I like Space Ghost. There, I said it! As a kid I was instinctively drawn to it, long before I knew the character was designed by the late, great Alex Toth. When they started re-purposing the old artwork and making a joke out of Space Ghost I was not amused. What’s so funny about a ghost who flies through space with a couple of kids and a monkey? They act like it’s something silly to be mocked and made fun of.
So let’s forget the goofy spoofy Space Ghost and remember the original. The cool costume. The cool name! Geez, what’s more exciting to a 10-year-old boy than a show called “Space Ghost”? Pretend you’re 10 and enjoy this classic theme music.
It’s been a long time since we’ve given a shameless plug to Yoe Books, our gracious hosts here at the I.T.C.H. blog. Publishers of many fine books – both hardcover and comic type – Yoe Books has consistently delivered excellent comics, beautifully packaged and lovingly presented. It’s one thing to release a nice book now and then, but Yoe has a trio of titles that are published on a regular on-going basis: Haunted Horror, Weird Love, and today’s featured series, Classic Popeye.
If you’ve never read Bud Sagendorf’s Popeye stories, you’re in for a real treat. These classic comics from the 1950’s are now extremely affordable (and in mint condition!) thanks to the Yoe Books reprint series.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Tuesday without a song. Today we’re shining the spotlight on Popeye’s long-time gal pal Olive Oyl.
Click to enlarge.
Click the link below and enjoy!
NEWS FLASH! In more than seven years (okay, let’s call it eight) that I’ve been blogging on the I.T.C.H., this is the first time it’s happened – I made a mistake! I guess there’s a first time for everything. I accidentally used the same record twice! Can you forgive me? Yes, the Olive Oyl song I presented above already appeared back on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 (click here if you don’t believe me).
So to make up for the twice-used tune here’s one you probably haven’t heard before. And you’ll probably wish you hadn’t.
As previously established I’ve always been intrigued by Garth, the UK’s newspaper plainclothes lowercase superman. So far I’ve mostly only been able to read the later more grownup Frank Bellamy version but thanks to the Atlas reprints from Australia I’ve had a chance to see the work of original artist John Allard. Although frequently compared to Superman (though I’ve always thought he owed more to a pre-Time Top Brick Bradford) Allard always sited Terry and the Pirates as being more of an influence on the strip and, boy, can you see that in The Quest for the Q Ray.
It’s a rollicking Boys Own Adventure full of a lost cities and master criminals, supercomputers and of course, the titular Q Ray. It’s painfully old-fashioned, in the best way possible.
Sometimes I like to spotlight a song with a timely tie-in, such as a record associated with a new movie that’s in theaters or an anniversary of some kind. Other times I just randomly select a comics character or a comics tune for no good reason. This is one of those times.
Way back on February 15th, 2006, we began a feature on this very blog called “Wacky Wonder Woman Wednesday.” Each week (on Wednesday, natch) we presented a different image of Wonder Woman. Some were super, some were sexy, and some were silly, but all of them were Wonderful. It was one of the most popular features on the ol’ I.T.C.H. You can navigate to past Wednesdays by clicking on the link in the right-hand column.
I thought it would be fun to showcase a few of these Wonder Woman pictures on a Comics Tunes TUESDAY along with a song. See if you agree.
If you cross your eyes you can see Linda Carter in 3D! (Click to enlarge.)
I am not much one for Westerns; life in the Wild West always seemed like the worst possible combination of camping and gym, which seemed like a nightmarish hellscape to a fat kid like me. Oh, I’m not made of stone. Some of my favorite movies (Cat Balou, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, etc.) and TV shows (Maverick, Wild, Wild West, etc.) are westerns. But when it comes to comics, I’m pretty much ‘meh’ on the genre. But in years past while idly leaving through the Overstreet Price Guide I would find myself staring wistfully at the beautifully painted covers of Kid Cowboy, a Ziff-Davis series that ran for ten issues between 1950 and 1952. But it wasn’t just the covers; I have to admit I was intrigued by both the kid’s snazzy cowboy outfit and the comic’s title; Kid Cowboy is without question a strong contender for “Most On The Nose” title for a comic. And it’s sub-title, “Boy Marvel of the Wild West!” was no slouch either. It was one of those comics I dreamily dreamed about one day reading, never really believing I’d ever get the chance.
The Kid dresses like Gene Autrey and shoots like The Lone Ranger (better, actually, well faster anyway; he specializes in speed as well as unerring accuracy) but has one of those “raised by Indians” origins that were fairly common back in the day, and the stories do a fairly good job of depicting Indian life (being a white guy I can not say for certain, but at the very least the stories go out of their way to show Indians weren’t backward savages). Along with his childhood chum Red Feather without benefit of either agency or visible means of support The Kid just went around helping people, the way cowboys did only in the pages of fiction. Standard stuff, yes, but once get past the John Buscema (!) cover of #1 you really can’t complain about the contents by Ogden Whitney and Bob Brown.
