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Brian Cronin, Author at Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

The Great Comic Book Cover Homage Streak: Week 139

It occurs to me that it seems like many comic book covers are homages. Which is fine with me. I have no problem with it. It just made me think, though, how long could I go before I hit a week where NO new comic book was released that had a cover that was an homage to something? Let’s find out! Here is an archive of all the cover homages featured in the streak so far!

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Comic Book Six Degrees – Jim Shooter to Jonathan Hickman

As suggested by Jenos Idanian #13, the idea behind this game is to connect two comic creators to each other through artists/writers that they have jointly worked together with, in as few links as possible.

For instance, take connecting John Byrne and John Buscema.

Byrne drew Captain America with writer Roger Stern
Roger Stern wrote Avengers with artist John Buscema.

That’s a simple one, but presumably there are more difficult ones out there.

I’ll try to keep the ground rules brief.
1. We’re only using writers and pencilers for this game. No offense to inkers, colorists and letterers, but it makes this too easy if we count them.
2. Plotting counts as writing and breakdowns/layouts count for penciling. Finishes SHOULD count, but I’m not counting them for the same basic reason of #1.
3. Alterations by another penciler don’t count as a connection to the first penciler. Basically, you’re never going to connect an artist with another artist. You can connect writers with each other, though, if they co-wrote (or plotted/scripted) a story. And obviously if an artist wrote a story, you can connect an artist with another artist in that fashion (like John Byrne can connect with Jerry Ordway from Byrne writing stories Ordway penciled).
4. Only comic book stories count. No pin-ups.
5. If a comic story contains multiple writers and artists, it’s up to you to prove that the given writer actually wrote the page in the comic that the artist drew.

Every installment, whoever connects the two creators in the least amount of turns gets to pick the next match (in the event of a tie, the winner is chosen randomly among the people who sent in challenges for the next match.

NOTE: When you folks send in your answers, please include your suggestion for the next match in the event that your answer is chosen. And demonstrate that it IS possible to connect your two suggested choices within six moves. Thanks!

Last week’s match-up was Todd McFarlane to Robert Crumb. A handful of people got it in three moves. Chris F. was the randomly selected winner. Here is how he connected the two:

Todd McFarlane drew Spawn #8, written by Alan Moore.
Alan Moore drew the story “Bob Wachsman Tummler” in American Splendor #15, written by Harvey Pekar.
Harvey Pekar wrote the story “A Fantasy” in American Splendor #1, drawn by R. Crumb.

Chris’ challenge is…

Jim Shooter to Jonathan Hickman

E-mail me your answers at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Do NOT post your answers in the comments section!

Whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of creators gets to pick the connection for next time around (I’ll pick a random winner in the event of a tie)!

Follow the Path – John Stewart’s Marine Background

This is the first installment in a new feature where I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media. I’m sure you can think of other examples, so feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you want to suggest some other examples for future installments.

We begin with the surprisingly late introduction of John Stewart’s marine background into Green Lantern comics.
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Knowledge Waits: Every Marvel Assistant Editor’s Month Comic

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

With David Letterman retiring a few days ago, there were a lot of features written about Avengers #239, the issue where the Avengers go on Late Night with David Letterman (I wrote about that issue a few years ago). That issue was part of a famous Marvel Comics “event” of late 1983, where the conceit is that all of the issues that month were edited by the assistant editors since all of the editors were away at the San Diego Comic Convention. aem With their bosses away, the assistants then allowed either funny or out of the ordinary stories to be printed that month (I am not even sure if the assistants actually DID edit the comics, but I suspect that they did). Here we will detail what each Marvel Comic title did that month. Note that there were two types of Assistant Editor’s Month comics that month (cover date of January 1984), comics with the logo for the event (those books tended to be goofier) and comics without the logo (where the assistant editor aspect of the comic was downplayed, often just having one silly page in the issue, or sometimes not even that!).

Enjoy!
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The Wrong Side: Hawkeye and Wonder Man vs. The Abomination

In this feature, I examine comic book fights that were particularly notable in the wrong side winning (or at least that the fight wasn’t won the “right” way). This really isn’t a big deal, of course, as it doesn’t really matter if the “wrong” person won a fight. But it’s fun to talk about!

