Saturday, 23 March 2019

Aquaman & Deadman ( Sort Of ) Team-Up

Poor old Aquaman, he never gets any respect. Long seen by many as the most pointless member of the JLA, he never seemed to be anyone's favourite character. Even Family Guy has had a pop at him.
And, personally, compared to his direct opposite over at Marvel, he couldn't ever be as angry, edgy or interesting as Subby.
And before anyone asks, yeah, I saw the film. Meh.
But wait, there was a time in the Bronze Age when Aquaman was briefly cool.
Dick Giordano put together some great teams and comics when he moved from Charlton to DC, and The King Of The Seven Seas got himself Steve Skeates & Jim Aparo, plus previous artist Nick Cardy stayed on to contribute some of the most stunning covers of his career. If I was Aquaman, I'd be praising Neptune every day for a creative team like that.

From the start, Skeates, Aparo & Giordano tried to make Aquaman an experimental superhero book, playing around with form and content, and riffing on westerns, Mickey Spillane, Harlan Ellison, and that familiar trope of the '70's, social relevancy, amongst others. Each issue was a bit different, a bit out there, and for a while there Aquaman could go anywhere, both as a book and a character.
Here's one of the most fun ideas, a kind of jam session between the team and Neal Adams. According to Skeates, Giordano had suggested doing a back-up strip, which immediately meant that every spare writer at DC barraged the team with ideas for it.
Giordano didn't like any of the suggestions until Adams came up with the idea of tying the back-up strip into the main feature, so Skeates deliberately left all the plot threads dangling so that Neal had to finish them off with his now included Deadman back-up. All of which goes to prove you should never volunteer for anything, 'cos you'll always get more to do than you intended.
Everybody involved here contributes dynamite work, particularly Aparo, who's clearly having a blast. Apparently, Aquaman at the time was a book no one was reading, particularly the higher ups at DC, so these guys did more or less what they wanted, and this really feels like a free-form Charlton book like E-Man more than something from the towers of Superman.
Oh, and there's THAT in-joke of all in-jokes splash panel. You'll know it when you see it.

Friday, 22 March 2019

The Kids From Rec. Road Meet Caroline Munro

Well, not quite yet. But the consensus over at Rec. Road is that the lovely Caroline needs to guest star in the strip, so who am I to say no?
Here's a quick practice to get the look. Not quite there yet, But I'll keep working at it...

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

The Kids From Rec. Road In: Kids Of The Stones pt. 10 & YOUR Favourite Character!

Calm down Sean, it's not like it's legendary TV character actor Freddie Jones' fault you're stuck in the time-warped village of Milbury, and everyone's falling under a strange, mind-controlling spell... or is it?
Find out in this week's episode of The Kids From Rec. Road: Kids Of The Stones, over to the right there as always.
While at:

We're asking the only question that matters around these parts: Who's YOUR all-time favourite comic character? And more importantly, WHY?
Read all, see all, tell all. Even if it's Iron-Jaw....

Monday, 18 March 2019

Thank You Joe Sinnott!

As some of you may know, comics' greatest inker Joltin' Joe Sinnott, today announced he's retiring.
At the age of 92.
And you thought you'd put some hours in today.
So let's wish Joe well and celebrate his incredible career and body of work, shall we? Whaddya say, Doomsy?

Didn't I read somewhere Joe spent an entire day inking just the gun in that splash?
Like most of us, I first noticed Joe Sinnott's work in the fifth FF adventure, The Prisoners Of Doctor Doom!
Not that I knew it was him at the time. I'd only just discovered Marvel a few weeks before, only just knew who Stan Lee was, and had sort of figured out that 'J. Kirby' ( whoever he was ) did the drawings. And in this story the drawings looked even better than before.
It was a one-off at the time but, of course, when Joe eventually returned to the FF, I was immediately like: 'It's THAT artist!!!'
I've read a ton of comics, as have you, but it's my contention that Stan, Jack & Joe's Fantastic Four is the greatest run of ANY comic by ANY creative team in the entire history of comics.
Spidey by Stan & Steve come in at no. 2, but this run really is 'The World's Greatest Comic Magazine'.
Meanwhile, back at the beginning, there's this story. You'll all have read this one a million times of course, but I don't know how many of our overseas Bronze Age pals will have seen this particular version.
This is Joe Sinnott as we first met him in the UK, in the pages of The Mighty World Of Marvel, starting off a lifelong love of his amazing artistry.
So step back in time with Reed, Sue, Johnny & Ben. You're seven years old again and seeing THIS for the first time, and the only sensible reaction is: WOW.
Thank you Joe!