Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year from Namor


The Golden Age Sub-Mariner is a party animal. Who knew? Be sure not to fly drunk on those tiny l'il ankle wings tonight, buddy. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fearless Fosdick Lives Again!


Well, it's been nearly a year but I've finally run across a third FEARLESS FOSDICK comic strip ad for Wildroot Cream Oil ("Chaaaarlie!"). This one's from late 1954. Al Capp's violent DICK TRACY parody (L'IL ABNER's "ideel" as you will recall) was perhaps more popular as pitchman for this (supposedly not) greasy kid stuff than he was in his infrequent appearances in his parent strip! Anyone know who actually drew these? Certainly with Capp's reputation for (amongst other things) hiring ghosts for nearly every aspect of his work, there's no reason to believe Capp himself did them.

How I Foxed the Navy-By Arthur Godfrey


Here we have an interesting 1950's ad told in his trademark folksy style by Arthur Godfrey. Not sure how long he was on the air consecutively but I recall listening to a radio variety series of his as late as 1970!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Batton Lash and The Soddyssey

Today, I received a nice Christmas present in the mail from cartoonist Batton Lash, one of the nicest AND most creative folks I've ever met in the comics industry. I had previously interviewed Mr. Lash for the book WELL! REFLECTIONS ON THE LIFE AND CAREER OF JACK BENNY. The connection here is a wonderful story from Batton's WOLFF AND BYRD, COUNSELORS OF THE MACABRE strip that features a gazillion Benny references. That story is reprinted in the current collection, THE SODDYSSEY AND OTHER TALES OF SUPERNATURAL LAW. I should mention at this point that this is NOT a review but instead a blatant plug. Anything with Batton Lash's name on it is several notches above anything with anyone else's name on it in today's comics world and deserves to be in the collection of any discerning fan or casual reader. For one thing, Lash's work is fun, the way comics used to be fun. It's also often funny. I mean really funny, not just stupid like so much of what passes for humor is these days. Sometimes it's laugh out loud funny and sometimes it's chuckle-worthy witty in a way that comics simply aren't anymore. This is the man who brought you ARCHIE MEETS THE PUNISHER, one of the most notoriously oddball comics of them all! This is also the clever creator whose RADIOACTIVE MAN issues from Bongo Comics offer letter-perfect re-creations of various comics ages , genres and companies. Most recently, he has turned his history-conscious genius to ARCHIE-THE FRESHMAN YEAR, the first issue of which is filled to the brim with in-joke references to such past fads as PUREHEART THE POWERFUL, THE MAN FROM R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E. and even the ARCHIE ANDREWS radio series! Having twice played Jughead onstage with the original cast, I of course, recognized "my" lines, "Aww...Relax, Archie..RE-lax!" I hadn't heard about this mini-series within a series running in ARCHIE until Mr. Lash included a copy of the first issue from this past summer with his gift. Within the hour, I was visiting my local comic shop for the remaining issues.
All of which brings me to THE SODDYSSEY, volume two of the most recent series featuring our heroes. Alana Wolff is the bizarrely coiffed protagonist with Jeff Byrd as her Foggy Nelson-like cohort. The stories offer a unique combination of legal humor, monster humor and heart-tugging pathos but underneath it all is a subtle plea for acceptance and understanding of those different from us. Lash's art, like his writing an amalgam of classic styles, is at a sort of peak in this volume. Even so, the credits indicate that he touched up or even completely redrew some of the pages for the collection. Guest artists such as BONE's Jeff Smith and Steve Bissette turn up briefly, too.
All in all, a joyful thing to have as I wind down my last week at work this next week. I look forward to kicking back with THE SODDYSSEY next weekend. If you want to do the same (and as I say, you should), check your local comic shop or order a copy here: http://www.exhibitapress.com/

If you want to read my interview with Batton Lash, you can order a copy of WELL! here: http://bearmanormedia.bizland.com/id254.html

If you happen to be flying through the midwest this week, both books are available at BORDERS in the Greater Cincinnati Airport!

