Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Day After Sandy; Comic Book Men

It's the day after Sandy and even though we still have power, it feels as if we're cut off from the rest of the world. We've been very lucky here in Jackson Heights, Queens. No blackouts or damages, but much of Manhattan has been devastated. Last night we were flipping through cable and local channels, watching transformers explode, streets flood, and hospitals evacuate. Tweet after tweet announced electricity going out, stretching from lower Manhattan into Chelsea. It was like following the course of the outage as it moved uptown.The subways are flooded and probably will not be back in service for at least a week. Everything seems to be shut down, while I have gotten FB posts and hundreds of Tweets, I've gotten no emails for hours.

Lately I've developed an addiction to courtroom shows but they are all pre-empted due to disaster coverage. I suppose I enjoy Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown, etc. for the same reason I like Hoarders  I can watch it and say "At least I'm not as bad as that. My house isn't that cluttered and I would never loan money to such a creep." When I was little and if I stayed home sick I would watch game shows (Sale of the Century, Snap Judgement, etc.) in the morning and cartoons like Speed Racer in the afternoon. It's interesting that the only game shows still around on broadcast TV are classics like Let's Make a Deal and The Price Is Right. Of course at 3:30 we all watched Dark Shadows. When I wasn't sick, my sister and I would run home from school, turn off all the lights, draw all the shades, and try to scare ourselves to death with the supernatural melodramatics goings-on with Barnabas Collins and Dr. Julia Hoffman.

Which leads to this week's Comic Book Men on AMC. The central plot was a Halloween prank with the guys investigating ghosts in the basement and scaring each other as we used to do with Barnabas and Dr. Hoffman. The important part occurred when a customer brought in his Thundercat figures to sell (The customer was a pretty hot guy, BTW.) This led to a discussion of everyone's favorite childhood cartoon series. Kevin opted for the conventional Superfriends, but Walt offered the unusual choice of Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space. He said the space villains intrigued him. That's pretty lame. I'm a little bit older, but I do confess I did watch Josie and her troupe both before and after she got lost in space and picked up that annoying Bleep thingie.

My favorite would probably be Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles. Superheroes were really my thing and so were supervillains. This shows was stocked with them. Batman was on at the time and there was a colorful baddie every week. This cartoon consisted of one Frankenstein Jr. segment and two for the Impossibles. I didn't understand why Frankenstein got the top billing if he had only one cartoon and his co-stars had two. Anyway, the Impossibles were a trio with superpowers disguised as a pop band. Every week they faced two different wonderfully bizarre characters--these included the Bubbler, Mother Gruesome, the Twister, the Paper Doll Man, and my favorite, Televistron who could shoot you with a ray gun and you'd be teleported into a TV show. Frankenstein Jr. was a robot version of the classic monster built by a boy genius Buzz Conroy to fight evil. It was fun and silly and well-drawn as compared to the Thundercats crap of the 1980s. Today's cartoons seem to be returning to the high production values of yore.

Last week on Comic Book Men, Ming and Mike lost a bet and had to recreate the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four. Very funny.

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