Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sitting In The Asile...Wonder Woman

Here is what Sitting In The Asile has to say about the lack of attention Wonder Woman has gotten over the years. I found it somewhat interesting. Posted by Picasa

Mary Jane Watson

This weekend is the anniversary of the first time that Spider-man fans saw Mary Jane. Well at least we saw 90% of her. It was in Amazing Spider-Man #25 in 1965. Ditko didn't know what she should look like so he hid her face. John Romita Sr. added that lovely feature. Usually MJ seemed like an unimportant background character. Only there to add color to the book. It was in this scene from Amazing Spider-Man #122 where Peter is in agony over the death of Gwen Stacy and ask MJ to leave where she shows the first signs of strength. Turns out she had it all along and was hiding it. In sharing it with Peter and with the readers she has become one of the most important characters in the Spider-Man universe. We lost Gwen and mourn for her to this day. Let's keep the redhead around. Today it's MJ all the way. Posted by Picasa

Sky Bandits 1980's

Back in the 1980's some friends and I saw a movie called Sky Bandits. It was one of those films that was at the theatre for 2 weeks and never heard from again. I for one liked the film. I wanted to get it if I saw in on DVD but can't. The closest I have come to seeing anything about is is the poster above. I have found a 1940's movie by the same name but that is about Mounties in airplanes. It isn't the one I am looking for. I believe it was directed by Zoran Perisic. There were no big names in the movie. The story takes place during WWI. Two men are arrested and at the trial the Judge tells them they have a choice. They can go to jail or enlist in the army. They enlist. They are sent overseas and during a big battle they realize this is more then they thought it would be so they decide to desert the army. However, they run stright into Germans who have built a huge zeplin. The Germans plan to use it as a secret weapon. The two men have no choice but to stop the German zeplin and go from being deserters to heros. It was a pretty good action film. If anyone knows where I can get a copy please let me know. I am now going to keep up with the comments at least once a week so place comments that you want here on this subject. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 09, 2006

How to get ready for the Rapture.

Earlier when I was fixing the comments there was a comment that I deleated without thinking. I am sorry as the person asked a very good question. That person asked how do you get ready for the rapture? After seeing the church sign that I did above. Well I hope they see this because here is the answer. You have to make sure you are right with God by turning away from your old ways. Accept Jesus Christ into your heart and pray this prayer.
Dear God,
I know that I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I invite Christ into my heart and life as my personal Saviour.
After doing this you need to find a Bible believing and preaching church and be baptized. After you have done this you will be ready for the Rapture.
You don't need to change your ways first to come to Jesus. Once you come to him he will help you change them. That is the simple answer to the question. Posted by Picasa

A Public Apology

To those of you who have been leaving comments but I have not been publishing them. I am sorry. I never saw comments on my end through a fault on my part. I just never thought anyone was leaving comments. It wasn't till today when I was talking to my cousin Steve that I knew anyone was leaving comments. He told me he quit sending comments since I never publish them. To make a long story short I looked into it and found the problem and corrected it. I have sent e-mails to those who left comments to let them know that they were published. My mail system told me it was not able to reach some so I hope they see this here. Again I am sorry and I hope this mends any fences that were broken. Now I will check my wife's site to see if that has the same problem. Hope you have had a nice day. Also, I wanted to use a photo of a character who looked sorry but the best I could do was Dilton looking worried. Thanks for your patience.
Rick Posted by Picasa

