Tag Archives: reviews

Tonnage of Disneyana Impedimenta: Oswald The Lucky Rabbit Merch (The review)

oswald ears

One thing there has never been much of a shortage of in this topsy-turvy world is Disney crap. Sure, like, you could go to any store anywhere and be guaranteed to find something with Mickey Mouse or the Little Mermaid emblazoned on it. However, for the hard-core collector like myself, you gotta gotta dig deeper for the more esoteric character’s paraphernalia, and digging deep is what I did. In other words, I need to get off the goddamned Disney Store’s emailing list.

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Lattaland’s Best Of 2012: Forces Of Geek

Josh Latta
@joshlatta | http://lattaland.com/

Best Movies: Killing Them Softly: What a crying shame this movie went over with a thud. From the jarring opening sequence to the hilarious last line. This movie was like heroin to me; totally awesome.  Marley: Look, I’m not really a Bob Marley fan, but one cannot deny he lived quite an interesting life. Just think of how good he woulda been if it weren’t for the Jah bullshit.
Best TV Shows: Boardwalk Empire: Proof that TV is better than movies.  Comedy Bang Bang: Proof that TV is better than podcasts.
Best Books (non-fiction): The Dark Side Of Disney by Leonard Kinsey. Kinsey gives us all of the tips, tricks, scams, and stories that’d have Walt rolling in his cryogenic grave. I love a good scam, especially at a beloved theme park. Life After Deathby Damien Echols SPOILER ALERT  Damien talks about how he killed those kids and got away with it too, dude. Just kidding.

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Baltimore Comic Con In Pictures & 325 Words

So, what’d you do this weekend? Hey, that’s super.

Me? Funny you should ask. I went to my new hometown’s very own comic convention, The Baltimore Comic Con. 

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Funko Vinyl Invaders Batman Robot Figure: The Review

Remember that part in ‘Dark Knight Rises’ when Batman turns into a giant robot to save Gotham from a Kaijin monster’s rampage? No? Well, that’s because it didn’t happen, silly-billy. It should have, though.  At least I can pretend it did with this incredible Batman Robot Vinyl Invader figure/sexual totem.

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Disney UDF Mickey Mouse Plane Crazy The Review

Disney UDF Series 02 – Mickey Mouse – Plane Crazy

Y’know, after seeing the mouse head representing a big, evil corporation all of our lives, it’s easy to lose sight of Mickey Mouse’s appeal. I have been reading those Fantagraphics Floyd Gotterson reprints and seeing that stuff makes you totally get why Mickey took depression era America by a 4-finger storm.

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20 Dollars For Two Sandwiches & Water? A Heroes Con Reflection

L to R: Josh Latta and Rashy Rabbit

Greetings pals, comic nerds or people just googling Heroes Con hoping to find their name.  Welcome to my annual Heroes Con wrap-up extravaganza.  Ugh. I hate the word ‘annual.’ It always reminds me of  non-cannon comics filled with shitty art  that costs more.  It’s not everyday I can make a reference like that, in fact, it’s only 3 days a year when I can, and it’s at Heroes Con, America’s favorite comic book convention.

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Shannon Smith On Rashy Rabbit Droppin’ Anchor

“It is a very rich comic.  It really does everything I want a comic book to do and I read them over and over. “- Shannon Smith of File Under Other.

READ FULL REVIEW HERE. 

Droppin’ Anchor NOW in color. 

 


Atomic Books Is The Greatest Store On Earth

Goddamnit, I love Baltimore. Oh, sure, I am southern by the grace of the devil, but man, my new home is treating me well. For one, this city has some of the greatest iconography I have ever seen. The state flag, the orioles cartoony bird head, the Utz broad and that Natty Boh dude. This is a town that can get behind some great art. It’s no wonder that we house the greatest store in the world, Atomic Books. If ever there was a place created to extract my money, this would be it. I walk around in there and think, “I am pretty much into every single product in here.” I don’t get that helpless feeling walking around my local ding and dent shop, I assure you, my fine readers that much. I can also assure you that my credit card is really taking some dings and dents from Atomic Books too. Enough about me, though. Let’s talk things. Things that I bought.  Ah, jeez. I couldn’t stop for even a second!

