Friday, September 15, 2017

Why Michael Dooney is my Hero.

 
 
As a huge lifelong fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the art of Michael Dooney has always been around my collection. Whether it be from the comic books, posters or Nintendo video game box art, Dooney's artwork, in my opinion, has always been the standard for other TMNT artists. So when I had the chance to purchase some of his autographed prints, I jumped at the opportunity! I got the prints and had intentions of getting them framed, but never got around to it. They ended up on a shelf in the basement. A few months ago when I was cleaning said basement I was shocked at what I found!
 
 
 
Ironically enough a strange goo had spilled all over the Ninja Turtle prints! I was not very happy about this turn of events. I tried to clean them the best that I could, but as you can see it didn't help. After some more cleaning I discovered that the goo came from a half drunken can of Duff Energy Drink! This is one time where I could "Get enough of that wonderful Duff"!
I became even more frustrated because I know it was myself that caused the damage. Like I said, I tried to clean them off and it didn't work. So I contacted Michael Dooney himself via his website, Dooney Girls! What happened next was AWESOME!
Mr. Dooney went out of his way to make sure that the damaged prints were replaced. I am very thankful for his dedication to his fans. But he didn't stop there...
 
He also threw in these 2 prints as a bonus! What a cool guy! It's these type of actions that keep your fans for life. I appreciate the personal care Mr. Dooney gave me and I will be getting these prints framed ASAP! That's why Michael Dooney is a hero to me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 9/13/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
HARLEY QUINN 25TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1
In a story written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, with art by Conner, learn what really happened when Harley, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy hit Vegas! Then, a tale written by Paul Dini with art by Chad Hardin takes us back to Harley's days with the Joker to see the hell he unleashes when he makes the mistake of scheduling the biggest heist of their career on Harley's birthday! Plus, writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Joe Quinones pit Harley and the Joker against Batman and Robin -- but while you might think the Joker knows how to play with Batman's mind, it's nothing compared to Harley's ability to crack Robin's psyche! And that's not all! Writer Dale Kibblesmith with art by David LaFuente put Coney Island right in the path of a hurricane -- and put Harley on a collision course with Swamp Thing, of all people...monsters...things...? This issue also includes Harley pin-up pages with art by Babs Tarr, Bengal, Dustin Nguyen and more!
(W) Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Dini, Chip Zdarsky (A) Amanda Conner, Chad Hardin, Joe Quinones (CA) Rachel Dodson, Terry Dodson
SRP: $4.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Monday, September 11, 2017

Superheroes at the Art Museum!

This past weekend we took our kids to the art museum for a new exhibit called "My Hero! Contemporary Art and Superhero Action"! The local art museum made this a fun event for kids by inviting cosplayers over to take pictures with the kids, snacks, crafts and FREE ADMISSION for everyone who was there to see the exhibit. My kids really got into the spirit of things by dressing up as Iron Man, Batgirl and Wonder Woman. Not only was the Superhero exhibit free, but the entire museum was open to the public at no cost. This was a great way to get my kids into the art museum and learn an appreciation for art. Here are some of my favorite pieces from the show.

"Catvengers" by Jenny Parks (2013)
This was possibly my favorite piece from the show! How could you not love cuddly cat versions of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes? I mean look at Cat-Hulk, he is so grumpy but I still want to pick him up and squeeze that soft fur! No question, this was my kids favorite image.

"Tony Stark, The Iron Man" & "Bruce Wayne, The Batman" by Jeremy Fisher (2015)
These sculptures were amazing. They were life sized recreations of the Iron Man and Batman masks. The details in the Iron Man mask were fantastic! From the twisted metal to broken wires it was great. I believe these were made to represent the fragility of our modern heroes and that we are all human underneath it all. Pretty deep!


"Xi'an-American Batman & Spider-Man Warriors" by Lizabeth Eva Rossof (2015)
These 2 statues were actually made from concrete and were inspired, as you might guess, by the terracotta warriors that were discovered in the tomb of China's first Emperor, Quin Shi Huang!

