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Ghetto Man ‘roasts’ the SuperHeroes, 1979
11:14 am


DC Comics

Legends Of The SuperHeroes was the name given to two Hanna-Barbera-produced live action TV specials from the late 1970s. Batman’s Adam West and Burt Ward once again donned their capes and cowls (which fit a bit tighter by that time) for these lowbrow atrocities which were about on the same level as Donny & Marie and featured an obvious laugh track.

In the second special, “The Roast,” Ed McMahon himself served as the master of ceremonies while various lame insults were leveled at the chuckling, good-natured costumed do-gooders.

In this clip, uh… “Ghetto Man,” an, er… “inner-city,” “urban” superhero (who has the most shit super hero costume ever) tries to bring the funny and (for the most part) fails miserably. I did like the joke about how all superheroes look the same to him, though.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Prince, His Purple Badness as a DC Comics Superhero
02:06 pm


DC Comics

From what I can tell, Alter Ego, the three-issue story originally published by Titan Books in Great Britain in 1991 and then re-published by Piranha Music/DC Comics, is a subtle piece of work. The comic appears to present Prince’s own famously bad self in the frame of a superhero, but it’s unclear whether he has any superhuman powers or anything like that. In effect, it’s the Prince origin story, a la Purple Rain, but with a big superhero-style archenemy plot thrown in. It’s a glib comparison, but writer Dwayne McDuffie and penciler Denys Cowan appear to borrow liberally from the Batman mythos, and in 1991 no name was bigger in the Batman comics world than Frank Miller. (For the record, the lettering was done by Bob Lappan, Noelle Giddings did the coloring, and the covers were by Brian Bolland.)

So basically, if you took Purple Rain and mashed it up with The Dark Knight Returns, you’d have something an awful lot like Alter Ego (which, yes, is available on Amazon).

According to a 2008 post from commenter “robinesque” on the message boards, “It is basicly the story from the love symbol album. the princess and the three chains of gold.” In that same thread commenter “jonnymon” summarizes the contents of the three issues:

The 1st to come out is the one with Prince on the motorcycle. It’s basically a comic book history of Prince’s musical career. Best part is at the end where the book says there is a huge rivalry going on between P and MJ, and that they hate each other. Even says that at the end of the Batdance song, Prince is screaming “MICHAEL JACKSON”....when we all know he is saying “DON’T STOP DANCIN’!”

2nd book, with the yellow cloud guitar, has P as a muscian/superhero saving the world from a rival musician called “Spooky Electric” and his mind controlling beats. Best scene here is when Prince steps up to a group of thugs and basically threatens to beat their ass, to which the cowar like dogs. Gotta admit, Jet Lee wishes he had some of the kung fu moves P displays in this book.

Last book is semi-based off of the song “7”. Prince is on tour and must save Princess Mayte from evil-doers that wish to cause her harm. Wish I could remember a scene from this one, but I know P is more James Bond/Jason Bourne than the androgonist rock star we know in this title.

All three are great, and as a side note, I believe the Cloud Guitar cover won an award for the best comic cover for that year. Brian Boland is the artist and really did a great job.

Earlier today James Harvey tweeted several panels from the Alter Ego sequence, which is how I came to hear about it. Here are his tweets in chronological order:


More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
DC Comics release cannabis-smelling scratch ‘n’ sniff Harley Quinn annual

DC Comics’ launch of the first-ever Harley Quinn annual is certain to raise a major stink with readers—quite literally, as the seasonal special is a “Rub ‘n’ Smell Spectacular,” giving readers the chance to scratch ‘n’ sniff such aromas as pizza, leather, suntan lotion, and “what’s referred to in the story as “cannabisylocibe 7-A”—that is to say, cannabis.

Yes, the waft of cannabis will emanate from the noxious pages of the Harley Quinn Annual this festive season, but only for those readers in America. Can you imagine the trouble DC Comics might find themselves in if they exported this weed-smelling comic book to, say, the UK, where sniffers would be scrabbling and salivating over the “Rub ‘n’ Smell” contents?

As DC warns “you, readers”:

This issue stinks! Seriously! Like, unpleasant odors are literally in the story! In this first-ever HQ ANNUAL, take a trip to Harley’s home of Coney Island in a groundbreaking “scent-ticular” issue, featuring actual, honest-to-gosh smells. This issue comes polybagged to contain the stench.

Harley Quinn is a supervillain created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and voiced by Arleen Sorkin for Batman: The Animated Series starting in 1992. Harley then reappeared in the comic Batman Adventures from 1993 on, where she often turned up as the girlfriend of the caped crusader’s arch nemesis the Joker and as an accomplice/friend to Poison Ivy.

