Mucho Thanks

First thing is I’d like to thank all of you Knuckleheads out there that wrote in about last week’s column on The Manly Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. It was one of the most popular Busted Knuckles columns to date. It also sparked a lot of message boards into heated, but civil, discussions on why the cartoons of the 60s were more manly than those of the 80s.

I figured that this would happen. Ya see the average comic book readers are still males. It’s pretty much divided between the majority at the ages of 35 to 55 and the other side which is growing and they range from ages 17 to 34 years old. So ya see where the sides are. The older guys grew up with the cartoons of the 60s (live, and in unedited reruns) and the younger guys were raised on the Transformers, G.I. Joe era of the 80s. The discussions were interesting and very well taken. It’s always good to get folks talking.

Again, thanks to all of you that wrote in and read last week’s Busted Knuckles. I appreciate it.

Four Color Manly Stuff

I’ve got a manly comic book recommendation for ya this week. As always I like to give a heads up to all you knuckleheads on manly comics. I know you’d do the same for me.

Tomb Raider: The Greatest Treasure of All Starring Lara Croft #1
Image Comics/Top Cow Productions
Story: Dan Jurgens
Art: Joe Jusko

Tomb Raider: The Greatest Treasure Of All #1

I don’t remember the whole background on this book. By that I mean I seem to remember that it was supposed to come out a long time ago. A long time ago. I could be wrong, but that thought seems to stick in my beer soaked brain. If it was late I could see why. IT’S BEAUTIFUL.

This book carries a cover price of $6.99. Looks to be around 48 pages give or take. Printed on really nice paper and the cover stock is sturdy. I know that’s a lot for a comic, but if every 48 page comic was built like this one I’d pay the price with no bitchin’.

This book is what I like, self-contained with a good solid story. Writer Dan Jurgens didn’t litter the landscape with tons of dialogue like a British writer that gets paid by the word. On the other hand, Dan didn’t break any new ground with lines that you will remember and the Lara Croft character is still as semi-boring as she is in the movies, but I guess that’s the way she’s supposed to be. I’m from the teachings that you should always give each character a personality that makes the reader want to know them or know more about them. With Tomb Raider there could be the problem that it is a licensed character. Most owners are very picky about the way their character is portrayed. I’ve worked with enough of em’to know what a pain in the ass they can be.

Don’t get me wrong. Dan did a very nice solid job. I didn’t feel cheated. Give me Dan’s scripting work over one of those text totin’ tea sippers any day. Dan is one of the good guys in comics. He has been doing them forever and still has as much passion for em’ as the day he first started doing them. He is as solid and steady with his writing and his art. Family guy, sports lover, and well read. You can depend on him. Ask any editor.

There’s no beatin’ around the bush with this girl.

To be honest even if the story had been as horrid as an ex-wife with your paycheck, this book would still be worth the cover price. Painter/artist Joe Jusko proved to me once again that he is THE best comic book painter there is.

As most of you knuckleheads know, I like pulp action adventure. You know the stuff I’m talking about; that Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Rocketeer kinda stuff. Joe Jusko is the king of that kinda stuff in comics. Can you imagine Joe doing a Doc Savage comic?

Joe has always been a fan favorite and ruled comics in the 90s when he was doing incredible work doing wonderful super hero trading cards for Marvel and DC Comics. I always wished that those cards were bigger just for Joe’s painted art.

In this Tomb Raider comic, Joe gives us a movie put to print. His use of lighting and color made me think that I was a kid and looking through my viewmaster at the 3D come-to-life slides that I clicked like a madman.

Make sure you check out the master touch that Joe puts on the lion in the story. It looks so friggin’ real. You’ll also wanna scope out the jungle scenes as well. You’ll feel like you wanna wipe the humidity off your skin.

Speakin’ of skin, look at Lara Croft. What a babe. What a body. This is what a woman of action is supposed to look like. Perfect proportion. Not one of those Rob Liefeld women that are just plain scary. Nope. Joe’s women rate right up there with my babe drawin’ hero, Frank Cho.

A girl after my own heart. Can she cook?

Another nice thing about this book is it has some nice extra features in it. There are behind the scenes looks at the scripting process, some of Joe’s pencils and sketches, Photos of the models used by Joe as well as some of the pages in progress.

I’m not letting my personal bias interfere here. Both Dan and Joe are good friends of mine. That’s a fact. I was even lucky enough to work with Dan a little on some of my DC Comics projects. Joe is a member of my Yankee/New York circle of friends that talk funny. Billy Tucci and Jimmy Palmiotti are also members of this close knit group of Guidos.

