A HAPPY SLUGGOWEEN
You are currently browsing the archives for October, 2009
A HAPPY SLUGGOWEEN
…since I’m a bit short on time and low on energy, but I just wanted to point out this new weblog that I just noticed in my referral logs: Love and Maggie, a clearinghouse of news and links for the work of the Hernandez Brothers. A very nice resource for fans of Jaime, Gilbert, Mario, and their army of characters.
The site mentions Jaime and Gilbert’s appearance at a store in Portland, OR to celebrate Wonder Woman Day…and my old friend Matt reported to me that he got to meet them there and talk about my hometown (and Matt’s former stomping ground) of Oxnard for a few minutes. And he got his Ill Repute album covers signed. So, you know, cool.
On a completely unrelated note, reader Paul asked me why I haven’t mentioned this yet on my site, and…well, I’m not sure why, exactly. But apparently Akiva Goldsman has expressed an interest in making a new movie based on Swamp Thing. Now, Mr. Goldsman is the man who wrote Batman and Robin and you all know how much I liked that. And he wrote the Lost in Space remake, which, um, I sorta liked, kinda — DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT. But anyway, I don’t have an opinion one way or another just yet…it’s just all talk at the moment. Once a script is settled on and people start getting cast (“Rob Schneider is…SWAMP THING”) I’ll probably have more to say.
Hey, maybe they could give it to the guy who made Return of the Swamp Thing, so we could have an origin movie just as crazy that completely nuts sequel! Sure, it’d make about ten bucks in the theatres, but I’d be happy and that’s what’s important.
One more Swamp Thing bit of media business: he gets a brief mention on a recent episode of the Colbert Report, which you can see right here (starting at about the 9:30 mark). Thanks to reader Rob for letting me know!
Hey gang…your pal Mike has been busy over the last week or so doing, you know, some stuff, so posting here has been a little thin for a while, and may continue to be so for a bit longer. I apologize, but it’s also cut into my End of Civilization prep time, so this one’s slightly truncated compared to previous installments. If I can, I’ll try to come back to this Nov. 2009 edition of Previews with some additional, non-EoC discussion, but for now…please enjoy these fine items selected from the pages of America’s Favorite Catalog That Doesn’t Have “Victoria” in the Title:
p. 129 – World of Warcraft Collectible Coin Sets:
There are two sets available, the “Horde” and the “Alliance,” and I think that’s the “Alliance” pictured there. These are replicas of the coins used in the video game, and a reminder of the real money you’ve spent playing for countless hours online and earning fake money.
p. 183 – Obamouse:
“The economy is crumbling like stale roquefort. We are at war with Owl Kaida, our soldiers being targeted by their traps, poisons and predators. When the nation, perhaps the whole world, needs change, one rodent steps forward to offer it: Barack Obamouse. But if his daring plans for the country are to succeed, he will have to win over his skeptic political rivals and countrymice, including Hen Beck, John McCrane, Sarah Penguin and Ratt Limbaugh!”
I am honestly at a loss for words.
p. 307 – Will Green Lantern T-shirt:
“I said ‘hi Will!’ That’s your name, right, on your shirt?”
“Oh. Who’s Will, then? Some rock star or something?”
“No, no…it’s a shirt about Green Lantern. You know, the superhero.”
“Oh, yeah, sure, I loved Green Hornet. His real name’s Will? I thought it was Van Williams.”
“No, you see, there are lots of different colored Lanterns, each representing a different part of the emotional spectrum. The Yellow Lanterns are ‘fear,’ the Red Lanterns are ‘rage,’ and the Green Lanterns are ‘will.'”
“Um…is ‘will’ an emotion?”
“Okay, look, I’m taking off the shirt. See? I’m no longer wearing the shirt. Stop talking to me.”
p. 315 – Battlestar Galactica Series 4 Action Figure Assortment:
p. 332 – Herbie the Love Bug “Tooned Up” Maquette:
For some reason this “tooned up” version of a car disturbs me more deeply than the “tooned up” human statues do. Probably only a matter of time ’til someone builds a life-size drivable replica of this hideous distortion.
