Saturday, February 25, 2006

Groin Injury Saturday: A Breeze Caresses Not Unlike A Probe

In New Thunderbolts #16 (2005 Series) the Radioactive Man squares off against Hyperion with horrifying results. This dust-em-up fight scene is a fun couple of panels that evoked in me warm Silver Age-y feelings of DC and fond memories of reading old comics that featured the Kryptonite Man/Kid fighting Superman/Boy.

Ummm..what? That's very Haiku-ish.
The similarity, at least in spirit, of this fight scene to DC's Silver Age tales could be intentional on the part of the creative team. The Squadron Supreme/Sinister is an homage to all the classic DC characters of the JLA, created in Marvel titles back when cross-overs and cooperation between Marvel and DC were unthinkable (Much like the business environment of today. Thanks, Joe!).

The old Avengers vs. Squadron stories were good nudge-nudge-wink-winks for the fans (like me) who desperately wanted to see a story that featured the Avengers and the JLA but would have had to wait a few decades for it to actually happen in reality.

This attack on the reproductive organs made me wince a bit to read it. The Radioactive Man determines what frequency of radiation would render Hyperion powerless and gives him a good zap, removing the Squadron's strongest member from the field. One might think that Bats-homage character the Nighthawk is the member to be feared above the magicians and muscle-heads, the one to watch. Like his counterpart the Batman, the Nighthawk should be a force to be reckoned with in a fight due to his brilliant pre-planning. One couldn't be more wrong. In this story Nighthawk is a dead-on copy of the Darknight Detective, as he is taking a page from the Batman Crime Stoppers' Textbook by just hanging back and observing from a safe distance, waiting for the danger to pass.

What caused a cringe from me was that the Radioactive Man didn't just zap Hyperion. No, that was not good enough. Instead of just pointing and shooting the RM grabs a big handful of Hyper-Package and gives Skippy the whipping to end all whippings. This date did not have a happy ending.

Hyperion is all but invulnerable but I understand the soul-rending GYYYAAAAGH! He got lit up from inside out via a billion rads surging through his Hyper-Testes. He got hurt so bad even his word balloon is radioactive! In that one inarticulate word Hyperion screamed as he watched all his futures end. No more wild get-away weekends with Power Princess in the Doctor Prism Inn, no Hyper-Children flying around being zany and giving away secret identities to the townies and worst of all...definitely no more urinating from a standing position.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Batman: COWARD!

Superheroes just standing around not doing their jobs during an emergency is nothing new to comics. Green Lantern did it during an attack on that stupidly-named city Nightwing lives in. Spider-Man and the Hulk twiddled their thumbs while loved ones who took action were being crushed to death. The Avengers and Daredevil do it all the time (I don't blame them, really though. I guess it's hard to get moving into action after 15 pages of thoughtful introspection).

So it should come as no surprise that Batman also did it in World's Finest #243 (Feb-Mar 1977).

In that issue the dynamic duo is investigating an alien incursion and of course, Monkey-Wrench Boy screws up. While an impetuous Robin gets mercilessly tortured by the invaders, Batman hides behind a big rock. Eventually the aliens get bored of watching Robin sizzle so they kidnap and take him to deep space, probably to make sure they have privacy for a good probing. You know how much aliens like them some probing.

It's only after the scene is once again free of danger that the Darknight Detective springs into action by impotently shaking his fist at the departing spacecraft. Good plan!

Later on, a disgusted Superman takes all of about 8 seconds to save usual.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

DC Comics predicts the future of sex! Again.

We already know that DC Comics can solve the riddles of the ancient past, but who knew they could predict the future as well? The answer to that resides via William Moulton Marston and his creation Wonder Woman. Marston predicted the future by introducing to the unsuspecting world lesbian internet webcam cybersex some six decades before it would become a technological reality.

