Friday, May 06, 2005

Pop Artifact! Panasonic Toot-a-Loop radio


You remember Atlantis
Donovan, the guy with the brocade coat,
Used to sing to you about Atlantis
You loved it, you were so involved then
That was back in the days when you used to
Smoke a banana
You would scrape the stuff off the middle
You would smoke it
You even thought you was getting ripped from it
No problem
--Frank Zappa

Yeah, it's hard to live down that stuff about "electrical bananas." But let's talk for a moment about the true coolness of Donovan.

This is the guy who recorded "Hurdy Gurdy Man" backed by what would ultimately become Led Zeppelin. Paul McCartney played on that electric banana tune ("Mellow Yellow"). And, whilst meditating with them in India, Donovan taught the Beatles the fingerpicking guitar style that ended up all over the "White Album." It's said Don may've had a hand in writing "Yellow Submarine," too.

Ever heard "Season of the Witch"?

Donovan is cool. And it's about time what's happening is happening: Four of his prime albums are coming out again, remastered, with loads of extra tracks, due out May 10.

Here's a look-see:

Sunshine Superman

1. Sunshine Superman
2. Legend Of A Girl Child Linda
3. Three Kingfishers
4. Ferris Wheel
5. Bert's Blues
6. Season Of The Witch
7. Trip
8. Guinevere
9. Fat Angel
10. Celeste
11. Breezes Of Patchulie
12. Museum (First Version)
13. Superlungs (First Version)
14. Land Of Doesn't Have To Be
15. Sunshine Superman
16. Good Trip (Demo) (Mono)
17. House Of Jansch (Demo) (Mono)

Mellow Yellow

1. Mellow Yellow
2. Writer In The Sun
3. Sand & Foam
4. Observation
5. Bleak City Woman
6. House Of Jansch
7. Young Girl Blues
8. Museum
9. Hampstead Incident
10. Sunny South Kensington
11. Epistle To Dippy (Stereo)
12. Preachin' Love
13. Good Time
14. There Is A Mountain
15. Superlungs (Second Version)
16. Epistle To Dippy (Alternative Arr) (Stereo)
17. Sidewalk (The Observation) (Demo) (Mono)
18. Writer In The Sun (Demo) (Mono)
19. Hampstead Incident (Demo) (Mono)
20. Museum (Demo) (Mono)

Hurdy Gurdy Man

1. Hurdy Gurdy Man
2. Peregrine
3. Entertaining Of A Shy Girl
4. As I Recall It
5. Get Thy Bearings
6. Hi It's Been A Long Time
7. West Indian Lady
8. Jennifer Juniper
9. River Song
10. Tangier
11. Sunny Day
12. Sun Is A Very Magic Fellow
13. Teas
14. Teen Angel
15. Poor Cow
16. Lalena
17. Aye My Love (Mono)
18. What A Beautiful Creature You Are
19. Colours
20. Catch The Wind


1. Barabajagal
2. Superlungs My Supergirl
3. Where Is She
4. Happiness Runs
5. I Love My Shirt
6. Love Song
7. To Susan On The West Coast Waiting
8. Atlantis
9. Trudi
10. Pamela Jo
11. Stromberg Twins
12. Snakeskin
13. Lauretta's Cousin Laurinda
14. Swan (Lord Of The Reedy River)
15. Poor Man's Sunshine (Nativity)
16. New Years Resolution (Donovan's Celtic Jam)
17. Runaway (Demo)
18. Sweet Beverley (Demo)
19. Marjorie (Margarine) (Demo)
20. Little White Flower (Demo)
21. Good Morning Mr Wind (Demo)
22. Palais Girl (Demo)
23. Lord Of The Universe (Demo)

I also recently saw that Don's soundtrack to "Brother Sun and Sister Moon" is newly available via iTunes. And there's a collection of early demos, Sixty Four, available only at his official Web site.

New comics award named after Bill Finger

The award in honor of the Batman co-creator is for Excellence in Comic Book Writing and will be presented at this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego.

From the press release:

The first annual Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing will be given at this summer’s Comic-Con International: San Diego. The award will go to an individual for his or her lifetime contributions to the art of comic book writing.

