Friday, December 29, 2006

Wonder Woman Record -- Stories for the Kids, Cover Art for Dad!

Here we have “three exciting all new action-adventure stories!” featuring everyone’s favorite Amazon, Wonder Woman!

Just between us friends, I have these two images labeled “Wonder Cheesecake.” In a nice way, of course. As a friend said last week, “That gal is certainly all there!”

You might note that the front cover mentions three exciting tales. As you can see, the back cover mentions “four all new stories,” and then lists only THREE stories.

Ah, well, the lithe, trim figure of the personification of beauty makes up for a lot.

About the artist … my first guess would be Dick Giordano.

And, take a second look at the bad guys in the front cover. The second from the left, with the long brown hair and glasses, reminds me of how Elliott S! Maggin comported himself in the mid-70s. And, is there any chance that the baddie on the far right, with the glasses, bowtie, and receding hairline, is intended to represent DC editor Julius Schwartz?

One never knows, do one?

Well, that’s all the fun for this year. See you some time after the 2nd of January. Have a Super New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Songs and Stories About the JLA!

Here we have “Songs and Stories About the Justice League of America,” copyright 1975 by “Periodical Publications, Inc.” – according to the record label.

Say, wasn’t that supposed to be NATIONAL Periodical Publications? By golly, it WAS supposed to be that way, because the back side of the LP says so!

*sigh* This is just another of those classic albums I haven’t had time to listen to. You do know I was kidding about the “classic” bit, huh?

Anyway, here are the answers to yesterday’s Super-Trivia question. In Superman: the Movie, the other two actors re-voiced by Christopher Reeve are Jeff East, the actor who played teenaged Clark, and the Metropolis Tower, the “voice on the ground” heard over the airplane’s radio when Air Force One is hit by the lightning.

In one of the 14 discs of the big fat Superman DVD Collection, Jeff East speculates that perhaps his voice was looped because his voice (and therefore young Clark’s voice) was deeper than Reeves’s (post-teen-age) voice!

In Ilya Salkind’s commentary on the theatrical cut to the first movie, he reveals that Reeve provided the voice of Metropolis Tower.

Have a Super-Duper day, campers!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Record as Pretty as a Picture

Here we have the front and back of a 1975 Superman LP that tells three stories: “The Best Cop in the World,” “Tomorrow the World,” and “The Myyzptlk-Up Menace.” Nope, I haven’t listened to this one either.

Since the art is by the great Neal Adams, and since the back cover features Supes without the three insets, I’ve cleaned it up, fixed the discoloration and scratches, and otherwise gussied it up.

It kinda looks like Superman is giving you a good-guy chuck on the chin, doesn’t it?

Oh yeah, the trivia. Can you name the two voice-over roles Christopher Reeve played in Superman: The Movie ? That is, besides Clark/Supes, Reeves provided voices for two other actors.

You can guess today, and I’ll provide the answers tomorrow, along with another exciting LP cover!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gosh, they didn't mean to be over melodramatic....

...or maybe they did!

It's a Superman Spectacular, and it's from 1981. As you can see from the cover, it pits Terra-Man and Luthor against -- Superman Red and Superman Blue?!?!

Yep, "plotter" Bob Rozakis and "scripter" Paul Kupperberg --- um, borrowed -- the concept of the Superman Split, and even used a similar title: "Startling Saga of Superman Red & Superman Blue!"

I really couldn't stand to re-read the whole thing in detail. There's Terra-Man. Luthor uses Red K against Supes and is ticked off when the split gives him TWICE the do-gooder to fight. Somehow Luthor gets "magical" powers that nearly do in Lois Lane.

