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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Make Your Own Watchmen Collectibles!

Assuming you like Watchmen, keep an eye out for the good ol' Smiley Face as you shop your neighborhood thrift stores. With a little luck and some judiciously applied red model paint, you can amaze your friends with your exclusive Watchmen merchandise, not available in any store!











How about a Watchmen tissue box?


Or a Watchmen coffee mug? (The phone jack was necessary to balance the mug on the scanner.)

Let me know what YOU can invent?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All I Want for Christmas Is a Superman Movie Viewer!






Once again thanks to Mike at Bartlesville's Time Warp Comics, here's an unopened Superman Movie Viewer.
The art on the front is adapted from the (Curt Swan) Aurora Superman model kit.
The Superman art on the back looks to be a Kurt Schaffenberger Supes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Compare and Contrast!


While reading a fine old comic, Action 288, I was struck by the final panel in the title story, "The Man Who Exposed Superman!" There's a fine drawing by Curt Swan showing Clark Kent, with Krypto, standing in front of the abandoned Kent home in Smallville.



Something about their stance struck a chord in my memory, and soon I was able to place where I'd seen that image before -- on the cover of the 9/11 comic, volume 1.
Anyway, that's what's roaming about the little grey cells this evening.
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another Reason to Hate Doctor Light

(Apologies in advance for the partial display of the images here in the blog. The links into photobucket will show the whole image. I'm still learning, folks! Thanks for your patience.)
















































I picked up this little gem Saturday from my friend Mike at Time Warp Comics in Bartlesville, OK (my home town).


































Here's what My Comic Shop.com (https://www.mycomicshop.com/) has to say about "The Secret of the Sinister Lighthouse":


































Part of series Mini Comic Sugar Crisp Super Heroes "The Secret of the Sinister Lighthouse" features Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman in a 16-page, full color mini comic (4-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches). The Super Friends must unite against the illuminating villainy of Dr. Light. Published in 1980 as a cereal box giveaway item from Post Cereals. No cover price.


































Read for yourself!

















Sunday, December 07, 2008

Farewell to Uncle Forry


Fangs for the memories:
Of Frankenstein and Drac,
Of Wolf Man and his pack,
The punning binge that made Moms cringe
But kept kids coming back;
We thank you so much!

Fangs for the memories:
The spider scene in Kong,
Senior and Junior Lon,
The Joie de vivre each kid received
Which told us we belonged;
We thank you so much!


Here's a 1x1-inch sketch of Forrest J Ackerman, scanned from Famous Monsters of Filmland #104, January, 1974, and played with a little.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

No Hair Gel on the Wig, Please!

In Action 273, cover-dated February 1961, DC had Supergirl artist Jim Mooney propose several "newer" hairstyles for Linda Lee. It seems readers were complaining about those brunette pigtails.
As I recall, the (maybe fixed) poll gave Linda the "Campus Cuddle-Bun" style. Frankly, though I don't care much for Streaky the Super-Cat, Streaky the Super-Haircut I DO like!
What do YOU think?
Here's the link to the photo, since BlogSpot seems to not like to show it directly upon clicking:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Not Available (any more) in Any Store!

To help with your Super Christmas shopping, here's an ad from about 50 years ago. *sigh* If only we had that proverbial time machine to buy all this neat stuff.


No, not so I could sell it as MINT IN BOX nowadays, either!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Just Checking In

Here's a Christmas image to say "Howdy" to all my Super-Pals while I am at work today.

John A Brown was a local Oklahoma Department store.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hitting the "Mute" Button



In UFO/Unsolved Mysteries circles, "mute" isn't a button on yout TV remote. It's short for "mutilation" of livestock or other animals.


Since the 1960s or before, folks have been finding their free-roving animals -- livestock, dogs in the backyard, horses -- dead and cut up, sometimes with parts removed.

Sometimes investigations point to predators. Other times, cellular damage and other findings indicate a technological cause.
Once in a while, lights in the sky or other activity hs been noted where animals are later discovered. Occasionally, an animal has been found with its legs broken in a way only possible if it were dropped from a height.
The whole cultural "meme" of black helicopters spying on you came from the cattle mutilation tales.
Now, explanations have run from from them ol' little green men, to government experiments. The aliens want to modify animal flesh as part of their plans to create an alien-human hybrid. With these views, you'll often hear that pig DNA is nearly identical to human DNA, etc.
The government side of the theory bank usually takes the view that the US government (or parts thereof) are taking samples from randomly "free-range" critters to test for radiation poisoning or some such. One of the latest offshoots proposes that the animal parts taken are analyzed for the presence of prions, the chief indicator of Mad Cow Disease, BSE (Bovine Spongiform Enchephalitis).
All I know is, when I read about such things I get hungry for a hamburger!

Monday, November 17, 2008

That Connivin' Lois!






















Take a gander at the cover of Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #59, dated August 1965. Given Smallville's latest few angles, this cover scene may well take place on the CW in a couple of weeks!
















But look in the lower right-hand corner for the Extra! In another Let's-Make-Lois-Crazy story (we all know she DESERVES IT), Superman and Batman get together to put another knot in the tail of that lil' ol' curious kitty named Lois Lane.




Check out the fine Curt Swan art. Note how Bruce (Batman) Wayne has a squarer jaw than Clark (Superman) Kent. Also see how Swan's renderings of Lois are less cartoonish and more true-to-life than the Schaffenberger art on the cover.



It starts out innocently (!) enough. Superman, on an outer-space mission, gives Batman an anti-gravity belt and asks the Caped Crusader to don a DIFFERENT cape (and a Superman face mask) to keep an eye on Lois. So Batman-playing-Superman rescues Lois, as shown in the story's Splash Page.


Bruce doesn't know that Lois revived quickly enough to ID him as Gotham's favorite playboy. Get a load of her gloating daydream, figuring out how to wrap Bruce-Superman around her little wedding-ring finger.


Soon Lois's plan works! Bruce falls in love with her, while Lois reads his every action as confirmation of his super-powers. As you can read in page 8 of the story, Lois just HAS to brag to her sister Lucy about her plot. And, just returned from outer space, a nosy Super-Someone with super-hearing happens to be eavesdropping, and decides on a little twist to Lois's plot.



Just think! if only Lois could have kept her yap shut, she might have found herself Mrs. Bruce (Batman) Wayne. Not too much of a disappointment, you think?

Just wait until the Best Man flies in!


So, on page 9 of the tale, we see Lois break it off while Bruce bravely tries to carry on with a broken *sniff* heart. Now, while the last panel may sound cruel and full of male asininity, think over Lois's behavior in this story.









Lois has plotted and schemed and dissembled, all because she (mistakenly) thought she was going, through trickery, to marry Superman in his Secret Identity. At least, judging by THIS story, she DID deserve to have a knot jerked in her (pretty little) tail, don't you agree?


Thursday, November 13, 2008

CBS -- Tool of the "Magic" Industry

Anyway, that's my opinion after watching last week's episode of Numbers on CBS -- the episode with the disappearing magicianette reappearing as a corpse after the always-dangerous, sometimes fatal "girl-in-the-water-tank" trick.

Now, maybe this is just me. But as soon as I saw the "trick" with the girl in the tank, surrounded by water, and the aforementioned water filled with swirly orange-gold confetti leaves, I said to myself, "Umm, nope. Tchh -- uh-uh!" (Apologies to the Vancombe Lady.)

Have you seen one of those "aquarium spinning lights" you can buy at flea markets and other places? Where the fish spin one way and the background turns in the other direction? Tell me honestly, did you really believe that there was water flowing around the light bulb in the center?

No, you just have a couple of transparencies of plastic spinning in opposite directions.

In the Numbers episode, all that folderol about how strong the glass would have to be to hold "x" amount of water, and the power of the pumps to feed it into the tank -- what a bunch of specious nonsense.

I figure that the gal stands inside a dry central tube, with a fan below the grid she stands on, the fan gently wafting her hair in waterlike fashion.

Between the outer wall of the gal's tube, and the inner wall of the ouside, there is a few inches (the least space, the better for water pressure) of hollow space where water and golden papery leaves are pumped. There's plenty of visual distortion to blur the image of the (dry) woman within.

I think the Nefarious Magician's Union for Keeping People in the Dark must have paid off CBS big-time to get the network to play along with the whole stupid idea of filling the tub with water.

Yeah, don't start about Houdini -- this trick on Numbers was NOT about the gal holding her breath, it was just about vanishing and comong back again. A soaking-wet, reappearing magicianette is probably NOT on the bill.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

"Pandora's Bride" Book Review


Every few years, Universal Studios comes out with some officiated product, which not only helps keep the monsters as "properties" active, it also slakes the thirst of us fans.


The last couple of years have seen a novel each about the big four or five -- Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Mummy, Big Frankie, and this one, The Bride of Frankenstein: Pandora's Bride, by Elizabeth Hand. All are published by Dark Horse Press.


What's good: the idea of the female creature, who takes the name Pandora, learning about the world and making allies and enemies. The idea of interaction with other fictional people -- people from other fictions, I mean. The idea of her again meeting the Monster and becoming friends (he can grow and learn, too).


What's bad: The choice of good guys and bad guys. In this tale, Dr Pretorius is like a New Ager's idea of God -- he's charming, whimsical, well-wishing, and powerless, except to create imperfect beings who outgrow him.


In this tale, Henry Frankenstein isn't the pathetic, neurotic genius seen in the films -- a man torn by self-doubt. No, he's an evil, endlessly rich fanatical genius who desires to enslave all women as domestic robots, because (in Hand's view), THAT'S WHAT MEN WANT.


This either says a lot about misanthropy on Hand's part, or tells us Too Much Information about her formative years.


Then we find out that Henry Frankenstein, that mean ol' slimy devil, isn't even the REAL Mad Genius behind it all.


No, the ultimate villain is a character so marginal that in the two films (Frankenstein and Bride ) they were played by two different performers!


What's fun anyway: Mixing it up with characters from M , Metropolis, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari , and other fictions. Somebody tell me, who are Wykstan and Christopher? Are any of the night-club types characters from Caberet?


This book is set in Germany, between WWI and WWII. Another book in the series featuring the male Monster, Frankenstein: The Shadow of Frankenstein by Stefan Petrucha, also includes Baron Frankenstein and his creation, but is set in the 1880s. Chronology impairment much?


This tells us that the editors of this series couldn't care less about any internal whatchamacallit, they just wanted to sell some books to fanboys.


Oops! I bought one.


Anyway, if you are a Psycho Nut Completist like me, or merely somebody who believes that a "Y" chromosome denotes evil, feel free to read this book.

Friday, October 31, 2008

It's a Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


Well, as a part of longstanding (personal) tradition, I finished reading Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes around 10PM last night.


Re-reading, actually. This might be something like the twentieth time. Shivers, hopes, evil, victory over the emptiness of Emptiness, all wrapped around friendship and Father-Son appreciation. I love it!


A few years ago, I lost (temporarily) my 1st paperback printing of this great book, so I bought a newer printing. Then, I was thankful to re-discover the original. I've gone back and forth between copies. This year I read the newer one, a 1998 Avon printing.


Also, for the first time, I took a good hard gander at the (small) cover art. Only about 2 x 2 1/2 inches, its intricacies had escaped me. Here's a blown-up scan.


While the picture doesn't recreate the specifics of the carousel scene at book's end, it's still pretty darn good, to quote Sir Paul. Brr!


Enjoy your transition, this midnight, from Halloween to All Saint's Day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This Is Halloween (again)


Here is another Hostess Monster Pack cakes mask. Carry a metal lunchbox and weart a five-pound bag of sugar on each foot to get the walk correctly.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This Is a Halloween Book Review


No Fun, Just Over-Analytical Page Use
This book -- obviously a textbook -- is kind of like what they say about "effective" sermons -- first you tell your audience what you're going to say; then you say it; then you tell the audience what you told them.
Similarly, in the first pages Prof Picart uses Koestler and other buzz-type words to come up with "shadows" of feminine characteristics in some horror film/comedies. Then she does the good ol' categorization of such women and first-shadow, second-shadow, third-shadow, or -- wow, what fun! -- aspects of more than one shadow of femininity.
In the same tedious way, we have analyses of male characters as being in protector roles, or mad-scientist roles, and so on.
Then Prof Picart sums up and tells us what she told us.
Now, this might be great stuff to use as a basis for impressing people. But as far as teaching something or to *gasp* entertainingly informing somebody, this book is as dry as Ray Bradbury's Dust Witch.
After reading this book and being properly impressed with the author's scholarship (but unimpressed as to the author's capability to enjoy what she analyzes), I still must have missed the part where she explains why these films -- Young Frankenstein, Rocky Horror Picture Show; the Terminator and Alien franchises; and others -- are worth such exhaustive analysis?
My take:
Things should be examined, NOT because it's a course requirement, but because the things (films where horror also has a comedic element) are worthwhile expressions of the human artistic impulse. Monsters are an undeniable fascination. There's an undeniable attraction to the idea of graveyard humor in an attempt to "get a handle" on the intimations of mortality presented by the graveyard gang. Therefore, why not look at a few treatments of the combination of both?
Leave out the tired male/female categorizations. Why can't people just be people? Sometimes a Mad Scientist is "just a cigar"!
I've read involving books, and interesting textbooks, about film and fantasy media. But this book needs a pie in the face. Lighten up!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Is More Halloween


Hey Kids!


Get your Mom or Dad to print this picture and cut out the mask. You too can appear to be the top half of a Munsters character!

Monday, October 27, 2008

This Is Halloween (a bit more)


About a decade ago Hostess had Monster Cakes for Halloween, with special Munsters-related packaging. Here's how the front of the box looked.

Friday, October 24, 2008

External links for USNW

Here are Photobucket links for the individual pages of the 1973 US News & World Report about some of our American soldiers' battles against their foes.

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR01.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNW02.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR03.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR04.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR05.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR06.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR07.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR08.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR09.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR10.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR11.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR12.jpg

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo152/MarkAAlfred/USNWR13.jpg

Thanks, and back to Halloween on Monday!

This Is Halloween! (a bit)


Here is the cover of a 1991 official "Universal Monsters" coloring book.


This was before the finalization of the stars' heirs' legal tangles over the images of their parents, etc, in character makeup. That's why the paid-by-the-cover artist was doubtless directed to make sure that the characters don't identifiably match up with any of the actor(s) who may have played the various characters.


Get ready for the fun and thrills of Halloween!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Back Side


Welcome to Photobucket?



Well, here are some 1990s Superman valentines.




This is my first attempt to join the good ol' third-party-hosting bandwagon. Here goes!
Thanks, and see you again soon.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Last Part of the Article



I am thankful for this contribution to our country.

"Some Contribution to His Country," Part the next-to the Last


Here is the rest of the US News & World Report article from 1973, in separate posts due to a graphics error.
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copyright
© by Mark Alfred