Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Mike Esposito returns as inker here along with his longtime artistic collaborator Ross Andru. These guys had worked together since the early fifties and had done wonderful things with METAL MEN, WONDER WOMAN, FLASH, war stories and humor pieces. They KNEW how to draw. No idea what the problem was here.
But even the poses are awkward. Ah, well...maybe better next week.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Every Thursday I play the episode that is exactly 70 years old that week on my podcast. Feel free to come have a listen, if you are interested.
Here is the first audition episode, and the episode from 70 years ago this week!
Great Gildersleeve Podcast 1941-05-16 Audition Show
Great Gildersleeve 1941-10-26 (009) A Visit from Oliver
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Allen has posted his original audio episode on YouTube today here.
THE ADVENTURES OF THE GALACTIC STAR FORCE POWER SQUAD is exactly what it sounds like, a pastiche/mash-up of everything from STAR TREK and STAR WARS to SPACEBALLS and THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY...with, as Allen adds, a little of THE SIMPSONS thrown in.
Done originally as a class assignment for a course in Radio Production, THE ADV...errr...let's just call it TAGSFPS from here on out...TAGSFPS was the result of a project to create write, produce, edit and direct a 10 minute audio piece. With a background in old-time radio fandom (even at his young age), Allen naturally veered in that direction but, as a lifelong sci-fi fan, with that futuristic twist.
Enlisting a few of his fellow students for his cast, Allen did an impressive job in a short amount of time with very limited facilities!
His cast members were:
Adam Campbell: Lee Stormwalker
Brant McKeehan: Brett Nabors
Rodney Cobb: Harry the Automaton
Sean Staggs: Captain Oberling
Sheree Paolelo: Lisa Oberling
Allen Singer: Commander Langstrom
Special guest Dave Thompson: Barth Hornet
Special Guest Mark Babin: opening and closing
This being from 1993, by the way, I hasten to add that the Dave Thompson listed (actually the class instructor in a cameo!), is NOT my son bookdave who wasn't born until 1996.
Anyway, if you're also a fan of mainstream sci-fi up through the early nineties, TAGSFPS is a hoot! The whole piece is nicely laid out and edited with music and sound effects, many of which will sound quite familiar. It's amateurish, yes, but impressive on all kinds of scales considering the limitations being dealt with at the time.
The performances are all a tad stiff but the voices are good, leaving one to think that with a few more rehearsals, they could have been much better. Unfortunately the dreaded "Ohio accent," one of my least favorite regional accents, rears its ugly head throughout. The best performance is probably from Sheree Paolelo as the bimbo nurse who turns out to be pretty tough in a fight...but she also has that accent. It actually kind of works, though, for Rodney Cobb, whose altered voice is utilized as a fey, vaguely Southern, deadpan and very funny direct rip-off of Douglas Adams' Marvin the Paranoid Android.
The plot? It's little more than a set-up for adventures that never came but it all feels so comfortable and familiar, particularly the well-edited (if too-long) spaceship fight scene with its sound effects and music cues we've heard a million times before.
Allen gives all the full details of TAGSFPS and even info on its 12 years later follow-up at http://allensedge.com/Galactic/Background.html
It didn't have to be original. It was a class assignment. It just had to be professional enough to get a good grade. Instead, it's actually loaded with talent and possibilities and a little more time invested clearly could have led to a superior product far beyond simply a class project.
For reasons long forgotten, I even get a thanks in the closing credits. I wish there was a real market for things like this as I'd love to be able to participate or even just listen to more shows like Allen Singer's THE ADVENTURES OF THE GALACTIC STAR FORCE POWER SQUAD. Try it yourself and let us know what you think. I think you'll like it!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
We post a handful of new items for sale daily at the site (see link above). If you haven't done so yet, please check and see if there's anything you'd like. Even our highest priced items are less than you'll find on eBay or Amazon but more in line with what I feel they're actually worth. Other than postage and PayPal fees, we get 100% of the profits from anything ordered from BOOKSTEVE'S BOOKSTORE PLUS! Should you be inclined more to rare DVD's, check out BOOKSTEVE'S RARITIES where we get a percentage of each sale from there, also. If you just want to help out, you can always hit the Donation button to the right, also.
