August Rambling

Because I was out of town, I managed to miss a couple of significant cultural anniversaries. One was the 50th anniversary of the first real Marvel superhero comic, the Fantastic Four, by Stan Lee and Jack “King” Kirby. Mark Evanier explains why it had a November cover date. Check out this hour-long Kirby documentary. And here’s a link to the intro to the FF TV show.

The other was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lucille Ball. I watched most, if not all, of the episodes of every single one of her ongoing series, from the seminal I Love Lucy (1951-1957; 8.9 out of 10 on the IMDB scale), which started before even TV Guide and I were born, but lives through the clever concept known as the rerun; to the star-studded (and too long, in my recollection) episodes of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957-1960; 8.6); to The Lucy Show (1962–1968; 7.3), which was the one with Lucy as Lucy Carmichael, Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz in the earlier shows) as Viv, and Gale Gordon as Lucy’s testy boss, Mr. Mooney.
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G is for Gabriel, Peter Gabriel

Somehow, I was largely unaware of the music of the “progressive rock” group Genesis, which was formed in the late 1960s, until its 1974 album. The title track to The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway [listen] got a bit of airplay in this area. Shortly after this album, lead singer Peter Gabriel left the group over personal and artistic differences, with Phil Collins taking over the lead vocals of Genesis. Gabriel would eventually initiate a solo career.

His first album (1977) was called Peter Gabriel and featured the song Solsbury Hill [listen], which was about his departure from Genesis, as well as the first version of Here Comes the Flood, which Gabriel claimed was overproduced Continue reading

The X-Men Chronicles Cover: SOLD!

From here.

Lot 92038 Dave Cockrum The X-Men Chronicles Painted Cover Original Art (FantaCo Enterprises, Inc. 1981)….
Auction: 2011 May New York Signature Vintage Comics & Comic Art Auction #7033

Auction Ended On: May 5, 2011
Item Activity: 12 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Dave Cockrum The X-Men Chronicles Painted Cover Original Art (FantaCo Enterprises, Inc. 1981). This Bronze Age beauty is but the third Cockrum X-Men-themed cover we’ve offered to date. Most devoted 1980s Marvel fans will remember the Chronicles, which was packed with good information on the team and its creators. The X-Men issue sold 50,000 copies, a record for a fan magazine at the time.
As a note of provenance, our consignor, the publisher of this fan-favorite publication, bought this iconic cover directly from Cockrum after the issue was published. This mixed media masterwork has an image area of 10.5″ x 15.75″, and the piece has been matted to an overall size of 23.5″ x 19″. The art is in Excellent condition.
Cockrum, Dave: Dave Cockrum was born in Pendleton, Oregon, the son of an Air Force officer. After spending six years in the U.S. Navy, he moved to New York and accepted a job at Warren Publishing, his first professional work. After Warren, Cockrum became a background inker for Murphy Anderson at DC comics. Eventually, he got his first big break, landing the dream job of penciling the Legion of Superheroes. His groundbreaking work on The Legion’s character designs and costume changes lasted for over a decade. His tenure at DC was short lived however, as a dispute led him to work at Marvel. At the House of Ideas, Cockrum co-created, along with Len Wein, The New X-Men, the franchise that went on to give Marvel enormous financial success in the following decades, introducing such characters such as Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Mystique. He later went on to create the comic book, The Futurians, which had a short run as a monthly series and then as a trade paperback. In his later years he drew covers for the Blackhawk relaunch, and worked for Valiant, Defiant, Broadway and Claypool Comics. Dave Cockrum suffered from diabetes and finally succumbed to his illness on November 26th, 2006 . Comic Art
I’ve told the story of this cover before:

FantaCo had asked Wendy Pini to do the X-Men Chronicles cover. Wendy and Richard Pini were known for doing the Elfquest comic book, and had done a number of in-store signings. She called back on May 21, 1981, to decline, but she gave us Paty Cockrum’s number at Marvel so that we could contact her husband Dave.

As editor of the publication, I had arranged with Dave, the artist who helped revive the X-Men, to have the cover drawn and sent up to us. Unfortunately, Dave got a little behind. So I took a train from Albany to NYC, to the Marvel offices, and met Dave. He gave me the painted cover – WHICH WAS STILL WET! He was very pleasant and apologetic. I carried the cover carefully on the subway back to the train station, then back up to Albany.
So I have an odd emotional attachment to that cover. It’s not that I wanted to buy it, certainly not for $7,767.50. But it did hit my nostalgia bone.

MOVIE REVIEW: Crazy, Stupid, Love.

The Daughter was still away, and the Wife, surprisingly, suggest we see TWO movies in one day. Was she kidding? That’d be the kind of crazy idea I’d come up with. But after the 12:10 pm showing of The Help, we went home to have supper, then went out for the 6:40 pm showing of Crazy, Stupid, Love.; crazy, stupid, punctuation.. It had gotten mostly positive reviews. And this would become a mini Emma Stone film festival.

So we went to see C,S,L. and we both loved it! And now I’m trying to deconstruct why. Part of it is that it got right to the storyline without a lot of exposition. In that first scene in the car Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 89: Beatles 1

You might think that, since I have so many Beatles albums, that when my daughter expressed interest in the band, I might have given her some of mine; you would be mistaken. Instead, I ordered for her the most popular album in the first decade of 21st Century, Beatles 1. I figured she ought to have something of her own, and if she lost it, it wouldn’t bug me as much. In fact, she has misplaced the CD case, but not the disc.

I never owned #1 myself; I have all the albums. Some purists think it’s a terrible intro to the band, merely picking the songs that made it to #1 on the US and/or UK charts. But it includes many songs she was previously familiar with.
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The Wife and I went to see the movie The Help a couple Saturdays ago at a very crowded room at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany. We had been looking forward to seeing it since we caught the trailer. Our anticipation was further enhanced by happening to catch Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays the primary “villain”, for lack of a better term, on CTV while we were in Toronto a couple weeks back, describing her role as “delicious.”

And I was going to write my impressions right away, but I got distracted by issues in the press surrounding the movie and the book upon which it was based. Continue reading

Stormy Weather

Here’s the current expected trajectory for Hurricane Irene. If all goes as this map suggests, the Category 3 hurricane will be hitting around Fayetteville, NC Sunday at 2 a.m., about 135 miles (217 km) from Charlotte, NC, where one sister and niece live, and where my wife and daughter will be visiting, starting on Thursday.

Meanwhile, there was that 5.8 earthquake yesterday about 2 pm. EDT near Louisa, Virginia, less than 100 miles from Washington, DC. And I sure felt it in my office Continue reading

F is for Fire

Here’s another look at a word that has, either alone or in combition with other words, has several meanings.

The most common meaning of fire, of course, is that chemical change that creates heat and light, and usually smoke, which can evolve into a “destructive conflagration”. It was one of four substances thought in ancient and medieval cosmology to constitute the universe, along with earth, air, and water; five, if you count spirit.

But fire also means: Continue reading

Things you didn’t know you didn’t know

I was catching up with my blog reading when I discovered that LisaF over at Peripheral Per­cep­tions had called me out in one of her posts with this chal­lenge. So I’m giving it a try.

If you could go back in time and relive one moment, what would it be?
I suppose winning my JEOPARDY! game. I would have breathed, instead of hyperventilating.

If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be? Just one? Continue reading