Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monkey Talk

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Monkey Talk Ad
Circa 1983

This Monkey Talk ad promotes the television show Discover: The World Of Science. As Atari was the main sponsor of some of the early episodes of the series, there were usually a few Atari television commercials run during the broadcast.

While I could not find the the episode mentioned in this particular ad, I was able to find a partial, Atari sponsored episode about Mount St. Helens containing a few Atari commercials at around  0:05 and around 13:38.

Atari Commercial #1 - 0:05

The first commercial shows a family around an Atari 400 and another family around another computer. The Atari family mentions the Atari Conversational Language Series: Conversational SpanishConversational GermanConversational French, and Conversational Italian. They also mention the three software packages in the Atari An Invitation To Programming Series: An Invitation To Programming 1, An Invitation To Programming 2 and An Invitation To Programming 3. The unseen narrator adds Centipede, Star Raiders and Defender to the list. The Atari family's desk also holds various other Atari software packages such as Music Composer. The final few frames show an Atari 400, an Atari 800, an Atari 830 Acoustic Modem, an Atari 410 Program Recorder, an Atari CX40 Joystick, a contemporary television and a wide selection of early Atari software packages.

Atari -vs- The Other
Television Commercial
Circa 1983

Atari Commercial #2 - 13:38

The second commercial starts with Asteroids playing in the background as the narrator begins his Atari Service sales pitch.  As the camera pulls back, you see an Atari 800 showing a home budget, an Atari Video Computer System and finally a group of Atari Service personnel in their white lab coats. The final few frames here show an Atari 800, an Atari Video Computer System and a contemporary television and the tag line "Service that's as good as Atari".

Atari Service
Television Commercial
Circa 1983

Discover: The World Of Science, was a monthly, one-hour magazine-style television series which provided a human perspective on new developments in robots, science, technology, medicine, the environment, behavior and natural history. The series was typically broadcast on Wednesday evenings at 8 PM on PBS.

Discover: The World Of Science
Main Title Screen

The late actor Peter Graves was the on-camera host and narrator of twenty-four episodes of Discover: The World Of Science, between 1983 and 1990. Peter Graves died on March 14, 2010 at the age of 83, but sadly, he is not buried in Peter's Grave. Strange, unconfirmed rumors claim that old Mr. Graves left behind a magic urn in his mansion up in Spirit Bay ...

The series, with early episodes being underwritten by Atari and later episodes being underwritten by GTE (now Verizon), was produced by Chedd-Angier Productions in association with Discover Magazine.

This television show was also spoofed occasionally on Saturday Night Live, with actor and comedian Phil Hartman playing the Peter Graves role. Here are two clips for your viewing pleasure: Snakes with left wingnut Sean Penn and Bacteria with right wingnut Victoria Jackson.

And for your listening pleasure, here is the Discover: The World Of Science theme song.

-- @BillLange1968

Monday, September 19, 2016

Attention Fleet

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Art Of Atari Ad
 Battlestar Galactica Vol. 3, #1
August 2016

This Art Of Atari ad appears in the right-hand side of the the centerfold page of the Battlestar Galactica Vol. 3, #1 comic book, which was published in August 2016. The cover of the Battlestar Galactica Vol. 3, #1 comic book appears below: 

Battlestar Galactica Vol. 3, #1
Front Cover
August 2016

This ad, with a cool aged and worn look to it, features the cover of the book Art Of Atari as well as a sampling of the art work, artist profiles and history covered within. The ad also features an Atari Video Computer System with two Atari CX40 Joysticks, a pair of Atari CX30 Paddle Controllers and Atari TV/Game Switch-box and a Combat cartridge.

While this ad doesn't cover any of the Atari 8-Bit Home Computers, It does cover the early history of Atari, the Atari Video Computer System, and Atari art work. In fact, this book offers the most complete collection of Atari artwork ever published. In a brief email exchange with author Tim Lapetino, he confirmed that the book primarily focuses on Atari Video Computer System art. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am looking forward to the release of this new book.  

Art Of Atari
Standard Edition

Art Of Atari is a 352 page, full color tome published by Dynamite Entertainment. As mentioned, it is written by Tim Lapetino, and features an afterword by Robert V. Conte and a foreword by Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One, one of my favorite books. A film adaption of Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg, Incorporated, is scheduled to be released in March 2018.

Art Of Atari will be released on October 25, 2016. It will be published in a standard edition and in a deluxe edition, which has an early Atari Video Computer System Game Cartridge cover design.

Art Of Atari
Limited Deluxe Edition

Battlestar Galactica was a late 1970s weekly television series. I can remember sitting in class in the 5th grade drawing pictures of Colonial Vipers with a number 2 pencil! The main protagonists in Battlestar Galactica were the Cylons, a race of robots. Around the same time as the original TV series was being broadcast, Atari released  the iconic game Star Raiders for the Atari 400/800 home computers. The main protagonists in Star Raiders were the Zylons. Cylons and Zylons.  Coincidental?  I think not!

A re-imaged weekly television series of Battlestar Galactica was broadcast in the mid 2000s.  I have not seen the updated series, an oversight that I intend to correct.

Look for the upcoming Art Of Atari book at your favorite brick-and-mortar or online book retailer in October 2016.

And while you are at it, support your local comic shop! When I am in South Florida, my go-to comic shop is Tate's in Lauderhill. When I'm in New Jersey, I frequent Comic Fortress in Somerville, Steve's Comic Relief in Toms River and occasionally Jay And Silent Bob's Secret Stash in Red Bank.