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Vintage Japanese comic based on ‘Jaws’
11:30 am


comic books

The cover of a Japanese comic book based on the film ‘Jaws’ published in 1975.
The “gekiga” illustration style was created in 1957 by Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi who coined the word to help differentiate the more serious tone of gekiga comics from the wildly popular manga comics and their “humorous pictures.” Gekiga comics or books were marketed to adults and the illustrated stories were reality-based—unlike the dreamlike realms of manga. In 1975, Herald Books published a gekiga-style comic based on the film Jaws that had just convinced everyone that the beach was no longer safe. The film was an adaptation of the 1974 novel of the same name by author Peter Benchley.

The vintage comic captures pretty much every memorable scene in the movie with the notable exception of the drunken sing-along sea-shanty sung by Brody (Roy Scheider), Matt (Richard Dreyfuss) and real-life drunk Quint memorably played by actor Robert Shaw. According to blogger Patrick Macias over at An Eternal Thought In The Mind Of Godzilla, he sold his copy of the rare comic for an undisclosed three-figure sum to a European collector. After a quick search of auction sites such as eBay, I wasn’t able to find even one copy of this fantastic comic so you’ll have to enjoy it virtually just like I did. I’ve posted all the panels from the gekiga Jaws in sequence below. Many of the illustrations are slightly NSFW.


More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Tree F*ckers: Frédéric Fleury’s comic art of men with a passion for wood (NSFW)
11:20 am


comic books
Frédéric Fleury

Frédéric Fleury is an artist based in Dunkirk, France. He draws funny, subversive, bizarre and what some might term as “offensive” cartoons. His artwork ranges from occult drawings, tarot cards, surreal monsters to sex—lots of sex.

In Monsieur Fleury’s world, no sexual fetish is ever off limits. His past work includes sex with dead celebrities, sex with snow, compulsive masturbation, oral sex, sodomy, fist-fucking—as near as dammit an illustrated A-Z of sexual fantasies, fetishes and practices.

M. Fleury also runs a successful publishing house (with Emmanuelle Pidoux) called Editions du 57, which publishes limited edition art books at a very reasonable price. Additionally, he is a founding member of the art collective journal Frédéric Magazine.

So far, so good.

Among M. Fleury’s many books is La passion du bois or The Passion for Wood from 2010, which depicts:

The many ways to get pleasure from a tree, a log, a wooden stick…

You can guess what follows, lots of comic illustrations, drawn with a charming child-like simplicity, of various individuals getting their jollies from trees. “Why?” you may ask. Well, apparently M. Fleury likes to question the “perception of drawing” by producing work that “continuously” explores the medium. I guess, in other words, he likes to draw all those things that most artists wouldn’t dare to and put them out in the world to create a response. Like tree fuckers.

See more of Frédéric Fleury’s work here.
More of Frédéric Fleury’s tree-huggers, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Thrill to ‘The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor,’ forgotten comic book hero

#7 April 1974.
Excuse me while I drool. I know it’s not polite but really what else can I do? Having missed out on this classic comic book horror series The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor the first time around, I really don’t have much choice. You see, being landlocked on a distant island far, far off the coast of America, Doctor Spektor never made house calls to my neighborhood comic book emporium in Edinburgh or even Glasgow. There were lots of Spideys and Hulks and Avengers but much less of my preferred taste in the Boris Karloff’s or even the Cryptkeeper’s ghoulish delights to keep my boyhood imagination suitably fevered.

And look what I missed….

The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor was the brainchild of one Donald F. Glut—a whizzkid filmmaker who made a total of 41 amateur movies during his teens and early twenties. These mini-movies featured “dinosaurs, the Frankenstein Monster, teenage monsters, Superman and other superheroes”—basically anything that took his fancy. Though none of these films were blessed with any real script they did achieve enough “notoriety”—mainly through the pages of Famous Monster of Filmland—to allow Glut to rope in actors like Glenn Strange—the man who filled the Frankenstein’s monster’s boots after Boris Karloff moved on—to take part on his features. Strange starred as (who else?) the Frankenstein Monster in Glut’s The Adventures of the Spirit in 1963.

Glut’s last amateur film was his take on Spider-Man in 1969 which was a seriously loopy Ed Wood-like film.

But anyhow….

His apprenticeship in home movies earned him a career as a scriptwriter for film and TV. He wrote novelizations of films, too—most notably for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He also wrote storylines for comic books like Marvel’s Captain America (1978) and X-Men Adventures (1993) as well as DC’s House of Mystery (1974-81) among many, many other titles. Since the mid-1990s, Glut has been carving a niche as a writer/director of exploitation horror films like The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula (2001), Countess Dracula’s Blood Orgy (2004) and most recently Dances with Werewolves (2016).

