Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I do kind of like that Young Justice Sportsmaster figure, even though I bought him more for his display base and accessories.

More Deadpool and Nightcrawler strips to come, especially since it looks like Jason Aaron is bringing Nightcrawler back! Looking forward to that, even if he is using Azazel to do it...
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kind of a long set-up, which is ironic, considering...

Since my time-management skills seem to be a bit sketchy lately, I've been a bit pre-occupied with this old Marvel horror chestnut, "The Time-Saver!" (From Mystery Tales #33 and reprinted in Weird Wonder Tales #9, with art by Tony DiPreta.)

Phineas Purdy was an office manager, and an efficiency expert--think the Clock King from that episode of Batman: the Animated Series. Phineas is trying to live up to the example of his uncle Jasper, who taught him the value of time. But it's still a little surprising later that afternoon, when Phineas runs into Jasper, who seemingly hasn't aged a day in twenty years. Jasper explains he hasn't, since he banked his time, and wants to show his nephew "time thrift," with an introductory visit to the time bank. There, a teller gives Phineas a deposit book, and explains that every second, minute, and hour he deposits will net him 3% interest! Phineas banked twelve hours a day, and thus hadn't aged at all; he points out a young woman who was actually 101 years old.

Phineas plans to continue taking his uncle's advice, and starts sleeping only three hours instead of nine, banking the difference. Over the years, he only eats at his desk, hounds his employees to deliver their work on time, and cuts out all social interaction. Over twenty years, Phineas doesn't age at all, but is surprised by an invite to the time bank's one-every-twenty years ball. Phineas scoffs at the idea of wasting that precious time, but doesn't want to offend and goes anyway. Although it's the only time most of them ever waste, Phineas still thinks it's pointless. He may have a point, since suddenly Jasper ages decades; then all the other time bankers age as if they had never saved a day. Meanwhile, "as old age settles over Phineas Purdy..."

...two would-be bank robbers are arrested, even as they wonder what kind of lunatics saved all these slips of paper in a bank vault...Apparently, time deposits are not FDIC insured, and that's one to grow on.

This story reminded me of the Red Dwarf novel (which I read long before seeing the show) Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers: on the years-long voyage, Rimmer spends as much free time as he can in cryotube stasis, in an attempt to age less. (If the voyage took a decade, and Rimmer spent two years in stasis, he'd only be eight years older at the end...) The omniscient narrator points out, though, that maybe if Rimmer didn't spend all his free time in a tube or rushing to get to said tube, he might meet some people, make some friends, generally be a happier and less miserable person; although it doesn't matter since he won't get to the stasis tube in time to survive the accident that kills the crew...

That one shouldn't be too surprising: if you ever read 2000 AD short strips, especially the Future Shock ones, they flogged the notion that using suspended animation, cryogenics, stasis, whatever you call it, it'll end badly and probably ironically even if you don't have a chance to avoid your fate. Like the cancer patient who was frozen because he only had six months to live, and hoped to be awoken when they found a cure. Six months later the doctor wakes him up, not because they found a cure already, but because a comet strike caused a nuclear winter, and they all probably only had six months to live...that sort of thing. Huh, I could dig up some of those stories; thus insuring I'll never be asked to bank any time...
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Monday, July 29, 2013

And we're back! Maybe? Kind of?

Sigh. Every year, I come back from vacation, sit down to start posting, and realize I haven't read a comic or picked up a figure all week. Haven't read a blog or Twitter either, or seen a movie. Or any TV: I think I'm an episode behind on Under the Dome, which I'm kind of enjoying even though I don't think it needs to go on for five years or anything. My dad and I had planned on seeing the Lone Ranger, but we had to wait for a plumber and missed it.

I did do a bit of reading, though. I read Star Trek: Planet of Judgment (written by Joe Haldeman, and now I want to re-read The Forever War) and That Which Divides, then the X-Men novel Watchers on the Walls. The latter presents a very interesting problem for the X-Men, but I thought it also telegraphed the solution...

