Tuesday, April 30, 2013


     I've always loved Captain Marvel.  There's something about the Big Red Cheese that I've always found immensely appealing, but it's not anything I can put my finger on.  I don't think it's the 'everyboy' appeal of Billy Batson, as I usually just find the little runt annoying.  His sole purpose seems to be to get knocked out and bound and gagged, so he can dramatically free his mouth and scream, "SHAZAM!"

     The World's Mightiest Mortal's legal woes are legendary, and covered extensively on other sites, so I won't even say anything about it, except to say it's a fascinating story.  I highly recommend seeking it out.

     No, today we are looking at a story near the end of Captain Marvel's original run.  From CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES #148, published in 1953, comes a tale scripted by Otto Binder and featuring the usual fantastic art of C.C. Beck.

     One night, in the midst of an eerie fog, Billy Batson, intrepid boy newscaster for WHIZ (and also Captain Marvel!), heads over to the lab of Dexter Knox, boy scientist.  It seems Billy's news program has need of a new story, and as Billy muses, Dexter is usually good for an unusual item.  To wit...

     After meeting Mr. Two, Dexter takes Billy to his new invention: ultra-radar!(Coincidentally, this is the last time 'ultra-radar' is mentioned in this story.)  It works best with the lights out, apparently, and as soon as the lights are dimmed...

     ....the hideous shriek of someone screaming mathematical formulas heralds the entrance of a ghost!  Young Billy Batson, who but has to utter one world and be transformed into the World's Mightiest Mortal, is scared senseless.  Dexter, the rational mind of science is nonplussed.  Everyone knows, on a scientific level, that a spirit can't harm anyone!

     Dexter, and perhaps all of science, however...is wrong!  The ghost picks up Mr. Two and hurls it at the two boys, screaming mathematical gibberish all the while.  Only a quick shout of "Shazam!" by Billy saves the day, as the metal form of Mr. Two bounces harmlessly off the chest of Captain Marvel.

     In a move worthy of the greatest ghost hunters of all time, Captain Marvel proceeds to...shoo the ghost away.

     After the ghost is chased off, the scientific method is immediately brought out to figure out why a ghost would haunt a scientific laboratory!  Well, the lab wasn't built on a graveyard.  That'll bring out ghosts for sure!  No murders were ever commited there, if you don't count the dispatching of Mr. Two mere moments before (whose remains Dexter is sweeping up as he says this).  Dexter has no dead enemies who would want to haunt him from beyond the grave.  Yup, this sure is perplexing...

     ....I mean, you expect ghosts to haunt old houses or swamps, right?  But in a science lab?  It makes absolutely no sense!  There's no more time to contemplate it, though, because it's after Billy's bedtime. 

     While Billy gets some shut-eye, perhaps we should do the same.  This story is about to heat up, and we can't help scientifically figure out this ghost shit if we didn't get enough sleep, right?

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Where Do You Get Your Go-Power From?

     Before Rocky and Bullwinkle were paid to sell Cheerios to the youth of America, there was the Cheerios Kid.  The Kid got all his go-power from Cheerios, but judging from these two ads, it seems the jet-packs are doing most of the work.

      Still, he at least had the sense to watch where he was going.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Learn Being a Bombshell from "Barney!"

     Face it, no true American wants to be a tough! But you should be able to protect yourself and your loved ones from Bullies, Hoodlums, Roughnecks and the like.  Luckily for you, there's a rugged, two-fisted fighting man in your corner: "Barney" Cosneck.
     "Barney" keeps no secrets, he tells all...and shows all with his start-to-finish photos!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How Chuck's Pen Got Him In The Movies!

     The only pen fine enough to be endorsed by Gene Troy.  Yes, that Gene Troy, Hollywood's biggest star!  Surely a pen that has the power to launch an unknown into a Hollywood acting career and write smooth would be expensive, right?  You'd be wrong if you thought that, though.  Or unable to read, because it says right up there the pen is only $2.25.  Jeez, you're such an asshole.  

