Thursday, July 30, 2020

Happy 14th Birthday Big Pile of Stuff!

Happy 14th Birthday to my blog, Ronn's Big Pile of Stuff! When I started it, it was mostly a joke to see if I could put something on the internet every day for a year. Then, once I started it, I kinda liked it! Hopefully there is someone out there also enjoying it, but if its just me, that's fine because I'm having fun!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Pluto and the 37th Recon Co.

37th Recon Co. featuring Pluto
I saw this logo online featuring Pluto for the 37th Recon Co. created by the Walt Disney Company during World War II. I really liked the logo but wished there was a better version online. After looking around, I didn't find any that looked much better, so I decided to make one myself which now pops up every now and again in my iMac's screen saver. Along with the logo I made, I decided to make a second one that looks older and distressed as if it was actually used. The bottom logo is the original and the other two are the ones I created in Photoshop.
37th Recon Co. featuring Pluto
37th Recon Co. featuring Pluto

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in "Ye Olden Days"

Faux Disney poster for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
Here is another faux Oswald the Lucky Rabbit poster I made for myself. I always liked the poster for Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse in "Ye Olden Days", so I decided it would be fun to re imagine the image as an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit animated film. Here is my faux Oswald poster, along with the original poster. I hope you enjoy!
Faux Disney poster for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Friday, April 10, 2020

Hey look... I'm in a Captain Canuck comic!

Comley Comix
Captain Canuck #6 from 1979 was one of my first comic books and the one that really got me into collecting comics! The original series ran just 14 issues, from 1975 until its end in 1981. Many years later a limited edition #15 was released. Then 23 years later, a new Captain Canuck mini series titled Unholy War was released. When I saw it solicited in Previews I was so excited! I quickly wrote and mailed off a letter to Richard Comely telling him how excited I was that after so many years of waiting, there was finally going to be some new Captain Canuck comic books. To my surprise, when issue #1 was released in October 2004, right there in the back of the book, was my letter!

So far, I have had letters printed in two of my three favourite comic books, Captain Canuck, and Groo the Wanderer. Now I just have to wait for them to start printing letters in Batman again, and I can try to make it three for three!

I did make one mistake in my letter, when I wrote that I was member #6 in the Captain Canuck Club. I am actually #13. Sorry I lied in my letter. At the time I wrote my letter, I could not find my membership card, and for some reason I remembered being member #6. I'm so glad I can correct my error 16 years later. Feels good to get that off my chest.
Comely Comix Letters Page

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Sergio Aragones custom artwork

Mad Magazines Alfred E Neuman

Back in 1994 I had the pleasure of meeting Sergio Aragones for the first time at the Vancouver Comic Con. It was my first comic con and I had heard that when you meet artists etc, you were usually allowed to get one item signed and a photo and then sent on your way. I brought one issue of Groo the Wanderer to get signed and expected that would be it. When I went to his booth, he was sitting there working on artwork for an upcoming issue of Groo. He was really nice and signed my comic and showed me what he was working on. He said that he had spilled coffee on some pages he was drawing on the plane, so was doing them again (I guess thats ok when you are the worlds fastest cartoonist). I also asked him if he would do a drawing of Groo as a fireman for my KISS magazine, Firehouse Magazine. He said sure, but that he would do Alfred E Neuman. I'm not sure why he didn't want to do Groo (I would have been so much more excited for drawing of my favourite comic book character Groo), but I walked away with a really cool addition to my collection.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Mighty Mouse The New Adventures

Wendy's kids meals Mighty Mouse toys
In 1987, the animated television series, Mighty Mouse, The New Adventures debuted on Fox Kids. It was a revival of the mighty Mouse cartoon character from the 1940's. This version aired on CBS on Saturday mornings rom fall 1987 through the 1988-89 season. I loved this show back then, and would get up early every Saturday morning to record the show on VHS (which I still have). As was the norm with new cartoon series at the time, Wendy's offered kids toys for their kids meals based on the characters from Mighty Mouse, The New Adventures. I just found the cards that came with three of my favourites, Bat-Bat, Petey Pate and The Cow. I also managed to get the window cling from my local Wendy's that advertised the kids meal toys. Its still stuck on the piece of glass I stuck it to back in 1989.
Here are the fronts and backs of three of the cards that came with the toys.
Petey Pate, Bat-Bat, The Cow

