Thursday, March 31, 2016

In Which We Act Like Future People and See What Would Have Happened if You Had Bought Property from a Comic Book Ad 50 Years Ago

So I was plodding through the rather dry Tales to Astonish when I came upon this ad in issue #91:

The notion of buying a half-acre of land for $299 even 50 years ago was pretty cheap, so I thought I'd do a little follow-up and see what history now tells us would have become of a hopeful real estate tycoon who purchased land in Deming Ranchettes.

Well, it appears that not much has happened.  If you live in Deming Ranchettes, this is what a quick search on the Google tells me you will experience today:

 30 minutes. east/southeast of Deming, New Mexico. 
Homes & Mobile Homes Allowed in Deming Ranchettes.
Horses O.K.
Lots of room to Ride, Hike, Golf or just enjoy the fresh air.
Spacious skies, mountain views.
Breathtaking Sunrises & Sunsets.

Close to Rockhound State Park, Elephant Butte Lake & Old Mexico.
Nice place to camp, vacation or build a home.
O.K. to park your R.V, Build your Dream Home & Mobile Homes O.K.  
Water will need to be hauled or a Well would have to be Drilled.
Well's & Septic's are normal for the area.
Power can be by Solar, Wind or Generator,
Electric was 2 miles away, NOW only .64 miles away on San Pablo Road

and you can get it for less than two thousand bucks!

It's rather telling that the seller has never even seen the lot he's selling.  The story I'm gathering is that the landowner divided up the property and sold it off via magazine ads, and many of the property owners today inherited the property from people who thought there was no way they could lose by buying a piece of property for $299.

As I understand it, it's pretty remote by any definition.  You have a Wal-Mart and a Kmart within a reasonable drive, but anything else takes at least an hour and you're looking at a two hour drive to get to the nearest commercial airport.  The City of Deming has about 15,000 people, which is a higher population than some towns I was unfortunate enough to find myself living briefly over the course of my life.  But I note that the official City of Deming website has links to videos for "industry and growth," "retail opportunities" and "retiring in Deming" that are dead links, so that probably tells you something about what you're in for even if you move to the bigger city.

So, I would say that "lots of room" means you're basically marooning yourself if you go there.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Yours Truly likes his creature comforts, so I will remain firmly on the grid.  It was interesting to have the advantage of looking back on how things ended up, though.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Guest Starring Bjork?

Here's something kinda funny from Contributor Robert Gillis!

Not sure what the ish number is, but it's funny that "Bjork" was considered a nonsense word.  It's actually an Icelandic patrynomic name.  Most people have heard of the name because of the singer Bjork, but I'm not a fan so I'll not post a video of her caterwauling.  You may thank me later.

Although I wonder if Bjork isn't getting shot down there.  Someone probably should investigate that.  I don't find her music remotely palatable, but I don't want the woman to come to any actual harm.

Meanwhile, here's some random fun from Master Comics #82, with an installment of Well.... Touche! (tm!)

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

Oh, man!  Don't use the phone!  Here at CMNS, we all know that using the phone only leads to injury:

Yeah.  Like that.

Comic lore is that they had Freddy Freeman say "Captain Marvel!" instead of "Shazam!" so that readers would be reminded that there was a "Captain Marvel" whose comics they should also be buying.

Or you could just put Captain Marvel Jr. in Captain Marvel's trademark red outfit.  There's always that.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

In Which the Hulk Receives a ZAPT and Several Thoks!

I'm plodding along through Tales of Astonish and I'm kinda ambivalent about it.  The stories aren't great by a long-shot, but I'm not finding an abundant source of silliness like I did in other titles from the same era.  But I do see things on occasion that perplex me, like here in Tales to Astonish # 80:

Okay, we have the Mole Man.  He's an unfortunate-looking guy who lives underground where he won't be subjected to the jeers of people on the surface world.  And I've got to say, the expressions on his minions' faces in that panel are hilarious.

