Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Silver Age Sub-Mariner Splash page Sundays # 37

Let's face it, this one sucks on any level. Llyra's coloring blends into the floor, way too much dialogue in way too many panels, way too may words above the panels for a splash, too!

Mike Esposito returns as inker here along with his longtime artistic collaborator Ross Andru. These guys had worked together since the early fifties and had done wonderful things with METAL MEN, WONDER WOMAN, FLASH, war stories and humor pieces. They KNEW how to draw. No idea what the problem was here.

But even the poses are awkward. Ah, well...maybe better next week.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Reach For Happiness

Back in the days when PEYTON PLACE was burning up the evening airwaves and soaps dominated the daytime airwaves, DC attempted to cash in on the trend with serialized romance comics. "Reach For Happiness" ran at least a dozen chapters in SECRET HEARTS drawn by Gene Colan at the same time he was doing IRON MAN and SUB-MARINER at Marvel. When he picked up DAREDEVIL, Colan gave up the romance comics and moved to Marvel full-time.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gildersleeve at 70


I'm reminded that 2011 marks the 70th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite sitcoms--in fact one of THE very FIRST sitcoms in the classic sense--THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE! Spinning off of the more vaudeville/burlesque comedy of radio's FIBBER MCGEE AND MOLLY, Gildy starred Harold Peary for  9 years...and then Willard Waterman made the role his for another half-decade or so while also carrying it over into television! Peary had played the role in a number of low-budget films in the forties, also, and would continue to be referred to as Gildersleeve for the remainder of his life. 



Reader Darrel writes:
 Every Thursday I play the episode that is exactly 70 years old that week on my podcast. Feel free to come have a listen, if you are interested.

Here is the first audition episode, and the episode from 70 years ago this week!

Great Gildersleeve Podcast 1941-05-16 Audition Show
[url]http://jack_benny.podomatic.com/entry/2011-09-01T03_00_42-07_00[/url]

Great Gildersleeve 1941-10-26 (009) A Visit from Oliver
[url]http://jack_benny.podomatic.com/entry/2011-10-27T03_00_00-07_00[/url] 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Adventures of the Galactic Star Force Power Squad

My friend Allen Singer is a multi-talented writer, historian and audio producer with a great FM radio voice. Way back in the early 1990's (seems so long ago) we worked together at Waldenbooks. Since then, he has published three very informative books on Cincinnati area history. One of his lesser known claims to fame, however, is as writer and producer of THE ADVENTURES OF THE GALACTIC STAR FORCE POWER SQUAD in 1993.

Allen has posted his original audio episode on YouTube today here.

THE ADVENTURES OF THE GALACTIC STAR FORCE POWER SQUAD is exactly what it sounds like, a pastiche/mash-up of everything from STAR TREK and STAR WARS to SPACEBALLS and THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY...with, as Allen adds, a little of THE SIMPSONS thrown in.

Done originally as a class assignment for a course in Radio Production, THE ADV...errr...let's just call it TAGSFPS from here on out...TAGSFPS was the result of a project to create write, produce, edit and direct a 10 minute audio piece. With a background in old-time radio fandom (even at his young age), Allen naturally veered in that direction but, as a lifelong sci-fi fan, with that futuristic twist.

Enlisting a few of his fellow students for his cast, Allen did an impressive job in a short amount of time with very limited facilities!
His cast members were:

Adam Campbell: Lee Stormwalker
Brant McKeehan: Brett Nabors 
Rodney Cobb: Harry the Automaton
Sean Staggs: Captain Oberling
Sheree Paolelo: Lisa Oberling
Allen Singer: Commander Langstrom
Special guest Dave Thompson: Barth Hornet
Special Guest Mark Babin: opening and closing



This being from 1993, by the way, I hasten to add that the Dave Thompson listed (actually the class instructor in a cameo!), is NOT my son bookdave who wasn't born until 1996.

