We couldn't let the Christmas season go by without a visit with Archie, so here's a New Year's Eve cover to help ring in 1990...oops, I mean 2013. Drawn by primo Archie artist Dan DeCarlo and Rudy Lapick, this upbeat cover puts Archie in the midst of some beautiful babes who know how to celebrate New Year's Eve (witness their careful positioning near the punch bowl). Who needs Betty or Veronica, right, Arch? Hope this fun comic cover helps make your "future plans" for 2013 prosperous and happy.
Friday, December 28, 2012
In 1994, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released on home video—the last of the "crown jewels" of Disney animation to be so released. I was honored to be commissioned by the very talented Paul Rich to write the deluxe brochure that was intended to interest retailers in ordering the videocassettes (and laser discs). Were they interested? They were, needless to say, interested...as were millions of viewers who made Snow White the best-selling video of all time on its first day of sale. Hope you enjoy a peek (click on each image for a larger view) at this rare publication (it was never intended to be seen by the public) as we continue to celebrate Walt Disney's first full-length animated feature. And don't forget to check out all eight parts of my D23 article about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
As we saw here, the Dwarfs' cottage, the lovable little men and the sweet princess herself lend themselves to Christmas. To enhance your enjoyment of these Christmas days—today after all is the third day of Christmas—not three French hens but some Snow White holiday magic. A few years back I was invited by the good folk of the Enesco office in Burbank (namely Troy Wartchow, Traci Thomas, Mark Haberman) to write the copy for these truly lovely Snow White holiday ornaments, designed by Jim Shore to resemble hand-carved figures. The copy I wrote is below (click on each image for a larger view) as are these unique Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ornaments—the three-diensional nature of which qualifies them for inclusion in the Christmas in 3D celebration here at Tulgey Wood. (And don't forget to check out the Snow White article I wrote for D23.com)
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Since the days following Christmas Day often feature fun with gifts opened on Christmas morning, here's a playful Flintstones comic strip from December 25, 1964. There's a lot that's fun about this comic, including Pebble's thought-balloon comment about her doll looking like Fred (apparently the writer's sly reference to the multitude of Flintstones merchandise that was put out in the wake of the show's success) and a rare appearance by Baby Puss. (The Flintstones' cat appeared a bit more in the comic strip than in the TV series, not counting the end titles. This strip was posted by Yowp at his excellent Hanna-Barbera blog in 2010. Be sure and read his entire post about the fun of a Flintstones Christmas.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
In the earliest hours of Christmas Day 2012, here is a stylized piece of art from the cover of the Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact comic book December 13, 1949, Voulme 5, No. 8 [# 74]) by Ed Hunter. "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will." Merry Christmas, to one and all!
Monday, December 24, 2012
Back here I mentioned the classic View-Master set The Night Before Christmas which tells the beloved Yuletide Clement Moore poem in "3D." This story was first told View-Master style in 1952 in only one reel (7 photos). In 1958, the story was expanded to what had become the standard 3 reel ("21 Stereo Pictures") set with the charming characters and scenes by View-Master masters Martha Armstrong and Blanding Sloan and photographed by Donald Jim. The packet cover pictured here was the neatly designed version introduced in 1970 and used for the rest of the decade. At this point, View-Master sets were designated under categories such as "Bible Stories," "Showtime" or, in the case of The Night Before Christmas, "Classic Tales." Available for decades, this Christmas View-Master packet is classic, indeed.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
When it comes to a 3D Christmas, what's more dimensional than the figural representaion of the first Christmas known as the Nativity scene. Also refferred to as the creche or the manager scene, this tradition found in so many homes literally brought the birth of Christ to dimensional life after centuries of being portrayed in graphic art such as paintings and stained glass. (You can read about St. Francis of Assisi starting this tradition here, in a report from —who else?—the Franciscans.) Again, thanks to the Sears "Wishbook" for Christmas 1966, below are some classic examples of Nativity scenes (click on each image for a larger view), from large lighted figures for a snowy lawn to simple scenes (such as the beautiful "Modern Cathedral Nativity") for an end table or shelf ... a tradition both dimesntional and divine (in the sense of scared art) that blesses many homes at Yuletide— very appropraitely, for these "3D" scenes remind us of what is, after all, the whole point of Christmas.
