Thursday, October 02, 2014

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Preview



Random Panel of the Day #1103

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Happy Birthday, Ramona Fradon!

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As you might have guessed, today is the legendary Ramona Fradon's birthday! She is one of my all-time favorite Aquaman artists (if not one of my all-time favorite artists, period) and when looking at the artwork above, you can see why.

Below is a profile DC ran on Ms. Fradon in a 1980 edition of The Daily Planet, their version of Bullpen Bulletins:
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Ms. Fradon is a regular staple at comic cons, still doing amazing work and talking to fans. If you ever see her at a show, make sure you say hello to this living legend. Happy Birthday Ramona Fradon!



Update: I have just been informed Ms. Fradon's birthday is Oct. 2, not today. All the things I said still apply!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1102

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My First Book of Girl Power

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Last week the Shrine posted pics of a new book, DC Super Heroes My First Dictionary featuring gorgeous stock art by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (PBHN). Well, I'm happy to report that the dictionary was only one of a whole line of DC-themed board books! Case in point: DC Super Heroes My First Book of Girl Power, which features not only the usual suspects Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl, but also Hawkgirl, Mary Marvel...and Mera!

While most of the book is by the aforementioned JLGL, that middle page of just Mera looks like it's by another master, Dick Giordano. Going by just these three pages, this is one beautiful book! Pick up a copy on Amazon!


(h/t: F.O.A.M.er Ilke Hincer)


Monday, September 29, 2014

Aquaman on Gotham?

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Spotted twice on FOX's Gotham is this curiously-named billboard. Hmm...




Random Panel of the Day #1101

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The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 102

sgTHE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST: Episode 102
The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 102 - Five-Star Nuclear Sub Spectacular!

This week Shag and I each host some Nuclear Sub guest stars! First up, Mike Gillis and I discuss superhero comics continuity. Then Shag hangs out with Aaron Bias, Russell Burbage, and Prof. Alan Middleton, and chaos ensues. Finally, Shag and Michael Bailey discuss whether they'd like to own Action Comics #1, recorded live at the 2014 Dragon*Con!

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?
THE AQUAMAN SHRINE - http://www.aquamanshrine.net
FIRESTORM FAN - http://firestormfan.com
THE FIRE & WATER TUMBLR - http://fireandwaterpodcast.tumblr.com
E-MAIL: firewaterpodcast@comcast.net

Mike Gillis: Radio Vs. The Martians - http://radiovsthemartians.com
Aaron Bias: The Arrow Cave - http://trickarrows.blogspot.com
Russell Burbage: The Legion of Super-Bloggers - http://legionofsuperbloggers.blogspot.com 
Prof. Alan Middleton: Quarter Bin Podcast - http://relativelygeekypodcast.blogspot.com
Michael Bailey: Views From The Longbox - http://fortressofbaileytude.com/viewsfromthelongbox

This episode brought to you by InStockTrades - http://instocktrades.com

Opening theme, "That Time is Now," by Michael Kohler. Closing music by Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge of The Bad Mamma Jammas! http://www.facebook.com/BadMammaJammas

Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!



Sunday, September 28, 2014

World's Finest Comics #139 - Feb. 1964

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Comics Weekend "The Doom Hunters" by Jack Miller and Ramona Fradon.

It's the last Adventure Sunday!

It's our final Adventure Sunday story, let's hope it's a good one...
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Using a handy metal pipe, Aquaman lures the magnetic mines away from the trapped scuba diver. He then throws it, and the mines chase it like a pack of dogs and a stick, where they explode harmlessly. Back on the surface, this second "daredevil" realizes the error of his ways. But the work for Aquaman and Aqualad isn't done!
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...and so ends another adventure for Aquaman and Aqualad!


