Wednesday, December 21, 2016

JL #45 "Toyman's WAR on Christmas" Afterwards

So....what did you think?

First off I want to thank my cyber friends Tim Wallace and Ashton Burge with giving me two great "variant" covers this time out. Thanks guys, they look great!!

As for my cover, a tip of the hat to Ramona Fradon and Bob Smith, who provided the source for me on Super Friends #24. I originally played with the idea of having a smiling Toyman on a videoscreen ala the Wonder Twins, but I kinda like how the caroling mannequins turned out.

In case you haven't read the story yet, let's continue this discussion WITH SPOILERS after the jump.

JL #45 "The Toyman's WAR on Christmas!"

The World's Greatest Super-Heroes battle 
the murderous, diabolical Toyman! 
Cover-A by Tim Wallace
Cover-B by Ashton Burge

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

MB #13: Batman Family #11

Batman Family #11 (May-June 1977)
cover: Jim Aparo
title: "Man-Bat Over Manhattan!"
writer: Bob Rozakis
penciller: Marshall Rogers
inker: Tex Blaisdell
colorist: Jerry Serpe
editor: Julius Schwartz 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

MB12: Robin Meets Man-Bat Power Record

Robin Meets Man-Bat (1976)
cover: Neal Adams & Dick Giordano (?)
writer: ? (reprint material written by Frank Robbins) 
penciller: Neal Adams
inker: Dick Giordano
record producer: Arthur Korb 

Monday, October 31, 2016

JL #42 "Universal Heroes!" COLORIZED version

last year's "Universal Heroes" JLA adventure, digitally colorized for modern audience enjoyment!

Last year I uploaded the "original" black and white version.
This year, I've "colorized" it. Let me know what you think!

And to help celebrate the occasion, cyber-buddy Ashton Burge provided this super-cool "variant cover" illustration. Thanks, pal! It's awesome!!

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

MB11: Detective Comics #459

Detective Comics #459 (May 1976)
cover: Ernie Chua (signed)
title: "Scream of the Gargoyle!"
writer: Martin Pasko
artist: Pablo Marcos
editors: Julius Schwartz & Bob Rozakis

Monday, September 26, 2016

Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch

Today marks the anniversary of the debuts of two iconic television series: Gilligan's Island made its debut on CBS-TV on this date in 1964, and then five years later to the day, The Brady Bunch made *its* debut on ABC-TV.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mission: Impossible at 50

Was 1966 the greatest season in TV history? It may seem that way, as we have already noted that Star Trek and The Monkees both made their debuts in September 1966. This week we look at one last classic from the Class of 1966: the iconic spy thriller, Mission: Impossible! 

Friday, September 16, 2016

BLB: The Lone Ranger & Tonto

Here is another in my ongoing series of reviews on the 1968 Big Little Book series. You can find others by clicking on "BLB" at the bottom of this post.

This time, to help celebrate the 67th anniversary of the debut of The Lone Ranger on TV (Sept 15, 1949) I want to talk about The Lone Ranger & Tonto in Outwits Crazy Cougar, written by George S. Elrick and published in 1968. It is number 13 in the 1968 Big Little Book series. It follows Bonanza and The Man From UNCLE, but is before Space Ghost, Daktari, and Aquaman.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Lone Ranger's 67th Anniversary on TV

Sixty-seven years ago today, on September 15, 1949, The Lone Ranger television series premiered. Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels became huge stars, and the series was televised for the next eight years. For the third season Moore was replaced by John Hart, but the fans did not like him as much, so Moore returned for the last two seasons. The show finally went off the air in 1957, and was re-run for decades afterwards.

Hi-Yo Silver, Away! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

MB10: Detective Comics #458

Detective Comics #458 (April 1976)
cover: Ernie Chua (signed)
title: "Peal of the Devil Bell!"
writer: Martin Pasko
penciller: Pablo Marcos
inker: Tex Blaisdell
editor: Julius Schwartz 

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Monkees at 50

Last week I asked you to try to remember something from 50 years ago that is still vibrant and
"fresh" today. Star Trek is the obvious answer, but today we celebrate another television series that made its debut 50 years ago. Yes, The Monkees made their debut on NBC-TV on September 12, 1966. The episode was "Royal Flush," with music "videos" of "This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day" and "Take a Giant Step."

And while Star Trek conquered TV, film, toys, and other aspects of pop culture, it never had a number one single or number one album. The Monkees were the first to blur TV, acting, and music in a way that still has repercussions today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Star Trek Turns 50!

