Sunday, September 29, 2013

Super Sunday SPIDER-MAN 70s Strips! "A Spider Can Sting!" 1979 Marvel Magnificence!

Last time, we watched in stupefying horror, as Spider-Man, lured by a hefty pay-day, found himself trapped by the Kingpin's malevolent minions! Now, the savvy superhero plots his escape, proving that even a defeated do-gooder can't be held down for long! But, can he escape in time to also lower the boom on the sinister Spencer? What happens when the Kingpin closes in? And--what do you feed a caged Spider-Man?! More mile-high madness from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge, then swing over to here for the next full-color star-studded installment, webbed ones!

Another big shout-out to "BookSteve" for making these
pandemonium-packed posts possible!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Take a BREAK With the Monkees! Rare 1996 Reunion Article and Pics!

When the reunited Monkees (Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones) hit Charlotte, North Carolina on a concert tour stop in 1996, the local free newspaper, BREAK, was there to deliver the inside story of the band to the uninitiated! Tho mostly consisting of cribbed info from the three books (one by Davy himself) on the group that were available then, this long-form article still delivers the abridged story to the local masses, also priming the pump for the Monkees' shows in the area! During this time, the band also made a "meet-and-greet" appearance at the now-defunct Media Play store, and Micky also held a gallery showing of his artwork while in NC! Click each image below to enlarge and read!

Notice how the above heavily-Photoshopped cover indulges in more than a little
sensationalism, in order to grab the eyes of passers-by and potential readers!

You can read the entire 1967 SATURDAY EVENING
POST article (as quoted above) right here!

The above pic, tho a reunion photo, comes from
the 1986 tour, not the 1996 concerts.

BONUS! Click below to enlarge these two clippings from NC area papers, detailing Micky's art gallery showing while in Charlotte!

BONUS BONUS! Click below to see me, posing with Micky Dolenz, during his 1996 gallery art display event in Charlotte, North Carolina!

BONUS BONUS BONUS! Click below to see rare video coverage of the Monkees' 1996 NC visit! Their concert! Store signings! Micky's art show!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Marvel Comics Has PIZZAZZ! Rare Superhero Art and Artifacts! Spider-Man! Hulk!

In 1977, Marvel Comics (eyeing popular DYNAMITE magazine) launched its own successful teen-aimed pop culture mag called PIZZAZZ! To their credit, the comics firm hired reviewers, writers, and artists from outside their superhero-drenched domain, to create a fun and lively magazine that lasted over two years! In order to get a leg up on the competition, madcap Marvel made use of what was unique to them, so PIZZAZZ was liberally sprinkled with appearances from Spider-Man, Hulk, Captain America, and the rest of their cavorting colorful characters! It made for an odd mash-up that didn't really quite work, as hardcore superhero fans did not want to read a mag that also gave tons of space to John Travolta and hair-care tips! So, many now-rare comics oddities went under the radar, such as the ones you can see below! Click each to enlarge! See more PIZZAZZ surprises here!

Above, left: Dave Hunt art on this very nice "hidden pictures"
illo, and wonderful Marie Severin art (above, right)!

Above and below: Marie Severin strikes again!

Above and below: Fantastic Dave Cockrum artwork!

Above: Art by Al Milgrom, from the 1978 SPIDER-MAN CALENDAR! The remaining
insert art is by Steve Ditko, from the very first Spidey appearance, in 1962's

BONUS! So much weight was put behind the launch of PIZZAZZ, it actually had its own tremendous TV ad! Click here to view!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cesar Romero as--The Joker! "1966 BATMAN" Fan-Made Model Kit! POW!

ZAP! It's Cesar Romero as the JOKER! Here's the 1966 version of this classic Batman foe, as seen on the fantastic and far-famed TV series! This fan-made resin "garage kit" was painted up in acrylics and enamels! Click images below to enlarge!

Note the manic pose and attitude! The talented sculptor (Johnny Stacks) really
captured Romero's facial features well, even his "painted over" mustache!

Most of the pants stripes were applied with markers, and a light gloss 
was applied over the shoes, hair, parts of the face, eyes, teeth and lips.

Note that the suit actually has very few colors: two tones of magenta, with 
green and black! The facial details also involved some marker, colored 
pencils, and dry washes.

Want to see other rare fan-produced Bat-kits? Just click here!

Above: The unassembled and unpainted kit, ready to go!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stupendous Sunday 70s SPIDER-MAN Strips! To Cage a Spider! 1979 Marvel Mayhem!

Last time, we watched in stunned awe, as a group of gruesome gangsters made their putrid plans to entrap Spider-Man, at the disco where Peter Parker worked as a dazzling DJ! Now, the warped web tightens as Peter is drawn back into his once-discarded Spidey identity, due to the lure of some easy money! But, will he catch on to these devious doings in time to save his skin? Have his new nemeses succeeded in Spidey's final downfall? And, how does that corpulent crimelord, the Kingpin, figure into all this? More mile-high Marvel madness, from writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge, then wall-crawl over here for the next full-color Sunday strip installment!

Another realistic touch given the SPIDER-MAN strip was Peter's motivation for
money and success, as opposed to the usual (and one-dimensional) trend of a
hero acquiring powers, then immediately launching himself into a selfless
career of crime-fighting. In fact, Peter's first idea, upon gaining his new
spider-powers, was to become a wealthy  TV star!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

MORE John Romita Sr. Marvel Art Rarities! Spider-Man! Hulk!

