Every week you’ll get a brand-new comic cover theme game! The game works like this: I’ll show you three covers. They all have something in common, whether it be a character, a trait all three characters share, a connection between all three characters, a locale, a creator, a trait all three creators share, SOMEthing. And it isn’t something obvious like “They all have prices!” “They all have logos!” “They all feature a man!” “They are all Avengers (who ISN’T?)!” “They’re all dead (who HASN’T been killed off?)!” “They’ve all been cloned (who HASN’T been cloned?)!” “They’re all mutants! (who ISN’T a mutant?)” “They’re all legacy heroes (who ISN’T a legacy hero nowadays?)!” etc.
In addition, please note that you must have some familiarity with comic book history to correctly guess these comics. You cannot guess the connective theme just by looking at the covers solely, you must have some knowledge beyond just the covers. The connections will ONLY have to do with connections in the actual comic books (so no incidental connections like “they share the same last names of Vice Presidents,” etc. Now, if the three characters were each named Gerald Ford, that’d be another story, as that’d no longer be incidental).
If you come up with an answer that works outside of what I intended, I’ll give you credit (well, provided I think it fits, of course).
One more thing – if there are floating heads on the cover, ignore them! They don’t mean anything! Same thing with corner boxes!
If you think you know the answer, e-mail me at email@example.com. Don’t answer in the comments. This way, people who check in at different times of the day can still get credit for answering it correctly!
Here is an archive of all the past cover theme games, plus their answers. Before each new installment, I’ll post the answers to the previous week’s game.
Good luck and enjoy! Continue Reading »
They always used to say that women can relate better to men than men can to women, which is why so many of those coming-of-age films used to focused on boys’ lives. I have no idea if it’s true or not, but I never paid much attention to the gender of the people I liked in comic books and films, often gravitating towards the brusque and embittered even though most of those hard-bitten loners were usually men. It never occurred to me that I was hungry for a comic book about someone like me, until I heard about Death Sentence by Monty Nero and Mike Dowling, published by Titan Comics.
In this feature, I share with you three comic book “easter eggs.” An easter egg is a joke/visual gag/in-joke that a comic book creator (typically the artist) has hidden in the pages of the comic for readers to find (just like an easter egg). They range from the not-so-obscure to the really obscure. So come check ‘em all out and enjoy! Also, click here for an archive of all the easter eggs featured so far! If you want to suggest an easter egg for a future column, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org (do not post your suggestion in the comments section!).
Today we look at easter eggs from the Avengers TV series from the 1960s, with John Steed and Emma Peel. Reader PB210 suggested a group from this great Avengers website.
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Let the Whorrisoning recommence!
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Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.
I was thinking about this when I was writing my most recent TV Legends Revealed, about how the prop designer for the original Star Trek TV series re-used items he procured for one reason for a whole other reason. That got me thinking about how we see that happen in comics all the time. Writers come on to titles and don’t always know what to do with the cast given to him or her. A lot of the time, they’ll just get rid of the characters they’re not interested in (sometimes they just kill the previous cast). But sometimes they’ll try to get a handle on the cast that they’ve inherited and come up with an interesting new take on the cast, which quite often means re-purposing characters. For instance, I don’t think anyone expected what Grant Morrison would end up doing with the cast he inherited on Doom Patrol, but it ended up being quite good.
So today’s theme challenge is to come up with instances where an incoming writer surprised you with what they did with the cast members that they were more or less “stuck” with when they took on the title.
Some examples are Warren Ellis on Stormwatch and the aforementioned Grant Morrison on Doom Patrol.
In this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was just a gimmick or whether the comic within the gimmick cover was good. Hence “Gimmick or Good?” We continue with 1991′s glow in the dark cover for Sandman Special #1…
Sandman Special #1 (published March 1991) – written by Neil Gaiman, with art by Bryan Talbot and Mark Buckingham. Painted cover by Dave McKean
In a break of tradition here at Gimmick or Good, I’m taking a step away from superhero books for a week and instead focusing on a single issue from one of the most critically acclaimed comic book series of all time. Gaiman’s Sandman is one of those series that transcends the comic book medium. I like to tell people it’s the one comic book that my wife enjoys more than I do (I grew up with a healthy diet of caped and masked crusaders, so I almost always gravitate back toward those stories). In 1991, in the midst of the “Seasons of Mists” arc (Sandman #22-28), DC/Vertigo published Sandman Special #1, an all-new story that was actually an adaptation of the classic tale of Orpheus. The comic was one of the first in the industry history to utilize a “glow-in-the-dark” effect on the cover. In this case, once the lights were out, Orpheus’ face was revealed, along with a message from him, “In Dreams I Walk With U.”
But what about inside the comic?
