Video find: Why cartoon characters wear gloves

Vintage movie poster: "Blow-Up"

Comic art: Unpublished Captain America cover by Jim Steranko

Via Heritage Auctions.

Jim Steranko Captain America #113 Alternate Unpublished Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1969). Steranko did just three Cap covers, and only about 40 published covers total during his late 1960s/early 1970s heyday, meaning there are too few originals to meet collector demand. And the reason for that demand is the artist's incredible design sense. He certainly "pushed the envelope" of what could be done in comics.
David Spurlock's book Steranko: Arte Noir (2002) pictured this cover and noted that the artist "contrived The Death of Captain America, which he hoped to project over several issues as a major event, and submitted a showcase cover of stark, jolting intensity. Stan Lee rejected the art as being too 'shocking' for the Marvel line." The author goes on to note that the planned storyline was compressed into one issue, #113. Of course, the cover that was later used was itself a classic, with Rick Jones mourning at a memorial of Cap. Here, Cap is mourned by pallbearers Nick Fury, the Vision, Hawkeye, Thor, the Black Panther, and Iron Man (please note that all of the hero figures at bottom and the coffin are a stat, not original art).

Here's the cover Marvel used instead: 

Coming Up: Consider Yourself! The Highs Of Lionel Bart: 5CD Box Set

Out Feb. 24 from Cherry Red Records's El imprint:


There’s a great craftsman at work here. It looks effortless, but as Irving Berlin used to say, “the simplest things are the hardest to write”. 
• In the late 1950s and early ’60s, Lionel Bart dominated both the UK pop charts and the West End stage. He wrote ‘Living Doll’ for Cliff Richard, ‘Little White Bull’ for Tommy Steele, ‘From Russia with Love’ for the James Bond film, and he created Oliver!, the most successful British musical of the twentieth century; it’s eternal songs; ‘Food Glorious Food’, ‘Consider Yourself’, ‘Who Will Buy?’ ‘As Long As He Needs Me’, now burned deep in the collective unconscious. 
• This five cd set showcases all of Lionel’s early triumphs including music from the historic productions of Oliver! which featured the young Steve Marriott – an outstanding Artful Dodger soon to be fronting Small Faces – Stanley Holloway, the English actor renowned for his comic monologues and songs, and from the original 1960 hit show Ron Moody’s immortal Fagin, Georgia Brown’s Nancy and a certain Barry Humphries as Mr Sowerberry, the undertaker. 
• Lionel embodied the Sixties, a decade in which his genius was reputed to have earned him £9 a minute. He determined to enjoy every moment of his success and needed every penny to support a famously extravagant lifestyle. 
• There are recordings of songs from Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’be involving Barbara Windsor, Sid James, Adam Faith and Max Bygraves; music from Blitz; the complete original score plus popular recordings of such masterpieces as ‘Far Away’, performed by Shirley Bassey. 
• The set also includes the songs Lionel wrote to put his friend Tommy Steele on the map, including the compositions from The Duke Wore Jeans and Tommy the Toreador, and a panorama of his writing for the popular artists of the day; where the Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele hits are complimented by Marty Wilde, Anthony Newley, Alma Cogan, Mark Wynter, Frankie Vaughan, Shane Fenton and Joe Brown, his famous theme for the second Bond movie, From Russia With Love arranged by John Barry, and to round the extravaganza off, Lionel’s own wonderfully eccentric recordings; the For Bart’s Sake 10” solo album and his 1961 Christmas single.

Disc: 1

  1. Overture
  2. Food, Glorious Food / Oliver!
  3. That's Your Funeral
  4. Where Is Love?
  5. You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two
  6. Consider Yourself
  7. Oom-Pah-Pah
  8. Be Back Soon
  9. As Long As He Needs Me
  10. I'd Do Anything
  11. Reviewing the Situation
  12. Finale (Where Is Love? / Consider Yourself)
  13. All's Well
  14. A Proper Man
  15. It Must Be True
  16. Red Wine and a Wench
  17. On the Side
  18. When Does the Ravishing Begin?
  19. Lovely Lover
  20. Lock Up Your Daughters
  21. There's a Plot Afoot
  22. Mr. Jones
  23. On a Sunny Sunday Morning
  24. If I'd Known You
  25. 'Tis Plain to See
  26. Kind Fate
  27. I'll Be There
  28. Epilogue and Lock Up Your Daughters (Reprise)
  29. There's a Plot Afoot - Laurie Johnson Orchestra
  30. Lock Up Your Daughters - Laurie Johnson Orchestra

