Thursday, December 29, 2011

Who Does Batman Fear?

Being from 1968 I'm sure this scene from above found in World's Finest # 173 is thoroughly out of continuity, heck, stuff from six months ago it out of continuity much less almost 44 years ago!

But still, does it hold? Of his villains over the years whom would Batman be the most afraid of? In that issue it was stated as being Two-Face, would that still hold today? I'm guessing not, what with ones that have broken his back and killed side-kicks... for a while at least.

What do you think?

Who gives the Batman the jim jams?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Why all the Red-Headed Mermaids & Sea Goddesses in Pop Culture?

Ever notice how many redheaded mermaids and sea goddesses there are in pop culture?
I’m not just talking about the one from the `B I G  F I S H’ when talking about pop culture chops, i.e. Disney and the House of the Grand Mouse’s Arial, their take on the little mermaid, I’m talking before and beside that character, or which there are more than a few auburn haired queens of the briny deep.

There are all these bits of mermaid kitsch from the 20’s to the 50’s, also Aquaman’s sweetie and sometimes wife Mera, Queen of the Sea, from the film Ponto there’s cute little Ponyo and her Mum, and the “Woman in the Water” from a less successful film.  

I’m not saying they’re all redheads, there are plenty of depictions of blonde and brunette mermaids and sea goddess, take Dyesebel from the Philippines for instance. That character has been around since 1953 and has been had three or four films and a television series made about her and she’s a brunette.


I’m just saying the percentage of ginger Ladies of the Sea seems higher than average to me, and I wonder why that is.
Perhaps they get it from their mom? If that is Aphrodite is their mother, she being born from sea foam and all. And I’m just taking her for a redhead based on one famous painting in which she is mistakenly called Venus.

It’s not much to go on, but it’s all I have at the moment.
Oh! And let’s not forget Amy Pond, who while not a mermaid is redheaded and her last name is Pond which are, in order to qualify for that noun made out of water…

I’ll stop speculating here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Four-Color Sherlock Holmes

With a new Sherlock Holmes film out and about at the moment I’m reminded of the character’s appearances in another media, the comics.

Being so well known, so popular (and so in the public domain) has led to Holmes and Watson having a lot of different comic book interpretations, both close to Canon, and wildly off on their on tangents (I’m thinking of one near pornographic one where those responsible needed a good talking to, and maybe a punch in the face afterward), both color and black & white, serious and humorous takes and a number of different languages.  

With over 150 appearances in graphic media it stands to reason that there would, and should be some variation in those appearances.

Here are just 8 of them, including one of the first from Classic Illustrated, some very stylistic ones, Holmes going up against zombies and vampires (there were at least two different comic series devoted to him battling Dracula) and completely tossing logic out the window having him team up with Batman and in another battling the Joker! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Need Help With the Bills Lois?

What’s this, Lois Lane muling for Tupperware? I guess plucky girl reporters in the 60s didn’t make as much as I thought they did.

The image above comes from a comic book called, as you can see on the cover, Tupperware Dating Party, which it seems features one Dorothy Dealer. (I can hardly wait for the Post Modern reboot on THAT character!)

A freebie produced something around 1968 that was given to woman thinking about joining the cult of… I mean becoming a Tupperware distributer.

It was published by Common Comics, which was a subsidy of American Comic Group, the comic company known mainly for a long string of mild “horror” comics and a fat little character known as Herbie, or sometimes the Fat Fury.
They got out of regular comics in the 60s, but still produced them for companies like Sears, Tupperware and others.

The art in this one was supplied by Kurt Schaffenberger, the artist who for over ten years was THE artist for Lois Lane, becoming so iconic that he was even brought in to draw her in comics being done by other artists so that she always looked the same.

It seems he also pulled her out for this item as well, despite being called “dealer” Ruby Robins and given a by the unknown colorist a somewhat different hair color, (not Lois’s natural blue from Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane,) that’s Lois Lane, down to the little Jackie Kennedy hat she sported in her adventures at DC at the same time.
Perhaps she needed the extra income to make up for all the time she spent being shrunk, trapped in the Phantom Zone, tossed around in time, being abducted by aliens and going though one weird transformation after another.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Suicide is Easy... it's getting people to buy the title that's hard

Everybody knows DC had the Suicide Squad first in the 60s, as is so often the case with “what everybody knows” everybody is dead wrong. Seems it's been around longer than that, and been used by more than DC. 

