Wonder Woman - S1E2

Wonder Woman - Season 1, Episode 2
Title: "Fausta, the Nazi Wonder Woman"
Air Date: April 28, 1976

Those crazy Nazis are at it again, and this time their plans to capture Wonder Woman are more ridiculous and confusing than ever.  In this episode:

A car chase that ends with one automobile running out of gas
To blend in with Germans, Steve Trevor wears a ridiculous hat
Nazi henchmen who look like adjunct professors at a community college
Wonder Woman proves she's stronger than a Wookie
Steve Trevor summons German peasant women by whistling

So, what are you waiting for?


Let's Get Physical #14: Aerobics Wear!

Up until the Boomers starting reaching their thirties (the point where you can't take your lean body for granted anymore), keeping fit in America meant only having one pack of cigarettes after supper.  There's a great line in Anchorman where Ron Burgundy doesn't even know how to pronounce "jogging", wondering if it's a soft "j".

But "old age" only partially explains the fitness assault that swept this country.  There was a huge cultural shift in the latter part of the seventies, where the hippy mentality was completely jettisoned in favor of a narcissistic and egocentric perspective.  It has become a cliche to say the hippies sold out in the Reagan years; and within every cliche there's a kernel of truth.


Pancakes #14: The All About Pancakes Coloring Book

We've talked before about how pancakes kept popping up in the oddest places in the 1970s.  It shouldn't be surprising given the epidemic levels reached during the decade; however, it still is a bit strange to find in children's books.  I guess seventies swingers felt the need to teach their kids young in the fine art of pancake making.

In this episode we'll look at a few pages from the 1977 Dover publication, The All About Pancakes Coloring Book by A. B. Toklas.

I was lucky enough to find a copy on ebay without much damage; coloring books, as you might imagine, often are colored in and rarely in good condition.

One wonders how the poor unfortunate recipient of this coloring book felt back in '77.  Imagine the disappointment of not getting a Spider-Man or Hulk coloring book, but instead getting this rather disturbing look into the late seventies libido.

So, I ask that while you are enjoying the scanned pages from The All About Pancakes Coloring book, you stop to think about all the kids who had to break out the art supplies for this seedy mess.  Let's hope they had an ample supply of "flesh" colored Crayolas.

Twisted Impressions #18

It's time once again to put your mind in the gutter.  "Twisted Impressions" is a place where it's okay to see penises where there are none; where everything is sexual, dirty, and wrong.  Sigmund Freud himself would blush at some of phallic interpretations.  But it's all in good-natured fun.

I'll let you figure out on your own what today's theme deals with.  Enjoy.


Sex Sells #31: Arcade Games

I'm not necessarily referring to the games themselves, which often do operate under the "sex sells" principle.  This is about the advertising; which is the expected marketing approach for say, automobile advertising.  Hot models straddling muscle cars is to be expected.... but not so much with Q-Bert and Pong.

Of course, what wasn't marketed with a pinch of sex back then? I don't mean raunch, I mean the good old fashioned technique of putting a pretty lady beside your product.  Your brain associates the two together, and, bingo, your product magically has a positive feeling behind it for potential buyers.


Vintage Scan #24: American Druggist (March 1942)

So, I picked up a couple copies of American Druggist at an antique store and found them interesting enough to share on Retrospace.  I'll post the 1950's issue in a subsequent post; this time around we'll look at the March 1942 issue.  First off, it's got this intriguing sign on the cover: "Remedy for Rumors (Spread by Hitler Stooges) For Mr. and Mrs. America, look at who's talking and Say Nothing!"  This sign actually came with the magazine, as a sort of centerfold. What the - ?


Wonder Woman - S1E1

So, I'm still severely butthurt by the loss in advertising for Retrospace; but your generous donations have kept the lights on at Retrospace Headquarters a while longer.  So, let's move on from all this sad topic and re-enter Retro Space, shall we?

I considered making this Wonder Woman post just another edition of the Boob Tube posts, but then I reflected on how incredibly awesome the series was.  It deserves its own category. Who knows, maybe we can cover every episode? I mean, Wonder Woman fits like a glove into the Retrospace universe: it's campy fun and fertile ground for interesting connections and facts.  Plus, there's Linda Carter.

So, let's start out with Episode One of the first season: "Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther" (1976). It's directed by Barry Crane, world champion bridge player and murder victim (still unsolved).


Help Needed!

Well, Google has stripped Retrospace of its advertising.  While that may be a good thing to some of you tired of looking at those annoying ads; it has taken away a significant amount of revenue.

