Friday, February 25, 2011

Coming Attractions: THE WAR IN SPACE (1977) TV Promo

Here's a fun, English-language promo for the 1977 Toho space opera, The War In Space, apparently created when the film was distributed to American television. It never got a U.S. theatrical release, as far as I can tell, although it is available on DVD.

UPDATE: well, another YouTube video disappears... sigh.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

LOGAN'S RUN Marvel Comics Cover Gallery

George Perez/Al Milgrom
George Perez/Al Milgrom
George Perez/Tom Palmer
George Perez/Klaus Janson
George Perez/Frank Giacoia
Paul Gulacy
Gil Kane/Al Milgrom
After their phenomenal success with the Star Wars comics license, Marvel turned their attention to the most prominent sci-fi flick of the year before, Logan's Run, and made a deal to adapt the MGM film. The adaptation showcased the dynamic talents of a young George Perez, who would soon make a name for himself on The Avengers,  among other books, becoming one of the industry's top pencilers. As I recall, Klaus Janson inked all (or most) of the five-issue movie adaptation, which was scripted by Marvel veteran Gerry Conway and David Anthony Kraft. 

The final two issues attempted to carry Logan and Jessica's adventures beyond the end of the movie, but writer John Warner failed to capture readers' imaginations, which, combined with the low sales figures and high licensing fees, led to Marvel canceling the title. Aircel Comics published adaptations of the original William F. Nolan-George Clayton Johnson Logan's Run novels in the 80s, and Bluewater Comics recently published a Logan series of their own.

(Scans courtesy of the Grand Comics Database.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

STAR WARS (1977) Campaign Art by Daniel Goozee

And... the image-heavy Space: 1970 posts continue! This rare bit of advertising campaign art from the original 1977 theatrical release of Star Wars was painted by movie poster veteran Daniel Goozee (Moonraker, Octopussy, Clash of the Titans, Superman IV).

The swashbuckling image appeared in at least one newspaper ad, but was not widely seen; in fact, apparently the artist himself was unaware that it had actually been used in the advertising at all, since it was just one of many pieces commissioned from various artists by Fox's publicity machine back in the 70s.

Goozee is a former Walt Disney "Imagineer" and fine artist who also painted a handful of sci-fi "originals" that were marketed as posters in the back of Famous Monsters and other Warren magazines during the height of the post-Star Wars sci-fi mania. Several of these cool poster images can be seen on THIS collector's page (I really wish I had some!).

MAN FROM ATLANTIS (1977) TV Guide Preview

From the 1977 Fall Preview Issue of TV Guide, here's the magazine's write-up of the new Man From Atlantis television series. The tone is annoyingly snarky, but to be fair, that was the tone for all of their previews back then.

And, while we're on the subject of Man From Atlantis in TV Guide, I've also decided to include this scan of a lovely cover painting featuring the aquatic adventurer, even though the resolution isn't very good and I can't make out the artist's signature. It's a great painting, though.

I have the entire Man From Atlantis series here now (thanks to a generous Space: 1970 reader), but I've only had time to watch the original four 90-minute TV movies. I intend to write about the series much more in the future, because, despite its faults (and not actually being a "space" show), I have a great nostalgic affection for the program.

For one thing, as a 13 year-old sci-fi fan who thought that submarines were almost a s cool as spaceships, I loved the four-sphere Cetacean submersible. And, for another, I had a huge crush on Belinda J. Montgomery as Elizabeth Merrill. Apparently, I've always liked smart blondes.

As I've mentioned before, I also owned and enjoyed the two paperback tie-in novelizations and the short-lived Marvel Comics adaptation. If Kenner had actually got their proposed toy line off the ground, I probably would have tried to get all of those, too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

FLESH GORDON (1974) & STAR BABE (1977) Theatrical Posters

Here are some rather nice posters for movies that I absolutely did not see as a child in the 1970s - although I did see them as a shameless young adult.  

Howard Ziehm's 1974 Flesh Gordon - a sexploitation parody of the original Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials from the 1930s - was on my radar even as a teenager, however, as magazines like Starlog actually published extensive articles about the special effects in the film.