Overall, "The Doom Hunters" is pretty good, not the best of the World's Finest bunch, but also not the worst. And while I have no proof of this, I think someone helped Ramona Fradon out on the inks--there's certain places (the splash page, and panel 3, page 6 specifically) that feature shading atypical of Fradon's crisp, clean style. That aside, this is last solo Aquaman story the legendary artist would draw, and she wouldn't tackle the character at all again until the mid-1970s, when she took over the art duties on Super Friends.

The Sea King, never a huge seller (at least compared to Superman and Batman), nevertheless benefited from a series of amazing artists delineating his adventures--from John Daly to Fradon to Nick Cardy and then Jim Aparo, Aquaman benefited from an artistic streak of unbelievable quality and consistency.



And so, this is indeed the very last Adventure Sunday. After this, Aquaman kept going in his solo title, as well as regularly appearing in Justice League of America. He wouldn't be relegated to a back-up slot again until 1974, when he returned to Adventure Comics, this time drawn by newcomer Mike Grell. He would soon take over the book as its lead star, but back-up work in Action Comics and World's Finest (again) still lay ahead.

When I started the Adventure Sunday segment back in 2009, part of it was to inform myself about these old stories as much as anyone who might be reading. I had only ever seen a small handful of the Golden Age/Silver Age Stories (due to the fact so few of them had ever been reprinted), so these weekly visits to Aquaman's past were just as revelatory for me as it was for anyone else. I don't know if I had ever planned to finish the whole run, but after a while it only made sense to keep going, and complete the job. I was heartened by the consistent support of you Aqua-Fans who kept checking in every Sunday, and letting me know what you thought of these stories.

So what's next? Well, next Sunday we're going to run a sort of "summing up" post, featuring a few words from some of the more Adventure Sunday-devoted Aqua-Fans and highlighting some of my favorite moments from the Golden Age/Silver Age Aquaman. And then, after that...well, that would be telling! You'll just have to see.

Semper Aqua!


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Aquaman and the Others: Future's End #1 - Nov. 2014

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Comics Weekend "The Other" by Dan Jurgens, Sean Chen, Mark Irwin, and Matt Mila.

Two of The Others, Prisoner of War and Aaron, are attacked by the Dead King, only to be interrupted by:
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Using his trident, the Dead King knocks Vostok's helmet off, rendering him unconscious. Ya'Wara arrives to rescue him, leaving their opponent to don the helmet himself.

Meanwhile, in Atlantis, former lovers Aquaman and Mera talk through a set of prison bars, discussing how far apart they've come in such a short time:
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With Aquaman "missing", The Others are left to fend for themselves and go after the Dead King to get Vostok's helmet back. In the battle, The Operative takes a knife in the stomach, while Aquaman calls on a finny friend to help him escape his enforced incarceration.

The Dead King, now aligned with Mera, demands to have the Atlantean key returned to him. Aquaman arrives, giving Aaron time to collect all the Atlantean relics, who grabs the scepter and ends this whole thing once and for all, by separating the Dead King's head from his shoulders:
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...not the end!


While still skeptical of this whole "event", I enjoyed this installment. Aquaman and Mera's big scene is well done; even though they're at odds, it's nice to see them speak to one another as former lovers--there's still that affection and respect there, despite all that has happened.

I also liked Sean Chen and Mark Irwin's art quite a bit, it has a simple, streamlined look that I think wears well on The Others. I hope this isn't the last time we get to see them on an Aqua-title!



Friday, September 26, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1100

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Aquaman Art Gallery: Joey Chou

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This striking illustration is the work of Joey Chou, whose illustrations can be found here. Go check it out, it's amazing stuff, combining superheroes with fantasy settings, like above.

To me, this piece looks like what you'd get if you mashed up Aquaman and Game of Thrones. But of course, that'd be ridiculous, because there's no connection to those two things.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1099

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Aquawoman @ 2014 Cincy Comic Expo

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Check this amazing, lovingly crafted and detailed piece of Aqua(wo)man cosplay, spotted at the 2014 Cincy Comic Con! Not just a gender-flipped Aquaman, this talented cosplayer (who I assume made the costume), crafted a unique take on the Sea King's classic uniform that is specifically for a woman's form, but instantly recognizable as Aquaman just the same. Triple bonus points for the squid purse!


