Today is Alan Davis 61st birthday so we take another look at what should have been one of Marvel´s best selling mutant books of the 1980s - and it would have been if the title had been X - CALIBUR instead of EXCALIBUR.
Now last year I posted the complete EXCALIBUR - THE SWORD IS DRAWN graphic novel by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis. The idea was to bring more attention to this severely underrated and underappreciated by comicfandom in general series. I don´t know if it was really my post that got things going but soon after the first Epic Collection was announced that reprinted this book. There had been trades before but most of them were out of print at that time so I´m glad that at least the first 11 issues of the series are out there again and can hopefully find a new audience.
Which is why instead of just doing a post with Alan Davis best inked pages - or at least the best ones I could find - I had to make it difficult for myself and make another EXCALIBUR - centric post. First the idea was to include stuff from the issues reprinted in the Epic Collection but then I decided to go for quality instead which brought the dilemma that most of the pages ( the bulk of them was found at HERITAGE AUCTIONS ) are from later issues. So this is less a celebration of the first 11 issues - although there is a page from the second issue - and more a taste of things to come. As usual I am posting the color versions alongside the black and white art but this time I couldn´t find any good original color pages. One last thing I want to clear up before we get to the wonderful art pages by Alan Davis.
For me the title of the graphic novel was not a good choice since it panders to one of the biggest common misconceptions concerning the arthurian legend. Excalibur was NOT the sword in the stone. Arthur pulls the sword out of the stone looking for a sword but the sword in the stone got destroyed later on and THEN the Lady in the Lake gives him Excalibur.
Since I always knew I was going to return to Alan Davis´ Excalibur there are a few links I kept from posting like GENTLEMEN OF LEISURE which has a post on Excalibur 16. Originally I wanted to save it for my second post on the Marvel Visionaries : Chris Claremont but since it will be in the next Epic Collection of Excalibur ( at least if the continue with the issues 12 and onwards that contain The Cross Time Caper, and don´t jump forward in continuity like they did with many other series ) I´m including it here.
PSYCHOADCOMICS examines Excalibur 43 as does SCANS DAILY which has a double feature with Excalibur 48 that introduces Nightcrawler´s new team : Nightcrawler´s Technet and THE ROBOT´S VOICE has 8 Exceedingly WTF Moments in Chris Claremont´s Excalibur Comics. Since we are on the subject of WTF moments in Excalibur, Brian Cronin in his column The Abandoned An´ Forsaked on COMIC BOOK RESOURCES takes a look at the Excalibur Special : The Possession that f - worded Alan Davis´ plans for the series up so badly he felt the need to address this in an issue of his run and take that story apart bit by bit. To wrap things up, one of the fan favorite members of Excalibur is the beloved Kitty Pryde and since I will probably never do a spotlight on her here is MARVEL COMICS OF THE 1980s four part series Growing Up With Pryde ( part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4 ).
Aside from the usual list of comic related birthdays I missed since my last post but which I covered in previous years like Ross Andru , Herbert Feuerstein , Brent Anderson and Neal Adams ( who got a DC post and a Marvel post ) I want to give an honorable mention to german Power Girl Sibylle Rauch. She celebrated her 57th birthday on the 14th of June and she was one of the biggest ( 38D ! ) erotic actresses back in the day.
Before becoming one of the most successful porn stars with one of the biggest german porn companies ( her sales records breaking movie BORN TO LOVE even guest starred british porn superstar Sarah Louise Young ) Sibylle played in a lot of the erotic movies that swept Germany in the 80s but her most famous roles were in the israeli series of erotic comedies EIS AM STIEL ( Lemon Popsicle in english ) that were among the most watched movies in Germany at that time. The movies follow a trio of friends on a quest to loose their virginity and as usual sex hijinks and breasts ensue.
Sibylle used that popularity to jump start a singing career ( this was the time when women with big breasts like Sabrina Salerno, Danuta
or Samantha Fox became big stars thanks to the predominance of music videos ) and she was the publisher - as well as the face and body - of the german HUSTLER from 1992 till 1995. She did a lot of cocaine and I thought she had died in 1997 but apparently she survived her suicide attempt.
And we continue Todays birthdays with another bigbreasted sexbomb that was born to do porn. Paula Abdul who turns 55 was the Carmen Electra of my generation as she shook her booty like there´s no Tomorrow and slid her centerfold body up and down stripper poles like a real professional in videos like Crazy Cool. To the young kids she´s known as the crazy and drunk judge on American Idol and I´m not sure if I should be sorry or glad about missing all those episodes because Paula´s XXL porn cleavage gave the term " push up " a new definition. Or should I say a new dimension ?
Are we really to believe Simon Cowell never taped that ? Man, if Paula would have been my co host I´d be f - wording her brains out in her trailer every chance I get. I mean from what you hear Paula Abdul was like a cat in heat around Simon. Anyway, while Paula and Simon Cowell repeated the experience ( at least one of the two ) on The X - Factor Paula is not one of the judges on The X - Factor UK. Nevertheless I decided to post another performance by 4th Power from that show. They seem to go by the name of 4th Impact now but I´m too tired to go back and change all of the tags.
