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!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Matt and I are back with a festive Purple Stuff Podcast episode for you.
Currently, I’d imagine you’re immersed in holiday shopping, getting stuck in copious amounts of traffic, and getting tanked on some kind of Christmasy concoction. As I write this, I’m super behind with my own holiday celebration. My tree is up, but it’s still not trimmed. I’ve only watched Christmas Vacation and Scrooged so far, but I have a pile of Christmas DVDs that I still want to get to before December ends. I’m also hoping my mom or Miss Sexy Armpit makes me my favorite Christmas cookies. Beyond those traditions, the one thing I never fail to keep up with is my Holiday playlist.
Since I have a long commute for work, I get to enjoy the giant Holiday playlist that I’ve created over the years in my iPhone. Listening to these songs everyday through the end of November and all of December made it easy for me to bring some more playlist ideas to you in the latest edition of The Purple Stuff Podcast.
This is our 2nd Christmas songs podcast. If you haven’t heard our previous one, it’s episode 17 in our feed. I know some people are not big fans of Christmas music, but it’s incredibly nostalgic for the both of us and it remains a big part of our seasonal celebrations. So, in this episode, Matt and I offer up some Christmas song suggestions for you. These tracks range from traditional to obscure, but they’re all worth a few minutes of discussion. Whether it’s Whitney Houston or The Whirling Dervishes, we’re delivering an hour of audio cheer.
If you’re not already subscribed, it would be awesome if you did! If you like listening to us, one of the easiest way to support us is to leave us a positive review on iTunes! Thanks for listening and we hope you have an awesome holiday season!
The DC heroes are about to blow up the big screen. Fans of the DCU are in their glory right now. Even though there’s been so many movies based on DC properties, the DC film universe will be ushered in with the premiere of Batman v. Superman. I was out on the black carpet event with Miss Sexy Armpit for the premiere of the film at Radio City Music Hall, and it’s making me count the minutes until I’m in the theater for this. Growing up, World’s Finest comics were always at the top of my list, so I’m extremely excited to see my two favorite heroes on the big screen, and even more pumped to finally see Wonder Woman joining the fray. In light of this major DC Comics event, let’s recall one of the biggest DC Comics movie events of all time, Batman ’89!
Can you imagine living in a world where there wasn’t super hero movies in theaters every 2 months? That’s how things were back in the day. If you were around then, you know what I mean. Super heroes wound up becoming almost taboo to be a fan of. For me, things were doubly worse since I was both a fan of comics AND wrestling…and KISS for that matter. All the cards were stacked against me, but I wore my obsessions proudly, and I’m glad I did, because there was a payoff – a major one. In June of 1989, one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons was released to theaters: Batman.
In modern times, we’ve been spoiled by 8 Batman movies (9 if we count BvS!). The first Batman film in 1966 was an answer to that era’s Batmania hysteria caused by the TV show. In 1989, comic fans and moviegoers came out in full force to show that they were ready to get caught up in their generations Batmania. I was so lucky to be deeply entrenched in Batman my entire childhood, so to experience this kind of fervor for my favorite hero was astounding.
If there was a popularity contest between Bats and Supes, let’s just say, Supermania wasn’t really bandied around too often. That’s not a knock on Superman, but there was something mysterious about the 1989 Batman that made it so easy to fall in love with the film. One of the reasons for this is likely the fact that it was such a dark departure from the over the top, campy colorful fun of the ’60s TV series. If you weren’t reading Batman comics at the time, this was a brand new Batman that brought viewers into new territory. If you watch the film now, it seems pretty light, but in ’89 this was a dark, Noir inspired adventure which was unforgettable to so many who saw it in it’s theatrical run.
If you are a fan of this film, I recommend that you document your love for it. As it is with other forms of entertainment like music and books, the impact that the ’89 Batman movie had on the public may be documented for future generations in news articles, but it’s difficult to capture what kind of a massive Bat-frenzy it actually was. If you walked into a mall in 1989, to say that would’ve noticed over a hundred Bat symbols EVERYWHERE is not an exaggeration. Whether you went into a toy store, music store, or grocery store, Batman was literally everywhere. Two opposing boxes of cereal promoting Batman v. Superman cannot compare to how we were all lovingly swaddled in Batman’s cape with all kinds of goodies. You didn’t even have to be a hardcore Bat-fan to own a t-shirt or magazine that promoted the film.
