Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day & Beyond!!

Memorial Day 2010 is fading fast, so let the Catacombs take a brief pause to remember the fallen. I've chosen this nice image of The Haunted Tank crew to represent our honored war dead.


The weather is atrocious and is apparently gonna be stubborn and remain that way most of the week. Hopefully, the sky will clear for the kick off of the three day Heroes Convention in Charlotte at the end of the week. I do know that come hell or high water, I will be there. The photo (left) is my tongue-in-cheek nod to how I feel at the moment. It's always a bit tense trying to prepare to go out of town to a convention, worrying if you're forgetting something to be signed or making a list (and checking it twice) of neat stuff to look for at the show.

This year I have prepaid for most of the sketches that I'm planning on picking up from the artists who will be in attendance. Don't ask me how much "scratch" I've already shelled out, just take another glimpse at that photo (above; left). Yeah! That sorta says it all.


My oldest daughter is due to fly to London in a couple of weeks for a summer internship, before finishing off her last year in college. My youngest daughter is preparing to head for Charleston, SC, even as I flee town, this week too. She's going to watch a young man she's a bit sweet on, graduate from Marine Boot Camp and then she'll chill out with her friends at the beach for a week. At least my son isn't hitting me up for a wad of dough. He has two jobs to keep himself floating in high cotton, now if only they'll take good care of my pug, Bandit, while I'm hobnobbing with the 300 comic book industry guests - and the even larger horde of mega-nerds - who will probably be trying to snake me on some high grade bronze age gems in the Queen City of the Carolina's. Don't press me boys!!

As an advance notice to the lovely lasses who also happen to show up in force for Heroes Con, this year I am more or less single, for the first time in twenty-two years; so fair warning. I won't be turning down any indecent proposals, like I've tended to do in the past. This year, all bets are off (and hopefully a few wardrobes as well).

Yippee ki-ay!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Heroes Convention: Charlotte, NC - June 4-6, 2010 ("That's one week from now!")

By this time next weekend, I will be hip deep into the Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC, now in its 29th year. Sponsored by Heroes Aren't Hard To Find owner, Shelton Drum and his army of loyal volunteers - rather press-ganged employees. The Heroes Convention has earned much respect from within the comics industry for being family-friendly and also for reaching out to every demographic you could possibly name. The popular "Indie Island" area which focuses on small press creators and publishers has grown so huge that "continent" might be a more appropriate term these days.

The massive Heroes Con guest list is comprised of hundreds of top industry writers, artists, editors,, publishers and other folks who return year after year for some good old Southern charm. The show pulls in hundreds of guests each year and there are always some interesting surprises even after twenty-nine previous events. Just take a look at this list of names: Brian Bolland, Frank Cho, Guy Davis, Rob Liefeld, Mike Mignola, Dustin Nguyen, Tim Sale, Ben Templesmith, Bill Willingham, Skottie Young, Steve Niles, Steve Epting, Humberto Ramos, J. Scott Campbell, Jim Cheung, Joe Linsner, Roy Thomas, Joe Jusko, Pat Broderick, Mark Waid, Bernie Wrightson and Jim Starlin. If those standouts aren't enough for you, rest assured they represent just the tip of the iceberg, as there will be over two hundred more working professionals to visit with at this years Heroes Convention. Be sure to also check the separate "Indie Island" guest list after following the link (above).

It never ceases to amaze me how many comic book industry folks regularly line up to attend this event and for the fans it is truly like a comic book smorgasbord. There is literally something for EVERYBODY to enjoy. No matter whether you like golden age, silver, bronze or later. small press, underground, esoteric, all-ages. You name it, and you will find it in Charlotte.

Come and join us next week (Friday through Sunday), June 4-6, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina for one of the best comic book conventions in the world. You will be very glad that you did!

This year there will be at least a dozen incentive exclusives for fans in attendance. From a dozen special "Heroes Con" editions of popular comics to be signed by guests or for those lucky fans who purchased advance tickets, a limited edition Hellboy print (pictured; above) which will be signed & numbered by Mike Mignola.

