Friday, May 30, 2008

The Moody Blues

On the way home from work today, I heard on the radio that the Moody Blues were playing in town tonight. Other than Paul McCartney, the Moody Blues are the only live music act I've paid to see twice! The first time was circa 1978 on their comeback tour after a number of years on hiatus. The second was in 1981 after they had proven themselves a viable band and not just an oldies act (not that I have any problem with oldies acts!). On record, their music with its swirling flutes, mellotron and occasional symphonic accompaniment can admittedly sound quite pretentious. The sometimes pompous, self-consciously artsy lyrics don't always help. As a live band in that era, however, they rocked hard on both old and new material with screaming guitars and soaring vocals the likes of which I've never heard before or since! Justin Hayward, owner of one of rock's smoothest voices anyway, actually hit and held that almost impossibly long high note in TUESDAY AFTERNOON...both times! Former Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz (whose image on the tour book seen here fell just outside my scanner) was flamboyant as the replacement keyboardist for original member Mike Pinder. After about 15 years of touring, in a sad and shameful moment for the band, the rest of the group would claim that Moraz had never actually been a member but rather only a hired musician. Ummm...okay. The keyboardist for a keyboard-based rock band isn't REALLY an actual member?? The case actually aired live on Court-TVin the early 1990's with the group members testifying earnestly that Moraz had misunderstood his role all those years! Sigh. Kind of like the Beach Boys over the years and more recently Herman's Hermits. Just stop arguing over legal semantics and make some music!
I haven't been to a concert in years. I passed up Simon and Garfunkel a couple of years back because of the outrageous ticket prices. I WAS going with a friend to see Stevie Nicks next month (she got two tickets for her birthday) but she's recently become involved in a new relationship (my friend, not Stevie) so I've offered my ticket to him. That's why I'm sitting here typing now because if I WERE going to see a concert, I'd be willing to bet that the Moody Blues (and quite frankly I'm not even certain how many members of the classic lineup are left) would STILL be a great concert! Thanks for the music, gentlemen! Rock hard, tonight!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ellery Queen

Recently, I’ve dug back through the video archives here at the Library and watched most of the episodes of ELLERY QUEEN, the 1975 TV series starring Jim Hutton and David Wayne. A marvel of casting, Levinson and Link's ELLERY QUEEN presented the sometimes annoying Hutton the opportunity for a splendidly absent-minded genius characterization and he ran with it! At times reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart’s Elwood P. Dowd in HARVEY, Ellery is endearingly quirky but inevitably sharp. As his father, the police inspector, David Wayne (whom my mother misinformed me was John Wayne’s son when he had appeared on BATMAN as the Mad Hatter!) is equally well-served and plays it as gruff but loving. The two of them come across so well as father and son that one is able to suspend disbelief easily. Ken Swofford as a FRONT PAGE-style reporter and a pre-MAGNUM PI John Hillerman as a supercilious radio crimesolver appear from time to time as foils for "the Maestro." As with any good "fair play" mystery, the audience is given all of the same clues as the detective. The gimmick here was that Ellery, toward the end of every episode, would break the fourth wall and address the audience as to whether they (we) had yet solved the mystery. This was a variation on the forties radio series in which a guest panel would be onstage and asked to give their theories on the episode’s crime before Ellery solved it.
Preceded by a TV movie and an even earlier (and horribly cast) pilot with Peter Lawford (!), the series, in spite of its quality and good reviews (as seen here Cleveland Amory’s from TV GUIDE) didn’t last and has yet to be issued on DVD. It does turn up in reruns from time to time, though, and is highly recommended. I tried to read some of the ELLERY QUEEN books while imagining Hutton in the lead but it didn't work. The literary Ellery comes across as pompous and lacks the quirks Hutton brought to the role. Hutton would appear a year later in a memorable 4 part episode of ONE DAY AT A TIME but then took ill and passed away in 1979.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 32

