Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Webslinging Wednesday with Ron Frenz - 2

Well, technically speaking I´m not writing this on a Wednesday but seeing as there is no special post that acquires my attention Today and I already prepared all the necessary material for this and the next THORSDAY post I hope my followers can overlook this slight bending of the posting rules.

Also I didn´t want to let my readers hang longer than necessary as our last WEBSLINGING WEDNESDAY ended on a cliffhanger. I always hate it when that happens although it´s one of the things that used to make reading comics interesting and I have always appreciated a good cliffhanger at the end of a comic ( I am not sure if they still do that in mainstream comics and when I say mainstream I mean the big two ). So what happened ?

As you can see instead of the intended THORSDAY post the last one was a re - post of Dona Speir´s birthday post which was not planned. Initially I was just going to mention it in the video section with a link to the old post, then I thought it wouldn´t hurt to give the old post the once over and add a few new things and before you know it two days are gone, as usual I went totally overboard and the post got longer than the list of hot babes I want to get jiggy with before I croak. And of course then all the other distracting life stuff happened like the refrigerator quitting, having to order a new one and catching up with season 4 of THE BLACKLIST. But now we are back with the next installment with the adventures of May " Mayday " Parker from AMAZING SPIDER - MAN FAMILY 6. As you may have noticed ( no pun intended ) the story has only 16 pages since it appeared in an anthology book which was only one of a neverending attempts by Marvel to eat the cake and keep it at the same time but since there might be comic readers who were not around in January 2009 and so could not read about it in my post I want to explain it a bit. Well, as best as I can since I only experienced this story from the consumers side and have no insight to the corporate decisions.But it seems there are not only books that are destined to fail but also some that are designed to do just that.

Sometimes it´s to keep the copyright to a character or a name, sometimes it is a cop out to fulfill contractual obligations and sometimes it is the publisher´s way of giving the readers what they want or clamor for and also proving them wrong at the same time using this emergency back door.

Like when readers say " We want more of character x. " or " We want to see more this kind of stories. " and the publishers have no interest in doing these kind of comics. So at first the publishers will just proclaim that these kind of books would never sell and that the readers who demand these kind of comics are just a vocal minority. So let´s say the readers keep demanding these books but the publishers don´t want to make these books and want to sell other books. Now if they keep denying their readers they will look like the bad guys ( which trust me, they are ) but what´s even worse, they might loose those readers who will go to the competition and find out that their books are much better. So the comic company will try to keep the readers by giving them what they want - at least for a while - but also sabotage their own books so they can cancel them and then sell what they wanted to sell the readers in the first place.

Any comic publisher spokesperson will tell you that comic companies would never sabotage their own books but the truth is they constantly do this and it pays off in the end. So how do they do it ? That´s easy. Either they assemble a team right from the start that they know will not have much success - the creative team or the super hero team as this works on both levels - or they put it in a format that readers will not support or they create a book that seems to be what readers want on the surface but when you look at it in detail it is the opposite or things like that. 

And then when the comic has to be canceled the comic book company is not the bad guy but the one who´s supportive of it´s readers even when they are ungrateful and they say " We told you that nobody wants these kind of books and we were right so trust us and please buy title hero x. "

Comic companies always try to present things in a way that makes them look innovative and political correct and with lots of diversity. Which is not a natural phenomenon. Despite what social justice warriors might want you to believe life has no quotas and you will almost never see an adequate representation of the populace in any given group. Sometimes it´s even impossible. I am no expert but I would think that in your average clan gathering there are very few if not zero members of afro - american, asian, mexican descend or other ethnic groups that are not aryan white caucasian. Also by nature there might be a high representation of female comic readers at a convention when the actual number of women reading comics is much lower. But for some reason comic book companies ( and let´s face it, the tv and movie industry do this too ) go " We gotta have a black member, a female member, a homosexual member, a member with an illness or a handicap and aliens are also always a seller. So how about a black blind lesbian alien ? That should cover all our bases. " and all the news media people are telling us how cool this new character is and that anybody who doesn´t like her ( which means every reader who sees it for the cheap sales gimmick it is ) is a racist, a chauvinist, a xenophobe and totally unamerican ( which 7,159,478,320 people around the world are ). 