SFX artists like modelmaker Greg Jein (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek - TMP) and animator Jim Danforth worked on the sci-fi skinflick, among others. Of course, once I hit 18, I rented the movie from the local video store. The sex stuff was disappointing and some of the gags were kinda funny, but the special effects were the real attraction, especially Danforth's stop-motion creatures. The top poster was painted by acclaimed SF illustrator Glenn Barr. I don't know who painted that awesome second poster, but I really love it. The Hildenbrandt-inspired Japanese one-sheet's pretty sweet, too.

"Special Edition" Re-release poster

Star Babe was a low-budget, XXX porn film produced in 1977, probably the first (though not the last) hardcore adult knock-off of Lucas's Star Wars. I actually saw this one on video in the 80s, and it was amusing because the producers costumed the performers in a lot of Don Post masks - including some undisguised Stormtrooper helmets and a Darth Vader mask! The poster - based on the art style and what I can make out of the signature - appears to be the work of Argentine comics artist Ricardo Villagran.

Captain's bLog 0222.11

  Apologies for the lack of posts over the last week and a half. Aside from simply having too much to do, my wife & I also finally purchased a HD television set.

Although I've been enjoying our Blu-Ray player for a couple years (thanks to a generous Christmas gift from my mother-in-law), I haven't actually been getting the full benefits of the technology since I was still viewing the discs on a standard-definition monitor. But about two weeks ago, that 15 year-old TV finally gasped its last breath. It lived a full life, but after years of heavy use, it just couldn't go on any longer.

Fortunately, the timing was pretty good for a change. Some automotive repairs we'd been saving for for a while turned out to be much less expensive than we expected (how often does that happen?), and we found a remarkably good deal on a high-end 55" Phillips LCD set. (It's even Netflix Instant-ready.)

Needless to say, I've been spending a lot of time (too much, actually) over the last week or so, looking at my Blu-Rays and DVDs on the big screen. I've watched Star Trek - The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan all the way through on Blu-Ray, as well as Flash Gordon, Starcrash, and various episodes of Space: 1999 and Star Trek (TOS) in HD. I've also been checking out many of my standard-def DVDs to see which ones still look good, blown-up on the big screen. Some look better than others, obviously, but overall, I'm thrilled with my new set.

Now, all I need is a new surround sound set-up, and the Alien & Planet of the Apes Blu-Ray box sets....

•  ADDENDUM: As it turns out, I actually managed to get my hands on inexpensive copies of four of the five Planet of the Apes Blu-Rays tonight. Not only do they look & sound incredible, but I was pleased to see that Fox included the alternate cuts of Conquest and Battle along with the original theatrical versions (something Paramount didn't see fit to do - or was too greedy to do - with the Trek Blu-Rays).

I also was amused to see that Eric Greene, who played "Loki" on Filmation's Space Academy, was featured in the documentaries. Apparently, he's a sci-fi geek himself, and has written a book on the Apes films. Cool.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

News: TRON (1982) on Blu-Ray in April

The groundbreaking original cyberspace epic from 1982, TRON, will be making its high-definition debut on Blu-Ray in April, released side-by-side with the much bally-hooed 2010 sequel, TRON Legacy (which I still have not seen, dammit).

A lot of online articles are making it sound like the original movie will only be available as part of various expensive combo packages with the sequel, but that's not the case.  TRON - The Original Classic will also be available individually, as a Blu-Ray/DVD pack.

This remastered, 1080p HD edition will also include the following bonus materials:  An audio commentary, Photo Tronology (BD-exclusive), and featurettes on The TRON Phenomenon, The Making of TRON, Development, Digital Imagery, Music, Publicity Gallery, Deleted Scenes, Design, Storyboards, etc. 

The disc is available for pre-order now, of course: Tron: The Original Classic (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fanzines: AGAINST THE SITH #1 (1978)

I never really got into the fanzine "scene." What little I knew about those fan-to-fan publications came from articles in the book Star Trek Lives! and Starlog magazine. However, on an impulse, I packed two bucks into an envelope and ordered the first issue of a Star Wars 'zine called Against the Sith out of the Starlog classifieds back in '78. I still have it, in fact.

