Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year’s Bloggin’ Eve 2012!

It’s been a great 2012 at TIAH Blog!

145 posts: A new record. The highlight being THIS POST, given the interest it generated among all of you.

We’ve covered lots of DVDs and comics, paid tribute to those departed folks that made my life a better place with their contributions, and most of all had a great time throwing around comments on it all!

I’ve said this already, but I can never say it enough…

All of you who read and contribute to this Blog share in its success! And, I define it’s “success” by the vast amount of fun I have with it! Both my group of personal friends – and the many new friends we’ve made along the way are responsible for that fun.

You should also know how grateful I am to receive Blog comments. It means that someone took the time to read these writings – and share his or her thoughts on them.

I hope we share many thoughts throughout 2013, on the usual DVDs and comics, and on those folks who will unfortunately depart over the coming year who made my life a better place with their contributions. Meaning: More of Same! Hopefully, it’ll be “good same”. Be there for it, won’t you! I’ll enjoy having you!

Happy 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Secrets of Marco Topo: Beyond The Last Line - or - The Unseen Postscript!

Ever wonder what goes on after the story ends?  ...Read on!

As we bid farewell to 2012, we close our first full year since 2002 without the "Core Four" Disney comic book titles: WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES, MICKEY MOUSE, DONALD DUCK, and UNCLE SCROOGE.   

Marking the occasion of the first of what I fear may be several (if not many) years without these comics, I offer up an unseen aspect of one of their very last vestiges, as we peer bravely into the heretofore unseen and unknown! BEWARE!

My "Editor Supreme" David Gerstein and I  sometimes have the fun of my scripting things especially for his eyes – knowing they will never make the cut – such as an alternate title to the “Pirate Gold” sequel I called “I Am Curious (Yellow Beak)”!

After Mickey delivered his closing line to Romano Scarpa's “The Treasure of Marco Topo” Part Two, in WDC&S # 720 , I kept on going… writing nonsensically, but still from the heart, at the prospect of these titles ending forever.

It was tacked on to the end of my first draft as a lark – and never intended for publication.  But, after a full year of Disney drought, here it is for you to enjoy… or recoil in horror (You decide!)

Here's the end of the story, followed by the "End Beyond the End" in special color text:

Minnie: Our last night in Venice! And, by the time we get home, everyone will forget about that dreadful reality show!

Brigitta: Yes, but it was fun being famous for a while!

Mickey: Fame is measured by character, Brigitta! Not TV bites! Here’s to the greatest bunch o’ characters I know!

[…And here’s to you and the gang, Mickey! And to “Unca”s Carl and Floyd, and “Maestro” Scarpa! From Joe and David! 

Remember… Make new friends, but keep the old.

One is Silver (Silver Age?), the other Gold… That is “Gold Key”, see?

And Dell, Whitman, Gladstone I, Disney Comics, Gladstone II, Gemstone, Boom!... and only the future knows who’s next! Hope to see you all there!

As Marco Topo put it: “Farewell!”]  End of post-script ramblings.

I really like Mickey’s line because it speaks for me: Here’s to the greatest bunch o’ characters I know!” …just in case it really is a long while before they return!

You've just looked beyond "The-End-Of-The-End"!  Scary, Huh? 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

R.I.P. Jack Klugman.

One of my true television favorites, actor Jack Klugman, left us December 24, 2012, at the age of 90.

Mr. Klugman, as everyone knows, was most famous for his role as quintessential ‘60s / ‘70s New Yorker Oscar Madison, on TV’s THE ODD COUPLE. Along with Tony Randall as roommate Felix Unger, Klugman’s was one of the most iconic roles in all of television comedy!

Beyond THE ODD COUPLE, Klugman’s extensive credits can be found HERE.

I watched little to no TV during the period Klugman starred in QUINCY, M.E., but all accounts describe that as a quality show as well.

Klugman was a four time guest star on THE TWILIGHT ZONE, including a turn with Billy Mumy (LOST IN SPACE) in “In Praise of Pip” – and with Jonathan Winters in “A Game of Pool”. I also enjoyed him immensely in an outstanding episode of THE FUGITIVE (“Terror at High Point”), described within THIS POST.

No doubt, there’s a comfortable, but messy, spot in Heaven for Jack Klugman… where no roommates are allowed!

R.I.P. Charles Durning.

Charles Durning, a fine veteran actor, passed away on December 24, 2012, at the age of 89.

Mr. Durning’s many credits can be found HERE but, to contemporary animation fans, he was known and loved as cranky old staunch catholic “Francis Griffin” (step – as we later found out) father to Peter Griffin of FAMILY GUY!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

May Your Day Be Merry and Bright!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Day, from Joe, Esther, and TIAH Blog! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Post # 140: With Lots of Comic Covers!