In the days when they were the sole licensee for Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh, Sears put out some primo Pooh stuff, and this fun giveaway was no exception. This delightful activity booklet from 1976 features charming art of that silly old bear as he waits for Santa, his way. I hope the the front and back covers of this rare promotional giveaway (intended to promote the Thanksgiving Day Sears-sponsored broadcast of Winnie the Pooh Tigger, Too from 1976 as much as it did the Sears-exclusive Pooh merchandise) makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, just like Pooh Bear himself. (And if you have never seen it, check out all the wonderful Pooh Christmas art from Sears I posted in 2010.)
Friday, December 21, 2012
75 years ago today, Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) debuted at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Hollywood to rave reviews and overwhelming popularity. Since Snow White premiered at Christmastime (and even more significantly would still be playing in theaters the following Christmas), a charming holiday scene was created for the film's original release lobby cards. In honor of Snow White's 75th, a new article written by me was posted today on the D23 website. Be sure and visit the Seven Dwarfs' Diamond Mine to unearth eight "Snow White Oddities," written by Jim Fanning for D23.com. (The links for each of the eight parts are embedded near the bottom of the page.)
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Over the years, View-Master produced a number of Christmas sets, including this one which adapted the story at the heart of the holiday. The Christmas Story featured View-Master's signature elaborate models photographed in "stereo" for that unique 3D effect. Scenes included the journey to Bethlehem, the newborn King in the manger, the angel's proclamation to the shepherds, and as you can see from the packet cover, the Three Wise Men following the Star. Though the set pictured here is from the 1970s, incredibly, this classic View-Master set was originally produced in 1948. It was sold at least through the 1980s, which has to have something to do with the timelessness of the Christmas Story itself, as well as the enduring View-Master quality.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Snow White may all have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but so does their creator. In fact, in 1957, Walt Disney was on at least one of the committess that created this honorific/tourist attraction that bedazzles the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard, along with such luminaries as Cecil B. DeMille, Samuel Goldwyn and the "other" Walt of animation, Walter Lantz. The first Walk of Fame stars were unveiled in 1958, and Walt was honored with two stars—one for his achievements in motion pictures, the other for television—on February 8, 1961. Happy Birthday, Walt!
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
As part of our Christmas in 3D celebration, here is a Hallmark Keepsake Ornament from 2008, honoring the 50th anniversary of the View-Master version of A Night Before Christmas. This figural ornament consists of a miniature View-Master stereo viewer (small enough to hang on an evergreen branch) and an actual set of three 3D reels of the famed Visit-from-St.-Nicholas story that was first issued in 1958, in miniature form. The mini reels actually work in the viewer ornament for some Christmas tree-type fun. (If you would like to get your own View-Master ornament, 3DStereo.com has this Hallmark gem for sale.) The ornament pictured below is next to an actual viewer for size comparison. More about that classic holiday View-Master set soon as our Christmas in 3D spectacular continues here in Tulgey Wood.