Five Rounds At The Flying Fist RanchA column article, Busted Knuckles by: Beau Smith
Round One: I've watched the ABC TV show Lost faithfully for all six seasons. I've watched it in real time and that says a lot with my schedule and life. As a writer and TV watching baby boomer I can honestly say that Lost is the finest written TV show of all time - in my never humble opinion. The beauty is that it breaks all kinds of new ground with the mix of genres such as action, drama, romance, soap opera, sci-fi, editing and characters. It's also deeply rooted in traditional TV story telling keeping faithful to all that makes up a compelling story. A few years ago I gave up on trying to figure out everything that goes on in the show. I just kicked my feet up and let them tell me the story. I couldn't have made a better choice. I'm gonna miss Losta lot, but I'm glad they picked a time to end it and are having the chance to close the door to their own house the way it should be. Let's face facts, nobody should stay too long at the fair. The cotton candy gets stale and the corndogs get cold. I'm looking forward to the last episode of Lost and all the books, DVD's and other stuff that will come in it's wake. The island isn't done with me yet.
Round Two: Currently my second favorite TV show is Human Target on Fox. I've mentioned it numerous times here in Busted Knuckles hoping others will give the show a shot. The great news is that it has been picked up for a second season. I'm pretty sure that's not due to my missionary work, but I'd like to think that I can claim credit for a new viewer or two. DC Comics, where the original comic book was created, (By Len Wein and Carmine Infantino) has brought the comic book series back. This time it's not the gloomy Vertigo version. Len Wein is back in the writing saddle for it and they are doing their best to follow the version that's on TV. I've read the first issue with art by Bruno Redondo, Sergio Sandoval, Chris Sprouse and Karl Story. (Also throw writer-Peter Johnson in this for the second part of the story.)It's got all the action and fun the TV show has and that's reason enough to check it out. I pray that they don't forget what fun the show is and fall back to the all too serious Vertigo version that was a dark grind. Give the comic book a shot. It's a six issue series and the first issue is well worth the $2.99 cover price.
Round Three: Mainstream super hero comics on a whole are not a lot of fun for the most part. For a while now, Marvel and DC Comics seem to have lost their sense of humor. I'm not talking about slapstick stuff, I'm talking about normal humor that we experience everyday in our own lives. Everybody likes to say that the stories are 'ripped from reality', but that's not true. I know that most people smile more during the day than they frown. When was the last time you saw Superman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man or Thor kid around or crack a wise one? I'm thinking you're having a little trouble pulling that memory up. I'll have to say that Marvel is doing a much better job instilling humor into their titles these days, a lot more than my buddies at DC Comics. Even a serious series like Marvel's Siege has some really nice dialogue and witty moments in it. I didn't find any of that in DC's Blackest Night stuff. I thought most of that series should've come with a sharp knife to slit my wrist with. I'd like to see some blue skies on the super hero landscape real soon.
Round Four: Speaking of humor and blue skies, I got my wish sooner than I expected. I bought She-Hulk Sensational from Marvel Comics recently and at a cover price of $4.99 I really got my money's worth from this fat little comic book. It was filled with sharp new stories by Peter David and my my long time amigo, Jonboy Myers, Iban Coello (GREAT ART), Brian Reed as well as reprints from John Byrne's fun run on the shapely gal of green. I've re-read this issue a couple of times and smiled quite a bit. The story by Brain Reed and Iban Coello 'Ladies Night' has She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Spider Woman out of the town trading punches and some wonderful banter. Coello's art with Andrew Hennessy's inks is a real pleasure. Great expressions and the camera angles are top notch. Matt Mills colors are perfect for this creative team and story. Snap this issue up and see why they call them 'Comic Books.'
Round Five: Wanna know about some more fun? If so, then try Age of TV Heroes by Jason Hofius and George Khoury from TwoMorrows PublishingThis is a wonderful hardcover books that covers the history the live-action TV shows of noted comic book super heroes. Growing up as a baby boomer I have savored every chapter of this nice big book. It is my personal time machine. It covers such shows as Wonder Woman, Batman, The Tick, Greatest American Hero, Shazam, Spider-Man, The Flash and many more. The book is loaded with incredible color photos from all these action-packed shows as well as behind the scenes stories and history. I promise you will enjoy all 192 pages of this very cool piece of work. It has a cover price of $39.95 and a beautiful Alex Ross painted cover.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of The Week: Congorilla #1
DC Comics 1992
You can rarely go wrong with a massive ape on the cover of your comic book. This obscure 1992 cover from Congorilla #1 is a more than perfect example. Congorilla/Congo Bill was always one of my favorite childhood DC Comics characters. Everyone else can have Superman and Spider-Man, give me a Congorilla or B'Wana Beast any day of the week.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week: Monica Raymund
Nothing I love more than a smart, flawlessly beautiful woman, actress, Monica Raymund fills that order to perfection. She is currently one of the stars of the FOX TV show Lie to Me.
I truly hope that one day this talented goddess will get a feature film or TV show of her own. I'll put away the time and money for it. If only I ruled the world...
Busted Knuckles Deal Of The Week: Anyone that sends me a book, non-fiction or fiction, on the old west/cowboys/ranching/gunfights(You get the picture) In return, I will send you three signed comic books that I have written. It's a part of my old school way of having fun and trading stuff. If you want to be a part of this manly deal, just send the book to:
The Flying Fist Ranch
Ceredo, WV. 25507
Make sure you send your name and return address when you send me a book. I pay the postage for the three signed comics in return. Let's see who wants to have some fun.
Your insane amigo,