Wednesday, July 31, 2013

the first excellent version of the Marine Boy book cover

This is a prototype of the cover... how awesome does this look?  I am thoroughly impressed and amazed at it, it's that great.  It sure is eye catching, isn't it?  There's everything you could want on the cover.  The colors are just incredible.  I think the words a little bit too close together, but since this is a first draft, I'm sure the incredibly talented Dan Ross will make the final version completely astounding.

Dang! Just dang!  I keep staring at the cover.  Probably should not even say anything else.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spectacular Comic Book Spoilers Classics - Amazing Spider-Man #40

Who knew that the Green Goblin inspired the song "Cats in the Cradle"? Here's all the proof you need. This is an interesting little series. This is the first one I've ever seen. I could live without the voices, but if I did the reviews I'd do it as well, probably. John Romita, Sr. does the great artwork. His stuff by now was different than Steve Ditko. I always thought he was told to copy Ditko for the first few stories, while leading the reader into his own style. He did it well.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Avengers #46

"The Agony and the Anthill!"
Roy Thomas
John Buscema
Vince Colletta 
Sam Rosen
We open with Cap deep in thought and the other Avengers noticing.  Seems he's in love with the mysterious Agent 13, whom all of us now know as Sharon Carter.  Hawkeye shows up with the newly retired Natasha (ha!).  Finally, Jan arrives with her new chauffeur "Charles" who was first known as the Human Top but now calls himself The  Whirlwind (how does he turn his head?)!

Kaufman Lawler Feud: Chapter 22 - The Lawsuit, The Chicken Suit...

... and a phone call. Andy finally sues Jerry and calls the studio. It's a real phone call and Andy still manages to get heat from it. Funny how now they'd just have a two way monitor system set up so they could see him.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Ultimate Guide to Martial Arts Movies of the 1970s

I can't believe I've had this book for almost a year and haven't really reviewed it.

This is a lavishly illustrated and well written book by Dr. Craig D. Reid.  His story itself would make a pretty good movie, since he's a martial artist as well, and did voice dubbing in the late 70s and early 80s over in Hong Kong.  He also was a writer/stuntman/actor/choreographer.  So he knows his stuff.  The best reviews are the ones when he talks about the history of Shaolin, as that's so intriguing to me.  I think almost every picture in the book comes from a Shaw Brothers movies, which is pretty cool as well.  Even in still pictures you can see why they were the undisputed masters of the era.  His martialogies include the percentage of fights in the movie, such as INFRAMAN being 25.14% fight scenes.  He even includes the cartoon "STORY OF THE CHINESE GODS".  I'd love to see an uncut version of that, sometime.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ghost of Zorro 4

"Victims of Vengeance" 

One really gets spoiled by the excellent fight choreography and stunts in Republic Serials. They are very energetic and yet maintain a certain rawness, like a real fight would actually be, if a person could take that many fists to the face at once. Many movies of the time seemed to let their stuntmen flail at each other, hoping for a decent fight scene, which rarely happened.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Xenorama Presents... Marine Boy- Underwater Adventure

It's almost ready!  After over 12 years of work it's done!  There are all sorts of fun things in the book to read and look at, I promise you, including quotes from the late Peter Fernandez, whom I had the pleasure of speaking to several years ago about the show.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


This first aired in 1985. Looking back on it now I can see it's the beginning of the end of dinosaurs being "terrible lizards" and starting to become real animals. This was narrated by the late who does a great job. The stop-motion animation is remarkable. I sure do miss it. This is the whole show, all 48 minutes of it. Interestingly enough, the name Brontosaurus is used throughout the show. I thought by '85 everyone knew there was no such thing as the Brontosaurus.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Space Ghost!

Mostly just a fun collection of pictures, some of which will appear in the next issue of Xenorama.  There's a hint as to one of the articles!  Alex Toth did most of the design work on these cartoons, and those critters are amazing.  Weird and cool and very 60s stylish all at once.

Kaufman Lawler Feud: Chapter 20 - Lawler vs. Ventura

Here's Jerry vs Jesse "The Body" Ventura- at least the closing moments. Apparently Jimmy Hart had to dress as a chicken, but perhaps this wasn't the worst match stipulation Jimmy ever had to endure, as you will see.

Monday, July 22, 2013

JLA: Only a Dream (31,32)

John Dee dreams about using the Materiopticon to defeat the Justice League, and he gets congratulated by several other super villains.  The Joker is not impressed with his nom d' guerre though.  But Grundy likes him.  He's a loser that won't get paroled, so we feel a little sorry for him at first, especially after his girlfriend leaves him.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Marco Polo 1975 Trailer

Here's a trailer for a fun kung fu movie called MARCO POLO. Over here it was titled "The Four Assassins" which is apt as well, though they are the good guys. stars as Marco Polo. He was in several peplum movies in the 60s and later on did an amazing amount of ninja movies in the mid-80s. He's pretty good here though. This is the DVD trailer, which adds a few new effects for good measure. Not that it's needed, but since when does a trailer reflect the actual movie?

Sprocket Monsters... Re-Covered!

Here is the new book!  It's a fond remembrance of watching 8mm versions of our favorite monster movies, liberally and lovingly illustrated with pictures of the boxes and the posters some of the boxes were based on.  It's comic book sized.  It's more of a special edition of Xenorama than an actual new issue, so it doesn't get it's own number.  At least at this point in time.  Perhaps if this one is popular enough I'll do a "foreign versions" edition.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ghost of Zorro 3

"Robber's Agent"
Zorro saves the day, and Rita, happily enough. This is why you are only supposed to watch on chapter a week, so you don't remember them NOT showing anything that looks like an escape from the previous chapter. Usually the escapes work pretty good.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Next Project...

