Sunday, April 30, 2023

A Little Sugar And Spike

At one time, DC had a successful Digest line (smaller than normal comics, usually reprinting older comics, but occasionally having new stories).  This line was perfect for the creations of Sheldon Meyer, Sugar and Spike.

Sugar and Spike were two pre-speaking babies (Sugar Plumm and Cecil "Spike" Wilson) that could communicate via "baby talk" (a language only babies, not adults, could understand).  Meyer did 98 issues in the original run, and some of the fun were reprinted in the Best Of DC in the 1980s.

Best Of DC #29 (October, 1981)

This issue had reprints from Sugar and Spike #3, #56, #58, #92, #93, #97 and #98, as well as unpublished Sugar and Spike stories from the European market, and a Leave It To Binky story from #71, and a Stanley and the Monster story that would have been in Stanley and the Monster #113.

Best Of DC #41 (October, 1983)

This issue had reprints from Sugar and Spike #25, with the rest of the tales presented here from the European market, and unpublished in America until this issue came out.

Best Of DC #47 (April, 1984)

This issue had reprints from Sugar and Spike #1, #2, #9, #25, #27, #32, #52, #88, #89, #90, #91, #93 and #94, with no European only stories, and no other comedy additions, so it is all Sheldon Meyer goodness.

Best Of DC #58 (March, 1985)

This issue had reprints from Sugar and Spike #51, #68 and #95, which had a Christmas theme, as well as an all new story that didn't really connect to Sugar and Spike, with junior versions of the JLA members in a special story for the holidays.

Best Of DC #65 (October, 1985)

This issue had reprints from Sugar and Spike #37, #41, #46, #47, #48, #65, and #72, with all the excitement of Summer, as well as the first Bernie the Brain story.

Best Of DC #68 (January, 1986)

This issue had reprints from Sugar and Spike #3, #37, #40, #43, #48, #55, #61, #64 and #67, this time around with a Halloween twist, all tales from a simpler, happier time!

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Celebrating Writer Peter Sanderson

Celebrating writer and comic historian Peter Sanderson on his birthday (April 25, 1952).

A man who contributed to both DC and Marvel...

...being one of the driving forces behind DC's Who's Who and Marvel's Official Handbook To The Marvel Universe, Peter also wrote some special comics as well, including The Marvel Saga The Official History Of The Marvel Universe, (hereafter shortened to Marvel Saga), which took decades of unfolding Marvel history and put it into one place, covering everyone from the Fantastic Four, to Spider-Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Daredevil, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, the X-Men, the Avengers and more, starting with the launch of the Fantastic Four culminating in the arrival of Galactus as heralded by the Silver Surfer.

25 issues from December, 1985 to December, 1997, with the wraparound covers displayed here!

Marvel Saga 1 (December, 1985)


Marvel Saga 2 (January, 1986)


Marvel Saga 3 (February, 1986)


Marvel Saga 7 (June, 1986)


Marvel Saga 25 (December, 1987)


Saturday, April 22, 2023

Celebrating Artist Yanick Paquette

Celebrating the birthday of Canadian artist, Yanick Paquette (April 22, 1974), with a look at the covers he did for Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer in 2006, featuring Alix Harrower, a young woman who found herself encased in living metal, turning her into a reluctant super hero and involving her in a larger, odder world of super powered people.

Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #1 and #2 (January and February, 2006)


Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #3 and #4 (April and May, 2006)


also did the cover for a collection of issues #1 and #2, which also included some of the other Seven Soldiers from their mini-series, including Klarion the Witchboy, Mr. Miracle and Frankenstein (other volumes including the rest of her mini-series, as well as the Manhattan Guardian, Zatanna and the Shining Knight in their connected story).

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Tax Day 2023

No one is above paying their taxes, even super villains and menaces!

To settle his own tax debt, Wally West goes to work for the I.R.S. in Flash #52 (July, 1991), by William Messner-Loebs, Greg LaRocque and Jose Marzan Jr., tackling the tough cases no other agent can handle.


Friday, April 14, 2023

Celebrating Writer Chuck Dixon

Celebrating the birthday of writer Chuck Dixon (April 14, 1954) with a look at the covers of the collections of his work on Robin and Birds of Prey.

Sadly, collections NOT COMPLETE, as Chuck still had more issues of Birds of Prey (starting with #22) and Robin (starting with #23) which haven't been collected, so, DC, it is well past time to finish these as was done with Chuck's Nightwing series (which had all of its Chuck Dixon written issues collected).

Robin 1 and 2 (January 2016 and May 2016)


Birds Of Prey 1 and 3 (January 2016 and February 2017)


Robin 4 and 5 (September 2017 and February 2018)


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Be Kind To Lawyers Day

Today is International Be Kind To Lawyers Day...and you really should be.

