Friday, May 30, 2014

Dixie, Lily and Madeline

Spotted these 2 images online and I was amazed. Supposedly this is Dixie Carter, Lily Tomlin and Madeline Kahn doing a stage act together in 1963 in New York City. I didn't even know they knew each other, let alone did an act! 

In fact the web and Wikipedia pages for all 3 women mention no such act although all do place them as doing stage comedy on the east Coast at that time.

I thought at first this might be some 1980s TV bit where they pretended to be their younger selves but Lily does, in fact, look quite different than she did by the 1980s. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Reading Rainbow Triumphs!

As a sometime professional Librarian and an all-the-time Librarian in real-life, you can imagine that it's important to me that people read. Today, I was planning on offering up a plug for LeVar Burton's READING RAINBOW, a new Kickstarter project hoping to make that venerable old PBS series available in all-new Internet and school episodes for kids here in the new Century! 

Well, guess what? With a published goal of 1 million dollars to make the project a reality, they made that within the first 24 hours and it's still building up! In fact, it's the only KS project I've seen where you can just sit there on the website and watch those numbers jump! 

It looks at this time like they will top a second million dollars today. With 34 days remaining for the project to be active, if this keeps up, they will have made more than $30,000,000 by the time it ends! AND ALL TO TEAC KIDS THE JOYS OF READING!!!

There may be some hope for humanity yet.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Seal-1981

Via my movie search service, I've had an inquiry from a representative of these two gentlemen, former Tarzans, Denny Miller and Ron Ely. What's being sought is a failed 1981 TV pilot called THE SEAL, in which both men were featured. The only way it's likely to be found is if someone taped it during its one network airing back then. I didn't Did you? If so, email me at Let's see if we can get these guys copies of their work!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Harlan and TV

Thanks to ThatDerek for letting me know that Today (as I post this) is Harlan Ellison's 80th birthday! The controversial writer and all-round kibitzer is, of course, best-known for his highly original science-fiction short stories but I think my favorite books by him are his two collections of TV criticism columns from the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s. Harlan had himself BEEN a TV writer (BURKE'S LAW, STAR TREK, etc) and therefore had a rare insight that he shared with his readers. I'm looking forward to reading them yet again in conjunction with the book below which I recently ordered from Amazon for a penny after looking for it for 3 decades. First the upbeat, hopeful previews (NOT by Harlan!), then Ellison's skewering, where deserved.

Happy birthday, Harlan!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Gasoline Alley in Life

In 1946, LIFE ran these annotated excerpts from a timely Postwar sequence in GASOLINE ALLEY. Seemed somehow indirectly appropriate for Memorial Day even now.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Back Issue # 78

It's a ways off yet--about 8 months, in fact--but I notice the Twomorrows site has BACK ISSUE # 78 available for pre-order. I've been contributing a lot to Twomorrows mags over the past year and a half--mostly to COMIC BOOK CREATOR and ALTER EGO--but this edition of Michael Eury's BACK ISSUE is scheduled to feature my first completely bylined article published since the long-ago days of AMAZING HEROES! OOPS! Forgot! Make that my second recent bylined article. My first was in CHARLTON ARROW # 1. The BI one is right there on the cover, too: WEIRD MYSTERY TALES. That's mine!

You can go here to pre-order now and then watch for it come January!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Larry Storch's Star Campaign


Actor, comedian, impressionist and cartoon voiceover artist Larry Storch has been approved for a sidewalk star but, as you may know, that's only half the battle. These things have to be paid for and it's not cheap. I suggested to Larry's appearance agent, Matt Beckoff, that he might have some success with GoFundMe which you may recall we used successfully last year in our computer campaign. In less than a day and a half, Larry's campaign had more than 1600.00 donated. But more is needed. There are a lot of things that want our attention and money these days and in the grand scheme of things, this one may not be one for you. But Larry Storch has been entertaining me my entire life and he's still out there making people laugh today! So often these people who were so important to us growing up live their whole lives without us ever being able to give back. Here's a small chance. Please consider it. Oh, and Matt's added some nifty incentives, too! Go here to see what you can get!

Here's Matt's pitch:

Comedy Legend Larry Storch has recently been APPROVED for a Star plaque on the coveted Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Unlike many "Star" campaigns, Larry's has already been approved. That means, we need to raise the money NOW to have the ceremony. We are not soliciting funds in the hopes of getting it, we got it, we just need to pay for it. The cost of the Star is $10,000.00 (tax deductible if there is one person interested in sponsoring it) and the remainder will pay for the cost of Larry and a companions trip from NY to Palm Springs/LA for the ceremony. While we are hoping to raise 15k, we would only get around 13.7k after GoFundMe fees. We expect to go slightly over our own budget. If for some reason we go under budget, any and all monies left over will be donated to UNICEF. We are not keeping a dime for ourselves. If for whatever reason the ceremony doesn't take place, any and all monies donated to this page, will be refunded immediately. We are doing this for Larry. Anyone that has met Larry through the years knows what a gentleman he is. This is our way of saying to Larry, "Thank you, for all the years of joy and laughter you have brought into our lives." We hope all Storch fans can help support us. This page is being operated by Larry's friend and personal appearance agent, Matt Beckoff. Please visit Larry's FB page for more info. PLEASE NOTE: WE WANT TO MAKE VERY CLEAR THAT LARRY STORCH/MATT BECKOFF ARE NOT PROFITING OFF OF THIS AT ALL. WE KNOW TIMES ARE TOUGH AND DONATING ONLINE IS A BIT SCARY. ANYONE WHO DONATES, WHEN THE CAMPAIGN IS OVER, YOU MAY EMAIL US AND WE WILL GIVE YOU A DETAILED BREAKDOWN OF HOW EVERY PENNY WAS SPENT. THIS IS 100% TO GET LARRY HIS STAR AND PAY FOR THE TRIP ONLY!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dick Ayers Interview

