Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Batman Is, In Fact, A Little Bit Rock 'N' Roll


Little known fact: Batman wears purple socks under those boots.

...Yeah, this is what you call a "topical reference."

Source: World's Finest Comics #261 (February-March 1980). Writer: Denny O'Neil. Penciller: Rich Buckler. Inker: Dick Giordano. Colorist: Gene D'Angelo. Letterer: Ben Oda. "Guest Editor": Julius Schwartz. Info resource: GCD. Batman & artwork © DC COMICS.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dallas Comegys

One of my lesser dreams in life is to make the name of basketball player Dallas Comegys into an internet meme. Why? Because he has one of the coolest names ever. In fact, I was once thiiiiiis close to buying it as a URL.

Here's what Comegys is up to these days. Sounds like a worthwhile guy to me.

To sum up: Dallas Comegys. Thank you.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Floaty Firegirl


Wait, this is the second consecutive entry with art by Kabuki Katze? What madness is this?

Kabuki has been running a special offering certain commissions for only $20. I thought this would be a great opportunity to have her do another Firegirl pic, and chose to have her depict Roxy using her "lighter than air" powers. This might even tie into that one story which introduced this power. Maybe.

Not much else to say about my thinking on this one. It really did turn out fabulous, and may be Kabuki's best Firegirl pic to date. You can comment in the usual location. Oh, and if you are interested in getting a $20 commission, there are still two slots open.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tex and Jinx


If you read the Owariverse Encyclopedia last year, you might have noticed the (hopefully) exciting new backstory for my character Tex Truman. The premise of this piece by Kabuki Katze was to further explore that backstory and the dynamic with Gabrielle "Jinx" Fitzgerald. And what better way to do that than a faux cover?

The difference this time is that this is not a faux comic book cover, but rather a faux paperback cover. I dunno, the vibe I wanted for these two was a pulpish, adventure novel type of thing. Y'know, the sort of book you might have found at the drugstore or at a roadside Stuckey's.

I really think Kabuki came through once again. Look at that layout! Look at those poses, and especially those expressions! Look at the cowboy and sexy girl in a catsuit! And especially, look at those little details that flesh it all out and make it pop.

(If you are wondering - yes, the title is a indeed a reference to a certain spy movie we discussed not long ago. And the tagline is a reference to a certain other movie's trailer.)

As always, Kabuki has this available on dA for comment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Alert The Media! ROJ Updates!

I went ahead and removed Return of Jetman from a blogroll on this site, because there will be a lot fewer updates in its future. However, today is one of those updates! I have completed the revision for "New Return of Jetman" Episode 1's Notes and they are now back online. You can check them out via this link. Note that it helps to have actually read the story in terms of making heads or tails of them.

More Production Notes should be coming in the months ahead!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Crack Comics #63

I picked up a copy of Crack Comics #63 (yes, the Mike Allred cover) last week, so I thought I'd say a few words about it. It is part of Erik Larsen's "Next Issue Project" from Image, and this time the creators tackle a book from the old Quality Comics line. As a result, a few of the public domain heroes are ones who have played roles of varying importance in DC books over the years. I dunno, I just found the very thought of this to be novelty enough to justify a purchase.

As you would expect in an anthology, this is a comic that is all over the map. I'll focus on what I personally enjoyed the best. Tops would definitely be Alan Weiss crafting a fabulous Captain Triumph story that manages to be both knowing and loads of fun. Seriously, can I get a Weiss-written and illustrated Captain Triumph one-shot? I also got a big kick out of the stuff that Terry Austin and Herb Trimpe created for the book. It was nice, even if in service of characters plucked from obscurity. Oh, and I did rather like Larsen's 5 page story of intrepid cabbie Hack O'Hara, though I'm not precisely sure if I'm meant to take it at face value or not.

This comic came out a couple of months ago, but I would be unsurprised if it's still lurking on shelves. Worth the price just for the fake and/or vintage ads alone! And look, I made it through the whole review without a snide remark about the name "Crack Comics," too!

...Damn.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lincoln Monsters

I've linked you cool cats to the site "Plaid Stallions" in the past, but today, we'll take a trip to lincolnmonsters.com. Oh, it's part of the site, but it's a dedicated showcase of the 8 inch line of monster figures that haunted our dreams. Well, maybe that's a bit strong, but it's way cool to see all the pictures of these now-rare toys.

There are plenty of additional action figure galleries linked on this site, including several for monster figures from other companies. I dunno about you, but I just love checking out all the assorted Frankenstein and Dracula figures that have come down the pike. Plus, if you have some you're looking to sell (lucky!), the site will remind you they're "always buying!"

