Showing Tag: "pop culture" (Show all posts)

ELEMENTARY, DEAR READER...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, May 13, 2016, In : Pop Culture 

(NOTE: The following is a longer version of one of my recent newspaper columns.)


Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to become reacquainted with an old friend. A fellow I first met when I was a young boy and who became one of my most faithful companions as I was growing up. A gentleman who taught me about the importance of being observant, and of not allowing emotions to overpower logic - a skill I readily admit I have yet to master, though I continue to strive in that direction...


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Why, Kraft, Why?

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, April 23, 2015, In : Opinion 

Dear Kraft Foods:


I was ALREADY angry with you. I have been ever since you made the bone-headed decision a few years back to discontinue sales of your classic Chicken Noodle Dinner - a move which I still consider to be a personal insult to me and my family. 


That delicious dinner in the little brown box had been an important staple of mealtime in the Small Household for as far back as I could remember. More than merely an easy-to-make side dish that went with almost everything, it was an im...


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QUACKY BOO-BOO

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, December 19, 2013, In : Opinion 

The U.S. Congressman who represents my district, Markwayne Mullin (whom I did NOT vote for, nor would I ever), today decided to weigh in on this silly Duck Dynasty "controversy." His statement began thusly:


“America is currently witnessing a contradiction in its core principles. The fundamentals that founded our great nation included the freedom of speech and religion. Unfortunately a man who simply voiced his religious belief, which is protected by our constitution, is now being punished....


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THE NIGHT THAT PANICKED AMERICA

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, In : History 

Seventy-five years ago today America got its first taste of the true power of electronic media, courtesy of what is still considered by many to be the single most famous radio broadcast in the history of the medium. 


The date was Oct. 30, 1938. Fans of the pulp hero Doc Savage were thrilling to his latest adventure in the novel Fortress of Solitude. My father was just a month old. And by the end of the night millions of Americans would be tricked into believing that it was the end of the wor...


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I GUESS I WAS HAVING A BAD DAY...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, October 17, 2013, In : Opinion 


I've heard a lot of people spouting off in recent years about things they as individuals think are “un-American.” As if they as individuals – individuals who, as it happens, weren’t even there in Philadelphia when the Founding Fathers were bickering back and forth putting together the plan that got this country up and running in the first place – are somehow qualified to make a determination for the rest of us as to what is and is not “American.”


Well, a recent incident at home...


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PIC O' THE DAY: "THE SHADOW" SERIAL

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, August 16, 2013, In : Pictures 

Ran across this today and decided I just had to share it...

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STEPPING INTO THE SUPER FRAY

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, June 13, 2013, In : Opinion 


(Christopher Reeve... now THAT'S Superman!)


For much of this week I have been watching and participating in an going debate on Variety's website regarding the validity of Chief Film Critic Scott Foundas' review of the new Superman movie Man Of Steel. For those of you who haven't read it Scott didn't give Man Of Steel the most glowing of reviews, stating that its "humorless tone and relentless noisy aesthetics drag down this heavily hyped, brilliantly marketed tentpole attraction."


You could t...


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SOME OF US STILL DREAM OF JEANNIE

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, In : Pop Culture 
A funny thing happened the other day while I was on the Internet checking up on the latest news. 

I ran across a couple of articles telling of how 78-year-old actress Barbara Eden wowed the crowd in attendance at last Saturday's Life Ball in Vienna, Austria, by showing up dressed in the iconic pink harem costume she wore in the 1960s television series I Dream of Jeannie.

Joined onstage by former President Bill Clinton, Eden addressed the crowd and atone point even performed the classic "Jeannie...

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REMEMBERING THE REAL "SON OF KONG"

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, In : Pop Culture 
Ray Harryhausen: 1920-2013


Every little boy has his heroes. It’s a fact of life. And it is equally true that every little boy grows up dreaming of getting the opportunity to actually meet some of those heroes, and to tell them just how much of an impact they have had upon his life. 


Back in 1925, a boy named Ray went to the theatre and saw a silent film entitled The Lost World, an adaptation of the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel about Professor George Edward Challenger and his expedit...


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PIC OF THE DAY - A TRIBUTE TO ALPHONSE MUCHA

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, March 1, 2013, In : Pictures 
I was goofing around on Photoshop last night and put together this tribute to one of my favorite artists. Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was a Czech-born Art Nouveau painter best known for his many illustrations, advertisements and post card designs; although being best known for his commercial art this was always a source of frustration for Mucha, who once declared that art existed only to communicate a spiritual message. Personally I've always thought that he succeeded in conveying such a messa...
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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY....

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, January 31, 2013, In : Pictures 

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HAPPY TRAILS, COWBOY BUCKAROO

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, In : Reminiscence 
(I'm not sure what Sky would have thought of my using a line from a Harry Chapin song in the above graphic, but to me it just seemed right somehow...)


I had been living in Johnston County for only a few days when I first became aware of Sky Corbin. I had come to town by myself to take the news reporter's job here at the Capital-Democrat and to set up house in anticipation of my wife and infant son joining me a month later. My books and my TV were back in Illinois with the family, and the only ...


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ZEN AND THE FINE ART OF PACKRATTERY

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, October 4, 2012, In : Pop Culture 


Lancelot had his Holy Grail; Indiana Jones, his Lost Ark. And, for many years,  I had The Record.


Not just any record, you understand. The object of my quest was an album entitled Somethin’ Else, recorded by The Kingston Trio and released by Decca Records in November of 1965. 


I’ve been a fan of the Kingston Trio since I was a small boy. Between the two of us, my father and I had managed to collect every album that the Kingston Trio ever recorded… except this one. So I spent close to ...


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Sweatin' The Little Stuff...

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, In : Opinion 

Apologies in advance if today's entry comes across sounding cranky or surly or curmudgeonly. That’s not an impression that I particularly like leaving with others. I much prefer to think of myself as being a cheerful, optimistic, “glass half full” kind of guy, and have spent a lifetime desparately striving to portray myself in such a manner. Not always with success, I’ll grant you, but give me credit for trying. It’s more than some people I’ve met have ever bothered to do.


On the...


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Happy Birthday ERB!

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, August 30, 2012, In : Pop Culture 
(Thanks to my old friend Julian Frye for sharing this photo; please note no copyright infringement is intended.)


Since this Saturday (September 1) is the 135th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Rice Burroughs, I thought I'd share this poem I wrote a number of years ago in honor of my favorite storyteller. It's not great but it came from the heart:


IN MEMORIAM: ERB


A Poem By John Allen Small



With simple words on paper

He drew a map that led me

On a pathway to adventure:

From Africa and Hell's ...


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FROM THE ARCHIVES: A CHIP OFF THE OL' BLOCK

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, August 9, 2012, In : Reminiscence 


(NOTE: The following tale was originally published as a newspaper column, and later appeared in my 2011 collection "Something In The Air" [available on Amazon.com]. It is being shared here in honor of Lego's 80th Anniversary.)


A buddy of mine stopped by the house a few years back and seemed rather surprised to find me sprawled out on the living room floor playing with my son’s Lego blocks.


Perhaps he might not have been quite as mystified had my three-year-old son been there, playing and ...


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REGARDING AURORA...

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, July 23, 2012, In : Opinion 

There was a graphic floating around on Facebook the day after the horrific theatre shooting in Aurora, Colo., that read as follows: "84,999,989 firearm owners killed no one yesterday." 


To be fair, the observation was true enough. But my response is one firearm owner DID kill 12 and wounded 57 others that terrible day, and that was one too many as far as I'm concerned...


*      *      *


Of all the responses to the Aurora incident I've encountered on the Internet these past few days,...


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I'M SORRY, BUT I LIKED THE '70S

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, June 28, 2012, In : Reminiscence 


 

One of my favorite people in the known universe is my former college journalism professor (and still good friend) Joe Bentz – that’s Dr. Joseph Bentz, thank you very much, noted Christian author and currently a teacher of writing and American literature at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, if you ever want to look him up on the Internet. (You really should; he's an interesting and talented fellow, and as my Uncle Bean used to say a good egg into the bargain.) 


While it wa...


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PIC O'THE DAY: FROM THE "MOVIES WE'D LIKE TO SEE" DEPARTMENT...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, June 22, 2012, In : Pictures 

...On a twin bill with The Marx Brothers in "A Night On Mongo"
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PIC OF THE DAY: LET IT BE

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, June 21, 2012, In : Pictures 

Over the years, for my own amusement, I have created some parodies of the Beatles' "Let It Be" cover. I started out with other musical groups, then branched off in other directions. Today I put them all together in a single poster-style graphic so i could share them with my friends on the Internet. Hope you like them...
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COSMIC LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, In : Pop Culture 

 

Somebody – it may have been one of my high school English teachers, but I can’t remember at the moment – once told me that a person can’t learn anything valuable from reading science fiction, or from watching it on television or at the movies.