Jerry Robinson spearheaded creation of the award to honor his friend and co-worker Bill Finger, who wrote the first Batman stories and created much of the Batman mythos in comics’ Golden Age.

Robinson will chair the five-person jury that will choose this year’s recipient. The other members of the jury are comics writer and historian Mark Evanier, cartoonist/screenwriter/playwright Jules Feiffer, comics writer/editor Denny O’Neill, and comics writer/editor/historian Roy Thomas.

The composition of the jury will change each year.

The first Finger Award recipient will be announced in June, and the award will be presented by Robinson during the Eisner Awards ceremony in San Diego on the evening of July 15. The initial winner will receive a plaque, but plans are for the award to have its own special design in future years. The award will fall under the auspices of Comic-Con International and will be administered by Eisner Awards administrator Jackie Estrada.

The first year of the award will be underwritten by DC Comics; sponsorship will be open to other companies in future years. In supporting the award, DC Publisher Paul Levitz says, “I grew up loving Bill's writing in comics and on TV, without knowing who he was, and then had the privilege of being the person to whom he delivered his very last script. His accomplishments were as oversize as the props he loved to include in his stories."

The jury is currently accepting suggestions for consideration for the award. Any comics writer, living or dead, published in any country, who has produced a significant body of creative comics writing is eligible.

Anyone who would like to suggest nominees for the award can e-mail names to Jackie Estrada (, who will pass them along to Robinson.

“Unfortunately, Finger died mostly forgotten and unheralded except among his colleagues and comics historians,” says Robinson. “Establishing this award in his name will help remedy that wrong.”

About Bill Finger:Bill Finger (1914–1974), the unsung hero and co-creator of Batman, scripted the first and many of the best Batman stories during the Golden Age of comic books.

He created many of the series’ most notable characters, including the Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, and Two-Face, and he made significant refinements to Batman’s concept and persona.

Finger wrote the scripts that introduced the Bat Cave, Batmobile, Batplane, and Batsignal. Many terms he created, such as the Dynamic Duo and Gotham City, have become part of our lexicon.

Finger was a craftsman, and his Batman’s adventures were carefully plotted, as well as being imbued with humor and sprightly repartee. Above all, he was a visual writer—he knew instinctively what the artist could translate into compelling pictures and sequential narrative.

Finger’s comics writing credits include many other DC characters, including the Green Lantern and Wildcat, and many titles for Quality Comics, Fawcett Publications, and Timely Comics. His television credits include episodes of 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, the animated New Adventures of Superman, and the primetime Batman series.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Those taskmasters, the Kents

Again, lifted from the "recycled images" thread at the DC Archives Message Board.

I love the sound of breaking desks

The "recycled images" thread over at the DC Archives Message Board continues:

At long last: The Cameo-Parkway box set

Four CDs of goodness: Featuring 117 singles (74 of them chart hits), The Cameo Parkway Story 1957-1967 looks like a real gem.

None of these tracks has seen legitimate release on CD before, and the box is the ONLY domestic release I've seen of ? and the Mysterians' "96 Tears."

It's out May 17 and available for pre-order now from Amazon and elsewhere.

Here's a peek at the track list:

Disc: 1
1. Butterfly - Charlie Gracie
2. Fabulous - Charlie Gracie
3. Race For Time - Jerry Arnold & The Rhythm Captains
4. Sing Sing Sing - Benie Lowe Orchestra
5. You're The Greatest - Billy Scott
6. Over The Weekend - The Playboys
7. Night Time Pete Antell
8. Memory Lane - The Hippies (Formerly The Tams)
9. Silhouettes - The Rays
10. Daddy Cool - The Rays
11. Back To School Again - Timmie Rogers
12. The Class - Chubby Checker
13. Bad Motorcycle - The Storey Sisters
14. Shake A Hand - Mike Pedicin Quintet
15. Dinner With Drac Part 1 - John Zacherle
16. Mexican Hat Rock - The Applejacks
17. Nine More Miles - Georgie Young and The Rockin' Bocs
18. Birds And Bees - The Temptations
19. Two Weeks With Pay - Georgie Young and The Rockin' Bocs
20. Rocka-Conga - The Applejacks
21. Kissin' Time - Bobby Rydell
22. We've Got Love - Bobby Rydell
23. The Twist - Chubby Checker
24. Wild One - Bobby Rydell
25. Swingin' School - Bobby Rydell
26. Pony Time - Chubby Checker
27. Teach Me To Twist - Chubby Checker & Bobby Rydell
28. Let's Twist Again - Chubby Checker
29. Bristol Stomp - The Dovells
30. The Wah Watusi - The Orlons
31. Merry Christmas - The Cameos

