Archive for August, 2011

Because I was out of town, I managed to miss a couple of significant cultural anniversaries. One was the 50th anniversary of the first real Marvel superhero comic, the Fantastic Four, by Stan Lee and Jack “King” Kirby. Mark Evanier explains why it had a November cover date. Check out this hour-long Kirby documentary. And here’s a link to the intro to the FF TV show.
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The other was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lucille Ball. I watched most, if not all, of the episodes of every single one of her ongoing series, from the seminal I Love Lucy (1951-1957; 8.9 out of 10 on the IMDB scale), which started before even TV Guide and I were born, but lives through the clever concept known as the rerun; to the star-studded (and too long, in my recollection) episodes of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957-1960; 8.6); to The Lucy Show (1962–1968; 7.3), which was the one with Lucy as Lucy Carmichael, Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz in the earlier shows) as Viv, and Gale Gordon as Lucy’s testy boss, Mr. Mooney.
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Somehow, I was largely unaware of the music of the “progressive rock” group Genesis, which was formed in the late 1960s, until its 1974 album. The title track to The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway [listen] got a bit of airplay in this area. Shortly after this album, lead singer Peter Gabriel left the group over personal and artistic differences, with Phil Collins taking over the lead vocals of Genesis. Gabriel would eventually initiate a solo career.

His first album (1977) was called Peter Gabriel and featured the song Solsbury Hill [listen], which was about his departure from Genesis, as well as the first version of Here Comes the Flood, which Gabriel claimed was overproduced Read the rest of this entry »


Kathyrn Dawn Lang was born on the 2nd of November, 1961 in Consort, Alberta, Canada, which means she turns 50 this year. For reasons more complex than I need to note here, I always associate the country singer turned chaunteuse with an ex of mine.

Anyway, this is a lovely song from k.d. lang’s 2000 Invincible Summer album, Summerfling, which came out well past the time I broke up with my ex.

From here.

Lot 92038 Dave Cockrum The X-Men Chronicles Painted Cover Original Art (FantaCo Enterprises, Inc. 1981)….
Auction: 2011 May New York Signature Vintage Comics & Comic Art Auction #7033

Auction Ended On: May 5, 2011
Item Activity: 12 Internet/mail/phone bidders
700 page views

Dave Cockrum The X-Men Chronicles Painted Cover Original Art (FantaCo Enterprises, Inc. 1981). This Bronze Age beauty is but the third Cockrum X-Men-themed cover we’ve offered to date. Most devoted 1980s Marvel fans will remember the Chronicles, which was packed with good information on the team and its creators. The X-Men issue sold 50,000 copies, a record for a fan magazine at the time.
As a note of provenance, our consignor, the publisher of this fan-favorite publication, bought this iconic cover directly from Cockrum after the issue was published. This mixed media masterwork has an image area of 10.5″ x 15.75″, and the piece has been matted to an overall size of 23.5″ x 19″. The art is in Excellent condition.
Cockrum, Dave: Dave Cockrum was born in Pendleton, Oregon, the son of an Air Force officer. After spending six years in the U.S. Navy, he moved to New York and accepted a job at Warren Publishing, his first professional work. After Warren, Cockrum became a background inker for Murphy Anderson at DC comics. Eventually, he got his first big break, landing the dream job of penciling the Legion of Superheroes. His groundbreaking work on The Legion’s character designs and costume changes lasted for over a decade. His tenure at DC was short lived however, as a dispute led him to work at Marvel. At the House of Ideas, Cockrum co-created, along with Len Wein, The New X-Men, the franchise that went on to give Marvel enormous financial success in the following decades, introducing such characters such as Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Mystique. He later went on to create the comic book, The Futurians, which had a short run as a monthly series and then as a trade paperback. In his later years he drew covers for the Blackhawk relaunch, and worked for Valiant, Defiant, Broadway and Claypool Comics. Dave Cockrum suffered from diabetes and finally succumbed to his illness on November 26th, 2006 . Comic Art
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I’ve told the story of this cover before:

FantaCo had asked Wendy Pini to do the X-Men Chronicles cover. Wendy and Richard Pini were known for doing the Elfquest comic book, and had done a number of in-store signings. She called back on May 21, 1981, to decline, but she gave us Paty Cockrum’s number at Marvel so that we could contact her husband Dave.

As editor of the publication, I had arranged with Dave, the artist who helped revive the X-Men, to have the cover drawn and sent up to us. Unfortunately, Dave got a little behind. So I took a train from Albany to NYC, to the Marvel offices, and met Dave. He gave me the painted cover – WHICH WAS STILL WET! He was very pleasant and apologetic. I carried the cover carefully on the subway back to the train station, then back up to Albany.
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So I have an odd emotional attachment to that cover. It’s not that I wanted to buy it, certainly not for $7,767.50. But it did hit my nostalgia bone.

The Daughter was still away, and the Wife, surprisingly, suggest we see TWO movies in one day. Was she kidding? That’d be the kind of crazy idea I’d come up with. But after the 12:10 pm showing of The Help, we went home to have supper, then went out for the 6:40 pm showing of Crazy, Stupid, Love.; crazy, stupid, punctuation.. It had gotten mostly positive reviews. And this would become a mini Emma Stone film festival.

So we went to see C,S,L. and we both loved it! And now I’m trying to deconstruct why. Part of it is that it got right to the storyline without a lot of exposition. In that first scene in the car Read the rest of this entry »

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