Saturday, May 20, 2006

My Conversation with Archie Andrews

When I got home this afternoon I had a surprise waiting for me on my answering machine. As I listened to the messages I heard the voice of Archie Andrews. He said he had some information for me and left his phone# to call him back. I called him back right away.

On My Mind: Hello Mr. Andrews?

Archie Andrews: Yes is this Rick?

OMM: Yes I was just returning your call.

AA: Thanks for calling back so fast. Please don't call me Mr. Andrews. Call me Archie. After waht Jughead told me about you I feel I already know you. I hope you don't mind Jug giving me your phone number but I have some information for you and all of the Archies fans. I told Jug to call and tell you about it but he thought it would be best if if came from me.

OMM: I guess that means it is ok to put on my website.

AA: Yes of course it is. I know that you are aware that Reggie was trying to get the group back together for a reunion tour and a new CD that he was to produce.

OMM: Yeah but Jug said you all turned him down and he was trying to get Josie and the Pussycats.

AA: Well that didn't turn out as Reg hoped. So we all agreed to help him out.

OMM: You mean there will be a reunion tour?

AA: Whoa! Your jumping ahead of me.

OMM: Sorry!

AA: That's ok. Your excitement makes what I have to say even harder. You know that Reg was going to be sued by the people backing the tour if he didn't produce a big band that was reuniting. So we agreed to help him out. We had studio time booked to record a new CD and had our first concert date set up.

OMM: What city was it going to be in?

AA: Well Reggie wanted it in Los Angles near his home. Veronica wanted it New York where she now lives. I said it should be closer to where The Archies started. They all said after our reunion in Riverdale it would be too soon to do another concert there.

OMM: But it was only one song.

AA: That's what I said. Betty was with me but Jug, Reg and Ronnie said no. So we agreed on a netural site. Midvale.

OMM: Great that isn't too far from Riverdale.

AA: Yes but it almost didn't happen. Once the record company and the backers found out that Reg could get the Archies they suddenly changed plans.

OMM: How?

AA: Suddenly Reggie was out as the producer of the album. They wanted a bigger name like Ron Dante, Mike Omartian or Mike Nesmith. Once that happened we backed out of the deal. We said it wasn't right that they would sue Reg for backing out but they can without any punisment. But they wouldn't change their mind it was one of those 3 or no one.

OMM: Why would they take such a hard line?

AA: I don't know. Maybe they owed someone a favor. Any way we did the concert in Midvale last night and just in case there was interest we recorded the concert ourselves in case we wanted to release a live album.

OMM: What songs did you play?

AA: We did. Eveything's Archie (Archie's Theme), Get On The Line, Bicycles, Roller Skates And You, Bang-Shang-A-Lang, Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y.-D.O.O.), Truck Driver, Melody Hill, Who's Your Baby?, Sugar, Sugar, Who's Gonna Love Me?, Jingle Jangle, Inside-Out, Upside-Down, Sugar And Spice, Sunshine, This Is Love, Archie's Party, Tracy, and When Julie Comes Around. I know those last two aren't Archies tunes but the gang wanted to do them and Jug wanted to play guitar on the last song.

OMM: Well I am sorry for the break up again but hopefully a live CD will be out soon. Thanks for letting us all know.

AA: My pleasure. Have to go now Rick hope you and all our fans have a good day.

With that my conversation with a living legend was over. If any of the Monkees or the remaining Beatles want to talk feel free to give me a call. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 19, 2006

The 50 Greatest Mainstream Comic Book Characters!

