Tuesday, February 2, 1999

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Mad magazine characters are now available as action figure
toys to mark the 46th anniversary of the publication.

Mad about Mad
magazine action figures

The package says for ages 8 and up, but DC Comics' new Mad magazine action figures may generate the most excitement among kids over 30.

The toys were released to mark 46 years of Mad. The humor magazine, which was politically incorrect before there was a movement to react to, appeared in October of 1952 in comic book form. It did not become a full-fledged magazine until four years later.


Mad showcases the work of cartoonists Don Martin, Sergio Aragones and Dave Berg, among others. In the January issue, its irreverent spin was applied to topics ranging from the timely (rap music and Louis Farrakhan) to the timeless (Christmas carols and New Year's resolutions).

The Spy vs. Spy strip, now drawn by cartoonist Peter Cooper, was created for Mad in 1961 by Cuban refugee Antonio Prohis. Both black and white spy action figures are available. They come with an assortment of weapons and a case for transporting them and they each have a button-activated bomb tossing arm.

And no Mad magazine fan's life is complete without the sublimely ridiculous Alfred E. Neuman "fully-posable" action figure. The idiotic mascot of Mad magazine has been with the publication since 1955, but was not named and given his official role until a year later. The toy comes complete with a sandwich board sporting moronic phrases and a head that spins 360 degrees at the push of a button. All three characters are available at local comic book stores.

Study grant offered

Bullet The Goto of Hiroshima Foundation is offering a $5,000 grant to research Hiroshima, Japan; Hawaii; or Japanese culture, politics, economics or language. The grant features a study trip to Hiroshima. Applicants must be between 18 and 40 years old. Preference given to people from Honokaa, Hawaii. Call 945-7633. Deadline to apply is May 14.

Bullet "Hawaii Voc Fest '99": Pearlridge Center, Uptown, presents demonstrations, displays and information on vocational-technical education programs and careers, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Feb. 13; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 14. Attendance is free. Call Helene Sokugawa at 956-6203 or e-mail her at helene @hawaii.edu.



Hue gives clue to chooser's brain

You don't have to be a hacker to get into the thoughts of iMac users. It's not bytes and bits that tell all, but the color of those new computers.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, "The colors of the new iMacs represent the current demographic of who's buying computers."

Here's a sampling. Employers, potential spouses, take note:

Bullet Blueberry -- Blue people are sensitive to the needs of others. They are cool, confident and trusting, aspiring to harmony. They are generally conservative, even-tempered and reliable.

Bullet Strawberry -- Red lovers are achievers, impulsive, intense, optimistic, animated people who crave new things and experiences. Routine drives them crazy.

Bullet Grape -- These people consider themselves unconventional. Purple people are enigmatic, highly creative, witty, observant. It's also a color associated with vanity and moodiness.

Bullet Tangerine -- People who love this color work and play hard. They are adventurous and enthusiastic with original ideas and strong determination.

Bullet Lime -- Those who favor green tend to be balanced and stable, good citizens, concerned parents, involved neighbors. Joiners, they tend to do what is conventional, rather than take risks.



Coming to the big screen


Two movies begin their Oahu run on Friday:

bullet Payback: Mel Gibson and Gregg Henry star in this noir-ish anti-crime film that finds Gibson as a rude character named Porter who gets shot and robbed by a couple of mid-level hoods. Gibson is out $70,000 and he means to collect. (R)

bullet Simply Irresistible: Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean Patrick Flanery star in a story of love and games. (PG-13)

There will also be the return of one movie Friday:

bullet Saving Private Ryan: Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, and Tom Sizemore star in an anti-war film about World War II. (R)

The week also includes sneak previews of two films:

bullet Message in a Bottle: For this tale of love and angst, Robin Wright Penn tracks down Kevin Costner after finding a message in a bottle in this tale of love and angst. With Paul Newman. (PG-13)

bullet October Sky: All the boys grow up to be coal miners and Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal) has no reason to think he'll be any different. Too small to earn a football scholarship, Homer has no way out of his predetermined life until the Soviet satellite Sputnik flies over the October sky and changes everything. (PG)

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