Friday, May 28, 2010

"Gal" Friday! Kagney Linn Karter

Those among you who occasionally venture into an adult cinema, or video rental store may recognize today's "Gal" Friday selection as rising XXX actress Kagney Linn Karter. The twenty-three year old Texan is really making a name for herself, having won such recognition as the 2010 XRCO Award for New Starlet, the 2010 XBIZ New Starlet of the Year Award and two 2010 AVN Awards for Best POV Sex Scene and another Best New Starlet nod.

"Kagney Linn" is apparently her real first & middle names, but she chose "Karter" as her fictional pseudonym as it "just fit perfectly". She was also chosen as the Penthouse Pet of the Month for June 2009, and appeared on the covers of Hustler in April 2009 and Adult Video News in June 2009.

In case you are curious, she was named by her father after Hollywood legend, James Cagney. I may not have seen any of her films, reportedly numbering sixty-nine, but I do know what looks good and she definitely tantalizes me into seeking out at least some of her .... work!

If you've got the cojones, I highly recommend a speedy Internet search for even "hotter" photos than the lovely shot (above) that I've respectfully posted. And don't say that I've never done you any favors!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nyoka the Jungle Girl in "The Slave Sale!" (Fawcett; 1944)

I've been meaning to do a post on next weeks Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC (June 4-6) and the groovy guests who will be in attendance, but I'm gonna save that tease for this weekend.

Today, I will just manage to squeeze in one more chapter of "The Death Rug" serial starring Nyoka. The final two chapters of this golden age adventure will be posted next week, and as a reminder this tale comes from Master Comics #56 (Nov. 1944); again by Fawcett Comics, writer Rod Reed, artist Jack Sparling and cover artist Bud Thompson.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: the copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.

Hurry back tomorrow for my regular "Gal" Friday feature. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Nyoka and the Python Peril" (Fawcett; 1944)

"The Death Rug" serial continues in the seventh chapter from Master Comics #55 (Oct. 1944), originally published by Fawcett Comics & written by Rod Reed and drawn by Jack Sparling.

Nyoka the Jungle Girl was previously left left clutched in the coils of the vile Vida's slithering serpent, but that almost pales in comparison to the dreaded peril awaiting her in the last panel of this thrilling chapter. As a head's up, there are only three remaining chapters of this golden age serial adventure, so rather than wait a few weeks to see the next portion, I thought that it would be better to let it just run its course.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: the copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. The cover of this classic issue by artist Bud Thompson, featuring Captain Marvel Jr. is included as a bonus freebie.


"Nyoka and the Sinister Snake" (Fawcett; 1944)

"The Death Rug" serial from Master Comics #54 (Sept. 1944), continues today with two separate posts comprising the fifth and sixth chapters of this neat golden age adventure featuring Fawcett Comics heroine, Nyoka the Jungle Girl.

Writer Rod Reed and artist Jack Sparling introduce the femme fatale serpent-mistress, Vida in "Nyoka and the Sinister Snake". After the last chapters pumpkin-headed bad guy, Boo Pah Boo, almost any threat would seem more credible to our brave star.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: the copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Profile Antics: A Chat With Rebekah Isaacs (Artist on DV8)

Rebekah Isaacs got her first published comics work drawing "The After Hours" for the Twilight Zone series of graphic novels from Walker Publishing, shortly after graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2005. She has worked for Devil's Due Publishing, as a guest artist on Hack/Slash and other titles. She relocated from Dahlonega, GA to New York City in 2008, and then landed her first mainstream work at New York Comic-Con '09; a fill-in issue of Ms. Marvel, with writer Brian Reed. Rebekah is now the artist on WildStorm's miniseries revival of DV8, which is currently on the stands. Rebekah lives with her boyfriend Jon and their cat, Fantastic Donut in Queens.

I had noticed Rebekah's listing as a guest at next weeks Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC. A quick web search revealed that she was a talented artist, so I shot off a request for this interview and thankfully, she agreed.


Q) Rebekah, what kind of story material inspired you as a young person to pursue a career in comics?

I didn't have much access to comics as a kid (the closest LCS was over an hour away) so I wasn't inspired by those until I got into college. What got me into comics was first illustrating my own short stories based on my own X-Men and Star Wars characters. We didn't even have Internet at the time so I had no idea then that I was just writing fan fiction. I mostly just did character designs and a few scenes for each story, nothing really sequential. One of the first comics I read, and the one that ultimately made me realize what I wanted to do, was Watchmen, which I was lucky enough to find at our tiny public library. The next year I was enrolled at SCAD.

