Saturday, June 3, 2023

SHAZAM! Fury Of The Gods


He’s back! Billy Batson returns as SHAZAM! the super-powered guardian of the earth and he’s brought his whole SHAZAM! family with him.

He’s going to need them as he faces off against a supernatural threat as they take on a trio of ancient female gods determined to retrieve the magic stolen from them eons ago.

Determined to retrieve the power staff of the wizard who gave Billy Batson and his friends powers the three goddesses seal off the city, revive a giant tree with seeds containing mythical beast and free a giant dragon.

When one of the goddesses decides to take powers into her own hands she ‘kills’ one of her fellow goddesses, strips the powers from another and sets out on a siege of destruction.

She plans to subjugate mankind to her whims until SHAZAM! faces off against her and pays the ultimate price.

Look for lots of mystical beasts including unicorns, a cameo by Wonder Woman and visits to some of the most imaginative magical locations imaginable.

Incredible special effects, a killer soundtrack and lots of action are sure to delight viewers. It’s magical!

More than a superhero slug-fest the film showcases the importance of family and friends, courage in the face of insurmountable odds and a heroic sacrifice.

Be sure to take time to watch the spot after the credits-it’s a hoot!

The SHAZAM! Fury Of The Gods Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Code Combo Pack from Warner Bros./Discovery also includes some cool extras: a commentary, special featurettes, deleted scenes and so much more! 

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." — Isaiah 40:31

Friday, June 2, 2023

Army Of Darkness S-Mart Exclusive Ash



The Dead Live!

Get ready for this very special Ash figure courtesy of Sideshow Collectibles.  The character of Ash made actor Bruce Campbell a household name and cemented his career.

The Army Of Darkness S-Mart Exclusive Ash 12-inch, fully articulated figure comes in a special Shop Smart! Great S-Mart Value display box with a clear front panel and photos of Ash decorated all sides.

On the back are short text pieces about Ash and S-Mart accompanied by a photo of the figure, with rifle in hand, posing.

The likeness to Ash as seen in the film is astounding right down to his characteristic cowlick strand of black hair.

His narrow face, long straight nose and small thin lips look exactly like Bruce Campbell's features.

Coloration has subtle varied shades of flesh tone.

The hands are pre-positioned to hold lever action rifle that is included.

The rifle has a heavy wooden stock and hand-grip and the bullet chamber is silver with a long swing action pump-much like The Rifleman’s rifle as seen in the TV Western.

Also included is a leather rifle holster that is attached to a belt and shoulder strap that the Ash figure wears.

Ash wears a dark blue, long sleeve shirt accompanied by a red, white and blue stripped tie.

Over the shirt he wears a light blue, short sleeve, large cuffs with red strips on the end of the cuffs and on the top of the collar, S-Mart frock.

On his right breast he wear his name badge.

The left pocket holds the white pocket protector with a red tipped pen.

The figure wears black slacks and shoes and comes with a circular base and wire support for posing the figure.

Ash’s right segmented hand is mechanical and made of steel-perfect for killing the undead and demons.

All of the limbs, neck and appendages are articulated and when posed the real fabric cloths do not bind, bunch or strain.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." — Genesis 1:1

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Original Graphic Novel Dracula

Having been too young to remember the EC Comics Publications I was old enough to enjoy the company's homage offspring published by Warren Publications.
 
Warren published a number of black and white magazines among them Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella.
 
Creepy and Eerie founding editor Russ Jones, along with writers Otto Binder and Craig Tennis and illustrated by Al McWilliams, were responsible for the paperback adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula published in the mid-1960s by Ballantine Books. It was the first Dracula graphic novel adaptation ever.
 
Vanguard Publishing has revised and expanded the historic first Dracula adaptation in all of its black and white gory glory into a high-quality hardcover with bonus material.
 
