Vintage Tintin promotional poster

Video find: The Rolling Stones perform "As Tears Go By"

Proud to be in the new Beatlefan!

Cross post with The Glass Onion Beatles Journal:

Thanks to the long-running Beatlefan magazine for using two of my book reviews in its latest issue.

Along with my reviews of "The Beatles Through Headphones," by Ted Montgomery and Louise Harrison's new memoir, "My Kid Brother's Band, a.k.a., The Beatles," you'll find lots of great stuff.

Here's the official skinny:
In honor of Ringo Starr's induction on his own into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Beatlefan #212 has a special package of articles that includes a couple of recent fan encounters (including a tale of how Ringo is himself a Beatles memorabilia collector!) from Cortney Kintzer and Dave Persails and interviews by Ken Sharp with some of the current All Starr Band. 
Also in the new Beatlefan is All About That Bass, in which Rick Glover, who is a bassist in addition to being the original Fan on the Run, takes a look at the various bass guitars Paul McCartney has played over the years, with a focus on the iconic Hofner and its place in his legend. 
Among the other features in the new issue are Ken's interview with legendary record producer Glyn Johns, who talks about The Beatles' "Get Back"/"Let It Be" sessions; Bruce Spizer's 50th anniversary look back at the "Eight Days a Week" single; and Howie Edelson talking with Nick Lowe of Rockpile fame about opening for Wings in 1973. We also have an opinion piece by Jeff Cochran inspired by the recent reissue of "Wings at the Speed of Sound" and Bill Harry's tale of the girl The Beatles left behind. 
Plus, four pages of reviews and all the latest news! 
A sample issue costs $8 in the U.S. or $11 abroad. U.S. funds only. If you want the latest issue, be sure to specify #212. For more information, email 
Send to P.O. Box 33515, Decatur GA 30033. A year's subscription in the U.S. costs $33 for six issues or $37.50 if sent First Class Mail in an envelope. Canadian subscriptions cost $43 per year and for Mexico the cost is $50. International subscriptions to all other countries around the globe are $56 (sent Air Mail) U.S. funds only. CREDIT CARDS AND PAYPAL ACCEPTED ( For credit card orders, you can call 404-713-6432 or e-mail

Pop artifact: Superman Rub-Ons

Video: Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner's first TV appearance together on Man from U.N.C.L.E.

From the "Man from U.N.C.L.E." episode "The Project Strigas Affair." The episode will air this weekend along with several other shows featuring Nimoy as part of a tribute on MeTV.

Still more Avengers: Age of Ultron posters!

After views of Iron Man and the Hulk earlier in the week, here's Black Widow, Thor and Nick Fury, courtesy of Samuel L. Jackson's Twitter feed:

So long, Leonard Nimoy

I'm not a huge "Star Trek" fan, but enjoyed the original series. Nimoy always seemed like a classy guy - smart and good humored. Sorry to see him pass. The New York Times has an obituary here.

Pop culture roundup: Wonder Woman; Lego; Tom Wilson; Duck Tales; The Saint

Take a peek at Wonder Woman '77 a new series that debuts online this week from DC Comics and which will be collected later in print. Inspired by the 1970s TV series starring Lynda Carter, it follows on the heels of DC's fun Batman '66 series, inspired by the Adam West show.


Lego artist Nathan Sawaya, whose work was featured in the recent Academy Awards performance of "Everything is Awesome" from "The Lego Movie," will create sculptures of DC Comics heroes for a new traveling exhibit.
 “The Art of the Brick: DC Comics” will showcase Sawaya’s interpretations of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, the Joker, the Penguin and Harley Quinn as sculptures, as well as their vehicles and environments in galleries.

Good article on Tom Wilson, the African American record producer behind classic LPs by Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground.


The Disney XD channel plans an update of the beloved-by-many "Duck Tales" series focusing on Uncle Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck and his nephews. It's set to air in 2017.
“‘DuckTales’ has a special place in Disney’s TV animation history,” Marc Buhaj Disney XD’s senior vice president, programming and general manager said in a statement. “It drew its inspiration from Disney Legend Carl Barks’ comic books and through its storytelling and artistic showmanship, set an enduring standard for animated entertainment hat connects with both kids and adults. Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.”

Britain's ITV network is reviving spy series "The Saint," based on the novels of Leslie Charteris. A pre-Bond Roger Moore starred as Simon Templar, the title character, in the 1960s version.
“There is a post-Breaking Bad appetite for morally grey characters,” says producer Ed Whitmore, who's also penned the upcoming ITV serial Arthur & George based on Julian Barnes’ book about a real-life case involving Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

“Simon Templar is a kind of Robin Hood figure, he's timeless,” he adds.

Bill Schelly, who's published excellent books about the history of comics fandom and comics great Joe Kubert, has a new volume out soon focusing on Mad Magazine founder Harvey Kurtzman. You can read an excerpt here.

Fab Friday: Rare Beatles mags and clips

More Beatles posts at The Glass Onion Beatles Journal.

Avengers: Age of Ultron posters - now it's the Hulk!

Post on Mark Ruffalo's Twitter today. Yesterday, Robert Downey, Jr., posted Iron Man.

