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Okay, I was thinking a little more about the images I used here…
…the pics used for Amy Grant and Kate Bush are pretty clearly unauthorized usages — Grant’s camp raised a stink about it, but I don’t think Bush’s people did. I have no idea if the “inspiration” for the Media Starr cover was ever acknowledged by the publisher.
The Miguel Ferrer thing is (as I noted already) just me seeing a resemblence between Bradstreet’s interpretation of the Punisher and the actor, and certainly not me trying to imply any images of the actor were used to create the illustration. As was pointed out to me, Bradstreet uses his own models for his work, and you can see that in action on his site.*
The Rowan Atkinson image was an homage, and very much in line with the occasionally tongue-in-cheek style of the Incredible Hulk comic Peter David was writing at the time. I don’t think he was as recognized in the U.S. then as he is now …most Americans know him as “Mr. Bean,” the hip people know him as “Blackadder,” and the people who know him as “Raymond Fowler” are just plain showing off. However, I do recall a letter in a later issue of Incredible Hulk identifying the homage, and the editors owning up to it.
Lassie I just threw in because we happened to have a copy of #1 at the store.
Okay, now the Whoopi Goldberg thing…this character apparently popped up in Power Pack and I know some of you out there read this series. Was the Whoopi inspiration ever acknowledged? Was it as obvious as it certainly is in this Marvel Universe illustration? And isn’t this the cutest drawing of Galactus you’ve ever seen?**
Some other celebrities have popped up as inspirations for funnybook characters…there was “Serji-X Arrogantus,” a Sergio Aragones look-a-like drawn by Howard Chaykin in early issues of Marvel’s Star Wars comics.
Pal Bryan mentions that Miguel Ferrer’s appearance was used for a character in one of Innovation’s Lost in Space comics, but since Mr. Ferrer wrote it, I’m sure he’s probably aware of it.
I seem to recall a Basil Fawlty-esque character popping up in Justice League Europe, designed after John Cleese.
Pal Mojo also points out the Sting/Constantine connection (which I’ve previously discussed here), and though the Sandman/Robert Smith link rings a very small, tinny bell in the recesses of what I laughingly call my brain, I can’t dredge up any specific memories. Oh, if only there were some kind of, I don’t know, Internet search…”engine,” let’s say, that could help me look up such information. Oh, okay, I’m just messin’ with you…a quick look turns up this FAQ that says Morpheus wasn’t based on Smith. And since it’s on the internet, it must be true.
And lest I forget the most famous inspiration for a comic character’s appearance…Fred MacMurray for the original Captain Marvel. There are a whole bunch more real-life inspirations for Marvel Family characters identified here.
Then there was the reverse in action, with Captain Marvel Jr. inspiring one of Elvis’ costumes, but that’s a whole other can of worms. Plus, there was this guy, who claimed to be the original model for Siegel and Shuster’s design of Superman. Not true, of course.
Okay, that’s enough of that…you all must be sick of hearing about this by now. But, if any of you can come up with any more, feel free to stick it…
…in my comments section!
* I couldn’t access the site with either Netscape or Firefox, but IE and Safari pulled it up fine. It might be just my particular set-up.
** Somewhere out there is a super-deformed manga-style Galactus drawing that’s even cuter, and I’m going to hate you in advance for even pointing me in its direction.
Also, just so there’s no confusion (and I guess I can see how such befuddlement may arise)…Tim Bradstreet’s rendition of the Punisher just reminds me of Miguel Ferrer. I don’t think he’s tracing images of Ferrer for his Punisher covers, and I didn’t mean to imply as such. Anyone looking at this post of mine should be able to decide for themselves what’s homage, what’s outright copying, and what’s just a vague similarity.
That said…wouldn’t Ferrer make a great live-action version of the Punisher? Sure, he’s not a huge, over-muscular guy, but he’s about the right age for the character, and he can play nasty S.O.B.s (e.g. Robocop and The Stand)…the Punisher is not a hero, and Ferrer could get that across quite nicely.
Oh dear, I’ve resorted to “dream casting” in my weblog. I apologize.
(via pal Andy)
Featuring WHOOPI GOLDBERG…
and LASSIE as HERSELF! Er, HIMSELF! WHATEVER!
