Pixel Scroll 7/17/16 Dr. Pixel And Mr. Hive

(1) FIRST TO WHAT? Matthew Kirschenbaum’s latest discovery about the early days of writers using word processors is shared in “A Screen of Her Own: Gay Courter’s The Midwife and the Literary History of Word Processing” at the Harvard University Press Blog. He acknowledges that by this point, it’s hard to define the question he’s trying to answer —

*First to purchase a system? First to publish their book? First to fully compose? What counts as a word processor anyway? And so on. Besides Pournelle and the others whose names I conjecture in this passage, Track Changes also includes detailed accounts of John Hersey and Len Deighton in its discussion of word processing firsts. Hersey used a mainframe computer at Yale to revise and typeset—but not compose—his novel My Petition for More Space (1974); Deighton leased an IBM Magnetic Tape/Selectric Typewriter for the benefit of his assistant, Ellenor Handley, in managing the revisions for Bomber (1970). The MT/ST was the first office product ever to be actually marketed as a word processor, the ancestor of the System 6—itself not a “digital computer” strictly speaking, it performed no calculations—that the Courters would purchase a decade later.

David Gerrold commented on Facebook:

I think Pournelle was computerized before I was, but I was writing on a word processor before any other writer I knew. I think I started that in 75 or maybe 76.

I had a Savin 900 which was a big box that recorded what you typed onto a cassette tape. The way it stored data, you could also use it for storing mailing lists too.

It connected to a specially modified IBM Selectric — they added a framework between the base and the top, which raised the height of the machine an inch or so. So you still worked on a typewriter, but what you typed was stored.

I put a roll of butcher paper through the machine and I could type all day. Later, I could print out what I’d typed. I could print it out with each line numbered, so I would know where it was on the cassette, or I could print it out formatted, one page at a time. I don’t remember if it numbered the pages, I might have had to do that manually….

ghostbusters-full-new-img COMP(2) SEE GHOSTBUSTERS. JJ, saying “I really love it when someone articulates so well the things which I’ve had difficulty putting my finger on. Kate Tanski does that here, in triplicate,” sent a link to Tanski’s post “The Importance of Seeing Ghostbusters” at Women Write About Comics.

One of the themes in this movie is the importance of being believed. Yes, in this movie, it’s about being believed about ghosts. Erin talks about how she saw a ghost when she was 8, every night for a year. Her parents didn’t believe her, and she went into therapy. Abby (Melissa McCarthy) was the only one who believed her, which was one of the reasons they became friends. It’s not that much of a stretch to think about all the things that women are also often not believed about, as children or as adults. And that part of the movie, thankfully, and pointedly, doesn’t devolve into comedy. It lets the moment of remembered trauma be serious….

But despite of all its very good qualities and the high entertainment factor, the reason why I want this movie to succeed so hard is because of the row of girls who sat behind me. It’s because of the little girl, probably no more than six, who hid behind her dad and whispered to him, that I was “dressed up like the lady from the movie” when she saw me in my Ghostbusters coveralls and then smiled shyly when our eyes met. It’s for the teenage girl who rolled down her window and yelled “GHOSTBUSTERS, YEAH!” as I was walking to my car after the movie got out.  It’s for this entire generation of girls who now, because of this movie, think that Ghostbusters can be women. Because it’s not something that I, even a few years ago, would’ve believed possible, even in cosplay….

… it never occurred to me when I was a child that I could be a Ghostbuster. I could be Janine, sure, and pine awkwardly for the scientist. It never occurred to me that I could be a scientist. Or that it didn’t have to be a boy I was pining for. And that’s why these movies, these reclamations of childhood favorites retold as something more than just a male power fantasy, are so important… A new Ghostbusters that doesn’t just feature a singular woman as part of a team, but a new team wholly composed of women who decide for themselves to do this not because of any male legacy, but because of who they are, and who doesn’t wait for anyone’s permission to exist…

(3) GHOSTBUSTER SHORTCOMINGS. Dave Taylor finds things he likes but also points out many flaws in his “Movie Review: ‘Ghostbusters’” for ScienceFiction.com.

Let’s start with the good news: The new Ghostbusters is funny and entertaining, the story moves along at a solid clip and has lots of cameos from the stars of the original 1986 Ghostbusters too. The story works with four women in the lead roles instead of the four men in the original film just fine.

