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Dollar Bin Discoveries: AniMax & Lenore



Jessika: Satisfying.

Mike: Hello. Welcome to Ten Cent Takes, the podcast where we commit pop culture archeology one issue at a time. I am your native neighborhood trash goblin, Mike Thompson, and as always, I am joined by my I don't know, uh, what's the exact opposite of trash goblin.

Jessika: How am I not a trash goblin, first of all?

Mike: I don't know. I think everybody's a better person than I am, so, you know, self deprecating much?

Jessika: Yeah, man. Low self esteem much?

Mike: Mhm. Yeah.

Jessika: Yes. Well, I understand the intrusive thoughts get very loud, but just know that they're lying to you.

Mike: All right, fine. Well, my other trash goblin, uh, anyway jessica Frazier. Hello, TADA. How, uh, are you doing tonight?

Jessika: I'm in a goofy ass boot. I'm excited. I'm super excited about tonight.

Mike: Well, the reason that we are excited is because today we are launching a new part of the podcast called Dollar Bin Discoveries. The two of us spend a lot of time rooting through dollar bins at local shops when we look for interesting stuff to COVID from the show. And while a lot of the issues that we find and pick up are fun and weird, they may not always be enough for us to do a deep dive on. Although that's also kind of just at the moment. We reserve the right to change our mind later on and return to them. But each episode of Dollar Bin Discoveries is going to feature us talking about one random issue that we came across in the Dollar bins what it is, what goes on inside it, and why it's interesting. So these are many episodes that are meant to provide you with some weekly content between our more in depth discussions about the weirder and more interesting moments of comic book history, and hopefully you enjoyed this addition to Ten Cent Takes.

Jessika: Yeah. You asked for more content. We are delivering my friends.

Mike: Yeah. So what would you like to talk about for our inaugural issue of Dollar Bin Discoveries?

Jessika: Well, I found this cute book called Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl.

Mike: This sounds familiar. Does she look kind of like Wednesday Adams?

Jessika: Like a little blonde, dead Wednesday Adams? Yeah, if she was like, ten. Yeah.

Mike: I feel like I've seen this around. I don't know it. I've never read it.

Jessika: Well, it was published by Titan. I actually found volume two, issue number one. I just saw issue number one was like, snag, but it was volume two, issue number one, that was no problem, if we're being honest, from March 2011. It's a reprint that was originally published in August 2009, and it was written, drawn, and colored by Roman Dirch.

Mike: Okay.

Jessika: Yeah, I know. I went to look at the credits now. I was like, oh, ah, just one person, huh? That's sick.

Mike: Well, and, uh, Titan Books, I think, is a UK publisher. I think we talked about them a little bit during our Judge Dread episode. I think they were one of the publishers. They may be the publisher that first brought dread over to American audiences. I can't remember, though.

Jessika: That's why they sounded familiar. I was all writing it up. I'm like, oh, yeah, Titan comics. Like, I just know Titan comics or something. Apparently I do. So this is a really fun, dark, humorous Ann Macabre comic. It's an anthology with a few stories about this cute little dead girl. And in the main story of this volume, you get to see her reanimation because she's quite literally dead during her embalming.

Mike: So she's like not a ghost. She's like an actual person brought back to life or unlike physical, physically dead.

Jessika: Dead ten year old girl. And she forms a nemesis because of her surprising reentry and inability to die. And the art is really neat. It's color, but it's a really neat, spooky, kind of muted sepia vibe. Almost like you're reading the comic through a dusty window, color wise.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: And Leonora is adorable and grotesque. And actually, I think Sarah would really like this comic. I'm going to message her after this and let her know it seems like her vibe.

Mike: Yeah. For those of you who don't know my partner, she is what I like to call a camouflage goth, because she looks like this very normal, fashionable, petite blonde woman. And then she has the darkest media tastes. The darkest, bloodiest media tastes, like, absolutely loves Super Dark Murder podcasts and documentaries.

Jessika: It's true. It's true. We just went and decorated hats this last weekend and I saw the creepiest thing on the table. And I was like, oh, Sarah, check this out. And she was like, what? No, it was like they said something else out later that was like cooler. And she ended up picking up. But it was funny that she definitely was gravitating toward the, uh, spoopy theme thing.

Mike: Well, when we were at Outer Plains for one of their sales before they moved to their new location in Santa Rosa, which, if you're in the Sonoma County Marin area, go check out Outer Plains. They're amazing. Their new location is fantastic. They have an entire backroom full of dollar comics now. It's great.

Jessika: Oh, shit. I haven't been yet. Oh, shit. Now I need to go mhm.

Mike: But our friend Tom Bailand works there. And I bought Sarah a deluxe edition of Berserk, which is an incredibly bloody, violent dark manga and dark horse repented, like the legendary edition or something like that. So it's like beautiful leather bound tome. And Tom was sitting there and he was like, oh, like Berserk, huh? And he was like, who's that for? And so I was like, oh, it's for me. And he goes, it's always funny because it's always the really cute, quiet women who have the bloodiest taste.

Jessika: Oh, my gosh. We're, um unsuspecting. Watch out, is all I'm saying.

