First up, it's Spidey Super Stories #19, and I suspect the Spidey figure was reworked a bit before publishing! The GCDB says John Romita did the inks, and it wouldn't surprise me if he'd done some "fixing" on Spidey, because it doesn't quite look like Jack's work to me.
...a movie. Or maybe a mini-series. Or a series of movies, or something.
What the heck am I talking about? "The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay." It's become one of my favorite novels of all time, and I would love to somehow see it translated into a movie or two, or better yet, a mini-series of movies so we wouldn't lose too many details.
And Michael Chabon should totally have a say in the casting.
I don't have any preference for who should be cast, who should direct, or any of that stuff. I just want to be able to watch this brought to life before my eyes so I can enjoy this amazing novel on a whole new level.
1. Krypto the Super-Dog: The pitch for this is that this is the original Silver Age Krypto, who thinks in complete sentences and is a member of the Space Canine Patrol Agency. He arrives on the current DC Earth, thinking it's his Earth-1 home, and finds that nobody seems to know who he is, and everyone looks and acts weird. This sends Krypto on a quest that leads him to discover the true nature of the multiverse (that, despite what you may have heard, did NOT end with "Crisis on Infinite Earths," because Infinity minus One is still Infinity, so there's no way the Anti-Monitor could've eliminated all the other universes... and that there's variations on existing Earths, so that what we thought was Earth-1 in Crisis was really like Earth-1D), reunites him with his fellow Super-Pets, and eventually gets him to set up a space headquarters in a nexus of realities that lets him, his fellow super-pets, as well as his analogues from other universes meet and go on their own missions. Along the way, we'd encounter universes very different from those we've seen before!
2. Hanna-Barbera Super TV Heroes: I'd need a better name for this, but it would be a super-team comprised of Hanna-Barbera heroes like Space Ghost, Birdman, the Galaxy Trio, Mightor, and so forth, brought together by the power of the genie Shazzan across time and space to battle the forces of evil (which would sometimes be a team of villains of the aforementioned characters). There would be a sense of humor about this series, so that someone can notice that Space Ghost and Birdman like yelling their names when they go into action (OK, I know, Space Ghost only did it in his theme song, but give me a break). Guest-stars could include Frankenstein Jr., the Impossibles, and pretty much any H-B human characters (I don't really think that bringing in Yogi and the other animals would work here).
3. The Amazing New Adventures of Superman: This would be the book I had hoped that All-Star Superman was going to be, but wasn't -- an entry-level Superman title that would be based mostly on the Silver Age Superman, with its own continuity. I wouldn't be retelling the origin, just providing a recap on the splash page of each issue. Retro but fun, and I could pull in elements from any version of Superman I wanted to!
4. The Fantastic Four: A book I've long been interested in writing, even if I don't have any big plot ideas in mind. The main thing I would want to do with the book was to remain true to the characters and their relationships, and bring a nice mix of the cosmic adventure as well as hometown problems. Of course, I have no idea what's going on with the title these days, so I'd need to get caught up to see what I would need to change or correct as soon as I started to get where I want to be.
5. Marvel Universe: Realtime: This would be a mini-series of mini-series, answering the question "What if the Marvel Universe really started in 1961 or so with Fantastic Four #1, and everyone aged at a normal rate?" This would mean that by 2012 (or whatever the current year would be), everybody would've aged at least 50 years, meaning that most of the characters would've been retired, and someone else would need to take over for them. Major plots would occur at the time they were published, but would occur somewhat differently because of the ages of the characters. The titles of the mini-series would be the old Marvel reprint titles, i.e., Marvel Triple Action, Marvel Tales, Marvel's Greatest Comics, Marvel Super Action, Fantasy Masterpieces, etc., with the appropriate characters' adventures taking place in the appropriate title (so that the FF stories would be in Marvel's Greatest Comics, and so forth). The issues would be numbered according to the year they're covering, and probably be larger than usual in order to accommodate more than one story per issue. A special feature in the back of each book would be a cover gallery of the issues of that character's title that were published in the year being covered. Obviously, this would take some work to figure out what major events happened to the characters each year, and it would take some very excellent artists to pull it off (ideally, artists whose style evokes that of the original artist who drew these books way back when).
6. Godzilla: But only if I could use ALL the classic Toho monsters to tell new stories! Because what's the point of writing Godzilla comics if you can't have him team up with Rodan and Mothra to battle King Ghidorah?
7. The Mighty Crusaders: Longtime readers shouldn't find this one to be much of a surprise, given that I've posted before some ideas for how I'd write this title and what I'd do with some of the characters!
