Today is Rich Buckler´s 68th birthday so it´s time to go spelunking in the catacombs of my laptop and see what graphic treasures I can unearth.
Now the name Rich Buckler may not appear on many best comic creator lists of Today´s comic readers but as some of my more faithful followers might know I have grown a bit tired of Marvel and DC´s current perpetuum mobile of constant rebooting and rehashing of old storylines. Therefore my reading material lies more in the Bronze Age and Rich Buckler was very active around that time, this guy was just everywhere. And not just some small stuff here and there since he practically drew every DC and Marvel character there is - even if it sometimes was only on a comic cover. No, his seminal works include the first three issues of the black Panther in JUNGLE ACTION, a lengthy run on FANTASTIC FOUR ( he hired the young George Perez as his studio assistant ), the story The Death of Jean DeWolffe with Peter David and co creating Deathlock at Marvel. At DC he co created the ALL STAR SQUADRON with Roy Thomas and while working at Archie Comics he penciled THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS and THE FLY.
Originally I wanted to do a review of his entire career but it´s not only too long to fit into a single post, after seeing how much stuff he did for DC I decided to make this a DC Comics only post since - once again - we had two Marvel posts in a row. Maybe that is the new rhythm from now on.
Doing this post was a bit painful for me and I don´t mean only the usual back, neck and butt pains and cramps because of sitting to long in my chair without taking a short break to finish the post. It made me realize how grand and majestic but above all how diverse the DC universe used to be and what a wretched and burned out shambles it turned into lately.
I thought about what I could add to the post as a little bonus feature for my faithful readers and there have been numerous requests for a better resolution of the splash page for the lead story Strangers At The Heart´s Core from Superman Family 206 with Supergirl in a nightie. I did not only find that page but I´m also including the next page which also has a bit of lingerie action. I wonder if we´ll see something like this on the tv show.
Despite all the material I had in my Rich Buckler folder there was quite a bit of research I had to do to turn this into an all DC post ( maybe I can make an all Marvel post next year since I probably can´t do another Rich Buckler post in the next few days ) and as everyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that means it´s time for the usual kudos for the peeps out there who create the content guys like me depend on.
First of all a big thank you goes to the guys from A GRAPHIC STATE OF MIND who provided the black and white art for the cover of All New Collectors´ Edition C - 58. Some of the other covers are courtesy of PROFESSOR H´S WAYBACK MACHINE , DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND has a collection of splash pages from Space Hunters ( which is where I found the one above ) and there´s a cover gallery of the series on SPACE 1970 ( where else ? ). For more reading fun with Rich Buckler check out CHRIS IS ON INFINITE EARTHS , where you can find Cobra 5 ( this has nothing to do with the german comic Kobra ) and for more six gun action with Jonah Hex follow the old indian trail to THE BRONZE AGE OF BLOGS . Now I didn´t get to write about them in this post ( and Terry Hooper will have some cuss words for that, I´m sure ) but Rich Buckler also worked on The Mighty Crusaders and there is a post about them on BEACH BUM COMICS .
We start our - as always highly selective depending on whether there are any connections to hot chicks or any videos I got bookmarked or at least an interesting story I can tell - celebrity birthday rundown of the day with the always delightful Alice Eve who you might have seen in films like The Raven, Men In Black 3 or Star Trek : Into Darkness and who turns 35.
She is a frequent guest on one of my favorite talk shows, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, although he would probably argue that it´s not a real talk show. I thought I already posted a plethora of her appearances but when I went back to the blog archive I could only find two of them. I know, that´s the noise I made. Anyway, as I didn´t have any bookmarks for Alice Eve I wanted to post one of her best visits to a talk show although it was on another show ( chhh - ptui ) namely Conan O´Brien. I could not find her full appearance but this short clip is enough to give you an idea.
We are staying in England as Rick Astley celebrates his 51st birthday. Sometimes it´s funny how things work out. I remember that Rick Astley and Kylie Minogue started out around the same time. But while all music critics attested a long and prosperous career for Rick Astley because of his obvious great talent most people said Kylie Minogue would never amount to much more than a one hit wonder. In fact, on of the vj´s at Mtv - way back when they were a music channel - Steve Blame ( the guy who looks like Leghorn´s secret brother separated at birth ) went on record that she was nothing more than a one hit wonder and called I Should Be So Lucky the worst written song of all time. Adding fuel to the fire was the fact that for some uncanny reason if you play an Rick Astley song faster it sounds exactly like Kylie Minogue ( or if you prefer it, if you play a Kylie Minogue song slower it sounds exactly like Rick Astley ) which led to the rumour that Kylie was not really singing her songs and that - since they were both under contract at Stock, Aitken & Waterman - it was really Rick Astley. Nobody even thought for a moment that it might be the reverse although Kylie had two big talents of her own as she demonstrates here.