Right now it looks like we might just make it...barely...but then have little left for groceries before additional money is expected in a couple of weeks into the month.
Like everyone else in this economy, we're surviving, but the stress isn't good. I have no doubt we're going to make it in the long run but if selling you some books helps out in the short run, that's cool with me. Check us out at: http://bookstevesbookstore.blogspot.com/
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Our second volume is nothing less than the fascinating history behind the first 3-D comic books in the 1950's...and I can't even see 3-D! That's right. For years I thought it was a practical joke; that there was no such thing as 3-D but that, like the emperor's new clothes, no one wanted to admit that they couldn't see it! Then one day, just a few years ago, I DID see it! And I was amazed. It was in the introductory short film made for the 3-D re-release of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I watched a candle float by me IN the theater! But...that was it. I didn't see any 3-D in the film itself, nor any in the dozen or so other films I've been forced to pay extra for over the past few years since.
But the thing is...now I know that it's REAL! It's not a joke! Craig's AMAZING 3-D COMICS! offers dozens of stories from the original 3-D craze, most of them actually in restored 3-D...complete with the requisite free glasses (albeit better quality than the original green and red cellophane lens ones).
Not just a regurgitation of previously published materials, Yoe spent much time speaking with the legendary Joe Kubert who, along with his then art partner Norman Maurer (and Norman's brother) gets credit for developing the process involved and starting the craze itself while at St. John. I know Craig actually talked with him because I transcribed the interviews myself. Joe also wrote an inroduction to the book. For Maurer's side, Craig assigned me to speak with his widow, Joan, who just happens to be the daughter of Stooge, Moe Howard! As a lifelong Three Stooges fan, that was a treat!
Some may recall the originally announced cover for AMAZING 3-D COMICS! as seen in early ads. That was scrapped when Mr. Kubert became so enthused about the project that he was willing to contribute an all-new cover featuring his classic caveman, TOR, star of one of the earliest 3-D comics. Then, given all the elements, Craig Yoe designed a book cover to die for by doing Kubert's art as a lenticular panel to simulate actual 3-D! The character from the original intended cover joined Felix the Cat (star of his own previous Yoe Book) and others on the textured sidebar and a fun shot of Kubert and Yoe in actual 3-D highlights the back cover!!
Along with the expected Maurer and Kubert, the other stories and art inside are by such luminaries as Alex Toth, Bob Powell, Howard Nostrand and Jack Kirby. A lot of the stories are stand-alone horror, humor or western tales but familiar characters include The Three Stooges (Shemp version), Cowboy actor Tim Holt, Felix, Tor, Maggie and Jiggs and Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.
So no, I don't get the full effect but that's my eyes. It's not the book's fault. All of the stories are readable even without the glasses. Well...all accept a couple of trick one pagers where the goal was to cover one side of your glasses to get one side of the story and another to get the other side.
AMAZING 3-D COMICS! is not just a fun book but a detailed look at an important and often neglected piece of comic book history from one of out premier comics historians...and his talented sidekicks. Ahem...
Friday, October 21, 2011
First up is THE CARL BARKS BIG BOOK OF BARNEY BEAR (a title suggested by my lovely wife, btw). I'm going to assume if you're reading this blog then you're familiar with Carl Barks. Barks was the former Disney animator who managed to humanize the spastic duck characters of the Disney theatrical cartoons in the pages of various Dell comics from the forties through sixties. His creation, Scrooge McDuck, led WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES to be one of the biggest selling comic books of its day with nary a superhero in sight! His stories have been cited as an influence on Indiana Jones and most certainly on whole generations of international comics fans and creators who, for his entire active career, knew him as simply, "The Good Duck Artist."
That guy. Yeah.
And Barney Bear? Odds are you know him, too, as his fairly lethargic and repetitive MGM cartoons have been staples on television since the Dark Ages, most recently seen on Cartoon Network. Seriously, they aren't that good. A couple of them featured a character called Benny Burro, though, and that's where Barks comes in.
In the pages of OUR GANG comics, essentially a showcase for MGM properties including the title series but also TOM & JERRY, Barks took Barney and Benny and turned them into an almost Laurel and Hardy type of comedy team. With someone to talk with, Barney didn't quite seem so lethargic anymore, just loveably dim-witted!