What amuses me about all these superhero movies that come out, Marvel’s included, is that even though they make bank, we get flooded with them. All they have to be is “good.” Consider this: Will Batman vs. Superman make the same kind of impact that Batman ’89 did? Most likely no. It could wind up becoming the most well-reviewed DC inspired film ever, but I will wager that most Batman films since then did not have the potential to romance fans the way the ’89 film did. This is because on-screen Batman was in a unique spot to reinvent himself and turn the genre into serious business. Looking at this trajectory, you would not have any of the Nolanverse films without Batman 1989. Credit also has to go to Superman ’78 for being the genesis of the modern superhero film, but Batman ’89 had Kim Basinger!
I can write volumes about this movie because of how much I love it, but why not listen to our latest Purple Stuff Podcast where Matt and I talk all about it? In Episode 23, we detail many of our ’89 Batman memories. Matt and I share stories of seeing the film in the theater, the toy line, dressing up, reciting lines, the Prince soundtrack, theme parks and much more. This is our testimonial to what an indelible mark Batman 1989 left on us. If the Joker wrote this post, he may have ended it something like this: “…If you gotta go…go with a Smile!”
There was a town-wide yard sale and bulk pickup over the weekend. I’m not the mayor so why am I telling you this? Well, just in case you want to bring up the idea at your next town council meeting. Nah, seriously, if you collect junk, this event is libel to send you into a mouth foaming frenzy. If the thought of throwing a mostly warped chest of drawers from the late ’70s into the back of your pickup drives you wild, the chance of scooping up a devastatingly decrepit Barbie Dream House will drive you crazy. Partial credit: KISS.
Let me set the scene. Here we are in suburbia and all over town people were simultaneously trying to sell their old crap to make room for their new crap. In the same weekend, whatever doesn’t sell goes out to the curb for the garbage men to haul it away to its final resting place (most likely a nearby landfill, we have plenty.)
Miss Sexy Armpit thought this was the perfect opportunity to clean out her garage. Mind you, this is not one of those garages that was transformed into a guest room, it doesn’t feature an elaborate train set display, and hell, it doesn’t even house an actual car! This is your good old junk garage, filled to the brim with the lingering possibility of finding amazing shit that would entice my dude Barry Weiss to fly into Newark Liberty International just to spend 5 minutes in it. BRB, getting my skeleton gloves…
What was in the garage? Well, here’s what was visible: drawers upon drawers with old papers, letters, coins, magazines, books, clothes, and jewelry from nearly every era from the ’30s to the ’60s. The wall is adorned with shelves and random hooks and there’s stuff hanging out every which way. If for some reason you had to take shelter in there during another cataclysmic polar vortex, there would only be enough room for one person and a 31-inch Batman figure. I knew there was no chance that One Eyed Willie ever passed through there, but still, imagine the rich stuff that was hidden deep within!
That Mouth quote from The Goonies doesn’t exactly apply here since, at first glance, the garage was pretty much a disaster area and sorely in need of some attention.
A text message from Miss Sexy Armpit alerted me to stop over because “she found something she wanted to give me.” That could’ve meant two things: I was in for a knuckle sandwich or she hit pay dirt.
As I drove into the driveway, through my windshield I saw a bunch of garbage and random stuff being shuffled around and thrown into trash bags. I got out of the car and walked over toward the garage while passing giant recycle bins of magazine from the ’60s and ’70s and bins of vinyl records dating back to the ’50s. Basically there was an antique store opening up in Miss Sexy Armpit’s garage.
“Come in here, I want to give you something” she said to me. I was hoping it wasn’t that knuckle sandwich. And let me please say that she never gives me knuckle sands., but I just really love any reference to them. They are my absolute favorite sandwich ever. Slap some Gouda on there, maybe even some pickles, get crazy. Hokey cliches FTW.
