Miscellaneous Monday: Dec. 8, 2008


Name the eight “Gorilla” creators


In November of 2000, at Mid-Ohio Con, seven comics creators gathered to celebrate the launch of Gorilla Comics. At the panel discussion all but one “gorilla” was present. The imprint was announced to be part of Image Comics. During the panel, Image publisher-at-the-time Jim Valentino played host, holding the microphone for fans as they got their questions answered.

The high visibility imprint lasted less than a year, the victim of faulty financing from a dot.com entrepreneur. Who were the eight “gorilla” founders?


Name your favorite second-string hero / villain.

dd129bigI have a great affection for second-string and third-string characters. Guys and gals like Hawkeye, Prowler, Man-Bat, Tigra, Thundra, Huntress, Wildcat, Shang Chi and El Aguila capture my imagination. I like villains of the same ilk, like the lovable, marvelous (and maybe Fanatic) Man-Bull.

Pictured here: Daredevil #129 • January 1976 • story: “Man-Bull In A China-Town!” • Cover: Rich Buckler/Klaus Janson • Writer: Marv Wolfman • Penciler: Bob Brown • Inker: Klaus Janson • Colors: Michele Wolfman • Letters: Joe Rosen • Editor: Marv WolfmanTrivia: According to one (reasonably unreliable) source, this was the first Marvel Comics title to feature Klaus Janson inks on the cover. Any fanatic know if this is true or not?


captexcelsiorI have often marveled at the fact that for the most part funny books aren’t funny and that comic books are not particularly comic. I think it comes from the fact that adolescent boys, at which most comic books are aimed, don’t really have a sense of humor about themselves (yet) or their heroes (yet). Puberty is full of too much confusion, pain and trauma for boys to search out humor … or at least humor that is not based on physical pain or bodily functions. Yes, boys and girls, that is a sweeping generalization and there are exceptions … so what.

If you don’t mind a heavy dose of TV-inspired humor to go with your capes and cowls, I heartily recommend CAPTAIN EXCELSIOR. Writer Zach Weiner and artist Chris Jones bring a Simpsons/Family Guy kind of humor and it is a relief to me that it is genuinely funny. And besides Zach is a great guy. End of plug.


SWAN SHADOW thinks out loud


Artwork by M.C. Wyman

This blog covers a wide range of stuff, but I include it here because of its regular Comic Art Friday feature. I still get a visceral thrill when I see interesting and exceptional comic book art. There is something even more interesting to me about comic art before it is colored, in either pencil or pencil/ink. Swan Shadow has commissioned a lot of artwork from terrific professionals that he’s posted on his site.

Artwork by Tom Hodges

Artwork by Tom Hodges

Some of the most fun ones are called “common elements” featuring two characters that don’t often (or ever) appear together  and share some kind of reason to appear together in a commissioned art piece: Iron Man together with Iron Fist, Daredevil appears with Dr. Mid-nite (both blind), The Spectre stands side-by-side with Ghost … you get the idea. To see only the artwork, go to the link called My Comic Art Fans Gallery. Being able to see all this never-to-be-published comic art is a real FANATIC treat. Enjoy.


Morena Baccarin

Morena Baccarin

Over at Newsarama, the guys have been asking their readers to help Hollywood cast upcoming or prospective superhero movies. Recently through a process of nominations and voting open to everyone who reads the site they picked actor Mark Valley (Keen Eddie, Boston Legal, Fringe) to play Steve Rogers. If you don’t understand what that means, turn in your Fanatic membership card, fire up Halo on your X-box and pour yourself a Budweiser.

Wonder Beauty

Baccarin: Wonder Beauty

Through the same process, fans picked Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Serenity) to play Wonder Woman. See for yourself HERE. This Fanatic thinks this is a wonderful activity and because I agree with both picks, I endorse and encourage them to continue.



Well, see for yourself.


2008 Marvel Stock


2008 Time Warner (DC Comics) stock

2008 Time Warner (DC Comics) stock


I want to say thanks to you gentle reader, yesterday our new little home for Fanatics achieved the most visitors/traffic so far. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors. We’re growing and we’re here to serve. (Why am I referring to myself as “we?”) 

Okay, we’ve got another Miscellaneous Monday under our belts. What say you Fanatics?



Filed under Fanatic General, Miscellaneous Monday, Product Plugs

16 responses to “Miscellaneous Monday: Dec. 8, 2008

  1. Thanks for the immensely kind words, Dave. All credit for the wicked-cool awesomeness of my Comic Art Friday feature goes to the talented artists who create the art I display there every week — and on an ongoing basis in my Comic Art Fans gallery.

    I’m thrilled that you enjoy my Common Elements commission series. At 73 custom artworks and counting, it’s the pride of my collection. I have a couple of new CE pieces in the works that I’m looking forward to showing off on upcoming Comic Art Fridays.

    When you get a chance, drop by and take a peek at today’s post. Again, many thanks!

  2. “Name your favorite second-string hero / villain.”


