Tag Archives: Disney

Everybody’s Happy Now Bun Toons! YAY!

Isn't it nicer when everyone is happy?  Sigh...

Isn’t it nicer when everyone is happy? Sigh…

Hey, it’s in the news, it’s about comics, I have to make a comment.

kirby settlement websize

There…I told you everyone was happy.

Ty the Guy OUT!

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The bonus moment is just as happy.  It was from Christmas a couple of years ago, and Christmas is always happy.

support the tropesPS:  If you link back to this Bun Toon, try not to give away that it’s all about Jack, that’s sort of the punchline both times..

 

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For a link to a Bun Toon that's all about ME for a change, click above.

For a link to a Bun Toon that’s all about ME for a change, click above.

More Bun Toons than you could reasonably read await after you click here.

More Bun Toons than you could reasonably read await after you click here.

 

John Carter vs. the Mainstream.

Ah, John Carter…you never learn.  You’re not one of the popular kids.

I saw the Disney picture last week, and brain-explodingly LOVED it.  There’s some changes to the story I don’t agree with, and a few that I do, but overall, the heart, spirit and look of the movie was everything I hoped for.  Bang on.  Bullseye.  Round of applause.   For the twelve year old boy who first discovered Tharks and Dejah Thoris in an old issue of DC’s Weird Worlds, this movie made me clap my hands and grin until I ached.

My kids didn’t love it though, and not winning over that precious kid audience  is keeping this film from making the kind of money that the producers need.  Which means we’ll never get a sequel, a sticker book, happy meal toys or any of that stuff that comes along with blockbuster films.

Fig. I : What won't be happening at local Walmarts.

But that was a given. It’s John Carter. He never rises far above secret cult fandom. He’s the George Harrison of Science Fiction – The Dirk Gently’s Detective Agency, the Humbug Magazine, the Beethoven’s 6th Symphony of pop culture, and that’s kind of where I like him.

John Carter is the perennial poor relation to his superstar big brother, Tarzan. Both were created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but Mr. Loin-cloth got dozens of novels, more than a hundred movies, two hundred TV episodes, four hundred comic books, animated shows, lunch boxes, toys, games, you name it, there’s a Tarzan version of it. The Ape Man was one of the most popular characters of the 20th Century.

Mostly because of things like this.

Whereas John Carter isn’t even IN half of the ten novels Burroughs wrote about Mars.  And when Carter got  adapted into other media, it was a tepid affair.  Instead of Tarzan’s four hundred issues, John Carter totaled about four dozen comics in the last century.

As for film and TV adaptations, previous to this recent Disney epic, the Barsoomian movie catalogue numbered one:  a basement-budget sci-fi direct to DVD adaptation of Princess of Mars, made in 2009, and starring former porn queen TRACI LORDS as Dejah Thoris and Antonio Sabato Jr. as the Captain.

This is real. It exists. I've seen it.

It’s surprisingly less vile than you think it would be, but still hardly much of a film.  The budget is so low, the Tharks only have two arms.  Seriously.

Fig. II: A Four-Armed Thark prepares an evening meal.

To further scare away the mainstream from this franchise, the “science” in this sci-fi is just goofy:  John can hop over mountains on a planet that’s actually HEAVIER than Earth.  The airships fly by means of the 8th Ray, or basically, magic.  Evolution on Mars got cheap-date-drunk before choosing how many limbs each creature got, and interplanetary teleportation is explained away by settling back in a spooky Indian cave.

Personally, one of the reasons I like Barsoom is the civilized way in which all parties agree that physics doesn’t really matter there, just like Oz, Wonderland, and Narnia, but apparently that sort of thing causes modern audiences to flee.

The final barrier to mainstream popularity is, ironically, the popularity these stories used to enjoy.   Burroughs’ Mars novels were such a huge influence on the Science Fiction creators of the years following 1912 that John Carter can’t seem “new” or “fresh”.

Fig. III: I think it's Barsoom.

