Well with Summer being long gone the ice cream trucks and carts also take a departure as well. Which got me thinking something I haven't thought in a while. Cartoon ice bars! Now in no order, here are the coolest ice cream bars I remember.


THE PINK PANTHER ICE CREAM BAR.

This is the earliest memory I have to an ice cream bar. Not only was I a humongous fan of the Pink Panther shorts I was just a fan of the character. I remember the insulation was something I wanted to play with growing up because  I was a stupid kid and didn't know what insulation was and how harmful that stuff is. All I knew was that it had the Pink Panther on the label and he could do me no harm. This I remember was also my mom's favorite ice cream so chances are this is how I was introduced to it.

                                   

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ICE CREAM BAR

If I had to have a number 1 then it would be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ice cream bar for one reason and one reason alone...
Michel-FREAKIN'-angelo! People had their favorite turtles from the comics and the cartoons and games. Mine was and still will be Michelangelo! Yes you can say he has a "crappy" weapon but I disagree. Screw the Katana, Sai and Bo. Give me a Nunchaku to eat with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ice cream anytime! 

       

SLIMER ICE CREAM BAR

This ice cream is long gone. No repack or anything like that and it's a shame. Much like the Hi-C Ecto-Cooler, another childhood delight, the Slimer ice cream bar is one thing I'd like to see make a comeback. I'll talk about the other Ghostbuster ice cream later in this post but let's focus on Slimer. I don't remember he taste but I'm sure it tasted like the turtle bar but I do remember it being one the coolest looking bars among others. While Michelangelo is my favorite bar of all time I have to pay respect to the design put into the Slimer ice cream bar. Miss ya' buddy.

                          

THE GREAT WHITE POPSICLE

I know it's not a bar but this was a heat stopper. I love sharks and I love lemon flavored candy and lemonade. So when I saw this popsicle for the first time I had to have one. The popsicle looked like crap because I'm sure they were all smashed among other delicious treats in the ice cream cooler of the ice cream truck but the pop tasted amazing! Ice cold lemon flavored popsicle! Damn that was good! I always wanted to get one that looked like the picture. I mean look at it! It's got the fin and gills and the teeth. Why?! Why!? Why couldn't I get a pop that looked like the picture?! It was a just a doo doo looking mess but damn if that kick the heat in the ass during the Summer.

     

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG ICE CREAM BAR

This bar was pretty cool when it came out. I remember seeing this bar more than the Mario Bros. bar, which pissed me off but when this was so this was my only choice for a video game ice cream bar, I'd take it. I loved the Mario bar more. I'll admit though that the design for the label was pretty cool. Much better than this one below.
Tall Sonic sucks.
I'd rather stare at this 90's mess of a design than that new Sonic design. I miss little fat Sonic. Plus Sonic is fastest thing alive. That's already an extremity. Him knowing karate isn't extreme. Maybe it is, I'm old.
Haha! My favorite; misplaced gumball eyes.

                                        

GHOSTBUSTERS ICE CREAM BAR

The Ghostbusters symbol is awesome and when they made an ice cream bar out of it it was even cooler. Until you opened it and saw a smushy mess on a stick but damn it was delicious! I can't recall if it had gumball eyes but who cares as long as it tasted good, that's all that maters to me. The Slimer one may have been cooler but the symbol one tasted better.

      

LOONEY TUNES BUGS BUNNY ICE CREAM BAR

I would get the Bugs Bunny bar if they had no Pink Panther bar. It's not that I don't like Bugs Bunny bar rather I like the Pink Panther bar better. I always wondered why they never made a Daffy Duck bar. Oh man, that would be better to bite into than a Bugs Bunny bar. This bar was delicious but usually not one of my main choices to partake of.
Someone put this bar out of its misery and bite those eyes off! Crooked!

    

SUPER MARIO BROS. BAR

Now I know I said thee Michelangelo bar is my number 1 but then this debuted into my childhood and into my heart and it was a tough decision to make. I wanted this to be my number 1 but the turtles were my first childhood love. This bar comes in second and stays there permanently but damnit! I love the Mario design so much. His hat, the mustache, the huge gumball nose. All of it screams Mario in ice cream form! I'm happy I have two hands because in one, I'd have my Michelangelo bar and in the other, I'd have my Mario bar. I want them both to be number 1 but Mikey takes the ice cream in this battle. I will admit though that I love the label better than the turtle one.
Luis Calderon blasting off!
 
 
I remember the arcade games that had amazing level design for beatem' ups were Konami arcade games.


