Friday, May 13, 2005

Everybody Loves Kang

Is there a better time travelling world-conqueror?

I don't think so!

First of all, his mask is totally kick-ass. It's some sort of future style clear plexi that moves around when he talks. That rules. It's so future that you can't even explain how it works. Plus, it's blue, like some sort of primary color glam rock full face aviator sunglasses. Add a baggy green tunic and some striped purple thigh highs, and you have David Bowie, Scourge of the Avengers.

Then there's the whole Rama Tut thing. Kang was once a Pharoah; do you know how decadent those dudes were? Kang must have been waist deep in sexy Egyptian tail day and night. That rules. He just wandered around with his shirt off, ordering people to cook Dodo eggs for his breakfast and then fellate him.

I have been reading the trade that Marvel put out this week, reprinting some old Kang tales. There was a little stretch in the eighties where Roger Stern was writing the AVENGERS and it was being drawn by Big John Buscema and Tom Palmer. When I was in elementary school reading these books, it just seemed like boilerplate Marvel, but looking back, that is some sort of Dream Team Supreme. Buscema gave Kane the kind of aniamlistic enrgy that makes him seem ferocious and regal at the same time.

I'm not saying these are the best AVENGERS books I've ever read, but they hold up surprisingly well for sheer ridiculousnessosity. And the art is just madness, with power and punches and explosions of Crazy on every page. I wish more action books had this kind of Crazy. It's something to behold, when Big John Buscema really knocks it out of the park in every panel.

That Kang. There's just something about his totally madcap costume that inspires ridiculousaciousness. He TRAVELS THROUGH TIME so that he can CONQUER HIS ENEMIES and RULE PEOPLE IN EGYPT. That's awesome.

You just know that he eats whatever he wants, whenever he wants. His palate is refined, but he still like to eat raw gat with Vikings sometimes, and then he buys one of their bosomy blonde women with the riches of Victorian India!

He can do crazy shit like that, all the time! Because he Rules TIME ITSELF!!! (insert manic laughter) Then he has his way with that viking wench, and she cooks him dinner. She knows what a pimp he is. He just sits back and watches an opera in Vienna in 1750. He don't care.

Kang rules.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Sad News (and Reviews)

I mourn today. I mourn for my bloglife partner, Alex. While reading a copy of Green Lantern: Rebirth at his shop yesterday, he became so filled with rage and despair (ragepair) that he went home and fucking killed himself. Are you happy, Geoff Johns? Did your boring, cliched story have its desired effect? The death of a Green Lantern fan? Did the fan-fic noodling ("John builds his green shit because HE IS AN ARCHITECT!!!"; a fucking "one punch" reference; etc) please you? Ethan Van Scriver, did the dumb looking GL effects put a notch in your belt?

I hope you people are pleased. Because Alex isn't alive to be pleased about anything anymore. You made him kill himself and die. Hal Jordan becoming a dickhead caused him too much pain. Hal punching out the world's greatest martial artist made him confused. Inadequately-crafted writing form made him angry. And the stupid-ass ending(s) helped him finish the deed. Thanks a fucking lot, guys. You killed Alex.

(In related news, if I'm a superhero about to battle a big monster, or, hell, if I'm a nerdy comic reader about to battle a big idiot . . .no matter how "personal" it might be, if you are around and my friend it is your damn fight, too. Up yours, Alan Scott. I hope you get rabies from your wonderhound and fucking die.)

Here is an equation for you. Take Adam Strange, then subtract beautiful art; a fast, energetic pace; a sense of humor; and charm. Then add exposiriffic dialogue and stiff, unfun art. What do you get? Rann/Thanager War. I love Dave Gibbons as much as the next nerd, but you can give this one a pass. Like Willingham, the other writer capable of great work roped into this mess, even Gibbons can't make this editorial connect-the-dots enjoyable. Adam Strange, you were a damn fun comic. I'd really enjoy re-reading you, if you know, Alex hadn't committed fucking suicide.


Dear Mr. Warren Ellis,

What reason do I have for ever giving a damn about any of your characters? Neat ideas and scholarly talk do not a comic make. Reiteration 46 of the "pseudo-cynical, wronged hero with a heart of gold" is a bit . . .predictable? Something like that. Just writing to say that, you know, if I don't care about the characters, I'm not going to buy it.

Your pal,

Joe Rice (but not his friend Alex, who ended his own life because GL: Rebirth was such a shitty comic book)


Here is a fun game for you and your family but not for your recently-deceased friend: try to guess which two of the three comics featuring the Punisher that came out this week were really good. Your only hint is, they were both written by the same person and he comes from a race of horrible drunk sub-humans. (I usually really enjoy Kirkman's superhero stuff, but this was just a bunch of unconvincing dialogue in an attempt to rationalize a weird team-up. Not his best work. At least the art was better than usual, though.)

Jack Staff is good, Jack Staff is great. I'm glad to see Grist getting back into some of the experiments with form and function again. The beginning of the current run seemed a bit . . .straightforward. Now it's fun AND really neat.

