Friday, April 10, 2009

Pop links: Zappa! Neko Case! Beatle vision! Frank Springer! More!

Hear a story about the new Frank Zappa collection Lumpy Money on NPR.

It combines music — released and unreleased — that Frank Zappa recorded in 1967. One session produced the Mothers of Invention album We're Only in It for the Money, the group's third release. The other was a surprise.

Zappa was a 26-year-old, self-taught composer with long hair and a funny goatee when he walked into a Capitol Records studio in Los Angeles and handed an orchestra charts for Lumpy Gravy.

"At one point, he turned to me when we were listening, just to playback," Gail Zappa says, "and he said, 'Did I write that?' It was so shocking."

It's almost as if Frank Zappa was writing avant-garde classical music in Top 40 segments, says Rolling Stone's David Fricke, who wrote the liner notes for the new set.

"It just blew my mind," he says.

This has always been my favorite period of Zappa's work.


Also on NPR: A live performance by alt-country/pop singer Neko Case. She's great.


Via On My Mind: This is a really nifty-looking Beatles art book/CD holder compiled by the great Bruce Spizer (who's penned a series of great tomes looking at the Fabs' vinyl releases). But will we really need it for storing our CDs once we plunk down big cash for the upcoming Beatles stereo and mono boxsets featuring remastered sound? (And when I say "we" here, I mean "me").


From Plaid Stallions, the summer 1979 Ideal Toys catalog.


Golden Age Comic Book Stories shares a few Atlas Western tales with art by Reed Crandall, Jack Davis, Bob Powell and others.


Fred Hembeck pays tribute to late comics artist Frank Springer.

More on the Dollhouse debacle

Entertainment Weekly has more details about the "Dollhouse" episode Fox has elected not to air this season.

Fox bought and paid for 13 hours of Dollhouse (from sister company 20th Century Fox), one of which turned out to be the scrapped pilot that Whedon wound up reshooting. Which means Day's episode, "Epitaph One," is the 14th -- which the network didn't buy. And isn't going to buy. "We currently do not have plans to air 'Epitaph One,'" says a Fox source, who added that this decision does not reflect the network's feelings about the show or whether Dollhouse will be renewed. An official announcement about Dollhouse's possible return for next season will be made at the network's upfronts in May.

Confusing. So, even though this ep is somehow extra, the fact that the network is choosing not to air it is:

A. Because they have no faith in the show and intend to cancel it.
B. To force fans to buy the "Dollhouse" DVD set.
C. Both of the above.

Upcoming pop culture DVDs: Doctor Who! Land of the Lost! 60s Peanuts collection! Weeds! Woodstock! More!

Here's a look at upcoming DVDs of interest. Click the title links for more info and to pre-order from Amazon.

Doctor Who, Episodes 11 & 12: The Rescue / The Romans
Out July 7

Doctor Who: Attack of the Cybermen (Episode 138)
Out July 7

Peanuts: 1960's Collection (A Charlie Brown Christmas / Charlie Brown's All-Stars / It's the Great Pumpkin / You're in Love / He's Your Dog / It Was a Short Summer)
Out July 7

Sherlock Holmes: The Great Detective
Out June 30

Tom and Jerry: The Chuck Jones Collection
Out June 23

Get Smart: Season 3
Out June 9

Weeds - Season 4
Out June 2

Land of the Lost: Complete Series (Limited Edition Gift Set)
Out May 26

Land of the Lost: The Complete Series
Out May 26

Gunsmoke-Season 3 Vol. 2
Out May 26

Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music Director's Cut (40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition with Amazon Exclusive Bonus Disc)
Out June 9

Limited Edition T2 Complete Collector's Set (for the Endoskull) [Blu-ray]
Out May 19

Girl on a Motorcycle
Out May 19

Thursday, April 09, 2009

New Green Lantern: First Flight trailer

I was just sent this official link for a trailer for the upcoming straight-to-DVD Green Lantern animated film, plus a new pic.

Dollhouse canceled? Last episode held hostage!

