Monday, December 31, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012


Smiling Stan Lee turns 90 years old today and as acting mayor of this imaginary town, I've signed the appropriate papers to declare today as Stan Lee Day here in Neato Coolville!

To celebrate this special day let's look at some Stan stuff!

Try your luck and get in and out of Stan's head from this Stan "The A-Maze-ing Man" from Fun and Games #1.

A fun photo of "The Man" is this crazy photo from Blip #2. Stan looks like he's having a fun time watching kids play the Spider-Man video game for the Atari 2600.

The buck stops here with Stan Lee in this contest page from a 1981 Marvel comic.

No one believed this morbid April Fool's prank by The Comic Reader. Everyone knows that Stan sips from the fountain of youth!

Look! It's the Hugh Hefner of comic books!

My friend gave me this 1990s signed personal appearance trading card that he got from a friend who actually met the Great One! 

One of the best Stan interviews can be found in Comic Book Marketplace #61. If you don't have this in your collection then your true believer status might be in jeopardy.

In 2004, I met Stan Lee! Yep, I met "The Man" at the San Diego Comic-Con. It was really a cool experience, especially hearing that distinctive voice of his. Like so many, Stan's characters were a big part of my childhood, so it was an honor to meet one of my heroes!

Below is the front page from my copy of the Marvel book by Les Daniels. I've been lugging this coffee table book to various conventions since 2003. Stan made the book complete when he signed it for me in 2006.

Happy Birthday, Stan Lee and thanks for all the four color heroes! Pop culture just would not have as much pop without you!!

'Nuff said!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Back when I was a kid, one of my favorite gifts to find under the tree was a video game cartridge for my Atari 2600. It was usually the main gift for my brother and I.

Anyone remember the video game Santa Drop by Neatovision? Of course you don't 'cause it never existed. For today and just for fun, I made up my own fake game box!

The object of the game is that you control Santa and you need to drop the Christmas gifts into the house chimneys. The houses scroll by faster and faster and you need to keep up! If you miss too many houses in a row, the game is over and Christmas is ruined. I'm not savvy enough to make an actual game, but I did draw up a "screen grab" of the game's graphics.

Thanks to everyone who dropped by during the 12 Days of Christmas and a Merry Cool Christmas to you all!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012


I love looking through old catalogs, especially Christmas catalogs. Take a look at some of the stuff you could have bought back in 1961 from this Radio Shack catalog. I'm not sure what's more awesome the Lie-detector or the personal computer. Say what? Yep, a Minivac 601 computer!  (Click on the images for a closer look.)

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Peter Pain was a popular ad mascot for Ben-Gay from the 1940s to the 1960s. The artist for this 1951 ad was Jack Betts. (Click on the ad for a closer look!) 

I have a few more Peter Pain strips that I will need to dig out and scan one of these days.

Saturday, December 22, 2012



Here's a collection of Christmas tree snaps from a mystery family. Each year the person documented the family Christmas tree. I bought these at an antique mall earlier this year. 


I'm sure this mystery boy is silently singing O' Christmas Tree as he gazes at the family tree.


Things must have been going well for our mystery family in 1961. They can afford a second tree and they're popular. Just look at all those Christmas cards!


War has broken out under the Christmas tree and it's in spectacular color. I spy some plastic army men!


Okay, let me guess what might be wrapped up under the tree. Could they be chairs?

Oh oh! More war and this time it's on a piano.


Looks like our mystery family is having some remodeling done. I can hear mystery husband tell mystery wife, "Sure sweetie, I'll get this place fixed up before Christmas. No problem!"


Check out the two unwrapped presents under the tree. I've zoomed in and enhanced the photo a bit.

Lucky mystery kid got an Aurora Undertaker Dragster model and....

....a Green Hornet roadster model! Wow! That mystery kid was on the nice list!

It seems we're missing 1965. I hope everything is A-OK with our mystery family!


