Wednesday, December 20, 2006
For our final installment of Christmas offerings, Mr. Miller has wrapped up a real neat treat for all you PopCereal kids to go silly over.
If there is one thing that you ever needed to know, or cared to know, about Mr. Miller, it's that he absolutely loves Charles Dickens story "A Christmas Carol." Ever since he can remember, the 1951 Alastair Sim version of the story was a regular event at the Mr. Miller household. The local PBS station would run the holiday movie twice a year, with the first airing on Christmas Eve, and the second on Christmas day afternoon.
Another little secret about Mr. Miller is that he's also fond of filmstrips.
What we have here for your final PopCereal Christmas present is a recording of a filmstrip version of the great Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, produced by the Listening Library, Inc, out of Greenwich, Connecticut. They've been providing schools and other organizations with filmstrips, audio books and other audio-visual goodies for decades now, and it's always a happy day when we find one of their gems.
So, for your listening and viewing pleasure, PopCereal presents the filmstrip version of Dickens A Christmas Carol (catalog #SFX5), which includes a pdf file of the accompanying guide booklet.
So, go download it and enjoy your holidays!!
rapidshare this download
or download at mediafire
Oh... and please be patient with the download. After all it's a double length filmstrip with audio read along, running nearly 40 minutes, so it'll take several minutes of your time to obtain it. We promise you -- it's weel worth the wait.
Have a merry!!
Friday, December 15, 2006
On the flip side the pair of pals show their more tender side, singing that sweet little chestnut about "Suzy Snowflake."
Go download the record and sleeve covers and give 'em a listen:
Kenny & Corky 45 record download
Monday, December 11, 2006
Gosh almighty, when Mr. Miller was given this record, he nearly flipped his can! Never had he heard these sweet little melodies before
Check out this great download over at Check The Cool Wax. It seems that Captain Kangaroo does the same songs on the Mitch Miller 45 record... the EXACT same songs!
Mr. Miller first discovered this when he got a mix CD from a friend (the very same Christmas that he got the Mitch Miller record and put it on his own mix CD) with Captain Kangaroo doing his version of "Merry Merry Christmas." He thought it was odd that the Captain's song virtually matched Mitch Miller's version -- only the Captain did a tiny intro on his record.
Then after we got a comment in the ol' mailbag pointing out the similarities, we thought we'd better do some look-seeing around the Internets. What we found was that The Sandpipers and the Captain and Mitch Miller were well linked up, as you can see on this record sleeve art we found on esnarf.
Here... have a closer look.
Oddly, there's no mention of Bob Keeshan on any of the Mitch Miller & The Sandpiper records. Hmmmm... makes you wonder. I think Lumpy Brannum was behind the whole thing...
If anyone know more about this coincidink, please feel free to contact PopCereal. Mr. Miller here is just dying to hear all about it.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
This hip shaker comes from the dynamic duo known as Paul and Paul. Sure, they're a couple square pegs, but on this Christmas LP the kids show us all how to have a hootenanny good time!!
For your listening pleasure, Mr. Miller has slapped this disc on the ol' turntable and with the wonder of Digi-rama, he's made it available for download!
And here's a link to another download option:
Monday, November 27, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
And now a word from our sponsors...
To make up for lost time, we're going to dive headlong into the Season of Seasons! Yes, Christmas shouldn't start until after Thanksgiving, I know, but we just can't help ourselves. I fully understand that Turkey Day just doesn't get the respect it's due (for crimeny sakes it's pretty much the forgotten holiday, being wedged between Xmas and Halloween), and we plan to rectify that one day. For now, though, here's the first of some Yuletide recordings for you to feast upon.
This fantastic record was found by Mr. Miller in a Holiday bin at the world famous WFMU Record Show a few years back, and ever since then he's had it on the top of his "must hear every year" list. It's a well polished bubblegum ball of sugary pop Christmas songs, with that sound that could only have come from out of the 70s.
The Rhodes Kids had a small amount of fame back in their day, with a guest appearances on an episode of The Wonderful World of Disney and a TV variety special Welcome to Our World, but who the hell knows where all these teen popsters go to after their brief stint in Fameland.
We haven't been able to find out a whole lot about the traveling family band's whereabouts these days, but Mr. Miller was able to dig up an interview done by one of the eldest Rhodes kid, Ron, who has been keeping very busy with his own ministry and writing books. Check out the interview where Ron talks about the days of Tigerbeat and Mike Douglas.
And then go download their fantastic Christmas LP. Mr. Miller guarantees that you'll dig it!
download it here: Rock 'n Rhodes Christmas
A MY BAD ADD:
The rip you are about to download (and the cover scans) has come to you by the courtesy of none other than the King of Jingaling over at Falalalala. His rip is far better than the one from Mr. Miller's LP, so we're happy to share it -- thanks to the King. Please visit him, and visit him often.
Monday, October 30, 2006
As a 70s kid I couldn't get enough of books about ghosts, ghouls and goblins, from Spooky Tricks to How To Care For Your Monster, I was all about monster books. One of my favorite series featured a friendly little ghostie by the name of Georgie. Naturally, the Halloween adventures were my favorite, but the first of the series was spook-tacular! I found this filmstrip and cassette tape combo on eBay last year and flipped my can!! Take a listen to this encore posting and tell me you ain't happy.
download it here: http://rapidshare.com/files/1330664/Georgie_PopCereal.wmv.html
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Jim Henson fans, go find this treasure!!
For old school television nuts (like me), Jim Henson’s The Cube has been something of a Holy Grail. Before the days of the Internet, a video freak would really have to hunt through every video store backroom VHS bootlegger to find themselves a copy (of a copy of a copy…) of this highly original TV production. Thankfully, with obscure video and DVD outlets all over the web, we video hounds can hang up the leashes and press the play button on the DVD remote.
The Cube was an hour long teleplay, created by Jim Henson, that aired only twice as part of the 60s weekly anthology series NBC Experiment in Television. It featured Richard Schaal (Chuckles the Clown from Mary Tyler Moore) as an unwitting every-man who finds himself trapped in a stark white, cube-shaped room. With no knowledge of how he got there or of how he can escape, the Man is visited by a parade of strangers who enter through hidden doors and hatches that are, he discovers, not accessible to him. Each visitor poses something of a conundrum for the Man, never being able to provide him with answers to where? what? or why? but instead piling on even more questions, mostly about philosophical uncertainties of identity, time, and about reality versus illusion.