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Geppi’s Entertainment Museum

What? Why didn’t anyone tell me that there is a large historical comic movie and cartoon character collection in a variety of venues nestled In its historic Camden Station a scant 8 miles from my home? (Please don’t try to find me, psychos.)

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The Smurfette: The Review

The Smurfette by Peyo Yvan Delporte

Published by Papercutz

Women, psssh. Women.

Hey fellas, women are tempestuous, fickle, and nothing but trouble. You know this, I know this, and now our little blue buddies know this.

This delightfully sexist tome was written in 1966, and I don’t believe it made its way to The States -well, until now.  Like ‘The Black Smurf’ I believe this book might have been considered a little too hot for America’s delicate sensibilities.  That the big blue man in the sky that Papercutz is pumpin’ out the reprints like no one’s business.

Okay, so, like, where was I? Oh yes.

That nefarious (and possibly Jewish) Gargmel decided it was time to subvert The Smurfs the only way that would make sense, with a female Smurf. Of course he didn’t have a female Smurf handy, but thankfully, he had a hunk of magical clay available. So he made Smurfette, and brought her to life with a kooky spell of some sort.  Hmm, this could be the reason we didn’t see this on the shelves too often.

After creating this little monster (a woman) Gargamel unleashed her in the forest to be found by some blue chump. The blue chump that found her was Hefty. Needless to say she was doing what women do best: crying. Hefty took pity on this creature and took her to the Smurf Village. It takes no time at all before Smurfette, as she calls herself starts in on the SECOND thing women do best, and that’s nagging.  The Smurfs put up with this as well as they can, save Grouchy, and even throw a party in her honor.  Now, she thinks everything is about her and becomes even a bigger pain in the blue ass.

The next morning The Smurfs sober up enough to realize they got a problem on their hands. Even though The Smurfs hadn’t really been around women much, they devised a brilliant plan. The plan was to make her feel fat so she’d go away and possibly puke herself to death.

Papa Smurf caught wind of this devious act and was deeply, deeply ashamed of his children. Papa Smurf has been around the block a few times, so he knew the only way for his commune to fully except this outsider was to make her better looking. That he did. With some magic and better threads, Papa Smurf made Smurfette gorgeous.

Well, what do you know? Now all the Smurfs are laughing at her inane anecdotes and bending over backwards to do her trivial tasks for her.  Naturally, this still isn’t enough for her, so she begs Vanity to literally open the floodgate and flood the smurf village. This time Smurfette knows she went too far.  Smurfette explains her artificial nature in a Dear John letter and high tails it.  The Smurfs are a bit bummed, sure, but they quickly shift gears to rage and decide it’s time to settle Gargamel’s hash for this one with their most devious concoction ever: an ugly, clingy and codependent woman for Gargamel.

Haha! Wee!

This book gets my highest recommendation.

Get it here.

 


Marvel Super Big Head Vending Machine Toys: The Review

My father nary raised a hand to me in anger. He never belittled me or was ever verbally abusive. However, he traumatized me for life by throwing change out of a moving car window after I blew all my ‘allowance’  on bubble gum machine prizes. He, of all people, should have understood the shiny allure of putting change in the slot and not knowing what you will get in return.  Maybe I’d get a digital watch, or a googly-eyed monster finger puppet, or maybe I wouldn’t get anything at all. This is the price you pay gambling away your quarters in a vending machine.  Y’see,  it’s not about the prize, it’s about the thrill of the game.

As you know,  I am no longer a child, well, not physically at least.  I get my kicks elsewhere in life. However, I can’t seem to pass a set of bubblegum dispensary without stopping and checking out the wares.  As you can imagine,  I stopped dead in my track when I saw the glorious sight of a machine filled to the brim with ‘eggs’ painted to resemble the heads of Marvel Superheroes. What was inside the eggs, you ask? Why, a super deformed squat version of their respected bodies, of course.  The gimmick here is that you open the head and assemble a chibi as the Japanese would say, if they weren’t busy with other stuff.

Now, I don’t walk around with my all currency in quarters so I could only buy two.  Thrill of the hunt or not, I am a busy man and I need my toys now and I need all of them, so I bought them all on Ebay later that day. After  two weeks of waiting by my mailbox like Charlie Brown does during the month of February,  they finally arrived, and these are them.

