Friday, September 30, 2005

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I'm not sure how much writing time I'll get today, so here's the coolest thing I've seen lately, besides Serenity that is- Al Hirschfeld's recreation of the Abbey Road album cover.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Yes, lads and lassies, I did travel south and was in attendance at that advance screening of Serenity. And you better believe I'll write about it. But it probably won't be today, because we'e under the gun here at the Snooze, and I doubt I'll even get the chance to post another album cover. It will be soon, though, and I can tell you that if you're a Firefly fan, you'll love it.

In the meantime, here's an interesting Reuters article on the Little Show that Could. Xie-xie to Annie the Czeltic Girl.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Looks like a busy day today, so I've only got one. I'm also finding this a bit more difficult than I thought, since I figured I'd just gank them via Google Image Search and post 'em up...but I'm finding that I want to show back covers as well as front covers, and frankly, most places on that World Wide Interweb only have the fronts, which means I'll need to scan my own personal copies when possible and piece them together in Photoshop (small scanner bed, y'know) which takes some time and also means I'll have to do them at home, and this weekend's looking like a busy one which will call for me to be away from my computer SO what I'm trying to say in my rambling way is that I might not be posting these as frequently as I had hoped. Please bear with. Another thing- as I make out my list in preparation, I notice that most of the ones I'm writing are from that decade which made such an impression on l'il ol' me, the 1970's...and while that's not surprising I will say that I'm not completely given to living in the past, if you will, and I hope to be able to insert a few from the 80s, 90s and Aughts. I think the smaller-canvas format of the CD, though, not to mention the Download Age we live in now has caused a de-emphasization of album cover artwork, and that makes me very sad but it's a fact of life. Anyway, on to the next one on the list, and remember, these aren't in any particular order.


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Now here's one of which I LOVE the front cover, but am mostly unimpressed with the mostly-text back cover, so I'll give this one to you today. Curved Air was another of those then-ubitiquous mostly Proggish British groups that popped up in the wake of the Crimson King in the early 70s. I bought this one out of curiosity, and because the violin-tinged textures and female vocals (Sonja Kristina, once of Strawbs) of the songs sounded intriguing...but sad to say this one still hasn't made much of an impression on me despite several good hard listens. Could be why the Air didn't make much of an impression on anyone else either. But I still love the cover's combination of Lewis Carroll and the bold, ornate sweep of the album title against the off-white background.

More to come.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

It's been forever and a day since I've done a music post. Well, besides the Marc Bolan memorial. So what I think I'll do is a little feature that I thought about doing aeons ago, in the early days of the Show, but just never did for whatever reason. And that feature be named:


In which I will post at least two of my fave album covers a day until I reach that quarter century mark. These covers are not necessarily my favorite albums, or even my favorite albums by that particular artist or artists. These are just images that have grown on me, tumor-like, over the long years and have made an indelible impression upon my brainstem. There have even been cases in which I have been led to buy the album in question, music unheard, simply because I liked the graphics so much. Due to circumstances beyond control, I won't post these in any particular order except as I think of them. Let us begin, shall we?

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Speaking of albums I bought because of the cover, here's this one- the first Morrison release I ever owned as well as the first time I ever listened to Van the Man. I'm sure I must have heard "Domino" or "Brown Eyed Girl" playing on a radio somewhere, but for all practical purposes this was my first exposure...and there was something about this somewhat luridly hand-tinted pastoral scene, featuring Van on the grounds of a mansion he didn't own and with two big dogs that weren't his, either, that fascinated 14-year-old me enough to make me plunk down my six dollars. I didn't know quite what to think about the music, either- the deeply personal, reflective low-key, jazz-folk-blues approach Morrison used on the nine songs therein was very different for young Dave, who, while a Beatle fan even then, was more into the likes of Black Sabbath, Grand Funk, and Alice Cooper than the Bert Jansch-cum-Ray Charles sound of this record. Kinda broadened my horizons a bit, it did, although it took a few listens...and all because I loved the cover. The back cover is just text; the song titles and musicians and legal stuff on a dark green background with light cream colored type. I forget who the designer was- I'll check it when I get home and post it here.

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This is one of those infamous posthumous Hendrix releases perpetrated by Alan Douglas in the aftermath of Jimi's passing. It features unreleased and unfinished studio tracks Hendrix recorded, with the original backing musicians eliminated and new session musos, only one of which had even met the man, providing new backing. Hendrix fans hate these releases. Me, I don't own this, and it's long out of print- I only heard it once straight through many, many years ago so I don't remember whether I thought it was any good or not. But I've always liked this cover, with the sepia-toned Woodstock Jimi photo and the whimsical touch of the falling bird over the elaborate script font of the album title.

This is all I have for now...stay tuned and I'll see what else I can come up with!
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I emerge from my cone of silence to belatedly note the passing of DON ADAMS, known to most as Agent 86 from the 60's TV series Get Smart. I was a faithful viewer, although I must admit that I watched more episodes in reruns as I got older than I did when the show was first airing in 1965. It had a certain je'nais se quis, a kind of inspired, "what-the-hell" kid of goofiness that set it apart from your mid-Sixties run-of-the-mill spy spoof, due in part to its great cast...and nobody could have done Maxwell Smart any better.

