Monthly Archives: December 2009

Caption Contest 51 Prize: Black Ant

After many many months, I have finally finished Danny Beaty's prize for winning Caption Contest 51, a custom black and white illustration of his character "Black Ant":

Here's the original HeroMachine version, just for a point of reference:


As you can see, I changed up his armor and blasters quite a bit, and his helmet a lot, so we could get exactly what he was supposed to look like.

I also want to thank Danny publicly for being so patient while work on HM3 delayed the completion of his prize. Thanks Danny!

I am going to try my best to finish all of the outstanding contest prizes before New Year's. I doubt I can actually do it, but I'm going to try, darn it!

Random Panel: Great moments in bullet-romance


(From the "Bulletman" mini-comic, 1940-something.)

Random Panel: Unsavory moments in Fantastic Four history …


(From "America's Greatest Comics" number 8, 1943. Even back then, they knew something was amiss in the Storm family.)

Goofing off time!

Hammerknight was kind enough to put together a nifty crossword puzzle to help you pass the time this holiday when family time crosses over from warm and endearing to homicide-inducing and you need to just get away for a few minutes. Print it for handy use later while pretending to gaze admiringly at the "Twisted Sister" sweat shirt your grandmother just gave you because she's so hip!

Here's your answer key, in unreadable small size so we don't spoil the challenge (click it for the viewable size):


Merry Christmas to all of you celebrating it today! And special holiday thanks to Hammerknight for taking the time to put this together for our collective amusement.

Random Panel: Batman always gives SOCKs for Christmas …


(And a very Merry Christmas to all my Christmas-celebrating readers!)

Bringing it to a head

Many thanks to Hammerknight for another excellent recipe for building your own custom helmets in HeroMachine 3. Great work as always, HK! Click on an image to see it in a larger, more legible size.

Random Panel: Great moments in unfortunate names


(From "America's Greatest Comics" number 5, 1942.)

META: I’ll be home for the holidays

I just wanted to give you a heads-up that I'll be back in Louisiana for the holiday, from Wednesday the 23rd to Saturday the 26th. I'll be checking in periodically via my iPhone to approve moderated comments and such, but not as much as usual. I have also scheduled something to be published each day for your entertainment and (non) edification, with a special tip o the hat to Hammerknight for a fair chunk of that.

And like Batman:


So luckily it's not goodbye, just "See ya Sunday"! Hopefully I will have not just a successful family gathering to be thankful for, but also a Fantasy Football championship to celebrate. Although since my opponent is my best friend, that would take some of the pleasure out of it.

Anyway, have fun and be good to each other!

(Batman character and image copyright DC Comics, Inc.)

Always bet on Black. And pop collars.

Marvel gets dinged twice on this one, once for the compulsive labeling of Black characters by putting "Black" in their name, and again for indulging their penchant for bad costumes:


Memo to all you aspiring super-heroes out there: Popped collars are not cool. Especially when there's no cape attached. You can't totally blame Black Goliath for this, of course, since he was just going by the modest success of Iron Fist and his outfit:


Of course, Iron Fist has other problems to deal with, notably the fact that he's running around in green Capri pants and slippers, so maybe he just hadn't noticed yet what was going on with his fake cape collar.

Black Goliath, however, has no excuse for that abdominal cut-out look he's got going on. Girlfriend, that's just sad. Even though at his size his six-pack abs are more like kegs, there's just no way that kind of thing makes sense. How does it stay stuck to his pecs, for one thing? And in what kind of temperature profile is something with that design comfortable? Maybe if you have super-sensitive nips and pits, you'd want something like this, but otherwise I don't see it.

Sadly, Black Goliath never really took off as a mainstream character, due either to his incredibly redundant power set, his obnoxious name, or (most likely) that costume. At least you'd think the costume was key to his demise, but don't put anything past old-school Marvel, because like an unwanted zombie guest at your wedding, the outfit rose from the dead at least once:


Of course Nomad was also canceled, so maybe we can credit Marvel's audience with good fashion sense, even if the Bullpen struck out.

(All characters and images are copyright Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.)

Random Panel: Foolish murderous Jap midget!


(From "America's Greatest Comics" number 5, 1942.)