Today is Sal Velluto´s 61st birthday so I wanted to continue where we left off last year and shine an artistic spotlight on one of the best series he has worked on : Christopher Priest´s excellent run on BLACK PANTHER.
Okay, technically speaking I´m not writing this post on Sal Velluto´s actual birthday, in fact it´s almost one week later. But I was already working on it when I got distracted by Janet Jackson´s perfect bubblebutt and the usual stuff. So since I already prepared all the material for the post I am going to do it anyway because I do not want to wait another year.
Thanks to the course I´m currently doing I had to skip a lot of birthdays this month and posting in general has been done. If you look at the month of May in 2016 you will notice that I did more than four times as many posts as this month so far. So readers who have not been following this blog very long might want to go back to last year where you can find posts on Hergé , Sybil Danning , Carmine Infantino and Barry Windsor Smith .
Now you might ask, with all those comic book related birthdays why did I choose Sal Velluto ? That was actually pretty easy. There was nothing new I had to add to the Sybil Danning cult siren post, I didn´t want to do another Hergé post that was just covers, I had already used up all my best material of Barry Windsor Smith and I could not do a post on Carmine Infantino since most of the stuff was from DC books and as most readers already know I like to switch up things on the blog. So I could not do another all DC post after the Gardner Fox day. And last year I did just a quick overview of all the series Sal Velluto has worked on. Plus I will use any excuse to put more Black Panther by Christopher Priest on the blog.
Now I already did a lengthy post on Christopher Priest´s BLACK PANTHER run way back in 2012 and everything I did not mention in that post I covered last year. Plus, at this point I should not have to explain how glorious that book is to anyone. Thanks to his appearance in the Marvel cinematic universe everybody has jumped on the bandwagon and even Disney has released the complete Christopher Priest series in trade as well as an Epic Collection. Which is as it should be. I´m not one of those who wants the comics he reads to only reach a small in - group and any good story that deserves wider recognition and finally achieves that brings a smile to my face. Back to this post, while there is not much text in it I did not want to make another covers only post so I am including some of the interior pages. As is my prerogative as the guy who decides what gets posted I have of course selected pages that feature characters I love like Power Man and Iron Fist, Brother Vodoo, Dakota North or the Avengers.
There are not many links for Today as this is not the first time we have talked about the Black Panther but I want to mention that the black and white splash page with the Hulk is courtesy of an interview with inker Bob Almond from COMICBOARDS who inked Sal Velluto on the Black Panther.
We start Today´s celebrity birthday list - which is thankfully much shorter than in the last three posts - with lovely Shannon Stewart as the buxom 34D model, actress and Playmate of the Month in June 2000 turns 39.
You might have seen shapely Shannon in of her eleven PLAYBOY videos or the eight PLAYBOY special editions she appeared in although it almost didn´t happen. Shannon was in L.A. for a modeling job that fell through and was ready to go home and let the modeling thing go. Thankfully a friend told her not to go home until she gave PLAYBOY a shot and she became a playmate instead of getting her degree in animal behavior and working at a zoo or something. What a waste that would have been.
Speaking of waste, Mike Meyers celebrates his 55th birthday and I really tried to watch the Austin Powers movies but besides featuring a few very hot actresses I did not find them particularly funny so it was just a big waste of time for me. I like his earlier stuff better like Wayne´s World that also starred exotic sexbomb Tia Carrere who was the lead in Relic Hunter.
I never understood why the series was not more successful since Tia wore sexy outfits, took off her clothes a few times and showed lots of skin.
But I guess it was because the scripts were not that good. Well, that and her assistant / girlie man Nigel, the americans always have an inferiority complex when it comes to people from Britain and the writers are no exception. So they didn´t have the cojones to make an english man cool ( one of the reasons why Mike Meyers did the Austin Powers movies ).
Some of her best scenes are in the comedy High School High opposite Jon Lovitz and really, Tia Carrere is the only reason to watch that flick, guys.
But before you think that this section is all babes there are also a few comic related anniversaries : Marc Hempel turns 60 whom Today´s comic readers probably know from his issues of Neil Gaiman´s brilliant Sandman storyline The Kindly Ones or the Breathtaker series by Vertigo. There are however a few independent work from him you should seek out. First there is My Faith In Frankie, the indispensable and brilliant Gregory and the manliest of manly comics about the bromance of Tug & Buster.
Stan Sakai celebrates his 64th birthday and he is still going strong with Usagi Yojimbo which I will read for as long as he is putting it out.
As it is one of my favorite comic series EVER I already did a lenghty post on Usagi Yojimbo back in 2010 but I thought I had done another one just recently. Or at least selected the stuff for the post and put it in a special folder. Well, either I cannot find it or I planned to do it but when I was halfway finished it was already too late and I had to leave it for another day as it so often happens. Anyway, as longtime readers of the blog know posts do not get scratched here, just delayed so I have checked that I have enough material for a post. I´m not sure when I will get to it though as there are a few birthday posts I had to put on the back burner lately.
Speaking of which, Barry Windsor Smith turns 68 and like I have already said at the beginning of the post I used up most of my good material on him in last year´s post ( to which you can find the link at said beginning of the post ). I still wanted to include him so I could post this wraparound cover from the Weapon X series. The IS a Barry Windsor Smith post coming up soon and it WILL include a lot of his Marvel Comics Presents covers.
Today is also the 73rd birthday of Frank Oz who is the puppeteer of Cookie Monster, Bert and Grover on Sesame Street, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam Eagle and Animal on The Muppet Show and Yoda in the Star Wars movies.
On a more comic book related note Ian McKellan turns 78 who has played Magneto in the X - Men movies. Whose name is Erik Lensherr and who is the father of the Scarlet Witch despite what some people may tell you in current comics. Now I thought about posting a video about the X - Men movies but since we haven´t had a cartoon video yet I´m going with the 80s cartoon series instead. I was watching the show when it first aired and I remember that the german intro was very cringeworthy as somebody had the brilliant idea to put some brats in - what I guess was supposed to be - cool 80s fashion into it rapping badly and pretty much ruining it. As the series deviated almost completely from established continuity ( which is one of the reasons why a lot of X - Men fans have trouble following the comic book stories since they only know the character´s histories from the cartoon show ) I watched it more as a kind of interesting What If ? version but because I often missed episodes it was sometimes hard for me to follow the complicated multi episode storylines. Looking back at it from Today´s point of view I have to admit that as corny and dated as it is most X - Men stories are still handled better than the recent movie versions.
Since I have included her in all my latest posts - and I´m too tired to go through all of my music videos in the hopes of finding one that fits the post´s topic - here is an incredible performance by the stunning Hyuna.
I like to include at least one video that is a bit longer and since I still have a few movies with wrestling legend El Santo here is Santo en La Venganza De Las Mujeres Vampiro the sequel to Santo Contra Las Mujeres Vampiro.
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I am going to help the man you call Panther because we have a saying you may never have heard of : Once an Avenger, always an Avenger !