Monday, January 26, 2015

Tribute to Bronze Age giant Sal Buscema

I hadn´t planned to do a post but after finding out that Sal Buscema celebrates his 79th birthday Today I thought I should at least do a short one since he was - and still is - such a big part of my comic reading diet.

As someone who started reading comics in the Bronze Age, Sal Buscema was always present since he did many books at that time at Marvel.

Because if you were reading comics in the Bronze Age you were reading Marvel comics since they were a cut above the rest. I would have said competition but for the largest part there was no real competition for Marvel as DC was largely selling books based on the familiarity of readers with the characters and the art than because of the quality of stories. But I might be biased in this regard since I always liked Bronze Age Marvel better than Bronze Age DC. In any case Sal Buscema was in a lot of my reading material and he became one of my favorite artists early on.

Together with his brother John Buscema he did a lot of different titles for Marvel and because of his ability to draw really fast he had a huge artistic output and doing four different titles during one month was not unusual for Sal. While some people say he only got started in the comic business because of his brother I think most people get their jobs with ye old vitamin b and the important thing is that he did have the artistic ability to become one of the all time comic greats. Since it would be too long to list all the titles he has worked on in this post I´m just going to mention the few that have played a bigger part in my comic reading journey.

So the first thing I want to talk about is part of the past but also of the present because it has to do with his unparalleled ten year run on THE INCREDIBLE HULK. Longtime readers have had the opportunity to read various long posts on my love for the Bronze Age Hulk especially the short period where Sal was partnered with inker Ernie Chan. For me it is one of the highlights of Sal Buscema´s epic Hulk run and one of the great injustices of history is that none of it is available in a nice hardcover edition. With Disney´s new focus on omnibus books and the new Epic Collections it is uncertain if that will ever be the case as some people question if the Marvel Masterworks are going to be continued at all.

Having just recently acquired my first Marvel Masterwork ( which featured the Celestial Madonna Saga, one of the Avengers most famous stories that includes some issues drawn by Sal Buscema ) I have to say that they are still a bit expensive for my taste but in the case of the Hulk issues by Sal Buscema and Ernie Chan I´d be willing to make an exception because they are some of the best stories Marvel ever produced - at least in my humble opinion. And issue 217, where the Hulk joins a band of circus misfits is probably one of the best comic stories of all time.

Today´s readers have no idea what a ten year run on a single title is like.

I mean, nowadays most comic creators seldom stay longer on any given title than the obligatory six issues necessary to be collected in a trade paperback. And some even have trouble accomplishing that so that the comic company has to find other artists for the issues in between.

So staying on a title for 120 consecutive issues is something readers have no concept of. To put things into perspective a bit : when I was still going to school as a kid and we went to Spain every year for the holidays, who was the artist on those issues of LA MASA I bought ? Right, Sal Buscema.

Many years later, when I was a teenager still going to school and Condor started publishing Marvel comics again in Germany, and I could read the Hulk again who was still drawing it ? You guessed right. Sal Buscema.

And once again many years later, when I was doing my education as a car mechanic in Stuttgart and had discovered a newsstand that was selling american comics, who was still doing the Hulk ? Sal Buscema was who.

Now you might say that with the spanish and german translations of the HULK comics there were issues from all periods of the title´s history.

Issues drawn by Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Herb Trimpe and of course Sal Buscema. But the thing is that even when they had finally caught up to the actual issues all of those were done by Sal Buscema. I mean when I read comics as a little kid Sal Buscema had started on Hulk and when I was a grown man he was still doing it. I had just gotten my first issues of Crossroads Hulk ( comic readers from my generation will remember this period fondly ) and my pal Sal was still whipping them out every month.

Okay, I said that Sal Buscema´s historical ten year run on the Incredible Hulk title was something from my past as a comic reader but also from my present because he´s the main artist in ESSENTIAL HULK volume 7.

( as always here´s the colored version of the splash page above : )

You may recall that I started to pimp it - when it was still at a bargain price of 7.50 EUROS at amazon ( the current price is 11 EUROS but it might get even lower again ) - and then went on a tangent about the Marvel Masterworks and the new Epic collections and why there are no cheap comics available in Germany. But I never really got around to do a full post on this so you kinow there is one coming up very soon. It´s a really great book and even if I´m a bit miffed that Disney cancelled the Essential line I am glad that they made it to that volume because it comes just between issues 29 and 33 of the spanish BIBLIOTECA MARVEL line.

