Comic Tastic

Where Comic Book Lovers Unite

The Working Relationship Of Joss Whedon And John Cassaday

June 23rd, 2013 by admin

In the late 1980s, the Batman comics featured some of the greatest stories ever told about DC’s most popular character. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One were seminal works, giving readers realistic tales of a hero at the end and beginning of his career. The Killing Joke was a disturbing look at the origins of the Joker and the crippling of Batgirl. These were all written at the time that Tim Burton’s movie was in production, and helped to spearhead the film to tremendous box office success. Earlier that year, perhaps the grimmest tale was told of the Dark Knight in the comics,, as it featured not just the disabling of a major character, but his actual death. The character was Robin. Batman acquired his youthful sidekick in 1940, as the concept of the Dynamic Duo became ingrained in popular culture. The original Robin, Dick Grayson, had grown up in the comics to the point where he was a young man, no longer a boy, and had taken on the new superhero identity of Nightwing. In 1983, DC decided it wast time to give Batman a new Robin, and Jason Todd was introduced, and following the Crisis on Infinite Earth’s revamp, his origin was established as a street thug and orphan who tried to steal the Batmobile’s tires. Batman took sympathy on him, and took him under his wing. He trained him to be the new Robin, reestablishing the Dynamic Duo. Jason was not written as just a younger version of Dick Grayson. Instead, the writers saw fit to fill the character with anger, allowing him to be particularly brutal in his war on crime. Frequently, he would beat the criminals that he and Batman would encounter into submission, a practice which his mentor would find excessive. He and Batman were often at odds with each other, and that created unease with some readers of the character. Thus, in late 1988, DC decided to try something a little different. A Death in the Family, written by Jim Starlin and illustrated by the late great Jim Aparo allowed for Jason Todd to discover that he was not an orphan, as his mother was still alive, giving him up shortly after his birth. He decided to search the world for her, to inquire as to why she had allowed him to think her dead for such a long time, and on the way he encountered several nasty characters, culminating with the Joker. He had left Batman behind in his quest, so the Dark Knight had to track him down. Jason found his mother working as a relief worker in Ethiopia. However, she was no saint, as she had been embezzling and the Joker had gotten wind of this, and he blackmailed her into turning Jason over to her. He brutally beat the boy with a tire iron, and tied him to a bomb with his mother. With Batman nowhere in sight, the issue ended, and readers were given the opportunity to then vote by a 900 telephone number to either allow Batman to rescue him or to let him die. The vote was close, but readers let him die, with the final total being 5,343 votes to kill him to 5,271 in favor of his survival. Thus, Batman arrived at the scene to find a dead Robin, with his mother just able to tell him that Jason had shielded her from the blast, before she passed away. The story then bizzarely featured the Ayatollah Khomeni appointing the Joker as his Ambassador to the United Nations, giving him diplomatic immunity to avoid prosecution. Superman showed up to warn Batman that he had to honor the law, only to have the Joker attempt to kill the General Assembly of the UN with his Joker venom by releasing it into the air ducts. Superman sucks all of the venom in, and tells Batman that the Joker is all his. Batman pursues him, only to have the Joker’s helicopter crash. The Joker disappears, and is out of commission in the comics for awhile. Jason Todd is later resurrected but his death had an impact on Batman story lines for years to come, as the Dark Knight became even darker and was as almost as brutal with the criminal element as Jason had been. While no one in comics ever really stays dead, this was one that lasted until 2005–almost an entire generation.

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The Insightful Cartoons Of Benjamin Franklin

April 17th, 2013 by admin

Benjamin Franklin’s Cartoons – Tools of Political Satire
The Pennsylvania Gazette was the first newspaper to publish Benjamin Franklin’s political cartoon “Join or Die” in 1754. Benjamin Franklin was an American with many “firsts.” His interest in politics was borne of his passion for the new world he lived in. Through his cartoons, Benjamin Franklin effected a confrontation of issues he considered important to fellow colonists. In the early colonial days, Benjamin Franklin used cartoons to encourage colonists to break from British rule. Cartoons provided a way Read the rest of this entry »

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A Brief History of Batman

July 23rd, 2012 by admin

Modern day Batman fans may not realize that the Batman character has been around for more than 70 years – before Cable Television even existed. His first appearance came during the Golden Age of Comic Books in the pages of Detective Comics 27 in May 1939. Around a year later, Batman 1 was published. It was at this time that Catwoman, the Joker and Alfred Pennyworth were created, as well.

During the Silver Age of Comic Books (1956-1970), the Batman comic series added some science-fiction flavor to its story, introducing characters like Mr. Freeze, Betty Kane and the original Bat-Girl. In 1966, Batman made its transition to the TV with Batman: The Movie in 1966 and Batman (TV series) from 1966-1968. During the 1970s, writers Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams gave Batman somewhat of a makeover, giving the comic book series more of the darker tone that it had during the 1940s. In addition to recreating the Joker as an unpredictable killer who would murder people at the drop of a hat, the pair also created a new villain, Ra’s al Ghul. By October 1986, the Batman title reached its 400th issue and had become a tremendously popular brand.

Today, there are more than a dozen movies and animated films based on the Batman series. Additionally, the Batman series – having earned a total of 1,449,683,452 – is the fourth highest-grossing film series in North America.

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The Fascinating History Of Mad Magazine

October 16th, 2011 by admin

Mad magazine made it’s debut in 1952 originally as a comic book. It was almost written in its by Harvey Kurtzman, an editor and cartoonist who was best described by the New York Times as “being one of the most important figures in post-war America.” It was later upon his insistence that MAD be switched over to a magazine format. By doing this it removed them from the CCA, or Comics Code Authority, which policed comics to make sure the “code of ethics” was maintained, thus censoring comics greatly.

MAD magazine, free of the CCA, was now able to become Read the rest of this entry »

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Brenda Star The First Women Of Comics

October 13th, 2011 by admin

Brenda Starr, ace reporter and one of the original comic book heroines first appeared in 1940. Created by writer Dale Messick, the comic was initially published under the name “Brenda Starr, Reporter” and told the story of the fearless red-head and her many adventures as a journalist for the fictional newspaper “The Flash”.

A far cry from the ‘damsels in distress’ women featured in the comics at that time, Brenda was the prototype of today’s working woman. During her long run in the comics, Brenda traveled to exotic locales, had many romantic misadventures and Read the rest of this entry »

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Yellow Kid And The Word Bubble

October 9th, 2011 by admin

The Yellow Kid was an American comic strip, starring the first real comic character in U.S. newspapers. The series, also known as Hogan’s Alley, was drawn by Richard F. Outcault.

The Yellow Kid was set into the ghetto of turn of the century New York City. The titular “Kid” was an unnamed bald, snaggle-toothed child who wore an oversize yellow nightshirt and interacted with various other quirky characters. The series was popular for taking conventions that had Read the rest of this entry »

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Influences In The Life Of Wilhelm Bush

October 5th, 2011 by admin

“It’s easy to become a father, but being one is harder rather” is a quote from Germany’s posthumously coined, “Grandfather of Comics”, Wilhelm Bush. If you have never heard this name, but love comics, it’s time for a meet and greet, because you have the famous artist, drawer, sculptor, poet and vegetarian, Wilhelm Bush, to thank for every chuckle and grin. Born in 1832, Wilhelm Bush is often referred to as one of the inventors of the modern comic strip because he drew characters and then added clever and wildly funny satirical Read the rest of this entry »

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