Sunday, July 29, 2012

Superlative 70s SPIDER-MAN Strip! A Superhero Movie Bigger than STAR WARS?! 1978 Marvel!

As we saw last time, all looks great for the new (for 1978, that is) SPIDER-MAN movie, as the wall-crawling superhero-turned-thespian impresses his dimpled director, as well as the producer and his stunned son! But--what does the sudden appearance of the malevolent Mysterio mean to the film and Spidey's future happiness? Will Spidey survive his turn in Hollywood? Will he be able to continue to ogle the attractive starlets? And--whatever became of "Robert Bedrock" anyway?! More daily SPIDEY strip greatness from the pens of Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click images below to enlarge, then click here to glom the next nerve-wrenching installment!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Hulk! On The Psychiatrist's Couch?! 1978 Marvel Madness! PIZZAZZ!

Time for a bit of silly fun, from the pages of Marvel's all-ages 70s mag, PIZZAZZ! Here, writer Roger Stern (scripter on such titles as SPIDER-MAN and AVENGERS) steps into the role of Leonard "Doc" Samson (altho artist Marie Severin seems unfamiliar with that super-character) to delve into the Hulk's mind, motivations, and madness! How does it go? How do you think?! The Hulk ends up hilariously crushing tools, tape recorders, and all hope, as he muddles his way through ink blot tests, word associations, and question forms! A great article with terrific and funny Severin art? A winner! Click to enlarge!

Below: The first comics appearance of "Doc Samson," in his 1971 HULK comic debut!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sensational SPIDER-MAN 70s Strips! Spidey: A Hit in Hollywood and in Love With His Director?! Marvel!

Spidey has done it! Or has he? We've seen him wondering about a new Spidey movie about to lens in LA, and, after raising money for a trip to Hollywood, he now seems to be on the fast-track for superhero super-stardom! But, who is this mysterious "other Spider-Man?" Will the wondrous Wall-Clinger fall in love with his darling director, after years of romantic failure? And, what exactly is an "adhesive costume," anyway?! More mile-high mayhem from 1978 Marvel, and writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge images, and click here for the next (full color) installment, Spider-fans!

The SPIDER-MAN newspaper strip had a much lighter (and more fun) general 
tone than the doom-and-gloom comic book, where Peter was always facing 
death, disappointment, and possible poverty!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Play the "SUPERMAN GRAFFITI GAME!" Curt Swan! Neal Adams! 1974 DC Comics Fun!

Ah, the mid-70s days of DC Comics! For half a diminutive dollar, fans could buy "Super Spectacular" versions of many of their regular titles, getting not only new stories, but reprints from various decades, letters pages, puzzles, crosswords, and memorable special features, like this oddball 1974 "Superman Graffiti Game!" A bald, blank sketch of Superman was given to various well-known comics artists of the day, as they provided their own distinct "updates" and flourishes to the staid Man of Steel, with some hilarious and odd results! Look and see what such art greats like Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, and even Sergio Aragones, have done to good ol' Supes! Print out, and try your hand on that last panel! Click to enlarge!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ant-Man Custom Mego Action Figure! YellowJacket! Avengers! Marvel Comics!

It's good ol' Hank Pym himself, ANT-MAN! Here he is, re-imagined as a custom "Mego style" action figure, made by me! One of Marvel's early Silver Age heroes uses a custom head (from the now-defunct site), and "Dr. Mego" boots and basic red outfit. The black portions of the outfit were done in paint markers, and the belt is custom-built! I went with black (instead of blue) for the accessories, since this simply works better in 3-D, and also make the suit seem more of a "work outfit," as opposed to flashy superhero togs!  Click images below to enlarge!

Below: It's the 70s incarnation of the identity-crisis stricken Ant-Man, YELLOWJACKET! Using a custom-made outfit, and a re-cast of the Aurora BATMAN kit head, here is the famous Avenger as Mego woulda made him! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

MAD Magazine! A DYNAMITE Double-Shot of Alfred E. Neuman! 1975!

Wow! Here are two great articles, each spotlighting the ever-mirthful MAD magazine! Both are from the pages of dandy DYNAMITE magazine, and tell the story of the long-lived laugh mag, as well as that of the ubiquitous gap-toothed "idiot boy," Alfred E. Neuman! Alf's origins are still shrouded in murky mystery, his MAD mug dating back a century, but he's still one of the most recognizable faces around! Click each image below to enlarge! What? You worry?

As noted above, MAD was the vehicle that told kids to be suspicious of advertising, parents, teachers, and the whole adult world! They say kids today come with this distrust and sarcasm and healthy cynicism already built-in, and thus no longer need MAD, but...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Return of the DC Comics SUPER-VILLAINS! Catwoman! Luthor! Joker! 1975 Magic!

