Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A sadly belated birthday to Rick Leonardi

Thankfully there are no other birthdays that require a post Today so we can continue with the post I promised for Rick Leonardi who celebrated his 59th anniversary Yesterday. I would have finished it sooner but I was working all night to get the papers for the unemployment office in order.

Which means that I haven´t slept since I started the Bob McLeod post in fact I had to interrupt writing because it was time to go to the job center, then when I got back I finished the post and continued right away with selecting the pictures for this post which was not as easy as I thought.

Now part of the reason for that is that Rick Leonardi used to do a lot of fill - in stories and inventory stories. He was one of the main guys at Marvel for that and man, back then I did not like him at all. You see, I had just managed to get a good pull list going so I would curse like a sailor every time he did an issue of DAREDEVIL instead of John Romita Jr.

Or when he did an issue of UNCANNY X - MEN instead of Marc Silvestri.  Especially when he illustrated some of my all - time favorite stories on the book because at that time I re - read every issue like a few dozen times.

Now with the NEW MUTANTS I didn´t mind as much as I started reading the book regularly when the artist was anything but that and they had a different artist each issue anyway. Also I couldn´t be borthered with such trifle things when it was SECRET WARS II crossover time. I know there are people out there who turn up their nose in disgust when they hear SECRET WARS II and while I have to conceit that the main story did not have the best art and was possibly written in a very simplistic way I love the overarching story and there are just so many fantastic crossovers with incredible art that I had no other choice than to get the omnibus.

Which is out of print now so I´m glad I bought it even if I had to pay the full price. What all this means is that you should already prepare yourself for more SECRET WARS II posts coming in the near future on this blog.

Another reason why it was hard to narrow it down to a manageable number was that he worked on some of my favorite series - some of which I had totally forgotten - and I wanted to include much more from SPIDER - MAN 2099 ( the original not the dreck Disney puts out now ) and CLOAK AND DAGGER. Not only covers but interiors and original pages.

I wanted to show all the series Rick Leonardi has worked on - there are a few that were even unknown to me - but the number was just too high so I had to make a few concessions. So I eliminated a few which might have been interesting to know that he made an issue but the cover itself was not awe inspiring. I hope I still managed to keep a few good ones in here.

Todays first celebrity birthday is sci fi cult siren Claudia Christian who turns 51. Best known for playing Commander Susan Ivanova on J Michael Strazynski´s Babylon 5 she secured herself a spot on the Top Ten Best Movie Striptease list with her raunchy performance in 1997s The Hidden.

Since a small GIF - as nice as it may be - is no real substitute to see Miss Christiane´s perplexing performance ( and because I already posted my Top Five J Michael Strazynski comics in a previous post ) here is the full scene that is the only reason why the movie is still shown on television.

Yesterday Melanie Griffith celebrated an anniversary, Today it´s her ex Antonio Banderas throwing his 56th birthday party. A man´s man the most famous face of Spain starred in such movies like Desperado, Spy Kids and The Mask Of Zorro. Now The Legend Of The Zorro was not as good as the first one because they brought the kid in and made it too family friendly. 

Rosanna Arquette who turns 57 has been in such memorable movies like Desperately Seeking Susan, Silverado, Amazon Women On The Moon, The Big Blue and Pulp Fiction. I thought she was also in one of my favorite horror movies The Serpent And The Rainbow but it seems I got that one mixed up with Black Rainbow from 1989 in which Rosanna DOES appear.

Since Today is also Kate O Mara´s birthday this could have been a totally different post but since I´m super busy we will have to postpone the continuation of the Hammer movie series and talk about The Vampire Lovers and The Horror Of Frankenstein some other day. Kate appeared on The Two Ronnies but she is best know for playing The Rani in Doctor Who although the general public remembers her from her role on Dynasty.

Longtime readers know I use any chance to put more Doctor Who on the blog so here is a scene with Sylvester McCoy who has just regenerated.

The second candidate in our dearly departed section is Jack Haley and while the name probably does not sound familiar he is known worldwide as the Tin Man in the MGM classic The Wizard Of Oz with Judy Garland.

This was intended for a Christmas post but that´s still a few months ahead so why wait ? In any case there are a few other Christmas Specials.

One of Rick Leonardi´s ( and Peter David´s ) best series is Spider - Man 2099 so here is some history for those who want to know more about the only other cool Spider - Man or only know him from the current series. And if you haven´t DO read Spider - Man 2099 because otherwise you cannot call yourself a Spider - Man fan. Sorry if this bursts your bubble.

Now all we need is a cartoon video and a music video. Wouldn´t it be cool if there was one that was both in one ? Oh, wait. I got just the thing.

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