Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Short and Sweet ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Quickie!

Here's the wind-up...

Looks like a home run to me!

Both illustrations by the incredible Mac Raboy (1914-1967), for two different comic companies!

And here's an extra Raboy cover, just 'cause I can! (See why this guy is one of my all-time favorite comic artists?)

So, what would you like to see in my Comical Wednesday posts?

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Alan Young, 1919-2016, R.I.P.

A few posts ago, I wrote about wondering whether I'd have enough things to write about now that April's A to Z Challenge is done. Well, unfortunately, as long as celebrities whom I've admired keep dying, it doesn't seem like I'll run out of posts anytime soon.

I was very upset to read last night of the recent passing of Alan Young, whom most of you will remember as Wilbur Post in the old sitcom about a talking horse, Mr. Ed.

In 1988, I had a brief correspondence with Mr. Young.

The 1980s had seen a rush of nostalgic, 1960s-related comic books.  My writing partner, Skip Simpson, and I were talking about doing a one-shot Mr. Ed comic book. While we searched for the holder of the rights to the property, I dashed off a quick letter to Alan Young, star of the early-to-mid-1960s TV show. I asked Mr. Young if he'd be interested in being interviewed for the book. He sent back a very nice reply, and the photo at the top of this post. He said he'd be glad to submit to the interview, if and when we ever got the rights to the project...

...which we didn't. Oh, well.

Anyway, Mr. Young seemed especially glad that my letter to him mentioned other credits of his besides Mr. Ed. Credits like his early 1950s radio (later TV) show, his appearance as two different characters in 1960's The Time Machine, his voice-overs as Uncle Scrooge McDuck, and his role in the then-running sitcom Coming of Age!

In a career of roughly 60-65 years he accomplished a lot more than that. It's always a cliché to say that So-and-So will be missed, but... he will be.

With Joe Besser, Later of The Three Stooges

In 1960's The Time Machine

With Mr. Ed and Young's Co-star, Connie Hines

A Later Shot of Alan and Connie

Uncle Scrooge McDuck from Ducktales

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

R.I.P. "Short Shorts"

(No, no, I haven't killed the "Short Shorts" feature, although it has been absent for a while. Instead, I'm presenting two short memorial pieces.)

Bill Backer, 1926-2016, R.I.P.

Quick! Who was the adman responsible for the iconic Coca-Cola commercial, where a crowd of people sang "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company?" If you said "Don Draper," you're wrong! It was Bill Backer, pictured above, who just died at the age of 89.

Madeleine Lebeau, 1923-2016, R.I.P.

The young woman who -- along with almost everyone in Rick's Cafe Americain -- tearfully sang "La Marseillaise" in Casablanca has died at the age of 92. She was supposedly the last surviving actress from the film.

Varying reports list Madeleine's last name as Lebeau and LeBeau.  As near as I can determine, Lebeau was her birth name and LeBeau was a studio misspelling (or renaming).

Madeleine Lebeau and Leonid Kinskey in Casablanca!

Thanks for your time.

Friday, May 13, 2016

For Those Who Want an Escape Route...


I almost never discuss anything political on this blog, but this item was too good to pass up!
It seems like every presidential election year, for the past few elections anyway, there are people who promise to leave the country if So-and-So is elected president. (Lord only knows how many follow through with that promise, if any.) More often than not, their new country of choice is Canada.
Well, there's a new dating website called Maple Match -- which hasn't launched yet -- that wants to make it easier for Americans running from the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency to hook up with a significant other from Canada!

Playing off of Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America great again," Maple Match's slogan is "Make dating great again." Maple Match CEO Joe Goldman advertises that the site will "[make] it easy for Americans to find the ideal Canadian partner to save them from the unfathomable horror of a Trump presidency.” And yes, he says he's serious.
Whether you support Trump's bid for the presidency or not, you've gotta admit, this is priceless.
It'll also probably be all over the internet by the time this post sees the light of day, but... Oh, well.
Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Thoughts on "Captain America: Civil War" ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post

Long-time readers of this blog -- both of them -- know that my two favorite superheroes are Batman and Captain America. (I also have soft spots for Zorro and The Lone Ranger, but they're not really "super" heroes. Neither is Batman, technically, but don't get me started on that!)

Anyway, fellow babies, it's been a long time since I've written anything remotely resembling a movie review... and I'm not going to break that streak today. Oh, sure, I'll be talking about Captain America: Civil War, but this won't really be a review. Just a few little random comments.

1. CA: CW is less a Captain America movie and more of an Avengers movie without Thor and the Hulk. I mean, everyone else is in there! And by "everyone else" I mean (in no particular order) Captain America, Iron Man, the Black Widow, the Black Panther, the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, the Vision, War Machine, the Falcon, the Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, and even -- now that Marvel's worked out a deal with Sony -- the newest version of Spider-Man!

2. As we are shown rather graphically in an early scene from the film, it seems that the biggest by-product of super-beings' battles is what's referred to as "collateral damage." When superguys and supergals fight, property -- sometimes an entire city! -- gets destroyed and people die.  Quite a sobering thought, especially to someone like myself who grew up reading comics of the 1960s and 1970s where big punch-'em-ups just happened to conveniently take place in abandoned buildings, construction sites, etc., so no one other than the puncher-uppers ever got hurt. But deaths are a big draw in comics, and there are those who would argue that people actually dying is a more realistic outcome of the super battles.

3. It was great to see the "new" Spider-Man, Tom Holland, the latest actor in a franchise that seems to reboot every six hours or so. Holland actually makes Spidey seem like an inexperienced teenager, something Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield never quite pulled off, IMHO. This one banters with his opponents (a bit too much, which is completely in character!), and seems genuinely impressed that he's meeting all these big-name superheroes. It's also good to see that Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is an attractive enough woman that Tony Stark himself shows an interest in "Aunt Hottie."

4. Usually I can take or leave the fight scenes in films. Believe it or not, I'm not much for action films in general, but the action scenes in CA:CW knock me out! Very well choreographed, I'd say, especially Captain America and the Winter Soldier (Bucky) escaping from invaders in an apartment building.

So much for random observations. Would I recommend the movie? Heartily. But make your own decision.  As I said, this isn't a proper review.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

William Schallert, 1922-2016, R.I.P.

Well, I was hoping to come up with a subject for a blog post, and unfortunately, I got one.

William Schallert, prolific movie and television character actor for over 60 years -- odds are you know him from at least one role -- has died at the age of 93.

Schallert was probably best known for playing Patty Duke's father in "The Patty Duke Show." But his career encompassed roles in "The Man from Planet X," "The Incredible Shrinking Man," "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," and the "Star Trek" episode The Trouble with Tribbles! And that's just a list of appearances from roles I've pictured below.

A look at his credits on IMDb is truly staggering. Check it out (by clicking the link) and see.

He'll be missed.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

And for an Encore...

Well, I made it through the A to Z Challenge. My total posts for the year already exceed 30, which beats the hell out of last year's total! And you may ask, what's next?

That's a good question. It's no surprise to my pre-Challenge readers -- those who remained, anyway -- that I'd been going through a bad case of writer's block for months.

Anyhoo, fellow babies, I'm going to take a few more days off and then try to come up with something worth reading about, if I can. Wish me luck...

...and thanks for your time.
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