Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Case of the Deadline Doom

Over the last couple of days there has been comic book industry news that has served to polarize a lot of fans. A questionable marketing tactic concerning two of the biggest characters from DC and industry professionals publicly feuding via instant messaging has created quite the spectacle within the funny book biz. The argument between two creators (with one burning bridges behind him with nuclear weapons is absurdly hilarious) has motivated me to finish up this bit of provenance I had been playing around with. The result was a mock-up of a crime novel featuring murder within a comic book industry setting called The Case of the Deadline Doom.

The art to the original book cover with art by Sam Peffer can be found here on a book by Earle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Lucky Legs. Those familiar with comic books over the last few decades might notice a few "Easter eggs" (or if you prefer, cliches) within the copy and art of the front and back faux covers. This mock up crime novel was fun to make and I'd write the hell out of this book given a few months off work.

I had already decided that if this book would ever see reality I want Sam Peffer or someone like him to do the cover art. When I started playing around with the concept I knew what it would be about. Terry Case was invented just for this, but has a complete back story. Burnt out, damaged and retired FBI agent who just wants to live out his years in peace but can't since there is too much wrong in the world. Agent Case exists soles as a means to use the cover teaser text 'A Closed Case Mystery'.

I knew initially what I was going for the faux crime novel idea but when I stumbled across the "Peff" cover I saw how perfect it was and instead went with an adaptation of that. The back cover, which at first was going to be the front, hearkens back to the old Seduction of the Innocent hardcover using the black, white and red color scheme. I even put in as a blurb a cliche of the comic book reporting scene that most people despise, the Zip! Pow! Biff! stuff. I figured if this book existed I wouldn't have much control over much of the teaser copy that appeared on the back and it would be at the mercy of a marketing wonk and their notes from a committee.

Take a few minutes and try to identify all the Easter eggs, even ones I already mentioned. Hey, whoever gives me the best answers might win a prize.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday with Hayley Mills: Deadly Strangers box art

Deadly Strangers (1974)

The entire budget for the VHS box art must have been a sandwich found in the office refrigerator after a three-day weekend and a partly drained coffee cup with a cigarette butt in it.

This box art was a poor copy of one of the original theater posters. Of the several available this was the worst possible one whoever produced this VHS tape could have chosen.

A lot and I mean a lot of 80s VHS box art was very inexpensively and amateurishly produced, often not much better than what could be found in a high school art class. Puzzling, since one would think reproductions of the varied original poster art would have been available. It would have looked far better and appealing even given an inexpensive printing process.

For the DVD issue of the film the art is still not all that attractive. It consists mostly of solid colors but a least this time it depicts a recognizable Hayley Mills. Taken from another original poster for the film it is simplistic but is marginally more appealing. Undoubtedly both covers were chosen for their color scheme in relation to a very inexpensive printing process, but even muted colors and details from some of the other posters would have looked a lot better.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Everything in moderation

It's not advertising spam and scams that has me moderating the blog, it's this loony crap and things like it in a barrage of replies to multiple posts. I could almost put up with the content if it was in reply to a relevant entry.

click to make a big deal of this

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

That looks heavy. Here, let me help you...

...into the tent so you can serve the men their snacks.

Wow, initially I thought he was going to carry the tray in for her. Can't decide if he is being a jerk by guiding the tray in and holding open the 'door' or being progressive by letting her do her job on her own. It's up to the viewer to decide, but I think that personal interpretation has evolved since this film was made and how it is seen today is different than the original, probably not conscious, intent of the filmmaker. In the 1950s  holding the door open for a lady is just what polite, well-meaning men did.

 From The War of the Worlds (1953).