Disc: 2
1. Slow Twistin' - Chubby Checker (with Dee Dee Sharp)
2. Mashed Potato Time - Dee Dee Sharp
3. Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes) - Dee Dee Sharp
4. Don't Hang Up - The Orlons
5. Ride - Dee Dee Sharp
6. Do The New Continental - The Dovells
7. The Popeye Waddle - Don Covay
8. Limbo Rock - Chubby Checker
9. The Cha Cha Cha - Bobby Rydell
10. Volare - Bobby Rydell
11. Sweet Georgia Brown - Carroll Bros.
12. Back To School One More Time - Jerry Blavat
13. (I'm The Girl From) Wolverton Mountain - Jo Ann Campbell
14. Rowdy - Clint Eastwood
15. Forget Him - Bobby Rydell
16. Mother Please! - Jo Ann Campbell
17. Come On And Dance With Me - Billy Abbott and The Jewels
18. Groovy Baby - Billy Abbott and The Jewels
19. The Jam Part 1 - Bobby Gregg and His Friends
20. You Can't Sit Down - The Dovells
21. South Street - The Orlons
22. Everybody South Street - The Taffys
23. Do The Bird - Dee Dee Sharp
24. Not Me - The Orlons
25. Cross Fire! - The Orlons
26. (Everybody Do) The Swim - The Marlins
27. The 81 - Candy and The Kisses
28. Daydreamin' Of You - The Dreamers
29. Swans
30. Jingle Bell Rock - Chubby Checker & Bobby Rydell

Disc: 3
1. So Much In Love - The Tymes
2. Wonderful! Wonderful! - The Tymes
3. Just One Chance - The Sparklettones
4. I'll Be True - Johnny Maestro
5. Hey Good Lookin' - Billy Abbott and The Jewels
6. Somewhere - The Tymes
7. You'll Never Walk Alone - Patti LaBelle and Her Blue Belles
8. Danny Boy - Patti LaBelle and Her Blue Belles
9. Cast Your Fate To The Wind - Sounds Orchstral
10. It Only Took A Minute - Joe Brown and The Bruvvers
11. Long Tall Sally - The Kinks
12. Boys - Pete Best
13. You Still Want Me - The Kinks
14. League
15. Tossing & Turning - The Ivy League
16. She's Fallen In Love With The Monster Man - Screamin' Lord Sutch
17. Wild Thing - Senator Bobby
18. Little White House - Len Barry
19. Fool, Fool, Fool - Joey and The Flips
20. Gilr From New York City - The GTOs
21. Society Girl - The Rag Dolls
22. Soldier Baby Of Mine - Candy and The Kisses
23. S.O.S. (Heart In Distress) - Christine Cooper
24. Because of My Heart - Frankie Beverly and The Butlers
25. Heartaches Away My Boy - Christine Cooper
26. Got To Run - Vickie Baines
27. My Boy - The Stylettes
28. White Christmas (3 O'Clock Weather Report) - Bobby The Poet

