Friday, February 24, 2012

Hit the Road, Jack!

Doug: Today's query plays off a suggestion made by frequent commenter Richard a couple of weeks ago during our request for creativity. I'm doing a variation on his "lifeboat" suggestion.

Doug: So it's smack dab in the middle of the Bronze Age. Your mom has been on your case for weeks to clean up your room, pick up your shoes, give the dog a bath, and yadda yadda yadda (yeah, I know that's a Dark Age line). So you're mad, you say you don't have to stand for the constant nagging, and you pack a knapsack -- out ya go. Here's today's question: what do you put in the knapsack?

Doug: This one comes with rules, and here they are. No cheatin'. You can pack -- one writer, one artist, one ongoing comic book series, one toy (you didn't have to actually own this toy as a kid), one candy bar (ya gotta eat), one song, and one television program. Fill us in -- who or what did you choose and why?


david_b said...

Jeez, that's a lot to pack for a youth, but seeing I'd be a high-steppin' Infantryman Officer Candidate 12yrs later at Fort Benning, GA, I'll make y'all proud..

Incidentally, "Smack-dab in the middle", eh..? Would this be pre-Robbins/Kirby CA&F..? Timing is important here, y'know.

I'll take:

- Roy Thomas (sorry Steve Englehart) for creating YJ, Defenders, adamantium, and great Doctor Strange/FF stories;

- John Buscema, very hard to find a title he didn't do well.., and he just permeates 'power', but if a Steranko- or Smith-drawn title 'accidentally' slipped into my bag, I'd be ok with that.

- Avengers, typically more hits than misses, despite issues with Heck and Tuska;

- My 2 1/2 ft long Mattel Space:1999 Eagle, which I never had as a kid, but is STILL the coolest toy ever now..;

- Mounds bar, sometimes I DON'T feel like a nut.

- 'Paperback Writer', just for sheer attitude alone; and yep,

- Space:1999 (only Year 1) because life on a Moonbase would have kept me happy for the rest of my life.. (VERY close runner-up, Doctor Who with Tom Baker)

Karen said...

Hmm, what to put in this quasi-metaphysical pack? I'm assuming writer and artist means comic book writer and artist. So:

Writer: Englehart. The guy was everywhere and wrote most of my favorite books in the early-mid 70s.

Artist: John Buscema. The Man.

Comic Book Series: Copying David again, but I have to say Avengers.

Toy: Hmm, that's a tough one. How about one of Zeroids robots?

candy bar: Powerhouse!

Song: Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney and Wings -used to play this over an over on the Shakee's juke box!

TV show: So many to choose from...probably the original Star Trek, although In Search Of would be close behind.

Doug said...

I'm going to go with Gerry Conway (see below). Englehart would be "1A".

Big John. No question.

Although the Avengers has always been my favorite book, I think I'm packing Amazing Spider-Man. As Karen has said, the supporting cast of characters, as well as one of the best rogues galleries in all of comics, make this a team book in its own right.

For my toy, I'm taking the Evel Knieval stunt cycle! No electricity or batteries required, no accessories -- just Evel jumping over all kinds of stuff!

It's hard to beat a Snickers bar.

For my song, I'm taking Rocket Man by Elton John. By the way, love the recent commercial that referenced the lyrics. We can all relate to that with certain songs.

Lastly for my television show, I loved reruns of The Wild, Wild West when I was 8-9 years old. It was "Batman" set in the Old West. Great stuff!

I hope everyone has fun with this today!


Edo Bosnar said...

Initially, it was hard to decide picking my "now" preferences, or what I actually would have picked as a kid in the late '70s, but I'm probably overthinking it. Anyway, here it is:
Writer: Don McGregor (just edging out Steve Gerber)
Artist: John Byrne
Series: Marvel Premiere (if I'm forced to choose one, I at least want some variety!)
Toy: one of the Micronauts, I guess - Space Glider or Acroyear (although I have to say, this was never really my thing, even back then)
Candy bar: Payday, or maybe U-No, or ... heck, can't I just take a bag of Jolly Ranchers?
Song: "Riders on the Storm" by the Doors
TV show: Quark (again, since I had to pick just one, I figured a combination of beloved SF series like Star Trek and Space 1999 with the utter silliness of Get Smart or Gilligan's Island would fit the bill...)

david_b said...

Edo, just needed to say, thanks to you, I'm looking for decent Quark glossies on eBay again for a good Ficus picture.

Karen, L&LD simply ROCKS..!! It was so incredible, it was the first Bond movie I saw in the theater solely because of that title song.