Now we're back to color this year and it looks like that remodeling job is taking mystery dad longer than he thought.


Hmm....maybe that remodeling job is not a remodeling job after all, but instead times got tough for our mystery family. We'll have to wait until next year to see.

What? There's no next year. No Christmas in 1968? None in 69, 70, 71 etc. No photo until the year 1975. Let's hope the family camera was broken. 


Ah good. Looks like all is well with our mystery family and the remodeling job is finally done! Too bad it took more than ten years to complete. 


Have you noticed the angel tree topper? She's been up there since 1964. Too bad she didn't make it into the 1980s as you'll see in the photo below.


This is the last photo from our mystery family and this time we have some mystery children in the photo. Probably the next generation.

That's all I got! So on your way out tip ol' Ghost of Christmas past!

Friday, December 21, 2012


It was the Christmas of 1978 and I found under the Christmas tree the coolest plastic toy car that a boy could ever want! At least it was for this boy. It was The Amazing Spider-Car!!!

Yes, Spider-Man owned a sweet ride back in the 1970s! This one, made by Mego, was much cooler than Spidey's Spider-Mobile from the comic books, a red and blue painted dune buggy. Mego designed the Spider-Car with superhero style and it was a perfect fit for the 8" Mego Spider-Man action figure. Back when I was a kid, I had my eye on this car for a year or two and I really wanted it for my own Mego Spider-Man. It was always exciting when we got the newest Sears Wish Book and the 1978 edition was chocked full of goodies. Between all the cool Star Wars stuff, I must have circled a dozen items or more including The Amazing Spider-Car.  

From the 1978 Sears Wish Book

Christmas that year was one of my favorites from childhood. I got so many cool toys that year! (Check out my blog post on the Star Wars Death Star playset.) I pretty much did backflips when I opened my Spider-Car gift. As soon as I pulled the car out of the box, I remember running to my bedroom grabbing my Mego Spidey and putting him in the driver's seat. In no time, I was rolling the Spider-Car across our shag carpet and releasing the special spidernet. Watch out super villains, The Amazing Spider-Car is on duty!

About a week later we had a pretty good ice storm that created a nice blanket of glassy ice all over our driveway and road. I had the brilliant idea that it would be fun to play with my Amazing Spider-Car on the ice. I had a blast zinging Spidey in his Spider-Car over the frozen road. Boy could that car go!

I was having so much fun! I was out there for at least an hour or more watching one of my favorite Christmas gifts slip and slide. Eventually I got too cold and moved indoors with my Spider-Car in hand. Once Mom fueled me up with some hot chocolate, I was ready for another round of Spidey ice racing. It was not to be. I grabbed my Spider-Car and noticed it was cracked in three or four places. Not small cracks, but big cracks all down the sides. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Oh was I a bummed out little kid. My Spider-Car was broken. I guess it cracked because of the cold or I pressed down too hard when I was playing with it. Regardless, I had a busted up Spider-Car. My Dad tried to mend it but my Spider-Car wasn't the same and it eventually was thrown away. A few years earlier we had to replace my Mego Spider-Man figure. The elastic holding his arms and legs together snapped. Unlike my Spidey figure, for some reason my Spider-Car wasn't replaced. Not sure why, but I blame Star Wars. The store probably didn't have a Spider-Car at the time and I probably picked out a Star Wars toy instead.

At least I had a few day with my Amazing Spider-Car and apparently I had enough fun playing with it on the ice to make a lasting memory!   

When I was in my 20s I finally replaced my Spider-Car when I found one at a flea market for five bucks! It's the one pictured in the photos above. At the wheel is my childhood Mego Spider-Man figure. Yesterday, we had some snow and ice fall and I nervously recreated the fateful scene from my childhood. Amazingly, this time my Spider-Car didn't crack!

Check out Mego Museum's Spider-Car page! (For some reason, the one that I own has a different spiderweb net.)