We also have some comic related birthdays Today starting with Shaky Kane, one of the deranged masterminds behind The Bulletproof Coffin and The Bulletproof Coffin : Disinterred who has reached the big 60. Or maybe he IS really just a figment of our collective imagination and there is no real Shaky Kane. Be that as it may what IS most definitely real are the Bulletproof Coffin comic books which longtime readers of this blog may remember me pimping as the best comic you are not reading and also the best new version of WATCHMEN without trying to be the new version of WATCHMEN. High praise indeed but I am not kidding you it´s all deserved.
I discovered this comic thanks to Terry Hooper´s fantastic blog COMIC BITS ONLINE ( which you all should follow religiously as long as it lasts ) and if I should describe it to somebody in a short sentence I would probably say it is Alan Moore and Grant Morrison going on a peyote induced trip after drinking too much tequila drawn by Jack Kirby meets Geoff Darrow with every pop culture thing you love thrown in from dinosaurs to zombies.
I know that a lot of people are put off by the art reminiscent of old pulp comics but let me tell you it does not only grow on you from issue to issue but while you read you suddenly understand why it couldn´t possibly be drawn in any other art style. This comic has my highest recommendation and if you don´t enjoy the heck out of this comic you are probably not a genuine pop culture geek and only picked up a comic because it´s trendy.
And it´s okay if you don´t believe me, but before you say " Hogwash ! " and turn your attention to other things maybe you would rather put your trust in Nevs Coleman on FILTHY ORPHAN or P. M. Buchan at STARBURST who has everything you need to know about The Bulletproof Coffin new and old in one place. JOSHUA MALBIN has a short review of the first issue of The Bullteproof Coffin with some preview pages and if you are not afraid of spoilers got to David Brothers post on COMICS ALLIANCE for the complete first issue plus some preview pages from issue 5 ( he also has a post on the special cut - up technique used in The Bulletproof Coffin : Disinterred issue 5 ) or you can read COMICS RECOMMENDED´s spoiler filled review of the first series and THE OUTHOUSERS has some preview pages from the first issue of The Bulletproof Coffin : Disinterred book.
The birthdays continue with Kathleen Turner who celebrates her 63rd. To tell you the truth I never understood her type casting as femme fatale but I guess it has to do more with her voice than anything else since she was chosen to be the voice of Jessica Rabbit and Jessica sounds hot like hell.
Who looks like a real life version of the toon with the impossible curves every man dreams about is italian MILF Celina Rucci. Longtime readers may remember that I posted a video of her in a previous post. Like I predicted the video was erased from YouTube but luckily I had made some GIFs and I could substitute the original video with another one from the same scene.
With Celina´s obvious resemblance to Jessica Rabbit it was only a matter of time before she took on that role and what better opportunity could present itself than the argentinian strip show Bailando Para Un Sueno ?
We start the section of the dearly departed with another comic birthday, Robert Kanigher who co - created a lot of characters that I enjoyed in the pages of Jim Aparo´s The Brave and The Bold like Ragman, Rose and Thorn and the Metal Man, the last two with aforementioned artist Ross Andru.
He also co created characters like Poison Ivy, The Viking Prince, Enemy Ace, The Losers, The Unknown Soldier, The Haunted Tank, The Sea Devils, The Losers, Sgt. Rock and the original version of the Suicide Squad.
We stay with comic related anniversaries and the late Mark Gruenwald, one of the most beloved creators at Marvel. One of his pet projects was the Squadron Supreme which in my opinion is a much better comic than Watchmen. While Alan Moore and David Gibbons mini series has its place in comic history they didn´t have to work in an already established continuity and so didn´t have to leave the characters intact for further use. So they had it easy and I don´t doubt that Mark Gruenwald would have created something at least as good under the same circumstances.
There have been many versions of the team since and the last one I bought was the mini series about the Squadron Sinister - the evil incarnation of the team that first appeared in the Avengers - by Carlos Pacheco that was one of the few readable New Secret Wars tie ins ( I can´t call it Secret Wars because whatever you might think about the quality of Secret Wars or Secret Wars II at least those were original ideas ). The series was a huge success which according to Carlos Pacheco is due in part to the fact that Guggenheim is an even bigger fanboy than him.
Now usually I try to include a cartoon video in my posts and readers who have stumbled upon this post before it´s final version may remember that for a brief time there was a video with a deleted scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit ? instead of the one by Celina Rucci. What happened was that I found that while looking for the video of April Hunter dressed up as Jessica Rabbit. I also found the video below of a very rare PayPerView so I also included it. But then I came across the video with Celina Rucci - which I naturally had completely forgotten - and since she´s hotter than April Hunter I threw out the video with the deleted scene. Keeping with my own guidelines for the selection of videos I should have substituted the video below with a cartoon video but as I said these kind of videos are hard to come by, especially exclusive all female wrestling events.
Speaking of rare finds on YouTube, for my german readers I´m including the pilot of Stingray, one of the best tv series with the very underrated Nick Mancuso in the lead role. Ah, the good old days when all you needed to fight crime, corruption and injustice was a fast car. Tv can be so easy.
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But if both are defending themselves it IS fighting.