I've always kind of felt sorry for Steve Trevor. Maybe that's because as a kid he was one of the first people, along with Steve Rogers of course, I ever heard of with my first name. He was dense, rash, obsessive, not the most romantic guy around (although he thought he was) and quite frankly I was never sure what WONDER WOMAN saw in him. As time went on he became a super hero, got amnesia, was killed, came back to life and was written in and out of WW's already conflicted continuity so much it'd make your head spin! What with Diana's thing about not being dominated by males, I always assumed (once I figured out what it meant anyway) that the pair never actually consummated their relationship. That said, here's a rather lecherous Andru/Esposito shot of Col Trevor in early 1968 engaging in the type of amusing double-entendre banter that one might find amongst longtime lovers. Note, again, however, his "Angel's" rather jaded looking response. Sigh. Poor Steve.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Monkees by Joe Orlando

I hate it when real life messes with my fantasy. Such has been the case over the last few days what with illnesses with friends and family, work problems even though I've been off, the usual end of month financial crisis, more potential car problems and then yesterday I found where our smallest cat--the aptly named Mischief--had made a nest in my son's what USED TO BE a box of collectible magazines!!! Totally shredded!! COMICS INTERVIEW, COMICS SCENE, AMAZING HEROES (including one copy of the issue with my very first article in it!) and FAMOUS MONSTERS!!!! UGH!!!!! None of which has anything to do with this neat but little-seen Monkees illustration by then former MAD artist and then future DC executive, Joe Orlando. This was done in 1967 for the second issue of National's hybrid teen mag/comic called TEEN BEAM!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Marvel Mystery Contest

Here's a cool contest ad from an early issue of MARVEL MYSTERY, Timely's flagship Golden Age title that featured, amongst others, the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. The prize for what was basically now standard reader feedback was a trip to New York City to meet the Timely staff!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Christa Helm Boards

Reader Erin is prepping a new Christa Helm website that should be online in a week or so. In the meantime, she's set up a forum for discussions of all things Christa here at :

John and myself have signed on board. Hopefully, any discussion of her life, her career and her death will bring new information to light. For those of you following this case, please check it out! Good luck, Erin!

Bucky's DIY Page

Y'know if you look at those old CAPTAIN AMERICA comics from the WWII era, Bucky really does blow away a HELL of a lot of people with guns! I mean, seriously...the kid would be scarred for life. Over and over, Cap hides behind his mighty shield until he can kick some enemy butt but ol' Bucky Barnes grabs the nearest machine gun and starts blasting!! In fact, here's Bucky in 1944 showing you how to make your very OWN machine gun with materials you can find around your house (Do NOT try this at home, today, kids!) Here also is yet another DIY feature from Timely's MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Movies That Fell Through the Cracks # 38

Haven't discussed the lovely Ms. Hayley Mills here in some time. Today's movie is a 1968 picture that reunited Hayley onscreen with her true love from THE FAMILY WAY of 1966. I am, of course, referring to her controversial romance ( and marriage!) with much older director Roy Boulting and not just to her re-teaming with co-star Hywel Bennett. TWISTED NERVE was, according to IMDB (I haven't seen it) a dark, misguided, psychological drama mistakenly marketed in theaters as a slasher film. Bennett plays a grown man with mental issues who regresses to a 5 year old personality. Hayley's character befriends him only to have violent tendencies brought on by confusing sexual feelings. Hmmm... starting to wonder about Bennett. In his previous picture with Hayley (itself obscure if not for her nude scene and Paul McCartney's score) they were unable to consummate their marriage. Here, sexual attraction sets him off and in a couple more years he becomes PERCY, recipient of the world's first penis transplant! For Mills fans, IMDB commenters note that she looks anorexic in this one. Think I'll stick with THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 31

I realize the absolute absurdity of this one but it made me laugh so here it is: Captain America, from a 1943 issue of his own comic book, actually predicting Ed Brubaker's recent plot development in which Bucky, formerly Cap's teenage sidekick, ascends to the role of Captain America! Wow! There really aren't any brand new ideas anymore, I guess.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wally Wins

