Sunday, November 30, 2008

What if DC Had Created Spider-Man and Fantastic Four?

That was the question I asked myself back in 1978. What if DC had created Marvel's flagship characters? How would they look different? What would there backstories be? Well, as far as Spidey, the backstory info seems lost but here are my visuals. Note the nigh ubiquitous cape and utility belt for adjectiveless Spiderman.

For the FF, in case you can't read my post-adolescent printing:

They patrol for crime at night! They are...the Fantastic Four!

Captain Fantastic (Reed Richards)-a police chemist with stretching powers

The Torch (John Storm)-a high school senior who can shoot fire from his hands

Monster Man (Ben Grimm)-a test pilot who can change into the super-strong, orange-skinned Monster Man

Inviso Girl (Sue Storm)-Department store saleslady who can turn invisible

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Booksteve's 1978 Artwork

Movies I've Always Wanted To See

In the early 1970's, I made a list of movies I'd always wanted to see. I can't find that list. I did, however, find a 1986 version of said list that features mostly obscure films. I find it fascinating to see just how many I have eventually managed to see. Here's the list. I give it one to four stars (*) if I've seen it. 1- GET TO KNOW YOUR RABBIT- Brian DePalma's controversially edited black comedy with Tom Smothers, John Astin and Orson Welles. SEEN IT! ** 2-THE PHYNX-Legendarily unhip, barely released rock and roll spy comedy with an all-star cast. SEEN IT! ** 3-SKIDOO-Otto Preminger's acid-influenced gangster comedy starring Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing and--in his final film--Groucho! SEEN IT!*** 4-DAY OF THE LOCUST-Controversial look at old Hollywood based on the classic novel and starring Donald Sutherland. Caught a couple scenes on late night cable and lost interest. 5-HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD-B-movie exploitation with Candice Rialson and--as the ad said, "Godzilla as herself" SEEN IT! * 6-F FOR FAKE-Orson Welles in a playful mood pulls the wool over our eyes in multiple ways while dressed like the Shadow. SEEN IT! *** 7-TRAFFIC-Jacques Tati's late period French more-or-less-silent comedy. I have a source but have yet to get it. 8-JUST IMAGINE- Bizarre early 1930's sci-fi musical comedy. SEEN IT! ** 9-QUADROPHENIA-The Who's concept album about mods and rockers translated to film. SEEN IT! ** 10-ANOTHER NICE MESS- Rich Little as Nixon and Herb Voland as Agnew. Not a clue. 11-LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT-one of those all-"star" so-bad-it's-got-to-be-good career-ending vehicles. SEEN IT! * 12-DEEP THROAT II-the R-rated, supposedly gangster plot-oriented sequel. Seems to have vanished forever. 13-THE BED-SITTING ROOM-Richard Lester's surreal comedy with Michael Crawford, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. SEEN IT! * 14-DEAR INSPECTOR- French police story that was the basis for a US TV series, DEAR DETECTIVE. Nope. 15-FACE OF THE SCREAMING WEREWOLF-Lon Chaney Jr as a Mexican mummy and a latter-day wolfman. Got a source but by all accounts not worth the effort. 16-NIGHT OF THE GHOULS- Ed Wood's unreleased follow-up to PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. SEEN IT! * 17-A STUDY IN TERROR- Sherlock Holmes Vs Jack the Ripper. SEEN IT! ** 18-A MODERN BLUEBEARD- mid forties Buster Keaton feature from Mexico. SEEN IT! ** 19-WAR ITALIAN STYLE- Much latter foreign Keaton vehicle. Haven't found it 20-GENERAL SPANKY- feature length OUR GANG comedy starring cute l'il Spanky McFarland. Keeping my eyes open. 21-HELLZAPOPPIN- Olsen and Johnson comedy. Saw ten minutes on YouTube awhile back but still not the whole silly thing. 22-THE INCREDIBLE INVASION-One of Karloff's final foursome. SEEN IT! * 23-SON OF DRACULA-Ringo Starr and Harry Nillson's boring musical. SEEN IT!** 24-THE WITCHES- Clint Eastwood in an Italian ensemble comedy from his peak years. SEEN IT! ** 25-ROCK AND ROLL YOUR EYES- Never seen this ELP concert film mentioned anywhere but Ive got a drive-in ad for it! 26-ROYAL FLASH- Malcolm McDowell in a lighthearted swashbuckler film. Skipped it recently on cable. 27-VAULT OF HORROR- Jon Pertwee and Ingrid Pitt in EC adaptations. It turns up. I just keep missing it. 28-THE SILENT TREATMENT-Yet another all-star cast misfire, this time a 1968 silent comedy! Possibly unreleased. 29-CAN HEIRONYMOUS MERKIN EVER FORGET MERCY HUMPPE AND FIND TRUE HAPPINESS. Just got this amazingly titled leftover earlier this week after looking for more than 30 years. I'll let you know. Other versions of the list will no doubt turn up. I remember that one had 100 titles on it! Seeing as how I actually managed to find and secure a copy of the still virtually unseen LET'S GO FOR BROKE, I think I've proven to myself that these things are NEVER completely imposible to come by! Feel free to share YOUR lists.  

