Thursday, February 07, 2008

Upcoming DVDs of interest

Click the title links for additional information from Amazon.


TCM Archives - Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 2 (The Divorcee / A Free Soul / Night Nurse / Three on a Match / Female)


Father Knows Best: Season One
Maybe he didn't always know best, but insurance salesman Jim Anderson (Robert Young) of Springfield, Ohio, was America's favorite head of household. Father Knows Best premiered on CBS in October 1954 and has been part of the American cultural fabric ever since. Every week families gathered around the television set to join Jim, Margaret, Princess, Bud and Kitten in their very first year as everyone's favorite 50's family. On DVD for the first time ever, this 4-disc set contains the Complete first season. BONUS FEATURES *New cast interviews *Robert Young's home movies *Rare behind the scenes color footage *24 Hours In Tyrantland, special episode created for the U.S. government. *Window On Main Street pilot episode, Robert Young's very next TV series.


The Invaders: Season One


Adventures of Robin Hood - Complete First Season
This classic television series ran from 1955 to 1960, featuring the tales of Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men. Richard Greene stars as our gallant hero who fought the forces of the evil Prince John, his local official the Sheriff of Nottingham and any aristocrat or ne'er-do-well who threatened the common people and loyal subjects of King Richard. Robin and his band lived in the shelter of Sherwood Forest, fighting their foes and hoping for the day when their beloved King Richard will return from the Crusades to rule once again. Starring Richard Greene, Alexander Gauge, Simone Lovell (1955 - 1960) B&W Unrated


The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show - The Complete Series


Mike Douglas - Moments & Memories / John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Rolling Stones, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Martin
Douglas' charming disposition drew in the viewers while also setting his high-profile guests at ease. Almost every major celebrity who hit it big in the 60s and 70s appeared on the show either as a guest or co-host. John Lennon and Yoko Ono co-hosted the program for a week in 1972, producing several poignant and memorable moments such as the duo's live performance of Imagine and their collaboration with Chuck Berry on the rock n roll classic Johnny B. Goode. A 2- year-old Tiger Woods also charmed the crowds like a seasoned performer, showcasing his early talent for golf while unknowingly matching wits with comedic heavyweight Bob Hope.

Priceless moments like these captured the hearts and imaginations of viewers throughout the country. But it was Douglas' innate charm that endeared him to his fans. He frequently sang on the show, crooning out classic numbers like The Men in My Little Girl s Life. Douglas also kept the show light-hearted and entertaining, frequently choosing silly and outlandish stunts to make his audience laugh. Throughout the course of the program, Douglas wrestles with Andre the Giant, talks to a chimpanzee and clowns around with a variety of comedians.


The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
Newly restored and available for the first time on DVD, Albert Lamorisse s exquisite The Red Balloon remains one of the most beloved children s films of all time. In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon, which seems to have a mind of its own, on the streets of Paris. The two become inseparable, yet the world s harsh realities finally interfere. With its glorious palette and allegorical purity, the Academy Award winning The Red Balloon has enchanted movie lovers, young and old, for generations.


Houdini: The Movie Star
By the year 1919, Harry Houdini was known throughout the world as a master magician and escape artist. Having conquered the stage, he set out to rule the screen, appearing in a series of thrillers built upon his almost supernatural powers. Culled from film archives and private collections, this Kino DVD set includes all of Houdini s surviving films as an actor, rare footage of actual handcuff and straitjacket escapes, and a wealth of historical information. Includes: THE MASTER MYSTERY (1919, 238m, Color Tinted) TERROR ISLAND (1920, 55m, B&W) THE MAN FROM BEYOND (1922, 68m, Color Tinted) HALDANE OF THE SECRET SERVICE (1923, 84m, Color Tinted) THE GRIM GAME (Fragment, 1919, 5m, Color Tinted) - SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE: Filmed records of Houdini escapes (ca. 1907-23) - Audio recording of Houdini speaking (1914) - Excerpts from the NY Censor Board files - Slippery Jim, a 1910 Houdini-inspired comedy - The illusion Metamorphosis performed by Houdini s brother Hardeen and others.


Bionic Woman - Volume One
Jaime Sommers is nothing but a hard-working woman juggling work as a bartender, the responsibility for the care of her younger sister, Becca, and her relationship with her boyfriend, Will. Jaime has always enjoyed being as normal as any other human being. However, this all changes when she is hit by a car and seriously injured. Her only hope becomes an experimental and top secret procedure, but, as Jaime soon discovers, this salvation comes at a high price.


Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 1 (The Public Enemy / White Heat / Angels with Dirty Faces / Little Caesar / The Petrified Forest / The Roaring Twenties)


Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 2 (Bullets or Ballots / City for Conquest / Each Dawn I Die / G Men / San Quentin / A Slight Case of Murder)


Gang of Souls: A Generation of Beat Poets



Elvis On Elvis
In this revealing program Elvis is given the opportunity to introduce the real man behind the on stage image. Through previously unseen and incredibly revealing footage and rare recordings we see a side to the king that only he could have known and only he could claim. Such as discussing his innermost concerns relating to his weight problems, aspects of his love life, and his thoughts regarding the entourage who slavishly catered to his every whim. As if this sensational material were not enough there is a collection of 18 tracks including the song he wrote for his mom I'll Never Stand In Your Way and Maybelline, both of which are rare recordings and never before seen on DVD. Add to the Elvis music the Elvis spoken word and you have the makings of placing this title in a league of its own as a collection of the most sought after information and recordings of this iconic figure ever compiled. You ll find the contents of this double DVD a revelation; and we can assure you this compelling and most informative of programs will provide a glimpse of an Elvis you knew, but also a version he wasn't allowed to show.

