Monday, May 31, 2010

The Turtles are Great

I am a big-time Turtles fan. Maybe not as much as The Beatles, but it's up there. In fact, I find it hard to believe that there aren't more Turtles fans, but I don't care. If everyone chooses to believe that the only thing the Turtles did was "Happy Together", so be it.

I have all the Turtles albums, all the Flo & Eddie albums and even the Howard Kaylan album that came out a few years ago called "Dust Bunnies" (told you I liked them). All are excellent and are worth getting.

Some tracks on some of the albums are kinda silly, but that's why the Turtles are fun. My favorite album by the Turtles is "The Turtles Present The Battle of the Bands" from 1968 which was a flop as an album, despite have two major hits "Elenore" and "You Showed Me", the latter being a big hit again due to "Austin Powers".

A few years ago, Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan) issued a VHS and later a DVD about the history of the Turtles. When I had it on tape, I wore it out!! Haven't worn out the DVD, but certainly watch it quite often. Now, I'm upset because on YouTube I've found live performances of the Turtles that aren't included on the video of songs they didn't perform live anywhere else.

I hope Mark and Howard issue another video with as many live Turtles performances possible, even if it has 37 different performances of "Happy Together"!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Shrek 4" Excellent

I have been a reluctant "Shrek" fan from the start. When I saw the initial preview trailers for the first "Shrek" almost a decade ago, I said to myself, "Ugh! The character design on this film is horrible and it looks like it's not going to be funny at all!"

Fortunately, I went to see the first "Shrek" film anyway and instantly fell in love with its characters and its humor. My initial thoughts immediately vanished. I ended up seeing it 3x in the theaters and it became one of my favorite films of past decade.

I went to see "Shrek 2" and also the 3-D short as well, and liked those, too. By the time, "Shrek 3" came out, I felt "enough already" and actually didn't see that one until long after it came out on home video. It was STILL good.

Last Christmas, there was a half-hour Christmas special. THAT was good.

So, when the fourth one came out and they touted it as the last one, I felt I had to see it. Then, it did come out and got some harsher reviews than I had heard for the other ones. This did not deter me and I went to see it last night.

I'm happy to say that it is a fine entry in the series and a fitting conclusion. It is a little darker than the others, but that's fine. It ties everything together very nicely. The basic story is that Shrek is bored with his mundane life of being a husband and father, so he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin in order to have one more day where every one fears him.

Problem (as usual) with those type of deals is that there's always a "catch", so in best "It's a Wonderful Life" fashion, Shrek regrets his decision and tries to make amends to get his old life back.

Of course, Shrek's decision has affected everyone else in his life. He is no longer married, no longer has kids and his former friends are alienated. During the course of the movie amends are made and of course, there's the inevitable happy ending.

Definitely worth seeing even if you are sick of "Shrek" like I was by the third entry.

"Do the roar!"

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Richie Rich Pepsi Glass

Here's a vintage piece of Harvey memorabilia that I purchased yesterday from The Time Tunnel in San Jose. It's a Richie Rich Pepsi glass that dates from about 1975 when Harvey merchandising was at its peak.

As mentioned in the previous blog entry, most Harvey memorabilia dates from the late 60s to early 70s. There are other peak times like in the mid-50s when the Paramount Famous Studios cartoons were still being produced, and like in the mid-90s when the "Casper" movie and cartoon series were airing.

I have tended to avoid these type of purchases due to their breakability, but the price was good and I had a little extra dough for once. I know that there are a few others like Casper, Spooky, Wendy, Hot Stuff and Baby Huey...

Friday, May 28, 2010

I Want These Cookies!

It's interesting that in the late 60s and early 70s, Harvey Comics merchandising was at its peak and quite a few interesting products were issued including this short-lived cookie line.

I'm not actually sure if these did indeed make it to the marketplace, but I do own a copy of the box that features Spooky up above. If they were around, it may have been in limited areas of distribution, too.

In any case, I would love for stuff like this to make a come back, it's just that no one seems to value anything Harvey these days, despite them being fondly remembered characters.

It's the old song and dance that no one seems to know how to MARKET these characters. If I owned them, I would, but I don't have $60 million to buy them.

Basically, the easiest way to reintroduce the Harvey characters is with a digest line reprinting the old stories and also tie them into various holidays, like Casper for Halloween, Little Lotta for Thanksgiving, Hot Stuff for Valentine's Day, Richie Rich for Christmas, etc. At least Dark Horse has been reprinting things, so it's a start.

Anyway, once the association is established, then products like this could be re-introduced.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

McDonaldland Poster!

