Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cool Stuff!

Time for a new volume of Cool Stuff pictures! 75comiconprogram1 75comiconprogram2 75comiconprogram3 75comiconprogram4 75comiconprogram5 And this edition leads off with pages from the 1975 Comicon Program book!

Dog of the Geek: Hush Puppy!

Breed: Puppet

Original Appearances: Hi Mom, WRCA-TV (1957-1959)

Other Appearances: The Shari Lewis Show, Lamb Chop's Play-Along, and some direct-to-video releases.

Biography: From the Puppet Wikia: “Hush Puppy is definitely man's, and lamb's, best friend. He is a real buddy who will always help you when you need it. Hush Puppy is happiest when there is a good mystery to solve and loves to play any kind of music, as long as it's fast.”

Powers: None

Group Affiliation: None

Miscellaneous: Shari Lewis and her then-husband, Jeremy Tarcher, co-wrote the Star Trek episode “The Lights of Zetar.” Not that it has anything specifically to do with Hush Puppy, it's just a very cool bit of trivia!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fandom Library: The Comic Reader #98 & 99!


The Indexible Hulk #40!

Tales to Astonish 084
Issue: Tales to Astonish #84

Title: “Like a Beast at Bay!” & “Rampage in the City!”

Credits: Both written by Stan Lee; “Like a Beast at Bay!” pencilled by Gene Colan, inked by Dick Ayers, and Lettered by Sam Rosen. “Rampage in the City!” pencilled by Bill Everett and Jack Kirby, inked by Everett, Mike Esposito, Sol Brodsky, and John Tartaglione, letters by Artie Simek.

Supporting Cast: Thunderbolt Ross, Glenn Talbot, Betty Ross, Rick Jones

Villain: Boomerang

Hulk Intelligence: Not too bright, and very short-tempered.

Guest-Stars: Sub-Mariner

Plot: On an isolated mountain peak, the Hulk has decided that he's tired of hiding and running, and that he must find Betty again, because nobody should hate him after he saved her. When he gets to the base, it's deserted, however. The Hulk decides to go to the Avengers, and that they will help him. Eventually, the Hulk makes it to New York City, but even he realizes that people will be afraid of him if they see him. Spotting a big and tall men's clothing store, the Hulk lifts the very wall of it up to get an overcoat and hat, which he puts on to disguise himself. As poor a disguise as this is, nobody spots him for half a day (the caption tells us this), until a policeman gets a glimpse of green skin, and he calls it in, sending patrol cars racing to the scene, sirens blaring. The Hulk ducks into an alley, and into the employee entrance of a newsreel theater. But inside, there's a commotion happening there, and when he looks, he sees the Sub-Mariner (also in disguise, and also as badly disguised) breaking free from the crowd and fleeing (yes, this crossed over with the Sub-Mariner story in this issue). The Hulk doesn't remember who Subby is, however, and settles down to watch the newsreel. Fortunately, the newsreel shows the Hulk how Boomerang managed to get the Orion Missle removed from storage, and how he battled Talbot for possession of it, Talbot winning only because he was willing to destroy the missile rather than let Boomerang have it. Towards the end of the newsreel, Talbot mentions the missile will be taken to Cape Kennedy for testing. The Hulk leaves the theater, realizing why the base was empty, and decides to continue searching for the Avengers. He also recalls Rick, and wonders why Rick hasn't found him. Meanwhile, at Cape Kennedy, where the Orion Missile has already been moved, Rick hears reports of the Hulk being sighted in New York, and decides to go to him. But he can't afford to get there, so he looks in the newspapers, because “There are always people advertising in the paper for someone to drive their car up north for them!” (really? Was this a thing?) Less than an hour later, Rick's found someone and is hired, and heads north, with instructions not to open the trunk. Back in New York, a stray breeze blows the hat off the Hulk's head, and he's spotted, and a panic ensues! The Hulk stumbles into the entrance for a subway, where he trips and lands on the charged third rail, which barely stuns him! A subway train is heading into the station, and the Hulk realizes if it hits the rails he's broken, everyone will die, so he stops the train, saving everyone. The crowd is confused, half of them thinking he saved the train, the other half thinking he tried to wreck it! The Hulk leaps upward, bursting through to the street, and stomps away, free... to do what?

