Siteseeing: Quick Hits
I saw The Muppets last night. You could find a worse way to spend a couple of hours — depending on how dearly you hold the characters and how much leeway you're willing to give newer creative hands in them, metaphorically and otherwise. A review might be on the way, but for now I present one more movie-related video to add to the onslaught from Muppet Tuesday last week: a pre-film policy trailer for AMC Theaters that advertised the gang's return to the big screen.
More Muppets after we break for some timely comics-related stuff — the first of which is actually related to Timely Comics...
In honor of my recent post on the origins of Fantastic Four #1 [now waiting to
be republished over at The Comicologist] I want to belatedly share a neat bit of coincidence-or-inspiration speculation on the part of Ken Quattro (yes, Quattro) at The Comics Detective over whether a prose entry in 1940's Marvel Stories Vol. 2 #2 — a science-fiction pulp magazine from the publisher of Timely/Marvel Comics — was on the mind of creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby when they dreamt up FF two decades later.
Speaking of The Comics Detective, Michael T. Gilbert shared another unpublished story with Ken shortly after my mid-September plug of "The Green Rock of Terror". This one is a Vertigo-style treatment of Harvey icon Richie Rich, sending up artsy, "mature" comics of the era, intended for publication in DC's great 1992 one-shot Ambush Bug: Nothing Special (whose breakout character is the photostatted, disembodied head of longtime DC editor and goodwill ambassador Julie Schwartz).
Speaking of Fantastic Four #1, meanwhile, among the homages to its cover that
wasn't included in my Cover Album series about same is the above bit of Concrete art, awesomely assembled by Paul Chadwick. That's because I can't source it and doubt it actually appeared on a cover; more likely, it was printed as an extra in a collection of the Concrete miniseries Strange Armor, perhaps (given the "stamp" in the upper-right-hand corner, mimicking the old Comics Code seal) from a promotional illustration that Chadwick did for New Zealand retailer Pegasus Books. Chadwick's inventiveness is on full display here, with forced perspective making Concrete look like a giant as he mangles utensils in his right hand, Maureen Vonnegut standing in the back of the room but seeming as if she's caught in his clutches the way The Invisible Girl was held by The Mole Man's creature; a splash of red wine forms a pattern resembling The Human Torch, spaghetti takes the place of the rope-bound Mister Fantastic, and of course a fortuitously shaped roll in the bread basket resembles The Thing.
Among the many bloggers counting down to the release of The Muppets was artist David Vordtriede, whose Muppet Alphabet, The Muppabet, is a delight. The preceding link takes you to the introductory post on the Muppabet Tumblr feed, whose main page starts with Zoot and scrolls along in reverse Muppabetical order to his Electric Mayhem bandmate Animal. You'll also find the mission statement and thumbnails of all the illustrations on the group's front page on Flickr.
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