This poster brings back fond memories and is one of my prized possessions in my collection. I always have had a fondness for McDonald's as an icon, but less so of their food.

People are amazed when I say this, but when I was a kid, I hated McDonald's. Mind you, McDonald's did not have the menu it has now. It had hamburgers, cheeseburgers and fish sandwiches and THAT'S IT! I didn't like McDonald's hamburgers. I much preferred my mother's hamburgers. And fish sandwich? Ewww!

I can eat all of that stuff now, but back then in the early 70s...bleagh!!!

I did like McDonald's french fries, and their shakes on occasion, but that's it. My favorite soft drink as a kid was root beer, and McDonald's didn't even serve it! I couldn't stand Coke as a kid. Yes, I was a weird kid...

My preference at the time was Kentucky Fried Chicken. The ironic thing is now I rarely go to KFC, because I usually feel ill after I eat there. I think they changed how they prepared the food after the Colonel passed away. It seems to be better then, or perhaps my stomach could take it better then...

Anyway, my distaste for McDonald's food did not prevent me from collecting various McDonald's merchandise over the years, some of it now highly collectible. I was just collecting it because I liked it.

Like I have a booklet about the McDonald's soft drink lids telling you that you could use them as molds because they use to have the various McDonald's characters embossed in the lids.

About the poster, I liked it because it was created before they decided to "cute up" the McDonald's characters. Captain Crook, Hamburglar, Grimace and the Goblins used to be scary-looking dudes. Later, they made them all sweet and nice and boring. I mean Grimace had multiple arms and pouches to hold the shakes he stole! Creepy!!

I also miss characters like the wastebaskets! Only McDonald's would make the wastebasket a character!

Anyway, it is a nifty looking painting of McDonaldland. I wish I knew who the artist was, however. It came out about 1972...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yay! "Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures" on DVD

I've been wanting to purchase this for a while, but at $35, it was a little too steep for my blood.

I finally got ahold of a copy, by using some of my Citibank points and I am in heaven. It looks like my friend Mike Kazaleh drew the cover, which is appropriate since he worked on the cartoons and is one of many interviewed on the disc.

Of course, it is Ralph Bakshi's and John Kricfalusi's baby. Hot off the success of The Rolling Stones' "Harlem Shuffle" video, Bakshi was interested in doing more cartoons, and after many discussions, this was the result.

Many people suggest that Disney's "DuckTales" changed the course of animation history in 1987, but even though it debuted two weeks later, I would give the nod to this show.

Although "DuckTales" was steps ahead of what appeared earlier in the decade, it was still really more of the same for Disney, and similar to what they did a couple of years earlier with "Wuzzles" and "Gummi Bears".

"Mighty Mouse" really broke the mold and brought back "funny" to animated cartoons, and I strongly feel that even Disney was inspired by this when they did "The Little Mermaid" feature film. They certainly were years later with series like "Shnookums and Meat", which took this new style to the ultimate extreme for a Disney cartoon.

On the down side, it did kind of start the trend of "toilet humor" in cartoons that was solidified in Kricfalusi's next series "The Ren and Stimpy Show" (which I also love, at least the earlier episodes).

Anyway, if you haven't seen or don't like Mighty Mouse, you are in for a treat. If you do like Mighty Mouse, and can't get enough, there's even three original theatrical Mighty Mouse cartoons included as well.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Howard Post (1926-2010)

Longtime Harvey artist Howard Post passed away last Friday. I would like to say a few words about the amazing Howie Post.

Post did tons of work for Harvey, most memorably on "Hot Stuff", "Spooky", "Wendy" and "Little Audrey" as well as the "Spoonmen" ads that appeared in the center pages.

After he left Harvey, he worked for Marvel's Star Comics working on "Wally the Wizard", "Count Duckula" and "Heathcliff". He also did "Anthro" for DC Comics in the 60s and ran the Paramount Animation Studio for a time in the 60s as well.

Typically, he is one of those underrated-but-everyone-knows-his-work type of artists.

I spoke to him a couple of times and have printed many interviews with Post in "The Harveyville Fun Times!" Post also contributed the cover to "THFT!" #67, which I have also reprinted above.

He will be missed...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Where is My Domestic Tex Avery DVD Box?

I was told a few years ago not to purchase an existing import Tex Avery cartoon DVD box set because there was going to be a domestic DVD set featuring ALL of Tex Avery's cartoons UNCUT and REMASTERED. I believe that it was set for release in time for Christmas 2006.

Well, here it is 2010, and well...where is it?