So at the ending Superman has reunited, thwarted the bad guys, and then gloms onto Lois, who is maybe-alive, maybe-dead through Luthor's villainy, and prays to Rao to spare her life.
Then something spiffy happens, and Lois wakes up. Superman gets all edgy and *almost* turns Lex into jelly, before stopping himself with Super-willpower.
It's the "gosh aren't we impressive" writers' attitude that really bugs me as I look over the thing now. It's sad to realize that evidently there are lots of "creative types" in comics who, by the evidence, value flash over substance. And I thought John Byrne started it in the Superman books!
At least some of the art isn't bad. I mean, Lois looks pretty, as opposed to a slut, which is how she's drawn half the time nowadays.
Tomorrow, some Super-Trivia (not too hard I hope)!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Son Who Came to Save Us

Merry Christmas to all my friends, "real" and "online-only." The friendship and love in my heart are only possible through the presence of Jesus, the template for all true heroes, who was sent to Earth by His Father as our only hope. I share this image with you (art by Neal Adams) in fun and joy. Don't forget that the love of God is freely open to all. As the short story title says, "You Could Look It Up."

You could look it up in the behavior of my parents, in the "I'm trying my best" attitude of three-year-old Jazra and 50-year-old me. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006

No, I'm Not. It's Just a Song

OK, so who remembers this silly song by The Clique called "Superman"? It's a metaphorical comparison of the jealous lover's perceptions of his girlfriend, who's seeing another guy.
"I am, I am Superman, and I know what's happening." He uses his stalker-ray vision to "see" that his girlfriend really doesn't like the guy she's going out with.

Kinda like the Beatles' "I'm looking through you, you're not the same."

Or like whoever-it-is "Is she really going out with him, is she really gonna take him home tonight?"

Anyway, create your own "Sing Along with Kal-El" over the weekend!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Weatherspoon's Catalyst Record

...Being a depiction of a story record. As you can see, it's from 1975, the period just before the filming began on Superman: The Movie. No, I haven't played it...yet.

More Super-records coming!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Free Supermusic CD! Act Now!

OK, here's the deal. To the first five Super-Fans who post a comment to this entry, I'll send you a FREE copy of the CD Supermusic, an anthology I've created of one-hit wonders, covers, and original songs referring to the Man of Steel. It contains things like songs from the 1960s Broadway musical, the movie serials, the Superboy & Super Pup pilots, and more!

Check out the complete tracklist below. And I'd love to hear from YOU!

Eight-Track Super-Fever!

As the more experienced of us know, Eight-Track Tapes were a short-lived format (only 20 years or so) which lost the consumer marathon, to the audio cassette. You can still find a fair selection of eight-tracks at your neighborhood thrift store. These are statistically likely to contain country music, or to be bootlegged knock-offs of actual albums.

You can see from the examples here that Eight Tracks were also current in the late 1970s when Superman: The Movie commercialism was at a peak. While the tape above has only one Super-selection (but track 2 is a Battlestar Galactica knock-off!), the tape pictured below has only Super-songs on it.
Sad to say, my access to eight-track technology has waned over the years, so I haven't heard these lovely paeans to Krypton's son.
But stay tuned tomorrow for more Super-music, and learn how YOU can hear some!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Gold Key Got It Right!

In 1964, Gold Key put out a one-shot TV tie-in for Jonny Quest. It's a straightforward adaptation of the first episode, "Mystery of the Lizard Men." The interior art is an interesting combination of good and ... eh ... OK.

Some panels appear to be almost tracings of film cels. Other are a lot looser "interpretations" of the characters.

Here's the interior front cover.
The script is not word-for-word, however. For example, in the final minutes when Dr. Quest's computer "Unis" suggests "Laser experiments by foreign powers," Dr. Quest responds, "In my primitive way, I arrived at the same answer, Unis!"

And the TV episode's final scene, the return to the beach, isn't present in the comic. Instead, in the last panel Race and Jonny lead into a text piece about the Sargasso Sea that appears inside the read cover, thusly:

There was never a second issue from Gold Key. Not until 1986 and Comico's brilliant run did Jonny Quest return to comics.

See you after the weekend!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ha-Ha, Very Funny (not)

Did you know that, in April 1968, Superman met Jerry Lewis? The proof is right here!

