Dollhouse season 2 promo posters

I'm unlikely to watch season 2, but I know some of you out there are fans.

DVD new releases Sept. 1, 2009: Heroes! Supernatural! Doctor Who! Shaun the Sheep! More!

New DVDs of note this week. Click the title links to order discounted titles from Amazon.

Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season

Heroes - Season Three

State of Play

Shaun the Sheep: Little Sheep of Horrors

Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin

Doctor Who: Image of the Fendahl

Doctor Who: Delta and the Bannermen

TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Murder Mysteries (The Maltese Falcon / The Big Sleep / Dial M for Murder / The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946)

TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Horror (House of Wax 1953 / The Haunting 1963 / Freaks / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941)

Unwigged and Unplugged Live Concert DVD ~ Christopher Guest, Michael Mckean, and Harry Shearer

Beatles programming abounds on BBC 2

BBC Radio 2 is presenting loads of Beatles-related programming at the moment and via the Beeb's iPlayer on-demand service. Check out the full roster on Beatles Blog Daily!

Pop links: Disney buys Marvel! Superhero catalog images! Big Star! Elvis Costello! More!

Mickey, meet the Hulk: Walt Disney Co. is buying Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. From the press release:

"This transaction combines Marvel's strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney's creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories, " said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. "Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney." "We believe that adding Marvel to Disney's unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation," Iger said. "Disney is the perfect home for Marvel's fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses," said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel's Chief Executive Officer. "This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney's tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world." Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Mr. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney's global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel's properties.


The death of Rolling Stones guitarist is being reinvestigated.

Police in Sussex were handed new information connected to the musician's untimely death 40 years ago.

Mr Jones, was found dead at the bottom of a swimming pool at a house in Cotchford farm, Hartfield, East Sussex.

An inquest recorded a verdict of death by misadventure but speculation continued that he was murdered.


From Bat-Blog: Images from a 1970s Superhero Catalog of Games, Books, Toys, Puzzles:

Am I remembering correctly that Joe Kubert, or his cartooning school, was involved in these illustrations? I seem to remember Joe having done some superhero merchandise ads back in the 1970s.


The New Orleans Times-Picayune checks in with Big Star drummer Jody Stephens.

In the ultimate acknowledgment of Big Star's enduring influence and impact, Rhino Records plans to release a four-disc, 98-song boxed set on Sept. 15. "Keep An Eye on the Sky" collects alternate takes from Big Star's first three albums, recordings from members' earlier bands, and a complete 1973 concert in Memphis.

This, Stephens joked, was the marketing plan all along: "Break up, wait 20 years, get a bunch of writers and other bands to talk about us...."

Still, he is tickled by Big Star's persistent popularity and presence. "This," he said, "is our heyday."


The first season of Elvis Costello's Sundance Channel music talk show, "Spectacle," is set for DVD release Nov. 3 on 5 disks. Guests include Elton John, Rufus Wainwright, the Police, Bill Clinton, Tony Bennett, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Herbie Hancock and more.

Video find: The Byrds "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"

From Hugh Hefner's "Playboy After Dark"

New music I like: The Blockheads

Pop links: Remembering King Kirby! Kurtzman! Suggs! More!

Happy Jack Kirby Day! The great comic book artist and co-creator of the Hulk, Fantastic Four, X-Men and more would be 92 today. The Comics Reporter offers up a huge gallery of iconic images in tribute.

By the way, if you love Kirby--and don't own it already--get this:


More Kirby: Even the "King of Comics" had his role models, as the online Jack Kirby Museum points out. Dig this look at how art from a Hal Foster "Prince Valiant" strip likely inspired Kirby's Demon character. More here.


Shifting our attention to another funnybook genius, Pappy presents this suspenseful 1943 tale illustrated by the great Harvey Kurtzman.


Suggs, singer of the great British band Madness, has penned a book in tribute to his beloved London. One of my favorite cities too...

Armed with a spirit of adventure, a passion for London and a trusted A–Z, Suggs embarks on an unpredictable journey through the bustling main drags and little-known side streets to explore the eccentric story of his extraordinary home town. Having lived in London as man and boy, this is Suggs’s personal take on an ever-changing London, a city whose traditions and foibles are under threat from the march of time. From the suited and booted tailors of Savile Row to the sex traders of bohemian Soho, by way of quaint and quirky habitats, brilliant but beleaguered boozers, the exotic eateries that have made London a gastronomic heartland and a music scene that's both the envy of the world and dear to Suggs’s own heart, SUGGS AND THE CITY is a journey under the skin of a living, breathing city. It’s a guided tour of the quirks of its chaotic centre and the surprises of its sleepy suburbs. And it’s a love letter from one of its favourite sons.


What the f...

Video find: The Byrds "Goin' Back"

From the Smothers Brothers Show

Amazon US now sold out of mono AND stereo remasters box sets

As of just a while ago, Amazon US is announcing it's out of the Beatles in Stereo remaster box sets until after the 9/9/09 release date. You can visit the listing here to sign up for e-mail notification when the set is available again.

You can also sign up to be notified if Amazon gets more copies of the limited edition Beatles in Mono box. It's unknown if they will or not. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon starts listing the mono set as available "new or used" from other sellers after the release date. It'll be interesting to see how much these go for. If the box is truly in short supply, prices could be very high.

So far, it looks as if the individual remastered albums are still available for pre-order at Amazon. Abbey Road is the top-selling entry, followed by "The White Album," and Sgt. Pepper.

New music I like: Mayer Hawthorne

Pop links: Doctor Who! Lester Young! Elvis Costello! Disneyland Hotel! Jack Kirby! Lucky Luke!

