Saturday, October 23, 2010

CBT: Super Friends Coloring Book, Part 3!

OK, in case you've forgotten the story thus far... while holding a birthday party for Superman in the woods near Magic Mirror Lake, the Super Friends discover the lake has been invaded by incredibly strong, aggressive seaweed!
This is one big lake, my friends! Oh, that green there? An example of why one should not use felt tip pens to color in a coloring book!

Cool Stuff: Marvel Stuff!

Time for more Marvel stuff, and we begin with more trade paperbacks and the like!

First up is this Marvel Superheroes Everything Workbook, and it's an infinity cover, to boot! Want to see more cool Marvel stuff? Just click

Countdown to Halloween: Movie of the Week - The Satanic Rites of Dracula!

Argentina poster! Trailer and more after the jump!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Here's an interview with Craig Yoe about the Frankenstein book that was done at the New York Comic Con!

This book is really just incredible, have I said that already? It's got such great production values to it that the price seems astonishingly low to me!

Countdown to Halloween: Original Comic Art!

First up today is Gil Kane's cover for Monsters on the Prowl #18! More after the jump!

Countdown to Halloween: More Monster Cards!

red 031 voodoomanred 032 devilscurse
More after the jump!

By the 10s: Terry-Toons!

Well, here's a title that I could've sworn I'd already posted before... probably because this series ended up becoming Mighty Mouse, and I'd already posted Mighty Mouse here! Anyway, good luck trying to identify some of the characters on the earliest covers!

Issue 10! More after the jump!

Give-A-Show Fridays: 1974 Bionic Woman Slides, Part 2!

Next Week: We jump ahead on the Chad Valley stuff to feature the UK Six Million Dollar Man set!

Thursday, October 21, 2010



It's FRIGHTFUL FRANKENSTEIN FRIDAY! In celebration of the release of Craig Yoe's new collection of stories from the classic Dick Briefer Frankenstein, many of my fellow bloggers are participating in this multi-blog event! This book has been long-awaited my many, including myself! Below, the cover for this collection:

As part of the advance promotion for this event, Frankenstein masks were given away at the New York Comic Con, but if you weren't able to be there, here's what the mask looked like:

I've had an interest in the Dick Briefer Frankenstein ever since I first read about it in The Comic Book Book, which detailed the history of this version of the Monster as it started as a horror story, then transmorgrified into a humor title, and then back to horror again! This handsome volume features stories from all iterations, as well as cover reproductions and an extensive history of the series itself as well as creator Dick Briefer, plus many rare photos and illustrations! This volume weighs in at about 150 full color pages, and is gorgeous to behold! And best of all, it retails for a mere $21.99 US! The back cover promises more volumes to come, and they can't come out soon enough for me!

There are a fair number of bloggers participating in Frightful Frankenstein Friday, and you should check them all out (I'm omitting my own "Random Acts of Geekery" here because it's the same post as this one):
The Fabuleous Fifties
and everything else too
The Big Blog of Kids' Comics
Cartoon Snap!
Beth Davies-Stofka at the Comic Book Bin
Four-Color Shadows, a BookSteve blog!
Frankensteinia, which has long been on the Random Blogs of Geekery list!
The Horrors of It All
The I.T.C.H. Blog, which is another on on the blogroll already!
Pappy's Golden Age Blogzine
Magic Carpet Burn
Sekvenkonst (Sequential Art)
Steven Bissette's Blog
Sequential Crush

As part of my participation in this event, I'm reviewing the classic tale, “The Tree of Death,” which is included in this volume. This story originally ran in Frankenstein #31, the June-July 1954 issue, by which point the monster's adventures had returned to horror again.


The story opens in a “little European town” where a visitor, guided by a native, is at the top of a hill, looking down into a valley, where they see a straight road going across the plain, except where it detours immediately around this bizarre-looking tree. The visitor is told it could not be chopped down when the road was built because “That tree is wicked... evil! Only death comes from touching it!”

The visitor (apparently British, due to his style of clothing and the use of the word “Rot”) doesn't believe this tree is truly evil, and walks closer to it, while his guide leaves. Still, he does put on his gloves before examining the tree, and having found nothing unusual about how it feels, he decides to cut off a piece to bring back to the town. But as he cuts into it...

