Kuljian Engineering & Construction - Rectangles? Damn near killedtangles!

Okay, who likes Art Deco? If your hand shot straight up in the air and you shouted "Oooo, Me me me! Pick me! Pleeeeease!", then point your eyes downward a few inches. If you said "Humph! Of all the nonsense! How perfectly absurd!" and then wiped your monocle with a hanky, you may want to go look at something else, like maybe a french curve.

You can get your daily dose of vitamin deco right here by staring at this ad for the Kuljian Corporation, guys who build power plants and stuff all over the place. Guys with short sleeves and ties. The illustration in this ad sure is purdy, all clean angles and stark air-brushedness.

Yep, the old KC is still around, too, but they have a few more locations than they did back in '49 (Washington, St. Petersburg, Philadelphia, Calcutta). Now they've got offices (very smartly) in places like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia - places where everybody over the age of five is an oil baron with their own headquarters to build.

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More ancient cards - Smashed bows and tarnished glitter.

Hey! Are you emo, or maybe a goth? Then you'll probably go delightfully gloomy over these super old greeting cards. A few of them have glitter that's all tarnished to brown or cute little ribbon bows completely squashed to flatness. How wonderfully miserable!

As for the "normals" out there, maybe you can appreciate the interesting "dotty" printing technology, or the really nice paintings, done in a style that we just don't see any more. These are all from 1908 - 1909, which is roughly Downton Abbey era. So, if you were getting a card for Mister Bates' birthday or whoever, it probably would have looked like this... plus, it may have had a little Spanish Flu on it. That may explain why several of the Images and Scanning Them team are bleeding from their eyes this morning.

These birds would find work in their autumn years twittering on the finger of Snow White.

This card is decorated with what looks like multicolored caviar.

The available glitter technology in 1909 was still a work in progress.

Nice painting, despite the incorrect perspective on the lodge... unless the
staff sleeping quarters was sliding down the hill.

It is my belief that the "helper stick" was included to add to the adorability
of the infant tree.


Bostitch Staplers - Handy Andy Phetamine staples his way to riches.

In the last issue of Andy Phetamine and his Adventures in Stapling, he found out about the existence of staplers, thanks to his son. Hooray! The new one's out! In this issue, he discovers the existence of staplers, thanks to his son. That's Andy Phetamine for you. Lots of energy. No long-term memory.

In this issue, we also find out that Andy's son Tommy has a hobby, and it's decorating. More specifically, decorating by stapling things. Tommy likes to walk on the wild side, minus the colored girls.

Andy doesn't seem to think much of his son's abilities. In the first panel, he assumes that it took Tommy all day long to tack some paper trim to a couple of shelves. But maybe it's not a case of Andy underestimating his son's skill, but rather Andy's assessment that it would take anybody that long to do the job. Apparently the trim job looks to him like a solid eight hours' work. Andy's clearly not that good with his hands. Probably an attention span problem, too.

Later, we find that Andy had the bright idea of using staplers at work. This impressed his boss so much that he gave Andy a big bonus. This is clearly a huge spike in Andy's job performance; having an idea that a tool could be used for it's intended purpose. It makes you wonder how they were fastening papers together at "the firm" before Andy's huge stapler revelation. Forge welding? Anyway, I hope he got to sit down for a few minutes after a sprint like that. Look at him shamelessly trumpeting his genius of stapling. "That adds up to a lot of time saved for the firm". Jeez, Andy, better hit the bathroom for some self-congratulatory "me time".

At the end, there's the huge payoff where Andy brings home his pink slip bonus check. It's unclear whether he's handing it over to his son or just showing it to him. But, this picture is gold. You need to have it on your hard drive for use on a myriad of occasions almost every day. Right-click save that mofo and start showing everyone that you understand the value of a pink dollar with little dollar signs flying out of it. You're welcome!

I think we both know what old Andy will spend the money on.


Allied Van Lines - Insert nuts joke here.

This morning, the Spot Color and Limited Chroma Brigade dropped this ad on my desk. It's from Allied Van Lines. Hey! Nice old timey truck! Nice old timey squirrel illustration. Nice freakshow handfeet. Commence to shuddering now.