Bat-Bat Wendy's Kids Meal

Petey Pate Wendy's kids meal

The Cow Wend's kids meal

KING-TVs famed mascot designed by Walt Disney studios

King 5 TV 50th Anniversary
I recently saw a picture of Walt Disney with a drawing of KING TVs mascot King Mike, and it reminded me that in 1998 when KING TV celebrated their 50th anniversary, I wrote to the station asking for anything with King Mike on it. I don't remember if I actually new at the time that it was designed by Disney, I think I just thought it was a rally cool retro looking character. They were nice enough to send me a 50th Anniversary mouse pad with King Mike on it. More recently I found that he was actually created by Disney.
King Mike, the first KING-TV employee and mascot, was created by Walt Disney's studios in 1951. When Dorothy Bullitt created Channel 5 in 1948, she changed the call letters to KING. And soon after, she reached out to her good friend Walt Disney who lent his artistic flair to help her get the station off the ground by created King Mike.
The Disney company confirms, although Walt Disney himself was involved in the design, that it was one of his artists who actually made the rendering. The cost of the design and work: $75.
It's believed that King Mike is the only word that Walt Disney commissioned outside of the Disney studios.
To this day, KING Mike has been used in promotions and logos.

Designed by Walt Disney

King 5 TV King Mike mascot memorabilia

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

That's Quarantainment!

More fun for those of us participating in Pandemic 2020. Next Weeks Episode of Talent Time is gonna be done online via youtube. Check out the banner and info they posted on their facebook page.
That's Quarantainment!
Just a beautiful Facebook banner for our next show. So much has happened since the last one (that weirdly enough I was wearing rubber gloves on??) I really wish we could all mingle IRL. I guess this is real life now. For the time being anyway. So this is the next best thing. Also people is other cities can join us now too which is super cool!! Please mark your calendar (April 2nd 7:00 pst) and tune ti on our YouTube channel.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Mickey Mouse and th Perilous Jungle Cruise

faux Mickey Mouse and the Perilous Jungle Cruise comic book, Disney
Recently while visiting one of my favourite Disney sites, I saw some great faux Disney movie posters that are displayed at the character meet and greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida. They were all really cool, but I especially liked the one for "Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in The Jungle Cruise". A day or two later I saw the cover of a 1947 comic book, "Mickey Mouse and the Submarine Pirates", and immediately imagined it as a Jungle Cruise themed picture. So, a little bit of Photoshop magic and, voila, it's Mickey Mouse and the Perilous Jungle Cruise.
Disney's Hollywood Studios Theater of the Stars

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Silent Comedy Watch Party

During Pandemic 2020, people are coming up with all kinds of great ways to help all of us stuck at home. Last week I got to watch the 'pilot' of The Silent Comedy Watch Party with Ben Model playing along to two old silent comedies. And just the other day I received the following message from Ben. So, I know what I'll be doing tomorrow afternoon.

Last Sunday's "pilot" of The Silent Comedy Watch Party was a success! Over 360 people watched the show, and I got so many touching and enthusiastic comments from people about it. Most of all, for me, were the comments that the show and the hilarious films were a bright spot in their day, a much needed one after everything that had gone down last week.

So (drumroll please)...

Steve Massa and I will be doing another show this Sunday, March 22nd at 3pm (Eastern time). This will be the official "premiere" and episode #1 of The Silent Comedy Watch Party!

Here is the link:

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Riverview Park Ride Tickets

Roller Coasters: Comet, Bobs, Jet Stream, Flash, Fireball

You never know what fun things you'll find as you search your local thrift ships. Today, I found this very cool framed photo of Riverview Park with 18 ride tickets. I didn't know anything about Riverview Park. A quick google search and I found this: Riverview Park was an amusement park in  Chicago, Illinois which operated from 1904 to 1967. It was located on 74 acres on Chicago's north side. Among its ride collection, it had 6 roller coasters.
The ride tickets included with this framed picture are: 
Wild Mouse [Wild Mouse coaster]
Chutes [Shoot the Chutes old fashioned water ride]
Comet [Roller Coaster]
Bobs [Wooden Roller Coaster]
Water Bug
Aladdin's Castle [Fun house]
Rollo Plane
Jet Stream [Wooden Roller Coaster - Philadelphia Toboggan Company]
Flying Turns [Wooden bobsled ride]
Space Ride
Tunnel of Love
Flash [Silver Flash Roller Coaster]
Miniature R.R. [ Coal-fired miniature steam engine]
Fireball [Roller Coaster]
Bump 'Em [Bumper cars]