From the very first 1975 DC "Super-Villains" oversized tabloid, here come the famed foes of the fabulous super-friends, finally in the featured spotlight! Learn all about their secret histories! Stare stupefied at terrific images of the freaky foes, as drawn by some of the greatest artist of the Silver and Bronze Ages of comics (just dig that groovy gigantic 2-page spread/poster of these colorful cut-ups below, drawn by Dick Giordano, complete with informative character key)! Amaze your fiends--er--friends with your inside knowledge of such characters as Captain Boomerang, Mr. Mind, and the Cheetah! What are you waiting for? Click all images below to enlarge!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Marvel Takes Over the Tube! 1977 Madness! HULK! SPIDER-MAN!

For those old enough to recall, 1977 was a lot like 2012, with all this cinematic Marvel madness that's upon the nation right now! In the late 70s, due to the success of STAR WARS and anything "sci-fi," TV and film producers suddenly clamored for any comic book properties to translate into new (and hopefully successful) live-action blockbusters! Marvel (then the top seller in the comics field) got the bulk of the interest, even tho previous TV juggernauts had come from competitor DC Comics (BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, SUPERMAN)! First up were live boob-tube versions of SPIDER-MAN and the ever-INCREDIBLE HULK! But, in those days, producers still looked to the powerfully successful 1966 BATMAN show as a blueprint, so fans feared these Marvel movies would be similarly campy and lightweight! Not so! Tho many changes were made from page to screen, these efforts came off as well-intentioned and earnest, if not fully successful! The HULK show, of course, was the most popular, tho CAPTAIN AMERICA and DR. STRANGE also got their shots at stardom, before limping away. The proposed HUMAN TORCH, SUB-MARINER, and MS. MARVEL features entered pre-production, but never got beyond those planning stages, as public interest quickly started to wane! Click below to enlarge these advance previews/reviews of these cathode-ray offerings, from Jim Steranko's MEDIASCENE magazine!

Think of how exciting these previews were back in 1977, in those days with no internet, or "inside scoops" on such productions, aside from fan mags like the one above! I recall not even knowing about many of these TV premiers until two weeks before they were broadcast then!

BONUS! Click below for a look at the opening credits to the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1977-1979 CBS TV show!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Super Sunday SPIDER-MAN 70s Daily Strips! Spidey Goes Hollywood! 1978 Marvel Mirth!

Look who's suddenly over his recent tragedy-tossed broken relationship! And why not? Spidey now has his once-broken heart set on a career in Hollywood (see the start of such musings here), as the star in a new SPIDER-MAN movie (oh, the more things change...)! He has all his ducks in a row, including merrily manipulating good ol' jolly J. Jonah Jameson (one of the greatest love/hate relationships in comics), getting to LA, and preparing for a possible new life as a superstar! Will the old "Parker bad luck" doom his efforts? What will possible celebrity status mean to his crime-fighting lifestyle? And, does our stalwart superhero really wear support hose? You may find the answers below, then in the next shattering installment! Click below to enlarge these fab 1978 comic strip masterpieces, Webbed Ones!

Once again, notice how writer Stan Lee shows Parker making truly tough 
decisions, based on wealth, fame, and personal responsibility, not the 
usual "I have to save the world" superhero orientation!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

1976 FANTASTIC FOUR Jack Kirby-Drawn Original Comic Art! Invaders!

Here's yet another brain-blasting cover from the bristlin' Bronze Age of comics greatness! Here is the cover art to 1976's FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #11, by none other than Jack Kirby himself! Jack had just returned to immortal Marvel, after a memorable run over at competitor DC Comics, and he came back in swingin'! Jack refused to return to drawing the interiors of the Marvel books he was most famous for (expect for CAPTAIN AMERICA), but had no such reservations about creating captivatin' covers for the firm once known as the "House of Ideas!" Here we see the ever-fabulous FF, in mortal combat with those World War Two warriors, the Invaders, all courtesy of one of those ubiquitous time-travel plotlines so common to comics! Note the awesome amount of info Jack was able to cram into this illo, spotlighting not only the swashbucklin' superheroes, but the setting, time of day, and even the time period! Ink were supplied by Jack's long-time inker supreme, 'joltin'" Joe Sinnott! Click to enlarge!

I loved this annual as an 11-year old, since I was just coming around to becoming a regular FF and Invaders reader!

Below: Jack KIrby himself, working hard during the mid-60s "Marvel Age of Comics!" Note the original cover art to the famed FANTASTIC FOUR #54 in the background!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rare INCREDIBLE HULK Fan-Made Bust! Jack Kirby-Inspired! Silver Age Marvel Madness!

