1985 Takara Transformers mail-away flier, featuring Warpath, Cosmos (“Adams” in Japan), Dirge, and - most unusually - robot/car/wristwatch Autoceptor. This flier in fact contains the only biographical information Autoceptor has ever received… which is still more than any of the other G1-G2 original character watches, excepting maybe Time Warrior. (See also: Deceptor, Kaltor, Scorpia, and Autobot the Autobot.)
1987-1988 era Bruce Timm, from the retrospective featurette included on the Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures DVD set. A caricature of Timm also appears in one episode as part of Bat-Bat’s villain Ten-Face.
I’ve started dabbling in records again, meaning I’m going through my old stacks, my friend Pete’s stacks, and a few new ones. One of the reasons I got interested in records - something that basically expired as I was coming up - was that I quickly found a) some things couldn’t be bought at CD shops, b) some things couldn’t be pirated, and c) some things were only available legally as a $60-$120 French import on Ebay ca. 1999. Dark Continent by Wall of Voodoo (1981) was one of these, so I figured it would be a smart idea to get a record player for various reasons. A 12-inch promo copy of the record cost me four bucks, the album seemingly didn’t get a legal US CD release until 2009.
The band is best known for the song Mexican Radio, which is best known as a novelty single to people who saw the video on VH-1 during the era when they devoted airtime to music videos. The band also opened for The Cramps early on. Dark Continent is delightfully strange, and if at any moment of your life you said to yourself “I like this They Might Be Giants song” you really ought to check this one out. It has zero hits. As I was rather young in 1981 I couldn’t tell you if it got any radio play but I would guess not.
Singer Stan Ridgway went on to have a pretty decent solo career - most of his earlier stuff was very well received and could probably be seen as a less crazed member on the chain of Captain Beefheart -> Tom Waits -> Stan Ridgway. His newer stuff hasn’t been as fun, but it’s still good. Seeing him play live is a strange experience as I’m generally the youngest person there by a couple of decades and it turns out older audiences tend to be shouty, drunk, and generally less respectful than the crowds I saw at a bunch of punk shows. (Granted: those were some dorky punk shows.) Ridgway only did 3 albums with Wall of Voodoo before firing himself, the post-Ridgway output is less essential.
Also really notable is Marc Moreland’s guitar, which is preposterously distinctive - especially in “Animal Day.” He worked with the singer from Concrete Blonde on the album “Pretty & Twisted,” which is quite good. He was in “Department of Crooks”, a fantastic CD I wrote about before after finding it in a ten cent bin. He also had a solo album which was released about the same time that he died, and if you hear him sing on that album it definitely sounds like somebody who’s going to die soon. It’s not bad… but you can hear there’s not a lot of life left there. It’s pretty great.
But anyway, this album has one of my favorite songs, “Back In Flesh.” A live intro once described it as a song about not wanting to go into work, plus it deals with the apprehension of dread of living in the workforce - quite possibly the perfect soundtrack to being up all night in college. (The Aquabats mimicked its sound for “Monster’s Wedding” on their Floating Eye of Death album.) Seriously check it out, it’s the greatest. You owe it to yourself to hear this stuff.
Part two of the Short Circuit-themed car theft prevention video! Part 1 is here.
Unique Visionaries mini-poster from the UK Transformers comic, featuring a number of series 2 toys that never came out. Originally (re?)-scanned around 1999 for Rod Hannah’s Visionaries website. Should probably take a crack at it with the new scanner at some point.
Did you know that Johnny 5 starred in an educational video about auto theft, and that story is set in the post-Short Circuit 2 universe? Now you do!
■TECMO "Ryger/Argosu no Senshi" (Arcade) Booklet■
It is here if you want to see and a lot of goods,
a larger image and more!→http://retrogamegoods.com/
RYGAR! I loved the NES version.
Front, rear, and side-panel scans of the Family Home Entertainment release of the G.I. Joe episode “The Games Master”.
Flint Dille’s “The Games Master” - an episode about a hulking, disturbed manchild who captures members of both G.I. Joe and Cobra and forces them into a fight to the death with his army of killer playthings - is my single favorite piece of G.I. Joe fiction. It’s this insane mix of childhood whimsy and deadly menace: characters are shot at by toy soldiers, get nearly cut down (ha ha) by a giant lawnmower, and almost drown in a lake of butterscotch… but there’s meta-commentary going on as well, as Games Master treats all the characters-based-on-action-figures he’s kidnapped as toys. You can easily sit back and go, “okay, yeah, I can see how the guy who created Howard the Duck was a story-editor on this”. It’s just fun.
(And, if you’re into that sorta thing, Baroness spends the entire episode in a bikini, which I’m still surprised they got away with…)
Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Nothing will ever change that.
If you haven’t seen this 1981 BBC documentary, it is WELL worth checking out (in five parts on YouTube). More great footage of Siegel and Shuster than I’ve seen elsewhere, as well as bits from Kirk Alyn, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, David Prowse, and Larry Niven.
The January 1985 issue of Comics Feature ran an article on Marvel Productions, a company that produced cartoons such as Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Transformers, and Muppet Babies during the 1980s, and this piece of pre-production Dungeons & Dragons artwork was included as part of the story. Unfortunately, it seems the original photograph of the art was out of focus, so this was the best scan I could make of it at the time.