And Now For the News (Larsen #3)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
12/30/13Larsen #3And Now For the News(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
MViolence.Larsen #2

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Two years ago...

A lone figure stands in front of an appliance store, watching a TV in the window.

“Welcome to the Larsen Channel Seven News. I’m your anchor, Phillip Thyme...”

“...I’m your co-anchor, Paige Webb...”

“...I’m Rudy Day, with the weather...”

“...And I’m Duncan Shot, with sports.”

“Our top story, today: The Gaslight City has been in a state of war for the last six weeks,” began the anchor. “The death of Larsen’s reputed top mobster, Lowell Mohne, also known as ‘Big Wheel,’ has created a power vaccuum that has underlings and rivals vying and dying, in an insane attempt to grab the reigns of power in this gang infested city.

“The list of known mobsters fighting it out for control of the city are: the Blowfish, Paleface, Poker Face, Rubberhead, and even the Recluse – a mob boss who some claim is only an unsubstantiated myth. Several public figures, believed by many to have ties to Larsen’s organized crime families, have also been rumored to be involved in attempts to gain control of the The Gaslight underworld. Chief among them are noted philanthropist Benny Factor, and labor union boss Fortunato Amontillado.

“Adding to the confusion and the violence, a number of vigilantes are apparently waging their own private wars against the gangland forces that are vying for control of the city’s vices. When asked if police were sanctioning these vigilantes, or at least turning a blind eye to their activities, we had this comment, from Chief of Police, Carlin Brown:”

A video clip of the Police Chief plays. He’s at the head of a pack of reporters who are following him right up to the station doors. “Sanctioning? Don’t be ridiculous! As far as I’m concerned, we don’t know any more about these ‘heroes,’ than we do the thugs and gang bosses that are tearing this city apart. For all we know, these vigilantes are after the reins of criminal power for themselves! I’d just as soon take them down, as any gang boss in this city!”

The scene shifts back to Phillip Thyme in the studio. “Strong words, from Police Chief Brown, but are they enough? Already, public opinion seems to be shifting, from support of the police to support of the city’s vigilantes. Our Man In the Street has more.”

“That’s right, Phillip,” chimed Paige as the camera shifted to her. “Mike Rofon is standing by at the sight of what appears to be yet another vigilante action. Mike?”

The scene shifted to a tall brown man in a black wool overcoat, facing the camera with mic in hand. People milled around in the background, some trying to wave at the camera from several feet behind the reporter. “Thank you, Paige. I’m here live, in front of local nightspot, Songbirds, on the scene of what appears to be yet another gruesome slaying, perpetrated by one of the city’s mysterious vigilantes. With me is Rusty Etticut - eyewitness to the horrific events of just a half hour ago. Mister Etticut, can you tell us what happened here?”

A man hyper on the night’s adrenaline started, “Can I? Oh man! It was incredible! BLAM! That was it! The guy didn’t say nothin’, he didn’t take nothin’! One minute, he’s standin’ on the corner, next minute, he gives the chalk outline there a new ‘do, and my car’s got a new paint job! Y’know what he did then? He just strolled on through the crosswalk, like nothing happened, and helps some blind woman across the street! It was crazy, man! The guy was just crazy!

“Another grim eyewitness account of the vigilante activity on our city streets. With the Larsen Channel Seven News, I’m Mike Rofon. Back to…”

The lone figure turns away from the window, pulling his tattered trenchcoat a little closer, and starts down the street, thoughts livid. Moron. "Crazy," he calls me. What if that parasite had decided to prey on you, next? You ought to thank me. After all, it’s your town too, and I just saved you, as a taxpayer, the cost of a trial, not to mention the daily expense of keeping the scum in jail. I just shot him in the head, like I’d do any sick animal. You just might make it home tonight, because some little hood hears what happened here, and gets scared I’ll do him next. They know if I come down on ‘em, there ain’t no talkin’ their way out of it, because I don’t listen. Anybody who thinks you gotta listen to the badguys talk, while they figure out how to escape, has been readin’ too many comic books. I shoot first, and don’t ask questions. I’m doing you a favor, you little shmuck, because the street punks fear me. They’ve even given me a name… They call me "Scatterbrain."

Meanwhile, high above the city...

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Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
4 Comments

Exit (Larsen #2)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
12/30/13Larsen #2Exit(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
MViolence.Larsen #1

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Three years ago...

Jason Bleu ran blindly through the parking deck, looking desperately for a way out, wishing the woman he dragged along with him would quit screaming. Another shot echoed off the walls, and the man and woman jerked suddenly to the left, heading for a stairwell. As they did, an explosion of sparks and glass caused the man known as the Blue Canary to jerk the screaming woman into a dive between two parked cars.

