Friday, January 27, 2023

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: "The Man Who Was Mightier Than Superman!"

How often does a question present itself on the cover of a comic book, where you can learn the answer WITHOUT reading the story therein?  

Not often, I'll grant you, but consider ACTION COMICS #209 (DC Comics, Cover Date: October, 1955), and its lead story "The Man Who Was Mightier Than Superman!".

"See, Superman?", asks our story's antagonist, "I can do anything you can -- and there's ONE OTHER POWER I have that YOU haven't got!"  

The posed question being: "WHAT IS THIS GUY'S OTHER POWER?"

To learn the answer, unfortunately for most folks reading this, you must have MY PERSONAL, INDIVIDUAL COPY of ACTION COMICS #209, as seen below... 


Not only that, but the ability to TAKE OUT A CHUNK OF SUPERMAN'S MID-SECTION WITH IT!  

Um... either that, or maybe I just need to get a better copy of this comic!  ...YOU DECIDE!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Just One More Reason Why Streaming Sucks!

Get your coffee, folks... This'll be a LONG one! 

I've not really spent much (perhaps any) time on this Blog discussing this topic that is truly near-and-dear to my heart. But I have spent a great deal of time warning friends in other circles (such as the Film Group I belong to) of the eventual hazards of STREAMING vs.  physical media that you own... such as DVDs and Blu-ray discs!  

I'd like to emphasize the *"that you own"* part of that last sentence... because when you stream, you "own" NOTHING!  

Not only do you "own NOTHING" but you are at the mercies and arbitrary whims of the media giants that DO own this stuff - and THEY are subject to far too many forces, social and fiscal, that allow them to "take away something you like" with impunity!  

For better or for worse, we live in an overly sensitive, grievance-driven, victimization-based society where the standards of "acceptability" can change by the day.  I haven't checked lately but, by now, they may even change by the hour!  

And this gives said media giants (Disney, Warner Bros./Discovery, and the rest) the impetus - with or without any reasonable or logical justification - to prevent your enjoyment or study of ANYTHING that falls under their respective umbrellas by effectively removing it from existence!  

And WE, in our mad rush to abandon physical media and cede total control of our entertainment choices to these entities, have ignorantly allowed this to happen!  

Indeed, we have allowed this to happen to such an extent that THEY (the many different forces of entertainment streaming) are now battling and consuming one another in a war that only few can win... and that WE have already begun losing!  

When NETFLIX was pretty much the only big name in streaming, it was a very profitable endeavor for them.  Now that everybody-and-their-intellectual-property-owning-brother have forced their way into the arena, it has segmented and splintered to the point where there is simply not enough for all - and many of the "streamy-come-lately" entrants are faltering in the flood waters loosed by their contemporaries! Even the Mighty Netflix is succumbing to such woes!  

This is a problem I have been warning about since the very beginning!  

And, yes, this was just about my precise reaction at the point that streaming achieved the dominance over physical media that it enjoys today!  

Also, yes, many products of entertainment have since been denied to us (removed from existence, actually) for reasons both worthy and completely arbitrary, as well as financial.  

But, whatever those executive-expunged products of entertainment may be, if you have them on DVD or Blu-ray (or even old VHS copies) YOU can still enjoy them whenever you wish, media giants be damned!  

For instance, between legitimate releases and a great many bootlegs collected over the years, I can enjoy pretty much any Warner Bros. or Hanna-Barbera cartoon that interests me - ANYTIME I WANT!

ABOVE and BELOW: Officially released DVDs and BOOTLEGS for Warner Bros. (up) and Hanna-Barbera (down)... betcha can tell the difference really easy!  

A quick digression: All of the synopses on IMDB for HOKEY WOLF, and many of them for Touché  Turtle, were written and contributed by yours truly, thanks to the two bootlegs pictured above. 

I realize that this may not mean as much to most folks as it does to me (...and, presumably, to many of you reading this) but, for a glorious period of time, WE had control of what entertains us... and those that wisely invested in physical media STILL DO!  

...And what I say about animation applies to old movies and TV shows as well!  

"Now you see 'em... Now you MAY NOT... Unless you have the DVDs!"  

Below is a Blog post on the subject by my original comics-writing mentor (long before I ever thought I would actually write comics professionally) Mark Evanier about classic Looney Tunes being removed from HBO MAX! 

While Mark is not nearly as critical of the monstrous media amalgam known as "Warner Bros./Discovery" as I am (for the MANY recent sins committed across the spectrum of the company), he, too, drives home the point of the (ever-increasing) value of owning physical media - in this case, specifically about Looney Tunes and, if you read the LINK INSIDE HIS POST, The Flintstones as well!  

Yes they have, Uncle Scrooge! Read Mark Evanier's Blog Post HERE...

It's happening, folks!  Slowly but unceasingly!  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll begin carrying loads of DVDs and Blu-rays down to my video-survivalist bunker. 

Throw some comments our way!  I suspect they'll be very interesting! 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: Three's Company, Six is a Crowd!

 ...Or, "Doubled Ducks", if you will!  

Proving once again that "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished", we present the covers of SCAMP #31 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: September, 1976) and SCAMP #33 (Gold Key Comics, Cover Date: February, 1977).

Ya try to be nice to some cute little ducks, an' let 'em swim and frolic in your doggie water bowl...

An', TWO ISSUES LATER, they bring their friends, an' take over th' joint!  

Won't be long before Scamp's spittin'-out wet feathers!  P'TOOEY! 

DUCKS!  Give 'em an INCH, an' they'll take the WHOLE BACK YARD!

Or, to paraphrase the great W.C. Fields...

Never Give a DUCKer an Even Break!  

Friday, January 6, 2023

Adventures in Comic-Boxing: A Charlton Variation on an Old Joke?

Old classic jokes are great!  But when CHARLTON does its own variation on one of them - well, (as is the norm with Charlton), anything goes!

Take TOP CAT # 8 (Charlton Comics, Cover Date: January, 1972), and this sequence therein...



GUFFAW!  It was such a classic, they didn't even need to TELL THE JOKE... just illustrate it!  

...Just as you don't need to tell me to "get out of here"!  I'll just slink-off on my own!