Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bob Hope For Pepsodent

IN the 1940's THE BOB HOPE SHOW made its sponsor, Pepsodent toothpaste, the most popular toothpaste around. The company even went so far as to use Bob in its print ads, a couple of which are seen here.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

***CONTEST***Win The Creativity of Ditko!

As you may have heard--since I haven't shut up about it in recent weeks--the new book, THE CREATIVITY OF DITKO is dedicated to yours truly, which kind of makes me a little proprietary about it. Ditko is arguably THE greatest stylist among the classic comic book artists and Craig Yoe's latest volume highlights many of his lesser-known--but hardly lesser!--stories.

If you haven't already purchased your copy after the series of positive reviews it's received all around, here's your chance--thanks to the good folks at IDW-- to win one completely free! No purchase necessary!

Basically, it's an essay contest. In 50 words or less, complete the following: I like Steve Ditko's work because... 

This time next weekend, I'll randomly choose the winner from amongst all entries and they will be notified via email. The winning entry will be posted here at BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY. We also reserve the right to publish any and all other entries. In case of a tie, there is a bonus question: Define the following--"A"

While, as stated, there is absolutely no purchase necessary to enter, we ask that you take a look at our sale blog at All entrants who end up also ordering something over the next week will be automatically entered a second time. TWO chances to win! Everyone is eligible, even if you've won in our contests before. Deadline is midnight, Friday, October 5th. Send your essays to Good luck!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mamas' Boys--The Adventures of Bruce and Davy

I think this is a brilliant idea! Through online conversations with cartooning great Stephen DeStefano in recent days, I've developed this animated show premise with his input. 

MAMAS' BOYS is done as if by Hanna-Barbera circa 1973 and stars an animated Bruce Lee who teams with an animated Davy Jones to go after spies, thieves, monsters and aliens as instructed via radio from Top Secret Government Agents Mama Cass and Vicki Lawrence's Mama.

The Mamas are always feuding via spilt screen as each insists that their assignment is the most important to save the world as we know it. 

Bruce and Davy travel in the Monkeemobile (although Bruce calls it the "Brucemobile" and is always longing for the days of Black Beauty).

Each episode will spotlight a song by Davy, often done with hat and cane to distract the bad guys so Bruce can kick 47 of them into submission. 

Suggested guest stars include Frank Zappa, Black Belt Jones, Barry Williams and Dynomutt!

Tell me this wouldn't generate ratings on Cartoon Network!
More to come! (?)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Galexo by Fran Matera

Thanks to FB friend Marc Miyake for pointing me towards the above GALEXO strip reprinted several years ago in an issue of ALTER EGO I didn't have. Once Marc got wind of that, I tracked down which issue had the Fran Matera interview and purchased the digital copy (issue 59 by the way. A VERY good issue. Sorry I missed it new.)

I have long suspected that our info that artist Fran Matera took over the BATMAN newspaper strip when Galexo was introduced (Type in "Galexo" in the above search box to get up to speed if you're confusicated.) might be incorrect, if only because every example of Matera's art I saw from before or after that period was much better than those strips in question. 

What it appears now is that the syndicate got someone to hack out the strips at first, DC eventually took issue with the continued use of Bruce and Dick and therefore renamed the strip itself after their replacement hero, bringing in Matera at that point to actually do (and sign) both dailies and Sundays "for the overseas market." No one ever seems to know what exactly that means. Where did these strips see print? If I'm correct, the oft-stated "fact" that the BATMAN strip limped on until 1974 is probably false, with the strip bering entirely replaced by GALEXO possibly as early as late 1972.

I still want to see more!! Anyone? Surely we can rally support for an archival collection of GALEXO?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ditko Contest

Remember this book? Stephen Bissette (whom I was pleased to meet all-too briefly this weekend) recently gave it a thoughtful review and recommendation (one of several parts of which can be found here. 

Well, if you haven't gotten hold of your own copy yet, thanks to the good folks at IDW, I've been given  a copy of the book to be given away in our latest contest! Details later this week. Keep watching the skies.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Forever Judy Ad-1970

Interesting. Here we are in 1970, not long after the 1969 death of the great but troubled singer/actress Judy Garland, and already she's being her old studio yet! And yet...if the documentaries are to be believed, Judy's fan base had consisted largely of gay men since the early fifties so why are they making this album available only via what would be presumed to be a senior citizen-targeted product?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Scenes From the Cincinnati Comic Expo

The most eclectic trio of all--Darkwing Duck, Dazzler and Dr. Doom. 3-D's. or is that 5?

