The Endless Slimer Saga

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It was quite a long drive for a Class 5, but it’s cool, road trips are my thing. Unfortunately, the passengers in my car on a recent lengthy adventure didn’t include that goofy bastard, DJ Qualls and Seann William Scott, it was even better. Once again I managed to coerce one Dinosaur Dracula into co-piloting a long drive down the stormy New Jersey highways with me. It was difficult to justify a hundred mile trip, but I made a convincing argument, or so I thought: “I want to get this Slimer toy I saw.” Pretty persuasive, right? I’m underselling for comedic purposes, there was actually a lot more intrigue involved. In fact, even Phillip Spade wouldn’t have been able to figure this one out.

After the flea market, we shot down the Turnpike. A quick stop at WaWa and we were off, discussing some of Matt’s latest flea market acquisitions during the ride. The rain scared away many of the vendors, but a few of them toughed it out specifically for us to pick up some old crap. From there, I was on a mission. I needed to catch a ghost. Continue reading The Endless Slimer Saga

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 120: My Little Jersey Devil

MLJD002JWRIGHTBRAIN’s My Little Jersey Devil T-shirt available at Teepublic

Allow me to drop the knowledge needle on you: The uncle of the creator of My Little Pony is the iconic horror host, John Zacherle! What a regal family to be a part of! I’m sure some of you just spontaneously combusted.

With all the toys I’ve owned throughout my life, I can tell you with the utmost honesty that I’ve never owned a My Little Pony doll. This has nothing to do with them being in the girls aisle of Toys R Us when I was a kid either, because nothing would stop me from crossing over to check out the She-Ra selection, the JEM dolls, and Barbie and the Rockers line. Often, the girls toys and dolls were cooler than the “boy stuff” as I called it back then, and deep down, they occasionally were the cause of built up jealousy inside of me. For instance, those mini plastic kitchens that were all the rage in the early ’80s. I wanted one of those deluxe setups so bad, I didn’t care who knew it. Some of my friends had them and I was always in awe.

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Logically, making a play to my parents for one didn’t make much sense because none of the components like the sink or the refrigerator actually worked, but I loved to pretend and use my imagination so they operated in full force in my mind. One of the deluxe Little Tikes kitchen sets probably cost as much as 30 action figures, so it wasn’t sensible for me, considering my agenda at the time. They seemed so grandiose. Ironic how I actually now own a condo that came complete WITH AN ACTUAL KITCHEN and I would still prefer the Little Tikes version from the ’80s. I rarely cook, but when I do, it should be on a decal of a stove.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, one toy that I was never really jealous of not getting was My Little Pony. I really can’t explain why these delightful multicolored mares never enticed my childhood mind or ever wound up on any wish list I ever made, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate their coolness. I used to enjoy the cartoon a lot when I was a kid, but it never gave me the impulse to drop other toys from the top of my wish list for them. Whenever I was at the girls houses in the neighborhood, if She-Ra or JEM stuff wasn’t around in their collection, I’d usually opt for the Strawberry Shortcake collection or Rainbow Brite. I assume that my young self didn’t assume that My Little Pony dolls saw a lot of action, but they sure did have some killer color schemes.

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The fact that MLP has become more popular and lucrative in the last few years than it ever was is insane to think about. With the huge male MLP fan base, the Bronies, teenage boys and adult men have created their own cult of MLP fanatics, which has helped skyrockted the property. The MLP craze lead fans to create about a zillion of their own custom My Little Ponies of all varieties too. Chances are, if there’s something you like, whether it’s a sports team, superhero, an obscure dessert, or a horror movie icon, there’s most likely a custom made My Little Pony doll out there based off of it.

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There’s New Jersey based MLP customs out there, but the one presented on this t-shirt is the most inspired I’ve seen. Coming from JWRIGHTBRAIN, the bright, colorful, and original art of My Little Jersey Devil literally leaps off the tee. For obvious reasons, this is now my favorite non-canon MLP character and the one that I would run right out to the store to buy if it were real. It definitely reminds me of Spike the Dragon, my favorite of all the Generation 1 characters. His look, which incorporates Halloween colors, has a little bit in common with the Generation 3 incarnation of Spike the Dragon. Plus, MLP’s always have a tattoo or small design branded on them which is often referred to as a cutie mark and appropriately, his is a devilish trident! Ok, now maybe that deluxe kitchen set will have to wait…

NJ-Set Velvet Rope Horror Anthology Gets Trailer Treatment

VelvetRope03Is it possible? A horror anthology comic set in a New Jersey movie theater? That requires a really obnoxious fugetaboutit! Words cannot express how close to my heart the mere thought of that comic is. Old movie theaters, The Garden State, and sexy fishnet stocking-clad movie usherettes comprise Velvet Rope and there’s no way I can go wrong with it.

