Friday, December 29, 2006

Escort to Hell! Ch. 6

Since both of you decided to sneak up on the guards, we'll have to determine in what order we will attack them. Here is the layout of the camp:

If I have an order of attack by Monday I can post the results on Tuesday. Have fun pardners

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Special Jonah Hex Christmas

Since Chris gave a recap of the Legion Christmas story that appeared in the 1980 Super-Star Holiday Special, I thought I would post the entire Jonah Hex story. I shall refrain from wishing you a Merry Hex-mas, but I will wish you a very merry Christmas & I hope that you are blessed in an unexpected (or even expected) way.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Duckburg Christmas

In addition to Jonah Hex, my other favorite character in comics is Uncle Scrooge. Carl Barks is one of my two favorite writer/artists (Don Rosa is the other) and I always enjoyed the Christmas stories that he wrote. My 2nd favorite story is "Christmas in Duckburg" from 1958.

A few convoluted things happen to bring this story to it's payoff. Scrooge was humiliated at teh town Christmas dinner last year & has promised to bring for the town a tree that will be taller than the clock tower. Donald has some catalogs laying around the house and he tells the boys they can ask for anything in the catalogs (because he know the most expensive thing is a bike). The boys pick a ferris wheel and then donald learns that there was a carnival supply catalog in the pile. He has to go to Scrooge to ask for money. Scrooge agrees if Donald & the boys go to Canada to get the 100 ft tree.

Meanwhile, a local business owner that had a bet with Scrooge about the tree finds out about Scrooge's plan. Not wanting to be shown up by Scrooge, he enlists the help of the Beagle Boys to cut 20 ft off of Scrooges tree, so it won't be taller than the 84 ft clock tower. After Donald & the boys leave, Scrooge wants to up the ante and sends a telegram to Donald. In an odd happenstance, the telegram is altered so that Donald thinks Scrooge wants them bring home 100 moose. (they only end up with two).

Once they get back home, they learn that Scrooge wanted 100 geese to weed Duckburg and he is the laughing stock with the two moose, but he is determined to save himself with the gigantic tree. Once it is stood up it is too short! Donald gets the idead of putting the tree on the ferris wheel and rotating it so the tree is taller than the clock tower, but Scrooge didn't spend the extra money for a motoe. The boys hook the moose up to the cable drum and use them to turn the ferris wheel.
All of THAT leads to this

That is one of my favorite Christmas comics images in my head. Thank you Carl Barks for creating it & thank you Gemstone for reprinting it this month in the CHristmas Parade book.

The New Origin of Jonah Hex.

Finally got my hands on Jonah Hex #14. Whoa. I really enjoyed the storytelling style in this one. The captions were written as if they were a dime novel from the period. The language just flowed, not unlike the letters that were read during Ken Burns "Civil War" documentary.
This issue dealt with Jonah's father selling him to the Apaches, his saving of the Apache chief, and his betrayal by the chief's son Noh-Tante. There were a few minor changes as compared to Jonah Hex #8 (vol 1) . Jonah isn't traded to the Apaches for a pile of pelts, but is swapped for safe passage for his father. Also, he is not saved from the Kiowa by white Indian-killers, but overcomes the Kiowas alone.
A great issue, I won't ruin the best part, just go buy this and enjoy it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Escort to HELL!! Back up & running

I dropped the $5, got the manual & here we are again. There were two votes to follow the slaves, so follow them we shall. Also, things are going to be getting a little tougher since I now know how to RUN this stupid RPG (hopefully I won't have to go back & buy MORE manuals. So, here we go:

They lead the slaves into a clearing. A beefy character pounds some stakes into the ground and fastens the chains to them. The other guards sit around, eating & drinking, while it turns dark.

Do you:
Move on from here?
Try to free them by taking the guards out one by one?
Try to free them by walking in & starting shooting?

Voting will end on 12/26. Results posted on 12/27!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gettin close to Christmas

It's getting close to Christmas & there is no way I can get a recap of a whole issue posted. To tide you over, here is the most awesome Christmas cover EVER! It has a tree, a nun, little kids, presents, Santa Claus, and .....

..... a dead Santa on the floor, and a hideously scarred man holding a pistol in Santa's face. Where are your elves NOW, Fat Man?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Weekly Wonderous Moment in Comics #17

Lex Luthor, former President, evil genius, and a very very very angry man. What makes him so angry?
I don't think you really want to know, because it is said that what makes one man angry, can bring another delight.

From Kingdom Come.

Ho Ho WHA?

Just when you thought elfs were the good guys.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Weird Western Tales #35 "The Hangman"

Weird Western Tales #35 July-Aug 1976
"The Hangman!"
Michael Fleisher, story - George Molterini, art - Ernia Chua (Chan), cover

When we last left Jonah Hex, he was out in the desert having missed the opportunity to score a bounty. Now our story opens with Jonah literally crawling across the desert to a small water hole. He lowers his hat to get a drink but before he can raise the hat, it is riddled by gunfire with a shouted warning to stay away from the water. The man shouting the warning is Redeye Charlie, who appears to be an old prospector. He tells Jonah that the watering hole is poison and offers one of his canteens to Jonah. Jonah explains that the Yellow Mask Gang shot his horse & left him for dead in the desert. Charlie offers to take Jonah into town (Hill Valley, AZ) on one of his mules.