Anthropomorphism is a tongue-injuring word for "animals with human traits". Leaving aside the whole issue of freakshow "furries" and their unwholesome obsession with animals (yeeeeesh!), anthropomorphic animals are the lifeblood of cartoons. While designing your humanimal (I'm not copyrighting that word. Someone else can have it.), you've got to know when to draw the line between reality and fantasy. Whatever artist did the otherwise fine work for this Allied ad, he or she probably didn't have much experience in cartooning.

The squirrels look adorable... except for their super creepy and totally realistic handfeet. Yes, squirrels have feet like that. However, people don't want to see cute animals with feet-for-hands... except maybe apes. This ad already has the animals holding their nuts, just like a human would, with elegant lifted pinkies and all. Why the slavish adherence to realistic handfeet? Knock it off.

Here. Let me get that for you.

There. Isn't that better? And nobody has to lose any sleep because they're afraid this humanoid squirrel is going to sneak into their bedroom and strangle them with it's horrible handfeet.

Clip art time! Here's the truck and squirrel from today's ad for your copy-paste enjoyment. The truck is on alpha (transparent background), but the squirrels aren't. Why not the squirrels? Because I'm not MADE of pen tools, people! We are pleased to offer the squirrel with and without horrible strangley handfeet, if that's what you're into. You're welcome!

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And now, just to show that I know whereof I speak, please enjoy this Slappy Squirrel cartoon I worked on a hundred billion years ago, Bully for Skippy. I think I did some storyboarding, key layouts, and some assistant animating (inbetweening). Note the total lack of handfeet. Warner Bros knows what time it is. I like that Slappy watches The Explosion Channel. Also note the horrible voice acting of the producer's son as Skippy squirrel. Children aren't funny when they're trying to be funny. They can only be funny on accident. Sorry, parents. It's true. Nice Arte Johnson imitation in this cartoon with that German dog.


Gronk You Answer - More proposals for Gronk! And money. And comic!

 Benz Award say...

You have just been awarded the sum of £ 950,000.00 pounds that
was won by your email address in our Benz
Promo. Send your: Name:
Phone No:

Dear Mr. Award,

Gronk not need 950,000.000 pounded el's. Gronk say el's all time. What you say about way Gronk talk?!? Maybe Gronk pound YOU? You right "phone no". Gronk not want talk you on phone! Gronk not want talk about sex, either. Gronk love once, but Gronk get hurt! Why you open old wound!? Now Gronk in bad place! Thank a LOT! Man, Gronk want pound you GOOD, 950,000.000 times! GRAAAAH!

Adrian Bayford say...

I  am Adrian Bayford  and i am  donating to you the sum of 1 million pounds please reply with your information 

Gronk not sure Gronk want to talk to man who... (hmm. "Adrian" could be woman, too). Gronk not want talk to hoo-man who not know punc-choo-ay-shin and sentence structure. Go back drawing board and learn period, at least! How you get 1 million pound of anything being dumb so much?!? You go away!

"Dlylan" Say...

Hi, There
My name is Dlylan
Pls find the quotation sheet of compressed tissue attached .
You can feel free to come to me if you have any question or need more information .
Thank you and I am looking forward to your reply !

Gronk happy get mail from Dylan! Gronk thank "Dlylan" for comic-strip! Ha ha ha! In first panel, magic tissue have brother. They leave bag and seek fortune in big scary world. Gronk know how that is. Gronk identify with hero. Good sign.

In second panel, one magic tissue brother get grabbed by big hand, and other magic tissue brother is nervous. See drops? Gronk know drops mean nervous from "manga". Maybe magic tussue brother not know what do now. Gronk not know either!

In third panel, sad magic tissue brother continues sad and get tall, for some reason. You starting to lose Gronk now. Why remaining magic tissue brother have super power? Part of Magic tissue brother canon? Gronk skeptical.

In fourth panel, magic tissue brother turn super all the way. Cape flap in wind. Gronk not imagine what happen next!

In fifth panel, more cape stuff. Comic writer maybe having trouble filling pages? Come on.

In sixth panel, remaining magic tissue brother become hand! Hand wear cape now! Unforseen!

