It’s likely the chance to annihilate fugly wood paneling that makes firing your BB gun inside kosher
We’ve seen ads touting indoor BB gun rifle ranges before, and they’ve always seemed odd, taking the “shoot your eye out” dangers of the non-lethal weapons and bringing them into the home. But the background in this ad seems to, at least in this instance, justify it. “It’s okay, son, if you’re wide of the mark. I never liked that crappy wood paneling anyway.”
Daisy BB guns: striking a blow for common sense home aesthetics everywhere.
Trading Card Set of the Week (Special Rob Liefeld Crosshatching Edition) – Youngblood (Comic Images, 1992)
There are times when a bad property and a bad brand come together to create something truly putrid, the exact opposite of, say, the first set Marvel Masterpieces. The 1992 Youngblood trading cards from Comic Images are just such a vortex of suck, somehow managing to take a person that loves comics and cards and turn them into a devout hater of both. You can add this to the indictment list for that beleaguered whipping boy of all things wrong with the late-20th century comics, Rob Liefeld. Another triumph! Read more…
Two things about this ad for the tiny, magnetic, underwhelming Triple-Flips board games: First, I think we might be seeing (or reading) a gay young man’s first tentative attempt at a homosexual pass in the first panel of the second row. He’s at camp, he’s with a friend who’s “out of this world,” he quickly retracts the awkward compliment — just saying. Nothing wrong with that, and I’m certainly not trying to impose slashfic paramaters on something that may or may not be there. Second, the Triple-Flips are a bit deceptive with their ad, in that they imply you can flip from alien invasions, shark attacks and wild west shenanigans in one package, yet the listing at the bottom (sorry for the rough scan quality) indicates that there are themes for each Triple-Flip. MISLEADING.
Someone call the Better Business Bureau of the 1980s. After inventing a time machine, of course.
Here’s an ad for an old box of men game that looks disturbingly like a Renaissance depiction of hell
The classic “box of men,” an assortment of miniature plastic soldiers frozen in various martial poses, is a fairly harmless (if militaristic) toy rite of male youth. But this ad certainly oversells the combat aspect of the game it hawks, making it look like a bloody, savage, chaotic mess, with people firing at faces at point-blank range and dead bodies littering the ground. Like war, yes, but a bit much compared to the usual, somewhat sanitized “bang, you’re dead” games of youth. It reminds one a bit of old paintings like this Heironymus Bosch-ish work, Christ in Limbo — all it lacks are a few naked sinners being flayed and dismembered:
You don’t see these around much. “Mighty Midget Comics” are relics of the Golden Age, that era’s forerunner of the Bronze Age’s fondly remembered digest format. Even more likely to be thrown out — or recycled in wartime paper drives — than their larger cousins, they have a certain rarity amongst collectors today. And, frankly, most don’t even know what the hell they are. I didn’t. Without the aid of Google, I never would have been able to track their listing down in the Overstreet Guide.
Sold two for a nickel (a nickel), they reprinted stories found in the regular-sized titles of their stars – and made no attempt to have a cohesive numbering system. This 1942 book, theoretically “#11,” isn’t the only book to be graced with those digits. Maybe this was because they were too small for anyone to give a damn. They’re slightly smaller than digests in all three dimensions, and they’re stapled once on the spine. Seventy years after their publication, they’re the very definition of fragile — like butterfly wings – but I did take a couple of scans from the inside, though. Don’t say I never do anything for anyone. (I was holding it on the scanner with all the delicacy of a TV character disarming a nuclear bomb.) Let’s get to those scans. Read more…
The copy in this ad certainly paints a grim picture, with Japanese kamikaze pilots condemned to die a fiery death for the doomed glory of their Empire. But hey, at least American kids got to build models of their Zeros, right? There’s that! It wasn’t all in vain!
Point this at your Doolittle Raider model and have yourself a gluey miniature air war.
I rewatched 2009′s Star Trek a few nights ago, to both go into Star Trek Into Darkness with a running start and see if my feelings about it still hold four years after its release. They do. It was and is a fun, energetic resuscitation of a flailing franchise, one that injected sex, color and, most importantly, youth into a body that was coding out on the table. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto stepped into iconography with aplomb, reigniting a bromance that could always transcend whiz-bang special effects. What man can watch Kirk and Spock’s glass-partitioned Wrath of Khan farewell and not tear up? That J.J. Abrams brought that back to the pop entertainment fore is a good deed that can’t be lightly cast aside.
Star Trek was a nitpickers smorgasbord, though, with problems big (Kirk, a cadet, is made Enterprise captain at movie’s end? Didn’t he once get demoted after Earth-saving derring-do?) and small (How did Nero know that Kirk’s father was on the Kelvin, so that he could taunt him with that fact while strangling him later? Should we really have to read a comic prequel to fully understand our villain’s motivation? Why has Orion slave girl makeup technology regressed in the last forty years? THE BRIDGE IS SO BRIGHT IT BURNS RETINAS.). Yes, it was fun, and deserved the boffo box office returns it got. But the good ship Enterprise had these assorted anchors, which kept her (new) maiden voyage from going where no Trek film had gone before. (It also left this viewer with this lingering sadness: A film like A Voyage Home, a Star Trek light comedy about saving whales of all things, will never get a greenlight in this movie climate. If the script doesn’t devolve into guns firing and people punching each other, than it need not apply.)