One of the dumb things about this issue is that the cover features some Cagliostro-looking goon with an oversized Tommy gun has caught Jerry wearing a Superman costume. But it can't be Superman's real costume, because you can see an imitation -Boring Superman flying past in the background.

However, the story inside contains Jerry finding and wearing THE COSTUME. And the bad guy that finds Jerry wearing it is none other than the greatest criminal mind of our time, Lex Luthor.

Wouldn't have that made a better cover?

Of course, in the story that genius Luthor is so stupid that he thinks that Jerry Lewis REALLY IS Supes's identity. So much for that great criminal mind, huh!

The art is a creepy mix of Jim Mooney-meets-Al Plastino. And the writing is a quality that makes me think that it was written by somebody full of derision for anybody above a first-grader's critical faculties.

Anyway, as Carole King sang, you've got to take the bitter with the sweet. Or, in this case, the dumb with the daring!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It Was Thirty Years Ago Today ... Sort Of ...

Thirty years ago, America celebrated its Bicentennial! Woo-Hoo!

At DC, Superman "saluted" it with a big oversized reprint of old Tomahawk stories, "hosted" by Superman. Seeing as how Tomahawk was so influential in American Independence and all.

Ain't the cover art great? My first guess was Fred Ray as the artist, but I don't know.

The first couple of pages feature Superman in his fortress, tuning in his time viewer, through which he "watches" the Tomahawk tales.

The Superman art is by Saint Curt, but the inker (unnamed) wasn't *quite* in sync with catching the right line to ink.

Stay thankful for the privileges and responsibilities of American life! As they say, the American way is the worst system on Earth ...except for every other one.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Super Solutions

Here are the answers to all those *brainbusting* puzzles from last week. As I said earlier, they came from the 1981 magazine-style Daily Planet published in conjunction with the release of Superman II.

My dear friends, pray for me. In my viewing-in-order of the 14-disc Superman DVD set, next in line is Superman III. Pray that I emerge with a little consciousness intact.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Couple More Super-Puzzles

These are very difficult, but I know you guys can figure 'em out.

Answers to this week's trio of brainbusters Monday!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

More Superman II stuff -- Puzzles!

The 1981 issue of the Daily Planet, besides text stories complementing the film Superman II, also had small items used as filler. In between the phone-booth ads and the Classifieds, there were a few puzzles. Here's one, a Super acrostic.

Answers to follow, in a few days after I've posted all three puzzles!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Superman II Now Available!

Well, we had an interesting time Friday evening trying to buy a copy of the big ol' 14-disc Superman DVD super-set! We knew Target was sold out. So we went to Best Buy. They were out. So we went to Circuit City. They were out. So we went to Wherehouse. They had it!

The first thing I dug out was the Donner Superman II. Boy Howdy, it's a corker! Just about every plot hole was filled, does Clark Kent walk back to the Fortress?!?
You can quibble about the resolution ... but that's the original ending. As originally written, the turn-back-the-world sequence was to end Superman II.

In honor of the new, original Superman II, for the next few days we're going to share excerpts from a magazine-sized release of the Daily Planet, from 1981. Here's the cover, and an editorial from Perry White.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Super Jazra!

This is the latest pride and joy to join our family, 3 1/2-year-old Jazra. Being a member of our Super Family, you might have guessed how she dressed for Halloween.

Well, guess no more!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Santa Claus Is Coming on a Stairway to Heaven

I wish I could re-do and re-record music the way Weird Al does. Or, like a group called Fleming and John, who do a KILLER version of "Winter Wonderland," to the tune of Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop." Here's the link for that. It's GREAT!

Anyway, if I could re-perform a song for Christmas, I would re-record "Stairway to Heaven" with these words, adapted from "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."

