Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I would like this: Rocky Jones, Space Ranger Tunic, 1954

Space Ranger Shoulder Patch

This jacket represents one of the only known pieces to have survived from Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, an important early TV program that aired April-July, 1954. The jacket's militaristic design was a huge influence on uniforms in later sci-fi series like Star Trek and Lost In Space.  (images via Hake's)

Rocky Jones, Space Ranger Tunic

Buck Rogers v. The Fiend From Space, 1940

Artwork by Lt. Dick Calkins, Story by Phil Nowlan - Whitman #1409, Little Big Book ©1940 John F. Dille Co. (via Hake's)

Cover Artwork: Lt. Dick Calkins

Back Cover Artwork: Lt. Dick Calkins

Flash Gordon - In the Water World of Mongo, 1937

Artwork by Alex Raymond, Story by Don Moore - Whitman #1407, A Big Little Book, ©1937 King Features Syndicate, Inc.  (via Hake's)

Cover Art: Alex Raymond
Back Cover Art: Alex Raymond

Monday, May 30, 2016

It's Been A While...

...but this blog is still alive.

Astro and I are going to have to catch these cats on tour, maaan...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

If I Were A Rich Girl - The Hake's #217 Ring Collection Edition

So, Hake's Auction #217 came and went (March 15-17, 2016). 

Having seen so many tempting items it was hard to pick just one - and with finances as tight as they are, only one item would be allowed. In light of these factors this collector decided to sit #217 out. Below are the ring items on my list that had no bids - making the minimum bid sufficient to win. 

If I were a rich gal, all of them would be mine.

Without further delay I present the items no one bidding wanted - my island of misfit pop culture remnants would have been grand... (Click on the images to enlarge)

Premium ring from F.B.I. agent, on the scene for both killings of John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd, turned radio host sponsored by Post's cereals. Brass with adjustable bands from 1937. Top has shield surrounding club logo. Professionally 18K gold plated to Mint luster. (link)

1938 Quaker premium in brass with adjustable bands. Sides show four leaf clover and horse shoe designs while top has rectangular compartment with removable brass lid. Lid has high relief portrait of Tracy surrounded by good luck symbols. (link)

Known as the 'Radar Signal' ring this 1946 premium has a brass base with adjustable bands with top holding rectangular plastic stone which glows a soft blue color after light exposure then darkness. This piece slides off to reveal a secret interior compartment. With the top removed, the ring top displays Sky King's Flying Crown logo. (link)

These were issued in 1964 by both Sugar Jets and Cracker Jack...This group includes 'Kayo' in both light blue and brown. Terry of Terry & The Pirates. And Smilin' Jack is in cream - my personal favorite of the set. (link)

This is a miscellaneous group with numerous scarce rings. Begins with ring in thin brass showing Asian man with pigtail and mustache plus image of his hands holding a chain. Probably 1950s. Second is fierce face with oval mouth showing teeth and pair of tiny ball bearings beneath clear plastic eye covers. Marked on the underside 'Cleinman & Sons' and from the 1960s. Next is silver plastic base with paper label 'Go-Go-Bats.' Next is plastic 'Casper' the ghost. Next is Dennis The Menace and his dog Ruff from the 1960s (two of four in set). Next are Addams Family plastic figurals that fit on a prong on a plastic base. Next is scarce 1960s silver base with flasher top showing green face Frankenstein alternating to a red face Devil. Next is Spider-Man issued in 1975 by vitamin maker. Next are two rings from Battlestar Gallactica. Two different style metal bases but each has color circular top with one showing Daggit and the other an alien. These are from 1978. Next is a copyrighted 'Marvel' ring. A simple circular band in silver luster with alternating designs of "4" (for Fantastic Four) with an "X" in a circle for X-Men. Last is a large plastic Thundercats Ring from Burger King, 1986. (link) 

Ring is in heavy brass which the previous owner had professionally plated in 18K gold to a lustrous Mint appearance. Band is a single piece of metal that expands. Top is high relief portrait and underside has 1969 copyright of Warren Pub. Co., the publishers of Eerie Comics. (link)

These are all adjustable band silvered brass souvenir rings. Of the eight different rings, four are dated for 1933 and four for 1934. Most are silvered brass with second ring in row 2 in brass. Five of the eight include enameling. The final three rings in the photo are the duplicates. (link)

These are from a 1953 set of 20 different and they were sold off of store cards holding 36 rings. Each has a plastic gold luster base with cream colored plastic figure of the character on top and characters have some single color accenting. This group consists of: Barney Google, Blondie, Hans, Inspector, Mama Katzenjammer, Maggie, Olive Oyl, Swee' Pea. (link)

Complete set of 12 plastic rings w/inset flicker/flasher pictures. 1966. Each features two different character or action scene images of Green Hornet, Kato, etc. This is the set w/original silver plastic bases marked "China." (link)

Lot of four pieces, all from 1948...and offered via Pep cereal and on the Superman radio program. Canadian issue. First is ring w/adjustable brass band w/airplane image on each side. Top has metal spring-loaded black plastic airplane which shoots off ring top when lever is released. Comes w/original mailer box w/typed Canadian name/address label. Also comes w/folded as issued directions/order form w/some French text. "Jet Plane Ring" Sunday funnies ad shows image of ring w/image of Curtiss-Wright jet test pilot Lee Miller (who was also featured on instructions) and has coupon to order ring w/one Corn Flakes box top and 20¢. Corn Flakes cereal box is shown as well. Exc. Rare as complete and w/ad. Franco Toscanini Collection. (link)

Well there you have it. 'One man's junk'...blah, blah, blah... 

All images and descriptions are via Hake's Americana & Collectables.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Image via 3-D Film Archive

The Mask, 1951 (aka The Eyes Of Hell), directed by Julian Roffman, is officially Canada's first film in the horror genre...and a notable first it was.
A precious ancient Mayan mask possesses whoever wears it, turning them into a mad killer ostensibly taking blood sacrifices for some extinct diety.
Psychiatrist Allan Barnes (Paul Stevens) is upset when his disturbed patient Michael Radin (Martin Lavut) commits suicide. He feels he could have done more to help the young man. Radin told Barnes about a horror-mask that was compelling him to murder, a claim that Barnes too hastily dismissed. It so happened that [Radin] mailed the mask to Barnes just before he died. Barnes ignores the warnings of [Radin's] fianceĆ© Pam (Claudette Nevins). Instead of taking the strange object to the cops, he tries it on in private, just to see what happens. He’s immediately projected into a parallel dimension of horror ruled by demonic magic and ritual sacrifices. A ‘phantom Radin’ is there, along with other ghostly phantasms. - Glenn Erickson

Pretty straightforward horror stuffs. But, Julian Roffman had something more in mind:
The legendary 3-D sequences in The Mask are more than worth the price of admission. They’re really quite unique. At three places in the story the obsessed psychiatrist is compelled by a phantom voice that commands him to “Put the Mask on NOW!  Put the Mask on NOW!”  The movie audience follows suit with their 3-D viewers, and participates in a trio of hyper-real 3-D hallucination scenes. Vincent Price’s character in 1959’s The Tingler actually drops LSD in one scene, and communicated the experience through over-the-top acting. The Mask takes the audience right into the acid nightmare. What we see is a great fun-fair spook ride version of a trip to Hell.

The 3-D dream hallucination sequences have little connection to the framing story, but that doesn’t turn out to be a problem. We’re told that Barnes is exploring the dark secrets of his own subconscious, which sounds like a lot of hooey — he’s transported to an alternate dimension of evil, with spooky forests and hellish rivers, all covered by thick ground fog. The damned souls he finds there wear wax masks that turn them into strange puppet people: a creature that corresponds to Radin, a long-haired blonde woman who becomes a sacrificial victim, and a trio of masked demonic priests. - Glenn Erickson
The [anaglyph] 3-D sequences, three in all, last 14.65 minutes (879 s). They were designed by montage expert Slavko Vorkapich. A pioneering electronic music score (billed as "Electro Magic Sound" in publicity materials) enhances the strangeness of the 3-D scenes. - Wikipedia
And that is what makes this film a classic. In the early 1980s, a restored stereoscopic version of The Eyes of Hell was released for television, and in 2015 Kino Classics produced an exceptional release of The Mask on Blu-Ray 3-D and DVD. The original theatrical trailer below transports us to the excitement, and general fun, of 1961 when Canada first unleashed its brand of horror to the world.

Before There Was BATMAN there was BATSOWL

Richard Boucher posted this piece about an early bat-man character, Batsowl, from 1918. The conversation following the post is pretty interesting too. If you want check it out click here.

The notion of costumed 'bat-men' didn't originate with Bob Kane's creation. One such earlier character was Batsowl, who starred in a series of prose stories in the British comic Illustrated Chips in 1918.

I'm not suggesting for a moment that there was any connection of course. Bob Kane was born in 1915, so it's highly unlikely he'd have seen a British comic when he was three years old. However, there are some interesting similarities between the two characters, not least being the costume.
Like Batman, Batsowl's other identity was a wealthy figure. In this case, an Earl, Desmond Devance...He also had a secret underground laboratory, not dissimilar to the Batcave...and his appearance struck terror into people...
Sadly, like most British comics of the time, Batsowl is uncredited. I don't know how long the serial ran as I only have one episode, which is the one I'm showing here. It's from Illustrated Chips No.1477, dated December 21st 1918. This was one of the comics presented as a facsimile in 1972 in the Six Comics of World War One collection...It's highly likely that both Batman and Batsowl were both partially influenced by The Phantom of the Opera, written in 1909, and The Scarlet Pimpernel (which was adapted as a very popular London play in 1905).