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Author Archives: Mt_old

Taking a Break

I’m taking a short hiatus to do some retooling around here. Movable Type and/or my server is running real slow and it’s driving me crazy. If you’ve attempted to leave a comment and it results in a slow load, I’m sorry. I will try and get this fixed.

Chronological Cartoons? How Looney!

Spending the last couple of months immersed in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 4 DVD set. It’s a beautifully done package, as usual, but once again we had to ask ourselves “why didn’t they release these chronologically?” Under that scenario, the first volume would consist mostly of black and white Bosko cartoons — and, let’s face it, only hardcore animation devotees would buy such a set.

Releasing these cartoons chronologically would be unrealistic from a business perspective, but it’s fun to imagine how such a project would be carried out. Using my trusty guidebook, I’ve figured that a DVD release of every animated short that Warner Bros. produced between 1930 and 1969 (including the so-called “Censored 11”) would consume seventeen volumes of Golden Collections. Paying full retail prices for each box will set you back precisely $1,104.66. Some other tidbits:

  • Porky Pig and Daffy Duck make their first appearances on volume 2; Bugs Bunny debuts on volume 5.
  • Nearly all of Sniffles’ cartoons appear on volumes 5 and 6 (1939-41).
  • Volume 7 is a real pip, with The Dover Boys, the controversial Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs, and the first appearance of a baby bird eventually known as Tweety in A Tale of Two Kitties.
  • Volumes 8-10 cover the prime years of 1944-50 (many of these shorts are already covered on the existing Golden Collections).
  • The classic One Froggy Evening appears on volume 14. You’d have to wait until volume 15 to see What’s Opera, Doc?.
  • Volume 17 limps to a close with a bunch of lame Daffy Duck/Speedy Gonzales cartoons and footnote characters like Bunny and Claude. By this time in our scenario, however, DVD technology is so antiquated that downloading the cartoons directly into your brain is now the norm.

Impossible Mission II

Out of curiosity I went to the local Wal-Mart and Target to see if they had any Nintendo Wiis in stock. Neither had them, although at Wal-Mart I was treated to a blowsy woman yelling “They got the GAMES only!” into her cell phone.

By far the best (well, only) videogame related news I heard today — Impossible Mission is coming back. And it will be available on the Wii. Loved playing that one on the Commodore 64. And here’s a review of the Wii’s downloadable classic games.

Sticker Shock

Ephemera’s Marty Weil recently interviewed ’80s sticker collector Shawn Robare on his weblog. An interesting talk on something that isn’t usually thought of as a collectible. I also enjoyed Shawn’s weblog, Branded In The ’80s. Those stickers remind me of my fave local shop from back then, a multi-purpose gift store called Jutenhoops. They sold jokey greeting cards, board games, puzzles, kites and other such “fun” stuff (picture a more cluttered version of Over Our Heads from The Facts of Life), but one thing I definitely remember is the store’s section with rolls and rolls of stickers of every kind. It was amazing. This was around 1983-85, the same period as this sticker collecting vogue. Incidentally, Jutenhoops has stayed in business locally up until very recently, still having a healthy stock of “fun” stuff (but not as many stickers).

Tangentally related: x-entertainment’s piece on McDonald’s tray liners throughout the years is a fun and fascinating read (via Coudal).

1960 Time Trip

This morning I had a little time to kill, so I lugged out an old issue of Look magazine, scanned some of the ads, and created a small 1960 flickr set. This batch has some nice, kitschy imagery as well as some neato illustrations. Like these snappy cut-out kids advertising Armour Meats, for example:


Coupla other things: my review of the springy debut album from the bird and the bee has been posted at So Much Silence. Also, I’ve uploaded my first YouTube clip: the super-groovy opening titles from the 1972 TV movie Probe, previously discussed here. Motion graphics and Elke Sommer — what could be better?

Periodically Speaking

More magazines! Here’s The 51 Best Magazines Ever as ranked by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. An excellent read with Carter smartly highlighting specific periods with many of his choices (Esquire 1961-73, for example). I’m so happy that he included Games from its ’80s glory years, ranked at #36. That magazine in that time absolutely rocked the erasers off my pencils.