Sunday, January 30, 2011

If Ted Kord comes back to life and gets a solo series, I want this guy drawing him

It's pretty rare when I find art so good that I'd actually print it out and hang it on my wall.  But this. is. gorgeous.

Everything works in this piece: the composition, the inking, the coloring, the perspective.  It all dovetails so nicely together, and I love to see this much skill applied so effortlessly to a piece of art.  It's the kind of piece that's done so well that the techniques become invisible and I can't even analyze it.  If I could understand a quarter of what's going on in this piece technique-wise, I'd be happy.

The icing on the cake?  It's a drawing of Ted Kord.


The artist is Miketron2000, the DeviantArt alias of Mike Norton.  The colors were provided by Keiran Oats.  Mr. Norton is currently doing the art for the new Young Justice series for DC, and his website is here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Question multi artist jam!

I found this at Comic Art Fans.  I'm trying to figure out if the owner went around to different artists and have them do a sketch, or if this was all Photoshopped in later.  (I'm pretty sure it's the former.)  If so, what a great idea!  Any of you going to any Cons should try this out.

Click to enlarge.  Your mind might be blown.  You've been warned!

The artists represented are: Norm Breyfogle, Dan Fraga, Doug Mahnke, Tom Lyle, Roderick Thorton, and Georges Jeanty.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

When John Jones was younger...

Back in his Silver Age heyday, the stoic, gentle Martian of integrity we know and love today was a bit more snarky.  What's our Martian hero to do when he's wrongly imprisoned in jail?  Meditate and wait out the situation?  Reason with the guards?  Pfft.  Why do that when you can cause all sorts of trouble and make outrageous demands of your jailors?

I'm going to go steal a toilet made out of gold while I'm at it, too.  Be back in a jiffy!

And what about his servitude to the public?  His stoic, noble goal of protecting his adopted homeworld, of making sure its citizens can live a life free of worry?

When you got it, flaunt it, Jonesey.

Well, there goes that.  Don't worry, that lady will be fine when she gets wiped from history in the next Crisis.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Booster Gold sketch by Mike Wieringo

I was searching through Google Images for a picture of Booster Gold to show my non-comics-reading-but-Smallville-watching best friend what he really looks like and I came across this.

It's fun to look back at past spectulation.  This sketch if from 2006, right in the middle of the year-long series 52.  Well, Booster met an untimely fate in the middle of that series, and here's what Mike Wieringo had to say about it:
The carnage continues, it seems, over at DC, with the death of BOOSTER GOLD in the latest issue of 52. I’m beginning to think that ‘DC’ should start standing for ‘DEATH COMICS’. That’s a little harsh, I know. Both DC and Marvel make a regular habit of killing characters these days– and for all I know, there will be a new person stepping in to become a new BOOSTER and launch a new series, like they’ve done with BLUE BEETLE. Hmmm…. there’s someone high up at DC who’s got something against the color blue, maybe…?
The fact that an industry professional was convinced that a character was dead and gone makes me feel a lot better for taking things like J'onn J'onzz's "death" so seriously.  I guess I'm not the only one to take things too seriously.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Booster Gold cast for Smallville

For those of you who enjoy seeing live-action superheroes, or for you Smallville fans, or just you shameless Booster Gold fans (I know Frank is jumping up and down with glee) here's a tidbit of news you will enjoy.

It looks like they've cast Booster Gold for the upcoming Smallville episode.  He's a soap star.  In some strange way, I think that works.

Here's the Boosterific.com article, which was picked up from soaps.com.  I don't watch soap operas, but do all the male actors hang around with their shirts half-off like that?

What I'll be REALLY excited for is if Skeets will show up on Smallville.  In all his sarcastic, shiny glory.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Goodbye Comics Code Authority, Hello DC Ratings

As I was reading the April solicitations over at The Idol-Head of Diabolu, I noticed that each comic had a rating after it. Whoa. When did this happen?

Well, just recently, it turns out.

Here's DC's new self-rating system:

E – EVERYONE
Appropriate for readers of all ages. May contain cartoon violence and/or some comic mischief.
T – TEEN
Appropriate for readers age 12 and older. May contain mild violence, language and/or suggestive themes.
T+ - TEEN PLUS
Appropriate for readers age 16 and older. May contain moderate violence, mild profanity, graphic imagery and/or suggestive themes.
M – MATURE
Appropriate for readers age 18 and older. May contain intense violence, extensive profanity, nudity, sexual themes and other content suitable only for older readers.

