Retro Spins: Heavy Metal

For being such a classic in the world of animation back in 1981, it's interesting that Heavy Metal never saw a retail release on VHS until 1996. Believe it or not, all of this came down to the soundtrack as the problem. With so many artists contributing to the film, legal issues surrounding their songs delayed the home video release. This was because many of the tracks were initially only licensed for the original soundtrack and theatrical release with no home video rights.

You can thank Kevin Eastman, yes the one and only of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, for  saving the film from obscurity. He bought the publishing rights to the magazine in 1992, and was able to obtain the rights to the music from the film for use in a home video release from there. Way to go, Kevin!

Based on the fantastical illustrated magazine HEAVY METAL, producer IVAN REITMAN enlists the help of some of Hollywood's animation masters to create the otherworldly tale of a glowing green orb from outer space that spread destruction throughout the galaxy. Only when encountered by its one true enemy - to whom it is inexplicably drawn - will goodness prevail throughout the universe.

Richly and lavishly drawn, the vignettes of the orb's dark victories include the character voices of JOHN CANDY, and HAROLD RAMIS and a pounding soundtrack by BLACK SABBATH, BLUE OYSTER CULT, CHEAP TRICK, DEVO, DONALD FAGEN, DON FELDER, GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, SAMMY HAGAR, JOURNEY, NAZARETH, STEVIE NICKS, RIGGS, and TRUST. Highly imaginative and full of surprising special effects, HEAVY METAL set the standard for the alternative contemporary animation. An intoxicating experience not to be missed! - Back cover of the original VHS

Well, the back cover certainly sums up a lot of this soundtrack, now doesn't it? 

When the film saw its debut on VHS in 1996, it opened up not only a great new world of animation, but also introduced me to the soundtrack. Admittedly, there were really only three songs from the album that I really enjoyed back in the day; Blue Oyster Cult's Veteran Of The Psychic War, Reach Out from Cheap Trick and The Mob Rules from Black Sabbath.

But is there something else the soundtrack can offer that I may have missed from back in the day? Are there great songs my young mind didn't appreciate at the time, but today my more mature self would? Only a Retro Spin would answer those questions.

The album is still pretty boring to me, but I did find one additional Cheap Trick track I enjoyed, I Must Be Dreamin'. However, I don't think I enjoyed it enough to add it to my shuffle lists. Oh well. At least I gave it a try.

With a running time of over one hour, it's interesting to note that the soundtrack still has omissions. Two songs to be exact. Through Being Cool by Devo and E5150 by Black Sabbath. Fear not though, you can get these songs on these bands respective studio albums from 1981. Respectively, those are New Traditionalists (Devo) and The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath). Additionally, there was a second track from Blue Oyster Cult entitled Vengeance, which was written for the film, but not used. This song is also available via their studio album, Fire Of Unknown Origin, also released in 1981.

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Mutant X (Toy Biz)

Mutant X
Toy Biz

Fans of "X" books can't seem to get enough of the numerous iterations of them, and Marvel Comics is more than happy to oblige. One such answer for more was the 1998 to 2001 Mutant X written by Howard Mackie and inked by Andrew Pepoy.

The series involved a story with lead character, Havok, who had been transported to a parallel dimension - The Mutant X Universe. Taking the place of an alternate Havok, he leads a team known as The Six, who are altered version of his companions from Earth-616. I won't spoil any of the plot specific elements beyond that for those of you looking to read the series.

Toy Biz produced a small, fan favorite, set of figures based on the books. While it was well received by Marvel Comic figure collectors, it was sadly never intended to be anything more than a niche series with no life beyond the initial four figures. This was common during this particular era of Toy Biz Marvel related lines. Just a little taste before the company was on to other things.

Bloodstorm*The Goblin Queen

The thing I like most about this particular set of figures is the unique cardbacks. Not only does each one feature fantastic art of the character inside, but it's not your traditional "rectangle" style. The cut to the card follows the character's body, making for a really nice look, but a fragile one at that. I really like when toy companies put that little added extra effort into their packaging.

