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Steve Ditko’s Mar-Vell is pretty much his Doctor Strange (with a dash of Rom) – Marvel Spotlight #4

November 25, 2014


A couple of years ago we looked at an issue of Marvel Spotlight with art by Steve Ditko, a comic that featured one of the myriad one-shot assignments that legendary artist has worked on for the House of Ideas in the years since his Spider-Man/Doctor Strange heyday. What made that story interesting was that the monster battled by the protagonist, Dragon-Lord, looked a whole hell of a lot like another Godzilla-like creature Ditko had worked with years before: Gorgo, the British take on Gojira. It was a fairly forgettable story — and character — but the artistic connection was worthy of note.

The comic we’re examining today, the immediate predecessor of the Dragon-Lord book, is in the same vein. With Ditko’s fluid lines, Kree champion Captain Marvel becomes an erstwhile Stephen Strange, with enemies from shadow realms and an extra-dimensional adventure that could easily have Dormammu or Nightmare subbed in as the villain. And on top of it all, it even presages more than a decade out Swingin’ Steve’s under-appreciated book-closing run on Rom. Who could ask for more? Read more…

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Enter the 1979 Star Wars Super Stakes and maybe win things that have nothing to do with Star Wars!

November 24, 2014


Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just over a year away, and has mercifully shed the “Episode Umpteen” part of the title, which helped make the prequel trilogy feel even more rote than it already did. (Can we please go back to referring to the original Star Wars as Star Wars, and not that A New Hope crap?) The above sweepstakes ad harkens back to this simpler time: when the Lucasfilm merchandizing machine wasn’t of Death Star proportions, and Luke Skywalker still dressed like he was spending the day at a spa. Read more…

Sunday Stupid: Jacko sells Energizer batteries! Oi!

November 23, 2014

Energizer battery commercials are now synonymous with a pink rabbit with a bass drum and a cool set of shades, but it wasn’t always so. In fact, the immediate predecessor of the Energizer Bunny, who was knocked off the American airwaves by the coming of that unstoppable percussionist, was one of the more insane product pitchmen ever to blast out of a TV set. This post is in praise and remembrance of Jacko, an import from Down Under whose love of life shone though even when he was trying to get you to buy nothing more than a pack of D cells. Oi! Read more…

Wear Cheryl Ladd’s chest on your chest!

November 22, 2014


So whose cleavage would you rather have on the fabric that’s covering your cleavage? Cheryl Ladd? Suzanne Somers? The jutting, thrusting Dallas Cowboy(s) Cheerleaders? Or maybe just settle for KISS rocking your face off? (The common denominator of them all would seem to be their propensity for décolletage.) Read more…

Trading Card Set of the Week – American Gladiators (1991, Topps)

November 21, 2014


Never has anything so successfully combined the disparate elements of professional wrestling, the Roman Coliseum, basic training, Rube Goldberg contraptions and a McDonald’s Playland quite like American Gladiators. Granted nothing has ever wanted to, much less tried, but you can’t this away from that show’s bizarre, insane, and enjoyable-for-its-time effort. And thank goodness this TV artifact of the late-1980s/early-1990s has been memorialized not only in archived broadcasts, but in trading cards! Rejoice and make merry! Blow the trumpets! Let the (goofy) games begin! Read more…

Matt Mason may get to explore outer space, but he looks like a complete doofus while doing it

November 20, 2014


Is Matt Mason going to “CLIMB UP HERE AND…” or “CUMB UP HERE AND…”? Because there could very well be a big difference between the two. Read more…

Should your Beer Wagon/Dragon Wagon revels get out of control, the Paddy Wagon will be there!

November 19, 2014


We’ve already made the acquaintance of both the Beer Wagon and the more lyrically named Dragon Wagon. Add the Paddy Wagon to the Monogram madness. Read more…

Has a condemned Hal Jordan been sentenced to death by goofiness? – Green Lantern #55

November 18, 2014


Cover bait is a time-honored marketing tool in comic books. The core ethos of comic covers is quite simple: put your character in a startling/inescapable/preposterous situation, and compel the reader to buy the book — or risk a vendor’s wrath by reading it surreptitiously next to the spin rack. What we have above is about as pure an example as you can get: Hal Jordan, Green Lantern of Earth, branded as “Cosmic Enemy Number One!” and facing a firing squad of his alien colleagues. Plunk your dime and two pennies onto the store counter, child of the 1960s! Read more…

The 1974 CBS Saturday morning lineup was perhaps the most insane ever

November 17, 2014


It would seem that the further back in time you travel, the more eclectic Saturday morning cartoon lineups become. And the assemblage glimpsed above is as insane as they get. Socko Saturday indeed. Read more…

Sunday Stupid: The calmest cop ever gives the angriest motorist ever a ticket!

November 16, 2014

Warning: A torrent of foul language awaits in the above clip.

Over-aggressive police officers have been much in the news lately here in the U.S., as has a militarization of local constabularies that’s made them more paramilitary organizations than law enforcement agencies. It seems, right or wrong, like the image most have of the modern cop is that of a boot kicking the little guy right in the chops.

But don’t let it be said that there aren’t good policemen and policewomen out there who are models of restraint. There’s one in this clip (maybe), who calmly goes about his duties as the world’s most pissed off driver unfurls a string of profanity and crabbily complains about perceived harassment, the cost of insurance, the cost of postage, his illiteracy and national economic policy. Read more…

Captain America pitches Hostess Cup Cakes with fists and plays on words!

November 15, 2014


It’s fitting that Captain America should star in a Hostess ad, since he’s the only character with the metabolism that can burn off those empty calories. Read more…

Shamed by your slow reading?

November 14, 2014


Consider this an adjunct, codicil, tangent or what have you to the classic “Shamed By Your English?” comic book ad. Read more…

Trading Card Set of the Week – Batman Forever (1995, Fleer Ultra)

November 13, 2014


Jim Carrey is returning to his big screen comedic roots this weekend, as he and Jeff Daniels reprise their respective roles of Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne in Dumb & Dumber To. Carrey’s been at the top of the Hollywood pay flow chart since he rocketed to super-stardom back in the 1990s, hot on the heels of the original Dumber, Ace Ventura, The Mask, et al. But returning to an old role might signal something: that perhaps his career has cooled to the degree that going backwards and mining hits of yore makes a bit of career sense. Or maybe it was simply a nice payday and reuniting with the Farrellys for another comedy would be fun. Take your pick — no one is holding a bake sale for him either way.

There’s one 1990s role he probably won’t be returning to anytime soon, though. Hey, remember Batman Forever? Read more…

Mello Yello, the beverage that can make even Albert Einstein stupid!

November 12, 2014


It would seem that Mello Yello is trying to sell itself as the drink of choice for free spirits and iconoclasts, in part by purloining the famous picture of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue at a photographer. But the “Give your day the brain off!” copy makes it sound more like a drink for dumb people. Really dumb people. Read more…

Monogram might want to rethink giving old-timey cars to kids

November 11, 2014


Not to say that all model kits are aimed at kids, as it’s a hobby that people of all ages can enjoy (and rip their hair out over). But should Monogram have aimed car prizes at bell-bottomed 1970s teenagers? Read more…