Battle of the Network Stars - Robin Williams

1977’s Battle Of The Network Stars Was Intense!

Battle of the Network Stars was kind of a big deal. In my youth I certainly didn’t pay much attention to sports. Perhaps the occasional basketball game or boxing match would pique my interest. However on the whole I just wasn’t that interested. Until of course I caught wind of the Battle of the Network Stars. This was a sporting event that not only myself but my Family became addicted to. Say what you will about an basketball upset – I ask though how that can compare to the likes of William Shatner and Richard Hatch competing against Tim Reid in canoes? Of course you also had the fact that your favorite networks were naturally going head to head in Battle of the Network Stars!

[Via] TV News Themes 1

The whole point of the television show, which began in 1976 and always aired on ABC. Was that three teams composed of the top talent for each network would face a variety of challenges. Golf, tennis, cycling, swimming, obstacle course, running, bowling and more were the types of events the stars would compete in.

Furthermore each of the teams would pick a team captain. Generally a team consisted of eight to nine stars. I will definitely admit that there were certain celebrities that I didn’t recognize. But that added to the fun as in fact this caused my Family to pick different stars to root for. For example my Father and Grandfather were huge fans of Robert Conrad of The Wild Wild West fame. While my Grandmother and myself were rooting for Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica!
Battle of the Network Stars - Richard Hatch

One of the absolutely joys of watching these old broadcast, in which there were 19 specials from 1976 to 1988. Is of course to see all of these celebrities hanging out and having fun. Although having said that, at some of these events things got a little too serious. Nothing physical of course but I recall some of the stars getting into shouting matches once or twice. Although those instances were very rare in my personal opinion.
Battle of the Network Stars - Robert Conrad

How could you not want to tune in to see the likes of WKRP in Cincinnati‘s Tim Reid competing alongside LeVar Burton (Roots) and The Incredible Hulk‘s Lou Ferrigno.
Battle of the Network Stars - Levar Burton - Lou Ferrigno - Tim Reid

Actually friends, Reid would appear as Venus Flytrap in WKRP in Cincinnati beginning in ’78. It was probably his roles in Maude or What’s Happening!! that got him a spot in the Battle of the Network Stars. Besides the many celebrities such as Gabe Kaplan, Robert Urich, Debby Boone, Charlene Tilton, Joyce Dewitt, Maren Jensen, and many more – the legendary Howard Cosell would act as host and commentator on the events.
Battle of the Network Stars - David Letterman

When all of the major competitions were completed the network that had the least amount of points were disqualified. Leaving the remaining two to go head to head in an epic tug of war to crown the winner.

Enough background on the Battle of the Network Stars. Ready to watch this 1977 compilation featuring the likes of Robin Williams?

[Via] Clippety

Actually there was one other sporting events that I was a fan of in my youth. That was of course 1977’s Laff-A-Lympics!

[Via] Hewey 1972

G.I. Robot - Weird War Tales 113

Whatever Became Of DC Comic’s G.I. Robot?

Friends, when it came to my tastes in comics as a kid, they were…well…weird. Sure I loved to pick up Batman when I could as well as Superman too. It was another DC Comic title that I gravitated to the most however and that was of course Weird War Tales. Why? That naturally had to do with being a monster kid and science fiction buff. Which is the reason I loved both The Creature Commandos and G.I. Robot!

G.I. Robot - Francesco Francavilla

Artwork is courtesy of the always impressive Francesco Francavilla.

I find it rather funny that in my youth, my Father was rather set against me picking up the likes of The House of Mystery. Yet had no qualms about me snatching up an issue of Weird War Tales. I don’t know, perhaps the former just had scarier cover art or something?
G.I. Robot - The House of Mystery

G.I. Robot actually first appeared in another DC Comics title. That was Star Spangled War Stories #101. As matter of fact this would be the first of six robots to be known as the G.I. Robot, with this first unit known as Joe.
G.I. Robot - Star Spangles War Stories

I can only assume that Joe stayed put when he ended up on Dinosaur Island. Which I certainly hope will one day make it into one of the live action DC films. The second robot with the G.I. moniker appeared in Star Spangled War Stories #125. This time it was a unit known as Mac who was teamed up with the original Suicide Squad, the team made up of WWII soldiers.
G.I. Robot - Mac

Mac made it a whole issue before sacrificing itself to halt a rampaging T-Rex. It was in Weird War Tales #101 that a brand new G.I. Robot was introduced known as J.A.K.E. 1 (Jungle Automatic Killer – Experimental Number 1). In this case the unit was teamed up with Sgt. Coker as they served in the Pacific War. Coker I should add is not only demeaning to his partner but frequently cruel as well.
G.I. Robot - J.A.K.E. 1

J.A.K.E. 1 made it twelve more issues until it too, like Mac, was destroyed. As you might have guessed though it is quite hard to keep a G.I. Robot down for the count. J.A.K.E. 2 appeared in Weird War Tales issue # 113. This is where I actually was introduced to the character!

