Saturday, May 27, 2006


Just got the news that Alex Toth, one of the true masters of comic art, has passed away.

I had the pleasure, back when I was doing transcription work for TwoMorrows, to transcribe an interview with Toth... the work wasn't credited to me, as Alex had asked editor Jon Cooke not to let anyone else do the transcription, but it was a pleasure for me to forego my credit for the opportunity to hear the man speak.

I'd imagine it'd be too much to hope for that DC, at least, could put together a TPB collecting some of the best of Toth's work for them (maybe make a deal with Mattel to let the Hot Wheels issues be included in that TPB)... besides, geez, the guy deserved to have a "best of" volume produced years and years ago! I think that perhaps one Toth story was reprinted in the Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told TPB, and that's probably about it except for some stuff in the Super Friends TPB.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Superman Returns Toys

You know... sometimes I think the best superhero toys were those that came out in the 1970s... Mego had a lot of great action figures, of course, but there were all these other companies doing superhero toys, too... Not a lot from the Chris Reeve Superman movie (aside from some 12" figures from Mego of Superman, Jor-El and Luthor - and Luthor was in his purple-and-green tights from the comics), but still, great toys.

Of course, Star Wars really blew things out of the water with the toys that Kenner produced... two different sizes of action figures, spaceships, weapons, etc...

So what do the kids have to look forward to in regards to Superman Returns toys? Well, there's the inflato-suit that I've seen too many commercials for. It's a Superman shirt that inflates. Yeah, that's right. It inflates. And it looks ridiculous. I suppose the kids might like it, though.

Try as I might, though, I couldn't find a photo of it on Toys R Us' website. I did find a bunch of other Superman Returns toys, though:


Yep, it's Barbie as Lois Lane... which basically means it's a movie Lois head on a Barbie body.... thus getting two different groups of collectors shopping for them...

Although it'd take a real hardcore Superman collector to buy this next item:


Yes, it's the Barbie Superman! Can I just say that this is the gayest Superman figure ever released? Memo to Mattel: Don't do any more superheroes using Ken as a basis... it will always look gay. Do an all-new body, and base it on Captain Action or GI Joe or something!

But if you're not going to collect Barbies... maybe you just want to pretend to be Superman... well, you might need a cape...


...but please, don't get this one! The thing is plastic! And the shield is just goofy. OK, I'll admit, I cheated with this one... it's a Justice League toy, not a Superman Returns toy!

Actually, there's a full Superman Returns costume available for the kiddies, and it doesn't look that bad:


That is, of course, you don't mind the color shift and costume alteration used in Superman Returns (remember when I posted pictures of me in my homemade Superman costume last Halloween? I got a lot of compliments on it, including a few saying they thought it was better than the new movie costume).

I guess if you're a kid wearing a Superman costume, just using your imagination isn't enough these days for mimicking the powers... check this out:


Yes, it's the Heat Vision Headset. It appears to be two red lights on either side of your head. Now, maybe it's just me... but wouldn't it have been better to just make a face mask that had red lights in the eyes to simulate the heat vision? At least it wouldn't have looked this dorky, eh?

Speaking of dorky...


I guess Mattel figured if kids bought the Hulk Hands and Thing Hands (from their respective movies) that they'd buy Superman hands, too... I'm guessing that won't be happening.

Among the Superman Returns stuff I'm absolutely not going to buy are the various Superman Returns action figures... for starters, they're ridiculously shiny (I hate shiny action figures, especially if they're ultra-glossy), and then there's the fact that they just aren't that well-sculpted (they tried to be realistic, but they should've just reused one of their previous Superman bodies, methinks)... and then, they just look ridiculous.


Take this Clark-to-Superman action figure... there was a Target exclusive some years back with a Mego-styled Superman figure that could be changed from Clark to Superman, and it was 100 times cooler than this thing!


The Electronic Superman above is probably the best-looking of the figures... if you don't mind the BIG BLUE BUTTON sticking out of his waist! What, they couldn't put the button on the back, where it's hidden by the cape?


The above is the "Kryptonite Smash" figure... Who thought of this idea? I mean, Kryptonite is fatal to the Man of Steel, EVERYONE knows that!

The next figure I would only consider getting because of the Daily Planet building portion of it... despite the fact that it's way out of scale with the figure...