I went to see Jersey Boys the other day. As you know, it’s the story of the Four Seasons and the way they had mob connections despite living in New Jersey. Good film. But with today’s movie ticket prices it was an expensive two hours and 14 minutes worth of entertainment. If only there were a way to make it tax deductible…
Then I realized, one of the songs in the film was about a comic book character! I can deduct it as a research expense.
Now the IRS might question the fact that “Rag Doll” was a song about Raggedy Ann + Andy, the stars of their own comic book series (as well as being childhood icons). Can I prove that Bob Gaudio was inspired by these famous rag dolls? Can you prove he wasn’t? If the name of the group came from a bowling alley and the inspiration for “Big Girls Don’t Cry” came from a bit of movie dialogue, then “Rag Doll” was about Raggedy Ann. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Now if you’re finished asking questions, let’s move on to a cover gallery and a great song by Frankie and the boys.
Click the link below and sing along in your best falsetto!
We tend to think that after the publisher Archie published the character Archie their output was all teen comedy for the next fifty years when nothing could be further from the truth. Most enlightened comic book guys have at least heard of some of their lesser known entries in other genres, likeSuper Duck, Cosmo the Merry Martian, The Adventures of Young Dr. Masters, etc. But when it comes to the obscure it’s hard to beat 1950′s Adventures of the Dover Boys. It was a one-shot trial balloon for an adventure series in the “boy adventurer” genre and concerned the Dover twins Tim and Dan and their search for Aztec treasure with their Uncle Bill. It borrows heavily from such boys novel series as The Hardy Boys (the title of course being a play on The Rover Boys series) and radio serials like Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy (which was still airing in 1950). It’s fun stuff and shows the serious style of Archie artist Harry Lucey (better known for drawing Sam Hill, Private Eye for the publisher) to good advantage. I have no idea why Archie hesitated from launching the Dover Boy as a full series– the final panel is plea to readers to write in if they wanted to see more, and apparently not enough did.
*Due disclosure compels me to reveal that in my youth with artist Scott Bieser I created a comic book series called The Rovers the title of which was also inspired by The Rover Boys. If I ever get my crap together I may just post one of those comics here, but that’s not where the smart money would be.
The movie won’t even be released until August 1st but I feel like I’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy already, just from all the times I’ve watched the trailer. It sure looks like fun!
Click to blow up the image to poster size
Unlike other Marvel movies, this one doesn’t have 50 years of story (and countless fans over 50) behind it. It will be interesting to see how it does at the box office. Can the Marvel magic make a hit out of a title that isn’t a household name like Spider-Man or The Hulk? Perhaps that’s why Marvel Studios started showing the trailer months before the movie opens, since it doesn’t have the built-in anticipation of, say, the Avengers sequel or another X-Men film. For a property that’s comparatively new, Guardians of the Galaxy does have some roots (pun intended) that date back even further than the Fantastic Four. And the name has been around since 1969, even though it was a very different team then.
I’m really looking forward to the movie. I especially want to see how “Hooked on a Feeling” figures into the plot.
Yes, I’m still talking about X-Men: Days of Future Past since it’s still in theaters as of this writing. I’ve lost count of how many X-Men and Wolverine movies there have been so far, and we’re not done yet. X-Men: Apocalypse is coming in 2016. There’s seemingly no end to the popularity of these X-cellent and X-citing characters. And it all dates back to a humble little comic book that wasn’t a big seller in its day. Of course, the X-Men have been re-booted, re-launched and re-drawn many times since then, with characters like Wolverine, Rogue and Mystique added to the cast. But the basic premise is unchanged since those first few issues were published back in 1963 and ’64.
Which brings us to the Sentinels. Yes, the good ol’ Sentinels. First seen in issues 14, 15 and 16 of X-Men, they still live today in the new movie. That’s staying power!
I don’t have a song about the Sentinels per se, but I do have another uncanny X-Men song that you’re sure to enjoy.
Click the link below and sing along with the Sentinels!
Let’s see, where were we? Oh yeah, I was talking about X-Men: Days of Future Past, that third in a string of Marvel movies this season and the seventh film (but not the last) with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine. Two Tuesdays ago, if you can remember that far back, I discussed the new movie and gave away many surprise twists of the plot that I made up. I had to. I hadn’t seen it yet. Now that I’ve seen the film I can speak more intelligently about it. But that’s just not my style.
So, back to Magneto.
The first and still the best of the evil mutants, Magneto played a big part in the first run of the X-Men comics books. (You remember comic books, those printed pamphlets they use to make before movies and the Internet took over our lives?) Once again we present a Magneto cover gallery along with a song that’s a terrific introduction to the Marvel Mutant Universe, just in case you came in late.
Click the link below and enjoy this X-tremely cool record.