Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bat-Backsliding and Some Other Titles, Too!



Those who spend any appreciable time around here (…and I thank you for doing so), will recall that fateful day in 2012 when New Comic Books and I parted company. 

You can read about it HERE – and, in particular, enjoy JoeCab’s initial comment, that was responsible for one of my best laugh-out-loud moments in the nearly six years of this Blog’s existence. 

Steadfastly new-comic-less I remained, making an exception only for the now-departed IDW POPYEYE series. 


But, sometimes things happen to derail even the most resolute of… um, “resolutions”… Like commenter “Rusty” – in THIS POST – bringing to my attention the KING TUT appearance in Issue # 8 of DC Comics’ new BATMAN ’66 series! 

Tut-tut... It's Tut!

I actually picked-up the first three issues of BATMAN ’66 – a comic book series that reflects the look and sensibilities of the 1966 Adam West and Burt Ward television series – as a bagged set, at NEW YORK COMIC CON 2013, and figured on reading them eventually. 


The First Issue of BATMAN '66

But, when Rusty’s comment linked to the Tut-Centric cover of # 8, I KNEW I had to have that one (and begin reading the ones I had), because Victor Buono, as King Tut, was my favorite villain created for the TV series – and Victor Buono has always been one of my favorite “villain-actors” in general. 

Live Action...
Animated...
...And, at long last - COMICS!

The issue does NOT let us down in its depiction of both iconic TV series imagery – and its depiction of Buono’s Tut!  (Click on images to enlarge)


And there’s a second story featuring Cliff Robertson’s western-themed villain “Shame”!  Just look how great this stuff is!   Makes you feel like a fanboy again! 


Here’s a Bouns Image, from Issue # 2,  of The Penguin and Mister Freeze – Otto Preminger variety!  (…Though I always preferred George Sanders!) 


And, even William Dozier's "Omniscient Yet Unseen Narrator" gets into the act!  "OmYUN"? How's that for a catchy name?


So, on the cold and rainy Saturday afternoon of March 29, 2014, I journeyed to Manhattan to find BATMAN ’66 # 8 – and any of the other ones I missed.   Recalling that Jim Hanley’s Universe indulges in the very welcome practice of leaving several months’ worth of back issues on the racks at cover price, I headed there first, to round-up the outstanding issues of BATMAN ’66 from # 4 - on. 

Can we now call him "The Comic-Bookworm"?

While I was there, thought to pick up the first issue of IDW’s ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE series, as it was written by Mark Evanier
I like THIS COVER better than the "standard" one.
Needless to say, Evanier does not let us down, with the clever and delightful sort of PUNS that were the TV series hallmark – and a wonderful gag concerning the two ubiquitous, event-observing bystanders “Edgar and Chauncey”. 



So, with a stack of copies of BATMAN ’66, and the lone issue of ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE, I was ready to approach the checkout counter… AND THEN I SPOTTED THIS!

Admit it… Your heart stopped too! 


Scooby-Doo AND Bat-Mite from BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD?  Astounding!  What did I say about becoming a fanboy again? 
"AGAIN?  I never STOPPED!"
"We've TEAMED-UP before!"
...And so have they!

As a courtesy to a fellow Blogger, I present this "Bat-Mite-a-riffic" (Yes, I actually SAID that!) sequence from that very issue: SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 3.

Funny, Bat-Mite never leaves comments on MY Blog!

And check out this priceless sequence from Issue # 1 where the characters reference both THE NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES and BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD! 



There are three issues of SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP released to date, each one offering a Batman-related team-up (# 1 Batman and Robin, # 2 Ace the Bat-Hound, and # 3 Bat-Mite), but the friendly and helpful salesperson at Jim Hanley’s Universe believed that future team-ups would include characters from all over Hanna-Barbera, Warner Bros., and DC Comics! 


If so, I can’t wait for THIS team-up!  THAT'LL make me a fanboy for sure!  
"Hi, I'm Freakazoid!  Wanna team-up?"
And, I’ll probably continue with these titles, for as long as they last… darn it all!  :-)
"When do I get MY OWN TITLE?  Bat-Mite Team-Up!  Awesome Sauce!"


