Sunday, August 31, 2008

Conan by Netzer and Giordano-1977


Haven't heard from our friend Michael Netzer lately and his website hasn't been updated for awhile but I have no doubt that when it is, it will be worth the wait so it stays in my permanent links section. While we wait, however, here's a cool find. From the 1977 pages of SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN, we present a pin-up of the future governor of California drawn by Michael (in his previous incarnation as Mike Nasser). Given the artist's acknowledged Neal Adams influence and the fact that this is inked by Adams' long-time inker, Dick Giordano, one might easily mistake this early piece as Neal's work! Hope you are well, sir!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy 100th Post to My Favorite Blogger!


If you haven't yet visited RANDOMTHOUGHTSFROMASLEEPDEPRIVEDBRAIN at http://lisa-mynx.blogspot.com/, now would be a good time to do so. Friend Lisa has just posted her 100th post in just a few short weeks! And here's the thing--about 90 of them make me laugh! That's better odds than any sitcom currently on network TV (well...except THE BIG BANG THEORY but you know what I mean.).Go. Read 'em all and spend some time cracking up!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kirby Day!


I would be remiss if I didn't recognize (as many blogs have today) the posthumous 91st birthday of the late, great Jack "King" Kirby. Kirby was the artist of the earliest superhero comics I remember reading (X-MEN), the co-creator of my all-time favorite character (CAP!) and the soul behind the greatest single run in comics history-FANTASTIC FOUR! It was also he who fostered my interest in Golden Age comics (Harvey's 1966 FIGHTING AMERICAN) and who brought me back to comics --after the briefest of defections at age twelve--with FOREVER PEOPLE. Only got to see him in person once and the story of how I almost knocked Will Eisner into him while staring at Gil Kane and noting how much he looked like a Gil Kane drawing has been told elsewhere on this blog. Today's birthday image is FIGHTING AMERICAN (and Speedboy!)in a latter-day pose by Jack with Walt Simonson from JACK KIRBY MASTERWORKS, a thin 1979 tabloid size volume with wonderful Kirby illustrations and a bit of annotation from Mark Evanier.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness-Extra


Actually, this isn't a panel at all, of course, but a still from an ambitious 1982 XXX film entitled BLONDE GODDESS. Designed to appeal to the geek crowd, this is a fun picture that satirizes comic book and movie cliches by showing us the heroic Mitty-esque fantasies of a shy comic book writer (played by one "David Messa" imitating Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent). In his daydreams, he becomes the "Marble Comics" heroes, Louisiana Smith, Jack Hammer, Flying Ace and more. There's a black and white noiresque sequence, some incredibly cheap animation and some TV quality (of the period) sci-fi effects. There's even some fairly well-done biplane sequences and my recent acquaintance, Ron Jeremy, as the evil Baron! Oh, and don't forget, there's a bunch of nekkid people having sex! What more could a fanboy want? I was struck, however, by the fact that the one actual comic book shown is a KID'S COMIC!!!--DC's DIAL H FOR HERO revival in ADVENTURE COMICS!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lost in Space Forever



Many STAR TREK fans put down LOST IN SPACE but in reality, the two are apples and oranges. STAR TREK, for all of its lapses into foolishness, was a serious program whereas LOST IN SPACE, in spite of its occasionally hitting some semblance of reality, was a parody. Both shows had really cool spacecraft, good special effects and great music (LOST IN SPACE from John Williams!). Certainly, after the character of Dr. Smith began to be played as a conniving bumbler instead of the initial season's inept assassin, all pretense of seriousness left. Like BATMAN, it became an ultra-colorful pop treat that would long be fretted over by latter-day apologists but which, taken on its own, was just as tasty as STAR TREK ever got.
Here at the Library, we have a copy of the 1998 TV special, LOST IN SPACE FOREVER, a light documentary history of the series designed to plug the then-new big screen adaptation (which was just okay). Hosted by John Laroquette and featuring interviews with all surviving cast members the highlight of the show was the last scene in which a now adult Will Robinson (Bill Mumy) and the aged Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris) spar with the robot yet again as they learn that they will now be LOST IN SPACE...FOREVER!

