Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stan Lee Speaks! '79 PEOPLE Magazine Article and Pics! Hulk! Spidey!

Here's another one from my colossal clippings archive! Torn (by me) from the pages of a 1979 PEOPLE magazine, here is Stan Lee, Marvel Comics' own head honcho, throwing his wit and weight around for an insightful article, flanked by some very rare pics! Stan at home! At work in the famed mighty Marvel Bullpen! With his family! Sure, Stan is now a recognized figure today, from his writing and co-creator role at Marvel, as their figurehead and traveling "ambassador," and his many cameos in the recent Marvel movies, but, in '79 it was exciting to see any "mainstream" coverage of Marvel and its fearless leader! I was an avid Marvel fan then, at age 13, and hung on every word of this awe-inspiring article at the time! Click below to enlarge, True Believer!


Above: What is this dire predicament for Spidey as mentioned above?
It was a new plotline for the SPIDER-MAN newspaper strip, almost the only
comics writing Lee was doing at the time of this article...


Above: Spidey getting married? A storyline in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, just
months earlier, had Spidey proposing to long-time girlfriend Mary Jane Watson!
The Web-Walker got the cold shoulder from the rambunctious redhead, and
the two wouldn't tie the knot for another eight years!


BONUS! Ya dig that above photo of Stan and uber-artist John Romita, Sr. in the Marvel Bullpen? How about that collection of (then new) covers on the wall in the background? Click below to see how many you can identify!

Above: Why the slap-dash gallery of comic cover art? Several covers would be 
pinned to the Bullpen wall, in order to keep track of the various stages 
of production (pencilling, inking, coloring, etc…) for each new
comic, on their way to final printing! Sort of an ever-changing 

checklist! Click here to see an earlier shot from inside the "House 
of Ideas…!"


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sizzling 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strips! Witness The "Love" of Loomis! Marvel Comics!

Last time, we saw an exasperated Spider-Man try to convince his gal-pal that the kooky cult leader she was smitten with was really a would-be world-beater! The sexy (and stubborn) siren simply would not be swayed, but now that she witnesses firsthand the maniacal machinations of the man called Loomis, she may have to revise her stance! Can Spidey zoom in to save the day in time? Will this truly convince the care-free Carole that the cult is not really about love and tenderness? And--Was any poor pedestrian hurt by that first guy who "fell" from that lofty rooftop? More 1979 Marvel greatness, from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge!


Saturday, April 26, 2014

SUB-MARINER! 1969 Marie Severin Original Comic Art! Dragon Man Returns!

Another Silver Age masterpiece! This time we throw a soggy spotlight on mirthful Marie Severin's '69 original cover art for the sea-saturated SUB-MARINER #15! Look at that action! The seemingly simple composition! The drama! It's all there! But, can you spot the daring differences between the original cover and the printed version?  Click below to enlarge!

Above, left: The awesome original "Subby" artwork by Marie Severin (with inks
by Joe Sinnott), and (right) the printed version! Note that the overall art has
been enlarged, and Dragon Man's fearsome face has been modified!
Thanks again to Mike Burkey for this incredible image!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

More MONKEES Mania! Outdoor Romps! Rare Merchandise! Hear 1996 NPR Concert Coverage!

Time for another riotous romp with the maniacal Monkees! Click below for rare pics, audio treats, and much more!

Above: On location filming the pilot in 1965, Davy Jones
confers with MONKEES producer Bert Schneider!


Above: Excerpted from a 1972 book, KIDS ON TV, here is a two-page feature
that helped (along with Saturday morning reruns) introduce me to the band then!
I ordered the book in second grade (good ol' Scholastic book club) just for
the Monkees inclusion, and treasured theses two pages for years afterward!
See that first pic there? Click below to see four more rare images (including 

the cover to one of their biggest-selling singles) from that same 1966 
outdoor romp, out and around the Raybert soundstages!







Above: Rare images from the 1967 JCPenny catalog, featuring a Monkees-branded
line of "hip" clothing! The Monkees themselves hated the inauthentic Madison 

Avenue-made outfits! A pic of them in the "mod" clothing was even used on
the cover of their second LP (as seen in the lower right of the spread)!



