Saturday, February 14, 2015

New comics solicitations for April 2015: Avengers - Behold the Vision; Avengers - Vision and Scarlet Witch; Avengers West Coast - Vistion Quest; Fantastic Four - Strange Days; King-Size Kirby; Thor Masterworks 14; Batman Adventures 2; Batman - Arkham: Riddler; Batman - Legends of the Dark Knight 4; Tarzan Omnibus, more

Collected edition highlights for. Click the links to pre-order discounted items from Amazon.

Avengers Epic Collection: Behold the Vision
Prepare yourself for one of the most stellar creative periods in Avengers history! Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Gene Colan and Sal Buscema raise Earth's Mightiest Heroes to unheard-of heights with the debut of the Vision, an all-out battle with Ultron, and the introduction of Yellowjacket and an all-new Goliath! Then, Kang the Conqueror drops in from the 41st century, pitting our heroes against the Squadron Sinister in a cosmic chess match! As if one set of adversaries from across time wasn't enough, the Avengers must also battle the Captain America, Sub-Mariner and Human Torch of 1941! Also featuring the Black Panther vs. the Sons of the Serpent, the return of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, and barbarian Arkon the Magnificent! Collecting AVENGERS (1963) #57-76 and MARVEL SUPER-HEROES (1967) #17. 456 PGS.

Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch
The unlikely romance between the Vision and the Scarlet Witch was one of the Avengers' most famous storylines. Now, witness what happens when the two heroes finally get hitched and settle down in the suburbs! If you think they're going to live the quiet life, think again! See how a match made in heaven led to a wedding in Limbo, and how a Halloween horror proves that there's still magic in their marriage! Plus: A golden age mystery with ties to the Witch's past is solved! The Vision bonds with his brothers in all but blood -- but who is the Scarlet Witch's father? Marvel's oddest couple shows that home is where the heroes are! Guest-starring the Avengers and the Inhumans vs. Dormammu, the Grim Reaper and more! Collecting GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #4 and VISION AND THE SCARLET WITCH (1982) #1-4. 128 PGS.

Avengers West Coast: Vision Quest
Written by JOHN BYRNE Penciled by JOHN BYRNE Cover by JOHN BYRNE
It's battles, betrayals and the bizarre as only Byrne could bring you! Watch as one of comicdom's most recognizable talents remakes the West Coast Avengers, starting with the capture and dismantling of the Vision! As secrets about the synthezoid come to light, the Whackos are determined to get their teammate back, safe and sound -- but what happens when the Vision they recover isn't the Vision they remember? And most important, how will this shocking change affect the Vision and the Scarlet Witch's marriage...and family? Plus: Ancient secrets of humanity revealed! The Scarlet Witch's first step into the descent that disassembled the Avengers! The debut of the Great Lakes Avengers! And featuring the triumphant return of one of Marvel's hottest golden age greats: the original Human Torch! Collecting WEST COAST AVENGERS (1985) #42-47 and AVENGERS WEST COAST #48-50. 216 PGS.

Fantastic Four Epic Collection: Strange Days
Life and death struggles for Marvel's First Family! Just when the FF were coming to terms with Reed Richards' demise, he makes a suitably fantastic return! But that means Doctor Doom is alive, too! How did they both survive? Hyperstorm has all the answers, but his incredible lineage means he may be the one foe the Fantastic Four can't beat. That's not the only problem Reed has -- there's also the small matter of the Sub-Mariner's feelings for Sue! A rejuvenated Franklin completes the family reunion, but will a reassembled Fantastic Four have any room for Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man? The legendary band is back together, but their joy won't last for long. Onslaught is coming! Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #403-416, FANTASTIC FOUR: THE LEGEND, ONSLAUGHT: MARVEL UNIVERSE and material from TALES OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. 472 PGS.

