It's An Itsy Bitsy 'Spider-Verse' After All

Remember when I wondered here on this humble lil' blog if my Blade fan art piece somehow made an impact on the naming of the last Underworld movie? Well, ol' Tinsel Town has really got my spider-sense tingling now; those wack-ass swagger jackers bit my $#%&!

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the teaser trailer for next year's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse film. When you're done with that, puh-leeze check out my pulse-pounding post over on vocal.media where I ask: Did Awesome Fan Art Inspire the Remarkable Look of 2018's Animated 'Spider-Man' Movie?

And lemme know if you agree, true believers.


Are There Black Chinese? Enquiring Minds Wanna Know

Girl from the Pacified South

Among the countless inquiries often provoked by this still strange and wondrous world (right up there with Do UFOs exist?, Who drank the last of the milk?, and Honey, do I look fat in these jeans?), the question of whether black Chinese people exist seems to be one of the most enduring.

The circumstances that have given birth to this question are many, not the least of them maybe having much to do with the unexpected appearance of the half-black and half-Thai sports phenomenon Tiger Woods on golf courses and Nike commercials some two decades ago.

Unsatisfied with the attempts made by others to offer a definitive answer to this question, this researcher has tossed his own hat into the ring. The surprising answer  — an 11 minute read complete with 14 pulse-pounding photos  — can be read over on Medium by clicking here.

Press play on your favorite Wu-Tang album and give it a look.


Forged From Air Jordans: This War Machine Mask Takes Both Fan Art And Cosplay To A Whole 'Nother Level

'No. 117: 5Lab3 Iron Man Helmet Mask and Gauntlet' 
[Credit: @freehandprofit]

In M. Night Shayamalan's late '90s thriller The Sixth Sense, a young boy with a supernatural talent for seeing something that others can't whispers the now-famous phrase: "I see dead people." Similarly, and almost just as astonishingly, the San Francisco-based artist Freehand Profit has revealed — by way of his senses shattering artwork — his own preternatural gift for seeing in the seams and folds of athletic shoes what no mere mortals can: he sees superheroes.

[Credit: @freehandprofit]

Not only does the curiously monikered Freehand Profit (born Gary Lockwood) see comic book superheroes. He sees the faces of anime heroines, the helmets of Star Wars shock troops, the heads of robots and sci-fi inspired gas masks. But it’s his production of wares based on the Marvel Comics character War Machine — forged from the deconstructed husks of pairs of Air Jordans — that gives the most fitting glimpse into another dimension we never guessed existed.

The world of Freehand Profit is a realm of an imagination gone buck wild, where the contemporary subcultures of comic book geeks, hip-hop heads, cosplayers (costumed role-players) and sneaker freaks collide. It's a world where the stylish, logo-branded future is right now and where lowbrow fan art is the highest art. Best of all, it's a world where our materialism can become creative fodder for a recycling program unlike anything the world has ever seen.

'No. 117: 5Lab3 Iron Man Helmet Mask (Profile)' 
[Credit: @freehandprofit]

Embracing The Past, Present And Future

This sneaker mask spotlighted here is the 117th such piece in a senses-shattering series of masks produced by Freehand Profit using the leather and rubber of high-end sneakers. The artist says that he’s always found himself intrigued by masks, whether those used in the ancient rituals of various cultures or those donned by crime fighting superheroes. And Tony Stark, the wealthy industrialist of Marvel Comics' Iron Man comics provides a rich source for mining.

In the comics, the War Machine armor created by Tony Stark first made a brief cameo appearance in the closing pages of Iron Man #281 (June 1992). The armor was made to be used by Tony's friend Captain James Rhodes, who has appeared wearing the suit not only in comics, but in cartoons, video games and live-action Hollywood films like Iron Man 2, Captain America: Civil War and next year's much-awaited film Avengers: Infinity War.

