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It’s a short’un, so here you go:
- As has been emailed to me, and as also been popping up in my “Swamp Thing” Google alerts (yes, I’m the guy with the Google alert set for occurrences of “swamp thing.” And “progressive ruin.” And the word “the”), the guy who made the movie Cube (which ain’t half bad) also would like to make a Swamp Thing flick. Not that I expect to happen, ever, but I’d like to see it.
Someone in the comments says this:
“Has to be better than the first two campy Swamp Thing movies.”
Sir, those two Swamp Thing movies are genius. The second movie has Swamp Thing escaping from explosions and gunmen by driving a Jeep with Heather Locklear in the passenger seat. Just as God intended.
- In other swamp creature news, Siskoid covers that one What If story where Man-Thing retains the mind of Ted Sallis, the poor sap what got himself all swamped up. I’m kind of glad he did, because after being reminded a week or so back that I do not have this particular comic in the Vast Mikester Comic Archives, I looked at the shop for it…and we don’t have it there, either? What’s a boy to do?
Yeah, yeah, I know, look on the eBay for it, or something. I’ll get around to it someday.
- More Swamp Thing stuff…a Googling revealed this item at Walmart, a DVD featuring “10 Favorite Episodes” of the Swamp Thing live action TV series. Frankly, I’m surprised they managed to find ten. Meanwhile, at Best Buy, there’s an “Eight Favorite Episodes” DVD for the series, which is, perhaps, a little more keeping with expectations. Hey, it’s $12.99…financing available!
from Nancy #159 (October 1958) – thanks to pal Nat
So pretty much out of nowhere at work yesterday, Employee Aaron whips out this decade-plus old bit of promo material:
That’s a sticker, measuring about 4 inches across, advertising the Hawk and Dove mini-series
that I don’t remember a single thing about. Oh, I remember that it exists, and that we have it in stock at the store. I just couldn’t tell you anything that happened in it, if any of it is still relevant to current continuity, etc. I didn’t remember the sticker, either, since we obviously didn’t use it. Neat design, though…nice play on the whole yin and yang thing.
Speaking of Employee Aaron, we had this conversation at the shop:
Aaron: “Hey, what’s this comic?”
Me: “That? That, m’boy, is U.S. 1.”
Aaron: “What’s it about?”
Aaron: “AWESOME. I’m buying it!”
And time will tell whether I did a good thing or a bad thing.
I did wonder momentarily if U.S. 1 experienced the same phenomenon that other normally scorned and shunned comics seem to have in the past…that after a decade or two of being ignored and dumped in bargain boxes and such, people are starting to realize that, maybe, actual mint copies of the series are hard to come by. And, as such, maybe prices on the books are beginning to creep up.
Now, the other two examples I had in mind for this sort of thing are DC’s Shazam! revival of the 1970s (way overprinted beyond demand, as I recall), and Hex (DC’s sci-fi revamp of the western hero, rejected by a readership not ready for its total awesomeness). They pretty much lived in quarter boxes for years…until relatively recently, when the prices jumped up quite a bit for the nice copies. But these two titles had other advantages, such as the characters involved still being around in one form or another, and thus still in the public eye and memory. U.S. 1 was pretty much self-contained, rarely referenced after the fact, and, at this point, yet another forgotten Big Two mini-series. Plus, it was critically reviled at the time, though it’s not like the ’70s Shazam and Hex were exactly embraced by the audiences of their respective times, either.
Anyway, upshot to all this: U.S. 1 guides in Near Mint at $2.50 a pop, so I guess it’s not yet begun its upward price creep. Though I’d be surprised as hell if anyone’s selling it for $2.50. $2.50 for a full run, maybe. (And I’m sure someone’s put one in a plastic “officially graded” sealed slab and sold it for $100 or something dumb like that. Please don’t tell me if that’s the case.)
In fairness, there’s nothing particularly wrong with U.S. 1…it’s a goofy, dopey, and fun comic book that just takes its premise and runs with it. We could use a few more U.S. 1s on the rack nowadays.
So reader Chuck was nice enough to send me a copy of this here book, Star Trek: The Truth Machine (Random House, 1977), which shows that no matter in what medium he’s presented, Captain Kirk is one handsome S.O.B.:
The ’50s monster movie-style “giant lizards menacing the city” scene on the viewscreen is pretty awesome, too.
Anyway, the story’s about some alien thugs who lure our heroes down to their primitive planet and try to coerce them into giving up the tech details on the Enterprise’s warp drive. However, the aliens are just advanced enough to be able to force the answers via their Truth Machine, hence the title. Also, these guys are totally into The Phantom:
The story wraps up pretty much as you’d expect, with our heroes getting the better of these geniuses, and with Spock layin’ down a little Vulcan whup-ass:
My favorite parts of the book are the brief snippets of exposition and explanation for the various elements of the Trek universe, written plainly and simply for the intended younger audience:
“The crew hurried to the transporter room. When they stood on the transporter disks, their molecules in their bodies would be taken apart, sent through space, and put back together on the planet’s surface.”