Frank Herbert’s Dune was utterly lifted from Barsoom, as was Star Trek’s Vulcan, James Cameron’s Avatar, and George Lucas’ Tatooine. We’ve seen John Carter reproduced as Superman, Adam Strange, Buck Rogers, Captain Kirk, the Raiders of Gor, Richard Corben’s Den, Green Lantern and Luke Skywalker.

Dejah Thoris inspired Elaan of Troyus, Orion Slave Girls, and Leia’s Metal Bikini. Homages to Tars Tarkas show up in the Klingons, the Predators, J’onn J’onz, and the Sand People of Star Wars. Tharks are the reason we think all Martians are green.

Fig IV: A two-armed Thark - handicapped, but willing to fight on.

For younger viewers, it’s hard to appreciate the century old template that these modern tropes are drawn from, because it feels like we’ve seen it all before.

When in reality, we’ve only seen it all SINCE.

So, John Carter is a permanent sub-niche fandom, and those of us who have been to Barsoom expect it that way. It’s a little more cool to be out of the mainstream, man.  We burrow a little deeper into our inner geek.  We can drop references like Dirk Gently and Humbug Magazine and know the hepcats in the room dig the bit.

Figure V: Dirk Gently.

It would be nice if Disney didn’t lose quite so many hundreds of millions on this picture.  It’s so much better than the critics are telling you.  Andrew Stanton created a lovely tribute to a piece of science fiction history, and he did it with such love and joy and FUN that I giggled like a schoolboy for most of the movie.

If you haven’t seen it, go this weekend.  Your Jeddak, COMMANDS it.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your COMIC BOOK JOHN CARTER BONUSES!

The officially ERB FAMILY approved Marvel adaptation of the second novel in the Barsoom series came out just two days ago!   It’s drawn by my buddy Ramon Perez, and is as beautiful as the Red Planet itself.  The script is burning through the original book a little faster than I expected, but I suppose it’s a fairly frantic pace all around with GODS OF MARS.  The layout, the colouring and the feel of the book is delicious.

John, getting his Barsoom-legs back after a few years away. I TOLD you the art was pretty.

ALSO ON THE COMIC RACKS NOWADAYS!!

Dynamite Comics has two different ongoing Barsoom series:  Dejah Thoris and Warlord of Mars. The Dynamite WARLORD is currently adapting the very same novel that Marvel is adapting, (GODS OF MARS), and is a few chapters ahead, which means Carter fans new to the stories, but buying both titles are getting complete spoilers for the Marvel book.

 The scripts for both titles are readable, and the art is good in the Thoris series, (not so much in the Warlord book).  Unfortunately, there’s a lurking creepy quality to the stripper pasties they put on all the women in this incarnation of the franchise.

 Either embrace the nudity of the original novels, or give Ms. Thoris  something less skeevie to wear, thank you.  The brass nipple clamps are the worst of both worlds.

It’s been a fun couple of weeks revisiting the Mars of my childhood.  I’ve even taken to re-reading my Marv Wolfman/Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson Barsoomian comics from the 70s, with much nostalgic vigour when I get a spare moment, and I’ve put the audio-books of the original ERB novels on in the background while I’ve been drawing lately.  Best part:  Listening to the invariably male readers doing an imitation of Dejah Thoris when she’s saying romantic things.

I’m off to swim in the river Iss.  Wish me luck.

THE SEVEN MOST AWFUL TOYS and ACTION FIGURES

The new TOY STORY movie is coming out and if you live in the free world, you’ve been inundated with commercials for the film, the Happy Meal boxes, the collectables, the clothing line, the comics, the books, the cakes, the fork lifts, the feminine hygiene spray and the video games.  As Bill Maher said last week “we’ve been promised so much, this movie better give me a real buzz and a real woody”.

We all love toys, because we’re all kids inside, especially the unrepentant kids out there who love comics.  (That gang is not-growing-up with an aggression that borders on psychosis.)  But we don’t love all toys, because all toys don’t deserve it.  Some toys are just so bizarre, so wrong-headed, so unholy that Winslow Schott wouldn’t play with them drunk.   If these toys came to life, we would run screaming from the room, looking for a gun.

These are…

THE SEVEN MOST AWFUL TOYS

and ACTION FIGURES in history!


