Saturday, January 05, 2008

Comic Book Ad: November 1979 Marvel!


So... what a mixed bag of stuff we have here, eh? Lunch boxes, puppets, Battlestar Galactica figures, and Underoos! All in a Heroes World ad prepared by students of the Kubert School (although the finished work looks like it was inked by Kubert himself, or at least by someone who was mimicking his style).

So far as the lunchboxes go, I don't have a photo of any one of them (maybe I should start working on that)...


But here's a Spider-Man puppet that's colored correctly...


...and one that's colored like the ad has it!


This, of course, is the Hulk puppet, still in the package. I haven't come across a Captain America or Thor puppet yet (at least, that I'm aware of).


But here's a bonus... finger puppets of all four characters!

Next, here's a bunch of loose Battlestar Galactica figures:



Unfortunately, I haven't come across any Underoos pictures, though!


Flashback: LaserAvenger in Color!

Originally posted April 25, 2005

Originally uploaded by waffyjon.
OK, like I said, this drawing was done by Jan Duursema at the 1986 San Diego Comic-Con. Well, tonight I happened to pull it out, and scanned it into the computer, and decided to color a copy of it in PhotoShop!

LaserAvenger is (c) 2005 by me, Jon B. Knutson... just to get the legalities aside!

Samuel Blake was raised as an orphan... his mother died in childbirth, and his father died before he was born. Since neither of his parents had any family, Sam was made a ward of the state of Washington. For some reason, he was never adopted as a baby or as a toddler... instead, he was shifted from foster family to foster family until his early teens, by which time he was a bitter boy who trusted no one. He spent his teenage years in an orphanage in Tacoma, Washington, attending public schools.

But it was while he was living in the orphanage that Sam met the man who, in many ways, could be considered his real father, a social worker who took a special interest in Sam. Sam was the oldest child in the orphanage, and this social worker (who would've adopted Sam had he not been single, and thus ineligible to do so) impressed upon Sam that as the oldest, he had a responsibility to set a good example for the other children. This social worker (I'm sorry, I don't remember his name) helped Sam develop hobbies and interests, and discovered Sam's natural ability for playing football.

Sam matured rapidly under this tutlage, making a complete turnaround from the bitter child he once was. As much as Sam looked up to the social worker, the other children in the orphanage looked up to him. Sam's football skills in high school earned him a scholarship to Washington University in Seattle, where he initially thought he'd earn a degree in social work.

On his 18th birthday, he received a life insurance settlement from the death of his mother, which had been held in trust until then, which would have allowed him to attend college even without the scholarship, and which he used to rent an apartment off-campus to avoid the distractions that dormitory life often provided (although this didn't stop him from having a social life). He also purchased a used car.

With the money, he also received a mysterious box that was discovered in his mother's possessions... an ornate wooden box that, when Sam opened it, contained two leather wrist bands embedded with a series of large circular jewels. Sam went to various sources to try to identify what the jewels were, but nobody could identify them. He decided to pursue a minor in geology in college in an attempt to learn more about these jewels.

Come October of his first year in college, Sam was invited to a costume party for Halloween night, and he fashioned a "spacey-looking" costume for it, and decided to wear the wristbands with it for effect. But Sam would not make the party.

A telephone call told Sam that the social worker who he felt made him the person he was today had been attacked, and was in serious condition in a hospital in Tacoma. Not bothering to change clothes, Sam threw a trenchcoat on over his costume, putting the mask in the coat pocket, and drove to Tacoma as fast as he could get there.

When he got to the hospital, the social worker was barely hanging on. He told Sam that a local gang was trying to sell drugs to the children in the orphanage until he interfered, and this same gang attacked him as he was leaving the orphanage for his home. Sam barely got enough details about who had done this when the social worker died.

Sam knew the police were on the case, but he felt compelled to find the gang who murdered the man he'd come to think of as a father himself. He ran back to his car, not noticing that the wristbands he wore were beginning to glow.

Sam drove like a madman around the city, looking for the gang, when he saw one who matched the descriptions given him. He immediately hit the brakes, stopping his car and leaping out of it... and took off into the air, the glow from his wristbands enveloping his body.

Sam was admittedly freaked out about this happening, but immediately realized that he had better chance with this newfound ability to capture the gang, and followed the person he spotted from the air until he could find the rest of the gang, learning how to fly as he went.

The gang member entered an abandoned building, and Sam landed nearby, approaching silently. He overheard the gang talking inside, laughing over the beating they'd given his friend and mentor. Sam's rage mounted... and his wristbands began glowing even brighter... until his rage exploded in a burst of pure lasers from his hands, opening a hole in the side of the building.

Sam didn't even question it... but took advantage of the surprise to attack the gang members. They were only surprised for a few moments, however, and several of them drew guns from their coats and began shooting at him. Instinctively, Sam somehow created a glowing force field around him that destroyed the bullets before they could harm him. Not wanting to take a chance on killing any of the gang members, Sam used his fists to take the gang out before the police, alerted by the flashing lights, arrived on the scene. Sam quickly put his mask on before the police arrived, hoping that the gang members wouldn't have had a good look at his face. He explained to the officers who these gang members where, and what they had done. He then began to fly away, when one of the policemen asked him who he was.