[Credit: Marvel Comics]

Studying The Art of War

Remarkably, the War Machine helmet was crafted from four pairs of black and gray Jordan 5Lab3 sneakers. In addition to headgear, a glove or "gauntlet" was also produced, which boasts working mechanics and lights. Topping off the ensemble is Iron Man's arc reactor, the round technical marvel that keeps the injured heart of Tony Stark beating. True to amazing form, it was also created using the sole of a 5Lab3 sneaker with LED lights added.

If you would like to see more of the "No. 117: 5Lab3 Iron Man Helmet" and more mind-blowing "sneaker head" productions of Freehand Profit, please check out his Instagram page. If you think the mask featured here is amazing, just wait until you see an earlier incarnation of the other Iron Man mask ("No. 45), and the Wolverine mask in the colorway of the classic yellow and blue uniform. If you're lucky, true believer, you'll never see your Air Jordans the same way again.

'War Machine' [Credit: @freehandprofit]


The Reason For My Absence: "See, What Had Happened Was..."

"It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you / Without a strong rhyme to step to." 
– Eric B. & Rakim

It's been quite the year, let me tell you. And while I haven't been writing much on YKFS, the cyber-foot traffic still manages to be impressive. I thank everyone who's stumbled upon this humble blog, and I sincerely appreciate all o' yous' who decide to return from time to see what's new. 

Oh, and I have been writing. Just not here. 

As the views on this site began creeping up to 100,000 back in June of this year (a milestone I'd forgotten to even acknowledge, doh!), I realized that it was finally time to start branching out as a writer and to expand my influence as an...influencer.

Damn skippy, I got influence. And sooomebody owes me some shoes. Uh huh, I see you, Onitsuka. I see you. *Side eye*

Anywho, in a remarkably short amount of time it all came together. After years of mostly giving away mah creative jewels for free-ninety-nine, as of today yours truly is a freelance writer for two different websites, MoviePilot/Creators and Comic Book Resources. Cool, huh?

And no, I'm not exactly making Eric B. & Rakim money (see: Paid in Full), but whatever I'm making will cover the cost of an out-of-control comic book habit. So if you haven't seen anything new posted to YKFS, feel free to check me out from time to time here and here.




Play It Again, Sam: Samuel L. Jackson Sings The Blues For 'The Hitman's Bodyguard'

Samuel L. Jackson is no stranger to singing on the silver screen, despite the fact that he has never made a frequent thing of it. Whenever he does decide it's time once again to croon a tune (or several tunes), Jackson invariably sings good old fashioned southern blues. This will be no different in his upcoming film The Hitman's Bodyguard, but having Sam singing wasn't originally part of the plan. Before we get into how this turn of events came about, let's take a brief glance back at Jackson's surprising track record of singing the blues.

The Blues And Sam Go Back Like Rocking Chairs

In the 1996 action film Long Kiss Goodnight (in which he stars with a proto-Atomic Blonde Geena Davis), Jackson plays Mitch Henessey, a blues-loving private eye. Throughout the film, Mitch croons Bo Diddly's "I'm A Man," with hilariously improvised lyrics that help him feel confident in times of self doubt:

"Ba-da-da-da-dun, got me a handgun / Ba-da-da-da-dun, got a rifle too / Ba-da-da-da-dun, anybody #%&$ with Mitch / He knows just what to do, cuz I'm a bad mother#$%^er."

(Side note: He's not.)

On the more serious side of things, in the 2006 drama Black Snake Moan, Jackson plays Lazarus Redd, a man on a mission from God. Redd is a fanatically religious farmer and a former blues guitarist who believes he's been called to intervene in the life of a promiscuous young woman (Christina Ricci) who's on the road to ruin. To ready himself for the role, Jackson actually spent half a year studying for six or seven hours a day to learn to play blues guitar for his performances with the instrument, which are layered throughout the film.

In keeping with what's shaped up to be about an every 10-year average, Jackson is singing on screen once again. This time it's for The Hitman's Bodyguard, his 2018 action comedy with co-star Ryan Reynolds. Here, Jackson takes on the role of Darius, a notorious hitman who is scheduled testify at the International Court of Justice, and it's the job of his mortal enemy (Reynolds), the world's top bodyguard, to get him there alive. That is, of course, if they don't kill each other first!