Time is tight today but wanted to share this nifty MAD photo of Wallace Wood(l) smiling as he wins the 1957 Best Comic Artist Award. If you know anything at all about Wood, you know that in spite of being one of the most celebrated humor artists of the 20th century he was not a particularly happy man. Sure looks happy here though and that's nice to see.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Blue Beetle by Alan Weiss

Alan Weiss will always be a favorite comic artist from his days as one of the young turks of the seventies. Few fans probably know, however, that Weiss, also a prolific fan artist of the sixties, made his pro debut (sorta) in Charlton's BLUE BEETLE # 5 in 1965. Arguably the blandest super hero ever in the Charlton incarnation, young Alan drew and submitted this jazzier new costume which was published on the new letters page. Fans were quizzed as to whether they wanted the costume changed to this one and the official answer was "no." It wasn't long, however, before Steve Ditko redesigned not only the costume but the concept and the character as well!
Oh and, ummm...don't ask me what the big yellow letter "M" is for.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gene Colan

The comics fans amongst my readers have no doubt noticed on the various blogs over the past couple of weeks the sad news that legendary Marvel artist Gene Colan has been having some very serious health issues. What you may not realize is that he is still very much with us and, in fact, has just reached out (along with his lovely wife Adrienne) to his fans and friends by joining FACEBOOK -Welcome to Facebook! Facebook. Ditko biographer Blake Bell has also set up the Gene Colan Appreciation Society there and a fund-raising drive is being coordinated by Clifford Meth at Everyone's Wrong and I'm Write. Hopefully Michael Netzer will forgive me for lifting his marvelous artistic tribute image. Also, from Gene's own site Gene "The Dean" Colan's Virtual Studio, seen here is a private commission Gene did just a year ago that may well be my all-time favorite piece of his art. Not a monster or superhero in sight. So if you guys are on Facebook and want to help us all rally 'round one of the greats, please do so. If not, join up! It doesn't cost you a dime to do that and at least share your appreciation with this unique comics craftsman.

Miracleman NON-3-D

Okay, how rare is this? Back in the eighties, Eclipse was my favorite independent comics publisher. When they got the rights to Alan Moore's MARVELMAN in the US, they were forced to change the name to MIRACLEMAN to comply with legal requests from Marvel Comics. Now, I had already read all of the stories in the UK's WARRIOR but Eclipse did it right with marvelous presentation and color, making the first issue one of my all-time favorite single comics! In the midst of this boom period, there was also a resurgence in 3-D comics, complete with funny colored glasses just like back in the fifties. They felt the need to do a MIRACLEMAN 3-D.

Here's the thing. I could never see 3-D. (Apparently I can NOW as I did a year or so back when they re-released NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and I was amazed!) Thus I was pleased when several of the publishers decided to release NON-3-D versions for us completists! These limited edition versions were only available by mail and on a first come, first serve basis. They cost a bit more but they were otherwise identical to the originals except for an added, signed and numbered page. Somewhere I have a 3-D NORMALMAN non-3-D signed by Deni Loubert and Valentino. Eclipse's eccentric co-publisher, Cat Yronwode wrote the piece seen here explaining why she herself can't see 3-D for a non-3-D version of their reprint comic, SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT. Note that it is signed and is number 19 of only 100 copies printed in this format. Pretty low number. Since speculators were not everywhere in those days, I'm curious as to how many of those 100 copies were even sold. Were any still on-hand destroyed in the flood that led to Eclipse's ultimate demise? MIRACLEMAN comics are amazingly overpriced on the collector market! Even the graphic novels, kept out of print today by complicated legal issues best discussed by others, are going for a premium. Again, I find myself asking: Just how rare is this signed, numbered, NON-3-D issue of MIRACLEMAN 3-D?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fantasy Empire-1984

