Sunday, June 29, 2008

Superdad Review

I was going to write a review of this "dopey" Disney comedy, but this reader review on IMDB hit the nail on the spot. I agree with it 100%. It says:

"This film is every bit as entertaining as any of the other Disney films of the 1959-1979 period. What do you want?

You got your high jinx. You got your love story. You got your Kurt Russell. You got classic Bruno Kirby. You got your Bob Crane (Colonel Hogan, and unfairly slammed as an actor). You got your mad cap caper. You got your teenage conflict with authority. You got little kids laughing.

Why are we looking for dramatic depth in a Disney kids movie?

I watched this movie several times as a Disney movie of the week in the 70's. We even rented the 16mm version for display at youth conferences. All I have are fond memories and a wish for the video to be added to the other Disney Classics.

Lighten up and go with the flow, man!"

Leonard Maltin gives this film a BOMB rating. There are worse films and even worse Disney films that even he ranks higher, even from the same vintage. Try watching "King of the Grizzlies" for example or "The Legend of Lobo". If you want to compare it to Disney comedies, I can watch this any day over "Moon Pilot" or "One Little Indian", comedies that Maltin gives 3 stars and 2 1/2 stars respectively.

I consider this film as one of the "Dexter Riley" films in disguise, especially since it has Kurt Russell and Joe Flynn.

The official Dexter Riley films are "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" (1969), "Now You See Him, Now You Don't" (1972) and "The Strongest Man in the World" (1975). "Superdad" (1973) and "The Barefoot Executive" (1971) should belong on the list.

"Superdad" is finally available on DVD only through the Disney Movie Club, though you might also find it on Ebay.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Robert C. Sproul and Cracked

Whatever happened to Robert C. Sproul, the longtime publisher of "Cracked" magazine (or "mazagine") from 1958-1985? Is he dead or just retired?

If anyone knows of his current whereabouts, I'd be keen to know. An extensive Google search has turned up a little information about him, but not what he's been up to since 1985.

Please email me here or

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Harvey Art Exhibit at Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco

I helped out putting on a Harvey Art Exhibit at the Cartoon Art in San Francisco. Please stop by and see it if you are in the area between June and November 2008.


From Richie Rich to Wendy the Witch:
The Art of Harvey Comics

Cartoon Art Museum Exhibition: June 28 - November 30, 2008

The Cartoon Art Museum proudly presents a visual history of one of the most popular comic book publishers of all time: Harvey Comics. From Richie Rich to Wendy the Witch: The Art of Harvey Comics celebrates the art and characters created and/or popularized by Harvey including Casper, The Friendly Ghost; Wendy, The Good Little Witch; Richie Rich, The Poor Little Rich Boy; Hot Stuff, The Little Devil; Sad Sack; Joe Palooka; Little Dot; Little Audrey; Little Lotta, and many more. The exhibition includes original art from various Harvey comic books and merchandise by stalwarts such as Warren Kremer (1921-2003), who along with animator Steve Muffatti (1880-1968) defined the “Harvey” look.

Harvey Comics was founded in 1941 by Alfred Harvey (1913-1994), with a digest-sized comic book called Pocket Comics that put the company on the map with their line-up of superheroes that included The Black Cat. Various artists and writers who eventually achieved greater success elsewhere got their start at Harvey, including Jack Kirby, Joe Simon and Jim Steranko. By the end of the 1940s, Harvey transitioned to publishing comic books featuring popular comic strips of the day that included Joe Palooka, Dick Tracy, Blondie, Mutt & Jeff and Sad Sack. By the 1950s, romance and horror titles came into the mix.

An inspired bit of licensing in 1952 led to the 1957 purchase of Casper and several other animated cartoon characters created by Paramount Pictures’ Famous Studios, with Baby Huey, Buzzy the Crow, Herman & Katnip and Little Audrey among them. The enormous popularity of these characters spelled the end of the other genres at Harvey, and the company became solely a producer of children’s comics during that era.

Various newly created characters, such as Richie Rich, Little Dot and Little Lotta, followed the same house style to become a group affectionately known as the “Harvey World,” Though various ownership changes have occurred since the original Harvey shut its doors in 1982, the characters have never ceased to be influential, with hit movies like Richie Rich (1994), starring Macaulay Culkin, or Casper (1995), starring Christina Ricci, or the current five-volume series of Harvey Comics Classics published by Dark Horse Comics.

This exhibition runs through November 30, 2008, and features artwork by Warren Kremer, Ernie Colón, Sid Couchey, Howard Post, Fred Rhoads, Ham Fisher, Dom Sileo, Marty Taras, and many more. Details regarding the opening reception and other upcoming Harvey events will be announced shortly.

Cartoon Art Museum € 655 Mission Street € San Francisco, CA 94105 € 415-CAR-TOON €
Hours: Tues. - Sun. 11:00 - 5:00, Closed Monday
General Admission: $6.00 € Student/Senior: $4.00 € Children 6-12: $2.00 € Members & Children under 6: Free

The Cartoon Art Museum is a tax-exempt, non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the collection, preservation, study and exhibition of original cartoon art in all forms.