Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Chronic Flashback: Topps Comic Book Heroes Stickers!
Once upon a time, in a magical era of fairies and elves known as the 1970s....the world was a better place. It just was.
This is the era that brought us Topps Comic Book Heroes stickers. It was 1974-1975. Granted, we were in a state of barely functional retardation as a culture. Shag carpet seemed like a good idea, as did bell-bottomed corduroy pants. The hair was unspeakably unkempt, bushy, and undignified.
Somebody decided it would be a good idea to get really baked and create super hilarious captions for Marvel characters. Kids could then purchase these stickers and laugh uproariously, causing their absurdly bulbous stack of hair to sway wildly. They could then affix these stickers to their school notebook they pretended to do homework in. Said notebook was instead largely filled with crude drawings of male genitalia.
Most of these stickers were quite horrible, like the Medusa example up top. That isn't even unintentionally funny in retrospect. It frankly fills one with an intense desire to find the person responsible and then punch his or her kitten in the face. Just to even the atrocity score, you know? It's bad.
Some of them are mildly tolerable. The Living Mummy hiding M&Ms in one of its hands? That's at least in the ballpark of clever. OK, it might not make the comedy Hall of Fame, but it's a damn sight better than a woman with long hair lamenting the quality of her hair spray. Most of the stickers are more in the Medusa range of quality.
Some of the stickers are downright prophetic. How about the Ghost Rider warning Peter Fonda to look out? Yes, Peter Fonda. Be afraid. Be very afraid. In a little over 20 years you're going to be offered a role in a picture featuring a jellybean swilling Nic Cage. Now that's horror.
Fonda of course did not heed Ghosty's Nostradamic utterings, which is fine I suppose. Every scene he was in as Mephistopholes was actually entertaining. Can't say much for the rest of it. Not even the sublime posterior of Eva Mendez could save that thing. Nor could it salvage The Spirit. What is with poor Eva Mendez? But I digress.
The star of the Topps Comic Book Heroes sticker set is Man-Thing. See, he dropped his soap in the shower.
Yup. This is a sticker series for children using a creature called MAN-THING that references prison rape. And that, folks, is why the 1970s are just better than the present.
That shit would never fly in 2010, and we're worse for it. Kids need to be subjected to a little humor regarding forced anal intercourse. Either they get it, laugh, and become more centered individuals, or they don't get it, and you laugh at them for being naive little shits. And then you feel more centered.
Listen, unsanctioned sodomy is pretty damn funny. It sucks when it happens to you for real, but that's my point, actually. We're so busy in 2010 pretending (at least in front of the children) that life is so fucktastically terrific. It's bullshit. Some of life is great, but sometimes a guy sells you for a pack of Newports and then another guy forces his engorged dong into your rectum.
Kids need to know about that shit. Kids need to take their helmets off once in awhile and face life on its own terms, on real terms. A dose of laughter helps that medicine go down. We understood that in the 1970s, although probably not consciously. We just knew that a giant muck monster dropping the soap was a pretty funny thing, and didn't want the children to be left out. I long for those days...