Saturday, March 11, 2006

The White Tiger Returns

Back in the 70's Marvel ventured in to the relm of magazine sized black and white comic books. Most of them dealt with Dracula, the Punisher, the Hulk or the White Tiger. I remember seeing them at the local drug store and flipping through them but I only bought one of them. The reason was that I didn't care for my comics being in black and white. I have come to appreciate them over time but I still prefer my comic books in color. As my appreciation of those early black and white comic books has grown I wish I had bought them. What little I recall is that the art was pretty good and so were the stories. Perhaps someday some of those will be reprinted. While everyone had heard of Dracula and the Hulk. At that time most people were still being introduced to the Punisher and the White Tiger. Frank "The Punisher" Castle is now fairly well known to the public thanks to a long running series of books and two movies. However, the White Tiger is known only to the comic buying public & so of the kung fu crowd who grew up in the 70's. My first really good reading of a story that involved him was in Spectacular Spider-Man #9 from 1977. His real name was Hector Ayala. He got his power of the White Tiger from the Jade Tiger amulets. (Shouldn't he have been called the Jade Tiger then?) He fougth crime cartels, street crime and from time to time would team up with the likes of Daredevil or Spider-Man. But fighting crime is a dangerous, tiring and thankless job so Hector retired. After a while the call to don the amulets and a good storyline proved too much so Hector was back as the White Tiger. However, this time he was framed for mureder. With Matt Murdock as his lawyer he couldn't loose could he? Wrong this was one of the few cases that Murdock lost and Hector went to jail. He also died in jail. His niece, Angela Del Toro, inherited the amulets but has not put them on yet. According to this article, that may soon change. Posted by Picasa

Untold Tales Of The New Universe Nightmask #1

I just picked up this one shot of Nightmask and wanted to tell you about it. You see I am old enough to remember the attempt that Marvel made at the New Universe. Saddly the stories ranged from poor to average in ever book. For my taste the best of the bunch was Justice and DP7. When it started I thought Nightmask would be the breakout hit. I always thought that Nightmask was a good idea for a character. I have always liked stories that involved the hero only solving the problem the person has by going into their dreams. The first story of Dr. Strange is one of my favorites of this type. Thankfully Dr. Strange had other adventures that he could go on by help the Avengers or fighting demons in other dimensions. Going into someones dreams every month can get tiresome. To me Nightmask, back in the 80's, had that problem. I read the first 2 issues and didn't think it would last. So I stopped buying the book. Apperently it was a good thing I did. According to the beginning of this book the storyline they were following back in the 1980's had a cliffhanger ending in issue 4. When issue 5 came out the storyline was not resolved and a new one started. This one shot is the attpemt to end the first story. I am glad that the readers of the story finally get to see how it ends but I for one would not like waiting over 20 years to see the ending. Like the first series. (Let's face it I am almost certain Marvel will try to get new series out of the New Universe characters again.) This story and the artwork is just ok. What makes the art look better then it is? The paper that it is printed on. If this were on newspaper like Kirby, Ditko and others had to deal with in the earlier days I doubt it would get a second look. The ending where the gnome is banished into the public's collective unconscious was funny and may explain some of the fads in the real world. Hopefully Nightmask will be able to grow like Dr. Strange but only time will tell. If you have not read the book I urge you to buy it and see for yourself. The opinions above are just my own. You may disagree with me. Posted by Picasa

A Child Explains God

It was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista, CA. He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to "explain God." I wonder if any of us could have done as well?EXPLANATION OF GOD:"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers."
"God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and such, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off."
"God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have."
"Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church."
"Jesus is God's Son He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K."
"His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important."
"You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time."
"You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God!
Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway."
"If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids."
" shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.
And..that's why I believe in God." Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Happy Belated 20th Anniversary Eric Lefcowitz and The Monkees Tale

Well I must really start looking at the publishing dates of the books in my collection. This book, “The Monkees Tale”, was first published in 1985. So last year was its 20th anniversary. That means that I am on time for the 21st anniversary of the book. Now why is this anniversary important, at least to me, in the Monkees history? Sure there were other books put out by the Monkees but most of them were from the teen magazines in the 60’s and 70’s. To the best of my memory this was the first time a fan wrote a book that was published about them. I only heard about it through word of mouth by a friend who worked in the local music industry. At the time copies of the book were hard to come by as it was not published by a large publishing company. The company that published it was Last Gasp of San Francisco. The book had to be researched and written before being published in 1985. With it coming out in 1985 and the Monkees reunion tour starting then the timing was perfect. Maybe it was on purpose or maybe it wasn’t. But request for the book grew and its publishing was probably a shot in the arm for Last Gasp. It was a well written account of the group up to that time. From that point on it was profitable for awhile to publish books about the Monkees. Some were pretty good but, as I stated in an earlier posting, some were done just to make a quick buck. Not this one. The reader can tell this one was done out of love and admiration.
How did the publisher want it marketed in book stores? Was it about music or television? If you said television then you are wrong. If you said it was about music then you would be only half right. They marketed it as music/sociology. Music is one of the main factors, especially in the earlier decades, that defines our society. What type of music you listen to cane tell a lot about the person. Most people who listen to Opera don’t listen to country music. If you listen to Rock you may not listen to Rap. In church some prefer contemporary Christian music over traditional Hymns. Of course the more well rounded listener likes all of them. We call most of them music teachers. The creation of the Monkees was an extension of the times. Mr. Rafelson had the idea when he was on the road with a folk group. The British invasion and the hippie movement changed things and when he had the chance he made the show about a four man rock band. So from the very beginning the Monkees were a reflection of the society during the 60’s. I could go further into this but I don’t have the time right now. For the rest you should really read the book. Perhaps at another date I will dig deeper into the subject. But Happy belated 25th Anniversary to Eric Lefcowitz and his book The Monkees Tale. Which reminds me that next week is my wedding anniversary and I am planning a special story for this site. It is a fun fiction story/interview to me and I hope to you too. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Aunt Harriet

