Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Big Kids

"I'm sure many of you that have browsed to this item are completely familiar with the show. It's very important before you download this compilation that you realize that it is not a kids video. When this show was made in 1966, it was for kids. I watched in on the "Captain Satelitte" (Bob March) program on KTVU San Francisco on weekdays, and it was also on KCRA Sacramento on Saturday mornings. For anyone who was a kid in this era and was lucky enough to be age 8-12 in the mid-sixties, this DVD is for you. If you are a parent and are buying a DVD for your kids that are in the 8-12 year old range today, forget it. I have videotapes of all the episodes obtained at conventions and such and I can tell you from first-hand experience that modern kids don't like these.

The target audience for this show is or should be the kids of the 60's who grew up with these characters and want to see the old comic books brought to life. What these videos are, are the images from the actual silver-age Marvel comics of the 60's, crudly animated with over-the-top voice performances that bring the characters to life. The animation itself is simply static images of comic book pages with an occasional animated arm or lip movement and a lot of zooms and pans. They used the panels from the actual comic books to create the animation.

The artwork is classic Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Steve Ditko, and Gene Colan stuff. The voice actors did a great job with the dialogue and performed their lines in a way that must be considered the de-facto superhero standard because it was so comic-book like.

At this writing, the item has not been released and whether it will be released at all is in question. I'm hoping that someone associated with the project will read this review and take the time to present this item correctly into the marketplace. Please do not release and package this as a kiddie video.

This compilation set should be a "scholarly" reference set. There should be notes identifying all the voice talent and the artists and writers who created the original comics. The actual comic books and artists are easily recognizable in the episodes and so each episode should include the information about the comic where the story was first told. Since the audience is the grown-up boomers, this is the best way to get them to buy. That is what they want I guarantee it.

There was no set broadcast episode order. KTVU showed one segment at a time and you had to wait till the next day to get the next part of the story. KCRA showed an entire three segment arc in one broadcast. When I watched the show on KCRA, there was an opening theme song, "The Merry Marvel Marching Society" and end-title song and credits. Each second and third segment had a re-cap of the story.

As far as I know, the opening and closing titles have never been shown on TV again since the 1960's. All you get now are the individual segments and usually the re-caps are edited out or the three segments are edited together into one. Please don't cut this stuff up to make it "easier to watch." Comic fans want the originals and don't like such "improvements." So, if the elements are available, please give us the original "Marvel Super Heroes" program with opening and end titles and all the recaps. Put the shows in comic-book chronological order and include as far as possible the creative credits in the liner notes.

If a complete compilation set of this type is produced, it will be downloaded and re-shared by every collector and every torrent site imaginable. The silver age comics are the gold standard and are still hoarded and fervently collected. If these guys produce another kiddie video a few die-hards will buy it, but it won't have any legs and will go out of print for lack of sales just like all the other times these videos were released as kiddie video. Learn the lesson and do it right. I'm telling you who your customer is. Will anyone listen to the customer? Market this to an adult audience this time." Meanwhile enjoy this effort from us the "Big Kids"

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