Anyway, if you're also a fan of mainstream sci-fi up through the early nineties, TAGSFPS is a hoot! The whole piece is nicely laid out and edited with music and sound effects, many of which will sound quite familiar. It's amateurish, yes, but impressive on all kinds of scales considering the limitations being dealt with at the time.

The performances are all a tad stiff but the voices are good, leaving one to think that with a few more rehearsals, they could have been much better. Unfortunately the dreaded "Ohio accent," one of my least favorite regional accents, rears its ugly head throughout. The best performance is probably from Sheree Paolelo as the bimbo nurse who turns out to be pretty tough in a fight...but she also has that accent. It actually kind of works, though, for Rodney Cobb, whose altered voice is utilized as a fey, vaguely Southern, deadpan and very funny direct rip-off of Douglas Adams' Marvin the Paranoid Android.

The plot? It's little more than a set-up for adventures that never came but it all feels so comfortable and familiar, particularly the well-edited (if too-long) spaceship fight scene with its sound effects and music cues we've heard a million times before.

Allen gives all the full details of TAGSFPS and even info on its 12 years later follow-up at http://allensedge.com/Galactic/Background.html

It didn't have to be original. It was a class assignment. It just had to be professional enough to get a good grade. Instead, it's actually loaded with talent and possibilities and a little more time invested clearly could have led to a superior product far beyond simply a class project.

For reasons long forgotten, I even get a thanks in the closing credits. I wish there was a real market for things like this as I'd love to be able to participate or even just listen to more shows like Allen Singer's THE ADVENTURES OF THE GALACTIC STAR FORCE POWER SQUAD. Try it yourself and let us know what you think. I think you'll like it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Disconnected? Not With Your Help!

Our new online book sale is off to a great start with more than $200.00 made in the first week and a half...but parts of that go toward postage and parts toward groceries. We're still fighting a good fight to earn enough to keep from being disconnected at the beginning of the month. If that happens, not only do all of booksteve's blogs crash to a (temporary) halt but we won't be able to check the bookstore site to see if we've sold anything either!

We post a handful of new items for sale  daily at the site (see link above). If you haven't done so yet, please check and see if there's anything you'd like. Even our highest priced items are less than you'll find on eBay or Amazon but more in line with what I feel they're actually worth. Other than postage and PayPal fees, we get 100% of the profits from anything ordered from BOOKSTEVE'S BOOKSTORE PLUS! Should you be inclined more to rare DVD's, check out BOOKSTEVE'S RARITIES where we get a percentage of each sale from there, also. If you just want to help out, you can always hit the Donation button to the right, also.

Right now it looks like we might just make it...barely...but then have little left for groceries before additional money is expected in a couple of weeks into the month.

Like everyone else in this economy, we're surviving, but the stress isn't good. I have no doubt we're going to make it in the long run but if selling you some books helps out in the short run, that's cool with me. Check  us out at: http://bookstevesbookstore.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 24, 2011

Congrats to Brittany Rose!

For those who remember my BRITTANY ROSE & ME photo blog, just an update that the delightful Ms. Brittany Rose was married this weekend to the wonderful Thomas Seeley in Texas (of all places). Seen above is a tribute collage I made yesterday. Not all of these shots are by me (including the center one from Eilsel Retnuh) but that's the first shot I ever took of her at above left. In the lower right corner, two shots from the wedding, as posted on Facebook, can be seen.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Yoe # 3--The Best of Archie's Madhouse

Whilst I was deathly ill a few weeks back, I received several care packages including one featuring the three newest publications from Yoe Books. As ever, by way of full disclosure, what you are about to read are blatant but much deserved plugs, not reviews, because I was privileged to assist with all three of these volumes in various ways. So what exactly are these latest collections from the ever-fevered mind of friend and former muppet Craig Yoe? Well let’s take a look at them, in no particular order.

