Monday, April 6
Shadow

Tag: superheroes

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 41: Superman Balloon at the 1940 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 41: Superman Balloon at the 1940 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Last year I shared a cool vintage photograph of a Mickey Mouse balloon from the 1934 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, so this year I'm back with another fantastic floating icon. This shot from the 1940 Macy's parade marks the debut of the famous Superman balloon. His debut was given its own article in the November 22 edition of The New York Times, entitled "Superman Struts in Macy Parade -- His 23-Foot Chest and 8-Foot Smirk Delight the Throngs Lining Sidewalks." This is yet another example of something from pop culture achieving an enormous amount of popularity in a very short time. Consider that Superman had only just debuted in in April 1938 in Action Comics #1. So within just a few years, the Man of Steel had his own comic book, his own radio program (The Adventures of
A Gallery of World War II Superhero Comic Book Covers

A Gallery of World War II Superhero Comic Book Covers

Capsules, Ephemera
In modern times, comic book superheroes tend to view armed conflict with a healthy dose of skepticism regardless of which side they're on. But that wasn't the case during World War II, when costumed do-gooders from Superman all the way down to the lowliest nobody of a crime fighter eagerly signed up to wallop the Axis powers on behalf of Uncle Sam. And hey, if they had to deal in period racism to get the job done, who were we to question that? So just in time for Memorial Day, here's a gallery of vintage WWII-era Golden Age comic book covers showing our heroes fighting the Nazis and the Japanese on behalf of Uncle Sam. Many of these images were sourced from the excellent Digital Comic Museum -- check 'em out!  
Great Moments in Comic Book Advertising, Vol. 2: Captain Marvel for Mechanix Illustrated

Great Moments in Comic Book Advertising, Vol. 2: Captain Marvel for Mechanix Illustrated

Advertising
I have to say, as vintage examples of cynical marketing aimed at kids goes, this one is a doozy. It's an advertisement for Mechanix Illustrated from America's Greatest Comics #2 (Fawcett Publications, Feb/May 1942), and features none other than Captain Marvel himself. That's right young fellas, don't even think about reading Mechanix Illustrated if you're a crummy sissy! OK, so let me provide a little bit of historical context here. Mechanix Illustrated, in case you couldn't tell, was positioned as a competitor to established magazines like Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. It was published by Fawcett, which of course owned Captain Marvel. And lest you think being thought of as a sissy by Captain Marvel wasn't a big deal in 1942, keep in mind that throughout the '40s Captain...
Holy Slam Bang Vanilla Ice Cream, Batman!

Holy Slam Bang Vanilla Ice Cream, Batman!

Auction Finds, Ephemera
Riding the wave of popularity brought about by the Batman television show, DC Comics took the opportunity to cash in on the Caped Crusader's new fan base. One of the more interesting Batman and Robin artifacts from that era was All Star's Slam Bang Vanilla Ice Cream from 1966. Here are a few outstanding pieces of ephemera related to the ice cream -- a well-preserved product box and a large paper ad. Note that at this point the official corporate name for DC was still National Periodical Publications, Inc. For more auction finds, click here.
Trailer Trash: Man of Steel Official Trailer #2

Trailer Trash: Man of Steel Official Trailer #2

Movies
So is it June 2013 yet? Because my Spidey Sense -- oops, wrong costume -- tells me that Man of Steel may actually redeem the Superman film franchise from the snoozefest that was Superman Returns. Check out the newest trailer: It looks like the origin story just got a little darker, and DC is taking the franchise in a very Dark Knight-esque direction. That's no surprise of course, but as long as the movie's good I don't mind. If you want to watch campy Superman there are always the great Christopher Reeve movies out there (which means stop after the second one). We don't see much of Henry Cavill in action here but he seems to be a good fit visually. The effects also look awesome, and best of all Kevin Costner isn't using a stupid accent. Oh, and did I mention General Zod? Beca...
Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Reel 3

Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Reel 3

Ephemera
This is it folks -- the thrilling, action-packed, spandex-clad conclusion to the epic showdown between the heroic (if not slightly befuddled) duo of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl and the teeth-clenching villainy of Spider Lady! In case you've just joined us, you can catch up on the first two reels here and here. #1 -- Still disguised, Spider Lady took the sacred idol. Wait, what's this about an idol? When the hell did this enter the story? This might just be the first MacGuffin in View-Master history. #2 -- Dynagirl's ElectraComp went dead. #3 -- Dynagirl was amazed to see two Loris! What! Two Electra Women?! Now we'll get half the investigating done! #4 -- But Spider Lady changed back to real self. You know, if Electra Woman did a little less posing she'd get a lo...
Pop Culture Capsule — Superman through the Years

Pop Culture Capsule — Superman through the Years

Capsules, Featured Posts, History
Since his debut in 1938, Superman has become an American icon and has appeared in countless media adaptations. Well not countless, but a lot. More than I count. To show the evolution of Superman, here's a photo/image gallery representing how the Last Son of Krypton has appeared over the decades. Action Comics #1, June 1938 (art by Joe Shuster) Superman Fleischer Studios animated films (1941 - 1943) Superman, serial film starring Kirk Alyn (1948) Adventures of Superman, TV series starring George Reeves (1952 - 1958) Superman (Vol. 1) #99, August 1955 (art by Al Plastino) It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, Broadway musical starring Bob Holiday (1966) Super Friends, animated TV series (1973) Superman, film starring Christopher Reeve (1978) Lois &a...
Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 2

Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 2

Ephemera
You've had a few weeks to cool down after the intense action from reel 1 of the Electra Woman and Dyna Girl View-Master reel set, so let's get back to it! As we left off, Electra Woman was in the semi-competent clutches of the vicious Spider Lady and Deidre Hall was desperately trying to get her agent to return her calls. I won't keep you waiting any longer, so it's back into Spider Lady's lair for more vintage 1970s-style superhero action! #1 - Spider Lady's assistant threw the switch-- -- and instantly transported everyone into a cheap '60s color TV set! #2 - --and Spider Lady had become Lori's "twin"! You know, both of them seem rather nonplussed -- bored, even -- by the proceedings here. #3 - "I've duplicated your voice everything." Again, Electra Woman seems...
Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 1

Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 1

Ephemera, TV & Radio
Here's one of the more bizarre View-Master reel sets in my collection. It was issued to promote the short-lived live action series Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, which ran for just 16 episodes in 1976. It was one of the segments aired during the first season of The Krofft Supershow, which itself only lasted for two years. Electra Woman and Dyna Girl followed the adventures of two comely reporters for Newsmaker magazine -- Lori/Electra Woman (Deidre Hall) and Judy/Dyna Girl (Judy Strangis). Over the course of the series the pair battled an array of colorful villains like the Pharaoh, the Sorcerer, Glitter Rock, Ali Baba, Spider Lady, and the Empress of Evil. The segments seemed to be a none-too-subtle homage to the Batman TV show from the '60s, as you'll see in this clip of the opening the...