Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Comic Detective--Labor Day Trailer!!!

The most annoying thing about being an obsessive comics nerd? When, in some other media, you see comic books, and it completely takes you out of what you watching as you quickly try to determine what the hell those comics are. Have I read them? Are they consistent with the time frame of the movie? What is that odd bit of cover?!?!?

Today's example? The trailer for the forthcoming film, Labor Day, starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. The film is set around Labor Day, 1987, and at about 25 seconds into the trailer, at some discount department store we see glimpses of a spinner rack full of comics:

So, to hell with the movie--what about these comics?

This is a case for...The Comic Detective!!!!

Let me emphasize that 98.7% of my "detective" work came from searching about The Grand Comics Database and Mike's Amazing World Of Comics, two of the most invaluable research tools out there. They did all the hard work...I just looked stuff up on their sites!

So, let's start with the first shot of our comics rack. The first thing that we notice is that there are two separate issues of Teen Titans Spotlight next to each other:

That's not too crazy--those of us old enough remember how haphazard and random some of those K-Mart spinner racks could be. They are consecutive issues: #9 & #10, cover date April and May 1987. Mike's Amazing World has as street dates of January and February--a little old, but again, old school spinner rack. We can mostly give those a pass.

Next in the rack:

As the cover notes, this was the final issue of Tales Of The Legion Of Super-Heroes. It's cover date is December 1987, but--and it's a big but--it wasn't on sale until September 27--well AFTER Labor Day. It may be a sloppy spinner rack, but it can't have time travel powers. FAIL!!

Proceeding to the next side of the rack, we have:

Oops. Batman #398 was cover dated August of 1986, and streeted in May '86. Yeah, thing weren't often maintained well on those racks...but a 16-month old comic? FAIL.


Oh, Outcasts, how we've missed you! #1 was cover-dated October of 1987, street date of July--perfectly reasonable for that to still be on the stands.

The last one in that shot took some digging, but it is:

That was cover date August '87, streeting in May...not out of the reasonable range.

Finally, the final shot with only a tiny portion of the cover visible, turns out to be:

Another Tales Of The Legion...but 6 issues earlier, #348, June '87, street date of March. It's a bit old to be on the rack...especially given the presence of a much newer issue of the same title. Still, crap like that could happen...and at least this issue isn't from the future.

Of course, it's silly to be so hyper-critical. The art director (or some other schmoe) was given the task to fill spinner rack with contemporary comics for a scene that probably lasts 30 seconds in the movie, and that no one sane would pay much attention to. And on that level, they did a perfectly fine job, probably better then we should have expected.

Which proves what an insane loser I am, I guess. I obsess...

BTW, Paramount and Indian Paintbrush--what's up with no Marvels on the rack? It's not WB is involved in this pic, as near as I can tell--so why no love for The House Of Ideas? It would cost too much to throw a Star Brand or an Alpha Flight up there? Sheesh, talk about ruining the movie for me...


Unknown said...

Which proves what an insane loser I am, I guess. I obsess...
Not at all!
This is what makes this one funny (Great) blog.
The Best,

Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy said...

I'm thinking that the Outcasts comic may have been a prestige format (note the price) that wouldn't have been available on a spinner rack at a drug store, or wherever. DC's prestige comics were generally only available at comic shops.

snell said...

Very good point, Andy--I should have picked up on that myself.