Well, I saved the best, in my opinion, until last. There are many Archie-themed books hitting the market these days but only two--so far--are from Yoe. The first--and I'm sure you already own a copy--is ARCHIE: A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA'S FAVORITE TEENAGERS (which I co-wrote) and here we have the second, THE BEST OF ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE!

I also wrote parts of the introductory material here but the real meat of the matter are the reprints in this one! ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE was the company's belated imitation of MAD which had already evolved into its magazine form by the time this came along. Originally it was just silly stuff featuring the gang from Riverdale but soon enough the title developed its own characters such as Chester Square and Lester Cool, Ronald the Rubberboy and others. 

The most popular character to debut in ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE was Sabrina, the Teenage Witch who would quickly graduate to her own title, her own cartoon series and, in time, a successful, long-running live-action sitcom in the vein of a modern BEWITCHED. Here debut appearance is found in this volume.

ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE became a showcase for writer George Gladir  (also a longtime CRACKED writer) and artists like Orlando Busino and Joe Edwards who weren't as prevalent in the regular Archie titles. Dan DeCarlo appeared often, though, and, as seen here, there was even one story by the great EC/MAD/Sci-Fi/Warren/DAEREDEVIL artist Wallace Wood!

With a ton of great possibilities to choose from, Craig mixed and matched and chose, then changed his mind and eventually settled on this marvelous, clever, fun and ofttimes hilarious mix, leaving plenty more for future volumes (hint, hint!).

For an old-time reader like myself, THE BEST OF ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE is literally a book you curl up with in a comfy chair and just read all the way through, snickering here, chuckling there, laughing out loud, chortling and even the occasional guffaw. 

Reproduced in crisp quality direct from the original books on quality paper (with the original color!), my absolute only complaint is that I question the artist identification from time to time (which wasn't in copies I proofed). Since Archie's policy at that time was to NOT identify artists or writers for some reason, it isn't always easy to do so. The covers are typically ornate Yoe productions with a nifty silver border wrapping around a very warped image of Archie and Veronica. 

But the material itself is what makes THE BEST OF ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE so much fun...and makes me hope it really is simply a Volume One. Of all the Archie related books out there currently--many of them quite entertaining--I promise you THIS one is the funniest!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Silver Age Sub-Mariner Splash Page Sundays # 36

We're still on a roll here with yet another nicely framed, wet-looking splash highlighting the opening of Namor's wedding issue with its sick twist ending. Nice colors and the flora and fauna are nicely detailed. Sal B is still pushing his pencils but look closely. Recognize that inking style? WTF!!?? Berni Wrightson!!?? On SUB-MARINER!!??? It doesn't always work and on the figures, Wrightson seems to go out of his way to stick close to Buscema's pencils. But this was one of his earliest pro jobs and certainly one of his most mainstream comics jobs of them all! Wrightson would, of course, go on to co-create SWAMP THING with Len Wein, set the style for DC's mystery titles for years, become Stephen King's favorite illustrator and do the definitive (in my opinion) version of FRANKENSTEIN.

Yoe # 2---Amazing 3-D Comics!

Whilst I was deathly ill a few weeks back, I received several care packages including one featuring the three newest publications from Yoe Books. As ever, by way of full disclosure, what you are about to read are blatant but much deserved plugs, not reviews, because I was privileged to assist with all three of these volumes in various ways. So what exactly are these latest collections from the ever-fevered mind of friend and former muppet Craig Yoe? Well let's take a look at them, in no particular order.

Our second volume is nothing less than the fascinating history behind the first 3-D comic books in the 1950's...and I can't even see 3-D! That's right. For years I thought it was a practical joke; that there was no such thing as 3-D but that, like the emperor's new clothes, no one wanted to admit that they couldn't see it! Then one day, just a few years ago, I DID see it! And I was amazed. It was in the introductory short film made for the 3-D re-release of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I watched a candle float by me IN the theater! But...that was it. I didn't see any 3-D in the film itself, nor any in the dozen or so other films I've been forced to pay extra for over the past few years since.

