Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I really want an on-model Parade Hater Horace sweater for Christmas. Sadly, I can't trust anyone in my family to have one made and to do it right. Invariably they would get something wrong. Something about the sweater, probably more than one element, would be off and ruin everything. The color, style, size, material or the all important typography of the garment would be "close enough" or sub-par. I want to squeal with joy and pump my fist in the air, not look disappointingly at my clan, lip curling with barely concealed distaste, and mutter a halfhearted thanks. Since my stated gift-giving goal every Christmas is to absolutely crush the giving abilities of others it is obvious I'll have to do it myself if I want it done right.
Operation Awesome Christmas has begun!
Even with the recent successes of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor movies this is about as close as fans will ever get to a Doctor Strange flick, the 1992 direct-to-VHS Doctor Mordrid, Master of the Unknown.
Any comic book fan with even a passing familiarity to the early history of Doctor Strange will recognize this cheesy though enjoyable film as as an adaptation of the classic Doctor Strange vs. Dormamuu story arc as told in the Strange Tales comic book series of the 1960s. This entry into cult film status was an improvement over the 1978 Doctor Strange television movie (as was the Doctor Strange-ish F/X short by animator and filmmaker Mike Jittlov, which I believe was called Doctor Magic or something, which you should watch if you ever get a chance).
As 90s as this movie is there was no moss was growing on lead actor Jeffery Coombs as the Master of the Unknown. He's a great addition to many films and television shows, The Frighteners and Deep Space Nine for a few examples. The reason why Marvel didn't sue the Agamotto out of the production company for DM: TMOTU was because the script was initially intended for another live-action Doc Strange film but was re-written when the option expired.
Monday, November 28, 2011
I have noticed a huge increase in searches for Hayley Mills over the last few weeks, mostly leading people to the LTMS entry about her first uncredited screen appearance as an infant in the 1947 film So Well Remembered.
I don't know what in the public consciousness has created the buzz and interest but it is extremely gratifying for this fan. Thankfully, again, the search terms are not queries about her state of undress and a lot of the searches are not based in England. Many of the searches are originating from all over the world.
Not that Hayley doesn't have fans from all over the planet (ticket sales at the Hayley Mills Celebratory Complex are brisk as ever) regularly checking up on her status but this is more than usual.
Today on Monday With Hayley Mills is a 1960s clip from a Disney newsreel or television episode featuring the Mills family visiting the newly opened Swiss Family Tree House. The Mills family toured the tree house in support of the film The Swiss Family Robinson starring her father, John Mills. No, Hayley did not appear in that film though I've had quite a few people insist she did. The role of "Bertie" that Hayley would have been perfectly adorable in was ably played by Janet Munroe.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Credited to Nathaniel Nitkin (N. N. Nathaniel) is this two page pulp-inspired illustrated story Robots with Brains from Weird Comics #11 (February 1941).
No surprises here and the story seems to be missing a few paragraphs in the beginning but the image of the robot chauffeur taking the hero for a ride is postable.
Text stories are seemingly out of place in old comics but they were often included in comic books and comic magazines to allow the periodical to qualify for better shipping rates.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
For those of you who can't get enough this Thanksgiving of an unwilling gathering of hairy, cretinous members of an extended family, bickering siblings and manipulative parents desperately seeking an escape from their surroundings I present a classic Land of the Lost episode in two online parts.
Originally broadcast in December of 1974, "Stone Soup" tells the story of Rick Marshall, who tires of his children Will and Holly constantly fighting. Rick is also attempting to gain the reluctant and opportunistic acceptance of the native Pakuni tribe. Rick employs a cooperative lesson based on the old Stone Soup fable, from which the episode takes it name, to bring the families together and save the region from an environmental disaster.
Stone Soup, Part One
Stone Soup, Part Two
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Oh, no! Susie Derkins and Mr. Bun have taken an unscheduled trip into the past to when dinosaurs ruled the Earth! Calvin should not have left the keys in the time machine for just anyone to stumble upon but then again he isn't the most responsible little guy.
I was nostalgic for Calvin and Hobbes so I threw this image together as a lark. The idea that Calvin would just shrug and go play when he discovered his time machine was missing tickled me. Only Hobbes would be likely to show some curiosity or concern when he realized Susie was also nowhere to be found. He would have to badger Calvin into a rescue mission, the result being that both of them would probably get sidetracked by mutants, homework and clones until long after Susie made it back to present day on her own, no thanks to Calvin and his tiger. I just wrote 2 weeks worth of dailies and a full color Sunday strip in my head just now.