King Size Kirby (Slipcase)
Hail to the King! Celebrate Jack "King" Kirby's incredible contribution to Marvel's history in this decades-spanning, Adamantium-sized collection! Westerns, romance, war, horror, sci-fi, humor and super heroes -- Jack Kirby was a master of it all! From Captain America socking Hitler to Devil Dinosaur and the Eternals' far-out adventures, savor Kirby's work on his legendary creations including the Hulk, Thor, Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Inhumans! Collecting material from RED RAVEN COMICS #1; MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #13; CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1 and #7; TALES TO ASTONISH (1959) #5; RAWHIDE KID (1955) #17; AMAZING ADVENTURES (1961) #1, STRANGE TALES (1951) #89, #94 and #114; TEEN-AGE ROMANCE #84; FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #1, #48-51, #57-60 and ANNUAL #5; INCREDIBLE HULK (1962) #3; TWO-GUN KID #60; LOVE ROMANCES #103; AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #8; SGT. FURY #6 and #13; AVENGERS (1963) #4; TALES OF SUSPENSE #59; X-MEN (1963) #9; THOR (1966) #134-136 and #155-157; NOT BRAND ECHH #1; AMAZING ADVENTURES (1970) #1-2; MARVEL TREASURY SPECIAL: CAPTAIN AMERICA'S BICENTENNIAL BATTLES; CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #200; ETERNALS (1976) #7; DEVIL DINOSAUR #1; and WHAT IF? (1977) #11. 816 PGS.

Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 14
The Mighty Thor adds another volume to his saga of Asgardian adventure as the Marvel Masterworks roll on! Thor is lucky to have the mighty Hercules at his side -- because Loki has teamed with Firelord in a bid to usurp Odin's throne! Meanwhile, Jane Foster has returned, and Thor is torn between aiding her on Earth and remaining in defense of Asgard! And when the Absorbing Man and Ulik the Troll enter the fray, the drama reaches epic proportions that will have you on the edge of your seat! Before it's over, Thor will battle the gods of Egypt to save Odin from death itself. And to top off this voluminous volume, we're including a rare Hercules solo tale from Marvel Premiere! Collecting THOR (1966) #229-241 and MARVEL PREMIERE #26. 280 PGS.

Batman Adventures Vol. 2
Inspired by Batman: The Animated Series, these stories from BATMAN ADVENTURES #11-20 feature The Joker, Batgirl, Robin, Commissioner Gordon, Man-Bat, Scarecrow and more! This volume includes the story "Batgirl: Day One," featuring the very first comics appearance of Harley Quinn!

Batman Arkham: Riddler
The Riddler's greatest hits are collected in stories from DETECTIVE COMICS #140, #142, #377, #822, #837, BATMAN #171, #179, #292, #317, #362, BATMAN #23.2: THE RIDDLER, BRAVE AND THE BOLD #183, JOKER'S ASYLUM II: THE RIDDLER #1 and LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR #2!

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 4
In these stories from LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT and 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR #2-3, Batman battles The Riddler and Clayface. Plus, young Bruce Wayne discovers a cave that will affect his entire life.

Edgar Rice Burroughs' Jungle Tales of Tarzan
Martin Powell (W), Diana Leto (A), Pablo Marcos (A), Lowell Isaac (A), Will Meugniot (A), Nik Poliwko (A), Steven E. Gordon (A), Jamie Chase (A), Terry Beatty (A), Mark Wheatley (A), Sergio Cariello (A), Tomas Aranda (A), Carlos Arguello (A), Thomas Floyd (A), Thomas Yeates (A), Steve Price (A), and Daren Bader (Cover)
Sequential Pulp delivers twelve stories from twelve dynamic artists in a brand-new Tarzan anthology based on Edgar Rice Burroughs's classic pulp novel Jungle Tales of Tarzan. These vine-swinging tales, a cherished contribution to the Tarzan canon, all take place before Tarzan rises to lead his ape tribe! Limited edition signed by three of Burroughs's descendants.

Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan Omnibus Volume 1
Various (W/A)
Dark Horse's contributions to the Lord of the Jungle shine in this collection of previously uncollected stories! Tarzan fights for Jane's life, races against Nazis in search of a powerful artifact, encounters classic characters from Victorian literature, and battles Martians! Collects Tarzan #1-20 and Tarzan: A Tale of Mugambi! From comics greats Bruce Jones, Thomas Yeates, Al Williamson, Timothy Truman, and more! Over 500 pages of jungle adventure! Includes series covers by Bernie Wrightson, Michael Wm. Kaluta, Mark Schultz, and John Totleben!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Plenty more here.

