Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Popeye: The Great Comic Book Tales By Bud Sagendorf" by Craig Yoe

I'll refrain from making the requisite jokes about the speed and frequency that Craig Yoe's books appear and instead praise him for having the same versatile tastes in comic books that I do.

In the past couple of years, Yoe has issued books about "Krazy Kat", "Felix the Cat", Milt Gross, Dick Briefer's "Frankenstein", Dan DeCarlo's "Jetta", Steve Ditko, and compilations of various "kiddie" comics, virtually all I am a fan of.

Here, Yoe does it again with a book called "Popeye: The Great Comic Book Tales By Bud Sagendorf". While on the surface this may not mean much, because surely, haven't their been multiple books reprinting "Popeye"? Well yes, but a goodly amount reprints the comic strips made famous by "Popeye" creator E.C. Segar, and ignores everything else.

Not that this is a problem, mainly because it was Segar's creation. However, Segar died prematurely in 1938 and soon others took over where Segar left off and it would be a shame to completely ignore them. The greatest of these replacements, in mine humble opinion, was Bud Sagendorf.

Strangely, Sagendorf wasn't the initial replacement for Segar on the comic strip. It took many years for that transition to happen, despite Sagendorf being Segar's assistant on the strip, even drawing some of the comic strip's bonus features.

Sagendorf instead, spent his time for many years on the "Popeye" comic book. Many of these comic books have become highly sought-after collector's items, or just plain beat up. Craig Yoe to the rescue!

Yoe has taken some of the best, if not THE best comic book stories of the Sagendorf period and given it his typical "sprucing up", which mean larger reproduction, better paper and also the requisite historical background feature that is absolutely necessary for these volumes to take on true meaning.

No, it is not a slipshod collection of random stories. Stories were selected for their historical significance as well as for their entertainment value from 1948-1957. For those who are snobs who only like Segar, there's the 6-volume series that concludes next year from Fantagraphics, but for those who can accept someone else doing "Popeye", I would highly recommend this (and hopefully subsequent volumes of) the best of the "Popeye" comic book series.

Also recommended are the Fleischer "Popeye" cartoons available on DVD, and (hopefully again, someday) the Famous Studios "Popeye" cartoons.

Ultimately, Sagendorf was and is the most worthy successor to the "Popeye" throne, and Craig Yoe has succeeded well in giving him his due.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I'm trying to get the final issue of "The Harveyville Fun Times!" that I will edit and publish done, and there are delays every step of the way.

Last week, the printer told me they didn't have the file, so I had to upload it again. This week, they told me that I hadn't paid to print the issue, so I paid today.

Now, let's see if I get it. I still have to print the subscriber and contributor copies and mail them out, and then I'm done.

The funny thing is that I'm already working on #76, the first issue to be edited and published by Ben Samuels.


Ok, I had to do it. Sorry...

Smothers Update

Wee-hah! I love the influence of the Internet. Because of my requests, the "Tour de Farce" album will be released soon on CDs!

Happy day!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Still More Smothers Brothers

I talk about the Smothers Brothers quite a bit here, but it's because I think they're great. has been great about reissuing virtually all of their back catalog. They have explained to me that they don't have the rights to reissue "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" album because it features TV soundtracks. Also, they don't seem to have the rights to compilations and are not in the mood to issue their straight music albums. That leaves one album in limbo called "Tour de Farce: American History and Other Related Subjects" that's eluding CD release.

It's my favorite album of theirs and includes the following tracks:

Tour de Farce: American History and Other Unrelated Subjects, the sixth comedy album by the Smothers Brothers (released November 1, 1964 on Mercury Records). Recorded at The Ice House, Pasedena, California. The back of the album contains the note: "For special enjoyment, try playing your old Smothers Brothers albums at 45 rpm." SONG LIST: 1) Siblings; 2) That's My Song; 3) American History II-A; 4) Mediocre Fred; 5) The Measles Song; 6) Since My Canary Died; 7) American History II-B; 8) Eskimo Dog; 9) She's Gone Forever; 10) Life And The Song Of Life; 11) Time And The Song Of Time; 12) Wagon Wheels; 13) Military Lovers; 14) The Put-On Song.

