It’s over. Good. I don’t like Halloween and I never did. I was never a big candy freak as a kid. I saw no sense in dressing up in a crummy costume with a hot plastic mask to go beg for candy from neighbors that were always grouchy.
In the last few decades Halloween has become more dangerous for little kids with all the sickos out there. Nothing would please me more than to inflict a little “West Virginia Trick or Treat” on those demented perverts. I promise you they would never wanna have those evil thoughts in their heads again.
It’s over. Good.
In the last year we’ve seen a lot of “theme” stuff going on at Marvel and DC. It’s built up a lot of buzz and sales for both. That’s a good thing.
Being that’s a good thing, I’d like to see more good things. I’m greedy that way. The major thing I ‘d like to see is the creation of more new characters. We’ve had the big theme story lines and they are continuing this year. Some new things are being built from last year, but most of it has been done with the established characters.
I’d love to see comic book writers and creators unleashed at Marvel and DC to create the next generation of characters. By characters I mean heroes, villains and supporting characters.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about established characters or the way they’ve been handled. I’m just wanting more. I’m wanting new. I wanna see what my peers can do. I wanna see if they can create some new characters that will be around when I’m long gone.
Is that too much to ask for? Am I the only one that would enjoy this?
Let me know.
Manly Comic Book Cover Of The Week:
Little Al Of The Secret Service #3
Ziff-Davis Comics Group 1951
Don’t ever think that Alex Ross was the first guy to do painted covers in comic books. There were a boatload of great painters that came before and Alex will be the first guy to tell you that.
One of the very best was Norm Saunders. Norm had a great way of adding so much depth and dynamic poses to his covers. As you can see in this cover of Little Al Of The Secret Service #3, Norm gave the reader movie like quality and wonderful perspective. His use of colors were never muted and he took chances with shades that no one else had ever thought about when doing covers. He also captured the time period perfectly.
As always when I bring these manly covers to your attention I do it because I want you to go out and explore what has come before. Go beyond the comics you grew up on. If you really love comic books you’ll wanna know the history. It’s a great way to discover hidden gems. Do me this favor, when you do go out and find these babies, pass the word on to your friends.
As I’ve mentioned before, before I got into the business of comic books I was what they called a “letterhack“. That meant I wrote letters into the publishers about the comics I read and they sometimes would publishing them a couple of months later in the comics.
This was back before the internet and message boards. This was the only communications that readers had with the publishers, creators and other readers. You younger guys might refer to em’ as “cave drawings by cave-men“. That’s okay with me.
While going through my vast manly collection of comic books to find the manly Comic Book Cover Of The Week, I came across a couple of the over 300 letters I had printed in comics from the 70s and the 80s.
The two that I have here were from the early 80s. I’d guess around 1984.
The first one is from Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #101. The comic book I was commenting about was issue #97. The editors on the book at that time were Jim Owsley (you now know him as the writer Priest) and Keith Williams. I got such a kick outta these letters. They made me feel?really old.
The second letter that you see here is from Thor #357 from 1984. I was writing about Thor #352. This was during Walt Simonson’s run on Thor. It was the only time other than when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were doing the book that I cared about the character. Walt is not only one of the nicest guys ever to be in comics, but he is one of the most talented. I owe Walt so much. It was during this time period that he helped me learn how to write comics and was always generous with his time and scripts.
When I re-read this letter I found that my tastes and requests in comics haven’t changed that much in 21 years. I think in this case that’s a good thing.
I hope these letters spark you into writing a snail mail letter to the comics you love. I promise in this day and age a mailed letter will be read and stand out with the editors.
Land Of The Lost:
While we’re on the subject of the past I’ve got another blast for ya from the strongbox here at The Flying Fist Ranch. I also found a yellowed handwritten page from 1977 when I was in college at Marshall University. It was a paper from one of my creative writing classes. A paper that I got an “A” on by the way. My professor told me that he thought I was a little “bent”. He could be right. You be the judge.
I got a chuckle out of reading it again after all these years. I thought I’d share it with y’all so you could see that even as a young man I was dying to do the tough guy stuff. I also want you aspiring comic book writers to remember to always write. Everyday you should write something. It paid off for me. It could pay off for you. As you read this just remember not to be too hard on me. I own a lot of guns and I’m a little bent.
Here ya go.
- Gun Lust
Written By Beau Smith
A pack of lead dogs with hollow point hearts hungry for my flesh explode from their cylinder kennel.
I feel the first one rip through the sleeve of my coat and tear at my flesh. Feasting on the tissue and blood of my body.
More follow. All seeking to burrow into my organs they are so attracted to. My movement to avoid their gnawing attack causes some to stray while others manage to remove chunks of skin and bone as they make aggressive attempts to rendezvous into a central location.
A swarm of metal-coated locust spray my right side pulling the fabric of my clothing away and causing it to mesh with the newly exiting pieces of flesh that covered my ribcage.
The core of the ravenous swarm begin to cannibalize the ball joint of my arm breaking the bone connection between my arm and shoulder.
The outer peripheral of my right thigh registers the stabbing pain of incoming metal. It takes just seconds for them to demobilize my leg and I fall to the hard filth of the alley.
I taste bile and blood as it starts to overflow from my internal organs and seek escape through my gasping mouth. There’s no room for screaming now. Only gurgling sounds that would make me sick if I weren’t already dying.
I can hear the footsteps of my tormentors as they casually walk to where I am bleeding. I assume from their smug chuckles that they must be pleased with their work as I lay in my own blood and tattered organs.
With the one eye that still remains in it’s socket I see them towering over me. They now cradle their simmering blue steel assassins in their arms and scarred hands. They have come to watch the end of the sadistic symphony that they have orchestrated.
They came to hear my dying gasp. They hungered for the last note I would ever sing.
What they received were my parting thoughts. Those thoughts were delivered by two messengers wearing 230 grain metal jackets. Each one embedded deep into their skulls so that they could nestle snugly into their brain matter before exploding rudely from the back of their craniums spreading a life time of collected knowledge into red vapor to be lost forever.
The first two sounds I heard were the two dead bodies dropping to meet mine on the pavement. The last sound I heard was my hand slapping the ground as it could no longer hold the two pounds eight ounces of loyalty that had served and protected me so well for so many years.
That loyalty kept me in this hard world far longer than I deserved. It was only fitting that it would see me out.
As my one good eye slowly shut for good I could see the smooth, shiny steel skin of my loyal friend stained with my blood.
We can finally rest, my loyal friend.
I hope you enjoyed my weird and scattered episode of Busted Knuckles this week. This one is being written late at night and I have to admit I’ve had a few cold ones. Tonight I think I’m Hemmingway. Tomorrow when I read this I’ll just be another hung over moron.
I leave you with my Beau Babe Of The Week. From the cover of Toro magazine here is the shapely Sofia Vergara.
The Flying Fist Ranch
Ceredo, WV. 25507
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