Monday, July 30, 2018

And you thought the Archies were the only comic book rock band!

Hi, kids!

Sorry I haven't posted since before Christmas!  In addition to other things keeping me busy in life, I had to deal with a knee injury that happened just before Valentine's Day!  So I haven't had much time for posting as I haven't been very mobile, not to mention having to rehab the knee.  But I'm up and ready to get going once again.

This entry takes a look at The Maniaks.  Who are they, you may be asking?  Well, this fictional rock group debuted in Showcase #68 with little to no fanfare, probably why you never heard of them.  Heard of the Archies, sure!  Then again, Archie Andrews and the gang had been around for about a quarter century by the time some editor or writer at Archie got the idea to slap guitars on Archie and Reggie and stick Jughead behind a drum kit (it would be a few years before Veronica was put on keyboards and Betty allowed to shake it around the stage with a tambourine).

Digressing a bit there.  But have you ever heard of Flip, Jangle, Pack Rat, and Silver?  Yeah, me neither...until I came across this gem on eBay a couple of weeks ago.  So I pulled the trigger and paid about 5 bucks with shipping for Showcase #69 (hey, get your minds out of the gutter).  Personally, I think I overpaid, but I can add this to my campy comics section along with my Cowsills one-shot.  Hey, at least The Maniaks got a second issue!

So now I give you this oddity that debuted about two years before Don Kirshner decided to create a real live Archies ("Sugar, Sugar", anyone?).  I now present DC's contribution to the world of non-existent 60s rock bands, The Maniaks!!!  (APPLAUSE)


So the cover to this train wreck establishes that girl singer Silver is a gold digger!  But can you really blame her?  I mean, the Maniaks are likely not going to hit the big time, and even if they do, they probably won't have the longevity of the Stones, the Who, or Procol Harum.  Better grab that diamond ring while you have the chance, even if it's larger than your head (minus the silver hair).



Yeah, best not to use actual names!  That way, if Plan B has to be put into action, they can easily ditch the hideous clothing, get haircuts, and apply for real estate licenses.  Except for Silver; she can easily slide into a modeling career...or just marry the first billionaire that comes along!


They replaced the traditional Wedding March for this???  And why is no one giving Silver away?

This band is really hard up for cash if they have no choice but to play their bandmate's wedding rather than attend as guests.  I mean, look at Pack-Rat's drum kit.  Looks like he bought it at Toys-R-Us!  Or rescued it from a dumpster!

BTW, the Maniaks' wedding march can be sung to the tune of "Hey, Hey, We're The Monkees!"  Try it!


Did DC hire Foghorn Leghorn as a joke writer?  Sheesh!!!


Check out Slim being so cool and cavalier!  Not so much worried that the guy might end his own life; no, he's worried about blood, guts, and brains being splattered all over the nice, semi-clean street below!  What a guy!


Whoa, where did that come from?  The Alamo?  REALLY???  So if girlfriends and loved ones doesn't get someone to reconsider taking his own life, throw in a historical landmark! Yeah, that'll do the trick!


"WHAT???  You don't know what the Alamo is, you damn Yankee???  You don't deserve to live!  Nope, not going to loan you a history book!  Just jump already!!!"


Damn hippies!  Always taking walks on building ledges!  Next they'll be playing those godawful Jefferson Airplane records till 3 in the morning!  Sheesh!


And the crowd in the background chanting "Jump! Jump! Jump!"  And hey, why not?  Because yes...it's groovy...becoming sidewalk pizza...just...groovy, man...


Yeah, Flip, glad the fire department was on hand to contribute to your antics!  Never mind the eight-story tenement building about 10 blocks away now engulfed in flames because firemen are too busy holding a trampoline!

Yes, Fireman Fred, stop plugging the House of Ideas with your really bad pun!  Didn't catch it, dear reader?  Look again below!  The bold words!  Say them out loud!


"Spied A Man, Spied A Man, at least I never ever Spied A Can..."


You heard Johnny the DC Cop; KNOCK IT OFF!!!  It's bad for sales!  (Oops, too late!)



That's Shea Stadium?  Where the Mets play?  Where the Beatles played?  I've seen minor league stadiums bigger than this!

How did they manage to book this place anyway?  Who do think they are, the Beatles?

BTW, the Stones are playing Madison Square Garden tonight!  Maybe that's why so many empty seats at Shea.  Or maybe some people wanted to stay home and watch a very special episode of "Family Affair." Whichever!



Hey, buddy, being obviously as rich as you are, you would think you'd have more friends...or at least an entourage of leeches who found themselves a meal ticket!  But at least the Maniaks won't lose money on this gig!

As for that last line of lyrics Silver is belting out, does she call the pebble "Dare?"  Just wondering...


So you may actually believe he looks like the person he's impersonating?  Impressive!  This guy could give Rich Little a run for his money...


The audience obviously brought along some acid...


It took Jangle that long to recognize them?  


Richard doesn't talk about his "poor relations," but he has no problem hanging with a struggling rock band!  Got it!

BTW, Flip, Richard is telling you in a roundabout way that your singing sucks!  And he doesn't have the heart to tell you that your turtleneck is trying to swallow your head!


Can't plug that competition across town, but someone doesn't have a problem plugging Batman, both the comics and the TV show!  Holy in-house promotion, Batman!

A handy little runabout, Richard?  With bowling lanes?  Even Richie Rich wouldn't be that gauche! Besides, he's too busy funding genetics experiments that create animals adorned with dollar signs!


Yeah, bowties don't count!  And we sure as hell don't want any dirty, smelly hippies in here!


And like a boss, Richard buys the place so his friends don't have to deal with that snooty doorman!  BTW, Mr. Doorman, YOU'RE FIRED!!!


He bought a Playboy Club?  SCORE!!!


Turn the car around?  That's for peasants!!!


Oh, come on, Richard!  Is this really your first time buying a newspaper?  Or is your comment your way of telling the newsstand dealer to "keep the change?"

And now a word from an agency posing as the Ad Council:


Oh, geez, I hope your idea isn't selling greeting cards to the neighbors...or seeds...or Grit!!!


Yeah, "proper supervision" involves our young job seekers working on that ball field from dawn to dusk with a overseer on site cracking a bullwhip!  And don't even think of trying to go home early or taking a water break!  Oh, and by the way, NO PAY FOR YOU!!!


You won't get paid, but you'll get to stare at pieces of broken glass all summer!  A season well spent!  Riiiiight,,,

And now, back to our show!


Long Island?  Again, like a boss!!!  I'm curious, though; what about the other residents?  Or are they all under Richard's enslav...er, I mean employ?


Wow, this guy could have Richie Rich and his family subletting this place! 

I would probably take up golf if I could play on an indoor course, too!  Texas summers keep me away from the outdoor ones!


Pack-Rat, go help Lurch get a huge-ass cask of wine from the cellar!  And try not to get stepped on or crushed by said cask!


You heard Satan; GET OUT!!!  He's surprisingly patient, though; in no hurry to claim Pack-Rat's soul...



And the puns just keep on coming!  The Cask Of Amontillado written by Edgar Allan Poe.  We get it!


If Thomas could lift the tun by himself, why did he bring Pack-Rat along?  To keep him company?  For a chance to toss him into the fires of Hell?  Good thing for Pack-Rat that Satan rebuffed him!


I'm with ya there, Jangle!  Did Richard really have to twist Silver the gold digger's arm?


But you have to admit she's easy on the eyes!  Yowza!


Yeah, let's save her from a life of wealth and prestige and drag her back into a life of near-poverty!  I'm sure she'll appreciate that!

And what's with that walk?  I think the Monkees did it better!


The Monkee-Mobile is cool, isn't it?


Not to mention Richard wouldn't be caught dead in that mod outfit!!!


His friends know the deal with Silver yet Richard is oblivious to her gold digging!

You know you've got yourself some true blue friends when they'll help pick you up and lower you into your trousers!  And one will even water you so you'll grow up big and strong...


And how is she going to be admitted into the wedding without an invitation or a write-in on the guest list?

Oh, well, no matter!  The faux Mrs. Pipdyke has ponies to play!

Yes, we already saw this!  Are you guys at least getting paid for this gig?


Never mind Ms. Daily Racing Form; somebody say something QUICK!!!


But...but...this is the happiest day of your life!  Why the "deer caught in headlights" look, Silver, dear?


Oh, is that all? What are the odds Richard will go from riches to rags?  The man has more money that Gates, Bezos, and Zuckerberg combined!  Stop being so insecure; it isn't becoming of a gold digger!


And here's a tip for Jangle; forget about the band and spend more time at the race track!


I get the feeling Richard would continue to spend afternoons poolside surrounded by hot chicks, married or not!  If Silver had said "I do," she'd probably do very well in hiring the best divorce attorney possible.

As for the Maniaks, they would be featured in Showcase only once more before fading into obscurity.  Even if they managed to be awarded their own title, it probably would have lasted as long as Brother Power The Geek's run.  Things were really weird at DC during the late 60s, weren't they?

Two more examples of trippy weirdness below!  What WERE those guys at DC smoking?


Like it says on the Inferior Five cover, buy at your own risk!  Or if you've indulged in...um...recreational substances!  Then, by all means, go for it!

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OK, that does it for this post!  Don't hate me too much for it, OK?  And hopefully you won't have to wait another 7 months for the next one!  Soon, OK?  Till next time!

Excelsior!

Alan





Tuesday, December 12, 2017

We can't call them "midgets" anymore?

According to Charlie's teacher in the film "The Santa Clause," we're suppose to call them "little people."

Personally, I'd use the term "dwarf" or "munchkin," but that's just me being my non-PC self.

Anyway, did you know Little Dot, that sphere-obsessed moppet from the now-defunct Harvey Comics, has uncles and aunts?  A lot of 'em!  I mean, A LOT!!!  So many that Mormon families would go "Damn, that girl has a huge extended family!"

If you've ever read Harvey titles before (whether it be "Little Dot" or "Richie Rich", the latter's titles becoming home to Dot [and Little Lotta] reprints ever since her titles got cancelled, but I digress), you've likely come across stories with Dot visiting various family members who may or may not be siblings of Mr. or Mrs. Polka.  And, almost always, said aunt or uncle's name is indicative of that relative's dominant personality or physical trait.

In a post I did a while back (click HERE if you want to have a look), Dot visited her Uncle Branes, the inventor/scientist.  A number of stories feature him as well as her Uncle Rush (man's always in a hurry!).

But this post will feature a relative that only early 60s Harvey could get away with.  Definitely wouldn't fly in today's social climate.  OK, I won't keep you in suspense any longer; Little Dot gets paid a visit by her "Uncle Midget!"


Yep, there it is!  One of probably a few time throughout comic book history will you ever see a character with the word "midget" in its moniker.  By the way, that's not her uncle sitting on her lap!  Read on!


Or it could be one of the voices in your head.  Don't you see why your parents are so concerned with your dot obsession? You might be losing your marbles (yes, I know, marbles are dots. Whatever!).


Hey, it's a fun-size Reggie Van Dough!  I wonder if her Uncle Branes was doing some cloning experiments with Reggie's DNA (hey, he probably has connections with Rich Labs).

Hey, how did he get in the house, anyway?  Parents are likely not home and no one knocked or rang the doorbell.  Doggie door, maybe?


Wow, it's like Grand Central Station at the Polka house! Friends and relatives just show up out of the blue unannounced.  Lotta probably wants to raid the Polka fridge or something!  Midget is looking at Dot's obese friend like "please don't eat me!"

                           

I guess Lotta's hunger pangs(?!?) makes her oblivious to the fact that the "dummy" is alive and breathing.  Or maybe she's the real dummy!


Well, that was a short visit, Lotta!  Yeah, time's a-wasting; that fridge ain't gonna raid itself!

Both Midget and Dot have a good laugh over how clueless Lotta is.  They're probably thinking the same thing Red Forman here is thinking:


And now Dot can put aside learning ventriloquism in time for the show!  Midget to the rescue!



I really wouldn't call a charity show in a podunk like Bonnie Dell (the town) "show business." It barely counts as community theater, but whatever...


What, no audition?  This charity must be desperate for acts!  I could probably get a spot on this show playing "Mary Had A Little Lamb" with my armpits!


Who knew Dot could ad lib on the spot?  She take improv classes or something?


The "dummy" IS really talking!  Maybe when your head clears from the three Cosmos you had before the show you'll see the "dummy" is flesh and blood.


I don't know what's worse; the phallic props they're using in the act or the lack of detectives in the audience!  The red-haired bespectacled guy is on the right track but then derails...


"HI, MOUSKETEERS!"



"HEY!!!  THAT'S NO DUMMY, THAT'S A MIDGET!"


You sure, Midget?  Maybe they're laughing AT you now!  Like Eric Cartman:



And so we close this first (and probably last) story of Dot's Uncle Midget.  Dot was clearly too young to leave school and hit the road with her diminutive uncle.  Besides, not much of a market for midgets posing as ventriloquist dummies.  Not to worry, though; midget tossing would become a thing in about two decades.  In the meantime, he can get an agent to help him land roles as an elf, a leprechaun, or Mickey Rooney's stunt double.

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That's it for now!  I'll try to have another post right before Christmas Day!  If not, I want to wish all you loyal fans a Merry Christmas (or Happy Hannukah for our Jewish fans!) and a Happy New Year!

Excelsior!

Alan