Leia on Vacation

Was digging deep in the back of my closet today when I found a treasure trove of 1970's teenage superhero art by myself (much of which I will share in weeks to come). I also, however, forund my seventies ROLLING STONE collection with this one right on top. Since its fanboy favorite cover tied in neatly to yesterday's Carrie Fisher post, thought I'd share.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Today is, of course, the biggest shopping day of the year...except where I work where, in fact, it may well be the slowest day of our year. That said, it afforded me the opportunity to read Carrie Fisher's autobiographical new book, WISHFUL DRINKING (Yes. The entire thing. It was that slow!). Technically, the book is not an actual autobiography but a literary translation of the one-woman show the actress/writer has been performing for a couple of years now. Still, there's enough of a linear "this happened, then this, then this" to make it seem a straight autobiography.

I'd seen a couple of reviews where they talk about Carrie whining once again about her childhood. Yes, she is. It's an ongoing thing with someone who's trying to come out a better person in spite of her life rather than because of it. What those reviewers seem to have missed is just how funny Ms. Fisher is here. Whether dissing Papa Eddie's libido, detailing Mama Debbie Reynolds' eccentricities or sharing which STAR WARS actor had the best dope, she is sarcastic, caustic and dryly hilarious. Even though the backdrop of the entire piece is her mental issues and subsequent electroshock therapy, there's rarely a completely serious page here. Even her issues with LSD lead to a hilarious anecdote about becoming telephone friends with Cary Grant! There are some carefully chosen pictures throughout (including one with Liz and Dick doing to Eddie what Liz and Eddie had done to Debbie!)

Is it a happy book? No. A generation or two loves Carrie Fisher in ways that she is still struggling to understand. It is, however, a surprisingly fun book as she lets us take a revealing peek beneath the surface at that very struggle. And what we see there is that there's still hope.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Famous Artists Test

All of these posts about Millie and her modeling these past few days reminded me about the time I sent for the Famous Artists School test. You know. This was the one advertised on the back of comics for years by Norman Rockwell and Albert Dorne, two "real" magazine illustrators. By the early seventies, I guess those two iconic artists were seeming a little fogeyish so this new, allegedly hipper ad appeared. This is the one to which I responded...age 12.

They sent you a nifty book with sections on a whole bunch of different art topics, one of which, as I recall (this being one of the few things I seem not have kept) was written and illustrated by L'IL ABNER's Al Capp, at the time one of my favorite cartoonists. (Hey, I was 12. I didn't get the political stuff. His pictures just looked funny, okay?)

