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, Volume 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.