In seventh panel, magic tissue brother (who is now hand, remember!) go home and make sexiness with hand wife! Hand wife like sexiness with cape. Oooh, hand wife like when magic tissue brother play "dress up". Kinkyyyyyy. Gronk gasp now! Evil hand wife took away first magic tissue brother because was standing in way of relationship! Hand wife was jealous! Gronk know relationship not work out when based on deceit and treachery! Gronk not wait till next issue of magic tissue brother!

Gronk thank "Dlylan"! Gronk love magic tissue brother comic! Compelling story! Have everything! Action, romance, intrigue, tissue... Gronk need find second copy of comic to keep in poly bag like new! Keep value. Finally, gronk get ONE good mail! Gronk pleased now!


Simoniz - Kinda NSFW!

Uh huh, 1937 LIFE magazine. Let's see what's in here. Toothbrush ad. Article on printing. Chevy ad. Crisco ad. Car wax ad with naked lady - a WHAAAAAA???????

If your eyes are virgins, look away. They're about to have their minds blown. If your mind is a child, you're probably one of those jerkoffs who insist on bringing your "therapy dog" on airplanes. But also, your mind should go look at something else because this ad is really weird and, well, just WEIRD. If you're at work, you may want to finish reading the post at home tonight, when you can more safely click through the thumbnail down below for the unedited version of the ad.

1937? Really? Nineteen THIRTY seven? I feel like I've misjudged you. After all, you haven't even seen WWII yet. You're supposed to be all prudish and uptight. I mean, this is LIFE magazine, which could be found on coffee tables of respectable families across America. This isn't Esquire, after all. Well well well! I guess I didn't know the whole story on you, 1937. Maybe there's more I need to know about you? Maybe you have some free time after the Great Depression, before the Japanese invade China? Meet me over in Switzerland. They're cool.

Click through the thumbnail to see the non-mosaiced version of the ad, but don't blame me when your innocent eyes come asking you all sorts of awkward questions, like "Where does car wax come from?"

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Virginia Gentleman Whiskey - *Cough* Smooooooth.

From the 1959 pages of Esquire Magazine, the publication of rich, young, white douches comes this ad for Virginia Gentleman Whiskey, which is distilled and bottled in Fairfax County, Virginia.... by redcoats?

I could be wrong, but aren't those British officers in that illustration? Britishness, of course, doesn't preclude these two from the halls of gentility, but it's just confusing, is all. "A most historic American Bourbon". Maybe the man who owns the plantation is extending the "invitation to taste" to the British soldiers as a peace offering? Maybe he's trying to suck up to the colonial British by having his (apparent) slave deliver the whiskey to them, as a demonstration that he and they were sympatico? I wouldn't care if I had a dram of VJ in my belly, that's certain.

The chronology of a small brand like Virginia Gentleman is not thoroughly documented on the web. All I could find was a current review of Virginia Gentleman, and guess what? The label's different! See?

Somewhere between 1959 and today, we had the whole Civil Rights Movement, and apparently they heard about that, even in Virginia. So, a new image was called for. Strange that the painting they chose was, again, so English. What is it with these guys? I've never really tried whiskey, apart from those times around Christmas time, back in my days working at a cartoon studio. This one guy would bring in a bottle of whiskey and "add a little Irish" to our coffee, upon request. The boss was cool with it and treated us as grownups and as a result, no fights broke out and nobody got fired or anything. Our bellies warmed with coffee and firewater, we'd go back to animating cartoons for children, on through the dark Chicago winter. I've never had whiskey straight, though. Maybe I'll look into it. One drink and I'll wonder what I was wondering about, I'm sure. Not 'till after five, Phil.

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Eye Test

Joke #1 - "Well, the good news is, according to this orrery, you're definitely not the moon. Are you sure you orbit the Earth at a mean distance of 385,ooo kilometers and were formed 4.5 billion years ago after an impact with the Earth?"

Joke #2 - "Yes, that is correct. The bottom line of text says 'yarrr'."

Joke #3 - "Your vision should return in a couple of weeks, during which time, you'll need to wear this simple gyroscope apparatus. Don't worry. After a few hours, you won't even notice it anymore... Err, I mean, you won't even notice your HEAD any more."

Joke #4 - "Hm! Turns out, your skull is slightly out of balance. I can fix it by bolting on a couple of little weights, or you can just try to keep it under two thousand RPM for a few months."

Joke #5 - "I have bad news. Your eye patch has terrible vision. You should probably try seeing with your eye from now on."

