Justin Salvato - 2XL - Verbot

Justin M. Salvato’s Vintage Computing & Retro Video Games Ep. 2

In the second episode of Justin M. Salvato’s “Vintage computers & Retro video games” I decide to give a tour of my home office. You’ll see old computers, game consoles, books, software and some random retro goodies. There’s more to the collection than what is in this room, but all that will be discussed in future episodes.


Allison Doesn’t Know Jack….About Movies!


Well, I’m insulted.

Or is it that I just don’t know a Jack?

Oh wait, I do know a Jack.

This game IS insulting me!


Joey, Do You Like Gladiator Movies? How Do You Feel About American Gladiators…The Game?

Allison Doesn’t Know Jack

You didn’t really think I’d avoid shamelessly promoting the first and second gameplay videos in this series, right?

Now why would I not do that?

First things first, I want to thank all of you have watched and supported both of my Retroist gameplay videos – these gameplay videos have proven to be incredibly fun to make. As always, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my mad skills with you, gaming, writing, or otherwise. And by mad, I mean “it has to be a game I can successfully beat, or something I can write the hell out of!” And by you, I mean the small but captive audience that comes here for my gameplay and sharp, witty writing skills.

Thank you for the millionth time!

With that out of the way…

When my interest piqued in playing You Don’t Know Jack Television again after a ten-year hiatus (those ten years were not voluntary, trust me!), I figured it was only natural that I go ahead and give the other game I received as a gift at the same time the gameplay treatment. So I plunked down an additional $2.99 for a download of You Don’t Know Jack Movies from Amazon.

I’m not going to tell you I’m particularly impressive with this one – television has and always will be my thing, but I do like movies. And this game has ’em, and like the Television game, the questions are dated, since this version?is also from 1997.

Screenshot (205)

You Don’t Know Jack Movies takes the conventional YDKJ spin, applies it to the film industry, and dishes out smartass commentary and questions about films you know and love…if anything done before 1997 is your thing. It was released on April 30, 1997, right before the Television game (like seriously, it came out a little over a week before the Television game). Much like the Television game, I played it often, but it too was lost during a move 10 years ago. Also like the Television game, I searched for it, but it eventually fell off my radar. The game is also part of several compilation sets (my boyfriend bought it as part of the Classic Pack through Steam), but since my interests lie primarily with the Television and Movie games, I bought mine individually through Amazon.

As I said, I’m not as impressive skill-wise with this game, but I do enjoy the insults for the ones I don’t answer correctly, or don’t answer at all. If you’d like to see how I did, go ahead and click play below. Again, there’s no talking during this one, as it detracts heavily from the gameplay itself. I promise a future gameplay where you can hear me ramble on and on, but until then, just watch me play You Don’t Know Jack Movies!

Thanks for watching, and try not to let the game insult you.



You know, like it insults me.

When Allison isn’t being the incredibly talented GIPHY maker, writer, and trivia game whiz she is all over Retroist, she is doing all of this over on her blog, Allison’s Written Words. She wants you to think there is a magic to everything she does, but there isn’t. She would love for you to take a peek over there, and to follow her blog on Facebook if you like updates. Oh, and she’s on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut. She’d love to hear from you.

Go on, reach out and tweet her!

Jack Davis

R.I.P. Jack Davis (1924 – 2016)

It was a sad day for fans of sequential art the other day as it was confirmed that the legendary cartoonist and illustrator Jack Davis passed away at the age of 91. While it can’t be denied that he lived a long and fulfilling life – for those of us that loved his art style it still hurts to know we won’t be seeing any new artwork from Davis.