It sounds like Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse" is getting the axe. And you'll evidently have to wait for the DVD set to see the final episode--Fox doesn't plan to air it.

Reports New York Magazine:

As Joss Whedon's Dollhouse continues to improve with every episode, we've just learned that the show's thirteenth episode — its first-season, and apparently series, finale — will not air on Fox, as planned, but will instead be available only on DVD, according to the Twitter feed of Whedon favorite Felicia Day, who purportedly has a role in said episode:
Man, day getting worse and worse. Found out my Dollhouse ep, #13 isn't gonna air. Only on DVD. Such a great part too. Thx Fox. :(
Thx all, to clarify seems like they'll air #12 as the finale and not air my ep #13 at all? So weird :( Ask @foxbroadcasting I guess?

As I mentioned here a while back, I was very disappointed in the show and felt it had a ridiculous, unworkable premise. But, if all this is true, this is extremely shabby treatment by the network. I mean, why not run the last episode instead of holding it back so curious fans have to shell out for the DVD set? Tacky.

Pop links: The Goons! Paul, Linda and the Duke! Hulk toons! Metal Men!

Booksteve has a whole mess of cool YouTube finds: Check out the Goons and Peter Cushing on "This is Your Life," John Wayne meeting Paul and Linda McCartney at the 1971 Grammy Awards and more. Good stuff, Steve!


More video: Jon's Random Acts of Geekery presents a couple 1960s Hulk TV cartoons.


Comics scribe J.M. DeMatteis talks about the upcoming Metal Men comic he's doing for DC with Keith Giffen and Kevin Maguire. I may need to check this one out.

"What's struck me so far is that there's a certain innocence to the Metal Men that I find refreshing — and each one has a character template that's instantly accessible: simple enough for anyone to understand and yet with lots of room for us to layer in as many personality quirks as we'd like," he said. "Also, despite the fact that they're robots (or maybe because of it) there's something warm and lovable about them. You can't help but like these guys."

What happened on Lost last night?

Get a full rundown on the Lost Season 5 blog!

Vintage Marvel Comics house ad


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Guess I'll be skipping Harper's Island

From The Los Angeles Times:

The 13-episode “Harper’s Island,” which premieres on CBS Thursday at 10 p.m., has billed itself as a television event. And it is: network television's first attempt at a by-the-book splatterfest. Agatha Christie, meet “Saw” for its final-moments-of-torture-porn screams, dripping viscera and blade-meets-living-flesh sound effects. Between the beheadings, bisections, eviscerations, live burnings and hangings, the traditional gore boundaries of network TV are lost amid the blood trails and body count. If only they could have figured out how to do it in 3-D.

Pop links: Phil Silvers! Wolverton! Aqua-shrine! Dinky Enterprise! Bye bye Dr. Who! The Phantom's terrible new costume!

Watch an episode of the "Phil Silvers Show" from 1957.


Check out this preview of Basil Wolverton's "The Wolverton Bible" from Fantagraphics.


See one family's awesome Aqua-shrine!


Plaid Stallions boards the Dinky Enterprise.


"Doctor Who" actor David Tennant chats about his last days in the role.


The Sci Fi Channel previews costume designs for its upcoming "Phantom" TV movie and I join other fans in saying "yuck!"

Nice hoodie, dude.

Official video teaser for 2009 Beatles remasters

Here's a video spotlighting the band's upcoming remastered CDs.

Dark Horse Comics July 2009 solicitations

Here are highlights from Dark Horse's July 2009 offerings. Click title links to order discounted books from Amazon.

Written by Neil Kleid, Joe Harris, Dan Braun and Mike Woods, art by Angelo Torres, Bernie Wrightson and Jason Shawn Alxander, cover by Eric Powell.

