Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tony And Ditko!

My pal Tony Isabella is blogging about a story he wrote "long ago" (well, the 80's -- really, is that "long ago" now?) for illustrator-supreme Steve Ditko. He's got the finished pages, the Isabella scripts and Ditko's pencils, so this is serious business and well worth checking out. If you're as big a Ditko (and Tony!) fan as moi, you'll be careening over to --


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kind Words From The Boss...

From Radio & TV Talk, 9/17/11...

Q: How did you feel about the first season of “Falling Skies” on TNT? [Spielberg is an executive producer.]

Spielberg: It played great. It even hooked me. I don’t think I missed a week of ‘Falling Skies’ on broadcast. I watched while it was being aired, not on DVD. There’s something thrilling about watching it with millions of people at the same time. I couldn’t have been prouder of the producer and writers and actors. They did a great job. I was really happy for Noah Wyle [the lead.] I helped hire him on ‘E.R.’ years ago with John Wells and director Ron Holcomb. I was really proud to have Noah deliver this kind of success to all of us.

See the whole interview at:


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Compassionate Conservatism

Must see TV: Televangelist Pat Robertson makes his TV co-host gulp when his advice to a man who's wife has developed severe Alzheimers is "divorce her and start over."


Monday, September 12, 2011

My Anthony Perkins Story

Actor Anthony Perkins, best known for playing Norman Bates in Psycho, died this day in 1992. He was a fine actor, rather unfairly typecast after Psycho, but better to be known for something than nothing...

I literally bumped into Perkins once, sometime in the mid-80's outside the Golden Apple comic book shop (back when it was on Melrose Blvd. near the old Aron's Records). Perkins was coming out of the store as I was heading in. I of course recognized him, but not as violently as another guy coming down the street, who did a double take and walked head first into a light post. There was a modest "clang" from his noggin making contact. Perkins looked at him a moment, then shrugged at me and carried on. I'm guessing this wasn't the first time he'd experienced this sort of reaction, nor would it be the last...

I didn't say it was a particularly INTERESTING story...

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Politics - You've Got To Be Kidding But I Know You're Not Dept.

I don't go political on this blog very often (I could fill pages, believe me!), but sometimes I read/see pieces that simply leave my jaw hanging. This is a recent example:


I Buy, They Reprint

It has become a curious fact that when I "discover" a new comics passion and throw myself into finding/buying the old books, it inevitably means someone is about to reprint those books in a much cheaper and easily accessible format.

A few years ago I discovered the insanity of artist Fletcher Hanks and haunted eBay and conventions until I managed to find every single one of his stories. Turns out author Paul Karasik was equally obsessed, actually even more so, since he managed to get every one of the stories back in full-color print from Fantagraphics. (Many of the pages taken from my scans!)

I never figured Marvel would get around to reprinting the golden age Captain America series past Jack Kirby's run (1 - 10), so I've been collecting the later issues for years. Whoops. Here comes the Marvel Masterworks reprints of the later issues (which are fantastic, by the way!)

Most recently (like the last three years) I've been gathering up issues of Venus, an obscure Marvel/Atlas title from the early 50's that is notable, in the later issues, for some amazing stories and artwork by Sub-Mariner creator Bill Everett. Guess what Marvel's just released in super-swank hardcover? Yep, the collected Venus. Issues # 1-9 just came out, and they aren't even the good ones! Everett's run starts later, in issues 10 through 19, which will be the next volume in the series.

I'm "this close" to completing a run of DC's Rex The Wonder Dog series from the 50's, so I anticipate these will be next up. (For those not in the know, the Rex stories aren't all that great, but many issues also feature Detective Chimp back-ups with amazing artwork by Carmine Infantino...)

Just so I can save some money and buy the reprint(s) later, if anyone is planning to reprint artist Al Feldstein's amazingly sexual "teenage" comics -- Junior, Sunny and Corliss Archer, all from Fox Comics in the late 40's/early 50's -- please tell me! If you haven't seen these, you're in for a treat... truth is, these Archie-esque teenage books were always mostly an excuse to draw pretty young ladies in occasionally daring attire, but Feldstein takes it to the Nth degree. His ladies don't just have bosums, they have breasts, straining against their sweaters and swimsuits like a boxer's fists. And Feldstein lovingly delineates every fold, crease and curve. But that's not what really makes these amazing. Feldstein draws EVERY woman in these stories with the same eye-popping detail. Elderly spinster school-marms, chubby matrons, it doesn't matter who, they're all sporting chests desperately straining to escape the custody of their clothing. Of course the characters are mostly oblivious to this hyper-sexualization, which makes it even more surreal.

Anyhow, publishers, start your engines and get these back on the stands and in the prurient hands of readers everywhere!

Saturday, September 03, 2011


Steve Bissette regularly posts cool newspaper clippings from the glory days of drive-ins, world of "25 cents a carload!" and delirious triple bills that often make no thematic sense. Steve rightly notes that obscura fans like to remember driving fifty miles to see an Andy Milligan triple bill (I took a girl to "The Rats Are Coming, The Werewolves Are Here" at a drive-in and actually watched the movie -- idiot!!) or lowbrow junk like "I Spit On Your Grave." But the vast majority of drive-in double bills were standard studio fare starring Doris Day, Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, and evidently many, many movies with Ernest Borgnine.

I just love the chintzy way the ads are thrown together, and the little taglines/filler. Under an ad for "Atom Age Vampire", "Vampire And The Ballerina" and "The Vampire" there's a tiny 10 point blurb: "Get more out of life... go to a movie!" Feels almost apologetic.

The rest of Steve's site is equally glorious, with plenty of comics and movie stuff. Well worth checking out!