Friday, January 06, 2006

Announcing: The Saturday Picture Page!

Tune in tomorrow for a big pageful of pics from the 1960s "Batman" TV series.

Pop Artifact! Walt Disney character target set



See the Best Disney Sites on the Web.

Vintage DC Comics house ad

Today in gratuitous Barbara Eden pics



"I Dream of Jeannie" on DVD March 14.

Jack Kirby documentary details

Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort got an advance look at the "Jack Kirby: Storyteller" feature that will appear on the expanded version of "The Fantastic Four" movie DVD and shared some details with the Kirby-L mailing list:

It's an hour in length, covers pretty much Kirby's entire life, and
is profusely illustrated with tons of Jack's art, including pencil-
copies clearly provided by John Morrow. An all-star cast of industry greats turn
up to speak about Jack's work and their experiences with him (Barry Windsor-
Smith, Neal Adams, Steve Rude, Bruce Timm, John Romita, Joe Sinnott, Tim Sale, etc), as well as such Kirbyphiles as Mark Evanier, Steve Sherman, Mike Royer, Mike Thibodeaux and author Walter Mosley. Extensively interviewed are Neal and Lisa Kirby, who've provided dozens of family photos of Jack from throughout his
lifetime, most of which were new to me.

Drawbacks: don't know if it was a DC thing or a Marvel thing, but
none of Jack's DC artwork is shown. Kirby's work on the Fourth World books
is discussed, as is the Simon & Kirby era of NEWSBOY LEGION, BOY COMMANDOS and the like, but without illustration. And the film skips over any mention of the Kirby/Marvel artwork situation of the '80s--it gets into Jack's
feelings that he hadn't been properly compensated (Evanier points out that if Kirby
had been able to receive the standard arrangement that was in place at the major
companies by 1985, he would have been a very happy man), but doesn't dwell on the
original art situation.


The expanded/director's cut version of the "Fantastic Four" will be out in April or so.

More Jack Kirby.

"(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" The Ramrods: Today's Best Song Ever

Twangy guitars are cool. Wordless female soprano vocals are cool. Sound effects are cool. Song titles featuring needless parentheses are cool. So how could this song possibly not be on your MP3 player?

Vaughn Monroe, of course, did the great hit vocal version of this, but the Ramrods rock it up with lots of surfy guitars and loads of echo that make you feel like you're drivin' them doggies over some spooky hill in the middle of the night.

This was from the days when songs sonically evoked something: a mood, a place, a feeling. Sure, it all seems kinda campy now with those "Star Trek" theme-sounding vocalizations and the guys shouting "ha! git along!", not to mention the cattle sound effects, but you gotta love it.

Available: Rock Instrumental Classics 2

Previous Best Song Ever.

Pop Culture Roundup for Jan. 6, 2006

WFMU presents 27 MP3s of musicians saying stuff they probably shouldn't while on stage.

-----------

Concerts on NPR: The White Stripes and M. Ward.
-----------

Sad news: Singer Barry Cowsill is dead. He'd been missing in New Orleans ever since Hurricane Katrina struck the city.

-----------

Datajunkie celebrates the birthday of Flash Gordon with lots of comic art and old time radio episodes.

-----------

Drawn! discovers a whole lotta pin-up art.

-----------

Comic Book Galaxy has a preview of Barry Windsor Smith's upcoming graphic novel featuring the Fantastic Four's Ben Grimm.

----------

Five souped-up James Bond movie boats are on display at New York National Boat Show.

----------

"The Art of Ray Harryhausen," out in March features production art, photos of props and storyboards from the stop-motion king's films.

----------

Richard Branson's Virgin company is launching a comics-and-animation branch.

----------

Singer Lou Rawls has passed away.