The Simpsons Arcade Game was so cartoony and simple in design. The animation was superb as well. I thank my local Chuck E. Cheese for always having this operating when I grew up.
The TMNT Arcade Game was another one with outstanding background. It even had one level of moving foreground. When I saw this in my theatre's arcade I was in awe.
But by far the best Konami level design was in Sunset Rider the Arcade Game. You had to open doors and shoot stuff and doors are always breaking open for villains. I love a good clutter as well and Sunset Riders did a great job doing that.
So if I could have level design that was cluttered and moving and interactive I would have my ideal game. Much like TMNT 2 The Arcade game. Now that all this is out of the way I can get into my ideal levels. These are a must if I had my on making a video game.
IDEAL LEVEL 1: City on fire!

You need a city on fire. Lucius buildings and smokey backgrounds and people running around as moving background while you (the player) knock out the bad guys. You'd crack open a box for health or maybe have a moment with people running and they drop food for health. If this is achieved then Level 1 is certainly ready to be played. 
IDEAL LEVEL 2: Frozen feats!

I love a good cold, chilly looking level. You have falling icicles maybe a running animal that takes health from you and the henchmen. It's awesome when you get a bunch of henchmen near bombs or a cliff and you knockem' over so in this case you/d want to get them under icicles or near running animals. Polish up a level with snow and beasts and you have second level ready to go.
IDEAL LEVEL 3: Fist full of beatings!

The thing I love about Space Johny is that is that any location is plausible. In one arc he can be in a jungle or a city or in the wild west. And wild west is where I want it. You get some moments where you have to walk around holes and jump canyons. The mid portion of this level would give you a animal to ride on with a train fight that leads to a mean climax. This is my Sunset Riders Tribute!
IDEAL LEVEL 4: 20,000 beatings under the sea!

I imagine this level would be a real tough one. Very little health is in this level because more shields would be offered. In this level you're underwater and inside of a bubble. What's funny is how the mechanics work. You can fight while in the bubble and land a punch but the henchmen can burst your bubble after taking a certain amount of beatings. I imagine you'd have a gauge but then again maybe the determination can be deciphered by the look of the bubble. I have a love/hate relationship with water levels. They're either fun and hard or hard and annoying. I'd make sure my water level is hard and fun.
IDEAL LEVEL 5: free fall brawl!

This is a flat out Earthworm Jim level ripoff with a hint of my creativity. I think the irony is that the level I'm ripping off is named Level 5. Well, the boss battle, atleast. Anyway, in this level you are dropping you are coming to the end. Well, the beginning of the end. At first the henchmen would fall from above and you'd get to a floor. Thing is, when when you think the level is over the floor explodes  from a blasts that came from above and you need to dodge those shots in order to live. If you do then the floor crumbles and you get to continue to fall but instead of having henchmen coming from above the now come from below. Overcome this and you deal with the shots again when you survive you move on.
IDEAL LEVEL 6: Doom Raker!

The battle is finally on a space station! You think it's going to be a cake walk? Hahah! Nope! Robots that will not let up and robot clones will mimic all your moves along the way to your next quest. You can use items to help you but they're robot limbs you pull off. If you can pass this level then you are now ready for.....
IDEAL LEVEL 7: Dueling finale!

This is it. The final level. The boss you just want to destroy is going to come out of a weird portal but a boss doesn't come out. Two bosses come out and you can't tell which is which. So the battle begins and now you have a set of bosses ganging up on you but you notice that one boss died a bit faster than the other, that was the clone! The strategy would be to grab the clone as it is about explode and toss it onto the real boss as that way you get leverage to defeat the real boss. I make it sound easy right? Once you defeat the boss you can happily so you did it! You beat the game! Now get some sleep. 
So there you have it. That's how I would design the levels. I haven't talked about this topic in a very long time but after writing this I now grow with impatience to make this dream come true. Next time We'll go into box art and and how the ad should look for my ideal game. Till next time. Luis Calderon blasting off!
 
 
I'd learn your work from my dad. Dad was a fan and I was too. This is probably one thing me and dad still bond with.


