Before people cluttered their Facebook walls with fake/”funny”/vomitous motivational posters, they were restricted to expressing their idiocy through more brick and mortar methods. Enter this dazzling array of hippie paraphernalia — all that’s lacking is patchouli-tinged body odor. Yes, always express the inner you with mass-produced tchotchkes. GET A HAIRCUT.
What’s that? Your kids are bitching about their video games, that they’re not good enough for them? Then go ahead, whip out this ad and show them the horrors that the youth of relatively recent yesteryear had to deal with, games that didn’t just stretch the imagination, but put it through the wringer. That ought to shut their yaps.
No offense intended to Hall of Famer Johnny Bench — no stranger to hawking crap — or his eponymous magnet game, but really, ”Colorful grandstand” sounds like something a desperate real estate agent lists to drum up interest in dilapidated money pit property.
Yes, for only $13.95 plus shipping and handling plus a time machine, you can have that wrist ornamentation you’ve craved for so very long: a Spiro Agnew watch. Read more…
We now return to our regularly scheduled comic book (and other stuff) blogging schedule — hopefully. It’s been a hell of a struggle getting things back up and running after the Blog into Mystery World Headquarters and Stapled Newsprint Emporium moved to its new location, but things have finally settled down. Kind of. The biggest problem? Everything was a mess before the move, but now it’s all neat and tidy and squared away, and I CAN’T FIND A DAMN THING. There are closets filled with a lot of stacked unlabeled boxes containing random scatterings of comics. I need an intern.
But anyway, we’re back. And who better to usher us back in in a celebratory manner than those clown princes of basketball, the jokers of the hardwood — the Harlem Globetrotters. And just look at what this cover promises: nothing says “family-friendly 20th century fun” like a busload of black men crossing paths with barefoot southern gun-toting corncob-pipe-smoking yokels. Strap in! Read more…
We interrupt this blog’s extended hiatus to bring you the spiffy, tonally odd trailer for Marvel’s most off-beat entry to their ever-expanding cinematic canon: Guardians of the Galaxy. Now with 100% more pro wrestlers in heavy make-up! Read more…
Sad news today about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death — another talented individual taken far too young with a needle in his arm. Let his brief turn as the bricklaying White Chocolate, a great scene in the dreadful Along Came Polly, stand as his memorial. RAIN DANCE!
Hope to have the blog back up and running this week. Promise. (I think.)
Things have been on hiatus here for a while, which has probably sacrificed the few regular eyeballs that surveyed these environs back when posts were being made regularly. Alas. There’s a lesson to be learned, though: Never ever move during the holiday season, as such folly is one of Dante’s unpublished levels of hell. In this instance a short trek from the old domicile to the new — essentially down the street – resulted in a drawn-out, arduous process that rendered the days when I could casually spend a few minutes hammering out a post (about a Charles Atlas bodybuilding ad variant or a dopey new movie trailer or a delightfully terrible comic, take your pick) a distant memory, something from another lifetime.
Oh, and having to jump through a thousand hoops and wade through the indecipherable, insufferable Catch-22 of foreign call centers to get internet service set up — that didn’t help matters either. THANK YOU, COMCAST/VERIZON.
But here I sit, once again able to type and comment and otherwise bark into the void. As Miracleman says above, or as Paul Newman punctuated at the end of The Color of Money: I’m back! Well, almost!
Just so that this post has another raison d’être besides an announcement that no one in their right mind cares about, here’s a nugget that no one in their right mind would care about. A late Christmas present to myself was some wall decoration for the new abode, a custom-made doodad that’s been rattling around in my brain forever. Last year I had the bright idea to order from AllPosters.com a large, wood-mounted print of the cover to The Amazing Spider-Man #33 — you know, the one where our titular hero is trapped under heavy machinery and water is pouring down on him (the latter as only Steve Ditko could draw it). It was badass, and I’ve never for a second regretted shelling out the cash for it. This purchase lit a delayed fuse, one that finally detonated late this past year: What if I had a cover done that wasn’t in the AllPosters pre-ready stash of prints? A custom job, one for a cover that I’ve always treasured, but one off of the beaten path? I looked at the scanner I’ve always used to digitize parts of comics for posts here on the blog, and like the ape contemplating the bone in 2001, the wheels started turning in the old noggin.
No, the alarm clock with the blue numbers was not chosen by happenstance.
My favorite Superman cover of all, my favorite cover of all period, now in all its 20×30 glory. Why do I like it? A web of factors. A few: He looks so tired, so slumped, so old, all accentuated by the Frank Miller rough edges and the blue color of Superman’s hair, usually just an accent, now dominant, lending it a gray, faded look. The mawkish ridiculousness of the Man of Steel saving a girl and her dolly from a runaway train –do little girls often play with dollies on train tracks? Was Snidely Whiplash involved? The old “WHERE LEGENDS LIVE!” puffery in the UPC box and the format of the mini-series banner at the top, both remnants of a treasured, formative comics-reading time. The recollection that I wasn’t fond of this cover when I was a kid — Superman didn’t look right, and the (soon to be forgotten forever) mini was called The Secret Years, “secret” implying something shameful, something to be kept hidden (mostly from one’s parents).