Top 10 graphic novels, DVDs, CDs and action figures Jan. 6, 2006

At Amazon:

Graphic Novels

1. Watchmen

2. Black Hole

3. The Walking Dead Vol. 4: The Heart's Desire

4. Serenity

5. V for Vendetta

6. The ACME Novelty Library #16

7. Astonishing X-Men Vol. 2: Dangerous

8. Girl on Girl (Y: The Last Man, Book 6)

9. Frank Miller's Complete Sin City Library [Amazon.com Exclusive]

10. The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes

DVDs

1. Wedding Crashers - Uncorked (Unrated Widescreen Edition)

2. Serenity (Widescreen Edition)

3. March of the Penguins (Widescreen Edition)

4. Firefly - The Complete Series

5. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Unrated Widescreen Edition)

6. Battlestar Galactica - Season 2.0

7. Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition)

8. What the Bleep Do We Know!?

9. Lost - The Complete First Season

10. The Constant Gardener (Widescreen Edition)

CDs

1. First Impressions of Earth [Explicit Lyrics] ~ The Strokes

2. Born to Run: 30th Anniversary 3-Disc Set [Original recording remastered] ~ Bruce Springsteen

3. Illinois ~ Sufjan Stevens

4. The Essential Johnny Cash [Limited Edition] [Original recording remastered] ~ Johnny Cash

5. Our New Orleans: A Benefit Album for the Gulf Coast ~ Various Artists

6. Extraordinary Machine ~ Fiona Apple

7. Aerial ~ Kate Bush

8. Prairie Wind ~ Neil Young

9. Get Behind Me Satan ~ The White Stripes

10. The Legend [Box set] ~ Johnny Cash

Action Figures

1. Marvel Legends Sentinel Series Figure: Cyclops

2. Marvel Legends-Sentinel Series-Angel (Blue-White)

3. Marvel Legends Sentinel Series Figure: 1st Appearance Spider-Man

4. Kong The 8th Wonder of the World: Supreme Kong

5. Marvel Legends-Sentinel Series-Angel Blue

6. Marvel Legends Sentinel Series Figure: Mr. Sinister

7. GI Joe vs. Cobra Valor vs. Venom Heavy Assault Squad

8. The Chronicles of Narnia Action Figure: Minotaur

9. The Corpse Bride 12" Fashion Doll

10. Star Wars Episode III Battlepack Figures: Rebel Vs. Empire

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pop Artifact! Space Safari play set



DVD cover art for "Doctor Who: The Beginning"



The DVD set, which collects the Doctor's three earliest adventures, is due out March 28.

See the Best Doctor Who Sites on the Web.

Today in gratuitous pics of Barbara Eden

Final "Teen Titans" eps set to air on Cartoon Network

According to Comics Continuum, the animated series winds up with:

* "Calling All Titans" this Saturday at 8 p.m.

* "Titans Together" on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m.

* "Things Change" on Monday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m.

See the Best Teen Titans Sites on the Web.

Pop Culture Roundup for Jan. 5, 2006

Sequential Tart has an interview with the great Silver Age comics artist Nick Cardy.

Cartoonist Seth is profiled in Toronto Life.

Jon Stewart will host this year's Academy Awards ceremony.

The fifth, and final, season of HBO's "Six Feet Under" is due out on DVD March 28.

Good listening on the BBC: Brian Wilson on "Sold on Song," an 80th birthday tribute to Beatles producer George Martin, Ricky Gervais' Christmas show.

DVD Review: "Moog"



An electrical engineer with mad scientist hair, a nerd shirt and a pocketful of pens: One of the great musical minds of the 20th century. Who'dve thunk?

But that was Robert Moog, inventor of the synthesizer that bears his frequently mispronounced last name (it rhymes with "vogue"). Just flip on the radio and you'll hear his influence. His invention, for the first time, put the ability to create electronic music into the hands of the masses.

Musicians and music producers went nuts about the first Moog when it was introduced in the late 1960s--some because they thought the machine could replace expensive session musicians, others because they wanted to create heretofore unheard sounds.

And while the electronic and computerized instruments heard on songs today may not be directly Moog derived, they certainly come by it indirectly. He opened the door to both technological and musical innovation.

This film, made by director Hans Fjellstad, shortly before Moog's August 2005 death, does a great job showing how it all went down. And it doubles as a remarkable piece of history. When before have we been able to view an inventor talking directly to those who use his invention, as we see Moog doing here?

