Friday, September 16, 2011

Video find: Pattie Boyd (Harrison) TV commercial for Pond's skin cream

In Spanish:

Review: Jack Kirby Omnibus Vol. 1

This new hardcover from DC Comics features Green Arrow on the cover, but that hero's adventures take up only a small fraction of the book, which is an odds end collection of Kirby's 1950s work for the publisher.

In essence, it's everything Kirby did for DC in the 1950s apart from Challengers of the Unknown. His work on that adventure title, which in many ways was a practice run for the early Fantastic Four comics Kirby would create with Stan Lee a few years later, is collected in two of DC's Archives books.

Apart from 10 six-page Green Arrow tales, the book features mainly suspense and sci-fi tales done for anthology titles such as House of Secrets, House of Mystery, Tales of the Unexpected and My Greatest Adventure. There are a lot of those O. Henry-ish, "ironic ending" stories that were popular in this period, some great-looking Kirby aliens and monsters that set the tone for the work he's soon be doing for Marvel, and some creative concepts and plotting.

We know that, at Marvel, Kirby played a major role plotting out and drawing stories that were later dialogued by Stan Lee. There are no writing credits on most of the stories in this DC collection, although Kirby associate Mark Evanier suggests in the introduction that many likely were plotted by Kirby and written/dialogued by writers such as France Herron, Bill Finger, Robert Bernstein and Dave Wood. The book credits Herron and Wood for writing most of the Green Arrow stories.

Credit-wise, the other notable thing about this era's work is the inking, most of which was done by Kirby himself. Early in his career, collaborator Joe Simon did a lot of this part of the work. At Marvel, Kirby was inked, for better or worse, by a number of other artists. His full art work on these stories is great -- finely detailed and more fluid than the "chunkier" Kirby work familiar from his work of the mid 1960s onward. Evanier mentions that Kirby's wife, Roz, may've helped with some of this inking work, but it's mostly just Jack, and it's beautiful work indeed.

Many of the stories display Kirby's fascination with mythology. There are references to Pandora's box, the Sphinx, the all-seeing eye and Aladdin's lamp. We also see a version of Thor that, design-wise has similarities to the Marvel Comics version Kirby would create with Lee. This thunder god's hammer is identical to the Marvel hero's and he has similar "disks" on his tunic. We also get to see a variety of space aliens, a man turned paper thin and Easter Island-style statues that come to life and crawl out of sand that's buried them for centuries up to their necks.

The Green Arrow stories are serviceable enough -- typical superhero stories of the day when a problem is presented and solved via the hero's smart instincts rather than brawn. According to Evanier, Kirby wasn't given much leeway to insert his own ideas into these stories -- featuring characters that were essentially bow-toting versions of Batman and Robin. But he tried.

It's an interesting period in Kirby's history, featuring much enjoyable work. We see an emerging style and conceptual creativity that would fully take flight at Marvel where Kirby was given much more freedom to experiment and assert his full brilliance.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Video find: Pattie Boyd (Harrison) 1960s shampoo commercial

Beatle George Harrison's first wife was a model/actress featured in various TV commercials through the 1960s:

Today's Best Thing Ever: TARDIS cat fort

Found here:

Beatles 1965 contract rider stipulates drum platform for Ringo, no segregated audiences

In more recent years, rock bands have demanded lavish, ridiculous things in their performance riders, right down to what color M&Ms are served in the dressing room.

What did the Beatles want? Clean towels, four cots, and ice cooler and TV. Plus a drum platform for Ringo and at least 150 cops for security. Plus, they refused to play for segregated audiences, still sometimes a concern in mid 60s America. Pretty cool.

All this info comes from an actual copy of the contract on auction here.

Fund started to build Jack Kirby Museum

The online Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center was created several years back to focus attention on one of America's most influential cartoonists (he co-created the Fantastic Four, Thor, the X-Men, Hulk, etc.), and it was great. But all creators and the supporters of the project really wanted to create a physical museum dedicated to Kirby.

Now there's an effort afoot to do that, at least temporarily, in Manhattan's Lower East Side, where Kirby grew up. Hopefully it will lead to a real, permanent Kirby Museum.

Here's the gist:

Our intention is to set up a temporary, or “pop-up,” brick-and-mortar location for the Jack Kirby Museum during this November, December and January. The ideal size for this purpose is between 800-1,200-square-feet, and would feature original artwork, artifacts from Jack’s life, prominent guest speakers, educational programs and installation pieces inspired by and celebrating the unique work and life of Jack Kirby.

A space like this dedicated entirely to the life and work of Jack Kirby would be unprecedented. It would be equally appealing to seasoned art patrons, pop-art connoisseurs, casual fans, tourists, and families. Successful implementation of this pop-up museum will allow us to pursue the ultimate goal of a PERMANENT space for the Museum in the near future.

