Thursday, September 28, 2006

The International Language Of Wieners

Nothing says "Really Israeli" like Sweet & Sour Wiener Balls

Those Black Forest Frankfurters sound just strange enough for me to actually try. If any of these recipes have whet your appetites please feel free to print & clip the coupon below and take it to your local Super WalMart... I'm sure that they'll accept it!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Some Gum Fun

An All-Gum post 'cause everyone loves gum and 'cause none of these things were interesting enough to get their own post. What is interesting is that I had spelled 'interesting' with an 'en-' at the start and didn't even notice it until after I posted. Hmm.

First some gum ads from comic books-

Some trading card wrappers- 1 Stick Of Bubblegum-Flavored Popsicle Stick Included!-

Jaws 2? If you're going to save on to a Jaws movie tie-in bubblegum trading card wrapper, why not the original? What was I thinking?

And finally, some gum ads from The Washington Post's Sunday color comics sections circa 1975-76. Have you ever noticed how I just make up punctuation rules concerning the comma-izing/italicizing of the titles of different publication. I have no idea what's officially correct I just go for whatever looks the prettiest in each specific sentence. In this case I was liking the italics.

Sorry about the ends being chopped off, but Sunday funny pages in the '70's were about 8-feet across and 12-feet high. Groovy!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mall Clowns And Lessons Learned From Same

In 1975, Tanglewood Mall in Roanoke, VA had a terrific idea for a back-to-school promotion- fill a mall full of scary clowns and watch the kiddies beg to be sent back to school. Clowns are always useful tools in any 'it could be worse' scenario. Whatever dire straits you may find yourself facing in the future always remember that it could be worse... you could be stuck in a mall full of clowns.

On a completely different note- that under-5 grand prize of a Big Wheel had to be the coolest non-cash grand prize given in any competition ever. Tell me you wouldn't enter any contest that had a Big Wheel as the grand prize!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Simzilla's Revenge!

Oh, poor citizens of fair SimCity! Grow still as the very ground upon which you stand shudders, tremble as that prehistoric bellow reaches your ears, feel the cold grip of fear as your eyes turn toward the sea and bear witness to the fact that Godzilla arises once more! What foul, unknowable need draws him toward SimCity this day!

Potty break!

Godzilla feels a draft...

The End?

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Photography Corner

It seems like the proliferation (I had to spell check that one!) of the digital camera and the camera phone combined with the fact that everyone and their granny has a blog nowadays has created a culture where the recording of an event is more important than the actual experiencing of it. I am not one of those people. Cameras mostly just annoy me and if I'm spending a day at an amusement park or attending one of my nephews' birthday parties or hiking through the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains where I live then I just want to be doing that thing and not worrying about getting the perfect shot of it to share with the world wide web. That last example in the previous sentence was a total lie. I don't hike. I feel that if God had intended us to hike he wouldn't have invented the Interstate Highway system. I also do not go anywhere near the woods for the woods are the breeding grounds of the fearsome and satan worshipping tick, a creature which feeds upon a man's very soul and gets his scabby little head stuck beneath your flesh whilst doing so.

The above rant was meant to show you that if I do go to the fuss and bother of taking a picture of something then it must have been of great interest to me and therefore worthy of your complete and undivided attention. So sit up straight and swallow your gum 'cause you're about to bear witness to three random pics taken over the last month or so, each of which show you just the tiniest little glimpse of my tickless soul. You're welcome.

For those of you who might live at one of our planet's frozen poles or a lighthouse on a lifeless slab of rock off the coast of Wales that purple thing in the picture above is called a 'flower.' I am not usually the sort of person who takes pictures of flowers. A flower is just a flower in my opinion and no matter how pretty a certain flower might look there are sure to be far prettier examples available in books or magazines or art galleries or the Internet. So unless the flower in question is right in the middle of eating an adult bull moose I'll just say "Pretty flower" and move right along. This flower was an exception due mainly to circumstances and less to aesthetics. It was taken only a couple of weeks ago, past the usual flower budding season around these parts and right in the midst of several chilly and gloomy days. I forget exactly what I was doing, but I was standing in an out of the way area alongside of a steep river bank (I assume that I was up to no good) and happened to glance down and notice this small flower hidden in the overgrowth. I kind of felt sorry for it or something 'cause it had gone to so much trouble to bloom in such an odd place and at such an off-schedule time and I just thought that the least I could do for the effort was to take it's picture. Luckily, my car (and camera) was only about five steps away from me at the time. Ten steps or more and I would have grown bored with the idea and moved on to other things.