A few days ago I promised you a list of the 50 greatest mainstream comic book characters. Here is the list.
50. Captain Marvel Jr.
Freddy Freeman becomes Capt. Marvel Jr. by saying the name of his hero. Captain Marvel! However, he can never say his own name for fear that he will change back to normal at abad moment. That to me was good enough to make him#50.
49. Lois Lane
Lois Lane is queen of the women in distress. However, she is a strong woman and the first woman I know of in comics who actually had a job outside the home.
48. Norman (Green Goblin) Osborne
Norman Osborne is one of the great villians of all time and even he doesn't know it. For long periods of time he is a loving Father and a hard worker. Then he blacks out and becomes the Green Goblin one of Spider-man's greatest villans. Why? Because he knows Spider-man is really Peter Parker.
47. Chuck Clayton
The world of Archie gets closer to reality by introducing us to the first African American teen ager to move to Riverdale.
46. Black Panther
One of the first African American superheroes.
45. Captain Marvel (Billy Batson)
The first real competation that Superman had on the magazine racks. He was so popular that DC sued the the company that published him and later bought the company out. Mainly to get the Captain off the market. Later, they published his adventures and gave him his own show.
44. Jimmy Olsen
This character was really created for the radio program to give Superman someone to talk to. He was so popular that they named an office boy in the comic book after him. He is the first character to cross over from another medium into comics.
43. Alfred Pennyworth
I don't know how many butlers their were before Alfred. However, Batman's butler is the king of all the comic book butlers.
42. Silver Surfer
An alien made of Silver riding on air on his surf board and he talks like he is from a Shakespeare play. That has to make the list.
41. The Crypt Keeper
He went from comic books to having a live action TV show and later his own Saturday Morning cartoon series. The man has done more dead then most people do while still alive.
40. Mighty Mouse
He is so popular that even people who don't read comics or watch cartoons know who he is. Also, any mouse who can beat up a cat deserves respect.
39. The Flash (Barry Allen)
The most popular of the heros who carried the name Flash. Even though he has been dead for years now he is still talked about and remembered fondly.
38. Rick Jones
The prince of the sidekicks. He interned under the Hulk and Captain America. He graduated to his own series by sort of becoming a superhero by sharing space with Marvel Comics version of Captain Marvel.
37. Mary Jane Watson
One of the greatest growths of any supporting cast member. She went from being a party girl to sharing her troubled past and becoming Spider-man's beloved wife. Not to mention that she admited to knowing that Peter was Spider-man since high school and she never told anyone. Not even Peter till he asked her to marry him.
36. The Joker
The character was suppose to die in his first apperance. The creators thought he was too good to lose so they kept him around. Much to the chagrin of Batman.
35. The Parasite
One of the first villans that I know of that could steal your powers just by touching you. If he held on he could take your life.
34. Magneto
Vile villian or misguided good guy. Magneto really wants to help his fellow mutants. However he thinks the best way to do that is by taking over the world.
33. Black Widow
A beautiful female Russian spy who defects to America to use her skills for the good of mankind. It is difficult for her to earn the trust of her fellow heros but in the end she becomes a member of the Avengers.
32. Punisher
31. Wolverine
These two are on the list as they are the forerunners of the grim and gritty realism era.
30. Nick Fury
You have to respect a man who survices WWII, rises in the ranks to Col. and later heads up the world's greatest Spy orginization.
29. The Spirit
Really a newspaper creation but he did appear in comic books and each time gave us a look at the genius of Will Eisner.
28. Plastic-Man
Like the Spirit did with Eisner. Plastic-Man did with Jack Cole. No matter who does good ole Plas nobody did it better then Mr. Cole.
27. Black Bolt
One word from Black Bolt can destroy a city. So he never utters a word. A man has to be very strong to communicate without words.
26. Uncle Sam
The symbol of the USA is given his own comic book and GI's everywhere are given the courage to fight on.
25. Human Torch (The Android version)
This is the first time that I know of where a robot is created that acts human and tries to help mankind. However, he is not human and wishes that he was.
24. Ben Grimm (The Thing)
Reed Richards may be the leader and the brains of the Fantastic Four but Ben Grimm is the heart of the group. How many times did he have his own humanity in his grasp but gave it up for the sake of his friends? Now that is a real hero.
23. Hawk & Dove (Hank and Don Hall are a brother team so I list them together.)
This team was brought about because of the war in Vietnam. The aggressive ones who wanted the war were called Hawks. The people against the war were called Doves. The bickering between the two brothers mirrored that and each scene of them together was priceless.
22. The Creeper
A Steve Ditko creation. Nuff' said.
21. Dr. Octopus
Peaceful man of science has an accident that grafts robot arms to him and he goes insane for power. Later he falls in love with May Parker and marries her not realizing that she is the Aunt of Spider-Man.
20. J. Jonah Jameson
Civic minded publisher. Loving husband and father. His hatred for Spider-man nearly takes over his life and if anyone is really Spidey's arch enemy it is JJJ.
19. Red Skull
Trained by Hitler to be his right hand man. To this day the Skull still fights to take over the world.
18. Dr. Doom
Dictator of his own country but he is not satisfied with that. He fights mostly his old college roomate Reed Richards for control of the world.
17. The Hulk
Usually a typical monster/superhero who just wants to be left alone. Peter David took us in to areas with the Hulk that no one else ever dreamed of. But before that Hulk got an even bigger audience with a hit TV show.
16. Sub-Mariner
Aquaman with attitude. Aquaman is nicer and would probably make a better King but Namor is more exciting to watch. Too bad it's because he hates surface dwellers. He rides that fine line between good guy and bad guy.
15. Wonder Woman
Hey she is the best of the female superheros. That alone gets her on the list.
14. Dr. Mid-Nite
Daredevil wasn't the first blind superhero. It was Dr. Mid-Nite. His special glasses helped him to "see" so he could fight crime. Let's give credit where it is due.
13. Jughead Jones
Another prince of the sidekicks who got his own series along the way.
12. Wildcat
Ted Grant is a boxer who decides to use his boxing skills to fight crime.
11. Green Arrow
GA was just a Batman rip off at first. But with the Neal Adams version he got a new costume. He lost his millions and decided to fight for the poor and the oppressed. Oliver Queen got a personality and a real fighting spirit.
10. Captain America
The main man of all the patriotic charactors. Just being created by Simon and Kirby is enought to get him on this list.
9. Man-Bat
A man who drinks a formula to change into a giant bat but he can't change back. It takes over his mind but when he is in his right mind he uses his new powers to help mankind.
8. Richie Rich
7. Casper
Another pair of characters who were so popular at one time that even people who don't read comics have heard of them. Having hit movies didn't hurt them either.
6. Reggie Mantle
He started out as a brat to bully Archie. He grew to be an occassional friend of Archie and the gang and for awhile had his own series of comic books.
5. Archie Andrews
Any teen age boy who is so popular that he takes over the company. Has it change it's company name to his name and they stop publishing superheros and only publish books about his friends has got to be on this list.
4. Spider-Man
No one was sure that he would be a hit. So he was published in the last issue of a canceled book. End of story? No he was a smash hit. They gave him his own series and now he is the flagship character of the company and an American Icon.
3. Robin the boy wonder
The King of the sidekicks. He got his own series and is the leader of the Teen Titans. Batman is very proud.
2. Batman
1. Superman
These two have been around since the beginning. Superman is number 1 since he really started the comic book industry. Supes wasn't the first original character for comic books. That title should go to one of the policemen in Detective Comics. But without Superman there would be no comic books. Posted by Picasa