I re-read Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars and Rage. I still really enjoy Rage even though I understand why King has let that one go out of print and stay that way.

Back to normal posting tomorrow, I think: I may have to catch up a little!
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Friday, July 26, 2013


I did this one for Fanwank! some time back.
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

"Danger Drink."

It's a robot rampage today, based on a struggle to find something to do with a Marvel Legends Danger figure that I had bought for $2.39. It did take a bit of thinking...
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"The History of Guardian."

At the time I did this strip, Guardian was going to be a member of the Justice League of America, because traditionally the JLA always sells better when it doesn't have any big names like Batman, Superman, or Jim Lee.

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"Doom's Patrol, Redux."

A short one today, a callback to an old strip that I never thought I'd get to do.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Buyer Beware."

The one thing I miss about doing strips with G.I. Joes and other three-and-three-quarter inch figures is probably the army building. Maybe the characters, a little.

I know I did at least one other longer Joe strip, but we'll see if I find it...
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Monday, July 22, 2013

"Questionable Content."

I'm on vacation this week--a week earlier than I usually go, or maybe I'm a week lazier than usual. So, I wasn't sure what I was going to have up. Then I remembered: I had a mess of homemade strips, from back in the day when I did a few for Articulated Discussion. (Wes was posting over at Plastic Graveyard as well!

We're going to run a bunch of those old strips this week, then; so if you haven't seen them, well, they'll be new to you. I think production values have actually increased incrementally since some of these, but hope you like them!
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Friday, July 19, 2013


Not shown: the action figure packaging thrown under my desk, for some reason...
I still haven't bothered to take a picture of my new desk--frankly, it's not as nicely set up; and it's underneath the air conditioning vent, so I'm freezing and somewhat dry all day at work lately. But, I'm on vacation next week! Don't worry: I still have some time-killing posts scheduled. In the meantime, why not hit up the Armchair SDCC coverage at Poe Ghostal's? I know I will! Although, I'm a little depressed considering the possible (if not probable) end of Marvel Legends. Or "end," since I think it'll just be folded into movie lines...

Anyway, vacation, be safe, see you soon!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bought a figure, made a poster...haven't seen the movie yet.

I had to make a Jaeger poster for my ancestral homeland, on the Pacific Rim Jaeger Designer: look, if Kaiju make it from the ocean, to Montana, you may as well just let me pilot a damn robot, I'm the least of your worries. I do like how there were poster options besides ocean or wrecked cityscapes--there's more wrecked buildings on the posters than there are buildings in Montana--and this one has trees and snow, just like home! It is, of course, snowing even now in Big Sky country...Check out Fourth String Jaegers for far more fun lesser giant robots.

I also bought one of NECA's Crimson Typhoon figures, because it's neat, and because it and the other robot--Gipsy Danger?--appear to be sold out now in my neck of the woods. And yet, since I've been running behind all week, I probably won't get to see the actual movie for another two weeks; which makes me feel like I've let down the side and now Pacific Rim won't get a sequel or more figures or a breakfast cereal or anything. Disappointing.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Bug Hunt."

Man, I need a Predator figure...I splurged this weekend on the Jungle Extraction Dutch figure from NECA, and it's a right proper figure! Great articulation, paint, and sculpt; for about the same price as a Marvel Legend or DCUC figure--maybe cheaper! Absolutely worth picking up.

The bit about the animals on Rann being confused by bright colors, is from Grant Morrison's story in the DC Comics Presents: Mystery in Space issue. I don't know if Rann has shown up in the New 52 yet, but I'm kind of worried it's filled with aliens and predators like, well, Aliens and Predators; as opposed to the weird charm it used to have.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pretty much how I felt yesterday, Man-Wolf.

