Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Willaim Gaines Wednesday double feature

Since we had two DC - centric posts I thought about putting the next chapter of Spider - Girl on the blog and have another WEBSLINGING WEDNESDAY but is there a better way to start off the month of March than to honor one of the most important pioneers of comic books ?

I know this sounds a bit like the usual hyperbole but keep in mind that William Gaines took a floundering comic book company and turned it into the most successful comic publisher that was kicking all the others butt.

His comics Tales From The Crypt, The Vault Of Horror and The Haunt Of Fear were without any competitors so that it took the combined forces of Frederic Wertham, the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency and the rest of the comic publishers to bring him down. Of course the loss of one is the gain of another and while William Gaines ceased publishing most of his horror titles for the less successful new trend titles he concentrated on a new magazine that would not be subject to the restrictions put on comic books that became a cult publication for a whole generation : MAD magazine. Anyway, if you haven´t guessed from the title of this blog I am a huge fan of the EC cult horror comics that were among the best comics ever published - back then and even now in the 21st century - so Today I have selected some material from those cult classics from Yesteryear.  

Because it was too difficult to choose a selection of art from all the EC comic stuff I have amassed over the last few months - and because I like to post original art - I have decided to go with complete stories which narrowed it down quite a bit. And since I also like to post the colored pages next to the original black and white pages there were not that many stories left. The first one I have picked for Today´s post is Southern Hospitality from THE VAULT OF HORROR 19 by EC stalwart Johnny Craig.

Our second story is Wined - Up from one of the less known EC series CRIME SUSPENSE STORIES 19, which is the reason I couldn´t find any of the colored pages. Nevertheless I wanted to include it in the post because it was drawn by one of my favorite EC artists, George Evans.

It´s fitting that with my 825th post we return to the roots of the blog which means that post number 900 is only 75 posts away. I don´t think I can meet that goal at this years blog anniversary in April but maybe it´s possible for my birthday. Who knows ? As always there are a few people to thank and the usual links of interest starting with the original art of Wally Wood´s cover for Shock SuspenStories 6 which I found on Dan Nadel´s review of IDW´s Wally Wood´s EC Stories : Artist´s Edition on THE COMICS JOURNAL . Speaking of finding things, while I did not find any color pages from Crime Suspense Stories 19 I found another story by George Evans The Assassin from Shock SuspenStories 17 on CREEPY COMICS and JACK`S ATTIC has a post on The Most Infamous Comic Book Cover of All Time which is Crime SuspenStories 22 with a few homage covers thrown in. 

We start Today´s rather long entertainment block with Sterling Gates, one of the writers on the Supergirl tv show who celebrates his 36th birthday.

The show has really picked up steam since it went over to the CW as they have fixed most of the things that were not so good on the first season.

One of the best changes was that they finally stopped ignoring Superman and brought him into the fold. Not only that, they managed to bring a version of Superman to the screen that is better than anything we will see in Zack Snyder´s upcoming Justice League movies ( we will come to Zack later as he also has an anniversary Today ). I have just watched the latest episode of Supergirl Yesterday - which had Helen Slater and Dean Cain in it - so what I want to know is if they will have Teri Hatcher in an episode. And what´s really on everybody´s mind : will they introduce a new version of Power Girl ? With all the parallel earths they have visited in the Arrow / Flash universe lately it could even be an asian Power Girl .... hint, hint.

Apropos magical cleavage windows, real life Power Girl Anna Semenovich turns 37 who also could easily fill out that role or star in any Russ Meyer movie with her bonerinducing 43E ( !!! ) bust. I don´t know what it is with former female athletes that makes them boob out that much after ending their career ( you may remember hungarian gymnasts Csisztu Zsuzsa and Stefany Hohnjec who turned into mega endowed brabusters ) but I guess that when they stop with the doping it gives the female hormones that have been suppressed so long a chance to come back with a vengeance and turn them into the ultimate Sexbomben. Now in the case of former figure skater Anna Semenovich I don´t want to say she was born for porn ( which totally could be the title of a reality tv casting show for porn stars in spe ) but nomen est omen and she has the word " semen " in her name.