This beautiful hardbound book, Dracula - The Original Graphic Novel includes not only a history of Dracula and the graphic novel adaptation but also the history of illustrated Dracula stories in comics and graphic novel form provided by author J. David Spurlock. His new historic overview includes art examples from a who's-who list of legends including Steranko, Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, Al Williamson, Basil Gogos, Jack Davis, Manuel Sanjulian, Gene Colan, Gray Morrow and more.
 
Sir Christopher Lee, who famously portrayed Dracula in several Hammer Films from the 1950s to 1970s, provides an introduction while artist extraordinaire Frank Frazetta contributes an oil painting to adorn the cover as well as multiple interior works.
 
It's a beautifully designed and printed adaptation with a square-bound, Smyth Sewn hardcover binding, and lush, coated paper interiors that complements both the full color and black and white art.
 
The horizontal format of the book provides the best vehicle to showcase the art as originally produced.
 
Vlad the Impaler never looked so good.

"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." — 1 Corinthians 13:6-8

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Dare-Devil Aces, Commandos & Other Sagas Of War

Wallace (aka "Wally") Wood: one the greatest comic book creators of all time.
 
Wood got his start in the late 1940s doing whatever work he could find in the comic book industry. He apprenticed under both Will Eisner of The Spirit fame and Terry And Pirates by George Wundar.
 
It wasn't too long before editors and fellow comic book professionals recognized the stellar talent of the young Wood.
 
For us old comic book collectors, Wally Wood, or "Woody" as his friends called him,  is synonymous with the heyday of EC Comics and his incredibly detailed work on the various genres the company produced from science fiction, fantasy, horror and socially conscious suspense stories.
 
He was especially adept a war comics as detailed in Vanguard's recent Dare-Devil Aces book. In his introductory essay, Vietnam war veteran and famed GI Joe comics writer Larry Hama recalls how Woody was a stickler for details when it came to military paraphernalia, weapons and vehicles.
 
He had a huge library of swipe files taking up several filing cabinets.
 
His attention to details and mastery of the art form was second to none in all genres.
 
He was a workaholic often depriving himself of sleep, the proper diet and physical activity. As he grew older his output slacked off and his style became less detailed.
 
Still he was consummate professional and produced work on schedule until he suffered a stroke, loss of sight in one eye, and kidney failure. 
 
The doctors' prognosis of spending the rest of his life hooked up to a dialysis machine, unable to draw or earn a living, led to the WWII veteran to taking is own life. The loss of such a celebrated industry icon in late 1981, rocked the comics community to the core.
 
Over the decades Woody worked for a number of publishers, EC, Avon, DC Comics, Topps Cards, Galaxy magazine, Dell, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents for Tower Comics, Warren's black and white horror comics magazines.  

One of the popular comic book genres Wood excelled at was war comics. For a very brief period, between leaving his historic run at MAD magazine and landing at Marvel Comics where he revolutionized their new character Daredevil, Wood briefly produced a handful of war stories for Charlton. 
 
Everyone of which are included in Dare-Devil AcesCharlton offered Wally the freedom to create comics on his own terms albeit with low page rates.
 
He proved himself to be adept at drawing military personnel, weapons, vehicles and the like in historically accurate detail accompanied by break-neck action and exciting fight scenes.
 
In Vanguard's Dare-Devil Aces, Commandos & Other Sagas Of War readers are privileged to enjoy his war comics from 1950 through 1972. Even at a young age his talent was evident, especially his story-telling capability. 
 
Look for full-color and black and white reproductions of his most stellar work encompassing wars and conflicts on the and, in the air and on the sea. Also included are stories from his creator-owned series: Cannon in collaboration with his close friend, Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko.
 
Commentary is provided by author J. David Spurlock, a foreword from Larry Hama, an article about his EC war comics work written by Thomas Burns as well as Rafael Medoff and J. David Spurlock's article examining Wood's innovative socially conscious work regarding The Holocaust for EC Comics.
 
Revel in the sheer talent of the man and be amazed by his technical expertise, ability to draw whatever the stories required of him and his passion for the medium.
 
