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Walt Jaschek “calls in” to St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

The St. Louis Media History Foundation asked writer Walt Jaschek to add some comedy to its 2021 Hall of Fame video. This “Zoom call” is the result.

Congratulations to the new honorees in the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, which due to The Current Situation is a video celebration only, archived on YouTube.

Ken Ohlemeyer Jr.
, producer of this year’s Hall of Fame presentation, reached out to ask if I, as a past honoree, would record a PSA for the St. Louis Media History Foundation. I was happy to do so! I concocted a “Zoom call,” in which a clueless me, channeling Fred Willard, confidently thanks the Ken for my new induction. He kindly “corrects” me, and reminded me I was honored way back in 2018. This clueless “mistake” on my part allows me to tick off some copy points about the foundation. Copy points in which I believe! St. Louis is truly lucky to have a dedicated media history foundation.

Here’s the video.

Here’s the script for our bit, which one person in the chat called “Nice shtick!” Shtick it is, proudly…

[Zoom call commences]

KEN:  Well, hey it’s Walt Jaschek…what do I owe the pleasure of this Zoom call to, Walt? What is going on?

WALT:  Hi, Ken. I just want to pop in here and say what an honor it is to be a new inductee into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in the category of Advertising and Public Rela…

KEN:  Walt, Walt, wait, wait, wait, wait!

WALT:  What?

KEN:  I have to stop you right there and correct you.

WALT:  How so?

KEN:  Walt, you are not being inducted in this year’s St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.

WALT:  I’m not?

KEN:  You were already inducted in 2018.

WALT:  2018?

KEN:  Along with Paul Fey, your partner as Paul & Walt Worldwide. You two were inducted for your award-winning radio work and contributions to St. Louis advertising…You don’t remember?

WALT (searching for the memory):  I remember a big ceremony downtown… some well-dressed people… open bar…

KEN:  That was it!

WALT:  That was the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame?

KEN:  Yes! You and Paul gave an acceptance speech…played a funny reel of your ads…wowed the crowd with stories…

WALT: It was in The Before Times.

KEN: Definitely The Before Times… [wistfully continues] You thanked clients, family…

WALT:  Oh, yes! But I don’t think I adequately thanked the St. Louis Media Foundation itself.

KEN:  You didn’t?

WALT:  No. I shoulda said what an honor it is to be an inductee.

KEN:  “Was.” “Was” an inductee.

WALT:  I shoulda said St. Louis is lucky to have the St. Louis Media History Foundation that saves, preserves, and celebrates our rich, diverse, and memorable media history. I shouda said everybody should donate to the foundation to help create these memories alive.

KEN:  Well, that woulda been nice… yea, I guess you shoulda said those things.

WALT:  I shoulda!

KEN:  That’s OK, you’re saying them now, though.

WALT:   Help me remember that ceremony more… there were tables and chairs, and people gathered?

KEN [resigned]:  There were. Lots of them.

Walt sits back, lost in memory.

WALT:  Wow. Remember “people gathered?”

KEN:  We’ll get there again.

Walt leans back into camera with mock seriousness.

WALT:  From your lips, Ken. From your lips…

Cut to black

How to Kill a Pitch: Ad Biz Satire, Walt Jaschek Script

Oh, creatives! Don’t fall on that sword over your favorite idea. Certainly don’t pull pistols! “How to Kill a Pitch” is a cautionary comedy video Walt Jaschek wrote on this subject, directed by Angie Lawling, shot by Chris Lawling, produced by Mercury Films. All in good fun: it’s movie blood. Client not loving your latest idea? There’s another one, you know. Come up with it and live, damn it!

Spoiler: look for a cameo by Walt himself in the final scene, amid the “agency in waiting.” Full credits on IMDB.