A few years back, writer Shaun Clancy recorded a lengthy interview with Dick Ayers, who passed away a couple of weeks back. I recently transcribed the interview and you can now read it at THE COMICS JOURNAL website here:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Broadchurch Vs. Gracepoint

What with BROADCHURCH winning multiple BAFTA Awards recently, I felt it was time to give that particular British David Tennant show a looksee. So I binge-watched it yesterday whilst working on the computer.

Then I saw the trailer below. Not just an Americanized version but from the looks of it a note for note remake but for the accents...including Tennant's. As the only original cast member on board, his character has a different name and a different hairstyle but is the very same role...except Tennant's Scottish brogue is replaced by a generic US accent, HOUSE-style. Seems pointless. Did no one ever just consider maybe running the ORIGINAL series on the Fox? Just a thought.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

R.I.P. Morris Weiss

Here's a link to yet another remembrance I've written with Craig Yoe recently for comics folks who have passed. This one was for Golden Age Timely artist Morris Weiss, an unsung but important figure in the history of comics who died this past weekend at either 98 or 99 years of age.

Monday, May 19, 2014

1938 Lone Ranger Ad

One of my various projects lately has to do with the radio Lone Ranger so I've been spending quite a bit of time with him in recent months.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Amazon Books For Sale

Been adding new items to my Amazon page for sale including signed Martin Grams books and lots of  issues of THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS! I'd appreciate it if you'd check them out.

Should be a large update to our DVD site soonish as well. Keep watching!

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Here's son David "on the air" with Steve Jansen's "OTRAOKE," a fun process whereby the participant interacts with pre-recorded re-creations of old-time radio series. In this case, David was reading the voice of a tough police detective in the 1930s! Mr. Jansen said he did the best job of anyone who's done that script thus far. When we got home and I listened to him in context, I was very impressed. With now rehearsal or guidance, he chose a nasal, jaded-sounding voice and remained consistent throughout the 15 minute episode. His slight natural lisp added even a bit more character to the role. Well done, sir! And thanks, Steve, for the opportunity! If you see OTRAOKE set up at any conventions or shows, we highly recommend you try it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nostalgia Expo This Weekend

Just a reminder that if you're anywhere around the Greater Cincinnati area this weekend, you might consider the 2nd Annual Nostalgia Expo, successor to the long-running Old-Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention. 

Here's the details:

For the first time since 1991, it looks like we'll only be attending for one day, Saturday, but we look forward to seeing folks there!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Film Star Fawcett Fans

In the 1930s and '40s, HOLLYWOOD magazine was one of many published by W.H. Fawcett aka "Captain Billy" of WHIZBANG infamy. In the latter decade, the company also took to publishing comic books. Never let it be said that Fawcett let a chance for a plug pass. Not only was Captain Marvel always promoting POPULAR MECHANIX in his comics but here, from HOLLYWOOD, are a number of celebs reading Captain Marvel's adventures!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Booksteve Reviews: Super Ego

I'm actually not sure what this is exactly. It's an advance copy of an upcoming book that appears to collect a 4 issue comic series...only I can find no mention of such a series anywhere.

So, taking the book simply on its own, like it. In a way, it's yet another WATCHMEN-like deconstructionist look at superheroes but there's more to it than that. The overall central plot has enough genuine twists and unexpected moments to maintain one's interest throughout, as well as an ending that can either lead into something or stand fairly strongly on its own.

As far as the creators--never heard of 'em. Once you get past Glenn Fabry's almost MAD-like cover image (him I've heard of) the work is credited to Caio Oliveira and Lucas Marangon, both of whom have credits when I look them up but they're new to me. I like their styles, though, with more than a hint of Eisnerian creativity in the layouts.

Cover aside, this is NOT a funny story, although there is some humor. It is not a grim and gritty story, although there is some gore and violence. Neither is it a dull reflection on the psychology of superheroing as seen in several books already.

What it IS, is a well-told story with a beginning, a middle and an end, populated with memorable, almost recognizable characters and a willingness to look at things a little differently than the reader might expect. To say more would give away too much.

If you are a superhero fan, particularly a longtime one like myself, you'll GET and appreciate SUPER EGO. And at $14.99, it's actually less than 4 $3.99 comics!
Booksteve recommends!

Friday, May 09, 2014

1960s TV Cartoon Trade Ads

From the archives of BROADCASTING Magazine.