Pop links

Via Blogity-Blog-Blog-Blog: Sterling silver super rings! Check it out...


Green Lantern


Legion of Superheroes


Even Doctor Strange!

More here.

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Corgi has unveiled a fuel cell-powered toy car!

The H2GO, from Corgi International combines classic playability with breakthrough zero emissions energy technology. Power for the H2GO is delivered by an on-board hydrogen fuel cell, where sun and water supply the fuelling unit with renewable, clean energy for unlimited play.



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Video: Steve Martin on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, 1973.

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Jon's Random Acts of Geekery presents a whole bunch of "Six Million Dollar Man" memorabilia.

James Bond Quantum of Solace teaser poster



Comic book movies I'm surprised haven't been made

Not that I'd want to see Hollywood's take on any of these characters. I'm just surprised, given the hot market for super-movies over the past few years, that none of them have been exploited yet.

Before you comment or e-mail, I know movies featuring some (maybe all) of these characters have been rumored. Some may even be in the works. But until they're actually on the screen, there's no certainty we'll ever see them. You know how Hollywood operates.


Plastic Man

Come on, can't you see Jim Carrey in this role? Maybe he kinda, sorta did it already in "The Mask." But I can see him or some other manic, rubbery comedian playing the part in a flick that would, ideally, draw from witty, satirical Jack Cole comics. Most likely, though, it'd be just another dumb comedy. But with a really stretchy guy in it. Jack Black could be Woozy Winks.



Doom Patrol

Hollywood did pretty well with the "X-Men." The first two movies weren't even that bad. So why not give these freaks a try? I'm thinking the standard Silver Age version, not the whacked out Grant Morrison take, although that one would make for a wild film.


The Flash

Yeah, this is one of those possibly in-the-works flicks. It's about a guy who runs really fast. You can go pretty much anywhere from there. I, of course, would stick closely to the original Silver Age version. Give us a quick origin and show the Flash beating a baddie.


Sandman

I'm thinking the Neil Gaimin version, although it'd be pretty hard to adapt. The stories don't lend themselves to quick-and-simple movie-style plots. But you could do a pretty cooly pulpy, noir flick with the "Sandman Mystery Theater" version, instead. If so, it should be set in the 1940s and should play up the low-tech aspects of the hero: Trench coat, gas mask, sleeping gas. It'd be nifty in black and white.


Deadman

Maybe the most striking entry on this list: How can nobody in Hollywood not know how freaking cool this hero is? Man. Just get some special effects guys, some actors and a copy of that big, hardcover Neal Adams "Deadman" comics collection and make it.

Deadman is basically a ghost that can inhabit other people's bodies, right? So why not get a cool cast of interesting/notable actors and actresses who can all take turns being possessed?


Thor

This one's supposedly in the works. I'm not really sure how to do a compelling Thor movie. It'd be hard to set up all the Lee-Kirby mythology and string an audience along. If you dispense with that and place Thor on Earth, it could be dull. I suppose a Thor-Loki smackdown would be the best "plot."


Metamorpho

I wouldn't really want to see a Metamorpho movie. I just don't think Hollywood could do anything fun or interesting with him. And maybe he's too much of a low-level character to sustain a feature. But he does have interesting powers that would make for cool special effects.


Challengers of the Unknown

Get four hot actors, one hot actress and a bunch of purple jumpsuits. It's sort of like "Oceans 11." With monsters.


The Atom

Doesn't everyone like to imagine what it'd be like to be really tiny? Start building the giant props now.


Aquaman and/or Sub-mariner

Yes, the Aquaman thing has been joked about ad nauseum. And, yeah, "Aquaman" is a stupid name if you think about it for half a second. So is "Sub-Mariner." And half of the people can't even pronounce that one right.


But make a cool underwater movie with good effects and a decent story and there's no reason something like this couldn't be successful. If you go with Sub-Mariner, you can just call it "Namor" and avoid the whole name problem.


Green Arrow

Like Metamorpho, here's another character I can't really see carrying a feature movie. But that doesn't mean Hollywood couldn't try.


Green Lantern

This one's been rumored. You could do an interesting movie with the Silver Age version of the character. I'd focus on the sci-fi aspect, with the Guardians and the whole nine yards.

What do you think? Are there any other comic book properties Hollywood should hurry up and exploit? Post your thoughts in the comments section.

Don't forget Lost tonight!

Read a teaser for tonight's episode!

PLUS see what happened last week.

Then come back tomorrow for a detailed look at tonight's ep, with clues and observations.

14 Days of Love: Crazy romance comic book covers

Counting down to Valentine's Day, here entry 7:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Upcoming Marvel Essential volumes

Here's a look at Marvel Essentials planned for later in the year. Click the links to pre-order any of the titles from Amazon.