The test booklet itself was actually rather thin. You had to define words and match concepts and trace copy things favorite part was the naked lady. They presented you with a fully detailed illustration of a naked woman and you, as the aspiring artist, had to design clothes for her. As stated, I was 12. What the heck did I know about designing clothes? Especially women's clothes? I did, however, have a fairly extensive collection of Marvel's MILLIE spinoff, CHILI. So, I sat down and meticulously copied one of Chili's stylish outfits (probably drawn by Stan Goldberg) onto the naked lady.
I sent in the test and they wrote back saying I showed talent...but to come back when I was 18. Sigh. I coulda been a contendah! (or at least a famous fashion designer as long as Marvel was publishing these comics!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Millie the Marvel Part Two

In answer to several emails and comments, here's Johnny Romita's Beatlesque cover (why Gwen Stacy's dancing on it is anyone's guess)and the front-facing first page of the Millie the Marvel story we referenced a couple of days ago. Be sure to check out the Millie fan site at

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 43

I know we just did one of these but this one with Captain America and Bucky from the mid to late 1940's just made me laugh out loud for some reason's another. And Wertham thought Bruce and Dick were perhaps a little too close! These guys bicker like the proverbial old married couple!

Thanksgiving Again

Seems like a lot of my problems started last year on Thanksgiving morning as I was driving in to work and now here we are again. Still, I find myself with much to be thankful for these past twelve months, not the least of which is my little slice of the blogosphere here.

Through this blog, we were able to get our dog healthy again, find movies I've always wanted to see and comics I've always wanted to read, keep hope alive when things looked really bad, help make real progress in a real murder investigation and make enjoyable new friends (including the ubiquitous Lisa who designed the lovely pic adorning this post! Thanks much!).

Things are never static and there are still problems and issues but overall, in spite of a most challenging year, I wanted to say thanks to ALL of you who drop by here on a semi-regular basis (and yes, even those of you just looking for Linda Blair naked, too!). Looking back over this past year's posts, I'm pretty proud. A good bit of interesting stuff for pop-oriented people! I hope you liked it 'cause there's more ahead!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Steranko History Ad-1970

One of the definitive Captain America artists, it's fitting Steranko's version was chosen to advertise volume one of his seminal HISTORY OF THE COMICS. By the time this ad appeared, I had already found a copy at Kidd's Bookstore in downtown Cincinnati and devoured its information--all-new in those pre-'Net days--many times! With all the scholarship on comics history in the last couple of decades, I'm still not sure this book has been surpassed as a one-stop for the most important historical info on the subject. And then, of course, volume two continued that trend a couple years later!

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 42

Here, from a 1967 MILLIE THE MODEL story, is Millie the Marvel vs. her arch-enemy, Miss Chill (as drawn by HERBIE's pop, Ogden Whitney with, if I'm correct, Jack Abel). Dig that crazy Gary Friedrich dialogue! The end of the story threatens a return appearance if fans clamor for it. Did they? That same issue of MODELING WITH MILLIE also features a story by--of all people--Mr. Relevance himself, Denny O'Neil!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Color Photos of Your Favorite Stars!- Early Sixties

In case you young folks are wondering why the emphasis on color in this early sixties ad, keep in mind that much of the entertainment world was still black and white at that time. Thus color was a major selling point. Being the geek that I am, I am naturally familiar with nearly all of these "stars." What interests me most, in fact (other than the fact that Annette still had to go without a last name and yet Fabian gets one!),is the number of folks I'm not familiar with at all. So I looked 'em up.
Alan Case- Case had been the title character in 1959's THE DEPUTY (opposite Henry Fonda's Marshal) and later co-starred as brother Frank on 1965's LEGEND OF JESSE JAMES.
Barry Coe-a fairly prolific character actor of the period who would later be known in commercials as TV's "Mr. Goodwrench."
Pat Conway-Lots of westerns including the sheriff in the long-running TOMBSTONE TERRITORY through 1960.
Robert Crawford, Jr- again, westerns, this time with a regular role on LARAMIE in 59-61
Richard Davalos-starred in THE AMERICANS, a TV series I'm not familiar with at all. Still working apparently, he's listed on IMDB as appearing this year in the marvelously titled NINJA CHEERLEADERS!
Richard Eyer-a prolific child actor on fifties TV
Lori Martin-star of the TV version of NATIONAL VELVET and the daughter in the classic CAPE FEAR, she worked steadily through the sixties.
Donald May-starred in THE ROARING 20's (one of my mother's favorite shows!) and later on soaps.
Cynthia Pepper-had the title role in the fairly forgotten early sixties sitcom, MARGIE
Jack Scott-Probably this guy--JACQUES Scott, fairly active in TV in the early sixties
Vicki Trickett-Hmmm...didn't do much but worked with the Three Stooges and Ozzie and Harriet!
And that's it. Believe it or not, I actually have heard of all the others and can cite at least one major credit without having to look it up! How about you?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

