Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Soundtracks of Our Lives

The other day I was listening to a soundtrack from a Road Runner/Coyote cartoon. It was composed by Carl Stalling, who happens to have had two discs released of his collection of Warner Bothers music. There were tracks from a Speedy Gonzales cartoon, a couple of Bugs Bunny ones, as well as other incidental music he composed for other ones. I looked at one of the dates in the liner notes and stopped reading for a moment.

It said the Road Runner cartoon 'Zoom and Bored' was composed in 1957. That was exactly 50 years ago! And then it occurred to me how long Bugs and the rest of the Warner Bothers cartoons have been entertaining people... Since 1940. Coming a close second would be another show called The Flintstones. It was created in 1960 and lasted until 1966. It ran in reruns seemingly forever. For as long as I can remember, The Flintstones was always at noon on CFRN. I remember watching it with Uncle Les at Grandma's house. I recall what CFRN went through when they decided they needed the time slot for other programming. They ran a Flintstones marathon that started Friday evening and went until Saturday morning. They played the most popular episodes and I recorded a few for posterity. (C'mon, Samantha from Bewitched was on one of the shows! And what about Ann-Margrock - I mean, Ann-Margret?) I taped some of the episodes and until recently, still had that video tape.

Sidenote: Yes, I tend to collect things, but these are things that need to be preserved. Thankfully computers have made that a lot easier. I have over 250 CDs of cartoons, shows, and music archived. (No, that does not include porn, these are all regular broadcast shows)


It occurred to me that the soundtracks of Warner Brothers cartoons were always recognizable to me. They were around for such a long time that I bet everyone can recognize snippets of the music if tested. Or recognize bits of The Flintstones soundtrack. And then I thought... are Bug Bunny cartoons still airing? I suppose specialty channels like Boomerang or Cartoon Network probably have them somewhere in their lineup... I would hope they do anyway.

But the point of this post was to highlight the awesome greatness inherent in some of these pieces of music. Soundtrack composers are a very talented group of musicians. I should know... For years I've collected soundtracks and noticed the music used in TV shows. The only soundtrack that has managed to elude me so far are the groovy tracks they laid down for the 60's cartoon version of Spider-Man. You know, the same show everyone knows the words of the main theme... 'Spider-Man, Spider-Man... Does whatever a spider can?' Now that was some really good music! The action music... the groovy jazz... yeah, it was sweetness! :-)

Hmmm... think I better try another search... I know that soundtrack exists, but it's very, very, very rare. I've got some work ahead of me, so have a great day!

Soundtracks listened to while writing this entry:

The Carl Stalling Project - Music from various WB cartoons
The Official Battle of the Planets Soundtrack
The Soundtrack and Underscore from The Flintstones and The Jetsons
Music from Justice League Unlimited
Teen Titans and Brady Kids main themes
The soundtrack from thirtysomething
Stealing the Enterprise from Star Trek III

Friday, August 24, 2007

Project Rooftop Hosts Wieringo Tribute Week

This sounds like a cool thing...

More in the jump.

I can't wait to see the submissions!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tiny Titans

It's convention season again. One sure sign is all the exclusive announcements being doled out by DC and Marvel. San Diego, the biggest every year, was only two weekends ago, but new announcements were made at Wizard World Chicago! One of the bits of news that filtered out over the weekend was that DC was going to bring back comics for younger readers, which is great! I collect The Batman and The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century for my nephew Cody, but they're a little beyond him at the moment. It won't take long before he'll be able to read them, but there's nothing I can give him right now.

DC Super Friends would be a book made especially for the younger reader, not based on cartoon versions of the characters. Here's a sample...
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...kind of cute, aren't they? Of course to go along with this new Super Friends idea comes action figures, which would include Aquaman and his shark shaped AquaSub.
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The Teen Titans are morphing into the Tiny Titans and going to be starring in their own book. Just for kicks, I took a scan from this weekend's presentation and turned it into a wallpaper.

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Enjoy!

And I hope this does well for DC! It would be nice for the Comic industry to gain readers rather than losing them.

Discuss!

Doilies: Evil Incarnate or Simply Misunderstood?

If Pluto is a dog, what the hell is Goofy?