That’s not the problem with this remake. In fact, there are two fundamental problems when you look at it more closely than just asking whether it’s funny: The first is that there’s not much actual story, no real narrative crescendo that is resolved in the last reel. That’s because of the second, bigger problem: The new film tries way too hard to pay homage to the original movie.

There aren’t just cameos, for example, there are characters on screen that have pointless, flat scenes that break the narrative flow….

(4) GHOSTBUSTER LIKER. Ben Silverio at ScienceFiction.com answers with a “Movie Review Rebuttal: ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016)”.

Another thing that worked really well for me was the way that they showed the trial and error of the Ghostbusters’ equipment. This was their first mission together and most of Holtzmann’s tools had gone untested up until this point. Not only was it cool to see the proton packs evolve, but it was also very, very cool to see female scientists onscreen in a major Hollywood blockbuster bringing this technology to life.

At the end of the day, I only had one major complaint about ‘Ghostbusters’: How do you set a movie in a major metropolis like New York City and only have one Asian character with lines? (For those wondering, that character was Bennie the delivery boy, who was played by ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ star Karan Soni.) But since that’s a problem throughout the entertainment industry and not just this isolated film, it’s hard to come up with any other reasons for me to generally dislike this reboot.

(5) BUSTER BUSTER. John Scalzi delivers “A Short Review of Ghostbusters and A Longer Pummel of Manboys”. BEWARE SPOILERS.

BUT THEY’VE RUINED MY CHILDHOOD BY BEING WOMEN, wails a certain, entitled subset of male nerd on the Internet. Well, good, you pathetic little shitballs. If your entire childhood can be irrevocably destroyed by four women with proton packs, your childhood clearly sucked and it needs to go up in hearty, crackling flames. Now you are free, boys, free! Enjoy the now. Honestly, I don’t think it’s entirely a coincidence that one of the weakest parts of this film is its villain, who (very minor spoiler) is literally a basement-dwelling man-boy just itchin’ to make the world pay for not making him its king, as he is so clearly meant to be. These feculent lads are annoying enough in the real world. It’s difficult to make them any more interesting on screen.

(6) MEDICAL UPDATE. “Boston area fan (and an old friend of mine) Stephanie Clarkson is in a bad way,” writes James Davis Nicoll.

Clarkson’s friend Laurie Beth Brunner fills in the details in a public Facebook post that begins —

It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that Stephanie’s condition has taken a drastic turn for the worse in the last week.

(7) SILVER ON RADIO. On Tuesday, July 19, Steven H Silver will be interviewed on “The Colin McEnroe Show”, carried on WNPR in the New York-Boston corridor, or available for streaming on their website. The show will focus on Alternate History and runs from 1:00-2:00 p.m. and again from 8:00-9:00 p.m.

(8) FEEDBACK. Fynbospress at Mad Genius Club runs through the value of reviews at different stages of the process in “Reviews – Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta? All Greek to You?”

Since the subject of reviews came up, here’s an overview of a few sorts of reviews, and what’s most helpful on each one. The critical thing to remember is that reviews vary by audience, as well as reviewers!

There are no fixed definitions, so these term vary wildly from author to author. I’ll just walk through the concepts in Greek letter order, completely ignoring what any particular author calls ’em.

Alpha Reviews: Technical Aspects

These are often sought before the manuscript is written, much less complete – but sometimes the author just writes the scene in their head, then hits up people afterward to fact-check. Often submitted with “So, can you parachute out of a small plane?” or “Where is the firing switch on a T-38?” or “You’ve ranched in the southwest. What do you think of this trail scene?”

Sometimes, the feedback will make it clear you can’t do the scene you wanted, not without breaking the suspension of disbelief of anyone who knows anything about the subject. Often, though, more discussion will turn up even niftier alternatives. Tell your technical expert what you want to accomplish, and they may come up with things you never dreamed of….



  • Born July 17, 1950 – P.J. Soles, whose credits include Carrie and Halloween.


  • Born July 17, 1952 — David Hasselhoff, with an sf resume that spans from Knight Rider to Sharknado.

