Friday, July 29, 2011
I have to say that I have never seen an episode of Battle of the Planets or Gatchaman, but I have a friend who is very into the property, so I thought I would give a cover featuring them a shot. So I will put the question out there... what is the difference between Gatchaman and BotP? It looks like there is a ton of material covering them - where is the best place for someone new to the characters to start?
Thursday, July 28, 2011
That's right, Batman is back to claim his mantle as the host of this blog! I have 100 covers to post so there will be plenty of Bat-goodness until I move on to the next title... and that's not the only change - I hope everyone noticed that there is now Lost Issues App available for Android or any type of phone or tablet, It's free, just go here to get it:
You just have to love Adam West. Here's a guy who has a great sense of humor about and respect for his place in comics history. While some actors have tried to distance themselves from their connection to superhero and genre roles, West has embraced it and you have to appreciate that, regardless of your opinion of the 60's series. His Batman show is a hoot to watch now with the campy dialogue and the guest stars hamming it up as villains... but when I was a kid I viewed it in a completely different light. I took it as a straight action show, and loved how colorful it was with so many characters from the comics coming to life. The only thing it was missing for me was Two-Face! I think that ability to appeal to viewers on different levels must have played a big role in its success.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I was very glad to see Zatanna finally get her own ongoing series in the past couple of years, she is a character that has long since earned it... I enjoyed it quite a bit which was not a surprise with Paul Dini on writing chores. It looks like the series did not survive the DC reboot, but Zatanna will be showing up in Justice League Dark. Hopefully the writer Peter Milligan will let her shine there. I'm not so sure about the new look that she has been given. The top hat and fishnets look is a classic and I'd prefer if they had stayed closer to that style.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I really hope that The Cartoon Network brings back Young Justice soon. I was really impressed by the writing and animation on this series, and just when it was getting really interesting, it was yanked off of the schedule. It really killed the momentum of the show. They did the same thing with Batman: The Brave and the Bold, I am still waiting for them to air the final batch of episodes there. I also think that DC is missing a bet by not having the animated series line up more with their upcoming Teen Titans ongoing comic book series. The comic looks to have a different roster, and the characters that are the same have very different looks and in Robin and Kid Flash's case different secret identities. Seems to me like a lost opportunity to create some synergy. At any rate, I truly enjoy the show and hope that it returns to have a nice long run.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I just watched a bit of the Wonder Woman pilot that was recently not picked up to go to series. Woof, was that a bullet dodged! Wonder Woman is one of those properties that has had a lot of difficulty in being adapted to TV and film, and it kind of puzzles me as to what the problem is. One part Xena, one part Superman, with a dash of Captain America thrown in and there you go! Another thing about Wonder Woman that nobody seems to agree on is the outfit - long pants, short pants, skirt... eagle or double W symbol, many stars or a couple of big stars, everyone has a different opinion. I am of the mind that she is a character that should not be tied down to one look. I like the traditional garb, but feel that she should have a variety of outfits for different climates and conditions. Some should be more ceremonial in nature and some more suited for battle. Hopefully hollywood will finally work out the bugs one day and we can finally see a big screen interpretation worthy of comics most recognizable super-heroine.
Friday, July 22, 2011
I enjoyed Wildcat as a member of the Justice Society, but where I really began to dig him was in the Bob Haney written issues of The Brave and the Bold. Sure, Wildcat was not supposed to exist on the same Earth as Batman, but Haney never let that kind of thing get in the way of a good story! That attitude was a big inspiration for this blog. I like the fact that Wildcat became to be known as a trainer of other heroes, with characters such as Black Canary, Catwoman, and even Batman receiving some tutelage from him. He maintained that status with the return of the JSA and it helped him to stand out among other heroes. Ted Grant is now MIA along with the rest of the JSA characters as a result of the DCU reboot, here's hoping that he won't be missing for long.
