Monday, November 14, 2016

It´s mi paisano Monday with Carlos Pacheco

Even if I have not put the finishing touches on my last post yet I had to write something to celebrate Carlos Pacheco´s 54th anniversary Today.

Now while he is one of my top ten artists I haven´t read all of his latest work because he is on such peripheral books like OCCUPY AVENGERS or the SECRET WARS - SQUADRON SINISTER mini series. While I don´t know much about the first one - except that having a 5 dollar price tag on a comic that is supposed to be socially minded is a slap in the face of every comic reader - I can recommend the second one. While I would have preferred a hardcover without any filler material you don´t really need to know very much about the cheap SECRET WAR knockoff series besides what you are told within the story and it has a nice homage to the epic fight between Superman and Batman in Frank Miller´s iconic THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. 

But as enjoyable as that series was the writing on most Marvel books has put a big dampener on my drive to buy comics with Carlos Pacheco art.

Even when he is on one of the big books he doesn´t make much waves lately to the extent that when the guys from Comic Geek Speak did their BOOK OF THE MONTH episodes on AVENGERS FOREVER ( one of Carlos Pacheco´s greatest achievements in the field of comics ) they had no idea what he was working on. It was CAPTAIN AMERICA. Captain Freaking America. Just one of the most beloved heroes and one of the iconic Avengers in good standing. But the story on that was so bad it didn´t even register. I had planned to do a post about the series final because I went and bought the big, fat, german Monsterband which contained a big chunk of it. I thought reading it in one sitting would be less painful - like taking off the band aid real quick - but there is no way to dull the pain.

So after preparing all the necessary material I never got around to do the post and then I just let it slide because I don´t like to be so negative. I am not going to talk about everything that is wrong with that story ( which is basically everything except Carlos Pacheco´s art ) that was only written to have a story point where Steve Rogers becomes an old decrepit man so Sam Wilson can take over as Captain Falcon but I will mention one of the things that bugged me. It has to do with asian Daily Bugle reporter Samantha Chan ( I had to google her ) who appears in issues 12 to 14. 

As a fine example to women and reporters everywhere she validates old stereotypes by f - word - ing things up from the get go. While hot on the trail of Nuke - who runs amuck in the fictive country of Nrosvekistan - she manages to send him into a killing rage after Captain America had managed to talk him down. Naturally Nuke is not on good terms with the press if you keep in mind how one sided their coverage of the military is in most of the cases and Captain America has to put a heavy beat down on Nuke.

While Captain America is busy with Nuke Sam Wilson puts Samantha out of harms way and when he tries to get her to give over her camera she reads him the riot act and gets all Holier than thou with the freedom of press.

Well, at the end of the issue it turns out that our fearless photo journalist Samantha Chan is more interested in selling her pictures and the freedom the constitution grants her than taking on the responsibilities of a real reporter and making sure the facts are presented accurately. Because - surprise, surprise - her pics are used to slander S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America who is the victim of a campaign to ruin his good reputation.

Now as a big fan of the old EC horror comics where actions always had consequences I expected her to get her come - uppance ( especially after Sam Wilson became the new Captain Black America ) but since I never read a CAPTAIN AMERICA comic after this fiasko I don´t know if it ever happened. According to the official Marvel database she only appeared in these three issues of CAPTAIN AMERICA which doesn´t surprise me since I wouldn´t want to continue anything that happened in this volume either.

But Disney is much too busy with making money and the next big thing than to try and put the message that journalists have responsibilities too in their books. And that´s the new Marvel NOW comic universe where the credo is f - word everybody else and don´t own up to your own mistakes.

Okay, after this little rant I think you get an idea why I have not written my big post about the 7th volume of CAPTAIN AMERICA. And this was just one little nitpicking detail from out of a hundred or more things that gets the heart of every real Captain America fan boiling and the only redeeming quality of this is Carlos Pacheco´s art - especially how he draws women.    

Which brings us back to the real reason of the post. I have tried to select the best art but as always this was limited by what was available and personal preferences. So this is my best of the best of Carlos Pacheco. As it could not be any other way we start with the first BISHOP mini series.

Another highlight for me was his undeservedly underrated and criminally underappreciated brilliant run on FANTASTIC FOUR with Jeph Loeb. You could see he had a lot of fun designing the alternate versions of Marvel´s first family and they even had Galaktus help defeat the villain at the end.

THE ORDER is a series I still haven´t read since Carlos only did the covers.

