The Magic has gone

Oct 18, 2010

ITEM: Oh dear. The robot isn’t magic anymore. It may well be amazing but it isn’t really the same. And doesn’t it kind of spoil the fun when everything you can think of from days gone by have all begun to come back round again. Like Mamod model steam engines, Stylophones, poverty, rickets…..

ITEM:   Why on earth is “Smashing Time” still unavailable on DVD ?? I have a sudden urge to watch it again. But I don’t have a strong enough urge that would entail me buying  the film on a second-hand VHS tape and then spending hours recovering my final Video Recorder from the attic.

PS: Update January 2012. The whole “Smashing Time” film has just appeared on UToob. Not just clips. The whole film. In fact lots of whole films and sitcom episodes are appearing. Dunno if this is a temporary thing or a new trend as “Flash” files get bigger and bigger, Broadband speeds increase, everyone rushes out to buy “Smart” TVs, You Tube formulates plans to insert yet more ads around their video and to become the only “TV channel” people watch and as parent company Google continue their world domination (whilst still paying less taxes than you and me…..) But at least I get to see “Smashing Time” again. Didn’t we have a smashing time. Welcome to the future. You’re welcome to it………

ITEM:   Dan de Carlo drew this early 1950s series for Standard Comics. The four issues are now collected in book form along with loads of Jetta pin-ups drawn by contemporary artists.  It seems pretty obvious to me that the whole concept was borrowed/stolen by Hanna- Barbera ten years later for their “Jetsons” cartoons (particularly the teenage Judy Jetson). Incidentally, my favourite Jetsons moment is where George is made redundant. His arduous job (in the future of 2062 you work a 3 hour day) consisted of standing by a large machine and periodically pressing a button to stop/start the sprocket production line. He was replaced by a robot sporting a single arm with a gloved hand on the end of it to carry out George’s button pressing without the need for toilet breaks !!  

ITEM:   And talking of space….according to the Interweb there is a 15-mile-long spaceship currently orbiting Jupiter. Even if it were true why assume it contains a thousands-strong invasion fleet that are heading here ? Perhaps it is actually a 15-mile-long escape pod containing a 10-mile-long dead alien ??

2 Responses to “The Magic has gone”

  1. Niblet Says:

    I wonder in which year Jetta was set. From the standpoint of the early 1950s, the year depicted is probably their idea of what 1965 would be like.

  2. I believe Jetta was supposed to be set in 2052 ie: 100 years after it was drawn, just as in the early Jetsons cartoons and comics 2062 and 2063 are mentioned.

    In 1950s and 1960s America there was certainly a “space-age” theme going on. The cars in the late 50s had tail lights that wouldn’t look out of place in Jettas/George Jetsons world.

    It’s a great book and as I’ve got older and Superheroes continue to lose their allure I’ve appreciated work by Dan deCarlo and his ilk much more.
    After 10 years on Millie the Model he would spend some 30 years at Archie. In between he produced some wonderful “adult” gag cartoons for Men’s magazines (now available in book form). Funny how most of the girls in those looked remarkably like Veronica…………..

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