Here is the opening splash panel to "Message in a Nutshell - Part II", the Paul Murry Mickey Mouse serial appearing in WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES #381 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: June, 1972).
Friday, January 29, 2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
We, along with a very large segment of America, are saddened by the loss of radio and television talk legend Larry King on January 23, 2021, at the age of 87.
Friday, January 22, 2021
At TIAH Blog, we mourn the passing of Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves baseball legend Henry (Hank) Aaron, who passed away at the age of 86.
Hank Aaron was already a superstar when I began watching baseball in 1967 (when the terms "superstar" and "legend" were not thrown around with the casual abandon they are today), but will be forever remembered for the day in 1974 when he hit home run #715 - passing Babe Ruth's lifetime total of 714.For insane and unfathomable reasons of racism, many people were unhappy on that day, April 08, 1974. I will confess to being "unhappy" too... but merely because the home run record no longer belonged to a New York Yankee (Ruth).
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
The question on everyone's lips (...if, by "everyone", you mean everyone presently in my den as I type this - which adds-up to only me) is... "What made up Joe's Christmas 2020: Reading and Viewing, and when will we find out about it?"
The answer to the second question is NOW! (...If, by "NOW", you mean going on a month after Christmas - all the usual [all together now] "horrifically busy" factors being applicable!) As for the first...
Since the days of home-recorded VHS Tape, I've had TWO Basic and Absolute Christmas Viewing Standards for the longest time, and have added (variably, depending on the year, and amount of available time) to them over the years, to where there are now FOUR annual absolutes.
Others come and go per the above variables, but these are the perennial-programmers of my "Christmas Show"...
THE FLINTSTONES: "Christmas Flintstone" (1964): Department store Santa Claus Fred fills-in for the real thing, when Jolly Old St. Nick temporarily takes ill.
This is the real-Christmas-deal that aired the evening of Christmas Day, 1964, and not to be confused with any number of permutations that came later!
An extraordinary effort for 1964 Hanna-Barbera, with more elaborate than usual backgrounds, and some soundtrack music that might never have been used more than that once.
It also came "on the cusp" of my believing (or not believing) in Santa, and may have held-off the skepticism for another few days or weeks. A perfect storm of story, execution, and "time-of-life" for me, made this my All-Time-Favorite-Christmas-Thing!
LOST IN SPACE: "The Toymaker" (1967): Will Robinson and Doctor Smith are imprisoned in an "other-dimension-based" toy factory, by an eccentric yet stubborn old toymaker who views them as animated toys to be shipped-off to a world of giant children!
He also refuses to see that events occurring on the Robinson's planet will imminently destroy the Toymaker's shop... and everyone in it!
Though more tangentially related to Christmas than its prior season predecessor "Return From Outer Space", "The Toymaker" still acknowledges the Christmas season in a most imaginative way.
"Christmas Flintstone" and "The Toymaker" are my two Basic and Absolute Christmas Viewing Standards. As for the other two, added-as-absolutes later-on, we have...
BEWITCHED: "A Vision of Sugar Plums" (1964): Airing literally the DAY BEFORE "Christmas Flintstone" on Christmas Eve, 1964 (while "Christmas Flintstone" aired on Christmas Day, 1964), "A Vision of Sugar Plums" had the same "Santa-Believing-Effect" for "on-the-cusp" little me.
...It also guest-stars a Pre-Lost In Space Billy Mumy, seen below.
But, I remembered it, and it fit right in with the Absolute Christmas Viewing Standards where it's remained ever since!
JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED: "Comfort and Joy" (2003): Three separate tales of Christmas, starring GREEN LANTERN AND HAWKGIRL...
...SUPERMAN and THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER!
All superbly written by the great Paul Dini! Even if you are not a DC Comics fan, this is a must-see that transcends the expected super-doings, and perfectly captures the spirit of the season.
Oh, and in that last one a Martian (The Martian Manhunter) discovers Christmas...
As for the "something I haven't read before", how could I go wrong with BUGS BUNNY CHRISTMAS FUNNIES #3 (Dell Comics, Cover Date: 1952) - especially after so enjoying THIS ONE!
Since this issue is so packed full of yuletide goodies, we'll just cover some quick highlights...
...Jolly Old Saint Nick gets into the act, and turns the story in a completely unexpected direction... leading to this wonderful image - courtesy of writer Don R. Christensen and artist Tony Strobl...