Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Slogans for homefront in World War II era comic books

During World War II, the nation took it upon itself to take care of the war effort, even if they were sitting at home. Slogans popped up all over to help people, and kids in particular, to help out with the war effort. That's why some of these old comic books are worth their wait in gold: recycling paper, including precious comic books, was helping out our boys. 
For instance, All-Star Comics #21 had rhyming slogans at the bottom of most every page.

All-Star Comics #21 featuring the Justice Society of America

Bottom Lines on Following Pages Tell What to Do While Battle Rages

Tin Cans in the Garbage Pile Are Just a Way of Saying "Heil!"

Waste Fats in Good Condition Help to Make Fine Ammunition

Boys and Girls, Every Day, Can Give War Aid in Many a Way--

Every Time You Buy a Stamp, You Feed the Flame in Freedom's Lamp!

If You Have an Extra Quarter, Buy a Stamp to Make War Shorter

However far soldiers roam, they want to have some mail from home [no caps]

Collect Old Paper, Turn It In--Help Your Uncle Sam to Win

You Can Walk to School and Store! Saving Gas Helps Win the War!

Boys Are Smart, Girls Are Wise, Black Markets Not to Patronize


Turn Out Lights Not in Use--War Production Needs the "Juice"

They repeat then throughout the book
All the capital letters and lowercase letters have been preserved from the original text.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tasha Yar's death in "Skin of Evil"--episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation

I love Netflix. I can access episodes faster than if I had the DVD boxset.

So I am re-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation from beginning to end. In the first season, I get to "Skin of Evil" again. Watched it years ago, maybe twice, remembering that it is not a very good episode overall. I wanted to see it again after all this time, especially to consider again when watching those ones later where Tasha's Romulan daughter attacks.

This is the episode with the death of Tasha Yar. This is a main character, credit during the opening and everything, something very prestigious in Star Trek overall. What, did she last 23 episodes? And, she gets her name still on the credits for at least the next episode after her death, where she is not seen or mentioned. Anyway, just pretty cool to kill a main character instead of a redshirt, albeit in a silly, stupid way.

Good episode. Fighting just a purely evil entity. Good stuff. But it is the end that bothers me.

After they all get back to the Enterprise, they go to the holodeck for a funeral. And then, they come up with some kind of hologram recording of Tasha saying goodbye to all her friends and coworkers.

Was this a reverse-eulogy??

Does everybody record these? Is Riker's waiting in his quarters on the chance he doesn't make it back from an away mission?

Do they get updated regularly? New people, new relationships, how relationships have grown and changed? Is there a standard from Starfleet for this? "Once every 12 months, Starfleet personnel must record their goodbyes to friends and loved ones in case of accidental death in the line of duty." My goodness, how morbid that would be to do! Here, let's remember our mortality once every year.

Does it only play the ones for those present? For instance, what if Wesley Crusher was still away trying to get into Starfleet--would it just be waiting for when he came back, or would it still have played if he were not present? Does she have one or more still on the record for people that she knew from before the Enterprise?

This is my only problem with the episode. Yeah, I get that they were trying to milk some character development, and that it does. I get that they were trying to shine the spotlight on Tasha's sacrifice, and that it does.

But I can't help but think that this Starfleet regulation came about after Spock's death in Wrath of Khan. See, if Spock had just recorded his goodbyes, logically, he would have added one little footnote: "Oh, and just in case, I may not be really dead. I may have been able to transfer my consciousness into another being before my death, you know, to hold on to. Check the cameras and see who I came in contact with last." Then all that trouble on the Genesis planet could have been avoided. So now they make everyone record last messages.

(Ha ha--that last bit is just flippin brilliant, if you ask me.)

Space:1999 final analysis

After several months, I finally finished all the episodes of Space:1999. I remember seeing commercials for it when the SciFi Channel originally started, with Martin Landau saying, "We do not commit mindless violence." I wanted to like this series. I really did. I love old 60s-70s Doctor Who. I love Star Trek. I love bad science fiction in general. This show wasn't very good.

I just now finished the last of 48 episodes. I was renting the discs every once in a while through Netflix. It's a 17-disc set. I just couldn't bring myself to keep watching them night after night--I needed breaks in between discs. That's why it took several months.

Space: 1999 had no character development. The stories were okay, overall, but as I write this, I can't help but remember how many times that episodes just seemed to drag on in the middle, as if they were stretching their idea to fit into the 50-minute window. I felt that a lot. And those are the areas where they could have added character development.

Who were they as individuals? I simply don't know. I know the Martin Landau character Commander John Koenig as a moral yet oftentimes hotheaded character. I know nothing of Barbara Bain's Dr. Helena Russell character. Poor Alan--who seems to get pushed aside by other new characters midway through--all we know about him is that he's a pilot from Australia.

They barely, barely by gossamer wisps, touched on the growing love between Koenig and Russell and between Maya and Tony. But it just comes across as couples that are together for sheer sake of there only being 300 people left as it is.

The best glimpse into some character development is Tony's beer. He liked to try to make that homemade brew that everyone, including Tony, found disgusting. We needed more of that.

I don't know Koenig. After 48 episodes, I really couldn't describe him to you. He could be replaced easily. In fact, in some of the episodes that Landau was not in, for whatever reasons, you don't miss him. Imagine watching original Star Trek without a Spock. You'd miss him. You simply don't even notice when Koenig is not there.

They took away, after the first season, the doctor character played by Barry Morse. He made a good sounding board for Koenig. I could look up the answer as to why they got rid of him--off-screen between seasons, mind you, with little fanfare--but if they don't tell me in 48 episodes they were simply stupid. See, this could have been a bit of character development there, as they coped with the loss. Something. It was barely mentioned.

I liked the dozen or so last episodes--they were much better. Maybe this is when I resigned myself to the fact that there would be no development. I watched knowing that the characters simply didn't matter. They were all interchangeable. They could have a new pilot, a new doctor, a new commander, at any moment--and did most times--and it did not change the storyline.