Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ginger Grant: Drive-In Movie Queen by Dave Goode


 Let me start off by saying that I'm a Mary Ann guy*. And yes I prefer Betty to Veronica too. I never thought Ginger was prettier than Mary Ann. Dawn Welles who played Mary Ann Summers, the sweet Winfield Kansas farm girl had been a Miss Nevada winner and a contestant in the 1960 Miss America contest for gosh sakes. Ginger was just more glamorous. But then she was a movie star.
 I always imagined Ginger Grant as a B-Movie actress. A drive-in movie queen. Someone who was the damsel in distress in sci-fi flicks, jungle adventures and horror movies. She was the sultry saloon singer in westerns. The captive slave-girl in peplum movies. And the other woman in potboilers. A graduate of Hollywood High, Ginger got her first job in show business upon graduation working as a magician's assistant.
 From there she began to get modelling work appearing on the covers of "true romance" magazines. Discovered by a movie producer while working as a nightclub singer she was soon seen in a number of low-budget crime dramas as eye candy in bit parts.
    From 1960 to 1964 she was co-starring opposite stars like Vince Everett,Troy McClure,Dash Riprock and Deke Rivers in THE HULA GIRL AND THE FULLBACK, BELLY DANCERS FROM BALI BALI, THE RAIN DANCERS FROM RANGO RANGO and THE BIRD PEOPLE MEET THE CHICKEN-PLUCKERS.

 After her mysterious disappearance in 1964 along 5 other passengers and the crew of the S.S. Minnow tour ship her movies became cult classics. There was a biography written by Richard Welle that became an instant best-seller.
  Three years after the book's publication there would be a documentary made about her life, rise to stardom and mysterious disappearance. Her disappearance and those of the other people, who were on the Minnow when it set sail on a three hour tour in fall 1964, remains a mystery to this very day to anyone who doesn't own a television set.*

*Editor's notes
  • I'm a "Tina Louise - Ginger" guy. 
  • In 1978, Rescue from Gilligan's Island, the castaways made it home...only to be lost once again on Gilligan's Island. (Judith Baldwin as Ginger)
  • In 1979, The Castaways on Gilligan's Island, the castaways are found. Mr. Howell turns the island into a resort. A sequel was made in 1981, The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island. (Constance Forslund as Ginger)
  • The show was revived in animated form in The New Adventures of Gilligan in the '74-'75 tv season with Jane Webb as Mary Ann and Ginger. In the '82-'83 tv season, Gilligan's Planet launched the castaways into outer space with Dawn Wells as both Mary Ann and Ginger.
Retro book covers (and Ginger fan) Vance Capley

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


There aren't too many film genres as entertaining then the masked wrestler movie. Nothing epitomizes the similarities between pro wrestling and comic books quite like them. Muscled men in masks (say that 3 times fast) fighting the forces of evil using the same skills that made them champion grapplers to fight werewolves,vampires,mad scientists and their creations,alien invaders from space and sometimes organized crime.

 The majority of these movies come from Mexico. And so sometimes they are referred to as Mexiluchahero movies by fans of the genre. But in that alternate universe that runs through my head, I can see American comic book companies purchasing the rights to these flicks to produce 4-color adaptations of some of the best-known of these movies. And then continuing with a series of comics featuring the stars. An el Santo series  drawn by Steve Ditko. A Blue Demon series illustrated by the tag-team of Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. A Tinieblas feature drawn by Jack "the King" Kirby and Gil Kane drawing a Mil Mascaras comic. Of course Mexico had their own masked wrestler comics starring Santo, Blue Demon and others. I just can't help but think of how great versions drawn by the premiere arts of the Silver Age of comics would have been. 

Enjoy the short adventure below featuring an American comic book fan turned masked wrestling hero.

Grab Judo Comics today! Click the pic:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


If you're of a certain age, the first martial art you were introduced to was Judo. Judo, and it's parent discipline jujitsu, were used by the good guys in pulp fiction and the movies to fight for truth, justice, and mom's apple pie. And if you were a comic book hero, not possessing "powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man", then, at one time or another, you bashed the bad guys using judo.
 Before he was a master of 127 martial arts (or whatever ridiculous number it's up to now), Batman's hand-to-hand combat skills consisted of boxing, wrestling, savate, jujitsu, and judo. Batman was using judo as far back as Detective Comics No.28 (the second appearance of Batman) during the Golden Age of Comics.
Judo's principle, of using an opponent's size and strength against them, was very appealing to early comic book writers. Kid sidekicks used judo to triumph over burly bruisers like David over Goliath.
  Costumed heroines,
like the Black Cat and the Black Canary, were using it to take names and kick b---years before the world heard of Cathy Gale and Emma Peel.

Here's a look at Dr.Judo,a forgotten hero from the Atomic Age of Comics, in action.

Retro style comic art by Vance Capley.

Grab Judo Comics!Click the pic and order today!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

America's Cheesiest Super-Hero by Dave Goode

America's Cheesiest Super-Hero 
by Dave Goode

One of the strangest things to come out of the era of Batmania (1966-1968) was the movie Rat Pfink a Boo Boo. This psychotronic classic is one of those ultra low-budget flick that seems like it was being written as they were going along. And that just may have been the case. It starts out as a rock & roll/juvenile delinquency flick hybrid and, about 40 minutes into the movie, it morphs into a parody of the Batman television show starring the great Adam West. It even has an obviously tacked on prologue to lead you to believe it was intended as a spoof to begin with. But I don't think anyone was ever fooled.

     Ron Haydock stars as Lonnie Lord, R&R star turned masked mystery man. And if anyone ever deserved his status as a cult star it was Haydock (1940-1977). Haydock was a recording artist, editor and writer for monster movie magazines and author of several pornographic novels under the name Vin Saxon. Oddly enough Haydock is billed as Vin Saxon in the credits for this movie.

Carolyn Brandt, a cult star in her own right, plays damsel in distress Cee Cee Beumont, and Titus Moody plays the hero's sidekick. The movie was directed by Ray Dennis  Steckler, who along with
Haydock,wrote the story. At the time Steckler and leading lady Brandt were man and wife. 
 I first learned about this flick from an article in Castle of Frankenstein. I instantly fell in love with the total cheesiness of the whole thing starting with the hero's costume. However, I didn't see the movie until I bought a VHS copy two decades later. I wasn't disappointed. But then again, my sites weren't set that high.
Good cheesy fun.

   And speaking of fun....Bob Burns as Kogar, the Swinging Ape was an added plus. It makes you wonder why none of the villains on the Batman TV series never had a "pet gorilla" to be unleashed on the Caped Crusader. Gorillas in comics were all the rage during this era.Of course in the alternate universe that runs through my head, there was a comic book adaptation of the movie and a series of comic books that ran for an additional 24 issues starring the ersatz Dynamic Duo.

Retro style comic art by Vance Capley