Disc: 4
1. Agel Of The Morning - Evie Sands
2. The Love Of A Boy - Evie Sands
3. This Can't Be True - Eddie Holman
4. World Of Fantasy - The Five Stairsteps
5. Come Back - The Five Stairsteps
6. Am I A Loser - Eddie Holman
7. Danger! She's A Stranger - The Five Stairsteps
8. Meet Me In The Church - Bobby Marchan
9. You've Been Untrue - The Delfonics
10. Get A Hold Of Yourself - The Persians
11. He Don't Really Love You - The Delfonics
12. The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven - Chris Bartley
13. The Grass Will Sing For You - Lonnie Youngblood
14. I (Who Have Nothing) - Terry Knight and The Pack
15. Beg, Borrow And Steal - Ohio Express
16. 96 Tears - ? & The Mysterians
17. I Need Somebody - ? & The Mysterians
18. East Side Story - Bob Seger and The Last Heard
19. Can't Get Enough Of You, Baby - ? & The Mysterians
20. Respect - The Rationals
21. Marchan
22. Let The Good Times Roll & Feel So Good - Bunny Sigler
23. Heavy Music Part 1 - Bob Seger and The Last Heard
24. Lovey Dovey/You're So Fine - Bunny Sigler
25. Sock It To Me Santa - Bob Seger and The Last Heard

DVD boxes up best of Fred and Ginger

Astaire & Rogers: The Signature Collection - Volume One is due out Aug. 16 and features remastered versions of "The Barkleys of Broadway," "Follow the Fleet," "Shall We Dance," "Swing Time" and "Top Hat."

The films also will be available individually.

Disney announces "Timeless Tales" DVDs

Due out Aug. 16, these disks will each feature short-length animation features.

Walt Disney's Timeless Tales: Volume 1 will include "The Prince and the Pauper," "Three Little Pigs," "The Tortoise and the Hare," plus two others.

Volume 2 will include "Ugly Duckling," "The Country Cousin, "The Wind in the Willows" and two more.


Original comic art collector has posted scans to the complete Jack Kirby-drawn "Fantastic Four #53" over on the great Comic Art Fans site.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Doctor Who: Welsh origins of the Daleks

Another great audio documentary from the BBC: "Back in Time," looks at the history of Dr. Who's arch enemies and their creator, Welsh script writer Terry Nation. Features interviews with Nation, the new "Doctor Who" production team and more.

Also available for listening, part two of the radio drama "Doctor Who: The Ghosts of N Space."

Looking ahead: Upcoming Marvel Comics releases

Doing the Amazon crystal ball thing, here's what Marvel has in the works well into next year:

August 2005
Mary Jane Vol. 2: Homecoming (Spider-Man)
Runaways Volume 1 HC
Avengers West Coast: Vision Quest TPB (Avengers)
House of M: Excalibur - Prelude
Marvel Visionaries: John Romita Sr.
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 13: Hobgoblin
Doctor Spectrum: Full Spectrum TPB
X-Force: Shatterstar TPB (X-Force)

September 2005
Astonishing X-Men Vol. 2: Dangerous
The Ultimates 2 Vol. 1: Gods And Monsters
Avengers: The Serpent Crown

October 2005
New X-Men: Hellions Tpb
Wolverine: Enemy of the State, Vol. 1

November 2005
New Invaders Volume 2 Tpb
Black Panther: Who Is The Black Panther Tpb
Wolverine Volume 5 Tpb
Secret War Tpb
X-Men: The End Volume 2: Heroes And Martyrs Tpb
Ultimate Fantastic Four Volume 4 Tpb
Fantastic Four: Invulnerable Tpb
Marvel Team-Up Volume 2 Tpb
Uncanny X-Men - The New Age Volume 4 Tpb

December 2005
New Warriors Volume 1 Tpb
The Eternal (Marvel Heroes)

January 2006
X-Men: Kitty Pryde - Shadow & Flame TPB
The Thing TPB

April 2006
Punisher MAX Volume 6: TPB

Pop Artifact! Spider-Man hopper toy

New CD releases of note

May 3

Solomon Burke Live at the House of Blues (1994 album) and Soul of the Blues (1993 album)
Bill Cosby When I Was a Kid
The Go-Betweens Oceans Apart
Aimee Mann The Forgotten Arm
The Partridge Family Come On, Get Happy!: The Very Best of
The Raveonettes Pretty in Black
XTC The Compact, The Singles 1978-85
VA The Official Album of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary
OCR Monty Python's Spamalot

May 10
Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs
Louis Armstrong In Scandanavia 1933-1952, Volume One
Badfinger Day After Day: Live
Alice Coltrane Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana
Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends and Hands of Jack the Ripper
Sons of the Pioneers featuring Roy Rogers Under Western Skies - Vintage Performances 1934-1935
DVD Son Volt Live from Austin
Lucinda Williams Live at the Fillmore

"Sith" ain't for kids

Says The Associated Press:

"Episode III Revenge of the Sith" is the first "Star Wars" tale to receive a PG-13 rating. The movie was screened for reporters Tuesday night at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, and the PG-13 rating "for sci-fi violence and some intense images" is well-deserved.

