Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1999 MARVEL SUPERHEROES Custom Steve Rude Artwork! Spidey! Thor! Iron Man!

How many collectors snagged these terrific VHS box sets during the late 90s? Marvel produced these well-made volumes, each featuring a few episodes of the 1966 MARVEL SUPERHEROES cartoons, as well as the 1967 SPIDER-MAN shows! The best part of these hefty products was the insanely fabulous custom artwork by Steve Rude! Rude always managed to capture the feel, mood, and attitude of the artwork created by the original Marvel art masters, such as Jack Kirby and John Romita, Sr., and he really shows off his skills here! Click below to closely examine these video ventures, real treats for any hard-core Marvelite!

Above: The outer covers for the two boxed sets,
with sensational Steve Rude art!

Above: An inner hype sheet included in the sets, boasting
of all the nifty goodness inside each!

Above: The three VHS covers in each set can be assembled
to make one clever three-tiered scene! Art by Rude!

BONUS! Look below to get an idea of the mammoth size of these spectacular sets, as I pose with both!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The 1971 HULK T-Shirt Returns! Roach Studios Iron-On Madness! Marvel!

Sure, we've all seen the ads from a host of early-70s Marvel Comics! Said ads featured a bong-load of colorfully-designed slogans and gags meant for the "wake and bake" crowd, but somehow, standing out among such eye-popping images were three mighty Marvel stalwarts, Captain America, Spidey, and the Hulk! Well, thanks to a recent eBay auction, I was able to snag the colorful Hulk image, already ironed onto a still-crisp t-shirt! But, that shirt was meant for a tiny tot, thus barring even svelte me from wearing it proudly! The solution? A local tailor, working feverishly under strict and constant supervision, carefully cut the image from its original decades-old garment, then re-applied to a new me-sized psychedelic shirt, thus ensuring today's lucky populace could once again gaze upon such splendor! Click below to see the results of this sartorial situation, frantic one!

Thanks to Allyson Bigley for also helping with the tie-dyeing of the new
shirt! I wanted to match the transfer's original "day glo" fluorescent colors!

BONUS! Look below to glom the original unused 1970s iron-on, featuring brain-blistering art by "happy" Herb Trimpe!

BONUS BONUS! Look below to see the original unused 1969 Jack Kirby-drawn Hulk poster art (left), and Herb Trimpe's modified version (right), later used for the above t-shirt iron-on design!

For some reason, the above Kirby art (meant for a poster sold thru the "MarvelMania"
fan club) was heavily changed in the re-drawn version by then-current HULK artist Trimpe!
Both were terrific images in their own right!

Monday, July 29, 2013

CAPTAIN AMERICA! Reb Brown Speaks! Rare Pics and Article! Marvel Comics!

Who doesn't recall the frantic late-70s TV take-over by Marvel Comics? Spidey, the Hulk, Dr. Strange, and other cavorting costumed cut-ups were being given their own slices of prime-time space, and that included the star-spangled Avenger, Captain America! Cap received two live-action 1979 TV outings, neither of which went to series (see below for why), but each were fun and fast-moving, and star Reb Brown made a terrific Cap! Click below to hear Reb's thoughts from a very recent interview! Reb discussed not only his days as Cap, but his many other film and TV projects, too! Click images below to enlarge!

BONUS! Click below to glom these great 70s images of Reb as Cap!

BONUS BONUS! Click below to blow up these more recent pics of Reb, still going strong today!

Above: Yup! It's Reb, cutting up on the red carpet
for 2011's CAPTAIN AMERICA film!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stupendous 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strips! Disco Disaster! Marvel Comics!

Last time, we watched in surprised glee, as once-pitiful Peter Parker seemed to be enjoying some good luck and great times, once he began living a Spidey-less life! But, old habits die hard, as he's forced to now swing into action to prevent a horrible disco disaster! Will Peter be recognized as the worried Wall-Crawler? Has he subdued all the goonish gunmen? Has he saved his closest friends? Click below to enlarge!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stan Lee! 1978 CIRCUS Magazine Article and Pics! MarvelMania! Hulk! Spidey! Beatles?!

Another blast from Marvel's best years! Dig this neat 1978 Marvel article, from the venerated rock magazine, CIRCUS! Once again, figurehead Stan Lee holds court (tho, at the time, he was more and more distanced from the comics line), bringing his hot-aired hype to such projects as the mega-successful BEATLES and KISS mags, the CBS HULK TV show, and other morsels of multi-marketed merchandised Marvelmania! The company was still sort of a "seat-of-the-pants" operation then, producing some wild and wonderful books and concepts, and this was truly one of the most exciting eras of Marvel madness! Click images below to enlarge!

