Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MacArthur the Magnificent

Under the weather today but for your pop culture amusement--courtesy of the ever diligent Lisa M-- here's a cool egotistical, over-the-top and even politically incorrect ad for an early biography of General Douglas MacArthur! Perhaps the funniest part is that this was from the back cover of a BLONDIE comic book...in 1941! Macarthur hadn't even "returned" yet!

Monday, November 29, 2010

RIP-Leslie Nielsen

Seriously...was there ever anyone with a more satisfying second act than Leslie Nielsen? Memorable as the starship captain of 1956's FORBIDDEN PLANET and in 1960 as Disney's SWAMP FOX, his would be a familiar face (topped by its prematurely white hair) to sixties and early seventies television viewers as an authority figure on scores of shows--a doctor, a lawyer, a detective, an executive. He was a hunter in a memorable episode of NIGHT GALLERY and Patrick McGoohan's victim in my all-time favorite episode of COLUMBO. The one thing that characterized Leslie Nielsen's performances more than anything else was his seriousness. He was serious to the point of being stodgy!

Then, at age 55, at a time when he could have chosen to retire and look back over
a good, solid acting career, came AIRPLANE. Part of the humor of the now legendary scattershot comedy was to cast Nielsen along with other stodgy actors such as Robert Stack,Peter Graves and Lloyd Bridges and have them do flat out silly things. It worked. The film did much for the careers of all of those men but the others simply returned to their serious roles for the most part including Stack's gravitas on TV's UNSOLVED MYSTERIES and Graves hosting BIOGRAPHY.

Leslie Nielsen, on the other hand, grabbed a whoopie cushion and away he ran, never looking back. Eventually it got to a point where he could not have been taken seriously in another role ever again. From that point on, whatever the role, whatever the project, he was Leslie Nielsen!

TV's brilliant POLICE SQUAD! led to the NAKED GUN films which led to lesser material like MISTER MAGOO, REPOSSESSED and even a turn as a ridiculously silly Count Dracula! By all accounts a funny man who made a lot of money when he finally let people know that. Thanks for BOTH of your careers, sir. We'll miss you.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 80

A badly drawn Funky Flashman meets Big Barda in her metal bikini and immediately goes un-PC.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tomb of Horror Ad

In the 1970's, Skywald published a series of horror magazines (as well as a few color comics) that proved to be worthy competition for Warren Publishing. PSYCHO, NIGHTMARE and SCREAM were pretty much equal to CREEPY, EERIE and VAMPIRELLA for awhile, often even utilizing some of the same creators. In 1974, they even announced a new magazine, designed to beat any and all that had come before--TOMB OF HORROR!! Unfortunately, the "Horror-Mood" had passed and TOMB OF HORROR never appeared. Much of the material intended for the new addition was instead used up in one of the final issues of NIGHTMARE before the whole line faded into comics history.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Looney Tunes by Mark Evanier

Mark Evanier used to write LOONEY TUNES comics for Gold Key and later for DC. Bet you didn't know he could draw them, too! This signed 35 year old cover to the fanzine, THE COMIC READER, shows that he could!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Borscht Belt

Once again it's been a while since we just randomly pulled a book off the shelves here at the Library so today I did just that.

THE BORSCHT BELT is a fun and informative 1966 book by prolific author and comic Joey Adams (the late husband of New York gossip columnist, Cindy Adams). Wikipedia defines "Borscht Belt" as "...a colloquial term for the mostly defunct summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in parts of Sullivan, Orange and Ulster Counties in upstate New York that were a popular vacation spot for New York City Jews from the 1920s through the 1960s."

Those resorts used to be a training ground for comics on the rise as well as comedians on their way down. The jokes were corny and ethnic and the audiences were appreciative.

Adams (with co-author Henry Tobias) chronicles his own experiences there as well as those of many others who went on to become beloved American icons in nightclubs and on TV. Some of those covered include Martin and Lewis, Danny Thomas, Milton Berle, Phil Silvers and Danny Kaye. Some of the most interesting sections of the book, however, deal with the ones that no one remembers at all today!

