Friday, August 07, 2009
Pop links: Free McCartney download! Dylan X-mas album a go! Lou Fine and Reed Crandall! Batman meets the aliens! Abbey Road at 40! More!
That Bob Dylan Christmas album is coming, Billboard reports.
...at least four songs have already been recorded for the album including, "Must Be Santa," "Here Comes Santa Claus," "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem."
Dylan, who was born Robert Zimmerman, will join a music business tradition of Jewish artists who release Christmas-themed albums, including Neil Diamond and Phil Spector. Irving Berlin, who wrote the yuletide classic "White Christmas," was also Jewish. Although he was born Jewish and seems to have returned to the faith, Dylan went through a "born again" Christian phase from 1979-1981, releasing several gospel-style albums including "Slow Train Coming" and "Saved."
I've gotta hear this...
Golden Age Comic Book Stories presents a whole bunch of Lou Fine and Reed Crandall-illustrated Doll Man stories from 1940.
Batman sure met a lot of aliens in 1961.
Pappy presents a very Will Eisneresqe spook story illustrated by the great Jerry Grandenetti.
See a trailer for the upcoming "Where the Wild Things Are" adaptation.
Forty years after the album was released, fans are still getting their photos taken Beatles-style crossing Abbey Road, the BBC reports.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
...we’ll be seeing a lot more of Doc Savage in the pages of DC comics in the near future. Now, we can actually give you a tad more, detail-wise.
This November, writer Brian Azzarello teams with artist Phil Noto for the BATMAN/DOC SAVAGE SPECIAL #1, which sets the stage for an entire new world for the Doc, along with a slew of characters that will pop up later, including the Blackhawks and Rima, the Jungle Girl. It all starts here, and I’m not exaggerating when I say you’re really in for a treat.
Azzarello is no stranger to noir or gritty storytelling, as anyone familiar with Vertigo’s 100 BULLETS and the recent JOKER OGN can attest. Coupled with Noto’s neo-classic art style and you’ve got the perfect launching pad for a collection of books that will pull these beloved characters into the 21st century.
Fantagraphics Books has acquired the rights from United Media to publish Nancy by Ernie Bushmiller, beginning in Spring 2010.
According to Co-Publisher Gary Groth, Fantagraphics has contracted to publish the first 24 years of Nancy dailies, beginning in 1938 (when Nancy took over the strip from its former star, Fritzi Ritz) through 1961. "If the demand is there," Groth noted, "we will of course want to continue into the 1960s and beyond, if for no other reason than to run all those great 'hippie' Nancy episodes. But we'll cross that bridge in 2016 when we finish publishing the books we've contracted for."
"I was a late Nancy convert," admits Co-Publisher Kim Thompson, who will be editing the series. "It wasn't until Denis Kitchen published his Nancy collections in 1989 and 1990, after people like Bill Griffith and Scott McCloud had been touting it for years, that I finally 'got' it. It's one of the all-time greats -- way ahead of its time in its own goofy way. Ever since then it's been at the back of my mind to do a more extensive reprinting, and our ongoing successes with classic reprint series these past five years told me the time is now ripe."
Each volume of dailies will contain four years and be designed by Fantagraphics Art Director Jacob Covey. Cartoonist Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) will provide the introduction to the first volume. Each volume will be 8" x 8" in flexibound format and retail for $29.99. Information regarding collections of Nancy Sunday strips will be announced at a later date.
"I envision Nancy being influenced by pop art and constructivist design in a way that will complement the geometric style of the strip and also give a nod to Mark Newgarden's deconstruction of Nancy's forms," says Covey, whose designs on books like Popeye, Willie & Joe and Beasts! have garnered numerous awards. "In a word: ‘POP'. Like Popeye, I want it to seem fun so kids can connect with it but smart so adults can look at it more deeply. But where Popeye has a Victorian nod, this will be modernist."
Fantagraphics will begin with the "second" volume, 1942-1945. According to Thompson, "While we have access to great, nearly complete runs for most of the 1940s dailies, it looks like it will be far more trouble to collect the 1938 and 1939 material. So we'll be putting out a call to Nancy fans, both over the internet and in the first book itself, until we eventually secure the missing strips to double back and release the best possible 1938-1941 volume."