According to a quick web search, Against the Sith was one of the very first Star Wars fan publications, and ran for nine issues between '78 and '80. It was the work of sisters Nancy & Tracy Duncan of Eugene, Oregon. Although the Duncan girls provided the entire contents of the first issue, other fans eventually contributed material as well. According to the Fanlore site, "The zine folded after 'The Duncan Scandal': 'The first fans who hated SW but loved TESB are writing in. The Duncans of 'Against the Sith' are a major subset of discussion after they circulate a long letter to fanzine editors, demanding a boycott of TESB and the destruction of the film by Lucas.' (!)

The first issue is pretty amateurish, if ambitious, with a couple of fan fiction pieces, a poem or two, and some scratchy illustrations. One of the stories purported to tell of Han Solo & Chewbacca's first meeting! The issue also includes a pretty harsh review of Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye - young Nancy Duncan was quite put out by the absence of Han Solo, it seems.

Looking through it again tonight, I note with some amusement that the issue is dedicated to "Ficus, our favorite vegeton," from Quark!

As a kid,though, I thought Against the Sith was rather marvelous, and it did inspire me to "publish" my own short-lived (and essentially uncirculated outside of some supportive relatives) 'zine, Outer Space/Inner Mind, which was more of a general sci-fi mag. (I'm going to go look in my parent's house this weekend and see if any copies survived - I don't have any.... but thinking about it, that adolescent effort was the direct ancestor of this blog.) I also "published" a few other magazines, and was interviewed by my local newspaper about my efforts.

I guess that's what started my so-called career in the publishing industry.

I also once had an issue (#7) of the Star Trek fanzine Enterprise Incidents (back before it went "pro.") That was a much slicker publication. I remember actually finding it on the magazine rack of  a bookstore I visited with my folks when we were on a vacation. Unfortunately, my copy seems to have disappeared over the last 30 years. Too bad, too - I remember it had a really well-drawn Trek comic in it that I'd love to see again....


Here's another cool piece of original Space: 1970-era comic art, in this case, the cover to the third issue of Charlton Comics' Six Million Dollar Man black & white comics magazine. The Grand Comics Database credits this cover to veteran comics illustrator Jack Sparling.

For some reason, I always dig covers with red skies, I don't know why. I also love how his right pants leg - and artificial skin - is torn open to reveal his exposed bionics! 

As with Space: 1999, Connecticut publisher Charlton put out both a regular color comics series and a B&W, magazine-sized series with different contents and interior art by the Continuity Studios crew (apparently, Sparling was part of Continuity at the time).

I don't have this particular issue, but I do still have a couple of them, beat-up and ragged, tucked away in a longbox somewhere. I know I have #2, with its gorgeous Neal Adams cover illo.

Hmmm... how does the Six Million Dollar Man stay in shape, anyway? Inquiring minds want to know....

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Here's a fun photo-montage poster from the original Battlestar Galactica I web-stumbled upon recently. I bet one or two of you Star Kids had this hanging on your bedroom wall....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Captain's bLog 0208.11

•  As mentioned in my last Captain's bLog entry, I've been out straight with freelance writing commitments for the last few months. So, for a while, anyway, you're likely to see a lot more image-centric posts here at Space: 1970, at least until I clear some stuff off my desk and have time to write (and finish writing) some more substantive posts for this site (including the long-teased Omega Man and Space: 1999 "War Games" articles). I usually feel like posting just pictures or videos is a bit of a "cheat," but the truth is, I generally get as many - or more - comments/feedback on those posts as the ones that I labor over for hours....

•  A couple weeks ago, I went ahead and ordered a copy of the Hunter Prey DVD from an online retailer, and in the same order, I purchased a copy of the 1969, Gerry/Sylvia Anderson-produced feature, Journey To The Far Side of The Sun (a/k/a Doppelganger). Hopefully, they'll get here this week.