(12) VOTE. In “The 2016 Hugo Awards: Two Weeks Out”, Abigail Nussbaum spends the first three paragraphs explaining that compared to 2015, practically no one is talking about the Hugos this year. It’s hard to imagine how with that alternate reality introduction she still manages to lead to a final, important admonition:

Which is great on one level, and on another is worrying.  Because another thing that hasn’t been happening this year is the huge influx of Worldcon members buying supporting memberships for the sole purpose of protesting against the puppies’ attempts to dominate the Hugos.  At the moment, MidAmericon II has 5,600 members, and is on track to be a mid-sized North American convention, which probably means fairly normal Hugo voting numbers, not the outsized protest vote we saw last year.  Now, as I’ve said many times in the past, I have a great deal of faith in Hugo voters’ ability to tell astroturf nominees from the real deal, and to smack down nominees that have no business being on the ballot.  But the numbers still need to be on our side.  Chaos Horizon estimated that there were between 250 and 500 Rabid Puppy nominators this year.  I’d like to believe that the real number is closer to the lower boundary than the higher–there can’t, surely, be 500 people with so little going on in their lives that they’d be willing to spend good money just to make Vox Day happy (or whatever approximation of the human emotion known as happiness can be felt by someone so occupationally miserable).  But if I’m wrong, and those people show up in the same numbers this year, then they have a solid chance of overwhelming the good sense and decency of the people who want the Hugos to be what they were meant to be, an award recognizing the excellence and diversity of what science fiction and fantasy achieved in the last year.

So, if you are a member of MidAmericon II, please remember to vote.

(13) MACII BINGO DISSENT. Patrick Nielsen Hayden is not a fan of the grid –

(14) BALLOT SNAPSHOT. Mark Ciocco says Stephen King gets his vote for the Best Novelette Hugo.

Continuing the march through the Hugo finalists, we come to the awkward middle-ground between short stories and novellas that no one else uses but SF people: Novelettes. Fortunately, this is a pretty decent bunch of stories (especially compared to the lackluster short story ballot), even if none of them really stands out as truly exceptional. For me, they are all flawed in one way or another, making it pretty difficult to rank them. As such, this ranking will probably shift over time.

  1. “Obits” by Stephen King – A modern-day journalism student who naturally has difficulty landing a real job creates a snarky obituary column for a trashy internet tabloid. One day, frustrated, he writes an obituary for a living person. This being a Stephen King story, I think you can pretty much predict what’s going to happen from there. Admittedly, this is a bit on the derivative and predictable side, but King’s got the talent to pull it off with aplomb. He ably explores the idea at it’s core, taking things further than I’d expect, even if the premise itself doesn’t quite allow him much room. King has a tendency to write himself into corners, and you could argue that here, but I think he just barely skirted past that potentiality. It’s comforting to be in the hands of a good storyteller, even if this is not his best work. Still, its flaws are not unique in this batch of novelettes, so it ends up in first place for me.

(15) CAREY’S LIBRARY. Lis Carey also has been reviewing her way through the nominees. Here are three recent links:

(16) LETTERS TO TIPTREE. Aaron Pound discusses World Fantasy Award nominee Letters to Tiptree, and notes it is a significant omission from the list of Best Related Work Hugo nominees.

And yet, despite its many other honors, Letters to Tiptree did not receive a place among the Hugo finalists. While no work is ever entitled to become a Hugo finalist in the abstract, this is exactly the sort of book that one would normally expect to receive one. The reason for this lack of Hugo recognition this year is quite obviously the Puppy campaigns, which promoted a collection of Related Works onto the Hugo ballot that range from mediocre and forgettable down to juvenile and puerile. Leaving aside the fact that the finalists pushed by the Puppy campaigns are of such low quality, it seems relatively obvious that, given the Puppy rhetoric on such issues, Letters to Tiptree is exactly the sort of book that they want to push off of the Hugo ballot. After all, it is an explicitly feminist work, with all of the letter writers and most of the other contributors being women discussing a writer whose fiction was loaded with feminist issues. This book would seem to represent, at least in the eyes of many Pups, the recent encroachment of feminism into science fiction.

Except it doesn’t. Alice B. Sheldon died twenty-nine years ago. Her best fiction – including Houston Houston, Do You Read?, The Girl Who Was Plugged In, The Women Men Don’t See, and The Screwfly Solution – was written between forty and forty-five years ago….

(17) UNDERRATED BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN. Reddit is collecting suggestions for “The Long Tail: r/Fantasy’s Underrated/Underread Books”. And look what’s on the list!

God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell (Kencyrath), 1761 ratings.

In the first book of the Kencyrath, Jame, a young woman missing her memories, struggles out of the haunted wastes into Tai-tastigon, the old, corrupt, rich and god-infested city between the mountains and the lost lands of the Kencyrath. Jame’s struggle to regain her strength, her memories, and the resources to travel to join her people, the Kencyrath, drag her into several relationships, earning affection, respect, bitter hatred and, as always, haunting memories of friends and enemies dead in her wake.

When Reddit put together such a list two years ago with similar criteria (<5000 Goodreads ratings) it also had a Hodgell book – but a different one.

(18) TIME FOR POKÉMON. Pat Cadigan is mentioned in Time’s coverage of Pokemon and augmented reality.

But Go successfully uses AR as a sweetener to a mix of nostalgia for Pokémon, which peaked in popularity during the late ’90s when many millennials were preteens, as well as elements of long-gone Internet-age fads from geocaching to flash mobs. While technologists have been trying to perfect how AR works, Pokémon has provided one early answer for why you’d want it to.

The basic goodness or badness of AR—like any technology that proposes tinkering with the material of our reality—will be long debated. In science fiction, at least, the results are decidedly mixed. Star Trek’s holodeck is a (mostly) beneficent tool for shared understanding; in Pat Cadigan’s 1991 classic Synners, the augmentation of reality takes on a macabre, nightmarish quality enabling corporate interests and human sensualism to run amok. Advanced AR could allow you to experience the world from another person’s perspective—or lock you permanently into your own.

(19) BRING QUINN TO MACII. Kurt Busiek gave a plug to Jameson Quinn’s fundraiser.

(20) FAST WORK. Did Lou Antonelli maybe set a record?

Those of you who attended the panel on short stories at LibertyCon that Friday may recall I mentioned that I wrote a story, submitted it, and received an acceptance in four hours. That story is “The Yellow Flag” and it is being published on-line by Sci-Phi Journal on August 1st.

(21) MONKEYING AROUND. Ms. Rosemary Benton at Galactic Journey discovers a Japanese animated movie rendered in English, “[July 17, 1961] Bridging Two Worlds (The Anime, Alakazam The Great)”. One thing I’m curious about – was the word anime used in 1961?

I was very excited to see this film for two major reasons, as well as many many lesser reasons.  First and foremost the credited director of the film is Osamu Tezuka, one of modern Japan’s most prolific “manga” (Japanese comics) creators.  I am an appreciator of the comic book medium, so Tezuka is hardly an unknown name to me.  Thanks to my soon-to-be-aunt I’ve been able to obtain translations of numerous works of his, all of which are exceptional with whimsical storytelling ferrying intense characters into entrancing conflicts.  To date he has created numerous adaptations of western classics like Faust (1950) and Crime and Punishment (1953), and has created hugely popular works for Japanese young adults including the science fiction action story Astro Boy and the coming of age title Jungle Emperor.  Upon looking into the production of the film, however, it is unclear how much direct involvement he had.  Still, I like to think that he had a part in not only the style, but the script — both of which bear a striking similarity to Tezuka’s situational humor and Disney-inspired art style.

(22) BIG COFFIN. Another casualty of the Civil War, “Marvel kills off Hulk alter ago Bruce Banner”. According to the BBC:

The character is seen dying as a result of an arrow to the head from Hawkeye, his Avengers teammate, in the third issue of Civil War II.

Banner has been the Hulk’s alter ego since the character’s creation in 1962.

Dawn Incognito, who sent the link, calls the last line of the post “My favourite quote.”

It is not yet clear whether Banner could return in a similar way [to Captain America and Spider-Man], but Marvel indicated there were no plans for a return.

“Suuuuuure,” says Dawn. “Pull the other one, Marvel, it’s got bells on.”

(23) IMMOVABLE FORCE, IRRITABLE OBJECT. These are the kinds of questions comics fans live for. “Comic Book Questions Answered – Could the Hulk Have Torn Wolverine’s Admantium Skeleton Apart?”

Now that the Hulk has joined his old sparring partner, Wolverine, in death, reader Roger B. asked whether the regular Marvel Universe Hulk could have torn the regular Marvel Universe Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton apart (we know the Ultimate versions of the characters could).

Read on for the answer! …

(24) STAR WARS 8 SPOILER? Your mileage may vary, but you’ve been warned. Carrie Fisher may have leaked an interesting bit about the next movie while speaking at Star Wars Celebration Europe.

