Showing 1 - 10 of 306 posts found matching keyword: comic books

Three things:

Thing One: Coca-Cola's summer promotion involves decorating their cans and bottles with pictures of Marvel Comics super heroes. I bought a 24 pack expecting an assortment of heroes, but no, all 24 cans were the same picture of Electra. Very disappointing. I've now drunk more cans of Coca-Cola with Electra's picture on them than I have bought comic books with Electra pictured in them. Meanwhile, my aunt bought me a 20-oz bottle of Coke Classic because she saw a picture on it of some guy in tights on it and thought I would like it even though she had no idea who it was or which characters I liked. It was Wolverine. To be fair to my aunt, even though I haven't bought a single Wolverine comic in decades, I have definitely bought more Wolverine comics in my lifetime than I have bought Elektra comics.

Thing Two: When I composed this post in my head while walking the dogs, I knew there were three things. However, I don't currently remember what thing two is. Give me a minute. I'll come back to this one.

Thing Three: I wore a kilt for the first time yesterday. I'd been saying for years that I was going to shop for one at the annual Georgia Renaissance Fair, but haven't, in part because it seems a little like cultural appropriation to me, even though Mom can trace her (and therefore mine) very WASPy ancestry well back to Scottish Clan Napier in the 18th century. I ended up buying one online, a modern cotton twill utility kilt instead of the traditional wool tartan because the whole point of wearing one was to stay cooler in the long Georgia summer. To my surprise, I liked it. I liked it a lot, especially while walking the dogs. I might buy another.

Thing Two Again: Hmm. I recently broke a part on our washing machine, but I don't think that was it. And my car was in the shop again, but that's not it either. Shit. What was I going to say here?

You know what? Never mind. It couldn't have been that important. So just two things, then.

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In news shocking to all Baby Boomers and younger, it has been widely reported that current manufacturer Ferrara Candy has decided to discontinue Fruit Stripe Gum, thereby once-and-for-all answering the question: no, we will not still feed you when we are 64.

Sixty-four years is a long time, but Ferrara Candy has only been selling Fruit Stripe for a small fraction of that time. Prior to 2012, Ferrara Candy was known as Farley & Sathers Candy, which itself was only founded in 2002 and bought the pre-existing Fruit Stripe brand from Hershey Foods in 2003. Hershey only had Fruit Stripe for about a year; they bought it in 2001 from Nabisco, which had acquired it in a 1981 merger with E.R. Squibb Company, which got their hands on it in a 1968 merger with Beech-Nut Life Savers who had introduced it in 1960.

(For more fun information on American corporation brand hi-jinks through history, I encourage you to visit the online archive of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which retired their old TESS [Trademark Electronic Search System] last year for a more modern and easier to use but less acronymically friendly "cloud-based trademark search system" [CBTSS? Blech.] )

As has been the trend in recent beloved-but-unprofitable food brands being killed off by one corporate parent only to spring back to life under another (see: Hostess Twinkies and Necco Wafters), I expect that this media brouhaha will lead to continued life for Fruit Stripe. In fact, as of January 10, there is already a pending request at the US Patent Office for a new trademark just registered by Iconic Candies, a company dedicated to continuing discontinued "classic brands" like Bar None (discontinued by Hershey in 1997) and Creme Savers (discontinued by M&M/Mars in 2011).

Anyway, while we await zombie Fruit Stripe's inevitable return, in tribute to its nostalgic greatness, I offer a page from my personal comic book collection in which I demonstrated my 4-year-old's love of brightly artificial-colored, briefly artificially-flavored chewing gum by helping brand mascot Yipes the zebra navigate a maze of marketing Q&As.

I remember really loving the colorful zebra stripes more than the actual gum
from The Friendly Ghost, Casper, July 1980, No. 211

(Disclaimer: I might have cheated.)

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From the A Hero Dies A Thousand Deaths Department:

In 1942, the Red Bee died fighting Nazis.

In 2021, the Red Bee was reborn.

In 2023, the Red Bee died fighting Nazis.

Worker bees only live, like, 6 weeks, so none of them even knew the guy
Peacemaker Tries Hard #6, December 2023

What else can be said other than... that guy really hates Nazis.

