Monday, November 30, 2020

The Simpsons in Cincinnati


I haven't watched an episode of THE SIMPSONS in maybe ten years. I always figured it would be my favorite show if I had ever watched it more consistently. I did catch last night's new episode. though, entitled, THE ROAD TO CINCINNATI. 

There wasn't much Simpsons presence in the episode at all beyond Bart cameos on both ends. This episode featured Principal Skinner and his boss from the school board on a cross country 800 mile road trip to an educational convention in Cincinnati. 

The actual plot seemed a parody of just about every buddy film or road trip picture from THE DEFIANT ONES to PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES. It wasn't until the end when they actually arrive in Cincinnati, which happens to be directly across the river from where I live in Northern Kentucky!


In fact, the final scene of the episode has the two characters eating 4-Way chili from Skyline Chili--and not just ANY Skyline but, as you can see here, the Skyline directly across the street from the apartment (in red) where my wife and I lived in the early 1990s! They changed the apartment buildings but kept so much of the rest of this Google Maps image the same.


One thing they got wrong is the 4-way. Everybody knows you don't eat a 4-Way from a big ol' bowl as seen above. Oh, no. A 4-Way is eaten from a plate. A large helping of spaghetti has Cincinnati-style chili (a unique, Greek-related delicacy barely related to "regular" chili) ladled over top of it and then beans or onions (your choice--both is, naturally, a 5-Way), and then the whole thing is topped off with a veritable mountain of finely shredded cheddar cheese!

(This is a 5-Way, btw. Couldn't find a picture of a 4-Way) 


Friday, November 27, 2020

The Comic Strip Cold War- 1964

Here's a fascinating look at how newspaper comic strips in 1964 were dealing with the Cold War, either intentionally or metaphorically. The piece comes from HI-LIFE, a rather low-life PLAYBOY clone of the day which, along with girly pix, also cloned the good art and articles. The art here is by Mort Gerberg, best known for his multiple books on how to become a cartoonist. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Poison Ivy/Pussycat


It's long been known that Bat-villainess Poison Ivy was created in the comics in order to give Batman more female villains on the '66 TV series and yet she never appeared on the show. She barely even appeared in the comics for years outside of her initial stories and the syndicated newspaper strip. However, did you know that, in fact, Poison Ivy DID appear on the TV series, albeit as a very different character--Lesley Gore's Pussycat! Take a look at these memos from the network censor clearly indicating the name change from "Poison Ivy" to "Pussycat!"


Also found a piece indicating that Pussycat was supposed to give Robin his first kiss in the episode only to have the Producer, Howie Horwitz, nix the idea, much to Burt Ward's "ranting and raving" disappointment. Lesley said she was glad it was canceled (because she was gay?) but that she had a feeling it wouldn't REALLY have been his first kiss anyway (a reference to Ward's self-proclaimed sexual exploits behind the scenes?). 

Monday, November 09, 2020

Barnaby's Back

The final volume of Crockett Johnson's BARNABY comic strip is set to be released soon from Fantagraphics. This article, though, from 1946, is about how the Louisville-Courier Journal had removed it, thinking it was an also-ran strip, only to be forced by popular demand to reinstate BARNABY!