Q) By the way, your likeness of Ms. Marvel in her classic, original 1970's costume is pretty cool. How did it feel working on Carol Danvers as your first mainstream comics project?

Ooh, she tricked ya! [My bad!] That was actually Karla Sofen (Moonstone), who'd just been given Carol's identity and old costume as part of joining the Dark Avengers. That was actually way cooler for me because I've got a soft spot for villains!

Q) You've worked for a handful of publishers since graduating from the Sequential Art program at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2005. What are your long term career goals?

Mostly, I just want to do fun work -- fun for me to draw, but also fun for people to read. I mean, obviously someday getting an exclusive contract, winning an Eisner, getting on the Wizard Top Artists list, etc, would be amazing, but if I'm not having fun drawing, then what's the point? In the long term, that's all I can hope for, that I'm still enjoying it as much as I did when I was a kid.

Q) Women have handily broken through the glass ceiling at this point in the comics industry, with several popular female writers and artists competing for space on the racks, but do you feel that previous work by other women aids your ability to drum up assignments or have you noticed an "all boys" mentality still in place?

I've never felt that being female hindered me from getting work, actually. As a woman, you're automatically going to stand out in a sea of men no matter what, which never hurts. You're going to be remembered for it, and if your portfolio is also good, it's going to get noticed faster. In fact, I would say that if you're looking for mainstream work, being female is going to be a huge boon right now. Editors are actively looking to make the workforce more balanced to attract that elusive female readership. The one thing that I still run into occasionally, though, are preconceived notions about what female artists draw like, and what they're interested in drawing, and which genres they're suited for. I got a lot of "Wow, I wasn't expecting this" and "You don't draw like a girl" when I was showing my portfolio before breaking in, and even though I took them as what they were meant, compliments, it's still a bit troubling. But we're seeing a really diverse style pool from all the female artists working now, new and old, so I hope that'll start to change.

Q) Are you more proactive in seeking out specific work or do you prefer to sit back and see what is offered based on your published stuff?

I don't really feel like I've paid enough dues to really seek out projects yet, but I do try to keep in touch with all my contacts regularly and luckily, that's been keeping the offers flowing in fairly well.

Q) What comics or other genre stuff are you following at the moment? Whose current work do you respond to?

Unfortunately, drawing 10-12 hours a day doesn't leave with much reading time, but when I do I love DMZ, Scalped, and Ex Machina. When I go to the comics store I mostly browse for art that inspires me, and I'm especially loving Chris Sprouse and Rafael Albuquerque's work right now.

Q) What do you think that people find most surprising about you?

My toilet humor is so ridiculous that sometimes I even gross my boyfriend out.

Q) What do you do just to chill out, when you're not at the drawing board?

Anything that gets me out of that chair! I feel restless if I don't log 8-10 miles of exploring the city every weekend. Nerd rock shows, Rifftrax parties, and museums. It's hard for me to just chill when I spend so much time sitting down for my work, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Q) "Fantastic Donut" is an interesting name for a cat! Is there a story behind that?

I heard a segment on This American Life about two young brothers who were fighting about the name for their new Dog. One wanted "Pasta" and one wanted "Batman." Their mother got so frustrated with their bickering that she chose "Pasta Batman." So my boyfriend and I wrote 5 of our favorite things and on slips of paper and chose random pairs. Our first was "Japan Boner," which was awesome but not appropriate for parents. The second was "Tom Brady Jeff Goldblum" which was just too much of a mouthful. Our third and final was "Fantastic Donut." Also, we had previously planned to swing by Doughnut Plant in the Lower East Side before going to the adoption center, so was just too perfect to pass up.

Q) Lastly, I love team books, and I remember seeing solicitations for DV8's earlier incarnations before, but never picked up any issues. What about the relaunch of this series should appeal to me as a potential fan?