The Ying Tong Song

I recall hearing this song by the Goons (Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe) on Dr. Demento's British Dementia special circa 1978. Been listening to a lot of THE GOON SHOW lately and found this on YouTube to share here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Best of L'il Abner



Here we have THE BEST OF L'IL ABNER from 1978. This is, in fact, the very volume for which I exchanged my ticket for the second, cancelled Gene Roddenberry show we wrote about yesterday. As a child, I had always enjoyed the artwork in the daily comic strip (we never got the Sundays) but didn't "get" the written humor. Having rediscovered and appreciated POGO a year or so earlier by picking up one of the paperback collections, I had hoped to do it again with Al Capp's classic. Little did I realize that the title was a misnomer. These strips were not really a "best of" collection at all, more of a sampler. Oh, there were a few strips from the fifties but much of the material was from Capp's more controversial (and decidedly right slanted) sixties and seventies period. I did appreciate the humor more, even when I didn't agree with it. Still, it would take Denis Kitchen (to whom I once sold a L'IL ABNER metal sign!) to come along and do it up right some years in the future with a couple of series of sequential reprints (and a single volume or two). THAT'Swhen I rediscovered my respect for L'IL ABNER!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The World of Star Trek







I watched STAR TREK sporadically during its original run but like many others I became a Trekkie during the massive "Star Trek Lives" era of the early to mid-seventies. I bought the fanzines, stayed up way too late to watch the reruns, praised the cartoon even though deep down I knew even then that everything but the writing sucked. I even attended my first STAR TREK conventions in 1975. In 1976, however, came the ultimate (to that time) Trek Geek event, THE WORLD OF STAR TREK, a live touring lecture with the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself, Gene Roddenberry. Like John (Q) DeLancie later on, Roddenberry (unable to recreate the magic with subsequent series attempts) had decided to cash in on his STAR TREK fan base by touring, showing off a few rarities (in this case the then-unseen original pilot in its original form) and recounting some perhaps apocryphal stories connected to the series, its actors and its creation. The whole thing was captured on an LP, which got a lot of press but as I recall was very hard to find. Roddenberry was a savvy producer but not the most mesmerising speaker in the world. Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum did NOT sell out that evening but there was a good-sized crowd in attendance. A return visit a year later was cancelled due to increased activity on what would become STAR TREK-THE MOTION PICTURE. I exchanged my ticket for a copy of a L'IL ABNER reprint book.
Around the time of his death, there were two thick biographies--one official and one unofficial. The official one portrayed him at times near sainthood whereas the unofficial one delighted in detailing naked cocaine parties in the Jacuzzi. As with most folks, I figure the truth was somewhere in between. He created a truly GREAT TV concept that led to even greater ones and inspired even more. In the end, that's something to be respected!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rare Galactica Art-1978


Returning to the well of local TV magazine covers of the seventies, here's a nice (and I'm pretty sure rare) vintage BATTLESTAR GALACTICA cover. This looks like a real promo piece and not just something done up for this cover by a staff artist at the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER but I could be wrong. I have to say that while I watched BG regularly at the time (and even saw the advance theatrical release at the Village Theater in Erlanger, Kentucky!) I was never much of a fan. Oh, the Cylons were cool, of course and the John Dykstra SPFX were exiting in that still barely Post-STAR WARS world but the writing just seemed...well..juvenile! I much preferred GALACTICA 1980, the later low-budget spin-off featuring Lorne Greene's Adama in a very fake beard. It was just...well... less pretentious. All that said, I hear the more recent version's pretty adult and quite well done. Tried to get it from the Public Library once but no luck so...maybe someday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Betty Pages # 1



