Archive for December, 2020

Posted Thursday, December 31st, 2020 by Jeff

So long 2020. Thank goodness.

This is my traditional New Year’s Eve post – Batman and Commissioner Gordon sharing a quiet moment before the new year begins.

This year – of all years – the message seems even more poignant.

Cheers, everyone. Here’s to a safe and healthy 2021.

– Jeff

Batman and Gordon

Posted Thursday, December 31st, 2020 by Barry

Marvel New Year’s Eve (2017) 1

Top radio jock Charlamagne comes out at a New Year’s Eve party at Avenger’s Mansion.


Marvel New Year’s Eve (2017) 1

Do they still call it Avenger’s Mansion? It’s a tower now. Kinda like Wayne Tower back in the 1970s. Man, I’m old.

Anyway, this is a digital special send-off to 2016. As mentioned above, Charlamagne is everyone’s favorite DJ. Not sure if his show’s syndicated or not, but he has a lot of listeners. Important and influential listeners.

Not to mention some infamous ones as well.

This is where Charlamagne allows his mouth to write a check others wonder if he can cash.

The DJ has chosen Norman Osborne to talk about on the next-to-last-day-of-the-year. The super-villain-slash-CEO has threatened to move his last remaining factory overseas. Charlamagne is not a fan of the idea. Osborne is what he would consider a corporate pirate with greed his favorite color.

Calling Osborne out on the radio raises the hackles on the CEO’s neck. Enough so he and colleagues choose to crash the exclusive party Charlamagne is holding New Year’s Eve. The event is a charity fundraiser solicited by the best and most beautiful of the super hero and civilian set.

The surprise is, Charlamagne has been dosed with Terrigen Mist, freeing his hidden power. Not sure what that power is, but all the villains are left in a heap ready for deposit at the raft by Cap.

Gone are the days of Dick Clark counting down the ball drop on Times Square. If you can remember that time, join the old man club with me. Hope 2021 is better.

Posted Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 by Barry

Holiday Savings From Santa Paws

As we prepare to say goodbye to one year, let’s look back to when we said goodbye to not only the previous year, but decade.

Heathcliff, Alf, Count Duckula and Police Academy were the lone holdovers from Marvel’s Star Comics imprint. The spinoff started in 1984 had run its course by 1989. The last Star branded issue hit newsstands in December 1988.

The first title to bear the banner was issue one of The Muppets Take Manhattan in 1984. The remainder the Star Comics Magazine line were not released until five months later with more licensed properties. Those included Fraggle Rock, Heathcliff, Planet Terry, Strawberry Shortcake, The Ewoks, Get Along Gang, Muppet Babies, Royal Roy and Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham.

Royal Roy was the first casualty. Harvey Comics slapped an infringement suit against the title claiming it bore too close a resemblance to their Ritchie Rich. Roy was cancelled after six issues.

Droids was the second Star Wars title to come under the Star brand. It ran eight issues.

Holiday Savings From Santa Paws

Holiday Savings From Santa Paws

Though their initial imprint was defunct, the featured four continued under Marvel’s regular umbrella title. Other books offered in this deep discount of 50-percent off – after the purchase of one regular title – are Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Tales (featuring Spider-Man), Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, Captain America, G.I. Joe, Incredible Hulk and Transformers.

To take advantage of the offer, subscribers had to meet the January 31, 1990 deadline. A bit late for us, but still fun to remember as we entered a new era. It was the decade of the Gregorian calendar, grunge, the first Democratic president in over 10 years and the invasion of the World Wide Web into homes.

The ’90s would also usher out a century.

And, the comic book industry would nearly collapse under corporate and private greed.

Hopefully our incoming year will be a little calmer.

Posted Sunday, December 27th, 2020 by Barry

Detective Comics (1937) 826

The Joker takes Robin for a ride during the 2006 Christmas season in Slayride.

Detective Comics (1937) 826

Detective Comics (1937) 826

Paul Dini pens a dark comedy with the madman behind the wheel while Don Kramer fleshes out the visuals.

It’s a long night when Robin ducks drug dealers only to find himself captive of the Joker. The clown bids the Boy Wonder welcome as he banters away the evening.

The dialog is a one-sided give-and-take of hate. All the while, the Joker is careening through the streets of Gotham randomly littering acts of lunacy.

By story’s end, the Joker’s fate is undetermined when he pulls a Michael Myers and leaves no body at his death scene.

If you haven’t read this and have some extra Christmas money, find it, buy it and read it. This is an unrealized classic. Dini’s characterization and dialog are seamless.

Dini is best known for his work in the DC Animated Universe and creation of Harley Quinn. His resume includes work on Batman: the Animated Series, Superman: the Animated Series, The New Batman/Superman Adventures, Batman Beyond and Krypto the Superdog.

He would later work for Marvel on Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

Dini began his career penning episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe then moved on to work on the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. He also wrote for the Transformers and G.I. Joe. Later he would author Ewoks episodes. In 2007, Dini worked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Posted Friday, December 25th, 2020 by Barry

Merry Christmas from Four Color Holidays and special guests

Posted Thursday, December 24th, 2020 by Barry

Animaniacs Special Christmas Issue (1994) 1

Aunt Slappy mangles Clement C. Moore’s classic trying to put Skippy to sleep on Christmas Eve in Twas the Day Before Christmas.

