Friday Funny Pages: Can I Touch It?

This happens every time Peter and Mary Jane stop by to visit Thor.

This image is just so perfect for several reasons.  First off Mary Jane’s comment of course, she just seems so very interested in the subject.  Next is Thor’s suspicious side-eye.  You can almost see the God of Thunder asking himself the same question we are, “Is she really asking about my hammer?”  Lastly just take a look at Peter Parker’s face.  What more needs said?

Ah, poor Spider-Man never quite able to ever keep up with the big guys, whomp, whomp!

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Friday Funny Pages: A Woman, A Swamp Monster, And A Wizard Walk Into A Bar . . . .

When taken out of context some comic book panels can really raise the question, “what the fuck?”  I believe this one does just that.

This panel also illustrates what I think is missing from a lot of comic books today which is, pure zaniness.  Not to be confused with silliness.  Silliness is useless.  Zaniness on the other hand, at least how I define it, is a desire to do something new and creative in the most outrageous way possible.  I mean with comic books there are no limitations so why not occasionally build a genuinely good storyline with a zany crescendo?  Often times these days, as with almost every other medium, comic books are rehashing or returning to older concepts.  So on occasion we’ll see some zany in the funny pages, but it’s a return to another creators zany.  Not original, fresh zany.  That’s harder to come by.  Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of great comic books out there now, really quality stuff from all the publishers.  As far as I’m concerned however, comics are taking themselves far too serious.  Sure they’ve matured with the audience, and comics aren’t for kids anymore, etc. etc.  Zaniness doesn’t necessarily have to be for kids either.  Perhaps it’s just me though, perhaps I’m just part of a rapidly shrinking audience who enjoys a zany approach and outlandish characters in my comic books.

If you feel the same way then check out the rest of the book from which this panel comes from Man-Thing #14 written by Steve Gerber, with art by Val Mayerik.  If you want unpredictable adventure and something different around ever swamp soaked corner you’ll want to take a peek at Steve Gerber’s entire run of Man-Thing especially the blockbuster Giant Size Man-Thing #3 where the Man-Thing meets a new special pal.  Go check it out, all of it, right now.

That is all!

Friday Funny Pages: When You Gotta Go . . .

 

Today’s image arrives to us from the pages of Dr. Strange volume 2 #5, collected in the trade paperback entitled Doctor Strange: Separate Reality.  Written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Frank Brunner this collection of their run is really a pretty enjoyable read and should be on the must read list for anyone who aspires to be an apprentice fan of the good Doctor Strange.

There’s really not much to tell about this one.  The name of the fellow with the full bladder is Silver Dagger, a long running villain of Dr. Strange who is a Christian religious zealot determined to destroy Dr. Strange and his esoteric practices.  Armed with an enchanted dagger made of silver (go figure) Silver Dagger will kill any who get in the way of his mission to destroy the Sorcerer Supreme.  On the left is Clea, the transdimensional girlfriend of Dr. Strange and niece of his arch-nemesis Dormammu!  But of course you already knew all that.

Here Silver Dagger believes that Dr. Strange has been killed, but little does he know that the master of the mystic arts still has a few tricks up his ethereal sleeve.  The spirit of Stephen Strange is able to possess a mannequin dressed in his clothes and uses it to try and take the villain by surprise, to no avail.  Silver Dagger, believing the event was some trick by Clea, laughs off the attempt to overtake him and leaves her unattended while he goes off to take a piss.

Dr. Strange of course had a plan, and the underestimations of the mustachioed Silver Dagger come back to haunt him, quite literally!  I’ll leave out all the details however as I’m sure you’d much rather read it all for yourself!

That is all!

Friday Funny Pages: Halloween Night Special Edition


Tonight you get 3 comic goodies for the price of one, think of it as a Trick or Treat bonus!  I was planning on having this posted earlier today but as luck would have it the wife had the computer with her for most of the day and our evening was tied up in further Halloween festivities.  So now as I sit here watching the Hammer Films Classic The Curse of Frankenstein and Peter Cushing’s wicked portrayal of the villainous Baron Frankenstein I finally have some time to attend to my blog duties!

