Marvel Team Up 4 OG

Marvel Team-Up No. 4 Cover by Kane & Giacoia

I was a wee lad in the summer of 1972. I liked Spider-Man a lot. His cartoon (the 1967 series) was on TV (and still rules today). But it wasn't until Mom gave me 20¢ in the drugstore that I bought a copy of this, my first comic.

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Nelvana of the North OG

Nelvana of the North : Then and Now

Recently, I was asked to quote on restoring Nelvana of the North, an important Canadian-made comic from the Second World War era. While the people in charge chose to go down a different path, here's how I would have done it.

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John Carter Of Mars Gold Key OG

John Carter of Mars by Francesco Francavilla

Francesco Francavilla makes great comic book art. He did this one back in 2010 for his Pulp Sunday blog. His subtle colour palette brings out the gritty pulp feel he was going for. He'd been inspired by Gold Key's Korak, Son of Tarzan comics of the late 60s. So here it is with those elements reconstructed and some more of my comic colouring.

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Hiding TMB Files

Advanced WP File Manager : Hiding .tmb Directories

If you're using the Advanced WP File Manager 2.x WordPress plugin from RedHawk Studio – available through Code Canyon – you may have found .tmb directories showing up. This can be confusing to you and your clients.

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Outer Space 20 Cover OG

Outer Space No. 20 Cover by Dick Giordano

One of my favourite Dick Giordano Charlton covers is this issue from 1958. The machinery is reminiscent of Wally Wood's, and the astronaut figure is classic Giordano. I sometimes think the alien is saying, "I will name him George, and I will hug him, and pet him…"

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Son Of Vulcan 51 14 OG

Son of Vulcan No. 51 by Kaler, Fraccio & Tallarico

Son of Vulcan was Charlton Comics' answer to Marvel Comics' Thor, God of Thunder (and rock'n'roll). Johnny Mann received powers and weapons from Vulcan, and made an eternal enemy of the god of war, Mars.

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Captain Atom 90 OG

Captain Atom No. 90 (1967) Cover by Steve Ditko

With this cover for the unpublished Captain Atom No. 90, the art by Steve Ditko is in very good condition, but the logos are in poor condition. Pieces are missing, some are damaged, and there are dropouts of fine lines from the production process. Another one Charlton left unpublished, to be later included in The Charlton Bullseye, Volume 1, Nos. 1 and 2. Also collected by DC in The Action Heroes Archive 2.

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Blue Beetle 6 OG

Blue Beetle No. 6 (1967) Cover by Steve Ditko

Blue Beetle No. 6 never saw print as a comic. Why Charlton would leave a full comic sitting on the shelf is beyond me. It eventually surfaced in CPL No. 9/10 (aka The Charlton Portfolio), and DC included it in the The Action Heroes Archive 2.

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Comics Cavalcade Weekly OG

Charlton Comics Cavalcade Weekly

As Charlton Comics' managing editor in the 1960s, Dick Giordano, put together the Action Heroes line with talents that included Joe Gill, Steve Ditko, Pete Morisi, Pat Boyette, Frank Mclaughlin and others. Charlton was petering out in the mid 80s, so DC bought the rights to those characters and presented them to Giordano – now DC's executive editor – as a gift.

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Out Of This World 16 OG

Out of This World No. 16 Cover by Steve Ditko

We conclude the Out of This World run with another Steve Ditko cover. No. 16 from December 1959, does indeed have Ditko art on it, but it was made from interior panels by Charlton Comics' production staff as a cost-saving measure. No new art, no new fee paid to Ditko.

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Out Of This World 15 OG

Out of This World No. 15 Cover by Molno & Alascia

The Ovoid – a big stiff – came to kill, but who knows about Xondu? Bill Molno returns to the cover of Out of This World after starting off the series with Nos. 1 and 2. Inked by Vince Alascia. October 1959, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 13 OG

Out of This World No. 13 Cover by Nicholas & Alascia

In a switch from previous covers, Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia show three of the issue's stories, a device used on the next two covers as well. Who knows who lives at 33 Oak Street? And will they mow their lawn more often? May 1959, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 12 OG

Out of This World No. 12 Cover by Steve Ditko

I felt bad for Steve Ditko on this one. His invaders from the Earth's core are about to be crushed by a tan starburst. Maybe it was intended to float over the diver's head. March 1959, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 11 OG

Out of This World No. 11 Cover by Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko returns to Out of This World with this iconic cover for the January 1959 issue. Earth had to do something about being mooned. Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 10 OG

Out of This World No. 10 Cover by Nicholas & Alascia

I like this cover. Just a little scene in an artist's studio. Someone needs painting lessons, and perhaps an exorcism. October 1958, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 9 OG

Out of This World No. 9 Cover by Masulli & Mastroserio

The next Out of This World cover. Even in the 1950s, time management was stressful. August 1958, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 8 OG

Out of This World No. 8 Cover by Maurice Whitman

Continuing the Out of This World cover series. When the Almighty gets bored, he swats at us like we're mosquitoes. May 1958, Charlton Comics.