Many columnists of the "Zap! Pow!" variety like to point out the amazing prescience of Science Fiction and by extension, comic book writers on their uncanny ability to describe things to come. Their actual accuracy is something of a fallacy. For every Verne that predicted space travel by rocket there were hundreds of authors who described a trip to the moon by tying birds and balloons to the masts of ships. Not to mention nearly every writer ever completely missed the impact computers would have on world wide society. Not Marston! An inventor in his own right (who cursed the planet with the junk-science creation the Lie Detector), Marston obviously knew that all marketable inventions will inevitably and very quickly be used for pornography.

Furthermore, take a look at the outfit Diana Prince is wearing. She is wearing her glasses while in full Wonder Woman costume. She resembles more a bored housewife spicing things up than a super-hero*.

This very scene is probably being coincidentally re-enacted in the bedrooms and home offices the world over even as you read this.

- Originally published in the subtext goldmine Sensation Comics v1 #19 (June 1943). Reprinted in Four Star Spectacular#4 (Sept-Oct 1976) & Wonder Woman Archives vol. 3 (June 2002).

*In my book, that is the definition of a super-hero.

Monday, February 20, 2006

DC Comics solves mystery of horny prehistoric teens

Ancient Cave Art Full of Teenage Graffiti
Some poor jerk spent years and years of his life in college studying anthropology and prehistoric cultures when all he really had to do was pick up a comic book.

DC there anything they can not teach us?

Tropos: Censor sweep

I just want to point out before you start clicking that I'm about 99% against censorship of any kind. That one per cent is there because of the truism that you don't shout fire in a movie theatre.


Hulk smash censorship!

China's cute, intimidating Internet Police Chacha and Jingjing. Hentai versions should be along any day now.

Talk to the hand

State-level Montgomery Homeland Security Officers reassigned after library incident.
MAGIC: The Book Burning

American Library Association's Banned Books List

Where are the butts?

Where is the respect?

Artist Kelly Howlett respectfully censors self for family audience at WizardWorld. That's a family environment, so can't disagree with her decision about it. Plus, since it's her art she can do whatever she wants with it. See her journal entries about "Wonder Woman" and "Supergirl".

The 3 R's. Reading, Writing and Springsteen.

Bob Hope's censorship card from May, 1933.

"Act needs a lot of watching"
As with network television today, vaudeville promoted itself as family entertainment, but its shows often stretched the limits of common propriety. This report from a Boston stage censor outlines some of the questionable material in Bob Hope's 1933 act and preserves some of the jokes the act included. The pre-printed form catalogs common offenses found in variety acts.
Morris Taylor's WWII experiences in the Pacific and his Theater Censor slip.

Gotta love the irony. At least the Dixie Chicks had the class to not say "I told you so."

Citizen's are concerned. This is the same reason I don't own a copy of Catcher In The Rye. I have this nightmare of my brakes going out on my car, causing me to slam into a schoolbus of disabled and underprivileged kids which explodes and when the police check my apartment they find a copy of it on my kitchen table.

Edible book burning art by Daria Flores

This Modern World on censorship.

Gum & The Mother of Modern Censorship.
Nifty covert symbolism on the cover.

The now infamous Google comparisons of search results for Tiananmen Square: Google Standard & Google China

You can't be serious...Elfquest?

Some handy Book Burning Tips from the Landover Baptist Church. You really should pay attention. I know I should've during my last bonfire.

Anti-Censorship website in Chinese. It really doesn't take a genius to figure out why the People's Government is so terrified of the unrestricted internet.

Zombie Herman Melville

Temple of Artemis and Book Burning at Ephesus

Common sense censorship: Censor 1940, passed No 3, on QSL card to Canal Zone,24FE

A few of the books regularly attacked by self-appointed morality police. Why? Realistic portrayals of life and sexuality.

For decades, various iconoclasts attempted removal from libraries and suppression of the C.S. Lewis books, The Chronicles of Narnia, because they felt the series too closely resembled and was disrespectful another fictional character. Having lost that battle to the forces of reality, the fundamentalists now wholly embrace the books as reinforcement of their beliefs. Desperate for anything to hang onto in order to advance their goals, maybe co-opting the big motion picture publicity machine has something to do with it.

Hey, Kids! No comics!