You can never get enough of the masterful artwork of John Romita, Sr., so look below to click and enlarge these sensational 70s artifacts! Away we go!

Above, left: An unused 1972 pencil sketch design by Romita, for
the cover of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #120 (above, right)! Thanks to
the gang at BACK ISSUE magazine for this one!

Above, left: JRSR's finished inked original art for the cover of
the 1978 Marvel SPIDER-MAN CALENDAR (above, right)!

Above: Convention sketches for lucky fans!

Above: A possibly unused sketch for the cover of an overseas
volume, reprinting the SPIDER-MAN newspaper strip!

Above: A more recent Romita image, possibly done in conjunction
with the short-lived MARVELMANIA restaurant chain!

Above: John Romita, Sr., hard at work in the famed Marvel Bullpen
in 1975! How many comics in the background do you own?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spider-Man on THE ELECTRIC COMPANY! The Full Story! 1974 Marvel Madness!

Anybody who was a comics fan in the 70s remembers patiently waiting for the day when Spider-Man finally showed up on PBS' long-running show, THE ELECTRIC COMPANY! Marvel Comics had announced the Web-Spinner's live-action debut months in advance, even giving Spidey his own kid-aimed comic tie-in title, but it seemed to take forever for ol' Web-Head to finally appear! Once he did, fans would never forget the fun and educational spots that gave us a rare glimpse of what a "real life" Spider-Man would look like, over three years before he'd headline his own 1977 CBS TV film! Click below to get educated (thanks to FILMFAX magazine) on Spidey's addition to this loved CTW show, as told by those who were there!

To me (and probably other folks my age) Morgan Freeman will always be "Easy
Reader," and one of the most valuable players on THE ELECTRIC COMPANY!

Tho SPIDEY SUPER STORIES was aimed at the very youngest kids, fans (including me) eagerly
snagged the mag for the pitch-perfect John Romita-drawn covers that adorned early issues!

Wanna see one of the Jack KIrby-created SPIDEY covers mentioned above? Just click here!

BONUS! Click below to enlarge this senses-shattering pic of Spidey's co-creator, Stan Lee, camping it up with Spider-Man (Danny Seagren) on the set of THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, circa 1975!

Even with the new SPIDER-MAN movies, has anyone ever
really improved on that costume? It looks great!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

See and Hear BATMAN & RUBIN (The Jewish Wonder)!? 1966 DC Comics Oddity!

1966 was, of course, the year of Batman. With the ABC-TV series attracting eyes and ears, and the sales of all Bat-things skyrocketing (from comics to toys to costumes, to...), should we be surprised that some enterprising entrepreneur produced this little oddity? That's right. BATMAN & RUBIN was the brainchild of Batman's co-creator, Bob Kane, teamed with long-time comedy team (Marty) Allen and (Steve) Rossi! Replete with Jewish in-jokes direct from the Catskills, this fun LP frolics along with the (not-so) Dynamic Duo, but with a nod toward bagels, chicken noodle soup, and blintzes! An oddball recording that capitalized on the Batmania sweeping the planet, something Steve Rossi called "not funny at all!" Click below to hear a few chapters, Bat-fan, and decide for yourself!

Most fans can recall Marty Allen appearing in a ton of
70s TV commercials, guest stints, and game shows!

Steve Rossi states that this truly was Bob Kane's idea (and his writing), something 
shaded in doubt, since much of Kane's artistic comics output has been credited
to "ghost" artists and other talents!

Above: The comedy duo, unmasked! The
team is seen here in a 70s publicity still!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spider-Man vs. The Green Goblin! Again?! 1975 Albert Bigley Art! Marvel Comics?!

What was it about me and the Green Goblin? Sure, he was once considered Spider-Man's main super-foe, and was quite ubiquitous in the 70s, but...Anyway, here he is again, being bedeviled by a window-smashing Spidey, in a 1975 illo by a 10-year-old me! I obviously based this darling drawing on the cover of SPIDER-MAN #137! Click below to enlarge this Bronze Age beauty, and click here for more graphic Goblin greatness!

Looks as if I intended to color the Goblin's vest a deeper shade of
purple, by combining blue and red colored pencils! Never got around
to it, or coloring Spidey, either!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sensational Sunday SPIDER-MAN 70s Strips! "Dyn-A-Mite!" MarvelMania!

Last time, we gasped as unctuous underworld thugs moved in on Peter Parker and his new disco DJ job! Now, the same repugnant reprobates want to send Pete a muscle-backed message he won't soon forget! But--ol' PP has sworn off his swingin' Spider-Man identity, so what's he to do? Can he rid himself and his pals of this terrible threat? Can he do so, without revealing his eerie spider-powers? More rare 1979 daily Spidey newspaper strips, from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge! Click here for the next full-color incredible installment!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

More Foreign Marvel Madness! CAPTAIN AMERICA Painted Covers!

Back again with another heaping armload of little-seen foreign Marvel covers! This time, I focus on our own CAPTAIN AMERICA (ironic, eh?) as seen overseas! Once more, the talented Spanish artists have re-imagined many of the best-known 70s Bronze Age cover scenes, to create a totally new and fresh take on these characters and situations! Click each below to enlarge! Click here to see more!

BONUS! Click below to see some of the original USA covers (by Jim Steranko, Marie Severin, and Jack Kirby) upon which the above masterpieces were based!