Here's a great fan-made garage-kit incredible HULK bust, inspired by the early Silver Age Marvel comics, as drawn by Jack "King" Kirby! Sculpted by Craig Davison, and offered by SeaDog Studios! The bust was cast in porcelain, and I used enamels to paint it. I came in with three shades of spray-applied green for the basic flesh and hair, using them to accent the highlights and shading, with dry-brushed grays on the base! Coatings of gloss over the eyes and teeth and hair completed the fearsome look!  A nice companion piece to the officially-released Aurora HULK kit! Click each image to enlarge!

Below: Early 60s Jack Kirby-drawn HULK comics panels, the inspiration for the above power-packed sculpture!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

IRON MAN vs. Mad Thinker! 1975 Original Cover Rough by Gil Kane! Marvel!

Saying Gil Kane was prolific is like saying the sky is awfully blue! Here is yet another incredible cover rough by Gil (who also completed the published cover), for a 1975 IRON MAN comic! Gil once again, even in this simple (?) pencilled design, shows his control over muscular anatomy, action, directing the eye (note how all the machinery, perspective, and even the villain himself, all point to the figure of the embattled Iron Man), and overall eye-catching excitement! This issue was part of the well-recalled "War of the Super-Villains" storyline in IM's book, a period where ol' Shellhead sported a nose on his helmet (which actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it)! Click to enlarge!

BONUS! Look below to glom some mid-70s merchandise that helped to immortalize Iron Man and his nifty (but soon-to-be-nipped) nose-festooned face-plate!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Monkees! More Rare Pics and Clicks! The TV Show! HEAD! Tours! Davy Jones!

Again with the riotous rockers, the Monkees! Click below to glare at rare behind-the-scenes pics, photos taken on the set of their popular 1966-1968 TV show, rare candid shots, filming their movie, HEAD, in 1968, overseas tour shots, 90s clippings, and so much more! Click each to enlarge!

BONUS! Click below to hear an ultra-rare 1966 radio promo, touting the TV premier of the Monkees show!

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Look Inside a 1965 DC Comic Book! Batman! Superboy! Fire Safety?!

Remember when comics were for kids? They'd be liberally sprinkled with colorful ads for Silly Putty, slot cars, BB guns, and G.I Joe figures, all in an attempt to grab the fickle attention of the middle-school set! The same comics also promoted their own wares and characters, sometimes as a way of attracting more licensees (meaning more money and exposure), such as in the Superman products ad (hawking such items as the Aurora Superman model kit) seen below! Then there are the adverts for other special comics available concurrently, such as great annuals and "80-Page Giants," choc-a-block full of great "ancient" (some going back 20 years!) reprints and surprises! Also, as another way of creating good will and generating publicity, the comics firms participated in public service spots, such as that last one below, using Superboy as a spokesman for fire safety! Ah, how times have changed! Click each to enlarge!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Spectacular 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strip! Spidey Goes Hollywood!? 1978 Marvel Movie!

Last time, we saw our worried Web-Slinger wonder if he would be cut out as the lofty lead in a new SPIDER-MAN movie (how timely is that?) filming in sunny California! After all, poor Peter Parker has just seen more horror and sadness than usual, and a trip into possible fame and fortune may be just what he needs, right? What could possibly go wrong? Yet another fabulous color 70s Sunday strip (one I missed while posting them the first time around) from writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, Sr.! Click to enlarge!

Once again, Peter's life is complicated by his role as Spider-Man! 
A masterstroke provided by writer Stan Lee, who wondered
if having super-powers would be more of a burden than a boon!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wonder Woman vs. The Duke! 1976 DYNAMITE MAGAZINE Article! Dick Dillin Art! DC Comics!

Another blast from comics' past in this 1976 DYNAMITE MAGAZINE focus on the Duke of Deception, Wonder Woman's fiendish foe! In this installment, the DYNAMITE gang takes a look at this super-villain, who had recently appeared in WW's own mag, all with dynamic Dick Dillin art! This was a truly rare treat, as Dillin was then the usual artist on DC's JUSTICE LEAGUE book, and to see him take on the Amazing Amazon in her solo title was something special! Note also the inclusion of fellow Justice Leaguer Green Arrow, who appeared in the strip as part of the "trials of Wonder Woman" storyline, as each super-team member monitored (without permission) her adventures to decide if she was worthy to re-join the famed team, after WW ( a long-time member) lost her powers for a short stretch! Not too sexist, huh? Ah, the mid-70s...Click to enlarge!

What's with the DYNAMITE editors coloring Wonder Woman's "invisible plane" green?! 
Was Green Lantern standing in the wings (heh), as the next male JLA member slated to 
spy--er--look in on WW?

BONUS! Look below to see some of the famed covers from the year-long "Trials of Wonder Woman" mid-70s storyline!