Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Future of the Automobile. 45 Years Ago.

A small, 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 inch brochure of the Chrysler Turbine car. Fifty of these elegantly styled cars were built to test the feasibility of a turbine engine in an automotive use. They were loaned out to "real" people around the country for three months at a time. I remember seeing, and hearing, one pass us on the "old road" to Stony Creek back when they were in the hands of a few private citizens. The color was very metallic and in the sun almost looked like fire. It sound was almost that of a jet plane. I've scanned this 12 page booklet large enough so the text is able to be read when you click on the images. For the Wiki on this Elwood Engel designed, Ghia-built car, and its very cool powerplant, click here, or for the story click here.

S C A L E   M O D E L   O D D I T Y :
As soon as I saw this 1/43 scale model, I started scratching my head. Did Chrysler really make a convertible version of the Turbine car? I've never seen one in photos, never read about one either. Of course, Hollywood may possibly have made a fake one for a movie at one time or another. What I'm positive though, is that if Chrysler DID make one, they would never have painted it bright chromium yellow with a gray and blue interior, lol. I just had to buy this to add to my "oddities" collection. Plus it was really cheap and the proportions are pretty much perfect except for the lack of a roof. And that color.

Mercury's Jumping the Shark. Er, the Cougar.

In 1977, Mercury made Cougar a full line of cars, including this 4 door pillared hardtop and a wagon, as well as the XR-7 personal luxury coupe and a regular 2 door hardtop. From its Pony car roots, based on the Mustang, to a mid-size luxury coupe in '74 to being the entire mid-size line in '77, this was just several Cougars too far beyond the edge, lol. They weren't bad cars at all, they were quite nice cars for the time, with a great ride, great features and not all that bad on the eyes for that period. They just weren't Cougars, in my opinion. I think Mercury had a fine enough name with the Montego and should have left them as such.

Interestingly, the phrase "Jump the Shark" originated in 1977 also, referring to an episode of "Happy Days" that went too far, with The Fonz water skiing on-air. Link here.

The 4 door was available as a luxury Brougham trim level, almost equal with the Marquis in feature content and luxury options. This was during the "downsizing" era, and was an obvious stopgap since Ford wouldn't have any actual downsized cars until 1980, unless you count the Thunderbird of 1977. That Tbird was a thinlypveiled Torino, which itself had been renamed the LTD II to seem as if it was a downsized full sized car, which of course it wasn't. Tbird sales skyrocketed over the '76 version, but Cougar sales went nowhere.

I don't care how many times you use "sporty" in a description, this two-ton 4 door station wagon just wasn't sporty and never would be. Was this a nice station wagon? Of course. It had the woodgrained sides, which was always a classy touch in my opinion. The interior could be optioned fully, including those Twin-Comfort lounge seats with dual fold down armrests, and all the power accessories one could wish for were available. Again, considering the classic Cougar of 1967, this just wasn't, and never could be, a real Cougar.

Happy Birthday Granny!

Fresh-cut flowers, an antique dark red vase recently unpacked, and a bright red BMW roadster for Granny, a loyal reader of casey/artandcolour. Happy Birthday and many more!

"In Italy, Men Build Cars with Passion."

Cover of large-format brochure for the 1971 de Tomaso Pantera, a limited production Italian sports car, created with a Ford 351 V8 engine and sold by Lincoln-Mercury dealers for a short time in the early '70s. This entire brochure is printed on very glossy, and very thick coverstock, and measures a full 22" x 14" when opened. How can this car be almost 40 years old? It boggles my mind!

In Italy, Men Build Cars with Passion—the first line of this brochure. This initial spread features this profile shot of the new Pantera in the courtyard of a classic Italian villa. The text is a short bio of the history of de Tomaso and this new sports car, the first de Tomaso in series production, albeit limited to 2,500 copies. Previous de Tomasos like the Vallelunga and the fabulous Mangusta were extremely limited production.

