Monday, January 31, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
I'm sicker than I've been in ages but that doesn't change the fact that today is the birthday of my friend Daerick Gross (of VAMPIRE LESTAT and MURCIELAGA SHE BAT fame). I dug up this Ron Howard caricature from his early days at THE CINCINNATI POST for him and thought I'd share it with you in between my BLUH moments today.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Mark Evanier and a few others ran this great pic a while back featuring Ed Wynn, Buster Keaton and two of the cast of BONANZA--Lorne Greene and Dan Blocker. On my BOOKSTEVE'S RARITIES site we find the source:
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I was reminiscing with my old action figure collecting buddy earlier today about this CAPTAIN ACTION which came with a limited edition parachute. We climbed up the stairs to the third floor of my apartment building endlessly and tossed poor ol' Cap out in his orange chute only to watch him plummet to earth.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I'm still surprised at how much everyone has taken to my GEEK'S JOURNAL 1976. Delighted, mind you...but surprised. Seen above is a clipping from today's CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Tomorrow I'm supposed to do an interview with a British magazine. The other day I was privileged to receive quite a few favorable English language reviews but also a couple of nice foreign language reviews. The Russian one translated like this on BabelFish:
Author and comics historian BLAKE BELL, biographer of Steve Ditko and Bill Everett, is looking for YOUR help with his next project. Well...maybe not you but somebody out there. Here's Blake's message today:
"We're looking for help with scans of Bill Everett's 1938-1942 (non-Marvel) work that Fantagraphics and I are collecting for THE BILL EVERETT ARCHIVES due out this summer.
Anyone who contributes will be handsomely rewarded for their efforts with free copies of the book upon its release. I'm also donating 10% of my royalties from the project to The Hero Initiative, so it's a win/win all around for this unique collection of rarely-seen work by a Golden Age of Comics master.
Do you have the comics listed below? If so (regardless of condition), please email me at email@example.com (before scanning anything, please contact me for instructions; this is also to check if we've received worthy scans of a story already):
Amazing Adventures Funnies #1
Amazing Mystery Funnies v1 #1-3a, 3b; v2 #2-7, 18
Amazing Man Comics 5-11
Blue Bolt Comics v1 #4-11
Blue Bolt Comics v2 #1-3
Famous Funnies #85
(Reg'lar Fellers) Heroic Comics #1-9, 11-15
Keen Detective Funnies v2 #11, 20
Silver Streak Comics 20, 21
Target Comics v1 #1-9
Victory Comics #1, 2
And please do pass on my email to others you think might have the source material. As we did with the two volumes in the Steve Ditko Archives series from Fantagraphics, the pages of the comics are 'rinsed' from the original source material (can't mix it up by using some B&W stats). There are just enough Bill Everett stories from this period to make up two volumes if we find what we need. "
I mentioned Bobby Sherman on my GEEK'S JOURNAL 1976 blog the other day and set off a whole bunch of folks remembering Bobby on Facebook. He had pretty much faded from the scene by '76, actually and became an EMT and then, if I recall, a police officer. Eventually, he was lured back out into oldies shows. Here's a clip of Bobby in 1998 with one of his signature tunes, EASY COME, EASY GO.
Before the Katzenjammer Kids there were Max Und Moritz, classic German storybook characters whose misadventures were told in rhyme. Here we have a modern updating from 2005 that plays the mischievous pair more like Alan Moore's DR and Quinch! It's a violent black comedy with some jarringly awkward scenes that unfortunately degenerates into a more or less literal parody of EASY RIDER for some reason.
