Why am I shining the Comics Tunes spotlight on George of the Jungle? Is it coming out on DVD? Are they making another live-action film? Are they rebooting the series and bringing it back to television? No, no, and uh-uh. There’s a very good reason why I had to discuss George of the Jungle this Tuesday. It’s because George of the Jungle has absolutely nothing to do with Gotham and I’m so sick and tired of complaining about that show.
This week we were treated to another eye-gouging. There’s a phrase I never thought I’d type: “another eye-gouging.” You’d think that gouging an eye would be something that comes up very, very rarely on a prime-time TV series about a children’s comic book character. But you’d be wrong, bat-breath! Eye-gougings are so commonplace on this miserable excuse for a television series that they’re actually getting boring. That’s why Fox and DC are upping the ante and taking the brutal, up-close violence to a new level of disgusting explicitness. Why I wouldn’t be surprised if next week’s episode featured a couple more eye-gougings that are even more shocking and nauseating than this week’s! But I won’t know. I don’t watch Gotham anymore as of yesterday. Blecchh!
Which logically brings me to George of the Jungle. Here’s a show based entirely on an ape-man swinging on a vine right into a tree. Every week, George smashes into a tree. Same tree. Every week. If it’s Saturday morning, George is going to collide with a tree. You can set your watch by it. They didn’t feel they had to gouge George’s eyes out in order to retain viewers. The tree collision was enough. Ah, the good old days.
George of the Jungle’s comic book lasted only two issues so we had to dig a little to find some visuals this week. This Spanish-language comic is especially interesting because here George is called Tristan Bejuco. Which, according to Google Translate, is the Spanish word for “Tristan Bejuco.”
George (or Tristan, as we call him) also appeared in America’s Best Comics which was a one-issue promotion for ABC television’s Saturday morning line-up. Note that this was years before Disney bought ABC and Marvel. Kind of prescient, isn’t it? Now Marvel characters not only appear on ABC, they’re both owned by the same company. Yet, Disney does not own George of the Jungle. Funny how things work out, huh?
Fans of George of the Jungle may want to turn back the clock and check out our previous post featuring a cover version of the theme song that may or may not be by Led Zeppelin (it’s not). You can find it by clicking here.
Now enjoy this week’s song and forget you ever saw Gotham.
Click the link below and be careful you don’t poke your eye out!
We lost Gary Owens a little while ago. You probably remember him as the booth announcer on Laugh-In.
Gary has many connections to comics and cartoons as voice actor. Mr. Owens was the voice of Roger Ramjet, Space Ghost and the Blue Falcon.
Gary was also a cartoonist himself! But since this is Comics Tunes Tuesday, we’re interested in how Gary Owens’ career intersected with records and comics. Well, you need look no further than this very blog! We already spotlighted three tracks from an album called “Sunday Morning with the Comics” which you can hear here, here and here.
Note to trivia buffs and nitpickers: Gary’s Wikipedia entry, and virtually every other mention on Google, calls this LP “Sunday Morning With the Funnies” with the Jimmy Haskell Orchestra. Yet he’s called Jimmy Bowen on every copy I’ve seen. Is this an error? Or was there another version under a different name? It’s a honey of a mystery.
This time, we’re sharing the song “Wonder Mother” featuring Gary’s voice at the beginning.
Holy eye-gouge, Batman! This episode of Gotham shows someone getting stabbed in the head! I didn’t even know that was possible until now. So not only is this weekly TV series brutally violent, it’s also educational!
At the risk of sounding like a broken record (get it?), I’m pretty much appalled at the level of off-putting, on-screen violence that’s seen on television these days. It just seems so unnecessary to me. When the villain is harvesting adrenal glands from his murder victims we don’t need to see him turn human body parts into a paste by squeezing them through a garlic press. Here’s how you handle a scene like that.
Medical examiner: “The villain is harvesting adrenal glands from his murder victims.”
Detective Gordon: “Ewww!”
See? It can all be handled in dialogue. We don’t need a close-up of human goo coming out of a Play-Doh Fun Factory to make that point.
