Friday, November 24, 2006

The Comic Ad Lied!!

When I was a kid I loved to look at the ads in the comic books. Everything looked really neat. I thought it would be so cool to own the items advertised and how much fun it would be to show it to my friends. However, things are not always as they seem, especially in the world of comic advertising circa 1970.

Everyone loves a magician's sleight of hand tricks, and what better way to be a magician than to own his hat? All you do is place the hat made of wire and top quality silk on your head and presto chango - you're a magician!. Once again, a disappointment for kids who thought that somehow this would help them to do magic tricks.
Holy moly!! It's the Magne Power Ring! And it comes with the Magne Actuator!! Oh yeah, I'm going to be magne-ing the hell out of anything I can get my hands on. You know, I'm not really sure what a Magne Power Ring does, or what Magne itself is. But judging from the ad, apparently it's something that can turn devices on and you'd can do with an on/off switch.....and your finger.
During the Decade of Steve Austin-ism, all you needed to turn products into gold was to dub them bionic. But this ad says the hand is bi-onic. Is that the same as bionic? Does one hyphen make a difference? How big is it? How does it work? If I hit the bully from Miss Sawyers class during recess, will it go straight through his skull?

I am skeptical that $1.00 can buy a bi-onic hand when Oscar Goldman had to shell out six million dollars for Steve's bionics. It's not like the government is going to pay millions of dollars for a $1.00 hand..... oh. Um, well, if bi-onic hands were $1.00 back in the 70s, we all should have been rolling in bionic hands. And in case you were wondering, we weren't.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Romero, Romero...wherefore art thou Romero?

I'm still in the spirit of Halloween. So here are a few more George Romero film posters for you to gaze upon.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Oh Dracula, Your Fangs Are Delicious

My favorite illustrations from my Scholastic book fair horror books are the ones in Dracula. The purple colored drawings by Harry Borgman are amazing. Here are my favorites.

I thought they were incredible when I was a kid, and I still love them now. I've got nothing else to say. You just can't top them.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Ghost Ship....soon will be making another run

Here are illustrations from the Scholastic book, The Ghost Ship. These were drawn by Norman Nodel and I like them much better than the ones in Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. The red is a much better color than the yellowish brown of the Jeckyll/Hyde ilustrations. No other explanation is necessary. These are creepy and cool. My favorite is the skeleton.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dr. Jeckyll, I Presume?

I thought I'd post a few illustrations from the cool books I picked up in the early 1970s at a Scholastic book fair at my elementary school. Previously I posted the cover for Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. While the cover is amazing, the inside of this book is disappointing. Part of it is due to the drab brownish yellow color used in the drawings, but it is also because the illustrations in Dracula and The Ghost Ship are so fantastic, that these just don't compare.

These are the only two illustrations that I really liked in the whole book. The others just didn't do anything for me.

However, I was fascinated with Dr. Jeckyll's transformation into Mr. Hyde.
He goes from Christian Bale....

to Mr. Chugalug, Dean Martin....

to Rod Steiger.

I'll post some illustrations from the other two books, but these needed to go up first. If you see them after the other two, they're truly disappointing.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

They're Coming to Get You, Barbara

The living dead walk the earth...and we are there. This movie, while tame by todays standards, is still terrifying in it's premise.

Perhaps I have always had an overactive imagination, but if I were in a cemetery and a strange looking man was staggering in my general direction, I would make damn sure that I didn't come within 50 feet of him. After all, cemeteries are creepy and deserted. If the guy isn't a masher, he could be a corpse.

I found myself wanting to smack this woman in the head with a log to snap her out of her stupor. Then once she started babbling on and on about Johnny, I wanted to smack her in the head to shut her up.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Parlor of Terror

This is the type of ad which seems very appealing, but as with all ads in comic books, you're sure to be disappointed when it arrives. Well, except for the fake vampire blood as any kid is going to get excited about putting fake blood on the face and neck.

Any kid reading the ad would read the last line about how all the spooky stuff is in the package, and would totally skim over the first sentence where it says what you're really getting is a manuscript. And would little kids know what a manuscript was? I think not, oh evil comic ad of yore!!

Want a scary costume? Be a Norwegian Troll

When I was a kid my grandparents went to Norway and brought back this book of Norwegian Folk Tales. The stories are along the lines of the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales, which means they can really creep you out.

I used to think of Norway as the land of Nordic blue eyed, blonde, outdoors-y, heathy youngsters with bright white teeth. Now when I think of Norway, I think of trolls. Trolls, trolls, trolls, and more trolls. They're everywhere and the Folk Tales are filled with horrible stories of youngsters being terrorized and eaten by trolls. Norway has to keep it quiet or else their tourist market would suffer.