Monday, February 10, 2020

Donald Duck's Toy Sailboat

While at the thrift store the other day I found two copies of the Little Golden Book, Donald Duck's Toy Sailboat. Once I had both in hand, I realized the covers were actually slightly different. I prefer the Donald on the newer edition, but think the chipmunks on the older one are much better. What do you think?

Here are scans of the covers as well as the inside page from both versions.
The first one is the Fourteenth Printing from 1975. The second one is from 1990.

Little Golden Book, Walt Disney

Little Golden Book, Walt Disney

Little Golden Book, Chip and Dale

Little Golden Book, Chip and Dale

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Gilligan's Island Comic Books

Back in the early 90's Harvey Comics got back into funny books in a big way! They got the licenses for Tom & Jerry, Woody Woodpecker, Caster the Ghost, Baby Huey, Richie Rich and others. I was excited to have all these new funny books to buy each month, but it got me thinking about my favourite TV show of all time, Gilligan's Island, and more specifically the cartoon series that followed the three years of the live action show, The New Adventures of Gilligan. It would make an great comic book, and it seemed like it would fit in nicely with the stuff that Harvey was publishing at the time, so I decided to write them with my great idea! I was excited and not to surprised to received a reply that said my idea was great, but that the idea didn't fit into their 'present publishing plans'. Knowing what I do not about the show and mess with its rights, I realized it was not to be. But, it would have been my favourite title every moth if it had come out as a comic book!
Letter regarding Gilligan's Island comic book

Shown here is the letter I received from Sid Jacobson, along with the cool envelope with embossed Casper just below the word Entertainment. The letter from July 2, 1993, reads: Thanks so much for your suggestions about Gilligan's Island. I'm sorry but the idea doesn't fit into our present publishing plans. I with it would... It would be fun. But I'm afraid it would be to difficult for us to reach the appropriate market. Sincerely Sid Jacobson.
Also shown is the New Adventures of Gilligan comic book cover I threw together in Photoshop. Anybody else here want to buy a copy of this first issue!
Gilligan's Island

Friday, November 22, 2019

The State of Television in 2019

Returning Series for 2019, What to expect when your fave shows return

Its now mid November and I have had time to watch all the new shows I wanted to check out and decide which ones I liked and which ones were duds.
Where is what I posted before the season began along with what my rating is now after two months.

Batman (I gave it a 4 - out of 5 for how interested I was in it) (final rating = 0)
I watching it once and knew within 10 minutes of watching it that I would not watch another episode

Bless the Harts (I gave it a 2) (Final rating still a 2)
This one was ok, but there was no reason to tune into another episode, and I don't watch any of the other Sunday night Fox animation (not even Simpsons, which is pretty good) so I can't even leave the TV on by accident and see this one.

Bob Hearts Abishola (I gave it 1) (Final rating, 1.5)
This one is OK, but it really is a bottom tear sitcom. I can't see it making it to a second season, and I won't be watching it during the first season.

Carol's Second Act (I gave it a 4) (Final rating is a 3)
This one is better than Bob Hearts Abishola, but just a little. Again, there were so many better sitcoms cancelled last season that this.

Sunnyside (I gave it a 2) (Final rating has to be a 0 as I don't remember it)
I had totally forgotten about this one until I reread my post. Now I kinda remember watching the first episode and deciding I was not going to continue with it. And it looks like that may have been what everybody else did, because I don't remember seeing it on over the last few weeks.

Nancy Drew (I gave it a 3) (Final rating is a 5)
This show I really like, and it has now become a favourite of my son, so we watch it together. The only thing I don't like it what it has too much of a supernatural vibe to it. I would prefer the show if it was just regular mysteries. That said, I still think its a really fun show.

