Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Posted Thursday, September 8th, 2022 by Barry

Summer Fun with the Marvel Super Heroes (1985)

Summer has about a month of life left on the calendar, so let’s celebrate with the Marvel heroes circa 1985.

Summer Fun with the Marvel Super Heroes (1985) courtesy of

This $.99 ready to colorize adventure was written by Suzanne Weyn with art by Steve Geiger and Phil Lord. Participants were invited to “read along” while adding life to the two-dimensional, monochrome 48-page tome. Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man and – surprisingly – Black Cat headline the book.

This is a tamer version of summer fun than the Marvel Illustrated Swimsuit editions published from 1991 to 1995 featuring the curvier heroes and villains frolicking in the sun and surf in swimsuits.

Marvel chose to “imitate” the Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions, even going so far on the first offering as to use font and other features. Future editions would become more independent of the format.

Marvel was not the first to offer a fanboy’s fantasy. Fantagraphics Books published the Amazing Heroes Swimsuit issue beginning in 1987.

The Marvel line offered a theme for each issue. The first outing showcased the MCU during the Super Olympics held in the Savage Land. Subsequent issues placed characters in Wakanda for T’Challa’s engagement party. Issue two took place on Monster Island courtesy of Pip the Troll and the Infinity gems. Swimsuit Special three commemorated the Water Festival of the Inhumans on the Moon and the final installment was designed as a tourism boost for Madripoor.

The books were met with mixed reviews, but remembered. Enough so the title was rumored to be resurrected in 2015 only to be halted in the sketchbook phase. The Marvel Summer Special, aka Marvel Swimsuit Special, was actually solicited only to be cancelled in 2019. Marvel failed to offer a reason for yanking the project.

Whatever your feelings on the books, mainline some more Vitamin D before the days shorten much more.

Posted Sunday, July 17th, 2022 by Barry

Justice League International (1987) 7

World Day for International Justice goes by different names, but they all recognize one thing; the celebration of how international justice tribunals and courts have brought justice for the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Representing are the heirs to the original band of mystery men. The Justice League is the legacy of the Justice Society of America originated in the dark days of World War II.

The League first formed in 1960. Over the years much of the DCU has trooped through as members in one form or another. When DC Comics chose to revamp the universe with Crisis on Infinite Earths, the 1980s Detroit incarnation was disbanded.

Justice League International (1987) 7

A mini-series, Legends, set the stage for the first group after the crisis simply entitled Justice League. Membership included Batman, Black Canary, Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Doctor Light, Guy Gardner, Martian Manhunter, Mister Miracle and Oberon.

By book seven the title was changed to Justice League International to represent their global standing. This cost the group their autonomy, allowing the United Nations to regulate the heroes.

With their new status, Justice League International established embassies in various countries allowing for another ongoing title, Justice League Europe.

In reality what happened was comic book readers were given a rare gift from Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis. Readers received a well-crafted title that only got better as it progressed.

Kevin Maguire’s initial pencils were the perfect compliment to Giffen and DeMatteis who turned DCU’s original super team on their collective heads. Issues focused on both the action and adventure desired in a comic book, but gave readers a behind-the-scenes look at these same adventurers and their lives beyond the tights.

While Justice League International was played for laughs, World Day for International Justice is not.

The Nuremberg trials were the first of such cooperative efforts among various countries as war criminals were hunted down and brought to justice. Another was the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal that tried and convicted leaders of the Empire of Japan for joint conspiracy to start and wage war.

On July 17, 1998, 120 states adopted the treaty known as the Rome Statute. This established the International Criminal Court. The Assembly of State Parties chose to commemorate the establishment of the ICC in 2010 with World Day for International Justice.

While most of this isn’t gonna every apply to us, let’s celebrate Justice League International. It really does deserve its own day.

Posted Wednesday, April 13th, 2022 by Barry

Spidey Super Stories (1974) 9

Doctor Doom does not appear this Holy Week as we lead up to Easter Sunday.

Well, just on the cover. What we’re interested in for this Spidey Super Stories issue nine is the back-up story, Spidey Fights the Funny Bunny!

Yes, complete with exclamation mark.

Actually, this book packs a punch for its 35-cent cover price. Readers receive 32 ad-free pages. Opening the book is …The Day of Doom! It closes with Guess What’s Coming to Dinner!

In between is our Easter tale.

Spidey, as seen on the Electric Company, learns of the evil Funny Bunny while reading the evening paper. Though Spidey is not privy to the corrupt cottontail’s origin, readers learn she was a “…nice, normal person…until a bully sat on her Easter Basket.”

Spidey Super Stories (1974) 9

So scarred was she that she, “…turned to a life of crime…stealing from kids’ Easter Baskets.”

Ol’ Web Head deduces her next move will be to ruin the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn. Spider-Man takes a train to Washington D.C. where he apprehends the heinous hare and all ends well.

Spidey Super Stories was a four-color spin off of the live-action shorts of the same name airing on the Electric Company. The television version ran from 1974 to 1977 with 29 episodes.

The companion comic book ran from 1974 to 1982 with 57 issues aimed at the six- to 10-year olds. Jean Thomas and Jim Salicrup authored the books with art by Win Mortimer. Each comic was reviewed by the staff at Marvel and Children’s Television Workshop.

Today’s offering comes the day before Maundy Thursday, remembering Jesus’s last supper. This coming Friday is known as Good Friday, the day of his crucifixion. Holy Saturday follows and is the period between the crucifixion and the resurrection.

Easter is celebrated in a variety of ways by both those of the Christian faith and those outside the church. The first will largely choose to participate in church services on Easter Sunday while the later may be more comfortable sitting the sermon out and coloring eggs.

