Friday, October 31, 2014

BATMAN #196! The Original 1967 Cover Art! Carmine Infantino! DC Comics!

Back again with yet another comic art rarity! Dig this original cover art for the front of BATMAN #196, from 1967! The great Carmine Infantino (with an able assist from inker Murphy Anderson) steps in again to depict the Dynamic Duo in deadly danger, as no other artist every could! Dig that drama, sense of motion, focus, and forced perspective! Click below to enlarge and enjoy!

For those who think that only today's overworked computer coloring
can do justice to line art, note what the talented colorists did with (and
added to) this gem, back in the mid-60s!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

More Monkees Madness! Pics from the 60s! Solo in the 80s! Fun in the 90s! See AND Hear!

Back again with more super-rare clippings, pics, and oddball items (from the 60s to the 90s), all relating to the madcap Monkees! Click each below to enlarge!

Above: A 1967 out-take pic from the HEADQUARTERS LP cover photo session!

Above: A trade magazine ad for the famed MPC Monkeemobile model kit!

Above two images: The Monkees in 1966, in formal and fancy publicity pics!

Above: A fun 1980 Davy Jones article, from
the pages of a TIGER BEAT 15th
anniversary special!

Above: From Michael's now-defunct Pacific Arts multi-media firm, here
are two 1979/1980 bios and videographies, direct from the company!

Above three images: Direct from Claude's Music Works, here is a 1981
TORK TALK newsletter, keeping fans up-to-date on Peter's solo doings
at the time! I got this (and his 45 single mentioned above) in early
1983! Ah, those pre-internet days…

Above: Yep! The dreaded NEW MONKEES finally get a mention on
this blog! I wrote (as did many fans) a protest later to the producers of
this ill-fated venture, only to receive this letter from Steve Blauner (also
one of the participants of the original 60s MONKEES enterprise)!

Above: A nice review of the 1992 Michael Nesmith tour!
I caught his fabulous Atlanta show that year!

Above: A 1995 ad for Cornerstone's MONKEES trading card set!

BONUS! Click below to hear an awesome excerpt from the rare UK radio special, "40 Years of The Monkees!" Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, director James Frawley, and many others discuss the height of Monkeemania!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Superb Sunday SPIDER-MAN 70s Strips! Here Comes--The Hematologist?! Marvel Comics!

Last time, we watched with rapt attention, as a suspicious Spidey agreed to appear on a popular TV news show, in order to refute oddball alien accusations (and to pocket some much-needed cash, natch)! Now, as the TV taping time looms, Spidey zoom in, unaware it's all a trap set by the cunning Kraven! Will he realize the danger in time? How will a watching public react? More rare 1979 daily SPIDER-MAN newspaper strips from the hands of Stan Lee (writer) and John Romita, Sr. (artist!) Click below to enlarge, then wall-crawl over to here for the next enthralling installment!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sensational (1976) Superhero Shirt! Neal Adams' Batman and Robin! DC Comics!

Here's another terrific tee, but with a twist! This one is from 1976, one I rocked as a superhero-obsessed 6th-grader! The folks at Sears used to offer a new batch of tees every year (who else recalls poring over each new catalog?), and for the sizzling summer of '76, they offered a colossal crop of DC Comics characters on these gorgeous garments, most illustrated by the "golden boy" of comics of the day, Neal Adams! Click below to enlarge images of the actual Neal-drawn Batman and Robin tee, and much more!

Above: Me, in 1976, rocking the Sears-offered BATMAN tee! Yes, that's
a then-ubiquitous Stretch Armstrong toy I'm receiving for Christmas!

Above: Having a bit of Photoshop fun with the "then and now" me! 

Above: Me in 2011, rocking the same titanic t-shirt! Still fits! "Must…not…exhale….!"

BONUS! Look below to see the original appearance of the above image, from the 1976 "Super DC Calendar!" Art by Neal Adams!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BATMAN in New York?! Oddities From the Early Years! Joker! DC Comics!

Yep! Here's another pulpy page torn from a 70s "Super Spectacular" DC comic! This one is from an oversized BATMAN edition, and features some oddball oddities and facts from the Caped Crusader's earliest days! Read about early costumes! Locations! And--hair color?! Click below to enlarge!

Above: Of course, the "blue/black hair" was meant to represent fully
black hair, in those days when comics had much more simple coloring...

Monday, October 20, 2014

1973 CAPTAIN AMERICA Original Comic Art! Falcon! Phoenix! Sal Buscema! Marvel!

Back again with yet another goodie from my own overstuffed original art collection! This time, it's a famous page from the classic CAPTAIN AMERICA #168, from 1973! Illustrated by Sal Buscema and George Roussos, this page featured not only an imperiled Cap, but also his swingin' 70s partner, the fabulous Falcon! They've paired to take on the Phoenix, a forgettable (but very well-designed) super-foe who just happened to be the son of Baron Zemo! This indelible issue is also remembered as the one picked to receive the "book and record" treatment from Power Records in 1974! Click images below to enlarge!

Above, left: The original 1973 art from this memorable issue, and (right), the printed version!

