Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's A Shock When Spock Visits Doc

(Click on images to view full-size.)

I can't say that this headline is any worse than the earlier posted "Mr. Spock Is Not In Hock," but it's pretty close. I suppose some other possibilities were "Mr. Spock Circles Block On Way To See Flock," or "Don't Mock Dr. Spock or He'll Clean Your Clock." These hack writers showed their attitude toward the show right up front, and I know the sensitive Mr. Nimoy must have winced and gritted his teeth when seeing some of these headlines after the interview.

"Oh, no! The hot Mr. Spock has hit his foot on a rock!" Nimoy considers running to hide when he sees the press coming to interview him.

Check out these candid photos of Leonard from 1968!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cracked: Star Drek: The Moving Picture

Last time, as you recall (if not, read the last blog entry) I graciously posted a Cracked satire on Trekkers (and Lord knows we're pretty easy targets) which was in the back of issue #169 of Cracked, published July 1980. (I've also previously posted an earlier Cracked spoof on the original series, here.) As promised, here is the cover spoof on ST:TMP. Severin does his usual excellent job on the characters, and the art benefited from being done late enough for him to actually see the movie before doing the story, which is not usually the case. Very often a comic spoof bears little resemblence to the actual movie due to being rushed through based on a script synopsis and a few stills. His attention to ship and uniform details are all very well done, unlike most spoofs. Enjoy!
(Click to view V'ger-sized scans!)

Apparently J.J. Abrams was influenced by this cover.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cracked Interviews The Trekker King

(Click on images to view Nanny-sized scans!)
Try not to read any sexual subtext into this scene. Go ahead... try.

Talk about your Super-Nanny! Artist Bill Ward, (who passed away in 1998) was known for decades among men's magazine readers for his eye-popping good-girl art. Nanny Dickering was one of his more famous creations among the impressionable younger readers of Cracked, many of whom were just starting to notice those things, and who probably were becoming more interested in her killer curves than the magazine's humor.

This was scanned from my copy of Issue #169 of Cracked, published in July of 1980. The cover spoof was on the new movie, and I'll be posting that soon for your enjoyment or recollection, whichever the case may be... but this spoof on Trekkies was so good I just had to share it first.

This would be funnier if it weren't so painfully true to life.

Although many of us fans may recognize ourselves, particularly in the spot-on convention scene depicted, I can speak for us male Trekkers when I say we would never, ever make our wife shave her head. Wear a black wig and tight red mini-skirt with go-go boots, yes; paint her green and have her do an animalistic hootchie-kootchie around the room in a skimpy dinosaur skin, most definitely... but shave her head, no.

I do envy the guy having the money to live in an Enterprise-shaped house, though. Don't tell me you wouldn't if you could, either.

My only question is why they drew the guy as a look-alike for William Shatner... no mention of plastic surgery is made. Just a typical person would have made more sense; a spoof article would be more likely to draw a Trekker as a stereotypical nerdy-type person... but I suppose we should be glad thatHEYWHOA! would you LOOK at that rack!!! Um, er... the equipment rack holding the speakers and such, up there... yeah, that's it... (Whew!)

I do like his idea of Trekker-Land, which we sort of got with Star Trek: The Experience. But I wonder where the writer got the strange idea that fans were that defensive, though? It's a well-known fact that we only attack those making changes to new incarnations!

"Now, that Nanny Dickering is a woman I could really get into!"

Shop the Star Trek Store Today!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1967 Popular Science article

(Click on images to view full-size.)
Originally published in the December 1967 issue of Popular Science.