But the thing is...now I know that it's REAL! It's not a joke! Craig's AMAZING 3-D COMICS! offers dozens of stories from the original 3-D craze, most of them actually in restored 3-D...complete with the requisite free glasses (albeit better quality than the original green and red cellophane lens ones).
   
Not just a regurgitation of previously published materials, Yoe spent much time speaking with the legendary Joe Kubert who, along with his then art partner Norman Maurer (and Norman's brother) gets credit for developing the process involved and starting the craze itself while at St. John. I know Craig actually talked with him because I transcribed the interviews myself. Joe also wrote an inroduction to the book. For Maurer's side, Craig assigned me to speak with his widow, Joan, who just happens to be the daughter of Stooge, Moe Howard! As a lifelong Three Stooges fan, that was a treat!

Some may recall the originally announced cover for AMAZING 3-D COMICS! as seen in early ads. That was scrapped when Mr. Kubert became so enthused about the project that he was willing to contribute an all-new cover featuring his classic caveman, TOR, star of one of the earliest 3-D comics. Then, given all the elements, Craig Yoe designed a book cover to die for by doing Kubert's art as a lenticular panel to simulate actual 3-D! The character from the original intended cover joined Felix the Cat (star of his own previous Yoe Book) and others on the textured sidebar and a fun shot of Kubert and Yoe in actual 3-D highlights the back cover!!

Along with the expected Maurer and Kubert, the other stories and art inside are by such luminaries as Alex Toth, Bob Powell, Howard Nostrand and Jack Kirby. A lot of the stories are stand-alone horror, humor or western tales but familiar characters include The Three Stooges (Shemp version), Cowboy actor Tim Holt, Felix, Tor, Maggie and Jiggs and Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.

So no, I don't get the full effect but that's my eyes. It's not the book's fault. All of the stories are readable even without the glasses. Well...all accept a couple of trick one pagers where the goal was to cover one side of your glasses to get one side of the story and another to get the other side.

AMAZING 3-D COMICS! is not just a fun book but a detailed look at an important and often neglected piece of comic book history from one of out premier comics historians...and his talented sidekicks. Ahem...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Yoe! # 1--THE CARL BARKS BIG BOOK OF BARNEY BEAR

Whilst I was deathly ill a few weeks back, I received several care packages including one featuring the three newest publications from Yoe Books. As ever, by way of full disclosure, what you are about to read are blatant but much deserved plugs, not reviews, because I was privileged to assist with all three of these volumes in various ways. So what exactly are these latest collections from the ever-fevered mind of friend and former muppet Craig Yoe? Well let's take a look at them, in no particular order.

First up is THE CARL BARKS BIG BOOK OF BARNEY BEAR (a title suggested by my lovely wife, btw). I'm going to assume if you're reading this blog then you're familiar with Carl Barks. Barks was the former Disney animator who managed to humanize the spastic duck characters of the Disney theatrical cartoons in the pages of various Dell comics from the forties through sixties. His creation, Scrooge McDuck, led WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES to be one of the biggest selling comic books of its day with nary a superhero in sight! His stories have been cited as an influence on Indiana Jones and most certainly on whole generations of international comics fans and creators who, for his entire active career, knew him as simply, "The Good Duck Artist."

That guy. Yeah.

And Barney Bear? Odds are you know him, too, as his fairly lethargic and repetitive MGM cartoons have been staples on television since the Dark Ages, most recently seen on Cartoon Network. Seriously, they aren't that good. A couple of them featured a character called Benny Burro, though, and that's where Barks comes in.

In the pages of OUR GANG comics, essentially a showcase for MGM properties including the title series but also TOM & JERRY, Barks took Barney and Benny and turned them into an almost Laurel and Hardy type of comedy team. With someone to talk with, Barney didn't quite seem so lethargic anymore, just loveably dim-witted!

