Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Pink Christmas

Merry Christmas! We had a wonderful Christmas morning and now that the waffles have been eaten and the presents have been opened, I have retired to my office to surf the net while the Christmas dinner is prepared for tonight.  I found this comic in a pile of comics by my computer earlier, and thought I would share it today. This is the cover to the 1979 Pink Panther comic book, issue #60. This issue features the Pink Panther TV special, Pink Christmas, which I happened to catch on TV this Christmas. Being a big fan of the Pink Panther, I tuned in to watch the special, but unfortunately, it wasn't up to the level of the Charlie Brown Christmas or the Grinch, both of which are on my 'must watch' list each Christmas season.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bill Peet's Countdown To Christmas

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you may remember that I am a big Bill Peet fan. I started collecting his books long before there was an internet, and back before Amazon and eBay, you had to go to your local book store to have them look stuff up for you. Once I had access to the internet, I started buying the Bill Peet books I was missing from my collection. I am not sure how I had totally missed this particular title, but I happened to see the cover of this book on line and I realized immediately that it was by Bill Peet, and that I didn't already own it. A quick visit to eBay and I had a copy of Countdown To Christmas in my hands a few weeks later. My copy comes from the Virginia Beach Public Library System, Kempsville Area Library. The book is from 1972 and is written and illustrated by Bill Peet. It was very enjoyable to have a Bill Peet book to read that was completely new to me. I had read all of his other books so many times as a kid, that this one was unexpected treat.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Snow White Christmas Miracle...

Ok, so its not a Christmas miracle, but it is a neat Christmas coincidence.  Two weeks ago for Little Golden Book Monday #134, I posted the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs book, and mentioned how my father in law had seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the theater during its original release back in 1937. Today, I have another Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs post, again coming from my father in law. This time it is a cool Seven Dwarfs Christmas diorama display that had been on display at the Woodwards department store in Abbotsford for many a Christmas. My father in law received it once it was retired from the store 20 or so years ago, and he went to to display in his home each Christmas after that. This Christmas he passed it onto my wife, and it is now on display in our living room complete with blinking lights.

Wranglers to Black Out Midnight Game

The Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL will host their eighth annual Midnight Holiday Roundup on Monday, December 27th when they face-off against the Utah Grizzlies.
The Wranglers holiday tradition began in the team’s inaugural season and has remained a fan favorite. This year, the Wranglers have planned two special additions: a performance by Mini Kiss and an Orleans Arena Black Out.
“We are thrilled to bring back Mini Kiss,” said Wranglers President Billy Johnson. “They were a big hit when we had them here a few years ago and we can’t wait to have them back in the building this year.”
The Wranglers are also looking to make an impact with their Black Out of the Orleans Arena and $5 t-shirt promotion.
“We’re asking fans to help us by wearing black for the Midnight Game,” said Wranglers Vice President Matt Smith. “Be on the lookout for the $5 promotional t-shirts; they’re going to be a big hit!”
The Midnight Holiday Roundup on Monday, December 27th will begin at 11:59 pm and is sure to be the can’t-miss game of the season! For information on discounted group tickets, contact the Wranglers front office at (702) 471-7825.

I have listened on line to the past 7 midnight madness games and can't wait for the game next week! Nothing like listening to a hockey game at 2 in the morning to make your family and friends think you're nuts!
Check out this great sound clip from the 3rd Annual Midnight Madness game for a chuckle.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #136

Today, being the last Monday before Christmas, I thought I would bring you 3 Christmas themed Little Golden Books, Two stories based on Rudolph and another with reindeer on the cover.
First up is The Night Before Christmas from 2001. Next up is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from 1985 (original printing 1958). And lastly we have Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Shines Again from 1982. All three books were purchased today at a thrift shop for 50 cents each.
I also thought it would be fun to show the back covers of all three in random order. You can have fun trying to figure out which back cover goes with each book!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weihnachten in den Bergen

I picked up this 1978 children's book last summer and put it aside for closer to Christmas, which is now! The book is not in English, so I had no idea what it was called, but I really loved the cover artwork. A quick Google search and I found out that Weihnachten is the German observance of what is commonly known in English as Christmas Day. I love that the front cover shows six children in a horse drawn sleigh on their way to some really fun Weihnachten type event, and then on the back cover, we see them on their way back home a little while latter. We know that just an hour or so has passed by the movement of the moon across the sky.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #135