Partridge Family/Brady Bunch Cage Match: Who Wins?

Teenage celebrities who lost it all: better or worse than Lindsay Lohan?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mike Wieringo RIP

I found out today that one of my favorite comic artists died yesterday. Mike Wieringo was 44 years young. More in the link. The Comic Industry is diminished by his absence.

Mike kept a blog which I visited twice each week. He'd post a sketch a couple of times per week, and share something about his creative process as well. Or he'd just talk about what was cool in comics, what projects were coming up, that sort of thing. It was always a treat to read his posts as they really showed how much love he has for comics. I was always eager to see what Mike would sketch, and you can imagine my reaction when I saw this:

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I'm saddened knowing that it's the closest Mike got to my favorite hero.

Mike's artwork had a cleaner line than other pencillers, and reminds me a lot of Mike Parobeck (who also died far too young), but what strikes me most about his work is his ability to convey great ranges of emotion with only a few well placed lines. He was a master storyteller whose talent, kindness, and generosity will be greatly missed.

It wasn't that long ago that Mike sketched this in honor of Bart Allen (Impulse/Kid Flash/Flash), a character he helped create.

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I'm going to miss those twice weekly visits...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Sinestro Corps

Pardon me for a moment while I totally geek out...

To DC Comics; Re: The Sinestro Corps

This is one hell of a storyline!!!

For those of you not in the know, I'll try to briefly explain. (Deep breath) Ready? Here goes.

A long time ago, some blue men in red dresses (The Guardians of the Universe) created a Corps of beings from all sectors of the universe to wield power rings. Power rings harness the green energy collected by the Guardians in the Central Power Battery on Oa (the Guardians' planet). This energy allows a power ring wearer to fly in space, create constructs, force blasts and force fields, among other things. The rings must be charged every 24 hours from a portable battery each corps member has. Each battery is powered by the Central Battery, located on Oa. It takes a lot of willpower to wear a power ring, but those who can and graduate from basic training on Oa are proud members of the Green Lantern Corps.

Sinestro (Green Lantern's enemy) has always had a yellow power ring, but in the Sinestro Corps storyline, we are learning that rather than being powered by the anti-matter universe of Qward, the rings are harnessing the yellow energy (Fear), much as the Green Lanterns harness the green energy (Will). There's another group who harness the purple energy of the universe (Love), and presumably, there are more. For months we've been hearing of a prophecy from pre-Crisis continuity about the destruction of the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps.

To also find out that the Anti-Monitor is back and leading the Sinestro Corps makes me gasp for breath... I certainly didn't expect that! Nor did I expect Kyle Rayner (my favorite GL), to be turned into a host for Parallax, the embodiment of yellow energy, while at the same time losing the embodiment of green energy (Ion). Add the Cyborg Superman and the Manhunters (androids the Guardians created first to wield primitive power rings, but they proved unreliable), and you've got the setup for a great story!!

Here's a wallpaper created by someone else to give you a cool visual... The artist is Ivan Reis (who is currently my favorite artist). The man has talent like I've never seen before... kind of a blend of Neal Adams with Alan Davis. Whatever you classify it, I love it!

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I'm anxiously awaiting the next chapters of this story!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Cashiers Again?!?

Ok, I don't know what the problem is with me and cashiers, but it's starting to get on my nerves.

To preface, there is a lunch place nearby where I sometimes eat. Today was one of those days. I picked up a sandwich and a bottle of Diet Coke. The total was seven dollars and change, I gave the cashier a twenty. He handed back the change just fine, but held onto the ten while saying 'Thanks very much' and 'There's your change', while continuing to hold the ten.

First off, give me my change, you loser! I shouldn't have to wrestle it from your grubby palms. Geez. I know he was trying to be funny (and perhaps start a conversation), but perhaps there's a better way to do it?? A way that does not involve pissing off your customer?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Happy Civic Holiday!

It's that time of year again... This weekend traditionally has pretty bad weather, but it seems this year is not going to be as bad. Sure, there were storms and rain yesterday, but only for brief periods, and the sun did come out more than once.

There's only one more stat holiday left for summer, that being Labour Day in September. After that, it seems like we're into Fall (and sometimes Winter) all too soon.

Enjoy your day!