Saturday, February 25, 2006

Chuck Clayton Where Art Thou?

Poor Chuck Clayton. He is in a worse situation then Betty Cooper. Mr. Clayton was added to the Riverdale cast to make the Archie series more politically correct. He is from one of the few Africian Americans families in Riverdale and yet never is given any credit. At least Betty Cooper was there for the days of the Archie gang becoming secret agents of P.O.P. and also she became a superhero as Superteen. Chuck was not around in those days. He has just been a normal teenager with normal problems. However, he was rarely used. He does make a brief apperance in Betty and Veronica #215 this month. When he is used he has alot of common sense. Unlike most of the Archie characters he never got his own series. Neither did Big Moose but I think Chuck could carry a series before Moose but I could be wrong. Anyway along comes "Archie's Explorers of the Unknown" and Mr. Clayton is the special effects expert. So he is finally being given some credit. However, on the first issue every member of the team, Big Moose included, is on the cover. Except one. That's right Chuck Clayton is the only member of the team not on the cover of the first issue. Even when I bought the book years ago and read it I never noticed it. When I posted the artilce on it I did notice it. Come on Archie. If your going to make Chuck a member of the team find a way to put him on the cover with the rest of the group. Posted by Picasa

Major Matt Mason In Moon Mission from the BIG little Books

A long time ago in this land of ours young readers could get what were called Big Little Books. I know it is an oxymoron. Really it was a play on words if you will. You see they were children's books. The featured characters that were popular at the time. In the 60's it was Batman, Aquaman, Frankenstein Jr., Shazzan etc. Here we are talking about the one called Moon Mission starring Major Matt Mason. I have already mentioned the Major twice on this site. Once here. and another time here. The above photo I got from this auction site as I no longer have the book. I did get it once a long time ago. Back in 1969 I believe. I was with my Mom and she was having me fitted for new shoes. This store gave all their children shoe customers a big little book and mine was this book. These were really short stories with pictures in them. This story revolved around another astronaught gone missing and Major Matt Mason and Sgt. Storm are sent to investigate. I recently found a site that has the story on it. You can read it by clicking here. For some reason the Big Little Books didn't really catch on with me. Oh I liked them but they were nothing compared to my favorite comic books. Perhaps it was that they didn't come out every month with regular characters. I wanted to read about Major Matt Mason since I liked this story but I knew there was little chance that there would be another one. So no sense in getting hooked on them. If you want to read more about the Major and his adventures in publishing you can click on the links above or on Monday go to Dial B for Blog. I see he will have a posting on the Major in the comic books. Posted by Picasa

Harvey Comics

I have a soft spot in my heart for Harvey Comics. They were the first comics I read. Perhaps the first that most of my generation ever read. I loved seeing Casper the Friendly Ghost on Saturday morning when I was a kid. Ritchie Rich was my Harvey favorite when it came to their comic books. I liked that even though his family was rich they had friends who weren't. I also loved seeing how Ritchie would have something ordinary and change it to show how wealty they were. Like the pool table on the cover above. Is it square? No he has it shaped like a dollar sign and the pool balls are really jewels. The above digest, by the way, is from 1981. I don't remember where I got it but came across it in my den recently. It bought back fond memories. Unfortunately most of those memories were in hospitals. You see there use to be a law about children going into hosptial rooms. They were only allowed in the lobby or waiting area. So when a family menber was in the hospital the kids couldn't go up. I would always ask whoever was watching me if I could go get something in the gift shop. Usually I came out with a candy bar and a comic book. My beloved superheros were not sold there but Harvey comics were. Sometimes I would get lucky and there would be an issue with Ritchie and his butler Cadbury as superheros. I never understood why I couldn't fine Marvel, DC or even Archie. Always Harvey. So if Grandma, Grandad, my Dad or my cousins were sick I had Richie and Casper to comfort me and keep me company while I waited. Lately I haven't seen any Harvey Comics around. They still have a website so I believe they are still in business. They made some pretty good money out of Ritchie and Casper with all the movies and cartoon series. You don't really see books like this in comic shops. Perhaps they should be. Young kids could use them to learn to read and it would increase the readership of other comic books as the kids get older. Till then I will still check out the hospital gift shops for my four color friends when ever I have a long wait at the hospital. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 24, 2006

Another fun sign I did with church sign generator

Is this a church for Monkees Fans? No just me having fun with this sign from Church Sign Generator. Posted by Picasa