It makes me wonder if the producers of this show (or worse, the viewers) have a thing for disgusting violence. Does it make them happy? Do they dance a little jig every time some woman has her eyes removed? Do they find blood and gore <gulp> entertaining? Good lord! [choke] Not since the days of EC Comics have we seen this kind of explicit ugliness, and that was on the printed page. Not on our screens accompanied by squishy sound effects.
But enough about that. Let’s turn back the clock and enjoy another of the countless Batman records from the 1966 TV show, where the graphics were sound effects and the sound effects weren’t so graphic.
What’s faster than a speeding bullet? Who can outrun a locomotive? Of course I’m talking about The Flash who appears every week on the TV series The Flash. Why revisit this subject so soon? Why return to this topic so fast? Why repeat myself so quickly? Well, it’s all about speed.
It’s well-established that The Flash can run really, really fast. He’s just a blur when he runs by. He’s so fast he can run on water. He’s so fast he can run up the side of a building. After all, he’s The Fastest Man Alive. And this brings me to today’s quandary. Go with me on this.
The Flash is running so fast he’s just a blur.
Each episode follows the same pattern. There’s a new super-villain in town. (They call them meta-humans but we know what they are.) Whether it’s Captain Cold, Captain Heat, Captain Lukewarm or Captain Boomerang, it’s some guy with a wacky super power or a crazy weapon. The Flash fights the bad guy unprepared – and loses! Then he comes back and fights him again – and wins! Every week, the same deal.
In each case, The Flash confronts the villain in the street to settle the score face-to-face. Usually there’s some clever dialogue like “It’s the end of the line for you, Scarlet Speedster!” Then the evil-doer unleashes his weapon/power and nearly kills The Flash. Ouch!
Now I’ve been watching the show every week and it occurs to me that in each case (correct me if I’m wrong) The Flash could simply run up behind the bad guy at super speed and hit him in the head with a pipe. Game over!
Sometimes the villain even announces when and where the battle will take place. “Meet me at 8 o’clock at Fifth and Main and we’ll see who’s more powerful.” All The Flash has to do is get to Fourth and Main by 7:59, rush up behind the villain du jour, and bop him on the head with a tire iron.
I wasn’t the first one to think of this.
No matter who the bad guy is, no matter what their power, it works. Instead of this showdown in the street like an old Western movie (which gives the villain a second chance to attack) just run up in a blur and hit him with a brick. None of this “I’m putting you on ice, Captain Cold.” Just – boom! – and it’s over.
Maybe The Flash likes going mano-a-mano with his antagonist. Maybe he likes delivering lines line “I’m sending you back where you came from, Captain Boomerang!” But people’s lives are at stake here. The city is in danger. There’s no time for fooling around.
So I’m saying to you, Scarlet Speedster: Next time you have to defeat Captain Fog, Captain Rain or Captain Snowstorm, don’t get in his face. Circle the block and clobber him with a bat. It will happen so fast he won’t know what hit him.
And now, the theme from The Flash (the other one).
Way to stay classy, DC! I’m talking about all the restraint you’ve been using on the TV series Gotham. When you strangle somebody to death on screen, you don’t linger on the shot of the hands tightening around the victim’s neck. When someone is stabbed in the back with an ice pick, we see just one spurt of blood, not two or three. Torture is handled tastefully and delicately, not with a baseball bat. Oh wait, it was with a baseball bat. Never mind. The point is, another company might think it’s proper to wallow in ultra-violence while telling the back-story of a children’s comic book character in the 8 o’clock hour. But not you guys. Youse got class.
But let’s not dwell on graphic violence. Let’s look on the bright side! The Riddler! Or the pre-Riddler in this case. Dr. Edward Nigma as played by Cory Michael Smith in the TV series is a welcome departure from the cackling lunatic we’ve seen before. Ed seems like a genuinely nice guy – an oddball perhaps – but he just likes riddles (and he doesn’t like onions) and he has a crush on a sweet girl in the office. We can relate to him as a human being. And we can see he’s just about to crack. A joke! You can feel the tension as E. Nigma slowly loses his patience on the road to becoming a full-blown nutball. Nicely done!
