Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Captain's Library: 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD Conclusion

The group reaches Colossa and manages to defeat the Cyclops.
They proceed north, where they find the nest of the Roc...
There are several major elements from the last half of the film missing...
The Roc's second head!
The battle between the Cyclops and the Dragon (who, like the other Harryhausen creatures is wayyy off-model)!
And, most importantly, the swordfight between Sinbad and the Skeleton!
Adaptor Leo Dorfman and illustrator John Buscema did what they could, but with an early version of the script and little visual reference material, they still did the best with what they had!
If you've never seen the movie, it's a pretty rocking adventure tale.
But without those missing highlights, a movie-goer wishing to relive the big-screen experience is left going -- "Where the heck is the rest of the film?"
Did one of the two other comic adaptations do a better job?
Find out next week!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Captain's Library: 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD Part 2

To return the minaturized Princess Parisa to her normal size, Sinbad and Sokurah the scheming magician must return to Colossa...
Sinbad and company have found the Roc's egg!
But what about the Roc?
Be here
for the Thrilling Conclusion!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Captain's Library: 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD Part 1

For sci-fi/horror/fantasy nerds like me...
...summertime is "go to the air-conditioned movies and watch kool flicks" time!
One of my childhood favorites was this Ray Harryhausen spectacular that was re-released to theatres every few years!
We'll discover how the Cyclops feels about returning visitors...
Adapted by Gaylord DuBois and illustrated by John Buscema, this never-reprinted story from Dell's Four Color Comics #944 is an absolute delight....but with a couple of major codicils!
Because the comic was produced while the movie was in production, it's based on an early version of the script.
Plus, Columbia Pictures apparently provided very little photo reference to Dell for either actors or Harryhausen's monsters.
(This was a major problem with special-effects-laden films.
If you look at the comic adaptation of George Pal's 1960 The Time Machine, the vehicle itself looks nothing like what appeared in the movie, though the close-ups of the machine's control panel, shot by a second unit, are dead-on!)
So the Cyclops as seen here is not the cloven-hoved, beastial creature of the movie (a kool one-eyed demon/satyr)...
..., but more along the lines of the traditional mythic giant humanoid with one eye (though he does have a horn on his forehead, like the stop-motion creature).
And the characters are somewhat stereotyped "squared-jawed handsome hero", "snake-like bald villain", and "generic beautiful princess".
(Not that I'm complaining!
Buscema does his usual dynamic job with them!)
Be here tomorrow as we continue the re-telling of the tale!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Kato, Kato, and, oh yes, Kato!

 While Bruce Lee's TV Kato is the best-known version to today's audience...
...he wasn't the first.
When the radio show debuted in 1936, the character, described in early episodes as Britt Reid's "Japanese valet", which became "Fillipino valet" in 1938, long before Pearl Harbor.
Japanese-American Tokutaro Hayashi/Raymond Toyo (above) initially played the character until 1942, when he, for all intents and purposes, disappeared.
There are rumors he was sent (as were many other Japanese-Americans) to an internment camp, but no conclusive answer has ever been found.
In an audio version of "white guy playing Asian", he was followed by Rollon Parker, Michael Tolan, and Paul Carnagie.
When The Green Hornet came to the big screen in movie serials in 1940 and 1941, Chinese-American Keye Luke handled the role, which was now defined as Britt's "Korean valet"!
Kato, as portrayed in both the serials and radio show, was the technical genius behind the high-powered auto, the Black Beauty, as well as the developer of the Hornet's main weapon, a gas gun, and the knockout gas it used.
He even designs the Hornet's mask and insignia!
(It's never explained on the TV series who created the car, weaponry, and mask.)
He knew some judo and karate, but usually acted as backup to the Hornet, who tended to go into situations alone and would then have to be rescued from whatever deathtrap the villains had ensnared him in.
Kato would also use the gas gun or gas grenades.
(Unlike the TV series where Kato would enter and leave first and silently lurk around the Hornet, keeping watch on their opponents, as well as kicking multiple butts with gung fu when required.
And TV's Kato never used the Hornet's gas gun, but did use the Hornet Sting sonic weapon only once, to blast a door open.)
Depending on the situation, the serial and radio Hornet and Kato both drive the Black Beauty.
(In the TV series the Hornet never got behind the wheel, though he did operate the Black Beauty by remote control in one episode!)
On radio and in the movies, there were references to Britt saving Kato's life several years earlier, as well as an adventure where they encountered a rare and lethal giant green hornet, which gave the hero the name of his alter-ego.
(On TV there was no explanation as to how or why Britt recruited Kato to be not just a valet/cook, but to work with him battling evil.)
We hope you've enjoyed our look at Kato, one of the best-known, yet least-known, sidekicks in popular media!
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