Friday, July 20, 2007

Classic Collectibles of the Day!


Yes, it's more GI Joe from the 1969 Montgomery Ward's catalog! And this time, it's the first-ever Talking GI Joes, plus we have those military vehicles (such as the helicopter that I keep wondering if it was made by Hasbro or someone else). I guess that mystery is solved for me here, because the text says it's a G.I. Joe Helicopter, and I have to say that I pretty much prefer the 1970s Adventure Team helicopter (if nothing else, it looked more like a real helicopter, and not a scaled-down version of a coin-operated child's ride you'd find in the front of a Kmart store).

I don't think I ever had this series of talking Joe's, but I definitely had a talking G.I. Joe Adventure Team Commander when I was a kid!


Genre Movie Image of the Day: One Million Years B.C. Poster!


Yes, today I treat you to this poster featuring Raquel Welch in a fur bikini! I'm sure most of you will appreciate that (OK, so I'm guessing that most of my readers are hetero males, but I could be way off... not that it really matters to me what the gender and orientation of my readers are, so long as they're reading!).

It's been a long time since I've seen this version of One Million Years B.C., and for some reason I'm thinking that some of the SFX were done with stop-motion dinosaurs, while others were done with lizards with glued-on fins...

Maybe that just means I need to watch it again some time soon?


Comic Book Cover of the Day!


Here's Action Comics 425, and it's really one of my favorite covers. In the 1970s, it wasn't often that you'd get a cover that really had nothing to do with the story inside (which was common in the Golden Age), and that plus the whole setting of this cover just warms the cockles of my heart, you know?


Books, Movies and TV These Days...

Haven't been to the library for at least a month now... maybe even a little longer... because our foster boys have kept me too busy to read anything that has to be returned by a particular date!

On the other hand, I've been working my way through the comics I bought at Emerald City Comicon, which is a good thing (now if only I had time to scan ads from them!).

One book that I'm about two hours away from buying (as I write this) is the final book in the Harry Potter series, which my wife has to have as soon as it's avaialble (even though she's not going to be able to start reading it until sometime tomorrow). I'll be heading out to Wal-Mart, Safeway or Albertson's about 11:30 or so.

Movie-wise, we haven't seen the latest Fantastic Four, Spider-Man or Harry Potter movies... but we're hoping to at least see the latter sometime this coming week. Basically, if we haven't bought it on DVD, and the boys aren't enamored with it, we've not watched it!

TV, on the other hand? Well, it's probably a good thing that most of our shows are in reruns these days, because we don't often have time to watch TV other than some of the shows from Noggin for the boys. We are watching (as you probably figured out a few posts back) America's Got Talent, as well as the new seasons of Monk, Psych and The Closer, plus we've started watching Last Comic Standing, The Bill Engvall Show, and The Singing Bee. I think that's probably it.

Exciting, isn't it?


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not That Anyone But Me Cares, But...

...Jonathan and Martha Kent weren't Clark Kent's "foster parents."

(I should mention I'd been about 3/4 of the way through writing this entry when I clicked the wrong thing in Netscape and lost what I'd written, so this'll end up being shorter than originally planned).

Foster Parents typically take temporary custody of a child which the state has taken away from its biological parents for various reasons. Most foster children are not legally free to be adopted, although some may end up being legally free if the bio-parents' rights are terminated (which usually takes a pretty extreme situation, such as if the parents are going to be in jail for a long time, or if the child would be in danger of being harmed physically or psychologically if they were returned to their bio-parents).

Since the Kents were pretty much consistently shown as adopting Clark (from the orphange they brought him to after they found him in a rocket), they were his adoptive parents.

Same thing goes for Linda Lee Danvers, aka Supergirl. Fred and Edna (that was her name, right?) Danvers adopted her. Yes, Kara Zor-El's parents were later found to be alive, so you could possibly argue that while the Danvers were Linda's adoptive parents, they were Kara's foster parents... except that there's no legal tie between the Danvers and Supergirl.