Havok*The Fallen

The figures aren't too common on secondary markets. However, at the same time, they're by no means "valuable". I've seen them sell for as much as twenty-five bucks a piece, but typically the more common selling price point is around seven dollars. Out of all of them, Bloodstorm and Havok appear to be the most common, but again, they're still few and far between to be found.
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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 33

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 33
Release Date: February 1966

  • None, it was just okay
Low Points
  • Not a very interesting story arc, certainly not worth spreading over three issues (31 - 33)
  • Spider-Man's idea of resting to regain his strength is to be taking multiple punches from five people at the same time? Seems like that would achieve the opposite
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Just Doodling - Bob

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Just Doodling - Mjölnir

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Just Doodling - Snake-Eyes

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 32

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 32
Release Date: January 1966

  • Villain of the story arc is revealed to be Doc Ock
  • Dr. Curt Connors makes an appearance
Low Points
  • Story has no momentum, and worst of all, no conclusion
  • None
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Best Buy Exclusive Star Wars Skywalker Saga Box Set

I admit it, I got a bit excited when the announcement of Star Wars being released in 4K was given. However, as the day of release, March 31, draws closer and closer, I found myself wondering if this $249.99 set would truly be worth every penny spent. Boy, I'm sure glad I looked into this further before taking the plunge, because it turns out this set may not have been worth my money.

There's no doubt that true 4K is a great way to watch films. However, as far as Star Wars is concerned, none of the movies were filmed in a manner to take advantage of this. Some of the films were created using 2K Masters, while others only 1080p. So what does this mean? Turns out, quite a bit.

To help walk you through what I learned, let's break each Trilogy down respectively.

Prequel Trilogy

The Phantom Menace was created using a 2K Master, while Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith are only 1080p. While The Phantom Menace could be upgraded to native 4K, it would never be true 4K. As for Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith, they will never be able to be presented in any better quality than exists on Blu-Ray.

Original Trilogy

While the original 35mm prints of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi could be scanned in at native 4K, since this set does not include the original theatrical cuts this won't be happening. This release is utilizing the multiple re-released and updated versions of the Special Edition which were initially digitally restored from the original prints to 1080p. Meaning these too will never look any better than the Blu-Ray releases.

Sequel Trilogy

The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker are all 2K Masters. Meaning, much like The Phantom Menace, they could be upgraded to native 4K.

So now you know that we know the formats each of the films are in, let's dig in further.

2K has 2,211,840 pixels on the screen. However, in order to be 4K, it needs 8,294,400. In order to achieve this, 6,220,800 additional pixels need to be digitally created. Essentially, the program being utilized to complete this process is filling in gaps, adding pixels in the same color next to the one it would sit next to. In this process, it hopefully builds a puzzle that doesn't have any blemishes when complete - i.e. colors that don't belong next to each other.

This release of the films also doesn't utilize Dolby Vision, which is essentially what makes the 4K format worth while. Dolby Vision adjusts the picture scene-by-scene, sometimes frame-by-frame, allowing you to see more detail with better color accuracy. It is constantly making adjustments so that each image on the screen is optimized. While the Disney+ streaming versions utilize Dolby Vision, Disney has withheld this from this home video release.

With all of this information in hand, I essentially came to the following conclusion - Why bother? I'm already paying for Disney+, and truth be told, haven't bothered to sit down and watch the Star Wars films. So why would I spend more money to get a lesser product?

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Retro Spins: Revenge Of The Nerds

If The Lost Boys is my favorite vampire / horror movie, then Revenge of the Nerds may very well be my all time favorite comedy from the 80's. Booger for the win all day, every day.

When Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards load their slide rules into Pop's station wagon and cruise off to college, they're on their way to becoming the Biggest Nerds on Campus. And you're on the laugh track to the funniest college movie ever!

Trouble begins when a whole dorm full of nerds are booted out of their rooms by a Hun-like horde of homeless jocks. When the nerds try to form their own frat, the battle escalates into full-scale war, waged with high-tech weapons only a nerd could dream of.

