Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Break Time


Well, not a break exactly. Posts will be a bit sparse here for a while as I attempt to catch up on a few deadlines as well as work on marketing Kathy's book! It's a struggle but it's good to have so much work lately!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Coming Soon: Lost Girl by Kathy Coleman


Blogging has had to take a back seat this past year as I've been working a lot doing transcriptions for various mags, blogs and authors as well as proofreading and article writing. For a year and 5 weeks, however, I was also working on piecing together LAND OF THE LOST actress Kathy Coleman's autobiography. With multiple false starts before I came into the picture, I was given 40+ hours of audio cassettes to be transcribed, edited and sorted out to tell her story from child star through today. 

And what a story it is! We took a first draft and edited it down together before adding additional bits and quite a few photos from then and now.

Last week, after no less than 5 final proofreadings from 4 different people, we pronounced the book done and it was submitted to CreateSpace. I am now currently awaiting a hard copy proof in the mail and if that looks as good as the digital proof, her book, LOST GIRL, will be made available here and via Amazon. If there's an issue left, we'll be able to identify and correct it. 

If you're interested and would like to receive an email when the book is actually available to be ordered, please message your email address to booksteve@aol.com and put LOST GIRL in the subject line. I'll be happy to let you know when it's ready...and it looks like that won't be long now!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mischief--R.I.P.


"Pleeeeease?" she pleaded.

"No!" I remained steadfast. "For the umpteenth and fourth time, I will not take that damned kitten! You've been trying to get rid of her for weeks now and my answer is STILL "NO!" Look, I made up flyers for you, I posted ads on the Internet and I've annoyed the hell out of my co-workers about it! I have done more than my part in this, sweetness, but I am NOT taking that kitten!"

Eventually, I took the kitten.

I wrote the above 10 years ago this summer. That kitten—sadly christened “Li’l Miss Thang” at birth, rechristened “Missy” when given to my friend and later, to match her hobby, renamed Mischief—died this morning.

The first time I ever saw her, she was still so tiny that she was lost to my eyes as she slept in the crease between two large couch cushions. Friend Kim had taken her into Ohio from a litter born just about two blocks from me here in Kentucky. But she was impatient and frustrated that her two older cats couldn’t get along with her new kitten. Within a few weeks, she was looking to re-home her. I tried to help. I actually had someone interested at work at one point but for whatever reasons it didn’t work out.

Kim kept trying to get ME to just take the cat and thus solve all her problems with it. But we had two cats already—the aging Chauncey and the diva female Katherine Hepburn Thompson whom we had, in fact, previously inherited from Kim. We also had a big, goofy dog, Precious.

But in the end, as I say, I took the kitten, and over time she fit in. Katherine and Precious tended to simply ignore her. She annoyed Chauncey in a kind of Lennie and George way and we think she may have reinvigorated the old fella a bit. 13 years old when we got Miss, Chaunce lived another 5.

Mischief was always small and sickly looking, even though she seemed generally healthy. I assumed she was the runt of the litter but Kim once introduced me to another woman who had one of the cats from the same litter and she, too, was scrawny.

There were definitely something going on healthwise, though, as Miss would look fine for a while, then lose a lot of her hair and lose weight. When she stretched out, she would look like a ferret. We were told early on she might not survive long.

Along the way, an outdoor cat also adopted us. We made Calico Cohen Thompson a warm porch house and she stayed around from then on. Unfortunately, we could never catch her to get her fixed so she had kittens. Several litters. We tried bringing one group inside after we got THEM fixed. Katherine ignored them, as she did most things, and Presh put up with them as he was, by that point, on his last legs as well. Mischief did not take well to them at all, however, and began acting out, ripping down curtains, knocking down things from high shelves, hiding for days at a time, etc.

But we found them homes. Then it was Precious’s time to go. Then Katie. Soon enough, Mischief was an only cat...and she THRIVED on it! Suddenly she put on pounds and fur and looked fantastic! She became friendlier and more affectionate and stopped tearing everything up.

