Sunday, December 18, 2011

Build...A Bear!!!

Friends, fiends, creatures of the night. As I transcribe this latest terrible tome from the realm of the Claymation Werewolf, I walk amongst…humans. Driven by the bite in the air of the approach of winter…gloomy skies, cold wind and of course Creepmas! Unfortunately I have ended up at a marketplace of sorts…what is known in common parlance as an outdoor shopping mall. Though this might not be my usual “haunt” I look at it with a sense of optimism entirely inappropriate for my personality. I might at the very least enjoy myself…feel the spirit in the air, see the shops decked out in their Creepmas best and visit Yankee Candle. Of course I might even… pick something up for…dinner, possibly a clerk at Yankee Candle! They always smell so good!

Everything has seemed pretty run of the mill so far; the candle store is selling “festive scented candles”, the gourmet market is selling “festive snacks”, the lingerie store is selling “festive g-strings”. You know the kind of thing I’m talking about. It’s enough to make any self respecting monster give up hope in the cattle…I mean, give up hope in humanity! But then I spot it from across the quaint cobblestone street of this “shopping village”. Something that brings a chill to my blood and invigorates my hope in human horror. There hastily scrawled on a sign are the words Build-A-Bear Workshop!! Could it be? Has humanity at long last embraced the forgotten craft of mad science? Immediately my dark heart is filled with dreams I thought long forgotten! Dreams of genetic splicing! And crimes against nature!

Like any good roving reporter I felt it was my duty to investigate (Plus building bears? That’s just awesome). So I made my way across the street to the facility in question and to my delight there was an enormous line! To make things better…most of the would-be scientists were children. Children ready to twist the elements of nature to their own insane visions! Who says there is no hope for the future of humanity? When I finally got into the building I see some adults and several children standing dutifully in line clutching what appear to be the empty dead husks of animals waiting for life to be unnaturally breathed into them! And yes! Behind them are entire racks of limp and lifeless animal shells of not only bears but dogs, cats and several other creatures. There are even articles of clothing, shoes and accessories though all of that seems a little bit…excessive.

All of this looks great but as I walk into the facilities I witness the apex…nay…the very nerve center of this operation. A massive tank swirling with muscle tissue, organs and in general all the innards that you could want to fill out your average lifeless husk. The body is crudely fastened to the machine and is filled with the gruesome stew… after the “stuffing” is complete each customer is allowed to activate a living heart and place it into the monster. The monster then comes gloriously to life and is immediately caged and taken away by its new master!

Awash with pride and curiosity I soon found my place in line. Ready to create my own bear. Prepared to take a step into a world that was finally ready for my unique views on science, on death and on ultimate power. I am now only moments away and I realize how every great villain has felt when they stood on the precipice of a culture that was finally willing to move forward. To the dark and wonderful future that it was capable of! It is INDEED a Merry Creepmas!

Upon further examination the bears are in fact material for making custom plush animals and are not the twisted results of man’s quest to meddle in a world they should have never trespassed on. It’s just a novelty shop for kids…I apologize.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Help The Manchines of Eternia this Christmas!

First posted on December 14th, 2011 on The Retroist Retro Blog and Podcast - CW post link

Citizens of Toontown, fellow Retrotarians. I come to you today during this Christmas season with a personal plea. Recently one of my many connections in the Retro Pop Culture world re-introduced me to some wonderful characters. Characters that stood in the spotlight for one brief moment. Who shared the stage with some of the most influential actors in the history of cartoon entertainment.

The Manchines co-starred in the He-man and She-Ra Christmas special and were received with incredible fan-fair. Flush with the excitement of success, the offers started to roll in, and it seemed like the future opened wide. Unfortunately, dreams don’t always come true and their careers took a sharp downward turn. They landed a few endorsement deals, a few knock-off direct to dvd foreign produced cartoons but even that slowly began to fade. All the while they continued to hope for that starring role in an animated series of their own. They always held on to that dream and friends, that is where I hope that one of you can help.

As many children of the 80’s will agree, The He-Man and She-Ra Christmas special is largely, plodding and predicable holiday fair. Really, just another way for Adam and Adora to cash a paycheck …That is, until about halfway through the special when something happens. It’s just one of those little moments of movie magic that changed the history of cinema. It was, the introduction of the Manchines. The Manchines were unlike anything that existed in 80’s animation! They were cute! They were colorful! They were a group of individuals each of who had a distinct personality and special skill to contribute! They uh…they were part man…part machine… The Manchines weren’t just a totally original idea in the world of animation, they had real heart! And they even came with their own enemies; the giant and evil and stiffly-moving Monstroids! These metal giants could transform from uh…transform from robot to vehicle. Anyway, the Monstroids were bad, I mean these guys threatened and attacked Hordak. Hordak! And he was already a bad guy so the Monstroids were like super secret mega zord ultra hyper bad guys! They were like BAD guys!

So the Manchines are everywhere in this movie! Out in front saving the day, working behind the scenes moving and shaking, wheeling and dealing, kicking it…uh…kicking it old school… There are so many amazing characters, where can I begin! There is Cutter (not in the emo/goth way) who has lobster claws for hands that can turn into buzz saws and cut probably anything. There is Zipper “Dr Huxtable” Davis who is the adorable (and not at all hideous and unfortunate monster) robot body fused to a scooter go-kart type vehicle. I have a tendency to OCCASIONALLY make up the odd fact in this blog and I’m not entirely sure what the names of the rest of the crew are so I might take a few liberties with reality for a while.