When I was growing up in Huntington Park, California, I had a marionette of a character named Condorito. Boy did I love that marionette! Everyday I'd play with it and sure enough because about 4 or 5 years old that damn marionette would break due to my clumsiness or lack of responsibility and understanding how to take care of things. I would cry my dumb eyes out until dad would come home and tape the damn marionette together. Back to the good times is how I felt after dad came and fixed what I broke.What's funny is that I didn't know who or what Condorito was but I had this marionette that gave me.
But just who or what is Condoito? Well let's start with why we have Condorito.
The year was 1942 and Disney releases Saludos Amigos or "Hello Firends"  for you english speakers. The animated film focused on the South American countires. Chile is our focus because the Chilean animated short is what inspired Condorito.
This is René Ríos Boettiger or how will be known later by his readers as "Pepo".
He got his name from "Pepòn" which mean little barrel in Chile. Pepo would be his monicker from childhood to his career in cartooning.
René would watch Sauldos Amigos and feel bit screwed over the Chilean short called Pedro. He felt that the short misrepresented Chile. And frankly it does. The short has nothing to do with Chile, really. So why do we have Condorito? To have a representation of Chile.
Okay, so were all caught up. We know why we have Condorito. Now let's talk about the books. how did they get to me? Spanish comics weren't in comic book stores or for that matter in the supermarkets from where I lived. Unless you went to a Latino centric liquor store you had a chance but even then I couldn't find them there. That's where dad came in. My dad at the time worked for the LAX airport. From time to time he would get me random things but one day I remember he gave me a Condorito comic book. I was a kid so my mind was in awe that ol' dad got me a comic. Now this is where it gets pretty funny. My A.D.D. was bad as a kid. I know, "No suprise there, jackass!". To make matters worse I didn't really read the books I had growing up. So giving me a spanish comic was like giving me a book with scribbles as writing. Thank goodness for the pictures because that's all I cared about as a kid!
I looked at these drawing for days and hours on end.
Then if you liked girls at a young age like I did then you loved it when you'd come across a page like this.
Dad was a patriot of his native land Ecuador. He grew up reading these comics as a kid. He wanted me to have some of his South American childhood and be in touch with my South American side so he got me the comics. Pepo and my dad are why I always wanted to represent my Ecuadorian side in my comics. I feel like people know Mexico and Brazil and Cuba and Puerto Rico pretty well from pop culture and news. But few people know anything about Ecuador. At least in my experience, people know Ecuador as a "huh, where's that?" country. So I embrace it. It's my goal to make my dad proud and put Ecuador on the map. Pepo would die in 2002 and my childhood love for the book dwindled over the years as well. But I never forgot the inspiration both instilled in me. It wasn't until 2012 that I got rekindled with my childhood comic Condorito.
I visit my Aunt in Riverside and my cousin gets me a Condorito comic and my eyes lit up. I haven't seen a Condorito comic in ages! I read it and got all the jokes and laughed my ass off! It wasn't till I got this comic That I realized Pepo died on July 14 2000. The book still goes on and I'm happy it's on model like Pepo's work. Pepo will be missed but he's not forgotten. Thank you Pepo for making my dad laugh and having something to give me when I grew up. Thank you.
                                         Luis Calderon blasting off!
 
 
Antonio Prohias. I'd get to know your from a day at a supermarket and I'd learn your death was short on an episode on MAD TV.


I remember as kid, I must've been like 6 or 7 when I picked up a Mad Magazine or glanced at one in a supermarket.
See, back in the day you had comics in supermarkets and you also had Mad Magazines alongside some game magazines and so much more. I was always with my mom when I was a kid. Especially when it was grocery shopping time. Why? Because of the mad magazines! At least that's how I saw it. I use to grab the first Mad Magazine and look at the pictures for hours on end. Especially the covers.
I still remember this cover. Man, it was 92'? I still remember how when I was young and saw this I was like "Why is George Bush vomiting? I don't care anymore let's see the drawings!". and that's when I saw....
This, my friends, is SPY vs. SPY. Created by none other than Antonio Prohias. Prohias came to America after getting sick of the communist lunacy of Fidel Castro. Prohias had a cool life of  being the President of the Cuban Cartoonist Association and winning the Juan Gualberto Gómez award while working for the cuban newspaper El Mundo. Now to my knowledge ol' Ant left Cuba because of the "commie-ness" that was souring the paper he worked for.
Let's not forget this is how he felt about the communism in Cuba. If Castro catches wind of you doing this in other newspapers and your from Cuba? Then yeah eventually your going to need to leave real soon because Castro will kill you.
So the year is May 1 1960. Prohias left Cuba to arrive to New York and ten weeks later he made and sold this little gem for Mad Magazine.
And for more than 20 years he would bring Mad, gold. Pure, hillarious gold!
Then the fun unfortunately came to slow halt. March of 87' came and Antonio made his last strip. This was the cover of the last Issue Antonio would be apart of before retiring from Mad Magazine.
This would Antonio Prohias's last strip. Prohias, aging at 65 was getting ill and stepped down as creator and later other people like Duck Edwing and Bob Clarke and others would carry the torch for ol' Ant's two spy's. It's funny, even though I got into Spy vs. Spy probably around 91-92, it was Bob Clarke's work that I was really looking at. But you can tell Bob Clarke's work on the strip in comparison to Ant's. I didn't get the Prohias experience until I was in 5th or 6th grade.
My friend shows me this. I was in awe and jealously because he had this . He eventually let me borrow it and I loved it! It was a book of nothing but Spy vs. Spy strips. The book also had a name I was not familiar with. Prohias. I always wondered who he was and what he had to do with this. Keep in mind the Spy vs. Spy strips I've seen from 92 till getting the book above were done by Duck Edwing and Bob Clarke. I don't ever recall Prohias's name being there. If Prohias was mentioned then I never noticed it. But that name Prohias always stuck in my head after looking into the book above. Later in time Mad would make a show called MADtv and I laid my eyes on spy vs. Spy cartoons.
All were a delight to watch. But then there's one day I'll never forget. As the credits were rolling for an episode of MADtv a title card pops up saying "IN MEMORY OF ANTONIO PROHIAS". That's when it hit me. Prohias died. The man who created a portion of my childhood and young adulthood is gone. Though my comics don't shed any likeness to the cuban commander that's not to say Prohias didn't motivate me to draw. I loved the noses of the spys and the scenarios Prohias wrote and drew.  I loved Bob Clarke too but Prohias is more was the real deal, let's face it. Here's to you, Antonio Prohias. you left a legacy that people are still building. And even though it wasn't your personal work I laid eyes on first it would be your creations that would motivate me to find out the information I now know. I thank Edwing and Clarke for not letting an idea like Prohia's die. But I thank Prohias most of all, for making the spy's. Thank you.
                                           Luis Calderon blasting off!
 
