Monday, December 29, 2014

Ringing Out The Year With Gift Art!

raffle- velvet by kennasaur on DeviantArt

I recently was one of the winners of an art raffle by kennasaur. I asked her to draw Velvet Verity. I think we can all agree the results are smashing!

I was also the lucky recipient of some holiday art from Wandering Kotka. However, given that this art is most assuredly NSFW, you will have to view it on my Tumblr. Nuff said?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reaching The Finish Line

No no, not with this blog. As you can see, the blog is still kicking against all odds. In fact, I think I've finally decided what to do here. But that will be a topic for another day. Spoiler though - I'm not closing it permanently.

This post is here because I am celebrating. You see, in September, I decided to embark on the Captain Satellite Tumblr Project. I wanted to create a place for the Owariverse, and I wanted to use it to make a fresh start. The evolution of my fictional world has been filled with starts and stops, and as a result, there were plenty of things about it that I found wanting. It has long been my desire to try to set things up in a way I found artistically satisfying.

The problem was that making such fixes as you go is terribly awkward. Please see the fact that I have established things on this blog that blatantly contradict the book I published of those characters in 2011. So I've been putting a lot of bandages on a continuity I was making up as I went. And to be honest, much of what had been written was pretty sparse in the detail department.

The Tumblr account was exactly the remedy for what ailed the Owariverse. Taking this new start as an opportunity, I declared that I was blowing up everything and putting the pieces back together again. Of course, to do that, I had re-examine every single profile for my world. And that was, uh, a lot. Seventy-eight (78), to be precise.

The first order of business was sitting down and examining what I had and consider how I wanted to go forward with each character. Because, in truth, I had fallen victim to the idea of throwing together profiles for any supporting character who popped into my head semi-formed. A lot of them only merited two or three sentences. If I wanted readers to care about these people, I needed to care enough about them to tell their story in a little more depth.

If you mosey over to the new Profile Page, you will see 60 entries there (though most are not actually live). Six of those do not exist in the Owariverse Encyclopedia I compiled here. Another merges what had been two separate entries. So yeah, I scrapped over 20 profiles in this new revamp. Most of those characters still exist in some form or another, but I decided I didn't have enough to say about them to warrant an individual entry. I can't say this is the way it should have always been, because it's taken me years of trial and error to get my material and my ability to the point I am today.

ANYWAY, I decided prior to launch I needed to work out all the individual profiles for these characters. I needed a clear idea of how they related to one another and the bigger universe they inhabit. But...60 profiles? Some could be rewritten, but in other cases, I was almost starting over. A few times, I was building a character from the ground up. It seemed daunting. And I'll be honest, my track record in recent times hasn't been great. Two abandoned short stories, a shelved novella, a blog fallen on hard times -- it even took three additional years after wrapping Return of Jetman to stagger to the conclusion by completing the notes.

Today, I did it. Sixty profiles are in the can and ready to go. Nine have already been posted. The remaining fifty-one await their accompanying art. That part will happen at its own pace. But in approximately three months time, I managed to achieve a personal creative goal I had set for myself. The results are some of the most satisfying works I have ever created. I am pleased.

Allow me a moment to take a victory lap for finding success amidst much failure this year. Meanwhile, Captain Satellite boosters are advised to bookmark and/or follow the Captain Satellite Tumblr. If you don't, you are missing out on such stuff as Muttnik the Satellite Dog. And that would be a pity.

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Not sold in NYC"

I scanned this for Kirk Demarais on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, and it seemed like the sort of thing that needed to go here, too. It's an ad from the June 1974 issue of the men's magazine BACHELOR that demonstrates that Honor House Products also sold guns through the mail. Pellet guns maybe, but still, yeah. And do note the disclaimer that gives this entry its title.

For the record, I was reading this magazine for the, uh, articles.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Story of Comics

Hello again!

Still not sure what the long-term plan for this blog is going to be, but I've been keeping myself occupied with social media and Captain Satellite stuff since things geared down here in September. I am really enjoying getting back in touch with my own work, and I still have outlets for my random observations, too. So I don't expect the current state of affairs for "OWARI" to change anytime soon.

I'm here tonight for a couple of reasons:

1) I finally completed the task of reviewing all of the blog's tags. I honestly can't even remember when I started this, but it's done. Well, as done as it's going to be. I was strongly considering abandoning it altogether, but made a surge and finished. I will not be doing THAT again, so make the best of the tags as they currently exist!

2) I was talking to my friend Thom not very long ago, and the subject of "My Story of Comics" came up. This was a series I wrote on my LiveJournal, and it may be the most memorable non-personal sequence I ever did on Ye Olde LJ. I was forever thinking about re-doing it and posting it here, but it seemed so very "of its moment" that I couldn't find a way.

That moment was almost exactly ten years ago (!!!!!) now. Here then is a handy index of of those posts - "My Story of Comics"

A few things occurred to me in re-reading this today. One, I was really angry about this at the time. I suspect writing that was my way of letting go of that anger - though it took awhile. Two, I'm not sure if superhero fans didn't save the comic book industry. I look at the way magazines are dying off and wonder if comic books would have survived without a fandom. I mean, we live in a world where U.S. News & World Report is no longer a print publication, but there are several Avengers titles. Three, did manga's popularity cool off or is it just me? It's still viable, but not on the level it was then. And four, I didn't see digital comics coming at all. That's probably the wave of the future.

That's all for tonight. Back one of these days, when we least expect it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Captain Satellite Flies Again!

You might want to click to make this bigger. Seriously, it's huge.

Just to prove this blog isn't quite dead, here's an announcement I've already made elsewhere. I've launched a Tumblr account specifically devoted to Captain Satellite and the Owariverse! You will see plenty of my flights of imagination and kooky art there! Plus, guest art from a wide array of talented people!

If this interests you, please follow, like, reblog, share, promote, etc. Thank you!

The link: --> Captain Satellite Tumblr

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Temporarily(?) Closed For Business

In what is probably not a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention the last few months, I decided today to suspend posting on this blog indefinitely.

The funny thing is, it's actually a surprise to me. I had two unfinished drafts sitting on my panel, and one of them was only started on Monday. It was a potentially good post - the first part of a series, in fact - on a topic that interests me. I had already been researching it last week.

...And I realized today that I didn't care. No, I still care about the topic, and the research I was doing. I just didn't care if I ever finished the post, or any of the subsequent posts that would need to be written.

Do you remember the tribute post I did about Casey Kasem in June? The link to the story on the Xenorama Facebook page got picked up by Facebook's Trending Topics. Its reach is 38,368 people, it has been liked by 102 people, and it has been shared 20 times. Impressive! But the actual blog entry - the thing I wrote - only has 310 views. That's less than 1% of the people who saw the Facebook link.

I keep deleting things I've written because it sounds like I'm whining. I never expected much of a readership when I started this blog, and I'm surprised I ever found one at all. It's just that I've been doing this for awhile, and my enthusiasm for writing most of the content here has been wavering. If there's not an audience for it, and I'm not feeling it, it seems kind of silly to keep going.

I don't know, five and a half years sounds like a good run for a blog to me. I've had a lot of fun here. But there comes a time when you have to know when to move on, and I have the sneaking suspicion this is that time for this blog. It was difficult to end the fanzine and the message board that were the previous incarnations of OWARI. It was difficult to abandon the LiveJournal that had been my blogging headquarters since 2003. Heck, it was hard to close the books on Return of Jetman in December and Pictures of Naomi Morinaga in March (I don't think I ever mentioned the closing of the latter, but yeah, it's done). I just think maybe I should be looking in different directions.

