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“The world needs a futuristic Phantom series. And a video game based on the same.” – No One, 1994

August 21, 2014

phantom2040

In fairness, Phantom 2040 was a reasonably well-made cartoon despite its urban setting, with plots having a semblance of intellect behind them. But we’re not talking Batman here, a venerable character that can sustain interpretations on multiple platforms, including a futuristic series based on the original character — just ask Billy Zane. The Ghost Who Walks has his place, but it only encompasses so much. Read more…

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Uncle Sam takes a moment out of his busy day to bore a kid (and us) to death – Rails Across America

August 20, 2014

rails

Not all that long ago we featured a little bit of railroad industry propaganda here on the blog, in the form of a slim newsprint comic entitled Railroads Deliver the Goods!. It was nothing more or less than what you’d imagine, i.e. fairly dry, rather straightforward agitprop cast in the four color form of sequential art, brought to you by the kindly people at the Association of American Railroads. It lacked one thing, though, which surely would drive home how red, white and blue and uncommunist railroads are. And that thing is a man — Uncle Sam! Read more…

Come (W)HACK OFF! with Angelina Jolie

August 19, 2014

hackoff

It’s eerie how this film’s promotional tagline so accurately predicted the purpose to which most (male) users would put the Internet, no? Read more…

Chef Boyardee — X-Man?

August 18, 2014

xboyardee Read more…

Trading Card Set of the Week – Independence Day (1996, Topps Widevision)

August 17, 2014

ID

Ah, Independence Day. We recall it now as a harbinger of Tinseltown doom, ushering in as it did the era of vapid blockbusters with scales tilted heavily towards special effects. It was the first big summer hit to put more emphasis on the level of blowuppableness it could achieve, at the expense of everything else that anyone more intelligent than plankton would be able to grasp. In those pre-Internet days (or pre-widespread-use-of-the-Internet days) of 1996, what’s the first any of us ever heard of it? That blisteringly effective Super Bowl commercial, which told us all we needed to know: that the White House was going to get barbecued real spicy-like by a giant hovering UFO. Effects, FX — however you style it, that’s what you were going to get. Read more…

“These bikes are so popular, no one rides them anymore!” says Yogi Berra

August 16, 2014

yogibike

Dear old Yogi Berra became so known a factory of odd, confused sayings after his playing days had come to a close, we tend to forget that he was the greatest hitting catcher to ever set foot on a baseball diamond. So if scrawny Yankees teammate Phil Rizzuto could endorse Wheaties, then by God, Yogi could pitch a bike. Read more…

Spider-Man and Planned Parenthood team to educate no one – The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Prodigy!

August 15, 2014

smpp

A great many people have had a crack at today’s comic, but it’s time this site took a swipe at this well-intentioned 1970s PSA pinata. Just looking at the cover you wouldn’t even know that this is one of the more blatant usages of Marvel’s frontman to educate the youth of America, but it is. You see, this is a cooperative effort between Marvel and Planned Parenthood. Think that teens are in dire need of dialogue on venereal disease and pregnancy? Then the web-slinger is here to save the day. But will it be a frank and effective sex primer for pubescent America, with a backwards-chair-sitting Spider-Man rapping about all the cons and downers of reckless sex? Or will it descend into awkwardness, with Spider-Man showing boys how to properly unfurl and apply a condom? Or will it just plain fail miserably? Read more…

Cough drops and paint-by-numbers oil paints: a winning combination!

August 14, 2014

artistset

Would you trust that painter up there in the upper left-hand corner, the one that looks like he doubles as a magician/leering pedophile? If so, this set of oil paints might be for you. Read more…

The Return of the King-Kirby

August 13, 2014

kirbybulletin

Tucked into the comic from last week’s Hulk/Loch Fear Monster/Beans post was this edition of Marvel’s Bullpen Bulletins feature, heralding the 1970s return of none other than Jack Kirby. Read more…

The senses-shattering origin of Harry S. Truman – True Comics #44

August 12, 2014

true44

The presidency of Harry S. Truman was nothing if not eventful. Begun in the middle of the greatest war Earth has ever seen and after the death of his larger-than-life predecessor, it was a long series of crises and big decisions. The dropping of the atomic bombs, a decision justifiable after years of unrelenting carnage but one that will likely be second-guessed forever. The beginning of the Cold War, which lurched into motion before the muzzles of World War II stopped flashing. Going to bed on election night 1948 with everyone saying he was going to lose his re-election bid, sleeping soundly, and awakening to find that he’d confounded opponents, pollsters and headline writers alike. Korea. Firing MacArthur, which might have been his finest moment, igniting a public opinion firestorm yet preserving the principle of civilian control of the military, so vital to any true democracy.

And you could list more. HST: A President in Full. And today we have before us a comic the celebrates The Man Before Whom the Buck Stopped. But here’s the thing: none of that stuff had happened yet. Read more…

The ruby-red lips of Roy Rogers alone are worth the price of your Bells of Rosarita ticket

August 11, 2014

rosarita

I realize that it’s simply a byproduct of imprecise 1940s coloring, but it looks like Roy Rogers is wearing lipstick in this ad. Someone’s been playing with Mommy’s makeup! Read more…

Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel, Jr. and Hoppy all want you to subscribe to Mechanix Illustrated

August 10, 2014

marvelmechanics

Super-powered beings who can fly and plow through any obstruction known to man aren’t the most obvious spokes-people (and spokes-bunnies) for a mechanical magazine, one dedicated to hard labor and its fruits, but here we are: Captain Marvel et famille, desperate for your Mechanix Illustrated subscription dollars. Read more…

Dubble Bubble tastes great because a fat kid can do a WIlliam Tell and shoot an arrow at his friend’s head

August 9, 2014

dubblebubbletell

This is a fine candidate for a “Kids, don’t try this at home” disclaimer. Read more…

Loch Ness + Cape Fear + Hulk = Loch Fear (and goofiness)

August 8, 2014

hulk192

Several months ago we looked at an Incredible Hulk comic in which the titular big guy, in what surely set a new land speed record for comic book pathos, was betrayed by his own shadow. Granted, it was his shadow possessed by an evil alien from a long-forgotten Marvel mag, but still — it was an indicator of just how miserable the life of a Green Goliath can be. Today’s comic, roughly contemporaneous, sets no marks in this field, nor does it try to. Instead it vaults our child-like hero across the Atlantic Ocean and deposits him amongst the Scottish moors, where he encounters an ersatz Loch Ness Monster, lairds and beans. Lots and lots of beans. Read more…

Nothing says “Twinkie” like Joe Rudi of the Oakland A’s

August 7, 2014

hostesscards

Man, Joe Rudi had the prototypical 1970s ballplayer aesthetic, didn’t he? Like an avatar of groovy baseball. Read more…