Friday, April 25, 2014

Behind-the-scenes: Making Batman 1966 "bendies"!

Via 13th Dimension, a cool photo feature of NJ Croce employees putting the finishing, hand-painted, touches on the company's new line of retro Batman figures.

Today's Best Picture Ever: Stan Lee!

Pop Culture Roundup: The Shadow! John Romita! Mego Marvel!

See some great Shadow artwork and memorabilia at the Golden Age!


See original pencil art by John Romita, Sr., for an unpublished, alternate version of the humorous backup story, "Here We Go a'Plotting" from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5, 1968.


Diamond Select Toys is producing some retro, Mego-style action figures of Marvel superheroes. First up: Spidey.
....available as part of as special collector set, the Amazing Spider-Man will come as he first appeared in 1973, in his original "circle suit" costume and inside a reproduction window box. Additionally, the set contains all-new interchangeable heads, hands, outfits and accessories so that you can swap out parts on the classic figure to turn him into his alter ego: Daily Bugle photographer Peter Parker, or even a modern comic version of the wall-crawler!

Designed and sculpted for DST by the retro-toy craftsmen at EMCE Toys, the set will also contain a miniature booklet outlining the history of Spider-Man. Future sets in the line will turn the spotlight on Captain America, Iron Man and Wolverine, who was never included in the original 1970's line. Each set will be limited to just 3,000 pieces, and retail for approximately $80.
More info here.

Fab Friday: Handwritten lyrics by John Lennon

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Video Find: T. Rex performs Spaceball Ricochet 1972!

It was 50 years ago today: John Lennon attends Foyles Literary Lunch in London, April 23, 1964

Another excerpt from my book-in-progress: I Read the News Today: The Beatles Phenomenon 1963-1970.

On April 23 – the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth – John was celebrated as the guest of honor at the Foyle’s Literary Luncheon, an esteemed event hosted each year by one of London’s oldest booksellers.
Christina Foyle, herself, had extended the invitation for John to attend and the event was packed with reporters, camera men and celebrities, including John’s movie co-star Wilfred Bramble, fashion designer Mary Quant (promoter of the increasingly popular mini-skirt), classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin and former Goon Harry Secombe.
The expectation, of course, was that John would give a speech that reflected the sharp wit on display in his book. Perhaps he’d provide another news-making, class-busting remark along the lines of his “rattle your jewelry” line during the Royal Command Performance, or his joke about “purple hearts” in the presence of Harold Wilson. As he stood up to acknowledge the room’s applause, everyone was anxious with anticipation.
Glancing across the crowd, John gave a nervous wave and said, “Thank you very much. God bless you.” Then he quickly sat down, adding, “You’ve got a lucky face.” There was an uncomfortable pause and then the bemused audience clapped. And that was that.
This time, John had made news by saying virtually nothing. Afterward, humorist and former Member of Parliament Sir Alan Herbert leaned over to Brian Epstein, who was seated next to him, and said: “A shameful affair, he should most certainly have made a speech.” But recollecting the incident later in his own book, Epstein said, “John was behaving like a Beatle. He was not prepared to do something which was not only unnatural to him, but also something he might have done badly. He was not going to fail.”
 In her memoir, Cynthia Lennon recalled that John was severely hungover during the luncheon due to partying the previous night with friends at London’s Ad Lib Club. He could barely make it through shaking hands and making small talk at the event, let alone giving a speech – and he had had no idea that a speech was expected.

Today's Best Picture Ever: Rubber Soul Quality Control!