Damn, fell way behind yesterday, so a quick page is all I've got today: Creatures on the Loose #32, "Moon of the Hunter!" Written by Tony Isabella, pencils by George Tuska, inks by Vince Colletta. Kraven the Hunter is out for the Man-Wolf, and even though he's acting like that's part of a bigger game; it's still not the worst of John Jameson's problems. For another, NASA ordered him back to active duty two weeks ago, and now the F.B.I. is looking for him. Oh, and the whole being a werewolf thing.

New homemade strip tomorrow, though! Should get that wrapped up, then.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

"Decay Meets the Mad Viking!" Oh, and Man-Thing.

So I thought last week's Morbius comic written by Steve Gerber was crazy, but it's not a patch on today's comic: from 1975, Man-Thing #16, "Decay Meets the Mad Viking!" Written by Steve Gerber, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Tom Palmer.

"Decay" is a fixation of shock-rocker Eugene "the Star" Spangler, who concludes a Radio City concert with an announcement that he will spend the next year, in seclusion, to "compose my ultimate opus, a most profound and cosmic operatic tribute--to ruin, to rot, to all the gorgeousness of dirt and decadence! To you, my beautiful freaks, to you!" I'm pretty sure Spangler is a caricature of Alice Cooper, but Cooper was a showman, and Spangler seems like a true believer so far, closing with the proclamation that he'll be at the "house of murders," which is actually a bit more truth than hyperbole...

One page and three weeks later, a young woman is being chased through the swamps of the Florida Everglades, because it wouldn't be a Man-Thing comic without a young woman being chased through the swamps of the Florida Everglades. A gator nearly gets her, but it's stopped by the Man-Thing (mostly just to shut the girl up, since Manny is generally mindless here) and then Man-Thing is attacked by the girl's pursuer: the mad viking of the title, who rants about men, and hits the confused and uncaring Manny with a battle-ax.

Meanwhile, Spangler and his entourage have taken up residence at the nearby "House of Murders," which comes with a total of three editorial footnotes today; not the least of which being it was the site of Ted Sallis's research lab before he became the Man-Thing. Spangler has his own little rant about how there is nothing in life to aspire to, only mud; when the chased woman shows up. The woman recognizes Spangler, though; and immediately realizes he's in danger as well, from her grandfather, the mad viking. A former longshoreman and a brute of a man, he was going to be forced into retirement after his sixty-fifth birthday, but felt that "a man's gotta work, or he dries up an' dies!" When an executive tries to force him out, with the cops, the viking attacks and pummels everyone there, calling them "toy men--not a backbone in the lot!"

At home, the viking disapproves of his granddaughter Astrid's choice of men--a young artist, whom the viking throws out a third-story window--and then he really starts to lose it, beginning a crusade against men he considered weaklings and sissies, and the women that supported them. Where he would've gotten a viking outfit and battle-ax, I couldn't guess; but he next murders a guitarist during a concert, and sends a list of his prospective targets to the papers, which includes Spangler. Spangler answers Astrid with his own story, how his own grandfather was a mean man who hunted parakeets for sport, his mother was a hunting dog, and his father a Nazi submarine commander. (...what?) Astrid doesn't think Spangler is taking the situation seriously, when the viking attacks. Still, Spangler's crew aren't "gentle hippies," and are willing to fight.

As the battle rages, and the Man-Thing shows up again, Spangler is inspired, scrawling frantically away at his magnum opus. He probably should've done so a bit further back from the action, since he catches a battle-ax in the chest. The viking turns on Astrid, but is stopped by the Man-Thing, who realizes the viking is just as helpless in the grip of the unknown as Spangler, as Astrid, as anyone; and is driven by insecurity and fear--all together now--"and whatever knows fear--burns at the Man-Thing's touch!!" The viking goes down, "impotent and harmless," (if not armless) as the Man-Thing lurches back into his swamp. He doesn't understand, but does anyone?

A surprisingly dark, dense issue; while still hitting the notes usually used in a Man-Thing story. And of course, Buscema knocks it out of the park.
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Friday, July 12, 2013

Ah, the Inhumanity!