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From the I Know Foreshadowing When I Read It Department:

Jesus Christ, Super-Hero
Peacemaker Tries Hard #5, November 2023

The unique "super power," the questionable fashion sense, the earnest determination to right the world's wrongs with only a bee by his side.... Seriously, if you don't love the Red Bee by now, there might bee something wrong with you.

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From the Old Soldiers Never Die Department:

Those are some pretty tight abs for a centenarian
Peacemaker Tries Hard #4, October 2023

Now that he's palling around with General Immortus, Johnny Blackhawk, and The Red Bee, Peacemaker just might be the youngest person in his own title. He's no spring chicken himself; his father was a Nazi concentration camp commandant. Or at least he used to be. Comic books have a tendency to play fast and loose with established character biographies.

Speaking of which, flashbacks in this issue definitively detail the Red Bee's time as a special agent American Mystery Man actively fighting the Axis powers (and their terrible "War Wheel") in the European theater of World War II.

But wait! Everyone knows Red Bee died on February 23, 1942, on Earth-X (as graphically revealed in 1984's All-Star Squadron #35). What this story presupposes is... maybe he didn't?

Comic books being what they are, it would seem that Red Bee recovered from being dead — maybe health care was better back in the day — and continued his fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Which is how he ends up with Peacemaker in the Amazon jungle held hostage by the villainous gourmand Snowflame. Good thing Red Bee has another Greatest Generation trope: a sidekick!

Wow! What must Michael the Bee's tiny insect abs look like?

A friend in need is a friend, indeed!

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Who says Batman doesn't use guns?

This is not the first time I've posted a panel from Detective Comics #78 (1943), and I doubt it will be the last.

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From the Bromance Department:

The Red Bee is finally back in action, tights and all! (Through I think his distinctive new long gray beard might be making the domino mask a little redundant.)

Professional douchebag Peacemaker takes shots at the the Red Bee's blousy sleeves, striped pants, colorful name, and, obviously, his "powers." To his enduring credit, the Red Bee has a great response for all of it!

Friendships begin with first names, Michael
Peacemaker Tries Hard #3, September 2023

The question isn't whether this is the best Red Bee comic of all time; The question is whether this is the best single comic of all time!

It just might be.

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From the Sweetest of Hobbies Department:

The USDA estimates there were 125,000 beekeepers in the US in 2020. But how many of them are training bees to fight crime?
Peacemaker Tries Hard #2, August 2023

For the second time in two issues, readers of the James Gunn-influenced Peacemaker Tries Hard comic book are treated to a brief vignette featuring Peacemaker's parole agent, some beekeeper named *checks notes* Richard Raleigh.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time the Red Bee has ever actually been shown in an apiary, which is kind of weird when you think about it. I mean, how often have we seen Batman in a cave full of bats or Wonder Woman on an island of women? Better late than never, I guess.

He's still not in costume, so there are no doubt plenty of readers wondering what this old man is doing in a Peacemaker comic. All I can say is that they are in for a treat in the next issue.

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From the Wacky Neighbor Department:

Cue the canned laughter
Peacemaker Tries Hard #1, July 2023

James Gunn's Peacemaker show on HBO was a big hit, so of course its star eventually found his way into his own comic book, bringing the continuity of his DCEU — that's "DC Extended Universe," by which we mean the setting and characters of the Warner Bros movies featuring DC Comics intellectual property — with him.

In this particular case, that's a good thing, because it lets us spend time with characters who, in the comic book DC Universe — the "DCU," 'natch — remain dead.

Characters like the Red Bee.

That's him there, in his civilian identity. Back in the day, Rick Raleigh was an assistant district attorney. But that's not so far removed from being a parole office for super criminals.

It would seem that an old man with a beard like that would be retired from super-heroics, and there's no explicit reference to the "Red Bee" nom de guerre in this particular issue. But keep your eyes out, kids, because something* tells me we'll be seeing more of the Red Bee in issues to come.

Your secret is safe with me, Mr. Red Bee, sir.

* That "something" is the retailer solicitation for advanced issues.

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He 'reckons' a lot
National Comics #1, July 1940

Beware the goatee!

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To be continued...


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