So, where does that leave people like Oliver Queen and Bruce Wayne, who had Roy Harper and Dick Grayson named as their wards? lists one definition of ward as someone who's legally placed under the care of a guardian by the court. Now, that pretty much seems to me to be the definition of foster care, save that a ward probably won't be returned to their biological parents (whatever the circumstances there are), but also isn't necessarily legally free to be adopted by their guardian.

Which still pretty much makes Oliver and Bruce (by today's standards, anyway) foster parents. Technically, I suppose they aren't, since neither of them ever appeared to be licensed, and basically they volunteered to take guardianship of the boy in question.

Were there any real foster parents in comics? Well, Ben and May Parker probably should be considered Peter's foster parents. There are quite a few foster parents who became licensed so they could care for the child of a blood relative (it could be their grandchild, or a niece or nephew, or even a young cousin). Actually, in most cases, the court prefers to place a child with a relative whenever possible.

I don't recall reading anywhere that Peter Parker's parents named Ben and May his godparents, which I believe would've made them his legal guardians upon Peter's parents deaths... so we have to assume that they became licensed so Peter could stay with them.

The Original Human Torch's relationship to Toro is legally unexplainable to me... I mean, the Torch was an android, and wouldn't have had any legal right to make Toro his ward or foster child or anything... but it was a simpler time then, wasn't it?

I can't think of any others off the top of my head... but if you can think of other comics characters raised by someone who wasn't a blood relative, let me know!

(By the way, I don't think anyone could possibly consider Bova to be Pietro and Wanda's foster parent... because an evolved cow wouldn't have had any legal right to be such anywhere, except maybe in Wundagore, assuming the High Evolutionary cared enough to make any rules concerning that).


Comic Book Cover of the Day!


Here's Adventures on the Planet of the Apes #1, which featured colored reprints of the adaptations of the original movies that were first published in black-and-white in the POTA magazine!


Genre Movie Image of the Day: Not Of This Earth Poster!


Yeah, I haven't seen this one, either... hey, there's Beverly Garland's name again!


Classic Collectibles of the Day!


Alas, since this is from the 1969 Montgomery Ward's catalog, it appears that I'll be running out of Classic Collectibles to feature here before too much longer... at least until I come across another source! (Anybody know if there were books reprinting pages from the 1970s Sears and Montgomery Ward's catalogs?)

So, here's the first of the GI Joe items offered here... and while long-time readers probably have seen these when I was featuring stuff from the Sears catalogs, some of you may not have seen them before!

My favorite of these continues to be the astronaut suit and space capsule... it's just so cool!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Classic Collectibles of the Day!


In the year 1967, portable DVD players, even portable TVs, much less iPods and other hand-held devices for watching programs wherever you happened to be were, if considered at all, devices out of Star Trek or the comics. Nowadays, it's hard to explain the appeal of the gadgets for sale on this page of the Montgomery Ward's catalog.

But you know what? I'm pretty sure I wanted every single one of these things at one time or another. I have a dim memory of seeing a Give-A-Show Projector set for sale at a garage sale, but I have no idea of I bought it or not (I would've probably been 7 or 8 at the time).

Kenner was definitely one of the kings of the toy business back then, and their products were innovative... and yet, they were pretty obvious, when you think about it!

The Give-A-Show Projector was basically a plastic slide projector, which you inserted a cardboard strip with the color slides in it (kind of like a View-Master disc, but long instead of round). The Easy Show Movie Projector was, obviously, a movie projector, but it played short film cartridges that were in a loop, and which couldn't have lasted more than a minute at best!

That Change-A-Channel TV (with Superman on the screen) is something I don't remember ever seeing before, but it looks like it's similar to the Easy Show Movie Projector, except self-contained. And the final item looks to me like an 8mm movie projector, even if it's a pretty cheap one.

Like I said, I wanted this stuff... I especially wanted the Kenner stuff, which I saw advertised on TV, and which featured all my favorite cartoon characters!