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The other thing I most associate with Adams is his voice work on Tennesee Tuxedo and His Tales, which aired constantly when I was growing up. Adams was excellent as the "small penguin who tries but can't succeed-o".

As usual, Mark Evanier has a great post.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Time once more for a look at the new Diamond shipping list, and what I'll be getting (hopefully) this week:


I'm not too optimistic about getting POLLY; that's exactly the kind of book which my comics shop always seems to short me on. We'll see. Also MIA: SMOKE #3, THE EXPATRIATE #3, and WINTERMEN #2, along with the two issues to date of THE MIDDLE MAN. This will also be the last week in which I'll be getting a regular haul from the comics shop; many of the titles I'm getting this week as well as last are the numbers before my first DCBS issues. I've got a long list of holds drops to present Wednesday.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ooh! Ooh! Found at the LJ of Bill Mudron:

Blogger Serenity advance screenings!

I am signed up for the Nashville show, on Wednesday, September 28. Can't wait.


Got an email from the event organizer which confirmed my registration, but also included a list of puzzling requirements which, as he put it, will "significantly increase my chances of getting into the screening"...and really the only one which I have any control over is this one:

You MUST include the film?s synopsis on your blog...

OK, I'll play ball, so here goes nothing:

Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy -nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, whonow ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboardhis ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family ?squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

you MUST link your blog to the SERENITY website(which has the trailer and production notes) and featured artwork.

Done already, over a week ago!

After you have screened the film, please discuss it on your blog. Please provide us the links to all of your blog posts on SERENITY at

Well, DUH.

Anyway, hoops have been jumped through, so I suppose I'll see what happens when I get down there Wednesday...!
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The front and back covers to FATALYSIA, an upcoming collaboration between my friend Chris Tabor, the former Bacardi Show Political Correspondent, co-creator/writer Liam Kemp, and interiors by someone that goes by "U". Co-creator and designer Chris is drawing the covers. More when it comes out; just wanted to share!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What the heck- DC and Oni have put out their December solicits, and like any card-carrying member of the Comics Blogosphereiverse, I feel the need to run 'em down and commentate on them. Click on the pictures to see 'em all big n'stuff.

Oni first.

LOCAL #2 brings us the next chapter in the exploits of Megan McKeenan. Seems she has a stalker of sorts as she ends up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is artist Ryan Kelly's hometown. Brian, if you ever want Megan to pass through Horse Cave, shoot me an email and I'll give you all the background info you need!

POLLY AND THE PIRATES #3 continues the J.M. Barrie meets Edward Gorey meets R.L. Stevenson miniseries. I enjoyed the preview of #1 quite a bit, but I figured I would since I've become quite the admirer of Ted Naifeh's work.

What the hell? SCOTT PILGRIM #3? Already? I haven't got #2 yet! But it's coming sometime next month as part of my DCBS order.

Now, DC:

Another great Jock cover for BATMAN #648. I really should be buying this, since the art is by Doug Mahnke and Tom Nguyen, who together are probably my favorite mainstream superhero artists...but Batman is such a dreary character these days, and also the yawn-inducing villain is Black Mask, who has never been a favorite of mine. Maybe if they collect the Mahnke/Nguyen run...

BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN #2 is sporting a nice Matt Wagner cover. I generally like Wagner's work, so perhaps I should consider the trade if it ever gets released.

GOTHAM CENTRAL #38 Okay, the Titans guest appearance was fun & cute. But c'mon. The Spectre? Don't. Please, don't. Ah, the shark, she is swimming in nearby waters...

CATWOMAN #50 threatens to continue to bog her down in the Identity Crisis morass with the promise of mind games courtesy of Zatanna. Always love to see Zee in comics, especially since you just know Pete Woods will do her right...but anything which evokes the stain of IC and its sequels turns me off.

Good news: ALL STAR SUPERMAN #2. Bad news: no cover image.

The James Jean cover image for GREEN ARROW #57. Just because.

HARD TIME SEASON TWO #1 : Hard Time, like Kinetic and those other books that came and went a year or so ago, sounded interesting but for some reason I was never moved to buy. Now I've got another chance to sample Hard Time, with a "season two" series now being released. I'm thinking pretty hard about it, but I'd like to read the first series before I start the second, and without looking I'm not sure if it's collected.

JLA CLASSIFIED: COLD STEEL #1: If you had asked me to guess what sort of project former Lucifer cover artist Christopher Moeller would tackle after his run ended, I would have guessed 876,435 things before I would have guessed that he'd do a Justice League-as-Transformers type story. Just shows ta go ya- you never know. Will I buy? Are you kidding me? I can think of 876,436 JLA story ideas I'd rather read.