Mike: Meanwhile, I'm the giant bearded bear. And I'm just like, no, I just want to read things that make me feel happy at the end of the day.

Jessika: No, angry, just happy.

Mike: Yeah. What happens in this comic with Lenora? I'm curious.

Jessika: So she ends up creating this nemesis when out of her embalmer, who's feeling the need to take her down, like, she's the one that got away. So it's pretty funny, I would say. If you like creepy children coming back from the dead, spooky houses with mysterious furniture cryptids and implied murder, you're going to love this comic.

Mike: Sounds great. Love it.

Jessika: Okay, well, what did you find? You definitely were, uh, while we were making hats, mike was literally digging through dollar bins. No joke. I had a little bit of FOMO, but I was also making a sick ass hat, so I didn't have that much FOMO.

Mike: Your hat was great, too. Yeah. Thank you. So while you two were making hats this weekend, sarah was like, well, there's a couple of shops that have a bunch of dollar bins, so, like, maybe you could just, you know, do that for a while. And so I literally spent four and a half hours on a Sunday afternoon going through dollar bins at two different comic stores. And then at the end of it, I was messaging Sarah, going, so I'm done. I don't think this has ever happened before, but, um, it was very strange.

Jessika: You've given me too long to go through comics. Question mark.

Mike: I left outer planes early so I could hit up the Bat cave. There are collectibles in comic shop right across the street from Disguise the Limit, the store in Santa Rosa where you two were. The Bat Cave has a giant table right as you walk in. That's nothing but dollar comics and log boxes. And it's very cool. But I was also sitting there going, well, maybe I'll just come back to Outer Planes next time, because they now have an entire back room full of dollar comics. So I got some cool stuff. I found a couple of books that go for, like, ten to $20 normally.

Jessika: Oh, yeah.

Mike: And then Outer Planes also had the new pride and joy of my collection, which is a Stanley autographed copy of Ravage 2099, number one. And it came with a certificate of authenticity.

Jessika: So fucking cool.

Mike: Like a Stanley signature. I'm like, yeah, that's pretty radam. Like, Ravage 2099 is one of the last comics he ever wrote, and it is widely regarded as being one of the worst comics ever written. Uh, I had to text her about it, and she was like, no, you need to buy that because that is beautiful trash and you need to own it. I'm like, yeah, all right, thanks. The key to a healthy relationship is communication, people and making sure that you're okay to blow money on ridiculous things before you do it.

Jessika: Exactly.

Mike: Okay, so I picked up a comic called Animax, and it's the first issue. It's from the marvel star imprint, which we talked about in our first episode ever. They were the imprint that Marvel spun up to basically do license adaptations stuff and then market it towards kids. Animax is very clearly meant to be like, a licensed adaptation of something that was like a cartoon that was going to have toys built in, basically be those half hour toy commercials for kids. And then it turns out the cartoon never happened. I was sitting there going, I feel like I've I've seen this around before, but I know it turns out I haven't. They just they had these action figures that in the 80s, like, limped in and out of stores real quick. And Marvel did this four part miniseries that I guess was meant to be their pilot episode. And I am going to send you the COVID because I want to use you as kind of a sanity check to make sure that I'm not making up the vibes when I describe this.

Jessika: I don't want you to be making up vibes. Not on this podcast. Uh, genuine vibes only Animex. Oh, good Lord. Okay. Yeah.

Mike: All right.

Jessika: So I think I know what vibes you're talking about. Does it start with enough?

Mike: So I was going with, like, a hybrid of Mad Max and Heman, but with some thundercat sprinkled on top.

Jessika: Yes, I can see that. Yes. This is wild. Okay. I'm trying to get a good grasp of exactly what's happening here so I can tell the people. It's a predominantly yellow color. So really catches the eye and then says Animax large at the top, center Max, giant M in the middle. And around the border of Animax is to, uh what are those? They're, um, exhaust pipes on them bordering the word Animax. So cool. So rad. Uh, so then the action at the bottom there are there two vehicles? I think there are two vehicles.

Mike: There are two vehicles.

Jessika: One vehicle is a lion vehicle. Literally. It looks like the live head of a lion. I hope it is not.

Mike: That is called a road tamer. And what it is, they're these weird hybrid things where they're, like, both like living organic animals, uh, with personalities and stuff. And then they're also Mad Max style vehicles.

Jessika: No.

Mike: They also have a psychic link with their driver, and the link is shared via their animal shaped helmet. So the guy on top of that lion road tamer. The road tamer is named Jungle Max. The guy on top of it is named Max. Action. He leads the team of Animax, which is basically this weird combination of GI. Joe and the Knights of the Round Table. They all have different animal helmets. It is ridiculous and very funny when you see them all having very serious discussions sitting at the table because they also have those fucking helmets on. There's a rhino helmet and an elephant helmet.

Jessika: I, uh, know that's hilarious.

Mike: It's ridiculous.

Jessika: How do you have a serious conversation. Well, and the other guy, he's like, full up. I don't know, man. Here's the thing. He looks like he's full up wearing, like, latex. He's, like, wearing black latex. That's what's happening.