If you want to suggest a fight for future inclusion in this feature, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Don’t suggest a fight in the comments!

For this installment, we’re doing something a bit different, as the Abomination got into two back-to-back “wrong” fights with solo members of the West Coast Avengers, Wonder Man and Hawkeye, so I’m featuring them both here.
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“With Great Power Comes Great Marketability” Talking Hero Business With Bill Walko

Longtime Line it is Drawn artist Bill Walko is doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to do a print collection of his excellent webcomic, The Hero Business. I figured I’d have a talk with Bill about the project and the comic.

Enjoy!
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Jem and the Holograms #3 Review

jem3aFirst I put up my Jem and the Holograms #2 review up a week early and now I put up this Jem and the Holograms #3 review up a couple of days after the book hit the shelves – I gotta sync up better with #4! – BC One of the most impressive aspects of the Jem series is that Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell are balancing a TON of characters in the story, with a good chunk of them having direct involvement in the over-arching narrative of the series, but without sacrificing much in the way of development of the characters. Not only do we have the good band, the Holograms, the bad band, the Misfits and Rio, the music journalist who is the love interest of Jerrica (the lead singer of the Holograms who is also secretly, through the use of some high-tech holographic technology, also Jem, the PUBLIC lead singer of the Holograms) but now, in this issue, we have two new characters who end up playing a key role in the issue, Clash and Blaze, two groupies for the Misfits. Clash is a fascinating character – she is clearly an extremely capable person, but she is so wrapped up in her low self-esteem and her idolization of the Misfits jerky lead singer, Pizzazz (where she sees all of her self worth), that she ends up putting her skills to use doing cruel stunts to impress someone who clearly doesn’t care about her. You can tell that her heart isn’t really into her actions, except, of course, to the extent that she can impress her hero. Her partner-in-crime, Blaze, only appears at the end to set up the cliffhanger for next issue.
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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So What Are Blade’s Powers Exactly?

In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, based on a suggestion by Tiago Q, we take a look at the retconning of Blade’s powers over the years…
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #524

Welcome to the five hundred and twenty-fourth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to update it in a while). This week, what comic book writer is responsible for Spider-Man having mechanical web shooters in the most recent Spider-Man films? Did Man of Steel #1 originally have a damaged space shuttle in it soon after the Challenger explosion? Finally, how did Spider-Man REALLY stop the unstoppable Juggernaut?

Let’s begin!
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The Line it is Drawn #241 – Superhero/Rock Star Mash-Ups!

Welcome to our weekly gallery of amazing art by our great collection of artistic talent, all working from YOUR suggestions!

Go follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter (if you have Twitter, that is – if you don’t, you can go sign up). Here is our Twitter page… http://twitter.com/csbg. And here are the Comics Should Be Good writers who are on Twitter (the links go to the person’s Twitter account) – myself, Greg Hatcher, Chad Nevett, Kelly Thompson, Bill Reed, Greg Burgas and Sonia Harris

I update the blog’s Twitter account updates whenever a new post is put up on the blog, so it’s an easy way to keep up with the blog. In addition, I post new content on the blog’s Twitter account.

Now on to the bit!

So every week, I ask a question here. You reply to it on our Twitter page (just write @csbg with your reply) and our artists will each pick one of your suggestions and I will post their drawings based on your suggestions here every week. So every week you will have a new question and you will see the choices picked from the previous week. Here is an archive of all the previous editions of The Line It Is Drawn!

To qualify, you have to be following us when you reply – so go follow us and then give your answer to the following question/challenge (All suggestions due by 3pm Pacific Friday).

The topic is…

Based on a suggestion by Brendan Tobin, we’re going back to the Golden Age! Pick a modern superhero and our artists will depict said character as if they were a Golden Age comic book character.

Read on for the drawings that came about courtesy of the last question/challenge!

Based on a suggestion by Merk, mash-up a famous rock star with a comic book superhero. Mick Jagger and the Hulk, for instance.

