Friday, September 30, 2011

1966 BATMAN TV Show! Robin's 7,000 Personal Appearances! Bob Kane! Burt Ward! DC Comics Silver Age Greatness!

Another great article detailing the madcap 1966 BATMAN ABC-TV series! This one is from 1995, and dovetails with the then-new BATMAN FOREVER flick, in theaters at the time! Former "Robin," Burt Ward, even gets his share of the spotlight (Bat-signal?), as does Batman creator (with mucho help from Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson) Bob Kane! Click to enlarge this article, and the images (of Burt Ward meeting Bill Mumy, and the adjacent cast of LOST IN SPACE in '66) below!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Superman Turns 50! In 1988! Rare TV GUIDE Article! DC Comics! Chris Reeve!

Hard to believe there was a time (and quite recently, too) that you could only enjoy an small smattering of SUPERMAN movies and features on home video! But, take a look at this 1988 article from TV GUIDE! The Chris Reeve SUPERMAN films were, of course, easily available, but you could only get a puny selection of other Superman video offerings (such as the 1940s serials) in home video formats! Now, any Super-fan can acquire the many animated Super-series, TV shows, specials, syndicated series, even made-for-DVD films, in a wide variety of playable formats! This article ties in to the Man of Steel's 50th birthday, from 1988, that also saw coverage in TIME magazine, NEWSWEEK,and a million other mainstream news sources! Click to enlarge!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Not Lou Ferrigno?! Who is--"The Universal Studios Hulk!?" Marvel Comics Mayhem!

As seen in yesterday's blog post, Lou Ferrigno said there could never be a real replacement for him as the live-action Hulk, based on his own unique body type. He also made references to a "Universal Hulk," bringing us to the man you're about to meet! In the late 70s, the Universal Studios offered tourists and visitors a tour of the studios and back-lots, and often had some of their film and movie characters make sudden appearances for the benefit of the camera-laden fans! Here (from a 1979 British HULK annual) is the tale of another actor (anybody out there know his name?) who portrayed the Hulk during those studio tours! As you can see, he is not in any danger of being mistaken for Lou! But--what's with that odd Hulk doll that both men are seen playing with in these pics? Click to enlarge images below, Hulk-o-philes!

BONUS: Click below for some rare TV GUIDE ads for the 1988 HULK reunion film, RETURN OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK and 1989's TRIAL OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK! Click here to see some vintage 1978 HULK TV ads from TV GUIDE!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Lou Ferrigno Story! "The Hulk Has Feelings!" 1978 Marvel Comics' TV Sensation!

Another great 1978 mag article on the cast of TV's THE INCREDIBLE HULK show! Read all about bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno's struggle to overcome many obstacles and hardships, to become a well-known actor and muscleman and athlete! Of course, the HULK show is fully covered, including Lou's ability to make the not-so-jolly green giant more than just a snarling beast, as well as his asking the HULK producers for more money, and the surprising results of said request! Click here to see a pic of Manny Perry, the actor who almost became the "new Hulk!" Stay tuned to this very bog for more info on the other "Universal Hulk" that Lou briefly mentions in this article! Click to enlarge!

Monday, September 26, 2011

1976 Albert Bigley COMIC ACTION HEROES Art?! Joker vs Batman! DC Comics?!

I was such a fan of Neal Adams' art in the 70s, not only as seen in many Marvel (X-MEN, INHUMANS) and DC Comics (BATMAN, GREEN LANTERN), but also as used on tons of superhero products, such as record albums, book covers, puzzles, and toys! One such toy line making big use of Neal's art was the Mego-issued "Comic Action Heroes" offering of small all-plastic action figures. The actual toys left a lot to be desired, but the great Adams art seen on the packaging promised the world! I was so inspired by said illustrations, that here is my own attempt (at age 11) to capture some of that Adams' flare! Hey, I tried! Click to enlarge!

Below: My inspiration for the above masterpiece! The actual 1976 Neal Adams-drawn package art for this Batman action figure playset!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sensational 70s Sunday SPIDER-MAN Strip! "Spiders and Snakes!" Marvel Comics!

The villainous (and venomous) Rattler thought he'd put Spidey in his place, but the wondrous web-spinner busts a move in this great 1977 newspaper strip color installment! The Rattler's days seem numbered as Spidey (or his alter ego, Peter Parker) closes in for the final battle! More Marvel Comics Bronze Age bounty from Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.! Click to enlarge!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Albert Bigley 1977 IRON MAN # 100 Cover Art?! Jim Starlin? Marvel Comics?!