We are staying with hot women as Erika Michelle Barre celebrates her 38th birthday. On her info sheet it says that she was PLAYBOY´s Cyber Girl of the Week in the third week of June 2001, Cyber Girl of the Month for October 2001 and Cyber Girl of the Year for 2002 and I´m not entirely sure what that means. What I do know is that around that time I was reading PLAYBOY magazines on a less regular basis so that I only remember the more exceptional playmates and Erika was in one of the issues I did read.

Speaking of things I used to do, Jensen Ackles is just one year older than Erika with 39 and he´s of course best known as Dean Winchester on Supernatural. I always watched the show with my brother but at some point he lost interest and we still have half a dozen episodes on the recording device in the living room nobody uses anymore. I don´t have the slightest idea at which season we were IF I wanted to continue and since all the episodes are heavily cut in Germany I haven´t bought any of the seasons on DVD even though they are in every amazon DVD sales.

Besides Supernatural Jensen also played Jason Teague on Smallville and was the voice of Jason Todd / Red Hood in the animated adaption of Under The Red Hood. Which for me was not that good of an adaption because it did not really translate Doug Mahnke´s style into animated form. I don´t know but am I the only one who sees these things ? When I hear how well they turned The Dark Knight Returns, Batman : Year One or The Killing Joke into cartoons I can only facepalm. I mean those cartoons look nothing like Frank Miller, David Mazuchelli or Brian Bolland´s artwork.

Or Superman / Batman : Public Enemies for instance did not look like Ed McGuiness art. He turns 43 Today. I´m not sure if the movie incorporated one of the most famous panels of Power Girl´s entire history from issue 4 of Superman / Batman ( it all comes back to Power Girl Today, mates ).

Speaking of Ed McGuniess version of Power Girl, there´s a review of the ... can I say toy or is it Power Girl action figure ? ... by Artemis on OAFE . You know, after I did the post for Grant Morrison´s birthday last month I naturally found the first issues of Justice League Classified and said to myself that I will post the first issue on Ed McGuiness´ birthday but now I don´t think I can do two posts on one day so I will have to post pone it.

What I can´t delay is mentioning Javier Bardem´s 48th birthday if I ever want to go back to Spain. I just saw him in the 89th Academy Awards Yesterday where he presented an Oscar together with Meryl Streep.

Which is one of the reasons why there has been no post since Friday ( the other reasons being such mundane things like eating, sleeping, putting the finishing touches on two posts and cleaning up all the material I needed for that ) as it was not easy finding the show. Now personally there is always something that bugs me about Jimmy Kimmel - even after I found out how the whole Matt Damon thing started - but I have to say, apart from the snafu at the end he did a good job. And speaking of the 2017 Oscars, is it just me or did Taraji P Henson have the best dress ?

Now I may be biased here but for me the best moments of the show involved Taraji P Henson - and free food. There have been a few jokes about this but we all know how it is at these shows, you don´t eat before it because you don´t want to have to go to the can so often since you can bet money on it that the moment you go to relieve yourself is the moment they call up your name. And especially women don´t eat before shows to fit into their dresses. So one can get pretty hungry during long shows and when there are snacks dropping from the ceiling you go for it.

So far I have not watched Empire because at the moment the first two season are still expensive but if it´s true that there are some nude scenes with Taraji ( which I doubt since it has a rating of apt for 12 year olds here in Germany ) I may have to look for a way to see it. Man, Taraji really has some lucky lips and it looks like her mouth is just the right size too. She can come over to my crib and play Swallow the Salami all weekend long.

For more Oscar glamour check out GIFs and picture of Taraji P Henson in her Oscar dress at LAINEY GOSSIP and more Oscar 2017 GIFs at COMPLEX .

So far we had the good DC adaption with the CW´s Supergirl, the bad with the animated versions which leaves us with the ugly meaning the works of Zack Snyder who celebrates his 51st birthday. It´s funny but before Batman vs Superman : Dawn of Justice came out people were up in arms because Ben Affleck was going to play Batman and they shoehorned a Wonder Woman cameo into the movie. Now they are upset because Ben will not be in the next DC movies which means total disaster will ensue because only his constant rewrites of the screenplay saved the movie and the best parts were the ones with Wonder Woman played by Gal Gadot. 

