Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Black Panther(s), the Coal Tiger, and US

Compare him to any other Marvel character who gets to sit on a throne and think about stuff.

Compare him to any other Marvel character who gets to sit on a throne and think about stuff.

BONUS POST: Thanks to Larry Lade and his March pledge at the Doctor Xaos Patreon! All you comics nuts probably already know how Lee and Kirby were developing an African black character called the Coal Tiger in early 1966, then changed the name to the Black Panther.

You might not know that the original name Coal Tiger wasn’t neutral by a long shot, as at the time, it was the media term for post-colonial African nations. The relevant name here is Patrice Lumumba, leader of resistance against the Belgian colonial government, author of Dawn in the Heart of Africa, important participant at the All-African People’s Conference in 1958, advocate for nationalizing the resources of the Congo Basin, then briefly the first prime minister of the Republic of the Congo in 1961. Read the rest of this entry

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The Silver Surfer is ridiculous

Gotta get up with the sun to catch the tasty waves

Gotta get up with the sun to catch the tasty waves

A while back I posted at the Forge about playtesting Doctor Xaos, and came up with this little skit, now partly modified for excellence and context:


“Come on … the Silver Surfer? I mean, with a surfboard?” Read the rest of this entry

My Doom

There are no paltry "heroes" in this comic book.

There are no paltry “heroes” in this comic book.

In digging around the internet to find out what those pictures in my memory are, I initially thought that my most cherished issue of my original hoard must have been one of the Astonishing Tales stories, by Roy Thomas and Wally Wood, 1971. But no! It was the one-shot prequel to that series, published in Marvel Superheroes! #20, 1969, also by Thomas and with extremely of-the-moment art credits: Frank Giacoia (artist), Larry Lieber (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks).

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Bootin’ the pooch

He might have a point.

“Hey Professor, Professor?” “Yes, you in the back.” “Doesn’t he sort of have a point?”

BONUS POST: Thanks to Markku Tuovinen and his March pledge at the Doctor Xaos Patreon!

Let’s say that you’re a comics creator or line editor, and probably due to simple absence or neglect of infrastructure, something gets written in that comic for real. Specifically, your villain character has a point. His or her grievance is valid. His or her rebellion is justified. His or her determination is admirable.

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A thousand years more, O Kali

Why do I love him? You have to ask??

Why do I love him? You have to ask??

You know how “smart” in comics actually means stupid? This time, as they often did in Suicide Squad, John Ostrander and Kim Yale pulled a reversal: a character introduced as a superficial fanatic, never billed as or discussed otherwise, who was smart as a whip. Wikipedia tells me he only appeared in twenty-two comics issues, ever, associated only with this series, but they were solid gold.

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At corporate, they just sell paper

You think they care what it is?

You think they care what it is?

The Koch bros don’t give a shit, no pun intended, whether you buy Quilted Northern or Angel Soft, because they own them both.

Some years ago some venture capitalists found that, inexplicably, you can sell even more cheap paper to people if you invest a bit in writing on it and coloring it first. Comics are a particularly simple form of that kind of paper. The primary cost is buying it and distributing it in slightly altered form, with some writing and coloring, folded this way or that, with staples or whatever.

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The Vision, his semen, and his friends

Foom #12

Foom #12

That’s the second issue I received in the mail upon becoming a member of Friends Of Ol’ Marvel in 1975. As you can see, it featured the Vision, introduced with great force & verve during the later stage of Roy Thomas’ Avengers run, and developed into one of the finest favorite heroes of the day by Steve Englehart, the writer on the book when this issue of FOOM came out.

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Joseph Culp

JoeDoom1

By about age 12, since any idiot could see that Proposition 13 was going to pass, I knew I had to get into private school on scholarship, and I did, at 15 attending what was then called Robert Louis Stevenson High School or RLS (now the Stevenson School) in Pebble Beach. I was from Del Monte Park, the back-end no-tourists part of Pacific Grove, so I was a day student, and very much more so, a low-rent townie.

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Some love for the Naja-Naja

"WIth a bit of a mind-flip ..."

“WIth a bit of a mind-flip …”

I wasn’t a DC reader. The few issues included in the mother-lode I’d inherited from my brothers were obviously sub-par, and my pennies were scarce enough already. But still, I encountered Kobra in his initial appearance, the first three issues of his title comic in 1976. You might not remember or know about these three-comics in clear plastic packs that were sold at the time, either a random set of latest issues or three in a sequence like this one, but it was one of those. I think I got it as a party favor.

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The beginning

Home: right in the middle, in the top ridges of the central mountain range.

Home neighborhood: Del Monte Park, in the middle of the peninsula, at the north bend in Highway 68, in the top ridges of the next-to-highest mountain range. Not as idyllic as advertised, if you’re not rich.

2010: this genetic monster is 52 in this photo

2010: this genetic monster is 52 in this photo

My next-oldest brother’s name is Danny. He’s an athletic bad-ass; you can see him do crazy-athlons online, and if you’re into MMA, he devised the only sensible scoring system known. But back in 1970, he was a buck-toothed 12-year-old whose big brother called him “Toothpick,” with a hyper-imaginative six-year-old brother reading at his grade level, and one thing he could do to make me less obnoxious was to read comics with me. Later, when he got all jock-ish and grew up and stuff, he left the pile to me. Read the rest of this entry

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