Before Mr. A, The Question, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, or, well, anything, there was Steve Ditko's 1953 debut, Paper Romance
in Daring Love #1
. It was soon followed by creepier fare such as Ditko's first professional work
, 1954's Stretching Things
, A Hole in His Head
, and Buried Alive!
Shortly after, Ditko illustrated the cover for Space Adventures #10
and the story Homecoming
, which began (Or didn't, depending on who you believe
) a decades-long association with Charlton Comics that would soon yield Von Mohl Vs. The Ants
, If Looks Could Kill
, You Are the Jury
, Doom in the Air
, The Worm Turns
, Day of Reckoning
, and Car Show
, a rare humour piece for Charlton's MAD clone From Here To Insanity
. All these, and many more, courtesy of the Steve Ditko Comics Weblog
's It Stalks the Public Domain!
posted by Alvy Ampersand
on May 31, 2009 -
If you can make it through the glacially paced intro and can put up with the typically clunky, often laughable and jingoistic fifties-style narration, this 1958 film from Chevrolet, The American Look
is worth viewing. Chock full of futuristic telephones, toasters, blenders, office machines, architecture and more, it's a mid-century design lover's dream. The film is visually striking and elegant, and presented in widescreen format. Here's part 2
and part 3
. Or see it here in its entirety
. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite
on May 12, 2008 -
In the early 1950's, Monsanto Chemical Company
, MIT and Disneyland collaborated
their resources and creative brainpower to build
"the house of 1986." Using 30,000 pounds of plastic (The building's structure, carpet, chairs, sinks, appliances and floors were all plastic. About $7,500 to $15,000 worth.), the Monsanto House of the Future
* was opened to an excited public in June of 1957. It was closed in 1967 as ideas of the future were beginning to change. Let's take a quick tour,
shall we? *(Not to be confused with Xanadu Homes of Tomorrow.) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster
on Dec 12, 2007 -
Hey daddy-o, when you hear that big brash horn section pump out that oddly familiar riff
, only to stop cold and make way for that that prescient single note from an electric guitar, followed straightaway by a twangy voice in perfect
rockabilly delivery proclaiming "well, she's got a dress that looks like a sack!
", then brother, you're listening to the hoppin' boppin' sound of Wally Deane
's Drag On
. Once you hear it, you'll wonder why Quentin Tarrantino never put it in a movie. Wally Deane
: one of the greatest rockabilly acts you never heard of.
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Dec 8, 2007 -
Sex and the College Girl, by Norah Johnson
A view from an educated woman in the 1950s: "Two criticisms rise above the rest: people in college are promiscuous, for one thing, and, for another, they are getting married and having children too early. These are interesting observations because they contradict each other."
posted by shivohum
on Nov 20, 2007 -
Through a Lens Darkly
- on September 4, 1957, when 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford tried to enter Little Rock Central High, she was blocked by the National Guard and surrounded by a screaming mob of 250: "Lynch her! Lynch her!" "No nigger bitch is going to get in our school! Get out of here!" "Go back to where you came from!" Looking for a friendly face, she turned to an old woman, who spat on her
. Dramatic news footage
. Ernest Green, another of the Little Rock 9 recalls
the first day of school. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive
on Sep 25, 2007 -
Mars and Beyond
- 50 years ago, this animated episode of Tomorrowland aired on Disneyland a few months after the launch of Sputnik - an entertaining melange of astronomy, sci-fi, pop culture, science, speculation, and surreality. Walt himself and Wernher von Braun make guest appearances and clip 5 is particularly trippy. (Parts 2
posted by madamjujujive
on Jun 10, 2007 -
Stand By For Crime!
Archive.org presents the astonishing adventures of Chuck Morgan, intrepid radio muckracker and crimefighter, as he battles The Communist Menace, investigates The Wetback Murders, and solves The Marijuana Mystery. Circa 1953; twenty-six half-hour episodes in mp3 format, each approximately 9 MB.
posted by stammer
on Feb 4, 2007 -
British public information films.
A couple of months back, there was a post
about an online exhibition of British propaganda films from WWII. Now, the UK National Archives, who appear to be slowly working their way through the decades, have posted some public information films from the 40s and 50s. BBC News discusses
the history of public information films, particularly the famous "Coughs and sneezes spread diseases" (available in Windows Media (sigh) here
My favourite is this
optimistic look at how the new towns developed after the war were going to be just *great*. I grew up in a new town - Hemel Hempstead
. Let's just say it didn't quite work out
posted by athenian
on Oct 24, 2005 -
Fred and Ethel resurrected as corporate shills
"Through the magic of Hollywood, famously tightfisted Fred (William Frawley) and his irascible wife, Ethel (Vivian Vance), are brought back to life in a series of entertaining vignettes," California-based PacifiCare said in a release about its new television advertising campaign.
Using body doubles, voice impersonators and computer-generated imagery, the national TV ads that will premiere in mid October will enable the two long-dead actors to "speak" once more. And, oddly enough, they'll be talking about PacifiCare's new drug plan.
posted by Artifice_Eternity
on Oct 10, 2005 -
Do you consider yourself a latter-day "beatnik"? Even young fans
of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg proudly christen themselves
with the tag beatnik
these days, apparently unaware that word was originally coined as a term of ridicule
by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen. "Beat" was indeed used by Kerouac to denote both "beaten down" and "beatitude"
-- a state of revelation. He first heard the word spoken
by a Times Square hustler and writer named Herbert Huncke; then another writer, John Clellon Holmes, popularized the term "Beat" in a New York Times article
headlined "This is the Beat Generation." But the original Beats did not approve of the term "beatnik" -- combining "beat" with the Russian "Sputnik,"
as if to suggest that the Beat writers were both "out there" and vaguely Communist -- as this hilarious dialogue
[note: MP3 link] between a very young Ginsberg, anthropologist Margaret Mead, and an excruciatingly square talk-radio host makes plain.
posted by digaman
on Jan 14, 2005 -
"Black Like me"
: the notion of "Race" is know known to be scientifically meaningless
, but now roll back the clock to 1959 : "...John Howard Griffin (1920-1980) was a true Renaissance man. Having fought in the French Resistance and been a solo observer on an island in the South Pacific during World War II, he became a critically-acclaimed novelist and essayist, a remarkable photographer and musicologist, and a dynamic lecturer and teacher. On October 28, 1959, after a decade of blindness and a remarkable and inexplicable recovery, John Howard Griffin dyed himself black and began an odyssey of discovery through the segregated American South. The result was Black Like Me, arguably the single most important documentation of 20th century American racism ever written....Because of Black Like Me, Griffin was personally vilified, hanged in effigy in his hometown, and threatened with death for the rest of his life."
posted by troutfishing
on Sep 19, 2004 -
An exhibit of the art of Radebaugh
and what the future looked like from the 50's.
"The post-World War II optimism that pervaded the nation extended to the not-too-distant future, with its promise of spaceship-traveled skyways whirring in a utopia of streamlined cityscapes.
Now, the works of A.C. Radebaugh -- a top illustrator of the day whose works helped define that future-vision -- are being shown in a retrospective at a quirky art gallery obsessed with Americana of the mid-20th century."
posted by KevinSkomsvold
on Mar 31, 2003 -