Wow … is it Miscellaneous Monday already? Time flies when you’re a funny book fanatic. First I’ve got some blatant self-plugging to do. To begin with, you may have noticed a “Vote for me” button just above my lovely picture in the sidebar. Please click it. You can vote for FUNNY BOOK FANATIC once a day. They tell me it increases my “ratings” in the blogosphere … and I’m all about competition. Next, be sure to e-mail your friends and neighbors about how cool this blog is (it is…isn’t it?) and last but not least, I’m up for any proposed link exchanges, just let me know and we’ll see what we can work out.
FANATIC QUIZ QUESTION OF THE WEEK
What comic book stalwart has worked ON-STAFF at all the following companies: Creation Conventions, Marvel Comics, Comico, Dark Horse, Oni Press and DC Comics? Yeah, okay, another easy one … but for those that know the answer, you already understand my ulterior motive.
FANATIC QUIZ QUESTION ANSWER FROM LAST WEEK.
It’s Wes Craven, the horror maven who visualized Freddy Krueger in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies, who was almost a Founding Father of the Ultraverse.
Back when Chris Ulm, Tom Mason and I were assembling the group of writers who would become the Founding Fathers of the Ultraverse, Chris and Scott Rosenberg thought it would be great to add a little Hollywood muscle to the list. Specifically, someone who had a pedigree for creating believable and scary villains. Ulm was a strong advocate that heroes were only as good as the villains they went up against – Marvel has Galactus and Dr. Doom, DC has Darkseid and Ra’s Al Ghul – and he wanted similar icons for the Ultraverse.
Scott approached the agent at ICM who handled Malibu’s titles and Craven’s name was on her list of clients. Calls were made – he wanted in. Once all of the writers were assembled, the first writer’s retreat was set for Scottsdale, Arizona in September 1992. A flight was booked, tickets were locked in and Craven’s people had scheduled him to join us and he’d already gotten his airline tickets. Unfortunately, a week before the conference, we got the call we had not expected. Mr. Craven had to back out. A movie that he’d been working on for a while had finally gotten the greenlight, and that obviously had priority. So, goodbye funnybooks, hello movie set for Mr. Craven.
FANATIC BLOG OF THE WEEK
Proudly standing on the front lines of the battle for comics progress is this wonderful blog by comic retail manager Mike Sterling. Yep, he’s an old guy like me, but don’t let that stop you from paying a visit here. This blog has it all: trivia, news, commentary, perspective and great reliable information. He talks about old comics, new comics, pop culture that effects comics and whatever else happens to be on his mind as he stands at the cash register watching customers actually buying comics. You owe it to yourself to check it out.
ONE HUNDRED THINGS I LOVE ABOUT COMICS
Yeah, I found this stuff while scouting and reading Progressive Ruin, but it was so terrific that I had to point it out. It is called “100 Things I Love About Comics.” First some caveats, it is an old concept started by Fred Hembeck in 1983. (see the originals HERE and HERE)
I probably saw it when it originally ran, but it never occurred to me that it would be grow to a comics internet phenomena. The originals by Hembeck (see the side graphic) was a 10 x 10 grid each with Hembeck’s face and something he loved. Apparently many, many, many people took up the challenge to create their own list and the comic blogosphere has made it possible to promote all these lists to the world. The Fanatic may take up the challenge someday soon, but in the meantime click HERE and you’ll get access to Mike Sterling’s first list (which includes my Amazing Heroes) as well as links to dozens of others. These lists are wonderful reminders of what we all love about comics and they also serve as time capsules from the time they were generated. You can remember stuff that you love that you forgot and maybe discover new things to love as well. A great way to waste an hour or so on the internet.
GWEN STACY IS LIKE THE VILLAGE BICYCLE …
Staying with the theme (at least for the moment of funny things in comics (wow, doesn’t this blog include the word “funny”), is the amazing, stupendous and wonderfully snarky website called SUPERDICKERY. I’m just full of great ways to burn perfectly good working hours (or sleeping hours) checking out amusing websites. This website takes a look at some of the funniest and weirdest panels from the comics … and if the humor isn’t obvious … the snarky comments help. The history of comics is full of … well … the inexplicable and Superdickery is there to ferret them out. Like this example, it is easy to forget exactly how “swingin'” the swinging 60’s were, even in comics without great reference. Did goody-two-shoes Peter know of Gwen’s promiscuous past? At least his shyness made him interesting … I guess.
FOUND ON THE INTERNET
Do you want daily updates of comic, movie, DVD and other news of interest to comic book fans and other associated geeks? Have you checked and bookmarked all the obvious ones? Well there is another one that is awfully good. It is called GEEKS OF DOOM. This team of geeks have put together a pretty terrific site and well worth your time to bookmark and check every day … at least for a minute or two.
FOUND ON THE INTERNET
Flint, Michigan has stepped up and gone out of their way to introduce comics to kids in their tribute African-American comic artists at the Flint Institute of Arts. See the article HERE.
AS IF I HAVEN’T BORROWED FROM MIKE STERLING ENOUGH
As many of you noticed, I recently changed the graphic header for this blog from an amalgam of Malibu titles from various points in the company’s history to a trifecta of images of Marvel’s awesome archer Hawkeye. Well Mr. Mike has done a wonderful thing on his blog which I’m now about to steal without remorse. Here’s the deal. I’d love to have Fanatics far and wide send me “headers” for this blog, just like they do for Mr. Sterling. I’ll give you credit and I will try my best to use every one that I get, unless they are too racy or offensive. Each header has to be EXACTLY 770 pixels by 200 pixels. So get to work Fanatics, this should be fun.
BE PART OF A TRULY HEROIC CAUSE
You have probably already heard of The HERO Initiative and its project to help comic creators in need. You couldn’t find a more heroic or fanatic goal than that. The way it is described on their website is this: “THE HERO INITIATIVE has been established to provide monetary assistance to former comic book creators requiring supplemental health, medical, and quality-of-life assistance.”
You have probably also heard that they have just begun a membership drive. There are four levels of membership and they provide you with REALLY cool stuff as a member, including sketch cards featuring original artwork from famous creators, donated for the cause. How about this one of Medusa by Bob Wiacek. This is the sketch card sent to my blog-friend Swan Shadow (the link for his blog is in the sidebar).
LAST BUT NOT LEAST … A BLAST FROM THE PAST
When I was buying and reading every comic I could get my hands on, there was a formula for how characters would meet before a team-up. Introduce character ONE, put them into a dicey situation, then due to some contrived misunderstanding character TWO would come along and begin fighting with character ONE. During the punching, they would trade verbal jabs until they figured out they shouldn’t be fighting and then they would turn their attention toward a common goal/foe. With that in mind, check out the formula-busting first meeting of Shang Chi (Master of Kung Fu) and Danny Rand (Iron Fist) from 1976.
Look, it’s me … Danny Rand.
Apparently writer Doug Moench (and artist Keith Pollard) had tired of the old formula and figured something more civilized might suffice. Or they just had too much story to tell (and not enough pages) to bother with the tried-and-true formula.
NEXT: Probably more ORIGINS OF MALIBU COMICS … but I haven’t really decided yet.
— Dave Olbrich (DWO) Mon. Jan. 26, 2009