'The Hitman's Bodyguard' [Credit: Lionsgate]

A Hitman With A Hit Song?

On the morning of Friday, August 4, the movie hitman himself fired off a tweet to announce to fans on Twitter the release of "Nobody Gets Out Alive," Jackson’s new song on the soundtrack for The Hitmans' Bodyguard. A link to Spotify and iTunes accompanying the Tweet leads listeners to the track, which features the actor’s trademark tenor. It's a song that bubbles with the classic notes of a good blues ditty, complete with stretched slide guitar licks, a bottoming bass groove, and soulful sopranos on the backing vocals. All combined, it creates a sweet marriage of southern blues and southern gospel spiced up with curse words.

Surprisingly, “Nobody Gets Out Alive” wasn't originally planned for the film. It wasn't even a song at all, but just grew organically out of a scene in which Jackson's high-strung hitman is sitting in a car with Reynolds's boring bodyguard. The song's creation was mostly the result of in-the-moment improvisation, but director Patrick Hughes liked what he heard and asked Jackson to keep fleshing the song out.

To make sure that the song lived up to its potential, the director also shared what had been captured on film with Atli Örvarsson the film's soundtrack composer. Örvarsson then worked with Jackson to help mold it into the song heard on the soundtrack today, complete with wisdom-filled but R-rated lyrics written by Jackson himself.

Raised In The Land Of Blues Legends

Considering Jackson's past, his cinematic brushes with the blues over the course of his storied career make perfect sense. Although born in Washington, D.C., Jackson was actually raised by his grandparents in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the birthplace of the blues music queen Bessie Smith. Tennessee at large was also the birthplace and the home of several blues music legends like John Lee Hooker, Memphis Minnie, B.B. King, Ike Turner and too many others to name.

Ironically, whenever asked about his preferences in music, Jackson has professed an appreciation for hip-hop, but the man clearly has blues music in his soul, too. With all hope, between now and sometime around 2027, we’ll get yet another chance to hear his inner bluesman crooning once again.

Also starring Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman and Elodie Young, The Hitman’s Bodyguard opens on August 18.


Playing Dirty: 'The Hitman's Bodyguard' Posters Pay Homage To The Art of 'Dirty Harry'

Yup, I see what you did there, Lionsgate. Getting 'down and dirty' with the posters for The Hitman's Bodyguard. I have to say that when I saw 'em, it really, really –wait for it–made my day.

Starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, The Hitman’s Bodyguard opens on August 18.


'Enter the Dragon And His Allies' comic strip one-sheet, circa 1973 (It's okay, fam–Act like you knew)

Enter the Dragon and His Allies is the semi-clunky title used for the one-sheet comic strip that was packed into the press kit for the 1973 Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon. I always wanted to have this in my collection, but could never find a reasonably priced copy in good condition, or a good scan of the page. When I got over it and wasn't looking for it anymore though, I happened across a great scan that some super cool soul uploaded to the interwebs. If you've never seen or heard of Enter the Dragon and His Allies before – or if you too have wanted to have a decent digital copy for your archive, here it is. Click the image below to download and enjoy. 


Wonders Never Cease: Nubia Fan Art Echoes 40-Year Love Affair With DC's Most Underrated Character

Believe it or not, it's really much closer to 45 years that Nubia — DC Comics' shamefully underused Amazon warrior — has existed. For more than half that time, I myself have viewed the character as being the biggest missed opportunity in the history of DC, a publisher that once lagged noticeably behind its rival Marvel Comics, in terms of a racially diverse roster of heroes.

It's somewhat dumbfounding when you consider the fact that Nubia was one of the very first black super-powered characters when introduced into Wonder Woman, Issue 204 in 1973. This was two years after the first appearance of the Green Lantern John Stewart, and two years before Storm of the X-Men. Today, those latter two characters are among fandom's most popular superheroes.