Here's the cover I made for my newest project for Xenorama- a comparison of 8mm movie boxes to their original theatrical posters.  There are several really cool posters in there, as you can tell by looking at the cover.  The back has a similar theme, except it's got boxes that didn't quite make the cut.

I think it's a decent cover, all things considered, like my lack of ability with computers and art and stuff like that.  It gets the point across pretty well.  It's comic book sized, and will probably cost $7.95, though it should be cheaper through Amazon.  It's thirty-two full color pages!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kaufman Lawler Feud: Chapter 18, 19 - The Beauty Tips

I first saw clips of this segment on the pseudo-doc "I'm From Hollywood". That's a pretty fun doc, though you don't quite get the whole story. Of course I saw it on TV first, so it was missing several minutes due to commercials. This bit is both comedy and heel gold. Andy insults the entire state of Memphis. I'm surprised he got out of there alive when he visited. When watching it on TV the name of the soap was blurred.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Witch's Curse (1962)

Maciste shows up in Scotland in the dark ages (16th century or so) to help a village remove a witch's curse.  It's making all the women go crazy.  No one seems surprised at all to see him there.  Which is one of the charms of the movie.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Icehouse - Icehouse

This song caused the band to change their name from "The Flowers" to Icehouse, since apparently their fans kept calling them that. Icehouse really is a cooler name. This video was shown a lot on Channel 12 back in the day. I loved watching FM-TV, but sometimes I wish they would have told us a little about the artists on occasion. It only happened when the players would eat a tape and they had to vamp for time.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hercules vs the Moon Men

Italy made a LOT of peplum movies after HERCULES (1958) was a big hit worldwide.  Naturally that led to a glut of these types of movies, no surprise there, it happens with every fad and type of movie- spies, westerns, sci-fi (I'm waiting for the brainless big budget action movie fad to die) you name it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Goliath and the Vampires (1961) trailer

I want to like this movie more than I do. it's got a lot going for it, perhaps too much. The trailer is really good though, overall, and certainly should have gotten fans into the theaters, as it's a nice combination of vampires and peplum. The TV title was just "The Vampires" if I remember correctly.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Bubbler!

here's the baleful Bubbler, who takes on the incredible Impossibles!  he bubble-naps the young Shah of Shish Kebab, who calls him all sorts of alliterative imprecations for the entire episode.  Nothing much phases that kid.  Big D sends the Impossibles out as soon as possible!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Kaufman Lawler Feud: Chapter 17 - We Will Have the Last Laugh

Jimmy saying this means even more now, since Andy nearly always got the last laugh on everyone, because most of us weren't in on the joke! which is just amazing to me. here we have the aftermath of Jerry throwing fire at Andy.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

the Lone Ranger

I grew up watching the Lone Ranger, both in black and white and in color, it didn't matter to me.  It was second only two Batman in live action shows that I loved as a kid.  I still love it, and appreciate the acting of the stars a lot more.  It took me forever to realize the "old coot" character that the Ranger dressed up was actually Moore in a great disguise.  I always thought Jay Silverheels was great as well, and was happy that there was a character my brother could play. 

I've no real desire to see the new movie adaption, as it looks like it suffers from "origin-itis" and overblown effects.  what's the point?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ghost of Zorro 2

Chapter Two- "Forged Orders"
by 1949 serials had gotten shorter- this second chapter is only 14 minutes long. used to be the chapters after the first one were about 20 minute longs. I think Clayton uses a slightly different voice for Zorro, though it wouldn't surprise me if they had to redub a voice in there under that mask. Of course, since it was a stunt double most of the time, they probably needed to the relooping of lines occasionally.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Avengers #45

"Blitzkrieg in Central Park!"
Roy Thomas
John Buscema
Vince Colletta 
Sam Rosen
the Avengers are being honored by the city of New York for crushing the plans of the Mandarin.  this was more common back in the 60s, apparently, though we get more foreshadowing of Pietro disliking humanity right at the beginning.  Wanda also has trouble adjusting her tiara, which is a word I never associated with her costume.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ramones (Happy Birthday to You)

the Ramones did an hilarious take on this song for Mr Burns 108th birthday party. at least, I think that's the age he's usually given at any episode that thinks it needs to be said. anyway, Burns' reaction is even better, and one I agree with.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

finally, Xenorama has returned!

Twelve years after I published the previous issue of Xenorama, the Journal of Heroes and Monsters has returned!  Copies can be ordered here, and in a few days it will be available on Amazon as well.  Once I get the formatting down it will also be available for download on Kindle as well.

This issue features articles by Christopher Elam, Jeff Goodhartz, Tara DeVeau, Chad McAlpin and Mike Lawyer.  It also features the awesome cover by Dan Ross.  Which is probably the best cover that has ever graced Xenorama in it's 20 year history!

Kaufman-Lawler Feud: Chapter 16 - Revenge of the King

bad guys always seem to get hung up on their own egos, and then can't figure out why the good guy could win. here we have Andy, seemingly assured that Jerry is not a threat to him any more, calmly watching an Assassins match. should be no big deal, right?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Varan, the Undiscovered

I think I've posted about this movie before, and that I prefer the US cut over the Japanese one.  neither is anything wonderful, but Toho's version just goes on and on and on...

it also doesn't hurt that I saw this a few times on TV while I was growing up, and that I owned the 8mm version of it, which contains most of the essential scenes.  Ken Films always did a pretty good job of getting the best parts into their 200' comps, and even Varan was no exception.  I had the 8mm version long before I saw the whole movie on TV.  which wasn't a bad thing.