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The Saturday Comics: Alley Oop, May 2015

16 May

May 16, 2015

Saturday Comics likes to check in on classic strips and see how they are faring in the modern age. Alley Oop began in 1932 and is still lurching along, I checked in on it in 2011 and again in 2012. I wasn’t impressed. In fact, in 2011 I was convinced they had stooped so as low as to be ripping me off! (And if you are ripping off Mr. Blog’s Tepid Timewaster, that’s low.)

Before going on, it would be very helpful to you to read that 2012 run, as it is very similar to this week’s run. Just click here.

Back then, I complained that it was slow moving and really, nothing much happened in that series. Now let’s see what’s happening right now, in the weeks ending with May 15. I can’t wait!

oop 2015

Please note that I have no copyright or ownership of Alley Oop, nor is any implied.

Well that sucked.

Talk about long goodbyes! OK, I had the misfortune to come in at the end of a storyline, but how long is it going to take to start the next one? I think nine days is long enough to get moving, especially considering that the majority of the strips are concerned with characters who are leaving the storyline, and presumably won’t be seen again, or at least for quite some time.

But man, nine days? Do I really want to stick around? No I do not.

And to make matters worse, here is the Sunday strip that went in the middle of all that.

Alley Oop Comic

Seriously?

Wow, I could have skipped all the dailies and just read the Sunday strip. Some strips have separate Sunday stories, some continue the weekly story, this one is just a recap! (And the art is recycled from the weeklies too.)

This strip used to be huge. What the heck happened? Dick Tracy still manages to be a fun and well-written strip after all these years so I can’t blame age. I think this strip (and yes, this is a very limited view of the strip) needs an injection of new blood.

I’ll check back in another three years. I’m sure that by then Oop will be, well, probably about the same.

Imponderable #126: That Guy On The Radio Is Trying To Kill Me

11 May

May 11, 2015

Imagine this. You’re driving along and you hear the text message sound on your phone. You look at it but there’s no message. Then a voice on the radio says “Did you just look at your phone?” And the sound plays again and you look down again. Then the voice on the radio says “You did it again, didn’t you?”

That actually happened to me.

It was a public service announcement about the dangers of texting and driving. This is a real psa that is currently airing here in New York, maybe where you are too. It goes on to warn you that an average text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds and that it is dangerous to text and drive.

Well, OK, true, so why did they play the sound not once but twice? That was twice I could have been tempted to look away from the road. I didn’t look at my phone, and maybe you wouldn’t either, but I am sure there are teenagers who are so addicted to their phones that they looked down both times. Is it worth the risk if even one person was fooled into thinking it was real? And did I say they played the sound twice? In a 30 second commercial they played the dangerous sound a ridiculous 5 times. It’s like they are trying to goad people into a wreck.

What are they thinking? Would they hand people a loaded gun and encourage them to play Russian Roulette?

The question is Imponderable.

You can hear the dangerous ad for yourself right here, courtesy of the Ad Council. Please don’t listen in the car. https://www.psacentral.org/campaign/Texting_and_Driving_Prevention/asset/Look_Down/13971

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In Search of… Ghosts

3 May

May 3, 2015

in search of ghosts

In  the realm of the paranormal, ghosts are the average, garden-variety cryptoid. They are not mythic, like the Loch Ness Monster, nor are they the cause of mass hysteria, like UFOs. And Sasquatch is much, much sexier, with its come-hither eyes. Ghosts are an afterthought, In fact, in the  family of psychical research, ghosts are the sheet wearing little brother. But are they real? Do they exist? Can I as an unpaid blogger, make money off them? Let’s find out.

The first ghost

It has to be assumed that the first ghost was probably the first dead caveman. Unless you think that dinosaur ghosts existed, and wouldn’t they be extinct anyway? That’s a question for sillier minds than mine. Anyway, the first cavemen was probably a very confused soul, pun very much intended. Maybe not funny, but intended.

DYING CAVEMAN: Oook! Ook ook! Ack! (Dies)

And that’s it. Since there were no other caveman ghosts to tell him to go to the light, he probably ended up wandering the world for the rest of time. He’s probably in your house right now, trying to make fire in your toilet. (Watch out.)

dead barney rubble

Ghosts of the Classic Era

When was the Classic Era? This author dates if from 1941 to 1971, the dates of publication of Classic Comics. Ironically, Classic Comics only published one ghost story. (A Christmas Carol.)

The most interesting and well-documented ghost story to come out of this era was undoubtedly 13 Ghosts. This is the true story of a man named Zorba who inherited a house haunted by- wait for it- 13 ghosts, in 3D. For some reason, one of the ghost was a headless lion tamer and his lion, which inexplicably did not count as two ghosts. Did the circus ever stop by this house? The catch was that ghost hunters wishing to explore the haunted house could only see the ghosts with the aid of special glasses which were only sold in theaters. This made it difficult for legitimate researchers to search for ghosts since they rarely had time off during the day to stop by the theater. Well-known ghost hunter Martin Milner, knowing that a fortune was hidden in the house, tried to swindle Zorba by wearing a rubber mask. (This case certainly lacked the thrills of the Amityville Horror.) By sheer coincidence, Martin Milner went on to star in a movie called 13 Ghosts, a children’s film about haunted numbers.

13 ghosts phooey

Civil War Ghosts

These are the lost souls of the 173rd Ghost Regiment, the only group of fighting ghosts in the entire war.

So get to it. Are ghosts real?

Um sure, why not?

To learn more about ghosts, stop by your local cemetery and spent the night there. Kids, always get your parents permission before fooling around with the supernatural.

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