Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pop Artifact! Archie Mego figure

Vintage DC Comics House Ad

Pop Culture Roundup Sept. 7, 2006

Bob Dylan's Modern Times is the bard's first album to hit #1 since 1976. More Dylan.

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Beatles Beatleg expert Jon C. Winn has a new book out:

BEATLEGMANIA: An Illustrated DiscographyVolume One

This exciting book is the first in a series of illustrated discographies which will comprise the world's first accurate, detailed and exhaustive catalogexamining over 35 years of grey- and black-market releases.Volume One features details of early vinyl bootlegs, with over 380 full-color illustrations depicting front and back covers, labels, and more!Reliable track listings, fully cross-referenced to THE BEATLES' RECORDED LEGACY Historical context explained!Secrets and hidden references revealed!Future volumes will cover thousands of 45's, EP's, LP's, CD's, and DVD's!

Go here for more info or to order.

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USA Today looks at "Hollywoodland," the new docu-drama about the death of TV's "Superman" George Reeves.

Hollywoodland delves into whether Reeves' affair with a studio exec's wife led to foul play. But the film probes deeper, exploring whether simple unhappiness led the hero to millions of children to take his own life.

"How did he manage to impact a generation of kids and still not be happy about it? It ate him up as opposed to satisfying him," says screenwriter Paul Bernbaum, who was a childhood fan of the show.

More Superman.

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Efforts are afoot to help comics creator Lia Hernandez, who recently suffered a house fire.

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I want this shirt.
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Sharity: Check the Cool Wax blasts off for some Adventures in Sound and Space.

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The graphic novel adaptation of the 9/11 Commission Report has entered The New York Times bestseller list at #6.

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Fred Hembeck has posted another of his cool "classic cover re-dos."

Today's Best Song Ever: "Young Love" -- Sonny James



A beauty from the golden age of country pop. Try not singing along with chorus as Sonny pays tribute to the innocent days of first romance. This was a number 2 hit on the U.S. chart in 1957.

The galloping drums, simple bass and vocal backups swell gloriously, longingly throughout the song, but never go over the top.

Sample it

Availability:
Young Love: The Greatest Hits of Sonny James

DVD: "Mission Impossible" Complete First Season

Due out Dec. 5, this seven-disk set collects the entire 1966-67 season of the Martin Landau-Barbara Bain espionage series (Peter Graves doesn't show up until season 2). No word on extras yet.

You can pre-order it now from Amazon.

DVD: "Doctor Who" season 1 single-disk packages

Out Nov. 7, these four disks collect the first season of the revived "Doctor Who" series, previously only available in a box collecting the entire season.

You can pre-order each from Amazon by clicking the box art.









See the Best Doctor Who Sites on the Web.

DVD: "Gunsmoke: Directors Collection"

Due out Nov. 14, this three-disk set include episodes directed by the likes of Robert Stevenson (Old Yeller, Mary Poppins), Arthur Hiller (The Out-Of-Towners, Silver Streak), Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond, The Rose) and Andrew V. McLaglen (McLintock!, Chisum, Hellfighters).

Extras include:

* Amanda Blake on The Mike Douglas Show
* Four original CBS Gunsmoke Radio broadcasts
* Soundtrack scoring sessions
* Eight audio commentaries by the acclaimed directors

Featured episodes include:

Disc 1
  1. Magnus - 12/24/55
  2. Chester's Mail Order Bride - 7/14/56
  3. How To Kill A Woman - 11/30/57
  4. Buffalo Man - 1/11/58
  5. The Constable - 5/30/59
  6. Old Flame - 5/28/60
  7. Love Thy Neighbor - 1/28/61

Disc 2

  1. Cotter's Girl - 1/19/63
  2. US Haggens - 12/8/62
  3. Ten Little Indians - 10/9/65
  4. Which Dr. - 3/19/66

Disc 3

  1. Mannon - 1/20/69
  2. Captain Sligo - 1/4/71
  3. The Legend - 10/18/71
  4. Brides And Grooms - 2/10/75

It's available for pre-order now from Amazon.