Jack Davis really got his start when he obtained a job with William Gaines of EC Comics – providing illustrations for the covers of Tales from the Crypt from issues #29 to #46. He also provided the art for some of the legendary stories from that comic series like “Foul Play”, “Tight Grip” and “Lower Berth” to name a few.
Foul Play - Jack Davis - Tales from the Crypt
Davis also worked on Gaines’ other EC titles such as The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror, Two-Fisted Tales, Incredible Science Fiction, Terror Illustrated, Frontline Combat, and Piracy. Sadly Dr. Fredric Wertham helped put a nail in the coffin of EC Comics and Jack found work briefly with Marvel Comics on their title The Rawhide Kid. Although there was one publication from EC that survived the witch hunt that Wertham started and it might be what David is best known for and that was Mad Magazine!

Image courtesy of the Scott Eder Gallery.

Image courtesy of the Scott Eder Gallery.

Of course you probably saw his artwork in your youth and didn’t even realize it – as David also did the toy catalog for Marx Toys in 1975.
Image courtesy of the Ephemerist.

Image courtesy of The Ephemerist.

Numerous TV Guide covers…
Image courtesy of Drew Friedman.

Image courtesy of Drew Friedman.

Image courtesy of Drew Friedman.

Image courtesy of Drew Friedman.

…and even some of the inner artwork for TV specials like 1974’s Out to Lunch.
Image courtesy of the Muppet Wiki.

Image courtesy of the Muppet Wiki.

Jack Davis also did film posters, album covers, and even found his art style being used in TV Commercials like this one from back in 1979 for Chex Cereal!

[Via] D Heine

While it is most certainly a sad thing that Jack Davis has passed away and another reminder just how brutal 2016 has been – we can take some measure of comfort no matter how small that he left us with an amazing amount of work to enjoy as his legacy, work that will entertain for many more years to come.

Image 2 - In Search Of - Nimoy

In Search of ‘In Search Of…’: Episode 3: Lines on the Ground, Visitors from Space

The series goes full-tilt on ancient flying machines and the origin of geoglyphs such as the Nazca Lines

In this ongoing feature for the Retroist, I’m reviewing every episode of In Search Of. For the background on this project, have a look at the first installment.

‘Ancient Aviators’*
Air Date: April 24, 1977
Alan Landsburg Productions

Written Narration: Robert Long, Deborah Blum
Produced: Deborah Blum
Directed: not identified
Photography: Paul Desatoff, Joe Mignone
Music: Laurin Rinder and W. Michael Lewis
Researchers: Herb Rabinowitz, Jeanne Russo
Acknowledgments: Will Wings, Torrey Pines ; Jorge Milberg, Lima, Peru ; Braniff International
ISO_3_Image 1_Title Card
The third episode of the first season is the second installment in the series to not carry a director’s name during the credits. The writing duties, in this case, are handled by the series’ producer and its associate producer.

Note the initial air date; it’s the same as episode two. This detail, along with other instances of air dates overlapping – or being consecutive or close together – suggests that different broadcast markets aired different episodes of the show in their own chosen sequence. I’ll continue to look for an explanation as to why the initial air dates aren’t always seven-days apart. (Readers: if you know about broadcast practices in the 1970s and can answer the question about air dates, please write to me at james [at] jamesobrien [dot] cc)

Episode Summary
ISO_3_Image 2_Plane Shadow
The shadow of a small plane rippling across the landscape of the Nazca Plain in Peru appears often in this episode. Leonard Nimoy, our narrator, describes the question at hand.

“Huge drawings are etched in the ground,” he says, as aerial shots of humanoid depictions and geometric shapes can be seen from the vantage of the aircraft. “They make sense only when viewed from a great height. Miles of what look like modern runways score the desert… What manner of craft landed here? Who where the pilots?”

After the opening credits, we are introduced to specific shapes – a spider-like creature, giant bird-like animals… Though the word is not mentioned in the episode, these ground-drawings are often referred to as geoglyphs and/or petroglyphs. From the studio, Nimoy suggests that long-ago man might have made these images to illustrate a relationship with flight as yet unrealized by contemporary historians. And they might have had help in achieving it.
ISO_3_Image 3_Nazca Lines
A hang-glider lifts off and swoops over ocean waves. Nimoy recounts the myth of Daedalus and Icarus – the latter flying too close to the sun on his wax wings. We see shots of Knossos, on Crete, and then hear more stories and examples of man’s historical and ancestral interest in flight.