Happy toy watching!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

John Hiatt's "Little Head"

There is not a lot about 1997 I remember fondly, but listening to "The Wave" when I was making one of my then-frequent trips to DeRidder/Leesville is an exception. I should point out that KROK no longer calls itself "The Wave" and has even switched numbers on the dial, but it is still essentially the same low-budget radio station it was then. The fact that their official website is a Tumblr should bear that out. Absolutely charming.

Anyway, "The Wave" introduced me to a lot of music that I was missing at the time, thanks to Lake Charles' two primary non-country stations BOTH programming an "Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening" format. Seriously, who thought this was a good idea? I wasn't even a regular listener and I still managed to hear "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong" enough to last me a lifetime. I think there were even times when it was playing on both stations simultaneously.

"The Wave" was a nice tonic to the repetitive blandness of Lake Charles radio at the time. One of my favorite discoveries was John Hiatt's "Little Head". It was my first exposure to Hiatt's music, in addition to being hilarious to me. Sadly, it seems to have tanked with the critics and the public. Neither the album or the song are available for legal download as near as I can tell. However, that doesn't stop me from posting a video for it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

...With The Fishes

I pass a store that specializes in tropical fish every day on my way to work. This in itself wouldn't warrant a mention, but this store is a little unusual. For starters, I have never seen a customer at this store.

Let me explain in a little more depth. This particular tropical fish store is located on the outskirts of town, just a couple of miles from the city limits. It's not exactly what I would term one of the more affluent neighborhoods in the area. I'm not judging, but pointing it out because this doesn't seem like the part of town that would support such a business. Yet, this store has been open for as long as I can remember.

The tropical fish store shares a building with an engine repair shop. You read that correctly. The fish store is in the front, while the rear houses this engine shop. Now, perhaps you have made the leap that both are owned by the same individual and the engine shop supports the tropical fish store. This is not a bad theory, except that I have only seen activity in the engine shop on rare occasions. It is often just as unoccupied as the fish store.

I said I have never seen a customer at the fish store. This is true. However, one of my co-workers did stop there once with her husband to see what they had. She tells me that the selection is sparse and all the merchandise is old and covered in dust. I'm not even sure they have any fish in there, but you would think they almost must. I asked her if the clerk looked surprised to see anyone shopping in there and she agreed that he did.

Basically, what we have is a niche store with little product, in an area that cannot support it financially, which never seems to have customers during its operating hours. However, it stays open. Draw your own conclusions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tumblin'!

Rather than try to think of a new way to phrase this, here's the text from the final post of Pictures of Naomi Morinaga.

The End Of The Adventure

This Tumblr was born out of both whimsy and cynicism. I had noticed that an entry about Naomi Morinaga on my regular blog OWARI got views every single day. I reasoned that a Tumblr dedicated to nothing but pictures of her would definitely satisfy a need among a certain segment of the Internet.

It turns out I was right, but my interest in maintaining this side project has waned. Rather than letting the whole thing sit while people wait for it to update again, I’ve elected to announce today that Pictures of Naomi Morinaga is coming to a close. I have completed the photo set that launched the site in May, and this will be the final post here.

I appreciate everyone who has followed, liked, reblogged, or just paid attention to this modest little image blog. Most of all, I’d like to thank Naomi Morinaga for being so awesome. Pictures of Naomi Morinaga may be ending as an ongoing project, but it will remain for those of you looking for photos of this fantastic lady. There’s no reason to delete it, so I won’t.

For those of you who would like to continue to follow me on Tumblr, I have just opened the OWARI Tumblr Annex. I am uncertain how I will be using that account, but I figured I needed a “regular” one. I’m sure you will be seeing me lurking on Tumblr when and where you least expect it.

Sayonora, Naomi Morinaga fans.

If you would like to follow the all-new OWARI Tumblr account, you will find the link in the quoted text or in the blog's sidebar. My intention is for it to be a general audience Tumblr, akin to what you might find here. How much use I get out of it remains to be seen.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Knight Watchman: Skeletons In The Closet

The interesting thing when reviewing a new Big Bang comic is I not only have to assess the merits of the book, but I also must take into account people's preconceived notions of what "Big Bang" really is. You see, Big Bang was originally conceived as an entire universe, stretching from the Golden Age to the present. It just so happened that the retro stuff came out first, and it so captured the imagination of people that it wound up being what defined Big Bang Comics in the minds of many readers.