Essential Ghost Rider Vol. 3

Essential Marvel Team-Up Vol. 3

Essential Doctor Strange Vol. 4

Essential Captain Marvel Vol. 1

He made a big Return during Civil War, but how'd he get here in the first place? Watch the wonders of Mar-Vell right from the start in stories reprinted for the first time in more than 25 years! Earth's newest protector faces such forgotten furies as Mandroid, Man-Slayer, and the Metazoid - along with the Super-Skrull, Ronan the Accuser, and more of the deadliest dynamos from three galaxies! Plus: the start of his lifelong bond, molecular and otherwise, with professional sidekick Rick Jones! But where there's Rick, can a jade-skinned giant be far behind? Also guest-starring Iron Man and Namor the Sub-Mariner - and introducing Carol Danvers, later known as Ms. Marvel! Collects Marvel Super-Heroes #12-13 and Captain Marvel #1-21

Upcoming DC Showcase Presents collections

Here are some releases DC has planned for later in the year. You can click the titles to pre-order them from Amazon.

Showcase Presents: House of Secrets Vol. 1

Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2

Showcase Presents the Atom Vol. 2

Showcase Presents Superman Vol. 4


Showcase Presents Batman Vol. 3

Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 2


14 Days of Love: Crazy romance comic book covers

Counting down to Valentine's Day, here's entry 6:

Lost Feb. 21 episode preview

Highlight the hidden text below for a teaser of the Feb. 21 episode of "Lost."

KATE'S STANDING WITH LOCKE AND SAWYER MAY BE JEOPARDIZED WHENHER NEED TO GET INFORMATION FROM THE HOSTAGE BECOMES HER TOP PRIORITY, ON ABC'S "LOST"

"Eggtown" - Kate's need to get information out of the hostage may jeopardize her standing with Locke -- as well as with Sawyer -- on "Lost," THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

"Lost" stars Naveen Andrews as Sayid, Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond, Emilie de Ravin as Claire, Michael Emerson as Ben, Matthew Fox as Jack, Jorge Garcia as Hurley, Josh Holloway as Sawyer, Daniel Dae Kim as Jin, Yunjin Kim as Sun, Evangeline Lilly as Kate, Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet, Terry O'Quinn as Locke and Harold Perrineau as Michael.

Guest starring are Ken Leung as Miles, Jeremy Davies as Daniel Faraday, Rebecca Mader as Charlotte, Shawn Doyle as Duncan Forrester, Susan Gibney as Melissa Dunbrook, Traber Burns as judge, Fred Q. Collins as bailiff, Beth Broderick as Diane Jansen, Tania Kahale as nanny and William Blanchette as child.

"Eggtown" was written by Elizabeth Sarnoff & Greggory Nations and directed by Stephen Williams.

Also see:

The Best Lost Sites on the Web
Lost: What we STILL don't know
Lost Season 3 episode guide
Lost season 4 episode 2 details
Lost season 4 episode 3 details


Pop links

Bedazzled presents the unaired pilots for "The Munsters" and "Gilligan's Island."

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"Doctor Who" spinoff "The Sarah Jane Adventures" has been renewed for a second season. As I mentioned a few days back, the show will make its U.S. debut on the Sci Fi Channel in April.

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Turns out the fourth season of "Doctor Who" will debut in April on the Sci Fi Channel, too.

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Cleveland may hold a "summer of Superman" this year to celebrate the Man of Steel's 50th anniversary.

Beatles' meditation guru dies

The Maharish Mahesh Yogi, who introduced the Beatles to transcendental meditation in the late 1960s, has passed away at age 91, the BBC reports.

The Maharishi introduced the technique to the US in 1959, but it did not become widely known in the West until 1968, when the Beatles travelled to India to meditate with him, although the band famously later fell out with him.

Despite this, transcendental meditation's 20-minute routine came to be widely used in the worlds of education, business and welfare to reduce stress and improve concentration, eventually building a following of five million people.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New comics Feb. 6, 2008

Click highlighted titles to order from Amazon.

DARK HORSE COMICS

NOV070076 30 DAYS OF NIGHT ZIPPO LIGHTER CHROME $29.99
DEC070022 ABE SAPIEN THE DROWNING #1 (OF 5) $2.99
SEP070029 ALIENS CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE MMPB NOVEL $6.99
SEP070084 BLOOD PLUS TP VOL 01 $10.95
SEP070091 BRIDE OF THE WATER GOD TP VOL 02 $9.95
DEC070030 BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #11 $2.99
SEP070092 CHUNCHU GENOCIDE FIEND TP VOL 03 $10.95
SEP070088 GUNSMITH CATS BURST TP VOL 03 $10.95
JUL070068 HANAMI INTERNATIONAL LOVE STORY VOL 3 TP $9.95
SEP070040 RED STRING TP VOL 02 $9.95
AUG070167 SERENITY ORNAMENT INARAS SHUTTLE $29.99
OCT070064 STAR WARS LEGACY #19 $2.99
OCT070069 STAR WARS REBELLION #11 $2.99