So even if I am nowhere near to a complete run at least I have no gaps.

And this period of time is really one of my favorite ones from the title because the book was where a lot of new characters were introduced.

A lot of them saw their first light in the pages of other publications but I encountered most of them for the first time inside of MARVEL TEAM UP

or the other Spider - Man title THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER - MAN. And yes, the artist on these books - among others - was once again Sal Buscema.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK was another Marvel book were new characters were introduced or re - introduced to newer readers which was mainly because the Hulk always needed somebody new to fight each month.

And the Hulk could appear anywhere in the world. With his giant jumps he could cover great distances very fast and he could pop up anywhere on the panet. When I first read the Contest of the Champions the few characters aside from the regular Marvel heroes who had their own book I recognized like the Arabian Knight or Sabra had previously been in the Hulk comic.

Another title where I just recently got some new hardcovers at a bargain price where Sal Buscema did some of the issues is THE AVENGERS and the stories are the classic Defender War and The Celestial Madonna Saga.

I have already mentioned the Celestial Madonna Saga I my last comic pimping post so I won´t talk about it here. Also I want to do a full post on that wacky story. The same goes for the Defenders War but I´m going to mention one thing which is that I liked the issues of THE DEFENDERS more than the AVENGERS issues because they were done by Sal. His art really makes the whole book and the DEFENDERS has always been a book on my TO - READ list. This was Marvel´s first anti - team book, there´s some great art by Sal and it´s were the Valkyrie was introduced who is one of the most often underappreciated and underused characters.

I could go on for hours like this but it´s once again time to wrap things up so I will just quickly mention two of my favorite books before closing.

The first one is the SPIDER - GIRL series which had many continuations. It´s one of the best spider related books out there and Sal Buscema did the inks on the final part of the issues. If you have had enough from all the retcons and restarts and you can´t stomach any more brand new days or Doctor Octopus taking over Pete Parker´s body here´s a book for you.

And speaking about Spider - Man and lengthy runs you might want to check out SPECTACULAR SPIDER - MAN where Sal did issues 134 to 238.

Last but not least I have to mention ROM, SPACEKNIGHT by Bill Mantlo where Sal Buscema did the first 58 issues and Steve Ditko did the rest.

Since Disney is not interested in reacquiring the license ( at least until there is a big blockbuster movie involved ) there will be no reprints so your only chance to read this comic gem is to work your way through back issue bins or head on over to the fabulous DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND where our good pal Old Groove is tirelessly posting the issues of ROM like issue 7 that just went online . Yes, it´s the post where I found out that it´s Sal´s birthday and you can find the first six issues here.

So no links this time but I have a DEJA VUE cover. What ? You don´t think I picked the cover for SPECTACULAR SPIDER - MAN 206 at radom, do ya ?

Now you might want to get your favorite Sal Buscema comic from your comic book collection ( I´m sure there are enough to choose from since he practically drew any Marvel character at some point of his career ) to celebrate Sal´s birthday. Or you might just want to check out Today´s videos. Since this post was pretty Marvel centric here´s another Spider - Man movie from my misspent youth : SPIDER - MAN STRIKES BACK !  

And in the cartoon section of this post we stay with Spider - Man although we include his amazing friends. Not only was this Spider - Man´s most successful cartoon, it also introduced Firestar who became a New Warrior.

And to close things out here´s another Schoolhouse Rock video, Conjunction Junction is one of the best known and most beloved videos.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy birthday cult siren Tiffani Thiessen

Since she´s celebrating her 41st birthday Today I thought it´s about time to bring the post about Tiffani Amber Thiessen ( Thyssen ? ) on this blog.

You see ? I always get this confused. I think it used to be Thyssen but because she didn´t want the Hollywood people to known she had german ancestors she later changed it to Thiessen. Or maybe that´s just the way they wrote her name in Germany. Anyway, this fastlaning sexbomb - who has the best natural breasts in Hollywood according to Howard Stern - has been scorching the tv screen for quite some time with her curvaceous hardbody and her big 37DD Beverly Hills to the delight of males worldwide.

