Thursday, April 19, 2012

This Touched My Heart Today and Brought a Tear to My Eye

Reblogged:  A Letter to Jonathan by David Selby

A Letter to Jonathan
Posted on April 19, 2012 by David Selby
My dear friend,
Once, when I talked to you in Canada, you told me that you were not going anywhere. You said you get out of bed, put on your robe and slippers, have a nibble of breakfast, and then sit down at your computer and check in with the world. So I took you at your word. You always told me what you thought. Now, you just up and go without a word. How dare you.
You never mentioned that you were contemplating a long trip. After all, we had just recently returned from a rather long but short trip to the countryside of England where we took up residence in a very fine resort – at least what we saw of it was fine. The food you barely sampled, but the nightcap went down so smoothly that you told me you had not appreciated my entrance onto the show those many years ago. But I never knew. You were never anything but considerate to me, gentlemanly, a throwback to when there were gentlemen – courteous – exquisite charming manners but always with a quiet, respectful, measuring with those skeptical eyes, and then an easy smile.
It seemed right for such fellow travelers to be in England. We were there to replay, visit, all the way back, a bit of our ancient history. That highway never ends. It was worth the trip just to hold your hand as you stepped off the curb….worth it to reflect back on the fine time I had reading that play with you in New York to all your adoring fans, worth it to feel anxious at Pinewood Studios when I could not find you for a few moments.
How rare it is to be able go back in time to see where it all began. Our hosts could not have been more cordial. After all, as Tim said, in the glorious drawing room of that mansion– none of us would be here if not for you.
Memory is a strange bird. It persists. Why? Memory is vivid. And love?! Well….what was it about Dark Shadows that compelled people like Tim and Johnny to watch, to be affected so, so strongly. They needed to watch, had to watch. They were drawn to Dark Shadows like a moth to light.
Your light was full of mystery, of history, of genealogy, of love. You carried the heavy past with such grace and allure. That need to watch had something to do with love, a love for you.
What is it about love that made Dark Shadows so needed by millions? They loved you, Jonathan, as did I.
The night is long, the candles will stay lit.
Till we meet again.

Jonathan Frid Dead at 87

Jonathan Frid, who played the role of Barnabas Collins in the ABC daytime drama Dark Shadows, has died at the age of 87 years old on April 14, 2012 according to his former co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott.
Frid, born in Canada, was theatrically trained at the Royal Academy for the Dramatic Arts in London and received a master’s degree in directing from the Yale School of Drama. Before joining Dark Shadows, Frid had a successful stage career including a performance of Much Ado About Nothing that co-starred Katherine Hepburn and was directed by John Houseman.
Barnabas Collins made his first appearance on Shadows in 1966 after the show had already run for 211 episodes. The character was created in the hope of energizing the show and increasing ratings but Frid had only a 13-week commitment….he ended up on the show for nearly 600 more episodes, and transforming Barnabas from a guest into the show’s protagonist. 
After the show ended in 1971 - the run included a 1970 movie, House of the Dark Shadows - Frid returned to the stage including a successful run as the murderous nephew in the dark comedy Arsenic and Old Lace. His co-star was Jean Stapleton of All in the Family fame.
Frid and the rest of the original cast will all make appearances in the Tim Burton-directed Dark Shadows film starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas. (Coincidentally, the film opens on May 11.)
For Frid’s full filmography, click here.
Sources:,,,, alt.obituaries (Google group)
(Image of Frid and Grayson Hall as Julia is copyright Pictorial Parade/Getty Images and courtesy of the Washington Post.)

Reblogged from

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

For Those Naysayers Who Thought my FRIEDRICH v. MARVEL Analysis Was Off-Base

Sure didn't take long at all for the FRIEDRICH V. MARVEL ruling to start impacting Comic Convention art.

We have received word that artists that booked an artist alley table for BotCon 
Botcon20122012 are now being told that any fan art that may infringe on Hasbro's intellectual property or trademarks can not be sold at BotCon. This does not affect licensees or Hasbro contractors...
The wording from the BotCon brochure advertised "that you can get single tables to show-and-sell your custom Transformers art for $200", but it would appear that Hasbro has reversed this now resulting in more table cancellations at the Texas convention scheduled for later this month.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reblogged: SHAZAM Design -- Sequart Research

Well-written and better than probably anything I could have written myself.

by Mike Greer
Fri, 30 March 2012

Whenever the phrases “we removed the circus strongman elements of his costume” or “the emotional journey of this troubled teenager” get used in an interview about a character’s redesign, I have to admit I get a little bit frustrated. This was the case with a March 5 article on DC Entertainment’s public relations blog, The Source, in which Justice League writer Geoff Johns discussed his and artist Gary Frank’s new direction for the superhero Captain Marvel. Set to debut in Justice League #7, this new version of Captain Marvel, rechristened “Shazam,” is said to be a more mystical, magical take on the Big Red Cheese.

Now, I will admit that I am not the biggest Captain Marvel fan in the world. The character wasn’t really at the forefront of the superhero genre during the ‘80s and ‘90s, so a lot of fans like me just grew up bypassing the character altogether. Most of the time I just thought he was a half-hearted attempt at creating another Superman. It wasn’t until I began reading up on the Captain Marvel stories that Fawcett Publications put out in the 1940s that I saw the real charm behind this character.
Rather than being just another Superman knock off, Captain Marvel had taken a decidedly goofy and absurd direction with the concept, creating a family of spin-off heroes to go on adventures with, and paling around with a walking, talking tiger. But it was when I read about the epic, two-year “Monster Society of Evil” story arc that my idea of the character changed forever. The story gave readers their first look at Mister Mind, the greatest enemy that Marvel had ever faced. What they were shown was… a two-inch long talking worm with glasses.

That’s when I began to see the real brilliance of the Captain Marvel franchise. It was unabashedly a kids comic. It was a goofy, absurd superhero fairy tale. Winnie the Pooh with capes and thunder. Sadly, once the character was revived by DC in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the character never again rose to its original prominence. Writers and artists have been trying ever since to reconcile the storybook childishness of Captain Marvel with the progressively grim, melancholy DC universe, but their attempts at making characters like Mister Mind into something we should take seriously never hit the mark.
And that’s largely where I stand with this latest reboot of the character from Johns and Frank. In the New York Posts article about the reboot, the first image of the character was revealed, and it wasn’t pretty. Rather than a dauntless, smiling Captain Marvel (or Shazam, if that’s what they want to call him now to make him more accessible to non-comic book readers) dashing around above the clouds, we’re treated to a tortured soul gritting his teeth and looking predictably angst-y. Bolts of angry lightning shoot from his eyes and skin, but fail to illuminate his body or hooded face, which are cloaked in the darkness of blah blah blah I couldn’t care less...