Today's Little Golden Book is The Cat That Climbed The Christmas Tree. The book is from 1992, written by Susane Santoro Whayne and illustrated by Christopher Santoro. The story is about Benny the cat's first Christmas. Benny is fascinated by all the Christmas decorations, especially the angel on the highest branch of the Christmas tree. "Up Benny climbed, past silver flutes and tiny drums. Miniature skaters called to one another, and old-fashioned clothespin ladies gossiped on their boughs..." Now if we all remember back to Little Golden Book Monday #131, we learned all about boughs ;-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Family Circle Christmas

I picked up this great old Family Circle magazine at a recent library book sale for 10 cents. Most of the magazines I picked up that day were recent magazines which I bought specifically to pull adds out of for my collection, but this December 1968 issue of Family Circle has been put into a magazine bag with a backing board and is now part of my Christmas decorations for this year. Its also in the bag to conceal the funky old magazine smell!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #134

Today's Little Golden Book is Walt Disney's Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs. This edition is from 2003.  Not to much to say about this one, other than the fact that I was lucky enough to have had the chance to see the film during its theatrical re release in 1993. And although it is not one of my favorite Disney movies, it was very cool getting the chance to see it on the big screen. Whats even more impressive is the fact that my father in law saw the film in a theatre as a kid, during its original release of 1937. That's pretty cool!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Cricket Records Winter Wonderland

Now that it is December I can start getting into the Christmas spirit. Anytime before December is just too dang early to be listening to Christmas songs or seeing those pesky Christmas television commercials. So to kick thing off, I have dug out a few of the great Christmas records I have picked up over the past few months. First off is the great looking Cricket Records 45 RPM record of Winter Wonderland. I love the cover artwork.
While working in my office tonight I have turned on my Ion TTUSB10 USB Turntable to listen to a bunch of my Christmas vinyl. There is something so comforting in all those clicks and pops while listening to your old favorites. I have to admit though that listening to 45 records with one song per side seems like way too much work now. At least with an LP I can put it on and don't have to reach over to flip it over for 10 to 20 minutes. Three minutes per side just seems crazy now in the age of iPods full of hundreds of hours of continuous music. And yet, here I am reaching over to flip this one over to hear "The Sounds of Christmas" by Warren Vincent & Orchestra with The Cricketones. Silly me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #133

Today's Little Golden Book is Tweety and Sylvester in Birds of a Feather, from 1992. I didn't expect to like the artwork inside this book, as the generic Warner Brothers cartoon artwork of the 70's and 80's was pretty awful. But this book really surprised me with some very inspired artwork by Joe Messerli. I was also a little put off by the fact that it said Tweety and Sylvester on the cover, as I have come to dislike Tweety over the years. Don't get me wrong, he was a great foil for Sylvester in the old WB cartoons, but make no mistake, Sylvester was always the star of those cartoons.
I always saw Tweety as the character you needed to give Sylvester something to do in his cartoons. But Sylvester didn't 'need' Tweety, as was evident is the awesome 1948 Chuck Jones directed "Scaredy Cat". If you haven't seen it (or haven't seen it in a long time), you need to seek it out. I guarantee it will make you chuckle.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #132

Today's Little Golden Book is The Koala Brothers; Mitzi's Day Out. I didn't realize that the Koala Brothers was a Disney property until I opened the book and saw the Playhouse Disney logo inside. I had never heard of the Koala Brothers before finding this book, but I liked the cover. The photo of the 3D characters reminded me of the cool 3D View Master reels of my favorite Disney characters, Flintstones, Bugs Bunny and so many others that I enjoyed as a kid... and still do today!
Here is what a Koala Brothers View Mater reel might look like ;-)
Joe Liptak working on one of his sets for the View-Master reel of "Peter Pan."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Heckle and Jeckle Visit the Farm

