Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Prepare for Master of Kung Fu Tuesday !

Well, this would have worked so much better if 68 years ago little Doug Moench had waited one more day to enter this world  but any excuse to post something about SHANG CHI : MASTER OF KUNG FU is welcome.

Of course Doug Moench wrote more than just this series but he came onto the title with issue 20 and his writing together with the stunning art by Paul Gulacy gave the title new life. He wrote the book until issue 122 ( only skipping issues 64 and 121 ) so he wrote most of it including the part with Mike Zeck as regular artist which is the part I´m most interested in. 

Don´t get me wrong, the entire series is one of the best - if not THE best - Bronze Age series Marvel has ever produced but I´m just a bigger fan of Mike Zeck than of Paul Gulacy. And I have read all of Paul Gulacy´s issues for THE HANDS OF SHANG - CHI, MASTER OF KUNG FU or rather the spanish translation of it since those were the first issues that were reprinted in a collected edition some decades ago. Now that I think of it most of what I read of the series has been in the spanish translation since I still haven´t started reading the original issues I bought the last years.

Anyway, back to the spanish version, the Mike Zeck issues never got the special treatment of a collection but I don´t know if that was because it was too soon after the issues had been published by Vertice or if they felt it wasn´t worth the effort. In any case, since Mike Zeck started as regular penciler with issue 59 he will probbaly not appear in the new omnibus editions Disney is putting out until the final pages of the second volume.

Back to Doug Moench, he also wrote issues 20 to 43 of one of Marvel´s most famous Bronze Age horror series WEREWOLF BY NIGHT where he co - created Moon Knight with artist Don Perlin. By the way, Moon Knight´s costume is not white as many people erroneously think but silver - like his weapons - because he was created as a foil for werewolf Jack Russell .

Or is it ? The Moon Knight character was so popular with readers that he guest starred in a few other Marvel titles ( like SPECTACULAR SPIDER - MAN 22 and 23 which had art by Mike Zeck ) before he finally got his own series where almost everything from his first appearance - including his origin - was totally revised. The series lasted until issue 38 and was also written mostly by Doug Moench. There was a second series in 1985 called MOON KNIGHT - FIST OF KHONSHU of which I found the first five issues at a comic convention only to find out later that it had been canceled with issue 6. The art was by penciler Chris Warner and inker E. R. Cruz whom I knew from Heroic Publishing´s CAPTAIN THUNDER AND BLUE BOLT series.

This is the first series I read in the original american version because they were the first US comics that made their way to the newsstand at the Rathaus bus station in Ludwigsburg before they got any issues of IRON MAN, ROM SPACEKNIGHT or SUPERMAN. Man, I loved the art but I don´t think I ever got the complete run of the series. Boy, does anybody except me remember the other Heroic Publishing series like CHAMPIONS, MARKSMAN, MURCIELAGA THE SHE - BAT, THE TIGRESS or FLARE ?  

Okay, before I got totally off topic I was talking about the series Doug Moench wrote at Marvel which are too many to list them all because not only did he write series like THE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER, SHOGUN WARRIORS or GODZILLA : KING OF MONSTERS, he also worked on a lot of their black and white magazines, most notably DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU, DRACULA LIVES, MONSTERS UNLEASHED and PLANET OF THE APES. 

One last thing I have to mention about Doug Moench´s tenure at Marvel is that he co - created my favorite killer cyborg Deathlok with artist Rich Buckler. I still can´t believe that I didn´t catch on sooner who the character of Mike Peterson on Marvel´s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D was. 

I know I´m skipping over a lot of his series like SIX FROM SIRIUS, the creator owned comic he did with Paul Gulacy at Marvel´s EPIC imprint but otherwise I´ll never finish this post. Over at DC Doug wrote also a ridiculous amount of series, among them the second volume of THE SPECTRE which had Gene Colan as an artist for the first issues. I got some of them at Erlangen but I never got that far in my convention diary.

And speaking about Gene Colan, he was also the artist on BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS when Doug Moench was writing those titles.

I remember there was this whole story arc with Nocturna where Alfredo Alcala did the inks. Now his inks were a bit heavy and some of Gene Colan´s art was overpowered but it still looked cool to my younger self. 


Other DC series I want to mention are ARION, BLACKHAWK, C.O.P.S., LORDS OF THE ULTRA - REALM, MISTER MIRACLE, OMEGA MEN, SLASH MARAUD and the Legion of Super - Heroes spin off title THE WANDERERS.

