Saturday, June 25, 2016

I Am The Lizard

Curt Connors was a nice guy, right? White lab coat, professorial, personable. It was the serum he took that made him villainous and transformed him into The Lizard.

I received a promotion a few days ago. I have religiously visited Atlas Comics every week for the past 10 or 15 years but it was just this past Thursday that my initiation ritual was completed. Proprietor John (The Dread Dormammu) and his henchman Angelo (The Red Skull) divulged that I would hereafter be designated as The Lizard. No longer a plebeian customer, they have elevated me to the elite level of customer-with-designation. Of course I am honored to be deemed worthy of the mantle of a character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko for 1963's classic Amazing Spider-Man #6!

Yes, Curt Connors and I are a couple of nice guys, but then we take The Serum. Beware Spider-Man, for I am The Lizard!

Not the World's Finest S

This week over on ebay I'm selling World's Finest Comics #18 from 1945. Great year, fun comic, Golden Age, what's not to like? I'm so glad you asked!

Look up above at the S in the cover's logo. Not in World's or in Finest, look at the S in Comics. Ouch, right? Akin to a needle in the eye, wouldn't you say? As an upside down and backwards 2 it wouldn't be so offensive but, as an S, it is the worst.

It's only a very slight bit different from the two S's that precede it in the logo's top tier yet it is jarringly atrociously ugly. This illustrates why an editor is crucial in the production of a comic book. The letterer of that S knew it was bad (how could he not?) but maybe he was in a hurry or maybe he felt it wasn't so bad that it needed re-drawing. I hold the editor responsible for not hauling the letterer into the office and saying "Your S assaulted my eye and I need you to fix it right this minute while I go put on a patch."

Amazingly that exact logo survived through World's Finest #33, but then a welcome improvement arrived with the 34th issue.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The DC Comics Rebirth TV Commercial

DC Rebirth is big news around the comic book world these days, and did you know that DC is even running advertisements for it on television? Up above is ten seconds worth, but you can view the entire one minute and 48 second version over here.

Friday, June 03, 2016

The Hillary Joker

This could have been prevented!

One of her advisors should have told her!

Above is an image of Hillary Clinton at a public speaking event yesterday. Orange blouse and navy/purple jacket? My immediate response was "The Joker!" Yours also, right? (Unless you're Geoff Johns, whose reaction was "One of the three Jokers!")

Anyway, there's nothing wrong with cosplay...

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Up and Away with Supadan

While taking a little bike ride around the beautiful city of Chicago the other day, I spotted something of interest on a car parked at the corner of Ashland and North Avenues. Hooray for Supadan!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Two Shades of Action Comics

Action Comics # 183 (August 1953)

Ah, Action Comics. The venerable home of Superman has been going strong every month since June of 1938, almost 1000 issues by now.

Take a look at the cover shown above. Please notice that the "Action" and the "Comics" in the logo are colored differently. I hate that! So jarring. Fingernails may just as well be scraping along a blackboard. Please join me in coining the word cacochromatic, which will mean "containing or using a harsh mixture of colors."

Maybe you're as curious as I was as to how many times this eye-poke of a color scheme was employed through the years? Well, I did a little research so we could settle this matter once and for all.

Issue #149 in 1950 was the first appearance of a two-shaded Action Comics logo, so there was smooth sailing for the first twelve years of publication until somebody latched onto this bright idea. It was employed a total of twelve times between 1950 and 1954 (issues 149, 150, 166, 167, 168, 173, 178, 183, 191, 192, 193, 194), and then there was a monochromatic tranquility for the next 51 years.

Issue 824 in 2005 was the next time the monster of two colors presented its grotesque visage (but it must be pointed out that there was a different Action Comics logo from 1989 to 2004, one that did not allow for double coloring). The new generation of colorists and/or editors were apparently hypnotized by this terrible tincturing because the dichotomous dying was applied 40 times between 2005 and 2016.

Have you added up all these covers for a grand total? Me neither. "Too many" is the answer. It never should have happened. How visually offensive it is when "Action" and "Comics" are colored differently! If I could go back in time I would make sure that this two-pronged pigmentation never occurred a single time.

Action Comics # 194 (July 1954)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mutts Goes Underground

I can remember a few times in the 1970s venturing into those dens of iniquity known as "head shops" to see if there was anything I needed in their pile of underground comics. Oh, how those places stunk of incense! (And (naturally) the comics bought from there were infused with the sickly-sweet aroma themselves.) But that was the distribution network for those comics and there was no other way a body could get an issue of Zap Comix, for example. Of course anything goes today and there is no need for incense-heavy poorly-lighted backrooms.

Thanks for the reminder, Mutts!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Elephant Island is Real

The above photo is not doctored in any way! What you see is known as Elephant Rock and is part of Home Island (Heimaey) in Iceland and is a natural rock formation that just happens to look like an elephant. Wouldn't this have been a much better choice for Oliver Queen to have been stranded on instead of that dreary island that keeps showing up on Arrow?