For all of the attention I give to the front covers of comics, I thought it was high time to devote some space to the back covers of the past, with a new feature I'm calling "On The Flip Side". I've found that many of the best back covers function almost like mini time capsules, in that they provide a glimpse into the toys, games, gimmicks, snacks and hobbies of that era's kids. For some, these images will be nostalgic, for others...well, maybe just historic curiosities. Either way, they're worth checking out one more time.
So let's get to it.
The other day I was watching my son play his James Bond 007: From Russia With Love video game (PS2), and (as usual) was blown away by both the amazing graphics and my son's mutant ability to instantly master these games (my brain and finger dexterity are sadly not up to the task).
Here's a couple of screen shots from the game:
As I watched this complex, chaotic game unfold, I couldn't help but think how far our technology has evolved since the early days of home video games...something our first Flip Side candidate will make perfectly clear.
Appearing on the back covers of DC Comics with a cover date of November 1983, was an ad for Atari's James Bond 007: Octopussy.
By today's video game standards, it seems laughable to see such breathless praise lavished upon such crude graphics...but at the time, blocky stick figures and shrill, 8-bit audio really could deliver the "non-stop thrills".
However, given the choice between an almost-perfect pseudo-Sean Connery (left) and crudely pixelated pseudo-Roger Moore (right), I think I'll stick with the former.
Especially if I can just sit back and watch the action as my son plays.