Not american I mean. I don´t know about the other stuff. Anyway, one of the reason why these kind of things always work is that most of the people involved have no real knowledge of the things they talk about - in this case comics - or knows anything about the history of characters or the overall history of comics. Readers have no memory and most of the readers who are involved in these battles are new readers since the old ones have already left for one and are the only ones who remember that this particular idea has already been tried once with very little success.

Now in the case of Spider - Girl I have no idea which particular bee went up Marvel´s bonnet that they were so determined to obliterate her.

Maybe they were pissed off that it made the rest of the spider - book look like crap which was not difficult since they were, maybe they didn´t want female protagonists to succeed despite what they always proclaim, maybe Tom DeFalco had too many enemies, maybe it didn´t fit in with the rest of the bad written, mega grim and gritty pseudo realistic depressing bad fast food comics they were churning out. Whatever the reason Marvel tried its best to squash it again and again by not supporting the book in any way, shape or form, canceling it multiple times, re - starting with a new number 1 after the 100th issue, changing the creative team and then putting them into an anthology title. And as even that didn´t work because of the vocal AND ACTIVE ( this is the most important part if you want to save a title from cancellation ) fan community they put it in an anthology title ( said SPIDER - MAN FAMILY ), then turned it into a digital only comic followed by another stint as part of an anthology title only to end in the short lived ( only four measly issues ) SPECTACULAR SPIDER - GIRL title and SPIDER - GIRL : THE END ! the last Spider - Girl story Tom DeFalco wrote for Marvel.

So that´s - in a very short and abbreviated from - the reason why our WEBSLINGING WEDNESDAY Spider - Girl stories only have 16 pages. Before we finally start with Today´s episode I want to mention that the cover at the top of the post is from an issue of AMAZING SPIDER - GIRL since all the covers from AMAZING SPIDER - MAN FAMILY have Spider - Man on it and as much as I used the guy ( man, nowadays it´s like I don´t even know the dude ) I am not starting a post about Spider - Girl with le Spider - Man.

Not after the way Marvel is constantly trying to shove new Spider - Girls down our throats all the while ignoring the one true Spider - Girl that is still out there. That´s right. Even if you accept that the Spider - Girl from the MC2 universe is dead the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane that was supplanted with a dead infant should still be out there. Call me an optimist but I think she would even survive the BRAND NEW DAY ( since that was only supposed to cancel out their marriage not them being together ) and SECRET WARS train wrecks. By the way, forget about an summary of what has happened before. I´m not going to recap 150 issues of continuity in this already too long introduction so don´t even ask.     

Well, it looks like May is in some trouble as this is an old sparring partner of her Dad and for those of you who read SPECTACULAR SPIDER - MAN back in the day this brings back some ugly feelings of deja vue. And since I know there are a lot of readers out there who are particular fans of that section here is the cover that was the inspiration for the last splash page.

It was of course drawn by the fantastic Sal Buscema - who is the inker of SPECTACULAR SPIDER - GIRL - and used for the cover of the just recently published TOMBSTONE trade paperback that reprints issues 137 to 150 from Sal´s epic run on SPECTACULAR SPIDER - MAN. I just ordered it a few days ago and in my opinion it´s one of the most underrated run of the spider - books. I only hope Marvel continues with this and does not put it all in the Epic Collections. Because that would take a lot of money to collect them.

Speaking of money, since there are no links for this post we can start with the birthdays right away and our first is german Busenwunder Bettie Ballhaus who turns 39. As my picture archive is sorely depleted from the last clean up campaign I have no picture of Betty and any GIFs I could find online would not be safe to post anyway but I do have a video with her.

Not what you are thinking, this one is actually funny. Busty Bettie was the host for one of these call in shows on german tv a few years back ( I don´t know if she still does it as I don´t watch that much german tv when my Mom is in Germany ) where you can - in theory - win cash prizes. If you were wondering what Betty´s connection to money was. The tv station actually started out as a sports channel but I don´t know if they still show sports. I used to watch it on a daily basis back when the mother of all big breasted call in show hosts, Daniela Elger used to be on regularly. Anyway, I don´t know how difficult it is to get through to the host on these shows but one of the callers was not so much interested in resolving the quiz or winning the dough but rather in seeing Bettie´s oversized money makers.