30 Rock on Sale

If, like myself, you're one of the many who never noticed the TV series 30 ROCK until after recent events made Tina Fey a perhaps unexpected hottie, here's your chance to make up for it! After a particularly trying day at work, I had to stop by WalMart for some milk and noticed that they had the first season of 30 ROCK on sale for only $14.96! With all 21 episodes on 3 discs, that works out to less than 72 cents per episode!

Been watching recent episodes on but now I can catch up. Tina writes, produces and stars in this smart comedy along with a brilliant ensemble cast that includes fellow SNL alumnus Tracy Morgan, ALLY MCBEAL's Jane Krakowski and Alec (THE SHADOW!)Baldwin who slyly steals almost every scene he's in! The whole thing is presented in a combination of traditional sitcom style, sketch comedy and, at times, a surreal send-up of the hands that feed them. If you haven't watched it, I suggest starting. If you've been enjoying it all along, I envy you. Go to WalMart and pick up the set so you can watch it all again!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Skinny Girls Don't Have OOMPH!"

It's entirely possible that the whole obesity problem in America today can be traced to ads like this one from the mid-fifties. OOMPH, indeed!

Murder, He Says

I first saw this George Marshall-directed 1945 movie on TV back in the early 1980's and have never been able to get its gimmick "song" out of my head. It was to the point that I had taught it to my son (along with other important things such as "swordfish," "42," and "Who's on 1st."). Today, for the first time, I showed him the movie...and he didn't like it. Too dark. Too long. Just not funny.
To be fair, it is, as its title suggests, a black comedy. According to IMDB, it was originally tailored for Bob Hope and it certainly plays like a Hope vehicle of the period. Fred MacMurray stars as a Trotter pollster ("We're like the Gallup poll...only slower.") who goes up into the hills looking for his missing predecessor. There he finds the Fleagle family--a family similar to the one we meet in the much later TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE! Marjorie Main is a wicked delight as a homicidal Ma Kettle and big, burly Peter Whitney is fun in a suberbly done dual role as her Jethro-like twin sons. Jean Heather is the less-than-present, ethereal daughter who constantly sings the song--"Honors flisis, incomb beesis, onches knobis, inobb kesis." Along with Main's new husband played by Porter Hall, they're all searching for 70,000 dollars stolen by distant relative Bonnie Fleagle. Helen Walker (a sad and fascinating story herself. Look her up.) stumbles into the plot pretending to be tough escaped convict Bonnie Fleagle while Barbara Pepper (much later on GREEN ACRES as Mrs. Ziffel) later arrives as the even tougher, real Bonnie Fleagle. There's twists, turns, hidden passageways, dead bodies, and even a spooky organ. In fact, it has everything a good Bob Hope movie should have. There's even a plot reference to Bob Hope! MacMurray fulfills his assigned role nicely, however, showing early on here the flair for flustered comedy that would serve him well years later at Disney. He even does well in the few romantic moments. The fun here, though, is clearly the downright unrepentently evil Fleagles and our heroes' efforts to thwart and/or escape them. All of it ties up neatly (a little too neatly perhaps) at the end and you're left wondering what Fred's career might have been like if he had continued in this more light-hearted vein at the time instead of waiting another fifteen years or so.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Longtime readers may recall my special, TWILIGHT ZONEISH connection to legendary movie star Lana Turner (detailed here: Well, for years I tried to reach the now late actress to tell her that story but it was never to be. Last week, however, after another several years of trying, I DID finally succeed in reaching her daughter! I received a very nice email from Cheryl Crane saying it was "a lovely story" and that her mother would have enjoyed it. That very day (what a coincidence) I picked up a copy of Ms. Crane's new coffee table book on her mom, LANA-THE MEMORIES, THE MYTHS, THE MOVIES. As this type of book goes, this one is more substantial than most. As the title says, it literally covers the spectacular ups and downs of the actress's personal life as well as an individual look at each of her films--good and bad. Along with this, we are treated to a most humanizing narration from Cheryl and a simply amazing selection of photos from beginning to end! To top it all off, this fifty dollar style book is only 35 bucks retail and can be found in various places on the Net for under 20 dollars! About the only thing missing from this book for even a casual fan is my story...and you guys have a link to that above. Go. Spend money on this one!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Two-Gun Kid

