Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Herculoids!

What is it about this insane collection of outer space zoo animals and their adoptive family that makes this show so attractive? The concept of the Herculoids is wacky beyond of all belief. The name is at once goofy, appropriate and memorable.

There's this royal family led by the father Zandor and made up of his wife Tara and their son Dorno. They live in the wilds of the planet Quasar and are surrounded by animalistic allies. There are the duo Gloop and Gleep, amorphous creatures that can change their shapes in all sorts of ways. There is Tundro a big old rhino-looking beast who can stretch his ten legs and fire molten rocks out of his horn. There is Zok a flying dragon who can unleash bolts of energy from his eyes and his tale. And finally there is Igoo a gigantic and powerful ape-looking creature seemingly made of stone.

Looking at the assembly they form a fantastically effective fighting force. Zandor is the general, Gloop and Gleep are the flexible defense and intelligence force, Tundro is the tank-like heavy weapons platform, Igoo the awesome one-ape infantry, and Zok the amazing air force. They can defend from all points and when riled they come on like gangbusters.

That's just a wild and wooly collection if ever there was one. For more details see this link.

Somehow the late great Alex Toth created them, and Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera agreed to create a cartoon show around the concept. It's so zany it defies explanation. And it worked like stink.

Aside from Space Ghost, the Herculoids are to my mind the most successful of the Hanna-Barbera 60's cartoon creations. Their loyalty to one another against bizarre threats spoke of the possibility of many different races to work together accomplish their goals. It's a message that makes the Herculoids almost an inspirational creation.

But they didn't sell all that well apparently. They are fondly remembered though, and at long last their original adventures are available on DVD from Warner Brothers. It's one of their limited on-demand releases, but there it is nonetheless. This show is one of those I promised myself I'd get no matter when it came out, and I have gotten my copy in mail. I've not yet had opportunity to screen them, but I'm eager to begin.

Here's a comic book cover gallery of all of the Herculoid cover appearances. I have all of these, so it might be time to dig them out and give them a good reading. If you want to see what the stories were like, check out this link to the Ol' Groove.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Dell Universals!

For whatever reason, Dell Comics brought out a gaggle of comics in the 60's which featured the classic Universal monsters. Many of these monsters had been revived by Hammer some years before, but these covers suggest it's clearly the Universal renditions that inspired the comics. Vic Prezio is identified as the artist on many of these covers and perhaps he did all of them.

In three cases (Frankenstein, Dracula, and Wolfman) brief superhero/adventure series were spun off the names.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Welcome Back To The Dojo!

Well I got my computer back and I find myself at square one. Everything on it had to be wiped out and consequently some upcoming planned posts will have to be recreated and/or revised.

It turns out I'm as much of a packrat online as I am at home, so a bunch of images and whatnot were just hanging around for no really good reason. Now they are all gone. It's actually kind of refreshing to have a fresh start.

Until later.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Going Gwangi!

My main computer is still malfunctioning. How frustrated am I? See Gwangi above.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Time For Reflection!

My primary computer has come down with another virus. So I'll check in when I can with what limited equipment I can access. Meanwhile it's a great chance to read and reflect don't you think.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Spirit Reader!

This cover of The Comic Reader shows off the original artwork by Will Eisner that I assume was used by Ken Kelly to create the cover of the tenth issue of Warren's Spirit magazine.

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Meugniot's Femforce!

Femforce from Bill Black's AC Comics has been in its time a charming comic drawn by some superior "Good-Girl Artists". Not least among these was Will Meugniot who did a gaggle of covers for the series. Here are some of those covers alongside a close up view of some of Meugniot's artwork for them.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Gene Colan RIP

It's with sadness I read this morning that one of the titans of Mighty Marvel's heyday has passed away. Gene "The Dean" Colan drew the very first Marvel comic I got my mitts on, and his technique and style imprinted on my fanboy DNA.

Colan was truly a unique artist, and that's immediately evident in that there is no one in the business today who attempts to imitate him.

His way of drawing was instantly identifiable and almost always excellent. Most fans know about his hectic last years, and I hope he's found peace at long last.

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