To be clear, I'm not disappearing. Ohhhhhh no, far from it. You can still find me on:



I'm also still fighting the good fight of remembering Rene Bond at Rene Bond Tribute (220 Likes strong!) and still posting images related to movie serials (sometimes only tangentially) at Continued Next Week! (currently at 145 followers!).

There are also preliminary plans for something "major" to come down the line at some point. When? I have no idea right now. Keep your eyes open on Twitter and Tumblr, and all should be revealed... one day.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's to never rule out anything. With that in mind, I'm not ruling out this blog making a thrilling comeback someday. I'm not even ruling out a random post or two straggling into publication when it's least expected. But if this really is "the end" for OWARI, I want to at least acknowledge it, and say thank you to all of you who have been reading and commenting over the years.

Remember, it's not "Goodbye," just "See you around!"

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wringing Out Writing

It's not exactly news that my work has been suffering. I'm not going to go into what I perceive as the reasons why; I only want to talk about the work unfinished, and my thoughts on that. Forgive me if I'm forgetting something. I'm prone to do these things.

There was supposed to be a novella called CAPTAIN SATELLITE: LIFE & TIMES in 2012. Well, I think I've discussed the fact that I put that project on the shelf due to some flaws in my outline. Unfortunately, though I still would very much like to complete this story, it just hasn't happened. Part of that is due to the fact that CAPTAIN SATELLITE: NUMBER ZERO didn't even live up to my modest hopes for it, but really, it's just that I have not given the task of fixing the story's problems the attention it deserves.

Interestingly, I have considered extracting the first chapter of the novella (which IS finished) and publishing it on the blog. It can more or less function as a standalone piece, so this isn't as outrageous as it sounds. It would at least be something, and maybe it would drive me to finish the story. That would be nice.

There is/was another Owariverse tale that was promised - gosh, I am not even sure when now. It is an Ultimate American story, and I literally just found the file for it. I last modified it in March. Gads. Finding where that was going again may take some work. It's a clever idea, with some fun bad accent work, so I'd like to add it to the mythos.

Finally, we come to the untitled story that appeared here for two consecutive days back in April. It was a more down-to-Earth thing, and it felt like it had some immediacy. That reaaaaally ground to a halt, as an incomplete draft for "Chapter 3" has been sitting in my queue for months. Given the apparent lack of interest in this story continuing, maybe it will stay there. I don't regret trying to do a change-of-pace, but there is the question as to whether it succeeded or failed.

At some point, things are bound to get better. But I have to recapture the magic, and it's not as easy as just saying it's going to happen.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sailor Erato

Our friend Wandering Kotka recently completed a commission special dedicated to Sailor Moon, in honor of the new series currently airing. I was literally the last person to participate, and I presented an odd challenge - Rene Bond as a Sailor Scout! Well, you can see the result above, especially if you right click to make bigger. Say hello to Sailor Erato!

If you would like to comment on Kotka's upload of this, and read her wonderful description, you can do that right here!

NEXT: something not about Rene Bond. Honest.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rene Bond Newspaper Clippings

Yes, I've been absent from OWARI for longer than usual, but I have not been idle during that time. In fact, I've been essentially blogging almost every day this month. It's just that it hasn't been here.

Over on Rene Bond Tribute, I have been posting newspaper clippings related to Rene, with commentary. I just wrapped up this project last night, so it seemed like the right time to link to it here.

I've learned a lot from this exercise, and I hope people enjoy it. There will probably be more clippings in the future, but these were the most interesting I found in my recent research.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Birthday Giftart Revue #3: Sean Moore

And last, but certainly not least in our birthday giftart-athoon is Sean Moore's delightful chibi version of the Canadian superhero the Penguin! I love how wee and fierce he is. Sean managed the impressive feat of making this guy both adorable and badass, and I love him for it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Birthday Giftart Revue #2: Wandering Kotka

Wandering Kotka, the artist formerly known as "Kabuki Katze" here, there, and everywhere, delivered this adorable chibi portrait of Kitten as a birthday gift for me. Amazingly, all the Kitten love this year was a coincidence, too! Who knew?!?!

K is one of our steadiest co-conspirators here at OWARI. Be sure to show her some love! And while you're at it, let's get her Facebook page to 100 fans! I believe in you guys!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Birthday Giftart Revue #1: Nicky Flamingo

My 42nd birthday was this past Friday (yay?), and of course, I didn't blog about it. That may be just as well, hahaha. But I had a wonderful day, and received several pieces of giftart from my talented friends to mark the occasion. This week, I'm going to share those pieces with you.

Today, I am featuring a Kitten ACEO by the fabulous and sweet Nicky Flamingo. Nicky and I are essentially birthday buddies, because hers falls the day after mine. So please, enjoy her fantastic artwork and wish the lady a (now belated!) happy birthday!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Random Access Memory

There are days like today when you are doing your best to live in the moment when suddenly...

It's 1982. I'm in the town of Eunice for some reason, and we stop at a drug store. There I find a copy of Justice League of America #207. I feel like I've uncovered pirate's treasure, since I had earlier that year purchased All-Star Squadron #14. The Justice League book is Part 1 of a 5 part story, and the All Star book is Part 2. I resolve that I will need to return to this drug store in the future if such finds are to be made there. I never do. It's probably a bit late to think about making the trip.

It's 2012. I've been chosen for jury duty the week of my 40th birthday. This feels like I've been sentenced to hard time for the crime of having my name randomly selected. I sit in a jury room arguing with total strangers on that birthday, ruminating silently that this may turn out to be the worst in my litany of disappointing birthdays. Only time will tell if that's true.

Now it's 1991. A different birthday. For some reason, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT runs a feature on GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH on their program. This despite the fact that the film will never play theatrically in the United States, and will only receive a video release years later. I am uncommonly excited by this, and even tape the show when it airs on a different station that night. I watch the show so much over the years that I can still tell you the forgotten Emilio Estevez/Mick Jagger co-starring effort also previewed therein (it's FREEJACK).

I don't even remember the year. I know I'm on a payphone when I call her. I don't even recall why, but I could hear her smile over the lines as we talked. Neither of us know that in the not-too-distant future, she will grow to hate me. For that moment, at least, we are just happy to hear the other's voice.

It's 2007, and I am hopelessly lost in Houston. A friendly older gentleman in a cowboy hat is getting coffee, and I ask him for directions. He sets me on the right track, and I make it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. It turns out to be one of the greatest days of my life. None of the heartaches in the ensuing years will ever change that fact, or that weekend.

Back to 1986. It's a crazy hot summer day. I am sitting in the parking lot of Bookworm's Apple with my copy of Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, the conclusion of DC Comics' giant maxi-series. I am ready for it to be finished, for a lot of different reasons. I have no way of knowing that it is the beginning of my long, strange trip to disillusionment with comics. I further have no way of knowing that in a few years, Bookworm's Apple will be gone forever.

It's 1994. I am walking across the bridge on my college campus. I am talking to the girl I've silently had a crush on for the last two years. Every part of me is screaming to tell her, at least to have the peace of mind that I got it off my chest. I don't. I let her walk away, all the while thinking that I will never see her again. I never have.

This is 1996. This is the day I found out I would lose my job when a secretary asked me when I was returning my contract and I had to tell her I hadn't received one. I'm not sure how I held that humiliation in without breaking down right there, but I did. Later, I excused myself to the restroom and cried. I don't think I've ever gotten over the betrayal I felt right then.