Check http://www.supernaturallaw.com/ for new online tales of Wolff and Byrd!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Revisiting the OTHER Spirit Movie






Hmmm....Whilst I hesitate to make a judgement about a film without seeing it, THE SPIRIT is garnering negative (and that's probably too polite a word) reviews out the proverbial wazoo. The gist of bloggy buddy Lisa's review was, "Don't go!" (http://lisa-mynx.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-review-of-spirit.html) Makes me think the late Mr Eisner (whom I ironically met on the day he gave Frank Miller an Eisner award many years back!) might be revisting the 1987 TV pilot in his afterlife and thinking maybe it wasn't so bad after all. Here's some more screen grabs from it. Also, here--http://www.samjjones.com/--is a link to the official site of its star, FLASH GORDON's Sam J Jones. There you can get signed SPIRIT photos such as the one seen at the top here!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 46


Now, I know this Stan Lee/Dan DeCarlo scene is from a 1954 pre-Comics Code Atlas issue but STILL...that's a rather blatant line those aliens (or is it THAT alien?) are making as they stare sideways at MY FRIEND IRMA!

Paul McCartney and Sherlock Holmes



So I'm driving home yesterday and flipping channels on the radio trying to find something other than already overplayed Christmas music when all of a sudden I hear the familiar piano chords of Paul McCartney's song MAYBE I'M AMAZED from Wings' 1976 three record concert set. Suddenly I was taken back 32 years to Christmas eve of that Bicentennial year. Normally, in my family, we opened gifts on Christmas morning but that year for some reason (perhaps simply my 17 year-old impatience) we had done it on Christmas eve and I got WINGS OVER AMERICA as a present. I remember very vividly sitting up until the wee hours of the morning straining to hear every little guitar note and giggle through the thick black headphones plugged in to the stereo (yes, with an 8 Track. Wanna make something of it?) next to my bed. Suddenly it all seemed so weird as I imagined myself lying there then and now, exactly 32 years later to the day after I first heard it, hearing that song on the radio!
I wasn't sitting there idly, however, on that long ago evening. Lest I fall asleep, I was also reading (big surprise) my OTHER big Christmas present of 1976, THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES, taken down from its place of honor here in the Library just this evening and scanned for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Comic Book

All the cool bloggers are writing about favorite Christamas comics this season but I've yet to see anyone mention mine. Perhaps that's because it's dated August, 1968 which, owing to comics dating and shipping peculiarities of the day, means it came out in June of that year!


SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS, was, of course, Marvel's "war mag for people who hate war mags." While having little bearing on reality, it was entertaining like an old Clark Gable or Errol Flynn war movie and even made some valid political and social commentary in the late sixties. Traditionally, the summer annuals for the title would show the commandos at either a major WWII battle or reenlisted in other wars such as Vietnam or Korea.

Continuity-wise, of course, Sgt. Fury had gone on to become spymaster Colonel Nick Fury, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. In this particular annual, we revisit the Christmas of 1967 and find Col Fury hanging out at sidekick Dum-Dum's house for a holiday reunion of the old gang. What's perfect about this story is that...nothing happens!! Modok's not hiding in the cranberry sauce (like that other time!), A.I.M. doesn't invade the suburbs and the Christmas tree doesn't turn out to be a living alien predator. None of the Howlers are hypnotized, the Hate Monger hasn't spiked the eggnog, Captain America doesn't stumble in fighting the Red Skull and nobody dies!! It's Christmas! Nick simply catches up with Reb and Gabe and Izzy and Pinky and even Eric (who, if I recall correctly, had been thought a traitor at the time in the rgular comic!). Granted the bulk of the story is him boring Izzy's kids with the story of how his guys personally won the Battle of the Bulge but...


Wonderful art from Dick Ayers and the great John Severin (and I swear I detect a hint of an uncredited Herb Trimpe in places, too!) with perfectly in-character dialogue from regular scripter Gary Friedrich. It may have been a summer annual but it became my all-time favorite Christmas comic!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Captain Tootsie Time Again



Haven't run a CAPTAIN TOOTSIE in awhile. Here's an early one with art credited fully to C.C. Beck. CAPTAIN TOOTSIE AND THE GREAT JEWEL ROBBERY.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 45


I've always enjoyed artist Sheldon Moldoff's work on the Golden Age HAWKMAN in FLASH COMICS. It's filled with well-done Alex Raymond swipes and lots of photo reference, giving it a unique look for the time period. Sometimes, though, the tracing and copying led to inadvertently awkward poses such as the one seen here. What should be a relatively simple view of the Hawk (as he was often called) running ends up looking more like our hero slipping on a banana peel!

