Thursday, January 31, 2008

TiVo Wins In Court Again!

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld TiVo Inc.'s claims that Dish Network Corp. infringed on one of its patents. This basically upholds the $89.6 million in damages that EchoStar (Dish) owes TiVo for infringing on TiVo's patent which allows viewers to record one program while watching another. The cable companies better start lining up to license from TiVo or get prepared to reach into some very, very deep pockets as they have all infringed on the TiVo patents.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Strange Adventures #210

Strange Adventures #210 (On Sale: January 30, 1968) features a nice Deadman cover by Neal Adams.

"Hide and Seek" is by Jack Miller and Neal Adams. Deadman decides to check with the police department to find how the investigation of his murder is proceeding. He learns that Detective Michael Riley was assigned to his case, but the cop was fired after he was framed for beating up a suspect. He also learns that one of the witnesses to Riley's attack was a man with a hook.

Deadman takes control of Riley and tracks down witness Peter Bones, an ex-boxer. He gets Bones to confess to the frame job which was instigated by the Hook. Before Riley can summon help, Hook kills Bones and leaves town. Deadman finds evidence which clears Riley and a trail which shows that Hook may have gone to Mexico. Reprinted in Brave and the Bold #100 and Deadman #3.

The first back-up story is "Time-Traveling into the Past and Future," reprinted from Real Fact Comics #4 and drawn by the great science-fiction master Virgil Finlay.

The second back-up is "Designs for Disaster" drawn by Nick Cardy and reprinted from House of Secrets #19.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Monday, January 28, 2008

21 Years Ago Today

Happy 21st Birthday Brian Joseph Keller. It's been a bumpy ride son, but well worth the trouble.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It Isn't Hard To Do

Looking at the last entry on the wonderful music performed on The Mike Douglas Show, here is a song by the "friends" who helped Chuck Berry out with Memphis. Imagine a day-time variety show with John Lennon and Yoko One as the special co-hosts for an entire week; it's really not so hard to do.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

An Ominous TiVo Development

I've mentioned before that I use the TiVoCast function on my TiVo Series II box to download Internet content to my TV for viewing. One of the shows I subscribe to is CNET, which gives me a weekly 15-minute look at technology. This week's episode introduced me to some technology I hoped to never see, and I am not talking about what was on the show, rather what was part of the show's delivery. CNET regularly has a sponsor; this week it was Norton Internet Security from Symantic. A sponsor on these Internet shows is not uncommon and the show actually began with a short commercial.

What was uncommon was what happened next. I was not interested in the first product they were discussing on the show so I hit the TiVo fast forward button and the center of the screen turned into a Norton Internet Security ad. I stopped the fast forward and it stopped. I fast backward and the ad appeared again. Every time I tried to skip something I got an ad. How long till this technology in on all regular TV shows displayed on TiVo? Not that long I would guess as they can obviously charge extra for the ads you now cannot actually skip past.

The "skip 30 seconds" hack should be able to bypass this "feature." I have also noticed that if you start the show, skip past the first ad and stop and save the show, when you reopen it the ads do not appear when skipping unless you go back and replay the beginning of the show (the original ad). I'm sure TiVo will figure out how to get around these issues but I am sure not looking forward to the day they do.

I Am Immortal!

I just found it out today and I have the science to prove it!

Tying It Together

As I mentioned earlier, I recently found a copy of Sunrise Magazine, a freebie published in San Bernardino when I was a teenager. The whole issue is about the coming concert at the Swind Auditorium featuring Lee Michaels, Chuck Berry, Long John Baldry and Jo Jo Gunne. Now I have shown you Lee Michaels and I have shown you the Jo Jo Gunne/Forest Gump video and, seemingly unrelated, I told you about The Mike Douglas Show and what great stars he had on and how they always sang live.

So, tying the Mike Douglas Show and this concert from my youth together in one neat package, I give you Chuck Berry (and friends) from The Mike Douglas Show.

Friday, January 25, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- World's Finest Comics #174

World's Finest Comics #174 (On Sale: January 25, 1968) features an interesting cover by Neal Adams.

