7 Up `United We Stand’ Commemorative Cans, 1976

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A can for each state. Stack up all the cans in a pyramid and you get a picture of Uncle Sam. See a cool six-part series on the set at BevReview, where I got the photos.

German Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Toy Catalog, 1983

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You’ll have to buy it if you want better scans. I’m broke.

Related to the above: I’ll be on vacation for a couple of weeks starting tomorrow. Happy 4th!

Summer Sci-Fi Movie Previews, 1982

Just watch. It’s incredible.

Cosmic Cowboy by Barry McGuire (Sparrow Records, 1978)

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Here’s the beginning of the title track:

I met a Cosmic Cowboy

Ridin’ a starry range

He’s a supernatural Plowboy

And he’s dressed up kinda strange

And at first I didn’t see ‘im

Bein’ out there on the run

Yeah, but that old hat that he’s wearin’

It’s shinin’ brighter than the sun.

Get it? The Cosmic Cowboy is Jesus! The album is on Spotify. At least listen to the title track.

Album cover art, which was also available on a t-shirt(!), is by John Lykes, who did an interesting cover for Sun Ra’s Atlantis (1973).

Queens of Space by Akka B (Goody Music, 1978)

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I here present the Italian release of a French space disco single (sung in English) representing the entire musical output of one Akka B, which is really not all that surprising, though still kind of a shame. With lyrics or without?

Cover artist is Francis Bergèse.

V Trading Cards and Stickers (Fleer, 1984)

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Is anyone else super amused by the word “Peel” on the featured sticker?

Boston College High School Cafeteria, 1974 – 1987

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Tempus fugit.

(Photos via BC High Archives)

The Art of Earl Norem: The Silver Surfer: The Ultimate Cosmic Experience (Marvel Fireside Books, 1978)

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You know you’re good when you get asked to redo a Jack Kirby cover. All but one of the Fireside books were color reprints of classic (i.e. pre-1970) Marvel titles and storylines. This one was the exception—an all new graphic novel by Lee and Kirby, and a damn good one that I remember reading and still have. The “Origins” books were a particularly hot commodity at my elementary school, and the Surfer was way up there too. Probably my first exposure to Norem’s work.

Check out ‘Tain’t the Meat for more on the Surfer issue and the Fireside Books series.

(Images via It’s Dan’s World, Dial B for Blog, and `Tain’t the Meat)

The Black Hole T-Shirts, 1979

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More Black Hole tees here and here. The red one above is the best by far. (Kid sizes only, nerds. Sad face.)

Sega’s Killer Shark Cameo in Jaws

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There’s an excellent article by Keith Stuart at The Guardian about Spielberg’s early interest in video game and computer technology (his father was an electrical engineer) and how the shot of Killer Shark (1972) at the beginning of the film perfectly encapsulates the entire narrative: “It’s effectively Brody’s nightmare, and his objective, rolled into one flickering image on an ancient coin-op display for a few redolent seconds.” Stuart continues:

In a movie filled with legendary cinematic moments, this brief sequence is a minor one, but as with many other elements of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 picture, it was also prescient. The director, a keen games player and watcher of pop culture trends, foresaw an era in which Hollywood would be seduced by the popularity and the visual spectacle of the emerging video game arcade scene. He got the appeal of these new entertainment machines, but he also understood how computer graphics represented a new way to present narrative to audiences – even if, in Jaws, it was a few seconds of footage.

As Stuart notes, Killer Shark was actually Sega’s last mechanical game, not a video game, the shark animation a result of a projector inside the cabinet. You can also see Computer Space (1971), the very first commercial coin-op video game, in the background of the same shot.

In the Roger Corman-produced Piranha (1978), a brilliant Jaws and eco-horror parody written by John Sayles and directed by Joe Dante, there’s a shot (below) featuring Atari’s Shark Jaws (1975): sort of a parody within a parody within a parody.

(Images via Jaws Wikia, Pinterest, and The Electronic Playground)


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