Seems like Macca pulled that one out of left-field, back in '73. When I saw him and Linda in Frankfurt, Germany back in '90 for an indoor show, you thought the roof would fly off when the explosion came. Easily one of his best ever.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Hmm, my hobo kit would contain:

Writer: Roy Thomas. Maybe not the best ever, but one of the most prolific and with one of the highest fun-to-dreck batting averages.

Arist: Tough call, but I'm going to go with Jerry Ordway. Always loved his retro-yet-naturalistic style.

One series: All-Star Squadron (see above).

Toy: Nerf football. Loved 'em then, still love throwing one around with my nephews today.

Candy bar: Three Musketeers bar. Simple, tasty and always seemed to last a little longer than other bars. I think because it was a little larger than other bars. And that was because the filling was fluffed up with air. To which I said: so?

Song: I've probably gotten more pleasure out of Richard Cheese's version of "Baby Got Back" than anything else on my ipod. His version of "Me So Horny" is kind of awesome too.

TV program: Futurama. Why? Bite my shiny metal ass!

Anonymous said...

Writer: Well it may not be very original but how about Stan the Man? If we're talking the actual person I could probably kill my entire exile period by picking his brain and would never need the other things.

Artist: Based solely on visual appeal to me - George Perez.

Series: Is it cheating to pick Marvel Tales? Silver Age Spidey classics smack dab in the middle of the Bronze Age.

Toy: Since an electric football field probably wouldn't fit in the bag and I wouldn't have power anyway - Mattel Electronic Football. I'm pretty sure that was already in my school knapsack.

Candy Bar: Butterfinger. But if it didn't have to be an actually "bar" - Lik-em-ade(sp?). You know, a stick of pure sugar that you lick and dip into compartments of more sugar. Doug's right - a kid's gotta eat.

Song: Rush - Freewill - "If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice."

TV: Depends on how long I'd be gone. I think I'll go with "All in the Family". Never tire of Aww-chie and Meathead.

Work sucks today. Great idea Doug. I think I'll start packing.


Anonymous said...

I’d love to pick Gerber or Thomas, but at that time, we are talking about the Stainless One.

Art...boy, Big John’s got a lot of fans, but mid 70’s; I’d still go for Gil Kane.

Comic, well, if it has to be on-going, I’d go for the Avengers at this point. By the mid 70’s, there still almost wasn’t a bad issue and wouldn’t be for years to come... but actually I’d go for Strange Tales, just for the variety. You’d get all the old Timely mystery stuff, a good hit of FF with the Torch & Thing, Ditko’s Doc Strange, not to mention Gene Colan’s if you cheat a bit, and, of course, Steranko’s Nick Fury.

Candy Bar – I’m having a Mars Bar (to be clear, this is a UK Mars Bar, which is more or less a Milky Way to you yanks. A Milky Way here is what I think you call a 3 Musketeers Bar? Although when I lived there, I thought it was called a Clark Bar. )

Toy – Action Man. Embarrassing, but true.

Song – I’m cheating a bit with Brain Damage/ Eclipse, but it is, as you know, illegal to play one without the other.

TV Show – at that point...Ace of Wands, hands down. For our American friends, well, imagine Dr. Who, but instead of a timelord, he’s a magician with a difference. The difference being that he can do real magic. For example, he had a clever mind reading trick.....the trick being there was no trick, he just read minds! He faced some fascinating, gothic, grotesque and horrible foes, but his arch enemy was the aptly named Mr. Stabbs. It was actually a bit too nasty for kids.


Dougie said...

Writer: Len Wein ( C'mon- the co-creator of the New X-Men, the Freedom Fighters and the chap who put Reddy and Ralph on the JLA!)

Artist: Jack Kirby. I don't think there was any Bronze Age title he created that I didn't try to follow (until the Panther and Devil Dinosaur- never saw them in the shops)

Comic: Fantastic Four. (If it's the team above)

Candy: Fry's Chocolate Cream

Toy: Cyborg (the transparent Strawberry Fayre one from Japan)

Song: Hot love by T. Rex

Tv Show: Dr. Who (maybe Jon Pertwee, rather than Tom Baker.)

Doug said...

Richard --

If memory serves, a Clark bar and a Butterfinger are basically the same thing. Crispy peanut butter covered in milk chocolate.


pete doree said...

Great question! Let's see...

