Friday, October 30, 2009

Archie Finally Does it Right!

After years of ignoring their past, Archie is FINALLY doing it right, by reprinting their older material in a format intended for collectors. Above you see the cover of the first volume of the collected newspaper strips. These will be followed by various volumes of comic book material focusing on a particular artist or characters in hardback collections. Also, there are now DVD-ROMs that compile a goodly amount of Archie comic book material in archival form.

Who says that material like this has to be only about superheroes. The clincher on this is that the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) in New York is running an art show featuring original artwork from the 40s to the present. The show runs from November through January and features contributions by yours truly, who also brought you the Harvey Art Show last year.

Let me know if you need any further information about any of these Archie products or shows.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mark Arnold LIVE! on KSCU (Nov. 4, 2009)

I'm scheduled to appear as a guest to talk about my book and other projects live on KSCU radio 103.3 on Wednesday, November 4, at 9pm. Listen, if you're local.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Here's the "Mad" Ad

My dad came through and found a copy of the ad I was looking for in the last blog entry. Although this one is a call for artists, I'm sure if there was a writer's ad, it would have been very similar. Anyway, this ad originally appeared in the September 23, 1956 edition of "The New York Times".

I had contacted Sam Viviano of "Mad" and he did not have a copy and once my dad located this in a local library to me, I sent Sam a copy for the "Mad" archives. Sam said that this ad also is rumored to have been answered by Mort Drucker and Norman Mingo, among others.

The writer ad was supposed to have been responded to by Paul Laikin and Frank Jacobs, but they may have just responded to this same ad, placed by Al Feldstein when Harvey Kurtzman left "Mad" and took virtually the entire staff with him.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mad Magazine Help

I am writing a book on "Cracked" magazine and one of the interview subjects was Paul Laikin, who has worked for every black and white humor magazine over the years, being editor for many of them, too, including "Cracked", "Sick" and "Wacko". Anyway, Laikin was the first of two writers hired by "Mad" after Harvey Kurtzman left with the staff. New editor Al Feldstein placed an ad in the "New York Times" in 1956-57 for new writers and two respondees were hired: Laikin and Frank Jacobs. Laikin stayed with "Mad" until about 1959 and Jacobs is still there to this day.

What I need is a copy of this help wanted ad. Please let me know if you have access to a copy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wonka Bashing

I was reading through Amazon comments about "Willy Wonka" and decided to respond to one of them for kicks. Here's the original post and my rebuttal.

One Sick puppy..., November 15, 2008
A Kid's Review

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of those movies thats just so twisted its not even funny. The first time I saw this movie, I was about four and it scared the crap out of me. I remember the sadistic, demented Willy Wonka played by Gene Wilder (Who is probably the best thing this movie has as a fan of his other movies.)and the hellish Oompa Lompas with their little songs. Let's not forget that tunnel w/ the snakes and chickens, I had nightmares for months. Was it wrong that I felt sorry for the fat boy who got sucked up the tunnel? Or the little girl who got turned into that blueberry? I mean it was sick!!! Their kids they don't even know their behavior is wrong! I mean of course I know its fake but still. You never even know what happened to them (their actually is a small line about them being alright but I didn't hear it until like the 3rd viewing.) The special effects a downright terrible, even for back then. The chocolate river looked like some kiddy w/ mud in it. The musical scores (Besides "The Candy Man") were downright awful.
What I don't understand most is that this movie is considered a classic. Its played regularly on tv, and was shown almost daily at my school. If this movie is for you that's fine, you're entitled to your opinion, no need to bash me in your comments, that's just stupid. All I want to say is that I have no idea how a movie that was a critical and box office flop became regarded as a children's classic. This movie is way to disturbing for young children and maybe some adults. I'm even a fan of the book and I don't like this. What we fans need to a truth to the book adaption. Then we'll be satisfied.

and now my response:

I'll take issue with your comments as well (just for kicks). Anyway, I saw this movie originally when I was 4 in the theater in 1971 upon first release! Yes, it was freaky and weird and a bit disturbing especially during the boat ride, but it became my favorite movie of all time, and leaps and bounds greater than that inferior "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" movie, which I so much wanted to love, too, but couldn't, and "Charlie" WAS more faithful to the book.

The main problem with the book is Roald Dahl. Even though I love him as an author and he has great ideas, some of his book ideas really don't translate well to the motion picture screen and "Willy Wonka" solved the majority of those book problems and made it a better story, as a result.

Strange if you are a fan of the book, as you state, then you should remember the kid sucked up the tube and the girl who got turned into a blueberry as those remained unchanged from the book.

Actually for years it WASN'T played on TV. It was, in the early 70s, but by the late 70s through the mid-80s due to ownership changes from Paramount to Warner Bros, it remained strangely hidden from view.

Finally, I take great issue with your comment "The special effects are downright terrible, even for back then". Actually, they were state-of-the-art for 1971. Really! When the words pop up saying "brat" and "cat" and "mother" and "father", those were actually the very first computer graphics, and this was the first feature film to use them. They were also used at the same time on "Sesame Street" and the then brand-new "Electric Company" TV shows. Without those effects, you wouldn't have all those Pixar films and all those feature films you have nowadays that rely so much on computer animated effects, including "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". In "Willy Wonka", this was the best you could do in 1971. You can't bash a film's special effects for that.

Of course, you are entitled to your own opinions, but please do some research before making "factual" statements that are presented as "truth".

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Many Casper Comics Coming Out

These are the covers of some various "Casper" comic books out now or coming soon. The three are the new "Casper and the Spectrals" series (issues #1 and 2 shown here), the "Casper 60th Anniversary Book" and the "Casper Halloween Treat" giveaway (also featuring "Little Lulu"). There's even more soon, but I've been sworn to secrecy for a little while longer....

Harvey in Roy Thomas' "Alter Ego" #89

Make sure to pick up Roy Thomas' "Alter Ego" #89. It has extensive coverage of Harvey's horror and superhero titles. Basically, it covers everything non-humor, although it does talk about "Flip!". Yours truly helped out with some of the information and images.