Time for another random book off the shelf here at the Library. Today's choice is 1987's THE BETTY PAGES # 1, the first issue of Greg Theakston's ode to every fanboy's favorite pin-up girl. Bettie (the correct spelling as we would come to know after she resurfaced) first turned up on my radar in a nostalgic photofeature in some long forgotten men's mag of the mid-seventies, her infectious smile outshining (for me at least) her more obvious charms. When I saw this little mag, a decade or so later, I still remembered her so I picked it up and joined the legions of Bettie's fans along with Harlan Ellsion, the late Dave Stevens and dozens of high and low profile creative artists.
Little was known of Bettie at the time and Theakston in this and future issues sought to remedy that. Along with reprinting various photo spreads from the fifties and celebrating pin-up artists from Gil Elvgren to Wally Wood and Bill Ward (whose TORCHY strip appears in this debut issue), there were articles and interviews with and about folks who knew her and even a series attempting to tarck down the missing pin-up queen. When she was tracked down, it would perhaps sadly NOT be Theakston who had done it but that's another story.
THE BETTY PAGES, however, was a kind of underground hit, bringing new converts to the cult with every issue. Not really into the bondage and fetish gear pics all that much, I found myself consistently fascinated by her perfect figure, her big, bright smile and the fact that she often seemed to be having quite a bit of (non-sexual) fun while posing. These days with a relatively recent feature film and a number of hardcover books she's now more famous than ever. He may not have been the one who rediscovered her but I'd have to give Greg Theakston and THE BETTY PAGES a lot of credit for helping whole new generations discover the inspirational beauty of Bettie Page. Thanks, Greg!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Man With the Golden Gun Mini-Poster




Back in the seventies, one would ocassionally find flyers, posters or even program books in movie theaters as a sort of souvenir of the movie you were seeing. It was always a pleasant surprise. This nifty, slick paper mini-poster is, of course, from the second Roger Moore James Bond film, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. I always felt as though I should have liked this film more than I did. After all, it was directed by Guy Hamilton who had done my two favorite 007 pictures, GOLDFINGER and DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER and it co-starred one of my favorite actors, Christopher Lee. Nevertheless, it was (and remains. Saw it again recently on cable) disappointing. Strangely enough, the film seemed to strongly influence my favorite comic book of just a few years later, though--Marvel's MASTER OF KUNG-FU. As writer Doug Moench veered into more outlandish spy territory, even Herve Villachaize kind of crept into the comic! In the meantime, one can hardly fail to notice in the poster seen here the style that would soon (along with Jim Steranko) become a major influence on MoKF artist Paul Gulacy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 37

Challenger of the Unknown. Hah! That's right, Rocky. Laugh it up while you can. The day will come when your expensive new computer doesn't recognize its own burning software and you find out that your favorite photo-editing software is no longer manufactured at all and its replacement sucks (as well as would set you back another small fortune!) and your screensaver never even comes on! Windows Vista! Challenge THAT, buddy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Strange and Stranger-The World of Steve Ditko


Today's NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW presented a review of Facebook pal Blake Bell's new book, STRANGE AND STRANGER-THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO. Or did they? Their piece barely mentions the book itself, preferring instead to go on at length (nearly a full page) about the well-known eccentricities of Ditko as a man and as an artist. In so doing, the reviewer all but parrots the book itself rather than reviewing it.
STRANGE AND STRANGER is itself an anomaly in a way. It's a book that Ditko would probably prefer didn't exist at all and yet it is, in fact, the most flattering and fair-minded celebration of his unique place in comic book history that I've ever seen. On the one hand giving lip service to Ditko's insistance on his privacy and yet on the other revealing photos and encounters heretofore uncollected.
Putting aside the inevitable question of should the book have been written at all if Ditko didn't want it to be, Bell's text is straightforward, well-researched and as knowledgeable as one would expect from the man who's run the biggest Steve Ditko fan site on the web for many a year now (http://www.ditko.comics.org/). The art is a well-chosen mix of classic pieces, rare illustrations and astonishingly reproduced original pages.
Ditko the artist is well-served and every aspect of his career is touched on in chronolgical order, much of it familiar and yet always amazing. Ditko the man, on the other hand, is someone whom I had never really encountered previously and I was fascinated to do so at last. His passion for Ayn Rand's writings and philosophies is laid out in such a compelling fashion that I've actually considered reading THE FOUNTAINHEAD since I finished Bell's book. What emerges overall is a portrait of a man with values that he cherishes above all else. No compromise! What comes across as his endless eccentricities are actually his standing ground for his own convictions, something very few of us do these days. One could argue that the artist shows more than a hint of mental instability but don't all great men look insane to those who disagree with them?
STRANGE AND STRANGER is backed up by extensive footnotes documenting every little comment by and about Ditko and the whole thing is wrapped up in a classy Fantagraphics package. Ditko has always said his work should speak for him. It does and it always has but there's a natural tendency for fans to want to know the person behind the work and Blake Bell has succeeded in introducing him (kicking and screaming perhaps) admirably. This is a long-overdue volume that belongs on the bookshelf of everyone who has ever considered himself (or herself) a comic book aficionado.
Thank you, Mr. Ditko, for sharing your work with us all these years and thank you, Mr. Bell for sharing Mr. Ditko with us at long last.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New PC


