Thursday, December 03, 2020

December's Calendar Pages

Once more, the recurrence of 2020-2021's calendar dates matching 1970-71 allows you to print these 50-year-old pages and use them for this year!

Here's hoping you have as much fun as these scrawny little people.  But wear more clothes!

See you on Monday.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Lost in the Mists of Time and Space

Well, I came across this manic consumer parable in the 9th grade, as provided by American Lit teacher Ruth White, around Christmas, 1971.
Evidently, like a lot of Xerox lore, its authorship is uncertain.  Do you know who wrote it?

See you on Thursday!  Don't be a funny mother!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Chip off the Old Book

Anybody who knows anything knows that my mom, Mary Lou, loved books. She loved ’em even more than I do. She read books the way some folks plow through potato chips. And, thank Heaven, she passed on that bibliophilia to me.

More than that, beginning in junior high I kept a log of every book I read. If it’s a book I owned, my practice has been to write the date(s) of reading on some bookmark, which stayed with the book.

For example (above), I’ve read The Hobbit twelve times, finishing on the dates seen above. The first four times was a copy which was part of the Ballantine paperbacks set.
This set I lent to a friend who never returned it. No, I’m not mad at him!
In contrast, I’ve read Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes a whopping 28 times.
The above image typifies my habit of using a book’s receipt as its bookmark.

If you squint and cross your eyes, you can almost read the book title on the receipt. Some blog posts about this monumental parable:

(Can you tell I love that book?)

Back to the sainted Mary Lou the bookworm ...

One of the mostest bittersweet things you can imagine was going through her books when she left them behind. Some I donated, some I sold and then donated the money, and some I kept.

One of those was Nick Meyer’s third Sherlock Holmes pastiche, The Canary Trainer. Now, Mom died in 2010—but I only got around to reading The Canary Trainer in January, 2020. 

Mom bought the book in 1994, according to her bookplate. But see? see? SEE?

Mom logged the dates she read the book! Something I have always done! And I never knew she did this. She never knew that I did it.

Goes to show you, great bookworms think alike!

See you on Monday, friends!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Book Review: "The First Star Trek Movie: Bringing the Franchise to the Big Screen, 1969-1980" -- by Sherilyn Connelly

            Connelly does a first-rate job of presenting the fruits of her research.  She sifted through tons of newspaper articles and other media.  She did a lot of work at the Margaret Herrick Library.

            That’s good.  What just about ruined the book for me was Connelly’s authorly intrusions.  I came across one online mention of this book as “scholarly.”  Not completely.  In my English major’s opinion, “scholarly” does not include snark, much less not-cute-but-trying-to-be plugs for another of the author’s works.

            EXAMPLES of author intrusion ...

  • ·         page 62, referring to the probably terrible Roddenberry film Pretty Maids All in a Row: “like most Vadim films it was rather vile”
  • ·         page 65 contains a seven-lines-long plug for a previous Connelly book evidently about My Little Pony fandom
  • ·         another self-aggrandizement on page 87 takes up “only” three lines of text
  • ·         page 92 contains a whole paragraph of how the intrusive author likes Susan Sackett for giving the intrusive author something to ramble on about, intrusively
  • ·         page 131, “I again recommend my book ...”
  • ·         page 160, another intrusion to plug it
  • ·         page 171 – I submit that nobody cares when, or how often, the author saw Apocalypse Now

             My problem is this stuff has no place in a “scholarly” book.  Connelly did tons of research to make this short book a gold standard of reference about the road to Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  It really hurts my brain to trip over a smelly pile of authorial self-plugging or an unhip “for reals” (inserted in a comment about Nimoy) comment in the middle of otherwise right-on narrative about my favorite franchise.

