Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Comic Files

It's been exactly one year since I've scanned any comics. It's not like I don't have anything to scan, because I still have a small pile of comics & humor digest magazines to scan, I just haven't been in the mood to sit at my scanner long enough to get anything accomplished for most of the last year. Well, that changed yesterday when I decided to scan Supermouse 4 (August 1949). When I added that file to my 4shared folder, I noticed that I had some other files on there that I hadn't added to "My Golden Age Comic Book Files" page. Look for the links marked as "NEW" to see what you might have missed.

If you like Supermouse, The Big Blog of Kids' Comics! has featured several of the character's stories.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Free Iron Sky Comic

I just checked-out the "Iron Sky" website to keep myself updated on what's going-on with the film, and I was surprised to see that the site now includes a comic entitled "Bad Moon Rising". You can read the book online for free or, if you so choose, download the book and (get this) pay whatever you want for it. According to their site, all the money generated by purchasing the book will be used to help fund the movie. Apparently, there will be a total of three comics based on the movie.

Shooting for the film, now categorized as an "independent dark sci-fi comedy", finished in February of this year, taking place in Germany & Australia. The release date is scheduled for April 4, 2012, being released worldwide in theaters and via the internet.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More About "Iron Sky"

Last month I mentioned a German film called "Iron Sky". Well, if movies about Nazis living on the Moon since 1945, then plotting their revenge on Earth using flying saucers and zeppelins sounds like fun to you, then check-out the official "Iron Sky" website. At the site, you can view several videos of the movie. I think it looks like a fun film with some nice-looking special effects, but that's just me (and I'm a guy who enjoys watching Johnny Socco & His Giant Robot and Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone, so take my opinion for what it's worth).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Breaking News ... if I posted this before anyone else talked about it!

I was reading yesterday about Atomic Comics in Arizona closing all four of their stores (here or here or here). The thing that bothers me is the "doom & gloom" reaction this keeps getting. Even though people keep saying "this doesn't mean it's the end of the 'comic shop'", they keep talking about "the end of the comic shop", repeatedly bringing-up the digital market & the future of comics. Sure, digital comics will have an impact on paper comics, but DC hasn't started selling them the same day they're released yet, and Marvel doesn't seem to be all gung-ho about digital books at this point. What happened to Atomic Comics seems pretty obvious to me. They suffered a major financial set-back, had their stores located in high-rent buildings, and obviously weren't paying their bills (or at least, their taxes ... like the IRS or creditors wouldn't notice).

I wasn't even going to post today, but then, the "EAST COAST EARTHQUAKE" hit, and I have to talk about that! I've lived in eastern Pennsylvania all my life, and the last (and only) quake I remember people talking about around here (about two decades ago) I didn't even notice. Today's quake? I watched the news and saw people overreacting as if the world was coming to an end. I know people from the West Coast are probably like "5.8? That's it?", but I can understand people who have never been in one getting a little freaked-out about it.

So how did I react to the quake, no one asks? I was sitting on the floor, doodling a little bit, with my kids in another room. I could hear the trash truck going down the street (the truck's either THAT loud, or the walls of our home are THAT thin), and all of a sudden, it literally felt like the trash truck pulled into my driveway and bumped into my house. I'm sitting there going "What the heck was that?" when, about a second or two after that, it felt like the trash truck had backed-up so it could really slam into the house at full speed. My home didn't just shake, I heard a rumble, too. I jumped to my feet, because nobody messes with my home, and the kids start telling me about the dining room table shaking, and I'm like "Yeah, ok, I'm going outside to see what the heck hit our house." I go out, and the trash truck is going down the street, and it becomes obvious that nothing was slamming into us. I go back inside, listen to the kids talk about the table again ... and think nothing more of it, until my wife (who was at work) sends me a message that reads "Did you feel the ground shake?" Seeing as how my wife works about 25 miles away from our home, my amazing powers of deduction tell me that what I had experienced earlier was an earthquake.

Honestly, while the rumbling and feeling that something big & heavy had just slammed into our home was a little irritating, it wasn't that big of a deal, beyond being something that I can turn into one of those stories with which I can one day annoy future grand kids with as I get older and more senile.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Art Appreciation: John Giunta (volume two!)

