Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Monday, August 24, 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
This is a tough one to take. Yvonne Craig passed on Monday of this week. I first saw her in the movie SKI PARTY...or maybe in DOBIE GILLIS. Or STAR TREK. None of that matters. She was and will always be...BATGIRL! The BATMAN series took a nosedive when she came on for various reasons, none of which had to do with Yvonne, who was much loved by male and female fans alike. My 6th grade girlfriend would pretend to be Batgirl and I would help her catch the bad guys as Robin! Yvonne Craig had a great sense of comic timing, a wonderfully wispy face, and even played a few good villain roles in the 1970s, not suffering nearly the typecasting that affected Burt Ward and Adam West.
Rest In Peace
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
I’ve known Tracy Newman for about five or six years now. The Internet being what it is, of course, I don’t know her well and I’ve never actually met her in person but she’s one of my favorite people anyway. She’s sort of famous, too, and not just in that 15 minute Warholian way.
Fifty years ago, young Tracy headed up a musical, educational, children’s show on NET, the forerunner to PBS. In the years since, she has appeared with Johnny Carson, is a founding member—along with her sister Laraine Newman—of the pioneering improv group, The Groundlings, she has written for many of the best sitcoms on television in recent decades including CHEERS, ELLEN, and DREW CAREY, and co-created and executive produced the long-running Jim Belushi sitcom, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO JIM.
But a running theme behind all that other stuff is Tracy’s music! With a million watt whole face smile that can brighten anyone’s day and a simple but evocative singing style, she can effortlessly pluck your emotions like strings in self-written songs that run the gamut from lighthearted whimsy to deep and thoughtful ballads. Her solo singing is sensitive and has an easily detectable ring of truth and her harmonizing, whether with her daughter, Charlotte Dean, her band, The Reinforcements, or other friends, is first rate.
Here are a few Tracy Newman videos. If you’re ever around anywhere that Tracy Newman and the Reinforcements are appearing live, please go. I envy you the opportunity.
Thanks, Tracy, for being my friend, virtual though it may be. And thank you for your music.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Wishing a public but posthumous happy birthday to my late mother, Margaret Viola Lowrance Thompson, who would have been 100 years old today!
She was born and raised in Mooresville, North Carolina where she worked picking cotton as a youth and then began a long career of working in mills in North Carolina and Kentucky. She met my dad when she answered a "Write to a soldier" ad in TRUE STORY magazine during WWII and he wrote back. And kept writing back.
About five years after they started corresponding, she came up to visit and meet him in person and he took her to Cincinnati's Coney Island (see above). It still took a few years before they got married in December of 1957 and I came along in early 1959.
She was 44 at the time. That just wasn't done in those days. Relatives tell me that she laughed all during her pregnancy and never weighed more than 100 lbs!
As I grew up, she seemed to become more sophisticated than she looked in the old pictures. She was often surprisingly open-minded. She was against the Vietnam War, she was supportive--usually--of my interests.
I say usually because she DID throw out my comic books in reused grocery bags for the first couple years I collected!
Never sick a day in her life to speak of, she came home from work one day in 1980 and said her co-workers had said she looked jaundiced. Within a week, she was having cancer surgery. Six months of painful and disheartening post-operative treatments saw her return to some semblance of her old self to where she could get out shopping again and even spoke to her work about returning. But then came a sudden relapse and this time nothing helped. Just before Christmas in 1981, she passed at age 66, only 10 years older than I am now.
My mother at 100.
I can only imagine.
Saturday, August 08, 2015
One Skylar Greencorn posted this fan art of Rene Thompson and Sandy Carruthers' MS. MOLECULE on Facebook! Too cool!
And don't forget you can now order MS. MOLECULE's print debut in UNUSUAL SUSPENSE at the following link!
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Sunday, August 02, 2015
Saturday, August 01, 2015
LIDSVILLE and HR PUFNSTUF had comic books from Gold Key Comics. THE BUGALOOS had a comic book for Charlton. How come The Krofft Brothers' best show, LAND OF THE LOST, never had a comic book? Heck, even its animated Hanna-Barbera rival, VALLEY OF THE DINOSAURS, had a comic book! Anyway, if LAND OF THE LOST ever HAD a comic book, I imagine it might have looked a bit like this.
If you're in Seattle this weekend, check out Kathy Coleman, Wesley Eure and Phil Paley at Galacticon and remember that Kathy's book (written with yours truly) can be picked up via Amazon or signed copies on eBay.