"DEFLECTION" by Maurizio Zuluaga (2014)
This collage had so much going on, but in the middle of it all stood the eye catching visage of Batman shooting rainbows from his eyes! This piece was so bright and busy that it was hard not to be drawn in and see how many characters you could find blended into the canvas. Another bit of info is that the artist is from Jersey City, NJ!

 "Tim Drake - Robin" by Simon Monk (2012)
There were several of these paintings in the "Bagged Heroes" series by Monk, but the one that stood out to me the most was this one of Tim Drake aka Robin. Not sure why? Maybe it's because he reminds me of the Kenner Robin figure from the "Batman Returns" line that I once owned?

"Non Stop Beautiful Ladies" by Remi Noel (2005)
This one just seemed funny to me. The artist, Remi Noel, took a Batman action figure and snapped photos of him in various situations like reading a cookbook, in bed at a hotel and staring at bat shaped power lines, but this is the one that stood out to me. It was so unusual to see Batman in this setting contemplating the night's entertainment that lies ahead.

I loved this exhibit! There were so many more great pieces of art at the show. If this exhibit ever hits your town, I highly recommend you strap on your boots, throw on your cape and fly on over to the art museum to check it out! For more info on this traveling exhibit or to see if it's heading anywhere near you visit The Bedford Gallery website.

Friday, September 8, 2017

80s Toys I spotted in "The Boss Baby"

Every Friday night we take time as a family to pick out a movie and watch it together. The kids get out their sleeping bags, we let them choose some candy and we decide on a movie. This past week's pick was "The Boss Baby". The movie features Alec Baldwin as The Boss Baby who is sent to Earth to protect babies from the rising popularity of cute puppies. Puppies are getting cuter therefore stealing the love from babies all over the world! It actually was a decent movie that had some pretty funny parts in it, but one of the cool things was the way they integrated real toys into the story. Here are the ones that I spotted:
 
Little People Farm (Fisher Price)
The intro to the film takes us on a ride through the room of Tim. Tim is a happy boy who likes to spend time with his Mom & Dad and loves playing with his toys. We get to see a few of these toys on display during this opening sequence including these Little People.
 
Mouse Trap (Milton Bradley)
This was another toy that we saw on the tour of Tim's room, it kind of foreshadows a later scene in the movie. Never really understood the rules of this game as a kid, don't understand it now, but damn is it fun to catch those mice in this crazy contraption!
 
Skeletor (Mattel)
I was really excited to see Skeletor hanging from a zip line in Tim's room. I was a huge fan of Masters of the Universe in the 80s and one of my favorite action figures of all-time was Dragon Blaster Skeletor. I got him for my birthday when I was 5 years old and the sight of Skeletor's blue skin and purple ram staff gives me goosebumps to this day!
 
Chatters Phone (Fisher Price)
Who didn't have one of these phones growing up or at least knew someone who did? My kids have one, but they are outgrowing it fast. The Boss Baby uses this phone to contact his superiors so he can keep them up to date on his mission progress!
 
Voltron (Matchbox)
I always wanted a Voltron as a kid. I never got one. The closest I got was when my brother got a watch that transformed into Voltron. It was pretty cool, but it could never match the pinnacle of AWESOMENESS that was the original die cast Lion Force Voltron!
 
He-Man & Skeletor (Mattel)
This cameo appearance of the most powerful man in the universe and his arch nemesis came by way of deleted scene where the boys are putting together their plan to stop puppies from stealing all of the world's love. It was a pretty funny scene where Skeletor comments on He-Man's "bikini", but it didn't make the final cut.
 
 
Etch-A-Sketch (Ohio Art)
I had an Etch-A-Sketch as a kid and my kids have an Etch-A-Sketch today. This is a timeless toy that causes as much joy as it does frustration. Why can't I ever make a circle look like a circle on this thing! I did have fun with this toy, but it was totally eclipsed when the Etch-A-Sketch Animator came out in 1987 and blew the original away! I had one of those as a kid also and finding an Animator is now on my collecting wish list. Enjoy this classic commercial and try to get the jingle out of your head!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 9/6/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
STAR WARS ADVENTURES #1
Introducing an exciting new era in all-ages Star Wars comics! Each issue in this monthly series will feature two stories, starring your favorite Star Wars characters from all the films! This debut issue will reveal Rey's early adventures on Jakku as well as a comical tale of clone catastrophe!
(W) Cavan Scott (A/CA) Derek Charm
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Labor Day Weekend Car Show 2017

Every Labor Day weekend one of the local charities hosts a classic car show as a fund raiser. My kids get so excited for this event, even though in my mind it symbolizes the true end of the Summer season. We always have a great time, see some cool cars and enjoy delicious ice cream. This year was no different. Here are some of the cool cars we saw at the show!
 