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Marvel Heroes Popping Candy W/Lollipop The Review

In 1996,  Marvel took all their most popular heroes and made them look metallic. Yes, metallic. Look at the highlights and low-lights in hulks pants. They are metal. Look at the reflection in Spiderman’s bulge. It’s metallic too.  Iron Man? Well, he’s always been metallic,  but he’s even more metallic now.  I guess Marvel went bankrupt in taste and as well as bankrupt in money.

Speaking of taste, let me tell you about Marvel Heroes Popping Candy W/Lollipop.  Hmmm, how do I put this:  Oh yeah, it sucks! First off the complementary lollipop is in shape of a ‘thumbs-up’ hand.  That’s lazy theming, dudes.  Is a Spiderman shaped sucker too much to expect to come out of a Spiderman shaped bag? Apparently so, according to the schlock-misters at  The Royal Candy Company.

Also, what is up with Iron Man being ‘Blue Raspberry’  flavored? I know Iron Man is hot right now, but that spot and flavor should have been reserved for Captain America. I am so angry I am going to intentionally splash the first person I see walking along the side of the road in the rain.  I want you to hurt like I hurt.  PS the candy tastes like soap.


 

 

 

 


Retro Cap’N Crunch : The Review

I first became aware of my anxiety at the age of 12, or more specifically, the first day of junior high at the age of 12. The first thing said to me, as we filed into the cafeteria was, “Out of my way, 7th grade faggot,” and that’s all it took.  It was  the insult that broke me.  I spent the rest of my time without a locker (out of fear that I wouldn’t be able to memorize the locker combination), with fear of being rejected, and with fear of doing something I don’t already know how to do.  Pretty much from those formative years and beyond, anxiety has been a ruling factor daily.  As I join the rest of America and give in to taking a happy pill for sweet relief,  I ask myself, “What IS my problem anyway?” I wasn’t molested, my childhood was fine, is it chemical?  I never really examined the effect my diet has on my mental state, and it always consisted of high-fructose, high corn syrup count. Could that play a part on my fragile mental state? Maybe, but I am not giving up my sugary breakfast cereal, or at least not until they stop releasing these delightful and kooky retro designs.

General Mills released  two popular series of  their mainstays in their retro splendor this year, so it didn’t take long before Quaker Oats got in on that action and released their own throwback cereal with the popular Cap’ n Crunch. Just look at that lettering! My how it jumps out at you. I have always been a fan of the good Cap’n. He is a great cartoon character (Created by Jay Ward’s studio, home of Rocky & Bullwinkle), and he has a great cereal.  I can eat Cap’n Crunch every day. In fact, I have eaten most of this cereal already, one angry fist full over the sink at a time.

However, I can’t think of any other cereal that shreds the inside of your mouth and makes you as thirsty as a bowl of Cap’n Crunch,  but I can live with that and you can too.  I am just saying, plan accordingly.

Also, I should add, I take great offense to Quaker Oats offering “collectible cards” as some sort of prize. Come on, that doesn’t count. I gotta cut them out myself. I don’t have time for all that. I’ll give credit where credit is due though. I do like the framing treatment, and I did learn a lot about Cap’n and his nemesis, Jean LaFoote. ( Cap’n is 4’11 and 102 lbs!)

Nostalgia  literally means “the pain from an old wound”. Well, according to Don Draper it does, and while I look ahead to the future and fixing my problems in the easiest fashion possible, I don’t mind looking back if it means we get cool cereal boxes.


Toy Story 3 Little Golden Book

I am but a bitter curmudgeon.  I pretty much hate everything I am supposed to hate as well as plenty of things that I shouldn’t.  I rant and rail against most modern institutions and pine for the days of yore that I didn’t even experience first hand.  I mean, come on, if you don’t see how much worse pretty much everything is today, then you aren’t paying much attention. In fact, you are probably texting somebody right now, you @#$!

Of course, every now and again, particularly when I have been drinking, I let my guard down and give in to Pixar. Sure, they have never created anything as good as ‘Dumbo’, but I will give credit where credit is due, and I more or less, enjoyed every one of the films they’ve produced. Sure, some more than other (Cars being others) but, like it or not, they are the only animation studio that matters anymore.