She made me close my eyes, but she wouldn’t even have known if I did or not since I was wearing my usual giant black sunglasses. I did indeed glue my eyes shut momentarily. “Hold out your hands…”
Seconds later, what was placed in my hands before me was a glorious and oddly colored Batman Transistor Radio. Dated 1973 National Periodical Publications (later known as DC Comics), the only thing it was missing was the battery cover, but the strap is STILL in tact! Batman’s purple costume is what really makes this radio special. I know that Batman gave up on his multicolored costumes in the late ’50s, but he clearly couldn’t part with his purple bat-costume. Even more amazing is that this was an officially licensed product!
According to The Radio Museum, there was also a Superman radio released at the same time. Click Here to see more photos of this transistor radio in the original box.
After about a half hour, I felt I might have hit a dead end. I was going through so many drawers and only finding old lotto tickets and wigs.
Maybe not gold in the truest sense of the word, but I was still set on finding some sort of treasure. which brings me to:
PIES MEN LIKE.
I desperately wanted the previous title to stand alone as a sentence itself because it easily could be if I was actually under the impression that enough could be said about it. It’s a proven fact that there will NEVER EVVVVEERRRRR be enough that could be said about this wondrous pamphlet from 1953.
It may have the greatest title in the history of all books that have ever been written. If only Thomas Paine could come back to life just for 30 seconds so I could show him this pamphlet, he would feel like all his work paid off. Why is this world great? Because PIES MEN LIKE exists in it. What’s even better is that now…I OWN IT.
Actually, I was sort of let down when I did a Google image search on this booklet. Apparently, it’s not as rare of a gem as I originally thought. There’s a few copies already floating around the Internet, but then again, what isn’t floating around online?
Yeah so there’s pie recipes contained inside. Let me just summarize it with this:
Miss Sexy Armpit’s mom had about 150,000 cook books and most of them were from era that provided endless tips for entertaining in your home and having successful cocktail parties. How to make punch, hors d’oeuvres, and how to please your husband. Keeping the old man happy was of utmost importance at one time. Moreover, it seems that in the modern era there’s less of a concentration on finger foods stuck with toothpicks and how cocktail umbrellas could really spice up your evening. This country needs to really refocus and realize that deviled eggs always get oohs and ahhs from party goers, and tuna casserole is one badass meal that makes mouths happy (sorry Twizzlers.) Don’t mind if I do!
This pamphlet can’t come at a more perfect time. I’ve been meaning to “get down” culinarily so maybe this booklet will be my golden ticket to a baking wonderland. Check that word out! Is it even a real word? Holy shit, I just checked and IT IS!
The quest for cool stuff continued. I doubted there would be anything of consequence after these dazzling items already. How could we surpass the greatness of an early ’70s Batman collectible and the most incredible pamphlet ever created?
Crouched down, inhaling the smell of old paper and dust, and my body sweltering from the heat, I did not surrender. As I dug ferociously through the middle drawer of a large old chest, I really felt like the journey was coming to an end. All I came across was more paperwork and lots of vintage family photos, but it seemed like the chances of finding anything else considered a jackpot was slim.
Mere seconds after I felt like my days as a Jersey picker were over, my hand started feeling a cardboard box. It was a box of checkers. Then I pulled out a chess game. All of a sudden it’s board game central. Underneath those was yet another game turned upside down.
A shock of electricity surged into my hand and up my forearm as my fingers made contact with a Wonder Woman Colorforms Adventure Set from 1976. This set was really magnificent. Although the outside is a bit shabby, the inside is nearly mint and complete except for some dust. Check out more on this Colorforms set over at Wonder Woman Collectors.
In the end, the best kinds of finds are ones you weren’t even remotely expecting at all. A big thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit for the kickass Batman radio (which was actually owned by her sister as a kid.)
I will leave you with this piece of advice:
Remember to bake your man a pie this weekend. Now poontang your ass on outta here.
Some people I know are often curious to see how I spend my money. Or should I say blow my money. Some people prefer to hoard their money, but my approach is that you can’t take it with you, so enjoy it while you are here. Many people live by that type of credo, but some indulge in a more extreme fashion than others. A woman can go out and buy a purse for $400 bucks and have no problem justifying that purchase, so I feel that an action figure, a box of cereal, and some snack cakes are more than worth it.