Forward to 1998. I am trudging through the mud for a job interview in a temporary trailer. I am desperate and at the end of my rope. I could never guess I would be spending the better part of the next 16 years in the half-finished building occupying the same lot.

...And with that, I am back to today, feeling a lot like I did on that day in 1998. It's more of a quiet desperation still, but it's lurking there. I wonder sometimes if the past is really as happy as we make it seem in our memories, or if we just long for the innocence and not knowing unhappy truths and the way things turn out.

My memory is random. I cannot retain most of what happened yesterday, but something from junior high is as vivid as if it did happen yesterday. Sometimes it's as obviously important as high school graduation, and sometimes it's something seemingly trivial like helping someone air up their tire. I have long ago stopped trying to figure out how my brain operates. I am who I am.

I don't seek answers from these slivers of memory, because I am not sure they even contain any. I try not live inside of them, although the temptation is great at times. I tend to think of them as markers signifying where I have been and how far I have traveled. And the thing about any trip is, you can't spend too much time looking at where you've been or you'll never get where you're going.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Swamp Witch

I am of course familiar with Jim Stafford's eccentric hits like "Spiders and Snakes", "Wildwood Weed", and "My Girl Bill", and rather like them. But this past weekend was my first encounter with his first hit song, "Swamp Witch". It is amazingly atmospheric and spooky, and I cannot understand why it has been allowed to fall into obscurity. Perhaps because it doesn't fit with the later theme of his career? I dunno, but "Swamp Witch" is a song that genuinely gave me the creeps as I listened to it. Good stuff.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tomb of Darkness #18 (January 1976)

My interest in 1970s-era Marvel monster reprint comics is perhaps unreasonable, since they are usually kinda terrible. They do sport outrageous covers that promise wonders that the interiors rarely deliver, so that's a point in their favor. I dunno, I like that they encapsulate the "Marvel Age" when it was at its most exciting to me personally, while still being self-contained. The hodge podge of interesting artwork from previous decades compensates for the fact that the stories are...well, often not well-thought-out to be charitable.

Tomb of Darkness #18 arrives in our hands from the year 1975, no matter what the publication date says. It leads with something very interesting, a reprint that was less than 7 years old at the time. My understanding of the so-called "7 year rule" was that there was supposedly enough turnover for reprints to be considered unseen by a lot of readers after 7 years. Yet, here we have a Roy Thomas/John Buscema story that ran in Chamber of Darkness #3 (February 1970). The splash looks like a very inadequate stat, so there is probably some alterations there. The rest of the story is fine from an art standpoint, but is a bit lacking as an actual story. There are some of Thomas' trademark ideas, and it is somewhat self-aware of its deficiencies, but I would call it a more forgettable tale from one of my favorite writers.

(Quick aside: Chamber of Darkness and Tomb of Darkness are not part of the same numbering, though it seems like they should be. Chamber became Monsters on the Prowl, while Tomb continues from the title Beware.)

Next to the plate is a Jack Kirby/Dick Ayers story about the Sphinx being an alien robot named Shagg. Yes, really! It is delightfully over-the-top, with both Paris and New York getting absolutely leveled over the course of 7 pages. What makes it even more wonderful is the utterly preposterous wrap-up of the story, which honestly must be seen to be believed. And remember: "Cosmo-Gamma Electro-Magnetic Waves! That's the answer!"

The third and final story is...well, it may be one of the oddest stories I have ever encountered for a mystery book. It's just so tame, and doesn't even really seem to fit the theme until the very end. I don't want to say that much about it in case someone cares about being spoiled, but gosh, what an anomaly. Checking out the date, it appears to be from the very early days of the Comics Code, and maybe that explains it. Certainly, I can't think of a more sanitized horror comics story.

I know I tend to be hard on these old comic books sometimes, especially viewing them through the prism of being an adult in the 21st century. But the truth is, they entertain me more than almost anything else, huge flaws and all. That's priceless, and it's why I keep doing these reviews.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Things My Dad Would Never Believe About Me, Part 27

My dad loved him some Westerns. Me? Eh. I enjoy the iconography of cowboys (especially in strange contexts, like sci-fi settings or Japan), but the Western genre isn't one that has ever appealed to me. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's just not my thing.

In recent months, I've been delving into quotes on Facebook and Twitter, for reasons that may eventually become clear enough. Some of them really hit home for me personally. One in particular got my attention so much that I made a cover photo for it to put on my Facebook. I identify very strongly with this sentiment, and have actually experienced it. I may even be experiencing it right now.

The irony is that this quote is from Louis L'Amour, best known as an author of Westerns. Somewhere, Dad is laughing his ass off at me.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Bridgette Monet (aka Dana Cannon)!

Today is a special day, though you are forgiven for not realizing it. June 28th is the birthday of former adult film star and one-time PLAYBOY model Bridgette Monet, aka Dana Cannon! And for the record, neither of those are her real name.

Bridgette Monet made a big impact on me when I saw her in the pages of PLAYBOY back in 1984. She was so wholesome and obviously intelligent (the pictorial promoted her as a "college girl" after all), and yet she made sex films. It was eye-opening to me, especially coupled with the accompanying article. It was one of several that de-mystified the porn business for me at a very early age. Bridgette made no apologies about what she did, but she also made it clear it was on HER terms.

I have a lot of respect and admiration for Bridgette. She was really ahead of her time in a lot of ways. She disappeared from the scene in the mid-80s and has returned to a life away from the spotlight of her former career. I am reasonably certain the woman who was once "Bridgette Monet" is happy with the life she has built since those days, and I wish her all the best in it. Maybe I could say more, but that's for the lady to share if she ever decides to go public with some of her details.

It's Bridgette Monet's 55th birthday, and considering how people view her former field, you have to call that a success right there. But Bridgette hasn't just survived - she's thrived. Happy Birthday, Bridgette!

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Farewell To Casey Kasem

(Photo via Crystal Price KFOX 14)

I don't talk about every passage from this mortal coil that impacts my life, but this is too big to go unmentioned. I've talked a lot about AMERICAN TOP 40 in these parts the last few years, and I've been a faithful follower of the 1970s rebroadcasts during that time. This weekend was no different, and probably at the same time I was listening Sunday morning, Casey Kasem passed away at the age of 82.

This was not a surprise. If anything, it's something we were all expecting. The very unfortunate circumstances about his life and welfare the last few years have been discussed elsewhere, and are not something I want to dwell on besides acknowledging their existence. Instead, I want to focus on the positives of his life and career.

I first became aware of Casey Kasem as a personality from the AMERICA'S TOP 10 TV show, which was an extension of what he was doing on the radio with AMERICAN TOP 40. If Kasem had only worked in radio, he'd still be a legend. But he did plenty of acting and voiceover work, too. Casey was most famous as Shaggy from SCOOBY-DOO, but he was also Robin in SUPER FRIENDS and other shows, Mark in BATTLE OF THE PLANETS, and really too many other voices to list. There is something oddly comforting about his delivery, and when I hear him, it's like an old friend stopping by for a visit.

Casey Kasem wasn't a perfect human being by any means. But he had an iconic career, and by any measure, his was a life filled with success. Rest easy, Mr. Kasem, as you finally reach those stars.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Princess Nikatonia by Discworldfan

Princess Nikatonia (Art Trade) by discworldfan on deviantART

Well, this one could've knocked me over with a feather! Our delightful friend Nicky Flamingo has adopted Princess Nikatonia (based on her, as you may recall) into her stable of original characters. This is mostly so she can show her off and offer her as a potential subject for art trades. But I gotta tell you, given how awesome Nicky's own OCs are, I wasn't expecting any art of Nikatonia to crop up anytime in the near future.

