Sunday, June 30, 2013

Spectacular Sunday SPIDER-MAN 70s Strips! "Bare as a Nudist Convention!" 1978 Marvel Madness!

Last time, we watched, awe-struck, as tragedy ended the Web-Slinger's lastest nerve-rattling adventure! Now, when he should be relieved over his once-threatened secret now being safe again, he finds new worry and restlessness! Why can't our sad-sack superhero find lasting happiness? What are Harry and Flash up to? Will it spell more trouble for the weary Wall-Crawler? More sensational '78 Spidey strips from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

"The Hulk vs. The Bulk!" Rare 1966 Record Adventure! MarvelMania!

You read right! The super-rare 1966 INCREDIBLE HULK Tifton 45 record is now ready for your listening pleasure! I've already served up the little-heard companion audio stories of Spider-Man and his pals, but this little gem has eluded me (and many other comics fans) for years! Created by the same familiar voice talents you've heard on the other Marvel and DC audio offerings, this fun little tale would fit perfectly into the Hulk's mid-60s comic adventures, as it matches the same fun and action-heavy tone of his Marvel mag escapades! Click below to take a listen to both this timeless tale and the nifty and catchy Hulk song, too!



Song:






Story:



BONUS! Wanna hear the other two dynamic discs from this sensational series? Click here for CAPTAIN AMERICA, and here for the Mighty THOR thriller!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Eight Freaky FANTASTIC FOUR Fragments of Fabulousness! 1965 Marvel Comics Amazement!

I recently acquired this well-worn copy of FANTASTIC FOUR #41, from 1965. Sure, I've read the interior tale before, in reprints, hardback collections, etc., but it's always great to read and absorb the real thing, including the voluminous letters pages. I was so struck by the letters column, that I wanted to reproduce it here, to demonstrate what made these Marvel comics so darned vital and exciting, and to maybe peel back the curtain a bit on exactly what Stan Lee was doing then, as he (and his many co-creator/artists like Jack Kirby) garnered legions of new fans, fans who were tired of the same old superhero formula being put into play at rival companies! Click below to enlarge!



1. Notice that writer Stan Lee wastes no time in hyping and selling fans on the next FF issue, making it seem very exciting, tho he has no idea what's in store! 

2. By including a blurb about changes in other comics right on the letters page, Stan makes it seems like this really was late-breaking news that just had to be relayed to fans! 

3. In later years, the famed "Marvel checklist" would be included on other pages, but, by slamming it right into the letters page, it again makes these other books seem essential and red-hot! "Stop reading this page, and run out and get these books now, fans!" 

4.  Even more hard-sell of other Marvel products, but Stan wisely softens the blow by wrapping the product pitch in humor and self-deprecation, giving the reader a laugh in exchange for the "ad time!" 





5.  I'm sure the print run was the same for this annual, but Stan makes it seem like demand is so great, the printers are working overtime, and fans best grab up copies at once, or else be caught empty-handed! Hey, Stan's in the biz, so he would know the inside deals of the printing orders, right? Heh. 

6. While competitor's mags were still debating "why Superman's boots were colored wrong on page twenty," Stan and his readers were not afraid to tackle more weighty issues, not afraid of offending or frightening possible new readers and fans away...

7. Once again Stan uses humor to address possibly offending or alienating subjects, coming out as somebody who is for all groups and sides, as long as their pockets are fulla comics purchasing money! 

8. Stan makes this silly (and space-filling) letter seem important, addressing it, again, with humor and friendly vibes,  even as he segues (again) into hyping the next issue, using hyperbole to talk up contents he (and Jack) haven't even dreamed up yet! And the great thing about this? It wasn't hyperbole-- It was all true!


BONUS! Click below to enlarge the colossal Kirby-drawn cover to this very issue!

That's right! The previous awe-struck owner of this copy decided to use labeling
stickers to forever mark the front of the cover with this issue's story title! Thanks!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BAM! Brave and Bold Batman Battles Back Baffling Beasts! 1975 DC Comics Special Report!

