Saturday, February 18, 2006

Archie's Explorers of the Unknown!

Well in the 1960's Archie spoof the 60's tv show the Man from U.N.C.L.E. Now in the 1990's they reached back again to the 60's to spoof a comic book from that decade. Explorers of the Unknown was a spoof or Challengers of the Unknown that was created by Jack Kirby. These types of books from the Archie company never did last long. This series only lasted 6 issues. At least this company tried to do something a little different to shake things up. They were pretty fun to read too. In the 90's, as well as today, you can't say that about most of the other mainstream comic companies. In the Challengers you had the blond haired Ace the pilot and leader of the group. Red was the mountain climbing daredevil with, of course, red hair. Rocky was the boxing champion. Last but not least was the Professor who was the science expert.
In the Explorers of the Unknown book the team had a red haired leader. The line up was Red Andrews, Soldier of Fortune (Archie)Wheels Cooper, Mechanic and Pilot (Betty)Nitro Mantle, Explosives and Demolition Expert (Reggie)Angel Lodge, Martial Arts Expert (Veronica)Squint Jones, Daredevil and Escape Artist (Jughead)Crash Mason, Muscleman (Moose)Gizmo Doiley, Inventor (Dilton)F/X Clayton, Illusionist (Chuck)
They were disptached to fight mad scientist and explore unknown regions of the world. Their arch enemy was Dr. Gloom. Perhaps it was a spoof of Dr. Doom. A tip of the hat to another group of four explorers that Kirby helped create.
In some ways this book could be an updated version of the Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E. series that they did in the 60's. The Archie series today seems content to depend on the digest series that you can get at places like Wal-Mart. I hope that changes soon and they start beefing up their apperances at comic book shops real soon. Another fun series like these alternate universes that I have been talking about might help. The above photo I got from Amazing Comic and Collectables. You can look at the post below to see more on the Challengers of the Unknown. Posted by Picasa

Challengers of the Unknown

This is the comic book series that the above Archies' Explorers of the Unknown was a spoof of. This series was created by the late Jack "King" Kirby. It was also an early blue print for the Fantastic Four. I would love to see them make a movie out of this series. Four men with no superpowers. Just a love for adventure. They all sruvived an accident and figured since they were now living on borrowed time they would use their athletic and intellectual skills to solve the mysteries of the world. I don't remember too much about it as the series was winding down just as I was getting old enough to read. All I did was look at the pictures and later read any reprints I could find. It was a fun book. The cover for this post I got from this site. Posted by Picasa

When Fan Girls Attack

I just noticed that the website "When Fan Girls Attack" posted a link to this post of mine on Betty and Me. I didn't ask for the link and didn't even know about their site until I found this out. So to thank them I have provided a link here. Thanks! Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 17, 2006

Church sign generator site

I found this site thanks to Fred Hembeck's site. It was fun thinking of funny sayings to put on the sign. Thanks Fred. Posted by Picasa

Jughead's Time Police

Here is another alternate Archie universe. Let's face it from Little Archie up to Archie's Super Teens they are alternate universes. In this one from 1990 Jughead is given yet another beanie with powers. Remember his first magic beanie, along with a special chant of
"Teeny weeny magic beanie, Pointing towards the sky; Give me muscle, power, vigor, Form a super guy!" changed him into Captain Hero in the 1960's. With this one he can travel through time. He finds out that the beanie was given to him by a decendent of Archie. January McAndrews is a member of the Time Police and Jughead finds that he is to become the greatest Time Cop ever. Together the keep things in line so that time doesn't go astray. They go to the Civil War, King Arther etc. In a departure from his usual style the art from issue 2 to the last is done by comic legend Gene Colan. It was alot of fun to read. Jughead even got an arch enemy in this series. I don't recall him having one in the Captain Hero series. Unless you count Evilheart. As Booksteve said on his site Evilheart was really an anti-hero. He was Pureheart enemy but would join with the heros to fight a common enemy. However, Jughead fought Morgan LeFaye twice in this 6 issues series in issues 2 and I think in issue 6. I use to have some of the issues. However, I don't now and had to go to this site to get a copy of issue #1 that you see above. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pufnstuf the movie on VHS

