Thursday, May 31, 2012
This time around Kid Eternity needed someone who could fly and who better to summon than Icarus from Greek Mythology. Icarus' father Daedalus had constructed the Labyrinth for King Minos at Knossos on the island of Crete, wherein dwelt the monstrous Minotaur. Apparently Daedalus revealed the secret of the Labyrinth and as punishment Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in the Labyrinth itself. But Daedalus was a smart fellow and he invented wings of wax and feathers for both himself and his son, with which they could flee the Labyrinth. Like most dad's Daedalus warned his rambunctious son not to fly too high, but you know kids-they never listen. Icarus soared too high and the sun melted his wings and he plunged into the sea where he drowned - that is if the impact didn't kill him first. Anyway, I had a pair of wings from a Toy Biz Hawkman figure I had used in another conversion so I attached them to a spare Clash of the Titans Perseus figure to make Icarus. Personally I thought the wings were better scaled to Perseus than they had been to Hawkman.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Kid Eternity called forth the Shawnee chief Tecumseh to help him track down some bad guys. Tecumseh was sort of a Native American politician who tried to organize the tribes into a confederacy and carve out a nation for themselves. During the late 1700's and early 1800's he negotiated with the newly independent Americans as well as the colonial British in this pursuit. When the War of 1812 broke out Tecumseh linked his fortunes with the British. He ended up being killed in the Battle of the Thames in what is modern Ontario, Canada without realizing his dreams of an independent confederacy. I guess we Americans didn't hold much of a grudge since we named a ballistic missile submarine after him, which commissioned in 1964. The figure is an Imrie Risley 75mm metal miniature.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
For those who may not know the story - or need to be reminded - Rip van Winkle is a story written by Washington Irving and published in 1819. Rip is a likable but rather lazy fellow living in a Dutch community in the Catskills of New York. He's hen-pecked and in order to escape one of his wife's diatribes he goes out wandering in the woods with his dog. Encountering some men he helps one of them carry a keg up the mountain. At the top they meet some others who are drinking and Rip joins in, falling asleep as a result. When he awakens there is something strange. His gun is rusty and the wood rotted, the dog is gone and he has a lengthy growth of beard. Returning to the town he fails to recognize anyone but soon learns that he has slept for 20 years and the country is no longer ruled by the British and is independent. When they learn Rip's story apparently they are sorry they weren't able to sleep through the war. I'm not really sure what the moral of the story is but it's reasonably entertaining. At any rate, the figure is metal in about 75mm scale, which is a little shorter than I normally like, but what the heck - Rip's a bent old man by now, right??
Friday, May 25, 2012
Don't know if you missed me but I've been sort of shut down for nearly a week by one of those pesky internet predators. Bet he or she thought they had shut down a bunch of my files but guess what??? I got 'em back!! So here I am presenting another Kid Eternity character. This one's a god. Mercury, the Latin version of Hermes, messenger of the Greek and Roman gods. I loved mythology when I was young and I still love it today. I've done a couple of versions of Mercury as action figures over the years, along with a few other gods. This version Kid Eternity called up from Eternity in order to chase down a car. What else?? I made him from a Mattel Marvel Secret Wars Wolverine body and the head from a Daredevil figure. I added wings on his head (helmet) and on his ankles (sandals) and painted him according to the version in the comic.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Sometimes it isn't brawn or pugilistic skills Kid Eternity requires (see last two posts), but brain power and problem solving acuity. Who then better to call upon than the incomparable Sherlock Holmes, the world's greatest consulting detective. Holmes may be a fictional character but as the Kid says, "He lives in the hearts of those who read about him. He exists in eternity." Which may explain a bit about the nature of Eternity as the creators of Kid Eternity realised it. At any rate, Holmes is called forth, works his mental magic and is returned to Eternity to sleuth another day. The figure I used was from Superior Models/Perth Pewter and was part of a two-figure set of Holmes and Watson. The figures were modeled after Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, who portrayed the characters in a series of 14 feature films between 1939 and 1946.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
John "Jack" Broughton was another boxer Kid Eternity called up from Eternity to help him out. This time around we have a winner though. Jack was an English bare-knuckle fighter and the first person to codify a set of rules for boxing in the mid-1700's. They later evolved into the London Prize Ring Rules that would govern boxing contests until the Marquess of Queensberry Rules appeared in the 1860's. Broughton was large for his day, six feet tall and about 196 pounds, and very muscular, having worked as a waterman on the Thames rowing passengers along the waterway. Apparently retiring undefeated (records back then were scarce) Broughton ran a school for young fighters and for a time had an amphitheatre where he featured boxing matches, as well as bear-baiting and fights with weapons. Broughton was at his peak in the 1730's and 1740's. The action figure was made from various GI Joe and Street-fighter parts. Didn't need gloves for this one.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Most of the Kid Eternity helpers I've reviewed are fairly famous, but you need to dig a littler deeper for Joe Grim, the human punching bag. Born in Italy, Joe came to this country and decided he wanted to get into boxing. Beginning his career in 1903, Joe battled some of the greats of the day. Trouble was Joe had no talent for actual boxing at all. He didn't move much, couldn't really punch very well, swung hay makers that the ring posts could avoid. The only thing Joe could do was absorb punishment. At the end of each fight, some with the true greats of the day, he would get up from his last knock-down and shout at the crowd, "I am Joe Grim! Nobody can knock me out." Even the great Jack Johnson, who tried mightily to knock Joe out in their 1905 meeting, exclaimed after knocking him down four times in the fourth round, "He ain't human." One commentator remarked that it wasn't really boxing, it was more of a circus act, with the crowd shouting, "Get up Joe." Out of some 60+ fights Joe won nary a one, although he got a draw in six, but finally in the end he was knocked out - maybe in his very last fight and maybe once before, but he did finally succumb - just never gave up. The figure was made from various GI Joe parts, including the boxing gloves, which are probably larger than the ones they had at the time but the only ones I had on hand.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