Paul Still Isn't Dead


In recent years, son bookdave has become obsessed with the whole "Paul is dead" rumor that ran rampant in 1969-70 and later resurfaced on the internet (in a supposed "historical" context).


Well, last month, Paul--still very much alive--saw his third FIREMAN CD released and, coincidentally, I found a comedy sketch I wrote in August of 1980 (remember! John was still alive) that still makes me laugh. (Okay. okay. I know its not THAT funny! That's why I'm NOT opening next week at your local comedy club.) This came at the tail-end of my sojourn into professional comedy and was written but never performed. The actual whole piece is a 20 minute news parody that I remember reading out loud to a few of the other members of our already disintegrating troupe, THE OHIO RIVER SWIM CLUB. Here's my Paul is Dead bit. I know its a bit tasteless but we weren't known for our tasteful humor:

Announcer: Good evening. Our top story tonight, former Beatle and Rock Legend Paul McCartney has died...according to clues on his latest album. (Brief music clip plays). It may sound like nonsense verse but that lyric you just heard, when played backwards at a slower speed and translated from Latin, is said to be, quote, "Paul will kick the bucket." Another song repeats the words, "temporary secretary," which, again when played backwards and this time translated into phonetic Russian words...umm...that I can't pronounce... indicates today's date. "It's obvious that Paul wanted to let us down easy by subtly conveying the news. He knew we'd all figure it out." was the quote from the head of McCartney's fan club. Details of the singer's actual demise are sketchy at this time but may be cleared up tomorrow when Mr. McCartney himself has called a press conference for 10 AM Eastern time here in New York where he's preparing to start a new world tour. He's expected to completely deny the story as usual. When reached for comment, Ringo reportedly stated, "What? Again?" and George Harrison stated, "Ooooooommmmmmm!" It was, however, unclear s to whether Mr. Harrison was actually commenting on the story or on something else all together. We'll try to get a comment from Mr. McCartney on the story.




Saturday, December 20, 2008

Patsy and Hedy-Girls on the Go-Go


Everybody liked my MILLIE THE MODEL posts so here's a mid-sixties ad for Marvel's other big characters for girls, PATSY AND HEDY. Redhead Patsy was, of course, Patsy Walker who was later written into Marvel super hero continuity as Hellcat. Dig those groovy threads, man!


Me, I wanna know if Elvis, Mia and Ilya actually guest-starred in this issue!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry



STAR TREK's undisputed First Lady, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, died yesterday. As everyone who cares already knows, Majel was 2nd in command in the original pilot with Jeff Hunter, McCoy's nurse in TOS, Troi's "Auntie Mame" momma in ST-TNG, a whole bunch of voices in the animated series and the voice of the future in all incarnations up to and including the one coming out next year!


My wife, along with many lovestruck young ladies throughout the world related strongly to Majel's Christine Chapel character. Chapel was the soft-spoken medical assistant who secretly loved Mister Spock. The character was a far cry from that of her best role, however--Lwaxana Troi! This was a bold, brassy, loud character, always in motion in some way, always a step ahead of--or outside of--reality. Her infrequent appearances opposite Captain Picard were popular and akin to those of John DeLancie's Q in that her episodes were always over the top.


Now back in the day, we went to a LOT of STAR TREK conventions. One of the biggest and best was an early nineties CREATION con in Cincinnati in which John DeLancie and Majel performed the very first of only a handful of live readings of Peter David's delightful and appropriately over the top STAR TREK-THE NEXT GENERATION novel, Q-IN-LAW in which the two bizarre characters actually wed!


Now we had met a lot of celebrities by that point and most--especially the STAR TREK stars--had been very nice. I suppose there's something about meeting someone you felt a kinship with from an early age, however, that makes it a little different. As with most CREATION cons, there were strict rules for meet and greet. Majel, however, like Lwaxana, apparently didn't care for them so she grabbed a friendly dealer and asked if she could sit at his table and talk to fans. We were nearby and joined the quickly forming line. As we approached, my wife was kind of hyperventilating. I reminded her how nice Michael Dorn had been...Nichelle, Walter, George...Marina, Gates and good ol' Shatner-dissing Jimmy Doohan. Didn't matter. I got up to Majel and had her sign our copy of Q-IN-LAW (intending full well to get DeLancie's signature later but his line would be too long) as seen here. Then Rene spoke...or attempted to. Majel smiled pleasently, almost as if she'd seen the symptoms before. She asked my wife's name but words failed her so I told her myself, adding that she had always been an absolute favorite to her. She smiled again as I dragged my jabbering wife away to make room for the next person. She's since met the Clintons, Tipper, Lieberman, Susan Sarandon, Courtney Love, Melissa Ethridge and other world players and my lovely wife takes them all in stride. Rest in peace, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry. You were the only one who left my wife speechless.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Christa Helm Photos