Joke #6 - "Okay, now hold very still while the laser warms up. If you move, we risk burning a hole in our favorite sleepy kitten poster, and I don't think you want that."

Joke #7 comes to us on the sub-etha wave band around the galaxy, around the clock from MisterFancyHotblackDesiato_2. To everyone else out there, the secret is to keep banging those rocks together, guys! - "Now Zaphod, tell us where the 'Heart of Gold' is & I won't poke your good eye with this really long stick"
[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.  -Mgmt.]

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The Cowsills - Cracker Van Beethoven.

Hey, crackers! If your parents like Lawrence Welk, and you're looking for some hep young music to impress your friends at your church group, tune in to the super-non-rocking sound of The Cowsills! They put the "honk" in "honkey".

Yes sir, this fine family made Pat Boone look like Al Green. If you're into non-threatening family-oriented safety-pop, The Cowsills were your thing, and here they are busking for Big Milk. If you ask me, milk should be a little embarrassed to share the spotlight with a bunch of squares like this.

Fig1. On the left, Enter Sandman. On the right, Mister Sandman.
A guitarist's bad-assness can be approximately rated by the height at which he or she wears the guitar. In Fig. 1, we see James hetfield wearing his guitar so low that it wobbles to and fro, so low that he can tie it in a knot or tie it in a bow. When playing, he often adopts a hunched, ogre-like posture. He rocks pretty damn hard. On the right we find either Bill or Bob Cowsill (I doubt even they could tell each other apart), who wore his guitar at sternum-height, probably to keep his hands well away from his pelvicular area, because that would be "dirty".

Looks like a Hofner, but
it's an "Epiphoney".
Before inspiring the fake TV band family The Partridge Family, The Cowsills was started by just the four brothers, because they wanted to be The Fake Beatles. Trouble is, we already had The beatles. The Cowsills were not The Beatles. That is why this brat needs to put down that Hofner violin bass RIGHT NOW. You're not Paul McCartney, so knock that shit off immediately, kid.

If you had an especially good weekend, and feel the need to suffer a little for your happiness, please completely fail to enjoy this The Cowsills TV special from 1968. You may need a bucket. You're welcome.

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Color Wallet Photos - Capture the trauma.

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Twenty miserable baby photos in vivid color. Only $1. Send photo or VERY negative of traumatized child.  A swell gift for baby haters everywhere.


Zonolite Insulating Fill - Swelter skelter.

Today's ad for Zonolite insulating fill was chosen for the great sweaty/comfortable man in the picture. He's funny. But what's vermiculite? Research and Googling Team, assemble!!!

Vermiculite is a mineral that can be mined, and has the weird property that it "exfoliates" or puffs up when heated to about 1200 degrees. It then has a light airy density, kind of like fiber fill, which makes it a good insulator. Hence, its use in homes.

Trouble is, where you mine vermiculite, you often find our old friend asbestos. The biggest vermiculite mine in America was located in Libby, Montana, and produced more than half of the world's vermiculite from 1925 to 1990. The other trouble is, there's some accusation that the operators of the mine knew their product had asbestos contamination and kept that information on the down low. Zonolite was made from vermiculite at the Libby mine. Wups. Lots of employees  at the mine died of cancer and related health problems. Here's a downer of a PDF if you want to read about the details of the workers' fucked-ness, but I won't blame you if you choose not to pour over the details. So, yeah. This ad was trying to sell you stuff that could make you sick and kill you if you used it exactly as directed by the manufacturer. It was sold in a form that you could pour in-between the rafters in your attic, where unwanted asbestos fibers could become airborne and inhaled, where they would lovingly embrace the alveoli in your lungs forever and ever and ever, until death do you part.

Vermiculite is also used as a soil conditioner for plants, because it aerates the soil and promotes growth. However, since the closing of the Libby mine, regulators have been pretty much on top of the whole asbestos thing and if you have a jar of vermiculite on your potting bench that was made after 1990, it's probably not going to kill you.