Disc: 2

  1. Food, Glorious Food
  2. Oliver!
  3. I Shall Scream
  4. Boy for Sale
  5. That's Your Funeral
  6. Where Is Love?
  7. Consider Yourself
  8. You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two
  9. It's a Fine Life
  10. Be Back Soon
  11. Oom-Pah-Pah
  12. My Name
  13. As Long As He Needs Me
  14. I'd Do Anything
  15. Who Will Buy?
  16. Reviewing He Situation
  17. Oliver! (Reprise)
  18. As Long As He Needs Me (Reprise)
  19. Reviewing the Situation (Reprise)
  20. Finale: Food Glorious Food / Consider Yourself / I'll Do Anything
  21. You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two - Stanley Holloway
  22. It's a Fine Life - Alma Cogan
  23. As Long As He Needs Me - Alma Cogan
  24. Who Will Buy - the Limeliters
  25. As Long As He Needs Me - Shirley Bassey
  26. Consider Yourself - Max Bygraves
  27. Oliver Medley - Russ Conway

Disc: 3

  1. Overture / G'night Dearie
  2. Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'be
  3. Laying Abaht
  4. Where It's Hot
  5. The Ceilin's Comin' Dahn
  6. Contempery
  7. Cochran Will Return
  8. Polka Dots
  9. Meatface
  10. Where Do Little Birds Go?
  11. Big Time
  12. Meatface 2
  13. Carve Up!
  14. Cop a Bit of Pride
  15. The Student Ponce
  16. Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'be (Finale)
  17. Where Do Little Birds Go? - Barbara Windsor
  18. Contempery
  19. G'night Dearie
  20. Just Let It Happen
  21. My Baby Won't Cha Cha Cha
  22. Dear Mum
  23. Lock Up Your Daughters!
  24. When Does the Ravishing Begin?
  25. Newmarket Nightmare
  26. Dr. Kinsey Says

Disc: 4

  1. Our Hotel
  2. Tell Him - Tell Her!
  3. I Want to Whisper Something
  4. The Day After Tomorrow
  5. We're Going to the Country
  6. Another Morning
  7. Who's This Geezer Hitler?
  8. Be What You Wanna Be
  9. Opposites
  10. The Day After Tomorrow (Reprise)
  11. Entr'acte
  12. Far Away
  13. Petticoat Lane (On a Saturday Ain't So Nice)
  14. Down the Lane
  15. So Tell Me
  16. Mums and Dads
  17. Who Wants to Settle Down?
  18. Is This Gonna Be a Wedding?
  19. Duty Calls!
  20. Who's This Geezer Hitler? (Reprise)
  21. Far Away - Shirley Bassey
  22. Down the Lane - Max Bygraves
  23. Blitz Medley - Russ Conway
  24. Fings Ain't Wot They Used to Be - Max Bygraves
  25. Big Time - Jack Jones
  26. Fings Medley - Russ Conway
  27. Give Us a Kiss for Christmas - Lionel Bart
  28. How Now Brown Cow - Lionel Bart

Disc: 5

  1. It's All Happening
  2. My Family Tree
  3. What Do You Do
  4. Happy Guitar
  5. Hair-Down, Hoe-Down
  6. Princess
  7. Photograph (Duet with June Laverick)
  8. Thanks a Lot
  9. Tommy the Toreador
  10. Take a Ride
  11. Where's the Birdie?
  12. Little White Bull
  13. Singing Time
  14. Amanda
  15. Rock with the Caveman - Tommy Steele
  16. A Handful of Songs - Tommy Steele
  17. A Handful of Songs - Annie Ross
  18. Living Doll - Cliff Richard & the Drifters
  19. No Turning Back - Cliff Richard & the Drifters
  20. Mad About You - Cliff Richard & the Drifters
  21. The 'I Love You' Bit - Alma Cogan
  22. Do You Mind - Anthony Newley
  23. Do You Mind - Andy Williams
  24. Wild Cat - Marty Wilde
  25. Hide & Seek - Marty Wilde
  26. Easy Going Me - Adam Faith
  27. Sometime, Somewhere - Frankie Vaughan
  28. Walkin' Tall - Frankie Vaughan
  29. Kickin' Up the Leaves - Mark Wynter
  30. Jellied Eels - Joe Brown and His Bruvvers
  31. Too Young for Bad Memories - Shane Fenton
  32. Wave Your Little Handkerchief - Bruce Forsyth
  33. Why the Chicken? - Dave Samson & the Hunters
  34. From Russia with Love - John Barry

Vintage pics: Janet Leigh

New music releases Feb. 3, 2017: Westworld soundtrack, more

Click the links to order CDs, vinyl or downloads from Amazon.