Batros Figure – Masters of the Universe Classics
In the MOTU Classics line, every figure and vehicle is referred to as “museum quality,” which I can’t argue with. The price point is about double or triple the cost of an action figure on a rack in Toys R Us. That sounds crazy, but believe me, I don’t buy every figure that comes out. The money I have spent on figures from this collection has been well worth every penny.
The time and careful attention to detail put into these figures is incredible. The badass looking Batros, stealer of information and books, looks like he just walked out of a TV showing his ONE episode appearance in “The Great Books of Mystery.” He’s part of Matty Collector’s Filmation line, which is inspired solely by characters from the original cartoon series as opposed to the mini-comics, or 2002 animated series.
So far, the Monster Cereals have been all the rage this season, and rightfully so, but I’m afraid Halloween Crunch is being overshadowed. Since it’s introduction in 2007, I haven’t had the easiest time finding Halloween Crunch locally. The last couple of years I’ve found it at Wal-Mart, but before that I felt like it was some kind of treasure that only appeared at certain stores around the country. Several of the gimmick Cap’n Crunch variations have been very elusive, but Halloween Crunch is easily my favorite. I’d even walk the plank and say that Halloween Crunch is my favorite of all the seasonal gimmick cereals presently offered throughout the year. It turns my f’n milk GREEN, what more is there to say?!!
Justice League Fruit Snacks
The Justice League fruit snacks box art is incredible and there was no way I could pass these up, especially with that giant notification at the top of the box that these are um…NEW! It’s exciting to see all the DC heroes getting some attention finally. As always, Batman looks like he’s about to kick somebody’s ass for taking a picture of his box.
If only these existed when I was in elementary school! Fruit snacks were as big a part of lunch time in school as the type of chips you brought. There was a certain measure of respect and jealousy if someone brought a type of snack that you hadn’t eaten before or one that was harder to find. I always considered myself lucky if I had PB&J, a Ssips juice box, a bag of Doritos (or Bravos which sound second rate, but are also very good), and a dessert such as anything Little Debbie (which we’ll get to in a minute) or a “pouch” of fruit snacks.
Early on here at The Sexy Armpit I wrote about my affinity for 3 types of fruit snacks in the 80s, there was Sunkist Fruit Wrinkles, Shark Bites, and Thunder Jets. Most of the fruit snacks are similar today, containing one or two offbeat colors like black or pastel blue. Below you can see that Superman is pastel blue which pretty much excludes him from portraying a fruit flavor. Something tells me that touting “real fruit juice,” doesn’t pertain to the pastel blue variety of fruit snacks.
The fun part about fruit snacks like Shark Bites and Thunder Jets was the chase. The commercial would get you all geared up to rip open your pouch to see if you got one of the specially colored and flavored snacks. The Great White and The Stealth Bomber respectively were the chase variants as it were. I don’t think there’s a mystery fruit snack in these, but you can compare the box colors to the ones I got and easily notice that the black Batman is supposed to be purple. The flavor was grape-like, but I’m not sure if it’s officially grape or blackberry. Either way, these brought me right back to the lunch table in school!
Green Margarita Mix in a Glass Skull, Target Exclusive “Ghoulish Potion”
Target just sucks you in, doesn’t it? Every damn time I’m in Target I wind up spending an exorbitant amount of money. In this case though, I am able to balance out my ridiculous purchases, like this glass skull filled with margarita mix, with other more justifiable purchases such as actual food, albeit occasionally healthy food, as well as necessities such as toilet paper, toothpaste, and laundry detergent. Let’s see how this shit turns out. I’m sure it’s going to taste like every other margarita mix, but one never knows. It may taste like Mountain Dew, we shall see momentarily.
The bottle clearly puts it over the top. I wouldn’t have bought margarita mix if it was in a witch, ghost, or werewolf shaped glass bottle, but skulls always do the trick for me. Since I probably couldn’t drink a whole bottle of vodka in less than a year or two, I’d probably never buy Dan Akroyd’s Crystal Skull vodka. Tequila and margaritas on the other hand will disappear rapidly at my place.