I have always wondered where Aunt Harriet came from on Batman the TV show. I have always heard that she was in the comic book and not just added for the show. However, I have never read one of the books that she was in. I have read that she came to help Bruce Wayne raise Dick Grayson when it looked like Alfred had died. I was not old enough to read yet when those stories came out and have never seen them anywhere. I am sure that they are in some archive edition if not they soon will be. I know those editions are more affordable then the orignials but I still can't afford nearly $50 for one book. But that is another story. Now all that I have said I an sure happened. There is too much of it written about. What I want to know is where she went. Did she die? Did she move? When she went did she get a big send off? If she did it must not have been a memorable one. I have searched the internet for information on her and just found the samethings that I mentioned above. I did find some sites dedicated to Madge Blake the actress who played Aunt Harriet on the Batman TV show. I knew the show ended in 1968 but didn't know that Miss Blake died of a heart attack in Feb. 1969. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Happy Birthday Micky Dolenz

Before I go to bed I want to post this birthday greeting to Micky Dolenz. Tomorrow March 8th is his birthday he will be 61. So Happy Birthday to the funniest of the Monkees and to the man who has one of the best voices in Pop music history. You can vist his web site by clicking on the title above or click here. Hope you and the others get together to release a 40th anniversary CD of new material this year or even a tour. Posted by Picasa

Ron Moody on Jack Wild

Over at BBC News Ron Moody, who played Fagin in Oliver, shares his memories about his friend Jack Wild. Posted by Picasa

Archie #564

I just finished reading Archie #564. As always it was a quick and entertaining read. The first story is called "The Parent Trap." Mr. Andrews goes to school with Archie on get to know your teen day. Of course he winds up paying for all of Archie's mistakes and suggest the get away from your teen day.
The next story is "The Big Thaw." Veronica gives Archie the cold shoulder after he forgets to pick her up for a date. After that it is a battle between Betty and Veronica as to who can thaw him out the best. In "The Simple Life" Archie finds that showing Betty how much he appreciates her is not that simple.
Finally, in "It Takes One To Know One!" we finally, at least I finally do, get to meet one of Archie's Grandfather's. I'm not certain which Grandfather it is but since Mrs. Andrews called on him I believe it to be her Dad. I the story he tries to help Archie stop being so messy.
This was a good issue. The only problem I have with this issue and others that have updated Archie is that the Ford Model A jalopy is replace by a Ford Mustang convertable. I know that is a small concern but it would be like replacing the Batmobile with a Lincoln Town Car. However, if you are an Archie fan this book will not disappoint you. Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday Willard Scott!

Well it's about time somebody wished him a happy birthday. He is 72 years old today. We all know that he was the NBC weatherman on the Today Show and the first Ronald McDonald back in 1963. He is also the writer of many fiction and non-fiction books. In my research on the internet I found out that Mr. Scott only wore his toupee on certain days because of a clause in his contract with NBC. This explains why some days he has it on and other days he doesn't. The above photo I got from this site. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Why is this boy smiling?

Well he has a great deal lined up to work at a Circus on television. He will be working with Lions, Elephants and I hear maybe even some Monkees. Also, his birthday is coming up on March 8th. At least according to his bio page. Now I must get back to the Oscars. Can't let my wife have all the fun. Posted by Picasa

Big Old $1.00 Comic Books

Mark Evanier has a wonderful post on these big comic books that many of us came to love back in the 70's. It explains alont on why they were done and why they stopped doing them. I loved these books. They were different and because of the huge print they were abit easier to read. What I really liked was that they were reprints of books that I had never read before. Each one I bought I treasured. When they started doing original stories I felt that they were usually hit or miss. But I got spoiled with the new stories being in the big books. I wanted more of them and didn't like the reprints after that. It was sort of like seeing a movie at the IMAX and then realizing that it was a one time deal. The other movies will have to be seen at the regular theater. Anyway if you have not seen the posting he has click on the link and enjoy. I have to get ready to watch the Oscars now. No I am not talking about re-runs of The Odd Couple. 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. Posted by Picasa

Making Pancakes

I got this story in an e-mail and thought I would like to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it.

Making Pancakes

Six -year-old Brandon decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents pancakes He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor.
He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten.
Brandon was covered with flour and getting frustrated He wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very bad.
He didn't know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove and he didn't know how the stove worked!. Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pajamas white and sticky.
And just then he saw Dad standing at the door Big crocodile tears welled up in Brandon's eyes. All he'd wanted to do was something good, but he'd made a terrible mess. He was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a spanking. But his father just watched him.
Then, walking through the mess, he picked up his crying son, hugged him and loved him, getting his own pajamas white and sticky in the process!
That's how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky or we insult a friend, or we can't stand our job, or our health goes sour.
Sometimes we just stand there in tears because we can't think of anything else to do. That's when God picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over Him.
But just because we might mess up, we can't stop trying to "make pancakes" for God or for others. Sooner or later we'll get it right, and then they'll be glad we tried...
I was thinking. .. and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that need rekindling or three words needing to be said, sometimes, "I love you" can heal & bless! Remind every one of your friends that you love them. Even if you think they don't love back, you would be amazed at what those three little words, a smile, and a reminder like this can do.
Just in case I haven't told you lately... I LOVE YA!!!Please pass some of this love on to others....suppose one morning you were called to God; do all your friends know you love them? Posted by Picasa