I really liked Toy Story, despite the crude animation and, let’s face it, somewhat bland designs. I mean, like, they work fine in motion, but when you see your 57th pair of Buzz Lightyear jammie jam jams, the appeal is certainly gone. Kudos to the fine folks at Golden Books for being the patron of the modern masterpiece known as ‘Toy Story 3 : A Little Golden Book. ‘

Masterfully hand illustrated (delightfully off-model) by Adrian Molina, this book leaped off the end cap at Wal-Mart (Yes, I do indeed, suck) and into my shopping cart (with one wobbly wheel.)  The colors are a lot more vivid than my scanner gives them credit for.

Oh my! Look at those squat proportions. Look at those large eyes with large pupils! If I had to define cartoon appeal, this would be it. Could you imagine if the whole movie looked like this?

I am pretty sure this scene won’t be as funny in the film. Look at that Buzz Lightyear.  I want him tattooed on my face.

This is my favorite illustration in the book.  Great lighting on this scene. I love Woody’s eyes. He sorta looks Dave Cooperesque here. (Meant as no slight to Adrian Molina. He is truly a rare jem of a talent, and only 24 years old too, ugh!)

I love this composition.  Your eyes register the toys instantly, but the viewer still ‘reads’ the grime and trash, without looking cluttered and ugly. Why, even the garbage truck oozes with appeal!

How adorable! I want to crawl inside this book and live there forever.

In our conservative age of design, I think Disney and Pixar deserve extra credit for allowing what’s essentially the biggest property in the world to appear this far off-model. I think it’s good for kids, as it gives them the notion that there is more than one way to draw a slinky dog.

This book gets my highest possible recommendation.  Available at all Wal Marts and wherever fine pieces of art are sold.


Heroes Con 2010 Report: Nerds Gone Wild

Oh, hello! I didn’t see you there. I guess I was too busy reading comics to notice you coming to this blog. Y’ see, it’s hard for me to do much else but read funnies after getting back from Heroes Con.

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General Mills Retro Cereal: The Review

I guess the deep and debilitating depression started in my adolescence. In fact, one might say that I have been suffering from teenage angst for the last two decades. That will change, for I will soon be (more) medicated thus enjoying all my Morrissey records less and less. Is it any wonder why I celebrate my upper-middle class childhood through sugary cereals of days gone by? Of course not, the adult world is crushing me alive and you too.

General Mills saw this and decided to rectify this injustice to all of us and returned the cereal of our youth back to us in their beautiful boxes that the Good Lord intended. Well, sorta.

Available for a “limited time” exclusively at Target, General Mills is offering all their mainstays (Trix, Honey Nut Cheerios, Regular Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms) as they might have appeared in generations better than our own.

I picked up Trix and Lucky Charms. Sure I wanted them all, but sometimes life is hard. Also, the rest aren’t kooky enough for me.

Just look at the leprechaun!  What a mighty painting. Can people even still paint like that? I guess we’ll never know, thanks to the x-treme photoshop sunglass wearin’ Lucky that adorns modern boxes these days. Does everything really need to be “cool”? Of course it doesn’t. Especially not leprechauns.

This is the Trix box that jumped (hee hee) off the shelf and into my basket first in my local Target. What a striking design. That’s right, you don’t need every color in the rainbow on your box. Let the beautiful rabbit design do the work, and I promise we’ll do the rest – by which I mean, buy the damned cereal. I won’t even assault your eyeballs with what passes as the Trix Bunny now ah’ days.

Oh, and speaking of every color of the rainbow, unlike Pepsi, with their sublime return to retro form, General Mills tries to have it both ways. Sure, the boxes are great, but cereal itself? It suffers from the modern mentality that more is more. Just look at all the colors in these cereals! I said LOOK. Yuck. Plus, they appear on the boxes, creating an anachronism if I ever seen one- and believe you, me, I have.

Of course they taste delicious, but that’s beyond the point.

The days when a child would be entertained by a leprechaun marionette clipped from the back of a cereal box are far behind us, but I’d take that over the internet any day, especially after the meds kick in.


