Friday, July 30, 2010

Maniaks, Bugaloos and Woody Allen Friday!

So, when we last left Showcase, you might recall The Maniaks, who weren't nearly as cool as the Monkees and probably weren't even as cool as the Bugaloos, who also had their own comic in 1971:

But, to be fair, the Maniaks were at least as cool as Nickelback.

Anyway, the Maniaks did a three issue stint in Showcase, but it was interrupted in issue #70 (between their second and third appearances) by Leave it to Binky:

Yes, as you can see, that's what it was called: "Leave it to Binky." And pretty much every story ended with that line, so you can imagine how hi-freakin'-larious it was. And yes, it was the same Binky who was in all those public service announcements with his fashion-challenged and undiagnosed mentally challenged brother, Allergy, who actually appeared in this series as well.

The whole thing was about Binky's various attempts at getting chicks by acting like that unfixed dog who keeps jumping over your fence and chasing your poodle around your yard until you frantically turn the garden hose on him, and getting you-know-what blocked by his rival at every turn. I'm really not sure what they were going for, but perhaps it was to give you a moment to collect yourself before they hit you with the crescendo of the Maniaks' magnum opus:

Yes, your worn eyes do not deceive you, my brothers. This issue did, indeed, guest star Woody Allen. Because apparently, back in the day, Woody Allen could pimp a comic book. They should do that today. You know, before they really kill off Agents of Atlas again, maybe they should shove Woody Allen in there.

Oh, and do a Civil War musical while you're at it:

Because you know, the only thing less entertaining than watching a Civil War musical is reading a Civil War musical. And I'm just using the above panel as an example. This issue is loaded with songs about the Civil War set to the tune of songs nobody knows anymore. You don't know what I go through to bring this blog to you people. You just don't know!

One of these days, I'm going to read those Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope comics just to see how much I can stand it before I gouge out my own eyes.

See you Monday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Surprise Your Enemy with Tinfoil Thursday!

Like most comic book nerdlingers as a child, I drew pictures of my favorite heroes. Of course, the results were far from satisfying. Not only did the pictures never look right, it seemed as though I just pulled the concept for the image out of the air. With that in mind, these are from Detective #279:

Seriously? Man, Batman went through some awful times. I'd like to forget the 50's and the early 60's as much as the next guy, but we're all about truth here, so let's forge on.

Wait for it.... wait for it....

See? Turns out those foil hats do block radio waves! I'm sure you owe some guy who wanders around downtown in your area a sincere apology.

I'm not sure if the Storyville episode responsible for this trophy was ever printed. Seriously though, if you're a vigilante and trying to keep operations on the down-low, why would someone think it's a reward to give you a five-story statue? How do you get that back to the cave with any kind of discretion? And I imagine the money Batman recovered was probably less than what it cost to make the dang thing. Yeesh!

Not to mention the fact that it's a dang embarrassment. I am the dark avenger of evil, living in the shadows and striking fear into the hearts of criminals everywhere. And if you'll look to your left, you'll see my gigantic sculpture of an egg wearing pants and a top hat.

Hey! Let's learn something!:

The scowl on Robin's face is quite justified. Batman covers his ears, while Robin's "uniquely identifiable characteristics" are just a'flappin' in the breeze. Being a sidekick is really not the greatest job in the world.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Flight of the Sharp-Billed Woodpecker Wednesday!

From Detective #278.... it's a Giant-Sized story!

Get it? Giant-sized.

Hey, I don't make you read my blog. How much do you pay to read this thing every day?

That's what I thought.

Anyway, the Comics Code is in full swing, so we can't be too scary, so let's have Batman fight a giant!

Dang! One of the drawbacks to being a giant is that woodpeckers apparently mistaken you for a tree and poke you.

That is one pretty stupid giant. I mean, didn't you notice that Batman's lips weren't moving? And that he was just kind of bouncing around and seemed really susceptible to wind currents? I'm always surprised when stuff like that works at all.

Hey, going back to Detective #276! It's another giant penny!

Nope, that isn't the one from "The Penny Plunderers." That's in the Batcave. Apparently, you can't hardly go down the street in Gotham City without dodging a giant penny.

What do you do with giant pennies? Well, if you get enough of them, you can buy a giant stamp!

And what are you supposed to do with a giant stamp? Pick it up with giant stamp tongs:

Do you want me to keep going? Because I can do this allllll day.

Check out the villain:

Apparently, "working out at the gym" is not one of the hobbies the Hobby Robber has gotten around to stealing just yet. And does he like to rob hobbies because some hobby of his gave him those Mr. Spock ears? If they do a reboot of him, I'll totally buy it just to see how it turns out.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Giant Space Aliens and Cosmetics Don't Mix Tuesday!

