Showing posts with label enemy ace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label enemy ace. Show all posts

Friday, March 1, 2013

Your Questions Answered: Original Comic Art Page

On February 27th, we challenged readers to send in any question they liked and promised to respond to all queries. We're giving it a go.

Stuart asked via Twitter, so before we lose the tweet...

Stuart asks:   If you could get any one original comic art page signed, which would it be and why?

Wow.  That's a really, really tough question.

There's so much to consider.  What characters?  Which artists were involved?  The design of the page itself. What's the context of the page, and who wrote it?  Was the story memorable?

For perfection on ALL of these counts, I guess I'd say: Any single page from any issue of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen.  But that's a shortcut of an answer.

So what would I want?

I think I'd want superhero art, for the most part.  I'd make an exception for Carl Barks or Don Rosa work, and would love to have stuff by either of them.  Nothing in particular comes to mind as per specific pages, though.  The same with Curt Swan, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, George Perez, and many more.  They're all amazing artists, but this is a singular page we're talking here, a single page from a comic that so stuck with us...

There's a few ways to answer this.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Excursion to Mile High Comics in Denver, CO

I wasn't terribly excited to have to get on a plane and head to Denver Saturday morning.  It's been a busy couple of weeks at work, and I wrapped up major meetings Thursday and Friday.  But off to Denver I went, asked to present at a conference that was aimed at my industry, but not so much directly at me and what I do.

When I was first getting into comics and believed I only really needed Batman, X-Men, Teen Titans and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in my life, I came to find out that a couple years before I learned what an X-Man or Teen Titan was, there has been a crossover between the Big Two, and an Uncanny X-Men/ Teen-Titans comic had actually been printed.  It blew my mind.  I never saw the cover of the comic, or who had worked on it.  It existed as a line-item in ads for a place on Denver called Mile High Comics as a title and price point.*

Eventually I saved up some money rather than taking whatever I had and riding immediately to Piggly Wiggly on my bike to look at the spinner rack.  My mom wrote a check and in some amount of time, the comic arrive in the mail.  It was like magic.  And the cover to the comic was pretty awesome, even if the story set the tone for how poorly I've always felt crossovers worked.

Over the years of following comics, I'd always heard legends of the store itself - a massive space that dwarfed the imagination (this was back when Austin Books was about 1500 square feet and half of that was dedicated to sci-fi books) and had an amazing selection.

Eventually, I even bought a couple of issues from them online before deciding the fun of collecting comics is in the hunt, not just ordering something off the internet.

I had just crawled into bed Friday night when I realized:  hey, I'm in Denver with time to kill.  I could jump in a cab and...

So Saturday afternoon I stepped outside my hotel, negotiated a return trip with a cab driver and off I went to the Mile High Comics Superstore.  And a Superstore it is, indeed.

this represents about 1/2 of what you can actually see inside the door...

Friday, August 31, 2012

A few things. I'm going to bed.

Into the long weekend.  Here we go.

1.  The mother-in-law, Judy, has returned home!  This is big news.  She'll be receiving rehabilitation at home for a while, and then, I guess, maybe at a clinic.  But watching her progress over the last 20 days or so has been absolutely stunning.  And, if I can step back a pace, it's also been completely fascinating.

Judy had damage in her speech center, and so in the days immediately following her surgery, she couldn't say much.  And then more words came, and she could sometimes communicate what she wanted, but not very often.  It's this slow build up.  You can tell all the words are on the hard drive, and her thoughts are complete, but she's having trouble accessing a lot of her vocabulary.  So while she isn't slurring not is there any loss of that fashion, she might not remember a word like "California".  Even after you say "California".

The really interesting bit is what is there.  A lot of phrases are there completely intact, and if you want her to sing a song she knows, she can do it from beginning to end.  I sat with her last week and a commercial came on which used "Blue Skies", and when it ended, she sang the whole song.  She does this with great regularity.  Apparently, songs and phrases are in an easy-to-reach part of the memory bank.

Anyway, Jamie went down today and worked with her and hung out.  I think I'm going down Sunday.  But it's great to have Judy home and I am sure my father-in-law, Dick, is pretty pleased to not be sitting on the couch or chair in the hospital.  Kudos to him for all the hard work.

2.  The RNC is on but I haven't watched a minute, just as I haven't watched a convention since high school, so no news there.  I'm not really following the election except via, and, people... it's not pretty coming from either side. Let's just say I think we had a good run with this "democracy" idea, but we may need to move onto the Philosopher-King model.

I would also pitch the notion that we just let a council of scientists who would judge you via videoconference rule us.  The one flaw in this plan would be if they ignored crucial, planet-saving scientific evidence.  Which would never happen.

3.  The annual sale is on at Austin Books and Comics, so if you're in town and want half-off on back issues or to go raid the back-issue store, they're open all weekend.  

I had dinner with PalKevin who does not read comics, but he wanted to go with me to ABC afterward, and it was fun walking around with him.  I found out he's read all the John Carter books (we agreed to disagree on the movie), but I had a harder time actually selling him on any comics.

As a man who already owns a lot of comics, I do have a strategy.  I basically knew of a bunch of back issues I wanted that I didn't want to pay full-price for, and I just waited until this week, and then I bought them.  I didn't really look for anything new, and yet, somehow, I was able to spend money.  I was a bit more impulsive at the Sidekick Store, but not too much.  I realize I am getting picky about the conditions of my Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane issues, and I'm not ready to start with reader copies unless its a book I've just not seen out before.

