Friday, January 16, 2009

Monsters Vs. Aliens movie pictures

Here are some images from Dreamworks upcoming "Monsters Vs. Aliens." looks fun.

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Pop links: So long Dial B for Blog, Frankenstein fumetti

One of my favorite comics blogs, Dial B for Blog, is closing up shop. It was a great ride and, I believe, every "back issue" of the blog will still be available for viewing, which is a good thing, cuz there are some gems.

All the best, Robby and good luck with your future projects!

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Golden Age Comic Book Stories
presents a 1939 photo-comic ("fumetti" as the Italians call 'em) adaptation of "Son of Frankenstein."

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Spidey/Obama update

so, did anyone out there actually get a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #583? I went to my neighborhood comics shop and it turns out--due to ordering logistics/conditions far beyond my mere consumer understanding--they didn't even get a single of the Obama cover. I was told a second-printing of the ish would be in next week. I checked a couple other stores and no Obama funnybook there, either.

Now I read that Marvel is actually doing a third printing of the issue.

At any rate, I'm sure I'll eventually see the story. I've actually been following Amazing over the past few months and want to see the ish just to keep up on Spidey's happenings, not just his interactions with the president-elect. It's been a good comic of late, for reasons which I hope to write about in detail soon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pop links: George Herriman site, DC snubs Darwyn Cooke Wonder Woman comic, Sherlock's violin, fighting for Asterix

Via The Comics Reporter: Here's a really nice new site focusing on the work of the brilliant George Herriman, creator of Krazy Kat.

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Via Occasional Superheroine and Journalista: For crying out loud, did DC Comics really turn down an all-ages Wonder Woman proposed by Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone?

I really enjoy the kid-oriented book DC does put out. My 5-year-old daughter loves DC Super Friends and the new Supergirl comic. And I get the brilliant Billy Batson/Shazam book for my 11-year-old son (and me). But, man, I would have loved to see a Wonder Woman comic by Cooke and Bone. It'd be great. And where's the kid-oriented Superman book?

Most likely the reason for the Wonder Woman rejection is that DC is waiting for a TV show, movie, toy line to tie a new title to. But why wait? There are comics to sell now. And if they produced a good one, people would buy it. I think it's encouraging that DC didn't wait on other product to publish Supergirl and Shazam comics, so why wait for Wonder Woman?

My personal experience as a parent is that kids today LOOOOVE comics. In addition to the titles already mentioned above, both my kids love Donald Duck comics. And my son reads Asterix, Tintin, my old Mad magazines, DC Showcase books and Archives, what have you.

Getting kids to read comics is a simple matter of publishing comics for kids and putting them where parents (non-geek parents who don't realize you need to go to comic shops, or live near a comic shop, to find most of 'em) and kids will see them.

And turning down the likes of Cooke and Bone smacks of outright insanity.

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An ailing tree that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used to sit beneath as a child has been cut down and used to create a violin in tribute to Conan Doyle's fiddling creation Sherlock Holmes.

The house in Liberton, on Edinburgh's South Side, in which Conan Doyle was brought up, is now a special school and the teachers and pupils, upset at the need for the tree to be felled, have decided to use £1,200 raised by volunteers for an instrument to be created by Steve Burnett, a self-taught craftsman living in the City. He plans to fashion a violin based on a design which the great violin-maker, Giuseppe Guarneri, provided for Nicolo Paganini in about 1740.

Although the finished instrument will be priceless, Dunedin School has no intention of allowing it to gather dust in a glass box. Instead, it may be used by pupils in music lessons. The school, which now occupies Liberton Bank House, also hopes to transform the remaining tree stump into a sculpture, designed by the pupils and honouring Holmes.


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The daughter of Asterix co-creator/artist Alberto Underzo says her dad is wrong to sell off the rights to produce Asterix comics to others, the BBC reports.

Sylvie Uderzo accused "a handful of shadowy advisers" of persuading her father, 81, to sell his 60% stake in Asterix publisher Editions Albert Rene.

..."It's as if the gates of the Gaulish village had been thrown open to the Roman Empire," she wrote.

"I am entering resistance against perhaps the worst enemies of Asterix, the men of finance and industry."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Prisoner actor McGoohan dies

Sad news: The BBC reports that actor Patrick McGoohan, 80, has died in Los Angeles.

The actor, who was born in New York and raised in England and Ireland, came to screen prominence in TV series Danger Man, in which he played a secret service agent. The programme later aired as Secret Agent in the US.

He was later considered for the role of James Bond for the movie Dr No.

But McGoohan was chiefly associated with cult ITV drama The Prisoner, writing some of the episodes himself under a different name.

His character spent the entire time attempting to escape from The Village and finding out the identity of his captor, the elusive Number One.

Pop links: Milt Caniff mini-doc, musical Peanuts punchlines, classic Marvel Comics calendars

Sancum Santorum Comix takes a look at vintage Marvel Comics calendars here, plus more recent Marvel calendars here. (I had that 1975 calendar.)

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And, if you like this sort of thing, head over to the Mighty Marvelmania Museum.

