Krush Groove the novel now exists. FINALLY.

Posted in Beastie Boys, books, movies, music, nostalgia, pop culture, rap, Run-DMC with tags , , , , , , on September 21, 2016 by Paxton

cs3ut-uw8aa-puq

In the latest episode of the Cult Film Club podcast, we are talking about one of my favorite movies, Krush Groove, from 1985. It’s a fun discussion and a great look back at essentially the genesis of my interest in rap, which was around early 1985 when the first Fat Boys album and Run-DMC’s second album, King of Rock, was released.

Later that year, in October 1985, the movie Krush Groove was released.  I did a small review of the movie back in 2010 for the 25th anniversary.  Check out episode #36 of the Cult Film Club podcast for my more in depth thoughts on the movie.

What I really want to talk about is, why wasn’t there a Krush Groove novelization?  The obvious answer is that it was a movie focusing on the music industry and it may have been hard to translate that since there are at least 3 music video sized interludes in the movie.  But that shouldn’t have stopped them.  I just finished reading the novelization to Jason X and that book expands the sparse 1 hour and 20 minute movie into a 400+ page novel.  You telling me something couldn’t be done with Krush Groove?

So, to correct this rather EGREGIOUS oversight, I created my own Krush Groove novelization based mostly on the design of the soundtrack album cover.

Krush Groove novelization

I think it goes without saying that I would have read the sh*t out of this book.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016 is near!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, monsters, movies, mummy, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2016 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest banner

It’s early September. The days are growing short. The spooky season is fast approaching. Some, like my good friends Matt and Jay, have already begun. It’s Countdown to Halloween time!

And yes, I’ll be doing AWESOME-tober-fest this year.  And my theme will be The Mummy!  So expect to see lots of ancient, bandage wrapped awesomeness popping up here starting, officially, on Monday Oct 3.  I’ll be covering lots of pop culture mummy things like books, comics, movies and even a few cartoons!  So mark your calendar, starting Monday October 3 I’ll be redressing the Cavalcade for the entire month of October and starting daily weekday updates featuring The Mummy!  Plus a few other surprises.

And I guarantee you, at some point during AWESOME-tober-fest, the below cartoon depiction of Alcatraz Island will show up.

alcatraz

Movie novelizations that should exist

Posted in books, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , on August 22, 2016 by Paxton

novelizations_stack

If you’ve read this blog or my Twitter feed for any length of time, then you know I’m a huge fan of movie novelizations.  As a matter of fact, several years ago I started a feature where I read and reviewed a few of the more obscure movie novelizations like Clue: The Movie, the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie as well as a bunch of old rare horror novelizations like Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th VI and Return of the Living Dead.  I’d like to eventually continue that feature but right now, I want to talk about movie novelizations that never got made.  That should have been made.

It seems almost every genre picture from the mid 80s to the mid 90s received a novelization.  It was a simple way for studios to extend someone’s movie going experience outside the theater.  Plus, in the age before the ubiquity of home video, it allowed you to revisit your favorite movies over and over.  I loved novelizations and I read them fervently growing up.  I still do, but to a lesser extent.

However, as with anything else, there are gaping holes in what movies did and didn’t get novelized.  Maybe the movie studios didn’t have a lot of faith in the movie’s success.  Or were deciding not to spend the money on an author to translate the script.  Whatever the reason, like I said, there are movie novelizations that I wish existed that don’t.

One of the first big novelizations I’ve already talked about wishing existed were both of the Young Guns movies.  My buddy Shawn and I wanted them to exist so much that we created our own.  These were previously displayed when Shawn and I collaborated on Young Guns vintage trading cards.

YG novelization YG2 novelization

Awesome, right? Well, that’s what I want to do, start creating my own custom movie novelization covers for movies that I wish had novelizations.  This feature is going to reveal a totally eclectic set of covers, but I think you’ll enjoy it.

Another set of movie novelizations I created and previously revealed on Twitter involved the first two Christopher Reeve Superman movies. The reason those novelizations don’t exist (novelizations for both Part III and Part IV do exist) is because of Mario Puzo, the author of The Godfather.  Puzo wrote the original screenplays for both of those first Superman movies and as a clause in his contract, no one could write the novelizations of those screenplays except him.  And he never wrote them.  Kind of a dick move, Mario.  So all I have are these fake covers of what could have been.

Mario Puzo Superman novels

These covers were created from two Superman novels written by Elliot Maggin that were released because there were no Puzo novelizations.