How did this tree earn its legend? We have to go back in time a year, when the Frankenstein Monster was roaming through the land, “weakened by a gaping wound in his arm from a previous mishap.” He approaches a little house, where the kindly old man who answers the door welcomes the monster inside, and treats his wounds. The monster doesn't speak, but the man (apparently a hermit) tells him about his hobby, which is growing plants. He shows the monster a dwarf tree grown from a combination of three different seeds, which he encapsulated in a gelatin jacket. The seeds came from a tree in Africa, one in Australia, and one from Siberia; the gelatin comes from a fish from the Indian Ocean. He has a second seed capsule ready to go that would produce a normal-sized tree, which will be his “crowning success,” even though nobody but him will know about it.

A few weeks later, the monster (his wound healed) goes out for firewood. While they are gone, the hermit is visited by two men who say they've been traveling, and wish to warm up before continuing. The hermit tells them they can stay overnight. While the hermit is occupied, the two men – robbers – start searching the house for valuables! One gets the idea that the hermit might keep his money in the dirt of his plants, so they start dumping the plants out of the pots.

The hermit re-enters, seeing his beloved plants spilled all over the place, and tells the robbers he has no money, even after one of the robbers hits him. They notice that he's holding one jar very tightly, and they ask what's in it. Rather than turning over his special seed capsule to them, the hermit swallows it! This angers one of the robbers to the point where he mercilessly beats he hermit. As the robbers leave, they are in for a shock!

The Monster is infuriated at what the robbers did, and kills them violently. The Monster then finds the hermit, who tells him, “It's no use... I am dying... and with me go all my experiments! I... I swallowed the seed so they wouldn't destroy it... but it won't do any good now... it will die within me... AAGHH!” The Monster digs a grave and buries the hermit in the dirt floor of the house, then sets the house on fire. As time passes, a tree grows... the tree of death, rising from the grave of the hermit!

The Monster returns to the grave of his friend, and recognizes the tree. The heat of the sun drives the Monster to rest in the shelter of a cave formed by boulders of the plain, but is awakened by a chopping sound! Two men plan to use the tree as firewood! Suddenly, the Monster approaches, and to him, desecrating the tree is tantamount to desecrating the corpse of his friend!

Within minutes, the circling vultures overhead feed on the corpses in the tree. When the townspeople look for the two men, they find the evil tree, with the picked-over skeletons on the branches. Several nights later, a young couple approach the tree while on a romantic walk. When the boy decides to carv their initials into the tree... well, you guessed it! The Monster attacks them too!

Once again, the monster places the corpses on the tree, and the townspeople find the skeletons later, but they've decided that no one should even touch the tree, for all who have touched it dies! When the road was built, it obviously avoided the tree (kind of odd that they'd make such a sharp turn around the tree, as it would seem to me that a car would easily crash into it).

Now, we return to the present day, as the tourist has tried to cut off a branch of the tree! For, what he has seen is... the angry face of the Monster himself! The monster kills the tourist as a thunderstorm builds! One bolt of lightning strikes the tree, which topples over. The monster looks at the roots, to see what has become of his friend...

And so, the monster continues its journeys, without even the memorial to his only friend.

Wow! What a story! There are elements of “Bride of Frankenstein” (the hermit becoming the monster's friend), and even a bit of the origin of “The Human Bomb” (who also swallowed his secret project to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, although with vastly different results) combined with a number of different swamp monsters, from the contemporary “The Heap” to the later “Swamp Thing” and “Man-Thing,” although of course, the Tree of Death was not a walking creature! You definitely felt some sympathy for the Monster.

If you dug this story as much as I did, you should definitely spring for this book!

Wondering where today's "Countdown to Halloween" feature is?

Not that anyone asked... but it seems that I accidentally posted today's feature yesterday, which is why there were two postings!

Oh, well... there'll be an extra bonus Halloween-related item coming up at about 9:00 pm Pacific time tonight!

Cool Stuff: Marvel Stuff!

So we're done with the Hulk-centric Marvel items, but there's bound to be some appearances by Greenskin in some of this other Marvel stuff!

