3/7/2011

item 1 >>> Now Playing joey joey joey For many of us Baby-Go-Boomer guys, Joey Heatherton was the ultimate “It Girl” of the Swinging Sixties. An oddly moving tribute song from Jill Sobule, 1995.

item 2 >>> LQQK @ †h∆†! Joey Live And here she is from 1972…the song is “Pieces.”

item 3 >>>  Buyer Beware…For some reason, some of the slimiest, sleaziest, most dishonest and misleading advertising is found with coin collecting. The worst is when they call something a “coin” when it isn’t legal tender….or when they say it’s “legal tender,” but fail to say where…like Upper Utopia, and not the US as is implied. This ad from Sunday’s paper is more honest than most…couple of niggling problems…but it got me thinking about 1943 steel cents, which will be covered below…

item 4 >>>  What to Watch For… (1) If you want your money back, do you get to keep the Free Gift? (2) Sometimes, when postage is initially free, they charge you what the postage would have been and deduct it from your refund. Heck, using that tactic, you could actually end up owing them more money! (3) $4.95 seems a little pricey to me…and a regular price of $9.95 is meaningless…they could boost the regular price to some outrageous amount, then offer 99% savings. (4) Incorrect use of the word “please.” It’s only appropriate when you have the choice of not doing what they ask…clearly not the case here. (5) The worst problem is the condition of the coins. Since NOTHING is said about that, expect the worst…and indeed, in the illustration, the Indian Head and the Wheatie both look pretty rough. Bear in mind that in numismatics, “Fine” means moderate wear, “Very Good” means well worn, and “Good” means heavily worn. (6) “Reprocessed” means re-plated with a thin coating of zinc over an original coin. It’ll look great, and really there’s no harm done…the coin is legitimate, but be aware. (7) Also be aware they’re going to send you “approvals” for you to buy if you wish or send back…an added pain if your not interested, but SOP. All in all…not a terrible deal, and a lot less tricky than it could have been.

item 5 >>> You Might Be a Groovy Geezer If…You remember when “Steel Cents” used to turn up in pocket change. I haven’t seen one for decades, but they’re not especially rare or expensive for collectors. We used to call them “Silver Pennies.” Since cooper for needed for the war effort, in 1943 all pennies were made of low carbon steel, with a .0005 inch coating of zinc. People hated them as they were easily confused with dimes and corroded quickly. (Altho they had produced prototype pennies made of plastic…I can’t imagine the response to those would have been very good either!) Thus in 1944 it was back to copper. Unbeknownst to the public, the US Mint began withdrawing “steelies” from circulation in 1945…they didn’t admit it for fear of hoarding until 1959…by that time they had destroyed about 15% of the 684 million that had been produced. According to Murphy’s Law, a few cooper blanks were accidentally used in 1943…about 20 are known to exist, worth well over $100,000 each…and a few steel 1944’s have also been found. There are fake copper 1943’s around, but they are easily detected…they will he magnetic, while real copper coins are not.

item 6 >>> aka “Lead Cents”…Most sold to collectors today are “reprocessed,” meaning re-coated with fresh zinc…refurbished, if you will.  But one should cost just a few dollars, while a genuine uncirculated steelie will be much more. Here’s a gallery from my personal collection…

(1) A fake copper 1943.  (2) A copper cent from 1963 showing “toning” that resembles the silvery color.  (3) An example of pretty much the best condition you could find in circulation.  (4) A re-plated zinc cent.  (5) An example of the corrosion.  (6), (7) Typical circulation examples, with light and dark busts.  (8) The “Wheatie” reverse.

item 7 >>> Numbers Game…You might recall around Christmas, on this blog or perhaps my other one, I was explaining about about those mystery kids in the dance scene on A Charlie Brown Christmas. The boy was named 5, and his twin sisters were 3 and 4 (nice feminine names!) Their Dad, troubled by how numbers were ruling our lives, gave in and gave the whole family numbers for names. After a couple of weeks of numbers-for-names gags, the trio was relegated to crowd scenes, and Sunday’s Classic Peanuts strip from 1964 was a good example. Trouble is, in some papers you didn’t see 3 and 4, as they were only in the headliner panel, provided for papers who had more space to fill, as seen below. Also, some papers do a little strategic squishing…

item 8 >>> Hey Hey the Gang’s All Here…Well, except for Snoopy…and Pigpen…was it his bath day? Bath week? And Sally is presumably too young…is it a horror movie? The Creature That Ate Sebastopol, perhaps? Here’s everybody in the line…

item 9 >>> Google Me This…It’s probably gone now, but over the weekend this Google logo might have perplexed some people. It’s comic strip non-super superhero called the Spirit. He was just a masked private detective, written and drawn by Will Eisner. His adventures took him all over the world…and with witty commentary and innovative visual layouts, the strip is hailed today as a classic. It ran from 1940 to 1952, and while there was a black-and-white daily strip for the first several years, the Spirit’s fame came from its Sunday edition…which was, in tabloid form, an entire 16-page color comics section…composed of a 7-page Spirit adventure, and 2 back-up strips. Some of these stories were reprinted in conventional comic book form, but the driving force was the Sunday section, 2 covers of which are displayed here. On the right is the Spirit’s sidekick Ebony White, who apparently, for one Sunday anyway, has gained super-powers.

item 10 >>> The Spirt versus the Ghostly Trio and Little Audrey …A few days ago, I showed you how Harvey Comics attempted to expand beyond Casper and Richie Rich into the Teen Bimbo a Go Go genre, with marginal success. They also put out some very strange superhero titles, including 2 issues of The Spirit in 1966 and 1967. These weren’t cheap knock-offs tho…they reprinted classic stories, and had new material from Will Eisner himself. But his time had come and gone, sad to say…

Wicked Ballsy

Every city had clowns on TV…there was no place to hide. This was Gee-Whiz, the Fastest Artist There Is, from the Wixie Wonderland show, WXYZ Detroit. He’s portrayed, mute, by cartoonist Ken Muse…name ring a bell? He played a small but important role in the Funny Pages of the 60s…more to come, someday…

shameless plugglers…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Other Daily blog at http://stolf.wordpress.com (the legendary Stolf’s Blog)

More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com

Audio samples coming soon…or just check the podcasts…twc-rr so blows…


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