Monday, April 29, 2013

More Batty BATMAN 1966 Bits! On the Set With Adam West! Batgirl Goes Capeless! Video!

Back again, Bat-fans, with even more rare pics and hits from the nifty 1966 BATMAN TV series! Click each to enlarge!

Above: Adam West ("Batman") thrills a young visitor to the
Batcave set! The lad even gets to hold the famed utility belt

Above: Back on the set of the Batcave, during scene rehearsals!

Above: Neil Hamilton ("Commissioner Gordon") rehearses with Adam West and 
Myrna Fahey ("Blaze") in the two-parter, "True or False Face"/"Holy Rat Race"

Above: The ever-genial Adam West poses with set visitors yet again!

Above: Cesar Romero spends time with one lucky (and
possibly very frightened) Batman fan!

Above: What's this? Batgirl, sans her famous cute cape? Yep! During a run-thru 
on the set of a BATMAN third season episode! Pic courtesy of "BatStuff" on FaceBook!

Above: On the set of the 1966 BATMAN movie! The four super-foes
pose with famed basketball coach Red Auerbach, yet another set visitor!

BAT-BONUS! Click below to view a fabulous 1994 ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT profile, spotlighting the career of TV "Joker," Cesar Romero!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Superlative Sunday SPIDER-MAN 70s Strips! Crisis on Campus! Marvel!

Last time, we sat in stunned stupor, as Peter Parker responded to his evil blackmailer, a gorgeous gal who knows his secret identity! Now, she makes the weary Web-Climber sweat buckets, as she teases to expose his Spidey-self to his fellow post-doctoral peers! Will Spidey keep doing her deadly dirty work? Will he ever be able to stop her, or even know who is pulling his unseen strings? More mile-high Marvel mayhem from Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.! Click below to enlarge!

Has any character's personal life every played such a huge part in their superhero
adventures (and vice-versa) as that of Spider-Man's? As it would be in "real
life," Peter Parker finds it incredibly hard to separate both identities and
 lifestyles, with so many events and details overlapping into each!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Batboat! 1967 Aurora Model Re-Issue! Batman! DC Comics!

Wow! Here is my bulit-up version of the 2003 re-release of the fabulous original 1967 Aurora BATBOAT model kit! Click below to enlarge each image!

The gloss effect on the body of the craft was created using 
a spray gloss over the basic black/blue body! It was a real effort 
to precisely paint the red and chrome piping and the white side oval shapes!

Where's Batman? I used his figure in another Bat-vehicle, saving Robin to pilot 
this right-hand-side steered craft solo! I created new custom stickers 
for the rear fins and base! I also added plastic "flames" swiped from a Lego set!

The TV Batboat made its debut in the 1966 BATMAN theatrical film, but
wouldn't appear as an Aurora model kit until the following year!

A very fun (but challenging) model to build, one I was too young for (but always
wanted) when it debuted in the 60s!  I was very grateful for the recent re-release!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The "Other" Catwoman! The Strange 1963 Version! Batman! DC Comics!

Sure, we all know that the famed female foe, the Catwoman, has gone thru a million kinky cosmetic changes since her 1940 introduction. But, look below to glance over a very little-known version of the character, as seen in this 1963 issue of DETECTIVE COMICS! Sure, it's only a misguided (or is she?) Batwoman, but ya gotta dig that green-and-red costume design that kinda prefigures her later 1967 version! Click below to enlage and remember (and enjoy some primo Jim Mooney artwork), Cat-fans!

Above: The cover to 1963's DETECTIVE COMICS #318, one that
gave readers their first glimpse of the "new" Catwoman!

That's right, Catman (an obscure BATMAN foe, one who would be revived
in the mid-80s) is so in love with Batwoman, he's created a tailor-made
costume for her, for use once she (surely) joins him! He even has her
exact measurements? Not too creepy...

Of course, Batwoman's sudden and shocking side-switching was only a ruse! She could
never turn evil, and, if she did, it had to be because Batman spurned
her marriage-minded advances! Ah, the early 60s...

Speaking of "creepy," check out that middle tier of panels!

Ah, the tried-and-true (and tired) use of the old "nine lives" schtick! How many
times have we seen that invoked at the end of many a Catwoman tale (tail)?

BONUS! Look below to glare at Catwoman's short-lived late-60s togs, oddly reminiscent of her above 1963 threads!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spectacular 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strip! The Telephone Tantrum!