Star Trek's technology, grounded as it was in scientific theory and mixed with imaginative and logical design, ignited a burning interest in the viewers to know more. Unusual for a show of the time period and even long after; how many articles did you see on the science of "Lost In Space"? I was captivated by the ships and gadgets also; the first picture I ever drew of the show was the Enterprise, and I continued to do so for years as I became more familiar with it. It really was one of the stars of the show as far as I was concerned.
I loved that kind of thing so much, that one day in 1974 I wore my newly-acquired AMT Star Trek Exploration Set to school... the phaser and communicator on my belt (attached with velcro, just like the show) and a hand-made insignia pinned to my shirt. Yes, I was a geek before people knew what to call them, but it did attract the interest of a couple of like-minded students who became my Trekker pals. (Nowadays, it would result in being suspended for bringing a "weapon" to school and possibly triggering an evacuation and SWAT Team incident). But, to a small group of other teens I was cool since I was always bringing fun mags like Famous Monsters and The Monster Times to school with me, which they all gathered around and read in study hall. My drawings were always passed around with exclamations of their coolness.
Bonus: Below, a painting of our lovely lady by Andy Probert, from the set that you could buy in the early 70's from Lincoln Enterprises. You can see some others as they are in frames on my wall, in the picture here. Andy, of course, went on to design the movie version of the ship based on drawings by Matt Jefferies, the ships' original creator.
And below, from a far less accomplished artist (namely, me), a drawing of the ship from memory, made one day in 1974 (when I was 15) as I sat in the library at school during lunch break. The Klingon ship I did have a reference for, as I looked at the illustration in "The Making of Star Trek" a day or two later, adding it to the drawing.
I was a relative late-comer to the show, but like many people, came to know and love it during the re-run popularity it began to have in the early 70's. One early exposure was the Gold Key comic book, and the first issue I ever bought, #20... the cover of which I scanned in for you below. It further whetted my appetite for the real thing, as did the James Blish books, causing me to start sneaking in any episodes I could catch on TV when I could, and saving any magazine or newspaper articles I found... which is what this blog is all about sharing now.

Man, this takes me back... to when I bought it in September of 1973, to be exact. Nothing quite as exciting as a zero-G fight using vacuum cleaners!

The crew reacts as the young Kirk gets the snot beat
out of him again in the new movie about their exploits.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nimoy: Trek Will Surpass Star Wars

In this article clipped from the January 1980 issue of Movie Stars magazine, Nimoy was unduly optimistic about the quality of the movie, as history has shown. Although it was epic, and the effects top-notch, the movie was more like "2001" than "Star Wars" when it came to action.

(Click images to enlarge.)

Sorry to say, Leonard, but... um, no.

Oh, and Rev. Kennedy? I want free answers, not questions.

(Sorry to say that I could not find the last page of this article. It's probably a small column, clipped and tucked somwhere among the rest, but I couldn't locate it. If I ever do find it, I'll post it! )

Below, the ad shows that the film was in it's sixth week, and was considered a hit. Although critically panned, and the slow-paced and derivitive story a disappointment to many, it did show that there was an audience demand for Trek movies. Another film was green-lighted, with a different director and Roddenberry invited to take a back seat. The situation could be compared to that of the pilots for the show; the first movie was more intellectual, like "The Cage," and the "Wrath of Khan" more action-oriented like "Where No Man Has Gone Before." And like the pilots, the second attempt saved the day and ensured the survival of the franchise.

It was in the sixth week and at this theater that I finally got to see the movie. Oh, and if you like old newpaper movie ads, check out my other blog: "Held Over!"

Below, Shatner and director Robert Wise share a laugh on the set.

"Yessiree, those silly fans are in for a real surprise!"

Below, the second in the Skybox Star Trek set.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Shatner article in Fighting Stars mag

(Click on images to view Shatner-ego-sized!)

Shatner learns to defend himself against attack by George Takei.

This issue of Fighting Stars was published in April, 1974 and I bought it off the newstand when I was 15, living in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Seeing Bill's unique fighting style on the series has led to the coining of the term "Kirk-Fu," used to describe his trademark moves such as the double-handed chop to the neck or back, flying scissor kick, rolling into the enemy, and others familiar to every hostile alien, renegade starship captain and Star Trek viewer.

The writer's unfamiliarity with the show is evident in his referring to it as "Startrek," one word, all through the article. It seems that someone would have caught this before publishing, but apparently no-one at the magazine watched the show.

The photo below was the most exciting thing about the article to me, as it was... believe it or not... the first full-size color photo from the show I ever got. To say I was excited would be an understatement, and (to my regret now) when I got home I carefully cut out the page and proudly put it in my second scrapbook, which was a photo album, a step up from the bulging notebook I had taped everything in prior to this.

In looking at it you may notice yellow lines going through the page, which are the result of the photo's residing in the sticky-backed album all these years. Back then I didn't have the foresight to put a piece of paper between the clippings and the pages, to prevent them from sticking except around the edges. As a result, many of the items in that first photo album cannot be taken out now without ripping, and they are yellowing and showing lines.