But we don’t need to know that. What we do need to know is that Glut created the sophisticated Doctor Adam Spektor—occult detective and monster hunter. (Imagine having that on your business card…) Spektor along with his Native American assistant Lakota Rainflower investigated strange goings on in the weird and terrifying supernatural world of vampires, werewolves, ancient curses and swamp creatures.

Now having just about caught up with—or rather having enjoyed a prescription of—Doctor Spektor’s marvellously thrilling adventures I just wanted to share my enthusiasm for Glut and artist Jesse Santos’ work. Look at these covers—just look at ‘em. They are awesome, aren’t they?

The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor ran from May 1973 to February 1977. And while there has been a pale reboot since, here’s a gallery of Santos’ excellent cover art for Glut’s debonair hero who almost manages to make wearing a bolo tie and a goatee beard seem cool.
#9 August 1974.
#23 December 1976.
More fabulous covers, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
When White Chicks Ruled the Jungle: The comicbook women who rivaled Tarzan

The prototype of the modern “jungle girl” first appeared in the novel Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by W. H. Hudson in 1904—eleven years after the man-cub Mowgli popped-up in The Jungle Books and eight years before Tarzan the ape man started swinging from tree-to-tree.

Hudson’s jungle girl was a dark-haired beauty called Rima who dwelt in the uncharted forests of Guyana. Hudson was inspired by tales he’d heard of white families living wild and free in the jungles of South America. Rima was a smart cookie—she was kind and loyal but was smitten by the love of a white man and so ended up as firewood. But good old Rima started a trend that has filled up the content of many books, comics and even pop songs for over a hundred years.

Jungle girls can be generally divided into two camps—the rich abandoned white kids who were nurtured through childhood by friendly animals and the feral kids who kick ass and have incredible supernatural powers over their animal pals.

The first fully-fledged comic book to feature one of these dames was Sheena, Queen of the Jungle in 1937. Sheena was one hot powerful blonde who looked she’d come straight out of the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Sheena not only had looks she was adept at fighting with knives, spears and deadly hand-to-hand combat. She could also talk to animals—a big bonus when trying to outwit those pesky big game hunters. 

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle was the first comic dedicated solely to a female character. Its great success spawned a host of imitators with names like Tegra, Zegra, Jann, Princess Pantha and White Princess Taanda. These women were always white and most definitely blonde or brunette. They were guardians of nature and usually dwelt in some dusty savannah or unknown jungle in a mythic Africa. 

The main era for these no-nonsense broads and their perilous adventures was the 1940s when a literal army of jungle girls made their appearance—some of which you can see below.
Sheena Queen of the Jungle—Issue #1 1938 (US) 1937 (UK).
Princess Pantha—June 1947.
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Holy Mashup Bat-fans!: What if Batman and The Joker got genetically spliced?

Picture if you will a world where superheroes are genetically spliced with super villains to create freakish hybrids who deal justice and terror out in equal measure. A world where no good deed goes unpunished, and no evil unrewarded. Welcome to the world of BATMAN™: Rogues Gallery….

DC Comics Variant Play Arts KAI are producing a series of Batman action figures mashed-up with nefarious villains from the caped crusader’s rogues’ gallery. Earlier this year, a Batman and Two-Face combo was announced that featured a charred and scorched Harvey Dent (aka the coin flipping Two-Face) melded with Gotham’s finest crime fighter. Now a sneak peak of the next Batman mashup has just been released, this time featuring the Dark Knight and his most evil adversary—the Joker.

The Batman-Joker figure is dressed in a “tattered straitjacket is erratically adorned with dynamite, a flower, cans of pepper spray, and an alarm clock.”

Combined with his playing cards and a pistol with a flag as interchangeable parts, this ensemble shows the character’s madness, oozing from within.

The pale skin and bloodshot eyes accentuate his eerie quality, while his trademark purple and green lend dark shadows to his coloring. The bat mark roughly painted on his chest can almost be construed as a laughing mouth. It seems to make a mockery of Batman, offering a glimpse into how The Joker’s twisted mind ticks.

This collectible Batman/Joker figure goes on sale March 2017. The Batman/Two-FaceSquare-Enix.
More Batman-Joker hi-jinks, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Jack Kirby’s unpublished adaptation of ‘The Prisoner’

Jack Kirby was the man who imagined our world of superheroes. In partnership with Stan Lee and Joe Simon, Kirby created the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, Doctor Doom, the Black Panther and many, many others.