Throwback Mountain Dew

Ours is a troubled time, what with the economic collapse, needless wars, and a serous lack of Warner Bros’ studio stores. Here we are in another stupid decade and nothing has changed. Oh sure, our internet is fast now, and cell phones are pretty cool, but the cold hand of nostalgia strangles the life out of me more and more each day. Oh, how I harken back to the halcyon days of yore in our country where a man, or prolly a woman (being as that men didn’t shop for groceries), could go into a store and buy a soft drink adorned with cartoon hillbillies.

Pepsi Co. heard the cry for a simpler time and answered with ‘throwback’ Mountain Dew. As you no doubt already noticed, the can looks pretty much the way it did back in the, well, whatever decade it was invented in.  It sure is breathtaking. Sure, I could have gone without the nagging reminder right there on the can: this beverage is for a limited time. But, beggars can’t be choosers.

The packaging isn’t the only thing that’s different about this ‘throwback’, soda, heavens no. Pepsi turned back the clock and used actual REAL SUGAR in this soft drink. Huh, I wasn’t aware they weren’t using real sugar now, but, it’s still a nice sentiment on their part. The taste? Pretty good. I can appreciate a good yellow soda, and this is one. Honestly, it could taste like cough syrup and circus peanuts, just so there is a hillbilly on the can. The south will rise again, dudes!

From what I understand, this liquid gold is fairly hard to come by.  So if you see them in your local grocery store in your jerkwater town, you better stockpile them and buy all that you can, ‘cos they are going  faster than the decay of our once proud culture. Once Armageddon hits (any day now), the one with the most ‘throwback’ Mountain Dew will rule the tattered country.  Those of us left will have to flee to the mountains and live like hillbillies, and I, for one, cannot wait.



Flintstone Chews: The Review

Since the conception of the zoetrope, man has been interested in animation cartoons. Since that time, there have been a lot of cartoons, and a lot of snacks  that have been adorned with the images of beloved cartoon characters. Case in point:The Flintstones, modern stone age family. Long past are the days when the only Flintstones themed food you could find at your local grocers was cocoa pebbles, and, in some markets,fruity.  The Flintstones brand went on to dominate the children chewable vitamins market and went on to monopolize orange sherbet in a tube. Fast forward to now: I walk into the grocery store, pretty much ready to buy any cartoon related snack food, and often am met with resistance from the man (I.E. Kroger).

Where Kroger drops the ball, the Chevron on 10th and Spring St. picked up the ball, and uh, dribbled it to the field goal?  Anyway, whilst on business in town, my wife found these “Flintstone Chews” and purchased them, knowing my proclivity to candy graced with the images of classic circa 1957 to 1982 Hanna Barbera characters. She is also aware of the fact that I have braces, and should not eat this kind of candy, but I digress.

(bland, and blurry packaging)

Strangely, there is no year or date anywhere on this rather generic bag, in fact, at first glance, I wasn’t sure if this was an officially sanctioned Flintstones product, or rather, some shoddy product without the ghost of Joe Barbera’s and William Hanna’s former fart-catcher’s approval. I didn’t see any circle c’s or little tms anywhere on the blando outer packaging.In fact, King Henry got top billing. I opened the dang ol’ package and was ecstatic to learn, this is the real thing. I thought it was classy to go with the 4 color printing process, as well as the bold visual choice to limit the pallet. The font choice was excellent and hand done, well at least on the word “chew”.

I was a little puzzled, perhaps a bit confused that the character’s on the label(Fred, Dino and Pebbles) were at random and didn’t coincide with the flavor. I feel as though the stone age schtick should been down to the flavor, but the flavors are in fact, not listed at all.  The flavors, from what I gather are pineapple or banana, uh, blue, and I think that there was an orange one in there- Maybe green too. Truth be told I ate them a few days ago. I guess the kissing cousin of this candy would be Laffy Taffy. I dunno, maybe, it’s kissing third cousin would be Starburst, particularly the not very good Starburst flavors.

The golden days of television cartoons may be sadly behind us, forgotten and buried in a shallow grave with our grandparents, but the characters still entertain generations today, with somewhat decent candy.