How Gene Rodenberry got around television censors to give America the first interracial kiss on TV.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tigra's public humiliation

Jim Shooter, a man not known in comics for his sensitivity to gender issues, uses Tigra to make a point about harassment in Avengers v1 #215 (Jan 1982).

When Tigra goes to a bank to cash her Avengers stipend check she goes clad in her costume-bikini. She's attractive (for a furry) and flirtatious. Artist Alan Weiss portrays her perfectly, showing her to be the type who when showing identification, will strike the same pose as her photo. A nice touch of personality and characterization. Apparently all this is too much for another patron as he gropes Tigra aggressively (much to the glee of other customers). When I initially read this back in 1982 I agreed with other readers that Mr. Idjit didn't just feel her backside, but shoved a hand down into her briefs. Understandably, Tigra reacts in scary fashion with her claws. Fortunately for the molester she only put the fear of emasculation into Mr. Groper by slashing his briefcase instead of ripping his face off.

In what is a typical scene for the media of the era, Tigra is treated like the one who did something wrong. As the bank guard says, "Look at the way you're dressed! You're asking for it!"


It's a little disappointing that Tigra flees the scene instead of standing firm and making all the other jerks leave in her stead, but I guess baby-steps are all a reader could expect. After all, she had to go to a singles' bar that night and then fight the Molecule Man the next day and the Avengers had to do it in 18 pages. It is obvious that Tigra has nothing against sex in general. She's a healthy, well-adjusted lady. She does however, make it clear in this scene that she isn't a toy and that she reserves the right to be one half of the equation when it comes to choosing partners.

That's just Neat-o. Wonder if any fanboys learned anything. Probably not, since they grew up to be the ones producing, writing and drawing comics today. We know how that's going, right? I believe S.S.D.D. is the term.

Marvel (and other comic companies) often inserted what some would call socially responsible messages into their stories. These were probably prompted in part by the Comics Code, but some must have come from the heart. There were a lot of hippies writing comics in those days. Or maybe some organization ordered Marvel to do it as a public service announcement or something, like those stupid morality sequences at the end of those He-Man cartoons.

I love Science Fiction

I love Science Fiction. Where else can you learn about barbarian civilizations with advanced technology who don't know the meaning of love? Outside of a high school or church, that is.

Then why's the Queen look so upset? The way I see it, the Spaceman did her a favor.

Comic Book Ad: 2 for 1 Dollar

Here is an advertisment for a potentially disastrous toy from EC's classic M.D. #3 (Aug-Sept 1955).

The Americans of the 50's and 60's were such an ignorant, stupid crowd of boneheads innocent and trusting society. This ad proudly declares the tent is made of HEAVY PLASTIC and is LARGE ENOUGH FOR TWO! I imagine when the unlucky parent found their kids unconscious after being smothered by the flimsy toy they rushed them to the hospital without bothering to wear a seatbelt.

As a youngster I used to have a city and airport playset made by a popular children's toy company. It had wooden cars and planes and differently-shaped blocks to build homes and buildings. The landscape you played on was a very thick vinyl mat printed with roads and vacant lots. I played with the toy set for hours and hours. It was lots of fun and the plastic fumes from the mat made you dizzy when you unfolded it. I usually ended my playing by pulling the mat out from under the blocks, causing an earthquake that flattened the city.

Okay, it was last week. But those were good times.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Supergirl Likes Tentacle Porn

There's a title that will increase my hits!

In Action Comics v1 #306 (Nov 1963), the pre-crisis Supergirl*, Linda Danvers, is out on a date with her boyfriend, Dick. In order to protect her secret identity as the Maid of Might, she always has to do the opposite of her super-identity and pretend to be scared of the huge phallus-limbed monster attacking the heroine on the movie screen. Of course in a typical move by the creative team, when it comes to Comics Code constrained art the guys get clever with a suggestive illustration any reader of the pulps and 50's pre-code comics will be familiar with. It's no error the on-screen actress has a good grip on the one-eyed tentacle.

