Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Daredevil Donnerstag with Al Williamson

This post is coming in under the wire because according to US time it is still Wednesday but here in Germany it is already Thursday. So while I am still on time for Al Williamson´s tribute post I don´t have to change the name of the post either. After my last marathon post I thought about taking a break but then it would have been a FRIDAY FIGHT NIGHT post.

Now because the great late Al Williamson has worked on several series I could have made a post about his issues of STAR WARS, his work on BLADE RUNNER or the famous EC horror comics but instead I decided to pimp one of my favorite runs on DAREDEVIL. Most of it has been reprinted in the Epic Collections A TOUCH OF THYPHOID and HEART OF DARKNESS so I hope these still underrated issues finally get the broad attention they deserve.

As it couldn´t be any other way this post has not gone as planned because while I already had all the original black and white art lined up when I was going over the first color pages for the first issue I made the mistake of reading the story. Because Ann Nocenti´s writing is so good that I had to try to get most of issue 252 in this post. So I scrapped the other original art pieces for the next birthday and selected what for me is the main part of the story. To set things up this is an oversized issue - hence the need to select just part of the issue to stay within the 23 pages limit - that is a crossover with the FALL OF THE MUTANTS storyline that was going through the mutant titles. You don´t need to know anything about that event only that there was a big explosion in New York and everybody in Hell´s Kitchen thinks they dropped the atomic bomb and this is the end of the world.

Which was not so far off at that time. And now let´s join the story in progress which is another example how a brilliant writer like Ann Nocenti can turn a mandate crossover into a study about the human character. 

without fear



missed birthdays

cult sirens of notice

todays birthdays

We are keeping it german as Today´s first celebrity birthday is Hugo Egon Balder who turns 68. He is of course best known as the presenter of Tutti Frutti and I just love wikipedia because I have never heard it be described anywhere else as a soft - porn tits - out show but I guess it kind of was.

I recently found a website with entire episodes of the german cult show as well as from the italian original Colpo Grosso and while some parts are dated and I fastforwarded in a couple of instances I have to say that Hugo does a pretty good job all things considered. It´s not easy hosting these kind of shows with class and humor without it getting smutty and there are several people who tried and failed. So proper kudos for that, Hugo.

One of the main attractions of the game show Tutti Frutti was of course sexbomb Monique Sluyter, the living blow up sex doll from the Netherlands who not only was in PLAYBOY multiple times but also a big factor in my obsession with Power Girl with her impersonation of Marilyn Monroe.

In the old comics artist Wally Wood kept making Power Girl´s breasts bigger and bigger to see how far he could take it. Or at least that is the urban legend. Speaking of Wally Wood´s version of Power Girl, if you want to see for yourself if there´s any truth to the claim that he supersized Power Girl´s boob you can find the original art for the 17 page story from All - Star Comics 65 at the private collection of James Halperin and you can see them at an even bigger resolution at HERITAGE AUCTIONS . Well, in regards to Power Girl´s gigantic breast size ( let´s not loose track of what is really important here ) fact is that the artists after Wally Wood drew her with normal proportions .... or what is considered normal for superheroines.

Until Bart Sears took over the character, buffed her up and returned her signature breast size - at least until the whole NEW 52 fiasko / retcon.

When I started to read american comics the DC universe was brand new thanks to the Crisis on Infinite Earths fallout and I grabbed all the series I didn´t know which included the two fisted combo of Justice League by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire and Justice League Europe also by Giffen and Matteis, art by Bart Sears and inks by Pablo Marcos whom I knew from his work on Defenders. I don´t know if it was fate but the very first issue of Justice League Europe I got was issue 4 in which Power Girl, Flash and Animal Man share a hotel room as they go to Bialya on an undercover mission. I re - read the issue a few times and I always wondered if these more human - and more horny in the case of Flash - heroes didn´t spend the dull waiting time in a more adult way.