The closest I ever got to this stuff was when the local library would let you check out Super 8mm movies and projectors, which eventually gave way to 16mm projectors and movies you could check out... and then the home video market hit, and those went the way of the dodo.

Hmmm... and now I'm also reminded of the Castle Films Super 8mm movies I'd see offered for sale at Kmart when I was a kid...


Genre Movie Image of the Day: Mothra Poster!


You all know of my love for Godzilla and his fellow Toho monsters, most of whom were portrayed by men in rubber suits. Well, Mothra, to the best of my knowledge, was never played by a man in a suit... rather, Mothra was, for all intents and purposes, a six-foot or longer marionette, controlled by strings!

Now, you've got to admit that a gigantic moth, of all things, is pretty hard to pull off with a puppet... and so it was. You've seen moths in real life, of course... their wings flap rapidly, like any other flying insect's. But Mothra's wings were more like a bird's wings, gently flapping in the breeze... and the effect never really worked for me, sadly.

Even the more recent Mothra movies still couldn't quite pull off the concept, if you ask me... but there's something definitely appealing about the concept, especially in Japan, where her popularity must make her kaigu eiga (giant monster) #2, after Godzilla (I think even moreso than Gammera).


Comic Book Cover of the Day!


Here's Air Fighters #6, starring Airboy, one of the more innovative ideas in comics, if you ask me! If you aren't familiar with him, Airboy is, indeed, a boy, whose father was killed and young Davy (I blank on his last name now) was left in the care of monks, one of whom was interested in creating a new kind of airplane that flew like a bird! Eventually, he built a prototype, Birdie (pictured on the cover), whose wings flapped, but he was killed, and young Davy became Airboy to avenge his death.

Or something like that, anyway. In the course of his adventures, he met up with many interesting villains, especially the sometimes-villainess, sometimes-heroine Valkyrie, who wore a green blouse that was completely open in the front, a Veronica Lake hairstyle, jodpurs and boots.

Air Fighters was published by Hillman, and their next best-known character was probably the Heap, who was a muck-monster that pre-dated Swamp Thing and Man-Thing by decades!

In the 1980s, Eclipse Comics got the rights to Airboy, and revived it, with the original Airboy's son taking over the identity. It was a fun series to read, and one of these days I need to re-acquire the issues and read them again!

Oh, I should also mention that Airboy "inspired" the character of Jetboy, in the Wild Cards shared universe novels, edited by George R.R. Martin.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Classic Collectibles of the Day!


It's the 1967 Montgomery Ward's catalog, and space toys were all the rage! Here's Major Matt Mason, plus the lesser-known Johnny Astro. Now, if you're wondering what's Major Matt Mason and what's Johnny Astro on this page... you see the kid shooting the space balloon in the air? Johnny Astro is what he's playing with.

If you want to read more about the Johnny Astro toy, go no further than to find out more than you might want to know!

And to learn more about the good Major, check out one of the best toy sites I've ever seen devoted to a specific toy line!


Genre Movie Image of the Day: The Mole People Poster!


Yes, it's another poster for a movie that I've read about (quite a bit, it seems), but I don't think I've ever seen it! Then again, for all I know, it could be on one of those dollar store DVDs I've not gotten around to watching...


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

It's Christmas in July!


Here's All American Comics #10, featuring Scribbly (I believe) and a few other boys (who may have been supporting cast) plus old St. Nick himself!

You know, if Santa read more comics, he'd know that saying that a bunch of boys are nice was just asking for trouble... I recall reading in ALL IN COLOR FOR A DIME, in the section on the kid gangs, that Hitler said something similar concerning the barely-disguised YOUNG ALLIES. OK, he said, "Wot nice Cherman boys," but that's pretty close, if you ask me!

Notice the headliner above the logo... Gary Concord, the Ultra-Man! I think he's about the only golden age super-powered DC character that's never been revisited or revived, not even by Roy Thomas! Too bad, because I know so little about him, other than that he lives in the future (or something like that, anyway).


Welcome Back, Potter

Thanks to BoingBoing, I'm able to present this mash-up of Harry Potter and Welcome Back, Kotter... enjoy!


