Friday, December 18, 2015

Violent Monsters As Kiddie Friends

The Hulk.  Green and mean.  A rampaging muscular mass who destroys all in his path.  Uncontrollable fury.

So do you think someone could teach him to be polite?

That’s the basis for the illustrated children’s book, Please and Thank You, featuring Spider-Girl and the Hulk sitting in a tree house, eating hamburgers.

The Hulk grunts, telling Spider-Girl to give him the ketchup.

Spider-Girl explains to the Hulk that it’s polite to use “please” and “thank you.”

The Hulk responds:  “Hulk?  Rude?”  He thanks Spider-Girl for teaching him how to be polite.

That’s not the Hulk I know.  I think the encounter would play out like this:

“Spider-Girl has cooties.  Hulk smash!”

And there’s Godzilla, a 30-story tall dinosaur known for his dance move, the Tokyo Stomp.  With a sweep of his cyclopean tail he can taken out an entire village.  Missiles and bombs don’t slow him down.

When you look at the cover of the kids’ book, Godzilla Likes To Roar, you assume it is intended to calm down young brats tripping on too much sugar.  Roaring like Godzilla the kids burn off excess energy and mercifully fall asleep.

Maybe that works but the story is deceptive.  Godzilla lives on Monster Island with his dinosaur buddies.  They play and frolic and never hurt anyone.

When Godzilla gets hungry he eats some tasty coconuts.  There’s no mention of the peaceful natives that lived on the island before he made it his home.  He’s no vegetarian.  Upon his arrival he stomped on the natives and then cooked them to perfection with his thermo-nuclear death breath.  Flame-broiled human burgers.

So what will they think of next?  How about a Vlad the Impaler plushie doll for the kids to hug while sleeping?  Complete with a plushie stake.

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I’ve got mail?  Xcellent. I appreciate the feedback.  If you want to join the conversation email me: .  Snail mail: BoXholder, PO Box 2, Plattsburgh, NY  12901-0002.

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Regarding two images I used in RX XR # 112 Rick Hilberg wrote:

That was a great old B-grade movie that I still have in my film collection.

RX:  So you recognized that turkey from the turkey The Giant Claw.  I read the producer told the actors the special effects would be top notch.  I can imagine the cast’s embarrassment when they sat in a movie theater and the terrifying monster flashed on the screen.  They watched themselves reacting in consternation to a crude string puppet.

And from Dave Haren regarding my reaction in XR #112 to the new Supergirl TV series:

Hi Ray,

I didn't see a request for letters of comment but here's one anyway.

The Superman material was always pretty strange to me since there wasn't much in the way of limitation. I liked him better as Wylies Gladiator.

My own preference is for anime, they can create the sensa wunda in more ways than one.

Keep 'em coming.

RX: ThanX for your LOC.  I appreciate the feedback.

I like the original Superman, the one seen in those old Max Fleischer cartoons from the 1940's.  He had to struggle. For example in one episode he's dragging a train up a mountain with a chain, his feet digging in, muscles straining.

They added powers to him like heat vision while upping his strength to a boring level.  Then they had to bring in various colors of kryptonite to make him interesting.  But after a while that trick became dull.

If you're looking for a great satire on Supes' omnipotence check out
God-Man by Tom the Dancing Bug:

And here’s a LOC from Lloyd Penney about RX XR # 111 and # 112.  (Talk about a Penney for his thoughts…  Sorry.)   He discovered my worX at eFanzines --

Dear Ray:

Thank you for a new title for me, X-Rayer. I have issues 111 and 112 here, and I will carry on with my usual tradition of getting a loc out as soon as I can. In this case, there’s been a bit of a wait.

111…I am not familiar with Nick Pope, but there is a Canadian UFOologist, Chris Rutkowski, who has his roots in SF fandom. He kinda treads the outside lines of both fields, with experience in one field slightly ruining his credentials in the other. Why the visual effects that obscure the person being interviewed? Many years ago, I was on a local SF programme called Prisoners of Gravity, and they did much the same thing to the edges of the screen. Oooo, look at this, it’s weird!, and we’re cutting edge, etc. It only took them one season to ditch the effects, and stop putting weird colours in the host’s hair, too.

The world has indeed ended. Yes, we didn’t get the memo, but worse than that, we really didn’t notice. Maybe it will come back, but certain parts can stay gone.

112…prophylactic combs? If you don’t use one, there’s a serious risk of…messy hair?

I never really liked westerns, mostly because they reflected the history of the American west, not the Canadian west. Probably the western I liked the most was The Wild, Wild West, because it was western with a touch of SF, or what we might call today steampunk. Great fun, and interesting contraptions.

Done for now, and off they go. Planning a locol? Hope so. Take care, and see you with the next one.

Finally this from Terry The Censor on how I spent my Thanksgiving day (XR #112):

I am a single man too. On holidays when I don't return to my home town, I like to luxuriate in a coffee shop with a flavoured drip and a pricey treat. I settle in with a hefty non-fiction book or a small pile of UFO literature. (I like being alone in public.) Boosted with caffeine, I enjoy a long walk in the cool air to a rambling street car ride home. After a simple meal, I settle down for a good long movie or a short bad one, accompanied by a bottle of affordable red wine and a nice cheese plate.

(It seems to be working. All these years, I've had no desire to get a pet.)

RX:  I’m also single.  I would like to have a pet: a Penthouse Pet.

Until next time monitor the heavens.