Dare-Devil Aces is part of the ongoing Vanguard Publishing's Wally Wood Classics series and features a beautiful full-color cover with Wood's art and titles highlighted in spot varnish. Interior pages are on high quality coated paper stock making the illustrations and colors pop.
 
It's nicely designed package that is both visually and conceptually pleasing.

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" — Micah 6:8

Friday, May 26, 2023

Flying Adventures

When I was a kid I loved all things aviation and space travel. At that time heavier than air aircraft had been around for only about 50 years.

Aviation and air flight were still considered exotic and something not everyone had experienced.

Many of the commercial airlines were still using prop aircraft. Jet powered aircraft was in its infancy.

Juvenile publications were ripe with stories of aviation, its heroes and adventures.

From 1909 to the mid-1960s many a kid thrilled to the literary adventures of brave pilots, flying aces and adventurers.

Author David K. Vaughan writes about the Juvenile Aviation Series Books In America From 1909 to 1964 in his new book Flying Adventures, published by McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers.

Broken down by decades the book highlights juvenile aviation adventures starting in the early days of aviation and proceeds to chronicle aviation during WWI, The Golden Age of Exploration and Adventure, The Golden Age Girl Series-Pilots as Professionals, Military Fliers, WWII, Flight Stewardess Series and Postwar and The Space Period.

I recall reading many of the series listed from Airstrip Boys to Steve Canyon.

All were exciting, informative and fun to read. The book provides an excellent guide and description of each series along with characters involved, locations and so forth.

For a wonderful aviation flight down Memory Lane, Flying Adventures delivers.

"Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.'" — John 8:58

 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Diamond Previews, June 2023

 


 
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" — Micah 6:8


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Frazetta Book Cover Art Definitive Reference


The first time I saw artist Frank Frazetta’s work was for the cover art for Lancer Books’ 1960s’ pulp reprints of Robert E. Howard’s Conan The Barbarian.

Frank’s luscious paintings captured the essence of the Cimmerian barbarian.

Enthralled and excited by his paintings I searched for other Frazetta work produced which included a whole series of Edgar Rice Burroughs paperback books from John Carter to Tarzan.

I learned Frank also did comic book work encompassing all genres. His early EC Comics work is highly sought after by collectors as is his pre-comic book code non-EC Work.

The Deluxe Slipcase Hardcover Edition: Frazetta Book Cover Art book, from Vanguard Publishing, contains not only his Conan and Burroughs covers but also encompasses his early non-fantasy, fantasy, science fiction and other book cover work spanning his long career.

For the first time ever his cover work is presented in chronological order providing readers the opportunity to witness and study his evolution as an artist.

His mastery of color combined with his eye for composition made the covers exciting and enticing, encouraging readers to purchase and read the books.

Frank’s use of colors made human (or otherwise) figures look real with soft shadows, glistening flesh highlights and the mastery of form, positioning and complexity.

Each painting was unique ranging from frozen wastelands to hot steamy tropics all reflected in the characters via their garb, weapons and poses.

What I find especially interesting about his work over the decades is how it changed.

At first his paintings (more like illustrations) consisted of line work with colors applied.

As his style matured more emphasis was placed on his color palette.  Shadow and light were painted using various color overtones. 

The complexity and details of his figures, their clothing, the settings and creatures also increased.

It must be noted that all of his work was done on board or canvas.  No computer technology was involved.

Many artists have tried to duplicate Frank’s style. Some have come close but none can match his stunning unique painting technique or flair for eye-popping designs.

The book offers a complete collection-definitive reference and also includes a special bonus section of some his frontis and title pieces.

The book begins with Chapter One: The Conqueror and then author J. David Spurlock provides an informative introduction in chapter one that delves into Frank’s work and career. 

Chapters examine the covers and includes where they were used, the date they was produced, are sprinkled with quotes from Frazetta and include other details.

If you are a fan of Frank Frazetta’s artwork this is book is a must-have edition.