That's right! Batman is known for his famous sinister super-foes, such as the many named after animals (Catwoman, Penguin, Black Spider) but let's take a close look at those foes who really were abominable beasts! Who recalls Bat-Hound (actually a Bat-ally)? The Werewolf? Birdmaster? This amazing double-page delight (from a 1975 BRAVE AND THE BOLD issue) unleashes all the facts! Click below to enlarge and recall, Bat-fan!

Of all these furry felons, Man-Bat is probably the best-known today, due to his frequent return
appearances in comics, and his inclusion in many recent animated Batman TV cartoon series!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Inside the 1976 Marvel Comics Bullpen! Stan Lee! John Romita! Bronze Age Greatness!

Once again, those delightful dandies at DYNAMITE magazine come thru with this nifty 1976 look behind the well-guarded doors of the famed Marvel Comics "Bullpen!" See writer/creator Stan Lee and artist John Romita, Sr. in their creative environs! Glare at rare cover art, at its time of inception! Recall the days when comics were fun, exciting,  and essential! Click below to enlarge this rare gem, True Believer!

Why all this attention given to Spider-Man? In 1976, Spidey was Marvel's (and comicdom's) biggest
and best-known character, starring in five regular comic titles, a long-running newspaper strip,
on CTW's ELECTRIC COMPANY show, and, the next year, he would helm his own live-action
CBS TV series!


BONUS! Glance below to dig an enlarged image of the above brain-battering Bullpen pic! How many of the incredible covers seen behind Johnny can you identify?




BONUS BONUS! Below are some of the published '76 comics glimpsed in the above pulse-palpitating pic!






Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stupendous 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strip! Tragedy Strikes! MarvelMania!

Last time, we watched as Spidey tried to turn the tables on his evil female blackmailer, risking all to track her down, and stop her deadly domination over the Web-Slinger! Has he finally done it? Just when it seems the Wall-Climber can enjoy a rare victory--tragedy strikes! More 1978 SPIDER-MAN daily newspaper strips from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge, then web-whip over to here for the senses-shattering final installment of this torrid tale!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Invincible IRON MAN! His Awesome Informative Origin! 1975 DYNAMITE Magazine Dossier!

One again, I dip into the DYNAMITE magazine back issue bin to come up with yet another brain-blasting gem! This time, from a 1975 issue, we see the awesome origin of Iron Man! The mag's editors chose a more recent re-telling of the Armored Avenger's tale, showing excerpts from IRON MAN #1, from 1968, as opposed to peeking into his 1963 comics debut, in a captivating comic called TALES OF SUSPENSE! Dig that dandy drawing by Gene Colan, one of Shellhead's most persistent artist in the 60s and 70s! Click below to enlarge, 'nuff sayer!


I was bothered, as a ten-year-old kid first reading this in '75, by
the statement that "anyone can don the armor and become Iron Man!"
 Of course, the recent IRON MAN movies seem to bear this idea out...


Friday, June 21, 2013

The Batcycle! 1967 Aurora Model Kit Re-Issue! BATMAN! Adam West! DC Comics!

Here comes the bat-tastic Batcycle, from the 1966 BATMAN TV series (tho this sensational cycle debuted in the '66 BATMAN theatrical film)! This 2003 Polar Lights Aurora re-issue zooms your way! Painted with enamels and acrylics, this Bat-bike is a gem! It's small (about 5 inches long), but was a blast to assemble!  Incredibly authentic and detailed! Click images below to enlarge!



The figures were painted to evoke the look of the TV versions of  
Batman and Robin! Note the detailing on the sidecar!  


Holy separation issues! A great feature is that Robin's 
sidecar includes a detachable go-cart! 

    

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Black Canary! Stare at Her Big Boots! 1975 JUSTICE LEAGUE Pedal-Powered Puzzle Page! DC Comics!