Comic art: Original Superman sketches by Joe Shuster

Artist Joe Shuster created Superman with writer Joe Siegel.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Vintage ad: Nesbitt's orange soda

Pop culture roundup: Van Morrison's revenge; Disney's Golden Books; Tiki fever; Kamandi; Asterix

Check out Van Morrison's "revenge tapes."
[Morrison] would later parody what he viewed as Berns’s tendency to over-produce in one of the ‘revenge’ songs recorded to get out of the Bang contract … mockingly chanting, ‘Yeah, we’ll get a guitar … we’ll get three guitars / No!, No!!, we’ll get four guitars / and we’ll get Herbie Lovelle to play drums / and we’ll do the sha-, sha-la-la bit.’

A new tome pays tribute to the art of Disney Golden Books.


Remembering America's mid-century Tiki craze.


See a nice selection of Kamandi splash pages by the great Jack Kirby.


The new creative team for Asterix is holding a contest to select two fans who will be caricatured in an upcoming story. Unfortunately, the competition isn't open to U.S. fans. And I really wanted to be in an Asterix album, too....

Fab Friday: Vintage Beatles pics

More Beatles posts at The Glass Onion Beatles Journal.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

More Toth! Dark Horse announces collection of artist's Creepy and Eerie magazine work

We just posted info about IDW's collection of Alex Toth's "Bravo for Adventure" comic strip, now Dark Horse has announced a collection of Toth's work for the black and white Creepy and Eerie horror mags.

Any Toth is good Toth in my book. Nice to see more of his work back in print.

Out in July, 168 pages.
A brilliant storyteller who wielded a dynamic, minimalist style, Alex Toth is considered a master in the fields of comic book storytelling, animation, and design. With Creepy Presents Alex Toth, all of his vibrant and thrilling stories from Creepy and Eerie are collected in a deluxe, magazine-sized hardcover for the first time ever! With an introduction by Darwyn Cooke (DC: The New Frontier, Richard Stark's Parker), this collection of timeless tales will thrill, educate, and excite fans of horror, comics, and stellar illustration work. Major collaborations with Archie Goodwin, Doug Moench, Carmine Infantino, and others are included!

IDW collects Alex Toth's Bravo for Adventure

This one goes straight onto my to-buy list:
Alex Toth’s magnum opus Bravo for Adventure is being collected in book form for the first time ever! This deluxe hardcover from IDW’s Library of American Comics contains all three of The Genius’s stories starring Jesse Bravo, knock-about pilot and reluctant swashbuckler, including the original graphic novel that’s been out of print for 30 years.

“Toth fans worldwide have been clamoring for years to see Bravo back in print,” says Dean Mullaney, editor of the new edition. “Now, by special arrangement with the Toth family, it becomes a reality. This is another one of those ‘dream’ projects that only come along once in a long while.”

Fans delight in studying even idle doodles by Alex Toth and the collected Bravo for Adventure offers new treasures. In addition to the complete published stories, also included are never-before-seen pencil roughs, preliminary drawings, and story fragments, as well as Toth’s own coloring samples for an edition that never saw print, and—freed from storage after 40 years—some of the coloring for what was intended to be Bravo’s original 1975 first printing in France!

“What might have been” is the common thread in Bravo’s history. Toth created the original 48-page story in 1975 for a French publisher, but the planned graphic novel never saw print when that publisher closed its comics division. The artist wanted to see the graphic novel published in America, but it sat dormant for half a decade until the story was serialized in the Warren magazine, The Rook. Six years after that, a version was published in magazine format by Dragon Lady Press in Canada, including two additional Bravo short stories. Toth then colored the first twelve pages for a Texas publisher that went out of business, and started several more swashbuckling tales, only to abandon them in frustration after a handful of pages.

The up-and-down history of Bravo for Adventure now ends on a high note, with the complete stories in a single volume that matches the format of the multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning Alex Toth: Genius trilogy. It’s not just a comics collection, it’s a capital “E” Event. Alex Toth, and his greatest creation, are flying higher than ever before!