Animaniacs Special Christmas Issue (1994) 1

All the Warner Bros. gang are on hand for cameos as Yakko, Wakko and Dot wait on their holiday bounty. The question being, who would be stupid enough to deliver?

Ralph the guard.

If ignorance is bliss, Santa Ralph is the happiest man alive. The presents arrive and all are pleased. Another Christmas Eve completed, the calendar page discarded leaving all fulfilled.

Next up is a one-page Good Idea/Bad Idea.

The Taming of the Screwy is a backstory on the Warner Bros. and Dot, who must be reined in for a dinner party. The impossible cannot be done and the trio of terrors do their worst to their guest’s delight.

The Animaniacs began at Fox before moving to The WB in 1995. The series would continue until 1998 airing 99 episodes.

Posted Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020 by Barry

Sergio Aragones funnies (2011) 6

One of the early Madmen, Sergio Aragones brought readers a festive cover for the sixth installment of funnies.

The only holiday humor offered is a one-page look at Christmas tree farming, a one-page match up and the back cover shattering the Santa Claus myth.

Aragones arrived in the United States in 1962. His first professional job was with Mad Magazine beginning in 1963. When the magazine published its 500th edition, Aragones had been featured in 424 issues.

In 1967, the talented transplant began work for DC Comics. He is best known for his creation Groo, The Wanderer.

Sergio Aragones funnies ran from 2011 to 2014 in Bongo Comics. The anthology series featured his famous one-and-done pages as well as stories and tall tales from his childhood.

For more information on Aragones, visit The Official Website of Sergio Aragones cartoonist.

Sergio Aragones Funnies #6

Sergio Aragones Funnies #6

Posted Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 by Barry

Sugar and Spike (1959) 26

Sugar and Spike split their annual Christmas issue with holiday and seasonal stories.

Sugar and Spike (1959) 26

Sugar and Spike (1959) 26

First up is The Out-Cast. Sugar hides at Spike’s house to escape her mother’s wrath.

Attic Excursion is a one-page tale with the two celebrating the New Year a little early.

Paper dolls were offered as added value. Two pages of Sugar and Spike with a holiday flavor.

The holiday finally arrives when Sugar and Spike are confused by the different Santa’s they see while shopping with her mothers. Their theory is there’s only one who runs from spot to spot.

When they ditch their mothers, the two try to discover The Mystery of the Man inna Funny Red Suit.

The holidays continue in The Big Gift Mystery. Sugar and Spike’s parents try to make the two comprehend the custom of gift exchanging. After much misunderstanding, the two groups find the joy in giving.

Not so much a New Year’s resolution, Sugar turns over a new leaf in The New Sugar.

Posted Monday, December 21st, 2020 by Barry

A Merry-Marvel Season’s Greetings to One and All!

A seasonal greeting from the Marvel Universe.

They didn’t realize it at the time, but 1975 was a big year for Marvel. It was the year they would launch Giant-Size X-Men number one in May. If you don’t know what that is, please leave. Just go.

In July, Chris Claremont would take over writing chores on the X-Men. He would remain the head scribe and mutant curator for the next 17 years.

February 20 would prove to be a sad day for the Marvel faithful with the passing of Artie Simek. Born Jan. 6, 1916, the calligrapher would best be known for his lettering during the Silver Age of comics and birth of the Marvel Age. He was also responsible for helping design many of the logos.

The first Mighty Marvel Con was held March 22 through 24 at the Hotel Commodore in New York, NY.

New releases that year included The Defenders, Doc Savage: Man of Bronze, The Inhumans, The Invaders, Kull and the Barbarians, Marvel Feature, Marvel Presents, Marvel Preview, Masters of Terror, Skull the Slayer, Super-Villain Team-Up and Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction.

The tabloid-size pin-up is courtesy of Rich Buckler and John Romita and can be found on the backside of Marvel Treasury Edition 8. This is the second of the holiday trinity offered by Marvel.

A Merry-Marvel Season’s Greetings to One and All!

Posted Sunday, December 20th, 2020 by Barry

Michelangelo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (2013)

Michelangelo tackles the elements for a quiet walk in the snow prior to Christmas.

Michelangelo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (2013)

Michelangelo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (2013)

Along the way he finds the joys of sledding. That leads to another find; a new friend. Tucking his mewing playmate into his jacket, Michelangelo continues his walk.

The winter air does little to cool his spirts as his feet take him downtown. Crowds hustle and bustle in the final days before the 25th.

A toy store beckons and the duo find themselves enjoying playtime.

While there, he learns the toy for Eastman and Laird’s universe are the Little Orphan Aliens. He also stumbles across a gang of thieves who hijack a truckload of the hot item earmarked for the orphan’s home.

One high-speed chase, cum Indiana Jones truck jacking, later, Michelangelo and remaining heroes in a half shell find themselves playing Santa as they deliver the toys.

Merry Christmas from the Turtles.