Above: The awesome art, as displayed in my home!

BONUS! Click below to gape at the captivating cover that housed the above artwork!

Above: The 1973 cover by Sal Buscema and John Verpoorten! How impressed
was an 8-year-old me with this cover image? Just click here to find out!

BONUS BONUS! Click below to see me (dressed as "cowboy Cap") at the 2016 Heroes Con comic convention! A generous dealer lets me hold the cover to the above fabulous CAP issue! 

BONUS BONUS BONUS! Click below to hear an excerpt from the 1974 Power Records version of this issue, dramatizing the events depicted on the very pulse-poundin' page seen above! Read as you listen!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Superlative Sunday SPIDER-MAN 70s Strips! Count the Cameos! Marvel Madness!

Last time, we peered in on a perplexed Peter Parker, as he watched the world go crazy with Spider-Man speculation fever! The reason? The evil Kraven (along with ever-joyful Jonah Jameson) has started a public "smear campaign," stating the wonderful Web-Walker is really an eerie alien from beyond the stars! Now, major media has inflamed the topic (don't they always?), causing this silly situation to blow up! But, it's serious business for Spidey, since Kraven is a very real and serious threat! Can Spidey find a way out of this sickening situation, and defeat Kraven? More magnificent Marvel majesty, from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge!

Above: All those cameo appearances! How many late-70s celebrities can you name?
Think this is the only time Walter Cronkite has appeared in a Marvel strip? Click here!
Think this is the only comics appearance of Muhammad Ali? Click here!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sensational Superhero Shirt! Classic 50s BATMAN Logo! DC Comics!

Back again with another brand-spanking-new comics shirt! This time it's a terrific tee that sports a modified version of the fabulous 50s BATMAN logo! This is a unique logo you just don't see much these days, so I was happy to snag this gargantuan garment! Click here to see more awesome apparel, and click images below to enlarge!

Above: Me, rocking the newest Bat-festooned shirt!

Above: From the splash page of 1959's BATMAN #121,
we see the original un-modified logo in use! The
debuting "Mr. Zero" would later be re-named
"Mr. Freeze!"

Friday, October 17, 2014

Spidey! Hulk! Captain America! More Late-70s TV Ads! Marvel Comics!

Sure, it's now easy to critically dismiss the late-70s live-action Marvel Comics TV onslaught, but, for the time, these movies and series represented an exciting period where Marvel Comics were becoming more widely-known, more exciting, and were simply bursting out all over the place! Much of this excitement stemmed from the fact that these unconventional and colorful characters were only (roughly) a mere fifteen years old, unlike staid and "old" DC Comics superheroes! It was a real treat to see (for the first time, in many cases) live adaptations of these powerful super-doers, even tho some (I'm looking at you, CAPTAIN AMERICA) missed the mark by a mile….Click below to enlarge these rare TV GUIDE ads! A big thanks to rambunctious Ron Roberts for contributing these colossal comics-centric clippings!

Above: The one that started it all! An ad for the September, 1977 (yes, I
can recall all these dates from memory, sadly) SPIDER-MAN 90-minute CBS-TV
special, with Nick Hammond!

Above: The early 1978 ad that heralded the SPIDER-MAN
feature returning as a semi-regular series on CBS!

Above: It seemed to lurch out of left field (no internet
then, kids), but, in November of '77, the INCREDIBLE HULK
movie aired! Who knew this was the winner of the Marvel live-action
offerings, due to its adult approach, quality acting, and
high production values?

Above: So big a hit was the HULK movie, another followed, then
the concept was rushed into a series! Above is the early 1978 TV GUIDE
ad for the launch of this well-regarded show!

Above two images: The series scrambled to find its tone and
direction  in that first season, but some interesting moments
occurred, such as Banner and the Hulk facing off against
a (not-so-convincing) gorilla, as seen in these early 1978 ads!

Above: Here's where the series hit its height. This ad
is for the September, 1978 second season premiere, entitled
 "Married." An incredible (heh) episode all around, and
Mariette Hartley received an Emmy for her performance!
If you only see one HULK episode in your life, this has to be it!

Above: They can't all be winners! Above is the early 1979 ad for
the tepid CAPTAIN AMERICA TV movie, starring Reb Brown! It came off
as an odd cross of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN and Evel Knievel!

Above: One of the last entries into the live-action group, this
 late 1979 TV movie (entitled "Death Too Soon") improved the Cap
situation a bit, since, by this time, Marvel was demanding the characters
hew closer to what was seen in the comics. They were also asking producers
for higher licensing fees, and, combined with CBS having jitters over
becoming known as the "superhero network," that spelled the end of
this short-lived flirtation with funny book features. The high-rated HULK
series would still run for three more years, but no new Marvel
characters would be translated to the small screen for quite a while...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Batman and Robin? No! FATMAN AND BOBBIN! 1967 Parody Spoof Strip! DC Comics?!