However, once that pesky CCA filter is removed you can see the panel as it was originally intended to have been published.
Linda is obviously enjoying the flick. The creature probably reminds her of her ex-boyfriend, that guy from Rogulutz VI who never calls.

* The only Supergirl, duh.

Banjo Boy all growed up

Just in case you ever wondered what ever happened to Billy Redden, the young faux-Banjo player from the movie Deliverance, well, wonder no more!

Director Tim Burton wondered that also and sought him out to do a cameo for his fantasy film, Big Fish.

Banjo Links

Banjo facts

Banjo Hangout

Specialty Banjo items

Who was The Banjo?

Dueling Banjos tab

Dueling Banjos - Flash movie

Friday, February 17, 2006

DC Comics: 1, Comics Code Authority: 0

I can just see the DC Comics staff sitting in an office in late-1954 (the same year the Comics Code was established) swapping scripts and art around, setting bets on who can sneak the most obviously subversive scene into a book all while under the watchful eyes of the CCA censors.

I'm slightly surprised a story with homosexual and rubber-fetish subtexts made it to the printers.

From the unfortunately (yet, appropriately) titled DC Comic, My Greatest Adventure #1 (Jan-Feb 1955), "I Was King of Danger Island"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Comic Book Ad: Misleading Sealab III contest

"I'd like to live for two weeks on the ocean floor in Sealab III because..."

...If you faked me out and give me as a first prize a crappy water-ski set and not a 2 week stay in the real Sealab, I will beat you all to death with my bare hands and a crowbar.

Back in 1970 I totally thought I was getting a chance to go hang with Jacques Cousteau.

from World's Finest v1 #195 (August 1970)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Space Music & Galactic Funk

Dig that scene! Alien space dames with lust-antenna admiring the giant shadow cast by the astronaut's heroic space phallus! Captain Kirk should have had it so good.

My Flickr slideshow and photo set of groovy, retro and sometimes embarrassing science fiction-themed lounge music album art.

Yes, I actually own this. Want to make something of it?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Jonah Hex #4: The drawback to using photo reference in comic art

Christopher Walken as the villain in Jonah Hex #4 (2005 series), April 2006

The girls of Apartment 3-G get scrubbed!

I received this uniforms catalog today in the mail even though no one in the Sleestak house are medical workers (or even close). While dumping this and the other junk mail in the trash I noticed something relevant on one particular page.

Available are these groovy pop-art scrubs for medical professionals printed with illustrations drawn in the style of daily comic strips such as Apartment 3-G.

Cotton Scrubs & Co.
Spring 2006 Catalog

Fantastic Four #27: The Mouth-Breather Cover

I call this cover to Fantastic Four #27 (March 2000) the "Mouth-Breather Cover". Every shocked witness to the wedding of "Dr. Doom" and the Invisible Woman is staring slack-jawed at the nuptials. It's an odd cover, made even more so that it resembles the Brady Bunch opening sequence. The layout somewhat resembles the story on the interior, but only slightly, as even the interior panels jump confusingly from scenes of what appear to be interview sound-bytes to thinking heads. An Avenger comments apparently on camera in one panel, then the Red Skull does much the same in another. Huh? Is he on CNN also or what?

What the hell is Gambit doing on the cover? Where's the Black Panther? He has more to do with the FF than Gambit and is a monarch to boot. Gambit has nothing to do with the FF. At all. And he sucks. Always has. The BP should have had the opportunity to appear on the cover like he did in the story. Gambit is one of those stupid character ideas that never went away but the company keeps shoving at us because they just know its what people want (like Arana), and will eventually buy it if exposed to it enough.

You can see through the mask that even Spider-Man has his mouth stupidly hanging open. Everyone does. Except Wolverine, that is. He clearly doesn't give a damn and it looks like someone caught him in a candid moment watching televison or sitting on the can or something.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Q & A With Scotty McClellan

"When did the President know the the Vice President was the shooter?"
- via Raw Story

Now that's a sentence I didn't think I'd ever see.

Grassy field/single-shooter conspiracies to begin in 3...2...1....

