Friday, May 20, 2022


The late fifties weren't exactly the tippy toppiest times for what would eventually become Marvel Comics, but even a curmudgeonly fanabla such as I's gotta admit that it was an interesting period in comicdom for any funnies historian to study. Well, it is if only to see the teeny tiniest of roots that would blossom into a doggone comic book phenom only a few short years later. An' it sure is a good thing that the minds at Marvel failed to renew the copyright on these early issues of TALES OF SUSPENSE so's we penny conscious peons can give an eye to PD reprints of these pre-hero sagas, especially without having to line the coffers of those megawoke moguls any more'n we have to (same goes for DC and especially Archie!).

But to be downright honest 'n up front about it these stories ain't that hot next to what the early-sixties post Atlas/pre-Marvel monsters 'n heroes titles had in store. In fact a whole slew of 'em just seem leaden and just plain douse with nothing around to flicker my pilot light. Sure Jack Kirby was back in the bullpen after bolstering DC with the likes of Challengers of the Unknown, but stories like "Invasion From Outer Space" really don't cut the comic book mustard the way those Fin Fang Fooms and Groons sure did with the likes of me reading those early-seventies reprints. Besides, Christopher Rule just ain't the kinda inker for The King the way Dick Ayers would eventually be and hey, the stories do get kinda over-read-y with so much dialogue you think that the characters were gonna get squeezed in their panels just like Narda was in the "Manduck the Magician" spoof way back during the comic book days of MAD.

Still there is that nascent proto-Marvel spirit raging through these sagas even if you (like me) never really did cozy up to some of the early Marvel staff (never really did go for Don Heck but wha' th' hey...). The Steve Ditko stories are (natch!) pleasing enough to look at despite the heavy duty dialogue, and a tale like "Prisoner of the Satellites" foreshadows alla them outer-worldly Doc Strange dimensional efforts what with the hapless hero being an unwilling nucleus in an oversized atom.

Again, there is much here that just ain't flibbin' my jib, what with the artwork from such Marvel second-stringers as Joe Sinnott coming off so downright snoozeville and even a worthy like Al Williamson not putting his best efforts into it without the folk at EC looking over his shoulder.  But eh, even these flubs make for great Saturday Afternoon Barbershop Kids reading and like, every molecule on these pages beats anything any of the major comic book conglomerations have sloshed out at us these past fortysome years.

As a "bonus" Gwandanaland slapped on a pre-code one ish effort from the Atlas days entitled SPACE WORLD, a title which proves that even without the Comics Code in effect there coulda been some rather stodgy reads being churned out for the comic book reading class. These imitation Flash 'n Buck efforts aren't anything to cock-a-doodle-do about and when placed side by side with a lotta the competition can just see the depths that comic book cheapness (sans the redeeming trash value) easily coulda slipped into. But so what...I mean hey, ya gotta admit that some of these doofus adlos didn't know shit from PATSY WALKER inna first place!

Friday, May 13, 2022


Yeh, they coulda printed the entire run in a number of volumes and in chronological order at that, but I guess even a smattering of HELP! is a heap better'n none at all. Still it woulda been grand to read some of the rarities that have slipped through my collection as well as those old classics like John Cleese in "Christopher's Punctured Romance" not forgetting the classic Tom Poston/Sylvia Miles "Baby It's Occult Outside." Well, at least some of the goodies that I seem to go for like the legendary "Goodman Goes Playboy" as well as Jean Shepard in "The Oldest Story" (which perhaps is the oldest considering how the plot had been done by everyone from Charlie Chase to Joe McDoakes) do pop up.  

But still, it sure woulda been swell to see such classics as Terry Gilliam's "Buster Have You Ever Stomped a Nigra" available for a generation of stodgy purselips, the kind who wouldn't know snarky humor if it came up and bit 'em on those posteriors that always seem to get slammed by the doors they exited no matter how many times we've told 'em to watch 'em on their way out.