Henson (creator of the Muppets) directed the trippy teleplay from a script co-written with longtime Muppet’s writing pal Jerry Juhl (Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas). In nostalgic retrospect, The Cube is an excellent example of the type of creative and thoughtful (as well as thought provoking) programming that used to be available to television audiences. It’s also a dismal reminder that the writing on today’s television is no longer in the hands of skilled scribes who have honed their craft through years of work and practice, but rather by sycophants who want to show off their hip pop culture references and (not really so) clever dialogue. If only TV Land (the cable channel, that is) would forget trying to latch onto the unreachable IPod audience and turn everyone else on to the long lost television shows like The Cube.
one good place to find this (in B/W and in Color) is at A Different City
Friday, October 13, 2006
And as a bonus, here's a link to the fantastic site Bubblegum Fink, where the curator likes to make his own bubblegum cards out of the craziest movies. They've done them for Logans Run, A Clockwork Orange, and a bunch of other cool flicks.
Here's his latest, appropriatly designed from the slasher classic Friday the 13th!
Enjoy! And may all your good luck be bad on this most gruesome day.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
press release for The Groovie Goolies DVD release:
ONE OF THE GROOVIEST CARTOONS FROM THE ‘70S COMES TO DVD AS NAVARRE CORPORATION’S BCI INTRODUCES
The Saturday “Mourning” Collection
Available October 24th For $29.98
Los Angeles, CA – They were the grooviest, most eclectic array of animated monsters ever to hit the small screen in the early ‘70s. Now, thanks to BCI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, the latest series from the Filmation catalog will be available on DVD with the release of “Groovie Goolies.” 16 digitally remastered episodes will be released on October 24th under BCI’s Ink & Paint brand, and from media company and underlying rights owner, Entertainment Rights Plc (“ER”), at a suggested retail price of $29.98.
“As evidenced by our previously announced lineup, Filmation released some of the most memorable animated series ever to hit television in the ‘70s and ‘80s,” said Jeff Hayne, Director of Acquisitions, BCI. “The Groovie Goolies were one of the most unique casts of characters on Saturday mornings, and we’re glad to offer this series not only to those of us that remember it on television, but to a whole new generation.”
“Groovie Goolies” features a cast of legendary monsters who get themselves in all sorts of wacky predicaments, as they joke, dance and sing their way through each episode. The hyper-colorful series stars the residents of Horrible Hall; Frankie, Wolfie, Drac, Mummy, Hagatha, Bella LaGhostley, Boneapart and a wealth of other animated tributes to classic monster movie icons. In each episode, the Goolies offer an abundance of goofy gags in “Weird Window Time,” a segment reminiscent of the classic “Laugh-In” series. Each episode ends with an original Groovie Goolies rock song presented in the form of a wildly animated music video. This show inspired many famous “Goolians” including Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, and wealth of Hollywood’s top award winning costumers, writers and make-up artists.
Special features include:
“Goolians”—brand new, 45 minute “docu-comedy” created by producer and voice over artist Wally Wingert (Family Guy, Invader Zim) and Daniel Roebuck (Lost, The Fugitive), featuring interviews with Alice Cooper, Forrest J. Ackerman, Ron Chaney, Lous Scheimer, Oscar® winning make-up artist Bill Corso, “Goolie” head writer Jack Mendelsohn, and more. Includes new original rock song “True Blue Goolian,” and a music video with the Sacramento punk band “The Groovie Ghoulies.”
Audio commentary tracks for two episodes, featuring producer Lou Scheimer, “Goolie” head writer Jack Mendelsohn, Filmation historian Darrell McNeil, and Hollywood monster expert Bob Burns. Hosted by Wally Wingert
Image gallery featuring original model sheets, animation cels, storyboards, backgrounds and PSAs
Candid story from producer Lou Scheimer about “The Creation of Filmation”
Trivia and episode guide
DVD-ROM extras, including scripts and the original Series Bible for “The Kookie Spookies”
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Bruce Campbell talks about why he’s happy not to be a part
By Barry Meyer
Ever since the Hollywoodland sign sprang up on the Los Angeles hillsides, millions of starry-eyed hopefuls have swarmed to the sunny coast for a self-entitled shot at fame and fortune. Young ingénues eagerly don their finest mid-drift baring blouses and hunky hopefuls strap on their most indulgent slacks, all in hopes that one day their images will be hung in lights and their faces will be lathered across the pages of the top running gossip rags (preferably the photos would be of them canoodling gap-mouthed and wild-eyed with Tom Cruise – that goes for both ingénue and lad).
And then there is that strange breed of actor who steps earnestly and coolly over the gold-plated sidewalk-stars and cemented handprints, searching the strip for some cheap cigar-chomping B-movie producer who appreciates the… uh… less refined aspects of contemporary moviedom.
Well, okay… there aren’t many of that breed in existence, because, let’s face it – who strives for the Bronze Medal? Who would endeavor to eek out a career filled with relative obscurity? Who would choose B-movie notoriety over a lifetime pass to every Paparazzi encrusted red carpet stretched out across the sunny 31st state (that’s California)? There aren’t many who would willingly schlep all the way to the land of glitz and glamour just to steer clear of the beautiful self-aggrandizing herd of Oscar-clingers playing box-office bingo. That is, unless your name is Bruce Campbell.
If you’re scratching your head and wondering “just who in the hell is this Bruce Campbell?” then I can only suggest that while you were clawing your way through the newsstand shelves for the latest on Britney & Kevin in Us Weekly or OK!, you may have unwittingly clutched onto this little mag instead (in that case, run to the nearest TV set and sanitize yourself with an episode of Access Hollywood). But for those of us, the luckily initiated, the mere mention of Mr. Campbell’s name could send us into foot-stomping squeals of delight as we rush down to the local 2nd run movie house, or set us off blissfully Goggling our laptops for “Ash” “chainsaws” and “Ellen.” For us fans of the oft-canceled television show and humble B-movie fare, Bruce Campbell is a living legend.
Like Vincent Price before him, Campbell embraces the unfettered freedoms of the small cinema. For Campbell, the small cinema is home; a place where studio heads, and other assorted stuffed-shirts, are less likely to intercede; a place where Bruce can do what Bruce wants to do; where he can be the big chin in the small pond. Sure, he enjoys the fresh faces on young directors and producers full of eager imagination. But mostly, the Indie world is one where Campbell knows he can be his most creative. And like B-movie legend Vincent Price, Campbell has become one of the most fascinating and recognizable faces on the Cult movie scene.