Hal Schuster was a publisher who, in the early 1980’s, published a number of comics, film and TV magazines of not particularly sterling quality. They looked cheap. They had bad layouts with lots of typos and blurry photos and sometimes articles that just stopped without actually coming to an ending! That said, Schuster’s mags, although barely above fanzine level at times, provided often excellent coverage of various aspects of pop culture just not being covered elsewhere.
One example of this is FANTASY EMPIRE, a magazine for us American anglophiles. Offering in some cases the ONLY stateside coverage of classic British TV series such as BLAKE’S SEVEN and SAPPHIRE AND STEEL, FANTASY EMPIRE was often a revelation.
The particular issue seen here, number 13 from 1984, features a very early article by NYT bestselling author, superblogger and fanboy favorite Neil Gaiman! As Douglas Adams’ official biographer, Neil is the voice of authority on the coverage of HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, illustrated with stills from the then-current (and ultra-cheesy) TV version.
Also here is British pop expert John Peel with an article on THE GOONS (Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe). By that point, I had heard most of their radio episodes but still had little or no info on them until this mag! Editor Peel also chimes in with the required DOCTOR WHO piece as well as an article on a BBC version of King Arthur and a look at THE LAST UNICORN.
News, previews, a feature on Hammer’s FRANKENSTEIN films and an introduction to scary little Fairuza Balk round out the issue. It’s all the kind of info you could get today with a quick spin around the ‘Net but in those days, these kind of mags gave us so much that otherwise we would not have had. Thanks, guys!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Will Elder

Sad to hear of the passing of Willie Elder, Harvey Kurtzman's longtime collaborator from MAD and TRUMP through HUMBUG, HELP and LITTLE ANNIE FANNY (and finally back to MAD!). Elder had two well-deserved art books in recent years, only one of which we have here at the Library, unfortunately. It's a good one, though--an oversized coffee table tribute to a cartoonist so unique he could mimic the work of most other cartoonists nearly flawlessly! As a longtime DC fan, I first discovered Elder's MAD work circa 1970-71 in a copy of THE MAD READER mass market paperback ( the edition with the guru cover)that I found at Newberry's ten cent store in downtown Cincinnati. I became obsessed with its SUPERMAN parody at the store and begged my mother to buy it. She flipped through it and saw Elder's work and commented that it was dirty so she wouldn't buy it. I talked her into it anyway. In time I discovered his other work including ANNIE FANNY, rather famously described as the most expensive comic strip of all time! Now anyone who knows me knows that I've always (even then) been a Wally Wood guy but somehow Elder snagged me to the point where ever after when I think of MAD, I think of Villie Elder!

Note here my very favorite Will Elder character, the obsessively amoral Melvin Mole from MAD # 2. Note also the panels in which Kurtzman and Elder actually present perhaps the earliest use of the word "BLOG!" Granted the context is different but...
UPDATE: Can't help but note that apparently Fred Hembeck and I shared the same childhood when it came to MAD.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wirt Cain