In spite of the book's cover making it look as though it's all about "the wacky beginnings of our greatest comedians," THE BORSCHT BELT is more ambitious than that, detailing instead a place and an atmosphere that was unique to its time. It's as much about minorities as it is comics, as much about the business of entertainment as it is the stars and as much about real people as it is celebrities. In other words, it's a better book than it tries to be! If you ever see it, I recommend it to students of history in general as much as to students of show biz.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

RIP-Ingrid Pitt

I missed THE VAMPIRE LOVERS the first time around so I didn't know what all the fuss was about regarding actress Ingrid Pitt. I did, however catch her not too long afterwards in COUNTESS DRACULA, another Hammer horror which was a dark fantasy bio of the real-life Countess Elizabeth Bathory. I was very impressed. Her performance elevated that film well beyond that of a typical Hammer gothic horror. Ingrid Pitt also appears--briefly but memorably--in my all-time favorite movie, THE WICKER MAN.

It would be well into the video years before I finally caught Ms. Pitt's smoldering performance in THE VAMPIRE LOVERS. By that point the once controversial toplessness and lesbian scenes no longer shocked so I was able to appreciate what else she brought to the table.

Along the way, I had seen her in a few other things, as well as in many interviews where she always came across as classy and irreverent at the same time. She embraced her fame for what it was and did a good job of exploiting herself rather than running from her film legacy. Fans all over the world loved her for it. Rest in Peace Ms. Pitt.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Middle School Fundraising

We interrupt our daily dose of pop culture goodness to present one of those things that every parent has to go through from time to time--school fundraising. Remember when you talked your mom into taking your box of candy to work to sell to her co-workers? Well consider this the equivalent.

The good news is that Bookdave has been chosen to go on an educational class trip to Washington, DC next May...only they need money. Each month between now and the trip there will be different fundraising activities by the Travel Club. This month's involves reaching out to community members and businesses for support. Thus I present the Official contributor form and open the whole thing up to the global Internet community.

So please embiggen and read the letter you see here and then, if you should wish to contribute to Bookdave's education by helping fund his trip at any one of the listed levels, you can do so simply enough by pressing the PayPal Donations button on the sidebar of this blog. Please let us know your name and mailing address as per the form. We will withdraw all contributions weekly and send on to the school. PLEASE SPECIFY THAT YOUR CONTRIBUTION IS MEANT FOR THE WASHINGTON TRIP!

From time to time, I will provide updates on the Travel Club's progress.

We thank you for your indulgence, understanding and, of course, any and all contributions. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog...in progress.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Review: 9/11 Heartbreaker by Craig Staufenberg

I admire Indy comics but they aren't really my "thing," y'know? Recently though, I was sent a review copy of Craig Staufenberg's 9/11 HEARTBREAKER. I'll admit that I kept putting off reading it as 9/11 was such a heavy subject and I've had a lot on my plate lately. Eventually, however, I read it...twice..and I think you should, too.

9/11 HEARTBREAKER isn't even about 9/11...exactly. It's about memory and perception and perspective. It's about connections and ties between people and between people and events. We know little about our narrator--who is female so it is not completely autobiographical in the sense of so many Indy projects in the tradition of Justin Green's pioneering BINKY BROWN MEETS THE HOLY VIRGIN MARY.

In fact, to me, it is not a graphic novel at all. It is a short film. Every "shot" is carefully planned and executed. I can "hear" the narrator telling her story in a slightly sad monotone with distant background noises of trains and karaoke. It's not so much a story mind you as it is musings-- but deep musings mixed with everyday longing as she tries to come to grips with tragedy but also with hope and history.

It's actually hard for me to put into words how well I think this would work as a film but it works, too, as a graphic novel. At 28 pages, it's not really short. Everything you need is present. If you started earlier or went on best the point it stops, you'd have a different book. If there were more details given about the people in the book or ore movement in their various relationships...again you'd have a different book. And I don't want a different book! This one works fine just as is. It's deep and literary without becoming precocious or pretentious. It's never easy for a creative person to know where to leave things but Craig has shown great instinct and restraint. He got it right!

The art appears computer generated but it's still better than some Indy books I've seen. The writing is excellent and the "directing" is, to me, the best part of all. I think I'll go rewind it and watch...err...read it again.