The second spread shows the car's 15-inch cast magnesium wheels, the front view of a lineup of Panteras, the center console showing the very Ferrari-like gated transmission lever, the au courant pop-up headlights and a couple of views of the car in white, a surprising color for an Italian exotic, but one that really shows the lines of the car very well.

The third spread illustrates the hand-sewn leather bucket seats, and the craftsmanship that went into each car. A short bio of Ghia of Turin, the company that crafted the Pantera, and which would be sold to the Ford Motor Company shortly after this, was included here. I was especially taken with the power window switches on the vertical part of this center console. I was always fascinated with the way power window controls were worked into a design. They were on the doors of our '57 Chevy and '66 Country Squire and on the center console of the '64 Thunderbird. It's one detail I always memorized in the catalogs!

The back cover gives the specifications for the car, along with a photo of the very cool tunneled backlight, also known as a flying buttressed roof. Then engine was located under this "trunk" lid but in front of the rear wheels for a mid-engined layout. Interestingly, nowhere in the specs is the horsepower listed for the 351 cubic inch, 4 barrel Ford V8 engine. The torque is listed as 380 ft/lbs, the compression ratio is a high 11.0 to 1, the transmission was a 5 speed manual and the brakes were 4 wheel power disc brakes, all really heady equipment for this period, but no horsepower rating. I can only imagine this was an early press brochure and the ratings had yet to be determined. The car was also only 43 inches high, just barely more than 3 1/2 feet tall. I thought all cars would be this low eventually but I was wrong, lol.

The colors listed as available at no extra charge were Yellow, Medium Blue, White, Red, Medium Green, Lime, Silver Metallic and Bronze Metallic. European cars of the time almost always charged more for metallic finishes, but this $10,000 automobile gave you all of the choices for "free." Such a deal!  I would have taken it in Lime, a color as avant-garde as the car itself.

For more information on the Pantera, click over to Wiki.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"The Continentals: The Final Step Up."

1971 Lincoln Continental Sedan.

Nottingham woven brocade interior, standard on the Sedan and Coupe, available in light gray gold, medium gray, light aqua, medium ginger and black. A second cloth interior, Bedford knit, was also available, at no extra cost, in dark tobacco, dark green, dark red, dark blue, and black.

Lincoln Continental Coupé.

Optional pleated leather interior in white. Small photo shows optional Town Car leather, an upgrade for the Sedan only. Leather was available in ten colors, white, dark blue, black, red, medium ginger, dark green, light aqua, medium gray, light gray gold, and dark tobacco.

Continental Mark III Coupé .

Mark III interior shown with optional leather Twin-Comfort Lounge seats, available in the same ten colors as the Lincoln Continental Sedan and Coupé. Left page touts the "Sure-Track" braking system, an early ABS system, and the Cartier electronic Chronometer standard, designed exclusively for the Mark III.

It was really difficult to shoot this catalog cover. It's an excellent printed copy of brushed aluminum and reflected the flash very easily. It is also embossed with the Continental star logo. This is a really classy dealer brochure, if I do say so myself! Luxury makers like Lincoln, Cadillac and Imperial often had a small "everyday" brochure and one that was a step-up. This is the larger one for that year.

A NOTE ON TYPOGRAPHY —  Below, the text from the first interior page of the catalog. Ligatures were used in the typesetting—special characters for the "fi" and "fl" characters—combining them in one unit, a very classic, and elegant, typographical usage, one that I've insisted on in every book I've designed. It was rare to see it in commercial printing then, but the PR firm that designed this catalog, and FoMoCo themselves, understood Lincoln's clientele to a "T" and stepped up their game. I hate to say it, being a graphic designer that specializes in typography, but if most page programs didn't use ligatures automatically today, today's designers wouldn't have a clue about ligatures. Most of the time today's designers of type don't even understand the difference between an apostrophe and a prime mark, the straight up and down character used to indicate "feet" in dimensional units. The same with quote marks and the character for "inches." Real typography, even on high-end pieces, is pretty much a lost art. 

