Thursday, November 05, 2009

Old Fashioned is Often Better

I remember growing up thinking that the phrase “Old Fashioned” sounded so bad. When I heard the phrase the first thing that came to mind was the Winter Sisters. They were two old spinsters that my father bought who our house from. They dressed in Victorian garb, long black dresses, laced boots and black head bonnets. To me that was old fashioned.

Somehow the term, “Old Fashioned” has gone from a term to describe that which is archaic to that which is quality or retro. I’m sure the redefinition came about because of the nostalgic Baby Boomers that have seemed to redefine so much to accommodate their fond memories or to remake not so fond memories into to something better.

Some products have become “New and Improved” over the years, however most of them never needed to be. I’ve been doing a little research on an old thing I grew up with and found myself shocked at the revised image. This would be the image of Bazooka Joe.

If you grew up when I did you could expect a “swell” prize in your Cracker Jacks and you could expect a Bazooka Joe Comic when you opened your Bazooka Bubblegum. The photos above are of Bazooka Joe and his turtle-necked friend Mort from 1954 until 1981.

Look what they did to Joe and poor Mort in 1983. Mort looks like a character in Pogo

They didn't have any new comics from 1986 - 1988, but when they returned in 1989 they had this for the next ten years.

Finally this is the way they look in the present and have looked this way since 2000. With Mort they are obviously going for an amalgamation of R. Crumb, Bill Griffith, Grim Natwick and Dr. Seuss. Were these changes really necessary?


Blogger darev2005 said...

Heck if they actually got R. Crumb or Bill Griffith to draw those it would be awesome! Or maybe even Gilbert Shelton. It's odd when you look at some of the comic strips that have survived several artists and see how they have changed over the years.

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Used to dig Bazooka Joe funnies and didn't they also include a fortune cookie type phrase or riddle at the bottom? Must be 30-40 years since I unwrapped a Joe because I was unaware of the new look(s). Speaking of R. Crumb, I understand he is coming out with an illustrated bible. He says it's all in there. Can't wait.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Trop said...

Where can you get Bazooka Bubble Gum these days? We looked all over East Jesus when we were buying stuff for our gay fifties dance last summer. Couldn't find it anywhere.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I always thought of myself as a smart kid, but I never got the jokes on the Bazooka Joe comics.

9:58 AM  
Blogger MooKooJoe said...

It really is better. I mean, I personally find the original art to be the most appealing.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous dalia said...

fruit stripe gum.

when i think of bazookas, i think of fruit stripe gum, because i used to eat them both for the goodies in the wrapper.

7:55 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, Bazooka Joe was a classic onto itself. It was never hip, but it was perfect for coming inside a gum wrapper.

The Scriptures according to Crumb. I can't wait!

Trop, The internet is a strange and wonderful place, I sent an address to your email address.

Amy, they weren't necessarily very good, but maybe they were geared to the mentality of boys.

Joe, it's like it's now just a marketing thing. If you go to their site and see the six new characters you may become ill. They are definitely pandering.

Dalia, What came in the fruit stripe gum wrapper?

5:17 AM  
Blogger a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

change isn't always necessary but still happens anyways. i hate it when people think they "fix" something that isn't even broke. it is NOT swell.

7:29 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Not swell at all.

7:37 AM  

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