Saturday, April 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Ace Frehley

Ace is 62 today!

Here he is singing New York Groove with KISS in 1979.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Allan Arbus, R.I.P.

My family always watched M*A*S*H when I was growing up. I think it's one of the greatest TV shows ever and Allan Arbus was great as Dr. Freedman. Rest in peace.

From USA Today --

Allan Arbus, known to many of us at the psychiatrist Maj. Sidney Freedman from M*A*S*H, has died at age 95.

The actor, who was married to photographer Diane Arbus, died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles, reports The New York Times.

Arbus, who was born in New York, was a TV regular in the 1970s and '80s, appearing on Taxi, Starsky & Hutch, Matlock and other shows. But it was his M*A*S*H character that became his best-known role.

But before he turned to acting, he married Diane Nemerov in 1941 and became passionate about photography. In 1946, they established a studio on West 54th Street for fashion photography and soon won a contract from Condé Nast to supply photos for magazines including Glamour and Vogue.

The couple separated in 1959 and divorced in 1969, when Allan Arbus moved to Los Angeles. Diane committed suicide in 1971. In 1976, Arbus married Mariclare Costello. She survives him, as do his two daughters from his first marriage, Amy and Doon; and a daughter from his second marriage, Arin Arbus, according to the Times.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Marvel Super Special #5: KISS

Marvel Super Special #5 was released in 1978. It was actually the third appearance of KISS in Marvel Comics. The band first appeared in 1977's Howard the Duck #'s 12 and 13 and Marvel Comics Super Special #1.

Credits for Marvel Super Special #5 --

Co-Scenarists: Ralph Macchio and Alan Weiss
Writer: Ralph Macchio
Penciler: John Romita, Jr.
Inker: Tony DeZuniga
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Irving Watanabe
Editor: Richard Marschall
Editor-In-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Artist: Bob Larkin

It also featured a four-page full-color pull-out poster by artist George Bush.

I still have this comic along with the poster buried in my collection somewhere. Although the poster has been removed and has tape on the corners from hanging on my bedroom wall.

A history of KISS comics can be found on Wikipedia here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Toys I Wish I Hadn't Sold - Tomland Star Raiders

I was looking through some pictures on an old flash drive and found these. I believe these were the only Star Raiders my brother and I had back in the 70s and they were the glow-in-the-dark versions. I sold these on eBay back in 2008. Unfortunately I needed the money back then and thinned out my collection a little bit. You can read more about Tomland Star Raiders at




Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Richard LeParmentier, R.I.P.

I met Mr. LeParmentier at The Pittsburgh Comicon in 2001. Above is a picture I took of him. I also got his autograph, but I'm not sure where it is at the moment. Rest in peace.

From TODAY --

Actor Richard LeParmentier, whose character was infamously choked by villain Darth Vader in the original "Star Wars" movie, has died at age 66, his representative confirms to TODAY.

LeParmentier died suddenly, his son Tyrone told Derek Maki, who represented the actor. No further details were available.

LeParmentier's name may be unfamiliar to many, but "Star Wars" fans well know his most famous scene.

"Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader," says LeParmentier in his role as General (sometimes described as Admiral) Motti. "Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels' hidden fort--"

At that point, LeParmentier's character stops speaking and grabs at his throat as if he was being choked by an invisible hand. Darth Vader (voice of James Earl Jones) then delivers one of his most famous lines, "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

LeParmentier also had numerous film and television appearances, though his most famous after "Star Wars" was the role of Lt. Santino in 1988's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" He also provided the narration for the 2004 video game "Soldiers: Heroes of World War II." He was also a screenwriter.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Annette Funicello, R.I.P.

