Monday, December 10, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #165

Today's Little Golden Book is DC Super Friends: Big Heroes which was released May 2011.
Trouble comes in many shapes and sizes, but no trouble is too big for the world's mightiest heroes. When the Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Superman, and Batman unite to save the day, they are known as the Super Friends! This book is based on the Super Friends toy line and comic book series which ran from May 2008 until the final issue (#29) in Sept 2010. My son and I bought this comic each month and enjoyed it immensely, but as you can see, the final issue sported the Bat-Mite on the cover. Was it just a coincidence that this was the last issue of the series, or was the apperance of the Bat-Mite the point where the series jumped the shark, kinda like when they introduced Scrappy-Doo to the Scooby-Doo series, or the Great Gazoo to the Flintstones.

In any event, it's nice to see the DC Super Friends continuing to live on in the Little Golden Book series.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

TV Week Fall Preview 2012 - Part 2

The second Fall Preview issue of TV Week magazine is the Returning Series issue. Being a big TV fan as well as a magazine reader / collector, I always look forward to these issues. The cover date of this issue is September 15-21, 2012, with a cover price of $4.99.
Along with all the weekly TV listings (which I haven't looked at in years), you will find a listing of all the returning series for the new season. The list of my favorite returning shows includes: Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, 30 Rock, Community, Don't Trust the B.... In Apartment 23, How I Met Your Mother, Last Man Standing, The Middle, Modern Family, The Office, Raising Hope, Subugatory, Supernatural, and two shows that were not listed in this issue, but I happen to know are returning, Burn Notice and my favorite current TV show, Psych!
Check out the list of cancelled shows. Of the 45 shows on the list, the only ones I will miss are Chuck (which I knew was in its last season last year), Breaking In (which was not that good once they brought it back from the dead), and Rob which was good but not great - I mostly liked Fernando (Cheech Marin) and his goofy brother in law Hector.

Then there are new shows from last season that have been renewed. There are 4 new shows from last season that are on my PVR record list; 2 Broke Girls, Don't Trust the B... In Apartment 23, Last Man Standing, and Suburgatory. I started watching Up All Night and Whitney, but I was ignoring both by mid season.
I've got a ton of shows I am recording / watching each week, so its a good thing I spend the later half of the summer watching / deleting everything off my my PVR so that I have space for all the new shows I will be watching!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #164

Today's Little Golden Book is DC Super Friends Batman! The book was released back in May 2012, just two months before the release of the summer blockbuster, The Dark Night, so I am sure it enjoyed the extra hype that came along with the release of the movie. Since Batman is my favorite comic book hero, I had this on my list to pick up as soon as it was released, but once again, it took a while as I could not find it anywhere in my area. I picked up my copy at the Barnes and Noble in Bellingham, WA.
Batman doesn't have superpowers. Instead, he uses his brains and crime-fighting tools to catch crooks and bring in the bad guys. It says so right there on page 4 of the book. I think that is why I like Batman so much. My favorite superheroes are Batman, Daredevil and Captain America, all superheroes who don't have typical superpowers.
And hey, what's with Superman there in the background of the cover. That's a Bat Signal in the sky, not a giant "S" in the sky. I guess things are slow in Metropolis.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #163

Today's Little Golden Book is the Amazing Spider-man from Marvel. I'm glad to see both Marvel and DC comic characters showing up in recent Little Golden Books. It was not that long ago that Little Golden Books stopped using licenced properties in favor of original titles such as the The Little Red Caboose and Scruffy the Tugboat. Once that happened, it became harder and harder to find stores that stocked the books. Now that they once again have started to publish licenced titles such as Marvel, DC and Disney, many stores have not returned to carrying  the books, which makes finding them (at least in my area) a bit of a challenge. As I said a couple of Mondays ago, I have been picking them up at a local drug store that carries them in its tiny book/magazine section.
Being a big comic book collector and a fan of Spider-man, this was a great addition to my collection. This particualr book is not a story, but rather a mini guide book, listing some of Spider-man's many villians as well as his orgin.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

