Monday, July 27, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Georges Méliès, Filmmaker & Magician (1861 -1938)

H.erbert G.eorge Wells had his gripping account of an alien invasion from Mars first published in the waning days of 1897 AD, an amazing 112 years ago:

The book in serialised form appeared in the publication Pearson's Journal and in proper book form shortly in 1898.

It was so popular that unofficial sequels and unauthorised versions were written by others other than Wells.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blast Off!

Here's the Cavorite Sphere papercraft from the motion picture, "First Men in the Moon." Scale is approximately 1/24. You need to print seventeen pages of parts.
Makes a cool X-Mas ornament too!
Cavorite Sphere Paper Model

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Wild One & The 4th Of July: Based on a 'True Story'

Today is Saturday, the 4th of July, and it reminded me
of several things-
1. My mate's Father's birthday, he would've been 86 had
he not have died of intestinal perforation last year due to
being constipated for a week before seeking medical help
despite urging from his daughter and one of her brothers.
Talk about anal retentive...

2. The 1953 Marlon Brando movie 'The Wild One' about a
bikers club, 'invading' a small town in the mid-West, with
lots of tension resulting between yokels and the B.M.O.C.,
well as it turns out was based on an actual occurrence in
1947 when the newly formed 'Hells Angels', composed mostly
of ex-military guys from the Air Force, all fighter pilots and
bombardiers who served in WW II, and afterwards formed the
motorcycle club to stay in touch with their brothers-in-arms
going on cross-country treks on their choppers.
Europe did not become home to the Hells Angels until 1969,
when two London chapters were formed after the Beatles'
George Harrison invited some members of the HAMC San Fran-
cisco to London. Two people from London visited California,
"prospected", and ultimately joined. Two charters were issued
on July 30, 1969 , ten days after the historic Walk On The Moon.
The group's official website clarifies that the name was suggested
to the founders of the club by a friend of theirs, Arvid "Oley" Olsen,
(Hmmm- any relation to Jimmy?) who was a member of the Flying
Tigers. No actual members of that squadron became members of the
There's a whole lot more @
to whet your appetite for starters- Vrrooom, vrrooom...

3. Last and by all means not the least is the the time in 1975 when
on a hot Summer day me and my younger brother decided to take in
a whole day's worth of various movies at the 42nd Street 'grindhouses'
which stretched from Broadway to 8th Avenue, showing all manner of
cheezy SCi-Fi, 'Blaxploitation', Horror, 'ChopSocky', and 'Soft-Core',
Admission was only, get this: $2.00- and no questions asked as my 14
year old bro could easily get into the 'R' rated schlock movie fare with
On this particular day in July 1975, we decided to go to see 2 double-
features: the heavily advertised 'Deathrace 2000' starring the just off his
successful 3-year gig on 'Kung-Fu', David Carradine, also starring in an
early pre-Rocky appearance Sylvester Stallone as 'wacky racer' 'Machine
Gun Joe', as well as Mary Woronov and her then co-conspirator Paul Bar-
tel, among others;
A Brit import 'The Final Programme' which for American movie consumers
was re-titled here as, 'The Last Days of Man on Earth'. A truly oddball SCi-Fi
film it was based on Michael Moorcock's book, 'The Final Programme', which
is part of his 'Cornelius Chronicles' featuring his all-purpose (for our purposes here)
super-hero Jerry Cornelius, and directed by Robert Fuest who earlier directed the
'Abominable Dr. Phibes' series and several of 'The Avengers', episodes of which
this movie has more than a passing resemblance to.
Then crossing 42nd Street amidst dealers hawking 'Thai-sticks', 'loose joints',
'mescaline'- all probably fake -we went into the next double-feature and
'Flesh Gordon'- the soft-core pornostar festooned spoof of the 1936 Buster
Crabbe 15 Chapter serial by Universal, which was fairly accurate as a spoof
especially some of the characters- 'Dr. Flexi Jerkoff' which was their version
of 'Dr. Zarkoff', for one who was pitch perfect -as well as miniatures by Greg
Jein and SFX by Jim Danforth.
'The Groove Tube', forerunner of both 'Saturday Night Live' and 'The Kentucky
Fried Movie', and countless other comedy TV shows and movies.
Ken Shapiro who was the genius behind all this, writer, director, producer, and
actor (!) was joined by a very young pre-SNL Chevy Chase and Richard Belzer
in this movie which purports to show a day in the life of Channel One programming.
So in the 'Spirit of '76' here's 'Kramp's EZ-Lube Vegetable Shortening 4th of July
Heritage Loaf' as seen in 'The Groove Tube':