Y'know, I was not a regular buyer of JONAH HEX in its 70's heyday. Just wasn't interested, although I remember owning the issue (#9?) that sported a Wrightson cover, and of course I had the great Russ Heath-illo'd DC Special 16, the big Hex-gets-backshot-and-stuffed-and-mounted issue. Wish I still had it. Anyway, I bought the two Vertigo limited series because Tim Truman drew 'em, and have come to like, if not love, the character. So I suppose I'll be picking up the first couple issues of this revival attempt just to see what Gray and Palmiotti will do with him.

I didn't buy THE LIGHT BRIGADE, either- guess I was just trying to hold my weekly comics expenses down. I've heard good things about this series, though, so now that the TP is available, I think I'll give it a whirl. I like Pete Snejbjerg's art, generally.

Speaking of ex-Vertigo artists, we have Teddy Kristiansen's turn to get the spotlight of SOLO #8. I was a faithful reader of House of Secrets, the longest gig that Kristiansen had that I'm aware of, and liked, didn't love, his art. His style is novel enough, though, that this might be worth a look but this is the first issue of this title that I've considered not buying.

THE BEST OF THE SPIRIT TP: If you're unfamiliar with the late great Will Eisner's Spirit stories, then you MUST get this collection of the strip at its peak, from 1940-1950. heck, I don't even know which ones will be included, and I still recommend this unequivocally, especially at a price point of $15. You'll thank me later. It better have the story of Miss Kosmek in it, though...and without the cheesy hand-lettered titles that Warren stuck on the art in the 70's.

TEAM ZERO #1 is something else with Doug Mahnke art. Sigh. Can't buy everything.

THE WINTER MEN #5 continues the title that I LOVED the first issue of, but thanks to my comics shop, I haven't read issue #2 yet. Bah.

TOP 10: BEYOND THE FARTHEST PRECINCT #5 is the final chapter (issue?), or so says the copy. Is it me, or is the "Hell Ditch Pilgrim" a really dumb-sounding name for a character?

Can't think of anything particularly interesting to say about FABLES #44, but isn't that yet another awesome James Jean cover?

DMZ #2 is the other Brian Wood book coming out this month. Looks interesting, and I think/I hope I've signed up for #1. Don't remember...

LOSERS #31 gives us another great Jock cover with a spotlight on Aisha, and it's looking like she's going to be the one which doublecrosses the team. You never know, though.

Guess that's it! Funny, it seems like there used to be a lot more stuff coming from DC that I felt like commenting on. Sign of the times, I suppose.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Yarr! No doubt ye've been thinking that something just isn't right today, now is it? But ye can't quite put yer finger on it, now can ye? Arr- Talk Like a Pirate Day is almost over, and I haven't posted my list of what I'll be getting Wednesday according to the new Diamond shipping list! How have ye been able to stand it?

Arr! This be the grande finale, methinks, of the most recent Hellblazer arc. It hasn't been the best, but it's been far from the worst.

Arr! More of PG's boobies! Avast!

I be thinkin' that last issue was pretty good, so maybe this one will contiinue the trend.

Shilo Norman be gettin' the spotlight be anybody's guess whether this will be a peak or a valley in this up-and-down series.

Last issue was a pleasant surprise. Fingers crossed! Like a skull & crossbones, ye scurvy dogs!

Arr! Speakin' of scurvy dogs, will this be the issue we find out who the scurvy traitor be?

Also, those bilge rats at my comics shop might accidentally get me copies of WINTER MEN #2 (please, God), THE EXPATRIATE #3 and SMOKE #3. We shall see. I'll keelhaul those swabs if they don't!

On the recommended, but I won't be buying, list we have

This series looks interesting, but of course my comics shop didn't get any copies and I didn't pre-order. I know better than to try to get them to order it- I stil haven't seen my copies of THE MIDDLE MAN #'s 1 & 2. Maybe there will be a trade.

Can't afford hardcovers (I'd have a Spirit library if I could) but if you have the booty you should give this a whirl- it's imaginative, crazy adventure as only the King could give us.

Yarr! Avast! Walk the plank, ye barnacle-covered land lubbers!

All right, I'm done.
Y'know, when I was a little kid, some of the other kids in the neighborhood and I decided one day to make up a bunch of funny superheroes with names like Mooney Booney and Glo-Lite (along with a few ripped off from Not Brand Echh, like Scaredevil), and do a comic book in which they all worked for a superhero temp service called "Sooper Hero Rental Agency". Guess who got to draw it. Anyway, we amused ourselves for weeks coming up with goofy superheroes, and after I perused the latest from Wingnut and Fidget's Brian Clopper, FAR-FETCHERS: OPENING SALVO, I couldn't help but get that same buzz. Or as best I remember it, anyway.

Fetchers deals with, as the press kit says, "Creatures from the land of imagination", called "Figments", which have started to pop into our world without warning. The government has set up a secret agency, made up of Figments recruited to the cause, to deal with these figments- many of which are confused and frightened, and some are big, bad and dangerous. Making up this group are such characters as the Flying Mummy, the experienced veteran of the group who has a crusty attitude, not to mention that he's a super-strong Flying mummy; the Stitched Witch, the voice or reason and also a ragdoll that flies on a broom, Kid Gloves, a youngster that wears two big gauntlets that fire stun blasts, Agent Reeves, their by-the-books government liaison, and others. I'm surprised there's no Demon Deacon from North Carolingian Clopper! Anyway, these figments all seem to have one thing in common: they all come from books written and sketched by one Alan Lawrence, who has disappeared at about the time when all these characters first started appearing.

