Friday, February 13, 2009

Pop links: Ronettes singer dies; Happy Birthday Audio-animatronic Abe; classic comics romance tales; more!

Estelle Bennett, former singer with The Ronettes and sister of Veronica Bennett-Spector, has died, the BBC reports.

Bennett's brother-in-law, Jonathan Greenfield, said..."Estelle was Ronnie's sidekick."

"She was very much into fashion and worked with Ronnie on the whole look and style of the Ronettes," he added.

...The two sisters and their cousin Nedra Talley signed with Spector's Philles Records in 1963.

Their recording of Be My Baby went to number two in the US that year.

Their other hits included Walkin' in the Rain and Baby I Love You.


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Veronica Bennet, Nedra Talley and Estelle Bennett



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Fred Hembeck says it's time we all paid a respectful happy birthday to Audio-animatronic Abe Lincoln.

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Just in time for Valentine's Day (it's tomorrow, you goofball, buy your sweetheart a gift already!), Golden Age Comic Book Stories presents a batch of romance tales illustrated by Reed Crandall, Fred Guardineer, Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta.

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Need some new parts for your Batmobile?

Whedon's Dollhouse debuts tonight! See a teaser

Here's a fresh promo for "Dollhouse," the new series from Joss Whedon, which premieres tonight on Fox (check yer locals). Find out more about the show here.

Vintage DC superhero Valentines pt. 3

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More good stuff at the DC Comics Fortress of Memorabilia!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Batman: Brave and the Bold pics, featuring Jonah Hex

Info and pics from the Cartoon Network:

In the episode, Batman and a reluctant Bronze Tiger fight to prevent Fox, Vulture and Shark from invading an ancient Chinese temple and stealing the sacred animal totem from within. Bronze Tiger is voiced by Gary Sturgis.

In the opening sequence, Batman teams with Jonah Hex against the Royal Flush Gang. Jonah Hex is voiced by Phil Morris.

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Deal alert: Land of the Giants DVD set for $86 today only

Amazon is offering the 9-DVD "Land of the Giants" box set for $85.99 today only. It's regularly $229.98.

Pop links: U2; Super Friends lunchbox examined; details on Beatles video game;

U2 will be on David Letterman's who for a full week, March 2-6, to promote their new album.

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Geek Orthodox examines a 1970s Super Friends lunchbox. Just the outside. I don't even want to know what's moldering away inside.

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Paul McCartney shares a few details about the upcoming Beatles video game.

"It will feature different periods of the band -- you get early days, Liverpool, then psychedelic, and on from there. It's very cool. And I like the idea that the game introduces kids to music, you know?"

What happened on Lost last night?

Get the full rundown on the Lost Season 5 blog.

Vintage DC superhero Valentines pt. 2

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More good stuff at the DC Comics Fortress of Memorabilia!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vintage DC superhero Valentines pt. 1

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More good stuff at the DC Comics Fortress of Memorabilia!

Upcoming pop culture DVDs: Watchmen, the Fugitive, Saturday morning cartoons, Clone Wars, Steve Reeves' Hercules

Click the title links to order DVDs from Amazon.

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The Fugitive: Season Two Vol. 2
Four DVDs, out March 31

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Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood
Out March 24

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided (TV Series)
Out March 24

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Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960's Vol. 1
Two DVDs, out March 19
A compilation of beloved toons you may remember having seen on the tube as a kid. From Warner Home Video.
Disc #1
TOP CAT - The Tycoon
ATOM ANT SHOW with PRECIOUS PUP & HILLBILLY BEARS - Up & Atom / Precious Jewels / Woodpecked
THE PETER POTAMUS SHOW with BREEZLY and SNEEZLY & YIPPEE, YAPPEE and YAHOOEY - Fe-Fi-Fo Fun / All Riot on the Northern front / The Volunteers
SECRET SQUIRREL SHOW with SQUIDDLEY DIDDLY & WINSOME WITCH - Sub Swiper / Way Out Squiddly / Prince of a Pup
THE FLINTSTONES - The Happy Household (Also on the seasonal DVD sets)
THE PORKY PIG SHOW - Often An Orphan/Mice Follies/The Super Snooper (Daffy Duck)
THE QUICK DRAW McGRAW SHOW with SNOOPER AND BLABBER & AUGIE DOGIE - Dynamite Fright/Outer Space Case/Growing Growing Gone

Disc #2
THE JETSONS - Rosey The Robot (Also on the season 1 DVD set)
MARINE BOY - Battle To Save The World {Anime}
SPACE GHOST/DINO BOY SHOW - The Heat Thing / The Worm / Zorak (also on the complete series DVD set)
HERCULOIDS - The Beaked People / The Raider Apes
FRANKENSTEIN JR. AND THE IMPOSSIBLES - The Shocking Electric Monster / The Bibbler / The Spinner
THE MAGILLA GORILLA SHOW with PUNKIN PUSS & RICOCHET RABBIT - Gridiron Gorilla / Small Change / Atchison, Topica and San Jose

Bonus Materials:
THE QUCK DRAW McGRAW SHOW (with SNOOPER AND BLABBER and AUGIE DOGIE) - Dough Nutty / El Kabong Was Wrong / Gem Jam
Bonus Documentaries on QUICK DRAW McGRAW, MAGILLA GORILLA, FRANKENSTEIN JR. and THE IMPOSSIBLES.