So Thermostatie, Golf Teela, and Hubbie Capp charge in to battle to defend their friends and kick some ‘way bigger and more powerful than them’ butt! What follows is a confusing collage of robot violence! PisTom uses his head and his powerful thrusting action to smash a Monstroid to pieces! Then Blendergrip and Wenchie-Poo cause one of the most terrible Monstroid (Cobra BigBoots) to fall to his doom! I want to take a second to talk about this scene. More specifically I want to talk about the sad sad case of Wenchie-Poo. Now, Old Wenchie plays a huge role in killing this specific Monstroid but he does it by having Blendergrip unwind the cable in his chest and they use it to trip the Goliath. Now, this is all well and good but it is very difficult to picture another situation in which Wenchie-Poo could be very useful in battle. Wenchie has a spool of metal cable in his chest, some kind of weird handle thing coming out of the back of his head and a wide sturdy base. That’s it. No feet, no weapons, no apparent method of locomotion, just a cable coming out of his chest. These little guys really need your help people!

As the Manchines are basically slapping the Monstroids around, the Wonder twins (She-Ra and He-Man) even get into the act! They begin systematically tearing the Monstroids apart. Including once sweet move where He-Man tangled up one of the Monstroid’s arms, let’s call him TentaArms and the robot monster starts emitting sparks and then blows up.

At the end of the fight, the mighty Monstroids are reduced to a mangled pile of scrap metal. In this scene, The Masters of the Universe, gains the distinction of being the only animated Christmas special in which the heroes slaughter an entire race of beings.

With a resume like that, you might wonder how these courageous warriors could possibly be out of work but it's true. It was obvious at the time that STUDIONAME had every intention of giving these characters their own show, to fully capitalize on the entertainment and merchandising powerhouses they would surely become. Unfortunately, due to a contract dispute between the studio brass and the Masters of the Universe actors, He-Man, Man At Arms and all the rest went on strike. Not wanting to make waves in the industry that opened its arms to them, the Manchines walked out in sympathy. The studio came down hard eventually hiring the scab actors that would help in the production of The New Adventures of He-Man, and bringing about the end of the Classic MOTU characters’ careers. Sadly one of the casualties of this labor strife was the contract of the Manchines. Their dreams of stardom gone before they ever began.
But those dreams don’t have to be over, kind Retro Readers! Through some of my associates in the ranks of the Decepticons, I was able to secure 8 Manchines a job on the set of Transformers Prime. Today they happily serve as emergency pit crew to help repair the damaged Decepticons (and to a lesser extent, the Autobots) in between scenes to help the show transform and roll out with minimum delays. But why stop there? There are virtually hundreds of hard working, bright and nicely polished Manchines out there ready to do their best for Show-Biz! They could do great in the video game industry as retro console systems…they could be spare parts for KITT (HubbyCapp, and PisTom would be especially good for this kind of work…Michael) I could even send a crate of them to The Haunted Projectionist! I’m sure a couple of them are lights or maybe an old movie projector, I’m positive there was at least one popcorn machine in there somewhere.

So please help to spread the word and let’s get these robot creatures some work. Their time to shine is long overdue and these character deserve a TV show! Once they are working in every corner of the entertainment industry people will have to take notice. They will see the hidden gem that has been waiting all this time! They will finally give credit where credit is due, and for once in this cold and bitter world nice guys will finally finish first!…or the Manchines will kill us. They’ll kill us all.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gravedale High, Your Tax Dollars At Work.

First posted on December 7th, 2011 on The Retroist Retro Blog and Podcast - CW post link
Look, I know nobody likes to hear about politics. Especially zombie, mummy and gill-man politics. I am also well aware that The Retroist is not the proper platform for an essay of this nature. As everyone knows, this site is supposed to be about…um…well okay, to be fair I don’t actually have any idea what this site is supposed to be about but I’m sure it’s NOT supposed to be about public funding for a school full of witches, ghouls and monsters. That being said this is my editorial article about public funding for a school full of witches, ghouls and monsters.

In a recent, and hard-fought, school levy battle; the correct side (ours) unfortunately suffered a minor setback, by which I mean we were crushingly defeated. We were shamefully unable to prevent the initiation of a 150% property tax increase. Despite calls for common sense and an argument few could ever see fault with.

Just in case you may not have seen our 24/7 political ads (and why anyone would ignore political ads, is beyond me) let me tell you the facts. Founded in 1990, Gravedale High immediately became a bastion of corruption. Through undercover investigations, we were able to find out some pretty interesting facts about this “center of education.” I hardly know where to begin; the school is perched on a rocky ledge in a town almost entirely made up of cemetaries! The school ground features a vast pond filled not only with toxic waste but with enormous, vile sea-creatures.

Art By: Bonnie Slashfiend

The lockers are nothing but recycled coffins, and most of the students are re-animated corpses! The school uses the local cemetery to pad their enrolment to garner more state funding, and when the population starts to lower from transfers or local torch wielding mobs, the biology teacher just ducks down into the laboratory and knocks out another 20 or so “student bodies.” Bondage equipment has been spotted in the teacher’s lounge.

If that weren’t enough, witnesses have seen evidence of vampire gang violence, gargoyle bullying and overeating among the student’s mummy demographic. The single only example the school can point to as “academic achievement” is Reggie Moonshroud, an extremely intelligent werewolf who, although he made it to the National Science Fair, he also brutally devoured 4 other contestants and 2 judges. If we need to invest more money into a program like this, then I fear for society.