    Pheromone control of women, plus he’s a freaking monkey. He’s got every angle covered.

  3. Dave Olbrich

    SwanShadow, the pleasure was all mine. I can’t wait to visit your site.

    Paul, what a great call with Mandrill. I could do a whole week on why I love the classic Daredevil Rogues Gallery.


  4. Tom Mason

    “Name your favorite second-string hero / villain.”

    Okay, I’ll play. How about Clive Reston from “Master of Kung Fu” (I loved the odd James Bond connection); The Beast (the “Amazing Adventures” issues illustrated by Tom Sutton); and Wildcat from DC who I liked but always struck me as a “not-smart Batman” (what Bruce Wayne might have become if his father had been Ed Norton from “The Honeymooners.”)

  5. Tom Mason

    “Name your favorite second-string hero / villain.”

    Wait. One more. It could be Green Arrow from his “Angry Hero Out Of Touch With A Changing Society” period by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. “My ring-powered bff is kind of a mopey wuss? My boy companion I’ve ignored for years is a junkie? My hot super-hero girlfriend challenges my authority and constantly asserts her independence? What’s up with that? It’s like I’ve been punched in the gut by my own boxing glove arrow!”

  6. Dave Olbrich

    Thanks for coming by Mr. Mason.

    I couldn’t agree more about Clive Reston, he was Sherlock Holmes great-grandson (I believe) and James Bond’s nephew. A truly great third-stringer. Maybe I outta start a “Hall of Fame.”

    Never been a big fan of Hank McCoy, but to each his own. Now, Wildcat definitely makes my list as well.

    O’Neil’s take on Oliver Queen was really great. Sounds like we’re on the same page here.

  7. Klaus Janson

    Guys-DD#129 was not the first cover I inked at Marvel! I happen to be cleaning out my workspace and came across Jungle Action # 13 from January 1975 which has a cover penciled by Gil Kane and inked by me. So that predates the DD cover by a good year or so. Not sure if the Jungle Action cover was the first cover I ever inked but it might be. Good times!

  8. Hawkeye is NOT a second/third stringer!


    One of my favorites, though, is an Engelhart/Milgrom invention named Halflife. She was a villain created for Marvel in the mid 80’s; and as far as I know has only appeared in maybe three comics. Even in spite of the current resurgence of B- and C- listers in current Marvel continuity. She was visually a punk-rock version of the Bride of Frankenstein, an alien with bizarre radiation powers, allowing her to melt through walls and even age anyone she touched. She is screaming for a romantic one-shot…

  9. Dave Olbrich

    No one … and I mean no one has more affection for the Clint Barton (Hawkeye) character than I do. Unfortunately, to be first string you have to be able to hold up your own title.

    Agree … disagree ? ? ?

  10. Currently, or ever?
    I would not consider Doctor Strange (or any Ditko character, for that matter) a b-lister, but none of them seem to rate more than a mini nowadays. The exception being Spidey, but those books have been in a constant state of identity crisis since Salicrup left for greener pastures, in my opinion.

    I base my judgments on potential, more than anything. Personally, I would rather see Jimmy Olsen in his own monthly again before Nightwing.

    And it does look like Hawkeye will be making a comeback next year. And with Mockingbird, too!

  11. Not sure if the Jungle Action cover was the first cover I ever inked but it might be. Good times!

    Hi Klaus! Yeah, issue 12 was inked by you as well (over Buckler). Isn’t there a database that would have this dated info?

    Bob Almond
    (I love the fun villains like Whirlwind, Stiltman, Melter, Gladiator, Beetle, Living Laser, Trapster, etc.)

  12. Dave Olbrich

    Bob —
    Thank you so much for stopping by and adding a comment. I’ll add your suggestions for 2nd stringers to our nominee list. But when you were here … you forgot to vote.

    Is there really a database that tags the first cover inked by a particular person, for a particular publisher? If there is … that would be cool.


  13. Oh. I didn’t realize that you had an election going on here…I stopped by because Michael Rankins plugged you guys for putting a spotlight on his Swanshadow ‘Comicart Fridays’ and found the thread fun. Boy I feel dumb;-) When does the voting end? I have a deadline but I could drop in in a week.

    As for the database…they have creator databases but I’m not sure that they have dates to allow viewers to know where the jobs fall in their career….that’s what I meant. As all-knowing and eclectic as the internet is I would doubt a site would focus on inkers’ first jobs;-) But I can get back in a week and also check into these databases for those interested.
    Bob Almond

  14. Dave Olbrich

    Bob –
    I’m glad that the SwanShadow link helped you find FUNNY BOOK FANATIC. The voting is on this set of characters will probably last until the end of the month or so … no REAL hurry.

    Thanks again for stopping by.

  15. Actually, this may take care of the Janson thing….just a matter of someone taking the time to look up the oldest material. And these kind of things are usually not 100% perfect.

  16. Pingback: Brevoort, Anderson, Marder and other FANATIC name dropping « Funny Book Fanatic

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