Seen here is a gentleman named Wirt Cain. Back in the sixties, Wirt was Ed McMahon to Nick Clooney (George's proud papa) on Nick's Cincinnati talk/variety series. As was often the case in those days, he doubled as a staff announcer and throughout the early seventies hosted such local broadcasting staples as BOWLING FOR DOLLARS, DIALING FOR DOLLARS and THE EARLY NINE MOVIE. (At one point circa 1972, my family was actually called as the randomly chosen phone number on the movie show! We could've won 200 bucks if I had remembered that I had wanted to watch the movie that day after school! My spooky memory being what it is, though, I can tell you that the film was WHAT'S SO BAD ABOUT FEELING GOOD? with George Peppard and Mary Tyler Moore. Sigh. Important stuff escapes me but this I recall?) Nick's show switched stations at one point requiring Nick, by contract, to remain off-air for one year. When he returned it was with Glenn "Skipper" Ryle as his new sidekick, Wirt having stayed behind at the other channel. The two remained friends though and when I held a booksigning with Nick in 1994, I asked him about Wirt. He told me that Wirt was one of the nicest and most professional folks with who he had ever worked. He added that Wirt was then living in Texas. A few years ago Nick was appearing as a popular DJ on a local "Standards" radio station and at some point suggested that Wirt return to Cincinnati and do the same. He did! I enjoyed hearing Mr. Cain's pleasant Southern voice again but, as before, he was wearing several hats. One day, about thirty years after I answered his call and lost the 200 dollars, he called me at work to talk about our buying advertising time on his show! Well, that simply wasn't going to happen (do you folks have any IDEA how much radio ad time costs? And you think GAS is overpriced!) so instead we had a marvelous talk about his career. One of the things he mentioned was that he had been in several movies including THE CHASE with Charlie Sheen in 1994. Last week, I was mindlessly flipping channels on the remote (Don't give me that look. We all do it.) and I came across THE CHASE already in progress. Just as I was telling my wife that this was the film that Wirt Cain was in, he appears onscreen as a TV anchorman! The camera pulls back to see his set and HIS onscreen cameraman who turns out to be none other than Ron Jeremy whom I got to meet recently and wrote about here:

Wirt disappeared from Cincinnati again when the oldies station changed formats a couple of years back. I hope he's well. Sometimes it just amazes me the folks from my formative years that I actually get to meet! Thanks for talking with me that day, sir.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Everybody Loves Scribbly

Well, apparently not or he'd still be around today. SCRIBBLY was a marvelously funny strip by Sheldon Mayer in the Golden Age. While the comic book SCRIBBLY was published by National (DC), the strip actually appeared in the late thirties in several comics NOT published by them. Vaguely autobiographical, it lightly featured an ethnicity not usually found in comics. Scribbly was a typical geeky teenage boy who was also a budding cartoonist. Along the way in his serial sitcom-style stories, we meet Ma Hunkel who becomes the original Forbush Man-like Red Tornado! While Mayer concentrated his efforts for years on editing for DC's sister company All-American (and its head honcho M. C. "Charlie" Gaines), he still manged to produce Scribbly stories. By the 1950's, Mayer switched to his new and most lasting creation, SUGAR & SPIKE but even then managed to include a grown-up Scribbly in one of their early stories! No, everybody doesn't love the unjustly forgotten SCRIBBLY but I'll bet a lot of readers young and old alike would love him if DC would give them a chance today!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 30

Could it be that Jim Mooney's SUPERGIRL is kinkier than we thought? comment.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Human Torch...and Bucky??!!

Marvel aficionados will recall that there was a very brief period in the 1950's when the company formerly known as Timely (and by then known as Atlas) attempted to revive their "big three" heroes, CAPTAIN AMERICA, SUB-MARINER and THE HUMAN TORCH. It wasn't a bad try but it was too early to take. Some pretty good early art from John Romita and Dick Ayers as well as the return of Subby and the Torch's original creators, Bill Everett and Carl Burgos. The stories (probably written by Stan Lee and possibly Larry Lieber) feature lots of commie bashing and even a few attempts (as here) to cash in on the horror boom! With all of this going on, I suppose no one could expect Stan the Man to remember who works with who, y'know? I mean, look at the bottom of this page. The Human Torch and BUCKY??!! Does Cap know about this?

Friday, May 09, 2008

I Am Iron Man

Well, not really but I am BACK! Payday comes, the broadband gods are appeased and blogging resumes. With what little was left of my paycheck I took my family to see IRON MAN. (We went before the prices changed.) Surprisingly, the theater had only about a dozen people ourselves included!

