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“Train animals, pets, probably a sibling or two!”

§ November 10th, 2010 § Filed under advertising § 7 Comments

1955 comic book ad


When I was but a young Mikester in the ’70s (the nineteen-seventies, wiseguy) (A.D.), there were a couple of neighborhood kids who had leather bullwhips as toys. Not sure why they had whips as toys, but we all had fun trying to get the end of the whip to crack “like the bang of a shot gun!” as it says in the ad, there. And here we were, in a quiet Southern California city, with really nothing else to do with a bullwhip except try to crack it or, of course, chase each other around trying to hit each other with it. How no one lost an eye is anyone’s guess.

Do kids still get whips as toys now? I mean, aside from kids who’d have regular access to whips anyway, like maybe those who live on farms or whose parents either train lions or provide specialty direct-to-DVD entertainments. I’d suspect bullwhip toys are the kind of thing that’s going the way of the candy cigarettes and the gray plastic spring-loaded cannon I used to have that shot freakin’ wooden bullets.

Anyway, that’s some seductive descriptive text in that ad. “Grip lightly (pressure is on the loop) then crack or coil, ladies.” Okay, silliness aside, whoever wrote this ad sure made it sound like owning a whip would be the greatest thing ever, with just a few choice evocative words, even if ultimately the only thing you did with it was scare the dog or annoy your friends.

“Hi! I’m a Rogue button!”

§ November 9th, 2010 § Filed under buttons, retailing § 11 Comments


“Hi, Rogue button!”

Sorry, this is all I have for today’s post. Actual content will resume tomorrow. …Boy, Rogue sure looked different back then. Found this button when we were doing a little cleaning up/emptying of storage areas around the shop…sold tons of these white-background X-Men buttons back in the early-to-mid 1980s.

Also found during the clean-up: an envelope containing $3 we owed to pal Cully for selling copies of his Skulldog Comics mini, $6 we owe to a guy for selling his mini-comic even though I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the guy in over a decade, a stack of Thieves World novels I was supposed to take home a long time ago, an ersatz Oscar statue prop left behind by a friend when he used our shop for a student film he was making, a love letter written to a former employee (sorry, Timmy, not you), some foil Pokemon stickers (none of them of the greatest Pokemon of all time), and the Peanuts comic that I scanned from for yesterday’s post.

I suspect if we continue cleaning out our cabinets, we’ll eventually find out what happened to former employee Nathan.

“I’ll be a hungry hobo.”

§ November 8th, 2010 § Filed under peanuts § 21 Comments

And then there was that time Charlie Brown put on a hat, a heavy coat, and a fake mustache and frightened his friends:


That was his revenge for being rejected by the other kids from “playing house” (not to mention getting him to his ultimate goal…a helping of now-unguarded ice cream and cake). Here is the elaborate role-playing scenario which he hoped would allow him to join the festivities:


Frankly, that’s a bit creepy. You’re your own worst enemy, Charlie Brown.

images from Peanuts #8 (Feb-Apr 1961)

The self-affirmation of the Doll Man.

§ November 7th, 2010 § Filed under golden age § 4 Comments


from Feature Comics #121 (April 1948)

Sluggo Saturday #79.

§ November 6th, 2010 § Filed under sluggo saturday § 8 Comments

ALWAYS CARRY A POLE

IN CASE THIS IMPULSE STRIKES

from The Best of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy (1988)

I don’t often wear my Tom Servo “I’M HUGE!” t-shirt for the same reason.

§ November 5th, 2010 § Filed under batman, sluggo, the eBay, this week's comics § 5 Comments

Another recently arrived purchase from the eBay: a companion Sluggo magnet for the one I received a few days ago:


This Sluggo is kinda sorta posed the same way as the Sluggo in the last Sluggo Saturday, only sans moustache.

• • •

Arrived at the store this week is an assortment of buttons called “DC Superheroes Have Issues,” and some of the buttons feature pics of superheroes and villains with captions identifying their particular problem and, perhaps, intended to comment on the wearer of said button. Like, Batman’s says “Needs Anger Management,” Flash’s is “Speed Freak” (er…), Dr. Fate’s is “Painfully Shy” (because of the full facemask, you see), and Joker’s is “Just Crazy,” which is pretty funny, actually.

The best one is probably this one:


And while this may be a problem of the Penguin’s (though perhaps overstating it a bit):


…that’s…um, well, what can you say, really. Apparently, expected demand for this button was low, as this was the only one in the box. Or maybe it’s a Rare Chase Retailer Incentive Embossed Foil Die Cut Cover – Death and Return of Captain America and Superman Autographed by Alex Ross and Buck Rogers and Silver Spoons Star Erin Gray Button! Starting Bid $129.99! L@@K! H@T! We Take PayPal!

…Er, sorry about that.

For some reason, I Googled “morbidly obese Penguin” and up came this page, and apparently the phrase is some kind of internet thing. Maybe. I guess. Who can tell?

• • •

Finally got around to reading some of this week’s comics, and regarding Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin #16…without getting into spoilers, let’s just say that they weren’t kidding about it being a “game-changer.” I mean, we knew where it was going, given the premise of Batman, Inc., but how it got from here to there is something else. Of course, my first reaction to reading it is “I wonder what they’re going to have to do when they eventually change everything back to the way it was” since, like any comic book character with this long an existence and with this much tie-in merchandise and other media translations, the inertia of its own history and reader/general public expectations always tends toward reverting these kinds of temporary fiddlings with the formulas. But, given the kind of change made, and the relative significance of the character, I suspect the transition back to the old status quo may be as traumatic as the change over to the new one…and I also suspect Morrison has said transition already built into place for when the time comes.