Capping off this month of Halloween related comic panels I give you this horror ridden trifecta of images from very different origins.  First off I show to you a brief series of panels from Eric Powell’s The Goon.  This excerpt comes from a short story featuring some of my favorite Goon characters, the filthy gang of street urchins known as the Little Unholy Bastards.  Here we see the LUB’s making their break from the orphanage in order sneak out to do some Trick or Treating.  If you don’t know anything about the Goon, these panels give you some idea what the book is like.  If you find horrid old ladies being beaten by unruly youths to be amusing, then you might want to look into reading more of Eric Powell’s work!

Next up is an image that comes from a comic I’ve had in my possession for over 20 years!  Count Duckula #3, written by Michael Gallagher with art by Warren Kremer this book was one of the first comics I ever purchased.  It was read countless times, became a permanent part of my childhood library, and survived a move.  Surprisingly it is still in decent shape.  I was a big fan of Danger Mouse and Count Duckula as a kid, although there never seemed to be even amounts of airings of Count Duckula to Danger Mouse, so it was always nice to be able to find the count in other media.  This panel exemplifies a bit of Count Duckula’s goofiness as well as hinting at the duck vampires vegetarian diet.  Being that it’s Halloween I thought it appropriate to bust out this old favorite of mine.

Finally we have a recent comic book horror crossover and perhaps several of you out there will already recognize it as being a panel from Marvel Zombies VS Army of Darkness.  Issue #4 to be precise, with words by John Layman and an army of artists including Fabiano Neves, Fernando Blanco, and Sean Phillips.  Here we see Ash, the main protagonist from the Evil Dead series, in the grip of one of Marvel comics baddest baddies, Dr. Doom!  In the story Ash has joined up with one of my favorites, Dazzler, in search of a way to reclaim the accursed Necronomicon and halt the zombie outbreak that has spread throughout the Marvel universe.  Long story short they run into an undead Howard the Duck, travel to Latveria, and meet up with Dr. Doom who of course is something of an expert in the dark arts.  Although the Marvel Zombies run of series has been rather played out as of late, this epic crossover was one of the last truly enjoyable takes on the superhero/zombie genre.

So there you have it, although there is little left now of Halloween keep your thoughts dark and your nerves sharp for you never can tell what lurks around the next shadowy corner!  Happy Halloween!

That is all!

Friday Funny Pages: Dracula!

 

I’ve been saving this one for awhile now, waiting for the perfect time to post it.  If you remember the very first Friday Funny Pages (seen HERE) you’ll recall there was a similar gag in that panel with Dr. Doom and Iron Man.  Now we have Dr. Strange, Hannibal King, and Dr. Strange’s business manager(?).  With my month of Halloween themed Friday Funny Pages I figured it was high time to bust out the ol’ Dracula panel.

I don’t have time today to go into much detail really, I’m running late as it is, but I know I’ve talked in the past about how I’m a huge Dr. Strange fan and anytime the good doctor does battle with the undead prince of the night Dracula, it’s always an epic event.

 

Friday Funny Pages: Mother’s Melting Head

 

Imagine that you and your family are out for a drive along a winding coast road.  You are innocently sitting in the backseat talking with your parents.  Father is at the helm as mother talks over the seat with you about school.  It’s a beautiful day, the car windows are open and the sea breeze is wafting across your face.  Suddenly!  Something goes wrong, the automobile careens left, then right, before it completely spins out of control, off the road, and over a tall embankment.  Everything goes black.

The next thing you know you open your eyes and find yourself laying in the grass.  In the distance the smoldering remains of your car.  Beside you is your mother’s severed head, but there’s something else.  You can see that your mother is some kind of android!  What’s this?!?  Your decapitated robot mother is speaking to you?  Using strange cryptic phrases in a way you’ve never heard her speak before your mother’s head gives you some kind of weird warning before it seemingly self-destructs into a melted pile of sparking goo.

Yes, that’s pretty much the first issue of Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes’ Omega the Unknown.

In the story these strange, terrifying, and mysterious events send the young main character, James-Michael, off on an enigmatic dual plot parallel with the equally strange and silent hero Omega.  Somehow the two are linked, and over the course of the 12 issue story arc all is slowly revealed.

