Saturday, September 03, 2011

Of Mice and Magic: The Cartoons #1

So, this is the title I've decided to use for this new series on Random Acts of Geekery! Just as a reminder, here I'm going to attempt to find all the cartoons of note that Leonard Maltin mentions in his awesome history of animation, "Of Mice and Magic." Today's first feature is a short by J. Stewart Blackton, "The Enchanged Drawing," done in the early part of the 20th century. This cartoon is known as the beginning of film animation!

Geek TV #1: The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.

Introduction to Geek TV!
This new feature on Random Acts of Geekery will be looking at a variety of TV shows, past and present, which I believe are of interest to my fellow geeks for a variety of reasons. The show itself may be genre-based (such as Star Trek or Bewitched), it may be an animated series that geeks like myself are fond of (such as most of Filmation's output), or there may just be geek elements to it (such as The Big Bang Theory, where the main characters are fellow geeks). Each entry in Geek TV will feature the following items:

Concept: What the show's about, in brief (this usually will provide the reason it's on the list)
Total Episodes: Self-explanatory
Original Air Dates: This will be the years it ran, not the actual air dates.
Original Network: Self-explanatory. Of course, if it wasn't a network show, “Syndicated” will be in this space.
Geek Factor: On a scale of 1-10, 10 being highest, how geeky I feel the show was. I fully expect some of you to disagree with me on some of these!
Characters: The regular characters and recurring characters, who played them, and brief descriptions.
Geek Guest-Stars: Any actor who guest-starred who is also known for a geek-related TV show or movie, or even guested on a number of genre TV shows or movies.
Geek Pedigree: Here I'll list connections the creators and actors on this show have to other geek-related TV shows or movies.
DVD Release: Whether the show's been released on DVD yet, with (naturally) an Amazon Associates link in case you decide to buy it!
Website: If there's an official website, I'll list it here... otherwise I'll provide a link to a webpage that seems to be a top one for that series.
Notes: Any other comments or memories I have on the show.
I hope you'll enjoy the feature, and if there's any show you want to see covered, make sure to mention it in the comments – that way, if I've forgotten to include it on my list, I can add it!

The first installment follows after the jump!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Give-A-Show Fridays: Tru-Vue Story Cards, Part 1!

Starting this week, for a limited time, I'll be presenting Tru-Vue Story Cards with Disney characters on them rather than Give-A-Show stuff, just because! Tru-Vue was an early competitor for View-Master, and eventually was absorbed into it. Apparently, someone realized that they could use one of each stereoscopic image to produce projectible slides to compete with Kenner, and here's the result!

Toy of the Week #1: Agent Zero M!

In the midst of the early to mid 1960s spy craze that began with James Bond and went on through The Man From UNCLE and Get Smart!, Mattel decided it was a good time to cash in without paying any of those bothersome licensing fees with a line of toys that could almost be seen as a precursor to the Transformers!

The Agent Zero M line of toys were all items that looked like everyday objects, but with a press of a button or twist of the wrist, you could change them into guns!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Cool Stuff!

And now, Cool Stuff goes to a weekly schedule, appearing every Thursday!
This week starts off with a few items from Target Earth, namely the pressbook above, and the poster below, but there's even cooler stuff after the jump!

The Indexible Hulk #1

“The Indexible Hulk” feature is one I've considered doing for quite some time, in which I'll go over Greenskin's adventures (mostly in his own mag, but I will include pertinent stuff from other mags), index the characters involved such as supporting cast, villains, and guest-stars, and probably do a bit of affectionate mocking (especially where Bruce Banner's inventions are involved). Here's how each installment will break down:

Issue: The title and issue number being covered

Title: The title of the story

Credits: Should be pretty self-explanatory!

Supporting Cast: Typically, this will be Gen. Ross, Betty, Rick, and so forth!
Villain: Whoever Greenskin is fighting, if applicable

Hulk Intelligence: Whatever level of intelligence the Hulk is demonstrating, probably put into semi-humorous form.

Guest-Stars: Anyone from another Marvel title making an appearance in the tale.

Plot: Brief summary of the plot.

Invention Exchange: Whatever high-tech gear is introduced in the story... it may be Banner's inventions, or the Leader's, or someone else's.

Reprinted In: Wherever the story was reprinted.

Notes: Whatever I feel like mentioning that wasn't covered above.

So, without further ado...

Hulk 001Issue: The Incredible Hulk #1

Title: Part 1, “The Coming of the Hulk,” Part 2, “The Hulk Strikes!”, Part 3, “The Search for The Hulk!”, Part 4, “Enter... The Gargoyle!”, Part 5, “The Hulk Triumphant!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, Pencilled by Jack Kirby, Inked by Paul Reinman, Lettered by Art Simek

