Is that a 3-D Jaws card?

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Why, yes it is.

As part of my ongoing quest to finish setting up our house, I have found myself going through many things and trying to find a place for them.  This week, I was able to do a few things, so expect a couple updates within the next week.  Sorry these aren’t as Crafty as I would have liked, but if you stick them out, I did do a mini-craft that I will post.

On this site we are going to look through many collections that I have been putting together all my life.  One of the first things that I had to go through was my card collection.  I don’t mean greeting cards, or sports cards here.  Although I do still have a box of old baseball cards that I should go through.  And I didn’t include my Magic cards, as there are just too many, and I need to sell most of them.  Interested? Email us.

No, here I’m going to talk about my comic and miscellaneous, and random other ones that I had acquired, including some that I just bought last month.

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Here is my collection, or most of it, semi-sorted into groups.  We got some Marvel cards, X-Force, X-Men, Spider-Man, Heavy Metal magazine covers, Arthur Suydam artwork, some Marvel game, TMNT TV show cards, Archer, and even one lone DC card.  That’s right, Gangbuster, in all of his glory.

My original plan was to narrow done these cards to a core group that were the best of the best and represented the interests I had.  This didn’t take as long as I thought it would.  Many cards I eliminated just because I didn’t like the way that they looked (sorry X-Force).  Some because I just had no interest in them (Marvel game and Heavy Metal).  I mean, don’t get me wrong, some of those cards were cool, but I just don’t think that I liked them enough to put them on display.

Finally I got the ones that I thought were good enough, and diverse enough, to add to my wanna-be-shelf-porn library.  As you can see, I only got vertical ones, and I did include two sketch cards and a Magic card.  I thought that this would look good in a tasteful frame.

imageTop row, left to right, they are:  Archer (Sterling Duchess), the Deadpool card from the polybagged X-Force #1 (worthless, utterly worthless, even in the bags), a Groot sketch card from last year in Boston.

Middle row: Glow in the dark Ghost Rider, Arthur Suydam artwork, Avengers team card.

Bottom: Aces Weekly sketch card from Dubai Comic-Con, Marvel “comedy” card, MTG Dark Ritual card (not a rare, but a solid card to have in a black deck).

As luck would have it, I was able to find several nice frames at Goodwill, which was having a huge sale.  So I was getting frames for under a dollar.  These were nice, too.  You’ll see some of them in a later post.  Unfortunately, the sheets of cards would not fit. So I had to do a bit of cutting and re-arranging.  In the process, I switched out a couple of cards.  This was mostly done to make it fit, but I also think it looks a bit nicer now, with the horizontal cards.

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As you can see, I took out the Avengers card, the hilarious Marvel “joke”, and the Ghost Rider.  Looking back now, I think I want to put the Ghost Rider back in and take out the Magic card, but maybe that would just be too much Marvel.  In case you can’t tell from the glare, the two horizontal cards that I put in are the Jaws card, and one of Kraven the Hunter with a gunshot wound to the head, which isn’t in the original Kraven’s Last Hunt (or Fearful Symmetry for you snobs), I don’t think.

So where does this go?  Well, for now, it goes under my shelf of many things.

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Someday that will require updating, and so someday, that too will be an article here on Giant-Size Comic Things, your home for stuff about comics and things.  Think you got a better catch phrase? Leave it in the comments.

WIP – The What If Podcast Christmas Special on YouTube!

The What If Podcast wishes you a Merry Christmas as we recall days of yore. Beast Machines, Ninja Turtles and whether or not Santa wraps his presents, we discuss everything great from the early 90s Christmas style!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the original series)

It’s Saturday morning, which means it’s time to break out the Cereal and Cartoons!  This week we’re going to look at another episode of the classic turtle series.  Season 3, episode 41 – The Grybyx

If you watched this show growing up, you probably remember it fondly.  But do you remember how weird stuff got in the later seasons?  I mean, this show was on a lot.  There are hundreds of episodes.  So it’s no surprise that sometimes, they got a bit odd.  This is one of those weird episodes.

Like many episodes, Dimension X plays a crucial role.  A portal opens up, and a small, furry animal comes through.  The grybyx, which just so happens to be the Neutrino’s pet.  Any episode with the Neutrinos is bound to be weird, but I think the best was when they sent a baby through to the turtles, which, now that I think of it, isn’t too different from this one.

