Thursday, February 22, 2018

Blackhawks Down Day with Reed Crandall

Now I thought I had a pretty good selection of art from EC Comics classic horror titles but when I went through my folder I found out that I actually didn´t have as much material of Reed Crandall as I hoped. So instead of a classic horror post I am writing a war comics post with the Blackhawks.

This post is really not like I envisioned it. I mean Reed Crandall was one of the classic artists on EC´s famous horror mags so I thought " Yay, finally I get to do another post about EC Comics ! " but like I said, there was a lot of Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, Graham Ingels and Johnny Craig in my EC folder but almost nothing from Reed Crandall. Since that has never stopped me before from doing a post I went to the internet and really found a few complete Crandall stories but everything I found was in black and white. 

Don´t get me wrong, I love black and white art and one of best days in my life was when Marvel announced its ESSENTIAL line. But color pages just look better when they are in the reduced size that you see on the blog.

Nevertheless there will be a black and white Reed Crandall post on this blog probably next week. And this will be a real black and white post. With that I mean that my usual black and white posts are original inked pages together with the color versions. Well, with Reed Crandall´s art most of the black and white art is from black and white magazines like CREEPY, EERIE, VAMPIRELLA or TWILIGHT ZONE so there are no color versions. But I don´t think my readers will mind because for once I could write a short post and second Reed Crandall´s black and white art is mind blowing.

Now you might wonder why I called them Blackhawks and not DC´s Blackhawks but the thing is that the Blackhawks were first published by Quality Comics. When they ceased publication in 1956 their characters were bought by National Periodical Publications which later became DC Comics and so the Blackhawks together with Plastic Man, Black Condor, Firebrand, Kid Eternity and Quicksilver - who was later rechristened Max Mercury because they wanted to avoid confusion with the Marvel super hero with the same name and any law suits - found a new home at DC. 

Some of them wound up on DC´s parallel earth Earth X - which is the earth where the Nazis won the war as most people now know thanks to the last big CW crossover - with Uncle Sam in the super hero team that became known as Freedom Fighters like Ray, Doll Man, The Human Bomb, Phantom Lady or The Ray. You also might have seen them in Jeph Loeb´s brilliant ABSOLUTE POWER storyline in SUPERMAN / BATMAN. I´m a big fan of the story since it involves not only the Legion of Super - Heroes but also two of my favorite comic tropes - time travel and alternate earths where everybody dies - and I posted some of Carlos Pacheco´s art for the issues in my very first post. Plus for a long time it was part of my blog header.

A few other Quality characters like Alias The Spider, Captain Triumph or Manhunter might be familiar to those who read James Robinson´s brilliant THE GOLDEN AGE. I am constantly pimping this book and if you love World War II heroes like the Justice Society of America you have to read this. A brilliant story and Paul Smith´s art alone is worth the price of admission.

Okay, that´s enough comic history so let´s get back to Reed Crandall and Blackhawks. I found a lot of color art by Reed online but I didn´t want this post to get too long so I keep it to two stories. I found The Saboteur - at least I think that is the title of the story since it is not credited otherwise - from Modern Comics 30 on FOUR COLOR SHADOWS and PAPPY`S GOLDEN AGE BLOGZINE provided Men From The Future from Blackhawk 47 ( see, that´s how you provide credits for comic book stories ). Thank you guys and there will be more wonderful Reed Crandall stuff in the links below.

Since I had to do a lot of research to make sure that I got everything right - like the team with the Quality Comics heroes at DC with Uncle Sam is The Freedom Fighters and not The Freedom Force ( which was a cartoon that included Isis ) - there are quite a few links so I´ll start with two I already mentioned because they provided the main material for this post.

FOUR COLOR SHADOWS has three more offerings for fans of Golden Age comics, The Joiner a collaboration with George Evans from The Twilight Zone, The Boys From Up There and Her Highness a comedy strip which is most notable for the main characters sexy sidekick Silk. The strip was not drawn by Reed Crandall ( I found two Her Highness strips on OMINOUS OCTOPUS OMNIBUS ) but some readers might still find it interesting.

Likewise PAPPY´S GOLDEN AGE COMICS BLOGZINE has two more tales Blackhawk Battles Captain Squidd Beneath The Sea ! from Modern Comics 74 and Rembrandt And The Stolen Night Watch from Kid Eternity issue 3.

Speaking of Kid Eternity, our pal Old Groove at DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND has the secret origins of Kid Eternity and Vigilante ( the cowboy, not the super hero that was first featured in THE NEW TEEN TITANS and later got his own spin off series. You might know the latter from ARROW ).