No doubt he has the chiseled-jaw looks and the smoothly-toned wit of a classic Hollywood star – which would indubitably qualify him for Harrison Ford-like stardom – but Campbell wants as little to do with big Hollywood as he can possibly get away with. He’s not one for the brand of snobbery that’s bought with a home in Beverly Hills, or the spurious Royalty that’s procured with frequent visits to the Oprah stage. Even though he collects a pretty paycheck from the Hollywood Bank of Suspended Disbelief, Campbell keeps a healthy contempt for Hollywood. And with a reproachful tongue planted firmly in cheek, he’s able to spit out the uproarious fictional autobiography Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way which details the challenges of being a cult artist in a plastic-coated world.
Penny Blood: You've become quite the hyphenate these days: actor-producer-director-writer-documentarian. I can go on.
Bruce Campbell: Well… you know… just trying to keep the wheel in the air. It's just sometimes opportunities come up. The longer I stick around in this business, the more I find that I can do some of that stuff myself – I don't need to have all these other people hanging about. You know, I've worked with plenty of hack directors, so why not be my own hack director? I've read lots of shitty dialogue, so why not write my own shitty dialogue? If I'm staying in that low-budget world, you usually don't have that many people with that much experience. So, I found that "Alright, step aside, I'll do it myself." (laughs)
PB: Might as well cut out the middle-man and take control yourself.
Bruce: Pretty much. The writing thing presented itself. I did the first book (If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a "B" Movie Actor) and that allowed me to do a second book. It's an opportunity that allows me to stay at my home in Oregon more often.
PB: That second book "How To Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way" is out as a book-on-tape (actually a book-on-CD).
Bruce: Yeah, that's a good one for those long commutes.
PB: Six CDs worth of drive time! Is the audio production ver batim from the book?
Bruce: It sure as heck is! That's the one thing we wanted to do is not to give the people some pared down, cheese ball version of the book. This is it! You could sit down and read along in the book - if you really wanted to.
PB: Besides being a straight read from the book, the audio production is done like a radio play, with sound effects and voice actors.
Bruce: Exactly! That's why the tagline of the CDs is "You've read the book. Now hear the movie."
PB: Very clever.
Bruce: Here's what I want to encourage people to do… you know, in this high tech society - where everyone has all this great gear now - sit down and crank it up! That's what I have to say. Like an old radio show, just sit down and get comfortable for a few hours a night… or however you wanna do it. You know, now people just download it. But however you do it; it's all good by me.
PB: Are you a fan of those old time radio programs?
Bruce: Yeah! Sam Raimi and I used to have a show on Friday mornings in high school. We would do recordings at his house, because his dad had a pretty cool cassette deck. Other friends would have little bits of equipment and tape we could use; and we'd buy patch cords and figure out pretty much how to do stuff. So, now these CDs are just a higher version of all that.
PB: You and your friends also did your fair share of Super 8 movie making, too.
BRUCE: Yeah! A bunch of Super 8 amateur movies. That's the stuff that really got us going. We'd just hit the end of high school and we said "Holy shit! We have to do something for a living!"
PB: And you chose film.
BRUCE: Yes. Crazy as it is.
PB: Were you a big movie geek when you were a kid?
BRUCE: I was a movie fan, but I'd have to say that I was more interested in doing it than watching it. I've got friends who are far more interested in watching it, and they're encyclopedic in their film knowledge. But, I couldn't tell you who won what Academy Award and in what year – I don't care about all that. You know, when I saw a movie for the first time, I said "I wanna be doing that - not watching it!" I wanted take a more proactive roll.
PB: In your movies and writing, though, you certainly demonstrate an admiration and an appreciation of those films you grew up watching. Stuff like the action and Sci Fi flicks from the 50s and 60s - your enjoyment of those comes out in The Man with the Screaming Brain (Campbell’s feature film directorial debut).
BRUCE: Yeah, I've been injected with the cheese ball miasma – what ever that means. It's just that I like stuff that's alternative. I don't wanna see anything that I can see on an airplane. [deadpan] But that's just personal taste.
PB: You weren't quit in the Star Wars generation, were you?
BRUCE: No, no. I was a little older. I'm more like mid-1960s kid. I was like ten years older than that generation. Some kids had that as their first "big movie" experience in '77 or when ever that was. My time was the mid-60s seeing the "big" movies in a small downtown Detroit theater.
PB: Star Wars was a very important movie to many, but to some, like myself, it ushered in a new wave of moviemaking that emphasized style over story. I suspect you may have felt the same way.
BRUCE: Yeah, that one did kinda change everything - didn't it? It got us into the blockbuster world. Between – what that and Jaws, you know.? But the great irony is, that all those rebel filmmakers—George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Coppola – all three of them single-handedly created the blockbuster. Between The Godfather, Jaws and Star Wars, they basically ruined the business for what they all originally set out to do. It's pretty hilarious how the big wheel of Karma turns. Now these guys couldn't even make an independent movie. Heck, they wouldn't even know one if it bit 'em in the ass! Can you believe that George Lucas - the guy who gave us Jar Jar Binks is the same guy who brought us American Graffiti? I can't believe it's the same guy who did both movies.
PB: That's quite a contrast.
BRUCE: Yeah. Some big changes going on in that life.
PB: Do you like indie movies better?
BRUCE: I like indie movies, but I like the indies with the small eye. I mean, everything these days is an "indie" movie. But, let me tell you this: you're not really an indie movie if you have a release date. If you're financed by a Fortune 500 company - bullshit! You're not an indie. If it's your dad's money, or your family's money, or a relative’s, or an LLC, or limited partnership - great! That's an indie. That means you're whippin' it out and puttin' it right on the line.
PB: How about the no-budget indie stuff that comes out straight-to-video?
BRUCE: [Sighs] My beef with that is that when you get into the low end of moviemaking, there's too much parody. You know, it's like “just show me what kind of movie YOU really wanna make. Don't just make fun of horror films. Don't just make fun of Sci Fi films…” I don't like movies where the filmmaker doesn't respect what they're doing so much that they'll say "Aw, we'll do the stupid stuff, the audience will love it."
PB: Like you said before, that there are people who like to watch movies, and those who want to make them. I find that so many of the no-budget stuff is made by those kinds of people who should -
BRUCE: - who should just be watching. Yeah.
PB: A lot of the stuff turns out to be rip-offs of Evil Dead. Badly lit, terribly mic'd, flustered rip-odes to Evil Dead, where a bunch of kids find and old book and open it, and everything goes bloody. Ever come across any of these?