The “Rub ‘n’ Smell” content is a certainly novel way to get free advertising from news and blog copy for Harley Quinn’s debut annual and also to generate a few extra sales from the curious. If you want a sniff, you can order your copy here. For those who want to know before they buy ... you can read a review here. Below, everything you need to know about Harley Quinn….

H/T Nerdcore

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
DC Comics denies use of Superman logo for statue of child murder victim
05:01 pm

Pop Culture

DC Comics

Jeffrey Baldwin
Oh, lawyers. You gotta love ‘em.

In 2002, Jeffrey Baldwin of Toronto died of starvation at the age of five after severe abuse at the hands of his grandparents, Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman. The grandparents were convicted child abusers but Jeffrey and several siblings were still handed into their care by a children’s aid organization after concerns arose that the parents were abusing their children. Jeffrey and a sister were locked in a bathroom for days on end, where they were forced to live in their own filth. Court testimony revealed that Bottineay and Kidman were interested in custody of the two children for the government checks they would collect. Jeffrey died of starvation on November 30, 2002. Kidman and Bottineau, were convicted of second-degree murder in 2006.

According to Wikipedia, Jeffrey’s case led to significant changes in policy by children’s aid societies in the granting of custody of children to relatives.

In happier days, the boy was a Superman fan who was even photographed wearing the classic uniform. According to his father, Richard Baldwin, “He wanted to fly. ... He tried jumping off the chair. We had to make him stop. He dressed up [as Superman] for Halloween one year. … He was so excited. I have that picture at home hanging on my wall. He was our little man of steel.”
Jeffrey Baldwin
A Toronto resident named Todd Boyce was so moved by this story—revealed in a long delayed inquest into the death earlier this year—that he started an indiegogo crowdfunding project to create a statue for the poor boy. The project had an initial goal of $25,000 (Canadian dollars), but raised in excess of $36,000. Noted Ontario sculptor Ruth Abernethy has completed the sculpture but it is now at a foundry waiting to be cast into bronze. The sculpture features Baldwin wearing his favorite garment—a shirt with the famous Superman logo.

The City of Toronto sought assurances that the monument would not violate any copyright laws before granting Boyce’s request to have the monument placed in Greenwood Park, near where Jeffrey grew up.

According to the Toronto Star, DC has denied the request.

DC’s senior vice-president of business and legal affairs, Amy Genkins, told Boyce in an email that “for a variety of legal reasons, we are not able to accede to the request, nor many other incredibly worthy projects that come to our attention.”

DC declined to comment.

Boyce feels that the Superman aspect was a crucial part of the bronze monument, which will include a bench: “I’m sort of empathetic to (DC’s) point of view on this, but I feel very strongly that the image of Jeffrey is so powerful. It’s the image of a vulnerable boy dressed up as the most invulnerable character in the universe. So I just feel like there’s something lost if we change it.”

Reluctantly, Boyce is going to have the “S” on the statue changed to a “J” for Jeffrey.

Via The Beat

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Kev Harper the Talent Behind Scheme Comix

Glasgow has a wealth of graphic artists who illustrate for Marvel or DC or their own imprints, like the Hope Street Studios or Kev Harper, the major talent behind Scheme Comix. The reason Glasgow has such an array of artistic talent, so the story goes, stems from the influx of American comics during the fifties, sixties and seventies, which were carried as ballast in the cargo ships that unloaded their goods along the docks of the River Clyde. The ballast was unpacked and then split into packages of comics sold across the city in kiosks and book stalls to eager kids.

For me, it Spiderman halfway-up a skyscraper fighting the Lizard, aka Dr Curt Connors (issue 76, fact fans) that turned me on to the power of graphic art. A few words can easily create a fictional world - ‘The cellar in the castle was dark and gauzed with cobwebs, the only light came from a flickering candelabra that limned the shape of a coffin, on the flagstone floor, its lid askew, and the white of old flesh glimmering inside.’  But to illustrate such a world takes time, dedication, patience and considerable talent. When I first bought these comics, I’d often skip the words just to pore over the fantastic illustrations, frame-by-frame, by the likes of Steve Ditko and John Romita Sr. The excitement and sheer bloody joy these artists inspired is akin to that achieved by Kev Harper with Scheme Comix.