Continuing my horror run of comic book panels for Halloween I present this creepy work by Omega the Unknown artist Jim Mooney and once again taking this opportunity to showcase the writing of Steve Gerber whom I talked about in THIS recent Friday Funny Pages a few weeks back.  Gerber is one of my favorites and Omega the Unknown, in my opinion, is one of his best works.  Weird, stylized, unique, and unlike any other superhero story.  The epic of James-Michael and Omega was intended for a much longer run and was supposed to be an unfolding mystery that was gradually developed and fleshed out.  However the series only made it 10 issues and was later wrapped up in Gerber’s Defenders run.  However even in that rushed state there is some deep poignancy to the ultimate conclusion to the Omega saga which fostered a long running cult fandom and appreciation for Gerber and Skrenes’ project.  If you’re looking for a unique comic reading experience with a few familiar Marvel faces I highly suggest investigating the mysterious Omega the Unknown!

That is all!

 

Friday Funny Pages: Wisdom From Howard The Duck

 

 

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post something from Howard the Duck in Friday Funny Pages.  Steve Gerber is one of my favorite comic book writers of all time, he was a stellar satirist and commentator on American culture from the 1970’s up until his death in 2008.  His humor and wit was subtle, intelligent, and boundless.  Gerber’s style of writing and unique story telling techniques were ahead of their time and often pushed the boundaries of conventional comic book writing, which lead readers at the time to either wholeheartedly embrace it or confusedly reject it.  Steve Gerber often had creative clashes with the heads at Marvel but the success of his work is best illustrated in his run as writer for Man-Thing, the non-vocal swamp creature (created the same month and year as DC’s Swamp Thing) which was once a scientist who was transformed into a walking vegetation monster empowered by the living wet lands and given empathic abilities that allow him to sense and respond to emotions.  Those who are calm, and well mannered are able to befriend the odd creature, but those who know fear, burn at the touch of the Man-Thing!

Steve Gerber had a long and successful run on Man-Thing, a book which would prove difficult for other writers who often couldn’t get past the fact that the main character had absolutely zero dialogue.  Imaginative storytelling and engaging side characters spawned from Gerber’s pen built up and expanded Man-Thing’s mythos and saw the title flourish.  After he left the book, it could never maintain that same momentum and Man-Thing was eventually reduced to one-shots and guest appearances.  It was Man-Thing along with his other various writing odds and ends that built up Steve Gerber’s comic book cred and introduced the world to his best known creation, Howard the Duck.

The above panel comes from the Howard the Duck limited MAX series published by Marvel.  Written by Steve Gerber with art from Phil Winslade and Glenn Fabry.  As far as I’m concerned this series was some of Gerber’s finest work and swept Howard along on one of his craziest and most impactful adventures.  In the series there are a wide range of familiar Howard characters.  His loyal friend Beverly continues her ambiguous relationship with the duck and is ever-present at Howard’s side.  Fans of the 70’s comic will recognize two recurring nemeses, the Crazy Bus Lady and Dr. Bong, Howard’s arch-enemy.  Published in 2001 the series covers a wide range of topics which were quite contentious at the time, and for the most part still are.  At one point Howard and Beverly find themselves staying at an insane limbo-esque hotel that swiftly runs the reader through a bevy of social commentary throughout its dreamlike environment.  There they befriend an odd character who closely resembles Hunter S. Thompson.  Another satirical caricature is Iprah, obviously a take on Oprah.  In the story Iprah is more or less responsible for the near destruction of the Earth.  There are other rebuffs dealing with boy bands and the whole idea of manufactured celebrity.  In the above panel about fundamentalism Howard is referring to an evangelical preacher claiming that the events of 9/11/2001 were the result of God’s punishment for gays and lesbians living in America.  Clearly a reflection of the very real and very inflammatory comments made by Jerry Falwell shortly after the destruction of the twin towers.

I could go on all day about how much I love Howard the Duck and everything Steve Gerber, and just reminiscing about it makes me want to go back and reread some of my favorite issues.  If you haven’t read any Howard, and aren’t familiar with Steve Gerber’s work then you need to get your head out of your tail feathers and remedy that situation immediately!

That is all!