Urgh. Put like that, no wonder McCoy didn’t like beaming up or down anywhere.
“Although Spock’s mother was born on Earth, Spock had been born on his father’s planet, Vulcan. And like a true Vulcan, Spock never showed any feelings.”
Is that so, Mr. Narrator? Then what do you have to say about…THIS:
Well, um, come to think of it…what could
Actually, that’s just Spock expressing Vulcan’s most common emotion, Total Smugness, during his explanation of how he outsmarted the bad guys’ Truth Machine not by lying about the warp drive, but by simply not offering up important details the aliens didn’t specifically ask about. Okay, sure, good move, Spock, but you don’t have to be a self-satisfied jerk about it. Sheesh.
Thanks again to reader Chuck for the swell book!
Please note the polite laughter of the Flash and Green Lantern. Well, the Flash is probably just being polite, anyway. This actually strikes me as being right up GL’s alley humor-wise.
image from Super Powers Collection: Hawkman (1983)
…but I don’t know about that one in the bottom right-hand corner. That would have been a bit odd to have slapped on your school binder or whatever.
So anyway, guess which cartoon I saw for the very first time ever this past week?
After revealing on the Twitter that I had never seen the Tick
cartoon from the mid-’90s, pal Sean
took it upon himself to rectify this particular oversight of mine and brought me his Tick
Now, I was a fan of the Tick nearly from the get-go. A college friend of mine extolled the virtues of the comic book series to me shortly after the original run (by creator Ben Edlund) had begun, and I ended up jumping on with the fourth or fifth issue, and picking up the back issues. However, after Edlund wrapped up his stint on the comics and passed them on to other hands, I lost interest in the series. Not that there was anything wrong with the comics, but whatever particular part of Edlund’s vision that appealed to me so much about those initial installments was no longer there, and the comics just didn’t do anything for me. I realize that’s a minority opinion, and I’m certainly not down on the work anyone’s doing for those comics, nor on the folks who still read and enjoy them. They just weren’t my cup of tea, is all.
And even though I missed the original run of the cartoon, I did not miss a single aired episode of the Tick live-action series, despite the Fox Network’s best efforts at hiding it from potential viewers. I thought it had a strong cast, funny writing, and, of course, Batmanuel. And it’s good to know that the actor who played Batmanuel, Nestor Carbonelle (better known today as Richard from Lost) still has fond memories of the role.
And now, thanks to pal Sean, I’ve seen one whole episode of the seemingly highly-regarded animated series. …Not bad, not bad. Understandably, they’ve left out the Tick’s escape from an insane asylum, which might have been a bit much for a kids’ cartoon, but so far very reflective of the Edlund run on the comic. Yes, because Edlund worked on the cartoon, too, I know. So it looks like I’ll be catching up on this series over the next few days, alternating with episodes of Breaking Bad Season 2 (another series I’m catching up on). That should make for an odd viewing experience.
Comics Alliance has a report from this weekend’s Wondercon
that the very much delayed All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder
by Frank Miller and Jim Lee will be returning next year, rebranded Dark Knight: Boy Wonder
. In “I’ll Believe It When I See It” news, DC Comics is promising on-time shipping for the remaining issues of the storyline. Regardless, it’s good to know that there’s at least something in the works, and that the comic hasn’t been totally forgotten.
Over at that Comics Alliance post, Rocco has this to say in the comments:
“I’m sure Mike Sterling is thrilled..”
You’re darn tootin’ I’m thrilled, Rocco! It’s an Easter miracle!
TICKET-PUNCHER FOR THE DEAD
from Nancy and Sluggo #181 (March/April 1961) – thanks to Paul
You may remember me mentioning pal Tom Foxmarnick on the site before, like when he gave me this swell SWAMPDOK drawing
, or when I featured a couple of the ‘zines
from his Kubert School years.
Well, the other day he gave a photocopy of the above drawing he did while at the Kubert School, circa 1979. Well, he did the pencils on it, anyway…the inks were by one of his instructors: Dick Giordano. Tom asked me if I’d put it on my site, since, with Mr. Giordano’s recent passing, folks might be interested in seeing a mostly-unknown sample of his work. So, there you all go. Pretty neat. Thanks, Tom!
• • •
In other news:
- As a couple of people have noted here and there…yes, there may have been a bogus item or two in yesterday’s End of Civilization post in honor of April Fools’ Day, the Internet’s Favorite-est Tradition. Most people commented on one, but nobody said anything about the other, which, admittedly, was mostly just for me.
- Adam Knave brings you…a Man-Thing Public Service Announcement.
- Are you reading Awesome Hospital, a comic rejected by some online webcomics initiative because it was, in fact, too awesome? You really should be.
- And speaking of Chris Sims, he and Rusty Shackles have created a thing so great that you will fall to your knees and weep tears of bitter despair that it does not actually exist.
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