Clasping his hand over the woman’s mouth, Jason whispered urgently, “Shut up! Shut up! Do you hear? You’ve got to shut up!” he demanded, shaking the woman to get her attention. Pausing a moment as he felt the woman’s body relax a little, he said,”You picked a real bad time to come back from the grocery store lady, but I’m trying to get us out of here, okay?” A fearful shudder ran through the woman’s body, but she managed to look at him from the corner of her eye, and nod her head.

Releasing his grip on the woman’s arm, Jason stared at the woman’s face for a moment, as she turned to see him better. Her tears running over his fingers, he realized he was still covering her mouth. Removing his hand, he whispered, “What’s your name?”

Taking a deep breath to calm her shaking, the woman sat up a little, and straightening the strap on her dress, she whispered back, “Amanda. Amanda Coney.” Jason looked away for a moment, as if he were trying to place the name. Amanda added, “I sing down at The Paper Umbrella.”

Bleu smiled. “Yeah... Yeah! I’ve seen your act,” he lied. Amanda smiled. Looking underneath the car, Jason saw feet at the other end of the parking deck. Gulping back panic for a second, he sat up and put his hand on Amanda’s shoulder. Looking her in the eye, he said, “Okay, Amanda, I need you to listen to me for a second. We’ve got a bit of a problem here. The guy shooting at us is a professional. He was looking for me, but you just happened to get in the way. If we’re going to get out of here, you’ve got to do what I say. This guy doesn’t like to leave any witnesses.”

Fear making her voice shake again, Amanda asked, “Who is he? Why’s he trying to kill you?”

“His name’s Exit,” Jason whispered. “He’s a hired gun. He shot out that exit sign on purpose. It’s his trademark; kind of like signing his work. He’s letting us know we can’t get away. It’s a game he plays with his victims, like a cat and mouse. Only in this case, it’s cat and Canary.” Motioning for Amanda to follow, Jason started crawling between cars. “And if we don’t get out of here,” he whispered, “he’s going to get two songbirds for the price of one.”

Crawling behind Jason, Amanda whispered, “This is a game? This guy needs a hobby!”

Still crawling, Jason looked back over his shoulder, and said, “This is his hobby!”

Amanda said, “Oh,” and started crawling a little faster.

Crawling around the bumper of a car, Jason tensed up, eyes bulging at two .45’s pointed at his nose. Looking up to see who was holding them, he let out an exasperated sigh of relief. “Oh! Man...” Before he could continue, he was shoved to the concrete, and one of the guns reached past him to hit Amanda upside her head, knocking her unconcious. Coming up cautiously and looking back at Amanda, Jason whispered, “Geez, April! Did you have to knock her out?”

The woman with the guns smiled. “She was going to scream.”

Edging beside her to look through the same car window, Jason snickered and said, “Shyeah, right. Admit it, you just can’t stand to see me with another woman, can you?”

Smiling again, April answered, “Only in your fantasies, Mr. Bleu. You’re late for your appointment; Mrs. Flowers was expecting you over an hour ago.”

“Yeah, well, I’m in demand today.”

Sighting the gunman through the car window, April said, “So I see. Who’s your playmate?”

“Miss April, but we can discuss that later.” Jason paused for a moment, looking for a smile on April’s face. Not seeing one, he continued, “I think that’s Exit.”

Then April smiled. “You’re kidding.”

“Would I kid a woman with guns?”

April’s left eyebrow arched with her smile, and she shook her head lightly, still looking at Exit. “You’re incorrigible, Mr. Bleu.”

Jason grinned. “Nah, it’s all just a part of my overabundant charm, Miss Sh...” Amanda groaned as she started to come to, drawing Jason and April’s attention, as well as Exit’s. “Aw, great,” griped Jason.

Poised on the balls of her feet, April tightened her grip on her gun handles, and whispered, “You two get out of here! Mrs. Flowers is waiting downstairs in her car; get her away from here!”

Motioning towards Exit, who was running towards them, Jason asked, “What about him?”

April whispered tensely, “He’s riding with the coroner.” With that, she leapt up firing both guns, and hollered, “Go!”

Two years ago...

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Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
6 Comments

Big Wheel (Larsen #1)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
12/30/13Larsen #1Big Wheel(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating Explanation
MViolence.

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Five years ago...

The gaunt man sat in his wheelchair, a jacket draped over his slightly hunched shoulders. He tilted his head slightly, narrowing his puffy eyes at the informant standing before him. Pulling on the long cigarette filter with his lips, he put a finger over each ear, and in a low, croaking voice, he said, “Sawed-Off...”

The little man who had been standing next to the boss’s chair swung his arms upward, and in his hands was a shotgun with the barrels shortened. Before the informant could move, his kneecaps were blown out from under him. The thug screamed.

The boss pulled the cigarette out of his mouth, and calmly said, “Shortcut...”