There’s more, but you (hopefully) get the drift. And the process of getting this mounted print made, in case you want one yourself? A high-res scan, emphasis on the “high” – detail is your friend. Running the image through a filter to get the blacks to really pop. Putting a black border around it so that it fits in the pre-cut dimensions (square or 2×3) that AllPosters uses with custom photos — otherwise it would be cropped at the top, the bottom, or both. (They might accommodate an odd shape on special request, but that was something I didn’t investigate.) Uploading it to the MyPhotos section of their site and making sure it’s centered. Then ordering it, and bingo, dream realized.
I’m getting no money and no discount from this modest promo — just thought others might be similarly inspired. The end product in this case was under $75 (including shipping), and you could get something even cheaper with a better promo code or special offer.
Hope to be fully back up and running here on the blog in the coming week. Or sooner. Or later. Whatever.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the more pleasant movie surprises we’ve had in recent years, a rehashed premise that sounded forgettable and bland when announced, yet had nuance and depth and verve when it hit the screen. And it succeeded in spite of James Franco’s presence — an actor who always has the bearing of a man who needs to have a cream pie thrown in his smug face. So now we get a sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Wouldn’t something dawn before it could rise? Don’t they have them backwards?), and the new Planet of the Apes movie series has officially become a franchise. And now we have a trailer. A Franco-less trailer.
Caesar’s apes are organized and in the woods, pioneers, if you will, of their kind, but there’s a notable dearth of coonskin caps. Hopefully the filmmakers can fix that deficiency in post.
It’s hard to believe that, by the end of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, we’re only two-thirds of the way through Peter Jackson’s return to Middle-Earth. It’s even harder to believe that there’s actually going to be another one of these damn things. Because what’s left? After Bilbo finally confronts the titular gold-hoarding dragon in this film, and after we get the big battle out of the way at some point in the next, isn’t the rest of the original skeleton of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic just falling action, a retracing of a journey’s steps and a return to Bag End? Is Jackson really gong to drape a whole movie’s worth of fat over that sturdy — but Hobbit-sized — skeleton? Is the last film in this improbable trilogy going to be a feature-length version of the fifteen bladder-torturing endings in The Return of the King?
God help us all.
It’s so difficult to judge Smaug on its own merits because of all this mishegas. Yet try we must. And the verdict? Read more…
Forgot to post this the other day in the Littlest Snowman post. It’s pretty much the Circle of Poo, but with snow/water/ice. Educational! Enjoy!
Can the new Godzilla movie live up to the grandeur of the old Marvel series, which featured, amongst other things, the king of all monsters squaring off against Red Ronin and Dum Dum Dugan? We can hope. Despite the still inspired inclusion of music from 2001: A Space Odyssey (now paired with the familiar sound of a man breathing in a helmet — coincidence?), the first official trailer doesn’t live up to the Oppenheimer-infused leaked reel. Alas. But Walter White is in it, so how bad could it possibly be? White trumps Bueller when it comes to American Godzilla remakes, one thinks.
We’re now smack in the midst of the Christmas glurge season, when Santa-themed ads are choking the ariwaves and holiday specials dot primetime network blocks. And, yes, there are even ads for said Christmas specials. Christmas-palooza! No matter how much we might like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, no matter touching we might find Charlie Brown’s tree-buying misadventures, we all get to a point where it’s just all too much. We’ve seen this before, and though it’s great, you can only down so many sugar cookies before you barf and go into a diabetic coma.
What the hell, though, here’s another Christmas special — one more yule log on the bonfire won’t matter, right? And guess what — this old 1960s comic is actually refreshing in its unabashed earnest goodness. Ladies and gentlemen: may we present The Littlest Snowman. Littlest in stature, largest in our hearts. Read more…
Some women declared their independence during the sexual revolution by burning their bras — the symbolic, iconic deed to state “I am woman, hear me roar.” Lois Lane? She ripped the “Girl Friend” of her mag’s masthead, and had a house advertisement label her as “Mod and Mad.” To each their own. Of course, after this she went back to tripe like getting a papoose, so apparently the evolution didn’t take all that well.
One is reminded of an old David Spade line, from his tenure doing the snarky ”The Hollywood Minute” on SNL. He noted once that Kenny G, renowned impresario of bland, generic, toothless saxophone recordings, had come out with a CD of Yuletide tunes, just in time for the holidays. Spade’s quip: Happy birthday, Jesus — here’s some crap!
That pretty much sums up the 1960s Teen Titans — they of the incessant hip-talk and unctuous grooviness – and their Christmas comic. “A Christmas Happening!,” as it were. Baby Jesus, you know the drill. Read more…
As someone who didn’t think the first Amazing Spider-Man was a total waste of time, but was less than enthused with the angsty elan of a skateboarding Peter Parker having fun beating people up — amongst other things — I can say that the above trailer for the senses-shattering sequel looks like less of the same (if that’s an actual phrase). Read more…