Bonus: For those who like to read this sort of thing, here’s…

“How to Kill a Pitch”: The Shooting Script
by Walt Jaschek

Characters:

Jon / Creative Director – Agency
Jeanette / Account Director – Agency
Bernard / Chief Marketing Officer – Client
Brooke / Marketing Manager – Client
Ethan / Office Assistant – Client

Extras: The next agency in line to present / 3 people, non-speaking, cameo

BLACK SCREEN

Fade in title: How to Kill a Pitch

Fade up sound of a small group laughing. Title fades out and the laughter bridges across the CUT TO:

INT – CLIENT CONFERENCE ROOM

Jon and Jeanette are wrapping up a presentation to clients Bernard and Brooke. It’s obviously gone well. The laughter is dying down. Jon puts the last of a series of foam core boards face down on a stack.

JON:  And with that final, funny scene, this spot serves as climax to a completely integrated, cross-platform marketing campaign that is “locked and loaded.” Let’s pull that trigger.

JEANETTE:  And from a strategy perspective, it is right on strategy. Right. On.

BERNARD:  Well, Jon, Jeanette: this is fantastic work. Wonderful. A home run. Hilarious, memorable, unforgettable, really. I was totally entertained every second.

Brooke is agreeing with her boss via a series of verbal cues:  “Right, Uh-huh, it is, yes.” The agency people are beaming. Bernard, though, has one more card to play.

BERNARD:  But…

Uh-oh. The agency people trade glances. It’s the “but.” The client’s demeanor changes to a concerned scowl.

BERNARD:  I worry. Is it TOO entertaining? TOO engaging? If we go on the air with something this noticeable, this excellent, will the spot wear out faster? Will people get tired of it? Will we have set a standard of being “excellent” that we’ll have to meet each time?

He gives the word “excellent” air quotes, of course.

Jon and Marcy are completely drained by this exasperating reaction, which they’ve obviously heard before.  It’s just too much.

JON (to Jeanette):  Will you just kill me now?

JEANETTE:  I’m sorry?

JON:  Will you kill me? Right now? Here? On the spot.

Jeanette considers this with sobriety.

JEANETTE: Well, hmmm, yes. Yes, I will. But only if you kill me simultaneously.

JON:  Simultaneously? 

JEANETTE:  Yes.

JON:  That’s a deal.

JEANETTE: Let’s do it.

JON:  I’m in.

Jon pulls a pistol from his sock.  Jeanette pulls a pistol from a Coach handbag.

The clients seem to be bemused by this. But sure enough, the CD and AE point the guns at each other.  Creative director counts down:  “3… 2…. 1…. now.”

Reaction shot of the clients as the creative director and account executive shoot each other in the heads.  BLAM! BLAM! The clients get a little splattered blood on them. We see the bodies of the CD and AE slump to the floor.

But the clients aren’t really disturbed. Brooke turns to Bernard with a studied earnestness.

BROOKE: I don’t think he knew how to answer your question.

Bernard nods. This is the right response from his subordinate. The onus is on the agency, which obviously flaked out.

KER-CHUNK! The client assistant, Ethan, opens the door to the conference room.

ETHAN THE ASSISTANT: Shall I send in the next agency?

Bernard and Brooke straighten, gather papers.  Brooke smiles up at Ethan.

BERNARD:  Certainly.

BROOKE:  Yes, please do.

CUT TO: EXTERIOR HALLWAY

Ethan, holding the smile, turn and looks down the hallway.

REVERSE ANGLE – HALLWAY – ETHAN’S POINT OF VIEW

A group of anxious, smiling people from the next agency, all holding their presentation materials, looking to Ethan for the “come hither” signal.

REVERSE ANGLE – Back to Ethan

With a small hand gesture, he beckons the next agency to advance.

CUT TO BLACK

CREDITS SEQUENCE

Quick single-screen credit cuts and scroll over a lively, jaunty “Ragtime” tune.

“See?,” the music seems to say. “It was all in good fun.”

THE END

Walt Jaschek home

22-Minute Writing Sprint

Overcome procrastination and writers’ block! In a new “timed writing” video, writer Walt Jaschek prompts you to join him as he writes uninterrupted for 22 minutes. (It works!)

