Friday, October 19, 2012

Pop culture roundup: Superman; ELO; Abraham Lincoln

Laura Siegel Larson, daughter of Superman co-creator Joe Siegel, has written an open letter to fans, detailing her family's long struggle to gain legal rights to the character, which has made DC Comics and parent company Warner Bros. billions of dollars.

LSL Open Letter 10.11.2012-1

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ELO fans will want to check out this accoustic performance by Jeff Lynne, who has a couple of new albums out.




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Frustrated by the choices for president this year? Maybe you should vote for Abraham Lincoln?

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Via Big Glee: How to draw Superman by Curt Swan.
 
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hey, Robot 6, how about a little credit?

Sharing cool links is a big part of blogging. But you guys forgot the link part. Lifting all the pics out of one of my posts and re-blogging it without any mention of little ol' me is pretty lame.

UPDATED: Ah, thank you for correcting the "oversight"!

And a genuine thank you Rodrigo Baeza of Comics Commentary for going to bat for me in Robot 6's comment thread. They didn't publish the comments I submitted.  And I didn't even swear in them!

Marvel Comics January 2013 solicitations

Highlights from Marvel's January releases:

SILVER SURFER BY STAN LEE & MOEBIUS #1
Stan Lee (W) • Moebius (A/C)
• Galactus has converted humanity into his followers, and he's leading them to their doom!
• His only challenger is the hero he himself trapped on Earth: the Silver Surfer!
• It's a war for Earth's worship, but how much will be left when it's over?
• Collecting SILVER SURFER: PARABLE #1-2.
104 PGS./ Rated T+ ...$7.99



AVENGERS: WEST COAST AVENGERS OMNIBUS VOL. 1
Written by ROGER STERN, BOB HARRAS, STEVE ENGLEHART & DANNY FINGEROTH
Penciled by BOB HALL, LUKE MCDONNELL, AL MILGROM, RICHARD HOWELL, STEVE DITKO & MARK BRIGHT
Covers by GREG LAND & AL MILGROM
Earth's Mightiest Heroes head west! Hawkeye splits from the Avengers and sets up shop in California. But the newly recruited members of Avengers "franchise" — including Tigra, Wonder Man, Mockingbird and a new Iron Man — soon find themselves in over their heads! Meanwhile, Ultron and the Grim Reaper target Wonder Man's "brother," the Vision — and the Vision's wife, the Scarlet Witch! Can the West Coasters keep this complex bloodline from getting bloodier? Plus: Both Avengers teams are betrayed from within! Also guest-starring the the Thing, Hank Pym, Firebird and Nick Fury! Collecting WEST COAST AVENGERS (1984) #1-4, IRON MAN ANNUAL #7, AVENGERS (1963) #250, WEST COAST AVENGERS (1985) #1-16, VISION AND THE SCARLET WITCH (1985) #1-2, AVENGERS ANNUAL (1967) #15, WEST COAST AVENGERS ANNUAL #1; and material from AVENGERS (1963) #239, #243-244 and #246, and AVENGERS WEST COAST #100.



MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE INCREDIBLE HULK VOL. 7
Written by ROY THOMAS with HARLAN ELLISON & GARY FRIEDRICH
Penciled by HERB TRIMPE with DICK AYERS, SAL BUSCEMA & SAM GRAINGER
Cover by HERB TRIMPE
The Hulk is back, and he's going to smash his way through more masterworks than you can throw a tank at! It starts off with the time-travelling Kang the Conqueror and a trip back to World War I featuring the Phantom Eagle. Then, Hulk takes it to outer space, fighting the Abomination, before falling down to Earth and into the sub-atomic world of the Psyklop. Following the classic introduction of Hulk's love, Jarella, comes the first appearance of Doc Samson, a battle atop the Empire State Building, and the fight for who's meanest and greenest against Dr. Doom! With the Phantom Eagle's first appearance from MARVEL SUPER-HEROES to round it out, there's no doubt — this is a Marvel Masterworks! Collecting INCREDIBLE HULK (1968) #135-144, AVENGERS (1963) #88 and MARVEL SUPER-HEROES (1967) #16.



MARVEL MASTERWORKS: DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 2
Written by STAN LEE, STEVE DITKO, DENNIS O'NEIL, ROY THOMAS, RAYMOND MARAIS, JIM LAWRENCE & DAN ADKINS
Penciled by STEVE DITKO, BILL EVERETT, MARIE SEVERIN & DAN ADKINS with GEORGE TUSKA
Cover by STEVE DITKO & RICHARD ISANOVE
The Master of the Mystic Arts is back, brought to you by the mind-blowing occult imaginings of Lee, Ditko, Everett, Severin, O'Neil and Adkins. With a roll call of classic creators like that, this book's anything but cursed. It starts off with the galaxy-sized threats of Dormammu and Eternity — and then, in his first appearance, the Living Tribunal lays judgment upon the Earth! Next, Dr. Strange goes head-to-head with Nebulos, Lord of the Planets Perilous! They're adventures guaranteed to rattle your astral fillings! We've also packed in the origin of the Ancient One, the return of Baron Mordo, Strange's struggle against Kaluu with Clea's life on the line and an otherworldly odyssey into deadly dimensions to save the lovely Victoria Bentley! Collecting STRANGE TALES (1951) #143-168.