Photo from Cartoon Photo Collection

After a lengthy ad campaign describing in incredible detail the amount of improvements this ghoul school would make with the increased revenue, what did the community end up getting as a return on their investment? Gravedale High invested your hard earned money into a new teacher. ONE new teacher. Well of course as all of you know this was no ordinary educator but a celebrity hired with the sole intent of getting corporate sponsorship so that the school board could fatten their wallets even more. This teacher was Mr. Rick Moranis; multi-national treasure and star of “Strange Brew” Number three on Turner Classic Movies Top 100 Films of all time, a cinematic masterpiece which lives stronger today than ever, in the consciousness of Mr and Mrs America (also Canada.)

During the election season I was accused of inherent bias against GraveDale, just because I happened to be the superintendent of rival high school. The fact is that Galaxy High is by far the superior school. The Galaxy High facilities boast the most highly advanced scientific equipment this side of Jupiter, the power, water, and garbage disposal all run 100% on green technology! Our newly improved Zuggle Ball team is hoping to go to Solar Systems this year! Our Shop Class and AV departments have all the droids you’re looking for and our Xenomorph breeding programs have won us several biology awards. With all of these achievements we should be a shoe-in for funding. Unfortunately, due to a technicality we don’t actually qualify for government grants or tax revenue. Because of a small oversight we only enrolled two students from our school district. In fact we only choose two students from earth, but in our defense, one of them is a jock and we should definitely earn some kind of credit for our rehabilitation of him.

Despite everything our school has had to endure living in the cold dark shadow of Gravedale High we have persevered. And if I had to be honest I guess their school isn’t so bad, they do try their best, and I guess they can’t help being dead. Besides, don’t we all have a soft spot in our heart for monsters? And speaking of hearts I long for the day when the sickly skinned, iron-fisted fox, Headmistress Crone will finally take notice of me. We could join our hearts, lives and schools in an everlasting union. With the powers of monsters and aliens combined who knows what we could accomplish! Of course Galaxy High will get top billing on the sign… Galaxy High! Galaxy High! Galaxy High!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Tale of the Purple Pieman

First posted on November 30th, 2011 on The Retroist Retro Blog and Podcast - CW post link

I hate kids. They get in your yard, they know more about technology than we do and they form terrible gangs that harass innocent people in a non-stop attempt to bring strong local businesses crashing to the ground. This last scenario happened to a friend of mine. He was a man. A Pie Man. A Peculiar Pieman, a purple one. This, gentle reader, is his story.

Peter Pieman (Peculiar, Purple) and I went to college together. The year was 1974 and the whole world seemed to be opening up for us. Me, an evil villain bent on world domination. Peter, a wide eyed dreamer with a love for baking and dance (occasionally at the same time!). Those were some of the best days of my life. I would be distraught over the recent failure (or possibly escape) of my latest experiment and there Peter would be. With a wide smile and an even wider mustache. He would always be ready with a song and a quick jig or…if I was lucky…a pie. If you have never heard of The Purple Pieman’s pies than you have never known the full majestic glory of the pie. It was as if he was born to be a pieman! They were delicious! A light flakey crust, in flavors that ranged from berry, to….well, okay it was mostly just berry but they were fantastic.

After graduation we both grabbed our dreams by the tail feathers and road them all the way to fame and fortune. I became a ruthless maniac, driven by equal parts thirst for power and hatred of humanity. He, however, went on to run one of the most successful organic bakeries in the world. It was known as the Pie Tin Palace and it was an incredible feat of engineering. Made up almost entirely of bake wear and bake wear accessories. He set up shop and was soon the talk of the town. Everyone wanted his baked goods and soon his small organic co-op farm that supplied the free-range berries that filled his delicious baked goods could not keep up with the demand. Though he could no longer get the supply he needed from the old farm he still wanted all natural fruit and so he did, what generations of pastry chefs had done before him. He trained a murder of crows to fly around the countryside, gathering berries and delivering them to his wholesome, happy kitchen.

The plan went perfectly and soon he was getting all of the berries he could ever want. His “berry birds” were constantly streaming in with a steady supply of the juicy morsels. His pies were selling better than ever. He started living the lifestyle he had always dreamed of. He was seen on the town with stars of film and music. He contributed thousands of dollars to charity and was constantly “making it rain” at local nightclubs. Life was peachy. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay that way for long, trouble was on its way. Small, fruity, multi-colored trouble.

It started off small. Some came back with empty baskets, some never came back at all. Production started to be affected but the ever resilient Pieman carried on. Then one day his trusted assistant Captain Cackle returned with a message. The Shortcake gang was in control of Berry Meadow, and if he wanted fruit, he was gonna have to pay. Pieman, ever a believer that nature belonged to all of us, he set up a meeting with the Fruit Kid Gang. Peter arrived with the na├»ve idea that the group’s leader Strawberry Shortcake would listen to reason. The negotiations fell apart quickly. Pete envisioned a world where they could all share the wonderful bounty of nature. The berries could be for all of them…for him and his pies…for them and whatever berry related racket they had going on. The Fruit Kids had never planned on compromise. They wanted money. End of story.

After Pieman left in disgust, Strawberry Shortcake released a statement to the press. "Gosh! All we want is money and he can pick all the berries he wants! We want it ever so much! And if we don’t get it, that nasty old Pieman is going to be berry, berry sorry!"

From that point on, the mood surrounding Sweety Tart Valley was tense. The Fruit Kids Gang had begun an aggressive negative ad campaign accusing him of over harvesting and depleting natural resources. Pieman, who was a lifelong conservationist was horrified, and anyone who knew him realized immediately how ridiculous the accusations were. Sadly, while Peter Pieman was a strong business man, he knew nothing about the game of politics. In an effort to improve his public image, he hired someone he believed to be a powerful PR representative named Sour Grapes. He brought Grapes into the business as a full partner and she got to work immediately. Unfortunately she turned out to be a lunatic with almost no grasp on reality.