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Thanks to the Sears "Wishbook" for Christmas 1966, here's a wonderful glimpse of the 3D wonders View-Master offered during its heyday (the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s). Sears offered over 180 sets and I'm not certain that weren't even more than that available from View-Master. Many travel and nature subjects were featured to be sure, but you can also see many Disney, Peanuts, Looney Tunes and other TV and movie titles too (click on the images for a larger view) And of course since this is from 1966, at the height of Bat-Mania, the catalog is sure to point out (as a "Special!) that "Now you can see BATMAN on your own stereo viewer." The classic 3D "magic" of View-Master is all part of the Christmas in 3D celebration right here throughout December.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Back here I promised a "Christmas in 3D" celebration this December here in Tulgey Wood—and though time and some technical problems may prevent it from being all that I hoped, I think it will still be lots of fun. To get things started, here's a 1952 Christmas ad for "Full Color Picture Stories in Three Dimensions." That's right, it's View-Master, the Christmas "Present with the Fun-Filled Future." Indeed, the classic View-Master sets including many Disney sets, as well as other TV and movie titles, were sold for decades—and in fact, to the surprise of many, View-Master sets are still created and sold today. According to the wonderful art in this vintage holiday print ad (click on the image for a larger view), gazing at a View-Master "stereo" scene is such a fascinating experience even Santa turns selfish, as the formerly jolly old elf reuses to let a little boy play with his own present. The advertisement also slyly makes the point that View-Master sets are not just for kids; in fact, View-Master was originally created for and marketed to the grown photography enthusiast (even though today, as you can see at the link above), today it is pitched at pre-schoolers. Such is the 3D joy of the View-Master, all part of our Christmas in 3D here in Tulgey Wood. Check back for more three-dimensional decking-the-halls throughout December.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Mickey Mouse Month continues here at Tulgey Wood, and today Mickey helps us celebrate Thanksgiving Day. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade always brightens things up. Today, the annual pageant will undoubtedly lift the spirits of those in New York and new Jersey and throughout the East who were so badly impacted by Superstorm Sandy. In 1934, the parade brought a smile to spectators in the depths of the Great Depression with the addition of the spectacular Mickey Mouse balloon, seen below. Designed by Walt Disney and his artists and built by Goodyear, Mickey soared over Manhattan, sending spirits soaring too, if only for a few moments. (Look closely—click on the image for a larger view—and you can see the Macy's trademark star on Mickey's chest.) Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and that means the Annual (the 86th Annual, mind you) Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Below is the new poster for the "Macy's Day Parade," and though I am not crazy about the change in style to something more primitive than the decade or so but it's certainly festive and fun. As you can see, one of the new balloons is the Companion character by the artist known as KAWS. (Frankly I thought it was Krusty the Clown at first.) There's always something new at the big parade and I'm sure tomorrow will be no exception.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
As you might recall from last November, and posts such as this, this and this, the Muppets are mighty popular here at Tulgey Wood. And since the Muppets mean monsters, here's a timely and monstrous treat for Thanksgiving. Published in 1997, The Thanksgiving Monster is a charming story wherein a monster steals Kermit's Thanksgiving feast. Does that get Kermit or his guests Miss Piggy and her nephews Randy and Andy, and the Elvises down? Of course not. Instead they decide to be thankful for what they have instead of what they don't have, like enjoying the "teensy-weensey snack" (her words) of candy, doughnuts, cupcakes and an entire regular-sized cake that she just happens to have in her purse. After observing the friends' thankfulness, the monster sees the errors of his ways for a Muppety ending that's full of the Thanksgiving spirit. (As the Elvises put it, "Thank you, thank you very much.")
