Posts Tagged ‘cover art’

Daily Batman: Talk nerdy to me, “Grok this” edition

July 1, 2011


Photograph by mandysparky on the d.a.

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”

(Robert A. Heinlein.)

Grok it, dudes.

A whopping happy FIFTIETH FUCKING BIRTHDAY to Stranger In A Strange Land. Can’t believe Valentine Michael Smith has been rolling through the cultural landscape for half a century. R.I.P. to wonderful Robert Heinlein, who died on a May 8th, by the by, in case you’re keeping track of my apocalyptic ramblings.

You are only an egg. Now get out there and make some water brothers in Heinlein’s memory.


This is what the cover of my copy looks like.

You know what? This was going to be Bradbury Month but let’s bump that to September: that’s nice synchronicity anyway because that’s my birthday month and he’s my fave-ohs. July is now officially Robert Heinlein Month! Balloons and confetti just fell on us all!

Flashback Friday: Bookfoolery: If I never sleep again until the end of my days, at least I will die well-read

June 3, 2011

This post originally appeared on June 24, 2010 at 6:26 p.m.

Maybe “well” is subjective …


If anyone but my Asia Argento plays Lisbeth Salander in an English-speaking adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I will put my hand through a blender. I pictured her the entire time I was reading.

Finished Girl With the Dragon Tattoo over a sleepless night that lead to one uneasy stretch of light snooze cut short by sudden bouts of vomiting. I found it very absorbing — the book, not the violent gut spasms from who-knows-what combination of stress and inattentively poor personal care — but it caromed briefly in to a few areas for which I was not wild. Still it all hung together in the end and I recommend it without reservation. Then I ended up reading a particularly pulpy and breezy Ross Macdonald mystery from the 70’s whose title I have already forgotten even though it kept me company for several hours.


See? Lots of people have insomnia and go on to have perfectly normal Summers! The Shining (Kubrick, 1980).

I only remember that I’d picked it up a few months back along with a couple 70’s editions of Zane Grey at my preferred comic store, which, besides selling comics and related games and accessories, also carries a small inventory of used, cheapo books and spotty collections of memorabilia depending on what luckless local nerds have either died or lost enough money to place their treasures in hock. I snatched up the Greys and this Macdonald book a few months ago because I dug the kind of blocky-schlocky look to the lines of the cover art.


The Underground Man — that’s right. Decent enough title, I guess.

The phrase “blew my mind” was used repeatedly in the book to refer to literally taking too much acid and suffering brain damage and prolonged schizophrenic episodes triggered by hallucinations, which usage I thought was a handy demonstration of the evolution of slang — in the book it was suggestive of overdose and possible fatality, but you can see how it developed over time the more benign definition it has now in the sense of changing one’s worldview in a feller-than-the-usual-pace-of-educational swoop, while still somewhat referencing the phrase’s original intent.


2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968). He swar to gar for all his life that whole sequences of this film were not planned to look like an acid trip, to which anyone who has ever done acid says, “Sure.”

The Macdonald book wasn’t the worst thing ever and some of the slangy shenanigans and quaintly dated rough talk in it wet my palate for some Hammett. I never re-read Red Harvest until October (red HARVEST, get it?) but I also brought down with me from Portland The Dain Curse and the Op’s short-story collection and could give one of those a spin. Think that’s what I’ll do tonight.

Actually maybe Hammett is only the appetizer. Know what? I think I will try to squeeze in L.A. Confidential before I have to pick up Tommyknockers. I usually, though not maniacally, like to read that closer to Christmastime because of the whole Bloody Christmas scandal that sparks so much of the action, but I’ve been self-auditing through all these long sick waking nights, and by setting this bookfoolery in to print I have come to see that I’ve got some really fucked-up and compulsive reading habits which are even perhaps the least of my worries and so I feel like rebelling against myself in this small thing to test the waters of making Change happen. I’m going to do this because I can.

Synchronicity — just dug out Red Harvest and the quote on the front cover is from Ross Macdonald, the author whose pulp I read this morning. Wild way that the universe is telling me I’m on the right track? or subconscious self-affirmation from whatever part of my brain has been looking at that (quite kickass) Red Harvest cover for the last four years?

I can’t say for sure. Either way, tell that girl from Canada that it ain’t ironic.