Here's a 1968 TV commercial for Pepto Bismol starring those venerable comic strip rapscallions, Der Katzenjammer Kids...or rather their legally allowed clones (it's a long story), THE CAPTAIN & THE KIDS. This was the first time I had heard of the strip and the characters probably. A year or two later, I bought an oddly shaped full color paperback reprinting a year or so of then recent strips.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
THE AMOS AND ANDY COLLECTION
Fifteen DVD box set contains almost all 78 episodes of the TV series, the motion picture CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK, two vintage cartoons with Amos n' Andy from the 1930s, and an independent documentary about the history of the TV series with exclusive interviews with cast and crew! $50.00
Swaying palms, beautiful women, and high adventure in this short-run television series based on the radio program of the same name that starred Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. Here, Dane Clark plays Slate Shannon and Joan Marshall as his girlfriend Sailor Duval. The episodes took place in Trinidad, but what made this 1959-60 TV series different from the others was the calypso music which not only served as background, but sometimes tied the story together through bits of narrative. Titles include: "The Search," "Back from the Dead," "Feathered Capes," "Matador," "The Gambling Lady," "Fast trip to Venezuela," "The Missing Tourist," and "An Old Flame's Flame." $10.00
DUFFY'S TAVERN: The Television Series
In the fall of 1954, Duffy's Tavern, the long running radio show, was beginning to show its face on television. Even though only 26 episodes were filmed and broadcast, the creator and star of the series, Ed Gardner, reprised his role of Archie the barkeep in this fly-infested dive that was supposed to attract the upper class - but attracted trouble in comedic situations. Broadcast from May 4, 1954 to October 26, 1954, this DVD offers four television episodes, uncut and unedited. This DVD features: "Grand Opening" (premiere episode), "Marriage Plans", "The Counterfeiters" and "Political Campaign."
FIBBER McGEE AND MOLLY : The Television Series
Based on the popular radio show of the same name, this short-lived television series was pretty faithful to it's mother with Bob Sweeney as Fibber, and Cathy Lewis as Molly. Even Hal Peary plays Mayor LaTrivia. Broadcast from 1959-1960, this classic TV series is very hard to find but we offer eight classic episodes on this 2-disc box set! Titles include: "McGee Buys a Trailor," "The Lease Renewal," "Fred Nitney Visits," "The Courtship," "The Big Dance," "Good Neighbors," "2,500 Shares of Stock" and "Nitney's Inventions."
THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE
Ten classic TV episodes on two DVDs. Willard Watterman reprises his radio role for these classic episodes. Practice What You Preach, Gildy Goes Diving, The New Cook, The Expectant Father, Bard of Summerville, Gildy Goes Broke, The Whistling Bandit, Marjorie's Boyfriend, One Too Many Secretaries and Dancing Lessons. $10.00
THE LIFE OF RILEY: The Jackie Gleason Years
Before William Bendix, there was Jackie Gleason as Chester A. Riley. A short-run television comedy featuring adaptations of the radio scripts of the same name, this program was successful enough for the network to renew the series for a second season. But since they wanted Bendix and he was unavailable at the time, Jackie Gleason played the role. This six DVD set features all 26 episodes Gleason ever did as Riley before Bendix took over the role. $30.00
#1 "Tonsils" (October 4, 1949)#2 "Babs and Simon Step Out" (October 11, 1949)
#3 "Egbert's Chemistry Set" (October 18, 1949)#4 "The French Professor" (Oct. 25, 1949)
#5 "Nervous Breakdown" (November 1, 1949)#6 "Assistant Manager" (November 8, 1949)
#7 "Riley's Birthday Gift" (November 15, 1949)
#8 "Riley, Gillis and Vanderhooper" (November 22, 1949)
#9 "Junior Falls for His Teacher" (November 29, 1949)#10 "Night School" (December 6, 1949)
#11 "Prom Dress" (December 13, 1949)#12 "Junior's Birthday Party" (December 20, 1949)
#13 "The Boarder" (December 27, 1949)#14 "Peg's Birthday" (January 3, 1950)
#15 "Junior Drops Out" (January 10, 1950)#16 "Riley's Firstborn" (January 17, 1950)
#17 "Insurance" (January 24, 1960)#18 "The Gambler" (January 31, 1950)
#19 "Acting Lessons" (February 7, 1950)#20 "Valentine's Day" (February 14, 1950)
#21 "Home Sweet Home" (February 21, 1950)#22 "South American Job" (February 28, 1950)
#23 "Riley's Quarrel" (March 7, 1960)#24 "Junior and the Bully" (March 14, 1950)
#25 "The Banned Book" (March 21, 1950)#26 "Five Dollar Bill" (March 28, 1950)