There are great scenes of Moog visiting with French composer Gershon Kingsley (remember the music from Disney's "Electrical Parade" and the hit "Popcorn"?), P-Funk's Bernie Worrell and prog rocker Keith Emerson (yeah, there was a downside to Dr. Moog's machine...)

Moog himself comes across as mildly eccentric but down to earth and humble. Scenes from his lab and his explanations of how the synthesizer works are fascinating.

There are a few missing pieces of course. It would've been nice to see more attention given to other prominent Moogists such as Walter/Wendy Carlos (whose Switched on Bach made Moog a household name), the Beatles (the Moog is all over Abbey Road) and Stevie Wonder (who made the Moog funky), but that's no reason not to highly recommend a thoroughly entertaining and informative film.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pop Artifact! Man from U.N.C.L.E. wallet



Vintage DC Comics house ad



See the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

Today in gratuitous Barbara Eden pics



"I Dream of Jeannie" on DVD March 14.

DC Superheroes action figures: new and upcoming

The DC Superheroes figures are sorta DC's versions of the popular, super-articulated Marvel Legends action figures. But DC. Anyway, the first batch is out now and includes:

Bat Signal Batman
Bane
Scarecrow
Killer Croc


According to Action Figure.com, upcoming waves include:

Wave 2 in March:

Superman
Bizarro
Doomsday
Supergirl


Wave 3 in "mid 2006":

Battle-Damaged Batman
Azreal
Robin


Wave 4 in "late 2006":

Stealth Jump Batman
Batgirl
Two-Face


Wave 5, "end of 2006":

Battle-Damaged Superman
Lex Luthor
Brainiac
Darkseid

Book collects best of Harvey Kurtzman's "Help!"

A must-have solicited in this month's Previews catalog:

BEST OF HELP MAGAZINE VOL 1 TPby Kurtzman, Davis, Elder, Rorh, Wilson, Severin, and Various 160 pages of
Harvey Kurtzman insanity from this classic humor magazine. His usual gang of
idiots help out, including, Jack Davis, Will Elder, John Severin, Arnold
Roth, Gahan Wilson, Paul Coker, Gloria Steinem, and many more. Loads of
cartoons and strips by the masters of parody, and articles and features from
the top wits of the time. Also included is a rare twelve page interview with
Kurtzman done while he was editing Help! (CAUT: 4) SC, 8x11, 160pgs, B&W
SRP: $25.00


In other Kurtzman news, Fantagraphics has another of its "Comics Journal Library" volumes coming out later this year dedicated to the great cartoonist. According to Amazon, "The Comics Journal Library Vol. 7: Harvey Kurtzman," is set for publication in July.

Pop Culture Roundup Jan. 4, 2006

NPR has a story about the new "Masters of American Comics" book.

Live concerts on NPR: Son Volt, Lucinda Williams and James Brown.

Pete Townshend, who knows a thing or two about blasting out his eardrums, is warning iPod users to watch the volume.

Dial B for Blog presents some more DC Comics Silver Age House Ads.

The original "Ultra Man" TV series is coming to DVD.

Booksteve presents some rare Jim Steranko art.

New comics, Jan. 5, 2006



NOTE: Comics will be shipping Thursday, instead of Wednesday, this week

Available now at yer local comics shop or via This is Pop!-supporting links:

Batman Black And White Statue Joe Kubert

Beta Ray Bill Mini-bust - Bowen Designs

Billy The Kids Old Timey Oddities TP

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike Bust

Chronicles Of Conan Vol 9 River Dragons and Others TP

Essential Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe Vol 1 TP

Hellblazer Staring At The Wall TP

Marvel 1602 New World TP

Marvel Universe Astonishing X-Men Cyclops Bust

Maze Agency Vol 1 TP

Mickey Mouse Adventures Vol 7 TP

New Avengers Vol 1 Breakout TP

Silver Age Fantastic Four Human Torch Med Statue

Superman Sacrifice TP

Ultimate Annuals Vol 1 TP

Ultimate X-Men Vol 5 HC

Universal Monsters Cavalcade Of Horror TP

Weta Narnia White Witch Statue

See a Complete List of Upcoming Comics.

