January 7, 2011

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays: The Bullpen, Rescue Rangers, Mexican Pulp and Dinosaurs!!!!

‘Ello mates! I am back from Florida and for the first time ever, my very Irish skin didn’t burn up like a Blacula in the sun, but instead provided me with a nice tan! I’m so happy I might even find a Mantis-woman and let her eat my brains to vomit back up and feed to her babies…what…too much? It’s my first week back from vacation, give me break. Welcome back to From Friendly Ghosts to Gamma Rays! Let’s get down to it!

First off, I’m going to plug the brand new online series that premiered this year titled The Bullpen. Created by Shaun McLaughlin (Aquaman, Cheapjack Shakespeare) and Gaberiel Benson (Fade From Grace, The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty), these webisodes tell the tale of three comic book creators who want more creative control and decide to set-up their own company. But wait! They also think it’s a good idea to tape their lives so future generations of artists can look at their greatness (and that’s where the comedy ensues). Really cool series, and you might just see a certain columnist you know in it, too. Watch it in all its glory here!

Out On Stands: Chip ‘N’ Dale Rescue Rangers issue #2
Publisher: Boom!
Writer: Ian Brill
Artist: Leonel  Castellani

I know it’s only the second issue in, but I have to say, what a great series so far. I really doubt Rescue Rangers will lose any steam in its first story arc, for the mere fact that like Darkwing Duck, it uses the same formula of telling the story where it constantly goes back to these action-packed or heart warming flashbacks, between the adventure and unfolding mystery. It worked once and surely will keep delivering again.

In issue #2 we get the team continuing their search for parts of a key scattered across the globe that they need to unlock the mystery and save the day from the wildlife across the planet that keeps rebelling and attacking humans. On their journey they come across a group of bats whom Dale’s girlfriend’s father just happens to be living with. However, the evil strikes and the bats go out of control attacking humans nearby, leading to a surprise twist that I didn’t see coming. Props to the story by Brill and art by Castellani, capturing the Rescue Rangers to a tee, and like Darkwing Duck, restoring them to a much deserved level of coolness. Bonus props for the opening of the issue which was a direct homage to the classic beloved Rescue Rangers video game for the NES! Very cool this moment was included and it locked me into the issue for a rocking good time with a little nostalgia.

Collection of Awesomeness: Mexican Pulp Art
Publisher: Feral House

One of the best things I received this year for Christmas was this swank little book from my best friend Larry who lives in Los Angeles. Mexican Pulp Art is a collection of covers from both Mexican comic books and pulp magazines. These covers are grand little works of art, fully painted in a fun Mexican pop-style of the times they were produced. The bold, colorful cover paintings depict everything from aliens, werewolves, zombies, biker gangs, heart breaks, and of course luchadore wrestlers. The whole collection was amazing, with my personal favorite being a series of covers from El Hombre Invisible, the story about an invisible-man hero who fights monsters and crime; something about that set of paintings was incredibly fun to me. The introduction by Maria Cristinia Tavera gives us a brief overview of the origins of the covers and about Mexican comics and pulps. I wish there was a huge book on this stuff, but for now Mexican Pulp Art has struck my fancy and fulfilled some much needed high-fiving for things rarely seen. This is highly recommended! Buy it or I may just get Santo to come and body slam the crap out of you.

Something To Watch: Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds

It’s the sci-fi/horror film the whole family can enjoy! Back in the days before my voice grew deeper, every Friday night my parents unleashed me upon the local Blockbuster to rent a videotape. It was anything goes, from Hellraiser to Return of the Killer Tomatoes, I watched it all. One of my favorite movies which grew out of this was a little gem called Legend of the Dinosaurs, produced by Toei, minds behind heroes like Power Rangers, Masked Rider, and Beetle Borgs (well, those were their American titles), which proudly on the box displayed a decently attractive screaming Japanese woman in a raft with a huge dinosaur that looked liked the Loch Ness monster, biting her leg. At 8, you don’t need more. A few years back Tokyo Shock re-released this gem on DVD finally, beautifully remastered, with both English-dub and Japanese tracks, under its original title Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds.

The plot tells the tale of a bunch of strange happenings taking place around a little town on the outskirts of Mt. Fuji in 1977. After it’s reported a giant stone egg is found, Takashi adventures off to find it, filled with memories of his father years before who claimed there was a dinosaur in hibernation somewhere around Fuji. Not only that, but Takashi is a realistic depiction of the growing Japanese economy at the time, and realizes if he found some dinosaur eggs, he could sell them and never work again! So there you go, folks, a realist anti-hero for your main character. Turns out a dinosaur is attacking animals and people around the lake, and to cut to the chase here, the film drives to the point where a Rhamphorhyncus has awoken as well, and now both dinosaurs terrorize the Japanese countryside! But wait, what kind of movie would this be if we didn’t get the Plesiosaur and the Rhamphorhyncus to fight each other at the end! But before that we get hot Japanese girls in diving suits, headless horses, some great suspense scenes, and the true terror of it all: Japanese people performing American style country music! Yes, Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds is a sure-fire winner to lay your money down on and watch this weekend. Perfectly constructed with a few perfectly w-t-f moments in the mix.

That’s it for this week, folks, and it’s great to be back in the swing of things here in 2011! See you soon and remember, Jiger loves you!

Drew McCabe



  1. Billy

    Like the Jiger pic! 😀

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, Shaun McLaughlin. Shaun McLaughlin said: A review of a heartbreaking work of staggering genius known as The Bullpen. […]

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