Grocery Store Artifact: Valentine purchases

The other day I'm watching the self-scan registers and bagging the groceries while the cashier is on a break. During the course of my duties a young lady brought her items up to the self-scan machines, avoiding the registers that have human cashiers. I'm of course day-dreaming and not paying attention beyond what is crushable or hot/cold as I bag. I put her purchases in a plastic sack and move on to the next register. A minute later the customer finishes paying and grabs her purchase and quickly leaves, forgetting the receipt. Sometimes when the customer is flustered it means they are trying to shoplift something and are worried the cashier will notice they are sneaking items, so I get the receipt to check to see if all the items were correctly scanned and paid for.

Then I see what she bought and realize that she was probably a little embarrassed that a guy was bagging the purchases.

- Valentine's Day card
- Valentine gift bag

- Two cans fat-free whipped cream
- Personal lubricant (The kind that gets warm)

- Bottle of honey (in that squeeze-bottle that looks like a bear)
- Jar of maraschino cherries
- Bag of tea-lite candles

- Bottle of chocolate syrup

Ah, L'Amour! Kind of a cliche list of romance supplies but still, it was sweet of her to buy that stuff for her special someone.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

There go the piano lessons


-from World's Finest v1, #185 (June 1965)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Groin Injury Saturday: Robin

Robin whips out the ultimate crime-fighting weapon in his arsenal...

His groin.

Silly robbers! Note how Rollo has already sucumbed to the power of Robin's bat-groin, pulling his hat down over his eyes lest the glory blind him. Overwhelmed, he sinks into unconsciousness, and from a near miss, I might add. Observe the fear etched deep in Mugsy's features. He knows that his own small weapon tremulously clutched in his sweaty fist, is nothing against the groin hurtling towards him and he withers as he faces the high-speed approach of the boy crotch. The fight is over before it truly begins. Uhhhhh, indeed, Mugsy. You poor fool.

Criminals are a homophobic and cowardly lot.

The hapless soda-jerk is hypnotized by the sight. The battle that took place in his shop that day will be an epic tale he will someday tell to someone else's grandchildren. He will surely have no progeny of his own, as once he was faced with Robin's groin, he will have no need for the opposite sex. Just ask Batman, he'll tell you.

For years to come people and tourists will drive from miles away to hear the proprietor sing the saga of Robin's crotch and the fateful time that evil was defeated by the newest and most potent weapon of the Bat-arsenal: The...dare I say it...Batawang.

Best of all, it's CCA approved!

from World's Finest v1, #184 (May 1969)

Cover Disconnect: This porn scene does not appear in Teen Titans #32

Cool, dramatic cover.
Took me a second to figure out why Batman had his face in Raven's lap, though.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Comic Book PSA: The Flushing Remonstrance

DC Comics reprinted this PSA as a feature in World's Finest v1 #196 (Sept 1970). It originally appeared in various 1958 issues of DC Comics.

The Flushing Remonstrance of 1658 is a pre-cursor to the United States Bill of Rights.

The GCD credits the following as the creative team:
Script - Jack Schiff
Pencils & Inks - Bob Brown
Colorist - Unknown
Lettering - Ira Schnapp

Thursday, February 09, 2006

All this and Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner: 1915-1985

If Yul Brynner was a cult, I'd try my hardest to achieve Operating Brynnish Level 1 Billion, because he is so unbelievingly cool.

If you spell it 'Brenner', you are a dumbtard. Stupid.

I regret there is no block on the US Census form for being "Brynnerish". If there was I'd mark it.

From beyond the grave, Edna Corinne McDonald claims Yul as her favorite actor. Rightly so.

Yul Brynner downloads. You can't resist them.

More downloads featuring Yul singing.

Yul Brynner

This panel is from Iron Man v1 #135 (June 1980) and has one of my favorite of Marvel's old running gags in it.

I actually own the original art for this page.

Lyrics to One Night In Bangkok.

Yul Career Facts

The Brynners of Vladivostock.

The Yul Brynner Foundation. You should watch the Yul Brynner PSA, recorded prior to his passing.

Three words, Two movies:

Magnificent Seven