Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pop Artifact! King of the Congo poster

Pop Culture Roundup June 7, 2007

Via BoingBoing: An online archive featuring issues of famed counterculture satirical newspaper, The Realist

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Stan Lee and Disney are joining forces.

Under the multiyear agreement, the studio gets first shot at films, TV shows, books and video games devised by the 84-year-old Lee and his company, POW! Entertainment.

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On Bat Blog: A 1960s toothpaste ad featuring Batman's butler Alfred (Alan Napier).

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The Comics Continuum has some pics from the Sci Fi Channel's upcoming Flash Gordon series.

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Dial B for Burbank profiles Shadow pulp cover artist Graves Gladney.

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Hasbro's fourth series of Marvel Legends action figures will include First Appearance Daredevil, First Appearance Storm, Nova, The Punisher, Silver Samurai, Age Of Apocalypse Sunfire, Tigra, each packaged with a chunk of an Age Of Apocalypse Nemesis "build a figure." See a complete list of Marvel Legends Action Figures, with pictures.

Augusts comics solicitations--other highlights


GROO 25TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
MARK EVANIER (W), SERGIO ARAGONES (A), and TOM LUTH (C) On sale Aug. 1 FC, 56 pages $5.99 Celebrate twenty-five years of the world's stupidest barbarian doing stupid and barbaric things! After a brief hiatus, the Champion of Cheese Dip is back to battle the menace of "The Plague," an all-new story by the same guys responsible for all the Groo stories for the last quarter-century, Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier. Also, thrill to The Groo Alphabet, a primer of that hero's friends and foes (mostly foes), followed by a special illustrated text story by Sergio and Mark on how this comic came to be and why it just won't go away. Plus other silly features.

HARVEY COMICS CLASSICS VOL 2 RICHIE RICH TP
SID JACOBSON (W), WARREN KREMER (W), STEVE MUFFATTI (A), and ERNIE COLON (A) On sale Oct. 17 SC, 7x10, 480 pages, FC $19.95 Move over Uncle Scrooge! The richest character in comic book history is about to get his due. Harvey Comics' original creation Richie Rich, the Poor Little Rich Boy, represented the fantasies of every comic book-loving kid growing up in the 1960s and 70s. Now, Dark Horse is delighted to present the ultimate tribute to the boy who has everything - and we mean everything! This mega compilation of the essential Richie collects his earliest and most substantial stories for the first time ever. Created by Sid Jacbson and Warren Kremer as a back-up feature in Little Dot comics in 1953, Richie Rich went on to become Harvey's biggest moneymaker, appearing in over fifty different spinoff titles over the next forty years. In addition to the magnificent comic art of Warren Kremer, Richie was also drawn by animation great Steve Muffatti and comics legend Ernie Colon. Contains over one hundred of the very best of The Poor Little Rich Boy, from the beginning of the series in 1953 through the classic years of the mid-1960s. Editor/designer Leslie Cabarga has reproduced the classic comics from crisp black-and-white printer's proofs and original artwork from the old Harvey archives, along with sixty-four pages of color meticulously restored from the original comic book pages. The book also includes a comprehensive introduction by Jerry Beck.


ADVENTURES OF LITTLE ARCHIE VOL 1 TP
by Bob Bolling Some of the best and earliest Little Archie stories are compiled in this special volume. Bob Bolling is considered by many comic book collectors to be Archie Comics' equivalent of "the duck man," Carl Barks. It's easy to see why: his classic tales are epic in scope, as Little Archie deals with Martian invaders, secret spies, pirates, freewheeling uncles, gorillas on the loose, and more! (JUL042624) SC, 7x10, FC SRP: $10.95


LOST IN SPACE VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SOUL TP
by Mumy, Dutkiewicz, & Severin The Robinsons, TV's first family in space, finally reach their target destination - Alpha Centauri - in this 40th anniversary special graphic novel, written by original LIS cast member Bill (Will Robinson) Mumy, which completes and collects the original 12-part storyline, first serialized in the Innovation comic book series from1992-1993! Features several text pieces, including a foreword by Stan Lee, an introduction by Sheila Matthews Allen (Irwin Allen's widow), retrospectives by Bill Mumy and Michal Dutkiewicz, and an interview with TV and movie producer & director Kevin Burns, plus additional photos and interior art by John Severin. Edited by George (Radioactive Man, I Dream of Jeannie) Broderick, Jr. and lettered by Thom (Love & Capes) Zahler. Now at a new lower price! SC, 7x10, 360pgs, FC SRP: $24.95


COMPLETE PEANUTS VOL 8 1965-1966 HC
by Charles M. Schulz It's the mid-1960s, one of Schulz's peak periods of creativity. Snoopy has become the strip's dominant personality, and this volume marks two milestones for the character: the first of many "dogfights" with the nefarious Red Baron, and the launch of his writing career ("It was a dark and stormy night..."). Two new characters - the first two from outside the strip's regular little neighborhood - make their bows. Roy (who befriends Charlie Brown and then Linus at summer camp) won't have a lasting impact, but upon his return from camp he regales a friend of his with tales of the strange kids he met, and she has to go check them out for herself. Her name... Peppermint Patty! (C: 1-0-0) NOTE: Available only in the United States, Canada, and U.S. Territories. HC, 8.5x7, 344pgs, B&W SRP: $28.95

