Monday, April 28, 2008

Little Golden Book Monday #54

I am a huge fan of the film Song of the South and am always happy to add something SOTS related to my collection. Yesterday I picked up this 1986 Little Golden Book, Walt Disney's Uncle Remus.
The book is not in great shape, but I am very happy to have this wonderfully illustrated book in my collection.
I have been a fan of the film ever since I first rode the Splash Mountain ride in Disneyland back in 1989. The sights and sounds of the attraction were spectacular, and the final plunge thoroughly exhilarating. I was humming the music from the attraction for weeks afterwards. I came home from our Disneyland visit with my set of Song of the South plushes (Brer Bear, Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit - I even bought an infant sized Splash Mountain T-shirt which Brer Bear has worn ever since), and a craving to see the movie the attraction was based on. To my dismay, I found that the movie has never been released by Disney in North America. Luckily for me I was able to snag a copy of the Japanese laser disc at a local record shop that was going out of business and happened to carry foreign laser discs (for about $100 each). Lucky for me, I was able to get my copy for $15! The great thing about the disc is that you can watch it in English without subtitles (other than the songs for some reason which have Japanese subtitles), so it pretty much is like having an American copy of the film. For anyone who hasn't seen it, you really are missing a Disney treasure. Lets hope Disney finally has the smarts to release it domestically as part of the Disney Treasures DVD series with some added bonus features to make it even more special.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mad Magazine Flexi Discs

Do you remember those great flexi disc records that used to come on the back of cereal boxes, inside magazines etc? I do. And I used to love them. Magazines like this 1982 Super Special Summer issue which came witch featured a free super special bonus: The mad Laugh Records, was always something I wanted to buy as a kid. The idea of being able to purchase a magazine and then actually hear the sounds on the little flexi disc included inside was a real treat!
I have a few flexi discs that I have purchased over the years at junk sales etc, but all of the ones I had as a kid seem to have disappeared - most likely ending up in the trash as they "wore out" from continues use on my super special (aka really cheap and crappy) record player.
This recent issue of Mad Magazine I picked up was one of those great magazines that had a flexi disc inside. But of course now, 26 years later, the magazine is still in pretty good shape, but the flexi is long gone.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Little Golden Book Monday #53

Today's Little Golden Book is Richard Scarry's Best Little Word Book Ever! This book is from 1992, and is based on the hugely successful Richard Scarry series.
I loved these books as a child. My favorites were the ones that showed cutaways of buildings so you could see things like how a lumber mill worked, and cut aways of things such as planes and boats, to give you an idea of how things worked. I used to sit and stare at those drawings for hours!
This book has a great cut away of a family home. You can see the kitchen, living room, hallway, bedroom and bathroom. These is even a carpenter on the roof.
I also loved Lowly Worm. He was usually hidden somewhere on the page and it was always fun trying to find where he was hidden. To my count, there are 12 Lowly's hidden throughout this book. Lowley truly was the original Waldo!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Friday the 13th: Jason's on a Joyride!

I am a huge fan of the Friday the 13th series of movies and love collecting anything to do with them. Here is a new item I picked up recently at my local thrift shop. Its the third Camp Crystal Lake novel series, Friday the 13th: The Carnival. This copy is from 1994.
The first two titles are; Mother's Day and Jason's Curse, and the inside front cover says "Coming Sept 1994, the fourth book in the series titled Road Trip.
From the back cover: The Legend of Camp Crystal Lake. Once there was a boy named Jason Voorhees who drowned at summer camp when the counselors weren't watching. First, his mother got revenge. Then, Jason rose from the grave. And now, everyone knows you can't kill a legend... but a legend can kill you.
Friday the 13th: The Carnival. Summer school's a drag. And to four young students, nothing sounds better than a traveling carnival to break up the boredom. unfortunately, the carnival has pitched its tents at the old Crystal lake campgrounds - where the murderous spirit of Jason seeks out new fun and games. It's the perfect place for four teenagers looking for thrills and chills. Especially chills. Because Jason's evil is running the show. The fun house is a real scream... and the roller coaster's a killer.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Sixth MAD Case Book on Spy Vs Spy

Here is a great paperback I picked up other day for a quarter. It's The Sixth MAD Vase Book on Spy Vs. Spy, by Prohias. The book is from 1982 and the cover price was $1.95. For anyone who ever read Mad magazine, I am sure you will be very familiar with Spy Vs Spy. As a kid, it was one of my favorite parts of any Mad magazine issue, along with the little Mad Marginals (those silly little drawings in the margins of the magazine) done by Sergio Aragones.
For those of you who have missed out on the antics of the White & Black spy, run, don't walk, to your local bookseller and pick up a copy of the recently released Spy Vs Spy: The Complete Casebook volumes 1 & 2. They are full of stuff that will have you giggling for hours!
You can also check out for all kinds of Spy Vs Spy fun. There are the shorts from Mad TV, and you can also find the Mountain Dew commercial featuring the two wacky spies.
This book features 15 of their "cases", and the Black Spy has the edge with 8 "Wins" to 7 for the White Spy. I wonder how many "cases" there have been over the years? And, of all those "cases", I wonder if one of these guys comes out a winner, or are they both really the looser.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Little Golden Book Monday #52

Today's Little Golden Book is Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp, based on the 1955 feature film, which includes two of my favorite Disney songs; "He's a Tramp" (written by Sonny Burke & Peggy Lee performed by Peggy Lee) and "The Siamese Cat Song" (written by Sonny Burke & Peggy Lee performed by Peggy Lee).
The film also has two of my favorite Disney characters, which are the two mischievous Siamese cats named Si and Am.
The book is adapted by Teddy Slater and illustrated by Bill Langley and Ron Dias.
The artwork throughout the book is great. I love the rich colors. It reminds me a lot of "Sleeping Beauty".
What makes this book special for me is that it was previously owned by a dog. If you don't believe me, check out the scan of the inside front cover. You can plainly see the paw print on the "This little Golden Book belongs to" space in the book. That really is how I found this copy when I picked it up at a local thrift shop.