Marvel's TWO-GUN KID has been retconned so many times he's like a one-man LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. Like JONAH HEX at DC, he's even had a long stretch out of his own time (notably in SHE-HULK of all places!). I never really read him consistently as a youth but I generally preferred his Kirby and/or Ayers art to that of Jack Keller on KID COLT, OUTLAW or Larry Lieber on THE RAWHIDE KID. (Later I discovered Doug Wildey on THE OUTLAW KID but that's another story.) Came across this early sixties story the other day, from a seventies reprint, which brought to light a whole new aspect of our gunslinging hero. He sings! That's right, the Two-Gun Kid is a singing cowboy! Maybe he could get together with Colt an' ol' Rawhide an' they could form a trio. It'd be like RIDERS IN THE SKY! Or maybe they DID become the Riders! Nah! None of them are blonde. Seriously, though, was this an anomaly or did he sing a lot back when that was fashionable? Any western fans here?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Brave and the Bold

Just watched the first episode of the new Cartoon Network series BATMAN-THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD and I must say that, while I enjoyed it, I was rather confused. Mainly, because I couldn't for the life of me figure out how, in the wake of THE DARK KNIGHT, this thing ever got greenlighted! To be fair, lead time being what it is, this has probably been in the works for quite some time. Still, this is not your father's Batman...or rather, it IS your father's Batman! The Caped Crusader of this series is a popular super hero to citizens and is known for his teamups with other super-doers (in the tradition of the long-gone original BRAVE AND THE BOLD comic). Kids have pinups of him on their wall (including the one seen here--with obscured Robin--which I myself once had on my wall!), he seems equally at home with campy super-villians like the Clock King or in outer space. In short, this is the early sixties Batman! He wisecracks, he mentors, he smiles (!), he's prepared for every unlikely thing and yet, at least for this die-hard silver age fan, it all worked!
The first episode is a simple, tight script in which the new Blue Beetle, who has obviously already encountered Bats, teams with him to stop a meteor from hitting what appears to be the JLA satellite. This plot then disappears as the pair ends up on the other side of the galaxy fighting old JLA foe, Kanjar Ro (looking more like a skinny, off-model Darkseid here until he actually becomes the Blue Beetle himself!) with an army of Proty-like aliens. After the inevitable victory, they return to their original mission and we end on a freeze frame. Seeing them actually do it isn't even important. We just KNOW they will! How was never the point!
Don't ask how this series fits in with the great Bruce Timm BATMAN cartoon or even the lesser THE BATMAN animated run. They MAY try to shoehorn it into the continuity of the recent JLA cartoons but I doubt it would be a good fit. It doesn't matter, though. BATMAN-THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD is fun, pure and simple--nothing too deep, lots of action, a simple moral and the good guys winning and KNOWING they will! There is even an absolutely marvelous opening title sequence! The art is better than in THE BATMAN but fairly simplified. The writing is, at least in this episode, clever and genuinely funny. With Plastic Man, Aquaman, and Red Tornado all announced in advance for this series, it'll be interesting to see how it all progresses.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Movies That Fell Through the Cracks # 44