Naturally I couldn´t leave out AVENGERS FOREVER. So far I only have the spanish and the german hardcover editions ( the one from Eaglemoss, since it is cheaper ) of the series as the american versions I have seen so far were misprinted. Which really shouldn´t happen with such a big company like Disney. If somebody out there has seen the new edition maybe he can tell me how the production quality is. This would also be perfect for an Artist´s Edition although I don´t think I could afford it. 

Carlos Pacheco has also worked on most of the x - books and when you spend years on all the various titles sometimes you take a few shortcuts to make the deadline. I´m sure most american readers are not aware of this but not only did Carlos use one of his old covers for the spanish comic fanzine DOLMEN ( a must read as it is Spain´s best comic publication ) for this special One Minute Later cover it was also recycled for this poster. 

For DC Carlos worked on GREEN LANTERN and SUPERMAN. I just recently got the Camelot Falls hardcovers because I was tired of waiting if they finally collect it in one volume and I wanted to close this gap in my collection. It´s a really great story and sometimes it´s a real challenge to understand which material gets selected by companies for reprinting.

I´m just glad Carlos Pacheco´s issues of SUPERMAN BATMAN were included in the second Absolute Edition of the series although I probably would not have been able to afford it if it had not been offered at a bargain price at amazon. Now some people say that we should not use such avenues like amazon and buy the comics at the local comic shops but the companies themselves rely on the low prices they provide for all their customers. Otherwise all the omnibus hardcovers with an overinflated cover price of 75 to 125 bucks would not be possible. I mean, otherwise it would be only a very small percentage of people who could really afford to buy them. 

Speaking about Carlos Pacheco´s DC work I also have to mention JLA / JSA - VIRTUE AND VICE and not only for the obvious reasons. Which is Carlos Pacheco drawing a very fine Power Girl. It seems that almost any artists who are not on a regular POWER GIRL comic draw her really nicely. Okay, back to JLA / JSA - VIRTUE AND VICE. This is another comic I got in the spanish version because the production value on the english hardcover is substandard. I got this when it first came out and was saving it for a special occasion but when my brother borrowed it to read it the second inside page ripped through all the way to the spine and I had to tape it. I mean, with trades you expect that this happens with the first or the last page when the glue is not good but we are talking about an expensive hardcover. And not just in my book, this defect is in all copies I found.

And that´s all I have to say for Today. I´m closing the post with a few more pics by Carlos Pacheco. Feliz cumpleaño und Alles Gute zum Geburtstag.

It´s been a long time since I bookmarked the following pages but I don´t think I will be doing any more posts on the Captain America run by Carlos Pacheco here is the preview of Captain America 25 on COMICIMPACT and the review of it on COMIC BOOK HERALD . The rest of Today´s links are more for my spanish readers seeing as they deal with Iberia Inc. and Triada Vertice, two series Carlos Pacheco worked on as a writer. If you´ve never heard of them ( and you can read spanish ) check out the article Iberia Inc. : Cuando los dioses despiertan on QUIEN ME MANDARIA A MI there is an overview of the series by Jesus Delgado on HOBBYCONSOLAS . This year also marks the 20th anniversary of Iberia Inc. and to celebrate the event the aptly named Editorial Dolmen ( if you have read the series you get the joke ) has released a new collection of the entire series and you can find posts on ZONA NEGATIVA by Pedro Monje ( with small pictures ) and on VIA NEWS by Victor ( big pictures ). There is also more about Iberia Inc. and Triada Vertice in Alfonso Merelo´s fine post at LIBROS DE NOTAS .

We are leading the dance of celebrity babes aptly enough with Adina Howard who turns 43. She became famous with her smash hit Freak Like Me ( which I´m not adding as a video because it´s too obvious but you can watch it via the link ) which was everywhere even on Mtv´s The Grind. I guess you can´t find a guy from my generation who doesn´t instantly recognize the familiar beats of this song. It also didn´t hurt that Adina is quite hot in the music video where she shows her dancing skills.

The video was among those not shown on Mtv before midnight which might have something to do with the stripper moves of the dancers.

For Adina´s video I chose My Up And Down in which you can see more of Miss Howard´s stunning physique thanks to some pretty nice outfits.

Josh Duhamel turns 44 whom I only saw on Las Vegas. I always found it funny how in the casinos they do everything to get all the money from their clients - including providing some female companionship - but when somebody comes up with a clever way to pull a fast one on them they act like they are not the criminals. I guess it´s true what they say : nobody is more disgusted about being robbed than another robber. Anyway, at least Josh got to get his hands all over Nikki Cox´s hardbody on that show.

