Saturday, January 31, 2009


Am I in some fantasy football dream? I think it might be a dream, since both of my favorite football teams are in the Super Bowl. Someone pinch me! Ouch, yep it's really going to happen!

I’ve been following the St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers since I was a kid. One team was usually on the losing side of things and the other was always in the winner’s circle. I guess it’s a tale of two teams for me and to have them both meet in the Super Bowl is almost too much.

Here’s a photo of me in 1978 wearing my St. Louis (football) Cardinals pajamas that my grandma handmade. She even embroidered the helmet and logo.

I had a big Cardinals pennant hanging on my bedroom wall right next to my Steelers Super Bowl poster and now I’ll be watching both of these teams go head to head on my TV.

Who do I want to win? Cardinals have never won and the Steelers have five rings, so the choice is obvious for me. I got to go with Big Red!

My prediction will be Cardinals 27 Steelers 20. Good luck to both teams!

---Update---- Even tho my prediction was wrong, the game was exciting or at least the 4th quarter was exciting. The Cardinals might not have won, but congrats to all the players and coaches for making this life long fan happy to see them make it to the Super Bowl.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Thanks to the 1977 Star Wars Movie Theater Ballyhoo post, I found a nice email from Mike Curtis in my inbox. Mike informed me that he was a ballyhoo man back in the 1970's and 80's and has the photos to prove it! Before we take a look at the photos, I need to mention that Mike was a local TV personality back in the 70's. If you watched Cable Channel 6 in Jackson, Tennessee during the summer of ‘74 you saw Mike as Shock Theater’s horror host Count Basil. Click here to visit E-Gor’s Chamber of TV Horror Hosts and scroll down a bit to read about Mike’s horror hosting days.

Mike’s inspiration to become a ballyhoo man came from a movie marathon of the Planet of the Apes. Back in ‘73 Mike attended a theater in Jackson, Tennessee to watch all the Apes movies followed by the premier of Battle for the Planet of the Apes. As an added bonus the theater advertised that the “Ape Ambassadors” would show up in person. Who were the Ape Ambassadors? Unfortunately, they were two guys dressed in dark sweat pants with cheap-o monkey masks. Needless to say these “Ape Ambassadors” didn’t do much ballying or hooing and was a big disappointment. Mike thought he could do better and that’s just what he set out to do!

Working for the Malco Theater chain, his first assignment was to promote the comedy adventure movie The Three Musketeers (1974). He made a swashbuckler’s costume and walked the local shopping mall with a sign on his back advertising the movie. Mike was a success and it helped drive movie goers to see the film.

In this first photo we see Mike as the monster from Young Frankenstein (1974) as he terrorizes a house. If you look close, you can see the edge of a felt sign that advertised the showing of this movie.

Since Mike played Frankenstein’s Monster it was only fair that he gave another famous monster equal time.

He played the undead legend Dracula many times and was even hired for promotions by a chain of waterbed stores. Here we see Mike laying around on the job.

One of Mike’s most ambitious and we must say dangerous promotions, was playing Superman during the premier of Superman (1978).

With a professional looking costume, complete with the trademark S on the chest, Mike showed up on local TV as the caped crusader promoting the premier of the movie at the Ridgeway Four in Memphis. The commercials invited people to come see Superman really fly. Just like the movie’s tagline, “You’ll believe a man can fly,” Mike did just that. With the help of a harness, some cables and a spotlight Mike flew 120 feet from a building across the street onto the roof of the movie theater. The crowd went nuts as he waved to them in classic Superman fashion.

The last photo shows Mike portraying the Phantom of the Opera and he’s standing in front of a shopping mall promoting the slasher movie The Silent Scream (1980).

Besides working as a ballyhoo man he was a theater manager for many of Malco’s chain of theaters. Nowadays Mike spends his time writing and publishing comics with his wife Carole.

A big thanks goes out to Mike for sharing his ballyhoo photos and memories with us and he deserves a big round of applause. Thanks Mike!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Last night I was in a Tron state of mind when I created this abstract video.

