Fifty years ago.
That’s when Strange Adventures #205 hit newsstands across North America.
It was DC Comics’ first science fiction monthly comic book and it told tales featuring all sorts of weird and arcane…well, adventures, starring some of DC’s more obscure characters (as well as their more famous ones). It was a place for readers to see their heroes in unfamiliar settings as well as a proving ground for new characters. Captain Comet first appeared here. As did Star Hawkins, the Atomic Knights, Enchantress and Animal Man. You may know their names.
And then there was Deadman, created by comic book luminaries, Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino and later written and drawn by the legendary Neal Adams, who honed his pencil and ink chops on the character.
Biff Bam Pop! has featured the character of Deadman in a number of articles over the years. We begged for a film series here. We pleaded for a television series starring the beloved character here. And we featured him in this very column here and here among other pieces.
So, what is it that makes Deadman, the crime-fighting, supernatural ghost, who inhabits the bodies of the living so appealing?
Look no further than today’s risen-from-the-grave release of Deadman #1!
It is a time when the leaves turn shades of red and yellow and brown, then die and pile forlornly on the ground below. It is a time when the wind blows sharply stronger while the sky turns a gray overcast. It is a time when the days become shorter and the nights become longer and malevolent shadows seem to lurk around every corner.
Every day of October, and especially the last day of the month, deserves a dose of classic horror! Whether you’re a fan of film, television, art, music, books, or comic books, there’s something for everyone’s thirst for the darker elements of pop culture mythology this time of year.
During the early part of the 1970’s, comic book publishers pushed and pulled and railed against the yoke of the Comics Code Authority – and horror-themed comics were on the front lines of that war, growing increasingly popular by readers.
With Tomb of Dracula, originally published in 1972, Marvel Comics brought horror to the masses! Drawing upon Bram Stoker’s classic character, here was a comic book version of Dracula like no other: creatively cinematic in scope, dreamily horrific in the telling, Dracula was an antagonistic and charismatic title character that a reader could both fear and root for!
And now, Marvel Comics publishes those classic tales again in a new paperback volume called, appropriately enough, Tomb Of Dracula: The Complete Collection Vol. 1!
This time on Heroes and Villains, we’ll be looking at a variety of comics out this week and last, from a variety of genres and companies. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Moving Target: The History and Evolution of Green Arrow by Richard Gray, Rick and Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It #3, The Art of Rick and Morty, Realm #1, Retcon #1, Sink #3, Dead of Winter#2, Kaijumax: Season Three #3, and more… be warned, there may be spoilers…
Don’t Be Caught Dead Without “Deadman By Kelley Jones: The Complete Collection” On The Wednesday Run
Created by industry legends, Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino within the pages of Strange Adventures #205 in 1967, the relatively obscure character has remained ever-present in the DC Universe. In the last decade or two, however, because of appearances in Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Justice League Dark cartoons, he has slowly gained in popularity.
I was first introduced to Deadman via a seven-issue DC Comics reprint series in the mid 1980’s – stories that re-published the characters origin from those Strange Adventure pages, specifically highlighting the realistic and heroically-styled artwork of Neal Adams. I’ve since read pretty much everything that Deadman has been a central character in.
Biff Bam Pop! has highlighted Deadman and the comic book pages he graces on a few occasions, most recently in a 2016 Halloween-themed The Wednesday Run column here and a 2008 editorial call out (by yours truly) to have the character make the leap to the silver screen here.
Today sees the paperback compilation of some Deadman’s greatest tales, all illustrated by Kelley Jones, an acclaimed and fan favourite artist that simply redefined the look of the acrobat-turned-ghost-turned-superhero in the early 1990’s.
No one’s interpretation of Deadman comes anywhere near the one that Kelley Jones gave us in those Gothic tales!
Here then, is the low-down on the larger-market release of Deadman By Kelley Jones: The Complete Collection!
When most folks think of Jack Kirby at DC Comics, they think of the Fourth World and Kamandi, the older fans might say the Challengers of the Unknown or the Newsboy Legion, or even the Sandman. Would anyone say Green Arrow? But it’s true, for seven months in 1958 the King gave us a Green Arrow unlike anything we’d seen before, and it could have been even wilder. Meet me after the jump for Jack Kirby’s The Green Arrow!
My father had collected and read collected those books during the mid-to-late 1970’s. in the early 1980’s, I found them on the shelf, dusted them off, and stared at the covers for what seemed like forever! The Beasts of Tarzan, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, Tarzan Triumphant and Tarzan and the Leopard Men, as well as the others, are remembered very, very fondly.
Those covers by artist extraordinaire, Neal Adams, leapt off the page with thrills, menace and dramatic excitement! They introduced me to pulp adventure and fueled my imagination, leading me towards a burgeoning love of the fantasy and science fiction genres.
They also cemented a common pop culture bond between father and son.
Through Tarzan, other Burroughs classics came to my attention, chiefly, the strange and fascinating worlds of Barsoom and Pellucidar and all the characters that inhabited those continents.
Today sees a childhood imagination rekindled with the intermingling of disparate characters in the pop culture world of comic books.
Of course, that series would need to have the greatest pulp title ever devised…and it does with: The Greatest Adventure #1!
Read the rest of this entry
With the debut of the 1966 Batman television series, a craze of camp swept through pop culture, especially comic books, and would infect the world for more than a few years. Whether you lived through this era, or it’s brand new to you, this is the book that has it all: Hero-A-Go-Go! from TwoMorrows, a swinging journey through nostalgia for pop culture and comics fans alike!
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!
31 Days Of Horror 2016 Brings A Gothic “Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1” On The Wednesday Run
It’s October – and that means that the weather is getting cooler, the leaves are beginning to turn shades of yellow, orange and red, and you’re probably mulling over what Halloween costume you’ll be wearing at the end of the month.
It’s October – and that must also mean…horror! How delicious!
As Biff Bam Pop! brings you the 2016 edition of our annual 31 Day of Horror features, the next four Wednesday Run columns will attempt to highlight some of the more (a-hem) seasonal comic book releases.
Who better to kick that off than everyone’s favourite dead man, Deadman – in his new, Gothic-tinged miniseries, Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love!
I’ve talked about this before, how the 1966 “Batman” television series was probably the gateway drug for every comic book fan out there. Even as ‘the old man’ here on the Biff Bam Pop! crew here, even I didn’t experience Batmania as it was happening, but I felt the aftershocks for years and decades afterward. Meet me after the jump as to why this one television program changed the world, and is still one of the best gifts ever.