For Craig's own story of 9/11 HEARTBREAKER, go here:

You can order your own copy here:
http://indyplanet.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4183 or get a digital download for only $2.99 here:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

REVIEW: The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories

Dear Santa: If you haven't noticed lately, author/publisher and general iconoclast Craig Yoe has been a very good boy this year with nearly a dozen fun, important and informative comics history books published including this hot off the presses holiday comics collection, THE GREAT TREASURY OF CHRISTMAS COMIC BOOK STORIES! Even if you can't remember a Christmas before saturation advertising, these gentle, well-chosen 1940's and '50's tales are sure to make you smile and melt the heart of the most jaded grown-ups and kids alike. Be sure to bring Craig some nice presents, Santa.

There used to be actual annual Christmas comics that kids would eagerly await all year and many of the stories here stem from these. POGO creator Walt Kelly did lots of holiday stories for Dell Comics and a number of them are present along with the seriously funny John Stanley and even a rare comic book turn by now-legendary children's book author and illustrator, Richard Scarry.

There are plenty of other artists also but, of those, the standout to me is Klaus Nordling, best known for his LADY LUCK back-up in Will Eisner's early SPIRIT sections. Nordling has a couple of absolutely delightful pieces here with art that looks to me like a dream combination of Eisner and Howard Post.

As befits a Christmas treat, THE GIANT TREASURY OF CHRISTMAS COMIC BOOK STORIES is not TOO filling but just filling enough! There are snowmen and bunnies and mice (including ATOMIC MOUSE!) and toys and cute kids and elves and Christmas Trees and Scrooge and, of course, Santa and his reindeer! To top off this tasty holiday confection, however, there's a marvelously detailed and beautifully drawn version of the Nativity credited to Alberto Giolitti--an artist whose only other work with which I was familiar was his rather pedestrian STAR TREK work of the late sixties and early seventies. Let's just say I can see an influence here on the later, lush style of John Buscema!

The whole package may be leftovers from another era--one which was never even real to many of us--but it's the type of Christmas we still dream about and secretly long for...and you'll find it all right here in this colorful, beautifully wrapped present. If you have kids, this would be great to read to them. If not, just sit back and remember what it was like...or should have been. It goes without saying that THE GREAT TREASURY OF CHRISTMAS COMIC BOOK STORIES would also make a wonderful present that children would cherish for years to come! Order today from the link on my sidebar.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Art-1970-71

Thanks to old Pal Terry who hoarded some of my less than majestic superhero artwork for four decades, here's a look at same. After all this time, only parts of these make sense to me so I shall refrain from commenting. You will note on one, however, the news that DARK SHADOWS was going off the air the following week...thus dating that particular page to late March of 1971.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Week of Yaphet Kotto: Live And Let Die

THE STING, THE WICKER MAN, ENTER THE DRAGON, THE EXORCIST…1973 was a very good year for movies. One of the best of my lifetime. A number of my all-time favorite films were released that year and one of those was LIVE AND LET DIE.

I was 14 in ‘73 but the only James Bond movie I had ever seen was 1971’s DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, Sean Connery’s one-off return to the 007 role after skipping the previous film. While the Connery film was on-screen, TV actor Roger Moore—up until then best known as THE SAINT on TV in the mid-sixties, was producing and starring in a fondly remembered buddy series with Tony Curtis entitled THE PERSUADERS.

Meanwhile, African-American actor Yaphet Kotto, trained at the fabled Actors’ Studio, had been appearing in mostly small roles on television series and in films for nearly a decade. While Bond rescued Jimmy Dean from Blofeld in theaters, Yaphet was backing up Bill Cosby in a well received but now forgotten all-black western movie entitled MAN AND BOY. Sean Connery’s ongoing dissatisfaction with the role that made his career would soon bring Moore and Kotto together.

Roger Moore had twice been considered for the Bond role, most recently when Connery had originally left after 1967’s YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE but he was tied up at the time. For reasons best not to get into here, George Lazenby—who had gotten the job that time—was no longer a viable option. UA and Producer Cubby Broccoli reportedly wanted actor (and future Ambassador to Mexico) John Gavin as Bond but Gavin was American. Co-producer Harry Saltzman continued to push for Englishman Moore. Although the studio wasn’t thrilled with the choice, eventually everyone came around to what, in retrospect, was the best possible casting: Roger Moore would be James Bond, 007, in Ian Fleming’s LIVE AND LET DIE.

