Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Steve's Toy Box: I Had These Things

Aside from a Tom & Jerry jack in the box, the oldest toys I can remember are the Ding-A-Ling Robots. They seemed to be all over the place in the early 70's. They ranged from looking pretty cool to being cartoony and lame. I mean, who the hell wanted a robot shoeshine boy? Don't even get me started on "Gofer". I never had any of the playsets or battery packs, but I did have King Ding and that was pretty much the luxury town car of robots.

Sort of a low tech variant of the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, Ice Bird was essentially a cheese grater with (As they would say on Portlandia) a bird on it. It was good for a few frozen treats and bloody cuts before you ran out of flavor syrup and tossed it in the corner where it would stare back at you with it's cold dead eyes.

In the mid 70's the biggest hero of young boys was a guy who was partially successful at jumping over stuff, but mostly seemed to wind up landing on the ground and hurting himself badly. Even in this commercial, after several impressive jumps they end off with him falling off the bike and rolling around. It was a fun toy that would've been cooler if you could've heard the bones break.

Post Star Wars, Starbird was a spaceship that made different noises of rising/lowering depending on which way you pointed it. The front and wing sections also detached into separate ships. It was the perfect thing for defending the universe or terrorizing the family cat.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Stuff You Could Buy in Comic Books Vol. 1

"Your daughter or your niece or the cute child next door will love you for this gift." Am I the only one concerned about who they're marketing to here?

"It even fools other bats." Bats are not only blind but really fucking stupid.

Now you can fire up a bowl while reading your latest issue of "Archie's Pals n' Gals" without Mom and Dad catching on.

Impressionable jihadists really misread this one.

Monday, February 13, 2012

More Stuff For Better Living

Just the thing for that thin mountain air.

Stop flies from entering your home by surrounding it with glass jugs filled with foul smelling goop that will trap flies and turn their corpses into more foul smelling goop. You are guaranteed to be the talk of your condo association.

How bad was the DUI situation in the fifties? Alcoholic drinks drove steamrollers my friend.

Where ethanol comes from.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Morning Beer 2: Oh Magoo, You've Done it Again

Mind officially BLOWN.

"Thank you! I'll be here all week. Try the veal!"

And finally, the very definition of blind stinking drunk...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Saturday Morning Beer

While the powers that be fight beer commercials that seem to target young people,  they forget a universal truth: EVERYBODY LOVES CARTOONS, ESPECIALLY DRUNKS. Here's a first round...

You show 'im sister!

Guinness gives you drunken, slurring delusional strength.

First Winston cigarettes now this! Apparently aimed directly at Busch employees, Fred and Barney do what they should have always been doing to advance their careers...getting Mr. Slate drunk.

Quisp: A Story of Rivalry and Redemption

Ah Quisp, iconic cereal least for decade or so.

Quisp cereal was introduced by Quaker Oats Company in 1965 with commercial spots by Jay Ward Productions. Jay Ward is probably best known as the creator of the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons, and it's worth noting that Quisp bears a passing resemblance to "Cloyd" the Moon Man from the show's first serial "Jet Fuel Formula".

(Quisp's occasional sidekick "Quunchy" also bore similarities to the likewise mustached moon man "Gidney".)

The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show was sponsored by General Mills and the show characters promoted some of their various cereals. Ward's production company took some of that experience at cereal shilling over to Quaker Oats, creating first Captain Crunch, then Quisp and later the original King Vitaman.

Quisp was unique in that he was paired with a rival cereal and mascot called "Quake". The setup was basically that Quisp was a crispy cereal promoted by a manic alien from outer space, while Quake was a crunchy cereal who's mascot was a 'roided up looking miner from underground. (Hence "Inner space".) The two would then argue over who had the superior product.

(I imagine most modern parents would not be too crazy about a cereal promoting it's "Sugar energy" these days.)

Quisp was voiced by Hanna Barbera regular Daws Butler (Who also was the original Captain Crunch.) while Quake was played by William Conrad. (Who among other things was the Rocky & Bullwinkle narrator.) Their rivalry eventually extended to a 1972 campaign to vote for which of the two cereals should remain on store shelves. By this point Quake had slimmed down a little and been given an Australian makeover, but it was too late. There was no way kids could deny the comparative charms of the little spaceman. Quake wound up relegated as the sidekick to Simon the "Quangaroo", a marsupial hawking a (Frankly awful tasting.) cereal with the same name.

Despite their initial bravado, when the vote came up again in 1976, Quisp once more came out on top. Alas, the little guy would not prevail for long. As the 70's went on he saw declining sales, possibly because aside from the shape, Quisp cereal tasted pretty much like the more popular Captain Crunch. By the end of the decade it was gone.

But this was not to be the end for our Gen X icon. After a brief reappearance in the 80's, Quisp was eventually relaunched as "The first internet cereal" available for online purchase only. The website came complete with a new cartoon by John Kricfalusi of Ren & Stimpy fame

Since then, Quisp has appeared in various limited time "Guerilla displays" in stores and also at Target chains. Although not as available as other cereals, it continues to soldier on to the joy of children and the dismay of parents who have to put up with their "Quazy Sugar Energy".

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Young Johnny Despairs of Maintaining His Slim Girlish Figure

Sadly Mom, Dad and Sis consumed every single beverage in the house last night playing drinking games.

Meanwhile, Charlie Brown once again consults his friend Linus on the great theological questions of the day.

Dean Martin is Coming to Steal Your Cereal

I mean Sugar Bear. That guy. For such a laid back cereal mascot, you've got to admire his brass balls. While Trix the Rabbit tried various ineffectual schemes to get cereal and Lucky Leprechaun had all he could do to keep from getting mugged by hungry tykes, Sugar Bear just marched in like a juggernaut and took that fuckin' cereal.

I suppose Granny Goodwitch could've tried turning him into a frog, but maybe it's just as well she didn't.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"I Think it's Time You Started Trapping and Filtering Your Gas Mr.Rizzoli"

Say the right thing and you too can have your groceries sprinkled with with a generous coating of Lark cigarette ash.

And So a Nation of Mom and Dads Ruin Their Dens

The siren song of sexy ladies in "Laugh In" party dresses was to much to resist.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Feel the Love

As I get my ducks in a row, I plan on posting more of my artwork here. (When I'm not musing about pop culture obscurities or making fun of old Life magazine ads.)

Here's a piece I recently finished for the Firefly Collective's "Occupy Love" group show. (I apologize for the picture quality, it was taken with a cell phone.) I've been experimenting lately with taking thick shadow box type frames and decorating them with stickers and doo-dads. We'll see if this approach bears fruit.