Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Happy retro Wednesday with Marc Silvestri

Marc Silvestri celebrates his 58th birthday so I wanted to grab the chance to post some pages from my favorite runs of Marvel´s merry mutants.

I´m still trying to catch up and with this post I´m only one day behind. Longtime readers of this blog know that I started to read UNCANNY X - MEN in the american original during Marc Silvestri´s tenure on the book and it´s my favorite period of the book. So far I only have the X - MEN : INFERNO PROLOGUE with the first issues of his run in hardcover ( because when the X - MEN INFERNO hardcover was offered at half price - which I even posted on the blog - I had just gotten the regular trade and so let this unique opportunity pass by ) but I hope Disney continues with the X - MEN omnibus. If I ever would pay the 150 scheckels an ARTIST´S EDITION goes for here in Germany it would only be for some original UNCANNY X - MEN art by Marc Silvestri. Since I still hope to write a post about the X - Men´s australian adventure in the future I tried to select some art that is not essential to making that post but fantastic looking nonetheless.

Writer Chris Claremont also gave disco mutant Dazzler new life who had been very undeservedly languishing in comic limbo up to this point.

I know that right now people see Dazzler mostly as a joke but I remember reading the first issues when they came out in the spanish translation by Vertice ( I don´t think the series was ever published in Germany ) and the art was pretty decent with John Romita Jr. doing the pencils and Alfredo Alcala inking. I would like to read the entire series at some point to see if it was really as bad as people say and you just know that with the amount of Epic Collections Disney is churning out at the moment it is only a matter of time before they run out of good material and have to resort to reprinting this. Also I think this series has the potential to be adapted as the next Netflix hit. I mean it´s basically EMPIRE but with super powers.

Ah, Rogue. She was one of the new additions to the team - at least new for me since she had already been part of the X - Men for some time when I started to read the book - and I instantly fell in love with her character.

After wrapping up things on the UNCANNY X - MEN title Marc Silvestri continued doing what he does best but on another mutant related book teaming up with writer Larry Hama for one of the best WOLVERINE runs.

Some months ago I got volumes 1 and 2 of WOLVERINE BY LARRY HAMA & MARC SILVESTRI but like X - MEN : INFERNO PROLOGUE I haven´t had the time to read it. It was in the bargain section at amazon and although I have all the issues in single form I bought it because the printing in the first issues is not that good. I am just glad they didn´t use the new airbrush coloring they have in the new THOR BY WALTER SIMONSON trades that totally overpowers the pencil and ink artwork. Anyway, I can only recommend those trades even though they put a lot of stuff in it that neither by Larry Hama nor Marc Silvestri. But if you have to take some padding I guess it could be worse than comics by Alan Davis or Mignola. 

The child android / killer robot Elsie Dee was one of the more interesting characters that Larry Hama came up with ( although I found it quite difficult to read her dialogue at times ) during his run on the book and it´s a testament to his writing abilities that he could do a 180 switch from heartfelt drama to laugh out loud comedy with her at the drop of a hat.

I always was waiting for the third volume that would wrap up Larry Hama´s run but for some reason Disney decided to put the rest of the issues - WOLVERINE 47 to 57 - in the WOLVERINE : WEAPON X UNBOUND trade.

Maybe it´s just me but how do they expect to earn money when they suddenly discontinue a series and just put the remaining issues into a completely different paperback without any mentioning that this is the continuation of the previous series ? I mean, this is not my first rodeo and it took me a while to find out that I needed this to wrap up the Larry Hama WOLVERINE run. How in the world do they expect regular comic shop customers who are comic newbies for the most part to know this ?

Sometimes you really wonder how decisions get made there. Anyway, if you too were wondering what happened to those trades you know which one to get now and for my german readers I want to mention that you can get the trade that is usually priced at around 35 EUROS at amazon for 23 EUROS right now. By the way if you have not read the WOLVERINE issues by Larry Hama you might want to skip the next part. Spoilers, sweetie.

After WOLVERINE Marc Silvestri went on the become one of the founders of iMAGE Comics where he first did his CYBERFORCE series whose main draw was his knack for drawing the female form and not the writing.

He also was involved in other stuff at Top Cow like WITCHBLADE and THE DARKNESS but I wasn´t very interested in those and only read the issues my brother bought. I know there was a WITCHBLADE tv series but of course they didn´t dare to put her costume from the comic books in it.

Makes you wonder why they bothered to leave Marvel in the first place if they left their balls there. Anyway, my brother got me the HUNTER KILLER trade paperback but the story was more complicated than necessary and it didn´t help that Marc skipped the pencils after the first few issues.