I was one of those readers. I was VERY resistant to anything they did that smacked of a "modern" (post-60s) sensibility. Yes, even their forays into the Bronze Age were not welcomed quite as enthusiastically by yours truly. Gradually, though, I came around and have been able to appreciate and even embrace those Big Bang books that are more contemporary than nostalgic.

I bring all this up because Knight Watchman: Skeletons In The Closet is very much a modern style superhero book. However, it's quite a good one! There's some clever writing and moody, finely-crafted artwork. The whole thing fits into the ongoing tapestry of the Knight Watchman's big story without getting bogged down in a lot of flashbacks. In short, I liked it a lot.

However, be forewarned that this is also a gruesome comic. I wouldn't call it excessive or over-the-top, but it is also not for the squeamish. If you don't expect a happy Silver Age type story, you should not be overly shocked.

Knight Watchman: Skeletons In The Closet is being made available through IndyPlanet as a POD book. You can order it via this link. I'm pleased with this first POD title from Big Bang Comics proper (Mort Todd published the Protoplasman book discussed last year), and am looking forward to further offerings. Meanwhile, check out the newly-remodeled Big Bang Comics Official Site either by this link or through the RSS feed in OWARI's blogroll!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Las Vegas Free-For-All



I don't think I've ever posted this here, have I? Let's remedy that tonight.

LAS VEGAS FREE-FOR-ALL is the English language title given to the Crazy Cats comedy クレージー黄金作戦 ("Crazy Ogon Sakusen" - Crazy Gold Operation). It is a glorious, epic (over two and a half hours!) film that spans from Hawaii to Los Angeles to Las Vegas. And yes, I am pretty sure they went to all those locations.

One thing that isn't obvious from the trailer is that the film features PEGGY NEAL of THE X FROM OUTER SPACE and TERROR BENEATH SEA fame. What's more, you get to hear her real voice for once and you get to see her in a bikini. If you are a Peggy Neal fan, this is a must-see movie.

But there's way more than just Peggy Neal. There's a lot of surprisingly accessible comedy from the Crazy Cats, though the plentiful English helps a great deal. There's Mie Hama turning in another wonderful and sexy performance. And there's even a musical number by the Peanuts!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Humpty Dance

Oh man, I loved Digital Underground's "The Humpty Dance" from the moment I heard it in 1990, and that love has not abated over time. It is just so endearingly goofy and catchy and wonderful. It is one of the prime reasons I have sometimes joked I don't remember anything from the 1980s but rap song lyrics.

I never saw the music video back in the day, and didn't really have the chance to keep up with Digital Underground beyond that single. When I learned years later that "Humpty Hump" was an alternate identity of the group's frontman Greg "Shock G" Jacobs rather than a real person, it was akin to the whole Santa Claus thing. Still, give credit to the man for crafting a memorable, enduring character. He spoke about the legend that is Humpty Hump (and told some hilarious tales!) in this interview.

Embedded below is the music video for the song. If you'd prefer to hear the uncensored version instead, it can be found here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Shiera...Has Made Friends With Another Nurse, Diana Prince!"

This is sort of a follow-up to yesterday's entry, since it springs from a poll that Nickyflamingo recently had on her dA page. The topic was "What are some of your favorite shoujo-ai/ yuri/ femslash/ girly love couples?" If you don't understand what any of those terms mean, you should probably just stop reading now. The rest of you, consider yourselves sufficiently warned.

Anyway, I'd wager most of you reading this blog are aware of Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy as a pairing. I mean, Harley/Ivy is almost canon, isn't it? But being me, I hauled one out from the Archives. Literally!

Going waaaaay back in time, there is some serious girlcrush action going on between Wonder Woman and Shiera (original Hawkgirl) Sanders in the issue of All-Star Comics where Diana joins the JSA. My imagination, it runs wild.

The issue in question is All-Star Comics #11 (June-July 1942), edited by Sheldon Mayer. The sequence itself is only one page, with script by Gardner Fox and art credited to Jack Burnley. Below you will find some excerpts as reprinted in All-Star Comics Archives Volume 3, with cutesy captions added by yours truly.

Some of you will say I am taking things out of context. Some of you will say I am reading entirely too much into these panels. Some of you will say this is ridiculous. You are absolutely correct. But it's still fun!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting Closer by Nickyflamingo


Nickyflamingo is an artist that has been on the periphery of my awareness for awhile, but I'd never gotten around to watching her work until recently. Which is a pity, since she has an appealing style and loves drawing beautiful ladies. To partially make up for my extreme laziness in following her art, I recently commissioned her to do a picture for me of Shelly Ericson and Firegirl, my two principal female characters.

