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.


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