Charlton Comics

Charlton Publications was a company based out of Derby, Ct. They started in 1946. They were know for publishing books and song lyric magazines and they had their own distribution company. It is rumored that they started publishing comic books just to keep their printing press running during the slow times. The first time their name appeared on a book was Marvels of Science #1. The company used low-budget practices. They used unpublished material that they acquired from defunct companies. They were known for paying comics creators the lowest rates in the industry. But if you were a new talent starting out it was a great place to start. It also became a place for older pros to go to when they became upset with the way the other companies treated them. Charleton aquired the rights to many other companies characters. Mostly Fawcett Publications. The only one that they didn't get from Fawcett was Captain Marvel as that character was involved in a lawsuit with DC comics. If they had gotten him perhaps Charlton might be around today. The licensed characters like Beetle Bailey from King Features, The Flintstones from Hanna-Barbera and TV shows like the Six Million Dollar Man and Space 1999 sold well as did the romance and horror books. The big superhero characters at the company were Captain Atom and Blue Beetle. Steve Ditko worked on Capt. Atom in the early 60's. Jerry Siegel, who created Superman, also worked their on Mr. Muscles and Nature Boy. Ditko left them to work at Marvel on Spider-Man and Dr. Strange but came back after a spat with Marvel and Stan Lee. While their he revived the Captain and made Ted Kord the new Blue Beetle. Dick Giordano was the editor in chief and saw Ditko's return as a chance to pump up their action hero line. They put out new heros like Peacemaker, Judomaster, Peter Cannon...Thunderbolt! and The Question. Upcoming talent like John Byrne, Jim Apro and Dennis O'Neal started at Charlton. Despite the new talent the superhero line was canceled by 1967 and the Ditko and the others went to work for DC Comics. They had to rely once again on licensed features to keep the presses running. By the 1980's they were in serious decline. Sales were low. Their press was getting old and they didn't have the money to replace it. Their newest star was from one of their companies graduates Jim Apro's co-creation E-Man. His super powers were not enough to save the dying company and by 1986 Charlton stopped publishing. Most of their characters were bought by DC. However, E-Man was not part of the DC acquisition. The rest were to be used in what was going to be the Watchmen limited series. DC changed their mind and decided to make Capt. Atom, Blue Beetle and the others part of the DC universe. Alan Moore had to create new heros to do his Watchmen series. By 1999 the building that Charlton operated from was demolished. When the building went down a part of comic book history went with it. Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday to George Perez Guru of the Super-Groups

According to my trusty 1977 Marvel Comics calendar today is a birthday for George Perez. He was born on June 9, 1954 in New York City. He grew up and developed a love for comic books. He became an illustrator and writer for DC and Marvel. He became popular while doing work on Marvel’s the Avengers. Later he worked on various other books for them. Most notably the Fantastic Four. Later he moved to DC and worked on the Justice League. He became a superstar when along with Marv Wolfman he created the New Teen Titans. The Titans were supposed to be DC’s answer to the X-Men. The team became just as popular as the X-Men. So it was a big event when Marvel and DC did a team up book where the X-Men and the Titans met in a joint adventure. Mr. Perez handled the art chores. Wolfman and Perez were so popular they were asked to create DC’s 50th anniversary event Crisis on Infinite Earths. As we all know it permanently changed the DC Universe. Mr. Perez got to work on one of his favorites when he helped relaunch Wonder Woman. The book started with Len Wein as the writer and Mr. Perez as the artist but eventually he took over the writing as well. In the 1990’s Mr. Perez started to take a back seat and started working on books not in the mainstream like Sachs and Violens and Hulk: Future Imperfect with Peter David. Then he came back to the spotlight by returning to the Avengers. He was on the book for nearly three years and received critical acclaim. Since then he has worked on the newest Marvel/DC team up JLA/Avengers and on DC’s Infinite Crisis. He co-chairs the comic industry charity A Commitment To Our Roots.
Happy Birthday to a comic book superstar and legend…George Perez. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Paperback Writer

