Showing Tag: "tv" (Show all posts)

MEMOIRS OF A BAT-FAN

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, January 15, 2016, In : Pop Culture 

MEMOIRS OF A BAT-FAN



In case you happened to miss it (you’d be surprised, it seems like there is always a few who somehow manage to not receive the memo), this past Tuesday marked an important milestone in the history of American popular culture. 


Well, it was important to some of us, anyway...


January 12 marked the 50th anniversary of the night that the television series Batman, starring Adam West and Burt Ward, premiered on the ABC television network (WLS-TV, Channel 7 in Chicago if y...


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The Davy Jones-Scooby Doo Counter-Revolution Polka (or, A Very Brady Crossover)

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, In : Pop Culture 

I have written a time or 10 in the past about my great childhood love of two great old TV series, Batman and The Green Hornet, both of which originally aired on ABC in the 1960s. Both shows were produced by a gentleman named William Dozier, who - in an effort to garner a larger viewership for The Green Hornet, which wasn’t quite bringing in the ratings of the other show - came up with the idea of having the Green Hornet and his sidekick Kato appear in an episode of Batman.  


Now you have t...


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WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN...?

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Pop Culture 
Pictured: Clayton Moore, the REAL Lone Ranger; and Armie Hammer, the (unsuccessful) pretender to the throne.


Everyone else has had their say by now. I guess it's my turn.


The family and I went to see the new film version of The Lone Ranger last weekend. It was one of those movies that I had been both looking forward to and dreading ever since first hearing that it was being made. 


Looking forward to because I've been a fan of the legendary Western character pretty much all my life, ever sinc...


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STEPPING INTO THE SUPER FRAY

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, June 13, 2013, In : Opinion 


(Christopher Reeve... now THAT'S Superman!)


For much of this week I have been watching and participating in an going debate on Variety's website regarding the validity of Chief Film Critic Scott Foundas' review of the new Superman movie Man Of Steel. For those of you who haven't read it Scott didn't give Man Of Steel the most glowing of reviews, stating that its "humorless tone and relentless noisy aesthetics drag down this heavily hyped, brilliantly marketed tentpole attraction."


You could t...


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SOME OF US STILL DREAM OF JEANNIE

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, In : Pop Culture 
A funny thing happened the other day while I was on the Internet checking up on the latest news. 

I ran across a couple of articles telling of how 78-year-old actress Barbara Eden wowed the crowd in attendance at last Saturday's Life Ball in Vienna, Austria, by showing up dressed in the iconic pink harem costume she wore in the 1960s television series I Dream of Jeannie.

Joined onstage by former President Bill Clinton, Eden addressed the crowd and atone point even performed the classic "Jeannie...

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REMEMBERING THE REAL "SON OF KONG"

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, In : Pop Culture 
Ray Harryhausen: 1920-2013


Every little boy has his heroes. It’s a fact of life. And it is equally true that every little boy grows up dreaming of getting the opportunity to actually meet some of those heroes, and to tell them just how much of an impact they have had upon his life. 


Back in 1925, a boy named Ray went to the theatre and saw a silent film entitled The Lost World, an adaptation of the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel about Professor George Edward Challenger and his expedit...


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I'M DREAMING OF A RED PLANET

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, December 6, 2012, In : Pop Culture 

(Yes, that's really me in the lower left corner... as I looked back in January of 1982.)


 

Perhaps it should have come as no surprise that this week’s report by NASA, regarding the data collected by the Mars rover Curiosity, was do doggone anti-climactic in light of all the Internet buzz and media hoopla that ensued after scientist John Grotzinger announced that the findings were destined “for the history books.” 


It’s hard to live up to that kind of advance publicity. Just ask Kim Kar...


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NOSTALGIC CHILLS AND THRILLS

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 26, 2012, In : Pop Culture 
(Above is my attempt via Photoshop to recreate one of the TV  Guide ads that ran for WGN-TV's "Creature Features" movie program back in the 1970s.)


 

It was the Autumn of 1970. There is no earthly reason why I should remember it so clearly today, seeing as how I was all of 8 years old at the time and I sometimes seem to have trouble these days recalling things that happened just a few minutes ago. But for me that era burns bright in my memory like some eternal sunny summer day, a warm shelter o...