From Comics Alliance, we see the first images for Marvel's upcoming Inhumanity event, which as some wags have already pointed out in the comments and elsewhere, doesn't seem to feature that many Inhumans, and kinda looks a lot like Earth X. "Following the events of Infinity, the Terrigen Mists are released throughout the world, causing the activation of previously dormant Inhuman cells in millions of people," blah blah blah. We're only mentioning it because there's a Nightcrawler on the teaser image!

Marvel would really be doing me a solid if this is our regular Marvel universe's Kurt Wagner back, and not a clone, a Skrull, a previously unmentioned sibling or son, or the Nightcrawler of earth-398 or something. Also, it would be just smashing if he came back and wasn't a priest, or Angela's herald or apostle or some such. Hell, if they really wanted to grant my wish, I would love it if Kurt quit the X-teams, as he threatened to before his death in Second Coming.

I do kind of like the Inhumans as well, although I still hate the way every writer that gets to use the Inhumans, has seemingly only read the classic Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four issues with them...and mmmmmmaybe the really, really good Jenkins/Lee miniseries. Their other appearances, hell, their most recent appearances? Will probably be completely ignored. Prove me wrong, Marvel; I'm probably already on the hook for this one...

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

For $.99, Good! For $3.50? Bad. (That joke, Ugly...)

Quick one today: I mentioned some time back getting most of Dynamite's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly comics; and yesterday I picked up a couple of their earlier series, The Man with No Name. Conveniently (or confusingly) enough, the first story arc was "The Good, the Bad, and the Uglier." (Written by Christos Gage, illustrated by Wellington Dias.) Blondie and Tuco's brother, Father Pablo Ramirez, are up against a horde of army deserters who will overrun the father's mission in search of an imaginary treasure. To make matters worse, among the deserters is the phenomenal sniper known only as "the Ghost."

(A silly joke there--reference here)

I found issues #4 and #6 for $.99 each at Hastings, and would love to check the other two local stores for more, but I'm swamped lately. Perhaps today I can squeeze in time for a little more reading for tomorrow's post!
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"And Lady Not-Appearing-In-This-Movie."

It's hard to pass up a free action figure: I had four bucks worth of points from K-Mart's reward program, and found The Bridge Direct's Hobbit six-inch Tauriel figure for four bucks, so...

I haven't got around to seeing the first Hobbit movie yet, but I guess warrior elf woman Tauriel doesn't appear, or at least appear much, until the second one. I also don't think relative newcomer Bridge Direct's six inch figures are quite at the level of the old Toy Biz Lord of the Rings line, but that would be a tough benchmark to hit right out of the gate. Tauriel's not a bad-looking figure, with fairly decent sculpt and mass-market paint. The likeness on the face seems pretty strong. The articulation isn't quite there, though; but part of that is the design, and the long plastic hair and skirt blocks other points.

The Hobbit toys came in a 3 3/4 inch and 6-inch scales: Tauriel here is six-inch, but the character must be shorter than I would have expected, like under five feet tall. (In six-inch scale, one inch equals one foot: a six-foot tall person would be a six-inch figure. Bilbo Baggins, being three foot something, would have a figure three inches and change tall.) Still, not bad, especially for free!

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

'Why is a Raven like a writing desk?' I dunno, but I can tell you "Why is Batman such a jerk?"

From 2000, Batman: Gotham Knights #6's Batman: Black&White back-up: "The Riddle" Written by Walt Simonson, art by John Paul Leon.

The riddle in question is Lewis Carroll's "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" Supposedly, it was intended to be nonsense, and there's no real answer; but when eccentric billionaire Sir Richard Pettifogger dies, rumor has it Lewis Carroll's answer is one of the documents in his collection. And you know what Batman foe wouldn't be able to resist that: the Mad Hatter! the Riddler!

