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Progressive Bully #5: Color My World-616.

§ June 10th, 2022 § Filed under Bully, captain america § 4 Comments

H’lo everybody! It’s your old pal Substitute Mike, aka Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull, here to amuse and educate ya. As that frog says, when he isn’t busy embarrassing that guy by refusing to sing “Michigan Rag,” it is Friday, my dudes, and time to brush away the busy work week and devote your attention to personal rest and relaxation time. Yeah, all week long you’ve been working for the man (or the woman; I don’t wanna be sexist here) and making money for them, but now you’ve got your paycheck and you’re gonna cut loose and get wild! So do what I do: get out your crayons and let’s color!

I find it works best to get yourself the biggest box of crayons you can find, but what you’re really gonna need here is a whole lotta red, white and blue.

That’s because tonight we’re all coloring in the Captain America Coloring Book (Whitman, 1966), 64 full-color black-and-white pages of star-spangled excitement, adventure, and dynamic tension! Check it out: we’ve got robots, flying saucers, a crumbling city, and a mountain to color! Plus, that guy in the front, what-‘is-name. 49¢: cheap!

First up: prepare to spend a lot of time coloring the sky blue, or, if taking place during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, red. Captain America is floating in the sky above, keeping watch on us and reporting straight to Santa about who is naughty and who is nice. Yes, famous Watcher in the Sky Captain America, as seen in his many exciting comic book adventures!

Now is the time in our arts and craft activities where I stop and give you some background: this coloring book’s story and pictures are based on two Silver Age Cap adventures from Tales of Suspense, so-called because Cap is clearly being suspended here. But would it surprise you to learn that in the comic itself, this scene is a teensy bit more dramatic?

from Tales of Suspense #75 (March 1966)

You can use this page as a suggestion for coloring! Draw in some bomb-bursts and shrapnel. Maybe even turn it upside down so it appears more dynamic! Unleash your inner Stan Goldberg and go nuts, folks! For maximum adventure, however, please color inside the lines.

Mama Bull picked me up this coloring book during her weekly shopping at the local Piggly-Wiggly because it features my favorite comic book villain, that Famed Frenchman of fearsome feats, Batroc the Leaper! Here’s a great chance to wear your orange and purple crayons down to the nub giving him all his glorious secondary-colors-are-for-villains shading. Or, since he’s leaping straight at you, color it to accentuate the 3-D effect! (3-D glasses not included with this blog.)

You might remember this tale in the comics as the one that also introduces Sharon Carter, Agent 13, the daughter niece descendant of Captain America’s World War II love, Peggy Carter. Steve tries to intervene in her not very subtle spy-drop, but Sharon’s so annoyed her word bubble turns yellow.

Say, can you guess what’s in that mysterious mailing tube?

No, not that one. Get out of this part of Tales of Suspense and back into the Iron Man section, Hawkeye, ya load!

Sharon heeds her secret spy instructions of “run away!”, and I sure hope you have a lotta red crayons.

A good Batroc deserves a second coloring page. Go nuts, color him red, white, and blue and make him into  the hero of this tale: Capitaine Française!

Remember, as befitting the original comic book: color Batroc triumphant over Cap. Quite frankly, it’s the way Stan Lee probably would have wanted it, and you don’t wanna disrespct his memory now, do ya?

The second part of the coloring book adapts a story from TOS #78, which depicts a casual meeting of Cap and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.* (*Sitting Habitually In Efficient Little Domiciles) 

Go ahead, I know you’re dying to do it: give Nick Fury a green suit.

In the comic book, their meeting is a little more visually vigorous: less sitting around on comfy chairs, more dodging the little training robots that gave Luke Skywalker such a hard time with the blast shield down. You may have noticed Jack Kirby is doin’ the art chores on these stories, so the coloring book can only pale in comparison before the King.

from Tales of Suspense #78 (June 1966)

What’s up, Nick? Fan mail from some flounder? (Hope you have a big green crayon now.) Go with your instinct and draw a pretty picture on Nick’s eyepatch. He can’t tell!

Strange happenings! Weird happenings! Like, say, your chance to color in a scene from the latest Michael Bay explodo-ganza! Please: do not draw in Shia LaBeouf.

Tank Creature! Now that he’s so popular, collectors are flocking to their local coloring book stores to hunt down his first appearance in slabbed 9.0+ graded, uncolored-in copies of the Captain America Coloring Book.

