Monday, December 31, 2007

It's a Wonder!

Of course, in the 70+ plus years since Action #1, there have been many more promo cards than just the Superman Vitamins we saw last week.

Dated 1978, I'm pretty sure that these were packaged with Wonder Bread. I could be wrong, of course. I DID buy the product they came with myself, and I think it was Wonder.

Builds strong bodies twelve ways!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Racing for Fun!

The Flash 302, October 1981, also featured this centerfold spread of Jay Garrick, Wally West, and Barry Allen, three “generations” of Flashes, at the end of a footrace.

The first image is the actual centerfold. The second image is after I made the thing a little less wide, I think this one looks a lot better. What do you think?

This widening of shapes – mostly bodies and faces – was a continual feature of Carmine Infantino’s art for The Flash in this period. It’s like he drew his penciled art on Silly Putty and somebody stretched them out sideways ten or twenty percent!

Friday, December 28, 2007

I’d Buy a Cup Cake from This Man!

From The Flash 302, October 1981, comes this one-page ad for Hostess Cup Cakes.

You get a big delight in every bite!

You also get some fun Curt Swan art! I think that the Crime Director, in the last panel, looks like Kurtwood Smith, more recently known as the father in the 70s Show.

By the way, has anybody ever heard of this “villain,” the Crime Director?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Super Mousepad!

Well, we got us this hyar mousepad with Superman and Clark Kent mishmashed together on it.

Actually, it's a lenticular image which shows Supes from one angle and Clark disrobing into his super outfit from the other angle.

I guess it's been used too much. It's useless nowadays as a mousepad, because it's so smooth the the little mouse ball just slides around!

I think it's pretty neat that my scanner caught the main Super-image but also a "ghost" image of Clark changing too.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Last of Lovecraft's Heads

These are the last of John Holmes's covers for Ballantine's 1973 Lovecraft paperbacks. Ooh, pretty scary, kiddies!
PS Santa Joyce was very sweet and for Christmas gave me the 41-disc complete Man from U.N.C.L.E. series. So, even at two or three episodes a night, it would be more than a month to watch'em all! What exquisite torture!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Different Styles for Lovecraft Covers

These three have a different look than the "weird head" covers.

The one for The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is more realistic.

The ones for Charles Dexter Ward and the book of Lovercraft "revivions," The Horror in the Museum, have a strange pixilated-watercolor appearance.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What the First Ballantine Printings Looked Like

These two covers, by Gervasio Gallardo, are what Ballantine's original covers were like. These were the 1971 printings of stories and poems.

On Fungi from Yuggoth, the octopuslike thing with a green Hallowe'en masklike face ain't scary. He doesn't look much like a fun guy either (fungi = fun guy, get it? yuk-yuk).
I bet the bug-eyed wingless flying guys were supposed to be Night-Gaunts. But we all know that Lovecraft's Night-Gaunts had leatery, batlike wings, the way he described them.
Of course, I guess one could argue that they didn't use those wings while flying ...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Where Did They Get Such Weird Images?

Here are a couple of more covers from Ballantine's 1970s paperbacks of H.P. Lovecraft's tales.

These are actually Volumes 1 and 2 of Tales from the Cthulhu Mythos, tales wherein other writers took up the burden of the HPL worldview.

The cover artist is listed as John Holmes.

Surely not THAT John Holmes (the dirty movie guy)!
Later printings features art by Russ Titelman, but these by Holmes are the creepiest by far, to me anyway.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Remembering Eitch-Pe-Ell

OK. You're 16 years old and just got your driver's license. You're a book nerd who already read four grades above your "supposed-to-be" reading level, until they ran out of grades above you. You've always liked monsters and Twilight-Zoney stuff.

You go into the bookstore and see paperbacks with covers like these.

Wow! You've found a modern-day (you think) Edgar Allan Poe!

Pretty psychedelic, huh?

These are from the Lancer Books paperback editions of Lovecraft stories.

You can tell the Colours volume reflects the story "The Whisperer in Darkness" inside, and I think it's a pretty sure bet that the Dunwich Horror cover is supposed to reflect Wilbur Whately or his brother.

The next few postings will feature covers from the Ballantine Lovecraft paperbacks.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Last of the Superman Vitamins Cards

Dang it, I never got ALL 12 of the "set" of promo cards featuring DC headliners that were included in Superman Vitamins.

These are the last two I have. Of the two cards missing, surely Mama Luthor's boy Lex was one of them!

Note that Selina Kyle has reformed and workes as a security consultant. Only in the wild and wacky world of comic books would someone hire a known multiple-offender felon to watch over your interests!

No hard felines! (arr arr arr)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good Characters and Naughty

Cards 8 and 9 of the Superman Vitamins are shown below.

And Howdy-Do to Allen, who was nice enough to mention that he hadn't seen these cards!

We'll also get to some DC Super-type cards that were a premium from (I think) Wonder bread, as well as some scary-type ones too.
Note that Linda Danvers is a TV actress! In an afternoon soap opera, if I remember those Superman Family stories correctly...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Clark Gets His Own Card!

Here are the next two cards (numberwise that is).