Yesterday we visited a few of our local thrift shops and I came home with some really neat stuff including this Wonder Book, Heckle and Jeckle Visit the Farm. The copyright for the book is 1958, but this particular edition is from 1983. I have always been a fan of Heckle and Jeckle and back when I used to still get up early to watch cartoons, I used to get pretty excited when they would toss in a Heckle and Jeckle cartoon in the mix of usual Bugs Bunny, Casper and Popeye cartoons. I can also remember back in the 80's before VCRs became popular, you could actually pay to see cartoons in a little cartoon hut at the mall. Once I got this book, it got me to thinking about those little cartoon huts. I can remember that they had one in the Surrey Place Mall and than when I was working at the A&A Records and Tapes shop, I would use my breaks to run over to the Sears, where they had one such cartoon hut in their stairwell leading out to the parking lot. For just a quarter, you could sit and watch a full length (roughly six minutes) cartoon. I loved it because it only played Terry Toons and your odds of seeing a Heckle and Jeckle cartoon were pretty good.
After a short Google search, I found this guys site where he showed off his very own original Kiddierama Theatre. Be sure to check out his site to see who these things actually worked. Now a days, a quick YouTube search will instantly bring up a whole bunch of Heckle and Jeckle cartoons to view in the comfort of your own home. Pretty amazing to think back and realize how much things have changed in just 30 years.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #131

Today's Little Golden Book is Baby's Mother Goose Pat-A-Cake. This copy is a seventh printing from 1971, with the original copyright being 1948. The quality of this copy is not that great, but I had never seen it before and I liked the 50's style artwork on the cover. Inside the book is a cute illustration of a cat playing a violin with this note about the artist: While this is Aurelius Battaglia's first children's book he has done murals for children's rooms and worked in the Disney Studio. He studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and now lives in New York City.
I thought it was funny that they listed his accomplishments as doing murals on children's room walls and working for Disney. It's pretty hard to decide which should come first on your resume.
Along with the cover, I have scanned a few of my favorite pages from the book, including a two page spread of Little Miss Muffet and the last page of the book, Rock-a-bye baby. I've always thought that so many of the young children's nursery rhymes and songs are kind of morbid and/or depressing. This one is a cheerful story of a little baby in a cradle stuck up in a tree, and eventually falling to the ground, bough, cradle, and all. I did learn something from this though, as I don't think I have ever included the word "bough" in the last line of the song when I have sung it. I'll have to remember to add that next time I have occasion to sing this tune.
[Ed note, here is the fun learnin' part of the blog. Bough -noun, a branch of a tree, esp. one of the larger or main branches.]
Lastly I have scanned the inside back cover and back cover of the book. The inside back cover lists the current titles for 1971 and the back cover is one I don't see very often. I love the 'eyes' in the letters GB. And by the looks of it, I would guess that the Donald Duck at the bottom left of the back cover was done by Aurelius as one of his bedroom wall illustrations.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Retro Cap'n Crunch

Not sure how I missed this, but apparently The Quaker Oats Company released Retro Cap'n Crunch boxes this past summer. Although I am a huge fan of sugary cereal box art, I don't spend too much time looking in the cereal isle anymore as there really hasn't been many new boxes worth adding to my collection over the past number of years. Here in my area, we only get the regular Cap'n Crunch. I used to have to travel down across the boarder into the US to pickup my Peanut Butter Crunch which was my favorite, along with what ever goofy new concoctions they would come up with such as Vanilla Crunch and Volcano Crunch. I'll be sure to have a look next time I visit the grocery store, but I won't hold my breath, as I am sure us Canadians will get hosed and miss out on there awesome looking retro boxes of sugary cereal.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Ding Dongs Ain't Ding Dongs in Canada

Sometimes you just gotta know! While surfing the Interweb Tubes tonight I saw a picture of an old Ding Dong package.
That got me to thinking about those tasty little cakes filled with magically delicious filling and covered in a chocolaty coating. Ok, I'll admit its been years since I've had one, but its not entirely the fault of the tasty little treat, but more to do with the fact that here in Canada we don't have Ding Dongs, instead we have the exact same tasty treat, but with a different name... King Don. I'm pretty sure that when I was a kid they were called Ding Dongs here in Canada, and I remember loving them. I was always begging mom to buy a box when we were in the bakery section of the local grocery store. But then as time went on and I got to be a teenager I can remember noticing the box in my local grocery store, and wondering why it said King Don? It looked a lot like a Ding Dong, so what had happened? Somehow a King Don just didn't seem as appealing as a Ding Dong, and I haven't had one since. So tonight when I saw the original package, I had to do a Google search to see just why that tasty treat had changed its name. Here is what I found on Wikipedia:
The Ding Dong is similar to other cream-filled cakes, such as Arcade Vachon's Jos. Louis introduced before 1934 and still in production. Hostess began marketing its Ding Dong in 1967. The name was given to coincide with a television ad campaign featuring a ringing bell. The company marketed the snacks on the East Coast as Big Wheels, to avoid confusion with the Ring Ding, a similar (and pre-existing) treat by Drake's Cakes. The names were consolidated in 1987, when a short-lived merger of Drake's with Hostess' parent company (then Continental Baking Company) briefly resolved the Ring Ding/Ding Dong conflict. When the merged company broke up, however, Hostess was forced to cease, once again, using the Ding Dongs name in areas where Ring Dings were available. The compromise sound-alike name King Dons lasted until Interstate Bakeries Corporation, which had recently merged with Hostess' parent company, bought Drake's in 1998. The Hostess product is now sold under the name Ding Dongs throughout the United States. However, the snack is still sold as the King Don in Canada.
Hostess created the "King Ding Dong" cartoon character to advertise the Ding Dong: an anthropomorphized Ding Dong sporting a crown and sceptre. He was similar to other Hostess characters Twinkie the Kid and Fruit Pie the Magician. Where King Dongs were marketed, the character, like the product, was known as King Dong. In areas that used the "Big Wheel" name, the character was an Indian chief named "Chief Big Wheel".
American Dings Dongs (recent packaging)
  Canadian King Dons (not recent packaging)