Yaphet Kotto, making big screen inroads due to the growing popularity of the blaxploitation genre, was shooting ACROSS 110TH STREET when he was cast in the role of the Bond movie’s antagonist, Mr. Big.

Like most of the 007 movies, LIVE AND LET DIE, the film, bears little resemblance to Fleming’s original book beyond the accent on African-American crime. In fact, the film’s trendy seventies drug smuggling was originally diamond smuggling.

LIVE AND LET DIE began shooting in 1972 and was, itself, considered a bit of a blaxploitation film. Besides Yaphet, actress Gloria Hendry (who sadly seemed to be unable to read the simplest lines) appeared as the first black Bond Girl. Many other actors of color appear also, another first for the Bond films. The most prominent, though were Trinidad’s Geoffrey Holder, best known at the time for a series of memorable 7-UP Uncola TV ads and big Julius Harris, a welcome presence in all types of films and on television throughout the decade. Holder played the Voodoo priest, Baron Samedi, while Harris took on the role of Mr. Big’s grinning, sadistic henchman, Tee Hee Johnson.

After a brief introduction to Moore’s new brand of suave, sophisticated Bond, the audience is treated to one of THE classic title sequences and the now-iconic theme by Paul McCartney and Wings. The song would be a huge hit over the years in Macca’s concert performances, always played with appropriate Bondian flourish utilizing lasers, fireworks and explosions.

The basic plot of the film brings Bond to the US—New Orleans and Harlem— as well as to the islands in an uncharacteristic case in which he is attempting to stop drug dealers as opposed to spies, assassins or would-be world dictators. Early on, we meet Dr Kananga, ruler of the island nation of San Monique.

Soon enough, Bond also meets Mr. Big, a stereotypical New York black drug dealer/gangster of the period…with ludicrously obvious fake makeup…as well as actress Jane Seymour, the future DR. QUINN. MEDICINE WOMAN, as Solitaire, whose gift of second sight through the tarot controls Mr. Big’s criminal actions.Watching Bond as a fish out of water offers a few opportunities for dramatic tension and even more for the type of leering humor that will become a hallmark of the Moore films.

Ultimately, Mr. Big is revealed to be Dr. Kananga himself and that’s when Yaphet Kotto gets to shine. No longer purely a seventies stereotype, he is shown as an erudite, sophisticated, manipulative menace more than worthy of the cat and mouse game he plays with our hero throughout the last half of the picture.

When LIVE AND LET DIE first came out, it was accompanied by a now long out-of-print book entitled ROGER MOORE’S JAMES BOND DIARY. Unlike many such ghosted promo tie-ins, this one is long enough, chatty enough and detailed enough to give every impression that the star himself really did write it! It’s interesting to note Moore’s reactions to Kotto throughout shooting.

Upon returning to the New Orleans set early on after a sick day in bed back at the hotel, Moore writes, “On my return I came face to face for the first time with the villain of our piece, Yaphet Kotto, a mountain of a man; all six feet four and muscled two hundred and fifty pounds of him was waiting to meet me at the bar. I felt a bit of a beanpole by comparison. As Mr. Big, he has no scenes in New Orleans but came down for make-up tests.”

At one point, he punched the air with a black power salute at a controversial photo shoot with Moore and Jane Seymour, endearing him to some cast and crew members but making others a bit uneasy. Once they finally started shooting together weeks later, the English Roger described his American antagonist as “…an actor of extraordinary depth and power.”

Detailing one of their first scenes together, Roger writes, “Yaphet was magnificent, pulling all sorts of tricks out of his bag that he hadn’t shown in rehearsal, and I was so open-mouthed at his performance, I did what I dreaded I would do and blew my tag line.” Any tension on set was broken as Moore began to play practical jokes on the more serious Kotto.

In the end, after leading everyone to believe he couldn’t swim and would therefore have to be doubled in the movie’s climactic underwater scene, Yaphet Kotto pulled one last surprise on the cast and crew when he did the scene himself after all, leading up to the literal explosion of Kananga!