As they ride into town several hours later they happen upon what appears to be either a town picnic or a carnival. They are aghast to learn that the town has turned out for a hanging of a saloon girl that is accused of stealing $10 (about $140 today) from a cowboy. Charlie offers to pay the $10 to save her life. The sheriff refuses and Charlie starts to argue. Jonah tells Charlie to back off since the folks in the town have the right to do what they want. Charlie & Jonah ride on into town as the hanging proceeds and the saloon girl dies.

Jonah & Charlie part ways, Charlie heads to the livery to house his mules and Jonah goes to the saloon to get a steak. While Jonah is eating, the sheriff comes in & demands $20 from the owner. The owner states that it was only $10 last time, but the sheriff points out how much money everyone is making by the folks coming to town to see all the hangings. The owner pays up and once the sheriff is gone, he complains to Jonah about the price increase. Jonah asks why he pays it then. The owner explains that he makes more money on hanging days than on all the other days put together. There is a hanging about every 10 days or so and since the sheriff is also the judge everything moves really quickly.

Jonah tries to get a room at the hotel but learns that it is full...because of the hanging. they only have a few vacant rooms that they keep open in case any traveling ladies find themselves stranded for the night. Jonah decides to spend the night at the livery and finds that CHarlie has drunk himself into a stupor. Charlie says that he is heading for the hotel but Jonah explains that they only have rooms for ladies.

The next panel has a drunken Charlie in a dress checking in to the hotel. The creepy bellboy helps the 'drunken lady' up to her room and once inside, starts disrobing. When Charlie takes off his dress he ends up getting kicked out of the hotel. The sheriff happens along and finds the drunken Charlie in the street. He takes him to jail to sleep it off.

The next morning the local bank is robbed by the Yellow Mask Gang. They end up getting a gold shipment that was supposed to be a secret. As they make their getaway they shoot one of the managers of the bank but all the noise wakens Jonah over at the livery. As they ride past, Jonah jumps out of the loft, kicking one of the riders square in the head. Jonah tells a bystander to take the dazed crook to the sheriff because he is heading out after the rest of them.

The sheriff takes custody of the robber & the bystander leaves. Once they are alone, the sheriff starts chewing out the robber for getting caught. He ends up letting the robber go and they will split up the loot later. Seems like the sheriff is the one telling the gang about the gold shipment. As the robber leaves, the sheriff shoots him in the back right in front of Charlie. Charlie threatens to tell the town what he knows but the sheriff goes into the cell and knockes Charlie out with the barrel of his gun. The sheriff pours a bunch of whiskey down Charlie's throat to fit in with a plan he has.

Far outside of town, the Yellow Mask Gang is splitting up the loot in a cabin. According to them, they have about $80,000 in double-eagles (1.1 million $$?) but since a double eagle is a $20 piece that means they stole 4000 of them?

Anyway, Jonah is up on the roof, blocks the chimney and the cabin fills with smoke. One owlhoot comes out to see what the problem is & Jonah smacks him with a pistol. The other three come out and they make the mistake of drawing on Jonah. he dives to the ground and kills them all with three shots. He ends up taking the bodies and the one survivor back into town.

They arrive back in town to find a hanging almost in full swing (giggle, snort, 'full swing', I slay me. Har har, 'slay me', hee hee) but this time it's Charlie at the end of his rope (snort). The sheriff found a yellow mask in Charlie's bedroll, proving he is part of the gang. The horse Charlie is on is whipped and Charlie starts swinging but Jonah shoots the rope in two. Jonah helps Charlie up off the ground and Charlie tells the whole story about how the sheriff is in with the gang. The sheriff denies it but the owlhoot that Jonah brought in decides to rat out the sheriff when he learns that the sheriff killed is brother (who was captured by Jonah earlier). The owlhoot produces the gold shipment schedule, the very one in the banker's handwriting that he had given to the sheriff.

Folsk decide that they had gathered for a hanging so they might as well have one. As they are stringing up the sheriff, the banker offers the job of sheriff to Jonah. The pay is good but of course he would have to keep the hangings a comin' so the town will prosper. Hex and Charlie both ride off as the rope draws tight around the sheriff's throat.

Statistics for this issue
Men killed by Jonah - 3 members of the Yellow Mask gang
Running Total - 94
Jonah's Injuries - none
Timeline - A nice 'done in one' that could take place anywhere during the bounty hunting years.

A good story with good supporting characters and a whole town that is corrupt, but not totally. they are just running their own version of the lottery. Moliterni's art is again, gritty, and great. The coloring is vastly improved and helps the story along, not like last issue. The cover is a little crowded with the "DC Comics salutes the bicentennial" banner.