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Hercules Collection
Four DVDs, out March 31

Pop links: Marvel Comics corner symbols; No Heroics set for U.S. TV; Batman in Ditkoland; the most ridiculous Jack Kirby panel ever!

Silver Age Comics discusses the origins of those left-hand-corner-box graphics on Marvel Comics.

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ABC plans a U.S. remake of "No Heroics," a British comedy series about superheroes who live among mere mortals.

The British version of "No Heroics" featured characters such as the Hotness, Electroclash, Timebomb and She-Force. The series was nominated for best new British comedy by the British Comedy Awards.

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Booksteve noticed that a recent episode of "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" featured a very Steve Ditkoesque (and Marvel, not DC, Comics) mystical realm. You can watch the ep here.

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Awesome: Fred Hembeck presents "the most sublimely ridiculous panel Jack Kirby EVER drew!!"

Watch Lost tonight!

Get up to speed on what's been happening at the Lost Season 5 blog. Then, go back there tomorrow for a full rundown of happenings/speculation/observations about tonight's show.

Vintage G.I. Joe ads

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New comics shipping Feb. 11, 2009

Here's what looks interesting to me this week. Click linked items to order them from Amazon.

BATMAN #686
Neil Gaimin takes the writing reins for a couple issues to see what he can do with with this goofy "Batman is dead" premise. I can't decide whether to check it out or just wait to see if the title's worth reading once Batman is alive again.

JLI Action Figures
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Black Canary
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Gnort
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Ice

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SHOWCASE PRESENTS AQUAMAN Vol. 3 More great Haney-Cardy stories, I think. Does this book get into the Jim Aparo-illustrated tales, too? I loved those.

SUPER FRIENDS #12 My daughter loves this title. Good, kid-oriented superhero fun.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #586 And some straight-ahead superhero fun for dad. I'm liking the current approach on this title. And the pretty much weekly fix is cool, too.

INVADERS CLASSIC Vol. 3 More reprints from one of my favorite titles as a kid. Everything I know about World War II, I learned from Roy Thomas. I'm so glad we had Captain America and the Sub-Mariner on our side back then.

Pop links: Alex Toth Hot Wheels story; Bizarre celeb Barbies

Fortress of Fortitude presents one of Alex Toth's Hot Wheels comic book stories.

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Bizarre celeb Barbies:

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Goldie Hawn

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Lucille Ball

Amazon throws a Wild about Whedon DVD sale

Anticipating the debut of Joss Whedon's new show, "Dollhouse," premiering on Fox this Friday, Amazon is throwing a Wild about Whedon sale, offering 45 percent off on "Buffy," "Angel," "Firefly" and other DVD sets. Check it out!

Vintage G.I. Joe ads

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Pop links: Sopranos swear-word souffle

Decidedly not safe for work: Every swear word on "The Sopranos" ever. In chronological order. Via Boing Boing.


the sopranos, uncensored. from victor solomon on Vimeo.

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Slow news day, that's all I got for the moment! As ever, check back later.

Vintage G.I. Joe ads

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April 2009 comics solicitations: The best of the rest

We've looked at DC's and Marvel's offerings for April. Here's a look at highlights from other publishers. Click the title links to order discounted books from Amazon.

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CREEPY ARCHIVES VOL. 4
Pulpy, smart, and scary, the stories in Creepy constituted some of the best short-form horror fiction ever told in comics. With legendary comics writer/editor Archie Goodwin both editing the magazine and crafting most of its storytelling, Creepy was at once a newsstand favorite with fright fans, and a vaunted showcase of fine comics art for serious fans of the art form. For decades, the only sources for these stories were the expensive collectible original issues. Now Dark Horse is collecting all of the original material from the history of Creepy magazine into a hardcover archive library that is garnering rave reviews from fans and critics alike! * Grab your bleeding glasses and crack open this fourth big volume, collecting Creepy issues #16-#20.

