Archive for captain america

Christmas Comics Cavalcade: The 1994 Marvel Holiday Special

Posted in christmas comics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2018 by Christopher Pearce

ChristmasComicCavalcade

I’ve covered the Marvel Holiday Specials here. They are some of my favorite Christmas comics, owing much to my memories of buying them and reading them around the holidays.

I’ve gone on at length about how much I loved those comics as a kid and still find a lot to love about them now. One of them always eluded me though. I’d never been able to locate a copy of the 1994 Marvel Holiday Special.

…until a few months back when I finally stumbled over it at a clearance sale.

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Chalkboard Drawings: The “Assemble” edition

Posted in chalkboard drawings with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2014 by Christopher Pearce

I draw a picture of myself on my classroom’s chalkboard everyday. I collect those pictures as camera phone photos and post them on Sundays. See the rest here.

AVE1

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Chalkboard Drawings: The “Avengers Assemble” edition

Posted in chalkboard drawings with tags , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2014 by Christopher Pearce

I draw a picture of myself on my classroom’s chalkboard everyday. I collect those pictures as camera phone photos and post them on Sundays. See the rest here.

Avengers1

 

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Christmas Comics Cavalcade: Force Works #8 (Marvel Comics)

Posted in christmas comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

ChristmasComicCavalcade

In the inaugural week of 2013’s Christmas Comics Cavalcade, we’ll be looking at Force Works #8, a holiday themed issue of the superhero team series published by Marvel Comics in 1994.

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This book was written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with art from Stu Johnson and Don Hudson.

It’s weird to think this in 2013 but The Avengers haven’t always been such a big deal. While the team is now the preeminent name in superhero comics and movies today, the property had major ups and downs over the years. The early to mid 1990’s were a particularly fallow period for Avengers comics creatively… which is from whence this week’s yuletide-themed comic hails.

By the mid-1980’s, The Avengers’ place as the center of the Marvel Universe had been usurped by The Uncanny X-Men and its’ various spin-offs and successors. By the early ’90’s, the various X-titles had become sales juggernauts. Force Works seems to be the Avengers’ answer to the success of X-Force. The title was meant to replace West Coast Avengers and high concept for the book was a trope that genre comic writers rake up every few years: the proactive superhero. Force Works was to be the team that stopped disasters WAY before they happened rather than waiting for the super-villain to attack. This approach is rarely successful; much of the fun of superhero comic is in the over-the-top theatrics; covert teams seeking to circumvent that process rarely generate a lot of interest from readers.

This was the 1990’s, remember – most comic readers (myself included) would buy ANY new comic series that had a number one issue… even better if it had some kind of cover enhancement. For the record, Force Works #1 had a pop-up 3-D cover that was one of the stupider of those things.

…but we’re not talking about Force Works #1… we’re talking about #8, and look at that cover! Surely everyone can anticipate what this comic’s going to be about before you even begin reading it, yes? That distinctive pointy cowl… that suggestive hand posture… even the phrasing on the book, “Guess Who’s Coming to X-Mas Dinner?”  C’mon. That’s Wolverine, y’all! Wolverine was a big goddamn deal in the 1990’s and just a brief cameo from the character would shoot a book’s sales into the stratosphere.

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chalkboard photo posts: the all marvel comics edition

Posted in chalkboard drawings with tags , , , , , on September 25, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

I’ve done a better Wolverine in the past, but I don’t think I’ve ever drawn him with his mask on.

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odds & ends

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , on September 2, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

I haven’t done an Odds & Ends post in awhile, and I’m afraid they might become more infrequent as the school year gets going. I enjoy taking some time out to talk about the various books and movies I’m consuming but I sometimes worry these posts don’t exactly address the overall mission of the blog… which is obstensibly to engage with and talk about teaching. At the same time, I don’t think I’ll be able to break myself of the habit entirely, seeing as I do like to engage with the media I’m consuming in a public forum, even if it is only to say “I think this comic is awesome” or “Avoid watching happythankyoumoreplease, it was a terrible movie.”