DVD: "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." season one

Out Dec. 12 this is a five-disk set including:

* Commentary by: Jim Nabors (select episodes)Dolby Digital 2.0
* All 30 episodes from the 1964-65 season on five discs
* Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. pilot episode from The Andy Griffith Show
* Audio introductions by Jim Nabors on select episodes
* Jim Nabors interview on The David Frost Show
* The Jim Nabors Hour clip

It's available for pre-order from Amazon now.

DVD: "Forbidden Planet" Ultimate Collector's Edition

Out Nov. 14, this is a two-disk remastering of the classic 1956 film packaged in a tin box.

Extras include: Bonus features, vintage memorabilia and a Robby the Robot replica.

The two DVDs, minus the tin box and memorabilia, also will be available in standard packaging on the same date.

Both sets are available for pre-order from Amazon (click the box art below):



Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pop Artifact! Archie board game

Vintage DC Comics House Ad

Pop Culture Roundup Sept. 6, 2006

Fantagraphics, now publishing complete runs of "The Peanuts," "Dennis and Menace" and soon "Pogo," wishes it could've snagged "Dick Tracy," but alas, IDW is handling that project.

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A hardcover omnibus collecting Frank Miller's Daredevil comics from issues #158-191 is slated for release soon. Here's the description:

Frank Miller's spellbinding scripts and pulse-pounding pencils herald one of Daredevil's greatest eras, just in time for the Kingpin and Bullseye's efforts to rob the Man Without Fear of everything he holds dear! Featuring the first appearances of Elektra, Stick and the Hand! The daring discovery that drew Ben Urich into Daredevil's domain of darkness! Such forgotten-yet-formidable foes as Death-Stalker and the Gladiator! Guest-starring the Hulk, the Avengers, and Power Man and Iron Fist! Collects Daredevil #158-191.

These were good comics, before Miller slipped into hardboiled shtick and was actually doing something new, and before the comics industry devolved into relentlessly copy him.

--------------------

The "Lost" driving curse continues.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje of the hit TV series "Lost" was arrested on a traffic violation in Waikiki this weekend, police said.

The 39-year-old actor, who plays Mr. Eko on the ABC drama, was arrested early Saturday for disobeying a police officer and driving without a license. He posted $500 bail and was released after spending a little more than six hours in jail, police said.


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Dial B for Blog checks out the song stylings of Frank "The Riddler" Gorshin.

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Today's Best Song Ever: "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" -- K.C. and the Sunshine Band



Oh come on! Don't be a snob! You know you love disco, no matter how badly you disparaged it at the time. Whether you wear your love on your sleeve or hide it away shamefully in a closet of guilty pleasures, there's no denying the fad spawned some enjoyable music. This tune being a perfect example.

And why do you like it? Because you're supposed to. The song is specifically engineered to connect with that primitive part of the brain that loves in-the-pocket drums, funky bass and scratchy guitars. Plus, the horns. Great horns on this track.

The lyrics are stoopid great too. Nothing to 'em. They simply voice what the music is already telling you to do: Stop being so uptight, get out there on the dance floor and shake it--not in a sleazy way, but in a fun way that shows to the world you're not a stuck-up jerk.

Sure, there's lots to hate about disco culture: The narcissism, the drugs, the clubs and clothes, the horrible movies and all the bandwagon-jumping music. But there's lots to hate about nearly every subculture, especially once it breaks into the mainstream and becomes a big trend.

But this song, you can't hate it. It came before all the ugliness and is pure in its honesty and in it's cajoling us into having a good time.

Sample it

Availability:
Best of KC and the Sunshine Band

New comics Sept. 6, 2006

See complete lists:
DC Archives
DC Showcase
DC Trade Paperbacks
Marvel Masterworks
Marvel Essentials
Marvel Trade Paperbacks
Upcoming Trade Paperbacks - Graphic Novels


Comics shipping Sept. 6, 2006


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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pop Artifact! Monkees board game

Vintage DC Comics House Ad

More details on vintage "Sesame Street" box set

As mentioned here before, a three-DVD set of material from the first seasons of "Sesame Street" is due out Oct. 24. The name of the set, originally dubbed the "Sesame Street Nostalgia Box," is now "Sesame Street: Old School Vol. 1."