TV Week Fall Preview 2012 - Part 1

It's that time of year again when I start watching even more TV than usual... and that is a lot! Its the new fall TV season, which brings with it a new crop of shows for us to check out. Although each year there seems to be less and less new stuff I am interested, there are a few shows that look like they may be worth a look.
Here in Canada we no longer have the print edition of TV Guide magazine, so I make sure to pick up our TV magazine, TV Week. As in previous years they have done two consecutive issues, the first one being the Fall Preview issue showcasing 48 new shows. The second issue is the returning series issue.

Today I will focus on the first issue and go though the list of new shows I am planning to check out:

Revolution - A sci-fi drama from J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke, every source of energy abruptly stops working, causing the entire word to come to a halt. Fifteen years later, America has plunged back to the Dark Ages - literally - as what's left of the country is ruled by a despot who sends armed militia groups to terrorize the small agrarian communities that have sprung up, while cities have become lawless, dangerous hives of criminal activity.
Looks like it could be good, but since its an hour long show, I may find it hard to devote the time to watch it, and its listed as a drama, so that gets points off for me. Bottom line, this will probably be my Terra Nova from last season, I recorded all the episodes on my DVR and then ended up deleting them all after watching about 20 minutes of the first episode.

Ben and Kate - a comedy following Kate who is a young single mother who dropped out of university after an accidental pregnancy, and missed out on her 20s while devoting herself to raising her young daughter.
I have already watched the first episode and I think that if they second episode is as good as the first, I won't be bothering to watch the third episode.

Anger Management - Charlie Sheen, the tiger blood drinking, duh winning reject from Two and Half Men, stars as an anger-management therapist in this new comedy.
I have already watch the first 6 episodes online over the summer and it seems pretty good. I watched some entertainment show that featured a sneak peek at the show and interviewed the cast etc. They kept saying who the cast was so amazing. I would disagree with that, as I find the cast to be a little underwhelming. Its a good show, but could be even better with a better supporting cast.

Go On - Newest comedy to star Matthew Perry. This time he is ordered by his boss to undergo 'life-change' counselling to get over his grief.
I have seen the first episode and it was good, but I liked his show from last year Mr Sunshine better.

The Mindy Project - Mindy, who's been promoted to star after years at The Office plays an OB/GYN who grew up obsessed with romantic comedies.
I was never a fan of Mindy Kaling on The Office, so was not expecting much from this one, and after one episode, I will not be returning. Definitely a chick  comedy.

Animal Practice - Veterinarian George Coleman loves animals but hates the people who own them. Dr. Coleman is in charge of an eccentric crew of vets and animal handlers in New York City's Crane Animal Hospital, a place so zany that a monkey named Dr. Rizzo wears a while coat and rides through the halls atop a tiny ambulance.
This new comedy has gotten such awful reviews that I bet I enjoy it!

Guys With Kids - This sitcom follows the adventures of a trio of recent fathers as they vainly keep trying to do the kind of cool guy stuff they used to before parenthood turned them into henpecked wusses who never have fun.
I saw the first episode and it was pretty funny. Probably will be my favorite of the new shows this season.

The Neighbors - Fed up with living in the city, the Weavers move to a sleepy suburb, but quickly realize their new neighbours are seriously weird. The Weavers discover, the entire cul-de-sac is inhabited by creepy green aliens who've taken human form and named themselves after famous sports figures.
I saw the first episode and really wanted to like it, but ended up finding it to be pretty lame. TV Week gave it a D+. I think the + was a little generous. Too bad, as this is the sort of silly stuff I love to watch.

Elementary - in modern-day NYC, a just-rehabbed addict named Sherlock Holmes meets Joan Weston, a former doctor hired to be Sherlock's 'sober companion" and keep him on the straight and narrow.
Another hour long drama series. Looks interesting, but not sure I will invest the time to watch it.