Emergence (Didn't rate this one) (Final rating 4)
Here is a show that I didn't even pay attention to when I saw the full page description in TV Weeks Preview issue. I thought it was just another cop show which I don't watch. I saw an add on TV for it and decided it looked interesting. This one is actually a sci-fi show and so far its been pretty good.

The Unicorn (Didn't rate this one) (Final rating 4.5)
This is another one that I did't pay attention to from its full page description. But it turns out its by far my favourite new sitcom of the season. The only problem is that it might be hard to do a second season, as they really play off the fact he is really new at the dating scene, and after a year, it might seem like they need to find a new angle for the show. But I really like the characters and I look forward to it each week.

And here is a look at the shows that didn't make it from last season, as long as the ones that were renewed for a second season.
TV Guide, Television,

From the RIP list, I am going to miss:
Abby's - Funny show
A.P. Bio - Really funny show
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Lots of fun, even if you had to fast forward through some of the songs
Elementary - The only cop type show I was watching
The Kids are Alright - Really, really funny show
Speechless - Was a great show, but the final season was not the best
Splitting Up Together - This one was also really good first season, but not as good in the final season

From the shows that were renewed from last season, I was glad to see these shows back:
God Friended Me - My son and I watch this together
Single Parents - This is currently my favourite sitcom

TV is really not what it once was. Back in the 80's and 90's I can remember being so excited for the new fall season of TV shows and so was everyone else. We were all watching the same shows. Now, I have cable and I feel like I have the most choices, but even so, when I look at the TV Week listings I see so many shows that I don't have access to on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. The Fall TV Season is just not as exciting as it once was. Its way to fractured now and I just see it getting worse as time go on and we get even more splintered into smaller and smaller ecosystems Honestly, I can't believe they still feel TW Week magazine. I buy the Fall Preview issue every year along with the returning Series issue, but other than the pages in the front and back of the issue that list the new shows, the rest of the magazine which is television listings is a huge waste of paper, as I can easily see the guide right on my TV. I do remember the days when along with TV Guide and TV Week, there was a TV listings magazine included in the weekend newspaper, and a free TV listings magazine full of ads you could pickup at the grocery store or a hundred other places. I really do wonder who is still buying TV Week magazine for the show listings? That said, I can't wait for next year so I can pick up the new issues of the Fall Preview and Returning Shows issues!

Sunday, September 08, 2019

2019 Fall TV Preview

2019 Fall Preview issue
It's September and time for another batch of new TV shows to show up on cable television. I'm one of the few still subscribed to cable TV. I don't want to have to subscribe to a bunch of different services such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO. I like to be able to turn my TV on and see my shows all in one place. Before the fragmenting of cable TV with all these new cable-cutting services, September was an exciting time for me with ALL the new shows available on my TV. Sadly now with myself having cable, I get all the new 'cable' shows, but there are shows on other services that I will not have a chance to watch, such as two recent shows that I have yet to have the opportunity to see, Daredevil and the Tick.
The TV Week Fall Preview issue is out now, and this seasons list of new shows on cable is looking rather anemic for my tastes. Lets dive in and see what I'll be checking out this fall. I will give each show a rating out of 5 for how much I am looking forward to it - 5 being the ones I am most excited about:

• Batwoman (4) I love Batman, so this could be interesting. I also love the CW show Flash, so if this is as good as that I may continue watching. Sadly I didn't stick with Gotham (a show based in the Batman universe), as I found it to much like a teen soap opera, with too little Batman to keep me tuning in. I have a feeling this one will be the same.

• Bless the Harts (2) This is an animated Fox show that could be fun, but from the photo shown, the art style looks to much like the crapy style of Bobs Burgers which I'm not a fan of. Its also sandwiched in a block of animation that doesn't appeal to me. The Simpsons are good, but after all these years, I don't feel the need to watch it any longer and Bobs Burgers and Family Guy are not shows I watch.

• Bob Hearts Abishola (1) Its a sitcom (something there are not many of these days) which I like, so I will give it a shot, but I'm not expecting much.

• Nancy Drew (3) I was a big fan of the Hardy Boys when I was young, and recently I read a monthly Nancy Drew comic book, so will give this a chance. But, because it is on the CW, I am expecting it to be for a much younger audience than myself.