The page above is the back of the photo, and shows the result of the aging in the scrapbook. For this post, I wanted all the pages of the article, so I very carefully removed the photo from the album, and was luckily able to get it out without tearing it or losing any of the print on the back. Below, the rest of the article scanned from the magazine as it still exists, intact.

The earlier-mentioned "Kirk-Fu" is not something that can be taught or actually used by anyone else in a real fighting situation; apparently only Kirk could master it, being the originator of the style. The philosophy of Kirk-Fu is that it is actually more of an extension of ego than actual effective physical moves. Kirk is beating his opponents by sheer willpower, defeating them by his intimidating charisma as displayed in moves that otherwise would be ineffective; or worse, damaging to one's own self. It's probable that his enemies, seeing his guts, bravado and righteous swagger, simply give up and fall before his unnerving blows.

For your education and entertainment, check out the post on the topic with video clips. The young Kirk as played by Chris Pine could learn from this, as he is consistently beat up in the new movie! Maybe he'll get his Kirk-Fu on in the sequel, as he gains more confidence.

Bonus: since today's entry is about Bill's fighting, here is an 8 x 10 publicity still from "Amok Time" scanned in from a later scrapbook (when I wisely began using plastic pages that the pictures could slide down in for easy removal later).

Just in: Newsweek has released an online slideshow with rare photos of some of the earliest Trek conventions, now the stuff of legend. Con organizer and fan Jeff Maynard, who sadly passed away last year, had entrusted his many photos to Angelique Trouvere, costumer fan who was famous at the cons for her sexy and detailed costume creations. Click the link to take a trip back in time!

Before you beam out to another site, I'd like your input on a couple of things. First, I have clippings from all the years and original cast movies up until the present day. I was holding back from posting any beyond ST:TMP until I had pretty much exhausted the earlier material, then move on to "The Wrath of Khan" and the others in the order they came out. But, I'm thinking now that might not be the best way. Because then, most of the entries would be similar as time goes by, focusing only on a particular time period. What do you think; should I post them in the order they came out, or should I skip around now, posting various items from any year, just to keep it changed up? That's how I'm starting to lean but I wanted to hear from you.

Next, since I have begun this blog, I have found a number of others that are posting some of their old clippings and articles. I have seen on them several of the same articles and clippings that I have, and was planning to post in the future. Should I post what I have anyway, regardless of whether or not they have already been posted elsewhere on some of the linked sites? Or would that be redundant? Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Marvel's ST:TMP comic adaptation

(Click on images to view full-size.)

In 1979, Marvel published their comic adaptation of the new movie, and it was a major item for me when I found it at the corner convenience store near our home in Savannah, GA. Bob Larkin's fantastic painting emulated and updated the famous James Bama original promo art for the TV series (posted below for comparison), and I've wished for a poster of the art ever since.

Below is the title page artwork...
And below is a page scanned in from a scene deleted from the film, where Kirk follows Spock into the memory core of V'Ger and has to be rescued. Since it was put together from only a script and stills, the artists had not seen the film when drawing the adaptation, so there is a disconnect whenever a scene was depicted that required effects from the film. The movie's visual effects had been finished only at the last minute, so the artists had nothing to go on for those many scenes but script notes.

Bonus Stuff : Below is an ad scanned from a December 1977 issue of the Miami Herald. Nimoy had to do something to pay the mortgage, the movie was still several years away!

And next we have a black and white glossy photo from the old scrapbook. I had gotten this from a newspaper presskit (passed along to me by the Entertainment Editor who knew I was a fan), to help promote the series as it ran in syndication in the mid-70's.

And we have below another drawing by me... this was done in pen and ink, a little larger than life-size, as part of a quickly-done banner used for something in the high school cafeteria. My goal had been to capture the likeness with the fewest possible lines drawn. When they were done with it, I cut out the section with the Spock drawing to save.

It was 1974, I was in the 10th grade in South Broward H.S. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at the time, and I saved my lunch money in order to buy books from the school bookstore (further contributing to my skinniness). I would order paperbacks through the kindly lady there, and that's where I first got my copies of "The Making of Star Trek," "The World of Star Trek," and "The Trouble With Tribbles" making-of book. I was in hog heaven reading them, truly! It's hard to express just how much these books meant to me at the time, and even today when I take those same copies out of my collection case, they take me back to those times.