Soon though he was teaming up with the likes of the Creature Commandos. Which is how the unit found itself on a rocket shot from Berlin, straight into outer space, to their apparent deaths.
G.I. Robot - Creature Commandos

While the Creature Commandos were later found to have survived the trip, the fate of J.A.K.E. 2 hasn’t been revealed in the comics. Although the DC Comics Encyclopedia makes mention that the robot survives up until the 31st century!

Since those issues of Weird War Tales there has been a J.A.K.E. #6.1, which was revealed in 2008. As well as a special mini-series that also began in 2008 entitled The War that Time Forgot. Written by the legendary Bruce Jones, it threw in a ton of Silver Age characters. Such as Enemy Ace, the Viking Prince, Tomahawk and of course a new G.I. Robot. One that I must point out calls itself…Joe.
G.I. Robot - The War that Time Forgot

What does the future hold for DC Comic’s robotic soldier? Obviously only time will tell but I am more than willing to bet that we haven’t seen the last of this particular comic character!

Did you know that the G.I. Robot made an appearance in 2010?

Not in a comic book of course but on the popular Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode entitled Plague of the Prototypes!. Not just our favorite military robot either, Sgt. Rock makes an appearance alongside Batman as well!

[Via] GameSpot Universe

Qbert's Qubes - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Q*bert’s Qubes (1983)

Friends, I know you know that wonderful video game icon Q*bert. Do you happen to know of the sequel to the hit 1982 arcade game though? That is certainly why Christoper Tupa has selected Q*bert’s Qubes for this week’s Retro Arcade Art project. While including some of the same elements from the 1982 title. 1983’s Q*bert’s Qubes brings a whole new level of gameplay!
Q*bert's Qubes - Marquee

Released by Mylstar in 1983, the company was previously known as Gottlieb, it in fact was inspired by the Rubik’s Cube. It has been said that Warren Davis, the designer of the original Q*bert , had proposed a sequel to Gottlieb. Of interest is that the sequel in fact went through more than a couple of name changes during development. The team suggested everything from a simple Q*bert 2 to 2*bert and even Qubes. Before they group decided that Q*bert’s Qubes was the way to go.

While the Rubik’s Cube definitely inspired the game. It’s gameplay totally features elements of tic-tac-toe. The player must help Q*bert match the target cube which is displayed in the top right corner of the screen. Each time our orange-colored hero hops in a desired direction, the cube beneath his oversized feet will rotate. If the rotation results in the cube matching the target colors it will turn green.
Q*bert's Qubes - Target Color

However, just like in the original game, Q*bert will have to be wary of foes as he is hopping around the 25 cube formation. Gone are the likes of Coily as well as Ugg and Wrongway. Now the Player must contend with the likes of Rat-A-Tat-Tat. Thankfully in Q*bert’s Qubes if one of these pests lands on a cube that is rotating they will fall to their demise.
Q*bert's Qubes - Rat A Tat Tat

There are also the Meltniks who appear in the game in a variety of colors. Along with a holdover from the first game, the purple ball. Each of these foes will happily hop down the stack of cubes to the bottom. Of course if they make contact with Q*bert the Player will lose one of their lives.
Q*bert's Qubes - Purple Ball

Now I should mention that the colors of the Meltniks are important. Because it actually involves the way a Player is able to defeat them. In Q*bert’s Qubes when the Meltniks land on a cube, whose color matches their own, they dissolve!
Q*bert's Qubes - melting

Beyond that, there are now green turtles that can show up in a stage. These are for bonus points and it is quite safe for Q*bert to crush them under his feet. Which is just a horrible, horrible thing to do, right?
Q*bert's Qubes - Turtle

Furthermore, while getting a tic-tac-toe in the early stages isn’t too difficult. That all goes out the window in later stages when you have to line up two or more to clear a level!
Q*bert's Qubes - tic tac toe

Ready to see Q*Bert’s Qubes in action?

