Most of you out there figure I’ve been around as along as dirt. You have this picture of me reading my first comic book on a cave wall. Maybe writing my first story with a chunk of coal on the back of a rusty shovel. Well, sorry to make you cry, but I ain’t that old.
Just to give you a time line of me and comics, the 1960s took me from grade school through Jr. High. The 1970s took me from high school through college and into trouble.
The 60s was the time of comic book wonderment to me. Those were the hardcore years of comics for me. I knew that comics were made mainly in New York City and that men wrote and drew them, not young punks that had no life experience. Names like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, John Severin, Don Heck, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, and John Romita were just some of the men that did the comics I loved to read. Grade school and Jr High kids like me could only dream of meeting these guys and hearing their stories. After all, they were even older than my own mom and dad, why would they wanna talk to a kid like me? ‘Sides, I figured they all lived in New York where everything was fast and they talked even faster. What chance would a kid from West Virginia ever have of writing comics or ever meeting these icons?
Well, as most of you know, I did make my comic book dreams come true. It took a lot of years, but I did it. I even became friends with some of those very icons that I used to dream of being. I mentioned in a past Busted Knuckles column how while working with Image Comics I got to have lunch with Stan Lee. Even though I was a full-grown man and had seen more than my share of the world, at that lunch I was 10 years old all over again. I will never forget that feeling.
Same thing with legendary artist Don Heck. Growing up he was my favorite artist. Little did I know that in the early 1980’s we would become good friends that talked on the phone once a week and wrote letters back and forth. The stories he used to tell me about drawing comics in his career still amaze me today.
There were others that took me under their wing and let me call them friend. Guys like long time editor Murray Boltinoff, Joe Kubert, Robert Kanigher, and Sam Glanzman. I got to know these men and continued to admire their work as well as hang on their every word when they gave me advice about comics. Murray Boltinoff was nice enough to not only write me and critique my aspiring work , but he also let me call the office once when Kanigher and Kubert were in the office and let me speak to them. He didn’t have to, but he did. I have never forgotten that kindness.
Robert Kanigher would call me from time to time and talk sometimes for over an hour about every thing, comics, art, or whatever was on his mind at the time. I would get calls from Europe and other far away places. He spent a lot of time talking to me about writing and one of my favorite subjects, Sgt.Rock. The times I would talk to Joe Kubert, art was always a topic, but he would always lean into the business side of working in comics and what a creator need to do to protect himself and his creations. It time very well spent.
The other day I was in a local comic shop and had a little time. I looked through all the racks and came across a magazine with the name of one of my all time favorite art teams on the cover?Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. In my childhood they were lure for me to buy any comic they were on. I bought Wonder Woman for years just because they were drawing it. Back then guys didn’t really buy comics with girl leads. It wasn’t looked on as manly back then. Being the manly trendsetter that I was I said screw that. I bought em’ anyway and dared anyone to call me a sissy. Andru and Esposito drew Wonder Woman with unique curves that gave her that wonderful womanly shape and still made her look like she could slap an army of bad guys around.
I’m getting off track?yeah, I know, big surprise. Anyway, the name of the magazine was Alter Ego. It’s published by the boys at TwoMorrows down in North Carolina, one of the finer states we have. The issue was #54 from November 2005. It featured Ross Andru and Mike Esposito as well as my old friend Robert Kanigher. The bulk of the issue is a great interview with Mike Esposito.
In it, he gives all kinds of wonderful behind the scenes stories of what it was like working at DC Comics, Marvel and some of the other publishers that he did art for. He talked about his long time partnership with Ross Andru as well as what it was like working with some of the other icons of comics. He did the interview with an honest, easy tone that had me reading this from cover to cover without ever setting it down. I more than got my $6.95 cover price out of this.
There are loads of great art, sketches, photos and more in this over 90-page magazine. I highly suggest that you seek it out as well as others issues of Alter Ego, Comic Book Artist, Back Issue Magazine and other fine TwoMorrows publications. They are loaded with the great history of comics by the famed creators as well as comic book historians that truly care of the heritage and past of comic books. I cannot stress how important it is for you as a reader, writer, artist or fan of comic books to seek these magazines out.
There is such an education to be learned from the words of the men that have come before. These are the guys that blazed the trail for every one of your current favorite creators as well as comic book characters. You’ll learn about the true work ethic that needs to be taken to be a real writer or artist. The insights are priceless.