The scariest story is about a kid named Butterball who is the target of a hungry troll. If you were a troll, wouldn't you pick the kid named Butterball? Sounds like good eatin'. But I digress... the thing that always freaked me out about this particular story was that the troll carried it's own head under it's arm. And the little things that look like sticks coming up out of the neck just make me queasy. Even now looking at them makes me feel slightly ill.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hey Kids, Give Us Your Allowance for Monster Products

These masks don't look like the goriest masks I've ever seen, but they are only $2.98 each. Unfortunately in 1973 my allowance was about 25 cents, and I spent it immediately. So goodbye any chance of owning a monster mask. The one thing I'm curious about is what type of mask you got if you ordered the one called "The Goon."

Monster Studios is a fantastic name for a business. You just feel like they're so dedicated to the monster concept that they must have tons of cool monster items. I find their monster picture more disturbing than the monster masks shown above. But I am enthralled by the notion of the monster himself sending me my free monster gift. Then again, I'm a little nervous that the monster would then have my address and could show up in the middle of the night by the side of my bed.

Vampire blood....what kid didn't want their own tube of vampire blood? Well I'm guessing the only one would be that kid who always threatened to take his ball home if you didn't let him be the pitcher. Yes, every child wants a tube of succulent bloody goodness to play tricks on their parents and friends, as well as doctor up fake wounds or bloody bandages. Yet wouldn't the ad be more effective to show blood dripping vampire fangs rather than the mystery scribble with the red dot?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's.... The Scarecrow!!

Another unfortunate gap in my posting. But how could I resist October, the month of ghost, creepy things, and candy? When I was a kid, I though the Wonderful World of Disney's The Scarecrow movie was spooky. The Vicar was nice, but those dark nights when the scarecrow and his henchmen rode around the countryside made me shiver. Could you make a kids movie these days based on a group of guys in olden times riding on missions through the dark night, shooting and fighting and wearing creepy masks?...and these are the good guys.

Even though some of it scared me, I did like the fact that the Scarecrow was out for justice. As this photo says about the man of two faces, "The Vicar... kind and benevolent, loved by all. The Scarecrow...a demon ghost, feared by oppressors."

There was even a Scarecrow comic based on the movie. These are all scanned from Scarecrow, no.3 from 1965. I think I saw this in the early 70s, at which time I thought it was a new movie. I do find it odd that the back cover of the comic is this illustration which is labeled as a pinup. The pinup is interesting, but it seems an odd thing for any kid to put on their wall.

While the scarecrow looked kind of scary, he was nothing compared to his henchmen. Holy moley! What the hell?! No wonder I was freaked out by this movie. The Scarecrow's henchmen are horrifying! Look at those masks. Kids must have been hiding under their covers for weeks after seeing this movie.

Good god! Hellspite looks more like a corpse than a scarecrow, and Curlew.... Damn it, Curlew has the head of a bird. How disgusting is that? Does he strap a real bird face around his skull? Is it an owl? What is it? It's uber-creepy. Oh I am going to have nightmares again after this.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Hey Kids, Here's a Cool Way to Be Keep From Getting Skin Cancer

I absolutely loved Saturday morning tv shows, especially live action ones. The one problem was that my parents were the type who actually wanted us to enjoy the outdoors, play with our friends, get some exercise, and use our imaginations. The rules were my brother and I could each pick one Saturday morning show to watch, and that was it. Yup, my parents believed that we should use our brains rather than sit in a stupor and absorb pop culture.
Check out this CBS Saturday morning schedule! How great is this?! Bugs Bunny was usually the show I picked to watch - good cartooning, great voices, and although I didn't know it at the time, a great introduction to classical music.

I somehow managed to watch various episodes of most of the other shows too. Not sure if my parents were out or if they were doing yardwork, but I know I saw Shazam, Fat Albert, and Clue Club multiple times. Clue Club was basically Scooby Doo - scared dogs, good looking guy, good looking girl, dorky guy, and smart girl. Of course Scooby Doo was much better. I can't even remember the mysteries the Clue Club solved.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's a Bonanza of Unreadable Tv Related Paperbacks!

While I love teen idol and tv show books, they're pretty unreadable. In fact, I've never made it through any of these. I'm not sure if everyone is familiar with the show, UFO. It was made in Britain in the late 60s and they pronounce "u-fo." A live action show from the producer of the Thunderbirds - how can you not love it? S.H.A.D.O., the secret organization to combat the aliens, is headquartered under a movie studio and everyone's clothing is silvery and futuristic, such as it was in the late '60s.
I'm a sucker for trippy backgrounds, like the design on the cover of this book. And if the book has a photo of the characters in the show, I'm much more likely to become enamored with it. I'm glad the Mod Squad know of a groovy way to die because I was afriad death would be horrible.
The real Mission Impossible, not the recent Hollywood remakes with Tom Cruise (insert your own Scientology/Suri/alien joke here). While I was too young to watch this in the 60s, I enjoyed seeing episodes in reruns. Who could forget the famous words, "...this tape will self distruct in five seconds..."
It's almost inconceivable that the Leif in the recent mugshot could actually have been this cute, little golden haired teen idol. I'd make a joke here, but when you think about it, it's just so pathetic and sad.
Oh cone of silence, I love you so. I wish I had one at work, at home, at the beach, in the car, at a club.......and if only it would work correctly. Mel Brooks, Buck Henry, Don Adams, and Barbara Feldon - I salute you!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

William Shatner Thinks He Can Kick Your Ass

I was a huge William Shatner fan in the 1970s. To clarify that, I was thin but fanatical about the man. Here is a very odd magazine that focuses on celebrities and the art of self defense. The fact that this even exists is puzzling. Did they really think it was profitable to print an entire magazine about this subject? Apparently, which is why we see The Shat karate-ing his way through his opponent, while shrieking "hiya" and praying the glue holding on this toupe holds until the end of this beating.

