THE DEMOULIN BROTHERS: Your Secret Society Superstore (In The 19th Century)

This piece was originally published March 12th, 2012.

Demoulin Brothers Post TemplateFraternal organizations (a.k.a. “Secret Societies” to many outsiders ) are as much a part of our modern cultural fabric as their names are familiar to us via parades, advertising, or perhaps a relative’s membership: Shriners, Freemasons, B’nai Brith. Elks, Kiwanis, Lion’s Club, Rotary International, Knight’s Of Columbus and The Loyal Order of Moose are but a few of the names you may have encountered driving past a “Temple” or seeing a sign mentioning a charity benefit “meat raffle.”

 

The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine a.k.a. Shriners

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The Independent Order Of Odd Fellows

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MAIL-ORDER MYSTERIES!

This piece was originally published January 3rd, 2012.

Count Dante Post TemplateIf you were a kid that grew up in the late ’50s, the ’60s, the ’70s or even well into the ’80s, and you’re reading this, I would say that there is a pretty good chance that you also sat for many hours in front of the television set watching cartoons, sitcoms and action/adventure series, listened to music, and spent considerable hours reading comic books (and MAD Magazine! ). 

All this pop culture most assuredly helped to formulate a generation or two that really saw their creative imaginations run wild, and their youthful desires and wishes expand beyond even that of their older siblings who were brought up in the first crazy period of teenage rebellion known as the earlier Rock and Roll generation.


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TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE: VOLUME ONE BY MICHAEL KUPPERMAN

This piece was originally published August 29th, 2011.

Thrizzle Post TemplateHere at The Mystery Box H.Q. I often enjoy pulling a release out of the past, just in case you might have missed it the first time around. Everyone tries to be on top of new releases, but often going back a bit has a multitude of rewards and can be a new discovery for someone who will then embrace it and in turn tell others how great it is.

Such is the case here…

When you come across a writer or a cartoonist’s work that has you laughing out loud to the point of shaking your head in disbelief that anything could be so astronomically funny, you just want to share it with the world.

Such is the case with Michael Kupperman, an American illustrator, cartoonist and writer that has written scripts for D.C. Comics, contributed to various anthologies such as McSweeney’s, has had work animated for Comedy Central’s TV Funhouse and has graced the pages of The Wall Street JournalThe N.Y. Times and The New Yorker, to name only a few of his many achievements.

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GODZILLA: GANGSTERS & GOLIATHS – THE OTHER GODZILLA COMIC

This piece was originally published August 15th, 2011.

Godzilla Mask Post IconBack in April, The Mystery Box took a look at a new Godzilla comic book series called Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters ( check it out here ).

I was very excited to see the return of the “King of All Monsters” to comics again after a long slumber, courtesy of the great folks at IDW Publishing.

Once again, there’s a reason to be cheerful if you’re a fan of Gojira and all things Kaiju. For the last few months, IDW has published yet another stand alone Godzilla title.

It may even be one of my favorites so far.

On the down side, it’s only a 5 issue mini-series and by the time you read this—we’re already at #3—there’s only a couple of issues left, but I recommend going back now and collecting this mini-series.

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MAURICE GOSFIELD: From Private Doberman to Benny The Ball

This piece was originally published June 7th, 2011.

Maurice Gosfield TemplateThere are few character actors in the history of television that can equal Maurice Gosfield.

He had a screen presence that is still unmatched and a voice so distinctive as to lend itself to that of a timelessly beloved cartoon character.

Maurice Gosfield, is the 3rd selection for this installment of a regular Mystery Box feature called Great Comedians Of The Past.

Without hesitation, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you:

GREAT COMEDIANS OF THE PAST #3: MAURICE GOSFIELD


With his 5’4″, 200 lb. stature, and devil may care good looks, Maurice Gosfield took over Hollywood and became a man that women swooned over, children called their hero and men dreamed of emulating.
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GODZILLA KINGDOM OF MONSTERS: AN AUSPICIOUS BEGINNING!

This piece was originally published April 11th, 2011.

Godzilla Mask Post IconSince his final film, 2004’s Godzilla Final Wars, the big guy—who so many of us have come to love over the decades—has pretty much been tucked away in cold storage.

However, as someone who has been a lifelong fan and collector of Godzilla, I knew that it would only be a matter of time before he would once again rise up from his slumber in the murky depths, to frighten, ravage and entertain the masses.

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Toho, owners of the original Japanese franchise for Gojira, will every so often make a statement that they have released their last film featuring him—but that only lasts until the next one comes along. According to Toho, they would take a break from producing any Godzilla films for ten years.

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Drew Friedman’s TOO SOON?: 15 Years of Even More Genius

This piece was originally published November 23rd, 2010. Drew Friedman Tor Post Icon

One day, the gods of all ART great and marvelous, finally will decide to roll out their lengthy gilded achievement banner listing cartoonists, illustrators and caricaturists. This banner will have been imprinted (in a Ben-Day dots process) with all the names of those who have been creatively talented beyond the skills of mere mortal men and women.

Without a doubt, near the top of this list of illustrious souls, residing among the gloriously renown names of Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, Basil Wolverton, Jim Steranko, Wally Wood, Steve Ditko, Charles Addams, Edward Gorey and Robert Crumb among others, will be the name…

Drew Friedman.

For, as R. Crumb so eloquently has written, “I wish I had this guy’s talent.”

I have been a huge fan of Drew Friedman’s work for some 30 years now. Ever since I first laughed in astonishment at the panels that he and his equally talented brother, writer/musician Josh Alan Friedman (subject of a future Mystery Box column) came up with for inclusion in the seminal RAW Graphix Magazine, beginning with issue #1 in 1980.

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RAW Volume 1, Number 1 (July 1980) Continue reading, please click here…

Joe Shuster and Superman’s “Other” Secret Identity

This piece was originally published December 7th, 2009.

Henchman IconThe story is all too familiar: Artists, no matter what the creative medium they choose to work in, need to make money to pay their bills.

Throughout a career, there are doubtlessly going to be the periods when financial struggle necessitates employment at something that is not all that desirable and has little connection to making their beloved art.

Sure some folks are born lucky and comfortable, with money handed down from the heavens and carted over in golden wheel-barrels, or they have some otherwise solid financial situation that can carry into the later years of a charmed life. Well, these lucky souls managed to find that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. For many however, there is a path strewn with extremely hard work, intense focus, constant devotion and a lifetime of dedication to the craft, despite the highs and lows of any recognition and just getting paid.

So what if you happened to co-create one of the most well known comics’ characters known in the history of the 20th Century. Do you think that even this feat this would guarantee a soft cushion on the settee of lifelong prosperity and carefree worry?

For Joel Shuster, the co-creator of Superman, it didn’t…


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MAD Magazine 500th Issue Celebration!!

This piece was originally published July 20th, 2009

Alfred E. Newman IconMAD Magazine: Fine purveyors of outstanding highbrow literature, anthropological exploration, critical analysis and scientific socio-political satire for over 55 years, now gives their fans a reason to be cheerful (and dumbfounded).

Currently on newstands and available at overpriced booksellers everywhere is their…drumroll please… 500th issue!

That’s right folks, the “What Me Worry?” kid a.k.a. Alfred E. Neuman, and “the Usual Gang of Idiots” are still going strong and surviving in 2009.

Take that, Cracked Magazine!

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