In THE CARL BARKS BIG BOOK OF BARNEY BEAR, Craig collects all of the Barks stories of the characters. They're short but they're a lot of fun and "Unca Carl" (as he would come to be known) manages to work his magic here also, making the characters much more likable and much more sympathetic than they ever were on film.

As always, Yoe reprints every story page directly from the original comics in restored high-definition treatments (from the collection of Bud Plant) giving them a shiny, yet vintage, feel. There's a nice new cover of our stars  as well as an intro from Barks aficionado Jeff Smith (BONE) and some rare illustrations and original art to accompany Craig's learned, behind the scenes, text piece on the artist and his protagonists.

The hallmark of Yoe Books is, of course, the wonderful design work given each new publication and this particularly attractive volume is no exception. (Ignore that Amazon link cover below as that is not the actual cover.) My favorite part is the way the back cover gag (by Barks) now incorporates the book's actual barcode!


But fancy bindings don't make a book worthwhile. Barks' storytelling was what elevated him to the top of everyone's list of the great comics artists and a great storyteller can tell a great story no matter how small it may seem. The Barney and Benny stories are not the epic adventures of Scrooge McDuck...but they're still worth the telling and they make me smile. Let's put it this way. I didn't like Barney Bear from the cartoons. Never did. I like Carl Barks' Barney Bear...and I really like THE CARL BARKS BIG BOOK OF BARNEY BEAR.

Nick Cardy Movie Poster

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Booksteve's Bookstore Plus!

Sorry we haven't had a lot of posts this week but around here we've been busy trying to make some money before the Internet connection gets cut off at the beginning of the month. Our new Booksteve's Bookstore Plus! blog is doing surprisingly well with about 12 items sold in 5 days. As they sell they get taken down. What's selling? Batman, Superman, Doc Savage, Shadow, Jack Davis, Jerry Robinson. What's left on there? Well, as of this moment look right and below for a couple of choice morsels. Then click HERE and check everything out.


Coming perhaps as early as tomorrow--Three, count 'em THREE, reviews of new and recent Yoe Books!

Monday, October 17, 2011

National/Prize

 What was the deal with National (DC) Comics and Prize Comics in the 1940's?  As seen here, the latter company, publishers of Yank and Doodle, The Black Owl and Dick Briefer's Frankenstein, regularly advertised in DC mags and yet there seems no obvious tie-in between the two companies. The later ACG was, in fact, a secret DC company but I find no evidence to indicate any connection with Crestwood's Prize and National. Anyone?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Silver Age Sub-Mariner Splash Page Sundays # 35

Here we have another nicely designed splash beautifully showcasing the proto-Defenders from the previous issue. Sal and Jim do near-perfect depictions of the early seventies versions of The Hulk, The Silver Surfer and particularly our hero, The Sub-Mariner, all neatly circled by...well...whatever that white thing is with the credits written on it.

It's a shame it has to be all based over what has to be one of the worst depictions of outer space ever seen in a comic book. I mean, seriously. It...it's just a series of brightly colored dots on a black background. And...and a big orangey...thing. Okay, so what have we learned here? Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney are NOT Jim Starlin. Keep in mind that even Jim Starlin wasn't Jim Starlin yet.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Booksteve's Bookstore Plus!

We haven't had much luck selling stuff on eBay or elsewhere on the Net so we've decided to open our own virtual bookstore and take our treasures directly to you, the discerning pop culture fan! Debuting today, Booksteve's Bookstore Plus! features (or will feature) pop culture books, records, DVD's, VHS, cassettes, etc., etc, all direct from Booksteve's Library!

If you see something you like but you don't like the price, feel free to make an offer. As I've stated before, if you see something anywhere on THIS blog that you'd like to buy, make me an offer.

Each object for sale will have an extensive backstory so it's pretty much yet another actual blog for me! Makes nine now! Items will be shipped within 24 hours of a PayPal payment.

