Once again it has been a while since my last post although not as long as it may seem to the casual reader. Yes, my last post is officially dated as being posted on October the 6th and Today it´s October the 22nd so you might think it has been over two weeks between my last post and this one.
But if you are a regular reader you might remember that initially it was a part of my belated birthday post on latin super star Thalia and since I split the extremely lengthy celebrity birthday section between the two posts I had to date the last post at the same date as the Thalia post. So while it may look like I did nothing on the blog since October the 6th I was in fact very busy, first splitting one post into two, then continuing writng the posts and finishing up the Thalia post, finishing or overhauling four other posts ( I had to re - up a lot on my posts about baywatchable babe Erika Eleniak to whom I had linked to a few times over the last few months plus there was a still unfinished uncensored version of the birthday post for 80s porn queen Sarah Louise Young ), and adding the usual bells and whistles which meant going through all the links and the bookmarks which alone took up two days etc. So in the end I just finished working on my last post last Sunday. After which I took a small hiatus from posting because on one side there was all this life stuff to take care of plus the matter of me not getting enough sleep while working on those posts.
Speaking of working on posts, you may wonder why I´m not continuing with the promised best of list from Scott Lobdell´s and Joe Madureiras´ run on UNCANNY X - MEN but I still haven´t figured out my ranking. But once that´s done and I have finally beaten the flu it will be in full effect.
I can also assure you that the promised update on megabusty romanian Power Girl and news anchor Oana Andoni will be up as soon as possible but I also have to prepare some stuff for that. But don´t fear, there are more hot tv women with huge breasts out there so I will include one of those.
Back to this post, the last few days I have been doing more preparation for posts because I didn´t feel like writing a new post but Yesterday I went over the list of birthdays of the last few weeks and after going through the artwork I have on the laptop - and the usual picture hunt on the internet - I decided to do a post in honor of Steve Epting´s birthday.
As with other comic book creators I can´t tell you his actual age because only the date of his birth - October the 18th - is known. Apropos being known, as Steve Epting is best known by the comic reading audience at large for his work on Ed Brubaker´s CAPTAIN AMERICA he really began catching people´s attention on CrossGen´s CRUX. But if you know me you are probably not surprised that instead of going with the obvious two choices I chose the third option which is one of the most controversial periods in Avengers history. Because it´s also no secret - since I wrote about it on various occassions - that I am a fan of .... well, if not all of that period then at least of certain parts of it which mostly involve that time hopping, parallel universe jumping motley crew known as the Gatherers.
And since Steve Epting was the regular artist on the book during that time I wanted the kill two alternate Avengers with one swordsman. I know that this is probably too much after the fact to really qualify as part of the AVENGERS WEEK but what the hey, I couldn´t come up with a better title.
So besides revisiting one of my most beloved Avengers storylines I also can draw upon stuff I already wrote - as far back as December 2013 - but since I know that not everybody is willing to go back and check out the older posts ( even if they get to check out 80s cult screwball sexbomb Joyce Hyser´s magnificent naked breasts ) I will include some of what I already explained in the previous post. While trying not to paraphrase too much.
COME GATHER AROUND AVENGERS WHEREVER YOU MIGHT ROAM
Prepare to dive into one of the darkest periods of AVENGERS lore which I endured and Bob is my uncle if I didn´t have all those issues without any missing. Avengers was one of the books I had on my pull list and I bought all the issues when they came out. I know that some time back - which might be more than a decade ago now that I think about it - I sold some of the issues but for the life of me I couldn´t remember anything that had happened in those pages. Which should have been the first warning sign.
If you have read a series for a long time and you can´t remember what happened over a period of - roughly - 50 issues ? Not a good sign. You can bet repulsors against arrows that it wasn´t too memorable. But, always the optimist, I wanted to make sure if the period was as bad as people made it out to be. So I made a list of all the issues that might have been of interest and I checked all the issues out between issue 300 and 375, which is the finale of the Gatherers Saga. And while some of the issues I sold weren´t all that bad most of them were either not that important to keep in a collection or outright bad. Yes, I´m not ashamed to say I had totally forgotten how unoriginal, boring and awful some of the stuff was.
