Monthly Archives: April 2015

What does this power do?

Uh oh.

Uh oh.

This is a role-playing post. Flee!

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Let there be nipples

Of my old comics, one of the very few left in my possession is the huge magazine-style version of Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails,” adapted by Roy Thomas and Barry [Windsor] Smith (originally in Savage Tales #2-3; here reprinted in color). There is no point in trying to articulate Smith’s presence and creative force in comics. Just … look at this.

They do not make'em like this any more.

They do not make’em like this any more.

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‘Verse this

Cool! We nailed it! Oh wait ... why can't it move? And it seems unable to breathe ... and its wrists are bleeding ...

Cool! We got it all stretched out up there and we nailed it! Oh wait … why can’t it move? And it seems unable to breathe … and its wrists are bleeding …

It’s the worst thing ever to happen to my experience of Marvel and other superhero comics.

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Never heard of’em

... which happen to be our very own writers and editors!

… which happen to be our very own writers and editors!

I’d been reading comics for about four years. I had read Origin of Marvel Comics, and Son of Origins, I’d struggled with The Steranko History of Comics volume 1,  I had my issues of FOOM coming in the mail, and I had an envelope stuffed with Marvel Value Stamps. I was eleven, I was finally afforded an allowance that didn’t vanish with a single candy bar, and more than anything in the world, and as far as real life is concerned, considering I’d already met Leonard Nimoy, I wanted to be in on the ground floor of a new, world-beating, mighty Marvel comic magazine. Read the rest of this entry

The river

He has his reasons

I know why Heraclitus cries

Picture the Marvel I first encountered, as a multi-year pile roughly centered on 1971: comics as physical objects are pure junk product; the brand is known to everyone but beholden to nobody; the Perfect Film & Chemical Corporation (soon renamed Cadence) seeks Hollywood but the actual product is still selling ad space to X-Ray Specs and plastic rats. Read the rest of this entry

Looking for a hero

1976, presented in comics form 1987

1976, presented in comics form 1987

BONUS POST: Thanks to Larry Lade and his April pledge at the Doctor Xaos Patreon! Lockdown first: I’m restricting this conversation to the first six-issue series Marshal Law (collected as Fear and Loathing), because both further development of the line and fandom have defiled it, frag them. I bought it issue by issue in 1987-1988, delighted and stunned.

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Man of steel

That is awesome

One of the finest punch motion-lines in comics history.

Um … you do see who he is, right? Down to almost exactly the same powers? No mask, but a secret identity anyway, via an alias? Breaking chains all the time? Alien to comfortably ordinary folks? Flatly cut off from his original identity and home, yet not even the hint of emotional crisis or a personality disorder? Confronting thugs on the one hand and tycoons on the other, too, in a world where “law and order” is not necessarily something to be on the side of.

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All about the pie

Pfeh, you are not actually upset yet.

Pfeh, you are not actually upset yet.

Just a minute here to talk about a comics supervillain whose type doesn’t figure into Doctor Xaos, neither lesser nor ultra, but rather personal, who is primarily dangerous due to what he knows, how he’s related to the hero through ordinary ties, and what flips his switch.

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Buddha on the road, Steve! Get’im!

Pacifism my ass.

Enlightenment, raised consciousness, homicide, & saving the universe all at once, man.

BONUS POST: Thanks to Markku Tuovinen and his April pledge at the Doctor Xaos Patreon! Two Steves actually, one named Englehart and one named Strange, and one was writing the other, but sometimes, I’m not entirely sure which way that ran.

Shall I introduce you to some interacting influences of the 1970s? I shall. Any resemblance to me in my pre- to mid-teens persons living or dead is probably accurate.

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Doom’s face

FF #10, postmodern R us

FF #10, Stan & Jack in “postmodern R us”

In the unbelievably awesome Fantastic Four Annual #2, when Victor von Doom puts on his mask for the first time, a minion protests, “But master, it has not completely cooled yet!” and in the from-behind panel when he’s putting it on, vapor rises from the contact point to remind us of how hot it was.

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K.C. Ryan

Summer '87

Summer ’88

I don’t exactly remember how they came to contact me, maybe due to some embarrassing letters published in some comics (maybe more than “some”), but I was invited to join The Clobberin’ Times Amateur Press Alliance when it was begun by Tim Watts and Mike O’Connell of Sacramento, California, in the summer of 1988. The topic was any-and-all things Champions, meaning the roleplaying game published by Hero Games, then in its third edition (1985) and – although gaming culture seems to have forgotten – considered at the time simply the most with-it, solid RPG in the hobby.

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