From the 1971 Lincoln brochure:

Rambler Palm Beach—August 1957 Motor Trend

August 1957 Motor Trend magazine, showing American Motors' Rambler Palm Beach show car, designed and commissioned by Pinin Farina. Unfortunately, nothing became of this gorgeous car. Rambler wouldn't have anything even remotely "sporty" until the Marlin of 1965 and then the Javelin of '68.

Left-hand page of interior black and white spread.

Right-hand page of interior black and white spread.

Photo found with Google Images, identified as a 1956 model. The Motor Trend article states that this was a private venture of Pinin Farina's and not a factory commission.

Another image from Google, showing the beautiful profile of this 2 seat sports car. It's really too bad Rambler couldn't have found a place for it in their lineup, but they were still smarting from Nash's sportscar endeavor of their recent past, the Nash-Healey. That was another beautiful sportscar that just couldn't be sold profitable for anything less than $6000, more than the price of a Cadillac of those years.

OK, Get Up and Boogie!

For We May Not Have Tomorrow

OK. It's early Fall, 2010. If you're reading this you're alive. We've made it through most of the year in pretty much one piece, if a little bruised, broken, bent, and bemused. The sunlight is streaming in through the windows hitting the crystals hanging everywhere, breaking down the light in every possible color of the rainbow as it dances and trips and falls all over the room. (Disco ball photo courtesy Google Images)

R E M E M B R A N C E   O F   S O R T S — Gloria Gaynor was on Leno Friday night, singing one of her well-loved Disco songs, "I Will Survive" and it just sent me back 30+ years—as does almost everything these days, lol. Maybe it's because I've been spending the last few days going through boxes of stuff from my last move, reconnecting with some long-lost items and photos of friends no longer with us. Maybe it's because I still can't get over the fact that of all my friends, with all the craziness of our lives, I'm the one that made it to 53. Maybe it's because for all of my decades out in public, and looking for love in all the wrong places, I'm trying to reconcile the fact this era of my life is just as valid as my earlier life (lives?). THIS life carries the same importance as my earlier life filled with friends and family, if not more than my share of trauma too. It's a hard sell—I'm not sure I'll ever completely believe it.

Listening to these Disco songs is like driving in a time-traveling Delorean, I'm instantly transported back to the late '70s and early '80s. I'm in LA at Probe or Studio One, or folding clothes at Ah Men on Santa Monica Boulevard. I'm standing in line for the grand opening of The Mother Lode, or on the small dance floor at the Blue Parrot gazing up at the DJ on the balcony beaming down at me, saying everything that needed to be said with the twinkling in his eyes and the ear-to-ear grin on his face. I'm in New York at the Saint, one of thousands of like-minded men all going along on a collective trip to the center of the universe—and sometimes all the way back. I'm at Roxy, the Sound Factory, Mars Needs Men, or any number of downtown clubs, Pyramid, The Bar, The Tunnel, Spike, Eagle, a dozen others, I'm in San Francisco at the Trocadero, in New Haven at Partners or Les Oubliettes

I'm young, I'm high, I'm surrounded by people that like me for the first time in my life, I'm surrounded by men my own age that desire me for the first time in my life. I'm the center of attention when I walk into a room. I'm by myself in a dark corner taking it all in. I have money, I have dreams, I have tomorrow in all of its unknown glory, and I have the day after that and none of it scares me. I have the presence of mind to know I'm having the best time of my life, and the ability to ignore the cold chills that go down my back at times, attributing them to the last bump I did, not the cold, distant future I really know is coming like someone spitting on my grave.

I'm sweaty and hot and leaving the club at the wee hours of the morning and looking forward to the first streaks of sunlight on the walk or ride home. In LA, on Sunday mornings, after being in the clubs all night, I'm on my way to "Church" at Greg's Blue Dot, a bar that opens up at 6 am and has an outdoor dancing area where we can all continue to commune with our deeper souls. Our eyes say it all—pupils the size of saucers, twinkling like the disco balls we just left behind. I'm young and I'm not even aware of how much I'm trying to forget parts of my childhood. 

