Sunday, January 8, 2017

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Nightblade

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or the Internet Archive, where you can also directly download an art-tagged MP3.

This episode looks at Nik Mayak, a New Blood with extraordinary body regeneration powers, supplemented by great agility and uncanny accuracy with blowing blades. Debuting in 1993's Green Lantern Annual #2, we give an overview of the rest of his career in Eclipso Annual #1 & Bloodbath #1-2, the Blood Pack mini-series, Guy Gardner: Warrior #29 & 39, Deathstroke the Terminator #49, Infinite Crisis #7, Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3D #1-2, and finally 2010's Adventure Comics #4-5. You can follow along with our reading of the annual at Scans Daily.

Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Green Lantern

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or the Internet Archive, where you can also directly download an art-tagged MP3.

The Guardians of the Universe chose Hal Jordan to be their Emerald Gladiator for Space Sector 2814, wielder of a Power Ring that could create jade energy constructs limited only by the bearer's willpower and a necessary impurity that rendered it ineffective against anything colored yellow. However, the day would come when Hal Jordan would falter, and on that day his successor would rise to command the energies derived from the Master Power Battery on Oa, and that man's name was John Stewart...

This episode, we look at the 1970s adventures of Neil Adams' & Denny O’Neil's Green Lantern John Stewart, DC Comics's first African-American super-hero (unless you count Vykin the Black or Black Racer, which virtually nobody does, despite Jack Kirby publishing them nearly a year earlier.) Also, an obligatory history of that jerk Jordan, mostly cribbed from Will Jacobs and Gerard Jones. You can follow along with our reading at Scans_Daily. Also, check out the Neal Adams interview at Robin Hood: Bold Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood.

This episode's non-paying advertisers: Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: The Origin of Captain Comet!

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"He was a mystery to himself! Why-- young Adam Blake wanted to know-- was he so different from other people? How did it happen that there was no one else like him in the whole wide world? Where did he really come from? Who was he? All these questions which might have unsettled an ordinary mind-- only served to whet the brain and steel the mettle of the extraordinary youth who, without knowing it, was fated to fulfill a grand and awe-inspiring destiny on Earth-- as Captain Comet-- First Man of the Future!"

This episode, we explore comics' first mutant super-hero, a prototype from the Atomic Age who was a mental marvel and physical dynamo! Explore his Strange Adventures from the June 1951 cover-dated ninth issue through the twelfth, plus comparisons to 1987's Secret Origins Annual #1. You can follow along with our reading at Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine.

This episode's non-paying advertisers: Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Myriad!

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or the Internet Archive, where you can also directly download an art-tagged MP3.

This episode looks at the New Blood Myriad and the Cyborg Superman, neither of whom debuted in 1993's Superman Annual #5 (the only instance of that occurring in the Bloodlines annual event that was specifically created to introduce new characters.) Getting to know Hank Henshaw means going back to 1990 to cover Superman #42, Adventures of Superman #465 and especially Adventures of Superman #466, followed by Sasha Green's first (and technically last) appearance in Superman #77. Next we get to the actual story "Myriad!" followed by her cameo in Bloodbath Special #2 and her quasi-posthumous mentions in 1994's Action Comics #696 & 700 plus 1997's Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #7. Finally, an overview of Frank's reading of Superman comics overall, as well as the career of Hank Henshaw specifically. This one gets political, so if you're still hypersensitive about the concept of President Trump, take heed. Bonus: Our podcast's debut appearance of the most successful New Blood, Hitman! You can follow along with our reading of the annual at Scans Daily.

This episode's non-paying advertisers: Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: The Vixen is a Lady Fox

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Finally, the DC Bloodlines Podcast reveals its greater scope than just one 1993 event, but rather a mandate to cover the under-served DCU by looking at the earliest published (and especially the unpublished) comics of what was intended to be the first super-heroine series for a character of African decent, Mari McCabe: The Vixen! We start with the aborted 1978 first issue created by Gerry Conway & Bob Oksner from the second Xeroxed collection of "Cancelled Comic Cavalcade" and the rejected early '80s "The Power Squad" proposal before her accessible comics debut in 1981's Action Comics #521 and her second team-up with Superman in 1984's DC Comics Presents #68, plus supplemental material from Back Issue Magazine #40!