I'm still tempted to buy the French edition (pictured above) because at least it's something, but there are some cuts and they aren't remastered and there's two cartoons missing.

A Droopy set did come out in the US in 2007, which was a step in the right direction, but where are the other Tex Avery cartoons? A couple Tex Averys appear on certain DVD's like "Battleground" and "The Thin Man Goes Home", but Tex needs and deserves his own collection...TODAY!

Warners, are you listening???

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hey Hey, Where are the Monkees?

Regardless of them being a manufactured group, The Monkees can now safely say that they are the only major musical act from the 60s with all original members still intact. I guess you could also say that about The Kinks, but Dave Davies is not in the greatest shape or maybe Crosby, Stills and Nash...

They go back and forth being friends and not after their initial split in 1968, that solidified in 1971. They have reunited several times, most notably in 1986, but also in 1976, 1987-1989, 1993-1994, 1996-1997 and 2001-2003.

Although Peter Tork has had some health problems, I have heard that he is ok, but the four (or a portion) thereof have no further reunion plans.

I did read this on Wikipedia and it bears further investigation:

"A virtual reunion of all four Monkees came about in 2010, when Nick Vernier Band released "Mister Bob (featuring The Monkees)" (see: Socio-Audio Impact, 2010)."

Anyway, I'd love to see them together yet again. You can never get too much Monkees as long as all four are still around...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Writer's Block Part 2

Actually, again I don't really have writer's block, just no time today. I suggest rereading my Robert McKimson entry. Maybe we can get a postage stamp with him. Who knows? Anyway, see you tomorrow with another exciting entry on the Fun Ideas blog...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Please Follow My Blog!

Please follow my blog by clicking on the "follow" button to the right. You will be rewarded greatly by someone of vast wealth!!!

Not me...but someone of vast wealth....

I Love Robert McKimson Cartoons

Robert McKimson was a "Looney Tunes" cartoon director at Warner Bros. from 1946-1969. Before that he was an animator on the "Looney Tunes". His cartoons are regularly glossed over in favor of those by Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng, and even those of Tex Avery and Bob Clampett.

There's nothing wrong with McKimson's cartoons. He's just a victim of bad timing. First, he wasn't one of the original directors, so the perception seems to be that he was sort of a "fill-in" director while at Warners and should have stayed an animator.

Second, he worked for Warners until they closed, both in 1964 and again in 1969, actually directing the final cartoon for the studio both times. Unfortunately, the quality of the cartoons had begun to suffer and McKimson is sometimes given blame for this, but by this time, the other directors had bailed out and McKimson should be hailed for keeping things going as long as he did. He even directed the abyssmal Bugs Bunny TV specials of the 70s, which did nothing to improve his reputation.

Third, when Warners did a layoff in 1953, McKimson lost every member of his unit and had to reassemble. It was harder for him as Freleng and Jones were able to rehire their old teams, and so McKimson had to resort to animating a lot of his cartoons himself.

Finally, he died too young. In 1977, when he passed away, McKimson missed the opportunity to be an elder statesman and comment on his work during the 80s and 90s as Jones and Freleng got to do. Avery and Clampett lived a little longer than McKimson and that helped solidify their place in animation history.

So Robert McKimson is frequently given the short shrift, when he should be revered with the others. After all, it was he who created the Tasmanian Devil, Foghorn Leghorn, Hippety Hopper and Speedy Gonzales, and designed the definitive Bugs Bunny.

Some people complain that Hippety Hopper is really a one-note character, and that all of the cartoons are basically the same. I feel the same could be said about the much-revered Road Runner and Coyote cartoons, as well as many of the Tweety and Sylvester cartoons. I think its an unfair assessment when many cartoon series are based on repetition anyway.

Fortunately, McKimson got to do his share of Bugs Bunny cartoons and I find his Bugs Bunnys in many cases to be far more wild, inventive and funny than some of Jones' or Freleng's Bugs Bunny cartoons. That's not to knock Jones and Freleng. I certainly enjoy a number of their pictures. I just feel in honor of Robert McKimson's 100th birthday, he should finally get his due respect.