Wow. You can see the absolutely gorgeous results of this commission. I knew Nicky would do a good job, but this turned out to be beyond just "good"; it's amazing. My only regret is that it took me so long to give the lady some love, but I suspect this won't be the last time you see her art in these quarters.

Why not go lavish some praise on this piece over on deviantArt?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Divine Dames: A Review

Well, it is a rainy and miserable day here, but that is the perfect weather to curl up with a good book (especially if you are not interested in college football in a state absolutely bonkers about it). I can assure you that you will not find a better book for your curling up and reading needs than Kayleigh Lebak's Divine Dames. It is entertaining, educational, and absolutely beautiful.

Kayleigh Lebak is, of course, a familiar face in OWARI-Land, and Divine Dames is her latest foray in putting together a book. This time, she's assembled 26 goddesses from a wide range of pantheons across the globe. Each is given a full-page pinup in a distinctive and appropriate style. That's right, you get to see all sorts of approaches in depicting comely and cosmic ladies.

The best part is that Kayleigh has finally broken out her writing skills for the world. Y'see, I've often thought that she has quite a talent for wordsmithery, but it doesn't get used as much in contrast to her ever-developing art abilities. Well, she gives background on each of the beauties in the spotlight. Divine Dames is a feast for the mind as well as the eyes!

You can order Divine Dames via Lulu for the print edition. You can contact the divine Ms. Lebak herself through her site if you are interested in a PDF version! As always, tell her OWARI sent you!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Shelly's Story: The Picture


Gosh, "Shelly's Story" is already a year and a half old. So it was a seriously belated decision when I commissioned Kabuki Katze recently to do a companion picture for it. But the logic behind that decision will become clear...I hope.

Kabuki did a masterful job in turning back the clock on Shelly's distinctive style, to find where she might have been when she first arrived in Major City. And if you get a THAT GIRL/MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW vibe from this pic, well, that's purely intentional. Also, I would like to point out the sterling work on the USAF duffle bag Shelly carries. Little details!

By golly, look at that, this piece is on deviantArt, too!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

When Boredom Attacks

Idle hands might not really be the Devil's Workshop, but boredom leads me to have strange ideas.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

If You Were Looking For A Site About A Japanese Country Music Singer...

...I have just the thing for you!

Beau Yatani arrives straight from LEGEND OF THE DINOSAURS and into your heart!

(True story: I genuinely thought "Beau Yatani and his the Last Longhorn Band" were an entertaining piece of fiction created for that movie. Upon further review, I have no idea what led me to this conclusion. I mean, a Japanese country & western group is random enough, but to make one up just for a film?)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman

Given the on-going mania over all things Batman, I imagine it's just about time for Whistling Jack Smith's "I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman" to be rediscovered and lionized by a certain segment of comics fandom. I breathlessly await the latest issue of one of the "New 52" in which Kaiser Bill instructs Batman to stop Lex Luthor from stealing 40 cakes. That will increase sales tenfold!

But seriously, what in the blue hell does this title even mean? Kaiser Bill? Who? And why is this whistling person his Batman? My questions, they are legion.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Santo vs. la Invasion de los Marcianos



SANTO VS. LA INVASION DE LOS MARCIANOS trailer

One of my great sorrows as a follower of oddball cinema is that I've never really been able to get into Mexican wrestler movies. To be sure, I love the idea of them, and have even appropriated it here and there in my own work. And it seems like a slam dunk for someone like me. I like superheroes, I like(d) pro wrestling, and I like strange low-budget films. Yet, I cannot really get myself worked up over these luchador adventures. This is definitely my loss.

Above is the trailer for SANTO VS. LA INVASION DE LOS MARCIANOS ("Santo vs. the Invasion of the Martians"), which melds 1950s-era science-fiction with championship grappling. See, this is why I find these movies so fascinating. Masked wrestler vs. alien interlopers! Get ready for all the pesos!

If only I could love them the way some people do.

Oh, and before you mock the Martians for forgetting their shirts during their invasion, I'd like to point out that their nemesis isn't wearing one either. They're just trying to keep things fair. It's not a bold new fashion statement from our neighbors on the Red Planet. OR IS IT?!?!

This movie came out on English-subtitled DVD a few years ago, believe it or not. While it's now out of print, copies can still be found for reasonable prices. In fact, the low price looks like someone quite familiar in these parts. I didn't conceive this entry as a means to help him sell his copy, but if it helps, all the better!