Sunday, November 18, 2012
It's Mickey Mouse Month here in Tulgey Wood—and today's the big day. It's Mickey's birthday, or more accurately the anniversary of the debut of the Mouse's first cartoon release, Steamboat Willie, on November 1928. To celebrate, here's the sheet music cover—complete with art of the birthday boy (and girl) drawn by Mickey's designer and first animator, Ub Iwerks—of Mickey's first theme song, "Minnie's Yoo Hoo," composed by Disney's then-music maven Carl Stalling (who went onto a brillaint career as composer of Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes cartoons). For the "Mickey Mouse Anniversary Show" TV show I mentioned in yesterday's post, producer Ward Kimball found, as he put it, a “wild little tune in Mickey’s Follies, a 1929 short in which the principle action is a barnyard review. The song was great. It had wonderful antiquey, tinny quality about it. Then I realized that it had been our official Mickey Mouse song in the early thirties. These were clubs organized by theatres for special Saturday showings for the kids. We had badges and membership cards, our own greetings and code of behavior, secret handshake and this tune was our club song." [Ward himself led a marching band of Mickey Mouse Club members on Saturdays at Santa Barbara's Fox Arlington Theatre before being hired at the Walt Disney Studios in 1934.] "But I couldn’t remember the [song's] title. With a little sleuthing, we learned that Carl Stalling had written it. He had been a songwriter, gagman and musician in the early days. He still lived near the studio so I called him.” [It's fascinating that in his account of this meeting with Stalling, Ward never mentions Carl's decades-long Warner Bros. career—although the fact that this was all reported via Disney studio publicity might have something to do with it.] “What do you want with that old thing,” Carl Stalling, then in his 70’s, replied, according to Kimball, when Ward contacted him about the song. “It’s called ‘Minnie’s Yoo Hoo’ and was written for Mickey’s 10th picture. I just made it up. Nothing special about it.” The song was of course special to the many children who belonged to the Club. When publicity on Mickey’s 40th birthday began, Disney received hundreds of letters from people who were Mouse Club members during the Great Depression., and many of the letters mentioned “Minnie’s Yoo Hoo.” One letter from Chalmer Wire, the Fire Dept. Chief of El Monte, California, listed all the lyrics accurately, writing that “the high point of our afternoon cartoon time was singing our Mickey Mouse song." Ward fell in love with the song (he had it on a tape recorder in his office during production of the "Anniversary Show," and played it for all visitors, according to Studio publicity), Ward included “Minnie’s Yoo Hoo” in the “Anniversary Show” for the sequence showcasing . In 1972, as producer and director of the syndicated TV series The Mouse Factory (a sort of Disney Laugh-In, the show was created to capitalize on the nostalgia craze and on Mickey's "in" status), Ward used "Minnie's Yoo Hoo" as the show's theme song, bringing what is perhaps the first original Disney song to gain a mass popularity to a whole new audience. (And though the sheet music cover doesn't include credits, the song's lyrics were contributed by a little known lyricist named Walt Disney.) Be sure and stop by Tulgey Wood all through November, there's more Mickey ahead.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
On December 22, 1968, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color featured a 40th birthday salute to Mickey Mouse, more than a month after the big day—November 18—itself. As reported in this TV Guide article, the Disney anthology episode was produced by Ward Kimball, "a Disney animator since 1934." The article also notes that Ward was surrounded by vintage Mickey memorabilia but what it doesn't mention is that the collection belonged to Ward, who collected Disney merchandise long before it was fashionable (or profitable). In fact, Ward obtained his Mickey merchandise when it was first issued, in the 1930s. As the uncredited writer reports, the celebratory Mickey was "in" thanks to a renewed interest in Mouse merchandise, especially the famous Mickey watch. It was considered "camp" according to this article, but the "mod" status of Mickey went far beyond, central to the ignition of the nostalgia craze that blazed in the 1970s and in a way continues to this day. Why wasn't this show "colorcast" closer to the actual day of Mickey's birth? The date on which it actually aired clues us in that this very special episode was the Wonderful World of Color's Christmas offering for 1968. (And also Disney wasn't certain of the exact date of Mickey's debut unto Disney Archivist Dave Smith nailed it down in the 1970s.) Enjoy this article (below; click on each image for a larger view) about "The Mickey Mouse Anniversary Show," and stop by again for more Mickey Mouse all this month.
Friday, November 16, 2012
I'm certainly not the only one posting one or another of the many Hostess comic-book ads in the wake of the news the badly mismanaged Hostess company's demise. Whatever Hostess's financial woes have been in recent years (and dubious nutritional value always), the company was obviously a big supporter of the comic-book industry in the 1970s as just about every family of comic-book characters (except Disney, but these ads were published in Disney comics) participated in these advertisements (drawn by artists from their respective houses), including Marvel, DC, Archie and Harvey. Here's a Casper ad from 1978.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Mickey Mouse Month continues here at Tulgey Wood as we join the Mouse with the Most as he hosts a trip through Disneyland Park, 1967. Some of the more intriguing photographs include Mickey dancing up a storm (maybe it's a rain dance) with the Native Americans at the long-gone Indian Village, and the Mouse in a "shoot out" with the legendary Wally Boag in front of the Golden Horseshoe. Enjoy this Disneyland photo essay starring the world's most famous Mouse from Jack and Jill magazine, May 1967.