The other little man came around the table. Grabbing the man by his hair while he was still on the floor, and jerking backwards, Shortcut drew a switchblade out of his pocket, and in one motion, he clicked it open and slit the informant’s throat enough to stop his voice. Except for the thug’s gagging, all was quiet.

The boss spoke again, “Next time, Pigeon, don’t perch on my fire escape. Call Mr. Byrd an ambulance, gentlemen.”

Shortcut spoke up, “Hey, Mr. Byrd, you’re an ambulance,” followed by Sawed-Off shooting the informant once in the chest.

A thin smile came across the boss’s face, and pulling the cigarette filter from his lips again, he said, “Yeh... that’s a good one.” The two little men high fived one another. Shortcut walked around to the back of the boss’s chair, and reached up to pull the thin man’s jacket a little further over his shoulders. As Sawed-Off went ahead to hold the door, Shortcut started pushing the boss’s chair towards the front of the restaurant. As they were going by the bar, the boss croaked, “Just a second, Shortcut.”

Making a vague wave of his cigarette towards the bartender, he said, “You’re closed today, Thomas. Make sure you call Miss Numbers, and let her know how good you did. Don’t forget to include the cleanup and repairs of your floor.” Pointing over his shoulder with his thumb, he added, “And call Amantialldo, too. Tell him to do something with that side of beef back there.” Looking towards the door, he took a slow drag on his filter. Exhaling suddenly and settling back in the chair, he ended, “Let’s go, Shortcut.”

Thomas came around the bar, and still wiping a glass out, said, “Sure thing, Big Wheel, I’ll take care of it. You wanna take anything with you?”

As Shortcut turned the wheelchair around backwards to pull it over the threshold, Big Wheel waved away the bartender’s offer, smoke from his cigarette trailing after and around his hand. “Nah! Thanks anyway, Tommy. My liver can’t take too much of that stuff anymore.” Jostling over the door sill a little, he added, “Why don’t you have this thing leveled out, while you’re talking to Lotta. Put a ramp in, or something; my kidneys ain’t what they used to be, either.”

Tommy nodded with a friendly smile on his face, and said, “It’s already done, boss. Say hello to Olivya for me.”

Big Wheel’s eyes softened, seeming to get a little puffier, and he hunched over a little more. He motioned for Shortcut to push him back inside the bar. They jostled over the sill again, and a vaguely pained look washed over the boss’s face. Rubbing his side a little, he tilted his head to one side, and after taking a pull off of his cigarette filter, he blew the smoke out in a quick, thin cloud, and said, “You oughtta come by and see her sometime, Thomas. She’s been asking about you.”

Thomas shrugged helplessly, and said, “Talk to her mom, boss. She...”

Big Wheel pushed up on the arms of his chair with his elbows, and with a hoarse shout, yelled, “To hell with talking to her mooomm!” He dragged the word out in a mocking tone. “Her mom left, and she’s living in my house! And I say a girl needs her father! Now, the last time I checked, that was you!” The boss’s hoarse voice became a cough, and recovering himself, he said, “I’ll take that drink, Tommy.”

Tommy reached around the corner of the bar, and pulled a bottle of bourbon and a shot glass from under the counter. He poured a shot, and handed it to Big Wheel. After downing the liquor, and handing the shot back to Tommy, he put his fingers against his Adam’s apple, and cleared his throat. It was a long, wet sound, and after he’d gotten it up, he swallowed, sniffed, and continued on his rant. “You think I give a damn what she wants? She has your baby! She takes out a restraining order, because you had a drinking problem at the time, and then she leaves! Why? Because she wants to be a damn big time singer! So she takes off to Hollywood – Hollywood! And changes her name! If her mother was alive…” He glances at the ceiling quickly, and with smoke trailing from his cigarette, he crosses himself, saying, “God rest her soul, this would kill her!” Big Wheel jammed his cigarette filter between his lips, but jerked it out again, before he really had time to puff on it. Waving it at Tommy, smoke trailing, he continued, “I’m telling you, Thomas, if she wasn’t my own flesh and blood, I’d have her whacked!”

Finally taking another pull on his cigarette, Big Wheel settled back in his chair, and let the smoke out in a long, slow cloud. He started talking again, while Shortcut reached up to straighten out his jacket. “Thomas, you have the day off. You make those two calls, and then you go out somewhere. While you’re out, you find your daughter a gift; a doll, or something nice like that. You get it wrapped up all nice and pretty at a department store somewhere, and at seven o’clock tonight, you bring it over. We’ll have dinner, and you can visit with your little girl. And don’t you worry about no restraining orders, either, you understand? I own the police in this town, and ain’t a one of ‘em haulin’ nobody off from my house for visitin’ family. Alright?”