Anyhoo, I kind of understand that he comes up with some devices on occasion to help him take on the entire Fantastic Four at once.  I get that.  But here, things get a little greedy:

Where in the heck did he get the technology to come up with this thing?

Yeah, it wasn't strong enough to hold the Hulk, but very few things or people are.  I suppose I can forgive a mechanical person being constructed underground by a group of creatures with nothing better to do, but then there was this: 

Random Ray Usage! (tm!)

See, I get it when the Mole Man recruits some sort of underground creature to do his bidding, but constructing a robot with "gravity rays" (whatever those are) is really straining my willing suspension of disbelief.

And there it is.  More Random Ray Usage (tm!) that just doesn't make any sense considering the source.

But then I read this ad from a few issues prior and I'm all happy again: 

Monday, March 28, 2016

In Which a Single Panel from "Lumber Jack" Becomes One of My Favorite Comic Book Finds Ever

And we're back!  Hope everyone had a great spring break!  I'm still waiting for some things to get sorted before I'll be back to my usual delightful self, but here's some random musings from Master Comics #78.  

Master Comics is headlined by Captain Marvel, Jr., but he's so awesome that it's difficult to find things that make me pause.  But then I found a thing or two.  First there was this:

Okay, you and I know that Freddy Freeman is a perfectly safe guy to have escort a young lady to a travelling carnival, but he was a complete stranger to this person.  Don't do what this girl did.

And speaking of which:

I'd like to have some privacy with this unconscious under-aged girl I'm propping up!

Sure, sure, sir!  I'll clear everyone out!

The monkey wrench will come in handy just in case she starts to regain consciousness!

I've never worked for a travelling carnival, but is this sort of thing not considered to be the slightest bit suspicious?

Meanwhile, Mary Marvel is selling stuff:

Wow.  I'm thinking that she could always just change herself back into Mary Batson and have access to Mary's wardrobe, but I'm not a teenage girl so what do I know?

Hey!  It's time for some Fun with Out of Context Artwork! (tm!)

You have been warned.

I'm just speculating, but I imagine there's a sex offender registry somewhere with Lumber Jack's name on it.

One of the back-up features involved some lady in the jungle.  I think it was the law that every book had to have some feature of a Caucasian person living in the jungle telling the locals how to live their lives the correct way.  Anyhoo, here was a CMNS Moment... of Comic Book Greatness! (tm!)

This has been a CMNS Moment.... of Comic Book Greatness! (tm!)

And then there was this ad:

I guess youngsters back in the day were much smarter, because I'm almost eligible for AARP membership and I don't see what the lady riding the horse illustrates about batteries.  Is it a battery-operated horse?  Don't bother trying to explain it to me, because I got bored halfway through the caption box and am really not up for learning anything new.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Break!!!

Sorry, Dear Ones, but I've gotta catch up so I'm taking a 2 week hiatus.  See you on 3/28/16!

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Hulk is an Insect in It's Gargantuan Hand!!

Okay, so remember how I kept wondering about the logistics behind the whole "Hulk changes back to Banner when he gets too stressed" thing?  Apparently I wasn't the only one who a hard time with that.

Observe, from Tales to Astonish #70

Yeah.  That makes more sense.  They had the Hulk get hit by... oh, I don't remember.  I don't think it was Random Ray Usage (tm!).  Let's just say he took a swim in a public pool or something.

Anyway, that rule is gone and the tried and true "the angrier he gets, the stronger he gets" rule that we still follow today has been established.  Watch as he frees himself with a mighty "THWUPPPP!"

Oh, and Giant-Man and the Wasp were knocked out of the book they were headlining:

Yup.  We now have Namor, fighting things like the Seaweed Man there.

Yes, the Seaweed Man.  That's not the Man-Thing.  I know, I thought it was at first myself.  But no.  Seaweed Man.  That's the quality of stories we can look forward to with Namor.