It looks like Pufnstuf the movie was release on VHS but is unavailable now. However, if you click here you can see where you can get a used copy for $50 if you can afford it. It is around $94 if you get it new. Also, I hear that they may be doing a new Pufnstuf movie. Wonder how that will turn out? Posted by Picasa

Betty Cooper as Superteen

This bolg lately is dangerously close to becoming an Archie Blog site. It isn't but there is nothing wrong if it develops into that. Now I have never bought an issue of Betty and Me that had Superteen in it so I got the above photo from this e-bay auction.
I have never been called a feminist and have never claimed to be one. However, if Wonder Woman was a step forward for them then I believe Superteen was too. Think about it. In the usual Archie stories, a character like Betty was always saving Archie or the others and usually didn't know they saved the day or didn't take credit for it. However, as Superteen Betty did save the day and was given the proper credit. I would call that progress. To top it all off she was usually saving Archie who was already Pureheart, the Archie universe version of Superman. So this was sort of like Lois Lane getting powers and saving Clark Kent. Which I am sure happened in the Lois Lane comics back in the 50's and was written off as an imaginary tale.
Like Pureheart she too had come costume changes in her short history. The one above is what I remember the best. Dig those bellbottoms! Cool and far-out man! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Article on The Archies

For those of you interested here is a link to a site that has a history of The Archies. It even has a photo of Ron Dante singing as the lead singer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Rio re-mastered

Just heard this from Videoranch.

Greetings from Videoranch,

“Rio” has been newly re-mastered! The “Rio Remaster” is now available as a single on iTunes. The video for “Rio” won Nez the first video Grammy and is available for sale in the Flicks section on either Elephant Parts or Nezmuzic. If you already have iTunes installed you can click here to get the Rio Remaster now.

If you haven’t already got iTunes running on your computer you can go to to download it for free. We’ll have the Rio Remaster available at shortly.

We wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yours truly,

The Videoranch Hands Posted by Picasa

F Troop Comes to DVD

TV Shows on DVD is reporting that F-Troop the first season is being released on DVD this year. For more info click on the highlighted link above. Posted by Picasa

It's That Time Again Volume 3

If you still want to purchase this book in which my first, and hopefully not my last, story is published. It is now being shipped in April. You can pre-order it by going to Bearmanor Media today. Posted by Picasa

Hello from Ron

On a recent visit to Ron Dante's site I left him a message telling him how much I liked his music, having ran his Forgotten Hits interview on this site (you can subscribe to their letter by emailing then here and if he planned to release his solo album "Brings You Up" on CD. He was kind enough to send me a reply and I am posting it here with his permission.

Hi Rick.
Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving me your
message. I visited your site and found it an uplifting
and entertaining one.
Wish there were more around like it.
I hope to get my Brings You Up album put out on cd
that's not to expensive.
I heard theres one on for sale.
Check it out.
Again, all the best to you and yours bud.
Ron D.

 Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Peter Tork.

Happy Birthday today to the Monkees Peter Tork. Peter was born on Feb. 13th. Thanks for all the wonderful music Pete and the good times. I hope you had a happy day today. The above photo is from Mary Spooner who runs this celebrity site. You can vist Peter's site by clicking here. Now I have always liked each one of the four Monkees. But I was always quiet growing up and Peter and Mike were the two quiet Monkees from my point of view. Neither were comedians like Micky and the show only had Davy as the ladies man. Mike was even more vocal then Peter. I was quiet like Peter. So the two that identified with were Mike and Pete. Mostly Peter. Peter seemed more down to earth on the show and from what I have read he is like that in real life. Posted by Picasa

