Good things come to those who wait, right? Obviously, that’s not guaranteed, but judging from what I’ve witnessed, it’s often proven true. Things I’ve only dreamed of as a kid have materialized. I’ve flexed with Hulk Hogan and I live in a world where there’s a Wonder Woman feature film. Life is good. In many respects, it keeps getting better. How’s that, you ask? Read on! Continue reading Battling For Metropolis…In My Backyard!
I was the younger of two children, so I naturally got the smaller bedroom. I never complained about it because I really loved my room. It wasn’t until my older sister went away to college that I was able to declare the bigger room as my own. Regardless, I made the most of a small space for close to 15 years.
This picture represents half of my bedroom in 1989. Before we get into the details, let me describe quickly what the other half looked like. On the opposite side of the room I had a desk spanning the whole wall – a desk that I never once used to do homework on. This desk served a much greater purpose. It held my Batman collectibles amongst other things. The Batman books and memorabilia were setup on top of the desk while underneath was the Batcave from ToyBiz. My father and I rigged the whole thing to look like the ’60s Batman show complete with Wayne Manor study room, home made computers, analyzers, “lighted” lucite maps, the breakaway cave door that the batmobile sped out of, and the piece de resistance…opening bookshelves that revealed actual gold batpoles!!!
At the time most kids were strictly into the ’89 Batman film, but I grew up watching the ’60s show several years before when I was merely in pre-school and kindergarten. Later in life I hit the jackpot with this batcave setup, but the one under my old desk was the best.
All around the upper portion of the walls my dad created custom shelving to display all my Starting Lineup figures. These were sports figures made by Kenner and I had a TON of them! Each shelf was separated by team and I placed their cards right behind them. It was pretty damn impressive to most of my friends who came over and saw it since many of them stuffed theirs in a box under their bed.
OK, so I know you’re waiting to see if you could pick out every piece of memorabilia in that room, right? Well, that’s what the numbers are for. Here’s a rundown:
1. Starting Lineup “Slam Dunk Series”: These weren’t any old Starting Lineup figures, these were special mail away offers that came with the other figures. They may have eventually been sold in stores, but these were the original dunking Jordan, Bird, etc.
2. Dinosaur curtains – every kid loved dinosaurs at one time or another, though dinosaur stuff was big with me in ’88, and carried over only to get pushed to the side for stuff like WWF and Batman. I still love dinosaurs though!
3. Batman T-Shirt – Sometimes I liked the graphic on a t-shirt so much that I just hung it from a push pin on my wall. This Batman tee was one of them.
4. Batman pajamas with detachable cape – This version was my favorite and they are still making variations of superhero costume pajamas ’til this day. I think Underoos may have made these. I LOVED wearing them. The bat-logo glowed in the dark.
5. Batman comforter – The Batman sheet and comforter set lasted me quite a long time. They were released in 1989 and I used them for about 13 years! That was almost as long as my Dukes of Hazzard sheet set which holds the record. I’ve had about 3 Batman sheet sets since then.
6. The Toy Biz Batmobile – I’m going on record as saying this is the worst toy incarnation of the batmobile in the history of time. But that’s what was available for us back then, and until Kenner’s Dark Knight Collection blew Toy Biz out of the water we had to take what we could get!
7. An 8×10 of Jack Nicholson’s Joker. This was actually a set of small and large postcards that I bought. Pretty sure I still have these in a folder somewhere.
8. Starting Lineup mail-away baseball. This thing was a con because they made you think a ton of star players actually autographed it. When it came I realized they were all pre-printed on the ball. Still a cool collectible though.
To the right of that ball was one my uncle had signed for me by Phil Rizzuto.
9. The antennas belong to Walkie Talkies that are being blocked by a Speak and Spell and a Speak and Math.
10. Right above the #10 is a Magic 8-Ball. That thing was useless, but I wanted it so bad.
11. Books and magazines. The visible ones are the official Willow movie magazine, and a few books on Dinosaurs. Good Night Moon looks like it was in there as well.
In the 1966 Batman TV series, the Batmobile zooms passed a sign that that says “Gotham City 14 Miles.” As it turns out for us here in New Jersey, that old sign wasn’t lying after all! In this post I will prove that for some outrageous reason, Gotham City is in fact in…(gasp!)… New Jersey!
For the non-fanboys reading this, I can see why you are in disbelief. It’s always assumed that Batman fought crime in a city created in the image New York City, and there’s surely enough evidence of it. But for the writers of DC Comics, having New York City exist in their universe as a separate entity is important. So, at least geographically, Gotham City exists in New Jersey. Although, since we already have The Toxic Avenger, is there enough room for an even more legendary super hero in New Jersey?