Let's put the pressure on and tell them to release this unreleased-to-CD gem...Contact Ted at

Wondercon this Friday and Weekend

Just a reminder that Wondercon will be this Friday through the weekend. I will be there working at Lee's Comics table, but I will also have my books for sale. I didn't take out a table this year as my Beatles and "Cracked" books just aren't quite ready yet.

So, come up to Moscone Center in San Francisco and join the fun...

Stop by and say hi...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor Was in the First "Mad" Fold-In

I know this is a lousy image, but it shows that Elizabeth Taylor appeared in the very first "Mad" Fold-In in issue #86 from 1964. Al Jaffee created the feature and STILL does them today. It's appeared in virtually every issue of "Mad" since.

As a tribute to the late Elizabeth Taylor and to Jaffee continuing the good work on the feature after 47 years, we salute you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ok, Everyone, Say Like Homer Simpson...

Mmmmmm, Chipotle burrito...

Obama is a U.S. Citizen

"If you were born to parents, at least one of whom was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth, you automatically gained U.S. citizenship through the process of acquisition. It does not matter whether you were born on American soil or foreign."

Obama can be President legally, so let's shut up about it. I am angry at him now because he's taking us to new wars in Libya, making him more like Bush. Grrrrrr....

It's Houdini!

Look into my eyes! Deeper, deeper. You will keep reading this blog! You will tell all your friends about this blog!

"Sucker Punch" Review

So, I saw a sneak preview for "Sucker Punch" last night. I make it a point to not find out too much about a movie before I see it in order to be surprised.

Surprised I was, but not in a good way. I knew "Sucker Punch" was directed by the same guy who directed "300" (loved it) and "Watchman" (hated it), so I was skeptical, but the previews seemed fun of some hot, young goth chicks kicking ass.

Unfortunately... (SPOILER WARNING)

the goth chicks kicking ass was all a fantasy and it played out like a lame video game with no suspense, no drama, nothing. The "real" story is that the main chick (do these girls really deserve names?) was accused of killing her sister and threatening her father, so she's thrown into the looney bin....and then the fun begins.

They have to go through the motions to get some various pieces of crap including a lighter, a map, and a huge kitchen knife. They get this stuff while the main girl dances. We never see her actually dance as that's when the movie takes us to her fantasy-video game life.

In the end, the movie tries to make amends to its inherent silliness by trying to tack on a symbolic ending where it wasn't the main girl's story but the other girl's. By this point, you just think, "Who cares?" and then at the very, very end they tack on some "words of wisdom" explaining basically that everything you saw for the past two hours really wasn't a waste of time...really!


After it was over, I turned to my friend, Lee, and said, "That was silly!" in my best Bob Clampett Tweety-bird voice.

In fact, the movie probably would have improved it if at some point Tweety popped in and said, "I like this. It's silly!"

Visually, it was great. Storywise, although different and somewhat unique was a bit strained and so overall I liked it, didn't love it, not sure if I can even recommend it. It's too silly for people who like strange movies and too strange for people who like straight movies.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hey Hey We're the Monkees

So, I've heard that the Monkees are going to tour this year, of course, without Mike Nesmith. C'mon Mike, don't be a stick in the mud. You're almost 70 years old. Put those reservations in the past and join your former pals. This'll probably be the last time you can.

More later...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Frozen in Ice" is My Next Book?

Since I've just completed my Beatles book, "Mark Arnold Picks on The Beatles" and am virtually finished with my "Cracked" book, "If You're Cracked You're Happy: The History of Cracked Mazagine", I have decided to tackle another pet project.

I have always liked the years of Disney when I was a kid. I suppose it is sort of a nostalgia thing, but also it was when Disney was still "pure". I have approached many publishers to publish such a book, and none of them dare touch it, either because it doesn't interest them or because they don't want to incur the wrath of The Walt Disney Company.

The years 1966-1985 weren't always the best years for the company, but they did accomplish quite a lot. These accomplishments have been glaringly overlooked by succeeding journalists and fans. Most people claim that when Walt died, nothing happened until Michael Eisner woke everyone up. There's even a book out now called "Waking Up Sleeping Beauty" about the Disney animation department, that was supposedly in the doldrums until "The Little Mermaid".

