Thursday, April 26, 2018

Subzero´s first Kerry Gammill birthday post

Well, I know that I did write something about him before like the post where Power Man and Iron Fist meet Doctor Who - well, kind of - but when I went to check out previous birthday post there were none. So this is my first post in homage to one of my favorite artists, Kerry Gammill.

This post is coming in under the wire because even though I already prepared all the material Yesterday I was too sick to write it before now.

On Tuesday I made the mistake of leaving the house and apparently it is not as warm as I thought it would be. Because I was already sneezing and coughing all day on Tuesday as I had to go to a meeting at the jobcenter on Monday and I guess the influenza hit me pretty good because it got only worse from there. So right now I am slowly recovering but I´ve been feeling shitty for the last two days. And right when I should get started drawing my comic book if I want to have any hope to finish it until the next International Comic Salon in Erlangen. Perfect timing as always.

Kerry Gammill may not be that familiar to current comic readers because he got out of comics when the going still was good before all the crap that is going down now to pursue a career in movies doing creatures design and such. Which is a great loss for comics as anybody who has seen his work can attest. He was one of the artists that can in when John Byrne left the Superman revamp books and he has drawn a lot of issues some of the readers out there might be familiar with. You can find a lot of his work for DC in the new SUPERMAN - EXILE AND OTHER STORIES omnibus that just came out this month and which is still a bit out of my price range.

By the way, as some longtime readers may remember I mentioned in one of my earlier post that there is a page of Superman landing for which I would pay. I am usually not one who buys original art since I have no place where it would not get damaged but I would make an exception for this.

Now while this would be the perfect set up to continue my series on John Byrne´s SUPERMAN revamp in the 80s under other circumstances our last post was a DC post and since I try to avoid having two similar posts in a row when I can this will be about Kerry Gammill´s work at Marvel Comics.

Which would have been an easy post if I had just stuck to his POWER MAN & IRON FIST work ( which for me is the best part of the series) but when have I ever gone the easy route ? So there are also pages from other series and I have the feeling that the Marvel guys never knew what to make with Kerry Gammill because he got to do so many ancillary work like on MARVEL FANFARE, MARVEL TEAM UP and the FALLEN ANGELS mini series where he only drew four of the eight issues. I don´t know what the reason for that was but a few years back I bought the hardcover because I remember the ads in all those old Marvel mutant comics and I was very disappointed when I read it. Somehow the story gets all weird after the first half and the drop in quality when Kerry Gammill is not doing the pencils is jarring.

Anyway, while Kerry Gammill may not have been the most visible artist at Marvel - which may be why he went to DC to work on their main character - he always did solid work and he popped up in a lot of well known books.

Usually this is the part for the links but since I don´t have any for this post I want to address something I´ve avoided for a long time. It doesn´t have anything to do with the topic of this post but out of sheer curiosity - and the possibility no matter how slim I might be totally wrong about what is going on at Marvel Comics right now - I clicked on EzyEggroll´s post 12 Reasons Why Kamala Khan Is The Best Comic Book Hero on BUZZFEED and I still have no idea why she is supposed to be the best comic book hero.

Or any kind of hero. Because the post doesn´t list even one reason why she is the best hero. Or even a good hero. Now I know this will get me all kinds of flack and accusations of being a racist, bigot, sexist, homophobe, macho, chauvinist and phallokrat ( well, probably not because nobody knows what those two mean anymore ), man or any kind of combination thereof. But let´s go through the list. First of all the " reasons " listed may be reasons why she is a character that is good for bringing across political or gender specific propaganda but as that doesn´t make you a good hero they are all irrelevant. Then there are some reasons why the reader should find her interesting or cool. The only problem is those are all very obvious ploys to pander to a certain non comic reading demographic or have been done before and in most cases quite more effective. Here´s a run down :

No idea what being an amazing representation of a pakistani - american teenager has to do with being a hero. Being a hero is not limited by race or age. Also the idea that you can better relate to somebody because she is awkward implies that the general readership is awkward. Which may not be the case. The majority of comic readers might not be that awkward.

