Friday, July 31, 2009

Film noir movie posters: The Postman Always Rings Twice




Disneyland 1964 main gate pass

Pop links: Pogo! Astroworld! Five Stairsteps! Foom! War comics!

Pappy presents a Pogo story from 1953.



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Visit Houston's Astroworld theme park via a 1960s Viewmaster packet.



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Via Bedazzled: The Five Stairsteps on Soul Train.



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Read the first issue of Marvel Comics' in-house Foom fanzine.



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From Golden Age Comic Book Stories: A few stories from Atlas Comics' War title, featuring work by Russ Heath, Joe Sinnott, Joe Maneely and others.

More pics from Disney's Rapunzel

Here's some more production art from Disney's upcoming "Rapunzel" animated film.











Cover art, Amazon listings for upcoming DC Comics collections

Amazon has posted cover art for a few upcoming DC Comics collection of note. Click the links to pre-order discounted books:


Showcase Presents: Dial H For Hero


The Superman Chronicles Vol. 8


Robin Archives Vol. 2


DC Comics Classic Library: Justice League of America By George Perez Vol. 2


Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 5


Batman & Robin Vol. 1: Batman Reborn Deluxe HC


The Newsboy Legion Vol. 1 Featuring Joe Simon & Jack Kirby


Showcase Presents World's Finest Vol. 3


The Wonder Woman Chronicles Vol. 1


The Batman Chronicles Vol. 9


The Creeper by Steve Ditko


Doc Savage: The Silver Pyramid


Flash vs. The Rogues


Showcase Presents: Wonder Woman Vol. 3

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pop links: Original Dalek dies; Rolf Armstrong pin-ups;

Michael Summerton, British actor and the last of the Dalek operators on the original Doctor Who series, has died.

His agent told him he would not need to learn any lines for the casting, and when he arrived at the BBC workshops he was asked to strip down to his underpants and sit in what appeared to be a tub on castors.

Summerton (who was one of the four original Daleks) was instructed in how to move this apparatus about, the director saying: "We want to test this prototype for manoeuvrability. We want you to move forwards, backwards, sideways. Quickly, slowly." Presently the director lowered a lid over him with a plunger sticking out of it. Summerton found himself in total darkness. He would later relate: "When the lid went on I knew my career as an actor was over."


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From Golden Age Comic Book Stories: A big selection of pin-up art by Rolf Armstrong.

Madness returns!

Madness chats about their new album on UK morning television:



The new one is great, by the way. A real return to form for this group that started out as a ska revival band and ended up being the most sophisticated and literate British band since the Kinks. I've listened to it via streaming preview. It's out in the States on Aug. 18.

Here's the band performing one of its new tunes:



New pics from Whiteout movie

Here are a few new pics of Kate Beckinsale in the film adaptation of Greg Rucka's "Whiteout" comics series.









Disneyland character buttons



Classic Disney comics return in October!

Boom! Studios is bringing Disney's classic comic book characters back to the stands in a big way this fall. Gemstone's license to publish comics featuring Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and the like ran out a while back, and Boom! is picking up where they left off.

Check out these solicitations for October. I don't know how much I'll enjoy the sci-fi/fantasy-themed Donald and Mickey comics. I'm more of a Carl Barks guy, myself. But it looks like there's plenty here for everyone to enjoy. I know my kids will enjoy seeing some of this stuff.


DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS #347
Written by Bruno Enna, art by Donald Soffritti.
The Quack is back in this first BOOM! Kids issue! He's no double "o" seven, he's Double Duck! Donald shows us his dashing, adventurous side as a secret agent on a mission to stop a dangerous ice-melting machine and save the world from rising oceans! This is a Donald Duck like you've never seen! A brand-new start at a brand new company for one of the world's most iconic characters and longest-lived, most-published comic book series!
24 pages, $2.99.


THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SCROOGE MCDUCK HC
Written and art by Don Rosa.
Greed is good! BOOM! Kids proudly collects The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck in a gorgeous hardcover collection like nothing you've ever seen before. These stories, written and drawn by legendary cartoonist Don Rosa, chronicle Scrooge McDuck's fascinating life. See how Scrooge earned his "Number One Dime" and began to build his fortune!
112 pages, $24.99.


MICKEY MOUSE AND FRIENDS #297
Written by Stefano Ambrosio, art by Lorenzo Pastrovicchio.
The epic "Wizards of Mickey" tale continues! Student of the great wizard Grandalf, Mickey Mouse hails from the humble village of Miceland. Allying himself with Donald Duck (who has a pet dragon named Fafnir) and teammate Goofy, Mickey quests to find a magical crown that will give him mastery over all spells!
24 pages, $2.99.

UNCLE SCROOGE #384
Written and art by various.
You will feel the need for Greed! Follow the adventures of everyone's favorite feathered penny pincher! An all-new direction for icon Uncle Scrooge, as he comes to BOOM! Kids. Building on a tradition created by some of the greatest creators the comic book world has ever seen, like Carl Barks and Don Rosa, these issues of Uncle Scrooge will follow Scrooge on new adventures that North American audiences have never seen! Join us in a bold new era for Scrooge that pays tribute to the past but heads to a new future!
24 pages, $2.99.