"Ya know... Maybe teaming-up wasn't such a HOT IDEA. after all!"


Good night, Folks!


Yes, that last gag was from 1939's "Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur", directed by Chuck Jones!  Extra points, if you got that!    

20 comments:

top_cat_james said...

Joe, did you happen to catch the Gold Key Rocky & Bullwinkle reprint volume also put out by IDW? brief preview

Al Kilgore and Jack Mendelsohn really capture the show's spirit and charm for me. I'm sorry to say this current revamp pales in comparison IMO - particularly the artwork. These characters were designed to be flat and stylized. Portraying them in in rounded dimensions with pupil highlights just looks off-putting and weird.

Glad you're dipping your toe back in the comic shop waters and Happy Easter to you and the missus.

Joe Torcivia said...

TCJ:

The Rocky and Bullwinkle reprint volume is total news to me. I’ve gotta get more connected to comics again. That way, things like SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP won’t come as such a complete surprise!

The link doesn’t work, but if it’s the Gold Key and Dell R&B material, I’m in!

As to your view of the current R&B series: Notice that, when discussing that first issue, I’m quick to praise Mark Evanier’s writing – which I’ve done ever since discovering who he was (and how his stories STOOD OUT, particularly for ‘70s Gold Key), some decades ago – but say nothing about the art. Which, conversely, I certainly DO praise for BATMAN '66!

Honestly, I don’t like it. I try to steer away from negative comments on my Blog… but, as long as we’re addressing it, I don’t like it. It’s just not right! As is likely the case with you and many of my readers, I have “the way these characters SHOULD look” burned into my consciousness… and this is not “the way these characters SHOULD look”.

In fact the reason I chose the alternate cover (pictured in my post) was because I so disliked the “standard” cover, pictured in the link to Mark Evanier’s post. To me, this was the lesser of two evils.

In fact, even “the missus”, who is not the aficionado that I am – and is probably proud of that fact – also thought the art was wrong! She, to her everlasting credit in verbalizing something I failed to, noted that Rocky doesn’t seem to have CHEEKS… and that he’s supposed to have CHEEKS! …I knew there was something wrong about his head, but it never crystalized for me, until her observation.

Think about it… When you draw a Jay Ward character badly, you’re REALLY doing something!

Speaking of Kilgore and Mendelsohn… Yesterday, I just happened to pick up, from my boxes, and start reading Dell’s 1961 ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS – FOUR COLOR # 1275 (link to cover art HERE) and, though the art is just a tad more “sketchy” than it might be, they REALLY DO capture the particular charms of the series.

And, there’s even a reference to “Mr. Big” in the first story, so someone was really paying attention!

I’m glad to have “dipped the toe”. I think the JOY that is present in this post, is clear for all to see!

And, Happy Easter, right back to you and yours!

joecab said...

You're too kind. I totally forgot about that post! Gee it was pretty good :)

And I'm glad to see you slowly seeping back into the comics fold. Nothing wrong with just buying what you like.

I'm still doing likewise: my monthly comics purchases were in the dozens, but I'm down to less than ten now, counting the two titles I buy through Comixology (Saga and Hawkeye; both excellent).

Joe Torcivia said...

Just giving credit where it’s due on the comment, my friend! …Laughs ensued, and they were decidedly of the “out-loud” variety!

I wonder if you can ever fully and truly escape the siren-song of the new comic book. I sure tried!

I’ll probably try again, once these titles run their course – as we all know they will.

Joe Torcivia said...

Oh, and before we leave the topic of the new ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE title, I can’t wait to see Mark Evanier write a “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”!

As any fan knows, every episode of that series always ended on a stellar pun – and no one did puns-in-comic-books better than Mark Evanier! Indeed, it was his work that inspired me to pun(ch)-up my Disney comic book scripts with incessant wordplay. Particularly, when it came to story titles.

So, Mark... On the (very) off chance you're reading this, I'm expecting great things from your Mr. Peabody!