Once again, John Giunta is the focus of "Art Appreciation". The two stories are from Buster Brown Comics # 4 (Summer 1945 - The Leathern Cord of Magic) and Mad Hatter # 2 (September-October 1946).
First up, though, is a two-page article focusing on "fan magazines" that was written by Giunta and ran in Amazing Mystery Funnies volume 2 issue 12 (December 1939). The reason I find this worthy of inclusion here is the fact that it gives a little insight as to what Giunta may have been doing before he began his career in comic books.
Following that, I've included a small "Cover Gallery" of Giunta's work.

In my opinion, John Giunta is one of the most underrated artists of the Golden Age of comics. Most history books, blogs and websites focus on the "big names" of the industry, so much so that when I really got into Golden Age comics (over a decade ago), I didn't know who John Giunta was or what he did. That's not surprising. Aside from creating the first super-powered female character to appear in a comic book (The Magician from Mars, which first appeared in the pages "Amazing-Man Comics # 7" cover-date November 1939) and drawing two stories featuring The Duke of Darkness (a feature that has more than a few fans), Giunta had a pretty "quiet" career. It doesn't help any that he died fairly young when he passed away in 1970 (he was born in 1920).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Random Thoughts

I was just reading about Marvels "Comics for Comics" Program, and I got a little irritated. Marvel is telling retailers that if they rip covers off unsold books, they can return those covers to Marvel and receive one "limited edition variant" comic from Marvel. Sounds like a great offer ... at first. I kept reading, though, and that's when I got more than a little annoyed, because it's not Marvel's comics that are on the select list of titles that can be returned, it's DC's books. Sorry, but I just don't buy into the idea that any given comic shop doesn't have hundreds of Marvel comics collecting dust on their shelves.

Whether you like DC's upcoming "relaunch" or you totally hate the idea, you have to admit that's it's generating quite a bit of press for the company. Over the past several weeks, I've seen several tv shows talk about the relaunch, including, of all things, "The View". Do you know how weird it was to watch Whoopi Goldberg talk about comics on a show geared towards women viewers?

On August 8, HBO will be showing "Superheroes", a documentary about real people who have taken it upon themselves to make the world a better place.

Apparently, there's a new "Judge Dredd" movie in the works, set for release in 2012 (I live under a rock, so if you already knew about this, please cut me some slack). Fortunately, Rob Schnieder will be not be in it, although I do have to admit that I don't mind the 1995 "Judge Dredd" movie. It's fun to watch once in a while.

Speaking of movies, "Iron Sky" is a German film about Nazis setting-up shop on the Moon in 1945, and then mounting an invasion of Earth in 2018. It's set to be released in 2012, but I don't know if it's coming to the USA or not. I hope it does, because the concept sounds pretty cool.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Stan Lee's "The Guardian Project"

I heard about this in October 2010, and then completely forgot about it until just today. Being a fan of both hockey and superheroes, I'm not sure how this managed to slip my mind for so long.

The National Hockey League and Stan Lee formed a partnership last year to develop superheroes for each of the 30 teams, collectively called "The Guardians". You can check-out the new heroes at guardianproject30.com, which includes bios to all 30 characters, plus short stories for each, a pair of videos, and some other stuff.

When I first heard about this, my reaction was "that sounds kind of lame". Seriously, I didn't think the idea was interesting or that anything decent would come out of it. Now that I can see all 30 characters, I have to admit that, overall, I'm a little impressed with what has been done so far.

Here is my opinion of The Guardians, for those who might care:

My Favorite Guardians (based on appearance):
The Canadien
The Canuck - I like the design of the costume, which is based on the logo. However, I think they missed the "Canuck" part in the overall design (FYI: "Canuck" is slang for a person from Canada).
The Flame
The Predator - I just the idea to go with a robotic humanoid cat was pretty cool.
The Red Wing - Well, it's close to being awesome, if only they decide to drop those stupid wheels on his feet, which only serves to remind me of the Golden Age hero Zippo (from Hillman's "Clue Comics").
The Senator - Almost a no-brainer to take the "roman" logo and run with it. This might be may favorite design of the bunch.