FANTASTIC FOUR: REUNITED THEY STAND
Written by MARV WOLFMAN, BILL MANTLO & GEORGE PÉREZ
Penciled by KEITH POLLARD, JOHN BUSCEMA, BOB HALL, SAL BUSCEMA & GEORGE PÉREZ
Cover by JOE SINNOTT
The Fantastic Four's most sensational seventies sagas! Following on the heels of Dr. Doom's overthrow, the FF return to New York only to face the unexpected threat of their own defense systems turned against them! What diabolical quasi-human could be behind this, and can even the Invincible Iron Man help them out of this quandary? Then, embark on some fabulous fun with a triple dose of Annual adventures featuring the Inhumans, the Mole Man and the Sandman — as well as a spellbinding tale set in the shadow-haunted town of New Salem, guest starring Agatha Harkness and Salem's Seven! Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #201-203 and ANNUAL #12-14.



MARVEL FIRSTS: WWII SUPER HEROES
Written by BILL EVERETT, JOE SIMON, JACK KIRBY, WILL HARR, BOB DAVIS, PHIL STURM, OTTO BINDER, STAN LEE & MORE
Penciled by CARL BURGOS, BILL EVERETT, JOE SIMON, JACK KIRBY, MAURICE GUTWIRTH, JACK BINDER, HARRY SAHLE, AL AVISON, AL GABRIELE, SYD SHORES, CHARLES NICHOLAS WOJTKOSKI, MIKE SUCHORSKY & MORE
Cover by VARIOUS
In 1939, Timely Comics — precursor to modern Marvel — burst onto the scene with a wild and unmatched energy, populating the Golden Age of Comics with hundreds of new characters! Travel back to the Marvel Universe's embryonic beginnings, and relive the dynamic debuts of the Sub-Mariner, Captain America, Laughing Mask, Ferret, Dynamic Man, Marvex, Black Marvel, Blazing Skull, Patriot, Young Allies, Whizzer, Rockman, Jack Frost, Destroyer, Witness, Miss America and more — plus the Golden Age incarnations of the Human Torch, Angel, Falcon, Black Widow and Vision! Collecting material from MARVEL COMICS #1; DARING MYSTERY COMICS #1-3, #5 and #7; MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #4, #13, #28 and #49; MYSTIC COMICS #1-2 and #4-7; RED RAVEN COMICS #1; CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1, #6 and #13; HUMAN TORCH COMICS #4; YOUNG ALLIES COMICS #1; and USA COMICS #1-2.



AVENGERS VS. THANOS
Written by JIM STARLIN, MIKE FRIEDRICH, STEVE ENGLEHART, STEVE GERBER & SCOTT EDELMAN
Penciled by JIM STARLIN, DON HECK, BOB BROWN, JOHN BUSCEMA & MIKE ZECK
Cover by JIM STARLIN
Eternal. Nihilist. Madman. Would-be lover of Death itself. Thanos of Titan is all these things — and even before he created the Infinity Gauntlet and decimated half the universe, he was still a mighty force to be reckoned with. Here, collected in one volume for the first time, is the complete story of Thanos' first life — and first death. Witness as Thanos targets Captain Marvel and the Avengers in a bid to become a god, manipulates Adam Warlock, and finally lays siege to the Earth itself! Guest-starring Daredevil, Spider-Man, the Thing, Moondragon, Drax the Destroyer and more! By cosmic mastermind Jim Starlin! Collecting IRON MAN (1968) #55, CAPTAIN MARVEL (1968) #25-33, MARVEL FEATURE (1971) #12, DAREDEVIL (1964) #105-107, AVENGERS (1963) #125, WARLOCK (1972) #9-11 and #15, AVENGERS ANNUAL (1967) #7, MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE ANNUAL #2, and material from LOGAN'S RUN #6.