Who says? 


If, indeed, my old college professor Dr. Bill Finger was correct in observing that there are lessons to be learned at every stop we may make along the way in this life, then it stands to reason that popular fiction in general – a...


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LIFE IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, In : Reminiscence 

Recently – and with as little fanfare as possible, thank you very much – I observed the 49th anniversary of my arrival in this world. I say “observed” rather than “celebrate” because... well, because I’ve reached a point in my life in which the latter term seems ever so slightly less appropriate. At least it does to me. At the moment. If I make it another 10 to 20 years I suspect I’ll go back to celebrating because, let’s face it, making it that far is something a little mor...


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THANK YOU, MR. LUCAS

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, June 7, 2012, In : Pop Culture 
(The Town Cinema theatre, Kankakee, Illinois, June 1977)


As difficult as it is for me to acknowledge, it was 35 years ago this week that a trip to one of the local movie houses where I lived had an unexpectedly profound impact upon my imagination – and, indeed, upon my life.


The movie in question had actually opened in other cities a couple of weeks earlier; between that time and the day it finally arrived at the old Town Cinema theatre in Kankakee. Illinois, I had seen a number of news rep...


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FROM THE ARCHIVES: DAGWOOD'S REVENGE

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, April 26, 2012, In : Unbridled Silliness 

Was going through a box of old papers last night and came across this piece I drew way back in 1988 and had forgotten about. Decided to scan it and share with my friends here. It's admittedly odd, but I hope you like it.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: VERONICA AS DEJAH

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, April 2, 2012, In : Pictures 

This is another one of those Archie-themed pieces I did some years back that I just recently decided to start sharing with my friends. Again, it's nothing spectacular but then I mainly did it just for laughs.
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I Don't Care What Anyone Says; I LIKED "John Carter"

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, March 29, 2012, In : Opinion 

Every now and then I find myself in the unusual (and not always desirable) position of championing some cause that seems to fly in the face of mass public opinion. I guess it is not altogether unfair to blame my parents for this tendency; after all, they are the ones who drummed into my mind as a child the importance of standing up for what you believe, and the notion that what is popular is not always what is right.


Sometimes those battles place me on what some would consider to be the wron...


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FROM THE ARCHIVES: WHAT HAPPENS IN GOTHAM...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, March 23, 2012, In : Pictures 

I'm sorry. I have no real explanation for this one, either...
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FROM THE ARCHIVES: ANOTHER CROSSOVER IDEA

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, March 22, 2012, In : Pictures 

Those Archie-related Photoshop pics of mine that I've posted here over the past week made me remember that there are a few earlier pieces in the same vein that I did some years back but to the best of my memory have never shared. Here's one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy it.
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PIC O' THE DAY: ANOTHER CROSSOVER IDEA

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, In : Pictures 

Here's yet a third cover for an imagined comics crossover idea i came with with the other day. Have to be honest with you, though: even I don't know what I was thinking of when this one popped into my head...
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PIC O' THE DAY: "ELSEWORLDS" IDEA

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, March 16, 2012, In : Pictures 

Got inspired last night to do another "fantasy crossover" comic book cover like the one I posted yesterday. In this case i guess it really isn't so much a crossover as it is an "Elseworlds" or "What If?" sort of thing. Looking at it now I realize I should have included Reggie as Cyborg; maybe I'll go back later and redo it.
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PIC O' THE DAY: CROSSOVER COMICS IDEA

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, March 15, 2012, In : Pictures 

The fellow that's been creating his own crossover comic book covers using the old DC "The Brave And The Bold" and "Super-Team Family" designs and posting them at his website (http://braveandboldlost.blogspot.com) has been providing me with so much fun that I decided to take a another stab at putting together such covers of my own. I'll grant that it's not quite as good as his work, but it was still fun to do. I've done this sort of thing off and on over the years anyway but I hadn't come up w...
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Pic Of The Day - Classic Doc

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, February 24, 2012, In : Pictures 

Just another one of my Photoshop-rendered fake covers, submitted for your entertainment.
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LUPERCUS AND THE ART OF MODERN ROMANCE

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, In : Holiday 

“It is said that wise men are not affected by women.


“Then there ain’t no wise men in this ‘appy world!”


– Exchange between two of the villain's henchmen in the Doc Savage novel Meteor Menace, originally published march 1934 (Quoted from memory so don't be too rough on me...)


*      *      *


Every February 15th, the ancient Romans used to take part in a fertility ritual known as the Lupercalia, so named in honor of some obscure rustic diety known as Lupercus.


Much later - som...


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THE FREEDOM TO READ

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, January 20, 2012, In : Opinion 


Hitler burned books, and we here in America were outraged. Such behavior flew in the face of the spirit of freedom which we have always claimed to hold dear. “Thank God such things can't happen here in America,” we said.


But guess what? It HAS happened here – and would no doubt more often, if certain people were to have their way. They claim their motives are different, of course – but what else would you expect from folks who have dedicated their lives to telling us what we can or c...


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SOMETHING FROM THE ARCHIVES...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, January 13, 2012, In : Pictures 

Was going through some old computer discs the other night looking for some old notes for a fiction piece I've been working on when i came across this old picture of my son William I put together in Photoshop a number of years ago. Gee, he was a cute kid at that age...
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You Celebrate Your Way,I'll Celebrate Mine...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, January 12, 2012, In : Pop Culture 
(Now here's a Marx Brothers movie I would have liked to see...)


In spite of my best intentions – not to mention repeated vows that I most certainly will never let it happen again – every now and then I find myself inexorably drawn into online debates about topics that are of interest to me


The latest example occurred just after Christmas, when I became the target of ridicule hurled in my direction by  someone I could only assume is too young to remember a time when personal computers were...


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HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE MIGRAINE…

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, December 2, 2011, In : Holiday 
(Above: The Small Family Christmas Tree, circa 2001. And yes, I realize that even though I rail about the over-commercialization of Christmas in this essay, I have a few obvious commercial-type ornaments on my tree. Look, I never said I was perfect...)



There are those moments in every man’s life which are destined to live forever in his memory, no matter how hard he may try to forget. For me, the day after Thanksgiving 1995 certainly proved to be such a memory…


I was sitting at my desk th...


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I WOULD HAVE GONE TO SEE IT...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, November 17, 2011, In : Pictures 

Between my job at the newspaper and being busy trying to complete a fiction story I'd been invited to write for an upcoming anthology I haven't had much time to even think about this blog here of late. But I didn't realize how long it had been until I got a message this morning asking "Why no new posts?" So I thought I'd pop in just long enough to let the 3 or 4 who pay attention to this blog know I'm still here, and to share another of my fantasy movie posters. This is one I did back in 2003...
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NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, November 3, 2011, In : Pictures 

Another of the fake covers I've created using Photoshop in recent years. Wanted to do something with Buckaroo Banzai because I was such a fan of both the film and the novelization. I know it's silly, but I really enjoy doing little things like this for my own amusement and when I come up with one I think is worth sharing I like to do so. 
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ANOTHER FANTASY COVER

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 21, 2011, In : Pictures 

Here's another fantasy cover I created... this one was done way back when GWB was still president and I wishing on a daily basis that he was not, but that's a troy for another time. The thing I liked about this one was planting a teaser in the corner for an article purporting to tell about the "Eugenics Wars." Kind of silly I suppose but, hey, I like it that way.
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CELEBRITY CRUSHES...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 14, 2011, In : Pop Culture 

Ran across a thread on www.moviefanfare.com yesterday where guest blogger Peter Eramo, Jr shared his own personal top five celebrity crushes - stars who, to use his own words, "are simply hot, hot, hot!"


It was an interesting list to say the least. Not surprisingly it included three current celebrities - Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel and Christina Hendricks - two of which I have to admit have never done much for me. (I'll leave it to others to figure out which two.) I was impressed t find...


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Another Fantasy Cover...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, October 13, 2011, In : Unbridled Silliness 

This is just a silly little thing I did for laughs back when I was first starting to really learn how to use Photoshop. Came across a piece of cover art from one of those "spicy pulp story" magazines from the 1930s and decided to create my own version. Used Mary Tyler Moore as the cover model because I had such a crush on her when I was a kid; did you ever see the way she just kind of pulls away her pearl necklace and smiles as she exits the final scene of the very first episode of The Dick V...
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NOW HERE'S A WILD IDEA...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, October 6, 2011, In : Unbridled Silliness 

Having recently shared a few of my silly ideas for fantasy book covers, movie posters, etc., thought I'd continue in that vein by offering this fake TV show ad I made a few years back. A friend of mine had raised the question of what it might have been like if the characters from MASH had been part of a starship crew instead of an Army hospital. I ran with the idea and had some fun, creating not only this ad but even a fake episode guide for this "fantasy series." I've still got the episode g...
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Dream Movie Posters: John Carter Of Mars

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, September 16, 2011, In : Pictures 


Instead of one of my fake covers, today I thought I'd share one of a handful of fake movie posters I've designed in Photoshop during the past few years. In honor of the release early next year of Disney's film adaptation of the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter of Mars" stories, I decided to share my version of what such a film might have been like had it been released back in the 1940s or thereabouts...

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More Dream Covers: View-Master Packaging

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, September 14, 2011, In : Pictures 


This was another experiment in creating my own covers from a few years back: in this case not a book or magazine or comic book cover, but the package art for a fictional Talking View-Master set from the 1970s. (Remember those?) Again, a silly little thing I did on Photoshop but I've still got a soft spot for this sort of thing.

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Another Dream Cover: Jedi Of Bronze

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, September 12, 2011, In : Pictures 


Here is another fantasy cover I designed for the fun of it a few years back, this one placing Doc Savage in the Star Wars universe. Some will call it silly and maybe they're right. I like it anyway.

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Won't Find These In Overstreet's...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, September 8, 2011, In : Pop Culture 


A while back I wrote about a website where a fellow has been designing his own fake comic books covers and shared an example of his work. That got me to thinking that I've taken a stab at that same sort of thing every now and then for the past few years, and thought maybe I'd share some examples of my own work from time to time. This is one I did about six or seven years ago; it was inspired by a discussion I had with my son Joshua, who was about 13 or 14 at the time, regarding the fact that ...
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THIS ONE'S LIKELY TO GET ME IN TROUBLE WITH SOME FOLKS...

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, August 16, 2011, In : Pop Culture 

Flipping through the television channels some years back, I stumbled upon a television news program which had devoted its entire hour to examining what has apparently one of the most popular religions in modern America.


One segment of the program which particularly fascinated me followed four members of this faith as they travelled about their own personal version of Mecca, pausing at various shrines to pay tribute to the object of their earnest devotion: a statue bearing his likeness, the p...


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THE GREAT HOT DOG EXPEDITION OF 2011

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, August 10, 2011, In : Travel 
(Photo: My son William in front of Tony Packo's Cafe in Toledo, Ohio - August 1, 2011)

 

You know, at the outset it really didn’t seem like all that difficult a task to undertake. After all, all we were trying to do was find our way to a restaurant.


Well, okay, not just any restaurant. We were on the hunt for Tony Packo’s Cafe – renowned throughout the land as the favorite eatery of that legendary American veteran of the Korean War, Maxwell Q. Klinger.


Maybe I’d better start at the be...


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FROM THE ARCHIVES: IT’S ONLY A GAME...

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, August 9, 2011, In : Opinion 
(Note: The following originally appeared as one of my newspaper columns a few years back. With another high school football season quickly approaching, it seemed like a good time to share it here.)


Once upon a time - and yet not really all that long ago, if you stop to think about it - all it really took for the boys in the neighborhood to have a good time was an empty lot, the proper equipment, enough fellows to make up two full teams, and one captain willing to let Little Brother Tag-Along p...


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SHADOW OF THE BAT

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, July 22, 2011, In : Pop Culture 


When I was a little boy, there were two heroes that I really looked up to.


The first was my father. Well, I suppose that’s typical enough…every little boy I ever knew wanted to grow up and be just like his old man, and all the little girls wanted to be like their mommies. That is, until all those little boys and girls grew into teenagers, and suddenly Mommy and Daddy were somehow transformed (if only for a brief time) into Mother and Father. The Dreaded Enemies.


The other great hero of ...


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PIC OF THE DAY: All You Need Is The Thing!

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, July 15, 2011, In : Pop Culture 


There's a great blog - http://braveandboldlost.blogspot.com - manned by a fellow who does a killer job of creating his own team-up comic book covers. He originally did a series of imaginary "Brave And The Bold" team-ups between Batman and a myriad of guest stars you'd have to see to believe; more recently he set Batman aside to concentrate on a new series of "Marvel Two-In-One" covers featuring The Thing in similar team-up situations. I was glancing through the site today after not having had...
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SOMETIMES THE MUSIC IN YOUR HEAD SHOULD STAY THERE...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, July 8, 2011, In : Pop Culture 
Have you ever noticed how some things seem to lodge themselves in your brain to the point that you just can’t drive them away, even if you bang your head over and over against that big pecan tree in your backyard?

The worst part about it is that, more often than not, these unwelcome mental lodgers tend to be things you’re not the least bit interested in. Things you weren’t consciously thinking about, and maybe wouldn’t consicously think about even if your life depended on it. And sudde...

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PIC OF THE DAY

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, June 30, 2011, In : Pictures 

This is a picture I cobbled together on Photoshop just for fun a few years back. Always kinda liked this one, silly as it is...
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MORE TREK: THE EUGENICS WARS

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, June 24, 2011, In : Pop Culture 


As long as we're on the subject of "Star Trek," let me begin by stating that there's a story behind the above illustration...


Back in 2000, as much for my own amusement as anything else, I wrote an essay entitled "The Eugenics War Declassified," in which I attempted to explain how the Eugenic Wars first mentioned in a 1966 "Star Trek" episode could have still occurred given what had actually transpired historically during the intervening years. As a fan of Philip José Farmer and his Wold Ne...


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"ALL RIGHT... WHO CALLED ME A TREKKIE?"

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, June 23, 2011, In : Pop Culture 


 (Note: The above picture is my son William standing in front of the original model of the USS Enterprise at the Smithsonian Institute's Air and Space Museum during or visit to Washington D.C. in 2009)



 

“I didn’t know you were a Trekkie, Small.”


The comment was made by my boss one day a number of years ago as he happened to overhear a conversation I was having with a co-worker. We were talking about the film “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,” which I found (and still find) to...


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Pic Of The Day: Joe Lansdale And Me

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, June 16, 2011, In : Pictures 
With this year's FarmerCon - the annual celebration honoring famed science fiction writer (and friend) Philip José Farmer - just around the corner, I thought I'd share this photograph taken at the first FarmerCon I attended at Phil's house back in 2007. This is me with award-winning SF-horror-western author Joe Lansdale together in the library in Phil's basement, where we and other PJF friends and fans gathered to talk about Phil and the impact his work has had our lives both personally and ...
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(From The Archives) CROSSOVER CONTEST ENTRY

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, June 10, 2011, In : Pop Culture 

(Note: The following was my entry in a contest Time magazine held in the late 1990s - I forget the exact year right off - in which the publication asked its readers to submit ideas for an episode of a television series in which characters from another series make an appearance. The winner was some dummy that had Homer SImpson turning up on an episode of "E.R." I still like MY idea better....)


*      *      *


Dear Time:


My name is John Small. I live in Ravia, Oklahoma, and the following is ...


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From The Archives: "ELEANOR RIGBY" RECONSIDERED

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, June 9, 2011, In : Pop Culture 
(Note: This is a paper I wrote for my Introduction to Poetry class in college back in 1988. The assignment, as I recall, had to do with using what we had learned about delving into the deeper meaning of poems and applying it to popular songs; the professor assigned each of us a different song and, knowing that I was a Beatles fan, he gave me "Eleanor Rigby". He made a point of saying later that he didn't really agree with my interpretation of the piece, but gave me an "A" anyway. I don't know...
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Pic Of The Day - For Kingston Trio Fans

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Pop Culture 
Awhile back some of my fellow posters over at The Kingston Trio Place (http://www.kingstontrioplace.com/) were discussing what actors might have been cast in a movie about the popular folk group had such a film been made back in the 1960s. I liked a couple of the names that were tossed about and made this fake poster to advertise their dream project. Went over well enough that I thought I'd re-post it here.
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From The Archives: QUESTOR

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, June 6, 2011, In : Pop Culture 
Came across this old file that I wrote back in college (circa about 1989 or '90) as part of a "fanzine" a buddy an I put together. This is probably my first real attempt at Phil Farmer-style creative mythography (it probably shows) and as such set the stage for so much that has happened in my life since then.

So without further ado...

*      *      *

 THE QUESTOR FILES


By John Allen Small


On occasion in various regions of the planet Earth during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, there we...


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Pic Of The Day

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, In : Pictures 
Following my good buddy Win Eckert's example, I thought every now and again I'd post some picture that I feel worth sharing. We'll start with this thing I did a while back while fooling around on Photoshop trying to keep myself entertained...
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THE NEW MYTHOLOGY

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, In : Pop Culture 
(Note: This essay was originally written approximately a decade ago. It has been revised slightly for inclusion here at this time; I apologize upfront for any inaccuracies stemming from the passage of time that I failed to catch during that revision process.)


“Mythology  n. The collective myths and legends of a particular people, usually describing the exploits of gods and heroes…”



Every era of Mankind’s existence has produced its own unique set of heroes, and the past century has ce...


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POP QUIZ No. 1: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ME...

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, May 23, 2011, In : Pop Culture 

I have often been accused of not being in step with the rest of the world when it comes to my preferences, beliefs and outlooks on life. Personally I’ve never much cared about such things, and typically when the accusation has been thrown my way my response is that I’m fine and it’s the rest of the world that is out of synch. 


This test was created to determine if I’m really that far off into my own little world, or if there are more of us out there than the masses would care to beli...


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(From The Archives) DREAMCASTING DOC SAVAGE

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, May 20, 2011, In : Pop Culture 

I was digging through some old files the other night and ran across something I wrote that suddenly seemed noteworthy again in light of our most recent celebrity controversy... 


It was written in response to a lengthy discussion amongst members of the New Wold Newton Meteorics Society concerning an article in the July 7, 1999 edition of Variety in which it had been announced that former actor, former governor and philandering husband Arnold Schwarzenegger was planning to star as Doc Savage i...


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CULTURE IS JUST A BOWL OF YOGURT

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, May 19, 2011, In : Pop Culture 

Somebody once told me that I didn’t have any culture.


It happened way back during my college days, but I remember the incident as vividly as if it were yesterday. Some classmates and I took a trip up to Chicago one weekend (apparently it was one of those all-too-rare weekends when none of us had any term papers to write), and while we were there one of our number suggested that we pay a visit to one of the city’s famed art galleries.


I didn’t really want to go. To be honest, I don’t...


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About Me


John Allen Small John A. Small is an award-winning newspaper journalist, columnist and broadcaster whose work has been honored by the Oklahoma Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the National Newspaper Association, and the Oklahoma Education Association. He and his wife Melissa were married in 1986; they have two sons, Joshua Orrin (born 1991) and William Ian (born 1996). Mr. Small is the News Editor and columnist for the Johnston County Capital-Democrat, a weekly newspaper headquartered in Tishomingo, OK. He obtained his nickname, "Bard of the Lesser Boulevards," from a journalism colleague - the late Phil Byrum - in recognition of the success of his popular newspaper column, "Small Talk." (In addition to the many awards the column itself has received over the years, a radio version of "Small Talk" earned an award for "Best Small Market Commentary" from the Society of Professional Journalists in 1998.) John was born in Oklahoma City in 1963; lived in the Bradley-Bourbonnais-Kankakee area of Illinois for most of the next 28 years (with brief sojourns in Texas and Athens, Greece, thrown in to break up the monotony); then returned to his native state in 1991, where he currently resides in the Tishomingo/Ravia area. He graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 1981, and received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais in 1991. The years between high school and college were a period frought with numerous exploits and misadventures, some of which have become the stuff of legend; nobody was hurt along the way, however, which should count for something. In addition to his professional career as a journalist he has published two short story collections: "Days Gone By: Legends And Tales Of Sipokni West" (2007), a collection of western stories; and "Something In The Air" (2011), a more eclectic collection. He was also a contributor to the 2005 Locus Award-nominated science fiction anthology "Myths For The Modern Age: Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe," edited by Win Scott Eckert. In additon he has written a stage play and a self-published cookbook; served as project editor for a book about the JFK assassination entitled "The Men On The Sixth Floor"; and has either published or posted on the Internet a number of essays, stories and poems. He has also won writing awards from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Library of Poetry. He is a past president of the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce in Tishomingo; was a charter member and past president of the Johnston County Reading Council, the local literacy advocacy and "friends of the library" organization; served as Johnston County's first-ever Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator in 1994-95; served two terms as chairman of the Johnston County (OK) Democratic Party; and has taught journalism classes for local Boy Scout Merit Badge Fairs. He is a member of the New Wold Newton Meteorics Society.
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