Now I'm old and trying to forget about my future. I create art that is a nod to the past—my past, my family's past, my friend's past. At this point in my life the future doesn't interest me in the slightest, not one damn bit. I'm trying to forget my dead friends' lack of futures, their lives cut short by AIDS, by cancer, by drunk drivers, by overdoses, by Life. I'm trying to forget everything that hasn't happened yet but which I know is coming. 

Some of the links below are actual videos, low resolution as is the norm at YouTube, but most are just a photo or two or a blank page with the song title. These songs will probably mean the most to my fellow 50+ year old gay boys, but I stand by their ability to transcend time and space and personal backgrounds with their absolutely infectious beats and rhythms and simple affirmations of life and love. They're the songs of our Coming of Age, they're the songs of our dead friends, they're the songs of our lives.

Rejoice that we're here this morning—this very second—and sing along and dance. Tap your foot and nod your heads and be just a little bit crazy this very second. Get up and boogie. We only have this very moment. Tomorrow—who knows?

The following links are twenty-three Disco songs I found at YouTube. I remembered most of them off the top of my head, but when I googled the artists I couldn't remember, I found a great list of songs by year which helped me fill in the gaps. I'm sure I left out some of the very best, but these are some of my favorite Disco-era recordings and the ones that really resonate with me.

Boogie Wonderland. Earth, Wind and Fire
This Time Baby. Jackie Moore
Don't Leave Me This Way. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (Teddy Pendergrass)
Runaway Love. Linda Clifford (long version)
Shame. Evelyn Champagne King (long version)
Got to be Real. Cheryl Lynn
Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now. McFadden & Whitehead
The Boss. Diana Ross (long version)
Mighty Real. Sylvester
Never Can Say Goodbye. Gloria Gaynor
Upside Down. Diana Ross (remix)
Bad Girls. Donna Summer
Ring My Bell. Anita Ward
Take Your Time (Do It Right). SOS Band
You Got Me Dancin'. Andrea True
Vertigo/Relight My Fire. Dan Hartman (long version)
Love Hangover. Diana Ross
Spring Affair. Donna Summer
Turn the Beat Around. Vicki Sue Robinson
Everybody Dance. Chic
Boogie Oogie Oogie. A Taste of Honey
We Are Family. Sister Sledge
Street Life. The Crusaders and Randy Crawford.

The list I found online of the greatest Disco songs of all time, here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Music for my 32nd Birthday—21 Years Ago

Sitting at the bottom of a carton I unpacked from the attic, was this homemade compilation cassette. My late best friend, Andy, was known for making these personalized tapes for all of his friends. What a rush of memories—I hadn't heard any of these songs in a long, long time. Click on the image to read the songs/artists, classics all of them.

For a Youtube link to Aretha's 1973 Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky), click here.

Oh yeah, Andy used to call me Charley from time to time, lol. We had several names for each other and our friends.

I Make Cardboard Quilts, But a Cardboard Car?

In today's New York Times, a cardboard-covered Smart ForTwo was featured, which will be at the Paris car show this week. There was no photo credit attached to this photo, so I'm assuming it's not the property of the Times, but rather a press photo so I'm including it here. It even looks like something I would have created a la my cardboard quilts! I know they really don't get great mileage, they have a finicky transmission and not much room for anything, but I'd buy a regular metal ForTwo tomorrow if I could afford one! I'd take the convertible, as pictured, probably with the Brabus package in a dark color with a bright red leather interior. It would be fun. They still turn heads whenever you see one.

New York Times link to the story, here.

Sunny Flowers on a Rainy Day

Zinnias, Ageratum and Goldenrod make a nice bright arrangement on a gloomy rainy day! The blue glass vase contrasts with the flowers really well. A brass lizard paperweight stands guard next to a few tiny VW toys, including a pewter mid-sixties Beetle with a Timex watch in its roof, a rare original Van pickup truck by Matchbox and the early 2000s Van concept in silver/blue.