Another fun feature from mid-70s DC "Super Spectacular" oversized entertainment-crammed comics!  This time, the perplexing puzzle-master (assumed to be boisterous Bob Rozakis) tests readers concerning their knowledge of the Justice League's funky footwear! How much do you know about Superman's sandals, Green Arrow's galoshes, or Batman's boots? Click below to enlarge and look to the stars! Or ground, as the case may be...



BONUS! Give up? Click below to enlarge the awesome answers to the above quiz!



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Monkees! Rare 1967 Live Concert Pics! Davy Jones! Peter Tork!

Just unearthed! Dig these rare candid 1967 pics of the Monkees in concert! These are from early in the band's concert experience, but clearly display the fun and excitement of the Monkees performing in person, as the group delivers electrifying live versions of their hits and LP cuts, and interact with their fans! Click below to enlarge!

Above: Dig all that debris on the stage! Fans would toss home-made
gifts, candy, and paper onto the stage during concerts!


Above: Micky performs during the mid-show "solo spots," and an attendee gets his
pic with the magnificent Monkeemobile, which often traveled with the band, making
its own attention-getting appearances at many tour stops!



Above: Note the rear-screen projection over the band as they perform! The Monkees were
one of the first groups to not merely rush thru a half hour's worth of hits before leaving the stage, but
one that gave fans a multi-media hour-long show, with video, bits, costume changes, and more!




Above: Frantic fans and photogs follow the four, even after the live shows!


BONUS! Click below to see a rare 1993 clip from ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT! Monkee Micky Dolenz discusses his delirious days in the 60s, and so much more!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gil Kane Appreciation Day! Rare Art! Batman! Superman! Captain America!

Let's once again heap copious amounts of praise upon the late (but eternally great) Gil Kane! Click below to stare at some rare art pieces by this comic art master, who enjoyed long stretches at DC and Marvel Comics, as one of their top "go-to" artists! Gil also crafted his own creator-owned strips, striking out for himself at a time when such daring solo efforts among commercial comics artist were very rare!

Above: Even tho Gil was one of DC Comics' main artists (on books like THE ATOM
and GREEN LANTERN) in the early 60s, he had to audition at rival Marvel Comics!
That firm used the "Marvel method," a system that involved artists working from
only a loose plot (not a full script) to create 20-page comics, and not every artist
was up to the task! Here are some CAPTAIN AMERICA pencilled try-out pages by
Gil from 1966! Gil would later go on to make his mark on CAP in the 70s!



Above: Convention sketches by Gil! Batman and
Superman have never looked better!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Swingin' 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strip! Face Cream Fiasco! Marvel!

Last time, we sat stupefied, as Spidey executed his latest dark deed, under the sway of a powerful felonious female who threatens to reveal his secret identity! But, has the Webbed One found a way to defeat this beauteous blackmailer? Can he stop her before more innocent by-standers get caught up in this terrible tangled web? And--how do you get a "spider tracer" in a full jar of face cream, anyway? More 1978 SPIDER-MAN Marvel newspaper strips from Stan "the Man" Lee and John "Ring-a-Ding" Romita! Click below to enlarge, frantic one!!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Superman! Then and Now! 1978 Movie Article! Chris Reeve! DC Comics!

With all this hoopla over the latest big-screen SUPERMAN movie, take a look back to the days when audiences were worked up over the first Chris Reeve Supes film hitting cinemas everywhere! This great 1978 article covers all the angles, even looking back to the then-most recent live-action Superman incarnation, the 1950s TV series! Click to enlarge!





SUPER-BONUS! Click below to see this terrific parody (from DYNAMITE magazine) of the 1978 "Super-Mania" that was whipped up over this superheroic cinematic sensation!

Interesting to note that all the over-merchandising and brand "synergy" being
made fun of in this parody are now "standard procedure" in this day
of multi-media tie-ins and "cross-promotional platforms..."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

BATMAN 1966! More Rare Pics, Articles, and Video! Adam West! DC Comics!

