Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Li'l Jinx and Comic Books-Joe Edwards

Four-Color Shadows Department: Here's a fun comics-related comic from a 1966 issue of PEP. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Karen Valentine

Wishing the happiest of birthdays to my 1970s major crush, Karen Valentine, who turns 73 today. I wrote her a fan letter when she appeared at a theater in more-or-less nearby Dayton, Ohio in the summer of 1975, taking on the Marilyn Monroe part in a musical version of the play BUS STOP. That weekend, I convinced my parents to go and the three of us took a bus to Dayton to see the show, which co-starred Rose Marie and James Naughton (then late of the TV PLANET OF THE APES and later a major Broadway musical star!).

A few days later, I got back the picture above, in an envelope with a return address of the motel the Kenley Players put their stars up at when in town. 

From ROOM 222 to GIDGET GROWS UP to THE DAUGHTERS OF JOSHUA CABE, THE GIRL WHO CAME GIFTWRAPPED, THE NORTH AVENUE IRREGULARS, KAREN, HOLLYWOOD SQUARES, and her fun, sexy LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE appearances, when I remember the early-mid '70s, Karen is always my Valentine! <3 p="">

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Superman by Jules Feiffer

Even before he wrote THE GREAT COMIC BOOK HEROES, cartoonist Jules Feiffer was offering his unique takes on traditional comic book superheroes. Here, he looks at the Man of Steel in the early 1960s.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Herman Munster Meets Wonder Woman

Or at least Herman Munster reads WONDER WOMAN. In this scene from JOHN DOE MUNSTER, a second season episode that aired in November of 1965, an amnesiac Herman is near the end of the November, 1965 issue of WONDER WOMAN. That issue would have probably been on sale in August or September, which is most likely when this episode was shot, with a prop guy just buying a comic at random from a nearby drugstore rack.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Young Neal Adams-1962

A very young Neal Adams gets some early publicity for his work on the BEN CASEY comic strip!

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

The Animated Sonny and Cher

In 1969, Sonny & Cher’s management company, DeCarlo-Kretsky Enterprises, was looking for a way to change their clients’ image as America’s family-friendly hippies. The movie CHASTITY was about to come out, written and produced by Sonny and giving Cher her first real chance to act and play a character. With much of their own money invested in it, CHASTITY would flop, costing them a small fortune. CHASTITY’s
ultimate legacy would be the name of their yet to be born daughter—and even that was lost when it turned out Chaz Bono self-identified as a male.

One forgotten Sonny & Cher project, though, was THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, a part-live/part animated feature film said to have been planned along the lines of 1968’s YELLOW SUBMARINE. Sonny, predictably would be the voice of the frog. Helming the project was to be the eccentric choreographer/director David Winters along with his producing partner Burt Rosen. The pair was then coming off a long string of successful, award-winning TV specials for the likes of Lucille Ball and Nancy Sinatra. 

It was plugged in VARIETY and on the TV series, HAPPENING ’68, hosted by Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Winters and Rosen were also said to be in the planning stages for a TV series (this was still a couple years before their variety series) to star Sonny & Cher. This may or may not have been related to the animated TV special DeCarlo-Kretsky president Harvey Kretsky referred to as THE ODYSSEY OF SONNY AND CHER, being made in association with In-Sync Productions.

In January of 1969, it was reported in the trades that storyboarding was underway for the latter and that it would be ready to air by the end of the year. 

At that same time, it was also reported that THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG was to be animated in conjunction with Toho in Japan beginning in February, from a story by John and Susan Charles and a script by Mark Ray.  

David Winters is listed as co-“creator” of a 1970 live-action syndicated TV special entitled THE SONNY & CHER NITTY GRITTY HOUR. IMDB lists him as “Producer” but the show’s credits do not. Sonny & Cher were no longer the fur vest-wearing counterculture couple they had seemed to be a few years earlier but not quite yet the lovable, musical, and stylish Bickersons they would soon become.

I find no record as to how far either of the animation projects progressed but it’s clear they were soon forgotten. The new, somewhat more mainstream, sophisticated Sonny & Cher got a number of guest appearance gigs out of the one-off special including an animated spot on the hour-long series, THE NEW SCOOBY DOO MYSTERIES. 

It was another TV appearance in this period, on THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW, that was spotted by someone at CBS which led directly to several years of mega-success on TV and records with THE SONNY & CHER COMEDY HOUR. 

Then came the divorce. The always conservative Sonny Bono went on to become a controversial Congressman while his greatest creation, Cher, went on to become a legend! 

Friday, May 01, 2020

Philip Marlowe Meets Captain Marvel

Finally got around to watching Robert Mitchum in 1975's period Philip Marlowe movie, FAREWELL MY LOVELY the other day and what did I see but this--an extra reading what appears to be a genuine 1941 vintage issue of WHIZ COMICS # 23!