Monday, July 24, 2017

"Black Panther" movie poster


"Thor: Ragnarok" poster


Poster: Concept art for "Avengers: Infinity War"

Released at Comic-Con this week:


So long, "Fabulous" Flo Steinberg, Marvel Bullpen secretary

Marvelmaniacs of a certain age will remember reading about Flo Steinberg, who died at age 78 yesterday.

Steinberg was Stan Lee's secretary and a vital part of keeping Marvel up and running during its scrappy, go-for-broke days of the early 1960s, when Lee gambled on a new line of superheroes, created by himself, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, to save the company, leading to what we now know as the Marvel Universe.

Steinberg was regularly mentioned in letter columns and her voice appeared alongside those of Lee, Kirby and others on a 1960s Merry Marvel Marching Society Fan Club record. She also was included in a 1978 issue of What-If  illustrated by Jack Kirby, in which Lee, Kirby, Steinberg and Marvel production manager Sol Brodsky are transformed into a version of the Fantastic Four.

Here's a statement Marvel released today, regarding Steinberg's passing:

Marvel Comics salutes “Fabulous” Florence “Flo” Steinberg, one of the first two full-time employees of Marvel in the 1960s and an all-important figure in building the vast fan community the House of Ideas has enjoyed since its beginnings.
Born near Boston, Steinberg grew up with a mother and father who made sure she attended college, graduating from UMass Amherst in 1960. After some time with New England Telephone and Ted Kennedy’s first Senatorial campaign, she pulled up stakes and moved to New York City where she would quickly take her place in the history of Marvel Comics.
As Stan Lee’s secretary, Flo assumed the task of taking care of the ever increasing piles of fan mail and Marvel Merry Marching Society memberships. Although the company began to grow with some speed, she remained in charge of this for five years, crafting Marvel’s unique connection to its fans and—to hear freelancers tell it—creating a welcome atmosphere for all who came through the offices in person.
After five years, Fabulous Flo found herself ready to move on. While initially taking a brief detour to work in fossil fuels, Steinberg quickly re-entered the comics industry, working with Warren Publishing before coming back to New York City in 1975 to publish one of the cornerstones in the history of independent comics: Big Apple Comix.
Finally, in the 90s, Steinberg returned to where it all began—albeit at a different address. Gone were the days of the two-person office; Marvel had expanded exponentially in the years since she helped spark the revolution that made it one of the largest comic publishers in the United States. As a proofreader, “Fabulous Flo” remained with the company for the rest of her life, helping not only with what unfolded on the pages of Marvel Comics but, once again, brightening the days of those around her. She established a unique and profound connection with every member of the Marvel staff fortunate enough to encounter her, in particular the growing ranks of women working in the industry.
While the likes of Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and more may have been responsible for the unique sensibilities on display within the pages of the House of Ideas’ books, Steinberg helped solidify the community that those comics inspired in its readers. With San Diego Comic-Con unfolding at this moment, it takes little imagination to draw a straight line from her attitude and commitment in those early days to the vast network of comic book fans that gather at conventions and online to talk about their love of the characters and stories of Marvel Comics.

"Thor: Ragnarok" trailer

Trailer for 2017 Doctor Who Christmas Special

Vintage pics: The Dick Van Dyke Show








Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pics: A trip to the Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco

Some pics from a recent trip to San Francisco, where we visited the Walt Disney Family Museum, located in the Presidio in San Francisco.

This is an amazing stop for any Disney fan, hundreds of displays spread over multiple floors, full of items from the Disney, and Walt's personal archives. Together, they tell the remarkable story of his rise, creations and collaborations. Included are displays of Disney's many Oscars and other awards, scale models of Disneyland and even rideable train cars from the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, which traversed Walt's backyard in Los Angeles.

Here are some highlights:


Oscar for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves"






Model of Disney's home with backyard railroad

The Carolwood Pacific Railroad, featuring rideable train cars and steam engine.

Original model of Fantasyland Castle

Models of Disneyland



Animatronic Abe Lincoln

Mult-plane animation camera

Monday, July 17, 2017

Vintage Disneyland "Pirates of the Caribbean" postcard set

Via Heritage Auctions:


Video: New "Doctor Who" revealed


From the BBC:

The BBC today announced to the world that Jodie Whittaker will be the new Doctor Who.

The identity of the new Doctor was revealed exclusively on BBC One and on social media around the world after the Men’s Wimbledon Final on Sunday 16 July.

She will be the Thirteenth Time Lord and take over from Peter Capaldi, who leaves the global hit show at Christmas.

New head writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall, who takes over from Steven Moffat on the next series, made the decision to cast the first ever woman in the iconic role.