Santa Claus Is Coming on a Stairway to Heaven
You’d better watch out, you’d better not cry,
You’d better not pout, and this is why:
Santa Claus is coming to town
When he gets there he knows if the doors are all closed
With a nod he can get down the chimney

There’s a sign by the plate but he wants to be sure
For you know cookies can be so fattening
Up the stairs in a room there’s a father who snores
Sometimes all of our gifts are misgiven

And it makes me wonder

And it’s whispered tonight, if we turn out the light
Santa’s reindeer will walk on the rooftop
And a new day will dawn for those who sleep long
And the children will echo with laughter

You know he sees when you’re asleep
And then he knows if you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So just be good for goodness sake
And if you listen very hard
You’ll hear the sleighbells ring at last
And you’ll see hoofprints in the yard
Then you’ll believe he’s come to town

And you know that Santa’s coming to town

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More Superboy TV

Here is another small selection from the Superboy "TV Syndication Publicity Packet." One of the images is some more TV Guide-type ads & images that were provided. Local syndicators could cut-and-paste preprinted days and air-times into the little white flag in each ad.

The other image shows an example of some of the "autograph-quality" photos also enclosed. This photo has plenty of room at the top for your local station to paste its own logo or call letters above the Superboy Poster.

To the right you'll see the covers to the boxes that contained "Superboy Radio Spots." These three-inch boxes contain reel-to-reel tapes. No, I haven't heard them! No reel-to-reel tape recorder in this house.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Superboy TV Series

No, not the one-shot pilot made in 1956 or so.

Season One of Superboy, starring John Haymes Newton (in his only season), started in 1989, and for Seasons Two through Four, starred Girard Christopher, ending in 1992.

A kind friend, Mark Barragar (aka Ranger Roger aka the King-Sized King), was nice enough to make a "Superboy TV Promo Packet" available to me.
Here are a few of the images seen in the promo packet.
The packet contains episode summaries, paste-in TV Guide-type ads, and other stuff. More tomorrow!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Super Pretzels

As the more mature of us may recall, 1988 was Superman's 50th Anniversary. Among the celebrations was the completely cheesy but fun and touching TV Special, now in release as part of the Superman movie 14-disc edition.

Another fun and silly celebration was the production of cans of Superman Pretzels! That's right, campers. The can was about 6 inches around and about 11 inches high. It was covered with comic cover reproductions.

The bottom and the top of the can are featured below, along with what those antique preztels look like. Although a lot have fragmented, I've circled some of the ones who still have their S-shield shape.

No, I haven't tasted one lately.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

(with semi-sincere apologies to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Making of Star Trek

Once upon a time, when some of us were in high school and junior high, there was this TV show that was SO COOL. It was called Star Trek, and it was about the future. It had adventure and fun, and cool aliens, and a neat spaceship.

If you went into your local Git-n-Go or 7-11 or such, you might have found this book on the paperback spinner in September 1968.

This is the cover of the first edition.

Yes, new, fat (400+ pages) paperbacks with dozens of photo pages DID sell new for 95 cents.

This was, and is, a treasure-trove of fun and interesting facts and maybe-facts, with the advantage of presenting its information (100% accurate or not) while the whole idea was still new and fresh, before the overlay of decades of wishful thinking and mythology started to tint recollections.

One of my favorite memories of reading the book at age 12 is the discussion of network sensors' objections to the marvelous draperies that exposed acres of ripe womanflesh. It says something like, "NBC would allow a costume to reveal the TOP of a woman's breast almost down to the aurolae, but showing the underside of the breast was verboten. Perhaps they believes that moss grew under there."

This, the first printing, is so "fresh" that, in the back where you have episode titles & cast credits, the 3rd season isn't included, because it hadn't happened yet! Later editions, besides changing the cover, also included information for the 3rd season.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Byrne & Smallville, Be Damned!

Once there was a wonderful age, a wonderful time to be a wide-eyed innocent American child. A time when I was young enough to take at face value the strict right-and-wrong values shown me in comic books and TV shows featuring upright guys (and gals too) who strove mightily to protect my chance for an innocent childhood.