Since it was a based in New Jersey, I’ve owned Mark Poulton’s (Savage Hawkman, Avengelyne) Horror Anthology from Arcana Comics, Velvet Rope since it was released,  but now is a perfect time to spotlight it because our fellow NJ’er, Poulton, and the Underbelly crew have created actual movie pitch trailers for the book to show the Arcana bigwigs the potential of making it into a feature film!

The anthology’s frame tale features a phantom movie theater, a possibly demonic (and hot) theater usherette, and an unsuspecting dude who’s just trying to get his horror movie marathon on. Oh, and adding to the pot, it’s freaking Halloween night, 2008!

Out of the roughly 10 stories contained within the book, there were a few that should definitely be included if a film ever gets made. First is Poulton’s own story, Baker’s Dozen, a deliciously sick yarn about beef jerky that takes place just outside Atlantic City and recalled classic late night Tales From the Crypt episodes. Continue reading NJ-Set Velvet Rope Horror Anthology Gets Trailer Treatment

Independence Day Getaway in Atlantic City Part 1

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We got on the road ridiculously early to beat the holiday traffic. It may have been the quickest drive down to A.C ever. Here’s the kicker: duh Jay, most hotels don’t let you check into your room at 8:45 AM!

Once we arrived at Harrah’s we had some time to burn, so our trip kicked off with me waiting about an hour for a couple of schmucks to finish playing the new 1966 Batman TV Series slot machines so I can jump on. I swear they bet the minimum on each spin and they just…kept…winning.

Batman 1966 Slot Machines at Harrah's in Atlantic City, NJ

Nearly an hour later, one of them finally decided to cash out, so I sat down at the open seat instantaneously. Playing the game was pretty meaningless to me since I don’t get any thrill from gambling, I just wanted to be in the machine’s presence and see all the neat little bonus games that it offered. The middle video screen displayed the colorful animated style graphics of the opening intro of the show and occasionally showed the Batsignal followed by the Dynamic Duo racing to the scene in the Batmobile. The slot screens offered footage from the actual show when you hit a bonus. Each seat had a spinning wheel with the classic Batman rogues gallery too. The game is a lot of fun and feels like a big deal, especially for hardcore fans of the 1966 Batman TV Series, like me.

After battling some traffic, Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and Miss X joined us a little later and the first order of business was to make this trip feel like a traditional Jersey Shore summer getaway. We headed over to the Steel Pier on the boardwalk. Once known for their diving horses, now they just fling screaming teenagers around in slingshot rides and blast generic cover versions of ’80s hair metal tunes. Can’t blame them for not wanting to be liable for paying royalties to the Crue.

Flying Dutchman Art, Steel Pier, Atlantic City, NJ

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Although it only takes up a small pier of the AC Boardwalk, the Steel Pier still has some cool stuff to look at. First, I was mesmerized by the artwork on the Flying Dutchman, a swinging pirate ship ride. Carnival and amusement park rides usually have a very unique flavor of art on them that I can admire forever. I found the art on this ride to be awesome looking, so I drooled for a little while until I stumbled onto something even more tremendous.

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As Matt mentions in his recap, I was astounded to see the Dinosaur Beach signage hidden behind a bench. I pulled him over to check it out because he brings up Dino Beach in conversation probably once a week. You know how some people left their heart in San Francisco? Matt left his heart at Dinosaur Beach in Wildwood, NJ. Collectively, we must’ve snapped about 36,459 photos of nearly 20 year old signage with a Denver looking Dinosaur mascot painted on them. Annie Liebovitz makes the big bucks as a photographer, but after all those photos we took, money can’t buy that feeling of going home knowing our lives are complete thanks to the opportunity to memorialize remnants of the ’90s mecca, Dinosaur Beach.

So, who’s down for some drinks and some chips, salsa, and queso dip at the Landshark Bar & Grill? ME. As a kid it was Fla-Vor-Ice and WWE Ice Cream bars, now it’s Tequila and Mexican food- what a transition! I wasn’t even drunk at that point and I can say that they have some of the best salsa and queso dip I’ve ever had. The salsa especially tasted so fresh and flavorful. I’m not saying to go out of your way to get there, more just like GO THERE NOW. They also have some crazy concoctions to imbibe. Miss Sexy Armpit went with “Tranquil Waters” which was Cruzan Mango Rum and Blue Curacao mixed with pineapple juice and mango. Good, but too sweet for me.