[Credit: DC Comics]

With so early an introduction into the pantheon of the super-powered, Nubia was perfectly positioned to someday ascend to a place of prominence in comics history. But sadly, in a country where the two big "isms" still rear their puss-filled heads almost as much today as when the character was created, that was never to be. Nubia wasn't given much of a chance at all, really.

And Yet She Persisted

WonderWoman's fraternal twin, formed of dark of clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta — in contrast to the light clay from which Diana was formed — essentially vanished after the three-issue story arc in which she was introduced. In 1974, the year after her creation, she had a small role in Supergirl Issue 9, but was then quietly ushered into the blank pages of obscurity.

Nubia's lasting place in the minds of many fans is more largely owed to a doll made by the Mego Corporation in 1977, when the Wonder Woman TV show was at the height of its popularity. The 12-inch Nubia action doll, outfitted in silver armor and a purple skirt, with a sword and shield accessories, looked as if it had sprung right from comics and into the toy isle.

Meet Mel Milton

In the first week of June, I had the pleasure of wrting about the internet-breaking fan art of Marcus Williams. Today, I am just as pleased to introduce you to the gorgeous, Nubia-centric illustrations of artist Mel Milton, who has been producing a variety of Wonder Woman drawings that every fan just needs to gawk at.

Milton, by the way, is a former artist/animator for Disney — and it shows. His vivacious cartoon women echo many of the distinctive style elements that one might associate with the protagonists of modern-day animated Disney classics, like Mulan, Atlantis, Lilo & Stitch, and The Princess and the Frog.

Sketch No. 5: Nubia [Credit: melmade.blogspot.com]

On June 6, 2017, in anticipation of seeing the justifiably much-hyped film about the amazing Amazon, Milton sketched out a portrait of Wonder Woman. The next day he produced another sketch of the character, and over subsequent days, the work expanded into a series of wonderful art pieces dedicated to the heroic princess of Paradise Island.

Milton has described the series as his "personal Wonder Woman challenge." Along with an assortment of drawings of Diana, the fifth, 13th, 16th and 22nd sketches are illustrations offering the artist's wondrous interpretations of the Amazon warrior Nubia. I won't waste a single keystroke trying to describe 'em. The pictures themselves paint a thousand words.

Sketch No. 13: Nubia [Credit: melmade.blogspot.com]

To Infinity And Beyond

Fans of Milton's work have been understandably wonderstruck by the full series of Wonder Woman illustrations. So much so that they've been requesting the opportunity to purchase the original drawings, prints — anything at all. And fortunately for us, Mr. Milton has decided to collect them into a keepsake sketchbook that, when ready, should take our collective breath away.

Sketch No. 22: Nubia [Credit: melmade.blogspot.com

For those who don't follow comics much, it's worth mentioning that in recent months, DC has introduced an "all-new and all-different" fraternal twin for Diana who's not brown-skinned, but white and male. That's right, as if there's anything out of the ordinary about a character fitting that description anywhere at all in the nearly 80-year history of comic books.

Nevertheless, it was the true uniqueness of a character in comics like Nubia — and with some extra help from a groundbreaking toy — that DC's other Wonder Woman made an impression on geek culture that has resonated out of the old school of Generation X and into the new school of the millennial. And if nothing else, Nubia's enduring (and still expanding) fandom just goes to show that you can't keep a good character down.

Sketch No. 16: Nubia [Credit: melmade.blogspot.com


Sit Y'all's Paranoid Asses Down – The ‘Black Panther’ Poster Isn't ‘Too Militant’

Chadwick Boseman's enthroned image pays homage more to legendary African rulers than the Black Panther Party's Huey P. Newton.

It wasn't long after the release of the new teaser poster for next year's MCU film Black Panther that the internet was set ablaze. Keyboard conspiracy theorists were ringing the alarm that the white genocide was a-coming, and the latest sign of the racial apocalypse was a superhero movie poster.

Credit: Marvel

According to critics the image composition for the poster appeared startlingly similar to an iconic image of the Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton sitting confidently in a wicker chair––holding an African spear and a rifle. And aside from the fact that Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman holds no weapons, there are some uncanny similarities. 