  • We touch upon Leonardo da Vinci’s flying-machine designs, made in Florence at the turn of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth centuries. We also look to Eighteenth Century observatory structures – and what Nimoy suggests are flight-related stories – found in what is now New Delhi, India, at the Jantar Mantar site.
  • Egyptian hieroglyphs show winged gods. Even the pyramids, Nimoy’s narration suggests, are aligned as landmarks for incoming aviators.
  • In the thick jungles of South America, Mayan structures include calendars and astronomical connections. Nimoy notes that no roads connected these settlements; perhaps their builders were familiar with other methods of getting around.
  • In the Mojave Desert, in California, a massive man-shaped geoglyph stares upwards. A team of balloonists lifts off to show that a floating platform could have been used to direct such a constructions from overhead. One Dr. William Clulow (spelling pending; see next section), chief archaeologist at the University of California Los Angeles, talks about Native American shamans and the concept of taking flight in astral form.
  • Back in Peru, at Toro Muerto, the surface of the land is carved with orb-like shapes ringed with spiny projections.
  • Incan roads linked villages, but, Nimoy notes, the Incan people did not have the wheel. Meanwhile, their calendar suggested knowledge of space and time, the kind that might have fueled the power of flight.
  • In Lima, Peru, at the Museo Aeronautico, carved stones show what seem to be mechanical birds and perhaps, we are told, a shuttle-like craft. The Peruvian government, Nimoy says, is reluctant to discuss these artifacts.

Noted also is the work of Maria Reiche, a German mathematician who worked for decades on the Nazca lines. Over images of Reiche in the desert, we are told she has not come up with answers for why they exist. One funded investigation, Nimoy notes, that National Geographic helped fund in 1968, concluded that some elements of the lines coincide with astronomical patterns, but not necessarily more than would occur by chance.
ISO_3_Image 4_Maria Reiche
And yet, Nimoy reads, at episode’s end, it is “hard to shake the notion that here, on the plains of Nazca, there once flew ancient aviators.””

Over lonely shots of NASA’s abandoned Cape Kennedy launch site, we are left to wonder if the places we’ve visited throughout this installment of the show are similarly abandoned liftoff points. Back in the studio, Nimoy posits that our dream of flight might be rooted in things mankind witnessed in the remote past. A reunion with those aviators, he ventures, could come when man reaches the stars and becomes a traveler in extraterrestrial realms.

Developments? Debunked? Debate?
ISO_3_Image 5_Nazca Lines 2
A little digging turns up the following information about the sites and people and claims featured in this episode.

  • Nazca Lines: The lines have been studied with some seriousness since the mid-1920s. Theories have historically focused on the applications of the geoglyphs to astronomical tracking and measurements. More recently, researchers with National Geographic have taken a multidisciplinary approach, linking the lines to rituals around crops and water – spiders linked to rain, birds associated with fertility, and so on.
  • Jantar Mantar: The narration introduces a mistake, here, telling us that Jantar Mantar predates Da Vinci when it was, in fact, one of five dating to the early 1700s, constructed in 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. According to one study, the Maharaja traveled around on holy days in a chariot that resembled Vimana, an air vehicle sometimes associated with the Indian deva Indra – a divine being of the air, in as much as Indra is a deva of rain and storms.
  • Balloons and Geoglyphs: Experiments have been conducted in Peru. One team, led in part by Jim Woodman of the International Explorers Society, used what it believed to be ancient fire pits at Nazca to inflate a balloon built of materials that would have been available to ancient peoples. It flew several times for about a quarter hour, Archaeology Online reports.
  • Egyptian Pyramids: Enthusiasts still assign astronomical significance to the arrangement of pyramids in places such as Giza. As Discover magazine points out, however, it’s a difficult task to make such claims conform to how terrestrial geography and the stars tend to really match up.
  • Mojave Geoglyph: The Californian examples are also known as The Blythe Geoglyphs (or Blythe Intaglios). Their discovery, in modern times, is attributed to airplane pilots of the 1930s. Amy J. Gilreath has written about the geoglyphs in relation to their roles in Native American religious storytelling – i.e. they are probably representations of tribal deities. Throughout the Mojave, there are also geoglyph sites in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.
  • Dr. William Clulow [spelling pending]: Google doesn’t seem to have anything on the man; I couldn’t turn up a reference and neither could Jeff Kelley, podcasting about this episode at Coffee with Jeff. I’ve written to the media office at UCLA Los Angeles, looking for some confirmation of the doctor’s post as chief archaeologist in the 1970s. I’ll update this entry when the office responds.
    ISO_3_Image 6_Dr William Clulow [sp_]

