Friday, February 08, 2013

Pop culture roundup: Jaime Hernandez; Hot Toys Black Widow; Ringo Starr;

Pretty nice: A gallery of Jaime Hernandez illustrations for the New Yorker.


Hot Toys has unveiled another of its uncannily realistic action figures: An Avengers movie version of Black Widow. It's kinda creepy how accurate these things look.


Ringo Starr will voice a role and sing a song on a new Powerpuff Girls cartoon series.
Very interestingly, former Beatle Ringo Starr will appear in the episode and perform an original song titled “I Wish I Was A Powerpuff Girl.” He’ll also play “Townsville’s most famous flamboyant mathematician Fibonacci Sequins.”

This rare Beatles turntable from 1964 sold for $12,200 on eBay.


Turns out Dr. Seuss was a cat in the hat, himself.
...the real Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, was a hat lover himself. He collected hundreds of them, plumed, beribboned and spiked, and kept them in a closet hidden behind a bookcase in his home in the La Jolla section of San Diego. He incorporated them into his personal paintings, his advertising work and his books. He even insisted that guests to his home don the most elaborate ones he could find.

Vintage comic book ad: Remember the Monster-size Frankenstein?

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Video find: Ray Davies documentary

This needs to come out on a U.S. DVD so I don't have to watch it all on my computer.

Via Dangerous Minds:

Upcoming flick is a Monty Python reunion of sorts

The surviving members of Monty Python are reunited for an upcoming live action/CGI film, reports Variety.

Members of Monty Python's Flying Circus are reteaming for "Absolutely Anything," a sci-fi farce combining CGI and live action, with Terry Jones to direct and Mike Medavoy to produce.

Plans are for filming to begin in the U.K. this spring, with the Pythons voicing key roles as a a group of aliens who endow an earthling with the power to do "absolutely anything" to see what a mess he'll make of things -- which is precisely what happens. There's also a talking dog named Dennis who seems to understand more about the mayhem that ensues than anyone else does. Robin Williams will voice the character.

Gibson reproduces "Lucy": Guitar associated with George Harrison and Eric Clapton

I'd take one of these...

Gibson Guitars is producing a new model Les Paul electric guitar based on "Lucy," an instrument owned and played by both Eric Clapton and George Harrison.

Proceeds from the sale of each guitar will benefit Clapton’s Crossroads Centre in Antigua, which was created to provide treatment and education to chemically dependent people.
At the invitation of Harrison, Clapton played the cherry red Les Paul on the 1968 Beatles song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” The guitar also can be seen in the Beatles' Let It Be movie and in the 1968 promo film for "Revolution," which you can see below. Clapton played the guitar at his comeback Rainbow Concert in 1973.
The guitar — originally a 1957 Gold Top, refinished by Gibson in 1967 in “cherry red” — was measured and inspected by Gibson Custom in 2012, from which a stunning replica was made. A lightweight mahogany body, unusually slim '50s neck (thanks to the refinishing in 1967) and PAF humbuckers make this a great-playing Les Paul. The offset seam on the maple top along with screw holes for the previously removed Bigsby vibrato and “Custom” truss rod cover are among the details.
This guitar will be a limited edition of 100 worldwide, available in America through Guitar Center in March/April, coinciding with the 2013 Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival. The Gibson Harrison Clapton Les Paul will retail for $14,999 MSRP.
Each replica will include:
• A Certificate of Authenticity signed by Clapton
• A DVD featuring an interview with Clapton discussing his fabled history with Les Paul guitars and inspecting the first “Harrison-Clapton” prototype
• An audiophile remastered, 180gm vinyl edition of the Beatles' White Album
• A reproduction hard‐shell case

BBC Radio this week: Brian Aldiss sci-fi; Doctor Who; The Goon Show; Sir Henry at Rawlinson End; Howlin' Wolf

Click the links to hear the following programs:

Brian Aldiss Presents: Beef plus Sole Solution The sci-fi author's own meaty tale, and Eric Frank Russell's story of scientific creation.

Doctor Who: To the Death The Time Lord calls on friends, family and the Meddling Monk to help overthrow the Daleks.

The Goon Show: Who is Pink Oboe? Cowardly Captain Seagoon is at war. With Peter Sellers on leave, Graham Stark is enlisted.

Sir Henry at Rawlinson End: Sir Henry Entertains Surreal saga of a dynasty delicately balanced on the edge of sanity. From December 1996.

Howlin' Wolf Bruce Dickinson presents a profile of blues giant Howlin' Wolf, aka Chester Burnett.

Vintage photos of Clark Gable

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Art Baltazar and Franco launch Kickstarter to launch new kid-friendly comics title

It's a sad state of affairs when there are so few comic oriented toward children that creators need to go the independent route, but I wish Art Batazar and Franco -- creators of DC Comics' now-canceled Superman Family Adventures and, before that, Tiny Titans -- with this new endeavor.

They duo has launched a Kickstarter to launch a new independent title geared toward kids.

AW YEAH COMICS! will be a new all-reader friendly comic book featuring characters created by Eisner and Harvey award winning cartoonists Art Baltazar and Franco. Though centered around Action Cat and Adventure Bug, AW YEAH COMICS! will have a whole cast of characters created just for this title.

