83 Notes

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Co-Creator Batman TV Series

The dark, brooding Batman that has dominated the comic book pages and movie screens of late was nowhere to be found on January 12, 1966 when the half-hour television series premiered.

Lorenzo Semple and William Napier, who brought the production to ABC, felt that the story of a millionaire who dressed as a bat to fight crime was campy not dark. So the new show was filled with cariactures of villains, an overserious hero, and fight scenes punctuated with screen-covering interjections like “Pow!”, “Krunch!” and “Klonk!” 

Mr. Semple wrote the show’s first four episodes as well as ten others during the production’s three seasons. At its peak, Batman was a top ten show televised twice a week (Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.) with the first episode ending in a cliffhanger resolved in the second. In the third season, the show returned to a more traditional schedule of once per week. 

The show popularity and critical acclaim (it earned an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy) also helped it cast some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, notably as the show’s villains. Besides the original four - Caesar Romero (The Joker), Frank Gorshin (The Riddler), Burgess Meredith (The Penguin) and Jule Newmar* (Catwoman) - some familiar names tried to stop the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder on a weekly basis, including Vincent Price (Egghead), Cliff Robertson (Shame), Shelley Winters (Ma Parker), Ethel Merman (Lola Lasagna), and Milton Berle (Louie the Lilac).

Only six months after it’s television premiere, Batman: The Movie opened in theaters with a screenplay written by Mr. Semple. But it was too much of a good thing. After two seasons finishing in the top ten of the Nielsen ratings, the show’s popularity dropped off considerably in 1968 and the show’s final episode aired in March of that year.

Although Mr. Semple called Batman “the best thing I ever wrote” he was an accomplished screenwriter. He wrote screenplays for fifteen films including Papillon (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975), King Kong (1976), and Flash Gordon (1980). 

Lorenzo Semple, who also earned a Croix de Guerre fighting for the French in Libya early in World War II and then a Bronze Star fighting for the U.S., died on March 28, 2014 at the age of 91.

Sources: NY Times, IMDB.com, and Wikipedia

(Opening credits from Batman television series is copyright of ABC and courtesy of kallemalle912 on YouTube.com)

* Eartha Kitt replaced Ms. Newmar in the final season as Catwoman and Lee Meriweather played the feline villain in Batman: The Movie.

Another Batman Day entry…

Don’t forget that lots of comic shops are doing promotions for the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in DC Comics, including a free Batman comic, Batman masks, and other cool giveaways.

134 Notes

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Creator of Robin and The Joker
Jerry Robinson was only a seventeen-year old kid when he was brought in letter and ink the brand-new “Batman” comic books created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Robinson, a native of New Jersey, contributed more than a steady hand, though.
In 1940, Kane and Finger decided to give Batman a sidekick. Robinson offered up the idea of “Robin.” But the idea was not just because of the connection with small flying things. Robinson had grown up as a fan of Robin Hood and paid homage to his hero in this small way. (Note the medieval feel of the lettering that introduces Robin, above.)
Then things get a little more interesting. After starting a series devoted solely to Batman - he originally appeared in Detective Comics - there was decision to create a new villain. According to one story, Robinson presented the idea of “The Joker” based on the image from a playing card he had. While drawing a draft, Bill Finger walked up and thought that Robinson’s character looked a lot like Conrad Veidt in The Man Who Laughs. He brought some stills for Robinson to look at and the Joker’s distinctly creepy grin made history.
Bob Kane claims that Robinson only showed him the playing card (which does exist and has even been publicly exhibited as Robinson’s prototype) but Kane and Finger were the sole creators of the character.
Random note: Kane also took credit for creating Batman but Robinson and others believe that Bill Finger should be given a share of the credit. 
Robinson who also authored The Comics: The Illustrated History of Comic Book Art, 1895-2010, was awarded with the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2010. He was 89 years old.
(Image of Detective Comics, #38 copyright of DC Comics and courtesy of dc.wikia.com)

Happy Batman Day!
Important note: Bill Finger is finally being given credit for the co-creation of Batman in issue #27 of Detective Comics (New 52) given out today for FREE at most comic book stores in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the appearance of the Caped Crusader.

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Creator of Robin and The Joker

Jerry Robinson was only a seventeen-year old kid when he was brought in letter and ink the brand-new “Batman” comic books created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Robinson, a native of New Jersey, contributed more than a steady hand, though.

In 1940, Kane and Finger decided to give Batman a sidekick. Robinson offered up the idea of “Robin.” But the idea was not just because of the connection with small flying things. Robinson had grown up as a fan of Robin Hood and paid homage to his hero in this small way. (Note the medieval feel of the lettering that introduces Robin, above.)

