Tuesday, 20 November 2018

The Kids From Rec. Road vs. The Gargantuan Graham-Thing

Hey, didja check out this week's Kids From Rec. Road already? We're still on the hunt for That Darn Arnold Lipshitz, the kid with greatest comic collection in town, and this week, we introduce our very own man-monster The Gargantuan Graham-Thing, because Whatever Knows Fear.... Oh, you heard that one already?
As always, we're just a swerve of your mouse to the right there and a click on the link for more free fantabulous frolics and fun.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Superman & Batman: The Super-Foes From Planet X

Back to the Silver Age now, for one of those super silly World's Finest stories where Bats, Supes & Robin fight aliens. Y'know, one of those tales everybody says they hate, and that ruined the Darknight Detective for years, but that always raise a smile and that we all like really.
My personal Bronze Age was still full of reprints like this, and I had no problem slotting them right alongside more 'serious' fare, and enjoying them in the spirit they were intended.
After all, I didn't know the Silver Age was over and we were now in the Bronze Age. Nobody told me.
This one, The Super-Foes From Planet X, has always stuck with me, if only for the scene with the matchbox and the genius way Batman escapes the trap the alien's put them all into.
Go on, smile. You know you want to.

Friday, 16 November 2018

The Valley Of The Worm

One of Robert E. Howard's greatest one-off stories was actually adapted twice into comic form.
In 1975 John Jakes & Richard Corben opened up and expanded The Valley Of The Worm into the post-apocalyptic graphic novel Bloodstar, but Marvel got there a year earlier in this issue of Supernatural Thrillers.
Both versions are, of course, magnificent, so let's start with the short version, courtesy of Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Gil Kane & Ernie Chan.
Roy and Gerry, natch, absolutely catch the flavour of REH's prose and two-fisted poetry, and if I'd prefer, say, Dan Adkins sleeker inks over Gil's pencils, you can't deny Ernie adds a certain grittiness to the art.
Like a lot of REH's work, Valley Of The Worm works with the concept of ancestral memory and past lives, adding an extra edge to the tale, and James Allison / Niord is as doom laden as the best of his heroes. In fact, you can easily see Bran Mak Morn singing his death song before going into battle, as Niord the Aasgardian does here, not to mention sidekick Grom being an ancestor of Brule The Spear Slayer.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The Kids From Rec. Road Say Goodbye To Stan Lee

The conversations and reminisces of Stan will continue of course, and I'm sure we'll raise a glass to him when we all meet up at cons, but I just wanted The Kids to say farewell to Stan properly. Click over to the right there for our tribute to The Man who defined all our childhood's.

Monday, 12 November 2018

RIP Stan Lee

The Man is gone. I guess we all knew, deep down, we wouldn't have much longer with the old showman, but still a shock.
Just like Ditko, I first met Stan in the pages of The Mighty World Of  Marvel #1, where of course, I also met Spidey, The Hulk, Reed, Sue, Ben & Johnny for the first time, and fell in love with them all.
Sean just emailed me to say that, without Stan, he wouldn't have had a career, and we probably would never have met, and become lifelong friends.
I bet there's thousands of people, in and out of the industry, saying similar tonight.

Our gang preferred Marvel over DC hands down ( as great as their material was ), and I believe a huge part of that was down to Stan. Name any writer or artist from the start of Marvel through to the end of the Bronze Age. Now name their Marvel Bullpen nickname. Jazzy John, Roy The Boy, Genial Gene. You still remember them all, right? That's Stan.
The Bullpen Bulletins. Stan's Soapbox. F.O.O.M. The inclusive, fun letters pages. That's Stan.

And all those tons of great stories and characters. Just for tonight, let's not talk about credit, and who did what, or who didn't.
Stan, Jack, Steve, Larry, Don, Gene, and all the rest I talk about daily on this blog. They all did it. And gave us a childhood full of fun, adventure and excitement. And made us all want to go out and do it ourselves. And it started and ended with Stan.
And how wonderful that we ( and he ) got to see the rest of the world catch up with us. That he became everybody's favourite cameo star. And that even little kids in their Spidey or Cap T-Shirts know who he is.
Yes, he was a huckster, yes, he was a showman. He was also our lifelong friend, our cool uncle, our hilarious Grandad. The Man.
But why're you listening to me? If I'm ever gonna let anyone take over this blog, it'd be this guy. Hey Stan, what d'you think?

Thank you, Stan. Thank you for everything. Excelsior. Forever.

Werewolf By Night vs Krogg The Lurker From Beyond

One of those comics I always seemed to have two copies of throughout the Bronze Age, no matter how many times I swapped one of them, Werewolf By Night #8 was actually the first issue I ever read of Jack Russell's hirsute alter ego. And I loved it, even though it screams filler.
Behind a magnificent Mike Ploog cover, there's a solid, unshowy Werner Roth art job over a tight Len Wein script. Ok, Roth was no Ploog, but it's perfectly acceptable, if slightly tame, stuff.
Werewolves, meanwhile, have always been my favourite monsters, though I generally had a bit of an issue with the Marvel Werewolf due to the fact I always kinda wished he had a bit more of a personality.
I get that the original idea was I, Werewolf and the narration was fun and all, but I always wanted there to be a bit more to him than grr, hunt, kill.
In fact, there's a Giant-Size Creatures I'll post at some point where Wolfie gets the hots for, and is rejected by, Tigra, and that's much more in line with what I wanted.
But I've always liked this one, warts and all, and the villain more than makes up for the Werewolf's lack of dialogue. Geez, is Krogg The Lurker From Beyond verbose. He could out talk The Leader or Doc Doom, this guy. Plus he's a rabbit, which is cool.
Fun to note also the scene where Krogg eats the souls of the two luckless hunters, inbetween panels. There's the Comics Code in action.