THE LIFE OF RILEY: The William Bendix Years
After the short-run Jackie Gleason series expired, William Bendix came to television in the role of Chester A. Riley, reprising the same he did on the long-running radio program and 1948 motion-picture of the same name. This four-disc set contains a TON of television episodes in chronological order. $25.00
#2 "Riley's Business Venture" (April 3, 1953)#3 "Riley Steps Out" (April 10, 1953)
#4 "Riley the Executive" (April 27, 1953)#6 "Riley's Operation" (May 8, 1953)
#12 "Riley's Stomache Ache" (September 18, 1953)#20 "Burning Ambition" (Nov. 20, 1953)
#22 "Riley's Separation" (December 4, 1953)#24 "Riley, the Worrier" (Dec. 18, 1953)
#25 "Riley's Second Honeymoon" (December 25, 1953)#26 "Junior’s Boxing" (January 1, 1954)
#27 "Riley Balances the Budget" (January 8, 1954)#29 "Junior's Double Date" (Jan. 22, 1954)
#33 "The Boss's Niece" (February 19, 1954)#49 "Junior's Secret" (September 17, 1954)
#52 "Destination Brooklyn" (October 8, 1954)#53 "The Watch Dog" (October 15, 1954)
#60 "Riley's Wild Oats" (December 3, 1954)#66 "Come Back Junior" (Jan. 14, 1955)
#67 "Riley Buys a Wrestler" (January 21, 1955)#73 "Chicken Ranch" (March 11, 1955)
#90 "Love Comes to Waldo Binney" (October 7, 1955)#99 "Repeat Performance" (Dec. 9, 1955)
#105 "Babs' Wedding" (January 20, 1956)#107 "Junior Quits School" (Feb. 3, 1956)
#110 "The Train Trip" (February 24, 1956)#132 "Juvenile Delinquent" (Nov. 2, 1956)
#133 "Riley's Lonely Night" (November 9, 1956)#135 "Riley Hires a Nurse" (Nov. 23, 1956)
#136 "Blessed Event" (November 30, 1956)#138 "Honeybee's Mother" (Dec. 14, 1956)
#139 "World' Greatest Grandson" (December 21, 1956)#140 "Double Date" (Dec. 28, 1956)
#141 "Riley Wins a Trip" (January 4, 1957)#142 "Aloha Riley" (Jan. 11, 1957)
#143 "Change in Command" (January 18, 1957)#144 "Strolling the Park" (January 25, 1957)
#145 "Deep in the Heart" (February 1, 1957)#146 "Candid Camera" (February 8, 1957)
#148 "All-American Brain" (February 22, 1957)#149 "Getting Riley's Goat" (Mar. 1, 1957)
#150 "A Young Man's Fancy" (March 8, 1957)#151 "Babs' Dream House" (Mar. 15, 1957)
SUSPENSE (Volume 1)
30 episodes of the classic TV series from 1949-54 and telecast “live” from soundstages. This four-disc box set contains a few highlights such as Boris Karloff in a 1949 production of. $25.00
SUSPENSE (Volume 2)
Another 30 episodes of the classic TV series from 1949-54 and telecast “live” from soundstages. This four-disc box set contains a few highlights such as Bela Lugosi in "A Cask of Amontillado". $25.00
SUSPENSE (Volume 3)
Another 30 episodes of the classic TV series from 1949-54 and telecast “live” from soundstages. This four-disc box set contains a few highlights such as Boris Karloff in the 1949 production of “The Yellow Scarf” and the unaired 1958 TV pilot starring Keenan Wynn. $25.00
Saturday, January 15, 2011
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that I greatly enjoyed Alec Baldwin in THE SHADOW and saw THE PHANTOM twice! I still have a soft spot for Ron Ely's DOC SAVAGE, too! On the other hand, I truly hated almost everything about THE SPIRIT. Thus, when I was invited to go see THE GREEN HORNET and attended with a truly open mind, the first sentence that came to mind is one I never thought I'd say: THE SPIRIT was better.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Over at my other place (A GEEK'S JOURNAL 1976) we're working our way through 1976 where I attend my very first real rock concert (following a pleasant Tony Orlando and Dawn event that I wouldn't exactly call a rock concert) in May. I almost attended my first concert a year earlier however...Alice Cooper's WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE tour in 1975!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
THE GREEN HORNET movie is starting to catch some buzz...but not all of it is particularly good. If you want the straight story on the Hornet in his radio, serial, comics and TV incarnations, you need to read Martin Grams' thick, definitive book done with Terry Salomonson. Order from Booksteve Rarities and a portion of your purchase goes to support this blog! Hornet fans will NOT be disappointed!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The Superman/Metropolis Connection continues to this day. President Obama was even photographed with the town's Superman statue! Here's a link to the Metropolis Superman Museum's Super Store:
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
If you had told me in 1976 when I had my geeky senior picture taken that one day in the next century it would be seen around the world and now on AOL's main page....I would most likely have said, "What is AOL?"
