Sharkmania – the proof! (1978)

Yesterday I talked about the perfect competition for all those British kids scared witless by Jaws and Hook Jaw – a Shark Fishing competition – I also touched on the Shark craze that was precipitated by the Spielberg film. Well, someone (a ‘Frankwied’) has posted this on youtube, and it is absolutley wonderful – this is from the guy himself;

The year is 1978. A team of 12 year olds have decided to make a Super8 film of their own based on Jaws. (It’s what everyone was talking about at the time). This may not be as slick as today’s digital videos…which makes it even more genius. (we had to pay $20 [a lot for 12-year olds in 1978] for every 3 minutes of film) And wait till you get a hold of the shark we built…..(it sank after the first scene and you’ll only see the fin after that. And check out our other films in my channel!!!

Here is the link;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L2Igd6uCrA&feature=related

and here is the movie;

The award for the most inappropriate kids comic competition of 1976 goes to…..

….Action Comics!!

Not only was it violent, not only did it use 1970’s ‘youth’ colloquialisms such as ‘ya’ (as in ‘Action is ya favourite violent comic’), but it also held a gloriously bad taste competition. Well, that’s my view anyway. It was also a great competition prize, and an exciting one. But definitely in bad taste. Let me explain in words and pictures;

That shark just above is dubbed Hook Jaw, the undoubted star of IPC comics notorious ‘Action‘ title. Hook Jaw was clearly inspired by, and capitalising on, the Shark craze of the mid 1970’s (prompted by the Spielberg Blockbuster ‘Jaws‘). Some of the works inspired by the film were quite bizarre. Hook Jaw, however, was just plain terrifying. This comic strip amplified our terror of the deep and exaggerated the fearsomeness, the size and predator instincts of a Great White Shark. The shark that appeared in Action acted as a moral avenger, appearing to act out a vendetta against mankind.

Created by Pat Mills (who went on to have a hand in the creation of another seminal British comic character, Judge Dredd), the story had an environmental edge, the Shark, while eating any human unlucky enough to be in its proximity, seemed to target those who would exploit the Seas (the first strip was based around an oil rig);

(the panel above was taken from issue 2 of Action, dated 21st of February, 1976)

So there we go, Hook Jaw, the Great White Shark who was a cover star of the most notorious British Boys comic of the 1970’s;

Competitions in comics are nothing new. They attract new readers, reward existing readers and keep them loyal, and some lucky guy gets the first prize. Action decided to run a competition, one that tied in with one of the comic strips, and one that captured the spirit of the comic, as it certainly promised ‘action’ with a capital A, and one lucky reader got to do the following;

Right – so that’s a fishing trip, to catch a shark! Great opportunity to go out shark fishing, you might even catch HOOK JAW!!!

Er, okay, maybe not.

Amazingly, they did have children enter the competition. They found a winner. The winner did go out on a shark fishing trip. Did he catch Hook Jaw? Did he come back in one piece? Did his dad go with him? Did he come back as well? Were Brody, Hooper and Quint on board? Did they go in the Orca*? All is revealed below….

Finally, here is a gratuitous panel from Hook Jaw from issue 2 of Action (dated 21st of February 1976) – can you see the nod to the Spielberg movie??

Hook Jaw

Jaws

* The Orca was the boat that Quint, Brody and Hooper used to hunt the Great White in Jaws. It still (allegedly) exists (as a bit of a wreck) – have a look

Update – Walls ‘Count Draculas Deadly Secret’ advert (1976)

Taken from issue 22 of the British comic Action, dated 10th of July 1976. These were the upgraded lollies, with the ‘trace-a-face’ gimmick, which was a plastic template type stick, replacing the traditional wooden variety. Great advert, remember this one well. How often do you get to see Dracula standing next to a Walls branded ice cream freezer?? Also, how fantastic would it have been to win a movie projector with reels of horror film thrown in? Wonder what the film was – any bets on it starring a certain Vampire, and being one of the Hammer films, or one of the older Univeral horrors starring Bela Lugosi?

This is a follow up post from a lolly themed one I did a few weeks back – for that one (which includes other ads for ‘Count Draculas Deadly Secret’, go here.

Golden Wonder Kung Fuey snack advert from Action comic (1976)

An advert from the back page of the British comic Action, issue 35, dated 9th October 1976. Kung Fuey snacks were, as I recall, a bit like round wotsits but with a lot more MSG. I loved both varieties, though the Cheese & Ham (in the black packet, somewhat obscured in the advert) was my favourite. I know that you can start petitions to bring back your favourite crisps, so I may consider kicking off a Kung Fuey campaign. The child in the ad looks like a suedehead in training, but he would probably need to do something about those sandals.

By the way, 99p for a Kite with a Dragon on it is a bargain.

Unseen 64 – detailing the development hell of videogames


Just came across this fantastic website;

http://www.unseen64.net/

that details the changes that videogames undergo before they get to market, if they get to market. It has a great search engine, so say I want to check out Resident Evil, I get all kinds of returns, like Resident Evil 1.5 for the PS1 (see the screenshot above) and the beta for Resident Evil 4, which looked stunning. This site is inspired and fascinating and anyone with even a passing interest in gaming needs to go and check the site out. If you don’t, you’ll never understand the thrill of finding out about the game adaptation of Waterworld for the Sega Saturn that never came to fruition;

or the best title of a game I have heard in a long time – I give you ‘Wet Corpse’, another cancelled Saturn game;

LINKS!!

http://www.unseen64.net

tomsgames.com article on the ‘best games never published’

http://www.compuguy1088.eu.org/2006/06/best-games-never-published.html

Resident Evil – the unreleased Gameboy Color version (1999)

If you look below, you will see some video footage of the unreleased Gameboy Color version of Resident Evil;

There is also a great picture of Chris as he battles the fountain monster in the Mansion – click here

Necropolis has some good stuff on the GBC version

GameBoy color preview of the Resident Evil game at IGN