BRUCE: [Knowing laugh] Horror goes in all directions. It's changed a lot, too. In the Evil Dead days, there were lots of chainsaws and monsters running around. Beheadings and stuff like that. Now we're doing this Japanese obtuse shit that's just… You know, a PG-13 horror film is NOT a horror film. You can actually only make a horror film, in my opinion, as an R-rated movie. That means, "Kids beware! This movie is so scary that you can't go see it." To me (an R-rating) just makes that movie ten times better, 'cause, "Hey! Guess what? We're not screwing around little kid! You can only come see this when you're ready!!" It just makes it better for the movie. You know, if you make a comedy, it should be funny. If you make a Sci Fi film, it should be, you know, Harlan Ellison. Just go for it! So, that's my beef with the low low budget stuff. With the big budget stuff - here's what kills me… I used to apologize for being in the B-Movies because they're low budget and people usually don't have that much experience, and usually they're not as good as the A-Movies; but now all the A-Movies are trying to be the B-Movies! If you're gonna dress up like a bat and fly around Gotham City - you're a B-Movie! Batman Begins? I mean, who are they kidding? Batman begins again and again… It's obtuse. You know, you have the Japanese style horror where you have a strange sequence, followed by a creepy shot, followed by a weird, you know…
PB: … a weird long black-haired, creepy little girl…
BRUCE: … and then the credit roll. And, you're like, "What?" There's no point in something like The Grudge where someone picks up a chainsaw and says "Let's Go!" They miss the entire point of it, that they never let the hero do shit. It's like, why am I following this mousy chick around for no reason? Give me something. Give me something! Unfortunately, that stuff is doing well now. But, that too shall pass. And it's because they can do that stuff PG-13. A producer explained it to me very succinctly. He said "If you can go PG-13 instead of R, then you've just made 10 to 20 million more at the box office." And I'm like "Okay. You're a pussy!" Whatever…
PB: Then they turn around and finance their next big PG-13 drag.
BRUCE: Yeah! They're already working on a sequel. You know, when movies become about the numbers, I lose all interest. The higher the budget, the less I'm interested. It's more formulaic, more marketed, more tied in. They won't put in certain material because it might offend people. Movies need to be outrageous.
PB: Like Bubba Ho Tep.
BRUCE: Now, to me, that's the kinda thing I'm drawn to.
PB: "Cause, first off, it's a story. Not only a good one, but a real bona fide story.
BRUCE: Movies like Bubba could also fail horribly if you don't get the tone right, as well. That could've been a winky winky Roger Corman thing, like, [Elvis voice] "C'mon baby! C'mon Mummy! Let's go." You know that kinda messing around the whole movie. It could've gone Troma, real easy.
PB: Yeah, but you had a great director.
BRUCE: Don (Coscarelli) is an interesting, meticulous kinda guy. He's great, because there are so few meticulous people in the low budget world. In the low budget world it's like "C'mon, c'mon, let's shoot it already!"
PB: And how many horror movies can give you a lump in the throat at the end?
BRUCE: Exactly. Well, it's not really a horror film. It's a story about two old guys – and oh! There's a Mummy.
PB: Another good director you've worked with is Lucky McKee in The Woods. What's going on with that film?
BRUCE: That film is done. It's way done. In fact it's too done. It's so done it's just been sitting on the shelf - I don't even know when it's coming out. I think they've done all they can with it.
PB: Is it gonna be a good one?
BRUCE: I haven't seen the final version. I've seen a version, but not the final. It's really adult, very creepy. I can't say that a monster goes running around for the whole last act, but with Lucky - he's a very bizarre director. So, the movie is gonna turn out to be very disturbing. And it's in that classic 60s style. It even takes place in the 60s. I love that! You get the Cary Grant haircuts and the horn-rimmed glasses and the big cars. It's great. It reminded me of when I was a kid. I was sitting there ready to shoot a scene, and all the controls in the vehicle looked familiar to me, from when I used to ride in those things as a kid. The shapes of the buttons and - man, if you hit your head on that dashboard, you'd be dead!
PB: Is there still talk of an Evil Dead sequel, or remake, or whatever it is?
BRUCE: We don't really talk about the sequel too much, 'cause Sam (Raimi) is too busy right now. It would all be kinda moot. But I think we're gonna do a remake. It'll be a whole new story, though. It won't be with Ash (Campbell’s character), though. It'll be the evil book, and it'll affect a whole new group of people in a different situation. More like a reinvention. A lot of people, they got really crabby on the Internet when they first heard that type of stuff. But, we would never do anything to insult them. The trick is to take that premise - and we think it's a scary premise - and use some cool modern day FX… so we won't have green garden hoses in the shots. We wanna make a flat out, scary-ass, un-rated horror film.
PB: So, you're not doing the Lucas thing and just adding upgraded CG FX to the original film?
BRUCE: If we went back to Evil Dead and got rid of all the wires and the pipes and the tubes - what fun would that be?
PB: Right. It would just destroy the magic of it all.
BRUCE: I agree.
PB: It seems to me that the more CG FX there are, the less magic there is in the movies?
BRUCE: Right. You know, my feeling on that is that we're just in a masturbatory stage. And because we can do it, we do it. I think that will eventually settle down and we'll figure out what we can really use this stuff for. I mean, Forrest Gump was, I think, some of the best use of special FX.
PB: Right, 'Cause the stuff was used in support of the story.
BRUCE: There are some people in America today who still believe that Gary Sinise has no legs! To me, that's using FX to help tell a story. You get this cool effect where you can follow this feather as it floats from the sky all the way down to this guy’s feet. You, know, I love that!! It works because it makes things seamless. It's not just there because it can be.
PB: Some movies seem to have the FX as their central premise. As if to say, "Forget story or characters. Take a look at this!"
BRUCE: Which is why I think that things like that Polar Express movie didn't do too well. The characters in that just looked too creepy.
PB: They looked downright disturbing.
BRUCE: The children looked like they had those dead shark eyes. Like "Yiieeeee."
PB: That movie reminded me of those Coke commercials from a few years ago, with the creepy looking polar bears. The ads were supposed to be for Christmas, but jeesh! It looked like Halloween.
BRUCE: That's funny.
PB: Speaking of creepy... Sam Raimi was a silent producer on The Dead Next Door [which is purported to be the most expensive super 8 flick ever made]. Where you involved in that movie at all?
BRUCE: Oh yeah! I did all the sound for it. Yeah, I think I owed Sam some money, so he said "You have to go finish the sound for this movie."
PB: Now, that flick is a good example of a no-budget movie that works.