DC COMICS

DEC070221 ALL NEW ATOM #20 $2.99
OCT070154 BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #12 $2.99
OCT070189 BATMAN FALSE FACES HC $19.99
DEC070225 COUNTDOWN SPECIAL OMAC $4.99
DEC070183 COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS 12 $2.99
DEC070207 DETECTIVE COMICS #841 $2.99
NOV070241 DIANA PRINCE WONDER WOMAN TP VOL 01 $19.99
DEC078011 GREEN LANTERN CORPS #20 2ND PTG $2.99
DEC070201 INFINITY INC #6 $2.99
DEC070236 JONAH HEX #28 $2.99
DEC070262 JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #42 $2.25
NOV070209 JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #12 $2.99
NOV070258 KING OF CARDS VOL 03 $9.99
DEC070266 LOONEY TUNES #159 $2.25
DEC070237 METAL MEN #6 (OF 8) $2.99
DEC070280 MIDNIGHTER #16 $2.99
DEC070209 NIGHTWING #141 $2.99
JUL070319 ROBIN 13 INCH COLLECTOR FIGURE $69.99
DEC070219 SUPERGIRL #26 $2.99
JUL070317 SUPERMAN BATMAN SER 5 POWER GIRL AF PI
JUL070316 SUPERMAN BATMAN SER 5 SUPERGIRL AF PI
JUL070318 SUPERMAN BATMAN SER 5 SUPERMAN BATMAN AF PI
NOV070238 SUPERMAN CHRONICLES TP VOL 04 $14.99
NOV070261 SWAN VOL 12 $9.99
DEC070195 TEEN TITANS YEAR ONE #2 (OF 6) $2.99
DEC070274 WILDSTORM REVELATIONS #3 (OF 6) $2.99

IMAGE COMICS

MAY071850 BAKERS BABIES & KITTENS HC $18.99
NOV072037 CIRCLE #3 $2.99
DEC072153 DARKNESS EVE WWTX T/S 2XL $21.99
DEC072154 DARKNESS EVE WWTX T/S 3XL $21.99
DEC072150 DARKNESS EVE WWTX T/S MD $17.99
DEC072149 DARKNESS EVE WWTX T/S SM $17.99
DEC072152 DARKNESS EVE WWTX T/S XL $17.99
MAY071894 FIRST BORN #1 STJEPAN SEJIC LTD ED LITHO $29.99
JUL071974 FIRST BORN #3 STJEPAN SEJIC LTD ED LITHO $29.99
NOV072111 FIRST BORN COMPLETE COVER SET $17.99
SEP072036 FRESHMEN VOL 2 SET $12.00
NOV072112 PILOT SEASON COMPLETE SET $11.99
DEC072049 SCUD THE DISPOSABLE ASSASSIN #21 $3.50
AUG072028 SPAWN #175 $2.95
DEC072105 TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD IMAGE ED #10 $3.50
MAY071896 WITCHBLADE #110 MAYHEW LTD ED LITHO $29.99
NOV072074 WITCHBLADE #115 $2.99
NOV072073 WITCHBLADE #115 SARA PEZZINI CVR A $2.99

MARVEL COMICS

NOV072127 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #549 BND $2.99
AUG072279 ANITA BLAKE VH GUILTY PLEASURES #8 (OF 12) $2.99
DEC072171 ANNIHILATION CONQUEST #4 (OF 6) $2.99
DEC072179 CLANDESTINE #1 (OF 5) $2.99
DEC072282 ESSENTIAL AVENGERS TP VOL 06 $16.99
DEC072284 GIANT SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN POSTER $7.99
DEC072159 LORDS OF AVALON SWORD OF DARKNESS #1 (OF 6) $2.99
DEC072268 MARVEL ADVENTURES IRON MAN TP VOL 02 DIGEST $7.99
DEC072155 MARVEL ILLUSTRATED MOBY DICK #1 (OF 6) $2.99
DEC072199 MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #8 $4.99
DEC072204 MOON KNIGHT #15 $2.99
DEC072203 MS MARVEL #24 $2.99
DEC072172 NEW AVENGERS POSTER BOOK $5.99
DEC072200 OMEGA UNKNOWN #5 (OF 10) $2.99
DEC072214 SILVER SURFER IN THY NAME #4 (OF 4) $2.99
DEC072273 SUPER VILLAIN TEAMUP MODOKS 11 TP $13.99
DEC072283 THOR BY COIPEL & DJURDJEVIC POSTER $7.99
NOV072231 THOR VISIONARIES WALT SIMONSON TP VOL 05 $24.99
DEC072215 TWELVE #2 (OF 12) $2.99
DEC072269 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN TP VOL 19 DEATH OF THE GOBLIN $14.99
DEC072219 UNCANNY X-MEN #495 DWS $2.99

WIZARD ENTERTAINMENT

AUG073265 AMAZING SPIDER MAN #544 OMD QUESADA CVR CGC 9.8 PI
AUG073267 DAREDEVIL #100 TURNER CVR CGC 9.8 PI
SEP073268 FATHOM KIANI #2 WWP TURNER VAR CGC 9.8 PI