Came home with a lot of Joe Kubert drawn comics, including Tor, Our Army at War and others.  And I picked up the DC Christmas Special with the John Byrne drawn Enemy Ace story which I've had in reprints, but, you know.  Enemy Ace.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Comics Haul: 8.15.2012

So this is what I picked up after 2 weeks away from the shop.

2 issues of Atomic Robo (ongoing series and a mini), Popeye ongoing #1, a Daredevil Annual, Saga #6, the new Allred project - which is an old Allred project, It Girl!  I have no idea what It Girl! will be about, but I'm betting that at least I'll like the art.

And I came across Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #30 in pretty iffy condition, but it's a book I've been lacking from my Jimmy Olsen collection and one of my favorite Jimmy covers, so there you go.

The Phantom Eagle I picked up on a whim, but it's a Marvel war book from the 60's-era Marvel and obviously meant to grab some of that sweet, sweet Enemy Ace money.  Several years ago Garth Ennis used the character in his book War is Hell: First Flight of the Phantom Eagle.  I hadn't thought much about the character since, but the cover jumped out at me and I figured it was a good addition to my aviation comics.

Yes, I sort of buy and collect military aviation comics.

Shut up.

I also put a few sheckles down on my lay-away copy of Action Comics 101, a comic that I will one day actually have in my home.

Digitally, I've picked up the one-shot Busiek and Lieber comic, Thoughts on a Winter Morning, published here by MonkeyBrain Comics.   It's a lovely slice-of-life story, and makes you wonder what else Busiek would be writing about if he walked away from superheroes and whatnot for a bit.  It's a nice meditation on time and perspective, and uses the medium of comics beautifully.  At least, it seemed so on my laptop on guided view.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Joe Kubert Merges with The Infinite

Comics legend Joe Kubert has reportedly passed.

I point you to the obit run at The Onion AV club, as it's a pretty damned good summary of Kubert's bio and will hopefully explain to those of you who don't follow comics who the man was and how he stood in the pantheon of comics heroes.

Kubert was at DC Comics for most of his career, first arriving in 1943 and holding positions as a writer, editor and artist, depending on where the winds blew.  Today's fans like myself are mostly familiar with his co-creations like Sgt. Rock, or his own creation, Tor and the stunning artistry he brought to the page.  Where Kirby was volcanic energy in need of an outlet, Kubert was an illustrative master capturing the world-weary faces of Easy Company, battle-worn soldiers of Earth and beyond, but a master of perspective and detail.

...and I like his Iris West.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Enemy Ace and Why You Don't Take Your Puppy Up into the Killer Skies

I finally got a copy of Star Spangled War Stories #148.  It's a reader copy, not in terrific shape, but I can make a check mark on that particular collection.  And it's not like I don't have a copy of that story in both Showcase Presents and Archives formats.

You guys know I am firmly in corner of Von Hammer, The Enemy Ace. Yes, even as he's shooting down our friends from England and France in plane-to-plane combat, I'm still thrilling to his adventures as he takes his tri-wing Fokker up into The Killer Skies.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

SW Advent Calendar December 10

This evening we host our annual Holiday Party.*  Were we only so lucky as to have Enemy Ace come flying in out of the snow to party crash as he did in the story "Silent Night" from Christmas with the Superheroes #2.

*you're invited.  Come on by!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Garth Ennis's "Battlefields"

A comic that's gotten sadly too little conversation, in my opinion, has been Garth Ennis' war comic, Battlefields.

Ennis is famous for Preacher, Hitman, Punisher: Welcome Back Frank, The Boys, Adventures in the Rifle Brigade and other over-the-top comics adventure stories aimed squarely at the 17-and-up crowd.  Yes, he knows how to a work a good de-nosing, be-facing, entrail gouge and other such entertaining topics into his work.  And, I admit, when I'm in the mood, I absolutely love that stuff.

But a number of years back now, Ennis did a two-issue, prestige format Enemy Ace story that more or less set up my current fascination with the character (especially after learning Pratt's work on War Idyll and the original Kanigher and Kubert work was so astoundingly good), and I'd highly recommend it as a good "here's a comic without superheroes" comic.

He went on to write some great stuff in his War Stories comics at DC, and, again, I'd recommend.

But a couple years back he started a new banner at Dynamite where he could tell short, 3 issue stories, called Battlefields.

Truthfully, I'm not sure if I've discussed his work on Battlefields here before or not.  But it bears discussion.

Unlike most of comic-dom that plays with facts, refuses to do so much as a Google search on even the historical figures or events they're talking about, or grossly misrepresents facts in order to "tell the story", Ennis clearly does his research.  He clearly knows his topics, from New Zealand army bombers to British tank commands during WWII.  And on top of that, he tells brilliant, human stories in the grinder that is war.  Sometimes sentimental, sometimes less so, but never with the varnish of a John Wayne war movie, nor the melodramatic flair of Platoon, Ennis actually carves out a pretty straightforward way of relating his stories, and that makes the tragedy surrounding the characters all the more grim.

If you get a chance, at least pick up that first collection.  Its of 9 issues, 3 separate stories on 3 separate fronts, and all chillingly well told.  I'm pretty sure it'll mean you go ahead and pick up Volume 2.

While Ennis most definitely gets a nod of respect, there's so much more internet ink spilled (and I suspect sales are much higher on) his books like The Boys.  And that's great, but its missing what a tremendously talented and versatile (and damned smart) writer Ennis really can be.