Wanna see a collaboration between comic master Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, whose dynamic, lovingly illustrated figurework is the stuff of legend, and Mike Royer, the bold brush best known for embellishing Kirby’s Fourth World work? Well, here it is, Adventure Comics vol.1 No.442, a Vigilante back-up which was part of an inventory Seven Solders of Victory story which was dug up, finally illustrated, and ran as a serialized backup across several issues (Howard Chaykin did an amazing job emulating Frazetta’s work on the Shining Knight chapter).

JLGL and Royer is a BEE. ZARR. combination, there are points when it almost works, but for the most part Garcia-Lopez’s subtlety and Royer’s boldness do not play well together. 

(The story was the work of Joe Samachson, co-creator of the Martian Manhunter and long-time journeyman writer at National - also a biochemist and a researcher into bone diseases! Amazing lives these fellas led…)

Anonymous asked: The title of your Winter Soldier post summed up my thoughts exactly. Holy fuck but it literally looks like a cable drama (Joss Whedon needs to be strung up for allowing that lighting to become a thing). You're wrong about Iron Man 3, though; it's totally a Shane Black movie, just not enough of/a particularly good one. Still the most watchable of the new batch.


The thing I like about Shane Black movies (and some other 80’s action movies to a lesser extent; but at least Die Hard, which is perfect)— and I think what modern blockbusters have strayed from to their detriment— is the heroes are Messed Up.  They’re not okay; society doesn’t really have a place for them— Geena Davis in Long Kiss Goodnight can’t be a homemaker because she’s a killer, Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon can’t be a family man like Danny Glover because he’s lethal and also a weapon, Downey Jr. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has one of my favorite things where he says something like, “I’m not saying it’s normal— I’m not saying I’m normal”; etc.  Modern special effects blockbusters don’t have those kinds of characters— it’s all Chosen Ones and prophecies and all that crap, instead of Bill Murray in Meatballs.  I don’t know why— this country got more evangelical?  People got less accepting of actual outcasts (the nerds never won)?  No clue.

I identify with fuck-ups lots, for obvious reasons, so that is the kinda stuff I’m into.  And so, Iron Man 3— if it had any of that to it, I missed it.  The fact it was set at Christmas didn’t mean much when fundamentally, I felt like the stuff I think of as being his real hallmarks wasn’t there, the stuff I get into.  Downey Jr. had a “nervous condition”, they tried to jam in a neuroses, but it never felt all that real and I don’t remember it getting resolved in any meaningful way… 

And the ending, I just remember it all being special effects and Gwyneth Paltrow’s weird stomach.  The idea of the main character having to defeat the bad guys in order to be in some way healed wasn’t there (which I think is how his other movies have ended, the healing power of violence— Bruce Willis being gloomy all movie and then finally being happy enough to dance a jig because he threw a guy onto helicopter blades). Take away the main character healing and/or coming to grips with his world (e.g. Mel Gibson having to beat up Gary Busey outside the family home) and it’s just… What’s there to root for without that stuff?  I don’t know.  Not much.  So for me it always felt authored and muddled by executives, and consultants, and whatever, more than anything, like with all those movies. For me, it’s not a “real Shane Black” thing in the ways that count.  It’s just the movie I’m hoping helps him get to make real Shane Black things again because … The Nice Guys is a pretty fun script that’s just lying on a shelf somewhere, so…

I really appreciate this sentiment being put into words - I didn’t particularly enjoy the Marvel Comics movies, but I’ve never been able to put my finger on why (or cared to, they’re pretty fluffy movies. I don’t analyze chicken mcnuggets either), excepting that I find them dull overall and over-reliant on that “member dis!” key-jangling they do with background props (Some day there’s gonna be the Wand of Watoomb propping up a door marked, like, “D. Ormammu, Magic Expert” or something in the back of a Pepper Potts DVD extra where they introduce the guy who ends up playing Dreadknight in Iron Man 7 and fiolks are gonna go nuts. I’m not saying I don’t recognize that booshwah, I’m just saying it’s overvalued). 

I mean, Iron Man had fun bits with Robert Downey Jr playing the cute version of Nicolas Cage and Captain America had loads of charm and that Ed Norton Hulk movie had a couple of scenes that were very serious acting happening, but overall my mind was wandering during most of the films, and the climactic battles in particular, and I think the above sentiment captures the actual “why” - you get a whole movie of Tony Stark suffering some kind of giddy PTSD and taking a consciously insincere appraisal of his life but in the end the way we wrap up the movie is he fights the other big iron armor guy and we just close the file on all his faults (or, shall we say, “character”). They purge these guys of all of their interesting flaws, shortcomings and neuroses so all that left is some sort of cuddly adolescent, made of hairless muscles, gif sets and memes and shwarmas - Thor beats up all of the evil mythological strongmen, Captain America beats up the guys who represent the bad ideology, Hulk beats up Bad Hulk, and then they become capital-H-Heroes and are washed clean of flaws and failings.