Captain Picard's Journal

Take a humorous look at life on the Enterprise by going to Captain Picard's Journal. A site that any Star Trek fan will enjoy. It's funny enough to make even the Borg laugh. Posted by Picasa

The 30th Anniversary of the Battle of the Century

As the title says this year is the 30th anniversary of the meeting of DC Comic's Superman and Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man. Up till 1976 DC heroes only teamed up with DC and Marvel heroes only teamed with other Marvel heroes. Fans for years have wondered why they didn't ever cross over and meet. Finally in 1976 Stan Lee and Marvel along with Carmine Infantino and DC over came any differences there were and realize the potential profits that would benefit both companies if their two most popular characters met. Of course there was the combined threat of Luthor and Dr. Octopus who had teamed up to get revenge on Supes and Spidey. A convention took place in New York where reporters from all over met. So Clark Kent and the staff of the Daily Planet met Peter Parker and the staff of the Daily Bugle. Lois and Mary Jane are kidnaped to get our heroes attentions. Of course all's well that ends well as the bad guys are caught and the heroes in their civilian id's take the woman they love out to dinner.
This was the answer to a comic book fans dreams. Since that time Marvel and DC have teamed up more often. No matter how well written and drawn the story is they all pale in comparsion to the first time. I remember this meeting fondly. At the time most comic books sold for about 25 cents. I almost passed up this book because I couldn't afford the $2 price tag. Finally I decided it was worth the extra $1.75 and have never been sorry that I bought it. The book sold well enough that they did another meeting of Supes and Spidey. Perhaps they will meet again. Now that they are both movie stars perhaps it will be on the big screen. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann

Here is something that I find sort of funny. The Monkees were designed to be American television’s answer to the Beatles. Over time the Monkees and the Beatles became friends and the Beatles viewed the Monkees as equals as much as they did the Beach Boys. While the Beach Boys stayed together for quite awhile the Beatles and the Monkees both broke up. George Harrison of the Beatles stayed with music but dabbled in producing movies and had a hit with the film Time Bandits. Mike Nesmith of the Monkees did the same but had better luck with music. His movies and television series were critical success but failed to capture the attention of the movie going public. His best chance was with Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann. It was written by William Dear and Mike Nesmith. Directed by William Dear and the music composed by Mike Nesmith. The cast was quite impressive as it starred Fred Ward as Lyle Swann, Belinda Bauer, Peter Coyote, L Q Jones, Ed Lauter, Richard Masur and Tracy Walter. There is even a cameo by Michael Nesmith at the beginning of the film.
Lyle Swan is a champion off road motorcycle racer. While in a race in the desert he rides into an area where a time machine is being tested. Without realizing it he is sent back 100 years into the past. He tries to use his roadmap to guide him but since he doesn’t know he is in the 1800’s the map doesn’t match the area anymore and Lyle can’t figure out why he is lost. Bandits see this strange man on the strange wheel machine (his motorcycle) and try to steal it. Lyle can’t figure out why these weird guys want his motorcycle. I couldn’t figure out why Lyle never had to stop to refuel the motorcycle. He got unbelievable gas mileage out of it. Lyle also meets a beautiful woman and of course he succumbs to her desires. By then end of the film the scientist who made the time machine send a helicopter back in time to get Lyle and take him to the future and the motorcycle is destroyed. Now comes the really weird part. By this time Lyle realizes that somehow he went back in time. As Lyle is leaving on the helicopter the beautiful woman he met grabs the chain that he wears around his neck and yanks it off of him. The chain was a family heirloom that has been past down to each generation. Lyle realizes that he slept with his own great grandma. YUCK! It was a pretty good movie except for that weird sick ending. Like Ishtar it proved an ending can make or break a movie. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Calling Dr. McDreamy Loverboy

Even when he wasn’t every woman’s Dr. McDreamy Patrick Dempsey always got the girl in his movies. His most popular movie from that time is Can’t Buy Me Love. His second most popular is Loverboy. He plays Randy and is just home from college and broken up with his girlfriend. While home he gets the perfect summer job as a pizza delivery boy. His route takes him to the homes of the most beautiful women in Beverly Hills. The older women find him easy to talk to and fall for his charms. In the end there is a merry chase as his girlfriend tries to meet with him to make up. The husbands and boyfriends try to find out who the loverboy is and his own Mom calls for a pizza delivery. Everyone learns a lesson they will never forget in this coming of age comedy. This was a very funny movie that deserved the PG-13 rating that it got. If you want to see Mr. Dempsey at his comedic best rent or buy this film. Posted by Picasa

David McCallum Invisible Man

Over at Booksteve's Library he has an article talking about David McCallum from the Man From UNCLE and Navy NCIS. Now I have always like the Man from Uncle. I have not had the desire to see Navy NCIS but I am happy for Mr. McCallum that it is a hit for him. Perhaps there is hope that he can join that elite in American television actors who have starred or co-starred in 3 hit series. The article did remind me of a movie called the Watcher in the Woods that he co-starred in with Bette Davis. I don't remember it well so the less said the better on that. However, I do remember the short lived series from 1975. The Invisible Man aired on NBC. It started with a 2 hour pilot and spun off into 12 episodes. He played Dr. Daniel Weston. He worked for a company that was experimenting on molecular disintegration which had the side effect of turning things invisible. Of course they tried it on objects and animals and Dr. Weston decides to try it on people. The Dr. tries it on himself and for a short time becomes invisible and returns to normal. He wants to use it for medical purposes. His bosses want to sell it to the military. Of course he can't stop them so he uses it all on himself. However, it doesn't wear off this time. He in now stuck being invisible. He and his wife go to his friend Nick. He is a plastic surgeon and makes a mask for David that looks and feels like skin. With his former bosses after him he and his wife are on the run. The pilot was straight action adventure. The series that it spun off had some humor to it and I have read that Mr. McCallum didn't like the humor in the series. I was 14 years old at the time and I loved the show. Whenever things got tough and Dr. Weston had to disappear it was fun to see him shed his skin and there was nothing there. The show was not a hit with anyone other then myself. It was later replace by a similar series called the Gemini Man starring Ben Murphy fresh off of Alias Smith and Jones. The Gemini Man was about a secret agent who had a watch that could turn him invisible for short amounts of time. It was worse then the Invisible Man and also lasted only 12 episodes.
The above cover of the Dynamite magazine is from this e-bay auction site. That magazine deserves a posting of it's own someday. Posted by Picasa

Executive Action 1973 Who Really Killed JFK?

