Thursday, July 31, 2014


With GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY already getting raves for its special effects, it's worth noting just how far we've come in that area over the past 36 years. Here we see Marvel's 1978 version of Spider-Man scaling the heights the hard way.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home

WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME was a primetime sitcom from Hanna-Barbera in the ALL IN THE FAMILY mode which just happened to be animated. Although a little controversial with its generation gap plots, it ran 2 seasons beginning in 1972 and starred the voice of Tom Bosley along with many prominent voice actors. Some non-voice actors who appeared included Willie Ames, Ross Martin. Rich Little, Ronnie Schell, Don Knotts, Don Adams, Jonathan Winters, Phyllis Diller and Isabel Sanford. A kind of weird coincidence is that actresses Hazel Shermet, Florence Halop and Sandra Gould all appeared on the series. All three women were known for playing the role of Miss Duffy on radio's DUFFY'S TAVERN!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Jimminy Meets Cheech?

Howie Post draws DC's Jimminy character way back in the mid-1940s in a panel with a frog, some mushrooms and a red and yellow talking hat. One really has to wonder if future underground comix legend Vaughn Bode saw this panel at the impressionable age of 6!

Not Your Typical Comics Text Story

Embiggen and read this 2 page text from a late 1943 issue for CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES for a surprisingly good story. Most readers tended to skip the text stories which were generally just quickly dashed off, inconsequential but legally required space fillers. On occasion, though, an Otto Binder or Mickey Spillane (!) would turn out something better than average. This one, though is credited to William Cole and I can't find any more info about him.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

More Cool Ads-1960

Trying hard to get my big semi-secret project finished but here are a few more cool ads to look at while you're here. Be back with more substantial posts soon. Thanx!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Celebrity Endorsements-1950

You'll note that in some cases the celebrities didn't even have to show up. They simply donated their names and faces and an artist painted them into the ads.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rare Gross Art

I wish I could have seen this summer stock production of the sexy seventies DRACULA. BUt note the unmistakable signature of the great stylist Daerick Gross!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Remembering Vaughn Bode

This past week marked the anniversary of the passing of underground comix artist Vaughn Bode. This next week marks the anniversary of his birth. A favorite of mine since I was technically too young to be reading his work, I used to draw lizards and wizards all over my school notebooks back in the seventies. Along with the esteemed Craig Yoe, I've just written a remembrance of da Bode which is up at the 13th Dimension blog here:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

R.I.P. Archie Andrews

My younger cousin introduced me to Archie when I was 8 years old and a superhero snob. But I loved the Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E. stories and even joined the Archie Club. Still have my pin and membership card (of course!). I drifted away from time to time through the years but always came back to see my old friends. On stage at the old time radio conventions, I twice played Jughead opposite the original radio Archie, Bob Hastings. Bob also died this month making two Archie deaths. Wow.
Even though I was a Marvel and DC fan from day one, the characters I grew up with there aren't really the same ones I knew anymore. Archie and the gang, in spite of superficial changes, really have always been and still ARE still my old friends.
And today I cried for the loss of one.
And yet I wrote Paul Kupperberg and thanked him for writing such a moving story. When people say this is just a cheap sales gimmick, they don't know Archie like I do.
And yes, I know Archie will be back next month in his perpetual 16 1/2 year old guise, and the following month and the month after that, too. Doesn't matter when the story is as affecting as this. If you ever cared for the Riverdale teens, go out and find a copy of this issue for one of the best comic books you'll read this year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Animated Cheech Wizard-NSFW

Vaughn Bode has no been gone longer than he was with us. Here from a few years back is a very brief animated version of his Cheech Wizard. No Bode Broads unfortunately but still NSFW. I just wrote a piece with Craig Yoe on Vaughn's life and death for the 13TH DIMENSION blog. It'll be most likely posted around the 22nd as that would have been his birthday. Watch for it.

Get Your Shine On-The Florida Georgia Line

I was driving summer roommate Becky's car the other day and when I turned on her radio I heard this. I don't listen to any modern music anymore so I was a bit surprised that modern country had become basically rock with a Southern accent! Was surprised I liked this one and stayed tune for a few more songs afterwards! Becky will get to hear them up close this weekend as they play the Great American ball park where she works.

The French Martian Hop

As posted by Tim Lucas on Facebook.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Importance of Thompson Transportation.

As regulars here will recall, a couple of years back, my computer died and there was simply no way we could afford another. Every bit of work that I do required that computer and we felt lost. On the advice of a Ted Talk by Amanda Palmer, we turned to crowd-funding and asked for YOUR help. Within just two weeks, we were up and running again thanks to a few dollars here and there from readers like you.

Now, as you may have heard, some guy on Kickstarter is making tens of thousands of dollars (which he now says he will give to charity) for potato salad! With the constant threat that our long-ailing, oft-broken down car (seen above) simply won't run any more one of these days, we decided it couldn't hurt to start a fund for that inevitable day. It's not an emergency...yet. But we don't want to end up in one. As it is, we rarely drive it anywhere but the grocery, the bank, the post office, occasional meetings for Rene's work, doctor visits and Davis' school-related events. We've compensated and accepted our limits. We get by. But in a way it's also crippled us socially, leaving us little choice but to never go anywhere that's restaurants, movies, visiting friends, shopping, events, attractions, and certainly never on vacation (whatever that is).

So below is our initial pitch. The link is just below. We've already received one donation and we hope you'll consider helping out when you can and passing the word around. It may not be as much fun as supporting potato salad, or as necessary as many other worthy causes, but my wife, my son and I would greatly appreciate your consideration.

Thanks. You guys are the best.