And that´s all for this post. I know that he did some other stuff at Marvel like the final issues of Grant Morrison´s run on NEW X - MEN and one of the CIVIL WAR specials. He also did some issues for the X - MEN / DARK X - MEN : UTOPIA crossover brouhaha which is one of the last good X - Men stories before things got too complicated. Because there are a lot of tie in and special issues involved ( I read it in the german translation by PANINI and they packed everything that was even remotely connected into those issues ) I want to get it in a collected edition but so far I have only found the trade and I would like to have it in a nice yet affordable hardcover.

Again it´s time for the links and since I don´t know when I´ll get to do the post about Marc Silvestri´s run on Uncanny X - Men or the next Inferno / Inferno Crossover post I am putting all links about that topic here in the meantime so I can find them easier and don´t have to go over so many bookmarks each time I make a new post. That saves me a lot of time.

We start things of with COLLECTED EDITIONS review of the Inferno trade and THE MOVIE BLOG has a series of post about the event with individual chapters for the main X - Men issues , the Avengers issues , the Excalibur issues , the Fantastic Four issues and finally the Daredevil issues . The real GENTLEMEN OF LEISURE examine Uncanny X - Men 221, which has the first appearance of Mr. Sinister as well as the Inferno tie - ins ( part 1 / part 2 ) and CHRIS CLAREMONT : MIND CONTROL takes a look at the Brood three - parter from Uncanny X - Men 232 to 234 which was my start with the american issues of the series ( and which you can find in the X - MEN : INFERNO PROLOGUE omnibus ) as well as New Mutans 26 to 28 which was the introduction of Legion into the Marvel universe which might be of interest now that the Legion tv series has started. IT`S A DAN`S WORLD reminiscences about Uncanny X - Men 242, the Inferno issue in which the new team of X - Men under the leadership of Wolverie and Storm meet the original mutants of X - Factor for the first time and you can find more original Uncanny X - Men pages by Marc Silvestri on STORM ARCANA .

Marc also put his art skills to the best possible use by participating in the Marvel Swimsuit Specials and you can find some scans of that on ANTRO ATOMICO DEL DOC and GIANT - SIZE MARVEL has the Adam Hughes entries of that series ( part 1 / part 2 ) while COMIC BOOK RESOURCES , COMICS ALLIANCE and iO9 do concentrate more on the pin ups of male characters.

To close things out the continuity freaks among my readers might want to check out the HOW WOULD YOU FIX website that tackles the topics that normal comic readers have problems wrapping their head around like Mr. Sinister´s Origin and other complicated conundrums of likewise caliber.

We start our birthdays with Lucy Lawless who turns 49. She is of course best known for the Xena tv series which was a spin - off from Hercules : The Legendary Journeys. At first I was not so keen on her as a warrior princess - whatever that is supposed to be - but then I read that she was the only one who agreed to play the part. Xena was just supposed to be a one off one - dimensional Hercules villain therefore all the other actresses couldn´t be bothered which I supposed they regretted once Lucy was so successful in the role that she got her own series. I am always looking for comic book connections but I am not sure if it is worth the effort here.

Even if Lucy Lawless did the voice of Wonder Woman in Justice League : The New Frontier the whole point may be moot since the Wonder Woman in the newest movies looks more like Xena than Wonder Woman anyway.

Coming back to Xena´s Hercules roots, now that Kevin Sorbo has been on Supergirl ( as Lar Gand nonetheless ) the question on everybody´s mind is when will Lucy make an appearance ? Since Xena celebrated lesbian life I thought it only fitting to choose a video with Xena and Gabrielle both.

Making one of my famous smooth segueways Lucy Lawless was Kathleen Clayton on probably the only Tarzan tv series I have never heard of while Christopher Lambert - who celebrates his 60th birthday - played the Lord of The Jungle in Greystoke - The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes one of the best adaptions of Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp hero on the big screen.

You also can´t fault Christopher´s taste in women because after being married to Diane Lane - who showed her stripper skills in The Big Town - for six years he gave it to the wardrobe malfunction prone queen of explicit nude scenes, french ( in every sense of the word ) blow up sex doll Sophie " Tits Out " Marceau at every chance he got seven years long.

Christopher Lambert has been on a few classic cult movies like Highlander ( there can be only one - and there is only one since the sequels don´t exist for me ), The Hunted ( one of my favorite white guy caught in ninjas vs samurai BS movies ever ), Fortress or Mortal Kombat ( he is still the best Lord Raiden ) but Today I want to pimp one of his best movies most people don´t know about : Subway by cult director Luc Besson from 1985. 