"Secret of the Double Death-Wish" is by Cary Bates, Pete Costanza and Jack Abel. Superman and Batman respond to mental reports that the other hero is in trouble. When they arrive at the location given in the report the heroes enter a maze where they face several physical and psychological attacks. After these attacks, the heroes crack and give up their secrets to their captors. I'm not going to say any more about this story; it is one of those "you don't really know what is going on" plots that DC was so infamous for.

The back-up story, "Zero Hour in the Silent City," starring Green Lantern is reprinted from Green Lantern #12 and is by John Broome, Gil Kane and Joe Giella. Pieface, Green Lantern’s friend, begins keeping a case-book of Green Lantern’s exploits. In it, he records a recent adventure.

Hal Jordan is working on a technical problem involving stress on the wings of a new aircraft. Unable to come up with a solution, Hal decides to take some time off and relax. He attends a ballgame and enjoys a date with Carol Ferris. While on the date, he comes up with the solution to his problem. He heads back to the office right away to work on it. During the drive there, Hal remembers that he has forgotten to charge his ring, and it is almost out of power.

Suddenly, all sound in the city around him ceases and everything is quiet. Realizing that something strange is occurring, Hal changes to Green Lantern and investigates. With only a few moments of power in his ring, he tracks the source of the phenomenon to a super-sonic drill being used by some safe-crackers.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Forced Lip-Syncing

The Internet is a strange place, where people do strange things. Check out this video of Eric Carmen and the Raspberries from The Mike Douglas Show.

A couple of things here. First, I loved the Raspberries. I remember when this song came out and for the first day or so everyone was convinced it was some new Paul McCartney band.

Second, I used to run home from school every day to watch The Mike Douglas Show, because he was the only guy who would put actual rock stars (Jethro Tull, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, The Rolling Stones, The Bee Gees, The Turtles, Frank Zappa, KISS, etc.) on TV and let them do their stuff, I mean really do their stuff.

Which brings me to my third point: nobody lip-synced on The Mike Douglas Show; everyone sang live. So, what the fuck is this video?

It's a live Raspberries performance, which someone dubbed the record over the top of, turning it into a lip-sync performance. Don't believe me? Look at this and know the truth!

People do do strange things on the Internet, but I can't imagine what would motivate someone to do fake a lip-syncing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Showcase #73

Showcase #73 (On Sale: January 23, 1968) sports a wonderful cover by Steve Ditko. This is Ditko's first DC cover.

"The Coming of the Creeper" is scripted by Don Segall and plotted and drawn by Steve Ditko. After he is fired from his job as a television show host, Jack Ryder is recruited by a security agency to fight communist agents. Ryder's first assignment is to locate Professor Yatz, a scientist that was kidnapped by Angel Devilin's gang and is to be turned over to the communists.

Ryder tracks the crooks to a costume party. He crashes the party wearing a yellow and green costume with a red rug used as a cape. He soon locates Yatz in a hidden room, but is wounded during a fight. Yatz gives Ryder his scientific secrets including a healing elixir that enhances Ryder's strength and stamina. Ryder also has a tranmuter implanted in his wound which allows him to make his costume disappear and reappear at will. Yatz then destroys the rest of his research.

When the crooks find them, Yatz is shot and killed. Ryder is then forced to flee. His strange appearance and odd behavior including a maniacal laugh sets the crooks on edge. The police arrive on the scene and assume that the newly dubbed Creeper is a crook. Creeper battles the crooks while avoiding the police, until he finally takes down Angel Devilin and communist agent Major Smej. Reprinted in Detective Comics #443.

I'm not sure why they bothered with a Showcase tryout for this book, DC was going to publish the Creeper no matter what, with the first issue of Beware the Creeper coming out two months later. Me, I couldn't have agreed more with DC's move; I have always loved Ditko's Creeper.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Society's Child

I am such a push-over for this song. Every time I hear it I cannot fathom how a girl of 14 could have written it. I heard it this morning on the way to work and it just haunts me how wonderful it is. Janis Ian is a true original. This is from the Smothers Brothers Show.

Heath Ledger

He was one of those actors who could get completely lost in a character and he will be sorely missed.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Run! Run! Run!