What's black and white and clawing its way onto your reading list? It's the newly resurrected Creepy, of course! Now, don't fret, my putrid pets -- these new terror tales are cut from the same cursed cloth as the outlandish originals, telling contemporary horror stories with gorgeously ghoulish art from a lineup that'll make you lose your head! Original Creepy artist Angelo Torres teams up with devilish Dan Braun on "Hell Hound Blues"; Michael Woods and artist Saskia Gutekunst serve up a dose of "Chemical 13"; Neil Kleid and Brian Churilla provide "All the Help You Need" at a weird weight-loss camp; and jaundiced Jason Shawn Alexander brings his phenomenal painting skills to Joe Harris's "The Curse"! Plus Bernie Wrightson, the return of "Loathsome Lore," and more. All this, plus one classic story from Uncle Creepy's dank dungeon, and you've got 48 freakish pages of terror to bring home to mummy!
48 pages, black and white, $4.99, in stores on July 15.

Dark Horse announces a new license with Disney. We're giving one of the comic-book medium's most revered casts of characters the Syroco-style treatment in a new series of statuettes based on Uncle Scrooge stories. Our second offering in this line is Donald Duck!

Packaged in a special litho-printed, full-color tin box with a vintage-style pin-back button and booklet, limited edition of 950 numbered pieces, $49.95, in stores on August 5.

Written by Mario Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez, art by Gilbert Hernandez.

"What compels life without a soul?"

Comics legends Gilbert and Mario Hernandez join forces to present a bizarre, sexy view of the future and what it means to be human. Twenty years ago, the most famous, lifelike robot in the world was engulfed in scandal, arrested, and deactivated. Since then, an anti-robot movement has developed, while body modification is in and prosthetic limbs have become hot, black-market items.

Stories like these are the stock-in-trade of gossip columnist Sergio Bauntin, whose startling revelations earn him the constant scrutiny of both the mob and the city's mysterious investigators, the Truth Takers. When Sergio catches wind of sightings of the long-missing robot celebrity CTZ-RX, all of these interests will collide in violence and intrigue.
24 pages, black and white, $3.50, in stores on July 8.

Written by Jane Espenson, pencils by Georges Jeanty, inked by Andy Owens, colored by Michelle Madsen, covers by Jeanty and Jo Chen.

Team Buffy has become all about sneaky in a world where Slayers are now feared and hated, and vampires would rank at the top of a popularity poll. All hands are on deck as Scotland's brand-newest Slayer headquarters comes under attack; but, when things get more than a little fried, Buffy has to punt. There are yaks. Presenting Buffy on the defensive in "Retreat."
40 pages, $2.99, in stores on July 1.

Written by Mark Evanier, art by Ethan Beavers.

When sixteenth-century stone carvings of animals start to go missing from museums across the globe, authorities think it's a simple case of burglary. But Indiana Jones and Marcus Brody think otherwise. Legend has it that the statues serve as a key to finding a mysterious ruby, which is said to make its bearer invincible. It's up to Indy to find the statues and the ruby before it falls into the wrong hands!
88 pages, $7.95, in stores on Sept. 23.

Written by Gaylord DuBois, art by Jesse Marsh.

The world's first Tarzan comic books are back in print at last! Jesse Marsh remains one of the great, unsung artists of comics history, even though his straightforward realism was admired by such comics legends as Russ Manning and Alex Toth. Marsh's nineteen-year collaboration with writer Gaylord DuBois defined Edgar Rice Burroughs's iconic jungle lord for an entire generation of young readers, and the massive body of work they produced continues to influence comic artists to this day.

Reproducing the now-hard-to-find and pricey issues for fans, this archive series will collect issues #11-#16.
240 pages, $49.95, in stores on Sept. 30.