So, why?  Stan 'fesses up in a couple of issues:

Translation: We just kept throwing crap at the character, hoping something would work.  Nothing did, so we're moving on.

Funny how things go in the fickle world of comics-not-named-after-any-particular-character.

See you Monday!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Human Top's Plans Cannot Be Upset by the Wasp's Silly Displays of Emotion!

Going back to Tales to Astonish, we see the return of the Human Top in issue #68.  And apparently this was such an amazing thing that they dragged it out for two issues.  Let's just spare ourselves unnecessary suffering and go straight to issue #69, where Hank and Jan are still talking like they're in a romance novel:

This is a new look for the Human Top, who looked this way when he first appeared:

And it was kind of a cool idea, what with having a guy whose speed and agility exploited the inherent clumsiness of a giant.

But then I saw how he looked when he wasn't spinning:

Yeah, I'm out when you put a large green onion-shaped helmet on your head.  I understand the utility of the design, but.... no.

Anyway, this was his new look, complete with poncho!

I'm not sure what purpose the poncho served other than to flutter about while he spun.

Anyway, Hanks getting all angsty...

And then everyone gets melodramatic:

And then we get a Random Slap! (tm!)

Note that the Marvel Bullpen did not want you kids to think this okay!  Good people don't hit women like Jan...

Man.  Poor Jan really got the worst of it at times, didn't she?

For those of you non-comic geeks, you may remember this is Hank hitting Jan decades later.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

In Which We See a Guy Strangled by a Bear. You're Welcome.

Ohhhhhh, Dear Ones.... Adam is going through an exhausting period right now.  Everyone has their problems, so I won't bore you with mine.  Just bear with me in the coming months if I don't have it in me to post for a day or two.

Speaking of bears and Master Comics #90:

Death by cuteness!


As Bulletgirl contributes her own special brand of investigative expertise:

And then this happened:

Okay, that was just awesome.

And Hey!  It's Fun for Out of Context Dialogue! (tm!)


See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

In Which the Hulk Fights the U.S. and Soviet Military in the Same Mini-Story. That's What 12 Cents Got You Back Then.

Did you think we'd miss the Hulk story just because we spent our time yesterday looking at the Giant-Man story from Tales to Astonish #65?  Well, that's a fair question, but no.

Again with the Leader's humanoids:

But that's a swerve, my friends! We're back to fighting the military:

Did I ever tell you about the time when I was much younger and I took a career aptitude test?  Do you know what they said I would be happy doing?  Military Chaplain.  True story.  In retrospect, I can see why that would have been an awesome career for me.  But I was way too young and too nervous to make that kind of career commitment.  Once you join the military, they aren't so much on the "takesies backsies."

And I don't think I would have done well back then.  Had the sarge told me "Then you better make sure your insurance is all paid up," I would have retorted, "What if it isn't all paid up?"  I used to have a bit of a mouth on me back in the day.  It's hard to believe now, I know.

Anyway, Banner ends up in the hands of the Soviets, who shove him in a tiny box until he agrees to work for them:

And then we see, for what I think is the first time, Banner becomes the Hulk on purpose:

Any Hulk fans got any info to the contrary?  Up to this point, he had changed at sunset and then later when he had an adrenaline surge, but I'm thinking this was the first time he deliberately went for it:

I also think this issue is the first time we see the thunderclap:

Am I totally wrong?  Maybe I'm just wishful thinking here, but I think this issue had these "firsts."

And then this happens: 

Sooooo... Hulk doesn't change back when he's stressed out about having a disintegrating beam shot his way, nor does he change when he calms down upon receiving aid.  I'm starting to think the changes are just for writer convenience and really don't follow any rules at all.  We'll see where it goes.

Meanwhile, someone explain this:

What on earth were these?  The Google gave me nothing.  I had never heard of them before but now that I have, I simply cannot go through life not knowing more about what they are.  Anyone?  Anyone?