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Batman Family 19 OG

Batman Family No. 19 Cover by Michael Wm Kaluta

Batman Family stands out among the late 1970s Batman books. The last few issues, oversized dollar comics, featured the work of Michael Golden, Jim Starlin, Marshall Rogers, P. Craig Russell, and this fellow, Michael Wm. Kaluta. The published version pulls most of the artwork off the black plate for a white-out day scene. I wondered what the exact opposite might look like. Here's a recoloured version.

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Ms Tree Substance OG

Ms. Tree by Collins & Beatty

Ms. Tree is the longest-running private eye series in American comics. Created by Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty, the character first appeared in 1981. Here's a house ad for the book from Renegade Press, 1986, with freshly-applied colour.

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Out Of This World 7 OG

Out of This World No. 7 Cover by Steve Ditko

When Steve Ditko draws, it's superfluous to label it strange, different and unusual. February 1958, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 5 OG

Out of This World No. 5 Cover by Steve Ditko

Nothing ruins a day of scuba diving like coming upon a giant sea serpent. September 1957, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 3 OG

Out of This World No. 3 Cover by Steve Ditko

It seems that in the 1950s there was an inordinate fear of giant hands appearing in unlikely places. Case in point: while mountain climbing or spelunking. March 1957, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 1 OG

Out of This World No. 1 Cover by Molno & Alascia

Ham-radio-operating dino dogs mess with air traffic control. In the 1950s, they thought this would be a pressing problem in the future. August 1956, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 6 OG

Out of This World No. 6 Cover by Steve Ditko

Out of body? Out of this world? Dead? Alive? November 1957, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 4 OG

Out of This World No. 4 Cover by Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko can fascinate and freak you out at the same time, and it started long before his run on Dr. Strange. June 1957, Charlton Comics.

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Outland Press Kit OG

Outland : The Press Kit

Outland was released in 1981, very much a product of the popularity science-fiction films were enjoying during the time period. While the film was expected to do well, it was a modest success at best, making back little more than its budget on initial release. Since then, it has remained in print in the home video market. The DVD and Blu-ray releases are very good – if a little light on special features – with the Blu-ray being exceptionally clear and vibrant.

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Finding Forrester Press Kit OG

Finding Forrester : The Press Kit

I had never seen a press kit for a feature film before and I came across this one for Finding Forrester, one of Sean Connery's best of his later period. Produced in 2000, it was a few years before these things went digital. It included a package of stories about the film, black & white 8x10 photos and colour slides.

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Waterworks Chevrolet Suburban OG

The 1946 Chevrolet Suburban Calgary Police Paddy Wagon

Back in the summer of 1988 or 1989, there was a music festival on Prince's Island Park in Calgary. The police had brought out their vintage paddy wagon and in those pre-internet days, I had never seen anything like it before. I took a number of photos of it.

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Blade Runner Syd Mead Spinner OG

The Blade Runner Spinner by Syd Mead

Syd Mead, futurist designer, has few peers in the fields of industrial design and commercial illustration. And he accomplished all that before he worked on Blade Runner.

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Mars Attacks Figure OG

Mezco Mars Attacks Action Figure

Mezco Toys has released an action figure based on the Martian soldier from the Topps trading card series (which inspired the Tim Burton film).

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Bernie Wrightson Colour the Creature OG

Colouring Bernie Wrightson Monsters

The late Bernie Wrightson is one of those ink artists that just dazzles with his work. From composition to lighting to his glee in creating scenes of horror, they're images that reward the viewer as you follow every line.

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David B Mattingly Pellucidar OG

Pellucidar Covers by David B. Mattingly

In 1990, David B. Mattingly was commissioned by Del Rey/Ballantine Books to paint the covers for Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar series. Mattingly delivered some very nice pieces that were unfortunately paired with some pretty overbearing typography. The age of coverlines had finally taken over.

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Phantom Aparo OG

The Phantom by Jim Aparo

Jim Aparo is better known for his DC Comics work on such books as The Brave & the Bold, Aquaman and The Spectre. Just prior to moving over to DC, he was a regular artist on Charlton Comics' version of The Phantom.