Many people, myself included, have been captivated by the Kennedy assassination. Many conspiracy theories have been talked about and at some point one of them may have told us the truth. We may never know. This movie comes to the conclusion that it involved more then one person. I have always thought that. It stars Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan and Will Greer. It was directed by David Miller and the screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo. They use the facts and news footage to come to their conclusion. They can’t tell you exactly what the conspirators said to each other but the film never strays from the facts. The film never exactly tells who the group of people is. Are they big business executives? Are they the CIA? The FBI? Mafia? We are not told. The audience is allowed to come to their own conclusion on that matter. The most chilling moment comes at the end of the film. Pictures of people who witnessed the killing are showed and we are told that by Feb. of 1967 all of them were dead. The commentator says that “In the three years after the murders of John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald eighteen material witnesses died, 6 by gunfire, 3 by motor accidents, 2 by suicide, 1 by a cut throat, 1 by a karate chop to the neck, 3 by heart attacks, 2 from natural causes. An actuary engaged by the London Sunday Times concluded: On November 22, 1963, the odds of these witnesses being dead by Feb. 1967 are one hundred thousand trillion to one.”
If you are a history buff or into the Kennedy conspiracy theories you should watch this movie. Executive Action was originally released in 1973. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

Corvette Summer

The year is 1978. You have just starred in the biggest blockbuster movie of all time. The movie that brought science fiction back to theaters and changed the face of films for all time. I am talking about Star Wars. So what is your next career move? Why of course star in a cheap teenage road comedy. Actually the movie wasn’t too bad. It stars Mark Hamill and Annie Potts with a small cameo role for former Partridge Family cast member Danny Bonaduce. The real star is the Corvette. The car was hot. The story revolves around Mark Hamill as a high school car fanatic who rebuilds a Corvette Stingray during his senior year of high school as a school project. When the car is stolen his search for the car takes him from Los Angeles to Las Vegas where he meets a would be hooker named Vanessa played by Annie Potts. They find the car and fall in with the ring of car thieves who stole it. They help the police bust the ring and get the car back. Mark finds out that his mentor his high school shop teacher was in with the thieves and had been setting up a lot of car thefts for them for years. So he has to have him arrested too. Mark’s character grows up a lot on his journey and drives the car back home with his new girlfriend. This is a fun, exciting adult comedy adventure disguised as a cheap teenage road comedy. I recommend that you rent or buy this movie. Eugene Roche also stars as the high school shop teacher. Here is a Corvette Summer fan site. Posted by Picasa

Happy Mother's Day Mrs. Andrews

Another comic book mother figure is Archie's mom. Always there to help Archie and his friends. She helped get Arch out of trouble and gave him good parental advice. Usually helped him with any girl troubles he had and tried to let him see that he should date Betty not Veronica. So Mrs. Andrews I hope you had a happy Mother's Day. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Be the Head Not the Tail

If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God and carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always have the upper hand. You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today not to follow after other gods and worship them.
Deuteronomy 28:13-14 NLT

The head and not the tail

When reading Deuteronomy 28, it is pleasant to focus on the blessings in Moses' message, yet we cannot avoid the fact that there were two sides to this oracle. Blessings would rain on the children of Israel as a result of their obedience, but harsh consequences awaited those who served other gods.…When the children of Israel turned from God, they would return to him only when they realized that they had placed themselves under the yoke of a far less benevolent master. Therein lies the curse—willingly abandoning a loving God to follow one whose intent is not to bless but to destroy. God still longs to bless us, but there is another who prowls about seeking to destroy those who are precious to God. Choose today to serve the God who longs to make you the head and the not the tail. Posted by Picasa

Marvel's 50 Greatest Characters

Overat live journal they have listed Marvels 50 greatest characters. The list is hard to argue with but Beta Ray Bill? Give me a break! It makes me wonder what are the 50 greatest characters in mainstream comics. Write or comment to me what you think and if I get enough response I will post it here.

Happy Mother's Day!

Just wanted to say Happy Mother's Day to everyone out there. So let Mom sleep in then take her out to eat breakfast and go for a drive in the country. Do whatever you want today Mom. You deserve it. The above photo of Aunt May is used as she was Spider-Man mother figure. There is also a good fan site for her at The Women of Marvel Comics. Posted by Picasa