Awesome Cover Friday - Halloween Style!

Monster comics hit their peak in the 1970s. Marvel put out a ton of scary titles featuring Ghost Rider and various relatives of Satan. But since this is Halloween and this is a pop-culture blog I am bound by the Monster Squad Act of 1976 which states that at least one reference must be made per year to the iconic movie monsters Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and The Werewolf.

Sweet! This one's got a giant spider and a dude in flashy RenFest garb! It really captures the combination of action-adventure and creepy horror that Marvel did so well.

Damn! Just...damn! This is one messed-up cover. I really want to know what's going on in this issue.

Also? My D&D character totally fought something like that and got a badass sword and, like, a billion experience points out of it.

Just in case you thought the movie monsters weren't part of the larger Marvel Universe, we have Silver Surfer throwing down with Dracula. I don't know what the vampire did to piss off Galactus's herald but he's gonna be sorry.


Doom '08

Last year, for election day, I featured some outstanding election-type covers. Two of them featured Dr. Doom as president. And with the US presidential election coming up soon, I thought I'd post an update:

See more here.


Weird-Ass Cover Wednesday - Black Diamond Western

Black Diamond Western ran in the early 1950s and had some of the wackiest covers ever. OK, maybe not Rex The Wonder Dog wacky but these things are insidious.

If only we had listened to Black Diamond, we wouldn't be in this mess! Damn sub-prime mortgages!

Black Diamond don't let a little thing like Euclidean geometry get in the way of meting out justice. The Law of the Frontier takes precedence over the Laws of Physics. Is he the sheriff of Flatland?

Ahd the snake pit! And the horde of ninjas!

And ebola!

And the fact that your torso is twisted at a hideous angle!

This might just be the best comic-book cover ever. This one practically has an entire issue's worth of words on it. Let's break down the elements that make this great:

  1. A wicked awesome villain named Randito who refers to himself in the third person.
  2. A guitar that is actually a gun.
  3. The sentence "Oh! Your guitar is a gun!"
  4. Horse fight.


Badasses on Parade

It's been a while since I put up a Baddass Files entry for you but Scott from Polite Dissent has done it for me by celebrating Teddy Roosevelt.

Speaking of badasses, check out this dude from the cover of Black Diamond Western. He's gonna knock that door down with his head!
I also want to bring your attention to the guy in the front who is such a huge Charles Biro fan that he has put his name on his hat. And the fellow on the far left whose concern for his floors has caused his beer to defy the laws of physics.



Video Time: Ready To Go

This week, Video Time moves out of the 80s and straight into the mid 90s! Republica burned hot and fast but while they were around they put out some rockin' electronic music. I saw them live in '97 and it was a hell of a show. Kinda like this video but louder.


Awesome Cover Friday - Whiz Comics

Whiz Comics began with issue #2 in 1940. It was also the first appearance of Captain Marvel. You know who else showed up in that issue? Spy Smasher, that's who!

I usually reserve the old-school covers for Weird-Ass Cover Wednesday, but this week, I want to take a few minutes to highlight the awesome that some of these WWII-era covers brought.

Look at that! He's throwing a freakin' car! Superman had to pick his car up to smash it around but Captain Marvel just tosses the thing. One-armed. Do not mess with the Big Red Cheese.

Any time a tank barrel is tied in a knot an angel gets his wings.

Yeah, how'd you like to be those pilots? You wouldn't! That's how!

Those poor schmucks picked the wrong day to get in Captain Marvel's airspace. Also, any cover that has a dude attacking a plane gets extra points from me.

You knew I was going to save the best for last, didn't you? Well, here you are. I can't say anything about this cover that the picture doesn't convey to perfection. Bask in the glory folks.


Watchmen: A Growing, Excited Movie

Click To Embiggen

Also, Patches presents a superhero for the 21st century.


Weird-Ass Cover Wednesday: Brides Romances

Ah, marriage!

I have three wives!

How do you like them apples?

Carry on with your tomfoolery. I have a canasta game to get to.


Vaklam: Thanks again, King. Good to have you back. So, romance comics. There sure were a lot of them back in the day. 'The day' for Brides Romances was the 1950s. The art on the covers is actually pretty good but what makes them hilarious is the unintentional commentary provided by the placement of the titles of the secondary stories.

They're like tragic, little thought balloons. Check 'em out!

"Summer Fling"

"I was ashamed of him"

"Nobody wanted me"

What, exactly, is she wanting to explain?

Yeah. If he's saying 'Heaven is right here' and the woman he's kissing has already made her choice, I don't think you've got a dog in this race anymore.

Oh, honey! He's trying to let you down easy because of his fickle boyfriend! Take my advice and leave him now before you see him in the arms of that well-oiled lifeguard in Ibiza Getaway VII.