• Carol's Second Act (4) Another sitcom, so I'll automatically give it a try. And I loved The Middle, so it could be fun seeing Patrica Heaton on this new show.

• Sunnyside (2) I'll give this a try. Depending on how much I like the cast, this could be a fun show.

Each fall season seems to get less interesting and this year with only 6 shows I am planning on checking out, this is probably the least amount of shows I have planned on watching ever. And the mid season show list doesn't look any more promising. From the very short descriptions of the 27 mid season shows, there is not one that looks interesting enough to have me looking forward February. Hopefully next weeks issue of TV Week, with the returning favourites and new specialty shows, will be a little more promising.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Batman's Dostoyevsky Comics

Here is a Batman story you have probably never seen before. Its from Masterpiece comics (Where classics and cartoons collide!) by R. Sikoryak, first edition 2009. One of the stories in the book is this one titled "Crime and Punishment!"
Dostoyevsky Comics











Sunday, August 11, 2019

Old Time Photo Studio

Vintage western style photograph, Mall photo studio, 1980, Cowboy, Sheriff
Back in the 1980's it seemed like just about every mall had an 'Old Time Photo Studio' where they had all kinds of props and backdrops to make you look like you had gone back in time to the 1900's. Some time in the mid 80's my grandparents visited us, and one day while they were here we ended up in just such a place. The only thing I can remember about the photo shoot was that the gun in my holster was supposed to be on my right hand side, but then it could not been seen, so we turned it backwards and I became a left handed shooter for the photo. I love that I (the sheriff) look very serious and my older sister (my mom) looks like she is very 'high society'. My grandparents look like they are so proud to be having one of these 'new fangled' photos taken of them!
It was probably pretty expensive at the time, but 30 years later it's a pretty awesome memento of one of my few visits with my grandparents.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in Banjo Blues

Faux Disney Oswald One Sheet Theater Poster, A Winkler Production by Walt Disney

Back in June I came across the Heritage Auctions site which was auctioning off a huge lot of Disney animation artwork, production cells etc. I downloaded a bunch of the amazing artwork, including this great background painting from The Black Cauldron. On the same site were some great images of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. I have scanned and printed a few of the old Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon movie posters which are hanging on my wall. I decided to make one more to add to my collection of Oswald movie posters. Above is the poster I made for my faux Oswald cartoon titled "Banjo Blues". Below you can see the original background painting from the Black Cauldron, a second version shows the Oswald drawing I used. While I was at it, I also made a "Banjo Blues" desktop wallpaper for my iMac.

Disney, background animation artwork

Disney, Oswald, faux Oswald the Lucky Rabbit poster

Disney, Original Oswald Promo Poster for animated cartoon

 The last picture is a faux title card I made a long time ago, for the Oswald cartoon "Cats Me'Ow" which you won't find in a history book because I made it up!

Faux Disney Oswald the Lucky Rabbit animated Title Card, A winkler Production

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Club Membership Card

Disney, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Sometimes I find myself obsessed with the idea of something or other. Recently I was thinking about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and how interesting it would have been if Walt Disney had not lost the rights to this character and had built his media empire on the back of Oswald instead of Mickey.
In the 2005 Disney Editions book "The Disney Keepsakes" by Robert Tieman, there is a replica of a Mickey Mouse Club membership card from 1929. The front of the card shows a smiling Mickey Mouse and lists the club chapter number and name, and has a space for the members name to be written along with a membership number. There is also a place for "Chief Mickey Mouse" to sign the card. The back of the card has the Mickey Mouse Club Creed:
I will be a square shooter in my home, in school, on the playgrounds, where-ever I may be.
I will be truthful and honorable and strive, always, to make myself a better and more useful little citizen.
I will respect my elders and help the aged, the helpless and children smaller than myself.
In short, I will be a good American!
After seeing this, I started thinking about what it would have looked like if there was no Mickey Mouse and instead we had an Oswald Club. I took a photo I found online of a Mickey Mouse Membership Card and turned it into an Oswald Club Membership Card which now has a spot in my collection! It makes me smile every time I see it there displayed amongst my other official Disney collectables.