Eisner comics award nominations announced

Here are nominees for the 2009 Eisner Awards, which will be presented this July at the Comi-Con International in San Diego.Best Short Story
“Actual Size” by Chris Ware, in Kramers Ergot 7 (Buenaventura Press)
“Chechen War, Chechen Women,” by Joe Sacco, in I Live Here (Pantheon)
“Freaks,” by Laura Park, in Superior Showcase #3 (AdHouse)
“Glenn Ganges in ‘Pulverize,’” by Kevin Huizenga, in Ganges #2 (Fantagraphics)
“Murder He Wrote,” by Ian Boothby, Nina Matsumoto, and Andrew Pepoy, in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #14 (Bongo)

Best Continuing Series
All Star Superman. by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)
Fables, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Niko Henrichon, Andrew Pepoy, and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)
Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)
Thor, by J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, and various (Marvel)
Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)

Best Limited Series
Groo: Hell on Earth, by Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier (Dark Horse)
Hellboy: The Crooked Man, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse)
Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Omega the Unknown, by Jonathan Lethem, Karl Rusnak, and Farel Dalrymple (Marvel)
The Twelve, by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston (Marvel)

Best New Series
Air, by. G. Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker (Vertigo/DC)
Echo, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
Invincible Iron Man, by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca (Marvel)
Madame Xanadu, by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley, and Richard Friend (Vertigo/DC)
Unknown Soldier, by Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli (Vertigo/DC)

Best Publication for Kids
Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kabuishi (Scholastic Graphix)
Cowa! by Akira Toriyama (Viz)
Princess at Midnight, by Andi Watson (Image)
Stinky, by Eleanor Davis (RAW Junior)
Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)

Best Publication for Teens/Tweens
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, adapted by P. Craig Russell (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Crogan’s Vengeance, by Chris Schweizer (Oni)
The Good Neighbors, Book 1: Kin, by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Scholastic Graphix)
Rapunzel’s Revenge, by Shannon and Dean Hale and Nathan Hale (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)

Best Humor Publication
Arsenic Lullaby Pulp Edition No. Zero, by Douglas Paszkiewicz (Arsenic Lullaby)
Chumble Spuzz, by Ethan Nicolle (SLG)
Herbie Archives, by “Sean O’Shea” (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse)
Petey and Pussy, by John Kerschbaum (Fantagraphics)
Wondermark: Beards of Our Forefathers, by David Malki (Dark Horse)

Best Anthology
An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories, vol. 2, edited by Ivan Brunetti (Yale University Press)
Best American Comics 2008, edited by Lynda Barry (Houghton Mifflin)
Comic Book Tattoo: Narrative Art Inspired by the Lyrics and Music of Tori Amos, edited by Rantz Hoseley (Image)
Kramers Ergot 7, edited by Sammy Harkham (Buenaventura Press)
MySpace Dark Horse Presents, edited by Scott Allie and Sierra Hahn (Dark Horse)

Best Digital Comic
Bodyworld, by Dash Shaw,
Finder, by Carla Speed McNeil,
The Lady’s Murder, by Eliza Frye,
Speak No Evil: Melancholy of a Space Mexican, by Elan Trinidad,
Vs., by Alexis Sottile & Joe Infurnari,

Best Reality-Based Work
Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)
Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story, by Frederik Peeters (Houghton Mifflin)
Fishtown, by Kevin Colden (IDW)
A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child, by Rick Geary (NBM)
What It Is, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album—New
Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)
Paul Goes Fishing, by Michel Rabagliati (Drawn & Quarterly)
Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)
Swallow Me Whole, by Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
Three Shadows, by Cyril Pedrosa (First Second)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
Berlin Book 2: City of Smoke, by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)
Hellboy Library Edition, vols. 1 and 2, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
Sam & Max Surfin’ the Highway anniversary edition HC, by Steve Purcell (Telltale Games)
Skyscrapers of the Midwest, by Joshua W. Cotter (AdHouse)
The Umbrella Academy, vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite deluxe edition, by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
The Complete Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray (IDW)
Explainers, by Jules Feiffer (Fantagraphics)
Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays, by Winsor McCay (Sunday Press Books)
Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles (IDW)
Willie & Joe, by Bill Mauldin (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)
Creepy Archives, by various (Dark Horse)
Elektra Omnibus, by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz (Marvel)
Good-Bye, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)
Herbie Archives, by “Sean O’Shea” (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)
Gus and His Gang, by Chris Blain (First Second)
The Last Musketeer, by Jason (Fantagraphics)
The Rabbi’s Cat 2, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)
Tamara Drewe, by Posy Simmonds (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan
Cat Eyed Boy, by Kazuo Umezu (Viz)
Dororo, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)
The Quest for the Missing Girl, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
Solanin, by Inio Asano (Viz)