Add to that the constant change of artists, no clear direction of story, a lot of forgettable and mediocre crossovers like ACTS OF VENGEANCE ( I used to make jokes about the fact that Marvel even did an omnibus about this but now the joke´s on me since I am one of the mouth breathing morons who bought the ACTS OF VENGEANCE - CROSSOVERS omnibus ), Rage doing a bad and at least ten years outdated impression of Mister T, Spider - Man hanging with the Avengers and then deciding that their adventures were too cosmic and high and mighty for him ( which didn´t make sense since he was in all the cosmic confrontations anyway like in the Avengers classic tussle with Thanos where Spidey released the spirit of Adam Warlock from his imprisonment thus basically defeating Thanos ), and of course the leather jackets and you are starting to get an idea why this period has such a bad rep among those of us who lived the times.
Of course not all of it was bad and if you have listened to the Comic Geek Speak spotlight episodes you know where to look for the nuggets. For me one such big chunk of a nugget is as soon as the Gatherer story begins because I´m a sucker for parallel universe stories ever since I read FLASH issue 123, Flash of two worlds ! by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. The story introduced the whole concept of parallel earths to the DC universe and to the comic book world. Everything that happened in the DC universe ever since ( and probably in every other comic company that took the idea of other worlds and ran with it ) has its roots in this one comics. So it´s no wonder it´s so often imitated and copied. Even tv shows like STAR TREK, HEROES, EUREKA, DOCTOR WHO and especially FRINGE owe a great deal to that first comic where two Flashes from different universes were depicted on the same cover for the first time.
I´M STUCK IN PARALLEL WORLDS, IT´S SOMETHING SUPERNATURAL
Yes, I love parallel universe stories in any shape or form and the only way to top that is with a parallel universe story in which everybody dies !
Which basically was what the Gatherers was all about. One big " parallel universe in which everybody dies " story, in fact the mother of them all since all the parallel universes get blown up which is where the Gatherers are gathered from. How can you resist such a concept ? Especially when it has some extra stuff thrown into it that seems to come from the writers smoking a lot of illegal substances like the Gatherers using a braindead watcher as their GPS to help them pinpoint possible candidates. Once Steve Epting becomes the regular penciler the show is really up and running and the fecal matter really hits the mechanical environment cooling device, so to speak. There is just one little complaint I have.
Not enough parallel universes dying stuff in it. Okay, you might say how can you do more ? But the thing is that we really don´t see all that many parallel universes which in my opinion was a huge mistake. Don´t tell me how the particular universes of the various members of the Gatherers have died - show me. Don´t tell me what a psychopatic, raping son of a b - word their Vision is. Show me. And don´t tell me that it´s an alternate version of our Vision. Let me think that it´s our Vision and THEN - when I think he has gone off the deep end - make me realize it´s somebody else.
I think that would have really taken the whole story to another level. Anyway, there was some really crazy s - word going on in these days and there always were four or five things going on at once with all kinds of soap opera pining between the Black Knight, Sersi, Cristal and Pietro.
Which for me is the part where Schadenfreude becomes a big part of my enjoyment of the issues. Someone once said " Leave it to the Germans to come up with a word for being delighted at other peoples misery. "
Now this has either to do with Schadenfreude being a big part of german society, or just the fact that the germans have a word for everything. The psychological pain caused by sadness that can occur when you realize that your own weaknesses are caused by the inappropriateness and cruelty of the world and circumstances. The germans have a word for that too, my friend. Weltschmerz. Much shorter, don´t you think ? The germans really have a word for everything. That thing you do with your teeth when you get home from work to read that hardcover that was laying on your comic pile for months only to stubb your toe when you are just about to read it because the hot sexbomb next door was skipping rope topless and you walk backwards into a pie ? I bet the germans have a word for that too.
So why the Schadenfreude you might ask. Because Cristal only gets what she deserves since she was the one who broke up with Johnny Storm to be with Quicksilver. If you have read issues 131 and 132 of FANTASTIC FOUR you know that this is one of the worst break ups in comic history and I even made a Valentine´s Day post about it so we can skip over that part.
Coming back to the Gatherers you are probably asking yourself where you can get those trippy issues and the answer to that is good old dollar bin diving. So far only parts of Steve Epting´s run on AVENGERS is reprinted in collected form like the AVENGERS / X - MEN : BLOODTIES crossover or the parts of OPERATION GALACTIC STORM which is included in the recent Epic Collection of the space opera with the Epic Collection AVENGERS : THE COLLECTION OBSESSION that includes the issues prior to that scheduled to see print on the 27th of March next year. The greatness that is THE GATHERERS has not received the collected treatment although I´m sure that it has its fans - being just one of them - and heck, they even did an omnibus of THE GATHERING. So sooner or later it will see print to the delight - or not - of a new generation of AVENGERS fans. And who knows ?
