Sunday, 16 December 2007

"Mucha Lucha!" in "JPA"

I BOUGHT Jam-Packed Action back in 2004 and have only just got around to reading it...there's probably a good reason for that.

This DC-produced comic digest features four short stories adapted from WB animated series Teen Titans, Scooby-Doo!, Xiaolin Showdown and Mucha Lucha! (the reason I bought it).

All the images are taken from the original animated episodes and unimaginatively laid out on the page. Despite the lack of creativity on display, the Mucha Lucha! story's kinda interesting: Richochet enters a tag team tournament to win a reproduction mask of his hero El Rey. Along the way, he goes to the gym and has his head shrunk to help him win his matches (don't ask). It's the pick of the four tales in this book, but that's faint praise.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Detective Comics #550

IT'S another tenuous link, but here we go. Detective Comics #549-550 (April-May 1985) features a two-parter - "Night Olympics" - starring Green Arrow and Black Canary, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Klaus Janson.

The above two panels appear in Detective #550. A crazed bowman has injured Black Canary and is being stalked by Green Arrow when he makes this odd little rant.

Naturally, Arrow later hands the psycho his arse.

The short yarn has been reprinted in the trade paperback DC Universe: The Stories Of Alan Moore.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Two new graphic novels to keep an eye on...

'Whoa Nellie!' by Jaime Hernandez

COURTESY of my newest best friend Bob (including his comments):
Love And Rockets Volume 16: Whoa Nellie!: "Again, I have the original issues, but in this case I might buy it anyway just to have probably the best wrestling comic ever produced in English on a prominent bookshelf. This story dates to the early to mid-90s, too, so if it isn't a reprint the collection is long overdue."

Holy Terror: "Trying to cash in on my desire to see a conclusion to this cancelled series, they tacked it onto a reprint of the two issues I've already bought. Damn. I want to support wrestling comics but I hate being forced to buy a trade just to see the last 16 to 20 pages of a fairly weak story. I'm undecided. Not a bad deal if I didn't have the first two already, though."

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #7. My question: why?

THE Archie Adventure Series was one of the most pointless comic companies of all time. An offshoot of the eternal (and eternally boring) Archie Comics line, the imprint had been called Red Circle from the early 70s to mid-80s and used to publish non-humour titles, including some excruciatingly bad comics featuring old 1940s superheroes (who'd been briefly and ingloriously revived in the 60s) such as the Mighty Crusaders, The Fly, The Shield and The Jaguar. A few good artists (like Gray Morrow and Rudy Nebres) got on board, but most of these comics were shit, pure and simple. Red Circle was rebranded as Archie Adventure in 1984.

The superheroes were gone by 1989 but Archie Adventure still put out titles like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, a kid-friendly version of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's indy hit TMNT. It was designed to cash in on the animated TV series (and, later, the movies). Amazingly, TMNTA ran from August 1988 to October 1995.

I walked into Kings Comics in Sydney last Thursday evening and was immediately captivated by TMNTA #7 sitting on the front counter. The wrestling-themed cover (and the $2.95 cover price) grabbed my attention and I immediately bought it.

Now, I wish I hadn't. This is beyond awful. Despite the surreal subject matter, Dean Clarrain and Ryan Brown's script is so threadbare and sketchy it feels like there's no script at all. There's certainly no suspense or entertainment value. Jim Lawson and Gary Fields' "art" is perfunctory at best.

The plot sounds promising: the turtles are transported to another galaxy (by a disembodied giant cow's head) and forced to wrestle for Intergalactic Wrestling. They must wrestle Cryin' Hound while, in another ring, Ace Duck faces an old Turtles nemesis called Leatherhead.

The two matches are shown simultaneously, split over several pages, in what should be an innovative artistic concept. Pity the "artists" are so crap as it just looks confusing.

The wrestlers are given no personality - they're not even parodies of recognisable real grapplers, which I would've thought might be the obvious joke to do.

Instead, we get several filler pages that seem designed to purely get us to the end of the issue. There's no action and certainly no humour.

Anyway, the Turtles win and get returned to earth. The end.

Why was this comic even produced? What was the point?

Horrible. Simply horrible.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Fuck me! It's the Holy fuckin' Grail!!!

COURTESY of top bloke - and loyal blog reader - Bob, comes this very exciting entry. As Bob himself wrote a week or so back:
"Here are some small scans of the first few pages of The Saga Of The Von Erich Warriors.
It's pretty far out, but wrestling IS involved. Kevin, Kerry and Fritz kick some outer-space alien butt. If you have the space and bandwidth I can scan the whole book to post on your blog."

And he bloody well did. Below is the whole damn comic. Enjoy!

But before you do, here's another update from Bob: "This book popped up at a large comic shop in Arlington, Texas recently. Probably very few copies ever left the state, and this one is only just next door now in Oklahoma. It looks to be the product of a gang of industrious teenagers, and as such it's not too bad. All the portraits are photo referenced, so you can tell who's who, and it's got that cheesy sci-fi serial vibe going."


More from Bob...

"IF YOU'RE watching for rarities, there are some others I know of that probably never made it far outside my geographic area.
Back in 1991 or so there was a short-live confederation of friends in Oklahoma City who got together and published a bunch of comics under the name Rough Cut Press (might've been spelt with a K).
Wrestling was a theme of several of their anthology entries - I particularly remember a noir detective/masked wrestler series, similar to the back-up story in Steel Pulse.
I met those guys at a comic-convention back then and bought just about every copy of everything they had, but my collection (and I) saw hard times in the following years and I lost all but one unrelated pin-up issue.
I've been watching auctions and online shops in recent years, but they haven't popped up.

I'll send you scans if I do come upon any of those. But knowing they're out there, you might find it first."

Or maybe one of my readers can help me out here........?

Mistico hits 50 (issues, not years)

COURTESY of top bloke Bob comes these scans of talented luchador Mistico's CMLL-licensed comic. It's about to hit issue #50. I assume it must be a weekly or fortnightly comic as Mistico hasn't been around that long. I'd love to see an ish if someone wants to send me a copy (hint, hint).