Something on the order of “Why, Sherman, haven’t you ever heard of Lamb Cheops!”, at the very least.

top_cat_james said...

Apologies for the link-let's try this-

www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=20970

I'm glad you share my opinion regarding the visage of the R & B cast. Once again, great minds think alike- and fortunately, ours do as well.

I have wondered if this way of delineating the Ward characters is imposed upon-at least somewhat- by Classic Media. Can't you hear the "Poochie" groupthink emanating from that brain trust?-"That flat look is so 'fifties' and old-fashioned","Realistic eyes on characters doesn't look creepy" and "That's too much solid color. You need to add a lot of airbrush".

As regards to your being out of the comics loop,I get the Diamond Previews catalog every month in my subscription box at my local comics shop. This way, I order what I like and don't have to worry about missing or overlooking potential interesting titles. Perhaps you could likewise order each months issue through your shop (they're under five bucks, and some stores give a discount), or visit their website (www.previewsworld.com) to see the current week's releases.

joecab said...

*downward tuba blast*

Joe Torcivia said...

TCJ:

First, here’s a direct link to the ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE CLASSICS volume URL supplied by TCJ – just because I want everyone to see it.

There may be some truth to what you say on the possibility of character models imposed by Classic Media (Now Dreamworks?). Take the link in my post (where it says “a TV series hallmark”) to the ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE DVD review – and notice that I say the same things there, about the drawing of Rocky on the packaging.

Your link, however, tells the story a perfectly as can be! Look at the two images with YELLOW BACKGROUNDS, that say “ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE CLASSICS”!

The one on the left is the newer representation, that I don’t much care for, and the one on the right (with just Rocky and the indicia) looks RIGHT, complete with CHEEKS and good eyes, and is most likely from “days-gone-by”! If this is true, then apologies to the artist – who may have just been “following orders”. And I did like his renditions of his “Chauncey and Edgar”, enough to highlight them in their own illustration!

I’m very definitely getting this book. I never had the Gold Key issue of BULLWINKLE pictured in the link, so that will be completely new to me.

As for PREVIEWS, I “did that” during the heights of my new comic mania, and eventually dropped it, rather than wade through SO MUCH STUFF that did not interest me. I still have the first issue to list my name as a creator – on that first Super Goof story I wrote the script for, which (fittingly) was originally (I later learned) conceived without credit by Mark Evanier! Though, I see no reason not to check the website. Thanks for that link.

I’d figure I’d return to doing it the way I did in the ‘80s. Go to the shop once a month, look around, and buy what interests me. I expect to do that again this coming weekend, as it’s close to a month since I went last!

Joe Torcivia said...

JoeC:

“*downward tuba blast*”

A perfect chaser to my “Lamb Cheops” gag! Thank you!

Joe Torcivia said...

Additional thought on Mr. Peabody…

Putting on my “writer’s cap” (which, alas, is getting smaller and smaller by the day – BRING BACK DISNEY COMICS, and let me work on them!), I would imagine that the writers of the Peabody and Sherman series most likely STARTED with the PUN, and worked their way backward through a plot – which may have even been almost incidental to the ending pun!

What say you all?

Joe Torcivia said...

I would also imagine the “Aesop and Son” segments were written in the same way.

Start with the “Gag Morals” (One from Aesop, and one from Junior that tops it.), and work backward into the fable.

Dan said...

Hi, Joe:

So glad to see things at TIAH up and posting again! I've been quite busy myself, and a few of the items in this post were things I wanted to alert you to, such as the "Rocky & Bullwinkle" title and the "Batman '66" trade collection, but I see you've already made your way to the comic shop.

I'm going to e-mail you an image of something I think you *haven't* seen yet, which you might want to add to the post, knowing your appreciation for Victor Buono's portrayal of King Tut.


Just a few notes:

As Bats '66 goes, this summer there will be a special (I believe 2-issue) story arc reuniting Batman and Robin with the Green Hornet and Kato, penned by Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman, under painted covers by Alex Ross.

