I haven't been able to post much lately, and now that the semester is over it is time to go back home where I won't be able to post at all due to dialup being the only internet connection. I'll try to post at least once more before I leave, but for now here are some great (and confusing) Pepsi ads from some 1940s issues of Popular Science. There are too many to list which issues they came from, so click the picture to go to the original source.
When I learned that the fabled exploits of Herbie Popnecker were finally going to be reprinted, I rushed to place my order for the first two volumes, and was not dissatisfied.
But somehow, I neglected to order the concluding third volume for almost a year. It arrived this week, bringing more pure comics weirdness. It's hard to convey the essence of Herbie, but just check out the sloppy scan below.
Herbie goes time-traveling to the era of the Pilgrims and meets--Beatnik Indians!
Think of the brain that could conceive of Beatnik Indians--and stand in awe! (Click image to enlarge.)
As we observed in this prior post on Harvey Comics, the stories told about Richie Rich, Casper and the gang were frequently weirder than any Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis tale. Here's one from Devil Kids Starring Hot Stuff, Volume 1, Number 6, May 1963, that illustrates my point. You can read the entire five-page story at the end, but I've included some single panels to make my points.
First, we learn that Cupid inhabits the same universe as Hot Stuff and friends. Nothing like mixing your mythologies up. In any case, Cupid hexes Hot Stuff's trident--or phallic symbol--known as "Old Forky," to become gay.
Gay anthropomorphic trident on display.
Unwanted Public Display of Affection.
Hot Stuff's gay trident attracts unwanted queer suitors.
Including a giant grape wearing an extremely fetching hair ribbon and spats.
But Cupid realizes his error and undoes his spell, whereupon all is "he-man" regular again. Even though Old Forky's first action upon reverting was to impale Hot Stuff's butt.
British comic book artist Neill Cameron has been posting one letter a day of sheer awesomeness, based on suggestions from fans. Now the alphabet is complete everyone can view such wonders as "Aztecs in Atomic Armour Attacking Anomalous Amphibians" and "Doctor Who Defeating Doctor Doom in a Deadly Disco Dance-off" for themselves.
So if you've ever longed to see Lois Lane, Lana Lang and Lori Lemaris lasciviously licking lollipops at a London landmark, why not have a look-see at Neill's A to Z of Awesomeness. You'll love it!
One of the weirdest books you'll ever read is by my pal, Steve Aylett, and it's titled Lint. (You can order it through the Amazon link below.)
Lint is the "biography" of Jeff Lint, poverty-stricken, mad genius, hack writer, who is basically a cross between Kilgore Trout and Salvador Dali.
One of Lint's fictional creations was a comic-book character dubbed "The Caterer." And now you can read an actual issue of this gonzo masterpiece, thanks to Floating World Comics. A sample is to the right.
You must investigate this saga of one man and his senseless quest for perfect absurdity in a violent world, or risk being rendered null and void!
Fans of famed comics artist Jules Feiffer will surely recall his good-hearted but light-headed character who spontaneously broke into dance to celebrate or bewail any proposition or concept, however absurd. You can see an example of Feiffer's creation to the far right.
Well, it appears that Feiffer did not create such a character, but merely drew from life. Or perhaps the gal whom you see in mid-air, next to the Feiffer panel, was inspired by Feiffer.
For in this BOSTON GLOBE obituary we learn how "Gabrielle Orcha of Cambridge, a choreographer and playwright," intends to mark her grandmother's passing.
"As a tribute to her grandmother, Orcha has choreographed a dance, commissioned by the Citi Performing Arts Center, that she will perform at the Shubert Theatre in May."
The creative folks at Marvel Comics pride themselves on the fact that their fictional universe closely mirrors the real one--with the addition of superheroes, natch.
For instance, Spider-Man operates in New York City, not some imaginary "Metropolis."
And when the President of the USA is depicted, it's not Lex Luthor, but the real office-holder of the moment.
But the recent issue number four of the miniseries Foolkiller reveals a startling incongruity between the Marvelverse and ours.
Either that, or scripter Gregg Hurwitz and editor Axel Alonso have never ridden in an actual airplane before.
You see in this page the fat victim of the trained assassin enter a lavatory on a commercial flight. We'll give Hurwitz and Alonso props for mentioning that it's a tight fit. Nonetheless, enormous victim and killer somehow squeeze in together, whereupon the lav suddenly enlarges like a Tardis.
And then the killer drowns his victim in the potty.
Airline toilets simply do not feature basins of standing water. They operate with the push of a button and a sparse rinse of famous blue chemicals.
This killing, then, requires a larger suspension of disbelief than the existence of the entire Avengers, and will surely jolt any half-awake reader completely out of the attempt at realism.
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.