Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Don't Do It, Annie!

"All I have to do is fire this little bullet into my brain and I never have to wear this F##ing costume again! "

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On the Trail!

Howdy Y'all! The Ghost Who Blogs is out ridin' tha trail today. But, if'n ya cain't wait til t'morry ta satisfy that hankerin' ya got fer more Western comics, y'all c'n check in with these h'yar other fine blogs:

Mykal Banta's Gold Key Comics blog is featurin' Gunsmoke #4. Be sure ta have a look-see at the issues o' Judge Colt Mykal has posted, too.

And if thet wa'n't enuff fer ya, Pappy's Golden Age Blogzine has a story drawn by Graham Ingels featurin' the EC classic Gunfighter (among other fine horse opries!).

And, fer you folks what're in a more romantic mood, ya c'n always swing on over to ( a personal favorite) As Told To Stan Lee where Spectergirl will hook you up with some Cowboy Love.

Happy Trails!

Oh! and I just wanted to give a shout-out to Rob Kelly at The Aquaman Shrine who will be talking live on Comic Chatcast tonight. Stop by if you can!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cowboys and Injuns Week Two- Two-Fisted Tales #17

Back before there was a Comics Code Authority, Western comics actually had shooting and violence in them. And some of the best pre-code comics,bar none, came from EC. Instead of cropping out panels and making funny comments, I'm just going to let this beautiful piece by Jack Davis speak for itself. Without further ado, here's "Betsy!":

Saturday, March 27, 2010

R.I.P. Dick Giordano

From Comic Book Resources:

"Venerable creator Dick Giordano has passed away at 77. A longtime inker, editor, and illustrator for DC Comics, Giordano worked on such projects as Neal Adams' Batman and helmed DC editorial initiatives such as Watchmen and Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Giordano began working for DC in the 1960s and became the Executive Editor of DC Comics in 1983. He worked on many classic DC tales such as Green Lantern/Green Arrow and the always amusing Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali. "

To me, Dick Giordano was like a permanent fixture in the world of comics. I grew up with his covers, his inking, his editing and his being in charge of DC. When I discovered the Charlton Superheroes (long after they had packed it up and gone to be DC's step-children) I was thrilled to know that they had existed at all, largely due to Dick Giordano.

Knowing that there will be no future projects undertaken by Dick Giordano brings me a profound and inexplicable sadness.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thrilling Adventures In Stamps presents, The Pony Express

Westerns were so popular in the Golden and Silver ages, that not even Thrilling Adventures in Stamps could overlook their appeal. So, taking a cue from the USPS' stamp commemorating the Pony Express, they cooked up the following four-page yarn drawn by Ed Goldfarb and inked by Bob Baer:

Of course, The Pony Express came and went before the American Civil War even began, so the 1870's Colt Peacemakers everyone is waving around are a little anachronistic...but not really any worse than their 1950's- vintage Hollywood Western wear.

And speaking of vintage Western wear :

I had a lot of distractions this week, so I'm going to extend this theme into next week as well. Look for upcoming posts featuring Annie Oakley, The Lone Ranger, and a short, EC yarn drawn by Jack Davis.

Happy Trails!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hypnosis. It Doesn't Work That Way!- Rawhide Kid #30

Anyone who's ever read any of Marvel's Silver Age comics series for any length of time knows that Stan Lee LOVES a good hypnotist. And Le's hypnotists are capable of convincing people to do ANYTHING! See for yourself:

Okay, I understand how he hypnotized the bartender into the free drink, but how did he accomplish finding a decent bottle of wine in an Old West saloon? Spade Desmond's antics attract the attention of the saloon owner, who he makes act like a monkey. The saloon owner is popular enough that a fight breaks out. Since everyone is packin', the outcome is not too surprising:

The Rawhide Kid is not one to stand idly by while people are endangering each other with reckless gunplay, so he logically stops them with some reckless gunplay:
Which draws the attention of the Hypnotist.

Spade Desmond sees the potential of having his own, personal gunfighter in his pocket,

And soon, he's making good use of his new toy:

Desmond takes things too far, however, when he orders the Kid to shoot the local Sheriff:

The Sheriff explains the Kid's sudden change of heart:

Maybe someone should explain to Stan Lee that "you can't make a man do something that he would never do normally!". Didn't we just see a cheap bartender give away a drink and a saloon owner act like a monkey? Is the Kid really a bank robber at heart?

I'm so confused. I can suspend my disbelief enough to pretend you can hypnotize people to do crazy stuff, but then to turn around in the next-to-last panel and tell me it's impossible?? What the Hell did I just read?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hangin' Tough. Tonto -Everyone's First Suspect.