Verdict: not so good. After the mix was mixed it tasted more bitter than sweet and I prefer it to skew a bit on the sweeter side. After having margaritas at Jose Tejas in Woodbridge, most other margaritas don’t taste as good. Fortunately, after the mix is done, we are left with a cool bottle. I’ll probably dump the mix and put some Berry Blue Kool-Aid in it.
Tales From The Crypt Season 2
It’s easy to regret impulse buys, but Tales From The Crypt Season 2 seemed like a great deal. I picked it up for $9.99. Before I committed to it by dropping it in my cart at Wal-Mart, I checked Amazon and a few other sites on my phone to make sure it was a good price. If I could get it on Amazon for $5.99, I would’ve dropped it right back in my cart. At the time, Amazon listed it for well over $20 dollars so I bought it. I wasn’t actively seeking the Tales From The Crypt series, but Halloween is coming up and I figured even if I watch a couple of episodes it was worth the purchase.
At any given time there would be Peanut Butter Boppers and various trendy snacks of the day, Drakes Funny Bones and Coffee Cakes, some really old Pixy Stix banished to the bottom rear, and then dominating the cavernous drawer were the Little Debbie products such as Swiss Rolls, Nutty Bars, Peanut Butter Bars, Oatmeal Cream Pies, Fudge Brownies, and Strawberry Shortcake Rolls. Reading this laundry list of snacks it sounds like we were the fattest fucks ever to walk the planet in the ’80s, but really my sister and I practiced self control. Most of the time we’d be limited to one of these snacks after school and we adhered to it.
If you thought Ben Affleck playing Batman was weird, wait ’til you get a load of this. I think the Verona, NJ-born comedian Jay Mohr should play The Riddler. Yeah, not shitting you. If you can see beyond his dead-on-balls accurate Christopher Walken impressions, continue reading to see where I’m going with this.
Obviously there’s almost zero chance of seeing The Riddler appear in 2015’s Man of Steel 2, but down the road I think this would be such an unexpected casting win.
After looking at his film and TV career, you’d be surprised at how many different projects Mohr has taken on. He’s proven his comedic and dramatic acting chops, but more importantly, this is the type of role I could see him really getting into. As The Riddler, I see Mohr being able to infuse a multifaceted approach to the villain. Previously in the Bat-films, we haven’t really seen The Riddler get sadistic, or even sympathetic, and these are traits that Mohr would be able to deliver intensely on the big screen. Think about it, Jim Carrey was totally over the top and glammed out as The Riddler in Batman Forever, while The Riddler we saw in Batman: the Animated Series lacked any element of Carrey’s bombastic take on the character. We’ve yet to see a live action version of the Riddler depicted in the video game Arkham City, nor have we seen a live action take on The Riddler from 2004’s animated series, The Batman voiced by Robert Englund.
The Riddler in Arkham City can be obnoxious and narcissistic, two idiosyncrasies that Mohr is a bit of an expert at. In the TV series Ghost Whisperer, his character Professor Rick Payne has been described as annoying, abrasive, rude, yet still quite amusing. Mohr is also known for playing heelish characters in movies such as like Jerry McGuire, and Suicide Kings.
As an actor Mohr’s got a quirky sensibility, but he gives the impression that beyond his smart ass exterior, he’s somewhat dark and twisted. Alot of my reasoning for this left field casting choice comes from the element of his personality revealed in the 2000 slasher, Cherry Falls. Starring Garden State Playmate and one of my all time biggest crushes Brittany Murphy, Falls was marketed as another in a long line of Scream knockoffs, but when looking back on it, it actually was pretty original ahead of it’s time in some respects. The film dealt with gender themes as well as tinkering with horror tropes such as the intent to murder virgins rather than the typical promiscuous teenagers.
