Friday, September 30, 2011

Shark Etiquette

So, I went to a pre-game of the San Jose Sharks last night and since it was a "school night", I decided to get up and leave before the final buzzer with the Sharks ahead two goals to nothing. I had never left early at a game before but as I was leaving, one person in our party was handed a small business card size message that said that it wasn't good form to leave during game play. I had never heard of this before. Is this really a hockey rule, or just an HP Pavilion rule? What is this, a classical music concert? I noticed that they also banned the barkers hocking cotton candy and such. WOW! I never heard of anything like this. Is this common? Certainly doesn't happen when I've seen the Giants, A's or the Warriors play.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Harvey Halloween Comic Book Giveaways

Just for fun, here are the three (so far) Halloween comic giveaways. These are offered to children at better comic book stores, or you may be lucky enough to find them online somewhere like Ebay. In any case, the Casper/Little Lulu book is from 2009, the Hot Stuff book is from 2010 and the Casper's Scare School is the new one from 2011.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Halloween Comic Book Giveaways!!!

Casper's Scare School by Various
Donald Duck by Carl Barks
Fraggle Rock by Various
Laugh Comics starring Betty and Veronica by Various
Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson
Smurfs by Peyo
Snarked by Roget Langridge

I always like Free Comic Book Day in May, but also now I like Halloween every year, because they have a number of great comic book freebies. This year has a Casper one (Yay!). I also got the Laugh one, the Donald Duck one and the Smurfs one. Not so interested in the others, but you might be. These are available for free from your BETTER comic book stores. Some stores might let you get them BEFORE Halloween!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Advance Copy of Casper DVD Came In!

So I received my advanced copy of the "Casper" DVD that I did commentaries and interviews for. Overall, I give the set high marks with some minor quibbles that I had no control over.

On the plus side, the set looks good. There are two slimline case clamshells; one featuring the two theatrical discs and the third disc in its own case features all of the "New Casper Cartoon Show" episodes.

The 20-page full-color booklet looks fantastic and of course, it was written by yours truly, so it is crammed with tons of information including where every episode appears in comic books, when applicable.

The first three Casper cartoons that are now in the public domain are actually featured as bonus features of disc one. There are 10 commentaries strewn throughout. All feature me with three of them with Edmee Reit (widow of Sy), three of them with Bradley Bolke and three of them with Alison Arngrim (daughter of Norma MacMillan).

I first saw the 15+ minute documentary in Oregon and was upset that I looked so "zombie-like", but after re-watching it a second time, it's not too bad, but I still come across as a bit dull in comparison with the animated Alison, who makes the documentary fun!

The commentaries are generally pretty good, considering that I had never done anything like this before, and recorded everything in a marathon 10-hour session in my home.

They DID get the "New Casper Cartoon Show" opening and closing in color which I begged them to do, and got MOST of the individual episode openings where Casper and friends zip in to watch a cartoon in a TV cloud.

Now, for the negatives. Even though I begged them to go back to Paramount to get the original cartoons for the original elements and credits, it just wasn't or couldn't be done. As a result, the Harveytoons opening is used and even "The Harveytoon Show" opening is used in a couple of cases. And on the public domain cartoons, the Paramount logos are used, but in one case the UM&M openings are used.

HOWEVER, if you use that above criteria to NOT buy the set, you will be missing out, because this is the most comprehensive set of Casper cartoons that has ever been issued and probably ever will be issued. It has the ONLY appearance of "The Bored Billionaire" EVER on home video AND is the only set that has all of the Casper cartoons in one place; a feat that will probably not be repeated any time soon.

As a result, you can literally toss out any previous Casper DVD collections, as this definitely takes the place of those sets. The Casper DVD from Shout Factory is due to be released on October 11.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Herman and Katnip DVD

So, it came in the mail. They use "The Harveytoon Show" versions of H&K and sometimes have a condensed music opening for each cartoon, but it is not the complete theme song each time, just an edited version. I don't know the cartoons well enough to know if they have been edited as well, but they did somehow cram 33 cartoons onto the single disc set. It features every cartoon from "Mice Meeting You" to "Katnip's Big Day" except the one with Buzzy and the ones made prior to 1950. The cover picture is the same, but repainted and "The Complete Series" is in a blue spot. The end credits appear every fourth cartoon and are generic, not specific to each individual cartoon. As usual, you have to play the disc to see the contents as they are not listed on the back. There is no booklet. The run time is listed at 208 minutes. Overall, not bad if you want all the cartoons in one place, but kinda chintzy considering they could have gotten Jerry Beck and myself to give commentaries and historical backgrounds.