TALES FROM THE CRYPT VOL 1 GHOULS GONE WILD GN
by Petrucha, McGregor, Exes, Murase, & Various Over fifty years have passed since the last issue of the comic that inspired a hit HBO TV series was published, and Papercutz is proud to revive this frightful franchise filled with thrills, chills all laced with dark humor! It just goes to show you can't keep an old Ghoul down! Each issue will feature four new tales of undead lunacy, written and drawn by today's best comic book and graphic novel creators, and introduced by the original pun-spouting Crypt Keeper himself. Includes stories not seen in the comic books! Also available is the collector's edition hardcover! SOFTCOVER - SC, 5x7, 112pgs, FC SRP: $7.95


MISS FURY TP
by Tarpe Mills Tarpe Mill's fabulous costumed female hero is seen once again for the first time in almost a decade. This volume features 160 pages reprinted from the rare and expensive Timely comics using the Theakstonizing process for sharp reproduction. This volume also features a foreword by noted comics historian, Trina Robbins. (C: 0-1-2) RES. from Previews Vol. XVI #11 (NOV063822) SC, 160pgs, B&W SRP: $25.00

ALTER EGO
This issue of Alter Ego spotlights the great Canadian comic books and features a fabulous cover by George Freeman, from a layout by Jack Kirby! Inside is the milestone 1970s book by Michael Hirsh & Patrick Loubert on Canada's 1940s Golden Age - back in print after three decades, with rare art of such heroes as Mr. Monster, Nelvana of the Northern Lights, The Penguin, Thunderfist, The Dreamer, The Brain, Johnny Canuck, and more! Plus: Jim Amash interviews Al Schutzer, Golden Age writer of Superman, John Wayne, Hopalong Cassidy, Straight Arrow, and others - lavishly illustrated by Bob Powell, Fred Meagher, the Joe Shuster Studio, and more; brand new Invaders drawings by John Byrne, Mike Grell, Ernie Chan, Ron Lim, Chris Ivy, Benito Gallego, and others; and there's FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) with Marc Swayze, C.C. Beck, Michael T. Gilbert, Mr. Monster, and so much more! Edited by Roy Thomas. (Twomorrows Publishing) Magazine, 100pgs, B&W SRP: $6.95

DOC SAVAGE DOUBLE NOVEL VOL 9
The pulps' legendary superman battles evil in two exciting adventures by Lester Dent writing as Kenneth Robeson. In "The Majii" (1935), a living dead man lures Doc Savage into an Aladdin's cavern of horror. Then, "The Golden Man" tests the scientific wizardry of the Man of Bronze, exposing deep secrets of Doc Savage's strange origins. These classic pulp thrillers are reproduced with the original color pulp covers by Walter Baumhofer and Emery Clarke, interior illustrations by Paul Orban and historical articles by pulp historian Will Murray. (Sanctum Productions) (C: 0-1-2) SC, 7x10, B&W SRP: $12.95


JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #49
Strap on your armor for this issue of The Jack Kirby Collector, which spotlights some of Kirby's greatest warriors such as Thor, Sgt. Fury, The Challengers of the Unknown, The Losers, and others! Included is a rare Kirby interview (where Jack conveys the real-life horrors he went through on the battlefields of World War II), a new interview with Jerry Ordway, Mark Evanier's regular column, a look at hidden messages in Bill Everett's Thor inks, an interview with Seven Soldiers writer Grant Morrison on his Kirby-inspired work, Kirby pencil art galleries, a complete 1950s Kirby story, an amazing Kirby wraparound Thor cover inked by Jerry Ordway, and more! Edited by John Morrow. (Twomorrows Publishing) (C: 0-1-2) Tabloid, 84pgs, B&W SRP: $9.95


SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOL 10
"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow Knows!" The legendary supersleuth returns in two action-packed pulp thrillers by Walter B. Gibson. The Voodoo Master returns from the grave and launches a series of terrorist attacks to enslave in "The City of Doom." Then, the Dark Avenger battles the master of disguise known only as Five Face. Will "The Fifth Face" be the face of death? In a special bonus feature, The Shadow battles a million-year-old Neanderthal in a "lost" radio script by Hugo Award-winning science fiction author, Alfred Bester. This instant collector's item leads off with a classic cover by George Rozen, and also includes all of the original interior art by acclaimed illustrators Tom Lovell and Earl Mayan, plus historical commentary on the origins of super-villains and DC's Vandal Savage by popular culture historians Will Murray and Anthony Tollin. (Sanctum Productions) (C: 0-1-2) SC, 144pgs, B&W SRP: $12.95


SQUA TRONT #12
by Various Squa Tront, the EC magazine, returns with a brand-new 64-page extravaganza! Included are unpublished interviews with Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Kamen. Publisher Lyle Stuart talks about his days as EC's business manager. Writer Larry Siegel reminisces about Harvey Kurtzman, MAD and Humbug. Plus, never-before-seen art by Jack Davis, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Kamen, and Wallace Wood! Also, a feature on EC's rarest publication, The Profit! Cover painting by Johnny Craig. SC, 8x11, 64pgs, B&W SRP: $9.95

Vintage DC Comics House Ad



Today's video: The Rutles "Shangri La"



New and upcoming action figures June 6, 2007


DC Direct New Frontier action figures, see below

Complete List of Marvel Legends Action Figures
Complete List of DC Direct Action Figures

Here's a look at action figures available via your local comics shop or via the TIP!-supporting links below:

DC Direct Action Figures

Superman Last Son Action Figures
--Last Son Superman
--Ursa
--Bizarro
--Zod

Shazam Action Figures
--Dr. Sivana
--Captain Marvel Jr.
--Mary Marvel
--Billy Batson and Hoppy
--Captain Marvel

