Comic 366 - Dora Sees Red
8th Nov 2018, 12:00 AM in The Antique Shop
Dora Sees Red
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Author Notes:
Microraptor edit delete
...yes, in this case at least, they are pretty useless! :-D

Cassette tapes! For me, cassette tapes (mainly with audio plays for kids) are an important part of 80s and 90s nostalgia.
Yet curiously, the anglophone internet (which is otherwise filled to the brim with 80s and 90s nostalgia) hardly ever talks about stuff like this.
It seems thus to me that was largely only a European or even just German trend...?

Also, as an example how reader-interaction can influence the comic, I spontaneously decided that Dora does indeed develop her photos the old school way, as I have speculated here in an answer to a comment.

And last but not least? How do you like Peter's new guitar? It has an interesting design, doesn't it? ;-)


Also, check shout Erwin The Quantum Cat - the lost episodes by Stilldown, a spin-off chronicling the adventures of Cleo's favorite TV cat and his friends!
Furthermore, guest participation is explicitly encouraged!
User comments:
Stilldown (Guest) edit delete reply
Cassette tapes were very popular in the 1970ies and 1980ies, and survived into the 1990ies and beyond, because reel-to-reel was much more expensive and more complicated to use, same goes for the first CD-writers. The american prefered the 8-track cartridges (infinite loop), while europe and japan prefered the phillips compact cassette, that was cheaper and less complicated, so there is quite a difference. The compact cassette survived rather long as it was a prefered medium to store programs on homecomputers in the 1980ies and early 90ies (disk players were way more expensive). And yes, there were the first compact cassettes in the 1960ies, but they were quite rare, as were recorders. (There have been some other exotic cassette systems since the 1950ies, too, but none of them was very successful).
Microraptor edit delete reply
I just googled those 8-track cartridges - and I don't think I have ever actually seen those before!
OK, that may indeed be an explanation (or at least a factor) why cassette tapes are more deeply ingrained in European 80s nostalgia than in American...

BTW, putting the Captain Happy vinyl record into the comic was sort of an outgrowth of my musings about audio play cassettes, because I am aware that as a precursor to the cassettes there were vinyls too with non-music content like this. (Paralleling the evolution of the usage of those media for music content obviously.)
Stilldown (Guest) edit delete reply
I got hold of an old 8-track player before I owned a standard cassette player, but i only owned one cartridge and a demo-cartdrige with only a few minutes tape on it. I wanted to use it, but I didn't get any 8-track tapes where I live, and I even tried to build my own one by winding up reel-to-reel tape to an infinitive loop and fixing it into the empty cartridge of the demo tape, but it never really worked, so I finally salvaged the 8-track player to built my first compact cassette player. I couldn't affor any usable one, but I had a high-end chassis that was sold cheap without any electronics by Bühler or Conrads (Pre-pollin) and connected it to the electronics of the 8-track player in open wiring. I used it for some years and never managed to electrocute myself strangely.
Stilldown edit delete reply
Just to add, there wasn't anything like a "cassette movement" anyhow comparable to the home computing scene in the 80s or the vinyl cult of today. Cassettes were popular, but only because there wasn't any alternative. There was a shortlived hype about the early walkman that wasn't just an early precursor of the mp3 player, but also statussymbol. (It had to be Sony, maybe Panasonic, but nothing else.) Still, it was probably much less hype then for any new I-phone today.
P.S. Hardly anybody used premade cassettes, although they were sold everywhere. I still have probably a trunk full of selfrecorded cassettes and maybe two or three premade at all. I haven't the heart to throw them all away yet, but I gave all the empty ones to a friend who uses them for homecomputing purposes.
Microraptor edit delete reply
Now that you mention it, yes... I had a ton of store-bought audio play cassettes (Hörspiele), but we had at best just a very tiny amount of store-bought music cassettes. Those I mentioned in my answer to MST3KFan's post had the hulls of cassettes that are blank when you buy them. No idea though where exactly my father got the music from, that he put onto them.
Jeremy7 edit delete reply
...Is that guitar even practical?

It's gonna play an important role later in the story, isn't it?
Microraptor edit delete reply
It won't be important in this chapter, but Peter being in the possession of it is indeed supposed to set up a future plot line - it will thus be important someday... ;-)
MST3KFan edit delete reply
I used to have quite a few cassette tapes in my youth. Mostly tapes with songs I recorded off the radio.

Still have a lot of VHS tapes with recorded stuff as well. XD
Microraptor edit delete reply
I didn't really own any music cassettes personally, but... earlier this year, when we wanted to bring my dad's ten year old car to the junk dealer and cleared it out before that, amongst the items we retrieved from the car were indeed a bunch old music cassettes.
If I remember correctly, they were still from the car he had before that one!

Recorded VHS tapes I had too though. One in particular that I watched over and over again was a dinosaur special from a children's program, which amongst other stuff featured the simply gorgeous Czech movie Journey to the Beginning of Time.
ProfEtheric edit delete reply
Yeah, cassette tapes were a huge part of my childhood and adolescence, from albums by musical artists to mix tapes (which were an art form unto themselves - so many cool and interesting transitions between songs made accidentally through misuse of the record button), to long, drawn out monologues made during late night walks.

On the subject of mixtapes, it's almost too easy in this day and age of streaming services and playlists, and there has, perhaps, been something lost. By the same token. however, the player can't eat playlists, nor can playlists break when you accidentally sit on them...

And that is one heck of an interesting guitar.
Microraptor edit delete reply
Unfortunately, I somehow missed out on the whole mix tape culture - I guess due to a combination of my age plus only starting to really care about music relatively late, namely when the CD already ruled supreme...

And yes, that guitar... Hehehehe...
Somewhere I have already posted something that has to do with this guitar... ;-D
lirvilas edit delete reply
Oh, those easily distracted adults!


Speaking of which, kinda hilarious how everyone's got so much to say about cassettes... good riddance!
Microraptor edit delete reply
Getting distracted by 80s nostalgia! (Which fits indeed to both parts of your comment! Quite astonishing how very meta this page has become due to all the comments...)
AmeliaP edit delete reply
Cassete tapes... Now I'm feeling old.
Microraptor edit delete reply
And even CDs are an old hat by now!!