COLOR ME WRONG! "Discworldfan" stepped up to the plate and delivered a FABULOUS rendition of Princess Nikatonia! I mean, just look at it! I am really tickled to see this, especially since commissions have been a lot fewer in the last year or two.

Thank you both so much!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over

Considering I have spent far too much time blogging about why I'm not blogging, I have been struggling with this post and this decision for awhile. May was kind of a tipping point for me in a lot of ways, and it has caused me to re-evaluate what I'm doing here and why. So let's just get to it.

Going forward, this blog is going to be updated sporadically at best. I'm going to try to post at least once a month - I mean, I usually find something I need to talk about at length. There may be more than one post. It's all going to depend on my feelings and time, not because of any responsibility I feel to fill this blog with fresh content.

There are still plenty of topics to discuss and explore. I still want and (dare I say it?) need to blog sometimes. But I've let myself become imprisoned by the notion I needed to have something here, even when I don't feel like it. And as of right this second, I don't feel like it. I'm tired and dealing with a lot of real life things that could very well shape my future. Sitting down and trying to figure out how to compose a semi-coherent blog entry is not a high priority right now.

I love this blog. I love doing this blog. And I'm sorry to all the people who follow this blog about the fact that it's been sort of spiraling down the last few months. I think an occasional burst of blogging is better than closing this place entirely. Don't you?

If you'd like to keep up with my public flights of fancy, there's always Twitter. I'm also still doing image blogging at OWARI 2.0 and Continued Next Week! when the mood strikes.

I appreciate all of you who read and follow this blog. Remember, it's not an end, but a new beginning.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


"Kayleigh" by Marillion is a pretty famous and influential song, considering it completely slipped by me in the 1980s. One of its influences beyond the fact that it's a fine piece of music is that it led to the popularity of the name "Kayleigh." And that actually is important.

Today is the birthday of someone who has been part of my inner circle for over ten years (!!). We've known her as Kabuki Katze, and now she is Wandering Kotka - with a new website coming soon. However, in the end, she's Kayleigh, and she's my friend.

Kayleigh, you have opened a lot of doors for me, both directly and indirectly. Things like BOC and the art are important, but really, they only scratch the surface. I honestly cannot imagine my life now without you and your friendship having been a part of it. It would be a lot poorer, that's for sure.

Ten years? At once, it feels like yesterday and forever. It's been an honor and a privilege to share your journey with you. I hope you, hubby Boyan, and your family have a wonderful day celebrating the anniversary of your birth!!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Naomi Morinaga Makes A Comeback!

I'd like to think this will put an end once and for all to all the searches about her being dead.

It was birthday boy Igadevil (hope it was a great one!) who broke the news to me on Twitter: Naomi Morinaga is making a comeback in Toei's new V-Cinema Space Sheriff projects! Yes, "Annie" will be returning and also returning will be Den Iga, the original Sharivan. This means we're getting both Naomi Morinaga and Hiroshi Watari, her co-star on the series SPIELBAN.

This is very exciting news for me, and probably for a lot of people who wind up on this blog. If you'd like to keep updated, Toei has for that purpose. There are also links to Twitter and Facebook pages for the project. You bet I'm following both of them!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sorry Lexi

The other night, Lexi and I were discussing the fact that she finds dolls frightening. I offered that ventriloquist dummies are way worse. I can say this because I own one. In searching for pictures of good ol' Charlie McCarthy, I discovered this terrifying image.

Yes, that is Charlie McCarthy in bed with Mae West. Gives a whole new meaning to "morning wood," eh?

Image sourced from Spectacular Attractions, where you can learn the full traumatic details of this meeting of the titans.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Is This How The Blog Ends?!?


Yeah, I don't know what's been going on either. I've got a couple of movies under my belt that I should probably review. Got some cool reading material, too. Even have pretty mammoth music post I'd like to do. But I've been distracted by both the usual culprits and new ones, too. You know the drill.

Anyway. I'll try to do better the rest of the month. I'd like to pick up the story I started at the end of April. And no, I haven't forgotten that Owariverse story either. Though it's been long enough I expect some of you might have. One day...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Sobering Perspective On Time, Via DC Comics

Showcase #4 (the debut of the Barry Allen Flash and commonly acknowledged as the launchpad for the so-called "Silver Age of Comics") was dated Sept.-Oct. 1956 (Oct. on the cover). It went on sale approximately July 5, 1956.

Crisis on Infinite Earths #1 (the beginning of "the end" for the Silver Age DC Universe) was dated April 1985. It went on sale approximately January 3, 1985.

This week's DC Comics are dated July 2014. They went on sale today, May 7, 2014.

Crisis on Infinite Earths is older today than the entire Silver Age DC Universe was when Crisis on Infinite Earths began.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teen Titans #46 (February 1977)

(Via GCD)

This one's kind of interesting, as I owned this comic as a wee lad. Did I pick it out for myself at the age of 4? Or was it purchased for me without my input? I mean, surely any hip child in 1976 (when it was originally on sale) would have gravitated immediately to the grandeur of the Fiddler. But, you know, I always had some strange and inexplicable comics in my fledgling collection, so the world may never know.

The comic is a very curious artifact from the period when DC was throwing everything at the wall and seeing what would stick. Not much, as it turned out, and the revival of Teen Titans was no different. It had begun with #44 and would only last until #53 (a wild "untold" origin I should try to reacquire someday). The Titans are still trying to find their footing both as a group and a book here, so it's rather odd.

For one thing, the villain of this comic is the Fiddler, a longtime villain of the Flash and the Justice Society...on Earth-Two. Sure, it's briefly explained and no harm, no foul as far as I'm concerned, but this is the sort of nonsense that convinced people that the Crisis on Infinite Earths was needed to make things "less confusing." I swear, if there was ever a worse rationalization for doing something, it was the "less confusing and more streamlined" mantra. Tell me, does anyone find mainstream superhero comics less confusing now than they were in 1984?

...That got away from me, didn't it? Sorry, pet peeve of mine. Anyway, the Fiddler's presence as the villain is because the plot is musically-themed in the most 1970s way possible that doesn't involve disco. But more on this shortly.

This issue also marks the TT debut of another thorn in the side of continuity addicts - the Joker's Daughter. Already having appeared in the pages of Batman Family as an adversary, this is Duela Dent's first foray into being a do-gooder. Hmmm, I wonder if SHE is why I got this comic back in the day? It wouldn't surprise me.

Oh yes, the plot. It involves shenanigans and hijinks in a battle of the bands involving two groups who are most assuredly not based on Paul McCartney and Wings and the Carpenters. I'm honestly not sure where Bob Rozakis got this particular idea, but it blew my tiny mind as a child. I'm not going to spoil it, even though it's a very old comic. Suffice to say, PLOT TWIST!

The art is by Irv Novick and Joe Giella, two solid professionals who probably had less than zero interest in the rock music aspect of the story. Novick is underrated in the grand scheme of things, and Giella is one of the more distinctive inkers of his generation for me. Seriously, I didn't even need the credits to peg this as a Giella job. It just is.

