Thursday, May 26, 2011

BRONZED BEAUTIES 2: Skull the Slayer 3

The Bronze Age, comics forgotten era.
In the 1970's comic companies pushed their content in new and wildly different directions inspired by the anything goes social attitudes of the times, while also balancing new fan fostered talent at the helms of post Comics Code adherent, kid friendly books.
While not much born of the era had lasting impressions, there's a cool factor to the books that's singular in style, and inescapable if one looks just a bit closer...
That's where I come in, with Bronzed Beauties, my weekly look at some of the books from the era, that feature more were-men, cyborgs, man-things, barbarians, sorceresses, dinosaurs, monsters, and damsels in distress than any other time, all in striking and vibrant (or should I say faded) four color ink!

THE BOOK: Skull the Slayer
COVER PRICE AND YEAR: 25 cents - January 1975
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics

COVER (HOW COOL AND/OR CRAZY IS IT): It's got everything we want right on the cover folks... colors and inks that pop (along with the logo and graphics), with two caption boxes... including, "MECHANICAL MURDER IN THE WORLD OF THE DINOSAURS!"...
Now I would've dropped a question mark or two after that, but the cover communicates the WTF factor well enough on it's own... with what appears to be our titular hero smashing a robo-saur while saving another friend and damsel in distress. Why are there dinosaurs and space age clothes?? Why is the dinosaur mechanical? Who is Skull the Slayer?!? I'm sold!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The guest/creator room of the con.
This past weekend I journeyed about 6 hours East/Northeast of home for the 5th annual Spokane Comicon, in Spokane Washington. I'd heard about the show for a few years but hadn't traveled out until this year.

Since it was a bit of a trek, and worked best with at least one night at a hotel, I threw in with a couple friends and past convention travel buddies, Randy Kintz and Jack Stepp. Also, since I got a new phone recently, I tried to take more pictures to share online. I just put up my pics in a Facebook photo album, HERE, but I'm pretty terrible at remembering to use the camera, so I unfortunately didn't take any shots of the town itself, which was surprisingly large (second biggest in Washington) and also pretty cool.

The show itself was well run, and a solid low level show, having both a lot of varied dealers, and artist/guests, plus a fair amount of traffic. For NW natives, it was pretty much on par with the Portland Comic Book Show. I would've like to have sold more Zombie Tramp stuff, and books in general, but I sold quite a few prints and did pretty well.

Aside from the con, the show also hosted a Drink N Draw event the night before at Cyrus OLeary's, with the special guests of the show being Dave Johnson and Dan Panosian, who also happen to be originators of the popular Drink and Draw Social Club in LA. I hadn't truly gone to a Drink n Draw before, so it was fun to sit in on one of those, as I find the two activities compliment each other quite nicely ;)

My Tarman sketch from the event.
Hopefully the show continues to grow, because they put on a good event, and I'd like to return, it's just unfortunately a bit of a reach in these days of inflated gas prices, so the bigger it gets, the better.

Monday, May 23, 2011

HANGOVER 2 ...a quick (preview screening) review

Got to see a preview screening last night...

Now, I wasn't a big fan of the first, finding it to give away just about every shred of hilarity via the commercials, and then it seemed hyped up beyond anything resembling reality. So with that said, I was glad to get into a preview screening of the sequel, to try and avoid all the good bits via the new ads (which already were wayyyyy too spoiler heavy - message to studio marketing assholes, it's the biggest comedy ever, I don't think you need to give away anything in the ads for the sequel!!)...

I found the movie overall to be mildly entertaining, and sometimes humorous (unlike the lady next to me how must have climaxed a dozen or more times and couldn't stop gasping in laughter at every. little. thing. that. ever. happened), until close to the end, when things got pretty hilarious, and finished very strong.

This is however the exact same movie, redone in Bangkok. The formula works though, so I look forward to a third... I just don't know where they'll set it, having gone from Vegas to Thailand... I'm guessing the moon maybe (if only the ads for it didn't give away the alien sidekick, stolen Millennium Falcon replica the wolfpack pilots, and the Mike Tyson as leader of Mars cameo)???


Thursday, May 19, 2011

SPOKANE COMICON this Saturday!

Okay friends... if Spokane Washington is anywhere near to you, I'll be seeing you at the 5th annual SPOKANE COMICON Saturday 5/21.

Dave Johnson and Dan Panosian are guests, and are hosting a Drink n Draw Friday night... I've never done one of those (lord knows why, what with the drinking and the drawing, often together, that I'm known to do).