Apropos firsts, Carl Cafarelli on BOPPIN´ ( LIKE THE HIP FOLKS DO ) tells us of his first encounter with Kid Eternity while SLAY, MONSTROBOT OF THE DEEP ! - who by his own account has been driven mad by the recent offerings of DC and Marvel and thus has gone on a rampage to fight for the return to sanity of comics everywhere - takes a look at Kid Eternity 1

Continuing on, COLE`S COMICS has a rare Plastic Man cameo in a Kid Eternity story from Hit Comics 32 which is also mentioned in an article by Ron Goulart about the lesser known artists of Quality Comics on THE COMICS JOURNAL and Henrik Magnusson on THE AGONY BOOTH explains why Kid Eternity is one of 3 Insane DC Comics Reboots Nobody Asked For.

RIP JAGGER`S DOJO reviews Blackhawk - Fearless Champion Of Freedom ! which is not a comic book but the movie serial from from 1952 and coming back to Reed Crandall you can read The Judge´s House from Creepy 22 on COMICMANIA FOREVER , Spawn Of The Cat People ( no idea from where this story is since there are no credits ) on PECULLIDAR OFFERINGS 2 and you can find more of his black and white art on HORROR ILLUSTRATED .

The dictionary describes a Déjá Vu as the strange feeling that you have seen or experienced something before. Now I´m not talking about the special section I like to do with homage covers or recycled covers ( man, I haven´t done those in a while. I´ll have to write another one when I have more time ) but about something that I mentioned a few times. The brain works in very mysterious ways and it has happened that I was absolutely certain I had already written about something only to find out I didn´t.

Case in point : sexbomb Jeanette " Schnuckelchen " Biedermann who turns 38. When I found out that her birthday is Today ( and how embarrassing is that since I have written posts on this date for years without realizing this ) I was relieved because I could just copy / paste from what I have written before and maybe add a few things so it´s not completely old stuff. Yeah, right. What I have written before. I was sure that I did not write a cult siren post with Jeanette but I must have mentioned her somewhere with the works : pictures, animated GIFs, videos, links, etc.

Well, if I did it vanished somewhere in blog limbo because I have been going over my blog like crazy and apart from two animated GIFs there is not much I could find. I will try to make this short and maybe I can make a full post on her later ( this seems to become my new theme song lately ).

Jeanette Biedermann is one of Germany´s most popular and most desired singers / actresses thanks to her stunning physique which she displayed in various magazine shoots ( no PLAYBOY pics so far ) and her proneness to skimpy outfits on and off stage which has led to a number of wardrobe malfunctions that would´ve made pros like Janet Jackson quit her career.

Janette only took them with a shrug and a smile since she has been on stage since she was six and those wardrobe malfunctions have only furthered her career. In fact one of the reasons why she is so popular is that she has often provided the highlights of those unbearable celebrity wannabe shows with her - sometimes - unintentional revelation of body parts which is the reason why she gets constantly invited to those shows.

It´s also one of the reasons why she is the number one sexbomb germans want to have sex with in polls before Sonya Kraus, Boobara Schöneberge or Verona Pooth and she was also voted " Woman of the Year " twice ( in 2003 and 2005 ) in the german edition of FHM. In 2006 she even won the category " Sexiest Woman in the World ". Jeanette even got the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany but I think for other reasons.

She´s also one of the few who has succesfully made the transition from singing to acting and back. On one of the worst german soaps - which is also one of the most popular - Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten ( good times bad times ) she played the role of Marie Bälzer from June 1999 to March 2004. She also did the voice of Susan in the german version of an episode of South Park and some other animation voices like in Over The Hedge.

From August 2008 until April 2010 she graced german tv screens as Anna Polauke, the main character of the telenovela Anna und die Liebe ( Anna and the love ? ) as well as appearing in various movies of which Callgirl Undercover ( or Lizzie und der Kommissar depending on which tv station is showing it ) stands apart from the rest if only for the few moments when she shows what she could really do with her huge porn star boobs.

Like most german movies it´s based on american movies because it´s easier to sell something the germans already know to the FSK Mafia and the head of german movie producers would explode if they had an original idea for once. In this case the movie is a cross between Sister Act ( but without the fantastic vocal performances ) and Striptease ( likewise without the erection guaranteeing striptease scenes by Demi Moore ).

Yes, germans take several movies and mash them together by reiterating all the clichéed parts while eliminating everything that was good in the original version. In this one Jeanette plays a callgirl who becomes a murder witness and goes undercover at a police station to hide. Or better the romanticized version of a callgirl since she has no clients with whom she has sex nor does she take any clothes off on stage. She´s more of a club dancer and although she does some very sexy performances in her stage shows or in her music videos you see none of her sex appeal in this movie.

Which you should avoid at any costs unless you are a big fan of Jeanette Biedermann and want to see her wearing something riskier than in all her various soaps. The rest of the story is as predictable as one can expect and even the part where the cops find out her past and want to take advantage of her is pretty harmless compared to what would happen.

