Sunday, May 19, 2019

Separated at Mirth: Candle "Whacks"!

Sometimes ya gotta feel sorry for "Disney's Little Guys".  

As seen on the back cover gag of DELL FOUR COLOR # 791 JIMINY CRICKET (1957) and the front cover of CHIP 'N' DALE # 28 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: July, 1974), they can't even settle-in to read a book, or just chill, by CANDLELIGHT without mishap!

Jiminy, it would seem, is an unfortunate victim of melting circumstances, while Chip suffers the unintended consequences of Dale leaning too far backward!

Either way, we are given a renewed appreciation for the electric light bulb, rather than...  "wax" too nostalgic for those bygone candlelit nights! 
Wax and wick, gives flame its birth... 

...With Jiminy and Chip 'n' Dale - "Separated at Mirth"! 

Friday, May 17, 2019

R.I.P. Tim Conway.

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of actor/comedian Tim Conway, on May 14, 2019, at the age of 85. 

Mr. Conway was a very funny man, who was in a great many things I liked - from McHALE'S NAVY...

...To THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, where he truly became a comedy legend...

...With a few less than successful sit-coms in between!  But, I liked even them!  

In later years, he brought his talents to animation voicing as "Barnacle Boy" on SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS (with his former McHALE'S NAVY co-star, Ernest Borgnine, as "Mermaid Man")!

...And a personal favorite, The Joker's idol and inspiration "The Weeper" on BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD!  

HERE is Tim Conway's extensive list of credits at IMDB!  

Rest In Peace, Mr. Tim Conway... and thank you for decades of laughs and good times!  

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: "You'll HOWL with HOPE!"

Here's a great ad for THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE # 7 (DC Comics, Cover Date: February / March, 1951)!

(Click to Enlarge) 

The ad promises that "You'll HOWL with HOPE!

And, guess what?  ...I DID!  

(...And there's a very long Blog post to prove it!)

Oh, the ad was from REAL SCREEN COMICS # 35 (DC Comics, Cover Date: February, 1951), which was no slouch in the "howling department" itself!  

Monday, May 13, 2019

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Our Changing Standards of Villainy!

Here's the cover of LOIS LANE # 50 (DC Comics, Cover Date: July, 1964), with Lois acting as our issue's VILLAIN ( characters in Silver Age DC Comics were often wont to do)!

Ah, but WHAT is it that makes Lois the villain?  Depends on WHEN you ask! 

If you were to ask that question in 1964, it would be her extreme jealously toward Lana Lang, wanting to (as the thought balloon says) "wreck her romance"!  

Why the TITLE EVEN TELLS YOU she's "plotting against poor, innocent, teen-age Lana"!   

But NOW, you have Jerry Springer, Dr. Phil, and a host of reality-competition shows like "The Bachelor" that showcase, if not outright promote, the underhandedly destructive aspects of "romance"!  Today, folks even cheer-on such bad behavior - or go WHOOP-WHOOP just to make their sorry-studio-audience-selves heard!  
That would NEVER happen in 1964! 

On the other hand, wearing FUR was quite common at the time of this story, and no one batted an eye at Lois' coat's once-living-now-not source material!  

Just look at that diabolical fur-wearing expression!  She relishes every stitch of that coat! 

Not unlike Cruella De Vil, who was really only regarded as a villain because she wanted a coat made from CUTE LITTLE PUPPIES!  If her desires were merely for mink or fox, as Lois appears to be sporting, Cruella would be kinda okay by 1964 standards!  Even her chain smoking was sorta normal! 

But, today, Lois would clearly be a villain due to her choice of attire!  ...And, I can't say I disagree!

Look out, Li'l Fox!  Big bad Lois is after you!  

Perhaps I'm applying too much hindsight but, even back in the sixties, fur wasn't always good for you...

...Even if you were just an innocent bystander! 

It's a good thing this didn't happen to CLARK KENT, with Lois' fur coat...

...One bite might have exposed him as Superman... 