My Cranky Old Man Andy Rooney Moment

O P I N I O N   P A G E — I just saw a Buick Enclave commercial on TV and was reminded how irritated I am at Buick's B and C pillar treatment. It's a small thing, maybe even a tiny inconsequential thing, but the fact that the B pillar is blacked out and the C pillar is painted really bothers me. They're both surrounded by chrome molding, and my aesthetic sense says they need to be treated equally. With the door surrounds and B pillar painted body color, along with the C pillar, it would work. Conversely if everything inside the chrome molding was blacked out, it would work. Or if the chrome molding stopped at the door, and the C pillar was more a part of the roof, I could see it being painted. But by being surrounded by that bright trim molding, the C pillar becomes part of the 'greenhouse' or window area, and it ends up looking like it's missing the black cover to my eyes. It's even worse on a white vehicle like in the commercial. The fact that both pillars are almost exactly the same width compounds the problem.

Cranky old man diatribe over. For now!

From the Lincoln Chop Archives

This chop was to show what the '72-'76 Lincoln Mark IV might have looked like if the company had decided to go aero-sporty with this series, like they did later on with the Mark VII. I rendered it with filters to make it look like a drawing, a designer's sketch perhaps. I think it could have worked! I made the rear window a bit smaller, more limousine-like, to go with the superb trunklid spare tire hump, a feature I still am in love with. I really think Lincoln could create a 2010 luxury coupe with this feature!

 A facelift of the MKS to make it more BMW 7 series-like. Before there was EcoBoost, I imagined there might be a TwinForce 6 cylinder engine with both a super- and a turbo-charger as VW had introduced in Europe, albeit in 1.4 liter 4 cylinder form.

This Escape-based crossover, the Motivator Hybrid, was meant to be a stopgap until Lincoln could come out with their own. Of course, they have the MKX now, recently facelifted and VERY desirable in my humble opinion! I tried to think of ways Lincoln could easily, and "cheaply" add to the Escapes body to differentiate it clearly, since they'd have to spend a bit to make the doors open "correctly!" I still really like the broad C pillar. I think it gives the small ute a very substantial presence, almost sedan like.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Motley Crew Together Again

The doll with the bonnet is the one that I've been searching six days for, in the second-to-last carton left to be opened up. lol. She's missing a shoe now, but I don't doubt it will turn up sooner or later. What I didn't realize was that she was with the doll in the lower right, wearing the terribly stained old lace wrap. They were probably playing hide-and-seek with me. Here they are reunited with their long-lost buddies. I swear they were really happy to see each other again, giggling and talking a mile-a-minute when I put them together again! 

I have a few other antique dolls in other rooms, china and bisque, but they're a bit snobby and never hung out with this motley crew. Also with them was the Teddy Bear with the NY Mets T-shirt and cap. I got that for my mother sometime in the early '90s. She was one of the Mets biggest fans! I take it the two old dolls have become attached to the teddy during their sojourn together in the attic, so I'll leave them together now.

Stuck in an Old Book

Gloria Isabel Sanborn, Hoohoo, 1925-82

M Y  C O L L E C T I O N — This is a perfect example of why I've saved every scrap of paper and torn-up old notebook and envelope and everything else from my famly. Day Six of my attic project, and I've finally gone through every carton and box packed in the last move. I can barely breathe with all of the dust and antique detritus everywhere, but mostly in my lungs and nose right now. Pieces I still own from our original family home sold in 1985 were packed and repacked and repacked and with my lifestyle for most of the time, nothing was ever really gone through. That's what I'm doing this fall. I'm going to use a LOT of the paper items, old photos etc in my new art. I have no idea how I'm going to do this without having them look like a shopping bag for a tourist store, lol, but I know I'll work it out.