COMICS

NOV073779 2000 AD #1569 $4.50
NOV073780 2000 AD #1570 $4.50
DEC073858 ABC WARRIORS GN HELLBRINGER $23.50
NOV073911 ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND GN VOL 05 $8.99
DEC073606 ALBERT & THE OTHERS GN $9.95
AUG073978 ALBION ORIGINS VOL 1 HC $19.95
NOV073834 AQUA GN VOL 02 (OF 2) $9.99
NOV073463 ARMY OF DARKNESS #6 LONG ROAD HOME $3.50
NOV073912 BABY & ME GN VOL 06 $8.99
OCT073400 BATTLESTAR GALACTICA ORIGINS #2 $3.50
OCT073193 BEST OF THE WEST #65 $6.95
NOV073323 BETTY & VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #158 $3.69
NOV073435 BIGGLES RECOUNTS GN BATTLE OF BRITAIN (NOTE PRICE) $11.95
DEC074017 BLACK GOD TP VOL 02 $10.99
OCT073349 BLACKBEARD LEGACY (BLUEWATER) #4 $3.50
NOV073436 BLAKE & MORTIMER GN THE MYSTERY O/T GREAT PYRAMID PT 2 $13.95
NOV073901 BUSO RENKIN TP VOL 10 $7.99
DEC073765 COMPLETE 30 DAYS OF NIGHT TRILOGY HC (AUG073747) $100.00
DEC073339 CONTRABAND GN $12.95
NOV073904 D GRAY MAN GN VOL 08 $7.99
NOV078074 DAN DARE #1 (OF 7) 2ND PTG #798) $2.99
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OCT073463 DELETE #5 (RES) $2.99
DEC073622 DF PHOENIX WAR SONG #1 TYLER KIRKHAM LTD VAR CVR PI
DEC073624 DF X-MEN MESSIAH COMPLEX ONE SHOT LTD VAR CVR PI
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NOV073894 DRAGON DRIVE TP VOL 06 $7.99
NOV073844 DRAGON VOICE GN VOL 10 (OF 11) $9.99
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JUL073494 DRAGONLANCE CHRONICLES VOL 3 WALPOLE CVR B #7 (OF 12) $5.50
DEC073381 EVE VAMPIRE DIVA #3 (OF 4) $3.95
NOV073905 EYESHIELD 21 TP VOL 18 $7.99
DEC073737 FALLEN ANGEL TP VOL 04 $19.99
DEC073607 FIRE AWAY GN $9.95
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OCT073441 FORGOTTEN REALMS HC DARK ELF TRILOGY OMNIBUS $49.99
NOV073915 FUSHIGI YUGI GENBU KAIDEN TP VOL 06 $8.99
OCT073440 GI JOE VS TRANSFORMERS HC OMNIBUS $49.99
NOV073916 GODCHILD TP VOL 08 $8.99
DEC073511 GRAPHIC LIBRARY GN BESSIE COLEMAN DARING STUNT PILOT $7.95
DEC073512 GRAPHIC LIBRARY GN BOOKER T WASHINGTON $7.95
DEC073513 GRAPHIC LIBRARY GN HARRIET TUBMAN & UNDERGROUND RAILROAD $7.95
DEC073514 GRAPHIC LIBRARY GN JACKIE ROBINSON $7.95
DEC073515 GRAPHIC LIBRARY GN MARTIN LUTHER KING JR $7.95
DEC073516 GRAPHIC LIBRARY GN NAT TURNERS SLAVE REBELLION $7.95
DEC073517 GRAPHIC LIBRARY GN ROSA PARKS MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT $7.95
DEC073518 GRAPHIC LIBRARY GN WILMA RUDOLPH $7.95
NOV073710 GRAPHIC UNIVERSE HC SUNJATA WARRIOR KING OF MALI $26.60
DEC073578 HALLOWEEN NIGHTDANCE #1 CUNNINGHAM CVR C $3.50
DEC073576 HALLOWEEN NIGHTDANCE #1 SEELEY CVR A $3.50
DEC073577 HALLOWEEN NIGHTDANCE #1 SIENKIEWICZ CVR B $3.50
NOV073895 HOSHIN ENGI TP VOL 05 $7.99
DEC073639 HOTWIRE COMICS GN VOL 01 (O/A) (JAN063036) $19.95
DEC073638 HOTWIRE COMICS GN VOL 02 $22.99
DEC073370 I LOVE HEAVEN SENT 2 PACK $15.95
NOV073828 I WISH GN VOL 01 (OF 7) $9.99
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NOV073768 INCURSION #3 $3.99
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DEC073874 INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET GN $22.99
DEC073826 JUMPER JUMPSCARS TP $14.95
OCT073393 JUNGLE GIRL PX ED #4 $2.99
NOV073823 KARE KANO ULTIMATE ED GN VOL 01 $12.99
NOV073917 KAZE HIKARU GN VOL 08 $8.99
NOV073896 KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC TP VOL 22 $7.95
NOV073547 KRAZY & IGNATZ 1941 1942 RAGOUT OF RASPBERRIES TP $19.95
NOV073839 KUNG FU KLUTZ & KARATE COOL GN VOL 02 (OF 3) (RES) $4.99
DEC073794 LADY DEATH #0 ALCHEMY EDITION $59.99
DEC073793 LADY DEATH #0 CLASSIC EDITION $39.99
DEC073457 LADY DEATH SACRILEGE #2 (OF 2) UPPER HAND CVR $5.99
NOV073848 LITTLE QUEEN GN VOL 05 (OF 8) $9.99
NOV073397 LOOKING FOR GROUP #2 $2.95
SEP073447 LOST RAVEN GN (O/A) $11.99
NOV073546 MAVIS #5 $3.50
DEC073455 MEDIEVAL LADY DEATH WAR O/T WINDS #1-6 SET $22.99
NOV073921 MEGAMAN NT WARRIOR GN VOL 13 $7.99
OCT073194 MEN OF MYSTERY SPOTLIGHT SPECIAL VOL 2 BLACK TERROR $24.95
SEP073514 MERCENARIES FOIL CVR #2 PI
NOV073788 MIDKNIGHT #2 $2.95
OCT073252 MISADVENTURES OF CLARK & JEFFERSON #2 (OF 4) $3.50
NOV073849 MISSILE HAPPY GN VOL 02 (OF 5) $9.99
NOV073897 MUHYO ROJIS BUREAU SUPER INVEST TP VOL 03 $7.99
NOV073900 NARUTO OFFICIAL FANBOOK $14.99
DEC073377 NEOTOPIA PKT MANGA 4 PACK $24.95
NOV073890 NICOLAS CAGES VOODOO CHILD TP VOL 01 SHADOWPLAY $14.99
NOV073413 NORTH WIND #2 (OF 5) (RES) $3.99
NOV073918 OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB TP VOL 10 $8.99
DEC073615 PARADIGM SHIFT GN VOL 01 EQUILIBRIUM $9.95
NOV073733 PHANTOM #21 $3.99
NOV073850 PLATINUM GARDEN GN VOL 06 (OF 10) $9.99
NOV073906 PRETTY FACE TP VOL 04 $7.99
NOV073523 PURI PURI GN VOL 04 $9.95
NOV073907 RAL OMEGA GRAD GN VOL 01 $7.99
NOV073851 RECAST GN VOL 05 (OF 6) $9.99
NOV073852 RURE GN VOL 02 (OF 6) $9.99
NOV073853 SATISFACTION GUARANTEED GN VOL 06 (OF 9) $9.99
NOV073414 SECOND WAVE TP VOL 01 (RES) $14.99
NOV073892 SHONEN JUMP MAR 08 $4.99
DEC073860 SLAINE GN WARRIORS DAWN $28.50
NOV073524 SNK VS CAPCOM TP VOL 08 SVC CHAOS $15.95
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NOV073630 SPEED RACER CHRONICLES O/T RACER #1 $3.99
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Fred Hembeck interview!

