Evel Knievel and the Creamy Friend!

"The Last of the Gladiators"


After a long absence from the blogging scene, I’m gonna come barreling back with a little slice of classic comic book history. My most recent challenge is to collect the whole run of Jonah Hex comics printed by DC from 1972 to 1985, and not only do these issues feature many terrific wild west she-nanny-guns but also a range of the most unbelievably nutty ads spread through the issues. Along with the usual adverts for other DC comics or beef jerky there is a selection of sales pitches for some of the most wonderful and amazing items available all for less than $5!

Firstly, I would like to introduce to you the Evel Knievel coin collection from Weird Western Tales #31, December 1975. This issue comes hot on the heels and white flowing cape of Mr. Knievel’s October ’75 successful attempt to jump 14 buses at the Kings Island Theme park in Ohio, and so what more could every little boy and girl in America want than their very own ANTIQUE BRONZE COIN with Evel proudly displayed leaping through the air just moments from smashing head first into the ground and breaking another collection of bones! For just $3 you could own the official evel coin, which is “EXACTLY THE SAME ONE EVEL CARRIES WITH HIM”! Now I cant help but think Knievel (“THE LAST OF THE GLADIATORS”!) might have been able to land a few more jumps if he wasnt laden down with bronze coins with his face on. A quick check on ebay reveals that this very coin is available now for just $7.35, so its increased in value more than 200% since he jumped over that rainbow into the big ol’ Intensive Care Unit in the sky.

If you’re a young man about town in the 1970’s, you want to have a quirky gimmick to make you stand out from the crowd, and to catch the eye of the ladies. It may be a pair of jeans with massive turn-ups, you may opt to wear 3-d glasses the whole time, or you may want to go that extra mile and get an unusual pet. While Jimmy on the corner had a scruffy hound dog, you want something sophisticated, quirky, exotic, something that will charm your way into the hearts and knickers of that girl next door. So why not save up £2.98 and buy…

25 live seahorses delivered to your door! Gee Wizz!

That’s right! You could be the proud owner of two mated pairs of seahorses, including one pregnant male who could give birth to up to 25 more of the fuckers! Also included is a live marine snail! It’s just given to you free! How is this possible? More quick research has revealed that seahorses make good pets, but will happily fall down dead at the slightest disturbance, from the wrong food, from a multitude of diseases they catch at the drop of a hat and from being stressed out. But they do get on very happily with marine snails. Just imagine the thrill of opening an envelope full of seahorses, snails and marine diseases! If that doesn’t get you some lady action, I don’t know what will.

For those who fail to pull anyone with the seahorses, or your Evel Knievel bronze antique coin (just like Evel himself carries with him on all his inevitable punishing accidents) then you have to resort to being a peeping tom. So what could make this easier than purchasing the latest in military and scientific technology, X-Ray Specs (yours for $1).

See the bones in your friend's hands as they smash you in your stupid nerd face and steal your lunch money.

This Hilarious jape lets you see the bones in your hands, see through your friends and amaze and embarrass everyone! Particularly your parents, who are utterly appalled that you sprang from their loins. I now quote from the Wikipedia entry on X-Ray Specs: “Part or even most of the novelty value lies in provoking the object of the wearer’s attentions. These subjects, if unable to be entirely sure that the device did not indeed allow the wearer to compromise their modesty, were liable to respond with a variety of amusing reactions.” All this fun for one dollar! I was also surprised to learn that X-ray specs were invented by the creator of that other fun novelty ‘Sea Monkeys’. Who are not monkeys, or ocean dwellers.

Also on offer in Jonah Hex #59 dated  April 1982 are two little gems which anyone would be pleased to receive. Firstly for $2.25 is a Squirrel Call: “Brings them right to you! Hand Operated!”. This ad has a little picture of a relaxed squirrel next to it, standing there waiting to be commanded. Why anyone would want to be surrounded by squirrels is a mystery to me still, but I suppose that sort of thing was all the rage in the 80’s. Finally there is pehaps the most vicious trick of the lot, and the most expensive. For $4.95 you can buy the ‘Avalanche’ Shaving Cream can. “Gallons of foam rush out and you can’t stop it! Foam! Foam! FOAM EVERYWHERE! Ordinary looking 6-oz shave cream can, but one press means one big mess. Nearly Fills  entire bathroom! Unbelievable! GREAT WAY TO ‘CREAM’ A FRIEND, FOE. Water Soluable. Wont Stain.”

After careful consideration I think this is probably the greatest way to cream a friend.

Published in: on January 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gagging for some anal Hex

With fingers that red its gotta be that time of the month.

Yee-Ha! Ka-Pow! Its cowboy time! My absolutely most all-time favourite comic every month is Jonah Hex from DC Comics. Written for the last 55 issues by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, they have a revolving artist for each issue, from Tony Dezuniga to Rafa Garres, who did that awesome cover to The Savage Axe of Ares! This week we have Vicente Alcazar, who I don’t believe has illustrated an issue before, but by jingo he does a jolly good job! 

Entitled ‘The Brief Life of Billy Dynamite’, this issue rattles along with typical western runnawaywagon style! The best thing about Jonah Hex is that each issue is a self-contained story, so there’s no deep continuity, and all you need to know is Jonah is a rough and tumble bounty hunter. He has death, and the acrid smell of gun-smoke as his only companions. And he has a mad scarred up half-face after a run in with a red-hot tomahawk at the hands of the apache tribe that raised him. And he still wears the uniform of the confederate army years after the civil war is over. 

But all you need to know about him this issue is that he was on his way to save a bar from a shoot-out. But he arrived 2 minutes too late. Sadly a 7-year-old child finds himself in charge of this rough-and-tumble western pub, and from then on in we get the rise and fall of the Black Mare Saloon. And 22 pages later we get a terrifically bloody explosive ending. 

One of the greatest treats about Jonah Hex is that every week we get a different type of story. Some weeks we get a murder mystery, other weeks its all-out action, the next its horror, and then after that we get a silent comedy caper. This week we get a Jonah Hex tale almost totally absent of the titular character. He remains a threatening presence over the whole issue, yet appears in less than 10 pages.And in those few pages he still remains a mystery, he manages to straddle that white picket fence of hero and villain. He remains a pissed up violent old bastard, yet in the end always manages to come out as a vague sort of heroic champion. And that’s why he is fucking awesome. 

The art in this issue is a bit hit and miss. The violence is captured fantastically, with bullets zipping through skulls left, right and center, yet sometimes the faces of characters suffer a bit from looking a little too simple, and it is really only the colour palette that brings them to life. That said, this is very much in the style of the early Jonah Hex comics from the 70’s, so it does add a touch of old-timey charm. Alcazar adds plenty of iconic western scenes, and certainly knows how to draw a good blood spray, so that is always a winner. All in all, this isn’t an absolutely fantastic issue of Jonah Hex, but it certainly is one that entertains, and is well worth a look.

Published in: on May 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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