Space Waves from Todd Franklin on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I'm sure most of you have seen this amazing 1982 7-Up commercial featuring Pac-Man. The commercial showcases some early computer animation created by Robert Abel and Associates. Robert Abel and his team of wizards developed numerous TV commercials and worked on two of my favorite movies, The Black Hole and Tron. The second video is of Bill Kovacs discussing the making of the 7-Up Pac-Man commercial and a golf commercial. The 7-UP one is at 1:34 in the video.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


For these past few weeks I’ve been trying to get organized and for me that’s a challenge. One big step to organization salvation was to go thru all the stacks of old 3.5 floppy disks and back up the files. As I spent many a boring hour, inserting and ejecting these little outdated flops, one word kept popping in my head - Why? Really I have no clue why I want to keep this stuff. But something in me (packrat blood perhaps) says I need to store it away in a safe external hard drive.

Anyway, since I had to surf thru all this junk I’m going to force a small amount on all the Neato readers out there. The files I’ve selected for your viewing torture are creations created by me back in the day when I wasn’t smart enough to save things higher than 72dpi. Also, apologize for the action figure nudity.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


By now most have seen the Star Wars Anti-Smoking PSA with C-3PO and R2-D2. Surfing on YouTube the other day I discovered this behind the scenes footage of the famous PSA.

This was uploaded by sowtime444 and I'm very glad he did. Thanks sowtime444!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Whatever happened to ballyhoo? It’s a rare thing these days when you see a movie theater pull a crazy promotion for a flick. Back in the day it wasn’t uncommon to see people dressed up as characters from a film acting out scenes in front of a theater.

Boxoffice, a trade magazine for theater owners always featured one or two showmanship events held at local theaters. With the popularity of the Growing Up Star Wars flickr group, I thought I better dig out this article on the Plaza Theatre in St. Augustine, Florida and scan it.

From Boxoffice August 15, 1977 –

After reading the article, I want one of Dirty Al's Star Wars T-Shirts with the theater name and engagement dates on the back.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I know it didn’t say it on your calendar but I think it is safe to say that yesterday January 14 was Growing Up Star Wars Day!

There was a big bang of activity in the Growing Up Star Wars flickr group yesterday, as we gained hundreds of new members and a gazillion bazillion hits. We almost have a thousand members, or as we like to call ‘em, Star Wars Kids. At the first of this year we only had about 250 Star Wars Kids, but after yesterday the group flung off the training wheels. Yesterday, my cohort and fellow Grand Moff Kid of the group, Glen Mullaly said it best, “Growing Up Star Wars grows up!”

The group’s theme is definitively about the original Star Wars phenomenon from 1977 - 1985, but really it’s much more than that. The group’s heart is about the happiness and simplicity of childhood.

It’s also about bowl haircuts, plaid pants, lots of wood paneling and gold furniture.

New images are coming in every day, so check the group often and if you haven’t already, be sure to join and become a Star Wars Kid all over again!

Thanks again to Matt Selman, Wil Wheaton and all the other bloggers, twitters, myspacers, facebookers, flickrs and diggers out there that helped launch this group into orbit. Also, thanks to all the members old and new for contributing there vintage photos, artwork and crafts to the group.

Note: some images can only be viewed if you are a member of the group, so make sure you’re a member!

The images above are taken from the group and were uploaded by littlelostrobot, jonathanolah, teruterubouzu, tattoobruce and Mike Middleton.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Yep, I'm a happy little camper or maybe I should say happy little X-Wing instead, because the flickr group Growing Up Star Wars that I helped start with my pals Glen Mullaly and Mike Middleton has gone viral!

Star Wars Poster Pic

Digg found us, MetaFilter found us and so did BuzzFeed. Growing Up Star Wars had a nice write up by Simpsons writer Matt Selman on Time Magazine's Nerd World blog! Just a few moments ago I checked in at WWdN: In Exile the always entertaining blog of Wil Wheaton and guess what? He just posted about the group!

Your lack of candy disturbs me . . .

TIE fighter

The group is being flooded with new members and new images everyday! Go check it out and relive some old time Star Wars goodness.

Photos above are from extraheavymarcellus, jher, Wil Wheaton and mgmcinnis.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

HELLO 2009

Artist unknown on this illustration. Of course I reworked it and you can see the original here.

A quick thanks to everyone who visits my little imaginary town of Neato Coolville.