 
I got some good news! Andy Manley is my colorist for issue no.3 of Space Johny. It will be a half issue and it's street date goal is possibly mid September for an upcoming convention in Vegas.
Then there's bad news. Comixpress.com has sadly gone under. Which means Any copies of Space Johny that were set up in the make were cancelled. I really feel bad that Comixpress is gone. I Really loved their prices and they're quality. I'll miss you Comixpress.
I was also at a Gallery recently. Finally someone gave me a chance to show off some of my "eye-catching work". I was really excited to have my name on a flyer without "lookout for..." "wanted for..." on it. I'm never attempting a hack line like that again, I promise.
But you gotta' admit, Mr. Punisher, the name of my piece, looks gorgeous in a frame at a gallery than under my bed next to a bag of Cheetos and mold and rat skeletons.
Also been working on two very secret projects. One for a client and the other is personal. I'll talk about those in detail later this year. That's what's been eating up most of my time. But I love these projects and wish to finish them soon so I can talk about them. I promised Charles here, that I wouldn't say anymore so moving on.
The best way to stay updated with me is with Instagram. I upload a ton of sketches and pics on there so check me out there and you'll be giving me numbers and I'll give you eye pleasing doodles to ogle! Spread the name like a virus!
So there you have it! I'll be posting more stuff soon so stick around. Now if you Don't mind I'm gonna' ogle my Nintendo collection. What should I play?
Oh no. Not Swamp Thing.
Screw it I'll just get back to work.Luis Calderon blasting off!
 
 
I got a fan of mine to color my third issue! How ya' like that for a post?! Ah? Ah?
Better that I got him now while the money is cheap! But with all seriousness, please Welcome Young and dear Andrew Manley on the Space Boy Studios Team. He'll grow to hate me like the rest of the insubordinate babies I have taught and made work for me in the past. Luis Calderon blasting off!
 
 
Is what I would've said if he was still alive. Sadly Bob passed away on May 2, 1984. Out of all the Looney Tunes artists I've seen as a kid growing up, Bob stood out to me. Keep in mind I was a kid and I didn't who he was but his Looney Tunes cartoons were the ones that stood out. I'd eventually put the name behind my beloved favorites. Here's to you Bob. You would've been 100 today. Bob and many other artists are the reason I got into drawing and make comics and the drawings I do. Here is a clip of my first introduction to Bob. It's from a short called Book Revue (1946) I would make my mom rewinfd this clip on the vcr and make her watch it with me. My mom was a doll for doing this.  Luis Calderon blasting off!
 
 
So if you live in the south bay and want some free sketches done by yours truly then then go to the Comic Bug's website for directions and info. Luis Calderon blasting off!
 
 
So Andy said Instagram is a good place to network and receive commissions. I just like posting doodles and getting likes for them. So if you likes ma' doodles then follow me here and follow Andy here! He loves taking requests. Luis Calderon blasting off!
 
 
If I had it my way, the story would be very simple. I'd write the game to be about Space Johny and Victory enjoying a picnic and in the distance they see an explosion in the city.
A crotch communicator comes out of Space and it's roger telling Space and Victory that there's trouble in the city and they need to come and help. So the first level would be to fight the debris and henchmen in the city.
then when the level is close to finishing, Roger would come out from the top screen to help as well in the boss battle.
But it's a fixed boss battle because The plot of the game is to save Victory and stop Detoad from enslaving the universe.
So Space Johny, Roger and Victory are fighting the first boss but as Space and Roger go in charging the Boss's two fist knock the boys out and some cables come out of the boss to snatch Victory.
A cut scene would then appear on screen threatening Space Johny and the universe with enslavement.
It's all up to you now to help Space Johny.
It's a brief idea but I would have to sit down and actually write a script for all of this but till next time, I'll get into the levels. Luis Calderon blasting off!