Sorry posting is light at the moment but things should get better soon. The main reason this time is that the Library updated its computer system earlier this week and so now, of course, nothing works quite right! In the end, though, it should be SO worth it! As we mentioned recently, we came into enough money to finally get ourselves out of debt. Along with that, there was plenty to save and a little left to play with. We opted to update our 32 GB PC to this 750 GB PC! Here's the system we got and we got all the bells and whistles including a 24 inch flat widescreen monitor! WOW! What with continuing work issues, it's going to take some time, however, to hook up the old PC elsewhere and get all the good stuff off of it. Then there's the problem that my pre-existing HP printer and digital camera software are incompatible with Windows Vista (as is the ROLLING STONE on DVD set we purchased recently with our incentive check). On the other hand, we've already been able to get ahold of some nifty old movies we've always wanted to see and the quality is excellent. As the tech guy who installed our high end anti-virus program said (and we'd already bought the computer), "This machine will not be obsolete in three years. More than likely, this will be where other PC's are striving to BE in three years!" Now if I can only get it to do what I want it to do sometime soon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chitra on Let's Go For Broke


A lifetime ago, Manoshi Chitra Neogy made a movie that hardly anyone saw, that quickly disappeared and was forgotten by nearly everyone. As regular readers know, I found what may be the only remaining 35MM print of the picture, Christa Helm's LET'S GO FOR BROKE, and, through the courtesy of original producer Stuart Duncan, secured a DVD copy (thanks CBS!) under the agreement that I do not copy or distribute it in any way. I did, however, feel that Chitra--who didn't even realize that the film had ever had a final edit!--should get to see it. Recently, I mailed her my precious copy of LET'S GO FOR BROKE and she was able to revisit a time and place from deep in her own past. Imagine seeing yourself 35 years after the fact dealing with people and situations you barely remembered and yet, like everything we do, helped define the person you are today.
I asked Chitra to jot down a few lines of her memories after she saw her performance as the evil villainess in this would-be crime/spy movie spoof. Herewith, her comments:

COMMENTS ON GO FOR BROKE…….
WHEN STEVEN THOMPSON SENT ME AN E MAIL ASKING IF I WAS THE CHITRA NEOGY IN A FILM CALLED GO FOR BROKE I WAS BOTH TAKEN ABACK AND SHOCKED. AFTER COMPLETING THE FILM AND MANY FAILED ATTEMPTS AT FINDING OUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED, THE WHOLE VERY STRANGE EXPERIENCE JUST FADED AWAY. THE ONE THING I OFTEN REGRETTED WAS THAT I HAD NEVER SEEN THE FINAL PRINT AND HAD JUST WATCHED SOME DAILIES WHILE SHOOTING. WHILE FILMING, I WAS ASKED TO HELP COACH CHRISTA HELM AS SHE WAS APPARENTLY NOT WILLING TO LISTEN TO A HIRED COACH. I TRIED. I ALSO IMPROVISED MUCH OF THE DIALOGUE SPOKEN BY ME AS THE WRITTEN SCRIPT GIVEN TO ME WAS QUITE VACUOUS.