Discovered this today by backtracking someone who came to my blog looking for Christa Helm. It's just a series of photos of the late actress strung together on YouTube (no music even). Most of them are the same ones that Christa's daughter provided me and CBS BUT...there are a handful of pictures I had never seen (including the cell phone capture seen here). There are even some new stills from the unreleased LET'S GO FOR BROKE and what appear to be behind-the-scenes shots from the same! I have a slight suspicion as to who compiled this but not sure. If you've been following the case (still waiting on the DNA results last I heard) here at the Library, check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/user/80sBigHairGirl

Doctor Who-The Encyclopedia


This is the kind of book that frustrates me tremendously. On the one hand the book--an early and most welcome Christmas present from friend Kim--is a marvelously put-together collection of beautiful color stills and episode frame grabs from the first three series of the RTD version of DOCTOR WHO. On the other hand...it's a reference book. It's not designed to be read but to be consulted. Every single little reference to anything from every episode is alphabetized and explained--often in great depth. This, then, would be a good book to keep alongside the couch as one watched the DVD of series three for instance. Martha might mention some alien race and you simply flip open the book and you remember where she's met them before and get tons of background on them. I actually have quite a few books like this here in the Library. It's surprising, however, just how little their use arises in real life.


The pictures, on the other hand, are quite well chosen. They're all here--Doctor # 9, Doctor # 10 (in the main, actually), Rose, Mickey, Martha, Captain Jack, Donna Noble (from the Christmas special only) even fan favorite (and mine) Sally Sparrow! Crisp, clear images wonderfully lit with bright colors and perfect lighting (it's a BBC book after all so they get access to all the good stuff). The problem is, if you try to read it in some kind of linear order you get a jumble of episode and character recaps that have no context whatsoever. I'm glad to have it but after I flip through and look at the pictures, it goes right up on the shelves. In the vast DOCTOR WHO section, of course.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Keaton at Charlie Parker


Speaking of Keaton, here's a wonderfully atmospheric shot of Buster found over at IF CHARLIE PARKER WERE A GUNSLINGER, THERE'D BE A WHOLE LOT OF DEAD COPYCATS (http://tsutpen.blogspot.com/). The comedian's career was rather infamously derailed by alcoholism and yet in the late fifties, he was known for a series of clever TV beer commercials. Not sure where this pic comes from and since he looked prematurely aged from the late forties onward, it's hard to date. Not wearing his traditional hat though. Could be from real life. Check out the above site for tons of rare and unique photos.

Samuel Beckett's Film


Back in the 1970's, I watched a PBS presentation of playwright Samuel Beckett's WAITING FOR GODOT and I was riveted. I know that many people truly hate this existentialist look at...well...nothing? Everything? As I say, though, I was riveted. It made me think! I had not seen a lot of real plays even on television and this one simply entranced me. (Can't recall who starred in it at the moment though as I've seen several versions since.)


During that same period, I had developed a still-thriving obsession of all things Buster Keaton. Little by little I had managed to see all of his greatest movies before 1980. Everything from a restored, tinted version of THE SAPHEAD to THE NAVIGATOR, THE GENERAL, SHERLOCK JR and even PAJAMA PARTY and A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. Even THE RAILRODDER! What I never found...was FILM.

Samuel Beckett, according to at least one source, was a big Keaton fan, also and, in fact, was reportedly inspired by Buster to write GODOT. Thus, I suppose it was logical for the author to seek out his muse when making his first film. The film, FILM is silent, only about 18 minutes long and is filled with jumpy cameras, nightmarish closeups, bizarre imagery and a graceful but ultimately disappointing non-performance by Keaton (just prior to his death) as an old man who runs, goes into a building and sits in a chair. Only then does he face the camera and we see he has a patch on his eye. Remember when I said that while I see the pretentiousness that others see in WAITING FOR GODOT, I still "got" it? Well, after nearly thirty years of waiting, I hate to say it but I do NOT get FILM. It seems not so much existential as surreal for the sake of surreal in the way that Salvador Dali in his later years created garbage and TOLD his followers it was "deep." Hmmm...I could name a few comic book artists that do that, too. Elitest claptrap, anyone? All in all, I have to say I'm glad to finally cross off yet another of my long-time must-see pictures but when it comes to later Keaton...I still prefer HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Internet Musings