I sometimes like to talk about the ads in my comics, and this is a good time. I noticed that, even in 1976, DC still had a slightly better grade of advertiser than Marvel. I see Monogram, Ideal, and Peter Pan Records alongside Honor House and Charles Atlas. It's a subtle distinction, but DC's comics do still seem slightly "classier" and more geared toward kids as a result.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chapter 2

The alarm blared loudly and she struggled to find it though sleepy eyes. It didn't matter when she went to bed, because it was always too early when it was time to get up. The sun wasn't even out and it was time for her day to begin. Another day, the same as all the rest of them. What the hell had happened to her life?

She had her degree, even if it took almost five years to get it. She had worked hard and paid her dues. But the dream of finding what she wanted after college was just that - a dream. All she had found was disappointment and dead-ends and a job at a coffee shop to make ends meet. She had promised herself it was just "temporary," but two years later, she was still there.

But even that seemed destined to fall apart sooner or later. She was stuck opening every morning and it was wearing her down. Early to bed, early to rise, and no life at all in-between. Just a few hours playing video games alone in an apartment that she was struggling to afford on her salary. Something had to change soon, or she was going to be out on her ass.

Of course, things had been a little different when she had a boyfriend who at least helped her cover the rent. They had been together since her sophomore year in college, and she had really trusted and loved him. And hey, the sex wasn't too bad either. But apparently, none of that had been good enough for him. She had returned home from an extra long shift to discover that he had moved out without even a goodbye note. She still had no idea where he was. At least he hadn't stolen any of her stuff when he'd left.

She had survived that heartbreak. Heck, she wasn't even sure she still missed him. But she couldn't deny that money was tight, and she had so fallen out of touch socially that she didn't even know anyone looking for a roommate. She was drifting along, existing but not really living.

She laid in the bed and stared up at nothing in particular. Above her, a fan slowly rotated, and she found herself simply...watching. As she did, it felt as if her entire life up to that point was dancing in front of her. Every decision, good and bad, since she had left home was replayed over and over and over on the dark canvas of her ceiling. As it was, all she could think was...Is this all there is?

What was she going to do?


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chapter 1

It was the last time they would ever see each other. Oh, they had made allowances that maybe at some point, when there was distance and the hurt had subsided, one of them would pay a visit to the other. Old friends, right? But they both knew this was a gentle lie to get through the night. After this morning, they would truly be the strangers their feelings had made them.

He gripped the steering wheel almost lackadaisically as he navigated the relatively deserted early, early morning freeway. No traffic on the road meant more time to concentrate on the uncomfortable silence that filled the car. Next to him, she shifted in her seat and tried to think of something - anything - that might break the ice. But all her ideas sounded like bad ones to her, and she turned her gaze out the window to the array of lights that dotted the still-darkened city.

She had a flight for 6 AM. Going back home, back east. She was moving in with her parents, temporarily, until she could get herself back on her feet. Most of her stuff, such as it was, was already there. The only thing left to ship out was herself. She had already sold her car and was thinking of just hiring a taxi to get to the airport. He wouldn't hear of it. He insisted on driving her there.

Why? Was it a last, parting gesture of the relationship they had shared for over five years? Was it a selfless act of kindness for the friend he had known since 7th grade? Was it slow torture to punish himself over the fact that they had lost each other? Was it the hope that this act would give them closure once and for all? Or maybe it was a desperate, clinging hope that she would change her mind?

It was at once all and none of those things. Even he didn't know. He just wanted to make sure she had a ride.

The airport loomed, and it was a mixture of relief and regret that filled the two of them. He helped her unload her luggage from the car, and they double-checked to make sure she had everything. They exchanged awkward small talk like they were old buddies rather than lovers who had drifted apart. Promises were made that would never be kept, though intentions were good on both sides. And finally, they embraced and kissed. Only, this was not a kiss of passion, but one of dreams that had fallen by the wayside. Pecks on the cheek and the feel of each other's arms one last time.

She made her way into the terminal and he watched her until she was out of sight amid the crush of people. He couldn't even sigh as he stood there for a moment. He couldn't feel anything. He got into the car and drove away, leaving behind the woman he had once been convinced was going to be his wife.

What was he going to do?


Monday, April 28, 2014

Looney Tunes

No, not those, though as you can see, you're meant to think of them. I am almost positive the name was what led me to ask for this album on 8-track tape at a Stuckey's during a family road trip many years ago. I didn't really get what I was expecting if that's the case.

What I did get was a crash course in the concept of novelty songs. I mean, just take a look at that track list. Some pretty big records on there, and I likely experienced all of them at the same time. All this through the magic of 8-track! I suspect this led to my long-term fascination with both oddball music and K-tel.

Have a commercial!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Red Taiyo, Chibi Style

This, ladies and gents, is a chibi style commission of my Japanese superhero Red Taiyo, as rendered by the ever-fabulous Kayleigh Lebak as part of an ongoing commission special! Isn't he fantastic in his wee! awesomeness? You can peep out more commentary at the lady's dA page for it. Maybe even get a chibi for yourself?

Speaking of that - you may have noticed I referred to her by her given name this time. Did you check the URL? Kayleigh is in the process of re-branding her online adventures from "Kabuki Katze" to "Wandering Kotka!" The old name is still in effect in a few places, but gradually, what had been the name of her travel blog will come THE brand. Eventually, I'll replace the tag here, too. Eventually.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Appeal to Latricia Mayhew

I have been putting off writing this entry for several days, hoping it might prove to be unnecessary. It appears now I need to have it out there. It's mostly being written because I want it to show up in search engines in the hopes that it will make a difference. This is a long shot at best. I just don't have any other ideas at the moment.

This message is for Latricia Mayhew, last known by me to be living in Seattle, Washington. Hi, this is Chris. We worked together at a restaurant in Louisiana circa 2002-2003. Remember how you hated dealing with the restrooms? Remember the fat tip I left you one afternoon when you waited on me? Remember the time I tried to remove the viruses from your computer and you explained the Ladder Theory to me? Do you?

I miss you. Eric misses you. Holly misses you. I'm sure there are a lot of people who miss you. We don't want anything from you. We just miss you and would love to get back in touch with you. It's been a long time - since 2007 for me. That was when we last spoke on Myspace and I told you about the vacation I was taking.

Latricia, no matter what has happened, please know that you are loved and cherished and respected. Please get in touch with me and at least let us know how you are. We care about you. Let us show it. I want to reconnect somehow, whether it be via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. There are social media links in the sidebar of my blog. You are welcome to use them.

I have been trying to find a way to get in touch with you for at least five years. I don't expect this attempt to be any more successful than previous ones. I just want you to know - you don't have to be afraid to contact us. You are our friend and we care about you.

If you know Latricia, please point her in the direction of this blog entry ASAP. If you ARE Latricia, please...just let us know how you are doing. We miss you.

Friday, April 18, 2014

William Shatner Album Cover Art

If you remember this, you will be delighted to know I am featuring a nice, large copy of the album jacket to send you into the weekend. You're welcome!

...You did want it, right?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"You Can Scar Me, But You Can't Stop Me"

(photo by Dear World)

One year ago today, something horrible happened in Boston.

I "found" Sydney Corcoran a couple of days later, and as she lay in a hospital bed, we began a communication that evolved into a friendship. She has fought through a lot of physical and emotional pain these last 12 months, and if it seems easy from the outside,'s not.

Sydney's fight is far from finished on this one year anniversary. But her message to you is the one scrawled on her body: "You can scar me, but you can't stop me." She is a survivor in every meaningful sense, and a beautiful woman inside and out. She has embraced the scars that mark her just like the tattoo she was finally able to get in December. And in truth, they have a sublime beauty all their own - especially when you recognize that she earned them by living.

