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Dollar Bin Discoveries: Promo Comics Edition

Jessika: [00:00:00] Whoa. What am I looking? What part am I on? Like, what's happening here? Okay, I get it.

Mike: Welcome to Ten Cent Takes the show where we forage for free samples, one issue at a time. My name is Mike Thompson, and as always, I am joined by my co-host, the Queen of the Costco Food Court herself. Jessica Frazier.

Jessika: Wow, you've really got my number.

Mike: I mean, let's be honest, Costco free samples at.

Jessika: I went to Costco free samples. Not only that, like I went to Costco the other day because I needed passport photos. Unfortunately for me, they don't do passport photos. They no longer have a photo section any longer. So I went in there and I was like, well, this can't be a wasted trip. No, they don't.

Not in [00:01:00] my, not in my town. Yeah, and

Mike: one over here, so gotta come. I mean,

Jessika: I don't know. I figured it out. I went to Staples.

Mike: Yeah. All right.

Jessika: Yeah, that's true. I went to Staples. So, but I, so I went into Costco and I was like, well this can't be a wasted trip, am I? Right? So of course I like zipped all the way to the back. Got me one of them $5 rotisserie chickens, bopped back up to the front, got me one of those.

And you could buy this right at the, uh, the register got one of those dollar 50 hotdog and drinks.

Mike: Nice.

Jessika: And one of their subpar sheros, which I usually regret buying

cause they're too dry.

Mike: I haven't had any of their churros. I just, I really love their pizza. Like their Costco pizza is where it's at, man. Like that's what we're doing for the wedding reception at our house is we're just, we're, we're gonna buy like a couple hundred dollars worth of Costco pizza and just let everybody kinda wander in and grab a slice.

Jessika: Hell yeah. I think that's a great idea.

Mike: Yeah, it's gonna be fun. Well, if you are new to the [00:02:00] show, our main episodes drop every other week and provide in depth looks into interesting moments in comic books and how they tie into pop culture and history. I. But today is one of our dollar bin Discovery mini episodes that we do in between those deep dives.

The gist is that we spend a lot of time rooting through dollar bins at local shops looking for interesting stuff. And while a lot of the issues that we find and pick up are fun and weird, there may not be enough for us to do a full deep dive on. That's at the moment, we always reserve the right to change our mind and come back later on.

So each episode features both of us talking about one random issue that we've come across in the dollar bins. Basically what it is, what goes on inside it, and why it's interesting. And if you have been paying attention to the last couple of episodes, we have started picking a general theme to cover for each week's dollar bin discovery episode. And so this week I was choosing the theme and I went with Comics that you got as a free giveaway.

Jessika: Yeah, great topic. I like it.

Mike: Yeah. So, uh,

[00:03:00] what are you, what are you bringing to the table?

Jessika: Yeah. So I, I had to dig deep to something that I got earlier in my collecting. And I've previously discussed the haul in which I received this comic, but this was from the amazing box of Comics I got from my dear friend Matt, who generously let me go through his collection when he decided to purge some of his possessions a couple years ago.

So, Yeah, I got a ton of really cool things, including this promo for Archie's Ham Radio published in 1986. the script was by Bob Bowling. Art was by Stan Goldberg and Mike Esposito, lettering by Rod Shaw. Coloring and Production by Barry Grossman, edited by Victor Gorlick.

Richard Goldwater and Michael Silverlight.

Mike: was this like a Radio Shack tie in?

Jessika: no,

Mike: Huh?

Jessika: this is actually listed, this ties into my next sentence that it's listed on the cover of the comic as [00:04:00] developed as a joint educational project by members of the amateur radio business community in cooperation with the American Radio Relay League.

Mike: That's wild because I remember at this point in time, Radio Shack had also basically partnered up with Archie to put out free comic books that, which we discussed very early on when we looked at the Superman Radio Shack Comics.

Jessika: That was a fun episode

Mike: Yeah. Also, we talked to one of the writers of those, Paul Kupperberg, just recently, so you should go back and check out those episodes if you haven't.

Jessika: Yeah. It was a good time. And these were distributed free of charge as well.

Mike: Nice.

Jessika: Yeah. So this comic starts off with us seeing a volcanic eruption in Central America and then back to Riverdale High, where Archie and friends hear the news. Dilton states that he has a friend in that town and that he wants to check up on him.