Hoo Boy! You can sorta tell I was inspired by the well-drawn cover (by Jim Starlin) to 1977's IRON MAN # 100, can't ya? Here, below, is my attempt at re-creating that once-in-a-lifetime (twice?) cover art, and, considering I was 12 that year, I guess it ain't so bad. Note that such a dynamic and simple cover was a rarity in those days, with its lack of captions, word balloons, and general hyperbolic ballyhoo announcing ol' Shellhead's anniversary issue! Nowadays, in a failed attempt to create the same kinda vibe, almost every cover looks like this one, with the same characters preening, posing, and grunting in an endless parade of costumes and muscles that blend into one big mush...Click to enlarge!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Recalling BATMAN RETURNS! 1992 Articles and Oddities! Catwoman! DC Comics!

Can ya believe it'll soon be 20 years since the release of BATMAN RETURNS, the grim and moody sequel to 1989's record-breaking BATMAN film? Marking memorable Michael Keaton's final outing as the Dark Knight (leaving before filming began on the next movie in the franchise, BATMAN FOREVER), this film also gave us a new cinematic Penguin and Catwoman, both filtered thru director Tim Burton's dark and gothic movie lens! Click below to read a great 1997 (five years later!) review of the film from the COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE newszine, as well as a rare theatre promotional BR give-away! Click to enlarge!

Below, left: rare promotional poster for BATMAN RETURNS, detailing the sleek and newly-modified costume worn by Keaton in the second film outing. Below, right: a peek behind the scenes of BR, as director Tim Burton directs Michael Keaton (Batman) and Michele Pfeiffer (Catwoman) during their pivotal rooftop battle scene!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Neal Adams' SAVAGE TALES Original Cover Art Painting! Marvel! CONAN!

It's always a rare treat to see painted comic art, so take in this fabulous painting by "nefarious" Neal Adams! Neal painted this striking image for the cover of the fifth issue of Marvel's SAVAGE TALES magazine! Marvel was still relatively new to the recently acquired CONAN character (a surprise hit for the comics firm), but Neal totally understands and captures the raw, untamed nature of the barbarian in this image! Long-time jungle man Ka-Zar (whose beginnings go back to the Golden Age of comics) is also thrown in for good measure, as well as his "Savage Land" dinosaur cohorts! Click to enlarge, by Crom!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Here Comes--TIRE MAN?! 1982 Albert Bigley Original Comic Art!

Are you ready for this one? Here is a hand-drawn (no other kind, then) comic strip featuring my own father as--TIRE MAN! Drawn by me in 11th grade (1982) for a run in the local newspaper (THE LAURINBURG EXCHANGE), here is my tire-shop owner Dad in action! The "Tire-Man" character was something I dreamed up for "Bigley Tire" ads and such, and we even had a portrait (painted by me) of the superhero on the side of my father's tire shop! I was inspired by artist Marie Severin's late-60s work in Marvel's NOT BRAND ECHH! spoof comic, which I was collecting then via access (hello, driver's license!) to comic shops and conventions at the time! My "Art 3" teacher, Mr. Glenn, even allowed this particular strip/ad to be part of my end-of-semester art project, and, to speed things up, inked my pencils (mostly during class) on this! Click to enlarge!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Even MORE Rare Pics From the BATMAN 1966 ABC-TV Show! Adam West! Batgirl! Louie the Lilac?!

That's right! Here are MORE great behind-the-scenes pics from the groundbreaking 1966-68 BATMAN ABC-TV show! See the stars (including Cesar "Joker" Romero and Frank "Riddler" Gorshin) taking breaks between filming scenes! Adam West ("Batman") clowning with Milton Berle ("Louie the Lilac")!  Hangin' with Yvonne Craig ("Batgirl")! Last is a great 1984 PARADE MAGAZINE piece on the then-current doings of Burt Ward ("Robin")! Click each to enlarge!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Splendid 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strip! Who is--The Rattler? You Won't Believe It! Marvel Comics!