#7-SPIDER-MAN TOILET LAND

Please, look away for god's sake.

Tingle, Spidey-Sense, TINGLE!

I know Peter Parker has a shitty life and he sometimes gets all pissy about the way that fate treats him, but who thought that translated out to a toy line?  Well, we’re living in an age in which all our urination and bowel evacuation needs can be taken care of in a soft, nurturing, Spider-Man environment.  Cradle your family jewels in Spider-Man’s mask to the left, until it’s time to take them out to get them off to work.  Now with a choice of Spider-Man toilets to aim for (below), you can admire your “Spider-Man on the Toilet” action figure (above) as inspiration and instruction.

Those EYES! Staring into my soul...or something.

It's not an industrialized nation until you have many Spider-man toilet seats to choose from.

And when you’re done, Spider-Man toilet paper will bring you back to Aunt May, nice and clean.

Now, with wall crawling freshness!

There’s no versions of these toilet/pooping toys for Spawn or Ghost Rider (two characters easily crappy enough to warrant them), so it must be something they think ONLY Spider-Man fans might want.
Spidey fans, are you going to take that?

#6- HULK SHOWER HEAD

When you’re in the shower head business, you should figure out early you cannot license a super-hero character for your product.  There’s simply nowhere for the water to come out of a human shaped  shower-head that isn’t disgusting.  Any stream of anything exiting from below the belt is right out for most consumers (except for the Belgians who delight in that sort of thing)

This is in Belgium, and it's art. So back off, provincial fools.

Which leaves you with a choice of a shower head that either cries, sneezes or spits-up its contents onto you while you bathe.

Or shouts it at you, in a bout of soul-heaving retches.

And when it comes to the Hulk, a steady supply of steamy water-vomit is just what I’m looking for in a hygiene product for my bathroom.  “Hulk Smash!”?  I don’t think so.  I say “Hulk, relax away my troubles!”

#5-BATMAN SQUIRT GUN

Gaze upon its beauty and wonder.

Another in the theme of water streaming from the mouths of super-heroes.  I love this toy, and own TWO, and one of that pair will be one of the five things I’m being buried with.  (Read my will for the other four, you vultures).

Help me, I've squirted, and I can't get up!

WHY IT’S GLORIOUS:  When you “pull the trigger” (which we all noticed is where Batman’s penis would be) liquid squirts jauntily out his mouth at an alarming pounds per square inch pressure.  That’s a lesson to confuse the youngins, for in real life, that’s not going to happen, unless you sack-punch someone who’s chugging beer.  And even then, the likely result is more of a gush than a tightly directed stream….and then, of course, more sack-punching, all around.

Touch me, and you risk me fisks.

Either way, I can never “pull the trigger” with my Batman Squirter, for “Wertham based” reasons, so it rests on a shelf with my My Popeye Squirter, and my Donald Duck Squirter.  I know sailors don’t shoot high pressure liquid from their mouths when you pull THEIR triggers, but I cannot speak with authority about ducks.  I’ve never sack-punched a water fowl, and continue to be proud of that.

#4- PUNISHER “SHAPE SHIFTER” GUN

Obviously someone at TOY BIZ, saw the Batman/Popeye/Donald duck dick squirter guns and said “We must top that.”.

And they did.

Don't judge me, I lost my wife and kids to mobsters.

We’re so far past simple “pulling the trigger” dick jokes and well into Rocket Phallus, spread legged anal probe territory that I have to assume this entire thing was a cry for help from a toy designer deep “in the bowels” of the Toy Biz/Marvel/Legions of Satan organization.

It's the film strip of torture photos up the side of the box that makes it sing!

It’s not just that you can pose this figure in remarkably impolite ways all through the transformation process that makes this clearly-not-well-focus-tested product, such a delight–It’s that the FINAL transformation may well be the most impolite thing ever done to a human doll since voodoo was invented.

But before we get to that grand funk finale, check out the awkwardly posed figure, second from the top on that set of blackmail photos running down the side, where Frank Castle is first introduced to “harsh interrogation methods”.   By the time it’s all over, in final stage #5, he’s been left in “stress positions” all night, and this is one toy ready to tell you whatever you want to hear, or take you dancing.

