Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kirby Your Enthusiasm, episode three

In which I rail against my own inability to read the comics that I'm buying, especially all these long-running series. How do I get to 16-17 issues of Doom Patrol and Sweet Tooth and still not have read A SINGLE ISSUE??


I also talk about my weekly haul from Kings Comics (http://www.kingscomics.com/) and give Top Shelf Productions (http://www.topshelfcomix.com/) a plug.

Feel free to send your comments to Dann.Lennard@gmail.com.

Kirby Your Enthusiasm, episode 2

LOOK for my latest podcast at http://kirbyyourenthusiasm.libsyn.com/kirby-your-enthusiasm-episode-2.
In it, I discuss my ongoing project of reading a minimum 50 comics a month. This month, it's a side project to read a bunch of stand-alone issues.

* NOW WITH STAR RATINGS (ala Wrestling Observer Newsletter PPV reports) *

***** Watchmen, Marvelman, V For Vendetta
**** Supreme, Swamp Thing, Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?
*** Legion Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Axel Pressbutton, Tom Strong
** Promethea
* WildC.A.T.S.
DUD (or lower) anything he’s written for Avatar

1. Hellboy In Mexico (Dark Horse, 2010) ***¾
2. Fin Fang 4 Returns (Marvel, 2009) ***½
3. Hate Annual #8 (Fantagraphics, 2010) ***
4. Fame: Lady Gaga #1 (Bluewater Comics, 2010) ***
5. Saga Of The Von Erich Warriors (Sage Productions, 1988) ½*
6. The Guild #3 (Dark Horse, 2010) ***¼
7. Weird War Tales (DC, 2010) ***
8. Tails Of The Pet Avengers: The Dogs Of Summer (Marvel, 2010) ***
9. R.P.M. #1 (12-Gauge, 2010) **½
10. Image Firsts: Madman Comics #1 (Image, 2010) ***
11. Marvelman Primer (Marvel, 2010) **
12. Officer Downe (Image, 2010) **½
13. Marvel Sneak Peeks (Marvel, 2010) **
14. Young Allies #6 (Marvel, 2010) ***
15. Deadpool Team-Up #888 (Marvel, 2010) ****
16. Hellboy: Double Feature Of Evil (Dark Horse, 2010) ***¾
17. The Twelve: Spearhead (Marvel, 2010) ****
18. FVZA #3 (Radical, 2010) ***
19. Halcyon #1 (Image, 2010) ***¼
20. Wonder Woman #600 (DC, 2010) **½
21. Turok Son Of Stone #1 (Dark Horse, 2010) **
22. Mythos: Captain America #1 (Marvel, 2008) **¾
23. Iron Man: Extremis: Director’s Cut #3 (Marvel, 2005/10) *****
24. Krazy Comic – May 28, 1977 (IPC, 1977) **
25. Marvel Super Special #41: Howard The Duck (Marvel, 1986) *
26. Devil May Dance #3 (British indy title, 2008) DUD
27. Rockfall #3 (British indy title, 2009) *
28. Scraps From The Tableaux (Paper Tableaux, 2006) **
29. Sleazy Does It (EdTraquino.com, 2007) ***
30. Bijlmer Boys #3: Going Down (indy title, 1999) DUD
31, Psychosis! #2 (GWP, 2007) *½
32. The Hunter #1 (Ryan Bayliss, 2008) ½*
33. Night Warrior #1 (Raging Psycho Comics, 2006) ½*
34. Carvers #3 (Image, 1999) *
35. Blue Smoke #1 (Paper Tableaux, 1999) **
36. Vertigo Resurrected (Vertigo, 2010) **½
37. The Rat (British indy title, ??) **
38. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 (DC, 2010) ***¾
39. Batman #700 (DC, 2010) ***
40. Soldier Zero (Boom!, 2010) **
41. Hellboy/Beasts Of Burden: Sacrifice (Dark Horse, 2010) **¾
42. The Incomplete Death’s Head #4 (Marvel, 1993) **½
43. The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes #1 (Marvel, 2010) ***
44. Superman #700 (DC, 2010) **½
45. The National Crumb #1 (Mayfair Publications, 1975) DUD
46. Big Bang #1 (Zoo Arsonist Press, 1995) ***½
47. Fox Comics #23 (Fox Comics, 1989) ***
48. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Magazine #1 (JC Comics Group, 1981) *
49. 2000AD Megazine Vol. 4 Issue 10 (Rebellion, 2002) ***
50. A Section Of The San Francisco Panorama (McSweeney’s Issue 33 (2009) ****

ALSO: check out The Comic Book Attic at http://comicbookattic.libsyn.com/ and Lone Star Comics at https://www.mycomicshop.com/.
And to send me your thoughts on this podcast, please email me at Dann.Lennard@gmail.com.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What the Don Heck...?

AFTER barely 20 posts in 21/2 years, things are changing at KIRBY YOUR ENTHUSIASM.
This blog is gonna keep the name - 'cos I'm a sucker for bad puns - but the focus is gonna change from just being about Jack "The King" Kirby to a more broad-based comics-themed blog.

