Friday, December 07, 2007

MY SEVENTIES SHOW podcast episode now available!

My special edition podcast, MY SEVENTIES SHOW, is now available to listen to at PERSPECTIVE RADIO.COM. Recorded live on Tuesday, Dec. 4, this episode was especially fun for me to put together. A total flashback, it also allowed me to focus on two current projects from a pair of gents who grew up with similiar passions as I did back in the idyllic 1970s.

Back in my early days, I would look forward to spending saturday afternoons in the park drinking a 7-11 Slurpee and reading comics. For about one buck and change, I could get a couple of 25¢ comics, a Slurpee and a Zero candy bar and spend time with the superheroes.I swear, I cannot tell you how much, to this day, I associate the taste of a cola Slurpee and a Zero bar to such a valued and treasured time in my life!

Then there were the hours spent playing with my MEGO 8" action figures! THE WORLD'S GREATEST TOYS they were called, and rightly so! 8" fully posable figures with fabric costumes, these are legendary toys for a whole generation of us graying, overgrown kids. I was completley fortunate and spoiled as kid, because I had a pretty good collection of these toys. One year, and it's my all-time favorite Christmas memory (um, other than the time with Mom, Dad and the siblings!), I recieved not only the fabled Joker Van, but several other characters alongside that: Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Green Arrow and probably one or two others. Today, I've got very few of those originals left, but the priceless memories keep me warm at night!

So, to indulge myself, and entertain my radio audience of course, I concocted a special retro show that touched on these ancient memories. My first guest, Paul Merolle, runs his own company called POP FUN MERCHANDISING, which lovingly produces TOON TUMBLERS. These are collectable glasses featuring colorful images of Marvel superheroes, using the iconic imagery all recognize. Paul had been an enthusiastic collector of superhero drinking glasses and 7-11 Slurpee cups, so it's very cool that he turned that passion into an eventual business. I actually heard of Paul months prior when a Google search for "7-11 superhero Slurpee cups" turned up an article he wrote some years ago for the Collector's Glass website. After finding out about his company, I actually ordered the stunning SPIDER-MAN NEW YORK COMIC-CON exlcusive frosted tumbler. I tell you, slap a Steve Ditko Spidey image on a product and you got me hooked!

Really though, these TUMBLERS are very nice collectables, and I'd recommend getting these as gifts for any Marvel Comics fan this Christmas. PopFun carries a nice variety featuring characters like the Punisher, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, among others. They even have a Holiday themed glass!

My second guest, and my first in-studio guest at that, was the bombastic Benjamin Holcomb, author of the new hardcover book MEGO 8" ACTION FIGURES:THE WORLD'S GREATEST TOYS!. When I first heard of this book months ago, I knew I had to have it. And when my own radio show came about, I thought it would be a perfect subject for a show. When I found out that Benjamin lived in the area, I emailed him and offered him a spot on the show. He immediately agreed, to my everlasting gratitude. Then after contacting Paul I was able to put together my first special edition episode, MY SEVENTIES SHOW.

Benjamin and I hit it off immediately, as our previous email exchanges were truly a meeting of the geeks! His book, published by Two Morrows (among their many publications is my favorite magazine THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR) has just been published and at over 250 full-color pages, is truly a milestone in Mego fandom! Literally packed with info and trivia on the Mego super-hero line, Benjamin's book is both a loving tribute to a bygone era and an exhaustive report on the production, marketing and art of the Mego dolls.

As Benjamin was in the studio, I was presented with a new dynamic as far as interviewing a guest. We literally were sitting side by side browsing through the book, often starting a topic based on the page we were looking at! I'm trying to conduct my show with as free-flowing spontaneity as possible, and I think the interviews demonstrate that. While I did indeed have some notes and questions to refer to, I let Benjamin's and my own enthusiasm run the interview.

One of my favorite parts of the book are the two-page spreads showcasing 360 degree turns of each figure! It's like having the figure there in front of you. And buying the book is a fraction of the amount of money it would cost to buy one of these figures in any decent shape!

Benjamin actually sat in on my phone interview with Paul, as he himself was interested in the Toon Tumblers! I'm telling you, those of us lucky enough to have grown up in the 70s were completely spoiled and brainwashed by the sheer magnitude of magical toys, trinkets and all-around coolness that shaped our childhoods. After the interview, the show ended and I was finally able to get my Mego book signed! One of the advantages of hosting your own show is inviting in guests under journalistic pretenses and then hitting them up for fanboy autograph!

I took Benjamin to a local Mexican 'mom & pop' eatery and he indulged in the best taquitos he's ever had! We caught up on one another's back story. Apparently, Benjamin came across my EL MUERTO comic book back in 2001 or so. I was attending the Alternative Press Expo (APE) with a friend of mine dressed as El MUERTO and Benjamin had seen my booth and early comics! At dinner I gave him some signed copies of the Muerto comics and a movie poster. He's a real energetic guy with a great sense of fun and creativity. I'm invited over to his place to check out some of his primo Mego collection in person! After I visit him, unless I have to sign a disclosure, I'll tell you all how that went!

My sincere thanks go to Paul and Benjamin for enthusiastically sharing their passion with me, as they really made MY SEVENTIES SHOW possible. I wish the best to them and their current projects. Remember to listen to the show atPERSPECTIVE RADIO.COM.


rob! said...

enjoyed the show tremendously! i work from home so it was so much fun to have this to enjoy as i worked!

Jason Martin said...

Gosh, I guess I always thought of Mego superhero toys as the marvel ones (which I never had)... didn't realize they did the Batman stuff too (I had a Batgirl and Robin, and probably a Joker or Batman too)...
Still have the Batcycle.
They were a touch ahead of my time though, had the Batman ones when I was very young. ;)

The book looks great, and your flyer and post are top notch...
You need to get the show and your write ups sponsored/featured on a comic website!!

Don't really recall the superhero Slurpee cups, but 7-11, and Slurpees, sure were key in my treasured spinner rack memories...