On Monday we had Pauley Perette´s birthday who plays Abby Sciuto on NCIS, Today we have Christopher Lambert who was Marcel Janvier on NCIS : Los Angeles and Marina Sirtis who turns 62 and who played new Mossad boss Orli Elbaz on NCIS. She also did the voices for Mrs Wheeler, Sandra Stanyon and Queen Bee on Young Justice and Demona, Margot and Ms. Destine on Disney´s Gargoyles but she is of course best known for rocking the spandex cleavage on Star Trek : The Next Generation and the best parts of some episodes were counselor Deanna Troy breathing heavily.

There are even some online rumors - but there´s probably no truth to it - that her role was supposed to be the ship´s telepathic sexdoll. In the first draft Deanna Troy wasn´t the ship´s counselor but rather the " ship´s consolation officer " a orgasmic priestess from the planet Betasex skilled in all known sex techniques to be used by the male crew for stress relief.

Because of their telepathic abilities the women from Betasex were ideal prostitutes since they knew every perverted sex fantasy their visitors would not even admit to themselves and they also had a very high pain threshold and were very resilient so their clients could really go for it and hammer their bodies without restraint. Which happened very often when they were working at some mining outpost frequented by sex - starved aliens with dozens of huge reproductive organs or long slimy tentacles.

Anyway, that´s just a silly rumor and there´s probably nothing to it. I mean the whole concept would never have passed american tv censors.

What is strange is the fact that for someone who is just supposed to give people advice she wore a pretty sexed up outfit that would totally defeat the purpose of counseling. All her male customers would be thinking about ripping her uniform off and banging her brains out and knowing it would be really uncomfortable. I guess the reason why they only made her kind of telephatic was that if she knew what the male crew members were thinking she couldn´t walk ten feet in the Enterprise and would never visit the bar. Speaking about the bar, if her role was to give people sage advice why did Guinan do basically the same ? So while still unverified the idea of Deanna Troi not only as the ship´s cleavage but also the ship´s adult entertainment system does have its merit. On the other side we know that the holo deck was used for the same thing. It´s so confusing.

What I could verify is that in the original draft Deanna Troy was supposed to have three breast, Tasha Yar had an unhealthy sexual crush on Wesley Crusher and Captain Picard couldn´t help but noticing  the ship´s Doctor Beverly Crusher´s natural walk resembles that of a striptease queen. Oy. Anyway, click here for more GIFs of Doctor Crusher´s and Deanna Troi´s space yoga, The 21 Times Dr. Beverly Crusher Was Your Fashion Idol and last but not least THE VALKYRIE DIRECTIVE takes a more than extensive look at Kira and Dax´s wardrobe through the Deep Space Nine series.

Time for another brilliant segueway : while Lucy Lawless appeared on the Hercules show with Kevin Sorbo Eric Idle who celebrates his 74th birthday did the voice of Mr. Parentheses on the cartoon series that followed the awful Disney movie. Besides being a member of the legendary comedy troupe Monty Python´s Flying Circus he played butler Passepartout in the tv series Around The World In 80 Days with Pierce Brosnan as Phileas Fogg and appeared in the underappreciated Mom And Dad Save The World. In spite of this long prologue I´m not going to post a video from any of these because I can´t pass up the chance to include another episode of Shelley Duvall´s Faerie Tale Theater. I don´t know what it is about The Pied Piper Of Hamelin, if it´s that the complete episode is spoken in rhyme, if it is Eric Idle´s great performance or the hauntingly beautiful music by James Horner but I enjoyed it more than previous installments and you will too.

Our last candidate needs no introduction ( at least in Europe, I don´t know how well known he´s in Amerika ) Mario Girotti better known as Terence Hill turns 78 who started his career in the german Winnetou movies and became one half of the comedy duo of Bud Spencer and Terence Hill that dominated german movie theaters in the 80s. He is famous for his incredibly blue eyes and penetrating look of pure steel.

I´m always reluctant to put full movies on the blog, not because I think that this will keep people from buying these movies ( which in many cases they can´t because they are not available and can only be seen through YouTube ) but because they get deleted and then I have to look for a substitute. Anyway, right now there are a few Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies on YouTube but I had to go with Terence Hill´s best movie My Name Is Nobody and I have to go with the german dubbing because it has at least 50 percent more jokes than the original english language version.

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Woe to Hamelin if the Pied Piper´s not paid.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy belated birthday to Brian Bolland !

Since there are no other important birthdays to consider Today I can finally put the pictures I selected for the Brian Bolland tribute on the blog.

As I expected the visit to the Karlshöhe threw me back another day so that I´m now two days behind with posting but I´ll try to catch up by doing two posts Today. So there will not be as much text by yours truly in this post which might be for the best. Not all readers might enjoy my incompetent and arbitrary musings but I hope the pieces I selected speak for themselves and show why Brian Bolland is not only one of my personal all - time favorite artists but one of the great masters in the comic book medium and why it´s so sad that he doesn´t do interior work more often. 

