Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Alien Encounters #2: "The Resistance"

Download Alien Encounters #02

By the time this one was published, I was thoroughly enjoying my second love affair with my comic book reading hobby and it felt like I was on Cloud 9. Despite the fact that I was no longer a kid, comic book companies were enjoying a renaissance, comic book shops were seemingly everywhere, and I had money to burnand I was lovin' it.

While this was no DC Comics' Strange Adventures or Marvel Comics' Weird Wonder Tales, this was a short story that I thought was both clever and visually appealing and a nice addition to the sequential art and Science Fiction genre. I do not care much for the rest of Alien Encounters #2's contents, but I will hazard to guess that this story's message is one of perspective.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saga of the Swamp Thing #32: "Pog" (Alan Moore's Pastiche to Walt Kelly's "Pogo")

Download Saga of Swamp Thing #32

After the cancellation of 1972's Swamp Thing, another series devoted to the forlorn bayou monster began in 1982 as Saga of the Swamp Thing and later became simply Swamp Thing. The team of Alan Moore and Steve Bissette, who worked on the newer version, earned the title considerable attention. That second series ended in 1996, and Swamp Thing returned under the Vertigo banner for twenty issues from 2000 to 2001. Mike Kaluta provided some of the drawing.

The clever and beautiful art is by guest illustrator Shawn McManus, whom I half jokingly refer to as "that artist capable of brief flashes of brilliance," but he shined so very, very brightly on this one. The entire work is a masterfully brilliant and creative nod to Walt Kelly's Pogo.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weird Wonder Tales #15: "The Man Who Owned The World!"

Download Weird Wonder Tales #15

Tom Sutton comes up with a nifty story in Weird Wonder Tales #15 about a selfish multibillionaire who is financing his survival by investing in suspended animation technology because the earth's atmosphere is rapidly disintegrating and he wants to cryo-sleep his way through the crisis, but all the while his attitude is that the world can go hang itself. However, when he wakes up in the year 2035 he finds a world that... aw, I can't spoil it and tell ya! Take a gander and find out for yourselves!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dalgoda #8: The Bojeffries Saga: "Batfishing In Suburbia"

Download Dalgoda #8

One good humorous post deserves another, I say. I was lucky enough to stumble across Alan Moore's early American work in Saga of the Swamp Thing #24 and I became a fanatical follower shortly thereafter. So, of course I picked up Dalgoda #8, which features a prequel of sorts of The Bojeffries Saga. This one packs more hilarious yucks in four pages than most writers can in any amount. Enjoy!


Cover: Dennis Fujitake
Script: Alan Moore
Pencils: Steve Parkhouse
Inks: Steve Parkhouse

  • in Complete Bojeffries Saga, The (Tundra, 1992 series) #[nn

Early 1980s Bovril commercial:

Wikipedia says: Bovril is the trademarked name of a thick, salty meat extract, developed in the 1870s by John Lawson Johnston and sold in a distinctive, bulbous jar. It is made in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire and distributed by Unilever UK.

Bovril can be made into a drink by diluting with hot water, or (less commonly) milk. It can also be used as a flavouring for soups, stews or porridge, or spread on bread, especially toast, rather like Marmite.

The first part of the product's name comes from Latin bos (genitive bovis) meaning "ox" or "cow". Johnston took the -vril suffix from Bulwer-Lytton's then-popular 1870 "lost race" novel The Coming Race, whose plot revolves around a powerful energy fluid named "Vril"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mad #12: "Starchie"

Download MAD #12

After so many heavy stories featuring the horror and sword-and-sorcery genre, I thought some humor in a jugular vein was in order. After all, this blog's name used to be "Tales of Swords and Veeblefetzers." Now, I wasn't even alive when this hilarious parody of Archie Comics was first published, but sometime in the early 1970s, Mad Magazine began to publish reprint comics of their classics and included them stapled inside their main publications. I snapped these up left and right as I thought vintage Mad were the funniest things ever, but don't take my word for it and I challenge everyone over 40 to not laugh at this one. You have been so challenged!

Now in his second century as a teenager, Archie first appeared in publisher MLJ's Pep Comics #22 (May 1941). The magazine was then an enclave of serious-minded heroes such as the Shield and the Hangman, but the intrusive freckled, redheaded Archie would eventually change all that. He was created, with some input from others, by cartoonist Bob Montana. Archie, along with Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Reggie, has been attending Riverdale High for close to seventy years.

Teenagers were coming into their own in the early 1940s, both as a target for manufacturers and a source of inspiration for entertainment. Henry Aldrich, the well-meaning but bumbling teen who was the prime inspiration for Archie, had first appeared in 1938 in Clifford Goodrich's Broadway play, What a Life. Henry had jumped to radio and then into movies. MLJ decided that a comic-book version of Henry Aldrich and the various other wacky teens who were proliferating in the media would appeal not only to teenage readers but to kids who were eager but had yet to reach their teens. Archie Andrews led the same sort of problem-ridden life as Henry Aldrich, Andy Hardy, and the rest and got entangled with the same sort of pretty girls.

Characters: Starchie Standrews, Bottleneck, Mr. Weathernot, Little Orphan Melvin (cameo), Cookie Bumstead (cameo), Salonica, Biddy, Wedgie Van Smelt, Mr. Standrews, Mrs. Standrews, Dick Tracy (cameo).

Synopsis: Bottleneck frames Starchie so that Starchie goes to prison and Bottleneck can take over the girls and rackets at the high school.


Script: Harvey Kurtzman
Pencils and inks: Will Elder

  • in Mad Reader, The (Ballantine Books, 1954 series) #93.
  • in Mad About the Fifties (Little, Brown & Co., 1997 series) #[nn].
  • in MAD Special [MAD Super Special] (EC, 1970 series) #18.
  • in Tales Calculated to Drive You Mad (EC, 1997 series) #4.

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