H.R. Pufnstuf The Movie

In 1969 Sid and Marty Kroft brought to the Saturday morning viewing public their biggest hit H.R. Pufnstuf. My cousin Rachel loved watching it. Being older and wanting to seem older then I was I put it off as just a kiddie show. However, I quickly started to like it too. The show only lasted 17 episodes but it was such a huge hit that NBC ran those 17 episodes for 3 years. It had alot of merchandising. Rachel had a replica of Freddie the flute. It made a teen idol out of Jack Wild. He was a British actor so he was part of the last half of the British invasion. He released an album and had a hit song called "Some Beautiful." Saddly after this show and a few movies Mr. Wild developed a drinking problem. He did recover ad was on the way to getting his career back on track when he developed oral cancer. He is a cancer survivor but at a great cost. He had to have part of his tongue and all of his vocal cords removed and can no longer talk. He currently is writing his autobiography.
They did a live show of Pufnstuf at the Hollywood Bowl that Rhino released on video a few years ago. Also, they made a movie and a soundtrack to the film.
A few years ago the Disney Channel showed H. R. Pufnstuf the movie. I liked the Saturday morning TV show but never got to see the movie. I remember it was late at night so I put in a tape and recorded it. However, I put it away and forgot about it. Recently I found it and watched. The production values of the film were still of Saturday morning value but that is just what the audience they were aiming for would have expected. Most of any additional money for the film must have gone to scoring it and hiring Martha Raye and Mama Cass. While I never got to see the movie for some reason I had the soundtrack. Hearing those songs like "Living Here On Living Island", "I've Found A Friend In You", "Zap The World" and the others brought back many happy memories. The songs really hold up. They aren't what you would have heard on top 40 radio but they are really good showtunes. I believe this was Martha Raye's first time of working with the Krofft's but she worked with them again to further fame on Saturday Moring on The Bugaloos. She was to the Bugaloos what Witchiepoo was to H. R. Pufnstuf. Billie Hayes as Witchiepoo was the real star of the TV show and movie. The talent and energy it took to play that character is unbelieveable. Miss Hayes must have saved all her energy for showtime. Of course if you have Mama Cass in a film with music you better have her singing. With that great voice of hers she belted out the best song in the film. I no longer have the soundtrack but I believe it was called "Different." This may have been Miss Cass's last acting performance before her untimly death.
For voice over and voice acting fans the character voices in the film were done by Walker Edmision, Joan Gerber, Al Melvin (Sam the butcher from Brady Bunch), and the great Don Messick. Just like the tv show the voices were parodies of old movie stars ex: John Wayne and Edward G. Robinson.
The live show and the TV show have been released on home video and DVD. Hopefully Rhino or Universal will release the movie one day. Till then from my house, as they were on Living Island, we are like the song says "living here in harmony and hope someday the whole world will live this way."
The above photo is from Wikipedia. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Prayer to ask Jesus Christ into your heart

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever, believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:16 and 17 king james version
If you know in your heart that you need Jesus Christ in your life. Then pray this simple 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.
If you have done this then you now need to find a Bible believing and preaching church. The links section at the right or below depending on your browser has links to some local churches in my area. You can e-mail them if they are not in your area. They may be able to help you find one in your area. Posted by Picasa

Keith and Stan

My friend from my church, Keith, is as crazy about comics as I am. Recently he was able to get a last minute ticket to a speech Stan Lee gave. I had not heard about it but Kieth did just in time. Mr. Lee was just outside of Dayton Ohio in Clark County on Jan. 24th. Keith e-mailed me this photo the other day and gave me permission to use it on this site. That is Keith sitting next to Mr. Lee. Normally Keith doesn't have a smug look. I think he knew he was going to be mailing me this photo. Along with the photo Keith got 2 autographs. I am normally not the jealous type but I couldn't be more jealous if this were Steve Ditko or Jack Kriby he met. Of course the Kirby meeting will never happen and chances are slim to none for Ditko. But Keith I am glad you got to meet one of your favorite writers. Posted by Picasa