However you choose to commemorate, here’s an interesting fact. The Easter Bunny hails from medieval Germany. The Osterhase, or Easter Hare, became known for spreading about his colorful eggs in nests prepared by children. The tradition traveled to America with those now known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Join us Easter Sunday for a less enthused celebration. I know, ‘cuz I wrote that one first and it just didn’t come easy.

Posted Sunday, January 24th, 2021 by Barry

M.G.M’s Tom and Jerry’s Winter Fun (1952) 3

Christmas may be over, but Winter isn’t. Here’s a tome that lives up to its name, Dell giant, with 96 pages of stories, puzzles and games.

Tom and Jerry are the headliners with an opening tale of holiday hijinks. Tom wants a tree. Tom has one dollar. Christmas trees cost five dollars. This dilemma is how to multiply his single into five ones.

Jerry and nephew are happy to help, but not appreciated. Each faction’s conniving only brings ruin to both sides. Neither are able to solve the math problem and find themselves at square one 12 pages later.

M.G.M’s stable of animated actors comprise the remainder of the book as they contend with the coldest season of the year.

With the bulk of winter still ahead, Jeff and I encourage readers to curl up with their phone, tablet or laptop and review Four Color Holidays. It’s a shameless plug, but who cares. After all, there’s still 58 days till the first day of Spring.


Tom & Jerry's Winter Fun (1952) #3

Posted Monday, January 4th, 2021 by Barry

The Simpsons Winter Wingding (2009) 4

High power bills lead Homer to start a crusade to save the planet – and money – in Off the Grid.

The Simpsons Winter Wingding (2009) 4

But, the family does not adapt well to the new lifestyle. Lisa finally caves and the family returns to normal.

Itchy and Scratchy star in their own two-(funny) page spread. The spin? Scratchy has a happy ending.

More global awareness when Krusty’s over-seas plant is shut down for unsafe work practices and hazardous products.

Winter comes early and hard, leaving Springfield a wasteland of white. With no way to buy presents, the children find Christmas morning bare. They are delighted when an unexpected rain of toys gives them their morning booty.

Land of Forbidden Toys is a Chuck Dixon classic that doesn’t spare the government.

Readers take a lively journey as they learn what happened to Homer’s truck from the 1992 Mr. Plow episode in Oh, Plow, Where Art Thou?

Finally, Patric Verrone takes a stab at A Visit from St. Nicholas, aka ‘Twas the Eve Before Christmas.

Homer’s night of passion is doused as he scrambles for presents. Santa saves the day and Christmas morning dawns with joy for all.

The oft-told story is credited to Clement Clarke Moore, but is contested by the relatives of Major Henry Livingston Jr. To this day no definitive answer has been forthcoming.

No matter the author, hunker down and enjoy the winter. It’s here to stay – for now.

Posted Friday, December 25th, 2020 by Barry

Merry Christmas from Four Color Holidays and special guests

Posted Monday, December 14th, 2020 by Barry

Leonardo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (2013)

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird offer a Christmas-oriented story, What Comes Around…Comes Around!, in this reprinted, colorized dichotomy of the season.

Leonardo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (2013)

Leonardo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (2013)

The turtles share an evening with April O’Neil in her apartment preparing for the big day. As they wrap, cook and decorate, Leonardo fights his way across town.

Peace on Earth is shattered when Leo bursts through the window. Readers are left unfulfilled with a blurb at the bottom of the page promising the stories continuation in TMNT issue 10.

The Turtles became an overnight sensation when they finally hit the mainstream on the airwaves in 1987. Thanks to President Regan’s deregulation on children’s television, toy companies were able to air half-hour commercials promoting their product.

That’s what happened with Eastman and Laird’s creation.

While popular in the comic community, the independent title didn’t make waves until made kid friendly. The franchise would garner $175-million in merchandising for 1988. That figure increased to $6 billion by 1994.

Items included toys, books, paper products, video games and more. In addition, the Turtles have appeared in six major motion pictures beginning in 1990.

Posted Saturday, October 3rd, 2020 by Barry

Hallmark Unleashes Second Round of Christmas Ornaments for 2020

Posted Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 by Barry

Tick Back to School Special (1998) 1

Three of the most dreaded words known to young ears are, “back to school.” To ease the stress of returning to the hallowed halls of learning, Four Color Holidays features the above-named Tick special.

The Tick and Arthur are tapped to return to school as undercover agents. The Tick as a student and Arthur a janitor. Both are as convincing in their roles as the cast of 21 Jump Street of the previous decade.

Of course, there’s no room for reality in a Tick comic book and both pass for their assigned roles. The trouble is, neither know what they’re looking for, thanks to the Tick’s bumbling.

Tick’s naivete does reveal the fiendish plot as devised by the son of one of the duo’s earliest and most diabolical villains.

If you wanna know who, read the book.

So, mothers, enjoy the next 180-educational days as your young charges broaden their horizons. Some of what they learn will come in useful later in life.

Tick Back to School Special (1998) 1

Posted Saturday, July 11th, 2020 by Barry

Hallmark Unleashes New Ornaments for 2020

Amid everything that is going on, Christmas is still coming. Hallmark hasn’t forgotten that (especially since it’s a big part of their bread and butter) and is rolling out their first round of superhero ornaments for the year. Included are:

Mini Marvel Studios Ant-Man Ornament, 1.7″

Marvel Captain America Metal Ornament

DC Comics Aquaman and Storm Ornament

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy O Christmas Groot Ornament

DC Comics Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman Ornament

DC Comics Wonder Woman 1984 Princess Diana Returns Ornament

DC Comics Aquaman and Storm Ornament

DC Comics Aquaman and Storm Ornament