The Internet is a bizarre, wonderful and scary place. I've now found myself cited (and not by me) as a source on three different Wikipedia pages and then today I discover an actual caricature of me on a comics fandom history page. Long-time readers will recall this CAPTAIN AMERICA caricature of the teenage booksteve, purchased by mail from the late great GOODGUY artist Alan Hanley and written about early on at the Library. Well here it is, too--http://www.inter-fan.org/Interfan2.htm-- along with a couple of other pieces from our collection. I'm given credit and I may have even known about this but I never saw it until today. A real nice, categorized history of comics fandom. Check it out!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Frank Sinatra Autographed Bracelets


By 1947, Frank Sinatra had become a parody of himself and his earlier career and yet was still a few years away from reinventing himself as the Chairman of the Board. That's when we saw THIS little item--genuine 24 carat gold plated bracelets autographed and endorsed by Frankie himself (Swoooon!). More than likely the ever-fickle bobbysoxer brigade that dogged him a few years earlier did NOT run wild. Note that the autograph is, in the fine (and fading) print, "...an actual impression of Frankie's signature reading 'Faithfully Frank Sinatra.'" Wasn't he with Ava at this point? And what's this? Oh, wow! For a limited time only you got a free book of Frankie's life story with a cover pic printed "in gorgeous duotone!" Although Sinatra's career would rebound endlessly, he would sadly continue to parody himself over and over. At one point in the eighties, live concert films showed that 'the Voice" would rarely stray anywhere near the correct words or tunes of his own familiar songs. Who did he think he was? Van Morrison?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dr Who's Neutron Exterminator



Bet this was big at UK Christmases back in the early days of DOCTOR WHO!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bettie Page--R.I.P.



The blogosphere is quick to report yesterday's passing of pin-up icon Bettie Page, hospitalized last week. To say that Bettie transcended her time is one thing but, in a very real sense, her image transcended the real woman and will most certainly continue on now without her. I mentioned her widely-reported health troubles last week to a 55 year old male co-worker and he had never heard of her. He had no doubt seen the familiar look, jet black hair with ever-present bangs in often-kinky lingerie and yet somehow had never connected it to a specific person. More than one friend has suggested that the real, human, troubled person that she was was much less interesting and thus much less important to them than the image she became. Such is the problem with fame, laid open in her case by her decades-long disappearance. When she did finally turn up, reportedly somewhat surprised at being remembered at all, let alone being the object of cult adoration, the former PLAYBOY centerfold refused to be photographed at first, saying she wanted people to remember her as she had been. She relented perhaps only once a few years ago (seen here) with her old champion, Hugh Hefner, and she still looked great!

I discovered Bettie (her actual spelling) in the mid-seventies through articles and photo-features in magazines I was too young to be reading in the first place. Whether nude or wearing sexy lingerie or even fetish gear, she always seemed to have a sense of fun that other pin-up models missed. Dave Stevens' ROCKETEER in the eighties brought her image back to my mind and that of a whole lot of others. Greg Theakston's THE BETTY PAGES became required reading and various books appeared (including photographer Bunny Yeager's, seen here), reprinting her photos and her legend. There was even a bio-movie! That there was a real person behind all of that may not even be that important in the grand scheme of things but real people should count. They should. And today, at least, all of us who ever blushed or smiled or stirred at a picture of the 1950's most famous pin-up queen, should pause and thank her at her passing. Thanks for everything, Bettie Page.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sleazy Scandals of the Silver Screen