Superman Vs. Doomsday
Doomsday
Lex Luthor and Robot
Solar Suit Superman
Superman

Batman and Son
Batman
Ninja Man-Bat
Robin and Daimin
The Joker

52 Weeks
Animal Man
Batwoman
Booster Gold
Supernova

DC Direct Reactivated Action Figures
--Batman
--Wonder Woman
--Lobo
--Superman

DC 13-inch Figures
Green Lantern
Lex Luthor
Martian Manhunter
Catwoman
Nightwing
Classic Batman
Batgirl gray costume
Batgirl black costume

Elseworlds Action Figures Series 2
--Red Son Batman
--Red Son President Superman
--Kingdom Come Jade
--Kingdom Come Spectre and Norman McKay
--Gotham By Gaslight Batman

Elseworlds Action Figures Series 3
--Supergirl
--Batgirl
--Nightstar
--Kingdom Come Aquaman
--Red Son Green Lantern

First Appearance Series 4
--Blue Beetle translucent
--Blue Beetle
--Brave New World Atom
--Warlord
--Brave New World Martian Manhunter
--Brave New World Aquaman

Infinite Crisis Action Figures Series 1
--Powergirl
--Omac
--Mongul
--Earth Prime Superboy
--Alexander Luthor

JSA Action Figures
--Mr. Terrific
--Hawkgirl
--Dr. Midnite
--Hourman
--Golden Age Atom 2-pack

DC Direct Wonder Woman Series 1 Action Figures
--Wonder Woman
--Agent Diana Prince
--Circe
--Donna Troy as Wonder Woman

DC Direct New Frontier Series 2 Action Figures
--Batman
--Dr. Fate
--The Flash
--Martian Manhunter

Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer action figures
Battle Stretch Mr. Fantastic
Fire Blast Human Torch
Raging Thing
Silver Surfer

Hanna Barbera Series 3 Action Figures
--Fred Flintstone Quittin' Time
--Twinkle Toes Fred Flintstone
--Great Grape Ape
--Huckleberry Hound
--The Jetsons
--Secret Squirrel
--Snagglepuss

McFarlane Lost series 2 action figures
--Crash site box set
--Sawyer
--Jin
--Sayid
--Desmond
--Sun
--Mr. Eko

McFarlane Lost series 3 action figures
--Sayid
--Desmond
--Claire
--Ben/Henry

Marvel Figure Factory Sets
--Angel
--Beast
--Black Costume Spider-Man
--Deadpool
--Invisible Woman
--Silver Surfer

Marvel Legends Action Figures

Hasbro Marvel Legends Action Figures Series 2
--Wolverine
--She-Hulk
--Yellow Jacket
--Quick Silver
--Lord Asgard Thor
--Magneto Xorn
--X3 Jean Grey
--First Appearance Storm

Hasbro Marvel Legends Figures Series 3
--Bucky Barnes
--First appearance Captain America
--Marvel Girl Rachel Grey
--Heroes for Hire Black Knight
--Hydra Soldier
--X-3 Colossus
--Astonishing X-Men Cyclops
--Danger

Hasbro Marvel Legends Icons 12-inch Action Figures
--The Punisher
--Doctor Doom
--The Human Torch
--The Silver Surfer

Marvel Legends Masterworks Sets
--Spider-Man Vs. Green Goblin
--Fantastic Four Vs. Mole Man
--Hulk Vs. The Thing
--Galactus Vs. Everybody

Marvel Select Figures

Best of Marvel Select Figures
--Grey Hulk
--Thanos
--Ultimate Spider-Man
--Green Goblin
--Mephisto

Marvel Sideshow Toys Figures
--Venom
--Black costume Spider-Man
--Spider-Man
--White Queen
--White Queen Exclusive

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pop Artifact! Jungle Man-Eaters poster

Pop Culture Roundup June 6, 2007

Comics scribe/TV scripter Paul Dini chats with comics artist Adam Hughes.

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A Q&A with "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" scripter Don Payne.

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Comics scripters Gardner Fox and George Gladir have been honored for their contributions to the medium's history. From the press release:

Gardner Fox and George Gladir have been selected to receive the 2007 Bill
Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The choice was made
unanimously by a blue-ribbon committee chaired by writer and historian Mark
Evanier.

The Bill Finger Award was instituted in 2005 under the supervision of comic
book legend Jerry Robinson. The awards committee is charged each year with
selecting two recipients, one living and one deceased.

"Each year, we ask ourselves who, among all the fine writers who’ve
contributed to comics has a body of work out there deserving of greater
recognition, " Evanier notes. "Gladir and Fox not only have that but both men
laid down important groundwork on which other writers could and did build .
. Just like Bill Finger did.”

Gardner Fox received a law degree in 1935 but instead opted for comics,
writing his first stories in 1938 for the pre-Batman Detective Comics. He
was also the first writer after Bill Finger to contribute to Batman’s
adventures and was responsible for several components of the character’s
mythology. Perhaps more notably, he created or co-created a bevy of
important characters in comics’ so-called “Golden Age,” including The Flash,
Hawkman, The Sandman, Starman, and Doctor Fate, and he launched what some
call the first-ever superhero team, The Justice Society of America. In the
late fifties and sixties, he worked on the revivals of most of those
features, including the Justice League of America, and also co-created new
characters such as Adam Strange. In his amazing career, he wrote an
estimated 4,000 comic book scripts and also found time to author more than
100 novels, many of them under other names. Fox passed away in 1986.