The set will include five complete episodes from the series from 1969-74, including appearances by James Earl Jones, Jesse Jackson, Johnny Cash, and Jackie Robinson, plus such segments as "Rubber Duckie" and "C Is for Cookie."

You can pre-order the set now from Amazon.

Pop Culture Roundup Sept. 5, 2006

Are romance comics staging a return?

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Stan Lee writes "The Watchmen."

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From Booksteve: A 1948 letter from the editors of Timely (Marvel) Comics defending the industry from some of the attacks then being launched at it. More Marvel Comics.

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Bubblegumfink presents a Johnny West toy TV commercial. More Johnny West.

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Hear a mashup of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds with the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper.

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TV Guide interviews Charisma Carpenter, quizzing her about a couple recent reunions with fellow "Buffy" cast members. More Buffy.

Review: "Justice Society Vol. 1"

The Justice Society of America, in DC Comics' "JSA" title, is enjoying a very long and successful run. But it wasn't always that way.

Before "JSA" there had been numerous attempts to bring back the JSA, which debuted in the Golden Age of the 1940s and then vanished in the early 1950s when superheroes fell out of favor. The "Justice League of America" (the JLA was itself and updated version of the JSA) reintroduced the Golden Age characters in annual crossovers starting in 1963. But, outside of those appearances, the team never really caught on with readers in their own adventures.

This new trade paperback collects the first 10 issues of a failed 1976 attempt to revive the JSA, plus a 1977 issue of "DC Special" featuring the team.

The scripts for these stories, by Gerry Conway and Paul Levitz, are pretty much by-the-numbers superteam stuff, not much different from anything you'd find in Justice League stories from the same period. A crisis brings the heroes together, they split up to tackle individual aspects of the problem, then they come together to put the big kibosh on things. Gardner Fox should've put a patent on it.

And, because this was the mid 70s and because this was DC, none of the characters really has much of an individual personality. Not that Conway or Levitz had much to work with. Back in the 1940s, when the JSA was introduced, superheroes didn't have personalities, not other than being heroic and super and occasionally quippy. Superheroes with varying moods and personal crises were introduced by Marvel Comics in the early 60s.

Levitz and Conway do the best they can, giving the Golden Age Green Lantern a financial crisis to cope with and turning Power Girl (first introduced in this series) into sort of a "Maude"-style feminist. With a huge in her costume to display her cleavage. None of it is really enough to make the stories compelling in the same way as, for example, an issue of the "Fantastic Four" or "Avengers" from the same time might've been.

What makes the reprint worthwhile, however, is the art. Much of the work is by a young Keith Giffen and the wonderful Joe Staton (these days working on "Scooby Doo" comics, but a great superhero artist with a real flair for character and action scenes). But the big draw (no pun intended. Really!) is Wally Wood, featured in seven of the issues, sometimes on his own, others assisted by Giffen. Those issues are beautiful to look at, with nice examples of Wood's sci-fi machinary backgrounds and figure work. If it's just to see Wood drawing Superman (not Superduperman, like he did for "Mad" back in the 1950s) the book is worth picking up. And, no doubt, some folks will pick it up because it's Wood drawing Powergirl, who seems to become more buxom with every issue he turned in.

The reproduction of said art is great. The color reconstruction by Drew R. Moore is nice and bright and loyal to the originals.

The only thing that's a problem is that, for some lamebrained reason, all the credits from each issue's splash page has digitally disappeared. So, while we get lump artist, writer, inker credits (letterers don't count, I guess) at the front of the book, we can't easily determine who wrote and drew each individual issue. Since the stories, I'd guess, are being republished mainly out of historical interest, this maneuver was just plain dumb. Plus, it's an offense to the original creators. I'm morbidly curious about what sort of inexcusable reason the editors would give for doing this. Oh well.

The back cover of the collection says this is the first of two "JSA" collections, so I guess we'll see the remaining five issues of the run and perhaps some other 70s JSA appearance in a second book soon.