Blond hunk Ted McGinley and his female counterpart Julie Montgomery resist the rise of the nerds with their own barbaric bag of Beautiful People tricks. But the day has come for the REVENGE OF THE NERDS - and one of the most satisfying surprise endings you've ever seen. - The back cover of the original VHS

Huh? What? Did the person who wrote that back cover even watch the film? Seriously baffling.

Anyway, on to the soundtrack.

Right off the bat, I don't recognize the first two tracks, Manhattan and Don't Talk. If they appeared in the film, and I've seen it a tone of times, I don't know where within it the songs are. It isn't until track three that I immediately place One Foot In Front Of The Other as the song which plays as the nerds fix up their new home. I'm also not sure why it's not until track number seven that we finally get the theme song, Revenge Of The Nerds by The Rubinoos. Why didn't the album lead with this?

No, you're not going to find any top ten hits here. The high points come from the tracks which you can mentally place in the film, and oddly there are a few of them which I honestly can't. Still, I'm not going to find myself saying, "Gosh, I sure wish I could blast Are You Ready For The Sex Girls, or All Night Party right now!" While recognizable from the film, they're by no means anything great on their own.

Three omissions, which could have easily made this album at least salvageable, are Talking Head's Burning Down The House, Michael Jackson's Thriller and the Tri-Lambs rap from the end of the film. You at least get They're So Incredible from Revenge, which is the track the rap utilized the music from. It's also, in my opinion, the best track on the album.

Overall, if the movie didn't hold such a high esteem for me, I wouldn't have even bothered tracking down the album. I also don't recommend many of you do so yourselves. The reason being, it' not cheap. At $40.00 to $70.00, this rare gem is best left suited for audiophiles who absolutely have to have scarce titles in their collection. I'm by no means an audiophile, and in hind site, I don't think this was necessarily something I "needed" in my collection. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to part with it. However, I certainly could have found something far more enjoyable to drop money on.

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Surviving The Coronavirus...Maybe...Hopefully...I Don't Know

I've never before been mandated to work from home, stay indoors and avoid people at all costs, so I must say, despite the circumstances, these are interesting times. Crucial to survival is not only the ability to stay feed, watered, clothed and with a roof over one's head, but also to have the fortitude mentally to not go crazy, or freak out on loved ones who may reside under the same roof with you, and last, but not least, avoid getting sick.

Because of this, I've come up with my own game plan to stay away from death's doorstep. For those of you interested in my plan, keep reading. For those of you not, well, thanks for stopping by. Now, before I really get into it, I have to state clearly for all of those out there, this article, while there is truth to it, it's intended for entertainment purposes only. Don't try this at home.


As I've heard it said in the Boy Scouts, "Be prepared!" Okay, I've never been in the Scouts, but I've seen one on TV. It certainly seems like sound advice.


While I don't suspect water sources will be contaminated or shut off, I am a fan of bottled water. What I'm not a fan of is how it, toilet paper, bread, tissues and now meats have disappeared off of store shelves. Fortunately, for me, this isn't a problem.

When I first heard people were starting to go nuts, I went to not one, not two, not even three stores, but six or seven. I stocked up on a ton of supplies. Mind you, this wasn't because I was necessarily worried about the virus. Rather, it was more so because I was being reactive to all the nut jobs who were, that were buying everything that wasn't nailed down. I felt I needed to get something, lest I be left with no option to get anything.

It's because of this, while all the infected people are still running around scraping for scraps, I'm able to hole up at this point, not worrying about where I'm going to find my next can of Spaghetti-O's and cup of coffee. I just wish I had bought more than coffee and canned pasta.


Same story as above, different array of supplies. While these weren't as abundant as some food items, I'm well equipped to sit this one out on the toilet chewing on Asprin to my heart's content.

What surprises me most of all is how people have bought every roll of toilet paper they could find. As if there were no other alternatives to cleaning one's behind. Like I said above, I don't see water sources being cut off, and even then, baby wipes work just as well. Of course, there's also the last result - From what I heard from Eddie Murphy in the 80's, rabbits will work too.


