Saturday, 23 April 2011

Seeing things

This is quite cool - a page from Denny O'Neill and Dick Giordano's 1989 retelling of Batman's origin, "The Man Who Falls."

It's a decent story which was published exclusively in the trade, "Secret Origins" alongside a bunch of reprints. Apparently it was used as a reference by David Goyer and Christopher Nolan for Batman Begins.

Anyway, that's not why I scanned in the page. I wanted to draw your attention to this panel...

That's Thomas Wayne rescuing young Bruce from a cave full of bats. It could be accidental, but I think Thomas looks like Joker here.

Purple coat. Green hair. No?

Scans from The Man Who Falls, by Denny O'Neill and Dick Giordano, colours by Tom McCraw. 1989

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Cracking Cap page

I bought a skipload of bronze age Captain America at Kapow. It's largely great. Just finished issue 227 which sports this terrific cover...

Mein Gott!

The plot here is that the Red Skull has taken over the SHIELD helicarrier, turned all the operatives on board into Red Skulls and taken Nick Fury hostage. He straps Fury up to some solar powered death ray which will incinerate Fury once the sun hits its mirror. Top stuff.

Anyway, Cap fights his way to Fury just as he's about to get roasted, at which point the Skull starts his inevitable head fuck speech about Bucky. That moment gives us this quite splendid page...

Click it to see it nice and large. My issue is a bit yellow, but I think you can still appreciate some great storytelling here. Tip-top job by Sal Buscema. Love how the panels flow vertically as well as horizontally. Brilliant way to show a lot of stuff happening at the same time while maintaining the sense of drama and urgency. Tick-tock-tick-tock - Know what I mean? And what about this panel...

That's eye-popping, face-stretching, spit-flecked horror for you there, folks!


Scans from Captain America #227, November 1978. Written by Roger McKenzie. Drawn by Sal Buscema.

PS - It's not really Nick Fury! He'd never scream in the face of death. It's a SHIELD 'life model decoy' (obviously!) which the Skull used to trap Cap into making a rescue attempt. Ah, this issue is so gloriously ridiculous.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Brief Kapow thoughts

There's not much left to say about Kapow. I'm very late to the after show party and you've probably read all you need to about the convention already. Still, here are a few thoughts...

The general vibe I get from those who attended was good. It wasn't perfect, but then I only say that because it wasn't quite what I wanted. Selfish git, eh? I would have liked to see less movie fluff and more comics. I'd have ditched all the video game nonsense and replaced it with 25p boxes of tat, and I wouldn't have let some of the shite awful indy creators past the front door. No offence to indy creators, I love a good independent comic me, but there weren't many good independent comics on show. Far too much floorspace was taken up by sixth form standard bilge -IMO. What about those jokers at the end of artist alley selling dog rough sketches of aliens for a fiver?! If you bought one of those you want incinerating. So yeah, fuck them off next year and either get some decent indy creators OR replace them with more purveyors of old tat.

I bought a fair amount of old comics BUT, I have to say, in the main there were not many bargains to be had on the vintage stalls. Same old problem, I'm afraid - the sellers seem to be in denial over ebay. NEWSFLASH: thumbing through your Overstreet guide, deciding you have a NM copy and then slapping an extra few quid on top of the guide price isn't good enough any more. If you want to sell your water damaged copy of Giant Size X-Men #1 then you're going to have to quote a sensible price! I'm sure the stalls peddling the high price silver age tat sold some of those comics on their wall, but only to mugs. I am not paying you £270 for a comic that I can get for half as much on ebay! You have to adjust or you WILL die! Sorry. I don't want to see you die, I am just telling you the truth.

Right, moans out the way - the good...