There’s lots of people out there who will think the idea of Gotham City being in Jersey is utter garbage (pun intended), but aside from the fact that it doesn’t have as many skyscrapers as New York City, nowadays Jersey may be even seedier than Manhattan. Let’s go down the checklist: Corruption, CHECK, Crime, CHECK, Gambling, CHECK, Prostitution, CHECK, murderous villain dressed in clown makeup, well…not necessarily, but I’m sure that can be arranged.
While many of you are flying into a fit of rage, internalizing your anger, and pacing around your home or office upon reading this, we here in New Jersey are rejoicing. A small bit of unimportant DC comics trivia it may seem, but The Sexy Armpit refuses to discard it. To many bat-fans in the most densely populated state in the country, the whereabouts of Gotham City is of prime importance. No matter if you grew up in Bloomfield or Barnegat, any Batman adventure that you acted out as a kid has just skyrocketed in credibility. Batman is our hometown hero!
With sections known as The Bowery, Chelsea, Chinatown, and the East River, it’s painfully obvious that Gotham City wants desperately to be New York City, but New York City will remain its own island. New York already has our football team and gets made fun of a lot less than us so I’d say giving us Gotham City is a more than generous trade.
For more on Gotham City, New Jersey check out these links:
DC Animated Wiki “…in DC Comics current continuity, Gotham City is in New Jersey, north of Atlantic City.”
What made the occurence even that much more clever was the fact that that part of the movie featured a “film within a film,” which blurred the lines of fiction and reality. I like to believe that my performance magnified that idea and added a little more thrill to the atmosphere.
It’s not everyday you walk into a movie theater and see a cavernous homemade Batcave erected or a knife wielding killer from a horror film chasing innocent ushers through the theater at high speed. I would’ve liked to have been one of the people watching Scream on that Friday night. It was almost a throwback to gimicks like “smell-o-vision.” I would love movies to become more of an event, like when I go to see an film in IMAX. Do you think witnessing the killer chasing someone through the theater would intensify your viewing experience? Maybe if it doesn’t succeed at creeping you out, it would definitely make for a memorable bit of conversation!
This whole Dark Knight countdown is becoming a huge obnoxious competition against myself to find out who is the bigger Batman fan, ME or ME? Either way, it’s on like KONG! (the article above appeared in the Cineplex Odeon newsletter called “The Biz” in ’97)
When I was 16 I applied to work at the local Cineplex Odeon Cinema at the Menlo Park Mall. (Cineplex Odeon is now AMC Theaters) I knew it would be the perfect job for me especially since I was in high school and didn’t want a job where I had to be too serious or have too much responsibility. Without even realizing how fast the time went I wound up working there for about 5 or 6 years! I met so many awesome people throughout that time and saw a ton of movies. Sometimes on a Thursday night we would have screenings of the big films that were coming out the next day. I remember getting sneaks of all the cool movies especially for all the Star Wars re-issues and The Phantom Menace. I have some great memories of that place.
For the first 2 or 3 years I worked there the management was very supportive and excellent to work for. One busy night at the theater in 1997, Bob, the house manager, pulled me aside. I got a bit nervous. Bob was easy to get along with but he was nothing but business. He wasn’t smiling so I thought something was wrong.
JAY: “Did I do something wrong, Bob?” I always ask that of all my bosses…I just like the sound of it.
BOB: “No of course not, as always you’re doing a great job! I just have something I want to ask you…”
JAY: “Oh Ok sure”
BOB: “How would you like to be Batman for us at our premiere of Batman and Robin?”
JAY: “Are you serious? Holy Crap, of course!!!”
F–k Jean-Paul Valley! What an opportunity for me since I used to pretend I was Batman for the first 16 years of my life and now I could actually be him in front of people. I definitely felt like I was a shoe-in for the job because everyone there knew I was the resident Batmaniac. When I put on the cowl and cape, such a familiar feeling came over me as if I had put on a cape and cowl every day of my life. I did my best impression of Michael Keaton when he became Batman. Screw Kilmer and Clooney, I was still a Keaton mark! Not only did they get one of the more professional looking bat costumes for me to wear but they also had a few members of the management team create an overhang above the ticket ripper that made you feel like you were entering the Batcave!
To make the premiere even more of an event they had one of the girls who worked at the concession stand, Jen, play Poison Ivy. Like me, she really ate it up. She waltzed in like she spent months taking lessons from Uma Thurman! The kids and adults loved it! I shook so many hands that day, was asked to be in a ton of pictures, and I was also asked for autographs which was bizarre but I had prepared for it just in case. I remembered that back when I was a kid I met a Batman impersonator at the Wildwood boardwalk back in ’89. I took a picture with him and he signed the Polaroid. I dug it up and took a look at how he signed it and I sort of lifted his technique. I know, I know…you all want to ask the burning question: Did I stuff my codpiece with socks? Don’t you know that Batman never reveals his secrets? Let’s just say, the ladies seemed to be quite aroused! Come to think of it, they were probably more distracted by my huge batarang. (pictured below: Batman/Me trying to resist Poison Ivy’s pheromones)