Saturday, December 01, 2012

Puzzle Time!

You know the drill by now, right? Solutions after the jump!

The Beatles Cartoon, Episode 8!

08-01The first segment in this episode is "Any Time At All," and it opens with the Beatles at a museum in France, looking at a portrait of the Three Musketeers. It doesn't take long for the Fab Four to imagine themselves as the famous quartet of swashbucklers, and we go right into a fantasy sequence where a highwayman's captured a coach and is fleeing with his captives! But he stops immediately when he runs into the Three Musketeers/Beatles, and they immediately capture the villain!

08-02Then, the song begins! The damsel they rescued seems very impressed with them (even though when Ringo draws his sword, it's always a drumstick), and she gives all of them a kiss, except Ringo, who gets a kiss from a horse instead! The coach rides off, and it's on to the next rescue! This time, the damsel's captured in a castle, but never fear, our heroes are soon on the scene! Even when he thinks he's captured them, they turn the tables immediately on him.

08-03Finally, Ringo swings down on a rope to knock the villain out a convenient window, but still the damsel won't kiss him -- but she doesn't kiss any of the other Beatles, going instead for the traditional Prince Charming type! Such is the life of a hero, and the fantasy sequence ends with the Beatles back in the museum, where Ringo muses it's too bad there's no chance these days to rescue a lady in distress.

Suddenly, a French woman in sunglasses and trenchcoat opens a door, saying she's a lady in distress, will Ringo rescue her? Of course, the Beatles are happy to help, even though there are two men following her! The Beatles aren't much help, though, as the two toughs bowl them over easily, but fortunately miss seeing where the lady's hidden herself. Ringo looks up and spots a chandelier overhead as they notice that the toughs are coming back, so he darts up to a balcony, grabs the rope and swings down, but just before he's about to collide with the villains, the weight of the chandelier pulls him up, and the chandelier crashes on the other three Beatles and the woman!

But all is well, as the toughs are actual inspectors of the French police, and the woman is Fifi LeCrooque, the most wanted jewel thief in Paris! When one of the inspectors ask the Beatles their names for the newspapers, they respond, "Athos! Porthos! Aremis! And Ringo!"

Next, of course, it's the singalong! This time, John is introducing it, and the intro is a rerun from a previous episode, where Ringo brings a boxing kangaroo on.

08-06The singalong begins, the song being "I'll Be Back," with the background featuring a train which the Beatles are riding on. The first verse is cut off just before the end, and the second chorus is edited out to go to the middle eight, which is very disruptive! Anyway, also on board the train are a lot  of female Beatles fans, so of course the limited animation here features the Beatles escaping them. At least there are no lyric problems on-screen!

John does the next intro, and this is is another repeat, where Ringo comes on as a ballerina.

08-07The next singalong is "Little Child," and it seems to have been somehow inspired by the Arte Johnson and Ruth Buzzi old people characters from Laugh-In (despite that show not having come out yet), at least halfway, as it features John wearing a grey beard sitting on a park bench with a cute woman he's obviously trying to entice. I know, weird. The other Beatles show up in grey beards, too. There's only one very minor lyric problem... the final line of the last verse goes "Yeah, come on, come on, come on," and the screen shows it as "Just come on, come on, come on," as if it was a repeat of the previous line. I know, picky.

08-08The final segment is "Twist & Shout," and it opens at another art show in Paris, where adults aren't allowed unless accompanied by a weird-o. Paul would like to see a real Paris art show, but wonders who they can get to take them in. At the entrance, a real weird-o is just preparing to enter, with a face like a Picasso painting! Then, just behind them is a typical Pythonesque upper class twit, who asks "you four weird-os" if they'd take him in! So, they enter! The first painting we see says "Help!" on it, while others are just rather bizarre.