You're thinking, "So what?.... This is a labor of love, not a way to make a living."  True, but there are some expenses associated with bringing you posts nearly every day.  So, although the Google Ads didn't amount to much, their removal will seriously affect my ability to keep on truckin'.  It's not just an issue of reimbursement, it's an issue of motivation - the ad revenue was a carrot that Google dangled in front of me each day that no longer exists.

So, please put some money in the tip jar.  You don't have to, of course.  But to ensure this train keeps rolling down the track, I may have to enlist your help a couple times a year.... and if it runs out of steam, that's okay.  It's been a good run - five years and counting.


Tech #28: 1979 Sears Electronic Entertainment

So, I was looking through the electronic toys/entertainment portion of the 1979 Sears Christmas catalog and was quite honestly amazed at how many items I actually owned.  My family was by no means rich, but my father was a technophile and so there was always money for the newest gizmo.

I've scanned a few of the pages and, as always, added my two cents.  Enjoy.

Retro Film Report #35: The Carry On Films

This post is not for readers in the UK. The Carry On films were immensely popular across the pond, so this article is likely to seem pointlessly obvious.  However, the films never really found a home in American households - I rarely saw them in video stores, and even today many are unavailable in the States.  I assume their lack of popularity here wasn't just poor distribution, but rather a factor of how British they are (if that makes sense).  I mean, these movies are BRRRIIITISH.

After all, the humor is derived from old school British music halls.  I'd actually liken it to a Mel Brooks brand of comedy mixed with a healthy dose of Are You Being Served? and a dash of Benny Hill.  Where Monty Python had just enough of the bizarre new wit to translate to Americans, these required a bit more of a cultural jump to get the jokes.


Cinema #30: Killer Lobby Cards (Part 7)

Get ready for another rapid-fire drill-down of those glorious vintage lobby cards.  There'll be some that you're pretty familiar with... but then, many others that I'm sure won't ring a bell.  Retrospace is all about treading on the less traveled path back in time, and lobby cards are no exception.  Got an obscure comedy? Great.  Is it German soft-core? Even better.

Vintage Gams #5: Babes & Bark

Consider this a Part II to the Hotties and Heating Units post.  This time, instead of radiators and space heaters, we've got The Mighty Oak and The Larch.... and of course a set of gams in there somewhere.  As before, many of these pictures come from that venerable old British magazine Spic & Span.

Perhaps not all of the pics have a tree per se.  However, "Babes & Bark" had a nice ring to it.  I was temped to go with Bucolic Babes, but thought better of it.  "Agrarian Gams" was also a contender.


Full Reads #1: Romance Was My Racket

If you're in the mood for a little reading, I've transcribed the entire cover story "Romance was my Racket" from Complete Detective Cases from January 1947.  If you're anything like me, you want lots of pictures. So, I've taken the liberty of fully illustrating this little tale. 

Truth be told, the story is pretty lame.  It has its moments, but overall it's woefully under-qualified to be a cover story.  So why did I choose it? Well, let's just say this I was fiddling around and somehow wound up with a post.  

 Blog posts are meant to be quick and dirty, but this bad boy has some girth.  It's a lot to read (with little payoff), so we shall see how many of you actually take time to read this. That'll determine whether there's more of these to come.

So, enjoy (or not).


The Boob Tube #47 : Bewitched (Season 8, Episode 9)

I love Bewitched, but for years it sort of rode on the same story-line  Darrin hates magic, but magic ends up saving his stupid job.  Like The Beverly Hillbillies, The Munsters, and I Dream of Jeannie, the show had a basic gag that it milked season after season, with very little variation. 

This isn't necessarily a bad thing - as long as the show is funny and entertaining, it shouldn't matter too much. It wasn't until All in the Family came along that the "wacky" and redundant sit-com fell out of favor with the maturing Boomer audiences.  Thus, Bewitched and many shows like it found themselves at the end of their run around the early seventies in favor of more "adult" platforms (i.e. Mary Tyler Moore over Get Smart).

So, Bewitched was on its last season in 1971.  It's actually my favorite season - it's still as redundant and silly as ever, but with a nice seventies vibe.  Let's walk through a very special episode, shall we?  It's called "A Plague on Maurice and Samantha" and it aired Wednesday evening November 10, 1971 (Just a couple days after Led Zeppelin released their fourth album).


Mini Skirt Monday #163: Sears 1974 Catalog (Girls)

Sadly, by the time the 1974 Sears Fall-Winter Catalog came out, the miniskirt was officially out of fashion for women.  Only the girls section retained its allegiance; the adult section is awash with polyester pants and maxi length skirts.  

The Brady Bunch lasted until 1974, and you can definitely see Marcia wearing any of these outfits in the last season.... but Carol had long since moved on to slacks.  So, enjoy the pages I've scanned for your viewing pleasure with the full knowledge that, by the '75 catalog, the mini would be history.  Like Joni said, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone."