So goes into the school radio room to try to contact his friend, but remembers that he left the circuit board at [00:05:00] home. So he brings the gang who has been tagging along this entire time to his home. Radio Shack, quote unquote, which is funny you said that cuz that's what they call the place where you have all of your radio equipment, like it's usually in a room, so they call it a radio shack.

Mike: Right.

Jessika: which in his case is a converted garage filled with ham radio equipment.

Mike: Well, and as we noted in that episode, Radio Shack was originally started to support the new, the new field of technology of Ham radio.

Jessika: Yeah, exactly. And let's remember, this is 1986 as we are considering all of this, the year I was born, I'm not that old. I'm 37 this year. So. Dilton reaches out to his friend explaining to the group that each person has a call sign what his was and how he kept track of who everyone's call signs are. Which by the way, it's in an absolutely enormous filing cabinet where he's got all of these cards with people's names and like call signs on it.

It's wild.

Mike: that's so great. So it's like a [00:06:00] library

Jessika: You,

Mike: almost

Jessika: yeah, pretty much for him. So he reaches out to his friend, so. Dilton, like everyone else is supposed to be in high school, but he reaches out to this guy who looks like he's in his fucking forties. I don't know. It's really weird. real strange

Mike: Which, which I mean makes sense because like the average ham radio enthusiast is like a middle-aged dude,

Jessika: Yeah, because he has to have the, you know, the money and the time and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Yeah, no, I get that. But it just was a little weird. I was like, oh, okay. So. He reaches out to his friend, his friend's, okay. And lets him know like, Hey, we will reach out if there's any other updates, but can you help get these messages out to people, from our town for people who live in other towns, you know, kind of a thing.

So kind of spread messages. So they use the ham radio system, and spread messages. meanwhile, Veronica is onto another nepo scheme. Big shock this time. It's that she wants to make a movie of a [00:07:00] Viking themed operetta , you know, starring of course herself as the lead. Right? Yeah, of course. And she quickly gets the rest of the gang involved.

So of course this is Veronica, so she wants to have it directed by a famous person. So in this world, that famous person that they are trying to get is oh, oh Wellen Mellon,

Mike: I guess that's like AA mil or someone like, that's like a, probably like a, a pastiche.

Jessika: Yeah, and her dad invites him over and pays him to direct the film for her and bonus for Dilton, because Dilton let everyone know that O. O. Is also a ham radio enthusiast and has a call sign.

So he plans to ask him some questions upon questioning, however, O. O. Gives some real like bogus fucking answers, and Dilton starts to get a little suspicious that he's not the real O. O. So he tries to reach out to o o's call sign, but [00:08:00] another actor chimes in letting them know that O. O. Was in Indonesia filming a different movie.

So Archie and Dilton now know that this director is a fraud. Everyone else is on set kind of doing their, their thing. You know,

Mike: I love this.

Jessika: it's re it's really fun. This was a really fun one. So just then, because it gets better, cuz just then there's a huge earthquake in Riverdale and Veronica and most of the rest of the group sans Archie and Dilton of course, cuz they're doing their own thing, like on this quest to figure out who this guy is now.

So they're all swept up, in the river that is caused by the town dam breaking and they were all in this kind of Viking boat. And so, because you know, for the operetta, so they go in the Viking boat and they're like, no problem. It was built really well and it immediately like, runs into a stick and so they start taking on water and like, so yeah, of course.

They start to sink, and Archie and Dilton are using the ham radio network to save them from certain death. They get people in [00:09:00] helicopters, they have ham radios in the helicopters, et cetera, et cetera. So, they get saved. They also use ham radio to catch the burglar who was dressed as O. O. Wellen Mellon and who had been evading police for a while, dressed like other people and like evading police, and had definitely ripped off Veronica's family before being interrupted while fleeing.


Mike: whatever, like they can afford it, who cares?

Jessika: they can, I don't really care about that part. I just thought it was funny that they were like, oh, while we're at it, we're

Mike: Yeah. That's

Jessika: guy. So at the end of the comic there's more information about ham radio, what some of the terms mean and what the difference license levels were and what it took to actually receive them.

There's also a little guide on the back cover on how to learn morse code by sound like by the sounds it makes, which

is really interesting. So

Mike: it's like the short, the short and the long beeps basically.

Jessika: Yeah. But making, but having like da de da.

Mike: Uh, okay.

Jessika: You know, as like how it sounds rather than what it looks like, because you know, that's sometimes a little [00:10:00] bit easier to process for some people.

