The Comical Cal Ripken Bio-Comic

In honor of Cal Ripkin’s 54th birthday this past August 24, Dan Glickman posted highlights from Baseball Superstars Comics’s 1992 bio-comic on Junior to his web site The Baseball Continuum (

Bizarre Baseball Culture: A Cal Ripkin Bio-Comic

By Dan Glickman (The Baseball Continuum, August 24, 2014)

Baseball Superstars Comics‘ 1992 bio-comic on Cal Ripken, Jr.

Baseball Superstars Comics‘ 1992 bio-comic on Cal Ripken, Jr.

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

There is a special type of baseball culture that I haven’t really covered yet… the baseball biography comic. Whether authorized or unauthorized, the baseball bio-comic is it’s own small subgenre of weird.

Take Baseball Superstars Comics‘ bio-comic on Cal Ripken, Jr. from 1992. A black-and-white comic from the now long-defunct “Revolutionary Comics” and seventh in a series of baseball bio-comics, it’s like a fever-dream of a look into the life and times of the Orioles great up through the 1991 season. The art is disturbing, the writing wooden, and the facts sometimes feel wrong.

That said, it’s not all bad. It’s got a so-bad-it’s-good quality at times, and any comic that features two pages devoted to the longest game ever is going to get my attention.

So, on his 54th birthday, here’s a look at the Baseball Superstars comic on Cal Ripken Jr.

Continue reading “Bizarre Baseball Culture: Cal Ripkin Bio-Comic” at

*** The BALTIMORE OR LESS Highlights Reel: ***

OK, like Cal himself, the “Baseball Superstars” comic is pretty dull. It’s hard to get excited over lines like “Ever mindful of the heroic figure he presents to children and adults alike, Cal is careful to provide a healthy, fit, drug-free example…” and the Ironbird’s championing of milk:

Cal asks: Got Milk?"

Cal: “The nutrition that milk provides does great things for your body!”

So the comic attempts to sex up the storyline (and no doubt stir the loins of its male adolescent audience) with some rather tame – but well-rounded – visual T&A, as in the following panels, which remain our faves.


Though he’s “popular with the ladies” Cal is known for “treating women with respect.”

Of course, the sexiest panel is reserved for Cal’s close encounter at home plate on May 2, 1988 with “Morganna the Kissing Bandit” (a baseball groupie who knew a thing or two about the benefits of milk glands herself!). To quote Cubbies fan Cameron from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”: “Hey batta batta batta, hey batta batta batta, SCHWING batta!


Following are additional images of the real-life encounter.

Morganna Rose Roberts, also known as "the kissing bandit," is shown kissing Cal Ripkin, Jr. at home plate in 1988 (Gene SWeeney, Jr. Baltimore

Morganna Rose Roberts, also known as “the kissing bandit,” is shown kissing Cal Ripkin, Jr. at home plate in 1988 (Gene Sweeney, Jr., Baltimore Sun)

Watch Cal Ripkin, Jr. Kissed by Morganna the Kissing Bandit.


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Baltimore Man Attacked with Medieval Weapon in Patterson Park


Man in Patterson Park attacked with medieval weapon

By Justin Fenton (Baltimore Sun, 8/4/2014)

A 41-year-old man told Baltimore Police he was attacked in a robbery try by a group of teenagers – one who was wielding a medieval weapon.

According to a police report, the man said he was sitting in the grass in Patterson Park next to the baseball field on Thursday night at about 8 p.m. when four juveniles, about 14 to 16 years old, came up to him.

One of them was wielding a “ball and chain,” and struck him in the face as the others stood by, the report says.

Read more:,0,6007291.story#ixzz39Y1nn0nt

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Remembering the Baltimore Film Festival

The Indie Film Progenitor of the Maryland Film Festival

BFF 5 Program Spread

1974 Baltimore Film Festival poster.

In celebration of this year’s 16th annual Maryland Film Festival, Siobhan Hagan of the Maryland Moving Image Archive (MarMIA) compiled a history of Baltimore film festivals  and posted the results this past May on the MarMIA web site (

According to Hagan, the first-ever Baltimore-based film festival took place in February and March of 1967. It too was called the “Maryland Film Festival” and was organized by Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) students and faculty in conjunction with WBAL-TV (later joined also by Johns Hopkins University and Goucher College) and  lasted until 1969. Next came 1970′s Baltimore Film Festival, which became the Baltimore International Film Festival in 1978 and lasted up until 1994. After a five-year lull, Jed Dietz then launched his “Maryland Film Festival” in 1999.

Following is Siobhan Hagan’s “Baltimore Film Fetes” blog posting. – Tom Warner (BOL)



By Siobhan Hagan (May 7, 2014,

Tonight is the opening night of the Maryland Film Festival–a personal highlight of the year for me. It is especially sweet this year as I now live and work in Baltimore! Strangely enough, it seems that I had more time to blog about Maryland moving images when I lived in California. Now that the overlap between work and hobby is even more closely intertwined I find myself really slacking on MarMIA. A recent blog post that I wrote for work got me curious about previous Baltimore-area film festivals and figured it would be a great topic to FINALLY write about here.