Cherry Falls gets a bad rap and I personally don’t know many fans of this film, but I dig it. Underrated isn’t quite the best description for the film, because I think if more people knew of it and saw it it would easily be more widely regarded as one of the better horror films to come out of the early 2000s – a time when tons of shitty horror movies were getting released. It’s not necessarily a “scary” film, but definitely kind of effed up. It was never released in theaters and had a bunch of issues with the MPAA. Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-. Dread Central said “…it remains an enjoyable example of post-Scream carnage – save for a terrible performance by Jay Mohr…”
If you could imagine The Riddler a bit more sick and twisted, either like the Arkham Riddler pictured above or even more like the Marilyn Manson-esque version in the 2004 animated series The Batman, Jay Mohr is the man for the job. Sure there will be an insane Batfleck style backlash on Twitter in the extremely minuscule chance it happens, but if we’re being told to believe in the proprietor of Fashionable Male as Batman, then is this such a stretch? What do you think?
*IMDB says that Mohr is a New York Jets fan, so he already has an affinity for green, which means we’re halfway there.
My love of silly puns has has inspired me to bring you a new column here at The Sexy Armpit. All comic book related stuff will now be found under this heading. We’ll take a look at new comic books, comic artists, and the like, but it will somehow connects to Jersey, even in a roundabout way.
In this post we’ll take a look at some artwork by NJ artist and animation director Dave Bullock. Bullock’s old school style evokes images of comics from the ’40s and ’50s and blends it with a modern sheen to infuse his characters with a look that is original and refreshing.
As we take a look at Bullock’s artwork, his versatility is apparent. I’m sitting here drooling over all of these. The New Teen Titans piece posted above would make an amazing animated series. He captures the ’80s era of the group so well, but yet still makes it look like an extremely viable possibility for a new show. I could also easily see his version of Batman above showing up in the same series.
Bullock’s illustrious professional career includes serving as director on the DC Animated movie Justice League the New Frontier and several episodes of the Spectacular Spider Man. He’s also worked in the Art and Animation department on more shows than you’ll ever be able to watch in your whole lifetime. Some of the shows that Bullock has worked on are a fan boys wet dream across the board: Transformers, Hulk, Superman, Batman, X-Men, Masters of the Universe, Kim Possible, Wonder Woman, The Avengers, and one of my personal favorites Sym-Bionic Titan.
I’m not sure of his exact personal influences as an artist, but I do see a lot of Will Eisner and even hints of Steve Rude. Maybe one day we’ll get to speak to Dave about his amazing body of work. Presently Bullock is working on a project for Hasbro, but it’s under wraps. What’s more amazing is that this dude signs his stuff for free if you meet him at a convention! He often makes appearances, so you can keep up with his schedule at his blog FAR-OUT FICTION, which also details the development of his new original graphic novel called The Savage Blade of King Ronok, which looks friggin’ awesome.
Here’s their plot synopsis: A regular guy from New Jersey and his loyal dog who both constantly try to emulate the crime-fighting ways of their childhood hero ‘The Batman’ find themselves drawn into a wacky manhunt for The Joker and a brutal fight to the death with the murderous Bane.
BatDave and Buster was written and filmed by a local bat-fan nicknamed Bat-Dave who appears on the Bat-Blog frequently and heads to many of the local NJ pop culture conventions. The film was directed and edited by BatDave’s friend Dennis Pellicano. As mentioned on their YouTube page, the cast is comprised entirely of “…friends, family members, fellow Batman fans, and talented regional cosplayers.” Clocking in at nearly a full hour, you can make some popcorn and add this to your next Bat-viewing marathon!
First I ran into my buddy Jessica Rajs from Gorgeous and Gory. Each year, Jess and her crew create a fantastic calendar featuring zombified pinup models. This year’s theme is mermaids. The photography and effects are incredible and the makeup is superb, so head over to Gorgeous and Gory to get one for yourself!
The two malls in my vicinity no longer even have comic book shops, but back in the day there were a couple that I frequented like Heroes World and Comic Attitudes, among others. In addition to the comic shops, I always had to stop at music stores like Record Town and Sam Goody, and eventually I’d start browsing videos at Suncoast Motion Picture Company. There was also the Warner Brothers Studio Store which usually came through with some cool DC Super Hero swag that you couldn’t find anywhere else.