There isn't much there yet but I'll be posting more later today and a handful of items ever day from now on so check it often!

http://bookstevesbookstore.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

TV68

Recently acquired from Derek T, TV68 is a wonderfully nostalgic book for anyone who was into television back at the beginning of the 1967-68 season but it would mean little or nothing to anyone else. Designed as a preview of the then-upcoming Fall Season on ABC, CBS, NBC, NET (later known as PBS) and in syndication.

The marvelous and cleverly designed Jack Davis cover suffers considerably from size and reproduction qualities but some clever gags with Captain Kangaroo, the Monkees and others.

Inside, you get coverage of new shows, returning series, specials, movies scheduled for network TV airings, news, sports, kids' shows and even talk shows! All major players in all the fields get a brief bio and it's fun to read about how much hope they had for now long-forgotten series like COWBOY IN AFRICA, THE LEGEND OF CUSTER and THE JERRY LEWIS SHOW.

It's also fun to read about now classic shows such as THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, IRONSIDE and MANNIX as they were just getting started. I noted that the once popular JUDD FOR THE DEFENSE was originally meant to be called simply JUDD.

The section on changes in returning series indicates that STAR TREK, in its second season, would have a new Russian crew member but gives no other info nor any mention of actor Walter Koenig. It goes on to say that the new season would also present a female alien regular described as "the distaff version of Mister Spock."

BATMAN, going into its third season and about to introduce Batgirl, is described as having lost all its luster when the "camp fad" quickly faded more than a year earlier. Julie Newmar was apparently signed to return as Catwoman but, as any Bat-Fan knows, ended up being replaced with the unlikely choice of Eartha Kitt...which somehow actually worked. Elsewhere in the book is a listing of the top 22 Nielsen shows from the 1966-1967 TV season. I was surprised to see BATMAN wasn't even listed!

Also not listed among the popular shows was THE MONKEES although the awards summaries indicate that that series won the Best Comedy Series and Best Director Emmy Awards for the 66-67 season.

Stars who had their own TV specials that year, all pretty much unviewable these days, included Carol Channing, Jim Nabors, Red Skelton (whose long-running regular series was still running also), Dick Van Dyke (who had left TV 2 years earlier), Richard Rodgers and Barbra Streisand. The TV special I would most like to see again is THE FABULOUS FUNNIES, described as a history of the impact comic strips have had on the American people. Hosted by Carl Reiner and produced by the folks behind the PEANUTS specials, it was expected to included participation from Hal Foster, Chester Gould, Charles Schulz, Milton Caniff and Al Capp. I very, very vaguely recall watching this!

Overall a very solid preview in its day which now makes it a very solid bit of nostalgia for the 1967-68 TV season. Thanks, Derek!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Three Pussycats

Longtime readers may recall my first professional sale as a writer was an article about the Marvel-produced girlie strip, PUSSYCAT which appeared in various men's mags between 1965 and the early seventies. Mainly, my article (now referenced on Wikipedia I just noticed!) was about the one-shot from 1968 that collected a number of the early strips. My favorites though were the later ones drawn by Gentleman Jim Mooney and written by Larry Lieber. Here are three I found online at various sites in recent months, the second two from the original artwork (found at an auction site).







Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Curse of the Phantom Shadow



I get requests all the time to help promote various Kickstarter projects. You don't often see the results here because, quite frankly, I turn many of these well-intentioned ideas down. Some I even feel sorry for as they give me no indication that they would ever be able to live up to their lofty promises even if they met their often unrealistic goals.

Then something like THE CURSE OF THE PHANTOM SHADOW, an homage to the classic serial days, comes along. I don't know Mark Ross. Never heard of him. But he wrote me a letter about his project. It may even have been a form letter but it was well-written enough to convey a genuine sense of professionalism and geeky love and respect for his project. This doesn't come across, as many do, as simply a money-making endeavor but as something he wants to get accomplished just for the flat-out coolness of it!