On a personal side, I’ve gotta tell you, every time I see the infamous Wonder Woman villain, Egg Fu by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, I am 12 years old. I used to sit in class and draw my version of Egg Fu over and over. Not being a very good artist he was semi-easy for me to draw. Where is Egg Fu now?? Now there was a bad guy with a different slant.
Take the time and check out the boys at TwoMorrows. You can find them on the web at http://www.twomorrows.com or contact them the old fashioned way at :
10407 Bedfordtown Drive
Raleigh, NC. 27614
Tell em’ Beau Sent ya.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
Actress TV Hostess and Temptress To Beau’s Testosterone.
Every now and then there is a woman that fits the “Beau Bill”. One that has just the right amount of curves to make the road of lust interesting. Barbara Burmudo is that woman.
She was born in Puerto Rico where so many of my Busted Knuckles Babes seem to come from. She has been a TV Anchor/Host for many Spanish type shows that I can’t pronounce. She was also in the terribly silly, but fun to watch with the mute button movie CHASING PAPI. In that film alone you will find other Busted Knuckles Babes of The week such as Roselyn Sanchez, Sofia Vergara, Lisa Vidal, and Maria Conchita Alonso. What more can a man ask for?
Barbara kinda looks like a Mitch Byrd drawing come to life. By that I mean one of the babes Mitch draws when he is under my influence and not one of his HUGE women that he does when left to his own devices.
Ya know?I think I have done more for the after market sales and DVD rentals of CHASING PAPI than the studios themselves.
Go out and rent it. Bring it home. Crack a cold one. Hit the mute button and be a man.
Busted Knuckles Manly Comic Book Cover of The Week
Just so all you youngsters out there don’t get the wrong idea and whine to me that ever manly cover is from the Golden or Silver Age. There are a few scattered manly covers after 1979. One of em’ is Airboy #35. In the mid to late 80s Eclipse Comics was one of the true edge cutters in comics. They did things that not only pushed the envelope as folks like to say, but they kicked it, shoved it and slammed it. It was a wild place to work. They covered all states, Red, Blue and any other color you had. It was a grand mix of publishing. You had lots of left wing liberal stuff and just as much right wing publications. Both sides kept each other honest and each became better for it.
So check out the cover to Airboy #35. It was drawn by legendary Marvel mainstream Comics artist Ron Frenz and inked my famed indy artist Tim Truman. Ya got Airboy/Davy Nelson climbing up to take on a whole nest of bad guys with a just a fist and a gun. Even though the odds look stacked against him I kinda think Airboy is gonna come out the winner.
I have to mention that it was me that brought this team of Frenz and Truman together on this one. So I am biased.
The insides of this great comic was done up by the series writer and my long time buddy Chuck Dixon. Art was by Stan Woch and Willie Byberg. Run out to your local comic shop and get a hold of this one. It’s a classic. Then ask Todd McFarlane why he doesn’t have Chuck Dixon doing a new Airboy for him.
You might also wanna roam over to Chuck’s website where he is still trying to out do me with his own version of the manly cover of the week. You can check that out at Dixonverse http://www.dixonverse.net
Gonna be funny to see what he thinks is more manly than one of his own covers.
A Thankful Nod To The Knuckleheads
I was pretty overwhelmed this week by some of my hardcore Knuckleheads that read Busted Knuckles every week. All sorts of manly gifts were sent my way and I was left speechless. For those that know me you can figure how rare that is.
Granted, now and then manly items of worth find their way here to the ranch, but this past week the mailman was over loaded. So let’s get on with the thank yous.
A Busted Knuckles thanks goes to Luis Jaime Pena from down in Texas. Luis was kind and thoughtful enough to send me the DVD of IN THE LINE OF DUTY: THE FBI MURDERS. I mentioned that I was having a very hard time finding this one in any shape or format. Even Amazon let me down. But Luis came through like a champ. I was stunned and very grateful.
For those that have never seen this film it was a TV movie of the week in 1988. It is THE best TV movie ever done and possibly one of the manliest movies ever done period. It is on my top 5 of all time. It’s based a true event that happened in Florida.
