Dollar Bin Discoveries: Alf #48 and Hero: Warrior of the Mystic Realm
Mike: I'm old and tired and lazy. So I'm like, fuck this out.
Jessika: Um, yeah. Now.
Mike: Welcome, um, to Ten Cent Takes, the show where we struggle to come up with taglines one issue at a time. Time. My name is Mike Thompson, and as always, I am joined by my co host, the pirate queen of Puns herself, Jessika Frazier.
Jessika: I may live in a pirate ship, but am, um, I the pirate in this situation? Let me ask you.
Mike: I don't know what you're talking about.
Jessika: The world may never know.
Mike: Uh, how are you doing?
Jessika: I'm pretty good. How are you?
Mike: I'm okay. If you're new to the show, our main episodes drop every other week, and we provide indepth looks into interesting moments in comic books and how they tie into pop culture and history. But today is one of our Dollar Bin Discovery mini episodes, and we do these in between the larger deep dives. The general premise is that we spend a lot of time rooting through dollar bins at local shops, and we're always looking for interesting stuff to talk about. And while a lot of the stuff that we do find are fun and weird and silly, there may not be enough for us to do a full in depth deep dive on them. At the moment, though, we always reserve the right to change our mind and come back to one of these issues and talk about them at length later on. Each of these mini episodes features both of us talking about one random issue that we came across in the Dollar Mins. And we'd like to focus on what the issue you is, what goes on inside it, and why it's interesting. So, Jessika, what do you bring into the table tonight?
Jessika: You're going to hate it.
Mike: Am I? I don't know.
Jessika: It's called Hero. Warrior of the mystic realms from Marvel.
Mike: I almost bought this the day that you and Sarah were making hats up in Santa Rosa. I came across almost the entire miniseries this night. Almost bought it. But I was, like, trying to be good about staying in my budget, and I didn't. And there was a part of me that was really kind of bummed. But also based on the covers, I was like, I feel like I'm not missing anything.
Jessika: Yeah. Do you hear that sound? It's you dodging a bullet. This bad boy is from May of 1990, written by David McLiney. Pencilled by Steve Purcell. Inked by Wils Portasio. Lettered by Bill Oakley. Colored by John Wilcox. Managing editor was Kelly a corvezi, and editor was Terry Kavanaugh. Editor in chief, Tommy de Falco, Tommy.
Mike: D. The covers must be done by somebody else because Steve Purcell is a really good artist. He's the guy who created, uh, Salmon Max. And also, I think, defenders of Dynatron City. But the covers, from what I remember, do not feature his really smooth pencil work or anything. They look very not great. I might have actually bought him if I'd known that they were drawn by Steve Purcell.
Jessika: Yeah, no, I mean, they're fine. Uh, so the plot mhm Cody Pace, is your typical self centered career doing absolutely nothing if it doesn't directly benefit him. One day at his job, he's tasked with taking an important suitcase to the UN. But the brief ends up holding a bomb and he's handcuffed to the case with a key that doesn't go to the lock. Oh, no. So these savage motherfuckers are like, well, we need to save everybody in the UN. So they put him in a bump roof shelter. They're like, sorry dude, we don't have time for this. You're just going to have to blow up with the case. My bad. The suitcase does explode, the briefcase explodes, and instead of dying, he ends up in an alternate place. And he is having quite the time accepting the fact that he is not just dead and this isn't some sort of afterlife fever dream. Uh, maybe not even a fever dream, but, uh, the afterlife. And it takes almost getting run through with a sword before he actually begins to accept that he really does need to fight for his life in this new place. So it turns out that this self centered oath is actually supposed to be the hero that should save the land. Yeah, it's pretty gross. All in all, the protagonist, I'm putting that in heavy quotes, is a huge douche. And I don't particularly like him as a character. He literally breaks a date with someone to go out with someone else on the first page.
Mike: Jesus Christ. Okay.
Jessika: He's like, Sorry, so and so. I wouldn't have broken that date with you if I hadn't known that so and so was available on Saturday Night Giggity Giggity. And I'm just like, you're a huge dish. Yeah, so it's all that kind of vibe. And, uh, there absolutely has to be some sort of a character arc for this guy because he's genuinely a piece of shit. And he's just completely so arrogant and self centered. The whole concept is interesting, but I really likely won't go out of my way to find the rest of the series because I fucking hate this guy.
Mike: Yeah, it's funny because that sort of Connecticut Yankee style story and then the art that I saw of it, I assumed that this was like, when Marvel was in much more dire straits and really just kind of throwing shit at the wall trying to get stick.
Jessika: Yeah, that was prior 1990.
Mike: Yeah. I just assumed this was from the mid to late 90s based on the COVID art. We'll have to share some of the stuff out on the social media channels. Yeah, I remember just sitting there and being like, this is like the most generic looking garbage that I've seen in a while.
Jessika: Facts. All facts.
Jessika: What about you? Yeah, please tell me it's something better.
Jessika: I don't like the sound of that. No, Mike. Clearly. So to the listener, we just bring a random issue. We don't discuss what these issues are prior to showing up. So sometimes we have, like, one fun one and one downer. Sometimes they're both fucking downers. Sometimes they're both super fun. But it's definitely going to be a variety.
Mike: Yeah. Okay, so you remember how when we were going through Outer Planes dollar Bins together and there was this huge run of Alf comics? And I'm like, I want you to look for this specific issue. And they didn't have it? Okay.
Mike: So at the Petaluma Antique Fair, I found a super jacked copy of it.
