Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fighting Stars, Summer 1977 / Bullshit, Mr. Han Man


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Get the scan here.

As promised, Kung-Fu, the Bruce Lee memorial issue of Fighting Stars. And on the cover, a still from what will always be the greatest of all martial arts films to me, Enter the Dragon. My stepdad used to take me up to the midnight movies at the K.U. Student Union even when I was very young. They would play cartoons before the movies and played all manner of cult hits and classic films to a rowdy audience, a fantastic place to be introduced to some of the more interesting cinema from the 3 Stooges to the Marx Brothers to Cheech and Chong to Disney.

Enter the Dragon blew my little mind, this was the epitome of cool. Bruce Lee's Howling Monkey style full of grace, overwhelming speed, and flash had me gobsmacked. Throw in the cool ladies man Mr. Roper, jive-talking badass Jim Kelly as Williams, Bolo Yeung as as the archetypical sadist beefcake, and top it off with a villain mastermind with a detachable hand - WOW. To this day, I still think there are a few moments of profound philosophy in the film. It's a damn shame Bruce Lee died so young, and even though many great actors have come since, he'll never be replaced as the greatest ever. He could have made some great films.

The whole martial arts industry boomed up around him, too, and you can see in this magazine all the ads and trappings of 70s karate culture. This magazine is more focused on the films, but you could still order up your deadly weapons, heh heh. The editors lead off with the confession that all of their best selling issues have had Lee on the cover and the industry was only starting to recover from the vacancy his death left.

Contents:

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I'll go with the whole article the magazine leads with, a remembrance of Lee with his mother:


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I like this breakdown of the weapons fight scene, an unforgettable fight

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Kung-Fu Weatherman!

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Breaker!Breaker! Chuck Norris' breakout film? I guess this would go with White Line Fever, Smokey and the Bandit, Convoy!, and BJ and the Bear and so forth. It's weird how topics of interest come in waves. Hmm, I'm a glutton for punishment, so I'll stream this from Netflix later and kick myself in the morning. I've gotten in the habit of watching a movie in bed at night, usually of rather low calibre. I'll post the whole article so as my fine readers might share a little of my pain...

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I bet this Ali flick will be better, though. After reading about his influence on the script and learning the film was written by Ring Lardner's son (who I didn't realize did some nice movies), I'm very curious to see it. It's amazing how many movies I've never heard of pop up while reading old magazines. A fun way to discover "new" old movies.


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Thanks to McCoy for another great edit. He captured the pulpy production values very nicely, strong scan-fu.

So, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do next time. I've got a long series of posts coming up on the birth of the girlie pulp but think I'll do a few random posts I've been meaning to get to in the meantime. It was fun to look at some modern mags and walk down memory lane, but it's time to get back Jojo. We'll be visiting a couple of slicks from the 20s and 30s before getting back into the pulp...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Henry Winkler as Fonzie 1976 / Right On! February 1976

A duo of publications up for your enjoyment tonight from the late 70s that caught my fancy. Thanks to McCoy for killer edits on both of these magazines, I'm always in awe of his gorgeous edits and at his productivity and choice of materials for his own scans. He's the straw that stirs the drink around here, and his help lets me cover a lot more ground and is much appreciated. Having such a good comrade in the scan game keeps me on my toes, in more ways than one. Whether pushing for more raws, turning me on to new magazines, or turning out some "how did he do that?" restoration work, he never ceases to amaze. So thanks, bud.

I'll kick it off with Fonzie. Aaaaaaaaay...


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Damn, dude looks baby-faced. My wife hardly ever remarks about the scads of fantastic magazines the mailman brings to our door. Pin-ups and badgirls get an eye roll, historical items get a meh, but Fonzie here got a sweet laugh. I'm not sure I'd trust my girl around the Fonz, that sly bastard.

Get the scan here.

Contents

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Happy Days was a little before my time, though I certainly watched some episodes as a kid. I didn't know that Laverne and Shirley got their start on an episode...


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Some more samples.


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The centerfold

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I was let down by this article. Today if you say Pot Shop in California you might have a little more luck, cough cough.


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Don't worry too much if your girl wants to get it on with the Fonz, she'd prolly have a hard time finding one of these on ebay...


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Right on, right on, next up a truly killer issue


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Get the scan here.

I think this magazine was a casualty of the recession, as it apparently has gone out of business. I did see a Michael Jackson memorial issue out there, but it looks like regular publication has ceased. A well done magazine, Right On! carried news and hype for black entertainment. There are a number of color pages in here, and the layout is excellent. This magazine is jam-packed with tidbits and is a great snapshot the black entertainment industry in the late 70s.

Contents

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I can't really remember much about What's Happening outside of Rerun and Roger, it's been years since I saw it. I remember it as a buddy-type sitcom about growing up, I wonder how dated it will seem if I can track it down.


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More Samples, the Jacksons. I've noticed that Michael Jackson magazines have quickly become more valuable...

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I'll go ahead and include the whole Parliament article for my P-funk lovin' homies. Gotta get up for the downstroke-

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A truly unfortunate centerfold, this can't be good for the tough guy image. I'll never look at Black Samurai the same again. Inside he boasts of beating Bill Cosby in a celebrity match...

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And a mystery quiz

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OK, I'll give you a hint, you can win a date with one of them...

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Answer! Get the funk out, it's the Brothers Johnson!

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Next time with the scan-foo, one last modern mag I'd hoped to include tonight before I'd run out of steam. The art of fighting without fighting? Show me some of it...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ranger Rick's & Sesame Street Magazine

Two more magazines I remember from my childhood for y'all today.

For some reason children's magazines always remind me of the dentist or doctor's office. Outside the school library, those are places kids get to read magazines made specifically for them. I wonder if other people share this association.

My kids have an auntie that is currently sending them Highlights and High Five (Highlights for preschoolers) and in the past have gotten National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Little Kids, and they really do get a kick out of getting their own magazine in the mail. The Highlights are almost always good for an afternoon of activities.

But recently they also get to play with some of these older magazines I've gotten via eBay. Modern children's magazines are in the bargain basement of ebay shopping, and I regularly can get a lot of 10 or 12 magazines for .99 plus shipping on publications going all the way back to the forties or fifties. Dirt Cheap. Junk? You be the judge, eh? A couple scans up today from .99 cent lots, there are plenty of fun and cheap scan targets out there...

First up, Ranger Rick's Nature Magazine, April 1979. Big thanks for the edit work on both of today's magazines to my man McCoy, he's done a great job with both of these.


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Get the scan here.

I think I picked this issue to scan because of the adorable goat on the cover. A family mine was close with raised goats, so we drank goat milk from time to time and spent time playing amongst these critters. I don't know if the hippie schools I attended early in my education had this magazine or if it was the library or doctor's offices or what, but I read a bunch of these as a kid.

Wiki sez

Ranger Rick is a children's nature magazine published in the United States by the Education Department of the National Wildlife Federation.[1] Its first issue was published in January, 1967. Historically, the magazine has been aimed at children; the NWF site today suggests ages 7 and up. (NWF also publishes two companion magazines, Your Big Backyard, which is aimed at ages 3–7, and Wild Animal Baby, which is aimed at kids 12 months old to 4 years old.[2])

Most of the pages of the magazine feature multi-page photo stories of animals in their natural habitats. There are also illustrated stories, games, riddles, nature news, poetry, contests, and other features and columns. Ranger Rick also refers to the protagonist in a long standing feature of Ranger Rick magazine, Ranger Rick's Adventures. The feature is published in the form of an illustrated short story, in which raccoon Ranger Rick and his gang of friends from Deep Green Wood explore the world, and often encounter threats to wildlife and environmental problems.


You can get these magazines and learn more about the efforts of the National Wildlife Organization here.

Contents. Take the pledge, children, environmental education cannot begin too early.


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A call to activism in defense of the environment based on respect and appreciation of nature, Rick's pledge is excellent. It's time to put up your dukes, people, the debate on energy policy is coming soon, and it promises to be rough and tumble. When elected representatives (educated men???) feel that a heavy winter in Washington is somehow proof that global warming is a hoax or that any environmental regulation is somehow a restriction on their own individual rights, you've got to know that a fight is coming. I, for one, will be writing my representatives in favor of cap and trade, in opposition to nuclear energy, in favor of stimulus to increase production of domestic geothermal, solar, and wind technologies, and in opposition to increased exploitation of national park and forest land. The recession has caused an easing of fuel prices but there's no doubt they will soon begin to escalate once again. A proactive energy policy is much better an a reactive energy policy. After seeing the health care fiasco unfold, I'm not that optimistic about the level of debate we'll get on energy. I guess my main hope here is in the private sector. I do not trust the coal and gas industries to clean up their act unless forced. However, a very large percentage of venture capital proposals these days involve green technologies, perhaps start-up technologies can upend the entrenched interests. Sigh, but anyways, back to the mag! More goats!