We’ll see what happens in the next few months… but for today, let me just kind of give you the broad view of what stuff I’ve been enjoying of late.

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The Magician King by Lev Grossman is a sequel I was equal parts excited for and dreading. I thought Grossman’s first book, The Magicians, was engaging and fun but wasn’t sure if it warranted a return engagement. Part of this feeling was due to my opinion that the main character of The Magicians, Quentin Coldwater, was kind of a dick. To be sure, an unlikable protagonist isn’t a deal breaker for me when it comes to a book; there are plenty of books I love where the main character’s are completely unlikable. That’s fine, I just wont necessarily get very excited about spending more time with them.

…and honestly, there’s a real logic to Quentin’s dickish behavior- the character is in his 20’s during The Magicians. Anyone who wasn’t sort of a jerk in their twenties probably wasn’t doing it right. Grossman does a good job of retaining some of those annoying qualities in Quentin with The Magician King while also broadening out his character quite a bit to reflect the changes he went through in the climax of the first book. It also helps that Grossman adds a secondary perspective on the world of magic here by beefing up the character of Julia for the second book. Julia seemed like a weird, wasted opportunity in The Magicians, but in The Magician King, it’s clear that the author had a plan for her. Besides showing a secondary side of the magical world where the characters reside, Julia’s baffling behavior shifts our opinion of Quentin in this book. Quentin might have problems, but compared to Julia, he’s wonderfully well-adjusted.

I guess you could call these books Harry Potter for adults, but I think that comparison robs Grossman’s books of some of their originality. It’s clear he’s used HP as a starting point (as well as C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series) but The Magician King grows out of those original trappings and becomes its’ own thing in a fun way. I wasn’t looking forward to this sequel, but after having finished The Magician King and found it even better than the first book in the series, I find myself impatient for the next one.

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I finished up the summer with seeing two movies in movie theaters! Imagine that. With two kids and the monetary resources of a public school teacher, I haven’t been getting out to the multiplex as often as I would like. I did find a way to escape one evening and I marathoned Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Captain America: The First Avenger.

I am not nor have I ever been a fan of Planet of the Apes. The original movies missed me by a wide mile. By the time I was old enough to know about them, they had long since become grist for the parody mill. You could probably find an hour’s worth of material from The Simpsons poking fun at the planet where apes evolved from men if you felt like it. There was that expensive Tim Burton helmed remake in the early 2000’s, but the less said about that the better, am I right?

Knowing that about me, please look at the next sentence as a ringing endorsement: I like the hell out of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The CG/motion capture work from Andy Serkis as Caesar was fantastic and I was impressed at how the screenwriters figured out a way to make Rise a true sequel to the original PotA. I will admit to cringing at most of the callbacks in the dialogue that seemed crowbarred into the movie, but I suppose when you make a flick like this, those passing references are to be expected.

Captain America was good fun too, although it paled a little in comparison to how much I liked that ape movie. Chris Evans was pleasantly bland as the good captain, but he was surrounded by one of the more impressive “we’re just doin’ this for a fun paycheck” casts I’ve seen in movies in the past few years. Stanley Tucci, Toby Huss, Tommy Lee Jones, all of these guys are folks I’d watch read the phonebook. To see them in a big budget, two-fisted, Nazi-smashin’ superhero movie? Wow!

The  jury’s still out on the whole “expanded Marvel universe” that Marvel Studios is building around these movies. Captain America picks up some ideas from the Thor movie released earlier this year… and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything when I say the last ten minutes are a lot of set-up for the upcoming Avengers movie which will feature a team-up of all the characters from the last few Marvel movies. On the one hand, it’s an exciting experiment and something I’ve never seen done in quite this scale at the movies. On the other hand, I like a movie to be a movie, and have the ability to stand on its’ own. I’m not sure these will be able to when we look back at them twenty years from now.

2010-2011 school year: day thirty three

Posted in comics with tags , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

I only wish I could show you guys the pictures from Homecoming Week’s “Superhero Day.” The kids did an outstanding job with their costumes!