Kirby’s input had a bigger and longer lasting effect than just the words or concept. His drawings helped shape our worldview—for he was the artist who created the look of these superheroes. When we think of Captain America or Iron Man—we’re seeing these characters through the prism of Kirby’s imagination.

Jack Kirby was born in New York to an Austrian-Jewish immigrant family in 1917. Though life was poor and tough, Kirby had an inkling he was going to be an artist. Hardly the sort of work for a working class kid from the Lower East Side—but Kirby had a compulsion that made him draw. He started doodling, then sketching, and then drawing full comic strips. He knew he would never be a Rembrandt or a Gauguin but he did know that he would become an artist. He took to drawing comics because the comic strip was the art of the working man. Kirby later recalled:

I thought comics was a common form of art and strictly American in my estimation because America was the home of the common man, and show me the common man that can’t do a comic. So comics is an American form of art that anyone can do with a pencil and paper.

His talent for drawing led to his early career as a graphic artist. He created single panel health advice cartoons such as Your Health Comes First!!! and various advisory comic strips. When Kirby switched jobs to Fox Feature Syndicate, he teamed up with Joe Simon—together they created Captain America.

After the Second World War Kirby worked for DC Comics and then Marvel—where his legendary partnership with Stan Lee was responsible for creating our world of superheroes—a world comparable to the myths of ancient Greece. However, disagreements with Lee over credit, led Kirby to quit Marvel and rejoin DC in the late 1960s, where he produced his superb Fourth World series.

In 1968, Kirby became obsessed with a new TV series called The Prisoner. The series depicted a spy relocated to a mysterious island where he is interrogated for information. As an anti-authoritarian libertarian, Kirby identified with the central character No. 6 played by Patrick McGoohan. Kirby said the series represented: individual’s stubborn attempts to wrest freedom from subtle but oppressive power.

This was analogous to his view of politics as well as his creative relationships with others—most notably Stan Lee.

In the early 1970s, Marvel decided to produce a comic book version of The Prisoner. Marvel’s then editor Marv Wolfman set Steve Englehart and Gil Kane to work on it. However, Stan Lee—knowing how much Kirby liked the series—intervened and asked him to work on the comic book.

Kirby produced a complete first issue lifted directly from the series’ first episode “Arrival.” Unlike his other work, Kirby’s The Prisoner is an almost faithful retelling of the TV show. The finished drawings were partially inked and lettered by Mike Royer–but the idea was dropped and the comic never saw light of day.
Read the rest of Jack Kirby’s ‘The Prisoner,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘SPLAT!’: Archie Comics and the Joy of SFX

Roy Lichtenstein’s Pop Art diptych painting Whaam! would not be as powerful without the giant yellow lettering spread over a large part of its canvas depicting the sound effect of a missile hitting a target and a plane blowing up. What the image cannot convey, the word ‘Whaam!’ signifies. There it is in stark bold letters—a brilliant sound effect open to a million academic interpretations.

In the 1960s, the much-loved Batman TV series interjected fight scenes with wonderful descriptive graphics of the various sound effects: “Ka-Pow!” “Smash!” “Aiiieee!” “Awk!” “BAM!”. These colorful images added greatly to the excitement of watching Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) defeat the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman, the Penguin and all their other arch nemeses.
Roy Lichtenstein’s ‘Whaam!’ (1963).
Comic books, of course, have always had panels filled with such wonderfully onomatopoeic words that greatly add to the reader’s enjoyment. Away from the usual superheroes and action comics, artist Dan DeCarlo and Archie Comics brought a whole new level to the power of graphic book sound effects. DeCarlo has been described as:

...a master at framing a scene, clearly portraying the action, and conveying the appropriate emotions of the characters…. not as easy a task as you might think.

The figures in his frames are active—they are dynamic and appear to be moving and responding to the action around them. Add to this the incredible sound effects in every frame, then Betty, Veronica and their pals are suddenly in a work of surreal mini Pop Art.
A collection of ‘Batman’ graphic SFX.
However, it should be noted that it was the writer who usually picked the words to represent the various SFX and then the letterer who then placed them within the panel—as comic book writer and editor Paul Castiliglia explains:

....most of the sound effects are first indicated by the writer in the script, and then are added in to the art by the letterer after the pencil artist has drawn the figures in each panel. The pencil artist may write in sound effects (in plain text) to indicate their location in each panel but most of the time it is the letterer who determines the shape and lettering style for the sound effects and who actually renders them, inking the outlines.

