Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Free Shipping Until Saturday on Bundles of the Quacky Pig and Friends and Lovey Dovey Puzzle Book Summer Special

Newsflash: from now until Saturday, we're offering free shipping on our coloring books Quacky Pig and Friends and the Lovey Dovey Puzzle Book Summer Special!

Homages to Whitman Books and Coloring Books, these unique items are twisted fun. Each front and back cover of Quacky Pig and Friends is highlighted with hand-painting, just because I'm crazy. Books autographed upon request. Contact me here or on FB.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Recently Read: Crisis on Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman and George Perez

Crisis on Infinite Earths may be the worst comic story I've read. By worst, I don't mean unprofessional. The most amateurish mid-'80s, self-published B&W comic published on browning, cheap newsprint can have its inadvertent charms, but there's nothing charming about this slick, corporate product. COIE was one of the first miniseries created by corporate committee (Jim Shooter, not surprisingly, led the way the previous year with Secret Wars). Reading it was a slogging chore.

COIE is a convoluted concoction designed to utilize, in one forced way or another, nearly every intellectual property the company owned. This necessitates scene after scene of characters saying "Who are you?" and "Where are we?" and "Please, what is going on here?" (corporate-mandated "fun" is the answer). In fact, the 350-page work is stultifyingly repetitive. I've never read a superhero comic with so many heroes crying, weeping, wailing. I just now opened to a random page: "Now there is nothing...and the man called Pariah can only cry."

Instead of trying to describe what our heroes are up against, I'll let one of them describe it for you: "There is an enemy...The Monitor never told me WHO he is - but he seeks the total destruction of all POSITIVE MATTER UNIVERSES. You know of Earths 1 and 2...but ALL the planets are separated by ESCAPE the enemy's antimatter attack, The Monitor began the process of MERGING the UNIVERSES INTO it was INTENDED to be, but somehow, AT THE DAWN OF TIME -- we were SPLIT INTO AN INFINITE NUMBER OF UNIVERSES. To SAVE all life, we must RETURN TO BEING ONE UNIVERSE AGAIN."

The reason stated for creating a work which simplified the DC universe was and is that it was confusing to then-new readers. I question that: most DC stories at the time didn't involve characters from parallel universes and those which did had no appreciable drop in sales. Moreover, the DC universe that existed after the dust settled was a worse one, with 25 years of Hawkman continuity thrown into the ditch, a much weakened and less interesting Superman (under the hand of John Byrne - no surprise there) and a smaller playing field with less story potential.

COIE also loses points for helping create the template for a seemingly endless series of company "events" which to this day interrupt and negate the continuity of other series written by authors attempting to tell their own slowly-built stories. As an example: over one hundred individual issues of DC's comics were tied-in to COIE before, during and immediately after its publication.

I can't discuss COIE without mentioning George Perez's art, it being such an integral part of the work and its financial success. I didn't read COIE at the time of its initial publication because of my aversion to his style, and thirty years haven't altered my view. If you like Perez's work, you'll like this book. He's a professional and clearly worked an insane number of hours on it.

COIE suffers in stark contrast to the previous work of fantasy I'd read before it - a tale which also involved multiple universes, a creepy, world-destroying villain, imperfect heroes and lots of journeying between worlds: C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew. That story had humor, whimsy, a compelling, straightforward narrative, a lightness of touch and real suspense. I'd recommend reading it instead.
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Friday, June 23, 2017

Copy This! #40

Received in the mail today: Copy This! #40, wherein D. Blake Werts made me the interview subject! I also drew new front and back covers and the issue arrives with a free, 8-page Pictures of Benevolence sampler.

If you'd like a copy, just send a few bucks (or, better yet, a few dollars worth of mailing stamps) to D. Blake Werts at: 12339 Chesley Drive, Charlotte, NC 28277.
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From the the October, 1966 issue of The Wonderful World of Ohio.
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

German Village, from the June, 1966 Issue of The Wonderful World of Ohio.

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Early '50s Family Funnies Ads, Published by Harvey Comics

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Recently Read: The Horse and His Boy, by C.S. Lewis

The Horse and His Boy is probably the least essential of the Narnia books (in its chronological narrative), but it's a rousing adventure nonetheless, distinct by virtue of it being from the viewpoint of someone who lives in the world of Narnia, but was not raised Narnian.

The protagonist, Shasta, has a ruthless Calormene father and steals away to Narnia on a talking horse, Bree. Bree turns out to be one of Lewis' strongest characters, a brave, haughty friend who is as flawed as any human. Along the way they combine forces with a young lady, Aravis, also escaping on a talking horse. They eventually cross paths with Aslan and the grown Pevensie children. Even old Tumnus makes a guest appearance.

For those who find satirical jabs at other cultures intolerable, The Horse and His Boy may be what's now euphemistically called problematic. Otherwise, it's a quite enjoyable and suspenseful romance.
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Friday, June 16, 2017

Mary Wells Poster Created for the Nix Comics Risen From the Grave Fest

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Now You Can Carry Your Hip Pocket Records On Your Ear!
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Viewmaster Reels!

Viewmaster reels! I'll trade for 'em when I'm set up at conventions if you got 'em.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Indie and Small Press Comics & Fanzines I've Read Recently, June 13, 2017

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Don't Let Zack Snyder Near This Comic Book!

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