Here’s another Birthday themed cover, the graphic novel The Birthday Riots:
Created by cartoonist Nabiel Kanan, and published by NBM in 2001.
Kicking the feature off this week, let’s go all the way back to 1973, and an Alfredo Alcala page from Forbidden Tales of the Dark Mansion #13. Check out that gorgeous crosshatching and texture.
Next up, a page from Master of Kung-Fu #31 by Paul Gulacy:
And finally, this week’s “classic” page, from the old Ferret Press blog (June 2010), as posted by Craig Bogart:
“Holy shit, we’re in trouble. Courtesy of Herb Trimpe from Incredible Hulk #171. One of my favorite Power Records releases as well.”
This week is my birthday week, so I fugured that’s a good theme for the couple of covers I’ll be posting, starting with 1995’s Happy Birthday, Martha Washington #1:
This one-shot, by Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons, is part of the “Give Me Liberty” series created by the two. Published by Dark Horse Comics.
(I originally posted a version of this to my Ferret Press blog back in November, 2010…but given that election season is once again upon us, I think it’s worth revisiting)
So I was flipping through the channels, and I come across American Ninja 4: The Annihilation.
Now, with a title like that, I’m sure you can guess just how bad it was, but let me just share the synopsis that popped up on the TV listing:
An ex-ninja must save commandos and the world from a mad sheik and his ninja army.
Yes, you read that right: an Arab sheik and his ninjas!
I watched about 15 minutes of it, and was thoroughly impressed by how they managed to insult Muslims, Arabs, women, Africans, the Japanese, the British, and, oddly enough, extras from the Mad Max movies, all in just that short amount of time. But I digress…
What I wanted to say was I believe this 1990 movie is actually the perfect propaganda campaign ad for Republicans today. Think about it, what’s scarier than Evil Muslims (TM) who are planning to bomb New York with a suitcase nuke? Evil Muslims (TM) who are planning to bomb New York with a suitcase nuke + their ninja army!
Forget about the illegal Mexican children, or African Ebola. Stir up your conservative base by appealing to their fear of Muslim ninjas!
You’re welcome, Republican Party.
As always, the first page comes my way courtesy of Mr. Matt Kish. This is from Marvel Spotlight #22, featuring the Son of Satan. Art by Sal Buscema and Bob McLeod:
Next up is a page from Jonah Hex #53, penciled by Rick Veitch and inked by Tom Yeates:
And here’s the “classic” post, from my old Ferret Press blog, June 2010:
Not to steal Craig [Bogart’s] thunder or anything, but I know he’s busy tonight, so here’s a splash page to hold you guys over until he can post his.
Artwork by the always bizarre, utterly unique, acid-trip-on-paper, Mr. Brendan McCarthy, aka “The New McCarthyism”, aka “McMarvel”. This is a page from Spider-man: Fever #2 (of 3), which he wrote and drew. It’s really more of a Dr. Strange comic, but hey, Spidey’s name sells more comics. And yes, it’s completely trippy, and completely incomprehensible.
But it’s colorfully pretty.
I have this particular comic decorating the wall of my office at my day job, alongside a slew of other colorful, zany 70s comics. But this one is my favorite, for 3 reasons:
1) The skeleton is wearing an eye patch, just so you know where that “beautiful glass eye” came from. Why he’s not wearing a blindfold, since he’s obviously missing both eyes, is a mystery. Or a “secret”.
2) The oddly contorted giant mannequin head on the “mom” is awesome. Just look at that vapid expression on her face as she cheerfully gives her precious daughter a “beautiful glass eye.”
3) And finally, how about that “beautiful glass eye” itself? Amirite guys? That beautiful, ginormous, creepy, bloodshot eye. What parents wouldn’t want to give that beautiful bauble to their young daughter?
If that little girl is this excited to play with such a gruesome little trinket, I’d hate to think what other “beautiful” toys she has in her closet. Maybe a shrunken human head? Or a spinal column floating in a jar of formaldehyde? Or a mint copy of Youngblood #1?