Below is a list of McKimson's best with an * by those I find particularly good:

*Daffy Doodles (1946)
Hollywood Canine Canteen (1946)
Acrobatty Bunny (1946)
Walky Talky Hawky (1946)
The Mouse-Merized Cat (1946)
One Meat Brawl (1947)
*Birth of a Notion (1947)
Hobo Bobo (1947)
Easter Yeggs (1947)
*Crowing Pains (1947)
*Gorilla My Dreams (1948)
*Daffy Duck Slept Here (1948)
Hop, Look and Listen (1948)
The Up-Standing Sitter (1948)
The Shell Shocked Egg (1948)
*Hot Cross Bunny (1948)
*The Foghorn Leghorn (1948)
*A-Lad-in His Lamp (1948)
A Horsefly Fleas (1948)
Paying the Piper (1949)
Daffy Duck Hunt (1949)
*Rebel Rabbit (1949)
Henhouse Henery (1949)
The Grey Hounded Hare (1949)
*The Windblown Hare (1949)
Swallow the Leader (1949)
Hippety Hopper (1949)
*A Ham in a Role (1949)
Hurdy-Gurdy Hare (1950)
*Boobs in the Woods (1950)
Strife with Father (1950)
The Leghorn Blows at Midnight (1950)
An Egg Scramble (1950)
*What's Up Doc? (1950)
*It's Hummer Time (1950)
*Hillbilly Hare (1950)
A Fractured Leghorn (1950)
Pop 'im Pop! (1950)
Bushy Hare (1950)
*Hare We Go (1951)
A Fox in a Fix (1951)
Corn Plastered (1951)
*Early to Bet (1951)
French Rarebit (1951)
Leghorn Swoggled (1951)
Lovelorn Leghorn (1951)
*Sleepy Time Possum (1951)
Dog Collared (1951)
*Big Top Bunny (1951)
*The Prize Pest (1951)
Who's Kitten Who? (1952)
*Thumb Fun (1952)
Kiddin' the Kitten (1952)
Sock a Doodle Do (1952)
The Turn-Tale Wolf (1952)
Oily Hare (1952)
Hoppy-Go-Lucky (1952)
The EGGcited Rooster (1952)
*The Super Snooper (1952)
*Rabbit's Kin (1952)
*Fool Coverage (1952)
Upswept Hare (1953)
A Peck o' Trouble (1953)
Muscle Tussle (1953)
There Auto Be a Law (1953)
Plop Goes the Weasel (1953)
Cat-Tails for Two (1953)
Easy Peckin's (1953)
Of Rice and Hen (1953)
Cats A-Weigh! (1953)
Wild Wife (1954)
*Design for Leaving (1954)
Bell Hoppy (1954)
*No Parking Hare (1954)
*Little Boy Boo (1954)
*Devil May Hare (1954)
The Oily American (1954)
Gone Batty (1954)
Quack Shot (1954)
Feather Dusted (1955)
All Fowled Up (1955)
Lighthouse Mouse (1955)
*The Hole Idea (1955)
*Dime to Retire (1955)
Too Hop to Handle (1956)
Weasel Stop (1956)
*The High and the Flighty (1956)
Mixed Master (1956)
*The Unexpected Pest (1956)
*Stupor Duck (1956)
Half-Fare Hare (1956)
Raw! Raw! Rooster! (1956)
The Slap-Hoppy Mouse (1956)
*Wideo Wabbit (1956)
The Honey-Mousers (1956)
*Bedevilled Rabbit (1957)
Cheese It, the Cat! (1957)
Fox-Terror (1957)
Boston Quackie (1957)
Tabasco Road (1957)
*Ducking the Devil (1957)
Mouse-Taken Identity (1957)
Rabbit Romeo (1957)
Don't Axe Me (1958)
Tortilla Flaps (1958)
Feather Bluster (1958)
*Now Hare This (1958)
Dog Tales (1958)
Weasel While You Work (1958)
Pre-Hysterical Hare (1958)
Gopher Broke (1958)
Mouse-Placed Kitten (1959)
China Jones (1959)
*The Mouse That Jack Built (1959)
A Mutt in a Rut (1959)
Backwoods Bunny (1959)
Cat's Paw (1959)
*Bonanza Bunny (1959)
A Broken Leghorn (1959)
*People Are Bunny (1959)
West of the Pesos (1960)
Wild Wild World (1960)
*Crockett-Doodle-Do (1960)
Mice Follies (1960)
The Dixie Fryer (1960)
Dog Gone People (1960)
Cannery Woe (1961)
Hoppy Daze (1961)
Strangled Eggs (1961)
Birds of a Father (1961)
Daffy's Inn Trouble (1961)
What's My Lion? (1961)
*Wet Hare (1962)
Fish and Slips (1962)
*Bill of Hare (1962)
The Slick Chick (1962)
Mother Was a Rooster (1962)
Good Noose (1962)
Fast Buck Duck (1963)
*The Million Hare (1963)
Banty Raids (1963)
Aqua Duck (1963)
Claws in the Lease (1963)
A Message to Gracias (1964)
Bartholomew Versus the Wheel (1964)
Freudy Cat (1964)
*Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare (1964)
False Hare (1964)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Complete Peanuts 1975-1976" Continues the Good Work of Schulz

I have a friend of mine who discontinued reading "The Complete Peanuts" series with the 1971-1972 volume primarily due to the introduction of Rerun Van Pelt. I plan to get all the volumes of this series, but realize that once the series gets into the 90s especially, the material gets a bit shaky (content-wise and literally), as Schulz did not have as much control with his pen line and also seemed to be very content in his life so the abrasive humor of earlier strips was replaced by many, MANY cute strips.

