Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well, "Quasinorms" was a two parter...

Just posting the expandable image of the inside of the program below. I still don't know how to control that, it seems to be random...

Monday, September 29, 2008

All the Emperor's Quasinorms - First Time on DVD

In celebration of the 70's sci-fi comedy show Quark finally being released on DVD, I present one of the rarest "Quark" items still surviving, I imagine. Back in 1978, my dad's office was near the local NBC affiliate in Syracuse, WSYR-TV3. Every week, someone typed up their program schedule and they printed it in a little double fold pamphlet. He brought home this schedule for February 26th thru March 4th, the week Quark premiered.

The cover is illustrated with a small publicity photo of Richard Benjamin as Captain Adam Quark, and a large piece of "file art" of what looks like an Apollo / Saturn rocket. You know, to make it all "spacey." Star Wars was still playing at the Shoppingtown Mall in Syracuse at this point (10 months after it opened - and it would be there at least another three, as I recall!) and Quark was one of the first shows to take advantage off the new craze for science fiction. It had a jump on other shows because it had already been pitched and rejected before Star Wars was released, so it was ready to go in production ASAP when all the studios scrambled to release more science fiction.
Looking at the schedule, Quark premiered on Friday night. right after Bowling For Dollars and Concentration, and right before CPO Sharkey, the Don Rickles-in-the-navy sitcom that remains permanently etched in my brain today. It's also a showcase of many other barely remembered and mostly forgotten shows: Project UFO, James at 16, and Grizzly Adams are all vague memories. But "The Chuck Barris Rah Rah Show" and "What Really Happened to the Class of 65?" are virtual blanks in my personal TV database.
I strongly recommend Quark if you like clever writing, silly comedy, and cheesy special effects. It's only 15 bucks at Amazon (sorry - I mean 14.99)! The Betties and Gene/Jean will thank you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chuck Vs. The First Date

And now for something completely different, at least for me: "Chuck" premieres its second season on NBC Monday night, and I highly recommend it. Amazon Unbox had a service that allowed me to download it and watch it last week, which was terrific. I want to encourage that sort of behavior from content providers, so I'm doing my little bit to do what it's supposed to do and generate good word of mouth.

Chuck is about a Buy More Nerd Herd employee (read: Best Buy Geek Squad) who gets a whole huge government database of Top Secrets downloaded into his head. He's the only copy left, and two Real Agents are assigned to protect him while he goes about his normal life, and lets them know when one of those secrets resurfaces. It disappeared after the writer's strike last year, and it's good to see it finally resurface. Catch it if you can.

...Though, keep in mind, it's on opposite my favorite show The Big Bang Theory, so my REAL recommendation is to tape it or DVR it or something like that...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Even Bigger Bang!

The Big Bang Theory is back, Monday night on CBS, with episode 1 of season two: "The Bad Fish Paradigm."  If you've been following this blog for a long time, you know I first recommended it as a good show, then realized I was truly a fan, then a collector. 

Now, it's clear I've reached "geek" level for this show.  I've started collecting everything I can get my hands on from it, including issue number one of Captain Future magazine, dated Winter 1940. 

Captain Future has never been mentioned on the show by any character, but a large poster of the cover of the first issue hangs immediately to the left of Sheldon and Leonard's front door, and is seen in almost every episode.  The poster on the show has some of the magazine copy removed from it, but that's easy to duplicate with a little Photoshop work.

I've also started collecting little odds and ends that show up from the program, which I'll share here from time to time.  One of my favorites so far is this hotel room key from the 2008 San Diego Comic Con.  It has some odd art of the characters that I haven't seen anywhere yet myself, and I like that it's a little unusual.   They apparently made them just for the week the convention was on and that's that.  No more.

So Monday night at 8:00 I've got plans to watch TBBT live, un-Tivoed.  Looking forward to it!  I hope you are too.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Just sit right back, for surf & turf

I am not much of a matchbook collector.  If you've been reading you won't be surprised to know I have a few from Carrols restaurant, and a few other restaurants from when I was a kid.  But when I saw this on Ebay in a small group of matchbooks, going cheap, I had to get it.  It just arrived this morning.

I liked Gilligan's Island as a kid.  I watched it all the time, and even drew my own comic of it once.  (It was on a huge piece of stiff paper, so I'm sure it was destroyed long, long ago.  I only remember it involved the Professor inching his way along a ledge, probably because he was the only one I thought might get them off the island.

I'm not really a Gilligan collector, though.  I never got the floating island toy, with a little Gilligan, Skipper and Mary Ann (you can buy Mary Ann here), or any of the later dolls you can also see at that link.  But something about this matchbook spoke to both my childhood love of that silly show, and my current interest in long gone eateries.

Alan Hale Jr, famously, loved his role as the Skipper on Gilligan's island, and wore his trademark hat often after the show - as the illustration clearly attests to.  826 N. La Cienega is now the very swanky looking "Mark's Restaurant" - I wonder if they know about the history of the location?  I'm going to be on the lookout for a menu or photos from the place.

I do have a few other Gilligan things I've "collected: in my Itunes are audio files I pulled off of TV of all the songs from Gilligan's Island's version of "Hamlet."  They put the play on to convince  producer Harold Heckuba (Phil Silvers) to leave the island sooner, but guess what?  It was so good he stole it & left without them.  (Did you ever wonder if they ratted out all those people after Rescue From Gilligan's Island?)  I can never, ever hear Bizet's Toreador, En Garde from "Carmen" without hearing Hale belting out "Neither a Borrower or a Lender Be" in my head.

