ALL IN A LATHER: The Ritual Of Straight Razor Shaving Revealed!

This piece was originally published September 13th, 2013. Shaving IconIt’s something I choose to do everyday, and yet, it is also something that everyday fills me with reluctance, dread and contempt — shaving my face.

There once was a time of youth where I could not wait for the day I could imitate my father who, his entire life spent beardless, would repeat his daily and seemingly magical ritual using strange instruments and groovy concoctions.

Tools and mixtures that belonged to a craft that had also been fueled by years of seeing the practice worked in popular culture, from Bugs Bunny to The Three StoogesThe Flintstones to I Love Lucy, my pop culture references on shaving were long and deeply ingrained.

For me, the fine art of shaving would at one time seem as desirous as that scene in Mario Bava’s Danger Diabolik, where the anti-hero Diabolik swims around atop his bed with his girlfriend in a pool of cash.

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A memorable scene from Danger Diabolik, somehow worked into this piece on shaving.

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Sadly, the reality of years of shaving have never been so sweet, happy, nor fun. In fact, it has been one of the daily chores of my life that has led me to seek out ways to get a better, less painful and more efficient shave.

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The author as a young shaver. Continue reading, please click here…

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Presidential Candidates Endorsed By The Mystery Box

This piece was originally published November 5th, 2012.

Like many a good upstanding citizen of pop trash culture, Friday night monster movies and Saturday morning cartoons, it has always been a bit of a task for me to embrace most political candidates, yet for my entire life, ever since I was eligible, I have taken part in voting at every election.

I guess I watched Robert Redford in The Candidate a few too many times, so between that film and the fact that the majority of politicians that I have known personally have been sketchy, self serving egomaniacs out to fill their own slimy pockets, sort of makes one a bit suspicious and cynical of the whole process in general.

Still, as I write this on the eve of the next American Presidential election, I will vote and hope for the best, and wish that perhaps the winner will be a person that, if I were given the opportunity, is a person you could sit down with over a beer to talk about which Funkadelic or Rolling Stones album is best.

In keeping with the spirit of the great MAD Magazine, here then from Mystery Box H.Q. are my own “usual gang of idiots” picking some candidates we wished had won in the past or in tomorrow’s election…

Horror Host Legend Zacherley

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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…

THE THREE STOOGES CHRONOLOGICAL COLLECTION…COMPLETE!

This piece was originally published June 7th, 2010.

Curly Post IconThere was a time in the mid nineties when I was attempting to collect every short made by The Three Stooges. 

I sat patiently every evening with my snappy VHS recorder while tuned to WSBK Channel 36, the local independent UHF station out of Boston, which not only ran a nightly serving ofStooge laughs, but also held their annual Three Stooges New Years Eve “Countdown” all night marathon, and most of the time a healthy dose of afternoon Stooges shorts as well.


For as long as I could recall, from my childhood, on into my teens and beyond, The Three Stooges were a part of my family’s television viewing.

I grew up knowing that this was the creme de la creme of timeless laughs who easily beat out any other comedy team that came up against them. Gratefully, there must have been some heavily devoted knuckleheadaficionados at Channel 38 as well, since they had always been a part of the station’s programming for as long as I could remember, all the while helping to feed my Stooges obsession.
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Rube Goldberg + The Three Stooges = 1930’s SOUP TO NUTS

This piece was originally published August 10th, 2009

Larry Fine IconMost folks are familiar with the famously talented Rube Goldberg.

Goldberg’s iconoclastic comic strip drawings for his character, Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts’-better known simply as his “Inventions”-still delight, bemuse, entertain and provide the inspiration for competitions worldwide for their attempt to make complex, the very simple.

The Three Stooges comedy team need no introduction.

What is not often known is that these two famous names came together in a 1930 Goldberg scripted feature film entitled, ‘Soup To Nuts.’

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Continue reading, please click here…

Sam Raimi’s Stooges: Celebrating The Director’s Earliest Films

This piece was originally published June 1st, 2009

Shemp IconEverything in life always comes back to The Three Stooges…

We all know how much Sam Raimi loves a good, old fashioned, ancient and horrible curse. The type that has been unleashed by some unsuspecting chump.

Nothing like a good curse plot to wrap a film around. Curses seem to bring out some of the best in Raimi’s work, from his early first feature, Within The Woods, through all of the Evil Dead masterpieces, to his newest film Drag Me To Hell.

The other major influence on Raimi’s work has always been the ultra violent Columbia comedy shorts of The Three Stooges: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, and who can forget that most underrated of all Stooges, Shemp Howard.

The release of a new Sam Raimi directed film is usually a cause for celebration.

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