- Steve Gerber, for the holy quartet of Defenders, Howard, Man-Thing & Omega. Plus, ( if he actually ran away as well! )as a travelling companion, he couldn't be beat, seeing the world in a uniquely Gerber-esque way.

- Got to be Gil Kane, my boy. The power of Kirby or Buscema along with his own grace & dynamism. And again, as the born raconteur he was, an excellent travelling companion.

- I agree with Marvel Premiere for variety, but I loved the Marvel black & white line, so I'll say Marvel Preview.

- My 1976 gold coloured chopper bike. I WAS Johnny Blaze.

- Wagon Wheels. Which aren't as big as they were in the '70's.

- 'Lonely Boy' by Andrew Gold, which I'll always hear as the theme song to Marvel Preview 4 / Star-Lord.

- 'Sky' a fantastic british kids sci-fi serial about a teenage alien / time-traveller / angel stranded on Earth.

Chris said...

So..sticking to Bronze Age rules I'd choose...

Writer. Gerry Conway (see below)

Artist: John Byrne just pips Big John B for Team-Up and X-Men

Ongoing Series: Really tough call as bronze age X-Men, Avengers and FF were all great but it's gotta be Amazing Spidey. My favourite wisecracking hero would be great company. Conway's and Andru's Spidey is still my Spidey.

Toy: Orginal Star Wars figures. Can I pack them all please?!

Candy Bar: Well in the UK we used to call them Marathon Bars in the Bronze Age. Now known as Snickers.

Song: Highway Star by Deep Purple. A perfect song for hittin' the road.

TV: Doctor Who. Need I say more?

Anonymous said...

Doug - I have to add that I love the visual. I remember a buddy of mine (the same one that I believe once commented here thought he was Shang-Chi), furious with his mom, sitting on his bed with the bandana and long stick, packing up all of his important belongings and walking away looking much like your picture. I think he made it about a block and a half.

Also brings to mind Steve Martin's "The Jerk". "And that's all I need! Oh wait...I need this."


Rip Jagger said...

Nick Cuti is the writer and Joe Staton is the artist of the greatest single Bronze Age series ever...E-Man.

A Slinky is the toy of choice as they calm me down nicely since I'll be on a sugar rush from my Milky Way, the lushest candy bar ever.

I'll listen to "Baby Blue" by Badfinger over and over as wait to watch the latest episode of Kung-Fu, the only television show that makes you smarter (or feel that way for a few minutes anyway).

Rip Off

Fred W. Hill said...

Going back to my faves in the late '70s ...
Going for my Bronze Age favorites, I'll pick Stever Gerber for writer and Jim Starlin for artist (the latter being a sort of cheat since Starlin also did a lot of writing).

For series, my adolescent self would've picked the Amazing Spider-Man without hesitation.

And for song, I'd go with A Day in the Life (Sgt. Pepper was the very first lp I purchased for myself, and this was in 1977. I bought a lot more albums with music from the late '60s than current stuff during my high school years).

Can't think of a really favorite toy, but I'd take Monty Python's Flying Circus for my tv show and a Butterfinger for my candy bar.

William said...

If we're talking when I was kid in the 70's…

Writer: Chris Claremont (not only for X-Men, but for MTU and Iron Fist).

Artist: John Byrne (IMHO the greatest comic book artist of all time).

Ongoing Comic Series: Amazing Spider-Man! (This was the easiest to answer for me).

Toy: A Mego action figure, probably Spider-Man. (I actually still have my Mego Spider-Man figure).

Candy Bar: 5th Avenue (the old way they made them with the two almonds on top).

Song: Neil Young - "After The Gold Rush"

TV Show: Wonder Woman (I loved that damn show when I was a kid).

Garett said...

Wow great responses for the toys! Evil Kneival cycle--I loved that thing! Micronauts, nerf ball, electronic football--I think I need to pick up some toys. :)

I have to step outside comics for writer, to CS Lewis. Narnia series captivated me as a kid, and I could've been a happy hobo with that series for company.

Art: I'll take Perez, who seemed fresh and appealing at the time, a new look coming in. I just read the Teen Titans Omnibus, first time in years seeing that title, and boy does it kick ass! Perez was on his game, Wolfman had great character writing. I forgot how nice it is to read characters' thoughts, when it's done well, and it sure is here. Also just picked up Logan's Run 1-5 by Perez, which I never saw as a kid. Inked by Klaus Janson--unusual combo that works.

Toy: I'll take my Ricochet Racer rifle in case there's any trouble on the road--shoot my cars at them.