Well, I was young, in my sexual prime and had a lot of spare time in the barracks ( we were three in one room but the others went home after duty so I had the black and white television set with a lot of TUTTI FRUTTI and PLAYBOY LATE NIGHT episodes all to myself which didn´t exactly help my situation ) so I re - read the issue a few times imagining what could have happened if Animal Man would have gotten Power Girl under his control with pheromones. Ah, all the things I would have done to her.

For me Bart Sear´s version is still the definite version of Power Girl and now that DC is back - paddling with their Rebirth initiative and restoring many things I am of course curious to find out what that means for Power Girl. As far as I know she has not yet appeared in the all new DC universe continuity so there might be a return to her former glory in store for her.

Speaking about the best Power Girl of all times in Justice League Europe, in 2016 I finally managed to do another post about Darick Robertson in which I mentioned the BREAKDOWNS storyline that introduced Power Girl´s famous coconut bra costume. And I just want to say that I still have not given up on a Yaya Han Power Girl coconut bra cosplay ( with the tiniest coconut shells you can find although compared to her huge 40D oppai all coconut shells probably look small no matter how big they are ) as she has already shown that she does a terrific Power Girl cosplay and she certainly has no problem filling out the magical cleavage window.

Longtime readers may be already tired of this but it seems that nowadays I can´t write a new post without mentioning hot sexbomb Becky Mullen .

Besides appearing as Sally, the farmer´s daughter on the first season of Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling and various guest appearances on every major tv show ( of which her most memorable is an episode of Married with Children opposite Pamela Anderson - see GIF above ) Becky starred in various erotic midnight movies including Sinful Intrigue. With all that said german audiences know her best from taking her clothes off on Tutti Frutti . Her biggest contribution to american culture however is Hard Hunted and there are two other actresses from Andy Sidaris movies who appeared on Tutti Frutti , Sandra Wild and Carolyn Liu. I wrote more about this in my special Andy Sidaris edition of Casting the JLA movie post .

Andy is probably THE BEST director of action movies for adults. And his cast reads like a WHOS´S WHO of playmates : Roberta Vasquez , Ava Cadell , brunette Cynthia Brimhall, Dona Speir , Pandora Peaks, Julie Strain , Suzi Simpson, Samantha Phillips and Julie K. Smith to name just a few of them.

Becky Mullen´s post is a spin - off that used to be in one post with Janet Jones Gretzky , best known for appearing in a white swimsuit in Police Academy 5 - Assignment Miami Beach and real live Power Girl Leslie Easterbrook who had the most famous scene in Police Academy 4 - Citizens on Patrol in which she emerges from a pool in a wet t - shirt .

Coming full circle the post also included Monique Sluyter and the Tutti Frutti girls but that part got too long and I had to give it a post of its own which I re - posted in 2016 in a new and better version . I cast her as Fire a.k.a. Beatriz da Costa in the aforementioned Casting the Justice League movie special and before getting a solo post she was regularly mentioned during the annual re - posts of italian mega soccer MILF Simona Ventura .


Regina Do Santos born 1953 in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil recorded her first album with 16 with the group The Black Sisters traveled to Barcelona Spain in 1985 where she appeared in various tv shows La Casa Por La Ventana Angel Casas Show Paradise Tropical Por La Manana for Telecinco like Que tiempo tan feliz Salvame or Pasapalabra


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Schwarz Weiß Sonntag with Usagi Yojimbo

Since I have worked so long on my last post I´d thought that Today I could do just a quick post about one of my all time favorite series by Stan Sakai.

It really felt like it took me forever to finish my last post about Gene Colan´s Batman which was in great part because I had problems with the stomach. I finally managed to put the finishing touches on it Yesterday but that was like a herculean effort on my part because I ate too late and too many vegetables and I have had severe stomach cramps until one hour ago. Now I am feeling a little better and because I also drank some wine I am just in the right mood to write another post about the longeared Ronin that has been wandering the japanese countryside since 1984.

