Friday, September 22, 2017

The Fab 4, The Mod, And His Bird!

You all know how much I love faux rock bands in comic books. And I especially love them when the comic creators try oh so hard to get hip and cool.

It's 1967, and Dell is making their brief (and futile) attempt to capitalize on the super-hero market. Four teenage heroes, known as the Fab Four, are going to investigate some shenanigans at a rock concert:

Yes, it is Mr. Mod and his Bird!!


Well, that's an evil plan!

And so...


Yes, we all want Mod!!


Ginchy!

And lest you think that's not a real song...

It's by Bo Bylan, who no doubt is the voice of his generation.!

The song has the desired effect--even on our heroes:


And apparently, the "foreign ministers conference" is a conference of foreign ministers from 1893:

Indubitably!

SPOILER ALERT: The Fab Four break free of the spell and save the day. Mr. Mod and his Bird are captured. The conference of foreign ministers approved the Treaty Of The Durand Line. Their comic is promptly cancelled. Dell never tried the heady mix of trendy super-heroes and modern music again.

From Superheroes #4 (1967)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Your Tax Dollars At Work--Blondie And Mental Hygiene!!

Have some mental health questions?

Than why not check in with Blondie?!?

Now, some of you might be asking--what does Blondie have to do with mental health? Well, the book comes from:

Well then!!

Now, this is a 1950 publication, so "psychiatric consultant" or not, this is pretty much the equivalent of one of those short instructional films on etiquette they would show your parents (grandparents?) when it was raining during recess. Mental health = being nice to each other and getting along with everybody!!

For example, in the lead story, Dagwood has a bad day...



And as a result, he passes it along when he gets home...



Well, Blondie has the cure recommended by the New York State Department Of Mental Hygiene: beat he physical crap out of something!



Sublimate!! SUBLIMATE!!

You can tell how serious this issue is, because the moral is given to us by dogs:

I won't bore you with the rest of the stories in this tome--the canine-delivered lesson in each pretty much tells you the point:



All fair enough. Although, to modern sensibilities, this tales seem to be more "don't be a rude jackass" and "show common courtesy" than "maintain good mental health." Conform, people--CONFORM!!!

But I'm outranked on that conclusion:

Mental health is "getting along with other people"...and making life "a little pleasanter for the people around you." Oh, 1950s, don't ever change.

Now every source I can find says this was a 1950 comic book...

...but that back cover clearly says 1952, and Averell Harriman wasn't governor until 1955. The amusingly amateurishly crossed out/stamped in names suggest that New York had plenty of these books on hand for years, and just wrote over the names of elected/appointed officials rather than print up new copies.

Anyway, you now know why your parents (or grandparents) are so screwed up.

BONUS: One of those "you must get along with everyone" shorts, with commentary from your crack MST3K team:



You're welcome.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Damn You!! Damn You All To Hell!!

Man, I'm kinda stuck.

I'm trying to write some dystopian fiction, something post-apocalyptic.

But I can't seem to find a proper symbol, something that both demonstrates that this is the future of our world while simultaneously depicting how far we've fallen.

Something that shows the unthinkable has happened to our once-powerful culture...

...a one-time symbol of strength that is now in ruins, showing how far the world to come has fallen...

I need an instantly recognizable icon, so every reader can instantly grok where the story is set...

...yet that same icon is now decaying in an Ozymandian state of despair, so the reader can also instantly understand how for we've fallen.

I need some icon whose destruction would mirror our fears both militarily...

...and ecologically.

I need a landmark whose condition, at a single glance, depicts how far our society has fallen.

I'm looking for a symbol of hope and freedom that invading aliens would destroy not just once...

...but twice!!

Or, if not aliens, well, maybe dinosaurs?

Nah, it should probably be aliens.

I need an icon that's so versatile, shlocky film producers couldn't make up their minds how to destroy it.

I just can't seem to come up with an image shocking enough...

...devastating enough...

...to convey how terrible this future is.

Well, don't worry...I'm sure I'll think of something...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Why It's Important To Be In The United Nations!

In the DC Universe, treacherous Russian fisherman are really up to date on international diplomacy, it seems:

Well, that kinda sucks. Why is that? One Atlantis is in, but the other is out? I call discrimination!! Come on, United Nations, Mer lives matter!!

Actually, I'm surprised that Geoff Johns never spun this little factoid into a 6-part arc...

From Action Comics #475 (1977)

That Time Steve Ditko Sent Ted Nugent To Hell?!!?

OK, not just Steve Ditko...Archie Goodwin scripted this piece.

And maybe not precisely Ted Nugent:

Ed Nugent, Ted Nugent--almost the same thing, right?

Anyhoo, watch Ditko get all trippy as Nugent dies, and tries to cash in on his deal with the devil...










So, of course...

Once again, Slay Monstrobot reminds you that there's no irony like cheap irony!! Wango Tango!!

From Creepy #13 (1967)