8. Universal Monsters: I'd love a chance to write a comic based on the classic Universal monsters (i.e., Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, Mummy, Creature From the Black Lagoon), continuing their stories and filling in details between some of the movies (I still think there's missing continuity between House of Dracula and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein). It would probably be anthology style for the most part, with individual tales of the various monsters, or rotating features.
9. Popeye: Just because I'm a huge Popeye fan. Amazing adventures on the high seas, Popeye speaks in character, all the classic supporting cast is there!
10. Guardians of Justice: I know, you've never heard of these guys, have you? That's because they're my own superheroes in their own superteam! LaserAvenger, Avian, Dynamo, The Ace, Nightstar, Battlestar, and more!
Concept: Captain William Anthony “Buck” Rogers, a NASA pilot leaves Earth on a space shuttle in the year 1987 and is accidentally frozen for 504 years and then revived. He joins up with the Earth Defense Directorate to protect his world from Princess Ardala's alien invaders and other threats. In the second season, the concept changed so that Buck and his friends were part of a crew of a spaceship seeing lost human colonies in space.
Total Episodes: 37
Original Air Dates: September 20, 1979 – April 16, 1981
Original Network: NBC
Geek Factor: 8
Buck Rogers (Gil Gerard): A 20th Century man in the 25th Century. He doesn't always fit in with the current culture. He's an action kind of guy who doesn't like to sit on the sidelines and tell others what to do.
Colonel Wilma Deering (Erin Gray): Soldier and pilot, often coming to the rescue of Buck, who had a romantic interest in her. Often depicted as the leader of the defense directorate's forces in the field.
Twiki (Felix Silla/Mel Blanc): A specialized type of robot called an “ambuquad,” Twiki is devoted to Buck and provides some comic relief. He doesn't often speak, but when he does, it's “Bidi-bidi-bidi” followed by a short phrase, often a 20th-century slang expression picked up from Buck. In the first season, Twiki is usually seen carrying Dr. Theopolis around.
Dr. Theopolis (Eric Server): A first-season character only, Dr. Theopolis was an intelligent computer assigned to help Buck assimilate to modern Earth. Part of the Computer Council, Theo was a liason between them and Dr. Huer. When Twiki would simply say “Bidi-bidi-bidi,” Theo would often be able to translate for Buck.
Dr. Elias Huer (Tim O'Connor): Head of the Defense Directorate – and possibly of the entire planet, based on suggestions made in the show itself.
Princess Ardala (Pamela Hensley): Leader of the invading space force who was intent on taking over the Earth, as well as to steal Buck away!
Kane (Michael Ansara): Princess Ardala's henchman.
In the second season, Dr. Huer, Dr. Theopolis, and other characters were dropped as the series concept changed, and Buck, Wilma, and Twiki were part of a crew of the spaceship The Searcher, seeking lost “tribes” of humanity who had scattered across the galaxy. Added to the cast were:
Admiral Efram Asimov (Jay Garner): Commander of the Searcher and a descendant of Isaac Asimov.
Hawk (Thom Christopher): An alien who is the last of a race of bird people.
Dr. Goodfellow (Wilfried Hyde-White): An elderly scientist with insatiable curiosity.
Crichton (voice of Jeff David): A robot built by Goodfellow who can't believe humans built him.
The Internet Movie Database seems to be woefully short on complete guest-stars on the show, but fortunately Wikipedia picked up the slack!
Buster Crabbe guest-starred in two episodes of the show as Commander Gordon – of course, he was the first to play both Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon in the serials, and also played Tarzan! Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, and Julie Newmar all guest-starred in different episodes, and of course are best known for playing the Joker, Riddler, and Catwoman in the 1966 Batman.
Roddy McDowell, who also played a Batman villain, although probably better known for playing Cornelius and Caesar in the original Planet of the Apes movies, and Galen in the POTA tv series, also guested in an episode.
Paul Carr, who played Lt. Devlin in four episodes at least, is probably more recognizable as Lt. Lee Kelso in the Star Trek second pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” He also appeared in episodes of the Time Tunnel, The Green Hornet, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Invaders, Land of the Giants, Mission: Impossible, and Get Smart. He also appeared in a number of other genre TV shows in the 1970s. 80s, and 90s.
Patty Maloney filled in for Felix Silla as Twiki a time or two, as well as playing Tina in another episode. She may be best known for playing the alien Honk in Far Out Space Nuts, but since then, she has appeared both on-screen in a few genre roles as well as providing voices for some animated shows.
Sid Haig also guested in an episode, and as noted before, he's appeared in a lot of genre TV shows and movies, but to me, he'll always be Dragos, arch enemy of Jason of Star Command. Markie Post guested in a two-part episode, and that same year she also guested in an episode of The Incredible Hulk, although she's much better known for her later role as Christine Sullivan on Night Court.