When Big Wheel stopped talking, Thomas realized he’d been nervously wiping the same bar glass ever since he’d come around the bar. He set the glass and the bar rag down on the counter quickly, and wiping his big hands on his apron, he took one big stride to Big Wheel, and taking one frail hand in both of his, he shook it firmly, and letting it go, he said, “Thanks, boss. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. Really. I’ll be there; seven o’clock sharp!”

Big Wheel reached up to Thomas, and slapped his cheek lightly. “You’re her father, Thomas, and she’s my granddaughter. I’ll see you tonight. Let’s go, Shortcut.” Shortcut started backing out the door again, and Big Wheel added, “And Thomas, when you come to the house, don’t call me ‘boss,’ or ‘Big Wheel.’ Call me ‘Mr. Mohne.’ I promised my wife I’d never bring that in her house. She’s gone, but a promise is a promise.”

Thomas nodded, wringing his hands like he was still wiping a bar glass. “Sure, Big... uh, Mr. Mohne. I’ll see you tonight; seven sharp.”

“Yeh, see you Tommy.” Shortcut backed up, turned the wheel chair around, and started pushing it down the sidewalk. Sawed-Off let the door go, and fell in behind them.

Tommy caught the door handle as it slowly swung shut, and firmly pulled it closed. He locked the door and turned the “open” sign to “closed.” As he did, he looked at his watch. It wasn’t even nine-thirty. “How ‘bout that,” he murmured. He turned and picked up the glass and bar rag on his way to the phone, and after setting both in the sink, he picked up the receiver and punched in a number on the base. After a few seconds, he said, “Yeh, this is Knox... Yeh, I’m closed... Lemme speak to Miss Numbers... Sure, not at all; I’ll hold...”

Three years ago...

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Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb

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6 Comments

Max Action (Ad Heroes #3)

#DateWelcome to Ad Heroes:Choose Your View:Attached to Forum:Back/ Next
312/29/13Max Action(Blog) (Forum)Gen. Discussion(Back) (Next)

Ad Heroes are superheroes that are created specifically for a certain ad, outside of the comics medium. Some are just eye candy, some are funny, and some are just weird. As I run across them, I'll make a blog to showcase them.

Max Action

Max Action was created for The City of North Las Vegas Parks & Recreation Department, as something to appeal to kids. As with most of this kind of pablum, it appears to have gone the way of the dodo, because I couldn't find any reference to it on the Internet.

In 2009 though, Max Action appeared on the cover of the Activity Schedule magazine for The CNLV P&R Department (seen left). He had one picture inside, and a short comic. I have no clue if he appeared in any other issues of the Schedule.

According to the comic, Max Action is thirteen years old, and he doesn't appear to have been given any powers. He seems like little more than an eye catching device to get kids to pay attention to the city's attempts to get them interested in physical activity. ...Maybe if they had put him in a game for the Wii.

Coming to a game system near you! MAX ACTION! Use your controller to kick the soccer ball!

Hm...maybe not. But hey pictures! Click to enlarge:

And here's that comic I mentioned:

By the way, if you've never seen 3 year olds play soccer, it's pretty much like that last frame.

I'm not sure why he refers to his mom in the last panel, or why the artist felt the need to show the audio/visual plugs on the back of the TV, but it's a short bit of fun that you haven't seen in the comics.

I hope you enjoyed it. See you when I spot the next Ad Hero. As always, thanks for reading.

More Ad Hero Sightings <2 (Ad Heroes) 4>
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Megaman (Ad Heroes #2)

#DateWelcome to Ad Heroes:Choose Your View:Attached to Forum:Back/ Next
212/29/13Megaman(Blog) (Forum)Gen. Discussion(Back) (Next)

Ad Heroes are superheroes that are created specifically for a certain ad, outside of the comics medium. Some are just eye candy, some are funny, and some are just weird. As I run across them, I'll make a blog to showcase them.

Megaman

Megaman was created in 2004 for Integrity Chrysler Jeep Dodge, in Henderson, Nevada. There's not much to say about any Ad Hero like this, so all I can really do is quote the ad copy:

Take it from Megaman! - Before you buy - you must shop the Megastore! ...Where you'll always get mega-savings, mega-selection...

So apparently, Megaman has his own secret headquarters in the Megastore. It must have really been a secret, because the dealership closed in 2009. Yet another victim of the failing economy.

At least we have the ad:

I cut the ad out just for the hero picture, so the ad copy got cut off. Sorry, folks!

I hope you enjoyed it. See you when I spot the next Ad Hero. As always, thanks for reading.