These days, there's a lot of talk about the dubious practice of "Racial Profiling", the idea that an individual is a more likely suspect based on their ethnicity.

Well, this idea is certainly nothing new, as The Lone Ranger's pal, Tonto can attest:

Yep, it seems that just about everywhere he goes, somebody wants to see Tonto hanged:

In fact, I've lost track of how many episodes of the old TV show feature an angry mob trying to give Tonto a new necktie, just for coming to town. And Tonto goes to town a lot. In fact, The Ranger usually stays at their campsite and sends Tonto to get information. (I'm sure many of you have heard the old Bill Cosby bit about this).

What's funny to me, is why The Lone Ranger can't just go to town himself? It's not like anyone out there knows who John Reid is or what he looks like. There's nothing to stop the Ranger from taking off his mask and moseyin' into town to get some supplies or information.

You'd think after the first time some bunch of angry rednecks tried to hang his best friend, The Ranger would reconsider the division of labor on his team.

Sadly, no matter how many people Tonto saves, The Ranger always gets the credit. And what does Tonto get? A rope.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cowboys and Injuns Week- All This Week!

Howdy, Pa'tners! This week yer Mild-Mannered Ree-porter will be takin' y'all on a tour of the Wild West. Silver Age style! So look each day fer new posts with a downright Western theme. It'll be the rootinest, tootinest, shootinest week this hyar blog ever had!

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Can We Stop Reprinting This Story Already?

This being St. Patty's day, I decided to treat you all to a story that has a tenuous connection to the "wearin' o' the green". And nobody wears more green than Green Arrow. Some of you may not know this, based on previous posts, but I actually like Green Arrow. Really. I also like Jack Kirby. A lot. So, you would think that Green Arrow drawn by Jack Kirby would just be like Christmas in July for me. Not so.

Not only does Jack Kirby draw the butt-ugliest Green Arrow of all time, but for the longest time, you couldn't ever find reprints of gold and silver-age Green Arrow stories- except THIS one. I don't know how many times I've bought an 80-page giant or an annual or a World's Finest collection which promised a "Vintage Green Arrow Story Inside!" just to get another copy of this freakin' story!

So, to further the chain of abuse, here it is:

Yep, giant arrows falling from space. How often do you see that? Certainly a few less times than we've seen this same reaction shot from Kirby:

"Some kind of spaceship, isn't it? Is it?" Are you sure it's not Galactus, or Darkseid, or Superman? But don;t worry, the media is on top of things:

Well, I thought it was a job for Ambush Bug, but if you say so...

After doing battle all over town, trying to minimize the damage done by these giant arrows, G.A. and Speedy discover a giant arrow in the park with a giant rope tied to it, they're dragged back through a tear in the fabric of space into an alternate dimension and become...

Yes, that's right, the "Prisoners of Dimension Zero". Except they're not prisoners. And I'm not sure who decided to start numbering alternate dimensions at zero. But, hey, they meet a kindred spirit:

??? What the F*** does "Xeen" mean? Seriously! I mean, Green Arrow wears green. It's a color theme. So does Xeen Arrow. Are we to believe that in Dimension Zero there's a color called xeen that we perceive as green? Do the inhabitants of D-0 speak English which is the same in every respect except they say xeen instead of green? I don't get it. Still, he's a more original imitation of Green Arrow than Hawkeye!

G.A. and Speedy help X.A. fight a bad guy and then he sends them home and patches the tear in the universe. End of story.

Now, why can't I get a nice Green Arrow story drawn by Lee Elias in color??

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why doesn't anyone write comics like THIS anymore?

My scanner is offline this morning, and I'm a little short on time, so here's a classic post from last year.

Wow. I could write an entire blog on DC's World's Finest Comics alone. This particular issue, however is one of the finest examples of what would become a recurring theme in the Batman/Superman team-up title: Messing with Lois Lane's mind. See, Lois Lane, being the ace reporter she is, actually stumbles across Clark Kent changing into his Superman costume. Always ready to help a buddy out, Batman (and Robin-poor kid never gets any credit)decide to help Supes cloud the issue by making Lois question her own sanity. Highlights include trying to make her think Bruce Wayne may be Superman (Bruce takes her on a date and punches some lions in the face)

and an especially elaborate plot wherein Lois spends the day with Clark while Superman is supposed to be moving all her furniture to her new house (note: if you think owning a pickup truck makes you everyone's bitch when it's time to move house, try being the last son of Krypton). When Lois and Clark stop by there's Superman (Bruce Wayne in Super-drag) carrying out the last of her furniture in a big stack over his head. You know, I don't care how strong you are, don't scratch my antique sideboard just to save a couple trips. Aren't you super fast anyway?? Where was I ? Oh- "Superman" loads all the furniture into a moving van. Lois calls him on it and asks why he's not flying her stuff across town (the nerve of this bitch!) "Supes" explains that he rented the truck to help out a friend with a truck rental business and that he's just about to fly the whole truck away. He then picks up the truck and flies off. We are then treated to the "reality" of the situation. The truck is made of cardboard and is filled with a weather balloon and piloted by Robin. All of Lois' furniture was cleverly removed last night while Lois slept and replaced by papier mache copies....