So this is my 845th post and I would have liked to write a bit more to make it even more special but the next birthday post - which will be about Marc Silvestri - is already in the wings so let´s start with the obligatory links.

The color version of the cover from Adventure Comics 475 is courtesy of DAYS OF ADVENTURE where you also can find some interior pages from that issue and there´s also a post on Adventure Comics 449 which has a wonderful Aquaman splash page by Jim Aparo and a Martian Manhunter solo story by Mike Nasser and Terry Austin. For more Jim Aparo Aquaman goodness from Adventure Comics 451 head on over to THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and speaking of Terry Austin you might want to check out Perilous Plan Of The Plant Master and Fury Of The Floronic Man by Denny O´Neil, Dick Dillan and the man from The Flash 245 - 246 on DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND . Also for more Jim Aparo art THE DORK REVIEW has his Who´s Who pages for The Outsiders. The original black and white art for the cover of Superman Annual 12 was found on DC COMICS OF THE 1980s which also has posts on Brian´s cover for Elvira´s House of Mystery 1 , his famous Black Canary cover for Action Comics Weekly 609 or his pin up for DC Heroes Annual 1982 as well as lot of other great original art posts. 

You might have noticed that I didn´t include any covers from The Flash and that´s because I´m thinking about doing a FLASH FRIDAY special edition with Brian Bolland´s Flash covers. At first I was not sure if there were enough covers for a post but then I stumbled upon this post on IT`S A DAN`S WORLD that convinced me. Speaking of Brian Bolland covers, THE UNSPOKEN DECADE which takes A Look At 90s Comics has some Animal Man covers and there are more Brian Bolland covers on ABDUZEEDO .

Today we have only two birthdays I want to include and the first is Peter Hsu who turns 64. There is not much information on the web about him so I´m mostly from this gallery on COMIC ART FANS that has a lost Peter Hsu portfolio which is - naturally - NSFW but if you know his art you already knew that. I knew that the name sounded familiar and back in the 1980s there was a big black and white boom in underground comics other than the mainstream brands of Marvel or DC such as Trollords, Nexus, Grendel, Red Foxxx, Usagi Yojimbo, Samuraii, Albedo, Shuriken, Miami MIce, Adventurers, Quadrant, Gauntlet, Elf Warrior or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Well, Peter Hsu was part of that era. His stuff could be considered good girl art, he studied under Wally Wood and tried to emulate a Richard Corben like feel in his art and was influenced by Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo. He seemed to disappear from comics altogether after his stink on the Adventurers and in the 1990s only did a few covers for small press comic books. It seems Peter Hsu is doing good but doesn't paint anymore. He does small editorial cartoons here and there for a local newpaper in British Columbia Cananda but these cartoons are definitely not like his good girl art that made famous in the comic books. He concentrates on his other profession of photography and 3D computer animation mostly now.

The second one is the late Walter Neugebauer one of the founders of comics in Croatia which might be enough of an accomplishment but knowing me you probably suspect that´s not all he did. He earned his entry here because in 1954 Walter met german publisher Rolf Kauka and became the artist on Fix und Foxi which he made into the most popular comic in Germany. In 1972 he formed a new studio focusing on advertising art and he created the Goldbär for Haribo and Hubba Bubba for Wrigley´s.

Since I mentioned cult siren Elvira in this post I wanted to add a video from my long list of Elvira videos. This is a pilot for a show on the coattails of the Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark movie that sadly never was syndicated.

Yesterday I could only include one video about Mariah Carey so here is another one, I Don´t which I haven´t heard before. I´m really not up to date on all things Mariah Carey and I hope it isn´t deleted too quickly.

Coming from my number three sexual obsession to the second place on that list, since I mentioned hasian Yaya Han in my last post you probably expected a video about the cosplaying sexbomb with the titanic twin torpedoes but don´t worry boob lovers instead I´m going with another fan favorite, Angie Griffin whose bulging one hundred percent natural 41E bustline even eclipses Yaya´s surgically improved 40D made for porn oppai.

Here is her Agent Alice cosplay and Angie looks mas bueno que el pan.

Speaking of hot sexbombs built for starring in adult movies to double your fun ( and by double your fun I mean increase the size of your erection ) watch the spanish version where Angie even sounds like a pornstar.

Since Brian Bolland also did covers for Shade, The Changing Man and I wanted to include something Vertigo - related in this post here is the cartoon short from DC Nation. Every time I see one of those I can´t help but wondering if this was the whole reason why the NEW 52 was started.

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Only dead men walk out of doors, lawbreaker, smart ones use the window.