Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year! 2012!

2012?

2012, REALLY!?

Time was I thought I’d never get there without a Time Tunnel!


But, we’re here… Onward and upward!

We're Ready!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Cover Answer!

On Christmas Eve, we asked: What is wrong with the cover of Gladstone’s DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES # 30?

The answer is that, although the names of Carl Barks, Ron Fernandez, and Pat Block are ON THE COVER, the name of WALT DISNEY (of all things) has been left off!

Unlike this favorite cover of mine!

Or this one. 


We’ll dedicate this post to the incomparable David Gerstein for coming up with the correct answer – and runner up to the equally-incomparable (in his own unique way) GeoX for contributing the only other guess.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Cover Question!

Here is the great Christmas cover for Gladstone’s DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES # 30.

THE QUESTION: What is wrong with this cover?


Those who recall my old fanzine writings will know the answer, but everyone is invited to guess in our comments section.


I’ll be back on Christmas Monday with the answer.


Merry and Happy to all!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

R.I.P. Joe Simon.

Before there was “Stan and Jack”, there was “Simon and Kirby” innovating and making comics great!

Read more about Joe Simon HERE.

I’ve not read nearly enough of “Simon and Kirby” -- or "Simon without Kirby" to do justice in tributing Joe Simon, who left us at the age of 98 – so I’ll let Mark Evanier do it.  Of anyone, he's best qualified to do so.

Thank you, Mr. Simon, for Captain America and so much more.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chia…WHO?


Saw this in the supermarket last night.

Honestly, doesn’t this defeat the respective purposes of both “Chia” and Homer Simpson?


Friday, December 16, 2011

Hack Work!

Before this week, I thought of “hack work” as something like THIS.



Now, it takes for form of e-mail messages to friends, relatives, and colleagues with subject headers like:


“Hello! You’re personally invited to visit my new site!”
…or…
“ROFL! I can’t stop laughing after this! You should see it!”


With – shall we say – embarrassing links contained therein.  Yesterday, it happened to me.


This sort of stealth attack on your e-mail contacts list comes from nowhere, flooding said contacts with this sort of spam – and the best you can do is change your password and do some damage control after the fact.


Like this message I hastily composed:


Today, my e-mail account was hacked. Please ignore anything received today before this message.


This is becoming a common practice, as three people I know have had this happen to them this year.


I can't imagine anyone would BUY something from an effort like this -- so it can only be a malicious prank on the part of persons unknown.


Sorry for any confusion or embarrassment.


Joe.


Believe it or not, there was an upside to all this. I got to enjoy plenty of communication with persons who I may not communicate with as regularly as I’d like to – and on subjects beyond the mass-spamming of my contact list.


In that communication, it became very clear that this is far more of a common practice than I thought.


As noted above, I know THREE persons to whom this has happened over the past year – many others with whom I communicated on the topic also know victims of similar hackings.

Friend of this Blog Bruce Kanin made an interesting observation that I kinda knew from my previous experiences, but never actually put into words. Here’s our exchange on the subject.


BRUCE TO ME: “And I've come to recognize it quickly, as well. The hackers can't quite imitate the person they're impersonating. Not yet, at least.


ME TO BRUCE: “That's an excellent point, Bruce!


In the cases I'm familiar with, including someone I've known since 1980, I could tell from the subject header that something was amiss. We all DO have our individual styles, interests, etc. And that shows. (...or is noticable when it does not show!)


In fact, my general rule is that, if I do not know the sender -- and the subject matter does not look as if it is specifically directed at me (reflecting a very specific interest of mine), I delete it unread.


So that's why they attack under the guise of a friend.


Many of you who read this humble Blog are personal friends – and I would hope that all recognized that the subject header quotes above were NOT the way I would “put” anything! Score one for Bruce.


So, there’s a lesson for us all – and to those who received spam under my good name, I remain sorry!

Monday, December 12, 2011

R.I.P. Harry Morgan.

Actor Harry Morgan passed away on Wednesday, December 07, 2011, at the age of 96.


Best known for his long-running role of Col. Sherman Potter on M.A.S.H., to me Morgan is most fondly remembered as Officer Bill Gannon, on the sixties version of DRAGNET. (Which, if I may be allowed to play “Degrees of Separation”, was inspired by THIS!)


Morgan’s likeable and frankly quirky (sort of “comedy relief”) portrayal of Gannon offered a perfect counterpoint to Jack Webb’s no-nonsense cop Sgt. Joe Friday. Gannon was often “into something” that would influence his conversation throughout an episode, and/or spend the time trying to convince Friday of that “something”.

In originating the role for an early 1967 debut of the sixties revival of DRAGNET, Morgan helped change the face of ‘60s television, as I have noted HERE.

If there was a single, quintessential “Bill Gannon” episode of Dragnet, it would be “The Big Neighbor” (October 12, 1967), in which Gannon tries to convince Friday of the joys and comforts of a married life in the suburbs. As the “cop on the block”, however, Gannon’s night is anything but peaceful – in both humorous and non-humorous ways.
Oddly, I immediately thought of this episode as my thoughts turned to Harry Morgan this week – and I was not alone, as a clip from “The Big Neighbor” was shown to eulogize Morgan on Sunday’s “This Week” broadcast on ABC TV.

The Big Neighbor” can be found on the DRAGNET Season Two DVD set.

R.I.P. Jerry Robinson.

Artist Jerry Robinson was lost to us on Wednesday, December 07, 2011, at the age of 89.

How different would the concept of Batman be without Robinson – who created The Joker, and is believed to have the look of Robin?!