We all know Nikki Cox as the bigbreasted sexbomb with the mindblowing hourglass figure and the unbelievable Jessica Rabbit measurements ( 37DD !!! - 26 - 38 ) from Unhappily Ever After that locked in the male audience.

She was advertised as the Jessica Rabbit of the WB and there is even the Halloween episode of the show where they openly acknowledge the fact that she´s a real life Jessica Rabbit : Tiffany can´t decide on a costume and just wears a Hollywood style red glitter dress instead but because of her pornstar body everybody assumes she is dressed up as Jessica Rabbit.

She also appeared in  Nikki which never aired in Germany like most of the better tv shows and the aforementioned Las Vegas where the casinos always do everything they can to get the deck stacked in their favor. Apropos stacked, let´s get back to Nikki Cox. Which by the way is a porn name if I ever heard one, come on I can´t be the only one who thinks that. How comes she´s never worked in the adult movie business ?

Anyway, I always thought she had the right qualities to become a movie superstar - which is why I cast her as the female Dr. Fate Linda Strauss in my first post of the Hollywood edition of casting the Justice League Of America movie series - but somewhere along the way she got on the wrong track. Let´s hope there are better things for her in the future. 

From Nikki we are coming to somebody who definitely DID porn with Janine Lindemulder´s 48th birthday and she was in the upper echelon when I was old enough to rent video cassettes. You know that you are getting old when Today´s kids only know the porn starlets you grew up with from their participation in an obscure teen band music video. Which is where I got this GIF from, otherwise I would have had to post a picture.

When Janine started out in the biz she only did girl on girl scenes so every fan of her got enough of that to fill a life time. Later on she did scenes with guys and I know that caused a big excitement but I didn´t follow the adult movie industry that much at the time - I think I was busy with this life stuff - and got to see it years later. She also got her tattooes around that time. Originally I wanted to post Spring Break USA as it is one of the few non porn movies in which Janine appeared but because of some nudity it might be NSFW. You can still find it on YouTube if you want to. 

Somebody who sadly never did porn although she clearly has the necessary bust for it is the underrated living blow up sex doll template Laura San Giacomo whom I just mentioned two weeks ago and who turns 54 Today. 

She could have been a big star with her superior physical attributes as her mammoth 39E melons put other actresses busts to shame and even got porn stars envious since Laura´s magnificent mammaries are all natural.

Next we have dancer, stunt woman and actress Sandahl Bergman who celebrates her 65th birthday. Among her movies are All That Jazz, Xanadu and the Fred Olen Ray midnight schlocker Possessed By The Night co - starring Shannon Tweed but she is best known for playing Valeria in the first Conan movie. Which is still the best. And the comic adaption of the movie was drawn by none other than John Buscema. I wish I had a better GIF with Sandahl Bergman but the only other GIF I could find was from the Red Sonja movie and I´m trying my best to forget that ever existed. 

I couldn´t find a good clip with Sandahl Bergman from Conan but while I was looking for that I came across not one but two cartoon shows. The first one was called Conan The Adventurer and like in most cases I could not find the first episodes. The video quality is not very good though.

Conan And The Young Warriors was the continuation of the first series so I guess they must have had some success to get the green light for this.

In the novels Conan became king later in his life which is what Prince Charles will also be one day. The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay turns 68 and is much cooler than most people think.

Our Dearly Departed section starts with Astrid Lindgren. The swedish author who is the third most - translated writer of children´s books after H. C. Andersen and the Grimm brothers not only had a big influence on me growing up but the entire german culture. Her books about Karlson - on - the - Roof, Pippi Longstocking, Ronia the Robber´s Daughter or Emil of Lönneberga ( who is called Michel in the german translation ) are read in every classroom and the movie adaptions are always on tv. Personally I always felt a certain kinship with Michel since I got into a lot of trouble as a kid and my Dad had the same educational methods as his old man. 

Despite these similarities I chose to add the trailer for The Brothers Lionhart which I was always fond of, not because of the unrealistic relationships between the brothers but more for the prospect of finding oneself in another world after dying with exciting adventures aplenty.

A shoutout goes also to silve screen goddess Veronica Lake who was famous for her trademark hairstyle and you can read all about her movies, trials and tribulations in The Life Of Veronica Lake on MISS LINDSAY LANE .

I couldn´t find any of her movies I´m familiar with in good quality but here is a clip from I Wanted Wings where she demonstrates her singing chops.

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I am far ahead of you, brother.

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