It stayed like that for a while—Callie outside, Mischief inside. And ne’er the twain shall meet. But this year, finally, after 4 years, we convinced the formerly feral Callie to come inside when the temps hit below zero. Mischief was not amused. Especially when Callie stayed later on.

The two cats came to a tussle several times and Miss would hiss and growl at her whenever she saw Callie. Mischief took to staying upstairs most of the time.

It became obvious to us that Miss wasn’t doing well, either. Her weight fell off drastically again, she was sleeping even more than normal and she wasn’t eating much...other than plastic, which had always seemed to be her favorite snack!

This morning Callie was outside for a while so Miss came downstairs. I looked her right in the eye and spoke to her. An hour later, she had passed.

I may not have wanted her originally, but I’m glad we had her...and for as long as we did. In the long run, you were a good girl, Mischief. I miss you so much already.


REST IN PEACE. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Count Fangburger


Oddly, I have only vague memories of Count Fangburger even though I found not one but TWO of the above funmoney coins in my aging stash of treasures the other day. So I looked him up online and found all the following. We had a Burger Chef literally a block from our house, just down the alley and across the street, so--memory or no memory--I'm sure I was all about these monsterburgers for a time at least.













Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Judee Sill-The Kiss



Okay, I know it's more than 40 years old. I'm slow, okay? I saw a random Facebook post about Judee Sill last month but had somehow never heard of her as far as I could recall. I have now immersed myself in her history and her music is wonderful. The Kiss is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Very few live clips of her around. The double tracked album version is even BETTER!, I'm still on about her weeks later now. Did you ever wake up and everything is clearly exactly the same way it was when you fell asleep...except for one thing? One nagging little thing that you wouldn't give much thought to except that you're absolutely certain it wasn't there before. 100% absolutely certain! And then if you tell anyone that, they're convinced you're nuts. THAT'S what Judee Sill is to me! The 1970s was my peak period for music interest! I was buying it, listening to it, getting the magazines and newspapers from Tiger Beat to Crawdaddy. If Judee existed, how did I miss her? Especially with her Hanna Barbera connection! Her stepfather was legendary animator Ken Muse. And her background! She was a juvenile delinquint, an armed robber, a drug addict and eventually a drug casualty. Never heard her music before but also never heard OF her and never seen her before. This is not the same world I was in before.This one has Judee whom I simply could NOT have missed for more than FOUR decades. And I like her!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pete Rose Baseball Cards


There was a time when I collected baseball cards and I was always excited to get a Pete Rose card! Not a baseball fan anymore but always a Pete fan! Today it's in the news that he has applied to be reinstated yet again after his now long-ago scandal. Guy's got all kinds of faults and issues but he's still the greatest ball player of all time and deserves to have his accomplishments formally accepted while he's still around! The man has groveled and apologized and allowed himself to be publicly humiliated time and time again. And knowing Pete from the old days, that was NOT easy for him. If he had MURDERED someone, he could have been out on parole by now! Good luck to him!














Friday, March 13, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Book Sale Haul



Being BOOKsteve, I am obligated to stop when I see a sign advertising a Library Used Book Sale. I ended up with this haul for a grand total of only $4.50! Some I've read before but we never actually owned a copy. 

The weird part, though, was that just as I was about to pay I saw a book on the shelf--the Durante one--and added it without even flipping through it. When i got home I found an address sticker inside from the original owner...who happened to have been my next door neighbor in the back apartment the whole time I was growing up! 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tiger Beat and Me



Traditional wisdom says TIGER BEAT was for girls but I read it and so did at least a few other guys I knew. TB was one of the few places one could get coverage on shows like DARK SHADOWS, HERE COME THE BRIDES, MOD SQUAD and other favorites of the period. I started getting it right around the transition from Monkees covers to Bobby Sherman covers. The Bobby covers dominated for a couple years but then Bobby began sharing those covers with David Cassidy. Then David's pics became bigger than Bobby's. Soon enough, though, David ran into the same situation with Donny Osmond and the cycle continued. Here area few random issues from the period I was getting it regularly. 










