Sunday, September 27, 2015

Banned Books Week 2015

The last week of September is celebrated as Banned Books Week across these United States. The American Library Association and the Office of Intellectual Freedom report on those books in the past year that have been challenged most often in public libraries or public schools. "Challenges" include everything from a parent calling or writing that they find a book objectionable to full-blown movements to get something pulled from the shelves. (The specific terms the ALA uses is requests for books to be "restricted" or "removed.") So it's kind of a cheat to say that these are "banned books," as nothing has actually ever successfully been banned in this country on more than a superficial (i.e. local) level.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Two Super Birthdays Today!

September 25 is the birthday of two iconic Seventies heroes: Luke Skywalker and Superman himself!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Man From UNCLE 51st Birthday

On September 22, 1964 an unknown spy organization made its unheralded debut on network television. The Man From UNCLE was green-lighted as a series after NBC executives saw the pilot film and thought that they could ride the coat-tails of the then-uber popular James Bond spy trend.

Little did they know that The Man From UNCLE would not only ride those coat-tails, they would expand on them. The series ended up lasting four years, spawning a spin-off series, and creating a merchandise bonanza with toys, books, and games that lasted for years.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

RIP Jim Croce

On September 20, 1973 Jim Croce died when his private airplane took off badly and crashed into trees outside Natchitoches, Louisiana. He had recently hit it big nationally, with a Number One hit in July called "Bad Bad Leroy Brown." He was only 30 years old.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Debut of WKRP!

On September 18, 1978 the situation comedy WKRP in Cincinnati made its debut on CBS-TV. The show was centered around the least-listened to AM radio station in Southern Ohio. It featured Gary Sandy and Gordon Jump, two non "leading men" type character actors, as Andy Travis, the new program director, and Arthur Carlson, the owner and general manager of the station.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lost in Space at 50

Fifty years ago today, on September 15, 1965, the TV series Lost in Space made its debut with their first episode, "The Reluctant Stowaway." Although as a series it was never as good as Star Trek, the first five episodes of this series taken together ranks as one of the greatest science-fiction dramas in TV history.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Beatles' HELP! at 50


Fifty years ago this month one of the all-time classic Beatles' songs, "Help!" hit Number One on the US Billboard chart. The song was from the movie of the same name, directed by Richard Lester, who has also directed the Beatles' first film, A Hard Days' Night  (1964).

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

MB1: The Challenge of the Man-Bat!

Detective Comics #400 (June 1970)
cover: Neal Adams (unsigned)
title: "Challenge of the Man-Bat!"
writer: Frank Robbins
penciller: Neal Adams
inker: Dick Giordano
editor: Julius Schwartz 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8 in TV History

 September 8th is one of those seminal dates in TV history. Like the date that I Love Lucy made its debut (October 16, 1951) , or the date when David Janssen found his wife's murderer on The Fugitive (Aug 29, 1967). In fact, today is an important date for two separate groups of nerds.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Happy Birthday, Walt Simonson!

Walt with his lovely wife, Louise
Today is the 69th birthday of artist and writer extraordinaire, Walt Simonson!