More Ad Hero Sightings <1 (Ad Heroes) 3>
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Cabin Air Filter Man (Ad Heroes #1)

#DateWelcome to Ad Heroes:Choose Your View:Attached to Forum:Back/ Next
112/29/13Cabin Air Filter Man(Blog) (Forum)Gen. Discussion(Back) (Next)

I've been doing two series of lists showcasing ads in comic books. One is Hostess Ads, and the other is Comic Ads. Hostess Ads is dedicated to those one page ads of our heroes defeating badguys with Hostess snack products. Comic Ads features other ads that were set up in comic panels, that aren't the Hostess Ads.

There's another ad I've been keeping track of as I run across them though, and that's Ad Heroes. This is where superheroes are created specifically for a certain ad, outside of the comics medium. Some are just eye candy, some are funny, and some are just weird. As I run across them, I'll make a blog to showcase them.

Cabin Air Filter Man

Our first Ad Hero is going to be Cabin Air Filter Man. I don't know if this character was used company-wide, or if he was just created for the Southern Nevada Toyota Service Centers, but there he is- a Toyota cabin air filter with a head, arms, legs, spandex, cape and a Toyota symbol securing the cape around his neck. The color scheme is very much like Mighty Mouse.

"What's a cabin air filter," you might ask? Simply put, it's an air filter made to filter the air inside the cabin of your vehicle. It makes the air in your car cleaner, and I've found that it even filters out skunk smells, once you change the air flow from outside air to inside air.

What's pretty cool about this particular ad is that they didn't stop with the hero. They gave us the suggestion of a story. They show us The Johnsons, whom Cabin Air Filter Man protected from an entire rogues gallery: Road Kill, Restricted Air Flow, Pollen and Dust! Check it out below.

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Click to enlarge pictures:

And here's the actual ad:

Yes, I edited my former mailing address out of the picture. Protect your identity, kids!

I hope you enjoyed it. See you when I spot the next Ad Hero. As always, thanks for reading.

More Ad Hero Sightings <[Don't go that way] (Ad Heroes) 2>
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The Time I "Inked" Those Two Things, With the Other Thing, From the Thing, by That Guy...

#DateWelcome to my blog:Choose Your View:Attached to Forum:Back/ Next
4512/21/13The Time I "Inked" Those Two Things, With the Other Thing, From the Thing, by That Guy...(Blog) (Forum)Artist Show-Off(Back) (Next)

...This is exactly what the title said. I do not consider myself an artist, so take this blog lightly.

This is The Thing, by Mike Bowden, taken from an Awesome Art Pick column.

I liked this pic from Mike Bowden, because it was just kind of a cool looking Thing. The hands are huge, and it's obviously where the artist put the most work, along with that front foot. The hand on the right of the page is running off, because that's just what my printer did when I printed it off- the original had a complete hand. I used to draw...not well...but it was passable for no training whatsoever. I had never tried inking before though. I had traced my own drawings with felt tip pen, but not actually with ink. So I saw this, obviously scanned from the pencils, and thought I'd give it a try. I don't have all the fancy tools, so I just used my favorite pen- a Pentel R.S.V.P. BK90 Fine point black.

This is how my "inking" job came out, just using an ordinary desk pen.

Not too bad, if you artist guys can tolerate my personal opinion, unrefined for art as it is. I wasn't going for any embellishments here. My goal was simply to darken the pencils, tracing the pencil lines as accurately as possible. I didn't add any shading or other extras, although I felt like I screwed up the back foot. I wanted to see this puppy colored, but I didn't want to mess up my original inked copy. So I ran it through a copier.

This is my "inking" job, after it went through the copier.

The copier made it darker still. That seemed to help certain areas, but hurt others. Whatever though, I took one of the copies and colored it.

This is my colored version.

Basically, my reason for two-tone coloring is this: I did this when I came home from work, and I was tired. Simple as that. I wanted to see how this Thing looked if I used orange, and if I used a yellow. Being tired overruled my dedication though, so I went half-and-half on this one copy, using my oil pencils, which have been stored away for...let's just say many years. As you're looking at it, the left hand side of the page is colored with an "Orange (2)," and the right hand side of the page is colored with a "Yellow Ochre." The trunks are done with a "Blue (1)" and "Black," and I used the Black again to thicken some lines around the hands and head, to separate them from the body parts they overlap, since they were the same colors.

There is some unintentional shading in the Yellow Ochre shoulder. I did not intend for certain chunks to be a lighter yellow. That's just me putting a different pressure on the pencil. So it was unintentional, but I kind of like it- I think it works.

I wanted to see both colors, because I was curious which would look "more right." My opinion is that the Yellow Ochre is the usual color used for the Thing, but that the Orange (2) would be good for more intense moments, for deeper lighting, or if you just wanted to emphasize the monster over the man- I think that orange hand looks like it belongs in a horror comic. ...Yeah, so that's my non-artist opinion. However...

I am not aspiring to be a comic inker or anything. This was just a fun exercise for me. Still, I always want to know what others think, so if you have a comment, a pointer, or whatever, let me know. Thanks for checking it out, for reading, and thanks for stopping by.