Okay, so those are some covers I’ve previously shared. How about two brand new covers? Let’s start off this Fantasy Movie Novelization Library with two of my favorite 80s genre movies. Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.  I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but I made these junior novelizations which are lighter in page count and are taller and more square in shape.  You can mostly tell by the Scholastic logo I put in the bottom left.

Breakin' novels

I love the idea of having these two break dancing centric movies get junior novelizations because I imagine the books would be like 120 pages long and breezy fun to read.

So that’s the gist of this feature.  I’ll make a few novelization covers for movies that don’t have them and post them right here.  It’s sort of a fun sister project to my Vintage Comic Throwdowns feature.

Hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoy making them.

Keep reading those movies, my friends.

Shooting the curl in landlocked Alabama

Posted in 80s, high school, life, nostalgia, personal, pop culture, vacations with tags , , on July 29, 2016 by Paxton

Surf Alabama

My buddy Shawn over at Branded posted an article talking about his “skate” phase where he discussed the fashion and the gear he coveted during his early days of embracing “skate culture”.  It’s interesting how similar that was to many of our own experiences at that age.  But there was another phase that was very similar to the “skater” phase that included some of the same clothes, but the philosophies were vastly different.  I’m talking about the “surfer culture”.  Which is what I wholeheartedly embraced from late elementary school through high school (and even a little bit now).

How did I come about embracing surfer culture while living my formative years in landlocked Birmingham, AL?  Well, starting in 2nd grade, I became a competitive swimmer.  So I loved being in the water.  Also, my family, throughout the 80s, would travel every summer to Sunset Beach, just outside of Myrtle Beach, SC.  So I would constantly have my surfer tendencies refreshed in a beach town filled with surf shops festooned with giant shark heads and neon ocean waves with names like Wings, Bargain Beachwear and Eagles.

wings-store Bargain Beachwear

For me, it wasn’t just the look, which was a big part of it, but the entire philosophy of surfing which suited me well.  Even in elementary school, I was very laid back and took life as it came.  I grew my hair a little longer than everyone else.  It was this lifestyle that spoke to me in many ways.  So I embraced the fashion and culture in a hardcore way for many years.

TandC_Shirts

Shawn mentioned T&C skate shirts.  This is where there is some overlap.  I also wore T&C shirts, but I wore the ones with the surf designs.  This was, hands down, my favorite shirt brand.  They had cool and interesting characters and a huge variety of designs.  I had several group shirts like Da Boys, but the one I remember most is the “Hard Core Detective Stories” shirt with the “usual suspects” type lineup.  And I had it on a BRIGHT yellow shirt, of course.  I coveted a few of the T&C solo character tees as well.  Especially any of the shirts with the tiki guys like “Shark Repellent” and “Surf Sacrifice”.

surfshirts

There were other shirts besides T&C that I wore as well. Two other brands I really liked were Panama Jack and Ocean Pacific.  I realize now looking at all these pictures that my favorite type of shirt was clearly the character picture on the back of the shirt with the small logo on the front left breast.  T&C was that style too.  For some reason, I just LOVED having a cool surf image on the back of my shirt with a small brand logo on the front.  My brother and I had matching purple Panama Jack shirts.  I really need to find a picture of that.

Sun Britches

What would I wear with my surf shirts? I would accept nothing less than Sun Britches board shorts. In my eyes there was no other swimsuit worthy of covering my delicates. These were true surf shorts and they were pretty popular even at our community pool in Birmingham, AL. The bright colors with the colorful rainbow stripes on the thighs, button snap, velcro fly and the blue/white sun and water label on the outside back so everyone can see how cool you are. I LOVED THESE SHORTS.  Still do.  I think some of the shorts used a shoe string tie instead of the button snap, which was also kind of cool.  The only drawback I can think of was that the velcro fly tended to be very dangerous if you were not careful.  If you know what I mean (and I think that you do).

So while I couldn’t really get a surfboard and showcase that around the neighborhood, the next best thing, for me, was a BMX bike.  Like Shawn, I liked skate boards, but I was terrible at them.  Plus, it felt like if you rode a skateboard, you HAD to know how to do tricks.  But if you rode a BMX bike, it didn’t feel like it was also necessary that you know how to hop up and down on one wheel or ride around on your seat backwards. You could just ride. And look awesomely cool.  And my ride was an early 80s Huffy Pro Thunder.

huffyprothunderP3_blowup2

This is almost exactly what my bike looked like (photo via BMXMuseum.com).  Silver with the red highlights.  Obviously the first thing I did was to remove the chain guard (chain guards are for cowards).  Next I removed all of the pads and reflectors making the bike as dangerous to ride as possible.  Eventually I would get a BMX number attached to the handle crossbar.  I loved that bike and rode it EVERYWHERE.  Unlike Shawn’s ride, this one didn’t come with the awesome mag wheels.  It had spokes, which I didn’t mind.  But some of my friends had mag wheels and I really loved them.  I eventually wanted to put them on my Huffy, but it never happened.