The character of Nancy, a precocious eight-year-old girl, first appeared in the strip Fritzi Ritz. After Larry Whittington began Fritzi Ritz in 1922, it was taken over by Bushmiller three years later. In 1933, Bushmiller introduced Fritzi's niece, Nancy. Soon she dominated the strip, retitled Nancy in 1938. At its peak in the 1970s, Nancy ran in more than 880 newspapers.
In addition to being one of the great comic strips of the 20th Century, Nancy is a bonafide pop culture icon, having captured the imagination of such artists as Andy Warhol, Joe Brainard, Scott McCloud, Bill Griffith, Mark Newgarden, and many others.
In Spring 2010, Fantagraphics will also publish an revised and expanded book edition of cartoonists Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik's seminal 1988 essay, "How to Read Nancy." In addition to explicating the brilliance of Bushmiller's cartooning, it also has become a landmark educational essay about visual storytelling through the analysis of Bushmiller's work.
To quote from How to Read Nancy: "To say that Nancy is a simple gag strip about a simple-minded snot-nosed kid is to miss the point completely. Nancy only appears to be simple at a casual glance. Like architect Mies Van Der Rohe, the simplicity is a carefully designed function of a complex amalgam of formal rules laid out by the designer. To look at Bushmiller as an architect is entirely appropriate, for Nancy is, in a sense, a blue print for a comic strip. Walls, floors, rocks, trees, Ice-cream cones, motion lines, midgets and principals are carefully positioned with no need for further embellishment. And they are laid out with one purpose in mind - to get the gag across. Minimalist? Formalist? Structuralist? Cartoonist!"
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Pop links: New Radiohead! Dr. Who meets Hamlet! Wally Wood's Captain Science! Adam West returns to Batman! Bob Dylan Christmas album?!!!!
"Harry Patch (In Memory Of)" [is available via Radiohead's] online store, Waste Merchandising...the five and a half minute digital file costs £1.00 or $1.70 for U.S. customers. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to the Royal British Legion.
The BBC Radio 4 website is currently streaming the track and the song pays tribute to Harry Patch, the last known British World War I veteran who passed away on July 25. Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke was reportedly moved by an interview the BBC Radio 4 conducted with Patch in 2005.
Outgoing "Doctor Who" star David Tennant will star in a production of "Hamlet" to air on PBS next year.
More Doctor Who: Check out this 1970s ad for Weetabix.
Read a 1950s Captain Science tale illustrated by the great Wally Wood.
Bob Dylan is recording a Christmas album?!!!
Word is Adam West will voice the character of Thomas Wayne on a season 2 episode of "Batman: Brave and the Bold." Some other familiar voices will also be heard on the ep:
Julie Newmar as Martha Wayne
Kevin Conroy as The Phantom Stranger
Mark Hamill as The Spectre
Rolling Stone checks in with Smokey Robinson, who has a new album out later this month.
Third Doctor with 'Death to the Daleks' Dalek
Third Doctor with 'The Sea Devils' Sea Devil
Exclusively available on iTunes and released by Island/UMe will be six "Digital 45s" from the Congoes, Zap Pow and others; a new Bob Marley & The Wailers EP compilation; 10 out-of-print albums and previously unavailable digitally from the likes of the Heptones, Wailing Souls, and George Faith; and three new multi-artist collections.
The "Digital 45s" (bold indicates a digital premiere) are "Congo Man"/"Congo Man Chant" (Congoes), "Ballistic Affair"/"Ballistic Dub" (Leroy Smart), "Dreadlocks in Moonlight"/"Cut Throat" (Lee Perry), "To Be A Lover (Have Mercy)"/"Diana" (George Faith), "Knockin' On Heaven's Door"/"The Dealer" (Arthur Louis) and "This Is Reggae Music"/"Break Down The Barriers" (Zap Pow).
The albums debuting for digital download are Night Food (The Heptones), Wild Suspense (Wailing Souls), To Be A Lover (George Faith), Black Roots (Sugar Minott), Classic Rockers (Augustus Pablo), Jezebel and Just In Time (Justin Hinds & The Dominoes), and the compilations Dubmission and Dubmission 2 -- The Remixes.