In the meantime, the beautiful photo above was found today in an old envelope in an old book that anyone else would have dumpster tossed years ago, Frankly, the book was in ruins and wouldn't have been collectible even in mint condition. I know the way my family thought, I know the way they "stored" things, and I know what I've found in the past, so I've saved "junk" like this until I had the time and inclination to sort through it all like I am now. This photo of Hoohoo as a young child is all of 1 1/4" x 1 3/4", barely bigger than a postage stamp. It's terribly faded but there was something about it that warranted a closer look. 

You can judge for yourself if I was fortunate to have found it! I adore it, and once again am in awe of my grandmother's "eye" and her skill with such rudimentary cameras. Even though Hoohoo was only 5-6-7 years old in this photo, I can see her adult face and personality in every part of this image. I love the sharpness, and the softness, of the different parts of the photo, and the fact my grandmother often told her subjects not to look at the camera really works here.

Just Because I Like It!

With all of the recent posts of my collectibles, my flowers and my personal family reminiscences, I'm posting this page from a 1969 Mercury brochure just because I like it, lol. As far as I can remember, it's not even my brochure. I found this image on my hard drive a while ago, during another project: cleaning and organizing my two external hard drives. I don't remember scanning this image, and I'm not even sure I have a '69 Mercury brochure, so I'm pretty sure I found this image online. There was a website called the Old Car Brochure Project, or something like that, but their server crashed  a while ago and they don't have much back online yet for me to check my source.

Anyway, this red and black Mercury Marauder X-100 was one of the coolest cars of the swinging sixties, at least in styling. While sharing a platform and a roof/greenhouse with the full sized Fords of that year, the Marauder comes off totally different than its FoMoCo cousin. The rear fender skirts may seem a bit out of place, considering this was a "sporty" series, but it's totally appropriate for a car in the upper-middle priced range, like Buicks and Oldsmobiles. The matte black rear trunklid and flying buttress surround was avant garde for a domestic luxury car. I even dig the almost-fifties style chrome faux vent just behind the doors. The black and chrome Magnum 500 road wheels really look great in this application. Then you get to the diamond-pleated, button-tufted interior, and its true luxury car roots make themselves known.  

I would like two mint examples please, one to drive and one to just look at and keep in perfect condition!

•  Here's a link to a CarDomain page with some good photos of the X-100, inside and out. The black bucket seat interior illustrated is so inviting!
• Loyal reader of this blog, PhantomX sent me these photos of a 1/43 scale Marauder in the same red/black as the brochure. This is an amazingly accurate scale model, the proportions are just about perfect.

Another PIece of the Puzzle

Day Five of the "Where in the world IS everything?" project in the attic, and I've found the deco cobalt vase I was looking for. I don't know the history of this piece, it's one that I bought from a dealer 25 years ago, as opposed to being a family piece. I was drawn by the color, and the design. I love the vertical ribs all the way around the vase, and the chromed aluminum coil at the bottom. The piece is nine inches across, and I have an antique clear glass "frog" that fits perfectly in the bottom with a dozen holes in it to hold flower stems. 

I'm not sure if that's the correct term for the device used in flower arranging, but it's what my grandmother called them. I have several of them in different sizes, with various numbers of holes in them. I also have the more modern wire type, but I prefer the glass ones. It felt really good when I FINALLY got to the bottom of yet another carton of tightly wrapped antique glasses and figurines and realized my long-lost vase was there.

Pollution: It's a Crying Shame
In the background on the right side, is an original anti-pollution poster from 1970, the Native American with a tear in his eye, Iron Eyes Cody. To read his 1999 obituary which ran in the LA Times, click here. It's a very good read. My Dad had that poster hanging by his workbench from 1970 until he died in 1986, always reminding people to take care of this world and recycle and not to waste precious resources. 

Well, except for big and powerful gas-hungry cars like the Cadillac, the GTO, the Thunderbird, the LTD Brougham, the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, lol... The man loved cars, what can I say! : )

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Early Comic Books Perfect for Artandcolour!