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TRUMP: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION
Launched in January 1957 by Harvey Kurtzman and Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner, Trump partnered Kurtzman with many of his "usual gang of idiots" from his time at MAD - famous humor artists such as Jack Davis, Al Jaffee, and Wally Wood. They were joined by such dynamic humorists as Arnold Roth, comedians Mel Brooks and Doodles Weaver, and TV writer and novelist Max Shulman (creator of the character Dobie Gillis, who appeared in dozens of stories, a movie, and the popular TV series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis). Though it lasted only two issues, this first effort after Kurtzman's historic split from Mad was the breeding ground for the magazines Humbug and Help! - and would ultimately lead to the more than thirty-year run of Kurtzman and Will Elder's landmark character Little Annie Fanny in the pages of Playboy magazine. * Trump! reprints the only two issues of the magazine, released in January and March of 1957 and features the contributions of Harvey Kurtzman, Harry Chester, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Al Jaffee, Wally Wood, Arnold Roth, Russ Heath, Mel Brooks, Doodles Weaver, Max Shulman, and many others.

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SAGA OF SOLOMON KANE
From his pulp-fiction origins in Weird Tales to his latest Dark Horse incarnation, Robert E. Howard's sixteenth-century Puritan adventurer has captured the imaginations of readers for decades. Now all of the Savage Sword of Conan short stories from the 1970s are collected for the first time: equal parts comics adaptations of Howard's formative tales and inspired new chapters from venerable scribes Roy Thomas (Conan the Barbarian) and Don Glut (Kull the Destroyer)! Follow along Kane's restless travels with pistol and rapier as he is compelled to be a weapon of God, ridding the world of evil wherever it may be found - from the jungles of Africa to the high seas, and whether cannibal, demon, vampire, or pirate! * Contains short stories from various Savage Sword of Conan and Conan Saga issues, and from Kull and the Barbarians #2 and #3, Marvel Preview #19, Monsters Unleashed, and Dracula Lives.

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PRINCE VALIANT VOL. 1: 1937-1938
Universally acclaimed as the most stunningly gorgeous adventure comic strip of all time, Prince Valiant ran for 35 years under the virtuoso pen of its creator, Hal Foster. Prince Valiant has previously been widely available only in re-colored, somewhat degraded editions (now out of print and fetching collectors' prices). Thanks to advances in production technology and newly available original proof sheets, this new series from the industry leader in quality strip classics is the first to feature superb restored artwork that captures every delicate line and chromatic nuance of Foster's original masterpiece. Comic strip aficionados will be ecstatic, and younger readers who enjoy a classic adventure yarn will be bowled over. Book One will be rounded out with a rare, in-depth classic Foster interview previously available only in a long out-of-print issue of The Comics Journal.

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ART OF HARVEY KURTZMAN
Harvey Kurtzman had a Midas touch for talent, but was himself an astonishingly talented and influential artist, writer, editor, and satirist. Heralded as "One of the most important figures in postwar America" by the New York Times, Kurtzman's groundbreaking "realistic" war comics of the early '50s and various satirical publications (MAD, Trump, Humbug, and Help!) had an immense impact on popular culture, inspiring a generation of underground cartoonists. The first and only authorized celebration of this "Master of American Comics," The Art of Harvey Kurtzman includes hundreds of never-before-seen illustrations, paintings, pencil sketches, newly discovered lost E.C. Comics layouts, color compositions, illustrated correspondence, and vintage photos from the rich Kurtzman archives.

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STAR TREK COMIC BOOK HISTORY
Alan J. Porter Boldly goes where no book has gone before! Now for the first time the complete history of the Star Trek universe in comic books and newspaper strips all over the world. Written by pop-culture historian Alan J. Porter, author of the bestselling James Bond: The History of the Illustrated 007, Star Trek: A Comic Book History features nine information-packed chapters detailing the history of Star Trek in comic books and newspaper strips from the first Gold Key comic books and English newspaper strip, to Marvel and DC's titles, and up to the present day.

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BATCAVE COMPANION
(Michael Eury, the writer/editor of the critically acclaimed The Krypton Companion, and Michael Kronenberg team up to explore the Silver and Bronze Ages of Batman comic books in The Batcave Companion! Two distinct sections of this book examine the Dark Knight's progression from his campy "New Look" of the mid-1960s to his "creature of the night" reinvention of the 1970s. Features include issue-by-issue indexes, interviews with Carmine Infantino, Joe Giella, Dennis O'Neil, and Neal Adams, and guest essays by Mike W. Barr and Will Murray. Contributors include Sheldon Moldoff, Len Wein, Steve Englehart, and Terry Austin, with a special tribute to the late Marshall Rogers. With its incisive introduction by Dennis O'Neil and its iconic cover painting by Neal Adams, The Batcave Companion is a must-have for every comics fan!