My Least Favorite Guardians (based on appearance):
The Oiler - Something about the helmet & shoulder pads just turns me off.
The Shark - His feet turn into surf boards? Really?
The Panther - Well, first thing is, the costume doesn't contain any red, which the team's jersey still has, although it's not as prominent as the original jersey from the early 1990s. Secondly, I don't like that the head for the character looks exactly like Marvel Comics' Black Panther.
The Blue Jacket - It just looks bad, like something out of a cheap 1980s cartoon.
The Ranger - Kind of a weak design, and I'm not liking how the shield looks.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cool Comic Links & Other Random Stuff

Terrific Comics is Tony Z's new home on the 'net. Tony previously ran the "Golden Age Heroes" blog. Since October 2010, he has been publishing "Amazing Golden Age Adventure Funnies", which reprints many hard-to-find Golden Age comic book stories. Currently, there are three volumes of this series, so if you enjoy holding an actual book in your hands as opposed to staring at a computer screen in order to read old comic stories, head over to the site and poke around.

Jim Shooter's blog has found its way onto my "check it out every day" list, so I thought I'd give it another plug ... as if it really needed any help.

Sort of related to comics, Trademarkia is an easy-to-use site to search for Registered Trademarks.

Want to keep-up on the latest happenings from DC Comics? Don't waste time getting the information second-hand, go right to The Source, DC's blog where all the breaking-news of their "September Relaunch" first appeared.

Random thought ...

I'm watching the NHL Stanley Cup Finals and really hoping Boston wins. It's not that I'm a fan of the Bruins, but I'm a fan of more players on Boston than I am of players on Vancouver. If the Vancouver Canucks win the series, I'll be happy for former Ottawa Senator Sami Salo. On the other hand, for Boston, these are the players I want to see hoist the Stanley Cup:
former Sentaors Zdeno Chara, Chris Kelly & Shane Hnidy (hope Hnidy gets to play at least one game in the Finals);
former Flyers Mark Recchi & Dennis Seidenberg;
and former Penguin Andrew Ference.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Captain Wizard

In the Golden Age of comic books, there were plenty of short-lived heroes, but few got bounced around as much as Captain Wizard did.

Captain Wizard debuted in the pages of "Red Band Comics # 3" (which was reprinted in issue #4 and is today's 1st story), published with a cover date of April 1945. His next appearance (today's 2nd story) came about eight months later in "Meteor Comics # 1", cover date November 1945, with Captain Wizard gracing the cover. Both of these appearances were published by Lindsay L. Baird, Inc. Neither of the character's first two stories carried any type of credits, but something about both reminds me of the work of John Giunta, especially the splash page of the Meteor Comics story. I'm not saying either story was by Giunta (I'm not an art expert), but there are enough similarities between work I know to be by Giunta and these two stories that I'm left wondering if he might have had something to do with either, perhaps just providing layouts.

Captain Wizard would next appear in "Captain Wizard Comics # 1", published by Croydon Publishing Company in 1946. The Grand Comics Database lists "April" for the cover date, but neither the cover nor the indicia lists a month for the book. The "GCD" also lists John Giunta as the cover artist, which I'm inclined to agree with. For this story (today's 3rd), Jack Alderman would sign the splash page. For some reason, this story contains a redesigned costume for our hero.

And finally, we come to the cover of "Atomic Bomb", published by Jay Burtis. The "GCD" says that we're looking at Captain Wizard on the cover (for which GCD does not list an artist), but there isn't a Captain Wizard story inside the book, which GCD states was published in 1946 even though no cover date is listed anywhere on the cover or inside the book that I see. The costume design for the character on the cover is similar to what our hero wore in his last story, albeit with a different color scheme. On the other hand, it's a fairly generic superhero costume that we're looking at, so it could be anybody on Atomic Bomb's cover. Take that mask off the hero and we're looking at The Duke of Darkness. If I had to guess who drew the cover, I would say that, to me, it looks like John Giunta drew something quick, chucked it in the trash can, and then Jay Burtis fished it out and said "I can use this!"

If you want to read the complete issues today's stories & covers were taken from, head on over to your favorite Golden Age comic book download site.
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