Sorry about yesterday; home internet went down, and did so with great and catastrophic force. In a way, that’s fine. Gave me a night off. Actually, it didn’t – I wrote all this Monday so I could have Tuesday night off. In fact I’m writing it now. I almost hope the internet doesn’t come back.

What do we have today? Paul Magers, people. Serious Magers:

I’ve been digitizing old video tapes – the last box, transferred via a Pyro digitizing thingamarole. I look for 80s commercials, but I’m usually disappointed. They’re not that good. I only taped Jeopardy, Miami Vice, and Crime Story, so there’s lots of car ads.  Car and bad beer. Eighties cars were better than the previous decade’s examples, but they still look thick, and the ads are dull. Now and then I get a tantalizing flash of an ancient TV news ident, or the actual newscast itself. Paul Magers was reporting from a set overrun with stuffed animals for Christmas – a charity event, I believe. You can understand why they got howls of derision, howls, when they changed the station’s ID to KARE, and added stuffed animals. But now it seems like the glory days of HARD NEWS.

I love this po-mo promo, complete with the new symbols of computer-generated modernity: random floating geometric shapes.


The tapes don’t hold up well; the few Twin Peaks I find look like they were dipped in Vaseline and buried for 40 years. I found an entire episode of “Private Eye,” a show that followed the Miami Vice explosion: “Crime Story” was Vice in the 60s, and “Private Eye” was Vice in the 50s. Pretty good, if I recall. I’ll upload the opening credits to YouTube soon – the show deserves a DVD release. Theme by joe Jackson, incidental music by Lalo Schiffren? Yes, please. Plus cars. Cars, slanty light though the blinds, clouds of blue smoke, LA neon. It’s not Elroy material, but it was okay.

Also found an old clip from the “Newton’s Apple” TV show. As it happens, I’m in it. 



Today's Minneapolis update concerns the greatest hotel downtown - for a while, anyway:


Ninety-nine years ago, without atom power or computers, the Hand of Man lofted that into the sky. Here's a close-up with some mysteries:

It's not the price of hay; could be a promo for a new theatrical event that tells a gripping drama in real time. LEV 24. What?

President Taft visited the hotel, as you'll see. Some close-ups not on the site, because they're irrelevant to the subject but fascinating nonetheless. The men at the end of the table. Cool Appraising Youth (with a twitchy eye, perhaps) and stone-gaze'd Reserve, lost in a reverie of regret:

Across the table, Mister Creosote's brother has already vaporized two guests with his flatulence; one appears to have pitched forward into the table before vanishing.


Started to watch a black-and-white movie this evening, just to have something going in the background while I did something in the foreground. From the vast Jasperwood library of unglimpsed flicks, I chose this:

You’re thinking: A war movie about the Children’s Crusade. No, a movie about the perils faced by young women who answer ads promising a career as a model in Brazil. Right! Because Brazil is so hip-deep with hags they have to import.

Say. Who are these guys?

EKKEHARD KYRATH. That’s like the name of a mechanic from another planet. This sounds pretty . . . German.

Yep. The film begins with a shot of beachcombers discovering a body on the shores of Rio; the police tut-tut – these young girls, they flock here thinking they will have careers as models, and they end up dead. Alert Interpol. We soon meet a half-dozen girls brought into Rio by a “Model Agent,” who immediately whisks them off to . . . a modeling agency, where they’re put to work . . . modeling clothes. Turns out the agency paid for the girls to study modeling in Paris, too. So this is a pretty elaborate charade. The girls:

Primzie Wuntpudout, Fraulein Tiztensash, and Ilsa, who's teleported in from a 1970s Ice Capades show about the Camps. They are all quite Churman.

As it happens, the modeling thing is just a front – once they’re brought to Rio, their bosses suggest in the strongest possible terms that they sleep with buyers who come to the shows.

I’m not up on Brazil’s import / export situation, but I’m pretty sure that they didn’t have a prostitute deficit, even in the 50s.

You can tell it’s an “international production” because half the actors are dubbed, 1/4 speak English with a  German accent, and the rest are native-speaking English nobodies. 

Well, not entirely nobody:

Sweaty Burr is scary Burr. He looks like he swam through a pool of Wesson to make the scene. He’s the bad guy. He was usually the bad guy, which makes his later Perry Status all the more interesting.

Even the trailer was dull:

Sales reps? Marketing assistants? The trailer never says, But it does give us another word for model, since fallen into disuse:

Not one of which seems to have gone on to anything else. It's from the "Forgotten Noir" collection, a series of DVDs that makes you want to find a Sharpie and write JUSTLY over each one.

I hope today made up for yesterday. New Comic cover here; new Minneapolis update here, and of course more at and Twitter all day. Have a fine Wednesday!