Pulp Aquaman

Corporal Lance Thruster of the American Space Force Coast Guard drew his blaster at the site of the giant shambling thing rising out of the deep, dark lake of moon water. The creature stepped onto the gray, gritty shore of the moon-lake the American Space Force Coast Guard had pledged to protect from all foreign enemies. Water streamed from its’ rubbery hide and multiple limbs flexed obscenely as it stalked forwards.

“Greetings. I come in peace.” The Aqua-Moon Man telepathically beamed to the Space Soldiers, unaware that his mind and the minds of the Americans operated on wildly differing psycho-beaming frequencies, and thus they could only receive his thoughts as an odd, wailing noise.

“It’s…Some kind of aquatic-living man-monster!” He shouted to his red-blooded comrades. “KILL IT!”

Tags:
digg_url = ‘http://thatsmyskull.blogspot.com/2007/04/pulp-aquaman.html’; digg_skin = ‘compact’;

Hoppy-Sue the One-Legged Cheerleader

Found some inspirational certificate backgrounds while goofing around. The other disturbing thing about the Hoppy-Sue image is what is obviously a guy dressed in a cheerleader uniform seated on the ground.Is he running from a plane crashing onto the field?

No playing ball in the poster gallery!

Air! Oh, sweet Lord…AIR!

More here, some are earnest, some absurd. Enjoy!

Tags:
digg_url = ‘http://thatsmyskull.blogspot.com/2007/04/hoppy-sue-one-legged-cheerleader.html’; digg_skin = ‘compact’;

Footprints in the Sand

Could God click this with his mouse and make it so large he couldn’t read it?

I wonder for how long I could get away with selling these inspirational, high-quality, framed prints for $26.95 each (plus s&h) to any location within the continental US within three business days to people who erroneously assumed a familiarity with the poem before somebody actually read the thing in its entirety?

I could use a new car.

Tags:
digg_url = ‘http://thatsmyskull.blogspot.com/2007/04/footprints-in-sand.html’; digg_skin = ‘compact’;

Greatest Spider-Man moment ever?

Remember when Spider-Man was actually funny and not just so annoying you wished Thor would toss him into the sun? I sure do. I miss 70s comic books.

There are a lot of great moments in Spider-Man’s history. When he lifted all that machinery off his back as the tide rolled in, the final battle with the Green Goblin (the first final battle, that is), when he looted the gold steno-pad to pay for Aunt May’s surgery, surviving the attack of John Byrne, etc., etc..

But today I am going show what is possibly the greatest, no all right, it is the greatest Spider-Man moment ever to appear in comics! Guess what? It was written by Bill Mantlo. A lot of people criticize the Mantlo style but I usually enjoyed his work even when it made me question my coolness. MAntlo did a great run on Hulk that set the tone of the book to this day and let us not forget the awesomeness of Rom!

For several years, Spidey was getting his butt kicked every month and it was usually by some guys wearing gloves with suction cups on them or a furry monkey suit. Spider-Man had become a joke. Point of fact, Spider-Man wasn’t alone and many of the Marvel heroes of the time were having a very hard time of it. Iron Man, Thor, Daredevil and all the others were routinely having their lunches handed to them by some clown who had a gimmick that consisted of nothing more than shoes with pointy tips on them.

Fortunately, one day Bill Mantlo got tired of all that silliness and stepped in and put a stop to all of that nonsense by returning Spider-Man to the one we used to know from days of yore: The hero who beat up Doctor Doom and slapped Doc Ock into next week without breaking a sweat. In Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #19 (June 1978). Spidey went up against the D-List villains The Enforcers. Working for the criminal underworld as thugs for hire the Enforcers had as members a guy who was big and stupid (Ox II. Yes, there were multiple Oxes…Oxen?), a redneck who used rope to tie you up (Montana) and a short person who could kick you in the knees (Fancy Dan).

As Count Floyd would say, “Oooh, scary!”
In PPtSSM #19, Spider-Man intervenes in a neighborhood extortion racket maintained by the Enforcers and beats the crap out of the team in little time. The big fight is over just how it should be, quickly and conclusively. No more three issue (four, if you count the inevitable Dreaded Deadline Doom fill-in) life and death struggles against the Kangaroo! Not with Bill Mantlo at the typewriter!
“Too hard to spell”!?!?!
BURN!!

As great as that scene is Mantlo nearly ruins it with the next page, featuring novice hero Hector (White Tiger) Ayala who stuck around during the battle to watch Spider-Man in action.

