Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"...and, The Return of The OLD"

In the news today, Turner (broadcasting) is going thru over 1000 hours of classic cartoons to clip and eliminate any scenes of the characters using tobacco (smoking) with the only exception being to any villians smoking cigars. Good to eliminate this from the eyes of children; Bad because of the dreaded word of cencorship once again, and the destruction of any classic material. Allowing this is just another step in letting others choose what we want to watch in this country, and just another reason not to solicite them. Remember that it's not a choice of political correctness, but a statement about removing one's rights. (It's also saying that only bad people smoke.)

I don't want to sound all Dale Gribble about this, but I do grow weary of people telling us we have the right to choose what we watch on t.v., then eliminating our choices because "they" control the subject matter. Which brings up the subject of what NEXT "those in charge" will decide what we can or cannot watch? Will our choices finally be reduced to either turning On the set, or turning it Off, or popping in some prerecorded material we actually want to watch? I find this particularly disturbing considering Turner is always sounding off about restoring all of their classic movies and including any deleted scenes, showing them in "wide-screen" original format, etc., but they want to be hypocritical and clip "other" film material. (Will they start eliminating scenes of Bogart with a cigarette next?)

And you may have noticed that my New Look isn't on this blog post. To be honest, nobody commented about the change one way or the other (so the hell with that idea). I'm still just going to post about twice a month, and it'll pretty much be just like it always was...just not as often. Over on the link I posted that says, "My Unpublished Work", I'll still change that art from time-to-time. (You'll just have to check it off and on to see if it's something different.)

And I noticed that this is my "e-Birthday", that is to say, the anniversary of the date I registered as a member on eBay. Currently I have 651 "unique" pos' FBs. I tried to average 100 FBs a year, but sometimes I buy from the same dealers I've learned to trust. It's a good policy; keeps one from getting "ripped-off". Otherwise had I gotten FBs that counted from everytime one was left for me, it'd be around 1,100.

Well I'm glad to see that the weather here of late in South Central, KY. has given us a bit of a break. The humidity is down, as well as the temperatures. Today it's in the 80s and I was able to mow the back yard and rake all of that without fear of getting over-heated. Thankfully it won't be too much longer until the mowing season's over with (of course, then it'll be RAKING season...*sigh*).

Got in a pretty nice silver-age comic yesterday: The Brave & The Bold #34 from 1961). It's the 3rd. silver-age app. of "Hawkman", and the first app. and origin of "The Shadow Thief", featuring a classic Joe Kubert cover and great interior art by him, and, of course, written by Gardner Fox. This was the issue chosen for the U.S. DC Super-Hero Stamp for Hawkman as well. Also in was a copy of All Star #60 (1976), which is the 3rd. app. of "Power Girl", with some great artwork by the team of Keith Giffen & the wonderful ("late") Wally Wood.

Another comic that I've just won is a copy of Batman #78 (a pre-code comic from 1953). This is the first app. of "The Manhunter from Mars". What? You say that was in Detective 225(1955) instead? Well..."J'onn J'onzz" did indeed have his first app. in 'Tec, but a good 2 years before that there was this story in Batman about a green-skinned lawman from Mars named "Roh Kar", and was the first DC app. of a lawman from The Red Planet; a proto-type of a character later to come, or perhaps, inspiration.

Also in yesterday's mail was a freebee copy of the Fall issue of the SCIFI Channel Magazine. It wasn't the one that was advertised (with the review of "Superman Returns"), but still it had several interesting tidbits. Such as how the "Aquaman" t.v. pilot got snubbed by the networks (just as well, since it'd probably been another "Man from Atlantis" series), how the new "Hellboy" animated series sets him trapped in another dimension full of Japanese folklore where he's constantly battling various monsters (wheee....), and, speaking of Mignola creations, there's a full page of artwork by him depicting various Dark Horse characters which may or not have been published elsewhere. Also a "thumbs up" review of "V for Vendetta", a review for the new series "Heroes" plus other reviews of the new Fall shows on that channel.

Interesting enough rag; but probably not worth subscribing to (unless you're just a big fan/viewer of that channel).

'Funny. I thought the heating element was going out in the clothes dryer as I've had to re-dry loads of laundry numberous times. Sometimes after trying it 4 or five times to dry a load, I'd even have to take the clothes out of the dryer and hang them up to air-dry. A buddy told me to check the exhast hose, and sure enough, it was completely clogged up with, of all things, a bird's nest! They must have built it just within the past couple months. Anyway,m we'll see how well it works now.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The NEW Look"

And I'm back, if not just occasionally. I figured I'd try to at least find time to do two posts per month, one each in the second and forth weeks.

The format for my postings will look a little different. So, let's starts with Kudos & Failings.

Kudos to DC comics' title, Superman/Batman, which is definately one of the best efforts concerning super-hero exploits and the teaming of such since the old World's Finest title. From issues #8 thru 25 we've been given a new Supergirl storyline, cameos by Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk, The Legion of Super-Heroes, Kamandi, various old western characters such as Bat Lash, El Diablo and Jonah Hex, and Bizarro No.1. Plus, we've been given a NEW bizarro character, "Batzarro" (not to be confused with Bizarro Batman). One issue of this title even gave us a storyline featuring ALL FIVE of the different Supergirl characters which have appeared since 1959.

