Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Wrap-Up/100,000th Visitor

Here's a look at BookDave in all his face-painted glory as a relative of Jack Skellington. As expected, we did a few blocks up and a few blocks back, then he gave out his candy and went inside where we attempted with varying degrees of success to remove his makeup. Ahem. Anyway, he ended up playin video games whilst his mother and myself attended the little beggars that just...kept...COMING! Counted 12 Spider-Men (about half in the black costume), lots of little dragons, a number of dead cheerleaders and way too many overage princesses (that looked more like teenage "working girls"). Surprisingly, we only had two Harry Potters...and they were both together!

On another note, at some time in the next 24 hours this blog receive its 100,000th visit! Wow! Sure a lot of folks come here looking for Linda Blair au natural but from the looks of things lately, a lot of them like what they see! Thanks, everyone! Coming soon there's more Linda Blair, more weird comics, more badly costumed heroes and a major announcement concerning our project on the late Christa Helm!

Tips are never required but always appreciated!

Halloween Memories

As a child in the early sixties, I enjoyed the dressing up and the anticipation more than the event of Halloween itself. In fact, I rarely even ate much of the candy! I recall my mother dragging me from door to door in bitter cold October winds with a coat over my costume. At each house, I'd doff the coat like a little flasher, whisper "trickertreat!" through chattering teeth and then after getting my swag scurry back to mom waiting at the gate as I struggled to get my coat back on.

Of course, this was the era where the old razor blades in the apples rumors (never substantiated as I understand it!) began and, at least around here, society's reaction was to move Halloween to the nearest bright, sunny Sunday afternoon. Thus for several years kids bizarrely canvassed their neighborhoods throughout midday for candy and treats!

I usually went for the Ben Cooper costumes, even then the brand name thing working on me. In 1965 I was an astronaut, in '66 I was Batman (and who wasn't?). Superman and the Incredible Hulk followed. Then Spider-Man and Archie Andrews! Then, for some reason I thought I'd outgrown the holiday so one year in the early seventies, I had no costume! What to do? What to do? Well, I simply combined my leftover Spider-Man costume with my leftover Superman cape and my leftover Archie mask! But of course!

Outside of one Cub Scout event circa 1967, the only Halloween party I ever attended was in 1981 and I was dressed all in black as a masked burglar. The last photo my mother--who died of cancer a little over a month later-- ever took of me was wearing that costume. There were a couple of kids there but this was basically a grown-up party with alcohol and even a few suspicious herbs being shared around by the hostess (8 months pregnant and costumed as a virgin bride). It was really the last time I'd bother with Halloween.

Except, of course, at work. Every year someone suggested that we all dress up for Halloween and on those years where it was approved, I went along. One girl from England came wearing normal clothes but with her green card pinned to her shirt. "I'm an alien!" she announced proudly. My future wife also preferred the pun-like costumes, once wearing a gypsy outfit with a goblet on her head--"Peasant under glass." My own most memorable costume during that period was a hastily pulled together version of Grant Morrison's ZENITH!

Then along came my son, BookDave, a Halloween baby born as he was late this month in 1996. At a week old, we carried him around the neighborhood in a Mickey Mouse costume showing him off as our treat! He even got some Tootsie Rolls which...ahem...I ate.

Since then, he's embraced Halloween as his favorite holiday and has dressed up as a Spider, Harry Potter, a Knight and a vampire. He's developed his own unusual style, though. We go down one or two blocks and he politely gathers candy. Then we rush back through the oncoming throngs (we're on the Halloween route!) of kids to our own front porch where he proceeds to give out all of his recently procured candy to other trick-or-treaters! From time to time (since he was three) he will pat the smaller kids on the head and say "Cute costume!" When he's given out his own loot he retires back into the living room to play video games leaving his mother and myself to hand out what's left of the ridiculously expensive and never quite enough candy we've purchased on sale earlier in the day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