Maybe it was ahead of it´s times and hits the pulse of the current comic market with all the throwbacks to old 90s comics DC and Disney put out.
And as a special bonus for my friend Terry Hooper, master of ceremony of COMIC BITS ONLINE here´s the only page I could find with Gilgamesh in it.
We will be definitely talking more about The Gatherers when Disney´s Epic Collections reach that point in AVENGERS history but this post is more about appreciating Steve Epting´s art and not trying to convince people out there to give these issues a try despite the bad reputation 90s comics have. I mean, it would be nice but I try to be realistic. A lot of it is kind of cheesy when you look back at it from Todays comic reader´s perspective like a clean shaven Hercules or the Avengers club leather jackets. Which would have been cool if you could buy them in stores but so they just came of like a wasted idea to me. Anyway, some stuff was way over the top but I liked a lot of the trippy ideas and compared to what´s going on right now with these characters they were at least still recognizable.
Speaking about recognition, before the obligatory birthdays I must do the usual round of kudos and links starting with TOM PALMER ILLUSTRATION where I found most of the original art for this post. If you haven´t been there you should definitely check it out as you will find not only lots of original pages from the AVENGERS but also other classic series Tom Palmer has worked on like TOMB OF DRACULA, DOCTOR STRANGE or STAR WARS.
Keeping with the Avengers theme SCANS DAILY brings us Action Scientist Hank Pym from AVENGERS 366 and since I mentioned Ed Brubaker´s run on CAPTAIN AMERICA in the post TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY COMICS has a few more thoughts inspired by the Captain America : Reborn storyline.
We have two comic book birthdays I could not cover this year starting with one of my favorite inkers, the legendary Joe Sinnott. I did however try to write a special Halloween post in 2015 which turned into my first Joe Sinnott appreciation post talking about all of my favorite series or parts of series he inked. Last year I even managed to do two Joe Sinnott posts, one with a lot of splash pages from german HIT Comics and a special THORSDAY post which included mainly splash pages from Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz´ run on THOR about which I have written in numerous posts.
Speaking of Thor inkers, while he´s never been one of my favorite inkers Vince Coletta did ink a lot of comics in my formative comic reading years including a lot of issues of THOR by Jack Kirby. One of the brilliant things Stan Lee did was put different inkers on the series penciled by Jack Kirby so that while all of them had the distinctive Jack Kirby look they also looked different enough to avoid loosing the readers interest and for me Vince Coletta´s organic inks fit THOR pretty well. So in homage of that I did another special Thor post about Vince Coletta where I included a lot of splash pages from the german Condor Verlag. And there are of course a few more Jack Kirby THORSDAY posts where he did the inks but I´m not going to list them all. I´m sure you can find them through the " Thor " tag.
Since the entertainment section has become larger and larger on my last post I am skipping the part with the cult sirens of notice Today. While it is much quicker to just paste and copy from my old posts than to go through the list of birthdays it is not really something new for my readers. In some cases I may have a few interesting videos from the year before but with this post for instance I would have to cover the birthdays for almost two weeks. So instead of looking to old posts I DID put in the time to over the birthday lists for Today and there are really only two I want to mention.
The first one is french artist Olivier Coipel and once again the reason why he goes first is that I don´t know how old he is. Usually I list the birthdays in order starting with the youngest candidates but since his year of birth is not known my hands are tied. It´s kind of crazy that in Todays digital age there are still people out there where nobody knows in which year they were born. What I do know about Olivier Coipel is that he started out on the LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES and you could even see some Legion nipplage in his issues. Today he is probably best known for his work on HOUSE OF M, AVENGERS and Avengers related books like NEW AVENGERS, AVENGERS vs X - MEN ( which as I predicted was the last good Avengers story ) or THOR so you were probably expecting to see a Thor picture here after the two above. But I went through my files and I just don´t have any pics I like from that book or AVENGERS so here´s the cover for one of the countless x - books. I forgot which one. The one with the all babes team.
Which by the way took Marvel ridiculously long to do. I mean, that´s what every normal comic company would do if they had so many female super heroes. Put all the hot chicks in one book. But for Marvel it takes like a few decades and sometimes they even manage to screw that up with putting an artist on the book who could not draw an attractive woman if his life depended on it. Like they totally screwed up Squirrel Girl. Okay, she never was a playmate but she always looked like a regular fit woman.