By the way, speaking of demonstrating big talents and down under : is it just my imagination or is Sydney hotter in every new Teens React video lately ? She´s on fire and her chest seems to be growing exponentionally !
Okay, sadly Sydney is not in this video which I picked because Rick Astley is. Like I said, life is sometimes funny as Kylie Minogue has become the big super star while Rick is remembered for a meme which´s time has passed.
We continue with more people who´s time has passed - and here quite literally - as we open the Dearly Departed section with Pierre Brice who for me and generations of western fans will always be the undisputed Winnetou ( if you don´t know who that is you can check out my 101 post on Winnetou and all things Karl May ). There has been a new version - just one in a long line of unsuccessful adaptions into new movies or cartoons like the very painful Winnetoons - but for me Pierre Brice is unparalleled.
He had a calm nobility and strength of character that just oozed from every pore. You knew that he was not quiet because he was the inferior red man but because he could whup everybody´s ass without even trying.
I bet he could have whupped even Old Shatterhand´s ass if he wanted and they rode together out of courtesy to Old Shatterhand. Winnetou could have handled everything himself but he wanted his friend to feel useful.
So far I have only posted trailer from the Winnetou movies it seems but for this special but very special occassion I am including a full length movie even if it will probably be gone from YouTube in a few short days. Now you probably would expect me to go with Unter Geiern because of sexy Elke Sommer ( what a tomato ! ) but I wanted to have a movie with the classic Pierre Brice / Lex Barker combo and in Unter Geiern Winnetou is teams up with Old Surehand played by Stewart Granger. And because the final Winnetou movie always makes me sad here is one with english subtitles.
Also born on this day is another pop culture icon, Patrick Macnee, who is of course best known as John Steed in Mit Schirm, Charme und Melone how it was called in Germany ( yes, they put it wrong on the comic cover below which was not unusual for comic books back then ) where he was the constant to an ever changing crime fighting duo and sometimes trio although the classic version was his partnership with Emma Peel played by the just divine Diana Rigg. Yes, I always had trouble calling the series The Avengers because for me that team was Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, the Vision and the likes. I remember when I first saw something about The Avengers tv series in one of the first orderbooks and thought I had found a lost gem of tv entertainment about the World´s Mightiest Heroes. Picture my surprise when I found out it was only a normal team of secret agents without any superpowers whatsoever. Ah, the humanity !
Now as I have already posted all my Diana Rigg videos and it´s Patrick Macnee´s birthday anyway I should include something with him. As I also have already added the documentary about The Avengers elsewhere on the blog there is also another series in which he appeared that I am a bit more familiar with since it aired in the 90s. Yes, as many readers know I am fond of what other people may consider the trashy side of pop culture. Make no mistake, Thunder In Paradise definitely falls into that category. Compared to this Acapulco H.E.A.T. is like Shakespeare although like all good ( or is that bad ? ) shows from the 1990s it includes a certain amount of hot bikini babes which they go to great lengths to make the viewers aware of them as they put it right in the intro of the very first episode.
Well, I hope it´s the first episode. I didn´t have the time to go through all videos of Thunder In Paradies on YouTube so I picked the one with the best quality that is also in the right picture format. It looks like Patrick Macnee´s character is introduced so it might as well be the first episode. Another reason was that there are some good bikini babes in this one. The one in the yellow bikini looks a bit like Teri Weigel although I´m sure it´s not her. And to be fair, the bikini babes serve two purposes here ( and I´m saying this without any double meaning ) : the first one is to keep the male audience who was clearly the main target here hooked. A famous crime fiction writer once said that if things get too boring you send in two guys with machine guns. The same principle works with bikini babes.
The second purpose is to get an actor of the caliber like Patrick Macnee with a pedigree on a show like this and to keep him interested. Some people may scoff at this but including a lot of hot women in a show does wonders for the morale. If you don´t believe that ask yourself : if you had the same job but were surrounded by hot women in swimsuits would you not be happier at the end of the day ? Now one of the things I noticed when I went through all the videos is how colorful everything was back then. The comic books were like that and definitely the tv shows. And you may say that I just included this for the hot bikini babes or maybe Carol Alt but that´s not it. If you are looking for intellectually stimulating stories portrayed by the greatest actors America has to offer you will be disappointed. But if you want to see a highly entertaining show with tons of wrestlers guest starring from their heyday and cheap special effects you have come to the right place. This show was produced by the guys from Baywatch and Hulk Hogan quit the WWF to film the series. He then met with Eric Bishop and after the end of the show he went to the WCW.
To wrap things up I have to include a video from Rich Buckler´s All Star Squadron ( hmm, I wonder why they never used an acronym ) or otherwise Terry Hooper - Scharf ( richter ) would demand my head on a silver platter.
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He had no friends, this Jonah Hex, but he had two constant companions; One was death itself ... the other, the acrid smell of gunsmoke ...