Dreamworks has completed production on a CGI "Rocky and Bullwinkle" short cartoon which will be featured theatrically at some point this year (and YES, June Foray returns as Rocky, as well as voicing our favorite begoggled flying squirrel in an upcoming GEICO commercial!) In the new comics, Mark Evanier hit it out of the park in capturing the tone of the original Jay Ward dialogue and pacing... let us pray to Ponsonby Britt that the upcoming short be of equal fidelity to the original Ward output.

The Scooby-Doo team-up book is really well-done, and I hope the potential for future team-ups will indeed break beyond the boundaries of Gotham City. For example:

Could those meddling kids set up traps in Darkseid's swinging pad up on Apokolips?

Dare I dream of another Scooby/Dynomutt reunion in which Hawkman goes beak to beak with the Blue Falcon?

Would Scooby vouch for T.C. and Choo-Choo's innocence to Dibble to protect their Roosevelt Island time share pyramid scheme?

COMIC BOOK GOLD, RIGHT THERE, DC COMICS: COME AN' GET IT!!!

Lest I forget, I'd like to further empty everyone's wallet by recommending the first volume of Walt Kelly's Pogo comic book stories from DELL's "Animal Comics", published by Hermes Press. It's a handsome and generous presentation.

The other book just came out from IDW, which is Bobby London's run on the "Popeye" comic strip in the mid-to-late 1980s. I'm guessing you know about his infamous run on the strip, even if you don't, the book is most enjoyable *ARF, ARF! I'm shore glad we been blessed wit' a lotta books on dat one-eyed swab, lakely!*

I'll end to keep this comment from turning into it's own blog post, but I hope you and all TIAH readers here enjoyed the holiday weekend!

- Dan

Joe Torcivia said...

Dan:

All of the news is extremely welcome, as I admit to not being connected to the comics world in the ways I used to be!

Batman ’66 and Green Hornet ’66? That’s wonderful! And logical, considering (after ALL those Silver Age issues of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD) the only heroes Batman ’66 ever got to team up with were The Green Hornet and Kato! Probably because that series took place on “Earth ABC-TV”, where there were no other heroes besides The British Avengers and Admiral Nelson of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.

…Funny, where’s the GREEN HORNET SERIES on DVD to accompany the highly anticipate release of BATMAN ’66?

Not that I don’t welcome any return of Rocky and Bullwinkle, but why, oh why, does it always have to be CG?! Imagine June Foray still doing Rocky! Evanier was right-on in his characterizations and capturing the tone of the original show! But, then again, I’ve always been a fan of his writing! It’s a shame he doesn’t do MORE comics!

Depending on how DC choses to handle it, I feel SCOOBY-DOO TEAM UP has *UNLIMITED* potential! I surely expect Dynomutt before long! Maybe they just want to space-out the “Dog-Team-Ups”, after that superb crossover with Ace the Bat-Hound!

Top Cat is a particularly inspired choice on your part! And, unlike where Scooby and Ace communicated freely in their own “dog-language”, TC and the Gang could actually SPEAK to Freddy and the rest! …Unless they want to drive them crazy by (say) only speaking to Shaggy, and none of the others!

I’ve always said Scooby, Astro, and Muttley could have a conversation. Maybe that could happen too!

And, I stand by my choice of Freakazoid! It would be nice to see “The Freaky One” in comics again, that one issue of ANIMANIACS aside! Imagine Freddy trying to pull The Lobe’s head-off, thinking it’s a mask!

I’m certainly getting Bobby London’s POPEYE! I’ve never been quite the POGO fan that the rest of the world is – but, if it’s the Dell stuff, I might give to a look, because I’ve never had those comics.

Heaven help me… I’m becoming a fanboy again! Thanks for ALL of the great news!

Joe Torcivia said...

Oh, and here’s the LINK to the great drawing of Batman and King Tut, that Dan mentions in his post.

Ryan Wynns said...

Joe,

IDW's Rocky and Bullwinkle #1 was the first new comic book I've bought in quite some time, too! (Only about half a year for me, though.) I was especially confident in my purchase when I saw that Evanier was the writer, and your take after reading it is very similar to mine.