As I mentioned earlier, I recently found a copy of Sunrise Magazine, a freebie published in San Bernardino when I was a teenager. The whole issue is about the coming concert at the Swing Auditorium featuring Lee Michaels, Chuck Berry, Long John Baldry and Jo Jo Gunne. I've looked for concert footage of Jo Jo Gunne, but none seems to exist, but I did find this really cleaver take on their one hit Run, Run, Run! put to an edited section of Forest Gump. I think it's a winner!

Friday, January 18, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Batman #200

Batman #200 (On Sale: January 18, 1968) features a nice cover by Neal Adams. Damn, he could even make Robin's silly costume look good.

"The Man Who Radiated Fear" is by Mike Friedrich, Chic Stone and Joe Giella. In a story that recaps the origins of both Batman and Robin, the Scarecrow perfects a fear-radiated pill, which when he swallows it makes Batman and Robin fear him. The paralyzing fear that overcomes Batman makes him unable to fight crime. He returns to the Batcave with Robin and receives a pep talk from Alfred reminding him how he became Batman.

Batman and Robin renew their war on crime. They captures Joker, Killer Moth, and Penguin. On each crook they discover clues which lead them to the Scarecrow. Despite the fear that the villain has induced in him, Batman is able to escape a death trap. He and Robin then defeat the Scarecrow, when the crook becomes scared of them. This classic story was reprinted in Batman in the Sixties TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Love -- Alone Again Or

Back to the live stuff again and also from the Forever Changes Concert in 2002. We miss you Arthur.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Love -- Little Red Book

This is from the king of lip-syncing shows, American Bandstand, but it shows Love at the top of their popularity in 1968. This is one of the most unusual Burt Bacharach songs ever recorded. Who knew Burt could rock? Damn I love this song!

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Spectre #3

Spectre #3 (On Sale: January 16, 1968) features a "Wow!," just gorgeous cover by Neal Adams. Great figures, great costumes, great color!

"Menace of the Mystic Mastermind" is by Mike Friedrich and Neal Adams; this is Friedrich's first story for DC. When two entities from another dimension expend their energies in a war with each other, their bolts cross dimensions. The transdimensional energy arrives on Earth and empowers small-time crook Jack Dold. When Dold discovers his powers he uses them to defeat the aging hero Wildcat.

The Spectre witnesses Wildcat's defeat and comes to the age of his Justice Society comrade. Spectre consoles his friend, then goes after Dold. When the crook uses his new powers, the Spectre is able to track him. The Ghostly Guardian is then able to remove Dold's powers completely, placing the energy in a location where it can never be used again.

Following a suggestion made by the Spectre, Wildcat opens Grant's Gym and begins teaching kids the art of boxing. The gym has given Ted Grant a new purpose and brings the old hero pride. This classic story was reprinted in Adventure Comics #496 and Crisis on Multiple Earths:Team-Ups Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I found the above artwork this weekend while cleaning out the closet in my home office. It is from 1974 and was drawn for a review of Jesus Christ Superstar that I did for my high school newspaper.

I had a love/hate relationship with the school newspaper in this, my senior year. I wanted to be Editor that year, but, in one of the truly embarrassing moments of my life, I was the only person in the journalism class who voted for me. Not even my best friend voted for me. I was made News Editor instead, which meant the front page was mine (or the first and second page when we had an eight-page issue).

I spent hours and hours, when I should have been in other classes, in the journalism room laying out and pasting up that damn paper at the request of the journalism teacher. Then one day while I was in there, she came in with a teacher whose class I was supposed to be in that period and pretended she didn't know what I was doing there, like she hadn't told me to get the paper finished. She said. "You don't belong here." and I said, "You're right; I quit!" and I dropped the class that afternoon. Baron, my best friend who didn't vote for me, took over the News Editor job for the rest of the year.

Looking back on those papers (I found a ton of them in my closet), I can tell which ones I did the layouts for; I had a certain style you see. Too bad I didn't trust white space; these things are super crowded.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Love -- Seven and Seven Is

Staying on music for a bit, the late Arthur Lee and Love were one of my favorite groups. This is from the Forever Changes Concert in 2002, Arthur doing Love's Seven and Seven Is:

This features some of my favorite lyrics:

Seven and Seven Is
by (Arthur Lee) Love

When I was a boy I thought about the times I'd be a man
I'd sit inside a bottle and pretend that I was in a can
In my lonely room I'd sit my mind in an ice cream cone
You can throw me if you wanna 'cause I'm a bone and I go
Oop-ip-ip oop-ip-ip, yeah!