You know all those people who chastised you over the years asking, "Why do you need so many guns?" Well, consider right here and now at this point in time the answer.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the equivalent of a zombie apocalypse. Treat everyone as if they've been bitten. If you're not in the door before it closes, you're dead to me. Everyone is a liability and don't trust anyone. Nobody in, nobody out.

Get my point?

Bottom line is this, I'm not expecting any visitors, so don't come a-knockin'.


Mental health is crucial. Because of this, one has to keep themselves occupied. This is why I went to my local comic shop and purchased a ton of comics. Not only will bagging, boarding, photographing, posting and organizing take me a ton of time, but so too will reading them.

Well, that and working. I just received the news that my job is considered "essential". While I'm still confined to working from home, this will at least take care of eight to ten hours of my day. Beats sitting idle, and keeps a flow of income coming in.


While I make light of my own circumstances and general preparedness, in all seriousness, I hope all of you reading are prepared. It's going to be a struggle for many out there. The lack of food and general necessities is becoming more and more apparent every day. Coupled with businesses shutting down and people being laid off, it's going to be an incredibly difficult time for a lot of individuals and families. Not to mention how in all of this we all have to ensure we stay safe and avoid getting sick. If you have the means, reach out to someone you know, or a neighbor you don't, just to see if there's something you can do to help them. Let's all work together to ensure we get through this...while maintaining a six foot minimum distance between each other.

Monsters, Inc. (Hasbro)

Monsters, Inc.

When Pixar started releasing full length animated films, I was intrigued by Toy Story. It was  decent film, one with a lot of charm, heart and fun. Then they released their follow up, A Bug's Life, which I was not a fan of. They followed this up with the sequel to Toy Story, which while I thought was better than the original, left me thinking, "So Pixar is a one trick pony. Toy Story movies are going to be the only thing they can do."

Then 2001 came. Specifically, November of that year. Pixar released Monsters, Inc. - A movie which I figured I would see, but didn't have high hopes for. It was awesome! Pixar was now on my radar as an animation company to get excited about when they announced new films.

Their films were no stranger to merchandise tie ins, and Monsters, Inc. was certainly no exception to this. Hasbro produced a ton of toys to correlate with the film. However, much as the case with Disney related merchandise, it was all over the place. Figures, plush, giant dolls, mini figurines, etc. There was no concise focus on any one given style, and as such, I think it may have hurt any possible longevity something such as a sole figure line could have potentially had.

As for those figures, Hasbro produced a "Top Scarer" line. This featured six characters from the film, eight if you count the two packed in with Mike. However, there are glaring omissions. Granted it's title is "Top Scarer", but seriously, no Boo? She's the maguffin of the whole film! Not even a Roz or Celia to be found here. To say the omissions are a great disappointment would be an understatement here.

However, with that said, I do really like these figures. The sculpting is spot on, the subtle variations to sizes and heights correlate well to their actual on screen appearances, and overall, and most importantly, they're simply just fun.

It's interesting to note how each main character's card has their own picture at the bottom. Then you get George Sanderson and C.D.A. Agent who ended up with a mugshot of Sully. Could nobody find a piece of artwork with these characters on it so they could have their own unique cards as well? I suppose that's a minor nitpick.

Hasbro produced a six pack of figures. While this was a great way to get the majority of the line, it omitted the two which were short packed in the cases. I honestly feel like if Hasbro was going to go through the trouble of making a box set, they may as well have included the other two figures inside so people could get an entire set in one swoop.

I feel like I'm doing more complaining than praising about this line. Especially since I do really like it. My gripes really come down to one major thing - I think the Monsters, Inc. brand, in general by Hasbro, was completely mismanaged. This lead to a lackluster release and inevitable failure for any longevity.

Hasbro released two gift packs of mini figurines. Each one contained six different characters, and this time around managed to include Boo, Roz and Celia.

For those interested in interactive toys, Hasbro also released a series of electronic dolls and large scale figures. Each one is unique in its own right. However, as a result, they're also not very compatible with each other in terms of scale and play.