The action is relentless and includes sequences more dark and disturbing than anything previously seen in the tragic Skywalker soap opera.

..."We're getting a lot of flak from parents, a lot of people saying how can you do this? My children love these movies. Why can you not let them go see it?" ["Star Wars" creator George]Lucas told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "But I have to tell a story. I'm not making these, oddly enough, to be giant, successful blockbusters. I'm making them because I'm telling a story, and I have to tell the story I intended."

Don't worry, though, "Star Wars" toys will still be aggressively marketed to children on TV and in fast food restaurants from the moment they're born.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Details on "The Batman: Training for Power"

The first DVD featuring episodes of "The Batman" animated series will be out from Warner Home Video May 24.

According to WHV, the disk includes three episodes:

"The Bat in the Belfry" - The Batman finds himself dealing with a new breed of criminal when The Joker takes over Arkham Asylum then plans to fly a hot air balloon filled with Joker Gas--a toxin that leaves its victims in a strange "rictus" state--and release its contents all over Gotham!

"Traction" - The Batman battles the masked criminal Bane, and once Bane activates his chemical-steroid-infusion, Batman finds himself outmatched by brute strength.

"Call of the Cobblepot" - "Ozzy" Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, has delusions of rebuilding the lost Cobblepot fortune, via high-flying robberies employing various trained birds. Unaware of Cobblepot's criminal plans, Alfred goes to the dilapidated Cobblepot mansion where he is ensnared by Ozzy. Penguin will let his hungry birds feast upon Alfred, unless The Batman can rescue him in time.

Extras include:
  • The Batman Junior Detective Challenge - show off detection skills to unlock exclusive content
  • "Building the Batman" featurette - join Detective Ellen Yin's search for The Batman's true identity
  • "Cape & Cowl" toy Easter Egg

The DVD is available for pre-order from Amazon now.

Pop Artifact! The Land That Time Forgot movie poster

Monday, May 02, 2005

Pop Artifact! Banana Splits doll

First Shuster Awards winners announced

The Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards are named after Joe Shuster, co-creator of Superman.

This year's winners include:
  • Outstanding Achievement: Dave Sim and Gerhard for the completion of their 300-issue series, Cerebus.
  • Outstanding Writer (tie): Sara "Samm" Barnes for Doctor Spectrum and Ty Templeton for Batman Adventures.
  • Outstanding Artist: Kaare Andrews for Spider-Man & Doctor Octopus: Year One.
  • Outstanding Cartoonist: Darwyn Cooke for DC: The New Frontier.
  • Outstanding publisher: Arcana Studio
  • Retailer Recognition Award (posthumous): Harry Kremer, Now & Then Books in Kitchener, Ont.
  • Hall Of Fame (all posthumous): Joe Shuster; Leo Bachle A.K.A. Les Barker, creator of Johnny Canuck; Adrian Dingle, creator of Triumph; Hal Foster, creator of Prince Valiant; Ed Furness, artist on Commander Steele; Rand Holmes, creator of underground comic strip, Harold Hedd.

The awards were made last Saturday at the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon.

Meet "subway" Spike

It's the newest 12-inch "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" figure from Sideshow Toys. Based on Spike's flashback appearance in the "Fool for Love" episode, it'll be available for pre-order soon.

"Tex," new western comic by Kubert due soon

"Tex the Lonesome Rider," featuring 240(!) pages of black-and-white art by the master cartoonist is based on a hugely popular Italian comics series that had its start more than 50 years ago. Italian publisher Sergio Bonelli persuaded Kubert's pal Ervin Rustemagic to have Kubert do the graphic novel, which has been translated into English and is available via Kubert's Web site.

The book is available signed with an optional dedication for $25, unsigned for $15.95 and with an original Kubert sketch for $150.