Sour Grapes waged an all out war against the Fruit Gang, referring to them as Berry Brats. She began to undertake raids on Sweety Tart Valley. She began to expand the business far beyond the quaint bakery that Purple Pieman had always dreamed of. The aggressive berry-kin harvesting program looked especially bad in the public spotlight although most people had to admit, that it resulted in an amazing perfume line.

During the turmoil, I paid a visit to my old friend and he was a shadow of his former self. I asked him what had happened and he said he didn’t know. He supposed he would have to close up shop. “Everything is happening too fast and I’m in way over my head. I wanted that terrible woman to let the public know what I was really all about, and she’s made things worse! Now I look like a villain in some kind of cartoon! It’s over. It’s all over. Yah tah tah tah tah-tah tah tah tah! Cha!”

It was at that moment while I watched my old college friend simultaneously sob and dance a jig that I got an idea, and it was such a great idea that I actually broke the fourth wall and smiled at the camera…It was an evil smile. What Peter the Peculiar Purple Pieman needed was a backbone. He needed to become the villain everyone thought he was. I spent years getting my masters degree in villainy and there was no reason that it should only benefit me! They say those who can’t do, teach. Well I’m proud to say that I can do both. So, I let the lessons begin.

It was easier than I ever imagined. I started with the basics, using lessons taught to me by my old Professor Palpatine, I began to fuel his hate. To stoke the fires of revenge and aggression that already simmered within him. He took to it immediately and before I knew it, he was ready for Secret Lair building! It was a no-brainer. Since my friend was the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak, he should probably move to Porcupine Peak! He began to build his mountain top fortress. One of the most intimidating pie bakeries on earth. A pie bakery from which one could rule the world with an iron oven mitt! After he created his lair, he set out on the satisfying work of crushing all who would oppose him. He was a natural villain. He controlled the elements, he ruined the plans of his enemies and he began to lead his team of Berry Birds as if they were flying Monkeys. Sure, there were some drawbacks> He still constantly caved-in to the increasingly crazy ideas of Sour Grapes (seriously, that woman was annoying).

These days, he wages a non-stop war. A war against those berry brats. A war against the public…against princesses, even against the sun! But through it all, he has survived. Not only that, he’s has made me proud, and I am very glad to have him among my circle of evil villainous friends; not to mention a valuable member of my evil, villainous bowling team!

The Pieman’s story is an inspiring one. It shows us what we can do with a dream, some great pie recipes and a giant wicked fortress, made entirely of bake wear and precariously perched on perilous Porcupine Peak! It also shows us all how to deal with snot-nosed bratty kids who try to mess with our stuff. Now, if I can just figure out how to keep those horrible neighbor kids out of my yard! Yah tah tah tah tah-tah tah tah tah! Cha!

By the way, if you happen to know anyone that would be interested in joining my evil villainous bowling team, please let me know! We need two people (David Xanatos and Juggernaut are both good guys again this month.) We are called “The Wicked Wolfpack” and we meet at the Thunder Lan, bowling alley and secret laboratory!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Button…For Corduroy

First posted on November 23th, 2011 on The Retroist Retro Blog and Podcast - CW post link

And used for a LoEB post~

We all remember the heartwarming book “Corduroy” by Don Freeman. This tale of an adorable Bear’s quest to replace the missing button on his overalls.

This journey eventual ends with him finding something much more valuable; a new home (spoiler alert!). His plush adventures were an inspiration to all of us and at the same time, helped contribute to our generation’s crushing sense of guilt whenever we, for any reason, separate ourselves from our childhood toys.

Yes, we all know the story but what you may not know is that in 1989, that story was almost sullied forever. And by sullied, I mean made more awesome than any of us could possibly imagine.

Illustration by the Illustrious Sean Hartter

A young, aspiring director and destroyer of treasured memories named Michael Bay was taking Hollywood by storm! Or, at least that’s what he hoped to do. Up until then, he had only done day work, directing Super-Dave Osbourne shorts and Toonces the Driving Cat skits on Saturday Night Live. While he displayed an almost supernatural gift for absurd scenes of unnecessary destruction, he wanted more. Michael was sure that all he needed was one good project, something to really sink his teeth into.

A film that could really show the awesome magnitude of exploding cars that he was capable of. On August 12th while vacationing with family, he ducked into a quaint used book shop. There among its adorably dusty shelves he saw it…his dream project. A small but beautifully illustrated children’s book called “Corduroy.” At first glance the precious book might not have seemed like prime action film material but Bay had a plan. He had a vision. AND he had a pitch!

The film pitch has long been an honored tradition that very few have ever done as well as Michael Bay. Of all the pitches he ever made, his Corduroy pitch reached almost legendary status. To this very day, directors and producers alike described the pitch with barely contained delight and why wouldn’t they? Just in case you’ve never heard its contents…folks say it went a little something like this.

The story opens in the home of a Navy Seal named Roy “Corduroy” Ross. He is standing at his front door in full uniform, packed and ready to go.

He is stern looking and very physically imposing. He is also a large Bear. His beautiful wife and adorable daughter stand, holding back tears and trying to prolong the moment until his departure. He steps forward to his wife and says “You take care of yourself, Sara”. She sadly smiles and gives a playful salute; “Yes Sir”. He salutes back with a serious look and says “At ease!” They stare at each other then both break out into laughter. As the laughter begin to subside he leans in and passionately kisses his wife and then they embrace…”You come back to me safe.” she whispers.