Much of the film is already shot. They're just looking for a relatively small amount of cash to finish it. Mark, his crew and his actors even offer the nifty video above to give some some tantalizing hints of the footage.

I want to see this film. With the real world news just making you want to scream day after day, I could use a good, old-fashioned fun action film like this. But with less than $100.00 in my bank account at the moment and the electric bill looming this week, I'm sorry to say I can't contribute a dime. But maybe YOU can. And I can spread the word and so can you. Post the video and the Kickstarter link on Facebook. Let's see if we can bring THE CURSE OF THE PHANTOM SHADOW to light! Thanks! And good luck, Mark!

Silver Age Sub-Mariner Splash Page Sundays # 34

Another nicely framed splash from Buscema/Mooney with only the deep solid color of the title and the odd yellow of the word balloons throwing it off in any way.

Roy couldn't have realized it at the time but this issue, featuring the Hulk (obviously) as well as the Silver Surfer, was yet another step toward creating the long-running "non-team" of The Defenders.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Reading --Jeff Jones--1973

According to larry Hama, this was produced by Jeff Jones with the express permission that anyone could reprint it...only no one did at the time.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Feg Murray

Feg Murray's SEEIN' STARS was a Ripley-style newspaper feature about celebrities of the 1930's and '40's. As seen here, some of the marvelously drawn pieces were even reprinted in comic books of the day.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Movies That Fell Through the Cracks # 69


The seventies were loaded with big-budget motion pictures shot in exotic locations with major international stars...and sadly, it's kind of hard to find a good one. ASHANTI definitely isn't one.

Seventies supermodel Beverly Johnson plays a doctor who is kidnapped and her husband, played by Michael Caine, sets out across the desert to rescue her.

This had to have looked good on paper. Script is by the man who also did THE VALAVI PAPERS and PRETTY POISON, two smart, well-written dranas. Direction is by Richard Fleischer, son of Betty Boop and Popeye animator Max Fleischer and himself director of classics including Disney's 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, FANTASTIC VOYAGE and SOYLENT GREEN.

Along with the prolific Caine, actors include Rex Harrison, William Holden, Peter Ustinov, Kabir Bedi, Omar Sharif and Johnny Sekka. Most of them appear only briefly in the film Caine has often referred to as his worst.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Need Any Essentials or Showcases?


I have about 40 volumes of the early DC Showcase editions and the early Marvel Essentials. If anyone needs any early filler volumes, feel free to check with me before we put 'em on eBay or Yardsellr or haul 'em to Half-Price Books. Mostly like new. Make an offer now if you need any! No reasonable offers refused.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Thanks and Apologies

Just wanted to apologize for the lack of more substantial posts around here lately. Two weeks of a bad cold, blood pressure issues and insomnia take a toll on one's creativity.

Thanks to all who've made blog donations and DVD orders recently. They all help.

We managed to get our Internet bill paid (although still a month behind) and now we have ten days to pull together enough to keep the power from being turned off.

We've started gathering stuff to sell both locally and on the Web. I also wanted to once again throw out the offer that if you've seen me write about anything from our library over these past six years that you might like, feel free to make an offer. Can't guarantee I'll take it or even that we still have the item as we've had to divest ourselves of more things than I would have liked in recent years already.

We also have open ad space available. Since the remarkable publicity my GEEK'S JORNAL-1976 blog has received this year, traffic is up on all of my blogs and subject to huge bursts from time to time. My rates, I'm told, are downright cheap so hit me up if you have a product or event to publicize.

Goes without saying, of course, that blog donations are still being accepted through Paypal and if you're reading this blog and haven't checked out ourDVD sale collection yet (for which this blog gets a percentage of every one sold), I guarantee you'll find something there you like!

Now that I'm feeling better, I've got several book reviews to catch up on and an absolute ton of stuff we haven't even scratched the surface on yet here at Booksteve's Library! Stick with us!