WATCHING THE FILM I HAVE TO SAY THAT IT WAS MUCH WORSE THAN I HAD EXPECTED. KNOWING WHILE IN THE PROCESS THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE A SORT OF FUN EXPERIENCE, I HAD NO IDEA HOW BAD THE FINAL PROJECT WOULD BE. I FEEL THAT A LOT COULD HAVE BEEN BOTH SAVED AND IMPROVED IN THE EDITING PROCESS. WATCHING MY OWN PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVELY WAS NOT EASY AS IT WAS SO WEAVED INTO THE BANALITY OF THE REST. I DO BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS AN UNDERLYING THEME WHICH IF EXECUTED WITH SOME KIND OF DEPTH AND VISION MAY HAVE MADE AN INTERESTING FILM.

I DO NOT CRITIQUE FILM WITH A HEAVY HAND AS CINEMA--TRUE CINEMA--TO ME IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL MEDIUMS OF EXPRESSION, BUT HERE I UNFORTUNATELY HAVE NO CHOICE.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random Thoughts From a Sleep-Deprived Brain


One of our favorite correspondents around these parts lately has been our new Net-friend, Lisa. Well, seems that Lisa has now started her own blog with the above title (or more accurately run together as RandomThoughtsFromASleepDeprivedBrain). She's already proven to be an expert researcher and her unfortunate insomnia leaves her with a lot of pop interests and a lot of time in which to pursue them. Her blog thus far consists of interesting stuff she's found on her journey along the Information Superhighway--stuff that makes you think, stuff that makes you grin, stuff that makes you lust after it (like the home theater room above but that could just be me!) and stuff that just generally makes you go WTF!? In a very short time, Lisa's infectious enthusiasm for weirdness in the world has won me over big time and I suggest you give her blog a look. Bet it wins you over, too!

Superboy Says: Give Your Town a Present


We're down three people at work and scrambling to get bookdave ready for his new school (which starts tomorrow!) as well as looking at upgrading our PC so just time today for a new PSA.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Mad Morality



Hey, it’s time for another random book off the shelf here at the Library. Well, actually today’s book is from Signet, not Random (lol! Book humor!). Following in the tradition of THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PEANUTS, THE MAD MORALITY--OR THE TEN COMMANDMENTS REVISITED came out in 1970 and makes a valiant effort at finding Christian values (in spite of the obvious Jewish background) in late sixties issues of MAD. Given permission by Gaines and Feldstein to use examples to prove his contentions, the author provides literally scores of significant reprints by the Usual Gang of Idiots. In fact, if not for the official MAD foreword denying it, one would have to say he proves his case very well indeed! Similar to the recent spate of philosophy books based around the Beatles, THE SIMPSONS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and Monty Python (as well as the brand new STAR TREK AND PHILOSOPHY-THE WRATH OF KANT), the pop theological trend of that period was short-lived but may well have changed some folks’ thinking when it came to MAD. MAD was most kids’ first look at anarchism and questioning authority. Many parents (mine included) thought it was subversive (it was!) and should not be permitted in the home. In fact, until I was in my mid-teens, my copies stayed under the pillow of the big chair in my bedroom along with my illicit copies of STAG. To have a theologian like author Vernard Eller point out the positive side of all of this was significant and probably accounted for the book’s multiple printings. Originally a hardcover, the Library’s copy is a later mass market printing (with a buck fifty price) but we borrowed a scan of a 95 cent copy from the net as ours has been defaced with a pasted on $2.00 garage sale sticker! Ugh!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Neal Adams, Joe Kubert and Stan Lee


