Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Swingin'

For those seeking old books and LP records there are better places to browse than in San Diego.

One reason is the relatively young and transient population. Farther inland and on the other coast there are generations of collected belongings sitting in basements, attics and garages. Eventually one family member or other will dispose of the Grandparent's old furniture, books and music to the delight of treasure hunters of the region. In Southern California however, a lot of what is donated to thrift stores is late 1970s and 1980s music and tchotchkes. I've even discovered several decades worth of macaroni-adorned picture frames at one Salvation Army store.

The other reason San Diego is a poor resource for keen gear is the economy. Most of the used book stores have shuttered and the usual places one could find groovy LP's, the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores, have either combined all their resources into one store or done away with LP's altogether. While reducing the number of places the records are displayed makes sense for the business it hurts the shopper seeking cool stuff because multiple destinations meant that a browser could get lucky if his timing was right. All the LP's kept in one place means one faces constant competition has to be really lucky with the timing to score some choice items.

Recently I found a couple of Jonah Jones Quartet albums, Swingin on Broadway and Swingin' at the Cinema notable among the internet primarily for the pretty women on the cover. Of the JJQ discography these two albums are probably the easiest to find. I found multiple copies of each when browsing and purchased the two best of the lot. Oh, yeah...I agree that those stretch pants and curves, especially on the blond on the Cinema LP, are something else. The album art is pretty typical of the 1950s. Back then nearly anyone producing lounge-type music put an attractive woman on the cover because no one would buy an album featuring John Wilson and the Howard-Johnsons Off State Route 12 Experience on the sleeve. Sex always sold, don't get me wrong, but the producers of the lounge era LP escalated cheesecake and enticement into an art form rarely seen since. These particular albums are probably getting more attention now than before as the "Mad Men" style of fashion seems to be all the rage still. Too bad there are no model credits for the albums, at least none that I can find.
The music is good but not original other than the application of the JJQ style as they are covers of tunes already popular in the era. They are fun to hear as "lost" music and I'm really partial to their treatment of A Gal In Calico from the Cinema album. I think the Jonah Jones Quartet packed enough talent for a dozen musicians.

From the collection: Swingin' on Broadway (1957) and Swingin' at the Cinema (1958).

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Moon-Spinners comic book adaptation

In years past if there was a movie or television show it was probably made into a one-shot comic book by the Whitman, Gold Key or Dell Comics book companies. They were all of varying quality as quickie marketing tie-ins but some are stand-outs. Hayley Mills has received several comic book treatments of her films most notably Summer Magic which was drawn by comic book artist Russ Heath.

Today for Monday With Hayley Mills I present the comic book adaptation of the Disney film The Moon-Spinners from 1964. The art is credited to accomplished veteran Dan Spiegle. Now, Dan gets a lot of flack from fans that isn't entirely deserved. He is lumped together, sometimes with contempt, into those work-horse artists that were relied upon to do a quick job within deadline. His style sometimes sacrifices the fine line work that most fans expected after the 1970s but as a reader who appreciates storytelling ability his work rarely disappoints.

Spiegle worked on a fondly remembered DNAgents run but for a real insight into his work check out the Gold Key issues of Mickey Mouse #107-109. Mickey Mouse, Secret Agent is a classic and truly bizarre story where funny animals interacted with realistically rendered humans and scenery. For the most part prior to that story arc anthropomorphic critters remained in a cartoon world of cartoon physics that did not cross over into other more realistic though equally fictional realms. The film version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit has its spiritual if not direct roots in that story arc. It is a bit surreal to witness human beings not even blinking when a talking mouse in a trench coat shows up at their door. Character interactions of that type are not observed very often currently as the audience is considered to cool, aware or jaded to go with the story. There is usually some qualifier thrown in to make the reader forgive the ridiculousness of a funny animal, such as the oft-stated "Y-You're a duck!" in the Howard the Duck series.

The Moon-Spinners is Hayley Mills' fifth of the six films she did for Disney. While not a financial success at the time it has a life among fans that crowd the Hayleydome in the HMCC for the Hayley-Con film festivals. Hayley is great as always in a film remembered for its scenery and light romantic subplot against a story of murderous jewel thieves. While not quite as dark as The Truth About Spring the film has been described as a bit more suspenseful than the novel from which it was adapted.

Click the cover for a download link to a PDF of the complete 1964 Gold Key comic book The Moon-Spinners.

The Moonspinners (1964)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The occasional four-letter word in context

The much-covered Working Class Hero from John Lennon (1970). The song has a curse word in it so don't be stupid in a place you shouldn't be.



A hard-working Sunday post.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Something more than sexual

An album cover that makes me wish I was old enough to know you then.

The Immortal Ladies by The George Melachrino Orchestra (1956).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mixed message


For a movie about the ruination of the environment, the makers of the 1971 giant monster flick Godzilla Vs. Hedorah certainly threw a lot of garbage into the water.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hayley Hayley

Me and Hayley sitting in the backseat cruising with some pals, listening to some tunes on the 8-Track.