BRUCE: When that movie was done... that movie was shot in super 8, and that is what fascinated Sam, I think. He wanted to see if you could really make a feature in super 8. I mean, 'cause we never made one to sell one. We always did super 8 to just make a movie. We knew that we'd always have to go to 16mm, or 35mm to make a real movie. But, in this case, I think he saw that "Hey, this kid [director/writer/star JR Bookwalter] really wants to do this. He's got a high-budget idea, and he's got all these people ready in Akron, Ohio." So (Sam) really thought they could do it. It turned out to be his Heaven's Gate though. It was the most expensive super 8 ever made.
PB: It sorta went out of control after a while, you mean?
BRUCE: Yeah. When they shot it, it turned out that their sound was so shitty, that they could not use a single bit of original production sound. That entire movie had to have every voice looped; every footstep redone... everything. It's like, when Sam gave it to me, he gave me a silent movie. Really, we had such low budget editing facilities that we couldn't even edit dialogue. So, when you looped it, you had to get it just right. It was a very strange, strange scenario.
PB: So, you had all the actors in to redo it?
BRUCE: I knew a bunch of actors, and we just all got together and we redid it. It was actually a really fun experiment, 'cause it wasn't my movie, and I couldn't give a shit one way or the other. But it was like: how can we pull this off when we have no money, and we have no sound whatsoever? Normally with a movie you get decent production sound, and you're just enhancing it; adding cars and crickets and stuff, and the dialogue is in pretty good shape. This production had zero. Yeah, I re-voiced that whole movie with the main character.
PB: That sounds like a lot of work.
BRUCE: It was horrible! Especially when it's not in your cadence. I can voice myself, because I know how I talk, but someone else...
PB: Bookwalter has recently re-mastered that movie for release from Anchor Bay -- did you know that?
BRUCE: Really! For Anchor Bay? Jeezus.
PB: As a big change of pace, you did a role on Homicide, which was a straight up piece of acting. Any chance you'd want to tackle more dramatic roles like that? That was some piece of work, that role.
BRUCE: That was just an oddity, only because I had a deal with NBC, and they had to kinda use me...
PB: Yeah, and they really used you in a good way.
BRUCE: They did. You know, I got this call... It was one of those classic cases where the producer calls and – you know, as an actor you're sorta told what is gonna happen – so this producer calls up and says "Hey, what story do you want to do?" "Whattaya mean, what story do you wanna do?" He goes, "You ever thought of something you might want to play?" or that type a deal. I went "Cripes! I never thought of it. Let me call you back." So, I called him back in a week and I pitched this sorta Simpson-esque scenario where this guy got away with -- I mean, you know this guy's fuckin' guilty of murder, and he gets off. And then this cop takes it into his own hands and whacks the guy – and he gets caught. (The producer) was like "Great! We'll do it." I was like, "What!" Next thing I know, there was a full script for a two-parter. It was great. That's not the way it's supposed to happen, you know? That's how you'd imagine it to work out for you in the film world, that you'd have this great report with producers and directors, where it's all free flowing. But, usually it's so regimented.
PB: Well, that sorta brings us right back to you "How to Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way,” doesn’t it?
BRUCE: Oh, that thing! Yeah.
PB: It's obvious in there that you like to skewer Hollywood.
BRUCE: I do. It needs it. Needs it desperately.
PB: Yeah. But you do it in such a clever way. You're not outright sadistic, and you don’t do it in an angsty, call-you-nasty-names type of way. It doesn't seem as though you don't like Hollywood, but rather you have this friendly disposition towards it.
BRUCE: Yeah... I liken it to an uneasy association. Because I still have to venture out there, every so often, to get money. But then I can go away again. I don't know... there's a lot about it that if average people knew more about it, they just wouldn't be all that impressed. It's a group of people, where in it you have a lot of hard working, capable people, and then you have this fringe element of like twenty-five percent of them who are just wannabes. It's just an industry that attracts wannabes; gold diggers. Like "I'm gonna go be rich!" With Hollywood, you can be rich and famous – you get both, so it draws this certain percentage of the population that are really just morons. Because there is money to be made, you have this group of people who are the money-managers of Hollywood – which represents the studio folks, agents, people who really control where the money comes and goes, the distributors, getting into the business side of it. So, it's a really freaky clash of talented people, hard-working people, and... morons. And there’s a bigger clash between art versus commerce, because all filmmakers are trying to make a cool movie, and the producers are trying to make something that makes them money. It's just that they sometimes have different agendas. And you have to reconcile that. That makes Hollywood a horrible, almost irreconcilable situation. Whenever a good movie makes it out, I'm like "Wow! That one actually got through." And if it makes money -!
PB: That would be a double-whammy. Was there any point where you just got fed up with it?
BRUCE: I only got real fed up with it when I was on the verge of my first divorce. I was thinking about how do I keep the marriage together? Let me do something else if this is part of the problem, because, I was traveling a lot –you know, a lot of the usual clichés. Other than that, I've just felt that now it's changing so quickly that people in the film business, they kinda got to stay loose these days. Remember how feature film actors used to laugh at television? Now look at who's the star of every show.
PB: And it's not just TV. Look at Broadway.
BRUCE: (laughing) Yeah! Broadway's hysterical, because, by god, you’re gonna have either a film or TV star in everything now.
PB: It used to be that the actors would clamor to get off the stage and onto the screen. Now it's the other way around. Now movie stars can get a nice long cushy gig, and get pampered and score a stay in a posh New York City hotel suite.
BRUCE: They know they'll get taken care of for two months. It's an easy eight week gig, and they know things can only get so bad. It's just typical! When things get more expensive, (the producers) need more of a guarantee. They're gonna do the big shows with the well-known actors – granted. The best Petri dishes are always the Off-Broadway, the funky theaters, the weirdo movies that play in Art Houses. To me, if you're really gonna look for originality, those are the places to go. If you look towards the mainstream entertainment, it's not gonna be all that original. It's gonna be derivative. They're looking to do something that's similar to something that already worked. They're just gonna keep doing Damn Yankees with a different guy. It'll never leave Broadway.
PB: Or you can do what Mel Brooks did. Make a movie and then turn it into a major Broadway production, and then turn around and make a movie of the play.
BRUCE: He's the most brilliant of all! He's got everybody fooled. But, I actually think it'll work, in some weird way, because not enough people have seen the original movie. Even though I think (the original) is kind of a brilliant movie, and it's one movie I wouldn't mess with, it's just gonna be so different. Look at the casting. You've got [in a flamboyant manner] Nathan Lane, of all the big Hollywood goofballs. Oh! But Uma Thurman has to be in the movie, though. Was she ever on Broadway, before?
