This week’s Busted Knuckles is one of those “stream of manly thoughts” kind of columns. One where I hit on various topics that just happen to pop up in my head. No particular reason. They just kinda clutter up my brain and every now and then I need to clean out the dance hall. (No, that doesn’t mean I’m blowing my nose.
I hope there’s a little something for everybody.
Nick Cardy’s The Street Fighter. The Manly 70s
Back in 1974 there was a movie poster done for the manly and violent Sonny Chiba film, The Street Fighter. It was done by one of my comic book creating heroes, Nick Cardy. I remember the first time I ever saw this art. I was in manly awe of it’s style, it’s solid and dynamic look and most of all because there were bad guys getting their brains scrambled and a hot babe. This art screamed of the time period. It was before guys got all “metro” and ashamed to have hair on their chest. It was a time when it was still okay to teach a loudmouth math by counting the knuckle prints you left on his face. I have to say that this piece of art has been in my head since high school and I’ve finally gotten to use it as influence in the pages of my new book, Cobb: Off The Leash.
Thank you, Nick Cardy, for the inspiration.
Editors Of The 80s
Back in the early 1980s when I was breaking into comics and local retail outlets, there were some really good editors in comics that related to readers in a way that most modern day editors could take lessons from.
Granted, I don’t know how they were with their jobs within the office. To be honest, I don’t care. As a reader I know that they treated me great and as an equal and not an attitude of “You stay on your side of the table and I’ll stay on mine”. There were great about answering letters by mail, they didn’t just print letters in the letters column, they talked to you. They had themes that gave you inside info and also let you know that they did read your letters.
Alan Gold at DC Comics was one of the best. He edited Blue Devil and Wonder Woman just to name a couple. He treated readers with respect and he did everything he could to make sure you felt like a part of the club. Even though there wasn’t always enough space on the letters page to print every letter, he would make sure that he at least printed the reader’s names. There was continuity to his letters page. He remembered names and that you had written in before. At conventions he always remembered your name and was happy to put a face to it. He went out of his way to introduce you to creators and other editors. I was truly sad when Alan Gold left DC. I don’t know where he is now, but I sure wish him the best. He made my comic book experience of the 1980’s one worth remembering. I hope I’ve passed on some of his same kindness to readers that I communicate with.
To make sure I don’t forget anyone else, here are some other reader friendly editors that I’ve met in my time: Murray Boltinoff, Ernie Colon, Rick Oliver, Robin Snyder, Louise Simonson, Jim Shooter, Mike Carlin, Robert Greenberger and David Scroggy. There are many more, but these are ones that really stood out and went beyond the cause.
I hope you run across an editor that still has the passion for comics and those that read em’.
Beau Art From The Flying Fist Ranch Strongbox
When you’ve been in the comic book business as long as I have you accumulate a bunch of really good friends that happen to be artists. When ya drink with em’ it goes into a whole other world.
The other day I was going through the strongbox here at the ranch and came across a ton of artwork done for me by many of my comic book artist buddies. So I thought I’d share a few with you this week and in the weeks to come dig out a few more and let y’all in on some of the madness that has gone on throughout the years.
I’m sure some of my artist buddies will be putting me in their crosshairs when they see that I have exposed some of their personal and early art to the public. (Insert insane laughter here) Too bad, none of em’ can whip my ass so I don’t care.
I hope you enjoy this small preview of things to come.
These first two pieces are by my good friend, Flint Henry. Flint you’ll know from his work on Grimjack, Lawdog, Man-Bat, Guy Gardner Warrior, and McFarlane Toys. Anytime I get a letter from Flint in the mail it is usually decorated with some of “Big Head” art and witty comments. Needless to say I am sometimes the butt or praise of his doodling. Here are a couple to prove that. The first one is from when I was making one of my business trips to Los Angeles . Flint always found that amusing like I was an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. Me in L.A. seems to be something that always makes everyone chuckle? why I don’t know? I’m sophisticated? right?
Beau In La La Land. By Flint Henry
The second piece was from when I was working as VP of Marketing for Image Comics. Flint always said that I rode the retailers a little too hard with my persuasive smooth talk. I guess this is an example.
Don’t Mess With Beau-The Image Comics Days
The third piece is a beauty from my long time buddy, Ron Frenz. You’ll know Ron as one of the best craftsman in comics having worked on Spider-Man, Superman, Ka-Zar, Spider-Girl and just about every character at Marvel and DC. He did this back in 1985,when I had had more hair on my head and face. It’s a great testosterone filled drawing of me with my manly drinking buddies from Marvel Comics, Nick Fury, Wolverine, Puck and of course, my own manly self. Ya just gotta love the detail that Ron put into this. Notice that Puck is sitting on a phone book. As far as who cheated at cards? we’ll never know. Ben Grimm was supposed to be in this too, but Ron just ran out of room.