Monday, November 12, 2012
On this date, November 12, 1955, at exactly 10:04 pm, according to Back to the Future lore, the Hill Valley clock tower was hit by lightening, and hasn't worked since. To celebrate that jigowatt-worthy event—which also sent time traveling teen Marty McFly back to, well, the future, here's a a rare Back to the Future artifact from my own collection. This 45 RPM release was released by Universal’s parent company MCA to promote the film. It featured “Johnny B. Goode” by Marty McFly with The Starlighters (fronted by Chuck Berry’s cousin Marvin) and backed with the "Back To The Future Overture" performed by The Outatime Orchestra. In reality, the voice heard on the record (and in the film) isn't Michael J. Fox's (though it sure sounds like him) but is actually that of Mark Campbell's and the frenetically futuristic guitar solo is by Tim May. (PS Check out the time and date of this post.)
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Thanks to then-exclusive Winnie the Pooh licensee Sears, Disney's Winnie the Pooh for President campaign was well outfitted with buttons, balloons, photos, special glassware and even a colorful, full-sized poster, pictured below. As you enjoy this primo Pooh placard this Election Day, be sure and also check out D23's in-depth account of the best "pooh-litical" campaign ever. (In some of the accompanying D23 photos you can spot the very poster pictured below.)
Monday, November 5, 2012
Promising "hunny" in every pot and puppies for everyone, Winnie the Pooh was the "children's choice" in the "Winnie the Pooh for President" campaign that started in 1968 and was repeated in the following election years of 1972, 1976 and 1980. In cooperation with Sears —then the exclusive Winnie the Pooh licensee—Disneyland Park ran Pooh as a cuddly candidate focusing on the "youth vote." This delightful letterhead topped Pooh's press release in the 1972 campaign, which was kicked off at the Children's Party convention at the Contemporary Resort Hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. (Ironically, Pooh's opponent—and ultimate victor—Richard M. Nixon delivered his infamous "I am not a crook" speech at the same Disney venue in 1973.) Naturally, Pooh is seen with his press secretary Tigger and political advisor Eeyore in this charming art, depicting the silly old bear's October 21 whistle-stop tour which started in Oakland and ran down the California coast to Disneyland. Stop by tomorrow, Election Day, to see one of Pooh's most prized campaign materials.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
At the end of the 1960 Huckleberry Hound For President comic book, Yogi Bear decides that he will run for President—and sure enough, four years later, Yogi was in the running—opposed by another Hanna-Barbera character! That's right, Hanna-Barbera doubled the fun in Magilla Gorilla #3 (December 1964), in which the newest H-B TV character took on the well-established star in the fun-filled story, "Magilla Gorilla vs. Yogi Bear For President." (You can read all about the comic book in H-B expert Joe Torcivia excellent account.) The Yogi vs. Magilla campaign went beyond the comic book to recordings and buttons—and as seen here, in a super-sized coloring book, Yogi vs. Magilla For President (here the smarter-than-the-average-bear star gets top billing over newcomer Magilla, as opposed to the comic book, where that "mighty nice" gorilla was listed first —which after all was Magilla's own publication!) This deluxe publication is worthy of the two oversized opponents and their comical campaign buttons were published on the back cover... print 'em out (click on the images for a larger view) and support your favorite cartoon candidate!