Overall, I think this is a good move. As one who's always looking to seduce another innocent get children reading more comics, I think the kid-friendly "E" rating will put parents at ease that their kids can read comics without warping their little brains. Current kids' titles, like Super Friends and Batman: The Brave and the Bold have trended into Sesame Street territory.  Compared to the Batman: Animated Series tie-in book from fifteen years ago, which was not only steeped in a bleak tone but featured gambling, drinking, smoking, and scantily-clad women, the current Johnny DC titles make kids' comics of yesteryear look like Watchmen.

But that could be a potential problem. The so-called "kid's" books of yesteryear featured deep themes beneath their cartoony exterior, and could be enjoyed by readers of all ages, 7 to 70. Today's children's comics are decidedly aimed towards kids. I can't see too many adults plunking down the $2.50 to read them. (Okay, I do occationally, but granted I have the mentality of a five-year-old.)  It's too bad there isn't a "T-minus" rating for pre-teens who might enjoy a darker story, albeit without any swearing or graphic violence.

Which leads me to the current mainstream DC superhero books.  Most of them at rated T, such as Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors.  I know I'm a little conservative when it comes to things like this, but just based on the covers alone, 12 years old seems a little young to be reading that book.  And that's not even considering the language.  I wish they could retroactively apply these ratings just so I could see how Blackest Night would rate.  Licking a corpse should get you an automatic "T+".

Automatic T+ granted for bleeding out of your eyes?

So where does this leave DC?  Are they going to tone down the language and violence in their mainstream superhero books so they'll meet the "T" rating?  Or will they use the "T+" rating more often?  (Green Arrow receives the T+ rating for April, for example.)  Or will they just use the "T" rating on most books and assume that twelve-year-olds can handle this kind of material?  Should comics be toned down to appeal to a wider audience?  Should they be fractured into separate categories to appeal to different demographics?

Only time will tell how or if this will have any effect on how comics are created.

As a final note, the nostalgic part of me misses that litte CCA seal as it was a direct tie to the past.  It was entertaining to see it shrink in size as time went on.  I was hoping that one day it would get so small that only Ray Palmer could see it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Harley Quinn art by John Smith

Another great find courtesy of Comics Alliance:


Here's some...retro? art of Harley Quinn.  I don't really know how to describe the style (tissue paper decopoug√©?  Marble fabric quilted?) but Harley's design takes very well to abstraction, I think.  I could do without the triangle shoes, but the texture in the reds really makes it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hangin' around and falling behind

I keep falling behind with all this comics news going on about Flashpoint, and now I have no idea what's going on!  Anyone else think that keeping up with the constancy of the comics world can be a little tiring?  Apparently there's red herrings and hidden messages galore on DC's Source blog, but I've missed out on all of it.  I guess I have some catching up to do.  But why does being a comics fan have to be so much work?

I'd rather just kick back and relax.  Of course, this is the way to kick back:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Want to know how many pictures of the Scarlet Skier there are on the internet?

Answer: not enough.

In honor of Tuesday's Snowpocalypse, which is affecting a good portion of the United States, here is the Scarlet Skier.

Bonus points for the dialogue in Spanish!

Dude really needs some nice fan art.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A statue of "Ajax"

I found this via yesterday's Cubee art.  A portrait of an "Ajax" statue by JokerZombie:

I don't care how expensive this is, I don't care if it's only available in Brazil, I'm finding this.

At first glance I thought it was digitally painted, but no, that is actually a photograph of a statue, albeit with some really sweet lighting.  Which raises several questions: which statue is this and where can I buy it?  (I don't recognize it) and why the heck is he called Ajax?  Before I fired up the comic nerd smarty-pants powers and commented on the guy's picture with something like, "That's the Martian Manhunter, duh!" the artist mentioned he was from Brazil and "first met" J'onn J'onzz as "Ajax."  Then I remembered the list on the Idol-Head of Diabolu of the Martian Manhunter's (suprisingly many) international names.  Austin Powers has no right to claim ownership as the original International Man of Mystery, let me tell you.

I knew that Ajax was a Greek god, but I'm wondering how exactly the Manhunter from Mars became known by that name?  If you're going to pick a Greek god, why not something more apropros like Atlas? I'm intrigued.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Booster Gold (and friends) "Cubee"

Well, I have my weekend planned out.

I'm making this:


Do not poke fun at the awesomeness of Cubee.  You know you want to print this out and make one, too.  My printer may be low on ink, it might cost me $15 per ink tank, but dammit, I'm going to squeeze out every drop so I can print out my Booster Gold cubee.

Then I'm going to print out a Blue Beetle cubee.  And sit them next to each other on my desk at work.