David Mack and Kabuki

David Mack lives about twenty minutes away from me and I have it on good authority that we've met...before he was David Mack. Chosen by a local newspaper some years ago as one of several "most likely to succeed" students, he is clearly not wasting that faith. His paintings (seen at the Official David Mack Website) are exquisite. His DAREDEVIL run actually made fanboys kinda forget about Frank least for a bit. Now I hear he's got a new children's book! And then there's KABUKI, his Magnum Opus. A couple of years back, he donated a run of his KABUKI graphic novels to the local public library and I'm sorry to say that I am only NOW getting around to reading them. Seen here, his very first is already a polished piece of work with solid storytelling and an embryonic version of his ever-growing, ever changing art style. The story has a vaguely BLADE RUNNER meets THE CROW as written by Neil Gaiman feel to it with its look at a unique female assassin in a near future Japan but if that makes it sound derivitive, it really isn't. No less an innovator than Jim Steranko provides a gushy introduction to this volume. Mack himself quickly begins to redefine comics storytelling and innovate in his own right throughout this and the subsequent volumes.

I might have met David Mack but I've never really met David Mack. I MAY finally get to meet him next month as he's scheduled to appear at Mid-Ohio-Con - Serving Comic Book & Pop Culture FUN Since 1980! .

The jury's still out, however, on whether I'LL finally be able to attend after all these years. If you haven't dropped a tip in the ol' PAYPAL tip box lately whilst visiting my Library, this would be a good time to do so if you like what you see! If I go, I promise a full report!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Movies That Fell Through the Cracks # 30

1938's THE LADY VANISHES has been one of my favorite Hitchcock films ever since I saw it at a big screen revival in the late seventies. Today's movie is not THAT movie. This 1979 THE LADY VANISHES remake never played around here so I never saw it. If it's available on DVD I've never seen that either. At best, it seems ill-advised as it always does when one remakes a classic for no apparent reason.

Credited on IMDB as being the LAST Hammer film of that company's long original existance, the picture's pedigree is good. The script is by George Axelrod who wrote, amongst other screenplays, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS as well as wrote and directed the darkly brilliant LORD LOVE A DUCK! Anthony Page, who helmed the great TV movie THE MISSLES OF OCTOBER, directed. Cinematography was from Douglas Slocombe whose career dated almost back to the original and who went on to do the Indiana Jones movies!

The cast is equally good if a bit eclectic. Elliott Gould had always been an unlikely leading man with his East Coast ethnic look and feel and yet he'd pulled it off thoughout the decade since 1970's M*A*S*H. Nearing the end of his glory days here for whatever reason, he was still putting out winners such as the same year's THE SILENT PARTNER with Christopher Plummer's truly evil Santa Claus! Still a few years away from coming into her comic own with MOONLIGHTING, beautiful Cybill Shepherd is the film's leading lady. Ian Carmichael and Arthur Lowe take on the comedy relief roles. These had been played so Britishly in the original by Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne that the beloved pair went on to appear as the same characters in other pictures! Herbert Lom (so funny in the PINK PANTHER films) also appears.

In the pivotal role of "Miss Froy," the title "lady who vanishes," is quintessential sweet little old lady Angela Lansbury (so unforgettably dark in Axelrod's MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE). From what I understand the film was shot on a real train on real locations and looks quite good. The IMDB reviews from those who've seen it are mixed at best. Still, it sounds promising...if in the end all rather pointless.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Justin Green!

Here's a brand spanking new 4 page color comic strip, NIGHT AT THE CREATION MUSEUM, by legendary Underground cartoonist Justin Green (in collaboration with his award-winning wife Carol Tyler and Greg Martini). One of the seminal artists of the movement, Green is probably still best known for BINKY BROWN MEETS THE HOLY VIRGIN MARY. A few years back he settled in Cincinnati of all places and here at the Library we wrote previously of my encounter with him.

This piece is from the current issue of CINCINNATI MAGAZINE and is shown in full here for fans who simply don't have access to this regional publication. If you're in Southern Ohio or Northern Kentucky, I recommend you go buy this month's issue for much better reproduction.