WALT DISNEY'S CHRISTMAS CLASSICS VOLUME 1 HC
Written and art by various.
Don't be a Scrooge McDuck this Christmas season! It's the perfect present! BOOM! Kids has raided the Disney publishing archives and searched every nook and cranny this Christmas season to find the best and the greatest stories from Disney's vast comic book publishing history for this "best of" compilation. A timeless classic from the world's most iconic characters that should be on every shelf, Walt Disney's Christmas Classics are an essential this holiday season for family fun! Featuring artists such as Carl Barks, Walt Kelly, Daan Jippes, Floyd Gottfredson and more!
112 pages, $24.99.


WALT DISNEY'S COMICS & STORIES #700
Written by Riccardo Secchi, art by Stefano Turconi.
The third longest-running comic book series in Direct Market history hits its 700th issue! Right behind Detective and Action Comics, and logging more issues than Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man, or Thor, Walt Disney's Comics & Stories enters a bold new era at BOOM! Kids with a bang! Featuring a brand new team of super-heroes culled from Disney's Mickey and Donald universe come adventure with The Duck Avenger, Super Goofy, and the man Mickey himself!
24 pages, $2.99.

Rules of Good Comics Pt. 1: Don't mess with a great logo

I don't know if this will be an ongoing series of posts, although a "rules of good comics" list might not be a bad idea. Send me your suggestions.

Anyway, I was moved to comment when Marvel Comics released this peek at the "new logo" for it's Fantastic Four title:



Now, for starters, it's not that new. It looks quite a bit like this logo from around the time I first started reading the FF back in the 1970s:



But the main thing is, it's a pretty danged boring logo and not nearly as cool as the FF's original nameplate, which is one of the coolest comic book logos of all time. It totally captures the fun, adventure and humor on display in the original Lee/Kirby run:



Oh well, the new logo isn't as bad as this one:



Or this one:



The most recent FF logo is somewhat better than those, though still a little dull:



I realize you need to make some changes to jazz things up every once in a while. But, truly, there's also a lot to be said for knowing a good thing:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Trailer for Marvel's Planet Hulk animated DVD

Here's a first look at Marvel's next direct-to-DVD flick: "Planet Hulk."



More on Tom Baker's return to Doctor Who

As mentioned here a while back, Tom Baker is returning to the role of Doctor Who for an upcoming audio adventure. Here's more info from the BBC:

For the first time in 28 years, Tom Baker is returning to his role as the Fourth Doctor in a series of five thrilling audio adventures from BBC Audiobooks. Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest is written by the acclaimed Paul Magrs and stars Tom alongside a cast including Richard Franklin as Mike Yates, Susan Jameson as Mrs Wibbsey and Rula Lenska as the Hornet Queen.

The brand new series sees the Doctor on fighting form as he comes up against an enemy of unimaginable power and horrific intent. The first story, The Stuff of Nightmares, will be available to buy from 3rd September 2009 priced at £9.78, with the remaining four stories due for release on:

2. The Dead Shoes – 8th October
3. The Circus of Doom – 5th November
4. A Sting in the Tale – 3rd December
5. Hive of Horror – 3rd December

The series will also be available as a download from www.audible.co.uk.

Baker is often voted as the most popular Doctor by fans. Commenting on his performance, writer Paul Magrs said, "This is the first adventure with the Tom Baker Doctor since Logopolis. And it feels fantastic to write for him. I would say he's a brilliant mixture of everything the Fourth Doctor ever was. He's dark and sombre at times; other times he's gleefully macabre and mischievous."

Fans eager to engage with the series before the release date should check out www.bbcshop.com/hornetsnest, where a dedicated page for the series will launch on 10th August. The page will contain exclusive content and material such as a Q&A with Tom Baker, photographs from the recordings, audio clips and a poll on Tom’s best moments as the Doctor.



Disneyland complimentary main gate admission

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New comics July 29, 2009

New comics of note this week. Click the highlighted links to order discounted books from Amazon.


BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #7 Batman and the Doom Patrol, animated style! Seems like a sure recipe for fun.


BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM #6 As with the above, another great DC title for kids and other folks who enjoy their superhero comics with a dash of whimsy.


WEDNESDAY COMICS #4 Another ish of DC's fun, tabloid-size anthology. I love it, quite honestly. I like some strips more than others, naturally, but it's a title well worth picking up. I particularly like the Metamorpho, Kamandi, Flash and Adam Strange strips, which seem to be making the most of the format. Batman, Supergirl and Sgt. Rock (with huge, huge art by Joe Kubert!) are also pretty good. The art on Wonder Woman strip is lovely, but I find the storytelling a bit hard to follow. Not a fan of the art on Superman. And Teen Titans doesn't seem to offer much different than you'd find in a standard supertitle.


JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #29 First ish by the new creative team of Bill Willingham (FABLES) and Matthew Sturges (BLUE BEETLE). Possibly worth checking out.


ESSENTIAL PETER PARKER SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN VOL 4 A big, black-and-white slab of bronze age Spidey comics. Collecting PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #75-96 and ANNUAL #4.


MARVEL MASTERWORKS X-MEN VOL. 2 An affordable paperback, in color, reprinting the silver-age X-MEN #11-21.


COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD'S DICK TRACY VOL 8 COMPLETE PEANUTS VOL 12 1973-1974 For the funny papers fans.