Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"2001: A Space Odyssey" Howard Johnsons Children's Menu (1968)




Sometimes work gets in the way of blogging but I am back with lots of cool stuff.

I never thought of 2001 as a children's film, but it did make an impression on me when I saw it as a child. While incomprehensible in some ways (especially the ending) it did show a grand scheme for my future in space.

Howard Johnsons was actually aboard the 2001 space station in a brief product placement.  They also issued a children's menu which highlighted the movie (and their placement) but gave the story of the movie in a slightly different way than I remember.

However the comic itself reproduces some great visuals from the movie. Cue the music....



















I love the final stereotyping where the boy wants to be a space pilot and the girl a space stewardess!

And just for fun, here is your activity page:

5-16-13 By popular demand here is the whole activity page and the menu.


 
Also someone commented on the cover's resemblance to Jack Kirby's cover of Race for The Moon (1958). I happen to have a good copy of the original art of that cover. What do you think?
 
 
 
 


38 comments:

  1. I can't even convey how much I like this. It combines half a dozen of my favorite things all in one package!

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  2. Wow, I actually had this flier when I was a little boy.

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  3. If Hollywood had their way... LOL!
    Wow!! Where on Earth did you find this?
    I see they shunned HAL. Poor HAL.
    This had to have been done before the movie's release.

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  4. Hey kids! STFU! I'm trying to watch the movie!

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  5. This is very cool, but they kind of glossed over the parts that really need explanations... Hopefully there are more pages.

    Its funny, but I actually found myself getting pissed off at the depiction of the kids talking during the movie. I guess I am officially a cranky old man.

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    1. No that is the crazy thing. This is all the pages, a huge chunk of story went missing in trying to market it as a "family" film.

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    2. I don't think it was that parts of the story "went missing" -- this was only ever intended as a cross-promotional item to tie in with the appearance of Howard Johnson's in the film, and to entice HoJo customers to see the film. I feel pretty certain this comic was scripted and drawn by individuals who themselves had not seen the film yet. They were basing it entirely on production stills and explanatory text provided by MGM under strict supervision by Kubrick, who didn't want anything extra to leak out in advance. All the stuff the appears in this comic matches pre-release publicity found in press kits and the like. Given that the makers of this comic had no clue what actually happens in the film, the job they did is a masterpiece of bluffing!

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    3. Ah, thank you for that explanation; that makes a lot of sense. And yes, it is impressively executed if it was only based on production stills and accompanying text.

      I was a bit confused by all the errors in the comic given that the "Text and drawings [were] approved by MGM and Stanley Kubrick Productions". I mean, who the heck is that behind Bowman in the pod bay after Poole *slipped* when replacing the AE-35 unit?

      "I'd never have guessed the way this mystery is solved." :D

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    4. The pages aren't even in the right order. It makes it look like the Discovery has a stewardess and crew in the cockpit.

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    5. Dave... Is there a reason that you don't mention me? Or the apes? I think it is crucial to the mission, Dave.

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  6. This made me so happy! Thanks for posting it.

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  7. I've been wanting to see this comic for years... Thanks for posting it!

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  8. Thanks so much for posting this! I've seen a panel or two before, but this is the first time I've seen the whole thing.

    A friend of mine, "Planettom", directed me to this, and asdked the following... "Which begs the question, who did it? It kind of has a SPACE CONQUERORS!-ish look to it, which made me wonder if maybe this was farmed out to that same company that did the comics for BOYS' LIFE."

    Thanks to TV-- and then, Al Stenzel, personally-- Johnstone & Cushing went out of business. but Al Stenzel may have overseen the work, since he took over J&C's BL account.

    Which brings me to... AH! Look at the 2nd page of art, specifically, the 2 parents in the 2nd panel. Those faces SCREAM at me, "Alden McWilliams"!!!

    Not only did he work on SPACE CONQUERORS for several years (in between Lou Fine and Gray Morrow), I've also recently seen his sole issue of JUSTICE INC. done for DC in the 70's. And of course, he also did the TWIN EARTHS newspaper strip in the 50's, and several science-fiction stories for Warren in the late 60's.

    It might be tough to tell just from the spaceships-- but the people were what tended to be the stylistic giveaway on SC. One glance at a figure and I would KNOW in an instant it was George Evans, and, to some extent, Gray Morrow. McWilliams' stuff was also recognizable.

    The funny thing about McWilliams' run on SC was, he drew the flying saucer wrong (too "fat"), and, the one older guy, he gave him a thin black moustache, but no white or graying hair. Fine and Morrow drew both the ship and that character identical-- why did McWilliams change both (in between)?

    So that's my guess!