But hey, coloring book, that’s kind of a dull-looking mundane generic robot that would probably be more at home as George Jetson’s wise-crackin’ valet who gets him out of scrapes with Mr. Spacely, than as a fearsome foe for the Star-Spangled Avenger. I betcha Kirby woulda drawn a more impressive robot!

Ummmmm. (tugs collar, makes choking noises) Okay, say what you will, but Jack Kirby could definitely design a more impressing robot-making device than this “Robot Factory and Final Testing Pool.” The robots are having a nice schvitz!

Oh come on now comic book, stop tracing Jack Kirby!

You’ve probably run out of red and blue crayons by now, so try this out: color Cap yellow, blue and black, stare at him for several minutes, and then look away to a plain surface so you can see the real colors imprinted on your vision. Weird, ain’t it? How do you feel about your eyeballs now, kids?

Knockout pills? On a robot? Sure (giggle) Cap, you try (chuckle) that out and

Hotchy motchy, it worked!

Still, where’d ya get that idea, coloring book? Didja steal it from Kirby and Lee? Betcha did.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this fine evening of coloring along with me. Please make certain to put your crayons neatly back in the box and store them in the drawer, because if you leave them lying around on the floor, you’ll get in trouble. That’s not just good advice from Captain America and Nick Fury; that’s a proclamation from my mom.

Bonus special extra coloring page of Batroc! Because, and I hope you know it, I love you all.

“Star Wars demoted to bimonthly” is hard to imagine now, too.

§ April 17th, 2017 § Filed under captain america, pal plugging, publishing, question time, retailing § 6 Comments

Back to your questions:

Argh!Sims arghed:

“Since you and GregA were discussing it on the Twitters and all … Did you find any more info about the proposed cancellation of Captain America back in the ’80s? That was at least a minor deal back then, and I seem to remember it was going to end around 300, with Cap being aged and having his ‘final’ victory over the Red Skull”

Yup…Twitter pal Greg posted a scan of a news item from an old Amazing Heroes (#69 from 1985, to be exact). I hope he doesn’t mind me borrowing said scan to present it here, since I’m too lazy to scan it myself:

My memory at the time is that is was kind of a minor deal, as you say. Mostly surprise that Marvel would even think about ending one of their…well, maybe not a flagship title, as such, but certainly a long-running title with one of their most famous, if not top-selling, characters. You know, back in the day when every ongoing series didn’t get relaunched every 18 months.

And yes, I did spend some time going through subsequent issues of Amazing Heroes trying to find any kind of follow-up on this announcement, as well as going through the Amazing Heroes Preview Specials that would preview the next few months’ worth of content for individual titles. Alas, I couldn’t track down what I was looking for, which was confirmation of my vague-ish memory of someone at Marvel basically saying “hey, we realized that we couldn’t cancel Captain America, of all titles — that would be be crazy!” I said in the Twitter thread that followed that my belief was that said cancellation might have been forestalled by licensing deals that might have been dependent on Marvel continuing to publish and support the character, but that’s just a mostly uninformed assumption on my part.

Anyway, I am relatively certain that it was said somewhere, in some news story or interview, that the cancellation of that particular title was reconsidered because of the nature of the character and its importance to Marvel. And, if I recall correctly, I think it was also said by someone that the title wasn’t actually in danger of cancellation, and that its inclusion on the list above was a mistake. Now, I owned and have read a lot of comic ‘zines over the decades, so I don’t know where exactly I saw all this…or even if I did, since I should probably accept that possibility. If anyone has more specific information, feel free to let me konw.

• • •

Old pal Brandon wants to know

“Have you ever been witness to a major collapse of shelves or avalanche of comics?

I have seen some pretty precarious shelves in the backs of comics shops before and it was always a concern of mine going into the back room of your old place of employment (though admittedly that was purely anxiety driven).”

Well, true enough, the shelving in the back of my old place of employment was very end-of-Raiders of the Lost Ark-ish, with shelving stretching up to the ceiling, filled with countless comic boxes. It was all quite sturdy and secure, however, and in the three different locations that store had while I worked there, I don’t believe there ever was a major collapse or shelf failure.

Now, that one time someone busted in through the ceiling to steal some…uh, Witchblade and Spawn comics, I thought maybe some of our bookshelves out front were knocked over, but from the look of things it was just a huge mess made by broken ceiling tiles and insulation.

The only time I can remember any sort of in-store shelving collapse was a hook busting loose that connected a shelf to its supporting unit and a bunch of books falling off. No life-threatening epic disaster stories to tell, thankfully. But here’s something to tide you over:

• • •

In completely unrelated news…pal Andrew could use a little assistance, if you’re able.