... The plans have been made, amazingly talented people have gotten involved, and we've already begun work on the first six issues. What we're coming to you for is to ask for your help in getting them printed. Our goal of $15,000 is to cover the cost of printing those first six issues, taking care of the (creation and/or shipping of) incentives, and pay the fees that will be incurred after a successful funding.

You can donate here.

Video: See Paul; McCartney record a new version of Heart of the Country

Comics collections new releases Feb. 6, 2013: Brothers of the Spear; King Conan; Batgirl; Superman; Wonder Woman; Doctor Who; Avengers, more!

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Brothers of the Spear Archives Volume 2

King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword

Batgirl Vol. 2: Knightfall Descends (The New 52)

Superman: For Tomorrow

Wonder Woman: Odyssey Vol. 2

Doctor Who Omnibus Volume 1

Avengers: The Once and Future Kang

X-Force Omnibus, Vol. 1

Pop artifacts: Vintage James Bond board games

Monday, February 04, 2013

Heads up Golden Age comic book collectors -- do you own rare Bill Everett?

Fantagraphics Publishing is putting out the call to any comics collectors out there who might own copies of Target Comics Vol. 3 #8 and Silver Streak Comics #1, both of which feature stories by the great Bill Everett.

The stories are needed by the second Everett Archive edited by comics historian Blake Bell.

More info:
That's right - if you can help us find someone with a copy (someone who possesses the original comic book) of Target Comics v1 #8 and Silver Streak Comics #1, we will give you a copy of Heroic Comics: The Bill Everett Archives v2 and Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives v1.

These are the last two items we need to complete the Bill Everett Archives v2. Target #8 contains a 6-page "Chameleon" story by Bill. Silver Streak #1 contains a text story with its first page having two illustrations by Bill. If we get these two, we'll have documented all of Bill's Golden Age work (quite an achievement, given the rarity of this 1938-42 material).

Target #8 is a challenge because it contains a Basil Wolverton Spacehawk story. Silver Streak #1 is also tough because of its 1939 date (and the Alan Cross and subsequent reprints left out the text story). I fear that the practice of "slabbing" books has likely led to a number of these key Golden Age books being encased in plastic for all time, hence the challenges we're having in locating them.

That's why we're offering a finder's fee. Of course, the person who owns the comics will get comp. copies of the Archives series, but if you find that person, we'll comp you, and put your name in the latest book too.
 Go here if you can help. Here are the covers of those two rare issues.

So long, Reg Presley: singer of the Troggs

Troggs frontman Reg Presley, who voiced "Wild Thing," "With a Girl Like You," "I Can't Control Myself" and "Love is All Around" (not to mention the infamous "Troggs Tapes") has died of cancer at age 71.

Here's his biggest hit:

British artists to recreate Beatles' Please Please Me LP recording session

From the BBC:
Fifty years ago, EMI set the Beatles a challenge: to record their debut album in one studio session. The results – with the already released two singles thrown in for good measure – became the genre-redefining Please Please Me.

On Monday 11 February, contemporary artists from across the musical spectrum pay homage to that day, recreating the famous session in the same time frame in the same Abbey Road Studio 2. Each artist will rehearse and then perform live throughout the day on BBC Radio 2, with all the action captured for broadcast in BBC Four’s The Beatles’ Please Please Me – Re-making A Classic on Friday 15 February.

Hosted at Abbey Road by Stuart Maconie, Gabrielle Aplin will step up to the mic first with There’s A Place performing into Ken Bruce’s show. She will be followed by ten further artists and acts, culminating in the rock ‘n’ roll classic Twist and Shout at 10:30 pm, live into a specially extended edition of Jo Whiley’s Show.

The simple question is: will artists today be able to match the productivity of the Fab Four?
People lucky enough to have been there 50 years ago will tell the remarkable story of what happened that day, busting myths and giving fresh insights along the way, including engineer Richard Langham and Beatles’ press officer Tony Barrow.

Other contributors included Burt Bacharach speaking live from the US, who wrote Baby It’s You and, to give a contemporary perspective, producers including Guy Chambers will visit the session during the day. Rare audio and visual footage from the archives will also help tell the story of the session that shaped a generation.

The project also reunites four musicians who played alongside the Beatles at the Cavern the week before they recorded Please Please Me, for a special one-off performance. Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley of the Merseybeats, Sam Hardie of the Dominoes and Dave Lovelady of the Fourmost will recapture that 1963 Mersey sound performing the song Boys before sharing their memories of the Liverpool music scene in the early Sixties.

This recreation of one of the most the most iconic albums in pop music history is the centrepiece of The Golden Age Of The Album - a two week celebration across BBC Four, Radio 2 and 6 Music.

Music new releases Feb. 5, 2013: Richard Thompson; Jim James; Wayne Shorter; Eels; Townes Van Zandt, more!

Click the links to order discounted CDs, LPs or downloads from Amazon.

Electric [Deluxe 2CD] by Richard Thompson

Regions of Light and Sound of God by Jim James

Without a Net by the Wayne Shorter Quartet

Wonderful, Glorious [2 CD Deluxe Edition] by the Eels

Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions & Demos 1971-1972 by Townes Van Zandt

Forever Endeavour by Ron Sexsmith

The Complete Studio Recordings by Roxy Smith

Broken English Deluxe Edition by Marianne Faithfull

94 Baker Street Revisited by Various Artists

Francoise Hardy

Automechanic by Jenny O