Saturday, March 20, 2010

Batmania fanzine cover!

And our last (for now, anyway) cover from Biljo White's famed Batman zine of the 1960s.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Farewell Charlie Gillett

Man, this has turned into the obit blog this week. Today I learned that influential BBC disk jockey Charlie Gillett has passed away.

I do a lot of listening to the Beeb online and always enjoyed Gillett's shows, which incorporated lots of world music, along with British and American pop,rock and soul sounds. He was one of those legendary Beeb djs, like the late John Peel and the troubled, missing-in-action Andy Kershaw, who helped shape tastes and consistently introduced his audiences to new sounds.

Unlike most American djs -- held hostage by narrow, commercially-minded play lists -- these guys broke new acts and helped boost the careers of deserving, little-heard musicians. I don't know that there's anyone around to fill their shoes, even on the BBC.

Along with his incredibly important work as a broadcaster, Gillett also was the author of "The Sound of the City," a must-read history of American rock'n'soul.

I'll miss him and I'm sure thousands more will too.

Batmania fanzine cover!

Here's another cover from Biljo White's 1960s Batman fanzine.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fess Parker dies

Oh man, it's a tough day for pop culture fans. First Alex Chilton, now Fess Parker.

I was too young (actually, not yet born) for the big 1950s Davy Crockett craze, but grew up watching Fess on "Daniel Boone." I had a fringed jacket, cap, musket, the whole works. I burst into tears when it left the airwaves.

In more recent years, Fess opened his own winery. I highly recommend the Parker Station pinot noir.

So long Alex Chilton

Alex Chilton -- power pop pioneer, teen-aged vocalist of the Box Tops, leader of Big Star and the subject of a pretty damned good Replacements tune -- is dead at the too-young age of 59.

He'll be missed. Here he is singing one of my favorite Big Star tunes:

Batmania fanzine cover!

Found a few cover scans of Biljo White's 1960s Batman fanzine. Here's the first.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Netflix Box annoyance: A nearly complete fifth season of Weeds

So, I've got one of those Netflix boxes where you can stream movies and TV shows to your TV. Mostly, it's pretty awesome. The offerings grow by the day and it's super convenient when you're in the mood to watch something between DVD shipments.

But here's the annoying thing: Often with TV series, the Box will leave out an episode here or there, saying that it's not available via streaming. I'm not sure what the point is. So you'll have to rent the DVD to see those eps? How does this pencil out to Netflix's or the movie/TV studio's benefit? I don't get it.

But it is obnoxious when you get all excited about watching the latest season of "Weeds" on the box and learn that the opening episode is only available on disk.

I'm looking forward to the day when everything's on the box and DVDs are a remnant of the past.

Rollng Stone looks at lost Hendrix

This is one of those rare issues of Rolling Stone I'll likely bother reading. Mostly, the mag just makes me feel old and annoyed (and annoyed because it makes me feel old), but this examination of "lost" Hendrix music seems like it's probably worth a browse.

Speaking with Hendrix’s longtime engineer Eddie Kramer, as well as bassist Billy Cox and former assistant engineer Tommy Erdelyi (better known as Tommy Ramone), David Fricke explores Hendrix’s high hopes for Electric Lady and his anticipated fourth studio album. In an interview just days before his death, the guitarist had said he was thinking “this era of music — sparked off by the Beatles — had come to an end. Something new has got to come, and Jimi Hendrix will be there.”

Dark Horse Comics June 2010 solicitations: Flash Gordon Comics Archives, Mighty Sampson, Buffy, Peanuts, Donald Duck and more!

Highlights:



60TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC PEANUTS #2: SNOOPY

Welcome to what promises to be a yearlong celebration of Charles Schulz's masterpiece, Peanuts! PeanutsÊpremiered on October 2, 1950, in eight newspapers. As we all know, it grew to become probably the most popular comic strip ever.

In an unprecedented move, United Media is letting Dark Horse go back to the original look of the characters from 1950, which was considerably different than today's look, and sculpt statues in a special sixtieth anniversary limited-edition series of the five main characters. Sculpted by Yoe! Studio. Snoopy is a rare opportunity to secure a genuine collector's item.

Limited to 950 numbered pieces, packaged in its own tin box, with a pin-back button and a character booklet, $49.95, in stores on July 7.


CLASSIC UNCLE SCROOGE SERIES 2 #2: DONALD DUCK "SQUARE EGG"

One of our best-received Syroco-style statuette series ever has been of the characters from Carl Barks' Uncle Scrooge stories.

We are going forward with a new series, based on specific cover images by Barks, and our second statue is inspired by one of the most famous stories, "Lost in the Andes," which originally appeared in Four Color Comics #223, published in April 1949. This is one of the best-loved stories in the entire Ducks canon.

The Uncle Scrooge series depicts the characters as they were originally presented in the comics. Sculpted by Yoe! Studio.

Limited to 950 numbered pieces, packaged in a full-color, litho-printed tin box, with a character booklet and a vintage-style pin-back button, $49.95, in stores on August 18.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER MUGS

Buffy and the gang are back. This time they make an appearance on two sure-to-be-coveted eleven-ounce mugs. Both mugs feature classic Season 8 Buffy-comic cover art. You, too, can be a supernatural sleuth, or just drink coffee like one!

Buffy Art Mug, $12.99, in stores on August 18.
Buffy, Willow, and Xander Mug, $12.99, in stores on August 18.


FLASH GORDON COMIC BOOK ARCHIVES VOLUME 1

By Paul Norris, Jack Lehti, Frank Thorne and others.