Dig this rare "treasure" from the inner pages of a 1967 ADAM magazine! This was produced, of course, during the height of "Batmania," a craze resulting from the popularity of the ABC-TV series, when tons of Bat-happy merchandizers tried to grab a piece of the brass Bat-ring! That included magazine peddlers, event those churning out "stag mags!" Click below to enlarge this silly and fun Batman parody, one that also touches on other timely topics of the day, such as war, the battle of the sexes, and foreign relations…

Above: It's obvious the creators of the above strip were influenced
by the famous 50s MAD magazine parody, "Batboy and Rubin!"

Above: The carnal cover that housed the above Bat-feature!

BAT-BONUS! Click here to see yet another version of FATMAN!

Monday, October 13, 2014

1975 Marvel ComiCon Poster! The Original John Buscema Art! Iron Man! Thor! Spidey!

Let's take yet another look at one of the most famous and sought-after posters of the beautiful Bronze Age of comics! Sure, I've covered this 1975 Marvel Con poster before, displaying the gorgeous John Buscema pencils (see them here) for this indelible image, but now we get to lovingly gaze upon the slick inked art! Just click below to enlarge this amazing illo, featuring all of Marvel's top-flight characters, as brought to us by big John Buscema and ever-joltin' Joe Sinnott!

Above, left: The original inked art for this powerful poster, by Buscema
and Sinnott, and, right, the finished colored artwork….Big thanks to
Asad Khan for sharing this amazing image!

BONUS! Click below to enlarge the actual 1975 poster!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Spectacular Sunday SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strips! The Thousand-Dollar Deal! Marvel Mayhem!

Last time, we saw the cantankerous Kraven set his trap to snare a stressed Spider-Man! How? The non-jocular jungle man has publicly accused Spidey of being an alien from another world! Now, our worried Web-Walker must go on TV to prove he's as human as anyone else (well, almost), and try to calm a panicked city's knotted nerves! But, will Spidey tumble to the fact that even the televised interview is only a trap set by Kraven and Jameson? Can he escape said trap? And--why didn't Spidey create a network "bidding war" for his much sought-after interview? More rare 1979 daily strips from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge!

Above: Of course, this being 1979, the "brother Billy" Spidey is referring to is
then-President Jimmy Carter's brother, Billy Carter! Also, the "most powerful man
in TV" is none other than TV executive Fred Silverman, who, by 1979,
had enjoyed consecutive successful runs as head honcho at all three
television networks! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

BATMAN! More 70s "Comedy Cover Capers!" Batgirl! Catwoman! DC Comics!

Back again with another maniacal mid-70s "Comedy Cover Capers" feature! This time, we zero in on Batman's own peculiar past, with a quartet of covers that have been re-captioned by the book's then-editor (Bob Rozakis?)! Click below to enlarge these side-splitting re-purposed covers, direct from an oversized 1975 "Super Spectacular" comic!

When this feature appeared in the mid-70s "Super Spec" comics, I was
overjoyed, since, in those pre-comics shop days, this was one of the only
ways to see past, off-sale comic books! Oh, how I pined over these
covers, wondering if I'd ever obtain these Silver Age classics! They've
been in my collection now for decades.

BAT-BONUS! Click below to glom the original, untouched covers! 

Above: Fantastic cover art by Shelly Moldoff, Carmine Infantino, and Irv Novick!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gil Kane! Rare 1970 SPIDER-MAN Original Comic Art! Doc Ock! Marvel Madness!

Back again with even more Marvel Comics rarities! Glance below to see some fantastic 1970 Gil Kane layouts, pencilled in preparation for the finished art to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #89! Dig that awe-inspiring sense of action, movement, weight, and drama, as only Gil could bring it to this classic confrontation between Spidey and Dr. Octopus! Click images below to enlarge!

Above two images: Gil Kane's rough pencilled layouts for two interior pages from
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #89! Thanks to Ronn Sutton for his kind lending of this rare art! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

CAPTAIN AMERICA! 1975 Original Comic Art! Frank Robbins Strikes! Falcon! Marvel!

Here's another piece of indelible art from my own collection! Below is a pulse-pounding page (pencilled by fearless Frank Robbins), as seen within the memorable CAPTAIN AMERICA #190, from the sizzling summer of '75! Robbins was a controversial artist then, in those days when the comics characters had an established "look" (as opposed to today, where anything goes), so many fans were less than thrilled over his wild lay-outs, dizzying sense of motion, and rubbery, dynamic figures! Like him or no, he's not helped here by the anemic inks by Vince Colletta (did somebody say "controversial?") on this page, but…Just click below to enlarge!

Above, left: The original '75 artwork from CAP #190, by Frank Robbins
and Vince Colletta, and how it appeared (right) in the actual comic!

Above: The artwork, as displayed in my own home!
You can view that 1979 ANT-MAN cover here!

BONUS! Click below to enlarge the captivating cover that housed the above awesome art!

Above, left: The cover art to 1975's CAPTAIN AMERICA #190, by Gil Kane
and Joe Sinnott! Also, note the many uses of this amazing art, appearing

on a 70s  "Slurpee" cup and a drinking glass, both from the 7-11 folks!