Art of the cover: Moby-Dick reimagined

May 30, 2011


Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed; and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.

(Herman Melville. Moby-Dick, final sentence. 1851. *SPOILER ALERT, the seas do not gang dry. Don’t tell.*)

This imagined cover art for Melville’s Moby-Dick was done in 2009 by Mark Weaver for the Kitsune Noir Poster Club, the collaborative brainchild of Bobby Solomon (the Fox is Black) and Society6.

69 Days of Wonder Woman, Day 7: Why then, o brawling love, o loving hate, o anything of nothing first create?

November 23, 2010

(This was all news to me. So the theories advanced here are kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants.)

Wonder Woman’s archnemesis Cheetah was apparently introduced in No. 6.1 of the original, Marston-penned Wonder Woman line (1943). The original Cheetah was Priscilla Rich.


via the wiki, Cheetah’s first appearance, 1943. Cover art by Harry Peter.

Priscilla Rich was depicted as a young, insecure debutante who suffered from a split personality developed because of her inferiority complex. Following a benefit dinner, Ms. Rich’s alternate personality became dominant, triggered by an encounter with Wonder Woman, whose superiority to earth women activated Ms. Rich’s coping mechanism for her low self-esteem. This other self, Cheetah, continues to come out from time to time to try and kill Diana, foil her plans for good, etc.

I noted with interest in researching her that, in a lot of the panels I read, it seems that Ms. Rich’s alter ego, Cheetah, actually hates the Priscilla personality almost as much as she dislikes Wonder Woman.


Priscilla retreats to her room and collapses before her makeup mirror. There she sees an image of a woman dressed like a cheetah. “Horrors!” she cries, as she gazes at her evil inner-self for the first time.

(the wiki.)


“Don’t you know me?” replies the reflection. “I am the REAL you — the Cheetah — a treacherous, relentless huntress!” The image commands her to fashion a Cheetah costume. “From now on,” intones the reflection, “when I command you, you shall go forth dressed like your TRUE self and do as I command you…”

(Ibid.)

It is not terribly difficult to see metaphors here for female cattiness. I think it goes back to what I wrote about earlier, the empty need for women to best each other. Ms. Rich and Wonder Woman had no actual beef: why did Ms. Rich create one? Because she felt insecure.

And why does Cheetah hate herself almost as much as she hates Wonder Woman?

I think because she despises her own weakness, and, as Cheetah, she sees her Priscilla personality as hampering her goal to become the greatest woman alive.

So a) she makes something out of nothing because b) she feels badly about herself, doubly over. That’s crazy and yet so true and typical.

She does not want to, but she must. Why? It is so unnecessary, just as it is unnecessary for women to gang up on one another in real life, too. But they always do.

Final note: the IGN ranked Cheetah in 2009 as the 69th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time, which is great synchronicity for our 69-day project.

Bookfoolery: If I never sleep again until the end of my days, at least I will die well-read

June 24, 2010

Maybe “well” is subjective …


If anyone but my Asia Argento plays Lisbeth Salander in an English-speaking adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I will put my hand through a blender. I pictured her the entire time I was reading.

Finished Girl With the Dragon Tattoo over a sleepless night that lead to one uneasy stretch of light snooze cut short by sudden bouts of vomiting. I found it very absorbing — the book, not the violent gut spasms from who-knows-what combination of stress and inattentively poor personal care — but it caromed briefly in to a few areas for which I was not wild. Still it all hung together in the end and I recommend it without reservation. Then I ended up reading a particularly pulpy and breezy Ross Macdonald mystery from the 70’s whose title I have already forgotten even though it kept me company for several hours.


See? Lots of people have insomnia and go on to have perfectly normal Summers! The Shining (Kubrick, 1980).

I only remember that I’d picked it up a few months back along with a couple 70’s editions of Zane Grey at my preferred comic store, which, besides selling comics and related games and accessories, also carries a small inventory of used, cheapo books and spotty collections of memorabilia depending on what luckless local nerds have either died or lost enough money to place their treasures in hock. I snatched up the Greys and this Macdonald book a few months ago because I dug the kind of blocky-schlocky look to the lines of the cover art.


The Underground Man — that’s right. Decent enough title, I guess.

