Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy "Blue" Year!

I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank all you Beetlemaniacs for making 2013 a great first year for Kord Industies! I've been pleasantly surprised by the response, and overwhelmed by the support of fans and friends of the Blue Beetle. 

A special round of thank yous...

To Steve Conley and Thom Zahler, for the great art, support and friendship!

To Art Baltazar, Franco, Cully Hamner, Roger Langridge and Kevin Maguire for the great con sketches this year!

To Paris Cullins, Donald McKinney III, and Rusty Winns for the interviews, and for keeping Ted "alive"!

To Rob at the Aquaman Shrine, and Shag at Firestorm Fan for the inspiration (and mentions on your podcasts)!

And last, but not least, to Matt Celis...the most frequent commentor of the year!

Here's hoping 2014 is bigger, brighter, and bluer at Kord Industries!

Happy "Blue" Year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Super-Team Family Sunday #6

Welcome to another Super-Team Family Sunday! If you've been enjoying these make sure to head over to Ross Pearsall's blog Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues for more of the "greatest team-ups that never happened...but should have!"
On this Blue Beetle/Beast mash-up, Ross said..."A lot of team ups I present here will be with characters that seem to have a natural connection... but a lot will also feature teams that I just think would be cool to see. This is one of those. It isn't too far out of left field though, I can see Hank McCoy and Ted Kord commiserating on some scientific breakthrough together, when a villain attacks and action ensues. This cover also features these characters in my favorite incarnations. The new Blue Beetle is an entertaining character in his own right, I just wish we didn't have to get rid of his predecessor in order to make room. The Beast is back on an Avengers team, which I like - but he still has that weird Beauty and the Beast/Kittycat look that he developed during the Grant Morrison era ox the X-men titles. I really wish he would go back to his cooler Bronze Age look."

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"A Christmas Carol"

Welcome to the final entry in Kord Industries 2013 Holiday comic review! I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have!

I've chosen to end the month with a look at 1948's "Classics Illustrated #53: A Christmas Carol"! Adapted from the Charles Dickens story by George D. Lipscomb and illustrated by Henry Kiefer, this is truly one of my holiday favorites! The story itself has always been special to me. I think a Golden Books version of "Mickey's Christmas Carol" was my first introduction to the story. Something my mom picked me up for me one Christmas years ago...a trend she continued for many, many Christmases that followed. I have quite a collection now of various editions, different illustrators, pop-up books, annotations, DVDs...even ornaments for the tree...and 99% were gifts from my mom! She passed away January of this year, after we got to spend one last Christmas together. So since she's not here to give this to me, I'd like to give it to each and every one of you Beetlemaniacs! Mom would have liked that...

(click the pages to make 'em bigger)



And so, as Tiny Tim said...Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays! Whatever you celebrate this season, may your day be filled with joy!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Blue Beetle!

My friend, artist/creator, Steve Conley sent this pic of good ol' Ted lugging a sack full of holiday cheer (probably on the way to the JLI Christmas party) to help us celebrate here at Kord Industries! Steve is a great guy, a good friend, and the man behind "Bloop", the cutest green space monkey you've ever seen! Be sure to check out his stuff at Bloop's Tree

Thank you Steve! 

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday! And, as the glam rock band Slade sings (the Doctor Who fans should definitely know the song) "So here it is Merry Christmas, everybody's having fun, look to the future now, it's only just begun" 

Teaser Tuesday #22

Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Christmas With The Beetles"

It's week 3 of my holiday comic blogs...and time to visit with an old friend...Blue Beetle! This is a blog about him after all...you didn't think I'd forgotten did you?

Cover dated February 2009, but in stores December 2008, we got the "DC Universe Holiday Special"...and with J.C. Vaughn writing, Lee Garbett on pencils and Trevor Scott on inks, we got "Christmas With The Beetles". Yup, you read that right. Beetles, plural. Dan Garrett, Ted Kord, and Jaime Reyes all appear!

We open with the Cole family, Donnie (many years ago), Lonnie (not quite as many years ago) and Louie (just a few months ago), each up to no good waiving crowbars, knives and guns around. At the same time someone named Richard is visiting Sanchez State Jail in El Paso, Texas. A quick cut back to the Coles, and we see each one getting decked by a costumed hero, Blue Beetles Garrett, Kord and Reyes!

Richard sits across a table from a man in an orange prison jumpsuit. "So I suppose there's a good reason you wanted me to drag myself down here on Christmas Eve?" Followed by flashbacks to each of the Boys in Blue, and an explanation. Louie explains to his son, Richard, that he knows he hasn't been a good father, he knows he's messed ups few Christmases. His grandfather, Donnie, fought the first BB, his dad Lonnie fought the second.
 Richard adds that Louie fought the new one, and lost. Louie points out the irony that he had moved his family across the country* to avoid the Blue Beetle and still got taken down. 

Richard, or should I say "Dick", laments that he comes from a family of losers. Louie agrees, but says it doesn't have to be that way for his son. He has something for him for Christmas. "You're going to start being a good dad now? From prison?" Louie says he's going to try. He says he knows his son is hanging with a gang that's planning a big job. He wants his son to walk away from that life, before he gets involved in what they're planning...while his record is still clean, while he still has a chance. As Richard leaves, he phones his mother. "Ma? Yeah, it's me. I saw dad. It was actually a good visit..." And then we see that Jaime has been watching...

So, while maybe not the longest, or best story in this "DC Universe Holiday Special" it certainly has some spirit. I look at it kind of like "A Christmas Carol"...a story or redemption and second chances for both Louie and Richard. And speaking of "A Christmas Carol", I'll see back here next week!

*Dan Garrett operated out of Hub City (according to Denny O'Neill, East St Louis, Illinois) and Ted Kord was from Chicago, Illinois...Jaime is from Texas, where Louie moved to get away from the others...talk about bad luck!