Some of that may be true, and in fact is, but the point is, some quality animation and other projects DID come out during the late 60s, 70s and early 80s. That is the point of my new book.

I created a quickie cover with the title "What Would Walt Do?". I liked the image, but I had to change the title as there are other books with this same title and also a group that claims a trademark on the phrase. I think "Frozen in Ice" works quite well.

As I haven't even started this book and this is a "pet" project like The Beatles book, it may or may not be done for a few years, depending on whatever else I'm working on.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beatles Book Done!!!

"Mark Arnold Picks On The Beatles" is finally done! After a couple false starts and other delays since 2007, I finished redesigning the cover and ordered myself a copy to see if it looks all right.

I still need to add a bar code and get an ISBN number and post it on Amazon and get it distributed and promote it, but otherwise, it is done!

Of course, eventually I will be doing a second edition in a few years, assuming The Beatles will release more material in the next few years, but this book covers everything that they did up through the end of 2010.

I will give you details about how to order as soon as I look over and approve of my proof copy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I Still Love The Smothers Brothers

I finally got around to ordering the latest releases of The Smothers Brothers. These are only available online through Sometimes they have made it into the stores, but if you order through, it's probably the cheapest you see them unless you find them used, which is unlikely.

Anyway, both are great albums by the Smothers and I hope that these aren't the final releases. I have contacted to continue the good work and inform them of albums they could still release....fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Even More Beatles Stuff

I am creating the final PDF for my Beatles book and do plan to upload it shortly. There may be a few more changes, but essentially the text and the images are complete.

I do need to adjust the cover. I have decided to replace the Bill Morrison drawn "Yellow Submarine" cover with one that was in the interior based on "Sgt. Pepper". The main reason is that this image is in color whilst Morrison's is in black and white.

Although I could colorize Morrison's drawing. It fits in better with the other drawings he provided that are in the interior and also black and white. I asked Morrison about this and he was approving of my change.

For those who don't know, Bill Morrison is the major artist behind all the "Simpsons" comic books and merchandise, even though Matt Groening usually gets all the credit.

Above is Morrison's image that I quickly colorized for promotional purposes, but it will be changing.

Books on CD

I am really getting into books on CD at the moment. I listened to the audio version of "Paul McCartney: A Life" by Peter Carlin, and then "Here's Johnny" by Ed McMahon. Now I am listening to "39 Years of Short Term Memory" by Tom Davis.

As I am a fan of vintage radio, these readings sometimes remind me of such, especially when they add sound effects and music. Then it seems like one of those old dramatic shows.

I also have been listening to get an idea for my own books as BearManor has offered to do audio books of my books. I plan to use myself and the provided cast for my TTV book, and former "Cracked" editor Mort Todd is scheduled to read for my "Cracked" book.

I have no plans at present for my Harvey book or upcoming Beatles book, but you never know.

I'll keep you posted when these will become available.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Political Stuff

I've been asked to write a political blog entry again. The funny thing is, I am not trying to raise the ire of anyone. I'm just spouting off my unsolicited opinions about how I feel things are going.

Last time, I stated something to the effect that President Obama is "just kinda there". This raised some controversy as there are a lot of people out there that really, seriously think that Obama is intentionally doing stuff to ruin this country.

Believe me, it isn't Obama. It was the last guy, Bush. I will always say it. I am a registered Republican still (why, I don't know sometimes) and even voted for Bush in 2000. (I have regretted this decision ever since.) Bush felt he had some ordained calling to bring us to the Apocalypse or something. That's why I never liked him post-9/11. He should have been "just kinda there", but he did things that were intentionally harmful to this country, like take us to a war that we're still in.

Anyway, everyone who is anti-Obama keeps saying that Obama is doing all these bailouts. Well, who did the first one? And who would have kept doing them if his second term didn't end?

Besides, it's big business with their lack of self-discipline and no restrictions that is really ruining this country.

My reasons for saying that Obama is "just kinda there" is that everyone gets all in an uproar over this healthcare issue that isn't really workable and isn't enforceable. The only way to truly do the healthcare thing is to charge $9 a gallon for gas like they do in England and the overage from our $4 a gallon gas would be given to the healthcare providers so that you wouldn't have to have insurance. You just would be able to go in and get serviced with no bills.