Cartoonist Fred Hembeck is a pioneer. I mean, who's been making fun of comic books longer than him?

Way before the dawn of the Internet and the 8 zillion funny book-ridiculing blogs that have cropped up since, he was out there, poking affectionate fun at the characters we all know and love so well.

His funny, squiggle-limbed depictions of Marvel and DC superheroes were favorites of many of us who became comic books fans in the 1970s and 80s.

I grew up reading his strips in DC and Marvel comic books, Comics Scene, Amazing Heroes and other mags he's contributed to over the years. And one of the highlights of doing this site has been getting to know him a little bit via e-mail.

If you aren't familiar with his work, it's easy enough to get that way. Just check out his great Fred Sez Web site.

But don't go there yet! Stay and read this interview first, in which Fred details his latest project--one I can't wait to see--a mammoth collection of his 'toons humorously titled "The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus," which is due out any day now from Image Comics.


Here we go:


This new book is a whopper isn't it? How many pages?

Well, there are 826 pages of my art included--add in the various text
material (each section--and there are seven in all--boast their own
introductions) and it's gotta be close to 900 pages!

I don't know the exact page count yet because I'm not sure how many pages the written
stuff will fill once the production folks shoehorn it in between all the cartoon stuff--guess we'll all find out together!!



Why did you choose such a short title for it?

Because my original title--The Kinda Sorta Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archive Omnibus Showcasing Several Previously Unpublished Masterworks seemed just a wee bit long! (I actually considered calling it A Whole Lotta Hembeck at one point, but luckily, cooler heads prevailed...)

Where should I shelve it? With my Masterworks? Archives? Essentials? I'm confused...

Do you have a family Bible? As the SECOND greatest book ever written, well--hey, I kid, I kid!

Truth is, there's no real need to shelve it at all--best to have your Hembeck Omnibus at your side and ready to dip into at all times, I'm thinking...

As I understand it, the book contains all your Dateline: @#$%! strips. What else will we see in it? Any surprises?

Oh yeah, LOTS of surprises! Pretty much every strip I've ever done for a comics oriented mag published by someone other than one of the major companies (Marvel and DC, mainly) is in there, as well as lots of other little oddities--commission illos, ads, holiday cards, a birth announcement, a few pieces of nature art, and even a caricature of yours truly done by that OTHER Hembeck, daughter Julie!

Oh, and some of the strips I did while a member of CAPA-alpha are pretty out there, like the one where Cartoon Fred gets a little, um, randy with the Golden Age Black Cat! Hey, what can I tell you--we were both a lot younger back then, y'know?...


Black Cat from Amazing Heroes Swimsuit Special

Was it a real pain in the butt to put together?

Yes and no. Organizing all those goodies was certainly one extended trip down memory lane, I'll tell you that! And all those scans! Yow--there had to be over a thousand in all (some pages have more than one piece on it, y'see), and THAT was no picnic!

But it was kind of exciting, too--even if I did have to cringe looking at some of the stuff, wondering "What the heck was I THINKING?". But publisher Erik Larsen and Al Gordon--who got this train a'rollin' in the first place--mandated that I use ALL my Dateline: @#$! strips, even the awful ones, so let me apologize in advance for what I hope is only a handful of truly dreadful pages.

So yeah, there was a lot of drudge work in pulling this thing together, but whatever the tedium amounted to, it was easily leavened by the knowledge that a big-time publisher like Image was giving me this rare opportunity to strut my stuff in one way massive package, and THAT certainly wasn't something to be taken lightly!


Comic Scene strip - click to enlarge

What made you decide to start poking fun at superhero comics? What was the first such strip you did?

The first such strip had Cartoon Fred interviewing Spider-Man about some then-recent changes regarding the folks in charge of handling his artistic chores.

