Archive for December 3, 2008

The 1980s were a time of crappy music and fashion and horribly crappy public service videos that try to promote some worthy message to kids. Here we have all that and Mr. T in – Be Somebody or Be Somebody’s Fool!

Some interesting notes about this film, the lyrics for Mr. T’s song were written by a young Ice T. One of the kids in the video is a 13 year old Stacy ‘Fergie’ Ferguson of Black Eyed Peas fame and another is early 90s pop princess Martika. This is a very 80s sort of thing as that seems to be the most awfully crappy decade for music, fashion and public service infomertial/advertisement thingys.

Mmmm, I wonder what Xenia and Zena are doing these days?

SeanBaby has a review of the video here and here.


Carl Barks’ Ducktales Volume 1 is a trade paperback containing some of Carl Barks’ most famous Uncle Scrooge stories, that were later used as the basis for the Ducktales cartoon series of the 1980s. I really recommend this as well as Volume 2 as they are perhaps the cheapest way to buy Barks’ brilliant stories. The best thing aboout these tales are that they are not only suitable for children to read, as they aren’t dumbed down like other child friendly books I could name, but adults can enjoy these stories too.

Volume 1 contains some of Barks’ greatest Scrooge stories, including my all time favourite Back To The Klondike, which reveals how Uncle Scrooge made his fortune and met his one true love Glittering Goldie, by becoming an argonaut in the Yukon goldrush of the 1890s. This is perhaps the most famous of all Barks’ stories and in the 1990s inspired Don Rosa to chronicle the history of Scrooge McDuck with the Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck. It is truly great story that everyone who loves comics and Disney should read.

Also featured in Volume 1 are The Land Beneath The Ground, which reveals the real reason why earthquakes occur, Micro-Ducks From Outer Space, Lemming With The Locket, Lost Crown Of Genghis Khan, and Hound Of The Whiskervilles. All are great reads showing just what a dynamic character that Scrooge is. Barks’ writing is truly inspired and shows just what a great imagination that he possessed. For ‘kids’ comic stories that were written half a century or more ago, these stories have greater sophistication and character development than many more ‘mature’ comics that are written today.

This is another EC Comics story with a racial theme, this time dealing with Holocaust survivors and the tormentors and what would happen if they confronted each other after the war. This story appeared in one of EC’s New Direction books, issue 1 of Impact and seems to have been quit an influential comic story too and there is a surprising twist at the end.

I love the black and white Fleischer Popeye cartoons. I especially love the ones that they made before they moved to Florida in the late 1930s. There are a miriad of reasons why I love these cartoons and most of them can be seen in Lost And Foundry.

Firstly, the backgrounds that the Flesichers used were just beautiful, whether they were using the 3D table top backgrounds or the more traditional cel painted backgrounds.

The voice work and chemistry of the actors was terrific. You can tell that Jack Mercer and Mae Questel and Gus Wickie (Bluto, who is not featured in this cartoon) are enjoying themselves and the under the breath mutterings that they do are so hilarious. The later Fleischer cartoons and early Famous Popeyes don’t have the same chemistry, probably because Questel did not move to Florida with the Fleischer studio, and Wickie’s untimely death. However once they got back to New York and Questel rejoined Mercer, and Jackson Beck took over as Bluto, that chemistry returned (too bad the quality of the cartoons had gone down at that stage!).

The cartoons weren’t just about Popeye and Bluto beating the crap out of each other. Even the most formulaic of Fleischer cartoons were really interesting and the Fleischer always tried to be innovative.

More about that racist licorice!

Posted: December 3, 2008 in Advertising
Tags: ,

I just thought that I would continue on from my two posts about Nigger Boy licorice, a brand of candy that was very popular in Australia from the 1940s until the mid-1960s. I have already made a couple of posts about it here and here.

Whilst I don’t have much information about this brand I do have some more pictures of the advertising that they used.

While these ads may be quite shameful for present day Aussies I feel that we really need to remember that it was not that long ago that we did not think twice about using the word ‘nigger’. Even today some people do not think that the n-word is all that offensive, as can be seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Toowoomba thugby fans were outraged that anyone could be offended that they had named a stand of their sports stadium after E.S. ‘Nigger’ Brown. (Mmm… would it be so hard to have called it the E.S. Brown stand. Hang on, I forgot, Toowoomba is in Queensland and Queenslanders aren’t exactly known for their tolerance or intelligence!)

Why all the old comic scans???

Posted: December 3, 2008 in DC Comics
Tags: ,

You may ask why I have been scanning lots of old comics and have no scans or discussion or current modern comic books. Well, to be honest, I am currently not reading many current books. I do read some of the Batman books, but that seems to be more out of habit than out of enjoyment. My favourite character is Batman but I find that writers over the last several years have sucked the fun out of the character. I will in the next few days discuss both the latest arcs of Batman and Detective Comics and say why I feel that they failed.

One thing I have wondered about is why the writers seem so intent on putting Batman through trials and tribulations that would cause ordinary people to have a nervous breakdown or become seriously depressed. Less and less emphasis on Batman’s detective skills or his colourful rogues gallery, and more on inflicting physical and emotional pain on the Dark Knight. Here are just a few examples that have occurred since Crisis On Infinite Earths, which happened around a decade ago.

  • Robin (Jason Todd) is murdered by the Joker.
  • Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) is crippled after being shot by the Joker.
  • Batman has his back broken by Bane.
  • Batman’s girlfriend Dr Shondra Kinsolving, is kidnapped and then ends up brain damaged.
  • Batman chooses Azrael to take over as Batman while he is convalescing from his broken back. Azrael turns out to be psychotic and almost ruins Batman’s legacy.
  • The plague kills many people in Gotham City. Robin (Tim Drake) contracts the plague and is saved only at the last minute.
  • Gotham City is almost destroyed by an earthquake.
  • Commissioner Gordon’s (Batman’s best friend) is murdered by the Joker.
  • Batman’s girlfriend Vesper Fairchild is murdered by David Cain.
  • Bruce Wayne is imprisoned after being framed for the murder of Vesper Fairchild.
  • Batman’s old friend Tommy Elliott, who we have never heard of before, turns out to be super villain Hush.
  • Spoiler (Stephanie Brown, who also was briefly Robin), murdered by Black Mask. Dr Lesley Thompkins (who is like a Mom to Batman) ignored her hypocratic oath and refused to save Stephanie to teach Batman a lesson!!!
  • Robin’s (Tim Drake) father murdered by Captain Boomerang.
  • Jason Todd found not to be dead after-all.
  • Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) goes evil for some reason that no one really can explain.
  • Catwoman (Batman’s former girlfriend) gives birth to a son who is not Batman’s.
  • Batman takes a holiday and leaves Harvey Dent in control of keeping law and order in Gotham. Whoops, Harvey goes psycho and becomes Two Face again.
  • Stephanie Brown not really dead. It was all an elaborate hoax.
  • Batman found to have an illegitimate son Damien, with super-villainess Talia Head.
  • Ra’s Al Ghul, one of Batman’s arch villains, found to be not dead either.
  • Catwoman has her heart removed by Hush.
  • Batman is drugged and goes through some weird type of adventure. Seriously I had little idea of what was happening during Batman RIP. I think that Batman’s girlfriend Jezabel Jet turns out to be evil or dead or something and Joker learns Batman’s secret identity and, who really knows. Grant Morrison must have really been smoking some really strong stuff when he wrote this story because it really makes no sense and is totally stupid. (Drugs don’t always make you more creative, kids!)

Anyway, I will try to do a full review of Batman RIP and Heart of Hush in the next few days and explain why I thought they were both such horrible stories.