Beau Smith and his Marvel Comics Drinking Buddies 1985. By Ron Frenz.
The fourth piece is a painting that Dan Brereton did for me as a possible pitch for a Black Terror / Prowler crossover. We had done The Black Terror at Eclipse Comics with my friend and co-writer, Chuck Dixon. Tim Truman and Mike Price had done The Prowler at Eclipse and we thought it would have been great to team these two gun totin’ good guys up. For whatever reason it never did come to happen. But I got some great early Brereton art out of it.
The Black Terror and The Prowler By Dan Brereton
The last piece is a very cool stylized drawing of The Black Terror by John K. Snyder III. John busted into comics the same time a lot of me and my friends did. We all used to tear up bars, hotels and careers in the early days. John was doing his own book at Eclipse back then called Fashion In Action. Of course he has gone on to do some wonderful painted work for DC Comics, Marvel, Dark Horse and many others. This has always been a favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy it as well.
The Black Terror By John K. Snyder III
Like I said, in the weeks to come I’ll be digging out more art work from the strongbox and embarrassing many of my friends and perhaps myself. I hope you enjoy these truly behind the scenes episodes from my career.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
– actress & model
Tall, blonde and getting more talented every day. Molly Sims has graced tons of covers and and runways. Like me, you may watch her on the TV series Las Vegas. I have to admit the show is a guilty pleasure for me. I like the light hearted-all-pretty-people attitude of the show. James Caan is great as the original badass older guy. The show is like a candy bar. Tastes good, doesn’t take a lot of time to eat it and you know you really shouldn’t enjoy it but ya do.
Molly is a great looking woman that gets better on the acting the more she does it. Remember, there are a lot of other former models that ended up with fine movie careers. Never count a beautiful blonde out.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of The Week
Issues #1 & #2 – Atlas Comics, 1975
The manly 70s live and it’s all going on within the pages of Lomax NYPD from Atlas Comics. Many of you know of my deep love for the Atlas Comics line that came out in the 1970’s to do print battle with Marvel and DC Comics. Next to Tower Comics they were my favorite non-Marvel/DC comics.
One of the lesser known and more hard to find comics from Atlas was Lomax NYPD. If you’ve ever seen any of the cop movies or TV shows from the 70’s then you’re gonna love Lomax. He was very rough, tough and very un-PC. These stories were filled with badly dressed people with ugly haircuts, 70s slang like “Chick” and “Pig” “The Heat” and “Buzz off, Sucker.”
Not only did you get a great Lomax story, but you also got a story of Luke Malone-Manhunter. Malone was always drunk, brooding and busting some wise ass in the jaw. Malone was written and drawn by the great Mike Ploog.
The covers pretty much say it all. A chick in trouble, somebody getting blasted and Lomax in some daring “Dan August” stunt. These are true gems to find at a convention or on Ebay. I’ve had a complete Atlas collection for many years and go to it often. Great stuff. Go find some.
Cobb: Off The Leash #2
What? thought you were gonna have a week go by without me plugging the hell out of Cobb: Off The Leash?
Issue one of Cobb is now one of the hardest comics to find in all the direct market. If you got yours? great! If not? my hopes are with you. I’m please to say that all the response to the first issue of Cobb has been all positive. Retailers and readers alike have all sent me a ton of really nice email and phone calls. The media has been great and even more are doing articles and reviews on Cobb. All except Wizard, of course.
A reporter from CNN called and is preparing possible TV coverage on Cobb: Off The Leash #1. So you may be seeing more of Cobb in the national media real soon.
Just a reminder, Cobb: Off The Leash #2 is just a couple of weeks away. Make sure you’ve got yours ordered and that your local comic shop has ordered it for you. I thought you’d enjoy seeing the Variant cover for issue #2 by Eduardo Barreto. Your local retailer gets one of these for every 15 issues of Cobb #2 that they order. Again, we went with a classic movie poster style with this cover. I hope you enjoy it.
Advance Review Copies Of Cobb: Off The Leash #2 Available
As I did with Cobb: Off The Leash #1, I have advance xerox copies or a PDF file for Cobb: Off The Leash #2 ready and available for any member of the print or internet media.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see to it that you get one for review.
Cobb: Off The Leash has done very well with it’s grassroots campaign. I hope you will help me continue it.
That’s about it for this week, amigos. I hope you enjoyed Busted Knuckles and found something of interest. Please keep the emails a comin’ in. I enjoy hearing from you and your thoughts on stuff that is going on.
A major thank you goes out to Kellen Oshel from Salt Lake City. I appreciate the cool box of western novels that you sent. I look forward to reading them. Some great covers in there. I hope you enjoyed your package that I sent out.
Until next week, y’all keep thinking those manly thoughts.
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!