This custom painted 70s Ford van sported a recreation of the artwork from the 1977 animated Ralph Bakshi film "Wizards". On the other side we had some more crazy artwork...
This side featured the artist shooting lines out of a paint sprayer at a Dragon who was holding a crystal ball! My son thought it was very cool!
 
This was a custom made Ford Rat-Rod. A rat rod is a hot rod that is built to look like the style from the 40s-60s. The signature look of these Rat Rods is to make them drivable, but still keep up an "unfinished" appearance. The artwork on the side of this Rat-Rod made it one of my favorites!
 
The one car my kids always seek out is the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner! These cars were specifically built with Warner Bros., so Plymouth could use the name, likeness and even sound of the Road Runner character on their cars! In years past the owner would let my kids honk the horn to hear the iconic "Beep, Beep" sound of the Road Runner. This year we had no such luck!
 
Any car with Rumble Seats or the engine in the back is a draw to my kids. They are so interested in the history of these machines and I am happy to talk to them about it. Even though the weather reached close to 100 degrees that day, it was a great show. The only issue we had was that the booth that usually sells Hot Wheels cars was only selling model kits this year! What the heck Hot Wheels guy! Maybe next year?
 

Friday, September 1, 2017

My Faves: Figure Collection #5

 I have a fairly big collection of loose figures from the 80s & 90s. I would like to share a few of my faves with you at this time. You ready? Here we go!

Michelangelo: TMNT Movie (Playmates, 2014)
This 11 inch Michelangelo figure from the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was a major award! Land O' Frost lunch meats had an online promotion in conjunction with the film. When you bought a jumbo pack of their lunch meats a sweepstakes card was included with a unique code that you had to enter on their website.
I did just that and 4 weeks later I received this extra large action figure in the mail! Of course my kids wanted to play with him, so we tore open the box and he spent a few years in my son's playtime rotation. He has since been moved to the basement where the lesser played with toys dwell.
 
Catra: She-Ra Princess of Power (Mattel, 1985)
When me and my brother were at the height of our Masters of the Universe insanity the Princess of Power line was introduced. We only had the She-Ra female action figure because my sister got it as a gift, but collected all of the Horde troop! I found this Catra at a thrift store for a dollar or two and added her to my collection. I may have to get some tips from my wife on how to tame that crazy mane of hers?

Imperial Tie Fighter Pilot: Star Wars (Kenner, 1983)
OH MAN! Where to start with this guy? I never owned this figure growing up, but my neighbor did and I was envious of it! He was so badass! A jet black storm trooper should always be on the top of any kids want list. Found this guy last year in a second hand store and my 5 year old dreams finally came true!
 
Screaming Hero Janine: The Real Ghostbusters (Kenner, 1989)
Not much to say here about this Janine Melnitz figure. Never owned one as a kid, because owning girl action figures was seen as a sign of weakness on the playground. I am a huge fan of the Ghostbusters, so I picked her up for a few dollars to complete my team. Wish I had her ghost that made the screaming sound though?
 
Bushwhacker Luke: WWF (Hasbro, 1991)
My interest with the WWF ended in the late 80s. I always liked the Junkyard dog, Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage. My friends had some of these figures and they bring back a small amount of nostalgia whenever I see any Hasbro WWF figures. To date Bushwhacker Luke is the only one I have in my collection. These guys were crazy! It's too bad they came up after I stopped watching wrestling.
If you missed the first few parts of the 20 Years Before 2000 "My Faves: Figure Collection" series you can view them at the links below!
My Faves: Figure Collection #3, My Faves: Figure Collection #4
 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 8/30/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
GHOSTBUSTERS 101 #6
Thanks to a timely intervention, the Ghostbusters have saved the day! But you knew that would happen-you're an old hand at this kind of thing! But after all the goodbyes are said, and the players are all back to where they belong, one question remains: did the Ghostbusters' ultimate solution have any consequences for the multiverse?! Find out in the finale to GHOSTBUSTERS 101!
(W) Erik Burnham (A/CA) Dan Schoening
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hollywood Old School Rap