This probably rings a bell with all you Flex Mentallo fans out there, for sure- it's a lot like Men in Black meets Flex. Alan Lawrence=Wallace Sage=Brian Clopper, perhaps? Anyway, you can tell Clopper has had a lot of fun coming up with all the various characters, their backstory and the mystery behind it all; and while there's plenty of whimsy, he takes it seriously when it comes to the relationships between characters- but not in a offputting, Identity Crisis-like way but just serious enough to ground the whole concept and make it believable. Clopper's extremely loose, but assured art also makes this really enjoyable, reminding me of Jill Thompson or Steven DeStefano via Wally Wood. Looks great in B&W, and even better in color.

Clopper's been sending out a 24-page B&W preview, with a color cover, one color page, and an additional 10 pages of behind-the-scenes making-of text-with-graphics in the hopes of getting Far-Fetchers picked up by a publisher. If they don't bite, he intends to put it out himself, but frankly, I'd be amazed if someone doesn't snap it up like Oni or Top Shelf, because this is obviously professional-quality, high-concept work and deserves a bigger audience than Clopper can presumably get by self-publishing. Email him at bclopper at or snail mail: Brian Clopper, 6217 Ridgemount St., Wake Forest, NC 27587.
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Further proof that it's Vera's world, and we're all just living in it.

And a BSBdG to Rachel...

Friday, September 16, 2005

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I would be remiss if I didn't mention that today is the 28th anniversary of Marc Bolan's fatal car crash. Picture above is taken from the great Bolan-accompanied-by-string-quartet section of the Born To Boogie film.

25 of my favorite T.Rex songs:

JEWEL from T.Rex
MAMBO SUN from Electric Warrior
COSMIC DANCER from Electric Warrior
THE MOTIVATOR from Electric Warrior
GET IT ON (BANG A GONG)from Electric Warrior (of course)
LIFE'S A GAS from Electric Warrior
ROCK ON from The Slider
THE SLIDER from The Slider
BABY BOOMERANG from The Slider
THUNDERWING (Non-album B-side)
20th CENTURY BOY (non-album single)
SUNKEN RAGS (Non-album B-side)
(WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE) TEENAGE DREAM from Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow
SOLID BABY from Bolan's Zip-Gun
THINK ZINC from Bolan's Zip-Gun
CHROME SITAR from Futuristic Dragon
LIFE'S AN ELEVATOR (Non-album B-side)
Hello! It's Friday. Two weeks left till the premiere of Serenity. Banner will be forthcoming.

As usual, busy busy busy here at the Daily Snooze. But I wanted to let you know that the new LAST CALL is now up for your reading pleasure at Comic Book Galaxy. This time out, I offer my opinions on LOCAL #1, ELECTRIC GIRL VOL.3, FULL MOON FEVER, DEATH, JR. #3 (finally got it in), DESOLATION JONES #3, 100 BULLETS #64, and FABLES #41.

For future reference, from last week's acquisitions:

FELL #1: A
SERENITY #3: C+. Entire series: C
CITY OF TOMORROW! #6: A-. Entire series: A-.

Ta ta for now!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

There's a quiz/meme going around over in the LJ community that goes something like this:

1. Pick 16 of your favorite movies and choose one still from each movie
2. Post those stills in your journal
3. Have your friends guess which movie goes along with each screen still.

Here's mine! Give it a try!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Lots of big stories flying around the world of comics lately. The Diamond Terms of Sale announcement. The Engine. The return of Omaha the Cat Dancer, fer chrissakes.

So what do I, as one of the "leading voices of the Comics Blogosphere", do?

I post romance comics covers. Like Bugs Bunny is fond of saying, "Oh BRUDDA". But fear not- I will now scale the soapbox and hold forth on today's burning issues.

My problem with the Diamond thing is that, as always, I see both sides of the argument and really can't favor one over the other by any significant degree. I guess it all comes down to survival of the fittest, and those smaller publishers will have to find ways to get their wares out there or die. Diamond, as the de facto distributor for nearly all publishers big and small, should, ethically, have an obligation to take care of all who seek shelter under its wing...but as we all know, ethics go to the back of the business bus. Steven Grant has a good take on this in his latest Permanent Damage column.

I'm registered over at Warren Ellis' Engine, not because I'm a creator of any note but because I'm somewhat interested in who else will be there and what will be discussed. That said, there's an awful lot of STUFF to go through over there, and unfortunately I don't have the time or the inclination to navigate its labrynthine I don't know how much of an impression, good or bad, it will make on me personally. And as we all know, the world revolves around me, doesn't it? Anyway, it could open up some potentially interesting future projects from its worthy roster of creative personages, so guess we'll just have to wait and see.

And I've always loved Omaha the Cat Dancer.

