Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Early TV and Early Me

One of my earliest favorite TV stars was the Duck on YOU BET YOUR LIFE.

The first TV star I ever saw in person was ROOM 222’s Karen Valentine.

The first TV star I ever got a letter from was THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E., Stefanie Powers.

The first time my name was heard on television was when Skipper Ryle read a letter I had dictated to my mother at age 6. I won a free pizza because he read it on the air. It was my first ever pizza!

When I was 5-6, us neighborhood kids played GILLIGAN’S ISLAND on a small grassy area in the middle of the Post Office parking lot. 

I was traumatized when TIME TUNNEL was canceled. Cried for days.

I remember when Tabitha was born on BEWITCHED. Many years later, Tabitha actress Erin Murphy is quoted on the cover of a book I co-wrote.

From an early age, I told my parents I wanted to be a writer because that’s what Rob Petrie did on THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. Recently, I dedicated a book I wrote to “Rob Petrie.”

Watching Bill(y) Mumy on THE WOODY WOODBURY SHOW talking about his comic book collection was what convinced my mother to stop throwing away my comic books.

One of my favorite cartoon series was MARINE BOY when I was five. Many years later, I spoke on the phone with Corinne Orr who did the character’s voice.
My friend Doug and I played Batman and Robin for two years at recess and after school. When Batgirl was introduced in season three of BATMAN, we added our classmate Debbie as the character but mainly she would just get tied to trees so we could rescue her. 

When my tricycle was stolen at age three, THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN is the show that helped me get over it that night. When the show ended, my dad came home with a brand-new tricycle for me. 

The first TV GUIDE I remember my family ever buying had FAMILY AFFAIR on the cover.

In my high school diary, I wrote about watching child star Kathy Coleman from LAND OF THE LOST sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in the 1974 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Four decades later, Kathy and I wrote about the weird behind-the-scenes story of that for her autobiography. 

On I DREAM OF JEANNIE, when Jeannie and Tony got married, my sixth-grade girlfriend and I watched it together via telephone—her at her house, myself at mine—much to the displeasure of our party line. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

My First Comic Books

While my first ever comic book was undoubtedly some forgotten CASPER issue circa 1962, my first superhero comic (and the book that made me WANT to learn to read) was the X-MEN seen here and the BATMAN from about a year later seen here is the book that I always count as my first book as a comic book collector! Before that, they were disposable, tradable, forgettable. After that, it was a constant struggle to keep Mom from tossing out stacks in big ol' greasy grocery sacks! Today's generation have NO idea!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

R.I.P. Tom Spurgeon

It's been a bad year as far as the mortality of comics people. Now comes word of the unexpected passing of Tom Spurgeon. If the name sounds familiar but you can't quite place it, it may be because of the quote I've had from Tom over on the upper right of this blog for a decade now. Tom was one of the earliest supporters of my blogging and later my books. When he started wishing me a Happy Birthday from his COMICS REPORTER site every year, I really felt like I had become a part of the comics community.

He had also been a comic strip writer, a COMICS JOURNAL editor, and since 2014 he was the Executive Director of Cartoons Crossroads Columbus. That's only 100 miles north of me and I kept hoping I'd get there one year to meet him, but no.

Tom was one of the best friends the comic book industry ever had.

Too many good people dying lately.


(Portrait of Tom Spurgeon by Michael Netzer, another major early supporter of my blogging.)

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Favorite Horror Films and Monster Movies

Tis the season. I grew up a monster kid and although I'm not as big on horror movies as I once was, there are still many, many monster and horror movies from over the years that mean a lot to me. Here we see literally a small selection, starting--above--with my very first favorite horror movie!