So eh, these reprints do skip hop and jump about but at least we got a good gooey portion of pre-pious humor that, as one observer put it, was kinda/sorta like the midway mark between MAD and NATIONAL LAMPOON. Lotsa precedents here as well as holdovers from the fifties style of gut-chuckling (I mean, where do you think the 'pooners got their ideas for alla them "Photo Funnies" anyway?) that should sate whoever out there still has a real sense of offensive humor not seen in ages.

Still, I gotta say that, even with the tons of talent behind the mag it does flounder here and there. Frankly a lotta the fumettis, especially the later ones without the big names to bolster 'em up, kinda fall flat while the load of text was something that I not only passed on then, but now. Even the Jack Davis boxing critique as well as Kurtzman's cartoon commentary on REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT lack the bellyshakes that coulda been yanked out had they not tried to be so adult about it. 

It's when Kurtzman and company stick to their comical roots that HELP! does its best such as in the aforementioned Goodman Beaver story (an ARCHIE satire worthy of anything that the Kurtzman/Bill Elder team coulda whipped up during the fifties)  or in the plethora of movie stills with rather guffawing word balloons added that, although quite humorous in its day, would be considered racist if presented to the current batch of prissies who are nothing more'n those uplifters outta an old DW Griffith Biograph reel updated with plenny o' tattoos and body modifications.

Eh, go get 'em. If you spent your teenbo years pouring through volumes of fifties-era MAD reprints in between your usual comic book scarfing you're bound to squeeze a whole lotta that once-cutting edge but now pretty reactionary style of guffaw inducement outta these volumes. Y'know, that humor that would get more'n its share of self-righteous condemnation from the usual gang of idiots otherwise known as the chattering class (or Antifa, take your pick). But I do tend to repeat myself, so sorry Charlie.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Well, here I iz, at least for the time being. Yes it's been a long time between chats and I've been extremely busy during this past half year or so which has seen my free time dwindle into nothingness, but thankfully I've been able to scrounge up a few piddly hours here/there to crank this grande return post out for the few of you who really do seem to care. So here's the first real BLOG TO COMM entry in quite some time, and given how the internet has been starved for some really in-depth rockscreeding as of late I'm sure you all should be, howshallIsay, rather grateful that I haven't decided to stay away from my doodies for an even longer amount of time than I would have liked.

Now don't go expecting me to crank out posts with the same go-gettum that I have o'er the past two decades since there still is quite a lot for a guy like me to do out there in the real world, but at least be thankful that I'm here doin' this pubelick service in order to teach you ignoramuses as to what real rock fandom writing (NOT "rock criticism" or any derivation thereof) is s'posed to be all about.

To be more'n honest about it I don't really care if you like this or not. I gave up on trying to persuade you peons as to the not-so-finer points of what a firm discussion of music (in the old and long-forgotten gonz fashion) should be like. But man I gotta say that it sure feels great to once again get in front of the keyboard and spew my true feelings regarding everything from sound and the visuals to the art of what is possible (aka politics) as I see fit. And given how pent up I've been this past half-year of not writing a darn thing with respects to that once wild and wooly sound also called rock 'n roll well, it sure is a great relief to get back into gear and once again try to do my darndest to yes, offend alla you readers out there WHO SURE NEED (and deserve) TO BE OFFENDED! As you can tell, I've also been reading a whole load of old NATIONAL LAMPOONs in the interim and I get the feeling that those guys had a handle on what public discourse was s'posed to be about, or at least had a way better handle on it than the precious petunias and their altruistic world-saving yammer that seems to be all in vogue these past few years.

As for a brief encapsulation of some current political thought: well right now I'm siding with Putin since the people who are all agog over the Ukraine (at least the ones I seem to be aware of) are a bunch of hippie pacifist types who deserve to be punished under some yoke of totalitarianism that I hope cracks their spine, while I must admit that it is a hoot seeing prez Biden looking more and more like a total asshole as time passes on. Hey, you guys are the one who wanted him in orafice and of course you deserve all you've cheated for!

Speaking of hoots, I'm sure doin' the ol' knee slaps whenever I encounter the progressive snoots out there defend things along the lines of the so-called "Don't Say Gay" legislation and getting everything wrong about it in their feeble attempts to try and convince me there is even such a thing as a trans child inna first place. If you want a real good hoo-haw just read some of the items regarding this and other pertinent subjects like Elon Musk presented on "The Left Can't Meme" which is listed on the siteroll left of this entry. The one (with regards to the whole Florida/Disney flap which proves that a company that once excelled in cheesy family friendly fun can morph into cheesy woke progressivism) that really made me laugh was this Twitter entry where some airhead argues that alla those Bugs Bunny scenes where he appears as a female in order to bushwhack Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam are in fact early examples of "grooming", the exact same kind that Gov. Ron DeSantis and his followers are bent of keeping outta the local schools fercrinoutloud! I guess this all proves that some seventy-year-old cartoon in which Bugs dons a dress and makeup is the same (physically and morally) as a buncha drag queens reading sappy sagas about young 'n confused turdlers. Sheesh, who do these people think they are anyway, Parker Tyler? Wait until these open-minded world yammerers discover CHARLEY'S AUNT

I also discovered something extremely important with regards to some of the political cartoons (which somehow gets wrapped up in the "meme" category which is open to mucho debate) and that is when some big city paper leftist in the old self-righteous Herblock/Oliphant mode (are they any others, at least printed in what is left of the modern day newspaper?) either quotes scripture to suit his own purposes as Antonio proclaimed about the devil in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE or presents Jesus Christ as an advocate of whatever "acceptable" deviant behavior is currently in vogue these days that the sanctimonious hypocrisy meters (and said artist's glee that he used the spiritual leader of his enemies against them!) are just bound to be in the red! As if these people just discovered that oft-loathed religion called Christianity 'r sumthin'! But sheesh, for the life of me I can't see any of these Hornseyesque scribblers even remotely knowing a shard of what Christianity entails other than the fact that just about any biblical quote they can come up with can be taken out of context to fit into any chic belief that just happens to pass their one-dimensional minds. 


So what else has been up during my lost weekend which turned into a good half-year anyway? Not much because frankly there ain't that many rekkids both old and new that I'd care to listen to let alone waste my money buying. Thankfully there have been some interesting platters sent my way courtesy of the likes of Paul McGarry and PD Fadensonnen, a few of which tickled my hammers and stirrups in ways that can throw even an old fanabla like me way off guard. The internet itself has been a source of some surprises, the best of them all being a youtube entry featuring a rare Milk recording of the infamous "Boy Can I Dance Good" (live at the Willoughby Ohio YMCA!) which was later done up and remade/remodeled by none other than the infamous Pagans. Nice pic they slapped on this one as well, what with photos taken from Milk's appearance at a local outdoor rock festival where they surely must have been the highlight of the program! (Interesting aside---my cyster thinks that Milk sound like Glass Harp of all groups and who knows, you may agree!) For those of you who have the same sorta passion for the entire Brian Sands oeuvre as I do here tis, 'n try to keep your eyeballs inna sockets when espying Sands' classic (not a repro!) Gibson Flying V!:


OK, here are the writeups of some tasty (and maybe not-so) items that have passed right through my head these past few days (if not months). Old new, but none are borrowed and blue thank goodness. You might be able to get some information if not entertainment from these writeups but frankly, at this point in time I could care less what you people think given your inexcusable lapses in what I would call common good taste and the ability to appreciate music in its rawer, more feral fashion. I mean, our last chance was more than forty years back and like, anything even resembling an attempt to reclaim the glorious banner of rock 'n roll is nothing but a futile exercise. A fun exercise true, but futile.

Aaron Dilloway and Lucrecia Dalt-LUCY & AARON CD-r burn 

One of the things I didn't miss during the past six months of virtual drudgery and thinking of others rather than one's self (yech!) was a good portion of the new experimental noise music that has come my way o'er the past few decades. Not that I don't care for this brew, but a little sure does go quite a long way and maybe in a direction that I don't feel quite comfortable with given just how repetitious these new experimental recordings can be. 'n I'm afraid that this not-so-recent effort from former Wolf Eyes Dilloway with compat Lucrecia Dalt falls into the same vat of noise music as alla those bedroom experimenters that have been cranking out their own soundswill these past fortysome years. For specific tastes only of which you might find specific enough for your personal sense of nervegrind.



Johnny Kannis and company doing pretty fine keeping the Australian high energy scene goin' strong. Sound quality ain't exactly tippy-top but the performance is as all-out as get-out as Chris Masuak roars on like nothing since Wayne Kramer while alla the post-Radio Birdman hard drive will remind you of just how much fun these Australian groups were, at least until the rote rot set in. If you went for the album then go for this, it even (if you can believe it) has a fantastico cover of "Don't Fear The Reaper" which is without cowbell for that matter! It's that good, and perhaps one of the best FM broadcasts since Rocket From the Tombs and that's really saying something!


Arthur Doyle-THE SONGWRITER CD (Ecstatic Peace! Records)

Solo effort that rarely gets a spin here. Wonder why, cuz Doyle's sax scronk mixed with various mumblings makes for a good "out" effort that might just figure in swell with a good portion of you readers who dumped loads of cash on items the New Music Distribution Service was selling before they went outta biz and ripped a whole lotta people off. I know that a whole lotta you are gonna dismiss this as mere jagoff custom made for those who think that music began with John Cage 'r something as whacked as that, but I find it as up and atcha as a good portion of those AACM rarities that seemed to come and go faster than toilet paper during a diarrhea epidemic.


The Revelators-WE TOLD YOU NOT TO CROSS US CD (Crypt Records)

Y'know, I didn't think much about a lotta them "new"  Crypt Records releases that came out in the late-90s. Oh they were good 'n way better'n the usual slop, but somehow they just didn't have the same vim and verve of the original sixties rock squawk let alone anything that came in its torrid wake. Shows you just how off-kilter I can get, because here in the darkness of the twenties the Revelators sure sound hot and exciting the way I like my hard-edged rock 'n roll. Not bad at all high energy knock you on your pitted butt music that has that sixties beat but doesn't get all cutesy kitsch on ya with enough real metallic shards to splinter a few ear drums out there in hard rock land. You better like it


Metal Mike, Allison & Julia-SURF CITY OR BUST CD (Triple X Records)

Post hardcore Metal Mike Saunders doing that hard pop rock which kinda put a whole load of fanablas off way back when, but it sure sounds better'n the usual musings of the day at least in retrospect. The Rockin' Blewz sesh with brother Kevin has that basement-level pre-Beatles suburban slob appeal to it that will probably inspire you to build your own knotty pine rec room. So exhilarating, especially when compared with the dreck that passed for rock 'n roll since at least 1978 when our last chance was up 'n runnin' and you all BLEW IT.


Various Artists-STICKBALL TEDDYBEAR POOPOO CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Some pretty interesting rarities here from ex-Gene Vincent sideman Scotty McKay plus the usual asst. of outta nowhere tuneage that shoulda made it but didn't because --- well, maybe they were too GOOD for the world. The usual smattering of strangities from obscure c&w to local rock appear, some of it pretty high-larious in its own way (like the excerpts from some high stool project or something like that from the Lighter Shades where the local hits are ruined with even more right on aplomb than a folk mass! Maybe Bill was in a hippie mood since Brewer and Shipley also pop up here!). And hey, this is probably the only place you're gonna hear Lionel Hampton these days, unless you have video of some old Republican National Convention that is!


Can I get any subtler? Back issues of BLACK TO COMM are still available so now's the time to fill up those cracks in your collection. Or you can use them to fill up the cracks in your house, it ain't like I really care whatcha do with 'em at this point in time!