Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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...MARVEL SUPER-HEROES ADVENTURES (That it's precise title?) #1
" TRUE BELIEVERS " reprint of X-MEN #49 (I think)

I picked up an issue of something called Glamourpuss from the 10-cent bin*, and I didn't know what to make of it. In the first half -- it can't really be called a "story" -- there were several full-page black-and-white line illustrations of a character called Zootanapuss. Zootanapuss is clearly modeled on Zatana, but is drawn somewhat more zaftig, and speaks in a sort of middle-Elizabethan dialect.

There is page after page after page of Zootanapuss trading snarky jabs at fashion models, and a running count of who gets the better of each exchange.

Then in the second half -- which qualifies even less as a "story" than the first half -- we are shown comic strip legends Stan Drake (of The Heart of Juliet Jones and, in later years, Blondie) and Alex Raymond (of Flash Gordon and Rip Kirby) coming to Drake's home.

The narrator tells us that Drake's wife consistently refused to call him by his first name because her father and brother were both named Stanley; consequently, she always called him "Drake." The narrator also says he would have called her by her last name, "Smith," to get her to knock it off. Then we are told that Drake's wife starts flirting with Raymond right in front of Drake. 

Then the two men go for a ride in Drake's new Corvette convertible. Then there is paragraph after paragraph of overwritten gearhead stuff about the Corvette. I read this bit over and over and still can't make sense of it:

Glamourpuss wrote:

(I picture Raymond's eyes glittering brightly as he read in the July, 1956 issue of Road & Track that, while having to start in 2nd may have slowed the car off the starting line, the three closely-spaced ratios were perfect for road racing -- and that, while the Corvette's first gear wasn't synchronized it could be "engaged at 50 or 60 mph without double-clutching.")

Glamourpuss is from Dave Sim of Cerebus fame, a book I had zero interest in. I'm aware Cerebus began as a Conan the Barbarian parody and lasted for 300 issues, but that wasn't enough to make me care about it. Glamourpuss is beautifully rendered, in the naturalistic/realistic style of gents like Drake and Leonard Starr and Al Williamson. But the prose -- ! It's horrible! It reads like somebody just throwing words on the page to fill space.

(On Wikipedia, I ran across a link to this piece by Dave Sim --"The End?" -- in which he describes that issue #26 of Glamourpuss was the last, even though the "story" wasn't done. He also described launching the title just to pay off a debt, but that after the initial launch, sales dropped so that he was barely able to make a dent in the debt, but kept it going because, well, once listed, retailers expect to see a title always there, even if it doesn't sell.)

*Yes, I found a place that has a 10-cent bin! 

Raymond died in a car accident. He was driving Drake's car with Drake as his passenger.

Mark Sullivan, have you read Redlands?

It is easily one of the best horror comics I have read in a long time. Jordie Bellaire writes it, and Vanessa Del Rey draws it. Anything you have heard about Jordie Bellaire's writing talent is not just lip service. It is awesome. It makes you afraid of this group of witches, but at the same time, it makes them approachable. This isn't your cauldron-stirring and hat-wearing coven. This is a group of women who have infiltrated a small town in Florida at the government level. The art is swirling with style and fear. The stories have consequences, both in-story and at the social level, even though it never comes out and claims it.

This is the book from the past year that I wish I could stand on a mountaintop and scream, "READ THIS!"

I forgot to mention in my last post that Arsenal teamed with Red Hood in this year’s annual, and the last few pages read very much like a good-bye. So I expect Roy to be one of the deaths promised in the Heroes in Crisis series.

Luke, I didn’t know that about Raymond. Were he and Drake friends? What’s the story on the crash?

I can fill in some of the details, Clark. Not only was Jason, Wonder Woman's brother, he was her twin brother. Anyway, Darkseid's daughter, Grail (never heard of her), is on a mission for her father who is now a baby (I dunno). When she kills gods on Earth, Darkseid is able to take their power in death and grow older and more powerful. 

After she kills Hercules, he leaves his stuff with Wonder Woman, and this is how she learns about her brother. He is living as a fisherman, and normal person. There is a big fight of course in which Wonder Woman and Jason win.

A bit later Wonder Woman gets into a major battle with the Silver Swan. Jason tries to help and almost dies. After Diana's victory, Jason states he isn't ready for the superhero life, and needs more training. I guess that didn't take long.  But I wouldn't say Jason died necessarily. He was absorbed into the Dark Gods  and is helping them find their homeworld. 



