Saturday, May 05, 2007

Genre Movie Image of the Day: One Million B.C.!


Here's a still from one of the various versions of One Million B.C. -- maybe even the Racquel Welch version! I remember there were two versions... one was all stop-motion, from which the image above is taken, and the other used real lizards with glued-on horns and fins... at least, I'm pretty sure that was the case (granted, as long as today's been, I could be confusing it with the two versions of The Lost World, mind you).

Another one to come tomorrow!


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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Proof positive that you could get away with almost any name in the golden age of comics is seen above: Doll Man Quarterly #1, by Quality Comics. Doll Man -- there's a name to strike terror in the hearts of evil-doers, eh? Sometimes I think that what's really prevented DC from trying to revive Doll Man (as they did with The Ray and Black Condor, as well as Phantom Lady) in the 1980s and 1990s is that name. (Well, and the fact that the Atom had the whole shrinking superhero thing going for him as well, and had his own revivals happening at the time)

And before you click the "comment" button, I am well aware of the Uncle Sam & The Freedom Fighters miniseries that just recently ended... and yes, I do think they did a pretty decent job there of dealing with the whole "Doll Man" name.

Anyway, let's face it... if in order to revive a hero (or make him a legacy character) you have to come up with a whole new name for him, it's not much of a revival or legacy, is it?


Classic Toy of the Day!


Here's the Iron Man Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars motorcycle toy... and I seem to recall that I actually had one of these (I know for sure I had the Spidey one, which you'll see tomorrow). What I forgot to mention last night is that the same company who made these also made some Secret Wars cars, and I think I used to have one of those, too (but don't know for sure which one... I haven't come across pics of them anywhere).


Comic Book Ad of the Day!


Yes, it was the swinging 1970s, and this ad, from the November, 1974 cover-dated Marvels showed just how into the 70s the licensors were... it's the Marvel Medallions! You could buy your choice of Spider-Man, Hulk or Conan, and when I was a kid, I actually thought these were pretty cool.

I've never seen any of these for sale anywhere... not at a local Seattle show, nor at the one San Diego Comic-Con I've been too, three Mid-Ohio-Cons, or two Wizard World Chicagos (or any other con, for that matter). So either they didn't sell that well, or nobody wants to get rid of 'em, or they all got lost fast!


Foster Parent Practice Run - Saturday Report!

Well... what an interesting 24 hours or so this has been. To recap, in case you're a day or two behind on what's happening here, we're watching a two-year-old boy named Daniel, who is one of the children Jessi knows, for a couple of days, to kind of give his mom a respite of sorts. This is not directly involved with the foster parenting program here in western Washington, by any means... but Jessi figured it'd be good practice for us!

As I said last night, it took him a bit to get settled down for the night, and after I went to bed, he did awaken a few times during the night for one reason or another (Krypto was a bit of a pain to deal with, because he was trying to "help", which he wasn't much of).

This morning began for me at about 8:30, when Daniel and I woke up... Jessi had been up for a bit already, as we were expecting Joe, a boxer belonging to some friends of ours, Michael and Vanessa, to be dropped off at 8.

I made breakfast for us (pancakes for Daniel, as he didn't seem interested in potatoes at all, and I didn't think he'd go for scrambled eggs, preferring instead foods he could eat by hand), and basically, we tried to keep the dogs outside as much as possible.

After breakfast, we got ready to head over to Olympic Cards and Comics for Free Comic Book Day, so we put the dogs to bed, loaded up in the car, and headed out. This year, store owner Gabi was allowing each person to pick five books... there were three of us, so we got 15 books (pretty good deal!). One book in particular, I think it's called Owley, was perfect for Daniel, as it had no words... the story was told all in pictures (I think we'll be picking up the trades of this series, great for preschool kids). I haven't had a chance to read any of the other books we got yet.

Next was a quick stop at the grocery store, as Michael and Vanessa were going to be coming over for dinner tonight and we needed a few things. After that, we headed back home, and since Jessi and Daniel were sleepy, they went for a nap while I kept the dogs downstairs and watched some Enterprise episodes, with occasional breaks for cleaning up.

After the naps were done, we got a few pictures with Daniel and the dogs (mostly KO), and I got some practice changing diapers (I changed three or four of them today, including one poopy diaper). Dinner with Michael and Vanessa worked out great, and after they left, we settled down in the living room to watch The Incredibles (we'd watched enough of Happy Feet, which I'd just bought on Friday, already).

