Wednesday, December 28, 2022


When Max Gaines sold his slice of DC and skedaddled with PICTURE STORIES FROM THE BIBLE to form his own EC line he also snatched up the FAT AND SLAT series created by veteran cartoonist Ed Wheelan of MINUTE MOVIES fame. I gotta admit that I find it rather weird that this obvious MUTT AND JEFF swipe was running in Gaines' "All American" line especially since at the exact same nanosecond Gaines was printing the MUTT AND JEFF stories not only on their own but amid the various Green Lantern and Flash sagas that were raking the bucks in at the time. Almost as strange as when Hulk Hogan and Superstar Billy Graham were both wrestling in the WWF and the same time, but stranger things have gone down in the once-wild and wooly world of comic books.

I sure think that it's sweller'n swell that some if not all of the Pre-Trend EC titles have fallen into the public domain. It ain't like I'm that hot on reading such obvious dogs as ANIMAL FABLES or THE HAPPY HOULIHANS, but EC's early crime titles do lead the way to the highly praised SuspenStories they would eventually make their moolah with and besides, there are a few pre-Trenders that I must admit I had just more'n a little bitta curiosity towards such as FAT AND SLAT. After all, Wheelan's MINUTE MOVIES was such an important part of the development of the comic strip it being the first one to have a continuing storyline but most of all sheesh, am I a real sucker for A GOOD BAD GAG!!!

And FAT AND SLAT was chock fulla 'em! When a bad gag is presented properly is transcends the usual banality of those gags Unca Ferd usedta toss at ya...Ernie Bushmiller and Bob Montana were masters of taking worn and just plain trite groaners and slippin' in a whole lotta  freshness into 'em, along with the eye=pleasing art and sexy gals. As far as Wheelan went well, it wasn't like he could cram a whole lotta sexiness into his panels (though he femmes were cute enough if you go for the Vera Vague look) and I don't think the Surrealists woulda let him into their clique no matter how hard he tried, but his work was more'n just plain satisfactory, especially if you (like me) still harbor your olde tymey Sunday Afternoon settle back 'n read some comic book habit that really held your attention span more'n geometry class ever did. That is, until you discovered a special meaning in old NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC hula girl issues and bathroom door locks.

At times these gags make you do just that, but sometimes the jokes do slap ya when you're not lookin'. Given that Wheelan was still drawing in that fine-pen style even this late in comic art game the game the artwork does come off rather spirited. And that's something which does suit a fanabla like me who thinks comic strips took a wrong turn way back and perhaps we need to revive some of the older ways without looking too homage-driven, that is.

Also on hand is the "Comics McCormick" series featuring Earth's Mightiest Comic Book Fan who, each issue, is seen fantasizing about his own adventures fighting alongside such super-powered specimens as Marvel Maid. This particular feature's actually a whole lot better'n you wags would probably be led to believe even if the ol' "it was only a dream" culmination might be an insult to the brains of some of you more sophisticated types who wouldn't be seen eating pork rinds.

As a bonus you also get some FAT AND SLATs that popped up in a number of other EC titles such as LAND OF THE LOST and MOON GIRL which is certainly a nice thing for Gwandanaland to do in their budget conscious times. So you guys (and I assume gals but wouldn't bet on it) readers don't have any excuses NOT to waste them lazy days doing something constructive like yer parents always bugged you about. Get a hold of FAT AND SLAT and do a good turn for humanity that sure beats you volunteering to work inna soup kitchen I'll tell ya!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022


You remember him, he's the Jewish guy with the Christian last name! Anyway, I do hope that your holiday season is doing swell enough for you to ooze a little funtime enjoyment outta this particular entry in the ever-lovin' annals to BLOG TO COMMunism. I guess my holiday jeers are goin' 'long hokay enough especially since either alla my relatives are dead or not speaking to me so there's no arguments or petty sniping goin' on this time o' year that's for sure! Of course less relatives means less presents but hey, nowadays I can afford alla the tootsietoys I want so what's the big loss anyway Junior? 