I actually paid to see RAFFERTY AND THE GOLD DUST TWINS three times at the Skywalk Cinema in downtown Cincinnati back in '75. It was so good I named it the BEST movie I saw all that year! What's that? You never heard of it? Yeah...a lot of that going around. Seems the film opened to good reviews, had only a fair initial run at the box office and ended up sold to TV as RAFFERTY AND THE HIGHWAY HUSTLERS...then just went away.
Alan Arkin stars during a peak period in his career. Sally Kellerman, still coasting on 1970's bravura performance in M*A*S*H co-stars as do Mackenzie Phillips and Charles Martin Smith, both fresh out of AMERICAN GRAFFITI. All of them give standout performances in this dramedy about a lonely driving instructor abducted by a woman and a girl travelling cross-country to make the woman a country singing star. This film was also the first place I ever noticed the great character actors, Alex Rocco and Harry Dean Stanton! Heck, even the great Louie Prima appears!!
I had previously seen Mackenzie Phillips in a similar role on TV in a HALLMARK HALL OF FAME special entitled MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP opposite Martin Balsam. (Oddly her character there was named "Robin Willimas.") In the closest thing she ever had to a starring role on the big screen (before moving on to TV and tabloids), Mackenzie shines here as the surly "Frisbee."
Arkin is always a joy to watch as an actor but his character here is depressed and laconic, easily bested by the stronger female roles.
This type of movie, if it turns up at all these days, is usually a TV movie--too serious to be a comedy and yet too comical to be taken seriously. With some great individual set pieces and a satisfying ending, though, in 1975 I thought this was the best of the best. If you get a chance, I think you might like it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Abbott and Costello Ad-1954

They shilled for Camel cigarettes for years over the airwaves and I recall seeing Lou do a live camera commercial with Steve Allen late in life but did Abbott and Costello really do that many endorsements? Here we have a 1954 comic strip style ad for popsicles featuring Bud and Lou just a few years away from their big break-up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Clayton Moore and the Lone Ranger's 75th

Happy 75th anniversary year to the Masked Man of the plains, the Lone Ranger! In all of that time, the cowboy hero (often accompanied by friend Tonto) has appeared on radio, in serials, in movies, in books, in comics, in cartoons, in commercials and on lunch boxes. Its biggest success, arguably, was its early television incarnation as played by actor Clayton Moore. As with Hopalong Cassidy before him, Moore largely took on the code of the masked man and continued to appear throughout his life as the Lone Ranger, long after the TV series had ridden off into the sunset. Then, in 1979, the Wrather Corporation (which ahd purchased the rights to the character) gave him cease and desist orders. Seems they were bringing the character back to the big screen and wouldn't want the dumb movie-going public to confuse some dottering old man with the hot young star they were going to create.

Bad move. First, Moore fought the ban. Then as more legal action loomed, he went to a modified costume and a pair of mask-like sunglasses (which eventually got him endorsements). Controverisal Chicago TV critic Gary Deeb took up Moore's cause and fans began rallying to their hero's side.

The Wrather corporation featured former actress Bonita Granville (Wrather) as one of their big-wigs and some writers portrayed the affair as Nancy Drew vs. the Lone Ranger! The corporation stuck by its guns and went forward with their movie while Moore continued making appearances as the ALMOST Lone Ranger. Talk of a boycott of the movie began circulating.

I signed the petition. I signed the boycott sheet, too. To this day I have NOT seen THE LEGEND OF THE LONE RANGER. By all accounts, one of the worst films of its day as well as a major flop, the boycott seems to have done some good. And certainly, no one would end up mistaking the classy Moore for the film's bizarrely named Klinton Spilsbury. Spilsbury made headlines with drunken off-set antics and on-set diva-like behavior. His voice was overdubbed by actor James Keach, allegedly due to its being too slurred to understand. It was to be his only film appearance. Actor Michael Horse, Tonto in the picture, managed to pull a successful acting career out of the debacle but even old-time radio announcer Fred Foy saw his cameo as a town mayor hit the cutting room floor. Horse said in a 2003 interview, "When I heard they were so disrespectful to Clayton Moore, I thought, ‘oh, no, you guys shouldn’t have done that.'”

Tired of all the negative publicity, the Wrather Corporation eventually caved and Moore went back to being the Lone Ranger, eventually writing a book whose title answered the oft-asked question of, "Who was that masked man?" He died at age 85 but is well-remembered throughout the Web.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Charles Atlas WTF

Every comic book fan who ever read a comic published between the thirties and the seventies (eighties?) has seen these Charles Atlas ads but I don't recall ever having seen this one in which the world's most perfectly developed man proudly shows off "little Chuck." On a silver platter, yet!

