Friday, March 28, 2008

Shirtless Saturday - Ranma & Ryoga

ranma-ryogaIf you already know the story of Ranma 1/2, you know that this scene is a crucial one in the long-term development of the character, and nekkidity is absolutely essential to the story. No, really.

If you don't know the story, well... Buckle in, this will take a sec. Ranma is a teenaged boy who sometimes turns into a girl. That's girl-type Ranma above left. (It's magic, something about falling into the cursed Pool of Drowned Girl.) Above right is Ryoga, Ranma's martial-arts rival, who was at the cursed springs at about the same time (tracking Ranma). Due to Ranma's rambunctious training exercises, Ryoga also fell into the cursed spring -- but in his case, the Pool of Drowned Piglet.

Anyway, the scene above is the critical moment in which Ranma learns that his fiancee's new pet piglet P-chan is actually his rival Ryoga -- and Ryoga learns that the idiot girl who caused him to fall into the spring is the same Ranma he was following all along. And he thought he hated Ranma before.

As any fan will confirm, I've left out a lot.

The first American publication of the manga was flopped horizontally, so that action flows from left to right to conform to left-to-right English. I've flopped it back and reversed the word balloons, so that the panel appears as originally drawn -- and more closely resembles the anime version of this same scene, as you can see.

Incidentally, there's absolutely no mention anywhere, in either medium, of the color of girl-Ranma's hair. No one ever acknowledges that it turns red. It probably wasn't supposed to: The animators did it to make her a more visually distinctive character.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Now hold on just a Gingold-guzzlin' minute here...

Batman and the Outsiders #4You mean to tell me that this couple -- these folks we've never seen before, but who know Alfred and where "the house" is, an who Batman would "know anywhere"...

You mean they really are...?Batman and the Outsiders #5
Well, I'll be superamalgamated.

No explanation, just "Yep, we sure are dead. We don't look like us, and we don't even look like we looked last issue, and we are dead as dead can be, but here we are. Mysterious, isn't it. But it's true, Batman says so, and he's never wrong, except about that whole Brother Eye thing. So, how you been?"

Somebody's nose should be twitching, all right.

Disclosure: I edited the second panel, borrowing dialogue from the panel just before it, because it seems that DC has forgotten how to do a Dramatic Reveal. Don't they know the characters only say their own names in conjunction with a full-face portrait? Isn't this cast of characters confusing enough without having characters that intentionally don't look the same from issue to issue?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Shirtless Saturday - Buffy and Satsu

Of course, over at Dark Horse lovers do get nekkid.

That sound you hear is the thunder created by hundreds of thousands of fanfics spontaneously combusting, accompanied by the weeping of their authors. And as many more authors crying, "Yes!"

(From Buffy Season Eight #12.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Shirtless Saturday - Renee Montoya and friend

Yes, in the DC universe, only heterosexual lovers actually get naked with each other. Actually, I suppose if the ghost of Mort Weisinger had anything to do with it, nobody would get naked in the DC universe. I mean, even Superman wore jammies. Yes, with his uniform under them, of course, just in case.

What's that? Mort Who? Never mind. Old joke. I doubt that anything that happend in 52 would have happened if he were still around.

Anyway, here's Renee Montoya, barely recognizable from her origins in Batman: The Animated Series, cuddling with... with... Darn, did we ever find out who that is? She calls Renee by name several times when she starts shooting at their intruder (Vic Sage, aka The Question), but Renee never does call her name. Ah, well. Life's rough in the Old Supporting Characters' Home. We don't see her again, anyway.

Maybe she's Lucy Lane. That would explain a lot about Lucy's relationship with Jimmy Olsen.

(From 52 #2.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dave Stevens

by Dave StevensJuly 29, 1955 - March 10, 2008

MORE: I won't try to keep up with the outpouring of grief and respect from the comics community, but I would be remiss not to link to Heidi MacDonald and Mark Evanier.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Shirtless Saturday - Princess Diana of Themyscira

Justice League New Frontier Special
Why is it that so many writers can spend so many years struggling with Wonder Woman's role in the DC comics "trinity", but Darwyn Cooke can nail it in 24 pages?

This isn't it, of course. This is just a thin excuse to have her remove her top.

Well, that's OK too.

[From Justice League New Frontier Special #1.]