Controversial! Fun And Also Games! First Comic Book related blog to be featured in the Australian National Library's Pandora archive. Pop culture, music, film and comic book expert. Available to hire for public speaking, lectures, writing and almost anything else.
Four time Rondo Award nominee. Author of several books and hundreds of articles.
Proudly annoying people for sixteen years now.
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The Day Mussolini Banned Mickey Mouse & Popeye
The day the world began to end was when Popeye and Mickey
Mouse were banned for being too subversive.
In late 1938, Italy’s fascist government, led by the Duce himself Benito
Mussolini, ordered the Ministry of Culture to ban anything that wasn’t
‘exclusively Italian’ as it would lead their children of the day away from a
life of a soldier. As such Hollywood
movies, Popeye and Mickey Mouse were singled out for banning leading to one of
the first, if not the first, mass banning of comic books anywhere in the
world. Italy’s banning of comics, movies
and books was proof positive of the old adage that a nation prepared to ban and
burn literature is also prepared to ban and burn people.
Mussolini’s ban didn’t have much of an impact upon either
The Mouse or Popeye – both went from strength to strength. The Fleischer Studios made a few cartoons
showing Popeye beating the living suitcase out of various Italians and Germans,
not to mention a few Japanese along the way.
Conversely Mickey Mouse was too much of a wimp to get involved and I
doubt that even a four year old kid reared on Disney would have bought The
Mouse engaging in either a duel of wits or fisticuffs with Sgt Schultz, let
alone a full blown Nazi. However Popeye
was just as violent as Andy Capp was in his day, only Popeye didn’t beat the
crap out of Olive Oyl, unlike Andy who’d routinely kick the daylights out of
his wife, Flo, the rent man, sundry neighbours, anyone who looked at him funny
or when he played soccer. But then both
Popeye and Andy Capp smoked like chimneys, and where Popeye’s drug of choice
was spinach, Andy Capp loved nothing more than to go down to the pub, get
pissed, crack onto some tart for some casual sex and then wander home to give
Flo one to think about.
I’ve always wondered what Mussolini would have thought about
Andy Capp. He’d probably have died of
shock, instead of being shot, beaten and then strung upside down for the people
of Italy to throw fruit, vegetables and assorted stones at his head. Still, it
wouldn’t be all that long after this that both America and Australia would lead
the way in the banning and burning of comic books. The only difference is that the comics were
banned in the USA and Australia to protect the youth from being corrupted…hang
on, that’s why Mussolini banned them. Oh
The final judgement has been handed down in the long running Gary Friedrich vs Marvel (Ghost Rider) case, and now we know the full amount that Friedrich owes Marvel. That's right, Marvel, a company that stands to make millions of dollars from the upcoming Ghost Rider II movie, and is paying Nicholas Cage millions to portray a character that Friedrich created, now wants money from Friedrich - in specific $17,000. And they'd like that $17,000 now, please. In full.
This stipulation has been agreed upon and so ordered by the court, with the final judgement reflecting all that contained within. This now means that Gary Friedrich has the right to appeal, and appeal he shall, but it also means that he now owes Marvel Comics, a multi-million dollar making machine, backed by the multi-billion dollar Disney company, $17,000 and cannot ever sell anything related to Ghost Rider, nor can he even say that he created Ghost Rider for any form of gain or advertising. Well done Marvel!! …
Was Yogi Bear gay or not? It's this kind of thing that keeps me wide awake in the middle of the night, clutching at the quilt, drowning in sweat and wishing that the ghosts inside of my head would just flee and leave me be. But they don't, so I instantly turn my thoughts into other realms.
Now, Yogi. On the surface of things he appears to be a normal bear. In the historical context of things he's just a cheap copy of Art Carney's Ed Norton (actually the Honeymooners was stolen better by Warner Brothers for their cartoon series featuring mice - Ralphy boy and his neighbour Martin).
Yogi used to hang around a place called Jellystone National Park and was, for the most part, obsessed by picnic baskets. Like a demented homeless person he relentlessly stalked people, slept on park benches, probably urinated in public, harassed people and stole whatever food and anything else that he could reach. All the time he was pursued by two people, the first being the anal retentive Ra…
Be warned - read this, take note and learn the easy way - we've learnt this lesson the hard way.
As people who read this stuff on some form of a regular basis might be aware we're off to New York in just over a month. Three weeks in New York, one week in San Fransisco. The key, for us anyway, is booking some decent accommodation, so we decided that, as we're going to be in New York for three weeks solid, that we'd go for a serviced apartment over a hotel room. So we started looking on the proper web-sites for places until we found one. Great location, it does exist, great photos - the lot. Perfect for our needs. The other half made contact with the 'owner' via the web-site and made arrangements to pay. We were asked to pay via MoneyGram, no biggie and no alarm bells started to ring - we've not done this before and all seemed normal. We made the first payment and got an email back from the 'owner' saying he'd gotten the payment and could we fix th…