For fans of science fiction and1960’s rock and roll this book is something that you must have. It is an alternative reality for the Beatles. This fictional novel by Mark Shipper was published in the 1970’s. It answers the question what would have happened if the Beatles reunited? However, that isn’t answered till the end of the book. The rest is a fabulous, fun, frenzy of a ride through a different Beatles history. For example Paul had a solo career and a solo album before he joined the group. Del Shannon briefly replaced George Harrison on lead guitar. The album “Help!” contained no new songs written by any of the Beatles. It was mostly standards with a few from new songwriters. They decided to concentrate on touring instead of songwriting. The hit song from the album was a ballad version of “Shake Your Booty.” So you can see this book is total fiction. It is a fun book to read. The author, Mark Shipper, tells us the reaction to the news of the Beatles getting together in 1979 for one more concert and album. At first it is greeted with adulation. The Beatles are back. However, expectations are too high. Even the Beatles can’t live up to it. Disco was big when this book was written so George’s contribution to the new album was “Disco Jesus.” John’s new songs aren’t any better. He contributes a new version of the Gilligan’s Island theme. That was a nice way of working in Lennon’s love for American television. Another is titled “Please Freeze Me.” Needless to say when they tour with Peter Frampton the crowd prefers Frampton over the new Beatles tunes. When they start playing the old tunes the crowd is won over. It is John who brings the message home. The people wanted them back together to play the old tunes one more time. That way they can remember a time when they were younger and remember the good old days. When they hear “She Loves You” for 3 minutes they have no worries or obligations because they are back in high school out on their first date.
Mr. Shipper is what use to be called a rock journalist. Maybe they are still called that today. No matter what the term, there is one that that Mr. Shipper is…very funny. He has written one of the funniest novels ever about rock and roll. Like all good comedy it contains some truth. Many rock bands since the 1970’s have reunited only to find that the crowd wanted the old tunes and didn’t care much about the new ones. Now the singles that reunited the Beatles, posthumously with Mr. Lennon, did sell well. But it wasn’t an albums worth and I doubt that an album would have faired as well in the long run. If you see this book I highly recommend that you buy it. Posted by Picasa

Micky Dolenz in Pippin

Yes Micky is hitting the stage again in a new production of Pippin. Here is a press release that will tell you all about it.
Joshua Park and Micky Dolenz Will Play Father and Son in Goodspeed's Pippin
By Kenneth Jones
07 Jun 2006
This summer's new Goodspeed Musicals revival of Pippin, which will tour in
the fall, will star Tom Sawyer actor Joshua Park as the searching title
Prince, and Monkees and Aida veteran Micky Dolenz as Charlemange.
Pippin will begin at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, July 14.
It ends there Sept. 24. Opening is Aug. 9. After its run at the Goodspeed
Opera House, the show will immediately begin a national tour.
For more information, visit Posted by Picasa

Monkees Marathon

The station WBWC in Berea, Ohio are doing a 24 hour Monkees Marathon today. You can email request songs at or call them in at 440.826-STING (7846) They are giving away prizes too. Here is a list of what they are giving away.
*A signed, limited-edition copy of Michael Nesmith’s new album, RAYS
*24 copies of Andrew Sandoval’s book, THE MONKEES – one every hour (thanks
to Thunder Bay Press)
*24 copies of Micky Dolenz’s book, MICKY DOLENZ’S ROCK N’ ROLLIN’ TRIVIA –
one every hour (thanks to Square One Publishers)
*9 copies of Micky Dolenz’s new children’s book, GAKKY TWO-FEET (thanks to
Penguin Young Readers Group and David Salidor)
*2 copies of Randi Massingill’s Michael Nesmith biography, TOTAL CONTROL
(thanks to
*1 copy of THE MONKEES season 1 TV series on DVD (thanks to Rhino)
*1 copy of MUSIC BOX, the band’s 4-CD career-spanning box set (thanks to Rhino)
*5 Monkees Greatest Hits compilation CDs (thanks to Rhino)
*2 copies of the HEY HEY WE’RE THE MONKEES CD-ROM (thanks to
*14 Monkees collectible calendars (thanks to
*Copies of Peter Tork’s post-Monkees CDs: TWO MAN BAND, ONCE AGAIN and
SAVED BY THE BLUES (thanks to Bonnie Verrico, Shoe Suede Blues, James Lee
Stanley and Beachwood Recordings)
*2 copies of AURA3’s CD For Pete’s Sake (thanks to Marilyn Ingram and
Woodland Moth Productions)
(Giveaways will be conducted via telephone and, during select hours, via
Thanks to Brad Wadell of The Monkees Home Page for letting us know. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Captain Fathom