Here is a commission of Wildcat I had done by Steve Rude:
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Ever since I stumbled onto The Wrong Trousers years ago, I have been a huge Wallace & Gromit fan. Nick Park painstakingly creates the adventures of the cheese loving, daffy inventor Wallace and his trusty and intelligent dog, Gromit through claymation and the humor and timing are impeccable. I soon sought out A Grand Day Out, A Close Shave, and all of their other award winning animated shorts. I was thrilled when they were featured in a full length film, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and it did not disappoint. Park's company, Aardman has other properties as well, Creature Comforts, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run to name a few, and they are all delightful. Still, I feel that Wallace and Gromit is the crowning jewel, and I hope that they continue to appear in new adventures.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Vampirella is one of those characters that seems to attract a lot of great artists. A quick Google search in preparation for this cover gave me tons of images to choose from. I guess the sexy outfit and unapologetic attitude makes her prime material for commission pieces. I went with a Dan Brereton illustration, as I really like how he depicts dark and demonical characters. Vampirella is obviously prettier than most of the denizens of the underworld, but the way he makes her look, she fits right in.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Tron was one of my favorite movies growing up and I still like to pop it in occasionally. I loved the whole concept of being trapped in the game grid and feel that the special effects were very impressive for the time, and they still hold up pretty well. In fact, I think they work better than the effects on the recent sequel, Tron: Legacy. The clean sharp lines of the original look much cooler to me than the swishy neon effects that were used on the sequel. I did like that they used Jeff Bridges in dual roles but the CGI used to make him younger did not work for me and the Clu character just looked a bit creepy. Oh well, at least I have the original to still enjoy.
Monday, July 18, 2011
I liked video games but was always somewhat disappointed but games based on superheroes. They were usually side scrolling and very repetitive. I always wished that there would be a superhero themed game set in a huge open environment where you could control the hero, solving puzzles and fighting bad guys. I was giving up hope when I finally got a copy of Eidos' first Tomb Raider Game. It wasn't based on a comic book character, but this was finally the kind of action I had been hoping for. Thankfully, the format took off and we have seen some great games, superhero and otherwise in the years since. I have to believe a great game like Arkham Asylum would not have come about if not for the ground broken by Tomb Raider.
The Tomb Raider films are not high art by any standard, but I have to admit I enjoyed them both. I understand there is some interest in reviving the character as a movie property, and I will be interested in seeing what comes of that.
Friday, July 15, 2011
I like comic properties that can be plugged into a wide variety of story types and that has always been one of the strengths of The Fantastic Four. Thy were heroes, but also adventurers and they had their fair share of drama, humor and tragedy. Tom Strong appealed to me in the same way. The stories featuring Tom Strong and his supporting cast spanned many different genres and always kept the tales interesting. Even more than a Thing/Tom Strong team up, I would love to see the entire FF meet up with the Strong Family. That would surely make for an epic adventure!
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Or the Teeny Tiny Titans, to be exact! Tiny Titans is one of the hidden Gems of DC's current output. I liked the promotional materials, so I picked up the first issue on a whim. I was instantly hooked. It's one of the few comics that can always be counted on to make me laugh out loud with each issue. The character designs and humor are perfect for kids and the DCU in-jokes are plentiful, which give long time fans a lot to enjoy as well. I'm not sure which of any of DC's kid's line will survive post reboot, but I hope this title doesn't go anywhere. It's the best superhero themed children's comic I have ever seen and it would be a shame for it to go away.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Well, the trailer for the upcoming Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson Tintin film hit the web a few days ago and I am cautiously optimistic. There's no doubt that they got the look right, and the action looks fun and cool - but I still have reservations with the CGI. As amazing as some of the advancements in CGI have been, one thing that has never convinced me is human faces. If they are more cartoony like in Toy Story or exaggerated like in The Incredible Hulk they can work, but straight on human faces still look a little off to me, and it has lessened my enjoyment of films like A Christmas Carol and Beowulf. I haven't seen the new trailer in HD yet, so I can't tell how well the faces work... but from what I have seen, it looks pretty promising. Hopefully the films will be successful and introduce a legion of Harry Potter readers to Herge's classic character.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I didn't know too much about The Warlord other than the fact that he seemed to be DC's version of Ka-Zar. I enjoyed his appearances on Justice League Unlimited however, and I should really give his stories a shot, I think. They also sport some very nice artwork by Mike Grell, an underrated artist if there ever was one.
