Sunday, December 30, 2012
Didn't see this online in October. Larry Smith had a number of children's' series on Cincinnati area television between the mid-fifties and the late nineties! He sometimes shopped in my store in the nineties as well. I finally got to meet him officially in 2007...and he had Hattie the Witch with him!!!!
Here's a brief interview with writer Peter David, whom our son is named after. Peter suffered a stroke while on vacation this weekend and we're awaiting more info. He's blogging about it himself at least but still...Send as many best wishes his way as you can muster.
From the director of THE STING! Diane Lane's first film. The humor is intelligent, the emotions genuine, the locations gorgeous and Lord Olivier chews the scenery even better than HE had ever done before! My favorite film of 1979...which was a pretty big year in film!
Saturday, December 29, 2012
It's all too big for this venue but I've started an ever-growing album on Facebook that you can see, even without a Facebook account, via this link.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Here are some ads from a handsome celebrity endorsement ad campaign for Blatz Beer in the 1950's. Blatz sponsored radio's DUFFY'S TAVERN logically but briefly during this period. Watch for Martin Grams' long-awaited history of DUFFY'S TAVERN coming in 2013. I'm proofreading it for him now!
Saturday, December 15, 2012
I don't do Decembers well. Both my parents died in December. This year, the money's running low again, there are sudden unexpected computer issues, I'm having major sleeping problems and scrambling to catch up on three good-sized projects. Then yesterday's shooting hit me hard. Need to take a break, at least on this blog. Probably be back in a few days, definitely before Christmas. In the meantime, be good to yourselves.
Both pieces of artwork here were created last night using a combination of Paintbrush, IPhoto and FotoFlexer.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Yes, it's emotionally hurting and damaged people who often commit gun violence...but the guns, even if you think of them as just tools, definitely aid them in doing so. And yes, there are plenty of gun laws on the books already...but if you've noticed, they aren't stopping the problem. How many more children need to die? How many more once-good people need to commit unspeakable acts? How long before we say "ENOUGH!" and change the talk from who's right or wrong about guns to talk about stopping the insanity that they can foster? Serious issues call for serious discussions and not political powerplays. Maybe this time? I doubt it. Maybe next time...
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Lots of other nifty stuff in COMICS ABOUT CARTOONISTS as well. Look for full coverage coming later this week.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Shirley Booth was a long-respected Broadway star as well as the creator of the role of "Miss Duffy" on radio's DUFFY'S TAVERN when she took on the role of Ted Key's perfect maid, Hazel, in the sixties and became forever associated with that character.
Sellers rarely did serious interviews but in 1974 after a career downslide and just before his biggest comeback, he sat down for a fun conversation with chat show legend Michael Parkinson. Here's a longish excerpt. The full interview was later released as a record album.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
Saturday, December 08, 2012
A little late but here are some highlights from this month's update on BOOKSTEVE RARITIES. Thousands of ultra-rare items on DVD but here's a few new ones just in time for the holiday.
HOLLYWOOD SCREEN TESTS (Volume One)
Yes, we plan to have a volume two next month. Here you get to see screen tests for Hollywood stars trying out for roles they never got and roles they did win. Candice Bergen, Mia Farrow auditions for Liesl in The Sound of Music, Patty Duke, Mia Farrow, Ann-Margaret, Raquel Welch and James Coburn cavort in a screen test for Our Man Flint, Sharon Tate, Albert Finney, Sean Connery’s 1957 screen test for The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Marlon Brando tests for Viva Zapata!, Dustin Hoffman, Rich Little, Adam West and Burt Ward (yes, Batman), Lyle Waggoner and Peter Deyell, Yvonne Craig, Angela Cartwright, Christopher Plummer, Andy Williams, Pat Boone, The Sound of Music screen tests, Mitzi Gaynor and other surprises.
ESPIONAGE IN TANGIERS (1965)
George Lazenby's first movie role. Spanish/Italian made European James Bond style spy thriller. When a professor's powerful invention, a molecular disintegration weapon is stolen, it's up to super cool agent 077 Mike Murphy to retrieve the dangerous tool and take care of the potential evildoers. Filled with fights, car chases, gadgetry and beautiful women, this spy adventure helped create an action/spy mini-genre craze in Europe in the mid 1960's along with the first three James Bond films.