Obama is a true politician, pure and simple. He really wants to get re-elected because for some reason all of these guys think that if you have a two-term presidency, it looks good in the history books.

As a result, Obama plays it safe. He also plays it safe in order not to spring up the race card. I know a lot of these Tea Party people, if they were COMPLETELY honest, would actually say that they don't like Obama, not because of his policies or what he does, but basically because he's black. It's "Blazing Saddles" in real life, folks, and the Teabaggers are the citizens of Rock Ridge.

I've said this before, too. People get all in an uproar because Obama might be a Muslim. What if he came out and directly said he was? What are we going to do? Kick him out? It seems like there is still Freedom of Religion in this country, and unfortunately, Christians, Jews and Atheists, this extends to Islam, too. Until we change the law, this is the truth!

He also isn't a Socialist, nor is he trying to make us a Socialist state. For those who don't understand, a Socialist is not what Stalin was. Stalin was a dictator. And for those of you who don't like Socialism, please sign over your Social Security checks to me, please don't visit the library, don't send your kids to school and when you need help, please don't contact the police or fire department.

Another thing people get in an uproar about and I've had friends that I will not name here tell me so, is that Obama is going to take away our ability to own guns. Where? When has he said so? And why couldn't ANY President be able to do that? And could he be able to do that?

No, Obama is too wishy-washy to do that. He really, really, really just wants to remain President and does not want to rock the boat. Which is why I have said and continue to believe that he's "just kinda there". He's biding his time until 2017, should he win a second term.

Dorothy Lamour

Ok, some commentary yesterday of who Dorothy Lamour was. Shame, shame people. If you've seen any of the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby Road pictures, Dorothy was the key female that Bob and Bing usually fought over (except in "Hong Kong", but she's in that one, too).

She also appeared in a great many films on her own and a few with just Bob, among other things.

She was quite well known for wearing her sarong and in fact, wore it in six of her films, the first being "The Jungle Princess" from 1936, and as you can see by the above photo, she was stunning!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rita Hayworth

Ok, since I mentioned her in the last blog entry, I might as well post one. Here's one of my favorite photos of Rita Hayworth. Orson Welles was one lucky bum. He had Hayworth in her prime.

Anyway, I will calm down now, but photos like this are enough to make any sane man's temperature's rise.

Natalie Wood

Should I feel bad that I think that someone who is dead is still hot? I don't know. It's a guilty pleasure, I suppose. I also think Dorothy L'Amour and Rita Hayworth are hot. I do think some women who are alive are hot too, but if they're a celebrity, my chances of getting with them are about as remote as getting with the dead ones, so I might as well lust over the photos.

It kind of reminds me of The Who's "Pictures of Lily" when it is revealed that the lady the young lad in the song is lusting over has been dead since 1929.

I was looking up these photos for a series of ads that are for a local restaurant called Maltby's. I also had to look up others like Marilyn Monroe, and many others. Some men, too. I just rewatched "The Maltese Falcon" for the umpteenth time and just was marveling at how cool Humphrey Bogart was and he died a decade before I was even born.

Some people think I'm nuts because I like stuff that occurred before I was born and it is no longer new. For me, I see it as "new" to me, and that's all that matters. I'd feel really bad if I was only interested in stuff that happened after 1966. I'd be missing out on so much...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Closing Its Borders

I am sad that many Borders stores are closing. Is this the end of retail stores for books? Sure, there is Barnes and Noble and many other independent booksellers, but nowadays they are getting scarcer and scarcer.

Whenever I write a new book, people inevitably ask me, "What stores can I find it in?" to which I reply, "It's in some, but you really have to go to Amazon to buy it."

I like it that everything's available on Amazon, but it is still sad that there's so much that don't make it to bookstores anymore. Unless your name is Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck or Stephen King or Ken Follett, the chances of getting your book to a store today is virtually nil.

The next step in this unfortunate direction is that people are investing in Kindles and such like contraptions. I am not adverse to technology, but books have a certain something that you can't get from one of these electronic devises. Plus, the picture quality is rarely as sharp as it is in a magazine or book.

A lot of times these companies cut corners. Look on the review for the complete "Playboy" or "Mad" or "National Geographic" and the complaints will be the same that the resolution sucks on these scanned versions because they scan them at too low of resolution.