Is there something you need to write? Are you in avoidance mode? Would a timed, 22-minute deep dive move something along? And would watching Walt write at the same time help you sit still and just do it? You’ve come to the write place.

Gather your notes, gather your research, put down your phone, click this new YouTube video, and sit quietly and write with me. As you’ll see, I’ll ask Alexa to start a timer for 22 minutes, and off we will go.

The idea is to come out the other side of these 22 minutes with a draft of about 600 words, which is what I typically crank out in that amount of time. A first draft, mind you – pure words on the page. Polished edits can come later. First: sentences. Paragraphs. Fingers hitting the keys.

What can you accomplish?

In 22 minutes, I say, you can crank out a solid draft of:

• A blog post

• A cover letter

• A graphic novel or comic book page (of about 6 panels)

• A solid character description

• A short chapter of a novel

• A good list of headlines

• A good chunk of a non-fiction article, or at least a strong lede

• A great chunk of a brochure or collateral material

• A plan of action

• The outline of an essay

• A really terrific shopping list

Why 22 minutes, and not say, 20 minutes? Well, I love double digits, and though 20-minute writing sprints are common among authors, I’ve always felt those extra two minutes allowed for some breathing room.

Bonus tip: if you need more time than 22 minutes, just rewind the video and start back at the beginning. Watch it early and often. The point is not just to start something, of course. It’s to finish something.

So let’s begin, shall we? Ready, get set…

Write!

Let me know what you accomplished in the comments!

HyperX Quadcast Review: Cool Mic, Good Price, Hear It In Action

Walt Now fires up his new HyperX Quadcast USB external mic and records a video with it – to review the mic itself. (It’s on Amazon. #ad)

Looking for a good, external USB mic for your home/office? Found a cool one!

I realized I needed an external USB mic to up my YouTube game (and Zoom for that matter,) so I clicked around, studies reviews, and landed on… the HyperX Quadcast.

I know it looks like a bong… or something else… but it’s a mic, all right, and a pretty good one.  It lights up!

Also, I know buying a USB microphone to make YouTube videos, then making the very next video about the mic itself… is pretty meta.

Still:

My verdict is, you get good sound at a good price point, and the red LED instant on-and-off gives it visual pizazz. Recommended for YouTube, Zoom, and gaming.

Not for looking like a bong.

What’s this baby run? Check current price on Amazon. #affiliatelink

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Walt Jaschek “calls in” to St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

The St. Louis Media History Foundation asked writer Walt Jaschek to add some comedy to its 2021 Hall of Fame video. This “Zoom call” is the result. Congratulations to the new honorees in the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, which due to The Current Situation is a video celebration only, archived on YouTube.Ken Ohlemeyer … Continue reading Walt Jaschek “calls in” to St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

How to Kill a Pitch: Ad Biz Satire, Walt Jaschek Script

Oh, creatives! Don’t fall on that sword over your favorite idea. Certainly don’t pull pistols! “How to Kill a Pitch” is a cautionary comedy video Walt Jaschek wrote on this subject, directed by Angie Lawling, shot by Chris Lawling, produced by Mercury Films. All in good fun: it’s movie blood. Client not loving your latest idea? There’s … Continue reading How to Kill a Pitch: Ad Biz Satire, Walt Jaschek Script

22-Minute Writing Sprint

Overcome procrastination and writers’ block! In a new “timed writing” video, writer Walt Jaschek prompts you to join him as he writes uninterrupted for 22 minutes. (It works!) Is there something you need to write? Are you in avoidance mode? Would a timed, 22-minute deep dive move something along? And would watching Walt write at … Continue reading 22-Minute Writing Sprint

Christopher McKarton: 1974 comic strip debut

Walt Jaschek’s first published comic strip: Christopher McKarton, dramatic thriller, serialized weekly in The UMSL Current, Fall, 1974. Script and pencils: Walt. Inks and letters: Gary Hoffman.