I'd go with 3 Musketeers bar, but this came to mind for 1970s chewin' (there's gonna be a gum fight!):

Jive Talkin'! First time I realized I had a favorite song. Funky!

Karen called it with In Search Of and Star Trek, 2 great shows.

PLus I'll be riding in style on my "banana board" skateboard.

Garett said...

I'll add one more tv show: The White Shadow. Always watched it, and it inspired me to play basketball.

Redartz said...

From these responses, I'd love hitting the road with any of you! My bag would contain:

Steve Englehart- simply because he wrote so many of my favorite stories.

John Romita Sr.- The artist I always will associate with my favorite title, which leads to:

Amazing Spiderman- although there were other books with better writing, the combination of supporting cast and unbeatable rogue's gallery( and the greatest hero of all, imho) make this a simple choice.

My Strange Change Time Machine- vintage about 1970, this wonderful toy was amazingly cool (but dangerously hot!). Small plastic squares that you placed into a clear plastic dome; turned on the heat (think Thingmaker temperatures), and watch them expand. Dinosaurs, aliens, cavemen, what else could a boy wish for? Then you cram the figure into the compression chamber and mash it into a cube again! If I could only find one these days...

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Nothing better.

Venus and Mars/Rock Show by Paul McCartney and Wings. Great album from a great band.

M.A.S.H.- Hard to pick just one show, but the range of stories and level of quality would put this series in my satchel any day.

Anonymous said...

Well Doug, once again you seem to have the pulse of your audience. We all want to run away from home.


Doug said...

I asked my wife -- she's not into comics, but was willing to contribute to most of the rest of the list:

Song: American Pie

Candy Bar: Reggie Bar (who remembers that one, after the 1977 World Series?)

Toy: Barbie camper

TV show: The Brady Bunch


Frank C. said...

Greetings All! This is my first post, but I'll save the intro for last.

Writer: Probably John Byrne. His FF stuff really made an impression.

Artist: My pick would be Byrne (his art was all over my small childhood comic collection,) but since he's already invited, I'll pick George Perez (for New Teen Titans and JLA.)

Title: Superman--my favourite character and a huge influence on me (loved the movies so much!)

Toy: Mego Gene Simmons or Mego Batman. Still own both!

Candy Bar: Caramilk (is that only available in Canada?)

Song: Kiss - "I Was Made For Lovin' You" My first favourite song!

TV Show: Spider-man and His Amazing Friends!!!

Okay, quick intro . . . I was born in 1974 and grew up in Toronto, Canada. I've loved comics my whole life, but didn't get to have many until the mid 80's. I haven't read a ton of Bronze Age comics, but my enthusiasm for them is immense and my "To Read" list is loaded with 'em! My ability to contribute to these great discussions is going to be limited, but I love this blog and love hearing about all your experiences (plus I learn so much from you guys--avoid Avengers 197-226? Check!)



Frank C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthony said...

I've thought about it long enough so here goes.

Writer : Chris Claremont for Uncanny X-Men. Chris really got inside character's heads and made you see them as real people. I also loved the foreshadowing of future story arcs. Real life doesn't happen in nice neat chapters so why should the lives of comic book characters.

Artist : John Buscema. John's pencils really make the characters come to life and he had a natural storytelling ability that sadly seems to be a lost art today. When today's crop of computer assisted artists are forgotten people will still be marveling ( no pun intended ) at John's pencils.

Ongoing comic series : Uncanny X-Men. For me the X-Men was a must read back then. Claremont's dialogue meshed nicely with John Byrne's art. Each kept the other at the top of their game and both could be counted on to generate new story arcs. If there was no X-Men available I would pick Amazing Spider-Man with Ross Andru art.

Toy: G.I. Joe Secret Of The Mummy's Tomb. I loved the ATV.

Candy bar: Musketeer Bar. It just had the perfect taste. I never cared for the caramel in the Milky Way.

Song: I loved KISS then and I still love them. I couldn't get enough of Destroyer so I'll go with Detroit Rock City.

TV Show: This would depend on my mood at the exact moment I was leaving. I loved Star Trek but I also enjoyed Wonder Woman for obvious reasons.

i think a modern day follow up is in order.

johnlindwall said...

ityptedd ffinvWriter: Chris Clairemont, the only whose name I knew at that age.

Artist: Mike Grell, with John Byrne a close second and Dave Cockrum not far behind. I LOVED Warlord.

Comic Series: Uncanny X-Men. Next.

Toy: Krazy Kar: the ultimate toy for both getting dizzy and for travelling up and down the block.