Next Week: Jonah meets "Rawhide", attempted rape, and the return of Bigfoot.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pitchman-A-Go-Go #15

Since it's the season for giving, I thought I'd post a few ads for the ladies. Here is a nice bodybuilding ad from 1978...
He is wearing a swimsuit, but grainy photography can be your friend.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Jonah Hex #8 Vol. 1 "The Mark of the Demon"

Jonah Hex #8 Vol. 1 Jan 1978
"The Mark of the Demon"
Michael Fleisher, story - Ernie Chan & Vincente Alcazar, art, Ernie Chan (Chua), cover

This story, continued from last issue, is stated as taking place "Spring, 1874". Ooookay, 1874 it is. (Mr. Fleisher, you're killing me here with your continuity). We are treated to a splash page stating that Jonah is tracking the Apaches that have kidnapped Adrian Vaden. Then we get a 1 page recap of the flashback and on page three we pick up when Jonah is captured by the Kiowas.

They tie him to a stake & get ready to burn him alive when suddenly the camp is attacked by white men who slaughter Indians for their scalps ($25 each at Fort Hastings). They kill everyone in the camp, including slitting the throats of two Kiowa children. When Jonah, whom they have just freed, protests, they gut shoot him & leave him for dead.

Several weeks later, Jonah awakens in the cabin of an old trapper. It is not revealed how the trapper found Jonah, but he nurses the boy back to health through the summer & fall & into winter. Jonah walks for three days to find the Apache camp, but it is deserted. Then we get a montage of Jonah as a "wanderer on the frontier", a buffalo hunter for the Army, a tracker, a scout, and then in the Civil War at Chancellorville (May 1863), Vicksburg (July 1863), Shiloh (April 1862), Antietam (Sept 1862). Therefore, the Fort Charlotte Massacre occured sometime after July of 1863.

After the war is over Jonah comes upon a wagon that has been destroyed. Looking through the ruins he finds Noh-Tante's medicine amulet. Within the week he finds the Apache village and meets White Fawn. She explains that she has wed Noh-Tante. Jonah confronts the chief and explains how he was betrayed by Noh-Tante "twelve years before" (so we are now in 1866). The chief declares that this arguement must be decided in a tomahawk fight.

During the battle Jonah accidentally hits a tree and the handle on his tomahawk breaks. Noh-Tante holds Jonah down and gloats that he had weakened the handle so that it would break. Jonah, about to die, grabs the knife he keeps in the collar of his coat & stabs Noh-Tante. Jonah has broken Apache law by using a weapon other than the tomahawk and he must pay a price. The chief explains that Jonah had saved his life once but then killed his son, so the world must know that Jonah is half good & half evil. They tie Jonah between two poles and press a heated tomahawk into the right side of his face. He is kicked out of the camp & told that he will be killed if he ever returns.

Back in present day (1874), Jonah locates the Apache village where Laura is being kept. An Indian attacks him from behind, knocking him unconscious. He awakens tied before the chief, his one-time 'father'. The chief explains that come dawn Jonah will be tortured and then burnt alive. Later that night, White Fawn stabs the brave guarding Jonah and then frees Hex. She is going to escape with Jonah but the chief kills her with an arrow in the back. Jonah shoots & kills the chief, grabs Laura and starts to escape.

As they ride away, they are ambushed by Count Henri D'Aubergnon & Pierre (remember them?). Now the Count knocks Jonah off his horse by bending a tree over, tying it down and cutting the rope, letting the tree spring back. looking at this tree I'm wondering that if the Count can bend a tree that big around, why didn't he just grab Jonah & break him in half and eat his organs? The count ties Jonah up and Pierre takes up collecting arrowheads. The Count frees Jonah and together they are able to fend off several waves of Apaches attacking. Jonah decides that one of them can save Laura if the other provides cover. The Count falsely states that he has enough ammo to last hours (he has two bullets). Jonah & he argue about who will stay & who will go. The Count suggests the toss of a coin. Heads, he will stay, tails, Jonah will stay. It comes up heads and Jonah rides off with Laura. The Count ends up fighting the Apache with just his saber.

As Laura & Jonah ride off, they have this exchange:
Laura:"Did you ever study French, Mr. Hex?"
Jonah:"Nope! Why?"
Laura:"Well, I was just thinking how funny it is that when we were leaving, the Count called out "adieu" to us. In French, that means 'farewell'.
Jonah: "So whut?"
Laura: "Well, when you're expecting to see someone again, you're supposed to say 'au revoir', which means 'until we meet again'."

And then we are treated to this visual:

reminds me of a Jack Davis EC book.

Statistics for the issue
Men killed by Jonah : Noh-Tante, the chief, and at least 4 other Indians (6 total)

Running Total - 140
Jonah's Injuries: Gut shot, Branded on his face with a hot tomahawk, knocked out, knocked off his horse by a tree
Timeline: Whew! 1874, 1866, 1862, 1863, 1854, all over the place.

Overall this was a great issue. The art by Ernie Chan/Chua was good but Alcazar's inks weren't refined enough to make this stellar. Major awards go to the last panel. The cover has Jonah wearing Union Blue instead of Reb Grey.

Finally, one for Ragnell & SallyP
Next Issue: More exposing of sweaty man-flesh, a vast Mexican treasure, and an awkward moment....Not that there's anything wrong with that.