Archive for vintage

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: The Dell Comics Monster Squad

Posted in comic books, Dracula, Frankenstein, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, werewolf with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2015 by Paxton

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Yesterday, with my review of Dell’s Frankenstein, I finally completed all three infamous 60s Dell superhero monster comics reviews (Here’s Dracula and Werewolf).  I love all three of these zany re-imagining of the classic monsters.  And as I mentioned in my reviews, the only thing that was missing was a team up.  We did see Frankenstein pop up briefly in a one panel cameo in Dracula, but other than that, no other crossover ever happened.  It’s time I rectify this situation.

So, issue #10 of Cavalcade Comics features the debut of the Dell monster super heroes in a team up.  Finally we get the Dell Comics Monster Squad.

Cavalcade Comics 10

How did this never happen? I’ll tell you how, the comics never sold. It’s why we only got three issues of each title. I would love to see these characters come back in a cool retro reboot. I don’t even know who owns the license to them anymore, but with the right writer and tone, they could be fantastic.

I had only three covers of each of the three heroes to try to make work, but I luckily found Marvel’s Where Monsters Dwell #3 (1970) which works as a really nice base image for this cover.

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I love all those 70s horror comics from Marvel. Such good cover artwork and great to use as a base for these types of Photoshop projects.

The Dell Monster Squad logo was going to be a re-interpretation of some awesome original art by Nathan Milliner.

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Nathan created these awesome EC-style vintage comic covers I just love.  I really wanted to use that logo, but no matter how I manipulated it, it didn’t fit in the 60-70s vintage comic cover I was trying to create, so I sadly had to abandon it. I then went back to the original Where Monsters Dwell logo and just created the new logo off those letters and I think it turned out pretty good. I’m happy with it.

As for the monster heroes themselves; Dracula comes from Dell Dracula #4, Frankenstein comes from Dell Frankenstein #2 and Werewolf from Dell Werewolf #1.  

I also had to change the background a bit and add the night sky with the full moon which I believe I got from Marvel’s Werewolf by Night #11.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

Cavalcade Comics #8 – Kool-Aid Man gets some NAHTZEE scalps!

Posted in comic books, Kool Aid, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , on May 26, 2015 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

I mentioned last issue that I had a few holiday issues coming up. This was the first one. This is the Memorial Day issue of Cavalcade Comics Vintage Comic Throwdown! And in honor of all the men fighting in our armed forces, I have created this cover featuring Kool-Aid Man doing all he can for the war effort by conquering all those damn NAH-tzees.

Cavalcade Comics 8 Cover A

Back in the Golden Age, it seemed like EVERY super hero got into scraps with the bad guys.  It’s time Kool-Aid Man got in a few shots of his own.  Last issue with Magnus, I went for a more serious, hard sci-fi cover.  This is a little bit more of a goofy, Golden Age cover.  And I love it because of that.

Again, like my double Ghost Rider issue, I have a variant cover for you.

Cavalcade Comics 8 Cover B

This was the original cover concept when I began. Kool-Aid Man jumping out of a time machine ready to kick some ass. And I do love this cover, but I decided to use more of the original Nazi cover from The Victor 1971 Summer Special.  Going that route though was a lot more work because I had to take out the soldier from the window and recreate all the breaking window glass.  I also had to recreate several sections of the wall due to logo coverage.  But honestly, I think it was worth it.

Below are the covers I mashed up.  On the left is the aforementioned The Victor Summer Special.  On the right is The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man #2.  You can see the time machine concept and Kool-Aid’s body came from the latter issue.  Surprisingly, I didn’t create Kool-Aid’s frown in my Nazi cover.  That actually comes from The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man #4 where he’s scowling at the villain, Scorch.

Victor Summer Special - 1971-0001 [RobotArchie] kool_aid_man_002-001

I do have one other “holiday issue”. It’ll be for the 4th of July. So that’s when you can expect the next issue. Happy Memorial Day week everyone!

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Review of Rawhead Rex (1986)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, horror, monsters, movies, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2014 by Paxton

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On Wednesday I showed you the cover to Fangoria #61 with a cover story on the movie Rawhead Rex. And I told you I’ve been fascinated with that movie since 8th grade. Yesterday I showed you the guts of that Rawhead Rex feature story (pun intended).  Well, for my inaugral Fangoria Movie Friday I finally watched Rawhead Rex and now it’s time to see if it stands up to what I thought it was going to be.

