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Friday October 30, 2009 9:27 pm

Weekend Reading: Die Hard, Avengers, Stan Lee and Frank Robbins

dieHappy Halloween! You won’t find any Halloween-themed stuff down below because thousands of other people are already way ahead of me on that. What you will find is some very nifty reading (and looking) on folks like Howard Chaykin, Frank Robbins, indie cartoonist J.R. Williams, Stan Lee, and Blackest Night. Start the ball rolling downhill…

Incognegro: Galleycat gives a shout-out to the new graphic novel by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece, making it their Featured Book of Color. This Vertigo book has “movie” written all over it, and I’m sure Diane Nelson has noticed that.

Die Hard: Those We Left Behind enjoys the new Howard Chaykin/Stephen Thompson Die Hard prequel, Die Hard: Year One, from Boom! Says TWLB of the just-released second issue: “The series is really capturing the spirit of the McClane character, with his quick wit and regular-guy attitude.”

The Avengers: James Reasoner reviews Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Volume 1 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers. “It’s also interesting to see the introduction of storylines that would resonate through the Marvel Universe for years, and in some cases, decades afterwards.” But there’s a “but” coming that you’ll have to click and discover for yourself.

Stan The Man: If you haven’t seen it yet, Wired’s Andrew Kardon has a nice interview with Stan Lee. Here’s a nice quote: “To be a comic book writer is harder and harder. It used to be that you can write comics even though you might not have been able to write anything else because they weren’t that particular. If a guy could just put a couple of panels together, he could write a comic. But today some of the best writers in America are writing comics.”

Frank Robbins: Over at The Bronze Age of Blogs, Pete Doree does a long post of Robbins’ career from Johnny Hazard, to The Invaders to Batman and The Shadow. Profusely illustrated, especially with some great Hazard Sundays in black and white.

Get Out The Vote: Michael Cavna over at the Washington Post’s comic blog, Comic Riffs, notes that Andrews-McMeel Publishing’s Comic Strip Superstar contest is coming down to the wire and you’ve got a week to vote for your favorites. Eric Gapstur, Ryan Pagelow, Alexander Matthews, Dana Simpson, Todd Machen, Mike Floyd, Andrew Paavola, Michael Underhill and Paul Trap could use your support.

Ant-Man: Dr. Hermes takes a look at Tales To Astonish #35 from 1963 with a post entitled “I’m sorry, Dr. Pym, but that helmet makes you look like an ant.”

The Chive: One of my favorite posts. They’ve put up remixed movie posters for movies with one missing letter. The Ark Knight anyone?

Comic Book Novelizations: Comics Historian Steve Holland is doing some amazing heavy lifting over at Bear Alley, with the first of several profusely illustrated posts on novelizations of comic book, movie/TV properties.

Blackest Night: Curt Purcell over at The Groovy Age of Horror talks about Batman, Superman, Blackest Night tie-ins and the phenomena known as “red skies.” Here’s a small taste: “A gory action movie with superheroes is exactly what I was hoping for, and it’s exactly what was called for to counterbalance all that Compassion when the Indigo Tribe popped in from nowhere and whisked Hal to the stars.”

House Of Mystery: Nope, the house of mystery isn’t financed by sub-prime loans, but it was instead created by guys like Jack Oleck, Bernie Wrightson, Sergio Aragones, Mike Kaluta, Alex Nino, Frank Thorne, Jack Sparling, Alfredo Alcala, Nestor Redondo, Garry Talaoc, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Michael Fleisher and Gerry Conway. Rod Lott reviews Showcase: House of Mystery Volume 3 over at Bookgasm.

Iron Man: I’d love to see an animated series based on this illustration by J. R. Williams.

That’s it for now! Enjoy the weekend, and get ready for Monday!

[Artwork: Cover to Die Hard: Year One #2, on sale now from Boom!]

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