For those unfamiliar with the Creation Museum, it's a recently opened, controversial religious enterprise that "teaches" a history that contradicts much of what you've been taught. In this version of the story, for example, the world is only a few thousand years old and dinosaurs once lived with man. (In fact, one of the guys working on the museum told me a few years ago that God MAY have simply created dinosur BONES without dinosaurs themselves ever having existed at all! When asked what the logic of that would have been, I was greeted with the old "Ours is not to reason why...!")

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Eisneresque Simon and Kirby

Here's a fascinating splash page from...well, actually, I don't recall. I scanned this some time ago. It's a fifties crime story by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, though. As all comics fans know, Simon and Kirby pioneered a number of concepts from the patriotic super hero to kid gangs to double page splashes. In their rough hewn way, they were sort of the John Ford of the comics medium. Meanwhile, Will Eisner--let's call him the Orson Welles of the medium-- was pioneering more adult stories and unique splash pages. Here, then, is a rare and unusual chance to see Simon and Kirby clearly and intentionally aping Will Eisner's techniques!

Friday, October 26, 2007

This Looks Like a Job For...

Looong day today but I came home to find a fun new site! Mail It To Team-Up had a link to a cool "work in progress" site called The Speeding Bullet which archives SUPERMAN newspaper strips! Much of what they have right now are samples with some years still all together empty but the layout is good and what IS present is a treasure trove of little-seen SUPERMAN artwork! Especially interesting, of course, are the ones that go beyond the Kitchen Sink reprints from a few years back! There's even a segment on the seventies WORLD'S GREATEST SUPER HEROES strip that I meticulously clipped out at the time (and which was covered earlier on this blog!). The only problem I have is the reproduction of the strips could use a little tweaking. Seen here is a segment from a newspaper origin story that I tweaked myself!

Although still credited to Siegel and Shuster, the art here is clearly by Wayne Boring who's actually credited on some of the daily strips. Writing MIGHT be Jerry.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Badly Costumed Super Hero of the Week-Captain Freedom

Courtesy of Harvey's SPEED COMICS, Captain Freedom was yet another patriotic hero of the WWII era...only this one was apparently colorblind as he obviously got that whole "red, white and blue" thing a tad off. I mean, yellow? Yellow?!! And seriously, what was up with the whole bare-legged look with these guys?

Okay, it worked for Robin but newsflash, guys--ROBIN WAS TWELVE!! Grow up! To paraphrase the film MYSTERY MEN, put some pants on if you wish to continue fighting crime! Jeez!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Captain Marvel's Half-Century Fair-1950

Here’s an atypical scene from a most unusual 1950 CAPTAIN MARVEL adventure. Seems Cap convinces station WHIZ to co-sponser a Mid-Century Fair but that evil ol’ Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana makes a supreme effort to stop the massive event. He, of course, fails and in the end we see this unusual gathering of "the greatest living Americans of today from all walks of life." And what a bunch they are, too!
Harry S Truman-then President of the US (even on Earth-Fawcett)
Ernest Hemingway-overrated author
Grandma Moses-primitive artist
Joe Louis-legendary African-American prize fighter (a long way from Billy’s valet "Steamboat!")
Herbert Hoover-former US President
David Sarnoff-founder of NBC
Eugene O’Neill-playwright
Arturo Toscaninni- conductor
William Green-labor leader who led the AFL
Arthur ???-Anybody?
Walter Winchell-gossip columnist (Hmm. Famous but what’s so great about him?)
Irving Berlin-one of the great songwriters of the century
William Boyd-Hoppy!!! Gives you an idea just exactly how big Hopalong Cassidy was at that time!
Bing Crosby-notoriously bad race horse trainer
Louis B Mayer-With what we know now about how he ran MGM he might have been arrested!
Jackie Robinson-the baseball player who symbolically eliminated the color line.
Clark Gable-on the downside of his career by this point but at one time the "King" of Hollywood
Chas E Wilson-businessman and soon to be Secretary of Defense
Marian Anderson-legendary opera singer
Henry Ford II-son of Henry Ford I, his legacy eventually led to the piece of junk I call a car.
Bernard Baruch-financier and advisor to Presidents
Frank Lloyd Wright-Architect made famous in a song by Paul Simon (amongst other things)
Albert Einstein-Famous physicist and reputed idol of Marilyn Monroe
Gen Eisenhower-the future president who won the war and doesn’t even merit his first name?
Eleanor Roosevelt-beloved former First Lady and unofficial (?) world ambassador
John L Lewis-labor leader who co-founded the CIO (Note he was NOT seated near AFL’s Green)
Robert Taft- US Senator from Ohio and multiple year loser for the Republican Presidential nomination
Oh, and with no reason whatsoever to believe so, I think the shadow guy over the letters n-i-t in the word "united" in the second panel is comedian/humanitarian Eddie Cantor and the two gentlemen together to his right are Stan and Ollie!
Great Americans all! Hope the next half century went well on Earth-Fawcett. Hmmm…wonder if they got the flying cars and jetpacks we were expecting.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Roy Rogers Belts, Wallets and Suspenders