Shorter, more jokey: “Look out for that black hole, Herbie!”
p. 332 – Super Goof Mini-Maquette:
That there now exists (or will soon, anyway) a Super Goof statue reignites my faith in the human spirit. Perhaps I should change the title of these posts to “The Rebirth of Civilization!”
p. 338 – Iron Man Movie Arc Reactor Prop Replica:
On second thought, belay that name change. Of all the neat things in Iron Man, this is the prop replica they wanted. Huh. Plus, it’s already engraved, which totally screws up my plans to have it engraved myself before using it for wedding gift.
p. 344 – Lightsaber Chopstick Sets:
“First unveiled at San Digeo Comic-Con 2009 where fans got to compete in chopstick competitions against real-life 501st Stormtroopers….”
They’re stormtrooper-approved, kids!
Looking at the fingers touching the “laser blades” in this pic strikes me as oddly unnerving. “AUGH MY FINGERTIPS”
Anyway, let me know when they develop actual mini working lightsabers I can use to cut steak. That’s what I’d be interested in.
p. 359 – Star Trek Starfleet Logo Flask:
Just like the one that one guy who played Enterprise Guard #3 occasionally sneaks drinks from while he’s killing time between customers at the autograph show.
Also, if this were actual Starfleet branded material (yeah, I know, work with me here), does this mean Starfleet is encouraging its forces to carry around their own source of emergency sauce? Or maybe Scotty just knocked out a one-off of these during a downtime in Engineering, while he was feeling a bit cheeky. And drunk.
p. 359 – Star Wars Darth Vader Helmet Clock Radio:
Lucasfilm’s continuing efforts to strip poor ol’ Darth of any menace or tragic dignity continue apace. Apparently the end of Revenge of the Sith wasn’t enough.
That said, I totally want one of these.
p. 361 – World of Warcraft Leather Wallets:
Hey, something to keep your non-legal tender WoW coins in.
p. 361 – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Journal:
One should probably take actual previous diary entries and transfer them to this new journal, and, like the book the journal’s based on, rewrite your entries to include zombies. “Today, Jeremy asked me to the Spring Formal, just before he was attacked by a zombie. He fought valiantly, and after seemingly hours of battle, he emerged victorious, safely free of any infecting bites. So I said yes.”
NOTE: would probably really worry nosy moms.
- Ambush Bug #7 (of 6) – Sigh. Anyway, scheduling issues and numbering shenanigans aside, I’ve mostly enjoyed this new AB series. Some of it felt like it was trying maybe a little too hard, and some of it did feel like the old, seemingly effortless zaniness of the originals. But, overall, it was good to have Mr. A. Bug back on the shelves again.
- Bart Simpson #50 – Features the debut of Sergio Aragones as a regular contributor to the title. I do so love the Sergio, so I’m greatly looking forward to this.
- Batman: The Killing Joke New Printing – Apparently the final printing in the original squarebound comic Prestige Format, and using the original coloring. This is nice, since I’ve had a number of people interested in the story but not wanting the new, recolored hardcover edition, and all I have of the comic book versions is the first printing. Oddly enough (and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before), this comic was reprinted, what, seven, eight times, with tens of thousands of extra copies? And yet I never see the reprints in collections…it’s always the first print. Go figure.
- Groo: Hogs of Horder #1 – That’s two Sergio comics this week! Excellent.
- Ignition City San Diego Comic Con Edition #1 and Auxiliary Edition #4 – Seems like every week there’s yet another Auxiliary or Supplemental or Random Comic Con Edition of this particular title, of any given issue.
- Invincible Hercules #137 – Have I mentioned this is my favorite Marvel title? This is my favorite Marvel title. Just the right mix of super-melodrama and outright goofiness.
- Muppet Peter Pan #2 – These comics never fail to make me smile. Well, at least make me frown less. I’m a bit of a frowner. :(
- New Mutants #6 Zombie Variant – Please. Just stop.