As we noted HERE, we’ve gone into heretofore uncharted territory with our number of posts for 2012. 

This is post 140!

As I do not suspect we will reach 150 before the year ends, we’ll celebrate 140 posts at TIAH Blog for 2012, by taking a looong look at the number 140 throughout the landscape of comic books. 

Here, without further ado, are a Big Buncha 140s!  Enjoy! 
And, finally... "140 The Hard Way" -- TWO # 70s! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Flintstone!

We’ve been so dedicated to regularly updating the old Blog, and tending to the business of everyday life, that the Christmas Holiday just sorta snuck up on us!  But, let’s rectify that. 

Forty eight years after the fact, 1964’s “Christmas Flintstone” is still my favorite animated holiday treat. 

See it in this DVD set.

 …Or, read it in this COMIC! 
The Flintstones # 31 (Gold Key Comics)
I mention “Christmas FlintstoneHERE atop my list of favorite things to watch at this time of year (please forgive the graphics on that post, as I was in my “Garish Colors Phase”) – and HERE as part of my “Weird Christmas Tales” celebration. 

Beyond that, the celebrated Hanna-Barbera blogger YOWP posts on it HERE. 

YOWP gives us lots of great backgrounds used in the original production, and look for an outstanding comment by our friend “Scarecrow33” concerning the Flintstone characters celebrating Christmas in the Stone Age.   
"I'm dreaming of a SAVED Christmas!  Just like the one I USED to KNOW!"
It never fails to thrill me to see Fred Flintstone “save Christmas” before it became a required activity for nearly all animated characters.  
Ooooh, MAMA!

And, then I can flash-forward to 2010 to see FAMILY GUY’s Brian and Stewie totally screw it up, before even *they* manage to “save Christmas” themselves in the hour-long special episode “Road to the North Pole”, as seen on the DVD set pictured below. 

Considering that THE FLINTSTONES begat FAMILY GUY (presumably by way of THE SIMPSONS), watching these two superb (each in their own way) episodes back-to-back sorta brings us “Full-Christmas-Circle”! 

You won't be LAUGHING, when I'M through with you, Fat Man!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A DVD Review Even *I* Would Not Have the Guts To Do!

Here at TIAH Blog, we do a LOT of DVD Reviews!  I won't even offer links, 'cause all you have to do is throw a "cyber-stick", and you'll probably hit one. 

We have fun with them but, ultimately, we and the DVD in question always come out okay!   

But HERE AT THIS LINK is one that amazes me for its sheer audacity, despite the now-cliched approach -- one that we even routinely see in commercials. 

Go check it out! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Lo(bo) in Space!

Hey, all ya feebs, geeks, an' bastiches!
Here at TIAH Blog, we like trying to determine the origins of the various things we like. Even though, in most cases, the true origins of just about anything may never be known. The fun is in the speculation, after all!

Today, we turn our attentions to “Space Bikers” (Yes, really!), the most famous example of which just may be one of our favorite original comic book creations – LOBO! Because, as Lobo would be quick to point out if he were here (…and aren’t we all glad that he’s NOT!), we really should mention him more often at this Blog – he IS “The Main Man”, after all! !

As Lobo rocket-bikes his way through galaxies both known and unknown, we are left to wonder where such an outrageous concept as “Space Bikers” might have originated.

Naw, it couldn't be with US, could it?
My only guess would have to be the wonderfully bizarre LOST IN SPACE episode “Collision of Planets” (1967), in which a quartet of useless misfit hippie space bikers are ordered to destroy the Robinsons’ latest settlement planet before it collides with their own.
Yeah, I guess it WOULD!  Them's SPACE BIKES, all right!
The aspiring “Useful Citizens”, dispatched to become the latest threat to the never-lasting tranquility of the Robinson Party, consist of:

Daniel J. Travanti (who will later star in HILL STREET BLUES… Yes, really, again!)

Be CAREFUL out there, Dan!

Lynda Gaye Scott (actress and heir to the Scott Tissue fortune – as some accounts have reported).

Dawson Palmer: The regular “monster actor” on LOST IN SPACE.

Joe E. Tata: (later "Nat" of BEVERLY HILLS 90210).

I can’t imagine such an outrageous concept as “Space Bikers” predating LOST IN SPACE (…and it’s most “creative” and prolific writer Peter Packer), so let’s toss it there – and remember that whenever we enjoy LOBO in the future.

Enjoyin' yerself, Supes?
You DO enjoy Lobo, don’t you? …If not, pretend you do, just in case he sees this!