I am not as annoyed by audio books, because there are people that are losing their vision or don't like to read, but at least they are still getting the message written from a book. Sometimes they are dramatized so well it's like listening to an old time radio show. I plan to do audio books for both my TTV and "Cracked" books. Not sure yet about Harvey or Beatles.

In any case, support your local bookstore, before it goes away and is replaced by yet another Mediterranean restaurant...

and I like Mediterranean food...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lee's Comics Triumphs

My friend Lee is so unassuming (HAH!). Anyway, last night we were flipping through the latest issue of "Metro" newspaper featuring the annual "Best of" Reader's Poll. There is always a category for "Best Comic Book Store". Not only did he win this year, he also won the "Hall of Fame" award because he's won at least 4 other times.

Over the years, he's been bettered at times by his competition, but Lee's now triumphs!!!

Stop by Lee's today. Mountain View or San Mateo. Check his website at Lee's Comics.

This has been an unsolicited, but not necessarily unbiased notice....

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Beatles Drawing

I don't know if I can draw, but here's my own contribution to my book called "Mark Arnold Picks on the Beatles". I'm doing some final, final edits, and in the next couple of days or so, I should be able to publish. The picture's called "1980 Reunion".

Monday, March 07, 2011

Revised Cracked Book Cover

I don't know if I posted this here, but if I did, here it is again. Here is the updated cover for "If You're Cracked, You're Happy: The Best of Cracked Mazagine". This book has had such a lengthy genesis, but it really looks as if it will be done by June 2011.

Crossing fingers.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy Again

I've been busy again... Sales have picked up at my regular job of selling ads for the "Daily Post". Then, yesterday I worked all day selling my crap er stuff at the Toy Show at the Santa Clara County Fair.

Today, I've been busy on my Beatles book finally placing the images I have collected over the past four years. Hopefully, life will slow just a little bit in the next couple of days in order for me to blog more properly, but this is what you get right at the moment...

Busy, Busy, Busy Again

I've been busy again... Sales have picked up at my regular job of selling ads for the "Daily Post". Then, yesterday I worked all day selling my crap er stuff at the Toy Show at the Santa Clara County Fair.

Today, I've been busy on my Beatles book finally placing the images I have collected over the past four years. Hopefully, life will slow just a little bit in the next couple of days in order for me to blog more properly, but this is what you get right at the moment...

Thursday, March 03, 2011


My friend Lee hates it when I toot my own horn when the number of visitors per day goes up. I told him I only discuss when a record is broken. Can I help it that it's broken virtually every other day or so? I know it's a cheat to do a blog entry like this, but hey, it's my blog and I do write a lot of quality stuff on most days....

Thank you again for reading my blog....

Dr. Seuss Books, Beginner Books and Bright and Early Books

I love them old Dr. Seuss books, or as I referred to them as a child, "The Cat in the Hat Books". I am referring not only to the books written by the good old Dr. himself, but also those that became part of the "Beginner Books" series.

There are classics in this series; many of which are still being published to this day such as "A Fish Out of Water", "Robert the Rose Horse", "Ten Apples Up on Top", "The Big Honey Hunt", "Hop on Pop", "A Fly Went By", "Are You My Mother?", "Go, Dog, Go", "Sam and the Firefly", "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish", "Green Eggs and Ham", etc, etc, etc.

Some have been long out of print like "Do You Know What I am Going to Do Next Saturday?", "Why I Built the Boogle House", "The King's Wish", "The Big Jump", etc. etc.

There are usually a few books out every so often, but new books in the series have slowed as of late. The most recent one I've seen is "The Belly Book" by Joe Harris, designer and creator of such characters as the Trix rabbit and Underdog. That one came out in 2008.

Anyway, there is also another series with simpler verbiage called "Bright and Early Books" and of course, there are the over-sized books done by Dr. Seuss himself.

Stan and Jan Berenstain did a number of books for these series as well like "The Bears' Vacation", "The Bears' Picnic", "He Bear, She Bear", "Old Hat, New Hat", before branching off onto their own series.

Well, that's enough for now. Just wanted to tell you about one of my many obsessions.