Speaking of her music career, she has won lots of awards like the ECHO, the OTTO, Top of the Pops Award and her albums have gone three times gold and once platinum. She first went with a sexy image and she quickly became known as the german queen of fan service what you could see in her music videos which culminated in the music video to Rock My Life. I remember staying up after midnight many times to catch the short bits of Janette Bidermann taking a shower in a bathtub and tape it with the vcr.

After that she changed to a more innocent image to help her to enter the japanese music market. But that doesn´t seem to have worked out as well since she is now back to her sexy image. Thank god ! I couldn´t find the uncensored version of her music video for Rock My Life on YouTube nor her live appearance on Top Of The Pops where she performed That´s How It´s Got To Be where her perfectly rounded, juicy boobs were jumping up and down so much that I expected them to jump out of her small top any second. Which of course never happened. Nevertheless I DID find another clip of Jeanette Biedermann with plenty of her patented bouncing action.

Sci fi cult siren Jeri Ryan celebrates her 50th birthday who played DD sexborg Sex With Nine on the otherwise forgettable Star Trek : Voyager series and I´m sure there were thousand of Star Trek fans who wanted to be ass - imilated by her. Or better tit - imilated.  She is also one of the reasons that it is so embarrassing that I didn´t know Today is Jeanette Biedermann´s birthday because I wrote a cult siren entry for her in 2015 which I re - posted in 2017 . And I didn´t mention Jeanette in either of these posts. I probably wouldn´t have done it Today if I hadn´t gone over last years post - like I use to do at the end or beginning of each month to see if there are any cult siren posts where a re - post is in order - and decided that I just don´t have enough new material to redo her post. 

We continue Today´s shoutouts with the obligatory birthday greeting for Kyle MacLachlan who turns 59. He has been in everything from Twin Peaks to Desperate Housewives and Marvel´s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but the reason why I am mentioning his birthday in this post is that he also starred in a little sci fi movie from 1997 called The Hidden. The film is still shown on tv mostly because of the raunchy striptease by Claudia Christian ( with which she secured herself a spot on my Top 10 Best Movie Striptease list with stripper stars like JaMILF Lee Curtis , Elizabeth Berkley , Halle Berry and Erika Eleniak ) who is best known from another sci fi show, Babylon 5 by comic writer J. Michael Strazynski where she plays Commander Susan Ivanova. Although I doubt she wore anything as skimpy as this on it. 

If you have come this far you have successfully survived the onslaught of hot women - although it was shorter than in other posts - and we come to the videos of choice by yours truly. Since Today´s post is all about the Blackhawks I wanted to include a cartoon video with them but as usual there are no complete episodes of Justice League Unlimited on youTube so you have to conform yourself with a short clip. The one thing where DC comics always had the upper hand on Marvel Comics is the sense of legacy.

In this universe you could have heroes pop up from World War 2 or even further back like the Viking Prince at any moment and you didn´t have to invent a huge backstory because it was already established in the comics.

It´s also one of the reasons why the NEW 52 sucked for the most part since they got rid of all that legacy. Of course the hipsters didn´t care much for it but for a reader who grew up with this history of costumed crime fighters the new world seemed like a bleak and desolate place in comparison. Anyway, this clip is a prime example for that sense of legacy that could pop up at any moment and I have to tell you I got shivers when I heard the words " There´s trouble on Blackhawk Island. " and when the old guy dons his Blackhawk jacket. And how cool is it to have a fighter jet in his barn ? DC made a huge mistake when they got rid of all of this. 

Originally I was looking for a video of the Blackhawks but this is the only one that has a bit of backstory on any of the Quality Comics characters.

I always like to include at least one video that is a bit longer and because I didn´t want to have two videos from Tales From The Crypt in a row here is another episode from Are You Afraid Of The Dark ? called The Tale Of The Misfortune Cookie. This was among the batch of the first episodes I watched. When I started with my binge I naturally picked the epsiodes from the top ten and top five videos I found on YouTube but then I just looked for what seemed interesting. I had to admit what got me here was the preview picture of the asian punk girl but it is a pretty decent story.

I didn´t forget my german readers who can find The Tale Of The Golden Fortune Cookie ( now would it have killed them to translate this as Die Geschichte vom Unglückskeks ? ) here . By the way, there is also an episode from the new The Twilight Zone called The Misfortune Cookie .

To close things out here is Only Skin Deep by Bill Gaines, Al Feldstein and Reed Crandall from Tales From The Crypt 38 not to be confused with the story Skin Deep by Jack Oleck and Alfredo Alcala from House Of Secrets 107. The story has also been adapted into an episode of the Tales From The Crypt tv series although things play out a bit different in this one.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

I never wore a mask, Herbie.

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