Monday, June 27, 2022

Questions You Never Asked: If I Were Writing Superman, What Would I Do Here?

Okay, let's see how closely you've followed my own comics writing/translation/dialoguing work of recent years...

If I were writing the following panel of SUPERMAN, what would I change?  

Send your answers in the form of comments, please!  

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The Return of /Son of / The Sequel to "Learn Comics Writing from Sholly Fisch!"

In my opinion, as both a fan and as a professional comic book writer, Sholly Fisch is, without doubt, my favorite comics writer actively working today!  

Could anyone else have written the comic above?  

Or those below?  

I don't THINK so!  

And that's just one small corner of the overall comics landscape that he navigates so well!  

This Blog stands as a testament to that navigation... Just take THIS LINK and see!  

Sholly Fisch routinely taps into that "Something Special" that I can barely reach - on good days, with effort - and only if the stars and planets are properly aligned, in a month with no "R" in it, and when the date is divisible by 20040402 with no remainder!   

And NOW, you can... Learn Comics Writing from Sholly Fisch! 

...And through the respected Kubert School, no less!  Online, in the COVID-free comfort of your own home!  Here's some detail from the Kubert School web site...
“For more than 30 years, Sholly Fisch has prowled the night as an award-winning, Eisner-nominated writer, whose 400+ credits run the gamut from Superman to Star Wars to Scooby-Doo, and from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser to Looney Tunes.  By day, Sholly has helped produce dozens of educational TV series, digital games, and magazines for kids, including Sesame Street, Cyberchase, The Magic School Bus Rides Again, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, and lots of things you've probably never heard of. 

“In this 6-week class, Sholly will introduce the mechanics of writing, storytelling, and creating characters for comics in various genres, while students create and share stories of their own.  Not to mention offering practical advice about breaking in (and staying in), working with artists and editors, and what to do when things go wrong.”

Class runs six weeks, 6:00-8:00 PM ET, Tuesday evenings. Begins July 12, 2022! 

...And, if such a thing could be considered an "extra added incentive", I will be attending this session!  I'm already registered, and looking forward to the experience!  So, who wants to join me? ...And Scooby and Batman?    

I don't guarantee they will be there, but stranger things have happened!
 Like THIS, for instance! 

Don't let all those Robins beat you to it! Check it out today! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Keep Your Enemies Close...

Here's an unusual cover for a Western Publishing (Dell/Gold Key/Whitman Comics) funny animal comic.  And, it's one that I like a lot, for it's mere simplicity and effectiveness! 

TWEETY AND SYLVESTER #117 (Whitman Comics, No Cover Date but released in 1983). 

Unlike most Tweety and Sylvester comic book covers - and all of their cartoons - Sylvester is not aggressively pursuing Tweety, and Tweety is not aggressively defending himself against Sylvester.  

Perhaps tuckered-out from all that "aggressive stuff", canary and cat lie placidly in vertically-adjacent and size-appropriate hammocks... But with the added touch of keeping one eye open and trained on the other!  

Proof that every such cover need not be action-packed to carry off a good gag!  

Friday, June 3, 2022

The Secrets of "Mickey Mouse Super Secret Agent"!

One of the most fascinating aspects of the creatively fertile period of the mid-1960s for American Disney comics was - and continues to be - the three "subset" issues of Gold Key's MICKEY MOUSE title (issues 107-109) dubbed "Mickey Mouse Super Secret Agent"!   

Covers and first page scans below... 

Written by Don R. Christensen, drawn by Dan Spiegle and Paul Murry, and lettered by Rome Siemon, this alas-short-lived experiment continues to resonate with fans (like me) and draw the curious (like some of you?) to this day.  

My original "comics mentor" (decades before I thought I could ever break into comics and text-article writing), Mark Evanier has posted a comprehensive look at "Mickey Mouse Super Secret Agent" at his Blog - and, with full credit and appreciation to Mark, I link to it HERE!  


Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Who Chose THIS Image?

Here is a subscription ad from SUPERMAN # 174 (DC Comics, Cover Date: January, 1965), that leaves me wondering "Who Chose THIS Image?"

Let's look a little closer at the ad...

Sure, I'd like to be the first in my neighborhood to read each issue of Superman!  And, just as sure, I'd like to get 'em for 10-cents each, instead of that allowance-busting 12-cents per issue! 

But something's still not right...

...I'VE GOT IT! 

Why does Superman need to RUN, when he can fly? 

...And why is he running with what appears to be a "bag of loot"?  C'mon, you can't tell me that's his "dirty Clark Kent laundry" in there! 

While the use of existing character art was very prevalent for ads like this...

...I'm convinced that this illustration is of some "Superman Impostor" making a getaway, rather than "The Real-Deal of Steel"! 

I can't tell you which comic it might have come from, but it is clearly not Superman assuming anything resembling a heroic pose!  ...Like the one below! 

Why this particular image of Superman was selected to represent the character for a subscription ad is just another one of those things we'll never know... I just hope the real Superman gets here in time, before this costumed-crook gets away!

Oh, good... He did!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Just Another Reason Harvey Eisenberg was So Great!

As if we needed to find more examples of why former animator / layout man and Dell and Gold Key comic book artist HARVEY EISENBERG (...whose comics work on TOM AND JERRY was the stuff of legends) was so great, let's examine CHIP 'N' DALE # 19 (Dell Comics, Cover Date: September-November, 1959!  (Click to enlarge all images!) 

Pete is about to use his steam shovel to destroy Chip 'n' Dale's tree!  The shovel scoop has taken on the look of a hungry mouth! 

In desperation, Chip 'n' Dale hurriedly loosen-up everything they can!  Just look at Pete's steam shovel REAR-UP on its "hind wheels" before charging! 

Things literally "fall to pieces" for Pete!  His forward rush and screeching halt in the lower tier are priceless!

Confronted by a "Prototype for Ranger Smith" (a character Eisenberg would often draw over the next few years in Dell and Gold Key Comics), Pete gets his deserved comeuppance - and some wonderfully perplexed expressions courtesy of Harvey Eisenberg!   

As noted above, this story (which, if it wasn't a Chip 'n' Dale theatrical short, certainly SHOULD have been) was originally published in Dell's CHIP 'N' DALE # 19 (1959)...

...And was reprinted in CHIP 'N' DALE # 3 (1969)  from Gold Key, allowing me the opportunity to showcase - not one, but two - Harvey Eisenberg covers! 

...'Cause you can never have too much Harvey Eisenberg!  

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Exit Opera - Enter Disco!

For today's little bit of nonsense, we present the cover of GHOSTS # 90 (DC Comics, Cover Date: July, 1980).

Remember when Phantoms only haunted Operas and Rue Morgues?  Not for THIS Phantom! 

In that now-fondly-remembered period of the late 1970s - early 1980s, even PHANTOMS had to keep up with the times! 

Our protagonist seems to have gotten himself into quite the... "Disco Stew"!  

...Hey, Stu, did somebody say, DISCO? 

But, what really makes it noteworthy to this humble Blogger is the TAGLINE!  

"In the DISCO -- no one can hear you scream!"

Loathe as I am to admit it, I had actually gone to a disco or three circa 1979, and indeed NO ONE could hear you scream... or talk... or sneeze, or make otherwise embarrassing bodily sounds, or whatever... 

But you gotta love DC's use of such a gag on the cover of what is a normally "straight" horror comic!  

...Okay, it's time to "Disco Duck" outta here!  

...Or, "In the DISCO -- no one can hear you WAK!"