Which is what I am focusing on in this post. I already did an extensive post on USAGI YOJIMBO way back in 2010 and if you don´t know the series you should read that first since it tells you everything you have to know about the series but for this post I have selected some pages that are mostly about Usagi Yojimbo´s environment. Stan Sakain is a master storyteller and one of the reasons why his book is so compelling and captivating is that he manages to capture the majesty of the japanese country with just a few simple lines. No matter if Usagi is battling the elements in a drowning downpour or just quietly walking through an open wheat field it is always expertly rendered and nature is as much a character in these stories like street performer and pickpocket Kitsune or fellow bounty hunter Gen.

Because USAGI YOJIMBO is a black and white series there are no colored versions of these pages so I hope I can wrap things up quickly as I feel a bit drowsy. In any case don´t let the fact that this book is in black and white stop you from checking it out. I know that there are still comic readers who don´t read certain comics because they are in black and white but I hope that the examples I have selected here might sway you.

Because of my health problems I missed two important birthdays from March, the 15th and the first one is hugely important for spanish comic fans. It´s Victor Ibáñez Talavera, part of the spanish comic bedrock who is most famous for his series Mortadelo y Filemon but who also created such well known comics - at least in Spain - like Botones Sacarino, Don Pedrito, Rompetechos, Pepe Gotera y Otilio, Tete Cohete or Rue Del Percebe 13.

But like I said, the most well known is Mortadelo y Filemon which has been translated into many languages and I think in England it was called Flip and Flap. Here in Germany it was called Clever & Smart and it has been coming out forever. Not as long as in Spain where the series is still going on but I remember that during all my time in school and while doing my apprenticeship to become a car mechanic Clever & Smart was a steady presence. And the series sold so well that they actually did two editions side by side - one with new albums and one with reprints. I don´t exactly know when they stopped publishing the series in Germany but they just announced this year that they are continuing. I also mentioned Mortadelo y Filemon in my JLA movie casting solo post of spanish / french sexbomb Marlene Mourreau because there is a connection to that classic comic and you can check out her post if you are curious what that connection is.

But to know more about Victor Ibáñez and all the different comic series he did check out the post I wrote on his birthday last year . If you DO check out the post you will notice that I announced a follow up post but I never did get around to do that. And I have all the material lined up and prepared which is why I´m a bit bummed out that I didn´t get to do a post on Ibáñez. Anyway, maybe I can do the second post at a later date.

The second important celebrity birthday of March, the 15th is one all my longtime readers are very familiar with since it was nothing less than the 50th birthday of my favorite cult siren - quite literal - italian singing sexbomb of the 80s extraordinaire Sabrina " Bouncing Action " Salerno.

Okay, also celebrating his birthday on ...... wait, I know what you are thinking. No more mention of Sabrina Salerno ? Usually I don´t let the tiniest possibility pass by to include hot sexbombs and now with one of my all time sexual phantasies there´s nothing ? No links, no pictures, no animated GIFs, no videos, no nothing ? Don´t worry true believers. The reason why there is nothing about Sabrina Salerno here is that we will get to her later because her birthday actually connects to another birthday.

Anyway, like I was saying, the third birthday from March, the 15th I want to mention is Black Eyed Peas who turns 43. That the group only hit the big times when they added sexy frontwoman Fergie to the roster. 

Back to he played John Wraith in X - Men Origins : Wolverine which was not as distracting as I feared. Speaking about Wolverine thank god they did what I hoped with the Logan movie and kept it as far away from the original Old Man Logan comic which is one of the worst stories ever written while the movie turned out to be the best Wolverine movie ever. Right now there is a new Old Man Logan series in whatever passes for the Marveluniverse nowadays but from what I have seen he is not written like an old man. Which is probably because the new SJW writers have no real life experience and therefore on idea how old people really would behave outside of what you see on the telly. But that is the topic for another post. Anyway, I wanted to add a video from The Voice UK but a video with a live performance by mega MILF Fergie trumps anything.