We were able to get Daniel to go to bed earlier tonight, thank goodness... last night at this same time, he wasn't even asleep yet, so we've made some progress!

Sometime on Sunday -- in theory -- Daniel's mother is supposed to be picking him up. Originally, she was supposed to call us around noon today to tell us when she'd be getting him, but apparently she couldn't get to a phone at all until this evening. We didn't know for certain we'd have him tonight, but we both suspected it would be the case (I think Daniel's mom -- whom I've never met) is a bit of a flake. Hopefully, sometime on Sunday she will pick him up... otherwise, we'll have him Sunday evening as well, and Jessi will take him home on her way to work on Monday.

Oh, we also got to deal with a couple of minor tantrums... there's a reason it's referred to as the "terrible twos", you know!


Video Time!

Let's see if any of the videos I found to share a while back are still available. It has been a while since I posted any videos, hasn't it?

1967 Marx Action Play Sets commercial

1963 Gilbert Toys Promo

Friday, May 04, 2007

What Were We Thinking???

So, tonight we have a special guest in our home... his name is Daniel, and he's two years old.

No, he's not a foster child... Jessi offered to take him off his mother's hands for a night and a day, and this would give us a chance to kind of practice for the foster parenting thing.

Daniel is an interesting kid... he likes Spider-Man (points for him), but oh my dear god, his mother does not do a very good job of taking care of him! When Jessi picked him up, he had what I can only guess (from Jessi's description) one of those Nerds Ropes (kind of a long piece of licorice covered with Nerds candy) as well as one of those Ring Pop candy things. That's a lot of sugar there, especially for a two-year-old!

And we had an interesting time getting him to go to sleep tonight... which he finally did about 11:00 pm! Apparently, his mom (and the guy she's with, who may not be Daniel's father -- and I could be completely misinterpreting who lives in that house) just plays video games at night until Daniel falls asleep, so she's not even sure what time he usually goes to sleep at night!

Now, taking care of a two-year-old child overnight and possibly through the rest of the weekend (we're not entirely sure when his mother will be taking him back), but at 8:00 Saturday morning, our friends Michael and Vanessa are going to be dropping off their boxer, Joe, so we can watch him until 2 or so... at which time Michael and Vanessa are going to be coming by for an early afternoon barbeque. Michael's in the army, and will be going off to Iraq soon, so we want to give him a decent send-off. While he's gone, of course, we'll do what we can to help out Vanessa during his absence.

So... our household will have Jessi and I trying to keep under control three boxers and one two-year-old boy. AND it's Free Comic Book day tomorrow, too!

As the title says, what were we thinking?


Comic Book Ad of the Day!


From the November, 1974 cover-dated Marvels -- or at least one of them -- is this house ad that was stuck at the bottom of a letter column page. It's possible that there may have been a few different ones done, and they were put on different letter columns!

I do like this one, as minimal a size as it is (considering it's promoting Giant-Size books), because it not only tells you which books they're promoting, but give you a single line for each one to get you interested in them... plus there's an image clipped from the cover to whet your appetite!

I don't think I bought more than two Giant-Size Marvel titles off the racks... I know I did have Giant-Size Creatures (or whatever it was that introduced Greer Nelson's new persona of Tigra the Were-Woman) as well as Giant-Size Superstars (I think that was it... basically it was a Giant-Size FF book, featuring the Hulk Vs. the Thing with Rich Buckler imitating Kirby). Naturally, I probably don't have any Giant-Size books in my current meagre collection... but I do have the Giant-Size Marvel trade paperback (which, itself, is paradoxically one of the thinnest TPBs in my collection).


Genre Image of the Day! Valley of the Gwangi

Had enough Gwangi yet?


At least this time around I've got an image with one of the cowboys as well as the dinosaurs...

Tomorrow's image: Not Gwangi, but it'll have Dinosaurs anyway!


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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This seriously weird-looking cover for Dracula Lives was probably not chosen to put in the archive for posting because of it being weird... but rather because it was probably the first issue.

If you've never read Dracula Lives (and honestly, I haven't), the basic concept behind it was that it would tell stories of Dracula throughout history, from the first time he became a vampire to the present... and beyond!

Bizarrely enough, while Kirby was at DC, he proposed a black-and-white mag along the very same lines... I don't know if someone at Marvel heard about it, and decided to beat DC to it, or what!

Of course, this book was mainly out there to compete with the Warren magazines.


Classic Toy of the Day!