Hopefully I'll be seaworthy enough to make a go of it Saturday, it should be a good show ;)

I might have some new prints, I might not... we shall see :)

Where's Spokane again?!?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Yesterday I spoke about my newfound passion for "bronze age" comic books (roughly translated - comics from the 1970's), and today I offer my first review from that era, allowing you to come along with me as I discover more about these mysterious comic gems. So, please kick back and enjoy our first Bronzed Beauty...
THE BOOK: The Human Fly
COVER PRICE AND YEAR: 35cents - May 1978
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics

COVER (HOW COOL AND/OR CRAZY IS IT): It's cool, it's got the requisite color, the Human Fly in action, and 3 caption boxes. However, what's really cool is that it's a John Byrne cover, back before he was really big (but had already started on Uncanny X-Men). Conversely though, because of the Byrne art, while it's got cool elements like the Human Fly diving to save drowning children, and guest star The White Tiger fighting villain Copperhead in the background, it's pretty straightforward super hero stuff.

But yes, there are caption boxes aplenty... like "DOOMSDAY DAWNS AT NIGHT!"... a true hallmark of the era! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


As a child of the 70's and 80's, comic books were a huge part of my formative years, I was introduced to them with the late 70's Marvel Comics adaptation of Star Wars, and then became a junky, for various Marvel books and 80's indies (mostly), til I gave up the habbit in the mid 80's. I got back into comics in the mid 90's, but through it all, I was never too keen on the books from the era just before I started reading, books of the 70's, known as "the bronze age".

The bronze age is kind of a mostly forgotten era that saw the proliferation of horror and exploitation genre books, that saw limited staying power and few notable new properties... whereas the precursors to it, the golden and silver age, bore most every major popular character and property, and the modern era, of the 1980's and 90's that followed it, saw the indie revolution and many other movements still popular today. That, and the fact that the bronze era was filthy in kitschy, more or less simplistic, and often formulaic craft. They were simpler times, post creation of the comics code, but prior to the comic shop movement (and subsequent focus on more mature material), when by and large, comics were created for kids. However, it was an odd marriage in that the material of the age had a burgeoning matureness to it, both in the creators that had grown up with comics as fans first, and so brought new sensibilities and ideas to them, and again with the wild and crazy content that was rampant.

To an outsider coming in at the tail end of that, and following the birth of the indie and mature comics movement, it was easy to look at those books as sophomoric and pointless (not to mention I'm a big fan of art, and the 80's saw an explosion of new talent and more contemporary influences, like European and Japanese styles, along with animation... and 70's comics were sorely lacking in transcendent artists). So I never really gave them any attention. Now though, as I get older and gravitate towards things from my formative era, out of nostalgia and cool appeal, these books have become a treasure trove of undiscovered fun and charm, that modern books are hard pressed to compare to.

So, I've started to pick up stacks of these bruised and battered, torn and tattered, aged and decomposing pulp pamphlets. I'm in love.

They're colorful, full of over the top characters, with anything goes stories, and so much a part of the era... the clothes, the slang, the ideas.
Super-Villain Team-ups, kung-fu, barbarians, sci-fi, were-men, man-things, sorceresses, cyborgs, dinosaurs, and more monsters than you can shake a stick at!
They're just plain fun.

So, I thought it would be a perfect thing to blog and share, as I dig into some of these amazing books I've brought home, with this new feature, BRONZED BEAUTIES.

I'll set up some criteria that fit these books, and grade various ones on these different facets of what makes the bronze age stuff so damn cool!
(I just want to fill a room with them, soak in their essence, and then remix it for the 21st century... see Pulp Girls)

Tune in tomorrow for our first review... THE HUMAN FLY number 9 from May of 1978!!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Waaaughhh!!! Indeed...

The late great Steve Gerber created HOWARD THE DUCK, for Marvel. Marvel got sued by Disney for Howard looking too much like Donald, so they made mandated changes to his look, which were horrible, but it was mostly a moot point since Gerber had litigation of his own over the rights with Marvel and the character was in limbo for years to decades. However, Gerber returned to the character briefly some years before his passing, and Marvel have since used him sporadically. Fast forward a year or so and Marvel is owned by Disney, so why is Howard still looking so god awful?!?!

Marvel, if you're going to continue to use Steve's character, can't you at least restore him to how he should look? Is that too much to ask?!?
(And, NO, the movie design doesn't count!!!!)

The one true Howard

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

ARTWORK: Rubber fan art

I recently watched RUBBER, the horror-ish killer tire film, and immediately wanted to do this fan art/t-shirt design!

"No Reason" is a quote from the movie that also pretty sums it up!

I also set this up as a t-shirt via

click here

Monday, May 02, 2011

ARTWORK: Osama Bin Zombied

I couldn't resist drawing a zombie Bin Laden... or Zomladen as I call him!
I thought it'd make a snazzy t-shirt (available now!)
You can go to and buy one if you like ;)

click here

Maybe I'll also make it into a collectors plate, to commemorate this occasion in a truly American way ;)