Malibu Country - New family sitcom staring Reba McEntire.
It does not premiere until November 2nd. If by then, I have stopped watching all the new shows above, then I may check this out.

The Midseason offerings look to have at least a few interesting shows. Here is what I will be checking out when we get to midseason:

The Family Tools - Prodigal son Jack Shea returns to home to help run the family construction business after his gruff dad suffers a heart attack.

Friend Me - A comedy about 20-something best friends show have just moved to L.A. from Indiana.

The Goodwin Games - Comedy about estranged siblings who are forced to compete in an ongoing trivia contest is they want to inherit their recently deceased father's millions.

How to Live with Your Parents - A single mother is forced to move back in with her eccentric parents.

Next Caller - Stand-up comic Dane Cook plays a macho shock jock forced to co-host his raunchy radio show with a liberal feminist.

Package Deal - Comedy that follows three overly close brothers and the women who comes between them.

1600 Penn - Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman are America's President and First Lady in this political comedy described as Modern Family meets The West Wing.

Click to see full size version of 2012 Fall TV schedule

Monday, September 17, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #162

Today's Little Golden Book is Toy Story - A Roaring Adventure, by Kristen L. Depken, and illustrated by Josh Holtsclaw, with a release date of 2012. This title is another Quality Children's Book - at least that is what the sticker on it says.
I find it kind of funny that I found this on at the same place I have found my last few new Little Golden Books... at my local Shoppers Drug Mart. The last few titles that I was looking for, I spent all kinds of time looking at my local books stores and other stores with large book selections such as Toys R Us, but had no luck. Then I found what I was looking for in the local Shoppers Drug Mart where they have a dinkiest selection of magazines and books.
When I get the chance I like to take the trip down to Bellingham, WA to visit the Barnes and Noble Book store where they have a large spinner rack full of Little Golden Books, but at home, I have to visit my local drug store to find the newest titles.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Opryland USA Original Cast Recording

I recently went thrift shop record hunting and came home with some cool stuff. There was lots of Disney records which you can check out on my Disneyland Records blog. There were also lots of non Disney records including the six in the photo above. My favorites being the Magilla Gorilla Tells Ogee the Story Alice in Wonderland from 1965, and the I Hear America Singing, Original Cast Recording from the home of American music, Opryland USA, Nashville, Tennessee from 1973.
I didn't know much about Opryland USA other than I could tell it was some sort of theme park from the photos on the cover of the album. A quick Google search and I found that it was an amusement park located in suburban Nashville, Tennessee, which opened May 27, 1972 and closed December 31, 1997. As well as featuring live music, it also had many rides and attractions including a log flume ride and a couple of coasters.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Plants Vs Zombies, Disco Zombie Edition

While wasting some time in a local Future Shop, I noticed a boxed copy of Plants Vs Zombies for just $2.99. As I picked it up, one of the retail zombies (I mean staff) came over and told me that they had a version that came with an action figure, and was the same price. Turns out that they were all sold out of this version, but he was nice enough to call around and found another store that had one left and had them put it on hold for me. I made the drive to the second store and purchased my copy of the super cool Plants Vs Zombies Limited 'Disco Zombie' Edition for just $2.99.
Since I only had a digital download version, this was awesome. Not only did I get a hard copy of the game (which was a newer version that I had - it also listed a make your own zombie feature and some desktop pictures), I also also got a super cool box with nice graphics and a cool disco zombie figure. I was a little disappointed that it came with a Disco Zombie though, as I would have preferred a cone head or bucket head zombie. I didn't realize until after I updated my game with this new version that they had now replaced the Micheal Jackson zombie with this new disco zombie. That sucks. The Micheal Jackson zombie was mine and my sons favorite zombie. Turns out that Pop Cap games was forced by the estate of Micheal Jackson to remove his likeness from the game, and so the disco zombie was created to take his place. Sorry to say, but the disco zombie just isn't as good. Not only does it not make as much sense as the MJ zombie, but the animation of this new zombie and his dancers is awful compared to the rest of the characters in the game. You can tell it was a rush job to get these into the game.
I love this new packaged version for my collection, but now I have to figure out how to go back to the older version of the game on my Mac so I can resurrect the MJ zombie.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Knott's Berry Farm Premium Cookies