Well the turtles want to catch it, to give back to their weird, hitch-pitched friends, but Shredder and Krang need it to help levitate the techno-drome.  In case you feel like you missed something, this is back when the techno-drome was underground, not in Dimension X.  (Remember all those time that they sent the drilling vehicle back and forth to the surface?  That couldn’t have been good for the foundations of the city.)  In case you still feel like you’re missing something, the grybyx has psychic powers, because of course it does.  Why wouldn’t you want that sort of pet?

Anyways, the turtles and Shredder fight over the grybyx, but it’s back in the sewers that our heroes find out a horrible fact about the pet.  If it eats anything, it becomes a giant monster.  Every time it eats, it becomes a bigger monster.  This brings up a whole host of questions, like, how does it live? but that’s not our problem.  Good thing you can turn it back into the cuter little thing easily.  You just get it wet.  Overall, this felt like a Gremlin’s homage, but let’s not get into that.  Will the turtles triumph?  Will the grybyx be forced to raise the techno-drome?  All this, plus the amazing battle cries, “Go green machine!” and “Turtles fight with honor!” are waiting for you in the video above.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (part 2)

It’s time for another installment of Cartoons and Cereal, where we look at a great television show usually meant for kids, but that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  Today, we are looking at another episode of TMNT, one of the best shows of my lifetime.

This episode was titled The Catwoman from Channel Six, and came from season two.

We open with Splinter meditating while the turtles watch some cheesy looking horror movie on tv.  Distracted by the noise, Splinter tells them that “Too much tv rots the mind, and promotes violence,” which is a funny thing to say on a show about ninjas.  Meanwhile, Shredder is working with his new matter transporter and sends his best henchmen, Bebop and Rocksteady, to the dump for some reason or another.  There, they somehow end up in the sewers, find the turtles’ lair and get into a minor altercation with them, which results in the television being broken.  Shredder brings them back to their hideout and becomes furious when they don’t remember how to get back to the turtles.

Anyways, I don’t want to give away the whole plot, so I’ll move along.  April investigates the matter transporter, and wouldn’t you know it, a stray cat gets zapped in it with her and the next thing you know, April’s turning catty.  There are some bad puns happening, but I feel there are a few things worth pointing out.  One, April’s investigation leads her to a Chinese restaurant, where people are sitting around eating in Sumo thongs.  Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never seen that happen in a Chinese food establishment that I’ve visited.  Seems a bit off.  Two, this episode is important because it is here that Irma finds out about the turtles, which comes into play in many other episodes. And three, the turtles still use their trench coat and hat disguises that somehow fool everyone, except Irma, who recognizes them instantly

So things happen, including Shredder capturing April and putting a control collar on her to track down and destroy Splinter, which she sets off to do with the help of a released zoo tiger.  In the end, things are restored of course, and there are a few heartwarmingly sexist moments, like Irma thinking Splinter “sounds like a cutie” and going a bit gaga over him, until she finds out he’s really a mutated rat, and April only being worried about the fact that her nails got ruined from walking around on all fours.  Oh boy.

Still, a worthwhile episode, even if a but predictable, even by TMNT standards.  Will this come into play in the new movie?  Probably not, but we can hope!

The New Ninja Turtles Movie Can’t be that bad

As echoed by my cohort Turner, it’s easy to hate on remakes because whatever is being remade will never be as good as the original, or at least as nostalgia remembers it. The new Ninja Turtles trailer inspired more of this sort of sentiment and sentimentalism, but it’s important to remember that even if Michael Bay Presents Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Explosion Edition looks cheesy, there’s a long precedent of cheese in the TMNT pantheon. Here are just a few examples:

Really, this should be the end to any discussion if the Michael Bay Ninja Turtle movie will be the worst Ninja Turtles movie made. No. No, it won’t. I remember seeing this movie in the theater when I was a kid, a rare treat, and I can remember the Pizza Hut pizza I got being the best part of the experience. Want to talk about a movie that isn’t what the Ninja Turtles are about? How about they travel out of New York City and fight no mutant monsters, just nefarious ninjas? The new Ninja Turtles can’t be worse than this. It’s not possible. (I hope).