I'd always intended to become your standard, garden variety super-hero artist, but after a series of interviews did not break my way, I cobbled together the aforementioned strip--not unlike a series of illustrated LOCs (letters of comments) that I'd already sent into various Marvel and DC Comics--and shipped it off blindly to Alan Light's weekly Buyer's Guide For Comics Fandom. Alan printed it, people liked it, and--boom!--we were off!

The thing is, I ALWAYS had opinions about comics back in those days, and if I was going to submit them in cartoon form, well, I figured it wouldn't hurt any to toss in a few gags along the way! Then it all just snowballed...


First Dateline: @#$%! strip, top three panels - no squiggles!

When did you develop the knee and elbow squiggle?

You won't find 'em in my very first strips, but they appear pretty early
on. I copped 'em from Mort Walker and Hank Ketcham (and Dennis the Menace ghost--and one of my very favorite cartoonists--Al Wiseman). I was likely just looking for something to dress up my otherwise rather spare drawings--who could've ever known it'd turn out to be such a signature for me? (Um, the proper answer to that one is, "I sure didn't...").


Second Dateline Dateline: @#$%! strip, top three panels - with squiggles!

Did you ever run afoul of DC or Marvel management with any of the strips you did for them?


Well, aside from that whole nasty business where the Fred Hembeck Destroys The Marvel Universe book was held back for several years--and when it did appear, it came out as a 32 page book, not the 48 pager as originally done (due mostly to events I had no control over, such as featured character Jim Shooter being ousted from the company) (folks can read the whole quasi-sordid story over at my web-site, including the dozens of never published but finished pages, as this is material that, unfortunately won't be found in the Omnibus.)

I never had much trouble. The only instance I can recall of upsetting folks--and it's a very, very mild example--was when Bob Rozakis--who was in charge of those little Daily Planet gags I did way back when (also--sorry folks--not in the Omnibus) discovered that a J'onn J'onnz strip I'd submitted to him was very similar to a gag I'd done for one of my Fantaco books. I figured since the Human Torch wasn't involved this time around, it was different enough, but Bob didn't quite concur. But like I said, hardly a major problem.


Capa-Alpha drawing

Stan Lee wrote the foreword to your new book. How'd you score that coup?


I dedicated my very first collection of strips to Stan, and somehow managed to get a copy out to him, after which, he sent off a very flattering note. But I was never more flattered than I was back in 1990 when Stan called me up, totally out of the blue, and asked me to work with him creating a cartoon series for a potential prime time slot on network TV (the is was in the wake of the initial success of The Simpsons)!

The concept was very much like what would eventually become "The Incredibles." Well, the thing didn't sell, but we've stayed in touch pretty much ever since (I even worked for the doomed Stan Lee Web site for awhile, stockpiling nearly a dozen weekly strips that also never saw the light of day, due to the site's untimely demise), and he's always said to me, "Hemby, if there's anything I can do for YOU, just ask!" So, this seemed as good a time as any to play that card, and, boy oh boy, did he ever come through for me!

Some day, I've gotta tell this story in much more detail, but trust me, the afternoon I spent on the phone, brainstorming the five main characters for our cartoon show with Stan, was just absolute magic! There's no denying I've had one peculiar career, and maybe the icing on THAT cake is that the very pinnacle of it was working on something that nobody's ever seen! Stan takes far more flak than he deserves--to me, he'll always be the greatest guy in the world!

If I was a musician, and suddenly a call came in from Paul McCartney asking me to write a song with him, THAT'D be the only thing analogous to my working with Stan! (And y'know, with my luck, that Hembeck/McCartney ditty would undoubtedly be cut from the final track listing...)

I should also mention Jim Salicrup, my long-time editor, friend, and relentless booster, who contributed a nifty Introduction to the book, immediately following Stan's Foreword. Y'know, Stan and Jim have worked together for years, and I'm delighted to be included in their little circle upon occasion--too bad I wasn't needed when they teamed up with Ringo Starr for an animated adventure recently! But, well, I DO get by with a little help from my friends, and when they're friends like Jim and Stan, yup, it sure DOES come easy!


Stan Lee birthday strip 1997 - click to enlarge

What do you think about comics fandom today? It seems you came up during a much gentler time when people who loved comics loved comics, whether they were about superheroes or from other genres, such as horror or crime or Western or newspaper strips. Today things seem so factionalized. You've got the arts comic crowd, manga, the Silver Age nostalgics, Wizard magazine readers, DC or Marvel loyalists...

Comics fandom used to be these crude but charming little hand stapled pamphlets that appeared irregularly in my mailbox. Now comics fandom is anybody with an interest in the form with a page to call their own on the Internet! Very democratic. Also, very overwhelming. But it's just like a couple of other forms of pop culture that I'm rather fond of--music and television.

There's so very many choices, it's virtually impossible for the audience not to splintered! In 1965, you could read all the comics on the stands, know all the tunes in the top 40, and, if not actually watch, at least be familiar with every show on the tube. Not today. So you just seek out what interests you. I do it. All those voices are a good thing, I suppose, but I do miss the days when everyone was pretty much on the same page...

It seems like comic books today need more making fun of than ever. Would it be easier or harder for you to do a Dateline:@#$! type of strip today?

It would be way, way harder simply because of all the reading I'd have to do--and since I don't follow 99.9 per cent of current comics, that'd be an awful lot of reading!

You've remarked on your site that you seldom, if ever, read current comics. Why did you drift away, or did the comics drift away from you?