First Man from U.N.C.L.E. trailer

Pop stuff: The Imitation Game; Amelia and the Snowman; Lost

What I'm watching, reading, hearing, etc.

The Imitation Game. This film very well could've been another entry in the overwrought brilliant-but-tortured-man genre. You know the type: Lots of melodrama, emotional speeches and clobbering the audience over the head with its message: "This guy is really smart, but messed up and deserves our sympathy and understanding."

Yet, "Imitation Game" tells the story of World War II codebreaker Alan Turing with gentle humor and understatement.

Played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Turing is not another "Sherlock." Yes, he's socially awkward and sometimes abrasive. But he's also self-effacing and gentle, with halted speech and an occasional stutter. He'd love to fit in, but knows he ever will.

So he follows his true nature, working doggedly and obsessively on his Nazi code-breaking machine, not caring that anyone else thinks. And thank goodness he did. Not only did Turing's work bring about a quicker end to the war, saving thousands of lives, but also laid the groundwork for the modern computer.

Cumberbatch is nicely balanced by the always compelling Keira Knightley, who is on hand to make Turing seem more human. Her character, a quirky, slightly nerdy mathematician who keeps pace with the lead character is refreshingly different, too.

Like "Lincoln," this film zeroes in on one crucial episode of its subject's life rather than telling his story cradle to grave. That helps keep the story focused and makes it less of a conventional bio-pic.

The film also tastefully refrains from amping up the drama related to Turing's sexuality (he was gay at a time when homosexual acts were illegal in Britain) but makes it just one aspect of his wholly interesting character. The result is a very human story about a very extraordinary man.

Abigail and the Snowman is a delightful new mini-series from KaBoom Comics that just released its second issue last week. My daughter is a fan, and so are her parents.

This is excellent stuff: whimsical, heartwarming, funny. It reminded me a bit of "Calvin and Hobbes," but less zany, more gentle.

Written, illustrated and even lettered by the talented New Zealander Roger Langridge with lovely colors from Fred Stresing, the comic tells the story of 9-year-old Abigail, who's just moved to a new school and has recently lost her mother.

She has trouble making friends and her only ally -- apart from her funny, loving, but somewhat clueless dad -- is an imaginary dog named Clyde.

Shunned by the other kids, things look bleak for Abigail until she encounters another creature nobody -- at least no grownups -- can see: an on-the-lam yeti from a government research center.

Abigail is the first kid to spot the snowman, who is being pursued by Men in Black wearing special yeti-detecting goggles. Forgetting all about her made-up dog, she renames the creature Clyde and vows to keep him safe.

When it turns out other kids can see Clyde, too, Abigail's popularity zooms. Especially when she brings her new friend to school. As you might imagine, all manner of hi-jinks ensue.

Langridge's artwork is warm and engaging, cartoony but with lots of nice detail. The story and action flow smoothly and the dialogue between Abigail and her father, who's struggling to make ends meet without adding to his daughter's stress, is funny and real.

I look forward to the remainder of the four-issue run and hope it won't be the last we see/don't see of Clyde and Abigail. 

Lost. Longtime Pop Culture Safari readers know I developed a perhaps unhealthy obsession with this show during its original run. And if you read all those posts, you probably know I hated the ending. It made me wish I'd never invested so much time into the show in the first place.

So, I've somewhat surprised myself by giving the whole thing another look. The main reason is my son, who missed it the first time around and was curious. He's been warned about the end, without receiving any spoilers. My wife if re-watching again, too.

Anyway, watching the show on Netflix, with no ads and no long waits between episodes or seasons, has been fun. Less focused on the mystery, I'm enjoying the performances by the ensemble, especially Jorge Garcia as Hurley, Josh Holloway as Sawyer and Daniel Dae Kim as Jin, and the crafty storytelling.

Even if they botched the ending, Lindelof, Cuse and crew, knew how to keep people coming back week after week. The cool touches of 1970s sci-fi, comics and cultdom are still lots of fun.

I also find I'm less annoyed by Kate, more annoyed by Locke and just as annoyed by Jack as compared to the first time around. And watching the WTF reactions from my kid as it all unfolds is the most entertaining part of all.