Spidey thinks he's on the trail of the rambunctious Rattler, but is he really? Are his ever-trusty Spider-Senses finally failing him? Can the evil Rattler really be--?! Click it, enlarge it, and read it for yourself, Spidey fan! But--prepare to be shocked! Another 1977 color Sunday newspaper strip installment from writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rare 1969 EYE MAGAZINE Marvel Comics Article! Stan Lee! Jack Kirby! Silver Age Sweetness!

Yesterday's blog entry saw me post a review of the '68 Monkees movie, HEAD! Now, from the same 1969 issue of EYE MAGAZINE, comes this fabulous overview of Marvel Comics! "Mighty" Marvel was at its peak of Silver Age creativity during this time, with great books and characters birthing from every corner, and writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby (altho he was soon to split for DC Comics) at the height of their powers! It was also a period of new blood entering the firm, with such bright lights as Barrry Smith, Herb Trimpe, Jim Steranko, and other captivating creators coming aboard! This rare article captures a nice snapshot of Marvel,and the pop culture, at the time, in a period where superhero comics were struggling in the post-BATMAN TV show wake! FUN FACT: This EYE issue came with a tiny, odd-sized reprint of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 42! Click to enlarge!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rare Monkees 1969 HEAD Movie Review! Michael Nesmith! Peter Tork! Rare Pics!

Can you dig it?! Here is a super-rare review of the Monkees' 1968 madcap movie, HEAD! Appearing in a 1969 EYE MAGAZINE, this not-so-nice review demonstrates that at least some fans and reviewers actually saw this short-run flick back during its first movie-house run! Not an easy film to watch and interpret, HEAD remains highly controversial (but much more warmly welcomed) today! Click images to enlarge!

BELOW: A rare 16 MAGAZINE pin-up, depicting some cut scenes from HEAD! The snipped scenario involved Micky, Davy, Mike, and Peter observing themselves in odd fun-house mirrors, and seeing their "true selves" reflected back! Davy as an early movie romeo (like Rudy Valentino), Mike as the country-western star, Micky as the prancing fool satyr, and Peter as the always prat-falling clown/dummy! Click to enlarge!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Our Pal" Sal Buscema! Recent MARVELous Art! Wolverine! Captain America! Hulk!

For those of you fearless Silver and Bronze Age comics fans who fear artist Sal Buscema may have retired--fear no more! Sal is alive and well, and doing tons of private works and fan commissions, and is as great as ever! Below are two current brain-blasting pieces of Sal art, done for panting fans of his brand of exciting comic goodness! Captain America vs the voluptuous Valkyrie (from the dynamic DEFENDERS)! Hulk vs Wolverine (from the uncanny X-Men)! Does it get any better than this? Now, if only today's addled editors would re-hire Sal, and stage a return to great art, as well as deadlines actually being met... Click to enlarge!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

1976 Albert Bigley BATMAN AND ROBIN Original Comic Art?! DC Comics?!

Whew. Here is the Dynamic Duo, Batman and Robin, as drawn by me (age 11) in 1976! I was influenced not only by artist Neal Adams, but specifically his comic illustrations that came with the "Robin Meets Man-Bat" book-and-record set, from the Power Records folks! Neal was, of course, the master of photo-realistic comic art, and you can see I was trying to create that same feel with this anger-drenched image! Why does Robin look like an enraged Ringo Starr, and why is he mad at Batman, even attempting to strike him?! What is Batman yelling about?!  Who cares? It was angst and anger and "in your face" excitement, and all that other nonsense the young comic artist cares about at age 11! Click to enlarge, if you dare!

Above: The original art to 1976's "Robin Meets Man-Bat" book-and-record
comic, for the Power Records folks!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

1972 SPIDER-MAN #118 Original John Romita Sr. Cover Art! Marvel Comics!

What is this--John Romita Sr. week?! It's always "JRSR week" around here! Take a look below at the pulse-pounding and perfect original art by John, for the cover of 1972's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 118! Such action! Such drama! Spidey is up against the wall while facing down two dangerous (but decidedly low-rent) super-villains! Notice the artistic use of added white along the impact burst near Spidey! Johnny used white-out, along with a razor blade to "nick" white dots into the black background for such an astounding effect! It was covers like this that made the early 70s so memorable to comics fans! How could anybody pass by such an attention-grabbing comic without grabbing it up? Click to enlarge!

Monday, September 12, 2011

John Romita Sr. Art Rarities! Captain America! Falcon! Batman?! Marvel Comics!

