7/1/15

THE SUPER DICTIONARY (Part Five)

Once again, come with me, as we journey into the discombobulation that is...THE SUPER DICTIONARY. [dramatic music]
Sentence of the week:  "I may grow very sad to be so large."  Use it on your friends today.
This is not original information, but Superman is a world-class jerk.  Here, he demolishes an entire building, just to be dramatic...wasn't there an early point in all that growing, where he realized he probably needed to go outside?  Let's keep going with that:  wasn't there a really uncomfortable point in the middle of all that growing, where he was just being suffocated by lots of insulation, wires, and debris? But we are supposed to feel sorry for him, because the experience made him SAD?  How about the fact that we need a new building? Do you know what buildings even cost?

Like me, do you find yourself asking the question "Don't we already have a character for this"?? And we do: Apache Chief.  There is no attempt in THE SUPER DICTIONARY to make any kind of grade-school connection to the Super Friends, which, incidentally, were really popular in 1978!
I'm not sure if "metal tube that shoots" really gets the gun concept across, either.
Here again is one of those entries that would not appear in a contemporary dictionary (and I use the term loosely) for kids.  Notice though, that the writers chose not to illustrate this particular entry...as if a panel showing Tomahawk with a musket in his mouth would have been out of place in this book.  Why, you ask? Because we already keep venturing into darkness, like this next entry for example:
Wow...so now go back to the first line, "Can Batman hang from the rope?" Indeed!
 
Okay, this is an amusing panel, I guess, but it makes no headway into defining the word very accurately.  Also, why are you complaining, Joker? You do (rather suddenly) have a great car...although I have no idea where it came from.  And what in the world is this:
Way to phone in the art, SUPER DICTIONARY...what is that, the inflatable Batmobile Otto Pilot? (A little AIRPLANE! joke there.)
I just said this, but don't we already have a character for this? Oh yes, the Atom.  But why are our two stock character/pesky kids miniaturized? Are they in DR. SHRINKER's house?
No, these people have no hope, because they asked for help, and somebody sent them El Dragon.  They are screwed.  Once again, is the whole world suddenly miniaturized, or is this dragonfly just really big?
Although a protective suit and oxygen supply never occurred to you for your little moonwalk, there, evil genius.
And WHAT just happened here, exactly?
Now, I can't fault Batgirl for wanting to smack Robin with a ball, but is this some sort of bizarre superhero rooftop-tag? Aren't there villains to catch?
What? You mean there are KINDS of ladies???!?!
I'm still trying to figure out what just happened.  Did that outdated (and Scottish, even) word merit an entry in the SUPER DICTIONARY?  Oh, because it's the SUPER DICTIONARY.  That's the answer for everything.
Woah! Suddenly Green Lantern is being attacked by a weirdly-colored 1966 Batman...but why? The guy even has "AW" on his chest...I am going to call him "A&W Rootbeer Man," and we will see him again, but could it very well be Adam West?  
My head is spinning......there's a Surgeon General-regulated medical limit to how much SUPER DICTIONARY one person can safely take at one time.
TO BE CONTINUED...

6/29/15

THE SUPER DICTIONARY (Part Four)

I'm late to post this (for the nine of you that read this), but here is Part Four in an ongoing, really long series about just a percentage of the insanity that is THE SUPER DICTIONARY:
Make wrinkles between your eyes...Really???!! I like how the Women's Lib-Checker missed the implication that otherwise, nothing is "going on in her head."  (And it was the 70's!) Also, speaking of her head, exactly how is that headband placed?  The more I look at it, the more it looks like it belongs to someone else.
Remember that time that The Penguin was chased by a giraffe? Nope, I don't either.  See how they foreshortened the giraffe's body, but forgot to decrease the size of his neck as they went along?  Yep, I did too. 
Here, the hastily-invented Conjura reads to her friend, Billy Dee Williams.  He can't understand it, but the joke is on him anyhow: the book is totally blank.
Now, wait a second...we have a plague of green slime, and Superman is just going to leave and think about it?  Any context as to where he could even be?  A manhole? A space station? Three Mile Island?  Has Superman already forgotten what algae is? (See part one if you have.)
Sometimes I take photos of these things, and forget why, but I think what got to me here was the definition of goblins as "bad fairies." And can't fairies do magic too?
Superbaby's mother (who is never named in the SUPER DICTIONARY for some reason) would say a lot more than "goodness" to see this.....uh...thing that looks like the latest thing Jimmy Olsen has turned himself into.
This panel is SUPER DICTIONARY-art-layout-gold.  Just stare at it a while; you don't even have to read the "definition" of the word....unless you want to imagine that the grotesque, giant Green Lantern head is getting goosed.  And, is he squatting in the marsh, or what?  Is there a footnote somewhere about how we know that geese are actually "stronger" than ducks? Did they have a contest to determine this??
I seriously want to see animated GIF's of that Green Lantern head rising up onto my desktop, and then disappearing again....that would be wonderful:
Oh well, but then again, if the Internets have taught me one thing, it's that you can't force a Meme.  Let's move on; we've time for one more:
Here, baggy-shorts-1940's Wonder Woman has broken into the home of some people who look like 1950's clipart, although she seems quite close to them...take a look at the man, who can do nothing but smile, even though tears are forming as he strains to overcome the programming of his alien masters....everything must be assimilated...
 That's better!!

TO BE CONTINUED...

6/23/15

Marvel Comics Super-Heroes Card Game (Milton Bradley, 1978)

Marvel was smart with its licensing in the early years, and by the time of my childhood, there was a boom in super-hero items and collectibles--everything from school supplies to dishes to clothes (only upstaged by, well, NOW).  This was wise, because through simple items, like this card game for example, they solidified their position in the minds of many children, and created some fond memories in the process.
Card back of all cards (except Instructions)
This card game is, for all practical purposes, "Old Maid," except with Doctor Doom substituted for the Old Maid (there's a thought).  The oversized cards are approximately 3.5 x 5.25", and there are 40 cards in the set:  19 pairs of Super-Hero cards, one Doctor Doom, and one two-sided Instruction card:
 
As you could guess, the object is to make matching pairs, and not be left holding the Doctor Doom card.  (Like that's a bad thing!)  
And........Kirby dots!
The Super-Hero cards are typical stock art for 1978, and also have the normal logos used for their names...and they are great.  Take a look:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Really, the only problems in the artwork are:  The Thing has no "whites of his eyes," and, two, The Scarlet Witch is, well, purple!

6/19/15

THE SUPER DICTIONARY (Part Three)

If it's Friday, then that must mean (GASP) another visit to THE SUPER DICTIONARY!
In this entry, we get to enjoy the lame character of El Dragon (that's Spanish for the dragon, kiddies; congratulations, you are now cosmopolitan!) being consumed by a raging fire; an image which gives me solace in times of need.  By the way, I kept thinking he reminded me of somebody, and it finally struck me that he looks similar to a Marvel character called Constrictor:
Or, if you like, El Constrictor.
You know, I'm just going to leave this here and step away.  It's far too easy to make juvenile jokes about Batman and Robin being a couple,and after all these years, aren't we past all that now? I mean, aren't these jokes wearing sort of thi--
Oh...huh.  Let's move on.
Okay, here's another of those panels that begs for context.  What in the sweet name of sanity is going on here?  Where are their ropes even connected? Why are there exclamation points inside the giant eyes?
Excuse me, Zatanna, uh, Conjura?  It IS your fault if you forget you are MAGIC and can just fix the car that way.
Hopefully Batman is referring to a rousing game of Uno?
Once again, Atom is hanging around with bees...this time he has cheesed off an entire swarm.  I don't  think that it matters if you are the size of an action figure, when there are fifty bees after you...unless they are Bee Girls, of course.
My gosh, can you imagine trying to do something with Batgirl over your shoulder? Will you just shut up, Batgirl, before I knock the ever-loving batcrap outta you?! Nevermind that all hooker-Catwoman (I think that's her?) is trying to do is refold a (blank?) road map.
Once again, we end with the fuel of nightmares.  The disembodied head in the (crystal?) ball is the artwork version of one of those William S. Burroughs stories, where he cut up newspapers, threw them in the air, and randomly glued them together to see what happened.  Is this supposed to be the "man" that told Green Arrow the good and bad things that would happen to him? Is the "bad" thing that this horrific head in a ball will be stuck on his shoulder?! Green Arrow gives the reader that look of "you know how it is," but no, we don't.
Once again, the Super Dictionary takes the insane way out of what would otherwise be a simple definition...did fortune cookies ever occur to anyone??!!
I'm telling you people; there's no other explanation:  drugs were involved.

TO BE CONTINUED...