First off I personally was a little disappointed to find out where the phrase came from, it seems that it first was used in football, the suicide squad being the squad used on kickoffs, that being more dangerous than other plays, or so they tell me. 

However a expression with umpf like that can't be expected to say on the gridiron. 

The first fictional Suicide Squad appeared from March 25, 1936 to April, 1943 in 22 stories in Ace G-Man Stories featuring 3 tough as nails FBI agents battling gangsters, Nazis, and even the occasional super-villain, a Mr. Zero to name pseudonyms, written by Emile C. Tepperman, the man who gave use Operator # 5, Secret Agent X and a number of the adventures of The Avenger (the one with the gray moldable face) the first Squad fought crime and / or evil in such stories as Mr. Zero and the Suicide Squad, Suicide Squad Reports for Death, The Suicide Squad's Murder Lottery & Blood, Sweat, and Bullets. Mostly forgotten they they have recently had a bit of a revival with the reprinting of all 22 of their adventures just last July.  

The next Suicide Squad was a comic printed in Australia by Frew starting in 1952. I have been unable to find out a single blessed thing about this crew.... however I'm willing to bet the guy with the pipe on the cover of # 1 is the boss. 

Then DC did the Squad, not once but twice, at least one of these teams you probably already know about. The latest version most likely, just like the first two the 60s version, also sometimes known as Task Force X, kind of quickly slipped from the collective mind as well... must have something to do with the name, it is, lets face it, a little bleak.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Back When Snoopy Had a Comic Book

Long in the long ago comic books and newspaper comics were practically joined at the hip, which was logical enough what with comics having their origin starting out as just a bunch of daily and Sunday strips collected, colored if needed, and put into comic book formatting.

However even in the 50s and early 60s, after it had all become original content, Newspaper strips were seen in the spin racks with Beetle Bailey, Allie Oop, the Phantom, and even for a short while the Peanuts gang in comic books written and draw by other people.

Which was one of the problems with those things, the jobbers they hired to do the comic book versions of those well known characters just never got them quite right.

By the 70s, except for the Phantom, who still shows up today he being a superhero and all, that sort of thing was mostly over. I think Charlton did one with Blondie and Dagwood, but things had so changed that the newspaper comics and comic books were just too different, with more items such as Superman, Spider-Man and a short lived DC Universe strip, going from comics to the newspapers than coming from the newspaper's funny pages to Comics.

Such is life, or mass media anyway.

However..... What if they were to do that sort of thing again today?

I mean bring out original Comics featuring some of the newspaper strip characters of today.

Frank Millers' Luann? (guess who’s a killer psycho prostitute now?)

Okay, maybe not.

But still, of the fairly new strips on the scene now which ones might you at least give a look if they had a comic book published doing longer sustained adventures of the characters?


Cow and Boy

Rabbits Against Magic

Over the Hedge (Heck they had a cartoon already)

Heart of the City

Lio (put that one on my pull list)

Cul de Sac

Non Sequitur with Danae and her family (this one as well, though I doubt anyone other than Wiley would get it right)

Pearls Before Swine

Drabble (Oh Glob the horror! If the artist got the art “right” a full 22 pages of a comic like that would probably cause retina scaring.)

Get Fuzzy (If for no other reason than to see those characters somewhere other than that damned bare, stark apartment he and those psychopathic talking animals live in. Say? Do you think that human in that strip might be crazy and in a mental hospital somewhere and imagining those critter? Nah! If he were crazy it might actually be funny from time to time.)

Or perhaps some sort of team-up comics, you know.... Garfield and Marmaduke together to see who can be the least original?

Any others you think might at least be worth a try?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Eight Decades of Wonder Woman

Not eighty years mind you, but the character has appeared in comics in eight different decades.

Below (just click the picture for a bigger view) you will find an example of one from each decade, from the first Sensation Comic in 1942, through the 3-D fad of the 50s (everything old is new again) to the debacle of the “Mrs. Peel version of Diana, which really started in the late 60s but it went into the 70s so I’m using it for that decade, and ending with the latest issue of Wonder Woman released just a few days ago.

Hey she’s got a dad now!