Just a few years ago, when still a student at Glasgow’s College of Building and Printing, Kev Harper put out the first Scheme Comix:

My original idea was to do a ‘zine which was purely for the love of doing it so the first issue featured two strips, one by myself and the other by a classmate who I sort of pressured into contributing, I printed them up on a photo copier and then left them in pubs, record shops, comic shops basically anywhere they’d have the best chance of being picked up.

I’m lucky enough to know some very talented people so Scheme quickly became a show case for our comics & illustrations. My main strip at the time was Deadbeat74 which was a shameless attempt at trying to be the Glasgow Harvey Pekar and that’s how it carried on for I think it was 6 issues and then it just kind of got sidelined until this year when I decided to re work the idea and put out a new issue (numbered issue #1) as part of my degree in digital art.

Scheme Comic # 1 contained several different strips: Joe King, Future Detective which plants a Chandleresque P.I. in a sci-fi landscape, reviews have described Joe King as “excellent” and “an enjoyable pulpy read.”  Next up is, Space Kittens 1,2,3,4! follows the adventures of an all-female space crew, which has been parised for its “great artwork and witty lines.” While Dining with St Peter, is “a delightful” stand off between two beings with super powers and Break on Through: A Journey Beyond the 4th Dimension! has been described by Comic Bookbin as:

...a story with a fantastic twist that wouldn’t be out of place on The Outer limits or Armchair Theatre. Once again, Kev Harper gives us inspired visuals to feast on and T. Bye gives us a story to give us goose bumps.

The final tale, Tijuana Bible co. is the adventures of two drifters on the road. Scheme Comix takes the form of a traditional UK comic, with many different story lines; but it does in the style and with the ease of the very best US comic.

What are your influences?

I’ve always loved comics but recently the whole medium seems obsessed with being “dark” and ultra violent which in my opinion is a hangover from people trying to emulate Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns for the last 20 years. For me unless it’s in books such as Hard Boiled or Preacher it’s just boring so with Scheme Comix I wanted to try and make it a Sci-Fi anthology that was fun like the early issues of 2000 AD used to be. So I started looking at things like the original Flash Gordon and Dick Tracy comics and trying to come up with ideas that would be adventurous and entertaining so out of that came the Joe King: Future Detective strip.

The biggest problem for me is that even though I can just about string a simple story together I’m in no way a writer but like I’ve already said luckily I know some very talented people so with some gentle persuasion I got the excellent Cramps inspired Tijuana Bible Co. by the equally excellent Sharon Irvine and Dining with St.Peter by David Walker, who came highly recommended to me and did not disappoint. Along side them I managed to get some top editorial work from Louise C. Davis (then Gordon) and some help from the guys at Root Creative, that’s when it all really came together

What sort of response has Scheme Comix had?

So far, touch wood we’ve had nothing but excellent feedback from all our reviews particularly from a personal point of view for the Space Kittens 1234 strip which was inspired by a Glasgow based punk band I used to go see (I have to shout out a big thank you to Penny and Shona for getting behind it) but I’m pleased most by the response from everyone who has bought a copy of Scheme Comix.

Kev has proven he is a major talent, who can draw with the best of them, and with such talent at the helm, Scheme Comix has a great future ahead.
More from Kev Harper’s ‘Scheme Comix’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Holy mid-life crisis Batman: Replica Batmobiles for sale, just $150,000
12:25 pm

Pop Culture

DC Comics

At one point, frankly, to actually own a replica of the Batmobile would have been my #1 goal in my life. Of course I was 9-years-old then, but knowing that this is out there, gives me a reason to keep living.

Gizmodo lays out the details of the officially licensed (from DC Comics) replica Batmobiles from Fiberglass Freaks:

• Rocket exhaust flamethrower works (YES!)
• Show-car quality paint job.
• Car sports Radir wheels with accurately shaped bat spinners.
• Brand new GM 350 crate engine and brand new transmission.
• Center console aluminum trim
• Five light flasher, steering bezel, door sill chevron plates, “chrome-painted seat buckets, and even the very knobs, buttons and T handles are molded from vintage equipment.”
• Five highly-polished aluminum roll top dashboard doors that glide open.
• Red beacon light.
• Batbeam antenna grid raises between the front windshields.
• Detect-a-scope radar screen glows green.
• DVD player that plays on the LCD screen in the dash.
• Hood and trunk raise and lower with actuator switches.
• High-end stereo to play back the original Batman theme or the Prince one.

I’m sure $150,000 is a bargain when it comes to a loaded bespoke superhero car, but you would have to be Bruce Wayne to afford this sucker. Oh well, I can dream.

(On another note, this hopped-up hotrod isn’t exactly a “babe magnet”, now, is it?!?!)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment