Monday, November 23, 2009

Multiversity Comics Article

I was quoted in this article about comics, kids and learning on the "Multiversity Comics" blog:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ring Tones

Not for nothing, but I just wanted to say how cool I thought the recent DC Comics multi-colored power ring giveaway is. If your comic book store hasn't been giving you a different colored ring the past few weeks then you need a new comic book store.
If the promotion is successful then hopefully DC will celebrate the next big Batman storyline by giving away Batmobiles.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spider-Man Returns

Your favorite part about next week won't be the turkey or the pies. It will be the triumphant return of Spider-Man to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The press release from Macy's says it's been 10 years since the Spider-Man balloon wall crawled its way through Manhattan.

Can that be right? It seems like I remember seeing Spider-Man every year in the parade for as long as I've been watching. But I tend to drink heavily during the holidays so I'm probably not the most reliable source.

If you'd like an incredibly brief preview before showtime you can (just barely) see Spidey in this video, sandwiched between the Pillsbury Doughboy and Ronald McDonald:

Ronald never looked creepier. Enjoy the turkey folks!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Look! Up in the Pantry!

Many hardcore Superman fans are relatively unaware of the last son of Krypton's long, storied history with the peanut. It's high time someone cracked the shell on this historic, heroic team up.
One of the most the most highly recognized super hero food products is Superman Peanut Butter from Kane-Miller Corp. They pop up on eBay and in blogs from time to time. My jar has the year 1981 on the label but the expiration date seems to have been lost to the ages. Even though I'd love a taste, I'm going to assume that it's already passed.
"It's strength is its great taste" was the crunchy condiment's tag line and seemed to be well known to everyone except Lex Luthor. In fact, in a bizarre example of misplaced priorities, Superman seemed willing to die to protect the secret of his peanut butter's tastiness:

So successful was this super hero/legume pairing that society demanded more. And if society wants some dry roasted supers snacks then someone will surely step up.
This jar of Superman Peanuts comes to us courtesy of Old Dominion Foods and has the year 1987 on the label. Apparently this wasn't nearly as popular as the original peanut butter so it wasn't long before someone else tried to capture lightning in a bottle.
Or rather, peanut butter in a jar.

A more recent Superman peanut butter came with a new plastic recyclable jar and an expiration date of May 1993. RW Gourmet foods got the band back together for this short lived attempt.

But it's a safe bet that this won't be the last. Wherever hungry kids gather, wherever ants need to be logged, wherever jelly is can bet Superman will be there.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

David Hajdu on the Colbert Report

Here is an interview from last year of David Hajdu, author of the The Ten-Cent
Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America, on The
Colbert Report
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
David Hajdu

Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spider-Cereal: A Retrospective

Now that the documentary is finished we can finally get to more important matters like Spider-Man Cereal.
Its hard to imagine now, but there was a time when the only way to get your Spider-Man fix was through animated means. And what goes better with cartoons than cereal?

While the Fox Kids Spider-Man cartoon from the 1990s was somewhat flawed it was often engaging, so much so that it was captured in marshmallow form for all posterity.

Various spider themed marshmallow shapes shared the bowl with Chex which I would imagine symbolize spider webs. The marshmallow shapes range from interesting (the Kingpin) to slightly less thrilling (Peter Parker's camera).

This was all fine and good and in the midst of the Clone Saga we were happy to have some classic Spider-Man as a part of our balanced breakfast but things were bound to change. We didn' know what we were missing because several years later...along came Tobey...

The first Spider-Man movie brought another cereal into our lives. This time it was a Kellogg's production that included a custom web shaped Spider-Berry flavor. I don't know what Spider-Berries taste like but judging from appearances I would imagine that they are similar to Crunch Berries.

The mystery behind the Spider-Berries can be investigated via this behind the scenes footage provided by Kellogg's:

Hopefully that peek behind the curtain will provide enough momentum to sail past the underwhelming Spider-Man 2 cereal.

It's not that there's anything wrong with Spider-Man 2 cereal, its just that it's the same cereal in a new box. I like to think they just decided not to fix something that wasn't broke. At least they made a bit of an effort by adding various puzzles to the back of the box.

Its a practice that General Mills kept when they got their shot at Spider-Man 3 Cereal.

They did away with any pretense of relevant spider shapes and went with the full on Spider-Berry/Crunch Berry motif. To my knowledge this is the final Spider-Cereal to date. I won't be surprised when the next box hits the grocery shelves.

And yet I still hold my candlelight vigil in my breakfast nook every morning waiting for my Iron Man Crunch.