It was a dramatic debut for Christopher McKarton, my rookie homicide investigator called to an ominous and familiar location. Here are the first four panels as they appeared on September 12, 1974, in the weekly newspaper distributed to 7,000 students of the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL.) It garnered some fans.

Christopher McKarton™ Week 1

By Walt Jaschek and Gary Hoffman

Keep scrolling for Week 2 of Christopher McKarton.

Bonus feature: Here is how this comic appeared as published in the September 12, 1974, issue of The UMSL CURRENT. It is, in fact, issue #200.

Christopher McKarton is © 1974 – 2022 Walt Now Studios.

Christopher McKarton Week 2

Christopher McKarton Week 3

Who is the mysterious intruder who has taken over UMSL’s administration building? Why is he demanding to see the University President? And who is… the hostage? Watch for more of Christopher McKarton — as soon as I find more of the art!

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HyperX Quadcast Review: Cool Mic, Good Price, Hear It In Action

Walt Now fires up his new HyperX Quadcast USB external mic and records a video with it – to review the mic itself. (It’s on Amazon. #ad) Looking for a good, external USB mic for your home/office? Found a cool one! I realized I needed an external USB mic to up my YouTube game (and … Continue reading HyperX Quadcast Review: Cool Mic, Good Price, Hear It In Action

Is Paul Blart: Mall Cop Based on Mel Cool: Map Cop?

The short answer: not as far as we know or can legally prove. In fact, bless that Paul Blart. Somebody had to be “the” Mall Cop in pop culture. He won. But here’s a longer Q&A with Walt Jaschek about that, originally published in 2009, when the movie was coming out but more than a decade … Continue reading Is Paul Blart: Mall Cop Based on Mel Cool: Map Cop?

Bad Ash™: Coming Soon from Walt Now Studios

Here’s a preview image and description of BAD ASH™, Overdue Accounts Collector, the new comic book action hero created by Walt Jaschek, and coming soon from Walt Now Studios. This rare, original concept art of Bad Ash by Walt Jaschek is for sale. Bad Ash is a high-tech bounty hunter in a glistening city of … Continue reading Bad Ash™: Coming Soon from Walt Now Studios

Is Paul Blart: Mall Cop Based on Mel Cool: Map Cop?

The short answer: not as far as we know or can legally prove. In fact, bless that Paul Blart. Somebody had to be “the” Mall Cop in pop culture. He won.

But here’s a longer Q&A with Walt Jaschek about that, originally published in 2009, when the movie was coming out but more than a decade after Mel Cool: Mall Cop was published.

Mel Cool: Mall Cop comics are now collected into a Kindle edition.

Copy and layouts: Walt Jaschek. Art: Don Secrease.

Q. Are you and your collaborators getting a piece of the action from the new movie “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” opening January 16, 2009, in theaters everywhere?

A: No.

Q. Why is that?

Walt: Paul Blart: Mall Cop is not (as far as we know or can legally prove) based on Mel Cool: Mall Cop®, the long-running comicbook and web series created by Don Secrease and me in 1995, even though there was both a Mel Cool feature film screenplay and a cartoon series pilot script floating around Hollywood for years.

Q. What is your reaction to that?

A. Existential sadness mixed with raging anger.

Q. Really?

A. No, I’m just playin’ with you.

Q. What?

A. I’m cool with it. Mel Cool with it.  I’m philosophical about the whole thing.

Q. “Philosophical?”

A. Yes. In fact, let me put on this toga.  [Rummages through a box of costumes, looking for the toga.]

Q. [While he does so.] But you just said there was a completed screenplay…

A. [Still rummaging.] There was. Cary Anderson and I wrote the story, based on the comic; Cary wrote the screenplay. Paul Fey produced. It’s a funny script. But in Hollywood, you gotta be your own agent and work the thing on a daily basis. I was in St. Louis, Cary is in Baltimore, and Paul has World Wide Wadio to run.