I am a big theme park fan, and Knott's Berry Farm is second only to Disneyland, so any time I find Knott's merchandise, I love adding it to my collection. On a recent visit to Washington State, I found this package of Knott's Premium Cookies, Strawberry Shortbread in a gas station mini market. At just 99 cents, it was a steal.
On the back of the package it says: "In 1920, Walter and Cordelia Knott began selling fresh produce, berries and preserves from a roadside berry stand in Buena Par, California. Their family business earned a place in history in 1932 when Walter Knott cultivated a luscious new fruit, the boysenberry. The farm that started it all has also become a family amusement park that delights millions.
The Knott family is pleased to extend their tradition of quality to include premium shortbread cookies. Richly flavorful, these classic favorites are prepared using popular Knot's Berry Farm fruit fillings."
The cookies were delicious and now the package is going into my display case along with my other Knott's theme park memorabilia.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #161

... And We're back! Today's Little Golden Book is Disney Pixar's Brave. I picked it up at a Barnes and Noble  in Washington state, as I can no longer find Little Golden Books in my local books stores. The local Chapters books usually has one solitary Little Golden Book on their shelves, and its usually one of the older titles such as Alice in Wonderland or Snow White. Its a huge difference from the Barnes and Nobel that I visit in Washington state which has a large spinner rack of Little Golden Books, including everything from the the older titles to the newest titles such as the new Disney films, DC and Marvel comics etc.
I really liked the new movie Brave, and always love adding the new Disney titles to my Little Golden Book collection, but I was not really impressed with the artwork of this title. I usually enjoy the stylistic looks they have been using for many of the recent Disney Pixar titles, but this one fell a little flat for me. I would have preferred artwork with much brighter colors to match the look of the movie, but I am always happy to add another Disney title to my collection.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Comic Characters Reading Their Own Comics

I visited the local comic shop after work today to pick up a copy of the new Garfield comic because I heard that Mark Evanier was writing it. I know him from one of my all time favorite comics, Groo the Wanderer, and I visit his blog almost daily, so the comic is pretty much a sure bet for me! While I was there, I also picked up the variant cover for the last issue of one of my favorite current comics called Incorruptible. I read both comics when I got home, and now the two comics are siting here by my computer. It took me a while, but I finally noticed that both covers show the comic character reading their own comic. How's that for a coincidence!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Girder & Panel Building Set

When I was young, I remember going to a neighbours house and being enthralled with a building set that allowed me to build sky scrappers and other buildings just like a real builder - so the box said. I have been looking for this building set for years and other than seeing it on eBay, I had never seen one for sale in a thrift shop or collectors store. Finally last week I found one at a local thrift shop, and it was pretty much complete in box. I told my son how much fun I had building with it when I was a kid and he couldn't wait to get home and bust it open.
When we got home, we opened it and began to build our sky scrapper. I was enjoying the experience of building my tower up from the ground up, but my son found it frustrating that the parts were hard to snap together, and he got bored rather quickly and then just sat there watching me build. Once I got a good sized tower built, he disappeared and reappeared a few minutes later with a handful of Godzilla action figures. He then sat and waited patiently for me to finish my work. Once I was done, he moved in to begin attacking the building with his army of giant monsters. Once he was done, it seemed like a good time to do some comic book reading, and he found the perfect comic book to read after the giant battle.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #160

Happy Easter. I am a day late, but today's Little Golden Book is The Story of Easter first edition from 1999.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #159