Here's a great ad from the Cowboy King! Roy Rogers was as big as they come from the late 1940's through the late 1950's. As a child in the early sixties, Roy's TV series was still in regular reruns so the former Leonard Slye (born in Cincinnati!) was an early hero of mine, also! As late as the mid-sixties, I remember that the only school tablets I wanted were the ones you could STILL find with Roy and Trigger on 'em!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 13

Hmmm...All I can say about this wartime BLUE BEETLE panel is, "Quick! To the Beetlemobile!"

Friday, October 19, 2007

Jonathan Frid Gay?

For the guy (or guys?) who keep stumbling on my blog by typing "Jonathan Frid Gay?" in Google, here's a DARK SHADOWS comic book panel (by Joe Certa) I couldn't resist lifting from this week's extra-long edition of DIAL B for BLOG - THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMIC BLOGAZINE in which the inimitable Robby Reed covers DS in various forms (with only the misspelling of LARA Parker's name to keep it from being perfect!).

Great Horror Movies by Favius Friedman

You know you’ve been blogging for awhile when you can’t recall whether or not you’ve already blogged about something and you’re too lazy to check. This book, GREAT HORROR MOVIES (1974) is another one of those Scholastic Book Club titles that were sold in schools. It’s author, Favius Friedman, was a bestselling writer of these, compiling volumes on mythology, history, music, movies and more. This particular one is actually quite a good overview of the horror genre to that point, just as it was about to change forever with films like THE EXORCIST, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The new horror films from that point brought both a heightened sense of reality and a heightened level of violence—not always in the same picture. Old style horror films became more and more the objects of ridicule and parody. This book, however, celebrates them and rightly so. Not just the classics, either. From THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI through the Universal monster movies and the fifties sci-fi thrillers, Friedman looks almost dispassionately at his subject. His coverage of 1960’s THE LOST WORLD (unlikely to be "great" in most people’s books) mentions that real lizards were used as the dinosaurs because stop-motion animation would have made the film too expensive to shoot. Hmmm…okay, first of all everybody laughs at those ludicrous lizards rear-projected! We did as kids! They simply are NOT dinosaurs! Second of all, did anyone CALL Ray Harryhausen for gosh sakes? I mean, this was a remake of his mentor Willis O’Brien’s original silent version. You can’t tell me he wouldn’t have found some way to make it work, y’know?

Bottom line—if you see this or any other books by the author at a used bookstore or a garage sale, don’t expect much but get ‘em anyway. They’re just good, basic books to have in any library.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Movies That Fell Through the Cracks # 29