This episode's non-paying advertisers:
Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Anima attacks the New Titans

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Sigh. It's time to deal with Courtney Mason, the heroine of The New Titans Annual #9 and her own sixteen issue series, Anima (we cover the first two issues.) Created by novelists Elizabeth Hand & Paul Witcover, Anima was one of the highest profile and powerful New Bloods, but also one of the most painful to actually read. Hope the riot grrrl soundtrack helps us get through this one. You can follow along with our reading of the annual at Scans Daily.

This episode's non-paying advertisers: Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

2015 Oberon Amazing Houston Comic Con Jam Sketch Detail by Johnny J. Segura III

Oberon was created by Jack Kirby in 1971 as a circus performer who becomes the sidekick of Mr. Miracle. He's likely better known for tagging along with Scott Free when he joined Justice League International, and becoming such a beloved supporting member that he stayed on even after Miracle moved on. Oberon is one of my favorite characters from JLI, and I loved how he played off Max Lord, J'Onn J'Onzz, & Bea da Costa. I'd love to see him hang out with those characters again! Despite a lack of space and a lot of surrounding characters crowding him further, Oberon looks swell here!

Johnny Segura 3rd

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Argus and Flash

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The (finally bi-weekly as originally intended) podcast (not really) dedicated to DC's New Bloods returns (for a second "season" of indefinite length after a one-off in Spring 2015 & four episodes in April)! We're (actually only one person involved) back with a show that was 100% completed on May ‎15th but left on the shelf for nearly five months because Frank got distracted by the next shiny object (specifically, four Martian Manhunter podcasts for a JLA: Year One crossover rather belatedly advertised within.) But hey, it's funner and longer than usual with lots of goofy voices and bad acting processed through lame filters!

Our subject is Nick Kovak, one of the most "successful" (highly relative usage here) of the New Bloods as the stealth vigilante with vision powers, Argus! As an advantageous byproduct of his mostly appearing in Flash comics written by his co-creator Mark Waid during the arguable heyday of Wally West's run, we'll get to touch on some actual well liked comics for a change! This episode covers The Flash Annual #6, spotlight segments from Bloodbath Special #2, & Flash #86 (with notes related to #92-100, the introduction of Impulse and the "Terminal Velocity" arc.) Oh, and a brief nod to the world's most famous French-Canadian, in honor of Bass & Siskoid. You can follow along with our reading of the annual at Scans Daily.

This episode's non-paying advertisers: Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

2015 L-Ron Amazing Houston Comic Con Jam Sketch Detail by Ali Morgainne

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Hoshikko Ink is a company for artists which was originally founded in 2009 by Morgainne and her family. Their debut started in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at Mecha-Con where Morgainne first displayed her art in the Artist Alley.

Mecha-Con became a HUGE sucess and the company decided to sign up for more tables at other conventions. Together they traveled to over 12 conventions all over Texas and Louisiana within the next few years.

These conventions include, Anime Matsuri, Oni-com, Anime Overload, and even some comic conventions such as Comic Palooza!

Hoshikko Ink took its short leave on the winter of 2011 so that Morgainne could continue to focus on school.