Today's Little Golden Book is Pooh, The Very Best Easter Bunny, first edition from 1997. I choose this one because Easter is coming up next weekend.
After scanning the cover I noticed that is said "Mr Sanders" over the door in the picture and I was curious who Mr Sanders was? I found this explanation on Winnie the Pooh lives by himself in a tree in Hundred Acre Wood under the name of Sanders. "It means he had the name over the door in gold letters, and lived under it." No one really knows who Sanders was. The best guess is that Milne used something he found in the woods near Cotchford Farm and incorporated it into the stories. In this case, a sign with the name Sanders was found on a tree, and it was decided that that was the tree in which Pooh lived.
Along with the cover, I also scanner the first two pages of the story which shows Pooh and his friends getting ready for Easter by painting some eggs.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #158

It's Little Golden Book Monday and I don't have anything special for today.  I flipped though my pile of recent thrift store purchases and went with Rainy Fay Play Book from 1981. I picked this one because today was a rainy day and I would have gladly stayed home from work and played... but then, I didn't really need the rain to feel like staying home and playing.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong photo with dragon background
A long time ago, before the internet came along, I used to receive a book catalogue in the mail every so ofter. I ordered my first (of many) Gilligan's Island books from this catalogue.  One particular issue has Anna May Wong on the cover. I liked the cover so much, then when I tossed out the catalogue, I pulled off the cover and kept it. Years later I saw bunch of Anna May Wong movies on TV and decided to record them. I remembered having the cover with her on it and decided to use to to make a DVD cover for my collection. I have had it sitting on my DVD shelve ever since and stare at it all the time. Tonight I decided to see what other great Anna May Wong pictures I could find online. I was amazed to see that this photo that I liked so much did not come up in my Google search other than a very small version which was on a book cover. So, I decided I would share this great image on my site, along with the cover I made for my DVD. I am always looking on line for DVD covers that others have made for stuff I have, and thought it would be awesome if someone ended up finding mine and using it. Enjoy!
Fan made Anna May Wong DVD cover

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Captain Canuck Unpublished Comic Covers

Unreleased issue 4 of Captain Canuck Reborn series from 1993
Back in January 2008 I did a post on Captain Canuck and used one of these desktops I had created for myself. I am no Photoshop expert, but I did have fun 'trying' to color the covers myself. Recently I decided to make a few tweaks to my work and decided to share them here.
I am always excited to get the chance to see unpublished artwork from my favorite comics. The first two of these unpublished covers were printed in a Canadian comic magazine back in the late 80's (I think, I can't find the actual magazine).
The first one, issue 15, was scheduled to be released back in 1981, but the series was canceled before its release. It did finally receive a special limited collectors edition in 2004.
The next cover is the never produced second Summer Special. I was told by Richard Comely that only the cover was ever made, none of the interior artwork was ever done.
The third cover is for the unreleased issue 4 of the Captain Canuck Reborn series from 1993. I got this cover from the solicitation in the Diamond Previews catalog back in 1993. I have always been curious if this issue was actually completed, or if just the cover was produced?

Unpublished Captain Canuck Summer Special #2

Monday, February 20, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #157

Today's Little Golden Book is MGM's Tom and Jerry Meet Little Quack, with story and pictures by MGM Cartoons, pictures adapted by Dom MacLaughlin and Harvey Eisenberg. Originally from 1953, my copy is a Third printing from 1971.
I love the illustrations in the book, but one in particular reminded me of someone else. I made three tweaks to the page, I changed the text, and I added a moustache and cigar. The eyebrows and stance were already there!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Return of the Video Store