What can I say about this guy. General of the colonial army and winner of the Revolutionary War. First President of the United States. Rich farm owner and whiskey brewer (do you brew whiskey?) - anyway, I know he made it. I did Lafayette yesterday so I though his mentor was a natural for today. The Washington figure was made by Superior Models/Perth Pewter out of metal so I featured an epoxy figure yesterday and a pewter one today. Never can tell where your materials will come from.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Another character Kid Eternity saw fit to call up from the realm of Eternity was General Lafayette. Born a Frenchman but inspired by the American Revolution the Marquis de Lafayette journeyed to the New World and quickly came to the attention of General George Washington. The pair struck up an enduring friendship, the young Frenchman becoming like unto a son to Washington. Returning to France the Marquis managed to convince the French government to commit additional forces, including a fleet that the colonies was sorely lacking, to the American cause. His efforts ultimately, both diplomatically and on the battlefield contributed in no small measure to colonial victory over the British and gained him the rank of Major General and the eternal affection of the American people. When he had a son he naturally named him George Washington and when he died was buried in Paris under soil from Washington's Mount Vernon estate. The figure is an epoxy military model of the good General which I painted in more traditional colors than in the comic.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
The last couple of Kid Eternity posts I've featured real historical characters the Kid has called up from Eternity to aid him in his earthly tasks. Suppose you had some bad guy shooting at you in a museum? Who would you call up to aid you? If you said the Discus Thrower then award yourself a patented no-prize!! Yes, he called up a statue, which came to life and used his discus to disarm the baddie. Then he got sent back to his place in Eternity - or on the pedestal the statue was displayed upon. Anyway, I had seen the story and I really wanted a discus thrower to add to my Kid Eternity side-kicks, but had no clue where I might find him. A friend of mine queried on ebay and sure enough he came up with a Hallmark ornament of the Discus Thrower. He was the right scale size and everything. You just never know from whence you may find something you can use. I did paint his flesh tones but don't worry - in keeping with the Hallmark sensibilities this guy is sexless.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
What can I say - I liked the Avengers from the first time I picked up one of their comics and I am delighted with the movie. It is faithful to the characters and the action and there are really satisfying moments throughout. The last few years of buildup through Hulk movies, Iron Man movies and Thor and Captain America movies have been worth the wait. The fans apparently liked it too because its made a boat-load of money world-wide. If you haven't been to see it and have been wondering if it was worth the effort let me tell you from one fan to another - GO!!! You'll enjoy.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
When Kid Eternity needs help putting bad guys in their places he sometimes calls up characters like Cyrano. Like Leonardo da Vinci, de Bergerac is not his last name but where he's from. Born in 1619, Cyrano was a famous French dramatist and duelist who appears from portraits to have had a larger than normal nose but not the size that is popularly represented. Cyrano was in the military and fought in battles, and there was a girl named Roxane in his life, who was his cousin, with whom he may have had an affair. He even wrote early science fiction, including one story where he travels to the moon using rockets powered by firecrackers. Cyrano died at the age of 36 in 1655, but the cuase appears to have been in dispute. There have been a number of plays and movies about Cyrano, perhaps the most famous being Jose Ferrer's Oscar winning performance in 1950. The pose of Ferrer in the picture decided me on which Musketeer figure I should use for a little conversion. I used Skulpy for the nose and painted the figure to resemble Ferrer in the movie.
Friday, May 4, 2012
One of the reasons I liked the Kid Eternity comics were the characters he called up to aide him in his endeavors. I always thought that a Kid Eternity live-action TV series for kids would be really useful in teaching kids about the variety of historical characters out there in the world. This one is a case in point. Starting life as Julie d'Aubigny, who lived 1670-1707, this lady was a force to be reckoned with. Her father had her trained in dancing, literacy, drawing and - most uniquely - fencing, at which she became quite adept. In her teens she had an affair with a count who ended up marrying her off to Sieur de Maupin. When hubby was posted south she stayed in Paris, garnering a reputation as a wild woman who hit shopkeepers, fought duels with young aristocrats and became romantically involved with a number of lovers. She had relationships with males and females and in her spare time performed in the opera, where roles were written for her contralto voice and flamboyant personality. OK, maybe not the best choice for kid's TV, but I enjoyed looking her up. The figure is a Phoenix Follies metal figure generally painted to resemble the character in the comic. I wonder if Phoenix modeled her on Madmoiselle de Maupin. Inquiring minds want to know.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
When Kid Eternity and Mr. Keeper hear a disturbance they visit earth only to find a young man parading around town in a Middle Ages suit of armour and alternately speaking in both modern language and period. As they follow the knight some of his courtiers deliberately try to drown him in a row boat by pulling a plug. Turns out the knight also has a castle on an island. There a relative named Ralph explains that Christopher's eccentric father built the castle and Chris has fallen into the old man's delusion. Suspicious, Kid Eternity hangs around and discovers that the old man's will has been altered by Ralph, who is trying to first make it seem the young man is delusional and then have his cohorts kill Chris so Ralph can inherit everything - why is no one ever happy with just taking a share? Anyway, the Kid summons Sir Lancelot, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table who rescue Chris and all is revealed. Sir Christopher is a decorative knight I purchased and then painted gold to match the character in the story.