The Johnny Bacardi Show. Your place to go for hard-hitting comics commentary.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Love is in the air at the JBS!

No, not me...well, sure, yeah- me and Mrs. Jones, we got a longtime thang goin' on. But I thought I'd take this opportunity to send out special congratulations to Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman, who announced their engagement recently (and drew a charming webcomic about it to boot) as well as to newlywed Dean Trippe!

Now. Kinda slow this morning around here, so I spent a significant amount of the morning looking around on eBay for stuff n'junk like Bob Hope comics and early-mid '70s Jefferson Airplane albums, and old issues of Young Love with Lisa St. Claire stories in them. Found one, too, by the way, but the auction has a ways to go so stay tuned. Anyway, I couldn't help but notice, in my searches, how many romance titles DC had going there in the 50s, 60s &, out of equal parts curiosity and boredom, I consulted the GCD to check out some of the covers for the likes of Girls' Love and Falling in Love...because even though you all know I'm as old as the dirt in God's tomato garden, and do indeed remember seeing romance comics on the racks, I viewed them, in my cute grade-school way, as "girl stuff"- boring and gross. There weren't any superheroes! So as a result, I didn't pay any attention to them at all except for seeing the odd house ad in a DC book or two. Here are a few covers I ran across, and found noteworthy for various reasons. Apologies if these cause trouble loading in your browser, but I wanted to show 'em to you as big as possible and not resort to thumbnails. Also, apologies to Raphe's fine blog, Thirty-two Pages of Love, for poaching on his thematical territory. So, is there anything else? No? OK, here we gooooo...

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Groovy, huh! This far-out and fab psychedelic cover is courtesy of one Ric Estrada, who I remember mostly from his humor stuff in Plop! and the odd war or horror comic. Got this one on my computer desktop right now here at work.

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This early-60s Girls' Love covert is here because it shows a couple of things quite nicely- first, the super-classy logo which got changed considerably as the decades went on, and the neat National Periodical Publications/DC Comics bullet in the upper left hand corner, identical to its superhero comic sisteren except for the heart in the center and the inscription "DC Romance Group". That brings a smile to my face.

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Here's another interesting variation on the DC bullet logo. Interesting composition on this one, too- looks like Carmine Infantino was in a goofy mood that day.

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One more version of the DC heart-shaped bullet, and this one is similar in composition to the previous cover, just not as, well, risque...

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Nick Cardy RULES THE SCHOOL, part 1.

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ATTENTION DAVE PUCKETT! BEATLES SIGHTING! DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS ONE? Maybe I should just check the Beatles 'n' Bizarros site instead.

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Another example of that swank GIRLS' LOVE logo. Apparently April O'Day was an ongoing character. Interesting!

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What with all the tributes to the late Bob Denver, I'm really surprised no one in the Comics Blogosphereiverse thought to post one of these covers from the short-lived Many Loves of Dobie Gillis comic, nearly all of them featuring a so-so caricature of Denver as Maynard G. Krebs in Dobie Gillis. This isn't really a romance comic- it's closer to the Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis genre...but I had my chance to pay further tribute to ol' Bob, and I took it!

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Speaking of logos- here's a late-'60s/early '70s issue of YOUNG ROMANCE cover with a logo that's kinda ragged, but it's brash and bold and I like it in spite of my better judgment. Early issues featured a more sedate version, similar to the Girls' Love style.

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Nick Cardy RULES THE SCHOOL, part 2.

Boy, they just don't make 'em like this anymore, do they.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Just in case someone cares- my haul Wednesday according to the newly posted Diamond shipping list.

100 BULLETS #64
Just keeps on keepin' on, quality wise, like that bunny.
#2 will be a hard act to follow, but I'm sure Williams and that Ellis fella will be up to the challenge.
Not much else to say about this one either...recent issues have been good. No complaints from me.
I praised #1 to high heaven...guess I should brace for the inevitable letdown.

And that's it! Plus, it's possible that DEATH JR. #3, THE EXPATRIATE #3 and SMOKE #3 will show up, but I won't hold my breath. My shop FINALLY got me copies of BANANA SUNDAY #'s 1 & 2, but I got them already after waiting for-fricking-ever, courtesy of the wonderful folks at Oni. I'm sure they loved me for pulling that stunt at my LCS...but hopefully I won't be a problem for them much longer.

One side effect of my subscribing to DCBS is that I no longer will be boring, I mean edifying, you with these lovely updates any more! I have signed up for weekly shipping, but I don't know for sure when the books will be arriving. Stay tuned.

Here's a couple of recommendations that I won't be buying Wednesday:


The two latest releases from AiT/PlanetLar. You all know how much I enjoyed Electric Girl, and I'm confident that this third trade collection will be more of the same light-but-smart reading; and Full Moon Fever is Tom Petty's best album. Uh...I mean the latest from Joe Casey, who's been a busy boy as of late with all kinds of projects flying around the comics stratosphere. So when are ya gonna follow up Codeflesh, Joe? I have a feeling you won't be sorry if you give either one a shot. I'll have more when this week's LAST CALL is up over at CBG.