Q. Quit rummaging.

A. [Finds toga, puts it on.] Ah, here it is! My philosophy is, “live and learn.”

Q. All that for that?

A. “Live and learn.” To the victor, the spoils. That is, to the first one to actually get a star and a deal and Happy Meal tie-ins, the spoils. Have we gleaned nothing from “Entourage”? Next time we bring a comedy concept to Hollywood, we dig in like a pit bulls on amphetamines.

Q. You have more movie-worthy comedy concepts?

A. What, are you kidding me? I’d tell you, but…

Q. …you’d have to kill me?

A. [stares at him from an angle]  No, but what an odd thing to say.

Q. [quickly changes subject] So: you’re not bitter about Paul Blart and you’re not suing?

A. No. I really think it’s just great comic minds thinking alike. The movie looks really funny, actually. Kevin James. He knows from funny.

Q. Any sales of your work in the wake of publicity from the movie?

A. We’ve sold one comicbook, one t-shirt, and made about 46 cents in AdSense revenue.

Q. So it looks as if you’re raking in some dough from the whole Mall Cop thing, after all.

A. Praise the mall gods. There are mall gods, you know.

Q. We believe you. Um, are you going to leave that toga on?

A. Yes. I think it’s flattering to my shape.

Q. Thank you, Walt.

A. You’re welcome, Q.

Mel Cool: Mall Cop comics are now collected into a Kindle edition.

Mel Cool: Mall Cop is TM and © 1993-2022 Walt Now Studios

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Christopher McKarton: 1974 comic strip debut

Walt Jaschek’s first published comic strip: Christopher McKarton, dramatic thriller, serialized weekly in The UMSL Current, Fall, 1974. Script and pencils: Walt. Inks and letters: Gary Hoffman. It was a dramatic debut for Christopher McKarton, my rookie homicide investigator called to an ominous and familiar location. Here are the first four panels as they appeared … Continue reading Christopher McKarton: 1974 comic strip debut

Review of True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee

With great power comes great responsibility. And with great responsibility comes fame, fortune, last-act misfortunes, a cross-maze of lawsuits, and a boatload of movie cameos. Walt Jaschek reviews Abraham Riesman’s new biography, True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee. It’s in hardcover and Kindle on Amazon. Check current price. #affiliatelink Here are my … Continue reading Review of True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee

New Sponsor: Fructose Pies™

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Bad Ash™: Coming Soon from Walt Now Studios

Here’s a preview image and description of BAD ASH™, Overdue Accounts Collector, the new comic book action hero created by Walt Jaschek, and coming soon from Walt Now Studios.

This rare, original concept art of Bad Ash by Walt Jaschek is for sale.

Bad Ash is a high-tech bounty hunter in a glistening city of the near future. Located somewhere in the Americas, it’s even called… Future City. 

Ash is beautiful yes, but also tough. She’s half-Italian (Dad) and half-Latina (Mom,) and her light brown skin sheens. But never sweats.

Clad in thin, chain-mail fabric-armor; steampunk-like goggles for enhanced perception; and fingerless gloves with circuits controlling her tech, Bad Ash is brash. As an athletic 26-year-old with ninja training, her strength and agility are enhanced with injections of Martian vitamins given to her by her Mars-born lover, D’Arx D’Rax.

Bad Ash is known as the most persistent finder in the field. She doesn’t like the term “bounty hunter,” though. She prefers to call herself an “overdue accounts collector.” Makes a whole lot of commission$ for it. But she’s also a gum-popping wisecracker, and has been since high school; that hasn’t changed.

Her most recent employer: Bigg Bounty, a skyscraper-dwelling corporation whose sole service is bounty hunting on a global scale. B.A. is one of their star hunters. But as we shall see in her first story, she’s trying to quit Bigg to go freelance. She already resigned, but now she must collect the hundred grand in severance pay Bigg’s contract promised her. 

She’ll get it. Or die trying.

“Bad Ash: In It to Quit It.” Coming soon from Walt Now Studios.

Meanwhile, buy the original art by Walt Jaschek.

Bad Ash™ is trademark and © 2021 Walt Now Studios.

