbomb like Kianna with a pornstar hardbody that just won´t quit was my co - worker I´d spend all my free time slam - banging the living daylights out of her.


5. Is there a tournament ?

No structured tournament.

6. Is training needed for this tournament ?

As a regeneration from the first experiment, all the training he needs.

7. Does he do the splits in training or in the tournament ?

The splits are in full force when JCVD delivers a sack - stretching spin kick to SETH ( Michael Jai White ) - Self - Evolving Thought Helix - the computer system controlling the new genetically enhanced soldiers that implanted its programming and consciousness into human form.


8. Does he punch someone in the balls ?

Since the UNISOLs don't feel pain, but need to breathe, the throat - shot replaces the groin - shot in this one.

9. Does he do a series of flying or 360 kicks ?

OMG ! I'm dizzy !

10. Is his enemy unbeatable ?

SETH isn't quite SkyNet, and the UNISOLs aren't quite Terminators; so, JCVD has a manageable, yet difficult foe.


11. Does he overcome an injury or other hindrance ?

While Luc is battling the new and improved UNISOL army, he has to contend with an beautiful but irritating reporter named Erin.

12. Does he win ?

Judgment day averted.

And that´s all I´m going to say on the subject of UNIVERSAL SOLDIER II.

If the rumours on the internet can be trusted Kiana Tom is a very private person but still very business savy. And she waited with doing the pictures for PLAYBOY till she decided that she was in the best physical condition ( May of 2002 ). And I have to say : Thank you very much for that, Kiana !


Too many celebrities never grab the chance to do nude pictures when they are really in good condition, when their banging bodies are in their prime.


Then, twenty years ( or thirty years ) later their biological clock starts ticking, they want to prove they still look good and do some pictures.


Well, how are we supposed to come to a qualified decision ? We don´t know how she looked when she was young and sexy. So please girls, do some nude shots while you look good. Otherwise there is no proof.


Once again, time to wrap things up. As always I managed to talk about a lot of other stuff than Kiana Tom, but since the post is just an excuse to post as many pictures of her as possible I wanna wish her many returns !


Instead of the usual selection I´m sticking with Kiana Tom videos on this post since my german readers have probably seen none of these before. This is just a short selection and you can find many more on YouTube.








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I play the piano and have been playing since I was 7, mainly classical Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart. Kiana Tom