The I Know A Place EP collects five tracks Bob Marley & The Wailers recorded with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. The title track was first issued on the limited edition retrospective One Love in 2001, has been out of print since, and now makes its digital premiere on I Know A Place. "Who Colt The Game" was issued on the bonus disc that accompanied the U.K. edition of One Love and similarly has been out of print; "Smile Jamaica [version]" was culled from the 2001 Expanded Edition of Kaya. And both "Punky Reggae Party" [Jamaican 12" version] in its full "discomix" and the complete recording of "Keep On Moving" hail from the 2001 Exodus Deluxe Edition.
Additionally, three new Island 50th Anniversary - branded 10-track compilations will be issued exclusively on iTunes. Roots Train boasts Junior Murvin, Max Romeo & The Upsetters, Lee Perry, Jah Lion and others. Crucial Classics features vintage recordings from Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear, Toots & The Maytals, The Heptones and more, while Dreadlocks In Moonlight offers romantic reggae classics from Black Uhuru, Dillinger, Toots Hibbert, George Faith and Gregory Isaacs, among others.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
New comics Aug. 5, 2009: Buffy! Flash of Two Worlds! Doom Patrol! Spidey! Subby! Torch! Young Allies! More!
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #27 Season 8 continues.
SAGA OF SOLOMON KANE A trade paperback collecting Marvel Comics' adaptation of the Robert E. Howard pulp hero's adventures.
DC CLASSICS LIBRARY FLASH OF TWO WORLDS Spotlighting team-ups between the Silver- and Golden-age Flashes. Collects FLASH #123, 129, 137, 151 and 173.
DOOM PATROL #1 A new, Keith Giffen-scripted effort to revive this beloved team. Features a new Metal Men backup feature. Great combo, but I'll have to see if I dig the execution.
WEDNESDAY COMICS #5 Continuing DC's wonderful new tabloid-size anthology series.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #601 The 600th anniversary issue last month was a gem, featuring a warm, funny script by Dan Slott and pages upon pages of lovely John Romita Jr. art. A truly fun comic to read. This week sees the return of Mary Jane Watson in a script by Mark Waid, which could also be pretty danged good.
MARVEL MASTERWORKS GOLDEN AGE YOUNG ALLIES Vol. 1 Bucky, Toro and other young heroes take center stage in these 1940s adventures.
MARVEL MASTERWORKS SUB-MARINER Vol. 3 Silver Age Subby! Collecting SUB-MARINER #2-13.
SPIDER-MAN AND THE HUMAN TORCH Collecting Dan Slott's enjoyable mini from a few years back--a title that woke me up to the fact that not everything Marvel publishes these days is terrible, soul-less dreck.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Pop links: Superman documentary! Buck Rogers discovers e-mail! Kirby Estate and Simon fighting over American?
Also from Booksteve: Buck Rogers foresees e-mail!
Dynamite Comics plans to revive Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's Fighting American character. The Kirby Estate approves of the deal but Joe Simon evidently doesn't.
No One's First, and You're Next by Modest Mouse
The Classic Prestige Sessions 1951-1956 by Miles Davis
G.I. Joe - Soundtrack
Depend on Me: The Early Albums by The Miracles
Tribute To by Yim Yames (tribute to George Harrison by My Morning Jacket vocalist Jim James. I checked out the samples at Amazon and like it a lot)
What Love Can Do by Various (various artists in new recordings produced by Phil Ramone, including a new tune by Brian Wilson, plus a new version of his "God Only Knows." The rest of the lineup looks pretty lame, though)
Dog House Music by Seasick Steve
Birth of the Teen Idols by Various Artists
Many Moods & The Big O by Roy Orbison
Three Classic Albums- Jazz Red Hot & Cool/Newport 1958/Jazz Goes To Junior College by Dave Brubeck
The Electric Asylum, Vol. 3: Rare British Acid Freakrock by Various Artists
Box Set by Robert Wyatt
Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Second Season
Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
The Wizard of Oz (Import - English - All Regions)
Icons of Screwball Comedy, Vol 1
Icons of Screwball Comedy Vol. 2
Daffy Duck's Quackbusters
Elvis Presley: The Ed Sullivan Shows: The Performances