Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts

Friday, August 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jack Kirby! Design Aesthetic

One last shout out for The Kirby4Heroes/ Hero Initative event today in honor of Jack Kirby's legacy.

Nobody did it like The King.  Nobody before and nobody since.




More Happy Birthday to Jack Kirby - Marvelous Marvel

A friendly reminder that in honor of Jack Kirby's birthday, you can donate today to the Heroes Initiative, an organization that helps freelance comics folk with financial support in times of need.

Click here to donate and see what else is going on today thanks to the Kirby4Heroes Campaign.

So, Jack Kirby more or less made up about 90% of the Marvel Universe that anyone cares about.  He didn't do Spider-Man and had limited contributions to Iron Man, but he drew up a whole lot else.

Way back before World War 2 and his own enlistment, Kirby went ahead and made-up a superhero to throw a punch at Hitler as a proxy for the slug Jack would have gladly thrown himself.




Happy Birthday, Jack Kirby! Some Favorites from his time at DC

Today marks Jack "King" Kirby's 98th birthday.

Jack's granddaughter runs to Kirby4Heroes Campaign, which is an annual event focused on raising money for The Hero Initiative.  The Hero Initiative raises money for freelancer comic artists and creators who may need some financial assistance.

Let's honor Jack Kirby by donating today!

And what better way to celebrate the man and artist than with a glimpse of his amazing work.  We're doing more than one post on Kirby, so look for two more today.  But we're starting with DC as I first went from "that's Jack Kirby" to appreciating Jack Kirby, specifically via his Fourth World work and that era of DC output.

Let's start with one of my favorite DC characters, and an original Kirby creation...




Friday, August 21, 2015

Happy B-Day to The Admiral

This was the look I got - more or less - from ages 10 -25
Happy B-Day to my Old Man, The Admiral.  He's no doubt somewhere out with friends today with my mum, doing whatever it is he does before noon.  I'll be going out to see him tomorrow.

You don't do much better when it comes to dads.  He was a busy guy when we were kids, making a career to put food on plates and all that, but he was always engaged and around.  Heck, the man endured permanent hearing loss after acting as a bouncer at my high school's "Battle of the Bands" and getting stationed next to the speaker stack.  He was there for soccer and basketball games, concerts during my foray into tuba-playing, and showed up to see all my bad acting in high school.  And he was some sort of officer of the parents' drama club auxillary.

More than that, he was always around for a chat.  I don't know how many other dads were good at that, but The Admiral was always ready to listen and to call bullshit on me when the time was right.  See the above stare.

The man put me through college, supported me and Jamie as we got married, and helped me buy my first cars, used and new.  And, he taught me to drive.  So there's that.  And, he was the one who decided it was totally cool if we watched Rated-R action movies as long as my mom didn't know.

All in all, a good guy.

I'll see you tomorrow, Dad.  We'll have some brisket.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, Lois Lane

August 17th is the comic book birthday of Lois Lane.  For whatever reason, that's her fictional birthday, with the year sliding around to keep her somewhere between 28 and 38ish.  I tend to think of Lois as maybe a couple of years older than Superman.



Lois Lane is an ass-kicker, and has been since her first appearance in Action Comics #1.

don't just assume you can claim a spot on Lois' dance card

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Happy Birthday, Neil Armstrong - Reboot the Suit


Today marks the birthday of Neil Armstong, the first human to step foot on The Moon.

Next time you're feeling cocky, just remember, Neil Armstrong walked on that shiny thing up there that's affecting the tides and spawning werewolves.

I know Armstrong passed years ago, but why not get him a present?  He got you one.  He went to THE MOON.

There's a Kickstarter going on that's already reached it's financial goal.  The Smithsonian is raining funds to restore the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore wandering around on THE MOON.

Now they're in stretch goals, and the big one is to raise funds to restore the Mercury suit for Alan Shepard, the first American in space.

