Thursday, February 27, 2014

Movie Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  With the Oscars right around the corner I thought I'd wax nostalgic about some of the old Dell Comics that I read as a kid.  You see Dell had the comic book license on many of the television shows as well as many movies.  Usually adaptations were published as part of the Four Color Series of comics.

     Some of my favorites were FC #1213 (Mysterious Island) and FC#1234 (Phantom Planet) because in both cases I saw and loved the pair of these movies.  I also liked the comic adaptations of "Fantastic Voyage" and "Around the World Under the Sea."  But I couldn't find what category they were listed under.  I do know where they are in MY collection of comics and can read them anytime I want.  Well, go Oscars!

     Take care and adopt a (movie) comic book today.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Two Great Writers...Gone

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Today I have a sad posting.  Within the last day I've learned of two great  writers that have passed away with both having connections to the comics.  First off was Harold Ramis, the brilliant writer/actor behind those great movies, "Ghostbusters," "Meatballs," "Stripes" and more.  The connection to my favorite hobby?  Both First Comics and Now Comics released adaptations of the comedy movie, "Ghostbusters.'

     Next, on a more personal level, Alexander "Bud" Jones Jr. passed away.  Now he might not be as recognized as Ramis, but he probably was more read by readers on a daily basis.  You see, "Bud," after co-creating the daily comic strip, "Mr. Abernathy," in the 1950's, met and became friends with Dik Browne, the creator of the great comic strip, "Hagar the Horrible."  For many years, "Bud" has been writing the Hagar strip and my connection to "Bud" is what exactly?  In his obituary, "Bud," who lettered in sports in Euclid Shore High School, was survived (among many) by friend and brother-in-law, Charles Hill.  Chuck is a friend of mine from church.  I tried to arrange an interview for this blog with "Bud" through Chuck and his wife Sue.  But "Bud" was too busy writing Hagar and other projects to do an interview, so I never met the man.

     But I enjoy the fact that I've enjoyed the work of Ramis and thrilled at the fact that I was this close to meeting a man who was "in the trenches" writing a strip seven days a week for over two decades.  As a writer myself, it's that everyday work that I enjoy, even if no one reads it,  it's exercising your talent, your gift, the way Ramis did in the movies, the way "Bud" did every day of his life.

     Take care and watch a Ramis movie and read a Hagar strip today.  That way you remember both men and their talent.  PS: and adopt a comic too.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bleak and Bleaker in Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Yesterday I was watching some daytime television cop dramas, and I've noticed that many of these have plots that try to out do each other in the "gore" category, with more blood, more outlandish ways of killing victims ect.  And the problem is...the comics have been doing that for quite a while.

     Now I'm not saying we should all go back to our grandfather's comics, but please, I'm waiting for a good action comic with some mystery, good writing, decent plot AND a happy ending.  But I guess that with comics mirroring society nowadays, if I were looking for a comic like that, I'd have to go to my local comic shop and have them direct me to their...fantasy section of comics.

     Take care and adopt a (happy-ending) comic book today.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Beatles in Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Well today I've spent several hours enjoying the 50th anniversary of the Beatles in America and on the Ed Sullivan show.  Now we know the Fab Four was great in many different fields, but did the Mersey Beat Moptops ever become the Fab Four-Colors?

     Yes, as they came to America, Dell Comics, the company who published Walt Disney Comics and all of those characters, put out a Beatle one-shot.  Later, The Beatles met members of the Fantastic Four (the Fab Four of comics) with the Thing even wearing a Beatle wig.  In 1968, a one-shot "Yellow Submarine comic (complete with poster) came out and it was great, in fact I still have mine.

     In early 1970, Batman (in issue #222) saw four English musicians leaving a cemetery and Batman says to Robin, "One of them is dead, the clues are on this album cover."  Of course this was in direct answer to the "Paul is dead" rumor from late 1969.  Marvel Comics even created a magazine devoted to the life story of the Beatles, drawn by a very young George Perez.

     So yes, The Beatles were big in records, movies, television and yeah, yeah, yeah... even in comics.

     Take care and adopt a (Beatles) comic today

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Comics and the Cold

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I can't believe how darn cold it keeps getting.  Well, the cold is good for comics since I'd rather have a cold comic collection than one discovered in an attic or basement.  Those types have problems of their own, while plain dry cold seems to protect the paper quality.  Maybe that's why many of my old comics that my Mom made me keep in the garage over the winter months stayed perfect.

     On a similar subject, concerning the cold, the Batman had a villain named, "Mr. Freeze."  But that was not his original name.  That name was borrowed from an icy bad guy from the late 1950's in a tale entitled, "The Fantastic Mr. Freeze."  This story was from Blachawk #117, but from BEFORE the Bat villain made his debut.  But that Mr. Freeze never caught on like Batman's bad guy, so the editors ditched the Blackhawk bad guy and grafted the name onto the cold hearted villain from Batman, #121, "The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero."  So basically, Mr. Zero becomes Mr. Freeze.  If only all the comic book conundrums could be solved so easily.  Well, gotta go and turn up the thermostat, it's (Mr.) freezing in my house.

     Take care and adopt a (warm) comic today!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bowl Dud and Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Last night I watched the Super Bowl and boy, what a Dud!  That's when I began in my mind to see if I could equate it to an event in comics.

     Well, the Marvel Comics, Contest of Champions series over twenty years ago certainly comes to mind and that was sort of a "Super" event but turned out to be as much a dud as last nights game.  Then I thought of another comic that had high expectations and laughed to myself when I thought of Dazzler, the disco hero.  What a hoot.  And what's more, they even tried to retro her and reinvent her as a mutant (Well that was certainly supposed to make her viable as an X-Man, don't you think?) and all the surrounding hoopla.  But that didn't help either.

     Well, at least the food and the company at the party I went to was great...more than I can say about either Dazzler OR the game.

     Take care and adopt a (good) comic book today!