Friday, January 16, 2009

So Long, Dial B for Blog and Coming Super-Attractions!

So, two of the blogs on the Random Blogs of Geekery list are coming to an end. Dial B for Blog posted the very last installment today (or at least, so he says... but then, he'd said that before, didn't he?). Coming Super-Attractions is also ending before too many more days go by.

Each blog had its followers (although I'm guessing that Dial B probably came close to rivaling Mark Evanier for daily readership at times), and I'm sure many will be sad to see them go.

I have to admit, though, if I were to be completely honest with myself, as much as I enjoyed Dial B for Blog... I find myself with some mixed emotions. I find myself wondering why someone would pay for a domain name to host their blog at, and do 500 installments and then end it... especially one that popular.

Heck, this blog gets about 300 hits a day or so... I'm guessing Dial B often averaged that every 10-15 minutes minimum, especially when a new post is debuted! And I've noticed that there is a LOT of advertising links on the site, too... so it's certainly within the realm of possibility that "Robby Reed" was making some money off it...

So, it's a very popular blog, possibly profitable... why quit it? Yes, Dial B was a LOT of work to put together... just the PhotoShop time alone probably took an hour or so each day at least!

Maybe it's burn out... maybe he just figured it was time to end it. No matter what the reason he decided to call it quits, it's certainly become a legendary blog, one that will no doubt continue to be referred to for years to come.

As for me and this blog (as well as the other Random Acts of Geekery Blog Family Blogs)... I'm certainly not planning to end any of them any time soon! Although I have to admit that the Captain Ameriblog will probably be the first of them to come to a conclusion, just because Cap memorabilia hasn't been turning up that often... but if one blog ends, a new blog will take its place, I assure you! Heck, I've got over 30,000 photos in my Flickr account... it'll take forever to get them all up here!

But no matter what happens with the spin-off blogs, the Random Acts of Geekery will continue, possibly even after I die (given my penchant for trying to work ahead as much as possible on these things, it's entirely possible that when my last day on Earth comes, I'll have a month or three minimum of the Random Acts scheduled to post)!

By the 10's: House of Secrets, Part 1!

Time to start a new "By the 10's," and we're looking at DC's other House title, "The House of Secrets"!

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Issue 10 shows us that, like "House of Mystery," the book was almost more of a science fiction title than a spooky one, at least at the beginning!

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Issue 20 - Super Fireball Aliens From Space!

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Issue 30 - Mark Merlin was the first series character in HoS, so far as I can tell!

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Issue 40, and Mark Merlin's still around! I'm not too familiar with Mr. Merlin, myself.

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Issue 50 - you know, it seems to me a Mark Merlin/Adam Strange team-up would've been a natural!

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Issue 60, and Mark Merlin's adventures seem to be diverted from Sci-Fi to the Occult!

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By issue 70, Eclipso's taken over the cover spot! Super-heroes were definitely selling, and this seems to be the first time at a major company that a villain was the lead -- or at least title -- character of a series!

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Issue 80, and Eclipso's getting billed with Prince Ra-Man! Prince Ra-Man is the renamed Mark Merlin!

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By issue 90, House of Secrets has gained the look and feel that it's probably best-known for!

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Issue 100, and aren't these early covers of the New House of Mystery cool? More next time!

Give-A-Show Fridays: Captain Kangaroo and Bozo the Clown!





And, here's a bonus video: The "kaleidoslides"!



These four slidestrips were designed to be used with the special Kaleidoscope lenses provided with this 1963 set. Since I don't have a complete set with both lenses, and don't have any way at hand to simulate the effect, you'll just have to settle for this for the time being!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cool Stuff: Original Comic Art!

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Forever People #8, Cover by Kirby!

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Here's page 1!

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Page 13 from the same issue!

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Next up, page 6 from Fox and Crow #108, by Bob Oksner! Correction! Fellow blogger Booksteve informs me that this is a Win Mortimer page, not Oksner!