I’m not entirely sure what happened to my bike.  I assume it was sold away in a garage sale for a price not even half its actual worth.  I do still have some of my surf shirts squirreled away somewhere.  I’ll have to find them.  Speaking of, I couldn’t find any specific personal pictures of myself with any of these items.  I’m still ransacking my house to see where they are.  When I find them, I’ll post some stuff up.  I’m pretty sure I have pics of my shirts and/or shorts, but I’m not sure a picture of my actual bike exists.  But I hope it does.

Thanks, Shawn for sending me down nostalgia lane to find a picture of my old bike which sent me spiraling into memories of Sun Britches and Ocean Pacific.  It was a lot of fun.

 

Fourth of July Showdown: Uncle Sam vs Captain America

Posted in comic books, holiday, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2016 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

Happy 4th of July! To celebrate today I’m back with a quick holiday themed Cavalcade Comics cover. If you remember, July 4th last year, I showed you Uncle Sam: The Ultimate Ninja. Well, I thought it was time to bring Uncle Sam back. But instead of my Ultimate Ninja version, I’m bringing you a more traditional version of the character. And he has a few words for Captain America.

Cavalcade Comics 12

Yikes, Sam, that’s gonna leave a mark. I thought this idea was too perfect to pass up on this, the celebration of America’s Independence Day.  And I thought labeling it Civil War II was appropriate since Marvel is actually doing Civil War II right now.

So, where did I get the images? I found Uncle Sam from the cover of Freedom Fighters #8, June 1977.  The cover was done by Rich Buckler.

freedom fighters_08_01

Captain America was taken from his own title, issue #124 from 1968. It was drawn by Marie Severin.

CA_124_87

I had to jockey around a few things but for the most part the images fit together nicely. Now, the background. I’ll admit, I had the HARDEST time finding a background that worked. I originally wanted the background from Freedom Fighters but it was a generic city street. I wanted something more “Washington DC”, like the White House or Capitol Building. I was close to using The Flash #200 from 1970 as it had the dome in the background.  But then I happened upon another Cap issue, #444 from 1995.  And I decided to roll with that.

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As you can see, it’s got the nice government building in the background and I thought it would be great to have Cap and Sam slugging it out on the steps of that building.  I had to change the perspective a little and use layers upon layers to hide Cap’s shield, but I think it turned out nicely.

Two random vintage rap magazine ads

Posted in music, nostalgia, pop culture, rap with tags , , , , on April 22, 2016 by Paxton

I don’t have any more NWA specific scans, but here are two random hip-hop scans.

Def Jam ad
Here’s an ad for Def Jam records from the early 90s.  Notice the separate pics for the members of 3rd Bass (MC Serch, Prime Minister Pete Nice and Daddy Rich) who broke up right before this ad.  MC Serch’s pic is from his one and only solo album, The Return of the Product, which was actually a pretty good album.  Pete Nice & Daddy Rich’s solo album wasn’t quite as good, but it’s not bad for 90s rap.

MM and the FB ad
Here it is, the coup de grace. An ad for Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s second album, You Gotta Believe. It was a followup to their hit debut Music for the People.  I’ll admit, I owned this album and I still to this day think the title track is pretty good.

Vintage ads for NWA solo albums (1992)

Posted in advertising, music, pop culture, rap with tags , , , on April 21, 2016 by Paxton

Here are some more scans from vintage hip-hop magazines.

Today I’m going to show you some ads for NWA member solo albums from late 1992.

Dr Dre The Chronic
Here’s an ad for Dre’s The Chronic from about a month before its release.

Ice Cube The Predator
Here’s an ad for Ice Cube’s The Predator from right before its release. In fact, the album may have already been released by the time the ad dropped.

Eazy E 5150
This ad is for Eazy-E’s 5150: home 4 tha sick EP. It had already been released when this ad ran. Note at the bottom the solicit for Eazy’s upcoming album, Temporary Insanity. That album was rumored for years and never released. I have no idea if the tracks are still out there or they were mostly used for the posthumous Str8 Off Tha Streets.