AVENGERS: THE ONCE AND FUTURE KANG
Written by ROGER STERN, JIM SHOOTER, DANNY FINGEROTH & STEVE ENGLEHART
Penciled by JOHN BUSCEMA, STEVE DITKO & MARK BRIGHT
Cover by JOHN BUSCEMA
The Sub-Mariner has joined the Avengers! And they'll need his superhuman strength and aquatic expertise when they make a shocking discovery beneath the waves of Jamaica Bay, deal with a new Yellowjacket and clash with the unimaginable cosmic power of the Beyonder! But when the Avengers' time-hopping nemesis Kang the Conqueror returns — a whole Council of Kangs, in fact — can Earth's Mightiest Heroes escape the deadly realm of Limbo, dispatch the threats of the Space Phantom and Growing Man, and triumph over their futuristic foe? And what parts will Ravonna and Immortus play in the battle? Plus: The Avengers and West Coast team up to uncover a traitor in their midst! Guest-starring the Molecule Man, the Silver Surfer and Freedom Force! Collecting AVENGERS (1963) #262-269, AVENGERS ANNUAL (1967) #15 and WEST COAST AVENGERS ANNUAL #1.



ESSENTIAL MARVEL TEAM-UP VOL. 4
Written by CHRIS CLAREMONT, BILL KUNKEL, STEVEN GRANT, ALAN KUPPERBERG, ROGER STERN & MORE
Penciled by JEFF ACLIN, HOWARD CHAYKIN, DON PERLIN, MIKE VOSBURG, SAL BUSCEMA, BOB MCLEOD, GENE COLAN, RICH BUCKLER, PAT BRODERICK, CARMINE INFANTINO, MIKE ZECK, JIMMY JANES, ALAN KUPPERBERG, WILL MEUGNIOT & HERB TRIMPE
Cover by JOHN ROMITA JR.
Spider-Man's parade of all-star team-ups continues as he fights side-by-side with Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Strange, Ms. Marvel, Black Panther, Nightcrawler, Beast, Ghost Rider, Howard the Duck, X-51, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and more — against a non-stop onslaught of deadly foes including the Silver Dagger, the Griffin, Boomerang, the Maggia, Arcade, Killer Shrike, Mr. Fear, Tatterdemalion, the Owl and Nightshade! And in a special multi-part epic, Spider-Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. must race against time to save the president from death at the hands of Viper and the Silver Samurai! Collecting MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #76-78 and #80-98, and MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL #2-3.

Pop stuff :What I'm hearing, reading, watching, etc.

Produced by George Martin. This is a DVD released of a recently aired BBC Arena special and well worth picking up if your a Beatles fan.

Paul and Ringo both appear and join Martin in tender recollections of their work together back in the 1960s, when Martin sat on the other side of the glass from them in the Abbey Road recording studios. Their scenes together are funny and informal, like watching old friends reminiscing, which, I guess, is exactly what they are.

But it's not all Beatles. We take a look at Martin's pre-Fabs career, too, when he served in the RAF during World War II, went to music school and ultimately became a record producer at EMI's eclectic, low-budge Parlophone label, producing everything from trad jazz to light classical, to comedy albums and Scottish dance recordings. Fortunately for the world, he opted to give rock'n'roll from Liverpool a try.

Martin's son, Giles, asks him to share details and stories from the early days, and George's charming wife, Judy, is present, too, to share her recollections about working alongside him while a secretary at Abbey Road.

Ex-Python Michael Palin chats with George about the comedy days, when Martin produced records by Goon Show greats Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan. We get an overview of Martin's post-Beatles career, too, when he produced hit recordings by America and worked with Jeff Beck and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

The film is only and hour long and a quick breeze through a long career, yet it still contains great details and interviews. Another hour or so of extras is well worth checking out, especially a series of interviews in which noted record producers, such as T-Bone Burnett, Rick Rubin and others, discuss Martin's impact and influence.

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The Lennon Letters. More Beatles, which isn't terribly unusual around this place. I'm about three-quarters through this long-awaited and heavily hyped collection of Lennon's written-down odds and ends compiled by Hunter Davies, author of the Beatle's 1968 authorized biography.

This isn't a collection of letters as you might see from a politician or famous authors, where intimate prose serves as a sort of memoir or autobiography. Lennon didn't write many letters like that. Mostly, he jotted quick notes and postcards to fans, friends and relatives. They were witty, provocative and sometimes offered up revealing insights into his personality and moods, but they tended toward brevity.

Anything where Lennon put pen to paper is fair game to Davies, who includes notes Lennon wrote to his housekeeper and even a shopping list or two. But there are more interesting items, as well.

I found it fascinating that Lennon took the time to write back to fans on occasion and tended to be very gracious in answering their questions. One letter includes him writing back to a student at Quarry Bank High School, his old alma mater. Another couple show him explaining the Beatles' interest in Transcendental Meditation to concerned/interested fans.

Lennon's long diatribes in Britain's music papers, attacking Paul McCartney and the Beatles myth, are also included, as are his many letters to critics and newspapers promoting and sticking up for the art and music of his wife, Yoko Ono.