I never was a big fan of the BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 show but that quickly changed when I saw wet Tiffani Thiessen´s booming breasts in a bikini.

Well, that and later Tori Spelling´s sexy dance in a skimpy leather outfit.

If you can call her wild fertility inducing movements dancing. She really was just shaking her big boobs in the general direction of the camera.

But that she did very effectively. I never was a big Tori Spelling fan but in that scene she really squeezed her breast into a tight leather top and just pushed them straight in your face. Now that´s what I call entertainment.

In that episode her prude boyfriend ( I thought he was played by Tom Welling from SMALLVILLE but that´s not him ) sees Tori getting filmed while shaking her ass like a total prostitute and he gets totally pissed off.

What a dork. If you see your girl doing a sexy dance like that you don´t get jealous or angry. You tell her : " You´re fantastic babe. And you know what ? You don´t need to change before coming home. Bring your tight leather outfit, the handcuffs and the dog collar, bring the heavy metal soundtrack and we will make our own private sex recording session. "

Man, if she got such stripper skills you should have her using them on you. And I´m sure shaking her ass and boobs is not the only thing she does like a total prostitute. Dude, I´m not a huge Tori Spelling fan but if I had caught her somewhere in that tight leather hooker outfit when I was at my sexual prime I would have given it to her until I´m pumped dry !

What I find a bit strange is how did such a scene get approved when her father was producing this ? Should I be concerned that Daddy dearest put it in the script or does this say more about his employees. Maybe some disgruntled writers just decided to put his boss´ daughter into a hooker outfit and let her dance for him as payback for sleeping with his wife.

" Okay, Tori, do you think you can move more like a prostitute ? And we need to make the outfit sluttier. This is supposed to be a rock video. "

Here´s the clip of that scene from episode 27 of season 6 STRIKE THE MATCH. I don´t think it will be long on YouTube so I made a few GIFs.

It´s in one of the two DVD sets I bought a while ago. The complete seasons have been pretty expensive for the longest time - between 40 and 50 bucks - so when they released them in two parts for under 10 bucks each I got the two most important ones. Of course now they have released new DVD collections where you get complete seasons for around 15 bucks so I have to see if I can still find the other part of the seasons I bought for less than what they now charge for a complete season. Damn.

One thing about BEVERLY HILLS that cracked me up were all the imagined problems these poor rich kids had. Because let´s face it, the rich kids may have problems too but at least they don´t have to worry about where they are going to sleep or where their next meal is coming from. Oh, my Dad won´t let me use the Mercedes and now I have to drive the Porsche to school. Or Brandon who always preferred his integrity to living in the real world. But the funniest episode - I really laughed out loud during this one - was when one of the kids realized that he became a drug addict. " But I can´t be a drug addict. Only poor people get addicted to drugs ! " 

Anyway, I now had two ( or was that four ? ) reasons to watch the show.

But while Tori got her big breasts from Daddy´s money Tiffani got hers from Mother nature. The show is always on reruns but I always miss it.

Nonetheless here is one of the most memorable scenes with Tiffani.

On an episode of Beverly Hills ( episode 28 of the 8th season in Amerika and for some reason episode 27 in Germany ) Tiffani falsely thinks her boyfriend is sexually bored and buys supersexy lingerie and a bag of sextoys. But since she is mistaken her boyfriend is rather scared of her.

In real life he would be all over her. I mean, if a sexbomb with such huge hooters like Tiffani would be in my bedroom wearing black lingerie and telling me : " I´m ready for anything. ANYTHING ! " ....... holy makarel !

Again, here´s the clip with that scene from YouTube :

Tiffani Thiessen also starred in SAVED BY THE BELL but I didn´t watch many episodes of the show. Even if both she and her co - star Elizabeth Berkley developed into supersexy bombshells. I remember my younger brother always watched it - they did marathons on Saturday mornings during the summer vacations in Spain - but I think I was always too busy with important stuff like reading comics or drawing superheroes or such.

That´s a big part of pop culture I really never had access to so I don´t have fond memories of Tiffani Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley from that.

Man, who could have known they would turn into such ultimate sexbombs ? Boy, getting them at the same time, now that would be a hot sandwich !

Especially Elizabeth Berkley showed some impressive hip thrusting skills in SHOWGIRLS. I bet this was useful when she was on the casting couch.

