Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Flickr Fun!

If you're a fan of vintage children's magazine goodness than today's your lucky day! Flip on over to Flickr for some frolicking fun...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sheilah Beckett

In November I picked up a couple big boxes of amazing vintage books and magazines from an estate sale. I still have over a hundred vintages kid's mags that I haven't touched, and a stack of Sears catalogs ( mostly the Christmas ones ) from the 50s and 60s to peruse, but I'm mostly through the kid's books. I've posted a few scans from the second to last Golden Book I had left to read - 1954's wonderful "The Twelve Dancing Princesses", illustrated by Sheilah Beckett, over at my Flickr.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hello Boys and Girls!

This creepy looking advertising spokesclown/shoebox is beckoning you to visit my Flickr for some fine examples of mid 1950s black and white advertising and magazine illustration. As well be sure to go back and peruse the Valentine's Day and Charles Harper posts from the last week and a half!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Glen Mullaly Super-Terrific Television and Motion Picture T-Shirts of the 1970s that I owned Razzle Dazzle Retrospective Spectacular Pt.3!

Well, we come at last the final installment of the G.M.S.T.T.A.M.P.T.S.O.T.S.T.I.O.R.D.R.S. This is where we tie up the loose ends and bid a fond fare thee well to the movie and tv t-shirt craze that afflicted me in the mid to late 70s...

To start off with we have above a snippet from an ad that ran in the October 1978 issue of "Science Fantasy Film Classics" magazine, a favourite of mine at the time. Not only did the mag extensively cover all the essentials - Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, CE3K and the rest - with often not-seen-elsewhere colour pics, plus a full colour pull out poster every issue ( more than one of which still bares the thumbtack marks from years on my wall ) - but they usually had pages of drool-worthy full colour ads as well. This issue alone had 8 glossy colour ( and two glossy black & white ) pages for "Code Name: Galactica" ( one of BSG's pre-release names ) toys and models, Star Wars jewelry, watches, clothes, buttons, posters, knapsacks, bags and masks!
So from one of these great ads we see some of the shirts available at the time to the hordes of rabid Star Wars fans jonesin' for a iron-on fix..

As I recounted in the last post I had designs "D" and "J" ( my best friend had "B", my sister "F" ) and below, from a photo circa late '79, we see design "A".

Not too vivid a memory of this shirt( unfortunately though I do remember that haircut! ) , but a fun design nonetheless. It seems Factor Etc. felt that if the design featured any character that appeared in Star Wars, no matter that they weren't one of the stars, it would sell. Apparently they were right - although I don't remember seeing any Grand Moff Tarkin or Aunt Beru shirts at the time!

Here's a much nicer version...

Up next is an odd one ( the t-shirt I mean... not me - I know what you were thinking! ). If it weren't for this single photo I'd have no clue I ever owned this Chewbacca ( or as a rival Star Wars freak, who I had an ongoing argument with on the elementary school playground, insisted he was named - "Chew-a-bacca" ) shirt. Once again the obligatory iron-on glitter ( again - feel free to use any combination of the last four words in that sentence as a band name! )

Unfortunately no close-up available of this one. Probably for the best anyway.

And here we have this black version of my first SW shirt which was, if my aging noggin' serves me correctly, second hand. I'm not sure if it was passed on to me from someone or picked up at a neighbourhood garage sale, but I do recall the design being a little faded when I got it. It actually was a little different than first shirt as it had the revised lettering ( see last post ).

1980: The Canadian Caper & the largely boycotted Summer Olympics. Alfred Hitchcock, Marshall McLuhan and Peter Sellers died. Jessica Simpson, Macauley Culkin and Christina Aguilera were born. Hmmm, I don't think those last two groups quite balanced out....

But... 1980 also heralded, with much ballyhoo and fooferaw ( not to mention a little hubbub, and a touch of hurly-burly ) the release of motion picture entitled The Empire Strikes Back.
I was just as excited as any self-respecting Star Wars nut would be, and although it marked the point at which my interest in the whole Star Wars thing started to wane, I still held enough nuttiness to purchase a couple of Empire t-shirts before I grew out of it all.

Case in point...