Monday, March 09, 2015

Comic Book People 2-Last Days!


It's aaaalmost funded. With 4 days left, it would be a shame to see it get this close and yet NOT make it. Keep in mind that if the project is not FULLY funded, Jackie doesn't get ANY of the pledged money! Will YOU be the one to push them over the top?


Saturday, March 07, 2015

My Favorite Spirit Splashes


While it's still Will Eisner Week, I thought I'd weigh in with my two personal favorite SPIRIT splash pages.


Friday, March 06, 2015

My First Bookstores


I was waiting on a bus to the Zoo with my parents in front of Kidd's bookstore one day when I was 11 years old. In the window, they had a giant sized book with lots of superheroes on it! When we came back later that afternoon, I insisted that we HAD to go in and see what that book was! Turns out it was vol 1 of the STERANKO HISTORY OF COMICS. I talked my parents into buying it and then returned several times a week for the next 7 years or so until they moved. I rarely shopped upstairs, though, as the downstairs was more or less a head shop with hippies and underground comix, the first fanzines and European comic albums I ever bought, and every new book about comics that came along!


Above is the interior of The Ohio Bookstore. Unlike Kidds, it's still there and still run by the same folks. They used to call me and my friend Terry back in the '70s whever they got in Golden Age comics. I found out years later they had a list of people they called so we weren't as special as we thought we were! This is arelatively recent picture but it really doesn't change much over time. Same people running it even!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Comic Book People 2-Kickstarter



Last year, we reviewed a copy of Jackie Estrada's book, COMIC BOOK PEOPLE, a compendium of categorized and annotated photos of comics pros taken in the 1970s and 1980s by Jackie, herself, at San Diego and elsewhere. If you were a comics fan in those days, it was and is a MUST-HAVE for the pure nostalgia of it all!

Now comes Vol. 2 which will feature more such goodness from the next decade, the 1990s...only this one for some reason is having a little trouble finding funding. There are a lot of great creative works seeking and deserving funding these days on Kickstarter but I'd appreciate it if you'd give COMIC BOOK PEOPLE 2 a look and your consideration. 

I can't wait to see it but without a little help in the next 8 days, we may NOT! 

Go here and check it all out!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

My Batman Fan Club-1966


In 2nd Grade, I started my own Batman Fan Club.  I remember making dozens of these invitations and these are the only two I have left so I gave out a lot! Can't recall if anyone actually joined, though. Let's face it, in 1966, the playground was all about Batman and Robin one way or another! Even the girls jumping rope at recess had Batman rhymes! 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Stan Ross


Unlike just about every other performer in existence, there really isn't much out there on the Web about this guy--Stan Ross. What little info I can find indicates he was still alive as of just a few years back. Looking, as I've written elsewhere, like Buster Keaton's demented brother, Ross was in show business for at least 2 and a half decades, appearing on TV opposite Jack Haley, Jackie Gleason (below from 1951) and Jonathan Winters, always looking pretty much the same and usually doing his effeminate "I'm with YOU!" catchphrase.



He appeared in minor character actor bits in major films of the 1970s including WHAT'S UP DOC? with Barbra Streisand and (below) BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. 



Someone got the bright idea to give him his chance in a full-length feature during the 1970s as well...a porn one in fact! In THE SEXPERT, most of the "action" is softcore but for an insert section. Stan mainly does his darndest at a silent comedy bit around the otherwise softcore sex scenes. 1950s TV actor and voiceover performer Marvin Miller also appears along with future soap star Jamie Lynn Bauer!



Needless to say, neither fish nor fowl, the picture was doomed to obscurity, as was Stan's career. To add insult to injury, many of his appearances are confused online with those of later writer/actor Stanley Ralph Ross (no relation).