Sunday, January 23, 2022

Luck Be a Loser Tonight

Back in June of 2020, I began posting pictures I took from my issues of Wizard: The Guide To Comics. I basically kept it running until school started and I had to go back to work. It was something I really liked doing but I had to stop because of the time I needed to read through, get pictures, type tweets, and post the thread. I've also been wanting to post at least one issue here to see if it's something people would want to see return, either here or back on Twitter. Wizard #53 (January 1996) is the year-end spectacular. You can read the other issues, on Twitter, by going to the links here.

Wizard: The Guide to Comics #53. Cover by John Romita, Sr. and John Romita, Jr.

In the letters columns, someone posits that Superman is unable to run for President of the United States. Wizard responds that since technically Superman was "born" after crashing in Kansas, he is a natural born citizen. There's some praise for Neal Adams, someone ranks the most powerful DC heroes (Captain Atom is #1), someone upset at the rising costs of comics suggests digging through back issue bins and Wizard agrees. Someone asks whether Wizard is getting "soft" on comic book companies. Wizard responds that their "biting attitude" may vary from month-to-month but if comic book companies have a problem with what they say about their product then produce better material (they specifically bring up the Spider-Man Clone Saga). The Bunny Award goes to someone asking if Magneto could life Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, using his magnetic powers. The answer is: No.

In the news: More comics delving into The Crow mythos, Mike Grell is giving Maggie the Cat her own ongoing series from Image Comics, Topps Comics is bringing back classic Western characters Zorro, The Lone Ranger, and Lady Rawhide. Wendy Pini is drawing a new ElfQuest series, The Punisher is getting a new look.

A Croak of Brilliance An article on Harris Comics' newest superhero: Cyberfrog by Ethan Van Sciver. "This book kicks ass," say Van Sciver. Cyberfrog would last eight issues in 1996 and a handful of miniseries, the most recent being in 2019.

Casting Call 11 Wizard casts a movie starring a bunch of alternative comic book characters. Bill Campbell as Madman, Tom Hanks as Concrete, Joe Pesci as Cerebus, Robin Williams as Flaming Carrot, Denis Leary and Chris Farley as Milk and Cheese, and many more. The movie rights for this thing would be a mess.

Caught In a Web The Spider-Man movie directed by James Cameron is in development hell at this point (thankfully, because it always seemed like garbage), so Wizard looks at Spidey's media history starting with "Amazing Spider-Man" (CBS, 1977-1979) to "Spider-Man: The Animated Series" (Fox, 1994-1998). Don't expect Cameron's Spider-Man movie until 1997 though because Cameron is focusing on some forgettable movie about a love story set aboard some dumb boat.

Separation Anxiety Have you ever wondered how comics (and Wizard magazine) are colored? Well, the good people at International House of Color (I.H.O.C.) will show you how it's done. According to the Grand Comics Database, I.H.O.C.'s last regular job was on Savage Dragon/Hellboy from Image Comics.

In Your Face Wizard spends the day with Rob Liefeld at home and at work at Extreme Studios. Liefeld talks about what he's doing with his own titles and talks about returning to Marvel. The article ends with this picture of Liefeld watching "Reservoir Dogs". It's not explained why the chair seems to be at a weird angle in relation to the TV or why the clock is on the floor.

First Look: X-Nation 2099 Tom Peyer and Humberto Ramos are getting a new X-Men series set in the Marvel 2099 universe. The new characters are Clarion, Wulff, Nostromo, Uproar, Willow, December, and Twilight. They certainly look very 90s. X-Nation 2099 would last six issues.

Urban Renewal Mark Gruenwald and Bobbie Chase are relaunching many of Marvel's titles, trying to bring the company back to basics and streamline things similar to when the titles first launched back in the 1960s. Wizard goes through each of the titles to explain the changes. Avengers, Captain America, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Thor, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and The Incredible Hulk.

Stan Lee Wizard has an extensive interview with Stan "The Man", Mr. Marvel himself, Lee. Lee details his life from getting into comics at the age of 16 to helping create nearly every popular Marvel character. They do a word association game with people Lee worked with. Jack Kirby: "The master." Steve Ditko: "Unique genius." John Romita, Sr: "The best there is." John Buscema: "The Michelangelo of comicdom."

Drawing Board Dong Thor wins some Maxx artwork with his Mortal Kombat art. Other interesting works of art: Starman by Orion Harbour, Gen13 by Jonathan Fisher, The X-Files by Kyle Vannoy, Batman by TJ Frias and Randy Ng.