Candy Bar: Marathon bar. Oh god, I miss these. Twisty shaped chocolate-covered caramel. MM mMMm mmm. Close second was this air-whipped chocolate bar whose name I do not recall -- I swear it had little beads of honey in it -- so good!

Bubble Gum: OK, this was not part of the original proposition, but how critical was bubble gum choice in those days? ! I loved them all: Bubble-Yum, Bubblicious, Freshen Up, et al but the winner must be HUBBA BUBBA! So slimy and good!

Song: Band on the Run!

TV Show: Anything featuring with superheros, I Loved them all: Hulk, 6 Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman, Shazam, Isis, etc. OK My top choice is the ultra-schlocy "Legends of the Super heros" which brought a lot of obscure DC heroes and villains to the small screen!!! I Loved it!!!!!!

The Groovy Agent said...

What a topic! This is fun and really hard at the same time, but here goes...

WRITER and ARTIST: I'm gonna cheat and take Jim Starlin and Mike Grell. Yeah, they're writer/artists, but it's my back-pack, right? ;D They did my fave Marvel and DC mags (Warlock and Warlord, especially, but Captain Marvel and Legion of Super-Heroes, too), so I could have the best of both worlds! (Besides that, Iron Mike's outdoorsman skills would be quite handy, and they're both Vets, so they could protect a stupid runaway kid like me!)

COMIC: Marvel Preview because they could work on any Marvel character I wanted, PLUS they could create new characters. Since it's the middle of the Bronze Age, that means I could get stuff like Warlord and Darklon, too! I choose the black-and-white format 'cause I get more comics in it and it gives these Jim and Mike the creative freedom they need.

TOY: My SSP Laker Special. I used to have a blast racing it against my friends' SSPs. I would have to take some sort of burn ointment for the times I'd have my hand too close to the t-stick when I'd pull it out, though...

CANDY BAR: a Marathon Bar, 'cause it lasts a good, long time!

SONG: When I was a kid, it would have to be "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night. I have great memories of trading comics on my back porch or going swimming and that song playing in the background.

TV SHOW: Charlie's Angels. Yeah, that's a little late in the Bronze Age, but what the hey. It's the perfect 70s show: not too heavy, gorgeous ladies, action, and humor.

You wanna know the most fun thing about a list like this? Tomorrow it'll probably be totally different!

johnlindwall said...

Groovy Agent: I had forgotten about that Marathon bar slogan until I saw your comment:

Marathon Bar, 'cause it lasts a good, long time!

Awesome! Thanks for bringing back the memories! I also appreciate the Grell love and the mention of The LOSH -- one of my favorite series of that time.

humanbelly said...

Wellllllll, I'm hopelessly behind the curve on this post, but I'll go ahead & contribute anyhoo, for posterity's sake. . . !

The Bronze Age is kind of a long span, isn't it? The 10-year-old HB from 1970 would have wildly different appreciations and tastes from the grad student of 1985, eh?

Writer: I'll still go w/ Roy Thomas, just because he improved so many of the titles he took on in the late silver/early bronze ages. . . and because he did such a terrific job of making Conan a completely unexpected phenomenon.

Artist: Much as it makes me crazy to admit it in these later years. . . John Byrne. Hands down.

Ongoing comic: Incredible Hulk. Faithful to the end. Even when it wasn't good, I adamantly (i.e.- resolve stiffened with a good dose of adamantium. . . heh. . .) stuck with ol' Greenskin as my most-favoritest title.

Toy: This took a surprising amount of thought. For sustained entertainment over several years, a Frisbee or Hot Wheels cars (& track) are kind of a given. BUT-- if you want that SPECIAL coveted, treasured bronze age toy, then the choice would be the two SSP Smash-Up Derby sets. MAN, did we have some enjoyable hours with those-!

Candy Bar: It was late in the B-Age, but Hershey's Dark Chocolate Symphony Bar-- the giant-size one! Oooooh baby. . . (and I only choose that because the Dove dark chocolate bars were many years away still. . . )

Song is tough: Hey Jude is the safe, likely choice from that period for me, though.

TV Show: Well heck, let's just go with the youngest version of HB, here, and be done with it. Land of the Lost. It KILLED my buddy Bryan & I if we missed an episode of this on Saturday morning! (Although we let go of it when dad "Marshall" was replaced by convenient explorer-uncle. . . "Filbert" or "Myron" or "Dave" or whoever the heck he was. . . ) Embarassing choice? Oh god yes, in retrospect.


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