Screenshots from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). More images and a review here.

What can you say about Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)? I think I watched this movie once a week during the summer when I first discovered Python. It’s still laugh out loud funny, and like all of their best stuff, it perfectly blends the asinine and the brilliant, with tons of clever, self-mocking meta jokes laced throughout. From the coconut laden swallows to the knights who say ‘Ni,’ the movie is filled with one memorable, quotable scenario after another. I think my favorite bit is the entire Sir Lancelot segment, from the guards who can’t follow simple directions to Cleese’s Lancelot murdering his way through an entire wedding party, 30 years before GRRM!

Probably my all time favorite comedy.

More screenshots here.

Stills from Franju’s Nuits Rouges (aka Shadowman, 1974). More shots and a review here.

Nuits Rouges (aka Shadowman, 1974) was the last film of director Georges Franju, and like his previous efforts Judex and Eyes Without a Face, it demonstrates his love of the fantastic and the pulp aesthetic.

The story is a bit of fluff about a red masked super villain at odds with a trio of do-gooders over the location of the treasure of the Knights Templar.  There are some slow talky stretches but the awesomely kooky imagery makes it well worth a watch. The movie often looks like a living comic book, in the best way possible. I love the robot killers that resemble a cross between the Autons from Dr. Who and Michael Myers. Other cool visuals include zombified killers, a sexy henchwoman in a tight black cat burglar outfit, Templar cultists in white robes and Batman ‘66-style spandex hero suits, and a mannequin driving a car. Plus, Goldfinger himself, Gert Frobe is along as the heroic police detective.

Nuits Rouges is certainly not Franju’s best film, but it has a nice, shadowy atmosphere and lots of groovy, pulpy eye candy. Check it out if you dig stuff like the Santo films, Danger: Diabolik, Kriminal/Killink and so on. It’s currently available on youtube.

More screenshots here.

Phantom Wahgi shields

In Papua New Guinea, the Wahgi people have used images of the Phantom on their ceremonial war shields, or “kumbe reipe”; art historian N.F. Karlins posits that comic books featuring the Phantom may have been brought to Papua New Guinea by American troops as early as the 1940s. The Phantom’s popularity amongst the Wahgi has been attributed to his being a “man who cannot die”, and who vanquishes his enemies by using his “strength, intelligence, and fearsome reputation”; Karlins has suggested that — as Wahgi warriors wear masks — the Phantom’s own mask may have also been a contributing factor. Similarly, anthropologist Susan Cochrane has described the Wahgi interpretation of the Phantom as being a “modern spirit”.

(via sarkos)


Brian Bolland’s Doom Patrol.

I wish comic companies would sell cheap pamphlets consisting of variants and collected edition covers that obsessives like me could file next to the original issues. As amazing as it is, I don’t want to re-buy all of Doom Patrol, but I want these covers!

(via technochaun)

The cover from Warhammer Monthly #1 by Colin MacNeil

The first issue of this anthology title has rather amateurish production values and the kind of black and white 90s indie artwork that can be difficult to follow but the stories aren’t half bad. I was especially intrigued by Gordon Rennie and Colin Macneil’s ‘Bloodquest’, which is about a disgraced group of space marines on a mission to recover their captured battle standard. I could read some more of that.

Covers and pages from Nexus #1 - #3 by Mike Baron, Steve Rude, Richard Bruning, George Freeman, Les Dorscheid, Mary Pulliam, Karen Preus, and Stephen Welch.

Nexus is one of those characters that’s always been sort of omnipresent at the fringes of comics but I’ve never known much about him. The book is an intriguing blend of superheroics and sci-fi with pretty decent world building. Mike Baron does a good job setting up some compelling mysteries regarding Nexus’ powers and purpose but the real treat is Steve Rude’s art. He excels at fights and action, but even the dialogue scenes are filled with interesting angles and details. I also really like Les Dorscheid’s coloring in #2 and #3.

This is my only exposure to Nexus so far but it seems like a unique concept and I’m curious to see where it goes next. I’ll keep my eye out for more next time I go dollar bin diving.

The covers and several pages from :

Captain America #213 by Jack Kirby, Dan Green, Joe Rosen, G. Roussos, and Archie Goodwin

and Captain America #214 by Kirby, Mike Royer, Sam Kato, and Goodwin

The final two issues of Kirby’s Cap run come back down to earth a bit, with a weirdo assassin going after a blinded Cap in his hospital bed. The killer, dubbed the Night Flyer, is an interesting character, some sort of death cult perfectionist, but Kirby doesn’t do a whole lot with him. It does seem like he had to rush through his ending a bit, but at least he got to put a button his arc as a whole.

I’m not sure if this is my favorite of the Kirby runs I’ve read so far, but it may well be the most consistent, especially considering that it’s relatively long. I’m gonna take a break from the King for a little while, but I’ve got Omac and 2001 on deck!

The covers and some pages from:

Captain America #211 - Jack Kirby, Mike Royer, Glynis Wein, and Archie Goodwin

and Captain America #212 by Kirby, Royer, Petra Goldberg, and Goodwin

The finale of perhaps the craziest story in Kirby’s Cap run. We’ve got Arnim Zola, a sentient castle, the Red Skull, and a super-powered android with Hitler’s brain inside! It’s an awesome mix of ‘hip’ 60s dialogue, psychedelic monsters, and two-fisted action. I think these two issues are perhaps the best looking ones in the entire run.

The covers and pages from:

Captain America #209 by Jack Kirby, Frank Giacoia, and Archie Goodwin and Captain America #210 by Kirby, Mike Royer, G. Roussos, and Goodwin.

Kirby’s Cap run hits the home stretch with one of it’s best stories. The King introduces Arnim Zola and his crazy creations, the Red Skull shows up, and Sharon Carter quits whinin’ and starts kickin’ butt again.

I always enjoy seeing Archie Goodwin’s humble, funny credits for himself on the title page of these Kirby books. It usually says ‘Admired by Archie Goodwin’ but ‘Unfettered’ is pretty good too.

From Georges Franju’s pulp caper Judex. More stills and a short review here.

I’ve wanted to see Georges Franju’s Judex (1963) since I first heard about it being a reference point for Jean Rollin’s Shiver of the Vampires.

It’s a remake of a 1916 pulp serial that apparently is also meant to pay tribute to early French cinema. The story concerns a vigilante and a group of criminals vying for control of a corrupted banker. It’s actually not a super compelling story and Judex isn’t really an interesting or charismatic character, but it’s filled with cool imagery like the famous bird mask costume ball. It also moves by at a nice clip and features a captivating performance from Francine Bergé as a hipsterish femme fatale. She carries the film, really, and it’s fun seeing her dress up in various disguises and coolly manipulate all the other characters.

Viewers looking for another weighty classic like Eyes Without a Face will be disappointed, but I think Judex works as a diverting little caper movie with some cool pulpy aesthetics and touches of odd humor.

More stills here.




The red & black stab you in the back attack, brother

I want an interchangeable war arm, but hope I never have to use it.