Archie has employed many letterers over the years. It is highly likely that the majority of the panels you posted were lettered by Bill Yoshida; some may have been lettered by Archie’s long-time editor Victor Gorelick as well.

These written SFX often become the focus of our attention—creating a dynamism mere illustration alone could not provide. This is a little something I find quite fascinating—how did these writers come up with say “Smeerp!” to represent a kiss? Or “Sceeeee!” to depict something untoward just out of frame? Do people actually say “Awk!” when scared? Do we say “Aaaiiiiieeee!” when fleeing in terror? In fact, is there a thesaurus of these wondrous words? And if so, where can I get a copy?

This selection of Dan DeCarlo’s artwork with lettering by (most likely) Bill Yoshida and Victor Gorelick for Archie Comics are a superb example of the surreal joy of comic book SFX.
More of the joy of comic book SFX, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
David Bowie, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, & Thin Lizzy songs reimagined as comic books

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars fake comic
“Ziggy Stardust” as a vintage comic
Chris Sims of the website, Comics Alliance came up with the idea to mashup some old comic book covers with popular songs by David Bowie, The Flaming Lips, Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, just to name a few.
Beastie Boys' single
Beastie Boys’ 1986 anthem, “Brass Monkey”
Public Enemy's S1W's get the comic book treatment
Public Enemy’s “S1W’s”
The Flaming Lips 2002 single
The Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.”
Doctor Funkenstein!
Parliament’s “Dr. Funkenstein.”
More after the jump…

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Read the comic book of Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘Illuminatus!’ online

I know how it is: you read the trilogy of sci-fi novels, saw the play, listened to the audiobook, even picked up the card game, but you still can’t get enough of Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson’s conspiracy epic, Illuminatus! Where is the balm that will soothe your hurt?

Back in 1987, underground comix publishers Rip Off Press—the persons responsible for the fourth edition of the related sacred text Principia Discordia, not to mention The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers—put out Eye-n-Apple Productions’ comic book adaptation of Illuminatus! A few months ago, Eye-n-Apple (which seems to be identical with one Mark Philip Steele) announced plans for a digital reprint on its Facebook page:

Good news, folks, the ILLUMINATUS! comic I published back in 1987 is now in e-comic format, including text commentary. It’s a zip file available for download, and may end up at other sites in other formats. If you’re interested, download the comic and contact me about it. Some of the comments MAY be posted in further editions. There was one self-published issue, then 3 with Rip Off Press, and an unpublished 4th issue. Plans are for us to release one a month from now till we’re done.

No word yet on subsequent numbers, but you can download a free PDF of the first issue here, and it seems this is the space to watch for updates. Below, Robert Anton Wilson and Rev. Ivan Stang of the Church of the Subgenius discuss the consolations of the Discordian faith on Hour of Slack.


Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Curious ‘Psychoanalysis’ comics from the 1950s
08:42 am

Pop Culture

comic books
E.C. Comics

Fast on the heels of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency investigation into the dire influence of comic books, innovative and transgressive E.C. Comics released its brief educational, edifying New Direction series. One of the New Direction titles was Psychoanalysis, beginning in May 1955, illustrated by Jack Kamen and depicting psychoanalytic therapy sessions as story lines. It was an unusual idea to present such a realistic, near-clinical drama, and neither readers nor wholesalers knew what to do with it. The comic lasted only four issues before it was cancelled along with other “wholesome” New Direction titles (M.D., Valor, Extra!, Incredible Science Fiction, Aces High, and Impact).
According to Life Hacks’ Vaughan Bell:

Critics have noted that psychiatry is poorly represented in these stories, although they do give a fascinating insight into 1950s attitudes towards people with mental illness and their treatment. Despite the fact mental illness is a recurring theme in many contemporary comics, few modern titles have attempted to seriously educate their readers about mental health issues.

Each issue followed the stories of three patients’ psychological issues and how they were quickly cured through traditional Freudian psychoanalysis. Polite Dissent‘s Polite Scott described the basic concepts behind the plots: “First, everything is the parents’ fault. Second, any mental problem can be cured by psychoanalysis. Granted, this is before there were any effective medications for such problems, but several of these patients would benefit from medication.”
Here is a summary of one of the nameless psychoanalyst’s patients and her rapid progress:

Issue #1: Ellen is clearly a very anxious person. She is also troubled by a recurring dream. This dream, which is incredibly detailed, recounts young Ellen trying to get into a walled garden. A kilted Scotsman bars the way and won’t let her enter until she passes a written exam. She fails the exam, but sneaks into the garden anyway, only to find it is dead and barren.

