Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pimps trying to catch a woman that's weak

Sylvester is a pimp

Sylvester is a pimp, that much is clear. I understand Sylvester keeping a bevy of birds to lure in some johns, he's got to pay for all that stuff he orders from Acme somehow and honey-traps are as good a way as any. What I don't get is why didn't Sylvester just eat Prostitweety when he had the chance then go after Tweety once the smack in her body hit his system and amped him up into a raging killing machine? Maybe she was a robot.

Dark Shadows #34 (Nov 1975).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The liar's kiss that says I love you, and means something else

The howl of demons, hell unleashed, the screams that do not end...Some of the most intense 3:50 in cinema.

Kiss Me Deadly (1955).

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mysta of the Moon - Chapter 18

Originally presented here from a November 2009 post is "Mystery of the Time Chamber" from issue #52 of the Mysta of the Moon serial featured in Planet Comics. For those of you who have read this entry already go ahead and scroll down to the last page for a note about Mysta and Bron's relationship (it's fan-wank, but it works in context).

Before I continue with the Futura Saga I am going to take a break to present a special request appearance of Mysta of the Moon.

Mysta of the Moon was long-running science fiction adventure serial that ran in Planet Comics from 1945 to 1949. Mysta is perhaps the most consistent serial in regards to art and story quality to have been published by Fiction House. Mysta originally appeared as a young girl in issue #35 of Planet Comics as a victim of the machinations of Mars, the God of War, the star of an early and very popular Planet Comics serial. In those stories, the evil Mars would travel the galaxy and possess different people, forcing them to commit horrific acts and spread terror and strife all in the name of conflict.

Having survived an attempt to destroy her at the end of issue #35 an adult Mysta began her own feature with issue #36, effectively replacing the Mars series with her own. Like many superheroes Mysta, who was now the repository of all knowledge, sometimes maintained a secret identity so the public at large would not know she was acting as their savior and defender. In her guise as an older and unappealing librarian, Mysta fought criminals, mutant zombies and solved mysteries with the aid of a deadly, unstoppable robot with which she shared a telepathic link. Mysta eventually
abandoned the pretense of a civilian disguise.

Out of all the female characters featured in Planet Comics it is Mysta of the Moon that was the strongest in terms of characterization. Unlike many other contemporary characters Mysta largely stood on her own in her adventures. Typically in almost any comic book tale, while a female would often act as the lead in a story it was not unusual to have a man show up near the end of the tale and take charge, wrapping things up as the female character shed angst-filled thought balloons expressing gratitude and unrequited love. Among the Planet Comics entries this was most common among the Gale Allen serial. Mysta, being the most intelligent person in the Universe, would have none of that. Anyone interested in researching a good example of early female empowerment in comic books could do worse than reading the Mysta of the Moon series.

Planet Comics #52 (January 1948) features Mysta using time travel to defeat the menace of brain-sucking plants. The story also gives a nice recap of her origin with only an oblique reference to the original Mars story.


I realize that it is a print artifact of the era but it sure appears in the final panel as if Mysta's lipstick has been smeared by some grateful kissing from Bron.

She's incredible math

Hilarious! From The Truth About Spring (1965).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Drinking Companions

"Ideal for Beer, Highballs, Water and Every Beverage." I don't imagine that any of these glasses still exist anywhere but yeah, I want them all and the matching coasters, too.

Thrilling Comics #36 - Drinking Glasses (July 1943)

Thrilling Comics #36 (July 1943).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for 2010!

Child Life #1 (1928)

Vintage art and a poem from Child Life #1 (1928). Words by Marjorie Barrows, art by Margaret Whitman.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I'm gonna be your Santa Claus even if my whiskers ain't white

Christmas Eve Blues
performed by Blind Lemon Jefferson (1928)

Oh Mama! This is goin' to be a hard winter.
Look at how it snowin'. Baby won't you hear me moan.