And like I said - this concept wasn´t new when Peter Parker was created and it has been definitely been used a gazillion times since then. Ditto goes for being a fan and writing fan - fiction is just one of those bland attempts of pandering I mentioned. Okay, being awkward does not make you a great hero, the same goes for writing fan fiction and neither does coming from a wonderful and loving family. Granted the upbringing can play a pivotal role why somebody chooses to become a hero but it does not automatically make you a better hero than somebody who comes from a family that is not so wonderful and loving. Most of the superheroes don´t have family or if they do they are killed pretty early in their lives.

Granted, the family members that are killed off are usually portrayed as wonderful and loving but that might just be how the hero likes to see them. In any case they are not around to raise their kid and look at how Batman turned out. Plus this point also is one hundred percent contrary to being a character you can easily relate to. Because you can´t have it both ways. Is Kamala someone I can relate to or does she come from a wonderful and loving family ? I don´t have a wonderful and loving family as is the case with most of the people living in the real world. Next point.

It´s good that she has a friend but again : how does him respecting her as a woman and a human being have an effect on her being the best hero ?

First of all, it´s very telling that the person who wrote this felt the need to emphasize that she is a woman and a human being. When I started to read comic being a woman automatically implied you were also a human being but apparently things have changed. Second when you got into the hero business because you want respect from others you are in the wrong business. That´s not what it´s all about and Spider - Man has been a hero for decades without getting any respect as a hero, man or a human being.

He still kept doing his thing instead of waiting around for an invitation to the super hero club by Tony Stark because that is what he does. So Kamala Khan never loses sight of who she is and where she comes from but from what I hear she loses sight of what she should do as a hero like prevent her friends from blowing up. Not really convincing. She is wise and has a great outlook on things. Okay, I can´t say anything about this because I don´t know her that well - and what I do does not make me want to know more - so we will just assume it has anything to do with being a hero. I mean, the guy on the corner with the tinfoil hat may also be wise with a great outlook on things but nobody would call him a hero because of that.

Oh, boy ! She provides excellent commentary on how poorly women are represented - even after inhaling terrigen mist. Leaving the terrigen mist aside, providing excellent commentary is not the main function of a hero.

It may be what makes a character interesting or a good vehicle for the propaganda a certain writer wants to spread through his work but it says nothing about his qualification as a hero. You can have the worst hero ever and he may be excellent for providing commentary about certain issues. What else makes Gambit or Deadpool so popular ? Also there is the myth of the poor representation of women because there are few fields where women are represented in such a positive light like comic books.

Because for decades there have been female versions of male heroes BESIDES the original female heroes but now they not only ursup their place they also steal their names. Gone are the days of She - Hulk or X 23 now Jennifer Walters is the Hulk, Frank Cho is Jo - Ghurt Hulk and who knows what Banner is, Pakistani Girl is Miss Marvel, Miss Marvel is Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel is either Photon, Pulsar, Spectrum or dead.

But back to why Kamala Khan ( any relation to Master Khan ? ) is the best hero and the best comic book hero. She doesn´t stand for any bigotry, she is great at helping other realize their full potential, she never gives up and she stands up for the right thing. I have put these points together because while they may make Kamala a character who stands for positive things all these reasons would also make her a great teacher, doctor or - I know the writer will love this - a human being. None of these are very hero specific and I don´t want to stress it again but those are all things that you can find in the earliest super hero stories from Superman to Spider - Man etc. So I´m still waiting that someone explains to me why we really needed this new character and why they needed to give her the name of an old character who then took the name of another character.

And for being all about feminism and emancipation she doesn´t exactly have the right powers. Because I know only one reason why you would give a female character the power to make certain parts of her body grow bigger and as far as I know she has not used her power in that way so far.  

After that rather long unexpected rant we come to the entertainment section which starts with a birthday I just missed. Yesterday was the anniversary of Johnny Craig´s birth ( it feels weird calling it a birthday when the person in question is dead. Birthdays are what you celebrate while you live ) and anybody who knows what a big fan I am of EC Comics is probably surprised that I let the chance pass to put more classic comic cult horror on the blog but like I said earlier because of health issues it was beyond my control. Now I never did any explicit Johnny Craig posts but I posted And All Through The House from The Vault Of Horror 35 ( which is one of the stories that was adapted into the movie from 1972 ) in 2015 in preparation for Halloween and Southern Hospitality from The Vault Of Horror issue 19 in a post on William Gaines anniversary in 2017 that also contains George Evans´ Wined - Up from Crime Suspense Stories issue 19.

