Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Back to Back Bertrams... And a Big Beeping Surprise!

From its humble beginnings as a parody of the “Beefsteak Charlie’s” restaurant chain in the pages of Gemstone’s UNCLE SCROOGE # 375 (2008)…

…Yes, really, look it up.  Oh, wait, I’ll show you right here…

…The name “Bertram” has become a “go-to” in present day American Disney comic book dialoguing.  

But, despite numerous dropped-in references, today marks the first time we've "bopped along with Bertram" for two consecutive weeks! 

Last week's IDW DONALD DUCK # 21, released on June 14, 2017...

...And this week's IDW UNCLE SCROOGE # 27, dialogued by Thad Komorowski and released today: June 21, 2017! 

The latter as a throwaway gag by the great Romano Scarpa, establishing Scrooge in his bin filled with money…and the often strange things he does with said money! ...And isn't it a coincidence that all three "Bertram" sightings illustrated in this post have to do with beef?  

And, while you’re at your local comic book shop picking up UNCLE SCROOGE # 27 from IDW, make sure to stop and check THIS out…

If you thought my heart stopped the day I saw THIS COMIC…

...Imagine what I must have looked like when I spotted LOBO / ROAD RUNNER!  So much so that I bought both covers! 

This might very well be “the comic I waited for ALL MY LIFE, but never knew it”!  …Of course LOBO has not been around for “ALL MY LIFE”, but you know what I mean! 

One story in "Lobo-Style", and one story in "Animated-style"!
In fact, I’m gonna settle in with a “Jumbo Deluxe Big Bertram” and read it right now!  ...Da-rool! Da-rool! 


Sunday, June 18, 2017

R.I.P. Adam West.

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of actor Adam West, on June 09, 2017, at the age of 88. 

Adam West was one of those rare personalities who was universally beloved, particularly by those of us who were children of the sixties!  His uniquely zestful personality and acting style pretty much made him a favorite to everyone! 

When Adam West burst into our living rooms each Wednesday and Thursday evenings as BATMAN, there had never been anything like it before – and did he, and the series he would be forever associated with, ever arrive at the perfect time! 

Premiering on January 12-13, 1966, almost literally bisecting the final television season to broadcast a steadily-dwindling number of prime-time series in Black and White, Adam West’s BATMAN shattered any final lingerings of television as it was during the previous decade-and-a-half. 

While other fantasy-oriented prime-time network series such as VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, LOST IN SPACE, THE WILD WILD WEST and sitcoms like BEWITCHED, I DREAM OF JEANNIE, GET SMART, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, and THE MUNSTERS had started the ball decidedly rolling in the imaginative direction that 1960s television would best be remembered for, it was BATMAN – thanks to Adam West and the talented actors, writers, and directors that fashioned this unique series – that boldly announced that the Sixties In-Color had arrived!  

Adam West was the PERFECT Batman for the sixties.  Resolute, melodramatic, even “square”… but FUN!  Always FUN! 

But, having run my own personal DVD “West-Fest” in the days following his death, it becomes apparent that Adam West did not “create” this particular performance type FOR the character of Batman and his alter-ego Bruce Wayne – but had pretty much practiced it throughout the years leading up to the series.  Indeed, the 1966 television persona of Batman might very well have been created to suit the singular talents of Adam West – rather than the other way around.    

Consider the Three Stooges film “The Outlaws Is Coming”, co-starring Adam West.  There, his male-lead character IS unquestionably the Bruce Wayne / Batman persona… in a film released in 1965, the year PRIOR TO the BATMAN television series.  

In PERRY MASON’s “The Case of the Bogus Books” (1962), West’s character somehow manages to be “square” (though heroically-intentioned) even though he carries around a guitar! 

And, in THE OUTER LIMITS’ “The Invisible Enemy” (1964), he turns in a performance that, at times, would make William Shatner blush!  A performance not all that far from the Batman in his future! 

Funny that my three-item “West-Fest”, intended as nothing more than my usual sort of tribute to a favorite departed figure – with an emphasis on his pre-Batman roles, ends up revealing all the more about exactly what went into creating his forever-unique take on the Caped Crusader! 

Over the last quarter-century, Adam West enjoyed a tremendous resurgence in popularity, which I believe began with his guest-voicing role in the BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES episode “Beware the Grey Ghost”. 

From there, he went on to many live action and voice acting roles – the most famous and enduring of which would be “Mayor Adam West” on FAMILY GUY! 

Aw, heck… HERE is his extensive list of credits at IMDB!   

The final, full-circle steps of the resurgence of both Adam West and his version of Batman was this comic book…

...This amazing classic series Blu-ray release...

…And this new animated DVD, featuring the voices of Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar!  (…With one more like it, guest-starring William Shatner as Two-Face, to come!) 