Annette Funicello, the dark-haired darling of TV's “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s who further cemented her status as a pop-culture icon in the '60s by teaming with Frankie Avalon in a popular series of “beach” movies, died Monday. She was 70.
Funicello, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1987 and became a spokeswoman for treatment of the chronic, often-debilitating disease of the central nervous system, died at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, Walt Disney Co. spokesman Howard Green said.
Funicello and her husband, Glen Holt, had moved from the Los Angeles area after a 2011 fire gutted their home in Encino.
Bob Iger, Disney’s chairman and chief executive, said: “Annette was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word 'Mouseketeer,' and a true Disney legend. She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney’s brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent. Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace. All of us at Disney join with family, friends, and fans around the world in celebrating her extraordinary life.”
Funicello was a 12-year-old dance-school student when Walt Disney saw her performing the lead role in “Swan Lake” at her dance-school's year-end recital at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank in the spring of 1955.
She joined a group of other talented young performers hired to become Mouseketeers on “The Mickey Mouse Club,” the children's variety show that debuted on ABC in October 1955 and quickly became a daily late-afternoon ritual for millions of young Americans.
Like her fellow female Mouseketeers, Funicello wore a mouse-eared beanie, a blue pleated skirt, and a white, short-sleeved turtleneck sweater with her name emblazoned in block letters across her chest.
But there was something special about the Mouseketeer with the curly black hair that unexpectedly turned her into the ensemble cast's biggest star.
Funicello made her acting debut on “The Mickey Mouse Club” serial “Adventure in Dairyland.” She also appeared in two of the popular “Spin and Marty” serials about a Western dude ranch for boys, with Tim Considine and David Stollery in the title roles. And in 1958, Disney showcased his prized Mouseketeer in her own “Annette” serial.
Mr. Disney, as Funicello always called her boss, also licensed Annette lunch boxes, Colorforms dolls, coloring books, comic books and even mystery novels featuring her in fictionalized adventures.
After “The Mickey Mouse Club” ended production in 1958 and went into reruns, the 15-year-old Funicello was the only Mouseketeer to remain under exclusive contract to the Disney studio.
She made her feature-film debut in “The Shaggy Dog,” a 1959 comedy starring Fred MacMurray. It was the first of four Disney feature films she appeared in over the next six years, including “Babes in Toyland,” “The Misadventures of Merlin Jones” and “The Monkey's Uncle.”
Funicello received a big career boost when Disney agreed to loan her out to American International Pictures to make “Beach Party,” the song-filled, low-budget 1963 comedy in which she was first teamed on the big screen with Avalon.
In the wake of the success of “Beach Party,” Funicello and Avalon co-starred in “Muscle Beach Party,” “Bikini Beach,” and “Beach Blanket Bingo.”

Friday, April 05, 2013

Eleventh Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

This is the final weekend to vote for the Rondos! Voting ends April 7 (Sunday night at midnight). Click here for the ballot.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Carmine Infantino, R.I.P.

I met Mr. Infantino several years ago at the Pittsburgh Comicon. I took a picture of him, but I can't find it at the moment. He autographed a picture of The Flash that I had printed out.

From IGN --

The comic book world lost another legend today, as news broke that legendary comic book artist Carmine Infantino passed away at age 87.

Infantino began his career in the early 1940s and would go on to co-create some of the most recognizable characters in superhero comics, including Barry Allen (Flash), Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), Black Canary, Elongated Man, Deadman, and Animal Man. He'd become most revered for his work with the Flash, where he helped introduce Barry Allen in Showcase #4 in 1956 along with the sleek red and yellow costume that we still see today in DC's New 52. He also co-created many of the Flash's signature rogues, like Captain Boomerang, Mirror Master, Captain Cold, and Gorilla Grodd.

Infantino should also be noted for his stint as an editorial director at DC (and later publisher), where he would be instrumental in bringing on creators that would ultimately create some of their signature works at the company. People like Jack Kirby, Denny O'Neil, Dick Giordano, and Neil Adams were all hired away from other publishers under Infantino's watch, launching a new era of creativity at DC Comics as it headed into the 1970s.

Artist George Perez posted on his Facebook, "So sad to learn of the passing of another comic book legend. Carmine Infantino was one of the great influential artists in the history of the medium and I will always look upon his Adam Strange, Flash and Space Museum stories as wondrous examples of fantasy made even more magical at the hands of a master. RIP, Carmine."

Later in his career, Infantino would go on to work on titles like Star Wars and Nova, until retiring from sequential work to begin teaching at the School of Visual Arts during the 90s. Infantino remains one of the most influential figures to ever grace comics, and our thoughts are with his friends, family, students, and fans.

Roger Ebert, R.I.P.

From TMZ --

Roger Ebert -- one of the most famous movie critics of all time -- died today after a battle with cancer.

He was 70 years old.

Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002. Four years later, doctors removed part of his lower jaw, preventing him from speaking and eating.

However, Ebert continued to write movie reviews.

Ebert is a legend in Hollywood who popularized the use of the "Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down" ratings system.

Ebert's movie reviews were considered to be the most influential in town.

Aside from writing movie critiques for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years, he also hosted "At The Movies" from the early 80s until 2006.

Ebert was famously joined on the show by fellow critic Gene Siskel, who passed away in 1999.

After Siskel's death, Ebert was joined the show by Richard Roper.