For the past ten years, one Rhode Island company has made me so deliriously happy, I’ve considered corporate personhood, so I could ask for its hand in marriage.
They even threw in a rubsign. Hasbro is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
2006 was the year this little toy company had a subline of their Transformers toys called “Classics”; new figures of favorite characters from the 1984 cartoon. And a funny thing happened- these robots from an old show sold very, very well. Characters like “Bumblebee”, “Megatron” and “Optimus Prime” were familiar to a enviously broad range of people. They had staying power equal to Superman or Batman. The world was on the cusp of finding this out. Continue reading →
I don’t know why people are sad about the Great Deathwave of 2016. It’s a remarkable opportunity to make a stranger’s life all about yourself.
Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, 1942-2016. A multifarious and complex personality that’s tough to categorize (especially for a pugilist), not a prop for your opinions.
When a celebrity dies, you now own them. You can take the life’s work of someone you never encountered and reduce it to a personal inspiration. You can interpret their efforts as empowerment for your own agendas. Oh, and you can cherry-pick the qualities of their persona that you agree with, and ignore everything else. A corpse will never call your bluff. Continue reading →
Tears For Fears was a “Second British Invasion” band, meaning they rode stateside on the coattails of MTV’s early-80s saturation. Around 1985, they were ubiquitous. Their single “Shout” is considered one of the most successful and recognizable songs of the 1980s. I swear to god, it played on the goddamn radio every single ride to school. I don’t know if I can claim to like it or hate it; it’s been looping in the back of my head since fifth grade. Actually, yeah. I hate it.
Roland Orzabal was the guy who looked like Jon Cryer’s older brother, and Curt Smith was the other, moodier bloke. Orzabal’s voice is fine, but it’s bass player Smith’s voice that completed the harmonies on their biggest chart-toppers. After Smith departed in 1991, Tears For Fears never recaptured the delirious heights of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”.
For an UNPRECEDENTED three years in the late 1980s, I drew a surrealistic comic strip called Mike the Pod for my high school newspaper. Initially, a buddy of mine scripted it, but once he graduated (he was a grade ahead), I went solo and moved the strip in a more satirical direction. This meant parodies of established icons of the comic page, but in the Age Before Internet, what did one do for proper visual reference?
Typically, I would lug a sketchbook to the library, open one of the huge newspaper compendiums, and double the relevant artist until I got the hang of their style. This was seldom convenient. Then one holiday season in 1988 or ’89, the aforementioned co-writer buddy gifted me a small book that not only provided visual reference for over 100 different newspaper strips, but ironic belly-laughs for decades. For crying out loud, the foreword is written by Kenny Rogers… and it’s about a hunger project.
Here’s the flavor text from the back cover:
Thanksgiving 1985 was a memorable day in the nation’s funny papers. For the first time in history, the entire comics page was devoted to one subject: hunger. The project, organized by Milton Caniff (Steve Canyon), Charles Schulz (Peanuts), and Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), brought together over 175 cartoonists, and Comic Relief presents their Thanksgiving Day strips and panels. A cornucopia of cartoon commentary and humor, it is the first time such an array of American comic-strip talent has appeared together in one book. The reader can enjoy this great cartoon spectrum while helping directly in the fight against hunger: Sales of Comic Relief will raise money for USA for AFRICA.