This one's interesting because the Brides Romance Thought Detector 3000 seems to be picking up the brainwaves of that lady in the audience rather than the main characters. But I have to say, if that's an accurate description of the arc of her love life, she's doing all right now that she's found someone to pamper her. Look at the smile on her face. Heartwarming!


Video Time: Head Over Heels

Video Time is still in the 80s. "Head Over Heels" is my favorite track from Songs From The Big Chair. Tears For Fears was the first concert I ever went to where I paid for the ticket with my own money. It was an awesome show.

Also, the video has a chimp in a library! Genius!


Awesome Cover Friday - Galactus

This week's Awesome Cover Friday is extra large because it's about the Marvel Universe's favorite extra-large character.


Few things are more awesome than Galactus. Literally. He raises the awesome quotient of any cover he is on by 64%. I can prove this using algebra.

This is the first cover to feature the flying purple planet eater. I love this image! It's Kirby-riffic and a tough act to follow but some of the ones below manage it.

OK, Hercules is a badass. Other Olympians think he's a badass. But that ain't nothin' to Galactus. I've featured this cover before but it's awesome enough to be brought back. The composition and sense of action on this makes it a near-perfect cover. Also, something similar to this scene actually happens in the comic.

The Galactus silhouette is eye-catching and cool but the thing that keeps me coming back to this cover is the collage of images in the background.

Here it is. This is the cover many people think of when Galactus is mentioned. It is, in fact, one of the best covers ever. I mean, that's a whole bunch of badasses and The Big G is barely expending any energy against them.

This is my favorite Galactus cover so far. It's the follow-up to the Everyone vs. Galactus issue and it does more to convey the power of a being who can eat a planet than any of the ones above do. Also, the composition and the garish colors really sell this.

Also, what's Ben Grimm doing up in the corner, there? Gathering firewood?


From Diesel Sweeties

Click To Embiggen

Candy - Submitted (almost) Without Comment

I was working on some Weird-Ass Cover Wednesday posts when I ran across the cover for Candy #18 and, well...just look at it.

Mere words simply cannot do this justice.

Also, um, what's going on up there in that 'N'?


Weird-Ass Cover Wednesday: Mad About Millie

King Clownape decided to sit this one out. I'm not sure exactly why. He just wandered off muttering something about a 'history' with Millie.

I've got a soft spot in my heart for Millie the Model and so does Marvel Comics, apparently, because she keeps showing up in other titles. She was at Reed and Sue's wedding as well as issues of The Defenders and She Hulk. She is officially part of the Marvel Universe.

The character originally appeared in 1945 in Marvel's predecessor Timely Comics and later in Atlas Comics. Mad About Millie ran from 1969 - 1970 and was, as far as I can tell, one big advertisement for the era's swingin' sexual revolution. I present the evidence below:

Millie and her boyfriend cannot delay the satisfaction of their carnal desires long enough to assist their friend in the pedaling of the bicycle. Shameful! And kinda hot.

Um...they're not exactly knocking. If you know what I'm sayin'.

Millie and her boyfriend the "photographer" are either once again so enraptured with each other that they don't notice the burglar or this is some sort of kinky, elaborate roleplay scheme. Shocking!

And here we have the culmination of all these shenanigans. A freaky, outdoor swingers party! I guess comic books do lead to the corruption of our youth. Go figure.

This post has been


Video Time: Invisible Sun

This week on Video Time, it's another Police song: Invisible Sun.

Can you tell I like the depressing ones?


Josh Brolin to Play Jonah Hex

Josh Brolin has been tapped to play Jonah Freakin' Hex. I freaking love Jonah Hex. So does, Dwayne "the canoe guy"! I mean, he runs a whole blog about Jonah. I just feature his covers every now and then. Dwayne's pretty hardcore.

Anyway, I think Brolin's a good choice for the character. I wonder how they're going to handle the makeup for the scar.

In other news, the two most recent issues of Jonah Hex are really good.

Awesome Cover Friday - Nexus

I'm a huge First Comics fan. They put out some of the best titles of the 80s. My favorite of their publications was The Badger but Nexus was a close second.

The covers below are from the '90s during Dark Horse's possession of Nexus but I will always consider it to be a First title.

Woo! That's scary. Graveyard + Big Green Ghost Head = I'm buying this issue right now!

I absolutely love the composition on this one. It reminds me of some of my favorite Astro City covers. The stunning central image surrounded by all this muted, swirling chaos.

This one looks like a bad trip in all the best ways. An image like this is so much better than a static portrait no matter how well painted. This kind of thing smacks you in the head and shouts "Read me!". Kind of like the stuff in Through the Looking Glass but with big-ass bugs.


Weird-Ass Cover Wednesday: Monkeyshines

Greetings, subcreatures. I have returned from my vacation and am now ready to introduce another installment of Weird-Ass Cover Wednesday. This week, the proprietor of this 'blog' has chosen to poke fun at Monkeyshines Comics.