His response? "Call me... the LaserAvenger."

Sam didn't appear as LaserAvenger for a time after that, wanting to learn more about his powers. He also changed his major to physics, planning to specialize in the physics of light.

Through experimentation, Sam learned that the jewels on his wristbands somehow absorbed all forms of light, storing the energy for his use. While wearing these wristbands, Sam gained what he referred to as "photokinesis," or the ability to manipulate light. Among the specific abilities he discovered he had were:

The ability to fire lasers from his hands, controlling the intensity and size of the beams... if he held his hands in fists while firing these energy beams, the lasers would be a large, concentrated force... but if he spread his fingers, each finger would generate its own laser beam, of lesser intensity.

The ability to fly, which Sam theorized was by riding photons.

The ability to generate a force field of concentrated photons.

The ability to turn invisible, by warping light around him.

The ability to generate realistic holograms.

The ability to record visual information, which could be played back (without sound, natch) later in the form of a hologram. Unfortunately, this ability is inadmissable in court, because it could be argued that he was creating the playback himself.

The ability to generate blinding bursts of light.

LaserAvenger was the first of the modern super-heroes to pop up in the Seattle/Puget Sound area of Washington, and he feels a responsibility to set a good example for his fellow heroes, as well. He will not kill unless that is the only way to prevent innocents from becoming injured or killed... and then only as a last resort.

He's also the most publically-available of the super-heroes of the Seattle area, making contacts within the police force as well as the local media, and making regular appearances for charitable events. He also makes a point of visiting orphanages in the entire Puget Sound area, as well as visiting hospitals' children's wards.

Because of his demonstrated honesty and honor, his actions are rarely called into question by the police or the media. He recognizes this, and uses his fame and recognition to help promote causes he believes in, although he stays away from politics.

When the first modern-day superhero team was formed in the Seattle area, LaserAvenger was the natural leader of the group.

As he continues his crimefighting, LaserAvenger develops other abilities, although he still does not know where these wristbands came from, or exactly how they work.



This post... well, the one I did before it, but this one was in color, was the first post I made here to share some of my own comic book character concepts here. Since doing these posts, I've used this artwork exactly one other place: On my ComicSpace page.

I'm still no closer to using these characters than I was almost three years ago.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Found on eBay!


Head was the Monkees' foray into feature films. After a few seasons of their TV show, Peter, David, Mickey, and Michael were sick and tired of the grind, repetitive plots, and so on... they'd already rebelled against their music producer, Don Kirschner, getting him to leave so they could make their own music (Don went from there to produce the Archies' music for Filmation).

Head was written by Jack Nicholson, among other people, and featured a bunch of guest-stars, but there is no overall plot... in many ways, it's almost like a long-form Monty Python episode, as one bit leads into another one. If you haven't ever seen the movie, but you are a Monkees fan, I recommend it, but be aware it's not like the TV show!


I'm sure that the studio was hoping that the Monkees would come up with something much more like Help!, the Beatles' follow up movie to "A Hard Day's Night." I've written before about how the Beatles themselves didn't care for Help!, especially John, but I have to admit that I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this one, as I remember watching it with my family on NBC-TV when I was very young... and it must have been my entryway into Beatles fandom, I'm sure.


The movie's got some very funny bits in it, and of course, it's got some of the best of the Beatles' music, too!

The basic plot of the movie is this: An Indian cult needs to perform a ritual sacrifice, but the sacrifice has to be wearing this special ring... which has been sent to Ringo! So, as the Beatles travel around the world, the cultists are after Ringo and the ring. And eventually, the Beatles decide they've had enough, and go after the cultists themselves!


It's the kind of movie that I think only could've been made in the 60s... there is just so much stuff all over the place!


This sticker book has to have been produced concurrently with the Hulk TV series. I don't know who the artist of the cover was, but I wish I could ask him where the Hulk's right foot is supposed to be standing on!


Ideal's J.J. Armes was probably the ultimate of the "gimmick" action figures that the toy companies produced in the 1970s and early 80s, as they tried something to get the kids' allowances! J.J. was supposedly a real-life person who lost his arms, and used his custom-made "bionic" arms to be a private investigator, but I'm guessing it's nothing like the stuff this action figure came with!


I don't have any clever things to say or memories concerning this toy... I just think it looks neat!


Next time around... I'll start with King of the Rocketmen!


Give-A-Show Friday Double Feature!

We start off this week's Give-A-Show production with Bret and Bart Maverick!









And now, Wyatt Earp!









Next week, more Westerns!


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Flashback: Back to Normal!

Originally posted April 10, 2005: least for the time being, anyway!

I finished the last of the He-Man transcripts on Saturday (some great stuff in there, even if some of it won't be on the DVD, but I did promise not to post anything I did, so I won't say any more about that), and pretty much took Saturday night and all day Sunday to rest up and recover from it.