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I name two comic book characters. You then have to connect the two using only shared appearances in comic books (official appearances in comics only – no cameos like Terry Austin sneaking Popeye into the background of a panel and no outside comic book appearances, like cartoons and the like). You have to do so using less than six comics total. Covers and pin-ups do not count – only actual appearances in the same comic book story (so it doesn’t count if they each appeared in separate stories inside the same anthology). Mythological characters, public domain characters (other than public domain comic book characters, they’re free game) and real people (by the way, unless a fake name is used for a real person, like Ronald Raygun or whatever, you can use the person even if they are not officially named in the comic) are unique to their own comic book appearances (so DC’s Thor is different than Marvel’s Thor, DC’s Ronald Reagan is different from Marvel’s Ronald Reagan, etc.). But a licensed character is the same in all of their various comic book companies (so the Marvel Red Sonja is the same as the Dynamite Red Sonja) and approved appearances by a real person can go across comic book companies, as well (so, for instance, you can use Marv Wolfman from his Teen Titans appearance to connect with Marv Wolfman in his Fantastic Four appearance). Approval tends to be the key (except for public figures, of course).
Every week, whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of turns gets to pick the next week’s match (in the event of a tie, the winner is chosen randomly). Last week was Miss Fury to Deathcry. Rob M. was one of a few people who got it in two moves. First, here is how Rob connected the two…
Miss Fury appeared in The Twelve #1 with Nick (no relation) Fury
Nick Fury appeared in Avengers #385 with Deathcry
Rob’s challenge is…
Monkeyman to Monk Mayfair
E-mail me your answers at email@example.com. Do NOT post your answers in the comments section!
Whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of comics gets to pick the connection for next time around (I’ll pick a random winner in the event of a tie)!
Remember, only authorized appearances in comic books count (for instance, all the Marvel characters in Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck do not count)!
A few weeks ago I wrote about 6 recent superheroine redesigns that I loved. People went, expectedly, nuts, even though there was nothing particularly dramatic or mind blowing about the piece. Y’know, unless things like opinion pieces send you into a blind rage. Anyway, I had always planned to write a companion piece about 6 superheroine costumes that are in desperate need of an overhaul. Then Iron Man 3 came out and Pepper Potts rocked the hell out of things, so I wanted to write about that. Then Robot 6 linked to the redesign post, which stirred things up again, and now here we are, a couple weeks later, ready to possibly break the damn internet again with me talking about something as simple as some costumes that suck and need to be redesigned (for a variety of reasons).
The only caveat for the post is I’ve tried to stick to costumes that are currently being used, independent of when they were designed.
So, prepare to get pissed about all the completely non-anger inducing thoughts of one person’s opinion about some superheroine costumes. I’ll be honest; the only thing tough about this list was keeping it to 6 (which I sort of didn’t do).
However, we took it one step further this week! Because I am an incredibly fortunate person who knows a bunch of badass professional artists, the fantastic Kris Anka and Meredith McClaren generously volunteered to spend some of their free time redesigning the ladies on my list.
And because you’re here reading this, you too benefit from all that good fortune…fortune for everyone!
I coined a term years ago that I like to call “nepotistic continuity,” which refers to the way that comic book writers sometimes bring back minor characters that they themselves created in the past as characters in their current work.
In every installment of this feature, I’ll spotlight an example of a character that did not appear in a comic for at least two years before then showing up in a comic written or drawn by the creator of the character.
Today we look at Stephanie “Stevie” Hunter, Kitty Pryde’s dance teacher!
Weird. I thought I had more links this week. Oh well – they’re still fun!
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Every day this week will see me feature a brand-new Cool Comic Book Moment. For this week only, I’ll be specifically featuring cool moments that happened just this year. Here is an archive of all the past cool comic moments that I’ve featured so far.
Today we conclude the week with the death of Damian “Robin” Wayne in Batman Incorporated #8 by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham.
Chaos theory in comics! Whoo-hoo!
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We’re back, and we’ve got an hour and a half of comics discussion for you, with news on the passing of Dan Adkins, James Robinson leaving DC, Disney’s Big Hero 6 movie, Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick’s t-shirts for charity and a run through the August solicitations. We’ve also got reviews of The Dream Merchant, Avengers: The Enemy Within and… well, something special, and The Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is dressing for success. All this plus the Giraffe Wok, Avengers: Endless Breakfasttime and Doombots in pleather singing about crop rotation.
As always, we want to know what you think about any of the things we’ve discussed, including but not limited to:
- What long-running or apparently classic series have you just never seen the appeal of?
- Are there any other Marvel properties you think would make good animated features?
- What has caught your eye from August’s solicitations?
Or listen to it right here:
And don’t forget, our t-shirts are on sale at our Redbubble store – look good, spread the word.
I Love Ya But You’re Strange – That Time Evil Baby Lois Lane Tried to Force Baby Superman to Marry Her
Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a suggestion for a future installment!
Today is the 100th installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange (because of this event, no Abandoned an’ Forsaked this week. The next A&F is also #100 and I didn’t want two 100th installments the same week. So I Love Ya But You’re Strange moved up to Saturday and A&F got the week off. A different feature will take A&F’s spot tomorrow). In honor of the occasion, I will give you all one of the craziest comic book stories you’ll see this month (perhaps this year…perhaps this decade!), the time that evil baby Lois Lane tried to force baby Superman to marry her. All courtesy of
This is one of those odd, tragic stories that you see so often in the comics industry… a particular injustice that was the final contemptuous boot in the ass to a talent that the comics industry had already beat like a piñata for most of his career. Continue Reading »