Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Amazed by Aparo : Batman & the Outsiders

Today is Jim Aparo´s birthday and there´s no better way to celebrate this than to finally do the often postponed BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS post.

Okay, it would be better if I had all the pages, as it is I had to go to CHRIS IS ON INFINITE EARTHS to make this anywhere near comprehensive. You can use the link to read more about the story as I´ve already written about BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS a few times and don´t want to bore my readers with needless repetitions. If you want to know more about the team you can check out my big post on my thoughts about BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS or my post on one of their Christmas stories, issue 19.

To set things up for those who still need an introduction, the first issue of BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS came out in 1983, hot on the heels of the success of THE NEW TEEN TITANS by Marv Wolfman and George Perez.

Team books were the big pull not only at Marvel where AVENGERS and most of all UNCANNY X - MEN by Chris Claremont and John Byrne were their flagship titles but also at DC where JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES were the big sellers. In fact, when DC had to cut down its titles during the big implosion at the end of the 70s the LEGION was one of the few books that sold well and when THE NEW TEEN TITANS came around in November 1980 it practically saved the company. Marvel had nothing to compete with it, not even UNCANNY X - MEN. So DC wanted to see if it was possible to repeat the success with another team book and since they had put Robin in charge of the Titans they formed a new team around one of their most popular characters, Batman. On the creative side they opted for one of the best scribes of the Bat - family Mike W. Barr and for the book´s art they drafted who is - at least in my humble opinion - the quintessential Batman artist Jim Aparo.

Both had just put the finishing touches on Batman´s last team book in the final issue, THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD 200 which featured a lead story by Mike W. Barr with art by Dave Gibbons in which the Batman of Earth 1 and the Batman of Earth 2 fought a villain called Brimstone. The art in the first chapter was done as a clear homage to the BATMAN books in the Silver Age, while the style in the second chapter was more modernized.

Besides the 40 page lead story the issue also featured a 14 page story that introduced the new team of BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS much like the new incarnation of the Teen Titans were first introduced in a 16 page story in DC COMICS PRESENTS 26. At that time I still was reading the german translations so I read the first appearance of Batman and the Outsiders in BATMAN SONDERHEFT 34 while the lead story of THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD 200 was published later, in BATMAN SONDERHEFT 36.

Back to BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS 1, here the formation of that new team was told as well as in issue 2 : Lucius Fox, who is in the european country of Markovia on Wayne Enterprises business gets kidnapped and after Superman and Wonder Woman tell him that the Justice League won´t get involved in the political powderkeg Batman quits the team to go on an undercover rescue mission with Black Lightning. As fate - or writer Mike W. Barr - would have it Katana, Metamorpho, Geo Force and Halo all get sucked into this mess and end up fighting Baron Bedlam. 

Sadly this are all the pages I have. If you know where I can find the rest please use the comments. Now besides CHRIS IS ON INFINITE EARTHS I have to give blogs RANDOM HAPPENSTANCE and THE COMIC TREADMILL kudos who provided the color pages from The Brave And The Bold 200.

COMIC BOOK DAILY has an undervalued spotlight on the issue that also lists his favorite 200 issues, GOTHAM CALLING examines Mike W. Barr´s paradoxical Batman and if you want to read more about the Outsiders SCANS DAILY has a post in two parts on the teams second encounter with Baron Bedlam in which Batman quits the Outsiders ( he was just a quitter in general at that time ) and they meet a clone of Adolf Hitler. Because comics. The art is by Alan Davis on this one and it´s one of his best.


Alex O´Loughlin 40 Hawaii Five - O 

Werner Schmidbauer 55

Steve Guttenberg 58 on Veronica Mars with bikini cult siren Charisma Carpenter and the Police Academy movies about which I have written in posts about Janet Jones Gretzky and Leslie Easterbrook who had the most famous scene of the franchise in which she emerges from a pool in a wet t - shirt . Both posts used to be in one post together with Becky Mullen but I had to put it in three separate post because I upgraded it with a lot of animated GIFs

Stephen Fry 59 whom I know mostly from Bones but according to imdb has also appeared in the tv mini series Doctor Who : Death Comes To Time. Naturally I went to YouTube to check but all I could find was an animated version of the first episode

Orson Scott Card 65

Raven De La Croix 69

the untold legend of batman

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Terry Austin / Alfredo Alcala double feature

Initially I wanted to do just a post for Terry Austin´s 64th birthday but seeing as Today is also the birthday of the late great Alfredo Alcala I decided to turn it into a double feature post. Now I decided to put the art by Terry Austin first because the art from Alfredo Alcala includes double page spreads and I don´t want it to interfere with the stuff on the right.