The 1975-1976 volume is still good and for my friend, there's only three strips in the entire book that have Rerun in them, so it's still quality stuff. I will say that the best years of "Peanuts" are probably 1955-1975, but that's the BEST. The strip was good before 1955, and for quite a long time after.

Like I said, the series will get a little trying once it gets into the 1990s, but I am going to brave it out until the bitter end as even a bad "Peanuts" strip is sometimes better than most of what's coming out today in comic strips.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Cracked" Book Update

Here is the back side and the front side of my new postcard, soon to be delivered by Nextdayflyers. As you can see it promotes my upcoming "Cracked" book as well as the old Harvey and TTV books, and my upcoming Beatles book for the first time.

The "Cracked" book is still on schedule to be released sometime between September and November 2010 from BearManor Media.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Downside of Publishing

As a published author with two (soon to be three) books to my credit, I find it discouraging as an author and a buyer to discover something like this. The book above is "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, the Making of the First Animated Christmas Special", published by Oxberry Press roughly around the same time as my book "Created and Produced by Total TeleVision productions".

I was planning to buy this book as it is quite interesting and very well laid out and a very handsome looking book, but I was looking on Amazon today and I now have missed my opportunity, (unless I see it in a store somewhere at cover price, which was already quite high if I remember, but worth the price). Now, it's selling for $125 and up and out of print.

If I was the author (Dale Van Critters), I'd be disappointed that more people couldn't read my book. Perhaps he doesn't care, but I would feel bad that the more casual fan couldn't get the book without paying good money for it. And Van Critters doesn't even benefit. I can pay $125 for it, but Van Critters would not get a percentage of that as a royalty.

Going to the Oxberry Press website, it mentions that they deal specifically with limited editions, but I think that's wrong, especially in today's "print on demand" world. Oh well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I recently bought a copy of "The Fox and the Crow" #105 (August-September 1967). The funniest thing about this long-running series is how DC Comics starting phasing out "The Fox and the Crow" in 1965 and phasing in "Stanley and his Monster" instead of just creating a brand new book. "Monster" debuted in #95(January 1966). By issue #102, Fox and Crow didn't even appear on the cover of their own book anymore (except in little head shots) and by issue #109, the transition was complete with a title change to "Stanley and his Monster". The transition probably wasn't worth the trouble as "Stanley and his Monster" only lasted until #112 (October-November 1968), despite a logo change to make it emulate those of Archie Comics.

I enjoy both features, but as they have very distinctive artwork and styles, the combination of the two in the same book is almost as jarring as it was in "Archie Meets the Punisher". At least Stanley and monster never co-starred with Fox and Crow in the same strip.

"Stanley and his Monster" was briefly revived in 1993, but it still didn't catch on, while the rest of us wait in vain for "The Fox and the Crow" archival edition that will never come as Columbia Pictures owns the rights to the characters.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Writer's Block

I guess I have writer's block (and no time) today to write a blog entry...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gloria Stuart to Host Saturday Night Live, Please

Betty White, phooey! She's just a young whipper-snapper. Who we need to host "Saturday Night Live" is someone threatening to die at any moment, Gloria Stuart. Stuart, who will 100 on July 4, is one of the oldest living actors alive at the moment. Certainly the most prominent old actor. She appeared in "The Old Dark House" in 1932, and more recently in some minor film called "Titanic" in 1997.

Up until a couple of years ago, I would have said Charles Lane, who died at age 102. And the last Ziegfield Follies girl (Doris Eaton Travis) just died at 106. Are there any older actors alive today? Please let me know.