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Cooler Heads Prevail in this Beer Promo Pitch

Copywriter Walt Jaschek recalls a college poster campaign concept he pitched to the Budweiser team at Anheuser Busch. Did the Cooler Heads prevail? Happy first day of Summer! Here’s a seasonal flashback from back in the day, when I was invited by the Budweiser promo team to pitch ideas for a college poster campaign with … Continue reading Cooler Heads Prevail in this Beer Promo Pitch

Walt’s Words of Wisdom: Cilantro

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Rediscovered! Rare, Star-Studded 1992 CBS-TV Holiday Spot

Scriptwriter Walt Jaschek finds rare, 1992 CBS-TV holiday spot with performances by dozens of TV stars of the day. It’s enchanting. Here’s a holiday TV blast from the past, never before seen on the internet, at least as far as we know. In 1992, CBS-TV offered our agency Paul & Walt Worldwide the opportunity to … Continue reading Rediscovered! Rare, Star-Studded 1992 CBS-TV Holiday Spot

Review of True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee

With great power comes great responsibility. And with great responsibility comes fame, fortune, last-act misfortunes, a cross-maze of lawsuits, and a boatload of movie cameos. Walt Jaschek reviews Abraham Riesman’s new biography, True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee.

It’s in hardcover and Kindle on Amazon. Check current price.

#affiliatelink

Here are my 10 take-aways from this terrific tome.

  1. It’s a “toupee-and-all” tell-all, and I’m all in.

The book works to be clear eyed, to peer through the mist of myths surrounding Stan to something more layered, more substantial, and ultimately sadder, than previous bios, many of which merely amplified the breezy public persona he crafted. That was “Stan the Man,” which became “Stan the Brand.” But it’s Stan the (lower case) “man” who gives us pause, as we examine his great talent and great personal flaws.

2. The Marvel Method < Rhythm Method.

Turns out the Marvel Method of creating comics – art first, then script – was created by Stan in the 50s, as a way for artists to get paid faster, not having to wait for, you know, scripts. That part is cool; I’m in favor of artists getting paid faster. Where that gets tangled later is in “who-created-what” debates and lawsuits. I’ve followed Marvel for decades. Who created what? The artists who wrote the stories in pencil art: Jack Kirby. Steve Ditko. John Romita. Don Heck. John Buscema. And Stan Lee. After the art was turned in. The process was wonky and fraught with danger, but it worked. In that regard, The Marvel Method is like birth control’s rhythm method, only slightly more reliable.

3. The book’s biggest surprise isn’t.

The hog-the-credit aspect of Stan’s story arc is well known. His books and interviews basically rewrite history so that it seemed like he came up with every character and character name. This comes as a great surprise to absolutely no one. It’s no less exasperating to revisit, though.

4. When he moved on, he moved on.

Stan left Marvel’s day-to-day operations in the late 90s, and seldom followed Marvel’s books thereafter. For example: When the producers of the (now beloved) 1990s animated X-Men series approached Stan for approval on their adaptation of the Wein-and-Cockrum-created characters, they realized he didn’t know who these “new” X-Men were. Can you imagine? I can just hear him saying, “These characters don’t look familiar. I like the guy with the claws, though. What’s his name? Wolverine? I like it. In fact, I created it. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”

5. He had a job description to admire. And a salary to desire.

A 1998 lawsuit revealed that Marvel was paying Stan one million dollars a year for quote “basically doing nothing” unquote. I pass no judgement, because that is, in a nutshell, my exact career goal. He continued to be a cheerleader, of course, at cons and everywhere. True story: at San-Diego Comic-Con in 2010, I was walking down a packed-with-people corridor when I almost ran into Stan, who was with Joan. He wasn’t happy with the dense crowd, or with me in the way. He grunted past me. So my one real-life interaction with Stan involved him being annoyed at my physical presence. I decided not to ask for an autograph

6. His Third Act was filled with the third rate.

Stan was sadly surrounded the last third of his life by lawless con-men and grifters scheming and double-dealing behind his back. And sometimes behind his “Face Front!” Before Stan Lee Media went bankrupt in 2000, stock manipulation took it from $9 a share to pennies a share to into The Negative Zone. Even Reed Richards couldn’t bring it back. Stan said he “didn’t know a thing” about all the stock hi-jinx and bad behavior, but he should have been suspicious when his partners kept greeting him with, “Hail Hydra.” But seriously, all these lawsuits, all these downward spires: was he that bad a judge of character? Or was bad character seeking same?

