Friday, January 18, 2013

Coming up: Golden Age of DC Comics book

Out Feb. 1, 2013

From the Man of Steel to Batman and Wonder Woman: the super hero is born
In June of 1938, Action Comics debuted with a new kind of comic book character on its cover: a costumed man with two identities, who possessed extraordinary strength and powers—a man able to protect the public when ordinary measures would not do. He was not the first super hero, but the Man of Steel would become the prototype for all super heroes thereafter. Superman's story, and those of Batman, Wonder Woman, and hundreds of other DC Comics characters, are all told in The Golden Age of DC Comics. The single most comprehensive book on the subject, this volume traces the company's first decades, from its pulp origins up to the comic book burnings of the McCarthy ’50s in more than 400 pages bursting with comics, art, comics, photographs, and more comics. Also included is an exclusive interview with legendary artist Joe Kubert!

About the series: TASCHEN's series on DC Comics explores the origins of comics’ most enduring legends and the behind-the-scenes stories of the men and women who created them, era by era. Expanded from the Eisner Award–winning XL book, 75 Years of DC Comics, this new series hits the shelf at a reader-friendly size with essays updated by author Paul Levitz and more than 1,000 new images across five volumes. Thousands of covers and interiors, original illustrations, photographs, film stills, and collectibles have been reproduced to bring the story lines, the characters, and their creators to vibrant life, making this an invaluable reference for comics fans.

Brian Wilson to perform with former Beach Boys Jardine and Marks

Take that, Mike Love!

Brian Wilson has announced a live performance next summer at the Fraze Pavillion in Kettering, Ohio, joined by original Beach Boys members Al Jardine and David Marks. All three were on board for last summer's Beach Boys 50th anniversary tour, but were "fired" from further touring by Beach Boy Mike Love, who controls the Beach Boys' name.

That maneuver came as a disappointment to Wilson fans and Wilson himself, who was vocal in saying how much fun he had recording and touring with the reunited lineup.

So, it looks like this summer will see two Beach Boys groups playing live: Love's lineup with himself and Bruce Johnson, and Wilson's. I know which one I'd want to go see.

Paul McCartney demo tape of A World Without Love unearthered

Peter Asher of "Peter and Gordon" fame has relocated a 1964 demo recording by Paul McCartney of the duo's hit "A World Without Love."

The song was one of several Macca gave away to Peter and Gordon. Asher's sister, Jane, was Paul's girlfriend at the time, and he lived in the Asher family's London home for a period.
 Asher discovered the recording (a DAT tape of the reel-to-reel original) in a storage space in LA. There are no plans to release it, but Asher is playing the recording on his touring show Peter Asher: A Musical Memoir Of The '60s And Beyond, with which he is travelling around the US.
 Also on the tape, from the same bedroom recording, is McCartney singing an early version of The Beatles' 'I'll Follow The Sun'.

New Doctor Who trailer for season 7 part 2

Marvel Comics April 2013 solicitations

Notable items among Marvel's April releases:

Steve Englehart and Gene Colan set Dr. Strange on a series of unmatched classics in the Sorcerer Supreme’s next Marvel Masterworks — and it all begins with the end of the world! Eternity declares that the end times are here — and to save us all, Stephen Strange must first face…himself. Next comes a Doc Strange vs. Dracula crossover, followed by a trip to Hell and finally a time-traveling Occult History of America! Then, Marv Wolfman takes the reins as Dr. Strange rejects his Sorcerer Supreme status — and must battle Xander the Merciless and a Clea gone mad! With lush and lyrical art by Rudy Nebres and P. Craig Russell, you’ll find none more worthy of the name “Masterworks.” Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE (1974) #10-22 and ANNUAL #1, and TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #44.
288 PGS

Written by STAN LEE
Penciled by JACK KIRBY
Field trip! That’s “field trip” as defined in the Lee/Kirby dictionary, which means you’d better pack that bag lunch in unstable molecules and buckle up for a trip beyond your wildest imagination! First stop: a visit to the neighbor’s place, Attilan, home of the Inhumans! Second stop: Paris is beautiful in the springtime — but according to the brochure, Latveria’s lovely year round. Then again, the savvy traveler never trusts a Chamber of Commerce run by Doombots. Third stop: Down Under. Way down under in the lair of the Mole Man! Last stop: The Thing takes an intergalactic tour as a gladiator in the Skulls’ slave arena! You’d better make those travel plans today, True Believer — tickets for this trip are guaranteed to sell out! Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #82-93 and ANNUAL #7.
272 PGS

