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"I don't understand! Yes this is 711 but what makes you think we will sell you milk, bread and cigarettes? I can't be distracted just now, I have serious work to do."

Little Rock, Arkansas 1957. They didn't have metal detectors back then, but then not many students were armed. And you could get beat up and harassed for the color of your skin then, but today you can get beat up and harassed for wearing the wrong color jacket (this is, depending on what gangs are present).

And here's my take on this bird, from a few years back: What the..?Collapse )
28 July 2015 @ 01:26 pm

The U.N.C.L.E. agent they never talk about!

Aw, just kidding. You guys recognized her right away:Read more...Collapse )

What a wild visual.

Part of what made early Marvel Comics such a sensation were the unpredictable moments. It was called "the House of Ideas" for good reason. Jack Kirby had so much inventive energy that Stan Lee kept him constantly turning out new characters and concepts even for stories other artists would draw. Usually, when a character first appeared on a cover drawn by Kirby, it was Kirby who had designed him, and often done a few rough layouts for the other artist to follow.

This sequence is from THE FANTASTIC FOUR# 22, February 1964 and it just comes out of nowhere (so to speak). The only earlier use of a concept like this, as far as I know, is from the "Nothing Behind the Door" episode of the old radio series QUIET PLEASE. I don't know if Jack Kirby had ever heard of that, though. He certainly had a mind boiling with enough bizarre concepts to have come up with it on his own. I've read in a number of sources that Lee often got the penciled pages in and reacted with, "What is THAT thing? What are they doing there? I thought they were going to fight in Times Square, not the beach." And he would have to incorporate these new elements into the story so they made a certain amount of dramatic sense. Sometimes he would have to call someone like Sol Brodsky or later Johnny Romita in to make some changes in the art ("Alicia can't be driving a car" or "I don't like Johnny being so tall in this panel, make him Reed instead"). Later on, Lee's revisions clashed more and more with what Kirby had in mind, leading to increasing friction and the ultimate break-up of the partnership.

To be honest, I think the "Marvel Method" would have come about no matter what. Kirby just had such strong storytelling energy and so many wild concepts bursting on the pages that he would not have been comfortable working from a full movie-type script DC-style and would inevitably have gone off in his own directions more and more. To an extent, Ditko was this way also. Their ability and their desire to take over the plotting was a huge help to Stan Lee because it let him write and edit a dozen comics every month but I'm not sure it was his idea so much as how things just turned out.

At this point, too, Dr Doom is not the imperious ruler of Latveria, just a rogue mad scientist running around causing trouble. At the end of each story, he is seemingly killed - shrunk into nothingness, falling out of a plane, cast into outer space as here- only to come back a few issues later.

Gary Larson, THE FAR SIDE. What a mind!

"That medication is really easing my paranoia. I don't feel like I'm being watched all the time anymore."
27 July 2015 @ 03:55 pm

For a while, this place was renamed after a president. (Not Polk High School, home of the Polka Dots.)

But maybe thass really not a good topic to tell everybody about COME TO THINK OF IT, it might lead to trouble! Still if anyone wants to go the American Legion cookout this weekend I can get us in free and if you are interested in something called "Ben Wa Balls" let me know. ANYWHAT! What I really want to say is that I am a little worried about my cousin Ingethur. She is a binge DVD watcher!! She told me she started something called HMO's Game of Thrones Friday after noon and was still at Saturday night. Her mother had to bring her a little bucket dont ask why and next Ingethur is starting on a show called Deadwood I guess it must be about saving the rainforest?!

And her sister Frieda is just as bad! She works at the liberry and she brings with a razor blade and cuts out the last page of Agatha Christie mysteries and then calls the people a few days later and says she will tell them ending for a dollar! But she gets the stories confused anyway and glues the pages back into the WRONG BOOKS!! No wonder i see so many little old ladies returning books with puzzled expressions on their wrinkled little countincounentenfaces. I dont know what gets into those girls (except too much beer).

And thats not all thats been getting on my nerves BIG TIME! my best friend BFF&E Murky has been hanging out at the Mother Cabrini Home for Wayward Girls where I slave and sweat and break my back emptying the waste paper baskets and wiping the glass doors with old newspapers. Murky thinks those girls like her but I know they are sharks with mascara. They plan on asking Murky to lie down on the barbed wire to flatten it out so they can all escape. God help Murky is Cousin Ingrid finds out. Murky may be big but Ingrid is small and I dont know where I was gonna go with that sentence UhOh theres the bus gotta go CYA!Here, Ing says HAI to you guyz!
27 July 2015 @ 03:02 pm

Phew. The Pirana only appeared twice, in two issues of THRILL-O-RAMA (both in 1966) but there was also this promo for him. Harvey had tried super-hero strips and horror before (the original Black Cat remains a favorite of mine), but by the 1960s the company had settled into the comfortable rut of titles like RICHIE RICH and LITTLE DOT, which always put money in the bank and never caused controversy. But then there was that nationwide Campmania inspired by the BATMAN TV show, and the newsstands groaned under a flood of shoddy hastily rushed-out comics. Almost anything with super-heroes sold for a while, no matter how poor it was,

Harvey put out a few anthology titles with a variety of features in each one. The main stars weren't what you could call good (Jack "Quick" Frost, the ice-throwing secret agent), but some of the back-up strips were reprints from the 1950s with art by Al Williamson or Simon and Kirby. Some of the new material had art by Gil Kane or Wally Wood. So sinking a quarter for an issue of UNEARTHLY SPECTACULARS was not necessarily a bad idea.

Art here is by Jack Sparling, whose finished style always seemed to me to be like the quick doodles that artists do for fans at conventions.

I don't suppose we're likely to see a huge-budget film of the Pirana, directed by James Cameron and starring Ryan Reynolds *ACK*, but I've been wrong before.