            I would be remiss in my typical book-reviewing nitpickiness without pointing out some actual errors:

  • ·         On pages 65, 66, 93, 124, and 199 (note 27) Connelly misspells the last name of Trek designer Matt Jefferies as “Jeffries.”  What makes it really grating is that on page 130, she gets his name RIGHT!
  • ·         On page 65 and frequently thereafter, she describes the Franz Joseph Star Trek Blueprints as “fanon”—that is, add-on fannish inventions which are taken as authorized by other fans, but aren’t really “official.”  What’s wrong about that statement?  The drawings by Franz Joseph Schnaubelt began as “fan canon”—until Schnaubelt mailed them to Roddenberry.  The Great Bird of the Galaxy went ga-ga, and in 1973 the “Franz Joseph” drawings were published by Ballantine and licensed by Paramount.  That MAKES THEM OFFICIAL.  You can read about this here:
  • ·         Page 105 discusses an unfilmed story for “Star Trek Phase II” by Worley Thorne.  The title is given as “Are Unheard Memories Sweet?” but the actual title for this creepy tale is “Are Unheard Melodies Sweet?”
  •             And don’t forget her wish to sell hot chocolate to bleary-eyed STTMP line-waiters, if she only had a time machine—but “the first I’d do would be to kill baby Hitler ...” (page 156).  What the heck does either part of this comment have to do with otherwise fine reporting?

            This is what I don’t get:  Why would anybody dilute a really stunning assembly of research by sticking in a bunch of sucky attempts at snark and/or humor?  

            By the way, other people think that the book (and Connelly’s writing style) are simply marvy—Psychobabble, for one.

            Go ahead and decide for yourself, if you are prepared for a simpering authorial tone which clashes with an otherwise serious treatment of history.

See you on Thursday!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Superman and JFK

It only made sense for DC's hottest super-star, the Man of Steel, to find common ground with the real-life American super-star president, JFK.  Such a cross-promotion could only help each side!

However, the disaffected folks in positions of power in the US government proceeded with murdering the President on their own pace.

This article's from Amazing Heroes #184, October 1990, by fan Mary Smith.

And here is a blurry photo of my copies of these two issues.
A few years ago, the OKC library system allowed me to fill a display case with some of my super-stuff.  One of the comics I showed off was Action #309.  I supplied this typed caption:
See you again on Monday, everybody!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Super Clothes #7: Sears Has Everything! (except stores)

The kid clothes and PJs in this installment all came from Sears.

This long-sleeved flannel-type boy’s outfit is size 10. In a stunning piece of allegorical art, Superman appears to be flying out of an upside-down ice-cream cone in outer space. And he’s carrying a tumbleweed which is on fire!
This boffo robe has all your favorites! That’s assuming your favorites are Superman, Captain Marvel, or Batman, of course.

This more understated robe is labeled size 12-14. But, as modeled by six-year-old Araya Sunshine, that sizing is probably not accurate.

Well, that’s all the sartorial super-splendor for now, friends! See you next time!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

I'm a Marxist, Number 2!

Yes, Grouch Marx remains my patron saint.  Here are some clippings about him and his clan:
The above clipping is from the March 28, 1969 issue of Time.
The book mentioned above, The Marx Bros Scrapbook, is indeed filled with irrepressible reminiscences from Groucho, in the form of long-term quotations/interviews with Richard J Anobile.  Let the SOBs fall where they may, I say!

This January 2, 1977 spread from Family Weekly offers nostalgic balm for all.  Don't ask me where the missing part of the first page went.  The best guess is that it was a photo of the four Marx Bros, and that I cut it out to use as a videotape-case label for home-dubbed Marx movies.

See you next Monday, fellow Marxists!

Monday, November 09, 2020

Lois Lane, the First Lady of Comics!

Here's a headstrong, willful heroine we can all vote for!  This article is from the August 1, 1985 issue of the late, lamented Amazing Heroes.

Now dig up the issues mentioned from your bac-issue boxes and reread them!  See you on Thursday!

Thursday, November 05, 2020

November's PSYCHOFlairapy Calendar Pages

Only a few days late, here's the art header and the calendar page from 1970/2020:

You can print out the art page and finish coloring yourself!

See you on Monday, my fellow Americans!

Monday, November 02, 2020

Two Views of Sergeant Pepper

Below, the Newsweek of January 1, 1968 compares Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to the comparably garish Their Satanic Majesties Request by the Rolling Stones.
Am I evil to admit that I've never heard the Stones' album?  Probably.
And the above is a typical mock-the-teenybopper cartoon from Look's May 14, 1968 issue.  You'll notice that they conveniently added a tagline under the cartoonist's name!

See you on Thursday, friends!  Hope your Halloween was safe and happy!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Two-Faced Halloween of 1968

            On Halloween, 1968, I was twelve years old—almost too old for trick-or-treating.  It was a Thursday night.  And this year I did a sneaky thing, something I’m not proud of now.  But it seemed cool at the time.

            Somehow, this year, I had access to two Halloween costumes.  Don’t ask me what the outfits were—but we can say with certainty that both involved masks.

            After darkness fell, I made the neighborhood trick-or-treat rounds and stocked up on candy.  Then I came home, changed into the other costume, and went out again, to the same houses.

             I remember this caper of shame for two reasons.  At one house the lady said, “Haven’t you already been here tonight?”  How did she know?  I was dressed completely different, including a mask over my face!   But when she said that, friends, I felt about this tall.  I wasn’t raised to be a cheater, but here I was—acting like one.

             Memory number two of this night:  When I wandered home, Mom and Dad were watching Raymond Burr in Ironside.  A vague ancillary memory recalls part of the episode taking place on what I recall as a surrealistic TV stage or play set, surrounded by darkness.

            And that’s how I was able to pin down the date for this memory!  “I, the People,” from Season Two of Ironside, is the only episode of that show’s run to air on a Halloween night.  The date was Thursday, October 31, 1968.

          And, as you can see from the first and following images, much of the show does indeed take place on a TV stage.  The story involves a populist, controversial talk-show host (played by Milton Berle) who receives death threats.

            So, you can see that my memory was pretty accurate!

 Happy Halloween memories!

  See you on Monday!


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Munsters Sink Slowly into the West ...

There three pages are the last images from the Munsters coloring book for this year.

I think Marilyn should have said, "It's a dummy, dummy!"  By the way, do you suppose that the label "toxic leaves" was somebody's attempt to remember the term "tana leaves"?

See you back here at the end of the week.  Not on Friday, but on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31st ... Halloween ... with a special reminiscence of a certain shameful Halloween ...

Monday, October 26, 2020

Scary Books, Kiddies! Dracula: Asylum

Scary Books, Kiddies!

Dracula: Asylum. By Paul Witcover. DH Press, 2006. Cover painting by Stephen Youll.

Well, the 2001 Dracula reboot by Christopher Schildt must not have sold, because five years later we’ve got another licensed paperback, re-re-reintroducing the Universal baddie to another flash-fired (or flash-fried?) generation.

This Dracula is an intentional lord of evil, brought back to life from the ruins of Carfax Abbey, ignoring the occurrences depicted in the film Dracula’s Daughter (and all the rest!). It’s set around WWI.

And we have characters named Renfield (nicknamed “Renny”) and Mina, too! Maybe you can figure it out, it’s beyond me.

Hand me that stake, Watson!

See you on Wednesday for more Halloween havoc!

Friday, October 23, 2020

In 1977, Reader's Digest Plugged the Crappy King Kong

The 1977 King Kong not only had crummy effects, even at its release, the acting from Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, etc, was cringeworthy.

The final lines quoting the bigshot producer syas it all with its dismissive, imperceptive tone.  What a clown!
You may find Monday's offering more exciting.  Check back and see.  It's the final week of BLOG-O-WEEN!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

TV Guide Wraps Up DARK SHADOWS' Dangling Storylines!

In October 1971, after Dark Shadows' cancellation, a wag at TV Guide put his tongue in cheek and came up with his own "what happened next" for the storylines and characters.

It's from the October 9, 1971 TV Guide.

See you on Friday!

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© by Mark Alfred