Here’s some more Adventures of Superman music. The previous example is from season 2, and this is from the first season. The music wasn’t actually written for the series, it was composed for low-budget “Poverty Row” studios in the late 40′s, re-recorded overseas to avoid the musician’s union, and later made available on transcription disks for use in TV shows. Some of it is believed to have been the work of famed film composer Miklos Rozsa. There’s a strong “Rite of Spring” component to this piece.
The first season of TAOS is a lot grittier than subsequent seasons. One of the best early episodes is “Crime Wave.” Watch Superman punch through a concrete wall, then turn around and punch bad guys in the jaw, and remember that this was a kid’s TV show.
To fully appreciate certain things it is often essential that they be considered in context, but sometimes taking a thing out of context is equally valuable. Here is a 10-minute music selection, removed from its source, that has been heard countless times by millions of people.
My feeling is there are any number of major film scores today that pale compared to the quality of these themes. Skip to 8:55 to hear something truly super, and keep in mind that in its day this was considered hack work.
I have to post this fast, before Joe’s 87th birthday is over! This is the first photo I’ve seen of Joe since his shoulder replacement surgery. Haven’t heard yet if he’s added working at his drawing board to his physical therapy routine.
While I’m on the subject of comic books, a couple of things. PBS has made a big splash with the 3-part documentary Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, and if you go that link the entire thing is supposed to be online for a limited time.
My interest level dropped off quickly in the third part of Superheroes, and I could nit-pick the first two parts — Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko deserved even more attention than they got — but as I said six years ago, when In Search of Steve Ditko by Jonathan Ross came out, I’m happy that comic books are now widely accepted as a valid creative medium. My mother sure didn’t think they were more than trash when I was a kid, because that’s where she threw my collection. In the second part of the documentary I was pleased to see Jim Steranko being featured prominently.
IDW Publishing has announced something that has me ignoring my self-imposed restriction on buying more big books, and these are REALLY big books! The Steranko Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist’s Edition, and the Steranko Nick Fury and Captain America Artist’s Edition. What makes these IDW editions special is that they’re scanned from the original art. After all these decades, Steranko has held onto all of the original pages — well, most — of his ground-breaking comic book work, and for fans like me this is the payoff.
There is at least one piece of Steranko original art that isn’t in the possession of its creator. To scan the original cover art for Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #8, IDW will have to borrow it from none other than Jonathan Ross.