I have been kinda bummed lately that all our two local video stores have closed. First Willow Video closed about 8 months ago, and then Rogers Video closed at the end of December. The truth is that I had not been visiting any of them with much regularity over the past few years, but that was not because I was switching to downloading everything, it was more to do with the fact that I have been buying so many DVDs of late, mostly TV series which typically have over 400+ minutes per set. Thats a lot of viewing. And then there are all the hockey games on TV these days, I usually watch/record 6 or 7 games a week. That is easily 20+ hours a week. And then, recently I have become a fan of the Turner Movie Classics station which I have been recording up to 4 or 5 movies a week onto my PVR. So, who has time to rent movies. But that didn't stop me from feeling some sadness as I watched all my local video stores close. Who my age doesn't remember standing at the new release wall of a local video store, with family/friends as you try to agree on what to rent? But with current rush to switch over to renting movies online and or doing what it seems most people are doing - stealing them online - it seemed that the trip to the video store was now a thing of the past. That is until tonight, when I noticed that the Willow Video store by my home, had reopened, after closing down 7 or 8 months ago. I guess it says something about my wife and I that we both got very excited about the store reopening. We of course had to check it out. I wasn't in the market for a rental, but I did end up buying a previously viewed copy of the TV show The War at Home for just $5, and I look forward to heading over the the video store on Monday for cheap Monday rental night. I'm not sure we'll have time to watch whatever we rent, but it'll be fun to stand there as a family and try to figure out what we can all agree on for a movie!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #156

For today's Little Golden Book Monday, I wanted to post this photo I took of the Little Golden Book spinner Rack I found at the Barnes & Noble book store in Lynnwood, WA. This may be old news to those of you who have a Barnes & Noble in your back yard and see this everyday, but I was thrilled to find this spinner rack filled with Little Golden Books. Here in my area we have Chapters Books stores and in the past year or two, you would be lucky to find more than 2 or 3 Little Golden Books in stock, so finding an actual spinner rack filled with over 300 of them put a pretty big smile on my face.
I picked up The Courageous Captain America book that I had been wanting for a while. I saw a couple others I will probably pick up next time including a really cool DC Comics Super Friends book. I also have to admit that I wanted to go home with the spinner rack. My collection would look so cool displayed in that thing! Now that I think about it, I saw a vintage Little Golden Books spinner rack in a antique shop about 10 years ago while on a trip to Regina, Saskatchewan. It wasn't too expensive, but I had no way to bring it home in my car. I wonder if it would still be there ;-)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January is reeeally creepin' me out!

The other day when we were out having dinner at a local restaurant, I picked up the newspaper to check out the funnies. Two things stuck out for me. First, I realized that I don't read the newspapers comics much any more, and that about half of the comics in this particular paper I had never seen before. And second, I loved the artwork in the final panel of this Doug Eat Dog cartoon enough that I took that page home with me. And by the way, Doug Eat Dog is one the ones I had never heard of before.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #155

Today's Little Golden Book is The Secret of NIMH, Mrs. Brisby and the Magic Stone. This book is from 1982, the same year the film, The Secret of NIMH, was released. The film was directed by Don Bluth, who also directed some other movies I enjoyed as a kid including An American Tale and Titan A.E.
Along with the cover, I have scanned the two inside front pages of the book. I love seeing who used to own my books, and I always wonder how many times they, or a parent read it to them? As you can see, this one belonged to Stephanie.
This is a movie that I had kind of forgotten about until I saw this book. I love animation, and I remember seeing this movie in the theatre back in 1982. I'm sure I probably rented it from a video store some time after that, but it is not a film I have in my collection. If this was a year or two ago, I would have visited my local movie rental shop this weekend to rent this one to watch with my son.  But, our local video rental shop just closed, and there are no other ones really close by. I guess I could always 'download' it, but that's just not as much fun as a trip to the video shop.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Little Golden Book Monday #154

Today's Little Golden Book is Disney's The Lion King, No Worries, The New Story About Simba from 1995. I'm not a fan of the movie Lion King, I only saw it once in the theatre back when it was first released back in 1994. Although the illustrations inside this book by Don Williams and H.R. Russell are actually pretty good, after flipping though this, I still have no interest in seeing the Lion King again. Pretty amazing, when you consider that the Lion King is the highest-grossing hand-drawn film in history, the highest-grossing 2D animated film in the US and the 14th-highest-grossing feature film. I'll stick to the soundtrack though, thank you.