For instance, both men are seated with their arms resting atop the armrests of their respective chairs. Both are dressed in stylish black outfits and – maybe most remarkably – both men are African-American. But despite those senses-shattering similarities, the film poster takes its cues from another image that, like the Newton photo, has deep historical significance.

Credit: Blair Stapp, 1967

The image in question is a 1959 photograph of the Nigerian King Olateru Olagbegi II (1910–1998). Olateru was the ruler of the ancient city of Owo, which was once the capital of the Eastern Yoruban city-state. In the photograph, which was taken outside his palace, the king sits under the shade of a velour umbrella, framed between two ornately engraved elephant tusks. 

Oba Olateru Olagbegi II, the Olowo of Owo

And it is this regal image of Olateru to whom homage is paid with the poster of the enthroned T'Challa, the superhero king of Wakanda. An image that is most apparent in the tusk-like structural design elements jutting from the left and right sides of his throne. In the mid-1970s, the photo of Olateru had a similar influencing effect on another promotional print image.

In 1975, the Anheuser-Busch Company began commissioning artists for a series of prints created to bring awareness to various African leaders throughout history. The series was called The Great Kings and Queens of Africa, and one of the 28 prints in the series featured an iconic image of the great Hannibal (247-183 BC), ruler of the ancient North African city of Carthage.  

Credit: The Anheuser-Busch Company / Artist: Charles Lilly

Released in 1977, the Hannibal image was painted by artist Charles Lilly, but shows the unmistakable influence of the photo of the Nigerian king Olateru. In the print, the celebrated military strategist – whose soldiers were famed for riding elephants into war – sits on a high-backed wooden chair framed by two large elephant tusks whose tips are adorned with gold rings. 

Sold in sets of four, ads for Anheuser-Busch's The Great Kings and Queens of Africa print series were carried in the pages of publications like Ebony, Jet magazine for decades––and the prints themselves were subsequently found adorning the walls of classrooms across America. And in the process, the print images forged an indelible impression on several generations of African-Americans.

Now, while it is certainly possible that the teaser poster for Ryan Coogler's eagerly-awaited Black Panther shares a slight resemblance with iconic photograph of Huey P. Newton, the influence of the photograph of the Nigerian king Olateru cannot be denied. But let's leave it to those uber-paranoid keyboard conspiracy theorists to give it another try. 

Speaking of conspiracies, are you also equally disturned by the fact that we have to wait until friggin' February to see Black Panther? 


Suffering Sappho! This 'Wonder Women' Fan Art Is Breaking The Internet

[Credit: @marcusthevisual]

As the hit DCEU movie Wonder Woman was in its fourth day of breaking the US box office this past weekend, Atlanta-based illustrator Marcus Williams (Tuskegee Heirs) started breaking the internet — or Facebook and Twitter, at least — by posting a spine-tingling tribute to WonderWoman and her largely forgotten fraternal twin sister, Nubia.

And as you can see, the artwork is wondrous.

On June 2, a pulse-pounding preview of this now full-color work was shared in the form of a pencil sketch of Nubia and Diana. That piece showed off the pure form of fine line work for which Williams is becoming well known, especially due to his remarkable renditions of fan favorite comic book heroines like Storm, Captain Marvel, Psylocke, and too many others to name.

At the time the sketch was posted, Williams was just showing his enthusiastic support of the then-upcoming Wonder Woman film. Fans of the artist's work were quick to show their enthusiastic support of his enthusiastic support!

Yet, there were also many new school comic book fans who weren't aware that Diana had ever had a sister, aside from Donna Troy of the Teen Titans, let alone a black fraternal twin. But, once upon a time, she did indeed have one.

In February of 1973, during the rise in popularity of blaxploitation films like Shaft, Coffy, Black Caesar and many others, DC Comics showed themselves as "hip to the times" by introducing the Amazon warrior Nubia, with whom Diana duels in issue #204 of Wonder Woman. But Diana — who'd just recovered from amnesia — had no idea who her tall, dark and lovely adversary actually was. The same was also true of her book's readers.