I am not sure what to think of this Zack Snyder guy. While I couldn´t care less for Sucker Punch I did like 300 and Watchmen as I seem to be one of the few ones who understands that you can´t cram an entire 12 issue mini series ( I´m not going to call it a graphic novel even if DC´s marketing branch insists on calling it the best sold graphic novel of all times ) into a two hour movie. Or it might have something to do with the fact that I am one of only a handful of comic fans on the planet who does prefer Mark Gruenwald´s Squadron Supreme series over Alan Moore´s Watchmen.

Apropos, I think Zack Snyder is still trying to do Watchmen because he does not know that the DC universe is not the Watchmen universe. I can see that Dawn of Justice is the logical consequence of the way Superman behaved in Man of Steel ( which was totally out of character and shows that Zack does not understand Superman and super heroes at all ) but there is too much happening in the movie. There are so many moving parts that I totally missed the death of Superman - which I think was supposed to be a major plot point. I kid you not, when they mentioned that Superman was dead at the beginning of Suicide Squad I was like " Whoa, WTF, when did that happen ? " Anyway, here is a little video to show Mr. Snyder that you can have super heroes behave in a heroic way. 

Picking Today´s music video was not easy because we have everything from Roger Daltrey to Harry Belafonte and Glenn Miller and you probably expected me to go with Nik Kershaw as an 80s kid. But in the end I choose Sarah Hickman who turns 54. I picked the song Blue Eyes Are Sensitive To The Light written by Martika of the Arachnophobia soundtrack because I think this was the first song I heard of her. Back then teenage Subzero was a frequent movie goer and I was interested in everything about the movies so when I heard this haunting song I had to look her up and the next time I was at the CD shop ( this was before you bought everything from amazon and the internet shops ) I bought her album Shortstop. Which did not have that song on it nor did the other songs sound anything like it. I still liked the music and played the CD nonstop for a few months.

Today we really cover a lot of movies and tv shows like with our next birthday candidate Dirk Benedict who celebrates his 72nd birthday and who always plays the aceman, the spaceman in Battle Star Galactica and the faceman in The A - Team. Where he basically plays himself since you can see Dirk on the set of Battlestar Galactica in the A - Team intro.

We start the Dearly Departed section with Sir David Niven whose movie credit list is much too long to mention so I just want to bring up that he starred in the best adaption of Jules Verne´s classic Around The World In 80 Days alongside mexican superstar Cantinflas as Passepartout. It seems the videos I bookmarked from various adaptions have been deleted but luckily I came across a version by Rankin Bass last week. I still am not sure why the style seems so familiar. Maybe it has something to do with MAD ?

Our last birthday shoutout goes to Roger Delgado born as Roger Ceasar Marius Bernard de Delgado Torres Castillo Roberto ( as someone who has experienced the difficulties german bureaucracy has with a guy that has four names I can understand why he felt the need to shorten his name ) who shaped Doctor Who´s classic best frenemy the Master. Together with Unit he was one of the mainstays of John Pertwee´s tenure of the earth bound timelord and they not only had great on - screen chemistry they also were best friends. When Roger died in an accident in Turkey John was so devastated that he decided it was time to wrap up his time as the Doctor since he could not imagine continuing the series without him.

There are a few videos with Roger Delgado from Doctor Who but I did not want to pick one that just has some music and opted for this trailer with a lot of scenes from the series to show what a charismatic villain Roger was.

Man, I thought I would never get to the end of this post. I would say you are really getting your money´s worth for this 825th post but you don´t have to pay anything and I most definitely don´t get any money out of this. Since this post is in honor of William Gaines I am not closing things out with one of the many documentaries about the Tales From The Crypt movies or tv series. Instead here is a look at the artists of EC Comics. This is part of a documentary I already posted but this clip has a better quality.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

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