Supporting Cast: General Ross, Betty Ross, Rick Jones

Villain: Igor (an undercover spy posing as Banner's assistant), the Gargoyle

Hulk Intelligence: Crafty Brute


Plot: At the first test of Bruce Banner's Gamma Bomb, teenager Rick Jones is spotted in the test area. Bruce orders the countdown stopped so he can get Rick out of there, but assistant Igor doesn't stop the blast. Bruce gets Rick to safety, but he himself is caught in the blast, and miraculously survives. Hours later, Bruce awakens to find Rick grateful, but moments later, Bruce changes into the Hulk (not named quite yet) and smashes his way out of the hospital. He demolishes an army jeep on his way out to the desert, followed by Rick. Rick and the Hulk hide from the searching soldiers (who've just coined the Hulk's name, although Hulk isn't around to hear it at the time), and they make their way to Bruce's cottage, where they find Igor looking for Banner's formula for the Gamma Bomb. The Hulk knocks Igor out, finding the formula in the process. The Hulk's about to deal with Rick (the only person who knows his secret) when the sun comes up, changing him back to Banner. Bruce thinks his nightmare is over, but then Ross and his troops enter the cottage, asking if they've seen the Hulk. They also find Igor (referred to as “the spy we've been searching for,” even though there was no mention of Igor being identified as a spy prior to this). Bruce's formula is turned over to the soldiers for safe keeping, after which the soldiers leave. Bruce realizes that he became the Hulk when night fell, and worries the transformation will happen again. Meanwhile, in a cell, Igor uses a hidden miniature radio to contact the Gargoyle behind the Iron Curtain to tell him about the Hulk. The Gargoyle, a brilliant scientist who's been deformed by radiation, decides to travel to the USA to capture the Hulk. Shortly after the Gargoyle arrives, Rick and Bruce are driving around when night falls, and Bruce changes into the Hulk, with the Gargoyle spotting him. The Gargoyle tails the Hulk to the Ross home, where the Hulk confronts Betty, causing her to faint. The Gargoyle then reveals himself, shooting Rick and the Hulk with a pellet that saps their will. The Gargoyle brings them to where a raft waits to transport them to a sub, and then to a hidden sub-orbital jet, which takes them to the USSR, but as the jet crosses into daylight, Bruce changes back. The Gargoyle doesn't understand why Bruce would want to be the Hulk, and Bruce agrees to cure the Gargoyle's deformities with radiation, which turns the Gargoyle into a normal man. As Rick and the Hulk escape in the Gargoyle's escape rocket, the former Gargoyle sets off a self-destruct device to destroy the base.

Invention Exchange: Bruce's Gamma Bomb, thumbnail-sized sub-miniature transistor invented by the Gargoyle, the Gargoyle's experimental man-carrying rocket, the Gargoyle's will-sapping pellet.

Reprinted in: Origins of Marvel Comics, Marvel Masterworks #8, Incredible Hulk #417, Essential Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, Pocket Books Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, Marvel Tales Annual #1, Marvel Collectors' Item Classics 14-16, Incredible Hulk Special #1.

Notes: In the early Hulk tales, the Hulk clearly recalls much about Banner's life. The Hulk is colored grey in this first issue, although most reprints change his skin color to green. Much later, it was established that the grey skin was also an indicator of his intelligence, as evidenced by the “Mr. Fixit” storyline that Peter David wrote. This issue was adapted as episodes 1-3 of the 1966 Hulk animated cartoons.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Announcing the NEW Random Acts of Geekery Line-Up!

So, starting tomorrow, we're back to somewhat of a normal publishing schedule, after a summer of Reduced Content Mode! Now, I should start off by mentioning that there are some features that you've been accustomed to seeing that aren't going to be on this list... but never fear! I'm trying to ramp up slowly, that's all! For the month of September, there will be two posts per day, as you'll read below! Then in October, there'll be the Halloween Countdown, with additional monsterrific content on days that I don't already have something going on that's Halloween-themed! After a break of regularly-scheduled stuff in November, December will bring the annual Christmas Comics Countdown! Then, in January, the new Rotating Features will begin! So without further ado, follow the jump to see what's going on!

Famous Monsters #22!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dog of the Geek: Cerberus!

CerberusBreed: Three-Headed Dog

Original Appearances: Greek Mythology

Other Appearances: Cerberus has also appeared in many forms of popular media, from other mythology to comic books to movies.

Biography: Cerberus (a Latinised version of the Greek Kerberos) was the sibling of the Hydra, the Nemean Lion, the Spinx, the Ladon, and the Chimera. He was the offspring of Echidna, the half-woman/half-serpent, and Typhon, a fire-breathing giant. His brother Orthrus was a two-headed hellhound. Most depictions of Cerberus show him as having three heads (one head seeing the past, one the present, and one the future – or else representing birth, youth, and old age), and occasionally a mane of live serpents (similar to Medusa). Cerberus only eats live meat, and so allows the spirits of the dead to freely enter the underworld, but allowed none to leave. He served as Hades' watchdog. Heracles' last of his 12 labors was to capture Cerberus alive, without using weapons. He accomplished this by getting first getting Hades' permission to bring Cerberus to the surface world, and then overpowering Cerberus. In another myth, Cerberus was lulled to sleep with music by Orpheus.

Powers: As noted above, one interpretation of Cerberus' three heads was that one could see the past, one could see the present, and one could see the future. Cerberus was apparently also very strong and nearly invulnerable.

Group Affiliation: None

Miscellaneous: Fluffy, the three-headed dog that guards the Philosopher's Stone in “Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone” (renamed “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone”) was based on Cerberus. Also, I have no idea why a certain Aardvark got the name.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monster Monday!

Well, more or less starting this week, Monster Monday is back on its regular schedule, appearing every Monday (at least, until I run out of materials to show for it)! Once again, here's some monster cards!
More after the jump!