Vic Perrin guested in two episodes, and he'd earlier had parts in The Adventures of Superman, Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits (for which he was the Control Voice, and also played other on-camera roles), One Million Years B.C., Space Ghost, Jonny Quest (the voice of Dr. Zin and others), Birdman, Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure (the voice of Hawkman and others), Star Trek (mostly doing voices, such as Nomad, Metron and a Keeper, but also on-screen as Tharn in Mirror, Mirror), The Fantastic Four (1967, he was the Silver Surfer's voice), The Invaders, The Wild Wild West, and many, many other roles on-screen and off. He passed away in 1987, a year after reprising his role as Dr. Zin in a 1986 revival of Jonny Quest.
Producer and creator of this incarnation Glen Larson has had a long career in television, producing and executive producing shows such as Alias Smith and Jones, Battlestar Galactica, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, and other shows. After Buck, he also exec produced or produced Galactica 1980, Manimal, Knight Rider, The Fall Guy, and many other shows. He was listed as consulting producer for the revival of Battlestar Galactica and the spin-off Caprica.
Leslie Stevens is credited with developing and also wrote a few episodes of the show, but he's better known for being executive producer on The Outer Limits, also writing a few of those episodes. He also wrote episodes of The Invisible Man (1975-1976), Gemini Man, and other shows. He was consulting producer on the 1996-1998 Outer Limits series.
Alan Brennert was a writer and story editor for the series, but had previously written episodes of The New Adventures of Wonder Woman. He was also a consulting producer on Star Trek: Enterprise, wrote episodes of The Twilight Zone (1985-1989), The Outer Limits (1995-2001), and other shows.
Felix Sillathe man most often in the Twiki costume, was Cousin Itt in The Addams Family, and also guested on The Girl From UNCLE, The Monkees, played various characters on H.R. Pufnstuf, played a child gorilla in the original Planet of the Apes, Col. Poom in Lidsville, and had many other parts in genre movies and TV shows. He later was an Ewok in Return of the Jedi, Dink in Spaceballs, and played an emperor penguin in Batman Returns.
Mel Blanc, the voice of Twiki, really shouldn't need any introduction, but he was the voice of most of the original Looney Tunes characters, did many, many voices for Hanna-Barbera, and did lots of other roles as well. Just his career in the golden age of radio would be too long to list here!
William Conrad, who was the opening narrator on the show, was also the narrator on Rocky and His Friends, The Bullwinkle Show, and other Jay Ward programs. He was also the narrator on Tales of the Unexpected (1977). He later provided the voice of The Lone Ranger in the 1980 Filmation series. To most people, he'll either always be Cannon or one of the leads on Jake and the Fatman, not that either of those are of the genre I typically mention here! But way before all this TV, he was on radio, as the original voice of Matt Dillion on Gunsmoke, and could even be heard on the radio version of Buck Rogers! He passed away in 1994.
Before his role on Buck Rogers, Jeff David had appeared in episodes of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman, but he also did voice work on Jana of the Jungle and was the voice of Captain Carl Majors in Godzilla (1978-1979). He also did voice work in the 1981 Spider-Man animated series.
Before being cast as Princess Ardalla, Pamela Hensley played Princess Mona in the movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, was Mackie in Rollerball, appeared in three episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man, and afterwards was in the Get Smart movie The Nude Bomb.
Michael Ansara had previously appeared in episodes of The Lone Ranger, had a part in Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, guested on an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits, The Man From UNCLE, The Girl From UNCLE, Bewitched, The Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, Tarzan, Land of the Giants, and other shows, but may be best known to geeks as playing Kang in the Star Trek episode “The Day of the Dove.” He reprised his role of Kang in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Flashback” as well as in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Blood Oath,” and was the voice of Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze on Batman: The Animated Series as well as the movie Sub-Zero.
DVD Release: Complete series set as well as season one set.
Website:http://www.inthe25thcentury.com/ is the official website for licensing all versions of Buck. http://www.buck-rogers.com/ seems to be a fan site. Neither site seems to have all that much about the show on it, although at least the second one has scans of articles about the show available for PDF download.
Notes: I was a big fan of this show in the first season – or at least a big fan of Erin Gray, anyway! By the time the second season started, however, I had lost interest in the show, and don't believe I ever watched a single episode of it.
Original Appearances:Blue's Clues, Nickelodeon Television, 1995 – 2006
Other Appearances:Blue's Room (follow up show) and lots of merchandise. These days, Blue's Clues can be seen on Nick Jr.