Perhaps the reboot’s greatest service was getting all our old familiar players in their familiar spots by the time the credits rolled, which meant that the next time — and of course there would be a next time — we would get the full-bore Kirk-Spock-McCoy-etc. adventure we really want, with everyone in the right color uniforms from beginning to end. Which is what Star Trek Into Darkness (a stupid title in desperate need of a colon) purports to be. A Star Trek in Full. Does it outrun the failings of its predecessor? Is it better? Worse? Read more…
There are times when our beloved comic books can cross-pollinate with other things, and in glorious synergy become more than the sum of their coupled parts. This Hercules comic is one of those times. Not so much because of anything to do with the Hercules character, who has had good and not so good comic iterations, or, indeed, anything intrinsic within the book itself. What makes it so special is that the Steve Reeves Hercules movie that it adapts was once featured on that classic trove of celluloid mocker, Mystery Science Theater 3000. And, for fans of that show who enjoy the world of sequential art, that makes it a minor treasure trove of delight. Read more…
While a “Beaverbear” seems like an odd choice to associate with caramels, we have to keep in mind that in India, smelly, filth-flinging monkeys are thought of as perfectly acceptable lollipop spokesmen, and their ads include lots of off-putting references to licking. Advantage Kraft.
The Cheerios Kid, with his outer space outfits and Cheerios-engorged biceps, is no stranger to this blog. The ersatz Death Star, however, is (it’s all about the equatorial belt). It’s like someone took the Ultimate Power in the Universe and filtered it through grape soda, LSD and disco.
I looked for pictures of the Explorer XIX satellite and found this giant one, which makes it look as if the Death Star had been in The Day the Earth Stood Still. I bet it would have been great fun on the beach, or in the bleachers at a ballgame on a sunny summer day. Wouldn’t want to be the one to inflate it, though.
Did Lucas like Cheerios? Was he reading comics in the mid-1960s? One wonders. (Well, not really.)
I saw a little blurb the other day about how there’s going to be a DC vs. Masters of the Universe mash-up crossover later this summer. I have no thoughts about that, other than the eventual product will probably be loud, stupid, and probably a teensy-weensy bit fun for those plopping down their cash to read it. Can’t say that I’ll be queued up on its release day to get my hand on a copy, but we can all wish those behind it the best. That little notice did trigger one thing in my head, though: it brought back fond memories of a another little crossover — though it wasn’t actually a crossover at the time, any more than Superman racing the Flash would have been a crossover.
DC Comics Presents #47 was the first He-Man comic book appearance (if you’re not counting the little, largely forgotten comics that came with the toys), a precursor to the insert story that was bound into the DC comics line later that year. It’s a little bit odd, in that the aesthetic and populace of Eternia, which would soon become familiar to a generation of boys thanks to the cartoon series, was still being fleshed out. As such, there’s a double-edged sword at play: You might not get an assemblage of the colorful characters that you love so much, but you also don’t get crap like the Meteorbs. Or Orko. Take the good with the bad, I guess. And, being an interesting relic, there’s more good than bad. Read more…
No offense to the fine people at Clearasil, but I found decades ago, during my relatively acne-free adolescence, that their products weren’t all that revolutionary. Certainly not potent enough to force my face into a strained Joker rictus grin. Maybe their greatest value is as some sort of placebo, providing a feeling that you’re at least doing something to prevent the zit craterization of your face. Like the epidermis equivalent of Tom Hanks firing his pistol at the tank at the end of Saving Private Ryan.
Apparently there were some unadvertised teeth-whitening side effects with your Clearasil DoubleClear pads. Knowledge for life.
I have no experience with Bayou Billy or his video game adventures, which seem to have a distinct urban-meets-outlands Crocodile Dundee vibe, with a healthy dose of Pole Position mixed in. Apparently it was a devilishly difficult game to conquer — again, no personal knowledge on that front. But his fightin’, drivin’, zappin’, and shootin’ monkeyshines, set in and around New Orleans, would seem tailor made for a modern reality show. Duck Dynasty crossed with Soldier of Fortune. Or something.
And you know what? There was a Bayou Billy comic book series. A whole SERIES. How about that, huh? Yet I still have no Twin Peaks or Magnum, P.I. comics to sate my old-timey thirst. Where’s the justice, you know?
Star Trek fandom takes a lot of abuse, most of it unwarranted, much of it understandable. The reason why William Shatner’s infamous “GET A LIFE!” SNL sketch stabbed at the heart of Trek nation was because its “colossal waste of time” indictment strayed a bit too close to the mark. This isn’t to say that it was right — that fans have turned something that Shatner “did as a lark for a few years, into a colossal waste of time.” Fandom knows no rationality, no one begrudges hobbies, and collecting memorabilia from a 1960s TV show that gained an unceasing foothold in the world’s pop consciousness seems just as valid a diversion as any. It ain’t worse than Beanie Babies, put it that way.
But man oh man, there’s a lot of Star Trek crap out there — emphasis on the “crap.” Chintzy, useless crap, reminiscent of those lame collector plates you’d always see advertised in TV Guide back in the day. In fact, now that I think of it, I think I saw some Star Trek plate ads back then, too. (Who displays those things in their home? Does Miss Havisham live there? With Leatherface?)
You can probably lump this set of trading cards in with the chintzy mountain of crap. Read more…
Hayley Mills, a Siamese, Frank Gorshin and that gravelly-voiced guy from Laredo. BE THERE. – Walt Disney’s That Darn Cat
Every generation has its teen idols, personified fads that make sense to adolescents at the time but mystify adults — and the adolescents when they themselves reach adulthood. Now we seem to be entering into the final stage of Justin Bieber’s apotheosis, as the screaming girls and trademark scents at the Macy’s perfume counter morph into gas masks, random hospitalizations and monkeys held at customs. Have teen idols become weirder as the media landscape has fractured and metastasized? The Biebs would argue yes.
All this is fodder for another day and another place. But today we have before us a comic adaptation of a film starring a 1960s child actor, a precursor of the modern teen idol archetype. Behold, Hayley “Parent Trap” Mills, and her celluloid masterpiece known as That Darn Cat!. Read more…