ClarkKent_DC said:

Captain Comics said:

WONDER WOMAN #54: I seem to have missed an issue or two, because the last issue of WW I read featured the death of her brother, which was such an incredibly terrible, wrong-headed, very bad, no good, reprehensible story idea that everyone involved should be shot. Come to think of it, maybe I had such a bad taste in my mouth that they introduced such an awful idea (A brother? A BROTHER? If Diana needs a sibling, GIVE HER A SISTER. Geez, this is Wonder Woman, not Boy Comics.) that I skipped over WW for a couple of months.

Wonder Woman has a brother? Wha --- ?

I know I'm going to regret hearing the answer, but -- what are you talking about?

Captain Comics said:

Luke, I didn’t know that about Raymond. Were he and Drake friends? What’s the story on the crash?

I don't know much about it. I found a Hogan's Alley article here which recounts Drake's recollections. It says Raymond visited Drake at his studio (apparently more than once, but the article is a little unclear about this). Drake had a Corvette, and when it came up Raymond wanted to try it. They went to Drake's home and went for a drive. Raymond asked for a turn at the wheel. He sped and the car crashed because he didn't slow down for a drop. Drake admired Raymond, but wasn't his intimate friend.

Yes, I've read it. I wasn't impressed; I thought the writing was weak. I think I reviewed it here, and it's in the queue to run on my blog. Horse races, as always.

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

Mark Sullivan, have you read Redlands?

It is easily one of the best horror comics I have read in a long time. Jordie Bellaire writes it, and Vanessa Del Rey draws it. Anything you have heard about Jordie Bellaire's writing talent is not just lip service. It is awesome. It makes you afraid of this group of witches, but at the same time, it makes them approachable. This isn't your cauldron-stirring and hat-wearing coven. This is a group of women who have infiltrated a small town in Florida at the government level. The art is swirling with style and fear. The stories have consequences, both in-story and at the social level, even though it never comes out and claims it.

This is the book from the past year that I wish I could stand on a mountaintop and scream, "READ THIS!"

...Daredevil #608 also.

  I brought, and liked, and missed when it left, GLAMOURPUSS. Aren't there some contemporary threads about it still up here? I had little involvement with CEREBUS. I wasn't involved when Sim's adoption & expression of rather - Unusual for late-20th Century North Americans! - beliefs made him a controversial figure.

  Just recently I was reminded of this, and how long it's been that GLAMOURPUSS has been gone. I meant to bring this up here, as well as my suprised that Sim has apparently been keeping the loons flying in by writing but not drawing?? a series of not in continuity?? CEREBUS one-shots by divers artistic hands??, numbered upon a Carmine-Infantino-you-were-a-priphet! basis of " every issue a #1 ". I never heard about this!:-(

...I also read the SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL's Sunnday comics section, perhaps for the last time. It is the same Sunday comics section as the San Jose and Oakland papers (Owned by the same people) and probably considerably more.

“I picked up an issue of something called Glamourpuss from the 10-cent bin, and I didn't know what to make of it.”

I didn’t know quite what to make of it, either, but I read every issue. It started out as a cross between fashion magazine parody and comic strip scholarship. Eventually, the “comic book scholarship” piece of it morphed into a deep dive into the death of Alex Raymond which, for me, was fascinating in its minutia. As you point out, it didn’t sell very well. Since then, Dave Sim has developed some sort of condition which renders him unable to draw. A shame, really.

His current work (a series of one-shots with comic book parody cover I will refer to generally as “Cerebus in Hell?”) is the story of paste-ups of Cerebus walking through Dante’s Inferno with Dante and Virgil as illustrated by Gustav Dore. I don’t know quite what to make of that, either (but, again, I’ve read every issue).

ARCHIE 1941 #1: I dropped all of the neo-Archie titles a while ago, not because I wasn’t enjoying them, but because I simply needed to cut back. I couldn’t pass this one, though, by Mark Waid. He not only did a good job on the revamped series itself, but also did a good job introducing classic stories in context of the era in which they were originally released. How could I pass up this Archie series set in the decade it originated? Besides, it’s only five issues. It’s off to a good start.

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 #1: Man, they’ve been thinking about doing a MST3K comic book for a long time! What they had to do was think outside the box of traditional movie riffing and adapt the format to accommodate comic books. I think they’ve succeeded. It’s along the lines of the re-scripted parody comics that were popular ten years ago, but they more closely follow the original plot, leaving some of the original dialogue intact.

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