Although widely labeled a " flop " the movie more than made its money back on video and DVD sales. I mean who is going to see a movie in the cinema where you want to rewind or see some scenes in slow motion ?

Besides Elizabeth the movie also features Rena Riffel who was also in such erotic classics like STRIPTEASE ( number two on my strip Top Ten ),


So even as SHOWGIRLS is considered a really bad movie by movie critics ( yeah, and we all know how much they know about movies ) it´s still shown on television and is on the top ten list of best movie striptease.

I really have to thank Paul Verhoeven for discovering Elizabeth Berkley´s dormant stripper qualities. We always knew she was absolutely hot but who could imagine what a natural born pornstar she would turn out to be ?

But back to Tiffani. In BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 Tiffani Amber Thiessen ( I´m still referring to her as Tiffani Amber Thiessen although she goes with just Tiffani Thiessen now - maybe because her initials were TAT and she was tired of all the " tit for tat " or " tat got tits " or " tat´s big tats " jokes ) often wore bikinis or at least bikini tops or had to dress up as a prostitute because the script ( = the drooling director ) demanded it.

Those directors got it made, they just go " Okay guys, in the next four episodes Tiffani dresses up as a prostitute. And she has to do at least one striptease and two nude sex scenes in each episode. Which is really necessary for her character. Oh yeah, and send her to my trailer for .... extreme rehearsal. We have to go over the scene ... orally. " Those horny perverts are to thank for that Tiffani was so often in bikinis on that show.

But she dressed more conservative on FASTLANE. Although the show was an absolute abomination of bad acting, bad writing, illogical plots and characters without profile I suffered through it in the hopes of seeing some hot scenes with Tiffani but they were few and far between.

She also was on an episode of JUST SHOOT ME but I don´t know the show and only saw the clips of the episode online so I can´t add much more.

As for movies with Tiffani, I have seen SHE FOUGHT ALONE ( where her ex - boyfriend and BEVERLY HILLS co - star Brian Austin Green played a role ), which is your run of the mill rape drama although Tiffani has some good scenes in it, SWEET DREAMS, where she is topless but still covered and you can almost see a nipple and her strip in SON IN LAW is really the only reason to watch the movie. Unless you´re a Pauly Shore fan. The movie was called SCHWIEGERSON JUNIOR in Germany because Yahho Serious´ EINSTEIN JUNIOR had just been a huge success in cinemas.

There are two Tiffani Thiessen movies on my " to watch " list and the first one is THE LADIES MAN also starring THE FRESH PRINCE´s Karyn Parsons.

I don´t know anything about the movie besides some clips I´ve seen but it has Tiffani in lingerie so I´m already sold. What more do you need ?

The other is HOLLYWOOD ENDING and I don´t know much more about that movie except that Woody Allen plays a role opposite Tiffani Thiessen. And that´s really all I can say about Tiffani Thiessen as I´m sure part of my readership is already appalled by this. In any case, many happy returns !

I thought I had to post just comic related videos in this section but now that I already posted that I couldn´t find the videos on YouTube they are up again. But since you never know how long they will last - and it took a lot of work making these GIFs and looking on the internet for them - the GIFs are going to stay on the post. And the videos are not good quality.

The first one is a compilation will all the best of Tiffani Amber Thiessen.

The second video is in response to the scene with Tori Spelling in the leather hooker outfit. Now THIS girl moves like a born bellydancer.

And speaking about bellydancers, one of the best is Didem Kinali or simply Didem from Turkia. She gained some measure of international recognition since she started appearing on the live Turkish variety tv programme the İbo Show, hosted by İbrahim Tatlıses. Brought up in Gaziosmanpaşa, she is of romani descent, her mother immigrated from Thessaloniki, also a belly dancer, and her father immigrated from Yugoslavia, a drummer.

There are a lot of videos with Didem Kinali on YouTube but I picked this one because you can watch it in the highest possible resolution, which is really what you want. And because I found a GIF so if it ever is deleted ...

And to close things out for Today here is spanish tv hottie Paula Prendes. That´s a really nice pair of ........ ponytails you got there ! Masssitaa !

I can´t end this post without a cartoon and I think the GEN 13 movie fits perfectly with Today´s topic. I had totally forgotten that this existed !

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