Flash Gordon's classic era in comic books returns in a new archival collection from Dark Horse! Join the handsome and fearless Flash, his clever and capable companion Dale Arden, and eccentric scientist Dr. Zarkov as they face peril and danger in the wild landscapes of the planet Mongo and go head to head with the villainous despot Ming the Merciless! This archival collection, reprinting seven complete comics originally published from 1947 through 1953, makes a fine addition to any comics library. Ray guns, spaceships, and Silver Age storytelling -- it's all here and it's all action!

312 pages, $49.99, in stores on August 25.


LITTLE LULU VOLUME 24: THE SPACE DOLLY AND OTHER STORIES

Written by John Stanley, art by Stanley and Irving Tripp.

There's hilarity on every page as Tubby swoons over brand-new character Fifi (a little girl with a French accent and a missing piggybank), Iggy teaches Annie's doll to fly, Alvin makes a new friend, the fellers misunderstand tea parties, a sandcastle contest determines who gets a kiss from Gloria, and Lulu accidentally makes a farce of Father's Day. These stories and more prove time and again that Little Lulu is the funniest funny book of all!

The Space Dolly collects Marge's Little Lulu #118 through #123 in all their original full-color glory.

200 pages, $14.99, in stores on August 25.


MIGHTY SAMSON ARCHIVES VOLUME 1

Written by Otto Binder, art by Frank Thorne and Jack Sparling.

In a radioactive, nuclear-ravaged future, Samson is born into a tribe of peaceful yet desperate people struggling to survive in the desolate city of N'Yark. Surrounded by hungry, wild creatures -- creatively mutated and brought to life by Thorne and subsequent artists -- and the more savage, selfish remnants of humanity, life is precarious at best for the tribe until Samson displays amazing powers. Discovering that young Samson is a mutant himself, his mother trains Samson to value life, and on her deathbed Samson vows "to protect the weak from the powerful, the good from the evil!"

This volume reprints the first seven comic books from the original 1960s Mighty Samson series, with playful and imaginative artwork by Frank Thorne seen in the first five issues!

200 pages, $49.99, in stores on August 25.

Rose McGowan joins Conan cast

The actress was set to play Red Sonja in her own flick, but that's been "delayed." In the meantime she'll portray a "an evil half-human/half-witch" opposite Jason Momoa in a new Conan film. The cast also includes Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Bob Sapp, Leo Howard, Ron Perlman and Said Taghmaoui.



Today's odd couple



Phil and Iggy at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Comics shipping March 17, 2010

DARK HORSE COMICS

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**********

COMICS

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wonder Twin t-shirts: Activate!

Culturally warped children of the 70s will dig these:

Preview Tomorrows new tome on TV superheroes

Tomorows Publishing puts out a lot of great stuff for comic book fans -- The Jack Kirby Collector, Alter-Ego and loads of books, including this new one, which charts the history of superheroes on American TV.

You can see 12 pages of "The Age of TV Heroes" here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

CD new releases March 16, 2010: White Stripes, Graham Parker, Runaways

Under Great White Northern Lights Imaginary Television Mercury Albums Anthology

DVD new releases March 16, 2010: Twlight Saga, Princess and the Frog, Breaking Bad, Astro Boy, Hawaii Five-O, The Fourth Kind,

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Two-Disc Special Edition) The Princess and the Frog (Single Disc Widescreen) Breaking Bad: The Complete Second Season Astro Boy Hawaii Five-O: Eighth Season The Fourth Kind

Conan cast

The barbarian movie starts shooting this week:

Said Taghmaoui, who played Breaker in the summer hit "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," has booked a role in "Conan," Nu Image/Millennium's take on the barbarian warrior created by Robert E. Howard.

Production begins this week on 3-D, live action Green Lantern film

Ryan Reynolds stars as the Emerald Warrior. Details:

Kiwi filmmaker-actor Taika Waititi, pictured, and Kiwi actor Temuera Morrison, best known as Jango Fett from the "Star Wars" movies, have joined the cast of Warner Bros. "Green Lantern."

Waititi plays the best friend of Hal Jordan, the test pilot who comes to wear the super-powered ring of the interplanetary police force known as the Green Lantern Corps.

Morrison is playing Abin Sur, a member of the Corps who is instrumental in Jordan becoming the superhero.

Comics Journal on Kurtzman

Read the first installment of a lengthy article about the legendary Mad Magazine founder: "Harvey Kurtzman and Modern American Satire."

Writing in The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik reiterated “Almost all American satire today follows a formula that Harvey Kurtzman thought up” and Robert Crumb noted that for him “Mad was a revelation. Nothing I read anywhere else suggested there was any absurdity in the culture; Mad was like a shock, breaking you out”

Hear the new She & Him album

NPR is streaming the entirety of Volume 2, the second album by M. Ward and the ever-adorable Zooey DeSchanel. Their first collaboration was a modern pop gem. If you like 60s girl group pop, the Beach Boys and all other things that are right and good, you'll dig it, and likely this new one too.

Mission Impossible's Peter Graves dies

The actor was 83. I was a bit young for "Mission Impossible" when it first took the air, but enjoyed the reruns. Even moreso, I enjoyed all the mythos that went along with the show, i.e. "this tape will explode...," the cool opening credits and Lalo Shifrin's theme song.

And, perhaps due to my relative youth, I didn't realize until today that Graves was James Arness' younger brother. Here's an obituary from Variety. And here's the cool opening theme song.