In The Know

Hearing about Christopher Glenn and remembering the "In the News" segments got me to thinking about the ads that the TV networks took out every fall in the comic books. They were usually a two page spread and showed all or most of the news Saturday morning shows. This one is from 1970. As you can see if you can click on the picture and enlarge it you can see the program called "In The Know." I don't remember it as well as "In The News" but as the ad says it had Josie and the Pussycats showing short films that the network thought were educational. Another thing that this ad shows is how powerful that the Archie company had become. Josie and the Pussycats had their own half an hour show at 10am and hosted "In The Know." "Sabrina and the Groovie Goulies" had an hour show at 9am and Archie hosted "Archie's Funhouse featuring the Giant Jukebox" from 11am till noon. If this had been ABC and not CBS I would say it was the Archie Broadcasting Corporation. Then a half an hour later at 12:30pm was when my generation was introduced to "The Monkees." I was only 5 when the show appeared in prime time in 1966 so I didn't see it then.
I was curious at the time as to why had to keep changing the format for Archie. When it first came on it was a basic sit-com format. Later it became "Archie's TV Funnies" with the gang showing cartoons of Dick Tracy, Broomhilda, etc. As stated above it was also the Funhouse with the Giant Jukebox. Out of the 3 I preferred the sit-com style and think it should have stayed that way. The Funhouse left me cold. There was no plot to it. Only jokes and music. I love music but those jokes were terrible. I guess this was the TV version of Archie's Joke Book. I tried to avoid reading that book too. I have never understood why someone would decide to change a hit show. Perhaps they think they are improving it or maybe a new director or producer wants to leave his mark on the show. Well as the cliche' says if it ain't broke don't fix it. I would hate to be the director who wants to leave his mark on a show only to find out that I left a bad mark and got the show cancelled. I didn't care for the Funhouse. At least with the TV funnies I got to see a Dick Tracy episode once in awhile. Someone should give that character his own cartoon or prime time series. Posted by Picasa

Christopher Glenn Retires

For those if us who were kids in the late 60's and early 70's this is sobering news. Christopher Glenn of CBS is retiring. Mr. Glenn was the reporter for the CBS Saturday morning news segments called "In The News." I have never been a big news person. Even in college, when I majored in Radio, Television and Film production, everyone seemed to want to go into news. Well everyone but me and my buddies Chuck and Mike. Anyway while growing up at that time I watched "In The News" as it was a few minutes between my favorite cartoons. Sometimes I learned something. I recall hearing Mr. Glenn teach, that is part of what being a reporter is...teaching, about things that I heard on the news my parents watched. The CBS evening news was a program for the adults but Saturday morning was my time and I found myself learning about what my parents would sometimes talk about. For that I thank you Mr. Glenn. I also want to thank Mark Evanier for informing us of his retirement on his website. You can read more of it at this CBS website or click on the title above. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Amazing Spider-man #529 Spoiler warning don't read this if you haven't read the book yourself yet.

Ok from time to time I will try to put a review of at least one book I am reading. I asked my friend Keith what he thought might make this blog better and he said he always liked to see reviews of what people have read so this is my first.
They're at it again. They're trying to change that good old Spider-man of mine. Mostly they are changing the costume. The tried it once before when Secret Wars was the mini-series of the year. That change was not greeted with open arms from the readers. Of course now we know that the storyline for it changed and the living costume that Spider-Man got from that series became Venom and brought alot of trouble for Peter. I doubt that this costume will come alive and be his arch enemy. I don't think it will stay. At least I hope it doesn't. By the cover above you can see that it is red and gold with four extra arms so we are reminded that he is a human spider. We don't need the reminder. It's in his name and he has the powers of a spider. The new suit looks too much like the Scarlet Spider's from the clone storyline a few years back. There are differences in the costume but it still reminds me of it. Also, in the story there are two crooks avoiding the cops in a chase. They think they are getting away when one of them looks up as they are about to pass under a bridge. He says, "Maybe not. Look up there. It's him. It's Spider-Man." However, he is seeing him in his new costume. It is the first time anyone has seen him in this costume. Why would he think that is Spidey? If I was seeing an actor at the zoo or someplace dressed in the new costume before this issue came out I would wonder who he was suppose to be. There is a good side to this new costume. It has some powers of it's own. So many that Peter real doesn't need his own. I would imagine that one day he will give up the costume and either give it to someone else or they will find it and use it to start their own war against crime. However, the one power it does have that I hope Peter keeps is it can let him glide short distances on the air currents. How does it do that? With webs that come out from under his arms. Over the years, from Ditko to Ron Garney, artist have tried to incorporate that into his costume. Except for looking cool it didn't really have a reason to be on the costume. I would imagine that it may have even limited his movement in many fights. Now it is different. If he finds himself falling off a building and can't shoot his webs all he has to do is open his arms and he will glide to safety.
Once the inital buzz wears off I think we will be back to the old red and blue costume. After all he is a classic comic book all american icon with that look. Plus that look is probably copyrighted. So why copyright a new Spider-man? I just hope they have him keep the webs that let him glide. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Paul McCartney's Chaos and Creation in the backyard

