Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Alex Raymond in the 1950s

Alex Raymond was one of THE great magazine illustrators of the 20th century. In the 1930s, he became a cartoonist with the Dashiell Hammett-created strip, SECRET AGENT X-9. He then moved to the Sunday color comics pages of the newspapers and gave the world FLASH GORDON, without which we may never have had STAR WARS! He also did lovely work on JUNGLE JIM, which itself inspired movies, TV shows, comic books, etc. 

After World War II, rather than return to FLASH GORDON, Raymond created the intellectual, well-to-do, bespectacled private eye, RIP KIRBY.  With his earlier work still being so influential, it's easy to forget that RIP KIRBY not only found an audience but Raymond became better known than ever. 

The handsome artist got quite a bit of newspaper publicity  in the 1950s until his tragic and controversial death in 1956. (See Dave Sim's book, THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND.) 

Raymond even became the twice-elected head of the National Cartoonist Society and hob-nobbed with celebs and politicians...even the President of the United States!



Saturday, January 20, 2024

Trivia! You're On the Air! 1981-1984


WAIF-FM's late-night once a month Saturday Trivia hosted by Ed Tracy and Mike Hall was one of my very favorite things as soon as I discovered it around 1980! Because our telephone was in my parents' bedroom (they used to be built in, kiddies!), I wasn't able to play until we got a phone with a 25 foot cord installed in early 1981 so I could pull it into my own room and shut the door. I had no clue at the time but according to this 1978 article, it actually began in late 1976! I had missed nearly five years of it!

Once I got involved, though, my "team," Massacre at Central Casting, quickly merged with two other teams, "Little Sisters of the Flaming Shish Kabob" and "Friends of the Feathered Flickers" to form the Not Ready For Drive-Time Players, a supergroup trivia team! As such, we just kept winning! We got so full of ourselves we put out 23 issues (and a couple of specials) of THE NOT READY FOR DRIVE-TME NEWSLETTER (printed monthly at 2 AM on the copy machine of THE KENTUCKY ENQUIRER!).

By then, Mike Schlesinger and station manager David Andrew Dugle had started a SECOND trivia series with essentially the same format, THE GUESSABLE SOLUTION, on alternate Saturday nights.


I forget exactly when the original series ended but after Michael moved to L.A. in late 1981, the second trivia show went through multiple hands, eventually ending up hosted by Chris Barkley on WNOP-AM with yours truly as his sidekick, even though it was only on what turned out to be the show's final episode in 1984! (Not really a bad thing as WNOP was based in a large floating "buoy" on the Ohio River and I got SO sea-sick that night I was there!)

Ah, nostalgia!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Jerry Siegel in WWII


Friday, January 12, 2024

On This Date in History--Batman, 1966

Some vintage BATMAN publicity in the days leading up to his TV debut 58 years ago. 


Monday, January 08, 2024

Superman for Conoco

In the post-war America of 1945-46, the Man of Steel could be found shilling for N-Tane gasoline from Conoco!