Oddly, given my solitary perspective in those pre-Internet days of the early to mid-Silver Age when little was known about comics, their creators and their history, I knew Jerry Robinson for a feature that appeared in the New York Daily News titled “True Classroom Flubs and Fluffs” – never aware of his (teen) titanic (pardon) contributions to one of the greatest franchises of all time!

Especially, ironic when one of my favorite television images was this...

Mark Evanier (the best in the business at this sort of thing) has perspective on Mr. Robinson HERE.

The New York Times eulogizes Robinson HERE.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sixties Culture in Comics: Porky Pig # 15 (1967).

Here at TIAH Blog, we love comics and we love Sixties pop culture.  So, when the two of them come together…
Because of their “soundless nature”, comic books are almost always forced to portray music as a raucous cacophony for humorous effect. Contemporary music is portrayed this way almost without exception.

On TV, The Archies, (…or their anonymous live counterparts) were a pleasant-sounding bubble-gum band. But, in the concurrent comic books of the time, they did little more than produce a dreadful din… especially when in the proximity of poor (figuratively, not literally) Mr. Lodge.


Further examples of this treatment range from Donald Duck’s wailing guitar opus, “The Screaming Cowboy”, causing avalanches in Snow Country (WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 137 - 1952), to DC Comics’ galactic bounty hunter Lobo taking the genre of comic book music to new lows with his violent rendition (…with the emphasis on “REND”) of “I Can’t Sing that Fraggin’ Crap” (LOBO # 13 – 1995). Note that, over the span of forty-three years, the harsh, jarring view of “contemporary” music differs little.


Lying somewhere in between those two cacophonous classics of comicdom, is a quintessential example of how comic book music is presented. A tale from a time that was considered (…at least by the middle-aged comic book writers of the day) to be the inconceivable height of insufferable sounds – The Sixties! And, so it is that…


The Issue at Hand Is: PORKY PIG # 15 (November, 1967)


Published by Gold Key Comics.


“The Weird-Oohs” 6 pages. Story by: Unknown. Art by: Phil De Lara.


As the “Summer of Love” drew to a close, this typical “adults’ view” of the music of the day was released to the nation. With dreams of impending stardom, Porky Pig and Sylvester (sans Tweety) have formed their own rock band… “The Weird-Oohs”.


With Sylvester on drums (…emblazoned with “The Weird-Oohs” logo on the bass drum) and Porky on vocals (…um, shouldn’t there be SOMEONE on guitar, or am I just nit-picking here?), the pair begin rehearsal in Porky’s living room. The results, alas, all but ensure that “Beethoven” would “Roll Over”… in his GRAVE!


After Take One, the police bust in investigating “…an emergency call, somebody was being murdered!” Porky proves their innocence with a tape of their racket-and-roll, but the cops threaten them with charges of “…disturbing the peace, inciting a riot, and mangling music!” (Insert your own “pig meets pig” sixties style joke here!)


Banned from town and civilization, the boys head for the desert, where no one can complain. But, as luck would have it, they still “can’t get no sa-tis-fac-shun”!


No sooner than drummer Sylvester lets loose with a “CRASH! BANG! BOOM! BANG!”, and Porky belts out some “YEE-OOOH! YEE-OOH’S!”, they are dive bombed by rock-bearing buzzards. Buzzards with a taste for music, it would seem.


Taking cover underneath the body of their car, they are next attacked by an army of snapping desert tortoises – who easily shuck the “slowpoke” stereotype, when it comes to their melodic sensibilities. Note to Porky and Sylvester: The creatures of the desert decidedly do not “…love you, yeah, yeah, yeah!”


W-What could have turned those slow, gentle, harmless creatures into a raging mob?”


Must have been something they ate!”


Next, the boys take refuge in a desert cave and decide to turn it into an impromptu rehearsal hall.


CAPTION: “And once again, the desert air is disturbed by a deluge of delirious decibels…”


…So it remains, until the cave soon collapses under the aural assault of “The Weird-Oohs”, crushing and burying their instruments and equipment. As they said, back in the day: WIPEOUT! Readers may add Beach Boys maniacal laughter to season to their individual taste: “Heheheheheheee Wipe Oooout!” Okay, no water or surf was involved, but a cave-in (pardon)rocks”, nevertheless!


On the disheartened drive home, the now “Ex-Weird-Oohs” are ready to call it a “Hard Day’s Night” when they spy the following roadside sign:


Greasewood COUNTY FAIR! Fun! Exhibits!


PRIZES for Livestock, Farm Products, Handicrafts, Baking!


TODAY ONLY – Amateur Singing Contest!”


Porky and Sylvester give it one more try, as an a cappella act in the Singing Contest, to win enough money to buy new equipment and start over. After a minute of “YEE-OOO ARE MY LU-U-UV! OHH! OHH! OHH! I MISS YEE-OOO SO-O-OH! SO-O-OH! SO-O-OH!”, the judge awards them First Prize… not for the SINGING CONTEST, but in the HOG-CALLING CONTEST.


As so, we depart the Swinging Sixties, and we ponder the iris-out irony of Porky being mobbed by a passel of passion-roused pigs, we close our look at the treatment of contemporary music – of any era, be it the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, or nineties – in comic books as something to be feared and loathed. In short, be glad comic books are not equipped for sound… be very glad!

All This and Earth Two, Too?

Say, did ya hear they just discovered a new Earth-like Planet?!  Here's another link!


I can't decide whether to alert the Robinson Family and Doctor Smith -- or anticipate the subsequent discovery of Golden Age versions of Superman, Batman, and the JSA inhabiting the planet!
Kidding aside, it IS amazing.