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It was about that time to see what treasures awaited us in the shitty stores up and down the boardwalk. This was a special occasion that took us away from the usual flea market trip so we made due with the schlockfest of stores that pop up literally every 2 feet on the boardwalk. Most of these stores sell the same junk, but once in a blue moon you’ll get lucky and find an assload of vintage toys, air fresheners, and night lights like we did when we struck gold on our New Year’s Day 2014 99 cent store invasion.

The junk wasn’t quite as bountiful as that time, but I still have a lot to show you. Just to give you an idea of the type of stuff we ran into, take a look at these pineapple water bottles and Garfield doorknob hangers. Plus, there’s no better time than now to stock up on large Star Wars Episode I prints just in time for Force Awakens, 16 years later! I spotted these pictures still in their original (torn up) cellophane sheets laying at the bottom of a shelf that was in total disarray. Selling at their original price of $10 bucks, passing on the them wasn’t difficult. I still love you Natalie Portman, just not enough to drop a Hamilton on your old cardboard picture.

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Perhaps there’s nothing more amusing than this bootleg Care Bear a.k.a Champ Skipper. Keep in mind that EVEN HE IS FALL…the damn thing can get back up and start skipping again, yes I realize that doesn’t make sense, but the manufacturers didn’t seem to care either. It’s “battery operator” too. There’s no way that Google translate existed in the early ’80s, right? Just making sure.

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This Lizzie McGuire jigsaw puzzle impacted me much more than it would’ve any other normal human being. I’ve never had any qualms about admitting that I was obsessed with this show when it first came on and ever since then I watched so many silly shows on Disney Channel. This one in particular started that trend for me. One of the main reasons for it’s appeal was the fact that it had the flavor of a few shows and movies I loved as a kid. Savage Steve Holland also directed 9 episodes and Lewis Skolnick plays Lizzie’s dad! Anyway, since I’m living somewhere in the past, it should’ve shocked me more to see this puzzle because this was originally on sale approximately 13 years ago.

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The sights were amusing, but nothing was screaming BUY ME until I heard Matt yell over to me from the back of store. “You’ve got to see these old AC stickers.” I jolted over to check out his discovery. Sure enough, there was a basket of old Atlantic City touristy stickers, and I mean really old. These bad boys were two for a dollar. I also picked up the larger ones show in the photo. Thanks to Matt for finding me stickers of my favorite venue ever and adding to my collection of Jersey junk.

Electric sex may have gleamed in the window in A Christmas Story, but its surge blinds you once you walk into the back of all the dingy dollar stores on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

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TITARONI. Who doesn’t love ronis and tits? Of course I’d find these in New Jersey, half of us are horny Italians. How come there’s no informercial for these demonstrating how they get the tits in the ronis? And no one in the world can dispute me in saying that this is clearly a bootleg illustration of Gloria Trillo on the box. BOOM. All I know is that this pasta needs to be made with some tender love and care. Chef Boyardee needs to buy the rights to Titaroni and market them to kids like Robin Arryn on Game of Thrones who are still breastfeeding well into their tweens. Come to think of it, maybe Robin Arryn needs The BIG Sipper? Perfect way for Lysa to wean him off the teat!

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Not buying the “Hanging out in Atlantic City” glass may be my biggest regret of the trip. I’m sure I’ll be back in A.C soon enough, so I’ll remember to pick one up.

Would someone just please go and buy up all this shit finally and put it out of its misery? Thanks for reading and come back soon for Part 2 to read about the rest of our star spangled getaway to Atlantic City!

Summer: Pencil It In!

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As a kid, summers were an endless series of cool events.

In the summer, I felt like I was some kind of upper crust businessman like Bruce Wayne, only elementary school aged, and I was like “What event do I have tonight Alfred?” Only I was actually talking to my mom and she was like “Get out of the pool and get ready, we’re going to Wildwood.” Throwing a tantrum about getting out of the pool to prepare for rides, games, and ice cream was just not good form.

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I’d wake up bright eyed each day mulling over the excitement that I’d get into during the morning and afternoon and then like some sort of pseudo jet-setter, pondered what kind of shenanigans I’d be caught up in during the long summer night where I longed for the excitement I saw in After Hours and Into the Night. Some nights wound up being fairly comparable actually. A typical agenda might start out with breakfast and some cartoons, a leisurely bike ride around town, then a swim to cool off. Maybe a little action figure time to follow. Lunch was accompanied by game shows and reruns of Three’s Company, Brady Bunch, and Gilligan’s Island to name a few. The night? Forget about it – too many possibilities to even list here. Subconsciously I crammed in as much as possible.