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John Carter of Mars Poster OG

John Carter of Mars 2: The Gods of Mars Poster

A set of teaser posters for John Carter of Mars II: The Gods of Mars. With Disney having let their option lapse after acquiring the Star Wars franchise, perhaps Warner Bros. will explore the world of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

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Robert K Abbett Jcom OG

John Carter of Mars Covers by Robert K. Abbett

In 1963, Robert K. Abbett was commissioned by Ballantine Books to paint the covers for Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series. 1965 saw the addition of John Carter of Mars as the 11th book, and Thuvia received a new cover in 1969. Abbett would also paint a Tarzan series of covers.

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Disney Mars And Beyond OG

John Carter of Mars: Disney's Mars and Beyond

Long before Andrew Stanton got the green light to make John Carter (of Mars) for Disney, Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars was included in Mars and Beyond, aired as a Tomorrow Land episode of Disneyland on December 4, 1957.

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Frank Schoonover Princess Of Mars Cover OG

eBook: A Princess of Mars Cover by Frank E. Schoonover

One of the classic editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars is the first printing, published by A.C. McClurg & Co. in 1917. Frank E. Schoonover, a top illustrator of the day, painted the cover and interior plates. Schoonover was a student of the master Howard Pyle – as was NC Wyeth – and there are definite similarities between the artists.

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Gino Dachille John Carter Of Mars OG

John Carter of Mars Covers by Gino D'Achille

As I have said elsewhere, my first encounter with Edgar Rice Burroughs was in the elementary school library in 1974. I was nine and I saw The Chessmen of Mars with a cover painted in 1973 by Gino D'Achille.

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Neal Adams Tarzan Covers OG

Tarzan Covers by Neal Adams and Boris Vallejo

I have to credit Neal Adams for getting me to read my first Edgar Rice Burroughs' book – Tarzan of the Apes – in 1977. Having read his DC Comics work, Neal Adams was the epitome of what comics could be to a 12-year-old boy. That he did some of his best painting work on these covers for Ballantine in 1976 is what drew me to buy the book.

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Michael Whelan John Carter Of Mars Covers OG

John Carter of Mars Covers by Michael Whelan

In 1979, Del Rey/Ballantine Books commissioned Michael Whelan to paint new covers for Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars novels, succeeding Gino D'Achille's 1973 series.

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We Choose To Go To The Moon

JFK: We Choose to Go to the Moon

I'm just old enough to remember the last of the Moon landings in the early 70s. It seemed normal, like it was what people did. But the Moon missions were soon cancelled, and we haven't seen a person walking on another planet since. We had to satisfy ourselves with robotic probes like Viking's mission to Mars. And then the shuttle came, but it never got out of orbit.

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Out Of This World 14 OG

Out of This World No. 14 Cover by Dick Giordano

Dick Giordano is one of my influences as a comic book artist. I only met him once at the San Diego Comicon in 1989, but back when I was a teenager in the early 80s writing letters to Batman comics, he was their editor, and he took the time to write a couple of short notes back to me. When I met him, he was at the helm during one of DC's best periods.

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Atomic Robo In The Lab OG

Atomic Robo : In the Lab

Atomic Robo is a great comic series published by Red 5 Comics out of Calgary. They have a few graphic novels out now. All are witty and fun, and deeper than they appear on the surface.

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The Starlost Compendium OG

The Starlost Compendium

The Starlost was a television series that aired primarily on NBC in the U.S. and CTV in Canada during 1973. Created by Harlan Ellison – with technical details on the ship by Ben Bova – it was an early foray into Canadian-American co-production and syndication release.

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Kodak Pulse Networking OG

Don't You Have to Be in the Room to Take My Pulse?

I had thought about getting a digital photo frame, but had been kind of on the fence because I couldn't be bothered with the hassle of plugging it into the computer or sticking a flash drive into it to upload photos to it.

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When the Sky Fell OG

eBook: When the Sky Fell

When the Sky Fell details a scientific theory about Earth crust displacement first put forth by Charles Hapgood, and expanded on by Rand and Rose Flem-Ath. Albert Einstein supported Hapgood's work. The theory also dovetails with Plato's description of the end of Atlantis, and the many flood myths in ancient literature. When the Sky Fell was first published in the 1990s, and I was at one point working on the updated version to be published as an ebook.

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eBook: The Forbidden Manuscript

This book is in the vein of The DaVinci Code, and I chose to create the design for it as something more than an average mass-market item.

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Assignment: Earth eBook

"Assignment: Earth" aired in the spring of 1968 as the last episode of the second season of the original Star Trek. It began, however, as a completely separate pilot script by Gene Roddenberry almost two years earlier.

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Iron Man in HD

Perfection Ain't Perfect (or The Scourge of Hyphens)

I was in the Sony Store in the mall, looking for replacement rubber tips for my in-ear headphones. While the guy went in the back to retrieve this low-demand, low-cost-but-easy-to-steal item, I watched a bit of Iron Man in high-def Blu-ray on a big Bravia.

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