Above two pics: The band out and about near the sound stages
again in 1966, making use of any props procured along the way!


Above: Another pic from the above session was used for
the cover of this 1967 MONKEES comic from Dell Comics!


Above: A look at the very handsome (and very rare) 1966 Monkees wallet from Mattel!


BONUS! Click below to hear a rare 1996 NPR report on the Monkees 30th reunion tour shows! The "hipper than thou" reporter is less than excited about his former "fave rave" band, but pay attention to the clever intro and exit music in the piece!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rare Giant Custom INCREDIBLE HULK TV Action Figure! Marvel Mayhem!

Dig this wonderful 15-inch custom action figure I picked up on eBay! It's the ever-lovable Hulk himself, as depicted by Lou Ferrigno on the late-70s INCREDIBLE HULK TV show! The unknown (and very talented) customizer did a terrific job capturing Lou's in-character likeness! Dig the detail of the torn jeans, "white eyes," and menacing stance! Great job all around! Click pics below to enlarge!










Monday, April 21, 2014

Local CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Review! 2014 Marvel!

Here's a rip-roaring review of the latest CAPTAIN AMERICA film, from our local paper, THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER! Writer Lawrence Toppman has always been friendly to filmed funny book enterprises, at a time when few "outsiders" were, so his reviews are always interesting to read! How do his views on the movie line up with yours? Click below to enlarge!



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Shocking Sunday SPIDER-MAN 70s Strips! The "Corny Cult!" 1979 MarvelMania!

Last time, we sat stunned, as a stressed Spidey sprung into action against a new looney cult, and its loopy leader! Why is the Wall-Crawler focusing on this particular frantic flock? Because they're holding Carole (Spidey's new lovely lady) in their squalid sway! Now, the worried Web-Slinger sees his chance, and confronts his mind-washed gal-pal, but she just won't budge to the side of sanity! What can Spidey now do to thwart this new subversive danger? Can he do it, and not harm captivatin' Carole? More mile-high Marvel mayhem, from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge this rare 1979 strip, Webbed Ones!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thor! Loki! Odin! Side by Side With--JIMMY OLSEN?! DC Comics!

Sure, the mirth-making mythological Norse gods have been part of song and story for centuries, and are fair game for any comics or pop culture purveyors, but most modern fiction fans know them best thru their long-time depictions in Marvel comic books, where Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Larry Lieber revived them as part of their early-60s successful superhero launch! Kirby's masterful artistry created very iconic "looks" for each awesome Asgardian, but this was nowhere near the first time these characters were seen in the pulpy pages of comic books! DC Comics (among many others) would often reach into the "myths and legends" file, to pit such past titans against their own superheroes, and even such super-sidekicks as Jimmy Olsen! Click below to enlarge these panels from a 1961 tale of ol' Jimmy meeting DC's versions of Thor, Odin, and Loki!

Above: In typical Jimmy fashion, he does not wait for the Man of Steel
to return! An impatient JO uses the tablet to transport himself
back in time, ignoring any risk or threat!

Above: A transported Jimmy soon comes into contact with a red-tressed
Thor and his hammer, as he was described in Norse legend!

Above: Olsen soon meets the major Asgardian pantheon, including Odin,
Frigga, and Loki! And, as usual, Jimmy gets into trouble, and calls upon
his new super-pal to rescue him!

Above: In just a few pages, all is set right, with the powerful Thor returning
Olsen to the present, due to a mighty throw (!?!) thru the time-barrier!
The usual stern lecture from Superman ends yet another
silly (but fun) Silver Age tale! Art by Curt Swan!


BONUS! Click below to glom the more familiar Marvel Comics versions of these time-tossed titans!

Above: Marvel's version of Thor and the gang, by Jack "King" Kirby!

Above: Marvel's big daddy Odin, once again by Kirby!

Above: The Marvel Loki, again by (who else?) Kirby!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SPIDEY SUPER STORIES! The "Other" Giant-Man! 1980 Marvel Comics Madness!