When I was young it felt like the summer encompassed half the year. I really savored each day. The key was not paying attention to what day it was, because anytime I kept an eye on that calendar, the quicker the days started to dwindle down. Next thing you know, the back to school phase would set in, a period of time for me that was always in conflict in my brain. The lock-up of opposing mental forces was invigorating; it was like a grudge match between being extremely uneasy about the unknown circumstances of a new school year and the outrageous feeling of positivity that came from thinking that this year could be my best yet.

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SPLATT! Squash that idea like a fly immediately. It was best not to think about school in the summer. Onto more important things like how else can I squeeze the most out of the remaining summer days? Some days would be filled with swimming, blasting music from my white boombox, hours of Sega Master System, and playing Batman with my friend and his brother while other days would be sprawled out on the couch in the air conditioning watching Friday the 13th movies and The Goonies and sipping iced tea while a crazy thunderstorm made my day absolutely perfect. Staying up late consisted of reading comics, snacking, and falling asleep while watching stuff like Tales from the Darkside and WWF tapes.

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The summer season usually kicked off with a family trip to the boardwalk in Point Pleasant. Then sprinkled throughout the rest of the season we’d spend a sweltering day in New York City, a day of insanity on our friend’s Slip and Slide, pool parties, Yankees games, Keansburg, Medieval Times, Fireworks displays, and a day on my Uncle’s boat. One thing is for sure, summer trips and excursions were spread over the course of the season as intricately as peanut butter on Wonder Bread.

Nowadays, it seems like we have to condense all of the traditional summer events into one long weekend.

With the daily work grind, vacation days have to be meticulously decided upon and what they will be used for is usually contemplated well in advance. It really sucks that the spontaneity that was the foundation of our summers of yore is virtually non-existent in our adult life. The entire game is less about all the cool stuff we’re actually doing in the moment, but more about worrying if we’ll be able to fit all of it in i.e “I don’t know if we’ll have time” like Frank “The Tank” Ricard said in Old School.

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At some point you just got to say F it and have some booze and unhealthy snacks (read more about them here) and watch It Follows on your iPhone in the hotel room…twice. It’s summer, so you’ve got to squeeze in as much as possible, just remember to enjoy it all. That’s precisely what we did on our most recent trip.

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The July 4th weekend started a couple of days early for us. The night before heading down to AC, we decided it was a perfect time for Six Flags Great Adventure. I have some of the best memories of summers (and Falls) at Six Flags Great Adventure. Even though we have season passes, the place gets so packed when kids are off from school that we’re lucky if we squeeze in two visits randomly throughout the summer. This time around we hit it right on the nose and there were virtually no lines. We rode in the first row of Green Lantern, then went on Superman, took a brief respite on the Skyway to take in the park from above, and then our favorite ride, Nitro – twice! It was pretty awesome, and unplanned, which was the best part.

The next day we drove down to Atlantic City for our Independence Day getaway. This is where I will say…

TO BE CONTINUED! Thank you for reading and be back soon to join us on our next adventure!

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 119: KISS at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City!

Today’s t-shirt memorializes the very KISS stadium concert at Jersey City’s Roosevelt Stadium in 1976! This tee is available at their official page KISSonline.com

Wow, we love demolishing stadiums in this state, don’t we? Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City was a baseball stadium that opened in 1937 and was demolished in 1985. Sure, it had its share of memorable sporting events and concerts, but one in particular featured my favorite band ever, KISS.

When you think of famed KISS concerts, you may think of Cobo Hall in Detroit, or even Madison Square Garden in New York City, but merely days after America’s Bicentennial 4th of July celebration, on July 10th, 1976, KISS played very first stadium show right in The Sexiest of all Armpits.

Headlining a big baseball stadium was no easy task. The band had to be louder and crazier than the crowd was, and naturally, KISS was up for the task. At the time, they were riding high on what would become their biggest album of all time, Destroyer, so they were properly equipped to blast everyone directly out of the stadium with their mammoth sound and explosions, and that’s exactly what they did.

For non-KISS fans, it’s easy to believe that if you’ve seen one KISS concert, you’ve seen them all, but I’m here to tell you that’s just simply not the case. There was a special kind of magic going on with the early KISS shows. A group of musicians with a wild idea to mix ghastly face paint, elaborate costumes, and an explosive stage show were still in their formative years as a band. Hell, much like some of their other early concerts, the Roosevelt Stadium show was filmed in black and white, lending it an even more macabre atmosphere. B&W is one quality that always intrigued me with early KISS shows and bootlegs, especially knowing that Gene is such a horror movie fanatic.