Again, this feels like a lack of focus and structure for the line - Mismanagement if you will.

The last items produced were a series of plush items. Out of all of these, I think I like the Sully / Mike two pack. Not because they necessarily appeal to me, but rather because they're designed in somewhat of a scale to each other. In general, I'm not a big fan of plush toys.

So there you have it. The entire run of Hasbro released Monsters, Inc. toys.

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24 Hours On A Sidewalk

It feels like a lifetime ago.

As a kid, or even a teenager, I wasn't big into the concert scene. I never even went to one until after I graduated high school. Because of this, I had never personally experienced the "joy" of sitting on a sidewalk for twenty-four hours with a bunch of random strangers, anxiously waiting for the ticket booth to open.

This all changed in May of 1999. May 11th to be exact. One week prior to its theater release on May 19th, 1999, tickets for the most highly anticipated film of all time would go on sale. Tickets for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

I took the two days off and made my way to the local theater where I found five to seven people already in line. It was broad daylight, and the theater had just opened for the day. The twenty-four hour clock had official begun ticking.

Because I had never camped out for tickets before, I really had no clue what I was in for. Nor was I necessarily prepared for it. I had two friends in tow with me and a blanket, but no food, water, or a plan for going to the bathroom. I believe the gamers would call that a, "NOOB".

As we sat on the sidewalk, we did what others who slowly formed behind us throughout the day did. We introduced ourselves to our closest comrades, forming little cliques for bathroom breaks and food runs, as well as, got more acquainted on a personal level. At this point in time, I really don't remember any of the names of the people I spoke to, or necessarily their stories. However, there were two individuals who stood out among them all. More on that below.

With evening slowly creeping up on us, more people joined the line, with all the more coming as darkness finally took over the night sky. People coming in and out of the theater would, for the most part, go about their business. While a select few would take a few second to make comments, positive or negative about us geeks standing on the sidewalk. We were undeterred.

The night seemed to pass slowly, but nobody seemed to mind. We busied ourselves in conversations, while others futilely attempted to sleep. Between the noise and self excitement, sleep didn't last longer than an hour or two - If even.

Somewhere around three AM, things ground to a halt. The energy level of people dropped and saggy eyes started filling the crowd. It was as of this point that time also began to crawl by. Minutes seemed like hours and hours felt like days. Worst of all, most of us still couldn't sleep. Between the continued noise and numbness from sitting on the sidewalk for hours, most of us were up and down just to get any form of feeling in our toes.

I don't remember exactly what time the box office opened, but what I do know is that the last hour leading up to it was agonizing. Every minute seemed like a week. At this point, nobody was rested. We were all fueled by desire for tickets and 7-11 junk food. Attitudes were changing fast, but none more so than the guy in front of us with his girlfriend.

As the line rose to their feet during the final fifteen minutes, a friend of mine showed up just to check in on how we were doing before he headed to work. Granted, this wasn't the best time for his arrival, but the response he got from the dude in front of us was so uncool. He showed his true colors when he immediately got defensive about cutting in line, something my friend had no intentions of doing. Though he was told this, it didn't stop the guy from telling my pal to eat a certain bodily waste and perish - Not in those exact words obviously. It was so harsh that even his girlfriend was taken aback at the comment.

Needless to say, this guy quickly got ousted by those of us around him, no longer considering him one of our comrades. If he was going to be in it for himself, he could be by himself.

After what felt like another hour, the doors opened and people were brought in one at a time to stand before the clerk at the box office. The name of the game, and everyone's reason for being there, was to obtain tickets to the first showing, and then some. For me, I had already calculated out the running time of the film, so I knew what I was going to do. Both my friend and I purchased one ticket to every single showing we could fit into the entire day. Yup, essentially a twenty-four hour viewing of The Phantom Menace.

As opening night came upon us, by chance, we ran into one of the guys from the line. Well, technically, two. He was with his buddy, but I honestly don't remember the other guy on any level. We decided we'd all sit together, a salute of sorts to our twenty-four hours on the sidewalk.