    You do have a nice pen, though...

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FREE!! While They Last! 10 "Hitler Heads"

     As if this item wasn't bizarre enough, I think the quotation marks around "Hitler Heads" somehow adds another creepy layer to things.  Yes, for merely signing up for their mailing list you will get 10 different Hitler head stamps.  Getting scarcer all the time, they say...perhaps because they keep giving them away?

     If that wasn't enough, how about a free booklet about the exciting world of stamp collecting?  It contains fascinating true stories about stamps!  Remember that one story about that one stamp that guy had?  It's in there!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

TALES of MARGINAL TERROR: The Werewolf was Afraid!

    Today we're gonna take a quick look at a short little story from BEWARE!, a horror anthology reprint title from Marvel in 1973.  The series lasted for 7 issues reprinting horror and shock stories from Atlas Comics, essentially the pre-Marvel Comics version of Marvel Comics.  Today's tale, despite getting the whole cover of the issue, is only four pages long.  Featuring the art work of a young John Romita, this story was originally published in MENACE #8, in 1953. 

     The "switcheroo" in this tale is apparently that the werewolf has a ginormously round head.  This obviously seems to make him cowardly, for fear that his balloon head could burst at any moment. The real reason, however, will shock you!
     OK, maybe "shock" is a little strong of a word...

    We meet Eric Lanson, an "emotional man of deep hatreds and violence!"  He loves nothing more than the sport of shooting at animals that can't shoot back.  He has a strict code of honor, however.  He refuses to shoot any animal without provoking them to attack him first.  Whatta guy! 

   Having met and honorably killed every other kind of animal, he decides to head to Austria, to seek and kill the elusive....melon headed werewolf!

     He soon finds himself in Austria, eager to find and bag his prey.  His local guides, however, are not nearly as anxious as he.  The locals have heard many strange stories about these forests.  Tales of men who are also wolves...and have abnormally huge heads.  It's not too much longer before the locals flee...

     Ever the hardened hunter, Eric presses on, until his instincts tell him he is near his prey.  Coming into an open clearing...

     The fact that the werewolf was sitting there, smelling flowers and grooving on some Rod McKuen  has completely thrown Eric for a loop.  He muses that it would be easy to kill the creature from here, but that would really screw with his code of honor.  Nay, the code decrees that a creature must attack first, and since the creature in question was obviously not in a fighting mood, Eric presses on with the hunter's favorite back-up plan: name calling.

     Eric tries and tries to provoke the large headed creature, but to no avail.  The flowers and soothing verse have apparently drained the creature of any bloodthirst.  He's absolutely the most eloquent werewolf I've ever seen; however, with a head that size, how could he not be?
     FUN GAME: Try to work "You're a cad!" into everyday conversation!

     The more Eric tries to provoke the werewolf, the more the ample noggined creature resists.  This begins to wear on Eric and his code...

"How dare you call me a cad!"

   Eric is quickly disarmed in a scene that was apparently too much trouble to draw.  The very next panel just shows Eric without a gun, saying, "What th...?? My gun... you've broken it!"

     Also, in the panel above, the narrator starts calling out Eric's name over and over.  I suppose if your name was actually Eric Lanson and someone read this story to you in a rather creepy voice, it might be spooky.  Probably not.

     At this point, Eric Lanson, the werewolf with the voluminous headspace inches ever closer to you, Eric Lanson.  You, Eric Lanson, are really beginning to regret that you, Eric Lanson, did not tell your beloved code to take a hike and pop a cap in this furry when you, Eric Lanson, had a chance.

     Hmmm...I think I'm starting to see the ol' twist here.

     Moral of the story?  I guess flowers and poetry won't stop you from killing people.  You know, if you're a werewolf and stuff.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Going To The Moon? For God's Sake, Take More Tootsie Rolls!!

     Why are you packing all those extra oxygen tanks?  Get that crap out of my rocket, we could use that space for more Tootsie Rolls...

     Hopefully, we'll do better than the last rocket that took off...

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Jet Engine Sound (patent pending)

     If you're a kid who likes to hear things while they see them, then this model airplane just may be the thing for you!  It's big, but also the biggest!

     If you haven't liked us on Facebook yet, what are you waiting for?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Just Don't Follow "Uncle" Harry Into the Basement...

     Yes, "Uncle" Harry, who is in no way creepy, wants to send you prizes in the mail.  He could send you a nice axe and knife set, perfect to cut you into little pieces, or a pretty travel case to haul your pieces off to the landfill.  On a budget? Don't worry, this is all without one cent of cost. 

    Hey! Have you liked us on Facebook yet?  No?  Well, DO IT RIGHT NOW!  Otherwise, I'll send "Uncle" Harry after you. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Like Us on FACEBOOK!

If you enjoy this blog, or even if you only find it remotely amusing, be sure to travel to Facebook and like us!


The Only Thing Tougher Than a Browning Bike

    "Uncle John, tell me about the time you were biking and kidnapped by Turkish pirates who sold you into white slavery!"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Origin of the NEW FRANKENSTEIN part 3

     It all started on a dark and stormy night here, Frank took off his mask a lot here!

     Our heroes, the rich Frank N. Stone (secretly the crime-fighter Frankenstein) and his faithful butler, William speed to Seaboard City, the last known location of Mr. Freek and his ever obedient gorilla, Bruto.  They arrive to find the citizens leaving in droves.  They can't even find a room!

     Freek comes across Frank in an outdoor cafe, silently enjoying a cup of tea.  Absolutely livid that someone in Seaboard City dares not run from Freek in fear, he calls for Bruto.  When the loyal ape shows up, Freek finds an empty table.  Meanwhile, Frank has slipped away to prepare for battle.

      Frankenstein has the strength of fifty men, but will it be enough to defeat Bruto?

     Things don't start off to well for Frank.  A powerful kick to Bruto's head barely stuns the creature, and in return he throws Frank through a wall.  However, we know from a previous installment that Frank can take more punishment than an elephant, so he's soon up and ready to fight again.

     William, watching from the safety of a hotel room provides commentary on the fight, until...

     Using William as a hostage, Freek and Bruto try to get away.  Frank uses Frankenstein's legendary acrobatic abilities (right?!?) to scale the building and catch the treacherous trio unaware.  Thinking themselves safe, Bruto ditches William to the ground, only to find...

     Now we're talking! Bruto breaks a telephone pole and swings at Frank! Frank ducks...or something, I dunno...the art is pretty hard to decipher here.  It doesn't matter, though, because this is the beginning of the battle we've been waiting for! The knock down drag out between beast and...well, another beast! Strength against strength.  Let's check in on the very next panel...

      Uh...Freek and Bruto just turn tail and run?  And Frank doesn't even try to stop them?  He just lets them run off where they came from?  Have we heard the last of Mr. Freek?  Oh, no...I guess not.  He said we haven't.  This series only lasted two more issues, so if he plans on showing up again, I suppose he better hurry.

     Our heroes head back to Frank N. Stone manor, so that Frank can take off his mask one more time for us..

...and also give us the dramatic heroic final speech we've so been craving.

Frankenstein, scourge to evil doers everywhere! And wooden desks, too!

     That's it, folks.  The origin of the new Frankenstein.  The higher-ups at Dell must've thought for sure they had a hit on their hands, because in an ad at the end of this very issue....

     Now, that's scary...

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Origin of the NEW FRANKENSTEIN part 2

The lightning originally came down here!

     Frank sits reading, enjoying his new fortune, when he sees a girl in danger outside the window.  So, of course...

Unless I have to battle fifty-one men, I should be alright!

     After saving the girl from certain doom, Frank instructs William (his newly inherited man-servant) to pack his bags.  Driving a red sports car (which he apparently learned to drive at at some point), Frank ventures back to the castle where he was born.  It is there that he makes a decision on how to use his powers...

     This leads to yet another scene of Frank taking off his mask.  I suppose it does get a little stuffy under there...

     Extraordinary strength and a super brain will come in very handy if you plan on using your powers to fight evil.  Thus, we get an obligatory training montage with some expository dialogue.  Just imagine hearing Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background.

     Meanwhile, in a small island off the Caribbean, we meet the man who will become Frank's arch-nemesis.  The midget menace of the man called Mr. Freek!  How can a tiny man, regardless of how evil he is, hope to oppose the might of Frankenstein?
     Easy...he has a gorilla that...does everything he says!

    So, with the combatants in their corners, it seems inevitable that Frankenstein will have to battle Bruto.  What a fight that promises to be, right?  Surely a fight between a reanimated corpse with the strength of fifty men and a trained gorilla can be no less than the most awesome thing ever.  Right?

     But before that can happen, the man with a super brain decides it might be alright to walk around his mansion with that stuffy rubber mask off.  I mean, what's the worst that could happen?  Yes, you have a secret identity to protect, and your man-servant, William, knows nothing of it, but still....he's not due back for another hour, so....

     Well, even super brains can have an off day.  It could have been worse, I suppose, for it leads to Frankenstein gaining an ally in William, the man he pays to wait on him hand and foot.

     Well, dear readers, I don't think you can take much more excitement, so just relax and take a deep breath!  For next time promises a battle royale between Frank and Bruto (full disclosure: it sucks!) in the startling conclusion to the origin of the NEW FRANKENSTEIN!

     Love it ever, miss it never!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rocky and Bullwinkle: Corporate Shills

Apart from Bullwinkle's obvious love for Cheerios, I'd say the main theme of the campaign was...watch where you're going, people.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Origin of the NEW FRANKENSTEIN part 1

   At some point in the late '60s, someone at Dell Comics thought it would be a good idea to take classic monsters and turn them into superheroes.  Unless they were prescient enough to realize that, nearly 50 years later, there would be a World Wide Web, on which snarky bloggers would relish in ripping their work to shreds, it was not a good idea.  Published in 1966 by Dell, written by Don Segall and drawn by Tommy Tallarico, we bring you the COLLECTOR'S ISSUE of  FRANKENSTEIN #2.

   This was not Dell's first dance with Frankenstein.  Two years before, in 1964, they published FRANKENSTEIN #1, a more traditional take on the monster.

That book ended with the monster presumably meeting his fate at the bottom of the ocean after practically sinking an ocean liner by himself in a fit of rage.  It's safe to assume, then, that issue 2 has little or nothing to do with issue 1.  Good work, Dell!

   Our story opens on a dark and stormy night at Frankenstein's castle.  As it tends to do in stories like this, a bolt of lighting zooms down from the sky and unerringly strikes a lone figure lying on a slab.  After the smoke clears, the hulking figure rises and asks, "Where am I?  Who am I?"

   The book, being a hundred years old, crumbles in his hands before it can tell him anything.  Searching through the castle alone, fragments of memories come back to him, piece by piece.  Upon finding the laboratory he says: "This place...I do remember! This place is the doctor's laboratory...the place where I was....where I was born!"
What lab would be complete without rubber masks just lying around?
     After naming himself Frank Stone (clever boy), he ventures out of the castle to see what the world holds for him.  It is then that he immediately runs into his first adventure.  He witnesses a car crash, and despite being asleep for a hundred years, he instinctively knows someone is in that car and might need help.  The old man he rescues sees through Frank's brilliant disguise...

     The old man is Henry Knickerbocker, the richest man in the world.  His fortune was made by his father, who was colleagues with Frank's creator.  Through that connection, Knickerbocker swears to keep Frank's secret...and make him the sole beneficiary of his will.

     We should all be so lucky as to sleep for a hundred years, wake up, save a millionaire and have him pledge his fortune to you and then die!  And this is all in the first 10 pages!  Stay tuned, dear readers, it's about to get...stupid.