Many of you have lived through the many incarnations of KISS. For over 40 years now KISS has been evolving their music, their look, and their stage show. To me, nothing beats those early years. Their music was darker and more seedy, their look was more basic, albeit scary. I wasn’t lucky enough to live through their ’70s heyday, but I relived them on my own through VHS bootlegs as a kid. Now, all that footage is on DVD box sets and of course, YouTube! You can see footage from the Roosevelt Stadium show below.

*Opening for KISS at Roosevelt Stadium was The J.Geils Band and Point Blank. It’s a heinous crime that at of the time of this post this show was somehow not included in the notable KISS concert list on Wikipedia. That is totally insane. Someone please fix this!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz3Kd3B9Zxg?rel=0&showinfo=0]

Daniel Bryan Comes to iPlay America!

Relinquishing the Intercontinental Title sucks. It will truly be upsetting if Daniel Bryan’s story comes to an end this year. There’s times in WWE when you don’t really know if they have a surprise in the storyline up their sleeve or not, but Bryan’s latest injury is apparently legit enough to take him out of action, possibly forever. Daniel Bryan’s WWE career wasn’t as long as his fans would’ve hoped, but it was filled with some stellar moments. If it’s determined that his career is indeed being forced to end, he’s left a great legacy in the indies and WWE behind him.

Fortunately for his fans, Daniel Bryan is still fulfilling his meet and greet engagements (YES! YES! YES!) One of these opportunities comes on June 28th, 2015 at iPlay America in Freehold, NJ. iPlay has become a recurring venue for WWE Superstar Meet and Greets and I think that’s awesome. I couldn’t think of a better place to meet these guys – it’s a freaking indoor amusement park! Tickets are mostly sold out, (NO! NO! NO!) but there are some left for parents who are accompanying their children.

Six Scores From The Flea Market!

I believe it was an ancient Chinese Proverb that stated, “The early bird catches the worm, well, usually, but only if he can wake his ass up in time.”

Since I’m on a schedule where I wake up ungodly early for work each day, my body’s own alarm clock buzzed me out of a dead sleep around 7am on Saturday. The incessant chirping of birds near my window didn’t help either. The flea market trip wasn’t for a few hours, so I did my best to waste time. Ate some cereal, watched Big Hero 6 for the 11th time, inventoried my entire Monster High collection…HA! Just kidding, that would take me 3 1/2 weeks. Then, before I knew it, it was time to embark on another journey to the Englishtown Auction with Matt from Dinosaur Dracula.

To say that I was soured on my experiences is an understatement. Do you remember when Luke’s X-Wing fighter sunk into the murky swamp on Dagobah? Well, that’s basically what happened to my car, just at a Flea Market in New Jersey. If you missed that little debacle, you can read about it here!

Matt reported that his last trip to Englishtown was a major success, and I chalked that propaganda up to the natural high of finding the absolute most beautiful ceramic E.T bank that was actually manufactured in 1982 by a Hallmark-like stationary store on Brodo Asogi. Come to think of it, maybe getting my ass back there was an intergalactic imperative.

It seriously couldn’t have been a more perfect day for 3-hour walk around an outdoor flea market. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the temperature was in the low ’70s. Even the insane traffic couldn’t agitate me, well, that’s a baldfaced lie. Traffic always agitates me, but when I’m with friends, it agitates me considerably less. Maybe it’s because I can’t let them see my usual stuck in a car with no air conditioning type meltdowns.

Frequently, every weekend even, you tend to see people posting their big finds from the various yard sales (I always called them Garage Sales) and Flea Markets on Instagram and Twitter. What’s irksome to me is that everyone elsewhere across the country seems to find some utterly amazing shit, while often, all I come home with is a Taylor Dane LP not realizing that I already owned 2 copies. I can never get enough of “Tell it To My Heart,” so all is well. Though, records weren’t the only crap I came home with from the Flea Market this weekend.

Their trash is my treasure as they say, and this trip defined that old saying in spades. The dirty bags of junk I hauled into my apartment last night were filled with things that seriously almost no one would’ve purchased. Except maybe our friend, Trash Culture.

Literally, the first table I stopped at gave me an early indication that we’d have a wondrous experience on this day. This guy’s table was filled with the most random junk EVER. The friendly vendor was willing to work with me on prices too.

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1. GENE SIMMONS PLAQUE

Out of all the amazing stuff at the table, my eyes zeroed in on an old Gene Simmons plaque that looked like it was hanging in a den covered in wood paneling in 1978. What that translates to is me having to own this without question. FIVE BUCKS. Boom. Take my money.

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2. FLABBER DOLL – BIG BAD BEETLEBORGS

Oh wait up vendor man, you have a Flabber doll from the Big Bad Beetleborgs? WTF, are you seriously kidding me right now? I will give you $160 dollars for it. 2 days prior, I just got done telling Matt how creepy I thought that dude Flabber was. I think the spirit animal thing has been done to death by this point, but whatever the modern equivalent is, good ol’ Flabs is mine. He was Jay Leno mixed with the ghost of Liberace. NEED.