Sydney, you have come so far, and I want everyone to know how fuckin' proud I am of you. You are a gorgeous woman and a gorgeous soul, and if anyone says differently, they're wrong. That includes you when those moments of self-doubt haunt you.

I love you like you were my own sister.

Sydney's picture is part of a larger series called DEAR WORLD: Boston Marathon. It's one of many projects created by Dear World, an effort that is eminently worthwhile. The Boston Marathon project is incredibly moving and brought me to tears. It includes not only Sydney, but also her mother Celeste and her brother Tyler.

My words are failing me as it comes time to finish this entry. In the end, I guess Sydney has finally left me speechless. Maybe that's the best last word of all.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Legends of Mid-South Wrestling

I grew up watching Mid-South Wrestling. I don't remember when that started - I want to say I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. All I know is what is now widely-regarded as one of the best regional wrestling territories captured my imagination as a child.

I guess you could say that's not surprising. As deeply in love with comic books and superheroes as I was, Mid-South Wrestling offered the same sort of colorful characters and compelling action in a "real" setting. I'm not sure when I decided/figured out the action was staged (not fake), but it didn't really affect my enjoyment.

If anyone asks, I will freely admit that the Junkyard Dog was my boyhood hero. That might be hard to grasp for people who didn't see him in Mid-South, but trust me, that guy was electric when he was right. JYD isn't the only one who made fond memories back in those days - my mind's eye can still conjure up visions of Mr. Olympia, Butch Reed, Ted DiBiase, Hacksaw Duggan, Jake "The Snake" Roberts and a cavalcade of others.

WWE recently acquired the Mid-South Wrestling/UWF tape library, and issued LEGENDS OF MID-SOUTH WRESTLING on DVD and Blu-Ray. I happily purchased it, even though my interest in grappling has waned over the years. As I sat and watched it, and re-experienced the old days, I could remember what it was like to be a kid in the early 1980s when all of this was very important to me.

Below is a trailer for this release on the WWE's UK division Youtube channel.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Rialto Report: A Recommendation

I wrote about The Rialto Report back in October, but having followed the site since that time, I wanted to pen a more general recommendation. Why? Because it's an outstanding piece of film history in the making.

The Rialto Report chronicles stories that probably would not otherwise be told. Generally, film scholarship focuses on the most popular or the most artistic. The Rialto Report goes against that grain by focusing on adult films and their corresponding subculture. However, it's all done with a seriousness and scholarship that puts to shame lesser sites that focus on "real" movies.

I have often told this story, but I am more interested in the people who work in adult films than the actual films. I'm fascinated by that sort of life, which from the outside seems impossibly glamorous and hedonistic. In some respects, it can be, but the reality is that so-called "porn stars" are a lot closer to just regular folks doing a job than famous superstars. That doesn't mean they can't be glamorous people or serious actors (I know, this might surprise you, but it's actually true); it's simply that they are not rich and famous in the way we'd imagine.

The Rialto Report shines in telling their stories, the men and women both in front of and behind the cameras. Some are sad tales indeed, and there are those who have chosen to focus entirely on this and paint a dire and grim picture. Yet there are also plenty of stories on the Rialto Report filled with hope and optimism and love. I'm not sure how anyone could listen to the interview with Richard Pacheco/Howie Gordon and not come away absolutely enthralled.

It's life. There's happiness and sadness, triumph and tragedy. It's the human experience, not exclusive to pornography.

The Rialto Report takes its subjects seriously, but also is a lot of fun. In dragging explicit movies from "The Golden Age of Porn" out of the ghetto and into the limelight, Ashley West, April Hall and company are enriching all of us. Take some time, give them a listen, and explore the site. Don't be surprised if you find yourself hooked.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Art of Ramona Fradon: A Review

Since I wrote about this book (and that entry gets a lot more hits than I would have expected), I suppose it's only fair that I talk a bit about it now that it's out.

THE ART OF RAMONA FRADON finally came out in February 2014. No one seems to have an explanation as to why, though I have a guess (see below). Meantime, Dynamite continues to not engender confidence via the omission of Bob Greenberger (the man responsible for assembling this book) from the Amazon listing. Considering my opinion of the book itself, I wish I could be more positive about the publisher.

Quite simply, I love this book. It is a wonderful showcase for Fradon's distinctive artwork, from Aquaman to Metamorpho to Super Friends to Brenda Starr, and all points in-between and beyond. The interview with Ramona by Howard Chaykin sheds considerable light on her as an artist and a person. It's not necessarily what fans might want, but truth can be hard to swallow at times from someone who crafted your childhood.

The packaging is gorgeous, with plenty of samples of artwork both vintage and new. The checklist is helpful if you want to track her career and note that it's not as extensive as you would imagine. You could probably assemble a good chunk of her published works with less effort than you'd think.

As a fan of Fradon's art from my 1970s exposure to Super Friends and Plastic Man and her amazing run with Bob Haney on Metamorpho, I cherish the opportunity this book provides to study that art and learn more about the artist. It's a shame that any momentum the project had was derailed by an almost two year delay in publication.

Why is that, anyway? Just a guess, but I'm suspecting it had to do with Dynamite getting approvals from the publishers whose properties are included herein. Whether the fault lies with Dynamite or those other publishers, I have no idea. It just reflects pretty badly on Dynamite that a book like this disappeared for so long.

Also, something I noticed in prepping this entry - the cover changed from the originally solicited version.

Actual published cover

Original solicited cover

There are several differences; some are obvious and some not. One of the more striking aspects is that a certain bashful blue-eyed nephew of Aunt Petunia has gone AWOL from the proceedings. And indeed, no one from his parent company is present on the final cover. Just an observation.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Your New Favorite Sports Mascot

This is an old logo for the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, the forerunner of the Detroit Pistons. Who was the mad genius responsible for this character?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Updated: Continued Next Week!

Ahoy! Just wanted to give you a heads-up that the Continued Next Week! Tags Page got a long-overdue update tonight. It was entirely more trouble than I anticipated, but I have added a number of serials that have been featured there in recent months. I've also relented and included a few prominent stars, too. I've been resistant of doing that, because I am not going to give everyone that treatment. But by now, it seems silly to not give that treatment to someone like Buster Crabbe. Or Natalie Kingston, for that matter (sigh). I anticipate adding more in the future, and maybe giving them their own category there.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I confess I am a long time coming around to Bread and David Gates. I dunno, sometimes it all seemed so...obvious, maybe? But heck, you cannot deny the appeal of those songs if that's what you are looking for in your music. Plus, the talent and craftsmanship on display is pretty impressive. I'm still not 100% sold, but I get it now. Oh boy, do I get it.

Here's "Aubrey", an interesting and somewhat more elusive hit.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Seth Amos

I heard Vicki Lawrence's "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" not long ago, and was struck by a question: What happened to Seth Amos?

If you recall the song, Andy Wolloe tells the young man that his wife has been "seeing that Amos boy Seth." But it's ANDY who gets killed in the song, not Seth. Even the revelation of what happened to the wife sheds no light on Seth Amos' fate. He's brought up and then forgotten.

Did Seth Amos leave town before something happened to him? Did he live his life quietly? Or did he just disappear into a plothole in a very famous song?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Distractions & Disappointments

I was kinda on a roll last week, thinking I was going to post an entry every weekday. Then my Internet went out on Thursday and that put a kibosh on that. Between catching up on lost time and other matters that needed attending, that was it for blogging last week. Which didn't really matter, as it turns out.