But let´s continue with the birthdays before I go into another rant about how Disney manages to eff - word up anything involving female characters or artists who are actually good at drawing them. No SJWs here. Steven Grant turns 46 who has written a plethora of titles from his creator owned character WHISPER to Gil Kane´s EDGE, DC´s MANHUNTER, CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN and Marvel´s AVENGERS, HULK and SPIDER - MAN but is best known for bringing the Punisher back on track with artist Mike Zeck.
One of the Avenger members who goes through the wringer during The Gatherer´s period is the Vision ( but isn´t that true for EVERY period of Avengers history ? Poor androids, they never get a break. ) so here is an interesting video from NERDSYNC that tangles the question if the pain the Vision feels is real. In other words : do we believe an android can cry ?
Since I mentioned it in this post - and I don´t know where else I have the opportunity - I´m including Why Germans Can Say Things No One Else Can. There is another video out there where a guy is watching this video and giving his comments and usually I would consider it but the whole time he is just going " You don´t need a special word for that. " which not only gets old very quick but also shows that he does not understand what the video is trying to say nor does he even try to. So why should my readers waste their time with that crap ? This video is much more informative.
As promised I am including another hot sexbomb from a foreign country while I have to finish up my update on romanian Power Girl and news anchor Oana Andoni and for this post I chose somebody I came across while looking for more intel on Oana : czech tv presenter Lucie Borhyova.
It was much easier to find out more about her thanks to her wikipedia entry and google translate - which I should have used to find out more about Oana Andoni in the first place. This just shows you how overworked and overtired I was in part because of the animated GIFs I´m still making for Oana. Unlike my usual method I am taking all the various screenshots I have found to make it but that means putting them all in order which I normally don´t have to make because I´m going frame by frame. Another reason why it´s taking so long is that I just can´t use the same cuts for all screenshots because in some of them she is sitting more to the left, more to the right or is smaller. Nevertheless I have decided to finish it this way.
Now for Lucie Borhyova I went back to my old way of doing GIFs because I thought it would be easier and soon was reminded of the negative side.
First of I would up with more than 1,800 screenshots which is a ridiculous amount when you keep in mind that even under the best circumstances 500 pictures is the absolute limit of what you can use for a GIF especially when you are making a GIF of the maximum size which is 360 by 360. But it seems like a moot point anyway because right now I have finished 385 screenshots and it´s an absolute miracle I managed to get the GIFs done.
Anyway, back to Lucie Borhyova, she was born on April, the 16th 1978 so she is 39 years old. Like Oana Andoni she qualifies for the MILF category but she has two kids from two different fathers. On the tv screen she reads the news for the czech television channel TV Nova where she won Most Popular Female in the TV Nova Anno 2009 Awards and Television News Personality of the Year in the TýTý Awards ( I´m no expert but I don´t think TýTý stands for titties in this context ) in 2012 and 2013.
In 2007 she took part in the celebrity dancing television series Bailando.
Unlike Oana Andoni Lucie Borhyova has done pictorials for magazines like MAXIM and PLAYBOY but no nude pictures. There are some nude pictures of Lucie Borhyova on the web but those are fake, which in my opinion is just a huge waste of time because no matter how good they are done they do not look anywhere as good as the real thing and Lucie Borhyova´s breasts are definitely one hundred percent all natural like Oana Andoni.
Now currently she is with a much younger lover but she likes dark haired men, the beach and the town of Barcelona so there may be hope for me.
We are staying in that corner of the world with one of the first auditions from a casting show I bookmarked for the blog. It is Aida Nicolaychuk from the Ukraine and you know that you´re good when the judges think you are cheating. I remember the first time my younger brother took part in the german version of the 24 hour comic challenge the judges believed he copied his work because it was so good. The ridiculous thing was that of us three brothers who took part in the contest that year he was the only one who did finish but because they thought he faked it his pages did not end up in the special comic that contained the winning entries. Which in the end only hurt the guys who did that special comic because he slayed all those other comic artists wannabes. But that´s also not the topic for this post. Those guys threw away some great comic pages because of their own stupidity and because once they found out they were wrong they were too lazy to make changes. But that´s something they have to live with. You can lead a horse to water but you can´t make it drink.
And we made it through Todays fun block with only mentioning one hot MILF sexbomb. How you like dem apples ? Todays post wraps up with the russian animated adaption of Hans Christian Andersen´s famous children´s story THE SNOW QUEEN. As longtime readers know I love fairy tales and cartoons that are made by hand. The only regret I have is that I know that if the React Kids saw this they would not appreciate the craftsmanship because they are so accustomed to Today´s soulless 3D - animation crap.
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Sometimes we screw things up for the better.