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Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Not much to report tonight. I just wanted to post this awesome cover to Charlton's THE PHANTOM #33 that I came across last week after the death of acclaimed comic book artist Jim Aparo. Charlton was a small comic book company located in Derby, Connecticut and was notable for having its entire operation located within its facility. Everything from the writers and artists who created the comics to the printing presses to the trucks that drove the finished comics to the stores came right out of that Derby facility. Aparo got his start at Charlton around 1966, and really made his bones in the superhero realm with his atmospheric work on THE PHANTOM, as you can see here. His experience on THE PHANTOM served him well when he began illustrating moody stories at DC Comics in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, ADVENTURE COMICS, AQUAMAN and THE PHANTOM STRANGER, among others. Aparo pencilled, inked and lettered the marvelous cover you see here, as well as one of the stories inside the book.

Cheeseburger and Shark Hunter officially left their Champaign digs behind tonight and hit the road for their new house in Oak Park. I managed to stop by and say goodbye--again--and then received a very short surprise from Cheeseburger tonight, just as Grady, Chicken and I were enjoying the Michelle Bauer chainsaw dance in SCREAM QUEEN HOT TUB PARTY (don't ask). It's a compliment to Cheeseburger that we were almost as excited to see her one last time than we were to see a topless Michelle Bauer slinging a chainsaw. Almost.

Before that, the three of us watched THE INVISIBLE MANIAC, one of the tapes I picked up at the That's Rentertainment sale. I would ordinarily have had little interest in watching it (in spite of Joe Bob Briggs' official count of 39 breasts, including those of well-known B-movie actress Melissa Moore, a Crappy Movie Night favorite), but Chicken has been talking about how awesome it is almost since he first began attending Crappy Movie Night. I just happened to see it on the shelf the other day and grabbed it just for him. First off, boo to the cheapskates at Republic Home Video; they recorded the feature at EP speed and the image looks like shit. The movie does indeed have a lot of nudity to go with the bad acting and limited special effects. THE INVISIBLE MANIAC isn't what anyone would defend as "good", not even fans of director Adam Rifkin/"Rif Coogan", but it's easy to see why drunken friends hanging out together on the couch would like it. It was an entertaining experience, and certainly the first time I ever saw a fight scene between two invisible people.

Tomorrow will probably be a long day at work, since it's my last before vacation. I'm taking next week off, and looking forward to it, even though I don't have much planned. Friday, Saturday and Sunday of next week, I'll be in Chicago at the annual Wizard World comic book convention. My brother, our friend Mitch and I attend just about every year; I think I have missed two or three in the last 11 or 12 years. Sometimes we go for a day, sometimes for the entire weekend. This year, we got a room at the nearby Hyatt, which attaches to the convention center, meaning an easy walk back and forth without battling traffic or the weather. It should be a terrific time. If any of you expect to be attending Wizard World this year, let me know and perhaps we can get together.

Posted by Marty at 11:34 PM CDT
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