On the Summer of 2013 Hoshikko Ink Decided to come back with a new look and new website.
L-Ron was the droll, sardonic robot servant of Manga Khan before he was traded to Maxwell Lord in exchange for (if I recall correctly) a fetal form of Despero. He (It?) palled around with Max and J'Onn J'Onzz for the last couple of years of Justice League International, until L-Ron was willingly cannibalized for parts to build a mind-control collar for the adult (again) rampaging Despero. As an unexpected byproduct, L-Ron's mind displaced Despero's, so the little robot became an adventurer in the hulking Kalinorian's body. Whenever you see pictures of Despero from the '90s toting guns and wearing military style pants, that's actually L-Ron. Also, he was a member of the Justice League Task Force, serving under the Martian Manhunter beside Gypsy, The Ray, and Triumph (among others.) Eventually, Despero reclaimed his form and L-Ron returned to his robot body. I think he was last seen back with Max Lord working for the Superbuddies (prior to Infinite Crisis.) Given his obvious namesake, I'm not sure DC is hot to ever use L-Ron again, but seeing as Max Lord isn't a proper master anymore, I'd like to see him play Alfred to J'Onn's Batman someday.

Ali Morgainne has a background in manga art and seemed capable of providing a cute robot, so she was part of a rapid fire series of building jam commissions I had done on (I think) the last day of Amazing Con. While looking for reference, I picked a comic with plenty of full body shots, but didn't realize it was also the issue where the partially deconstructed L-Ron was possessed by Despero and fought what was left of Justice League Europe. Hence the loose wires and "battle damage," but what the hey, it specifically recalls the Despero connection. I think it works, and it's J'Onn's 61st birthday today, so he wouldn't turn a friend away over that!

Hoshikko Ink

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2015 Ice Amazing Houston Comic Con Jam Sketch by Karl Altstaetter

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Tora Olafsdotter isn't even my favorite super-heroine named Ice Maiden, but she was a vital member of Justice League International and key foil for Guy Gardner and her frequent partner in anti-crime, Beatriz da Costa. I didn't intend for Fire & Ice to be scuttled off to the side as busts while The Blue & Gold got full figures, but that was before the cost and space of trying to include the entire JLI in a jam caught up with me. I decided to keep them on one art board and only include the core JLI members, so here we are. At least Ice got a known comic creator in Karl Altstaetter, of such girl-powered books as Deity, Saint Angel, Lady Pendragon and Vampirella. He's probably best remember for his stint at Extreme Studios on Bloodstrike and other Youngblood related titles. I tend to associate him with Q-Unit, which was heavily promoted with some sort of layered techno trading card deal, but got caught in the speculator bust and only released one issue. I was a dealer back then, so that kind of thing sticks with you. Anyway, I think Altstaetter captured Tora nicely, and the duo combined for a fine showing on the total page.

Karl Altstaetter

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

2016 G'nort Comicpalooza Jam Sketch by Eden Bautista

The most incompetent canine Green Lantern in Corps history (it's pronounced "Nort," like The Honeymooners' Ed Norton) is in an unusually foul mood here, unable to attend J'Onn J'Onzz upcoming 61st birthday party, but a ring construct in his stead. But constructs can't eat Oreo cake...

Eden Bautista

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016 Green Lantern John Stewart Amazing Houston Comic Con Jam Sketch Detail by Eddie Nuñez

Eddie Nuñez has worked on Fanboys vs. Zombies, Ben 10, Valen the Outcast, and Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance.

Eddie Nuñez

Friday, September 9, 2016

2014 Green Lantern Guy Gardner Comicpalooza convention sketch by Oliver Banks

Here's another entry from the "I'm A Terrible Art Patron" series. When I first started doing jams at Comicpalooza two years ago, it was a total free for all where I was running multiple boards all over the floor without much forethought. I wanted to do something with Justice League International, so when the artist Oliver Banks said he only did full figure commissions, I figured he should just go ahead and start his own board. Since this would be a central figure and Banks had a cartoony style, it seemed a safe bet to get my favorite JLI member (though I hasten to add not my favorite hero who was a JLI member, an important distinction.) During my big plunge into DC Comics around the Zero Hour event, I got really into the Warrior series by Beau Smith & Mitch Byrd, making once and future GL corpsman Guy Gardner my favorite super-hero for, eh, four to six months there. The worm turned once Byrd left the book and a rotating selection of artists finally settled on Marc Campos (and a Jack Burton meets Indiana Jones vibe settled on "what if Ben Grimm got the Venom symbiote." Which sounds better than it played out.)