Last time, we sat stupefied, as a once-sanguine Spider-Man reluctantly performed the first terrible task issued by his new master, who turned out to be an evil female blackmailer who knows his once-secret identity! Now, she raises the tension, and throws more threats toward the worried Web-Slinger! Will Spidey capitulate? Will he be able to even locate the newest and trickiest (and possibly deadliest) enemy he's ever encountered? And---how will constantly cash-strapped Peter be able to afford a new telephone?! Click below to enlarge this rare 1978 color Sunday newspaper strip, by those Marvel madmen, Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.

Note how Stan and John detail how Spidey gets back to his familiar
big-city surroundings in those first panels! Touches like that made the
Marvel characters seem more "real," as if they (like us) also have to
deal with time, space, distance, inconveniences, and other
occasional irritants the real world has to offer!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Leonard Nimoy! "Mr. Spock's Other Life" at Home in 1967! STAR TREK!

Another great look at the original early years of STAR TREK! Here is a 16 Magazine profile on Leonard Nimoy, TREK's own "Mr. Spock!" Although later to become a truly well-known star and "household name," in the 60s Nimoy was a sudden fan sensation, and such peeks "behind the curtain" were quite rare then! See him at home with his family! In a bizarrely re-colored pin-up! In the recording studio, casually cutting the funky and famed "Mr. Spock's Music from Outer Space" disk! If you've never heard that piece of wacky wax, you owe it to yourself to find it immediately! Click below to enlarge!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Superman vs. Magical Mr. Mxyztplk! 1976 Albert Bigley Original Comic Art!

Here's another blast from my past! Here is a dynamic drawing depicting Superman in ineffectual battle against his mystical menacing foe, impish Mr. Mxyztplk! Inspired by my then-newly acquired 1976 Power Records SUPERMAN 45 disc, with fabulous cover art by Neal Adams (more below), I just had to try my hand at re-creating that image for myself! But, some nagging questions remain about my less-than-sensational scribblings! What's with my odd additions and alterations to Neal's version, such as Superman casually observing his failure to capture his enemy? How about the Man of Steel's insensitive shattering of the side of the Daily Planet building in order to go into action? And, why the radio station call letters? Who knows? Click below to enlarge! Not too bad for an 11-year old fan!

Above: The actual 1976 Power Record 45 cover, sporting Neal Adam's fantastic
artwork that inspired my own not-so-fantastic artistic efforts!  In those 

pre-internet days, young fans (like me) were thrilled to discover a new piece 
of unexpected Adams art, and once I stumbled upon this wax gem (at a 
Texas JCPenney) in the sweltering summer of '76, I had to have it! Who 
knew Neal had drawn another fantastic front-piece for Power Records

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Face? Tomboy? Razorback?! The Super-ZEROES That Never Made It! Marvel! DC!

Dig this 2003 article from the riotous SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS magazine, produced by the nifty Nickelodeon folks! Here, the over-worked editors put together a pandemonium-packed piece on all the comics characters that never quite passed the test of time, with some lackluster losers dating as far back to the "Golden Age" of comics! Who recalls the mid-60s "Captain (no, not that one) Marvel," who possessed the pulse-pounding power to bodily fly apart, whenever he shouted his famous magic word: "Split?" And how about that sizzling 70s sensation, Razorback? He was a hero/villain who bedeviled Spider-Man, using marginally interesting CB/trucker jargon and motifs that were (briefly) popular in the day. Well, they can't all be winners! Click below to enlarge and remember! If you must...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DAREDEVIL #84! Original 1972 Gil Kane Cover Art! Marvel Comics Mayhem!

Back again with more of that ubiquitous Gil Kane artwork! This time, I dip into my own original art collection to show this fabulous 1972 DAREDEVIL cover! Once again, Gil demonstrates his skill with lithe and action-oriented superheroic figures, as well as with staging, establishing depth, and just plain creating a truly arresting cover scene! Ol' Daredevil has never looked better! Click here for more great Gil artwork! Click below to enlarge!

Note how the art had to be slightly adjusted and continued on the sides, due to
 the then-new implementation of the "boxed" cover art design! Marvel used
this visual device on their covers for a few months in 1972, in an attempt
 to set their books apart from their competition on the stands!