[Via] Old Classic Retro Gaming

As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

I hope you won’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project as well!

Compressorhead - Title

Bow Down To The Robotic Rock Of Compressorhead!

Ever since Fritz Lang’s sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis debuted in 1927, there has been fear of the robotic. Of course some might even say that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein played with that fear. Bringing life to the lifeless, although obviously in that case it was with human parts. From Asimov’s I, Robot to 1980’s The Terminator. We have seen numerous examples of the fear of robots in popular culture. But what we’ve failed to see until fairly recently is robotic rock…such as with Compressorhead!

Begun in 2007, Compressorhead is the brainchild of Frank Barnes, an artist from Berlin. Along with Stock Plum and Markus Kolb, they’ve crafted a truly heavy metal band. Using recycled parts to construct the robot band members that play on actual electric and acoustic instruments. Starting with Stickboy, Fingers, Bones, and Junior – the band was finally put together by 2012. Compressorhead had it’s first live concert in 2013 at the Australian Big Day Out festival. Covering the likes of the Ramones, Motorhead, and AC/DC!

[Via] Sergey Kanatyev

I think it is time for you to meet the members of the band. First up we have Stickboy, the drummer. Possessing four arms and two legs, it is helped by Junior, to manage that hi-hat cymbal.
Compressorhead - Stickboy and Junior

Then there is Fingers, playing lead guitar. His two hands are indeed better than ours since it has 78 fingers to play sweet, sweet music!
Compressorhead - Fingers

Bones acts as the bassist for Compressorhead. Besides it’s two hands with four individual fingers it certainly gets around. Thanks to Bones’ platform that happens to be attached to caterpillar tracks!
Compressorhead - Bones

Now you might be thinking, that is definitely awesome to see Compressorhead covering such awesome bands. But…doesn’t it feel like something is missing? To truly move an audience of meatbags, er, I mean Humans. One needs a singer, right? Thankfully that is why Mega-Wattson came into being, voiced by John Wright of The Hanson Brothers and Nomeansno.
Compressorhead - Mega-Wattson

In addition they added a female robot to the group, a second guitarist named Hellga Tarr! Who besides shredding during numbers provides backing vocals.
Compressorhead - Helga Tarr

All right, meatbags. Enough talking as it’s time to bow down before the robotic rock of Compressorhead!

Did I fail to mention you can totally buy the band’s first album?

If you like Compressorhead you can hop on over to Bandcamp and pick up Party Machine today!
Compressorhead - Party Machine

Imperials Strike Back - Title

The Imperials Strike Back Is An Epic 1978 Fan Film!

Friends, the other day, Tom Berges of I Grew Up Star Wars uploaded something very, very special. Perhaps mind-blowing could be considered just hyperbole until you realize the facts. In 1977 a group of ten-year-old’s got their hands on an 8mm camera, they decided to make a sequel to Star Wars. Which is how the Imperials Strike Back came into being in 1978.
Imperials Strike Back - Luke

The children featured in The Imperials Strike Back started making this short film in 1977. It took two years for them to complete. Driven with nothing more than the absolute love of the first Star Wars. Of course as with most children, they also had a heaping dose of can-do attitude. Which is certainly evident in the special effects on display!
Imperials Strike Back - Star Destroyer

When I contacted Tom, I offered him first crack at writing this post. While I was itching to make this post myself I didn’t want to take any thunder from I Grew Up Star Wars. I feel that his site’s overall point of being, to share and celebrate the love of Star Wars is being honored with this post however.
Imperials Strike Back - Darth Vader

It has been 35 years since the makers of The Imperials Strike Back have seen the short film. In addition to that it has been digitized and even has some familiar music in place. I do not know if it was originally silent, I assume so, but subtitles have been added.
Imperials Strike Back - Han

Seriously, the heart and love on display with this nearly 22 minute fan film is breathtaking. If you are anything like me you will not only have a big smile on your face by the end of it. But maybe a few tears in your eyes as well at how much love and work was put into the short film. The force is certainly with those who were responsible for this. Obviously as it is with Tom for being so kind to let us share this now. Now be sure to visit and join the fun of I Grew Up Star Wars when you get a chance.

Enough of my gushing. Sit back and enjoy The Imperials Strike Back!

[Via] 8mm Kid Epics