Thursday, May 24, 2007

Uncle Bobby, R.I.P.

uncle bobby

From this Citytv site comes the news that kids' tv host Uncle Bobby (aka Bobby Ash), who had a popular show in the 1970s has died at 82. Quite surprising, considering he appeared very old to his childish viewers. Uncle Booby was born in the UK and was one of those gleeful, earnest host that used to be very common on local tv: everyday he'd show a bunch of cartoons, interact with some puppets and stiff humans, and announce the birthdays of his viewers, to the accompaniment of a very annoying but unforgettable song (originally recorded by Jim Reeves?) called Bimbo the Birthday Clown. The show went through several name changes, and began on Hamilton's CHCH before winding up on CTV. The cause of death was heart attack.

CTV has the news video attached to its website --I would suggest those eager to preserve this kind of video info try to save the footage digitally.

I couldn't find any more footage online (mostly because CTV has removed its content from youtube) but here is some more info:

Show memories

Buffalo Tribute Site

Canadian site

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Superman Coloring Book

Sorting through some old magazines, I came across the Superman Coloring Book, published by Whitman in 1966. It has a nice Curt Swan cover with a full-colour Superman posing in front of a page of black-and-white strips, but the real treasure is inside. Normally finding an old colouring book with the pages coloured-in is a disapointing experience. Collectors want their books mint, with no markings or damage. But for me, the thing that really makes this book worth owning is the inventive colouring that adds life to the mediocre hackwork of the interior drawings, produced by something called "Jason Studios" for Whitman. The coloured-in pages are just beautiful and make the story of the book almost a surreal reading experience. You may have read the classic Superman adventure, "Superman Red, Superman Blue" --now read "Superman Orange, Brown, Pink, and Green!"

After a really slow start to the story, featuring the gang hanging around the Daily Planet office on a slow news day, the plot really begins with Superman chasing some crooks who hit him with a Red K missile which causes him to shrink. That's when our mysterious colourist really gets interested:

Our only clue to the identity of this coloring genius --a scrawled "Joann" at the top of the page!

Eventually Supes figures out some sort of solution involving a Lead Mine (!) and things get back to normal.

Lois looks kind of disappointed that Superman is no longer tiny!

The End!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wildcat gets Pacemaker

wildcat origin
We still haven't decided if Wildcat is working class, and I think it's safe to assume that Irwin Hasen hasn't been a prole for several decades. However, Hasen does have a brand-new pacemaker, according to Mark Evanier.

Wildcat Tribute

TwoMorrows interview

Some History

wildcat comic book cover irwin hasen

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pedigree Junction

I like this quote from comics retailer Mike Sterling that was featured on Journalista last week:

Currently processing a nice collection of books, ranging from the Golden Age into the mid-1980s. Highlight of the collection so far (though I don't see much surpassing this): a couple hundred original E.C. comics, including full runs of Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Shock Suspenstories, and the 3-D books (all two of them), and near-full runs of Tales from the Crypt, Haunt of Fear, and Vault of a handful of Mads and other random E.C.s. I'll let you folks know when they're available for sale.

However, what I'm most excited about in this collection are the issues of Nancy & Sluggo and Fox and the Crow. I'm not letting you know when these are available for sale, because I'm keeping them. So there.

(I should also make up some kind of "pedigree" name for this collection, like the, I don't know, "Seaside Funnybooks in Cardboard Boxes Collection," and price them accordingly. Plus, I can tell exciting stories about how the collection was acquired: "Well, one day, a guy called and asked if we wanted to buy his comics, and we said 'sure, let us take a look at 'em,' and we saw he had some pretty good stuff, so we bought them. The end.")

Sterling's right: why does every Comic Book Guy who buys a collection feel the need to get the thing certified as a "Pedigree Collection"? There seems to be too many of those things already and they're just an excuse to charge more money for an old comic book.

I guess a comic book collection purchased by a comic book store is not technically a Mystery Hoard, but I still like to read about hoards of comics.

Now this is a real Mystery Hoard:

When we were kids, my brother acquired a modest collection of old comics--already old in 1981 or so--that sat around upstairs til my parents finally moved this summer, 2002. (I salvaged one or two of them.) There were two Archie books, I think, and one Richie Rich; one Incredible Hulk collection, one compelling Batman story in six issues, one dark and enthralling issue of the X-Men, and the first fifteen or so issues of Spider-Man in three volumes. Oh, I forget, there were also some DC collections: a collection of magical sports stories, a collection of team-ups involving Superman and the standard rotation of allied heroes, and one collection of villain-origin stories; all stuff from the fifties and sixties, I'd guess. All these, I read so many times I could probably reconstruct their stories and much of their dialogue with fair accuracy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Day 2007


Happy May Day!

some links about working class superheroes:

-are vampires the real working-class superheroes and are Marxists their arch-enemies?

-software designers for a game company dream up the next big Hollywood properties: The Plumber, Super Civil Servant, and The Fast Food Superhero

-is Spider-Man really working class?

-is The Thing working class?

-The Super-Hero League of Hoboken?

and, in the spirit of internationalism: Not Working Class but Communist Superheroes

comrade 7

-the Great 10

-The Collective Man

-Soviet Super-Soldiers

-Red Star

-Rocket Red

-Crimson Dynamo

-I don't know any Cuban superheroes --maybe Elpidio Valdes?

(top image: Jean-Claude Poirier's Supermatou from the French Communist Pif-Gadget; bottom image: Jaime Hernandez's Comrade 7)

John Peel's Mystery Hoard starring The Fall

A Mystery Hoard is a small cache of comics; a found collection of strange origin.

There are mystery hoards in other genres, of course. I used to call my favourite books my Apocalypse Shelf.

John Peel had an Apocalypse Shelf of 45s.