Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Home

Finally, a collection of comic strips I can identify with!
Gary Burghoff’s (Radar of TV's M.A.S.H.) The Home, illustrated by Mark O-Neill and published by BearManor Media is about a bunch of old folks who decide to take their twilight years into their own hands.

Drawn from all political points of view, social status, money (or lack thereof), nationality and diverse opinions, the old folks of The Home definitely have their own takes on life’s ups and downs.

Whether it’s preparing to move into a retirement home, writing their memoirs, taking up social and political issues or dealing with life in the old lane the elders of The Home serves up plenty of humor.

Join Barney, Vera, Morrie, Wilma. Constance, Mrs. Quigley, Regina and Koshi as they deal with life, and each other.

For some humor on the old side be sure to visit Gary Burghoff’s The Home.

Jealousy Gave Way To Admiration

When I was a young I was introduced to comic books.  Like any young boy during the late 1950s and early 1960s I loved reading comic books.  
They were bright, exciting and action-packed.  They were my generation’s video games.  

When I reached sixth grade I got interested in art.  Surprisingly I was good at it and continued to draw throughout my school years.

It was during that time I aspired to be a comic book artist.  My favorite artists were Neal Adams, John Buscema, Gene Colan, Jim Steranko, Barry Smith, Bernie Wrightson and of course: Jack Kirby.

Once I graduated from high school I attended college for four years and got my B.A. in Art/Graphic Design.  I loved drawing cartoons.

But…..I never had the speed, story-telling talent and tenacity it took to be a comic book artist.  Instead I contented myself with drawing the occasional cartoon used in advertising pieces and sketches in my spare time.

I still read comic books and added to my favorite artist list: John Byrne, George Perez, Frank Miller, Michael Golden, Frank Brunner, Mike Ploog and later on Jim Lee, Gary Frank, Dave Gibbons and so forth.

All the while I envied their talent.  To put it simply, I was jealous.
Fortunately I’ve grown out of it and I now enjoy just looking at their work for what it is-amazing!

As an artist I appreciate the tremendous talent, dedication and blood, sweat and tears each one puts into their work.

I can picture myself laying down every pencil line and brush stroke.  It’s hard to explain.

I’ve had the good fortune to have met several of the artists and I’ve found them all to be kind, patient and willing to share their knowledge and opinions.

Although I never got the opportunity to be a comic book artist I enjoy marveling at their work.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Retro Review: The Eternals #1

After having left Marvel Comics for DC Comics in the early 1970s, artist/writer Jack Kirby, returned to Marvel Comics after his failed run of The Fourth World floundered at DC.
Unfortunately all of the promises of a brighter future and creator control at DC came to naught and a disgruntled Jack returned to where it all started-Marvel Comics.

Of course things weren’t the same.   A second generation of artists and writers held sway at Marvel.  Jack’s art and story-telling abilities seemed antiquated and out of date-or were they?

While at DC Comics Jack successfully set in motion a totally new concept that in the last few decades has radically altered the DC Universe.  The characters he created during his Fourth World period sent ripples of change through the entire convoluted DC Universe.

His characters and concepts helped form the modern day DC Universe. 

Who is the main super-powered bad guy in the DC Universe-Darkseid of course-a Jack Kirby creation? The Source, The New Gods, Mr. Miracle, and The Demon: the list goes on and on-all were Jack’s creations.

Back at Marvel Jack let his creative energy run free.  His Marvel titles seemed insignificant and na├»ve to the younger generation of comic book creators.  Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

Jack was always fascinated by the entire UFO phenomenon.  At the time author Erich von Daniken’s book: The Chariots Of The Gods, was extremely popular.

UFO fans raved about the book that gathered clues from ancient sites scattered all over the world seeming to indicate that aliens had once visited Earth and helped create mankind and civilizations as we know them.
 Jack took the central theme of The Chariots Of The Gods and ran with it.  

In issues #1 of The Eternals Jack introduced the recently discovered lost city of the Space Gods.

One of the members of the discovery party is an ancient member of The Eternals, a long-lived race of super-beings genetically linked to humanity.  Another less, peaceful genetic ancestor is the Deviants.

Sworn enemies of humans and The Eternals, the Deviants want nothing less than complete power and control.
In this simple, single issue Jack sets in motion an entirely new concept in the Marvel Universe.  From that one simple concept hangs the entire cosmic impetus of the Marvel Universe.

Without Jack’s The Eternals most of Marvel’s space borne/cosmic storylines would not exist.  From The Eternals comes the Space Gods and the myths and legends surrounding such characters as the Norse Gods, The Guardians Of The Galaxy and previously created concepts by Stan Lee and Jack before Jack’s Marvel Comics departure.