    Michael said:
    "Its funny, but I actually found myself getting pissed off at the depiction of the kids talking during the movie."

    DITTO. It's a premiere, yet they act like they've already seen it already, or read about every single detail in advance. I'm also reminded of the BRATS who attended various STAR WARS reissues in the 80's, who felt compelled to shout out the names of every single action figure as they appeared onscreen. Parents just arenb't bringing their kids up right these days.


    I'm gonna post a link to this at my blog, on the Alden McWilliams SPACE CONQUERORS pages.

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  9. Here's where McWilliams took over SPACE CONQUERORS from Lou Fine...

    http://professorhswaybackmachine.blogspot.com/2012/05/space-conquerors-1966.html

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  10. I immediately thought of Alden McWilliams as well.

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  11. Possibly the greatest thing I've ever seen.

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  12. I wish I still this! There was a HoJo a few blocks from my home - I borrowed a copy

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  13. Had to pass this on from the Kirby_Land yahoo group...

    "TheStikman" wrote:
    "Did anyone else notice that the cover's strong resemblance to a Race for the Moon #1 1958 cover? The astronaut may be "upside-down, but even the spaceship is uncannily similar!"

    HAH!!! Good call!!!

    http://www.comics.org/issue/14308/cover/4/

    RACE FOR THE MOON #1 / Mort Meskin & Al Williamson ???

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JsNzGNtfMf4/UYp0OBAACJI/AAAAAAAAFCU/gGFxhCzfihY/s1600/\
    1968HowardJohnson2001-01.jpg

    2001 menu / Alden McWilliams

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  14. They'll be awakened when they are needed.

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  15. jupiter's face. you cannot unsee it.

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    1. Yes. Thank you for sharing that. I went back and looked for this, saw it, and now cannot unse it.

      So one question remains: is Jupiter wearing a back-to-front baseball cap or a piratical/hip-hop bandana?

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    2. Yes... I noticed the Jupiter face too. I also noticed at the top of the connect the dots puzzle there's a couple of boob like things printed. Guess I have a perverted mind or something.

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  16. This is incredible. I would love to get my hands on a high res scan of this.

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  17. Certainly they didn't want to give out any plot points to the movie before it came out, but the visuals had already been around in various magazine articles.
    The layout and lettering look to me like the Gold Key/Western adventure comics, but I am not nearly the expert in that.

    This comic was our consolation for staying home with a babysitter while our parents went out to the "roadshow" premiere in our town.

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    1. Having the look of Gold Key comics:

      That would fit with Henry's suggestion above that the artist was Alden McWilliams.
      Alden McWilliams did a bunch of the Gold Key STAR TREK comics.
      http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Alden_McWilliams

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  18. Is there a scan of the actual food part too? I'd love to see their offerings and if there were any 2001 themed food stuffs.

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  19. Amazing... I remember almost every panel. We visited a HoJo's about once a week when I was a kid (late 1960's), and I had a few of these on my bookshelf at home at the time.

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  20. I absolutely adored this, thanks so much! I love that someone thought to try to explain "2001" to kids. The menu page is great too, how they tried to tie in the HoJo clown with the film by having him in a rocket. I also love the styling, typography and colors of the children's menu. Beautiful, fascinating retro stuff here.

    Did theater managers really come out and greet the guests like he was their welcoming host to the movies?

    I was also impressed with the screen size the movie was being shown on. I thought it was exaggerated, but husband said that in the 80's, he went to a theater like that, that was a relic from the past. It had 4 super huge screens. And he saw movies like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" there. Lucky.

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  21. Fried clams on the children's menu?

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  22. Awesome. This deserves to be on view at the Kubrick Exhibit at LACMA in Los Angeles...

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  23. I still don;t know how the mystery is solved. Lucky kids.

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  24. The Way This Mystery Is Solved:
    * Professor Plum, in the conservatory, with the lead pipe.
    * Monolith, at the Dawn of Man, with the jawbone.
    * HAL, off the AE-35 unit, with the EVA pod.

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  25. I'm sure its been mentioned in a comment above but I can't be arsed to read them all but huge LOL for the ending being a big surprise as if anyone could actually work out the end!! I didn't until I read the Clarke book...

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  26. The clown looks like another incarnation of Willard Scott as Ronald McDonald. Did he make unappealing food items appear from near his navel?

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  27. No HAL 9000 but there *is* the nightmare-fuel Hojo the Happy Clown. Not quite a fair trade I'd say. But a great piece of space memorabilia anyway.

    Bruce T.

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  28. This was a real treat to find. Thank you for sharing this, I absolutely love the menu.

    CMG
    www.plasticprinters.com

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  29. I love this and have to have it!

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