- Whoopi Goldberg – from Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe ’89 #5 (October 1989) – entry for “Numinus” illustrated by Jon Bogdanov & Josef Rubinstein
- Kate Bush – from Media Starr #2 (August 1989) – art by Scott Rockwell
- Amy Grant – from Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #15 (March 1990) – art by Jackson “Butch” Guice
- Rowan Atkinson – from Incredible Hulk #410 (October 1993) – art by Gary Frank and Cam Smith
- Miguel Ferrer – from Punisher #4 (July 2000) – art by Timothy Bradstreet
- Lassie from Lassie #1 (June 1950)
This is one of the batch of retailer signs provided by Dark Horse, and featuring Paul Chadwick’s Concrete, released in 1996. Turned out I still had a couple in my box o’comic promos in the store’s back room. So, their appearance in American Splendor, in a scene that takes place in the early ’80s, is definitely an anachronism. See, I’m not crazy, I’m not!
The comments section of this morning’s post has turned up a couple other anachronistic comic appearances in films. I seem to remember some modern comics appearing in The Winds of War TV mini-series, with logos scribbled over in pen. And my memory of Drugstore Cowboy (which I haven’t seen since it was in theatres) was that several non-period comics were on a spinner rack in (where else) a drugstore. For some reason, Zell Sworddancer sticks in my mind as being one of the comics in question, though I might be confusing it with a Zell Sworddancer appearance in another film.
I’m sure you all find this supremely fascinating. Well, it’s not just me. My dad does this regarding guns in films: “they didn’t start manufacturing that model until two years later! Don’t the people who made this film know anything?” We all have our quirks.
On a related note, not long ago, someone directing a play set in the 1950s approached us for period comic books to use as stage dressing. We were happy to provide color photocopies of a dozen or so 1950s comic covers (as well as temporary use of one of our old wire comic book spinner racks) in exchange for a little free advertising in the program books. I thought it was nice that someone actually went through the trouble of at least attempting to keep everything more-or-less authentic.
In fact, those photocopies were returned to us after the play ended its run…and I still need to hang them up in our store for decoration. Someone remind me to do that next week….
1. Finally saw American Splendor, the film based upon the life and work of Harvey Pekar. Good film, if a little depressing (every time they cut back to a scene in Harvey’s apartment, I kept thinking “for Pete’s sake, open a curtain!”).
As a result of my having managed a comic shop for as long as I have, every time I see a comic book store on TV or in the movies, my eyes immediately shoot for the backgrounds. What old comics do they have? What posters do they have up? Are there any anachronisms? In the scene that takes place at Joyce’s comic shop, I did spot on the wall and on the counter a couple Concrete promo items that I’m pretty sure didn’t exist in the time period that scene took place. (You can see one pretty clearly over Joyce’s shoulder as she’s saying that she hasn’t had a chance to read the new American Splendor.)
It’s a sickness, I know. I can’t help it. I’m still bothered by the anachronistic comics in Drugstore Cowboy.
1a. A friend of mine once went to a “Scream Queens” signing at Golden Apple several years ago, and took a couple photos of the event. One photo showed a couple of the Scream Queens themselves sitting behind a glass counter. When he showed me that photo, what did my eyes automatically gravitate to? Yup, right to the comics in the case. “Say, look at that old Justice League….”
It’s pathetic, really.
3. I keep trying to come up with something to say about the recently-released The Best of The Legion Outpost, but all I can come up with is “who exactly is the target audience for this book?” Okay, there’s me (a longtime Legion fan, and a collector of old fanzines), and at least one of my customers. Are there enough people like me (heaven forfend) to support a book like this?
However, if you are sort of curious about this item, let me give you at least one reason why you should pick up this book:
Seven page Hero History of the Legion of Super-Pets, individually and as a team.
…complete with what looks like commissioned sketches of said team, by Joe Staton, Karl Kesel, Ramona Fradon, Sergio Aragones (whose contribution I’d mentioned before), Joe Linsner(!), and others. The history stretches up into the late ’80s, covering the Superman revamp (and its effect on Krypto), Ambush Bug’s less-than-reverent treatment of the characters, and so on.
The article did point me in the direction of an issue of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen I don’t believe I read (#29), in which Krypto, now an elderly dog, enters some alien Fountain of Youth and becomes young again. Thus, DC’s editors were saved the trouble of having to explain a large audience of children how Krypto could still be around in Superman’s time, when he had been young Kal-El’s pet way back even before Krypton exploded. Alas, we don’t have this issue at the store, so it eludes me for the time being. On the want list it goes!
Here’s a brief round-up of some of last Wednesday’s new comic arrivals, some of which I bought, some of which I only looked at long enough to mock (SPOILER WARNING, as usual):
Cholly and Flytrap #1 – this Image mini-series is a reprint of the Arthur Suydam Marvel/Epic series from several years ago…disappointing, as I was hoping for some new Cholly and Flytrap material. To be honest, though, the characters work better in the insanely chaotic shorts that ran in Epic Illustrated rather than in an extended narrative. This story isn’t bad, but try to find the Epic graphic novel The Original Adventures of Cholly and Flytrap from 1991, which reprints all the short stories, for the best stuff.