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I'D LIKE TO LIVE IN MAYBERRY, TOO...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, July 12, 2012, In : Pop Culture 

One of our current county commissioners here where I live has a favorite expression that he voices whenever the discussion turns to the differences between the way things are done now and the way they were done in days gone by:  “We’re not in Mayberry anymore.”


I understand what the gentleman means when he says this, but each time I hear it I find myself fighting back the urge to respond: “We never were living in Mayberry! Mayberry doesn't exist. It’s an entry in the Atlas of Make-...


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I Don't Care What Anyone Says; I LIKED "John Carter"

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, March 29, 2012, In : Opinion 

Every now and then I find myself in the unusual (and not always desirable) position of championing some cause that seems to fly in the face of mass public opinion. I guess it is not altogether unfair to blame my parents for this tendency; after all, they are the ones who drummed into my mind as a child the importance of standing up for what you believe, and the notion that what is popular is not always what is right.


Sometimes those battles place me on what some would consider to be the wron...


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ANOTHER FANTASY COVER

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 21, 2011, In : Pictures 

Here's another fantasy cover I created... this one was done way back when GWB was still president and I wishing on a daily basis that he was not, but that's a troy for another time. The thing I liked about this one was planting a teaser in the corner for an article purporting to tell about the "Eugenics Wars." Kind of silly I suppose but, hey, I like it that way.
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CELEBRITY CRUSHES...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 14, 2011, In : Pop Culture 

Ran across a thread on www.moviefanfare.com yesterday where guest blogger Peter Eramo, Jr shared his own personal top five celebrity crushes - stars who, to use his own words, "are simply hot, hot, hot!"


It was an interesting list to say the least. Not surprisingly it included three current celebrities - Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel and Christina Hendricks - two of which I have to admit have never done much for me. (I'll leave it to others to figure out which two.) I was impressed t find...


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Another Fantasy Cover...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, October 13, 2011, In : Unbridled Silliness 

This is just a silly little thing I did for laughs back when I was first starting to really learn how to use Photoshop. Came across a piece of cover art from one of those "spicy pulp story" magazines from the 1930s and decided to create my own version. Used Mary Tyler Moore as the cover model because I had such a crush on her when I was a kid; did you ever see the way she just kind of pulls away her pearl necklace and smiles as she exits the final scene of the very first episode of The Dick V...
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NOW HERE'S A WILD IDEA...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, October 6, 2011, In : Unbridled Silliness 

Having recently shared a few of my silly ideas for fantasy book covers, movie posters, etc., thought I'd continue in that vein by offering this fake TV show ad I made a few years back. A friend of mine had raised the question of what it might have been like if the characters from MASH had been part of a starship crew instead of an Army hospital. I ran with the idea and had some fun, creating not only this ad but even a fake episode guide for this "fantasy series." I've still got the episode g...
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More Dream Covers: View-Master Packaging

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, September 14, 2011, In : Pictures 


This was another experiment in creating my own covers from a few years back: in this case not a book or magazine or comic book cover, but the package art for a fictional Talking View-Master set from the 1970s. (Remember those?) Again, a silly little thing I did on Photoshop but I've still got a soft spot for this sort of thing.

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THE GREAT HOT DOG EXPEDITION OF 2011

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, August 10, 2011, In : Travel 
(Photo: My son William in front of Tony Packo's Cafe in Toledo, Ohio - August 1, 2011)

 

You know, at the outset it really didn’t seem like all that difficult a task to undertake. After all, all we were trying to do was find our way to a restaurant.


Well, okay, not just any restaurant. We were on the hunt for Tony Packo’s Cafe – renowned throughout the land as the favorite eatery of that legendary American veteran of the Korean War, Maxwell Q. Klinger.


Maybe I’d better start at the be...


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SHADOW OF THE BAT

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, July 22, 2011, In : Pop Culture 


When I was a little boy, there were two heroes that I really looked up to.


The first was my father. Well, I suppose that’s typical enough…every little boy I ever knew wanted to grow up and be just like his old man, and all the little girls wanted to be like their mommies. That is, until all those little boys and girls grew into teenagers, and suddenly Mommy and Daddy were somehow transformed (if only for a brief time) into Mother and Father. The Dreaded Enemies.


The other great hero of ...