Not long after Bruce Lee’s death, ENTER THE DRAGON’S Producer Fred Weintraub reunited with director Robert Clouse and composer Lalo Schifrin (as well as co-star Jim Kelly) to bring the world 1974's GOLDEN NEEDLES starring…wait for it…Joe Don Baker?! When I say "bring the world" let me add that MY little part of the world never got it at all until it finally turned up on television a few years later which is when this ad appeared.
While everything coalesced so perfectly in their previous effort, here it all seems rushed and uninteresting. The outlandish plot deals with a missing statue acupunctured by long needles in such a way that, if done to a male, acts as a kind of Super Viagra (or as the ad says, "bestows extraordinary powers."). If done the least bit wrong however, it acts more like fast-acting cyanide. Joe Don as a big, stumbling American in Hong Kong, is hired to find the statue and an uneasy mix of martial arts, THE MALTESE FALCON and John Wayne-style heroics ensues.
The bizarre cast included one of my least favorite actresses, Elizabeth Ashley, along with old veterans Burgess Meredith (just pre-ROCKY) and Ann Sothern (still a few years away from THE WHALES OF AUGUST).
Not only haven’t I seen this flick since, I’m not even certain that I remained awake through it all on television that night!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Badly Costumed Super Hero of the Week-V Man

This patriotic flasher appeared in Golden Age BLUE BEETLE comics...looking for all the world as though he simply forgot to put on his trousers that morning. I used to have a pair of striped briefs like those. Maybe he should change his name from V Man to Y Front Man. Just a thought.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Collage # 4-Not Mine!

Yeah, I didn't do this one but I found its eclectic mix of highly collectible Marvels, BLB's, TV GUIDES and THE ADVENTURES OF BIG BOY (!) to be quite enjoyable. It came from a late eighties issue of CHICAGO MAGAZINE that featured an article about that year's ChicagoCon. I've got the article somewhere in the archives but this collage really is the best part!

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Films of Errol Flynn

Last night on TCM, I watched FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK, an Errol Flynn comedy that I had long wanted to see. A lighthearted mystery, the picture surrounded the handsome actor with a veteran cast of scene stealers including Alan Hale, Bill Frawley, Allen Jenkins and Roscoe Karns. Leading lady was Brenda Marshall whom host Robert Osborne took great pains to say was NOT "romanced" by Flynn (Oh, SHE was the one!).
One of the great early books that founded our Library here was Citadel’s THE FILMS OF ERROL FLYNN. This 1969 book, featuring an introduction by the actor’s former co-star Greer Garson, came just ten years after his death and offered a good overview of his career and a non-sensationalized look at the ups and downs of his hedonistic life.
I discovered Flynn one Sunday afternoon in the mid-seventies via an unexpected airing of CAPTAIN BLOOD, his seminal swashbuckler. I remember thinking that this guy was great! Good-looking, funny and tough when he needed to be. Soon afterwards, I discovered him as Robin Hood and I was hooked for life. Flynn excelled in heroic roles whether it be as a pirate, a swordsman, a cowboy (with an unlikely accent), a soldier or a detective. He was, however, also a joy to watch in comedic roles with his expressive face and wry delivery.
He aged quickly, however, due to a life of excess that included messy marriages, lots of substance abuse and accusations of rape that negatively affected his image and his career. By all accounts not above such behavior, the prevailing thought is that he was NOT guilty in the situations for which he was tried and the jury agreed. Nonetheless the expression, "In like Flynn" fell into the public consciousness as an underground "Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink." kind of thing.
His last years were spent struggling for acceptance outside the bottle which he achieved via an acclaimed performance in a character part in THE SUN ALSO RISES. Unfortunately, he died soon after making one of the most self-indulgent pieces of celluloid drek ever, 1959’s CUBAN REBEL GIRLS. In that vanity project (done, according to the book, as a tax write-off), the former swashbuckling hero awkwardly portrays himself as a reporter covering Castro’s revolution in Cuba. His teenage mistress Beverly Aadland (formerly a contestant on YOU BET YOUR LIFE) co-stars and the short waste of film was produced by Flynn’s sometime filmmaking partner (and later pornographer) Barry Mahon.
He died just after I was born. He looked at least a decade older than he was. His posthumous autobiography MY WICKED, WICKED WAYS (no doubt ghostwritten through an alcoholic haze) played on his scandals and subsequent, questionable bios made him out to be a Nazi sympathizer! A sad story, it’s true, but at his heights (and there were many!), nobody then or since played a movie hero as well as Errol Flynn. He turns up on cable quite a bit these days, mostly in his best vehicles. You’d do well to check him out if you aren’t already a fan!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Namor Is That You?