Now it's the day before Christmas
Mama won't you hear me moan

Now just the day before Christmas
Mama won't you hear me moan

If you take me back, baby
I'll get you anything you need

I had a good chance,
Baby give me just one more

I had a good chance,
Baby give me just one more

I will show you some lovin', like you never have been before

I know I did do wrong, I'm just as sorry as I can be
Sorry as I can be

It's the day before Christmas,
Mama please come back to me

Mama don't turn me down on this Christmas Eve
Mama don't turn me down on this Christmas Eve
I cried about you so hard done wetted my whole coat sleeve

It's the day before Christmas, Let me bring your present tonight
It's the day before Christmas, Let me bring me your present tonight

I'm going to be your Santa Claus even if my whiskers ain't white

Christmas Eve Blues, folks.

Snow Scooter is light and swift

Snow Scooter (1955)

I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone alive today who could make this. My Grandpa could have knocked one of these out for the kids in an afternoon, though. From the Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia (1955).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa Claus wears a Red Suit, he must be a communist

Santa and the KGB Chicken (1978)

Santa and San Diego's KGB Chicken circa 1978.
Photo by Barry Fitzsimmons, post title by Arlo Guthrie.

Santa in Cowboy Boots

While most sites are posting the same old Christmas song videos here is my humble video entry which I can pretty much guarantee no one else has ever posted before because...Well, listen for yourself.

Cowboy Santa from the cult classic Girl In Gold Boots (1968). Words and music by Nick Busillo, sung by Larry Cartell.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hopelessly Devoted to Cleanliness

Advertising keyword fail from YouTube.

Hopelessly Devoted to Cleanliness

Because nothing says teen-age rebellion like domestic chores done well.

And so what I was watching ONJ videos.

Five Great Christmas Movies

Here's my personal list of the five best Christmas movies ever! These films are not presented in any order of preference but it has been a long-standing mandatory tradition in my house that the Christmas movie we all watch together is the 1988 holiday opus Die Hard, possibly the greatest Christmas-themed film ever made.

1) Hogfather (Have you been naughty...Or nice?)

2) Die Hard
("Now I have a machine gun. Ho Ho Ho")

3) Christmas Vacation

4) Emmett Otter's Jug-band Christmas
("No one oils their snakes anymore!")

5) How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(Pooh-pooh to the Whos!)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yes, it was the same person


Angry Customer: Is somebody going to help me in the bakery or not? I need someone to write 'Happy Birthday' on a cake.

Me: Well, at this late hour the bakery is closed and with the bakery staff gone we are not able to do much other than supply bags and boxes. None of the front end staff have Food Handler certifications and we are not allowed to prepare food for anyone.

Angry Customer: So I waited in line all this time for nothing? Thanks for nothing! All I wanted was someone to write on a damn cake.

Me: Ma'am, the law states we can't. It's for your protection.

Angry Customer: It's just a cake! So you refuse to help me?

Me: It isn't that. Again, the law says no one not certified in food preparation can do that for you. Surely you wouldn't want someone not trained, perhaps careless with what they've handled to touch a cake.

Angry Customer: That's ridiculous! I just want someone to write on a cake! I'll get someone else to help me.

Me: I'm sorry. I won't allow anyone without certification to use the bakery equipment or go behind the counter. I'd feel terrible if some child became sick. We have many cakes in the case that already have 'Happy Birthday' written on them. Can I get you one of those?

Angry Customer: Thanks for nothing!


Angry Customer: You. I wanna talk to you. I have a complaint.

Me: OK. How can I help you?

Angry Customer: That girl in the deli. She touched the slicer without changing her gloves before helping a customer. That's disgusting.

Me: I'm very sorry. I'll take care of that right away.

Angry Customer: Don't they take a class or go to school or something to learn about that? Don't they need to pass a test or something?

Me: Yes, they do. I'll take care of it right away. I'm sure it was a mistake and it won't happen in the future.

Angry Customer: It better not! That's disgusting.

All this occurred without any apparent irony or self-awareness on the part of the customer.

The Post of Christmas Past

A few links to some Holiday stuff of latter years from Lady, That's My Skull.

Aw, cute!

Thor and the Christmas Miracle!

The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping!

Frosty the Golem!

They should never have called him Mutie!

Lazy, crappy Holiday comic strips!

Sorry, kids!

An oldie but a goodie from MAD Magazine, If Kids Designed Their Own Xmas Toys!

Links from other places:

Retrospace Christmas Music Mix Tape!

A Riverdale Christmas by Bully!