- Vincent Price Presents: The Tingler #1 – Probably one of my favorite Vincent Price films…”Scream! Scream for your lives!”
I think, in one of my End of Civilization posts, I mentioned that this series should come with built-in electric shockers to replicate the original movie presentation. Alas, customers who buy this book from us will just have to settle for the gentle kiss of my taser, so that they may enjoy the full Tingler experience. No need to thank me.
- I’m getting a lot of e-mails about this post of comics strip mash-ups by Ryan Dunlavey, including a Nancy & Sluggo/Sin City crossover you won’t soon forget. Dunlavey does a superior job mimicking the different art styles, and all the strips are very funny. “Spy Vs. Spy Vs. Alien Vs. Predator” is an especially good’un.
- Those no-good sons-of-bitches Chris Sims and Eugene Ahn have inflicted yet another War Rocket Ajax podcast upon the world. I warn you…don’t listen to this terrible, terrible podcast! Fear it! Shun it! Oh, sure, they might try to lure you in with their interview with fine writer Matt Sturges, and sure, it guest-stars folks from that vastly superior podcast Awesomed by Comics, but don’t let them fool you! In the name of all that is good and holy in the world do not download the latest episode of War Rocket Ajax! Don’t let them kill again!
- Andrew whips out another Halloween-themed Nobody’s Favorite, and it’s one we had a little fun with around these parts when that particular story was coming out.
Andrew also has a post about two horror-film tie-in video games for the Atari 2600. To think these were “controversial” at the time! Now they just look sort of quaint, almost like you’re playing little abstract paintings. Still fun, though!
- Tim reviews three recent comics from Marvel and DC in his usual entertaining way.
- …And Kevin and Ming should have a new installment of their strip The Loneliest Astronauts up at noon EST on Tuesday. Ming draws this comic beautifully, and Church supplies some strong gagwriting, and the whole work is just this wonderfully packaged bit of art that, if there’s any fairness in the world, will be eventually collected into a nicely-designed hardcover.
- So you know those multi-colored Lantern rings that a Comic Shop Near You will hopefully be getting over the next few months and distributing to the customers in what I am sure will be in a fair and equitable fashion? Shops got samples of each of the rings (save the Black Lantern rings, already received weeks ago) to use for promotional purposes, like, say, me ‘n’ Employee Aaron wearing ’em around the shop like the fashion plates we are. When we received the sample black ring in advance of their arrival at the shop, my wearing it around the store resulted in lots of requests from customers on how one could obtain a black ring of their very own. And sporting the yellow ring recently has resulted in similar inquiries.
I only bring this up because I see folks selling full sets of the rings on the eBay. And apparently not just pre-selling the rings prior to release…there are people selling sets of the actual promo rings that stores received a week or two ago. I’m guessing these are shops doing so (it can be hard to tell without an attendant “About Me” eBay page), but it seems a shame to go for the short term profit rather than using the rings in-store to encourage some excitement about the related funnybooks. Then again, maybe these stores aren’t reaching the sales plateaus required on the specific DC books you had to purchase in order to receive the rings, so they don’t need the promos and who am I to judge?
- Bully the Little Stuffed Bull is probably too young and sensitive to be reading such scary comics, but I’m glad he did this Separated at Birth post featuring a certain swamp creature of some note.
- In other Swamp Thing news, RetroCRUSH did a list of The Top 20 Pop Culture Plants, and Swamp Thing puts in an appearance (though with a superfluous hyphen) at #4, right between Jack’s Beanstalk and Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. Surely fine company to be in.
- In other other Swamp Thing news, Reader Jef told me a tale of spotting a drink called a “Swamp Thing” on a menu and, my site looming large in his mind as it does in all people about to make important drinking decisions, gave it a go. He describes it thusly:
“The drink consists of lemon, lime, whatever fresh herbs they have handy (this time I got parsley, chives, and mint, all picked from planters at the bar) muddled together with sugar, Pimms, gin, and a bit of soda water. It was a pretty funky drink, but I would probably order it again.”