(Hence a JLA/Avengers pic above)

Hopefully, I'll be updating this blog a helluva lot more than I have been, including podcasts.
I'm very excited about this latest development, so I hope you'll be interested enough to check them out.

In the meantime, feel free to read my less-than-two-dozen rants about Jack Kirby.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

REVIEW: DC Comics Presents #84

DC Comics Presents #84 (DC, 1985)
Writer: Bob Rozakis/pencillers: Jack Kirby & Alex Toth/inker: Greg Theakston

I wasn’t a huge fan of the recent Showcase Presents: Challengers Of The Unknown book (boring characters, repetitive plots, etc), but I had to pick up this comic from Lone Star as it may well have been one of the last things Kirby drew for DC. And guess what? I loved it! Kirby’s art looks great with Theakston’s inking on top and, hell! there’s seven bonus pages of Toth’s brilliant art as well! It’s topped off by a fab Kirby cover (with Kirby’s Superman face left untouched by the powers that be at DC). Superman and the Challengers face a Phantom Zone villain and the whole damn shebang is a lot of fun to read. The Challengers are still pretty boring though.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Showcase Presents: Challengers Of The Unknown Vol. 1

Showcase Presents Challengers Of The Unknown Vol. 1 (containing Showcase #6-12 & Challengers #1-17) (DC, 2006)
Writers: Dave Wood, Jack Kirby, Arnold Drake & Ed Herron/illustrators: Jack Kirby, Wally Wood, Roz Kirby, Marvin Stein, George Klein, Bruno Premiani and Bob Brown

THERE'S no doubt that this is a bargain-basement cheap way of getting one’s hands on a ton of awesome Kirby-pencilled/Wally Wood-inked art, but I don’t think my mushy brain coped well with 540+ pages of late 1950s DC inanity. Seriously, reading this many issues of wonky sci-fi nearly did my head in.
The one thing that surprised me early on was the repetitiveness of these stories. Kirby’s supposed to be some kinda creative genius but the Challengers stories boil down to three essential plots:
1. The Challengers face an evil dude who has a magic box or consumed a magic elixir or is using a super-science machine to cause mischief, like creating monsters to attack our heroes
2. The Challengers are whisked away to an alien world – or perhaps sucked into another dimension – where they fight evil aliens, OR
3. Some numbskull explorer gets into trouble by unearthing some alien enemy or dormant monster and the Challengers are called in to save the day.
The Challengers usually tackle these escapades with deathwish-seeking glee. Seriously, they’re constantly talking about “living on borrowed time” and volunteering for suicidal missions. These guys need psychiatrists, pronto!
They also don’t give a shit about advancing science or preserving our history. And after some amazing adventure where they travel in a time machine or discover the golden fleece from Jason & The Argonauts fame, they cheerfully destroy said invaluable artefact/invention ’cos they determine that mankind would be better off without it. No-one seems to care about this thoughtless, anti-intellectual, pro-Luddite behaviour.
The Challengers themselves – Ace, Prof, Red and Rocky – are fairly interchangeable although Ace appears to be the boss (and the brains, even though one of the other guys is a professor). Then there’s the honorary “fifth” Challenger, June, whose only role in life is to go on pointless scientific expeditions to isolated islands (of which there are quite a few in Challengers yarns) and get menaced till the boys come to her rescue (admittedly, June occasionally rescues the boys, too).
There are a few subtle changes in the post-Kirby/Wood stories that improve things a little. Bob Brown’s art may be less impressive, but the writers attempt to liven up the Challengers by giving them a bit more personality. Olympic wrestler Rocky Davis devolves into a meathead (in fact, at times he’s portrayed as almost-pro wrestler like) who gets teased endlessly by hothead rascal Red Ryan. Erm...that’s not much, I’ll admit, but it’s a 100% improvement on their previous bland personalities.
There’s also an attempt to introduce a recurring super-villain to...erm, challenge the Challengers.
Issue 14 gives us Multi-Man – a villain who inherits new powers every time he dies and is reborn. The Challengers basically spend the whole story trying to stop the guy from committing suicide. Multi-Man returns the following ish to again cause headaches for our heroes.
Overall, I kinda enjoyed these stories, but I have to say it was a real chore to read them all at once. Next time I pick up one of these Showcase books, I’ll know better and just dip in and out when I’m after a bit of mindless late 50s fun.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Marvel Super Action #1 (1977)

Marvel Super Action #1 (Marvel, 1977)
Writer: Stan Lee/penciller: Jack Kirby/inker: Syd Shores
IT'S only a reprint, but I dug this ish, despite the muddy art reproduction of Captain America #100. Still, Kirby’s greatness shines through (especially his rendition of the Black Panther...or “The Panther” as he’s called throughout this ish). Lee’s yarn is silly (as usual) but it makes sense in that 1960s Marvel manner, which I love greatly. Kirby and Lee were a great duo – if only they’d had the brains to realise they needed each other to bring out the best in each other.