Here’s an interesting find. In this SUB-MARINER story from a 1950’s issue of THE HUMAN TORCH, Prince Namor is humanized a bit more than normal. In fact, artist Bob Powell makes him into a kind of "Tarzan of the Sea," having him carry a knife to fight predators. The biggest changes though come in the fact that his classic pointed ears are rounded off, his triangular face drawn more normally and no wings on his feet! Yes, I know they’re pretty stupid but they ARE supposed to BE there! I wonder if Powell just took it on himself to do this or if this was a directive from above possibly tying in to the rumored SUB-MARINER TV series that was supposedly about to materialize in the fifties (starring actor Richard Egan if I recall).

Mad, Mad Monsters

Thought I'd run this before but I couldn't find it so here 'tis. This is a look at the monster characters from the early seventies SATURDAY SUPERSTAR MOVIE cartoon, MAD, MAD MONSTERS. This was, if I'm recalling correctly ( too lazy to look it up right now) a cell animated sequel to Rankin-Bass' earlier puppet feature film, MAD MONSTER PARTY. SATURDAY SUPERSTAR MOVIE was a cool seventies anthology for kids that offered animated versions of such TV series as THAT GIRL, BEWITCHED and NANNY AND THE PROFESSOR as well as stories featuring baseball legend Willie Mays and a legendarily bad POPEYE hour entitled THE MAN WHO HATED LAUGHTER that guest-starred characters from other comic strips including FLASH GORDON, MANDRAKE and THE PHANTOM!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Shazam!-Grim and Gritty by C.C. Beck

Yesterday, AOL ran a piece on the best airport restaurants in the US. As I work in an airport, I gave it a read and was surprised to find that it was written by Conde-Nast travel writer Joe Brancatelli who was --in an earlier incarnation--an editor for THE MONSTER TIMES and INSIDE COMICS! As I am still immersed in reading the 1940's adventures of Captain Marvel, this all reminded me of the cover of 1974's issue 4 of INSIDE COMICS which featured this "grim and gritty" interpretation by Cap's original artist (who had just left DC's revival in disgust at that point). Strangely, DC apparently took the idea to heart and before the end of the original SHAZAM run had poor Don Newton (himself a big Beck fan who would undoubtedly have preferred not to) doing a musclebound, oh-so-serious version of the Marvel Family. It didn't sell because, to a large extent, Beck's complaints were right. The original Captain Marvel run in the forties and fifties is an almost perfect series. Continuity is not always great but fans didn't really notice or care about that until the sixties. The stories are invariably light but well-told, fun but exciting, beautifully drawn and cleverly written (often by Sci-Fi legend Otto Binder). DC's SHAZAM wasn't bad but it never quite seemed to get it and later floundered around for a new direction that never really came. Subsequent revivals have gone from stillborn to entertaining but unoriginal homages to the current myth-destroying TRIALS OF SHAZAM. Sigh. Guess in the real world the magic lightning only strikes once.

Apparently the publishers of INSIDE COMICS would have had to have paid more for just a little blue and thus Junior's costume on the original was the same red as the others. I've taken the liberty of attempting a quick color correction on my scan.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 12

An awkward moment between cousins in which the Man of Steel is forced to acknowledge a rather personal issue.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Superman Vs the Magic Snake-1983 Ad

Did you see in the news the other day where some guy solved a Rubik's Cube in 10 seconds? Hah! Bet Superman coulda done it in 5! He certainly didn't have any problems with this early eighties Rubik's-like MAGIC SNAKE. I don't recognize the art style at all on this ad that ran in some 1983 DC comics. Hey, I started to mention the name of the store but I never realized how hard it is to talk about a certain toy store when they can't spell their own name properly and my PC won't allow me to spell it their way! I did, by the way, have one of these Snakes but I think I lost interest in it after about ten minutes when I couldn't do a darn thing with it!