(Photo 1 courtesy F.O.A.M.er Thom Zahler, Photos 2/3 courtesy F.O.A.M.er Chris Bern)


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1098

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Lego Aquaman Set

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Check out this early peek at a new Lego DC Comics Super Heroes set, which comes out next year! While it's not branded as such, it's Aquaman centric, featuring (presumably, since this item is subject to change) two ships plus Lego figures of the Sea King, Black Manta, Aqua-Batman, a generic diver, and a shark! We are truly in another Golden Age, Aquaman fans!


(h/t: F.O.A.M.er Lucien Desar)

 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1097

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DC Super Heroes My First Dictionary

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Oh man, how cool is this book? Coming out this month is DC Super Heroes My First Dictionary, featuring all your favorite DC heroes drawn by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (PBHN)! I don't have much else to say about it, other than, judging from these sample pages, it's simply a gorgeous book--go and buy it. And remember, A is for Aquaman and M is for Mera!

By the way (okay, I guess I do have something to say)--I find it interesting that companies that license DC characters for their products are still mostly using JLGL's stock art, which is almost thirty years old at this point. Why isn't there an out-of-New-52-continuity book drawn by this man?

(h/t: F.O.A.M.er Ilke Hincer)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1096

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The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 101

sgTHE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST: Episode 101
The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 101 - Aquaman #34/Fury of Firestorm (Classic) #14

This week Fire-Shag and I talk about our favorite heroes! Aquaman and Chimera finally throw down! The big conclusion we've all been waiting for in AQUAMAN #34 by Jeff Parker, Carlos Rodriguez, Bit, and Rain Beredo. Plus, Professor Martin Stein takes center stage as the Enforcer attacks in THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #14 (July 1983) by Gerry Conway, Pat Broderick, Rodin Rodriguez, Gene D’Angelo, and Adam Kubert!

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?
THE AQUAMAN SHRINE - http://www.aquamanshrine.net
FIRESTORM FAN - http://firestormfan.com
THE FIRE & WATER TUMBLR - http://fireandwaterpodcast.tumblr.com
E-MAIL: firewaterpodcast@comcast.net

This episode brought to you by InStockTrades - http://instocktrades.com

Opening theme, "That Time is Now," by Michael Kohler. Closing music by Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge of The Bad Mamma Jammas! http://www.facebook.com/BadMammaJammas

Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!



Sunday, September 21, 2014

World's Finest Comics #137 - Dec. 1963

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Comics Weekend "The Day Aquaman Lost His Powers" by Jack Miller and Ramona Fradon.

It's Adventure Sunday!

Another BIG Aquaman adventure on tap...
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Aqualad tells Aquaman to relax, he'll go and retrieve the urn. But when he returns to the scene, he finds the urn gone. Gulp, what now?

Aqualad then heads to the surface, finding the crooks' boat. After accidentally making his presence known, the crooks prepare to open fire, forcing Aqualad to bid a hasty retreat. Luckily, he covers his escape via an attack by some finny friends, who swim out of the water, distracting the bad guys. But Aqualad still has to find some way of getting the urn:
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...and so ends another adventure for Aquaman and Aqualad!


Despite being nine pages, this story is stuffed to the gills with action--as if the original script was for an even longer story, and Ramona Fradon had to cram as much in as possible. Check out the first few pages, the word balloons are bursting out of the panel borders, and Aquaman's figure looks ready to do the same.

Also, I know it's a little but goofy, but--I cannot get enough of Aquaman flying through the air on the backs of a bunch of sea eagles. It just looks so cool and exciting. Hawkman, eat your heart out!

Next week: The final Adventure Sunday!


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