By way of a flashback in Wonder Woman #206, it was revealed that Nubia and Diana were twin sisters, formed as babes from dark and light clay by their mother Queen Hippolyta, and animated into life by the breath of the Goddess Aphrodite. After their miraculous creation however, the God of War Mars appeared and stole Nubia away from her mother and sister.

[Credit: DC Comics]

In the mid-1980s, DC Comics released the popular but also controversial series, Crisis on Infinite Earths. This complex story would serve as a reset button of sorts for the publisher's then-sprawling, multi-dimensional universe. Many of the plot twists that came about in the ensuing years since Wonder Woman and her peers were first created in the 1940s and onward were erased.

Among those countless casualties was Nubia's audacious origin, which left the character being just one of many Amazons on Paradise Island with no special relation to Diana and Hippolyta. The ripple in Wonder Woman's continuity created in 1973 by writer Cary Bates and artist Don Heck never faded, and the appreciation of this little known Amazon warrior endures.

In fitting tribute to that now classic tale of the "Wonder Women," Nubia and her fraternal twin sister Diana — as they forever remain in the minds of many old school comic book collectors — have been given a picture perfect family reunion in a gorgeous work of fan art by Marcus Williams.

[Credit: @marcusthevisual]

Though Nubia has never really had the place in comics that her character deserves, the vision of this talented artist from Atlanta makes you realize that it would be some kind of wonderful to see the separated twin sisters together again on the silver screen in Patty Jenkins' senses-shattering sequel to Wonder Woman — even if only for a moment.

What say you, Patty J? Do you wanna break the box office again?


Master Of Quack Fu: Remembering 1970s Martial Arts Mania With Howard the Duck #3

For anyone with an interest in uber cool comics from the martial arts movie mania of the 1970s, one of the forgotten gems of that era is Howard the Duck #3. Boasting a spine-tingling tale entitled "Four Fingers of Death," this issue was written by Steve Gerber and illustrated by John Buscema. It punched its way into the hands of readers in the spring of 1976. 

By the time this issue of Howard the Duck made the rounds, Marvel had already been milking the cash cow of 1970s martial arts craze in various ways. Among these was the hybrid comic book/magazine Deadly Hands of King Fu and comic books Master of Kung Fu and Iron Fist. So this tale offered readers a fitting parody of that venerable age when all across the country – all across the world even – "everybody was kung fu fighting. Huh!"

Now, if as a comic book reader you aren't a necessarily a fan of the anthropomorphic adventures of characters like Howard the Duck, this may not be for you. But if you like old school comics of all sorts, are a fan of the golden age of martial arts cinema, and aren't in any way adverse to fowl language (see what I did there?), then I can't recommend this particular issue enough. It is a fun one.

[Credit: Marvel Comics] 

In addition to the aforementioned, perhaps the real selling point here is this issue's surprising posthumous parody of the long gone karate legend Count Dante. Ads for his book Worlds Deadliest Fighting Secrets – which were carried in the pages of martial arts mags since the late 1960s – immortalized Dante in the minds of many a kid after he purchased full-page ad space in various Marvel Comics titles in the spring of 1975. 

Both tragically and ironically, the martial artist that the indelible ad page would boldly hail as the "Deadliest Man Alive" died from health-related complications on May 26th––right at the very time that the comic books that carried his now-classic advertisement were being read. 

[Credit: Marvel Comics]  

It was one year after the passing of Count Dante that writer Steve Gerber and artist John Buschema aptly satirized him, and much of the kung fu fanaticism that was everywhere at the time, from movies and TV, to magazines and comics like those published by both Marvel and DC. 

And so it is on late a Saturday night that the cranky, stogie smoking duck and his date are found exiting the movie theater after having taken in "the year's highest-grossing (and, coincidentally, goriest) kung fu thriller." Howard, however, isn't at all happy about what they'd just finished viewing. "How can you call ripping out somebody's tongue 'entertainment'?" he pleads in a losing case to his buttered popcorn-nibbling girlfriend, Beverly Switzler. "How can you call it a martial art? And...how can you eat after watching that?"