Then things get a little more interesting. After starting a series devoted solely to Batman - he originally appeared in Detective Comics - there was decision to create a new villain. According to one story, Robinson presented the idea of “The Joker” based on the image from a playing card he had. While drawing a draft, Bill Finger walked up and thought that Robinson’s character looked a lot like Conrad Veidt in The Man Who Laughs. He brought some stills for Robinson to look at and the Joker’s distinctly creepy grin made history.

Bob Kane claims that Robinson only showed him the playing card (which does exist and has even been publicly exhibited as Robinson’s prototype) but Kane and Finger were the sole creators of the character.

Random note: Kane also took credit for creating Batman but Robinson and others believe that Bill Finger should be given a share of the credit. 

Robinson who also authored The Comics: The Illustrated History of Comic Book Art, 1895-2010, was awarded with the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2010. He was 89 years old.

(Image of Detective Comics, #38 copyright of DC Comics and courtesy of dc.wikia.com)

Happy Batman Day!

Important note: Bill Finger is finally being given credit for the co-creation of Batman in issue #27 of Detective Comics (New 52) given out today for FREE at most comic book stores in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the appearance of the Caped Crusader.

86 Notes

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day (Historical): John Dillinger (1934)
It was a hot day in Chicago on July 22, 1934. So John Dillinger along with his girlfriend Polly Hamilton, brothel owner Anna Sage and another woman headed to the air-conditioned Biograph Theater on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.  The feature film was Manhattan Melodrama, starring William Powell, Clark Gable, and Myrna Loy.
The foursome left the theater at about 10:30 p.m.  FBI agent Melvin Purvis, hiding in the shadows of a nearby alley lit a cigarette - a signal for his team to apprehend “Public Enemy #1.” As they approached Dillinger, shots were fired. When the smoke cleared, Dillinger was lying dead in the middle of the street.
Ms. Sage*, a Romanian immigrant facing deportation had told the FBI where Dillinger would be. She hoped by helping the FBI some of her past indiscretions might be overlooked and she could remain in the United States. She was deported anyway.
The Dillinger killing was huge for the Bureau. For nine months Dillinger and his gang ran rampant through the Midwest robbing banks and police arsenals and leaving a trail of bodies along the way. Ten men were killed  and another seven were wounded by Dillinger or his men. By the time of his death, Dillinger was nearly taunting the FBI by living out in the open on Chicago’s North Side.
The public saw Dillinger differently. By choosing banks as his main targets, Dillinger was a folk hero hurting the industry that most felt cause the worst of the Great Depression. While Dillinger’s body lay in the middle of Lincoln Avenue, local residents and bystanders ran out to dip their handkerchiefs in the deceased criminal’s blood.
Dillinger’s body was brought to the morgue where the FBI allowed the press to take photographs and visitors to see the body. It was considered a deterrant for other potential criminals. 
John Dillinger, who died on July 22, 1934, was one month past his 31st birthday.
Sources: FBI and Chicago Tribune
(Image of officials holding the body of John Dillinger is courtesy of robinsonlibrary.com)
* Sage was often referred to as “The Woman in Red” but she was, in fact, wearing orange.

Edited and re-posted from July 22, 2011.

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day (Historical): John Dillinger (1934)

It was a hot day in Chicago on July 22, 1934. So John Dillinger along with his girlfriend Polly Hamilton, brothel owner Anna Sage and another woman headed to the air-conditioned Biograph Theater on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.  The feature film was Manhattan Melodrama, starring William Powell, Clark Gable, and Myrna Loy.

The foursome left the theater at about 10:30 p.m.  FBI agent Melvin Purvis, hiding in the shadows of a nearby alley lit a cigarette - a signal for his team to apprehend “Public Enemy #1.” As they approached Dillinger, shots were fired. When the smoke cleared, Dillinger was lying dead in the middle of the street.

Ms. Sage*, a Romanian immigrant facing deportation had told the FBI where Dillinger would be. She hoped by helping the FBI some of her past indiscretions might be overlooked and she could remain in the United States. She was deported anyway.

The Dillinger killing was huge for the Bureau. For nine months Dillinger and his gang ran rampant through the Midwest robbing banks and police arsenals and leaving a trail of bodies along the way. Ten men were killed  and another seven were wounded by Dillinger or his men. By the time of his death, Dillinger was nearly taunting the FBI by living out in the open on Chicago’s North Side.

The public saw Dillinger differently. By choosing banks as his main targets, Dillinger was a folk hero hurting the industry that most felt cause the worst of the Great Depression. While Dillinger’s body lay in the middle of Lincoln Avenue, local residents and bystanders ran out to dip their handkerchiefs in the deceased criminal’s blood.

