Geeky Friday: Dave Stevens Reduxe, Burroughs Deluxe, “Dark Shadows” Sucks

Dave Stevens passed all too soon (1955‚ 2008), but his legacy lives on: IDW Publishing has announced two forthcoming Dave Stevens’ projects. This July, IDW is issuing the best of the best with Dave Stevens’ Covers & Stories, which will showcase all the non-Rocketeer covers by Stevens, many scanned from the original art. Additionally, there will be roughs accompanying many of the covers, offering a rare insight into the artist’s creative process. Besides covers, all of Stevens’s highly sought-after short stories will be printed, as well as some unfinished gems, the publisher said.

It’s cool to see Dave’s lesser-known material getting the love, but Finhead fans fear not, there are ample goodies for you, too. IDW has tapped writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee for The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom! Both these dudes are huge Stevens’ fans and this is a dream project for them, so fingers crossed that it rocks.

Now we need a real Rocketeer film. The homogenized 1991 Disney version is a cute kiddy flik. Bill Campbell, Alan Arkin, and Timothy Dalton were fine, and the costume and props, etc., especially were cool beans, but we need an edgier version closer to Dave’s original‚ and speaking of ample goodies, how molten would Jennifer Connelly have been strutting around in all that naughty Bettie Page lingerie? (Although that white silk dress wasn’t too shabby‚ MEOW!)

Light Shadows
When I was a grammar-school kid, like every other squirt at the time, I got hooked on Dark Shadows. It was a B-level soap opera that was in ratings death throes, so producers figured there was nothing to lose and added a vampire to the character line up. It caught on and the ratings soared. A vampire led to a ghost, a witch, a werewolf, etc., and set in a big, creepy house, the show became a goth wet dream before there were goths. Every weekday at 4 or 4:30, whenever the hell it aired, every kid in the hood stopped what they were doing to watch DS, which, thinking back on it, young boys watching a soap opera is weirder than the show itself.

Fast forward 40 years, and because Hollywood truly seems bankrupt of original ideas, Dark Shadows is coming to the big screen via Tim Burton‚ unfortunately. I’ve bitched previously about Burton taking well-established properties and turning them into freak shows‚ can you say Willy Wonka‚ through Johnny Depp, who here stars as vampire Barnabas Collins. Take a gander at this trailer.


YIKES! Speaking to my fellow DS fans who share fond childhood memories of this show, can you believe that turd? Honestly, if I tried watching DS reruns now I probably wouldn’t last ten minutes, but, still, on a scale of one to ten on the suckometer, I think that trailer rates a 17. Tim, please, stop screwing up these things. And buy a comb while you’re at it.

Library of America does Burroughs
I just received two gorgeous hardcover Edgar Rice Burroughs volumes from the venerable Library of America (LOA), one of my absolute favorite series. With John Carter screening across the country, you’ll need extra copies of Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars (ISBN 9781598531657), which is the basis of the film. LOA also has a spiffy hardcover of ERB’s perennial pleaser Tarzan of the Apes (ISBN 9781598531640). If you’re a big Burroughs fan, then absolutely snag these two beauties! At $20 a pop, they’re a steal.

Here’s a little ERB factoid: Burroughs was probably the first author to practice what we now know as merchandising. He put Tarzan on lunch boxes and other paraphernalia and made a bloody fortune off it.

Con, Baby, Con!
Have a good weekend, all. I’m getting my geek on Saturday at Mike Carbo’s Comic Book Marketplace, a small con in NYC. If I get any decent pix of hottie cosplayers, celebs, etc., I’ll share next week. Get your geek on, too!

Completely unrelated, but a happy 67th birthday to Eric Clapton.




Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.