You know, it might have been easier to just admit you were Superman. Think of all the crime that Batman and Robin didn't stop in the time it took to pull all this off. These guys have some really weird priorities.

What I find most remarkable about all this is how ENTERTAINING comics from the late 50's thru the mid 60's are. I mean, today's comics writers are too self-conscious to even TRY to pass something like this off. Sure it's nonsense. Sure everyone works so hard to protect Superman's identity they forget what's important... but the sheer nervy creativity of this story surpasses any tale of a grim superhero dealing with a mid-life crisis.

A Great Time at ComicChatcast.Com

Hey! I just wanted to say thanks to Mykal (of The Gold Key Comics blog), Jacque (of Sequential Crush) and Pat (of Silver Age Comics) for stopping by for last night's chat.

We learned that Mykal will drive 18 hours or more to score some more Gold Key comics, Jacque feels West Virginia is too far away for her to travel (even though she plans to road trip across Ohio and Pennsylvania -which will require her to traverse at least the northern panhandle of WV) and we also learned that Pat is a victim of Arizona's refusal to accept Daylight Savings Time.

Oh! and we also talked about Secret Identities. A little. Mostly about where to get comics.

I really appreciate everyone stopping by and thanks to Dave for hosting it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

If you're in driving range of Huntington, WV...

This is a very nice exhibit.

I will say, that it is a little jarring to: A)look at art hanging on the wall that you also have to take the time to read and B) invest time looking at and reading a comics page which is completely out of context.

Despite the above observation, this exhibit is well worth your time if you have any interest in or appreciation for sequential art (and if you don't, you're reading this why?). Admission is $5. Details on the exhibit are available at the Huntington Museum of Art site.

And if you need to know where to get the best pizza or hot dogs in Huntington, just ask and I'll tell you.

Join Me Tonight!!!

Tonight, Monday, March 15, 2010 I will once again be chatting live on Comic Chatcast-starting at 8 PM, EST.

Please stop by and talk comics. Hope to see you there!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Some of Green Arrow's Arrows are Dumb, All of Arrowette's Arrows are Obnoxious

In 1956, DC comics set a weird sort of precedent with the debut of The Batwoman. That precedent was this: When a woman turns to fighting crime, no matter what her costumed persona or crime-fighting theme, all of her gadgets will have to do with being a woman.

Miss Arrowette is a steadfast example of this philosophy. An archer of the first order, and a spunky young woman who wants to fight crime and help her hero- Green Arrow, she has a quiver of ingenious, homemade trick arrows. All of which have to do with cosmetics.

Is she a beautician in her alter-ego of Bonnie King? A cosmetologist? We don't know. But what we do know is, when you let a girl fight crime, she inevitably invents things like a hairpin arrow, a hair tint arrow, a hairnet arrow (a lot of hair things), and a lotion arrow.

Of course, the plot revolves around Miss Arrowette trying to help the Battling Bowmen, who feel that "This isn't a game for girls!" (because only full-grown men should dress up like Robin Hood and prance around the streets lobbing phallic symbols at baddies). Of course, GA and Speedy get captured by some crooks (after slipping on one of Miss Arrowette's lotion arrows) and have to be rescued by the girl. But don't worry, once Miss Arrowette finds the heroes, it's Green Arrow who does the rescuing, taking away Miss Arrowette's bow and arrows and using them himself. Wouldn't want to leave that sort of thing to a girl.

Miss Arrowette agrees to retire, but she returns at least once.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

No Mom in the History of Mankind Was Ever THIS Laid-Back!

Even if Mom here is okay with Dad giving their boy a B.B. gun (and some Moms are, I hear) I really doubt she's okay with, much less thrilled about, the idea that Billy is going to be plinking away in her living room.

Also, shouting "SURPRISE!" at a kid with a gun is a bad idea.

Still, this ad is far cooler than the weird, Freudian ads Daisy was putting out in 1975:

"Power? Your new Daisy will have all you need for the fun you want. It'll be more accurate, too. Just because it feels so good and fits so right." Could this be more penis-y ? I think I'm going to put this comic back in its bag and then go take a shower.