OK, so the 1970s wasn't the only decade featuring toys with superheroes on motorcycles... the 1980s had 'em, too... although just from one manufacturer (well, aside from the obvious Batcycles).

Anyway, I forget who manufactured these things, but the Hulk here was just one of the Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars motorcycle figures! In the next few days, you'll see a few of the other ones.

Obviously, the only real tie-in with Secret Wars is that the characters they manufactured were featured in Secret Wars (which, honestly, I'm not sure you can say about all the characters in the Secret Wars action figure line!). I don't recall any motorcycles in use in the miniseries, and frankly, I don't believe any of the characters riding motorcycles in this toy line rode a motorcycle in the comics (at least, not in their costumed identity).

I'm not sure which member of the brain trust decided to make a Hulk motorcycle figure... who needs a motorcycle when you can jump 1/8 of a mile or more (OK, so I forget how long the Hulk's jumps would be, so I plucked a number out of thin air... well, okay, it was from a Golden Age Superman story, so sue me).

Anyway... there really was just one character in Secret Wars that should've been marketed with a motorcycle, and that would be Captain America, naturally. Well, maybe Wolverine, but that'd be pushing it.


Odds and Ends!

ITEM! Yesterday, at work, the sales rep for that local appliance company that I've been designing all the ads for (the same company we wanted to buy our new washer and dryer at) let me know just how much money this company's been spending this year on their ads... before I took charge of the design of their ads, they were only printing ads with black and a spot color, and were pretty much the same three or four ads. Now, all their ads are full color, and they're doing new stuff all the time! Too bad I don't get a cut of the bucks being spent by them...

ITEM! Been reading a bio of Gene Roddenberry... about halfway through now... and holy crap, Gene certainly managed to spin all the publicity about him during his life! Getting the unvarnished truth about him has really been a revelation of sorts. Not to take anything away from his creating the basis of Star Trek (which is enough of an accomplishment to earn the respect of his fans), but he was really a major @sshole at times, and would definitely amend his resume at the expense of the truth at times! But I suppose in order to keep himself in the public eye, he figured he needed to make himself look as good as possible.

ITEM! Did this week's episode of Heroes kick butt or what? This show has definitely given House a run for its money for being my favorite show this year. I am definitely wondering if they're going to be doing a DVD release before the second season starts, to help give people a chance to catch up... if they are, I am so going to get it.

ITEM! I went to the dentist for a check-up today. I hate going to the dentist... always have, always will. I won't go into what all they want to do to my teeth, but let's just say that it'll be pretty pricey once we start getting it done.

ITEM! I have no other items!


Comics Advertisement of the Day!


Remember yesterday I talked about ads in comics form? This ad, from the November 1974 Marvel Comics, was one in a series of ads by the Cleveland Institute of Electronics, aka CIE. They also did the one where the guy works in a warehouse and has boxes land on his head, if I recall correctly.

They may even be the company that did the fumetti ad... and if they were (or even if they weren't), you should be seeing that ad here one of these days!


Genre Image of the Day: Valley of the Gwangi!


A nice bit of compositing here from Valley of the Gwangi... and yes, there's at least one more still from this movie coming your way tomorrow!


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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Here's Drag-Strip Hot Rodders, a Charlton book which reprinted the best of Hot Rods and Racing Cars.

It's always been rather amazing to me how many different genres of books Charlton published over the years... and the racing genre is one that they pretty much had all to themselves (aside from DC's brief Hot Wheels series). I think their romance titles hung around even longer than DC's or Marvel's, and certainly their war books outlasted Marvel's Sgt. Fury! Plus, they had a whole load of horror/mystery books that probably outlasted the DC "House" titles...

I've long lamented the fact that there's no company like Charlton today... not that I wish there was a company that produced cheaply-produced books, or irregularly-scheduled books (most companies seem to do this, although not purposely)... but rather, they were a company that seemed interested in giving new creators a shot to develop their skills. There were probably at least a dozen comics creators who started at Charlton and moved on to DC and Marvel (if not many more).

But there's really nobody these days who does the same thing. Instead, there's self-publishing, and I guess web comics... and the latter provide instant feedback, so maybe that's a good thing...

But still...


Classic Toy of the Day!


Here's Remco's glowing Mummy! And that wraps up the Remco monster posts!

Tomorrow, superhero toys!


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Classic Toy of the Day!


Here's two of the Mego-sized (and Mego-like) Remco monsters figures of the 1980s, complete with glow-in-the-dark plastic!