Clark uses glasses "and other means" to disguise himself. Remember how he used his glasses to unconsciously super-hypnotize people? I think it was published AFTER these cards were printed in 1982.

I don't know in what way Dianna is "descended" from the Amazons, but if she knows all the fighting techniques of ancient Greeks, when is she gonna hurl Greek Fire at somebody, huh?

Monday, December 10, 2007

More Delicious Vitamin Cards

Here are a few more of the Premium Cards from Superman Vitamins.

Note that Batman was merely "upset" by the death of his parents. Hmmm...

Now, I don't know when Jason Todd's parents were killed by Killer Croc, but we know that it WAS before the 1986 Crisis, as evidenced by the 1982 copyright tags.
Also I note that Robin is no longer a "Boy" Wonder, but a "Teen Wonder."

Friday, December 07, 2007

Premium Cards Galore!

In the middle 1980s, the Alfred kids got PLENTY of Superman Vitamins. Not just because of the subject matter and the cool S-shield shapes, but ALSO because of the "DC Comics Super Heroes Collectable Cards" included.

Here we have the first two, appropriately enough Superman and Lois Lane.

And remember, this was BEFORE the Crisis refit.
More next time!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More Modeling Memories

Here we have instructions for a very expensive model kit. As you can see, it includes tiny "wheat" light bulbs and a place for batteries, and everything.

Oh. Wait a minute. It's not an expensive NEW model, it's a moderately priced ($2.00) OLD one!

Yes, from the era that brought you a Luxury Car for $5000, it's a Star Trek model of the USS Enterprise!
You had to be careful not to use too much model glue where the struts attached to the primary hull. Too much glue would make the plastic so soft the nacelles would sag.
I think I went through three or more copies of this kit.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Read Label! We're All One! O.K.!

One of the more amusing and interesting product labels is born by Dr Bronner's Soap. Turn your head every which way and read the advice, rantings, and directions on this puppy.

PS my mom says it's good soap too! O.K.!

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Adventure of Space

Those "of a certain age" remember 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the Space Race, and the yearning to be "out there."

So we watched Star Trek and Commando Cody and Lost in Space and Twilight Zone. Sure, we played cowboys & Indians, but we also played spaceman.

Now, I was never lucky enough to buy one of those $1 Lunar Capsules hawked in the comic books, but I too tossed Frisbees and marveled at Super-Balls. I remember the taste of Space Food Sticks and marveled over the instanteity of Tang.

And when I got a little older, I thought it only right that the USA name its first space shuttle after Captain Kirk's ship.

Around 1981 or so, when the Enterprise landed at Tinker AFB (piggy-backed on a plane), my sweet wife Joyce and I drove and waited, drove and waited, over the space of three hours or so to see the shuttle IN PERSON.

I also got an iron-on about it, which as you can see has sadly lost some of its lettering.
Don't YOU also desire to know the night sky's sparkling secrets, and taste stars freeze and burn?

Friday, November 30, 2007

2001 Is Over!

As a wrap-up to a couple of weeks’ worth of 2001 items, here’s the front and rear covers for a self-assembled compilation CD of various versions of “Also Sprach Zarathustra.”

Most are either imitations or variations of Deodato’s pop-hit arrangement, or attempts to be all classical-sounding.

A couple are included because of sound effects or synth overlays.

When I purchased Rhino’s great 2001 soundtrack CD a few years ago, I was amazed to realize that the version of “Daybreak” (the familiar name of the theme) in the film was DIFFERENT from the recording and orchestra featured on the original “soundtrack” album and repeated on the “Inspired By” LP. So, I opened my compilation with the “real” version from the film, and closed it with the version from the soundtrack album, the one that I’ve hardwired into my consciousness Lo! These past 29 years or so.

SPECIAL DELIVERY! For the first three people to email me, I’ll mail you a copy of this CD FREE. Just send me your mailing address in your email.

(You know, it took me MONTHS to give away the free copies of the SUPERMUSIC CD. Here’s hoping you guys have sped up since then.)

See you next week with a brand-new show!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The End of the Spread

Here are the last four pages of LIFE magazine's gorgeous spread on 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More from LIFE in 1968

Take a look at more of this spiffy layout.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lavish Photo Layout from LIFE

Here are the first four pages of a big ol' spread about 2001 from 1968.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What LIFE Had to Say About 2001

Here we have our fearless movie reviewer explaining how wise Kubrick was to cut 20 minutes out of the film after its first couple of weeks' release.

Since the film was originally panned but now is becoming popular, the guy says that Kubrick's cuts must have been the magic touch.

Or, (this is just Mark's idea here). Maybe the popularity of the film was more about word-of-mouth and repeat attendances! Of course, a shorter film probably helped by making more showings per day possible too!

Boy, is it just me, or do all of these LIFE and Newsweek and Time articles just REEK of self-consciousness and pretense? You can just imagine these guys sitting down every morning at their typewriters so that they can educate the Great Unwashed out there in Cornland or Horseland.

Me? Thank God I know what a horse looks (and smells) like.

Anyway, ruminate over this semi-review of dat ol' wonder-inducing film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Coming this week -- LIFE magazine's ten-page color spread on the film!
All original content
© by Mark Alfred