(Click on picture to enlarge)
Here's an advance look at the cover art for the DVD we are releasing at the San Diego Comic-Con next week. The design is a collaboration between Graphic Artist Johann Mitchell and myself. Johann is a superb artist and designer whom I have worked with many times since the mid 1970's, and I highly recommend her if you need a talented artist. She went way above and beyond the call of duty to help me make the delivery deadline on the DVD art and our thanks and appreciation go out to her. Thanks also go out to Laura Lozano for stepping in at the 11th hour to make sure the designs got where they needed to go. Both Laura and Johann have always been there right when I needed them, and stand out as true friends in every sense of the word.
The DVD is at the factory right now and will be arriving here just in time to take to Comic-Con for unveiling. At this time we expect to have it available at the National Cartoonist Society booth. These are true glass-mastered DVD Video disks that are manufactured from raw materials in the factory, with full four color printing inside 'n out and on the disc...none of your "home-brewed DVD's with HP labels and covers" for us...nosiree Bob! The Real Deal. Among its many virtues it has four full half hour episodes from 1958, as follows:
"Operation Zero Launch" - the second episode filmed, and this one has the original sponsors' titles and spot from Chesterfield Cigarettes (Ligett and Meyers). A lot of fun with Marion Ross from Happy Days being a babe. By the way, the Chesterfield tv spot features Dean Fredericks handling the product endorsement!
"Operation B-52" featuring a swell animated spot for Ligett and Meyers L&M cigarettes, this one features Richard Anderson, a script by Charles "Twilight Zone" Beaumont, and terrific direction by Arthur "Love Story" Hiller. Not to be missed.
"Operation Mushroom" - though originally premiered in 1958, this an ABC print from the summer of 1960 and features promos for other vintage ABC shows. One of the most popular episodes, Steve drops the first weapon-class H-Bomb on Eniwetok Island. Tons of cool planes and documentary approach.
"Operation Diplomat" - premiered in 1958, again another ABC print with ABC promos, this episode is (for my money) the one most like the Steve Canyon comic strips of the era. It's great and another one of my favorite episodes.
There is also an image gallery on the disk, and a 19 minute series promo featuring clips from 6 other episodes.
Once we return from Comic-Con, we will offer the DVD here online (for those that couldn't attend the convention). Remember, this is a lead-in for the entire series, and is intended to help us finance the restoration of the rest of the shows. I should also mention that these shows have had their audio and picture elements cleaned up somewhat, but none of the episodes on this set are fully restored.
Don't get me wrong, they look and sound terrific, but there is still a certain amount of dirt specks and such flying around in some sections of these episodes. These shows were hand picked by me as four of the best, representative of what a great series this is. Episodes not seen since their original network runs...and NEVER available as crappy dupes on ebay. The work WILL continue on these and they will be fully cleaned up and "presented for your approval" with the rest of the 34 original episodes, just as soon as we can get 'em out there. That's a promise!
July 17, 2007
P.S. Remember Harry and I will be screening OPERATION INTERCEPT at Comic-Con on Saturday July 28 at 2:30pm in "Room 4". There will also be a followup "autograph" session in the main autograph area from 4:00 to 7:00pm, and we will have the DVD's...and maybe some guests and a few *secret* goodies. We're very excited about the show and we hope to see you there!