Why glow-in-the-dark? I'm guessing it's either because it gave Remco the opportunity to offer "new" items while just changing the plastic (and packaging)... or because they figured on a subtle tie-in with Aurora's monsters of the movies kits, which for a while were reissued with some glow-in-the-dark pieces.

These two pieces, the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolfman, featured decent enough sculpts, but the clothing on them looks just weird... like they needed some kind of material that would hang better or something.


Comics Cover of the Day!

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Yes, another dreams cover, from Action 115! I'm sure that a lot of kids reading Superman comics have had the same dream... well, okay, I'd imagine more of us were dreaming of BEING Superman, not riding him through the air...

...and wow, taken out of context, wouldn't that last sentence take on a whole different (unintended!) meaning!


Genre Movie Image of the Day: Valley of the Gwangi!


Yes, it's another image from Valley of the Gwangi! The Gwangi, in case you're unaware, was the T-Rex. I haven't seen this movie in forever, and I really should track down a copy of it on DVD sometime (actually, I'm half amazed I don't have it already... one would think it would've showed up in the dollar stores by now).


Comic Book Ad of the Day!


I think this is the last of the November 1977 DC Comics ads I have for you... at least, I'm pretty sure this was on the back cover.

As most of you are probably aware, almost from the beginning of comics, there were advertisers using the comics format in full-page ads in the comics. In the Golden Age, probably the most common ones were the Captain Tootsie ads by C.C. Beck, and this continued into the Silver Age, where you might find Bullwinkle hawking Cheerios in a one-page comic ad or two boys playing with their GI Joes... and into the seventies, there was, of course, the Hostess ads that also used comics characters!

This one, for a shoe company that I don't think I ever saw in any stores (but I wasn't paying much attention to shoe brands back then, honestly), was pretty much the last gasp, except for the Hostess stuff that continued into the early 80s.

The art style looks vaguely familiar, but I can't quite place it. It's an entertaining enough ad, if you don't mind all the foot-based puns (and I've never taken offense at puns!).


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Assorted Rambles and Random Thoughts...

A few things to toss out that aren't enough for individual posts:

ITEM! Earlier today, Jessi got a call inviting us to the foster parents appreciation dinner later this month. Thinking this may mean we've been licensed, she called our licensor right afterwards to confirm or deny this suspicion. We're not licensed yet, but we should be "within a week". I'm interpreting this to mean by next Friday.

ITEM! On Sunday, we went with our friends Michael and Vanessa and our boxers (KO, Krypto, and Joe Boxer) to Priest Point Park for a walk and to let the dogs romp on the beach. We were at the beach for a few minutes when someone yelled at us asking if we'd lost a watch. We said "no," and he walked away down the beach. About 20 minutes later, I realized that I had indeed lost my watch! It was a Superman watch Jessi bought for me a few months ago. Not an expensive one, by any means, but because Jessi gave it to me, it's got sentimental value. Monday, I placed a free employee classified reporting it lost, but no calls yet. I'm a bit irked, however, that the guy (if it was my watch he found) didn't ask "Did one of you lose a Superman watch?"

ITEM! By the time I go to bed tonight, I'll have finished reading the last of Ron Goulart's Groucho Marx mystery books. This is my second time reading them, and they're really fun reads. If you're a Groucho fan, find these books and read them!

ITEM! Been working on my "by the 10's" comics covers for DC History, and I'm now in the "h's". I really need to get working on more Cover Stories columns soon!


Comics Advertisement of the Day!


Still with the November 1977 DC Comics ads... here's another of those wonderful NGC Merchandise ads! Let's see what they're selling this time around:

Superhero belt buckles... very cool stuff there, I especially like the Superman one (naturally)... although I'd think that Batman logo one would be very uncomfortable when sitting down, with those points!

That Batman utility belt was the only utility belt that made any sense... I know that the same stuff (with some variations and changes) were produced and marketed as other heroes' utility belts, such as Wonder Woman (which came with bracelets), Spider-Man, and the Hulk!!!! The Hulk's utility belt?

I don't believe I've ever seen a copy of that Ballantine book, which looks like it would've been fun.

And finally, Colorforms. Ah, Colorforms. I've never owned any Colorforms set, although I've looked at a few of 'em. In case you've never seen one, it was comprised of one big cardboard piece used as a background, which had some color scene on it, and then it was coated in something. Then, you'd get all these rubber/plastic pieces that were one color with black printing on them, which were of all the characters and effects and props and so forth. Sometimes they'd even produce sets where the main character was available in pieces, and maybe some of the pieces (like an arm, a leg, a body, a head, etc.) were colored properly... but all the ones I've seen were cheap and cheesy (imagine an all-blue Batman figure).