I got to meet Adam West once, and he was every bit as wonderful as one would imagine him to be!  That story is contained in THIS POST

Rest in Peace, Adam West.  Forever a beloved hero to legions of fans!  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

On Sale June 14, 2017: DONALD DUCK # 21 from IDW!

Don’t just swing there… Get hiking, Viking!  Hiking to your local comic shop for a copy of DONALD DUCK # 21 from IDW!

In content, it is exactly like its predecessor, DONALD DUCK# 20, right down to once again (…and, all together now) omitting my cover credit!  This is getting to be a bad habbit, Rabbit! 

CUT (to the quick) for the second issue in a row!  Oh, woe…

But, to (Ahem!), the issue at hand... 

In it, you'll find Part Two (and conclusion) of "Helmet of the Gods", a 2011 Italian adventure written by Carlo Panaro, drawn by Andrea Freccero, with translation and dialogue by the great Jonathan Gray -- whose last name REMAINS short enough to (again) fit into the cover's clearly crowded credits banner.

We still have the same enthusiastic baby whale from last issue...

...who's lost none of his cuteness and enthusiasm since last time! 

And we still have our special guest professor/scientist/historian/ antiquarian (and square-egghead) "Oleg Owlson", who still looks like a Funko POP figure!  

"Pinky, are you POPPING what I'm POPPING?"
"I think so, Brain... But, if Jimmy POPPED CORN and NO ONE CARED, why would he continue to do it?"

"Be grateful I don't POP you on the nose, Pinky! 

Oh, Man!  If there still were a PINKY AND THE BRAIN comic book, I could write for that too!  [End of Pinky and The Brain Digression] 

I just called Professor Oleg Owlson a "square-egghead", so I can't help but wonder if he might have hatched from an offshoot of one of Carl Barks' SQUARE EGGS...

Could be...

Wonder if he had that diving mask custom made?  

Anyway, the story takes some interesting twists and turns, which I will not spoil... save for maybe two minor things...

THIS GREAT FULL-PAGE SCENE! (Click to enlarge!) 

Can't you just HEAR that unforgettable music score from STAR TREK playing now?!

And, Jonathan's incredible acronym...

...a delight for all fans of FREAKAZOID...

...and that includes Melvin X. Nickelby in "Heads You Win... Tails You Bruise!", from UNCLE SCROOGE # 367 (2007)! 

Finally, some wise words from Donald... 

Would that ALL our "adventures", both fictional and actual, end similarly!  

Such is short-lived for Donald, however, as we move to our second story...

...Yes, it's the second appearance of Princess Oona - who "opens doors" to her own particular brand of adventure!  

"Oona's Shopping Maul" (my title, natch) is written by Stefan and Uhn Printz-Pahlson, drawn by the great Victor Arriagada Rios - better known as "Vicar", and with an Americanized English Language script by yours truly.  

At least I made it to the INSIDE front cover credits! 

Needless to say, Princess Oona proceeds to wreak havoc across modern-day Duckburg... that "Education for Thursdaysort of way...

...But, thankfully minus the unfortunate stereotypes.  

Oddly, Oona demonstrates a modicum of discriminating taste when it comes to TV viewing.  

Honestly, can you blame her for that last one?  Huh?  

And pity poor Neighbor Jones, as if living next to Donald isn't rumpus enough.  

As the title promises, Donald and Daisy take Oona to the mall. 

Followed by an after-shopping snack at "Bertram's Burgers"! 

A special shout-out to the first person who can name ALL the stories in which I've used the name "Bertram" in the script!  (...It may be more than you think!) 

There's plenty more mall-madness to come, but we'll stop here and skip to Donald's dilemma at the end.  

"Stay tuned for more soon!", it says.  ...But WHERE?  

As you may know, this is the last issue of IDW's Donald Duck title - soon to be absorbed by a 48-page quarterly DONALD AND MICKEY title.  

As I already have completed the THIRD Oona story, detailing Donald's frustrating attempts to find the Prehistoric Princess a job and a place to live, I presume it will surface in the new DONALD AND MICKEY title.  

Funny, but this is not the first Blog post I've done for what looked to be the FINAL ISSUE OF DONALD DUCK, and I'm not about to say this is the final issue either!  

But, for now, I'm proud and humbled to have written the final lines of dialogue for the great DONALD DUCK comic book title, that began with this..

...And, at least FOR NOW, ends with THIS!  

Just remember, I do not speak for IDW, or anyone in its employ.  I speak strictly for myself as both a long-time fan and as a dialogue creator – and those opinions are strictly my own.

Then, to celebrate IDW's DONALD DUCK # 21's place in comic book history (...which I hope is a MINOR ONE, meaning that there WILL be more issues to come), let's all meet back here in the Comments Section to discuss POP-Headed Professors, Princess Oona's Progress... and any other alliterative topics that employ the letter "P"...

...Though Eega Beeva is exempted from this!