Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lo, There Shall Come... A SALESMAN!

captain o
Who's the freak with the two juicers strapped to his back? Or is that a bra? Why, it's "Captain O!" Can you guess what the "O" stands for? ...Aw, grow the hell up. No, it's presumably for "Olympic," as in "Olympic Sales Club." This door-to-door scheme hails from the back pages of "Wonder Woman" #9 (October, 1987). That was in the olden times when children could actually be induced to perform an activity other than text messaging or downloading ringtones. Check out the kid in the center. Seems Tina Yothers has been moonlighting!

Most dated sales prizes from this page? Well, there's the AM/FM cassette player, the "type-right typing tutor" which is a stand-alone keyboard and not a computer program, the VCR College Bowl game, and the "Variflex Breaker" skateboard, which looks to be the approximate size and proportions as a TV tray. But my favorite? Something resembling a fetal version of Paddington Bear and described as a "light-activated Chubbles." I once knew a guy who had light-activated chubbles. But his doctors called it "priapism."

If a youngster from that era chanced to call the Olympic Sales Club's 1-800 number, who would answer the phone?

captain ruth

Um, 'kay. The other "Captain O" operators are baffled as to why Ruth insists on coming to work in that outfit. I'm sure Ruth would tell them it's for her own defense. Dennis (that creep from Accounts Receivable) likes to hang around her desk, telling vaguely filthy jokes in that three-pack-a-day voice of his, and touching her way too much. Well, next time he tries to stroke her hair, he's gonna pull back a lacerated paw, thanks to her new razor-sharp tiara! Suck it, Dennis!

I think the more likely scenario here is that "Ruth" is, in fact, a burly, tattooed prison inmate nicknamed "Claw Hammer" who's going to steal your identity for a credit card scam. But maybe I just watch too much "60 Minutes."

Finally, I'd just like to say I adore how the copy reads like it was dictated by a dying soap opera character. "PLEASE... operators can take name and address only... CANNOT answer questions... YOU MUST NOT TELL Phillipe that I am his true mother... SWEAR IT TO ME... oh, dearest Carlo, I go now to a BETTER PLACE but know that I will always... *GASP* AAAARRRRGGHHHHHHH!!!" (thunk)

Meanwhile, in the actual comic, Wonder Woman uses the clumsiest pickup line I've ever heard. See if you can find it.

girdle talk

OH MY GOD, Wonder Woman, you can't just go around asking ladies to show you their girdles!

Not unless it's Mardi Gras.


Anonymous said...

Two things:

1) That Ruth is one good-looking albino. I mean, I'm not saying anything about albinos generally, its just that my experience with them runs more towards the Johnny and Edgar Winter types.

2) I can't think of another background character I've hated more than that arch, precious little yuppie saying "Thanks muchly, sweet thing." Before that champagne brunch is over, I hope she gets hers.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Yes, Ruth is a pretty gal, and she smartly chooses colors to enhance her complexion. The yellow in her clothes makes her skin seem brighter and less parchment-like by comparison.

"Champagne brunch." Haw! Unfortunately for the readers, that character was a regular member of Wonder Woman's supporting cast for almost two years, ending with an abrupt suicide that tried (and failed) to give her some posthumous depth. Her main flaw -- besides the aggressively forehead-centric hairdo -- was her unearthly speech pattern, commonly known as Len Wein Dialog Syndrome. In most cases, the condition proves to be fatal.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Wonder Woman's "lasso" is legendary in the lesbian community. Note how the redhead stares in rapt admiration, yet her gaze somehow fails to meet the glowing thing in her hands.

I searched around and e-mailed you some choice shots of the High Evolutionary costume from the mid-90s. Good lord, it's worse than I remembered. It's got all the hallmarks of bad 90's costumes, such as big shoulderpads, bigger kneepads, and metal pants, but it has its own unique bad qualities as well. The color scheme consists of shiny yellow on shiny blue. The vertical metal strip running down Thor's otherwise bare chest was probably the highlight.

Oddly, this run was written by Roy Thomas.