UPDATE: Here's a list I copied from

Celebrities 100 years old or older (as of Summer 2009)

Frederica Sagor Maas 109 (Screenwriter, Essayist, Author)
Johannes Heesters 105 (Actor, 87 Year Career, STILL ACTIVE)
Doris Eaton Travis 105 (Actress, Dancer, Ziegfeld Girl)
Mona Ray (104)
Barbara Kent 102 (Actress)
Dorothy Young 102 (Performer)
Miriam Seegar 101 (Actress)
Pola Illery 100 (Actress)
Dorothy Bartlam 100 (Actress)
Dolores Hope 100 (Wife of Comedian-Actor Bob Hope)

Celebrities 90 years old or older (Summer 2009)

Gloria Stuart 99 (old Lady on "Titanic")
Luise Rainer 99 (Actress)
Carla Laemmle 99 (Actress,niece of the founder of Universal Studios)
Dorothy Janis 99 (Early Hollywood Screen Siren)
Mitch Miller - 98
Lupita Tovar 98 (Mexican sweetheart of the 1930's)
Gustav Lantschner (98)
Yvette Le Bon (98)
Paulette Dubost (98)
Brigette Borchert (98)
Baby Marie Osborne (97)
Mary Carlisle 97 (Original Blonde Bombshell)
Annalisa Ericson (95)
June Havoc (95)
Michael D. Moore (94)
Alicia Rhett 94 (Oldest Living Cast Member of "Gone with the Wind")
Jack LaLanne - 94
Harry Morgan - 94
Olivia de Havilland 93 (Melanie from "Gone with the Wind")
Frank Coghlan Jr. (93)
Isuzu Yamada (92)
Ernest Borgnine - 92
Kirk Douglas - 92
Zsa Zsa Gabor - 92
Lena Horne 92
Joan Fontaine 91 (Olivia de Havilland's sister, Actress also)
Phyllis Diller (91)
Mary Healy 91
Patricia Andrews 91 (Last Living Andrews Sister)
Frances Bay 91
Marjorie Lord 90
Ruth Duccini 90 (Munchkin in "The Wizard of Oz")
Louis Jourdan 90
Betty Garrett 90
Pamela Blake 90
Helen Wagner 90
Ellen Albertini Dow 90
Joyce Redman 90
Radu Beligan 90
Audrey Totter 90
Diana Serra Cary (90)
Virginia Davis (90)
Vondell Darr (90)
Andy Rooney - 90


Mickey Rooney, B.B. King, Dick Clark, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard... are not 90 yet.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Last Couple of Days for Harvey Art Show!

Here I am at Van Eaton Galleries last Saturday standing in front of an original cel setup of Casper in "Boo Moon". If you get a chance, there are only a couple of days left for this show and that's it! Log onto Van Eaton Galleries for more information...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Love "TV Funhouse"

A friend of mine had never heard of "TV Funhouse" despite being a huge animation fan. "TV Funhouse" (or its variations) originally appeared in such places as "The Dana Carvey Show" and its own short-lived cable show before it made a long-time home at "Saturday Night Live", actually being the funniest part of "SNL" for a number of years.

There are many classics over the years including "Steadman", "The Ex-Presidents" and "The Black Sabbath Show" among many others.

My favorite which I will link here is "Journey to the Disney Vault", which includes footage of "Song of the South" and Mickey Mouse ("You're supposed to be funny?").

Anyway, here it is: Click here!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Couple of Scary Casper Images

Here are a couple of scary Casper images. Actually, the second one is not too bad. It's just a picture of Casper Van Dien showing off his Casper tattoo.

The first one is more disturbing showing what a truly live-action Casper movie might look like. Eeeek -- a g-g-g-g-g-ghost!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More "Looney Tunes" on DVD!

Unfortunately, the "Looney Tunes Golden Collection" series has been retired after six volumes, but the good news is that Warner Bros. is going to continue releasing new collections. There are two coming out in August, one featuring Bugs Bunny and the other featuring Daffy Duck with no repeats from the previous collections.

Longtime readers of this blog will know that I have my own list of 66 favorite Looney Tunes that most definitely should be on DVD. As of the last count, there are still 44 remaining. With these new collections, let's see how many are left...

My wants:
1. The Village Smithy
2. Egghead Rides Again
3. Porky's Hero Agency*
4. Cinderella Meets Fella
5. Hamateur Night
6. Porky's Picnic
7. Porky the Giant Killer
8. The Timid Toreador
9. Porky's Cafe**
10. Fresh Hare***
11. The Impatient Patient
12. Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs
13. Daffy Doodles
14. Hot Cross Bunny****
15. A Lad in His Lamp
16. The Bee-Deviled Bruin
17. Rabbit Every Monday
18. Ballot Box Bunny
19. Thumb Fun
20. The Hasty Hare
21. Fool Coverage
22. I Gopher You
23. No Parking Hare
24. Beanstalk Bunny
25. Hare Brush
26. The High and the Flighty
27. Rabbitson Crusoe
28. Piker's Peak
29. Hareway to the Stars
30. Bonanza Bunny
31. Wet Hare
32. Bill of Hare

Woo-hoo! We're down to 32 left! Actually, 28 if you count the following:
*"Porky's Hero Agency" is available on the "Marked Woman" DVD.
**"Porky's Cafe" is avaiable on the "Porky's Cafe" public domain DVD.
***"Fresh Hare" is available on the "Captains of the Clouds" DVD.
****"Hot Cross Bunny" is available on "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" DVD.

