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 
Swamp Monsters:

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!

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Mr. Hop

Craig Boldman reminds me of MR. HOP, one of my favorite Saturday morning shows from the early 1960s. MR. HOP was produced locally starring WLW-T announcer Dave Manning. It was shown throughout the midwest on the network of WLW-T's various WLW sister stations.

I couldn't find a photo of Manning (aka Dave Stull and David Stull Manning). That's a rival kids host, Skipper Ryle, at lower right below. 

In his true identity, Manning also hosted the local version of the franchised IT'S ACADEMIC game show for high school students. 

Jack Louiso was Artie Mouse. Jack was apparently also a dancer as whenever Hop and Artie made a personal appearance, the Jack Louiso Dancers are credited as being on the bill. 

By the 1980s, Manning was an instructor at Cincinnati's School for the Creative and Performing Arts, where Sarah Jessica Parker had once attended.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Joe Palooka Statue

Built in the 1940s and still there today, comic strip boxing champ Joe Palooka has a statue on Indiana! Not a very GOOD one if you ask me, but... Eight feet tall and "can be seen for miles???"

Joe also appeared in a couple of long running low budget movie series as well as a TV series and various comic books. When Harvey Comics pocked up the rights to Joe, it's said that his book--and its several spinoffs-- saved the company. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Scream-In, Starring Mr. Whopper-1968

Longtime readers may recall the autograph at right that I got from seven-footer "Mr. Whopper" when I was 8 years old. Today on Facebook, comics writer/artist (and actor) Craig Boldman reminded me of a long buried memory. Before Cincinnati's iconic Cool Ghoul came along to host WXIX-TV's SCREAM-IN Saturday night horror movie show, it was hosted by a "ghoulish couple" that 
included...Mr. Whopper!

Mr. Whopper was Bill Engesser, a former (you guessed it) basketball player turned small time actor and spokesperson for Partridge Meats "Whopper" franks.

As an actor, he got the parts that were turned down by Ted Cassidy and Richard Kiel, ranging from the werewolf in the now classic nudie film HOUSE ON BARE MOUNTAIN (under the name Abe Greyhound) to Bigfoot on TV's Saturday morning superhero series, ISIS. His biggest credit was in the Burt Reynolds/Lauren Hutton picture, GATOR.


Memories are unclear and old newspapers aren't helping as to sorting out when the "ghoulish couple" ended and the Cool Ghoul began. If anyone has any more info (or photos!) please let me know! Thanks!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

R.I.P. Greg Theakston

I first saw the name Greg Theakston in connection with Jack Kirby as Greg inked a lot of the King's later work (including THE HUNGER DOGS). A longtime fan, he became a friend and advisor to Jack. He even put out two books on Kirby, one on the '70s and the second volume in the '70s.

He also published fanzines like PURE IMAGINATION which covered in great depth the origins of Spider-Man. And an ambitious book project, THE COMPLETE JACK KIRBY.

And more books on Wallace Wood, Lou Fine, and other comics legends.

And THE BETTY PAGES! Greg was part of the cult of men a certain age smitten with the vanished 1950s pin-up queen. Unlike most, he was determined to find her. He published several issues of the digest sized BETTY PAGES as well as a couple volumes of a full-sized "annual" edition.

Bettie returned but not because of Greg but he did, at least, get to speak with her.

He continued publishing books, including the two seen here on Jack Kirby, both of which were proofread and edited by me (although Greg would sometimes choose to ignore my suggested changes or corrections).

A few years ago, he left Facebook and little was seen or heard from him anywhere until this week's report of his passing.

Greg Theakston was loved by some, reviled by others. He was a controversial figure in every sense of that word but he was a unique presence in comics fandom and a first class historian.

May he rest in peace.