Talk about your comic book teamups! I don't know how many readers I share with THE NEW YORK TIMES but today's Times presents a lengthy article (available at least temporarily at this link:Comic Book Idols Seek to Aid a Holocaust Artist - NYTimes.com) about how the above three legends of the comic book industry are coming together to help a woman who painted pictures for Dr. Mengele at Auschwitz! Seen here is the Adams page shown from the upcoming project.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 36


I wish I could remember and plug the blog where I saw it but yesterday I saw a YouTube clip of Alan Moore going on at great length in that marvelous accent of his about how Herbie Popnecker (whose adventures are currently getting the Archives treatment from Dark Horse) is his all-time favorite superhero! Moore points out that all the women loved him but that he could never figure out why. Hmm...This Herbie panel might give SOME indication (Ron Jeremy, look out!).

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cap in Focus!


Our intrepid researcher Lisa_Mynx, responding to a reader's call for a less blurry rendition of the back cover CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY poster we ran recently, has uncovered the startlingly crisper version seen here. After a few false leads (ahem...cough, cough!), there it was on the back of the Golden Age CAPTAIN AMERICA # 4. Thanks as ever, Lisa and err....sorry 'bout those false leads. hehe.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Boys of Steel


I always hesitate to call it a review when I talk about books by folks I've come to know via the Internet but here's another one. Let's call it a plug, then. This is Marc Tyler Nobleman's BOYS OF STEEL. We've mentioned it before here but today I got my own copy and it's really great. Many years ago, I came up with the idea of a series of children's books that would offer biographies of people behind the scenes of television shows, books or characters with whom kids would be familiar. The general perception was that while some might generate some interest, most would flop. I GET that but I still think there's a need for such books. How else are kids expected to find out about these things? BOYS OF STEEL is exactly the sort of thing I had envisioned. A hardcover picture book telling a simplified version of the lives of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the book spins their story in a very positive way up through the triumphant success of Superman. A two page text afterword even summarizes the rest of the often tragic story, up to and including the most recent positive court rulings regarding the Man of Steel's ownership.


The illustrations by Ross MacDonald (not the mystery writer!) are a nice mix of 1940's style children's book illustrations and golden age comic art style. I am curious, though, as in spite of the afterword talking about recent copyright rulings, I see no mention whatsoever of Superman's copyright in the fine print. You know, "The character of Superman is tm and copyright DC comics. Used by permission." I mean, yes, it's not about the guy with the cape but he DOES appear. Did I miss something or is there some legal reason that kind of thing is no longer required?


Nitpicking aside, kids love Superman and kids and comics collectors of all ages should enjoy this wonderful addition to their bookshelves! Makes me wish, yet again, that I had gotten to meet Jerry Siegel at the one comic book convention I attended that he was supposed to be at but he cancelled sick at the last minute. Sigh. Can't wait to see what Marc comes up with next!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Marvel Comics # 1 Ad!


Also from Lisa_Mynx, here is an ad from an unknown source dated October, 1939 (from one of Goodman's pulps, perhaps?). As you can see, the ad is clearly touting the first appearances of The Human Torch,Sub-Mariner (yes, I know all about MOTION PICTURE FUNNIES WEEKLY #1 but you know what I mean!), and Marvel in general. It should go without saying but just in case you wanted to take them up on the dime offer in the ad, please note that the last time one of these suckers publically changed hands it went for about half the money in Scrooge McDuck's money bin! If I were you, I'd settle for the relatively recent Marvel reprint.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Update-Update-Update

Well, we sold my wife's late mother's house. After nearly a year of getting nowhere, we went with a new realtor, got an offer in three hours, counter-offered, had it accepted and had a handshake deal in less than six hours. Contracts were signed, closing dates set and later postponed but at the end of the day...WE DID IT! We spent the past week paying off all of our debt except our mortgage! Even paid off the @#!!$$ piece of $%#@ car...just a few days after having to pay to get new tires and new brakes!