Many of the "letters" also include his funny drawings and his humorous/sometimes aggravating wordplay. Lennon certainly liked to put his thoughts, no matter how fleeting, in writing. If he was still around today, he'd likely be producing one of the most entertaining blogs on the Web.

 If you go into with reasonable expectations, and love Lennon, it's a book worth checking out.

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Revolution. Not the song, but the new TV series on NBC.

After the terrible conclusion of "Lost," I approached a new show produced by J.J. Abrams with some trepidation. But the basic, yet intriguing, premise of this show -- the world has completely lost electricity and has been thrown into chaos as a result -- made me decide to give it a try.

So far, it's not been terrifically engaging, though the most recent episode I watched ("The Plague Dogs" on Oct. 8) injected some pathos into the plot that made the characters and story a little more interesting.

America after the lights go out is pretty much what you might expect: Everybody's freaked out. Food is in short supply and everyone is out for themselves. The NRA must love it, because those with guns are the best off. I'm sure there are survivalists out there right now stocking up on more ammo and saying "I told you so."

Yet, the good guys on this show are gun-free. They are trying to live peacefully and have run afoul of the militia that is, literally, calling the shots.

Though, as I said, the show seems to be getting better, none of the characters is immediately as captivating as those on "Lost."

The plot isn't as much of a grabber, either. We know right off the bat what's going on. Yet, there is some mystery, too. We don't know why the power went out -- though some of the characters may. We also don't know if it can be switched back on -- though there are hints that it can. We also don't know why the leader of the militia and some of the key rebels, who were pals before the big blackout, are now at odds.

So, I'll hang in there for a while, and hope that it doesn't end up that they were all in Heaven and dead all along.

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Nashville.  My wife and I checked this one out, mainly to see Connie Britton, who was so fantastic and likeable on "Friday Night Lights." But we didn't make it past the pilot.

Britton plays Rayna James, country star facing a mid-life slump in record sales. To help re-spark interest from the fans, her label wants her to tour with an up-and-coming and annoying young star played by Hayden Panettiere. The script kept referring to her as an ingenue, which, I guess, is French for "little bitch."

Anyway, it's all very soapy, with subplots involving Rayna's husband, who is running for mayor, and the nefarious schemes of Rayna's dad, Lamar Wyatt, who is basically the J.R. Ewing of the piece.

Had this been a straight drama, not a soap, it might be fun. But, as is, it's too cheesy even for guilty pleasure status.

Monday, October 15, 2012

DC Comics Janary 2013 solicitations: Silver Age Teen Titans Archives 2; Superman vs. Shazam collection; Showcase Presents Sgt. Rock 4

Highlights from DC Comics' January 2013 releases:

SILVER AGE TEEN TITANS ARCHIVES VOL. 2
Written by BOB HANEY and others
Art by NICK CARDY, IRV NOVICK, NEAL ADAMS, GIL KANE and others • Cover by NICK CARDY
Advance solicited • On sale JUNE 19 • 400 pg, FC, $75.00 US
• The top teen heroes of the 1960s return in this volume collecting TEEN TITANS #6-20 and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #83!
• Don’t miss the action as the Titans take on The Mad Mod, Captain Rumble and The Scorcher, and get wrapped up in “The Dimensional Caper” and “A Swingin’ Christmas”!


 
SUPERMAN VS. SHAZAM!
Written by ROY THOMAS, JOEY CAVALIERI and GERRY CONWAY
Art by GIL KANE, RICH BUCKLER and DICK GIORDANO
Cover by RICH BUCKLER and DICK GIORDANO
On sale FEBRUARY 20 • 192 pg, FC, $19.99 US
• It’s the Man of Steel vs. the World’s Mightiest Mortal in this collection featuring Mr. Mxyzptlk, Mr. Mind, Captain Nazi, Black Adam and more!
• Collects ALL-NEW COLLECTOR’S EDITION C-58, DC COMICS PRESENTS #33-34 and 49, and DC COMICS PRESENTS ANNUAL #3.



SHOWCASE PRESENTS: SGT. ROCK VOL. 4
Written by ROBERT KANIGHER
Art by JOE KUBERT, RUSS HEATH and JACK ABEL
Cover by JOE KUBERT
On sale FEBRUARY 20 • 520 pg, B&W, $19.99 US
• In these tales, Sgt. Rock meets ace pilot Johnny Cloud, is taken prisoner by German forces, and leads a team of youthful soldiers into action.
• Collects OUR ARMY AT WAR #181-216.




ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN: JOSE LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ
Written by Gerry Conway, Martin Pasko, David Michelinie, Len Wein and Elliot Maggin, art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and others, cover by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.
Collecting tales illustrated by master comics artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez from Superman #294, 301, 302, 307-309 and 347, DC Comics Presents #1-4 and 17, and All-New Collector's Edtion C-54.
360 pages, $39.99, in stores on March 27.