When those iconic words, "A Long Time Ago, blah, blah, blah," appeared on the screens, all of us had one final moment of comradery in our journey to Episode I and the movie started. With the exception of the people we came with, our little groups never saw each other again.

Since that time, I've only camped out overnight one more time for something. That was the Xbox 360. However, it was nothing like my first, sitting on a sidewalk with a group of friends, meeting new people and being a part of an experience. An experience that honestly plays in the back of my mind more fondly than the actual movie turned out to be.

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Comics Corner: Roger Rabbit - The Resurrection Of Doom

Title: Roger Rabbit - The Resurrection Of Doom
Issue Number: One-Shot
Release Date: 1989

  • It's the sequel to one of my most favorite films of all time
  • We learn the origin of Judge Doom, as well as, his real name, Baron Von Rotten
  • With RK Maroon dead, all the toons are out of work, including Roger who's on welfare
Low Points
  • The writer of this sequel must not have watched the first movie because facts are wrong - such as the head weasel saying his brothers got killed in the vat of dip - No they didn't! They died laughing!
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit was populated with some of the most iconic cartoon characters in histroy - None of them are present in this story
  • Starts out strong, then quickly turns into a terrible story which would have killed the legacy that was the first film if made into a movie
  • Now that Eddie Valiant doesn't drink booze, he's addicted to jelly beans - One vice for another
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: Watchmen 3

Title: Watchmen
Issue Number: 3
Release Date: November 1986

  • Dr. Manhattan exiles himself to Mars
  • First appearance of Janey Slater
  • Laurie and Dr. Manhattan break up
  • Laurie and Dan beat up a gang in an alley
Low Points
  • Intertwined pirate story is boring and detracts
  • None
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Retro Spins: Beverly Hills Cop

Another classic 80's films I have never seen. In fact I haven't seen any of the films in this trilogy. The irony here is I own all three soundtracks.

Eddie Murphy's hilarious portrayal of Detective Axel Foley has propelled Beverly Hills Cop into the ranks of the top ten biggest box office hits in history!

Foley's a brash, street smart Detroit detective who follows the trail of a friend's murderer to the posh surroundings of Beverly Hills. And before Axel gets his man, he gets up to his neck in an international network of smugglers and drug peddlers.

It's a fast paced adventure that proves the difference between a really good comedy and a great comedy is Eddie Murphy. - Back cover of the original VHS

The soundtrack has a little bit to offer, but nothing to really get excited about. It starts off with Patti LaBelle's New Attitude, and though it has a couple duds following the track, it soon catches up to an array of greats in the form of Netron Dance from The Pointer Sisters, The Heat Is On from Glenn Frey, Gratitude from Danny Elfman (actually Oingo Boingo). After two more subpar tracks, it finales with Harold Faltermeyer's instrumental classic, Axel F.

Being an Oingo Boingo fan, I can say it's a treat to have this particular, and original, version of Gratitude. While it's been released on other Boingo albums and compilations, it's never been this particular one.

Overall, five out of ten songs makes this one about average for me. The good songs are great, the others are passable. Additionally, two of those great songs, The Heat Is On and Neutron Dance, can be found on the artist's own studio albums. So really you're only getting three exclusive songs which are worth your time. Two if you dismiss Gratitude from Oingo Boingo as one you can also get (in some form or fashion) elsewhere. It's a decent album, if you pay a couple bucks for it, but I wouldn't recommend paying over two or three dollars.

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E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Cereal (General Mills)

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial Cereal
General Mills

It may very well have been the first peanut butter and chocolate cereal I ever ate as a kid, and it was crazy delicious. Each bowl of E.T. Cereal was jam packed with "E" and "T" shaped bits, and was a delight to eat time and time again in 1984.

Sadly, it was one of those many "grab it while you can boxes", as no sooner did kids get to enjoy the cereal, it was being removed from store shelves.