I’ve been thinking about these panels ever since I first came across them a few days ago.

§ March 14th, 2016 § Filed under captain america § 6 Comments

From Captain America #237 (December 1979) by Chris Claremont, Roger McKenzie, Sal Buscema, and Don Perlin…here’s a great panel transition aided by some timely (heh) and gratuitous logo insertion:



Seems like we don’t see the ol’ “character logo inserted into dialogue/captions” as much as we used to. Yeah, the recent issue of Action has the Superman “S” as a graphic element in Clark’s caption boxes, but that’s not the same as him shouting “THIS IS A JOB FOR SUPERMAN” and the “Superman” in the word balloon is represented by the actual Superman logo.

Then again, maybe I’m just not reading the right comics. Anyone else spotted any in-dialogue use of superhero logo iconography lately? …There’s a question you probably don’t get asked often enough.

Naked except for the felt hat.

§ July 2nd, 2009 § Filed under archie, captain america, don't bother clicking on the tags since they don't really go anywhere yet, retailing Comments Off on Naked except for the felt hat.

Oh what in the Sam Hill is this?

This is from the Xena Warrior Princess parody in Betty and Veronica Double Digest #172, new this week. I’m assuming this story is a reprint. Surely Archie isn’t doing a Xena parody NOW. (Given that this is Archie we’re talking about, you can never be quite sure.)*

Anyway, drink in the Jughorse, who certainly takes his place in the ranks of Disturbing Archie Pictures, along with this.

Speaking of this week’s comics, I had a couple of variations of this discussion (which ties in what I’ve been going on about over the last couple of days):

Customer (looks at Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #1): “So, is this a new Deadpool one-shot?”

Me: “No….”

Customer: “Oh, it’s another Deadpool mini-series?”

Me: “No, it’s the first issue in a new ongoing series.”

Customer: “So wait…Deadpool has two ongoing series now.”

Me: “Yup.”

Customer: (rolls eyes)

Some people bought, some people didn’t. But most people who commented on it demonstrated varying levels of disbelief.

Which, just as a tangent here, reminds me of something else that occurred to me today. our sales on the current version of the MAX-line Punisher and the sales on the created-pretty-much-just-to-tie-into-events Marvel Universe Punisher series together equal about what the MAX Punisher series on its own sold under Garth Ennis’s tenure. Of course, as it was pointed out to me, this is Garth Ennis writing the Punisher we’re talking about, so it may be a bit of an unfair comparison. But still, thought it was interesting to note.

Oh, and that Captain America: Reborn thing started this week, and while we did get our anticipated upsurge in interest from our regular clientele, Marvel’s hoped-for repeat of high demand from the general public for Cap’s death didn’t materialize. Which is why we don’t base our orders on the potential of media coverage, because 1) it may not happen, and 2) it may turn out nobody cares. I seem to recall talking a lot about this on the site around the time of Cap’s alleged death. Don’t really want to repeat myself, but I’m pretty sure you get the gist.

But our customers want it, and I got enough for them, and everyone’s happy. Looks okay, too, as these things go…I’m not really a Cap fan, and I can count the number of his comics I own on the fingers of one hand, if I use the hand with the extra pinky, so it’s not like I’m the target audience for this anyway. Hopefully the people who do read it enjoy it, and if it does generate some new Cap readership beyond the stunt aspects of this particular saga, even better.

Some good stuff that came out this week includes Muppet Robin Hood #2 (not the exercise in perfection that the Muppet Show comic is, but still amusing and well-drawn), Batman and Robin #2 (a streamlined machine of a comic, not a word or an image wasted and absolutely wonderful), Fantastic Four #568 (penultimate chapter of the Millar/Hitch run, with a guest-scripter over Millar’s plot…the build-up of what seems to be a truly menacing villain continues, though with one issue to go, I suspect the defeat will be relatively prosaic compared to what came before), Tales Designed to Thrizzle hardcover (the first four issues, now with the black and white bits in color, but still just as fantastic and funny), Prince Valiant Volume 1 (a new and gorgeous hardcover reprinting the Hal Foster original strips from 1937 and 1938), and Solomon Grundy #5 (sorry, my “Swamp Thing in the DCU” need is still not fulfilled, though this isn’t a bad read by any means).

In other news: well, I won’t bother with the bullet point formatting, this time, since I’m just sending you over to Doctor Strange fan Neilalien’s essay on what Marvel is doing with the character. Hint: he’s not terribly happy about it, and I can’t blame him.

* I suppose a quick Googling would resolve the query, but it’s not like I really care all that much.