From Detective #270, a Moment of Comic Book Greatness!(tm!):

See that big powder puff in the background? The negative health consequences of the Gotham City Zoning Ordinances allowing big clouds of powder to be constantly dispersed into the atmosphere notwithstanding, you just know this is going to be awesome!

Wait for it.... wait for it....

Oh, yeah! They're fighting a giant space alien! YEAH, baby!

That's right! Batman took out a giant space alien with a giant powder puff! So SUCK IT, Superman!

And remember, kids:



Wow, we've taken a weird turn, haven't we? It must be all those Showcase comics I've been reading...

See you tomorrow!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hey, Kids! Try and Be a Little Less Stupid and Learn Somethin' Monday!

Oh, Bill. You poor, desperate, impatient fool. Little did you know that:

Bill apparently doesn't watch the news:

You can't go swimming in the Gulf of Mexico until BP cleans up all that oil, Bill. See all that black stuff on the surface of the water? Do you ever drink black stuff? No you don't, Bill... because it's oil and at least your parents are smart enough to keep you from drinking it. Because you'll die, Bill! DIE! DIE of BEING STUPID, that's what they'll put on your tombstone, Bill! "Here lies Bill: Died of Dumbassery Because He Didn't Know the Difference Between Oil and Water"! And that's how people will remember you, Bill - as the dumbass who didn't know the difference between oil and water.

Now Bill, I understand that those lessons make you look pretty stupid, and I'll grant you that I never learned to swim by standing in a row and paddling air on dry land, but there is clearly some sort of technique at work and I'm not one to second-guess the professionals. And Bill? You shouldn't, either.

Let's learn to swim!:

Lessons at the Y make sense, I suppose, unless it involves more of that "paddling the air while standing in a line on dry land" technique. I just don't know that I can really put my seal of approval on that one. I really think we need to see some credentials on the swimming instructor.

Still, read a book? Kick the air at home? Seriously? I'd probably kick the air at home, but I'm kind of a jackass and that sort of thing comes naturally and really has nothing at all to do with swimming.

I don't get this at all. We just jumped in the pool and swam around. That's about all the instructions I can recall. Then again, I'm pretty sure my parents were hoping I'd go under so they could have a new kid and start over. But there's not much chance I'm going to die of anything even remotely involving fitness unless the nephew gets one of those Wii things.

Anyway, here's how to be a hit with the ladies:

I'm not sure exactly why that qualifies as a public service announcement, but you can see by the text on the bottom that it clearly does. Again, I'm not the professional here. But I think it speaks volumes that you have to merge with two other guys before a girl will give you the time of day. I guess the 3-D Man would be the guy to watch in that kind of situation, but now that I think about it, he was only two guys smooshed together. That makes the name "3-D Man" kind of misleading, don't you think?

I don't understand anything I've posted today. We'll try again tomorrow!

Friday, July 23, 2010

They Call Her the Mod Miser Friday!

In order to understand The Maniaks, one has to be mindful that this came about when The Monkees were popular. No, not the mid-80's. I'm talking about the late 60's. Showcase #68, 69 and 70, to be precise.

One thing you have to love about the 60's is that even when things weren't very funny, they were sure frantic:

So, are you wondering who these hepcats are? Not really? Well, too bad. I had to learn, and so do you:

Now, I'm not sure this is artistic license or meant to be taken literally, but by their second appearance, Jangle had gone from being just a noisemaker like the guy from the Police Academy movies to a bona fide shapeshifter:

This was never explained. I think we were just supposed to appreciate the zaniness of it all. I'm also pretty sure we were supposed to have consumed copious amounts of marijuana before reading these things.

Anyway, here are the other two guys:

Yes, I know. They're dull as dishwater, but what can you do? At least they were better than this chick!:

Normally, I would caution you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being married to a female miser. I've made it work for nearly two decades. No, my young friends, the problems don't come from being married to a thrifty gal. The problems come from gals who want to be thrifty with their money whilst being fast and loose with yours:

To their credit, the makers of The Maniaks did nothing to try and paint her in a positive light:

.... although it isn't very funny. Ha ha ha! She didn't want to marry the billionaire just in case he became poor later! Isn't that a riot?

And cue the obligatory pleas from readers to keep this train wreck going.

