1. Is This Tomorrow? – This comic book from 1947 seems almost like a parody of the anti-Communist paranoia of the day. But it’s not.
As the sticker indicates (why would you use a red sticker for an anti-Communist pamphlet?), this is the doing of the Catechetical Guild Educational Society, You can see from the first page that the fear is laid on pretty thick. It’s all about how the Communists will infiltrate our government, labor unions, schools, and Hollywood to make us all hate each other and bring us to a tipping point…and then cause a crisis that will naturally put them in charge. Once in charge, they’ll obviously burn all of the food and then go for the Catholics… which is what I think the Catechetical Guild might have been afraid of the whole time.
The whole thing’s over at archive.org, but here are some of my favorite panels. It’s all just so absurd.
Just like that, government overthrown.
Those soldiers have….machine guns!
As you do.
Actually hard to argue with most of these. Be American first is kind of an odd one.
2. Our Mr. Sun – Frank Capra wrote, produced and directed this one-hour educational film about the Sun, and it’s pretty great. The mix of live action and animation made it pretty clear that this was a labor of love, and you can tell that they really didn’t spare any expense.
3. Goosebumps: Escape From Horrorland – This 1996 PC Game is a pretty impressive example of how licensed games aren’t always awful.
This was released during the “sweet spot” of CD-Rom game technology, where having actual full motion video was still a resource-hogging novelty but most people were still tacking it onto games wherever they could without considering whether it was appropriate. The Goosebumps franchise had a little help in this department – they already had a TV series based on the hit books so video production was already in the wheelhouse.
Escape from Horrorland’s story was a sequel from a book release, One Day at Horrorland, which ended up being pretty popular. So you’ve got the story covered, you’ve got the technology down, the only thing left is to make a deep-ish game out of it. Easier said than done, for sure, but Escape from Horrorland had puzzles, collectibles, and multiple endings – pretty rich content. I’m not saying this was Zelda or anything, just pointing out that they probably could have gotten away with a lot less, and they didn’t. And it was a pretty good package for the time. As you can see, it’s very nineties.
Is that a super silly Isabella Rosselini and Jeff Goldblum? I believe it is! They’re both kind of cringeworthy.
4. Your Safety First – Here’s a taste of 1956 pre-Jetsons Futurism…that also features the voice of George O’Hanlon! A pre-Jetsons Jetsons, basically.
5. Vintage Lithographs – Found over at Yesterday’s Papers, here’s a Victorian lithograph of a chid riding an egg bike.