-cb

3 Comments

Would U Buy It #92: "Richard Dragon"

#DateWelcome to WUBI # 92:Choose Your View:Attached to Forum:Back/ Next
9211/29/13Richard Dragon(Blog) (Forum)Richard Dragon (2004)(Back) (Next)

We all have trade paperback (TPB) collections we'd like to see. Here's one of mine:

Proposed Title:Richard Dragon
Alternate Title:Richard Dragon: Out of the Past
Collecting 12 Issues:Richard Dragon #1-12
Covers: (click to enlarge)
TPB Cover: Richard Dragon #7

Richard Dragon was originally introduced to capitalize on the Kung-Fu craze of the 1970's, and clearly meant to compete with Marvel's Shang-Chi. Although the Kung-Fu Fighter never achieved the popularity of the Master of Kung-Fu, he is supposed to be DC's martial arts best-of-the-best. His 1970's title is responsible for introducing both Lady Shiva and Bronze Tiger- crazy good fighters in their own rights. Nevermind Batman, who (barf) is the greatest at everything, Shiva overtook the imaginations of creators, and emerged as the top martial artist in the DCU. Richard's status as top fighter has been further muddied over time, by creators jockeying other characters near the top slot (just below Shiva) to prove their badassery. These include Connor Hawke, Cassandra Cain, Black Canary, Sin, an improved-by-further-training Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), and even Robin (Tim Drake), who got his training from Shiva herself (some Bat-guy may have helped with that too). Nevermind the varied writing on the aforementioned Bronze Tiger, or The Question (Vic Sage), or that Sensei guy from League of Assassins that everyone seems to forget about. Or if you want to screw the debate even more, you might bring up multiple visits to the 20th/21st Centuries by Karate Kid, who knows alien forms of martial arts that we've never even heard of.

To clarify a little, in 1998, Brotherhood of the Fist (see WUBI #3) had established Connor Hawke as the number two martial artist of the DCU. Sometime after that, Cassandra Cain beat Lady Shiva, and screwed the DCU ranking all up. Of course, sometime after that, Tim Drake beat her through strategy, temporarily paralyzing her with a poisoned mint on her pillow, and promising to kill her if she ever returned. That's just me muddying the waters again though.

Clearly, there's only one thing you can do when things have gotten screwed up that badly: ignore it all and ask Chuck Dixon to revitalize the character, somewhere in the neighborhood of the Bat-Family. In 2004, that's just what DC did. When the first issue of Richard Dragon hit in July of 2004, Nightwing and Robin were still running strong and very popular. Birds of Prey was just past it's halfway mark, Batgirl was just a little less than two years away from ending its run, and Azrael: Agent of the Bat had just ended in mid-2003. So it was a good time to release another title into the Bat-verse, and remind people just who DC's top martial artist is. Dixon is a master of street level characters, and since he wrote the largest chunks of those popular Nightwing and Robin titles I mentioned, letting him loose on Richard Dragon was a no-brainer for DC.

For whatever reason though, the title only lasted a year. I'm not sure what fans were expecting to see, but clearly they weren't willing to wait for Dixon's long build-up to whatever he was planning for the character. Still, this was one danged fun ride while it lasted, and I think it deserves a trade paperback.

For the cover, I was going to just go with the cover to the first issue, which I think is kind of lackluster, but none of them looked great to me. Then I saw the virgin art for issue #7, and decided that was the best shot of Dragon. So that's my pick for the cover.

With the title, there are a few options. The series was broken into two six-issue story arcs. The first was "Enter the Dragon," but that's obviously borrowing from Bruce Lee, and invites comparisons to the man that the character cannot live up to. The second arc was called "Out of the Past," and that seems really appropriate for this series, since it's pre-New 52. However, since no New 52 title exists for the character, I decided simply going with the series title was the best idea. So Richard Dragon it is.

Would you buy it? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading.

21 Comments

Grandma's Comics 4: Special Agent

#DateWelcome to my blog:Choose Your View:Attached to Forum:Back/ Next
4411/28/13Grandma's Comics 4: Special Agent(Blog) (Forum)Special Agent(Back) (Next)
Apologies to Erik Larsen for the edit.

...I wish I could explain what my grandmother's death means to me, in such a way that you could really understand. The fact is though, unless you've lost all of your grandparents, you won't understand it completely. ...I have found as I've gotten older that there are truly some things that cannot cross the generation gap. This was my last grandparent- an entire generation of my family is now silenced...gone. It's incomprehensible. The only lessons left to be learned from them are lessons from memory and retrospect...and in the things they left behind.

