Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Remembering Davy Jones.

After weeks of work, I was just putting the finishing touches on this re-mix of YOU AND I, when the news came in.

So long, Manchester Cowboy.

About the re-mix: To start my re-mix of this 1969 Monkees classic, I used the rare backing track (newly released by Rhino Records), added percussion, tamborine, “double drum” effects, extra bass, and some lengthening, along with a few other treats, and away we go on this rocker! Last task was to lay in Davy’s voice tracks from the original release of the song (since no vocals were ever put down on this version), having to cut and place each phrase to make them fit! Some studio chatter culled from a number of other songs and takes were also added. Click below to hear!

The Men Who Sold BATMAN in 1966! The Story of Silver Age DC Licensing!

Dig this terrific article from a 1967 issue of MAN'S WORLD! It's all about the men (Jay Emmettt and Allan Stone) who helmed the DC Comics licensing arm, at the very height of Batmania! Talk about timing! The firm additionally handled the rights to JAMES BOND, Superman, and so many other pop culture icons, but also advised companies on how to make their respective products, and when to get them onto store shelves, unlike the licensing game today! These guys sure had their hands full! In the 70s, the Mego toy company dealt with these guys, for a master license to create the still-remembered "World's Greatest Superheroes" line of action figures! Click images to enlarge!

BONUS: Click below to enlarge this page from the 1983 book, 50 WHO MADE DC GREAT, detailing the later doings of Licensing Corporation of America!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

HEAD Trip! Spend 1968 With The Monkees! Rare Pics! Davy Jones! Michael Nesmith!

1968 was a busy year for the Monkees! The summer was spent involved in a whirlwind "Far East Tour," where the guys delivered a series of amazing live shows to sold-out fans in Japan and Australia! In addition to the hectic tour pace, the band also submitted to many press conferences and interviews! With no time to catch their collective breath, it was time to get back to filming their first (and only) big-screen movie, HEAD! Some tough location shooting for this nutty celluloid venture, involving desert scenes, crazy car chases, stunts and special effects, and more! Alas, all this activity couldn't stem their impending fall, as their ever-increasing progression into more adventurous music and films left behind their younger fan base! Didn't help that their famed TV series had been cancelled that year, either! Click to enlarge the images below, and to peek behind the scenes of all this Monkees madness!

Note the above pic of Peter as a clown, filmed for a scene that was later cut from HEAD!

In the above pic (and the one below), the Monkees pose with HEAD co-star, Victor Mature!

Monday, February 27, 2012

POW! More Burt Ward Love! 1966 BATMAN ABC-TV Series! DC Comics!

The world fell in love with Burt Ward, TV's "Robin," and who could blame them? You can read here about his endless pre-BATMAN experiences and accomplishments, but now it's time to look at the many photos from his status-spangled childhood! Gaze into the eyes of a future Boy Wonder! The teen magazines of the day certainly got a ton of mileage from the new-to-the-scene Bat-heartthrob! Click to enlarge!

Here is Burt, a few years later, meeting
fans in the 70s!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sensational 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strip! Kraven in New York! Marvel Comics!

The action ratchets up as Kraven comes to New York! J.J. Jameson plans to use the enigmatic jungle hunter's savage strength against a stunned Spider-Man! Robbie, JJJ's erudite ex-editor has his doubts and worries! Peter Parker doesn't answer his phone! And, is that Barbara Walters in that first panel? Wouldn't be the first time JRSR slipped some esteemed celebs into this spectacular strip! More beautiful color Spidey Sunday strips from Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.! Click to enlarge!

Stan Lee was known for adding wonderful and relatable "human" touches, like Spidey being too
distracted to go back and answer his ringing phone!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Flash! Speedy '76 Neal Adams Art! Super DC Comics Calendar!

Another big one! Here is Neal Adams' tremendous art of the fleet-footed Flash, for the 1976 SUPER DC CALENDAR! Neal drew all the big DC superheroes for this one, and his drawings are thought of as the definitive versions of these classic characters! Click here to see more calendar cut-ups! Click image to enlarge!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Mego FANTASTIC FOUR?! 1976 Albert Bigley Comic(al) Art! Marvel Comics?!

Inspired (yet again) by the Mego corporation's endless flood of superhero action figures, here is my 1976 drawing (I was 11) of the fabulous Fantastic Four! You can clearly see that I used the figures as inspiration, aping their actual faces and limited poses, including the "grasping" hands and the printed body suits, but what about that dreadful Invisible Girl pose?  Simple.  I didn't own the IG figure (that once was for girls!! Come on!), so I used my imagination. Looks as if I began coloring this incredible image with marker, only to quit while I was ahead. Hoo! Click to enlarge!

