March 7, 2014
I don’t really need to say anything, do I?
There are some different pages and variations in the pre-toy fair catalog, including a spread of the mail-away Action Figure Display Arena. I didn’t think you’d mind if I posted that too.
I’ll shut up now. Happy Friday.
March 6, 2014
They couldn’t come up with a better pose for Spidey? The villain molds look great.
The Amazing Spider-Man live-action pilot premiered in 1977, and the series resumed in 1978. The witty web-slinger, Marvel’s most relatable and engaging (in my opinion) hero, was everywhere.
March 6, 2014
That’s Burgess Meredith and Lou Gilbert being upstaged by a comic book in an episode of Naked City. Amazing Fantasy #15 marks the first appearance of Spider-Man, of course. Nice grab by Brecht Bug.
Oh, and here’s a photo of a kid opening The Amazing Spider-Man #1 for his birthday.
March 5, 2014
Sorry, Nerds: “HOTEL SECURITY requests that NO ONE bring a weapon that looks real. This includes all METAL swords and daggers (wood ones with rounded tips are acceptable)…” Don’t cry into your tankard of cider, though, because “Futuristic weapons are acceptable.”
Note the prominent D&D placement: “Dungeons and Dragons Games are the latest addiction for fans…we warn you the games can become habit forming!!! Sign up to play or learn.”
Program art is by Mike Royer, who inked a large volume of Jack Kirby’s DC output in the ’70s before embarking on a long career with Disney in 1979.
Margaret Sheridan (The Thing from Another World), Roy Thomas (impeccable Marvel comics scribe), Ray Bradbury (duh), Constance Moore (1939 Buck Rogers serial), Jean Rogers (1936/1938 Flash Gordon serials), George Pal (duh), and Jack Arnold (possibly the greatest sci-fi B movie director of all time) all made appearances at the event. I won’t list all the films shown, because it will break your heart.
I guess cons weren’t always bullshit corporate endorsements of a contemporary “geek” subculture that’s defined more by shallow fandom and performance art than intellectual and imaginative pursuits framed by at least a rudimentary historical perspective. Maybe I’m wrong.
(Image via a.b. productions/eBay)
March 4, 2014
I just love the detail on the Space Mountain advertisement. The rocket is going fast enough to get the kids excited, but not fast enough so that the men can’t put their arms around their wives. And space looks like the ocean.
One more ‘coming soon’ ad, this one from the inside cover of the official Disneyland 1976-1977 guidebook. What about that righteous title font? Where has all the style gone?
(Images via Mouse Planet, eBay, and Vintage Disneyland Tickets)
March 4, 2014
There were four books in Usborne’s The World of the Future series: Future Cities, The Book of the Future: A Trip in Time to the Year 2000 and Beyond, Star Travel, and Robots. All of them were written by Kenneth Gatland, with some co-written by David Jefferis, and all of them were published in 1979. I have not been able to pinpoint the illustrators yet.
They are, as you can see, amazing, and somewhat prescient—with the exception of the Olympic Games on the Moon. The last page draws heavily on concepts explored by NASA in the 1970s: see T.A. Heppenheimer’s Colonies in Space (1977), for instance.
The very last panel is a nearly line by line lifting of a lunar colony design by artist Rick Guidice, who did other work for NASA, as well as the visionary Basic Programming cover art for the Atari 2600 cartridge, also from 1979.
(Book images via Will S and Robert Carter)
March 3, 2014
Adventure 2000 debuted in 1977 and the die-cast “ultra-modern vehicles designed for the world of the future” were produced through about 1980. The slim backstory:
The year is 2000 – The planets prepare for battle. Re-enact the excitement of inter-planetary conflict with the action-packed vehicles from Adventure 2000.
A new wrinkle was added in the 1979/1980 catalog—”The interplanetary commission prepares for an expedition to planet ZETO”—and all the vehicles were recast in a deep blue.
The beautifully detailed line was developed and made in the UK. Matchbox was a longtime British brand, in fact—owned by Lesney Products—until the early ’80s. I found a choice 1977 ad (via combomphotos/Flickr) featuring some great art. Not sure how “Zorgon the Creepy Monster” fits in, but they can have my 75p.
I’ll do separate posts on each vehicle, because they’re that cool. (There’s a nifty tie-in with the 2000 AD comic and Judge Dredd.)
Here’s a close-up of the Command Force (K-2005) set, introduced in 1978.
UPDATE (3/4/14): Jason at Contra Dextra Avenue discovered that the three smaller vehicles in Command Force—the Hovercraft (1972), the Planet Scout (1975), and the Cosmobile (1975)—had been previously issued. They were part of Matchbox’s Superfast line, which you can check out at Dan’s Matchbox Picture Pages. I don’t know if the latter two are Matchbox’s first produced futuristic vehicles (doubtful), but they predate the Adventure 2000 line.
(Top image via Vectis Auctions; catalog images via Moonbase Central; Command Force images via eBay)
February 28, 2014
Plot and layouts by Marie Severin, words by David Anthony Kraft, pencils by Kerry Gammil, inks by Mike Esposito, and colors by Stan Goldberg. You can read some pages at Blog into Mystery.
The Dallas Times Herald partnered with Marvel several times in the early ’80s. Here’s another comic from the same year.
Cover by John Romita, Plot by Jim Salicrup, words by David Kraft, pencils by Kerry Gammil and Alan Kupperberg, inks by Chic Stone, and colors by Marie Severin. See more here.