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Only time today for another random book off the shelf. This one is COMICS: ANATOMY OF A MASS MEDIUM, the English translation of a semi-scholarly treatise on international comics history from 1972. Along with Steranko, Daniels, Feiffer, the Penguin book and the paperback of ALL IN COLOR FOR A DIME, this was one of my first comics history books (of which we now have a bookcase full and that's not counting most from the past decade that we couldn't afford).
Saturday, January 08, 2011
The Colonel and Hal Wallis probably weren't happy that cash cow Elvis decided to give up acting in 1969 after more than a decade of frothy but mostly lifeless moneymaking films. Apparently the King still owed them a film on his contract, though, and this mostly cinema-verite documentary of his Las Vegas opening was the result. We see the worshipful fans--now approaching middle age--as they all look forward to the concert. We see Elvis preparing and performing. We even see Cary Grant in a brief cameo that marks his first big screen appearance since WALK, DON'T RUN! There are no revelations here but some solid performances and the beginnings of the Elvis cult as we've come to know it.
This was the second of only two Elvis films I saw in a theater. I was at a friend's house on a Sunday afternoon in 1969 when his mom asked if we wanted to go see it with her. After a quick call to my mom for an okay, we were on our way. This was after his comeback special. He looked good here and really tried in a serious, mostly non-musical role as an inner city doctor...who may or may not be falling for naive nun Mary Tyler Moore(!!). In the manner of many of the "relevant" films and TV episodes of the day, CHANGE OF HABIT has not aged well at all and comes across now as incredibly heavy-handed. Elvis had had enough and would do no more acting at all.
JAILHOUSE ROCK is one of the few Elvis movies where we see something akin to the primal Elvis, complete with the hip shaking hits! There's a good, dramatic story where the music doesn't seem out of place and a good supporting cast led by Mickey Shaughnessy. What's this I hear about a modernized non-Elvis remake?
A fun twist on THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER. Both Will Hutchins and Bill Bixby appear in this film. Hutchins once told me that the two of them were the only people outside of his circle that were allowed to appearing more than one film with the King because Presley liked the fact they didn't try to steal scenes from him. The thing is Hutch stole every scene he's in effortlessly with his easy charm, making Elvis's performance look almost cardboard by comparison. You can see some of that even in the trailer here.
I think I may be the only person in the world for whom DOUBLE TROUBLE is their favorite Elvis Presley movie. I saw it in the theater when it was new. I was seven and had only a vague idea as to who this Elvis person was, mainly from seeing comedians joke about his wiggles on TV. Not sure who took me to see it--a babysitter perhaps--because my parents didn't like Elvis at all in those days. The soundtrack album was actually the first Elvis record I ever bought!
Friday, January 07, 2011
Thursday, January 06, 2011
From Alan Kupperberg on Facebook:
Tom Ziuko, good guy, great friend and color artist supreme needs our help! Tom is about to go into his fourth week of hospitalization in Niagara Falls. Tom spent the entire holiday season fighting acute kidney failure and several unrelated but severely painful conditions. The good news is that the doctors seem to have finally stumbled on a series of treatments and therapies that have Tom seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. The bad news is that Tom, uninsured and unable to work since the beginning of December, is in a tough financial bind.
Can you help? If all of my Friends on FB were to contribute even one dollar apiece it would be a tremendous boon to Tom. If you want to do a good deed and are able, Tom and I would be so grateful. You can send any contributions to my PayPal account (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will pass 100% (plus) along to Tom.
Tom's cable service has been shut down but he has internet access in the hospital. If you wish to contact him, his address is: Atomica999@aol.com
Thanks so much to all those who can and will help. Tom colored the piece shown here and it shows what a great talent he is. I appreciate your time and consideration. Thanks.