KEN MAYNARD WESTERN CLASSICS
Seven classic Westerns starring Ken Maynard! Three DVD box set includes the following:
"The Fiddlin' Buckaroo" (1933)
"In Old Santa Fe" (1934)
"Lawless Riders" (1935)
"Western Frontier" (1935)
"Fighting Thru" (1930)
"The Trail Drive" (1933)
"Heir to Trouble" (1935) $15.00
THE FILMS OF MONTE BANKS (1923-24)
Four rare film shorts starring Monte Banks. THE COVERED SCHOONER (1923), WEDDING BELLS (1924), PAY OR MOVE (1924) and GOLF BUG (1924). Monte Banks was a silent scree comedian who has yet to make his name, overshadowed by such genius as Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle. Here's your chance to watch four classics (92 minutes total).
LLOYD HAMILTON COMEDY SHORTS
Being one of numerous important comedians during the silent era whose popularity has turned into almost complete obscurity, Lloyd Hamilton has nevertheless earned a reputation as an original talent among film historians and enthusiasts. Here's your chance to watch five of his famous talkies. DON'T BE NERVOUS (1929), PRIZE PUPPIES (1930), DOUBLING IN THE QUICKIES (1932), FALSE IMPRESSIONS (1932) and POP'S PAL (1933)
JOE BESSER AND JOE DERITA COMEDY CLASSICS
All four comedy film shorts from 1946 to 1948 starring Joe DeRita, and all 10 Joe Besser solo film shorts from 1949 to 1956. If you love the Three Stooges, you'll love watching these digitally-remastered classics on DVD!
VINTAGE CHRISTMAS FILM SHORTS
A collection of ten film shorts with a nostalgic peek into the Yuletide pleasures of the early 1900s. Included on this disc is Edison's A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1910), A CHRISTMAS ACCIDENT (1912), A WINTER STRAW RIDE (1906), A TRAP FOR SANTA (1909), A HOLIDAY PAGEANT AT HOME (1901), SANTA CLAUS vs. CUPID (1915), SANTA CLAUS (1925), THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1905), THE ADVENTURE OF THE WRONG SANTA CLAUS (1914).
Friday, December 07, 2012
My friend Allen Singer writes books. Not just any books, mind you, but Arcadia Books! You know the ones--those sepia-toned regional history titles that have dotted much of the US for the past decade or so now.
In fact, Allen's first book from 2003 has at times been one of their best-selling ones in this area. The thing is, it deserves a wider audience because of it's fascinating subject. That book is THE CINCINNATI SUBWAY, the first book to take any kind of in-depth look at the near-mythical Queen City underground transit system that never was.
You see, Cincinnati was all poised to run with the bigger cities with railroad rapid transit like you'd find in New York or Boston or Chicago or even Cleveland! But then the well ran dry and through politics, Depressions and Wars the entire project was backburnered and eventually abandoned. BUT...not before leaving a number of tunnels and even stations to fire one's imagination!
There was often talk of getting back to the Subway project but as decades flew by, it became cheaper for everyone involved to simply maintain it as a bunch of holes in the ground rather than finish it or even fill them in.
As a kid, I used to see the tunnel entrances alongside roads, all overgrown and barred off. I had no clue what they were, though. I used to imagine them to be dank, dark dungeons. In fact, my first knowledge of the ghost subway came from a PM MAGAZINE news report in 1981. I was immediately spellbound! I wanted to know more but little more was forthcoming for another 20 years or so.
Then came Allen. Long interested in railroads, I remember him telling me that he was researching the abandoned Cincinnati subway system long before it seemed likely he would ever craft a book out of that info.
But he did.
In a little more than 125 heavily illustrated pages, Allen gives a basic background history on rapid transit in the Ohio Valley and then fits in the whole convoluted story of the non-existent subway. Those familiar with the Arcadia books will know that their standard format allows the plethora of highly annotated historic and rare photographs to tell the story on a wholly separate level than just the well-researched text. In the case of this particular story, that means scores of amazing photos that hadn't seen the light of day since the original construction as well as some, I believe, taken exclusively for this book!