Alice Babs & Duke Ellington / Serenade To Sweden

Art Pepper / Presents West Coast Sessions Volume 1: Pete Jolly

Dave Brubeck Quartet / Swiss Radio Days

Lesley Gore / Love Me By Name (Expanded Edition)  

Soundtrack / The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (Expanded Edition)

Soundtrack / Westworld: Season 1 

Pop Culture Roundup: Steve Ditko; Origins of Marvel Comics; Dan Spiegle; Frank Frazetta

Via the Bristol Board: Original Eerie splash page art by Steve Ditko.


Big Glee looks at the origins of "Origins of Marvel Comics."

Veteran comics artist Dan Spiegle died at age 96 last weekend. His friend and collaborator Mark Evanier has a personal remembrance here.

Spiegle drew many of Gold Key and Western Comics' TV-related properties during the  1950s and 60s, including Lost in Space, Green Hornet and Sea Hunt, along with Korak: Son of Tarzan.

I encountered his work later, in the 1970s and 80s, when he started providing art to DC Comics' titles such as Brave and the Bold, Batman and Teen Titans Spotlight.


Via Pappy's Golden Age: Frank Frazetta's Spartacus.

See the Super Bowl ad for "Ghost in the Shell"

Pop Notes: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds; Gilmore Girls; Tiny Dreams

"Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds" If not for the recent, shocking back-to-back deaths of its stars, this documentary, now showing on HBO, would likely play as a portrait of Hollywood eccentricity, not a poignant last farewell to a pair of movie greats.

While re-capping the careers of both mother and daughter via film clips and home movies, "Bright Lights" gives us a day-in-the-life view of behind-the-scenes celebrity life.

Fisher and Reynolds live in neighboring houses on a plot of land they call "the compound" in Beverly Hills. Each house is what you might expect: Reynolds' is more the aging movie star palace with ornate furniture and draperies, while Fisher's is funky and bohemian, decked out with goofy metal signs and kitschy collectables.

We're invited inside both homes. Mother and daughter spar cheerfully with one another and, on their own, give more confessional interviews to the camera. We also eavesdrop on their phone calls, join Reynolds in Las Vegas for her final singing-and-dancing performance (at age 83) and accompany Fisher to London, where she's filming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," understandably griping about the studio's orders that she eat well and exercise to keep off weight.

Both women are lovely, but odd, company. Spending time with them, you get a sense of how weird it must be growing up in show business. Fisher seems to relish the absurdity of it all, while her mother seems fully committed to the life of an entertainer. She's never wanted, or really experienced, anything else.

Perhaps because we know both women passed away shortly after this film was completed, there's an air of mortality hanging over it all, too. Reynolds is frail and would like to continue performing, but can't. Meanwhile, despite her fantastic wit and grounded sense of humor, growing up in Hollywood made a wreck of Fisher, who suffered decades of mental illness and substance abuse. You're left wondering, even though you already know, what's next for these women? When stars grow old, do they flash out or fade away? For Fisher and Reynolds, it was a little bit of both.

"Gilmore Girls." Speaking of mother-daughter teams, I recently finished up a major binge of this series along with my wife and teenage daughter. We watched the whole dang thing, original series and recent revival, on Netflix and enjoyed nearly all of it.

As with any series, there are occasional plot lines that seem contrived or don't payoff, and the show's utter cuteness can get cloying after a bit. But the dialogue is sharp and the players and characters are likeable and engaging.

It was nice to find a series we could enjoy together, that pulled us all in for the long haul. Even the new mini-series was pretty good. Though it wasn't completely necessary, it didn't diminish the original series and provided a chance to re-engage with the characters (although, unlike people who watched the series years ago, we were never really separated from them.) It all ended on an unexpected, but perfect not. The producers could leave it there, and I'd be happy. But if the Gilmores come back again, we'll be there.

ZBS Media's "Tiny Dreams." I always like to plug ZBS' audio series and show mainly because they are always fantastically entertaining, but also because I feel like not nearly enough people know about them.

If things were right in the world - and lord knows they aren't - people would be walking around in Jack Flanders t-shirts and starting up Ruby fan clubs. But that's not the way it is.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be on the bandwagon. And here's another chance: ZBS recently launched a series of standalone, short "mind movies" that can be heard on select radio stations or via weekly free downloads from ZBS website. Check 'em out!