DVD review: "Punk: Attitude"



Few musical genres are as factionalized as the stuff that gets lumped as "punk." The music, the bands, the looks are so varied, it's tough to even know what we mean by the term.

"What is punk, anyway?" is a good question, and the one at the center of this new film by longtime Clash associate (and onetime member of Clash spinoff band Big Audio Dynamite) Don Letts.

The answer he comes up with is right there in the title: "Attitude." And it's a pretty satisfactory one, particularly since Letts' attempts to get at it are so openminded, evenhanded and fair.

It all boils down to punk being approach to music, art and life. It's no bullshit, not about show business but true expression, it's not pretentious but blunt, short and loud. And when it starts being too much about a particular look or sound, it ceases to be punk. It becomes new wave or some other dang thing.

There's no sense Letts is pushing any specific agenda, playing favorites or trying to lead you to a particular conclusion. He throws up a bunch of different people on the screen and lets them talk.

The interviewees are a remarkably insightful and articulate lot: Henry Rollins (Black Flag), David Johansen (The New York Dolls), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Mick Jones and Paul Simonon (The Clash) and photographer-on-the-scene Bob Gruen.

Given his background, one might think Letts would focus primarily on British punk. But he doesn't. There's lots and lots of attention to given to East- and West Coast U.S. punk and its 1960s garage band roots. The film does a great job summing up musical events on both sides of the Atlantic.

Things don't stop with the 1970s heyday either. Letts traces the punk attitude into the 1980s with No Wave, the 1990s with Grunge into whatever the heck's going on today (it's too early to tell).

And, given the nihilistic point of view one tends to attach to a lot of punk, the film ends up being remarkably positive. Rather than dwell on the victims (Sid and Kurt, among others) we're left with folks like Poly Styrene talking about how punk gave them purpose, an avenue for expression and a release.

It's a valuable contribution to filmed music history. If there's any downside its the absence of key players John Lydon, Malcolm McLaren and the late Joe Strummer. Without them, it can't be taken as a definitive history.

But watch it alongside the excellent documentaries on the Sex Pistols ("The Filth and the Fury") and the Clash ("Westway to the World," also directed by Letts), and you have a very detailed picture of how this music/movement came about and its significance today.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Pop Artifact! Thunderbirds space patrol ship

Vintage DC Comics house ad!



See the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

Comics previews

Mile High Comics has first looks at: Batman and the Monster Men #3, Exterminators #1, Hard Time Season Two #2, Jonah Hex #3, Swamp Thing #23, Team Zero #2, Doc Samson #1, Marvel Team-Up #16, Marvel Zombies #2, New Excalibur #3, Sentinel #3, Sable & Fortune #1, Spider-Girl #94, Spider-Man Unlimited #13, X-Men Colossus Bloodline #5 and X-Men The End Men and X-Men #1.

DVD new releases for Jan. 3, 2006

All in the Family: The Complete Fifth Season

Gunsmoke - 50th Anniversary Edition, Volume 1

Gunsmoke:50th Anniversary Edition Volume 2

Have Gun Will Travel:Complete Third Season

Silk Stalkings: Season Four

Wedding Crashers - Uncorked (Unrated Widescreen Edition)

"I Dream of Jeannie" season 1 DVD due out March 14



The four-disk set will include 30 episodes from the Barbara Eden (hubba hubba) and Larry Hagman series.

Extras include commentary on the pilot episode, some bonus previews and a featurette.

Amazon has it available for pre-order now.

Pop Culture Roundup Jan. 3, 2006

Via Bedazzled: Jefitoblog presents a big batch of Big Star outtakes.

Datajunkie looks back at Charlton's "Ghostly Tales," featuring art by Tom Sutton, Steve Ditko and others.

HansZUNblog presents all sorts of rare Jan and Dean.

Comics artist Steve Rude plans to self-publish the further exploits of "Nexus" and "The Moth."

Mark Evanier digs out Dell's biographical comics of the 1960s.