Failings: For The Great Escape comic/record/etc. store in Bowling Green, KY. for not stocking more of the "readable" titles from the 1980's such as DC's The Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Booster Gold and many others which I'm sure that in the vast inventory possessed by store owner Gary Walker, could be in their back-issue bins rather than crammed into "whichever" of the various dozens of non-bagged/boarded sales boxes under the tables. Neither is there a selection of such Vertigo titles such as Shade the Changing Man, Doom Patrol or Animal Man, all of which have been fan favorites. Another Failing is changing the discount on their special sales days from 25% to 20% on the interiuor store stock.

Kudos to Erik Larson for his Savage Dragon #124, which not only featured a very original idea of a retro-type cover (which looked torn and tattered like a VERY worn issue of some silver-age Marvel super-hero comic), but also mentioning or indicating non-Image characters in the back-up story, such as The Doom Patrol, Wonder Woman and Superman.

Failings: Stan Lee's latest attempt at a super-hero, "Light Speed" which recently aired on the SCI-FI Channel. If that's the best you can do these days, Stan, please stop writing and let us relish the grand memories of the characters you created we still all DO enjoy.

Kudos: To The United States Postal Service for the recent release of the DC Super-Hero Postage Stamps! Now let's see one for Marvel Comics as well!

Failings: To The United States Postal Service as well for its poor choice of cover reproductions in these same stamps. The covers used for Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern and Hawkman were all okay. Not some of my personal choices, perhaps, but alright. However, only "Classic" covers should have been used for many of the other characters. For Aquaman, for example, I think Showcase #30 would have been more appropiate. For Supergirl, any of a number of circa 1960-61 issues of Action Comics (#276 comes to mind). For Wonder Woman there are scores of better covers to choose from, and Plastic Man really shouldn't have been picked for these at all having not become an official part of The DC Universe until 1966. Either Dr. Fate or The Spectre would have been better used here, or maybe even a group cover of the JLA, OR...The JSA.

And now, my next new section for this blog is titled, Favorite Old Comic Books I've Always Loved. This ttme I've chosen All-American Men of War #116(D.C. Comics/August, 1966 issue, shown above).

Reasons "why" I love this book: That would start with a wonderful Joe Kubert cover of "Lt. Steve Savage--The Balloon Buster", one of DC's WWI-type characters, astride the rear of a bi-plane, wearing western gear and shooting at other bi-plane with his colt revolver. The background of red contrasting with the foreground of green made it one of those sort of comics that shouted at you from the spinner racks back in the mid-60's!

Then we turn to the interiors and discover that the whole of that is illustrated by Russ Heath (need I say more?), a master of illustrating war tales and a stickler for detail.

Top it off with a Go-Go Checks front cover topper from that era makes it one of my personal all-time favorite comics.

Something Old, Something New Department: Over on my "Beatles & Bizarros" blog site you will see that I have added several more modern app.'s of the Imperfect & Wacky Duplicate of "The Man of Steel".

Thoroughly Confuse Me Department: Recently, D.C. Comics decided to discontinue Superman Volume 2, and change the title of Adventures of Superman, back to just plain Superman. Since AOSM was actually just a continuation of Superman Volume ONE, this means that there is NO #'s 424 THRU 649 of Superman V1, nor was there ever #'s 1 THRU 423 of AOSM.>

Personal Info Section: And this is where I talk just a little about what's currently going own in my own life.

My mother's arm, which she broke in a fall about a month ago, is healing well. She should be out of the cast here within a week or two. My dad, ever more frail, decided he wanted another air compressor after selling the old one he had which was too heavy for him to move around. At first he purchased a handpump, but discovered even that to be a strain for him. So I picked up a small, light-weight 2 gal. compressor at a flea market and he seems very pleased with it.

I'm still working at Pier 19, of course, but we recently had the one other guy that helped me in the tool section quit due to making more money elsewhere. Plus it probably cut too much into both his college and "social life". He'll be graduating from college this year and starting, at least, substitute teaching this Fall, so he would have had to quit soon anyway.

We ended up with another of the boss's many friends; a 20 year old girl who I'm sure would much rather be elsewhere. The only other people in retail these days is one elderly lady, plus one woman a bit older than myself which keeps all of the knick-knack & doll sections filled. The manager has taken over half of my department, but due to her work load in wholesale, leaves me still most of the time still to do the majority of the stocking, pricing, etc.

In a month or so, one of our other workers will probably return when she closes down a seasonal business she has during the summer months. In the meanwhile, I'm stuck pretty much having to work every weekend. I do now get two days off in a row, so my "weekend" ends up being Tuesday-Wednesday of each week. We still only have two people working the weekends; myself and one guy from wholesale, and we have no chance even to clock out for lunch breaks due to the steady flow of customers.

In other words...the same ol' $h*t.

And finally, the last new department here.

Over on the right-hand column where I have my list of links, you'll see a new one called: My Unpublished Work. Each month, (ONCE a month) there will be a different piece of my own artwork there to view. Some may be old stuff and some new, but it'll all be something that I never personally published anywhere, or was ever published in any publication other than my own.

And there you have it. My New Look blog page. Hope you enjoy it.