Christ! This week has really flown by. Yard work, cleaning up old toys, and dressing as a viking (don’t ask) have really made time fly as it were. Here it is, Friday already and time for another Friday Funny Pages! Todays panel comes to us all the way from the 1960’s and Strange Tales #151. This was the first issue for a young up and coming comic book artist named Jim Steranko! Based on layouts by Jack Kirby and written by Stan Lee this issue was of course destined for greatest. Jim Steranko would later go on to take over both the drawing and writing credits for the book, making Nick Fury into what he is today (Samuel L. Jackson?).
When I was searching through my comics for fodder for this segment this particular panel made me chuckle. Out of context you see Nick Fury waking up after apparently being captured by HYDRA, and the first thing that springs to mind is “I needed them clothes!” Not the fact that he’s trapped, captured, and surrounded by bad guys. Though I guess the security deposit on a tux is pretty astronomical.That’s exactly why James Bond doesn’t rent his tuxedos.
Anyway, of course the real reason he needed his clothes was due to the fact that they were lined with SHIELD crafted spy gear to assist him on his mission and without them he was going to have to rely on his wits to see the mission through, that is if he ever makes it out of HYDRAS glass box of death! Will he? Won’t he? You’ll have to read the issue to find you!
First off let me say happy April Fool’s Day! Today is the day you can go out into the world and start punching people in the face or kicking them in the groin and as long as you yell “April Fools!” afterward it’s all okay, right?
Anyway, now let’s take a look at the great, great pair of panels we have here today. This of course comes from the late, great Jack Kirby drawing one of the earliest Fantastic Four adventures. What I find so hilarious about these panels is that in the first image he has just come up with this idea to make Alicia (his step-daughter) a doppelganger for the incapacitated Invisible Girl and mere “Minutes Later” he has been able to put together an FF uniform and a convincing blonde wig! This of course implies that the Puppet Master’s mastery is not limited to puppets, but that he is also a master stylist and fashion designer as well! If this super villain schtick doesn’t work out for you PM, you should think about opening a salon in Soho, those are very trendy at the moment. Just saying, think it about it you sassy bitch!
(Though it might help to cut back on the creep face while you have those scissors in your hands.)
I have some really great panels coming up in this series, from a wide range of comic books and I have found that it is hard to choose which one to show when Friday morning comes around. I chose this one this week because it features the Silver Surfer, a favorite character of mine and comes from one of the classic, if not campy, early Marvel events the Avengers/Defenders War. Brought to you by Steve Englehart and Bob Brown the story is simple and reminiscent of many other Avengers tales. In this crossover spectacle Loki teams up with Dormammu and under competing false pretenses tricks both super hero teams into gathering the components of a device known as the Evil Eye which will allow Dormammu to expand his Dark Dimension and overtake our plane of existance.
This panel stuck out at me for several reasons. First the way the Silver Surfer is portrayed with that odd, goofy expression of surprise. Normally the Surfer is a very stoic, almost Spock-like character and he seems to only be drawn with the most extreme facial expressions in the pages of the comics. If he’s not blank faced and neutral he’s either completely mopy and sad or shocked and horrified. Here we of course have the latter. Second are just the snippets of dialogue in this panel, it just exemplifies the ridiculous situations inheirent in comic book stories. This panel deals with the Silver Surfer having no luck trying to find one of the parts of the Evil Eye on some remote island, until one of the natives asks if he is their volcano god. Bingo! Volcano! This leads to an awesome battle between the Silver Surfer and the Vision, representing the Defenders and the Avengers respectively, inside the crater of a volcano. Which of course could have all been avoided had the ol’ Silver Surfer just checked the volcano, as anyone would do when searching for a mystic weapon of mass destruction. Duh.
Here we are once again, another Friday and another goofball moment from the pages of some of my favorite comic books. This weeks panels are a bit more morbid than last week. Maybe my sense of humor is off but I just found these panels really funny, take a look.
Oh my, indeed! These panels come from issue #7 of the 90’s run of Ghost Rider, written by Howard Mackie and drawn by Mark Texeira. In the issue there is actually a panel set between these two but I thought it’d be funnier just to show these two back to back and cut out the “One Hour Later” police scene. Now maybe I’m just an awful person, but chalk outlines are funny to me, it’s just such a terrible idea. How would you like to be the rookie cop who has to draw all those outlines? And a baby chalk outline? Well . . . .
Anyway, in the issue the Scarecrow (Marvel’s version of course) escapes from the psyche ward and immediately starts killing people (as seen in the above panels) in order to draw the attention of Captain America. Unfortunately for him, his spilling of innocent blood brings the Ghost Rider down on him, who beats him up a bit before impaling the Scarecrow on his own pitchfork. At that his days of killing people and stuffing their bodies with straw are put to an end. Or are they . . . .
Here is yet another comic book post from me this week! Often times you can find some real zany panels throughout the pages of comic books, especially when they are taken out of context and shown by themselves. That’s exactly what I have done here today. I plan on making this a weekly segment of my blog, bringing you my favorite panels from the pages of various comic books that display quirky or funny scenes. In fact it was this weeks panel which sparked this idea and sent me off on a hurried flip through my trades in search of other such gems! Some that I’ve found aren’t funny, but more weird, others are creepy, and a couple aren’t limited to single panels but two or three that go together. So there aren’t really any rules to this, I’m just going to be presenting panels that I like, but that’s not to say they will be panels that I think are “cool” with stellar art or “badass” depictions of the characters. You get that all the time in comics, especially these days. This segment is based purely on my goofball sense of humor, I’m looking for that certain whimsical ju nu se qua! And some of the upcoming images I could imagine seeing as gifs in responses in forums, or maybe even one day as internet memes, oh to dream!
Anywho without further ado, here we go!
This panel comes from way back in Iron Man #149 during the epic and now legendary story arc where Dr. Doom and Iron Man get caught in an accidental activation of Doom’s time machine and get sent back to the age of King Arthur and Camelot where the two of them, of course, take up opposing sides in an ongoing struggle between the knights of the round table and the evil forces of Morgana le Fay. It’s all collected in a trade simply called “Iron Man VS Dr. Doom” check it out if you’ve never read it.
I don’t know if this panel was trying to go for some humor or not. My guess is that it probably was, things weren’t always taken so serious back in the day. Intentional or not it makes me laugh and goes well with my more serious discussion of the Arthur legends in my last blog entry!
During highschool and college I drew a rinky dink comic strip called “Freak Squad” which had a few appearances in my highschool paper, and which made a regular showing in my college paper. They weren’t ever really that good, it is surprisingly hard to write a 3 or 6 panel comic strip and make it funny. There’s a lot of pressure in those limited spaces to establish a premise and get to some sort of punchline or hilarity. That is why I have so much respect for folks who can put them together successfully with both art and humor. Like Jason Adams over at Rogue’s Galley, like I said before he’s got some good stuff.
I did however write a few 8 and 10 page comic books featuring the characters of Freak Squad that I think worked a bit better than the strips. I prefer the long jokes, or the running gags when it comes to these characters and that just doesn’t work as well in strip form. Although I guess I could do serialized style, like the Superman and Spider-Man comic strips from the newspaper. But then people would just lose interest and never make it to the jokes. ANYWAY I came across an old, unfinished Freak Squad comic and decided to finish it today. I didn’t get it completely done, it’s been awhile I used to really be able to crank them out in college, but I present you with a few panels of what I did get done. Enjoy! And remember I’m no stellar artist! And if anyone would like to know more about the complex and detailed universe of the Freak Squad please ask, I would love to go on and on about this fictional poorly drawn universe I’ve created!