During this time, DC Comics had a character called Superboy, whose comic book featured "The Adventures of Superman When He Was a Boy!" And, it made sense. Because (although I didn't know it) way back in Superman's origin story we were told that even as an infant he had mighty muscles.

And yes, during this more innocent time, we weren't thinking about Super-Projectile Diarrhea, or what if Superbaby gave Ma Kent a BIG HUG. No, these were cute stories where things were resolved quickly, and we were shown a world where -- although evil existed -- other people were helpful and good-natured, unless their actions proved otherwise.

As Elliott S. Maggin put it so very wisely, "There is a right and a wrong in the universe, and most of the time the choice is not difficult to make." After all, most of the time our life decisions are not as complicated as those depicted in movies or on TV. The characters in The Unit may have to decide whether to let someone live or die, but for you and I, it's pretty easy to see the right and wrong in letting somebody in front of us merge onto the highway, or holding the door open for somebody.

These books are little, 20-page children's books that were published in 1980, when execs at DC were trying to extend the life of the Superboy character wo a further generation. However, by now most buyers were probably nostalgic types like me.

Remember, you have choices. Do right! Help other people!

Friday, November 17, 2006

3D Superman!

This oversized comic was published in 1953. My copy is missing the Super Glasses, so I have to use the Batman 3D Glasses I have from my Batman 3D comic.

You can decide for yourself (if you have some red-green 3D glasses kicking around) how effective the images are. For me, the ocean wave looming over Metropolis at the bottom of this page is pretty scary!
I understand that Curt Swan, premiere Superman artist, felt that this comic was whre he really began to hit his stride in drawing Big Blue.
Stories contained are
"The Man Who Stole the Sun!" -- art by Swan, the source of the page shown here;
"The Origin of Superman!" -- art by Wayne Boring;
"The Man Who Bossed Superman!" -- again with art by Curt Swan.
Also of note is that the inside covers of the book aren't covered with any ads or other material, they're just *gasp* empty and white.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Great Jazz-Classical Music

If you are amused or enraptured by Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, and you're not a *gasp* literalist, then you should know this music! If you look it up on Amazon, it was re-issued on CD in 1990 and credited to the "101 Strings."

But as you can see from this, the original cover, the performers are the Video All-Stars, a likely pseudonym for somebody or other. The performing group has lot of woodwinds and brass, players probably NOT featured in the "101 Strings" ensemble.

The subtitle for Scheherajazz is "...for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Band." It's a wonderful take on the piece!
And as for the girl on the!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

An Interesting Book

This is a fun book. Read it with a grain of salt, and you too can "leap career obstacles in a single bound."

Well, maybe not, but Alan Axelrod does a pretty good job of doing what you might guess -- adapting aspects of the Superman mythos as traits to emulate at work.

Some of them are really important, like knowing right and wrong, and sticking to what's right. Others may be less so -- emulating Clark Kent's fashion sense as a newsman at WGBS in the 1970s or as Dean Cain in the 1990s.

But still, a fun book still to be found on closeout tables at a bookstore near you.
Plus, as an added bonus, you get a great example of the "Curt Swan fingers" on Perry White's right hand, as seen here!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Anybody Remember Reel Wild Cinema?

This show was on USA network around ten years ago, always in the overnight hours. This one-hour show featured host Sandra Bernhard talking trash about trash cinema.

Most times we'd have interviews with cult directors or stars.

The main wonderful feature of this show was the footage from various cult or Z-grade films and short subjects. They edited out the good stuff so we could enjoy only the BAD STUFF.

Lots o'fun, friends. Too bad you can't buy the series on DVD. Probably getting the rights to all the various properties would be not only expensive but super-complicated.

I'm gonna have to burn my dubbed-from-TV VHS copies onto DVDs pretty soon, before they deteriorate!

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Silly Earth Shoe Story

You know, it's amazing how easily some people, sometimes, will take something as believable, when it's really not. I'm not talking politics or religion, just a silly statement that -- with a little consideration -- would be laughed out of the ball park.