If I don't start cryin' it's because that I have got no eyes
My father's in the fireplace and my dog lies hypnotized
Through a crack of light I was unable to find my way
Trapped inside a night but I'm a day and I go
Oop-ip-ip oop-ip-ip, yeah!

One... Two... Three... Four!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lee Michaels -- Part II

Of course if you were going to remember Lee, you would remember him for this...

Lee Michaels

I was cleaning out the closet in my home office this weekend and came upon a copy of Sunrise Magazine, a freebie published in San Bernardino when I was a teenager. The whole issue is about the coming concert at the Swing Auditorium featuring Lee Michaels, Chuck Berry, Long John Baldry and Jo Jo Gunne. I remember this one well; it was the second time I saw Michaels and as always, he was terrific. Too bad most people have never heard of him; in the 70's he was a headliner.

Friday, January 11, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Green Lantern #59

Green Lantern #59 (On Sale: January 11, 1968) has an excellent Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson cover; this is one of my favorites.

"Earth's Other Green Lantern" is by John Broome, Gil Kane and Sid Greene. On a visit to Oa, Hal Jordan looks back in time to see Abin Sur's death. While watching he learns that before summoning Hal to bequeath him the power ring and battery, the dying alien located another man that met the requirements to become a Green Lantern. Hal was chosen because he was closer, but Guy Gardner was also honest and without fear.

Hal wonders what would have happened if he hadn't been chosen to become Green Lantern. The Guardians then show him a means to see how Guy would have done as GL. In this alternate timeline, Guy receives Abin Sur's ring and becomes Green Lantern.

Gardner uses the ring to fight crime on Earth just like Hal. Their histories are very similar including battles against Sonar, Sinestro, and other foes. However, during one trip home from outer space, Guy takes a route Hal never did. On this route, Guy lands on the planet Ghera where the adult population has died off. The children broke into two groups and are at war with one another. Guy stops the war and brings peace to the world.

When Guy returns to Earth he contracts the same yellow plague that killed the adults of Ghera. As he is dying Guy summons Hal to his side and gives him the power ring. In this hypothetical timeline Hal becomes Green Lantern, just like in the real one.

After watching the events in the alternate timeline, Hal returns to Earth. He then looks up Guy Gardner and starts a friendship with him, but he doesn't tell Guy that he is Green Lantern.

This classic Green Lantern story has been reprinted in Green Lantern #184.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Girls' Romances #131

Girls' Romances #131 (On Sale: January 9, 1968) sports another Tony Abruzzo cover.

The issues begins with "The Strange Ways of Love" drawn by John Rosenberger, which is followed by "Impulsive Heart," a reprint from Girls' Romances #56 inked by Bernard Sachs. The issue ends with our cover story, "Love 'em and Leave 'em," drawn by Tony Abruzzo.

Edited by Barbara Friedlander.

Monday, January 07, 2008


This was the message in the Los Angeles Times this weekend in a full-page advertisment by Yoko Ono:


Take a look at what she has done...

The Fudge - Part III

Can they still rock? Oh yeah! The Vanilla Fudge from 2004:

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Fudge - Part II

This one is really interesting considering that most people have never heard the Vanilla Fudge version of You Keep Me Hanging On. Here is a Japanese cover of the Fudge's version. For all I know the Fudge is playing the music, though the drummer, the only band member you can see, looks Japanese. This is from Act Against AIDS 2006:

Not A Happy Camper

A week ago I took my car into the Mercedes dealer; I had a brake light on and the transmission was beginning to "clunk" into gear from time to time and being that I was starting a new job the next week I wanted everything fixed before I did. Well, they replaced the front brake pads and ran some tests on the transmission and said they did note the problem, but that they had fixed it. They charged me for the brakes and $120 for the "minor" transmission work and sent me on my way.