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3. PROMOTIONAL SOPRANOS WATER SNOW GLOBE TV THINGY

Oh no, wait, don’t ring me up yet, you also have this promotional Sopranos TV that doubles as a snow globe, but instead of snow it’s dollar signs? How much for f*cking Flabber AND the Sopranos promotional TV water globe thing? 4 bucks! How could I go wrong? I could’ve stopped right there and went home with the same level of happiness of a little kid in 1986 leaving TRU with an action figure. Just realizing now that this thing goes for some decent cash on eBay. Some Buy It Now listings for it range from $24 to $66 dollars!

As if these finds weren’t preposterous enough, this was all from the freaking same table! If I hadn’t already overused caps in this post I would’ve typed that entire previous sentence in caps and maybe even bold. A big thanks to that vendor too, because after I was done looting his table, Matt noticed his insane collection of old fridge magnets and he cut him a great deal for the entire collection.

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4. RECORDS! MORE RECORDS!

Leaving a flea market without a vinyl LP is a virtual impossibility for me. This time, I actually had one in mind that I’m trying to track down, but couldn’t find it. Looking at my haul, there was about 10 records, most were a buck, 2 were free, and then with a couple of Tiffany 45s thrown in the mix (Matt found them! One of these I already had, but whatevs, that’s a bad habit of mine.) I won’t detail all of the records I picked up, but I’ll show you some of the best ones.

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First, the most random “get” was My Stepmother is an Alien Soundtrack. The fact that this even exists in 2015 is a miracle. The inspiration for owning this soundtrack was clearly not the music etched into the vinyl. Look at that cover! Was that photo one of the rejects from an ad for the Playboy Channel in the late ’80s? So awesome. From there, a Hall and Oates single, one of my favorite tunes by them: “Adult Education,” with the lyrics on the back cover! Also, Wendy and Lisa’s Fruit at the Bottom, former tag-team backup for Prince. And of course, those Tiffany 45s. The design of these covers were so simple, yet so effective. They didn’t overthink it at all. Slap a glamour shot on the cover, a typical font of the era, and some minimal effect, and nowadays you have artists trying with all of their ingenuity to recreate this style on their own releases.

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5. HERCULES THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS FIGURES, 1996

My condo is packed with about 685 million action figures, so clearly I needed more. I don’t even know a damn thing about the Hercules TV show or Xena for that matter, but one thing I will say in my defense is that I won’t needlessly buy figures unless I’m drawn to them in a specific way. Now, when reading the name of this next figure, how could I not be drawn to her?

SHE-DEMON.

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I’m attracted to She-Demons, what can I say?

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys from Toy Biz figures were 2 for $5 bucks. I wasn’t an avid viewer of the show, but I’ve definitely seen it on TV, I believe it aired on our local WWOR-9 at the time. It was that shlocky Saturday mid-day programming that always came through for me when I was eating lunch in the kitchen and needed a temporary diversion. I don’t know too much about the show, but I can now tell you that the figure line was amazing. There are monsters, there are heroes, there are Mesomorphs. I went with that stone cold fox She-Demon and Xena II with her red warrior disguise.

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6. WONDER GIRL CUP 7-11, 1973

Something tells me that a roving therapist or psychiatrist would benefit some of the people at the Englishtown Auction. Whether people want to admit it or not, there are some nutsos running a few of the tables. Some of them are just wacky, while others are seriously delusional.

This one lady had about 5 or 6 of these vintage 7-11 cups on her garbage filled table. Keep in mind, people go to these flea markets to get good deals, not to overpay with eBay pricing. I asked “How much are these cups?” as if I didn’t know anything about them. With that, this woman starts asking me all kinds of questions like “Which one are you interested in, I can sell you all five for $100 dollars, you know they are all so expensive.”

I explained that I didn’t want all of them. She then offered me the price of $15 each and reminded me again how expensive they were, which technically, by eBay standards was actually pretty fair, but we were standing on a pile of dirt that was clouding up every time people walked by, we were in the middle of a big open space with picnic tables that have been there since the ’60s, and there was no freaking way I was prepared to shell out $15 bucks for this damn cup, no matter how bad I wanted it. She asked me how I felt about that price and stone faced I said, “That is too steep for me,” and began to walk away. “3 DOLLARS!” she yelled to me.

SOLD.

And there you have it folks, one of the most successful and entertaining flea market trips I’ve ever taken part in. There were a few other items too, so I’m sure they’ll surface here in the near future. Thanks for reading!