Anyway, I think Banks did a great job capturing the character and launching the jam, but promptly misplaced his business card and forgot his name. Heck, I'm not even 100% sure I got the piece at Comicpalooza, since Space City & Amazing Con followed in quick secession to form a blur in my zeal. I could probably triangulate by date, since a scan simply titled "guy" has sat in a folder on a thumb drive since Saturday ‎May ‎31st of ‎2014 ‏‎at 2:32:44 A.M. I kind of wish I'd done another scan to make the blacks richer, but instead of second guessing my self of 2014, I'm going to assume contrasting would have washed out the gray tones too much. When I finally unveil the completed jam on the projected schedule of 2027 A.D. based on my established pace, I'll work that out.

Moving along to the following year, I ran into the Bankses (his delightful wife accompanies him at shows) and got a new card, which I did nothing with for yet another year. As both sit in front of me now, I have to repect his progress from a simple Spider-Man silhouette and a single piece of contact information to a two-sided full color work featuring the iconic shot of (Banks as) Finn from The Force Awakens removing his stormtrooper helmet under the desert sun, plus seven separate contact resources. It's among the best of the stack of business cards I've now bundled together to try (sometimes still in vain) not to lose track of who did what on art pieces I haven't effectively promoted. Plus I've got a whole other jam piece by Banks that I still need to run. That's why I stuck with the Aliens 30th Anniversary single artist commissions this year, so I can stop sucking at giving these excellent artists a more proper (and timely) forum!

Oliver Banks

Thursday, September 1, 2016

2016 Fire Comicpalooza Jam Sketch by Lulu Lin

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Beatriz da Costa, also known as Green Fury and Green Flame, is surely best remembered for her stint in Justice League International as the hot side of the super-heroine duo "Fire & Ice." That's the role she serves in this commission, a piece filled with "friends of Martian Manhunter" for the Alien Atlas' 60th birthday. I was still learning to what degree I needed to play "art director" on jams, with the correct answer being "75%+" or else you ended up with a collage where no one exists in the same space. In this case, I had a gap between the central figure in the piece, a partial VHS box cover style floating head, and a heroine drawn in full figure. A sort of JLI theme had emerged, and though it amounted to giving them short shrift, head & shoulders shots or Tora & Bea were placed opportunistically.

I had Ice done in 2015, and I kept meaning to add a flying Fire figure in the remaining space, but I kept putting it off. Maybe in the back of my mind I realized that was untenable, and I'm glad painter Lulu Lin had the good sense to better complement the existing Ice Maiden by having her best friend drawn to scale. She's mostly done in pencil with light inks for interior definition and a thicker overall outline. She's in full early '90s rocker mode, headband and all, but I like the delicate line the artist used here. She also shaded Bea's hair entirely in pencil, which unfortunately doesn't come through in this scan. Lin's paintings are very cool, and I hope someday to pick one of them up, but in the meantime urge you to check them out below...

Lulu Lin

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

DC Special Podcast: The Joke That Keeps On Killing

Coarse Language: Listener Discretion is Advised

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Meanwhile... Mr. Fixit, Illegal Machine, & Diabolu Frank look at the controversial 1988 Batman: The Killing Joke prestige format one-shot that has gone from one of the most revered works of a new wave of mature readers books to a (mostly) direct-to-video animated film and an albatross around the neck of DC's attempts at outreach to modern women not in refrigerators. While the comic and flick are a touchstone, this is less an individual critique than a debate about the treatment of prominent females in comics. But bro-ier than that sounds. Beyond Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, we also talk Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Rafael Albuquerque, and more. We also go broader than Barbara Gordon to other imperiled heroines like Supergirl, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Cassandra Caine, The Huntress, Bat-Girl, Batwoman, Superwoman, and yes, Sansa Stark. If you're not up to date with Game of Thrones or Orange Is The New Black, this episode may be even more problematic for you than usual.

We Think You're Special!