And last but not least, the pride of my animation collection is a cel of the walk cycle from "The New Adventures of Gilligan" with an original background painting.  

It's framed in bamboo.  What else?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Insert Stuffed Mother / Stuffed Bird joke here

Back when Psycho III came out - 1986 - I couldn't resist taking home the key to Bates Motel Room 1, the location of the most famous shower in film history.  This was just a cheap little giveaway chatchki, but I like the effort they went to - or that they even thought of doing something so simple.  I'm pretty sure I paid a buck or so for this at a convention, but I don't know.  I may have picked it up for free in a comic shop or movie theater in Ithaca NY, where I went to college.

The key is just an old key I added to complete the image, and it was residing in a box in storage until now.  I think it's time for this to sit discreetly by my car keys again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jimmy's Angels

Disney Adventures was a magazine aimed at kids, but the covers were pretty clearly designed to amuse the adult fan.  What could be more compelling than three of Disney's recent animated heroines playing "Bond girl" to Pierce Brosnan?

The best part is the girl's different approaches to the photo shoot.  Jasmine, up front, has clearly had some real martial arts training.  Probably as a young princess growing up in Agrabah, it was an exercise, but she's eager to show off her abilities in some real world spy exercises.  Her right hand is poised to deliver a deadly blow, her left ready to fend off an attacker.

Esmerelda, though, looks nervous.  She's trying to remember what the director told her:  Don't look at the camera, look off to the right.  Her hands are held stiffly in the positions he showed her.

Meg, though, is having a laugh.  She's holding her hands up karate style, but she's not taking the photo shoot or her spy role seriously.  It seems like she's just getting a kick out of hanging with Pierce Brosnan.

This magazine has been packed with my "James Bond" paperbacks for quite some time.  I can't believe it's ten and a half years old!  Oi.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Aw Shucks, Mom

Generally my animation collecting has been about finding one fairly excellent - or odd - cel to represent a character and never really looking at any more.  Tony the Tiger seems to be an exception to this rule.  Even though I already have a great one of Tony & Tony Jr. as I shared way back in March, I couldn't resist this shot of Tony with his Mom.  A little-old-lady-hair-in-a-bun-shawl-wearing character that was such an archetype in the 70's.

This is actually my third Tony cel - I already had a practically perfect one framed and hanging on my wall before I bought either of these two.  It's from a 90s commercial, a little later than I generally would collect, but he's got the classic look and you can't beat the pose.  He's right in the middle of "They're great!"  (Please note the box-colored matte.  Good attention to detail, eh?)

Probably the funniest thing about my Tony collecting is... I wasn't that crazy about Frosted Flakes even when I was a kid.  Sure I ate them when I was a little kid, but it's one of the first cereals that was just too sweet for me.  The super-sugary milk was not a fun way to end my complete breakfast.  But obviously, the character meant more to me than the product he was selling.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Jose who?

I've always been drawn to the more obscure material out there: fcgs often take pride in following something that few around them have even heard of.  Star Wars fans are everywhere; the Serenity fans are in the know.  Tons of SF fans appreciate the new Doctor Who shows (as I do), but I love Hyperdrive, a two season BBC show that only aired one in the States so far, I believe.  I bought the DVD on Amazon UK - come on over and I'll share an episode with you.

It can even extend to something as mainstream as Peanuts, arguably the most popular comic strip in US history.  Who's your favorite character - Snoopy?  Lucy?  Good Ol' Charlie Brown?

I often state my favorite character is 5 - yes, the number 5.  He's a little kid whose dad was so frustrated with the "anonymization" of modern society that he threw in the towel and gave the whole family numbers instead of names.  5 really only told his story in a handful of strips, then fell anonymously into the role of one of the kids on Charlie Brown's baseball team.  Almost better known are his twin sisters, 3 and 4, probably best known for the side to side dancing in A Charlie Brown Christmas.  (5 is there too).  You can see them all here at Jim Fanning's terrific (and personally inspirational) Tulgey Wood blog.

So what's my point, and who is Jose Peterson, you ask?  Well, having vowed to collect all the 3, 4, and 5 merchandise available, I missed a golden opportunity.  This year at Comic Con the Schulz museum was handing out different obscure character buttons every day - but I didn't realize it until Saturday, when they passed out Jose (who personally, is so obscure I don't remember him).  On Thursday, they passed out a 3&4 button - but I didn't even approach the booth that day - just looked at it from across the aisle and figured I probably didn't want to buy anything there.

As Charlie Brown would say, "AAUGGHH!!"

Fortunately, though, for my collecting instincts, they were handing out this great flyer with a little write up of all the characters; I share it with you here.
(And in case you're wondering - yes, I did go back on Sunday and get Shermy too).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Forgotten Celebrity Action Figures

Christian Slater and Morgan Freeman from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  If I remember correctly, I bought these because they were hard to find, and celebrity figures can become very valuable.

I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting to become independently wealthy from these, but they're probably worth keeping at least for the "oh how odd" factor...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happiness is... (Tales From Storage)

...realizing that the box for fairly rare 18" Venom, sideways,  fits perfectly between the legs of your giant store display Medieval Playmobil figure.

write to: ed@fancollectorgeek.com


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