Monkeyshines. I see.

You must be kidding. Funny animal comics? I go away for a couple of weeks and this is what I find!

Also, "monkey". How droll. I tire of this. Carry on with your little jape-fest. I expect improvement next week. Serious improvement.

Vaklam: Welcome back, Your Majesty. Monkeyshines is a comic from the 1940s which featured most of the funny-animal tropes anyone who has seen more than three Warner-Brothers cartoons is familiar with. Some of the covers reveal a significant malacious streak. Enjoy!

OK, this one's pretty standard. Quite clever, actually. The rabbit and the mouse have instituted double-redundancy. If one of those weapons-of-cat-destruction doesn't wipe out their target there are two more that will surely do the job.

Also, the characters on the left are all people I went to college with. True story.

Roller Coaster. Nice touch. What gets me, though, is the expression on the mouse's face. On the cover for issue #21 above, he looks malicious but also a little angry. Like the cat has done something to deserve this fate. In this one, however, he is obviously beginning to enjoy causing this cat to plunge to a horrible death. Fortunately for Mouse and Squirrel, the sign meets all OSHA standards.

All right, now it's obvious that the mouse is a fucking sadist. He's made an elaborate game out of harming the cat and his rabbit buddy is on call to resuscitate the cat, keeping him alive so they can play out ever greater torture scenarios until their feline captive begs for the sweet release of death.

Hey, kids! Comics!

Oh, damn. Now, that's just mean. This is the final depredation. The killing blow. The mouse has literally defanged his would-be predator. And look at the mouse's expression. He has truly become that which he despises. He has stared into the abyss and the abyss has stared back. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold.

Fun for the whole family!


New Greg Land Image

I had forgotten about the LOLcats feed for Noetic Concordance. It takes anything with an RSS feed and sticks the titles on pictures of kitties. Here's my favorite one from the new batch:

Of course, the picture of the kitty was heavily photo-referenced and cribbed from someone else's work.

I may have to use this picture as the intro to any post I do about Land.


Video Time: Synchronicity II

It's not comics-related but I thought I'd resurrect Video Time. This time, it's The Police: Synchronicity II.

This video is one of the things from my formative years that really shaped my aesthetic. The post-apocalyptic, thrown-together look showed up in nearly every role-playing game and short story I created for the next ten years. Plus, it's a kickass song.

Linkin' Ain't Easy

Are you reading The Comics Curmudgeon? 'Cause you should be. His latest post is an excellent place to start.

Who's awesome? Heidi Meeley is awesome! She's started a new feature on Comics Fairplay called Naughty or Nice.

The latest Comic-Book Urban Legends entry tells the story of Jedi Master Soon Baytes. Teehee.

Check out Polite Dissent for the latest in science-based comics blogging.

And now, your moment of zen:


Awesome Cover Friday - Weird Science

Long before the movie Weird Science came along, there was a comic book by the same name. Many of the title's stories were adaptations of Ray Bradbury pieces and the covers, most of them by Wally Wood, are spectacular.

Dinosaurs! And spaceships! And a volcano! This thing literally sells itself.

I literally can't get enough of this cover. The weird space creatures (who are wearing the same spacesuits as the humans from the issue above) contrasted with the kids make for a terrific image. Also, check out that dog.

Woah! The composition of this cover alone blows me away (no pun intended). The subject matter is stunning as well. Keep in mind that this issue came out in 1953.


Weird-Ass Cover Wednesday: Konga!

In 1961, Herman Cohen and American International Pictures made a film called Konga. Turns out it was not about the tiny, Swedish village but, instead, about a giant ape. This disappointed many people. Despite this, it was a big hit and Charlton made a comic book out of it. It ran for 23 issues and had some of the ca-ray-ziest covers ever.

King Clownape is still away. He has decided to follow Foreigner during this leg of their comeback tour. So, we have a special guest who will provide the commentary for each issue. Konga himself! Take it away!

Um...guys? Little help? Pardon me, but I seem to be stuck in the-- Hello? Giant ape behind you. Over here. Oh, for the love of!

Funny story: I find that I am often hunted by humanity. So the fact that you, a group of alien invaders, are on the verge of attacking me is, while an interesting twist on the basic giant-monster tropes, rather annoying as I am generally unconcerned by what happens to the inhabitants of this planet.


OW! OK, now you have forced my hand by making me mad. How predictable.

Another alien invasion? Fine. You know what? I'm not even going to bother trying to talk to you this time. Just don't hurt the guy on my shoulder. He's like a pet.

You see that look on my face? It's not from the pain of the laser blast. It is an expression born of the crushing ennui I now have because of all these would-be world conquerors singling me out. What, do I have a target on my back? How did I end up as the thing one must get through before taking over Earth? I mean I'm big but I'm not--

You know, what? Forget it. No per diem is worth this. I'll be in my trailer. You'll hear from my agent.