7. “Striperella:” For completists. Or masochists.

The biggest series success Stan had after Marvel was the Spike TV animated cartoon “Striperella,” voiced by Baywatch’s Pamela Anderson. That’s right, I said his biggest series success. so that sets the bar right there. All Stan came up with was the name, and the pitch to Pamela. When the showrunners, who were to write all 13 episodes were given the name they asked who the character was. And the answer came: “Whatever you guys want to do with her.”  They went with an out-there “adult” humor, not for me. I went to YouTube and watched a few minutes of the character throwing a sledgehammer at a villain’s testicles. He was in pain, I was in pain, it was all about the pain.

8. Celebrity begats celebrity.

Stan sat next to Bill Clinton at a big Hollywood fund-raiser. There’s no record of whether or not they ever shared a cigar.

9. For richer, for poorer, but especially for richer.

Stan’s wife Joan, by all reports, went through his earnings at lightning speed, buying everything in sight at the speed of light. If she was a Marvel character, she could be called … The Slender Spender. (Slender Spender trademark Walt Now Media.) Stan and Joan held lavish cocktail parties at their L.A. home, many recorded on video. I can be glad there’s wasn’t yet Tik Tok. But it was a long and happy marriage, by all accounts, symbiotic at least, real Hank and Janet Pym stuff, without anyone being lost in the Quantum Realm.

10. I’m still a fan.

Stan is one of the top writerly influences in my life. I read his work almost daily as a kid then teen from 1963 to 1973. His voice, style and point of view are all over my work. I can relate to Jim Shooter, who, when asked to write a tribute to Stan, said, “Everything I write is a tribute to Stan.” But my fandom has limits. I find it good, nay, healthy, nay cautionary, to examine and consider the journey of a talent too easily flattered, too reckless in judgement, too quick to pass responsibility.

Ah, responsibility.

I hear it comes with great power.

True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee is available on Amazon. Check current price. #ad

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St. Louis V.I.P: Jaschek Wins With Humor

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My Copywriting Tips and Advice from 1984

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Walt Jaschek: Concept Creator

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How Jerry Berger Rocket-Boosted My Career

Copywriter Walt Jaschek remembers St. Louis Post-Dispatch ad columnist Jerry Berger, and being lifted from obscurity by the reporter’s generous coverage. Certain graces boost us in our careers, inadvertently or otherwise. In my career, one of those graces was named Jerry. Newspaper writer Jerry Berger (1933-2021) was on the advertising and marketing beat for the … Continue reading How Jerry Berger Rocket-Boosted My Career

Smirk Du Jour: Slightly Bent Panel Cartoons

The lost art of the panel cartoon came roaring back when comedy writer Walt Jaschek teamed with illustrator Tony Patti for Smirk Du Jour, a series of gags about life, love and laughs. These New Yorker-style panel cartoons originally appeared in Slightly Bent Comics #1, an American humor series distributed to comic book stores in … Continue reading Smirk Du Jour: Slightly Bent Panel Cartoons

Corp Rut: Funny Comic About Careers

Misery, they say, loves company. Here’s the company it loves the most. Corp Rut™. It’s not just a place to languish for decades. It’s the subject of a funny, two-page comic book story by Walt Jaschek and Tony Patti, as it appeared in the second issue of Slightly Bent Comics, 1998. Buy Slightly Bent Comics … Continue reading Corp Rut: Funny Comic About Careers

Cooler Heads Prevail in this Beer Promo Pitch

Copywriter Walt Jaschek recalls a college poster campaign concept he pitched to the Budweiser team at Anheuser Busch. Did the Cooler Heads prevail?