Toro Muerto: There are more than 4,000 carved blocks across dozens of hectares at the site, Science Daily notes. The subjects of the drawings are believed to be primarily those of hunting, fertility, and deities.

Museo Aeronautico del Peru: With roots stretching back to 1959, the museum became a formally recognized national institution in 1992. As for official Peruvian reluctance to comment on carvings, Peru has had a history of less-than-honest entrepreneurs selling faked carvings to tourists. These have, at times, made their way into the country’s museums. One could draw conclusions from this circumstance.

Maria Reiche: Known as the Lady of the Lines, Reiche passed away in 1998. Among theories she did entertain about the Nazca site was that the geoglyphs represented constellations and/or were part of a calendar system.

Cape Kennedy, now known as Cape Canaveral, is one other site paid some attention in the episode. It is indeed a place that evokes reactions among those whose minds are on the heavens. I highly recommend The Last Man on the Moon, a documentary about Eugene Cernan, the last Apollo-program astronaut to walk on the Earth’s moon. In it, Cernan visits Cape Kennedy/Canaveral and shares his thoughts and feelings about what we’ve left behind at the location.

The Takeaway: ‘Ancient Aviators’

A speculative installment of In Search Of, to say the least.

However, for the most part, “Ancient Aviators” does demonstrate what I suggested would be one of the series’ two get-out-of-jail-free cards when it comes to credibility: keep asking questions and don’t worry overmuch about answers. The other card, of course, is its perennial disclaimer.

Unfortunately, the narration strays from that first tactic, especially at the episode’s end. There’s no need to have Nimoy lean on the aviation/extraterrestrial notion so directly, is there? The wiser move would have been to title this one “Ancient Carvings” or “Mysterious Geoglyphs” and only mention the aviation approach as one option. But then, Chariots of the Gods – the book by Erich von Daniken that posits ancient astronauts delivered technology to peoples such as the Peruvians – was just a decade old at the time. It probably seemed like something of a zeitgeist when it came to the topic.

One more thing, Nimoy seems to give a nod to Spock at the episode’s conclusion. When he suggests a future interstellar reunion of humans and extraterrestrials to be “not so wild a dream,” his eyebrow lifts in a decidedly Vulcan fashion. He could’ve delivered the line in his old blue shirt.
ISO_3_Image 7_Nimoy

Next Up: The series charts a course into the heart of ‘The Bermuda Triangle’.

*Episode Credits/Air Date Sources: in-video credits and IMDB.com

Baseball's Greatest Grossouts

1988’s Baseball’s Greatest Gross Outs Trading Cards

Just last week while dropping in at the arcade to hang out with good friend to the Retroist, Phillip Cary, he surprised me with an awesome gift. An unopened pack of 1988 Baseball’s Greatest Gross Outs by Leaf that he had won at a recent auction for retro memorabilia.
Baseball's Greatest Gross Outs 2
So of course I had to open them. Thanks to Shawn Robare’s Branded in the 80s site I was able to learn that Inkpot Award winner B.K. Taylor was the illustrator for these groovy and gross pack of baseball stickers.