Problem is that none of this has kicked in yet. I don't FEEL debt-free. I felt guilty when I bought a turntable the other day to play our still substanial record collection. It's still in its box. The only other indulgences I've allowed myself thus far are a handful of back issues of PSYCHOTRONIC (several featuring work by my Christa co-author, John O'Dowd) and my own copy (as opposed to one I borrowed awhile back to review) of Mark Evanier's KIRBY book! This is what I call "the ten dollar rule." When I was a teenager, I'd beg my mother for ten dollars for this, that or the other. If and when she finally gave in, I'd take the money, head off to Woolworth's, decide I didn't really need or want this, that or the other all that much and inevitably return the money to her. Sigh.

Other than that, I've been dealing with new blood pressure medications (the old ones only seem to give me the side effects!), prepping bookdave to start middle school in a couple weeks, scraping layers of paint off my front porch and preparing for our annual inventory at work after losing a valuable employee.

Speaking of work, I continue to miss all the most interesting visitors! We already wrote of William Shatner recently. Since then, I missed a return visit from Ron Jeremy (seen here with one of our employees with all identifying info removed to keep the company off my back) and now this week John Waters! I'm told he was quite delightful!

Finally, a special shout out to reader Lisa_Mynx who this past week read Booksteve's Library in its entirity in a non-linear fashion, dropping many comments along the way and even sending along the above Sub-Mariner portrait that matches those we ran recently of the Human Torch and Captain America and Bucky! Thanks!

Friday, August 01, 2008

1956 Election Preview-The Republicans



THE REPUBLICANS
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER-In spite of his health issues and complaints of his overall ineffectiveness, Eisenhower won reelection in 1956, taking Nixon with him back into office. The General became known for his golfing and his heart attacks as much for anything he actually did in office.
RICHARD M. NIXON-Maybe you heard of him. He campaigned unsuccessfully against Kennedy in the 1960 elections (if only he had shaved!), then had an equally unsuccessful bid for California governor. He announced that the press "…won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore" and for a few years he was correct. In 1968, running on a law and order platform in a confused time of change, Nixon finally became president (after appearing on TV’s LAUGH-IN asking, "Sock it to ME?"). Although mercilessly mocked, he was considered a statesman and a supporter of the moon landings, international relations and "peace with honor" in Vietnam.
Things changed. Although Nixon won reelection by a landslide in 1972, the Watergate scandal grew, revealing his paranoia, his dark side and his illegal activities all around, causing Nixon to be the first (and to date only) US President to resign the office. His choice for Vice, Spiro Agnew, had already himself resigned and been replaced by Gerald Ford. Ford became the country’s only non-elected (official) President and promptly pardoned Nixon. In disgrace, "Tricky Dick" returned to China, the scene of one of his biggest triumphs. In later years, a controversial series of interviews with David Frost showed the man’s human frailties like no other. He continued writing books on political and social issues until his death in 1994.
EARL WARREN-Although he continued as a controversial Chief Justice until 1969, Warren’s name will forever be associated with the Commision that investigated the assassination of JFK. He died in 1974.
CHARLES A. HALLECK-Became House Minority leader from ’59 to ’64. After that he was replaced by the younger Gerald Ford. Although he remained in the House until 1969, his very conservative beliefs and support of the War in Vietnam worked against him in the sixties. In spite of that, he became a popular TV Republican of his day. He lived until 1986.
SHERMAN ADAMS- A powerful Chief of Staff under the ailing Eisenhower, Adams nonetheless resigned in ’58. He returned to New Hampshire where he opened a popular ski resort. He died in 1986.
GEORGE M. HUMPHREY- In 1957 he returned to private sector where he eventually became head of National Steel. The Senate later investigated a scandal dating to his time in the Eisenhower administration. Declining health led to his death in 1970.
WILLIAM F. KNOWLAND-Went from being Senate Minority Leader to Senate Majority Leader. He developed a long rivalry/friendship with Lyndon Johnson as his opposite number. He had withdrawn from seeking the ’56 nomination when Eisenhower recovered enough to run. In ’58 he left the Senate to fight a hard campaign for governorship of California but he lost. He inherited the Oakland Tribune newspaper in 1966 but had personal issues that ultimately led to his suicide in 1974.