[Credit: Marvel Comics]  

The very real and then-contemporary film Five Fingers of Death was obviously the inspiration for Howard's fictional ire––as well as the actual title of the tale contained in this issue (“Four Feathers of Death”). Upon its release in 1973, Five Fingers of Death was a #1 box office smash and became a mainstay in cheaply run urban theaters across America for years. Of the Hong Kong film's most blabbed about happenings are two brutal fight scenes where fighters get their eyes yanked out of their sockets by the deadly digits of two menacing kung fu masters. Talk about an eye opening.

In addition to that not-so-subtle cinematic reference, the tale also contains a glowing reference to Japanese actor Sonny Chiba (The Street Fighter, Kill Bill 2), who was quite popular martial arts film star at the time. Of course, the real treat here is when the character "Count Macho" – a comic book villain in the very literal sense – violently crashes Howard the Duck's world. 

[Credit: Marvel Comics] 

In order face the threat that Count Macho brings to the kung fu infatuated kids in the neighborhood, Howard decides to try beating the mean martial arts guy at his own game. To ready himself for the task, he visits a local bookstore and lets his feathered fingers do the walking through the latest issue of (wait for it) Deadly Feet of Kung Fu. Scanning the mag’s pulse-pounding pages, he finds that for which he was seeking: an ad page for a martial arts school that promises it can reveal – in just mere minutes – the "Secrets of Kung Fu!" It's an extraordinary offer, one that Howard soon learns is almost too good to be true. Or is it?

[Credit: Marvel Comics] 

Because I don't want to spoil all of the fun, suffice to say that Howard the Duck #3 offers a cool time capsule of a bygone era that still feels somehow quite familiar. As is true of so many comics that were published "back in the day," you won't even need to know what happened in the first or second issue to enjoy it––this one-n-done story stands alone. But it also stands head and shoulders over what anyone who's never read an issue of this classic series might expect from something titled Howard the Duck. 

As a reader and collector of some two-dozen or so semi-random issues of this title over the years, I still found myself 'marveling' over how intelligently this tale was written by the always-acerbic Steve Gerber. And it reinforced for me that too-little-known legend of Marvel co-founder, Stan Lee, making it a point to not write down to young readers, and encouraging the writers in the Marvel bullpen to make ample use of college level vocab.

With that geeky factoid firmly in mind, I would suggest that you keep a dictionary handy for the ten-cent words you'll come across in this book. And don't be surprised when you hear yourself murmuring aloud something along the lines of "Whoa! Or "Wow!" when the astounding tale told in Howard the Duck #3 comes to its climactic conclusion. 

'Nuff said. (Unless you want to continue the discussion in the comments section below.)


[Press-N-Play®] 'Drummer Man' by The Brady Kids is the secret weapon that break beat DJs need


You know, I don't remember the tunes on the The Brady Kids cartoon going H.A.M. like this. I hardly recall there being a Brady-related 'toon at all, actually. But there was one, and the unbelievably funky "Drummer Man," sung by the very familiar sounding TV show cast members, is the last track on the b-side of the 1972 vinyl record (and 8-track tape) release, The Kids from the Brady Bunch.

And if I were a deejay, "Drummer Man" is a song that would be in my arsenal as a secret weapon–for b-boy battles, especially. The intro and the break on this are pretty insane, and the guitarist is workin' that wah-wah pedal to d-e-a-t-h. It's also short and sweet, too, clocking in at just over two minutes. That fact alone calls for double copies, right? 

Yup, that's why I should've been born a deejay, or why I'll prolly be one in my next life. Dancers would be rocked and shocked by all the classic and obscure jams in my (presently non-existent) record crate. So in the meantime, until I'm reincarnated as 'DJ Thulsa Doom,' I'll have to be sure that my deejay pals give "Drummer Man" by The Brady Kids a listen. Non-turntablist types can download if desired by doing so below.

See related: Finger 5 - "I Want You Back"