I've recently discussed the problems I have encountered in keeping this blog fresh. One of them that I hadn't mentioned is that my stats have kind of fallen off a cliff of late. I am not sure what to make of it, exactly. My first instinct is that Blogger has at least temporarily killed some of my view spam, and while I think that's true, it shouldn't affect individual entries. Yet almost everything is way down.

Why? I don't know. My guess is that I am experiencing a social media fail, but I don't have the will to increase my presence right now. Or maybe it's just fatigue among my meager audience. I haven't really gotten a lot of feedback about a lack of enthusiasm about content, but then, I haven't gotten a lot of feedback in general in recent months.

I still have things I want to discuss and review here, of course, but now find my energies better channeled in other directions. I am working on a new short story (not the long-promised novella) that has been in my head since 2011. It's not a question as to if the story gets done, but when. I'd like to spend more time expanding my own body of work, rather than just examining the work of others. The latter is easier, so it's tempting to just stay in that mode whether you have anything to say or not.

I'd like to stress that I'm not complaining. We all have problems, and this is a shockingly minor one even for me. A handful of entries still get hits every day and buoy my hopes that people are reading. It's sometimes even the most inexplicable things - like my Ellen Page entry going over 100 views. How far into searches for her do you have to go to get here? So I'm grateful for all of that, even if it rarely translates into long-term readers.

Christopher Elam's OWARI - You're Not Getting Rid Of Me That Easily

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ruby Thursday by Kabuki Katze

We did something like this last week, but this time it's Kabuki Katze's turn in the spotlight. This picture is a couple of years old and was done for an art group that is sadly now defunct. Still, I love it and thought it would be fun to include it here. It's a redesign of the Marvel Comics villain Ruby Thursday in a new and interesting direction. Check it out full-size and see what you think!

Scoundrel Art Jam: Ruby Thursday by KabukiKatze on deviantART

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Thunder Girl Digest

Alright, still a bit late, but we're getting better a reviewing these Big Bang Comics Collection books in a timely fashion!

THUNDER GIRL DIGEST might be a small book in terms of size, but it's quite large in entertainment value. This book brings together stories from a number of different issues of Big Bang Comics and related titles. Though Thunder Girl is primarily identified with a Golden Age style, there's also some Silver Age antics to mix things up a bit. All of them are quite entertaining, but I must confess to being partial to the Knights of Justice tale that rounds out the collection. It is a wonderful homage to classic JSA stories. And if you're wondering what it's doing in a Thunder Girl book, I guess you'll just have to buy it and find out!

The bulk of the writing (possibly all, I don't have notes handy to check) is by Gary Carlson, and his affection for the character is obvious. Artwork is supplied by an all-star crew of cartoonists, but Bill Fugate has to stand out even among his stellar company. Bill Fugate passed away last year, and this book rather fittingly concludes with a tribute to his memory.

THUNDER GIRL DIGEST can be purchased via Amazon or Createspace. It's worth every penny and then some.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Crystal by Sean Moore

Occasionally, I like to pull pics from my dA "Favorites" list and feature them for no good reason other than I can. Today, we're going to look at the Crystal from Sean Moore. He's a PD villain so obscure that even your humble blogger had never heard of him prior to this picture! I love the stylish feel of his outfit, and the headpiece has a quality that I find very ethereal.

Great redesign! He's a character I wouldn't mind seeing again someday!

Heads Up 93 - The Crystal by SeanRM on deviantART

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Cover Of "Radio Times"

So it seems that Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show's "Cover of the Rolling Stone" peaked on the BILLBOARD charts on this date in 1973, according to our friends at KZMZ. That makes today a golden opportunity to discuss something that has been sitting in my bookmarks for awhile.

BBC Radio has (or at least, had) rules prohibiting what they considered advertising in songs. This is why there are two versions of the Kinks' "Lola" - one which names Coca Cola, the other which substitutes "cherry cola." It's why Paul Simon's "Kodachrome" wasn't even pushed as a single in the U.K. Such a fate seemed to await Dr. Hook's song as well. But someone decided to try something different.

"The Cover of 'Radio Times', credited to "Dr. Hook and Friends" is an imaginative attempt at getting around the ban. By overdubbing "Radio Times" (the name of the BBC's own publication) for "Rolling Stone", the hope was to get airplay on BBC 1. Alas, the DJs couldn't even promote "Radio Times" on the air! So this version of the song more or less fell into obscurity almost immediately.

I must admit that I am very curious to hear the results, but it looks like the 45 is so rare that the odds of that happening are remote at best.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ken Utsui

It was Igadevil who broke the news for me on Twitter: Ken Utsui had passed away at the age of 82.

Outside of Japan, Utsui is probably best known for playing the superhero Starman (originally Supergiants). And though he wasn't fond of the role in later years, it's not hard to understand why it's so memorable. Ken Utsui was truly larger than life as Starman, capable of being both a protective father figure and bad guy destroyer and absolutely convincing in either mode. It didn't hurt that Starman was able to be both a bit more imaginative and a bit more violent than his American inspiration Superman.

As much as I love Starman, though, it was merely a fraction of Ken Utsui's life. He had a long and distinguished career in both film and television. He will be missed.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cat Waltz

Kabuki posted this pair of cards right here.

Cat-Man and Kitten was my second part of Kabu's recent ACEO special. I asked her to emulate this iconic Batman and Robin picture by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson, but didn't quite expect this composition. It really added to the epic feel of things, and gave her a much bigger canvas on which to create.

I'm feeling pretty good about my ACEOs from this special, if you hadn't guessed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, Naomi Morinaga!

Brief post today, but I want to acknowledge the birthday of the one and only Naomi Morinaga! Yes, the Japanese actress who causes more people to end up at OWARI than any other subject celebrates a birthday on March 12. According to the Japanese Wikipedia*, she was born in 1964. Yep, that makes her 50 today! Wow, that is...a sobering thought.

I hope Naomi is having a happy birthday wherever she is in her post-fame life. I don't know of an official or even unofficial site for her, other than my own Pictures of Naomi Morinaga. I hope that will suffice.

*I qualify this because the English Wikipedia gives 1965. I am going to trust the Japanese source here.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Musing

Things are hopefully in the process of getting back to passes for "normal" here. It will be a nice change of pace to talk about stuff instead of talking about why I'm not talking about stuff. That will be cool, won't it?

Last week, I had the occasion to talk about this book. You know, I had almost forgotten how much I liked doing it three years ago. Which...wait, really? Three years? We are really overdue for a revised and updated Captain Satellite: Number Zero and my long-promised follow-up book. There have been several changes (a few significant) since the early days of 2011, and I need to seriously think about having a product that reflects them.

I've ruminated on this in the past, but this blog pretty much hit its high point in 2011. I became more focused on my universe and less on outside stuff as much. Since the Owariverse has gradually receded into the background (for assorted reasons), it's difficult to maintain the pace and enthusiasm of this blog when it was active. I dunno, it's a dilemma with no immediate solutions at present.

If you hadn't guessed, reviewing the blog's history leads to interesting thoughts. We'll see how that plays out in the end.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday Sneak Preview!

Daddy's had a hard week, kiddo. With this losing an hour business tonight, I'm not sure I'm up to tackling anything that's on my "to blog" list. And yes, I have such a list. Hush.

Anyway, in lieu of writing something new, here's an excerpt of something I've been working on for entirely too long. I'm editing it and about to send it off shortly. What's it for? Wait and see.