Actually, Friday's work (I had about 10 minutes of one left to do on Friday night) took me an incredibly long time to do... I'd caught this infernal stomach flu bug from hell, which lasted only about 12 hours, but it was the most physically painful 12 hours of my life... and Pepto-Bismol did nothing to help it during its peak!

Anyway... so I'll be back to posting fairly regularlly during the week here, but there will be an interruption over the following weekend, because my girlfriend Jessi and I will be moving in together! It'll be great... I'll be out of an apartment, and into a house, where I'll have my own office (Jessi will have one, too), plus we have a fenced backyard for Krypto and KO! Anyone who's reading this from the Olympia area, let me know... one of these days after we've got things settled down, we'll have a great housewarming party!


This post was done while I was in the midst of working on my first transcription job for Andy Mangels and BCI/Eclipse, for the big release of the He-Man DVDs. Andy was so happy with my productivity that I got the exclusive gig for the rest of the BCI sets Andy worked on!

And the stuff about the stomach bug? Well, some time after Jessi and I moved in together, I had the same pain again (sending me to the emergency room, where I got something to relieve the pain, but nothing else was done)... and then, of course, the day after we got married, the pain returned, and I had to get emergency gall bladder surgery. I suspect that what had really happened was that this was the first symptom of the gall bladder problems, but I could be wrong.

Jessi and I got married while we lived in the house I'm referring to above... but about a month or so afterwards, we had to move into the house we're renting right now!


Found on eBay!

And today, Found on eBay starts off (at least) with some more Hanna-Barbera stuff!


Like this frame-tray puzzle featuring Ruff and Reddy on the roller coaster! Ruff and Reddy were Hanna-Barbera's first characters created expressly for television.


Snagglepuss (accompanied by Yakky Doodle) appeared on quite a few pieces of merchandise, to my surprise...


...almost as surprising as the complete miscoloring of him on this sticker fun book's cover!


And talk about a surprise... this Space Ghost frame-tray puzzle doesn't even have Space Ghost on it, just his sidekicks, including monkey Blip!


At least he made it onto this puzzle, even if he had to share it with the sidekicks.


Not too much Top Cat stuff, comparitively speaking (that is, compared to Yogi and Huckleberry and the Flintstones, anyway)... this game is one of them!


This isn't that great a picture, but above is Penelope Pitstop's car from the Wacky Races... I think it's an assembeled copy of the model kit, but I could be mistaken.


Yakky Doodle here is an example of Marx Toys' Tinykins figures of the 1960s. They did a LOT of H-B characters, but I think this is the only one you'll see here!


I really like the box art of this Yogi Bear Colorforms toy... because it doesn't even look like a Colorforms product! It looks more like it should be the envelope art for a View-Master or Yogi stop-motion animation piece!


And I finish off this installment with the above Yogi Bear lamp, finishing off the Hanna-Barbera merchandise... at least for a long time!

Next installment? Well, remember I teased you before about a Pre-Fab Four, and started off with the Banana Splits? Well, next time will be THE Pre-Fab Four, and I am definitely talking about the Monkees!


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Comic Ad from Marvel November, 1976 Books!


An unsual entry in the Comic Ad gallery this time around, mainly because there's just so much stuff being offered in this ad that I have photos of to share!

Check out the real stuff that was offered here... first the Spidey and Hulk costumes...



And then here's the masks that I have in my photo library:





At least, so far as I know... those are the masks that were advertised here!


Flashback: The Beatles in "A Hard Day's Night"

Originally posted March 19, 2005

Originally uploaded by waffyjon.
Been a bit since I've posted anything here, so I figured I'd post a few more of these!

Someone at Dell Comics knew a good thing when they found it!

One of Dell's biggest-selling comic books for this year was their comic book adaptation of the Beatles movie "A Hard Day's Night."

I'm not sure who did the artwork on it... but whoever it was, they captured the look of John, Paul, George and Ringo very well... probably working from photos of the Fab Four taken both before and while the movie was in production. However, the other characters (i.e. Shake, Paul's Grandfather, etc.) don't bear much resemblance to their movie counterparts!

This is kind of surprising, considering there was a paperback book based on the movie, with loads of photos (been a while since I've seen a copy, but I seem to recall it was kind of fumetti style).

The movie is adapted faithfully... although whenever the Fab Four broke into song, instead of breaking it up into panels, the lucky reader was treated to a single full-page panel (these must have been drawn from stills taken during filming -- the cover image of the Beatles performing on TV is almost exactly duplicated in the drawn interiors), with the lyrics to the song being printed (yes, printed -- all typeset nice and everything) above the illustration.

Some bits of the movie were more or less dropped... i.e. John Lennon's visual pun on snorting Coke (Coca-Cola, to be exact), but overall, a very fine presentation of the movie in comics form!


This was, of course, another "Comics They Never Made" post, but it was also my first Beatles-related post!

I had fun imagining some authorized Beatles comics from the 1960s, and followed this up with a Dell Beatles #1, a Gold Key Help! adaptation, and a Beatles animated TV series #1 from Gold Key. I was considering doing a follow-up to Gold Key's Yellow Submarine adaptation (a real comic) with a "Beatles Adventures on the Yellow Submarine," but never got around to it!