Bon apetit!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Living Way Out

When I was 10 went to the TWO GUYS (from Harrison) Department Store on Route 10 in East Hanover, NJ, just a hop, skip, and a jump up the road from the Sandoz Corporation's US manufacturing plant.

Now at the time I had absolutely no idea what Sandoz manufactured, as doubt most 10 year olds in '67 had any clue that their laboratories in 1938 Switzerland first synthesized LSD-25 thanks to an unforeseen fortuitous event facilitated by Albert Hoffman- not to be concused with the similarly named LSD researcher Albert Hoffer, or the ex-acidhead Youth International Party- 'the Yippies' -founder Abbie Hoffman.

No, no, all that stuff I either read about, heard about, or experienced years later in my late-teens/early-twenties.

In 1967 the only 'mind-altering' or 'consciousness-expanding' stuff I could readily access was MAD Magazine (and its imitators SiCK and CRACKED), Playboy, comic books, and the newfangled (to me anyway) Color TV.

But life just wasn't centered around these- I actually was reading real books, books that the Bookmobile would bring to the Helen Morgan School parking lot and the kids were encouraged for a modest fee- 50 cents! -to buy paperback books covering all manner or subjects and interests.

The juvenile section had the new for that time Peanuts reprints in digest book form, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, etc., etc., all fine books written by authors who specialized in children's fiction, although I don't believe that Samuel Clemens were writing exclusively to kids.

I wanted to buy and read the science-fictional stuff, the TV show tie-ins, the novelizations of my favorite programs of which the work-for-hire authors were no slouches either: Murray Leinster 'The Time Tunnel'- his second book with that name 'Time Tunnel' but instead of it being a sequel or Part Two of the first novel 'Time Tunnel' written in 1964, about a naturally occuring time warp that sent the book's characters to 1804 Napoleonic France, Irwin Allen had Pyramid Book commission him to write it based on his concept of 'The' 'Time Tunnel' which was a GIANT

Op Art tube that the main characters would be transported backwards and forwards in time with a lot of special effects and explosions; Star Trek by James Blish which had the cooler than cool James Bama artwork depicting Captain Kirk and Mister Spoch circa 'Where No Man Has Gone Before', and which gave you some details and backstory not seen on the screen, as did 'The Time Tunnel' and 'The Addams Family' written very wittily by another veteran Jack Sharkey;

These were all great choices and before I could plunk down my $1.50 in quarters the Bookmobile lady asked me if I could read and understand any of this stuff as thses books were not designated for a 4th Grader but insteead for a bright 8th Grader (and up) as they didn't come from the designated Children's but the Young Adult section, which was a nice way of saying teenager.

I said, 'Yeah, sure, but if there's anything I don't understand I'll look it up in a dictionary or encyclopedia."

Luckily the school's Reading Teacher chimed in and said that she gave me books in the school library that were for older grades so I shouldn't have trouble with these either, and if all else fails there is the dictionary and encyclopedia.

So I finally had 3 books, real books, albeit paperbacks, with no pictures but plenty of text.

And what stories they were!

Fast forward.

Now I'm in TWO GUYS 6 months later and while my Mother is on the checkout, I check out the POP- point of purchase display -of all their science fiction and fantasy books, and came across two that I wanted to get= the Isaac Asimov novelization of 'Fantastic Voyage' and this book:
The cover was to me very much in the Addams Family/Munsters mode and I'm certain that the late artist Ron Walotsky who painted the illustration was aware of that but hey, he probably had an artistic license.
The stories by Wyman Guin were even better and even though I don't recall the titles, some of the stories were memorable, such as the society of multiple personalities, are a girl who had magic powers ala Samantha Stevens.
Do yourself a solid treat and get this book.
Write me and let me know how you liked it.