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Posted by tom on July 21, 2011 in Uncategorized with 3 Comments

Well, as I was chatting last time, Leji Matsumoto’s Captain Harlock is my favorite Anime character. Just one bad@$$ honorable dude. Having a little spare time, I knocked out a picture of my man, and thought I’d share it with ya. Enjoy…

Posted by tom on July 16, 2011 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

Well just the other day I pulled out my Megazone 23 sound track record album to listen to. Yes, that’s right vinyl! I’ve had this sucker for a long time, and haven’t listen to it in a long time neither! But we got a record player in the studio, so I thought I’d dust it off. Reminded me of the ‘good ole days’ of anime. Mind you, I’m sure everyone has their own, ‘good ole days’ of anime. Mine was about 1986-1991. Back when you had to know someone, who knew someone, who knew someone, who knew someone, who knew some, who lived in Japan. That final person would record tv and movies onto VHS tapes and send them back to the states, to get copied over and over again. So any tape you got your hand on was like gold (even though the quality was often crap). It was like a very exclusive club. You had to know someone to be a member. Going over to that friend’s house or apartment, who had a new tape of something. Watching it closely to try and figure out the story by the acting alone. Then talking about how amazing it was.

Like most people, Robotech had started it all. I had seen Starblazers and Speed Racer, but Robotech was the big one. Then I found Captain Harlock and the Queen of Thousand Years, next through my growing network of friends I moved on to raw anime, still in Japanese on crappy vhs tapes anime.

Back in those days we had never seen anything like that. Well animated tv shows!? That didn’t star one dimension goof characters or action heroes that could never hit anyone!? At that time even Disney wasn’t doing too well. But here, or there, there in Japan- the promised land, action, comedy, and drama (and girls, would you look at those girls!!!) like you’ve never seen before! And the artwork! Everything is so detailed and expressive! These are the greatest cartoons ever made!!!!!! Or at least it sure felt like it. Who cares if they were all in Japanese and you couldn’t speak Japanese. Sure family members wondered what the heck you were watching and why. “You can’t even understand it!” It’s doesn’t matter! It’s the greatest thing ever! SuperFriends are dead to me!

Yup, what a time. No dubs or subtitles; No dvd’s at BestBuy or Amazon; No Mangas at the comic book store or book store; no websites. Only a few small clubs that communicated with the mail (the mail!?!), photocopies of Japanese magazines, translated scripts, fan art, fan stories, and character guides and synopses of shows. A few comic book stores, usually the really crappy ones, had source. Where they got actual Japanese mooks (magazine/book) of anime shows. $20 to $50 a pop. Yes, only the rare brave few were anime fans in those days.

I eventually fell out of watching anime. All the story telling that was original and fresh, started looking repetitive. I think I could only watch some tough guy take off his sunglass and step on them so many times. I’d check back in every now and then, Dragonball Z, Cowboy Bebop, a Miyazaki movie and so forth. The art style has changed, which is a good thing, but I miss the old look sometimes. But as I said last time, being a collector means you can always go back, if you even left! Ah the good ole days! I think I need to pull out the old vcr, call up some old friends and order a few pizzas.

Now, I’m sure some of you are asking what I watched, a natural thing for nerds to ask. Well my all time favs that I still have on tape and the mangas of are Space Pirate Harlock, Saint Seiya, and Orange Road. But I also had a ton of fun with Bubble Gum Crisis, Iczer-1, Macross (Robotech), Orguss, Zillion, Area 88, Lodoss War, Lupin, Lum, the Dirty Pair, Shurato, Project Aok, City Hunter, Arion, Windaria, Leda, Rumic World, Maison Ikkoko, Nausicaa, and of course Megazine 23.

Posted by tom on July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Yes, I’ve been spending some of my spare time with one. If you’re not a child of the 70’s like me, then you might not know about the awesomeness that was/is the Mego Batcave (you can check out pictures here- ). The toy company Mego had the rights to pretty much all things superheroes back in the 60’s and 70’s. And their 8 inch figure line was clearly the best, featuring action figures with real cloth clothing- boots, capes everything, very cool. Infact the bodies were pretty much identical, only the heads and costume changed for the different characters, from say the Human Torch to Joker. One of their first playsets for the figures was the Batcave! Foldout cardstock covered in plastic, barely two stories high, and covered in cool marker illustrations. It featured the Batsignal, which yes did shine a bat shaped light on the wall, the bat pole, and the batcomputer (which was the cheapest piece of the set).

Anyway, I was lucky enough to have one as a boy, and still have it to this day. So, I pulled it out of storage and set it up the other day, bring Batman and Robin, and the Batmobile with it. They have all gone through some mighty battles, let me tell ya! These aren’t collector’s items, these are toys that saw heavy action! Infact, Riddler and Penguin (never had Joker) haven’t survived to this day. In setting it up, I knew I was missing the Batcomputer, for so long, that I don’t even remember what it looked like! So I looked online and saw pictures of it’s design! I snagged a picture, copied it in Illustrator, and tada! I now have a Batcomputer, crazy! Then I took measurements for my missing Batpole, one trip to the hardware store and- tada! I now have a Batpole! Last thing on my list is the Batsignal, thankfully I still have it, I’m sure it would cost a ton on ebay. And it kinda works, but it needs some work. Hopefully I can find someone to tighten it up and it will be smooth sailing again.

It’s pretty cool to see it all set-up again. This was my toy of toys for many years- before the Atari showed up. Watching Adam West in reruns, or the cool Filmation cartoon reruns on the vacuum tube TV, blue bath towel around my neck and having my own adventures with the dynamic duo, thanks to Mego- and my parents! If you really loved your childhood, I don’t see why you should let go of it. Sure you might have to pay bills and work a crummy job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go back and remember the Batmoblie ripping around the house, and still be able to hold it in your hands, proof that it all happened and it was all good. Now, if only I had the Batcopter to perch on top the Batcave….

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