Push the plunger, and shoot your figure into the air! (when I was a kid, we just threw our figures up in the air)


The above is the superbreath figure... and when I saw it, my first thought was, "Oh, great... Superman blows." Swear to god.

This next figure is even sillier...


It's a "swingshot Superman" -- and yeah, it's pretty much what it looks like. Swing Superman around by his cape! Woo!


The truck-lifting Superman figure obviously has those scale problems happening... plus the photo doesn't even show him lifting the truck... looks like he's just kicking it!


Finally... the wall-busting Superman figure.

Yep, "Batman syndrome" strikes bigtime here... they only did figures of Superman! No villain at all... no Lex Luthor, no goons, no nothing!

To say nothing of any supporting cast... Lois, Perry, Jimmy, etc.

One of these days, Mattel will surprise us all and produce a line of superhero action figures with no variants... there will be one Superman or Batman or whatever...

Kind of like when Kenner did the Super Powers line.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

No Comics Content Today...

...unless you count this sentence, entreating you to go to the posting below this one and check out this week's installment of "Cover Stories"...

...and actually, not much else to write about today, either. The latest issue of "Back Issue" arrived in my mailbox today, and it's been a good read so far... this issue focuses on the comics/toys connection, and I've just started reading the article about Marvel's involvement with G.I. Joe.

Work is busy... as it tends to get going into a three-day weekend. Nothing cool to write about there. I did start distributing wedding invitations at work, though!


Monday, May 22, 2006

This 'n That...

A few brief notes...

This week's edition of Cover Stories, my weekly column at World Famous Comics, features a World Premiere installment of "Comics They Never Made!", featuring two issues of a fictious Marx Brothers comic!

Of course, if you're reading this blog entry after the May 27, 2006, you'll have to go down to the archive link at the end of the column to get to that installment.

Tonight, we got our "houseguest" -- a friend of ours who's going through a divorce. She and her husband are both friends of ours, and she's staying with us until her new apartment is ready for her to move into (if it comes to it, her husband will be able to stay with us too, if the need arises).

Got the latest Alter Ego issue today... it's a focus on the X-Men movie that never was, and was an interesting read... but sometimes I think editor Roy Thomas needs to do a little wider range of things. Not that I'm complaining -- Alter Ego is always a great read! Especially when I'm not in the midst of a project I can't afford to take time off of to read the new issue.

Anyway... not much else going on today...


Sunday, May 21, 2006


I actually let six days go by without a post? My apologies, both of you who read this blog... (anyone getting tired of that running gag yet?)

So, what kept me from posting the rest of last week? Well, I did pick up some new comics early in the week -- the last two issues of Infinite Crisis, the first issue of 52, and the last two issues each of JLU and Teen Titans Go!, plus Showcase Presents The Superman Family Vol. 1 -- and of those, I'd say I've enjoyed the Showcase Presents volume the most. I'm not sure I'll ever get around to posting reviews of IC 6 and 7, or 52... but I may change my mind!

Aside from that, I've been reading "The Da Vinci Code," so that when Jessi and I go see the movie, I'll have some familiarity with it... except that we've been hearing that the movie isn't very well done, so I don't know if we'll actually see it or not.

My idea was that this coming weekend, since X-Men 3 is coming out, that would be the new hot movie, so we could check out The Da Vinci Code then... but we may end up skipping TDVC and just seeing X3.

So, I ended up finishing the book on Friday night... and then Saturday was spent in preparation for and holding our wedding planning party! Virtually everyone involved with Jessi and my wedding got together at our place so we could go over everything, and then had pizzas (homemade, natch). Afterwards, we went to Target to register for gifts. Oh, and during the afternoon, we started addressing invitations (at least one person who reads this blog will be getting an invitation in the mail from me -- and yes, Jessi and I know it'll be impossible for you to make it, but we both wanted you to be invited).

I'll try to post a scan of the invite here during this week...

Today was family birthday day for the month of May... brother Jeff, brother-in-law Bob, and nephew RJ all had their birthday celebration all at once!

After the party, upon returning home, Jessi and I started working on the wedding ceremony itself... it's 55 days (well, 54 as most of you read this) and counting... and I know it'll be wonderful!