Mar 29, 2012

League Post - Bay Day

Michael Bay set the interwebs on fire last week when he announced the turtles in his upcoming TMNT movie would be alien in origin. He's since tried to reassure the geek community that this will be a movie for the fans. I've found that's the standard response when you have a million degrees of nerd-rage raining down on you. Anyway...this week's League topic for discussion is...
After he’s done with the Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles movie, what should Michael Bay blow up next?
Love him or hate him, you have to admit Michael Bay knows how to feature military hardware, do things in a grand fashion and blow things up real good. What immediately comes to my mind thinking of these things is my favorite movie genre: giant (insert creature) on the rampage!

Let's face it, for everything I mentioned above that Bay does well, his movies are usually not known for their character development or well woven plots. I call this Exhibit B in my case as this style of movie would allow him to further play to his strengths, or weaknesses as the case may be.

I'm not saying I want any of the below films remade necessarily. There's plenty of things you can do to differentiate yourself and make your movie original. Hollywood should be doing more original movies "in the spirit of" instead of remaking, rebooting or otherwise trying to cash in on name recognition.

Tarantula (1955)
Them (1954)
Black Scorpion (1957)
The Deadly Mantis (1957)

Other League Members
Tupa's Treasures really goes with the Bay/military connection
The children's book Corduroy gets Bay-ized by Claymation Werewolf
Life With Fandom straps on some space spurs

Mar 26, 2012

Mail Order Monday - Computer Programming (1971)

Since I'm currently looking for a job, I thought this ad would be good for today. 
I'm very curious how one would work from home as a computer programmer in 1971. I started dabbling in BASIC about 10 years later and while I could write a program out by hand, it's really hard to test it without a computer. They were still using punch-cards in the early 70's so it's not like you could go to a friend's house to run it.

If you go here and search for 1970 it will bring you to a short section about programming in the 70's.
The IBM 7094, a typical mainframe computer in the 70's [photo courtesy of]

Mar 24, 2012

Old Burial Hill

We had a few exceptional days of weather this week. Sunny and 70s are things you don't normally associate with March around here. So what did I do? Spend a couple hours in a cemetery taking photos!
This particular location is in Marblehead, MA in a place you wouldn't stumble into if you were driving around town. It has an interesting topography being atop a hill. You can see large rocks poking through the grass all over. Or maybe it's just one giant rock that makes the hill, who knows?
I'd give you the nickle tour through my photos but I took quite a few and it would take me a couple hours, at least, to narrate the whole shebang. If you want to see more head over to my Flickr gallery and check them out. And if you have the time, view the headstones in the largest size so you can read them. There's some interesting and beautiful things written on them.

Mar 23, 2012

League Post - Zombie Fun Squad

Yep, I'm a little late to the party this week...because I was pouring the cement for my zombie-proof bunker! The League of Extraordinary Bloggers wants to know...
Which TV or movie hero do you want beside you when the zombie apocalypse arrives?
I'm going to take a little artistic interpretation with the question, because why stop at one? 
Here is my Zombie Fun Squad.

There are literally too many to choose from! My first thoughts went to Star Wars, maybe a Jedi? But how would that work? Can zombies be sensed in the Force? And won't a lightsaber attract zombies like bugs to a bug-zapper?

Then I went to The Walking Dead, maybe Rick or Darryl? Neither is afraid to do what needs to be done and are great in the clutch. But they're also both pretty grim, which I can't blame them for. It's just if there is a zombie apocalypse, I want to have as much fun as possible before it comes down to putting a bullet in my head.

So I started thinking...who would I want to have my back that would be fun to hang out with?
Yep, Tallahassee from Zombieland would be my go to guy. He's good with any kind of weapon, street smart and funny. Of course we may run into a problem divvying up any Twinkies we find but it'd be a small price to pay. I'm not going to lie, Ash was a strong contender but the reality is I think his "Ash-ness" would grate on me after awhile.

Next up, every group needs a tank. Someone that can take punishment and hold the line.
For that, you can't go wrong with the T-800 from Terminator 2. You might have to slather him in blood to attract the zombies but they won't be taking him down anytime soon! Why not the T-1000? He doesn't seem to have much of a personality. Plus, think about Tallahassee teaching the T-800 how to be more human...hilarity ensues!

Because I'm really struggling deciding on a fourth to round out the squad, I'm going with...
Princess Vespa from Spaceballs! 
Hey, zombie apocalypse or not, it's always good to have an attractive woman at your side that can handle a weapon like Rambo!

Post Note: The day after I posted this I had stopped thinking about it when the final member I should have chosen came to me. I was so focused on movies that I'd forgotten about TV completely...(and if I were watching the latest Nikita show, she'd probably be here instead).

Sidney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) from Alias

Other League Member's Posts
Life With Fandom calls on someone with two hearts!
Tupa's Treasures chooses the ultimate jury-rigger!
and Revenge from the Cosmic Ark picks someone I should steal for my fourth!

Mar 21, 2012

Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Bricks...

Series 6 of LEGO blind-bagged minifigs have been out for a little while now. I love collecting these little guys and usually stay focused on the horror/monster/sci-fi figs. But when I first saw the preview for this series, I knew I had to customize the Bandit into one of the greatest pulp heroes, The Shadow!
Image from Brickpedia
From the original minifig, I only kept the kerchief, head and hat. I thought I could get away with turning the torso around to make it solid black, but the bandoliers are printed on the back too! This was actually a good thing as it made me get a "suit" torso which looks much better than solid balck would and it has black hands which are better than the brown here. I also ordered a black cape, black legs and a pair of pistols that look more like The Shadow's .45's. They were originally yellow but a little silver paint transformed them to complete the silver plated .45 look. The cape is a tiny bit problematic because of it has to fold under the kerchief which causes one side to flair out.

All in all, getting the parts cost more than the figure itself but the results are better than I could have hoped. I bought all my parts from eBay seller sammy36496 and they get a high recommendation from me! They have a Facebook page where they encourage you to post your customs.

I went a little crazy taking pics of The Shadow because I was having fun with a couple of different flashlights and camera effects. Enjoy! And if anyone can clue me in on the trick of getting more than one photo on the same line, please let me know, it's driving me crazy.

The first one was backlit with a flashlight and enhanced with the ThumbaCam app on my Windows phone to get that smoky look.

This last one is my favorite because of the shadow being cast

Mar 19, 2012

Mail Order Monday - Andy Gibb Poster (1979)

Andy Gibb poster mail offer ad

"Are you ready for Andy's super-sexy pose?"
I'm not sure anything could make me that ready...

Andy Gibb sexy time pose

This isn't the exact pose in the ad but it looks like the same jockey jacket and multi-color quilt mentioned in the ad.

Oh yeah, and apparently this happened too. Gotta love the 70s!

Andy Gibb trading cards

And no Andy Gibb post would be complete without a little of this...

Mar 16, 2012

Friday Funnies - Gumfighting (1979)

Ok, so today's post is more an ad you'd find in a comic book but it's one of those ones that I have a distinct memory of seeing. I thought it was a a unique way to advertise something like chewing gum.
Click to enlarge

Mar 12, 2012

Mail Order Monday - Super Siren (1978)

Now admittedly, Bobby should be paying more attention to cars pulling out of their driveways. But I'm guessing Mr. Jones is partially to blame also. He's got a head of receding hair and is driving a two door sports car a little too fast for the driveway! He's probably headed down to the local nudie bar for an afternoon of semi-naked women and drowning his sorrows in cheap booze.

Um...where were we? Oh yeah...why is Bobby's mom such a hard ass on him? Taking the bike away seems a little harsh for almost getting hit by one car, doesn't it? Mr. Jones probably blew the situation out of proportion when he told her what happened while still reeking of self-loathing and alcohol.

But Bobby's got it together! He gets himself a siren that goes WOO-WOO-WOOO!

This is more like the one I remember. 
It has multiple siren modes and you can use it as a bike mounted bullhorn.

Mar 9, 2012

Mailbox Invaders - Star Wars Kotobukiya

First off, you may be wondering who or what is Kotobukiya. They make some fantastically geeky stuff! In addition to the "mundane" statues they also do some unusual things like glassware, chop sticks and silicone mold trays (for ice cubes or chocolate!).

I won a Twitter contest put on by MTV Geek which included the below Star Wars statues, a Tekken Bishoujo, an X-23 Bishoujo and a pair of Alien mold trays. So I wanted to share a few pics of the Star Wars statues because they are so cool! While they are statues, you do have to do some very easy assembly to get them together. The reason for this genius: they have multiple parts so you can show them off in a variety of ways!

There isn't much in the shot for size reference but the rifle clone is about 7" tall.
They came in two packs, droids in one and clones in the other. Each figure has its own base plate but with a lack of display space, I found it pretty easy to fit them all on only three bases. Each piece has magnets in its feet so they won't fall off their bases easily.

These guys are using some of the "action pose" arms and legs.
These guys are amazing! I only realized after I had put them together that I should have taken a shot of them in the packaging to show off all the options. There is a long and short rifle for each clone and a "default" set of arms and legs. There are also two additional sets of arms and legs for each. The heads appear to be on a ball joint and can be rotated, which gives a decent range of "expression" by manipulating their heads. The Kotobukiya page shows the different poses you can create.

Even the droids have multiple part options. 3P0 has an interchangeable right hand. Above you can see the "open" hand. The other is slightly closed and can hold an included comlink just like he used on the Death Star. His head and arms have basic rotating articulation. R2 pretty much only has the option of being displayed with or without the retractable leg. They even included a piece to cover the hole where the third leg attaches if you only display him on two legs. His head also rotates.

I was really impressed with the detail on these and would say they're on the same level as many solid cast statues. Take a close look at 3P0, the wires in his midsection and his palms! I like these a lot more than a normal statue because I can change how they're displayed whenever I want.

Mar 7, 2012

League Post - Whoa!

This week, the League of Extraordinary Bloggers poses this pop culture conundrum...
What media announcement had you throwing fist pumps and doing roundhouse kicks in the air? Did the final result live up to your dreams?
Well of course, being the nerdy geek I am, there are a handful of possible answers to this: the Star Wars Trilogy Special Editions in theaters, NEW Star Wars movies, a new Indiana Jones movie, a new TRON movie, the upcoming TRON animated series...

But there is one specific moment that really blew me away in my seat. It happened at Star Wars Celebration 5 in 2010. I think it was Saturday morning when Lucas himself was appearing at the con and being interviewed by Jon Stewart. The con organizers were smart. Knowing fans would line up hours in advance to behold The Bearded One, they broadcast the panel over closed circuit to various halls in the convention center. While you may not be able to see George "in person", you could still watch it live.

We walked into one of the broadcast halls a few minutes after the panel had started. A bit later, when the panel was getting close to wrapping up, Lucas unveiled one of the deleted scenes from Return of the Jedi that would be appearing on the Blu-Ray set.

Now, this may not seem such a huge deal compared to a new movie release. As I said in my first League post, I've seen the original Star Wars films over 100 times, each. So it was almost inconceivable in my mind to be watching new footage that the general public had never seen previously. A couple of deleted scenes from A New Hope (or as I call it, Star Wars) made it on to a CD-ROM in the 90s but this...this was a scene most of us had no idea even existed!

The first thing I did after getting those Blu-Rays was go through all the deleted scenes from the original movies. It was amazing to see all new things from movies I have known front to back for over 30 years.

Fellow League Bloggers
Christopher Tupa remembers the Star Wars Special Editions
Flashlights Are Something to Eat talks about the new good ol' boys
GI Joe 25th Anniversary figures strike a blow with Branded in the 80s

Mar 5, 2012

Mail Order Monday - Remington Typewriter (1953)

Remington Typewriter Ad (1953)
Boy howdy, look at that! She's a beaut ain't she? For just $9.99 down and a monthly payment as low as  $7.44 you can own this fine typewriter and carrying case! Or, if you prefer the Quiet-riter model, payments are $8.32.

You can earn money at home in your spare time! How? I'm not sure, you'd have to read the included book "How To Earn Money at Home in Your Spare Time on Your Portable Typewriter." But it sounds like you can get paid to address envelopes and type up menus! Doesn't that sound fun? And best of all, you get to be your own boss!

When I was around 6 or 7 I started messing around on my mom's typewriter. It was very similar to the one shown here but probably 20+ years newer. It had an interesting mechanism that kept the typewriter locked in the case so it didn't bounce around while you were carrying it. They may be "portable" but they sure aren't light!

Mar 2, 2012

Friday Funnies - Thundercats / Battle of the Planets

Comic crossovers are nothing new. I remember the 70s when DC and Marvel had crossovers. I mainly remember the oversized comics because they were freakin huge! And then there were oddball things like Superman vs Muhammad Ali. There's a pretty hefty list of inter-company crossover comics on Wikipedia.

Back in July 2003, WildStorm/Top Cow released a one-shot crossover kids may never have considered during each show's heyday. With Battle of the Planets airing in 1978 and Thundercats starting in 1985, chances were these two properties were never mashed up in backyard play adventures.
Check it out here
Unlike the cliche crossovers usually found in superhero comics, the two teams didn't fight each other when they first meet. What they do is kick a lot of Spectra ass! There was another one-shot release in May 2003 titled Battle of the Planets/Thundercats. Catch the difference there? The two titles were independent of each other and had no continuity between them despite the fact that the covers could be connected to make one larger image.

Battle of the Planets/Thundercats

Thundercats/Battle of the Planets
Battle of the Planets is one of my favorite childhood cartoons. Only within the past decade or so did I discover the original series, Gatchaman. It's amazing how much the series was edited/changed for the American audience. 7-Zark-7 does not exist in the original and it's a little more violent. If you're a fan of Battle of the Planets and have never seen Gatchaman, do yourself a favor and check it out.