Let's not forget, this is a Godzilla movie at heart. Godzilla gets some choice moments, and the heretofore unexplored Godzilla/Rodan feud takes center stage for a bit. (OK, they had never been in a movie together prior to this – details!) The “banter” between these two is another reason I love this film so much. This movie also marks the beginning of the “face turn” for these two well-established monster heels. But really, they are playing tweeners, and while GHIDRAH simplifies things perhaps a bit TOO much (...what about all the casualties they caused?), it can be forgiven since no one expects that level of deep thinking in escapist entertainment. Or shouldn't.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Like A Prayer

Recently, our friend Kabuki Katze ran a special on ACEOs. I decided to partake, and my first commission was of two cards depicting the re-imagined versions of the public domain Holyoke Comics heroes the Deacon and Mickey Matthews. Since these just went live, Ash Wednesday seems like the perfect time to feature them here!

If you are joining us late, the Deacon and Mickey are fictional heroes in the Owariverse. They differ from the original versions of the characters primarily in that the Deacon is now a masked wrestler and Mickey is a spunky redheaded girl. They are also popular enough to have starred in a TV series.

There will be more ACEO goodness in our future, but for now, here's a link to Kabuki's dA page with these puzzle cards!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras Mambo

Dash it all, I had plans to be back posting more substantial entries by now. Those plans have been changed, alas, as you have probably surmised. The biggest reason why is the subject of the song heard here in its 1954 version by the Hawketts. At least it's a good tune.

Have fun and be safe, whether you celebrate Mardi Gras or not.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's Been Such A Long Time

I literally haven't sat down to type up a new entry since I finished the previous "Jazzman" one on February 18th. So this is interesting. I am only about halfway through reviewing this blog's contents (currently in early 2011), though I did finish up work on the Tumblr. Unfortunately, I still have not quite completed this piece I was going to write. Why? Well, it turns out I managed to get sick just as I was taking my break from the blog. Timing, I have it.

Anyway, here is a peek at things to come, courtesy of Kabuki Katze:

Thursday, February 20, 2014


A cursory check of the blog revealed that this song has never come up prior to today. I find this astonishing, especially since I recently told a friend that it spoke to me on a spiritual level.

"Jazzman" is my favorite Carole King song, which is a pretty impressive statement right off the bat. I love the music, I love the words, I love the delivery. For me, it really describes the power of music. So I'm a tiny bit surprised that Carole King was not responsible for the lyrics. Those were penned by David Palmer, perhaps best-known as a one-time member of Steely Dan (he sang "Dirty Work"). What a fantastic collaboration between Palmer and King (who wrote the music in addition to singing the song).

There's not a lot I can add to this song except to tell you to listen to it and see if it transports you the way it does your present author. Meanwhile, here are the sites for Carole King and David Palmer.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Good Blogkeeping

Let's go through this via bullet points, shall we?
  • Continued Next Week! recently passed a milestone - 100 followers! Especially surprising is that this was at least partially due to a photo of Jane Adams I posted over a year ago. Still, I am happy people seem to enjoy this little side project of mine. Not bad when you consider I almost closed it twice.

  • Rene Bond Tribute on Facebook has almost made it to 100 Likes! I find this particularly gratifying, since I was questioning even continuing it a month ago. There have been some potentially exciting developments happen since then. My hope is that they will eventually lead to my goal - a better picture of who Rene Bond was as a human being.

  • On the other side of the coin, Pictures of Naomi Morinaga has been throttling down a little bit. I never get much feedback on this, but surely someone is visiting it. I've just gone through a couple of image folders there, and don't have as much ambition for it right now. Whether that will return is something I don't wanna guess. However, it WILL be sticking around.

  • I am slowly working my way through the archives here, tagging entries better and fixing some formatting issues that have cropped up on some old posts. I'm only at the end of 2010 right now, so this is not a project that is going to be finished anytime soon. A similar project is occurring on my Tumblr, though that might -- MIGHT -- get done sooner.

  • I have one more blog post sitting in the queue that needs to be finished and posted. Other than that, I am planning on taking the rest of this month off here. I need to recharge the old batteries, and I have at least one (*GASP*) deadline that I need to meet. Barring unforeseen circumstances, of course (and they always seem to come up), it's time for a mini-vacation from blogging.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ellen Page

This post is highly unnecessary in the mountain of reaction to Ellen Page coming out as gay, but I thought I should write it to make a point about something. You see, a couple of years ago, I was reading a story about her on one of those gossipy sites that I try to avoid like the plague. As I perused, I realized something: Ellen Page was gay, or bisexual. This was followed by a second reaction moments later: it's not a big deal to me.

I pretty much went on with my life after that, and didn't give it a lot of thought. It's none of my business, and I still think that today. But Ellen Page made the announcement for HER benefit as much as anyone else, and it clearly WAS a big deal for her. So I applaud her for having the courage to own who she is. Maybe that will even make a difference to someone out there.

How cool would that be for her?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hulk Meets Whale

(You should probably make this one larger to read it.)

I saw this panel from The Defenders #75 (September 1979) in Back Issue #70 recently, and it really struck a chord with me. It's an unusually sensitive and progressive way to get across the Hulk's then-childlike intellect. I am especially taken by the concept of the Hulk seeing his own reflection in the whale's eye. It borders on the profound. Kudos to Ed Hannigan, Herb Trimpe, and Mike Esposito here.

To answer your question, the whale is saved. Because he turns up in a later issue!

(Image borrowed with a tip of the cap from SuperMegaMonkey.)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Eye Poppers

Meet my new pal that I have named "Dollar Bill."

He's very happy to meet you.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

"Let It Whip" by Dazz Band

I have never heard of any connection between this song and Devo's "Whip It." I'm not saying there is a connection; I'm just saying there seemed like there should be to me in high school. Maybe it's just a coincidence, like the apparent one that caused the Dazz Band to share their name with a popular hit song by the band Brick. Brick's "Dazz" was "disco jazz", while the Dazz Band adapted the term (prior to that song's release) to mean "danceable jazz."

Terribly interesting, I know. Just enjoy the tune. Oh, and I feel like I should recognize those female models. Anybody got an ID for any of them?

Monday, February 3, 2014

ListenLikeURBlind: Epilogue(?)

Perhaps you remember the odyssey with ListenLikeURBlind as chronicled here and here in exhausting detail. You might even notice the comments from November from a concerned anon who had the same thing happen to him/her. The last time I bothered checking on any of this business was December 9th, when I added the last screenshot to this collection. That is, until tonight.

Folks, if you try to click the link for the mysteriously "popular" Facebook page, it's gone. If you try to visit the blog, it is now invitation only. And their Twitter? It's been almost a month since there was a tweet there.

I don't know when all this happened (January, if I had to guess). I don't know why it happened. But ListenLikeURBlind on Facebook appears to be history. So sad.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Lordwormm's Owariverse Hits (Vol. 1)

As promised, here's a selection of multi-OC fan arts by Lordwormm that includes Owariverse characters! And yes, there's more to come!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Sphinx by Jeff Weigel

We'll file this under "Seriously Belated." But, in fairness, I wanted to make sure this book was available for order when I wrote about it. It is, and there will be a link at the end of this entry.

I wrote about the Sphinx last year, and that entry outlines a lot of why the book works on an artistic level. So, does it work as a collection? Oh, absolutely. It is smartly packaged, with a number of really attractive extras for those who already own the comics. There's even a text piece from some guy named Elam. No idea what that's all about.

The Sphinx is another worthy addition to "The Big Bang Comics Collection" from Pulp 2.0 Press. You can order it from Amazon here. And keep your eyes peeled, because the review of the next book in that collection will not take quite so long to appear.

...I hope.