An upcoming episode of "Justice League Unlimited" features appearances by Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes, Comics Continuum reports.

TV Guide presents some spoiler-free "Lost" hintage (nothing observant fans haven't noticed already).

SciFi Wire reports actress Mei Melancon ("Rush Hour 2") will play Psylocke in "X-Men 3".

An official site is up for the "Ultimate Avengers" direct-to-DVD animated flick, which is out in February.

Corgi Batmobiles 2006

Corgi continues its line of comics-based Batmobile die-cast cars with these new models:


1:24-scale 2000 Batmobile
Available: 2/28/2006


2000 Teen Titan Batmobile #3
Seen in the Teen Titan comic issue when Robin decides to take it for a joy ride with his friends. 1:43 scale
Available: 2/28/2006


2000 Batmobile #4
With hidden spring-release missile launcher that emerges out of the rear engine. 1:43 scale.
Available: 4/30/2006


2000 Batmobile #5
1:43 scale.
Available: 6/30/2006


1960s Batmobile #3
With opening hood. 1:43 scale.
Available: 4/30/2006


1950s Killer Mothmobile
With spring-release moth wings. 1:43 scale.
Available: 4/30/2006


1970s Batrocket
With opening rear engine. 1:43 scale.
Available: 6/30/2006

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Shadow complete list of books - paperbacks

Click links to see if titles are currently available for order.

Nostalgia Ventures official reprints 2006-0n:

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 1 “The Golden Vulture" and “Crime, Insured"

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 2 “The Chinese Disks” and “Malmordo”

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 3 “The Red Blot” and “The Voodoo Master”

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 4 "The Murder Master" and "The Hydra"

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 5 "The Black Falcon" and "The Salamanders."

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 6 "The Shadow's Justice" & "The Broken Napoleons"

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 7 "The Cobra" and "The Third Shadow"

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 8 "The London Crimes" & "Castle of Doom"

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 9: "Lingo" & "Partners in Peril"

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 10: "The City of Doom" & "The Fifth Face"

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 11: "The Road of Crime" & "Crooks Go Straight"

Blackmask Shadow reprints:

Atoms of Death

The Black Hush

Chain of Death

The Cobra

Dead Men Live

The Death Giver

Fingers of Death

The Golden Master

Gypsy Vengeance

The Invincible Shiwan Khan

The Living Joss

The Living Shadow

Masters of Death

Murder Marsh

The Shadow Unmasks

The Shadow's Shadow

Shiwan Khan Returns

The Silent Death

Bantam Shadow paperbacks

The Living Shadow The Shadow #1

The Eyes of The Shadow The Shadow #2

The Shadow Laughs! The Shadow #3

The Death Tower The Shadow #4

The Ghost Makers The Shadow #5

Hidden Death The Shadow #6

Gangdom's Doom The Shadow #7

Belmont paperbacks

Return of The Shadow

The Shadow Strikes

Shadow Beware

Cry Shadow!

The Shadow's Revenge

Mark of the Shadow

Shadow Go Mad

The Night of The Shadow

Pyramid and Jove Shadow paperbacks:

The Living Shadow (The Shadow #1)

The Black Master (The Shadow #2)

The Mobsmen On The Spot (The Shadow #3)

Hands In The Dark (The Shadow #4)

Double Z (The Shadow #5)

The Crime Cult (The Shadow #6)

The Red Menace (The Shadow #7)

Mox (The Shadow #8)

The Romanoff Jewels (The Shadow #9)

The Silent Seven (The Shadow #10)

Kings Of Crime (The Shadow #11)

Shadowed Millions (The Shadow #12)

Green Eyes (The Shadow #13)

The Creeping Death (The Shadow #14)

Gray Fist (The Shadow #15)

The Shadow's Shadow (The Shadow #16)

Fingers Of Death (The Shadow #17)

Murder Trail (The Shadow No. 18)

Zemba (The Shadow No. 19)

Charg, Monster (The Shadow No. 20)

The Wealth Seeker (The Shadow No. 21)

The Silent Death (The Shadow No. 22)