Today’s Comics Guide: Weekend Edition – March 31 and April 1, 2012
• A Mars Attacks! musical, written by John Layman, and based on his upcoming IDW mini-series, Mars Attacks: 21st Century Slaughter, is in the works. A trading-card series from Topps is scheduled for release in July. (UPDATE: IDW has announced that the musical was an April Fool’s Day joke. Whether the card set is in the works is still in question.)
• Cary Nord has signed an exclusive contract with Valiant Entertainment. The artist is working on the company’s first title, X-O Manowar, scheduled to ship in May.
• Best Buy has announced that it will be closing 50 of its big-box stores and laying off 400 employees from its management and support teams in the coming year after a $1.7 billion loss in the latest fiscal quarter.
Yesterday’s Panel Quiz Answer
It’s not our friend and former retailer Gary Colabuono, but Moondog’s first words in comics were, “Stay back! You’re too late to save her!” on the cover of Marvel Team-Up #24 (Aug 74).
Whose first words in comics were “And now I’ll have the most valuable trophies in the world – Batman and Robin frozen in blocks of ice!”? (Answer Monday)
Born March 31
Franco Bonvicini (1941), comics artist
Steven T. Seagle (1965), comics writer
Born April 1
Sheldon Mayer (1917), comics writer, artist, and editor
Bob Lappan (1951), comics letterer
Mark Shainblum (1963), comics creator and editor
James Robinson (1963), comics writer
Bill Oakley (1964), comics artist
Birthdays 2 Weeks from Saturday (April 14)
Sheldon “Shelly” Moldoff (1920), comics artist
Dave Gibbons (1949), comics artist
Chuck Dixon (1954), comics writer
Gerhard (1959), comics inker and writer
Dan Clowes (1961), comics writer and artist
Birthdays 2 Weeks from Sunday (April 15)
Geoff Blum, comics historian and writer
Tom Sutton (1937), comics artist
Mike Kanterovich (1961), comics writer
Daniel Presedo (1970), comics writer and artist
Bruce Beattie (1954), editorial cartoonist
This Weekend’s Flashbacks
95 yrs Apr 1, 1917 Artist, writer, and editor Sheldon Mayer is born. He is instrumental in bringing Superman to Action Comics and creates Sugar and Spike, Scribbly, Black Orchid, and Three Mouseketeers for DC.
As it’s the start of a new month this weekend, here are Flashbacks with no specific April day attached to them:
75 yrs Apr 1937 David McKay’s Ace Comics #1 introduces Blondie, Jungle Jim, and Krazy Kat to comic-book form.
70 yrs Apr 1942 Marvel’s Joker Comics #1 introduces Basil Wolverton’s Powerhouse Pepper.
70 yrs Apr 1942 Lev Gleason’s Boy Comics #3 introduces Bombshell and Crimebuster in a story written and drawn by Charles Biro. Bombshell is minor, but CB is a major kid hero for the line — especially in conflict with the villainous Iron Jaw, also introduced in the issue.
70 yrs Apr 1942 Eastern Color’s Famous Funnies #81 introduces Russell Stamm’s Invisible Scarlet O’Neil to comic books.
70 yrs Apr 1942 DC’s Star Spangled Comics #7 introduces Robotman and The Newsboy Legion.
70 yrs Apr 1942 MLJ’s Pep Comics #26 introduces Veronica Lodge — and Archie Andrews’ relationships change forever.
50 yrs Apr 1962 DC’s Adventure Comics #295 introduces Bizarro Titano.
40 yrs Apr 1972 Tarzan swings from Western to DC, beginning with #207. Book One of “The Origin of the Ape-Man” is edited, written, and illustrated by Joe Kubert.
40 yrs Apr 1972 Bill DuBay is named Warren magazine line art director and production manager.
40 yrs Apr 1972 DC’s Wonder Woman begins a new direction with #199 with a Jeff Jones cover painting and a story by Denny O’Neil drawn by Don Heck and Dick Giordano.
35 yrs Apr 1977 Publishers of National Lampoon begin the U.S. version of Metal Hurlant with Heavy Metal.
35 yrs Apr 1977 DC introduces a line of 80-page Dollar Comics featuring new stories and art. The first two are The House of Mystery #251 and Superman Family #182.
35 yrs Apr 1977 DC’s Black Lightning #1 introduces Black Lightning, written by Tony Isabella, drawn by Trevor von Eeden and Frank Springer.
30 yrs Apr 1982 Hm, should we put in a Spoiler Warning regarding what happens to Elektra in the double-size Daredevil #181 from Marvel? Well, surely, you know already — so we don’t need to tell you details of the story written by Frank Miller and drawn by Miller and Klaus Janson. Problem solved.
25 yrs Apr 1987 Tom DeFalco is named Marvel editor in chief.
Every Wed. and Sat. California: City Of Industry. Comic Book & Collectible Show.
Mar 30-Apr 1 Washington: Seattle. Emerald City Comicon.
Mar 31-Apr 1 Ohio: Dayton. Gem City Comic Con.
Mar 31 Iowa: Bettendorf. Comic Book Show.
Mar 31 New York: New York. Mike Carbo’s New York Comic Book Marketplace.
Mar 31 Virginia: Salem. Roanoke Valley Comicon.
Apr 1 Illinois: Peoria. Comic Book Convention.
Apr 1 New Jersey: Secaucus. Comic Art Con.
Apr 1 Virginia: Richmond. Virginia Comicon.
Apr 7 Tennessee: Knoxville. Collectors Showcase Comic & Toy Convention.
Question of the Week
What is the most ridiculous super-power used by a comic-book character?
• Cartoon Network’s DC Nation animation block begins at 10 a.m. E.T. Saturday with Green Lantern: The Animated Series’ latest episode, “Heir Apparent.” It’s followed at 10:30 by Young Justice and “Insecurity.”
• Turner Classic Movies returns to its Saturday Tarzan series with Tarzan the Fearless (1933) at noon E.T. Saturday.
• It’s not really comics-related, except for those of you who play in The World’s Largest Trivia Contest (or follow what my team does each year), but with this year’s theme involving John Wayne, it might be worth watching Stagecoach (1939), Wayne’s first feature after a string of B-Westerns, when it airs on TCM at 1:30 p.m. E.T. Saturday.
• At 3:30 that same afternoon, TCM airs Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977).
• We’ve mentioned it a few other times that it’s aired in the past, but TCM has The Great Race (1965) on April 1 at 1 p.m. E.T. At 6 p.m. E.T., the cable channel airs The Long, Long Trailer (1954).
• ABC has “The Stable Boy,” a new episode of Once Upon a Time at 8 p.m. E.T. Sunday night.
• The Simpsons may be in repeats, but the other parts of Fox’s animation Sunday are new, starting with The Cleveland Show at 7:30 p.m. E.T. and “Frapp Attack.” At 8:30, Bob’s Burgers has “Burgerboss,” while at 9, Family Guy airs “You Can’t Do That On Television, Peter.” American Dad! finishes off the evening at 9:30 with “The Kidney Stays in the Picture.”
• HBO has “The North Remembers,” the second-season premiere of Game of Thrones at 9 p.m. E.T.