Mike: sense. Yeah.

Jessika: yeah. Yeah. Again, it's 1986, but it seems like it should be like further in the past

Mike: Hm.

Jessika: than this because this all seems like almost irrelevant with the rise and use of the internet in the last, you know, 37 years.

Mike: Uh, I mean, like, you know, the internet wasn't really a thing until like , the early to mid nineties. That was when it really

Jessika: I know, but that's why I'm saying it just, I don't know. This feels like so far in the past, but it really, it wasn't that far.

Mike: Yeah. Like anything that's kind of like pre the internet, it feels like a whole other era, doesn't it?

Jessika: it truly does. It truly does.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: So yeah, this was a fun comic. I like that it gave bits of information through the scenarios. It was both entertaining and informative and actually made me interested in this type of radio, though not enough to take it up as a hobby. Goodness, I do not need another hobby,


Mike: you're like me, you don't need more

Jessika: I don't have time. Oh, I may still [00:11:00] go roller skating tonight. Is it advisable? I just got a tattoo today. Probably not,


I, whatever

Mike: it's also hot out man.

Jessika: But it's Like,

Mike: in the middle of a Bay Area heat wave. Yeah, that's fair.

Jessika: It's inside. It's like it goes from 9:30 PM to like 2 AM

Mike: well, it's, it's like adult skate night at Cal Skate, right?

Jessika: Yeah, but it's one of the late night ones.

Mike: Yeah. All right.

Jessika: They don't usually have it going until the slate, so I was like, oh, maybe I'll, well, what about you? That was mine.

Mike: Yeah, so mine is Ozzie Smith In The Kid Who Could, this was actually part of a lot of comics that I worked with, , Jeff Smith from the Comic Hunter up in Canada on assembling. And according to the League of Comic Geeks, it came out April 8th, 1992. I guess this was a promotional comic put out by Kellogg's in conjunction with both Sports Illustrated and DC Comics as part of the Tony's Sports Comics line.

Like, Hmm, yeah. [00:12:00] Uh, there are three different books put out as part of this program. There's one about Ozzie Smith, who we'll talk about in a minute. There's one about Nolan Ryan and then there's one about Olympic Track and Field Star, Jackie Joyner kiersey. I'm not sure if you had to send away for these or if they came with like a copy of Sports Illustrated for Kids or, or what?

I couldn't really find any documentation about how you got them, but. If there also aren't any credits for the creative team, but according to the website Hero Habit, the Ozzie Smith issue was drawn by Joe Staton and Mad Magazine's Angelo Torres. Torres was only used to draw Ozzie Smith while Stanton did the rest of the penciling.

and the comic was also inked by Mike DeCarlo. I will provide a link to that article in the show notes if you want to go check it out. So Ozzie Smith was also known as the Wizard of Oz, and he was a shortstop who played major league baseball for almost 20 years, most of which were with the St. Louis Cardinals. He is understandably acclaimed as one of the best players in the sport's history. [00:13:00] When this was published in 1992, he had just earned his 12th appearance at the MLB all-star and his 13th Golden Glove Award. And before we start, I want you to read the intro letter that is on the inside cover to this book.

Jessika: Okay, here we go. I love that. First of all, it's on like Tony, the Tiger printed paper,

Mike: Yeah, it's, it's almost like a, it, it's like a repeat pattern. It's like a wallpaper pattern almost.

Jessika: Yeah, so it at the top it says, Tony's Sports Comics has Tony the tiger in the middle, like it's some sort of a like seal. Dear Sports fan, I hope you enjoy this issue of Tony's Sports Comics tm, the kid who could, is the story of how Tony the Tiger and I helped a couple of boys, Peter and Andrew discover that good thing can come in small packages.

Peter shows Andrew that you don't have to be a big home run hitter to be a good ball player. You can also win games with good fielding, good [00:14:00] base running, good hitting and sense. See you at the ballpark Ozzie Smith, to our readers. Remember, you should not try any new sports activities or exercises without the advice and supervision of coach or physical education teacher. Or your parent. I added that last part, but



Mike: No, it's very good. It's like, like it just sets the vibe for what you're getting to do. It's very funny. So the issue begins with Peter and his brother eating a balanced breakfast of which Frosted Flakes is a part of. And they're watching highlights of Ozzie Smith from last night's Cardinals game before Peter goes to play baseball with the neighborhood kids.

And when he gets to the game, teams are being picked. One of the captains, Andrew, notes Peter's the new kid who just moved into the neighborhood, but Peter's too small to play with him. Peter is understandably upset, but then Tony the tiger randomly comes up and asks him what's wrong. Tony is basically like, don't worry, I got [00:15:00] you random child who I just met and invites the entire group to come practice with a friend of his who's a major league baseball player.

And everyone's blown away to see Ozzie Smith at the field. Ozzie literally says, well, look here. It's my good friend Tony. Good to see you again. Like

Jessika: Good Lord.

Mike: Tony the Tiger just has a habit of like showing up with hordes of small children to play baseball with this dude who makes millions of dollars doing it.

Okay, whatever.

Jessika: It is slightly alarming that he was just off in the wings, like watching children

Mike: Oh my God. Like that's one of my favorite things about this is like Tony the tiger just lurks around like suburban neighborhood parks looking for, you know, children who get upset. I don't know,

Jessika: Oh

Mike: anyway, the kids are introduced to the shortstop with special attention paid to Peter and Andrew, and then Ozzie practices with the kids.

Andrew initially is like Peter's just lucky with his hits and outfield work, but then he warms up to the idea [00:16:00] that the new kid is actually pretty good when Ozzie praises his skills. And then the next day, Peter and Andrew were practicing together and then Tony fucking shows back up again and he arrives with tickets to the Cardinals game, courtesy of Ozzie.

So the three go to the Cardinals stadium. Ozzie is like, oh yeah, you're good players. But uh, I gotta quiz you about the rules of the game now. So we get a couple of pages of the kids explaining the rules of baseball and what different signals mean. Ozzie declares that they're batting a thousand. They watch the game and then they go home.

Jessika: I was gonna say, am I to understand that like their parents are just allowing them to like go to a baseball game, without them with just a random anthropomorphized fucking tiger and like another adult they've never met before

that that's fucking sketch.

Mike: I mean, here's the thing. It's like this was still the era of latchkey kids. Like thi at this point in time, my family was living in San Francisco. I would just literally be like, I'm going off on my bike. [00:17:00] I'm gonna go to the comic store, which is literally a couple of miles across town

Jessika: Good Lord.

Mike: like, it was lit. It was literally like a.

Jessika: stuff like that too.

Mike: Yeah, like my parents did not bat an eye when I was like, I'm gonna go ride 30 blocks to and from on my bike , I'll see you this evening.

Jessika: I guess you're right.

Mike: yeah, I mean, like, you know, it was a different era, like

Jessika: Couldn't be now. Yeah.

Mike: Yeah. you know, as opposed to now where it's like parents are freaking out about their kids biking to school.

the final page is of a new neighborhood ballgame where Andrew ends up snagging Peter as his first pick, and the inside of the back cover has fill in the blank activities and a crossword puzzle, and the back cover has a standup picture that advisors need to cut out to get it to fully stand up.

Thankfully, my copy of this book is in pristine condition. Nobody wrote on the inside or cut up the back cover. So, you know, yeah, it was kind of charming. Like it's, it's not amazing or anything, but it just, it feels very wholesome and silly [00:18:00] and, you know, it's good natured, it's a little bit educational for fans of the sport.

The art is solid and, uh, yeah, you know, it wasn't anything amazing, but I definitely found myself a little bit charmed by it.

Jessika: Aw. Well that's, that's nice. That's fun.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: pick.

Mike: Yeah. And so with that, we are wrapping up the episode. We will be back next week with a deep dive on something who knows what, because we record these pretty far in advance. And then after that we will have another dollar in discovery. So until then, stay safe out there and we will see you in the stacks.


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 Frazier and Mike Thompson, written by Jessika Frazier and Mike Thompson, edited by Mike Thompson and Jessika Frazier. Our intro theme was written and performed by Jared Emerson Johnson of Bay Area Sound. [00:19:00] Our credits and 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 at

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 or shoot an email to Tencent takes You can also find us on Twitter. For now, the official podcast account is Tencent Takes. Jessika is Jessika Witha, and Jessika spelled with a K, but she's rarely there. And Mike is Van Sal, v a n s a U. We're also on Hive, Mastodon, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. The complete list is in the show notes.

Mike: If you'd like to support us, be sure to download, rate and review wherever you listen

Jessika: Stay safe out there.

Mike: and support your local comic shop.

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