During a panel discussion at Star Wars Celebration Europe this weekend, Carrie Fisher, aka the iconic Princess Leia, seemingly revealed what might be a pretty big spoiler for the upcoming “Star Wars Episode 8.”

When panel host Warwick Davis asked Fisher what she knew about the time period between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens,” Fisher seemingly mistook his question to mean the time between “The Force Awakens” and “Episode 8.” As a result, she let slip two little words that caught everyone’s attention…

[Thanks to Dawn Incognito, Michael J. Walsh, Bartimaeus, Gary Farber, James Davis Nicoll, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

86 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/17/16 Dr. Pixel And Mr. Hive

  1. I saw ALAKAZAM THE GREAT (US title) on TV a time and a half or so. I expect I tuned in in the middle the first time. Some of the lines were a little awkward, but I still disagreed with the Medveds when whichever of them it was tagged the movie as one of the 50 worst of all time. I would come to disagree on many more things. (Screen goes wavy. Harp music.)

    Oh, sorry. I forgot to flashback.

  2. #17: The 2014 Reddit list for underrated books lists Hodgell’s Kencyrath–the series–as if it were a single book; maybe the change is just a correction of that?

  3. Second fifth – surely the best of all possible fifths.

    ETA: I bow to the sacrifices of those who came before me, especially @snowcrash and @Cat Rambo (first fifth). 😉

  4. (17) UNDERRATED BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN. A lot of these seem pretty recent. I’m not complaining, just noticing. Some of them are in my TBR stack or on my “to buy” or “to consider” lists. 🙂

  5. I’ve been reading Seveneves for the last week, and I think it may have more infodumps per page than anything else I’ve ever read. I’m sure I’ll be working on this up until the last minute.

  6. Oops, I meant that i’ll be working on reviewing the Hugo nominees up until the last minute. I hope to finish Seveneves tomorrow.

  7. I have a question for the hivemind. Sometime last year (or possibly the year before) I read a Sherlock fanfic on AO3 that I loved, but somehow failed to bookmark. As you can imagine, finding a single fic in that sea is a difficult task even with tags!

    The basic plot: Sherlock more or less bullies Molly into being his date at a Big Society Thing where something criminal is supposed to be going down. Except at the last minute he decides that he’ll do better being a waiter than a guest, and sends Lestrade as his replacement to be Molly’s date. At the bash, Molly manages to stumble right into the middle of the criminal plot and ends up being held hostage. However, she takes an active part in her own rescue, and by the end of the story she’s started thinking that perhaps Lestrade is a better choice than Sherlock as a potential romantic partner.

    If anyone here happens to have bookmarked this story and can provide a link, I would be very grateful and will buy you a drink at MAC II if you’re there.

  8. 16) Indeed, the problems Sheldon pointed out about genre and the genre world seem ever evergreen, especially in the Age of the Puppies.
    Re: Ghostbusters: The one thing that threw me out, early and briefly, was the “Aldridge Mansion”. I could tell immediately that it and the streets outside were not NYC. (I had to look it up afterwards–its Boston).

  9. Not to detract from Letters To Tiptree, as it surely should have been on the Hugo ballot (it was one of my picks), but the outstanding related book of 2015 was Michael Page’s biography and literary study of Frederik Pohl, published by the University of Illinois Press. Edward James’ book about Lois McMaster Bujold also deserved recognition.

  10. Kip: Often called the Medfly brothers by people who find them annoyingly detractive. Interesting ideas, but starting a career by trying to demolish the work of others has its own side effect.

  11. The File Next Time

    Robert Whitaker Sirignano
    Yeah, Medved had to top himself by going more and more negative. It was amusing to me for a while, but what may have finally done it for him was that it was apparently just about all he had. I lost interest in his opinions, positive and negative.

  12. @17: like @Kendall, I found a number of new to very-new works (some barely past their time on bookstore shelves) on these lists. Has anyone tracked whether Goodreads ratings mostly appear right after publication? I’m wondering whether the shortage of ratings (the criterion for inclusion on the list) really reflects inattention rather than a long tail.

  13. I liked GHOSTBUSTERS. Even with the small homages from the other two films, I liked it. It had its own plot and logic.

    A lot of the first GHOSTBUSTERS film was shot in LA anyway…you can pick and choose what you want to dislike about the current film.