I have a pop-culture question for you, and I don't want the title of this post to necessarily affect your answer in any way. Go ahead and name a TV show that is at least 50 years old that you think still has some cultural resonance today. For example, "I Love Lucy" is a good example of what I mean; is there anyone over the age of 12 who doesn't recognize the four leads from that show, and who laughs whenever the show comes on?

Similarly, is there anyone in the United States who would not be able to recognize the classic Starfleet uniform, the USS Enterprise, or maybe even Mr. Spock?

I don't think so.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Michael Jackson's 58th Birthday

Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958. If he was still alive, he would turn 58 years old today.

Of course, he died in 2009, a victim of either incompetent doctors or his own hypochondria or some mixture of both. I am not a student of his life by any means; all I know is that he left behind three children and an amazing body of work.

To romanticize his life, it's almost as if it was fated that he would "die young," as, really, he "lived young." He signed with Motown when he was ten years old. By the time he was 12 he had four Number One hits. By the time he was 24, he had the largest selling album of all time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

MB9: Man-Bat #2

Man-Bat #2 (March 1976)
cover: Jim Aparo (signed)
title: "Fugitive From Blind Justice!"
writer: Martin Pasko
penciller: Pablo Marcos
inker: Ricardo Villamonte
editor: Gerry Conway 

Monday, August 22, 2016

60 Years Ago: Elvis Crowned King of Rock & Roll

Sixty years ago this week, Elvis Presley began a historical string of 16 weeks at Number One, staying at the top of the US music charts longer than anyone ever had before. He had his third, fourth, and fifth Number One singles, all in a row.

By doing this he was unequivocally crowned The King of Rock And Roll.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

TV Guide: The Avengers (May 4, 1968)

Continuing the story from the past two weeks, when I found this issue of TV Guide for sale at an antique mall I knew I would love it. It was wrapped in plastic, but I knew that at the very least the cover story would be about one of the featured Mission: Impossible stars.

When I took it out of its plastic wrap, I was pleasantly surprised to find an article about rising star Vicki Lawrence, from The Carol Burnett Show. Then after I had read *that* article, I stumbled upon THIS headline:

Wait, what? The Avengers, too!?! Well...sort of.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

TV Guide: Carol Burnett Show (May 4,1968)

Continuing the story from last week, when I found this issue of TV Guide for sale at an antique mall, even though it was wrapped in plastic I just knew that I would love it for the promised Mission: Impossible article inside.

What I did not know was that besides the other three "featured" articles as listed on the cover, this issue also featured an un-heralded interview slash profile of rising new star Vicki Lawrence, from The Carol Burnett Show!

Major bonus points!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

TV Guide: Mission Impossible (May 4, 1968)

My wife loves to go antique shopping. I usually go with her, only because while she is looking for Fire King kitchenware, I am looking for forgotten (or heretofore unknown) popular culture treasures.

One of the great things I have happened upon are old issues of TV Guide. Besides the weekly TV show listings (which are a fun time-capsule in and of themselves), every issue features profiles or interviews with television celebrities.

My heart jumped into my throat when I saw the above issue. I think I bought it for three or four bucks? I don't remember, but it was certainly worth every penny!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday Comics: The Invaders

I have always read comic-books. I of course love new stuff, but like new TV, movies, or music you sometimes don't enjoy it as much as you would hope. However, with OLD stuff, you can relive the joy over and over again.

This time I want to talk about a little-known but much-loved series called The Invaders. It was published by Marvel during the mid-70s (1975 ~1979 to be precise). It starred Captain America and his young partner Bucky, the Golden Age Human Torch and his young partner Toro, and the Sub-Mariner. Although it was published in the Seventies, it was actually set during the early days of World War 2...early 1942, I believe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Happy Birthday, Dame Diana Rigg!

To help celebrate the birthday of Mrs. Emma Peel, I thought I would scan cards in the Strictly Ink Avengers Series One collectible card set that feature Diana Rigg. I figured many people hadn't seen these before....

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

MB8: Man-Bat #1

Man-Bat #1 (January 1976)
cover: Jim Aparo (Ernie Chua?)
title: "Beware The Eyes of Baron Tyme!"
writer: Gerry Conway
penciller: Steve Ditko
inker: Al Milgrom
editor: Gerry Conway 

Friday, July 8, 2016

BLB: Tarzan The Mark of the Red Hyena

This time, I want to talk about Tarzan in The Mark of the Red Hyena, written by George S. Elrick and published in 1967. It is number 5 in the 1967 Big Little Book series. It follows Flipper and Lassie, but comes before Tom & Jerry and Popeye. Heady company, I know.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Happy Birthday, Burt Ward!

