I suppose it is a rather girly thing… or maybe even a creepy thing, that a sixty year old man like me collects and plays with dolls. This post, a lazy-writer short post, is intended just to show you some of my newest dolls and newest collections. I am not going to waste time justifying why I like dolls. That would probably require an advanced degree in abnormal psychology. So I will just show you and gloat about what I have achieved in my own weird little way.
This Monster High doll is Frankie Stein, the daughter of Frankenstein’s monster. I scored two of these at Walmart’s pre-Christmas clearance sale for three dollars apiece. This is the one I pose and play with. The other I am keeping as a mint in box.
These are the three lovely girls I bought with Christmas money from relatives back in Iowa. I went almost to the limit buying Starfire at a pricey $19.88. The collection rules clearly state, “Never buy a single doll worth more than $20.”
I bought Starfire to keep Harley Quinn, my other $19.88 doll company as part of my DC Heroines collection. That collection as it now stands follows.
You can see I still need Batgirl and Poison Ivy.
So there is my lazy-writer post about me playing with dolls, poorly rationalized and barely explained.
Sometimes, when you have been writing up a storm, you have to linger for a moment and rest in the storm’s eye. That’s what today’s post is. It includes a goofy metaphor that is basically all wet. It has a picture of my hoarding disorder collection of Monster High dolls… and some of my countless videos… I’m a movie collector and hoarder too. And there is not a lot of research or hard new thinking in this post. It is basically a random warble to fill a daily post, since I have posted every day now for a year and nine months. At 60 and in poor health, I probably don’t have a lot of time left to get the words out. But I have a lot of words still inside me. You may have to put up with a few days of babbling here and there. But I promise, the babbling will be quirky and excessively goofy, so it won’t be totally boring. Running in place doesn’t get you anywhere, but it is still good exercise.
One of the biggest problems with being an action figure aficionado with raging hoarding disorder is the fact that every new dolly has it’s own personality… and sometimes its own evil agenda. Once you own too many of these things, especially the evil ones, it is no longer possible to properly pay attention to what they are up to.
The last installment of Action Figure Comics had the hero, Captain Action (specifically Captain Carl Action) thwarting the evil Doctor Evil by taking away his evil removable brain. (I know I use the word evil far too often in describing the evil Doctor Evil, but he is also repetitively redundant.) I had thought this Achilles’ heel of Dr. Evil’s… er, rather, this Achilles’ brain of the evil Doctor Evil was just too convenient a solution to the problem presented by this irrepressible evil bad guy. But as a rule I find ignorance is bliss. I know now that I was wrong. That was a terrible rule to follow. As a former teacher you are supposed to know that ignorance is not bliss… it is evil. After 31 years of fighting the War Against Ignorance in my classroom, you would think I would remember this. I should’ve been watching Emperor Ming of Mongo more closely… or should that be closlier? Battle scars from the War have left me unsure.
One has to recall that Evil Emperor Ming is really just another incarnation of the evil Doctor Evil under his mask… although not one with a removable brain. Notice that his minion, the evil Doctor Mindbender is no less evil when it comes to redundant use of the word “evil”… and he even commits the further sin of repetitively saying “no-good goody-goody”. “Ach! Ja! Evil use of bad grammar makes my battle scars hurt more!” cries the former teacher driven to write this hopeless drivel.
What’s this? He means to destroy the new bargain bin wrestler doll… I mean, action figure that I just bought? I had meant to keep that as a mint in box collector’s item until the lucha wrestling fans of Sin Cara are as old as I am now. Then I will find one of them with hoarding disorder and sell it for possibly eight dollars. I will have made a whole dollar by the time I’m 109!
Yes, I should’ve been watching that dang evil Emperor Ming more closely! Now he has ruined my mint-in-box action figure by taking it out of the box. What bad thing will he do next? Stay tuned to this goofy old blog. You never know, I may actually continue this story if I can keep better track of what these goofy little dolls are doing.
My 1967 Captain Action Steve Canyon action figure.
I have always been a deeply devoted fan of the Sunday funnies. And one of the reasons I read the comics religiously was the work of Milt Caniff. His comic strips, Terry and the Pirates, Male Call, and Steve Canyon set a standard for the age of action comics and adventure strips.
I read his comics in the 1960’s and 1970’s and always it was Steve Canyon. But this, of course, was not his first strip. I would discover in my college years the wonders of Terry and the Pirates. When Caniff started the strip before World War II, he set it in China, but actually knew nothing about China. So he did research. He learned about people who became oriental hereditary pirate families and organizations. He learned to draw authentic Chinese settings. His comedy relief characters, Connie and the Big Stoop, were rather racist parodies of Chinamen and were among the reasons that the original strip had to mature into his later work in Steve Canyon. But perhaps the most enduring character from the strip was the mysterious pirate leader known as the Dragon Lady.
Steve Canyon is a fascinating study in the comic arts. When he left the Terry and the Pirates strip in 1946, it went on without him. It was owned by the Chicago Tribune-New York Daily News distribution syndicate, not Caniff himself. Steve Canyon would change that. He created it and owned it himself, making Caniff one of only two or three comics artists who actually owned their own creations. Canyon started out as a civilian pilot, but enlisted in the Air Force for the Korean War and would remain in the Air Force for the remainder of the strip. Some of the characters in the strip were based on real people. His long-time friend Charlie Russhon, a former photographer and Lieutenant in the Air Force who went on to be a technical adviser for James Bond films was the model for the character Charlie Vanilla, the man with the ice cream cone. Madame Lynx was based on the femme fatale spy character played by Illona Massey in the 1949 Marx Brothers’ movie Love Happy. Caniff designed Pipper the Piper after John Kennedy and Miss Mizzou after Marilyn Monroe.
I am not the only cartoonist who was taken with the work of Milt Caniff. The effects of his ground-breaking work can be seen to influence the works of comic artists like Jack Kirby, Bob Kane, John Romita Sr., and Doug Wildey. If you are anything like the comic book nut I am, than you are impressed by that list, even more so if I listed everyone he influenced. Milt Caniff was a cartoonists’ cartoonist. He was one of the founders of the National Cartoonists’ Society and served two terms as its president in 1948 and 1949. He is also a member of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.