Example in point: About twenty years ago I had a pair of Earth Shoes (see yesterday's entry) that I wore when working the overnight shift at Coastal Mart (gas/convenience store). Once in a while, if I were in transit from stocking or sweeping to the cash register, a customer might notice my shoes and comment on them.

I'd always stop and turn my shoes sideways so that the customer could see that they were in fact, "genuine" Earth Shoes, and that the heel part really rode lower than the front of the foot.

"Y'see how the front of my foot is higher than my heel when I have these on?" I'd ask. Yup yup, the customer would reply.

"Well, you see, when I wear these Earth Shoes, if you measured my height, I'm actually shorter with them on than when I'm barefoot," I'd say. Hmmm, the customer would reply.

"See?" I'd say, turning the shoe again so they could see that the heel was (again) lower than the front. "You see how the heel is lower? That's why! The heel is lower than the front of my foot, so when I have these on I'm actually shorter than when I'm barefoot."

At this point, most customers would nod their heads and say, "Huh. Cool!"

And then I would try to keep a straight face until they left.

See you Monday, Super-Friends!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

More Paper Ephemera

As you may deduce, this is a flyer handed out to announce to the world the arrival of Earth Shoes in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I'd bet the date is around 1975.

Earth Shoe ads were also plastered all over the back pages of Rolling Stone magazine. This was back in the days when, in Firestarter, Stephen King could legitimately suggest it as a news source that hadn't "sold out to the man." Sadly, nowadays, the Stone HAS indeed sold out, to a strange mix of Far Left editorials and complete Music-Establishment hype.
Anyway, Anne Kalsǿ would always tell us that when walking on the beach, she had noticed that in barefooted footprints, a person's heel was always pressed deeper into the sand. Voila and of course. That meant that shoes were supposed to MAKE your feet positioned the same way when walking!
So, as you can see, Earth Shoes raised the front of the foot so that it was higher than the heel. Results were supposed to be back comfort, increased energy, and a smug assurance that you were walking the way Nature intended you to walk.
In reality, the main of wearing Earth Shoes were a loud, clunky walk, and a 90-degree-angled shape callous at the back of each heel.
And no, the present line of "Earth Shoes" has no relation to the original, unless perhaps they paid Kalsǿ's heirs for the name.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another Jigsaw Puzzle from 1983

As you can see, this puzzle features Superman standing off against three Phantom Zone baddies. Obviously they are NOT intended to be the three actors from Superman II.

No, these are Zod, Faora, and whats-his-name (I forgot) -- maybe Kru-El. Zod is the guy in front, wearing the lavender baseball cap . He wears that because he's bald underneath.

On the back side of the puzzle is a bright and cheerful dpiction of the Man of Steel appearing to welcome us to his ultra-secret Fortress of Solitude.

Despite earlier stories that the key to the Fortress was hollow (Batman hid inside it in "The Super-Key to Fort Superman!") or could be lifted by Earthly technology (Batman & Robin airlifted it with the Batplane once -- in the latter days of the Real Superman's tenure, before 1986, we were told that the key was made from material from a dwarf star, so heavy that only super-strength could budge it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Superman Saves the Day

This right hyar (that's Okie-talk for "here") piece of Supermanica is a 1983 frame-tray puzzle. Also known as jigsaw puzzle.

Being just a kid toy, there's no artist listed. But I can tell you with fannish certainty that this art is based on Curt Swan pencils. You know, Curt Swan -- the greatest Superman artist of all time (so far).

The tip-off is in the details. The blond kid's face is pure 1970s Swan, also the parents' faces.

Curt's pencils were best treated in the 1960s, when his overstrokes and fuzzy dileneations were boiled down to a single inked line. The inker for this piece chose enough of the "wrong" lines that this Superman face doesn't look like "Swan standard."