Galactus, the Silver Surfer, the Kree, the Skrulls, and other space-faring races and cosmic powers, both natural and supernatural, owe their existence and origins to Jack’s vision.

Pick up any space bound Marvel Comic and it traces back to Jack’s The Eternals.

It s remarkable that one man, single-handedly, created the core concept for both DC and Marvel Comics.  Is it any wonder he was referred to as Jack “King” Kirby?

Friday, November 23, 2018

Hollywood, Can’t Hardly Wait and Benji

Get ready for Lights, Camera and Action!  Mill Creek Entertainment incites viewers to celebrate over 80 years of Hollywood history with two DVD collections about 80 movie stars.
Hollywood’s Greatest Screen Legends pays tribute to the brightest and best Hollywood has to offer with examinations of 50 actors and actresses (25 each) careers and legendary films.

Learn about their careers, their lives and some little known facts oft some of Tinseltown’s biggest stars.

Hollywood’s Best & Brightest continues the tributes of modern day 15 actresses and 15 actors. For a truly fascinating look at what makes them tick, how they became famous and their latest impact on the movie industry this is the DVD to watch.

The Academy Awards have been around for over 80 years.  How did it come about?  Who started it?  How do actors and actresses, films and industry professionals get nominated?  These are just a few of the questions answered in this engrossing look at the ultimate award ceremony for the movie industry with  And The Award Goes To…

All three DVDs are included in the Golden History Of Hollywood Blu-ray?DVD collection, with over 45 hours of content.

It’s grad night at Huntington Hills High and things are just about to get interesting!  

Who needs a stale old graduation ceremony when it really needs a big celebration?

The school staff and parents are about to discover when graduating seniors show them graduation is about romance, revenge and rock ‘n’ roll.

The 20 Year Reunion Edition Blu-ray edition of Can’t Hardly Wait demonstrates that yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s the future and tonight’s the party!

Extras include commentaries, several featurettes, a celebration, music and deleted scenes.

That mischievous mutt is back with Joe Camp’s Benji Off The Lease Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combo.

Benji is better than ever with this brand new restoration in hi-def and widescreen.

Told from Benji’s point of view the story finds Benji, a human and a bird struggle to find their place in life.

This unlikely trio joins forces in an adventure that will change their lives forever and maybe, just maybe, save others.

Extra include a commentary, featurette and trailer.

Benji is back and he is as adorable, resourceful and full of mischief as ever.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Dinosaurs and Led Zeppelin

Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been fascinated by the giant lizards of prehistoric times: dinosaurs.  Big or small, carnivore or herbivore there is something majestic and tragic about this extinct species.
The great Thunder Lizards are the subject of Carlton Books’ and author Dr. Mark A. Norell’s new oversize, hardbound book: The World Of Dinosaurs The Definitive Illustrated Collection and definitive it is!

Beautiful, full-color paintings of each and every type of dinosaur is shown along with a brief treatise on each.

Photos of dinosaur’s bones, excavations, museum displays and historical text all combine to make this a dinosaur directory like no other.

Dinosaurs come alive as you look at each picture, imagine their thunderous beauty and might and travel back in time via your imagination through an open portal to prehistory.

It was 1969; I was 16 years old and working at the local drug/convenience store.  Part of my chores was to stock up the latest 45’s and record albums.

I remember flipping through the albums and my eyes were immediately drawn to a white album with a black and white photo/illustration of a giant dirigible blimp in flames tumbling to the ground.

The album was simply entitled Led Zeppelin.  I scrounged together three dollars, bought the album, took it home, removed the album plastic seal, opened the album sleeve, gingerly placed the album on my small turntable, set the needle, turned up the sound and was blown away by what I heard.

The next day at school I was so excited that I shared the discovery of the album with whoever would listen. 
“A Led Zeppelin!” “Are you crazy!?” “What zeppelin is made out of lead?”

Within a month the whole school body of students was talking about Led Zeppelin and it seemed like no matter where you went you could hear tunes from the album playing on the radio.  It was magic!

Here it is over 50 years since Led Zeppelin premiered (1968) and The Treasures Of Led Zeppelin celebrates the anniversary in a big way.

The book follows the band from its inception with photos, memorabilia, tipped-in document reproductions, bios, a chronology, concerts, a discography, a poster, historical text and much more.

If you are a ‘Led Head’ then you’re sure to want to pick up this incredible collection of hits, concert tours, reunions, solo careers and what to expect next.

It’s like 'A Stairway To Heaven!’ all wrapped up in a beautiful, hardbound book in a protective slip-in sleeve.  Rock on!