20 Geeky Xmas Decorations (NSFW sidebar)!

Golden Age Comic Book Stories has lots of nifty Xmas images and stories!

The Monkees sing Xmas acappella!

And last but not the least from LTMS, an old Silver Age comic book favorite: Invaders from the Ice World!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mysta of the Moon - Chapter 17

Planet Comics #51 (November 1947) brings new dimension to Mysta's personality. In her origin, Mysta and her brother were experimented as adolescents upon, having the entirety of knowledge transferred to their minds. Not having the opportunity to mature naturally Mysta's brother became insane ofter the treatment. Forced to kill her brother, Mysta may have been too traumatized to process events rationally. She withdrew, perhaps into a different insanity and used her knowledge to build a fortress on a moon. From that remote location she toiled for years doling out knowledge in pieces and guiding humanity as they recovered from the devastation fomented by the alien entity, the so-called Mars, God of War.

In this issue which takes place in the far future of 1997, Mysta for the first time displays an emotional tie to her assistant Bron (though typically for Mysta less emotion for a victim killed directly through her actions). Also, a telling embrace Mysta does not recoil from on-panel reveals that a long-repressed sexuality or brother-complex is emerging. Hopefully future issues will reveal that misplaced feelings of guilt for her brother are not being transferred to Bron and that she is becoming instead a whole person. Whatever is happening between Mysta and Bron it is sure to be further complicated by the fact that Bron is not Bron, he was a spy sent to impersonate the real lab assistant to Mysta. Even though Faux-Bron has earned his redemption this complication is something that Mysta oddly, for all her intelligence, has chosen to repress or use in some plan of hers.

Oh, and in this chapter there is a big prison break.

Planet Comics 51 - Mysta (Nov 1947) 00

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Planet Comics 51 - Mysta (Nov 1947) 07

They told me a fairy story

Variously described by its creators as a song bemoaning the commercialization of Christmas or the loss of innocence, I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake and Peter Sinfield has been a popular entry of the holiday season since 1974. Careful compilers of packaged Christmas tunes for CDs and shopping mall background music may take pains not to include this song among the collections as it has been often received as having an anti-religion theme. I myself am usually surprised to hear it in a mall because of its reputation. Then again, stores seem to have no compunction against playing during all the other months of the year the song Turning Japanese, a racially insensitive tune some claim to be referencing masturbation.

The official video I Believe In Father Christmas contains Vietnam War era imagery and received criticism for including such topics. This lends credence to the proposal that most people really misunderstood the meaning of the song, even if it is open to some interpretation. I included the lyrics so one may judge for themselves.

I Believe In Father Christmas has been covered by a number of artists. Greg Lake brought it over from his solo effort to the band Emerson, Lake and Palmer with which he was a member of but its most recent success was the cover performed by the band U2.

They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on Earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the Virgin's birth

I remember one Christmas morning
A winters light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas Tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire

They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a Silent Night
And they told me a fairy story
'Till I believed in the Israelite

And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked at the sky with excited eyes
'Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear

They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on Earth
Hallelujah Noel be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas you get you deserve.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Better watch out, now!

Shortly after Thanksgiving is when the song by the lovely and still very much active Kay Starr, The Man With the Bag begins to play on the radio, in malls and stores all over the nation. A big hit for Miss Starr in the 1950s, it nonetheless in this day and age has no quality videos representative of it. Many, like myself, enjoy the vintage acts as a part of music history and become all frowny when we receive hear of archives being destroyed through neglect, mishap or because they were not considered important enough at the time to save for the future. Considering how popular The Man With the Bag was I'm surprised Kay Starr did not sing it for film or television. I would have expected a Scopitone at the least. If she ever had recorded the tune in any other media of the era then I can't find it or sadly there is no publicly available or archived footage of that particular performance.

As much as I generally dislike a static image used for a music video there is not a lot of suitable footage of Starr that I could artfully apply to this song. Many of the fan-made videos while heart-felt include images or scenes that kind of bug me, only because I'm old. So I put together a fake-ish LP cover to accompany the tune. I also included the lyrics because while this is a song which nearly everyone is familiar with very few know all the the words to it. Sing along and Enjoy!

Oh, Mr. Kringle, is soon gonna jingle,
The bells that’ll tinkle all your troubles away
Everybody’s waitin’ for the man with the bag,
‘Cause Christmas is comin’ again.