I hope it’s a squirter pistol, ’cause this whole thing is giving me a “water board”, if you know what I mean.

Ah, that's better. I've worked out all the kinks. Now, you had questions for me, my captors?

What self respecting child would ever hold this “gun” in his hands except to show the therapist where the inappropriate touching happened?

#3- WEEPING PADME PREGGO TOY

Take me home! Play with me! I promise I'll stop crying.

If there’s one thing a kid wants from an action figure it’s ACTION!  And nothing says ACTION like a weeping pregnant lady all swollen up and ready to drop her puppies.  If you’ve ever had a little sister or brother arrive in your life, kids, then you know the excitement THIS action mom is in for, over six months of sleeplessness, bloating, crankiness, and cracked nipples.    Add to that level of thrill, collectors delight that this toy ties into one of the three best prequels in the Star Wars saga.

BONUS ACTION POINTS:  The doll inside the package has clearly become so depressed that she’s cut off all her hair in a deranged moment of self destruction.  Now with Post Partum Depression grip!

#2- DONALD DUCK VIBRATING RIDE

The people that work at Disney have a frustrating existence, I know.  The work long hours for meager pay, they’re not allowed to grow facial hair, and they have all those lectures about the “Articles of Zion” to attend every Wednesday lunch.    And that explains the occasional dildo on the Little Mermaid Video Box:

Yup it's real. Get your own copy out and stare at it.

or the odd Tigger assault on the children,

That's it, boy. You f***ed with the wrong Tigger.

but I have no explanation for this:

I'm speechless. What caption could I write to equal this image?

How did it get built?  What designer approved it?  Where can I find one?

Sure, it vibrates like a bucking bronco, and it’s our job to feed it the quarters while our daughter hangs on, but does Donald have to be LOOKING at her like that when she rides?  And if you’re going to teach youngsters how to “Cowgirl”, for god’s sake instruct them on where to put their hands.  It’s never holding onto the hat.

#1- WONDER WOMAN ACTION SCISSORS

Working your Wonder Woman, step one.

Ah, Princess Diana’s oddest collectable, and another of my prized collection.  The best you can say about it that at least she’s not tied up.  It’s still impossible to ignore the underlying message of this toy.  To make it work, you must pry Wonder Woman’s thighs apart and quickly thrust them back together again, OVER AND OVER.  And what does it do while this is happening?  IT CUTS THINGS OFF!

Working your Wonder Woman, step two. SPREAD them THIGHS!

If there was any justice in the world, this is the weapon that street women carry in their boot to fight off evil johns who don’t pay up.  Like a St. Christopher sculpture is used for the dashboard of your car.  But I think these are safety scissors, so you couldn’t cut up your pimp with them at all.  Darn it.

IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING WHERE THESE TOYS ARE:

I try to check my sources and facts at Art Land and discovered that the following toys turned out to be hoaxes.  As popular as they are on the inter-web, they do not exist in real life.

This was faked up by the Onion.  Oh, those guys!

This was faked up by the Onion. Oh, those guys and their gay nozzle inflation jokes!

I've seen this in a few places. Not real. But we can always dream...

I'm not sure if this is real, but I'm sure the girl is really annoyed at Hulk for flashing the gamma ray like that.

There are many other action figure and toy hoaxes, and to be honest, I’m slightly dubious of the Weepin’ Padme,  but the following toy is real, you can look it up yourself.

It’s the Britney Spears action figure, complete with car seat and lack of moral center.  From HEROBUILDERS. com.

I put the black box there. This is still a FAMILY blog, goddamnit!

I think I’m going to nominate Britney as our honorary #9th most awful toy, but under no circumstances will I ever use the phrase “MINT IN BOX” to describe it.

That’s it for today.  Join us tomorrow when SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS will give away another hilarious webcomic for your freeloading enjoyment.  Until then, may you lick all your American made toys in a lead free environment and have a good afternoon.

Ty the Guy OUT!

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