PB: Don't think so.
BRUCE: Yeah, funny how that works, huh? "Yeah, that Broadway chick was funny. But we need someone bigger."
PB: I guess that sorta sums up the career of a B-Movie star.
BRUCE: That’s right.
PB: Thanks for talking with us, and good luck with the book-on-CD.
BRUCE: Right. In parting I guess I'd tell everyone to "Listen up!"
Bruce Campbell’s audio production of his second book How to Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way is available in bookstores and on the Internet now.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
The holiday seasons were an especially great time for the variety show lover. Year after year we were treated to Perry Como and his Christmas presence. Donny and Marie, Andy Williams, Mac Davis, Carol Burnett, Sonny and Cher, and a host of others sang and jested their way through the 4th of July, Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving, as well. But, the best holiday programming came from the offbeat sources...
Like Paul Lynde and his zany Halloween TV Special
To see more Paul Lynde holiday (and non-holiday) clips, head on over to this fantastic Paul Lynde Fansite.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Geesh! Whoda thunk that the superstar superhero had such a mean streak!
Check out Superdickery to see their gallery of Superman comic covers that show Superman in a less than heroic light. There's the one where the superhero threatens to leave Lois Lane floating in outerspace unless she marrys him. Then the one where he lets a boy dangle precariously from atop a building as he counts out his stolen cash. Then there's the one where Batman lays dying in a hospital, and Superman has his respirator pulled, muttering "What's one Batman, more or less?" And there's a crudload of covers where Superman is a superdick to his little buddy Jimmy Olsen -- threatening to toss him in jail, busting up yet another adoption attempt.
This is one side of Superman you don't get to see in his movies.
Also, check out the other weirdo comic cover gallery that are just too bizzaro for words.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Yes, the summer sun may be setting a lot sooner these days, and the girls are wearing a lot more, as well. And, yes, school is beginning... But! Let's not forget that it's time for the new Fall Saturday Morning line-up!!
Forget Shazam and the traveling Winebago, I only endured that half cartoon half live action bit to get to the Isis segment of the show. Man, what a doll!
And of course there was Kukla, Fran and Ollie. That was my guilty pleasure through the 70s. Even when I was too old for puppet shows, I still tuned in to KF&O for the off chance to see "Skinny and Fatty" one more time.
Don't ask me why, but I was a big Hudson Brothers fan. Actually, I probably got to enjoy the Bros. from all of their variety show exposure, so when the Razzle Dazzle Hour came to Saturday morning TV, I was well initiated. But what really hooked me was Rod Hull and his sadistically aggressive Emu puppet.
Check out these other sites for some more great Fall Saturday Morning line up ads:
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I haven't been very active with this site as of late, due to the fun of summer. But I did want to show up once in a while to point out some sites I've seen. (Stay tuned for some great LP sharities in the future, along with some comic books)
A favorite of the Saturday morning generation was easily Quisp cereal. Sure, you've got yer Cap'n Crunches of the cereal world, but nothing beat that quazy qookie Quisp martian. And as it so happens, the Quisp advertisement campaign was designed by the same people who came up with the Cap'n Crunch ads -- Jay Warden of Bullwinkle fame.
"Vitamin powered sugary cereal Quisp for Quazy energy." That was the motto behind Quisp cereal, whose mascot was voiced by Daws Butler (the voice of Yogi Bear). The cereal had a fairly short shelf life (even shorter was the companion cereal treat Quakes) first landing in local grocery stores in the mid-1960s, only to be zapped out of wide distribution by the 1980s. Don't fret o downhearted Earthniks! You can still buy boxes from the Qusip website, or at a handful of local grocers -- listed on the site as well.
A complete Quisp profile can be found at the Quisp Cereal site
Saturday, July 22, 2006
The Silly Record is back (again)... not that it ever left our minds. A very silly soul named Kerry has kindly shared her own recording of the LP we love to giggle with.
Kerry's dub is a bit more clean sounding then the one I offered earlier (and is still available here: PopCereal: i am silly), but Kerry warns that there may be a couple Moonie Goonie skips. Hey, it's worth a listen, though -- right? You can never get enough of the Boodlehiemer, I say.
Go fetch it here: http://rapidshare.de/files/26676893/SillyRecord.mp3.html
Monday, July 03, 2006
The clever "Boyz" over at FilmWise have devised a devious little game they call Invisibles. What they do is use modern technology from their labs on Mars (Mr. Miller is only guessing on that) to erase the physical bodies from the movie still -- as you can see above -- and then asks you to wrack yer brains to figure out what movie the dang thing is from. Clever indeed!
Friday, June 30, 2006
I ran into this little nugget today -- a downloadable copy of a hard-to-find Gold Key edition of the Twilight Zone from February 1963. Go have a look!!
Lazar's Corner of Lounge Music: The Twilight Zone Comic - Gold Key
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I don't know if you've seen any of the other posts here at PopCereal, but yours truly Mr. Miller, here, is a big fan of 70s TV. Especially the Made For TV Movie. Like many other kids of my day, I was great friends with the family TV set. Good pals we were. Still are. Oh, we had some good times, we did. Loads of laughs, plenty of thrills, and yes -- some tears, as well.
One of the shows that my ol' pal introduced me to, back in 1968, was The Mod Squad.
Spelling's name in the producer slot didn't mean much to me then, but this show was just the beginning for me. The Made for TV Movie soon came into my life -- movies like Crowhaven Farm, The House That Would Not Die, A Taste of Evil. It was love at first fright. Funny thing was, the more of these movies I watched, the more I started noticing this weird name.
Of course, as a teenage boy springing through puberty in the mid-70s, Mr. Spelling fast became a real true hero. Whenever in need of some shapely bodies to drool over, or an extraordinary face to fall in love with, my man Aaron came through, time and time again.
Shows like Charlie's Angels, Love Boat and Fantasy Island had enough T&A imagery to fill my hormone cluttered mind for years. I had not a clue to who this Spelling guy was -- TV producers didn't have much celeb cred as they do these days -- but, I was indebted to him.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
A PopCereal pop quiz for you. Off the top of your noggin, rattle me off a line of dialogue from any TV commercial from 30 years ago. No fair chanting "Where's the beef?" or "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" 'cause, well, by design those taglines and slogans were made to stay locked within your brain matter for a half life of a million years.
There's one line that I know of that's been stained on my brain since my youth:
"Hey good lookin'! I'll be back to pick you up later."