Best Writer
Joe Hill, Lock & Key (IDW)
J. Michael Straczynski, Thor, The Twelve (Marvel)
Mariko Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)
Matt Wagner, Zorro (Dynamite); Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)
Bill Willingham, Fables, House of Mystery (Vertigo/DC)

Best Writer/Artist
Ricky Geary, A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child (NBM); J. Edgar Hoover (Hill & Wang)
Emmanuel Guibert, Alan’s War (First Second)
Jason Lutes, Berlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
Cyril Pedrosa, Three Shadows (First Second)
Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf)
Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library (Acme)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)
Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha, Fables (Vertigo/DC)
Olivier Coipel/Mark Morales, Thor (Marvel)
Guy Davis, BPRD (Dark Horse)
Amy Reeder Hadley/Richard Friend, Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)
Jillian Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist
Lynda Barry, What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly)
Eddie Campbell, The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard (First Second)
Enrico Casarosa, The Venice Chronicles (Ateliér Fio/AdHouse)
Scott Morse, Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Red Window)
Jill Thompson, Magic Trixie, Magic Trixie Sleeps Over (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Best Cover Artist
Gabrial Bá, Casanova (Image); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)
Jo Chen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity (Dark Horse); Runaways (Marvel)
Amy Reeder Hadley, Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)
James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)
Matt Wagner, Zorro (Dynamite); Grendel: Behold the Devil (Dark Horse)

Best Coloring
Steve Hamaker, Bone: Ghost Circles, Bone: Treasure Hunters (Scholastic Graphix)
Trish Mulvihill, Joker (DC), 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC)
Val Staples, Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon)
Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien: The Drowning, BPRD, The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, The Unbrella Academy (Dark Horse); Body Bags (Image); Captain America: White (Marvel)
Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)

Best Lettering
Faryl Dalrymple, Omega: The Unknown (Marvel)
Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules! (Renaissance)
Scott Morse, Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Red Window)
Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf)
Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Comic Book Resources, produced by Jonah Weiland (
The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon and Jordan Raphael (
Comics Comics, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel ( (PictureBox)

Best Comics-Related Book
Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front, by Todd DePastino (Norton)
Brush with Passion: The Art and Life of Dave Stevens, edited by Arnie and Cathy Fenner (Underwood)
Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (First Second)
Kirby: King of Comics, by Mark Evanier (Abrams)
The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, by David Hajdu (Picador/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Best Publication Design
Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! designed by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)
Comic Book Tattoo, designed by Tom Muller, art direction by Rantz Hoseley (Image)
Hellboy Library Editions, designed by Cary Grazzini and Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
What It Is, designed by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
Willie and Joe, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)

Vintage Marvel Comics house ad


Flash Gordon: Alex Raymond paper dolls





Watch Lost tonight!

Visit the Lost Season 5 blog for previews and spoilers. Then, go back there in the morning for a full rundown of what happened!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

New comics April 8, 2009

Items of interest this week. Click title links to order discounted books from Amazon.

HARVEY COMICS CLASSICS VOL 5 HARVEY GIRLS Featuring various girls named Little: Little Audrey, Little Dot, and Little Lotta. This is one of those things that I'm not into and won't buy, but am glad exists anyway. It means there are more classic comics back in print, where they belong. 480 pages in color.

BATMAN BATTLE FOR THE COWL #2 (OF 3) I read the first ish of this and must admit to be entertained, even though it's all a part of one of those grand, huge crossover events that I think have destroyed superhero comics. I don't know why. I guess I'm just a fanboy at heart. I love the whole Batman mythos, even though Batman's not even in this.

BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #28 This one, on the other hand, I recommend without shame. Just a fun, straight-ahead, old school Batman story with wondergful art by Jose Garcia-Lopez.