Unfortunately, #2 parodies American Idol-style reality shows -- now, the original Jay Ward TV series ALWAYS poked fun at pop culture, but this subject matter is a bit too obvious for me -- in fact, it's been parodied countless times over -- and wasn't exactly begging to be roasted. Still, Evanier once again showed a expert grasp of the basic ingredients of R&B (which should go without saying, really). Some multi-issue, long-form serials in the vein of those from the original series would be interesting.

I'd be happy to purchase reprint collections of the Gold Key series AND of the `80's STAR version, which, believe it or not, I remember as actually having been a pretty good comics translation of the series! I think there were only two issues, though, so perhaps they could be included as "bonus" content in one of the Gold Key collections.

When purchasing IDW's R&B, I decided I'd give the first issue of their Mr. Peabody and Sherman mini-series. (Errr, shouldn't it be Peabody's Improbable History? Guess that's the movie's fault, though, not IDW's.) My reaction was pretty ehhhhh. I was mostly put off by the art, though, and it would only be fair of me to reread it.

-- Ryan

Joe Torcivia said...

Ryan:

I loved Issue # 2, as much as one. Though I still want to see Evanier tackle Mr. Peabody, just so he could do one of those spectacular ending puns! …Um, there’s a Mr. Peabody comic TOO? I’ll have to look for that!

I had no problem with the “American Idol” parody bit, and precisely because Jay Ward would have done it at some point. If you feel it comes a tad (…or MORE than a “tad”) too late, I *can* see your point.

Just curious, when I wrote my way out of an unexpected corner with my skewering of “Jersey Shore” ( as “Calisota Shore”) in WDC&S # 720, did you feel similarly?

No problem if you did. You wouldn’t have been alone on that. But, my feeling is that Barks, like Ward, WOULD have given it to reality shows “right between the eyes” (particularly when Barks was in his ‘60s curmudgeonly satirical mode), and I tried to do the same.

The R&B Gold Key reprint book is also great! Do be aware that the third and fourth GK issues (billed in the book as such) are actually DELL REPRINTS. But, that only matters to a stickler like me.

ShadZ said...

Just FYI, Scooby-Doo Team-up #4 will feature Scooby-Doo and the gang meeting the cast of the current Teen Titans Go! cartoon, and #5 will guest-star Wonder Woman

Joe Torcivia said...

Awww... No Freakazoid!?

Thanks for the info. I'll be picking it up.

I want Freakazoid! Or, Lobo!

Ryan Wynns said...

Joe,

If there had been an actual full-blown "Calisota Shore" STORY, I probably would've been resistant to the very idea. But I saw you as having been in a tight place with accounting for something that wouldn't work for American readers, and your solution was as good as any (and really had no effect on the story).

You're right -- I very much CAN see Barks and Ward lampooning reality shows ... much like Barks did I think more than one 10-pager involving content and/or talent shows, etc. The thing was, with R&B #2, I got the feeling that we were just supposed to think it was funny that reality shows had just been referenced -- they weren't really subjected to being satired, to much of an extent.

But Evanier still showed his chops, and having re-read issue #1, I feel even more strongly that he's the perfect fit. Bullwinkle suddenly being given the uncanny ability to see everything that happens right before it does could have easily been a storyline from the original series. I'm still looking forward to future issues!

-- Ryan

Joe Torcivia said...

You know, Ryan… I CAN see the difference, as you describe it.

That being, that Barks and Ward would have outright satirized the distasteful concept of “reality shows” far more overtly, while, here, it was more or less “just referenced”.

Then again, sometimes “just referenced” is all you need, as it got me out of the continuity-corner Romano Scarpa painted me into (by having ALL Disney characters, including Brigitta and Trudy, be regarded as celebrities in Italy) in WDC&S # 720.

And you could say “just referenced” is all Evanier needed to advance the plot of ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE # 2, which was not necessarily ABOUT “reality shows”. I’m certain that if Evanier SET OUT to satirize “reality shows” as his main thrust, he would have done so magnificently.

I just got ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE # 3 (along with BATMAN ’66 # 10, and SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 4) this afternoon, and am looking forward to ALL of them!