Welcome to the tenth Comic Book Coffee collection. I’ve been posting these daily in the Comic Book Historians group on Facebook. The challenge was to see how many different pencilers I could find artwork by featuring coffee. I’m hoping to do 100 of these entries on FB, which means we’re halfway there.
46) Frank Miller & Klaus Janson
Here’s a coffee-drinking cover, courtesy of penciler Frank Miller and inker Klaus Janson. This is for Amazing Spider-Man Annual #15, written by Denny O’Neil, lettered by Jim Novak, and colored by Bob Sharon, published by Marvel Comics in September 1981.
I know sometimes covers are designed by people other than the credited penciler, although I cannot find any info to that effect for this one. Regardless, whether it was Frank Miller himself or someone else, this is an incredibly striking image. The reader is seeing through the eyes of Doctor Octopus as he drinks his morning coffee and reads the Daily Bugle’s account of the latest battle between Spider-Man and the Punisher.
In the last couple of decades, what with the proliferation of ninjas, prostitutes, racism and Goddamn Batmen in his stories, it is easy to forget what made Miller such a well-regarded creator in the first place. Looking through this Annual recently, I was reminded what an absolutely incredible storyteller he can be. Miller’s layouts for this story are astonishing. He does a hell of a job showing Doctor Octopus making full, creative, deadly use of his mechanical tentacles.
The inks / finishes by Klaus Janson in this Annual are very effective. Janson’s inking has always been wonderfully well-suited to creating moody atmospheres. His artistic collaborations with Miller, here and on the ongoing Daredevil series, are certainly well-regarded.
47) Michele Witchipoo
Here’s a page from the Psycho Bunny story “Summer of COVID19” written & drawn by Michele Witchipoo, which is currently on Webtoon.
Psycho Bunny is a misanthropic, foul-mouthed, alcoholic rabbit who lives in Queens, NYC. He been featured in a series of self-published comic books created by Witchipoo over the past 15 years. This latest story sees Psycho Bunny dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, and the accompanying insanity, in his own rage-filled way.
On this page Psycho Bunny is at his job at Any Company Inc, stuck listening to his annoying co-worker Bill the Badger, who thinks COVID-19 is a hoax. Glancing around to make sure the coast is clear, Psycho Bunny slips out an airplane bottle…
“The manager isn’t around. Gonna sneak some booze into this shitty coffee.”
Yes, Michele is my girlfriend. I may be biased, but I think she is a very talented artist. She has self-published a number of comic books, and her work has been included in several small press anthologies. Michele’s illustrations were first published in 2010 by MTV Press.
“Psycho Bunny: Summer of COVID19” can be viewed at the link below. Stay tuned for future installments.
48) Al Milgrom & Joe Sinnott
Avengers #246, penciled by Al Milgrom, inked by Joe Sinnott, written by Roger Stern, lettered by Jim Novak, and colored by Christie Scheele, published by Marvel Comics with an August 1984 cover date.
Al Milgrom shows off his strong storytelling chops on this page featuring the Vision and the Scarlet Witch. Inking is by Joe Sinnott, his third appearance in this Comic Book Coffee series. For many years Sinnott was a much in-demand embellisher at Marvel. I enjoyed the work Milgrom and Sinnott did together. They were a solid art team.
During a meeting at the White House, the Vision attempts to convince the President that the Avengers should report directly to the Oval Office. This is all part of the Vision’s plan for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to gain more power & responsibility, with the final secret goal of the Vision himself assuming control of the world.
The Vision now seeks to establish himself as a “man of the people” with whom the public is comfortable. In order to make his profile more public, he and the Scarlet Witch are returning to New York not by Avengers Quinjet but by commercial airliner.
To the Scarlet Witch’s surprise, the Vision orders drinks from the stewardess. “My wife will have tea with lemon, and I’ll take coffee… cream, no sugar!” This prompts another passenger to remark, “’Ey, how about that? The Vizh takes his coffee the same way I do!” A satisfied Vision thinks to himself “Perfect! Just the reaction I wanted!” Yep, the Vision certainly understands him human psychology!
All of this leaves the Scarlet Witch bewildered. “He never drinks coffee! What is going on?” I don’t know if Roger Stern intended this to be a deliberate reference, but this scene always reminds me of the 1980 disaster parody movie Airplane!
49) Frank Turner & Bill Black
Femforce #44, penciled & inked by Frank Turner, written by Bill Black, and lettered by Tim Twonky, published by AC Comics in December 1991.
Let’s take another look at Femforce. Having been exposed to a flawed version of the chemical compound that originally gave Ms. Victory her powers, the Femforce team leader was transformed into the anti-social bad girl Rad. Breaking away from Femforce, Rad led a wild, hedonistic lifestyle.
Rad recently lost a bundle in Atlantic City, and so reluctantly agrees to create a youth formula for a wealthy woman who promises to pay her a fortune. What Rad does not realize is that the elderly lady and her assistant are actually Lady Luger and Fritz Von Voltzman, who she fought as Ms. Victory back during World War II. The Nazi war criminals are plotting to duplicate the chemical, and they slip Rad a drugged cup of coffee to incapacitate her.
Frank Turner got his start in the mid 1980s working for black & white independent companies Graphik Publikations, Eternity and Malibu. In the early 1990s he drew a number of stories for AC Comics, as well as a few jobs for Millenium Publications, doing some very nice work at both companies. I certainly liked the art he did for Femforce. Turner then worked for Marvel between 1992 and 1994 as an inker on several different titles.
Following the mid-1990s implosion in comic books Turner reportedly worked for Sony Animation in California for a period of times, after which he moved back to his native Birmingham, AL. Unfortunately he passed away in 2008 at the much too young age of 47.
50) Khary Randolph & Rich Perotta
New Mutants volume 2 #13 penciled by Khary Randolph, inked by Rich Perotta, written by Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir, lettered by Dave Sharpe, and colored by Ian Hannin & Rob Ro, published by Marvel Comics with a June 2004 cover date.
The second New Mutants series saw the original team becoming teachers and Xavier’s School, instructing a new generation of young mutants in the use of their powers & abilities. This final issue of volume two served as a bookend to the debut of the New Mutants in Marvel Graphic Novel #4 two decades earlier.
Donald Pierce, the cyborg terrorist who was the original team’s very first adversary way back when, has returned. Pierce and his new team of mutant-hating Reavers arrive in Salem Center NY planning to eliminate Josh Foley, a teenager who worked with them before he learned he was a mutant, along with any other students at Xavier’s School that they can set their sights on.
Encountering Cannonball, Mirage, Karma, Wolfbane and Sunspot, the original line-up, a bloodthirsty Pierce gloats that the last time they met he nearly killed them. However, this time the former students handily defeat Pierce and the Reavers, showing just how much they’ve grown in the years since.
DeFilippis & Weir do a good job with the downtime scenes that were a hallmark of the original series. Prior to Pierce’s attack, the reunited original class head to The Grind Stone coffee shop to touch base and catch up. Sunspot, the incurable ladies man Roberto DaCosta, just cannot help flirting with Luna, an attractive barista at The Grind Stone, leading Karma to playfully slap him upside the head. Randolph & Perotta do a wonderful job illustrating the fun, comedic moments of this scene.