Here is the band Prefab Sprout with their 1986 shout out to Hayley Mills, Goodbye Lucille #1 more popularly known as Johnny Johnny.



Still in love with her? Perfectly understandable. Who isn't?

Not a lazy Sunday post.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

God Oil Good For You says God Oil Council

The media is reporting only a few people have done unfortunate things fearing the end of the world but even three would be too many. There may be scores of people who inflicted damage to themselves and others that we know nothing about. It is unfortunate that the mentally ill in particular suffer, and what other way would you describe them, when fear is fostered by every grifter with an internet connection.

PZ Meyers passes on the news that one woman attempted to kill herself and her children, a man committed suicide and another person gave away all their money anticipating the Rapture. NONE of which makes sense even in their strange world view. In accordance to their own wacky rules the mother and the man in Nairobi could have just repented and been saved and the children were innocents so no problem, they would have been removed from the world by a higher power. Their actions display not only illness but a profound lack of faith in their own system.

And why give away money to strangers when you would just leave it all behind for sinful looters anyways? It isn't like the cash you left behind would be used for good purpose in any case. Even if you left it with someone you trust to do good deeds with it, they are going to be left behind and since being irredeemably sinful, they would divert the funds to their own purposes once you were gone.



As of 10 am pacific time the Harold Camping website has not been updated to reflect the world not ending. I am curious as to what form the next installment of the message will take. Undoubtedly the news from all the various God oil salesmen will be full of squirming, convoluted weasel words to explain why God's plan is unknowable and the Rapture did not occur because Jesus is still holding out for a percentage of those WWJD bracelets and send more money or you will face damnation. Who knows? Since Harold is hiding from the faithful and mocking alike it might be a while before we get an update.

You know what? Right now I'm asking Harold to do some good in the world. Shutter your 120 million dollar radio empire, liquidate everything and donate the funds to some charities that actually accomplish something positive and not do something stupid and wasteful like build more prayer buildings or programs that teach abstinence. There are a lot of organizations out there that will actually make people's lives better and make the planet a nicer place to live. All those bucks could really do a lot of great things if sent to the right places. Let good things and not bad jokes be your legacy, Harold.

The Morning After

Well, everybody is still here, unless only two or three people world-wide qualified to be taken to Heaven and no one misses them. To mark the occasion of absolutely nothing happening I present the lovely voice of Maureen McGovern singing The Morning After, an uplifting tune about hope against a backdrop of disaster and horrible death by drowning from the 1973 film The Poseidon Adventure.



I really hope someone pokes into the Rapture Guy's finances. I'd be curious just how much cash the dude raked in from the gullible, scared and stupid. I just hope no one killed themselves or any others in fear or anticipation of the 21st of May.

A lazy Sunday post.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

THE RATURE!


You know, this just means that the only rodents left behind are irredeemably evil!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Moon-Spinners Pin-Up

Here is a cute and adorable pin-up from the 1964 Gold Key comic book adaptation of The Moon-Spinners featuring Hayley Mills. This image is actually the back cover so it caught some contact damage over the years. I cleaned up the image repairing the wear and tear and enhanced the colors which while charming, are an artifact of the inexpensive mid-1960s color printing process. This pin-up is now suitable for framing, and is at my house and the main office of the HMCC.

While most of the Gold Key/Whitman film and television adaptations appeared slapped out fairly quickly they usually did a groovy yet appealingly minimalist job on the layouts of the pin-ups.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Picture of Dora Gray

All the evil the young model perpetrates in her life is reflected in the images of her on billboards. Her physical body and face untouched, eternally youthful on the exterior but rotting and festering within.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You had a sale at "Power Ring Included!"

The Power Ring is the only reason I bought the movie tie-in action figure. I'm going to wear it everyday for the rest of my life.


Green Lantern - Power Ring Included OH YEAH

I don't even wear my wedding ring but I am going to wear this.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

No more SJA

It appears official. The Sarah Jane Smith Adventures will cease production due to the death of lead actress Elisabeth Sladen.

There are no current plans for the character to regenerate or replace Sarah Jane with a long-lost relation to carry on in the role her passing created.

There is no word yet on how the SJA series itself will end but six episodes have already been filmed and are in post-production. If the show ends with other than a farewell to Ms. Sladen then I speculate the final episode will have something to do with the TARDIS and Sarah Jane departing off-screen for an adventure. And if the Doctor is going to make an appearance for the sake of closure I'd really prefer it to be Tenant over Smith.

Monday, May 09, 2011

We all believe in silver linings and rainbows

It's Monday! That means it is Monday With Hayley Mills at Lady, That's My Skull!

Trivia! Did you know that I've been told Lady, That's My Skull features more items about Hayley Mills than her agent does? Wow!

It was in 1963 that Disney and Hayley Mills gave the world the feel-good film Summer Magic, the fourth of six films that Hayley would make with Walt Disney Studios. Originally conceived as a vehicle for Annette Funicello for some maddening reason, Hayley was cast in the part of the Pollyana-ish member of the Carey family, Nancy. As the person who saved her family from personal and financial disaster by sheer good attitude as the character of Nancy the film added to the box office appeal of Hayley Mills.

