Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My Fantastic Blog Post"

The one nice thing about having a subscription to TV Guide is that you get to see some neat things occasionally ahead of time. Such is the case with next week's issue which I received today which features one of five different photo covers of the actors from the new Fantastic Four movie as they play the characters: "Mr. Fantastic", "The Invisible Girl", "The Human Torch" (shown above, played by Chris Evans), "The Thing" and "Doctor Victor Von Doom" (movie opens July 7th.).

I'm certain I'll like this movie okay. I mean, about anything HAS to be better than the Corman version made a few years back that was so bad one can only see the thing if they buy a "bootleg" copy somewhere. And, there's been a few spoilers, not only mentioned on The Net, but in this TV Guide article as well, so I'm sure I won't be ruining anything if I comment on a couple things I may not like about this flick.

I think my biggest problem with what I've seen and heard so far will be with Doctor Doom. In this new movie, Doom is actually a member of the crew along with Reed, Sue, Johnny & Ben that go up into space to be subjected to cosmic types of radiation, giving them their specific powers. This radiation ALSO gives Doom powers, and we all know that's just plain wrong.

Anyone that's a true blue fan of The Fantastic Four already knows that Doctor Doom's true power is his mind. Doom was orphaned at an early age, and discovered his mother was into the archane arts of magic. He studied her books, then attended the same university as young Reed Richards and Ben Grimm.

During his time at the university, Doom concocted a machine that he hoped would make him able to contact The Nether World. His math was wrong on its construction and it exploded, disfiguring his face and driving him a bit to the point of insanity. He left the university and sought out some "mysterious monks" who further taught him dread secrets of power, and also helped him to construct his well-known body armor (all of this sans Fantastic Four Annual #2; 1964).

The only time Doom ever had any actual powers of such was when he stole them from The Silver Surfer back in the first series of the Fantastic Four comic No. 59 (1967), although thru his genius he filled his armor with many a powerful weapon.

The second thing I'm having a problem with perhaps is Doom's outfit in the flick. Looks just a little too plain. I think of a much heavier armor for the character, like such that Kirby drew as Doom fought an unforgetable sequence of panels in Fantastic Four V1 #40 (1965).

Otherwise, the effects look really good! Haven't seen much on "The Invisible Girl's", but I have seen a scene or two which has The Human Torch "flaming on!" and "Mr. Fantastic Stretching", both of which look believable.

I'll be looking for the standard Stan Lee appearance in this flick where he plays the FF's mailman: Willie Lumpkin (first introduced in Fantastic Four V1 #11 , in 1963).

Looks like, for a change, I'll actually go see this flick at the theatre rather than awaiting the rental version.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

"Goodbye, Mr. Winchell"

Paul Winchell, the well-known ventriloquist, has died.

Although he's known for several things besides being a ventriloquist (inventor, voice-over artist), I'll always remember him best for his commercials that ran during his Saturday morning show of the early 1960's.

Farfel the dog was the character he created which gave me the biggest kick in the Nestles commercials. Winchell would sing, "N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestles Makes The very best----", with Farfel adding: "Chooooooc-let!" and his mouth would quickly snap shut.

As a kid, I thought that was a hoot! And, I still do.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

"Once In A Lifetime Deal"


The Red Planet is about to be spectacular! This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest
approach between the two planets in recorded history

The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification, Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.

By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That's pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.

Share this with your children and grandchildren. NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

"Weekend Ramblings"

Sat around today and watched my 10th. Anniversary Edition of "Clerks" today. Great flick! Kevin Smith is the type whose movies you either love or hate (or maybe, just ignore). Me, I've liked everyone of them (except maybe Dogma, which I can't say I was too krazy about). But, anyway...

Clerks X is just that; has X-tra things like the before never shot scene in the funeral home, which instead of being done with live actors is animated in a similiar style of the short-lived t.v. series. There's also commentaries, a short film called The Flying Car which he did for Leno, and a buncha other stuff that one would sure to enjoy on this 3 disc set. Big-time recommended!

