Tag Archives: comics books

The Saturday Comics: Mendy and the Golem

10 Mar

March 10, 2012

Last week I featured Christian comics so in the interest of fairness I present Mendy and the Golem.

Billed as “The World’s Only Kosher Comic Book”, Mendy Enterprises’ Mendy and the Golem first appeared in 1981. Written by Leibel Estrin and drawn by Dovid Sears, the comic book featured the offbeat misadventures of Mendy, an Orthodox Jewish boy, and his pet Golem. Other characters include Mendy’s parents, Rabbi Yaakov and Sara Klein; Mendy’s sister, Rivky; and a host of colorful supporting characters such as Moshe the Mayven; the Lone Stranger and his faithful friend Toronto; Captain Video; Dr. Hardheart and his evil robot Oy Vayder; and Professor Nemo.

The comic’s humor has been likened to that of “Rocky and Bullwinkle”, taking shots not only at pop culture, but even at the comic book and its creators. Nineteen issues were produced, and a 20th written and illustrated but never published.

Around 1983, the American musician Bob Dylan (né Robert Zimmerman) was studying Jewish scripture at the main Lubavitcher synagogue at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. At that time, a letter from “R.Z., Hibbing, Minn.,” appeared in an issue of “Mendy and the Golem.”

I actually own an issue, number 12, which you will see in the gallery below. I distinctly remember buying it in the candy store down the block from my house. They had an old spinner rack full of comics (Try finding one of those nowadays. Thanks, direct market.) and one week, among all the superheroes I saw Mendy and the Golem. It was very out of place and I never before or after saw another issue. I bought it and it is a good thing I did. While almost every other issue sells today for four of five dollars, this one sells for fifteen. Why? Beats me.

You can find the official Mendy and the Golem comic site by clicking this link.


The Saturday Comics: Flying Saucers

13 Aug

August 13, 2011

Today we’ll take a look at something that combines a quartet of my interests: comic books, toys, flying saucers, and old ads. I have a sampling of ads and articles about do-it-yourself flying saucers and home-made spaceships for you this week.

Exciting! Fun! Low Cost! A great father and son project! And powered by an ordinary vacuum cleaner motor! Sign me up! Never mind that I’ve owned vacuums that have had trouble getting a stubborn piece of lint out from under the bed, I am sure this thing can really lift 200 pounds. Who am I to argue? I am just some guy with logic and a background in engineering.

But I am sure that free inventors calendar is really cool.

Before you say “it’s a Frisbee,” let me explain the principle of differential expansion.

Differential expansion is a phenomenon peculiar to rotors and rotating discs which causes tilt based on the effect of weight or gravity upon the rotating object. It is a natural phenomenon observable in helicopter rotors, steam engines, and Frisbees.

Now you can say “it’s a Frisbee.”This one is a model, and speaking as a man who built a ton of models in his youth, it is a pretty boring model. What is that, three pieces? According to the ad it can be flown with a motor. I doubt that. That is highly unaerodynamic, and it is made of balsa wood. There isn’t enough weight to it. It also “flies extremely well as a glider.” I think it would make a better Frisbee.

But I love the price, 2/6 plus purchase tax. What country uses nomenclature like 2/6 for pricing?

Now this clears things up a bit. the only problem is, the third column starts with “launching is done by your assistant.” Assistant? What is this, the Lockheed Skunk Works? At any rate, a propeller in the front is a better design than a jet in the back. And this one seems like more fun to build since it is mostly homemade. But overall, I really like the article’s lingo. “After Air Trails ran the ‘Saucy Saucer’ flying control line whizzeroo…” All we need is Stan Lee to blurt out “Excelsior!”

Thank you Wham-O! They may call it a “Pluto-Platter” but they don’t pretend it is anything but a 79 cent Frisbee, even if they do pretty it up with the “Scientific airfoil” guff. I love the “Flying Saucer Horseshoe Game.” Two Frisbees and a pair of sticks for $4.98.

Here’s where I’d rather spend my $4.98. And the 10-day free trial? Who needs it? In ten days I’ll already be on Mars.

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