Posted by Dan Greenfield on May 31, 2023
RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1988!
Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 35 years ago… This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of May 31, 1988. Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of May 24, 1956. Click here to check it out. (Keep in mind that comics came out on multiple days, so these are technically the comics that went on sale between May 28 and June 3.) So, let’s set the scene: The Reagan ’80s were in their final months but Vice President George H.W. Bush — we just called him George Bush back then — would roll to the GOP nomination. For the Democrats, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis was the presumptive nominee at this point, with Jesse Jackson holding on, effectively to ensure that Black interests were represented in the party’s platform come the convention in July. Crocodile Dundee II blew off the box office doors with a huge Memorial Day weekend debut. On June 3, a far superior film, Penny Marshall’s Big, starring Tom Hanks (aka Shazam! without the superpowers) opened to critical and commercial acclaim. The movie underscored Hanks’ broad appeal as a major Hollywood player and the role of Josh Baskin would earn him his first Oscar nomination. The more things change: Hollywood was stifled by a writers strike and it was rerun season, as well. Either way, NBC was a ratings powerhouse, locking up the first seven slots in the Nielsens. Among the most popular shows were Night Court, The Cosby Show, Cheers and A Different World. But the TV landscape was shifting: The execrable Morton Downey Jr. Show went into national syndication, an early sign that pop culture and civility were devolving before our very eyes. I’m not a music snob — I swear I’m not — but there’s not a single hit among the Billboard 100 leaders that I like. It just wasn’t my time for popular music. The No. 1 single was George Michael’s One More Try, a song I cannot recall off the top of my head. (By this time, I was soaked in classic rock from the ’60s and ’70s and learning about great blues artists like Taj Mahal.) To find a song I genuinely like, you have to go all the way down to No. 29, for Midnight...