A couple of Doctor Who-related tidbits:

* Britain's Pinewood film studio has announced an exhibit focusing on underwater filming, which includes images from underwater shoots for "Doctor Who" and other TV shows and movies.

* A British community is trying to save one of the last-remaining TARDIS-like police call boxes left in the country.


NPR celebrates the 100th anniversary of genius jazz musician Lester Young. The tenor sax was a key member of the Count Basie Orchestra and one of Billie Holliday's favorite accompanists. Here's a clip of the two together:


Also on NPR: Elvis Costello and Allen Touissant on "Piano Jazz."


Ultra Swank checks into the groovy Disneyland Hotel.


Man, Jack Kirby could do a lot with three panels.


Man, I never realized there was a Lucky Luke film and TV series. Thanks, Booksteve, for setting me straight. I wish those of us in the U.S. could see it--not to mention all those Asterix movies--on DVD.

Video find: The Byrds "Chestnut Mare"

Continuing with some late era Byrds music:

Songwriting great Ellie Greenwich passes away at 68

One of the great Brill Building songwriters, Ellie Greenwich has died at age 88, Rolling Stone reports.

Working with Jeff Barry, Greenwich penned a whole raft of classic 60s tunes, including The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You,” the Shangri-La’s “Leader of the Pack,” the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love,” Tina & Ike Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” and the Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.”

New music I like: Laura Vane and the Vipertones

More info.

Pop links: Steranko! Free Shonen Knife!

Today only from Amazon, get a free download of "Barbecue Party," a fun new tune from cult Japanese girl band Shonen Knife.


Read "The Block," a 1973 tale by the great Jim Steranko.

Official details on Bob Dylan's Christmas album

It's for real. Details from Dylan's official site:

Dear Friends,

We at Columbia Records are happy to announce the October 13 release of Bob Dylan's brand new album of holiday songs, Christmas In The Heart.

Christmas In The Heart will be the 47th album from Bob Dylan, and follows his worldwide chart-topping Together Through Life, released earlier this year. Songs performed by Dylan on this new album include, "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Winter Wonderland," "Little Drummer Boy" and "Must Be Santa."

All of Bob Dylan's U.S. royalties from sales of these recordings will be donated to Feeding America, guaranteeing that more than four million meals will be provided to more than 1.4 million people in need in this country during this year's holiday season. Bob Dylan is also donating all of his future U.S. royalties from this album to Feeding America in perpetuity.

Additionally, Bob Dylan is partnering with two international charities to provide meals during the holidays for millions in need in the United Kingdom and the developing world, and will be donating all of his future international royalties from Christmas In The Heart to those organizations in perpetuity. Details regarding the international partnerships will be announced next week.

Bob Dylan commented, "It's a tragedy that more than 35 million people in this country alone -- 12 million of those children -- often go to bed hungry and wake up each morning unsure of where their next meal is coming from. I join the good people of Feeding America in the hope that our efforts can bring some food security to people in need during this holiday season."

Your friends at Columbia Records

New comics Aug. 26, 2009: Batman and Robin! Eclipso! Fantastic Four! More!

Items of interest in shops this week. Click the title links to order discounted books and action figures from Amazon.

BATMAN AND ROBIN #3 Grant Morrison's new Batseries is still gathering steam. I like the characterizations of this Dynamic Duo and their dialogue, but the plot and villains--the gross-out Professor Pyg and the Circus of Strange--of this first arc haven't really captured my interest. We know little about their backgrounds and motivations--they just seem like run-of-the-mill funnybook villains. And if you're gonna do a good Batman comic, you've got to have great villains. We'll see where it goes from here.

BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #8 BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM #7 DC's two best kiddie comics. Lots of fun, imagination and energy in these titles

GOLDEN AGE FLASH 1/6 SCALE FIGURE I've always loved his helmet.

Another batch of nice, George Perez-based figures.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS ECLIPSO A big black-and-white collection focusing on DC's great anti-hero. Collects HOUSE OF SECRETS #61-80 with nice work by Bob Haney, Lee Elias, Alex Toth, Jack Sparling and Bernard Baily.

WEDNESDAY COMICS #8 Another ish of DC's enjoyable tabloid-size anthology.

FANTASTIC FOUR #570 Writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Dale Eaglesham take over as the book's new creative team. I love the FF, but haven't read it in years. I may give it a try. Nice cover by the great Alan Davis. But the short-sleeve uniforms have got to go.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS INCREDIBLE HULK VOL. 1 TP The first Hulk stories in a nice, color paperback collection. Collects THE INCREDIBLE HULK #1-6 with work by a trio of young guys named Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.

Video find: The Byrds with Earl Scruggs

Pop links: Superman supports universal health care! Jim Aparo! Jim Maneely! Mojo covers Abbey Road! More!

And now a word from Superman on health care reform.


Here's some nice newspaper strip work by the great Jim Aparo. I agree with Steve, Aparo was one of the greats. And he's one of my all-time favorite Batman artists.


And how about a couple of vintage tales illustrated by the fabulous Jim Maneely?


The always Beatles-friendly UK mag Mojo celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Abbey Road LP with an exclusive Paul McCartney interview, news on Beatles: Rock Band, the Beatles catalog remasters and more, plus a CD featuring various folks covering Abbey Road in full.


From Funky Junk Trunk: "Ready Steady Go" presenter and the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones mime Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe." Truly odd.


Actor Levar Burton will voice Black Lightning in an upcoming direct-to-DVD Superman/Batman feature from DC Comics.