LIVE AND LET DIE seems more a product of its time than some James Bond films what with the racial stereotyping and political incorrectness but taken in context, it remains my favorite 007 adventure. With its classic boat chase, multiple great villains, memorable score, a far less self-indulgent Moore than we would see later on and, perhaps best of all, the very first time I saw Yaphet Kotto, a man whose name on a project from then on would be a guarantee of quality to me!

Thank you for all of your years of fine and enjoyable performances, sir! They have been and most certainly will remain greatly appreciated by film buffs and fans alike.

For more on Yaphet Kotto, check out the week-long blog celebration of this under-rated actor at the blogs below! Tell 'em booksteve sent ya!

MONDAY Nov. 15th

Unflinching Eye - Alien
Raculfright 13's Blogo Trasho - Truck Turner
Camp Movie Camp -

TUESDAY Nov. 16th
Lost Video Archive - Raid on Entebbe
Manchester Morgue - Friday Foster

Booksteve's Library - Live and Let Die
Horror Section - Warning Sign

THURSDAY Nov. 18th
Mondo 70 - Drum
B Movies and Beyond - The Monkey Hu$tle
Illogical Contraption - Eye of the Tiger

FRIDAY Nov. 19th
Ninja Dixon - Across 110th St.
Lines That Make Things - The A Team (TV episode)
Things That Don't Suck - Blue Collar

SATURDAY Nov. 20th
Breakfast In the Ruins - Bone
Lost Video Archive - The Park Is Mine

Night of Horror by S Thompson (circa 1970)

I have wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. There's a photo of me as a small child with the typewriter my parents got me for Christmas. What kind of child wants a typewriter for Christmas? A writer.

In Junior High School, I started writing fiction. I wrote hundreds of stories as well as drew hundreds of character designs for stories that went unwritten. Sometimes, I'd keep them. Sometimes I'd throw them away. Other times I'd give them to classmates who showed an interest.

I had a sword and sorcery series about a bearded king who had a magical sword grafted onto his arm where his hand used to be. I had another series about a private eye with amnesia who solved other people's cases while always trying to discover his own real identity. My favorite was SITUATION SIX, a sci-fi tale in which John Wilkes Booth turns out to be a police officer from the future tracking down the dangerous time traveling dictator...Abraham Lincoln.

None of these were particularly good, however, nor particularly original. All of them showed the profound influence of books, TV shows, movies and comics! Many of them, although given a good running start, would remain forever uncompleted, also.

This past weekend, I got together with my best friend of those years for the first time in three decades and lo and behold...he had a story of mine that I didn't remember at all! NIGHT OF HORROR is clearly inspired by our mutual love of old monster movies and FAMOUS MONSTERS magazine. My first issue of FM was the April, 1970 issue which may have been on the stands as early as January. Based on the style of my printing on these pages, I am going to date this story to 1970 making it nearly two years earlier than any of the stories in my possession. The "Stevens Publishing Company" line (me being Steven, you see) makes me think that perhaps this wasn't my first either! But for now, here it is, in all its unvarnished glory--the earliest piece of booksteve writing--NIGHT OF HORROR!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Week of Yaphet Kotto!

Check out these great and enjoyable blogs below all week as we all salute the great actor and movie star Yaphet Kotto on the anniversary of his birth!

MONDAY Nov. 15th
Unflinching Eye - Alien
Raculfright 13's Blogo Trasho - Truck Turner
Camp Movie Camp -

TUESDAY Nov. 16th
Lost Video Archive - Raid on Entebbe
Manchester Morgue - Friday Foster

Booksteve's Library - Live and Let Die
Horror Section - Warning Sign

THURSDAY Nov. 18th
Mondo 70 - Drum
B Movies and Beyond - The Monkey Hu$tle
Illogical Contraption - Eye of the Tiger

FRIDAY Nov. 19th
Ninja Dixon - Across 110th St.
Lines That Make Things - The A Team (TV episode)
Things That Don't Suck - Blue Collar

SATURDAY Nov. 20th
Breakfast In the Ruins - Bone
Lost Video Archive - The Park Is Mine

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Frankenstein and Popeye Revisited-An Update

A little more than 5 years ago, in one of my early blog posts, I told the story of THE POPEYE SHOW, the last of many years worth of kiddie matinees I attended, circa 1972. That original post can be found here: http://booksteveslibrary.blogspot.com/2005/10/frankenstein-meets-popeye.html .