And today is Father's Day, so I called my dad and wished him well. Last night, my folks, my wife, my father-in-law and I all had a cook out and a fine time was had by all. Then today I went up to the local saw mill and loaded a dump truck full of wood for my father-in-law. Everyone in my family all get along nicely and enjoy one another's company, which is the way it should be, thankfully, and everyone is currently in pretty good health for their ages.

Got that loading done early. In fact, by 9 AM I was back home and headed to the local flea market, where while walking thru, one of the dealers I know asked me if I wanted to see a box of comics he got at an estate sale. They were all bottom feeder grade and he asked me if I wanted them for what he paid (which was a pitance) so I got them and brought them home to look through. Mostly good to fair early to mid 60's DC and Charlton, plus a stack of coverless. A couple of "heart-breakers" in the lot; a coverless Fantastic Four #26 ("Thing/Hulk" battle, guest-starring "The Avengers") and a Journey Into Mystery #85 (3rd. "Thor"/1st. "Loki") which was both coverless and with the first wrap gone. Just a reading lot. There was a couple Joe Kubert Our Army at Wars from '64 or '65, a couple of misc. Dell 4-Colors with photo-type covers and even a Sgt. Fury #19. Just a shame they weren't in better shape.

Then I started back on retyping out part of a collection inventory list that got lost when one of the floppy discs I store it on got "corrupted". Geez. 26 pages I had to retype from the hard copy! But, that's done now as well. Ah, but the time and efforts we put into our hobbies. In fact, I finally just got 5 long boxes of modern stuff alphabetized and checked for duplication, but have yet to add them to the inventory lists 'cause...well... it's 1,000 comics, right? That's gonna take a while.

And...what else.

A friend sent me the rest of the Gianni Sunday Prince Valiant pages I needed, but I may have already mentioned that. Currently Val's stuck between 2 Nessie's while his son's been captured by some Picts or some such thing. (Hey! I buy it for the artwork and not necessarily because of Schultz's writing.)

And yesterday was Sir Paul McCartney's birthday, so a Happy 63rd. to him! It would have also been the birthday of the late artist Wally Wood. I was always a BIG Wally Wood fan. I don't think there was ever anything I ever saw him either draw or ink that I didn't enjoy, and nobody, but nobody (oh, okay..."somebody, like Frank Frazetta, maybe) could ever draw women's assets like the Wood man.

And, I guess that's about all. A Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

"I Wouldn't Dare to Comment"

Pilot for reality television show to feature Horse Cave, Kentucky. Quoted from our local newspaper:

By GINA KINSLOW/Glasgow Daily Times
The pilot for a reality TV show featuring Horse Cave has been sold to a network.

The announcement was made in a press release issued by Michael Betts and Associates of Franklin, Tenn. on June 3.

The series, "Smalltown Makeover," shot in Horse Cave, will be picked up by PAX TV this fall and will reach an estimated 92 million households, the press release said.

"We had a wonderful conference call through Phoenix Entertainment Group, our media placement partner, (and) PAX basically said they are excited about this and think we can one of their top programs," said Michael Betts, executive producer of the series.

Betts is planning to make a trip to Horse Cave within the next couple of weeks with script writers and producers.

"We're going to spend two days there touring the town ... trying to nail down some of the storylines," he said.

The purpose of the show is to document a small community's efforts to revitalize its downtown area, according to Betts.

The pilot for the show, which features local businessmen Tom Chaney, owner of The Bookstore, and Ken Russell, owner of K&D Department Store, among others, was filmed in early April.

