[From Fortune for December 1945. Two scans, top and bottom.]
There is nothing spectacularly "weird" about this particular entry in our series, except that the artist is William Steig, the famed illustrator and author responsible, most notably in Hollywood terms, for Shrek. It's curious to see him turning his talents to advertising during his early career, as so many artists who later grew rich and famous once did.
Perhaps the true vestige of weirdness here, though, is the image of the proud boy wearing his Jughead cap. You can learn about the history of the Jughead beanie and how to make such a cap yourself at Juggie's Wikipedia page. Or perhaps you'd want to buy one readymade, either here or here.
Yesterday we spoke of cursed movies that affected cast and crew alone. Today, we'll look at movies that emit curses--in the form of copycat incidents.
Can it possibly be that the 1993 movie titled THE PROGRAM is still exerting its malign influence, causing dumb-ass teens to lie down on the center stripe of highways, as described in this fifteen-year-old article from The New York Times?
What makes me think so? An identical fresh incident from my own home state, as recounted in this article.
Have a gander at Dakota Joe. He and his dog Digger are the mascots for a national Vacation Bible School Camp program. Because, you see, ultra-rationalist archaeology professors who believe fervently in the scientific method, despite having encountered various paranormal phenomena which themselves contradict Gospel, are the perfect spokepeople for Biblical inerrancy.
Seriously, though, shouldn't Spielberg & Lucas be suing the pants off these guys?
Nowadays, Hollywood actors and actresses indulge in as much bad behavior as they ever did, if not more, frequently involving intoxicants of various stripes. But here's a difference from the Golden Age. As drunk or stoned as they get offscreen, they seldom seem to report for work in that condition, and if they do, the resulting footage is never seen by the public. Professionalism on the set is the rule, and the infrequency of live broadcasts adds to the censorship.
And then we had the case of Lon Chaney Jr., a fine actor with an alcoholism problem.
When he acted the part of Frankenstein's monster on TV in 1952, he was totally plastered--so much so that he thought the live broadcast was a rehearsal! That's why, when he picks up furniture to smash, he instead gently sets it down, thinking he has to preserve it for the real performance!
Watch the three parts of this show now, if you wish. The first is below, and the other two after the jump.
Synchronicity in the creative arts is pretty weird. The independent invention of very similar things. Charles Fort, one of the masters of all things weird, even had a term for it: "steam engine time." Fort's notion was that when an era was ripe, it called forth certain creations multiple times, without coordination among mere humans.
I was reminded of this recently in a small way while watching the 1942 film TO BE OR NOT TO BE. In this film, Robert Stack plays a dashing Polish aviator named Lieut. Stanislav Sobinski.
What other fictional dashing Polish aviator premiered right at this time? None other than Blackhawk, who debuted in August of 1941.
Could it be a simple case of the Blackhawk comic influencing the scripter of To Be or Not to Be? Unlikely, given the short span between the debut of Blackhawk and the release of the Robert Stack film, which had to be in production for some time prior.
It's more likely that the plight of Poland under Hitler's invasion called forth the notion of a national hero. But why aviator? Just the romance of aerial combat, I suppose.
Here're pictures of Blackhawk and Stack in his role (leftmost figure, below) to compare. Stack is out of uniform in this shot, but when he's wearing his flying outfit, the resemblance to Blackhawk is uncanny.
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Who We Are
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
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