Invention Exchange: None

Reprinted In: Marvel Super-Heroes #39, Essential Hulk #1

Notes: Has anyone ever heard of what Rick says happens all the time? I mean, I've been around, and I've never heard of anyone hiring somebody to drive their car from Florida to New York. Overall, this story's purpose seemed mainly to get the Hulk to New York so there could be the semi-crossover with the Sub-Mariner story (the same panel is even used in both stories). Time is getting pretty flexible here, because the guy who hires Rick to drive his car expects him to arrive in two days – and Rick arrives in the following issue, with the Hulk still running loose in New York! What happened between? You'll see next time around!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My truck (so far anyway)

MST3K Season One, Episode Eight: The Slime People!

This time around, the experiment features "The Slime People," a 1963 film directed by Robert Hutton, written by Blair Robertson and Joseph F. Robertson, and starring Robert Hutton, Les Tremayne, and Robert Burton, along with Susan Hart, William Boyce, Judee Morton, and John Close. Robert Hutton had also been in They Came From Beyond Space, while Les Tremayne was in The War of the Worlds, was the narrator on Forbidden Planet, countdown announcer in From the Earth to the Moon, also in The Angry Red Planet, and provided voices for King Kong Vs. Godzilla, Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol, Goldfinger, The Phantom Tollbooth, The Cricket in Times Square, and many other cartoons. Oh, and he also played Mentor on Shazam! Susan Hart can also be seen in The Ghost in The Invisible Bikini, the Dr. Goldfoot movies, and City in the Sea (aka War-Gods of the Deep).

Give-A-Show Video Feature!

This time around, it's the rest of the 1984 Super Powers slides!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Fleischer Popeyes: Sock-a-Bye, Baby!

07-01This cartoon is a bit different in the beginning... after the opening strains of Popeye's theme in the credits, we get a rendition of "Rock-a-Bye Baby," accented with what sound like either gunshots or just a slam! Of course, after the credits, Popeye's singing his theme song, but this time he's rocking a stroller, which has a baby sleeping in it (I don't believe it's supposed to be Swee'pea, as it doesn't look like him at all). Popeye stretches an ear over the child to be sure it's asleep, and is satisfied... until he hears a harp being played down the street (by Harpo Marx, no less!). Popeye tries to talk Harpo into not playing, but isn't successful, and the baby opens an eye, and then starts crying! Popeye smacks Harpo so hard he flips over 360 degrees, only to end up with a halo, and floating up towards heaven, playing the harp.
Of course, now Popeye has to sooth the baby back to sleep, which he tries to, but then the baby pops Popeye in the jaw, sending his pipe flying! This happens another time, and then Popeye sets the baby back in the stroller with a ukelele, which the baby uses to tune up his crying, and then plays the uke, interjecting cries as he plays! Popeye can't stand this, and takes the uke from the baby, playing it himself and singing himself (a different song, "Go to Sleep, My Baby," and without his usual voice). The baby gets Popeye's pipe and starts smoking it as Popeye continues to sing (occasionally getting to his normal voice). The baby's enjoying the pipe, and then it falls asleep, Popeye apparently unaware it was his pipe that did it!

07-03Popeye starts gently pushing it down the street, but as he passes by a music school, the sound of the instruments tuning up threaten to wake the infant, so Popeye goes inside and tries to silence the musicians, but of course he has to destroy the the instruments (a cello gets Transformation Punched into four violins at one point) in order to get any silence, knocking out the musicians, too!