(...At least her COAT is made of CLOTH!)

...or worse, just plain "exposed him" to something like this! 


Note that, even here, "Villain Lois" is wearing fur! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Comic-Con That Was More "CON" Than Comics!

As readers of this Blog well know, I don't usually discuss things "in the negative" here!

I tend to give every person, place, or thing discussed, addressed, or otherwise reviewed at this Blog the benefit of the doubt - and a degree of respect that is not found in many other places on The Internet!

So, on the very rare occasions where I let loose with a harsh degree of criticism, I must have been EXTREMELY DISPLEASED!  ...And, let the record show that I WAS extremely displeased with the "Undiscovered Realm Comic Con", which I visited on Saturday, May 04, 2019!

After an opening like that, why pull punches?  I'll just flatly say this was the absolute worst comic convention I've ever attended (and I've been going to such cons since 1980!) 

But, let's back it up a bit and consider why it was so, what was involved in the process of traveling to and from the event, the exorbitant admission fee (relative to what was offered), and WHY I WAS EVEN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Starting with that last one, our friend and fellow "Core Four" Disney comic book "translator and dialogue creator" Thad Komorowski was moderating a panel on one of his great passions... Ren and Stimpy!  

As the author of "Sick Little Monkeys"...

...The definitive book on the subject of everyone's favorite Nicktoon (...whether or not they'll admit it), Thad is uniquely qualified to host this panel featuring the great Billy West and Bob Camp! 

Awww... We love you too, Spongebob!  But, Ren and Stimpy?  They're, you know, "special"!  

And so, with thoughts of this great panel - and seeing Thad again... and (note this, folks) filling back issue gaps at a comic con I never attended before (didja get that?), I set out on what some would deem an arduous trek that involved a bus, a commuter train, a subway, and another commuter train to take me to the Undiscovered Realm Comic Con... with my omnipresent comics want list in my hot little hands!  

I live in the eastern mid-suburbs of New York City, and Undiscovered Realm was in the mid-to-further-northern suburbs.  Thus the many and varied modes of transportation.  But, being born and raised in and around New York, negotiating the vagaries of public transit has never been difficult or unpleasant for me!  In fact, I rather enjoy it, vs. the white-knuckled angst of driving - especially through NYC! 

Joining up with me along the route was my friend and editor David Gerstein and friend Tom Stathes, who were looking forward to Thad's panel as well!  As we walked up to the arena, David remarked on the noticeable "lack of Geeks" lined up, or otherwise milling about, outside the building.

And, while we all took this as something of an ominous sign of things to come, I never imagined this would turn out to be (everybody ready?) the absolute worst comic convention I've ever attended!

If David wondered where everyone was, his answer came as we entered the building!  They were waiting, stuck in a VERY LONG AND SLOW-MOVING LINE TO PURCHASE TICKETS!  Though there appeared to be fewer than 30 people on line ahead of us, I really think my Subway shuttle trip from Times Square to Grand Central Station was completed more quickly than the wait to pay a THIRTY DOLLAR ONE-DAY ADMISSION!

But, I didn't care about that!  Once paid and admitted, I couldn't wait to get at ALL THOSE COMIC BOOK DEALERS!  We had close to three hours before Thad's panel, and I wondered if I would have time to visit ALL THOSE COMIC BOOK DEALERS before the posted start time!  

Reaching for my list, I energetically burst through the doors of the main hall - ready to see ALL THOSE COMIC BOOK DEALERS!

My usual M.O. at comic cons is to go all the way over to one side of the hall (usually the side to my right, as I face the room) and work my way up and down the aisles until finally reaching the opposite side now with a full briefcase of back issues, purchased from (you know...) ALL THOSE COMIC BOOK DEALERS!

There were four (?) lengthy aisles in total, with vendors on both sides of each aisle!  Each, I thought, a potential source for filling those remaining holes in my comic book collection!  With ALL THOSE COMIC BOOK DEALERS, how could I miss?  

