Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

Posted Thursday, November 25th, 2021 by Barry

Beavis and Butt-Head (1995) 11

For anyone who forgot what the mid-1990s were like, this is the book that resurrects the ghosts of misadventures past.

The first of those three spirits comes wrapped in the title Pull My String.

Beavis and Butt-Head believe participation in the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will bring them the sexual pleasures they desire. What dawns is a spot at the back of the line and intestinal distress.

Chokin’ Th’ Turkey takes the dullard duo to Stewart’s for Thanksgiving Dinner. Normally the two would avoid their uncool school mate, but the lure of pay-per-view sex takes them inside middle-class suburbia. Poor table manners then leave them out in the cold.

One last turkey day tale takes the two to a pre-Christmas fashion show in Fashion Sucks.  This prepubescent sex-fantasy turns into a sorrowful cosplay of sorts with Beavis and Butt-Head each taking a turn on the catwalk.

Beavis and Butt-Head (1995) 11

Beavis and Butt-Head (1995) 11

Mike Judge is the brain-child behind Beavis and Butt-Head. MTV commissioned the series after the pair debuted on Liquid Television. The show aired from march 8, 1993 to Nov. 28, 1997.

The pair and their antics were met with mixed reviews. The target audience lapped up the lewd comedy and video critiques. Mainstream critics panned the series overall.

The on-screen violence was brought to question by adults and the Ball Breakers episode was believed to be partially to blame for the death of an eight-month-old. Calvin Settle, an 18-year-old, was said to have been influenced by the show when he tossed a bowling ball from an overpass resulting in the death.

Beavis and Butt-Head was also blamed for the accidental death of a two-year-old after her brother set fire to the family’s mobile home while playing with a lighter.

The show was rescheduled for 11 p.m. and a disclaimer added telling viewers the two were not real and not to try their antics at home.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is a feature-length animated movie released in theaters in 1996. Siskel and Ebert gave the film two-thumbs up, as did movie goers who helped it earn $60 million on a $12-million budget.

Judge created an eighth season 14 years after the series ended, airing from Oct. 27 to Dec. 29, 2011.

A second revival may be in the works.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 by Barry

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 308

Mixed Blessings doesn’t sound like much of a Thanksgiving story, but that’s what each of the X-Men are doing.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 308

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 308

Issue 308 ties up some extended story arcs allowing both players and readers some breathing space. Taking time to catch up on some personal matters or menial tasks, the book is broken down into relationships.

When they do come together, it’s for an impromptu football game mutant style. The book culminates with the announcement Scott Summers and Jean Grey are getting married.

This was also a time of great change in the comic book industry. The X-Men, long celebrated within the comic book field, were becoming sought after by investors. Readers were jumping bandwagons and most mutant properties were targets. Histories were retconned and characters plunged into chaos to keep the comics selling.

As the 1990s continued, much of what made the X-Men – and so many others – special waned. Gimmicks took precedence over character as companies attempted to grab as much money as they could.

The X-Men survived and continue to captivate and capture new readers having weathered reboots and fan’s fancies.

Maybe that’s what the comic book industry has become: a mixed blessing. Those of us who have been around for any length of time have weathered our share of knocks, but we still have hope every Wednesday.

Get ready to give more thanks. Tomorrow is a day for family, friends and football. Dig out the elastic waistband pants and polish that fork and knife.

Posted Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021 by Barry

JSA Classified (2005) 32

Giving Thanks is the inappropriately named Thanksgiving story from the 2008 JSA Classified book.

JSA Classified (2005) 32

JSA Classified (2005) 32

Alan Scott makes a pilgrimage to his daughter’s grave for some introspection. In the meantime, fellow Justice Society Members Flash and Wildcat hold down the JSA’s Thanksgiving Day parade float.

Not long after Green Lantern joins them, the Superman balloon floating above explodes showering all in a pink dust. Before it can settle, Solomon Grundy attacks.

Lantern deals with the threat, leaving fellow Society members to handle crowd control. Both problems dealt with, the trio dissolve leaving GL to face the real menace, Vandal Savage.

The story is continued in a Christmas issue that will be dealt with next month. For now, take time to enjoy those around you while you can. While this is a time known for thanksgiving, every day is, too.