Monday, May 10, 2010

TV Shows STILL Not on DVD

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

In no particular order:

Don Adams' Screen Test
Animals Animals Animals
Make a Wish
The Alvin Show*(one episode 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
Curiosity Shop
Delta House
The Paul Hogan Show
The Beagles
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

As you can see, not much progress on these obscure shows. I would like to add the Adam West Batman series among other things, but that's a given. The above shows are listed due to their relative obscurity.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Harvey Art Show Went Well

The Harvey Art Show opening at Van Eaton Galleries went well. I went with Jerry Boyd and he helped me with the camera work. Among the guests that showed up were Jerry Beck, Milton Knight, Earl Kress, Sid Jacobson, Charlotte Fullerton, Mike Kazaleh, Bill Vallely, and many others.

Beforehand, Jerry Boyd and I went over to Scott Shaw's! house for a quick visit. He had some pending deadlines, so was not able to attend. I told him and I'm telling you, the show will continue for another couple of weeks, so please plan to see it as this will be the final location for the Harvey Art Show. The last day is May 15, 2010.

Friday, May 07, 2010

"Tubby" Questions

The above Free Comic Book Day comic featured the debut of the Dell title "Tubby" in a publication by Drawn & Quarterly, a publisher that has taken upon itself to reprint everything John Stanley incuding "Melvin the Monster", "Nancy", "Thirteen Going on Eighteen", etc.

"Tubby" was a surprise as Dark Horse had been publishing "Little Lulu" reprints for years. This prompted comic artist extraordinaire Scott Shaw! to ask:

"Isn't it odd that Dark Horse has the reprint rights to LITTLE LULU but D&Q has the reprint rights to TUBBY? It kinda reminds me of when Dell had the rights to do a ROY ROGERS funnybook while DC published the DALE EVANS comic!"

To which I answered:

"My speculation is that I think Classic Media might have sold the "Tubby" reprint rights to the highest bidder, since the series doesn't cross over, and Lulu barely appears in "Tubby", so there's no continuity. Also, until recently Dark Horse was just reprinting the Russ Cochran black and white reprints in paperback form, until they went to the color series. Dark Horse may have had to renegotiate for the color series and could have taken a pass on or lost on the bidding for doing "Tubby" at that time. If someone knows more, please let us all know."

Shaw! replied: "Calling David Scroggy...calling David Scroggy...calliing David Scroggy..."

So, what is the answer? Why is Drawn & Quarterly publishing "Tubby" and not "Dark Horse"?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Van Eaton Galleries This Saturday!

One last plug and reminder to come to the Van Eaton Galleries this Saturday, May 8 from 7-10pm to see the Harvey Art Show. I will be there as will Jerry Beck and a few other guests and surprises! Here's the invite, once more:

Van Eaton Galleries is proud to host a special
event honoring the animation history of

The event will include a retrospective look at the
appearance of the beloved characters in the films of
Fleischer and Famous Animation Studios as well
as their printed lives in Harvey Comics.

Special Guest speakers, books,
and AVAILABLE ARTWORK to be announced!.
Please contact us with any questions and to RSVP

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Beach Boys "Friends"

I've come to the conclusion by relistening to The Beach Boys that "Friends" is their best album. That's not to say that other people necessarily agree with my assessment. Most people feel that "Pet Sounds" or the aborted "Smile" was The Beach Boys greatest achievement, but they're not really listening.

"Friends" came out in July 1968, and reached a disastrous #126 on the charts, after the chart-failing "Smiley Smile" and "Wild Honey", that seemed like mega-hits chart-wise in comparison.

After the ambitious "Smile" became the embarrassing and almost unlistenable "Smiley Smile", virtually nothing The Beach Boys ever did was as popular as what came before (unless you count "Kokomo" or something).

I'd have to say the period of 1967-1973 was their most creative period because the entire group, not just Brian really excelled and improved. Strangely, England noticed this and their releases from this period still reflected high chart positions, where as here, The Beach Boys were now considered insignificant.