Trivia! Did you know that the United States would have lost the Cuban Missile Crisis war except for the fact that once Khrushchev, the leader of Communism, discovered Hayley Mills was cast in Summer Magic he conceded defeat? It's true!

The Disney merchandising machine wasn't idle either and the company easily capitalized on the popularity of Hayley and co-star Burl Ives with a soundtrack release that produced a number of hit tunes for the youth market. There was a moderate amount of other licensed merchandise also that is getting increasingly hard to find in good condition. One of those items is the paper doll set featuring Hayley Mills where she can be dressed in fashions from the movie. While I have not punched out the cut-outs from my copy you can be assured that I have reprinted the pages from various sources and dressed Hayley up in clothing as befits a proper young lady.

And now, you can too! As one can observe from the vast selection of period styles available there are several hours of good, clean fun that can be had from dressing up Hayley. I'd suggest against using the accompanying "Julia" fashions though because she is a bit of a pill.

Hayley Mills - Summer Magic paper doll set (1963) 000

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

This is vewy, vewy distuwbing

If you have not watched any episodes of the new animated Looney Tunes show then you are missing scenes like this.



-Elmer Fudd Grilled Cheese Sandwich song-

Another example of a cartoon not really made for the kiddies.

A lazy, slightly creeped-out Sunday post.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

These are things that exist

From only two years ago?

Where are these movies now? Why don't I own them?

These cosplay films appear pretty earnest but I'm pretty surprised it wasn't something produced in the late 1980s. Where are these movies now? Why don't I own them? Is it because my wife would finally move out?

Men of Mystery #80 (2009).

Friday, May 06, 2011

As easy as trying on a new hat

This gimmick still exists today but in software form where an uploaded image is virtually merged with different styles of hair and clothing.

From Cowboy Love #31 (August 1955).

Monday, May 02, 2011

A Romantic Warning To Hayley Mills!

This week's Monday With Hayley features a bit of finger-wagging from a January 1968 article to actress Hayley Mills.

For several years Hayley Mills was a number one box office draw and a favorite sweetheart to not only America, but a large part of the world as well. As she aged into adulthood she faced what many child stars had to deal with, studios and a public unwilling to see past the adorable child and accept them in ever maturing roles. Fortunately for Hayley Mills her adorableness remained in full force and she did not suffer from what would later be called the "Roddy McDowell Curse" in which a once fetching, cute and competent child actor transforms via puberty into weird, off-putting creepy adult. Others in the acting profession that labored under the curse are Danny Bonaduce, Natalie Wood, Wil Wheaton and most famously, Lindsay Lohan.

The majority of failing child actors of today descend into a spiral of drugs and other abuses that cause them to strap on Acme brand rocket skates as they travel the jogging trail to Obscuritytown. Their antics and public foibles give gossip magazines ample content to accompany out of context or manipulated photos. For the most part Hayley Mills in her transition to adult actress managed to avoid the usual pitfalls of others in her profession. Gossip magazines had little to use that wasn't positive until her relationship with Roy Boulting became public.

It was on the set of the 1966 film The Family Way that 20 years old Hayley Mills and 53 years old director Roy Boulting began a relationship that would lead to marriage in 1971 and ultimately a divorce in 1977. Her relationship became something of a scandal for the time. Obvious parallels to "Daddy issues" were bandied about though much of the gossip was reserved and somewhat polite. In spite of popular culture becoming immersed in the marketing of free love and the sexual revolution many people were uncomfortable with their idea of Hayley in a relationship with a man so much her senior. In Teen Love Stories an article appeared that not only giddily promoted her new film but also offers some disapproval by scolding Hayley on her relationship with Boulting. The article even hints at some sort of Svengali-like influence being perpetrated on a young Hayley from the older Director. Only Hayley Mills herself could comment if the pairing was love or not. I'd like to think it was.

Teen Love Stories (Jan 1968) 2

Teen Love Stories (Jan 1968) 3

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Cry havoc and let slip the hogs of war

Archer is currently one of my favorite animated shows. The adventures of Sterling Archer and the dysfunctional spy agency ISIS and the cast of characters is wrong on many levels. The show is obscene, rude and pushes boundaries. The delivery of H. Jon Benjamin, who voices Sterling, is comedic and note perfect. The recent two part episode where Sterling battles breast cancer and goes on a deadly rampage when he discovers his costly, life-saving medication was replaced by sugar and Zima was the funniest television I've seen in ages.

While the animation is what brings people to the show it is the characters that make them stay. The entire cast is great and they play horrible, flawed people with few redeeming qualities seemingly effortlessly.

The title sequence is awesome and retro, capturing the pastiche of the 1960s-1970s era of spy thrillers perfectly. You can view the lead in to Archer at the website The Art of the Title Sequence which breaks the creation of the opening credits down a bit.

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A lazy Sunday post.