And he also photographed it thusly:
Well, that’s certainly very yellow-ish. I wonder what the Arcane drink would look like? Probably filled with insect parts, I’d imagine.
Anyway, thanks to Jef for sending this along…I got a kick out of it!
- My Canadian twin Steve recently posted that much discussed Batman/Joker/Naked Catwoman pic drawn by Bruce Timm to illustrate all the horrible stuff that would corrupt the minds of children should they even see the barest hint of it in their cartoons…so of course this marks the second time I’ve linked the image on my site. But I did so just in case the Photobucket image disappears…I now have a back-up source. Plus, it gave me a chance to say “NAKED CATWOMAN” on my site again, because brother, bring on the perverted Google search referrals in my site logs.
- So in the last week or so, I saw this in Green Lantern Corps #41:
…and since the bad guys didn’t come out of any kind of glassware, I’m assuming that’s supposed to be “vile.”
And I saw this:
…from right above the logo on Titanium Rain #1.
Okay, nobody’s perfect (except, if I may quote Employee Timmy, Jesus and Batman), and goodness knows I’ve made my share of spelling errors and typos on this site, and I’m sure there are probably one or two or a dozen right here in this very post for you folks to jump on and mock as soon as I publish this. But I also don’t have any editors (“Noooooooooo!” “Quiet, you.”) and I’m not asking you to pay out $3 to $5 per entry to read my site, so long as you don’t count my subtle gesturing toward yonder PayPal Donation button. And while we’re a long way from, as I recall, Valiant Comics’ consistent inability to tell “it’s” from “its” or “who’s” from “whose,” it’s still just slightly embarrassing to see these errors creeping in. (And before any Marvel fans get too smug, please enjoy.)
- And speaking of which…you have been reading Fake AP Stylebook, right?
1958 advertisement for the 10-in-1 Sgt. Preston Trail Kit
…not to be confused with the 10-in-1 Scope which, frankly,
would probably give you a better chance of survival
OF THIS LIBERAL MEDIA
from Nancy and Sluggo #189 (January 1963)
Following up from yesterday…the picture I was trying to pull out of my memory, rather than digging out the magazine and refreshing my recollection, was this one, provided by an anonymous commentator. I had a few details incorrect, such as there not being Harley Quinn in lingerie, but rather a naked Catwoman (bet you’re clicking through now!). The specific animation “no-nos” illustrated in the drawing (also listed by Jarrett in yesterday’s comments) are as follows:
3. Breaking glass
7. Child Endangerment
Now there are guns all over the place in Batman: The Animated Series, but the drawing shows a gun putting a Fearless Fosdick-esque hole right through the Caped Crusader, so maybe the guns were okay in the cartoon so long as no one was shown getting hit. Of course, there was that episode I was discussing last time where Gordon was shot during a police raid, but it’s not like we saw it onscreen. I think I saw a clip of an interview with Bruce Timm or Paul Dini talking about this particular episode and how they were somewhat surprised they were allowed to get away with it.
Drugs and breaking glass…weren’t there references to “drug busts” in this series? Obviously, that’s different from the intent of this particular ban (represented by a hypodermic needle in the Timm drawing). And I could have sworn there was some glass broken at some point, though that may just be me filling in details in my head rather than recalling any actual events in the show.
And religion…characters on the show sure did say “my God” or “oh my God” a lot, which always kind of surprised me, since I thought even a mild epithet such as that may be verboten. Okay, again, not was probably meant by the ban on religious content, but still I wanted to note it.
Jon notes being freaked out by some elements in particular Batman episodes when he was a five year old, which 1) made me feel old, since I was an adult when this show started, and 2) made me think about the vague childhood memories I had of television shows I watched when I was a kid. Watching Batman and some of the weird-ass stuff that popped up on that show, it made me think on occasion “I wonder if there’s some adult walking around now haunted with some bizarre image or sequence from this show that s/he only half-remembers from childhood, and has no idea where it came from?” I know I had more than one or two of those types of memories, some of which having been cleared up by the internet (like this intro to a kids show and this segment from said show). If you may forgive me an old fogey moment, I can’t help but wonder in this age of everything ending up on DVDs/the internet/etc. if memories of shows like these ever get a chance to become mysterious and vague, fleeting images seen once and filed away in some dusty corner of the brain. Ah, I’m sure they do and I’m just overthinking it, but there you go.