“I promise.”

Finally it is time to say goodbye to his daughter. This is visibly difficult for him but he drops to his knees, pulls her into a hug and kisses her forehead. “Be good, my tough little soldier”

“I will. I love you, Daddy.”

“And I love you.”

He finally stands and turns to go, taking one last look at the family he has to leave behind, then he turns and bravely marches down the front walk. Halfway to the car he is brought to a halt by a yell from his daughter.

“Daddy Wait!”

His little girl rushes up to meet him, hugs him again and then hands him something. “Take this with you Daddy, so you won’t forget about me!”

He takes it and chuckles, “Baby…how could I ever forget about you?” He looks at the object in his paw and realizes it’s a button. A pink and blue button that says World’s Best Daddy! Smiling, he attaches the button to his uniform, smiles at his family and giving a little wave he climbs into his jeep and drives away.

The scene fades to black and then back up as we are now in the hold of a large airplane. The scene is darkly lit and loud. Seals in combat uniforms sit in a row against the wall. A large graying Bear named General Zummi Gumitski, shouts orders over the roar of the plane. The soldiers will be dropped behind enemy lines to take out a manufacturing depot responsible for the vast majority of all of the weapons and explosives that have been smuggled to the frontlines of the war. Recently the tides of battle have begun to shift in favor of the Bulls and this weapons depot has played a large part in that. The seven soldiers being sent must kill the guards, collect the files with locations of the remaining supply lines and destroy the facility. All of this must be done before a large convoy of Bull soldiers arrives to collect supplies for their journey to the front lines. The Bear soldiers collected are the best in the world and if any Bears can accomplish this nearly impossible task…it is them.

As the debriefing continues the camera pans down the line across the brave Bears willing to risk life and limb for the good of Bear Country. As we pass over the soldiers we see Yo Gi, Bradley PoohBear, Harris (Hair) Bear, Foster (Fozzie) Wakanson, Barry Louis (Balloo) and Garrison (Grumpy) Gloomstien. Finally we come to rest on our star, Corduroy with the look of a survivor in his eyes. Black camo paint across his face and a bright pink and blue button pinned to his chest! When the plane comes into position the Bears line up at the open door and one by one jumped without hesitation into the night air.

After landing and regrouping the soldiers set out on their mission. At this point in the film we are given a chance to get to know our central characters better. There is playful ribbing between the Bears as they let off steam in preparation for battle. This would be a great point in the movie for really witty action movie-type dialogue. Questioning each others Bearlyness. We really need to capture the hearts of our viewers in this scene, really make the movie going public care about these characters so we need to capture all of the powerful charisma and personality shown by legendary actors like Jean Claude Van Damme and Steven Segal!

As the Bear jamboree makes its way across the desert, the elite team playfully makes jokes and talk about their personal lives in inappropriately elaborate detail; almost as if they were in some sort of movie, rather than a serious and important military mission. Finally, they arrive at the weapons depot and the carnage begins. First two guards get silently killed by the cool ‘sneak up behind them and twist their heads around’ thing. Another guard gets the survival knife thrown into the back (classic!). Eleven more guards fire from atop the security wall and are all shot with machine gun, falling off one by one. Three of them do the Wilhelm Scream. After getting past the perimeter defense force they begin to Bear crawl on their stomachs into the heart of the base. Unfortunately not all the team members cared as much about stealth. Ever the maverick hothead; PoohBear suddenly charged forward, machine gun blazing. The silly old Bear took out nine soldiers before being brought down.

Unfortunately he also gave away any element of surprise the team might have had. Now the team had to fight in earnest. They fought their way to the center of the facilities and Corduroy secured the information they needed. All they had left to do was escape. Leaving a bloody trail of Bull behind them, the team stormed through to the exit. They crashed through the gate and walked away from the compound. Without stopping, Fozee threw a grenade over his shoulder and into the compound. In true, bad@#$ fashion, none of the Bears looked back as an explosion ripped through the blackness of the night behind them. They arrived at the designated evacuation spot. And Corduroy stopped dead in his tracks. As the rest of the team filed into the BlackBear Hellicopter, Corduroy just stood there looking down. His button. The button from his daughter was gone. It must have fell off in the fight. What to any Bear else may have seemed like the most trivial thing in the world became incredibly important. He had to have that button. He had to go back.

As the team filed into the copter he made his way back, ignoring the calls from his friends. With the enemy caravan soon to arrive and no other choice the team and the rescue copter left. And Corduroy Ross turned his back on safety and ran toward certain death. Corduroy arrived back at the sight of the battle at the same time as the enemy. He stared down at the Bulls in tanks trucks and all manor of military vehicles. As the enemy soldiers shouting at him in incomprehensible Bull-speak; Corduroy smiled, stepped into the light of the fire and shouted. “Gentlemen, I have come here to find my button and kick some @#$, and I don’t see my button anywhere!” Then he threw a grenade underneath the lead truck and as the soldiers scrambled from the impending explosion, Corduroy took cover. He fired shot after shot into the advancing Bulls as he continued to try to find the precious reminder of his daughter.

While the burning ruins of the base filled with Bull, Corduroy backed against a wall and fought with everything he was worth. The Bulls fired, hitting Corduroy in the shoulder but screaming he stood and fired into the crowd and soon the odds began to even. Corduroy poured rifle and machine gun fire into the waves of Bulls that poured from every doorway. Cars exploded, helicopters fell from the sky. A proud desert submarine fired its payload of sand torpedoes before crashing into the side of the depot. By the end of the main battle only a handful of Bulls stood between Corduroy and freedom. Grabbing the shoulder-mounted bazooka from a fallen Bull soldier, he destroyed the final group of Bulls and began to make his way beyond the rubble. Through exhaustion and blood loss he collapsed against an overturned tank and fell into a deep sleep. He slept through the night by the flickering light of the distant fires.

