Trading Four Color PlacesA few weeks ago I talked about the art of trading comics as a kid of the 1960s. I had a pretty good response from readers telling me of their fun time trading comics as a kid as well as some younger readers wishing they had the chance to trade comics. With the direct market rising in the 1970s that kinda took the kid to kid trading out of the deal. Most of the trading/buying/selling happened in these new comics only stores.One of the other things that my readers brought up was the question is there a “trading post” on the internet where folks can simply trade comics?Not being much of a pathfinder with the web I had to tell em’ I didn’t know. Do any of you Knuckleheads know of any?
Because Batman Said SoRecently I was sent an advance copy of the book WISDOM FROM THE BATCAVE written by Carey Friedman. This is a very unique book of how anyone, young or old, can live a better even more heroic life by using some of the guidelines that the Batman has laid out by example in over 70 years of fighting crime and righting wrongs.The book contains 18 chapters that explain and show you how being more like The Batman can enrich and enlighten your life. It’s a wonderful combination of common sense, courage, and courtesy. Plus it’s got some really cool Batman illustrations and a fine sense of humor as well.WISDOM FROM THE BATCAVE is published by Compass Books and sells for $13.95. For more manly information check out http://www.batwisdom.com.
Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find? On NBCOne of the new TV shows that seems to have found an audience is NBC’s HEROES. I’ve watched every episode so far and have put it on my “TV Pull List”. The first episode was a very good Get-Your-Interest opener. The next two felt a little rushed with characters and story. Kinda like they were thinking the network might pull the show out from under them at anytime so they were trying to squeeze as much into em’ as possible. Glad to report that they got that sorted out. The series is flowing now and each new character that is introduced is done subtly and with perfect casting.Nobody is quite who you think they are and there are really nice touches that show that you are never gonna be able to know what to expect from any of them. They learned a really good lesson from LOST on how to keep characters interesting and their back story always unfolding. Of all the movies and TV shows that have ever tried to be “super-hero” stories this ones plays out more like a comic book than any other that I’ve ever seen. I think we can thank good guy, Jeph Loeb for a lot of that.Yeah, the show does have some nutty moments that could make you pull an Elvis and shoot the TV now and then if your aggravation level is easily stressed. Not me, I just kinda laugh and let it go. The moments I’m talking about are how the cheerleader character is so clumsy that when she isn’t testing her self healing powers on purpose she is the clumsiest person in the world and is always “getting killed” one way or another. Come on, cheerleaders today are really good athletes, nobody is this much of a klutz. The writers also manage to find a way to have her wear her cheerleader outfit most of the time to give her a “super hero costume” or maybe like me they just like the way cheerleader outfits look pretty women.Zack, the character that seems to be able to mimic the powers of which ever other “hero” he is around. Mostly he mimics his older brother who can fly better than Superman ever dreamed of. My hopes are that Zack gains the ability to get his damn hair cut like a man. He spends almost ever scene shoving this hair out of his face. It looks like one of those bad Gen 13 haircuts that J. Scott Campbell used to give all his males characters back in the 90s.All in all, HEROES is a fun show for anyone that likes comics or would like to show a non-comic book reader what one is like today.Give it a try. Save the cheerleader. Save the world.
Sportin’ WoodDC Comics has come through in a big way. The just collected into a trade paperback some of my personal favorite Justice Society issues from the 1970s. In this new trade paperback they collect Justice Society issues #58 through #67 as well as DC Special #29 together to make a 223 page bundle of head busting writing and jaw breaking art.The writing is divided between Gerry Conway and Paul Levitz. The art is by great old timers like Joe Staton, Keith Giffen, Ric Estrada and the bulk done by a true master artist-Wally Wood.Wally Wood was an artist that was a living lesson in comic book art for every aspiring artist that ever thought about putting a pencil to paper. He knew all the power of art and the shortcuts as well. There was never a wasted move with his art.This book has a wonderful 70s feel to it that really captures the last of a more wholesome adventure mood that most mainstream comics have forgotten. The book is filled with some of the best Justice Society members. Heroes like Power Girl, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Star Spangled Kid, Robin, and my buddy, Wildcat. There’re other members that show up as well. Just really good comics here. Something that you’ll enjoy and learn from as well. The book can be found in most any good comic book shop and is a deal at $14.99.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The WeekCaptain Action #1
DC Comics 1968Captain Action was the super hero version of G.I.Joe back in the 60s. He was 12 inches of powerful plastic that could change into Captain America, Batman, Superman, The Phantom, Sgt. Fury, Spider-Man, The Lone Ranger, Aquaman, Tonto, The Green Hornet and so many more super heroes. It was the height of marketing and merchandising in the action figure world. The likes that we will probably never see again due to legalities, lawyers, egos and money hungry corporations.Captain Action’s own costume was my favorite. He didn’t need any stinkin’ mask. He had a great logo, uniform, a dashing hat, a sword and a ray gun. What else did he really need?His arch-enemy was the original Dr. Evil. Half of his brain was exposed, he wore a groovy 60s Nehru jacket complete with sandals and a medallion that would make any rapper green with bling bling envy.In the comic book by DC, Captain Action was limited to his own costume, but that was okay. In his few issues that he had he was drawn by Wally Wood and Gil Kane. That’s A-List treatment. The cover to issue #1 that you see here is not by Kane or Wood. My memory must be slipping a bit on who drew it. Maybe one of you sharp eyed knuckleheads out there can tell me.Anyway, ya gotta love any cover that shows a super hero like Captain Action shoving Superman aside because he isn’t manly enough to get the job done. After all, Superman doesn’t have a black panther as a pet.I still have my original Captain Action figure right here on my shelf here at the ranch. (Near Mint of course) Nobody would dare try and bust in here on the Captain’s watch.If you get the chance make sure you check out an issue of Captain Action next time you’re at a convention or you local comic shop.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The WeekJillian Michaels
– fitness expert and former motion picture literary agentThere’s just something about a woman that you could bounce quarters off her stomach that appeals to most every true real man. Jillian Michaels is a beauty that you could spend a roll of quarters on.
She is a former motion picture literary agent for ICM and most noted for being an aggressive fitness trainer. She is one of the trainers on a reality show called The Biggest Loser. It might worth wading through all the blubber on the show to see a few minutes of Jillian’s workout.There’s true beauty in a woman that takes care of herself and doesn’t look like one of those skinny runway models that took the Kate Moss plan a little too far. Jillian is built like what a super hero would be built like?.if they were drawn in a comic book.I said that right?didn’t I?
The RoundupFor those of you Knuckleheads that plan on coming to this year’s Mid-Ohio Con in Columbus, Ohio be sure and mark me down on your list of folks to see. I’ll be there signing your copies of Cobb: Off The Leash as well as any of the hundreds of other comic books that I’ve written.The con is this month on the 25th and 26th. I’ll only be there for the 25th which is Saturday. There’s gonna be all sorts of other comic book folks there like Adam Hughes, Ron Garney, Matt Haley, Angel Medina as well as Dick Ayers and Gary Friedrich of Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos fame. I’ve gotta say they were a HUGE influence on my own work.For all the detail on Mid-Ohio Con check out their website at http://www.midohiocon.com. Tell that shifty Roger Price that Beau Sent ya!See ya there.Your amigo,Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Cderedo, WV. 25507