Mike: Yes. And he's the leader of the motor Mutants. The Motor Mutants who kind of have this, like you know how there was that weird style of biker gangs with kind of, like, World War I Kaiser helmets and shit?

Jessika: Yes.

Mike: Yeah. So that's who it is. But they're like man animal hybrids.

Jessika: Yes, he does have wings. He has these glorious I mean, I wouldn't even call them bat wings. Honestly, they look like dragon wings. Like, if we're being 100, they look like dragon wings. Uh, one thing I have to say about this guy, he does have the full body leather going on. If he is writing a motor vehicle, he is definitely wearing his PPE. That is his personal protective equipment. So here he has elbow pads in the forms of skulls. He has knee pads in the form of skulls. He has that helmet we were just discussing. I don't know how much the spikes on the little top are going to help him in a crash. Probably not at all. But you know what? I got to say, I'm glad he's wearing a helmet. I wish he were wearing more on his feet for being real. Like, throw some boots on those little clawed toes. Other than that, I mean, he's doing great. A plus. No A because of the boots. But I would give him an a solid A.

Mike: And then his vehicle has, like, a skeleton motif.

Jessika: Yeah, well, at least his has fucking handles at the front, like the fucking what are you fucking holding the lion head like that's a live you just told me that's a live ass lion and you're holding its mane.

Mike: Oh, it's the whole thing. The issue starts off with the death of Max action. The mutants kill them, and then they mortally wound Jungle Max. So the rest of the team shows up to rescue Max action. He dies in their arms, giving, like, a motivational speech to drama. Yeah. And then what happens is he dies. And so they take him we can't communicate with his vehicle because they don't have that psychic link, but they try to convey words of, like, well, it's time to go to the Animax graveyard for your final resting place. And so this vehicle, like, limps off into the jungle or something. I don't know. And then they take Action Max back to the city of Peepopolis.

Jessika: No.

Mike: I'm sorry. The summary is a little bit longer than I intended because there's just so many wonderful bad shit details. So they take him to this place called the Museum of Transportation, which, the way they present it, it's like the hall of justice and Judge Dread. And then there are these two women who run it, and they're known as caretaker and Heater, and Caretaker is Heater's mom. And then after the team leaves and they've left the body there for his memorial service, caretaker is like, well, the team won't survive if we let Max action stay dead. So they clone him with energy, I don't know. And then they transfer his, um, mind into his body. And then he's revived just in time for an invasion of the city by the Motor Mutants. And then Caretaker is like, well, no one will accept Max if he doesn't prove that it's really him. They'll think he's just a copy. And so he has to go find Jungle Max and bond with him again. And then they leave the city right as they're, like, under siege by the Motor Mutants. And that's where it ends. It's very silly and it's very dramatic, and it's totally action packed. And you can tell that this was clearly going to be a pilot episode of a TV show or something. But it's weirdly enjoyable. The character and the vehicle designs are really fun. And then it's written by Walt Simonson, who is known for his very, uh, acclaimed run on Thor as the writer and artist. And then it's penciled by Steve Purcell, who went on to create Salmon Max. And Steve Purcell now is like a director at Pixar, but weirdly one of two comics that have my name in the credits for them. One of them is a Steve Purcell book because I did production work on, uh, the Salmon Max reprint, which was nominated for anisner award. So I am technically an Eisner nominee. Technically correct. Which, as Futurama has pointed out, is the best kind of correct.

Jessika: I thrive off of technicality.

Mike: This series, it turns out, is actually pretty easy to get a hold of. They're all really cheap, if you ever want to go check them out. I clearly found them in a dollar bin, but there's only four issues. But yeah, that was the first episode of Dollar Bin Discoveries. As we said before, this is going to be in between our regular episodes, and, uh, we hope you really enjoyed it. And if you can think of anything that you want us to keep a lookout for to talk about, feel free to let us know. Shoot us a Tweet message on Facebook, email, whichever. We'll be down to check it out.

Jessika: I had a good time. This was awesome. I'm super excited for a, uh, couple of weeks from now when we get to do another one of these.

Mike: Yes. I'm really glad we're doing this now. It's a nice break from the deep historical rabbit holes that we always find ourselves going down.

Jessika: Oh, man. It was nice just to read a comic and have a conversation about the comic instead of being like, this is the 30 hours of research I put into telling you all about this comic and everything around it.

Mike: Right? All uh right. Well, we'll be back in a week where we're going to be talking about the Star Trek X Men crossovers in honor of Star Trek Day. And we are having some special guests on there, so get hyped about that and then we'll be back in two weeks for another dollar bin discovery. So until then, we will see you in the stacks.

Jessika: Thanks for listening to Ten Cent 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 Jessica 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 a standard license from Premium Beat. Our banner graphics were designed by Sarah Frank, who you can find@lookmomdraws.com.

Jessika: If you'd like to get in touch with us, ask us questions or tell us about how we got something wrong, please head over to Tencent Takes.com or shoot an email to Tencent Takes at uh@gmail.com. You can also find us on Twitter. The official podcast account is Ten cent Takes. Jessica is Jessicawitha and Jessica spelled with a K and Mike is Van Sau. 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.

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