A few years ago I won an ebay bid for a 2009 Upper Deck Hollywood History Prominent Cuts "Material" card. I'm pretty sure I got this for under $10. The reason I wanted it so bad was that it contained a piece of Will Smith's jacket from the Movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" and a piece of the Eagles jersey Mark Wahlberg wore in the movie "Invincible".
I am a huge fan of The Fresh Prince and have been a fan of his since he and Jazzy Jeff dropped the "Rock The House" album in 1987. It's pretty cool to own a piece of memorabilia from a movie he was Oscar nominated for. I also have been a fan of Mark Wahlberg since he and the Funky Bunch dropped their debut album "Music For The People" in 1991. I owned both albums on cassette tape. So, it's no wonder I wanted to own this "Hollywood Old School Rap" Dual Materials card.
Back in the early 90s who would have thought that these 2 rappers would become some of the most sought after, highest grossing Hollywood stars of today? Let's take a trip back and listen to the sweet sounds of The Fresh Prince & Marky Mark!
Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch: Wildside
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: Brand New Funk

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 8/23/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
ROBOTECH #1
Harmony Gold's cult '80s television series Robotech returns or all-new adventures!
Comic written by Brian Wood (DMZ, Briggs Land, Northlanders) and illustrated by Marco turini!
TV episodes now available on Crackle, Amazon Prime & Netflix! Live-action film being developed by Sony Pictures! Comic features classic characters Rick, Lisa, Minmei, Roy, Claudia, and Gloval!
New comic series will delight original fans and newcomers alike! With annual conventions, over 200,000 fans on Facebook, New toys and merchandise, Robotech fans are passionate supporters of this amazing cult franchise!
(W) Brian Wood (A) Marco Turini (CA) Stanley Lau
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Original Man of Steel


Following the shocking Death of Superman in January 1993 the now classic "Reign of Supermen" story line began. This is where we were introduced to Cyborg Superman, Eradicator aka "Last Son of Krypton", Superboy aka Connor Kent and Steel!
John Henry Irons also known as the superhero Steel made his first appearance in the Adventures of Superman #500 and what a huge impact he made in the comic universe.
John Henry was a weapons engineer for AmerTek Industries, but when he found out that his weapon the Toastmaster BG-60 fell into the wrong hands and was responsible for many innocent deaths, he faked his own death to become a construction worker in Metropolis. While on a job John fell off a skyscraper and was saved by Superman who told him to "Live a life worth saving". When Superman died at the hands of Doomsday John built a suit, took up the mantle of Steel and tried to live up to that creed.
The character proved popular enough to spin off into his own series that lasted for 52 issues. At the height of Steel Mania a movie was produced featuring acting great Shaquille O'Neal.
 
The movie was extremely cheesy and used none of the elements that involved Superman at all. I understand that they tried to make this a standalone movie, but it definitely would have benefitted from the ties to Supes. Not even Shaft himself, Mr. Richard Roundtree could save this super hero movie.
 
I recently found a VHS copy of the movie at a second hand store for $0.50. I hadn't seen it since it was released back in 1997 and man, it is not good. It honestly could have been a good movie if the script was less cheese and more grit like the comic.
I think the biggest set back was the suit. How ridiculous is this thing. Do you really expect me to take it seriously? Needless to say the movie was a bomb!
Yes, there was a line of toys produced by Kenner. 
In my opinion the best thing to come from this failure of a movie was the Steel motion picture soundtrack! It had some big names on it including Blackstreet, Mobb Deep and Tevin Campbell. But the best track on tha album was "Men of Steel" performed by Shaq, Ice Cube, B Real, Peter Gunz & KRS-One. I blasted this track for a while. Take a listen to a sampling of the songs below.
 
 
 Maybe one day we will see a Steel 2? It couldn't be any worse than what WB is putting out now, could it?