This is a short review of this CD that my wife got for me as a Valentine's Day gift. It really is one of Paul's best solo efforts. The ballads are full and lush. Composed with all the love and care that this elder statesman of rock has at his talented disposal. However the ballads are a drawback too. As a member of the Beatles he changed rock music and taught us all how to rock out british style. Sure the Beatles did some beautiful ballads. In his solo years Paul as done his fair share of keeping the rock ballad alive with such highlights as "My Love" and "No More Lonely Nights." But when I got this CD I wanted to hear Paul rock out again. It started out fast with the rock song "Fine Line" but from there on it was his standard rock ballads. This is one of his best CD's for ballads and I am happy that I have it. But "Fine Line" gave us a glimpse of the rocker that still lurks inside of him. Come on Paul give us another "Figure of Eight" "My Brave Face" or "The World Tonight." Rock on Paul. If you wish to buy the CD you can get it here at Posted by Picasa

Happy 40TH Anniversary Star Trek

Yes this year is the 40th anniversary of the tv show Star Trek. It is widely known that Star Trek almost didn't make it. First when the pilot film was made it didn't have the backing of the network heads. But rumor has it that at least one of them did like it because made him feel like he had been on a spaceship. It got on the air but negoations for further episodes with the star, Jeff Hunter playing Captain Pike, fell through. They had to get another star fast but would the show work with another actor? As we all know it did when they got William Shatner. However, the audience wasn't there at first. After it's first season Star Trek was on there verge of being canceled. Word leaked out and fans wrote in and the network kept the show on. SInce then other shows have been almost canceled. Some were saved by the fans writing in. Shows like Cagney and Lacy and Remington Steele. Would this work today? I doubt it. Most of the letters would come in by e-mail today and I think that would be seen as too easy to sit down and type a letter and hit the send button. However, if you sat doown and wrote one on paper and mailed it by regular mail that is viewed as taking an effort. So if you want to save a show write the letter by hand.
To help the show build a teenage audience NBC looked to another show they had on that had a huge fan of teenage girls. That show was The Monkees. Walter Koenig at the time looked alittle like Davy Jones and was given a Beatles wig, at least in his first few showings, so he would look even more like Mr. Jones. Thus was born the character Chekov. I don't know how much this helped build the audience but it got Walter a job and his character enriched the show. Later the show was canceled despite another write in campaign. After 3 years the show was canceled and forgotten by NBC. But the fans never forget.
The show started running in syndication in the 1970's and the fan base grew. Conventions were started with many of the stars as guest. Magazines like the one above started being published.
Eventually it spun off it's first series 18 years after the show was canceled. Eventually it spun off not only 4 new tv shows but also 10 movies. It also spun off a cartoon series and countless comic books and science fiction novels. They don't have as many conventions as they use to. It seemed like for awhile there was no city that didn't have at least one Star Trek Convention. Creation Entertainment still puts on Trek Conventions and has bridged out to do cons on other hit shows like Lost and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So Star Trek has created an entire industry. Not bad for a show that was almost canceled after it's first season. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 20, 2006

Reagan's Raiders

You know I have always wondered why no one ever made a comic book with the President of the USA secretly being a superhero? The answer to that question came in the 1980's. Solson publishing produced 3 issues of Reagan's Raiders. In it President Reagan is concerned about the growing threat of the World Terrorist Organization. He believes that a secret superhuman comando squad is the answer. The government has an experiment called Project Alpha-Solider but they need someone to test it on. Here is where it gets a little crazy. The 75 year old President decides to be the first to test it. Perhaps if he was younger it would make more sense. Being the leader of the free world and 75 is a bad combination. If he already had the powers I could understand but this is crazy. Even crazier is when he orders his staff advisors to take part once it is a success with him. Later they are combat trained and given guns and their own plane. This was actually a fun series but only lasted 3 issues. It was actually funny. I hope the writer intended it to be. If anyone ever does a series with the President as a hero. Please give him the powers before he takes office and perhaps in his 40's. I used issue 2 as the photo for this post as it was the first issue of the series that I bought. I never did see issue three. If you want to get the above issue you can by clicking here. Posted by Picasa