Monday, July 16, 2007

If you want to know how my day went today....

...then I invite you to check out today's entry in our "Building Our Family" blog...

...but I suspect that if you don't already have kids by now, after reading it you may never want them!


Classic Collectibles of the Day!


It's 1967, and the Montgomery Ward's catalog is featuring even more Captain Action coolness! By this time, Action Boy had been introduced, with his own series of costumes, as well as super-cool car the Triphibian! I think it was called the Triphibian, anyway. Also note the headquarters offered this year... look familiar? It's the same as the Batcave set featured here a few days ago, with some very, very minor graphics changes!

Given the size differences between Captain Action and the plastic Batman figures, I have no idea how they figured this worked.


Genre Movie Image of the Day: Mighty Joe Young Poster


Mighty Joe Young was one of Willis O'Brien's follow-ups to his triumph in stop-motion animation, King Kong (just in case you didn't know). In some ways, MJY is even more innovative than Kong was, given some of the interactions between Joe and live-action footage, plus his battling with circus beasts!

Don't agree with me? Well, let me put it this way: Animate a dinosaur, and nobody can say with 100% certainty that it doesn't move correctly. Animate a lion, and pretty much anyone can claim it doesn't look like it's moving right!

Another thing about this movie I liked was Terry Moore, who was very, very cute! Terry later went on to become a wife (more or less) of Howard Hughes, and would also go on to appear in an issue of Playboy, if I'm not mistaken, still looking great in her late 40s or early 50s!


Comic Book Cover of the Day!


Today's featured Comic Book Cover is All-Flash #1... rather appropriate, given that a new, one-shot, All-Flash is coming out, featuring the return of Wally West, eh?

I've got to wonder one thing about this cover... I mean, I know Jay's fast enough to run through the fire without getting burnt... but man, there's a few flickering flames on your pants, man! Take a break from waving and slap them out!


Sunday, July 15, 2007

One More Thing...

I would be remiss if I didn't remind you, as I always try to do, that today, Sunday, features a new Cover Stories column at World Famous Comics! This week's theme is weddings... now, why would I possibly want to do a wedding-themed column on July 15th?


Classic Collectibles of the Day!


Here, from the 1966 Montgomery Ward's catalog, is Captain Action, plus a few of his costumes!

Now, I'm a big fan of Captain Action... I came in really, really late in the game on the good Captain, picking up some of the DC Comics as back issues, but never owning an original figure (although an original belt once turned up in a box of assorted Mego stuff I bought at one show). When the Playing Mantis reissues came out, I bought 'em all... heck, when they started just producing costumes, I even bought extra figures to put them into costume!

Sadly, I sold those off back when I was out of work for a while... and you can't find this "failed" line cheap anywhere, it seems!

Now, I've heard that there's going to be a new Captain Action comic (which, sadly, I heard about the pitch process for too late to submit my own idea... and it was a corker, too!), so there's a possibility that, some day, there may be a third issue of Captain Action!

And if only they can get the rights to do either reissues of more of the original outfits -- or better yet, produce better versions of the original costumes -- that would be the icing on the cake!

But why stop there? Reissue Dr. Evil, Action Boy... and introduce Action Girl, so there can be some female presence, too!


Genre Movie Image of the Day: The Man Who Turned to Stone Poster!


OK, let me just admit it right off the bat... "The Man Who Turned To Stone" doesn't sound like too much of a threat to me, you know? I mean... okay, he instantly petrifies... ooh, scary (as Count Floyd would say).

Now, if it was "The Man Who Turned People Into Stone," that would make more sense.

And no, I'm not going to make the obvious off-color joke!


Comics Cover of the Day!


It's All-Star Comics #4, featuring the first real Justice Society of America story... as in the first where they actually go up against a common foe, instead of just talking about recent exploits!


Another Blogoversary Missed...

Yesterday's Classic Toys of the Day post was the 1500th post on this here blog!

Just thought you'd like to know.