BONUS! Click below to spot all the Marvel tidbits hidden in the above pic of the batty Marvel Bullpen!

Above: That's a 1978 Hulk plastic bank (above, left) looking on as Stan and
Jim Shooter scrutinize the current issue of CRAZY magazine (above, right)!

Friday, July 26, 2013

SUPERMAN FAMILY Model Sheets! Jimmy Olsen! Superdog! DC Comics!

Wow! Take a look at these little-seen model sheets and pose art guides from the files of DC Comics! Published in a mid-70s issue of the oversized SUPERMAN FAMILY comic, these pages show guide art (used by other beginning artists to keep the established characters "on model") by Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger, two long-time Silver and Bronze Age SUPERMAN artists! For most older readers, these will always be the definitive versions of Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, the Kents, and Superdog! Click below to enlarge!

The DC staff just casually found and ran these then-decade old
sheets for this SUPERMAN FAMILY special feature!  Makes you wonder what
other overlooked and under-appreciated gems languish in their
archives, then and now!

BONUS! Look below to see how one particular style guide illustration was used on some 1973 DC merchandise!

Above: The 1973 "Jimmy Olsen" 7-11 Slurpee cup!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Making of a 1975 SUPERMAN Cover! The Amazing World of DC Comics!

Dig this special feature spread from a 1975 issue of the fan-aimed hype mag, AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS! We get the full low-down on how a then-progressive "photo cover" for an issue of SUPERMAN was produced! Not only do we witness production maven Jack Adler in action, but we're also treated to glimpses of some well-known DC comics staffers and writers (such as Bob Rozakis) who were drafted into posing as gawking by-standers for this incredible cover scene! Click below to enlarge!

BONUS! Click below to see the finished product, the actual published cover to SUPERMAN # 289!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Swingin' 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strip! A Popular Peter Parker?! Marvel!

Last time, we gasped as Spidey gave up his crime-busting secret identity, trading it in for a normal life (or as "normal" a life a nutty and neurotic New Yorker can have) as plain Peter Parker! Can pitiful Parker pull off such a carefree role? Will he now have time for his friends, like cavortin' Carole? And--what will the craven Kingpin and the menacing Monk mean, in regards to our hero's future happiness? More 1978 daily SPIDER-MAN newspaper strips, from the minds and hands of Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge, then click here to see the next full-color installment, faithful one!

Note how, tho now dated, the clothing of the characters was kept
up-to-date and current, making this (and Marvel's other superhero
features) seem that much more realistic and immediate, as
opposed to their competitor's  efforts, where Clark Kent
(for example) wore the same blue business suit for decades!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The AMAZING SPIDER-MAN CBS TV Series! 1979 Update! Marvel!

Let's take another look at this short-lived (but much loved) late-70s entry into live-action Marvel madness, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! Dig these fan-mag clippings form the time period, all spotlighting star Nick Hammond (who portrayed Spidey himself, natch), as well as his guest stars, producers, cast, and crew

I was a regular watcher of the SPIDER-MAN CBS show, and I don't recall
any real change to "more mature themes," or hearing "the sound a spider
makes spinning a web!" Perhaps some BATMAN-like silliness woulda
been in order, after all?

Even the teen mags got into the Marvel march, spotlighting young star Hammond!

BONUS! Click below to glom some of these pics from the sensational 70s SPIDER-MAN series!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Jack Kirby's Captain America--by Albert Bigley?! 1976 Marvel Comics?!

Once again I dip into the bottomless well brimming with my past artistic masterpieces! This time, I came up with this nifty 1976 Captain America sketch, pencilled by me, at age 11! I used my then-newly purchased 1977 MARVEL COMICS MEMORY ALBUM calendar as inspiration, specifically the page featuring a brain-altering original Jack Kirby Cap illustration! I was certainly no Kirby, but I tried my best to re-create his masterful Cap action pose, and even made a half-hearted attempt to duplicate the illo's awesome origin-revealing background, too! Alas, I soon found that such additional drawing was not as much fun as delineating the main action scene, so...Click below to enlarge!

BONUS! Click below to see the original 1976 Jack Kirby art that launched the above dynamic doodle!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Super 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strips! The Mad Monk Muscles In! Marvel Comics Madness!

Last time, we breathed a collective sigh of relief as Spidey witnessed the eerie end of the plot to reveal his secret identity to the world! Now, just when poor Peter Parker should be able to welcome a return to normalcy, new problems arise (are you surprised?)! What is the sinister secret his friends are keeping from him? What do the events in Florida have to do with him? And--who is the brash and Brando-like Spencer?! More rare 1978 color SPIDEY strips from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

THE INCREDIBLE HULK! Rare 70s TV GUIDE Ads and Clippings! Lou Ferrigno!