The phrase “blew my mind” was used repeatedly in the book to refer to literally taking too much acid and suffering brain damage and prolonged schizophrenic episodes triggered by hallucinations, which usage I thought was a handy demonstration of the evolution of slang — in the book it was suggestive of overdose and possible fatality, but you can see how it developed over time the more benign definition it has now in the sense of changing one’s worldview in a feller-than-the-usual-pace-of-educational swoop, while still somewhat referencing the phrase’s original intent.


2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968). He swar to gar for all his life that whole sequences of this film were not planned to look like an acid trip, to which anyone who has ever done acid says, “Sure.”

The Macdonald book wasn’t the worst thing ever and some of the slangy shenanigans and quaintly dated rough talk in it wet my palate for some Hammett. I never re-read Red Harvest until October (red HARVEST, get it?) but I also brought down with me from Portland The Dain Curse and the Op’s short-story collection and could give one of those a spin. Think that’s what I’ll do tonight.

Actually maybe Hammett is only the appetizer. Know what? I think I will try to squeeze in L.A. Confidential before I have to pick up Tommyknockers. I usually, though not maniacally, like to read that closer to Christmastime because of the whole Bloody Christmas scandal that sparks so much of the action, but I’ve been self-auditing through all these long sick waking nights, and by setting this bookfoolery in to print I have come to see that I’ve got some really fucked-up and compulsive reading habits which are even perhaps the least of my worries and so I feel like rebelling against myself in this small thing to test the waters of making Change happen. I’m going to do this because I can.

Synchronicity — just dug out Red Harvest and the quote on the front cover is from Ross Macdonald, the author whose pulp I read this morning. Wild way that the universe is telling me I’m on the right track? or subconscious self-affirmation from whatever part of my brain has been looking at that (quite kickass) Red Harvest cover for the last four years?

I can’t say for sure. Either way, tell that girl from Canada that it ain’t ironic.

Daily Batman: Offer no angles to the wind

May 10, 2010

Advice, Msgr. Tessimond edition.

Take flight and offer no angles to the wind. Escape this earth and its loopholes and pushy windmakers.


Illustration by Tony Parker.

Cats, no less liquid than their shadows, offer no angles to the wind. They slip, diminished, neat, through loopholes less than themselves.
— A. S. J. Tessimond

Daily Batman: Wild cats

March 2, 2010





illustration by Jock via the LCS.

Daily Batman: Adam Hughes, the hands-down best Catwoman artist

December 1, 2009

How about a little kitteh-lady in your life today? Take a gander at Catwoman’s mercurial adorableness in “The Many Faces of Selina Kyle,” cropped (click through to full picture).


Art by the wonderful, talented, good-humored Adam Hughes, one of the best in the biz today.

Adam Hughes, who is totally cool and cute and hilarious and just a warm, generous human being all around besides being a talented artist, did the cover art for Catwoman (vol.2) issues 43-82. He’s brilliant and, from accounts of people’s encounters with him out and about, a very friendly and upbeat guy, which is a cool thing to find in the comics world.


This is from his wiki. He has a wiki entry! That is charming to me. He seems so accessible, I thought only a-holes had wikis.

Everyone is eager to talk about their favorite stuff, but sometimes really well-known artists can be kind of … prickly. And of course comic book geeks, like geeks of any stripe, can be guilty of the exact sort of elitism that made them feel rejected by the “cool kids” and drove them to their esoteric pursuit to begin with. But it seems not so with “AH!” as he is billed in his signature.


Cover to Catwoman 69 (Sept 2007). Dig all the villains like a swarm of pop-ups on the blowup of the monitor behind her.

So what makes a kitteh-lady drawing? More than sugar and spice and everything nice. From Adam Hughes’s description on his deviantart account:

I miss drawing Selina. It sure was fun with her; lots of different moods. She’s the quintessential femme fatale. And YES, I’m aware the she resembles Audrey Hepburn, LOL.

My personal inspiration for Selina Kyle is Ms. Hepburn, circa 1954-57. My favorite face ever.

My personal inspirational cocktail for Catwoman is:
  • 70% young Audrey Hepburn
  • 20% Liz Taylor from CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
  • 10% Trinity from the first MATRIX film
  • Super-cute. He’s so great.