Pettifogger's castle home includes a hidden room, with automaton guards like the Jabberwock, the Queen of Hearts, and the Mad Hatter--no, not that one, although the whole thing seems up his alley. Still, on the price ticket on the fallen Hatter's hatband, the Riddler finds the answer. Which Batman almost immediately steps on, and the Riddler loses the card: Batman claims he knew the Riddler would try for it, so he ran the Wonderland gauntlet earlier, and placed his own answer for the Riddler to find! Was that the right answer? Was there an answer? Batman won't say, as Riddler is dragged kicking and screaming back to Arkham. Kinda mean, Bats.

I've mentioned before, I've hardly read any Lewis Carroll myself, but I maintain, read enough comics and you'll pick up the gist of it.

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Monday, July 08, 2013

Man didn't steal fire from heaven, they got it from aliens. Oh, and Morbius is in this post.

Pictures are displaying oddly lately, so I'm still playing with them a bit: they're all loaded more than once today, but click to enlarge!

A momentary confusion: I thought I had blogged Adventure into Fear with Morbius the Living Vampire #20 some years back, but I just read issue #21 and the storyline didn't seem to match up at appears that was actually #27 I blogged before, a Doug Moench/Frank Robbins piece. Today's issue, #21, "Project: Second Genesis!" was written by Steve Gerber, art by Gil Kane, inks by Vince Colletta.
Mind-controlled by the occult priest Daemond, Morbius has been sent to assassinate one of Daemond's foes. Morbius is shocked and appalled to realize said foe is...a little girl, and pulls out the will to fight off Daemond's control. Unfortunately, then Morbius's vampire bloodlust kicks in, and he's compelled to drink the girl's blood anyway. Still, the little girl, Tara, puts up a good fight, since she had a surprisingly array of mental powers, including the ability to manifest an older, warrior woman version of herself. Morbius bites the older Tara, which somehow drains and puts bite marks on the young one; but head cleared, he starts to take her to a hospital when he's stopped by the mysterious Caretakers, who claim only they can save the girl.
At the Caretakers' creepy house, Morbius finds they too have mental powers, and an a house full of incredible scientific advances, including the usual clones in tubes. The Caretakers tell Morbius they were an alien scout party that crashed on earth thousands of years ago, and decided to teach the primates and help them evolve. The historian, Kammar, claims to have shown primitive man how to make fire; and Morbius seems to buy it. Still, now the Caretakers are getting old, and the world is getting worse (in the seventies...) so they're building a new race, "to join with man and carry on our work." But the mystic Daemond, believing the future lies in the supernatural, has been fighting them. Morbius doesn't want any part of either, feeling "man should earn his right to survive," but frankly Morbius has his own problems. Still, the Caretakers, who claim they can't kill themselves, say if Morbius 'takes care of' Daemond, they will help him find his beloved Martine.
Morbius knows Daemond is a killer, since previously Daemond used him for a murder; but wonders if he can actually kill without the bloodlust to spur him on. Arriving at Daemond's, he interrupts the mystic and a girl (whose face is obscured more than once, for some reason...) performing a summoning ritual, which conjures up the cat-demon Balkatar. Caught by surprise, Morbius is forced outside and pinned; and Daemond simply plans on the demon holding the vampire there until dawn...y'know, I was going to say they must live in a terrible neighborhood if nobody's going to notice something like that, but how many people are really up around dawn? Worse, Daemond shows the girl how horrible Morbius is, and she agrees: of course, she's Morbius's girlfriend, Martine.

I never did get around to reading the most recent (and I believe, already cancelled) Morbius series; but I'm willing to bet it didn't have a tenth of the pure weird of these old ones. And just from looking at the GCD (where this series is under just "Fear," for reasons involving the indica) the Caretakers plotline ran to #26, by Moench and not Gerber. I have to suspect they weren't entirely benevolent, yeah; but that's a trope I'm coming to hate: that Ancient Astronauts or whoever are responsible for every achievement man ever made, and poor stupid humans couldn't have discovered fire, agriculture, or their own ass from a hole in the ground.

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