So, we walked up and back down the FIRST aisle.  No comic book dealers!  

Oh, there were plenty of booths offering toys, trinkets, doo-dads, shirts, costuming accessories, and tables for artists doing commissions!  But where were ALL THOSE COMIC BOOK DEALERS?!

Fine, if they weren't in the FIRST AISLE, then surely they must be in the SECOND!

Nope!  And same for the THIRD!  Anyone who had any comics on display, it was merely a minor and ancillary part of whatever their business was!  Or, as they say in good ol' NYC... "Move on!  Nothing to see here!"

The FOURTH and FINAL aisle did have two dealers who primarily dealt in comics... but having largely none of the many different Silver and Bronze Age comics that I write about here, and that make up the remainder of my want list!

For THIRTY FREAKING DOLLARS FOR A ONE-DAY ADMISSION to a show billing itself as a "COMIC CON", this is ALL I GET?!  REALLY?!

The promoters of this show ought to be SHAMED... or SUED!  Or, combine the two and make 'em "SHAMUED"?  Yeah, hit 'em TWICE AS HARD! 

In 39 years of comic-con attendance, this is without question the (...all together now) absolute worst comic convention I've ever attended!

It would seem that some things that are UNDISCOVERED should REMAIN so!

Aside from Thad's panel, there was but one saving grace to the disappointing day.  That was meeting Ken Wheaton, the artist of this POPEYE comic produced for the special occasion of Popeye's 80th Birthday!  

It's black and white, but very well done!  After all, there are those that consider most of Popeye's best animated moments to be in black and white - so why not apply that to comics?  

It was this AND ONLY THIS that prevented the "Undiscovered Realm Comic Con" from being the first and only comic con in those 39 years, at which I did not purchase a single comic!  And, even this is something of a technicality!

Here is the BACK COVER of the issue...

...And here is interior Page One!

Hey, it's the ONLY COMIC I bought ALL DAY at the (...say it with me) absolute worst comic convention I've ever attended!  Of course, I'm going to show it off!

Thad's panel, of course, was great!

But a serious word to the folks behind the "Undiscovered Realm Comic Con"... PLEASE DON'T ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT AS A "COMIC CON", UNLESS YOU HAVE A FAIR NUMBER OF ACTUAL COMIC BOOK DEALERS THERE!


...And you don't REALLY want anyone to speak of it like that, do you?  I didn't enjoy doing so myself.  It's not my nature to do so, as my readers will attest.

It may have been a very nice "TOY SHOW", or some-such... but it was NOT a COMIC CON in ANY sense of the phrase with which I'm familiar!

Nothing personal or harmful is intended by these comments.  It is just "a review of the event" by one who paid his admission to what was billed as a "COMIC CON", and honestly felt he received far too little in return.

Funny thing... Of late, I've often wished for a "less crowded con, where the aisles are not choked by cosplayers and those who slavishly photograph them with their omnipresent phones"!  Be careful what you wish for, because "Undiscovered Realm Comic Con" was pretty much that... but with virtually NO COMICS!  (Sob!)

If this ever changes, please let me know, because we can always use another GOOD COMIC CON around here!  ...As long it it REALLY IS a "GOOD COMIC CON"!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Separated at Mirth: Finding PARROT Gold Again?

Anyone who regularly visits this Blog should be at least passingly familiar with the story I titled "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold Again", published in DONALD DUCK # 366 (Boom! Studios, Cover Date: May, 2011).  

In it, the parrot YELLOW BEAK shows up at Donald's door... on a stormy night, as the Ducks are watching TV, and causes some momentary fright! 

So, imagine my surprise when I opened my copy of YOSEMITE SAM # 36 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: June, 1976) to find THIS...

No, it's not another remake of the classic "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold"...

...Nor is this "wet stomping parrot" any sort of analogue to Yellow Beak...

But, it IS curiously coincidental enough to declare DONALD DUCK # 366 and YOSEMITE SAM # 36 to be (at least visually) "Separated At Mirth"!