Category Archives: william katt

Robert Culp 1930-2010

Television icon Robert Culp was pronounced dead earlier today. Apparently he had fallen while taking a walk in Los Angeles and died. He was 79.

The Emmy-nominated Culp was probably best known for playing opposite Bill Cosby in the groundbreaking “I Spy” in the 1960s and then in the 1980s with William Katt in “The Greatest American Hero.” His television career however lasted over five decades including roles on “The Outer Limits,” “Trackdown,” “The Man from UNCLE,” “Columbo” and “Everybody Loves Raymond.” He also appeared in many films including Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and The Pelican Brief. Besides acting, Culp also wrote and directed on many of his projects as well.

I actually met the man and had a chance to speak with him for a bit at last year’s New York Comic Con. He was friendly, forthcoming and proud of his work. His knowledge of the television field both in front of and behind the camera was phenomenal. It was a pleasure to have had those few moments with such a great man. Robert Culp will be missed.

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Quickies 5-18-2009

The Explosive Generation ~ It’s interesting to watch and review a William Shatner flick from 1961 in the midst of the current Star Trek buzz, and doubly interesting that he turned down a role in the new Trek yet he’s in this. I guess he couldn’t be picky back then. How times have changed. In this cautionary tale about coming of age, sex education and pre-protest student protests, Bill plays the ‘cool teacher.’ You know, the one who usually gets fired for teaching the wrong thing or ends up having an affair with a student – yeah, he’s that guy, only without the affair. Look for a slightly grown up Patty McCormack from The Bad Seed, a babyfaced Beau Bridges and Stafford Repp, Chief O’Hara from “Batman” playing a cop sans Irish accent. And engaging if predictable hour and a half.

Tropic Thunder ~ Wow, was this flick 90% hype or what? Except for the hilarious fake movie previews at the beginning and a few moments of just over-the-top wrong humor, I found this to be tedious and downright boring for the most parts. Yes, I said boring – a damned hard thing to be with gunfire and explosions every couple of minutes, but they pulled it off somehow. Horrendous.

Gamers ~ This one’s very narrowcast, but hilarious if you get the references. It’s a mockumentary about a roleplaying group who’s about to break the world’s record for most hours played, and has videotaped every gaming session. William Katt, Kelly LeBrock and Beverly D’Angelo make hilarious cameos. This is Spinal Tap for gamers, but might go right over the heads of anyone who’s never played. You’ll never look at clown porn, paintball or horse breeding the same way again. Highly recommended for those who indulge.

Special ~ Not only is this 2006 Michael Rapaport vehicle just an embarrassment in general but it’s also the same insult for the superhero and independent film genres as well. It might have flown well as a five-minute “SNL” skit but otherwise this is crap. Avoid.

Chariots of the Gods ~ In the 1970s this was something special or at least something to talk about with your friends. In the decades since, Erich von Daniken has been revealed to be a charlatan and it leaves this ‘documentary’ based on his books as a ridiculous leftover. An amusing relic that still runs as slow as it did when it was relevant.

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NYCC 2009 Day Two


Let’s talk a bit about NYC cabbies. They are insane. NASCAR, demolition derby, even stunt drivers have nothing on these guys. Even have a bus an inch away from you in the back seat of a cab, on either side? I have, and while speeding. Insane I say!

The trip back to Javitz this morning wasn’t as exciting as the previous day’s but I did see three Starbucks each on the corner of three consecutive blocks, on the same side. Not quite Lewis Black’s end of the world paradox, but still, scary.

We had a bit of an emergency when The Bride arrived late last night. She realized had forgotten her con ticket way back in south Jersey. Props to the staff of NYCC for handling the situation in a quick and friendly manner. So far the staff here has been pretty amazing, a vast difference from some other cons I’ve attended.

First stop was to say hi to Fat Momma, the runner-up in the first season of Stan Lee’s “Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” The Bride had met her at previous cons but I had not. She’s a very nice lady and we chatted about the Broadway shows she had seen since in town – “Wicked” was good, “Shrek” bad. We also got a signed pic and a copy of her new book from Esteem Comics.

Next stop on the autograph parade was Colin Baker, the sixth Doctor. He was overheard to say he quite enjoyed the new series of “Doctor Who” and loved that they had thousands of Daleks. Very friendly. Said hello to actor Robert Culp, hell of a nice guy. He was selling scripts of some of the episodes of “I Spy” that he had written, some of the better ones I might add. Next to him was his partner in “The Greatest American Hero,” William Katt. I told him how much I enjoyed seeing him recently in The Man from Earth and he signed a copy of the GAH comic for me. And don’t forget to check out the motion comic for iPhone as well.

After a lunch of a wonderful Javitz ratdog cooked in the smoky essence of chicken kabobs, it was off the to the packed-to-the-walls Cup O’ Joe panel. In attendance, besides Joe Quesada of course, were Brian Michael Bendis, C.B. Cebulski, Jim McCann and publisher Dan Buckley. Dan Slott was also seen sitting in the audience off to the side with the rest of us.

There was Ultimate announcements. The line is being canceled and restarted as “Ultimate Comics.” Same characters, same continuity, so I’m really unsure of what the real difference is. There will be four monthlies in the line. Ultimate Spider-Man will have a new #1 written by Bendis and drawn by new regular artist David LaFuente. After a time jump in the continuity it will feature new characters, a new status quo and maybe someone new in the costume. That old gag again. Ultimate Avengers will be by Mark Millar and Carlos Pacheco.

Then the room was open for questions. Bendis said that Jessica Jones will remain a supporting cast member of New Avengers but not a member of the New Avengers. An Alias mini with Miichael Gaydos is coming maybe next year and “asses will be bitten.” Ahem, it was also announced that current Ultimate Spidey artist Stuart Immonen will moving on to be regular artist on NA after issue #55. Wiccan will also be appearing and the line-up will stay as it is for a while, even though it seemed to take Bendis a minute to count down everyone on the current team.

Dan Slott was called up out of the audience at one point, and he sarcastically mentioned being thrilled seeing himself unshaved on the mini-jumbotron in the room. Interesting that the question he was brought up to answer was one of continuity – Norman Osborn knowing (or not knowing) who Spider-Man was. Slott seems to be the go-to guy for fixing continuity. Witness his current handling of the Scarlet Witch in Mighty Avengers. Oh, and the Normie/Spidey thing will be coming up soon by Slott in Amazing Spider-Man.

Publisher Dan Buckley took on the question of the price increase at Marvel and actually gave a pretty logical and honest answer in easy to understand terms. They are raising the prices on the popular titles so they won’t have to raise them across the board, and holding off as long as they can. I don’t like it, but I appreciate the honest answer.

Joe Quesada and Brian Bendis tackled a question concerning a problem I have voiced in my reviews at Avengers Forever on more than one occasion – why covers don’t always reflect what’s on the inside of the book. The fan asking felt cheated by a recent Avengers issue that was a Secret Invasion tie-in with Hawkeye on the cover but not inside. The answer was that the covers were homages to classic covers and specifically were not meant to depict what was inside. They just laughed it off saying Hawkeye was not a draw for a cover anyway. Hmmm, I’d buy a comic with Hawkeye on the cover. Anyone else out there?

Other than a few more hints from Bendis that the Spider-Woman series was going to be digital, and that Echo would be appearing in it, that was about it for this Cup O’ Joe. I went searching for HeroClix after that, only to find one vendor with any sort of selection. On my travails through the con floor I came across Anthony Tollin, comics colorist and probably the world’s foremost authority on The Shadow, and from him I bought my prize purchase of the con. The Shadow: Partners in Peril, love it , love it.

Never underestimate the drawing power of even a partial Pixar film. The showing of the first fifty minutes of Up filled the IGN Theatre to capacity and turned away many folks, my Bride and me included. And the line to get in started well over an hour beforehand.

At that point we were pretty beat and decided to call it a night. Steering this back around to NYC cabbies again, it took almost an hour to flag down a real cab. There were dozens of gypsy cabs but we turned all of them away. How is this legal? It’s like some guy has a car and decides to pick strangers up and name his price. What got me is the amount of con folk who got into these gypsy cabs. I hope none of them end up in ditches come tomorrow morning.

Today’s quotes both come from Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada: “Squirrel Girl stores my nuts for the winter” and “Let’s hear it for whoring.”