Just for Laughs #7 : Oh, Wicked Wanda!

Wicked Wanda was a strip that appeared in Penthouse throughout the seventies; popularized enough to appear on the nose of a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and enshrined in an Air Force museum (Egland AFB) in 1975.  Naturally, the nose was repainted to mark the beginning of a more conservative time during the Reagan years.

Basically, it was Penthouse's answer to Playboy's Little Annie Fanny.  It was written by a respected British journalist and novelist, Frederic Mullaly and illustrated by Ron Embleton, who had done the artwork for the popular UK comic TV Century 21 (which primarily featured comic adaptations of Gerry Anderson TV series).

Wicked Wanda was a humor strip which poked fun at the establishment.  It was pretty R rated stuff ; so, there's not much fit to print in Retrospace.  However, I can't help but admire the thrilling art of Embleton and the surprisingly erudite text of Mullaly.  A comic strip team to be reckoned with.


Catalogs #32: 1979 Sears Junior Fashions

Is the girl on the right forty years old? No, she's probably twelve.... young girls just dressed like older women in 1979.

I've scanned a few pages from the 1979 Sears Catalog - focusing on the junior girls section. Perhaps it wasn't the high water mark in the history of fashion, but it's still an interesting tour through what was hanging on racks when Mork and Shaun Cassidy were kings.


Vintage Reads #48: Even More Paperback Sleaze

We've been looking at paperbacks of ill repute for five straight years and still are only scratching the surface. At this pace we should reach the end of sleazy books by the year 2355.  It is my hope that my great great grandchildren will carry the Retrospace torch for me when I'm gone..... at least until my cryogenically frozen head can re-animate and resume command.

We've got a lot of ground to cover in the ensuing decades, so let's not waste any time.  Onward!


Retro Badass #6: The Stud

 In the seventies, being a "stud" meant something very different than today.  In 2013, it often means the Jersey Shore douche bag with manicured eyebrows, fake tan, frosted hair, and lots of bedazzled jewelry compliments of a high interest rate credit card that he is sure to default on. It means gym sweat, trendy tats, and an over inflated sense of self-worth.

No, we're talkin' the Seventies Stud - a completely different animal.


Retro Film Report #34: The Wizard of Gore (1970)

My encounters with The Wizard of Gore began with a random selection at the local video store around 1988.  A friend and I watched it in my basement and were.... well, let's just say we were rather disappointed.  We weren't at a point in our lives to appreciate its tasteless charm.  We had taken dates to Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood earlier, and this just seemed so cheap and awful.

Then in 2007, I went to see Juno (2007) and witnessed Jason Bateman pop in a VHS copy of the film.  Was there something more to this grindhouse piece of shit? Well, 25 years after my first viewing, it was time to take another look.


Mini Skirt Monday #162: Group Photos (Part 2)

We hit the group photo theme back in Miniskirt Monday 97; as far as images go, there are pros and cons. The 'pro' being that you've got a buttload of miniskirts to look at.... the 'con' being that their harder to see.  It's a textbook instance of quantity over quality.  Still, I feel the subject could use a sequel.  So, here it is - enjoy 50 more group photos!


Comic Books #59: Power Girl

As I've said before, I still read comics, but nothing that was published past 1988 or so.  The comic book train has moved on into the night without me, and I daresay I've missed so much in the ensuing decades that I'll never climb back on board.

One super-heroine that was nothing but a blip on the radar back in the seventies is Power Girl.  Back then, the superhero world was glutted with so many names and costumes, you could hardly keep them straight.  I think DC tried to rectify the overflow with a cataclysmic event (Crisis of Infinite Earths), but that only made the already confusing playing field more confusing. Power Girl was just another faintly recollected name among a cacophony of good-guys and bad-guys.


Retro Film Report #33: Gas Pump Girls (1979)

If you enjoyed Screwballs, Zapped, Joysticks, Incoming Freshmen, H.O.T.S., etc. then this is a perfect way to spend an hour.  Personally, I'd rather see Gas Pump Girls any day over big budget pretentious crap like The Dark Knight and its ilk.  Late seventies - early eighties sex comedies are a class unto themselves. They follow a formula much like the slasher pictures, rarely veering far from the template.  Gas Pump Girls is no exception.

One problem with these films is they never quite deliver as much T&A as you expect. After all, there's not much to these films beyond the babes, so you'd naturally expect it to be wall to wall gratuitous nudity.  Rarely is this the case; however, they certainly delivered the goods far beyond their late eighties - 1990s counterparts. For example, I expected Zapped! to be an uninterrupted series of boobs, butts and bush.  Instead, there's literally five seconds of "the good stuff".