Which brings me to a riddle. What’s the difference between a convict and The Riddler? A convict has a long record but The Riddler’s is only two minutes and twelve seconds.
Do you know the answers to these riddles? I don’t.
If you haven’t seen Pinocchio, shame on you! It’s the classic Hollywood story of trying to get a deal with no strings attached. (Strictly the stuff of blue fairies.) Although it’s being remade as Avengers: Age of Ultron, we prefer the Disney version. (Oh wait. They’re both Disney versions. Never mind.) Instead of The Hulk, the green character who steals the show in the original is Jiminy Cricket. The lovable Jiminy acts like Pinocchio’s conscience but you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
Plus, Jiminy Cricket sings! Take that, Bruce Banner.
Today we present another track from the classic Dave Brubeck album (last seen here on January 8th of 2013.)
Click the pic and it blows up real good
This time, Mr. Brubeck takes on Jiminy’s signature song from the film – a Academy Award-winner! But before we get to the music, here are some wonderful pictures to go with it.
Did you see the trailer for Ant Man? This wasn’t just a teaser. Or the teaser for the teaser. No, this time they finally showed the actual trailer! This may be a new record for movie promotion. The film doesn’t open until July and they’re already promoting it like it premieres next week. I’m looking forward to the next version of the trailer which we’ll see in a month or two. Soon we’ll see advertisements for it. BRAND NEW TRAILER COMING SOON!
That having been said, Ant Man looks good. And I’ve been waiting to see an Ant Man movie since 1962, so I’ll be buying my ticket any day now.
“But wait,” I can hear you thinking. “How can you talk about Ant Man without sharing an Ant Man record? Surely no one has written a song about this miniature marvel.” O, ye of little faith. Of course I have an Ant Man song to share with you. That’s why they call me “D.J. David B., King of the Unnecessary Records.”
The real question is whether I’ll be able to dig up a Giant Man song. You’ll just have to wait and see.
Gotham is back! And that means more Penguin. Only this time, with hubris!
Penguin would rather fight than switch.
You know how some songs tell a story? Like something by Harry Chapin, perhaps? You can close your eyes and just listen to the music. The whole story unfolds in your mind’s eye. Well, have I got a treat for you!
Just like a penguin in bondage. (Song cue.)
Listen to The Penguin Chase by none other than Sun Ra, and plain as day you can see the Penguin get beat up by fishermen for having hubris. You’re welcome.
As we come to the close of 2014, it’s a tradition to reflect on the events of the past year. Or in this case, the past five years. Yes, it’s the fifth anniversary of Yoe Books, our proud sponsors here at the I.T.C.H. blog. Yoe Books is Making Comics History!
Man, time flies! It seems like yesterday that The Art of Steve Ditko was just a gleam in Craig Yoe’s eye. Now, some 50 books later, Yoe Books is a premiere publisher of rare, out-of-print comics and so many cool coffee table books that I had to buy a bigger coffee table. You can see the complete list here.
To celebrate this occasion in the appropriate fashion, Craig and Clizia created a crazy promotional campaign that’s worthy of Stan “The Man” Lee himself. In fact, that’s who they stole it from!
It’s called the Y.Y.Y.S. (or Yippie Yi Yoe Society, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) and it’s a hoot and a half, especially if you’re old enough to be a card-carrying member of the M.M.M.S.
If you were one of the lucky few bloggers, critics or media outlets to receive this membership kit in the mail, consider yourself privileged. If not, I’ll share with you some images (and a song, of course) just because that’s the kind of guy I am. Face forward, true book reader!
Y.Y.Y.S. members received a clever welcome letter, a cute sticker, and a marvelous membership card (suitable for framing).
Best of all, the kit includes a record (or, “DVD” as the kids today call them) with both the Voices of Yoe Books and the Y.Y.Y.S. Marching Song. How fun is that?
And since I’m a nice guy (see above), here’s the Y.Y.Y.S. Marching Song for your listening pleasure. Click the link below and start marching!
BONUS! Here’s the super-cool video that goes with the song. Just click the Yoe eyeball!