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Via Mark Evanier, here's a mini-documentary Ohio State University created to celebrate Ohio native Milt Caniff:



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For those who read music, there are hidden punchlines in Charles Schulz's "Peanuts" strip featuring kid musician Schroeder, The New York Times reports.

In a strip from 1953 Schroeder embarks on an intensive workout. He does push-ups, jumps rope, lifts weights, touches his toes, does sit-ups (“Puff, Puff”), boxes, runs (“Pant, Pant”) and finally eats (“Chomp! Chomp!”). In the last two panels he walks to his piano with determination and begins playing furiously, sweat springing from his brow.

The eighth notes above Schroeder’s head are from the opening bars of Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata (Op. 106), a piece so long, artistically complex and technically difficult that it is referred to as the “Giant” Sonata. When Beethoven delivered it to the publisher in 1819, he is believed to have said, “Now you will have a sonata that will keep the pianists busy when it is played 50 years from now.”

Batman: Brave and the Bold features Deadman, Gentleman Ghost, Green Arrow and Kamandi!

The Cartoon Network has released details and pics from this Friday's episode of "Batman: Brave and the Bold," which features loads of DC Universe guest stars.

Deadman and Batman team up as spirits to stop Gentleman Ghost from raising an army of undead criminals. Green Arrow and Speedy join in the battle to save London. In this week’s teaser, Batman and Kamandi outrace a horde of monsters from the future.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New comics Jan. 14, 2009: Spidey and Obama, Wonderful Wiz, more Bone, early Ditko

Here's what looks interesting to me this week. Click on links to order discounted books from Amazon.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #583 This is the one with the Obama cover.

WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ #2 I'm waiting for the trade on this adaptation by Eric Shanower and Scottie Young, but I've snuck a peek and the individual issues and they looks fabulous.

BONE VOL 09 CROWN OF HORNS
The color reprints of Jeff Smith's great series continue.

STEVE DITKO EDGE OF GENIUS Black-and-white reprints of early Ditko comics work. Published by Greg Theakston's Pure Imagination.

See other recent comics new releases.

Pop links: Stan Lee profiled, Billie Holliday sings

Stan Lee talks to the Financial Times.

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Billie Holliday sings "Strange Fruit."

43 years and STILL not on DVD: The Batman TV series

It's come to my attention (via Fred Hembeck) that this week marks the 43rd anniversary of the Adam West "Batman" TV series. Fred wasn't crazy about the show. Me? I was CRAAAAAAZZZZZZY about it. The cool Batparaphernalia, the wacky sound effects, the insane cliffhangers and all those crazy, bright colors.

I'm 43 myself, and watched the show obsessively when it was in reruns when I was 5 or 6. Goofy as it was, it turned me into a lifelong Batfan and, along with the Beatles and other obsessions, is likely why I'm doing this silly blog at all.

And I continue to think it's ridiculous Warner Bros. and Universal can't get it together, strike a deal and get it out on legit DVDs. But maybe they just want the bootleggers to continue making money off it.

Any way, it's been a while since I've run any photos from the show, so here's a fresh batch:

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More Batman TV Series posts and pics

Monday, January 12, 2009

DVD, CD new releases Jan. 13, 2009:

Here are DVDs and CD new releases of interest this week. Click links to order disounted items from Amazon (proceeds help support this site).

DVDs

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Patti Smith Dream Of Life

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John Lennon - In Performance

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Paul McCartney - In Performance

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Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business Of America

CDs

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Doctor Who: Series 4

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Love Live: Whisky a Go-Go 1978 Love

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Arthur Lee Arthur Lee

Other recent New Releases

Pop links: Marianne Faithfull 60s videos, comic sales up

Bedazzled presents a whole slew of 1960s Marianne Faithfull performances on video: Here, here, here and here.

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It just seems like the entire economy's gone to hell: USA Today reports that sales of comics and graphic novels rose 5 percent in 2008.

Upcoming book: Marvel Comics in the 1960s

Here's additional info an cover art for a great-sounding new book due in August from Twomorrows Publishing:

Marvel Comics In The 1960s: An Issue-By-Issue Field Guide To A Pop Culture Phenomenon
By Pierre Comtois

After being relegated to the realm of children's literature for the first 25 years of its history, the comic book industry experienced an unexpected flowering in the early 1960s. A celebration of that emergence, Marvel Comics in the 1960s: An Issue-by-Issue Field Guide to a Pop Culture Phenomenon presents a step-by-step look at how a company that had the reputation of being one of the least creative in a generally moribund industry, emerged as one of the most dynamic, slightly irreverent, and downright original contributions to an era when pop-culture, from Tom Wolfe to Andy Warhol, emerged as the dominant force in the artistic life of America. In scores of handy, easy-to-reference entries, Marvel Comics in the 1960s takes the reader from the legendary company's first fumbling beginnings as helmed by savvy editor/writer Stan Lee (aided by such artists as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko), to the full maturity of its wild, colorful, offbeat grandiosity. With the history of Marvel Comics in the 1960s divided into four distinct phases, author Pierre Comtois explains just how Lee, Kirby, Ditko, et. al. created a line of comic books that, while grounded in the traditional elements of panel-to-panel storytelling, broke through the juvenile mindset of a low brow industry and provided a tapestry of full-blown, pop-culture icons.