It's Alex Nino's birthday today, assuming creatures from other dimension's have birthday's. Alex was supposedly born in the Phillipines of human parents. This is clearly nonsense. See that photo? That's an actor Alex hires to appear at conventions for him. The real Alex Nino probably looks like one of those H.P.Lovecraft things in The Cthulhu Mythos. You don't believe me? Really? Here's the proof. NO ONE FROM THIS PLANET CAN DRAW LIKE THIS. As a for instance, here's an 'autobiographical' piece from Heavy Metal.
Let's look at some more Bronze Age ads. No really. They're often a great treasure trove of art. Like that Michael Golden shot of the Marvel Universe there. Or this fun Marie Severin one, with Howard The Duck shilling for his supper.
Here's what appears to be The Prez's red-headed brother & Gabby from The Newsboy Legion hawking DC subscriptions. Always loved the art on this piece. Anyone know who it is?
And here's a very Kirbyesque piece by Joe Staton advertising the imminent DC Explosion ( which soon thereafter became the much less trumpeted DC Implosion )
The ads for DC's in-House fanzine The Amazing World Of DC Comics were also always fun. I just like the idea of Batman, The Flash & Julie Schwartz ( ! ) speaking directly to the reader.
Man, I wanted these when I was a kid! I guarantee they weren't really that big, though. For some reason, we never bought anything out of the comics ad's. I guess in the '70's America felt so far away, it seemed impossible that we could actually get anything they advertised in comics. And as for going to convention's, forget it. You might as well plan a trip to Mars.
And here's a fun Joe Kubert Tarzan ad. It's always good to find these things in back issues, I guess they're kind of like easter eggs on DVD's or something.
Unless anybody knows different, I'm saying this is Neal Adams, presumably a piece done via his ( and at the time Dick Giordano's ) comic based ad agency, Continuity. Even without the benefit of Neal, I was always enthralled by the ads for TV shows in American comics as a kid. It all just seemed so much more fun than the bilge we got on saturday morning's.
And what did we get? Let's see, there was Champion The Bloody Wonder Horse:
Casey Jones ( steamin' an' a rollin' ), who, judging by this photo, later became the clown in It.
And The Flashing Blade, a french serial incredibly badly dubbed into english by that guy who now does the links on E4.
Ok, The Flashing Blade was quite cool, I'll give you that. But really, a couple of shows from the '50's? No wonder American TV always looked so great.
And so we come at last to the greatest comic strips ever done in the history of the medium. The Hostess Twinkies & fruit pies ads started in 1977, with this Batman strip that I always thought was by Dick Giordano, but am reliably informed is actually Irv Novick.
As you can see, each ad featured a beloved hero making an arse of him, or herself, by taking on the lamest collection of villains this side of Nova's rogue's gallery. Villains who could easily be defeated by the promise of a scrumptious fruit based snack. It's only now, years later, that we can see just how utterly insane these things were. At the time, I'm sure, we just took 'em for granted. It wasn't just DC who shilled for Hostess, of course, Marvel got into the act too. And both companies had no qualms whatsoever about using their best artists on these classics. Like with this Ross Andru Spidey for instance.
Or this George Tuska Iron Man, with the greatest title of any Marvel comic ever.
DC , as well, brought out the big guns. Am I wrong, or are these two Curt Swan?
And if Green Lantern's here, can Green Arrow be far behind? I guess all that moaning about the environment, and the rights of the working man, doesn't extend to childhood obesity and tooth decay, huh, Ollie?
Meanwhile, back at Marvel, John Romita is paying the rent.
But the biggest surprise has to be Gil Kane ( GIL KANE! ) on these two masterpieces.
Then there was The Flash:
And Wonder Woman:
Yep, even Josie & The Pussycats got in on the act! If you're insane enough to want to see more of this, you can catch EVERY AD over at www.seanbaby.com. And just in case anyone's interested, no, I've never eaten a Hostess Twinkie. Presumably, I could just snort a big bag of sugar. That'd be the same, wouldn't it?
Welcome back to Earth-X for the second part of Len Wein's barking mad team-up between The Justice League, The Justice Society & The Freedom Fighters, with more pitch-perfect artwork from Dick Dillin & Dick Giordano. So, of all the legendary characters here, who would you say is the lamest hero of the three teams? I'm tempted to say Doll Man, what with his stupid name, and the need to constantly invent ways that he could actually be of any use. ( Just like Aqualad, who always had his fights near swimming pools ) But I think I'd have to go for The Human Bomb. Firstly, he ISN'T a Human Bomb, not like Nitro, The Exploding Man, and secondly, he couldn't even be arsed to make a proper costume. He won't be invited back for next year's team-up.
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