08-09Paul asks what some of these looked like before paint was thrown all over them, while John points out an all-white painting titled, "Picture of a polar bear eating vanilla ice cream during a blizzard." George is admiring another sculpture, but it turns out to be a drinking fountain! Ringo finds what looks like a set of drums, but it's a stone sculpture instead.

Later, a female artist is ridiculed because her paintings look like their subjects, which gets her crying. Paul spots her painting of a pussycat, and he likes it, but the artist complains she wants to be able to paint wild and hip like the others. Paul offers the band's help to inspire her, and, using odd sculptures that resemble guitars (as well as the drum sculpture), the Beatles start performing the title song. This gets the artist inspired immediately, and she grabs an armload of paintings and gets to work as the boys play.

08-11The artist throws paint at a canvas, but it becomes the Mona Lisa, to her dismay! Another throw, and she gets what she wants, and goes to work on other pieces, each odder than the last, before starting to change some of the other pieces there, too, and the pieces mostly bear a resemblance to one Beatle or more!

First price in the art show goes to the female artist, but the prize is for her pussycat painting, because the curator likes pussycats! The Beatles shrug in confusion.

So overall, I enjoyed the episode quite a bit... although having two art-themed sequences in one episode might've been a bit much -- although we've seen that this wasn't the only episode with two similarly-themed cartoons in them. I like that the reference to "Help!" was snuck into the one cartoon, and of course, one can't help but think of the Beatles' White Album when seeing the all-white painting (although that wasn't to come out for a while yet).

Christmas Comics Countdown Day 1 - Bugs Bunny's Christmas Funnies #8, Part 1!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Character Collectible Spotlight: The Teen Titans!

Yes, it's the Titans turn in the spotlight, and we'll just get the Megos out right away! mego8bat_robinmego12_robin mego8titans_aqualad_front mego8titans_kidflash mego8titans_speedy_loose.JPG mego8titans_wondergirl

Cover Redux!

024 Here's a prime example of how coloring can make a cover look completely different... Sgt. Fury #23, and the reprint in #125. Since I can't see any actual art changes, I'm just going to talk about the coloring... compare the original to the reprint, and if you ask me, the original had the best coloring. Oh, and I've just noticed an art change... more smoke got added around "The Man Who FAiled!" blurb!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cliffhanger: The Vanishing Shadow, Chapter 4!

Comic Book Ads!

alarmingtales04_34 This time, I'm starting with ads from Alarming Tales #4! I'll just skip past the bottom ad on this page, and just point it out for the benefit of anyone who's keeping count of the different body building ads, okay? Let's instead focus on the Mobile Tank on top, okay? Now, I'm sure you've all heard about the Polaris Submarine thing that turned out to be cardboard... anyone want to make a bet this is the same kind of deal? I'm pretty much convinced it's the case, given that a lot of the text has the same feel as the Polaris Sub ad!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Toys: Secret Wars Doctor Doom!

I think I've alluded in the distant past that, prior to my moving to Wisconsin, I'd managed to amass a pretty decent action figure collection! This included Mego super-heroes and Planet of the Apes figures, Remco monsters, and just about all of the Super Powers and Secret Wars action figures. Sadly, I ended up selling off every one of these during that last year before moving to Wisconsin... or so I thought! The final "purge" of my collection of action figures was a box of stuff I brought to a dealer in Tacoma who was known for paying for cool stuff, and I sold the box of action figures for $500 (probably way less than I could get for it these days). What's really annoying about it isn't what I could sell these for today -- there were about a half-dozen figures in that box that were my customized action figures of my own characters, now forever lost!

I blame Doom, for only he survived this final purging. Oh, he didn't come through with his Secret Shield intact, but somehow, he managed to escape the box with his counterparts, and laid in wait in a box of stuff that somehow got stored in my parents' home (he even managed to get into an assorted box of things that wasn't just my stuff), only to be finally uncovered in the weeks after my father passed away. When he resurfaced, I did not plan on keeping him; after all, Secret Wars toys are ridiculously expensive today, especially compared to the prices I paid in the late 1980s and early 1990s! No way could I afford to recollect that line... so I listed him on eBay -- twice!  Not a single bid for the opening price of $5.00 I listed him for (I think). So, Doom remains on my shelf, the sole survivor of my old action figure collection. I'm sure that when I'm not in my office at home, he's threatening all the figures that I've purchased since then, mocking them and saying, "Doom has survived one onslaught, and Doom shall survive the next!" or something like that.

