If you’ve been tuning in regularly, you’ll have seen the written extracts from Moonlight Shadows, my unfinished Lon Chaney Jr book (here and here)… recently, by way of producing some new work samples—because I really need to upgrade my portfolio soon—I did a new version of the cover for the book. (No, I’m not thinking about finishing the book off! But never say never…)
OK, let’s cover the first two quarters of 2023—that’s half a year! 2023 is half-over, already! It never stops. The previous viewings are here, as ever. This is the antique episodic TV we’ve watched so far this year…
The Fugitive seasons 2-3 (DVD)
Kojak seasons 1-4 (DVD)
The Munsters season 2 (DVD)
The Invaders season 2 (DVD)
Harry O season 1 (download)
It was watching the original Kojak TV movie, The Marcus Nelson Murders (1973), which is a terrific and very gritty film based on real events, which prompted a full rewatch of the ’70s classic…
Note: a follow-up to this post, here is another entry from my Lon Chaney Jr filmog/biog book, Moonlight Shadows, which I’ve worked on occasionally since 2009, and which frankly I shall probably never finish (although I do have 70,000+ words done on it). Anyhow–enjoy! Would you like to see more of these? Let me know.
Produced by Jack Leewood for Associated Producers, Inc. Directed by Roy Del Ruth. Screenplay by Orville H Hampton (story by Hampton & Charles O’Neal). Music score by Irving Gertz. Cinematography by Karl Struss. Makeup by Ben Nye & Dick Smith. Special effects by Fred Etcheverry. Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox.
Technical: 2.35:1, black and white, RCA mono. Running time: 74 minutes. Production: April 13 to late April 1959. Release: July 16 1959 (US).
With Beverly Garland, Bruce Bennett, Lon Chaney, George Macready, Frieda Inescort, Richard Crane and Douglas Kennedy.
Using hypnosis, Dr Lorimer (Bruce Bennett) discovers his nurse, Jane Marvin (Beverly Garland), has a troubled past repressed with amnesia. It’s revealed that long ago, her new husband, Paul (Richard Crane), disappeared on their wedding night after receiving a mysterious telegram. He had just told her he’d earlier sustained severe injuries in an accident, from which he seemed to have recovered miraculously. She devotes her time to tracking him down, which leads her to a large estate in the swamplands of the deep South. It turns out he received experimental treatments from Dr Sinclair (George Macready), using extracts from alligators in an attempt to harness reptilian healing powers. This resulted in long-term side-effects.
Lon’s final American horror role of the ’50s came with The Alligator People. Following the success of a certain other cross-species mutation story, The Fly (1958), it was conceived as the B-feature for a double-bill with Fly‘s imaginatively-titled sequel, Return of the Fly. Both were Associated Producers films, in association with & distributed by Fox.
Thought I’d give a quick mention to John, who passed away aged 93 on June 12th. His death is no tragedy—he had a very long life, well lived—but a sad loss nonetheless, especially as the Silver Age greats of comics are dwindling rapidly now.
John was, of course, the third best Spider-Man artist.
I’ve been reading & re-reading a lot of THUNDER Agents tales of late. By way of hopefully starting a trend of longer reviews, this is my thoughts on the seventh issue…
Out of the first eight issues of THUNDER Agents, #7 definitely stands out as the best to me. Is it, perhaps, also the best issue of the entire 20-issue run? It must be in the running.
I have been thinking about, and assessing, the content on this blog, as part of a general overhaul of the Website (the various sections will be upgraded somewhat soon; right now it’s just the thinking stage). The blog has been running since December 2000, believe it or not, although the first ten years of content has been offline for a while… for now, I’ve decided to remove all the archives before 2020, and even then I’ve deleted a number of short or disposable postings from the last three years that just weren’t very interesting. (Like this posting, probably!)
I’d just like to refocus my efforts on making longer and better quality postings, I think, such as reviews and the like. The “viewing” postings are fine; the artwork postings are OK when it’s good quality work. And so on.
Before we list the first quarter’s viewing for 2023, a quick catchup on what we watched in the last quarter of ’22.
As usual: the previous viewing entry is here…
The Fugitive season 1 (DVD)
The Munsters season 1 (DVD)
The Invaders season 1 (DVD)
Bat Masterson season 1 (DVD)
The Phil Silvers Show season 4 (DVD)
The Box of Delights (1984 serial) (DVD)
The Day of the Triffids (1981 serial) (DVD)
I am indeed a Three Stooges fan, although I like Laurel & Hardy better—but for some reason have never drawn L&H. Go figure. Must rectify this soon. Anyhow, this is just finished on my drawing table, in the newly revamped studio space. Which, BTW, is actually helping my work quite a bit. Let’s not talk about the cramped working conditions I had previously! It wasn’t good, but I’ll leave it at that.
So, this is a mixed media piece, and a first (but it won’t be last) attempt at a slightly different approach. I thought perhaps the pen & ink portraits just look quite comic booky, and pencil-only is a pretty common approach, and a lot of people do it better than me… but this, I think works a little better for me. The basic outlines are done using my trusty Uni brush pen, but I kept it to a minimum. I left a lot of the toning & modeling out. The background is simple ink-on-sponge—something I have not done in about thirty years! Finally, the tones are done with grey watercolour pencils. (Mostly a couple of darker ones.)