Mystery Men Comics, No. 25, August 1941. Fox Publications.
This issue featured The Blue Beetle and The Green Mask. Check out the back ad, too. It's a 12 oz bottle of cola (with Vitamin B1!) and is advertised as "enough for two." These days our American fat-asses routinely order 48-60-72 oz super-sized drinks, and that's for the children! Great graphics here.

Smash Comics, No. 15, October 1940. Published by E. M. Arnold.
This issue featured The Ray among many other characters in several stories, including Abdul the Arab, Bozo the Robot, Magno, Wings Wendall, Purple Trio and many others. The back ad features the "sensational new Daisy 1000-shot Red Ryder Cowboy Carbine." Yessiree, Bob, only $2.95.

Wonder World Comics, No. 17, September 1940. Fox Publications.

This issue featured The Flame, as well as Yarko the Great, Spark Stevens, Dr. Fung, K-51 Spies at War and several characters. These "almost" wartime comics feature a lot of spy stories. The back cover ad is a house ad for Fox's other comic books of the time, all with great covers, great art, great colors and a ten cent cover price!

Super Spy, No. 2, November 1940. Centaur Publications.

This issue featured several spies, the title character, Super Spy, S. S. Swanson, The Inner Circle, The Drew Ghost, The Night Hawk, Dean Denton scientific adventurer, and several more spies. On a lighter note, the centerfold is called "Laughits" and are short jokes with very cartoony illustrations for the younger readers. The back cover ad is that classic comic book look of approximately fifty tiny ads with absolutely microscopic type advertising "how to throw your voice," "live chameleons and turtles," "wonderful home X-Rays," "balanced throwing knife," and "blank cartridge pistol," among other "toys" for your 1940s child!!!

M  Y  C O L L E C T I O N — I found these four comic books in a small box, unopened from our Leete's Island home, sold in 1985. I also have a small collection of other vintage comics, perhaps fifty or so, mostly from the '50s and '60s. I didn't know about these four until today. Also in the box were three full color catalogs for the mid 1950s line of American Flyer Trains by A. C. Gilbert, which also featured their Erector Sets and Chemistry Sets. Gilberts was located in New Haven, and Hoohoo worked for them for a short time during this period.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Future, as Envisioned 22 Years Ago

Except for the then-current faux radiator-type grille, I wasn't too into heritage cues back in the '80s. I was looking forward to a Brave New World of ultra-aerodynamics and 200 mph top speeds, everything short of flying. I did many of these renderings sitting at my desk/drawing board in Manhattan during lunch time or after the newspaper or magazine's 2 pm deadline was met each day. We printed in New Jersey and it was part of my responsibility to stay in the office until I got the call from the printer that the publication was on-press and running smoothly, which was usually around 7 pm. I had time to doodle, especially if it wasn't a big week on the catwalks and if no one in the fashion world had died, lol.

On the Good Ship, Lollipop

Blue glass Shirley Temple dish I had packed away in the attic. It's actually a perfect circle, but when I scanned it, being three-dimensional, I guess the depth-of-field distorted the edges into an oblong. It says "Hello, Everybody—Shirley Temple." The image is screened on the bottom of the dish, so candies or whatever might be inside the dish won't scratch it, but you really can't see it unless you turn it over.
In the same carton as the dish was this 1936 edition of Shirley Temple's Favortie Poems.
A few of the interior pages of the 94 page book. The poems and the artwork are surprisingly sophisticated, witty and artistic. I was expecting Silly Willy type poems and juvenile appearing art. This just further reinforces my opinion that the dumbing down of America is alive and well. What 7-10 year old child alive today would ever be amused by these poems and images? Certainly not your everyday, ordinary mall-rat, Sponge Bob-watching ADD diagnosed, Ritaline-addicted 3 footer, and I blame everyone but the child for that. The inside covers, or "endpapers" as they're called in the trade, are especially decorative and so evocative of the mid 1930s. Each interior spread will open to a full 1250 pixels in width when clicked for you reading ease! : )

For more on Shirley Temple, click here for the Wiki.