As the dawn broke Corduroy finally woke up filthy and bleeding but alive. He began to assess the situation. Looking across the desert and then beginning to inspect his wounds and equipment when suddenly something caught his eye. Something pink in the cuff of his pant leg. Bending down he retrieved the button that he thought was lost. It had been caught on his pants the entire time. As he began to walk into the desert, to freedom and to home, he started to laugh.

“Well, son of a b#$%#” the Bear said.

Be sure to check out the fantastic piece on Life with the Fandom! imagining a Brave Star film, by Michael Bay!
Christopher Tupa (League of Extraordinary Bloggers Champion) does it again!
Dex @ AEIOU finally finds a way for Bay to bug America (in a good way!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Moss, Man

First posted on November 16th, 2011 on The Retroist Retro Blog and Podcast - CW post link

Every once in a while, the normally stark life of a retro pop culture blogger has its perks. Sometimes you need to step away from the minutes upon minutes of research that go into good cartoon journalism. It’s great to let my fur down every once in a while and spend some quality time with the fictional characters I write about. Now, normally when I go off on these little jaunts I’m ready to party down; go out drinking Meade, Grog and other renaissance festivaly sounding beverages with Link and Zelda, sit in raw sewage eating pizza with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the list goes on an on. However a wolf can only take so much of that wild lifestyle before they begin to feel burned out. There are some occasions when my (much less often used) more dignified side surfaces. It was on one of these occasions recently that I found myself on a journey across Eternia, on the way to the royal palace.

I rode my souped-up cherry red 1967 Attack Track across the beautiful countryside. It was a glorious day/night and I had an amazing view of the moons all 3 or…4 or however the hell many moons they had now. As I approached the majestic towers of the castle, I saw something I had never seen before around the palace yards. It was a sight that chilled my spine and turned my stomach. It brought an unbelievable sense of fear and revulsion. What I saw…was poor people. Or, at least they appeared to be poor…but as I began to draw closer to the castle, the true magnitude of the terrible situation that I found myself in, came in to focus. The drums, the banners and signs, the chanting and singing…there was no doubt about it, we were dealing with protestors. Yes hipsters, hippies and various other riff-raff had taken up position around the castle gates with one singular purpose; to bother classy people.

Like any self respecting citizen I quickly made my way through the unwashed hoards of peasants. I shrugged past the man-spiders and the dancing topless warrior women being sure to hold my breath and not make eye contact and suddenly I saw him. An old friend among the heathens! The noble spy and pine scented bog warrior, Moss Man!

I couldn’t believe my eyes, a master of the universe in a drum circle! A DRUM CIRCLE! How could this have happened? I had to find out, so I approached my fuzzy green friend. It took a bit to get him to hear me above the noise and even longer to get my dazed friend to recognize me. When I had finally gained most of his attention I asked what on earth he was doing there among the rabble. Was this one of his spy missions? He chuckled and replied “No man I’m not spying! These,” he gestured toward a half mosquito-half human and a Viking jamming on acoustic guitars, “are my people.”

“Your people?” I said incredulously, “These hairy weirdos? You belong among gladiators! You were a titan! You used to compete in mortal battle with the forces of Skeletor! Or at the very least you hung out with people who did!”

“I aint fightin Skeletor no more man, I aint fightin nobody…‘cept of course for the man! See we gotta stay vigilant! Those fatcats with their fat-battle cats up in their ivory towers. They want nothing more than to keep the common man-beast down! It’s ALL corrupt, man. The government takes the money, they spend it all on their Orko magic and they funnel the money to their war machine cronies at Man-at-arms-Iburton. And they make weapons man, Vehicles of destruction. Sure they don’t really work half the time and just serve as plot devices for their comedic action misadventures! But that money could be used for peace! Our group leader Ralph Evilseed says that just 20% of our national wealth could be used to grow enough plants that vegetation could take over the kingdom! Take it over for peace, man! We got demands! And we will continue to occupy Eternia until we get some attention. My buddy Jake Stratos flew up and dropped it into one of their “royal windows!” It was written on EterniHemp. Real paper! Paper from the Earth!…er…from the Eternia.”

I asked what types of demands they had…what they wanted..

“Well, you know man…stuff! We demand no more war! Bring that money home cause we gotta get social programs for social stuff. Education for everybody! We gotta learn, man” He then leaned uncomfortable close to me, grabbed me by both shoulders and looked me in the eyes, “We…gotta…learn. And the clothes, man! They cut the common man’s snake-themed clothing allowance by almost 75 percent! Now that is a lot of percent…Too much percent!” The crowd began to chant…”Too much percent! Too much percent!”

“Now as for me” he continued “I usually just wear armored briefs, but the snake clothes are like super important to some people”

I could not believe what I was hearing…it all seemed like a cruel joke. “What about the thrill of battle?” I asked “The feeling that you’ve won the day? The moral at the end of the episode”

He waived a hand. “No, man. All that battling the forces of evil, that is for the birds, man. There are so much better ways to feel like you’ve won the day…and after a while all those problems just seem to…you know, go up in SMOKE” I stood confused staring blankly at him. He may as well have been speaking a different language. He went on; “You know man” He put two fingers together and raised them to his lips mining someone smoking. I shook my head still not anywhere near understanding.