Back once more with some bat-astic BATMAN 1966 TV tidbits! Look behind-the-scenes of this favorite ABC series! Learn about the actor's real lives! Watch Adam West act up in more recent times! Click below to enlarge!

Above: Yep, even in sunny California it got chilly on occasion, thus Adam West and
Burt Ward donned jackets and robes between takes during this outdoor shoot!




Above: Another scene from an outdoor shoot, with Adam and Burt looking
 over some recent magazine coverage of their show!


Above: Even as late as 1979 (the date this mag clip was published), folks were still 
puzzled over the "high camp" humor approach of the BATMAN show! Amazing!



Above: It's the mammoth "Batcave" set, complete with set visitor!


Above: A 1966 public relations press event, helmed by bat-producer
Bill Dozier (center), who is flanked by Burt Ward and Adam West!


Above: Adam West on set, slipping into his "Batman" persona!

Above: Adam West updates fans on his then-current
activities in this 1984 TV GUIDE update feature!


BAT-BONUS! Click below to watch Adam West himself, "hamming" it up in some "appetizing" 1994 TV ads "cooked up" for a Comedy Central event!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CAPTAIN AMERICA #200! Jack Kirby's 1976 Original Cover Art! Marvel!

It's one of the most iconic images of the Bronze Age of comics! Here is Jack Kirby's art for the captivating cover to CAPTAIN AMERICA #200, from 1976 (the bicentennial year, natch)! We see Jack's original pencil sketch design for this image, and his fabulous finished cover, with added inking by fearless Frank Giacoia! Jack had just returned to CAP, after originating the strip in the 40s (along with co-creator Joe Simon), then revived the character in the mid-60s (with Stan Lee), returning in the mid-70s to work his singular magic once again on the star-spangled Avenger! Click below to enlarge and enjoy, art lovers!

Does the price tag seem awfully large on the cover? Marvel was transitioning
from a 25 cent price to 30 cents, and wanted to make sure every friendly neighbor-
hood retailer was paying attention to that pricing area! I can tell you for certain
that no fan missed these price increases either, and Marvel was truly appreciated
for staving off the inevitable 5 cent increases for as long as possible, months longer
than their competitors!

BICENTENNIAL BONUS! Click below to glom the actual printed cover of CAP #200!



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kid Flash! His Awesome Origin! 1974 DC Comics Fact Feature!

Here's another hidden treat from a 1975 DC Comics FLASH oversized "Super Spectacular" issue! During the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, almost every adult superhero had a "kid sidekick," and Flash was no exception! Kid Flash (introduced in 1959), however, would only rarely team up with his older namesake, often having his own solo adventures, something rare for young characters then! KF was even a founding member of the Teen Titans, later in the 60s, and even eventually stepped up to assume the mantle (and name and costume) of the Flash, after the death of his original inspiration! Click below to enlarge!

Much of the classic art above is by the incomparable Carmine Infantino!


In more recent days, Kid Flash has been the subject of new cartoons, toys, action
 figures, and more! But, dig this 1977 Mego action figure, one of the first pieces of
KF merchandise made! He was offered as part of the "Teen Titans" line, and now
 these figures sell for astronomical amounts of cash among collectors!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Super 70s Sunday SPIDER-MAN STRIP! "Costumed Cat's Paw!" Marvel Comics!

Last time, we bit our nails to a nub as Spidey was pushed to his limits by a beautiful black-handed blackmailer who forced the Web-Crawler to perform dirty deeds, lest she expose his Peter Parker ID to the world! Now, a desperate Web-Head performs his latest task, ever-mindful of the safety of the many innocent onlookers to this grotesque game! But, does the superhero have an ace up his red-and-blue sleeve? Can he bring an end to his sick servitude to this deluded dazzler? And--what does Spidey have again face creams, anyway? More rare daily 1978 SPIDER-MAN newspaper strips, by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge, webbed ones!