07-04Later, down at the waterfront, an ocean liner blows its whistle, so Popeye swims out to it and pulls the whole ship beneath the water, shaking the water off himself like a dog when he gets back to shore. Later, walking down the street, there's a radio playing loudly at a radio store, which Popeye punches so hard that his punch goes back to the radio station and knocks out the performer! The next impediment to keeping the baby asleep is construction on a building, with the workers banging away on the girders, so Popeye starts bashing them away, sending the building falling like a house of cards! However, since Popeye's left the stroller in the middle of an intersection, now there's cars stopped all around the baby, honking their horns!  Popeye tries to silence them by shushing, but it doesn't work, so it's spinach time!

With the spinach in his system (no fanfare or nothing, this time), Popeye smashes the cars to junk, but when he tries to place the blanket back over the baby, a diaper pin falls to the street, causing the baby to wake up screaming! Popeye simply zips the baby's mouth closed, then sings, "I'm Popeye the sailor man!" as we iris out!

07-06Now, this was an odd one -- it's only the seventh cartoon in the series, but it's already breaking away from the usual formula of the Popeye series -- no Olive Oyl, no Bluto (or any other physical threat to anyone)... unless we assume that the baby is supposed to be Swee'pea (and I somehow recall that the Fleischers didn't always get him on model, but I could be misremembering), there's no other member of Popeye's comic strip cast in this at all! We don't know why Popeye's pushing this baby around (although we can presume that he's agreed to babysit out of the goodness of his heart, because at his very core, Popeye is a good man, even if his temper sometimes gets the best of him), we can only marvel at the extremes he goes to in order to try to keep it quiet so the baby can sleep -- this is something that those of us who are parents can probably appreciate!

07-07Having said that, it would've been nice if it had opened with Popeye going to see Olive, and her saying she was babysitting this child, and could Popeye watch him while she goes to the market for a few minutes, and then lead into all this, with Popeye being admonished that the baby must get his nap (I believe this set-up gets used later in the series). I'm also rather confused as to why, when Popeye didn't need his spinach to pull an ocean liner under the water, he needed it to smash some cars up -- this is one of the weaknesses with the earlier cartoons in the series, that inconsistency so far as Popeye's strength goes. Certainly, even before eating his spinach, he should be plenty strong -- stronger than an ordinary man could be -- so when he eats the spinach, he should be doing way bigger feats! If I had to guess, I would have to posit that when this cartoon was being made, someone realized it was almost over, and they hadn't had the spinach stunt yet, so instead of re-arranging things so that the ocean liner stunt was the final one, they just used the last stunt Popeye was to perform.

Of course, it also wouldn't surprise me if the whole thing was set-up so that when the pin dropped, that woke up the baby, not all the other stuff.  Anyway, given all the above, out of five cans of spinach, I'll have to rate this one... three cans!

Comic Reading Library: Gorgo #14!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Cover Redux!

456 So, just as a reminder, this feature is where I compare the original cover of a Marvel comic and the comic that issue was reprinted in, and try to look for differences beyond the usual coloring variations. For example, here was have Sgt. Fury #40 and the reprint in issue #113. Now, I'm not going to care about the coloring, as different colorists have different tastes (although I think the original is better colored than the reprint), and I'm not going to point out that there's a new logo on the book... that's not what I'm looking for. What I am looking for are things like the hand grenade that Dum-Dum Dugan's thrown -- because now it suddenly has motion lines indicating that it was thrown by Dum-Dum... why did someone think this needed to be added? I have no idea! I don't see any other changes, though.

Puzzle Time!

Solutions after the jump! marvelmazes47 marvelmazes48 marvelmazes49 marvelmazes50 marvelmazes51 marvelmazes52 marvelmazes53

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Comic Book Ads!


Here's another ad from Alarming Tales #1, and since there are two ads on this page, let's look at each! First, the Automatic Firing Tripod Machine Gun -- man, I thought the BB Gun ads were bad, but this is an actual pellet-firing machine gun, and it trumpets that it "Develops Deadly Target Skill!" What's worse, though, that one or the miniature secret camera below that encourages you to take pictures without people knowing?

Monster Stuff!

killershrews_still1 First up this time around, a few stills from "Attack of the Killer Shrews"!