I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I've never seen Journey - a serious oversight for the proprietor of a blog like this one - but I've wanted to for a long time. Aside from the Anderson connection and the associated fine miniature effects & FAB production design, I'm a big fan of star Roy Thinnes, so I'm eager to finally sit down and watch the film.

•  I also picked up the Rollerball DVD the other night, used, for about $5. Unlike Journey, this movie is one I've seen several times, but I never owned a copy, and I'm pleased to finally add the disc to my 70s sci-fi library. Now all I need to do is pick up a copy of Silent Running (another glaring hole in my collection)....

• Stats: We're up to 467 "likes' over on the Space: 1970 Facebook page and 220 "followers" here on Blogger. As always, thanks for your support. It's pleasant to work on something that other people seem to get so much enjoyment from.

Friday, February 4, 2011

News: BIONIC WOMAN (1977) Season 2 on DVD in May

According to TV Shows on DVD, Universal has announced the second season of The Bionic Woman, starring Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, will be released on DVD on May 17th:
The 5-DVD set presents every episode, remastered, in full screen video and with English mono sound, plus English subtitles. Cost is $39.98 SRP.

Besides the featured episodes of The Bionic Woman, there will also be 2 cross-over episodes from The Six Million Dollar Man: "The Return of Bigfoot, Part 1" and "Kill Oscar, Part 2" (so that the complete multi-part story of each can be watched in order, with no having to switch discs to the DVDs of another program). You will also get other bonus material, including an exclusive interview with show star Lindsay Wagner. That's all the extras that the studio has officially passed along at this time, but we know from show creator Kenneth Johnson that he's already recorded a commentary track for the 2-part story "Doomsday Is Tomorrow", which aired during this season. We also know that actress Janice Whitby, who played "Fembot Katy" in the 3-part story "Kill Oscar", has recorded interviews about her role in that arc, so we expect that to be included as well.
Full details and a larger view of the package key art can be found HERE. I really loved revisiting the show with Season 1 (my review HERE), and am eager to add these episodes to my DVD library!


Here's a look at some of the first wave of Battlestar Galactica merchandise from late 1978. Gotta love these bizarrely off-model action figures! Reportedly, Mattel simply modified and repurposed some old Major Matt Mason toys (compare "Captain Lazer" to the Cylon above)...

I'm not sure why these pages sport the "Code Name: Galactica" title. They originally appeared as an advertising insert in some off-brand Starlog-wannabe magazine I bought as a kid, a month or two before the show premiered. I suppose it's possible that Universal hadn't quite settled on the name Battlestar Galactica yet....

In any case, even in a decade renowned for funky toys, these are pretty wild. The Cylon Raider and Viper aren't too bad, but the "Star Probe" and "Colonial Scarab" are particularly weird. A small child in Georgia died after swallowing a projectile from either the Viper or Cylon Raider toy, as I remember, and a massive recall was done to make the projectiles permanently attached to the toys. This incident further fanned George Lucas' resentment toward the Glen Larson series, since some news articles attributed the accident to a Star Wars toy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February's Space Babe: Gay Rowan

February's Space Babe is the lovely Gay Rowan as Rachel, from the 1973, Canadian-produced television series The Starlost. As a member of an Amish-like community who follows the man she loves into exile, forced to face the startling revelation that her world is just an artificial biosphere - one of many - on a gigantic space ark, Rowan's Rachel always exhibited a sense of wonder, a warm heart, and admirable bravery... all of which made her extremely appealing. The scripts and production values didn't usually give her or her co-stars (Keir Dullea and Robin Ward) much of an opportunity to showcase their talent, but Rowan was always likeable and came off well.

The Canadian actress was born in 1948 and had a few small roles in Canadian and American TV series for about ten years ('73-'83), but as far as I (and the IMDb) can tell, The Starlost seems to have been her only regular series role, and she hasn't made any film or TV appearances in almost 30 years. It's too bad. As I mentioned above, she was a very appealing young woman, pretty and intelligent, and deserved a bigger career. I wonder what became of her?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day!

Today I'm wishing I had a tauntaun just to get to the mailbox.... stay warm, Star Kids!

More posts coming soon....