Also, I kinda wish I'd been picking up FERRO CITY, #2 of which is out Wednesday; I like the concept and the art looks cool. Maybe they'll collect it after 4-5 issues.

Oh well, that's all I got for now.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Been pretty dead around here, hasn't it?

Oh well- can't say for sure when things will pick up- I'm more distracted these days than I've been in a long time. I still need to post a thing or two about some publications I've recieved lately, but I can't say when that will be.

Mostly, I wanted to let you know something that I should have put up yesterday, but was just too busy to: new LAST CALL, the one piece of significant writing I've done all week, is now up over at CBG. And even then, you'll notice a couple of reruns from these parts earlier this week. What can I say- catch as catch can!

Hey! Here's something to look at- two more "Life and Loves of Lisa St. Claire" covers from her brief run in Young Love comics!

I really would like to read a few of these someday. Looks like Dick Giordano on art here, maybe Neal Adams on the first one with Giordano inks. Make with the click to see them in detail.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


The NFL season is almost upon us, and as is my custom I will attempt to pick the winner of the games each week. But since most of you come here to read comics and pop cultcha-related stuff, I'll post my picks on my LiveJournal. This week's picks are up NOW, along with my season predictions and a special tribute to recently retired Falcons nemesis Jerry Rice.

Go here to read 'em!

Also, for further reference:

BANANA SUNDAY #'s 1 & 2: A-
SOLO #6: A-
LOSERS #27: A-

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

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Aw, man...RIP BOB DENVER, gone at age 70.

Everyone and their grandmother will be posting pictures of Gilligan, so I figured I'd post a picture of Bob in his first notable TV role: Maynard G. Krebs from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, who inspired a whole generation of future hipsters and amused me no end when I'd see Dobie reruns as a preschooler. Gilligan was a staple of my childhood, as well, first in its initial run on CBS, then in perpetual reruns as I grew up. Poor guy got typecast like nobody's business, but I hope he at least got some satisfaction from bringing people happiness via those shows.

Update: Sure as rain is wet and day follows night, Mark Evanier has posted another great obit, a rememberance of Denver which I think you should read. And Mark? I remember both The Good Guy and Dusty's Trails, along with his turn in Far Out Space Nuts on Saturday morning. What does that make me? Old.
My haul on Thursday, according to the new Diamond shipping list:

I like the Middleton rendering of River better than Sean Phillips' Wash and Leinil Yu's Simon, so that's my choice.

Le grande finale for Chaykin's latest, which has been pretty good as far as I'm concerned.

More of the "Is Robin dead" storyline. Very good so far.

SEVEN SOLDIERS: GUARDIAN #4 expect this to suck. (Shhh...maybe if I DON'T look forward to it, I'll be pleasantly surprised!)

Jeff Parker's Vampire By Night remains the reason I pick this up.

And that's all, even though it's entirely possible that my copies of SMOKE #3, EXPATRIATE #3, and DEATH, JR. #3 may show up and wreck my careful budget.

Also, here's my non-listed recommendation of the week:COYOTE VOL 1 TP- Steve Englehart & Marshall Rogers initially, then Steve Leialoha and Chas Truog afterwards, concocted a lively and imaginative take on the Native American trickster god, and if you've got the extra coin you might want to take a chance. The subsequent two Leialoha-illo'd Marvel/Epic issues were the best, but unfortunately he couldn't continue and Truog drew the series until it concluded. This trade, as I understand it, collects the original miniseries, which was serialized in Eclipse Monthly magazine. If you, like me, were disappointed by the duo's recent BATMAN: DARK DETECTIVE series, then you might like a dose of them at their best.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI think, oftimes, that somewhere within this crusty 45-year-old male heterosexual exterior beats the heart of a 15-year-old girl. Now please, don't get skeeved out by this admission- I just bring this up to try and rationalize my predilection towards sequential fiction that involves plucky young heroines that find themselves in often bizarre and dangerous situations, to wit: Leave it to Chance, Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures, Jingle Belle, Sheriff Ida Red, Courtney Crumrin... and now, the latest from Courtney creator Ted Naifeh: POLLY AND THE PIRATES, due out in a couple of weeks from Oni Press.

It's very much in that prim Gloom Cookie/Courtney Victoriana-Goth groove, and really, with Naifeh at the helm how could it not be? Which is not to say that it's heavy handed or overdone- actually, he plays it light this time, like almost Mary Poppins or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-style, with a subtle hint of Terry Gilliam's Monty Pythonisms or even a Gilbert & Sullivan feel (sans songs, of course). Polly is a meek young girl who lives in a boarding school with her impetuous friend Anastasia Van Vervendander. Turns out that our Polly is connected somehow to legendary pirate queen Meg Malloy, and her pirate crew keeps trying to kidnap her. And that's where the story ends. Mostly setup, for sure, but the characters are likeable, Naifeh's art is, as always, solid and imaginative, and I'm looking forward to reading this in its entirety.