I'm genuinely perplexed about this cover, especially since it was published in 1974 during Shatners lean years. This was when he was doing B movies and had no money. So why did they put him on the cover? Another inexplicable link in the gold chain that is William Shatner.

Jigsaw Don't

Anyone remember Jigsaw and their huge hit, Sky High? I have to admit I still have a soft spot for that song, even though it's an amazingly bland, agonizingly lightweight 70s song.

I got this album at a flea market in the 90s. It's the only time I've ever seen it. You'd think with Sky High being such a big hit, that there'd be thousands of these at thrift stores. Maybe it's only the Northeast that is void of Jigsaw. Perhaps in California, they're ripe with them.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More Vintage Defacement Art

Here is the ad that prompted me to join the Brady Bunch Fan Club. I'm not sure how I convinced my parents to pay for this, but my brother and I had to share the fan club items. Consequently all I have left are the booklet and a hideously defaced picture of Jan.

My brother and I laid everything out on the table and took turns picking what we'd like, including the 5x7 portraits of all the kids. I know my first pick was Peter because he was my favorite. I also know I got stuck with Jans photo because there is no way in hell I would have ever picked that neurotic little basketcase.
Due to the size of the ad, you may not be able to see the defacement, so let's make it perfectlyl clear, shall we? I'm sure you already know that Jan is doomed, but was anyone else caught in the line of fire? Could any other little Brady have been so offensive that I felt compelled to deface them? Let's take a look -
Poor little Cindy. If only she hadn't worn what appears to be a sailors outfit, maybe she could have escaped. Then again, she does need to be punished for that horrible Shirley Temple imitation, and would have been far more annoying if not for Jan's total dominance in that category.

Disturbing Ad Makes Record Sales Plummet

Who thought this was a good idea for an ad? How is this going to sell more records? It's just plain creepy. As if the idea of a Ted Nugent doll isn't disturbing enough, they had to go and give it two hippy-esque crazy-Ted noggins. I don't know about you, but one thing I never wanted to see is a creepy two headed Ted Nugent doll. Let the nightmares commence...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

David Cassidy, Downer

There's nothing like daydreaming about which teen idol to date. Why I'll bet every teenage girl thought if she could just meet Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or Jimmy McNichol, that the young male testosterone factories would fall in love with them and be the perfect boyfriend. Why, those fine young men are sensitive, sweet, and a joy to be around.

Yes, teen idols are always happy. Well, except for one guy, the mopiest moper who ever graced the cover of a teen mag, causing many a young woman to rip her own head off rather than be stuck in a room with him. You see, David Cassidy is a downer.

Here's David Cassidy. His heart is broken but he's a professional and the show must go on. This is as happy as David gets

David's mental state is going down hill. He starts writing letters about ecology in which he urges people to buy white toilet paper, recycle their bottles and cans, pick up any trash you find on the ground, and don't smoke. He also says don't litter. Somewhere an Indian cries.

Oh god, is that David over there in the corner? He's going to totally ruin the party. I hear his heart got broken. Don't look at him! I think we can sneak out the door before he looks up. Oh no, he's spotted us. Keep walking and pretend you don't see him.

I am so tired of this whiny mopey crap. Yeah, David, I know, she broke your heart, but she's not coming back. So quit following her around and trying to get back together with her. You're only half alive? What the hell is that supposed to mean? That's messed up.

The smile on David's face says he's more than half alive now. Yup, David's a happy guy. Unfortunately you won't be happy because everywhere you turn, there's David - at your office, driving slowly up and down your street, staring at your house, never blinking, parking in front of your neighbors, revving his engine, impersonating the paperboy, sleeping in his car, or standing like a statue outside your window. Um, not only is he a downer, he's really creepy.

As David ups his stalking ante, he tries to buy your affection with roses and sad puppy dog eyes. Unbelievable. Is there nothing he won't try to manipulate you?

Even the teen mags can't hide David's lifeless expression. They have to resort to pathos by imploring teenage girls everywhere to love this pathetic wreck by giving him a lonely little rich boy spin rather than the sad psychotic downer we know him to be.

Oh no, is that Cassidy again? What's he doing here? After bringing everyone down at the last party, I didn't even invite him this time. Man, he looks really pissed off. He's starting to really scare me. Don't leave me alone with him, okay? I think he just mumbled something about making me swim with the fishes.

Really David, just muster a smile and stop whining. Get a grip, man!