There is another issue, but I haven't read it yet. Just in case it only ends in my tears, I'll hit you with Maniak trivia: The gold-digger apparently doesn't play her cards right, because she appears 30 years later in the Power Company limited series as a personal assistant to the leader of that team. And in the very recent Blackest Night annual big-event crossover, a character said that his dream as a child was to grow up and "play bass for the world's greatest band, the Maniaks." Don't believe me? Check out Power of Shazam #48.

See? We learned something today, didn't we?

See you Monday!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Leopard-Print Speedos Thursday!

Whew! It's always good to get a little assist in the material department. Today's panels were contributed by CMNS pal Robert Gillis!:

From Adventure Comics #181:

Apparently, this was the Mask of a Hero back in the 1950's. Frankly, I think it's the Mask of Something Children Are Afraid Is Hiding Under the Bed and Waiting to Murder Them In Their Sleep, but this is clearly my grandfather's generation, and as we all know by the chain letters our grandparents send us, they clearly know what they're talking about.

From Adventure #182. I admit I don't understand people who keep up with entertainment news because I have a rule that I don't put any investment into the lives of people who don't pay any attention to mine. So, when a celebrity dies or goes to the slammer, my official position is indifference unless I think they would come to my funeral or visit me in the joint. But apparently, fascination with the lives of others has been around for awhile:

Considering what usually went on in Smallville, that must have been one painfully slow news day, even by Society Page standards.

Hey! Technology from Adventure #164! I can only imagine the chaos in classrooms today if we had to tote around little bottles of ink.

Thank goodness I had a bottle of caffeine-infused sugar water! Just what you need before wrestling an octopus!

I note that the victim's main reason for living is R.C. Cola. I'm the first to say I love some R.C., especially with a Moon Pie, but someone in that boat needs rehab.

Thanks, Robert!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ki-Ki-KiuuuEEEEEEEE! Wednesday!

Even if you don't like jungle comics, and I confess I do not, B'wana Beast has some odd appeal to it.

Perhaps it's the purple gorilla:

They try and say it's a red gorilla, but that is magenta at best.

But whatever the color, gorillas are awesome. The Cry for Justice miniseries was worth it just for the reboot of Congorilla alone.

Do you know what's even better?

A magenta gorilla who acts as your butler. Rock on, B'wana Beast!

Yes, he made silly noises that looked even sillier when reduced to text:

And he made those noises a lot, so you might as well get comfortable with it:

And he tended to look ridiculous. Although I don't know who would look cool riding a rhinoceros:

But then, there's a mechanical dinosaur, so you know the story will be somewhat worth reading:

I'm not sure why animals took orders from him, but they did:

I think what Tembo is saying there is, "Smack me again while I'm doing you a favor and see what happens."

Anyway, B'wana Beast had this weird power to combine two animals into one abomination of nature. All in all, he never really caught on, but was a favorite of DC writers to try and work into something. He even appeared in the awesome Batman: The Brave and the Bold program on Cartoon Network.

B'wana Beast - Tyrant of the Animal Kingdom, and Ladies Man:

That's right, lady and voyeur monkey. I'm a beast. A sexay beast!

From Showcase v1 #66-67. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Superior Humor of the Inferior Five Tuesday!

Today, we finish our two-day tribute to one of the forerunners of snarky humor, the Inferior Five. Today's panels come from their last Showcase appearance (not including the 100th anniversary issue which included dang near everyone who ever appeared in the title), number 65.

Yesterday, we took a look at some not-so-subtle jabs and fun at the expense of Marvel's new (at the time) character, the Hulk. The following issue, they targeted the original X-Men:

Instead of being early examples of the evolution of mankind, this team cleverly consisted of genetic "throwbacks." They weren't the future. They were leftovers. And while having the primate-resembling Beast of the X-Men as the intellectual of the group was a clever lesson in not judging a book by its cover, this was a great jab at how it could have gone.

And here we have the spoof of the Angel:

I love how he's the favorite of the administration "because his father is very wealthy and very rich." You know Professor Xavier thought that of Warren Worthington III at one time or another.

The other X-Men got off rather lightly, but that can easily be forgiven when we get moments like these, where the Blimp finally asks the question we've been asking about the Angel for years:

Brilliant! I couldn't have done it better myself.

I'm a total fanboy for titles like the Inferior Five and Not Brand Ecch! because, just like we do here at CMNS, they acknowledge the logical inconsistencies of what takes place in comics and gives us all a chance to laugh and say "So I wasn't the only one who wondered about that!" Of course, this was back in the day when DC and Marvel were more interested in taking shots at one another's plot holes rather than their own, but funny is funny.

So here's to the Inferior Five! Off to the Character Hall of Fame with the lot of you!

Heh. These books tickle me. They really do.

See you tomorrow!