Another cult siren shoutout goes to Brittany Daniel who celebrated her 42nd anniversary just Yesterday and whom most people may know from Joe Dirt, Joe Dirt 2, It´s Always Sunny In California, Just Shoot Me !, Club Dread, That 70´s Show, That 80´s Show or Dawson´s Creek although for me she will always be the buxom blonde twin who saved my worst summer.

Longtime readers may remember my post from my return to Spain and how far away from everything it is back home. I don´t know if it was during the time when my mother tried to get me to cold turkey comics but one year there was really not much on tv and as I had already read all the books and comics I had brought from my last trip to civilization I was starving for entertainment in form of movies and tv especially involving hot women.

Unfortunately my parents had the control over the remote at that time so the only chance to wrestle it away from them was while they were making dinner. Which meant I was stuck with prime time tv shows which were not really known for including a lot of scantily clad girls. You have to remember this was pre - 24h nonstop tv and naked chicks going at it on HBO. But as fate would have it I discovered Sweet Valley High, which would have been your average teen show if not for the fact that it had two incredibly hot blonde sexbombs with hardbodies that make guys go crazy as the main protagonists who were twins to top things off. Brittany played Jessica Wakefield while her real twin sister Cynthia Daniels - whom you might know from her role in The Basketball Diaries with Leonardo DiCaprio - played Elizabeth Wakefield. This show really helped me through some rough ( and hard ) times and on some days a scene with Brittany / Cynthia in a hot outfit - or even better - a bikini was the highlight of that day.

Since they are twins they both celebrate their birthday Today so I want to be fair ( especially since I can´t be sure who wore which outfit in which scene and both are damn hot ) and say thanks for the mammaries to both.

Now with our next candidate I have a love / hate relationship because on one side you have to acknowledge that Peter Illmann - who turns 59 - was indeed the music tv presenter of the first hour years before Mtv and VIVA would appear on german tv screens. On the other hand it means I have to talk about Formel Eins which was the worst music show on german tv. But it was the only music we had ( if you don´t count Die Deutsche Hitparade which mainly played Schlager music ) so we had to bear the horror of it.

Peter Illmann was the first host and he was kind of a mack daddy although that only evolved over time. Still, he was not the best host. That dubious honor belongs to his replacement, Ingolf Lück who innovated the show by turning his introductions of the various musical acts and music videos ( they showed both ) into little sketches. It was only downhill after he left as they got their first female presenter Stefanie Tücking who was much too tame for this kind of show and she then handed the reigns over to Kai Böcking who was completely clueless. I remember that in his first show he had Sabrina Salerno as a guest and she was just too much woman for him.

See ? I told you we would get back to sexbomb Norma Sabrina Salerno.

At the time Sabrina Salerno, the cult siren with the obligatory bouncing action was at the height of her popularity in Germany thanks to her worldwide number 1 smash hit Boys Boys Boys ( which was especially popular in those countries that showed the uncensored version of her video where her tiny bikini top could not contain the singing sexbomb´s huge melons ) and various articles in teen publications like Bravo and Popcorn and nude pictorials in adult men´s magazines like Penthouse.

So they had to invite her to Formel Eins which was the music tv for german teenagers. The show was a total train wreck, they always cut the videos because the producer of the show was in Bavaria and they are very catholic and prudish down there. When Sabrina was there as a guest they didn´t play her video and told her she had to do a live performance. Which was obviously more than they bargained for because Sabrina began to shake rattle and roll her boobs up and down like there´s no Tomorrow.

Of course they were appalled but they could not do anything against it. The camera man tried to prevent the worst by doing a lot of close ups and just filming Sabrina´s head but as you can see it didn´t help that much.