A key element to the pilot was a town hall meeting held at the Horse Cave United Methodist Church in order for the public to express their opinion on what they think the town needs.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"Busy Tuesday"

The problem with my dad is he thinks he's still 55, when in reality he's 85, so he apt to over-strain easily, which is what's happened now since he's going to have to go to the local hospital later today for an MRI on his back. His doctor thinks it's swelling on a disc, caused from over-exertion. He's too old for surgery so he may have to wear a brace, or maybe, just take it "easier".
And, early this morning my plumber friend finally arrived and after a good two years of not having any hot water in the kitchen, that's now fixed. Couple a Winters ago the old galvenized water line broze and split and couldn't be mended so a plumber just capped it off to the kitchen Since that time my wife has constantly complained about having to make a trip to de creek (which translates into taking a bucket to the bathroom and filling it up with hot water from the tub to wash the dishes). Yeah...we'll wait and see if the dishes actually DO get washed any more often now.

And I really do need to mow the yard today, but I've already helped with the plumbing, gone to the grocery, need to go get gasoline, for the week, wash a load of laundy, etc. Guess that'll just have to grow till the weekend (which is supposed to be cooler weather anyway).

Bought a huge lot of modern comics: about 1500 of them for a dime each. Lotta good reading stuff there, and I can always swap out the dups for better copies, use the bag and boards and boxes, and add new stuff for our semi-annual yard sales.
Looks like the Summer offerings for new movies are going to be either "End of the World", or, "Super hero" flicks this time. Makes me wonder "where" the super heroes are in" the end of the world" ones where you need them?! Anyway, I see we have Batman Begins, and The Fantastic Four on one hand, and an adaptation of The War of The Worlds, plus Romero's Land of The Dead on the other. Why we need yet another Romero "zombie" flick is beyond me. I can see why we need a new FF flick, cause, well, Corman's version sucked. There'll be some big budget special effects I know in The War of the Worlds, but, really, can you ever beat the one made in the 1950's? Tom Cruise is certainly not another Gene Barry. And I'd rather not even see the Batman one at all. Looks like they could make at least one Batman flick where he's not wearing some formed body suit. I mean, this is suppose to be a "Year One" thing. The suit should be cloth, for Pete's Sake! Plus, I'm sure that Wallyworld has already got their shelves full of remote-control hummer-type Batmobile toys due to the ennormous amount of merchandicing this inspires.

Of course, none of these will be Oscar material. Instead that'll be won by some flick we wouldn't pay to see, not even if someone gave us a paid day's vacation to go, free admission in, a limo ride to the theatre and a case of beer to drink while we were there. Probably something with Meryl Streep in it (gag).

Or, maybe yet another children's flick, or some foreign flick, or the like. Which, is why I wait until 99% of these movies come out for rental until I ever see them (and then usually I know the whole plot due to everyone else talking about them, or complaining about actually having PAID to see them).

What we need are some new, decent westerns. We haven't seen a good western in a while. Hey! You want comic book characters in them? Put Jonah Hex in one; I'd LOVE to see that adaptation!

And, please, no more documentary-type flicks. I pay cable every month for The History Channel, thank you.

Too tired to check for typos today; take me as I am, please, and be thankful I actualy had time to post.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

"I was Shazammed!"

Wished I'd taped a copy of last night's Justice league Unlimited. Sometimes I do, just because I enjoy watching that series so much, but I turned it on just at the last moment remembering the time and didn't have an extra tape, so I just sat there and thoroughly enjoyed myself for 30 minutes.

This was probably because it starred the original "Captain Marvel". I was much too young to appreciate The Big Red Cheese when I was a kid. Superman was originally released in 1938, then a couple years later, Fawcett started publishing Captain Marvel. And anyone that's anyone in comic reading circles I'm sure knows that DC Comics and Fawcett had this court battle for 23 years due to DC claiming too much similiarity to its most popular character, resulting in all of CM's titles to be cancelled in 1953.

Well, in '53 I was only 2 year old, so I didn't actually see any Cap's until I was in my pre-teen years. Maybe that's wrong. My brother may have actually had just a few, because I know when I did finally see him it was in Jules Fieffers' The Great Comic Book Heroes (circa 1965) and he didn't look all that unfamiliar. Or, perhaps it was because I'd already seen images of him in various early 60's fanzines; can't recall. But it wasn't too long until I actually came across a handful of his adventures in trades from various collectors in the area, and soon was a fan of the whole Fawcett Marvel Family.