Video find: Rahsaan Roland Kirk plays a whole buncha horns

Via Mosaic Records Jazz Gazette:

Pop stuff: Ernest and Celestine; Marvel's Star Wars

What I've been watching, reading, hearing, etc.

Ernest & Celestine is a sweet animated film, originally French, that's been dubbed in English featuring the voices of Mackenzie Foy and Forrest Whitaker in the lead roles: a free-spirited mouse and a shiftless but kindhearted bear.

The duo lives in a world populated only by bears and mice, in fact, and the two species don't get along. The bears are annoyed and scared of mice, and mice are likewise scared of bears and timid, staying in their own hidden, underground world.

The only time mice venture out is at night, when they steal the lost teeth of baby bears, which are then chopped up and used to replace the lost teeth of mice. A peculiar plot that seems, with its dentist mice, to owe something to William Steig's "Doctor De Soto."

Celestine is fascinated by the bears and their world and doesn't see why she should be frightened. Ernest, likewise, is a misfit. He'd rather stay in hibernation year round, but has to go out for food. He plays a variety of instruments, earning spare change as a one-man-band street musician.

When the two meet up and strike a friendship, neither of their species like the idea. In the end, though, friendship perseveres.

It's a gentle, funny story that children will like, and which will provide laughs for older kids and adults, too. Other featured voices include those of the late Lauren Bacall, Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally.

Based on a series of Belgian children's books, there's a lovely, minimal watercolor look to the animation - like a picture book come to life.

Marvel's Star Wars. I grew up reading Marvel Comics' "Star Wars" series, which had a good long run from the late 1970s into the mid 1980s, when Dark Horse took over the license. Now, thanks to Disney owning everything - including both Marvel and the Star Wars franchise, the one-time House of Ideas is in the business of publishing stories of Jedis, wookies and droids, again.

A group of "Star Wars" universe books are planned, and has launched with this  flagship title, which focuses on the characters of the original trilogy, plus a pair of mini-series featuring Darth Vader and Princess Leia.

I've decided to give the main book a shot and, so far, it's not bad. John Aaron provides the script, which is set in a period shortly after the destruction of the Death Star, with art by the popular John Cassaday. Most comics these days move slowly, with plots unraveling gingerly over a series of issues, which ultimately get collected into a trade paperback and/or hardcover edition. That's the case here.

There's not much story to review, yet, but -- needless to say -- the rebels are fighting the good fight, Luke is a budding Jedi and Darth Vader is scary. Everything is shaping up to be a Star Wars adventure in the spirit of the original trilogy with artwork that replicates the panoramic vistas of those films' opening credits, space battles and otherworldly scenes. The movie-like opening of the first issue is especially well done.

Cassaday does an excellent job making Han look like Harrison Ford, Leia look like Carrie Fisher, etc. Likewise the spacecraft and other trappings are spot on. Cassaday is a great draftsman, though his action scenes are stiff, with a frozen-in-time look to them. That's the trade-off, I guess, made when the focus is on making the comic looks as photographic and film-like as possible.

We'll see how it all unfurls. It's tough telling stories between the cracks like this, always being wary of the overarching continuity created by the films and not messing with it. Marvel's original "Star Wars" series managed to tell some entertaining stories, particularly when it veered off in its own direction and tried things far different from anything depicted in the George Lucas films. That's also tough to do - being different, while also remaining recognizably "Star Wars." But it's possible with the right creators at the helm.

So far, the book is fun to look at and presses all the right nostalgic buttons. The next step is reaching beyond novelty.

Pop clipping: The Loves and Hates of Mick Jagger

New teaser for Brian Wilson bio-doc: Love and Mercy

Here's a look at the upcoming bio-doc on Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson, starring Paul Dano and John Cusack as the younger and older Brian.

And another Avengers: Age of Ultron poster

This one spotlighting Iron Man:

Video find: Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney sing

Via Mosaic Records' Jazz Gazette:

Pop artifact: The Spirit newspaper strip promotional mask

New comics Feb. 25, 2015: Thor; Scooby Doo; Airboy

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Thor Epic Collection: To Wake the Mangog
From the darkened depths, rises a threat greater than any Thor has ever before faced. Mangog threatens to unsheathe the Odinsword and bring Ragnarok upon the Norse gods in this collection of Asgardian classics. And that's just the beginning! In Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Thor there's always another cosmic adventure around the corner. Point in case: Ego the Living Planet vs. Galactus, the return of "Him"-the man who would come to be known as Adam Warlock-and the origin of Galactus! It gets personal, too, with a surprising revelation regarding Donald Blake, the return of Jane Foster, and the dramatic dance between Balder and the Norn queen Karnilla.

Scooby-Doo Team-Up
Holy overactive imagination! When Scarecrow attacks using his fear gas, only humans are affected, leaving Batman, Robin and the Mystery Inc. gang trapped facing "monsters" from their own imaginations. Now, it's up to canine crusaders Scooby-Doo and Ace the Bat-Hound to save the day!

Airboy Archives Volume 1
Airboy, Valkyrie, and Skywolf are back! As the original Airboy is murdered, his son Davy Nelson takes over the cockpit to avenge his father. The high flying action-adventure of the Eclipse Comics series comes roaring back to life! Collects the first 16 issues of Airboy including the back-up Skywolf stories starting in issue #9.