I loved my grandmother. I loved all of my grandparents of course, but honestly, she was probably my favorite. She grew up on a farm, lived on another one with my grandfather, raised chickens, hogs, a couple horses. She worked at a chemical plant. She loved Perry Mason, Murder She Wrote, and Matlock... Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy... crossword puzzles, word finds, the newspaper's jumble, big dictionaries...Bicentennial quarters... Mandrake the Magician, Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Superman... and me.

She loved me... She fed me chicken on Sundays (yep, fresh from the ones she raised)...let me play with the cat's kittens...let me dig behind her bushes (found a Civil War bullet once)...let me help her shell peas, snap green beans and shuck corn...let me live with her when I just had to move out at seventeen (by the way- if you're younger, don't do that to yourself- it can wait another few years. Go to college). She put up with so much from me...

From the last page, last panel.

...and yet the thing I loved most about her is something I didn't really realize until after she'd died: that she shared and supported my love of comics. She didn't collect 'em like I do- she read the newspaper strips she loved, she watched the George Reeves Adventures of Superman TV show, and she had a few comics tucked away here and there, as I have come to find out- whether they were ones for her, or that she'd held onto for me, I couldn't say. Whatever the case, I find myself once again looking at a comic I didn't know she had, and wanting to share it with all of you.

As I mentioned in Grandma's Comics 3, this book too is a special treat for me- a comic that's new to me, and from my grandmother. It's like a gift from beyond the grave. Sounds like a Fifties horror movie doesn't it? The Gift From Beyond The Grave! Not completely off either, because Special Agent was published in 1959 by the Association of American Railroads; School and College Service. It's all about the Railroad Police. Please enjoy it as I have:

Cover (Page 1), Pages 2-10:

Pages 11-15, back cover (page 16):

I hope you all liked it. This will be the last comic I scan in its entirety like this. I don't have huge qualms about these two, because they are promotional comics, and the promoters who published them probably won't mind the free advertising. I do feel that I should be able to share anything I want from my personal library, in any way that I want, as it's mine and I paid for it (or inherited it, in this case). However, that's something that someone else is going to have to work out with publishers- it's not waters I want to test. Again, I hope you liked it. Thanks again, grandma. And thank you for reading.

4 Comments

Dupitydupe

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Fic'r Interview by CapFanboy:
ImpurestCheese

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Marvel Mayhem by ImpurestCheese:
  1. End of Days
  2. Darkest before the Dawn
  3. Skeletons
  4. Something Wicked...
  5. Occulum Infernum
  6. Ascent into Hell
Avengers/Villain's Tale
  1. Offers of Power
  2. Two Opposing Forces
  3. Growing Problems
  4. Supporting Characters
(in The Writers Guild Presents)

  1. Crimson #1 (in WGP 3/14/14)
  2. Crimson #2 (in WGP 3/28/14)
  3. Crimson #3 (in WGP 4/18/14)
  1. Villains United Achievement

  1. DFOS #1
  2. DFOS #2
  3. DFOS #3
  4. DFOS #4
Doubt
  1. Doubt #1
  2. Doubt #2
  3. Doubt #3
87
The 5th Column
  1. From the Ashes
  2. Deniable Assets
  3. Urban Collapse
  4. Eye of the Serpent

Generation X/Thunderbolts

  • (w/ RichGenX)
  1. The Seattle Crisis
  2. Incoming Vectors
  3. Unsafe in Seattle (posted by RichGenX)
Hecate: The Five Day War
  1. HFHMV #1
  2. HFHMV #2
  3. HFHMV #3
  4. HFHMV #4
  5. HFHMV #5
  6. HFHMV #6
Hero/Horror A vs T
Jester's 11
  1. The Club
  2. Fixing the Odds
  3. Twenty One, Dealer Loses.
  4. And you know him How?
  5. Sleepless in Seattle
  6. The Great Vibranium Theft
  7. Rivalries
  8. Survivors Guilt
  9. Shatterpoint
  10. The Gauntlet
  11. The Last Laugh...
Jester's 11 Christmas Special
  1. J11CS #1
  2. J11CS #2
Masters of Evil
  1. Introduction to Being Bad
  2. Hunters and the Hunted
  3. Bloodsport
  4. Breaking and Entering
  5. Magic Hour
  6. Escape Plans
Micromax
  1. Vorozheika Embassy, Hertford Street, London
  2. Labyrinth Super Max Facility, Living Fortress, Seattle
  3. Labyrinth Supermax Prison Facility, Seattle
Operation Whitewater
  1. OW #1
  2. OW #2
  3. OW #3
  4. OW #4
  5. OW #5
Ossuary - Of Rock and Bone
RIP Marvel Mayhem
Tales From the Raft
  1. TFTR #1
  2. TFTR #2
  3. TFTR #3
  4. TFTR #4
  5. TFTR #5

Thunderbolts

  • (#1-24, 15A, 19A)

New Thunderbolts

  • (#25-28, 28A)