Why, here's one now, as part of the Marx Marvel figures, this set all in red! I wish they'd reissue these... More stuff when you click

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Countdown to Halloween: Castle of Frankenstein #1!

Just click below to start paging through the first issue of Castle of Frankenstein #1!

Comic Book Advertisements!

Time to look at another handful of original comic book advertisements!

And the first one, from the June, 1970 cover-dated DCs, is one of those ads that really frustrated me and probably every other kid reading comics at the time who lived nowhere near New Jersey, where Palisades Amusement Park was located! We'd see these ads with the coupons, and somehow think that this park featured all kinds of DC-related attractions (which some Six Flags parks have these days, but I digress).

Palisades Amusement Park opened in 1898, and remained open until 1979, apparently a victim of its own success (according to Wikipedia, anyway). It seems that it couldn't handle the crowds it attracted! Apparently parking and traffic problems were a huge mess. These days, there's a high-rise luxury apartment complex where Palisades Amusement Park existed.

Of course, the park will live on in the memories of those of us who read the comics of this period, as well as those people who listen to oldies sons, specifically Freddy Cannon's "Palisades Park"! If you want to learn more about the park, check out the Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society's website!

More ads after the jump!

Countdown to Halloween: Random Videos of Geekery - Dr. Cyclops 8mm!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Coming This Friday...

16 Blogs Participating and Counting!

CBT: Super Friends Coloring Book, Part 2!

When last we left the Super Friends, they were out in the woods, celebrating Superman's birthday! But before we get into the main plot, a few puzzle pages! Here's one of them (like all the others in this book, already completed):

Countdown to Halloween: More Monster Cards! The Red This Time!

As promised, today's presentation are red-framed monster cards!
red 001 kongared 002 red planet
More after the jump!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Countdown to Halloween: Retro-Review - Adventures Into the Unknown #1, Part 3!

Next is a one-page filler “Strange Spirits,” art by King Ward. This edition covers voodoo, with a rather bizarre presentation of what voodoo and zombies are all about!
This is followed by a one-page text story, “The Painted Grave,” about a man named John Drake who creates a painting of a horrible scene that somehow comes to life to kill him!

We'll get into the next actual story from this book after the jump!

Countdown to Halloween: Monster Monday!

First up on this Monster Monday is a lobby card from Twenty Million Miles to Earth! More after the jump!

By the 10s: Wilbur!

So, here's Wilbur... Archie Comics' own imitation of Archie!
Issue 10! More after the jump!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Countdown to Halloween: Dog of the Geek - Teenage Werewolf!

teenage-werewolfBreed: Werewolf

Original Appearance: I Was a Teenage Werewolf, AIP (1957)

Other Appearances: How to Make a Monster (AIP, 1958) and a 1987 episode of Highway to Heaven

Biography: Angry young man Tony Rivers seeks hypnotherapy for his problems, and goes to a mad scientist for the cure. However, this doctor regresses Tony into a werewolf (because he believes that man just regress to pre-evolution states – no explanation is given why this would be a werewolf). Tony is unaware of this, even after at least one kill, until one transformation that is sparked by the ringing of the school bell close to him. Realizing something is wrong, Tony returns to the doctor, who hypnotizes him again, causing him to turn into the werewolf again. When the telephone rings, the werewolf wakes up, and kills the doctor and his assistant, and is himself killed by the police when he flees the doctor's building.

Powers: Superhuman strength and agility, plus fangs and claws.

Group Affiliation: None

Miscellaneous: The re-appearance of the Teenage Werewolf in How to Make a Monster is kind of a cheat, as he's really an actor in werewolf makeup in the movie itself, although hypnotism is used to turn him into a killer (but not into a werewolf). Michael Landon, who played the Teeange Werewolf in the first movie, started on Bonanza two years later. Eventually, Landon starred in Highway to Heaven as an angel, and revisited the role within the episode, titled “I Was a Middle Aged Werewolf.”

Puzzle Sunday!

Last week's solution:

This week's puzzle:

Solution next week!

Countdown to Halloween: More Monster Cards!

Today, I think we'll be finishing off the purple-framed cards... and we'll see what else I have today after that!
purple 095 frankenstein.jpgpurple 096 frankenstien.jpg
More after the jump!