Monday, January 26, 2015

Deal alert: Universal Monsters 30-film DVD collection $79.99

On sale this week at Amazon:

A collection of all 30 Universal Classic Monster films from 1931 – 1956 with a 48-Page collectible Book and hours of bonus features including Behind the Scenes Documentaries, the 1931 Spanish Version of Dracula, Featurettes of Boris Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr. and Jack Pierce, 13 Expert Feature Commentaries, Archival Footage, Production Photographs, Theatrical Trailers and much more!

  • Dracula (1931)
  • Frankenstein (1931)
  • The Mummy (1932)
  • The Invisible Man (1933)
  • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  • Werewolf of London (1935)
  • Dracula's Daughter (1936)
  • Son of Frankenstein (1939)
  • The Invisible Man Returns (1940)
  • The Invisible Woman (1940)
  • The Mummy's Hand (1940)
  • The Wolf Man (1941)
  • The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
  • The Mummy's Ghost (1942)
  • The Mummy's Tomb (1942)
  • Invisible Agent (1942)
  • Phantom of the Opera (1943)
  • Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
  • Son of Dracula (1943)
  • House of Frankenstein (1944)
  • The Mummy's Curse (1944)
  • The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944)
  • House of Dracula (1945)
  • She-Wolf of London (1946)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
  • Revenge of the Creature (1955)
  • The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

Comic art: Darwyn Cooke Flash Gordon, Mandrake, Prince Valiant and Phantom covers

Dynamite Comics is launching a batch of titles based on King Features characters this week, the first issues of which all feature covers by the great Darwyn Cooke. Can't speak to the interiors, but these look great:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pop focus: Sherlock Holmes at the movies

Before Benedict, there was Basil.

Teamed with Nigel Bruce as Dr. John Watson, Basil Rathbone was THE Sherlock Holmes for a good chunk of the 20th century, appearing in 14 Holmes films between 1939 and 1946. Those who didn't see the films in the theaters saw them on television, where they ran for decades as afternoon and late-night filler.

With his angular, birdlike profile Rathbone is the face that comes to the minds of many when they picture Sherlock Holmes. He appeared similar to images of Holmes that appeared in print with Conan Doyle's original Holmes stories and, following the films, his face inspired many more depictions of the detective.

The first Holmes film starring Rathbone and Bruce was based an adaptation of "The Hound of the Baskervilles," while the second, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" was based on an 1889 stage play.

From there, the series moved from 20th Century Fox to Universal Studios and wandered straight into anachronism. While the first two pictures were based in Holmes' original time period of the late 1800s, the early Universal films saw Holmes and Watson fighting Nazi and foreign saboteurs.  Later entries drifted back into more conventional detective stories.

Below is a look at the Rathbone-Bruce series, including production shots and posters.

Hound of the Baskervilles, 1939

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1939

Sherlock Holmes and theVoice of Terror, 1942

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon, 1943

Sherlock Holmes in Washington, 1943

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, 1943

The Spider Woman, 1945

The Secret Claw, 1944

The Pearl of Death, 1944

Sherlock and the House of Fear, 1945

The Woman in Green, 1945

Pursuit to Algiers, 1945

Terror By Night, 1946

Dressed to Kill, 1946

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New and upcoming pop culture books: Neil Gaimin; Harlan Ellison; Veronica Mars; Wes Anderson; Bjork; Disney; Patton Oswalt; The Ramones; SNL, more

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaimin

Veronica Mars (2): An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: Mr. Kiss and Tell

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce Novel

The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Exploring Calvin and Hobbes: An Exhibition Catalogue

Bjork: Archives

Girl in a Band: A Memoir by Kim Gordon

A Wish Your Heart Makes: From the Grimm Brothers' Aschenputtel to Disney's Cinderella (Disney Editions Deluxe (Film))

The Dawn of Technicolor: 1915-1935

George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door

Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film by Patton Oswalt

Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone by Marky Ramone

Saturday Night Live: The Book

The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song

Big Eyes: The Film, The Art

Wings Over New Orleans: Unseen Photos of Paul and Linda McCartney, 1975

Twelve-Cent Archie (Comics Culture)

Black Light: The World Of L. B. Cole

Wrapped in Plastic: Twin Peaks (Pop Classics)

Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison

Mastering the Game of Thrones: Essays on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire

Better Call Saul: The World According to Saul Goodman

Inside the World of Gerry Anderson (Classic Comics)

The Girl on the Train: A Novel