Oh, the comic was good, too.

Not the first mention of Crying Superman on my website.

§ November 4th, 2010 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot, superman, swamp thing § 12 Comments

So there was this question from a late ’70s installment of Bob Rozakis’ Answer Man column:


I was a bit amused by someone’s need to have this question answered. Then again, there was no easily-accessible public Internet at the time…how else were you gonna find out?

‘Course, we all know the answer now:


Why Superman even put up with Jimmy, I have no idea.

Oh, and don’t forget this:


Hey, hey…less crying, more flying, pal.

Anyway, the Answer Man column, for at least part of its run, was part of DC’s “Daily Planet” news/advertising page…this was the headline story of this particular installment:


Well, that’s nice. I’m sure those two crazy kids will make it work. See, Superman, there’s no reason to cry on this, the happiest of days!

• • •

In other news:

So I finally saw Superman / Batman: Apocalypse.

§ November 3rd, 2010 § Filed under movie reviews § 8 Comments


So there were a handful of shots in the new DVD Superman / Batman: Apocalypse where Batman is just standing there, cape wrapped around him, more tightly around the legs, looking like Morticia from the Addams Family. …Well, it amused me*.

Overall, the film was enjoyable, taking a mostly-unreadable multi-issue story from the Superman / Batman comic book series and translating it into a surprisingly entertaining action-packed hour and a quarter. Calling it Superman / Batman: Apocalypse is a bit misleading, as it’s more Superman / Batman / Wonder Woman / Supergirl: Apocalypse but I suppose that title would be a little more difficult to market.

Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and Susan Eisenberg reprise their roles as the DC Universe’s Big Three, and Summer Glau from Firefly and the Terminator TV series does a solid job as Supergirl. Nice to see appearances by Crisis on Infinite Earth‘s Harbinger, and (as pictured above) Krypto…I sort of wondered if younger viewers would be thrown off by the idea of a dog in a Superman cape, but I remembered that there was that Krypto animated series a while back, so the concept’s had some general audience play recently. Plus, it’s not like kids are going to question the idea of a super-powered pet dog for Superman, because, let’s face it, what kid wouldn’t love the idea of that?

Another treat was getting more animated action with Jack Kirby’s Fourth World creations…Darkseid, of course, but also the Female Furies, Big Barda, and Granny Goodness (voiced by Ed Asner, reprising the role from the animated Superman series, and never not weirdly hilarious). That there isn’t some kind of dedicated Fourth World animation project is a huge shame…all that stuff is made for cartoons.

I watched the Netflix rental version of this movie, so 1) I had to wait a month for it to clear the Warner Bros. one-month new movie embargo that Netflix has, and 2) I didn’t get any of the special features, including the new Green Arrow short, so that stuff will have to wait ’til I get the retail edition someday. (On Blu-Ray, since I recently purchased a new widescreen hi-def TV. Which means I’ll need to get a Blu-Ray player. …DARN YOU, ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY. Wasn’t my Betamax good enough? Wasn’t it?)

So, Superman / Batman: Apocalypse…one of the better direct-to-DVD animated releases from DC, I thought, and while it’d be nice if there were a follow-up full-length Supergirl adventure, I don’t know that we can realistically expect that (especially given producer Bruce Timm’s comments regarding sales on the Wonder Woman cartoon). Parents wanting to pick this up for their young’uns should note that there are a lot of spears and swords going through folks in this movie, and a use or two of some harsh language. But all your kids are playing the Grand Theft Autos and listening to the Insane Clown Posses, so it’s probably too late for them anyway.

And here are these, because I want all your monies:


Oh, this post probably contains some spoilers. Sorry about that.

* Because someone’s gonna bring it up…Carolyn Jones, who played Morticia in The Addams Family, also played Marsha, the Queen of Diamonds in the ’60s Batman TV show. So there’s your Morticia/Batman connection, aside from the one I made above.

The limited palette was an interesting artistic choice.

§ November 2nd, 2010 § Filed under scans § 10 Comments


Was the overwhelming use of brown somehow a comment on the drab existence of Beetle Bailey’s army camp life? A representation of the filth in which he was wallowing while cleaning the trashcans, leaving only the clean green caps upon his and Sarge’s heads? Perhaps it should be noted that the “clean” trashcans appear to be a lighter shade of brown than the dirty one Beetle is currently scrubbing. And why is the only use of red on top of one of the scrubbing brushes? A subtle symbol of past acts of violence perpetrated upon Beetle by Sarge?

…Or maybe this poor kid just had three crayons.

image from Beetle Bailey #106 (July 1974)

“I know no one THAT rude or THAT narrow-minded.”

§ November 1st, 2010 § Filed under letters of comment, wonder woman § 9 Comments

I’m not familiar enough with the Wonder Woman series to know how long this was the name of its letters column:


…but I do know this is an awesome letter o’complaint, printed in issue #209 (Dec ’73/Jan ’74):


And the response, from the above-cited Mr. Robert Kanigher:


I have to admit, I find myself intrigued by what may have been replaced by all the “(CENSORED)” edits. Like “no one, be they Amazon or human can (CENSORED).” Can what? “Can kiss their own elbows?” Not sure why that would be censored, unless of course it wasn’t “elbows.”

Anyway…awesome letter. Didn’t see stuff like that in the old letter columns too often. Pretty much par for the course now, in some corners of the nerdinet.

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