Issue #2: Ellen Lyman was an anxious young woman who had a recurring dream of a empty garden. The psychiatrist explained that the dream meant that she was jealous of her older sister and wished her harm. In this issue, Ellen comes to the office complaining that her life is hopeless. She knocked over the water cooler at work and her boss yelled at her. This reminded her of her father. Digging deeper, the psychiatrist discovers that her father often yelled at Ellen, and her mother routinely ignored her in favor of her older sister. During childhood, Ellen had a couple of accidents that landed her in the hospital. Much like Freddy’s psychosomatic asthma, the doctor informs Ellen that she caused these accidents herself trying to gain the attention of her parents. Furthermore, her other symptoms are due to the fact that she feels guilty because she blames herself for the fact that her parents always fought. The psychiatrist informs her that this is all nonsense, her parents simply did not love each other and it was never her fault. “Oh doctor!” says Ellen. “I feel as if a great weight has suddenly been lifted from my shoulders!”

Issue #3: Ellen Lyman believes that she is ugly and unlikable despite the fact that she is quite beautiful and friendly. By interpreting her dream of standing before a hallway of full length mirrors in a prom dress, the psychiatrist is able to deduce that the only person who considers Ellen ugly is herself. The reason Ellen is unable to have a meaningful relationship is that she does not like or love herself. This revelation strikes Ellen like a thunderbolt and thanks to the doctor’s insight, Ellen announce that she is ready to love herself and start dating. The doctor pronounces her cured.

Comic books are evil: ‘50s anti-comics propaganda:

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
The Fantastic Comic Book Adventures of Adam Ant, 1982

Adam Ant was featured as a hero in a comic book series published in a short-lived British magazine called TV Tops. Tops normally featured articles and comic strips based on popular TV shows of that era like Buck Rogers, Fame, Hart to Hart, The Metal Mickey TV Show etc. And for whatever inexplicable reason Adam Ant had his own comic series. I guess Tops was trying to capitalize off his fame? I don’t know. “The Fantastic Adventures of Adam Ant” issue was published April 17, 1982, when Antmania was at its absolute height.

It’s amusing to see Adam Ant fighting against evil, depicted as a Native American, a Lawrence of Arabia-type, highwayman robber and a cowboy. What can’t our hero do?!

I’ve compiled a few scans from the magazine. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find them in their entirety (except for “Stand And Deliver - Adam Ant’s Story” which is at the bottom), but I think you can get the drift of what’s going on by the ones posted below. Good stuff!

Click here for larger image.

Click here to read larger image.

Click here to read larger image.

Click here to read larger image.
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Gone and Forgotten’: Amazing anthology of comic book failures
07:29 am

Pop Culture

comic books

You haven’t heard of him, and that’s probably for the best

Even if you’re not a comics fan, you can appreciate the steady stream of train wrecks featured in Gone and Forgotten.

Many of the pieces are simply characters that never made it past a couple issues, like “Dash Dartwell, the Human Meteorite,” who has super-human speed, but eschews the cool superhero garb for a fancy suit. There’s also “Minimidget,” whose power is… being very small. That’s really it. It makes sense; there’s sort of a finite amount of superhuman powers one could have, and when the writing ran a little thin, introducing a new character might have seemed like the way to go.

What’s more interesting for comic fans though, are the horrible plotlines, spinoffs, and projects of our old favorite characters and canons. For example, did you know there was a Spider-Man musical? Oh no, not that one. We’re talking a 1975 rock opera album, Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero, that makes that U2 detritus look like La Traviata. It’s clearly one of Stan Lee’s more experimental projects, and while this sort of daring creativity is the reason the man is a genius, we’re talkin’ about some very dated stuff, to put it kindly.

In fact, why don’t you play us out, Spidey?

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
A felted ‘Fantastic Four’ comic book cover
04:23 pm


comic books
The Fantastic Four

A wonderful felted issue #51 of The Fantastic Four originally illustrated by Jack Kirby in 1966 and then recreated in wool by D. Campbell MacKinlay. Brilliant!

Previously on Dangerous Minds:

Knitted Kraftwerk

(via Neatorama)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
More animated comic book covers

Artist Kerry Callen is back with his animated version of Lois Lane #29, from 1961. There’s also a fun animated GIF of Nick Fury, Agent of Shield #4 at Kerry’s site!

Previously on Dangerous Minds:

Excellent Animated Comic Book Covers

(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Excellent Animated Comic Book Covers

Awesome animated comic book GIFs by Kerry Callen. I’m digging on The Amazing Spider-Man #33!

More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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