So, that was a weird little distraction. All I wanted was this sweaty guy as clip art. The "cool and comfy" version of him isn't complete enough to isolate and use separately, but  his miserable version is perfect. Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Squad, assemble!!! Bam.
What's he good for? Well, you can paste him in an email down to the building manager asking is the AC is broken, for example. Or, you can send him in an inappropriate email to a coworker asking if it's "hot in here or is it just you?" This will probably win you a trip over to the HR office for a little sexual harassment discussion. Don't say we didn't warn you. There must be other uses for this guy.

You're welcome.


Land Rover - Whicker's World.

If you're an SUV person, we have a treat for you today. So, please stop texting your kids about soccer practice and pull over to the side of the road for just a moment. Please enjoy this vintage Land Rover ad on your steering-wheel-mounted iPad while the vehicle is in park. Don't roll your eyes, because you either have an iPad stuck on your steering wheel or have dearly wished for one, you who are interested in everything but driving, all performed during the task of driving. This is for you.

This is what your SUV ancestors were dreaming of in The Sixties. It's a 1964 Land Rover Model 88 with coach lamps, Neiman-Marcus mink lap belts, pink valve caps, a silver Abercrombie & Fitch flask, and ever so much more. Oh, and don't miss the wicker body panels. People wanted to feel they were touring the wilderness from the comfort of their sitting room, perhaps to blow the head off a piece of the wilderness and bring it home to stick it on the wall in a pose that makes it seem as if the piece of wilderness stood a chance in the fight, or even knew the hunter was there.

It reminds me of Jeremy Clarkson's Mercedes cottage modification project car. It had all the comforts of a vacation home, but on the road.

So what's with the "Whicker's World" reference? That was a British documentary show that I only know about because of Monty Python, and here's that. It features Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Mike Palin, Graham Chapman, and John Cleese as Alan Whicker, who apparently was a kind of English Robin Leach of the 1960s. Together, the six Pythons teach us how to do a passable Alan Whicker voice without actually seeing or hearing him. Distilled Whicker.

Please enjoy both of these videos while driving at posted speed limits, for safety's sake.

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Hellman's Mayonnaise - Gloss drop.

Hey, who loves mayonnaise? I do, I do. That's why I use mustard on my sandwiches. if I ate mayonnaise just whenever I wanted it, I'd die of congestive heart failure the in a year.

Okay, next question. What the hell does "'fresh-press' salad oil" mean? Hell if I know, but since it's in quotes and appears in an ad, it very likely means nothing.

When a company puts anything in quotation marks, that's your signal for bullshit. If it's in quotes, that means the advertiser can make up any meaning they want to, which translates to "nothing at all".

Anyway, what's with the two identical brands? There must be some compelling tale about interstate trade or tariffs or tax loopholes when a product is shipped over the Rockies, right? Nope. Turns out on mayonnaise maker bought out another and they both had such a strong foothold on the West and East coasts that the parent company decided to keep their names so as not to lose customers. To this day, Hellman's and Best Foods have identical label designs. Whee. Fascinating.

My mom used to make chicken salad out of mayonn... Dear god what the hell is that????

Green Jell-O, cucumbers, shrimp, and celery chunks? The mystery goop on top had better be barf, because that's what I would garnish this monstrosity with if someone slid it under my nose. 1937, you've got some explaining to do!

A quick Googling reveals this to be some species of "cucumber shrimp mold". I love mayo, but there's not enough of it in the world to make this Cthulhu salad go down easy. I prefer my veggies crunchy, with some kind of spicy/sour dressing on them, not suspended in a gelatinous fruity parody of Amon-Sul.

Still, the rendering is nice, and it would make a decent album cover for Gloss Drop, a wonderful album by neo prog-rockers Battles. Battles make music that, in a way, is a purer form of music than lots of pop music having intelligible lyrics. They use weird time signatures and all kinds of electronic effects without abandoning their guitar-bass-drums sound. The vocals are rarely comprehensible, being buried in pitch shift or some other studio shenanigans. Those rare occasions when you can understand the words, they're weird and abstract enough to leave you to interpret the song yourself from the pictures it conjures in your head. The vocals are used like an instrument, not as narration. Genius. Pointless album cover coming in three, two, one. PointlessalbmcoverNOW!!!

Ice Cream, track two from Gloss Drop, starts with a syncopated looped guitar sample that picks up speed and sets up a brilliant drum beat. Then come the vocals whose meaning matters not at all to me. Their debut album, Mirrored, is also wonderful.