It's no secret how much I adore the stellar art of John Romita Sr.! Below are some oddball and rare items from the creative hand of JRSR, starting with a great close-up look at a page from 1972's CAPTAIN AMERICA # 145! Johnny used blue pencil to lay out his art, before inking, so that he'd save time by not having to erase his pencils! The blue pencil lines didn't show when the page was stated and copied for printing, in those pre-computer days! Impeccable!

Above: It's John's original early-70s marker sketch design for the
Falcon's 2nd costume! Thanks to Heritage Auctions for this one!

 Next is a great fully-shaded image of a sinister and svelte Count, ready to pounce on an unsuspecting young lady, no doubt! Notice John's mastery of form, texture, gradation, chiaroscuro (light and dark contrast), and composition on this one! Done for an early 70s Marvel "gothic romance" comic tale?

 Last is a fabulous "sketchcard" featuring JRSR trying his hand at drawing--Batman?! Yep! Done for a frantic fan, here is Spider-Man's main artist drawing the lead superhero from Marvel's Distinguished Competition! Click all to enlarge and enjoy, art lover!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Super Sunday 70s SPIDER-MAN Strip! From The Rattler to The Zipper! Marvel Comics!

This is it! Peter Parker (Spider-Man, natch) is finally putting the pieces of the mystery of the Rattler together, and has come to the horrifying conclusion that it could involve and endanger his dearest friends! Spidey will be put to it as never before now, as he must stop this deadly new super-foe! More 1977 Marvel magic from the inaugural year of the fabulous (and still running) SPIDER-MAN strip! Script by Stan Lee! Art by John Romita, Sr.! Click to enlarge!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

1980 Albert Bigley X-MEN vs HULK Original Comic Art! Marvel Comics?!

Another biggie from me, drawn at age 15 (in 1980)! Hulk vs the still-new "new X-Men," in an blazing (?) action scene! Looks like I used markers, Flair pen, and maybe even brush, on this bumbling, fumbling, attempt! The revived X-MEN book was the hottest thing going at the time (due to it simply being amazingly good), and I wanted to try my hand drawing these well-designed (mostly by artist Dave Cockrum) characters! Click to enlarge!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Original Pablo Marcos Art! MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL UK Covers! Hulk!

More little-seen covers, all created for Marvel Comics' overseas reprint editions! Here we see some terrific 1978 covers, drawn by Pablo Marcos! Marcos was tasked with the unenviable job of drawing NEW scenes based on existing US covers, making the new art for the UK comics just as enticing and exciting as their earlier American counterparts! Pablo sure succeeds admirably! Click images to enlarge!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1977 Albert Bigley BATMAN Epic! "Best Cop in Gotham City?!" DC Comics?!

Another attempt to draw (and write) my own comics, this one from early 1977! You can see that I (age 11) was very influenced by Neal Adams' seminal BATMAN work, but also by my back issue of DETECTIVE COMICS # 428, from 1972, which introduced a new supporting player to the Batman books. That issue introduced a tough cop called "Shotgun Smith," created in the mold of then-current movie cops such as DIRTY HARRY and such. So, I tried to add my OWN law-enforcing thorn-in-the-side for the Caped Crusader in my own tale! I decided to give Batman a dapper, by-the-book kinda policeman, one who wouldn't take so kindly to vigilantes, the way Commissioner Gordon and his crew did!  Also, in the tradition of all the cop shows of the day, my new character needed a very visual accessory, ala IRONSIDE (and his wheelchair) or KOJAK (and his lollypops and bald pate). Alas, only 2 pages were ever produced before I moved on to other things. But, get a load of that great dialog! Batman holds the murder weapon in front of his face and mutters, "probably a .45 caliber?!" That's "the world's greatest detective?!" Click to enlarge!

Below: My inspiration! A page from the aforementioned DETECTIVE COMICS # 428, showcasing the friction between Batman and newcomer "Shotgun Smith!" Art by Bob Brown and Dick Giordano!

Monday, September 5, 2011

SUPERHERO NATION! 2002 TIME Magazine Article! Batman! Spider-Man! Marvel Comics!

Here's another great comics-centric article from the pages of TIME magazine! Here, they cover the ever-turbulent state of affairs in the comic book industry, its characters, and why we love them! Read about the halcyon history of the medium, Hollywood's current fascination with comics, and the many up-and-down cycles in the industry, with a special focus on the then-new SPIDER-MAN film! Click to enlarge!