“Plants? Smoking? You know…Moss! The Moss, Man!” Tired of trying to figure it out I did what I do best. Pretend to understand things that people say to me! “Ah yes the uh…moss who could forget that…very good!”

“See, man after the royalty checks for He-Man started to run out, I fell on some really hard times. For a while me and Beast Man had a practical joke show. People always thought we looked alike and we would show up places dressed like each other…it did okay but it started to wear thin, really fast and then when Beast Man mauled that guy it was over. From there it was a steady downward spiral; I couldn’t get any work and I went to a really dark place…I went to the Snake Pit.”

The Snake Pit was a strip club on the south side of Eternia…a bad neighborhood…I really felt bad for my old friend. Those people don’t even tip!

“I made what little money I could to feed my algae habit but it was never enough and then one day while I was walking home in the rain with my hands plunged in to the pockets of my denim jacket.”

I interrupted…saying that I thought he said that he only wore armored briefs…

“Dude! Will you let me finish the story! AAAAnyway…I had hit rock bottom and I was lost in thought but suddenly something started breaking through my fog; a beat. This amazing drum beat. And then I saw them…some really great looking guys playing away on some 10 gallon plastic pickle tubs! They smiled at me and waived and I sat down and joined them…we got to talking…and then later we talked all night at this great coffee shop and they started to tell me about The Movement and it was like something was woken up inside of me, man! This was what I needed. This is the REAL fight I had been waiting for my entire life! I hit the ground running, making signs, going to rallies and really making a difference! We’ve already got a whole bunch of stuff for some poor kids somewhere! Poor kids, man! And the environment’s getting cleaned…I mean sure we kinda threw a bunch of crap on the ground here but believe me man it’s getting cleaned other places! I feel like I can take over the world man. I don’t have to just blend in with trees and smell like a car air freshener anymore. These people love me for me. I can be all the moss covered swamp beast I CAN be! I’m more mature than I…I uh…ummm excuse me bro, I see a circle forming over there and I feel an urge to go Pass the Dutchie on the Left Hand Side if you know what I mean haha!”

I still didn’t have any idea what he meant but as I spent some time in the palace later I really started to think…maybe I was to quick to judge this group. Maybe they were right and they should have more power…they should get the things they felt entitled to…after all when it came right down to it weren’t we all equal? Didn’t we all want the same things out of life…Happiness? Free stuff? And the freedom to do whatever it was those hippies wanted to do with moss? I think we are all the same and should learn to treat each other that way! Once I was done considering this I contacted the Palace police who roughed the protesters up, threw them in the back of a police hover-wagon and took them far out of our sight.

After all, equal is equal but Eternia has one of the most beautiful palace gardens in the galaxy and they don’t need a bunch of filthy hooligans trampling it.

Freaking Hippies.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New to the site - Banners!

Greetings from Phishbon3s!

I just got done making 7 banners for this site for the boss. More to come as I make them. The link is located on the left side of this page, below the archives links.

Until next time, ride free citizens!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

***Various clanging sounds***

Sorry Coo-Coo Cola cult members.... Some of the links are broken....


Should have everything back up in... a.... moment....


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Yes Linus, there is a Great Pumpkin

First posted on October 26th, 2011 on The Retroist Retro Blog and Podcast - CW post link

Seven-year-old Linus van Pelt wrote a letter to the editor of Claymation Werewolf’s “Howl“, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial October 18, 1964. The work of veteran blogger Rhett Kahn has since become the internets most reprinted blog, appearing in Elvish, L33t, Klingon and dozens of other fake languages on websites, forums, and even the occasional pop-culture blog site.

Dear Editor:
I am 7 years old.
My sister and nearly all of my friends say there is no Great Pumpkin.
Dad says, “Wah wa wawawa wa waaaa wa.” Which means “If you hear it in the Howl it is sound. Please tell me the truth; is there a Great Pumpkin?
Linus van Pelt.
4242 Gudgreef Lane

Linus, I’m happy to say that your friends are wrong. Like many others, they have given up in the face of an age obsessed with commercialism. All they can understand is what they are told to understand, and anything else, no matter how inherently true or remarkably sincere is pushed away. At Halloween, there are so few among us willing to step away from the draw of the candy and the costume parties and look, really look at the beauty of the season changing around them. They are left blind to the beauty of the changing leaves or the joy that can be found on Halloween night, sitting in a pumpkin patch and gazing into the expanse of bright stars in a black autumn sky.

Yes Linus, there is a Great Pumpkin. He lives as surely as childlike wonder and imagination live, and they live in all of our hearts, young or old they live. How can one imagine a world with no Great Pumpkin in it? It would be a world without color, a world just as hollow and empty as a world without a Linus. It is this creativity and joy that paints the very colors of red and gold on the autumn leaves! If all that we experienced in this world were the things that we could see and touch then what use could we have for things like dreams or songs, wishes or laughter?

Life with no Great Pumpkin! That would be a life without ghosts or goblins or any of the other beings that make us shiver with fear and delight! You may very well sit through an entire Halloween night with the little sister of your best friend in order to see him, but even if he never appeared…even if it was just some crazy beagle in a costume, what would that really mean? This world is so big and there are many others who believe, and who too have grown pumpkin patches of such sincerity that it would be difficult for the Great Pumpkin himself to choose! But it does not mean he isn’t out there. Have you ever seen the silhouette of a witch as she glides on her broomstick through the chill air and across the moon itself? Have you ever seen gremlins or trolls or anything else that goes bump in the night? These things are just as real as the desk you set at or the paper you write upon. No, they are even more real because it is the belief in our hearts that make them real. They exist beyond the shallow constraints of material things.