Happy first day of Summer! Here’s a seasonal flashback from back in the day, when I was invited by the Budweiser promo team to pitch ideas for a college poster campaign with a summer thme. I concocted characters called “The Cooler Heads” who would “prevail” until school resumed in Fall.

The group laughed…

But didn’t buy it.

Oh, well. Truth is, when I rediscovered this pencil layout and the Anheuser-Busch name badge still stuck to it, I remembered: Even when not every idea we pitched was bought… we were having too much fun.

As for The Cooler Heads, they deserve to appear somewhere. Beer clients? Water clients? Cooler clients? Gimme a shout. This idea has legs!

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Danger Dad™ Superhero Parody, 1998

Danger Dad™, the superhero with “paternal parent power,” was created by Walt Jaschek and first appeared in Slightly Bent Comics, 1998. Here are two of the strips. “Stop and Think!” That’s the motto of the over-protective parent Danger Dad, a parody superhero created by St. Louis writer and humorist Walt Jaschek. “At the time, I … Continue reading Danger Dad™ Superhero Parody, 1998

Slightly Bent Comics: Mall Cop, Dude-Guy, Danger Dad & More

Slightly Bent #1 and #2 are black-and-white anthology comics written by Walt Jaschek, starring creator-owned characters. Top St. Louis comic artists supplied visuals. This 2-issue series, self-published as “Slightly Bent Entertainment,” was distributed by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic books stores across the United States in 1998. Walt Jaschek designed the Slightly Bent logo and … Continue reading Slightly Bent Comics: Mall Cop, Dude-Guy, Danger Dad & More

Jim Theis “Conan the Barbarian” Comic Review in GRAFAN 9, 1971

In “A Tale of Two Conans,” heroic fiction fan/student Jim Theis (“Eye of Argon”) casts a critical eye at Marvel Comics’ newly launched Robert E. Howard adaptation (1971.) Swords clash. Rare fanzine: GRAFAN 9, May, 1971GRAFAN 9 is for sale as digital download pdf.Publisher: Graphic Fantasy Society of St. Louis, Missouri18 mimeograph pages + wraparound coverCirculation: … Continue reading Jim Theis “Conan the Barbarian” Comic Review in GRAFAN 9, 1971

Walt’s Words of Wisdom: Cilantro

Writer Walt Now has “a line in the sand” when it comes to a certain controversial herb. He’s talkin’ cilantro, and he says the only right way to think about it is: love.

As I was saying:

There are two kinds of people in the world. People who love cilantro. And people who are wrong.

I realize cilantro is a divisive issue. I also realize we definitely do not have a shortage of divisive issues in this world. I also realize I have just made it more divisive.

I do that.

But it’s an Alamo-style line in the sand about cilantro for me.

The herb, AKA coriander, adds a fresh, green tang-note to every salsa, a frenzy of flavor to every soup, and sacred life to holy guacamole.

I also rip the leaves from cilantro plants and nurseries and big-box stores and get a quick hit. Don’t tell them.

But you don’t have to leave home. Amazon sells a wonderful dried cilantro. #ad

There’s even an organic liquid extract cilantro. #ad

Best of all, cilantro seeds #ad are plentiful for indoor or outdoor planting. I’ve had good luck with both, year after year.

But I’m starting to hear contrary views. It’s beginning to enter my consciousness that not every human being alive appreciates cilantro. Shocked!

In fact, today my wife told me that some people are born with a genetic disposition to process cilantro flavor differently. To them, she said, cilantro tastes like green soap. It’s not a matter of “liking” it, she said. It’s a matter of not wanting to eat soap.

Okay, respect for genetic disposition, but how these people can go through life is beyond me. I would shoot myself into the heart of a burning sun rather than live without cilantro. Next you’ll be telling me to give up dill.

Readers: let’s get some food-centric feedback here. Let me know in the comment: Do you love cilantro? Or are you wrong?