And (if you IQ zeroes haven't guessed by now), here's the latest in a line of once again staggling BLOG TO COMM posts. As usual the lack of time and energy is once again contributing to my tardiness, although I gotta say that it sure ain't exactly a bowlfulla Cream of Turdburger Soup cranking out these posts for a buncha INGRATES like I know you are! And by that I do mean you readers who could care one whit about these definitely enlightening missives guaranteed to get your rockism revved up like nothing since Geritol. Something of which, considering the average age of the readers of this blog, I'm sure is pumped intravenously into each and everyone of y'all.


IT'S TIME FOR YOUR AFTERNOON (or morning or evening, wherever you happen to be) MOOM PITCHER INTERLUDE: here's a flicker that I gota say, for being over 110-years-old, really affected me in ways that I don't think anything done within the past four or so decades ever could. And for being an Edison production (they not exactly being known for their groundbreaking filmic efforts the way that the folk at Biograph or even Vitagraph were), THE LAND BEYOND THE SUNSET really does grab you by your psyche and says, in twelve minutes no less, things that multi-kazillion dollar efforts have certainly fallen flatter'n Olive Oyl's chest on. And that ending, even in its ambiguity, is one that really makes one shudder in ways that might seem cornball to you but more down to earth and real life than anything you'll ever admit to given your rather shallow lives: My fascination with this 'un probably says a whole lot more about me than it does you, and in a positive, life-reaffirming way at that.  I'll tell ya, this one got "me" like nothing since those Strother Martin episodes of GUNSMOKE.

Speaking of Mr. Martin, here's a brief sample of why I believe this man was thee downright best CULT performer to hit any medium extant (and you can take your Harry Dean Stantons, James Coburns, Royal Danos and Timothy Careys --- well maybe not Carey--- and do what you're supposed to do with 'em I guess...)

And here's one more that's bound to send you back to the 1975 CBGB Christmas Rock Festival:


Got some newies here as well as picked a few outta the collection that I haven't played in a skunk's age. There are loads of spinners this time and if I were yoy I wouldn't read the entire writeup in one sitting. Take a break, have a sandwich and then continue's good for your spleen. Thanks to the usual suspects for their contributions 'n all. And thanks to me for having a steady job so's I can afford some of these tasty treats!

MX-80 Sound-BIG HITS AND OTHER BITS LP (Supreme Echo Records)

Sheesh, I have about ten variations on this in my collection so why do I need another! Well, I do and not only for the neat packaging (complete with rare snaps and a history of the original Bar-B-Q issue) but for the additional tracks which, as they all say, are bound to turn your head in ways Charlie McCarthy could only dream of. '76-vintage MX-80 here going through everything from re-dos of Jan & Dean to the Ventures to a variety of efforts previously unheard by my ears. And just wait until you osmose what they did with some of the old Chinaboise numbers cuz frankly you just might not believe it!


Marc Bolan & T .Rex-RARE, LIVE AND UNRELEASED 3-CD-r set

Anudder dunno the what whys and wherefores about it, but SO WHAT given this is a nice 'n hot slice of T. Rextacy in its pantie wetting prime. Three disques with loads of those great tracks that really serve to remind ya of just what WAS  grand about the early-seventies even though brainy rock knowitalls seem to say otherwise. Well, ya gotta admit that they all are a buncha phony intellectuals anyway because, in quite a few ways, those years mighta been way superior to what eventually was in store! 

If I got this into my paws back when I was twelve I probably wouldn't be here today because hey, the sheer MIGHT of these pulsating paens to energy as god woulda killed me right then and there! I know --- you sure wish they HAD!!!


Meercaz-QUEEN MARY MILL LP (Love Anthem Records)

Another stangetie from Meercaz, but a GOOD strangetie at that. Side one's a ball of confusion what with the presence of (I assume) Queen Mary Mill(ington) and others gabbing in between various "found sound" in the form of old records etc. A hodgepodge that I must admit I really couldn't discern let alone get into. However I totally went for the flipster which features some mighty hard rockin' from Meercaz that at times evokes the beauty of Detroit metallic shards as well as El Lay sleaze the kind that sorta bubbled under the veneer of showbiz glitz the same way the LA STAR did. Of course you're going to ignore it and let this effort sorta frizzle away into the eternity of records that shoulda gotten their due but never did. And you wanna know why I hate you!

Fadensonnen-MIRROR/CREEPER LP (Fadensonnen Records)

Fadensonnen once again comes out with an effort that kinda knocks one for a loop even if the one listening isn't the kinda guy who gets knocked out for one. "Mirror" starts off rather melodic-like (!) with an eerie psychedelic presence complete with obvious lines copped from "Sunshine of Your Love" if mutated through a mid-eighties Controlled Bleeding effort. "Creeper" borrows heavily from "Sister Ray" which doesn't surprise me other'n the way people can take that basic riff and do wonders with it like they have the past fifty-five years. Biggest disappointment---side two is left blank.



Hain't played the BERLIN album in a skunk's age so this live re-do by Reed was an interesting re-evaluation. Or something like that, but sheesh I gotta say that I think this 'un's better'n the real deal thing! The original was a bit too overboard, but the new take is stripped down and, in many ways, captures the 1973 deca-rock New York scum just as well as those Elliot Murphy odes to suburban moms speeding on pills while the kids get lost in Lower Manhattan for weeks on end did.  Gee, who knew that Lou still had it in his that late in the game! If anything, try to avoid the encore of "Candy Says" which sounds as if Marvin the Martian's singing it.

Lou Reed-WORDS AND MUSIC MAY 1965 CD (Light in the Attic Records)

And speaking of Lou, here are those long-promised poor man's copyright tracks which I gotta say really appeal to a guy like me whose only Velvets spinnage these past two or so years have been those July '65 demos. Ain't gonna bore ya in my typical long-winded way about what goes on  but I'm sure they're gonna be ear-openers for the more Velvets-attuned aficionados amongst us. And the earlier folkie tracks are quite enthralling as well. Don't let the thought of Lou singing "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" scare you any for he turns it into a rather rollicking number which I don't think ever coulda been sung 'round some campfire!


Les Olivensteins-UNAVAILABLE CD (Smap Records, France)

Wow, I didn't know that this French punk (in the purest Skydog sense of the word) had this many records out. 

You can easily enough search this blog for my other Olivensteins reviews but whatever, try to also get hold of this '77 effort which really jolted me back into fantasy after quite a spell of reality. None of that precocious blare trash here or even any really direct copies of all those big names that everybody was copying from lo these many years. These Olivensteins direct your ears back to those days of old, nudging somewhere between the mid-seventies punk stylings with various pop and neo-Stonesy moves that mighta even made them anti-punk assholes you knew (and still do) sit up and take notice. 

Just goes to show you just how much good 'n uncovered music still needs to be heard by monominded doofs such as myself!


The Satellites-OUTTA HERE CD-r burn (originally on Beluga Records)

An eleven-year-old garageband revive-y thing (which I thought I had previously reviewed in these pages although can't find any evidence I did) which I'm sure will please a few of ou readers who never had the heart to sell your Voxx label LPs. Although I find nothing at all dire about this one all I gotta say is...dontcha think this would sound a whole lot better had it come out in 1981 and was pressed on one of those flat Moxie Records discs that got more'n a few audiophiles out there in an uproar? Me too.


Sonny Burgess with Dave Alvin-TENNESSEE BORDER CD-r burn (originally on Hightown records)

(Another one I coulda sworn I reviewed way way back but wha' th' hey...) Olde-tymey rockabilly legend teams up with a new-tymey one and the results are --- actually not that bad. Of course all of the markings of "new" and "improved" are splattered all over the thing but it still makes for a kinda/sorta decent listening experience. And not only for  the long time rockabilly fans but alla them gnu wavers who jumped onto the bandwagon inna early-eighties after the Stray Cats perked their attention up quite a bit. To be honest about it this actually does very little for me although I will admit its' a solid and well-crafted effort that should go down in some sorta r-billy pantheon of greatness.


PARIS 1942 LP (Majora Records)

When I first lent ear to these guys via some live tape sent me by none other than the infamous Philip Milstein I thought it was a total waste of the talents of drummer Maureen Tucker to even go near these attention-seeking and downright irritating on purpose (as in precocious turdler not industrial music brandisher) buncha fanablas However when I snatched this 'un up a good twennysome years or so back I couldn't believe the outright perfection what with these pre-Sun City Girls putting out a roar that reminds me more of those mid-seventies local garage band cassette rehearsal tapes (talkin' Rat Squeeers, Gizmos, Kid Sister...) than anything else. Of course the backbeat sure helps these guys out a whole lot. That's the a-side --- the flip gets into some more developed instrumental bends and turns that's not as grabbing, but still pretty solid and attuned to your very own sense of musical wonderment. I think you can get it off Youtube if you so desire.


Stan Freberg-FREBERG UNDERGROUND LP (Capitol Records)

It's been awhile since I've spun Freberg's final comedy album and I gotta admit that, even with the man's fifties-styled brand of necktie ha-ha's starting to come off totally irrelevant in the modster sixties, I could get a whole load-a funtime satisfaction outta his Ron Reagan/Batman spoof not to mention his folk songs for the future. It's a whole lot funnier'n anything the likes of Sarah Silverman can croak up that's for sure! June Foray adds her own special magic to this toodle-oo as she did back when "St. George and the Dragonet" was cuttin' 'em up, and Freberg even re-did his famous Lake Michigan filled with hot chocolate with the Royal Canadian Air Force dropping a maraschino cherry on the whipped cream skit t' boot!


Does this post (Un)holy Modal Rounders Stampfel platter hold up as much as it did when I presented that feature of 'em in my famed crudzine way back 1988 way?  Sho' does! A classic selection of real Amerigana set to music even you can enjoy, from funk meets hoedown to Jimmy Buffettisms for people who hate Jimmy Buffett! Trust me, it works as much now as it did when I was younger and perhaps not that much stupider.
The Moogy Klingman Revue with Andy Kaufman-LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY 1974 CD-r burn

Thanks to Paul McGarry I got a slew of good burn 'em ups just in time for some holiday hijinx, and this one is a surprise given its historical value. Three tracks here (with a spoken intro and outro by noted Utopian Klingman on the whys and wherefores), recorded during his Revue's Max's Kansas City tenure. Two of 'em feature the band while the one stuck inna middle showcases Kaufman's earliest live appearance (I think) where the genesis of that style which continues to irritate a whole load of fanablas even this far down the line can truly be discerned!

The actual Klingman tracks aren't exactly my cuppa tea, the first with special guest Todd Rundgren being of that typical mid-seventies prog rock up 'n down the keyboard style that still has an extremely stale air to it now as it did then. The second, more jazz-fusion one does fare better but I'm sure that the majority of you tuner-inners would want to listen to this about as much as you'd want to sit through an entire run of HAZEL with a few episodes of PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES to wash it down.

The Kaufman stuff sates more, what with him doing this real hippoid peace and love whole earth kinda character urging the audience to go "Ommmmmm" before mutating into a tough New York slob puttin' down the wheat bran schmucks assembled! And it was only a year before the same guy was spinnin Mighty Mouse records on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE!

It's online in various formats so like, if you wanna get it it's there for ya as Lou Costello once said.
Patti Smith-LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY 1974 CD-r burn

Lotsa action goin' on at Max's then, not only with the above but with these recently discovered tracks from one of Patti's appearances at the famous hangout right when everthing was starting to get super-hot. "Piss Factory" roars on with a ferociousness that just wasn't present on the single while "Paint It Black" is made Patti's own with a tenseness that just wasn't put forth on the Stones original! And the duo of Lenny Kaye and Richard Sohl sound about as electronically attuned as any of the major claimants to the form once known as rock 'n roll...sheesh, these two are perhaps the best Velvets-infused duo to hit the boards since Suicide!

Hey, why pay exorbitantly high fees for back issues of BLACK TO COMM  elsewhere when you can get 'em for a whole lot less here! Of course you'll have to deal with me, but them's the breaks.