Friday, December 19, 2014

Pop culture roundup: Star Wars; Paddington; Dickens; Johnny Cash

With Marvel ramping up to publish a slate of new "Star Wars" titles, along with reprints of its 1970s and 80s "Star Wars" titles, here's a selection of covers from the publisher's "Star Wars Weekly," which appeared in Britain.

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A new live-action "Paddington" film is coming out. BBC Radio 4 interviews author Michael Bond about the bear's creation.

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Listen to author Neil Gaimin read Charles Dickens' hand-edited version of "A Christmas Carol."

...[Dickens] did that hand editing for the purposes of giving public readings, a practice that, in his time, “was considered a desecration of one’s art and a lowering of one’s dignity.” That time, however, has gone, and many of the most prestigious writers alive today take the reading aloud of their own work to the level of art, or at least high entertainment, that Dickens must have suspected one could.
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 Check out Johnny Cash's 1970s TV Christmas specials, featuring guest stars Steve Martin, Andy Kaufman, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and more.

Fab Friday: Vintage Beatles pictures











Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Video find: Brigitte Bardot & Sacha Distel - La Bise Aux Hippies


Marvel announces mammoth "King-Size Kirby" tribute

Now that Marvel and the Jack Kirby Estate have negotiated themselves into a healthier relationship, the publisher plans to pay tribute to the legendary creator's contributions in a, literally, big way.

"King-Size Kirby" is an oversized 800-page hardcover highlighting Kirby's many works for Marvel, where he co-created Captain America, Thor, Hulk, the X-Men, Fantastic Four and many other characters. The book will be out in July.

Here's the press release:

Hail to the King With the KING-SIZE KIRBY Collection!

He’s the King of Comics. A man who left an indelible mark upon the medium, using his peerless imagination to create some of the greatest stories and characters ever told. In 2015, celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s incredible contribution to comic book history in the monumental, decades-spanning KING-SIZE KIRBY HARDCOVER collection!

Presented in Marvel’s Adamantium-sized format, this titanic tome clocks in at more than 800 pages of Kirby’s finest stories and stands more than a foot tall! For the first time ever, fans will be able to experience these truly genre-defining stories in a format that complements Jack Kirby’s unsurpassed art and storytelling abilities.

“If there were a Mount Rushmore of American comic book artists, Jack Kirby would be front and center,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso.
Whether it was westerns, romance, war, horror, sci-fi, humor or super heroes – Jack Kirby could do it all! From Captain America punching Adolf Hitler to the super heroic creation of the Fantastic Four, X-Men and Avengers on to the far-out space opera of the Eternals, savor Jack Kirby’s most iconic comics in this one, unforgettable collection.

“Fans should reinforce their bookshelves and coffee tables,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “This one is going to be huge – literally! We’re aiming to bring fans the ultimate collection, the ultimate collectable and the definitive Jack Kirby experience. The King of Comics deserves no less.”
This summer, experience the work of Jack Kirby brought to life like never before. A collection for the ages, experience the groundbreaking storytelling of one of the medium’s greatest pioneers when the KING-SIZE KIRBY HARDCOVER hits stores in July! Hail to the King.

KING-SIZE KIRBY collects material from RED RAVEN #1; MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #13; CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS (1941) #1, 7; TALES TO ASTONISH #5; RAWHIDE KID #17; AMAZING ADVENTURES (1961) #1, STRANGE TALES #89, #94 and #114; TEEN-AGE ROMANCE #84; FANTASTIC FOUR #1, #48-51, #57-60 and ANNUAL #5; INCREDIBLE HULK #3; TWO-GUN KID #60; LOVE ROMANCES #103; AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8; SGT. FURY #6 and #13; AVENGERS #4; TALES OF SUSPENSE #59; X-MEN #9; THOR #134-136 and #155-157; NOT BRAND ECHH #1; AMAZING ADVENTURES (1970) #1-2; CAPTAIN AMERICA’S BICENTENNIAL BATTLES; CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #200; ETERNALS #7; DEVIL DINOSAUR #1; and WHAT IF? #11




Video: Ian McKellan on "Sesame Street"


Video find: Marvin Gaye performs "What's Goin' On"

Merry Christmas from Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

90-year-old Jack Davis is retiring from art

Famed for his work for Mad Magazine and numerous other publications, movie posters, album covers and more, artist Jack Davis has announced he's calling it quits at age 90.
It’s not that the iconic 90-year-old cartoonist can’t draw anymore—he just can’t meet his own standards. “I’m not satisfied with the work,” Davis says by phone from his rural Georgia home. “I can still draw, but I just can’t draw like I used to.”

Davis has probably spent more time in America’s living rooms than anyone. Mad was a million-seller when Davis was on the mag, and when he was doing TV Guide covers in the 1970s, the publication boasted a circulation of over 20 million. Yet, Davis is largely unaware of his massive cultural significance. “I never really thought about that, but I guess I’m very blessed,” he says. “I’ve been very lucky.”