BONUS! Glance below to see me with the above much-loved DD cover!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stupendous Sunday SPIDER-MAN 70s Strips! Spidey vs.--The Car?! Marvel Comics!

Last time, we watched in stunned terror, as a sinister and scheming female blackmailer began lowering the boom onto Spidey, after she tumbled to his well-guarded secret identity! Now, she gives the world-weary Web-Spinner his first daring assignment: mess with her former lover's car?! She starts small, but Spidey knows he'll be on the hook for more mandated missions, or else his secrets will be revealed to a gasping world! More 1978 newspaper strip action from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge, Spider-fans!

Was that a hatch-back the successful cosmetic mogul was
driving?! Well, it was the 70s...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Zook! The Naked Truth! 1963 DC Comics Censored Controversy!

Who can recall the early-60s tales of that emerald-hued crusader, Martian Manhunter? He never achieved major success, despite being featured in solo back-up strips in DC comic books, as well as in the JUSTICE LEAGUE line-up, but the character was an odd and unique take on the superhero theme. In his earliest days, tho, he was strangely saddled with a humorous little elfin creature/partner called Zook, possibly in an attempt to lighten the mood of the strip, since ol' MM was very wooden and serious! But, the oddest thing about the diminutive and dwarfish Zook was the fact that his artists applied a great deal of effort to always draw him in poses that covered his--uhm--mid-section at all times! Was Zook naked and shaped similarly to humans? Could he not wear shorts, or conveniently have some sort of hair-patch there? Was he embarrassingly well-endowed (onlookers were often drawn with aghast or surprised expressions as alien Zook made his way toward them)? Such an odd thing to see (or not see) in those kid-oriented days of DC Comics! Click below to check out the naked and ugly truth of that zany Zook!

The above excerpt come from the pages of 1963's DETECTIVE COMICS # 318! Art by Joe Certa!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The AVENGERS! 1970 John Buscema Original Cover Art! Captain America! Marvel!

It's very difficult to find examples of Silver/Bronze Age John Buscema pencil art, but this piece has to be one of his greatest! This is the unused cover to AVENGERS #79, from 1970! Drawn for one of the amazing issues involving the threat of the evil cabal called "the Lethal Legion," here are Captain America, Black Panther, Goliath, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch, threatened as never before! Dig big John's expertise at facial expressions (no other villains ever looked meaner), body language (you don't need to even see facial expressions to understand each character's emotional state), and composition! Click below to enlarge!

So, exactly why did the above (left) cover go unused, and the other (above, right) get printed? 
That original pencilled cover (on its way to inker Tom Palmer) was lost in the
mail (in those pre-FedEx, pre-internet days), showing up much
later, after Buscema pencilled the 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Origin of--SUPERMAN! 1938 Golden Age Greatness! DC Comics!

Let's peek into the very first 1974 issue of the ever-delightful DYNAMITE magazine! The long-running kid's mag had a regular comics-centric feature (and the only reason I bought every issue) called "Superheroes Confidential," and who better to launch that captivating column than the first comics superhero himself? The mag editors treated fans to actual excerpts of Superman's first adventures from the late 30s, featuring the early raw and powerful talents of Supe's creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster! Plus, dig that fun-filled fact sheet on the Man of Steel, promising tons of "playground cred" to boys all over the nation! Fun Fact: DYNAMITE's creator, Jenette Kahn, was later hired by DC Comics (Superman's publisher) to steer that company into the late-70s! Click images below to enlarge!

So much of the above wacky wonderfulness has since
been "erased" by later super-serious comics editors...Pity..

BONUS! From that same initial issue, we see one frantic fan fill out this back-end survey! Thank heavens (for us and the mag) he never sent this in! A real peek into the period!

"...and another one. The side with the picture...." Priceless.

Monday, April 8, 2013

More Magnificent Marvel Foreign Covers! Nick Fury! Captain America! Fantastic Four!

You asked for it, so here it is! Another peek into the overseas files of Marvel Comics cover art! Here are some very interesting second takes on some very familiar cover scenes, as painted by the very talented Spanish artists, Enrich and Lopez EspĂ­! Again, these awesome illustrators take to their paintbrushes to re-imagine famous 60s/70s US art by Kirby, Romita, Steranko, and others, in a new and colorful way! Can you recall each original US cover these are based upon? Click each to enlarge!

Gee, now where have we seen that above
cover image before? Maybe here?