Sorry, that’s just creepy. Maybe I’m reading too much into the 1970s subtext for this scene but given Spidey’s seeming discomfort and hasty exit it sure seems to me that he thinks Hector is getting something else from analyzing the fight other than a few pointers.

Interestingly, it seems the prolific Bill Mantlo had an interest in having the heroes in his scripts get back up to their former greatness, because nearly a year earlier he also wrote an issue of Iron Man, where Tony Stark gets fed up with being totally lame and decides to “put the Invincible back into Iron Man” by making short shrift of pathetic villains and even having him put down the Punisher of Galactus (unfortunately, Denny O’Neil would later undo all that in a series of sucktastic stories with elements recycled from past Iron Man tales).

Let’s face it: Spider-Man can pick up a car with one hand, move almost too fast to see, has unparalleled acrobatic skills and is a scientific genius. When Spider-Man throws down against a group who have the collected abilities of crushing a beer can on their forehead, tying up baby cows and bruising the shins of opponents the results of the fight are a predictable and humiliating conclusion.

Tags: digg_url = ‘http://thatsmyskull.blogspot.com/2007/04/greatest-spider-man-moment-ever.html’; digg_skin = ‘compact’;

How to tell if the Iron Man movie will tank

Someone out there in internet-land needs to find out if in the up-coming Iron Man movie the power regulator in Tony Stark’s chest, which keeps his damaged heart beating, alerts him to its’ status by having the lights go out sequentially one by one as the power levels drop.

If they do go out as the battery ebbs, then you know the movie will really, really suck. Why is that? Because if the creative team on the film uses a plot device as tired as using such a patently ridiculous visual clue for the Fake Dramatic Countdown then you just know they won’t hesitate to lazily exploit every single cliche’ that they possibly can that is stored in the Big Box of Stupid Cinema Cliches’ in order to pad the script.

Hey, want to bet that when the regulator has only moments of power remaining that the entire thing lights up and blinks rapidly?

“Arrrgh! Blacking out…heart…failing…power levels…dropping! But must reverse polarity of transistor-powered Captain Morgan-Quaalude Dispenser…if it is the…last…thing…I…do!

PING blink blink blink blinkblinkblinkblinkblink beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….


Tags:
digg_url = ‘http://thatsmyskull.blogspot.com/2007/04/how-to-tell-if-iron-man-movie-will-tank.html’; digg_skin = ‘compact’;

See what I did there in the title? I can’t believe I don’t get paid for this.

Pornography as comic book art reference: Surprisingly, not from Greg Land

Greg Land isn’t the only artist that used hard core pornography as art references for their comic book work.

Girl’s Love Stories #140 (January 1967).
Art by Ric Estrada.

Tags:
digg_url = ‘http://thatsmyskull.blogspot.com/2007/04/pornography-as-comic-book-art-reference.html’; digg_skin = ‘compact’;

Transformation

Every now and then I stumble across an old gem of a comic book series (like Cowboy Sahib) that just thrills me. One of those series was the old American Comic Group anthology title Space Adventures. The series had some pretty bizarre stories in it that from the script and art made me think these were actually reprints or unpublished tales from the 1940s. Very quickly though, the stories evolved from goofy pulp adventure Flash Gordon space operas to tales more in line with the house style seen in the science fiction genre EC Comics of the era.

Panel art by Dick Giordano

One of those tales was Transformation, published in Space Adventures #7 (July 1953), a story about an ill-fated rocket trip to the planet Mars. While the author is uncredited, Transformation was drawn by Dick Giordano, a name that may be familiar to comic book fans. Dick Giordano is most remembered as working for decades for DC Comics variously as editor, penciller and inker (most notable on the work of Neal Adams, for which he was well-suited). But Dick Giordano had a comics career long before his tenure with DC with companies like Charlton and was a prolific illustrator.

It is in the story Transformation that you first see Giordano’s art evolving past the somewhat economical efforts of the previous issues he contributed to. The layouts are good for early Giordano though as to be expected because of the market, they are reminiscent here and there of the art style of many EC publications. You can find out more about the career of Dick Giordano at Wikipedia. The climax of Transformation is pretty well telegraphed and could be guessed by anyone above the age of 12 years old or anyone who has ever seen an episode of the Twilight Zone television show, but it is still a classic read.

Blast off and download a pdf of Transformation!
Space Adventures #7 - Transformation

Tags: