Ed Burn’s Dock Walloper: Director’s Cut #1
Created by Ed Burns
Written by Ed Burns and Jimmy Palmiotti
Script By Jimmy Palmiotti
Art and colors by Siju Thomas
Published by Virgin Comics

When a comic book has a giant balled up fist as a part of their logo, then you know it’s going to get my attention. (Check the Busted Knuckles logo.)

Writer/artist Jimmy Palmiotti and editor Charlie Beckerman sent me a copy of Ed Burn’s Dock Walloper: Director’s Cut #1. I had never bought or read any comics by Virgin Comics before. This was my first real hands-on exposure to them. It was a great way to start out.

Dock Walloper takes place during the Depression and I’m happy to say that Ed Burns and Jimmy Palmiotti don’t try and “reinvent” history to please today’s overly PC world. They hit you hard with the language, attitudes and slang of the Depression era. I hope it’s enough for some younger readers to want to know more about this time in American history and maybe crack a history book or two.

In the first issue of Dock Walloper you are introduced to hard times for Johnny Smith and his friend Bootsy. No money, little work and less food. They look to get hired on at the docks and because Johnny has one hand that’s the size of Christmas ham and Bootsy is black, they tend to not get picked for the much sought after work. That is until Johnny is pushed a little too far by some goons and he proceeds to show them just how much damage he can do with that big right hand. Bootsy is no slouch either as he shows a glimpse of some Depression era kung fu.

Their ability to handle themselves catches the attention of local crime lord, Mugsy, and the two friends get hired for some “special” work befitting their special talents. Needles to say this ends up with some more goons getting killed and Johnny and Bootsy showing they know their way around Thompson machine guns as well as fighting.

The story has everything you need in a manly story, good dialogue that rings true to the characters and the time period, excellent story telling art by Siju Thomas that won’t try to lose you as if you were a police tail and best of all the writers tell you just enough in this pitch perfect first issue to make you save up enough money to buy the rest of the series. Jimmy Palmiotti doesn’t get enough credit when it comes to his writing. Here in Dock Walloper, he gives a clinic on how to write just enough dialogue to form the characters without going all Marvel and DC on us and loading us down with unwanted and unneeded heavy text and word balloons. He and Ed Burns make a very good team in pulling this off. Other writers should pay close attention here and remember these tips.

Dock Walloper is a manly must for your pull list. It’s not an all-ages book because of some cussing, but then neither are most of the superhero comics you read, not some much for cussing, but for their throat-cramming political agendas and lack of representing what a real hero is. You aren’t gonna find that in Dock Walloper. This is great action and character without all the fat.

The Badger: Bull #1
Created by Mike Baron and Jeff Butler
Written By Mike Baron
Art by Kevin Caron and Scorpio Steele
Published By IDW Publishing

The 1980s were a wonderful, innovative time for comic book creators and indy publishers. New ground was broken and for the first time pop culture was used as a story tool instead of a speed bump. Wit and satire became a smart part of so many characters and stories. I mean in a good, well written way, not what we’re fed today with a heavy-handed hammer. Mike Baron is an innovator in smart writing. To this day his book he co-created with Steve Rude, Nexus, is one of the most well thought out and produced characters and books ever produced in comics. It rates with such iconic stories as Miracleman, The Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. It’s strange how all of the mentioned books came from the same time period. Or is it? Editorial departments weren’t quite as heavy hands-on as they are today.

The Badger has always been a book and character that is rich in satire, wit and reading between the lines. It’s a very smart book wrapped in the cloth of an martial arts action, but in reality it’s so much more.

I highly recommend that you check out the newly reprinted Badger trade paperbacks from IDW Publishing to discover all the fun that is The Badger. I think it’ll only add layers to the enjoyment that you’ll get from the new series Badger: Bull. It’s nice to see that Mike Baron can pick right up where he left off with the Badger and never miss a beat. Trust in me in the fact that The Badger is one of these books that gets better and better with each issue. He is a character that you get invested in. Every now and then it’s fun to get crazy with a character like The Badger.

Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys
Written By Benjamin Holcolmb
Published by TwoMorrows Publishing
$49.99 Over-sized hard cover

By the time the 70s rolled around I was a little old to be buying toys so I really don’t know that much about them from this time period. Sure, I remember seeing ads on TV and being in toy departments, but I really didn’t have much knowledge of what was out and what was in. I remember seeing the Mego super-hero action figures and thought that they just didn’t live up to the quality of action figures of my youth like G.I. Joe and Captain Action. I fully understand that to folks 10 years younger than me that the Mego action figures are a huge part of their childhood and bring them some wonderful memories. God bless em’ because I know that feeling.

There’s some really great news for all those younger than me that loved the Mego super-hero action figures. The very fine folks at TwoMorrows Publishing have just released a killer hardcover book that has to be THE source for Mego super-hero action figures.

This large hardcover book has over 250 quality pages that detail in text and wonderful color photos the history behind these wild little 8-inch figures. Benjamin Holcomb has written and compiled an incredible amount of information and history on Mego as a company and the figures they produced. After all my years of being on the ground floor of McFarlane Toys, I found the information on the Mego company riveting. This is a top of the line book for those that love Mego figures and anyone that enjoys collecting toys. I read this cover to cover and feel that it is well worth the $49.99 cover price. This book will make a great gift for anyone on your list that has ever enjoyed action figures or super-heroes.

Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week

Man’s Book Periodical, June 1970

Even though I wasn’t buying Mego action figures in the 1970s I was buying any cover with Norm Eastman artwork. This man was a pivotal artist in pulp art covers. His use of lighting and dynamic poses were hard to match as you can see by this cover from Man’s Book Periodical from 1970. This type of art was the rage with men’s paperback novels and Drive-In movie posters. Testosterone dripped from these very politically incorrect covers before the PC police tried to censor everything.

Keep your eyes out for any Norm Eastman cover art. You’ll be amazed by this man’s vast talent.

Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week

Lacey Chabert
– actress

From Purvis, Mississippi, a finalist on the first run of Star Search and to national stardom as a cast member of the cult TV favorite A Party Of Five, Lacey Chabert has become one of the best young group of actresses in Hollywood. She also ain’t bad to look at. Comic book readers and fans of Spider-Man will be happy to hear that Lacey will be the voice of Gwen Stacy in the new animated The Spectacular Spider-Man coming out in 2008. Something tells me that she’ll fill Gwen Stacy’s voice out just fine.

The Roundup

Christmas is just around the corner and I hope all of you Knuckleheads are knee-deep in shopping and spreading cheer. I’ve started my shopping and as far as spreading cheer, well, I do that year round.

Monday, the 17th is my birthday, the reason I know this is because I keep hearing my family and friends whispering and laughing when they think I’m not paying attention. This means they are planning some sorta evil surprise or maybe I’ve got a “Kick Me, I Like It” sign pinned to my back. I guess I’ll find out in a few days.

One thing I do hope I get for my birthday is for my Chicago Bears to beat the Vi-Queens on Monday Night Football. That would make my day. The Bears are out of the playoffs, so that means they’re gonna haul out their bag of Busted Knuckles and make things really rough on anyone left on their schedule. They’re gonna start Kyle Orton on Monday and see if he can bring back some of the magic that he produced when he won 10 games in a row for us a couple of years back. Let’s hope the bearded Bear will give us a victory.

Okay, that’s it for this week. I’ll be back before Christmas, so look for me.

Your amigo,

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 is a writer for Comics Bulletin