Luckily, it's accessible to people who've never even heard of the team before. There's definitely a large element of mystery to it, and even long-time fans of the team will have questions that won't be answered in the first issue, but because it is so focused on what's happening to them right here, right now, and not on back story, it draws you in immediately. I came into it as a new fan, as well, and I was so surprised by what I read in the first script. It wasn't at all what I expected, and I mean that in a very good way.

Rebekah Isaacs will be appearing in Charlotte, North Carolina as a guest of the Heroes Convention from June 4-6, 2010. The page of artwork included with this post is from DV8 #2, with art by Rebekah and colors by Carrie Strachan. As you can see, she is the "goods"!

Thanks, Rebekah! I really appreciate your willingness to visit the Catacombs and wish you all the best with your career.

In Memorium: Howie Post

Howie Post died on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at the age of 83. His career ran from the golden age until at least the 1980's. Post wrote and drew tons of stories for Harvey Comics, where he was credited with creating Spooky and Little Hot Stuff; plus contributing to Richie Rich and Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Post was best known for his funny animal comics, on books like DC's More Fun Comics and Marvel's The Monkey and the Bear. He also worked in animation, for Famous Studios and he was the creative head of Paramount's cartoon studio in the early '60s. Howie's syndicated strip The Dropouts ran between 1968 and 1981. His other credits include Strawberry Shortcake, Madballs, Wally the Wizard and Heathcliff for Marvel's Star Comics line and one of my favorites, Anthro, a short-run comic book series that he wrote and drew in the late sixties.

Anthro was the first Cro-Magnon boy born into the Stone Age. His father, Neanderthal caveman Ne-Ahn was the chief of his tribe, his mother was a captive member of another tribe. Anthro took two competing cave girls as his wives, Embra and Nima, and began the human race, when Embra bore his first child.

The Catacombs extends its sincerest condolences to Mr. Post's family, friends and fans.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Greenville Comic Book and Sports Card Show: May 22, 2010

Today I spent some time thumbing through long boxes of discounted comics at the Greenville Comic Book and Sports Card Show, which was held at the Clarion Inn and Suites, located at 50 Orchard Park Drive in Greenville, SC.; literally within walking distance of my domicile!

It's always great to have one of these one day weekend shows pop up unexpectedly. I had been unaware of it until just a couple of days ago and it proved to be a nice way to warm up for the massive Heroes Convention which will be held in two short weeks on June 4-6, 2010 in Charlotte, NC. I must admit that I dipped into the funds for that larger con at today's event.

Look at the bronze age treasures that I found for very reasonable, if not downright cheap prices. Classic issues of Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil, Justice League of America, Ghost Rider #1 (a grail book for me), fill in issues to complete collections of Fantastic Four, Warlock, Supernatural Thrillers (a NM+ gem), Werewolf By Night, Marvel Team-Up Annual #1, Uncanny X-Men and a long run of Green Lantern from the mid-1980's by Len Wein & Dave Gibbons. Plus, the lovely 2004 Adam Hughes sketch book. Not a bad haul for a lazy Saturday!

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Gal" Friday! Wendy4

The weekend is knocking at the door and tomorrow I plan on attending a one day comic show in my neighborhood, which is a great way to warm up for the bigger comic book convention that hits in just two weeks (more on that later); plus, I'm finally gonna have the time to see "Iron Man II" on Sunday.

Whew! That's a good plan.

Now, lest you poor nerds suffer a moment longer, let me introduce you to this weeks "Gal" Friday selection. Wendy Combattente, aka Wendy Fiore, aka Wendy4 is a twenty-five year old model who hails from Chicago. As you can see, she is really busting out all over the place, and in more ways than one. If a picture is truly worth a thousand words, then all props are certainly due to for the phenomenal photo at left, and you can view even more eye-popping photos of Wendy by heading on over to and performing a quick search. Wendy4 (as she currently bills herself) has also recently started her own website and trust me on this, you definitely wanna pay her a visit. The rest of her magnificent figure lives up to the promise of this super-fine image (in case you were curious).

Frankly, this picture made me cry when I first saw it, and if I were forced to be totally honest - right now - I would have to admit to being a little misty as I type this missive.

