Monday, April 23, 2012

2010 "Ladies of DC - Zatanna" art by Taylor Cordingley

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They're fun, they're sassy and they all seem to have a mean right hook. For years, DC Comics has consistently created amazing female superheroes. I'd like to pay tribute to these amazing women of the DC Universe with one of my patented pin-up series -- Ladies of DC! Fourth in this series is the zany Zatanna!

ZATANNA
Real Name: Zatanna Zatara
Other Notable Aliases: Primak
First Appearance: Hawkman vol. 1 #4
Abilities: Skilled user of the mystical arts

Oh Zatanna, you are definitely one of the finest and sexiest women out there! This mistress of magic is one of the JLA's most powerful heroes. She's best known for saying her spells backward, mind-wiping one too many supervillains and somehow getting herself thrown into the mess that is Batman's hordes of lady loves. ^^; Oh Zee. That said, Zatanna is an congenial character who gets along with her teammates and is often considered closest to Hawkwoman, Flash (Barry Allen), Black Canary and Batman. Overall, I'm excited that Zatanna's been thrust forward into the spotlight over the years and can't wait to see the character develop. Although, I'm especially surprised to see that she's been largely excluded from Birds of Prey... hey Gail, when's Zatanna gonna guest star?!

(BTW, does anyone know why people keep perpetuating the idea that Zatanna can't do spells unless said backwards? She's said that she only says them backward for concentration purposes.....)

(Second BTW, Mattel -- you are evil for making her action figure a Walmart exclusive!)

Ladies of DC: Bringing Out The Girls

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2010 "Ladies of DC - The Vixen" art by Taylor Cordingley

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Taylor Cordingley loves the super-ladies, and has previously paid tribute to the Lady Fox with 2010's "Vixen On The Prowl". Here, he offers a concise "Who's Who style entry for our favorite Detroit heroine...
They're fun, they're sassy and they all seem to have a mean right hook. For years, DC Comics has consistently created amazing female superheroes. I'd like to pay tribute to these amazing women of the DC Universe with one of my patented pin-up series -- Ladies of DC! Ninth in this series is the vivacious Vixen!

VIXEN
Real Name: Mari Jiwe McCabe
First Appearance: Action Comics #521
Abilities: Mimics the abilities of any animal

Vixen is one of those characters floating around the DCU who just happens to be immensely intriguing and entirely amazing. As a former fashion model, Mari is a beautiful African woman whose power allows her to copy the abilities of any animal. As if that's not enough to make me like her, she's got a sassy personality to match the cool powers! On top of that, she's also been a member of the Justice League and is always willing to help out Oracle and the Birds of Prey should they need her help. I loved Mari in the JLU cartoon and I love her in the comics. I really hope they push her more to the forefront as time goes on.

Ladies of DC

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Top 10 Aquaman Covers of the 1970s

Jim Aparo, Nick Cardy and Neal Adams will be your image providers for this gallery...

10) Adventure Comics #442 (November, 1975)

Geoff Johns' run has this cover in its DNA. This is not a grinning hero who talks to fishies. This is a dude about to bring the hurt.

9) Adventure Comics #466 (November, 1979)

This is the type of cover that gets a kid excited about reading. There's so much going on in those panels! Front and center, dominating the lot, is Mera and the King of the 7 Seas surrounded by explosions.

8) Aquaman #60 (February, 1978)

Aquaman appears most sincerely pissed off about the environment. I dig his contorted posture and beaming aggression halo.

7) Aquaman #51 (May, 1970)

I like how the dialogue balloons are falling with the woman. It's one of those things you can't get from any other medium. The swirling light colors being devoured by the Lovecraftian darkness is rich.

6) Adventure Comics #444 (March, 1976)

Despite the dopey costume of the villain, his lethal intent is intensely portrayed, Aquaman is vulnerable but fierce, and that shark's gonna eat somebody.

5) World's Finest Comics #203 (June, 1971)

A really nice cover, but it's hard to appreciate Aquaman while he's sleeping on the job.

4) Aquaman #62 (June, 1978)

This is a powerful cover, but coming a year after Arthur's death, a bit too late to rate higher. Also, Aquaman's posture is awkward.

3) Aquaman #72 (July, 1970)

Since I did the Aquaman top 20 of all time list first, and the decade breakdowns after, I'd rather not jack with the order retroactively. That said, I admit that I made a mistake in not including this spare piece, an image that would not be out of place on a contemporaneous paperback cover or movie poster. It's so subdued... anti-hyped... which lends it a greater potency.

2) Aquaman #53 (September, 1970)

Aquaman is trying to save an entire state from drowning with his bare hands. Love the tilted room perspective. It's like looking at the polar bear tank through observation glass.

1) Adventure Comics #452  (July, 1977)

The Sea King in chains! Black Manta decrees he must die! Aqualad poised to strike a deathblow with his mentor's trident! An infant imperiled! A classic image that has haunted the series for decades.


Check out more spotlight countdowns of great art from the past 75 years of DC Comics Covers at DC75: Top Character Covers of the Dodranscentennial

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2011 The Vixen Animated Series Opening Theme Video






I rented "Thor" on Blu-Ray back in October of 2011 for my girlfriend (really,) and somehow the subject of the Odinson's theme song came up. Marvel put out a batch of extremely poorly animated shows in the 1960s, but most had catchy theme songs. Thor did not, which was why I needed to visit YouTube to refresh my memory of how it went. I know Captain America and Iron Man's by heart, but I figured I'd also check out the Sub-Mariner and Hulk's. This led me to DC's somewhat better animated but even shorter lived '60s cartoons by Filmation. It occurred to me that since I run a bunch of DC blogs and my friends do the same, the easiest crossover ever would be to just post embedded video of all the opening themes to shorts from "The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure."

Unfortunately, despite this being the least work intensive crossover ever, it hit some delays. Idle hands are the devil's playground, so I decided why not create a fake extremely limited animation Martian Manhunter opening from scratch? I'll tell you why-- because it's really difficult and time-consuming, while still looking like crap. However, I got it done, so it's online. Further, we invited more blogs to join in, even ones that never had cartoons, since there are plenty of fan-made numbers on YouTube. One guy couldn't find anything he liked that fit the bill though, since these would ideally run no more than half a minute and out. I decided to see if I could make a video for one of my left out blogs, and report back to the guy on how I did it.

There are multiple Vixen fan tribute videos on YouTube, but some run as long as fifteen minutes. I don't think casual fans can sustain that much enthusiasm for a member of Justice League Detroit. Instead of killing myself working from my DVDs, I simply used the free program YouTube Downloader to swipe other people's videos. I then trimmed clips out to fill a quick cut "opening theme" for a theoretical solo cartoon. The clips came from "Justice League Unlimited" and "Batman: The Brave and the Bold." I took the royalty-free music off of Creative Commons, and edited it using the shareware program Audacity. The individual clips were cut using Windows Movie Maker, a default program, although I did pull it all together on Nero. All told, I spent about five hours from start to finish, mostly because I'm picky about my music.

All characters and art are copyrighted by DC Comics & Warner Brothers, used for promotional and non-profit hobby purpose only. The music is "Somebody Else" by Dead Pawn Company from the album "G Funk Beatz 01." It is available through a Creative Commons limited license.