...the lovely little number you see above and below. Nothing says 800 year old midget-elf-frog-guy like sparkly glitter! I think I recall realizing soon after picking out this shirt that it wasn't my favourite. It was okay - just not my favourite.

This next one however ( I'm the one on the left! And yes, that stylish orange shirt on the right that you recognize from the last post was originally mine before it was passed on to my sister ) was certainly well loved. Snowtroopers and Stormtroopers in vibrant Imperial colours on a black t-shirt! Not bad for 1980.
For the full story on this curious snapshot be sure to check out these three posts on my Flickr site from last year.

So... in summary what have we learned?

- I wore shirts.

- I lived in the 1970s.

- Sometimes the shirts that I wore in the 1970s had pictures of characters from television and movies on them.

- A few photographs survive of me wearing said shirts.

- I spent way too much time scanning these photographs, writing up hopefully goofy comments and posting them to this blog.

I'll leave you to your own conclusions.

So thanks for stopping by! As a parting gift I'll include below a few groovy retro iron-on links - some have vintage shirts / iron-ons for sale, others are just galleries. But take a look and see if you can find your long lost Starsky & Hutch or Donny & Marie t-shirt that you wore until the design was so faded that you couldn't read it any longer.

Iron On Station

Retro Duck

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Glen Mullaly Super-Terrific Television and Motion Picture T-Shirts of the 1970s that I owned Razzle Dazzle Retrospective Spectacular Pt.2!

Part 2 : Wherein I stop playing the t-shirt field and start going steady with the one true love in my 8 year old heart - a little shoot-em-up-in-outer-space picture called "The War of the Stars", ( or something like that - the photos are a bit out of focus so the title's hard to read ) .

Date : December 1977. Location : Family living room in front of the Christmas tree. Mood : Giggly.

This was my first, and so not surprisingly, most fondly remembered Star Wars t-shirt. By this point in the seventies I had progressed from the printed shirts of years past (see last post) where you were limited in choice to size and, if you were lucky, a colour or two - to the expansive world of decision making brought on by the newly popular iron-on t-shirt shop craze.

Usually part of a chain, often located in your town mall, these small stores had their walls covered with a plethora of designs available for you to have heat transferred onto a 50/50 cotton-poly blend t-shirt of your choice. Not exactly space age technology but the opportunities it availed an 8 year old for customization was almost overwhelming. First... which design? It had to encapsulate the fun and excitement of the film-going experience, while still be pleasing to the eye. And then... what colour t-shirt? So many choices!

I'm not sure if I picked out this design myself, or if it was a gift, but from the time this shirt first shows up in family pictures in the summer of 1977 until well into 1978 I'm seldom seen in anything else. Hmmm... what shall I wear for school today...? I know!....

Here's a slightly bigger image (courtesy of the fine folks at of this early t-shirt design that includes a lettering style based on more angular pre-release art. Strangely I never saw this art used for any other merchandising at the time, leading me to believe it may have been a Factors Etc. ( more on them in a little while ) in-house design. In any case it's undoubtedly my favourite t-shirt of all time.

Although I love the total design, it was soon redone to include a more up-to-date version of the logo, as is evidenced (sort of) in this portion of an ad (below) from Marvel's Star Wars comic #10, released in Jan or Feb of 1978.

This was one of a series of comic book ads prepared over the course of the next couple of years for Star Wars retailers (usually large eastern U.S. comic book shops) by the recently formed Joe Kubert School. The ads were usually fairly inaccurate and looked pretty rushed, but considering the likely budgets, deadlines and reference material they had to work with I'm sure they did the best they could. Another JKS ad follows in a bit but just for kicks here's a link to one from Steve Thompson's fun Booksteve's Library blog.

But here, true believers, is the original irritant behind this pearl of a series of posts. The full-sized version of the gorgeous t-shirt art, still wonderful in it's revised letteringness, as shared with the world by super-collector and swell joe Jason Liebig. Be sure to clickity-click on the image for a larger view or here to gaze at it's magnificence in ginormous actual size!

****Update : March 2008 - I was just made aware that a full-sized (or close to) reproduction of the original iron-on has been included in The Star Wars Vault. I'll be ordering my copy soon!