Captain Fathom was an undersea adventurer with his crew of the Argonaut. The same company who produced Clutch Cargo. Like Clutch Cargo they used the Sychro-vox systems combining the actors real mouths with the cartoon animation. I remember seeing this when I was younger and I don’t remember it being done with real mouths. It’s amazing what the mind chooses to forget and what to remember. The system was invented to make animals talk for commercials in the 1950’s. Warren Tufts was an animator on the series as well as the voice for Captain Fathom. One of the directors for the series was Alex Toth.
When I was in elementary school I had a friend who liked the show. His parents were no longer together and he lived with his grandparents. He one time told me that his Dad lived in California and was an animator on the series. I kept watching the credits if I saw anyone with his last name. I never did. He may have been kidding me but I hope he wasn’t. Posted by Picasa

Rest In Peace Billy Preston

A few days ago Billy Preston died. He was a huge musical talent who left his imprint on pop music. He was born on September 9th 1946 in Houston, Texas but raised in Los Angeles. By the age of 2 he was playing piano. His mother was the organist for Victory Baptist Church and he was asked to direct the choir. At the age of 10 he played organ for Mahalia Jackson when she appeared at his church. Watching the performance was the producer of the movie “St. Louis Blues.” He cast the 10 year old in the film as a young W.C. Hardy, the man who became known as the father of the blues.
In 1962 Preston was signed to Sar Records owned by Sam Cooke. He went on a Gospel tour with Cooke and Little Richard. However, when they got to England they found that Gospel wasn’t very big there. The kids wanted to hear rock and roll. For the first time Billy Preston played rock and roll and he liked it. It was during this tour that he first met the Beatles. They asked him lots of questions about America and their favorite artist Little Richard. When he got back to the States he played the club circuit. While at a club in LA he was spotted by a TV producer and he got the part as the resident keyboard player on Shindig. Ray Charles once heard Preston play “Georgia On My Mind” and asked him to play it on his next album. Preston toured with Charles and when they were in Europe Charles introduced Billy as the man he wanted to carry on the work that he started. It was at a concert at the Royal Festival Hall where George Harrison caught up with Billy. He asked him to play keyboards on the Get Back sessions. At those sessions
Paul told Billy he should do an organ solo. It became one of the best keyboard solos in music history. The sessions for the album were filmed as the movie “Let It Be” making it Billy Preston’s second movie role. When the single “Get Back” was released Billy became the 2nd of only two people to have his name on a record with the Beatles as it was billed as The Beatles with Billy Preston. The other person to do that was Tony Sheridan. Sheridan got top billing as he was more popular at the time and the Beatles were just starting out. During an interview Billy said “I didn’t even know until it was out that they had put my name on it. It was something that I could have never asked for or no manager could have negotiated, just something they felt for me.” The Beatles signed Billy to Apple Records. He recorded an album for them and was backed up by George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Keith Richard. The Beatles Empire started to fall and they let Billy out of his contract. He then signed with A&M where he had his first #1 single “Will It Go Round In Circles?” In researching this article I thought it was ironic that the two #1 records that preceded his were “My Love” by Paul McCartney and Wings and “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” by George Harrison. It was Billy who knocked Harrison out of the #1 spot. Preston went on to record other hit songs and inspired more. The song by George Harrison “What Is Life?” was written with Billy in mind. He also was the bright spot in the film “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” in his third film role. In the movie he sang a song he knew very well. It was “Get Back.” Billy Preston left behind an incredible musical legacy. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hooray for Ruff and Reddy!

Another cartoon show that I remember from the early days of WXIX is Ruff and Reddy. Ruff was the Cat and Reddy the dog. Now the show started at NBC in 1957. It was the first cartoon for television that was produced by Hanna-Barbara productions and was part of many other older cartoons that were originally done for movie theaters and was hosted by Jimmy Blaine and later Captain Bob Cottle. Now the show was on the air from 1957-1960 and 1962 to 1964. The early episodes where in black and white. The voice over artist were Daws Butler and Don Messick. Don was Ruff the cat and Daws was Reddy the dog. Daws used a voice for Reddy that would later become famous in a few years as the voice of Huckleberry Hound. The show was popular enough to get some merchandising in comic books, golden books, a transogram game and years later I saw a computer game about them.
I didn't see the show till it was syndicated in the late 60's early 70's. I only saw the color episodes minus the live host. The host of the cartoons at WXIX were puppets called Teaser the mouse and Rooty the rooster. They were part of the Larry Smith Puppets Hour.
The above comic book is from this auction of the Ruff and Reddy Dell comic book. Posted by Picasa