Friday, November 2, 2012
Fictional characters running for president is a time-honored bit of fun for election year: Popeye and Pogo campaigned and even Gracie Allen (of the George Burns and Gracie Allen comedy team of radio and TV fame) threw her hat into the ring. And Mickey Mouse remains a popular write-in "candidate." As I mentioned back here, the Hanna-Barbera gang ran a candidate or two of their over the years, starting with their first big star of the small screen, Huckleberry Hound. In addition to this 1960 Harvey Eisenberg-drawn comic book, Huck's campaign also included buttons and an LP complete with campaign songs. You can read all about it (and read the comic book) at Hanna-Barbera expert Yowp's blog. Also be sure and check out Hanna-Barbera/Gold Key expert Joe Torcivia's report on true-blue Huck's run for the White House.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Happy November! This year, the 11th month on the calendar brings us many special events such as a Presidential Election Day and (as usual) Thanksgiving Day. But as always November also brings us Mickey's birthday on November 18th. To start off Mickey Mouse Month right here's a charming book of paper dolls that includes Minnie Mouse. (Let's not forget that it's Minnie's birthday this month too.) Published by Whitman (an imprint of longtime Disney licensee Western Publishing), these "Steppin' Out" dolls were issued in 1977 (it has the "new" Mickey Mouse Club logo, in case you weren't sure) and were part of the 1970s nostalgia craze—a craze Mickey himself did much to start with the renewed popularity of the classic Mickey Mouse watch in 1968. These Mickey and Minnie dolls are 1920s stylish, an interesting theme this birthday boy and girl were born in the 1920s. Check back after Election Day for more Mickey merriment throughout November right here in Tulgey Wood.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The countdown is over and Halloween 2012 is here! I love cartoons and I love monsters so it would just go to follow how much I love cartoon monsters—so this Flintstones comic is a favorite of mine and I hope you find it a fun Halloween treat. It seems the one place you could count on meeting cartoonized ghouls and monsters was Bedrock, home to the Flintstones. Was there something about living in prehistoric times that meant one would meet monsters? After all, as mentioned here, the Flintstones lived near the Gruesomes. (Samantha and Darren Stevens—Hanna-Barbera animated them for the famous Bewitched title sequence—also moved into Fred and Wilma's neighborhood in an episode aired on the close-to-Halloween date of October 22 1965—not that the bewtichingly beautiful Sam was a monster, but she was a witch, which certainly qualifies her honorable mention in this Halloween post.) And in the Flintstones comic book, as seen in the images below, Fred and Wilma met Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman and the Mummy. In "The Flintstones Meet Frankenstein and Dracula" (from Issue 33, April, 1966 and written by Vic Lockman), the monsters accidentally time-travel to prehistoric Bedrock where Fred mistakes them for visiting cousins. Incredibly, Frankenstein and Dracula as seen in this comic are the Universal versions of these monsters (the Frankenstein monster certainly is), but there is no indication that official permission was obtained or an official licensing deal was arranged, so one wonders how Hanna-Barbera and/or Gold Key got away with this. Perhaps they were feeling monstrously audacious. (UPDATE: Gold Key comics expert Joe Torcivia informs me that Phil DeLara drew this Flintstones comic book.) This post marks the conclusion of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon. Thank you to everyone who stopped by—be sure and come back often and discover even more madness here in Tulgey Wood.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Today, October 30, 2012, marks the 74th anniversary of the airing of Orson Welles' brilliant radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds on Mercury Theatre on the Air. A Halloween prank, as Welles referred to it, the radio production (written by Howard Koch, who would go on to co-write Casablanca, 1942) was dramatized and designed to sound like a series of actual radio broadcasts, and it succeeded all too well. One of the most famous (or infamous) radio shows in history, Welles' "War of the Worlds' caused panic throughout the U.S. as some audience members thought Earth was actually being invaded by hostile Martians. The story was well told in the February 1975 edition (issue # 5) of Gold Key's UFO Flying Saucers comic book, posted below (click on each image for a larger view), drawn by Frank Bole. (The awesome cover, illustrating another story from that issue, is by Luis Dominguez.) This post is part of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon.