Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Never Judge a Book by its Cover (Credits)! IDW's DONALD DUCK # 20 On Sale May 31, 2017.

...Or "Hey! I'm Here Too!  Really I Am!

Despite there being "no room at the inn"... er, "no room on the cover" for my Translation and Dialogue credit, everyone run out and pick up a copy of DONALD DUCK # 20 from IDW!  

In it, you'll find Part One (of Two) of "Helmet of the Gods", a 2011 Italian adventure written by Carlo Panaro, drawn by Andrea Freccero, with translation and dialogue by the great Jonathan Gray -- whose last name, thankfully, was short enough to fit into the cover's clearly crowded credits banner.

IDW has designated this month as "Funko Universe" month, offering special alternate covers and one-shot issues with various characters rendered in that unique -- and undeniably adorable -- Funko Pop style.  

Why, even JUDGE DREDD somehow manages to look "undeniably adorable"! 

No mean feat, that! 

Oddly (...or perhaps intentionally, who knows?) "Helmet of the Gods" features "Professor Oleg Owlson", a character that actually LOOKS like a Funko Pop!  

Really!  Check him out in relation to Donald! 

And, ya gotta admire his taste in READING!  (At below right!)

Gotta love this Rabbit character too!  

Not exactly "Your Fudd-Father's Wittle Gway Wabbit"! 

Care to guess what model of Volkswagen he drives?  (Gotta be the work of David and Jonathan here!)

UPDATE: May 31, 2017:  Our friend Debbie Anne Perry observed that the "Rabbit Character" in this story reminds her of "...de-evolved Bugs Bunny from Mad as a Mars Hare" (Chuck Jones, 1963), and sent this pic to prove it!  

The artwork is good contemporary Italian style - and, at times, it is downright awesome...

But, this final panel is either too simplistic for my tastes - or perhaps too LARGE, that it exposes the "simplicity" in a less than impressive way.  

UPDATE: June 02, 2017:  Our rather industrious friend Debbie Anne Perry, in response to my Comment Section observation that the whale seen above "...looks like something I recall seeing on a children’s bubble bath container, when I was a kid. I could swear it appeared as a half page ad on the last page of some early sixties Dell comics", supplied the exact illustration I was referring to!  

Here it is below!  Thank you, Deb! What do you all think?

Also, I can't help it but it makes me think of the 1969 Donald Duck Classic "Bird-Bothered Hero"... (Shudder!)  

Ah, but our second story is drawn by an artist who simply doesn't know the meaning of the word "simplistic" ... the every reliable Victor Arriagada Rios, better known as "Vicar"!   

Nothing "simplistic" about THIS, eh?  

"Donald Duck meets Princess Oona"...

...is written by Stefan and Uhn Printz-Pahlson, drawn by the aforementioned Vicar, with an Americanized English Language script by yours truly.  

Yes, really... I'm in this book!  See my Interior Credit?  

Anyway, this story introduces cave-gal Princess Oona to American readers.  David Gerstein's "Crosstalk" text feature gives us some nice background on Oona, so do give that a look for more publishing backstory.  

To our story, somehow this fight...

...results in Gyro Gearloose time-tripping Donald back to the Stone Age...

...where he runs afoul of some Neanderthals...

...is rescued by Oona...

...runs afoul of a mammoth...

...is again rescued by Oona...

...get the picture?  

So, what's next for Oona?  I know, because I've finished her first THREE stories, all coming to IDW starting with this one!  

...But, I've never been one to give up spoilers!  

I will say that Oona is a good character with lots of chaos causing potential - and is a far, far better representative of "cave-duckdom" than was this poor unfortunate creation, and leave it at that.  

Though you might very well find some names and other dialogue that may (purposefully) conjure up memories of Bubba... I'm just that way, you know... 

Just remember, I do not speak for IDW, or anyone in its employ.  I speak strictly for myself as both a long-time fan and as a dialogue creator – and those opinions are strictly my own.

Then, just as we used to before this Blog's hiatus, let's all meet back here in the Comments Section to discuss another great issue from IDW!  (...Maybe if we all say nice things, my name'll get back on the cover again!) 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

So, We Meet Again! Harris and Hillaire.

Above is a well-known scene of Jonathan Harris as Doctor Zachary Smith and Marcel Hillaire as the alien criminal Phanzig, from the LOST IN SPACE episode “Condemned of Space” (1967). 

And, here is a not so well-known scene of Jonathan Harris as Bradford Webster and Marcel Hillaire as French Police Inspector Bochet from a 1959 episode of THE THIRD MAN, a mystery / espionage series that starred the great Michael Rennie, and co-starred Jonathan Harris. 

Funny thing is that on LOST IN SPACE Hillaire was an imprisoned convict holding Harris hostage and, on THE THIRD MAN, Hillaire was a police official questioning Harris on suspicion of murder.  Whichever side of the law Hillaire was on, it was none too easy for Harris.  

"Oh dear, oh dear!  It's NEVER easy, is it?" 

Oh, and need I mention that Jonathan Harris and Michael Rennie would also “meet again” on one of the very best episodes of LOST IN SPACE – the two-part “The Keeper” (1966).  

...Naw, I don't have to mention THAT, do I?  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

R.I.P. Sir Roger Moore.

We mourn the passing of actor Sir Roger Moore, on May 23, 2017, at the age of 89. 

Roger Moore was the personification of British suave… and cool, regardless of the role. 

Beau Maverick, a late but welcome entry to the classic western series MAVERICK, TV’s Simon Templar in THE SAINT (the role I’ve historically associated him with), and my most recent Moore discovery THE PERSUADERS, with Sir Roger so perfectly paired with – and played against – Tony Curtis! 

But, unquestionably Roger Moore’s greatest achievement was making the role of James Bond “his own”, in the wake of Sean Connery’s indelible imprint on Agent 007!  

Indeed, one needn’t press me too hard to get me to admit a preference for Moore over anyone else in the role – especially on the two occasions where he encountered wacky Sheriff J.W. Pepper, played by actor Clifton James, who also passed away earlier this year.  

And “Moonraker”, which I liked so much I parodied the title for a Donald Duck secret agent story - "Tycoonraker". 

On a completely unrelated note, it was Roger Moore who convinced friend David Hedison to take the role of Captain Crane on the weekly television version of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA (1964-1968), after Hedison had turned down the same role for the previous feature film version of VOYAGE in 1961.  Moore had come to realize the virtues of regular work and pay on a regular series with THE SAINT (1962-1969), and so convinced Hedison.  

Ironically, it was his television work on THE SAINT, and perhaps THE PERSUADERS as well, that LEAD Moore to the cinematic role of Bond.  

  Thank you, Sir Roger Moore, for so many great – and historic – moments!