There just aren't any words to describe how I feel about somebody else having this awesome young lady on their arm. Damn it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nyoka the Jungle Girl in "The Mystery of Boo Pah Boo" (Fawcett; 1944)

As promised, Nyoka the Jungle Girl returns in the fourth chapter of her Golden Age serial adventure, "The Death Rug". Once again Rod Reed is credited as writer and Jack Sparling is the artist for "The Mystery of Boo Pah Boo" from Master Comics #53 (Aug. 1944); originally published by Fawcett Comics.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: the copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Saturn Girl!!!

This is an alternate cover for the upcoming relaunch of DC Comics, Legion of Super-Heroes by Jim Lee. The character depicted is, of course, founding Legion member Saturn Girl and she is sporting her classic 1970's costume, which was designed by the late, great Dave Cockrum.

You have no idea how badly I wish that DC would return the Legionnaires to their 70's vintage uniforms. Doesn't this look ... AWESOME!

I think that this could work, and I know that there are lots of LoS-H fans out there that agree with me.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Perils of Nyoka: "The Death of A Thousand Needles" (Fawcett; 1944)

Nyoka the Jungle Girl returns to the Catacombs for Part 3 of the golden age serial, "The Death Rug", from Master Comics #52 (July 1944); originally published by Fawcett Comics.

The writer of this strip is Rod Reed and the artwork is by Jack Sparling. I like the name of the bad guy in this adventure, Hamid El Ratt. It just nicely sums up his overall charm, don't ya think?

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.

Nyoka will also be visiting the Catacombs again on Thursday of this week, so hurry on back and until then - Enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rayboy's Review: FCBD 2010 - "Top 10 List"

I finished reading through all of the free comic books that I picked up on "Free Comic Book Day" this past weekend and I have to admit that I enjoyed the diversity of product that was generously made available in 2010 by the publishers, creators, distributors and comic shop owners. Very well done and much appreciation to each and every one of you fine folks.

Thirty-three titles is alot of reading, and now that I've slogged through them all, I thought that I would offer my top ten list for this years stash. The following ten freebies were my favorites out of this years bunch (in no particular order): Archie Comics Summer Splash!#1(Archie Comics), Fractured Fables (Image Comics, ), Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock (Archaia Studios Press), YOW! The John Stanley Library “Grab Bag” (Drawn & Quarterly), War of the Supermen #0 (DC Comics), Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Bongo Comics Free-For-All (Bongo Comics), The Sixth Gun #1 (Oni Press), Love and Capes #13 (Maerkle Press) and DC Kids Mega Sampler (DC Comics).

All ten of these terrific comics were fun to read, entertaining as heck and pretty easy on the eyes for a general audience to appreciate. I also have to applaud those publishers who released more than one title for free comic book day, because that's a great way to show the love for your fans, while showcasing more than a single series.

Of course, ten books was only the tip of the iceberg that was actually available on the first weekend in May, so I would also like to single out a few "honorable mentions" which narrowly missed the cut for my top ten list: Iron Man/Thor (Marvel Comics, ), Irredeemable #1 (Boom! Studios), Oni Press Free-For-All (Oni press), The Stuff of Legend (Th3rd World Studios) and Weathercraft (Fantagraphics). These books were equally entertaining, highly eclectic and although they didn't make it all the way through the elimination round, let's just say they merely got axed after the initial swimsuit competition.

Many other books that were released on FCBD 2010 were okay, and I appreciated what they tried to do, but some publishers opted to issue titles that sampled several different series within the pages of a single comic and for me this just didn't work. I either liked a lone story out of a mixed volume or I was left confused by what the publisher was all about in the first place. "Artifacts" from Top Cow was so confusing that I didn't even try to finish reading it, and "Worlds of Aspen" hit me the same way. "The Green Hornet" from Dynamite would have been far better if it had focused on a single Hornet, instead of a couple of pages from several series about four different characters. None of the all-ages titles that I've failed to single out failed me as a reader (Shrek, Toy Story, Iron Man/Nova, Owly, etc.), I liked those books too, but as an older reader, it's unlikely that I would continue to follow those books on the stands based on the material offered, but I'm glad this stuff is out there.

Each of my top ten picks made me want to see more and for me, that's what Free Comic Book Day is all about. Since next year is the tenth anniversary of FCBD, I can't wait to see what they come up with in 2011. I mean, how can they top "33" awesome free comics??