As I’ve mentioned, Rawhead Rex was written by Clive Barker and released in 1986.  Here’s the terrible and confusing poster for the movie.

Rawhead Rex

What the hell is going on with that poster?  Needless to say, that didn’t clear up anything for me about the nature of this movie before watching it.  Horrible, horrible poster.

As background, I enjoy some of Clive Barker’s early stuff, but I’m not really a devotee.  So his name alone on this movie isn’t really doing anything for me.  The movie will have to stand on its own.  Unfortunately, bottom line, it’s not very good. Very low production value. Very low kitsch value. Not a lot to love. Sort of straight forward slasher monster movie. No subversiveness. Really just a by-the-numbers job. Very disappointing.

The story is about an ancient pagan fertility god, Rawhead Rex, who is awakened in a small town and starts going on a killing spree. That’s basically it. And I’m seriously giving more information than the movie gives you.  There’s long stretches of no killing and long stretches of no boobs or nudity. So, as an 80s monster/slasher flick, this really kinda blows.

You want to know how bad this movie is?  They actually put the below sentence in the plot synopsis on Wikipedia:

“On the road, Howard’s daughter needs to go to the bathroom, so Howard pulls over and lets her go by a tree.”

Someone wrote that.  Specifically to be published online.  For the movie’s plot description.  Seriously.  However, they had to put it in there because that scene is a crucial part of the movie.  THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

While I can’t really recommend it, let’s look at a few things worth mentioning.

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Here’s the title card and a face shot of Rawhead Rex after he’s awoken from his thousand year slumber. The makeup/costume work on Rex is not good. You can’t tell by this small static picture on my blog, but it’s pretty bad.  His design would be cool in a comic book, maybe, but on the screen, it’s less than stellar. And his big reveal during the awakening, which you see in the poster above, looks like complete dogsh*t.

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This is a stained glass window found in a church discovered early on by the main character played by David Dukes. At first glance he doesn’t find it odd that a church would have a giant red monster with huge fangs and bones and skulls all around him captured in a stained glass mural.  I mean, I’d be like “HOLY SH*T! WHAT THE F**K IS THAT AND WHY IS IT ON YOUR WINDOW?!”

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A clear Easter Egg for fans of Angus Scrimm and the Phantasm movies.  The first of which was released in 1979.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Fangoria #1 – 25 years of Godzilla (1979)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2014 by Paxton

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2014 begins!

Let’s begin this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest Fangoria celebration with a quick look at the cover to the very first issue of Fangoria from 1979.

Fangoria 01 cover

As you can see, there was a feature about the history of Godzilla movies up to that point (25 YEARS!).  I scanned in that article, so if you want to read it, here is page 1 on my Flickr stream.  Just click to the right to continue through the article’s 8 pages.

There were two pretty awesome Godzilla pin-ups that came with the article. The first is an awesome painting featuring Godzilla battling Megalon on the top of the Twin Towers which I thought has to be an homage to the 1976 King Kong remake with Jeff Bridges and Charles Grodin which featured a poster with Kong astride the same Twin Towers.  However, if you read the article, the below poster was designed for the 1973 Godzilla vs Megalon movie.  And it features a scene that never appeared in said movie.  I love this poster.

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This second pin-up is a better look at the Godzilla painting that was used on the cover.

Godzilla pin-up 02

See you guys tomorrow for more, gory goodness from my favorite issues of Fangoria magazine.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

Thumbing through a SkyMall catalog from 1996

Posted in magazine, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , on August 25, 2014 by Paxton

Right after college I joined an IT consulting firm. Our business was based on clients. So I traveled 100% to client sites all over the country implementing a corporate financials software suite called PeopleSoft.  So, during my eight years as an IT consultant I became very familiar with airplanes and flying across the country.  Because I was flying nearly every week I picked up one of the first commercially available portable DVD players on the market back in 1999, the Panasonic DVD L-50.  I still have it and it still works.  I literally just let my nearly 4 year old son use it a few weeks ago when the family flew to Colorado.

