Tuesday, June 18, 2019

My First VCR Movies-1980

Today, I ran across a forgotten 1980 journal I kept. So far, I'm resisting the temptation to do it as a blog (see 1974 and 1976) but I am finding some interesting forgotten memories, too.

For example, on Tuesday, May 27th, a Primary Election Day here in Kentucky, I purchased my very first VCR (or VTR as they were briefly known). The ad from Cooper's Furniture said "$999.00! Prices will never be lower!" There went my life savings up to that point.

Took me the rest of the day to get it hooked up. A friend called and I told him what i was doing and he brought over a bootleg copy of STAR WARS on Beta that we watched right there in my living room! Amazing!

Just two days later, he was back, this time with a tape I could only watch when my parents weren't around--DEBBIE DOES DALLAS!

So my first pre-recorded movie ever was STAR WARS and my first porn was DEBBIE!

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Snuffy Smith and Barney Google at 100

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the BARNEY GOOGLE comic strip. Now, granted for more than half that time the star has been one Snuffy Smith and all his relatives and friends, with Barney himself making only irregular appearances. But this month finds Barney returning to the hills. After all, it isn't often that a comic strip lasts this long! This may, in fact, be only the fourth one other than GASOLINE ALLEY, THIMBLE THEATRE, and THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS.

One of my favorite books I ever worked on was this great collection from Yoe Books a few years back, highlighting long consecutive runs of the strip by its original creator, Billy DeBeck, recognized as arguably THE greatest storyteller in the history of comics! My wife and I both did some important research for this one.

You can order a copy here.


You can also order a collection of the 1930s BARNEY GOOGLE cartoons from my DVD site here:


These aren't restored or anything but they're ultra-rare. In fact, a number of sites on the Internet tell you that color versions no longer exist, that sound versions no longer exist. Let's just say you can't believe everything you read on the Internet.

HaPpY AnNiVeRsArY, BaRnEy aNd SnUfFy!

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Jim Shooter in 1966

 In 1966 I was 7 and 14 year old Jm Shooter was my idol because he was writing comic books! His Legion of Superheroes comics became early favorites as did his other Superman Family stories. Then, as he always said, he left comics to finish school and get a "real job." But then someone lured him back for just one more Legion story...or two. From there, Shooter controversially took over Marvel Comics and, depending on your perspective, either saved the company or drove it into bankruptcy. I met him once--extremely tall!--and he was very nice. But then I get along splendidly with my ex-boss when I'm not working for her. Shooter continued to create and innovate with Valiant and Defiant and beyond and his blogging has highlighted some fascinating bits of comics history from his perspective but he remains a divisive figure to this day. I prefer to remember him like this--a cocky kid who said he could do it...and did!

Monday, June 03, 2019

Denny Miller as Superman and Captain Marvel (!!??)

Actor Denny Miller was often typecast as dumb, musclebound jocks, but he played a number of iconic characters in his long career including Tarzan (and Tongo, his GILLIGAN'S ISLAND doppelgänger) and, in a sries of short US Air Force commercials, Superman! 

Perhaps most intriguing though is the mention below, in a plug for a sadly long-lost TV special on comic books, that Denny was set to play Captain Marvel! Presumably that deal was quashed because of the DC/Fawcett arrangement and possibly even because of the Marvel/Myron Fass dispute over the "Captain Marvel" name two years later.

Friday, May 24, 2019

A Trilogy of Terror from Yoe Books

A haunting trilogy: "Mummies," Swamp Monsters," and "Ghosts"! 
Curated by Steve Banes & Craig Yoe
Intros by Stephen Bissette & Steven Thompson 
Mummies: tinyurl.com/yxunldsm
Swamp Monsters: tinyurl.com/y248q9ez
Ghosts: tinyurl.com/yxm8ru7b

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Frank Godwin in Hollywood

Frank Godwin's work as a cartoonist and a children's book illustrator has aged extremely well and continues to be appreciated by collectors and connoisseurs. He drew a few Wonder Woman stories and was known for his Robin Hood illustrations. Here. though, we have some lovely 1930s celebrity art by the great illustrator. Wish I could give you some more info but I found these on my hard drive and don't recall where I found them online. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Graduation Day

Sorry there haven't been any new posts lately. Been dealing with preparations for our son's college graduation, which finally occurred yesterday!

I never attended college. It's been a sore point with me for years. When I was in high school, even though I had one of the highest grade point averages in the Class of '77, not once did anyone ever discuss college with me--no counselor, no teacher, no college recruiter. Not one word. So I graduated high school, 12th in my class (and 2nd highest scoring male student), and neither I nor my parents had the slightest clue about colleges, scholarships, ACTs, SATs, finances, or any of that. So I didn't go. When my dad was hit by a car and needed a year-long recovery, I took on his part-time job as a night janitor. A year after his recovery, my mother was hit by cancer just as I was looking to get my own apartment so I stayed home and helped my dad take care of her. After she passed, I got a part-time bookstore job and stayed on with my dad for another 11 years until he had a massive stroke and ended up in a nursing home for 16 months.

By that time I was managing a bookstore and married. Not long after my dad's death, my wife miscarried. We were told it might not be a good idea to try to have kids but a few years later, when we weren't trying, along came David.

We spent a lot of time worrying about how to finance his education when he was little. At 3, he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. He was on the autism spectrum. Doctors said he might not be able to learn much.

But he was already reading...on a 6th grade level. By Kindergarten he was reading on an 8th grade level. The teacher had to literally buy books for older kids for him and give him a shelf of his own in the classroom.

He was 2nd in his class in high school and gave a marvelous speech at the Honors presentation, after which he received multiple scholarships.

In spite of all our early worrying, David was able to attend a prestigious liberal arts college for four years completely free, with a double major in Mathematics and Education!

Yesterday, he graduated Magna Cum Laude, with NO student debt,  and is now looking to go on to achieve his PhD with another 5 years in Grad School where he has already been accepted as a teaching assistant!

I couldn't do it. For whatever reasons that conspired against me (including me), I was never a college graduate. But my son sure is!