The Zombie Mask

With a nod to our own impending Halloween, here's a couple of masks that kids were wearing back in 1950!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Erica Doering

One of my new favorite people is stand-up comic/voiceover artist/actress Erica Doering. Erica stars as the character Compost Brite in Net friend Jerry Beck and Frank Coniff's (TV's Frank!) series of podcast films (available at Cartoon Brew Films) entitled CARTOON DUMP. The four--to date--films feature amusing and somewhat adult parodies of childrens show characters of the sixties and seventies and highlight just awesomely bad cartoons such as CAPTAIN FATHOM!

If you check out Erica at Erica Doering - Voiceovers for Sale you'll find samples of her impressive voiceover work as well as a link to her own blog and some stand-up bits. While I sadly must admit that her comedy bits themselves don't exactly leave me rofl, the glint in her eye, her big smile and her delivery won me over quickly. (Tmi,perhaps but I always love a girl with glasses, too!) Her slice-of-life blog, LIFE AS A HOLLYWOOD NOBODY, is most enjoyable and I wish she would update it more often.

Linda Blair's World Heart Foundation

Wow! 1000 Posts! And they said it wouldn’t last! With 1 out of 5 newbies per day finding my blog by looking up "Linda Blair Nude," "Linda Blair Naked" or "Linda Blair OUI," there was only one logical subject for my milestone post and that was, of course, Linda Blair.
The thing is, and I’ve written this here before, Linda Blair took off her clothes for a few pictures twenty-five years ago and while they’re still fun to look at, she has grown into an savvy, admirable woman who uses her fame (infamy?) to help animals.
My wife and I have a dog that was rescued seven years ago. We had a friend staying with us that summer who was—like Linda Blair—a horse enthusiast and an animal rescuer. One day I got a call at work telling me they’d found this dog running down the street dragging an eight foot length of chain with a chewed-through tether on the end. The poor thing had clearly been abused. His fur was brittle, he had scars all over him and he had what appeared to be frostbite in his ears… in August. I worked until 5:30 that day but I spent much of the afternoon on the phone with one or the other of the two women in my life updating me on this dog. Early on, I began telling them that no, we could NOT keep him! After all, we already had an aging cat (who’s STILL with us btw) as well as the other girl’s 150 lb purebred Pyrenean Mountain Dog!
The girls had informed the police because of the dog’s condition and they had said to post "Found Dog" posters but to note on them that the police had been informed of the animal’s condition. They did just that. By the time I drove home the posters had all been taken down off the telephone poles and were lying in the gutters.
The wounded animal wouldn’t come out of our basement. They had taken to using terms of endearment telling him in baby talk that he was "precious!" The other girl indignantly refused to give him up even if the owners were found and my wife agreed. I know when to give in. We decided to keep him until we found him a home. Now, here, more than seven years later, we have this big, clumsy, macho dog…named "Precious!"
Linda Blair played in THE EXORCIST for a few months more than thirty years ago. She was photographed naked for OUI magazine for a few hours more than twenty-five years ago. Her scandals with sex and drugs are all in the past. In the years since then, she has found her real calling and made a real difference in the lives of thousands of animals and the people who love them! Through her WorldHeart Foundation (Home) she continues to save lives and influence others to do the same. Thank you, Linda, for so much more than the performances and the photographs.
Visit Linda Blair’s MY SPACE page, too, at - Linda Blair - 48 - Female - California -

1000th Post! Linda Blair on KTLA, 2006

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Captain Flash Ad

The Big 3, eh? Sterling Comics? If it wasn't for the fact that this is definitely a real ad, this in-house plug for CAPTAIN FLASH and his friends looks almost faked!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Badly Costumed Super Heroes

Got a request for more badly costumed heroes so here are two from an early Harvey comic called POCKET COMICS. Meet the Zebra and the Red Blazer. Note how the Zebra doffs his shirt in one panel only to decide to wear it as his costume later. Note also how the Red Blazer is not even wearing a blazer!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Make a Wish (Opening and closing)

Tom Chapin and Make a Wish

MAKE A WISH was an early 1970's childrens series that ran on Sunday mornings and can only be described as trippy. Host Tom Chapin looked like James Taylor and sang the show's memorable opening theme in a smooth as silk voice completely unlike that of his perhaps more famous brother, the late Harry Chapin. Here's a mid-series article on Tom from the Cincinnati Post along with my first ever attempt at adding a YouTube video--this one of the aforementioned series opening (and the closing, too!).