Believe it or not, today marks Burt Ward's 71st birthday!

When I was a kid, Robin the Boy Wonder and Batgirl were my two favorite TV super-heroes (sorry, Batman!). I've loved them ever since I first saw Burt Ward and the late, great Yvonne Craig bring them to life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MB: 1975 House Ad

This house advertisement was in every DC comic I bought in the fall of 1975. I had just read Man-Bat's origin, reprinted in Batman Family #1. Then I saw this ad and I thought, WOW! Man-Bat is coming on strong!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

MB7: Bring Back Killer Krag

The Brave & The Bold #119 (June 1975)
cover: Jim Aparo
title: "Bring Back Killer Krag"
writer: Bob Haney
artist & letterer: Jim Aparo
editor: Murray Boltinoff 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

JL #43 "Luck Of The Draw!" Afterward

So, what did you think?

JL #43 "Luck Of The Draw!"

Special Guest Zatanna joins the JLA to battle The Royal Flush Gang!!

Variant Cover (1) by the great Bill Walko---! 

Variant Cover (2) by my buddy Tim Wallace!! 
I love 'em both!! 

To Read the Story.....Read More Below! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

JL #43 "Luck Of The Draw!" Forward

This issue was a long time in coming. I took a little longer to write it, and a little longer to draw it, than I had originally anticipated. Plus it started later than it was scheduled to because the previous issue ran late.

But here it is, with a fantastic commissioned cover by the great Bill Walko! I went to his site and asked him about the possibility of him doing a Zatanna & RFG illustration. I told him my original idea was of Z standing on stage with a type of "Pick a card" pose, with all of the cards being of the RFG. He came back with an initial version of the final piece. I couldn't be happier. By all means, if you want something with a "fun" feeling, check out his page and ask him to do something for you!

Meanwhile, I had discussed the story with my cyber pal Tim Wallace. He, too, loves Zatanna. So I asked him to draw something for me, if he was interested. Last week, as I was finishing the last pages of the colors, he sent me this.

I love it! So now I have two variant covers to go with my homage to Mike Sekowsky & Murphy Anderson's original cover to JLA #43. I really do love what I'm doing! Hope you enjoy it, too!

The story will go live tomorrow! See you then!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

MB6: King of the Gotham Jungle!

Batman #254 (February 1974)
cover: Nick Cardy
title: "King of the Gotham Jungle!"
writer: Frank Robbins
penciller: Irv Novick
inker: Dick Giordano
editor: Julius Schwartz 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Daredevil by Mark Waid Vol. 1

Here Comes....DAREDEVIL
writer: Mark Waid
Paolo Rivera & Joe Rivera (1-3)
and Marcos Martin (4-6)
editor: Stephen Wacker

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

MB5: Man-Bat Over Vegas!

Detective Comics #429 (Nov 1972)
cover: Nick Cardy
title: "Man-Bat Over Vegas!"
writer & artist: Frank Robbins
editor: Julius Schwartz 

Friday, March 4, 2016

BLB: The Man From UNCLE

This time, I want to talk about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in The Calcutta Affair, written by George S. Elrick and published in 1967. It is number 11 in the 1967 Big Little Book series. This is clever, as all UNCLE fans know that secret agent Napoleon Solo wore UNCLE badge number 11.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

MB4: Man-Bat Madness!

Detective Comics #416 (Oct 1971)
cover: Neal Adams (?)
title: "Man-Bat Madness!"
writer & artist: Frank Robbins
editor: Julius Schwartz 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

JL #42 "Universal Heroes!" Afterward

So that was fun, wasn't it? Believe it or not, this story has been in the pipeline for nearly two years! I think I seriously started working on it in early 2014 to have it finished for Halloween 2014, then Halloween 2015, and now Valentines' Day 2016!

Monday, January 25, 2016

JL #42 "Universal Heroes" Forward (1)

Well here we are, fellow ghoulies, about to get to the long-awaited but long-delayed "Universal Heroes" issue of my Justice League!
But before we get to it, let's talk about the story-behind-the-story.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

MB3: Marriage: Impossible!

Detective Comics #407 (January, 1971)
cover: Neal Adams (unsigned)
title: "Marriage: Impossible!"
writer: Frank Robbins
penciller: Neal Adams
inker: Dick Giordano
editor: Julius Schwartz