Simpsons Comics #100 – mostly reprints, with some new framing sequences, but just about worth the cover price for two page spread by Sergio Aragones, featuring darn near every Simpsons character in his own inimitable style. Thank God the decision was made to run it in black and white, since 1) that’s one less colorist driven insane by the task of coloring Aragones’ work, and 2) it makes it look more like it was ripped right out of a Mad Magazine, which I’m sure was the intention.
Too Much Coffee Man Magazine #21 has an interview with Mystery Science Theatre 3000 alumnus Kevin Murphy, if you’re interested, and since MST3K was the Greatest TV Show Ever, surely you must be interested.
Frank Ironwine #1 – what’s this? A new Warren Ellis comic starring a tough-talking bastard who’s constantly showing up the idiots and no-nothing authority figures with his quick wit, and takes no crap from anyone? The devil, you say! …Oh, don’t look at me like that. Ellis excels at this sort of thing, so, yeah, while this protagonist of his may be a bit on the familiar side, Ellis does it so well, you really don’t care.
Adam Strange #3 – this is a fine darn series, completely unpretentious and beautifully illustrated, focused only on telling a rollicking space adventure. It reminds me a bit of the old Flash Gordon serials, complete with cliffhangers. Very highly recommended.
Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales #12 is apparently the last issue of this anthology series, which is a shame. The opening story, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Peter Bagge, is a shameless parody of Tom Strong…nasty, brutal, and wholly entertaining, and even contains an amusing call-back to Moore and Bagge’s previous collaboration in Hate #30. It’s too bad Art Adams couldn’t provide the art chores on this issue’s installment of “Jonni Future” (though he still did the cover), but Chris Weston did a great job filling in.
Green Lantern Rebirth #2 – late 1980s, ahoy, as the process of rolling everything back a decade and a half continues. It very much looks like Hal Jordan’s murderous rampage is going to be explained as “well, it wasn’t really Hal,” or, at the very least, “it wasn’t Hal’s fault he went insane” – which is probably the only way to bring the character back as the untarnished hero everyone apparently wants. That said, I am enjoying this series, partially for the art, partially because I happen to enjoy Green Lantern comics, but mostly because I’m enjoying the sheer blatantcy of resetting the status quo.
Flash #216 ties into Identity Crisis…apparently we’re being set up for the eventual un-reforming for some former Flash villains as a result of this issue. I’ve always enjoyed the Rogues Gallery, but I fear that making the reformation of some of the rogues be a result of some kind of mental tampering undermines the individuality and uniqueness of this particular group of ne’er-do-wells.
And this isn’t a new release, by any means, but I did receive a reorder of Watchmen this week. I reorder copies of this book for the store at least every couple of weeks. This graphic novel is, what, 16 years old now? Absolutely amazing.
Also, I picked up another single HeroClix figure on Wednesday…this time, it was Man-Thing in a nicely-done sculpt. Painted all green and black, with the exception of two red eyes, it’s actually quite imposing.
That’s it for now…I actually have a few more things to say about The Best of Legion Outpost, but I’m off to the comic shoppe for what could very well be an insanely busy day of work. Normally, our Friday-after-Thanksgiving business isn’t extremely overwhelming, since everyone’s at the malls, saving their shopping for the small businesses for a little later in the season. But, our store was packed with shoppers all day Wednesday, so we’ll see how today goes.
Hey, it’s Thanksgiving…dinner’s not ready yet, I don’t watch sports, and I’m bored. Give me a break.
Found via the mighty and real Sam Johnson, a trailer for the CGI short Batman: New Times. It’s already better than the Tim Burton movies. And let me add my voice to Mr. Johnson’s…it’s all about the Adam West.
Thanks to Tom “Comics Reporter” Spurgeon for linking to my silly site today, as part of his appreciation of the beauty that is…Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane. (EDIT: Tom’s link was for Thanksgiving only…sorry if you missed it!) In case you couldn’t tell from my occasional comic overviews…the Superman family of comics from the ’50s through the ’70s remain some of my all-time favorites, and any issue of, say, Jimmy Olsen, can give me more joy than any three issues of some modern comics. For pure unadulterated fun, goofiness, and downright peculiarity, they just can’t be beat. Anyone who can’t appreciate Goody Rickles or “The Leopard Girl of the Jungle” or “The Boy Witch Doctor” simply has no love in his or her heart.
Here’s a small selection of Thanksgiving-themed comic covers, courtesy Diamond Comics’ Scoop newsletter.