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Stan Lee and the Pirates?

Imagine my surprise when reading this late 1940's issue of TERRY AND THE PIRATES and running across what appears to be Stan the Man himself! Not looking the way he looked at the time, however, but more the way he looks now! Guess ol' Doc Doom's time machine really does work!

Kevin Smith's Boring-Ass Life

Behind what has to be the stupidest cover I have EVER seen, the always entertaining Kevin Smith shares a considerable number of his tmi diary entries (previously shared on the Net) and, in the process, gives a fascinatingly intimate portrait of a creative, successful man stuck in the same boat with the rest of us. I ignored Kevin Smith at first, initially finding his humor a tad too vulgar for my tastes. Then one day, simply because of the title (now, THAT’s a long story we aren’t getting into at the moment), I watched CHASING AMY and I loved it! I was particularly enamored of the Jay and Silent Bob characters. Apparently everyone else—including Smith—was enamored also as the duo went on to appear in nearly every one of the filmmaker’s projects, eventually dominating in their own JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. A few years back friend Kim kindly loaned me her stash of Smith DVDs and I became a true fan. DOGMA, in fact, became a favorite of both my wife and myself!
In this book, we see the everyday moments and behind the scenes issues that plagued Kevin’s success. Not the least of these was when his closer than a brother friend Jason Mewes became a seemingly hopeless addict. The chronicle of Smith’s endless attempts to literally save his friend and the learning process he himself goes through make for engaging, often heartrending reading in the middle of what otherwise is an open-faced id sandwich of hilariously vulgar humor. Throw in a number of rants on this and that and you have a fully satisfying read. With this book, Kevin Smith creates his most interesting, fully-rounded, warts and all character. It’s probably pure coincidence that it just happens to be himself.
You can get a signed copy of the book directly from the man himself here:The View Askewniverse - Main

Monday, October 01, 2007

2001: A Space Odyssey

Every decade or so I give it another try. Thus, for what was probably the fourth time ever last night, I started watching 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY—one of the most disappointing films I’ve ever seen. You have to remember that this thing came out in 1968, the year Apollo 8 finally took man to the moon (although they wouldn’t land until Apollo 11 the following year). STAR TREK was still on the air! Kids my age were into all things space and science was, at least for awhile, as hip to us as meditation, be-ins and free love were to our older siblings. I sat in the front row of the Madison Theater in downtown Covington with my friend Terry for nearly an hour before the first weekend matinee showing of 2001…and I have never been so disappointed.

The film became an international sensation and later a cult film to the turned on generation but I just didn’t grok it, y’know? I had no problem with hardcore sci-fi in books and magazines but the appeal of this one just missed me. I mean, seriously, after the admittedly classic (and endlessly parodied) opening bit, what have you got. A slow hour where literally nothing is really explained to us as an audience and where the lead character is pretty much abandoned in favor of an equally slow second half featuring two astronauts 18 months later. There’s a lot of pretty but incongruous classical music and some striking but static visual shots that you just want to run in fast motion. Were there ever two actors blander than Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea? Yes, some of the interplay with HAL9000 is interesting and well-played but it’s still drawn out and confusing. And that ending? To say it’s left open to interpretation is putting it mildly.

I tried reading the book. I tried reading the book on the making of the film. I bought every issue of the Jack Kirby comic! Nothing helped. I tried other Kubrick films and found even the best of them slow. How one can make Nicole Kidman being naked in EYES WIDE SHUT boring is beyond me. And why would one do that? I sometimes feel like 2001 is “the emperor’s new clothes” and that no one really wants to admit that there’s nothing really there but a pretty package. But then I remember that I said the same thing about 3-D and last year THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS proved me wrong after 45 years so I keep trying with 2001. So I tried and failed again last night. Today, my generally quite perceptive friend Cassandra said it was one of her favorite films. Guess I’ll give it another try in about ten years.