The first of several 1980s TV movies based on official FBI files, In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders premiered on November 27, 1988. Veteran TV “good guys” David Soul and Michael Gross do a typecasting about-face, playing two vicious, homicidal Miami-based bank robbers. The deadly duo’s crime spree was climaxed by a bloody 1986 gun battle. I don’t see how Soul and Gross did not win some sort of an award for their A-List acting on this film. Extremely violent, the film tempers its bloodshed with several instructive scenes showing how the FBI pieced together the clues that enabled them to track down their quarry. Another brilliant move in casting was placing character actors in the roles of the FBI agents. It made it more realistic and they all did a great job. Doug Sheehan, Ronny Cox, and Bruce Greenwood represent the forces of the Law.
If you have not seen this film, PLEASE track it down. You will not be sorry for even a second. Luis, thank you again and I hope you enjoy the package of manly items that I sent down your way. Keep things manly down there in Texas.
Another Knucklehead that gets my thanks and a package of manly items is Reese Wilson from Richmond, Virginia. Reese read in one of my articles about my love for the really, really bad monster movie THE INCREDIBLE TWO-HEADED TRANSPLANT. Next think I know, Reese has sent it to me as a brand new DVD. That’s not all. On the same DVD is the other Two Headed monster movie THE THING WITH TWO HEADS. What a double dose of manhood.
I remember going to the drive-in with my girlfriend in 1971 and seeing THE INCREDIBLE TWO HEADED TRANSPLANT. Even back then I knew it was bad. BUT?so bad it was good. From the super cheesy soundtrack to the acting and terrible special effects the film looked like it was made in 9 days and nobody got paid. Ya know, I think the star Bruce Dern was on Johnny Carson one night and mentioned that nobody on the film ever got paid.
It’s a funny film, though it seems to be taking itself seriously. Wacky scientist, (Bruce Dern) fired and disgraced from his surgeon job(for reasons never explained) decides to show the medical world he’s worth something by creating a two-headed man. Sounds simple enough, he already has numerous two-headed animals. When an escaped rapist/killer (Albert Cole) tries to assault the doctor’s wife, the doctor blows him away with a shotgun and sticks the head onto the local mutant handyman. Neither men consent to this. The operation is a success, even though the movie wasn’t in the box office. The doctor and his assistant actually seemed surprised that the thing goes on a killing spree after it escapes. I guess the doctor didn’t think that he had just revived the head of the guy who molested his wife (Pat Priest from The Munsters) and killed about 9 other people all the while cackling enough to make the Joker green with envy . And to add to the fun, Casey Kasem is the hero! Some of the editing looks like this could have been a lost Russ Meyer movie…minus the boobs of course.
Bruce Dern, the doctor and Albert Cole, the serial killer, had worked together before in some of the biker movies they used to churn out. The shapely, bikini clad Pat Priest you’ll remember from The Munsters and there is also Larry Vincent who was a famed monster movie host for many years on TV. This is one right up there with Plan 9 From Outer Space. Check it out and have some laughs. Thank you, Reese.
Speaking of manly items. A VIP thanks goes out to your favorite Liberty Meadows creator and mine, Frank Cho. Frank was kind enough to manly up my life with his manly and wonderful FRANK CHO: SKETCHES AND SCRIBBLES BOOK TWO. This is one of the best sketch books I’ve seen since the Flint Henry HELLBENT sketch book and THE ART OF MITCH BYRD sketch book. It is loaded with all kinds of manly art by Frank. It’s filled with comic covers, monsters, babes, zombies, apes, Liberty Meadows and much more!!
Thanks for Frank I’ll also be sporting Shanna The She-Devil on my manly chest with the great Shanna T-Shirt that he sent me. I’m all dressed up and nowhere to go. Come on, ladies?help me out here.
Much thanks, Frank. You have been rewarded. Check your mailbox.
Thanks to all the Knuckleheads out there. As always I am in your debt.
Good Night and Make Your Own Luck
That about does it for another week of Busted Knuckles. I appreciate all of you coming by to hang out. I hope ya walked away with something of some manly use. Maybe you even got a chuckle or two. That’ll be nice as well.
See Ya Next Week? Understand!
I hope you make it back next week. By then I’ll have some new stories or lies as others call em’ to tell ya. Keep the letters and emails a coming. I enjoy hearing what’s on your manly mind.
Stay outta trouble,
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!