Toy Spotlight: Mego Bend N Flex Planet of the Apes!

bendy_potacornelius67 Yes, like with the super-heroes, Mego also did bend-n-flex figures of their Planet of the Apes line, although this wasn't nearly as extensive! Above is Cornelius! bendyastronautpota.JPG They had the generic "Astronaut" because Charlton Heston didn't want his likeness used at all. bendygalenpota.JPG bendypota_megobendysoldier bendypota_soldierbendy_mego bendypota_zaiusbendy bendypota_zaiusbendy A nice line of figures nonetheless, and if I could ever find them at an affordable price, I'd probably add the to my collection!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Geek TV: The Green Hornet!

greenhornet1Concept: It's the old radio character brought up to date (for the time) on the small screen, by the producers of Batman! Newspaper publisher fights crime with his chauffeur!

Total Episodes: 26

Original Air Dates: September 9, 1966 – March 17, 1967

Original Network: ABC

Geek Factor: 8


GreenHornet2Britt Reid/The Green Hornet (Van Williams): Owner-publisher of The Daily Sentinel, and a masked vigilante. Uses a device called the Hornet's Sting, which uses ultrasonics for opening locked doors, set fires, and threaten criminals. He also uses a Hornet gas gun.

Kato (Bruce Lee): Britt Reid's chauffeur and sidekick to the Green Hornet, a master of martial arts, and driver of the Black Beauty, the Hornet's customized car.

Lenore “Casey” Case (Wende Wagner): Britt's secretary at The Daily Sentinel, aware of his dual identity.

Mike Axford (Lloyd Gough): Police reporter for The Daily Sentinel, bound and determined to expose the Hornet's secret identity.

District Attorney Frank P. Scanlon (Walter Brooke): Works with the Hornet.

Geek Guest-Stars:

Gary Owens played a TV reporter in multiple episodes. Of course, you'll recall him from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, as well as the voice of Space Ghost, and lots of other credits. I'll cover his career in more detail in a future posting. Larry D. Mann guested in a few episodes, and he was Capn' Scuttlebutt and Flub-a-Dub on Howdy Doody, voiced Foxy Q. Fibble on The New Adventures of Pinocchio, the Tin Man on Tales of the Wizard of Oz as well as in Return to Oz, and voiced Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer. He also had on-screen guest shots on My Favorite Martian, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Honey West, Get Smart, Captain Nice, and The Man From UNCLE, and later appeared in five episodes of Bewitched (as different characters), voiced Batso, Bonapart and others on Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies, and many other roles.

Pamela Curran appeared in one two-parter, she'd previously appeared as “Smooching Teenager” in The Blob, had a small part in an episode of My Favorite Martian, played Lt. Connie Engstrom in Mutiny in Outer Space, appeared as Princes Fatima in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie, and then later guested in two episodes of The Man From UNCLE, and an episode of The Invaders. Linda Gaye Scott has quite a few geek guest-starring roles, appearing in single episodes of My Living Doll, My Favroite Martian, The Man From UNCLE, Batman (actually, a two-parter playing “Moth”) and Bewitched. She later appeared in a Lost in Space episode, and played Arlette in Westworld.