Well, the post ended up being a bit shorter than planned, mostly because I started very late and I was furthermore distracted for a while by an unexpected find of many pages from CAPTAIN THUNDER AND BLUE BOLT.

Since Today is also Erich Kästner´s birthday but to all who expected more literary content I want to mention that it´s also porn actress Dylan Dyder´s 35th birthday so count yourself lucky I didn´t go that route.

Speaking about birthdays, Today was also the anniversary of Terence Fisher, director of such Hammer movies as The Curse of Frankenstein and The Man Who Could Cheat Death but since I have nothing new to add to my post on Hazel Court I only want to mention that there is a nude scene in the last one although I think you only see Hazel from behind. You DO see a statue of her in the film though and the bust is going full frontal.

And one final thing where celebrity birthdays are concerned : Yesterday was the 48th birthday of sci fi cult siren Jeri Ryan but since I also have nothing new to add I´m leaving you with the link to last year´s post

So let´s start with the links which are quite a few for this post. First up I AM THE PHANTOM STRANGER has posts on issue 2 and issue 3 of Doug Moench´s THE SPECTRE where the Phantom Stranger is guest - starring.

DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND offers The Crystal Connection by Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy from Master of Kung Fu 29 and I´m not entirely sure if I have already posted The Phoenix and The Dragon ( issue 86 ), The Chrysalis and The Peacock ( issue 87 ), The Leopard and The Dove ( issue 88 ) and The Dragons ( issue 89 ) from the Warriors of The Golden Dawn Saga by Doug Moench, Mike Zeck and Gene Day. There are also a posts with splash pages from Gene Colan´s Tomb of Dracula and Gene Colan´s Daredevil and for more Kung Fu action check out GIANT - SIZED MARVEL´s posts on Marvel Kung Fu . Tom Field did an interview with Gene Colan for issue 13 of COMIC BOOK ARTIST and legendary Roy Thomas also interviewed Gene Colan for issue 6 of ALTER EGOboth of  them can be found in the spanish version in this post by El Tio Berni on ENTRECOMICS.

Since I know how much my readers like the Top Ten lists Tom Field at WEDNESDAY`S HEROES brings us the Top Ten Gene Colan covers and you can see a lot of Gene Colan´s original art on this post by Bob McLeod.

DC COMICS ARTIST has a list of everybody who drew Bronze Age Batman.

There´s an entry about The Tomb of Dracula on HORRORPEDIA by Mondozilla as well as on TALES FROM THE LONGBOX and an invaluable resource is THE THOUGHT BALLOON which has issue by issue synopsises and reviews of The Tomb of Dracula with a lengthy introduction to the series . Last but not least SCANS DAILY has a post with Gene Colan scans from issue 34 of Tomb of Dracula and issue 5 of the Tomb of Dracula mag in which Dracula squares off against daughter Lilith who has a peculiar dress sense which earns her a special feature on COMICS ALLIANCE .

I´m starting the video section of Today´s post with the dubbed german version of the PBS documentary Superheroes - The Neverending Battle.

And it really is a neverending battle for me because I keep putting the video on the blog and YouTube keeps deleting it. So here´s another try.

No, the following video doesn´t have anything to do with the topic of the post, I just wanted to post this funny video with Jessica Nigri cosplaying as Freddy Krüger. I know that there are people out there who take offence when she´s gender bending because " she´s not keeping it real " but I say anybody who does not think that this is totally Airwolf needs to be hosed down. As does anybody who uses the words " keeping it real ", seriously.

Cosplaying is about creativity and having fun and if people are clamoring for a black Captain America, a gay Herkules and a female Thor THIS is really small potatoes. I´m not saying that Jessica´s potatoes are small.

Man, I just walked right into that. Anyway, the animated GIF about was the smallest I could find and normally I try to post a big one but I will keep them for a cosplay spotlight post on Jessica Nigri - if I ever get around to do it. But until then you can find eight high quality GIFs on this post .

And on the horrific note I wanted to add a television special with Vincent Price from 1979 that dramatizes three classic children´s books stories.

Since there has been no Master of Kung Fu or Moon Knight cartoon I decided to pick an animated short I just recently discovered : a collaboration between Walt Disney and the great Salvador Dali.

I´m going to end Today´s post with Dami Im who auditioned on The X Factor Australia in 2013. There will be more of her in upcoming posts.

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

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