The youngest birthday celebrity of Today is Emily Wickersham and the 34 year old is best known as special agent Eleanor Bishop on NCIS. Her role was supposed to be just a short one for a few episodes but Emily became so popular with the audience that she became part of the regular cast.

I last wrote about Emily two years ago when she was the newest addition to the crack investigation team or like Anthony Dinozzo would say the " bambina " but I guess with all the new faces that have become part of the group she is one of the veterans now. As I keep mentioning I am not up to date with all my tv series right now and with NCIS I have no idea if they are currently showing new episodes in Germany, if the show is still going or if they have finished it, heck, I don´t even know if Emily is still on it.

On the show Emily Wickersham is always very buttoned up even though she has a lot more to offer us and if you don´t believe me - or these picturess of Emily in various bikinis - go to THE GEEK NERDOM which promises 10 Photographs of NCIS Diva Emily Wickersham Is Going To Make Fans Drool ! ( I know that´s not correct english but I´m quoting here ). 

And I don´t know if Craig Ferguson was drooling but he obviously enjoyed Emily´s appearance on his show despite her conservative orange dress.

Our next candidate also is best known from starring on a hit tv show, Stana Katic who turns 40 Today. Stana doesn´t fall into my usual type of women since I´m more of a boobs man but this woman has legs up to her chin and she could have made a real fortune as a famous stripper. I didn´t find the GIF from CASTLE I was looking for but here are a few nice ones.

Stana also starred in THE LIBRARIAN - CURSE OF THE JUDAS CHALICE which is one of my guilty pleasures. What can I say ? I´m one of the people who actually watches these films. Sometimes there is just nothing better on tv and for an Indiana Jones rip - off I find them entertaining. To tell you the truth I would have watched the last one just to see Stana in a corsage.

And there must be more people out there who gave in to their inner voice because it has been turned into a tv series now that they are desperately looking for ideas. As usual I have not yet have time to watch an episode.

Here in Germany they are on a hiatus on new Castle episodes which my Mom finds great because since Rick and Kate got married the show has become " too ridiculous " for her. One actress who has grown quite nicely on the show is Molly Quinn who plays Rick Castle´s daughter Alexis. The other day I was looking for clips from the episode where they pretend to be in the 70s and Tamala Jones is wearing a Pam Greer outfit but all I could find were scenes with Molly baring her sexy belly. Should I be concerned ?

Coming back to Castle I don´t know if it´s worth it to continue watching it if Stana Katic and Tamala Jones are gone because it will not be the same show anymore. For me it was all about the story of Rick Castle and Kate Beckett and Castle without Beckett just isn´t interesting enough for me.

God, not only does Tamala look terrific she also has a great personality. If she doesn´t get a new show there are no straight guys left in Hollywood.

Since I stopped watching Castle I have no idea if the series finished but what is still going on and what I wish would finally come to an end is Formel Eins. They are still around in some manner though because the company who has the copyright to the name still puts out new music CDs.

The only reason why I´m talking about Formel Eins at all is that Ingolf Lück has his 60th anniversary Today and he was the best host of the show. Many years before Mtv and VIVA would appear on german screens Formel Eins started which was the worst german music show. But it was the only music show we had then ( if you don´t count Die Deutsche Hitparade which mainly played Schlager music ) so we had to bear the horror of it.

Peter Illmann was the first host and he was kind of a mack daddy although that only evolved over time. Still, he was not the best host. That dubious honor belongs to his replacement, Ingolf Lück who innovated the show by turning his introductions of the various musical acts and music videos ( they showed both ) into little sketches. It was only downhill after he left as they got their first female presenter Stefanie Tücking who was much too tame for this kind of show and she then handed the reigns over to Kai Böcking who was completely clueless. I remember that in his first show he had Sabrina Salerno as a guest and she was just too much woman for him.

Sabrina was mostly known for two things ..... well, actually three things : the twins ( obviously ! ), lots of wardrobe malfunctions of the tiniest outfits that were riding up or wet t - shirts and see - through bikinis.

At the time Sabrina Salerno, the cult siren with the obligatory bouncing action was at the height of her popularity in Germany thanks to her worldwide number 1 smash hit Boys Boys Boys ( which was especially popular in those countries that showed the uncensored version of her video where her tiny bikini top could not contain the singing sexbomb´s huge melons ) and various articles in teen publications like Bravo and Popcorn and nude pictorials in adult men´s magazines like Penthouse.