Thunderbolts One-Shot Halloween Special
Too Many Masters Competition
Uncanny X-Men
  1. Devil's Gambit
  2. Redemoinho de Vento
The Villain's Tale
  1. Just Another Normal Day
  2. Eleven Reminders
  3. Syrup and Sorcery
  4. Tarnished Memories
  5. Entry Points
  6. Cops N Robbers (posted by Batkevin74)
  7. Revelations
  8. Spectres and Assassins
  9. Robotickã Chybí
  10. Death of a Clown
  11. Exceptional Circumstances
  12. Violent Rejection
Villain's Tale: Road to the Altar - S2
  1. VTRtAS2 #1
Villain's Tale Valentines Special
Weird Sisters
  1. WS #1
  2. WS #2
  3. WS #3
  4. WS #4
  5. WS #5
  6. WS #6
  7. WS #7
  8. WS #8
  9. WS #9

X-Men/Thunderbolts

  • (w/ Rabbitearsblog)
  1. With Friends Like These...
  2. The Mystery of the Confessor Skrull (posted by REB)
  3. Facsimiles
  4. The Best Laid Plans (posted by REB)
  5. Faces We Once Knew

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The Brutal Foes of Batman
  1. 2nd January 2014, 8-Ball Bar, Gotham City
  2. 3rd January, Arkham Asylum, Gotham City
DC Mayhem: Sensation Comics
DC Mayhem: The Society
  1. With Friends Like These...
Fan-Fic Versus - Round 1: TommytheHitman vs ImpurestCheese.
I.C. Reviews...Gotham City 21 by SIDF26
I.C. Reveiws…Hungry by Joshmightbe
Injustice: Gods Among Us Character Profile: Hawker
Injustice: Gods Among Us - Lady Killers
  1. IGAULK #1
  2. IGAULK #2
  3. IGAULK #3
  4. IGAULK #4
Injustice - Hawker
  1. Green Vengeance, Part 1
  2. Green Vengeance, Part 2
  3. Green Vengeance, Part 3
  4. The Red Dawn, Part 1
  5. The Red Dawn, Part 2
League of Losers
  1. The Day the Music Died
  2. Birth of a Hero
The Liberators
  1. Saving Face
  2. Hunting Party
  3. Tempus Fugit
Marvel Iron Age: Sinister Six
  1. Iron Hall, Caracas, Venezuela - 2200 AD
  2. Skeleton Coast, Niger – 2194 AD
  3. Doomstadt, New Latveria – 2194AD
Marvel Nexus: The Silver Wasp
  1. MNTSW #1
  2. MNTSW #2
Marvel Now: The Syndicate
  1. MNTS #1
  2. MNTS #2
Onca: Warrior of Xibalba
  1. Wings of the Butterfly
  2. The Glass Cage
  3. The Jaguar's Claws
  4. The Black Mouth
  5. Last Ride of the Cataphract

The Patron Saint of Crime

  • (presented in The Writers Guild Presents)
  • Continued in The Black Case Book #1
The Reclaimers
  1. Luckiest Man Alive
Super Villain Team-Up
  1. Unknown Location
  2. Circuit Ricardo Tomo, Valencia, Italy
  3. Catacombs under Rome, Italy
  4. La Carne Festa, Rome
Task Force HAMMER
  1. Terrible People...
Task Force HAMMER: The Underside

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The Black Case Book
#Features:
.1.
  • Siwang; Patron Saint of Crime #1 - Cometh the Valkyrie
  • Five Star #1 - Traumatic Evening

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Impurest's Guide To Animals
Impurest's Guide to Animals
  1. Common Genet
  2. Milk Snake
  3. Salmon Shark
  4. Northern Lapwing
  5. Venezuelan Pebble Toad
  6. Blanket Octopus
  7. Ring Tailed Coati
  8. Northern Hawk Owl
  9. Bobbit Worm
  10. African Bat Bug
  11. Sea Lamprey
  12. Iberian Newt
  13. Satanic Nightjar
  14. Isabella Tiger Moth
  15. Snow Leopard
  16. Honduran White Bat
  17. Adelie Penguin
  18. Goonch Catfish
  19. Sheltopusik
  20. Stygiomedusa
  21. Golden Orb Weaver
  22. Saola
  23. Lord Howe Island Stick Insect
  24. Paradox Frog
  25. Robber Crab
  26. Daggernose Shark
  27. Red Legged Seriema
  28. Patas Monkey
  29. Yellow Tailed Scorpion
  30. Peacock Mantis Shrimp
  31. Neon Cuckoo Bee
  32. Sea Swallow
  33. Olm
  34. Nosy Be Leaf Chameleon
  35. Zebra Jumping Spider
  36. Vaquita
  37. Parborlasia corrugatis

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2 Comments