Enjoy!
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The Line it is Drawn Addendum – Wonder Woman Coloring Book Pages!

A few of the artists for last week’s The Line it is Drawn put together high resolution black and white versions of their pieces for coloring purposes for our suggestion-giver last week, 4-year-old Amelia. A number of folks have mentioned in the comments and in e-mails that they’d like to have access to those pages, as well, so I figured I’d give the people what they want, so here they are, including a NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN piece from Nick Perks!
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Cover Theme Game for 5/20

The cover theme 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 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 orphans!” (who ISN’T an orphan?) “They’re all legacy heroes” (who ISN’T a legacy hero nowadays?)! “They’re all by the same artist!” (too obvious) etc.

In addition, please note that you must have some familiarity with comic book history to correctly guess these themes. You cannot guess the connective theme just by looking at the covers solely, you must have some knowledge beyond 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 bcronin@comicbookresources.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 »

Comic Book Questions Answered – Where Does Foggy Nelson’s Nickname Come From?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.

Reader Marijane G. wrote in to ask:

Hi, I’m hoping you can tell me why Franklin Nelson is called Foggy. Thanks!

I can, indeed, Marijane! Read on for the answer!
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The Great Comic Book Cover Homage Streak: Week 138

It occurs to me that it seems like many comic book covers are homages. Which is fine with me. I have no problem with it. It just made me think, though, how long could I go before I hit a week where NO new comic book was released that had a cover that was an homage to something? Let’s find out! Here is an archive of all the cover homages featured in the streak so far!

Continue Reading »

Comic Book Six Degrees – Todd McFarlane to Robert Crumb

As suggested by Jenos Idanian #13, the idea behind this game is to connect two comic creators to each other through artists/writers that they have jointly worked together with, in as few links as possible.

For instance, take connecting John Byrne and John Buscema.

Byrne drew Captain America with writer Roger Stern
Roger Stern wrote Avengers with artist John Buscema.

That’s a simple one, but presumably there are more difficult ones out there.

I’ll try to keep the ground rules brief.
1. We’re only using writers and pencilers for this game. No offense to inkers, colorists and letterers, but it makes this too easy if we count them.
2. Plotting counts as writing and breakdowns/layouts count for penciling. Finishes SHOULD count, but I’m not counting them for the same basic reason of #1.
3. Alterations by another penciler don’t count as a connection to the first penciler. Basically, you’re never going to connect an artist with another artist. You can connect writers with each other, though, if they co-wrote (or plotted/scripted) a story. And obviously if an artist wrote a story, you can connect an artist with another artist in that fashion (like John Byrne can connect with Jerry Ordway from Byrne writing stories Ordway penciled).
4. Only comic book stories count. No pin-ups.
5. If a comic story contains multiple writers and artists, it’s up to you to prove that the given writer actually wrote the page in the comic that the artist drew.

Every installment, whoever connects the two creators in the least amount of turns gets to pick the next match (in the event of a tie, the winner is chosen randomly among the people who sent in challenges for the next match.

NOTE: When you folks send in your answers, please include your suggestion for the next match in the event that your answer is chosen. And demonstrate that it IS possible to connect your two suggested choices within six moves. Thanks!

Last week’s match-up was Michael Chabon to Stephen King. A couple of people got it in six moves but only Erich was able to get it in five moves. Here is how he connected them:

Michael Chabon wrote the story “The Strange Case of Mr. Terrific and Doctor Nil” in JSA All-Stars #7 with artist Michael Lark.
Michael Lark penciled Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Battle of Tull #1 with writer Peter David.
Peter David wrote Captain Marvel #17 with artist Jim Starlin.
Jim Starlin wrote Batman: The Cult #1 with artist Bernie Wrightson.
Bernie Wrightson penciled the Creepshow graphic novel with writer Stephen King.

Erich’s challenge is…

Todd McFarlane to Robert Crumb

E-mail me your answers at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Do NOT post your answers in the comments section!

Whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of creators gets to pick the connection for next time around (I’ll pick a random winner in the event of a tie)!

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