Sunday, September 21, 2014

Green Lantern vs. Tweety Bird

Green Lantern vs. Tweety Bird: I'm surprised that no one has done this mashup before. I must have too much time on my hands.

(All artwork copyright Time/Warner)

Lately, I've sort of been competing with Ross over at

Ross does marvelous comic covers with different superheroes who would not normally get together. This is usually due to copyright issues between Marvel, DC and other comic book publishers. My mashups have a more humorous bent, and I feel like picking on Green Lantern this morning.

Most comic fans will know the back story of the Green Lanterns, and the limits imposed on them by the Guardians of the Universe. If you dig this cover, then I don't need to belabor the point. 

I'll admit that I enjoyed the Darkest Night series, but I always think twice when I pick up a GL comic. Looking back on Hal Jordan's rough past, I can see him taking the place of Star-Lord in "Guardians".
 I'm still skeptical of most super hero movies. Phantom Menace really let me down, and I saw Green Lantern on the plane once(and tried to walk out.)

(rimshot! sorry.)

 After a bunch of lerpy Silver Age adventures where a character like Tweety could cause as much trouble as Mr. Mxyzptlk or Batmite, Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams put Green Lantern on a much more dramatic course in 1970.

No more mustard, lemons or banana peels now folks.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cartoon Sidekicks (or the Big Dumb Buddies who take all the abuse)

This is an addendum to the horse and rider entry. Plus I'm feeling nostalgic again.

I've also noticed the design elements such as the differences in sizes, shapes and height. Plus the different color scheme of the characters, and how they relate to each other. Most sidekicks seem to have less detail as well.

(Credits going clockwise) Super Chicken and Fred (by Jay Ward and Bill Scott); Beany and Cecil created by Bob Clampett, Tom Terrific created by Gene Deitch, and Rocky and Bullwinkle (Jay Ward and Bill Scott again).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cartoon Horse and rider - Wander Over Yonder

I've become a big fan of Wander Over Yonder. and noticed over the years how the cowboy, or adventurer theme comes back to TV animation every now and then.

Wander Over Yonder seems to have some roots in these old shows.
Wander is the hippie-cowboy who rides his alien "Zbornak" named Sylvia.
Sylvia serves as his horse.
In most of these shows, the horse is very often the reluctant companion,
or, after a misadventure, is the one who usually says "I told you so."

(copyrights clockwise from upper left: Terrytoons, Filmation, Jay Ward Productions, & Disney)

Starting in the upper left, we have The Adventures of Lariat Sam from Terrytoons in the early 1960's. Lariat Sam was produced by Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo). Lariat Sam's horse was Tippy Toes, a fussy horse who wore a bowler hat with a white dickie and bow-tie. While Lariat Sam relied on his lasso instead of a gun, Tippy Toes often took the brunt of the jokes in the show's physical humor.

Then in the 1980's, there was BraveStarr with his cyberhorse 30-30 by Filmation. 30-30 could use his bionic limbs to transform from a four legged horse to a person that stood upright. 30-30 was large, strong, had a short temper, liked a good scrap, and seemed to be a weapons expert. (He even talked to his gun "Mary Jane" in one episode.) But it was BraveStarr who saved the day in overcoming the villians with the right amount of reasoning, insight and directed power. 30-30's direct confrontations with opponents never seemed to end well.

Going back to the 60's, there was Dudley Do-Right. As a Mountie in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Dudley was far from being the sharpest knife in the drawer. His horse, simply called "Horse", was the only one to notice when things were going wrong. Horse was also the only cartoon horse that I know of who could not speak.

Which brings us back to Wander Over Yonder. Wander is a good-natured alien meddler who travels from planet to planet with his best friend Sylvia, who also happens to be his "Sapient Steed".

Sylvia is the more grounded "straight man" to Wander, and the voice of reason in contrast to his impulsive need to bring help and fun across the entire galaxy. She also gets more than her fair share of physical punishment from their enemies, and just by trying to keep Wander out of trouble. It's amazing she still stays with Wander with all the abuse she has to put up with.

*  *  *  *  *  *

Another show that was kind of obscure was Luno the White Stallion: I actually only saw one episode while on a car trip to Florida while passing through Atlanta. From then, I was hooked. It took me years to find some episodes on VHS. Luno was another version of Pegasus that symbolized travel, adventure, and magic. Luno and Tim could fly back in time to classic storybook adventures.

(original copyright Terrytoons)

Hey, the Aquabats liked him enough to put him in a song:

While not a TV show,  I have to bring up the Magic Pony by Soyuzmultfilm. CFPL TV 10 in London, Canada would drift over Lake Erie to northeast Ohio. The CBC brought me an extra range of children's shows in addition to the U.S. networks in the 1960's.