Chad mentions the Two-Face origin episode as being a significant example of the mature storytelling possible even with the limitations placed by Standards and Practices…something I myself noted…back in April? Good gravy, I’ve been taking my time going through these DVDs, haven’t I? I think adding impact to Harvey Dent’s transition to Two-Face is the fact that he’d been a recurring supporting character in the series up ’til that point, and thus had even more audience sympathy than a character introduced in the same episode he becomes a villain.
And Roel mentions that the animated translation of the Bane storyline from the comics was oversimplified to the point of hurting the narrative. I haven’t seen this episode in my DVD-watching yet (though I may have caught it on TV, if I’m recalling correctly), but it sounds like it’s a similar problem with the Superman/Doomsday DVD. In the comics, you really did feel the loss of Superman as the character literally did not appear for half a year or more, and his actual titles were suspended for a couple of months. In the animated version, Superman is “dead” for what, ten minutes? You don’t get a chance to miss him, and the impact of his alleged “death” is lost. For Batman, of course no one expected the studio to have a series of Bat-cartoons with Bane running around, Azrael taking over, Bruce stuck in a wheelchair, etc. But I’ve no reason to doubt Roel’s analysis of the adaptation, but I’ll find out soon enough when I get to that episode in my Bat-marathon.
And Tom asks “Where’s MODOK,” which got me to search on the phrase “BATMODOK” which turned up only a reference (no image, alas) to a convention sketch on a message board. I can picture a giant-headed Batman in a floating chair fairly easily. Probably actually happened in one of his comics during the 1950s, I bet.
Speaking of kids shows, my primary exposure to Soupy Sales was the late ’70s revival of his program, which was silly and wonderful and I only ever got to see a handful of them, but I loved them dearly. Soupy was a very funny person, and I’m sorry to see him go.
So long, Soupy.
That’s Batman in the middle, there, with his arm outstretched…you can kinda see his little glove-thingies sticking out.
I’ve noted before that I’ve been renting the season discs of Batman: The Animated Series from Netflix over the last few weeks, and, as I’m sure will not come as news to most of you, this is some spectacular cartoon work. This really does feel like the definitively iconic versions of these characters, even with some of the leftover details carried over from the Tim Burton films (the Penguin’s flipper-hands, the references to the Joker’s real name).
A fun thing to do while watching these cartoons is notice just how closely the show’s creators toed the line of Standards & Practices’ acceptable violence/content levels, and just how much they were able to get away with for a kids show. For example, lots of characters falling from great heights into a river…nearly always followed by a shot of said fallen characters climbing out of the river and clearly not drowned. (I recall an image drawn by producer Bruce Timm, I believe, from an issue of Cinefantastique showing all the things they were absolutely forbidden from doing: Harley Quinn in lingerie, injury to eye, hypodermic needles penetrating flesh, etc. – probably online somewhere, but I couldn’t track it down.)
That said, they got away with some amazingly intense material…Batman, under the effect of a fear gas, thinks he sees his parents walking away from him and into a dark alley, followed by two gunshot flashes from within…and then the alley turns into a huge-ass gun that rises out of the now-crumbling and collapsing surrounding buildings, a dark river pouring from the barrel. I mean holy crap.
I just finished the third disc of Season Two, which had the episode where Commissioner Gordon, in his hospital bed recovering from a gunshot wound that he felt he was too old and slow to avoid receiving, telling Batman that he wished he could be a hero like him. And Batman replies “you are a hero.” And if you watch that scene and don’t get choked up a little…well, you probably thought Old Yeller had it comin’, too.
Anyway, great cartoon. Like I need to tell you folks that.