VCI Entertainment presents the 75th Anniversary Edition - "CAVEMAN:V.T. HAMLIN & ALLEY OOP" (2008) (96 mins/Color/B&W) (Dolby digitally remastered) --- Vincent Trout Hamlin (10 May 1900 - 14 June 1993) creator of the comic strip Alley Oop, was born in Perry, Iowa on 10 May 1900. In 1918, he served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France --- After the war, he attended college, and worked at various jobs around the country, including working in the oil fields of Texas, and on various newspapers as a reporter, photographer and cartoonist --- In 1925 he married high-school sweetheart Dorothy Stapleton --- He created the Alley Oop comic strip in 1932 while working at the Des Moines Register, and he wrote and drew the strip (sometimes with the help of assistant Dave Graue) until 1971 --- Hamlin died in Florida in 1993 at the age of 93.
V. T. Hamlin wrote and drew Alley Oop through four decades for NEA (Newspaper Enterprise Association) --- Initially, Alley Oop was a daily strip which had a run from December 5, 1932 to January 3, 1933 --- Beginning August 7, 1933, the early material was reworked for a larger readership --- The strip added a Sunday full page, on September 9, 1934 --- It also appeared in half page, tabloid and half tab formats, which were smaller and/or dropped panels --- During World War II, the full page vanished due to the drive to conserve paper, and it was reduced to a third of a page.
Hamlin retired in 1971, his assistant Dave Graue took over --- The last daily by Hamlin appeared December 31, 1972, and his last Sunday was April 1, 1973 --- From his studio in North Carolina, Graue wrote and drew the strip through the 1970s and 1980s until Jack Bender took over as illustrator in 1991 --- Graue continued to write the strip until his August, 2001 retirement; on December 10, 2001, the 75-year-old Graue was killed in Flat Rock, North Carolina when a dump truck hit his car --- The current Alley Oop Sunday and daily strips are drawn by Jack Bender and written by his wife Carole Bender.
As of 2007, the strip was being produced by Carole Bender and Jack Bender --- The strip is a mix of adventure, fantasy and humor --- Alley Oop, the strip's namesake and leading character, was a sturdy citizen of the prehistoric kingdom of Moo who rode his pet dinosaur, Dinny, carried a stone war hammer, dressed in nothing but a pair of fur shorts, and obviously would rather fight dinosaurs in the jungle than deal with his fellow countrymen in Moo's capital and (only) cave-town --- In spite of these exotic settings, the stories were mostly satires of American suburban life.
SPECIAL BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE:
1. Panel Discussion: With writer/director Collins, Producer Mark Lambert
and current Alley Oop artists, Jack and Carole Bender from 2008.
Iowa Historical Museum screening (50 mins)
2. Commentary with writer/director Max Allan Collins
3. Commentary with Jack & Carol Bender.
4. Will Eisner - Last lengthy on camera interview.
The father of the graphic novel on comics from Alley Oop to Krazy Kat, from
Popeye to his own classic Spirit Publication. (43 mins)
5. Artwork by Jack & Carol Bender
6. "Good Morning Tulsa", Interview with Jack & Carole Bender.
Special Note: My favorite bonus feature is the lengthy interview with Will Eisner (The Spirit) is a collectors dream come true.
Hats off and thanks to Robert Blair and his staff at VCI Entertainment --- VCI was named in Variety and Hollywood Reporter as the first company to produce and release motion pictures directly to the home marketplace --- order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment where there are plenty of copies available on DVD, stay tuned once again for top notch releases --- VCI are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector -- looking forward to more Nostalgic Collections.
Total Time: 96 mins on DVD ~ VCI Entertainment ~ (11/18/2008)