Pretty neat huh!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Terrytoons and limited animation

I Picked up this cool 1977 Terrytoons coloring book at my local thrift shop the other day. Pretty amazing that it does not have any colored pages inside. Most times when you see old coloring books at the thrift shops, they usually have half of their pages already colored by some young artist.
Then I noticed that the front and back covers of this coloring book had the exact same drawing. The only differences were the Whitman logo and item number on the front, and the UPC code on the back.
After thinking about it for a minute, I decided that this book was just following the Terrytoons formula of using limited animation - the practice of using the same drawings over and over again making the characters look as if they are barely moving, if at all.
As for the uncolored pictures inside, again, probably a cost cutting measure by Terrytoons to save cash by not having to pay a 'painter'.
Just a though.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Little Golden Book Monday #51

Today's Little Golden Book is actually not a Little Golden Book, but rather a Wonder Book. This 1958 Wonder Book is called "Little Schoolhouse".
This book doesn't have anything to do with Little Golden Books, other than the fact that is is the same size as a Little Golden Book, and I usually see these filed away with the Little Golden Books at most used book shops, thrift shops etc. I also really happy to live the cover of this one. Very "Dick & Jane" don't you think?
I am not sure why these Wonder Books never became as popular at the Little Golden Books. These ones had the something that the others didn't... a washable cover. At least that is what is says on the front and back of this book.
The inside back cover of this book lists other Wonder Books & Treasure Books, including two I am going to keep my eyes peeled for on my thrift store visits; "The Jungle Joke Book" and "The Duck on the Truck", both of which have fun titles and great looking covers.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Popular Science in the 70's

Someone was tossing out some old magazines and passed them along to me. Great stuff! They are old copies of Popular Science (the What's New magazine), Popular Mechanics and Mechanix Illustrated (the How-To magazine) from the 1970's. I don't know about you, but I get a huge kick out of reading old science/tech magazines like these from the 50's, 60's and 70's.
Its lots of fun checking out what we did and didn't get from all the stuff they predicted. Its also a hoot seeing things such as this early "Take-Along Telephone" from the cover of the July 1973 issue, and this early Video Disc Player from the cover of the February 1977 issue..
I really like the two rows of number buttons on the phone. And the Disc player looks great. I wonder if I can hook that to my HD TV?
From the Feb '77 issue: "Sometime this year (1977), TV viewers in selected areas of the country should be able to schedule their own shows in an entirely new way. They'll select movies, musical performances, or other material on video discs, slip the discs into players wired to their receiver's antenna terminals, and push a button to watch the show.
A long list of glittering new video players has been promised, post-poned, or introduced in recent years, only to fade from sight. But there are definite signs that at least two major worldwide organizations with the financial muscle and marketing know-how to succeed will begin selling their video-disc players regionally in 1977.
One of them, RCA, is already field-testing a fer hundred of its capacitance-sensing SelectaVision disc players. N.V. Philips, the Dutch firm that brought us the standard audio cassette, and MCA Inc., an American entertainment-oriented firm, also plan to offer an optical video-disc system this year.
The latest price estimates: about $500 for the player, and $10 to $18 for a disc or set of discs.
There's even a possibility that a Japanese licensee of a British and German disc venture, the grooved disc TED system [PS, Nov. '74], could be marketing disc players, too. Players for 10-minute TED discs have been available in Germany since 1975, although only for European TV-signal standards. Sales have been poor. A TED changer that handlers 12 discs was recently shown. Spinning on the sidelines are other disc systems still under development.
Both the RCA and Philips/MCA players will appear in stores just when new home video cassette recorders [PS, Dec '75], video games [PS, Nov. '76], and pay-cable programming are teaching viewers that their TV receivers can easily display something other than fixed-time broadcast fare.
What's the difference about the new disc hardware and programming? After operating both the RCA and Philips/MCA players, trying some amazing manipulations of TV images, and listening to stereo hi-fi TV sound, I have found that the new machines offer spectacular gains in performance compared with other home program sources.
Stamping out tomes of discs at low cost is the biggest advantage of the new medium. Both Philips/MCA and RCA expect to offer a broad selection of discs when their players appear. MCA, which will manufacture most U.S. discs for the Magnavox-built player, plans 1000 albums initially.
MCA discs will include new and old films, ballet, opera, theater, sports, how-to and children's programs, and documentaries. MCA can also make a thin flexible disc that might be inserted in periodicals. Discs may also be distributed as entire magazines, catalogs, or talking encyclopedias.
Also a variety of independent companies will add other special interest discs to catalogs. One firm, Visiondisc Corp. of New York, for example, planned to tape last year's Christmas services and works of art at a large cathedral for transfer to discs.
Sounds truly exciting doesn't it... I can't wait!