No doubt that if you're a Saturday Morning kid like I was, then you'll remember that familiar and hammy refrain, along with the images of the black dude jive-turkeyin' his way down the street and the "professional entertainer" precticing her guitar while singing into their Mr. Microphones.
Mister Microphone has got to be the cheesiest commercial I've ever seen. And that's a good thing! How else would Mr. Miller have remembered Mr. Microphone unless it had a cheez factor of 108? Leave it to Ron Popeil to hotwire our memory, once again, with one of his pop culture inventions. I don't know that I knew one person who actually owned a Mr. Microphone, but damned if it wasn't on many a top 10 list come Christmastime. Right along with the Pocket Fisherman!
Friday, May 19, 2006
Fans of the incredibly poppy bubblegum songs sung by their favorite Saturday morning cartoon characters are gonna flip their cans when they see this site. Mondo Daddykin has only been up and at 'em for a few days shy of a month, but man do they have a cereal box load of goodies already!
The mysterious Daddykin has amassed a trunkload of mp3 files of everything from the all-too-common Archie songs to the jeez-I-forgot-about-those-guys collections of songs from The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, The Incredibles and The Groovie Goolies (just to name a thimbleful). He's also given us a little insight into the background of some of the artists who created the bubblegum juice.
Sadly, for PopCerealites across the continent, there has been no official collection of the terrific pop songs we all heard on those Saturday mornings programs of yore. But Mondo Daddykins has done us all a huge amazing service by copying the songs off of his old VHS tapes (old school) and transferring them to the digital universe (new school) for all of us to once again dance to (school's out for summer). I had been wanting to do just what Daddykins has been doing, but now I don't gotta. Thanks to our new PopCereal hero -- Mr. Mondo Daddykins!
Now, go enjoy yerselves!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Now, maybe yer wondering, just who is Mark Evanier? It's an understandable question, unless you're an avid comic book nut. And I don't claim to be one of those, myself. I'm just a reader. Anyway... the name Mark Evanier is very importante to me because he is the very guy who wrote the Charlie Chan and the Chan Clan comic book that I featured here! Very cool.
Gold Key comics didn't really take to crediting their writers and artists much, so I was fortunate that Mr. Evanier came across my article and was able to give us all a heads up. Here is some of the Mr. Evanier's background and a bunch of insight into his work on the Chan comic (as well as a little flogging for the cumbersome download)-- all straight form his blog:
"A website called PopCereal likes to scan old Gold Key comics and offer them for your downloading pleasure. They're currently featuring The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan #1 from 1972 and I'm going to suggest two reasons why you should not download it. One is that the way they have it set up, it'll take you an awfully long time. Secondly, it's not a very good comic...and I oughta know. I wrote it.
It was, in fact, the first comic book script of mine to see print in this country. Previously, I'd written lots of comics published overseas and about a dozen scripts for Gold Key. As you may know, comics are not always published in the order they're written and if you're working on a book that's in no danger of cancellation, it's not uncommon to try and get way ahead. The first things I did for Gold Key were Disney comics that didn't come out until more than a year after I wrote them.
The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan was a TV show that Hanna-Barbera produced for the CBS Saturday morning season that commenced in September of '72. As I later learned when I worked for H-B, there was always at least one "trouble" show that Joe Barbera would sell to one of the networks and then no one, including Joe, could figure out what to do with. Some years, they had way more than one...
So the show was in trouble before it even debuted. Gold Key was then doing the comics based on H-B properties and had first refusal on the new ones. When they were offered The Chan Clan, they refused. The editor there, Chase Craig, was in close touch with writers and artists who worked at H-B and he'd heard about the problems the show was having and how those working on it didn't have much hope for its success. But the studio put some kind of pressure on Gold Key and one day, Chase was ordered to hurriedly get a first issue written and drawn. I got the assignment because I was, he felt, his fastest writer...and I also happened to walk into the office that day.
The show was still a few months from debuting on TV. Chase handed me a pile of storyboards and told me to read them all to get a feel for the property but to write an adaptation of one in particular. I don't think this was an episode by Jamie Farr [yes, the MASH guy. ed.] and his then-partner, Eddie Carroll. My recollection, which may be faulty, is that Norman Maurer wrote it. Anyway, I was assigned to adapt it and later on if the comic continued, there would be original stories conceived fresh for the comics. As Chase explained to me, he preferred to launch a new H-B book in this manner. The studio had approval rights and the people there could get pointlessly picky about the material...but they rarely bothered looking at any issue after the first few. Therefore, it simplified the procedure to do the first issue as an adaptation and maybe the second. They couldn't very well complain that a plot taken from the show was inappropriate.
I wrote the script in one day, as I recall. It was drawn by a wonderful artist named Warren Tufts who is probably best known for his long-ago newspaper strip, Casey Ruggles. Tufts was much admired as an adventure artist but he was a slow, meticulous worker who never felt that the financial rewards matched the hours he put into his art.... Tufts accepted the assignment without seeing the property because he figured it would go fast. When you drew a Hanna-Barbera comic book, you got a packet of model sheets with key poses of the characters and you could usually trace a lot of drawings right off the model sheets. Wherever possible in Chan Clan, Warren did that. I picked a panel at random to post above next to the cover image, then realized they both have the same pose of the honorable Mr. Chan, certainly copied right off the models. But the comic had so many characters in it and they had to be in so many poses that weren't in the model packet that Warren hated the job...though he did stick with it for all four issues of the comic book. I was luckier: I only did the first issue before Chase decided my services were needed more on Bugs Bunny.
Like I said, don't bother downloading the comic. It'll take you forever and you won't see either Tufts or me at our best. But having it online got me to thinking about what went into it. And I also recall the day when I was up in the office and someone handed me a printed copy -- the first comic book script of mine to make it to print in English. You never forget your first time...even if it's The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan."
I want to thank Mr. Evanier for giving us this insight to his wonderful work (even if he doesn't think it's so great himself).
Please check out his site: News From ME to read the complete thoughts of Mr. Evanier.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan was a Saturday Morning favorite of Mr. Miller's. The show premiered in 1973, featuring not only the popular literary detective Charlie Chan, but his entire Chan brood. It was the first time that Chan was animated, but more importantly, it was the first time that Chan -- who is Chinese -- was was ever portrayed by an Asian actor. The previous film versions featured white actors with make-up. Keye Luke, who you may recognize as Master Po from the King Fu series, played the voice of Chan. And joining him was another popular 70s name, Jodie Foster as Anne Chan the baseball cap wearing tomboy.