Jodie Whittaker says: “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”

Chris Chibnall, New Head Writer and Executive Producer, says : “After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.

"I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.”

Peter Capaldi says: “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”

Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of BBC Content, says: “Making history is what Doctor Who is all about and Chris Chibnall’s bold new take on the next Time Lord is exactly that. The nation is going to fall in love with Jodie Whittaker - and have lots of fun too!”

Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama, says : "Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor."

Matt Strevens, Executive Producer, says : "I'm so thrilled that Jodie Whittaker said yes to playing the Doctor. I've been a fan for years and always hoped to work with her. She is an actor of great emotional range and inhabits every role with complete passion and conviction. Just thinking about what she will bring to the Doctor makes me as excited as a kid at Christmas. It's going to be a lot of fun."

Thirteen need-to-know answers to questions about the new Doctor Who

1. What does it feel like to be the Thirteenth Doctor?
It’s very nerve-racking, as it’s been so secret!

2. Why did you want the role?
To be asked to play the ultimate character, to get to play pretend in the truest form: this is why I wanted to be an actor in the first place. To be able to play someone who is literally reinvented on screen, with all the freedoms that brings - what an unbelievable opportunity. And added to that, to be the first woman in that role.

3. Has it been hard to keep the secret?
Yes. Very hard! I’ve told a lot of lies! I’ve embroiled myself in a whole world of lies which is going to come back at me when this is announced!

4. Who was the first person you told when you got the role?
My husband. Because I was allowed to!

5. Did you have a codename and if so what was it?
In my home, and with my agent, it was The Clooney. Because to me and my husband, George is an iconic guy. And we thought, what’s a really famous iconic name? It was just fitting.

6. What does it feel like to be the first woman Doctor?
It feels completely overwhelming; as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible.

7. What do you want to tell the fans?
I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.

8. What are you most excited about?
I’m most excited about becoming part of a family I didn’t even know existed. I was born in 1982 - it’s been around longer than me, and it’s a family I couldn’t ever have dreamed I’d be part of.

9. How did Chris sell you the part?
We had a strange chat earlier this year where he tricked me into thinking we were talking about Broadchurch. And I started to quiz him about his new job in Wales, and asked him if I could be a baddie! And he quickly diverted the conversation to suggest I should consider auditioning to be the 13th Clooney.

It was the most incredible chat because I asked every question under the sun, and I said I’d take a few weeks to decide whether I was going to audition. He got a phone call within 24 hours. He would’ve got a phone call sooner, but my husband was away and there was a time difference!

10. Did he persuade you?
No. There was no persuasion needed. If you need to be persuaded to do this part, you’re not right for this part, and the part isn’t right for you. I also think, for anyone taking this on, you have to want to fight for it, which I certainly had to do. I know there will have been some phenomenal actors who threw their hats in the ring.

11. What are you going to wear?
I don’t know yet.

12. Is that your costume in the filmed sequence which introduced you as the new Doctor?
No.

13. Have any of the other Doctors given you advice?
Well they can’t because they haven’t known until now, but I’m certainly expecting a couple of calls - I’ve got a couple of mates in there. I’m mates with a companion [Arthur Darvill], I’m mates with a trio of Doctors. I know Matt Smith, Chris Eccleston and obviously David Tennant. Oh! And let’s throw in David Bradley! Four Doctors! So I’m hoping I get some calls of advice.

Jodie Whittaker Biography

Jodie Whittaker graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2005 with a gold medal in Acting. Since then she has worked continually in Film, Television and Theatre. Her TV credits include the critically acclaimed ITV drama Broadchurch (for which she was nominated for Best Actress for the RTS Television Awards), Emmy award-winning Black Mirror, Sky 1’s The Smoke, BBC’s Cranford, in which she starred opposite Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton, The Night Watch (BBC), The Accused (BBC), and Tess of the D'Urbervilles (BBC).

Jodie has recently finished shooting Journeyman, written and directed by Paddy Considine, as is the lead in the new BBC drama series Trust Me. Her other film credits include Venus, (which earned her nominations for Best Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards; Best British Newcomer at the Critics' Circle Awards and Best Actress In A Motion Picture at the Satellite Awards); Attack The Block, One Day, Black Sea, Good Vibrations, St.Trinian's, Get Santa and most recently Adult Life Skills, which she Executive Produced as well as starred in which received a number of BIFA nominations.

Jodie made her professional theatrical debut at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in The Storm. Other theatre credits include playing the title role in Antigone at the Royal National Theatre, Bash at the Trafalgar Studios, Awake And Sing and Enemies at the Almeida, both directed by the then Artistic Director Michael Attenborough.

Video: Jack Kirby and Stan Lee honored with Disney Legends awards