I've been reading this one with my 5-year-old daughter, who loves it and has developed a real interest in comics as a result. Good job DC! Now all you need to do is make this an ongoing series.

WARLORD #1 I enjoyed Mike Grell's original series. He's writing, but not drawing, this one, which makes it somewhat less interesting to me. I'll skim through it and decide whether or not to buy.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS THE DOOM PATROL VOL 1 This is a must-have, of course. Unless you already have the in-color Archives reprints.

Pop links: Giant Dalek, superhero supplies, Johnny Craig, Len Wein, Bud Shank, Green Lantern

Giant Dalek invades Belfast!

The stunt comes ahead of a charity convention for fans of Doctor Who and a number of other sci-fi TV series at the Europa hotel in Belfast.


I need to check out the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company.


Pappy pays tribute to the late, great Johnny Craig.


Sad news: The home of legendary comics scribe (and co-creator of Wolverine, among other things) Len Wein has burned down. I haven't seen that there are any efforts afoot to help Len out financially, etc., in the wake of this terrible event, but will definitely post info if/when I do.


The great West Coast jazz saxophonist Bud Shank died late last week. The New York Times remembers.

Mr. Shank, whose career spanned 60 years, was a versatile player, both as a sideman and bandleader, in a wide variety of musical arenas, from big band swing to symphonic to pop, with a wide variety of collaborators. He played with the Stan Kenton big band in the early 1950s; in the 1960s he accompanied the sitarist Ravi Shankar, and he recorded with the Mamas and the Papas, playing the flute solo on their hit “California Dreamin.’ ” In 1985, he was the featured soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on a recording of a concerto for alto sax and orchestra.


See a teaser for the upcoming, direct-to-DVD Green Lantern film.

Beatles remastered! Stereo! Mono! Mini documentaries! Box sets!

The Beatles catalog has finally been remastered and is set for worldwide release Sept. 9. But there's still no info as to if/when the band's songs will ever officially be available for download.

What I do know is that I've gotta start saving some serious money right now.

Here's the band's official press release:

Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music are delighted to announce the release of the original Beatles catalogue, which has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 (9-9-09), the same date as the release of the widely anticipated “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game.

Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. On the same date, two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released.

The albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release.

The collection comprises all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the UK, and ‘Magical Mystery Tour,’ which became part of The Beatles’ core catalogue when the CDs were first released in 1987. In addition, the collections ‘Past Masters Vol. I and II’ are now combined as one title, for a total of 14 titles over 16 discs. This will mark the first time that the first four Beatles albums will be available in stereo in their entirety on compact disc. These 14 albums, along with a DVD collection of the documentaries, will also be available for purchase together in a stereo boxed set.

Within each CD’s new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. With the exception of the ‘Past Masters’ set, newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.

A second boxed set has been created with the collector in mind. ‘The Beatles in Mono’ gathers together, in one place, all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release. It will contain 10 of the albums with their original mono mixes, plus two further discs of mono masters (covering similar ground to the stereo tracks on ‘Past Masters’). As an added bonus, the mono “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” discs also include the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all original inserts and label designs retained.

Sci Fi casts The Phantom, River World

Cast members have been named for TV movies based on Lee Falk's "The Phantom" comic strip and Philip José Farmer's "Riverworld" novels.

Ryan Carnes ("Desperate Housewives") has been cast as the Phantom and "Battlestar Galactica" veteran Tahmoh Penikett and "Smallville" supergirl Laura Vandervoort will star in "Riverworld."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Penikett will play war correspondent Matt Ellman, who is killed along with his fiancee (Vandervoort) but awakens in a mysterious world populated by everyone who has lived on Earth.

In "Phantom," Carnes will play the well-known comic book hero, and Isabella Rossellini will guest star as the villainous Lithia, who is overseeing a mind-control experiment.

"Riverworld" and "Phantom" will air next year as four-hour movies on Sci Fi

Vintage Marvel Comics house ad


Flash Gordon pocket knife


Monday, April 06, 2009