Trade Post: Hellblazer & The Goon

I really can’t understate how influential Wizard was to me as a budding comics fan. I’d been going to the comic shop for a few years by the time I discovered the mag at a mall book store. I started out reading Superman and Batman comics and added other DC comics because I knew about them from the house ads, but it wasn’t until Wizard that I really began to learn more about comics as a whole. I’ve always been pretty risk-averse and budget conscious, so it took an extra push to spend my limited funds on something new. With Wizard, I found a group of writers who opened up my world to all sorts of new books I’d never heard of including, but not limited to Hellblazer and The Goon, both of which I’m writing about here today!

Read on!

It’s All Connected: The Legacy (1978)

I fully intended to have this final It’s All Connected post for 2020 ready to roll last week, but then 2020 kept on 2020ing, so I got a little (completely) distracted. Anyway, here we are, after two months of watching, I made it through 33 feature films! I might still go through and do a By The Numbers post mortem kind of thing on the movies I made my way through getting from Swamp Thing to The Legacy, but that’ll be a post for another day.

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Halloween Scene Book Report: Monster, She Wrote (2019)

As you may know from my various writings about their Paperbacks From Hell series, I have become an avid follower of Valancourt Publishing. So, a few months back when I saw that they had started a new imprint called Monster, She Wrote, I got very excited. A series of books with consistent cover art spotlighting female horror and weird fiction? I was in! But, I was having trouble finding the non-fiction book that started it all! What happened and how did it work out?

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It’s All Connected: A British Triple Feature

Welcome to the penultimate entry in the 2020 UnitedMonkee Halloween Scene It’s All Connected experiment! As I said last time, the decision to watch Food Of The Gods immediately after Frogs added a bunch of movies to the process. The final film I watched would have been seen much earlier, but it all worked out in the end. Today I will discuss the trio of British films I watched to get to my ultimate destination!

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Toy Commercial Tuesdays: Computer Warriors

When I was a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s, there were so many incredible, robust toy lines to get into. I was a big fan of He-Man, Transformers, M.A.S.K., G.I. Joe and the Ninja Turtles, but there were even more ideas that seemed to just hit and disappear forever. So, you might go to the store, get something cool, tear open the box and then never know what that thing was actually called. For years, that was the case with a Pepsi can toy I have that splits open to reveal a tiny robot man and a flying…chair or something for him. Only years later would I come to find out the line was called Computer Warriors and had this great commercial!

Just look at how glorious these toys are! I was already a fan of small toys that looked like other things and could change! Plus, you add in the mystery of those things I kept hearing about called home computers and you have the recipe for something incredible! Also, maybe this is where I realized that soccer is evil!

Alas, the Mattel line apparently didn’t do as well as they hoped and it only lasted the one wave. I did just discover that there was supposed to be a cartoon as well, though it never got past the pilot stage! Oh what could have been. Actually, thinking about it, this idea could easily be brought back right now. I’ve got two kids and it seems like everything’s already about being these cool, tiny little toys. Include some blind bag options and, like, an iPad that turns into something and you’ve got a hit on your hands Mattel!

Halloween Scene: A 70s Marvel 5-Pack!

Back in the day, I used to do recurring posts here on UM called The Box wherein I would grab some random comics from a huge box my inlaws gave me and give them a read. I thought it would be fun to do something similar, but with a somewhat narrower focus on horror comics from those same boxes (though now they have a special place on my comic shelves). As it turned out, I had a bunch of 70s Marvel horror comics, so I jumped right in with those! Horror had a nice resurgence at this time because the Comics Code loosened some of its restrictions. In these five comics I’ve got Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Son of Satan and all sorts of anthology tales!

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It’s All Connected: Necromancy (1972), Satan’s School For Girls (1973) & The Night Walker (1964)

I’m at the end of this year’s It’s All Connected as far as watching goes and I’ve got to admit, I haven’t exactly been hitting it out of the park. Totally changing my plan and watching Food Of The Gods after Frogs might have been fun in the moment, but it sure added a lot of steps that might be more accurately labeled as missteps. Find out more when you hit the jump!

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It’s All Connected: Frogs (1972) & Food Of The Gods (1976)

Hey, it turns out we’re getting pretty close to the Big Day, so I’m going to bunch a few of these films up for a variety of reasons. I’ve teased this film a few times, but Frogs was actually one of the films I’ve been wanting to do for It’s All Connected since close to the beginning. I’m not sure, maybe it was watching Swamp Thing and its sequel that spawned the idea, but I’ve been craving some awesome Sam Elliott goodness and figured out a way to get to Frogs by way of his co-star Ray Milland, which is why I watched Terror In The Wax Museum. I fully intended to go a different direction from there, but then I blew the whole plan up and went with Food Of The Gods, continuing the “animals run amok” theme!

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Toy Commercial Tuesday: Another Terror-ific Trio

Sure, it’s actually Wednesday as I finish up this post, but I just had to get in another trio of fun-tastic spooky toy commercials before Halloween hit! First up, we have a super weird and gross example of just how, well, weird and gross the 80s got!

Meet Rude Ralph, a severed head that makes sounds when you yank on its bulging eye. Par for the course back then! But that’s not all! You could also get your hands on yet another disembodied head that stunk in the form of Breath Blasters. What a time to be alive!

Stumbling across Rude Ralph and the Breath Blasters was a nice surprise, but the discovery that really got me excited was a line called Rocks And Bugs And Things. First of all, that name is nuts, but does tell you exactly what you’re getting. Then you’ve got these super-fun play features that seem to be in line with both Rocklords and Insectoids. But, the best part of the ad is how they specifically go after G.I. Joe, Transformers AND He-Man with those silhouettes. That’s an impressive level of confidence from a toy line that I have never heard of before!

Finally, I know I posted about Manglors back in 2012 and still feel the same way about this wild toyline (I’d still like a firsthand account of their playability if anyone ever had them), but the old YouTube link is dead, so here’s a fresh one.

Halloween Scene Trade Post: A Mike Mignola Trio

I’ve spilled a lot of digital ink this season talking about how much I love Kelley Jones’ work, especially on Batman (in posts here and here), but there’s another artist whose work is synonymous with horror in my mind: Mike Mignola. The genius behind Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. has done all sorts of work in the comics world and this post will give some love to a few of his other works that are lots of spooky fun! Here are some interesting comics you might want to check out if you don’t want to dive too deeply into those sprawling epics.

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