 (copyright Soyuzmultfilm)

To my knowledge, the Magic Pony was never shown, but I loved the full animation Soyuzmultfilm put out. The boy in this story learns the dangers in telling tall stories, and gets more than he bargained for when he accidentally captures the queen of the magic horses.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Internet Slowdown Weds. Sept. 10th

On Wednesday, September 10th, some websites will have the slowly turning "Wheel of Death" to give us a taste of what a two tiered, pay to play internet would look like.

Okay, I'm putting my cards on the table. Without net neutrality, the world wide web will end up like cable TV. Overpriced and useless. Another intrusive, domineering force trying to sell us junk.

In short, the big guys would get the fast lanes, while the rest of us will have to wait... And wait.
And perhaps, even be censored by an even bigger "Big Brother".

Keep emailing FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and President Obama to keep a free and open internet.

Plus, the ads get slowed down. That makes us wait, and it makes the advertisers look worse. 

Friday, September 05, 2014

Captain Universe - Sylvia Wander Over Yonder

More mashup craziness. Obviously, I'm a big fan of Wander over Yonder, and I can't resist putting Sylvia in these nutty, uncomfortable situations. That's what she's there for, right? Sylvia is tapped by the Uni -Power (Enigma Force?) to become Captain Universe!

After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, I couldn't resist this:

(copyright Marvel/Disney, of all things)
Imagine all the butts she could kick now. But the Uni-Power will probably serve her only to save Wander, and any other bystanders who are in immediate danger. I want to give Sylvia her shining moment... And then bring her back down to earth.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 2

Just my suggestions for the next movie's Awesome Mix Vol. 2:

(copyright Marvel/Disney)

1. Motherlode - When I Die
2. The Stampeders - Sweet City Woman
3. Pure Prairie League -Amie
4. Rick Derringer - Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo
5. Edgar Winter Group- Free Ride
6. ELO - Twilight

7. David Bowie - Look back in Anger (1979, might be too late in their timeline) or, Suffragette city 1972

8. Looking glass - Brandi you're a fine girl

9. Sugarloaf - Green Eyed Lady - How's that for Gamora?

10. Steely Dan - ?
11. Marshall Tucker Band? Heard it in a love song

We have to remember that this tape was put together by Star-Lord's mother, so the songs would stay on the fun and light side. I'm still up in the air about these:

The Temptations - Papa Was A Rolling Stone (referring to Star Lord's real father)
The O'Jays - Back Stabbers
The Allman Brothers Band?
Led Zepplin?

Guardians of the Galaxy - Film References Part 1

Guardians of the Galaxy was a nice treat for a busy summer this year. I almost felt like I was watching the original Star Wars for the first time. Nice balance between action and humor. And experience helped me notice quite a few references to other classic movies. These were deliberate tributes, I believe. Such as the classic prison line-up shot:

(All images copyright Marvel/Disney, unless otherwise noted.)

"The Usual Suspects"...

...which comes from classic Film Noir.

(original copyright Bad Hat Harry Productions, Blue Parrot, 
Spelling Films International, Gramercy Pictures, and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment)

Star-Lord, played by Chris Platt, gives us a misfit, wise-guy hero who is still lovable. He's sort of a jerk, but he grows on you the way Han Solo did. Peter Quill/ Star-Lord has the same identity/disrespect issues that Mister Furious (Ben Stiller) had in Mystery Men. His first opponents respond with "You're who?" or the "I don't care” attitude.

The Raiders of the Lost Ark homage didn't register with me. The scene went by too quickly. Star-Lord didn't have too much trouble getting the Orb out of it's force field container, and then he seemed to give up to easily when confronted by Korath The Pursuer.

(copyright Universal)

Neither guy gets the respect he demands. Rodney Dangerfield, look out!

Another movie reference in Guardians gives us the classic "Walk" shot...

Mystery Men had theirs...

(copyright Universal)

Which was a play off of The Magnificent Seven...

(original copyright The Mirisch Company/Alpha Production)

Which in turn was inspired by Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai.

(original copyright Toho Productions)

The bigger theme was the oddball, rag-tag fighters coming together for a common cause. The obvious example was the original Star Wars:

(original copyright 20th Century Fox)

Nothing new under the sun, or the galaxy for that matter.

I don't mean to be critical here, but they may have been trying to squeeze in too much.

In Independence Day we have the giant starship descending on the planet, and the high-tech fighters engaged in a frantic dog fight over the city...

(copyright 20th Century Fox)

 And the similar scenes with Ronan's ship.

The Abyss: Maybe I'm reaching here, but the way Star-Lord rescues Gamora seems like a switch on Ed Harris' Bud Brigman's decision to let his ex-wife Lindsey (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) deliberately drown in hopes that she can be revived later:

(copyright 20th Century Fox)

In Guardians it's sort of the reverse: Peter Quill/ Star-Lord puts his space helmet/ mask on Gamora to save her life, without regard as to how long he can withstand the lack of air in space.
Korath The Pursuer
Korath The Pursuer

Coming up next: Vin Diesel's Groot as compared to his Iron Giant, alien abduction themes, such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Dirty Dozen - misfits sent on suicide mission.