AC Boardwalk Con Adventure Part 1

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELVWZm6UplM?rel=0&showinfo=0]

You couldn’t move in AC last weekend. Everywhere you turned there was a bachelorette party going on. It was like an old B-movie, but, instead of the Jersey Shore getting infested with 50-foot mutated soon-to-be brides, it was overrun with literal hordes of drunken twenty-something girls wearing dresses that could barely fit my arm. They were stumbling all over the boardwalk, making a scene at the casinos, and even loud talking (slurring) on line at Starbucks. Believe me, I’m all for partying, but the combination of drunkenness only amplified the fact that they all seemed to think they were hot shit. Something about getting dressed up and downing weak shots of fruity liqueur makes even the biggest disasters feel like they could nail David Beckham. They couldn’t even pronounce Macchioto at that point, but, then again, they could barely walk – even with those giant heels in hand. Don’t think for a second that their male counterparts weren’t up to the same shenanigans in other casinos, they just disguised it better. Clusters of dudes on their bachelor parties were equally as obnoxious, but they weren’t wearing tiaras and sashes, so they didn’t stand out as much. Why am I telling you this? To set the scene of course!

While much of this turned out to be entertaining in itself, like witnessing multiple girls trip over their giant heels in their micro mini skirts right before my eyes, it got in the way of my real mission: getting to the FIRST EVER Atlantic City Boardwalk Con. Last weekend, Dinosaur Dracula and I escaped immediately into a parking garage and sought refuge in the most perfect place imaginable – The Atlantic City Convention Center. This place was bustling with an entirely different breed of revelers: Geeks. The Atlantic City Boardwalk Con was like being in the Merry Land of Oz, if Oz was a comic convention and Kevin Smith was the Wizard.

AC took on a double meaning for me. The Atlantic City Convention Center was supplied with Air Conditioning, which made it a haven in more ways than one; it was an awesome way to get out of the humidity (I’m currently AC-less at home), but it was also an immense emporium for all of my favorite geek things. From comics books to Zatanna cosplay, it was all there spread throughout the cavernous facility. The craziest part about it was that they didn’t even utilize half the floor space and ACBC was still a huge con.

Cosplay was in full force. Personally, I never get sick of seeing cosplayers and the insane amount of time and effort they put into their bringing their characters to life. Some cosplayers have such elaborate homemade costumes and they never break from their roles. They’re usually happy to chat and take pictures and those I spoke to at ACBC were friendly and seemed pretty psyched to be there. Cosplay was a key part of the AC Boardwalk Con (i.e Dark Helmet) and it’s welcome to see it get the spotlight that it deserves here in New Jersey. I saw Callie Cosplay as Sue Storm and she looked fantastic. Much like some of the other cosplayers at ACBC, she changed costumes over the course of the weekend, but in the video you can catch a quick glimpse of her as Sue.
Since ACBC is new, it was a fresh experience. There was an aspect of discovery that I don’t get from other cons. With New York Comic Con, it always feels like an organized mess, overshadowed by the mega conglomerates who sink the most ad money into the event. On the other hand, ACBC provided me with a happy feeling every time I turned a corner and noticed something that I hadn’t before. It was a mix of independent vendors and the random official Marvel Universe kiosk. An excellent balance of both. Plus. the easy to follow floor layout and the imaginative vendor set-ups infused the stagnant con prototype with a new style. Mostly, it was just different than the norm, and less stressful and aggravating to navigate than the other big cons.

Enticing my eyeballs for a few hours were random toys, odd collectibles, and beautiful artwork. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I actually didn’t come home with any. I resisted. I so desperately wanted the Batman/Harley Quinn painting you’ll see in the video above, but it was about $900 bucks! I got bills, yo! I’ll stick with the shots in the video footage I took. Further guilt was brought on by the fact that I’ve bought so many figures recently that I wanted to stick with a few original items to take home with me, so let me show you what came home with.

The NJ Ghostbusters were on site investigating a free floating full torso apparition of an old famed casino owner who is known to haunt the Atlantic City area. When I ran into the boys in gray, they didn’t have much time to B.S with me about the latest issue of Space Catalog because they just got an urgent call from Janine Melnitz, so I quickly threw them some cash so I could own one of their beautiful NJGB t-shirts! Could this shirt be any more apropos for me? NJ and Ghostbusters, perfect. I also picked up some stickers.