Well this past week, through the magic of Facebook, I rediscovered the person who attended that long ago show with me and not only were his memories of the event slightly different than mine...he had pictures!

In my mind, there were just a couple of guys in monster suits stalking through the audience between ULTRAMAN episodes and POPEYE cartoons. These photos, courtesy of Terry H, we see that there was, in fact, a stage show that I have blocked completely from memory. Seeing the costumes, I think I understand why.

I lightened up and cropped the dark photos for inclusion here but in case you can't tell, there really was a Popeye along with Frankenstein's monster, Mighty Mouse, an extremely low-rent Ultraman, someone I am told was supposed to be the Pink Panther and Heckle...or Jeckle.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Horror!

Okay, so I went to the Horror Fest today and it was impressive! Multiple rooms, many exhibits, diverse product in the dealers rooms (fun to look at even with no money), big but well-organized and well-behaved crowds, lots of great costumes and make-up and some of the friendliest folks I've seen at anything like this in literally decades. Most of the guests were friendly. The great Malcolm McDowell was distracted trying to keep up on the scores of something somewhere but always had a smile for a fan. Meg Foster was up and animated. Jeffrey Combs was chatty and posing for pictures with fans left and right. My favorite was Dean Cameron, actor/comedian/blogger extraordinaire and a pioneer in scam-baiting. Had a brief but most pleasant talk with him. Hi, Dean!

Oh and Linda Blair was also there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Linda Blair in Cincinnati??

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you may well have noted that I happen to have been a big fan and admirer of actress and animal activist Linda Blair for 37 years...ever since I saw a picture of her with her mother in a copy of TIME that someone had left in Spanish class at school. This was just as THE EXORCIST was coming out. I wouldn't see it for about another six months and while I enjoyed it, I never have had the desire to see it again. I went on to enjoy Linda in her TV films (especially SWEET HOSTAGE with Martin Sheen), some of her later films like HELL NIGHT and SAVAGE STREETS and TV appearances on everything from CIRCUS OF THE STARS to SUPERNATURAL. More recently I have been a supporter of her animal rescue work with her WorldHeart Foundation. See the clickable link on this page. This weekend she is in Cincinnati for perhaps the first time ever. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day

Over the years during and since World War II, cartoonist Bill Mauldin seems to have embodied the American fighting man for all time in his protagonists, Willie and Joe. Constantly revived by editorial cartoonists of every era to symbolize both Memorial Day and Veterans Day and more recently given the deluxe book treatment, here they are with their creator on a stamp.

If you're a veteran, please allow me to say, "Thank you." No matter how big or small your contribution, we couldn't have done it without you. As individuals and as a country, we don't say it often enough or loud enough but we really DO appreciate your service!

For many years, Charles Schulz--himself a veteran--, in PEANUTS, would salute the Vets by having Snoopy on his way to symbolically "quaff a few root beers" with Bill Mauldin. So on this special day, quaff a few with friends and family and hopefully know that we do care.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I really loved this short-lived early nineties show starring Carl Lumbly (seen in BUCKAROO BANZAI and CAGNEY & LACEY) as a disabled scientist who invents a powerful exo-skeleton which enables him to become a superhero. It was created by Sam Raimi and BATMAN scriptwriter Sam Hamm. The problem is that what I enjoyed most about it was the pilot movie with its original and unique take on well-worn themes. The series itself coasted a long way on the goodwill from that film even though they changed the premise, replaced the characters and seemed to forget that M.A.N.T.I.S. was an acronym--he was NOT a bug superhero!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Comic Spinner Needed in New York Area!