Maurice Manson had played Dr. Borg in The Creature Walks Among Us, Mr. Lansing in The Three Stooges in Orbit, had a recurring role as Mr. Timberlake on Dennis the Menace (1960-1963), and guested on a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Munsters. Arthur Batanides was a regular castmember of Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers, guested in an episode of Zorro, played Jerry in The Leech Woman, appeared in two Twilight Zone episodes, an Outer Limits, a Honey West, a Get Smart, episodes of The Man From UNCLE and The Time Tunnel, later guesting on Lost In Space, several episodes of I Spy, a Land of the Giants, several Wild Wild West episodes, a half-dozen Mission: Impossibles, two New Adventures of Wonder Woman, a Galactica 1980, a Knight Rider, and then finished his career playing Mr. Kirkland in the Police Academy movies.

greenhornet4Cesare Danova played Harry Holt in the 1959 version of Tarzan, The Ape Man, Count Elmo Mancini in Viva Las Vegas, and guested on Honey West and The Girl From UNCLE prior to playing Felix Garth in two episodes. He later guested on The Man From UNCLE, Night Gallery, played John Corey in Tentacles, played Mayor Carmine DePasto in Animal House, and appeared in an episode of the 1989 Mission: Impossible. Barbara Babcock guested in an episode of The Munsters before playing Elaine Carey in a two-parter... but did you know she had five roles in the original Star Trek? She was the voice of Trelane's mother in “The Squire of Gothos,” played Mea 3 in “A Taste of Armageddon,” the voice of the Beta 5 Computer in “Assignment Earth,” the voice of Commander Loskene in “The Tholian Web,” and was Philana in “Plato's Stepchildren” (the only role I recognized her from).

Christopher Dark had appeared in two episodes of The Lone Ranger, played Henry “Hank” Jaffe in World Without End, appeared in three Science Fiction Theater episodes, guested in Man Into Space, and later guested on Mr. Terrific and Land of the Giants. Dick Dial is best known for his stunt work, but he appeared in two separate episodes of the show, and also had small parts in episodes of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Man From UNCLE, The Time Tunnel, Mission: Impossible, and Star Trek (he was Sam in “Devil in the Dark,” Kaplan in “The Apple,” and a security guard in “And The Children Shall Lead”).

Troy Melton appeared in two episodes of Science Fiction Theatre, an episode of The Twilight Zone, a small part in The Day Mars Invaded Earth, appeared in an Outer Limits episode, played Tracer #2 in Cyborg 2087, played Chill in two episodes of Batman (“Instant Freeze”/”Rats Like Cheese” in 1966), and later guested on The Wild Wild West, The Invaders, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Mission: Impossible, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Six Million Dollar Man, and played a lobby hotel guard in I Wanna Hold Your Hand.

Chuck Hicks appeared in minor roles in Francis Goes to West Point, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Around the World in Eighty Days, guested in episodes of The Man From UNCLE, The Wild Wild West, and appeared as King Tut's man in episodes of Batman. Among his other minor geek roles, he played a military officer in the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. His most famous geek role may be playing The Brow in Dick Tracy, but I should also note that he was in an episode of The Flash.

Geek Pedigree: Of course, you've got all the Batman guys who worked on this show, like Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and William Dozier. Of the cast members, only Lloyd Gough (who appeared in an Outer Limits) and Walter Brooke (who played Gen. Samuel T. Merritt in Conquest of Space, and had roles on Inner Sanctum, Tales of Tomorrow, Twilight Zone, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and The Munsters) had any geek-related roles. Pretty much all of the major cast did other geek guest-starring roles afterwards, though!

DVD Release: It appears the full series has been released on DVD, although it was apparently 12 years ago.

Website: appears to be a fan site, but it's just a duplicate of the information on Wikipedia.

Notes: Of course, you'll recall that the Green Hornet and Kato had a cameo in a wall-walking sequence on Batman, and then later appeared in a two-parter. 

Kirby Kovers!

Time for some Kirby Kovers! 240779 First up, here's an issue of My Date Comics... hmm, I should've noted the issue number in my notes! Easy enough to find, there were only four issues of this title, and this is issue #3! Anyway, while it's supposed to be a romance comic, there's definitely a lot of humor going on here, with House-Date Harry!