Downey really is, as TIME recently said, finally living up to his promise and enjoying the career he was meant to have. Underneath the quips and comebacks, he adds a depth to Tony Stark that I've never seen in a comic book film. In fact, the realization that a film as CGI-driven as this can be called "character-driven" speaks volumes for director Favreau and crew. Jeff Bridges, always a quirky actor at best, here gives a marvelous, almost endearingly straightforward performance as the villain!
We went straight from work and I've got too much to catch up on right now to write a full review so I'll just add my vote to those who say IRON MAN is one of--if not THE--best super hero movies yet!
Oh, and I just wanted to yell at the rest of the folks leaving the theater as soon as the closing credits rolled. "People! Have you not been to one of these things in the last few years? There's ALWAYS cool stuff after the last of the credits. In this case, "cool" is putting it mildly. If you haven't already heard, I won't be the one to ruin it for you but PLEASE stay all the way. It's worth it!
Oh, one last bit of trivia. While we were wading through the millions of names in the aforementioned credits, I noted (and I forget as what) the name Adam Austin. "Adam Austin," as hardcore Marvel fans will recall, was a pseudonym used by artist Gene Colan when he first started at the so-called House of Ideas back in the mid-sixties. Seems Colan didn't want his regular bosses at DC to know he was moonlighting. Colan would go on to become THE most-remembered artist on...wait for it...IRON MAN! Wonder if THIS Adam Austin knows that?
Accompanying art here, however, is yet another interpretation of ol' Shellhead by yours truly, this one from an unrealized 1985 project.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Have a Tootsie Roll and Relax

I have every reason to believe that I will be sans Internet y the time I get home from work so let me leave you with yet another CAPTAIN TOOTSIE and a nice relaxing Tootsie Roll. As you can see, it's always good after a crisis...or after sex even. After all, doesn't that look more like a cigarette in the last panel? And speaking of that last panel, "the big 1 cent Tootsie Roll"? Much better than those tiny ha'penny tootsies, y'know?
Should be back on by the weekend.

Monday, May 05, 2008

IMDB Finally Goes for "Broke"

Just a heads up that after two years of intermittent attempts on my part, the venerable Internet Movie DataBase has finally added Christa Helm's movie, LET'S GO FOR BROKE. Strangely enough, even though I spent more than an hour typing and retyping info on their online forms last week, they've ended up with a much more complete listing than I gave them. Apparently someone else (??) was also submitting info. They use my quotes in the Trivia section but they also list people that I did NOT tell them about so???

Oh, and while they were adding, they also added Christa's STARSKY AND HUTCH episode. Go check it out at Christa Helm.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Annie Leibovitz and Miley Cyrus

Since the VANITY FAIR/Miley Cyrus controversy just won’t seem to go away, I thought I’d weigh in on it myself. First of all, many in the press and on Net boards seem to be acting like this photographer is trying to make her reputation by tricking this poor little girl into taking these photographs. Are you not paying attention, people? Annie Leibovitz is probably THE most well-known and arguably even the best celebrity photographer in America! Her reputation is such that she has been able over the years to get many folks to pose for unconventional pictures just because they trust her artistic judgement. That said, I think that Ms. Leibovitz’ artistic judgement may have failed her this time.
Even in the mag itself, the caption of the "offending" photo asks if Disney or Cyrus might have any problem with it. Miley is quoted as saying that Annie talked her into it and that she trusted her judgement. Reports are that normally protective papa Billy Ray had left for an appointment by that time, leaving his fifteen year old daughter with "handlers."
Let’s face it, the picture, showing the normally glowing and effervescent Cyrus looking scared, pale and naked, shot from the back with her holding a sheet in front of her, looks like nothing less than a rape victim photo. I repeat: What was America’s best celeb photographer thinking?? Miley is fifteen years old and I can actually grant you a desire on her part or the photographers’ part or even the fans’part to see her looking glamorous and sexy and older than her years. After all, that’s why little girls (and sometimes even little boys!) dress up in their mothers’ clothes. It may not be right to publish that, but at least I could see it! This is definitely NOT that! No, the girl in this shot is a victim in more ways than one. Is Annie trying to make a statement? Is she perhaps commenting on that fact that the media (and perhaps Disney) metaphorically "rape" child stars, stealing their talents and innocence for their own benefits and tossing them aside? If so then I’m betting nobody conveyed THAT little idea to Miley or her "handlers!"
During the writers’ strike when everything else was a rerun, I became a fan of HANNAH MONTANA. It’s a cute show and Miley has a great talent for comedy and music alike. From everything I’ve read and seen (including her "infamous" internet photos) she seems absolutely incredibly normal for all of her fame! Why do we seem to feel the need to drive her towards becoming another statistic? Okay, so she has a boyfriend and wears underwear! Wasn’t it just a year ago we were all complaining that Britney DIDN’T wear any? This girl is 15 and she seems to be doing a pretty good job of staying 15 in spite of the fishbowl she’s found herself in. I honestly don’t think she has done a single thing that she needs to apologize for to date. Annie Leibovitz, on the other hand…