Long-time readers of this little blog are familiar with the lengthy and confusing history of Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/YellowJacket (click here if you dare), but, just to add to the head-scratching, here is yet another version of the jolly Giant-Man character! Torn savagely from the Pop Tart-stained pages of a 1980 issue of SPIDEY SUPER STORIES, here is a different version of the "Bill Foster" Giant-Man, wearing the original 60s red-and-blue costume, instead of his then-new garb! The SPIDEY comic was aimed squarely at very young readers, and wasn't concerned with continuity or hardcore fan interest, but, really, how many "Giant-Men" do we need? Click to enlarge!

Above: Things kick right off in this introduction of the character, right 
inside the comic's front cover! The origin is spot-on, if very simplified, 
but what's with the old costume?!


Above: A portion of the interior tale, with this
oddball oversized superhero! Art by Win Mortimer!


Above: The boisterous back cover, once again
throwing a spotlight on the ginormous giant! 


Above: From a year earlier, here is the debut of the "70s Giant-Man," and
a look at his groovy togs! So, why the change later for that SPIDEY
issue?  FUN FACT: To add to the confusion, this version of GM actually
debuted a few years earlier as "Black Goliath," in yet another outfit,
and….Oh, never mind...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Superlative 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strips! Loomis and the Lunatic! 1979 Marvel Magic!

Last time, we watched a desperate Spider-Man close in on the evil cult leader called Loomis! Getting the goods on the goofy guru has been tough, but it seems that the wondrous Wall-Walker now has the info he needs! But--Is it too late for Spidey to save his girlfriend, still under the sway of this sinister Svengali? What does Robbie now know? And--How does Lombard, the escaped lunatic (from a few strips back), figure into this whole sordid scenario? Yet another fabulous 1979 Spidey daily strip line-up, from the hands of Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rare 1991 Captain America Comic Shop Wall Display! Kevin Maguire! Avengers!

Take a lingering look at this oddball piece of Marvel history! Below is the original art for a comics-shop-only wall display, featuring the awesome art of Kevin Maguire! This powerful poster was a tumultuous tie-in to the timely (heh) ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN AMERICA mini-series, also drawn by Maguire, and was seen on the walls of many a comics emporium in the early 90s! Click below to enlarge!



BONUS! Click below to take a peek at the rare and wondrous wall display itself, now residing in my studio! Thanks to the unforgetable generosity of former shop owners Scott and Todd Rorie, I now own this handsome (and humongous) 3-D poster!








Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Big Boffo BATMAN Blast! 1966 Rarities, Pics, and Songs! "The RiddlerMobile?!?" DC Comics!

Here we go again, with another look at the bat-tastic 1966 BATMAN ABC-TV show! Click below for more oddities, pics, and goodies!

Above: A thirsty Adam West ("Batman") between
scenes, taking direction on the outdoor lot in 1966!


Above: Adam West meets yet another excited set visitor! Note his appropriation
of the chair reserved for co-star Alan Napier ("Alfred")!


Above: A terrific 1967 article announces the addition of "Batgirl" to the series, in the
pretty person of actress Yvonne Craig! Note the initial idea to romantically link the character
with Batman/Bruce Wayne, a notion never fully pursued on the show!






Above: A letter from car customizer George Barris, to the heads of the
BATMAN program (and DC Comics licensing), nudging them in the direction
of adding more kooky Bat-vehicles to the show! Sure, a kind of "Jokermobile" and 

"Catmobile" appeared in the series, but never were pushed beyond a few appearances.
Of course, dollar signs were the motivation for all concerned, but it woulda been
interesting to see each Bat-foe piloting their own personalized vehicles!


Above: Batmania turns up in the oddest places! Dig this early 70s teen
fashion mag! The Batcycle appears in a photo spread spotlighting the latest
must-have threads! Well, it sure caught your eye, didn't it?


Above: On the BATMAN set with singer/actress Donna Loren, who
played "Susie" in two well-recalled Joker-centric episodes!


Above: A nifty 1985 piece on the daring doings of Burt Ward ("Robin")!
My mom clipped this from a local hometown North Carolina paper, sending
it to me in art school in--Sarasota, Florida! And, no, I never saw
Burt's touring show then!


BAT BONUS! Click below to hear a cute little ditty, LOOK OUT FOR THE BATMAN! This is one of the lead cuts on the very rare 1966 "Batman Musical Stories" Tifton LP!