Major Joe (ahem) I mean Matt Mason part 2

I was just on this site. It seems there was a comic book published but not my Mattel. Go to that site to read more. It even involved Sybil Danning. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Major Matt Mason

When I was growing up most boys wanted to be grow up to be President, a Cowboy, a Solider or an Astronaut. Well this also helped the action figure business boom. Like all boys I had a G.I. Joe, Johnny West and at the time the newest figure on the market was Major Matt Mason. With the 60's some of these occupations started to leave a young boys thinking. With Kennedy we saw that a President was human and could be killed. Of course this had been done before but none of them were broadcast on live TV like his was. The urban life was invading the countryside so the Cowboy was becoming a thing of the past and with Vietnam no one wanted to be a solider. That left, as Star Trek said, the final frontier...Outer Space! Thanks to the space race Major Matt Mason was a huge hit in the late 60's. I had most of the toys. Of course I had the Major himself. Sgt. Storm, the space station, the space crawler and a martian with a big green head whose name I forget right now. Actually I still have the Major. I don't know what ever happened to the others but I can't bear to part with him. I have tried sometimes but have you ever tried to get rid of something that you have had that long that looks back at you? It can't be done. I never seriously wanted to be an astronaut. I leaned more toward the law, writing and broadcasting. So of course you know where I am now I guess the real reason I keep the Major is because it reminds me of my childhood. I remember the day I got him. Like most of my books and toys it was Christmas day. When I woke up he was under our tree. As I started to play with him my Dad was dressed and had on his winter jacket. He sat down on the floor next to me and Mom took our picture. Why? I wondered I am going to see Dad all day today aren't I? Wrong. The photo preserved a nice memory and was the only time my Dad would see me that day. My Dad had to work on Christmas Day. Thankfully he didn't have to work every Christmas but I missed him that day. I am glad that Mom took that picture.
I tried to put on a scan of the Major Matt Mason that I still have but it didn't scan well. So I got the above photo from this site called of course Major Matt Mason: Mattel's Man In Space I even saw an ad about a comic book for the Major but I never saw the book actually come out for sale. I remember reading that you had to mail in to get the first issue. I guess not enough interest was there with the mailings to publish a second issue and put it in stores. Posted by Picasa

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.

Monkees quick books of the 1980's

In the mid 1980's, thanks to MTV and a reunion tour, the Monkees made a big come back. Monkeemania was big in the 60's and maybe even bigger in the 80's. Just as the teen market in the 60's published everything they could on the Monkees. They did the same in the 1980's. However, they now had more to go on as this group had a rich history. Before they just published cartoons or love letters to the Monkees. They had no history as a group in the 60's because they were actors on a TV show that really didn't meet till they were cast. Since that day they did become a group and now there was much more to their story. Sure there were books put out by people who knew them or actually interviwed them. Books like Monkee-Mania by Glenn A. Baker or The Monkees Tale by Eric Lefcowitz. Davy Jones took advantage of his resurgance to fame and wrote some books. Mostly his autobiography They Made A Monkee Out Of Me. Other books that came out at that time were quick little books from people who didn't seem to know them or take time to interview them. Most of the info they got were in the previous books that were mentioned. Still if you were a fan you probably bought them. You hoped they would give new info or shed new light on your favorite group. Usually they didn't. What really stuck out to someone like myself were the errors. Perhaps they would get a date or name wrong. Still I could over look those. However, in the book "Hey, Hey We're The Monkees" by Mary Anne Cassata and published by Sharon Publications in 1987, there is a big error that should not have been made. Scroll down to read the next post. Posted by Picasa

Mike Nesmith? NOT!!!

This is the biggest error of the book "Hey, Hey We're the Monkees" The one by Mary Anne Cassata. Not the one by Harold Bronson. If you click on the picture and enlarge it youcan see that the caption says it is Mike Nesmith with his wife at Chasens. Either Miss Cassata was not a Monkees fan and didn't realize this was not Mr. Nesmith or the proof reader made a mistake. The last one is the most likely answer. Nez did look and dress this way at the time. If you were not a fan and just browsing the book it could slip by. However, they were selling to the real fans of the Monkees so this should not have happened. Posted by Picasa