Still, it's Curt's art, and it's Superman, and it's a kid coming home to his happy parents. What could be better for today?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tales of Kryptonite

In the November 1964 issue of Superman, number 173, was a story that began an occasional series, "Tales of Kryptonite." Art was by not-my-favorite Al Plastino. The first instalment was of Green K. But the next chapter turned the Green Kryptonite Red, so that's why this post is about tales of ---- (insert your own color here) Kryptonite!

When you read the first issue of the new comic Superman Confidential, I hope you see the connection. Boy, was I thrilled when I understood what the first few pages were about. I thought I was the only one who remembered the good ol' "Tales of Kryptonite"!

Of course, as an eight-year-old or whatever, you didn't question the fact that, just by passing a piece of Green Kryptonite through a RED cosmic cloud, its properties would somehow be transformed and it would suddenly become RED!

That's kind of like painting a Ford a different color, and all of a sudden it's a Chrysler.

Of course, in the grand scheme of things, we have to just accept the kaleidiscopic presto-changeo of Kryptonite. Just like I have to accept my wife's word that the the universe would end if I left the closet doors open. Or maybe just mine?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

More Movie Monsters Are on the Loose!

From the back cover of Superman 173 (November 1964), we have an ad for Aurora's second line of monster models. The first wave is featured in the background.

For several years prior to this, the original models sold for 98 cents. Which was perfect for a kid growing up in Oklahoma. 98 cents plus all applicable state and local taxes came to One Round Dollar!

And that wasn't too hard to come by, since usually on your way to the shopping center where the TG&Y was, it was easy to find enough glass bottles to feed the fix! You got a 2-cent deposit back from the grocery store for each pop bottle you turned in, and if you put that together with a 25-cent allowance or lawn-mowing money, you were sitting m-i-g-h-t-y f-i-n-e every few weeks or so, with another strange creature coming home to take up roost in your room!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Superman Vitamins, An Idea Whose Time has Came and Went

Here we have some of the Superman Vitamins promised yesterday. We have boxes and bottles, that is. Not the vitamins themselves.

If you still had a few of these, they would be 20 years old! If you munched 'em, you might find yourself eroding, like Rudy the Parasite in the one-shot "The Pernicious Parasite" Filmation Superman cartoon from the 1960s. In that tale, Superman figures out that the way to handle the Parasite is to let him get his fill of Super-energy, whereupon the Parasite...explodes!

Commments the Man of Steel, "He forgot that the body of a human could not contain the energy of a man from Krypton!"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Paper Ephemera

This is a fancy term for things that were designed to be of transient interest, and then discarded. Used to be, this applied to comics books too. Not any more!

However, other examples are promo advertising things like the things pictured here. The Wolfman Sticker came with Doritos, and is from roughly 1990.

The Superman III stickers from Ziploc are from 1982. As you can tell, these are not from that film at all, they are simply more poses of Reeve taken to promote the first Superman movie.

Tomorrow! Superman Vitamins Ahoy!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Curt Swan Gave Us the Finger(s)

Well, figuratively!

One of the trademarks of this great Super-Artist’s work was his occasionally quirky method of drawing characters’ hands with the middle finger and ring finger touching, and the index finger and pinky finger separated from this grouped pair.

The top three rows are from covers drawn in the 1960s.

The bottom three examples are from later on. Even though Curt had died earlier in the year, 1996’s Superman: The Wedding Album still was able to print some of his art, drawn from an earlier, unprinted tale. It was printed in the Wedding Album as a flashback. In this way Curt’s great artwork was able to appear in this landmark in comics history.

Speaking of landmarks in comics, the last two examples are from the Alan Moore tale printed in 1986, “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” which was printed in the “final” issues of Superman and Action. Alan Moore’s deep, resonating-with-history story was perfectly accompanied by Curt’s penciling, inked by George Perez in Superman 423 and by Kurt Schaffenberger in Action 583. The covers were both inked by another DC great, Murphy Anderson.
Ah, when the arts of adulthood are thus applied to memories from childhood, great and moving, even inspiring pieces of art can be created, and absorbed, by the young in spirit.
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© by Mark Alfred