George Gladir has been a full-time comic book writer since 1959, when he got
his first assignment from Archie Comics. At first he wrote mainly one-page
gags for Archie’s Joke Book, but he quickly went on to write stories for the
many Archie titles, including Archie’s Madhouse, the book in which he
created “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” drawn by the legendary Dan DeCarlo. In
the early 1960s, he simultaneously started writing for Cracked Magazine,
MAD’s most successful competitor. He became Cracked’s head writer, and over
the next 30 years wrote some 2,000 pages for the magazine, many of them
illustrated by Hall of Famer John Severin. In addition to still writing for
Archie, George recently co-created (with Stan Goldberg) Cindy and Her Obasan
a fantasy adventure about an American 10-year-old and her Japanese fairy
godmother.

The Bill Finger Award remembers William Finger (1914-1974), who was the
first and, some say, most important writer of Batman. Many have called him
the "unsung hero" of the character and have hailed his work not only on that
character but on dozens of others, primarily for DC Comics.

In addition to Evanier, this year's blue-ribbon selection committee included
writer/historian Jim Amash, comics and animation writer Paul Dini, writer
Tony Isabella, and writer/editor Marv Wolfman.

The Finger Award falls under the auspices of Comic-Con International: San Diego and is administered by Jackie Estrada. The awards will be presented during the Eisner Awards ceremony at this summer's Comic-Con on Friday, July 27.


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A biopic on EC Comics/Mad magazine publisher William C. Gaines is planned.

"Ghoulishly Yours, William M. Gaines"...will revolve around the banding together of an anti-establishment group of comic book creators, led by a reluctant Gaines, as they produce their controversial yet hugely popular line of comic books like "Crypt," which later led Gaines to face Senate subcommittee hearings over accusations of perpetuating juvenile delinquency.

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Dial B for Burbank spotlights Shadow pulp illustrator Edd Cartier.

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A series of Marvel Legends action figures from the latest Spider-Man film is planned.

Lost season 3 DVD now available for pre-order

You can pre-order the third season of "Lost" on DVD now from Amazon for $38.99.

Not too much info on the seven-disk set, yet, but extras will include:

* Audio commentaries.
* A one-on-one with Matthew Fox.
* A featurette on The Others.
* A documentary chronicling 24 hours in production.
* Never before seen flashbacks.
* Behind the scenes looks at 10 episodes.
* Deleted scenes.
* Bloopers.

Vintage DC Comics House Ad



CD: Dusty Springfield The Complete BBC Sessions

This 22-track CD collects all the tracks Dusty recorded especially for BBC radio appearances. It's available for pre-order from Amazon now.

The track list includes:

1. Swahili Papa (Bbc Russ Conway Show 26/7/62)
2. Dear John (Bbc Russ Conway Show 26/7/62)
3. Say I Won't Be There (Bbc Ken Dodd Show 14/7/63)
4. La Bamba Bbc Top Gear 16/7/64
5. Tossin' And Turnin (Bbc Top Gear 16/7/64)
6. I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself (Bbc Top Gear 16/7/64)
7. I Can't Hear You (No More) (Bbc Top Gear 10/11/64)
8. Wishin' And Hopin (Bbc Top Gear 10/11/64)
9. Losing You (Bbc Top Gear 10/11/64)
10. I Can't Hear You (No More) (Bbc Saturday Club 5/7/65)
11. In The Middle Of Nowhere (Bbc Saturday Club 5/7/65)
12. Mockingbird (Bbc Saturday Club 5/7/65)
13. Little By Little (Bbc Saturday Club 24/1/66)
14. Uptight (Everything's Alright) (Bbc Saturday Club 24/1/66)
15. Chained To A Memory (Bbc Saturday Club 24/1/66)
16. We're Doing Fine (Bbc Saturday Club 12/4/66)
17. Every Ounce Of Strength (Bbc Saturday Club 12/4/66)
18. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me (Bbc Saturday Club 12/4/66)
19. Good Lovin (Bbc Saturday Club 12/4/66)
20. To Love Somebody (Bbc Dlt 5/1/70)
21. Son Of A Preacher Man (Bbc Dlt 5/1/70)
22. (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher & Higher (Bbc Dlt 5/1/70)

DVD: Batfink Complete Series

The entire run of this 60s toon capitalizing on the then-popular Bat-fad is out July 3 on four disks. You can pre-order it now from Amazon.

Info:

Batfink was produced by Hal Seeger Productions from the spring of 1966 to the fall of 1967. It took as parodic source the wildly popular Batman television series, which premiered the previous January. Thinking quickly, Seeger rushed the first two Batfink pilot cartoons into production. Beginning in September 1967, Screen Gems released the package of 100 five-minute Batfink cartoons into local syndication, where they aired in locally-produced cartoon compilation programs. In New York City, WNEW-TV aired them as part of the Paul Winchell show.

The main characters in the Batfink cartoons included Batfink himself, who boasted supersonic sonar-radar and wings like a shield of steel, his assistant Karate, a hulking Japanese martial arts expert who talked with a Brooklyn accent, and archvillain Hugo A Go Go. Frank Buxton (formerly the host of the ABC game show Get The Message and also a fixture on that network's Discovery) voiced Batfink and Hugo, and Len Maxwell did Karate and the Chief. Both actors played many other characters as well and also wound up working together on other projects such as the Woody Allen spy dub-fest What's Up, Tiger Lily?