In THE CARL BARKS BIG BOOK OF BARNEY BEAR, Craig collects all of the Barks stories of the characters. They're short but they're a lot of fun and "Unca Carl" (as he would come to be known) manages to work his magic here also, making the characters much more likable and much more sympathetic than they ever were on film.
As always, Yoe reprints every story page directly from the original comics in restored high-definition treatments (from the collection of Bud Plant) giving them a shiny, yet vintage, feel. There's a nice new cover of our stars as well as an intro from Barks aficionado Jeff Smith (BONE) and some rare illustrations and original art to accompany Craig's learned, behind the scenes, text piece on the artist and his protagonists.
But fancy bindings don't make a book worthwhile. Barks' storytelling was what elevated him to the top of everyone's list of the great comics artists and a great storyteller can tell a great story no matter how small it may seem. The Barney and Benny stories are not the epic adventures of Scrooge McDuck...but they're still worth the telling and they make me smile. Let's put it this way. I didn't like Barney Bear from the cartoons. Never did. I like Carl Barks' Barney Bear...and I really like THE CARL BARKS BIG BOOK OF BARNEY BEAR.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Coming perhaps as early as tomorrow--Three, count 'em THREE, reviews of new and recent Yoe Books!
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
It's a shame it has to be all based over what has to be one of the worst depictions of outer space ever seen in a comic book. I mean, seriously. It...it's just a series of brightly colored dots on a black background. And...and a big orangey...thing. Okay, so what have we learned here? Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney are NOT Jim Starlin. Keep in mind that even Jim Starlin wasn't Jim Starlin yet.
Friday, October 14, 2011
If you see something you like but you don't like the price, feel free to make an offer. As I've stated before, if you see something anywhere on THIS blog that you'd like to buy, make me an offer.
Each object for sale will have an extensive backstory so it's pretty much yet another actual blog for me! Makes nine now! Items will be shipped within 24 hours of a PayPal payment.
There isn't much there yet but I'll be posting more later today and a handful of items ever day from now on so check it often!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The marvelous and cleverly designed Jack Davis cover suffers considerably from size and reproduction qualities but some clever gags with Captain Kangaroo, the Monkees and others.
Inside, you get coverage of new shows, returning series, specials, movies scheduled for network TV airings, news, sports, kids' shows and even talk shows! All major players in all the fields get a brief bio and it's fun to read about how much hope they had for now long-forgotten series like COWBOY IN AFRICA, THE LEGEND OF CUSTER and THE JERRY LEWIS SHOW.
It's also fun to read about now classic shows such as THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, IRONSIDE and MANNIX as they were just getting started. I noted that the once popular JUDD FOR THE DEFENSE was originally meant to be called simply JUDD.
The section on changes in returning series indicates that STAR TREK, in its second season, would have a new Russian crew member but gives no other info nor any mention of actor Walter Koenig. It goes on to say that the new season would also present a female alien regular described as "the distaff version of Mister Spock."
BATMAN, going into its third season and about to introduce Batgirl, is described as having lost all its luster when the "camp fad" quickly faded more than a year earlier. Julie Newmar was apparently signed to return as Catwoman but, as any Bat-Fan knows, ended up being replaced with the unlikely choice of Eartha Kitt...which somehow actually worked. Elsewhere in the book is a listing of the top 22 Nielsen shows from the 1966-1967 TV season. I was surprised to see BATMAN wasn't even listed!
Also not listed among the popular shows was THE MONKEES although the awards summaries indicate that that series won the Best Comedy Series and Best Director Emmy Awards for the 66-67 season.
Stars who had their own TV specials that year, all pretty much unviewable these days, included Carol Channing, Jim Nabors, Red Skelton (whose long-running regular series was still running also), Dick Van Dyke (who had left TV 2 years earlier), Richard Rodgers and Barbra Streisand. The TV special I would most like to see again is THE FABULOUS FUNNIES, described as a history of the impact comic strips have had on the American people. Hosted by Carl Reiner and produced by the folks behind the PEANUTS specials, it was expected to included participation from Hal Foster, Chester Gould, Charles Schulz, Milton Caniff and Al Capp. I very, very vaguely recall watching this!
