“Ninety percent of everything is crud.” – Theodore Sturgeon
Greetings and welcome to another installment of The Ten Percent! Every two weeks (well, roughly), Ensley F. Guffey and I use this space to take a look at the inverse of Sturgeon’s Law; in other words, the small portion of everything which is not crud. Viewed as a whole, Sturgeon was, sadly, right – the vast majority of movies, television, writing, art, and so on really is crud – but there has always been that slim slice of sublime. The Ten Percent isn’t limited by genre – I think our previous columns have proven that point – and that’s because these rare gems are high quality productions which demand more of their viewer than simple passive reception.
I have, on occasion, discussed an entry that makes the cut on The Ten Percent in more than one category, such as a book and the movie made from the book. It’s hard enough to create ONE fantastic thing; to create a Ten-Percent-worthy work in more than a single medium is truly catching lightning in a bottle.
Your Childhood Cartoons Meets Comics In “Green Lantern/Space Ghost Annual #1” & Others On The Wednesday Run
But it’s a little kid’s dream, isn’t it?
Those after school or Saturday morning cartoons – the ones that we ALL loved so much, made even more real, given a heightened sense of heroic justification, when intermingled with the heroes of the comic books we read!
I mean, we’d regularly have crossover adventures between cartoon and comic book heroes, universes, genres and pop culture mediums with the toys that we’d buy at the local store.
We were ahead of our time.
Green Lantern. Space Ghost. Suicide Squad. Banana Splits. Booster Gold. The Flintstones. Adam Strange. Jonny Quest.
Cartoons and comic books – never the two shall meet?
Not today – today we get ALL the meetings!
The uncharted ether of imagination.
That’s what brings us to today.
Over the last month and a half, we’ve begun unofficially celebrating the year of comic book legend Jack Kirby’s birth here at Biff Bam Pop! The “King” as he’s affectionately called, would be 100 years young this year…and make no mistake, his many pop culture creations live long and strong.
You know many of them: Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Silver Surfer, X-Men, etc., etc., etc.
Without Kirby, you could argue there would be no superhero comics, no Marvel Cinematic Universe, no Wednesday Run!
But beyond those characters listed, did you know about Kirby’s early 1970’s Fourth World creations: his “Cosmic Odyssey”? It was a series of interconnected titles that would tell one complete story, a publishing revelation, far ahead of its time!
Well, look no further than today release of the Kirby-inspired, late twentieth century release of, Cosmic Odyssey: The Deluxe Edition – and discover the King’s imagination run rampant across the universe!
A couple of weeks ago, friend and compatriot Glenn Walker (he of @monsura and regular contributor to all things cool on this very website), came to visit my hometown city of Toronto for Biff Bam Pop!’s Editor-in-Chief, Andy Burns’ monumental birthday celebration.
It was a wonderful affair, full of frivolity, chatter and seemingly endless shot glasses of Jägermeister (many of us are still shuddering at the taste in our mouths).
At a breakfast get together the next morning, Glenn and I stated talking about our love of comic book industry-changing creator, “King” Jack Kirby (creator of so many of your favourite comic book heroes and villains), and his 1972 post-apocalyptic protagonist, Kamandi. He reminded me of the mid-eighties DC Comics series, the DC Challenge, on which today’s Wednesday Run column comic book pick is based.
And Kamandi, the beloved Last Boy On Earth: in a brand new, limited series, full of story and art and wonder and industry legends working on the creation of the industry’s all-time Legend.
Today sees the release of the hugely-anticipated The Kamandi Challenge #1!
In the mid 1980’s, DC Comics bought up a number of Charlton Comics characters as assets to integrate into their own pantheon of superheroes. They included The Question, Blue Beetle and Nightshade. You might remember them.
You might also remember Captain Atom, another character bought up from Charlton. He was the original inspiration for the powerful Doctor Manhattan in Alan Moore’s seminal mid-80’s series, Watchmen.
Captain Atom went on to star in various monthly DC comic books over the decades, but of late, he’s been nowhere to be found.
Lost and forgotten.
But no more!
Today, Captain Atom returns in a band new, six-issue miniseries: The Fall And Rise Of Captain Atom – and it’ll be a rebirth, ushering the character into the new DC Universe proper!
You can find the first part of our trilogy of lists here, which showcases a number of more affordable trade paperback collections.
Last week, the second installment focused on hardcover collections, although slightly more expensive. You can find that list right here.
Today, we’re getting into the crème-de-la-crème of comic book collections. Save these for someone you really care for…or for even someone like yourself! Who wouldn’t want these tomes wrapped up?
With only a few days to go before Christmas, and without further ado, here is the final installment of our list of comic book collections for the 201 6holiday season!
Whether you’re into films or video games or both, there have been lots of great DC releases out this past year. You can’t go wrong with getting any of these for the fan in your life, regardless of how familiar they are with the stories or characters.
I can’t recommend this collection highly enough for a few reasons. First, let’s start off simply by saying how great this series is, especially at telling the story of a 21st-century Batman. It has certainly stood the test of time from its late 1990s debut, and I say this as someone who just began watching it via this new set from Warner Brothers. Secondly, this is an economically sound way to get the three-season run of a show that was just as strong as the groundbreaking Batman: The Animated Series, which it is connected to in no small part by the voice of Kevin Conroy as an aged out Caped Crusader who takes teenage Terry McGinnis under his wing. Absolutely essential.
It’s the best kind of comic book reading, believe me.
Now, you might be getting comics given to you as gifts. (Maybe there’s one or two from this list or this list.) But you might still want to pick up something to read that signifies the season. Something featuring the greatest superheroes and villains the world has ever known.
Lucky for you, both DC Comics and Marvel Comics are publishing their own holiday specials today… you might want to consider getting in on the zany, wintry, heroic fun!
Follow me after the jump for the low down on the DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 and the Gwenpool Holiday Special: Merry Mix-Up #1!
Last week, we highlighted a number of trade paperback comic book collections, perfect gifts for friends and loved ones (or yourself) this holiday season.
If you haven’t already, you can check out that particular list right here.
But maybe you want to kick it up a notch this month.
Maybe you’ve got a special someone that really only likes hardcover books on the bookshelf. Or maybe you’re looking to find something that carries a slightly higher budget than softcover collections.
No worries. This week, we’ve got your back.
Here’s the second installment of our Holiday Gift Guide: Comic Book Collections!