Earl Kress

Since I saw both Cartoon Brew and News from ME with tributes to Earl Kress, I figured that I should write my own. I wasn't as close to Earl as Jerry Beck and Mark Evanier were, but his death has affected me similarly. Earl and I knew of each other. In fact, the photo above that graces this blog entry, I believe I actually took at the Van Eaton Galleries when they had my Harvey Art Show on display. I was a fan of Earl's for his great work that he did in regards to the history of Hanna-Barbera, including the various CD compilations he worked on for Rhino Records, to his most recent book about Yogi Bear. I did not know he was sick. I am very happy that I did meet this great man who contributed as I do to the history of animation and comic books. He will be missed.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Roadrunner DVD a Disappointment

I will carry on my usual tirade about the strange way that Warner Bros. releases their Looney Tunes cartoons. I am a huge proponent of releasing all 1000+ cartoons chronologically and have stated in previous posts how you could do that without alienating a lot of people with a lot of Bosko and Buddy cartoons. On the positive side, these cartoons have not been released before on the Golden Collection (although the box states that three have been released before elsewhere). On the negative side, latter-day post-Chuck Jones cartoons are featured and even some made for the Internet apparently. Oh well. More Looney Tunes are due out soon on Blu-Ray, but once again Warner Bros. is releasing everything haphazardly by reissuing stuff already on DVD combined with stuff never before released to DVD. Frustrating.

Human League is Back Again

Human League is back again with a new album in about a decade. It's not that they really go anywhere, it's just that they take time to do a new album. Their last album called "Secrets" was another great album, released way back in 2001. They have consistently good dance melodies and techno beats. For people who think Human League begins and ends with "Dare", you'd be missing out on quite a lot. The cover of '"Credo" is kind of dull as you can see, but there's a nice gatefold photo that shows the trio a little older, but still looking good after all of these 30+ years.

Sugar and Spike Volume 1

Yay! The Sugar and Spike collection from DC Archives is out (even though Amazon says September 20) and boy, does it look beautiful! It covers the first eight issues of the now hard-to-find Sugar and Spike series. I have about half of the original comics in my collection, but they mostly are from the tail-end of the series, not from the beginning, so these will mostly be new to me. One downside, the Archives are now $60 instead of $50, but it is still cheaper than buying the original comics separately. BTW, this is the actual cover image unlike the one I featured earlier this year.

Herman and Katnip DVD

Has anyone purchased and watched this yet?

Monday, September 12, 2011

"World Flags"

One of my favorite items I've owned since I was a kid and actually since my DAD owned since he was a kid, is this "World Flags" book from 1942. What is significant about it is the German flag is the Nazi flag with the swastika and the Japan flag has the sunrays. Also, the US flag has only 48 stars. More amazing is how some flags have remained unchanged since 1942, but many more have changed. A very interesting book and it's only valued at about $8-12 on Ebay, but very historically interesting.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

1972 Sesame Street Calendar

Does anyone have one of these? I'd even take a beat-up one. It's the 1972 Sesame Street Calendar. The reasons for wanting this are numerous. First, it is the first Sesame Street calendar. Second, although I collect Sesame Street merchandise into the 1980s, I tend to focus on merchandise from the early 1970s, of which this is one as it came out in 1971. Finally, the entire calendar is drawn by the legendary Jack Davis! I wan'it! I wan'it! So, if you have one sitting around your house, please send it my way...

Thursday, September 08, 2011

This is Post 1000!

So, I got out of my funk. I think I figured out why I was down, but I don't want to publicize it here. It was nothing serious. I just felt like sleeping or just lying on the couch all day. It's hard to be motivated or enthusiastic when I feel like this and it doesn't matter how much success or good times you experience, the lulls come now and then and you just have to slog through them, knowing in the back of the mind that it'll be over in a day or two. Now, back to writing! I am starting a book on writer George Gladir of Archie and Cracked fame. George is very enthusiastic about working with me. If you don't know, he's written just about every Archie story for the past 50 years and even created Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. I plan to cover all aspects of his career, so if you have any questions you'd like answered or if you have some artwork or other images you'd like to share for the book, please let me know.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Not Posting

I hate to say it but I haven't been inspired to write lately. A terrible predicament if you are a writer. I decided that writing something here after so many days is better than writing nothing for another day. Hopefully, I will get out of my writing funk pretty soon and start producing again. It's not for lack of subject matter. It's just laziness and depression, pure and simple. Not like heavy-duty depression, just mild melancholia. I don't really know why. My life is going really well at the moment. I'm sure that I will get over it soon.