Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More About "Iron Sky"

Last month I mentioned a German film called "Iron Sky". Well, if movies about Nazis living on the Moon since 1945, then plotting their revenge on Earth using flying saucers and zeppelins sounds like fun to you, then check-out the official "Iron Sky" website. At the site, you can view several videos of the movie. I think it looks like a fun film with some nice-looking special effects, but that's just me (and I'm a guy who enjoys watching Johnny Socco & His Giant Robot and Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone, so take my opinion for what it's worth).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Breaking News ... if I posted this before anyone else talked about it!

I was reading yesterday about Atomic Comics in Arizona closing all four of their stores (here or here or here). The thing that bothers me is the "doom & gloom" reaction this keeps getting. Even though people keep saying "this doesn't mean it's the end of the 'comic shop'", they keep talking about "the end of the comic shop", repeatedly bringing-up the digital market & the future of comics. Sure, digital comics will have an impact on paper comics, but DC hasn't started selling them the same day they're released yet, and Marvel doesn't seem to be all gung-ho about digital books at this point. What happened to Atomic Comics seems pretty obvious to me. They suffered a major financial set-back, had their stores located in high-rent buildings, and obviously weren't paying their bills (or at least, their taxes ... like the IRS or creditors wouldn't notice).

I wasn't even going to post today, but then, the "EAST COAST EARTHQUAKE" hit, and I have to talk about that! I've lived in eastern Pennsylvania all my life, and the last (and only) quake I remember people talking about around here (about two decades ago) I didn't even notice. Today's quake? I watched the news and saw people overreacting as if the world was coming to an end. I know people from the West Coast are probably like "5.8? That's it?", but I can understand people who have never been in one getting a little freaked-out about it.

So how did I react to the quake, no one asks? I was sitting on the floor, doodling a little bit, with my kids in another room. I could hear the trash truck going down the street (the truck's either THAT loud, or the walls of our home are THAT thin), and all of a sudden, it literally felt like the trash truck pulled into my driveway and bumped into my house. I'm sitting there going "What the heck was that?" when, about a second or two after that, it felt like the trash truck had backed-up so it could really slam into the house at full speed. My home didn't just shake, I heard a rumble, too. I jumped to my feet, because nobody messes with my home, and the kids start telling me about the dining room table shaking, and I'm like "Yeah, ok, I'm going outside to see what the heck hit our house." I go out, and the trash truck is going down the street, and it becomes obvious that nothing was slamming into us. I go back inside, listen to the kids talk about the table again ... and think nothing more of it, until my wife (who was at work) sends me a message that reads "Did you feel the ground shake?" Seeing as how my wife works about 25 miles away from our home, my amazing powers of deduction tell me that what I had experienced earlier was an earthquake.

Honestly, while the rumbling and feeling that something big & heavy had just slammed into our home was a little irritating, it wasn't that big of a deal, beyond being something that I can turn into one of those stories with which I can one day annoy future grand kids with as I get older and more senile.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Art Appreciation: John Giunta (volume two!)

Once again, John Giunta is the focus of "Art Appreciation". The two stories are from Buster Brown Comics # 4 (Summer 1945 - The Leathern Cord of Magic) and Mad Hatter # 2 (September-October 1946).
First up, though, is a two-page article focusing on "fan magazines" that was written by Giunta and ran in Amazing Mystery Funnies volume 2 issue 12 (December 1939). The reason I find this worthy of inclusion here is the fact that it gives a little insight as to what Giunta may have been doing before he began his career in comic books.
Following that, I've included a small "Cover Gallery" of Giunta's work.

In my opinion, John Giunta is one of the most underrated artists of the Golden Age of comics. Most history books, blogs and websites focus on the "big names" of the industry, so much so that when I really got into Golden Age comics (over a decade ago), I didn't know who John Giunta was or what he did. That's not surprising. Aside from creating the first super-powered female character to appear in a comic book (The Magician from Mars, which first appeared in the pages "Amazing-Man Comics # 7" cover-date November 1939) and drawing two stories featuring The Duke of Darkness (a feature that has more than a few fans), Giunta had a pretty "quiet" career. It doesn't help any that he died fairly young when he passed away in 1970 (he was born in 1920).
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