Rocket Robin Hood

One of the cartoons that brings back fond memories is Rocket Robin Hood. It took place in the year 3000. Rocket Robin Hood was a descendant of the real Robin Hood. Like his ancestor he led a band of Merry Men called Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet, etc. There were no horses for these band of men. They flew through space from Sherwood Astroid in spaceships and fought with electro-quarterstaffs. They were determined to defeat villains like Prince John, the Sheriff of N.O.T.T. (National Outer-space Terrestrial Territories), Dr. Medulla and the Warlord of Saturn.
The show was produced in Canada between 1966 and 1969. It was produced by the same company that brought Spider-Man to Saturday morning TV in 1967. Jean Mathieson was one of its key animators and was one of the first women animators in the business. One of it’s key directors was the soon to be famous Ralph Bakshi. Bernard Cowan and Paul Kligman did voice overs on both Spider-Man and Rocket Robin Hood. Kligman was the voice of Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man and the voice of Friar Tuck. Ed McNamera and later Len Carlson were the voice of Rocket Robin Hood.
The above photo I got from this fan site. Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 05, 2006

It's Marine Boy!

Over at Booksteve's Library he has a posting on Ultraman. Now Ultraman has always been a favorite. One day I may put a posting on it here. However, it did get me to thinking about the other shows that Channel 19 WXIX in Cincinnati, Ohio ran in the late 60's. One of them was Marine Boy. Marine boy had adventures in the ocean since his Dad was Dr. Mariner he worked with a special unit of the government called the Ocean Patrol. No matter what the danger the Ocean Patrol always neede the help of Marine Boy and his friends, Clicli, Splasher, Piper, Professor Fumble, Bulton and Neptina the mermaid was also a love interest for Marine Boy. Marine Boy had gadgets that would be the envy of James Bond. He had Oxygum that allowed him to breathe underwater. A razor sharp edge on his boomerang and boots that let him speed through the water.
The show was a forerunner of Speed Racer. The art was done in Japan and the scripts were written in America to match the animation. Most of the voices were done by Corinne Orr. She did Marine Boy, Neptina and Clicli. She is also the voice of Snuggles the Bear in the commercials and did voices in Ultraman and in the movie Ace Ventura Pet Detective. Peter Fernandex was Dr. Mariner and Piper. Jack Curtis was Bulton and Jack Grimes was Professor Fumble and Splasher. Mr. Grimes was also the voice of Jimmy Olsen on the 1960's Superman/Aquaman hour. He was also an actor on many tv show of the 60's and 70's and was on 49 programs of the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre between 1974 to 1981.
I have not been a big fan of Japanese animaton lately. However, I do have to admit that Marine Boy and other favorites of mine from the 60's brought it to America. It's effects have been felt for over the last 30 years.
The above photo is from this site. Posted by Picasa

H.R. Pufnstuf Coloring and Activity Books

Is H. R. Pufnstuf making a comeback? I was at a store today and saw the book in the lowere right hand corner for sale. Curious, I opened the book to see the publication date. It was 2005. So it is fairly recent. Why publish children's coloring books based on a children's TV show that is over 35 years old? Maybe the DVD sales are what is driving this. If you want you can get these books at this website. Posted by Picasa

Everyone Will See Christ Will Return

Everyone will see
[Jesus said], "Then everyone will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand straight and look up, for your salvation is near!"
Luke 21:27-28 NLT
No fear of judgment
What images come to mind when you think of "end times prophecies"?…Most people, if they were honest, would admit that their view of the end times is a frightening one.…They imagine an angry and vengeful God hovering high above it all, bent on destruction and raining terror on all who have rejected him.
Have we missed something? In many ways I think we have. God didn't reveal these graphic images of the coming judgment to express his wrath or even to frighten us into believing. He revealed them to show us his wonderful grace and mercy in the midst of our sin and unworthiness. The story isn't about pending gloom and doom, but it's about a loving Father who will do anything he can to help people escape the consequences of evil.
Bible prophecy isn't intended to frighten us, but it's to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is real and omnipotent and active in our lives; to warn us of the very real danger lying ahead for those who reject his love and mercy; and to encourage us to accept his gracious and free offer of salvation through his Son, Jesus.
In his first letter to Timothy, Paul tells us that God "wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth" (2:4).…Time and again in Scripture we are told that God longs for his people to be with him in heaven. The Bible is not a story of wrath and judgment but of unconditional love and redemption. God longs to be with us and wants desperately for us to accept his hand of salvation. What we do is up to us. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Spider-Man Rock Reflections of a Superhero