Not satisfied with just telling the story up until it seemingly ended, Allen goes on into each subsequent decade, covering constantly stillborn plans to revive the project as well as plans to turn what was already there into everything from a wine cellar to an underground shopping district!
Even if you've never set foot in Cincinnati, Allen Singer's book, THE CINCINNATI SUBWAY is an amazing and enjoyable read filled with stunning and eerie images.
One of Allen's other Arcadia books is a sort of companion volume, CINCINNATI ON THE GO, which covers the forms of mass transit that Ohio's Queen City ended up with before, after and instead of the subway. If you're a transportation buff or have one on your Christmas list, I recommend the one-two punch of both books for a fuller picture of the whole story.
Entertainment fans will appreciate my friend's remaining two volumes as both deal with various aspects of show business in The Ohio Valley.
STEPPING OUT IN CINCINNATI (of which I helped edit one chapter) covers Vaudeville, Burlesque, nightclubs and, most fun of all, the great movie palaces of the area, again in the standard Arcadia format so there are tons of heavily annotated photos of long gone theaters. There are also tales of speakeasies, gangsters and celebrities, with little-seen photos of local, national and international entertainers.
His most recent volume takes this area's best-known nightclub, the ill-fated BEVERLY HILLS COUNTRY CLUB, and spotlights the memories and ultra-rare insider photos of a man who actually worked there during the club's peak years as one of the major stops for anyone who was anyone in show biz. This is NOT the story of the fire that eventually and tragically burned the place to the ground and took so many lives. No, this is the story of the jumpin', jivin' swinging years when The Beverly Hills really could be termed the showplace of the nation!
If you're from Cincinnati, there's a certain nostalgia factor involved. That's what the whole success of the Arcadia book series is predicated on. But Allen Singer's four volumes all have a wider appeal. You can take a look at more about them here: http://www.amazon.com/Allen-J.-Singer/e/B001IZPMNG/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1354868016&sr=1-5
And I see they're all available now for your Kindle as well!
Thursday, December 06, 2012
One of my favorite sixties films is DANGER: DIABOLIK. Tim Lucas, who accompanies star John Phillip Law in a great DVD commentary on one version released in the past decade, posted the above image today on Facebook. There have been a couple other images related to this on other blogs in recent years but no one seemed to know what it was that they had.
Tim points out that this is, in fact, Jean Sorel and Elsa Martinelli in an aborted 1964 Seth Holt version that presumably never got beyond the promo stills phase.
Eventually, of course, we ended up with John Phillip Law and Marisa Mell in Mario Bava's colorful cult classic pop art version seen below.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Yesterday, I absentmindedly made the above in Mac Paintbrush while chatting with my son. Originally, I thought they were stylized candles.
But I'm in a superimposing phase right now so I used Fotoflexer to superimpose a slightly smaller, faded version. It started to look like a city to me.
So I used Fotoflexer's various special effects in multiple combinations until I got an effect I liked and that I thought really gave the impression of a city. I posted it on Facebook but I still wasn't satisfied with it, though.
So back to Paintbrush where I flipped the second image, recolored it and actually added to it.
I then superimposed the original and the second on top of the third (yellow) image to create this shimmering effect. I liked it but it looked less like a city than before.
Finally I ended up in IPhoto where I darkened the last image, highlighted various aspects via trial and error and then gave it the deep, wood look you see here which, to me, looks like a smoggy city with skyscrapers and cars and smokestacks.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Monday, December 03, 2012
Sunday, December 02, 2012
Saturday, December 01, 2012
Something happens that will likely kill Clara and The Doctor doesn't want that to happen. He determines he can save her but only by melding her mind with someone else's, similar to what had been done wit Donna. Where to find
a mind that wouldn't itself be damaged by doing that? Hmmm...Then he remembers Oswin and manages somehow to pluck her mind out of its Dalek shell just prior to her death but AFTER her adventure with The Doctor and stick it in Clara's head. The two minds heal each other giving Clara Oswin...or rather Clara/Oswin!...both a bit of Victorian naiveté and traces of being the sarcastic computer genius we all fell so quickly in love with as well!
Just a thought.