                                                                     Whilce Portacio

                                                                          George Perez

                                                                    Dirk Manning

                                                                   Stephen Bissette

Mike Royer

Matt Tauber and Ted Haycraft, two longtime FB friends I met in person for the first time today.

Day one of the 3rd Annual Cincinnati Comic Expo seemed, at least from my point of view, a rousing success. We spent a little money in the eclectic dealers room, saw or spoke with a number of the guests (missed two but brought a present to a
nother that seemed to go over well), met 4 of my FB friends in person for the first time and generally soaked up all the geeky ambiance.

It was a bigger room this year and the crowds were much more orderly because of it. The staff was very helpful and always in a good mood no matter how harried things seemed at times. Lots of displays, lots of cosplayers, lots of non-traditional attractions (arcade games, Jedi training) and, from what I could tell, lots of fun for everyone who attended.

And here's the best part! If you couldn't make it today, it's still there tomorrow! Go! Enjoy!


Vintage 1940's Movie Ads


Friday, September 21, 2012

Who Is Batman?

 Here we have some screen grabs from a YouTube video (seen below) of Burns and Schreiber's SATURDAY MORNING SNEAK PEEK special from 1973. It's a fun clip featuring the voices of Mel Blanc and Paul Winchell as well as future game show host Chuck Woolery in his first TV role as Superman. My question is...who is that wearing Adam West's old outfit. I asked this on Facebook last night and there's been some interesting guesses. One person is quite sure it's Dick Gautier who subbed for West in a famous PSA the year before. It isn't. Other guesses include Fred Travalena, Rich Little and Bea Arthur (!?). It's not them either. In fact, there's no reason they would have hired a "name" at all. Remember, even Chuck Woolery was unknown at this time. I'm just curious if this actor, like Woolery, went on to do anything else. Also, since this is an "official" appearance of the Caped Crusader publicizing ABC's SUPER FRIENDS show, the actor should be counted among those who have officially played Batman. Any guesses? Anyone know for sure?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Cincinnati Comic Expo--This Weekend!

There are lots of great guests at this year's 3rd Annual Cincinnati Comic Expo this weekend, many of whom I've never even heard of, though. If you're my age, here are some of the folks you may remember! First off is the first ever SWAMP THING reunion featuring the four artists whose pioneering work on SWAMP THING, partly with Alan Moore, in the eighties, re-ctreated the very concept of adult comics. Tom Yeates currently draws the PRINCE VALIANT comic strip. Rick Veitch has created several cult favorite series including BRAT PACK and 1963. John Totleben worked on MIRACLEMAN including the single most violent comic book story of all time! Stephen Bissette created the pioneering indy anthology, TABOO.

George Perez started on Marvel's WHITE TIGER in the seventies and went on to fame with THE AVENGERS, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARHS and most especially THE NEW TEEN TITANS! The man has drawn more superhero crowd scenes than anyone ever!

Allen Bellman is a Golden Age artist who did much work for late Timely. He is also a sometime reader of and commenter on this blog!

Craig Boldman is a delightful writer/artist/actor best known for writing JUGHEAD and the ARCHIE newspaper strip for years.

Steve Englehart wrote many of Marvel's best stories in the seventies and eighties including long runs on THE AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA and DOCTOR STRANGE. At DC, he did a great BATMAN run as well as some fun and unique Marvel-style JLA stories.

Mike Royer was Jack Kirby's inker of choice for much of his later work but he was and is also a very good penciller who has worked on TARZAN, FLASH GORDON and Warner Brothers cartoon comics.

P. Craig Russell is one of those artists too good for comics. He did Opera comics and Elric stories but his best known mainstream work is probably his fantastic DOCTOR STRANGE special from the late seventies as well as a unique take on BATMAN.

Of all the Image guys, Whilce Portacio was probably my favorite. His WETWORKS debuted late and because of that I noticed it more. 

Finally, Dirk Manning, one of my Facebook friends and a fine Indy cartoonist.

And Willie Peppers. A Louisville resident according to the PR stuff, I remember Willie from local cons back in the seventies and then work on independent comics in the eighties. Be nice to see him again.

If any of you folks are going, look for me and say "hi." I don't get out much these days but i'm hoping to see some of my online friends and followers there. Starts tomorrow if you have a VIP pass, Saturday for the rest of us. Here's where you can get more info: