Let’s try a thing. The thing is, there’s dozens of obscure corners of geek fandom topics that never quite get their just dues. That’s because they’re too small to stretch out to a regular post, and too awkward to fit into a neat category. We’ll call it potpourri! Browse it whenever you have a rainy day free, thrill to the many little re-discoveries.
Howard The Duck Vintage Trading Cards
We know, the movie tanked, in a way that brings delightful tingles of schadenfreude for those of us who enjoy seeing George Lucas taken down a notch. The obligatory Nostalgia Critic review:
But the Marvel comic book, Howard the Duck, was actually a big hit! During the 1970s, Howard the Duck was a subversive title for Marvel to publish. It was full of social commentary, satire, snarks on modern society, and even some political commentary. Moreover, the whole premise was a parody of other animal comics (Disney launched a legal battle over what would, ironically, become its property). Many cite Howard the Duck as an example of underground comix influencing mainstream publishers. Don’t let one badly-thought-out movie keep a duck down.
This is Twiki, the adorable little midget robot of Buck Rogers fame who still clings to life today as a very niche meme. Here is a deep dive on Twiki’s backstory:
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is all but forgotten in the modern day. But if the dice had rolled a different way in pop culture, Buck Rogers would be in the place of Star Wars about now. The comics and pulp novels began in the 1920s, nearly a century ago, with numerous radio play, film, and TV adaptations throughout the early 20th century. Then along came George Lucas and Star Wars, which was inspired by the likes of Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and other golden-age space operas. This prompted the license-holders of Buck Rogers to launch this new TV series, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, with the best production ever. As stupid luck would have it, audiences dismissed it as a Star Wars knock-off when it was actually the other way around. Here you have the original and what do you get for your trouble? Daffy Duck makes fun of you.
We are coming upon the 40th anniversary of The Beastmaster (1982), the fantasy sci-fi sword & sorcery that was just enough of a success to break even, but not enough to make a further impression. Start with a Conan the Barbarian setting (comparisons ran rampant), and add a druid-like hero who can command the will of animals. Decker Shado gets the review spot this time, because of his great hair:
Beastmaster has two claims to modern fame: (1) Homage in a Halloween episode of Community, and (2) having an all-cheese cast for a B-movie including the legendary, late Tanya Roberts, who did pass away in 2021. Roberts will be sorely missed and played in just enough geek-cred movies to count as among our pantheon.
I’m not even sure if the world is ready for this one yet, but here is a print of the lead characters from The Adventures of Electra Elf and Fluffer. Of course it is! You have never heard of this show unless (a) you recently lived in New York City, and (b) you watched public access television. We could have sworn public access channels on cable were no longer a thing years ago – hello, YouTube? But anyway, here’s the ridiculously low-budget, yet catchy, trailer:
So this is basically a one-woman show (the chihuahua is Fluffer) created by Jen Miller, AKA “Saint Reverend Jen,” a multimedia performance artist who basically comes from Planet Boho and doesn’t have a problem with it. Electra Elf is a mild-mannered art magazine reporter by day, costumed crime-fighter by night, with her chihuahua Fluffer as sidekick. And this kind Etsy soul is reaching out to you, dear reader, because you are a fan of this show and they understand you!
Yes, yes, we know, the movies! The MCU movies are why Doctor Strange is revived for a new generation, played by Denaburt Batcherclumb Whatsisname. We couldn’t be happier! But this handsome poster art is here to remind you that Doctor Strange was one of the most innovative and arty Marvel titles of its day. Here’s a fitting history of the Sorcerer Supreme:
Yeah, we may not appreciate it now, but Doctor Strange, the character created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, was a risky character to launch back in the early 1960s. He was always destined to be a niche title, never dumbed-down to make it more accessible for the imagination-challenged. He was there to pick up on the counterculture movement of the time, psychedelic art fans, and growing interest in mysticism. For comparison, look at how much moral-right backlash Harry Potter got decades later. Doctor Strange was Harry Potter before Bewitched premiered!