Some other reviews, which I didn't get around to via LAST CALL:

Not exactly Villains United, but pretty darn close as Selina spends most of this issue confronting Captain Cold (we're led to believe it's Mr. Freeze, in an amusing twist) and by extension the group of bad guys who are threatening to invade her beloved East End of Gotham City. She's forced to choose between fighting them and joining them, and if you think she's going to really join them, well, I used the "choice real estate" joke last week so you'll just have to figure it out for yourself. Wil Pfiefer's script reads well enough, and moves along at a decent clip so it's not dull...but these semi-superheroics just aren't yanking my crank just yet. I am getting some serious tuggage from Pete Woods' dynamic art, though- right now, his stuff is worth the price of admission. B+

If you've been liking this maxiseries so far, then you'll find more of the same here. Busiek is still displaying a lot of skill and craft as he puts his heroes and villains through their motions, and doesn't scrimp on the "regular guy" viewpoints of the events, either. And Brent Anderson's art is...well, it's Brent Anderson's art, OK? Well done, but I'm just not all that engaged. There's just too much deja vu all over again, a creeping overfamiliarity that feeds my ennui. Maybe it will read better in one sitting, in trade format for those of you who are curious. Me, I suppose I'll continue to buy at least one more issue, to see how this turns out, but after that all bets are off. B

A little light story-wise here, even for Bendis, and especially for an "anniversary issue" as we get the big reveal on who stole the power crystal of the Blackguard character, and Deena Pilgrim gets another step closer to her eventual moral trainwreck. Making it all a lot more dynamic than it oughtta be is Mike Avon Oeming's as-always outstanding art. Another solid, if not particularly wow-inspiring chapter. A-

Coming soon: Brian Clopper's Far-Fetchers.

Monday, September 05, 2005

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Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster. PT 109. The Mouse on the Moon. Marnie. The Towering Inferno. The 1966 Batman. The 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre. What did all these films, and many, many others, have in common? I saw them for the first time at the place above- the Twin City Drive-In just outside Horse Cave on Hwy. 31-W. I loved to go there as a kid, and still remember many of the sights and sounds of that place- the popcorn, the train (the tracks were on the far side of the lot, parallel to the highway) when it would go by, the trailers, the swings, and so much more. I miss it a lot, although I hate to say it but I didn't go there much in the last ten years it was standing- once to see the third Star Trek flick in '84, and finally to take my son to see Disney's Black Cauldron the next year. From the late '70s on, until they tore it down in the late 80's, they ran a lot of soft-core porn flicks after school started in the fall (on at least one occasion my friends and I would ride our bikes over there and watch from the stand of pines that lined the back of the lot, heh heh), and fewer and fewer first-or-second-run movies, plus it was more attractive to go indoors in Bowling Green or nearby that pretty much killed off the Twin City, like it did so many other drive-ins all over the country.

Anyway, I have long wished I'd taken a picture of it before it was demolished (a factory warehouse now sits on the site), but alas I didn't think to. It occurred to me recently, though, that I should check with local bookstore proprietor Tom Chaney, who has become sort of the de facto town historian, and see if he had a photo of the drive-in in his boxes somewhere- and I did that today. And as you can plainly see, he did have one. So thanks to Tom, and now I can present to you, boys and girls from all over the world...a small part of my formative years.

Credit where credit is due department: Mr. Chaney tells me that this pic was made by none other that my pal Dave Puckett of Elmo's Junction fame!
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Well, hello there. Happy Labor Day Weekend to yas!

Say, you did know that SERENITY is only 25 days away from its premiere, right? Anyway, Yahoo has posted some production art from the film, and they're very interesting. To me, anyway. Click on the word "Serenity" in the previous sentence to see it. Unless of course you're one of the lucky ones who have been able to a) find out about, and b) attend advance screenings, most of which have studiously managed to avoid my two closest metropolitan centers, Louisville and Nashville so far.

I have high hopes of providing some actual content before the end of the day, however, it looks like it's going to be another busy one like that last three. Between attending plays at Kentucky Repertory Theatre at Horse Cave: two plays, Philadelphia Here I Come, featuring my son Britt in a small part as an Irish boyo, and damned if he didn't channel Brad Pitt as Mickey in Snatch to do so (I'm so proud...!), and yesterday The Importance of Being Earnest- both plays sporting set design and construction by my aforementioned talented son. KRT@HC, and by extension My Little Town, also received a nice writeup in the Louisville Courier-Journal yesterday. Also, other distractions the last few days include fantasy football drafts, some work around the house (the GOHRP is kinda in a holding pattern right now, as we await countertops for the bathroom and the roof people, but there's still plenty that needs to be done), working at the Snooze and WLOC on Friday, and watching some movies such as Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Layer Cake, and The Thief of Baghdad. Plus, I really need to write about the rest of the comics I read last week that I haven't writed about yet. So check back later, whydoncha?

Also, those of you who are, unlike me, able to put together lines and words in some sort of sequential order, all the better to tell stories of some sorts, should check THIS out:

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Click on the banner there to find out how YOU, yes YOU can contribute to this event, which will help towards hurricane relief for the Gulf area. Even I, Mr. "Ooh, I'm too broke to afford to give to charity" Johnny B, chipped in $10 at a couple of places on Friday.