Now once I broke the seal on the pack the first thing that popped into my head was that by all means I wasn’t going to be enjoying this stick of 28 year old gum. Nope. Straight in the trash it went!
Baseball's Greatest Gross Outs - Stick of Gum
Right away I realized that on the back of some of the stickers – the card stock presented part of a poster image and thanks to Shawn I was shocked to learn that I would need 36 of the 88 sticker set to complete that poster.
Baseball's Greatest Gross Outs - Gary Back
While the backing of some of the other cards presented frightful facts about the players themselves like these two for Laidback Larry and Skinny Vinny!
Baseball's Greatest Gross Outs - Laidback Larry
Baseball's Greatest Gross Outs - Laidback Larry Back
Baseball's Greatest Gross Outs - Skinny Vinny
Baseball's Greatest Gross Outs - Skinny Vinny Back
Now most of these cards present a humorous look at the monsters…but there was one…and I can’t explain why but it really creeped me out. I present to you Cardinal Carl. Who might be waiting in the dark of your closet when you turn your back!
Baseball's Greatest Gross Outs - Cardinal Carl
Here are the rest of the cards in the pack for your enjoyment:

So now I am going to have to head to eBay and try to find a complete collection of Baseball’s Greatest Gross Outs!

Ottumwa - Video Game Capital Of The World - Icon 2016

Need A Vacation? Why Not Head Out To Icon: 2016 – Ottumwa’s Video Game Festival?

Beginning on August 5 and ending on the 7th, Ottumwa, Iowa – the Video Game Capital Of The World will be hosting a weekend of absolutely amazing video game events. For those that are lucky enough to attend this year you can participate in competitions, shop at the various video game vendors, and also get some autographs from gaming celebrities. Take time to enjoy the trading card awards ceremonies and make sure you are present for The International Video Game Hall Of Fame when it inducts the late Josh Jones who was widely considered the Ambassador of Video Games , Tim McVey (First Nibbler Player to reach 1 Billion Points), Eugene Jarvis (Co-Creator of Defender), Eric Ginner (, Gary Stern, Kat Gunn, David Bishop Thor Ackerlund, Tim Balderramos, and Steve Harris to their honored ranks as well as giving a special place in the Hall of Fame to 1981’s groundbreaking Defender!

Icon 2016 - Ottumawa Video Game Festival

Planned to make appearances during the event are Billy Mitchell, Walter Day, Joel West, Cary Chaney, Rene Salinas, James White, Steve Sanders, Richie Knucklez, Lonnie McDonald, Terry Minnich, Derek Sorrells and even more.


Also of note is the screening of Man vs. Snake which is a brand new arcade game documentary about Tim McVey and Italian kickboxing champion Enrico Zanetti trying to obtain the highest world score on 1982’s Nibbler – and it looks absolutely fantastic!

For more information on Icon: 2016 why not visit their Facebook Page and their site!

Justin M. Salvato - Vintage Computing and Retro Video Games

Justin M. Salvato’s Vintage Computing & Retro Video Games Ep. 1

Hey, friends! The one and only Justin M. Salvato – whose work you might recognize from his excellent series of Video Podcasts of various Retroist podcasts sent me the link to the first episode of his new YouTube series entitled Vintage Computing and Retro Video Games. After talking for a bit he was kind enough to agree to share the videos here on the site. I’ll let Justin take it from here. – Vic)

I’m not big on having my voice recorded or my face on camera, unless it’s for boxing, but I decided it was time to discuss my love of vintage computing and classic game consoles. So I am starting a series of videos (hopefully a start) discussing the subject. If you are a fan of Atari, Coleco, SEGA, Nintendo, vintage computing, then I hope you give my video a watch. While you’re at it, check out my other videos on my YouTube page.