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Page 16 from Frankenstein #6, by Mike Ploog!

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Page 12 from Funnyman 6, by Joe Shuster!

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Ghost Rider (western) #5, page 14, by Dick Ayers!

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Page 20 from the same issue!

Next time around, we'll start with some Green Lantern pages!

Cool Stuff: DC Collectibles!

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Sadly, this is the only photo I have of the Light-Up Desk, which appears to simply be a light table to help you copy pictures! I wonder how much of an influence this had on modern-day comic artists!

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Here's a Super Powers book and record set that I think has to be something available online somewhere...

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These Super Powers puzzles of Batman and Wonder Woman are pretty nice... Do they even make decent DC Superheroes puzzles these days for kids that aren't based on the movie versions?

Next time: More miscellanea!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

R.I.P. Patrick McGoohan and Ricardo Montalban

So, we've lost two more genre icons in one day...

Patrick McGoohan, of course, is best known to geeks everywhere as the creator (or co-creator, I've never been quite sure which is the appropriate credit) and star of "The Prisoner," one of my favorite TV series of all time. He's also known for portraying Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow in one or two Disney productions, as well.

Ricardo Montalban's main claim to fame was probably Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island, although geeks like me can't help but first think of him as Khan, from the Star Trek episode "Space Seed" and, of course, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."

Both Patrick and Ricardo will be missed...

...and I apologize if this offends anyone, but I swear to god, the first thing that popped into my head when I heard Montalban had passed away was picturing William Shatner showing up at the funeral and shouting at the top of his lungs, "KHAAAAAAAN!"

Yeah, that's the way my mind works sometimes. Deal with it.

Quasimodo's Monster Magazine #5, Part 1!

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Time to look at another monster mag, and this time around, I've picked another issue of Quasimodo's Monster Magazine (in fact, the only other issue I have of this, at least as of this writing). Published by Mayfair Publications, cover-dated November, 1975! I couldn't find a credit for the cover painting of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

As with all of these posts, clicking any page will give you options for a larger view!

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The inside front cover is one of those mail-order martial arts courses, nothing you probably haven't seen before. Then we get to page 3, the table of contents, which features photos of the Mummy, Peter Lorre, The Phantom of the Opera, and the Frankenstein Monster and Lon Chaney Jr (probably from Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, with Lugosi playing the Monster), and Mr. Hyde. The credits on this page are Tony Tallarico, Editor; Max Weldon, Associate Editor; Anthony Nina, Assistant Editor; Charles Foster, Art Director; and Donna Charles Thomas, Assistant Art Director. There's also a "contributing monsters" credit.

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Steve Abrams' cover-story on Jekyll and Hyde Through the Years leads off the articles, with photos of Frederic March as Hyde.

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The article is a pretty decent overview of portrayals of Jekyl and Hyde, starting with the novel itself by Robert Louis Stevenson, and then going on to stage productions, including one that was filmed in 1908 by the Polyscope Company.

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It goes on to mention two more versions filmed in 1910, two in 1913 (including one by Universal), and the the first classic version in 1920 for Paramount, starring Joh Barrymore. MGM made their own competing version around this time, and is apparently pretty bad.

Paramount's 1931 version is next, starring Frederic March. That's followed up by the 1941 MGM version starring Spencer Tracy, and then Hammer's own version in 1960.

Next time around: Heroes of the Horrors!

By the 10's: House of Mystery, Part 3!

And now, the wrap-up!

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An excellent cover on issue 210...nice and moody!

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Issue 220... man, that's a huge scorpion!

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Issue 230 - a flying saucer AND a graveyard?

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Issue 240 - holy "Little Shop of Horrors"!

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Issue 250, an Ernie Chua cover!

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Issue 260

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Issue 270

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Issue 280 - wow, did they make a wrong turn somewhere!

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Issue 290 brings a series to HOM for the first time in a long time!

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Issue 300!

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Issue 310!

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And with 320, that wraps this up!

Next time... House of Secrets!