  14. ALAKZAM THE GREAT. I hear tell it was reedited tossed around and scrambled to fill whatever bill they wanted, in this case, shapeshifting it as a vehicle for Paul Anka. It’s barely recognizable from its inspiration, JOURNEY TO THE WEST.

  15. Robert Whitaker Sirignano

    True that, but what was also true about it is that it had animation that was solid enough that I started out making fun of it and ended up just watching. Same thing happened with HOPPITY GOES TO TOWN, which I tuned in halfway through after school one afternoon.

    It was a revelation that there was animation outside the USA. I would have been twelve around 1969, so this wasn’t entirely my fault. I was a big fan of Disney, loved the Warner and Ward output (as much as could be found on TV), and still had some recall of Popeye and Scrappy cartoons that the Cheyenne station used to show during Sammy Skimmer.

    I’ve told this. When I was four or five, Mom got her Scout troop onto the show to fill the gallery one day. I was excited to sit behind the curved plywood partition which looked a bit squalid from behind, but I didn’t care because I was going to see FELIX THE CAT right there in front of me! Sammy interviewed some of us, including me. For lack of anything better to answer his question, I said I wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up. Couldn’t think of anything else. Wasn’t sure what a cowboy did. Another kid said she wanted to be a giraffe, which made me feel superior in some way. But come on, where’s Felix?

    Cartoon time came, and they rolled a black and white set out. Felix wasn’t there. Felix was on a TV. Doggone it, if I wanted to look at a TV, I’d go next door!

    Gotta go. There’s a cloud over my lawn.

  16. (21) It’s not clear exactly when “anime” was coined, but it’s generally believed to be sometime in the ’70s, so probably no.

    Also, how does one talk about Americans viewing Japanese cinema post-WWII without mentioning Godzilla, grumble grumble.

  17. or THE SEVEN SAMURI…among many others….

    ASTRO BOY was reassembled as well. In the Japanese series,the character was an arrogant personality. They removed that, sweetened him up and rewrote everything. and cut and pasted as needed. There were seasons that never aired in the states. And Astro Boy: died in the later series.

  18. 21) Mike, you’re right on “anime,” one of my first big anachronisms. I have changed it, and thank you.

    Petrea, Godzilla is mentioned twice in the article (once obliquely). It has also been covered by the Journey. 🙂

    Kip, interestingly enough, the last time I saw Felix the Cat was at a restaurant in Tokyo…

  19. I thought I found the whole series on DVD for cheap in a rummage bin recently, but it turns out to be a reboot from a few years back. Trust us yanks to elide nuance.

    Galactic Journey
    Within a couple of years, I’d shifted opinion on Felix. By the time I was maybe 11, my Felix rant was predictable enough that one of my sisters put it in a superhero comic she was drawing. “He doesn’t even do anything! He just reaches into a stupid bag of tricks and gets bailed out!”

  20. Kip, that sounds like my rant about Popeye. “Why doesn’t he just eat the spinach as soon as things start to go wrong? Everybody knows it turns him into Superman!”

  21. am I not correct in presuming that Clutch Cargo (drawn in a S Korean studio?) predates Felix?

    I was apparently glued to Clutch in the early 60s. Having watched several episodes on Youtube recently, I feel a very strong desire to kick the crap out of my younger self, while screaming “wait for Jonny Quest you mewling ignoramus! Go play with your army men! Ask your mom stupid questions! Go play with fire or sharp objects, they’re both far better for you than that steaming pile of moving lips!”
    The fact that buried somewhere deep in my neurons is the experience of happily watching that show makes me want to take a spork to my frontal lobes….

  22. Looks like Popeye was an early adopter of the Billy Jack syndrome. “He’s tearin’ the place up! You gotta stop ‘im!!” “(Looks at watch) No, not yet.”

  23. From what I recall, Popeye always tried first without the spinach and was brushed aside by Bluto (or whoever). Then he would play the spinach card and Bluto always seemed so surprised.

  24. Rob Thornton
    Almost always. I remember Bluto eating spinach himself (also being fed spinach by Popeye, because the fullness of time), as well as pre-emptively eradicating spinach, which is an impressive task.

  25. Otto Mesmer’s FELIX dates back to the silent era, and it was a newspaper cartoon for a while. ASTRO BOY went through three series. The one I was discussing was the 1962-63 series.

    I left a negative review of CLUTCH CARGO on Amazon, and riled up quite a few people. Nostalgia recollection is not a sign of quality.