Upcoming Dylan triple album collects 30 more standards

Bob Dylan continues to make his way through the Great American Songbook, this time with a new triple album that collects him crooning 30 more classics associated with Frank Sinatra and others.

Triplicate is out March 30 on vinyl, CD and via download.


A three-disc studio album from Bob Dylan, Triplicate, will be released on March 31, featuring 30 brand-new recordings of classic American tunes and marking the first triple-length set of the artist’s illustrious career. With each disc individually titled and presented in a thematically-arranged 10-song sequence, Triplicate showcases Dylan’s unique and much-lauded talents as a vocalist, arranger and bandleader on 30 compositions by some of music’s most lauded and influential songwriters. The Jack Frost-produced album is the 38th studio set from Bob Dylan and marks the first new music from the artist since Fallen Angels, which was released in early 2016.

For Triplicate, Dylan assembled his touring band in Hollywood’s Capitol studios to record hand-chosen songs from an array of American songwriters including Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (“Once Upon A Time”), Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler (“Stormy Weather”), Harold Hupfield (“As Time Goes By”) and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh (“The Best Is Yet To Come”). The titles of the individual discs are ‘Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin’ Home Late.

Here's the track listing:

Disc 1 – ' Til The Sun Goes Down
Side 1:
1. I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans
2. September Of My Years
3. I Could Have Told You
4. Once Upon A Time
5. Stormy Weather
Side 2:
1. This Nearly Was Mine
2. That Old Feeling
3. It Gets Lonely Early
4. My One and Only Love
5. Trade Winds
Disc 2 – Devil Dolls
Side 1:
1. Braggin'
2. As Time Goes By
3. Imagination
4. How Deep Is The Ocean
5. P. S. I Love You
Side 2:
1. The Best Is Yet To Come
2. But Beautiful
3. Here's That Rainy Day
4. Where Is The One
5. There's A Flaw In My Flue
Disc 3 – Comin' Home Late
Side 1:
1. Day In, Day Out
2. I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night
3. Sentimental Journey
4. Somewhere Along The Way
5. When The World Was Young
Side 2:
1. These Foolish Things
2. You Go To My Head
3. Stardust
4. It's Funny To Everyone But Me
5. Why Was I Born

New video series profiles Jack Kirby and other "Greater Creators"

Here's a teaser for a new web video series on Machinima that will profile Alan Moore, Gene Roddenberry, Frank Herbert, Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick, Hayao Miyazaki, Frank Frazetta, Ray Harryhausen, and others.

The first episode spotlights Marvel Universe creator Jack Kirby. Here's a teaser:

Mary Tyler Moore: The album covers

Video find: 1968 Charles Mingus documentary

Most of this film, which was produced and directed by 23-year-old Thomas Reichman, was shot on a night in November 1966, when Mingus awaited the arrival of police and eviction from his Bowery loft for nonpayment of rent. As Mingus, a hulking but gentle man, moves back and forth through the clutter of crates, playing with his small daughter and talking to Mr. Reichman, who remains off-screen, it becomes obvious that his dispossession is more than just physical.

Veteran comics artist Bernie Wrightson retiring due to health

Sad news, veteran comics artist Bernie Wrightson, the co-creator of Swamp-Thing, is retiring due to ill health.

This statement was posted on Wrigthson's Facebook page:
I apologize for our silence for the past few months. Last November Bernie began falling again, and having obvious problems with perception. He had to undergo yet another brain surgery to relieve bleeding, and then spend several weeks undergoing in-patient rehabilitation. Unfortunately, it appears that he has lasting damage: he has extremely limited function on his left side, and is unable to walk or reliably use his left hand, among other limitations.

We have had to come to the sad conclusion that he is now effectively retired: he will produce no new art, and he is unable to attend conventions. Should this situation change I will happily announce it here.

He can still sign his name (in fact he was signing Kickstarter prints in the hospital!), and is otherwise pretty healthy and has good cognition. We expect to continue releasing signed prints, and offering occasional pieces of art for sale from the collection that remains. We both thank all of you for your continuing support and good wishes!

All our best,
Liz and Bernie Wrightson
Here is an amazing piece Wrighson did for an edition of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" back in the early 1980s:

Video Find: David Bowie's first TV appearance

In his first TV appearance, at the age of 17, David Bowie is interviewed by Cliff Michelmore, for the BBC's "Tonight" program, about his newly-founded Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men.