Dig this brain-blasting batch of late-70s greatness! Here is a hulking handful of ads and promos that ran in TV GUIDE, all hyping the famed CBS TV series! These ads (from 1978 to 1981) feature stars Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, but give a healthy share of the spotlight to guest stars, as well as co-star Jack Colvin, too! And, altho the show always rode high in the ratings, that didn't stop the makers from engaging in as much sensationalistic advertising as any other TV property! Click below to enlarge these blasts from the past!

It's surprising to note the level of image re-touching (using air-brush
and paint, in those pre-Photoshop days) on these ads...

Many of these ads were ably assembled by paste-up artists using
only photo stills and reference sent by the studio! Using montage, good
composition, and collage skills, some very effective ads were created!

Who else recalls CBS's "We're Looking Good" ad campaign of the late 70s? TV
commercials would spotlight the stars of the various CBS series (yes, including
those from the HULK) smiling at the camera and brandishing an aloft  "OK" sign...
Odd to see Lou Ferrigno, in full HULK regalia, doing such!

Can anyone explain that odd ad in the lower left corner? Does that artwork
represent a baseball pitcher in mid-lob? Somebody besides Banner
changing into a Hulk-like beast?!

Friday, July 12, 2013

More of the Marvel/Monkees Comics Connection! X-Men?! NOT BRAND ECHH!

I've already established the DC Comics connection to the madcap Monkees here, but didja know the maniacal mavens at Marvel Comics moved to the Monkees manic musical groove? True! Click below to see these late-60s examples of the Monkees being cited in such titles as uncanny X-MEN, and the nonsensical NOT BRAND ECHH!

Above: A look inside 1967's X-MEN #31 reveals the merry mutants enjoying some
downtime at a nearby club called "the Monkees Paw!" By Roy Thomas and Werner Roth!

From 1967's NOT BRAND ECHH #4, the X-Men get the parody treatment, all
while listening to THE MONKEES THEME, played on a convenient portable radio!
By Roy Thomas and Tom Sutton!

This 1967 issue of NOT BRAND ECHH #2 once again "apes" the MONKEES THEME,
to hilarious effect! By Gary Friedrich and Marie Severin!

BONUS! Click here to see another Monkees appearance in the pages of the nutty NOT BRAND ECHH! comical book!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Krypto? Proty? Beppo? Super-Pets All! 1975 SUPERMAN Special Feature! DC Comics!

 Dig this excerpt from a 1975 oversized issue of SUPERMAN FAMILY, another special section from a sensational 70s "Super Spectacular" edition! The delirious DC editors throw the net over the many "Super pets" that populated the swollen SUPERMAN line of books then, before more "serious" writers and fans decided to erase such fun and exiting characters from the Man of Steel mythos! Sure, you knew of Krypto, the Superdog, but did you know about the Super-Ape? How about SuperHorse? And, could anyone forget bouncing Beppo, the Super-Monkey? Say, maybe those later writers were on to something...Click below to enlarge, and keep that poop-scooper ready!

BONUS! Lest you think the above ark of animals represents all the super-pets, look below! That's right, it's SUPERPUP, a failed 1958 attempt to revive and revise the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN TV series, but populated with small actors in dog suits! This doomed and diminutive dog-starred show only saw light as an unaired pilot presentation!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

AVENGERS #165 Cover! 1977 George Perez Original Comic Art! Iron Man! Marvel!

Torn savagely from the pages of a 1977 issue of FOOM, here are the power-packed pencils for the cover of AVENGERS #165, by gregarious George Perez! George was just getting started in these days, but you can already see his attention to detail, his sense of composition and action, staging, and overall excitement with this piece! The artist would have a long run on AVENGERS, even returning in the (otherwise uninspired) late 90s for an incredible return on the book! Click below to enlarge, assemblers!

Who's that guy in yellow? He's the Whizzer (no joke), a superhero from Marvel's
1940 years, brought back briefly in the book at the time, as part of an exciting sub-plot!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sensational 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strips! Stan and John Show How It's Done! 1977 Marvel Greatness!

Let's take a breather from the usual spectacular Spider-Man newspaper strip installments, to sneak a peek at how the senses-shattering strip was put together! Click below to see rare scripts, pencil art, and final inked versions of a nifty 1977 adventure, as it's created by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.!

Above: Stan and John work on another SPIDER-MAN '78 strip!

BONUS! Click below to enlarge this boisterous blurb, focusing on how the Spidey strips got delivered to frantic fans (and riotous retailers) throughout New York City!

Both above clippings were torn from the power-packed pages of a 1977 FOOM magazine!