  26. Robert Whitaker Sirignano
    Ooh, I have strongly ambivalent feelings about Clutch Cargo, who I used to watch to mock around 1970 as a pre-teen. I worked out the design of the skateboards with off-center axles that they obviously rode on, and learned to talk while only moving my lips (and making them move slightly around as they talked) and blinking at regular intervals. (blink)
    It may have been the nineties when I realized that I wanted to see him again. I got my wish when a satirical show (“On the TV”?) pretended to be a Siskel & Ebert of shows that they would also produce the clips for. Except that, one time, they did clips from Clutch Cargo (also the mouth of Captain Fathom and Space Angel) for no reason other than that they could. So I had a couple of minutes of the show on VHS, anyway.
    Then Streamline Productions came out with a pre-recorded tape, and when I saw it at the comics shop, I had to have that! But it was fifteen dollars! And only a half hour long! That’s like fifty cents a MINUTE. But in the end, I bought it and took it home and watched it the same day, and by about seven minutes in, I was saying to myself, “Oh, thank got it’s ONLY half an hour!” and pre-emptively wearing an oven mitt on my right hand to prevent possible brain damage from smacking. It’s a truly guilty guilty pleasure. It’s just not right. I’ve since found dollar DVDs of the Synchro-Vox body of work while on travel, and I’ve watched those too.

  27. There is a complete set of it if you’re so inclined to microwave your brain by simply viewing.
    One of the reviews of the series on Amazon was a discussion of how accurate the planes were designed and what they were actually built for. So people were finding something there. I was looking for entertainment and it wasn’t there.
    That kid in the series looks an awful lot like that kid Mark Trail adopted.

  28. Next you’re going to suggest that Fred or Velma just go up and pull the nose of any ghost, spook or monster when they see it for the first time.

  29. @Rob:

    “Why doesn’t he just eat the spinach as soon as things start to go wrong? Everybody knows it turns him into Superman!”

    I had that same question about the Super Globetrotters. They seem to forget that they can transform into superheroes for the first half of the climactic basketball game. Every time! Then they transform and make a comeback to win the game.

    @Robert Whitaker Sirignano:

    It reminds me of people who will watch TROLL 2 willingly because it’s bad.

    I resemble that remark! Sometimes it can be great fun to get together with friends and maybe have a couple of drinks and watch terrible movies. There are no expectations and sometimes they’re tremendously entertaining. I remember being quite pleasantly surprised by Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, for example. And I laughed myself silly at the amateurish wipes in Battlefield Earth.

  30. Watching terrible movies: my brothers and I used to play a game. We’d go to the video store (which dates this story) and pick out three movies that looked like they’d be terrible. Then we’d take them home and watch them, and if all three turned out to be terrible, we’d proclaim victory!

    Winning turned out to be a very rare occurrence, and we discovered many obscure gems this way. (Which, of course, was part of the fun.) Getting two out of three was common, but actually managing to get three that were all terrible turned out to be really hard!

  31. The OED only dates Japanimation as far back as 1985, and it and the OED SF Project date anime only as far back as that same year.

  32. Bill: “Japanimation” can be documented to 1978, used by the Cartoon Fantasy Organization, the first American club devoted to that interest, according to Animation in Asia and America (we’ll see if this Google Books link works).

    And that sounds right to me. The CFO was local here, with overlapping membership among LASFSians. Called “Japanese Animation” to distinguish it from the more familiar Disney/Hanna-Barbera/etc., it quickly was condensed to the lyrical-sounding term Japanimation. Anime came along later, a more respectable-sounding term, and one which left room for the animation produced in other countries of Asia.

  33. lol. for one brief moment, when I saw Rocky Horror for the very first time, I wondered if it was going to be a Clutch Cargo type animated thing. (not stupidity, this was when the film was still becoming a cult thing and very few people had any experience of it. My first encounter was at a showing at Rutgers University, in their student center. This was followed by regular friday night visits to a theater in Hackensack that let the fans do the whole schtick – candles, hotdogs, water pistols, newspapers, cards, &etc.
    Thank goodness Richard Decided to leave any references to CC out.

  34. Just a note that I’ll only be on the Colin McEnroe show for the final segment. Prior to me, he’ll be discussing the novel Underground Airlines with Ben H. Winters, and talking AH with at least one other person.

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