I haven't written much about that disaster, since you know I try to keep things light around here, but that's one of the worst events to happen in recent memory, right up there, I dare say, with 9/11- especially when you consider the inept government response. Right after the threat of another terrorist strike and an earthquake in the San Fransisco Bay area, a hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast region was right there in the top three potential threats to our nation's security- and yet the Chief Idiot and his cronies continued to play their selfish, short-sighted war games at the expense of FEMA and the National Guard presence in the US, not to mention a decades-long situation with the poor and uneducated down there...and they have reaped the whirlwind. I hope this provides the impetus to get that bunch of cretinous crooks our of office, and God willing get some people in there which at least won't line their pockets quite so ruthlessly. Didn't mean to get into a political rant there, please forgive. Someone I work with actually came off with the "Well, they had plenty of advance notice, why couldn't they have made more of an effort to evacuate?" And of course, I didn't fire back with a "Well, I suppose since many of those people were POOR, UNEDUCATED and UNEMPLOYED, it's not like they could (as Bill Maher said the other night) load up the Range Rover with an extra case of Poland water and drive to their summer home." And I've kinda felt bad about that since. But the less Bush-bashing I do at the uber-conservative, right-wing God fearing Snooze, the smoother things go overall.

And of course, hindsight is 20/20, as we all know, so we had all better concentrate on making things right down there, then when that's done, or at least on the right track, come back and point fingers and assign blame.

All right, that's enough. Fish to fry and kites to fly. Later.

Friday, September 02, 2005

...It also emphasized an official fixation on "universe building," conveniently forgetting that the most successful "universe" in the history of comics, the Marvel Universe, really came about by accident and accumulation, by people like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Roy Thomas and various others throwing this idea or that out there without much concern for the big picture. Somehow in the past couple decades The Big Picture has become the pre-eminent concern of the comics companies, and between micromanagement and the big picture has developed an increasing rigidity of approach, style and content, where individual inspiration is gifted, not expected.

-From Steven Grant's latest Permanent Damage.

That is so correct, and the blame can be laid at the feet of the grown-up fanboys, people my age and older, who came of age reading Marvel and DC comics of the 60's and 70's and seeing how neat and cool it was when the Fantastic Four asked the Avengers to help them find the Hulk, or when the Justice League hooked up with the Fawcett heroes to save the world. And then of course, when they came to be in positions to create comics themselves, it was far too easy to succumb to the tendency that dominates nearly all media these days- the Law of Bigger Better Faster MORE...and now we have the current mess that is dragging the Big Two down aesthetically if not necessarily sales-wise.

I'll get down off my soapbox now and let you know that the new LAST CALL is up and ready for you to peruse, if you so desire. In it, I write a line or three about THE KING, SURROGATES #1, BANANA SUNDAY #'S 1 & 2, NEIL GAIMAN'S NEVERWHERE #3, SEVEN SOLDIERS: SHINING KNIGHT #4, SILENT DRAGON #2, B.P.R.D.: THE BLACK FLAME #1, SOLO #6, THE LOSERS #27, and JLA CLASSIFIED #11. I also got CATWOMAN #46, ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE #3, and POWERS #12, but time ran out on me last night and I didn't get to them. I'll cover them sometime this weekend over here, along with a preview of Oni's POLLY AND THE PIRATES, and the latest self-published effort from Brian Clopper, FAR-FETCHERS.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

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Another BSBdG today, in the limited time I have this morning, for COMIC BOOK GALAXY, which turns five years old today. As a contributor, I won't try to appear unbiased so all I can say is that even before I came on board, I've always found interesting, intelligent comics-related writing there and with one exception that continues to this day. So congrats, mein fuhrer ADD (Love him, hate him, but ignore him at your peril), and here's to many more!

In a tangential note, I bought 10 comics yesterday, and didn't get SMOKE #3, DEATH JR. #3, and THE EXPATRIATE #3. Must be something about third issues and my comics shop. Anyway, they're reluctantly looking for them so I hope that I'll get them soon. I also accidentally picked up JLA CLASSIFIED #11; I hadn't meant to get any more of the underwhelming Ellis/Guice arc. Was I sorry I did? Read LAST CALL tomorrow morning and find out!

In other linkage, Rivkah Greulich, who was testifying and speaking gospel in her extremely noteworthy LJ post on WizardWorld Chicago, is now writing a column for The Pulse. I think it's going to become the must-read comics column of the future. BUt don't take my word for it, check it for yourself!

Also, the latest of the outstanding interviews with industry notables is up over at Comics Foundry. The subject this time: Devin Grayson, whose work I've managed to mostly ignore but that doesn't make the interview any less readable. Another recent subject: Klaus Janson, whom many revere but whose work has rarely, if ever, appealed to me. Still, once again, just because I don't care for his work doesn't make what he has to say any less pertinent or mean I have less respect for his career. Here's part one, and here's part two.

Oh yeah, for future reference: