Thrift Store Gamera!!

After (damage corrected in Photoshop)
Here's a little project I finished over the weekend.  I finally found a thrift store painting to work on...except that it wasn't a painting, it was a really old print glued to cardboard, which ended up getting "distressed" from the (removable?) painter's tape I used.  But anyway, it worked too well for what I wanted to do, so I couldn't pass it up. Enjoy.
And then finally on my wall!


Some of My Personal FAILs... (part eight)

Continuing an ongoing series of occasional bizarre lameness that I personally encounter:

It's Halloween Costume Time again, and if you go as "Video Game Guy," then you deserve the pantsing, egging, and throwing-off-a-bridge that you will surely get.
Now I see why SENTAI was such a short-lived publication.  They sure didn't believe in proofreading.
All I can think of reading "Ultra Mam" is this:
Those of you with children will understand (I think that's the title of a Bill Cosby album, if memory serves.)
Finally, this isn't so much of a FAIL as one of these--
--but the other day, I was looking over the statistics for this blog...you know, the usual stuff, how many visitors per day, et cetera...when I happened to glance at the "Search Keywords":
I mean...really? Of course, the real question to me is, what post do I have that matches this criteria?!?


New Godzilla "comic" Discovered from 1994

Don't know how I missed this, but there really isn't a complete checklist out there, which I why I've tried to make one.  You may have seen another Antarctic Press issue on my Godzilla: American Comics Chronology page (the one with GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH artwork on the front).  It turns out, Antarctic launched another title later, called SENTAI, that ran for only a handful of issues.  Luckily, the first issue had a great Godzilla cover, and lots of coverage for the two newest films at the time, MOTHRA and MECHAGODZILLA.  This comic-sized magazine had some decent (for the time) articles, and lots of behind-the-scenes photos, although they are quite small, and black-and-white.  There's also an informative article on the newest Ultraman (which was the American-made snooze-fest THE ULTIMATE HERO), so at the time the magazine would have been one of the only sources for information, even though it died after the second issue.
Antarctic tried to include some actual comics in this magazine, but what was included was a bit confusing.  It's some sort of post-apocalyptic biker gang thing that had more language than WOLF OF WALL STREET, so I just tuned out pretty quickly, as suddenly all of the Japanese content had vanished!
At any rate, the Godzilla American Comics Chronology page is updated now.


Amazing Guillermo Del Toro Quote

One of the books I'm currently reading and enjoying is MAN, MACHINES & MONSTERS, the making of PACIFIC RIM.  I had barely started when I encountered the following:

"When I was about eight years old," he [del Toro] told fans at Comic-Con, "I took a bus to the other side of town to see THE WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS.  When I arrived there, it was one of those things we call in Mexico a 'brick cinema,' because they give you a brick to smash the rats that run through the theater.  I sat down; I started watching the movie.  Somebody threw a glass of pee on my head from the balcony--and this is how much I loved Kaiju:  I stayed and finished the movie."    --Guillermo del Toro

Wow.  As amazing as that quote is on several levels, I have to admit I've seen a mouse in an American theater probably once in my life, and that was just a mouse.  I don't want to take away from the meaning of the quote, but it reminds me to be thankful.  And now, I can watch the greats from the past in my own home.


In 1980, Spidey Would Come to Your Birthday Party!

He will come to my birthday party? Oh crap, I'm too late...but if you did win this contest, Spidey would bring you and 20 friends special "mystery" gifts! I wonder what they were? I imagine they were the pens also pictured here, which were second prizes......but more likely, it was a tube of AIM.
I say this because this unique ad is from the back of a unique comic, which was "FREE WITH THE PURCHASE OF AIM" in 1980.  I was all over grocery stores during that time, but I never saw this, or I would have been begging for AIM.  There was also a second AIM-Spidey comic a couple of years later, featuring Doctor Octopus, that I also have.

As much as this comic should have been hilariously bad (I was expecting "Spidey Super Stories" with dental hygiene), it wasn't.  It was written by Marv Wolfman (who was no slouch), and sort of plays out like a silver age Batman story, as the Goblin, intent on stealing a "laser drill" from a inventor dentist, flies around leaving various clues for Spidey to figure out.  The art is by Alex Saviuk, who handles the many lines of the Spidey costume (which gave even Jack Kirby fits) very well.

I think the creators had just the right awareness of the subject matter's hilariousness to keep it from going campy (or worse), and while it's 32 straight pages of story with no ads, it was very enjoyable.
Oddly, it seems to take place in a weird universe, even for 1980, where the Green Goblin doesn't know Peter Parker is Spider-Man.  In fact, we aren't even sure which Goblin it's supposed to be, because he's never out of costume.  Peter Parker is commanded by JJJ to take Jameson's nephew to the dentist, and the fun goes from there.  Later, they visit a dental "convention" of some sort, featuring giant teeth, fancy exhibits, and other bizareness.

Things really were so much easier back then!


Wha? TARO?!

Internets, you are supposed to keep me informed about these things! Accidentally on E-bay (which is a Bob Dylan song title I think), I discovered this newly-released DVD set, hot on the heels of the last one (so much so that it's almost running right over poor Ace).  And I haven't finished the first disc of Ace yet.

Of course, I ordered it. 

But, Malaysians, you have got to slow it down, just a bit.  Just give us a few months to get caught up on our tokusatsu-binging.

Ugh, I just broke one of my own rules, and used "binging" to describe watching TV.  I hate that word...next I'm going to be calling my screenshots "screenies." 

Taro is unusual, because up to this point, it's actually been "totally" "available" in English-but-not-really-English.  In other words, it's one of the early Ultra shows that was dubbed by Malaysian TV into really terrible English.  The sound is muffled, uses some words that aren't even real, and at times is impossible to understand, resulting in lots of rewinding, which is often futile.  I'm assuming they just took people off the street, asked them if they spoke "English," had them read some lines, gave them a Big Mac, and sent them home.
The strange thing is that all 53 episodes are available this way, which wasn't true for the earlier shows.

Now, I have endured all of these episodes in the past, and here are some random memories I have about Taro:

1) In the first episode, we see him being born.  I think.  The Ultra Brothers stand around a large glass dome in a darkened room, there are some noises, and a fully-grown Taro appears inside the dome.  (Years later, in 1983, came the ULTRA STORY movie that showed us Taro's delightful childhood, so make sense out of that.)
2) Taro is about as silly as it gets, taking the series full-circle from the early days of hard, Tsuburaya-controlled sci-fi/horror/mystery to giant floppy alien turkeys and lots of sped-up film for "comic effect."
3) Taro is a simpering dolt, and is constantly getting his red and silver backside handed to him.  When this happens, he invariably has to be healed (sometimes resuscitated) by his Mama...at one point she has to restore him from a decapitation.  Imagine Ultraseven in such a position.
4) Taro's human host is a boxer, and, if I understood correctly, just gets tired of having to deal with Taro (but then again, I might also), and just asks to be un-united so he can go do something else.
5) Taro's human team is ZAT, and their uniforms and helmets follow the tradition of growing more garish and ridiculous with each series.
6) In recent movies, Taro has been portrayed as a caped past-master of Ultra badassery, but in the last completed series (Ginga), he was relegated to a goofy talking action figure.  I kid you not.

All of this results in one good thing:  Leo is next.  Leo (whose personal trainer is Ultraseven!), in all my years of trading and scouring the Internets, has never been available in English, dubbed or otherwise, so this should be exciting.


Engrish With Ultraman Ace (part one)

I'm afraid I've been slow in my progress through the new Ultraman Ace boxed set...in fact, I'm not quite 1/3 of the way through.  But let's get right to what's important here.
This set doesn't seem to have as many "bwa-haaa!" moments as Jack, so far anyway, which means one of two things:  the subtitles are getting more coherent, or my brain is just finally accepting the mangled English and substituting a meaning.  (I'm leaning toward the second possibility.)
While this is still an amusing sentence, once again we have Malaysian Engrish teaching us an archaic word.  "Complot" is indeed a real word, from the 1500's, although today we would say "conspiracy."  As a side note, one can even be a "complotter" or participate in a "complotment."

Nothing to see here, just a long-lost father coming home and tucking his son in to their floor-pallet-bed....then leaning over and asking him nicely to, in the name of all that's holy, please control his bladder.
You can figure this one out, but the lady was just asked how she was feeling about her important job launching a missile.
Supposedly, girls will distract our hero from his work....I couldn't find a definition for "deliquium" and instead got, "Did you mean DELIRIUM?"
This is quite simply the funniest sentence you've seen this week.  What's even funnier is that it is exactly, precisely, and perfectly accurate with regard to the episode's plot.  I kid you not.  Also, if MST3K taught me anything, it's that there's always a Kenny.
While this....just makes no sense whatsoever.


Scalpers Can SUCK IT...

You aren't funny, whoever you are.

This was the scene moments ago, at my closest Walgreen's.  As you may, or may not, know, Walgreen's has several "hot" action figure exclusives this year, which are currently showing up, giving some of us a reason to finally go in there.  They have one Spider-Man, and one Star Wars, both six-inch, overpriced figures.
Now, I don't give a tinker's dam about comics that Jack Kirby didn't do. (That is actually a bit of artistic hyperbole...what I mean to say is, I am not familiar with modern comics.)  I didn't know what an "Agent Venom" was, until my ten-year-old told me, and I still don't exactly understand...but he wants one, super badly.
So, instead of finding one, this is what I see on the pegs.  Now, for the benefit of the uninitiated, here is what it's supposed to look like:
Notice any differences? Oh yes, you do.*  

Some scumbag switched it out with a black Spider-Man, and returned it.

Now comes the really great part of the story.  I decided to do two things: 1) report my findings to the store employees, and notify them that they had been ripped off, and 2) use the good deed to ask if there were any more in the back somewhere.

So yes, I had motives, but at least they were honest motives.  

Well, proving the maxim I live by, which is "NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED," I was reminded why people get away with these sorts of things.  Quite simply, it's because retail employees can be new kinds of exceedingly stupid.  Not only did I wait 20 minutes for the manager to look and not find anything, but while I'm waiting, the worker decides that it simply CAN'T be a switcheroo, because after all, people don't DO that, right?
My energy and stamina to deal with doltery rapidly depleting, I gave it one more try.  I told him to compare the figure to the photo on the back.  Then I told him to notice how the figure didn't even fit into the tray properly, and left unfilled space.
Suddenly, he decides it must have been some kind of factory error.  "See, they just forgot to put the shell on," he said.  The SHELL? The WHAT???! Godfrey Daniel! Shades of Ninja Turtles!?

My friends, if we learn anything from this debacle, let it be two things:

1) Every day, people are leaving the school system in this country unable to write their own names, or form sentences with actual words.  For these people, there is retail.
2) Walgreen's is completely unqualified to sell exclusive action figures.

*Don't notice any differences? Don't worry, just click here.