Written by STAN LEE
Penciled by JACK KIRBY
Prepare yourself for an amazing assemblage of Asgardian classics as only Stan and Jack could make them. Featuring the one and only Thor, it kicks off with a blockbuster battle with the Absorbing Man! Then in Outer Mongolia, a demon powered by a mystic Norn stone awakens. Thor may be able to handle this magical menace, but how will he fare in a toe-to-toe tussle with Hercules — especially when Odin has cut the Thunder God’s power in half? It all leads to an epic adventure that takes Thor and Hercules into the depths of the Underworld to fight the legions of Pluto. And lest we forget, “Tales of Asgard” backs up every issue — revealing the secrets of Ragnarok and more! Collecting JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY (1952) #121-125, THOR (1966) #126-130 and material from NOT BRAND ECHH #3.
240 PGS.

Written by BILL MANTLO
Banished to the mysterious and dangerous Crossroads by Dr. Strange, the Hulk fights his way back from the edge of insanity; battles the U-Foes, the N’Garai, Klaatu, the Puffball Collective and more; fights alongside newfound friends like the Lady of Life in the City of Death; and comes face to face with three aspects of his own shattered psyche as Bruce Banner struggles to reassert control over his savage alter ego and come to terms with his haunted past! Plus: The story of Banner’s birth, and how his tragic childhood shaped the monster within, is revealed! And longtime INCREDIBLE HULK artist Sal Buscema wraps up his decade-long run! The Jade Giant is truly at the crossroads of his life! Collecting INCREDIBLE HULK (1968) #301-313 and ANNUAL #13, and ALPHA FLIGHT (1983) #29.
384 PGS

It’s a cornucopia of classic Avengers action as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes travel to Russia to face the Elements of Doom, and then battle the WWII-era Arsenal robot and learn its shocking ties to Iron Man’s family! Meanwhile, an out-of-work Hawkeye takes a security job and clashes with the vicious alien princess Deathbird! Plus: The Avengers are called before Congress, battle the stone-faced Grey Gargoyle, face the new Inferno and deal with the meddling machinations of government liaison Henry Peter Gyrich! But when the team investigates a cry for help from a mental hospital, they discover a deadly new foe: Who is the terrible Taskmaster? And how can the Avengers hope to stop him when he can match every single fighting move they have to offer? Time to get creative! Collecting AVENGERS (1963) #188-196 and ANNUAL #9.
216 PGS.

120 versions of Superman's "S" shield!

Via the Superman Homepage, here's a great analysis and fun infographic charging the development of Superman's chest shield over the decades.

Paul McCartney re-records song for frozen veggie food ad

Paul McCartney has re-recorded his song, "Heart of the Country," from the Ram album for use on a new animated ad promoting a line of frozen vegetarian food items from the Linda McCartney Foods line.

The ad, below, also includes a voice over by Elvis Costello.
The advert, to be screened from January 28, has been created by a team which has worked on animated projects for The Beatles and Gorillaz and features Linda walking her children to a woodland feast.

Fans will be scouring the footage for references to Sir Paul. An image of a sheepdog makes several appearances and could be the dog immortalised in his Beatles tune Martha My Dear, while one figure bears a resemblance to the Fab Four's roadie Mal Evans.

There is also a musical frog which could be a nod to Sir Paul's top three hit, We All Stand Together with The Frog Chorus.

Upcoming documentary focuses on Beatles fan club secretary

Devoted Beatlemaniacs know the name Freda Kelly. The secretary of the band's official fan club, the Fabs even gave her a shout out on their 1963 Christmas recording: "Good ol' Freda."

And that's the title of a new documentary profiling Kelly, which will premiere this March at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

Here's the skinny on the film. You can learn more here.

Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. Though she had no concept of how far they would go, Freda had faith in The Beatles from the beginning, and The Beatles had faith in her.
History notes that The Beatles were together for 10 years, but Freda worked for them for 11. Many people came in and out of the band's circle as they grew to international stardom, but Freda remained a staple because of her unfaltering loyalty and dedication. As the Beatles' devoted secretary and friend, Freda was there as history unfolded; she was witness to the evolution – advances and setbacks, breakthroughs and challenges – of the greatest band in history.
In Good Ol' Freda, Freda tells her stories for the first time in 50 years. One of few documentaries with the support of the living Beatles, the film offers an insider perspective on the beloved band that changed the music industry.

Pop culture roundup: Joe Kubert illustrates Marvel, DC, Archie and more! Doc Savage action figure!; Batman sings!

20th Century Danny Boy shares this awesome Joe Kubert-illustrated comic, done as a promotion in 1977 for World Color Press, which printed comics for both DC, Marvel, Archie, Harvey and other comics companies back in those days.

It's a chance to see a variety of Marvel, DC and other characters as illustrated

Here's a preview, go look at the rest:


Via Dangerous Minds: Batman (Adam West) sings!


Go Hero is making a pretty nifty looking 12-inch Doc Savage action figure!

Vintage Superman coloring books

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stan Lee sends video message to teen injured in school shooting

Here's as video message comics creator Stan Lee sent to a Taft, Calif., high school student wounded in the recent school shooting in that community.

Fantagraphics previews new Bernie Krigstein Comics collection

Go here for a preview of Fantagraphics' new collection "Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B . Krigstein."

Working in comic books for just over a decade in the 1940s and '50s, Bernard Krigstein applied all the craft, intelligence, and ambition of a burgeoning "serious" artist, achieving results that remain stunning to this day. While his legend rests mostly on his landmark narratives created for EC Comics, dozens of stories for lesser publishers equally showcase his singular draftsmanship and radical reinterpretation of the comics page.

Harvey Award-winning Krigstein biographer Greg Sadowski has assembled the very best of the artist’s work, starting with his earliest creative rumblings, through his glory days at EC, to his final daring experiments for Stan Lee’s Atlas Comics — running through nearly every genre popular at the time, be it horror, science fiction, war, western, or romance.

This edition reprints the out-of-print 2004 hardcover B. Krigstein Comics, with a number of stories re-tooled and improved in terms of reproduction, and several new stories added. Legendary EC colorist Marie Severin, in her last major assignment before her retirement, recolored 20 stories for this edition. The remainder has been taken from printed comics, digitally restored with subtlety and restraint. Original art pages, photostats from Krigstein's personal archives, and an extensive set of historical and editorial notes by Sadowski round out this compelling volume.

BBC to produce Ian Fleming mini-series

The BBC is set to produce a mini-series documenting the life of James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
Provisionally entitled "Fleming," miniseries is set during WWII when the maverick and hedonistic Fleming was hired by British Naval intelligence as part of its undercover campaign against the Nazis, after his careers as a banker and stockbroker failed.

It was these wartime experiences that provided the inspiration for British spy 007, who first appeared in print in "Casino Royale," published in 1953. Like his character, Fleming was well known in English society for his womanizing and taste for alcohol.

More pulp cover parade

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

BBC radio this week: Stream drama, sci-fi, comedy, music documentaries

Click the links to hear the following programs.

Doctor Who: Prisoner of the Sun The Time Lord is held on a doomed planet and forced to help save it from an exploding sun.


The Goon Show: The Battle of Spion Kop The British mount a South African attack, but something is lacking. From December 1958.


Robert Louis Stevenson: The Bottle Imp Native Hawaiian Keawe buys a bottle promising love, fame and money - but there's a drawback. Stars David Rintoul and Tony Osoba. 


The Seven Ages of Rock: Art Rock Featuring David Gilmour, Peter Gabriel and Bryan Ferry.



Pulp cover parade

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dear Prudence, still meditating after all these years

A Florida TV station catches up with Prudence Farrow Bruns, sister of actress Mia Farrow and inspiration for the Beatles' song "Dear Prudence."

Bruns and her sister were in India during the Beatles' 1968 stay at Rishikesh, where they studied Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
...she was so serious about meditation; others in the group began to worry about her. John Lennon was so concerned, he wrote her a song. The result "Dear Prudence", which the Beatles released on their "White Album".
Turns out, Bruns is still at it.
Bruns has continued to follow the teachings and philosophy of meditation her entire life. Now she wants to share meditation with the world through her dear prudence foundation.