The beautifully designed slipcase and hardbound book features Frank’s paintings and the interior pages printed on heavy coated paper stock complements his art work making it look as fresh and new as the day it was first printed. 

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” — Hebrews 13:5

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Atlas Of Extraterrestrial Zones

Have we been visited by alien beings? Are they from ‘out there’ or somewhere else?

Why do certain locations around the globe get ‘visited’ or have sightings’ more than others?

Are there portals to other worlds? If they exist, why do aliens visit the earth? What is their purpose?

Join writer Bruno Fuligni and illustrator Francois Moreno in Schiffer Books’ Atlas Of Extraterrestrial Zones to explore the unknown.

Colorful aerial view maps pinpoint locations all over the world where strange and mysterious encounters have occurred.

From abductions to mass sightings each location is thoroughly examined complete with in-depth text, witness testimonies and personal and mass accounts.

UFO enthusiasts are such to want to get their hands on a copy of this book and the curious reader will walk away astonished at the numerous accounts recorded in its pages. 

"For we live by faith, not by sight." — 2 Corinthians 5:7

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Cyberstorm Access

Are you ready to tackle a little digital danger? Pack up your gigs and bytes and prepare to enter the cybernetic arena with Konami’s Shonen Jump Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Cyberstorm Access.

Data comes fast and furious via a cybernetic storm and only the digital savvy have any hope of surviving. Watch our for new monsters, spells and traps.

Just look at what Cyberstorm Access Core Booster Set has in store:

  • Powerful new monsters for your Extra Deck,.
  • A brand-new Link-6 evolution of Firewall Dragon!
  • Cyberse Link Summoning tactics with Ritual, Fusion, Synchro, and Xyz.
  • A “Code Talker” monster for a devastating one-two punch!
  • A new Synchro Summoning strategy.
  • Brand-new Cards for Tellarknights.
  • Brand new Gong Strong and his Superheavy Samurai Dueling Cards.
  • New Cards like Amazing Defenders and Photon Hypernova:
  • Adopt a new Purrely monster.
  • Reinforce your “Rescue-ACE” barracks.
  • Meet a new “Mikanko” dancer.
  • Photon Hypernova.
  • Contains 100 new Cards:
  • 50 Commons
  • 26 Super Rares
  • 14 Ultra Rare
  • 10 Secret Rares

Download, reboot and get ready to shoot! 

"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." — Proverbs 27:1

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Cream: Clapton, Bruce & Baker Sitting On Top Of The World

Back in the late 1960s most Rock and Roll music was little more than bubblegum Rock, British Invasion and ‘message’ Rock.

Musicians were beginning to experiment with different arrangements, using new types of instruments and technology and taking Rock and Roll to the next level.

Several groups were at the forefront of the new music revolution.

Cream: comprised of Erick Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker burst onto the scene and set the collective ear of Rock and Roll on its musical side.

Back in Michigan a Rock and Roll magazine called Cream was extremely popular and is still highly sought after today.

Cream hits its zenith in 1968 when it played at two locations: The Fillmore Auditorium and Winterland.

The band’s live performances were the stuff of legends and set the stage for Psychedelic Rock with stunning visual backgrounds and pulse-pounding and ethereal music and vocals. Cream was truly on top of the world.

Unfortunately a fire at the the band’s label: Atlantic Records, destroyed much of the archival information about the concerts and very little exists chronicling the band’s momentous performances-until now.

Writer and archivist Eduardo Genzolini (along with Tony Palmer and Bill Halverson) has compiled newly discovered photos of Cream’s two performances in February and March of 1968 in San Francisco.

Witness the genesis of a legendary band with up close and personal photos of the band in action and close-ups of each member.

Included are art, articles, recollections, historical text and loads of other material about the band, its members, concerts and legendary status within the pages of the hardbound book.

Cream: Clapton, Bruce & Baker Sitting On Top Of The World, published by Schiffer Books, is the ‘Cream’ of the crop!

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord,I will be joyful in God my Savior." — Habakkuk 3:17-18