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Lane Mastodon? – Infocomics

August 31, 2010

I see this advertisement crop up on occasion in books from the late 80’s. I wondered what these “Infocomics” were, so I did a little internet research. They were sort of a primitive version of todays webcomics but with a little twist. Here you could switch perspectives between characters as you were reading the story, so it could branch and merge in a lot of different ways. I guess there was an element of those old “Choose Your Adventure” books in these. An interesting if short-lived idea — I’m not sure if I would have been all that enthusiastic about such a thing back in the day, though I did have a clunky Apple IIgs that was the height of computer gaming technology for its time. I prefer my comics on flimsy paper, thank you very much.

I gather that Mr. Mastodon was a bit of a Flash Gordon spoof. He had a great name, that’s for sure. And I appreciate the $12 “cover price”:

One final note — I noticed the name of “Tom Snyder Productions” as having a hand in the development of this series of computer comics. No, not the Tom Snyder who used to host that program after The Late Show with David Letterman that could put even the most resolute insomniacs into a deep slumber. This Tom Snyder would go on years later to produce one of my favorite cartoon series of all time, the hilarious Dr. Katz. Small world.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2010 10:39 am


    I still prefer my comics on flimsy paper : ) Sadly, I fear we may be coming to the end of that era. Who knew Lane Mastodon was a herald of doom?


  2. September 1, 2010 11:09 am

    There was a brief period of adaptation, but now I don’t give two snaps concerning the end of paper comics. Anyone who loves the boxes and boxes of pretty paper either hasn’t moved very often or is rich enough to hire minions to lift all those things (and is moving to a house with the capacity to store the things).

    In earlier years, I’d be forced by circumstances (or loved ones) to pare down my collection. A traumatic weeding out of secondary titles and issues. Now, each whir of the scanner across the glass means less clutter in my life without any “I used to have that comic…”

    Also, comics have gotten incrementally smaller as the years have made my eyes get weaker. Being able to adjust the image on a screen to comfortable viewing is wonderful. (Especially when some wingnut “artist” thinks yellow text on kelly green is legible)

  3. September 2, 2010 1:52 pm

    Perhaps digitized comics are the wave of the future, and Blaze, you make good arguments for why paper books are a hassle. But my eyes are still good and my back is still strong enough to handle any potential moves. A big part of comics is buying the things — there are dealers that I like to see and talk to, and that would be one of the big casualties of downloads.

    Though I do have the fine folks that come and read this blog. For that I’m eternally thankful.

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