And then I'll make a Fire one.  And an Ice one.  And then Guy Gardner.  And then a Hal Jordan one so I can drop things on its head.  Oh the fun I will have!

Oh noes, Hal!  I dropped my stapler on you!  Oh noes, it happened again!

You can view the hundreds (thousands?) of Cubees that this guy, The Flying Dachshund, made on his DeviantArt account.

This post was all Frank's fault, by the way.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Vril and Lryl Dox...

Are the cutest father and son ever.


I'm not sure who drew this, but I found it quite randomly via a Google search a little while ago.  I think it's kinda cute!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! Comics New Year's Resolutions, anyone?

Well, I just watched the ball drop on Times Square.  I don't know how those people can stand outside in the cold for six hours, let alone be standing shoulder-to-shoulder amongst thousands.  Ah, well, I enjoy watching them on TV while sipping sparkling cider.  My real New Year's tradition is watching the Twilight Zone Marathon, which unfortunately gets shorter every year.  (And got interrupted by wrestling...I don't know what's up with that.)

I'm wondering what 2011 will bring in the comics world.  DC of course teases big changes and all that, but I'm wondering what the big crossoever event of 2011 will be, if any.  The Source mentioned something about getting back to characters, and part of that are the covers that feature a certain character's (or group's) symbol.  Kind of cool, I guess.

But here's what I really want to be on DC's New Year's Resolution List:

--A true return to character.  Characters who remain true to their origional intent.  Characters who act logically and are well-rounded.  Stories that revolve around characters' decisions, stories that mean something to the characters.  Characters who are written in-character and are just generally well-written.

--Re-establishing the Justice League to its Silver Age roots.  I think it's time to cycle back around to the original seven.  With Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, and now Aquaman getting the Silver Age reboot, why can't the League get the same treatment?  And let's fix whatever's going on with Wonder Woman, too.

--Better editing at DC.  If fans can keep a charater's origins straight, so can an editor.  That way we have no Ice debacles.  And perhaps the proper usage of "it's."  Maybe that last one's dreaming too big.

--Better treatment for Martians.  Let's see J'onn J'onzz get the Silver Age treatment: working in a human guise solving crimes as a PI or a police detective.  With a captain he has to answer to and a partner he has to keep his secret from, and possibly a baby-talking space creature.  And dammit, the man needs a hat in keeping with a noirish interpretation.

--Cassandra Cain coming back as (one of the) Batgirl(s).  And while we're at it, Barbara Gordon gets to stay as Oracle.  None of this "Death of Oracle" business.  It's nice to have a disabled hero to look up to.  And a hero who uses her brains.  And who sasses Stephanie Brown.

--While the "proper" Silver Age Justice League can be re-established, why not let the original Justice League International operate again?  Booster Gold, Ted Kord, J'onn J'onzz (splitting his time between the JLA, JLI, and detective work--busy guy), Mr. Miracle, Fire and (innocent sweet) Ice, a not-evil Maxwell Lord, and Guy Gardner.  And the mangy, evil alley cat.

--Harvey Dent is a vain, short-tempered lawyer on the edge of sanity, and don't you forget it.  Anytime he's written with multiple personalities, he's not a villain, he's a victim.  While we're at it, don't get rid of the coin, DC, like you teased in Streets of Gotham.  And don't ever get rid of that suit, ever.

--New well-thought out villains.  While it's time for some older villains to make some new appearances, I think some villains get used a bit too much.  Either dig through the archives and look for some obscure ones or one who just aren't used much, or create some new ones.  Good ones, that is.  JLA villains, Batman villains, someone for the Martian Manhunter to fight who is not D'kay or Cay'an, etc.

--Adam Strange getting his old costume back.  It's the little things that matter when you've got a subtle character.  Also, don't fix what isn't broke, DC.  Barry Allen is still wearing the same suit last time I checked.

--Batman: The Brave and the Bold to be un-cancelled.  Really, DC, what are you thinking getting rid of this show?!  It's the perfect showcase for any and all DCU characters, obscure or famous.  What a way to build the franchise for young viewers.  (And kids at heart.)

--The Justice League in live-action format.  I don't care if it's a TV series or a movie, or a special episode of Smallville.  I want a glimpse of a live-action Justice League.  That's a stretch, I know, but I'm dreaming big.

Finally, I'd like to thank all of you out there in Comics Make Me Happy Reader-land.  I love connecting with people who share my common interest, and I've had so many good conversations over the year and have enjoyed reading your blogs.  What kinds of New Year's resolutions (comics-related or otherwise) are you guys making?

Here's to 2011!