Monday, April 21, 2014

Milton Bradley-1955

Slightly before my time here but many of these games survived into my childhood and beyond. I never actually had any, though, until we ended up buying CANDY LAND for David in the 1990s!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Country Stars

Although I was never a big country music fan, this 1950s picture features a number of performers I liked growing up. 
Country comedienne Minnie Pearl was a TV favorite who I actually got to see in person at a Bob Hope charity show in the 1970s.

Ferlin Husky starred in HILLBILLYS IN A HAUNTED HOUSE which I saw in a theater with my parents when it opened. We later met a man at a Greyhound station down south who claimed to BE Ferlin Husky after a night of drinking and my Dad bought him breakfast. Was it him? Kind of looked like him but we'll never know.

In 1969, Johnny Cash had somehow become one of the hippest dudes on TV and his wife June Carter began to be prominently featured on his TV series. I loved their duets.

Stringbean was a revered country comic by the time he appeared as an original regular on HEE HAW. It hit me hard when he was murdered while the show was still on the air.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Booksteve Reviews: Ro-Busters-The Disaster Squad of Distinction

Back in the 1980s, when I was reading Britain's 2000AD as regularly as possible, one of my favorite series was ABC WARRIORS which, in time, I found out was a spin-off of another series called RO-BUSTERS.

RO-BUSTERS began not in 2000AD but in a mag I never saw called STARLORD. It was originally created and written by the prolific Pat Mills and featured art from, amongst others, future superstar comics artists on both sides of the Atlantic, Dave Gibbons, Steve Dillon, Bryan Talbot and Kev O'Neill.

The series was set in a future where sentient robots were used for everything from war to housecleaning and, in fact, its protagonists were a retired garbage droid, "Ro-Jaws" and a retired military droid, Hammerstein. It was the adventures of Hammerstein, with his original head, that made up ABC WARRIORS. Here we saw the musically named duo "in retirement" and yet recruited to head up a special task force for handling disasters.

This volume has all of the serialized original stories from the first few years, up to and including a couple of one-off tales from Alan Moore! The adventures are exciting and well-told but never without a sharp satirical bent. Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein at times make up a comedy duo on the level of Laurel and Hardy.

If you're a fan of JUDGE DREDD or the 2000AD classics, I can't recommend this title enough.

Thanks to Net Galley for getting me a review copy!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What Makes Jerry Lewis Go?-1957

This past week as I write this, the one and only Jerry Lewis did a live, controversial Q &A onstage. Love him or hate him, now, as then, Jerry Lewis is a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment world. Here's a vintage article I found buried inside a PD 1957 girly mag available at RETROSPACE   It's from just after the breakup with Dean and is much more interesting with the benefit of hindsight than it was even at the time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sinatra, The Philadelphia Freedom Award and Me

I spotted this shot online today. As the caption says, it's Frank Sinatra receiving the Philadelphia Freedom Award on the 4th of July, 1977 at Independence Hall. 

What the picture does NOT show is that I was there! I was 18 years old and had talked my parents into coming with me to the Annual Phil Seuling Comic Book Art Convention, normally held in New York City but that year held in Philadelphia for various reasons. The holiday weekend event was at a hotel only a few blocks from Independence Hall and early on the morning of the 4th, we had wandered down there looking the city over a bit. We ran into the ceremony about to start and stood toward the back of the relatively small crowd that was there. Maybe a couple hundred people. 

Frankie didn't sing that day but he spoke eloquently and led the crowd in The Pledge of Allegiance. Then it was back to the Con!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Congrats to Vivek Tiwary and Andrew Robinson!

Special congrats to Vivek Tiwary and Andrew Robinson whose already phenomenally successful graphic novel, THE FIFTH BEATLE (of which we were one of the first to review!) has now been nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award in not one but TWO categories, "Best Reality-Based Work" & "Best Painter/Multimedia Artist," to be presented in July at SDCC! Booksteve recommends!