So in 1973 when DC started publishing Captain Marvel again (this time calling his title Shazam! since Marvel Comics already had a character with the same name), I eagerly snatched up every issue!

But, getting back to the JLUnlmt. episode, this was perhaps the best one they've ever done. In all those years since '73, DC's had a few minor battles between Supes and CM, but nothing like what was shown on this animated episode. For one thing, the whole episode was very gritty. CM was shown true to character, and Superman actually played a bit as "the bad guy". And when they did have their battle, it really sounded like what I would expect an unstoppable force striking an unmovable object to sound like! Just really, very excellant!

'Can't wait until I catch it on re-runs 'cause this time I'll have that VHS tape ready!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It Happens"

For anyone who's reading this, you may or may not have noticed that I deleted my earlier post of the night.

That's not something I would normally do. In fact, in the past year that I've been blogging, I've never before deleted a post.

There is an explanation...of sorts.

I felt like what I wrote was a story that had to be told. And, even though I did have a disclaimer regarding it, there are just too many people that if they were by chance to see it, would take it as The Truth.

I tried to edit and re-write the piece a number of times. So much so, that it "butchered" the whole thing. And, no matter how I tried to edit it to not distinguish percisely as to what or which I was refering, there were still too many clues to vertify the location and the people in "the story".

Many of these people are/were old aquaintances of mine. I would never do anything to dishonor them or any of the friendship we shared, or to soil their memories. Plus, the fact that this is a small community. Where I live, many of those I love also dwell, and I wouldn't want anything I personally happened to say or write effect them in any manner.

So, to you, the readers, I must apologize. Not for what I wrote previously, but for my copping out and censoring my own work.

I don't feel well about doing it, but I did feel it had to be done. So, if you happened to have read any of the versions of tonight's post before it was deleted, please ignore it. Treat it totally as fiction.

I don't have that "smoking gun" to back up that story whether it was fictional or any part of it based on actual facts.

And...we'll move on.

Friday, June 03, 2005

"Cat & Me"

Cleaning foul litter boxes

Aren't my cup o' tea.

Nor smelling cans of cat food

Makes my appetite flow free.

I don't like getting up at

The crack of dawn to feed

The voice of constant meowing

Or to hear the scratch of fleas.

It lies around and licks itself

And jumps at all it sees,

But life would be more boring if

There wasn't cat & me.

It's all my fault; I know it!

I shouldn't really quabble.

I found it as a kitten;

Had to feed it with a bottle.

My lady didn't want it

But soon, in love, she fell

With the kitten I called "Bobcat"

('Cause, at first, it had no tail).

So now we have this lazy Tom

That's ever growing fat.

It's hard to understand its needs

Because...well...it's a cat!

But this ol' house would miss it

For it's part of "family"

That's made of understanding wife

And, the cat, and me.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

"Time...It Do Fly"

Hard to believe that almost half of the year's already out-of-here. Seems like only yesterday I was complaining about it being so cold and now here's "tourist season" and Summer quickly approaching!

Well, at work this past weekend it was slower than expected, which was "good" in a way since there was only three of us working both days trying to keep both the store in order as well as a "yard sale" of sorts the boss deemed to continually keep on running outside right in the middle of it all. No great incidents, no great hassles outside of just being at work on such a beautiful weekend. I think it must be slower everywhere around here than usual. I know I asked some of the people that run various gift shops in the area and they all seemed to think it was down from previous holidays. Can't see "why" since gas is relatively cheaper than it was a couple months ago. Maybe people just haven't gotten all revved up for the season yet.

Not much new here with me. On what days I have off it seems like it's used for the constant care of the lawn or sum such ding. Just hoping that this coming weekend's nice since I'll have the days off and would like to cruise the local fleamarkets and yard sales I know there will be.