Monday, August 29, 2016

Gene Wilder, R.I.P.

Another major 2016 blow today. Gene Wilder has passed away. I met the man quite a few years 2005 to be exact. He was a sweetheart. Since "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is my favorite movie of all time, and "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein" are up there, this is a great loss.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jack Davis: 1924-2016

So I guess I will write a few words about Jack Davis since I've posted so many images on Facebook.

My first exposure to Jack Davis was in "Sesame Street" magazine back in 1970 where he illustrated the occasional cartoon. I then saw Davis' work on Rankin-Bass' "Jackson 5" TV show in 1971. Moving on to 1974 where I first started reading "Mad" and in my house were copies of "Time" and "TV Guide" which also featured Davis covers.
There was a magazine in 1983 called "Fanfare" that covered Jack Davis' LP covers and I also discovered he did a lot of movie posters and other EC Comics covers and other humor magazine covers and just a lot of artwork in general.

He is one of my favorite artists of all time and although the rumors of his death in 2013 were false, it was known that he may not be long for this world when he announced his retirement at age 90 in 2014.
I never met Davis in person, but did speak to him on the phone once for my "Cracked" book. He was very nice to me, despite the fact that he admitted not having a good time at "Cracked".

Friday, June 03, 2016

Good Times with The Monkees

Since The Monkees have a brand new album out, I might as well share this again (from 2013). In 2012-2013, I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing all four of the former Monkees (yes, Davy, too, two weeks before he died in 2012), and see three of them perform together (Micky, Peter and Mike) and all four separately (though Davy's wasn't a concert, but he did pull out a guitar and sing at one point at the autograph show I was attending). I also saw Micky some time earlier in 1993 when he wrote a book and saw the Davy/Micky/Peter version of The Monkees twice; once in 1987 and once in 1997 (I think). In any case, I've seen them a lot and am a fan.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My First "Star Wars" Experience

I saw it with my dad in Mountain View, California, in June 1977. There were lines by then and as a 10-year-old, I found that quite odd. We never had to stand in line for a movie before. I wasn't the pop culture maven as I am now, so I had no knowledge of the film beforehand. My dad read about it in "Time Magazine" and asked me if I wanted to see it. I said yes because I always liked to go to the movies. My older sister said no because she had no interest. My brother was too young and my mom stayed at home with him. I was blown away by it and when we exited, my dad asked me, "So, what did you think of Luke Skywalker?" and I said, "Who?" I didn't catch names. I was just so blown away by everything else I saw that the character names were not important to me. I learned them later.

Monday, January 04, 2016

My TV Show DVD Update II

In 2007 and 2010, I made a list of TV shows I would like to see on DVD. Now it's 2016, let's see the progress. Below is the original list with an asterisk (*) by those shows that have made it to DVD since I originally posted this:

In no particular order:

Don Adams' Screen Test
Animals Animals Animals
Make a Wish
The Alvin Show*(three episodes only)
Fernwood 2Night/America 2Night
The Great American Dream Machine*
When Things Were Rotten*
The Bob Newhart Show (1961 version)
Vision On
The Brady Brides
The Bradys
The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine
The Goodies* (import only)
CPO Sharkey*
Silver Spoons* (1st season only)
A Few Minutes With Stan Hooper (I have a bootleg of this now)
Curiosity Shop
Delta House
The Paul Hogan Show
The Beagles
Fridays* (some episodes)
Herman's Head
International Festival of Animation
It's About Time
Michael Nesmith in Television Parts
Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures*
The New Show
Operation Petticoat
Square Pegs*
It's Garry Shandling's Show*
The Great American Dream Machine*
The Mouse Factory
Make a Wish
Marshal Efron's Illustrated, Simplified and Painless Sunday School
Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine

Mother's Little Network*
Sgt. Swell (seen now on YouTube)

Batman with Adam West is also out now. I'd still like to see Julia with Diahann Carroll and a few other sitcoms like The Ropers.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chris Barat 1962-2015

I already posted this on Facebook, but this is for my blog, which I rarely update these days.

One of my friends for the past 25 years, Chris Barat, passed away yesterday. He was 52. Apparently, God meant to take him home.

Chris wrote a Richie Rich column for my own "The Harveyville Fun Times!" publication from issue #10 through the end of the run to #75, a period of 18 years! He said at one time it was the longest tenure he ever devoted to any one thing. I'm flattered.

Chris actually got his NAME printed in a Harvey Comic. Due his correspondence with Ernie Colon ...and Lennie Herman at the time, he was able to get his name mentioned on a bank window name plate in a story in "Richie Rich" #208, November 1981!

The last time I saw Chris was in 2009 when I flew to New York for the Harvey Art Show and he and his wife Nicky and friend Joe Torcivia made the effort to show up to the show opening, for which I am very grateful. It is the way I would like to remember Chris as strong and healthy.

My other close Harvey friend from the "THFT!" days (besides Joe) was Quinton Clem, and like Chris, I was aware that he was ill, but not to what extent. Quinton got cancer and died in 2012. I've recently completed the manuscript for "The Harvey Comics Companion" for TwoMorrows and I dedicated the book to Quinton. I will revise that to also dedicate it to Chris. Both Chris and Quinton were two people more than anyone else I wanted to see the completed book. Now neither of them can.

I did ask Chris a few questions for the book and if he wanted to contribute anything in the early days of writing it in early 2014, but he said that I could handle it, but he said to feel free to contact him if I got stumped on anything. It was probably the last time I communicated with Chris.

I have attached a photo that I plan to use in the book from the Harvey Art Show featuring a Q&A panel featuring Chris and myself (as well as the back of Joe's head!). From left to right are Paul Maringelli, Chris, me, Jim Salicrup, Rick Parker and Angelo De Cesare. Joe is sitting in the far left seat closest to the camera in the purple sweater.

I love and miss you Chris. You were a good soul.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Frustrating Dilemma

Thanks (or no thanks) to Facebook, I rarely blog these days. I like the instantaneousness (is that a word?) of how Facebook works. I can post an image or make a comment and virtually instantly I can get a response or at the very least, a thumbs up like from someone. Now, I've heard rumblings that Facebook is going to start deleting posts or put some sort of an expiration date on them. If that's the case, I'm going to have to go back to my blog here as I want some sort of "permanence" to my posts for my own reference at least.

Part of the charm of Facebook is the time stamp in that you can go back and find stuff from a few years back and it's still there. I still would like a "search" feature on Facebook, but oh well. I guess nothing lasts forever. I still like Facebook better than Twitter and MySpace, but I suppose all of it really is just a monumental waste of time. Since I write anyway, I don't really notice too much and I'd rather write than play video games endlessly.

In any case, it is a dilemma if Facebook does change, but again nothing lasts forever...