He’s got a sleigh full, it’s not gonna stay-full
He’s got stuff to drop at every stop on the way
Everybody’s waitin’ for the man with the bag,
‘Cause Christmas is comin’ again.

He’ll be here,
With the answers to the prayers that you made through the year
You’ll get yours
If you’ve done everything you should, extra-special good.

He’ll make this December, the one you’ll remember,
The best and the merriest you ever did have
Everybody’s waitin’ for the man with the bag
Christmas is here again!

Oh Mr. Kringle, is soon gonna jingle,
All the bells that’ll tinkle all your troubles away
Everybody’s waitin’ for the man with the bag,
Christmas is here again.

He’s got a sleigh full, and it’s not gonna stay-full
Got stuff that he’s dropping every stop on the way
Everybody’s waitin’ for the man with the bag,
Christmas is here again.

He’ll be here,
With the answer to the prayers that you made through the year.
You’ll get yours
If you’ve done everything you should, extra-special good.

He’ll make this December, the one you’ll remember,
The best and the merriest you ever did have
Everybody’s waitin’
They’re all congregatin’
Waitin’ for the man with the bag!

Better watch out now!

A lazy, pre-Holiday Sunday post.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Are we sure it's tobacco she's smoking?

Not making the news the other day is that the Old Gold Tobacco-Lovin' USO Hostess also had her day before a judge, appearing in court immediately after Julian Assange made his famous showing. Since cameras were not allowed in the courtroom a sketch artist was present to record the events. While Julian was sketched variously as being dignified or about to power-up and beat an invading alien superman to death, Old Goldie should have requested a different artist. Based on the art provided that faithfully carried over her advertising persona she is clearly in for a rough time convincing a jury of her peers she hasn't done anything wrong.

old gold crazy eyes in court

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You're the architect!

At two pages covering three different sizes, the assembly instructions for the retail floor cardboard display stand of the DVD movie Inception is more complicated than the film itself.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mysta of the Moon - Chapter 16

Planet Comics #50 (September 1947) reveals a second attempt to infiltrate and raid Mysta's fortress in as many chapters. This time Bat-Men of Jupiter are able to circumvent Mysta's security measures by pretending to be a ship in distress. The robot is superfluous in this entry and Bron reveals a little more of one of the  reasons Mysta keeps him around. When he worriedly cautions the Smartest Woman in the Universe against fiddling with some controls Mysta condescendingly lectures him. Obviously, Bron is kept in the fortress not for his brains but for his brawn. I promise that's the last time I'll make that onomatopoeic reference.  

The aliens of the Mystaverse may also reveal more of what the pre-Mars society was like. The aliens may be alien only because they are different from the accepted norm, not because they evolved independently. Given that the majority of the aliens thus far revealed are variations of the humanoid form it may be that they are basic human stock, modified to work in different environments. After civilization fell they were basically abandoned and left to fend for themselves and it is now, an unknown amount of time later that the various races are large enough in number or advanced enough to exercise a certain independence from their previous employers/masters. It may be that the criminal, subterranean and centaur creatures of the previous chapters are emerging as a force who want the advantages the rest of the populated planets further along in their recovery are enjoying. 

Planet Comics 50 - Mysta (Sept 1947) 00

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Planet Comics 50 - Mysta (Sept 1947) 07

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Between a ROK and a hard place

Korea has been in the news lately and appears it will be for some time as the North and South are up to their usual saber-rattling, possibly abetted by their allies though that may change in the future as the usual supporters are becoming irritated with each other and their shenanigans. The Korean War is officially still going even though there has been a cease-fire since 1953. The armistice has been broken on occasion by posturing and squabbling that has led to violence. The region has a special interest to my spouse as she is Korean, has family in that country and she watches the goings-on between Northside and Southside with concern.

Here is a scene from the Korean War drama Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005). It is 3:43 in duration and worth it for the cinematography.

A lazy Sunday learning post.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Mysta of the Moon - Chapter 15

Mysta of the Moon from Planet Comics #49 (July 1947) is a one-off tale of corporate greed and environmentalism and except for reinforcing the trend toward genocide from the Fiction House heroes one does not learn much about the Mystaverse in this issue.

When the Science Council declares that Energo Limited, an energy company, must stop drilling for a rare type of Geo-thermal energy it is up to Mysta to step in when the company defy the ban and continues their exploitation in private. To make matters worse subterranean natives take advantage of Energo's explorations and use the harnessed volcanic activity to threaten the surface world by destroying cities and returning the Earth to a natural state.

The Robot makes an appearance but Bron is nowhere to be seen. Being made of sinew and without the benefit of Mysta's super-science, the human 'assistant' doesn't have much to do in this chapter due to the hostile environment of the underworld. Presumably left behind in safety on Mysta's extraterrestrial science-fortress the homo-phonically named Bron, nearly a prisoner, must wait for his mistress to return.

It often becomes necessary for the reader, particularly with the format of the Golden Age comic book, to fill in the desired details that the decompressed style of telling a story will skip or leave out. Politics and greed are fine plot devices but no one reading these stories really cared about the day-today details of running a large metropolitan city and government. Seven pages does not leave a lot of room for characterization when action fighting deformed criminals and bug-eyed monsters is required to bring a reader back the following month.  So it is the relationship between Mysta, the robot, and Bron is one that would be understandably complex and mature and if published today would require years to tell. Subtext of the Golden Age far outpaced even Silver Age DC or 1970s Marvel for allowing a reader to imagine their own deeper meanings to a tale.

In Millennium author John Varley cast the robot/android assistant to the futuristic heroine as an all-purpose aide that not only acted as lab equipment, secretary and confidant but as a sex companion as well (something that did not make the transition to the film). Coincidentally,  there are more than a few parallels between Varley's work and Mysta. Isolated, futuristic science-heroine with difficulty relating to people, a demolished civilization and people on the brink of extinction, even a somewhat self-sabotaging Science Council that creates as many problems as they solve. Another aspect of Mysta that mirrors Varley is the emotional abandonment of the robot once the brawny meat-puppet makes an appearance. Yet as far as Mysta goes expounding on her relationship with her lab assistant can veer dangerously into fan-fiction. So barring Image Comics publishing a chapter of Mysta of the Moon for their Next Issue Project it is best that anyone wanting a greater depth to her story just pick up or download a copy of Millennium and where ever the names Louise Baltimore or Bill Smith appear just mentally edit them in their place to Mysta and Bron.

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Planet Comics 49 - Mysta (July 1947) 07

Sunday, December 05, 2010

A long, long talk with the hands of time

There have been a number of bands with the name of Jesters and info is hard to find on this particular early-1960s iteration of the band that claimed that name. I discovered the song Hands of Time on a compilation of obscure 60s garage bands a few months ago and decided to include it on a Lazy Sunday post.

The bridge is a bit jarring as the tone swings from bubblegum to moaning teen age depression over the span of a few lines but I like it anyways. Since the world is bereft of any real video of the band performing or information about them I tossed a bunch of random photos to accompany the tune. The photos are a bit more interesting than a 3 minute static image of a .45 record anyways.

I shared the video with a few women I know and they got all teary-eyed, cheered up at the one funny image and then got all weepy again. Go figure. Though I think the video that took all of five minutes to create is kind of High School-ish and MySpacey here it is anyways.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Advantage: Me

I'm standing at a gas station trying to get my dad to answer his cell phone. After filling up the gas tank of my car I realized the car key had broken off in the ignition. I've been fruitlessly attempting to connect with my Dad and I need him to drive over and bring the spare key. While I'm on the phone a homeless man walks up...

Hobo: Excuse me, can you spare...
Me: Oh, hey. Can I borrow 60 bucks?
Hobo: Uh...I don't...
Me: That's what a locksmith is going to cost to get my car running. Can I have some money?
Hobo:  Sir...I don't have...
Me:  But you're wearing a nicer coat than I am.

Homeless man turns and walks away.

Me: Yeah, right! How do you like it, dude?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

From the sterile Blogging Room deep within the Earth below the HMCC

blogging central

No time for blogging today! The long hours preparing for the Operational Readiness Inspection of the Hayley Mills Celebratory Complex has left us all sleepy so it is now nap time at the HMCC! Also, I have to replace the leaking faucets in the shower.