Dillinger’s body was brought to the morgue where the FBI allowed the press to take photographs and visitors to see the body. It was considered a deterrant for other potential criminals. 

John Dillinger, who died on July 22, 1934, was one month past his 31st birthday.

Sources: FBI and Chicago Tribune

(Image of officials holding the body of John Dillinger is courtesy of robinsonlibrary.com)

* Sage was often referred to as “The Woman in Red” but she was, in fact, wearing orange.

Edited and re-posted from July 22, 2011.

58 Notes

Obit of the Day: Co-Founder of ALDI
You know there is something different about ALDI the moment you get your cart, since it requires a quarter to use one in the store. (Don’t worry it’s returned at the end of the trip.) It is one of dozens of cost-saving measures that have helped Aldi grow to over 5000 stores around the world, including 1500 in the United States.
ALDI began simply enough as a single store in the German town of Essen run by Anna Albrecht. Opened in 1914, Mrs. Albrecht started selling food as a way to take care of her family once her husband’s emphysema prevented him from working.
Her sons, Karl and Theo, helped out at the store and took it over after World War II. The named it “Albrecht Discount” and began selling low priced basic goods like eggs, milk, and butter to the war-torn population. Within a decade they had opened more than 100 stores in what was then West Germany.
In 1962 the Albrecht brothers had a falling out over whether to sell cigarettes in the store. Theo, a smoker, was for the idea, while non-smoker Karl was against. The men, who had renamed the store ALDI (“Albrecht Discount”) that year, decided to split the company in two. Karl would oversee Aldi Süd which not only oversaw southern Germany but also the United Kingdom and the United States. Theo had Europe to himself.
ALDI has successfully changed the traditional supermarket model. Stocking a limited supply of brands, 2000 versus a traditional supermarket’s 45,000, Aldi has a quicker turnover guaranteeing fresher goods. The store also rarely stocks namebrands, another edge in keeping prices down. And bring your own bags, because the store does not supply any.
Karl Albrecht continued to expand Aldi into the new markets and now has an estimated personal worth of $25.9 billion, making him the 24th richest person in the world (and the richest German), according to Forbes magazine. Mr. Albrecht retired from day-to-day operations in 2002.
Note: Although Theo could not open any ALDI’s in the United States, he bought the Trader Joe’s grocery chain modeling after his already successful stores. Theo passed away in 2010.
Karl Albrecht died on July 16, 2014 at the age of 94.
Sources: NY Times, Washington Post, ALDI
(Image of the ALDI Sud logo is courtesy of logos.wikia.com)

Obit of the Day: Co-Founder of ALDI

You know there is something different about ALDI the moment you get your cart, since it requires a quarter to use one in the store. (Don’t worry it’s returned at the end of the trip.) It is one of dozens of cost-saving measures that have helped Aldi grow to over 5000 stores around the world, including 1500 in the United States.

ALDI began simply enough as a single store in the German town of Essen run by Anna Albrecht. Opened in 1914, Mrs. Albrecht started selling food as a way to take care of her family once her husband’s emphysema prevented him from working.

Her sons, Karl and Theo, helped out at the store and took it over after World War II. The named it “Albrecht Discount” and began selling low priced basic goods like eggs, milk, and butter to the war-torn population. Within a decade they had opened more than 100 stores in what was then West Germany.

In 1962 the Albrecht brothers had a falling out over whether to sell cigarettes in the store. Theo, a smoker, was for the idea, while non-smoker Karl was against. The men, who had renamed the store ALDI (“Albrecht Discount”) that year, decided to split the company in two. Karl would oversee Aldi Süd which not only oversaw southern Germany but also the United Kingdom and the United States. Theo had Europe to himself.

ALDI has successfully changed the traditional supermarket model. Stocking a limited supply of brands, 2000 versus a traditional supermarket’s 45,000, Aldi has a quicker turnover guaranteeing fresher goods. The store also rarely stocks namebrands, another edge in keeping prices down. And bring your own bags, because the store does not supply any.

Karl Albrecht continued to expand Aldi into the new markets and now has an estimated personal worth of $25.9 billion, making him the 24th richest person in the world (and the richest German), according to Forbes magazine. Mr. Albrecht retired from day-to-day operations in 2002.

Note: Although Theo could not open any ALDI’s in the United States, he bought the Trader Joe’s grocery chain modeling after his already successful stores. Theo passed away in 2010.

Karl Albrecht died on July 16, 2014 at the age of 94.

Sources: NY Times, Washington Post, ALDI

(Image of the ALDI Sud logo is courtesy of logos.wikia.com)