Whatever this is. I remember this as a kid, too, on a bootleg VHS. I also remember sheer disappointment at what I saw. To quote Milhouse, “They’ve been singing for two hours!”

And this. What the hell am I watching? It’s like guys dressed up as the Turtles for a summertime parade decided to make a movie with the costumes after.

This at least returned the phrase “production values” back to the franchise, though the Turtles still remind me of the prehistoric, full body puppeteering sitcom “Dinosaurs“. Then there’s the controversial addition of Venus De Milo, who may or may not be topless the entire time and throws the whole naming convention for a loop (surely kids would cheer for a turtle named “Georgia O’Keefe”?).

So to all those saying nay to the new Ninja Turtles, I offer you some consolation: it likely won’t be the worst Ninja Turtles movie ever (perhaps rising as high as third best), and if you’re worried about it “not respecting the source material”, I say I’m fine with that, since everything I remember about TMNT quickly spiraled away from any source material in favor of franchise building. At least they’re putting production values into this one, and maybe, just maybe, I can rectify the injustice of wasting a trip to the movies for Ninja Turtles III.

5 Reasons to Watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

An optimistic look at the trailer.

Look.  I get it.  It’s easy to hate on remakes.  It’s easy to hate one Michael Bay.  It’s easy to hate on movie adaptations of things that were sacred to us as children.  But let’s try to at least find something positive in this trailer.

I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but just in case, (and no I don’t mean the Carmen Sandiego villain) watch it again.  Don’t try to find the flaws.  Look at it as a newcomer to TMNT.  I tried, and here’s my top 5 reasons why this might not suck.

1.  It looks a bit dark.  If we go back to the original comics, TMNT were meant to be gritty.  Now, this trailer doesn’t look especially noir, but it looks darker than any other film/tv version I’ve come across.  This shows they aren’t just trying to appeal to the younger audience, but also us older folks who have grown up a little since seeing it in the 90s.  Maybe we will even see Leonardo cut into someone with his swords.  Wouldn’t that be crazy?

2. The turtles look a bit more realistic than I’ve seen before.  It actually looks like their head could almost fit inside their shell, although their arms and legs probably couldn’t.  Granted, their faces look a bit deformed, but it’s a change that I don’t feel is going to ruin the movie.

3.  Mikey still has some humor.  I’m hoping that the “It’s just a mask,” is not the only joke in the movie, and that while it is darker, we will still see some of the trademark goofiness that we loved as kids.

4. There is a scene on a snowy mountain.  (Ok, I know I’m reaching a bit now)  A cold-blooded animal on the snow?  That could set up potential disasters that were never (to my knowledge) explored in the television show.  Will they slow down?  Go into hibernation?  Surely it can’t be all sliding and crashing into military trucks.

5. Okay, I’m really stumped now.  I’ve watched it through a few times, trying to find something.  Shredder… is not even Asian.  Ummmm, didn’t see Splinter at all.  Uh, there is… I don’t know.  Look, at least I tried, okay?  No one else was being that positive.  Four out of five isn’t too bad.

So, will I watch this movie?  Of course.  And so will every other complaining fan out there, if for no other reason than to be smug about the fact that they were right that it would suck.  And maybe it will suck.  But come on, we got to at least give it a shot.  One trailer does not a movie make.

I know something that would make it great!  If movie theaters offered pizza while you were watching it.  I mean, there has got to be a mention of pizza, amiright?  So go on, bash me for looking at it optimistically.  I had to try.

Early 90s TMNT (part 1)

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One of the joys of having a child is being able to share with them the things you loved at their age.  One of the horrors is looking at the those things through the eyes of an adult and realizing how horrible or ridiculous they were.

Today I watched an episode of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (if you have to click that link to know who they are, I’m sorry your life is so awful) with my daughter.  Granted, it was season 5, long after they proverbial shark was jumped.  Episode 1, the Turtles and the Hare.  You can watch it here on youtube.  Ah youtube, where were you when I was a kid?  I had to wait for the allotted time and hope that it wasn’t an episode I had seen before.

If you want to spare yourself the 20 minutes of time you won’t get back, here’s a recap and review. Also, spoilers ahead.  Sorry if you’re not caught up on this 20+ year old episode, but come on, you’ve had time.