CD: The Zombies Into the Afterlife

This new disk from Big Beat takes a look at what the individual Zombies did after the group disbanded. It's available for pre-order now from Amazon.

Info:

The Zombies split in April 1968 upon the completion of their masterwork "Odessey & Oracle". Songwriters Rod Argent and Chris White busied themselves forming a production company, whilst the other band members, including lead singer Colin Blunstone, depressed by the lack of recognition for "Odessey", retreated back to 'civvy street'.

Throughout 1968 Chris and Rod demo'ed their new material with an embryonic version of what would become the group Argent. The best of these experimental recordings are included on "Into The Afterlife" and as with the Zombies, the songs and performances are better than most other groups' regular releases. Meanwhile, Colin Blunstone had been romanced back into the studio by producer Mike Hurst and, under the nom-de-disque of Neil MacArthur, made three excellent singles including a revamp of 'She's Not There' that hit the UK Top 40 in 1969. All nine sides recorded by Colin in this period are featured and include his fabulous interpretations of Nilsson's 'Without Her', Billy Vera's 'Don't Try To Explain' and the Buffalo Springfield's 'Hung Upside Down', the latter previously unreleased.

As a special bonus, the disc contains special mixes of Zombies material that showcase the orchestral overdubs that were added for their aborted RIP project, plus a rare vintage live cut. Over half of "Into The Afterlife's" contents is unissued, and indeed, ninety percent has never appeared on CD before. Add to that detailed notes that clarifies this murky yet fascinating period in the group's history and this becomes a worthy addition to the perfectly-formed discography of the Zombies.

Track list:

1. SHE'S NOT THERE - Neil MacArthur
2. HUNG UPSIDE DOWN - Neil MacArthur
3. UNHAPPY GIRL - Rod Argent & Chris White
4. SHE LOVES THE WAY THEY LOVE HER - Rod Argent & Chris White
5. I KNOW SHE WILL (Orchestral Mix) - The Zombies
6. MR. GALILEO (Demo) - Rod Argent & Chris White
7. WITHOUT HER - Neil MacArthur
8. TWELVE TWENTY NINE - Neil MacArthur
9. IT NEVER FAILS TO PLEASE ME - Rod Argent & Chris White
10. I COULD SPEND THE DAY (Demo) - Rod Argent & Chris White
11. WALKING IN THE SUN (Orchestral Mix) - The Zombies
12. NEVER MY LOVE - Neil MacArthur
13. IT'S NOT EASY - Neil MacArthur
14. TO JULIA (FOR WHEN SHE SMILES) - Rod Argent & Chris White
15. WORLD OF GLASS - Neil MacArthur
16. DON'T TRY TO EXPLAIN - Neil MacArthur
17. MR. GALILEO - Chris White & Argent
18. IF IT DON'T WORK OUT (Orchestral Mix) - The Zombies
19. MA NON E'GIUSTO (She's Not There - Italian) - Neil MacArthur
20. GOING TO A GO GO (Live) - The Zombies

DVD: The Archie Show: The Complete Series

Collecting the complete 1968 toon series on two disks, this set is out July 31 and is available for pre-order now from Amazon.

DVD: Doctor Who Robot and Survival

These two Doctor Who adventures are out Aug. 14. Click the links to pre-order either from Amazon.

Here are details on each.


Robot
Mortally wounded by the Spider Queen on Metebilis 3, the Doctor is forced to regenerate. His recuperation is cut short as UNIT investigates a spate of robberies involving components for a top-secret disintegrator gun. The culprit is quickly identified as a highly sophisticated robot built by Professor Kettlewell, which is being ordered to act against its Prime Directive.
Extras:
* Audio Commentary by actors Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen and writer Terrance Dicks
* DVD ROM Features:Radio Times listing
* Documentary: "Are Friends Electric?" - A new documentary looks at Tom Baker's introduction as the Doctor and the making of his first story, featuring actors Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Alec Linstead, Patricia Maynard, Michael Kilgarriff and Edward Burnham, producers Barry Letts and Philip Hinchcliffe, script editor Terrance Dicks, director Christopher Barry, production unit manager George Gallacio (38 mins)
* Easter Eggs
* Featurette: "The Tunnel Effect" - Graphic designer Bernard Lodge explains how he created the complex 'never-ending tunnel' opening titles for Tom Baker's stories. Narrated by George Kelly. (13 mins)
* Photo gallery
* Production Notes


Survival
The Doctor takes Ace back to her hometown of Perivale, only to find that something is very, very wrong. Many of Ace's old friends and neighbors have disappeared while domestic pets become victims of unseen killers. Will the hunter become the hunted when only the fittest survive?
Extras:
* Audio Commentary by actors Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred and script editor Andrew Cartmel
* DVD ROM Features:Radio Times listings
* Deleted Scenes
* Documentaries: "Cat Flap" - A new two-part Making Of documentary (61 mins) "Endgame" - Documentary on the end of the original series
* Music Only Track
* Other: Fan commentary (ep 3 only) Continuities (3 mins) "Search Out Science" - Schools program featuring the Doctor and Ace, with Stephen Johnson and K9 (19 mins) "Little Girl Lost" - " Retrospective on Ace (16 mins) Destiny of the Doctors" - Anthony Ainleys last appearance as the Master from 1997 computer games (13 mins)
* Outtakes
* Photo gallery
* Production Notes

Today's video: Beatles "Please Mr. Postman" performance



New comics releases June 6, 2007

Click links to order discounted graphic novels from Amazon.