This months Homemade Heroes:

Eight To Fore '96 Wizard takes a look at eight talents to keep your eyes on because they are going to be huge. I'm not being sarcastic. Charles Adlard, Edvin Biukovic, Darko Macan, Gene Ha, Ron Garney, Kevin Lau, Warren Ellis, and Humberto Ramos.

Spinning a New Web Confused about what's going on in the Spider-Man titles? Peter Parker is gone and Ben Reilly, who was supposed to be a clone is the real Spider-Man but is he a clone? Or maybe I have that all wrong. I tried reading the Clone Saga but never got into it. Marvel should release a massive trade of it. Anyway, Wizard tries to make sense of it from it's humble beginning in The Amazing Spider-Man #149 to the brand new title The Sensational Spider-Man #1.

Star Search Because Wizard can't go one issue without mentioning Todd McFarlane, Wizard tries to stir up controversy by saying "superstar" artists aren't as great as they, the industry, and readers make them out to be. They don't mention any names or really what the point of this article is. Older artists point out that "superstars" have been around for awhile (Neal Adams, for example) and that these things are cyclical and eventually a superstar settles into a place of normalcy. Wizard lists 10 artists who are reaching for the stars to be the next Todd McFarlane and many of these names, while popular, will quickly lose their "superstar" status. A few mentions: Joe Madureira, Tom Grummett, Humberto Ramos, Greg Capullo, Kelley Jones, Adam Hughes, among others.

The Big 10 Wizard goes over the ten biggest events in the comics world in 1995. The many comic book movies, the cost of comics going up (it's the paper, stupid!), The Spider-Man Clone Saga, something called The Internet, Magic: The Gathering, Bad Girls like Shi and Cyblade, small press companies, The Age of Apocalypse, Manga, and comic book distributors becoming exclusive to DC or Marvel.

Manga Scene talks about Koichi Ohata and his story M.D. Geist. The picks of the month are X 1999 and "Zenki".

Tom Palmer talks about what the small press companies are doing in 1996.

The "Generation X" TV-movie is going to lead to the greatest series ever and usher in a new wave of comic book TV shows. "Green Hornet", a movie starring George Clooney and Jason Scott Lee may start filming soon.

The Top Ten Comics are X-Men Prime #1, Shi #1, The X-Files #1, Lady Death #1, Vengeance of Vampirella #1, Ash #1, Generation X #1, Gen13 #1 (miniseries), X-Man #1, Gen13 #1. Marvel Graphic Novel #4 featuring The New Mutants is a back issue you need to watch out for. Animal Man #5 by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog, and Doug Hazelwood is a good and cheap back issue. And the books you should pick up? DC Vs. Marvel #1, Logan #1, Gen13/Maxx #1, The Phoenix Resurrection, and Star Wars: Boba Fett-Bounty On Bar-Koanda.

Card Market DC is getting their own OverPower cards that are compatible with the Marvel ones. It's also announced that Amalgam Comics (the combination of DC and Marvel in the aftermath of DC Vs. Marvel) will be getting it's own set. Batman Master Series is going to be released from Skybox as well as Power Chrome: DC Legends (a chromium card set) and Outburst DC Firepower (an embossed card set). 

Here are the top 10 writers and artists for this month.

Uncanny X-Men #328 is the best-selling comic for the month of November 1995. Honestly, the X-Men are basically the top 8 for November.

And finally, Wizard profiles Adam West and Burt Ward at the end of the issue.

We all know that Crankshaft just kind of time-hopped over the pandemic. I wonder how long they time-hopped this time because it's certainly not 2022.

Mallard Fillmore
Mm. It appears this Fishman guy doesn't understand this strawman argument either. How many people is Grogg able to kill with a giant boulder lifted over his head? Probably a lot less than with an easy to carry wooden club, just like someone with a gun could kill a lot more people than a person with a knife. But they know and understand this, they just don't care.

panel from The Lockhorns
Leroy is wearing the exact same sweater as the dog which is, to be honest, is adorable and instead of being angry and embarrassed, Leroy should be embracing this moment.

Sluggo Points won't be accepted as real cryptocurrency until Elon Musk accepts them but make sure to jump on this bandwagon early so you'll be rich when they happens. Move over, Dogecoin, Sluggo Points are here.

The Born Loser
Aren't you more likely to get struck by lightning than win the lottery? No matter, Uncle Ted was struck by lightning and survived and seems to have no ill-effects from it. After winning the lottery and getting struck by lightning all in one day, fate should just leave Uncle Ted alone for the rest of his life.

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