So if you’re looking to spend $6.99 on a feast for your manly eyes, then Tomb Raider: The Greatest Treasure Of All #1 is the book for you. If ya don’t wanna spend the money then put it in your Christmas list and make somebody else pay for it.

Busted Knuckles Manly Comic Cover Of The Week

Combat Casey #6
January 1953 Atlas Comics

Don’t Get In The Way Of A Fightin’ Man’s Appetite.

Combat Casey, “the infantry’s red-bearded riot,” is a grunt, a frontline soldier in the infantry With his always talking amigo, Penny R. Pennington, Casey fights the Godless Enemies Of The American Way; during Korea he kills dozens and hundreds of the Communist Scum, and during World War Two (he’s also veteran of WW2, The Big One) Casey slaughters Nazis (in North Africa) and Japanese by the hundreds as a member of Dog Company.

Casey is clever, coming up with inventive new ways to murder the enemy (like hiding under sheepskins and then popping out, guns a-blazing, when the enemy draws near). He’s a great shot and a skilled hand-to-hand fighter who shows no compunctions about killing. His true talent lies with a machine gun. With a fully auto in his hands you can count on him to wipe out a platoon of commie devils with manly glee.

A Commie Killin’ Machine In Sheep’s Clothing.

The covers to Combat Casey’s adventures were always a pleasure. They showcased not only his never ending bloodlust to stop the enemy at any cost, but they also spotlighted his manly sense of dark humor. This cover is a fine example of how a real man fights communists.

As a child, Combat Casey was one of the old comics that my dad had that he gave me. I have to say that Combat Casey is the reason I grew a beard. I always thought his “Grizzly Adams” look was a major part of the reason the bad guys feared him so much.

If you’re at a convention or surfing Ebay, make sure you pick up an issue of Combat Casey. You’ll probably be able to get a reading copy pretty cheap. Even better if you find a nice copy. Great fun stuff from a time long gone. Wouldn’t it be great to see a new Combat Casey comic with “The Red-Bearded Riot” kicking the ass of Osma Bin Laden? If Marvel decides to haul back the adventures of Combat Casey you better not get in my way. I’d hurt people to be able to write his manly adventures.

Oh, make sure you click over to my buddy, Chuck Dixon’s website. He has challenged me to a Manly Comic Book Cover showdown. Chuck is posting his puny attempts to out do me there. Check out his pitiful tries at

Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week

This week the Busted Knuckles Babe Of Week personifies the phrase “A Strong Female Lead”. In my book Rachel McLish sums that up. Some of you out there might start whining that she is just another muscle babe mutant, but you are very wrong. There is nothing freakish about this real woman. Rachel was the first Ms. Olympia in 1980. She is first woman that showed you didn’t have to be a linebacker size woman to win awards in bodybuilding. She brought beauty to the world of fitness.

Rachel McLish–In The Flesh

She has also starred in a few movies such as Pumping Iron 2: The Women, Iron Eagle III and her best film Ravenhawk. Rachel has done a series of work out videos that have done really well in the fitness market. Trust me, you could bounce quarters off this girl’s stomach.

Rachel is another hottie that I would cast to play super cop Maria Lucci if they made a movie of my comic book, Parts Unknown. I figured you’d agree with me.

Rachel McLish as Maria Lucci?

Shut The Gate On Your Way Out

Well, it’s time to kick your butt off the ranch for this week. I appreciate ya stoppin’ by and bringing the beer. Make sure you drop in next week and we’ll talk of manly things and eyeball women. If you’re a woman then we’ll still talk of manly things, but we’ll eyeball you. Fair enough?

Another week has gone by and my Chicago Bears have won again. This week they beat their mortal enemies the Green Bay Packers. Brett Farve the noted “Bear Killer” didn’t get to mount a Bear hide on his wall this time. Next week will be a HUGE game for us as we travel to the Steel town of Pittsburgh to fight the tough Pittsburgh Steelers. I hope the weather is bad and it becomes a hard-nosed, knockdown, jaw busting game. Who would’ve thought that the Bears would be on an eight game winning streak? Hell, most of the critics didn’t even think the Bears would win eight games all year. I love surprises.

Bears Win! Packers Lose.

Keep those emails and manly gifts a coming. I enjoy em’ all. I also thank you for reading Busted Knuckles and being a Knucklehead.

Sea El Hombre!

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin