Monday, October 20, 2014

The Power Records Podcast, Episode 7: More Monsters!

sgThe Fire and Water Podcast Presents: THE POWER RECORDS PODCAST, Episode 7

It's Halloween time, and that means Monsters! Hosts Rob Kelly and Chris Franklin talk about two spooky Marvel Monster records, "The Monster of Frankenstein!" and "The Curse of the Werewolf!"

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Opening and closing themes courtesy Peter Pan Records.

Thanks for listening! Drop the needle and turn the page!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wonder Woman - The Secret of the Magic Tiara Original Art

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Here's the beautiful original art for Wonder Woman: The Secret of the Magic Tiara book and record set by the legendary Rich Buckler. About as iconic as it gets, weird capitalization notwithstanding!

If you look close, you can see some very minor tweaks made to Diana's face for the printed version--it seems editors just can't resist fiddling with final art after it comes in, no matter who is doing the work. Man, have I been there, and I'm not Rich Buckler or John Romita!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Avengers - Captain America Joins The Avengers!

This gorgeous custom Power Records book-and-record set is courtesy the always engaging Dial "B" for Blog...but there's more!

In the late 1960s, Marvel teamed with an outfit called Golden Records, which issued four LPs called "Marvel Age Comic Spectaculars", that featured audio adaptations of classic Marvel stories (for the, uh, record: Fantastic Four #1, Amazing Spider-Man #1, Journey into Mystery #83, and The Avengers #4), accompanied by reprints of the comic--in this case, the aforementioned Avengers #4. Almost impossible to find now for less than a small fortune, they were the forerunners to the Power Records.

Dial "B" decided to create the custom Power Record cover, also adding "Ani-Motion" to the comic book portion, so you can watch your heroes move (sort of) as they discover the Sentinel of Liberty encased in ice. It's a lot of fun, and the audio adaptation is pretty darn good. In fact, I'm not sure why Peter Pan just didn't license the four Golden Records and repurpose them for the Power Records line, it would have been great to have The Avengers and Thor added to the roster!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Star Trek - Dinosaur Planet


Dinosaur Planet


Dinosaur Planet is another of the later period, Star Trek: The Motion Picture-inspired book and record sets. Like the previously covered adventure The Robot Masters, Dinosaur Planet is perfectly fine, if a little dull, comic book, but the audio portion is pretty good. The writers get the interaction of the characters pretty spot-on, and of course the dinosaur-centric plot is something the actual show could have never afforded to do!

Though I will say, while the idea of using photos of the actors makes sense from a marketing perspective, jeez do they look cheezy when paired with the comic book-style backgrounds!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Planet of the Apes Display Header

This beauty is the header card used for the Power Records Planet of the Apes in-store displays. They just don't make stuff like this anymore!

The fact this thing is still around gives me hope that other Power Record miscellanea is out there, too. Not that my wallet needs more trips to eBay, but still...

(h/t: Hunter's Planet of the Apes Archive)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spider-Man - Bells of Doom


Bells of Doom

Another Spidey 45", featuring signed cover art by Bill Gow. Who is Bill Gow? Well, according to a commenter named Brian, he was an artist whose work "[A]ppeared mostly on the covers of Peter Pan and Kid Stuff Records in the 1970s." Mr. Gow, if you're out there, let us know, this blog would love to talk to you!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Superman - Light Up The Tree, Mr. President


Light Up The Tree, Mr. President

Another one of the Christmas-themed re-purposed adventures from the Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman LP, this 45" sleeve features a beautiful Neal Adams piece which I am amazed wasn't re-used for other Xmas-related merchandise down the line. Who wouldn't want a shot of a smiling Superman flying in front of a Christmas tree on an ornament?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Power Records @ The 1975 Toy Fair


Check out this mouth-watering display Peter Pan/Power Records had going at the 1975 Toy Fair. They quite simply don't make 'em like this any more! Click the image to check out to see more pics from this show, it looks like the kind of thing I dreamed about as a kid.
Speaking of dreaming, I keep hoping one day I'll find some of these Power Records displays for sale on eBay or something. I have yet to, but hope springs eternal...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Space: 1999 - The Future is Fantastic!



In all my years of Power Records fandom, I had no idea that Space: 1999 was so popular! Not only did the show get two book and record sets, but it also headlined two LPs, too, complete with photo covers, something the label never did for other TV properties like Star Trek and The Six Million Dollar Man!
I haven't seen Space: 1999 since I was a kid, but I remember the show being pretty dull. You wouldn't know it from this sleeve, which makes it look like a combo of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Irwin Allen. The future is fantastic!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Amazing Adventures of Holo-Man Ad


Somebody had really high hopes for Holo-Man, as this breathless ad shows. Not only did he get his own Power Record, but kids could send away for an entire Holo-Man Adventure Kit!

I've never been sure whether Holo-Man was created by someone else and then licensed to Power Records, who assumed they were getting in on the ground floor of The Next Big Thing, or whether The Captain of Color was their own in-house idea. Judging by the fact that the mailing address of Atomic Comics was in the same city as Peter Pan, my hunch is the latter. Which means, somewhere, there's probably a dusty warehouse with several boxes of unsold Holo-Man 3-D pendants.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wonder Woman - The Prisoner of Christmas Island


Prisoner of Christmas Island

Power Records re-purposed (of course they did) two of the three Christmas-themed stories they produced featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman as solo 45" releases, with new sleeve art (in this case, it looks like the work of Dick Giordano to me) on both the front and back. With the Santa-driven piece on the back cover, I'm guessing these were all released in October and November, trying to cash in on the lucrative Christmas shopping season.

Strangely, I have yet to find the Batman story--"Christmas Carol Caper"--as a separate 45", which makes no sense to me at all. Batman was a big Power Records star, and they had the material on hand, so...? I guess that will be another question I have to find the answer to when I work on my as-yet-started Power Records coffee table book.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Wonder Woman - The Return of Brunhilde


The Return of Brunhilde

All five of the stories from Songs and Stories About The Justice League of America LP were reissued as 45"s, but only Wonder Woman got one all to herself. I don't have this actual record, so I'm not sure what, if anything, Power Records did to fill the grooves, since this story is about the same length as the ones starring Aquaman, Flash, Metamorpho, and Plastic Man.

As always, wonderful (heh), iconic sleeve art by Neal Adams.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Scooby-Doo and the Mystery of the Rider Without A Head


Scooby-Doo and the Mystery of the Rider Without A Head

Another Scooby-Doo book-and-record adventure, with quite the ungainly title. When I first saw it I thought it was a Headless Horseman/Ichabod Crane thing, which would have been cool. Instead, it takes place at a rodeo, which is not a location you associate with "spooky." Although I do love the Women's Lib angle they worked in--pretty darn modern, though I always got the sense the Power Records people were overall a fairly progressive bunch.

I couldn't find decent scans of the interior book, but you can listen and see the pages as they go by on YouTube.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Spider-Man - The Mad Hatter of Manhattan


The Mad Hatter of Manhattan

Featuring some of the dodgiest sleeve art of any Power Record, "Mad Hatter of Manhattan" was a reissue from the The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. II LP, which featured this audio adventure plus four other tracks. The back cover's not so bad (it looks like a trace of a John Buscema Spider-Man to me), but man that front cover...hoo boy!

These sleeve scans courtesy Sean Keating and his Power Records Pinterest Page. Thanks Sean!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Back Issue! #44 - "Spider-Man Power Records"

I wrote a second article on the Power Records for TwoMorrows' Back Issue!, in this case #44, the all-Spider-Man issue, which you can read here via PDF.

If you're interested in purchasing this or any other issue of BI (and you should be), head over to the TwoMorrows site where every issue of the magazine is available in print and digital form!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Scooby-Doo LP


Scooby-Doo and the Mystery of the Strange Paw Prints

Scooby-Doo and the Mystery of the Sticky Money

I had no idea Peter Pan Records ever did a Scooby-Doo record, when in fact they did several, some of which were book-and-record sets, like you see above. Aside from some dodgy artwork (check out Fred there), these stories are pretty close to the animated version, using (to my untrained ears) the same voice cast and some nice artwork on the interiors (which I haven't been able to find complete enough to post here...yet). Sorry about the less-than-stellar audio files, they were the best I could find via YouTube.

Sure, these are not Power Records, but even as a kid I always sort of lumped Scooby-Doo in with the world of superheroes, comics, and sci-fi, probably because they met Batman and Robin, and that was good enough for me! Rooby-rooby-roo!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Star Trek - The Robot Masters


The Robot Masters


In 1979, there was a brief run of new Star Trek book and record sets tied in to The Motion Picture. Using the same voice cast but featuring art (and presumably story) not from Continuity, these four audio adventures were released from Peter Pan, with the Power Records bug nowhere to be found.

Maybe that missing logo was the reason I didn't have much interest in these as a kid, maybe it was the cheapjack covers (a far, far cry away from Neal Adams and friends), or maybe it was the fact that I didn't enjoy the first movie too much--I don't know. In any case, I only heard these particular Trek adventures recently, in preparation for the POWER RECORDS PODCAST and the return of the blog. "The Robot Masters" isn't too bad--it feels like a classic Trek kind of story, though the art included in the comic is...uninspiring, at best.

The history of Power Records is a murky one, so I'm only guessing here, but I think these four Trek movie-related records (The Robot Masters, The Man Who Trained Meteors, Dinosaur Planet, and The Human Factor) were the last new recordings ever done for the slightly older market, the same kids that the Power Records were aimed at. By the early 80s, Peter Pan/Power were simply reissuing the stuff done in the 70s, not producing anything new. So these might have been their swan song.

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