Smokey the Bear Meets Peter Porkchops

Here's a DC PSA from either the late '40's or early '50's in which Smokey the Bear (as in "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!") meets Peter Porkchops. As all continuity buffs know, after an accident in a steel mill years later involving a meteorite, Peter became the Zoo Crew hero, Pig Iron! Now Pig Iron, along with Captain Carrot and the rest of the Earth C anthropomorphic heroes met Superman. Superman, of course, knows Batman. Batman has fought the Punisher. The Punisher has rather infamously met Archie who has, in turn, met the Mighty Crusaders. Whilst we're on the subject, Batman and Superman have also fought Aliens and Predator and Superman has also met Bugs Bunny, Hoppy the Marvel Bunny and the Nestle's Quick rabbit! Wow! What a small multiverse it all is when you begin to think of it like that. From Smokey to Nestle's in just a few short Kevin Bacons.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Superman at 70

Wow! Silver Age Comics this week reminded me that this month marks the 70th anniversary of ACTION COMICS # 1. Since I haven't been cut off yet, here's an unusual ad for the Man of Steel back at his 12th anniversary in 1950. Happy birthday, big guy. We'll have more on you soon!

Movies That Fell Through the Cracks # 37

This is sad. I can't find my original review of today's feature (yes, for every movie I saw from 1972-1985 I wrote an in-depth review for no apparent reason. Doesn't everybody?) and I find myself remembering very little about it. I do, however, recall that at the time I saw it (early eighties at a rep house although it was released in 1979) I declared it the best of the many, many Hitchcock homages/rip-offs.

Directed by a still young Jonathan Demme (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), LAST EMBRACE stars the late Roy Schieder and the sadly underutilized (not here but for most of her career) Janet Margolin (TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN). According to IMDB, Schieder's character is a government agent who needs some mental help after his wife is killed. He returns home after some time in a sanatarium to find a cryptic warning and a strange girl living in his apartment. Hmmm...I really don't recall any of that. What I DO recall is the great forties character actor Sam Levene as an old Jewish man trying to help our hero and a marvelous climax at Niagara Falls. Come to think of it, I don't recall a lot of details about those scenes either. Never have seen LAST EMBRACE on television or even in the cheap dvd bins at WalMart. I very vividly recall the feeling of being riveted by the suspense and the intelligence of this under the radar movie and declaring that Demme was easily a better Hitchcock than Stanley Donen or Brian De Palma. Just wish I could remember why.

Friday, May 02, 2008

New Hulk Endorsement Ad

With all this talk of IRON MAN, let's not forget that THE HULK is coming up right behind him! While he's waiting, apparently Ol' Greenskin is picking up some endorsements. Here's a kinda cool ad I spotted on the back cover of a magazine today.

Bill Time Again

If we're gone for awhile, we'll be back next weekend. The bill's due again and the bank screwed me out of the money with which I had intended to pay it!

The donation box is to the right there under the links..