Archive for November, 2021

Posted Monday, November 29th, 2021 by Barry

All-New Collectors’ Edition C-53

A tabloid-size dose of holiday season was brought to you by DC Comics for 1978.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer stars in Only Two Days to Christmas as presented by Sheldon Mayer in two acts. The first being Baddy Bear’s Big Blunder.

Rudolph has his nose set for a celebration when presents are wrapped a full two days before Christmas eve. Santa warns Rudolph of the consequences should they wake Baddy Bear while he is hibernating.

All-New Collectors’ Edition C-53

All-New Collectors’ Edition C-53

Of course, the noise level rises enough to rouse the sleeping bear. Still drowsy from his dozing, Baddy Bear succumbs to a series of events leading him to believe his den has been invaded.

Santa and gang are recruited to find the culprit leading to Act 2:  Rudy and the Hopeless Heroes!

A war ensues until the blunder can be rectified and all is well once more. A Merry Christmas from the principles and a star for Rudolph is a good enough finish.

Mayer serves up a second helping of Rudolph with Giant Problem.

Rudolph’s friend, Grover, creates a device that will transport anything anywhere. While attempting to demonstrate on Santa’s sleigh, the machine malfunctions and sends his ride into the Forbidden Forest.

Hero that he is, Rudolph follows the sleigh’s trail only find a giant Eskimo has claimed it for an ice skate.

Santa steps in to resolve the issue and Rudolph finds himself at the front of the line, leading the gang as they begin their annual travels.

The book closes with puzzles.

First up is a maze to Funland.

Santa poses for a few illustrations while eagle-eyed youngsters are encouraged to find the twin Clauses.

Rudy’s Party Riddles offer some jokes to tell around the Christmas tree.

Santa’s Safety Target Game, a lesson in how to make party hats from wrapping paper and connect-the-dots rounds out the tome.

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 Thursday, November 18th, 2021 by Barry

Superman v. Nick O’Teen All Three Commercials

The Great American Smokeout is held the third Thursday in November each year to encourage smokers to quit their habit.

Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the Smokeout is a 24-hour marathon of non-puffing. According to studies those who go 20 minutes without smoking see a decrease in their heartrate and blood pressure. After 12 hours, the body begins to cleanse the carbon monoxide from the last cigarette ingested. After one day, the risk of heart attack decreases along with heart disease and stroke.

Those holding out for two days experience a more profound sense of taste and smell. By day three, nicotine is leaving the body and withdrawal may occur. Symptoms may include nicotine cravings, anxiety, irritability, depression and weight gain.

To observe, of course, don’t smoke for the 24-hour period.

The first Great American Smokeout was held Nov. 16, 1977, in San Francisco’s Union Square.

To learn about the evils of smoking, watch Superman take on the villain responsible for the death of over 400,000 people each year. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. For every smoker-related death, 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness.

Approximately seven-million people die from smoking each year worldwide.

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 Thursday, November 11th, 2021 by Barry

Superman (1939) 12

Penciler Fred Ray must have seen the storm clouds on the horizon with his prophetic cover for Superman 12. Within six months the United States would be part of the global conflict now known as World War II.

The nameless sailor and soldier share the cover with Superman, but it’s those in the flanking uniforms who will are honored today, Veterans Day.

Being the title character, Superman, in his alter ego as Clark Kent, opens the book on vacation. He and Lois Lane are on a cruise ship when they meet Nan Wilson who has inherited an island. Intrigue follows when it is discovered the island is being used as secret submarine base by hostiles.

Superman (1939) 12

Superman (1939) 12

In the second story, Clark Kent’s article on deaths that appear to be suicides are proved wrong when Superman takes over in the Suicide Murders.

Another propaganda story in The Grotak Bund has Superman saving America from sinister foreign powers. In this story, The Grotak Bund is working to hinder the American defense system by sabotaging factories.

Safe Job gives Superman a breather with a simple detective story. The hero discovers a robbery at the Chalmers Real Estate Company was an inside job.

Lex Luthor brings the book to a close in The Beasts of Luthor, 13 pages of science-fiction inspired artificial animal husbandry. Lois and Clark team for a story on a scientist from the island of Baracoda where giant animals are manufactured. It becomes known its all part of a plot using the animals to conquer the world.

Originally known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day is observed annually on Nov. 11 to honor military veterans. It is held on Nov. 11 in part to remember the close of World War I that ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

It was named Veterans Day in 1954.

Superman was excused from the second world war under the excuse he was powerless against magic which could be wielded against him in Europe.

In reality, he didn’t exist and if he had, would have been able to stop the fighting in one day. It was also decided he would not be featured in either of the theaters so as not to take away from the real men fighting and giving up their lives.

Yet, America’s greatest (fictional) hero has long been featured with and honoring the real heroes.

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 4th, 2021 by Barry

Sensation Comics (1942) 2

October ended in a gluttony of a sugar-saturated reign of cosplay. There will be more sweets ahead as ovens bake a mixture of apples and pumpkins surrounded by dough and confectionary goodness. But, there’s still a day set aside specifically for the dieter’s downfall: National Candy Day.

Short of finding someone twirling a pole, we’re calling on Wonder Woman’s Golden Age sidekick Candy. Etta Candy.

Sensation Comics (1942) 2

Sensation Comics (1942) 2

Miss Candy debuted in the pages of Sensation Comics issue two during the winter of 1942. The baby daddies were William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter.

Marston is better known for his creation, Wonder Woman. Her and his odd living conditions along with a bondage fetish.

That aside, Candy was drawn more with a compass than ruler. Marston gave her an oversized sweet tooth that led to an oversized waistline. She was also given a quick wit and sharp tongue as part of her sassy demeanor.

Candy’s father and mother were, get this, Hard Candy and Sugar Candy, respectively. They resided on the Bar-L Ranch in Brazos County, Texas. Brother Mint Candy served in the armed forces during World War II.

Etta became a sidekick of sorts. She and fellow sorority members at Holiday College teamed with the amazon throughout the Golden Age of comic books in various adventures.

With a new writer, Robert Kanigher, during the Silver Age, Etta’s page count dwindled. Not until the 1980s did she return as the weight-conscious whiner Kanigher created.

George Perez and Greg Potter were much kinder following the original DC Crisis. Etta became romantically involved with Steve Trevor, even marrying Wonder Woman’s former love interest.

With The New 52, Etta was relegated to a secretarial role that lasted through DC’s Rebirth. She was also given a makeover as an African-American.

At present the origins of National Candy Day are unknown. However, if you need an excuse for that guilty confectionary pleasure, use Nov. 4 to indulge. This is a holiday for everyone.

Which, was not always the case. Until the industrial revolution, candy was a costly indulgence due to the price of sugar. Since 1979, the world as produced more sugar than it can sell.