“Now I’m ready to give back and so my way of giving back now I can use dear prudence to my advantage. So I’ll raise money with the foundation and all of the money will go toward scholarships for the programs that have to do with TM" said Prudence.

Bruns and her husband are raising money by shooting a documentary of the international Kumbh Melah festival centered on the art of meditation.

"It's where people all over India who are interested in yoga or meditation or actually almost any kind of spirituality for thousands of years" said Albert Bruns.

New comics and more Jan. 16, 2013: Conan, Batwoman, Lil' Abner, Fables, inflatable Dalek!

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Conan Volume 12: Throne of Aquilonia

Batwoman Vol. 1: Hydrology (The New 52)

Fables Vol. 18: Cubs in Toyland

Li'l Abner Volume 5

Dr Who Inflatable Dalek

Photo still: William Shatner in the Twilight Zone

Anyone know the name of the actress?

Monday, January 14, 2013

DC Comics April 2013 solicitations

Items of note from DC Comics' April releases. Click the links to order pre-order discounted items from Amazon.

Written by Jerry Siegel, art by Joe Shuster and others, cover by Darwyn Cooke.
The early adventures of Superman are collected in one massive hardcover as he battles social injustice and political corruption, fighting for the common man. Includes the first appearances of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor.
Collecting stories from Action Comics #1-31, New York World's Fair #1, New York World's Fair 1940, and Superman #1-7.
794 pages.

Written by Gardner Fox, art by Mike Sekowsky, Bernard Sachs and others, cover by Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson.
Presenting the adventures of the JLA in chronological order! Learn how the team first gathered to battle the intergalactic conqueror Starro!
Collects The Brave and the Bold #28-30 and Justice League of America #1-3.
168 pages.

Written by John Broome, Gerry Conway and others, art by Carmine Infantino, Murphy Anderson and others, cover by Carmine Infantino.
Captain Comet faces alien invasions and weird monsters from distant worlds in these stories from DC's classic science fiction series Strange Adventures, as well as his 1970s adventures!
Collects Strange Adventures #9-44, 46 and 49, and Secret Society of Super-Villains #2-6.
400 pages.

Written by Jack Kirby, art by Jack Kirby, Vince Colletta and Mike Royer, cover by Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia.
After arriving at DC Comics at the start of the 1970s, one of Jack Kirby's first projects was the black and white magazine In The Days of The Mob, which featured stories of organized crime in the 1930s. Now, this hard-to-find magazine is reprinted for the first time!
Collects The Days of The Mob #1 and stories from Amazing World of DC Comics #1 and 10.
108 pages.

Written by Darwyn Cooke, Jeph Loeb, Brian Azzarello, Richard Corben, Tim Sale, John Arcudi, Howard Chaykin, Michael Allred, Neil Gaiman, Steven T. Seagle, Sergio Aragones, Mark Evanier, Brendan McCarthy and other, art by Tim Sale, Richard Corben, Paul Pope, Howard Chaykin, Darwyn Cooke, Jordi Bernet, Michael Allred, Teddy Kristiansen, Scott Hampton, Damion Scott, Sergio Aragones and Brendan McCarthy, cover by Tim Sale.
At last, the acclaimed 12-issue series Solo is collected, featuring the work of some of comics' greatest creators, including Darwyn Cooke, Tim Sale, Paul Pope and so many others. With stories starring Batman, Robin, Superman, The Spectre, The Teen Titans and more, as well as westerns, war stories, science fiction epics, humor and horror, this is a collection you won't want to miss!
Collects Solo #1-12.
568 pages.

DVD and Blu-ray new releases Jan. 15, 2013: Doctor Who 2012 Christmas Special; Merlin season 4; Perry Mason season 8 part 2; Man Who Knew Too Much Criterion Edition; Jackson Five animated series, more!

Click the links to order discounted DVDs or Blu-rays from Amazon.

Merlin: The Complete Fourth Season

Perry Mason: The Eighth Season, Vol. 2

The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Collection)

Jackson Five: The Completed Animated Series

Ronnie Lane Band: Live At Rockpalast

King: A Filmed Record... From Montgomery to Memphis (2-Disc Set)

Doctor Who: 2011 Christmas Special