No, not for me. If you've looked at my header, I already have one. No, prolific author Craig Yoe will be guest curator for an upcoming comics-related exhibit at New York City's Sex Museum and is looking for someone who would loan him one for the duration of the exhibit. He would simply prefer one a tad closer than mine here in Kentucky. So if you're one of those comics fans like myself who, through whatever means, obtained one of these squeaky nostalgic wonders over the years...and you're in the general vicinity...and you wouldn't mind its perhaps irreverent use at the exhibit...please contact me at booksteve at aol.com
or you can contact Craig directly at yoecomix at hotmail.com .

UPDATE: NOV 11--Got one in NYC! Thanks to all who responded!

Buxton and Owen--Together Again

In a photo taken by Arlene Osborne, here we see reunited the writing team of Frank Buxton and Bill Owen who, in 1972, published THE BIG BROADCAST. A revised and expanded version of their early sixties volume, RADIO'S GOLDEN AGE, that second edition, coming as it did at the height of the oft-mentioned around here nostalgia boom, probably did more to turn people onto the joys of Old Time Radio than any team since Andy and the Kingfish.

From their own book, here is the "About the Author" section: Frank Buxton is a professional broadcaster who has been affiliated as a writer, producer, and/or director of such television classics as "The Odd Couple, Happy Days," and "Mork and Mindy". He was the original host of "Discovery" and performed in hundreds of television shows and feature films. Bill Owen was a major voice on ABC radio and TV for thirty years and was the principal voice of Superstation WWOR-TV.

And those impressive credentials leave out the fact that Mr. Buxton was also the voice of BATFINK in mid-sixties TV cartoons as well as most of the non-Woody voices in Woody Allen's re-dubbed Japanese spy flick, WHAT'S UP TIGER LILY? and the creator of the memorable seventies kids show, HOT DOG.

Thanks to both of these gentlemen for being an early influence on my own love of radio and to Mr. Buxton in particular for being an early supporter of this blog! Thanks to ace researcher Derek Tague for reuniting the pair at last month's Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention in New Jersey and for sharing Ms. Osborne's nifty photo with all of us who love OTR.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Random Panels of Comic Book Weirdness # 81

I have a friend who delights in pointing out the bizarre poses and anatomical stretches in characters drawn by Jack Kirby. This would be a good example of that. This skinny fella is the Atlas cowboy hero known as the Black Rider...although here he looks more like Plastic Man with guns. Those guns, by the way, appear nearly as big as the guy's head and the one in the right hand seems pointed sideways! His scarf looks like it may be somehow tied to that poor woman's hair. His arms? Look as though they'd hang down well below his knees. Around this time Kirby had a habit of drawing all of his cowboys bow-legged, also, and the Rider here is no exception. I guess it is a good thing he went on to create the Silver Surfer and the New Gods and plant the seeds for pop culture as we know it today or else, based on this, we'd be looking at Jack as another Fletcher Hanks by now!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Undun-The Guess Who-2008

To my mind one of the great pop/rock voices of the seventies, here's Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman just a couple of years back doing my favorite GUESS WHO number--Undun.

Opus-A Wish For Wings That Work

I hated OUTLAND and was very disappointed in OPUS but I truly loved BLOOM COUNTY. Here, from the height of that strip's success in the eighties, is the sole authorized animated BLOOM COUNTY film--a sentimental and irreverent holiday TV special with Michael Bell voicing Opus. This is part one. You can find links to the rest off to the side on YouTube.

Bob Newhart--Air Traffic Controller

The great Bob Newhart doing one of his patented one-sided comedy bits. Known for his clean language, I saw Bob in person in 1978 and was surprised at the number of "blue" jokes he used in his act at that time. This clip is from a late sixties SMOTHERS BROTHERS SHOW.

The Cartoonist--Trailer

Here's a trailer for what looks to be a well-done documentary on BONE creator Jeff Smith.

The Flintstones XXX

Via CARTOON BREW, this trailer is completely safe for work but I guarantee you the film is not. The latest from the Department of "Just When You Thought You'd Seen Everything."

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Archie Salutes Will Hutchins

One of the most delightful celebs I've ever met and/or worked with is Will Hutchins, star of TV's SUGARFOOT and the sixties version of BLONDIE (as well as the man who stole every scene he was in with Elvis in two of the singer's film vehicles--and lived to tell the tale!). Here's a one page biography from an Archie comic published at the time of Will's early success!