By the way, Secrets of Haunted House #19 was published by DC Comics, December 1979. Luis Dominguez drew the cover in question.
(A version of this post appeared on my Ferret Press blog, January 2011)
Another Wednesday, another batch of splash pages for your enjoyment.
The first page comes to us from the prolific scanner of Mr. Matt Kish: here’s a Jan Duursema double-splash page from Arion, Lord of Atlantis #18, published by DC Comics.
Next up, a moody Neal Adams page, from Batman #237:
And finally, a classic page, originally posted on the Ferret Press blog by Craig Bogart, June 2010:
“Roy Thomas invents a character for the Robert E. Howard estate to spend decades cashing in on, as Red Sonja (not the medieval Sonya of Rogatine) debuts in Conan the Barbarian #24. Art by Barry Smith.”
Recently, while looking for comic covers to post as part of the Indie Cover Spotlight feature, I ran across several books from a publisher called Spoof Comics. You may remember them from their oh-so-clever Wolverbroad vs. Hobo book, or Spider-femme vs. Denim.
I’m just kidding. Nobody remembers Spoof Comics.
Well, I’m here to tell you that judging by the covers of their other books, it’s a testament to the strength (and insanity) of the 90s era speculative market that they lasted as long as they did. Again, I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t read a single one of these comics, but honestly, I can’t imagine any of them actually being funny. For example, we’ve got O-X: Cow O’ War:
Because nothing’s funnier than recasting Valiant’s successful X-O: Man O’ War as a cow. Cow’s have udders, which are funny, right? Ugh.
Or how about The Punish-her Score Journal:
First of all, the character’s name doesn’t even make sense, other than it’s the best they could come up with that would somewhat rhyme with Punisher. I don’t even want to know how they wove in the theme of dating and sex and “punishment,” because I have a feeling it’s a bunch of frat house juvenile humor. But hey, check out the early Dave Johnson cover. At least he went on to bigger and better things.
And speaking of great cover artists, the folks at Spoof Comics were at least smart enough to know they’d have a better chance of selling their books if they put some recognizable talent on the covers. My guess is the interiors of these comics were drawn by hungry, naive young artists with way more enthusiasm to “break in” than actual talent. You know, the Bluewater model. So if you can get some nice looking covers, you may at least trick some unsuspecting souls into buying your crap comics.
Case in point, Swamp Thang:
Oh, Kelley Jones, you must have had a car payment to cover that month. But at least it’s a really good cover.
And then there’s Spider-femme:
That’s right, despite the normal looking (and sized) breasts, that’s pinup artist extraordinaire, Adam Hughes. Incidentally, the above cover is from their anthology series Spoof Comics Presents, which, get this, lasted 19 issues! And in that year and a half of publication, they gave us such gems as Daredame:
…Vertigo parodies like Dame Patrol:
…and the super-innuendo of Green Lanterns:
(by the way, I’m pretty sure that’s a Cully Hamner cover on GL)
…and so many other comedy classics, from Justice Broads to Wet Shirts. I’m telling you, Spoof Comics was a veritable (un)funny factory, churning out not just comic book spoofs, but also those of celebrity rock bands. Behold, Kisses:
But even in the early stages of their careers, guys like Adam Hughes and Kelley Jones probably charged too much for a cover (and by too much, I mean “not free,” which seems to have been Spoof Comics’ payment standard), so their other books looked more like this:
That’s right, Youngspud. What’s funnier than a parody of Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood book, than a bunch of potato superheroes? God, I can just imagine all the funny lines in that book: the heroes drink a lot to get “mashed,” or maybe they fight a French supervillain team called Les Frites?
Well, I’m afraid that’s about as much as I can stand to write on this topic. But before I go, I’ll leave you with the best of the bunch. Behold teh funny of Soul Trek:
I don’t even want to know.
(A version of this post originally appeared on my Ferret Press blog, April, 2011)