It's interesting to find that a lot of people who like to sell old cereal boxes confuse this particular one as being sold in 1982. This is because of the copyright date on the bottom left of the back of the box which does in fact read '82. However, this is not the date of the cereal, but rather the date of the copyright for the film and record promotion being offered.

I know of two variations of boxes for the cereal, but some claim their is a third which had a promotion for stickers and miniatures. With the exception of a tiny thumbnail, I've not come across this actual box. It's possible this variation was a foreign released box where the mail away record wouldn't be feasible.

Though both the boxes I know of came with the promotion of a mail away E.T. storybook album narrated by Michael Jackson, the above box was the first edition. The dead give away being the giant yellow "NEW" banner plastered across the top of the box.

The second box removes the "NEW" banner, and also changes the blurb of the promotion to now mention that the album was a 1984 Grammy winner.

Though one could have just as easily gone to their local store and picked up a copy of this now famous story telling of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial by Michael Jackson, back in 1984 it was available for just five UPC's from E.T. cereal.

There's an interesting story surrounding the "album". As it turns out, MCA Records, who were also the label behind the score from John Williams for the film, were only allowed to use Michael Jackson to narrate the record if two stipulations were followed. The first was that MCA were not allowed to release the album until Christmas of 1982. The second, the song, "Someone In The Dark," was not allowed to be released as a single. MCA Records disregarded and breached both of those conditions, and soon found themselves in a lawsuit with Epic Records.

The storybook record was released in early November, just weeks before the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller. Additionally, MCA gave seven inch promos of the song to radio stations. When Epic lodged a two million dollar lawsuit, MCA was forced to withdraw their album and not release any further promos of the song. Lastly, Epic requested MCA be banned from ever working with Jackson again.

In 1984 Jackson won eight Grammy Awards. Seven were for the album Thriller, and the last for his work on E.T. When accepting the award, he stated out of all of them he had received that evening, he was most proud of this one. Guess he liked E.T. more than his own album, Thriller.

More irony is that empty boxes of the cereal go for far more than this album. While you can get the record for about fifteen bucks, an empty box of cereal fetches around thirty to fifty. I suppose more of those did get thrown away, rather than saved. So, they are obviously more scarce than a mass produced album.

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Comics Corner: Watchmen 2

Title: Watchmen
Issue Number: 2
Release Date: October 1986

  • First appearance of the original Minute Men
  • Flashback sequences during Blake's funeral give us more insight to him as a characters
  • First appearance of Moloch
Low Points
  • The Comedian tries to rape Sally Jupiter
  • Having seen the movie first, it's difficult to accept the original source material as the way the story was intended vs. what I saw on the big screen
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 31

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 31
Release Date: December 1965

  • First appearance of Gwen Stacy - Very different looking from what she eventually evolved into
  • First appearance of Harry Osborn
Low Points
  • Cliffhanger is unappealing because the story is rather bland - All build up, no reveal of the villain, not very engrossing
  • Gwen only seems interested in Peter because he's not interested in her
  • Ned Leeds asks Betty Brant if she's considered his offer of proposal and she says she still needs to think about it - Take the hint, Ned. She's not for you.
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 30

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 30
Release Date: November 1965

  • First appearance of the Cat Burglar
  • Ned Leeds proposes to Betty Brant
  • Peter Parker is finally free of Betty Brant, Energy Vampire
Low Points
  • Cat Burglar isn't a very interesting "villain"
  • Ned proposes to Betty, but she still wants to be with Peter - What kind of mixed signals does she send to every guy she meets?
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 29

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 29
Release Date: October 1965

  • Scorpion breaks out of prison
  • Ned Leeds returns from Europe
Low Points
  • Aunt May shows signs of getting ill...Again
  • I don't get why Peter Parker is so obsessed with Betty Brant
  • Spider-Man can talk under water?
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man Annual 2

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: Annual 2
Release Date: October 1965

  • Spider-Man meets Doctor Strange
  • Good story, though a rather generic battle with random thugs, for the most part 
  • Fun rogue's gallery, which includes the issue they were featured / introduced in
Low Points
  • None to really mention
  • None to really mention
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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