Friday, May 25, 2012

FOOD WARS: A CHILDHOOD AUDIO SPOOF OF STAR WARS



One of my favorite things from childhood was the family tape recorder. That machine pretty much recorded me and my brother's childhood. Our family has old cassette tapes of school plays, band concerts and various family gatherings. Most Saturday mornings you would find the recorder sitting next to the Zenith TV capturing audio from our favorite cartoons. (Ah, the days before the VCR!) I even made a compilation of Scooby-Doo songs. You know the tunes that always played when the Scooby gang was being chased.

Here's a silly photo of our tape recorder from back then. Looks like it had a small problem with a tape.
  
Back in the summer of '83, a few weeks before I turned 13, my childhood cohort Jeff and I attempted to make an audio spoof of Star Wars. Both of us were avid Star Wars fans and we had recently discovered the famous Star Wars parody Hardware Wars. It seemed to play nonstop on one of the movie channels and needless to say we were inspired to make our own spoof. (Also I was probably inspired by my old T-shirt.) Before you click play on the video below, I just want to warn you that this tape is over eight minutes of silly juvenile humor without an ending. Listen at your own risk!

  
Now on to the making of segment of Food Wars.

Weeks before our recording session, we worked up all the spoofy character names and gags. Both of us rode the same school bus and had a good 45 minute trip to school; plenty of time to work on Food Wars ideas. Our big master plan was to make Food Wars over the summer. That didn't work out too well and most of it was recorded on one Saturday early in the summer. The last few minutes was recorded later in the year, before we finally lost interest.
   
Most of the sound effects were created by a Sound Gizmo, a handy dandy sound making toy. We used it for the spaceships, lasers and the voice of R2-BBQ. 

My Sound Gizmo went missing long ago, so here's an example from ebay. 

When I listen to the tape I realize that Jeff and I watched way too much TV, especially WTBS. It's evident we were on a steady diet of Looney Tunes, old WWII movies and of course lots of 1960s sitcoms. My mom's record collection came in handy when we recorded the Eggpire's party. I'm not sure why we used Jet Song from West Side Story as the theme song for the Souptroopers.

Unfortunately only a few of my drawings, um...excuse me, concept art for Food Wars survived. 

  Puke Skystumbler and Princess Lambchop

Chewtobacco has Skoal cans in his bandolier. 

 Here's a drawing of a Y-weiner.

Even though the Donut Star shot out jelly instead of a laser, this drawing is kind of boring. I should have added some frosting and a few sprinkles.



We made up a long list of spoof names including parodies of the real actors. Luckily I still have our list.

Luke Skywalker - Puke Skystumbler played by Mark Camel 
Princess Leia - Princess Lambchop played by Carrie Catfish
Obi-wan Kenobi - Obi-wan Ravioli played by Alec Ripley's Believe It or Not? 
Han Solo - Hand Bozo played by Harrison Chevy
Chewbacca - Chewtobacco played by Peter Cashew
C-3PO - C-3PU played by Oscar Daniels 
R2-D2 - R2-BBQ played by Kenny Cooker
Darth Vader - Danish Vader played by David Prowler
Governor Tarkin - Governor Tartar Sauce or Governor Tomato 
Biggs - Ribs
Wedge - Door Stop 
Porkins - Pigout
Blockade Runner - Bologna Runner
X-wing - X-weiner
Y-wing - Y-weiner
Millenium Falcon - Millennium Canary or Millennium Chicken
Jedi Knight - Jello Knight
The Force - The Fruit
Rebel Alliance - Rutabaga Alliance
Galactic Empire - Galactic Eggpire
Stormtroopers - Souptroopers (They wore an upside down bowl as a helmet.)
Jawas - Jawa Jawbreakers
Star Destroyer - Steak Destroyer
TIE fighter - Tutti Frutti PIE fighter
Blasters - Licorice laser gun
Death Star - Donut Star
Planet Tatooine - Planet Tangerine
Planet Alderaan - Planet Applesauce
Director George Lucas - George Locust

Here's a page of the script. I don't think I wrote more than ten pages and most of those were just ideas or individual scenes. 


Don't worry, we're almost done, just a few ideas and lines from my notes.

Princess Lambchop is a valley girl.

Big food fight in the cantina.

Hand Bozo is smuggling eggs instead of spice.

Obi-wan Ravioli - "I felt a great disturbance in the Fruit, as if thousands of people cried out in terror and said bbbbb, that's all folks."

Puke Skystumbler - "He's heading for that prune." 
Hand Bozo - "That's no prune you dingbat, that's a donut!"

Obi-wan Ravioli and Danish Vader shake hands before the the saber fight. Obi trips and falls over his own saber's extension cord.

Sequel titles - The Eggpire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jello.


OK, if you made it down this far, then give yourself a gold star for being a faithful Neato Reader and thank you!

As silly as this tape is, I have fond memories of attempting to create something clever and having fun with my best buddy. Really, that's what childhood was all about, having fun!


May the Fruit be with you!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

DESKTOP WALLPAPER MADE FROM DC COMIC COVERS

Here we go again, more comic book wallpapers! Last time it was Marvel (click here to see 'em), this time I've made a new batch based after some DC covers. Click on the image and right click away. All are 1920 X 1080, so depending on your monitor, you might need to adjust the image. If you want to see the original comic that I based these after, just click on the issue link. Enjoy!







---Bonus wallpaper--- Metamorpho black light style!





Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DYNAMITE! LET'S LOOK AT SOME JARED LEE BUMMERS


A few days ago at a secondhand store, I found this cool 1977 Christian songbook for kids, Sing 'n' Celebrate for Kids! It caught my eye because of the cover art. I said to myself, "Hey, that's the Bummers artist from Dynamite magazine!" 