Baltimore is obsessed with movies–the intense support, demographically dispersed audience, and high attendance of the Maryland Film Festival (MFF) further proves this. On their website MFF quotes David Simon describing the festival to be “an essential stop in the festival circuit”, and perhaps I am biased, but I think it has put Baltimore on the independent cinema map with growing real estate every year. Why is this small American port city so in love with watching and making moving images, both blockbusters and non-commercial indies? There are probably many layers of answers to that question, but one avenue I want to focus on is who and what helped us get here.

Moving images really blew up in the late 1890s, so they are a young medium. The rise of film studies as an area of academic higher learning started to gain traction in the 1960s, and then with the introduction of Super 8mm film and the Portapak video system, filmmaking began to be even more accessible to individuals–it was cheaper, easier to haul equipment around, and less technically challenging (NB I use the term “filmmaking” here to refer to shooting on videotape as well as film). With this context, it make sense that the first “Maryland Film Festival” occurred in February and March of 1967. It was put on by MICA and WBAL-TV and held in the Mount Royal Station Building. It was initially started by MICA students and professors, and one person in particular, Jerry (Jaromir) Stephany, a still and motion picture photography professor. Paul Sharits was also a teacher at MICA at this time, and The Baltimore Sun wrote the following approximate quote of Mr. Sharits: “He said that Baltimore ‘had great possibilities’ as a center for filmmaking”. In 1968 and 1969, the festival became a joint effort between MICA, JHU and Goucher, with such notables as Jonas Mekas and Stan Vanderbeek signing up as judges.

It seems like things were going really well, but for some reason 1969 was the last year of the Maryland Film Festival (until the name was unearthed 30 years later). I can’t seem to find out why, but it was replaced by “The Baltimore Film Festival” which was run by an English professor at the University of Baltimore named Harvey Alexander, with the films screening in the Langsdale Library Auditorium. Full disclosure: I work for Langsdale Library! This is where I initially came into the story while looking for the history of our auditorium. And like many things in life, it is all coming full circle as the Langsdale Auditorium is one of the major venues for the MFF this year. From 1970 through 1972, the Baltimore Film Festival was put on by the University of Baltimore and the American Film Institute (AFI).

Then in 1973 it started to be held at Towson State College (now Towson University), still under the direction of Harvey Alexander. Starting in 1973, the Baltimore Film Festival worked on bringing underground motion pictures to Baltimore year-round, not just for a few days in the spring. “The Baltimore Film Forum” phrase started popping up in newspapers in November of 1976 as the organizational arm of the festival, and by 1977 Harvey Alexander stepped down and/or was ousted as the director of the festival. Mr. Alexander was not happy about this turn of events and apparently even took the Baltimore Film Forum to court–however he did not win that battle. Starting in 1978, “The Baltimore International Film Festival” was held in the spring by the Baltimore Film Forum. This was the status quo and main film festival in Baltimore until 1994; that April is the last mention of the Baltimore International Film Festival that I could find in local newspapers. Then the Baltimore Film Forum ceased operations in January of 1996. The current successful iteration of the Maryland Film Festival was founded by Jed Dietz in 1999, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Please let me know if I have written anything in error as my research was relatively limited as everyone is getting ready to put this year’s festival on. I conducted most of my research from historical newspaper databases and from two scrapbooks lent to me by former member of the Baltimore Film Forum, Marc Sober. These scrapbooks were created and originally owned by Helen Cyr, the chief of the Audio-Visual Department of the Enoch Pratt Free Library from 1972 until 1988, a founding member of the Baltimore Film Forum  and the president of the Forum from 1983 through 1988 and then again from 1991 until her death in 1993.


Proquest Historical Newspapers Database References (Chronologically organized)

“Maryland Film Show Scheduled”, The Sun (1837-1988) [Baltimore, Md] 26 Feb 1967: FE6.

“March Film Festival”, The Sun (1837-1988) [Baltimore, Md] 04 Feb 1968: D10.

“Maryland Film Festival Another Art Form”, Arnett, Earl. The Sun (1837-1988) [Baltimore, Md] 23 Feb 1968: B3.

“Maryland Film Festival”, Gardner, R H. The Sun (1837-1988) [Baltimore, Md] 02 Mar 1969: D9.

“Theater Notes Film Festival To Include Two Shows”, The Sun (1837-1988) [Baltimore, Md]; Apr 1, 1970: B4.

“Film festival: night of the long knife?” Banisky, Sandy. The Sun (1837-1988) [Baltimore, Md] 07 Mar 1977: B1.

“Helen Cyr, Film Forum president and cultural force in Baltimore”, Bliss, DeWitt. The Sun [Baltimore, Md] 20 July 1993: 5B.

Related Links:

Baltimore Film Forum 1973-1980 (Flickr set)

1974 Baltimore Film Festival (Flickr set)

Maryland Moving Image Archive (

Maryland Moving Image Archive (Facebook)

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