Biography: Blue was owned by Steve (and later Joe), who lived in a house with Mailbox, a talking mailbox, Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper (talking French salt & pepper shakers who later had a baby, Paprika), Tickety, a talking alarm clock, Slippery Soap a talking bar of soak, Shovel and Pail, and Sidetable Drawer (I think you can guess what they are). Whenever Blue wants to tell her owner about something she wants to do (or something he wants to get, or somewhere to go), she makes a pawprint of hers appear (on the screen, for those watching), indicating she wants to play Blue's Clues so her owner can figure it out. Then Blue's owner finds the clues (which have Blue's pawprint on them), draws them in the handy-dandy notebook, and once all three clues have been found, he can figure out Blue's Clues. Along the way, there are songs that are repeated every single episode, and some sign language is used. Several other characters appear in episodes, including Magenta (another dog, Blue's best friend), Periwinkle (a kitten), Felt Friends, Green Puppy, and others.
Powers: Ability to “Skiddoo” into pictures – a power her owner also has – they can jump into pictures and interact with the beings in them.
Group Affiliation: None
Miscellaneous: Why include Blue in the Dog of the Geek? Well, why not? I had to sit through countless episodes of it with my kids, may as well make it pay off somehow!
Time for another assortment of ramblings and things that don't merit separate posts!
ITEM! So I've started collecting Book and Record Sets, as my Give-A-Show collection is pretty near to being complete. Of course, being on a budget, I have to get them on the cheap, and I've been lucky to find some at garage sales, some for as low as 50 cents each! As I did with my Give-A-Show collection, I've been digitizing these, and you can find the videos I've made so far on my new Facebook page, Book and Record Sets. Check it out, won't you?
ITEM! So as of this writing, I'm still looking for work... although I'm waiting a callback on my last interview. Hopefully, I'll have some good news soon! To be honest, it's been an extremely frustrating experience, given that the field I retrained for, Medical Assisting, is supposed to be a high demand position right now -- because it isn't! There's much more of a demand for truck drivers, to be honest!
ITEM! So last week, on Tuesday... my van got rear-ended on the interstate by a moron who apparently didn't remember that the section of I-5 that we were on ALWAYS -- ALWAYS -- has slowdowns and outright stops during that time period Monday through Friday. My son Tristan and I were the only ones in the van at the time, and we both got checked out at the emergency room afterwards. We're still a bit stiff and sore, but we got really lucky that there was no serious injury to either of us. The van, on the other hand, has about $7,700 worth of damage to it (according to the place we took it to, anyway). It looks like it'll be about a week until we get it back -- and until then, we're driving a rental Grand Caravan (paid for by the other guy's insurance, naturally). It's a very nice van, although I miss the USB port our Kia Sedona has, which I can plug a flash drive into with MP3 files to listen to!
ITEM! Remember the contest I announced a while back, offering a prize package for one lucky person who did something to help promote the return of the Random Acts of Geekery? Well, the winner is... nobody, because I didn't get a single contest entry. And sadly, my hits have been pretty much the same as they were when I first started the contest a few weeks ago. I'm not sure how to respond to this, to tell you the truth -- I don't know if the lack of entries was because the prize package wasn't good enough, or if just nobody had an interest in participating at all. I may decide to try it again... or maybe not. I need some way to get my readers back up to where they were, but that may not be possible. There's about a third of the people reading this blog now as there used to be... wish I hadn't done that break back when, because I suspect that part of the drop was just people getting out of the habit of reading it -- the rest was the change of URL. Well, at this time, I have entries written and advance posted through the end of December, we'll see what happens over the next few months, and go from there! Or maybe I should take a page from some of my fellow bloggers and just shut down this blog, and start a new one, even if it pretty much is the same as this one (some would argue that's pretty much what I did by changing the URL).
ITEM! I'm still playing "Draw Something" on my iPad, and since getting a stylus, I'm finally starting to get some of my drawings looking closer to what I had in mind! I'll have to post another gallery soon (even if I've got pictures saved to show that don't reflect what I've done with the stylus). If you're also playing this game, and want to play with me, my user name there is jon-knutson -- hit me up for a game!
Time for the Flash to get the Character Collectible Spotlight shined on him...
And, amusingly enough, the first item in my Flash files is the Mego Kid Flash figure, since the Flash wasn't included in Mego's superheroes line (in what was one of the biggest oversights they made)! But if they had, he might've looked something like this:
A custom-made Flash Mego!
I am a former graphic designer turned medical assistant turned truck driver who's into comics, sf, tv, cartoons, monsters, oldies rock, and lots of other stuff.
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