I've been drifting ever since our daughter was born back in 1990, but I wasn't willing to admit it to myself until just a few years back. When I first started my Web site, I tried writing a few comics reviews, but realized almost immediately that I no longer had much passion for following the umpteenth updating of one of my childhood favorites--especially since a lot of the time, those updates were invariably tawdry.

Look, the Vertigo series Preacher was probably one of the last extended things I've read, and I very much enjoyed it--but I enjoyed it because all the unseemly situations that our star found himself in happened to a brand new creation, not stuff belatedly appended onto the likes of The Flash, Spider-Man, or Hawkman.

But y'know, I'm not really complaining about what's been done to those great old heroes--if this is how the companies feel they have to keep up with the times, fine. Every generation deserves their own versions, right? Well, I've had mine, and I'm happy merely to reread their exploits in the various Essentials, Archives, Masterworks, and Omnibuses flooding the market, and just sit back and smile as folks on the Web froth at the mouth over the latest desecration to a past icon!! Nothing to see here--just move along, move along...


Capa-Alpha strip - click to enlarge

You do great recreations of classic comic book covers. The covers on many of today's superhero titles seem dull to me. There's little or no copy, they don't really tease the story inside. Do you think creating a great cover is a bit of a lost art?

Well, it's all in the era. I LOVED the DC covers of the early sixties, hated the mid-sixties Go-Go Checks phase with the imitation Marvel blurbs, LOVED the sixties Marvel covers, hated the seventies era Marvel covers with all the superfluous detail, LOVED the eighties Marvel covers with their more poster-like look--just depends.

Nowadays, things appear to have shifted maybe a little TOO far in the poster direction. Everything is so well drawn, no denying it, but unfortunately, more often than not, things look awfully generic. But hey, they're not selling any of 'em to me anyway, so good luck I say! At least there aren't any Go-Go Checks!...

You have a great site and it seems quite popular. I know I get lots of traffic anytime you've linked to me (hint, hint). Do you get a lot of e-mail feedback? You seem to have a lot of fun being online.

I DO have a lot of fun with the Web site! Hard to believe I've been it for five whole years now! Of course, it's not quite as grandiose as I originally envisioned things, with all the different departments I instituted that I planned to continue expanding.

Mostly I just feed the Fred Sez blog these days, but that's still enough to maintain a nice connection with the rest of the world. I get my share of email (although, as I may've mentioned in the past, my male appendage actually gets more!), though I suppose if I had a system for leaving comments on the site, I'd hear from more folks.

No complaints, however--an awful lot of nice people have taken the opportunity to drop me a line saying swell things about my past efforts in the years since I established my site, and I gotta tell ya, that's tremendously gratifying! And I've also made cyber-friends with a whole bunch of site-wielding folks such as yourself, John, and that's just the virtual cherry on the virtual top, y'know?

What's up next?

While I continue to take on commissions and hawk my drawings on eBay I'm also in discussions regarding not one but two major projects! Details haven't been set yet, so I can't say much more, save that one would be a brand-new limited series done in tandem with a writer who's resume would be immediately familiar to folks who've read mainstream comics over the past couple of decades, and the other an autobiographical graphic novel zeroing in on my very favorite year, 1964!

There's bound to be some other fun stuff coming up too, all because, well, one of the obvious benefits of the Omnibus seems to be it's reminding people, hey, that Hembeck guy is still around--maybe we should figure out ways to make use of his quirky talents? Well, so far, so good--I'm loving this semi-revival of interest, and am having as much fun at the drawing board these days I did way back in the beginning (and way more so than at several junctures in between, truth be told...). All I can say is, stay tuned to for further developments as they occur! And--oh yeah--please buy my book!

Bonus! My Hembeck original!

Here's an original piece Fred kindly and amazingly did for a couple years back depicting a merger of two of my key obsessions: Batman and the Beatles!



All art in this post copyright Fred Hembeck

Buffy cast reunites!

Not for a TV show or movie or anything like that, but the cast of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is getting back together.

Show creator Joss Whedon and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amber Benson, Nicolas Brendan, Emma Caulfield, Eliza Dushku, Seth Green, James Marsters, Michelle Trachtenberg and perhaps others will participate in a reunion panel at the 25th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival in Hollywood March 20. Man, I with I could be there!

Let's hope they all get along so well that they agree to do a "Buffy" mini-series or movie or something.

If you're luckier than me and can go, here are the details:

PaleyFest08 Premium ticket packages will go on presale Monday, February 4 through Wednesday, February 6, 2008. Individual tickets will go on sale to Paley Center Members on Thursday, February 7, 2008. Individual tickets will become available to the general public beginning the following Sunday, February 10, 2008. For Paley Center Members, ticket prices are $50 and $35 per event. For the general public, tickets are $60 and $45 per event.

PaleyFest08 Premium ticket packages presale window from Monday, February 4 at 9:00 a.m. PT through Wednesday, February 6 at 5:00 p.m. PT via TicketWeb at www.ticketweb.com or call TicketWeb toll-free at (866) 468-3399 (service charges apply).

Individual tickets can be purchased by Internet or telephone (service charges apply) via TicketWeb at www.ticketweb.com or call TicketWeb toll-free at (866) 468-3399 beginning at 9:00 a.m. PT on February 7 for Paley Center Members and at 9:00 a.m. PT on February 10 for the general public.