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: