Wow, 1966 really was a great year to be a boy who still got toys, wasn't it? Too bad that I would've only been four when this Sears Wish Book came out, just a bit too young for stuff like this super cool rocket! Then again, since the capsule shoots into the air, maybe it's just as well... I can imagine the dents in the ceiling it would've made!
As you no doubt know, I'm a big Bullwinkle fan... in fact, sitting over on my scanner (just because that's where there's room) is another DVD set of Bullwinkle cartoons from my local library that I'm not sure when I'll get to watching them...
Wow, what a convoluted sentence.
Anyway... I hope you enjoy the cover, as off-model as it might be (especially Sherman's hair color)! But seriously, just how freakin' big is Rocky supposed to be on this cover, anyway? He's nearly the same size as his Macy's Parade Balloon!
...that Saturday and Sunday, March 31 and April 1, I'll be attending the Emerald City Comic-Con at the Qwest Event Center, and on Saturday at 2:00 (unless I'm misremembering the time) I'll be hosting the Fan/Pro Trivia Contest!
I hope that any of you who are in the area and will be attending will say hi! Jessi, as well as my brother Jeff and his wife Kristi, will be joining me on Saturday, but I'm flying solo on Sunday... so if any of you want to plan to meet somewhere at the convention Sunday to just shoot the bull, talk comics, or whatever... let me know!
I'll be checking my email (briefly) in the morning before leaving, as well as each evening when I get back, and I'll try (but no promises) to do posts Saturday and Sunday night here, too!
So I hear from Andy Mangels that the next round of transcription work is making its way to me... starting with a couple of MP3 files for me to download.
Now, I don't want to sound whiny, but I can't imagine trying to switch back and forth between MS Word and iTunes in order to do the transcription right from the MP3... so I'm going to (hopefully) copy that MP3 to a cassette tape (by playing it with the speakers near the built-in mike of my transcription machine) so I can do the transcription from there (where I at least have a foot pedal).
Unfortunately, it seems that allergies have hit me bigtime today (it's been starting for the past few days), so there's no way I'll even start on it tonight... I just hope the Claritin I started taking today kicks in by Saturday, for Emerald City Comic-Con!
Item! As I write this, the Emerald City Comic-Con is just a few days away! My brother Jeff and his wife Kristi will be joining Jessi and I there on Saturday, and also as I write this, I still need to do a few more props for the trivia contest, if I have the time.
Item! After all the trouble with Home Depot and the LG washer and dryer set that weren't delivered on Monday as promised, my mother has decided... to buy the exact same LG washer and dryer set from Home Depot -- just a different location. The sales person she talked to at Couch's never called her back, and of course, the local place I wanted to support never had a chance so long as they didn't have 12 months zero interest financing available. Now they're going to be arriving on April 4th (which, I believe, is the same day we're having an in-home meeting with our licensor for adoption).
Item! Thanks to the library, I spent this evening at work (while working) listening to some Old-Time Radio... namely, about four or five Bob Hope radio shows. Bob was a pretty funny guy in his radio days, and if your only exposure to him were his last 15+ years of tv specials, check out some cassettes or CDs of his radio work.
Item! I'm tired, and I need to get up early tomorrow morning so I can take our dirty clothes to the laundromat and get them washed and dried and folded before going to work, so that's it for tonight!
So here's some accessories for Moon McDare from the 1966 Sears Wish Book.
Now, ordinarily, I'm in favor of dogs for action figures... although outside of Krypto (who was an accessory for the Captain Action Superman and Superboy outfits, and of course he was included with the Superboy/Supergirl two-pack from DC Direct, along with Streaky), I can't think of any other action figures that even had a dog accessory!
But I could be way off here... Then again, I'm pretty sure GI Joe never had a dog available (unless it was a small pack of huskys for an artic explorer set, to pull the sled), Action Jackson from Mego never had a dog that I've ever heard of (although he did have a horse, which is the same horse that was later used for Dinah-Mite and the Planet of the Apes line)... and I'm pretty sure that Big Jim didn't have a dog, either.
There was, however, Duke. Duke was a German Shepherd jointed action figure who lived in his own little world. Not tied in with any other toy line, he suffered the same fate that tended to happen with any action figure line that only had one character, period (then again, could it even be called a line, then, if there's only one?).
I think Duke was scaled appropriately to be considered a pseudo-Joe (12" version) accessory, but I could be way off.
From Four Color 1112, here's Pixie and Dixie... although their perennial foil, Mr. Jinx ("I hate those meeces to pieces!") is sadly missing from this cover... and I can't help but feel like I've seen this particular cover gag before, using cheese as a teeter-totter (or maybe it was another food used as a playground ride).
It occurred to me this morning that I really seem to have embraced my inner "Clark Kent," if you will.
Perhaps this needs a bit of explanation. If you've never met me or seen a photo of me, I'm 6 feet 6 inches tall, with dark hair, blue eyes, and I wear glasses. Pretty much any time someone's seen me wearing a suit and tie, I've gotten the comment that I look like Clark Kent... and that would always bug me.
The funny thing is, it shouldn't have... I mean, I've always (or at least, for as long as I can remember) been a Superman fan... and heck, even in high school, I was on the journalism staff for two years!
I'd imagine that a lot of the blame for wanting to deny my Clarkishness has to do with Chris Reeve's portrayal of Clark Kent in the Superman movies. This was a very big contrast with Clark in the comics, or even in the George Reeves show.
George portrayed Clark as much more of a go-getter... Clark was not just a competent reporter, and he wasn't a complete klutz! One sometimes wondered why Lois (either Lois) had such a dismay for him.
When the movies came out, Clark was a TV reporter (thankfully, that didn't stick), and he didn't always make himself look like a moron (Steve Lombard tried to make Clark look bad, although thanks to his super-powers, Clark would always turn the tables on him). But even in the comics of the 60s, Clark wasn't a complete loser... oh, he'd feign weakness at times, or act "cowardly" if some alien monster started attacking (like that made Clark any different from everyone else around him, except Lois, whose instinct for self-preservation rarely seemed to kick in).
Chris' Clark? One wondered why Perry White would've even hired him. He was the consummate klutz... he'd get stuck in revolving doors, get his tie caught in stuff... there was nothing really positive in Clark's favor.
Now, I understand that as Clark, Superman had to act different from his super-hero identity, but you know, why would anyone think Superman HAD a secret identity? The movies never dealt with what Superman did when he wasn't being Superman, after all.
Don't get me wrong... I think Chris' Superman is the best we've seen on the big screen.
Anyway, I'm digressing. After high school, and after a false start in technical school, I went into the Navy, and became... a journalist! And yes, my boot camp-issued glasses looked just like Clark Kent's (they referred to them as "birth-control glasses," because nobody ever got any action if they wore them).
And of course, while I was in the Navy, that's when Byrne and Wolfman rewrote the book on Superman and Clark Kent... Heck, Clark was a guy one could look up to all by himself! But the general public still thought of Clark Kent as he was portrayed in the movies.
When I got out of the Navy, and back in civilian life, rather than persuing the journalism thing, I went into desktop publishing and word processing. And perhaps I began to embrace my inner Clark a bit more by then, because one Halloween, at my first full-time job, I decided to go out and buy a Superman t-shirt (blue with the shield, natch), and wear a suit and tie to work, as well as slicking my hair back.
I didn't tell anyone who I was dressed as, however... I decided to let them guess! And I think it was about 3 in the afternoon before the light went on... at which point I opened my shirt, and we all got a big laugh out of it.
After leaving that job (and the job after that), I started growing my hair long, and when it was long enough, I tied it in a ponytail. Part of this was because I could do it... a bigger part was to get the resemblance to Clark further away (although, to be honest, given how much weight I put on after getting out of the Navy, there wasn't that much of a resemblance anymore to Clark... I looked closer to Norm on Cheers, sans the curly hair!).
Naturally, after I'd been wearing my hair in a pony tail for a while, the whole Death of Superman thing happened, and when he came back, he had long hair... which, as Clark, he tied in a pony tail.
Apparently, I couldn't win... or could I?
As many of you probably know, the whole Death of Superman thing happened because there was a little show starting out called "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," and while DC wanted to have Clark and Lois get married in the comics, it was decided to hold off until the TV Clark and Lois got married.
So, enter Dean Cain as Clark Kent. Klutz? No way. Heck, women thought Clark was a stud! At least, the women in the L&C fan club I joined up thought so, anyway.
Dean's Clark didn't have long hair... and I did. He was in great physical shape... and I definitely wasn't.
Finally, a Clark I wouldn't mind being compared to... and there was no way that was going to happen!
So, years go by... I met my first wife through that L&C club, put on more weight, she passed away, I moved back to Washington, looked for work for way too long... and then I found my dream job.
At a newspaper. Hello? I'm turning back into a Clark Kent! Well, okay, so I'm not a reporter there.
But I did meet Jessi, fell in love, and then we got Krypto, and I started losing weight with Jessi as part of Weight Watchers.
So let's see... tall, dark hair, glasses, blue eyes, works at a newspaper, has a dog named Krypto (okay, so he's not a super dog, and Clark never publicly had Krypto as his dog, but bear with me)... and then, the first Halloween after starting Weight Watchers, I decided Krypto would go as Krypto... and since I was feeling good about how I looked, I decided to go as Superman (although with the aid of a homemade "muscle suit").
This last thing occurred a year and a half ago... and I'm just now realizing that I decided, at least subconsciously, to embrace my inner Clark Kent. Will there be more parallels between Clark and I? I kind of doubt it, unless I change jobs and work for a major metropolitan newspaper (as opposed to the-honestly-minor newspaper in a rather small city, although it is the only paper in town)...
But like I said, I guess I've accepted it. Heck, I even sometimes refer to my home office as the "Fortress of Geekitude," and have talked about getting Krypto a deluxe "Doghouse of Solitude."
I'm still looking at the 1966 Sears Wish Book, and we're up to Moon McDare!
Now, when I first scanned this entry, I thought, "Wow, I've never heard of this toy at all!" But that was a week or two ago... now, I'm not so sure! It does seem to ring a bit of a bell now, but I can't quite figure out where I would've heard about it.
According to the Wikipedia entry, he was manufactured by A.C. Gilbert, a toy company I know very little about.
He does seem to predate the much better-known astronaut toy Major Matt Mason... at least, so far as Sears is concerned... and he did have some pretty cool accessories, too (as you'll see in tomorrow's post).
Oh, can't forget that there had been an astronaut GI Joe figure/outfit and accessories... still, there is something pretty cool about this (although maybe it's just the lack of familiarity that makes him seem cool... familiarity breeding contempt, and all that).
As I've probably said way too often, when I started collecting TV comics covers for my DC History Yahoo Group posts, I was amazed at the number of comics based on tv shows that I've never heard of...
Wait, I mean I'd never heard of the comics, not the TV shows (although that's happened, too).
Anyway, it was a surprise to find there was an Outer Limits comic book (what can I say? Most of the Dells I've bought -- what few there were -- tended to be their rather, shall we say, quirky takes on what superhero comics were supposed to be). I'd heard of the Twilight Zone comic, of course (which far outlasted the show... that and Gold Key's Star Trek were probably the best-selling tv comics ever).
So this is a rather long-winded way of saying that I have no idea what this comic book was like compared to the show... was there a narrator taking the place of the Control Voice? Was the opening credits soliloquy adapted to comic form (you know, "We are on control of your television...")?
Maybe I'll latch on to a cheap back issue this weekend at Emerald City Comic-Con and finally find out!
I've mentioned at least once before that I've long considered my biggest strength and weakness as an employee to be more or less the same thing (or, perhaps, two sides of the same coin)... in case you don't remember, or didn't read the post about it, it is this: My greatest strength is that I have high standards for myself; My greatest weakness is that I expect the same standards of the people I work with (and for).
A big part of my high standards for myself is that I don't dink around. When there's work to do, I get it done, no matter what I might feel like doing.
I wish I could set up a "no-dink zone" at the newspaper I work at, particularly in the sales department. As a graphic designer, it's important that there's a constant flow of work coming from the sales department to pre-press, so that I can take as much time as is necessary to create an ad that is eye-catching and accurate (not that I'm known for taking a lot of time on any ad... in fact, it's often noted that I'm able to turn things around quickly and still make them look great).
Given all that, of course, the reality is that sometimes, when there's a lot of work that needs to be done by a particular point in time, things do have to be rushed. That's not to say that I lower my minimum standards, and produce sub-par work... but I am capable of creating something much better when I'm not up against a crashing deadline.
Today, like pretty much every Monday at work, the first half of my day was pretty darn slow. I kept busy for the first hour, and then after that, there were so few ads coming into the department that we were pretty much getting them done within ten minutes or less after being turned in (most of them were either repeats of previously-run ads, a PDF file sent by the customer, or a minor change on an ad that's been proofing). I think I honestly spent two and a half hours of my "morning" web-surfing to keep from falling asleep (and I really hate doing that at work... that's my "unwind" activity after I get home... when I'm at work, I want to work, dammit!).
I knew the evening would be busier, since the other designer who works evenings was leaving work at 4 p.m. today. What I didn't realize was that one of the sales reps' ad assistants was going to be doing an even worse job of dinking around than usual.
On Wednesdays and Fridays, we run a special "group page" of ads called "On the Market," which are comprised of real estate ads in full color, most of which are four classified columns wide by three inches deep. A lot of these ads pretty much come from one of the two real estate sales reps.
Unfortunately, that's not the real estate sales rep who pretty much stays on top of things, and always gets her stuff turned in on time, if not early (amazingly, she's been working without an assistant... the other one has two at this time).
Anyway, I've known for some time that the assistant that works on the insertion orders and layouts for the On the Market ads waits until 3:30 on Mondays to start working on them. It doesn't matter when he gets them, he won't start until 3:30. In fact, my boss told me this afternoon that she's seen him spend the first hour and a half of his workday just reading the newspaper, and apparently he spends a lot of other time dinking around.
So, when I came back from lunch, he was still there, after 6 p.m., turning in his insertion orders, many of which had scanning to be done (and our daytime scanning person was already gone for the day, since there was nothing for him to do)... and suspiciously, the stuff he was turning in had been time-stamped between 4:00 and 5:00... so I suspect that when nobody was looking, he was time-stamping his insertion orders, and then taking them back to his desk to work on the layouts.
Why would he do this? Because anything that comes in after 5 p.m. for the next night's completion due date is considered late, and it's not required for us to have those ads built.
Fortunately, only one of the ads he turned in required us to create a new layout... but by the time the photos for that ad had been scanned, I was in my last hour of my shift... and that's when my creativity can be at an ebb (especially when it's been such a slow afternoon). There's nothing really wrong with the ad I designed for that customer... but it's nothing special, either.
I've also started noticing a trend with other sales reps and their assistants when it comes to ads submitted electronically (i.e. via email in PDF format)... you see, they probably don't realize it, but when we go to their email downloads folder on the network to copy the files to our computers, we can see the "last modified date" on the file... which is when it was saved from their email.
And more and more often, I'm noticing that there's not a very fast turnaround between when these files are received and when the insertion orders are turned in. For example, today I saw one that was saved at about 8:35 a.m. this morning... and the insertion order for it was turned in after 4 p.m.
There was another one that was received on Friday... and turned in after 4 p.m. today.
Now, maybe there's a valid reason for this occurring... maybe the customer's sending these files without telling the sales rep when they're going to be running, or what the color is going to be (black and white, black with a spot color, or full color), or what size it's supposed to be running (although, when you open up the file in Acrobat, it tells you the width and depth of the file). But I do find those hard to believe... why send the file if you haven't already told your salesperson when it's going to run, or any of the other information?
So as you can imagine, between this, and the whole washer/dryer thing (read the post below), it hasn't been my happiest day ever.
Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't have just come up with a label for these posts...
Anyway... with the delay in delivery of the original washer and dryer my parents bought for us, it was decided to cancel that purchase, and make a purchase from somewhere else who can manage to deliver product this week.
On my lunch break, I met Jessi at the appliance company that I've been doing the ads for, since they've been having a floor model sale going on. We found two sets that we really liked, and called my mom to tell her about them, hoping that she'd be able to come down and buy them on Tuesday... I spoke with the manager of the store (who was happy to meet me, by the way... Jessi told him I did their ads), and he told us they'd be able to deliver the next day... at probably at about 8:35 am, so I wouldn't have to take time off of work to accept the delivery.
Unfortunately, my mom didn't like the idea that there wasn't a zero interest for 12 months option available there (they only had a six month option currently), and so she called Couch's, which is another appliance store based in Fife (which is just north of Tacoma). They had a similar set, and although it was $100 more (although who knows what they charge for delivery), since they had the zero interest for 12 months thing, she's going for that.
This, despite the fact that the earliest they could deliver is Friday or Saturday.
Saturday, of course, is the Emerald City Comic Con, which Jessi and I are attending, so we won't be home (and more on our overall plans for that in a different post, which you may already have read if I write it immediately after this post... otherwise, you'll see it tomorrow). So if that's the day they'll promise delivery, I've got no idea what we'll do... unless Mom volunteers to come down and wait for them, which is possible.
Either way... we can't do laundry here at least until Friday now. I'm not sure, but there's a chance that I may have to get up early on Wednesday morning to go to the laundromat (Jessi's not thrilled at the idea of going to the laundromat in the evening while I'm back at work).
I guess we'll have to wait and see. I sure would've liked to have given the business to a local dealer, who helps support my employer (and, in turn, helps pay my paycheck!). Then again, Couch's has been known to advertise in the paper from time to time, too.
As I'm sure you've already heard, Marshall Rogers has passed away at a far-too-young age.
I find his death very disturbing... I mean, I've more or less reconciled the fact that comics creators from the Golden and Silver Ages will likely be passing away more often... but Rogers? Someone whose career in comics started after I began reading comics?
Rogers, of course, is best known for the Detective Comics issues he did with writer Steve Englehart, and will probably be remembered most for it.
I recall two other artists who worked on Batman books for DC who passed away all-too-young... Mike Parobeck, who worked on the Batman animated book (as well as the all-too-shortlived Justice Society title, and the Fly !mpact! book) and Don Newton (whose work on Batman was mostly in the 80s, if I recall correctly). Oh, and one can't forget Jim Aparo, either, so that makes three others.
Not that I'm trying to say there's any kind of Batman curse, mind you... plenty of folks who worked on Batman are still around, living to a ripe old age. It's simply an observation, that's all.
If you've already read the post below this, keep reading... if not, you might wanna scroll down first and read that.
This morning, I got up two hours early so that I could check on the status of our new washer and dryer.
And I was told that NOW it's been scheduled for April 9th. Two WEEKS later than it was originally planned. And that we "should've" been called to be told this already.
Apparently, the things are on back order, hence the delay.
Well, gee, isn't that special? I've already disconnected the old washer (which doesn't work that great - the spin cycle won't get enough water out of the clothes) and dryer and moved them into the garage, and cleaned up the floor where they were, got up early today, made all the necessary arrangements with work in case I needed to show up late... and now I guess we (well, honestly, Jessi) will have to spend quarters and time at the laundromat to do our laundry for two weeks.
So, just to clarify the timeline... we (or rather, my parents) bought the washer and dryer on March 18, and it'll end up being 22 days (assuming there are no more delays) later before the new washer and dryer will show up. Oh, what joy. I'll tell you what, next time we're in the market for a new washer and dryer, I'm going to make sure that they are in stock and guaranteed for delivery before we hand over a single penny!
In a related (kind of) comment: Regular reader and commenter Scott Haley mentioned his own situation where a pizza was ordered ahead of time, but someone screwed up the order. I don't know who he ordered it from, but back in the day when I was working at a Pizza Hut, orders placed in advance went into a computer system, and the day any advance orders were placed, the system would print out the order tickets for all the advance orders of the day, which included the time that delivery was scheduled for (a very handy set-up, since it let us put the pizzas together ahead of time, and then just held off on baking them until just prior to their needing to be delivered).
Obviously, not all pizza places have this kind of set-up. But I would presume that the bigger chains (such as Domino's) would... and maybe the bigger local-only chains, perhaps. But yeah, I do have to admit that if you were placing an order a day or two in advance, it wouldn't hurt to call the day you were supposed to get the pizza to make sure they had the order.
So, you may recall that last weekend, my parents bought Jessi and I a new, energy-efficient washer and dryer. The salesman at Home Depot promised us that we'd be getting a call Sunday evening that would let us know during what four-hour period of time they'd be delivering it on Monday (which is tomorrrow as I'm writing this).
Did they call us tonight? Hell, no... and the number we were given to call doesn't have anyone available to answer it on Sundays, naturally... and neither are they set up with their automated system for us to find out when they're going to try to deliver it.
So, I have to get up early Monday morning, and call the number to find out when they'll be delivering it.
I was already less than happy with the idea that they couldn't give us less than a four-hour block of time that they'd deliver it. Okay, I understand that not everything goes as planned, and a delivery and installation might take longer than normal. But you know, it's really stupid, IMHO, that in this age of cell phones, that I couldn't be given the option of leaving my cell phone number with them, and when they're actually ON THE WAY TO MY HOUSE, having them call me to tell me they'll be there in 20 minutes, or half an hour, or something like that.
Because I work only 20 minutes or less from home, and having already cleared things with work, I could get the call, tell my boss the appliances are being delivered, and leave for home and meet the delivery guy (or guys) there, and not miss out on work.
Like I said, I think it's really stupid. The cable company pulls the same crap when you call them for service, as well... they'll just say, for example, that they'll be there between noon and 4 p.m.
UPS is even worse... they'll just tell you they'll make a delivery between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.!
Is this stuff really all that difficult to schedule and manage? Is it asking too much for the delivery drivers to call the persons they're delivering to (or repair people to call the people they're servicing) when they have a better idea of when they're going to get there?
You know, I can call a pizza place tomorrow morning, when they open, and ask for a delivery of a large regular crust pizza, half pepperoni and half pineapple, to be delivered Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.... and they can do that for me. And they have to actually make the pizza first!
Okay, okay, pizza is different from a washer and dryer... for starters, it's a LOT cheaper, and doesn't require me to do anything in advance (like disconnect the old washer from the water, unplug that and the dryer, and move them out of the way).
I just find it incredibly arrogant that the more expensive stuff is, the longer you may have to wait for it to be delivered, and the less a chance that you have of getting a decent idea of when it will get there.
It's still 1966 as we look through the Sears Wish Book, and as promised, here's the first posting of Lost in Space toys!
I find all the toys here a bit suspect... after all, I don't recall seeing the Robinsons ever wearing a helmet of any kind (although admittedly, it's been a long time since I ever saw any episode of the show)... and I find it hilarious that for the picture here, the helmet was paired with a different space toy gun entirely, while the "real" LIS gun got a separate entry!
Then again, should I be at all surprised at the two toys here that had no place on the show (again, so far as I know?). The more I've been reading up on old toys, the more I've seen the toy manufacturers license a property, and then proceed to slap a logo or a picture of a character from that property on a toy that already exists... or even something that has nothing to do with the toy at all (the Bat-Blog has a fair number of examples of this applied to Batman toys).
Today's TV comic cover is the one-shot of Captain Nice! Captain Nice, as I recall, aired briefly on NBC during the whole Batman TV thing, when the networks tried a couple of other superhero shows. Naturally, Captain Nice was a full-out comedy.
I'd heard of this show a number of times, but I didn't see it until (and you may be tired of reading this) the forerunner of Comedy Central, HA! showed some episodes when they were first starting out.
Prior to this, my only real exposure to the good Captain was when I picked up a copy of the one-shot novel that was released around the same time as the show. I bought this novel at the same used bookstore in San Diego that I'm sure I bought some of the Get Smart novels at, as well. I still have most of the Smart novels, and also still have the Captain Nice book.
I would definitely be interested in a complete series DVD of this show!
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