These pieces are just a few examples as I can´t possibly reduce their long careers in 20 something pictures. I hope my selection brings back some memories or inspires you to seek out art by these exceptional inkers.

Before we come to the other birthdays of the day there are the usual thanks and kudos to give, starting with iFANBOY who provided the page from The Kid Who Collects Spider - Man and you can read all this story by Roger Stern, Ron Frenz and Terry Austin that appeared as a back up feature in Amazing Spider - Man issue 248 on SPIDER - MAN REVIEWS.

The color page from Doctor Strange 19 by Alfredo Alcala is from COMIC BOOK RESOURCES The Abandoned An´ Forsaken post on the series and I found the color double page spread from America Vs The Justice Society Of America ( a great mini series that I cannot recommend enough and which just recently has been released in trade paperback ) on HELENA WAYNE HUNTRESS . For more on the JSA COMIC NEWBIES has a post on the confrontation of the Justice Society Of America Vs Black Lanterns and if you´re not that well versed in JSA lore you can fill your gaps about the History of the Justice Society on COSMICTEAMS . The double page spread from Freddy Krueger´s A Nightmare On Elm Street is from FLAG ON THE MOON who reviews the series and Rob Galluzzo at BLUMHOUSE confirms that Freddy Krueger once had a comic at Marvel. Furthermore Dave K on COMICBOOKSTORIES has a post on Alfredo Alcala´s collaboration with John Buscema on the Hulk story A Very Personal Hell and you can read all about the Forgotten Classic : Alien Legion on FUTURE WAR STORIES .

Our birthdays start with Scott Caan, son of Hollywood legend James Caan who turns 40. Since we had quite a few of his cast members from Hawaii Five - O in this section over the last weeks I´m going to forego the video.

We continue with Joey Cramer who celebrates his 43rd birthday and who is best known for the lead role in Flight Of The Navigator. Speaking about Hawaii Five - O, another of our birthday candidates, australian musician / actor Rick Springfield guest starred on that show who turns 67. He also was on the first Human Target tv series and on High Tide which I watched religiously because it was a full on babe parade as it had sexbombs guest starring of the caliber of Deborah Shelton, Denise Richards, Lucy Lawless, Tanya Roberts, Tracy Scoggins, Krista Allen, Donna D´Errico, Paula Trickey, Julie Benz, Shae Marks ( best known for her roles in the Andy Sidaris movies Day Of The Warrior and Return To Savage Beach ), Lisa Boyle ( best known from her appearances on Married With Children and her countless erotic movies like Dreammaster : The Erotic Invader, Friend Of The Family or her best one I Like To Play Games ) or Rochelle Swanson ( who upgrades every movie she stars in with her steamy performances like On The Border or Secret Games 3 and her erotic thriller Mutual Needs is a must see ! ). Sadly I couldn´t find any animated GIFs from the show so you have to make do with these from the top three hottest sexbombs.

Speaking about cult sirens, Barbara Eden celebrates her 85th birthday who wore one of the sexiest costumes in the classic I Dream Of Jeannie where she starred alongside Larry Hagman of later Dallas fame. Although they put a belt on her because they felt her exposed bellybutton was too erotic. And before you say anything about how the 60s censoring too much when Alyssa Milano was transformed into a genie in an episode of Charmed and she wore a similar costume they covered up her entire midsection as well as her top. Nikki Cox also wore the Jeannie costume ( and filled it quite nicely ) on an Unhappily Ever After episode but I couldn´t find a picture.

Since I also couldn´t find a video of the original episodes that wasn´t cropped here is a german one. They call it Charming Jeannie. Don´t ask.

One of the series Terry Austin worked on was Marvel´s The Further Adventures Of Indiana Jones and Today is also the birthday of River Phoenix who played the young Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. He also appeared in Stephen King´s Stand By Me and Little Nikita. Speaking of Little Nikita, does anybody know who plays the big breasted woman in uniform in the movie ? According to my research it might either be Kim Strange or Ingrid M. Rhoads who also was in Dragnet.

It´s also Gene Kelly´s birthday so I DO get to post the trailer for An American In Paris after all. Did I mention that it´s my favorite musical ?

Another series Terry Austin inked is Doctor Strange and since there is an upcoming movie looming on the horizon here is an explanation who he is.

Usually I don´t post videos where somebody just pulls out his comic collection and talks about a certain artist but unlike most videos where you only get a lot of covers here the guy cracks open the comic books and actually shows some Alfredo Alcala interior art filmed in good quality.

To make up for not having a real music video we end this post with the intros for the best cartoon series of all time. Apparently. The video is about 45 minutes of german intros - which I thought might be interesting for my readers abroad - and I have to confess I knew only half of them.

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