I dunno, I haven’t seen the sequels to most of these things, maybe they find new nooks and crannies to exploit. I think I did watch Iron Man 2 and they made the alcoholism thing sort of a fun dance party? Like a “whoops, that was dumb, no more alcoholism for me!” kind of slip-up, like it was no more serious than he accidentally wore two different colors of socks. And then, again, beat up bad armor guys I think.

All my favorite Marvel superheroes are majorly fucked-up. The Thing is always going to be a sad rock-guy, there’s no “Evil Thing” for him to beat and wash himself clean. Daredevil! There’s a guy, fuckin’ Daredevil, you remember one time that guy almost threw a baby off a ledge? He is not well, the constant struggle against going flat-out murder-nuts made him interesting - I tried reading this new volume, this flippant “fun” book where he wisecracks and his best friend gets cancer but spends all his cancer therapy time going “My superhero friend is the best guy!”, just this guy with no conflicts who never really loses any fight and is handsome, smart, rich, successful, combin’ pussy out of his beard, leapin’ over buildings, is allegedly super-cool even though he sounds and behaves like he’s scripted by a mildly-bright fourteen-year old, what was the point? It was “fun” … I got a dog, man, I own a kite, I can have fun on my own, stories should be interesting.


Important viewing for CJ.

The KROFFT SUPERSHOW was real and beautiful. No, it was horrible.

Advanced research: LIDDSVILLE

This is hell in platform heels.

Really in love with these cover solutions for reprints of original American DC Comics material in these Super-Hombre (with regular rotating features for “Murcielago Y Robin”) comics from Argentinian publisher Editorial Muchnik. 

These comics are A4 size (or, technically, I guess they’re printed on A3 and folded over), which is about the size of an American sheet of copy paper, although they look like they’d really stand up to a tabloid size treatment.

The typeset headline with insert masthead is surprisingly appealing. I might take a swing at designing this as a mockup…



The slowed down vocals from “Band on the Run” over the sped up instruments from “Imagine.”

No words. This is magical.

We’ve hit the Beatlesgularity.

(via drlarrysalt)



On something of a Wonder Woman kick lately, if just because I’ve heard nothing but sneering at her different story arcs but I’ve never really read them for myself. The “All-New All-Different” Wonder Woman of the early 70s (during which period she was repeatedly saddled with “The Incredible I-Ching and…” hogging her masthead) was a frantic mess, sword-and-sorcery one issue, gothic horror the next, social drama following that, and then ninjas - but hey, maybe embrace that spontaneity, right? What if all the Wonder Woman story elements were considered legit, all the stupid and the stupendous alike, you’d have the most unique hero comic on the market.

Anyway, in the above two titles, Diana Prince crosses over with the legends of heroic lore, fighting against the armies of Ares with the valkyrie hordes of Brunnhilde backing her up, with an assist from Roland, SIegried, Lancelot, El Cid and “the rest”, and then meets up with Fritz Lieber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (!) in their comic book debut!

(Working on an overview of Wonder Woman’s different eras right now for Gone&Forgotten, gonna be a lo-o-o-oong piece…)


COPRA is back! Issue thirteen is here and ready to go. I’ve been wanting to get to this issue for the longest time and I’m happy to finally get it out into the world!

(Did I mention that half the print run comes with a free fold out poster?)

There’s a  lot of COPRA news brewing. Collections are beyond the planning stages and are being made — physically made! Super exciting! I’ll drop the details as soon as I know them. Compendiums are gonna happen, too, the 4th one at the very least.

Tell your friends and check in every month for new issues.

This is the worst superhero.

This is the worst superhero.

Bud Collyer, et al - Looking for Kryptonite Ep.16of 25

This clip from the radio show won’t end up on The Chronological Superman for a few months, but I just listened to it for the first time a few days ago and had to share it.

This is the broadcast from Christmas Day, 1945, the first Christmas Day following the end of World War II. Here, the show’s sponsor - Kellogg’s of Battle Creek - forgoes its usual advertisement space so that Superman himself (actor Bud Collyer, the voice of the Man of Steel for radio and cartoons) could offer Christmas wishes to his listeners.

More than that, though, Superman goes on to talk about tolerance, and good will, and the right that all men have to live free, unencumbered from injustice - It’s worthwhile to try to put yourself in the place of the audience of this show; an eight- or nine-year old kid, a family whose sons or fathers or brothers might just now be coming home from years overseas - if they were lucky - a world that’s celebrating having defeated a clear evil and now must redefine itself in peacetime.

It’s an oversimple speech, but touching. I won’t play this card often, but - I defy you not to choke up even a little when Superman speaks to you longingly of tolerance and goodwill.

Every fan of every character or storyline which has a multitude of incarnations across different eras and under different artistic direction has their personal favorites - you might prefer Star Trek in the Next Gen era, you might prefer your Connery Bond. When it comes to Superman, I love the character and the mythos across the board, but increasingly - as I listen to these old radio shows - I’m coming to realize that the Superman who most closely resembles my ideal of the character, of everything he stands for and the moral certainty he couples with uncomplicated, decisive action, is the radio show version.


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"It’s … the Whiz Kids!"

"It’s … the Whiz Kids!"

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