Disappearing credits. Now you see 'em:


Now you don't:


CD new releases Sept. 5, 2006

Willie Nelson ~ 54 Songs: The Songwriter Sessions [Box set]

Smokey Wilson ~ Round Like An Apple-Big Town Sessions 1977-78

Everly Brothers ~ They're Off & Rollin'

DVD new releases Sept. 5, 2006

The Abbott & Costello Show: 100th Anniversary Collection Season 1

Brazil - Criterion Collection - 3-disc boxed set

Brazil - Criterion Collection - single disc editon

Buffy: Curse of the Hellmouth

Complete Toxic Avenger (7pc) (Ltd Dol Box)

Doctor Who: Inferno

Doctor Who: The Web Planet

Escape to Witch Mountain / Return From Witch Mountain

Family - The Complete First and Second Seasons

The Flintstones - The Complete Sixth Season

Fraggle Rock: Complete Second Season

Frankenstein Unbound

Godzilla - Gojira Deluxe Collector's Edition (2 DVD set)

Jim Henson Fantasy Film Collection (W/Book)

Oz - The Complete Sixth Season

Red Dwarf - The Complete Collection

Silk Stalkings: The Complete Fifth Season

Monday, September 04, 2006

McMillan and Wife DVDs

McMillan and Wife on DVD:

Season One

Daniel Boone DVDs

Daniel Boone on DVD:

Season One
Season Two
Season Three
Season Four

Dick Tracy animated series DVDs

Dick Tracy animated series on DVD:

Complete Animated Series

Mama's Family DVDs

Mama's Family on DVD:

Complete First Season

Whose Line is it Anyway DVDs

Whose Line is it Anyway on DVD:

Season one censored
Season one uncensored

Penn and Teller Bullsh*t DVDs

Penn and Teller Bullsh*t on DVD:

Complete First Season
Complete Second Season
Complete Third Season
Complete Fourth Season

See a Complete List of TV Shows on DVD

McLeod's Daughters DVDs

McLeod's Daughters on DVD:

Season One

Simon & Simon DVDs

Simon & Simon on DVD:

Season One

Everybody Hates Chris DVDs

Everybody Hates Chris on DVD:

First Season

Second Season

Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law DVDs

Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law on DVD:

Vol. 1
Vol. 2

Friday, September 01, 2006

Pop Artifact! "Secret of the Incas" movie poster

Vintage Comic Book Ad

New Dr. Who action figures

Here's the third batch of action figures based on the new "Doctor Who" series.

Wave 3 contains Captain Jack Harkness (with sonic gun), New Earth Rose with K9, Grey and Orange Krillitanes and a new version of the Cyberman.

Order Doctor Who toys and action figures from Amazon UK.



See the Best Doctor Who Sites on the Web.

Pop Culture Roundup Sept. 1, 2006

Bedazzled shares video of a 1964 press conference by the Beatles. Plus the Zombies on "Hullabaloo"!

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Rumor's afoot that Borders Books is abandoning the sale of monthly comic books.

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Via Mark Evanier: The great comics artist Gene Colan is 80 today.

Today's Best Song Ever: "(Love is Like A) Heatwave" -- Martha and the Vandellas



Sure, the Supremes had more hits. But Martha had more soul. Listen to Martha Reeves' earthy performance here, and that of backup singers Rosalind Ashford and Annette Sterling.

The trio started at Motown singing behind others. That's them on Marvin Gaye's "Stubborn Kind of Fellow" and "Hitch Hike."

"Heatwave," penned by the unbeatable team of Holland-Dozier-Holland was released in summer 1963 and hit #4 on the U.S. pop charts.

The single is the sound of Motown hitting it's stride. Launching with tight snare followed with handclaps, horns and Martha's sun-coming-out-from-behind-the-clouds vocals. It's a great tune, amazingly catchy and well-constructed. But it's the performance here that makes the record. Same with Martha's "Dancing in the Streets." Ever here decent cover versions of either? Ever heard the Who's horrid covers of both?

Sample it via Amazon

Availability:

Martha and the Vandellas Ultimate Collection
Complete Motown Singles Vol. 4

Previous Best Song Ever