The people. I had such a nice time meeting comic chums. Really. I even announced this after a couple of beers, at which point Little Ad said I was just sucking dick! Well, Little Ad - not so sir! The people (including Little Ad) were the undoubted highlight of the weekend for me. From Dexter and John, who schlepped the floors with me, to Dave who tore up the cosplay and provided plenty of laughs in the pub. It was spiffing to spend so much time with like minded folk. I got to meet Pete Kirkham, have a chat with Mike Leader, a bit of a yarn with Mr Salmond. Marvellous. It really was very pleasant. Then there were the brief but - for me anyway -enjoyable chats with creators. Shaky Kane - what a lovely fellah. He spent ten minutes apologising for the fact that the free sketch he was doing for me was shit. It wasn't shit and even if it was, it was fucking free! Chris Weston - politely breaking off from some proper work to pose for a snap and chatting happily about The Twelve with me (nearly finished, apparently). A 10am chat with Leinil Yu in a kebab shop. Nerdgasmic stuff. And what about the cosplayers? I saw a lot of this bunch in action because I spent a good proportion of the con following Dave around. Didn't talk to them, but enjoyed watching them doing their thing and got a little bit of an insight into the politics at work within their community. Some good soap opera there, for sure. Lesbian cosplay grooming FTW! Plus - Domino, PHWOAR!

Venue. Great place. Lovely and bright. Big high ceiling with natural light. Rooms for the panels (I only went to two) were spacious and air conditioned. Plus Upper Street is great for restaurants and pubs AND it's really handy for my house, which is obviously the most important factor.

Anyway, yes. Next year - bring it on! More cosplayers. More tat. Less video game and film shit. Reasonable prices. There's a chance HMV might go bust, so at least we won't have their wank stall. Tell that strange lot with the electric guitars and their rip off of Detroit Metal City to piss off, too. Or not. Whatever. I'll be back. The fact that it wasn't perfect doesn't matter. It's a comic convention! That's what I care about. It's in London. Tickets were fairly priced and those involved clearly put a lot of work into organising it.

Overall I give it a 7.5 out of 10. Really enjoyable weekend.

Monday, 11 April 2011

New old tat!

Samples of tat I bought at Kapow!

self-aware panel...

Great (but arguably ruined) cover...
Click pic to enjoy BIG Wrightson horror GOLD!

If only those Twisted Tales Comics hadn't had that banner take up a third of the cover! This Wrightson piece is good as it is, but if it had been allowed a bit of extra headroom (excuse the pun) it would've been even better. All they had to do was superimpose the title on the sky. Instead they slapped it on a bright orange background and cut off the top of the psycho killer. I bet there was a moon in the original drawing. Tossers.

Scans from Captain America #222, 1978 and Twisted Tales #2, 1983

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Kapow! Day Two

Leinil Yu enjoying a kebab at 10am.

Sad Beast.

Bored Spidey.

Cosplayers getting ready for cosplay contest.


Chris Weston.

Dave and Lady Deadpool.

The winner!
Dave won best cosplayer award for Kapow! 2011!
What a great weekend. Report when I have time (few days)

Kapow! Day One

Good craic. Off to day two now. Here are the snaps I took of day one. Mostly Dave. Obv.

Queuing. 9.30am. Robot and guide.


Dave breaking the punters in.

Bane buys a round.

Someone's wank fantasy (mine).

Great minds.

Lex Luthor AKA Little Ad on the angry juice. Shortly afterwards he was threatening people for laughing at cosplayers. Behind the smile, Mike Leader is crying.

Why so serious?

Monday, 4 April 2011


It's this weekend, people.

Details of all the panels HERE.

I'm not that fussed by any of that. Sorry. The Mills and O'Neill thing might be worth a look.

I do want to get a few sketches from artists. Wonder if Mike McMahon and Dave Gibbons will be doing them. How much you think McMahon would charge me for a sketch of Dredd dragging Mean Machine from a chain tied to a Lawmaster?

Speaking of sketches - what size sketchbook do I need for one of these things?

Other than the sketches, I'm really hoping there are some 25p boxes of rotting tat for me to go through.

If not I will be sad.

But I am looking forward to seeing my comic chums! Let me know if you're coming and we'll have a drink! If enough people are up for it, we could even go for a curry on Saturday night.