All original art elements by Bill Watterson and amateurish cut-and-paste by me. If he sees this I hope he approves.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
In what will surely be a boon to fashion houses and the international economy, Saudi women with attractive or tempting eyes may soon be forced to wear concealing sunglasses. I have no doubt that right this moment there are executives from eye wear manufacturing companies everywhere dancing on their chairs, high fiving each other and scrambling to get prototypes approved for export.
If the resolution passes and concealing eye wear is a mandatory attire for Islamic women how long until some wingnut pundit declares that wearing sunglasses is un-American?
Well, at least if America sells spectacles to the middle east the most we have to worry about is getting re-gifted a scratched pair of Oakleys. That's an improvement over the the guns and bombs we export that later get used against us.
Friday, November 18, 2011
I'm not going to turn into one of those bloggers who constantly share my health problems but the other night I went to the ER for crippling back pain. After about 7 hours I left with mighty, mighty fine pain-killers and pills that lower my ridiculously high blood sugar. Apparently the blood sugar issue was why I felt so exhausted the last few months.
It was a good thing I changed my diet a few years ago or I would have been in quite the fix today. Fortunately I don't have to make a major lifestyle change and instead just a few tweaks here and there should do the trick. I'm not going cold turkey on cheeseburgers and pizza since I rarely eat those anyways but I do have to cut way back on the fruit though.
Man, I'm gonna miss the daily bananas and melon for breakfast.
Diabetes has a way of sneaking up on you and once it sets in there is no going back. Considering my diet and lifestyle I was pretty surprised when the doctor told me I was borderline. So whatever condition you are in, even if you feel otherwise healthy like I do, get to a doctor, free clinic or whatever you need to do to get a physical every so often.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Classic Beatles tune that is as adapted and attached to various causes about as much "We Gotta Get Outta This Place" by the Animals. Amusingly and somewhat disappointingly most comments on video sites and forums seem centered on what George says to Paul at eleven seconds into the clip.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
A recent episode of Dexter depicted the serial killer and his murderous impulse, in the form of his dead brother, standing in front of a power mower advertisement after dispatching a blackmailer in an homage to American Gothic, the famous painting by Grant Wood.
Monday, November 14, 2011
I bet Hayley Mills never shouted, threw a tantrum and assaulted a grocery store clerk because some item was sold out or there were more than three people waiting in a line at a register.
Take a cue from Hayley Mills, folks and behave yourself. Life is too short to go aggro about long supermarket lines.
Also, eat your vegetables!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
A few weeks ago it was determined that there are approximately seven billion human beings alive on planet Earth. It has been estimated that in 1370 world population was only about 370 million. Yeesh. Humanity is having a huge impact on the planet and something's got to give. How do we keep that up?
Friday, November 04, 2011
A credit union in San Diego is culturally savvy and timely enough to insert an OWS-inspired Guy Fawkes image in their hustle to bring customers over to them from the big banks for Bank Transfer Day tomorrow. I changed the name of the credit union to something fictional but the rest of the ad is real.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
It's been a while so I think it is time to revisit The Futura Saga!
For those not familiar with Futura, here is a synopsis: Futura is the story of an office secretary named Marcia Reynolds who was shanghaied into space to serve as the test-subject of aliens seeking to repopulate their waning empire. Futura nee Marcia Reynolds experienced a hero's journey in a tale that lasted nearly a decade in a late 1940s Planet Comics serial published by Fiction House publications.
Even as they necessarily catered to a primarily young male market Fiction House was known for their depiction of strong, empowered females. Futura in particular usually held her own without the story resorting to the cliche of the heroine being rescued by a man at the last moment.
You can read all the Planet Comics chapters of Futura and the 1980s revival here: The Futura Saga.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
There are a lot of reasons why the 1990s nearly caused the extinction of the comic book industry and this recent male-fantasy scene transplanted from that era to the 2011 issue of Hood and the Outlaws #2 is one of them.
While enthusiastic that DC Comics is trying to rejuvenate their product line I'm less happy about their repeating the same mistakes of the 90s today.
Hyper-sexualized and idealized characters have always existed in comics but it is the distinct and ridiculous art stylings and themes of over a decade past that is proving irritating for the company-wide do-over for the "New 52".
It is not just the art in this issue that is notable. The shift in characterization of the alien Starfire, who in issue #1 was treated and depicted as little more than a life support system for a vagina, is much more sensitive to the ribald shenanigans of one of her team mates then she was previously portrayed. She was scripted to act annoyed and offended, which was pretty much against her recent characterization as oblivious to earthling mores.
What might issue #3 hold, monogamy and celibacy?