So they had to invite her to Formel Eins which was the music tv for german teenagers. The show was a total train wreck, they always cut the videos because the producer of the show was in Bavaria and they are very catholic and prudish down there. When Sabrina was there as a guest they didn´t play her video and told her she had to do a live performance. Which was obviously more than they bargained for because Sabrina began to shake rattle and roll her boobs up and down like there´s no Tomorrow.

Of course they were appalled but they could not do anything against it. The camera man tried to prevent the worst by doing a lot of close ups and just filming Sabrina´s head but as you can see it didn´t help that much.

I wrote Sabrina Salerno´s first cult siren entry way back in 2014 ( at least on this blog ) with annual reposts in 2015 , 2016 and 2017 where I always tried to do the ultimate version adding little things here and there. This year I have not done a new version yet because I didn´t have enough new material to warrant a re - post. Of course I found a lot of new vids AFTER her birthday and I was thinking of going another round but since then I have posted most of them in one way or the other so unless I find really crazy amounts of grade - a Sabrina material there won´t be a new post until 2019. Coming back to Ingolf Lück, after Formel Eins we expected great things but after one movie - which was made rather half assed - he got relegated to the usual comedy / celebrity nonsense shows that are prevalent on german tv. Germany doesn´t know what to do with talent.

Since we are on the subject of talent, one guy who got plenty of it is 78 year old Giorgio Moroder. He became one of the big names in electronic music after writing Hot Stuff, On The Radio and I Feel Love for Donna Summer. Aside from this his works on movies that have become not only part of pop culture but culture in general like Top Gun, Flashdance and Midnight Express tied him to the musical collective musical knowledge of entire generations earning him the Music Oscar. He´s still working Today with the greats of the music industry like Kylie Minogue. Now I had a few music videos bookmarked for him but since there will be a new Top Gun movie with Tom Cruise somewhere down the line this time I´m going with Winner Takes It All from the somewhat underappreciated Over The Top.  

Now I´m not saying it´s Oscar material or a lost cineastic gem but I feel that the movie has gotten a kind of bad rep and very much undeservedly.

And I did explain my point of view at length but as usual things got a bit out of hand so click this link for the spin off post since it will be posted before this one ( so you can read it after this one when you are scrolling down because it´s a continuation of this post ). There you will find more about Over The Top, Yaya Han, my new Yaya Han body double Jeannie Mai, the Jeannie Mai from Teens React plus sexbombs Dolly Parton and Anna Nicole Smith who both would have been terrific for the role of Power Girl.

Okay, we are still not finished with the anniversaries and the next one is even comic related because I want to acknowledge the great George Tuska. Now as a kid reading comic books I did not appreciate his work and he did issues for a lot of series I followed so I was not very keen on that.

The thing that finally won me over was that when I started sorting out my Gene Colan artwork a lot of the Iron Man stories that I thought had been drawn were actually by George Tuska. So I had to re - evaluate the whole thing since it was George Tuska who drew a lot of those Iron Man stories I enjoyed as a kid and it also were his drawings that defined the classic Iron Man look for me long before Bob Layton worked on the Golden Avenger.

I know that he also drew the original Captain Mar - Vell ( who was a white guy but also an alien so - diversity ) and the Submariner which are books on which Gene Colan also worked. Because he was very fast but still could bring in solid art Stan Lee used him on as many fill - in issues as possible.

Which had the effect that he didn´t get to use his imaginative layouts or his knack for depicting movement and many saw his pages as bland. Like I said, he worked on a lot of titles at Marvel and other companies but his signature character is Iron Man whom he drew for almost ten years. 

After all the babes and music here´s something for the mind : austrian - british philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein who was also born on this day.

There is a lot of Iron Man related stuff in this post but since I already posted an episode from his cartoon show AND one from the best - and worst - Avengers series ever made here is the next best thing : the pilot for Defenders of Dynatron City, another series that was never realized.

And since this has been a really long post I want to add a little bonus for all the readers who have hung in there the full six day until this post was finished. Here is the classic Ulysses movie with Kirk Douglas from 1954 and don´t expect this to last very long on YouTube. Who is lasting longer than expected is Kirk Douglas and I can´t believe that he is 101 years old now.

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Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come home.

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