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


Comics shipping June 6, 2007

DARK HORSE COMICS

APR070011 FEAR AGENT LAST GOODBYE #1 $2.99
JAN070075 SOCK MONKEY THE INCHES INCIDENT #4 (OF 4) $2.99

DC COMICS

APR070185 ALL NEW ATOM #12 $2.99
MAR078365 BATMAN IN THE SIXTIES TP $19.99
OCT058015 BATMAN NO MANS LAND VOL 1 TP $17.99
MAR070175 BATMAN TURNING POINTS TP $14.99
APR070188 BIRDS OF PREY #107 $2.99
MAR070178 CATWOMAN WHEN IN ROME TP $12.99
APR070180 COUNTDOWN 47 $2.99
APR070244 DANGER GIRL BODY SHOTS #3 (OF 4) $2.99
APR070161 DETECTIVE COMICS #833 $2.99
MAR070239 EMMA VOL 4 $9.99
MAR070241 GO GO HEAVEN VOL 2 $9.99
APR070207 JONAH HEX #20 $2.99
APR070225 JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #34 $2.25
APR070230 LOONEY TUNES #151 $2.25
APR070245 MIDNIGHTER #8 $2.99
MAR070242 MOON CHILD VOL 7 $9.99
APR070166 NIGHTWING #133 $2.99
MAR070245 PIECES OF A SPIRAL VOL 8 $9.99
MAR070261 RE-GIFTERS $9.99
APR070177 SUPERGIRL #18 $2.99
MAR070183 SUPERMAN #663 $2.99
APR060196 SUPERMAN DOOMSDAY OMNIBUS TP $19.99
APR070254 SUPERNATURAL ORIGINS #2 $2.99
MAR070246 TENJHO TENGE VOL 14 $9.99
APR070250 WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY #7 $2.99

IMAGE COMICS

APR071848 AMORY WARS #1 (OF 5) $2.99
FEB071908 INVINCIBLE #42 (NOTE PRICE) $1.99
JAN071945 STRANGE GIRL #17 $3.50
FEB078067 WALKING DEAD VOL 2 HC LTD SGN ED (PP #759) $59.99
APR071883 WARD O/T STATE #2 (OF 3) $3.50

MARVEL COMICS

APR072292 AVENGERS INITIATIVE #3 CWI $2.99
APR072371 BULLET POINTS TP $13.99
APR072369 CIVIL WAR IRON MAN TP $11.99
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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pop Artifact! Jungle Girl poster



Pop Culture Roundup June 5, 2007

Action Figure Insider has pics of a whole mess 'o upcoming Justice League Unlimited three-pack sets. See Justice League Unlimited figures available from Amazon.

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Read Fred Hembeck's tribute to Sgt. Pepper and don't forget to take a look at ours too.

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Speaking of the Beatles, here's a bit of hilarity from my home state.

Vintage DC Comics House Ad



DVD new releases June 5, 2007

Seinfeld - Season 8

Rescue Me - The Complete Third Season

Mission Impossible - The Second TV Season

Hogan's Heroes - The Sixth & Final Season

Robin Hood - Season 1

The Cosby Show: Season 3

The Cosby Show: Season 4

Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken / Logopolis / Castrovalva)

Doctor Who - Keeper of Traken (Episode 115)

Doctor Who - Logopolis (Episode 116)

Doctor Who - Castrovalva (Episode 117)

The Fall Guy: The Complete Season 1

Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band: Live In Dublin

CHiPs - The Complete First Season

Martin & Lewis Collection - Vol. 2 (You're Never Too Young / Artists and Models / Living It up / Pardners / Hollywood or Bust)

Fantastic Four - Extended Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Fantastic Voyage

World War II Collection, Vol. 2 - Heroes Fight for Freedom (36 Hours / Air Force / Command Decision / Hell to Eternity / The Hill / Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo)

The Sergio Leone Anthology (A Fistful Of Dollars / For A Few Dollars More / The Good, The Bad And The Ugly / Duck, You Sucker)

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - Global Warming Edition

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home - The Complete First Season

Dark Angel: The Complete First Season

Dark Angel: The Complete Second Season

More DVD new releases.

CD new releases June 5, 2007

CD new releases June 5, 2007

Memory Almost Full by Paul McCartney

Jersey Beat: Music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

A Night With Lou Reed by Lou Reed

Complete Recorded Works, Vol.1 by Fats Waller

More upcoming CD releases.

Today's video: Beatles "Revolution" promo



Monday, June 04, 2007

Pop Artifact! Jungle Drums of Africa poster



Pop Culture Roundup June 4, 2007

Deal alert: You can get Dennis the Menace 1955-56 for $4.98 from Amazon now.

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Hear current acts recreate the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album on BBC radio. Also check out our own Sgt. Pepper tribute.

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Continuing with the Pepper theme: Here's an article about the girl who reportedly inspired Julian Lennon's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" drawing.

"When I told a couple of friends that Lucy in the sky with diamonds was about me, they said, 'No, it can't be, it's to do with LSD.' I was too embarrased to tell them that I didn't know what LSD was."

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Dial B for Burbank presents rare pictures of Shadow creator Walter Gibson, a.k.a. Maxwell Grant.

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The Ephemera blog spotlights "Lord of the Rings" collector Pieter Collier.

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The BBC has info on who'll be scripting episodes for the fourth season of "Doctor Who."

Vintage Comic Book Ad



Fresh Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer pics









Today's video: Beatles "Paperback Writer" promo



Friday, June 01, 2007

It was 40 years ago: TIP's special Sgt. Pepper edition


Hand-painted Fisher-Price Little People, found on eBay.