There is a park near where I live that is split sort of down the middle by a river that is spectacular in it's slimy green-ness. The green-ness is almost like a special effect. The only thing connecting one half of the park with the other is a narrow metal foot bridge spanning the green ooze. I do not like this bridge because of the sound it makes when you're crossing it. The bridge is made of many, many connected squares of metal grating that clang and rattle and make all sorts of noise as you cross over it. It's so loud that every time I step on it I just know that every person in the park is stopping what they are doing to turn and stare in my direction. To avoid this I try walking very slowly and on tiptoe across the thing. Anyone who has ever attempted stealthy-ness through slow tiptoeing knows that it just amplifies the sound of everything you step on, thus ensuring that you draw even more attention to yourself. This bridge causes me nervous distress.

None of that is important, but that picture above was taken looking down through the grating at the river at the very crest (apex?) of the arched bridge. I took it to show both the green-ness of the water and how high above it the bridge rose. Neither of those two things show up in the picture. Crap.

In Lexington, Virginia there is a shop who's name I believe is Rail's End Wood & Metal Crafters. I jotted down a sort of short hand of the name on the back of an envelope and it's only half readable. I had taken a wrong turn and was executing a u-turn in their parking lot when I spotted this very large piece of scrap metal sculpture hanging over the shop. I snapped a quick picture because I like very large things, things made from scrap metal and things hanging over shops. There seemed to be other interesting things scattered around the building so I plan on going back sometime to take a look although it will have to be on a day when they are not open for business otherwise I will be guilted into buying something from them and I'm really not in the market for a pile of old railroad ties.

These three pictures are very much a story of me. A story that you would have to self-publish through one of those 'pay-per-copy' companies and that your local library wouldn't bother to catalouge even if you donated a signed copy with a dollar bill stuck between every page.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Schlip! Schlap! Schlip-a-schlap avay!

This postcard was probably bought on the same Busch Gardens trip as the Bevo & Buford postcard, although it's no-where near as cool... but how could it be?

This postcard has it's own charms. It's not very often that you get to see the classic Scandinavian Fisch Schlapping Dance as performed by late '70's amusement park staff. Actually, according to the text on the back of the card these are 'Authentic German Folk Dancers" re-creating dances that are 'authentic versions of the ones seen at traditional German festivals.' Whatever... where's the beer?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Superkernel: The Bonus Material

There was a ton of Superkernel stuff that I scanned that just didn't fit anywhere in our 4 part look at the Corn of Steel, so let's cram it all into one post and call it a bonus!

First let's discuss Superbucks-
Superbucks were printed on the back of certain issues of "Superkernel Comics" and were redeemable for all sorts of Superkernel Swag and some other junk as well...

I collected enough 'bucks over the years to get myself the frisbee, the light switch cover, the DC super-hero book covers and that very cool tote bag which I own to this day. I wanted that puzzle as well, but they stopped carrying it before I had accumulated enough cash. In later issues of the comic all the cool Superkernel stuff was dropped in favor of boring (and more expensive) Grit-like prizes of generic AM/FM radios, thermos jugs and the oddest thing of all- "The Better Homes & Garden Family Medical Guide!" Wonder how many kids shelled out 7 Superbucks + 8.50 for that?

Every issue of "Superkernel Comics" included two pages of 'Superkernel's Amazin' Games.' These were printed on the opposite sides of a mini-poster centerfold of one of the Cornville cast, so most of the comics I own are missing them. I tore those posters out and hung them on my wall until they had disintegrated into nothingness. These four pages are all that remain-

I can make a lot more than eight words out of 'producer' and only about half of them are dirty.

If the main Superkernel story ran short of eight pages, then a one page gag strip would take up the slack. The Space-Niks usually appeared on the game pages in a two or three panel strip, but here they graduate to the big time-

Besides the one-page gags, C.C Ghoul & The Gang also made occasional appearances in the main Superkernel story. It was like when the cast of Scooby-Doo would show up on Dynomutt-

Beside C. C. & the Count, the Gang also consisted of a stunted little werewolf named Lynx, a talking potted plant named Jules Fern and a mummy, an invisible man, and a Creature from the Black Lagoon-type critter who's names escape me.