Because I was on planes 50 weeks out of the year I also became intimately familiar with the in flight magazines.  Namely, the SkyMall Catalog.  It offered interesting products the likes of which you wouldn’t see unless you walked into a Brookstone in the mall.  It was fascinating every month to check out what oddball items were being offered that you could order directly off the Airfone.

During my recent family trip to Colorado I thumbed through the current magazine and thought back longingly to the old catalogs from back in the day.  What would they look like now?  Well, I got an old copy of the catalog so let’s take a look at the treasures contained within.

The SkyMall copy I have is from mid 1996 and is stamped Southwest Airlines.

SkyMall cover

Each airline had their own version of SkyMall, the main difference being that there were a few pages in the back that sold clothing and items emblazoned with the airlines’ logo.  But they all had the same awesome merch and (now) vintage technology.

So let’s get started.

Les Concierges
This ad for a concierge company looks like the cover of a 90s video game simulator called something like Rich & Famous where you play as a wealthy CEO.  I imagine it’s a game like Aerobiz.

Health Rider
There are several things that are guaranteed and written into the laws of nature. Death, of course. Taxes. And companies will never stop trying to develop the “perfect” exercise machine. And they’ll all make you look equally ridiculous when you use them (I’m looking at you, Health Rider).

Bolle Sport glasses Auto Tint Sunglasses
Another guaranteed truth. Companies will always try to design new “gimmick” sunglasses that vaguely perform some “new, cool” function but they look like rejected props from a DEVO video.  Or any 60s movie that features people from the future.

Pop Up Hot Dog cooker
This pop up hot dog cooker/bun warmer is STILL sold in SkyMall magazine today. With nearly the exact same picture. Either it’s a best seller or they sold out 20 years ago and just forgot that it was still in the catalog.

Golf Club flask
This is straight up Rodney Dangerfield from Caddyshack awesome.  I would play golf just so I could use this.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2013: Four vintage Fangoria magazine ads

Posted in advertising, Fangoria, Halloween, holiday, magazine, movies, music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by Paxton

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Fangoria had a lot of great merch that you could purchase directly through the magazine. We saw the masks/costumes collections yesterday. Now let’s take a look at some of the other awesome items you could buy through the pages of Fangoria.

Fangoria Back Issues
One of the first places I’d usually go, and the place I usually lingered on after I’d read the magazine, is the two page back issue order form.  Checking out previous issues and what movies were covered was amazing.  I love that they included many of the covers as well.  You can see in the lower right I filled out the order form back in the day.  I was optimistically hoping my parents would let me send away for some of the issues.  I checked off issues #50 and #55 in the form.  Issue 50 was the issue featured in the picture on the right with Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).  I always lusted after that issue and never got it.  The other issue, #55, I’m less sure why I wanted.  The cover pic is above the description with the Invaders from Mars remake on the cover and some first looks at Psycho III.

TX Tshirt Massacre
This ad showed up in Fangoria for many years.  One of my favorites.  I never wanted to own any of these shirts, I just liked the idea that they existed.  I would never have been able to wear one of these shirts to school, so what was the point?  Plus the shirts were $25 which was A LOT, even then.  But the ad was very eye catching and fun.  I like the guy in the luchador mask.  WTF?!

Music for Maniacs
Fangoria sold everything to make money within its pages. Here are some horror movie soundtracks for sale.  Some of these I would imagine are pretty rare now.  Some of these might possibly have been made custom.  That Troll soundtrack couldn’t have sold too well.  The Return of the Living Dead soundtrack is pretty great.  But check out that list of eclectic movie soundtracks on the right.  Teen Wolf?  Warhol’s Dracula?  The first Evil Dead? Transylvania 6-5000?!  Wow.

The Gore Store
The Gore Store was always a great stop in the magazine to see what cool books and props were being offered. This particular Gore Store is from 1987.  Some cool film books about Night of the Living Dead and Stephen King.  Also this page was a chance to order the annual Bloody Best of Fangoria issues.  In this one you could order all the current 5 volumes of Bloody Best right there for $18 plus shipping.  A little over $3 each.  Not bad.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.