Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A TerrifiCon Prelude ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post

My very first visit to TerrifiCon, the convention held each summer at Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut, consisted of only a handful of hours in 2017. I walked away with signsatures from four comic book professionals whose work I'd seen during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and/or 1990s. (I told about my experiences here and here.)

Last year -- that's 2018, in case you're not keeping track -- I obtained one or mire signatures from fifteen different comic pros. And I reallllly went overboard as far as posting about it. Rather than a two-part post, it was a five-part post! (Here, here, here, here, and here!)

And this year? Well, this year, I intend to double that amount of celebrity autographs. That plus-or-minus thirty count of signators will include both comic professionals and a few media types (actors and voice-over artists, that is).

And in case you're wondering, this year's "report" on TerrifiCon will emphatically not give details about all the people whose signatures I obtain. So no, it will not be a ten-part post. I promise.

Now I'm going to shut up and just throw photos at you of those who -- as of June 11th -- I intend to bug for their autograph. First I'll show the comic pros, in alphabetical order, then the media guests, in alphabetical order as well. I've made a few larger than the rest. (Those are the ones whom I personally am really excited about!) Feel free to click on any that interest you for a closer look.

See you at the bottom!

And now, the media folk!

Thanks for your time!

Thursday, June 6, 2019


Today's post is (obviously) devoted to all who fought during the massive invasion forever known as D-Day, June 6th, 1944. We must always remember those who lived and died, for all played their part and made a difference.

My father was a soldier during World War II, from 1943-1945. That means that he was in the army on D-Day, but I have no idea if he actually participated in the D-Day invasion that happened seventy-five years ago today. Why? Well, although he took me to see World War II-related movies at the drive-in, and watched WWII-related movies and television programs with me at home, he never discussed his actual war experiences.

No, for that kind of thing, I was "stuck" reading Marvel Comics' Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, and later titles from both Marvel and DC like Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders, Our Army at War (later Sgt. Rock), Star-Spangled War Stories, Combat Kelly and the Deadly Dozen, and other comics of that ilk!

Sgt. Fury was always my favorite of the war comics, though. Its earliest issues were drawn by Jack Kirby, but by issue #8 (the first issue I got brand new), the artwork was by Dick Ayers. Imagine my joy thirty years later when I got to meet Dick and even work with him on an unsold comic book series of ours!

And how did my father feel about my love for the war comics? I don't think he gave it much thought, really. But when I read Sgt. Fury #9 (pictured above), it sent me to the World Book Encyclopedia to find out more information about this "Hitler guy." That, and similar situations where (for example) issues of Journey into Mystery (later The Mighty Thor) made me consult the World Book on various characters from Norse mythology like Loki, Odin, and Balder, are no doubt why my parents always encouraged my comic book habit.

There was one issue my father took exception to, and that's Sgt. Fury #32, pictured above. He looked at the cover in mild surprise, complaining about how ridiculous it was that the Nazi soldiers were missing Nick Fury and his men at such close range.

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ohhh, MAN!!! ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post... on a Thursday!

For once and for all, people... It's Spider-Man. Not Spiderman. Spider-Man! If I see one more "authoritative" article about comic books that does this...!!!

Although admittedly, even Stan Lee didn't get it right all the time at first, as shown in the following examples from Amazing Fantasy #15.

And this one, from The Amazing Spider-Man #3, was even worse!

And, on a related note, you'd never write Bat-Man instead of Batman, would you? Well, DC Comics did, in Batman's very first story!

It makes it so much more difficult to correct someone when they can point to these previous screw-ups and claim that they were correct, dunnit?

Thanks for your time

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Tim Conway, 1933-2019, Doris Day, 1922-2019, R.I.P.

I was incredibly saddened to hear of the May 14th death of comedian Tim Conway, at the age of eighty-five. (Although you'd never know it by the fact that it took me more than a week to get this post written and... errr... posted.)

My very first exposure to Mr. Conway was when he played Ensign Charles Parker on the World War II sitcom, McHale's Navy (1962-1966).

I then began following his TV career faithfully, although at times, it seemed like I was one of the only television viewers to do so.

 After McHale's Navy, the shows Conway starred in throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s all died fairly quickly.

From McHale's Navy, Conway went to Rango (1967), and then The Tim Conway Show (1970).

Rango (1967)

With Joe Flynn, who had played Captain Binghamton on McHale's Navy.
Both were regulars on The Tim Conway Show (1970).

Next, also in 1970, came The Tim Conway Comedy Hour. Maybe they felt that the word "comedy" would help sell the show as a... well... as a comedy? It did not. Personally, I enjoyed it. (Of course, I wasn't quite fourteen...) It had comedian Art Metrano as "The Tim Conway Orchestra" and a pre-All in the Family Sally Struthers as "The Tim Conway Dancer." Yes, dancer, not dancers. Folks, ya hadda be there!

The Tim Conway Comedy Hour

Conway joined the cast of Carol Burnett's show, which was imaginatively titled The Carol Burnett Show, during its 1975-1976 season, and he certainly seemed to have found his niche. He became well-known for making his fellow cast members -- primarily Harvey Korman -- crack up during filming, but Conway's comedic talents far surpassed that simple bit of business.

Conway's many regular characters on The Carol Burnett Show included Mr. Tudball (Carol played his incompetent secretary, Mrs. Wiggins)...

Mickey Hart in "The Family" sketches...

...and "The Oldest Man," who took forever to do anything or get anywhere. He even took a full minute or two to fall down a flight of stairs! Tim played the Oldest Man in countless scenarios.

One of my favorite Conway sketch roles was in an updated version of "Cinderella," where Tim played pop star "Elfin John!"

During the 1970s and into the 1980s, Conway did several films, many for Disney, and some (both Disney and non-Disney) co-starring Don Knotts.

After The Carol Burnett Show ended in 1978, Tim went on to do other TV shows, and began appearing as a diminutive character named Dorf.

I'll confess that I sort of lost track of Conway's career after The Carol Burnett Show, mainly due to the fact that my TV watching was rather limited during the late seventies and throughout most of the eighties. Having said that, the enjoyment he gave me throughout my youth cannot be measured.

* * * * *

Unfortunately, this is one of those "kiss of death" things which I often half-heartedly joke about on this blog.

A little over a week ago, on a Friday night, I was going through my hall closet, a closet which contains mostly hardcover and paperback books, and numerous magazines. I removed several items which I plan to have signed by various comic book personalities and TV/movie celebrities at this summer's TerrifiCon in Connecticut. I also "pulled" a few that I decided to part with by (hopefully) selling them at the flea market where I set up every Sunday.

One of several books I brought to the flea market was a biography of singer, actress, and animal rights activist Doris Day. I placed the book out for sale on Sunday, May 12th. She died the very next day, aged ninety-seven.

I wasn't very familiar with Doris Day's singing career until I was an adult. I did know her as a movie and television actress.

My favorite film of hers was 1961's Lover Come Back, where her co-star was Rock Hudson, and their supporting cast included Tony Randall, Edie Adams, Ann B. Davis, and Donna Douglas, and Tim Conway's old foil, Joe Flynn!

Her TV series, The Doris Day Show (Where do they get these titles?!?), was notorious for being plagued by constant cast and format changes throughout its five-year run.

Although I always enjoyed her work, I was never a huge fan of Doris Day's, hence the brevity of this so-called tribute, but thought her worthy of inclusion here, especially to make yet one more reference to that whole "kiss of death" syndrome which keeps occurring on this blog.

Thanks for your time.
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