1974's SLEAZY SCANDALS OF THE SILVER SCREEN can be truthfully referred to as a comic book version of Kenneth Anger's notorious HOLLYWOOD BABYLON. Like its inspiration, the anonymous and pseudonymous creators at work here seem to have the obvious motto of "Never let the truth get in the way of a juicy rumor!" And what creators they are! Bill (ZIPPY THE PINHEAD) Griffith, the great Kim Deitch, the legendary Spain Rodriguez and even Pulitzer Prize winner (I think you have to throw that in by law) Art Spiegelman all had a hand in this little volume. Originally, in fact, it actually WAS a little volume, sized about on the level with a Digest-sized comic. Over the years, subsequent printings were done at a larger size.
Featured in the book are well drawn but sensationalized stories of the Fatty Arbuckle Murder Trial, Clara Bow's supposed love of football teams, the suicide of Mexican Spitfire Lupe Velez, the ever-popular murder of William Desmond Taylor, the peculiar habits of Tallulah Bankhead and the wacky but cleaned up story of Liberace! Seen here also is Spiegelman's back cover done in the style of those little syndicated newspaper fillers that could still be found in the press of the period.
As underground comics go, this one is rife with nudity, drugs, alcohol and scandalous behaviors but it ain't exactly ZAP. In fact, in these days of Britney without underwear, Miley IN underwear and Paris in everyone else's underwear, this stuff is barely shocking at all. If marketed better, it may well have appealed to a wider audience than more successful contemporary comix. Today, as the creators involved finally get their due, SLEAZY SCANDALS OF THE SILVER SCREEN sits waiting to be rediscovered and reevaluated as the singular book that it is. If you're a comix fan or an old movie buff, it's a fun read...but you probably WILL want to grab a quick shower afterwards. By the way, Marilyn Monroe only appears on the front and back covers...both seen here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Real World Issues


I've come to truly hate it when the so-called "real world" intrudes on my time-traveling fantasies y'know? Longtime Library readers have seen me through (whether they've known it or not) various family deaths, a foreclosure crisis, repeated car issues, computer crashes, health scares, dog health scares, continued financial crises, being fired at my last job, depression and losing far too many teeth! (Don't forget to floss boys and girls!) Enough travails to make a good country song! Now, when I have new fake teeth, the dog's healthy, we beat the rap on foreclosure, nearly all the bills are paid off and we've been looking at getting a different car just before the first Christmas we really planned on celebrating in years...today I found out that I get laid off at the end of the year.


Sigh.


Granted the circumstances are better than they were the last time I was out of work, but still...


Anyway, I'm gonna try to make it business as usual around here at the Library while I attempt to figure out what to do. Just not today.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Cisse and Ted


Actress/cult figure Cisse Cameron (AKA Cissy Colpitts) brings a lot of hits to this blog. Here's a brief plug for 1978's short-lived THE TED KNIGHT SHOW featuring the former MTM funnyman with Cissy in her Marilyn-esque role as Graziella. This particular image was sent awhile back by a reader of this blog. Thanks!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Flash Inspires Flash?



Here, from 1940, are several unusual panels from Alex Raymond's classic Sunday FLASH GORDON strip. These panels feature our hero, Flash, dressed in an oddly familiar red and yellow costume...with a lightning bolt on it. Hmm... In the plotline, it's said to be a rubberized uniform for handymen (check the real utility belt) but note him being heroic...and running. Makes you wonder if Julie or Carmine or somebody, in the back of their minds, remembered this sequence when DC revived their hero, THE FLASH (also 1940) about 16 years later.
For the record, it also strongly resembles the costume of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent Lightning albeit with somewhat inverted color.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

RIP-FJA



Plenty of other folks are posting marvelous tributes to the just passed Forry Ackerman. I'll just say that I first met him with this issue of his magazine, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, purchased on a day-trip to Lexington, Kentucky when I was 12. I missed the next two but after that I was a regular, eagerly soaking up as much info as I could about monster movies and the men and women who played in them. Karloff, Lugosi, Price, Chaney, Lorre, Rathbone, Carradine, Strange, Cushing, Lee and even Ed Wood-I met 'em all through Uncle 4E. In fact, his was the first autograph I ever received (albeit, as previously noted here, signed "the Ackermonster.") I stuck with FM long past the point where it was repeating itself for another generation, ending my collecting with the STAR WARS cover seen here. Ackerman's occasional reappearances were always noteworthy and in recent months, I was one of many hundreds who became a friend to the ailing Dr. Acula on Facebook, thus providing a grass roots support group that no doubt kept Prince Sirki at bay just a little longer. Thanks for the laughter, the scares and the history, 4SJ. A generation of movie and monster buffs thanks you.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

More of My Late '70's Artwork



In answer to a surprising number of requests (one. I wasn't expecting any!) I am here presenting a couple more of my 1977-78 sketches (sorry, Lisa), this time giving my interpretation of SUPERMAN and an unusual retooling of BATMAN AND ROBIN.