Wha? Huh? Zap Comix? With new(ish) material? HOLY SHIT MY TIME MACHINE WORKED! To hell with reading comics (even if the Crumb stuff is pretty beautiful)! I'm going to go experiment with drugs in a consequence-free environment and help sabotage the very progressive movement I hold most dear! Also, UNPROTECTED SEX! Oh, shit, I can't grow my hair long! I WANT TO GO BACK TO MY TIME!!! WHERE IS MY TIME MACHINE NOW?!? Oh, whew, I'm typing on a computer so here I am. Back in my own time, where everything is great.

Except Geoff Johns killed my friend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Miscellaneous Marvels

Here's some other real-life friend Marvel drawings. A special bonus in this post, Marvel Family drawings by some of my students! So cute you'll die or kill.

From fashionista George comes this beaut:


I taught with Zoey. Now she teaches art at another school. This Marvel seems particularly HOTTTTT.
I don't remember the origin of this joke.

Now for student fun! Amanda decided to immortalize Dr. Sivana and Mr. Mind. They're building a robot TO DESTROY THE MARVELS FOREVER!!!

He IS a good worm.

Speaking of robots, the Family takes care of Robot Marvel in this piece by Juan Carlos, one of the coolest kids of all time.

Robot Marvel's so screwed.

And Jeffrey's own creation, Super Banana, meets Captain Marvel here. Translated from Jeffrey, this says, "Help, my name is Super Banana." "That's real. You're super and you're a banana."

That's real.

I hope you've enjoyed this look at my collection. I hope to add to it soon. I would murder my mom for a Quitely Marvel Family. She would understand, I think. Because she took this picture of me some twenty-two years ago or so.


And with that, I leave you.

Listen to Us, We're Marvels

What's that? You'd like to see MORE Captain Marvel pictures? THAT IS WONDERFUL! Now here are some drawn by other people that post at this blog. So, yeah. They're drawn by Brant or Alex. Let's start with two from Brant!

My birfday present


And here are some from Alex. He and I had been discussing how perfectly the Marvel Family would fit into a child-friendly manga-style book. Here is some old school manga style stuff from Alex to prove it.




Attack of the Indie Marvels

OK, so here's Pt. II in my vain showing of Marvel Family sketches. This section will be highlighted by appearances from artists most known for their indie or artcomics work. Starting things off, we have a man who's writing a Marvel Family book anyway, Jeff Smith.

Is that Mr. Tawky Tawny?

It's like Scott Morse knew I was from Kentucky . . .

Fried chicken and the Marvel Family . . .my two loves.

Was Dino(!) born to draw Captain Marvel? No, he was born for greater things, like awesome beard-growing. But he's damn good at it anyway.

Take that, photorealistic DC dicks!

Oddly enough, I found this Scott Mills piece on Ebay. It's fun.


My words would only ruin this Xaime Hernandez piece, acquired for me by Mr. Alex. Now THAT is Mary Marvel.


And how could I leave you without this priceless piece? This was one of my two "dream sketches I'll never get" but I actually got it, much to Mr. Tomine's confusion.

He's holding Adrian's sketchbook . . .buy it, for it is awesome.

Beer and Beauty

Sometimes you want to examine the intricacies of comics. Sometimes you want to critique the stupid mistakes being made. Sometimes you want to speculate about how much something is going to suck/rock. Sometimes you want to think real hard.

Other times, you want to kick back with some beer and post some pretty pictures of your favorite character. Guess what time this is?

So I've seen some bloggers posting their sketch collections and there's no reason for me to deny you the wonderful one I've been getting. I love the Marvel Family. I love them even though they haven't been in a good comic in thirty years or so. I always will love them, I'd say. It's an abstract love.

So I'm going to post some of the sketches and pictures I've gotten from friends and pros alike. Let's start off with the first one I ever got, before it was even a thing I was doing. For some reason, there was a teeny little comic con in Ashland, Kentucky one year. Attending was a bunch of no one I've ever heard of and Bart Sears. This was during his JLE years and I saw the chance to get two of my favorites drawn by a REAL ARTIST. So here is your mismatched, outdated sketch of the day:

Stop farting, Buddy!

Now here's the first I got in my actual "I'm going to collect sketches of the Marvel Family" thing, from Mr. James Mahfood. This is still one of my absolute favorites.

One of my favorite Mary's

Soon after came this classic from Dick Giordano. Just had to get one from the guy who did just about every promo image I saw growing up.

Almost just like a t-shirt I've got.

One of the few times the Marvels have been in a good story recently was in Dylan Horrocks and Jessica Abel's story in Bizarro Comics. I had to have a couple of the pages with Mary on them. So here's one that I got.

Low key awesomenocity

By the way, did you ever wonder what Cap would look like as drawn by Bill Sienkiwicz? WONDER NO LONGER!

This took like a minute.  The greats make it look so easy.

And here's one from Mike Oeming, about which I can think of no witty thing to say. It's neat.

My fiancee was unimpressed with this one, though.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Crumb Contest

Alan over at Comic Book Galaxy is holding an R. Crumb contest. If you win, you can get the new Crumb handbook, and it looks amazing. Against my better judgement, I'm actually posting this. Now I have less chance of winning . . .