Monday, July 11, 2011
I had never read any of The Walking Dead, but I had heard great things about it. So, when the Walking Dead series came on the air, I figured I would give it a look, and I loved it. I thought it was very well done and was left really wanting more since only six episodes were aired. They have been making new ones and they will begin again in October, I think. It looks like the success of the Walking Dead TV series is influencing other programs as well. I watched a few episodes of Falling Skies, and it seemed very derivative - a ragtag group of people trying to survive in a world dominated by aliens instead of zombies. And now I see promos for Terra Nova, which appears to be about a ragtag group of people trying to survive in a world dominated by dinosaurs. I'm not sure if I will be following either of those series, but I definitely will be tuning into The Walking Dead when it returns!
Friday, July 8, 2011
I thought that The Vigilante was the best character to spin out of Marv Wolfman and George Perez's New Teen Titans. I loved his simplified look and tough as nails personality and I felt he made a good foil for Dick Grayson. It's too bad that he did not catch on more with the comics audience, perhaps he was seen as a Punisher knock off? At any rate, after the Adrian Chase version took his own life, the concept never really rebounded. I will say that I did give the recent Vigilante series that sprung out of the pages of Nightwing a shot and found it to be pretty enjoyable. I don't think it sold very well though, and that's a shame. Perhaps he can fin a home as a supporting character in the new Nightwing series.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Unknown Soldier is one of those wart titles that I was immediately drawn to because of the brilliant artwork by Joe Kubert. I picked up the DC Showcase volume and enjoyed it immensely. Not only did I enjoy the illustrations, but the stories were very exciting. The concept of the Unknown Soldier is such that he could be placed in many kinds of wartime tales. Plus he was a master of disguise which gives him a bit of a traditional comic book hero vibe. Any fan of Sgt. Rock, Sgt. Fury, or just war stories in general should definitely check this out.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I recently decided to watch the Tick TV series on Netflix, to see how it held up. Wow, that show was even more bizarre than I had remembered. I'm amazed it ran as long as it did. It was cool to see a pre-Hellboy Ron Perlman show up in an episode though! The series that I would really like to revisit is the animated Tick. That was pretty funny and I know I missed a bunch of episodes when it was on. I loved when they would show a nighttime shot and you could see "CHA" carved into the Moon, referring back to an earlier episode where Chairface Chippendale was interrupted while attempting to carve his initials in it. That always made me chuckle for some reason.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
OK, I have to confess that I have never seen either the classic our updated version of the movie, The Thing - but this was one of my most often requested covers so I thought I would try and put something together. Admittedly, this is probably not exactly what was expected by the requests, but what can I say, I was in a goofy mood when I made this one! So, which Thing movie should I see? the Kurt Russel version or the original?
Monday, July 4, 2011
The first two Terminator movies are a couple of the best action movies ever made. I still remember seeing Terminator 2 in the theater and then calling my brother up telling him to immediately go see it. The special effects in that film were such a leap forward from what I had seen before. I distinctly recall thinking to myself, "Wow, they can do anything now!" A lost of people did not think that Terminator 3 lived up to the first two, and while I agree it wasn't as great as they were, I do find that move to be a lot of fun. Terminator Salvation, however, was a bit of a letdown for me. There's a couple of nice action sequences, but the story just did not work for me. I never did get around to watching the Terminator TV series, was it any good? I had heard rumblings of yet another Terminator film on the horizon, but given Arnold Scharzenegger's recent press, it might be a while before that one picks up any steam again.
Friday, July 1, 2011
I was a little too old to get into The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when it first came out as a cartoon, but I did get a kick out of the couple of black and white comics that I read where they made their debut. Later, I saw the first live action movie and I have to confess that it is a guilty pleasure for me. I feel no guilt, however, regarding my admiration for TMNT, their CGI animated movie. I though that was very well done and I absolutely loved the look of the film, particularly the brother vs. brother battle in the rain. That movie made me really want to see other comic book properties animated in the same manner, and sadly we haven't seen any since. It's too bad because it would be a great format to adapt a comic book without having to worry so much about how costumes translate to screen and the cost of major SFX scenes. I love watching live action superhero fare, but I definitely think is would be cool to see more CGI comic book films.