Restored, we'll all be able to see these suits down at the Air and Space Museum in DC.  Already a pretty fantastic place, but who wouldn't want to see even better space displays?  And see the very suits of America's real life heroes?

Sure, you aren't helping some dweeb from BFE fund their dream project of a Yu-Gi-Oh fan film, but you are, you know, supporting things that actually matter and aren't a waste of time and resources.  I mean, just...   ugh.

If you're wondering why the Smithsonian needs to go to Kickstarter...  well, (a) it's a publicly funded institution, and we haven't been great about funding public institutions the past decade or so, and (b) what money they do have could also be allocated to work on less high-profile items as well as the suit, so you're making the Smithsonian budget go farther (further?).

Here's that link again.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Happy Birthday to Arnie


Today actor, politician, barbarian, adultery enthusiast and former-Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger turns 68.

Let's hope he runs over a cake with his tank.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy Birthday to Ms. Lynda Carter (she's a wonder!)

Today is the 64th Birthday of Lynda Carter, perhaps most famous for her role as Wonder Woman in the 1970's TV series.



We're big fans of Ms. Carter here at League HQ, and we hope she's twirling herself into a fantastic birthday.

In addition to still appearing on TV and in movies, of late, Lynda Carter has been lending her voice to a series of video games called The Elder Scrolls and has been singing in various venues across the country.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Happy Birthday to Barbara Stanwyck (b. 1907)

It's funny how the mass audience only remembers a few actors from says gone by. I am sure most people know the name Barbara Stanwyck, but as time marches on, I'm not sure how many folks know her by site or have seen her films. I haven't seen that many, and I tend to give a movie a chance if I know she's in the credits.

She's an amazingly versatile actress from an era when that wasn't always appreciated so much as playing yourself in different costumes and time periods (see: Judy Garland).  But here's just a few highlights.

Clash by Night

Monday, July 13, 2015

Happy Birthday, Harrison Ford!

Happy Birthday, Harrison Ford!  You are the best actor who is in all the best movies.  So, well done, man.

Today you're 73, but let's review just a few of the times you've been awesome.

You totally showed up in a bit part in Apocalypse Now.  I was not expecting that at all.


You were kind of way cooler than Richie Cunningham in American Graffiti.


You were fake-Amish in Witness.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Debbie Harry


Happy 70th Birthday to Debbie Harry, the ever-cutting-edge lead singer for Blondie, solo artist, actor, model, fashion icon, artist, former Playboy Club Bunny, CBGB overlord, pop goddess of the punk and new wave scenes, etc... et al...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dashiell Hammett


May 27th marks the 121st birthday of author Dashiell Hammett, a writer who's impact on the modern culture is nigh-incalculable.

I'm actually currently re-reading Red Harvest for the first time in fifteen years and will make my way back through The Maltese Falcon, The Dain Curse and a few more.  And you really can't beat the short fiction of the Continental Op short stories.

And, of course, he was responsible for The Thin Man novel and assisted with the production of the movie.

Hammett had been a Pinkerton Detective, a career not so readily available in this era, but it set the stage for both the material of his fiction as well as the approach his detectives took.  he served in both World Wars, drank too much, was a terrible husband and absentee father and a left-winger from jump.  And he had a 30 year romance with Lillian Hellman.  Like you do.

I'll be honest, I love this guy's work.  His characters feel real and lived in, perhaps world warn and weary, but believably so, and his plots are just haphazard enough as the detectives sort through the mess they've stumbled into to feel believable when one is surrounded by liars with agendas.  And he's got a snappy prose style.

Here's to Mr. Hammett on his birthday.  Here's to one of the father's of American modern fiction in all its forms.

Happy Birthday, Siouxsie Sioux

Happy birthday to my high school rock'n'roll crush and one of my favorite performers from back in the day, Siouxsie Sioux.


At 57, she's still out there being Siouxsie.



Spellbound



Peek-a-Boo



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy Birthday to The Duke



Today marks the 108th birthday of Marion Robert Morrison, better known as American icon John Wayne.