It started with a tried and true situation.  Donatello (who does machines) woke up the turtles to show them his new invention.  An automated egg-painting machine.  It worked well enough until, you guessed it, Michelangelo (the party dude) showed up and just jackassedly leaned on the lever, which sent him into the machine where he was pelted by eggs that broke (Seriously Donnie? You’re not hard boiling the eggs?) and painted.  Leonardo (leads) tried to stop him and in the end the machine ended up in a big pile with Don sheepishly saying it needed minor adjustments.  Keep in mind that he couldn’t do a simple machine like this later on, when we see another invention.  During this, Raphael (cool but rude) just did his thing.  Which wasn’t much, but I’ll give him a break.

Meanwhile, in Dimension X, Krang, that brain at crotch level, has just made a new invention.  He even admits to Shredder that while all his inventions just look like remote controls, this one is going to be awesome.  It’s a Docilizing Ray.  Yeah.  A ray that makes people docile.  Typing that out makes me think it’s even worse than when I saw it.

Anyways, as you could have guessed from Donatello’s machine, it’s Easter time and so Bebop and Rocksteady are dressed in bunny suits so that they will be able to go undercover to Earth to test out Krang’s ray.  That might be an okay plan, but the bunny suits don’t have masks so we are looking at giant bunnies, one with the face of a humanoid rhino, and the other a punked-out warthog with shades.  Before leaving they comment to each other that if this episode is full of bunny jokes, they’re out of there.  They also later comment that they’ll get their own show and then Shredder will work for them.  The later seasons of TMNT did become a bit meta.  Anyway, they teleport to Earth to try out the ray on April O’Neil’s news crew.  Now this bothers me quite a bit.  Krang can teleport them and Shredder ANYWHERE on Earth.  Instead of just trying a different city, or different country altogether, this giant brain decides to always put them back near the turtles.  He just wants to fail at this point.

So they go, the ray works, the turtles show up at the news studio after April and the crew was shot and… nothing.  They are forced to lay down their weapons because Bebop and Rocksteady have hostages and then when they are about to shoot the turtles, who are unarmed and standing not 15 feet away from the guns, Shredder makes them come back saying he’s the only one that gets to have fun.  Again,  he just wants to fail at everything he does.

Now the turtles need to reverse the Docilizing ray, but the only thing that will do the trick is a special crystal that doesn’t exist in their dimension.  No problemo! Donatello, the aforementioned inventor who can’t make something paint eggs just whips out his portable portal generator and starts scanning alternate dimensions.  Yeah, it’s a thing and it totally got worked into several episodes if I remember correctly.  This is a huge device that folds itself into a backpack size container.  It can scan dimensions, create portals to them, and look inside them from any vantage point it wants. Anyway, he finds said crystal in the Fairy Tale dimension.

At this point, I’m asking myself, “Who is writing this garbage?” and I remember no one, because it happened in the past.  Also, the early 90s were a crazy place.  Meanwhile, my daughter is laughing at the absurdity of it all.  Oh to be young and not overthink things.

We see Jack cutting down the beanstalk, (which he does every hour, for the tourists, WHAT?) and the titular Hare, who thinks the turtles are the tortoises he is supposed to race.  Meanwhile, Shredder and his minions get ready to broadcast the Docilizing ray on microwaves (?) all over the world.  He decides the best thing to do beforehand is to get on national television and tell everyone that plan.  Again, he could have just been teleported straight to the satellite dish, but no, that would have ended in his victory.

The rest of the episode is two of the turtles (I think Leo and Raph) navigating fairy tale dimension to get the crystal from the giant.  The hare wants to one up them so he ends up taking it and all three come back into our dimension.  They stop the bad guys (of course) and then the hare ends up helping April do an Easter egg hunt put on by the news station.  The turtles watch the egg hunt in their matching disguises that totally fool everyone.  You know, puffy jackets over turtlenecks (HA, I just got that), pants and hats.  Don’t bother covering up the hands or faces though.  Just, don’t worry about it.

So, yeah.  It’s still out there to watch.  I guess if you made it all the way down here, you deserve something for your effort, so… here’s a creepy Krang gif from TMNT gifs over at tumblr.  There’s some great stuff over there.