I was an avid Dynamite reader and one of my favorite artists from the 1970s & '80s kids magazine was Jared Lee.


Each issue had a page full of Bummers that were sent in by readers and illustrated by Jared. For a nostalgia kick, how 'bout some Bummers?









Besides his Dynamite work, Jared has contributed artwork for many clients including work on an early Happy Meal box for McDonald's. Click here to see the box from Jason Liebig's collection. Also Jared has been a busy artist with over 80 illustrated children's books. Visit his website at jaredlee.com.

I will leave you with two fun Jared illustrations from Dynamite magazine.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

CARL SAGAN SIGNED MY SOLAR ECLIPSE VIEWER


The solar eclipse from a few days ago made me think of a cool souvenir that I have from a 1994 solar eclipse. It's a signed solar eclipse viewer by master astronomer Carl Sagan! I mailed him my viewer with an autograph request and he graciously signed it and mailed it back. It's one of my more unique autographs and one of my favorites in my collection.

Unfortunately, I missed this most recent solar eclipse. Darn clouds!!! Too bad, because I was looking forward to using my official Carl Sagan solar eclipse viewer.  Luckily my brother sent me a photo that he snapped of the event. (I held up my viewer to his photograph and imagined that I was seeing it live.)  


I remember viewing my first solar eclipse back in elementary, probably 1978 or '79. Our 3rd grade teacher lined up the class in the hallway for the sun's disappearing act. One kid at a time, she slapped a heavy welder's mask on each student and whisked 'em outside for a peak. It happened so fast, but I still have the memory of seeing a green tinted crescent sun.

Hopefully I'll catch the next one in 2017 and if I do, I'll be sure to have my official Carl Sagan solar eclipse viewer in hand! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

THE FORECAST CALLS FOR A CORVETTE SUMMER



I'm a fan of crazy 70s car movies and Corvette Summer will always be on my guilty pleasure list of flicks. Back when I was a kid, I really wanted to see this movie in a bad way. What kid wouldn't want to see Luke Skywalker driving a giant-sized Hot Wheels car?  

From the April/May 1978 issue of Corvette News magazine, here's an article on Corvette Summer. Click on the pages for a closer look.







Now that you've read the article, watch the trailer!


Corvette Fever has a post about the history of the car with some fantastic photos. Click here to check it out. There's also a fan site dedicated to Corvette Summer, The Unofficial Corvette Summer Website.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I RAN AWAY WITH THE CIRCUS ATARI AFTER MY 6TH GRADE GRADUATION

Yesterday I attended my nephew's 6th grade graduation. I have two amazing nephews and it's hard for me to believe that the oldest one is moving onto junior high school. Wow, 6th grade graduations sure have changed since I was a kid. It was a lavish spectacle that my nephew will always remember with musical numbers by the kids, a clever slide show and a reading from a Dr. Seuss book. Of course this got me thinking about the time when I graduated from the 6th grade. It was very low key and simple compared to my nephew's ceremony. Actually it was a light hearted event. Instead of a certificate or a 6th grade diploma, we received something a lot more fun, a silly blue ribbon. Each student was awarded a blue ribbon that represented something fun or silly about themselves. I was awarded with the Biggest Star War Fan ribbon. (It always made me laugh when adults dropped the S off of war, but that's how it was written on my ribbon.) I remember my friend got the Most likely to drive the Bigfoot Monster Truck ribbon.

Unfortunately I don't have my ribbon anymore, but I still have the gift my parents gave me for graduating the 6th grade. I got Circus Atari!


Wow! It was totally worth going through all the trials and tribulations of elementary to receive a gift like that. (Truth be told, there were only minor tribulations, like multiplication tables and the kid who puked up his Cocoa Puffs behind me in the 3rd grade.)    


Just look at those amazing lifelike graphics! My favorite part was when you missed the clown with your teeter-totter and he went SPLAT!

If you watch this video from 1982, you might learn how to beat Circus Atari.


Circus Atari page from the Atari Catalog
Below is my nephew after his 6th grade graduation jumping for joy! I like to think he's doing an imitation of Circus Atari, but that's just me.


Coincidence or not, but there's a new updated version of Circus Atari that just launched today for iPhones and iPads. Hmm...I feel like I should graduate from something before I download it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

PROF. BUNKO'S ANIMAL SHOW: THE STRANGEST COLLECTION OF BEASTS EVER ASSEMBLED


I'm not familiar with Prof. Bunko, but he puts on a swell animal show! The object of this game is simple one. You try to create as many prehistoric creatures using the cards. The envelope says you can make 6561 different animals. Hmm...I don't think I'll try and disprove that.

My guess, is that this is from the 1930s and was probably a give-away premium for the Professor Bunko radio show. In the corner box on the envelope is a contest sponsored by The Magic Sponge, a Great Western Products Corporation. I'm not familiar with a Professor Bunko radio show or a Magic Sponge. Internet searches came up with zilch.

It's interesting that some of the artwork is very similar to the work of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. He did a lot of work for advertisers before World War II and it makes me wonder if he worked on this set. Even the names on the back of the cards sound like Seuss type of names.

Unfortunately this set is missing a few cards (the pieces to make the creature on the envelope), but I've put together a nice animal show below.

Ouchty-Buggel-Woggle

Hoopem-Jabber-Jollik

Kukuer-Moshee-Wampus

Bumbde-Dunker-Pootch

Yitzka-Bloopa-Hoofer

Gueyom-Shmeer-Saurus

Jazzix-Gogolo-Dinger

Boshup-Zigety-Bolius
Here's some of the beasts that are shown on the back of the envelope.

Chinese Dragon

Headless Hooligup

Nonesuch Fish
If anyone has any thoughts or info on this set, please comment.