Coming back to Formel Eins, while Kai Böcking did the most shows with 120 episodes they ultimately had to cancel it because of the upcoming competition of Mtv and VIVA who showed all music video in full and not only one per show. By that time Peter Illmann was no longer on tv although after leaving Formel Eins he did two other music programs, P.I.T. - Peter Illmannns Treff and Peter´s Pop Show which were successful for a while.

Coming back to Sabrina Salerno, I wrote her first cult siren entry way back in 2014 with annual reposts in 2015 , 2016 and 2017 where I always tried to do the ultimate version adding little things here and there. This year I thought I could skip it but while writing this post I came across some videos from other female singers who tried to boost or start a singing career like Danuta Lato or Angela Cavagna which are extremely to find in good quality. So I might to a post somewhere down the line although it will probably be mainly a video post and not so much about Sabrina Salerno and more about these other singers. There will be some new - at least I hope so - Sabrina Salerno videos in there naturally but in the meantime I wanted to include some here too. Here I am positive that I have not posted these before and I included the single clips as well as video with both live performances because the quality of the videos is different.

There is one last thing about Sabrina Salerno that I have to address. One of her signature live performances of Boys, Boys, Boys where bouncing action is concerned was on the spanish show Un, Dos, Tres and I have gotten some comments if there were any repercussions of Sabrina´s bonerinducing appearance on the show. Now to clarify I have to say that for one spanish people in general are much more open to the form of entertainment that involves sexy women. It may be hard to believe but there have always been what other countries may consider risky women on spanish tv. Also while Un, Dos, Tres was a family oriented game show it was shown in the late evening which meant that more adult things could be incorporated. For instance this is what the female assistants wore.

And this is what a typical show number on Un, Dos, Tres looked like. They were usually done to illustrate a point or introduce the next topic which means it was a cheap excuse to bring on some hot dancing women to spice up what would have otherwise been a very boring game show.

From the small screen we come to the big screen with french director and producer Luc Besson who celebrates his 59th birthday Today. He has made such cult classics like Subway, The Big Blue, Taxi, The Transporter, Wasabi, Leon : The Professional or The Fifth Element and the reason why I am mentioning him is of course Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.

Some of his movies like The Fifth Element has been heavily influenced by comic books like The Long Goodbye by Steve O´Bannon and french comic artist Moebius ( who also did designs for the movie ) but Valerian is the first movie that is based solely on a comic book series. And here is where the crux of the movie lies. Some people say it doesn´t live up to its full potential or history which I think is always difficult with classic comics.

Today movie goers expect superhero movies to be based on comic books but with science fiction movies it is not that obvious. And if the comic in question is not an american comic but a french comic nobody except the most eclectic american comic book afficionados have probably heard of it.

Valerian et Laureline or how it is called in german Valerian und Veronique goes back a long way so you have the problem how do you bring across a comic that started 50 years ago ? Back in its time nobody wanted to make french science fiction comics so it was kind of groundbreaking but most of the things that were innovative back then have become old tropes now.

There are enough articles about the many ways in which it influenced science fiction classics like Star Wars so I won´t go into that here in detail. But the problem remains that it is hard to bring across to new readers what a big science fiction comic series it was back in the day.

I remember that one of my teachers once told me that when his daughter saw Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for the first time she thought that Marilyn Monroe was copying Madonna. He then explained to her that it was the other way around and that Madonna was copying Marylin Monroe´s famous performance of Diamonds Are A Girl´s Best Friend in the Material Girl vid.

But even after that explanation his daughter still had the gut feeling that Madonna´s version was the original and Marylin Monroe was the copycat.

Now since I have not seen it I don´t know how successful Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is at avoiding the Star Wars effect where something that was influenced by it has become more famous that the original source but I know that for comic readers in Germany Valerian und Veronique is part of the comic landscape. Most comic readers have if not read it then at least known of its existence for most of their lives and I remember reading the short installments way back in old issues of Zack !