Twice Upon a Time

Spiked a fever and ended up staying home from work after all so, for anyone still paying attention, here's yet another cool movie ad from back in the day. George Lucas produced the animated feature TWICE UPON A TIME back in 1983 but due to various behind-the-scenes wrangling and studio problems, it was barely released in theaters. Most who saw it did so on cable TV and in one of two different edits! The absolute only thing I remember about it (other than this Pythonesque ad) is the "Figmen of the Imagination!"

Airplane Ad

Here's an unusual ad for the comedy classic AIRPLANE. Just thinking that since I have to go back to work today in spite of my dental adventures yesterday and in spite of the fact that there really isn't a lot of business (hardly any flights!) on Wednesdays, maybe this would keep me busy, too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oddball Archie Alien

Here, from Scott Shaw!'s ODDBALL COMICS site ( is a cover that would sum up my day yesterday! Today, I had three teeth pulled!!! Thanks to bloggy buddy Lisa for the shout out earlier today.

Own Your Own Flag-1942

Here, from an early issue of SUB-MARINER, is an ad for ordering your own flag! Undoubtedly this was a very patriotic thing to do in those early days of World War II but I still think the text of the ad tries a mite hard.

Bob Hope's Supershow

Okay, we all know my goofy memory. I recently ran into a guy I hadn't seen since 1982 and I was able to remind him we last met at a McDonalds on a Thursday afternoon in August, he bought and I had two hamburgers, fries and a small coke. Couldn't recall what he had, though. Freaked him out.

How does that tie in with Bob Hope? Glad you asked. I like Hope. He was a consummate entertainer right to the end. I enjoyed his films, his TV specials and he did a considerable amount of good for a considerable amount of people. From what I've read, I doubt I would have cared for him in real life but that's another story.

Anyway, here in Cincinnati they had (still have?) the Bob Hope House, similar to the now well known Ronald McDonald House. Every year, Bob would come through town and hold a celebrity golf tournament to raise money for the Hope House. In the mid-seventies, someone got the idea to have Bob put on a big stage show, talking his famous friends into coming into town for free to help raise more money.

In 1976, the Bob Hope Supershow was all the rage. This was when I got to meet Bob at a local booksigning (written about previously. Type BOB HOPE in the blog search bar). The guests included Pearl Bailey, Wayne Newton, Roy Clark and Lynn Anderson (all of whom were bigger names than they now sound!). Ben Vereen, perhaps ticked off about his name being misspelled in the ad, was a no-show. It was a long, fun evening with Newton showing why he was the King of Las Vegas entertainers.

In my memory, there was another show the following year. The problem is...apparently there was one the year after that, also and the two are running together! After the first one, Hope had stated he would try to hook Crosby for the following year. Unfortunately, Der Bingle teed off the Earth that following summer. His fellow Xmas special crooner, Perry Como substituted as headliner. Blonde sprite Joey Heatherton (pre-cocaine), then known for her sexy TV mattress ads, stole the show in my then 18 year old opinion. Singer Teresa Brewer (known mainly at the time for an oldies TV album commercial) was that year's no-show. Gordon McRae was surprisingly dull and Jane Russell really seemed ill at ease in front of a live audience. Mark Hamill was just trotted out briefly (STAR WARS had just opened in May of 77) like the flavor of the month.

I can't find the ad for the 78 Supershow but I DO have the souvenir booklet (which talks only about the Bob Hope House) and I recall Glenn Campbell playing bagpipes and marching through the audience at Cincy's Riverfront Coliseum. I also recall silent movie star Buddy Rogers playing multiple instruments and leaping around like a teenager. I even recall that country star Freddy Fender was that year's no-show! Can't recall who else was there, however. Joey again, maybe?

As you might expect, this unusual memory lapse is driving me crazy. Anybody else out there go to these shows? What are your memories of them?

CORRECTION_ I found another ad for the 77 show. THAT was the year with Buddy Rogers and THAT was the year of Fender's cancellation. Dorothy Lamour's too! And Charo's!