Vintage pic: Jimi eats breakfast

Plus: Bonus Experience pic.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

New poster for Man from U.N.C.L.E. flick

Vintage ad: Marilyn Monroe for Tru-Glo cosmetics

New comics Feb. 11, 2015: Sub-Mariner Masterworks; Creepy Archives; Thor Masterworks; Emerald City of Oz; Prince Valiant

Highlight collected editions out this week. Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Marvel Masterworks: The Sub-Mariner Volume 6
The Lady Dorma is dead, and the Sub-Mariner is on a rampage that will leave a swath of destruction across the surface world! But in his pursuit of vengeance, Namor learns that his father - the long thought dead Capt. Leonard MacKenzie - is still alive! In the quest to find his father, Namor will cross paths with Spider-Man, Daredevil and the Human Torch before he faces a gathering of his greatest enemies - Llyra, Tiger Shark and Sting-Ray - while his father's life hangs in the balance! If that's not enough, next three of the Marvel Universe's fiercest personalities - Namor, Dr. Doom and M.O.D.O.K. - battle each other for the Cosmic Cube! With art by the great Gene Colan, need we say more? Reserve your copy today!
COLLECTING: Sub-Mariner (1968) 39-49; Daredevil (1964) 77

Creepy Archives Volume 21
Creepy Archives, the quintessential horror anthology, continues to deliver a multitude of monstrous plights and terrifying twist endings! This deluxe hardcover collects issues #99 to #103 of the influential Warren Publishing series and includes all original letters columns, color sections, and text pieces--along with a new foreword by José Villarrubia! Within these pages you'll shriek in fright as you witness the destruction of our planet, terrors arising from the ocean's depths, and hideous creatures and criminals lurking after every page turn! Contributors include timeless titans Bruce Jones, Richard Corben, Russ Heath, John Severin, Len Wein, and many others!

Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 1 (New Printing)
The Marvel Masterworks proudly present the beginning of the greatest saga of myth and adventure to ever grace the comic book page - the saga of the Mighty Thor! Vacationing in Norway, Dr. Donald Blake discovered a strange, gnarled cane. Upon striking it, a shower of lightning rained down and the hobbled doctor found himself transformed into Thor, God of Thunder! In these pages you'll journey across the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard and meet Odin, Heimdall, Balder, and Thor's half-brother Loki for the first time! In addition to Thor's epic battles, the ancient origins of Asgard are revealed in "Tales of Asgard" as only Stan Lee and Jack Kirby could present them. They're Marvel Masterworks of the highest order!
COLLECTING: Journey Into Mystery 83-100

Oz: The Emerald City of Oz
The Eisner Award-winning creative team of Eric Shanower and Skottie Young bring you the best Oz series yet! Uncle Henry can't pay the mortgage, so he, Aunt Em and Dorothy must leave their Kansas home. Where can they go? To the Land of Oz, of course! Dorothy and the Wizard take Em and Henry on a grand tour, discovering knowledge pills and living paper dolls, solving living puzzles, suffering abuse from living kitchen utensils and drooling over living baked goods - but will anyone in Oz be left living after the Nomes attack, allied with the highly disagreeable Growleywogs? And when General Guph persuades the most evil race alive - the shape-shift ing Phanfasms of Mt. Phantastico-to join the Nome Army, have the Nomes bitt en off more than they can chew?

Prince Valiant Vol. 10: 1955-1956 (Vol. 10)
Aleta is kidnapped and Val fights famine in the latest collection of the King Arthur-inspired newspaper strip.
Our tenth volume finds our band of heroes making their way back to the Kingdom of Thule by way of Constantinople and Eastern Russia. Soon they are attacked by a tribe of barbarians who kidnap Aleta for the great Dragada Khan who wants to make her one of his wives. After nearly being killed in battle, Valiant returns to his homeland only to find the threat of hunger hovers over Thule. As Val explores new ways of feeding the kingdom’s growing populace, raiders threaten the lives of his family and friends. The volume ends with Val’s return to Camelot, a tournament of champions, and the threat of new treachery in Cornwall. This volume also includes an introduction by legendary comics artist Timothy Truman, and a special gallery containing more of Hal Foster’s incredible Mountie paintings annotated by comics historian Brian M. Kane. Full color.