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Every issue contains a piece of illustrated fiction like this one featuring Ranger Rick and his crew:


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And today's second magazine, Sesame Street Magazine from July 1983. The stack I got from this vintage all have cool wraparound covers. I think this Grover as Pied Piper by R. Brown is way cool. McCoy did an excellent job polishing it up and joining the pages.


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Get the scan here.

Unless, I'm mistaken the push for the Children's Television Workshop emerged as a result of Reagan's deregulation of the media and withdrawal of public support for Sesame Street. Having to turn to other sources for funding, this was just one of four magazines published around this time that also included The Electric Company, Kid City, and 3-2-1 Impact. During Reagan's terms, guidelines for how many hours of educational programming were mandated along with how many commercials could be shown were discarded and the amount of advertising in children's programming skyrocketed (along with the number of entertainment options for children, seeing as how garbage cartoons might now be used more effectively to hawk sugary charm and chocolate crunch.) Other important aspects of this deregulation included the rejection of the fairness doctrine (that every station need show balanced viewpoints) and an increase in the number of stations any single entity could own. Welcome to Fox News as advertising arm of the Republican party and a GE owned MSNBC and the current crisis of the marriage of media, business, and political power. Not good for democracy. Ack, I'm drifting off topic again, sheesh...

Sesame Street has held it's own and expanded over the years, though, in large part due to it's unique programming. The recent Malcolm Gladwell best seller on social epidemics "The Tipping Point" had some neat material on how Sesame Street and some other more recent programs use research in determining the effectiveness of their lessons, cool stuff. The magazine, too, has been designed with much care. The magazine is short on articles but is packed with activities, which I think makes for a great time. The magazine is full of pages that are to be cut and folded - every inch of the mag is put to good use. My daughter and I went through this issue after I scanned it, reading and cutting and building and had much fun in the process. We sometimes print out an activity pages from scans of this sort of material. The kids have fun picking which page they want printed. Scans of coloring books are very economical in a way, as you can just print out the pages you will use as you use them. But onto sampleage-

Contents. Look at this lesson plan, all sorts of grist for the mill...

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Take your kid to the vet, they love it. My girl has helped me take a sick kitty in a few times this year, she says she wants to be a veterinarian and really liked this feature


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Animal Dice.


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Next time, a final post on modern magazines, a trio of pop culture tidbits - Rerun, Happy Days, and Kung-Fu?!?!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Indian Child Life - Edwin and Therese Deming (1899)

A quick detour today. I talked about scanning children's material last time, so I thought I'd put up a favorite old scan as an example of what I'm talking about.


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Indian Child Life (1899.Therese & Edwin Deming).cbr
Get the scan here.

This is an absolutely beautiful children's book written by Therese Deming and illustrated by her husband Edwin from 1899. Edwin was a contemporary and friend of Frederic Remington, and Edwin and Therese dedicated themselves to the study and celebration of Native American cultures. The stories are geared toward and often about children, and the art is done in a pastoral, colorful, and distinctly American style. This couple did a number of books in their careers, but I believe this is a fairly early example. Here's a link to post on the Demings by an excellent blogger that writes on a wide variety of interesting and important subjects.

http://prairiemary.blogspot.com/2005/08/eight-bears-and-blackft.html

There's also some mention of the artist to be found here:

http://www.askart.com/askart/artist.aspx?artist=7521

Since scanning this book, I stumbled across a very nice article on Edwin Deming by his wife on pages 23-28 in The Mentor (one of my favorite vintage mags, I'll post on it soon!) from April 1926 which you can get here.

My kids came home from their school Thanksgiving parties with feather headbands made from construction paper and Chief and Princess necklaces. Let's not let these baubles be the only way our kids think of Indian life and cultures. Artists like the Demings and Edward Curtis recognized the value in "capturing" the lifestyle of the tribes at the turn of the century as their traditional way of life was waning. Indian myths and folktales have many valuable qualities concerning our relationship to each our families, our community, and our place in the natural world- I know I appreciate very much that my mother used to read them to me, so I am making an effort to read them to my own children.

Samples! Back to the periodicals next time, but perhaps this post might some of you out there to ponder what special children's book you might have on your shelf you might have to share for posterity.



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P.S. I couldn't bring myself to cut this beautiful and beautifully crafted book, so excuse a little spine shadow and the close crop! They don't make 'em like they used to, this is one of the sturdiest and most beautiful books I've ever had the pleasure to own, and I plan on giving to one of my kids when they have their own some day. I still have the raw scans and might return to them for a different presentation sometime, but in the meantime, it looks a-ok as is.