Today Seth Green is mostly known for his voice acting of Rick Jones or Rocket Raccon on Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Howard the Duck on Ultimate Spider - Man and a gazillion other shows like Family Guy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Phineas and Ferb or Robot Chicken but I first saw him as the likeable werewolf on the tv series Buffy. Which was a remake of a really awful movie starring Kristy Swanson ( hence the banner ). He celebrates his 43rd birthday so here is an episode of my favorite late night show that also features the saucy Jenna Louise Coleman ( Craig´s words ).

And yes, I explicitly picked this jam piece to have a connection between everybody´s favorite slayer to Bruce Timm who turns 56. I thought I had done a post on him last year but it seems I only prepared the stuff and never got around to actually do it. Maybe next year. One of the things that Bruce always pulls off flawlessly is distilling each character to the quintessential iconic basics therefore showing what makes him so unique.

John Grisham celebrates his 62nd birthday who has provided the source material for what I call the article movies : THE Firm, THE Client, THE Pelican Brief, even one of his lesser known movies with natural born stripper JaMILF Lee Curtis ( I definitely wrote a post on her which I re- posted last year ) has the article in it - Christmas with THE Kranks

Speaking of hot Hollywood MILFs, Mary Steenburgen turns 64 who is best known for giving Dr. Emmett Brown the hots in Back To The Future III.

It is kind of weird to be living in the year that was the future in part 2 of the mega successful trilogy but one of the better aspects is that it has brought back a lot of attention to Back To The Future. Now on one side I wish there was a part four because come on, we´re due for another. Man, this was way before timey wimey was an actual thing. But would they be able to recreate the perfect storm or would this be like the bad Star Wars movies before The Force Awakens and Rogue One - A Star Wars Story ?

Our Dearly Departed section starts with Jack Lemon and a correction. In my post in honor of Mike Mignola´s 56th birthday I wrote that as a little boy I was most impressed by the scene in The Great Race Around The World where Natalie Wood tries to escape in her underwear. Now I recently found the time to re - watch the classic and while Miss Wood´s charms have not lost any of its mesmerizing qualities I totally blanked on the fact that she is in her under wear for most of the remaining movie.

Believe it or not, there are still two movies with Jack Lemon on my to watch list, the first one being Some Like It Hot. Yes, I know that it´s a classic and it has the quintessential blonde sexbomb Marilyn Monroe in it but I never understood why men wearing women´s clothes are supposed to be funny. The other movie is The Apartment because no matter how often it is on tv and how often I watch it I always miss the beginning.

A Jack Lemon film with Shirley MacLaine I have watched numerous times is Irma La Douce although I only recently found out that cult siren Tura Satana who appeared in such cult movies like The Doll Squad and Russ Meyer´s Faster Pussycat ! Kill ! Kill ! had her first role in it as Suzette Wong. I also wrote a post on Tura Satana of which I did a pimped version .

Another birthday shoutout goes to Bill Finger who finally starts to get recognition for his contributions to the Batman mythos. I don´t want to get into too much detail since there is a plethora of comic book creators and afficionados on the internet who are more qualified to talk about that but I think Ty Templeton´s strip encapsulates the whole thing pretty well.

And we return one more time to Back To The Future, this time in it´s animated from. I had no idea this existed but thankfully there are always guys n the internet who can review such things. To give you a hint about who our last birthday candidate is here are three clues : he has written some of the best known science fiction stories of all times which have been adapted into countless movies and tv series, he is one of Doc Brown´s big idols and the cartoon show revolves mainly about Doc Brown´s family including his two sons which were named after him.

Before I continue binge watching the fourth season of The Blacklist I want to add another cartoon video since the previous one just has little bits from a show and not one full episode. Constant Payne apparently was the pilot for a show that was planned for development at Nickelodeon but because of a scene that was too similar to 9 - 11 it never got picked up. I don´t know but could they not have simply changed it ? I have seen a lot of pilot episodes now and sometimes they change everything or even reshoot the pilot from scratch. Maybe this deserves another chance.

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Chauvinism is the same as, rather than the opposite of feminism. If feminism was really about equal treatment of the genders, it would be called humanism or equalism. There is no opposite to feminism in existence. That´s part of the problem.

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