Both the Thing and Human Torch figures were given odd "printed" body suits, with orange rocks and
red flame screen-printed on a cloth outfit!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

MORE Earl Norem Original Comic Art! SPIDER-MAN at the Zoo?! Marvel!

I've covered the amazing art of Earl Norem here and here on this blog, but now it's time to take a look at a real Norem curiosity! Here is Earl's pencil rough for some kinda SPIDER-MAN promotional poster or cover, promoting zoo visits (or animal life)! Possibly put into production to promote the NY area zoos, here is Spider-man, flawlessly depicted, against a range of equally-masterful vignettes of animals, zoo life, and peaceful settings! Altho it seems to have been unused (or heavily changed before publication), it's still great to see and admire! Can you supply any info on this piece? Click to enlarge!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bone Up on the Red Skull! CAPTAIN AMERICA Foe! 1975 Marvel Comics Mayhem!

Anther senses-shattering installment of "Superheroes Confidential," from dynamic DYNAMITE MAGAZINE! Here we see the spotlight on longtime Captain America foe, the ever-rueful Red Skull! The gang at the mag chose a then-recent 1975 Skull segment (from CAPTAIN AMERICA #184), with rare art (for the CAP book) by "Happy" Herb Trimpe, known for his long run drawing the HULK comic! Read these seemingly ancient fun facts carefully, true believer, since so much of what's discussed here ties in with recent and upcoming Marvel movies in 2012! 'Nuff said! Click to enlarge!

A fabulous cover by John Romita, Sr., Herb Trimpe interior art, Cap and Falcon in action against the Skull!
All for a quarter! What more could any fan ask for?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Penguin! His Many Trick Umbrellas! Batman's Evil Foe! DC Comics 1975 Fun!

Here is a fun and informative 1975 feature, all about the pernicious Penguin, and his obnoxious umbrellas! Batman's eternal foe has long favored using brutal bumbershoots as his weapon of choice, and here we find out just how extensive ol' Oswald Cobblepot's fiendish fetish really is! Taken from a "Super Spectacular" over-sized BATMAN issue of the day, this piece details every trick used by this oily bird of crime! Click to enlarge!

The excerpts above range from the Penguin's 1940s comics appearances, right up to his 70s hi-jinks!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Aurora BATMAN Model Kit! Re-Built! Re-Furbished! DC Comics!

Another go-round with a classic 60s Aurora model kit! This time it's the 1999 Revell re-issue of the BATMAN all-plastic kit! I've assembled this model five times in my life (the first was actually built by my Dad in 1970, since I was only 5 then), and wanted to tackle it again, applying the skills I've picked up since the last time (the late-80s "Super Powers" re-issue)! If you're unacquainted with this kit and it's history, click here! Click all images below to enlarge!

Below: I first began detailing the base, adding extra grit and gravel and texture, then painting in shades of dull browns, greens, even sprayed-on areas of white and black! More texture was added by applying some pastel crayon and chalk over raised surfaces, then coating the entire base with a dull matte coating! I also added extra limbs and twigs, for more realism! Who needs Batman?

Below: Work begins on the figure! After sub-assemblies were done, and sanding out seams (I left a few, to replicate seams in the outfit and boots, etc), it was time to paint! Basic spray-on colors were applied, then some over-spraying (with lighter hues), and under (with darker hues) to accent musculature, folds, etc...

The blue color motifs are added! I'll change those later, as you'll see...Also wanted a gold treatment for the utility belt, which I also would later modify...

Below: Checking the figure on the base (which made a convenient "drying rack")! Note the addition of a utility belt from the DC Direct "Silver Age Batman" action figure! I was also making plans to use the "posable" cape from the "Batman Masterpiece" figure...

You can see how I planned to affix the new cape within the curved form of the cape provided in the kit...

The finished model! I wanted to take the previously-applied lighter blue into a blue/black territory, keeping a very light gloss on those parts (with the other areas of the outfit matte)...After affixing his new cape to the smaller one provided with the kit, I applied a great deal of spray color to it, then a matte sealer!

Not happy with the "water decal" provided with the kit, I made my own chest insignia...

I decided not to affix Batman's left foot to the base, enabling him to "swing out" more, and not be so anchored to the tree! Good thing, too, as his new (very heavy) cape weighed him down and pushed him forward quite bit! I covered the "foot opening" on the tree with more twigs!

The larger cape also gives the figure a larger, looming physical presence...

Below: Another look at the base for the kit!

Below: A look at my last take on the kit, built by me in 1988, compared to this most recent attempt!

Below: You can see how I attached the new cape, inside the too-small plastic cape that came with the kit! Also note that I restricted the tree detailing to the front of the kit...

Below: The original 1965 issue of the Aurora Batman kit!

Want to experience even more custom Aurora wonderment? Click here and here!