Wayne was a product of his times, and maybe not much of a philosopher, and most certainly held views that fell out of favor since his passing (but seem to get people elected in 2015, so what do I know?).  Still, he's in a whole bunch of movies that I'm partial to, most of which also don't reflect my personal beliefs, but they do have their charm. goddamit.

Pictured above is Hondo, a movie I have seen no less than three times, and I could not begin to tell you what the hell it is about other than a man and his dog in the west.  And that it was originally released in 3D for some reason.

If you want to see Wayne in a great movie but don't like Westerns (which, really, you should, but whatever) I recommend The Quiet Man.  If you are a right-thinking American and enjoy a good oater, may I suggest:

The Searchers
Stage Coach
The Sons of Katie Elder
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
and McClintock!, if you'd like a little comedy in your Western

And probably a dozen more I didn't mention here.  Here's to The Duke.  You were a complicated fellow.



Sunday, April 12, 2015

Today I am 40. We ponder my mortality via Superman.

It's my B-day.  A milestone b-day at that.  I'm planning to take the day easy, read some comics, watch some movies, play with some dogs.  Nothing too extravagant.

But it's also a time to ponder and reflect, and nothing helps you reflect more than Superman.


Oh, 70's humor.  You were on the nose to the pointy of cruelty.

But nothing helps one ponder old age like a good Superman comic book cover.



Let's face facts...  I work on a college campus.  I am more than aware this is how the undergrads see me as I wander the halls.  The notion that these whipper-snappers see me as anything other than someone who might know their parents is delusional.  I never feel the need to try to pretend like I know what the kids are up to these days, because that's like your parents trying to impress you by going to see Billy Joel.



I, of course, see myself as older and wiser, telling these young punks how it should be done - and how it should be done is by doing it exactly how we did it in my day.

On the Event of my 40th

This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)
Talking Heads



Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me round
I feel numb - born with a weak heart
I guess I must be having fun
The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It's ok I know nothing's wrong... nothing

Hi yo I got plenty of time
Hi yo you got light in your eyes
And you're standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money
Always for love
Cover up and say goodnight... say good night

Home - is where I want to be
But I guess I'm already there
I come home - she lifted up her wings
I guess that this must be the place
I can't tell one from another
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time
Before we were born
If someone asks, this where I'll be... where I'll be

Hi yo
We drift in and out
Hi yo
Sing into my mouth
Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home and,
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head
Ah ooh


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Billie Holiday hits the Century Mark

It's tough to top Billie Holiday.  She's undoubtedly one of the most important vocal performers of the 20th Century, and certainly one of the most recognizable voices since recorded and broadcast music sprung into existence.

Today marks the birthday of Ms. Eleanora Fagan, born April 7th, 1915 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Holiday's biography also reads like the blueprint for a terribly depressing biopic, but it's also a remarkable American story.



This weekend I tried to watch Annie Lennox, who I have admired since I was a kid, perform her new concert, Nostalgia, on PBS, recorded in front of an upper-crust audience at LA's Orpheum Theater.  And, while I understand that many performers sooner or later hit a point where they explore The Great American Songbook - Lennox performed a few of Holiday's standards, and I found the thing puzzling enough I turned it off.  But, taking apart what was happening and for what audience could take a few hundred pages and a deconstruction of cultural appropriation that would leave nobody happy.

Strange Fruit and God Bless the Child aren't owned by Billie Holiday, but they're certainly part of her catalog, and I don't blame Lennox for wanting to emulate Lady Day, but...  context.   Billie Holiday's voice, song choice and expression were formed by what amounts to an extremely troubled youth (broken home - to put it mildly - and as a kid, she ran errands in a brothel) and young womanhood (prostitute by age 15).  Holiday was part of the colorful jazz scene of Harlem from the early 1930's and onward (she was performing by age 17), and was playing with Count Basie and Artie Shaw within a few years.  Even after some very public problems, she did manage to play shows at Carnegie Hall that were very well received.