You might try to recreate the world of spooks and monsters with costumes and paint. But the real heart and soul of Halloween could never be reached. Even the most refined efforts of the greatest special effects experts in Hollywood just seem like peanuts by comparison. Only the heartbeat of Halloween. The glow of a Jack o’ Lantern and the vision of fallen leaves dancing upon a sidewalk in the grip of a brisk autumn wind. Only the laughter of children as they listen to a haunting ghost story around a fire. Only these things could ever hope to give us even a glimpse into that spooky world that we all cherish! Linus, is there anything better that any one of us could hope for?

No Great Pumpkin?!. Of course he exists! And when you are old and grey with children and even grandchildren of your own he will still exist! And may he forever continue to bring children all over the world a sense of mystery and amazement. Those gifts, Linus, are really the most amazing gifts of all.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dissect-An-Alien Autopsy

First posted on October 19th, 2011 on The Retroist Retro Blog and Podcast - CW post link

The following transcription was recovered from the scene of a terrible “accident” at Claymation Werewolf Laboratories. Aside from the pictures taken during the events, all photos of the scene, after the fact have been removed from the report out of respect for the families of those involved. Despite the attempt to tone-down the graphic nature of this content, we recommend that only mature blog readers view the following post.

9:00am- What we have discovered here will ultimately change, not only the face of science…but the very threads of society. Actual solid proof of extraterrestrial life has long been the goal of everyone from astronomers to crackpots and everyone in between. Now, that goal has finally been reached.

9:22am- No photos or material from the wreckage of the spacecraft will ever be released as the government has redacted all knowledge of the geography and/or technology. In a public statement US official Stone Wahler had this to say “The difficulty in the nature of the..uh…something something weather balloon. Thank you” However, our crack team of artists here at Claymation Werewolf Laboratories have actually recreated what the craft must have looked like:

9:45am- So you can plainly see how much is riding on the results of this research. Over the next several hours I will be conducting an autopsy of the alien body found among the wreckage. My words will be recorded for later transcription and thorough photographs will be taken of the entire process. Unfortunately, all hopes of attaching our own instruments to the creature proved unsuccessful as a result of the its biology. On a side note the only instrument we actually had available was a key-tar and I can’t actually see what sort of purpose it would have served anyway. All of my work will be conducted with the most sensitive and advanced tools available to modern science.

10:00am- Thorough notes have been taken in preparation of the dissection. We have also made several wonderful diagrams and drawings of the creature. If the pages of our notebook are flipped through very quickly the alien actually tap dances and then does a back-flip ending in “Jazz Hands” but I don’t suppose that would add much to the serious nature of this scientific finding.

11:00am- Assisting with the alien dissection will be my new assistant
Phishtonia Phishington Bones. I am told that she graduated at the top of her class at Evil Minion State. She is one of the most quickly advancing experts in the field of paranormal biology. I am also told that she is positively, absolutely NOT an enemy spy.

11:08am- I now make the initial incision. With this small cut, I am advancing mankind to a further height than many of us ever thought that we could reach. The childish achievements that society made, up until this point will forever be considered the feeble accomplishments of a child. For instance, no one will ever again care about that whole “first man on the moon” thing. Anyway, I happen to know that the entire event was staged…it was just a set up farce with stage lighting and artificial props. The whole thing was fake. I hate that.

11:45am- Having broken through the outer surface of the skin and the fine inner membranes. I am now able to begin to really view this creature for what it is. Incredible. The skin of the alien is almost like rubber and is completely transparent. Inside, amidst the green fluids of the body cavity are organs of the most vibrant color. They defy imagination.

12:21pm- We are now looking directly into the open cavity of the torso. It is a view that we in the lab like to call “Alien Stew”

1:30pm- After several inspections of the tissue and fluid present inside the creature, we now begin the process of organ removal. Remarkably, the organs are in no way connected to the being itself. They float freely within the abdominal fluid. Each organ is it’s own individual color and all are extremely solid and lightweight; similar to plastic. The hard consistency of the organs has allowed my assistant to easily engrave coded numbers onto the organs themselves for later inspection and individual dissection.

2:50pm- I am finally completing the process of total organ removal. Before tackling the head I am going to make one final examination of the inside of the body. I will remove the last few organs and perform a detailed inspection of the system of nerves that I have noticed spreading like a spider web within the walls of the being. I simply have to…wait…..what is this? …………….. ……… It may be my imagination but I….but it seems as though something within the alien moved. I’m sure that….No. No the alien HAS moved! The organs have began to vibrate and it seems as though the muscles of the limbs have began to contract. However, we know nothing of the physiology of this creature and it is more than likely the result of some residual energy stored inside the organs and central nervous system of the monster.

3:00pm- This is incredible! What I though to be aftershocks of the alien’s death, now seem to be genuine animation! The movement has continued and….Wait! The entire creature is!…It’s moving! The monster is actually moving its… The entire body is shifting!! I can’t believe this….It has turned to face me…I…I genuinely don’t know what to do.

3:02pm- Ms. Bones has ran from the room, stealing my notes and slamming the door behind her! The alien is now standing, entirely on it’s own power. Its eyes are now totally clear and I see an immense intelligence in them. The thing righted itself so quickly I have had no time to react!….

3:03pm- The Monster! It’s coming closer! Slowly then quickly then slowly again! As though it’s toying with me…..I just….have to……No please wait….


????- AAAAAIIIEEEEEEEE……………………………………………………………………………

::::End of recording::::