Finally, Superkernel shills for the Sweet Pickles book club-

And that's it for Superkernel, until I inevitably come across more related junk in some dark corner of the house, in which case- prepare yourselves for Superkernel: The Director's Cut!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Kernel Of Truth & Justice: Part 4 of 4

It's the super secret Secret Origin of Superkernel today! Sort of. Point of fact, you don't really learn all that much about Superkernel's background in this issue's story. No hint as to where he came from or how he got those amazing corn-fueled powers of his, all you really get is a brief mention of how he and Hoot came to be best friends and then how they both ended up starring in a comic book all their own. So it's really more the super secret Secret Origin of "Superkernel Comics" when you think about it. But you really shouldn't. Think about it, that is. It's not worth wasting the brain cells over.

This story first appeared in vol. 3 iss. 12 of the comic book and could very well be the last original story created for the book. Every issue I have of vol. 4 of the series is a reprint of an earlier issue. The story would serve well as a last issue as it's a nostalgic summation of all the previous issues with a reassurance at the end that Superkernel would still be having new adventures aplenty, even if nobody would ever again put them to paper.

So without further ado-

And while that story served as a nice introduction to the world of Superkernel it was short of actual story and not very heavy on the humor. So I'm throwing in another issue for you as well, my personal favorite. This is an alternate universe story. A What If? An Elseworlds. It's Superkernel Old West style and it still makes me chuckle when I read it today. Reprinted in vol. 4 iss. 1 from one of the very earliest issues of "Superkernel Comics"-

Made me laugh!

Don't go away (well you can go away, but be sure to come back sometime) 'cause there's more Superkernel goodness in our next post! But wait, you say, isn't this post clearly labelled as being 'Part 4 of 4?' How could there be more goodness of the Superkernel kind still ahead? Because in this day and age the consumer demands much more from the products they buy or happen upon with the "Next Blog" button, so our next post features- Superkernel Bonus Material!

At no extra charge.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Kernel Of Truth & Justice: Part 3 of 4

Today's post is a gallery of covers from my personal "Superkernel Comics" collection. If you pay attention to the volume and issue numbers as you go along you'll see that my collection is far from complete. Who knows in what dark and dusty corner of my parent's house those missing issue may hide...

As you look at the scans you can't help but see that very noticeable crease running across the center of each book. "Superkernel Comics" were shipped in a box half the size of the comic itself so each issue was folded sharply in half. Plus the comics were printed on paper of such low quality that even Taco Bell wouldn't stuff there burritos with the junk. That sentence didn't really make any sense, but if you don't think about it at all it at least sounds like it should be funny. Those two facts combine to make a mint condition copy of "Superkernel Comics" one of the rarest items on Earth. If you are lucky enough to own a creaseless copy of any issue it could well be worth millions! But it probably is not.

I've included a brief synopsis of each issue's story in case your curiousity is piqued by the cover:

Doctor Mort cures a cat who has lost his appetite then almost ends up as his next meal! Oh, no!

Rudolph has a falling out with the cast and quits as producer! Then he comes back just in time for everyone to throw him a surprise birthday party!

Big Bug tries to trick Hoot into thinking his new house is haunted, but Superkernel sees right through his scheme.

It's Jack & The Beanstalk, Superkernel style!

Professor Calendarie takes SK, L'il Kernel and Rudolph on a trip through time where they meet historical versions of all their friends and foes!

C. C. Ghoul & The Gang arrive in Coolville and the Superkernel gang learn a lesson about judging people on the way they look. It's wrong or something... I wasn't really paying attention.

The story of Mort & Mary Lou's entire courtship is told leading up to the wedding of the century as the two mice finally tie the knot! Have I mentioned what a bitch Mary Lou was?

Superkernel's greatest foes team-up to destroy him with a dastardly plan envolving mind control, killer robots and a water hose! Sounds like just another Saturday night to me!

The Secret Origin issue! It's kinda lame, but I'm still reprinting it for you in the next post!

Superkernel dreams that he's a marshall in the Old West facing off against Big Bug in the O'Corn Corral.

A swingin' sock hop is really just a cover for Big Bug's latest scheme to snatch the Unecorns!

Big Bug fires Videot who wanders around aimlessly until Big Bug realizes that he misses him.

Be with us next time for The Secret Origin of Superkernel! And I'll maybe reprint another issue as well if I've got the time...