The JSA first appeared in All Star Comics issue three. Their gathering marked the first team in comic books. The theme would be copied over time, most notably when the Justice League of America was formed in 1960.

Posted Monday, November 22nd, 2021 by Barry

Garfield (2012) 7

Only four days to the big day. Or, maybe the big meal is more appropriate. Here’s another lead in to the holiday most celebrated with food, Thanksgiving. It’s the last rest we’ll have before the shopping season and Christmas are past.

Dig in.

Garfield’s celebrity leads to a bad case of jealousy for a neighborhood cat in The Cat With No Name. Copying the fat cat’s mannerisms only gets the no-name tabby into more trouble than he can handle. All for naught.

Thanksgiving hits the Tryptophan as a dream sequence makes Garfield the unwanted guest of honor.

Thanksgiving Daze takes full advantage of our after-meal drowsiness. In For Garfield it’s a nightmare he’s fully aware of, or is he? Only writer Mark Evanier knows for sure.

 

Posted Monday, November 15th, 2021 by Barry

Alf (1988) 40

The cover is the only thing with a Thanksgiving theme as Alf roasts the network that spurned him.

ALF, or Alien Life Form, aired on NBC from Sept. 22, 1986 to March 34, 1990. By the time the cover-dated April, 1991, Alf 40; issue hit specialty shops and newsstands, the network had already cancelled the series.

Marvel would keep the title going for another 10 issues before ending Alf at number 50.

Alf (1988) 40

While primed with a holiday cover – of sorts – already, the book could also fall into St. Paddy’s day category with Leprechaun Job as the first story.

The Tanner’s Uncle Seamus comes to visit, giving ALF visions of a pot of gold in his dreams. Whether a waking dream or real life, ALF is unable to restrain Seamus and secure his possible fortune.

ALF is left with a parting gift that only causes the Tanners more trouble.

That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles is a Melmacian history lesson tempered with a dash of Zorro. The tale does little to lessen the ire of Lynn who finds her homemade treat has vanished.

ALF was the brainchild of Tom Patchett and puppeteer Paul Fusco. The four seasons produced 99 episodes including three one-hour episodes, one of which was ALF’s Christmas Special.

A sequel to the final episode entitled Project: ALF (aka Project: ALF, Part 2) aired in 1996 as a made-for-television science fiction film. Though NBC was the home of ALF during its initial run, ABC hosted the furry cat lover in the United States and the CHCH-TV in Canada on February 17.

Only puppeteer Fusco and Beverly Archer appeared from the original series. With the Tanners absent, viewership was down.

When NBC took ALF off the air, it did so with a cliff-hanging:  To Be Continued on the screen. Initially NBC had promised an extra episode to tie up loose threads, but decided against a 100th show. Viewers were left with ALF under a Melmacian spaceship as the series faded from television.

By the end of the second-part of Consider Me Gone, ALF has been awarded ambassadorship to Earth, giving the series the closure denied it originally.

Posted Monday, November 8th, 2021 by Barry

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 18

Though on sale Nov. 19, 1946, the cover of Comics Cavalcade issue 18 is the only reference to Thanksgiving.

Wonder Woman and Octavia of Venturia are kidnapped by the power-mad Manilus in the opening story, The Menace of the Rebel Manlings.

Manilus, a former lab assistant, has been dosed with Vitamin Z gas. The resulting effect was an enlargement of his brain. Apparently, an enlarged brain causes delusions of grandeur and the wish for world domination.

Comics Cavalcade 18

Comics Cavalcade 18

The full story has been reprinted in Wonder Woman:  The Golden Age Omnibus volume three.

The Galloping Greenbacks is a Flash vehicle, co-starring Winky Moylan, Blinky Boylan and Noddy Toylan.

Uncle Josh was afraid of money. When short, the old guy would go into a trance and wake up flush with cash. Of course, that led to paranoia and a fear of being sent to jail should his gain be illegal. Signal the Flash and the end to a mystery.

Green Lantern is the final headliner in The Meaning of “D.”

A wealthy man is convinced he owns everything, but must steal something beginning with the letter “D,” to save his wife. It’s up to Green Lantern and Doiby Dickles to foil the phony fortune teller.

The book is rounded out by six Mutt & Jeff one-page gags, features and Hop Harrigan in Seek and Hide! Or The Airmail Trail. Harrigan is the creation of Jon Blummer. He was one of the busiest characters of the Golden Age appearing in All-American Publications, radio serials and film serials.

Comic Cavalcade was published from 1942 to 1954.

The anthology series featured Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Flash as the heavy hitters with filler stories sprinkled between. Comic Cavalcade moved from the form fitting figures of the mystery men to funny animal stories in 1948 when super heroes fell out of favor.

To entertain your guests, or host, here are a few Turkey Day facts: approximately 45 million turkeys are sold for Thanksgiving annually. That’s over 18-percent of the total turkey population raised each year.

California consumes the most fowls with 675-million pounds on the day.

The total calorie intake for a common Thanksgiving meal is 2,500. The average recommended calorie intake for one day is between 1,600 and 2,400.

A chunk of that may be from desserts eaten. Apple is the favorite, unless from the south where pecan takes top billing. On average, 18.9-million pies are purchased for Thanksgiving.

Posted Thursday, November 26th, 2020 by Barry

JSA (1999) 54

JSA (1999) 54

JSA (1999) 54

The JSA hosts the JLA in the Jan. 2004-cover dated issue.

Geoff Johns joins the two teams for their annual dinner in 20 pages that don’t seem rushed or over crowded. While drawing on some history between characters, the story doesn’t require any real background knowledge to enjoy. Johns focuses on characterization rather than action, though two minor-league villains pop in for a cameo. Their intrusion harkens back to DeMatties and Giffen’s tenure on the Justice League books from a decade earlier.

Johns’ encyclopedic knowledge of the DC Universe is evident as he has fun with the iconic heroes. Batman’s paranoia is rampant as he looks in every dark corner for trouble. Green Arrow and Hawkman spar with words and threats. Impulse and Jay Garrack stare across the great divide of the generational gap.

All-in-all, JSA 54 is a fun read. Johns proves equal to the task of combining the Golden and Modern Age families for a sit-down meal.

Posted Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 by Barry

Superboy (1949) 36

Only one day before turkey day.

Today we – and Curt Swan – have Superboy serving up a full issue of entertainment and treats. Other than the cover, this issue has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, but let’s pretend. It is cover dated October 1954.

Superboy (1949) 36

Superboy (1949) 36

First up is The Superboy Souvenirs! The boy of steel approves the sale of keepsakes from his exploits. Later he learns the trophies are forgeries and shuts the business down.

Lana Lang moves in with Ma and Pa Kent when it is believed her parents have died on a trip to Africa. Her nosey nature throws a monkey wrench in Superboy’s exploits. Superboy’s Sister! was later reprinted in Superman (1939) 222.

A mystery man threatens to expose Clark Kent to be Superboy in The Man Who Knew Superboy’s Identity! The blackmail is finally foiled. A reprint of the story can be found in Adventure Comics (1938) 328.

Also included in the issue are Bebe and Varsity Vic gag strips, school public service announcement, a text story entitled S.O.S. – Crew Ditching and a one-page Superboy’s Workshop for the Tricky Returning Can/Piggy Bank.

With this one under your belt, loosen it back up and get ready for the big day tomorrow. We’re serving up JSA (1999) 54.

Posted Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 by Barry

Comic Cavalcade (1943) 18

As with issues past and future, Comic Cavalcade cover artist Everett E. Hibbard would hit on the holiday, though the inside would be bare of any mention.

Wonder Woman is the lead off hitter in The Menace of the Rebel Manlings. The Amazon goes berserk, ‘nuff said.

Flash is next in The Galloping Greenbacks. Guesting are Winky Moylan, Blinky Boylan and Noddy Toylan. Also appearing is Joan Williams, the future Mrs. Jay Garrick.

A filler story titled Just a Story takes readers to New York. It would be reprinted in Justice League of America (1960) issue 114.

Seek and Hide, or The Airmail Trail, stars Hop Harrigan.

Green Lantern is the final of the tales, starring in The Meaning of D.

Also appearing in the issue are Mutt and Jeff.

Not a lot of sustenance with today’s issue, but stay with us as we count down to Thanksgiving.

Comic Cavalcade (1943) 18

Posted Monday, November 23rd, 2020 by Barry

Marvel Super Heroes: What the-? 99 Hulk Balloons

Heroes and villains vie for a chance to represent themselves and the Marvel U at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.