You can learn more, and donate money for the project here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yet more Batman TV series pictures

Review: Sarah Michelle Gellar in Ringer

It would be overly optimistic to hope that Sarah Michelle Gellar's return to television would match "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in enjoyment and significance. "Buffy" was a once-in-a-lifetime series and role. Still, I bet I wasn't the only "Buffy" fan with ridiculously high hopes going into the first episode of "Ringer."

Even with SMG playing two roles, this is no match for "Buffy." In fact, I'm not even sure it's a good show. On the basis of the first episode, it's not. But that's not to say it couldn't end up becoming somewhat enjoyable.

"Ringer" features that old soap opera staple, the evil twin. And it plays out very soapily, indeed.

When we first see SMG, she's Bridget, a newly sobered up former stripper who's been a witness to a brutal murder. The baddies are out to get her before she can testify, which she doesn't want to do. To save her skin and start anew, Bridget goes on the lam and seeks the help of her wealthy twin sister, Siobahn.

But no sooner do the two get together -- on a boat in a very phoney-looking blue screen scene -- when Siobahn vanishes, apparently dead. Bridget does what any soap opera twin in this situation would do, assumes her dead sister's identity.

This seems like a bad decision, but it turns out that Bridget isn't the bad sister. Siobahn is the bad one. Turns out she's been cheating on her husband, Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd) and all sorts of other bad nastiness. In fact, at the end of the show, we see, not surprisingly, that Siobahn is still alive. She has who knows what tricks up her sleeve, whereas Bridget is just hoping to make a clean start.

And, re-reading all that, it actually sounds kind of fun. Some neat, if done before, twists and a great actress in two roles. But the trouble is tone. There's not a single on-purpose laugh in the whole thing, whereas it could've, and probably should'v, been played as high camp. Instead, everything seems deadly serious, which is a misstep when the plot is so predictable. SMG is a talented comic actress. Some of the best moments in "Buffy" were played for laughs.

There's still a chance that "Ringer" could readjust. This first episode focused mainly on Bridget, who's nice but a little dull. Siobahn, on the other hand, has some potential. SMG played a fun villainess in "Cruel Intentions" and, if they camp it up a bit, she could be very fun to watch as the baddie in this series.

I may hang in there a little longer. Overly optimistic, I know...

BBC radio this week

Click the links to hear on-demand programs from the BBC.

Click the links to hear the following program on demand from the BBC:

Radio 4 Extra

Absolute Power Satirical comedy starring Stephen Fry and John Bird
Agatha Christie's In a Glass Darkly (drama)
Agatha Christie's Magnolia Blossom (drama)
Agatha Christie's Philomel Cottage (drama)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Charles Chilton: Journey into Space (drama)
Death on the Nile (drama)
Fear on Four (drama)
The Goon Show (comedy)
Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (comedy)
Haroun and the Sea of Stories (drama)
Sir Alec Guiness: My Name Escapes Me The acclaimed actor reads from his memoirs
Sir Harry Secombe: Goon Abroad The memoirs of Goon Show star
Terry Pratchett's Nation (drama)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A few more Yvonne Craig/Batgirl pictures

New comics releases Sept. 14, 2011

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Things I'll buy:

 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #1

All New Batman Brave and the Bold #11

Super Dinosaur #4

Amazing Spider-Man #669

Sergio Aragones Funnies #3

Barks' Bear Book HC
Barks' Bear Book

Things I may buy:

John Carter: A Princess of Mars #1 (Marvel mini-series)

Other items of interest:














Sugar and Spike Archives Vol. 1
Sugar and Spike Archives Vol. 1

 DC Direct Brightest Day: Series 3: Aqualad Action Figure
DC Direct Brightest Day: Series 3: Aqualad Action Figure

DC Direct Brightest Day: Series 3: Hawk Action Figure
DC Direct Brightest Day: Series 3: Hawk Action Figure

Archie Archives Volume 2
Archie Archives Volume 2

Art of Marvel Studios (Art of Marvel Movies)
Art of Marvel Studios (Art of Marvel Movies)

Marvel Masterworks: The Invincible Iron Man - Volume 7
Marvel Masterworks: The Invincible Iron Man - Volume 7

Monday, September 12, 2011

More rare Batman TV show pictures

New Kate Bush album out in November

Kate Bush's first album of all-new material since 2005's Ariel will be released in the UK on Nov. 21.

Bush's Director's Cut, a collection of re-made and updated older tunes, came out earlier this year.

The new album is called 50 Words for Snow. Tracks include:
Snowflake Lake
Snowed In At Wheeler Street
50 Words For Snow
Among Angels

Music new releases Sept 13, 2011

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon:

Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues
Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues

Winterland (5 CD Box Set) ( Exclusive)
Winterland (5 CD Box Set) Jimi Hendrix Experience

Hendrix in the West
Hendrix in the West

The Old Magic
The Old Magic Nick Lowe

Road Shows 2
Road Shows 2 Sonny Rolllins

Athens Concert
Athens Concert Charles Lloyd