Thursday, September 30, 2010
There's no doubt what my favorite science fiction magazines of the 70's were. Amazing and Fantastic edited by Ted White were the cream of the crop at the time, offering a wonderfully tasty splash of hip writers and as you can see by this gallery some lush Stephen Fabian cover art.
Thundarr the Barbarian from the Ruby-Spears studio was fun bit of a cartoon featuring some great artwork by Jack Kirby. You can almost see Kirby's work here and there as the stories unfold. It's a pretty straightforward blend of a classic apocalyptic scenario (akin to Planet of the Apes) and Conan the Barbarian.
If you've seen Thundarr, you love it or hate it I suspect. I have a soft spot in my head for this cartoon. It's mostly nostalgia but it's a sentimental fave.
It's at long last out on DVD from Warner Archives. The cost is about thirty bucks and according to Mark Evanier, who reviews the series and his role in it here, the reproduction is suspect and there are no extras. Check it out at this link.
But it's not hard to see why Thundarr had such a difficult time finding an audience. Check out this TV Guide ad.
Yep! It says "Thunder".
How can they expect folks to flock to a show they can't be bothered to spell correctly.
NOTE OF CORRECTION: As has been pointed out me, the above ad is indeed correct and refers to another show about a horse named "Thunder". I'm sorry to all the Saturday morning fans that I might've injured with this lame post. I only got the show wrong, the year wrong, and the network wrong. Other than that, I'm completely correct. Mea Culpa Amigos!
I'll likely say more on this tomorrow, but just in case it slips my mind, I want to say that this weekend will see me in Bowling Green, Kentucky visiting my beautiful daughters and also taking in Webb Fan Fest V, a now annual event celebrating the "Electrifying Artist" known as Webb Wilder.
Here's a taste.
Consider this a three-day countdown to sheer spectacle!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Today's about the biggest buy I've had the local shop this year. The usual pulp stuff has dropped (Avenger, Doc Savage, Shadow) and there's a new Showcase volume featuring the Legion of Superheroes too. But the big buy today is the trade from Dark of Doctor Solar.
They've offered these up for several years in a archive format, but those are pretty steep for my blood. I get them for Turok, but that's a special case. Seeing these books come out in trade is a real treat and I anticipate the next one for Magnus too.
These earliest issues of Doctor Solar are some of the most peculiar, the ones before he adopts his red costume and becomes a more traditional superhero. I'm anxious to read them, and to get a good look at those Richard Powers covers.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Here's an outstanding bit of Doug Wildey artwork, which was apparently used on some model kits. Here are the kits themselves, each different box highlighting a different member of the Quest team.
I just love Doug Wildey's artwork!
Here are the models themselves by the way.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Yesterday was one of idle enjoyment. I dinged up my back on Saturday pretty much doing nothing, but it was painful nonetheless. Overnight my back got some better, but it was still nagging at me. It was a day in which not much work could be done, so I used my time to crush Jonny Quest. I watched all twenty-six episodes of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. I've had the dvd set for years but I'd never gotten around to watching all the episodes before. I corrected that oversight.
The single season of Jonny Quest is arguably the finest TV animated tour de force ever. The show is amazingly resilient, having the same cool today that it had in its own time, and offering up vintage adventure tales spanning the globe.
Doug Wildey is the genius behind the show, and his design work gives the show its distinctive character, its one-off nature. The shadows move like no other cartoon, and the realism is off the charts. Compared to what was on TV at the time it was a revolution, and compared to what is on TV today it's still a remarkable achievement.
My favorite episodes are "The Invisible Monster", "The Robot Spy", "The Que-Tong Missile Mystery" and "Shadow of the Condor". But this viewing reminded me of other great moments in "Terror Island", "Werewolf of the Timberland", "Double Danger", and "The Calcutta Affair". There are no bad Jonny Quest cartoons, only some that lack some of the pizazz of the best ones.
The gothic atmosphere of "The House of the Seven Gargoyles" was impressive, as well as the crafty characterization of "The Attack of the Tree People". The storytelling is superb and this dvd set really allows the artwork to blaze through in ways I've never seen before. Subtle touches are evident that have been hidden from my eyes for decades. Wonderful!
Below is a gallery of great Doug Wildey covers for the Comico run.
And if you like the series at all, then you need to check out this classic website dedicated to the show.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Russ Heath's Roman soldiers ad is arguably the grandest comic book ad ever. Here is a beautiful recreation of that classic bit of merchandising he did for a fan.
It's nice that at long last we get to see this guy.
All those decades under than coupon must have been quite aggravating.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Below you'll find the entire story from Atlas-Seaboard's Ironjaw #2. It features a fantastic Neal Adams cover, of which there are two versions, and some incredible Pablo Marcos artwork, here in its original raw, lush form. Ironjaw was as close to a flagship title as Atlas-Seaboard had and this is the best issue of the brief run. (I think Marcos looks best in black and white.)
The blood and thunder of Michael Fleisher's brutal and blunt barbarian rings through over and over this violent tale.
But before you dive into this feast, take a moment if you need to read the set up for this story, continued from the debut issue. "The World of Ironjaw" (from issue #1) sets it up very nicely.