Well thanks to my cousin Steve I was able to finally hear the songs from this 70's era album. He put it on hold for me at the Public Library. I have not heard all the songs yet but so far I like what I hear. Sure the songs dated to todays younger music fans but to older fans they will be welcome musical guests in the house. The front and back cover art are by John Romita Sr. I had seen the art work before but forgot about the back cover art. I remember thinking it was pretty cool how they had the other Marvel heros as the backup musicians. The Silver Surfer on keyboards brought a smile but why does he have his back to the camera?
According to the liner notes by Mike Ragogna it was a Marvel executive's idea to do this album and maybe a series of them featuring others like the Fantastis Four, the Hulk etc. Mr. Ragogna was 17 at the time and got to be involved because he was a big Spider-Man fan, that he was part of the age group they were trying to appeal to and because the co-owner of Lifesong Records saw a connection between his awkward adolescense and Peter Parker's. At 17 Mike Ragogna wrote a song for the album that they recorded and released called "Peter Stays and Spider-Man Goes." When I was 17 I wrote songs and that would have been a dream come true for me if one of my songs got recorded. So I am happy that it happened for Mr. Ragogna. Many top studio musicians fo that day were involved from the group Crack the Sky to David Sanborn. Another group of studio musicians that were involved in the production was Jonah. I found this interesting since Jonah Jameson is a supporting cast member of the Spider-man books. The song Spider-Man was actually released as a single. The songs are a variety of styles from from rock to swing to regge. The most surprising part of the CD is Stan Lee's narration. Now Mr. Lee has done many narrations over the years. Usually I feel that he is shouting at me on recent recordings. FACE FRONT TRUE BELIEVERS! IT'S STAN LEE HERE! But this one from the early 70's is more subdued and every word is weighed before it is said. If I needed a narrator I would hire the 1970's Stan Lee. He did a wonderful job. This 25th anniversary edition of the album is worth searding for. No matter if you have to pay for it at a store or wait for it to come back in stock at the local public library. Posted by Picasa

Happy 31st Anniversary to The Invaders

Roy Thomas is known for many things. He is one of the founding fathers of comicbook fandom with his contributions to Alter Ego. He was the first writer to take over Marvel's Editor-In-Chief position when Stan Lee stepped down. He brought the pulp hero Conan to the comic books. He is know for his love of golden age heros. Espically for his love of the Justice Society of America. To me he is bset known for bringing Capt. America, Bucky, Human Torch, Toro, and the Sub-Mariner together as the Invaders. I am almost certain that he brought his love of the JSA to the book. It transferred to the reader. The storied took place during WWII. They fought Hitler and all of the Nazi super agents like the Red Skull and newly created one for the book like Baron Blood.
Roy started with a brief stay at DC but took a job as staff writer at Marvel. His knowledge of Marvel continuity up to that point got him promoted to editorial assistant. This position lead to him being the Editor-In Chief position. After awhile he was back at DC comics. He had a chance to realize his dream in creating All-Star Squadron. It took some heros of the JSA and other forgotten heros like Liberty Belle and Robotman to once again fight the good fight during WWII. It was successful enough that it got a spin off of Infinity Inc. It took place in present day and told the adventures of the children of the JSA.
While I liked the All-Star Squad, it seemed to lack something to me. Just as Mr. Thomas loved the JSA. I loved the Invaders. So happy anniversary to the Invaders and to Roy Thomas.
You can get the book shown above at this auction site. Remember buy bonds and loose lips sink ships. Posted by Picasa