It was many years later that Carlsen Verlag published the series in album format and I think it was around book ten that I had enough disposable money to buy them for myself. Before that I always read them via the local library but from that point forward I bought them for my comic collection.

Which of course had something to do with the character of Laureline getting more play in the stories. Artist Jean - Claude Mezieres does not have what you may call a photo realistic style but he drew her very nicely.

Which doesn´t mean that her main role in the series is providing eye candy. Another innovation that has become kind of a trope since than is that from the get go the creators flipped the usual man / woman dynamic so that Laureline was the more resourceful, capable and intelligent part of the team and Valerian was often more bumbling, ineffectual or sometimes even the damsel in distress who had to be rescued. He was still a very honest guy, good meaning and in most cases got the job done. But like they said in one of my favorite Doctor Who specials he just was better when he was with her and she just was better when she was with him.

Now from the comics it is established early on that they are bound to end up becoming a couple and I don´t know how good they brought that idea across in the movie adaption. In the comic there is a love between them but it´s not just a physical attraction and they start out as partners who clearly admire and respect each other and it actually takes a long time before that love is consumed in a sexual way. Which is because they are real persons and not just cyphers to bring across the writer´s agendas.

Anyway, while going through the material for this part I have realized that I somehow stopped reading them after the 13th or 14th story so while the series has ended as far as I know there are still a few adventures for me to explore. Thankfully the complete series is available in collected edition form so there will be at least one of those in my next comic book order.

Man, I could write much more about the series but that really deserves its own post since you can´t cram so much artistic goodness into the small space I have here. Coming back to Luc Besson and Valerian there is a video that talks more about the Star Wars effect in detail but I am saving it for when I have seen the movie so that I can actually comment on it. There is another one about the comic itself but since I am hoping to get to write that Valerian et Laureline post it´s also a no - go. The one I have chosen for this post is from german tv and it gives you a bit of background on the comic as well as mentioning a few of the parallels with Star Wars.

Our last and final birthday of Today is Frank McLaughlin who turns 83. Younger comic readers may not be familiar with his name but the artist and inker can look back on quite the long career. Mr. McLaughlin started as a assistant editor at the infamous Charlton Comics and by 1962 he had become art director. He then slowly worked his way through the Charlton Comics line which included such series like Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Son of Vulcan, The Fightin´ 5, Strange Suspense Stories and Sarge Steel.

And in 1965 he co - created the hero Judomaster with writer Joe Gill.

He then worked for DC and Marvel. At Marvel he inked Wayne Boring on Captain Marvel, Sal Buscema on Captain America and The Defenders and wrote martial arts articles for Marvel´s The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu.

At DC he inked back up stories featuring The Atom, Black Lightning, Zatanna and The Fabulous World Of Krypton as well as Dick Dillin on Justice League Of America, Ernie Chan´s Batman stories in Detective Comics, Joe Staton on Green Lantern, Dan Jurgen´s Green Arrow, Carmine Infantion on The Flash, Gene Colan on Wonder Woman.

He also worked for Archie Comics, Acclaim Comics, Atlas Comics, Broadway Comics, Valiant Comics and The Heart Of Juliet Jones, Gil Thorpe, Brenda Starr Reporter, Nancy and DC´s The World´s Greatest Superheroes strips. 

Initially I wanted to post this in another article I have planned on Charlton Comics but who knows when I can get to it. And who knows ? Until then the movie about the comiker Boys from Derby might be already finished.

Wow, this post´s entertainment section has really become a marathon but that tends to happen once I start writing about Sabrina Salerno and spanish game shows from my youth. Now this was not the 925th post I envisioned but you can´t say that you didn´t get your money´s worth.

I am closing out things with a recap of Usagi Yojimbo´s guest appearances on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons and the next time we will finally come to his appearance on the new Turtles cartoon. So goodbye for Today and I have to start on my Daredevil birthday post for Al Williamson.

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By the crays of Kilimanjaro !