I'm pretty sure that after this post I am going to have to check out the bakery section of my local Safeway next visit to see if I can find a package of those tasty little treats to bring home with me.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #130

Today's Little Golden Book is Walt Disney's, Donald Duck's Toy Sailboat. Donald Duck has always been my favorite Disney character (followed closely by Pluto) and I find myself picking this book up every time I find it in a thrift shop, hoping to find a mint copy. This is definitely one of the books I seem to see most often, but almost always they are in pretty dog eared shape. This copy from 1990 is in decent shape and even with a bit of scuffing on the cover around the edges its still probably the best copy I have. Without looking, I would guess that I have 4 or 5 of this book in my collection from various years and differing conditions. Although I have not spent the time to catalogue my complete collection of Little Golden Books yet, I do regularly use my iPhone to visit this blog to check out what books I have already posted, which has actually saved me from buying multiple copies of a number of books!
This book, originally from 1954, has great artwork produced under the supervision of the Walt Disney Studio. The story  is adapted by Samuel Armstrong from the motion picture Chips Ahoy. I particularly like this illustration of a mischievous Donald pouring water onto the small toy boat as Chip & Dale try desperately to pump out the water before they sink!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #129

Today's Little Golden Book is a second printing of the officially licensed Woodsy Owl and the Trail Bikers from 1976 (first printing 1974). As soon as I saw this book, I started thinking about a favorite childhood mall hang out, called Willie Woozle. There was one of these hot dog and malt shops at both of my local malls; Surrey Place Mall and Guildford Town Centre. I went looking on the net for some photos of Willie Woozle, but sadly, I could not find even one photo of the place, just some people reminiscing about how much they liked going there when they were kids. I can't be sure since I could not find a photo, but I seem to remember that the Willie Woozle logo featured an owl very similar to Woodsy and I used to think the malt shop was somehow related to Woodsy, which I'm sure is what they were going for.
I assume every one knows what a malt is, but just in case you've never had one, the term malt comes from the malted milk that made the shops famous. The concoction is a mixture of malted barley, wheat flour, and whole milk that is dried to a powder form. The taste found popularity in soda shops, and even greater popularity when mixed with ice cream. If you remember back, Scooby-Doo and the gang were always hanging out at the malt shop. Wendy's burger restaurants still serves malts which they call Frosty's.
Since I could not find a photo of the Willie Woozle malt shop, I decided I would get creative with one of the interior pages from the Woodsy Owl and the Trail Bikers book to at least include my childhood vice!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #128

Today's Little Golden Book is another faux Golden Book. This one comes from Bob Canada's Blogworld! blog. Here is what Bob had to say on his blog about this great faux Little Golden Book: For this year's custom-made Christmas card I had a novel idea: instead of waiting until the very last minute to begin working on it like I always do, I would actually get a head start on it! No more racing against the clock and mailing it out a day or two before Christmas. What an unorthodox concept.
My original intention was to make a simple card that looked like the cover of a Little Golden Book. But as I was sketching out ideas I started thinking of an actual story for the inside. Before I knew it my little card had evolved into a full blown eight page book.
I had a week long vacation at the beginning of November. I couldn't afford to go anywhere, so I spent almost the entire week in front of my computer working on this card/book. It turned out pretty much the way I pictured it in my mind. It was nice to have it done ahead of time for once.
Here are all the pages in order along with a few of the sketches he did for the project.