Monday, March 31, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The main characteristic that allowed un-hatched "Sea-Monkeys" to be cheaply packaged, shipped, and handled is that in easily prepared environments, they enter cryptobiosis, a natural state of suspended animation. When released into their aquarium they leave this state and smash through their inner shell walls. Sea-Monkeys can reproduce both sexually (requiring a male and a female) and asexually. When the eggs are produced, there are usually fewer males than females, probably because they are not essential for reproduction. Females stop reproducing with the males when the males are too few.
They were first bred at the New York Ocean Science Laboratories for their larger size and longer lifespan, making them more suitable as pets than the original breed of brine shrimp. Advertisements for Sea-Monkeys were widespread in comics in the 1970s, but the ads featuring drawings of smiling humanoid creatures, bore little resemblance to actual brine shrimp, so a disclaimer stated that, "Caricatures shown not intended to depict Artemia." Sea-Monkeys have a biological life cycle of one year, but thanks to their ability to enter cryptobiosis, a Sea-Monkey colony could sustain itself for two years.
A television program, The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys, based on the comic book advertisements of the 1970s, was produced in 1992.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Ya' gotta remember all of those cool offerings that regularly lured the youth of America into sending off a few coins (or a buck or two) to score some really neat swag to fill the rest of your day - - - You know, when you weren't actually wasting time reading comics.
Magic Cards, Onion Gum, Monster-size Monster pin-ups, Silent Dog Whistles, Whoopee Cushions AND every kids dream .... X-Ray Specs. Comic books used to carry literally pages of this type of advertising and while I don't know of anyone who ever REALLY ordered any of these gags, it was comforting in a twisted-sorta-way to know that you too, could print your own pile of cash with a 'Jack Pot Bank' for less than two dollars.
I'm sure the revenue from these ads underwrote the cost of printing the comics - back in the day - but for some reason the publishers purged these somewhat lurid ads long ago. Sadly, somewhere along the way, when these old staples fell by the wayside, comic books stopped being considered magazines and picked up the all-too-weird designation of pamphlets.
Don't ask me to explain that?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
First up, let’s look back at a landmark advertising campaign which has been described as one of the most lasting and memorable ad campaigns of all time. For decades, if you grew up reading comic books, you were exposed to this familiar page in every issue.
Angelo Siciliano legally changed his name to “Charles Atlas” in 1922 (he later filed for and received trademark status for the name) after a friend told him that he resembled the statue of Atlas on top of a hotel in Coney Island. Atlas used his own system of “Dynamic-Tension” to build his body after he tried other systems of exercise and found out that they did not work for him. Atlas soon began advertising his program in comic books and his ad became iconic, presenting a scenario in which a boy is threatened on the beach by a sand-kicking bully while his date watches. Humiliated, he goes home and, after kicking over a chair and gambling on the results of a ten-cent stamp, subscribes to Atlas's "Dynamic-Tension" program. Later, the boy (now muscular) again goes to the beach and beats up the bully, becoming the "Hero of the Beach." Girls marvel at how big his muscles are, of course the famous ad is called "The Insult That Made A Man Out Of Mac."
Monday, March 24, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Popeye the Sailor is famous for appearing in comic strips, animated films, numerous TV shows and a live-action 1980 film (directed by Robert Altman & starring Robin Williams). He was created by Elzie Crisler Segar and made his first appearance in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929.
Segar's Thimble Theatre strip was actually in its tenth year when Popeye made his debut, but the character quickly became the main focus of the strip and Thimble Theatre became one of King Features' most popular strips during the 1930s. Thimble Theatre continued after Segar's death in 1938 by several writers and artists, including Segar's assistant Bud Sagendorf. The strip, retitled Popeye, continues to appear in first-run installments in select Sunday papers, now written and drawn by Hy Eisman.
In 1933, Fleischer Studios adapted Popeye the Sailor into theatrical cartoon shorts for Paramount Pictures. The cartoons proved to be popular enough to continue production through 1957.
[The strip shown above is Popeye's 1st app. from 1929.]
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Gal Gadot, former Miss Israel 2004, that is!
She was recently cast in the upcoming film sequel, The Fast And The Furious 4, alongside returning, original stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker & Michelle Rodriguez.
I don't know if she can act, but I'm-a gonna watch that movie when it arrives and find out for myself - - - for two reasons.
My son has made me rewatch the first two Fast & Furious films many times over, they're a couple of his favorites, AND Gal is SO smoking hot that she makes me "ache" in a very comfortable way.
[But then, you knew that I was going to say something like that. Right?]
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
After a long career as a heroic Earth champion, Thor reluctantly assumed the throne of Asgard, and suffered the nightmarish timeline that resulted from those years. Thor ultimately confronted the Norns (Fates), thus breaking the Ragnarok cycle, and then entered a stasis known as "the sleep of the gods." With his fate unknown to his fellow Avengers, Thor was believed to be missing in action for an extended time.
In the wake of the “Civil War”, a mysterious man revealed to be Donald Blake touched the hammer Mjolnir, and was transported into the void where Thor had been in hibernation. Blake explained that when Odin originally removed the Donald Blake persona from Thor, Blake was transported into the void where Thor had endured his “sleep of the gods”, and Blake was returned to New York City when Thor had broken the Ragnarok cycle. Blake convinced Thor to wield Mjolnir once more and return to Earth, renewing the dual identity with Blake. Blake also revealed that Thor's fellow Asgardians were not dead, but only hidden on Earth.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Modred was originally a magician in the 6th century who had learned magic from the wizard Gervasse. Modred was engaged to Gervasse's daughter, Julia, and was set to become the apprentice of the wizard Merlin. However, Merlin had been replaced by an imposter (who would later go by the names of the Mad Merlin, the Maha Yogi, and Merlin Demonspawn), and Modred and Gervasse knew that this "Merlin" needed to be stopped. In order to gain the necessary power for this feat, Modred sought out the Darkhold (the book of black magic created by the Elder God Chthon). The Other, an emissary of Chthon, offered Modred great power at the cost of his soul. Initially Modred refused, but the Other mystically targeted Julia; and in order to protect her, Modred offered himself up to Chthon. His soul was subsequently corrupted, and Gervasse placed him in suspended animation, where he lay for centuries.
Modred was awakened in the modern day by Janet Lyton and Grant Whitaker, who led him to London. There, he was shot by the police and then attacked by the Other, which he defeated. Modred has alternated between being an anti-hero and a super-villain ever since.