Monday, January 30, 2012

Capt. Storm

Even as opposition to the war in Viet Nam was on the rise, DC Comics' war titles continued to offer some of the best non-superhero stories and art in comics, albeit set in WWII, mostly thanks to Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. CAPT. STORM, here, the wooden-legged PT boat skipper, was generally drawn by Irv Novick who had started out at MLJ back in the thirties and would go on to some renown for Batman and the Flash. As you can see, the Captain tended to go mano-a-mano with the Japanese enemy...a lot.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dell's Monster Heroes

Dell Comics chose never to subscribe to the Comics Code Authority so they weren't bound by the specific restrictions that stated:  Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism and werewolfism are prohibited.

In 1966, after a brief flirtation with more classic monsters a year or two earlier, Dell launched Frankenstein, Dracula and "Werewolf" as superheroes! All of the titles were short-lived and DRACULA was revived in reprint just a few years later for another failed try at success.

They aren't great comics by anyone's definition but they offer much fun and nostalgia to anyone who appreciates a comic book that's so bad it's good. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tony Bennett-the Movie Song Album

I have a book about music from 1968 that talks about Tony Bennett being the hippest of the "older" crowd even then. In the nineties, he famously toured with rock groups and now, well into the 21st Century, he still has albums coming out!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I haven't seen this one but the posters make it look quite a hoot. Caine's first Hollywood film after his success with ALFIE and THE IPCRESS FILE, Shirley at her most delightful point and with reviews comparing it to CHARADE. I am getting a  copy as soon as I can. Can't wait!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Dubbed "The Face of 1966" by London's DAILY MIRROR, it was hard not to see her big-eyed, waifish look everywhere that year. TV, newspapers, print ads, commercials. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Mamas and the Papas Debut

 Another group introduced for the first time in '66 was The Mamas and the Papas. Made up of members from various folk music groups (as famously chronicled in their autobiographical song, CREEQUE ALLEY), the public immediately took to John, Denny, Michelle and perhaps especially Cass, a woman whose singing voice was one of the best of the sixties. They would go on to be a major force behind the Monterey Pop Festival. Here's that debut album, controversial in that it depicted a toilet so that was covered up. Still not happy, the black-bordered version below was issued later by the record company!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gemini 9

The Space program was big in '66. Here's ABD Science Editor Jules Bergman and the launch of Gemini 9.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Freak Out! The Mothers of Invention

 '66 was the year most folks met, discovered, saw and/or ran from Frank Zappa!

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK and LBJ-1966

Blue Beetle

Seen above is the Feb/March '66 issue of Charlton's BLUE BEETLE, a title and character that had bounced around from one publisher to another for more than 25 years. Drawn by the much-maligned art team of Bill Fraccio and Tony Tallarico, it is often cited as one of the worst comic books of its day if not of all time.

That issue turned out to be the final issue...until Steve Ditko, recently estranged from Marvel, returned to Charlton and before the end of 1966 had completely redesigned the character in his own inimitable style, as seen here for his debut as a back-up strip in CAPTAIN ATOM. Soon enough, he would get his own title again and it would be Ditko's version on which Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons based WATCHMEN'S Night Owl.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Great Comic Book Heroes

Although published in 1965, Jules Feiffer's THE GREAT COMIC BOOK HEROES continued to sell throughout '66 and even beyond due to the boost it received from Batmania!

The book offered the author's quirky take on comic book history--surprisingly making little or no mention of his own role in it as I recall-- but, even better, Golden Age reprints of, among others,  Batman, Superman, Captain America, The Sub-Mariner, the Spectre and The Spirit!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Carry On Screaming

The other CARRY ON film of 1966 (besides CARRY ON COWBOY which we already spotlighted here), CARRY ON SCREAMING remains a popular entry into that long-running series. It starred Harry H. Corbett in what would most likely have been the Sid James role but with regulars Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale and Joan Sims, there was no question this was a CARRY ON film. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

00 Division # 20

This was one of several feature films strung together by combining episodes of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., this one being a two-parter from season two featuring fan favorite Yvonne Craig and a young Rip Torn.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Holy 46th Anniversary, Batman!

 The much loved/hated BATMAN Tv series premiered 46 years ago tonight. Soon afterwards, the revived comic strip reappeared in newspapers across the land bearing little resemblance to its venerable comic book counterpart and owing much of its campiness to the TV series!

The Moon is a harsh Mistress

THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS is a 1966 political science-fiction novel detailing a revolution by the colonies of the Moon against Earth. The massively detailed book deals with the planning, the fighting and the aftermath. IT is considered one of the best books by the somewhat controversial master sci-fi author, Robert A. Heinlein.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Paul Lynde/Elizabeth Montgomery

Producers rarely knew how to successfully utilize the talents of Paul Lynde but here, in this '66 clip from THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE, he essentially plays the frustrated straight man for, of all people, his BEWITCHED co-star, Elizabeth Montgomery. Liz is almost surprisingly silly and Paul's frustration builds. The two show a rare chemistry that adds to the scene and the humor.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Green Lantern

The recent movie may not have lived up to expectations but DC's GREEN LANTERN was another of my earliest favorite comic books. It was also the first one I ever wrote a fan letter to (although it went unpublished). Gil Kane was the artist on these and became an immediate favorite. 

 The two issues above and below were favorites, a two-parter with a wonderful and genuinely emotional space opera setting. Some great writing from John Broome! I got the issue below in July of '66 at a Greyhound station, probably in Virginia, while my parents and I traveled to North Carolina to visit my mother's relatives.