You never know how hairy their day evidenced by "The Amazing Trial Of John (Gorilla) Doe!" by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella

Strange Adventures #100 (January, 1959), under a cover by Gil Kane and Joe Giella, features a story of a gorilla who steals school books, records and radium....then shows up to turn himself in to the law, requesting a trial.  At the trial, the gorilla tells how he was taken by the gorilla like beings from Agmoran, who advanced his intelligence, and taught him to speak their language...and he also learned they planned to invade Earth in two years.  Learning how to pilot their spaceship, he came back to Earth, but needed to learn English to tell humans of the alien plot, and the radium to build a weapon to defeat them.  

The humans were successful, yet the gorilla paid the price, shortening his own life to do the exposure to radium, just wanting to go back to Africa and live life in peace.

This story was reprinted in Strange Adventures #239 (November-December, 1972), this time, with a cover by Nick Cardy showing how great the American legal system is, where everyone accused is allowed a lawyer, and a swift and speedy resolution to their legal woes.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Happy Birthday Black Canary

By the old DC Calendar, today is considered the birthday of Dinah Lance, the Black Canary.

To celebrate, the covers to her 1990s mini-series, with these covers being drawn by Dick Giordano, with the series written by Sarah Byam, and interiors by Trevor Von Eeden and Dick Giordano.

Black Canary #1 and #2 (November and December, 1991)


Black Canary #3 and #4 (January and February, 1992)


Only odd thought, is was that the birthday of the original Black Canary (Dinah Drake Lance) who was a member of the JSA? At the time of the calendar, though, Dinah Laurel Lance was the Black Canary (who joined the JLA), DLL had the memories of her mom, DDL!  (Confused?  Read more about the mother daughter duo of Black Canaries in a JLA/JSA team-up here, or about the two Adventure Comics issues drawn by Alex Toth featuring Black Canary here).

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Happy Easter Captain Carrot


A happy Easter to all...and watch out for what's in those eggs!

A warning Captain Carrot and his team needed to heed, as the Zoo Crew scrambled to face the menace of what's in the egg on Easter Bunny Island in Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #5 (July, 1982) under this cover by Scott Shaw! and Chad Grothkopf.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Celebrating Artist Arthur Adams

Celebrating artist Arthur Adams on his birthday (April 5, 1963) with the covers he did for the Vertigo mini-series for Angel and the Ape in the 2000s, which echoes his work at Dark Horse in the 1990s with Monkeyman and O'Brien.

Angel and the Ape features detective Angel O'Day and cartoonist Sam Simeon (who happens to be a talking gorilla), and the two solve cases together.

Angel And The Ape #1 and #2 (October and November, 2001)


Angel And The Ape #3 and #4 (December and January, 2001 and 2002)


Saturday, April 1, 2023

Superman And Two Foolish Imps

April 1st is considered the birthday of Superman's 5th dimensional foe, Mr. Mxyzptlk...

...but the little man from Zrfff wasn't always what he was today, and started off slightly differently, as Mr. Mxyztplk, as he faced the original, Golden Age Superman.

Mr. Mxyztplk

The original Mr. Mxyztplk first appeared in Superman #30 (September-October, 1944) by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster and Ira Yarbrough.  He was a nuisance to Superman, using his extra dimensional powers to vex the man of steel over the years, including issues of Action Comics (#80, #102, #112, #151, #190 and #208), Superman (#33, #36, #40, #46, #51, #59, #62, #82, #86, #96, #103 and #105) and in Superman Family #208, facing Mr. and Mrs. Superman, with that last appearance establishing that the"tp" version of the imp in the purple suit (at least in his earliest appearances) was the one to face the Earth-2 Superman.

Mr. Mxyzptlk

The imp that was to bother the Earth-1 Superman was Mr. Mxyzptlk, and his first appearance was in Superman #131 (August, 1959) by Jerry Coleman and Al Plastino.  This imp had a long, magical career, menacing not only Superman, but his pal Jimmy Olsen, his girlfriend Lois Lane, his cousin Supergirl, his duplicate Bizarro, had a younger version fight the younger Superboy in retroactive tales and even teaming up with Bat-Mite to face Superman and Batman, and even other Superman team-ups as well, before the Crisis on Infinite Earths called an end to his career.

These all happened over the issues of Superboy #78 (in his first meeting with Superboy), #83, #95, #114, and #120, Superman #135, #145, #148, #150, #154, #162, #169, #171, #174, #218, #283, #290, #299, #335, #349, #351, #407 and #421, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #44, #52, #53, #54, #65, #66, #71, #74 and #114. World's Finest Comics #113, #123, #152 and #169, Action Comics #273, #282, #283, #291, #368, #460, #467, #563, #574 and #583, Adventure Comics #288, #306, #351, #386, and #393, Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #29, #48, #61, #62 and #73 and DC Comics Presents #33, #34, #53 and #97.

Just so there's no fooling here, the difference (more of less) of the Earth-1 and Earth-2 Supermans are explained here, and saying his name backwards (Kltpzyxm or Klptzyxm, depending on which imp you prefer) will send you home and to other adventures elsewhere (and we'll figure out the rest of his history in 90 days or later...)!