All the way from the far off land of Los Angeles, CA, I stopped at the table of JSalvador’s Super Emo Friends. These cute paintings of sad super heroes, rock stars, and pop culture icons grabbed me as if I saw a sad puppy in a pet shop window. How could I resist Emo Jason Voorhees moping on his mother’s severed head? I also picked up the Emo Arrow for Mike

ACBC didn’t give me much to bitch about at all. I only had one minor gripe. I didn’t wind up meeting any of the guests, but the celebrity signing lines could’ve used more ingenuity. Once you reached the autograph and picture area in the back of the con, it was clogged up with people milling around trying to figure out whose line they wanted to go wait on first. Even getting remotely close to that wing would’ve gotten you caught up in a bit of a traffic jam. It’s possible they weren’t expecting such a huge turnout, but they’ll definitely have to expand this area next year.

ACBC was a success and I will venture to say that it was one of the most enjoyable conventions I’d ever been to. There was a positive vibe throughout and people weren’t acting like jerks. Seeing kids and families there also brought me back to when I was young and geeky things like comics weren’t ruled by 40-something dudes. It’s a family affair and that’s cool. ACBC did a bang up job right out of the gate. Looking forward to next year already!

You didn’t think our adventure ended at The Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, did you? Of course, there’s more to come from our exploits AFTER the con! Things got pretty interesting so come back soon to check it out. Thanks for reading!

The Dirty Pearls at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCyWZUz6vJw?rel=0]

My blogging time has dwindled as of late, so this recap should’ve been posted weeks ago, but it’s here now! Get ready to watch, listen, and read about The Dirty Pearls show at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ on April 11th, 2015. After their upcoming show at The Viper Room in West Hollywood on May 23rd, it’s onto their BIG New York City concert, Saturday June 20th! Tickets are available now.

The show at the Brighton Bar was basically a warm up for the band. When you’re prepping for a workout, you might want to stretch first so you don’t pull a muscle. Some people choose to contort themselves, others jog in place. Occasionally, you’ll see some crazy bastards doing thousands of jumping jacks. That’s all good if you’re exercising, but what if you’re a rock band preparing for a bunch of concerts in support of your new music? You can do all the vocal exercises you want, but you better be on point when you come to New Jersey. In this case, the crew from the lower east side of New York City, The Dirty Pearls, brought their A-game to The Brighton Bar  – no arm circles necessary.

Evaluating a band like The Dirty Pearls, who are constantly running on all cylinders, they don’t need much of a warm up. Just give ’em a stage to play on and they’ll blow the audience away, which is precisely what they did at The Brighton Bar.

On our way to the show, I realized that I hadn’t been to The Brighton Bar in about 10 or 11 years. This fact was shocking to me, and after the night was through, I already wanted to go back because it’s such an awesome place to see a show. The layout is perfect for seeing bands and the bar made me want to plant myself next to it for a few hours. I felt at ease there which is rare for me since I’d rather watch the concert via my couch at home.

Back to the DP concert!

These guys are always on, and I have no idea how they do it. Their fuel may very well be “Caffeine and Gasoline,” which happens to be one of their most potent tracks, one that will get you energized before you can even reach over and crack open that Red Bull to get you through the night. Naturally, it was included in their set list, among many of their other staple tracks, like their opener, “Whether You Like it or Not,” followed by “Bring on the Night,” “Sucker for a Sequel,” and sending it home with their signature anthem “New York City is a Drug.”
I always try to seize the opportunity to check out one of my favorite bands, The Dirty Pearls, when they’re playing merely miles away from my house. It was all the more awesome since they debuted some brand new tracks, some were never performed live previously! 
If you checked out My Top 6 Favorite Dirty Pearls Songs, you know that “Dynamite” made the list, and sure enough, they played it at the Brighton Bar! After talking with the band, that song will likely appear on their next release, along with the other tracks they premiered that night including, “Boom Boom Boom,” “Who Will Save Rock and Roll?” and “We Don’t Need Your Kind.” These new tunes planted a pop-rock punch while maintaining the booze splashed punk edge and Lower East Side attitude of their previous work. 
Smashing the kit and spinning his sticks, Mr. Marty E. looked like he was having a blast as he always is. That dude has fun whether he’s at a real estate seminar or rocking out on stage. Frontman Tommy London interacted with the crowd throughout their set. Always entertaining, London bestowed us with his definitive David Coverdale impression and even made a Friendster reference. Not many lead singers of rock and roll bands are gonna be making references to ancient social media sites, but leave it to Tommy! Along with telling amusing anecdotes about some of their popular tracks, he broke into a homage to Billy Idol with a bit of “Rebel Yell,” and also dedicated a cover of “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” to New York’s beloved Ramones.
This was merely an appetizer prior to their big New York City show at the Gramercy Theater on June 20th. Tickets are on sale NOW! GO HERE FOR MORE INFO!