Overall a very solid preview in its day which now makes it a very solid bit of nostalgia for the 1967-68 TV season. Thanks, Derek!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 09, 2011
I get requests all the time to help promote various Kickstarter projects. You don't often see the results here because, quite frankly, I turn many of these well-intentioned ideas down. Some I even feel sorry for as they give me no indication that they would ever be able to live up to their lofty promises even if they met their often unrealistic goals.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Friday, October 07, 2011
Thursday, October 06, 2011
The seventies were loaded with big-budget motion pictures shot in exotic locations with major international stars...and sadly, it's kind of hard to find a good one. ASHANTI definitely isn't one.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
I have about 40 volumes of the early DC Showcase editions and the early Marvel Essentials. If anyone needs any early filler volumes, feel free to check with me before we put 'em on eBay or Yardsellr or haul 'em to Half-Price Books. Mostly like new. Make an offer now if you need any! No reasonable offers refused.
Monday, October 03, 2011
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Saturday, October 01, 2011
I know we just did one of these but we still need money to catch up on the electric bill by mid-month and Marty just updated the site so here's a few new ones from this month! Remember, BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY gets a percentage of every order!
NEW ITEMS AS OF October 1, 2011
Go here to order
THE FORGOTTEN FILMS OF ROSCOE "FATTY" ARBUCKLE
This four-disc set contains 32 classic film shorts, digitally remastered from archival materials.
This box set also includes a 36-page color booklet! 625 minutes total. This is the Mackinac Media release that retails $49.95 and our sale price is $20.00
I actually have this set and can verify that it's a great treat for the silent film buff! If you aren't an Arbuckle fan, the rare gems in this set aren't necessarily his best work but they're much fun for those familiar with this sadly maligned comic genius!
An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall. This is the classic gangster film featuring the screen debut of George Raft. Boris Karloff plays a great lead. Al Capone was rumored to have liked the film so much that he owned a copy of it. This was the first film, historically, to feature the Thompson machine gun, also known as a Tommy Gun. If you like gangster pictures, this is a must-see!
Bandleader Cab Calloway is tiring of his sexy girlfriend Minnie, who in turn is jealous of Cab's manager Nettie. When Nettie gets Cab a job at the Brass Hat Club, Minnie retaliates for his imagined infidelity by setting gangster Boss Mason, owner of a rival club, against him. Will she regret her action before it's too late? (This plot resolves halfway through the film; the rest is a series of 'soundies' featuring the Calloway band's inimitable jive). All-black cast.
Starring Paul Jones. Steven Shorter is the ultimate British music star. His music is listened to by everyone from pre-teens to grandparents. He has no trace of public bad habits or drug involvement. Everyone in Britain loves him. His handlers begin to use his popularity for projects like increasing the consumption of apples after a bumper crop as an aid to farmers. The handlers decide that Steven should support God and Country next. This leads to, among other things, a rock version of "Onward Christian Soldiers," and the inclusion of a Nazi salute to make it clear (to the viewer) how far the British population will be taken for love of God and Country under Steven's guidance. Steven is very plastic in his direction, shifting as his handlers point him toward new projects until he meets Vanessa Ritchie, an artist who makes him look at what's happening.
I had wanted to see this movie for ages. A biting and still relevant docudrama set in the near future and satirizing the influence of pop culture on religion and politics. Stars Paul Jones, the original lead singer for Manfred Mann (DOO WAH DIDDY).
SALUTE TO ORSON WELLES (1975)
This all-star cast contributes a salute to Orson Welles and his legendary work. Natalie Wood, Frank Sinatra, Edgar Bergen, Ingrid Bergman, Rock Hudson, Johnny Carson, Dennis Weaver, Janet Leigh, Joseph Cotten, Peter Bogdonovich, Robert Wagner. Cybill Shepherd, Truman Capote, Jamie Lee Curtis and Charlton Heston all appear in this wonderful salute!
Available this month only!!!
HOT ROD (1950)
One of the earliest hot rod movies. A teenager loves hot rods! His father is the town judge and he hates 'em! Eventually the teen gets a '32 roadster. But when one of his high school hot rod pals shuts him down while on a date with his best chick, it's a total put down and he retaliates by souping up his rod! Trouble ensues. Then redemption and a happy ending! Cool scenes: five car hot rod street race and footage of dry lakes racing at El Mirage. Stars Jimmy Lydon.