Created by Steven Thompson on July 13, 2014

In 2002, our originally new Toyota Corolla died a natural death after a good 11 year run. Financial circumstances having changed, we replaced it with a used, 1996 Ford Contour with over 100,000 miles already on it. That car has lasted longer than the Toyota but needed ten times the maintainence. It has broken down numerous times (inevitably on the Interstate) and taken us further and further into debt with needed repairs. And it still isn't right! The brakes squeal and I have to overcompensate when I drive. It doesn't do hills well at all nor does it handle bad weather well.  The window handles are broken off and the insulation keeps coming loose. Additional problems including a broken oil dipstick, intermittent electrical issues and faulty struts. Ocassionally the engine just randomly shuts down while driving for no apparent reason. The engine light remains constantly on and even when I've been able to afford getting it looked at and they find some little something, it comes right back on when I drive away. Due to ongoing issues, I have been scared to drive it on especially hot days or rainy days. The engine shudders badly when I drive it too far or too fast so I stay within a certain area of town as much as possible. And the Interstate? I haven't been brave enough to drive the Interstate with this car in several years!

That said, though, 

she still runs! But my wife and I are worried about what we will do when that inevitable day comes that she doesn't. Since the economic collapse, both my wife and I have had to recreate ourselves working from home. One reason for that, along with various health issues, is that we don't have reliable transportation. Disabled herself in a horse-riding accident in 2000, she now works as an advocate for the disabled. I work as a freelance writer/editor. We make enough to get by as far as monthly expenses but barely. There is no savings. There are credit issues and we simply can't afford to end up with a cheap used car that brings with it a whole new set of issues and potential hazards.

By the same token, we aren't looking to get a brand new car out of this, just solid, reliable used transportation. Our son, who developed epilepsy two years back, is headed off to college in 2015 with an ACT score of 33 and while his grades are such that he's being courted by universities throughout the country such as Yale, MIT and the University of Chicago, because of the issues with the current car, his choices will be limited to local colleges.

This will be an ongoing campaign. We aren't looking to get a car next week or even next month but the day is getting closer when our lives will be paralyzed without any transportation and we figure if that guy on Kickstarter can frivolusly get thousands for potato salad, we can at least ask that you consider helping us with a much more practical need.

Thank you.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Charlton Arrow # 2

Hey, guys, THE CHARLTON ARROW # 2 is out! I'm not technically in this issue although my name is mentioned in the letters column! To an old comics fan, that's nifty right there! You do get a whole bunch of nifty strips again this time out including an all-new appearance from Mr. Jigsaw! I was late getting my piece in for this issue and the momentum couldn't wait. I've already sent in a couple other pieces for later issues though so keep watching.  

Here's Mort's official info on issue 2, which is now available for digital download as a PDF for only $1.99!

Our first issue was a runaway success… can we top it? Signs say YES! Get a load of the line-up: Howard Bender, Pat Boyette, Sandy Carruthers, Ron Fortier, Joe Gill, Gary Kato, Jack Keller, Roger McKenzie, Frank McLaughlin, Stephen Skeates, Mort Todd and Neil Vokes, featuring heroes, horror, hot rods and humor!
This 44 page blockbuster will be shipping in late June, but the first 300 people to order will get a FREE Joe Staton limited edition mini-poster featuring some Charlton Action Stars fated to appear in future issues, including E-Man! What an intense bargain for only $6.99 (plus s&h)!
See art from the comic and ordering info at NOW to guarantee a copy of the first printing and the cool Joe Staton print! Get the digital download for $1.99 at

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

My Last Marvels

A kid only had so much small change back in the day and there were so many wonderful comic books to be had so something had to go. In those days, I wasn't obsessive about having every single appearance of a character. If the stories and/or art looked like they sucked, I was perfectly willing to skip an issue or even stop buying the title for  awhile, keeping an eye on it, of course, just in case it were to get better again. Taking a look this time at only Marvels, here are the final issues I bought of my original collections of these major Marvel titles. THE AVENGERS I stuck with longest, all the way to 1971, and then I went back quickest as well, skipping only a couple of issues but then picking up on the beginnings of the Kree/Skrull war and continuing on steady for another few years.

Cap had been one of my favorites of the new 1968 titles right out of the gate and yet I continued only a little more than a year. The stories seemed repetitious and the art nowhere near the still recent glories of Kirby and Steranko!

Another favorite of the new '68 titles, DOCTOR STRANGE clearly struggled to find its way in retrospect and yet I enjoyed every bit of the storylines and the lovely Colan/Palmer art! I did tire of it a bit toward the end, though, and dropped it after this issue, not realizing there would be only one more in that run.

My favorite Marvel title. I knew who Kirby was and yet I seem to recall paying little attention to the fact that he had left the FF...until it was so obvious a couple months later that I left the FF, too. 

Honestly, HULK was my least favorite title anyway and I skipped a few issues between his debut at 102 and here. This was where I started skipping it entirely, however.

In retrospect, probably one of the better titles Marvel had at that time, but this was where I left it fro quite  awhile. I picked up about 40 issues I had missed a few years alter and read them in a Saturday afternoon marathon on my bed!

Steranko, as I said above, was a hard act to follow, but the graphic experiments of Frank Springer and  Barry Smith kept me on this title right up to the end here of its initial run.

I loved Ditko's Spidey in reprints and Romita's Spidey for a couple of years but the stories seemed bogged down in this period and I wasn't really a fan of big hulking villains like Kingpin or Marko, here. So I took a break from Spidey for a couple years.


Came back for the drug issues, the anniversary issues, the engagement to Gwen, etc...but really hated the four arms thing and the sudden switch to Thomas and Kane looked worse so I stopped here again for quite a spell.

Again, not one I was particularly consistent with anyway but I did so love Stingray's costume!