Genre Movie Image of the Day: Valley of the Gwangi!

I hope you like Valley of the Gwangi, because I've got a few scans from it to share:


As much fun as combining cowboys and dinosaurs is (and this movie definitely does that)... it's also fun in your movie when you can have a monster, such as a dinosaur, fight a circus animal or six. This time around, as you can see, there's a T-Rex attacking an elephant!


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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I just realized tonight that last night's cover (along with tonight's) was another of my "theme sets," with the theme being dreams!

If I'm reading the scan correctly, this is from Action Comics 170, and it's a pretty interesting cover in that Superman's only on it in the criminal's dream bubble! Of course, it's got to be a dream because Supey's being knocked aside by a normal guy!


Classic Toys of the Day!


Last of the mini-monsters from Remco here, Dracula and the Phantom of the Opera!

Tomorrow, back to some of the larger Remco monsters!


Monday, April 30, 2007

Comic Book Ad of the Day!


Here's another house ad from the November '77 DC books... and it's for one of the few big Earth-2 books from DC in those days!

Roy Thomas would later use elements of this story in Young All-Stars, which of course reflected post-Crisis continuity that precluded Superman or Wonder Woman being present at this point in combined Earth history.


Genre Movie Image of the Day: Godzilla!


I'm not sure exactly which Godzilla movie this is from, although I suspect it's Godzilla 1984... but it may have been from a later one!

Either way, any excuse for posting a Godzilla pic, right?


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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I just love the cover of Action 344... it's such a blatant attempt to leech off some of the Batman fans that it's pathetic! I mean, "Attention Batman Fans!" "The Bat-Clues are on this Cover!" Really!

And the story didn't really need that... it's a perfectly fun story in and of itself, and I wish I still had a copy of this issue!


Classic Toys of the Day!


Yes, it's more Remco Mini-Monsters, this time with the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man!

And I just realized tonight that I've been posting the toy pictures completely out of the order that I'd intended... and I'm not sure now to fix that so that I don't accidentally repost something!


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Classic Toys of the Day!


We're looking at more of the Remco Mini Monsters today, with this great playset!

Well, okay, its a carrying case that's (badly) disguised as a playset. I mean, Kenner did a much better job with the Hall of Justice playset for the Super Powers figures, which was itself a carrying case!


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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For no reason whatsoever, here's America's Best Comics 14, featuring what has to be the biggest wish fulfillment fantasy of many a comics reader (short of becoming a superhero, anyway): Having superheroes take care of all your chores for you!

I wonder if this inspired the Amazing World of DC Comics cover which showed the JLA assembling comics pages?


Genre Movie Image of the Day: King Kong Vs. Godzilla!


I trust I need say nothing about this movie, which I'm sure you've all seen, right?


Comic Book Ad of the Day!


Yes, it's Saturday Morning 1977 on CBS, courtesy of the November 1977 cover-dated DC comics!

Let's look at the line-up... first up was CBS' perennial The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, which itself was a continuation of the old Bugs Bunny show, and I'm sure you all remember the theme song from that!

What's New Mister Magoo? was a show I never watched, and it was a DePatie-Freleng production which lasted one season.

Next up? The Skatebirds, which was Hanna-Barbera's attempt to re-create the success of the old Banana Splits show. I think the Robonic Stooges was the most noteworthy portion of this program, combining the Three Stooges (who had previously appeared in The New Scooby-Doo Movies) with the Six Million Dollar Man!

Then we had Space Academy, and I've written about this Filmation live-action show before, which is available on DVD!

Following that is more Filmation with the Batman-Tarzan Adventure Hour. The following season it would become Tarzan and the Super 7, adding some other features, including Freedom Force and Jason of Star Command, which are also out on DVD (well, Jason is due soon, I believe).

I have no memory of Wacko at all, so can presume it was only on for one season.

After that was Fat Albert, which was probably Filmation's most popular series at the time, since there were no more Archies shows (and He-Man was a ways away). After that Isis, which is due on DVD soon!

The CBS Children's Film Festival was always interesting to check out, since you wouldn't know what you'd find!

Interspersed between these shows was the brilliant "In The News," which told about current world news in terms that children could understand!