Occasionally, they'd have a hit like "Do it Again" or "Darlin'", but on "Friends", the supposed to be big hit single was "Friends" and it didn't even make the Top 40, despite being one of their best tunes, ever. (I think "Good Vibrations" is their best tune, by the way.)

I, myself, dismissed the post-"Smile" period, thinking that they could not have produced anything of merit, but I find myself listening to "Wild Honey", "Friends", "20/20", "Sunflower", "Surf's Up", "Carl and the Passions" and "Holland" again and again, even more so than the hit-making Beach Boys of 1962-1966.

They took a break from 1974-1976, and virtually everything that came out later was stillborn to downright embarrassing, but oh well. For prime Beach Boys give me 1962-1973 anyday, and I will always put "Friends" at the top of the list, as it is the most cohesive, harmonic and pleasant albums they ever made. Take a listen.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"Star Comics All Star Collection" Volume 3 and 4!

I just purchased volume 3 of the "Star Comics All Star Collection" and I've just heard that volume 4 will be coming out in July. This is great news because after volume 5, every issue of "Planet Terry", "Top Dog", "Royal Roy" and "Wally the Wizard" will be issued in this graphic novel form.

Volume 3 completes the run of "Royal Roy's" six issues and has issues 5 and 6 of both "Terry" and "Wally" and 7-9 of "Top Dog". Volume 4 will have 7-9 of "Terry" and "Wally" and 10-12 of "Top Dog". If all goes to plan, volume 5 will have "Terry" and "Wally" #10-12 and "Top Dog" #13 and 14 and I guess some bonus stories that originally appeared in "Heathcliff" or something.

A MUST read for any serious Harvey fan...

Monday, May 03, 2010

Long Wanted First Appearance in Inexpensive Form

Wow, before I do my review, I would just have to say that Stu O'Boogie is rather harsh on not only this, but his other Harvey book reviews, and his reviews in general. 99% of the time it seems that he gives one star to something, acknowledging that it is something he wouldn't read or it is in black and white or incomplete or something else. My hope is that he does not review my book "The Best of The Harveyville Fun Times!", which is in black and white for a very good reason, because it is a scrapbook reprinting of my fanzine, which originally was in black and white.

I have to say that if you don't find a book or DVD interesting for yourself, but have no intentions of actually reading it, viewing it or buying it, such reviews are useless, and are just annoying.

As for myself, this "Casper" book is EXACTLY the type of book I wanted for years, a full-color hardback featuring the very first appearances of "Casper". Never mind that it is my copy of "Casper" #6 that was used for the scans in this book, I would have purchased it regardless.

I am STILL happy that these books are coming out because for me, black and white Harvey is better than NO Harvey, which is how it was for over a decade. This one is in FULL COLOR and for that we should celebrate.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

"Culture Corner" is Long Desired Book

The late great Basil Wolverton is out with a new book courtesy of his son Monte. "Culture Corner" is a half-page panel strip that used to appear for years in the pages of Fawcett's "Whiz Comics", original home of the "Shazam!" Captain Marvel. As "Whiz Comics" were always hard to come by for cheap in my lifetime, I have only seen about three examples of this outrageous "advice" strip by Wolverton, that was really designed as filler.

My dad, who read all this stuff as a kid, unwisely didn't keep these books, save for a couple things like "Daisy Handbook" (1948), which had a couple of "Culture Corner" reprints. As a kid, I thought these were the funniest things ever and wanted more, but more were not to come, until now.

Wolverton is probably best known for his creepy-looking but somehow appealing drawings of hideous-looking women. The best places to see his work are in "Li'l Abner" as the winner of the "Lena the Hyena" contest, the cover of "Mad" #11 and its interiors, the interiors of "Mad" #17, and various covers of "Plop!".

The book is great because not only does it reprint all of the existing strips, it reprints the roughs that Wolverton did and a number of strips that were for whatever reason, not inked or published, and only exist in rough form. Wolverton's roughs are almost as good as they were virtually fully realized strips, not notes or stick figures.

And Monte Wolverton is great as he kept all of this stuff. Granted, he is an artist himself, but you know how things go, people toss all sorts of "worthless" stuff out.

Anyway, it's a great book from Fantagraphics, and at $22.99 far cheaper that obtaining about 100 issues of "Whiz Comics" and $300-400 a pop.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Today's the Day...

for Free Comic Book Day. Come see me at Lee's Comics at 101 and Rengstorff at the Costco shopping center. The above drawing is by the great Sergio Aragones of "Mad" and "Groo" fame...