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Jingle Your Way To “DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1” On The Wednesday Run

Outside, the snow is falling and friends are calling “yoo-hoo!”

Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!

Well, we’re inching closer to the end-of-year holiday season. Maybe you’ve noticed that your local mall is decked to the gills in tinsel? Perhaps you’ve guiltily watched one or two bad made-for-TV holiday movies on some run-of-the-mill specialty channel (so that’s what Winnie Cooper is up to these days! Also, she was great!)? Maybe you’ve been busily writing, then scratching, then re-writing various dinner engagements with friends and family in your December calendar?

Well, DC Comics and their stable of writers and artists have been busy getting various superheroes and villains in the spirit of the season, working tirelessly on a holiday-themed production of their own.

Today sees its very timely release!

Get set to jingle all the way to the DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1!

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Ensley F. Guffey On… War Comics: Mlle. Marie

[EDITED 11/13/2015 7:33 PM EST] As I sit here tonight listening to the news reports about the barbarous attacks in Paris, I find it fitting that the post below went live today. Mlle. Marie is a fictional character, written and illustrated by Americans, but there were real French women in the Resistance who were more daring, more fierce, and more determined even than Marie, and tonight, even as gun battles still raged, fires still burned, and cowards held innocents hostage, Parisians marched down the Boulevard Magenta towards the Stade de France – towards the explosions – Le Tricolore held high. Families are opening their doors to offer strangers sanctuary, while men and women and children of all ages risk their lives to help the wounded, comfort the grieving, and to light a fire against the darkness. These are the descendants of those who inspired the creation of Mlle. Marie, and tonight they inspire the world, and we stand with them, saying again, Lafayette, nous sommes ici. Vive la France!

Mlle. Marie from Star-Spangled War Stories 88, art by Mort Drucker.

Mlle. Marie from Star-Spangled War Stories 88, art by Mort Drucker.

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

In 1959, DC’s line of war comics was going strong, and on the verge of becoming one of the most profitable, and reliable, group of titles in the entire DC stable. In the June issue of Our Army at War, Robert Kanigher (the editor and main writer for the war line) had penned a story called “The Rock and the Wall” and assigned it to artist Joe Kubert,  thereby giving birth to Sgt. Frank Rock. Marking not only the creation of one of the most well-known characters in American comics, Our Army at War #83 also began a turn in war comics away from the traditional anthology format, with several different, unconnected stories featuring non-recurring characters in each issue. Following the advent of Sgt. Rock, each of DC’s war titles gained a headliner who would appear in every issue, becoming the ongoing core of each book. Two months after the debut of Sgt. Rock, Kanigher and Jerry Grandenetti gave Star- Spangled War Stories (SSWS) its own lead, the deadliest, most effective leader of the French Resistance: Mademoiselle Marie.

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Ensley F. Guffey On… War Comics

Cover of Battle Action 198. Joe Colquhoun, art.

Cover of Battle Action 198. Joe Colquhoun, art.

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things.  Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years.  Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too.  Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

This week we once again have the pleasure of having Ensley F. Guffey share his love of War Comics, but this time on a more specific period and set of characters – Johnny Red and the Falcon Squadron. 

As I think the last Ensley F. Guffey On… War Comics showed, my love of the genre began early, and Sgt. Rock and the rest of DC’s war line are some of the very first comics I read and obsessed over. To this day I maintain that DC was the preeminent publisher of war comics in the US, and that very few comics have matched, much less surpassed DC’s work, particularly in the period 1960 – 1975.

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Ensley F. Guffey On… War Comics

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things.  Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years.  Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too.  Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

This week we have the pleasure of having Ensley F. Guffey share his love of War Comics, after the jump. 

DC's war comics characters, drawn by Joe Kubert for the History of the DC Universe Portfolio, 1986.

DC’s war comics characters, drawn by Joe Kubert for the History of the DC Universe Portfolio, 1986.

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Biff Bam Pop Remembers Comic Book Legend Joe Kubert (1926-2012)

Dreamer. Artist. Creator. Inspiration. Teacher. Legend. Only a handful of appropriate words that describe Joe Kubert. Sadly, Joe Kubert passed away yesterday at the age of 85.

A prolific artist, Kubert started in comic books in the early 1940s and continued to draw up until earlier this year. He was best known for the co-creation of World War II hero, Sgt. Rock. He would go on to draw other heroes, such as Enemy Ace, The Viking Prince, Hawkman, and Tarzan, putting his unique mark on all of them. Not only did he influence many great artists through his artwork, he founded The Kubert School in the late 1970s that has and continues to produce fine talent.

Joe Kubert’s legacy will live on through his sons Andy and Adam, those inspired by or taught by him, and his many, many fans. Rest in Peace, Mr. Kubert.

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