On Thursday I lost my transmission during rush hour on what is known as "The Orange Crush," one of the most over-crowded sections of freeway in California. Amazingly enough I was not hit by anyone, though I had to sit in my car in the number three lane for ten minutes or so with my foot on the brake to keep from rolling back into other cars. An emergency tow-truck came and pulled me off the freeway and I called Triple-A and they came and towed me back to the dealer.

On Friday they called to say I needed a new transmission and it would be $8,977. I just about shit myself. They obviously did not correct the problem when I brought it in to them and told them there were issues with the tranny and now that they let it completely fall apart they want me to fork over nine grand? I called their customer complaint line and we started talking.

On Saturday they called to say that they were going to actually open the transmission up to see what was wrong with it, that they might be able to repair it. I asked if maybe they should have done that before telling me I needed a new transmission, but they ignored my question.

More on this as it progresses.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Fudge - Part I

As outrageous as the two versions of Stairway to Heaven by the Beatnix are, they reminded me of a band I have always loved, a band that made their living doing completely unique cover versions of hit songs: The Vanilla Fudge. Here is a live version of their take on a Supremes classic taken from The Ed Sullivan Show in 1968:

A Different Version

My good friend Tony Isabella turned us all on to this on the Tony Board today and I thought it was so good I would share it here as well...

Seeing this got me looking for other Beatnik videos. Most of them are dead-on takes of Beatle songs, but I was very surprised to find this one which I would put on an album called The Song Remains The Same, but that's just me...

Friday, January 04, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Adventures of Jerry Lewis #105

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #105 (On Sale: January 4, 1968) features a cover attributed to Bob Oksner, but the Superman figure looks like an old Wayne Boring figure to me.

"Superman Meets Jerry" is by Arnold Drake and Bob Oksner. I didn't read any of these Jerry Lewis issues, with the singular exception of the issue where Jerry met the Flash. Looking back on it now that seems rather strange as I remember re-reading that issue over and over, so I must have really thought it was funny. You would think that would have moved me to purchase more issues, but, for some reason, it did not.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Superboy #145

Superboy #145 (On Sale: January 2, 1968) features just another cool Neal Adams cover.

"The Fantastic Faces" is by Otto Binder, George Papp and Frank Springer. Jolax, the head of Galaxo Movie Studios in the dimension known as Thraxx, has created a new show for that dimension's equivalent of television. When most people believe the show is filmed in Jolax's studio, it is really filmed with a telescope that can penetrate dimensions and features Superboy. The show is a hit, but sponsors want Jolax to cast younger foster parents for the Boy of Steel. To accomplish this, Jolax sends a youth formula to Smallville and puts it in the Kents' well water.

When the Jonathan and Martha drink the water they their youth is restored. Superboy initially thinks the effect is temporary, but soon realizes it is permanent. Fearing that the sudden youth of his parents will draw suspicion that Clark is Superboy, the Boy of Steel arranges for other senior citizens of Smallville to drink the water. He then creates a phony comet which is blamed for the youth effect. Superboy's identity is safe, and the Kents remain young.

The back-up is "Superboy Meets William Tell" from Superboy #84 and is by Jerry Siegel and George Papp. Clark Kent is assigned to write a report about William Tell. To research the facts, he travels back in time as Superboy. Superboy witnesses the events that lead to Tell shooting the apple off his son’s head. Just prior to the historic event, Tell’s confidence is shaken. Superboy allows Tell to practice on him as an invulnerable target. Tell eventually gets it right before the actual event in which he succeeds on the first try.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

How To Prove That You Are The Slimiest

It is hard to stand out from the mob of slimy Republicans running for president, but that creep Mike Huckabee has found a way to distance himself from the pack, proving that when it comes to being a slimy politician, Huckabee is king:

The Canary

This is the next in my series of dancers, another Flamenco dancer and my favorite of this group. This is NuPastels on 12x16 black Canson Mi-Tientes paper. My goal was to capture the motion and energy of the body in frenetic action. Rather than paint this as I normally would, I built up the shapes by making small horizontal marks with the hard pastel sticks, building up the tones slowly one color at a time. My instructor loved this one and suggested that I do one life-sized using the same technique and i must say I find something very appealing in that idea.

Happy Nude Rear!

One of my favorite models, Lisa, is back again wishing everyone a Happy Nude Rear.

Here is this year's card. Enjoy!