Saturday, March 31, 2012

Design of the Week--Tender Love Stories

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another!
This week...True Love, with all it's emotional angst, as filtered thru the fashions of the Swinging '70s!
Illustrated by legendary Marvel and DC good-girl illustrator Don Heck, this never-reprinted cover from a time-lost publisher is the perfect graphic for Spring Break (or summer) t-shirts (get them a size larger than normal to use as beachwear!), tote bags, iPhone covers, and other kool kollectibles!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mars Attacks: the Musical...NOT!

As we point out at The Beat...
If it’s real, why isn’t a legit theatre producer’s name connected to it?
Why is it nobody outside of the comics/card trade press mentions it?
And one more giveaway…“Ever since I saw The Sound of Music as a youngster living in New York I have dreamed of a career on Broadway…” said Layman.
Layman was born in 1969.
The Sound of Music was staged on Broadway twice…in 1959-63 (before he was born) and 1998-99 (when he was 30, hardly a “youngster”)
Yet, Comic Book Resources, Geeks of Doom, and others act like it's real...

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fill Your Easter Basket with Comics Collectibles!

Back in the 1940s and 50s, comic book companies produced a prodigious number of holiday annuals and one-shots.
For example, a multitude of Christmas-themed comic books flooded America's magazine racks every November and December!
(In fact, a large part of our popular Cool Christmas collection is based on them.)
But, did you know that several publishers also did Easter-oriented books?
And, that noted comics illustrators including Walt Kelly (Pogo) contributed art to them?
Believing that there's always room for more classic comics collectibles, we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ added a line of goodies to our Happy Holidays section entitled Exciting Easter!
Yes, it's eggs, bunnies, chicks, and other fuzzy animals galore digitally-restored and remastered from Baby Boomer-era classic comics covers on baby bibs, infant creepers / onesies, toddler and kid t-shirts, greeting cards, mugs, and a plethora of kool kollectibles!
They make great Easter basket stuffers! (And they won't rot your kids' teeth like marshmallow chicks or chocolate bunnies!)
So click over and see what's in our basket!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

YouTube Wednesday: THE SPIRIT (1987)

Considering it's cinematic style, it's remarkable there wasn't a Spirit movie or tv series before 1987!
Starring Sam (Flash Gordon) Jones as Denny Colt/The Spirit and Nana (Col. Kira Nerys) Visitor as Ellen Dolan, it's an interesting take on Will Eisner's classic character, updated to the then-present, and putting the hero in a neon-blue suit instead of the black ensemble from the awful Frank Miller film!
Best of all is the new artwork done by Eisner for the credits sequence!
It's not a perfect flick by any stretch, very tongue-in-cheek and just short of "camp", but I enjoyed it more then the Miller flick.
Bumper Robinson, who played Eubie, has performed voices for numerous animated characters including Cyborg in the current Justice League: Doom, Rhodey in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Rhodey/War Machine in Marvel Super Hero Squad [VG], Black Lightning in Batman: Brave and Bold [tv show & videogame], Bumblebee in the current Transformers animated series, Dwight Conrad in FuturamaStar Boy in Legion of Super Heroes, Carter in the 1990s' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Philo in Flintstone Kids.
The executive producer is William Beaudine, Jr, son of b-movie/tv director William ("One Take") Beaudine who handled, among others, the Bowery Boys, Lassie, and The Green Hornet tv series!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ant Invasion

Dealing with an earlier than usual invasion of ants in the living and bedrooms due to the unnaturally-warm spring.
Tomorrow: YouTube Wednesday presents The Spirit!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kaare Andrews on Why He Can't Draw as Fast as Jack Kirby

In a recent Bleeding Cool column, illustrator Kaare Andrews sez...
Let me admit that I’m not the fastest artist in the world.
It can take a long time to draw a page.
In the olden days, you had inkers basically ‘finishing breakdowns’ over Jack Kirby.
"Breakdowns" like this, which was typical of Kirby's "2-4 page a day" period (and he was writing the book as well)...?
From Secret Sanctum of Captain Video™
That’s how he could push through 4-6 pages in a day.
Kirby’s art was bold.
It was beautiful. 
It was awesome. 
But I’m not sure he would have as much success in today’s climate.
Which explains why Jack Kirby's art is used on so much of Marvel's licensed product output, and why sales of reprints of Kirby's work equal or exceed a large number of Marvel's new-material titles!
The truth is that the level of detail demanded on a page has risen dramatically.
Comics aren’t 10 cent disposable newsprints anymore.
They are a legitimate art form.
They always were a "legitimate" art form.
Ask any European or Asian art aficionado.
Paper stock is slick, coloring is high tech, and you can now print as many tones, in as many shades, with as much detail as you can imagine.
It’s expected from the fans.
Which "fans"?
Not me!
Must be the same "fans" who aren't buying the current output of Marvel and DC at even the same sales levels as five years ago, and not like 15 years ago, when I was working on-staff, and sales at 50,000 or below were a reason for cancellation, not celebration!

One other point, Andrews is an illustrator, not a comic book artist.
He's a decent cover artist, but his interior work is average at best, mediocre at worst.
Curiously, it also appears to be uncollectable or unwanted.
Every gallery I see online features his heavily-photo-referenced covers or pin-ups, not his panel pages!
Want proof?
Google "Kaare Andrews", then Google "Jack Kirby".
How many interior pages or panels do you see in each case?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Flash Gordon #8 Cover Preview

There's no Flash Gordon like a "classic" Flash Gordon.
Have you noticed that all the attempts to "update" the character modify him so much as to be unrecognizable?
(Remember the Smallville-ized Sci-Fi, er, SyFy version? YUK!)
Thankfully, Dynamite's current series goes back to the basics, combining the best of Alex Raymond's (and successor Mac Raboy's) original strips with the movie serials, 1980 feature film, Filmation tv series, and Al Williamson's contributions in the '60s and '80s, to make a kool pastiche almost on the level of the Dini-Timm-McDuffie DC Animated universe.
Top it off with superb covers like this one for #8 by Francesco Francavilla, and it's a must-have package for high-adventure fans of all ages.
Sadly, this is Francisco's final Flash for the foreseeable future. (Say that five times fast!)
But, considering he's doing covers for The Shadow, The Spider, and other classic genre characters, I think I'll still be getting a hefty dose of Francavilla art every month!
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