Oh, that poster above? I just saw it on the Web and thought it was cool!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Silver Age Sub-Mariner Splash Page Sundays # 33

Another nice one. Again neatly framed by its own background and a nice, simple full-on shot of our nipple-less hero actually looking as though he might be in water. Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney again collaborate to positive effect and even the colorist seems to have cooperated for the first time in months with much more subtle hues. Why Namor's swimming with his eyes closed I have no idea however!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

DVD Rarities October Highlights


I know we just did one of these but we still need money to catch up on the electric bill by mid-month and Marty just updated the site so here's a few new ones from this month! Remember, BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY gets a percentage of every order!


NEW ITEMS AS OF October 1, 2011

Go here to order


THE FORGOTTEN FILMS OF ROSCOE "FATTY" ARBUCKLE

This four-disc set contains 32 classic film shorts, digitally remastered from archival materials.

This box set also includes a 36-page color booklet! 625 minutes total. This is the Mackinac Media release that retails $49.95 and our sale price is $20.00


I actually have this set and can verify that it's a great treat for the silent film buff! If you aren't an Arbuckle fan, the rare gems in this set aren't necessarily his best work but they're much fun for those familiar with this sadly maligned comic genius!


SCARFACE (1932)

An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall. This is the classic gangster film featuring the screen debut of George Raft. Boris Karloff plays a great lead. Al Capone was rumored to have liked the film so much that he owned a copy of it. This was the first film, historically, to feature the Thompson machine gun, also known as a Tommy Gun. If you like gangster pictures, this is a must-see!


HI-DE-HO! (1947)

Bandleader Cab Calloway is tiring of his sexy girlfriend Minnie, who in turn is jealous of Cab's manager Nettie. When Nettie gets Cab a job at the Brass Hat Club, Minnie retaliates for his imagined infidelity by setting gangster Boss Mason, owner of a rival club, against him. Will she regret her action before it's too late? (This plot resolves halfway through the film; the rest is a series of 'soundies' featuring the Calloway band's inimitable jive). All-black cast.


PRIVILEGE (1968)

Starring Paul Jones. Steven Shorter is the ultimate British music star. His music is listened to by everyone from pre-teens to grandparents. He has no trace of public bad habits or drug involvement. Everyone in Britain loves him. His handlers begin to use his popularity for projects like increasing the consumption of apples after a bumper crop as an aid to farmers. The handlers decide that Steven should support God and Country next. This leads to, among other things, a rock version of "Onward Christian Soldiers," and the inclusion of a Nazi salute to make it clear (to the viewer) how far the British population will be taken for love of God and Country under Steven's guidance. Steven is very plastic in his direction, shifting as his handlers point him toward new projects until he meets Vanessa Ritchie, an artist who makes him look at what's happening.



I had wanted to see this movie for ages. A biting and still relevant docudrama set in the near future and satirizing the influence of pop culture on religion and politics. Stars Paul Jones, the original lead singer for Manfred Mann (DOO WAH DIDDY).



SALUTE TO ORSON WELLES (1975)

This all-star cast contributes a salute to Orson Welles and his legendary work. Natalie Wood, Frank Sinatra, Edgar Bergen, Ingrid Bergman, Rock Hudson, Johnny Carson, Dennis Weaver, Janet Leigh, Joseph Cotten, Peter Bogdonovich, Robert Wagner. Cybill Shepherd, Truman Capote, Jamie Lee Curtis and Charlton Heston all appear in this wonderful salute!

Available this month only!!!


HOT ROD (1950)

One of the earliest hot rod movies. A teenager loves hot rods! His father is the town judge and he hates 'em! Eventually the teen gets a '32 roadster. But when one of his high school hot rod pals shuts him down while on a date with his best chick, it's a total put down and he retaliates by souping up his rod! Trouble ensues. Then redemption and a happy ending! Cool scenes: five car hot rod street race and footage of dry lakes racing at El Mirage. Stars Jimmy Lydon.