Phew. Have to pull myself away from that one as we move onto what was (at least for me) Star Wars t-shirt numero duo.
Perched on a rocker at Gramma's house circa 1978, reading a copy of Games magazine (which had debuted exactly one year earlier) what we have here is my second SW shirt. Utilizing the well-known Hildebrandt brothers poster art this shirt unfortunately did not last as long for me as the previous one did. Whether it was too small to begin with ( and people did wear t-shirts much tighter back in them days! ) or I was just growing too fast it was quickly passed down to my younger sibling.

More Kubert School ad goodness featuring the same design from a late 1977 issue of Jack Kirby's "The Eternals"comic...

...and both of the previous two t-shirt designs (plus three others) can be seen in this much more accurate ad commissioned directly from Factors Etc. (the company that held the initial license for Star Wars iron-ons, buttons, badges, keychains, etc). This ad always stood out to me as the most accurate of all the illustrated SW ads of the time, due in large part to the work of what appears to be Neal Adams' Continuity Associates studio. Oh that Ben Kenobi... what a joker!

And once again, the full size version of this classic can be viewed heeya.

And finally (for today's installment, at least) we'll take a quick look at the project that Ballantine Books (the original Star Wars trade softcover publisher) and Factors Etc. published in late 1977 - The Star Wars Iron-On Transfer Book!

This amazing tome contained 16, yes SIXTEEN! iron-on Star Wars transfers and was coveted by Kid Glen since I first saw it advertised in the back pages of the many sci-fi movie mags I bought in the late 70s. The book's iron-ons were of the dye variety (popular at the time as cereal and magazine premiums), not the plasticized store-bought iron-on type, and the designs were ever so slightly different than the latter. Lettering, logos and borders were subtly altered. The owner of this book, Jason Liebig, theorizes that it may have been due to the use pink in the original designs and it's unsuitability in the dye transfer version. I wonder as well if it was to satisfy the t-shirt shop owners that the exact same iron-ons they were charging considerably more for weren't suddenly available for a fraction of the price at your corner bookstore?

Attentive readers will notice that the swell shirts modeled on the cover by some largely forgotten minor background characters from the movie, are in fact the original higher quality Factors iron-ons.
Be sure to peruse all sixteen designs!

Coming up next... we wind up our supremely self-indulgent shirt soiree with the the final five finalist in our nostalgia pageant.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Glen Mullaly Super-Terrific Licensed Television and Motion Picture Shirts & T-Shirts of the 1970s Razzle Dazzle Retrospective Spectacular Pt.1!

Part One : B.T.S.M. ( Before That Space Movie )

Four or Eighty-four?

I share, dear friends, this historic example of my aged apparel circa May 1973 ( age 4 and a half ) to set the stage for the strange tale to follow. Button up sweater, straw hat, baggy slacks and non-TV or Movie related t-shirt appears to have been the norm for my parent-chosen clothing in the years before the explosion of licensed t-shirts of the 1970s.

Sure, children have been wearing clothing emblazoned with the likenesses of their favourite radio, movie and T.V. stars for decades before that. From Buck Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy to Mickey Mouse and Davey Crockett many licensed characters had appeared on cowboy outfits and pajamas as early as the late 1930s. T-shirts as outer wear had been gaining in popularity since WWII as well, but it wasn't until the 1970s that the silkscreened, printed or ironed-on T.V. or Movie t-shirt took off in a big way.

So it was serendipitous for our purposes that this trend coincided with my newly won right to choose, at least to some degree, the shirts I got to wear.

Enough with the furshlugginer history lesson professor - let's see those goofy pictures!!!

Ahh... Good Times, Good Times......... literally! This shot, cropped down from my 1975 - 76 bowling league team portrait ( there's hip for you! ) prominently features one of my favourite shirts from the period. Jimmie "J.J." Walker was the star of teevee's "Good Times" and also the "Dyn-O-Mite" star of my shirt collection. Many is the school lunch hour or recess that I entertained my classmates with witty repartee as voiced through my Senor Wences-like hand movements underneath Jimmie's polyester visage.

For well under seven figures I could feel a little like television's Six Million Dollar Man wearing this stylish two-toned piece. Slow motion sand hill jumps, 60 yard per hour runs and super-powered lifts of seemingly heavy but actually quite light objects were all favourite activities while garbed in this short sleeved Steve Austin number.
Apparently Bionic Ear Cleaning was one of the lesser-known abilities.

Ooh-ooh-ooooh! Unfortunately the angle and clarity ( not to mention the much too obvious Helmet Hair - meaning a hair style that looked like a helmet, not a hair style affected by wearing a helmet ) on this one leaves a lot to be desired, but what we have here is an example of the unexplainably popular "Sweathogs" from television's Welcome Back Kotter. Those saucy characters Epstein, Horshack and Boom Boom Washington are visible arrayed around the top of what I presume is Gabe Kaplan's head ( hmmm... just forming emo-core bands feel free to use that as a band name ). One can only guess that unpictured up-and-coming actor and singing star J. Travolta went on to lead a quiet life away from show biz.

We jump ahead to sometime around Christmas 1979 for this blast from the frighteningly geeky past and find and the always rebellious 11 year old me dangerously decorating Christmas cookies with my little sister. On closer inspection ( should you choose to do so ) if you look reeeeaaaal hard, sort of squint, and pull out your handy-dandy tunneling electron microscope, you can see that the funky, metallic leaf iron-on I'm wearing in this swanky pic is from T.V's "Wagon Train" in space, Battlestar Galactica. Despite it's many faults I was an avid fan of the show at the time. It seems I was also a fan of multi-coloured sugar sprinkles.

Here's the same iron-on from an ad on the back of an early 1979 Marvel comic. "Be the first on Earth to wear these authentic "Galactical (sic ) Shirts." You'll be the envy of everyone. Only $4.99 each!"

Sadly, photographic evidence of some of my best remembered t-shirts no longer exists. I most certainly had other television and movie related t-shirts but the two that I recall most vividly are the Fonzie / The Fonz / Arthur Fonzerelli / Henry Winkler from Happy Days shirt I had ( circa 1977 ) that bore a striking resemblance ( in style at least ) to the previously mentioned Jimmie Walker shirt. The best image I could dig up of this lost treasure is from artist Burke Paterson, ( thank you Burke ) who posted a picture of himself in the self-same shirt on a trip to Florida. Get out the magnifying glass for this one.

And to end today's installment of this sartorial saga I finish with what was possibly the last T.V. themed shirt I owned. Likely from around 1980 it featured the late Andy Kaufman as garage mechanic Latka Gravas ( in a photo not too dissimilar to the following ) from Taxi. With "Thank you Veddy Much!" emblazoned below his smiling mug this taxi-toned yellow shirt was well loved.
Vintage iron-on dealer Retro Duck has a few Taxi designs, likely from the same series as mine, at the bottom of this page.

In Part 2 of "The Glen Mullaly Super-Terrific Licensed Television and Motion Picture Shirts & T-Shirts of the 1970s I owned Razzle Dazzle Retrospective Spectacular!" we actually start to get to the good stuff! Large, high quality images of the some of the original iron-ons, more ads for the shirts from magazines and comics of the time, super links to other 1970s t-shirt goodies plus 36% more geekiness as we venture forth into the world of Star Wars teeshirtery!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

I finally updated the Gallery page at my website! Check out some newer illustrations and new versions of some almost new illos. Also - newish takes on not-quite-as-new stuff, and newier stuff that was new at one time but is now new not-so-much.

Coming soon on this blog: Watch this space for the first installment of the eagerly anticipated ( if only by those who enjoy looking at washed-out, grainy, 30-plus year old Instamatic photos of well-used kid's clothing worn unstylishly by a helmet-haired geek ) episode of... "The Glen Mullaly Television and Motion Picture related T-shirts of the 1970s Retrospective Spectacular!"

You've been warned.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Duck and Cover!

Listen to your teacher, boys and girls. Make sure you're on the lookout for commie spies and prepared for an atomic attack by checking out some of more of my recent work over at that heavily shielded, bomb-proof backyard bunker of a site - Flickr.