As you may have guessed from the title I´m paying homage to one of the best known writers of pop culture classics on the day of his 67th birthday.
And while he has written a lot of different comic books he is best known for his war books like THE NAM and G. I. JOE where he took a handful of toys and built a world around it that has fascinated and entertained whole generations up to this day. So while I somehow managed to miss the G. I. JOE thing completely although I grew up in the 80s I know what a big part in comic history it has ( the silent issue is one of THE most referenced comics ) and as usual I wanted to add one of my favorite things to the post so I selected a few of my favorite Mike Zeck covers from the original series and some of the ones that followed later from IMAGE and IDW.
Before we come to Today´s celebrity birthdays I have to mention that fellow blogger Terry Hooper from the cantankerous COMIC BITS ONLINE had his anniversary Yesterday and as usual I was already halfway through my Master of Kung Fu post before I noticed. Anyway, since he´s a bit touchy about his age I won´t go into that and if you are an avid follower of his blog - or just go there occasionally - please leave a few comments before it closes down its doors forever. And if you are already going there buy some of his comics which I can only recommend especially the Return of the Gods : Twilight of the Superheroes phonebook ( you can really do some damage with this 332 page sucker ), the D - Gruppe comics and The Bat Triumphant. I don´t know why he´s not selling more comics with the low quality material the big two are currently putting out but maybe comic readers prefer to suffer in their misery to trying out new things. Or maybe it´s only a question of re - packaging things for Today´s audience.
Starting the birthday roll call is Anna Torv and I can say that she turns 37. She´s best known for playing FBI agent Olivia Dunham, Agent Zuckerguß in Germany on one of the best tv shows ever Fringe. This is one of the few instances where the german translation was better than the original because Agent Zuckerguß was so on the nose. Aside from that I prefer to watch the show in the original language setting because Broyles sounds way to sophisticated in the german language. The only problem I have is that at the same time Fringe aired in Germany there was this commercial by ex Germany´s Next Top Model judge Bruce Darnell who looks like Lance Reddick´s secret brother and every time he was on I heard in my head : " Du brauchst einen Wechselkurs. " Anyway, two additional reasons to watch it in the original language is that in the first episode they are in Germany and if you watch it in german they are talking german the whole time but if you watch it in english they only speak german at the beginning. Also, Kirk Acevedo who plays agent Charlie Francis has the most raspy voice I have ever heard on tv and in the german dubbing he sounds nowhere near as cool. Like I said, Fringe is one of the best series on tv and my Mom has binge watched the complete series at least a half dozen times.
Karl Urban celebrates his 44 birthday and if you haven´t seen his Dredd movie you´re missing out. Not only does it capture the spirit and feel of the Judge Dredd comics co star Olivia Thirlby does a terrific job as Psi Judge Anderson and even does a short nude scene. Well, kind of since it´s really short and out of focus but she looks absolutely amazing. I thought about making an animated GIF of that scene since it is too short but I don´t think it would be safe to post anyway ( as is another GIF I found with what might have happened to Judge Anderson if the convict got his wish, a really excellent animation but NSFW ) and I think this gives you a good enough idea. And go watch the movie for c#r!ssakes. Here´s hoping Karl and Olivia reprise their roles in another Dredd movie.
As of Today Coleen Camp is 63 years old and while she has appeared on tv shows like Happy Days, Starsky And Hutch, Man From Atlantis, Dallas, The Dukes Of Hazard, Magnum P. I, Tales From The Darkside, Murder She Wrote, Tales From The Crypt and Roseanne and been in such box office hits like Battle For The Planet Of The Apes, Game Of Death, Apocalypse Now, Police Academy 2 : Their First Assignment, D.A.R.Y.L., Wayne´s World, Sliver, Last Action Hero and Die Hard With A Vengeance she will always be remembered for playing Yvette, the maid with the Russ Meyer measurements and the Power Girl cleavage in the murder mistery Clue.
The story from Tales From The Crypt she appeared in was Korman´s Kalamity from issue 31 illustrated by Jack Kamen. Since his style was perfectly suited for romance comics he would always get the stories that start out as romance and end in the usual ec style and this story was his favorite since it depicted the transition from romance to horror perfectly.
The story is about a comic artist whose drawings come to live committing murders and Coleen plays his nagging wife who gets her come uppance.
One year older with 64 is Liam Neeson who has managed to have a second career as the guy you don´t want to cross in movies like Non - Stop, 96 Hours, Taken, Taken 2 and Taken 3 ( isn´t it about time they learned not to take anything from Liam ? ) or just the tough guy and manly man in movies like The Grey. Besides of being one of the voices of Geoff, the robot on Craig Ferguson´s The Late Show he has played the iconic roles of Hannibal on the very successful movie remake of A - Team, Zeus in the not so successful remake of Clash Of The Titans and the sequel Wrath Of The Titans, jedi knight Qui - Gon Jinn in Star Wars : Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace and the animated Star Wars : The Clone Wars and Ras Al Ghul in the ridiculously good Batman Begins and the equally ridiculously awful The Dark Knight Rises but to guys from my generation he is the guy from Rob Roy, Shindler´s List and Darkman. When that movie came out it didn´t seem like it but there is still comic book life in that character.
Last week I found some Weird Al Yancovic videos on YouTube and if you haven´t seen Episode 1 he sums up the entire movie in The Saga Begins.
Today there were just too many musicians who celebrate their birthday so I had to skip the next two. The tiger Tom Jones turns 76 and since he´s on the jury of The Voice it would have been to difficult to pick a video.
With Roberto Blanco who celebrates his 79th birthday I just couldn´t find the one I was looking for. Here in Germany he never had the chance to tap his real potential and while he had big success with Schlager hits like Der Puppenspieler von Mexico or Ein bißchen Spaß muß sein he had his biggest success in Cuba where the son of cuban descent was the first foreign artist who had his own show block in the revue show of the famous night club Tropicana in Havanna in 1987 to rave reviews.
In the end I decided to go with a Prince song and it really hasn´t sunk in yet that he´s gone. What will live on forever is his great music like Purple Rain, here in the version of up and coming music superstar Dami Im.
Speaking of great musicians who have departed this earthly plane singer / actor Dean Martin would also have celebrated his birthday Today and I always liked the Dean Martin / Jerry Lewis combo. From all their movies Artists and Models is one of my favorites because it is about comics. If you haven´t seen the movie it works in a similar way to the Axe Cop comic : Jerry Lewis has nightmares of the hero Vincent, the Vulture which his pal Dean Martin turns into comics. Unbeknownst to both the secret formula X34 minus 5R1 plus 6 - X36 they use in the comic brings them to the attention of spies. The usual hijinks ensue. Shirley MacLaine as the seductive Bat Lady ( die Vampyr Lady in german ) is my favorite part.
I couldn´t end without the G. I. Joe cartoon and I found a clip that doesn´t put the show down or is just a mix of the different intros.
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