Jessika: There it is.
Mike: So the thing that I need to note is that this is the one issue of Elf that is really rare and really hard to find. And I want you to look at the COVID Like, check out the link I sent you.
Jessika: Oh, no. I got a flash of the COVID when he held it up. And I'm already concerned.
Mike: This is Alph number 48 from December of 1991. It is written by Michael Gallagher, it is penciled by Dave Manick, and it is inked by Marie Severin. And please describe what's going on on the COVID Oh, no.
Jessika: What is he doing? Oh, my God. Okay. So sorry. I'm really concerned. This cover let's just start with so it says Alf at the top. He's holding a screaming baby. That's fine. Whatever. It's the little corner emblem of Alf. Whatever. Underneath the all new 100% fresh Alf, it says, Caution, do not buy if safety seal is missing. Which will kind of make sense with this next frame, which is Alf, uh, looking like he is sexually assaulting a seal. It looks like he's sexually assaulting the seal.
Mike: It really does.
Jessika: And it says, so hurry up already.
Mike: Yeah. And he's holding it from behind it. It looks like he is doing unspeakable things to this very panicked seal. And to the surprise of nobody that looks at this marvel recalled this issue almost immediately after it hit shelves.
Jessika: You fucking think?
Mike: As a result, this is like a collector's item that is normally going for, like, hundreds of dollars on ebay. And I found, admittedly, a very ratty copy at the Petaluma Antiques Fair for a dollar. Uh, the guy didn't know what he had, I don't think. Because, like, I think even if I turned around and I sold this on ebay, I could probably make 20 or $30. So it's an elf comic. It's based off of the character who had the eponymous TV show at the same time. Um, I never really knew much about Alf, but he also, I think, had a cartoon. And then, yeah, I think he may have come about from, like, a late night show sketch or something. I don't know. I'm only nominally aware of Alf, but it's got two stories in it. It's got a tisket, a task force where this guy named Agent Bittner is trying to track down and capture Alf. And after a number of, like, near misses and shenanigans, he eventually does actually basically capture him. And then Alf's adopt a family. The Tanners rescue him at the last minute by shoving some pills in Bittner's mouth, which all of a sudden kind of, like, wipe his memory. And it turns out they're called temporary amnesia pills. And then it ends with Alf kind of monologuing and debating about whether or not he should post marriage to Rhonda, who is a female alien from his planet that looks like him, and Drag. And then there's a backup story called here's Cooking at You, Kid. And it's Alf basically telling his own version of Casablanca to Willie Tanner in the kitchen, and it even ends with him walking out of the kitchen and telling Willie, oh, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship. It's not a very interesting issue. It reads kind of like a couple of overly long Sunday cartoon strips like that you would find in the newspaper.
Jessika: Yeah, sounds like it's fine.
Mike: It's just kind of like, okay, this was clearly meant for kids, but it's one of those things where I was stunned to find this issue, and I was laughing really hard because I was like, this fucking cover, man. And there's no seal. There's nothing inside the book. There's nothing that even reflects anything approaching what's going on on the COVID What then?
Jessika: Why then for what?
Mike: I think they were just doing kind of weird goofy gags. I think that's all it was.
Jessika: Assaulting. Marine life is not a goofy gag, listeners. Just for the record.
Mike: I mean, the thing is that Alf ran for 50 issues, so it was pretty long on the tooth by this point. And it's one of those interesting things where you have a comic that is so utterly unremarkable, and yet, because of this cover, it has become this coveted collector's item. And I don't know, if I had a bunch of disposable income, I might actually hunt down, like, a nice copy of this.
Jessika: But you love all of that wacky little side history shit.
Mike: I do. But you know what? Paying a dollar for this at the flea market, just to sit there and be able to have it and show it to people and talk about it like this, that's great.
Jessika: Oh, sure.
Mike: I really enjoy these strange little moments that we find in the dollar bins. And they don't always have to be in spectacular condition.
Jessika: No, but they're always interesting. And it's the same reason why I keep Debbie Does Dallas on my bookshelf.
Mike: Right? Side note, uh, please go back and listen to our episode about Debbie Does Dallas.
Jessika: It was so fun. But we also watched it, so you don't have to yes.
Mike: It's not good.
Jessika: It happened.
Mike: It was a thing that happened. All right, I think that's it for us this week. We will be back next week with a full length episode. I have no idea what that is because we are recording this weeks ahead of time.
Jessika: Oh yeah.
Mike: So until then, take care of yourselves and we will see you in the stacks.
Jessika: Thanks for listening to Tencent Takes. Accessibility is important to us, so text transcriptions of each of our published episodes can be found on our website.
Mike: This episode was hosted by Jessika Fraser and Mike Thompson, written by Jessika Fraser and Mike Thompson and edited by Mike Thompson. Our intro theme was written and performed by Jared Emerson Johnson of Bay Area Sound. Our credits in transition music is Pursuit of Life by Evan McDonald and was purchased with standard license from Premium Beat. Our banner graphics were designed by Sarah Frank, who you can find at uh, lookmomdraws.com, if you'd like to get in.
Jessika: Touch with us, ask us questions or tell us about how we got something wrong, please head over to tencentakes.com or shoot an email to tencent firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find us on Twitter. For now, the official podcast account is ten cent takes. Jessika is Jessika witha and Jessika spelled with a k and Mike is van style. V-A-N-S-A-U.
Mike: If you'd like to support us, be sure to download, rate and review wherever you listen. Stay safe out there and support your local comic shop.