In 1973 Gold Key started printing the exploits of the junior sleuth. Here you have your own pdf version of the #1 issue of The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan
One of Mr. Miller's favorite childhood pasttimes was watching every TVMOW (TV movie of the week) that he could fix his eyes to. For years and years Mr. Miller had a burning memory of one particular TV flick with some angry dad trying to defend his wife and kids from a gang of muscle car riding punks who had invaded their neighborhood and nearly ran over the family pooch. And with the help of the trusty Wayback Machine (otherwise known as the book Movies Made for Television: The Telepicture and the Mini-Series 1964-1979 by Alvin H. Marill) PopCereal was able to figure out just what that movie was.
It was titled Outrage, and it featured the smotth and volatile Robert Culp as a regular old Joe just trying to bring up a family in a nice quiet suburban 'hood. The movie originally aired on Wednesday night, Novcember 28, 1973. The story was written for TV (based on real life events) by William Wood, and was directed by Richard Heffron. Other notable cast members, besides Culp, were Marlyn Mason playing Culp's wife, Nicholas Hammond as one of the punks, and the familiar droopy-faced character actor Ivor Francis as Judge Cox.
By the time 70s television had gotten a hold of the “scare film” they’d brought it full circle from propagandized civic “lessons” to exploitative social studies. What was once a tool used to scare the crap outta the masses and keep them in step with the idealized suburban image (especially during War time and throughout the burgeoning era of the middle class) the scare film had now evolved into something more of an over exaggerated social lesson rather than a social rule.
In Outrage, chisel-chested Robert Culp plays an upper middle class family man who is just trying to give his family a safe and easy lifestyle in the hills of California. When a gang of local punks start wrecking havoc with the neighborhood, Culp tries to take the civil high road and implores the parents of the kids to keep them in line. Naturally the mothers only see their children as angels, and the fathers chalk it all up to boys being boys. When the authorities are called in to help, Culp finds that their hands are tied by the usual bureaucratic red tape. But when the punk’s shenanigans turn violent, and the lives of his family are threatened, Culp has to take action himself, turning into a one-man vigilante.
Culp just can’t go wrong doing his usual charming-guy macho act as he takes on TVs original Spider Man, Nicholas Hammond as the head rich-boy punk. There’s a lot of generational gap “those kids these days” attitude in 70s television, as well. But these made-for-TV lessons became a lot less conservative than their “duck and cover” predecessors. In the hands of the more liberal-minded Hollywood producers, subjects like the teenage delinquent became more humanized. They weren’t just troublemakers who needed to be whipped into submissiveness by their dutiful parents. No, in the made-for-TV land of movies, the kids were merely the end result of a community that had failed them. Maybe the kid’s parents didn’t love them enough, or maybe their teacher didn’t listen to them, or maybe it was peer pressure and all that brain-rotting rock music… or maybe they just needed a good old fashioned ass kicking from the likes of Robert Culp.
Check out adifferentsity.com to find more of these fantastically kitchy 70s TV movies.
Check out A Different City to find more of these fantastically kitchy 70s TV movies.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Mr. Miller wants to keep the Gold Key thing going, so he wanted to drop a link to a fan-franken-tastic website called Hunter's Planet of the Ape Archive. Mr. Miller nearly spit his King Vitamin's all over the computer screen when he ran into this site. It's unbelievable!! This guy has got more POTA crud than anyone I've seen -- and it's all there for us fans to download.
One of the many kazillion treats that Mr. Miller found on Hunter's site (including scripts, a Power Record gallery, magazines... it just goes on!!) was a .pdf version of the Gold Key comic: Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Mr. Miller thought you popcereal kiddies would love to get a look, so he's giving you this link-a-doo to check out the fabulous ish.
So, git-along over to Hunter's Planet of the Ape Archive an enjoy yerselves.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
the gold key story
The Western Printing and Lithographing Co. -- headed up by Disney marketing genius Herman "Kay" Kamen -- built a solid reputation putting out comic book versions of familiar newspaper comic strips. Using his pull at his former employee Walt Disney Studios, Kamen acquired the rights to characters from Disney cartoons in 1939. Soon he snatched up the rights to characters from Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera and Walter Lantz, as well, and, along with adaptations of popular movies and TV shows, released them all in comic book form through Dell. These comic books experienced tremendous sales, but when the contract with Dell expired in 1962, the WPLC launched their own imprint -- Gold Key.
Throughout the 60s and early 70s, Dell grew in popularity, and with sales in the millions they created their own original charactersand titles, such as Turok, Son of Stone; Wacky Witch; and Space Family Robinson (which was to be the pre-cursor and inspiration to Lost in Space). But by the 80s the comic book biz, in general, was in a slump, and Gold Key couldn't keep sales up. They made a last ditch attempt to increase the visibility of their titles by marketing themselves in non-traditional outlets, like toy stores. But by 1981, Gold Key was done. What titles were left over from Gold Key were put out under the Whitman imprint (mostly known for coloring books), and Gold Key became a thing of PopCereal past. Ironically, with a licensing genius like Kay Kamen as the company's creator, Gold Key failed to license their own original characters. So with the eventual demise of Whitman comics in 1984, kooky characters like Baby Snoots and The Little Monsters were gone forever.
the little monsters
With the 60s monster craze in full force, Mr. Miller took to everything creature related like Dracula to a blood bank. And to add more voltage to his neck bolts came the Gold Key comic book The Little Monsters, a gruesome clan of monster misfits who lived in a creepy castle and who slept on beds of nails. Following on the rotted heels of cartoons like Milton the Monster and Melvin Monster, but knocking on the crypt door before such TV notables as The Addams Family and The Munsters, The Little Monsters were unleashed upon the public within an issue of The Three Stooges (#17 to be exact). From then on Mr. Miller here was hooked on the misadventures of the monster kiddies 'Orrible Orvie and Awful Annie Monster, and their monstrous parents Mildew and Demonica.
Issue #12 (1970) finds our frightening fiends in all sorts of monster sitcom-like trouble. The generation gap hits the Monster household when Scarella, the cute "scream-aged" ghost next door starts dating, then a robotic witch comes to life to stir up trouble, and finally little 'Orrible Orvie comes up with a perfectly demented solution to help his Dad, Mildew, build a moat around the castle. Also, there's the dimwitted tale of a criminal Bat, named Batty, as well as some jokes, riddles and scary tales... Oh, and some really cool 70s style comic book ads.
Download and read issue #12