Martinex1: Last month, in the responses for my post of Five Guilty Pleasures, longtime and frequent BAB commenter Edo Bosnar mentioned that there was really nothing to be guilty about in my offerings and that in fact most were quite enjoyable and honorable forms of entertainment. Well chum, I am here to say, "You are correct!" I was previously looking at the topic as an exploration of hidden gems and smaller works. But in this post for August, I am digging a little deeper and sharing some of the sheer nonsense for which I cannot deny having a fondness. I hope you all find this a bit more cringe inducing but entertaining nonetheless.
As always, we will take a look at five out of the six categories: Comics, Movies, Television, Literature, Music and/or Food, and identify the associated guilty pleasures. So without further ado...
COMICS: Cap Wolf! Mark Gruenwald had a great run as the writer on Captain America that spanned about a decade. His best known contributions to the series may have been stories like "The Bloodstone Hunt" and the addition of Diamondback as a supporting character and love interest for Cap. However, I have to say I prefer the outlandish Cap Wolf arc (issues #402 - #408) in which Captain America transformed into a werewolf. It had all of the markings of a B-Movie, an anything goes approach, or a last ditch effort to break a writer's block. It was just silly... but I liked every minute of it. Only here could we see a crazed creature with the nobility of Steve Rogers, still wielding a shield, learning to speak, fighting other lupine Marvel creations, and finally battling the villainous cosmic Star-Wolf. It has all the shortcomings of early 90's art, but it is a classic in my eyes. I am willing to bet you won't see this story on the silver screen, but even I was shocked when I saw the action figure.
TELEVISION: Battle of the Network Stars! In November of 1976, American television reached a new apex with the premiere of the pseudo-sports competition between various series' stars representing the ABC, CBS, and NBC networks. I recently stumbled upon some reruns and was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of this 20th century strange extravaganza. The show hosted stars like Scott Baio, Richard Hatch, Toni Tennille, Catherine Bach, Lou Ferrigno, Leif Garrett, Greg Evigan, Willie Aames, Erin Gray, David Letterman, William Shatner, Sarah Purcell, Howard Hesseman, Larry Wilcox and countless other actors fighting it out in rubber raft races, games of "Simon Says", tug-of-war, and obstacle courses... what could be better? Some would say...the dunk tank! I honestly cannot believe this show ever aired and I doubt it would be possible today. Between corporate liability and less campy sensibilities, I don't think we will ever see anything like it again. This belongs in a time capsule and on every DVR!
MOVIES: Airport '77! In past posts, I highlighted works from Martin Scorsese and Alfred Hitchcock. One of these things is not like the others! As the series of four Airport movies stretched across the decade of the 1970s, they continued to get more and more outrageous as disaster movies peaked. But this one captivated ten-year-old me, and I still cannot turn away whenever it airs. A luxury airliner full of priceless art and aging Hollywood celebrities finds itself crashed and submerged in the Bermuda Triangle. There is so much wrong with this film - from Jack Lemmon cast as the heroic pilot to the horrible song the pianist sings to his lone adoring fan. But it is also so perfect, with Lee Grant chewing the scenery as a scornful and neglected wife and the blundered escape with a bursting pressurized hatch. It also inexplicably has a scene where one of the hijackers dons a complex costume with a wig, fake mustache, and cheek implants only to have him meet one of his fellow hijackers which runs no risk at all. Plan a double-feature of Airport '77 and Airport '79: The Concorde if you enjoy disaster movies and movies that are disasters.
LITERATURE: The Weekly World News! Okay, "literature" may be a stretch, but it does have words in it. This supermarket tabloid mainstay offers some of the most creative headlines and stories you will ever see. A college roommate introduced me to this paper decades ago and it always entertained during late night breaks. Just thinking about it makes me chuckle. The samples here speak for themselves.
FOOD: Bomb Pops! As a young kid, I would see these advertised on the side of ice cream trucks, but I never had enough to buy one as they were high-end treats that exceeded my pittance of an allowance. When I finally got my hands on one years later from the penny-store freezer, I was treated to the sugary sensation of Cherry, Lemon, and Blue Raspberry! Each flavor mingles slightly with the next creating a wonderful taste sensation. I don't buy them anymore because I am pretty sure I would eat the whole box before my children could get to them. Who thought of blue raspberry anyway? He or she should be on the Mount Rushmore of flavorists!
So that is it for this month; we will cover "Music" next time around. Enjoy the last days of Summer break, and stay guilty my friends!
Our collaborators, Martinex1 and Redartz, have opened a new blog called Back in the Bronze Age... If you have liked the sorts of topics seen here on Bronze Age Babies, then you are going to feel right at home at Back in the Bronze Age... Give them a visit!
Karen and Doug
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Karen and Doug met on the Avengers Assemble! message board back in September 2006. On June 16 2009 they went live with the Bronze Age Babies blog, sharing their love for 1970s and '80s pop culture with readers who happen by each day. You'll find conversations on comics, TV, music, movies, toys, food... just about anything that evokes memories of our beloved pasts!
Doug is a high school social science teacher and department chairman living south of Chicago; he also does contract work for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is married with two adult sons and a daughter-in-law.
Karen originally hails from California and now works in scientific research/writing in the Phoenix area. She often contributes articles to Back Issue magazine. She is married. She hangs out with Joe Biden occasionally.
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Dig Karen's Work Here? Then You Should Check Her Out in Back Issue!
BI #44 is available for digital download and in print. I've read Karen's article on reader reaction to Gerry Conway's ASM #121-122, and it's excellent. This entire magazine was fun! -- Doug
Back Issue #45
As if Karen's work on Spidey in the Bronze Age wasn't awesome enough, she's at it again with a look at the romance of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch in Back Issue's "Odd Couples" issue -- from TwoMorrows!
Karen's talking the Mighty Thor in the Bronze Age!
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