Forty years ago today (in Britain) and tomorrow (in the United States), the Beatles released what many consider their magnum opus: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

As with any other milestone, the LP is subject to much debate (see the "Is Sgt. Pepper Overrated?" post below). But, whether or not you agree that it's the best album of all-time, or even the best Beatles album, there's no denying it's among the most influential pop LPs ever--and one worth talking a bit about.

So, check out the posts here this weekend and form your own opinions about where the album belongs on the "all-time best" lists. And consider giving the album a commemorative spin, trying to put yourself in the frame of mind of what it must've sounded like for the first time, all those years ago.

Is Sgt. Pepper overrated?



It's the subject of so much discussion and hyperbole, it's no wonder some people seem to hate Sgt. Pepper. Or at least hate that the album is so frequently cited as the "first" or "best" in various categories.

But does that really mean the album is overrated? Or does it just mean that some people are tired of hearing about it?

My own point of view: The LP is not overrated. It had a significant impact on our music and culture--a greater impact than any pop record before or since.

But I also think this: It's not the best Beatles album. Look at it song-by-song as a collection, and I don't feel it contains as many great songs as Rubber Soul or Revolver, or even A Hard Day's Night.

I also don't think it's the Beatles' most innovative album. I'd give that honor to Revolver, which--in terms of new recording techniques and experimentalism--was the band's real artistic breakthrough. "Tomorrow Never Knows" from that album is far more complex and experimental than anything on Pepper.

Geoff Emerick, who took over as the band's recording engineer on Revolver deserves a lot of the credit for helping the Beatles' attain innovative new sounds in the studio. And it's his and the band's technical breakthroughs on Revolver that paved the way for Sgt. Pepper. Not to mention the open mindedness and musical know-how of Beatles producer George Martin.

And, continuing on the topic of what Pepper's not, it's not a concept album. It gets the credit/blame for being the first of the sort, but consider the songs. There's no story or big idea connecting them. The only thing tying them together is the "Sgt. Pepper" theme at the start of the record and its reprise near the end--as if all the songs on the record are being performed by the mythical band in the album's title. But, really, it's a collection of separate songs, just like any other LP.

Real concept albums had been around for a long time before Pepper. Consider Frank Sinatra's series of albums built around thematic concepts (In the Wee Small Hours, Come Fly with Me, Songs for Swinging Lovers) or even the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds from 1966, a huge influence on Revolver. The songs on Pet Sounds share an overarching theme: It's a record about alienation, loneliness, growing up and loss of innocence. And, although not a full concept album, The Kinks included three thematically related songs ("A House in the Country," "Most Exclusive Residence for Sale," and "Sunny Afternoon") on their 1966 Face to Face album.

What Pepper succeeded in doing, however, was to create its own sound world. The Beatles' imaginative use of lyrics, orchestration, recording wizardry and sound effects brings the listener into a rich and eclectic audio scape that's at turns whimsical ("Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite"), surreal ("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"), poignant ("She's Leaving Home"), philosophical ("Within You Without You") nostalgic ("When I'm 64") and abstract ("A Day in the Life"). Using an abundance of musical styles--from straight-out guitar-based rock to chamber music, Indian classical, 30s jazz and avant garde symphonic music--along with studio trickery such as multi-tracking, vari-speeding, "flanging," the band created something captivating and uniquely their own.

And the whole world seemed to notice.

It can be argued that earlier recordings should've been hailed as the first LP to transform pop into "art" (the fact that both critics and U.S. listeners pretty much ignored Pet Sounds when it was first released is criminal), but the fact is that Sgt. Pepper was special, and it was immediately hailed as such.

The album led mainstream publications to publish serious pieces about pop music and cemented the Beatles' position as cultural leaders.

Time magazine, for example, carried a piece praising "Strawberry Fields"/"Penny Lane"--the double A-side single the preceded Pepper--saying:

From the first mewings of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," the Beatles have developed into the single most creative force in pop music. And where they have gone in recent months, not even the ardent supporters would have dreamed of. They have bridged the heretofore impassable gap between rock and classical, mixing elements of Bach, Oriental and electronic music with vintage twang to achieve the most compellingly original sounds ever heard in pop music.

And, in its Sept. 22, 1967, issue Time used Pepper as a springboard for a five-page cover story about the Beatles--describing the group as "messengers from beyond rock'n'roll."

They are creating the most original, expressive and musically interesting sounds being heard in pop music. They are leading an evolution in which the best of current post-rock sounds are becoming something that pop music has never been before: an art form.

The magazine even called in experts to vouch for the music's importance:

Ned Rorem, composer of some of the best of today's art songs, says: "They are colleagues of mine, speaking the same language with different accents." In fact, he adds, the Beatles' haunting composition, "She's Leaving Home"--of 12 songs in the Sgt. Pepper album--is "equal to any song that Schubert ever wrote." Conductor Leonard Bernstein's appreciation is just as high; he cites Schumann. As musicologist Henry Pleasants says: "The Beatles are where music is right now."

Meanwhile, a review in Newsweek on June 26, 1967, said "A Day in the Life":

...is the Beatles' "Waste Land," a superb achievement of their brilliant and startlingly effective popular art."

And writing in The Saturday Review on Aug. 18, 1967, critic Peter Schrag said:

Sgt. Pepper, undoubtedly, is music; but surely it is also literature and criticism, a kind of selective filtering back from one generation to another. The comments that the record offers were grown in contemporary social thought and literature. Certainly the Beatles did not come upon them on their own. But in England and America they have now become the folklore of a generation.