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MORE TREK: THE EUGENICS WARS

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, June 24, 2011, In : Pop Culture 


As long as we're on the subject of "Star Trek," let me begin by stating that there's a story behind the above illustration...


Back in 2000, as much for my own amusement as anything else, I wrote an essay entitled "The Eugenics War Declassified," in which I attempted to explain how the Eugenic Wars first mentioned in a 1966 "Star Trek" episode could have still occurred given what had actually transpired historically during the intervening years. As a fan of Philip José Farmer and his Wold Ne...


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"ALL RIGHT... WHO CALLED ME A TREKKIE?"

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, June 23, 2011, In : Pop Culture 


 (Note: The above picture is my son William standing in front of the original model of the USS Enterprise at the Smithsonian Institute's Air and Space Museum during or visit to Washington D.C. in 2009)



 

“I didn’t know you were a Trekkie, Small.”


The comment was made by my boss one day a number of years ago as he happened to overhear a conversation I was having with a co-worker. We were talking about the film “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,” which I found (and still find) to...


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(From The Archives) CROSSOVER CONTEST ENTRY

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, June 10, 2011, In : Pop Culture 

(Note: The following was my entry in a contest Time magazine held in the late 1990s - I forget the exact year right off - in which the publication asked its readers to submit ideas for an episode of a television series in which characters from another series make an appearance. The winner was some dummy that had Homer SImpson turning up on an episode of "E.R." I still like MY idea better....)


*      *      *


Dear Time:


My name is John Small. I live in Ravia, Oklahoma, and the following is ...


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(From The Archives) DREAMCASTING DOC SAVAGE

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, May 20, 2011, In : Pop Culture 

I was digging through some old files the other night and ran across something I wrote that suddenly seemed noteworthy again in light of our most recent celebrity controversy... 


It was written in response to a lengthy discussion amongst members of the New Wold Newton Meteorics Society concerning an article in the July 7, 1999 edition of Variety in which it had been announced that former actor, former governor and philandering husband Arnold Schwarzenegger was planning to star as Doc Savage i...


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About Me


John Allen Small John A. Small is an award-winning newspaper journalist, columnist and broadcaster whose work has been honored by the Oklahoma Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the National Newspaper Association, and the Oklahoma Education Association. He and his wife Melissa were married in 1986; they have two sons, Joshua Orrin (born 1991) and William Ian (born 1996). Mr. Small is the News Editor and columnist for the Johnston County Capital-Democrat, a weekly newspaper headquartered in Tishomingo, OK. He obtained his nickname, "Bard of the Lesser Boulevards," from a journalism colleague - the late Phil Byrum - in recognition of the success of his popular newspaper column, "Small Talk." (In addition to the many awards the column itself has received over the years, a radio version of "Small Talk" earned an award for "Best Small Market Commentary" from the Society of Professional Journalists in 1998.) John was born in Oklahoma City in 1963; lived in the Bradley-Bourbonnais-Kankakee area of Illinois for most of the next 28 years (with brief sojourns in Texas and Athens, Greece, thrown in to break up the monotony); then returned to his native state in 1991, where he currently resides in the Tishomingo/Ravia area. He graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 1981, and received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais in 1991. The years between high school and college were a period frought with numerous exploits and misadventures, some of which have become the stuff of legend; nobody was hurt along the way, however, which should count for something. In addition to his professional career as a journalist he has published two short story collections: "Days Gone By: Legends And Tales Of Sipokni West" (2007), a collection of western stories; and "Something In The Air" (2011), a more eclectic collection. He was also a contributor to the 2005 Locus Award-nominated science fiction anthology "Myths For The Modern Age: Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe," edited by Win Scott Eckert. In additon he has written a stage play and a self-published cookbook; served as project editor for a book about the JFK assassination entitled "The Men On The Sixth Floor"; and has either published or posted on the Internet a number of essays, stories and poems. He has also won writing awards from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Library of Poetry. He is a past president of the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce in Tishomingo; was a charter member and past president of the Johnston County Reading Council, the local literacy advocacy and "friends of the library" organization; served as Johnston County's first-ever Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator in 1994-95; served two terms as chairman of the Johnston County (OK) Democratic Party; and has taught journalism classes for local Boy Scout Merit Badge Fairs. He is a member of the New Wold Newton Meteorics Society.
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