Friday, October 07, 2016

Flash Friday : Race Against Time - part 4

As you may have noticed there haven´t been many posts since last Sunday but I still want to continue with the next part from Race Against Time.

Now I know some of my readers might think that I have finally lost my marbles because on the blog the last post IS from Sunday. But as the readers who visit my blog more frequently know I have done a few posts since last Sunday but they all belonged to last month so they don´t show.

Just Yesterday I did a post where I had the necessary material all laid out and then somehow forgot to post it. There are a few other posts I had planned and didn´t get around to post but I´ll just have to cut my losses and post them in the future. The plan from here on is to post less because 24 posts in one month is a bit much if you calculate that I need at least two days to finish a post. Which means that last month I often did two posts on one day and very often back to back. So now I have to pull the brakes and clean up the laptop because of all the pictures and videos that accumulated while making the posts. When I have finally sorted all of this out we can return to a more regular posting schedule but at the moment I don´t even know where which stuff ended up. Anyway, if you liked the higher post quota last month let me know and if you didn´t likewise.

Okay, back to the best Flash of all times, Wally West. He´s not in this issue. As you saw in last week´s episode John Fox managed to disrupt Wally´s emotional connection to Linda Park so Wally got lost in the speedforce. But if you think that that´s the maximum extend to which John Fox is going to f - word up things you haven´t seen nothing yet, pilgrim. I don´t want to spoil too much but it seems in the future John Fox comes from they don´t teach you about about the time loop theory - or if they do he surely didn´t listen. Anyway, you got to love egocentric guys like that.

Didn´t I tell you ? Let´s make a quick recap on how bad John Fox screwed up things. Managed to get the real Flash lost in the speedforce ? Check.

Tried to take his place as a superhero which resulted in his hometown being overrun by super villains ? Check. Big parts of its citizenship turned into popsicles and the rest in danger of becoming likewise ? Check. Tried to steal his girlfriend ? Lied to her thus putting her in danger ? Got HER turned into a popsicle ? Check, check and check. So, it´s not just personal antipathy when I say that John Fox is probably the WORST Flash in history. Thankfully at least one of these things gets resolved next issue when Wally West DOES manage to return next issue in a story not called THANK YOU FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF MY GIRLFRIEND, for obvious reasons.

Now I said that I wanted to take it easier with the celebrity birthdays which doesn´t mean I´m getting rid of them all together. I´m doing my best not to let them dictate what I post but I´m still going to mention them when I have something to say and post about them especially if this makes it easier to decide which videos to add. Today we start with Celeste Bonin a.k.a. Celeste Braun who celebrates her 30th birthday.

Now the name sure doesn´t sound familiar and that´s because she looked really different when she wrestled in the WWE under the name of Kaitlyn.

I know ! That´s what I said. What the heck ? It´s like we only got the kid´s version of this hot sexbomb. Leave it to Vince McMahon to screw you over without you even knowing it. I bet she would have had a lot more fans if she wrestled with her natural look. Anyway, as always the internet makes up for that. This is the video with the best quality I could find and if you don´t want to wait for the good part just skip the first minute.

David Mack turns 44, best known for his stint on Daredevil where he co - created Echo with Joe Quesada ( remember when Joe Quesada still made good comics like the brilliant The Man In The Iron Mask ? ) although his greatest accomplishment in the comics field is his creator owned Kabuki.

Longtime readers may remember me gushing over his art before and if you only know his Daredevil work you need to get Kabuki. I know that Today he is only known for his color work and his artfully crafted collages but although he didn´t use any of that in his first black and white series you HAVE to start with the first volume of Kabuki which you can easily find because the comic series has been reprinted by various publishers now.

The reason for that is that Circle Of Blood is a creative tour de force on how to achieve the greatest effect in comics with the simplest of tools. Sometimes black and white art looks deceptively easy - especially when done well - but when you delve deeper into the comic there are just layers upon layers or artfully interconnected relationships between the art and the words by repeatedly using the same images and symbols, going forward and backwards in time and taking us directly into the mind of the protagonist. So while it doesn´t look as slick as the following volumes of Kabuki it is the best part and all I can give as advice is to take it in slowly and enjoy every moment of it. This is what comic books can achieve.

Now while I don´t know how much of the decision to do the first story in black and white was out of necessity and how much was intentionally his color work is no less impressive. I know that he has gotten some criticism for his difficult compositions and there are even people who have called him lazy for using collages but as someone who went to school during the heyday of collages when art for most people meant taking a lot of trash and garbage and putting some clever words to it so they can call it art and who has studied art I can say that those people have no idea. Yes, it is challenging and you will undoubtedly make yourself look like a fool if you read these comics on the bus because you will have to turn the comic sideways or upside down and sometimes go back a few pages to read it right but even if I have cursed David Mack myself a few times because you keep spinning the comic around and around this will be one of the most satisfying reading experiences of your life. For more on the comic series check out HOUSE OF FLYING SCALPELS post on David Mack´s Kabuki : The Alchemy where you can find more brilliant pages like the one above.

From one of my favorite comic artists we´re coming to one of my favorite r & b artists with Toni Braxton who celebrates her 49th birthday. She was one of the biggest stars when I was still watching music television on a regular basis and she somehow fell into a deep hole a few years back but is seems she´s back on the good track. I don´t watch much reality tv but I know that she has been on Dancing With The Stars and she was on an episode of The Arsenio Hall Show promoting Braxton Family Values.

Speaking of music and reality tv : Simon Cowell turns 57 and I just had to use this opportunity to put another video with 4th Impact on the blog. There are some with better quality that have just their performances but since it´s Simon Cowell´s birthday here´s one with him actually in it.

Today´s cult siren is Judy Landers who celebrates her 58th birthday. She has been a cast member on Vegas and Madame´s Place but she also was on all the cult shows like Charlie´s Angels, Fantasy Island, A - Team, Knight Rider or Night Court. Speaking of shows with Markie Post, Judy was also on The Fall Guy in the episode Three For The Road but I couldn´t find it on YouTube. Judy Landers often co starred with her sister and while Audrey has the prettier face Judy always got her beat where the body is concerned. Since I usually just re - post the PLAYBOY picture of them I wanted to do something special for Judy´s birthday which was a huge mistake. Because it took me a few hours to download some clips from Club Fed and in the end I could not use any of them and had to go to YouTube. 

Now I was thinking about posting something from the movies or tv shows she´s best known for like Madame´s Place or Stewardess School but she also had a role in the tv pilot Remo Williams : The Prophecy which I mentioned just a few posts back and have been dying to post ever since.

Coming back to comics, french artist Enki Bilal turns 65 and I have to confess that I´m not up to date on his latest works. There was a movie called Immortal directed by Enki Bilal based on his Alexander Nikopol cycle which was a bit disappointing and I already posted a video about him. 

Another of the comic greats, Howard Chaykin celebrates his 66th birthday and if his anniversary hadn´t fallen on a Friday I might have done a post about him since the list of series he worked on is too long to include here.

I was struggling with which video to post when I came upon this vintage interview with Howard Chaykin where the talks about American Flagg.

Speaking about struggling, I was not sure if I should include Art Thibert in this section since it was impossible to find out his date of birth but he has worked as an artist or inker on a variety of titles at DC and Marvel Comics for decades - mostly notably his inks on the Whilce Portacio and Jim Lee x - books - which I enjoyed over the years so I want to give kudos for that.

As always I want to end the post with a Flash video and since the new season of The Flash has finally started here is the review of the 1990 tv series I had to postpone posting in my last two FLASH FRIDAY posts.

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