And writing in The Village Voice on June 22, 1967, critic Tom Phillips said:

I must say that I think the Beatles have scored a genuine breakthrough with Sgt. Pepper. Specifically I think they've turned the record-album itself into an art form, and a form that works.

The album earned these accolades--they weren't the result of record company hype but were the genuine reactions of critics. And the record was a popular success, as well, topping the U.S. album charts for 15 weeks and the U.K. album charts for 27 weeks.

You (and I) may prefer other recordings, but it's hard to deny--or overstate--Pepper's impact.

Have you heard the "real" Sgt. Pepper?



I've got a few different Sgt. Pepper albums around here:

* An old Capitol pressing from the 70s and another, more recent Capitol pressing to replace that one because it wore out.

* A "half-speed mastered" high-fidelity version from Mobile Fidelity Soundlab.

* And, of course, the CD that came out 20 years ago.

But none of those is the real Pepper. That I have on vinyl, too, in 1967 Capitol pressing. Why is it more real than the others? Because it's in mono.

That the mono version of Sgt. Pepper is any more genuine or even more desireable than the stero version may seem odd. Afterall, don't all the way-out sounds of this record sound groovier in stereo?

And, yeah, I've got to agree the stereo mix sounds pretty darn good. But, the thing is, the mono version is the album as the Beatles intended. And it sounds quite different. It's punchier throughout. The bass comes through stronger. The "Sgt. Pepper Reprise," especially, comes through more aggressively--it rocks more. And the songs that use sound effects, such as "Good Morning, Good Morning," are mixed quite differently. In short, it's a much different listening experience and one that should be enjoyed. If you can snag a vintage mono LP, or find a homemade CD copy of the mono mix, I heartily recommend it.

And, since Apple Corps/EMI so badly dropped the ball on giving us a 40th anniversary edition of the album, let's hope they're working right now on such a project--one that will include both the stereo and mono mixes of the album.

A little more Pepper?

Learn more about the Beatles and Sgt. Pepper from these TIP!-recommended books:


The Complete Beatles Chronicle By Mark Lewisohn

With a Little Help from My Friends By George Martin with William Pearson


It Was Twenty Years Ago Today By Derek Taylor


The Beatles Anthology DVD set


The Beatles Anthology Book


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band CD

The Pepper package



Along with it's sound, Sgt. Pepper also made a visual impact. The stunning cover by pop artist Peter Blake depicted the Beatles--decked out in brightly colored band uniforms--standing in a crowd of political, religious and pop culture icons (including their earlier selves in the form of wax dummies from Madame Tussuad's). To see who all was included, check out this annotated chart. There's also more information on each of the figures featured here.

The album cover also featured a gatefold photo of the band and, inside the sleeve, a cardboard sheet with cutouts of military shoulder stripes, a mustache, Sgt. Pepper badges and a portrait of Sgt. Pepper himself. The record came in a pop-artish LP sleeve with pink "blobs" on it created by Dutch designers the Fool and a cardboard sheet of cut-outs.



Perhaps most notably, the lyrics for every song appeared on the back cover--a rarity for the time period.

Here's a video of designers talking about Blake's cover design:

Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?

Lots of records--some good, some ok, some wretched--have been cited as the next Sgt. Pepper, but here are some of the most significant LPs that followed in the Beatles' wake:

The Rolling Stones' ill-advised flirtation with psychedelia, Their Satanic Majestie's Request, is likely the most frequently mentioned Pepper wannabe. Though it yielded an ok song or two and is better than most people give it credit for, this type of music wasn't the Stones strong suit and they soon returned to bluesy, rocking form, releasing a series of albums between 1968 and the early 1970s that turned out to be the best of their career.

An album recorded at Abbey Road soon after Pepper and engineered by Geoff Emerick to boot, the Zombies' Odessey and Oracle is a very strong LP featuring some excellent songs, including the gorgeous "Brief Candles" and the hit "Time of the Season." It's not a concept album and it doesn't sound much like Pepper but, like the Beatles, this was a band working at the top of its game.

Pink Floyd were an innovative, experimental singles band before Pepper came out, but their first LPs A Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets (as well as those that followed later in the 1960s and in the 1970s) shared Pepper's same spirit of adventure

Love's Forever Changes is another example of a LP that holds together extremely well as a long-form statement, blending lovely horn and string arrangements with traditional rock instrumentation.

Pepper likely had a big impact on the Who, which went on to record their Who Sell Out and Tommy concept albums afterwards and the Kinks, who went to work on Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur.

The Moody Blues put out Days of Future Passed, which blended classical and rock, and the Small Faces released Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, which featured a side-long fairy tale set to music.

The Pretty Things did a concept album, S.F. Sorrow, in 1968 that's Pepper-inspired, and the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson was in the midst of working on his super-ambitious Smile album when Pepper was released and took the wind out of his sails. He was so overwhelmed by the Beatles' masterstroke that he lost confidence in himself. Smile songs creeped out here and there (most notably on the Smiley Smile album, Surf's Up and the 1990s Good Vibrations) box set, but it took until 2003 for Wilson to finally put out Smile in complete, newly recorded form.

Pepper pics











Today's videos: "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields"

While not on the Sgt. Pepper album, these two groundbreaking songs were recorded during the same sessions and released on a double A-side single in advance of the Pepper LP. These promotional films are pretty groundbreaking, too, paving the way for the music videos of the 1980s and 1990s.