Sunday, December 31, 2006

"The Year-End Count"

As with the end of each year I take inventory on how much I have spent on comic books and how many I have acquired. I do not count the following: duplicates, Trade Paperbacks - hardcovers - comic book related paperbacks, or Comic book oriented action figures, toys & memorabilia, magazines, etc. These figure are just for regular-type comics. 2006 I spent a total of: $2, 625.95. I acquired: 2, 086 comics.

Of these I got only 1 Golden-Ager, but 105 Silver-Agers, 199 Bronze comics and the remainder of 1, 781 were Modern titles.

(This amount is up by $661.18 from 2005 when I spent just $1, 964.77 on comics and aquired 3, 491; so I got 1, 405 LESS comics this year than last.)

My average cost per book this year was $1.25.8 cents per, whereas LAST year my average cost per comic was just .56.2 cents per book.

I completed the following sets:

Blue Beetle (DC/1980's),
Blue Devil (DC/1980's),
John Bryne's Next Men (Dark Horse/1990's),
Mr. Monster (Eclipse/1980's),
The L.A.W. (DC/2000's),
Black Lightning (DC/1970's),
Secrets of The Legion (DC/1980's),
Doc Savage (Marvel/1970's),
The Freedom Fighters (DC/1970's),
Spider-man India (Marvel/2000's),
Doom Patrol (DC/ALL 4 different series from the 1960's, 1990's and 2000's),
Animal Man & all except for 1 issue of Shade the Changing Man (both series) from the 1970's on-,
Hawk & Dove (DC/1960's), &
Hawkman app.'s in Mystery In Space (DC/1960's).

I also completed other various modern sets of titles and various limited series (or, at least complete UP to this point of notation).

As you can tell, my main focus has been on DC titles. When I did purchase Marvels I usually bought the single silver-age issue of one sort or another. I also added a lot of Charlton, Archie, Gold Key and Dell to my collections, and tons of modern misc..

My goal for this coming year is to NOT purchase as much from on-line sales, but rather to save back my money and purchase large collections as a lot, thus bringing down my purchase cost per issue again.

I'd like to finally finish up some sets such as the 1996 Supergirl series, that one issue of Shade I need, plus complete my set of Strange Adventures from at least 160 to 242.

I also want to complete a few modern sets such as DC's Captain Atom, Booster Gold, and finish up the rest of the Kirby 4th. World titles I need; perhaps even finish with the few I now need to complete a full set of anything Kirby did for DC in the 1970's.

Here's Wishing Everyone a Very Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

"Things This Season"

The list just seems to go on and on, doesn't it? More obituaries with the death of MR. James Brown, and former president, Gerald Ford.

On James Brown--- I always loved to watch his performances. He was such a showman, and one dynamic ball of energy! He'd appear to be all done-in from the show, and one of his assitants would pat him on the sholder, like he was telling him, "That's enough, Jim...come on and rest now", and throw a cape around Brown's sholders as he turned to walk away. Then a couple of steps back he's throw off the cape and back out at the mike yelling his heart out again! I'll miss that, Godfather of Soul.

Gerald Ford: a president that was neither elected to vice-presidency OR the precidency, he came in right at a time we were trying to put the final end on our involvements in Viet Nam. I have really nothing good or bad to say about him, save that I didn't like the way he pardoned President Nixon. But a large number of the population of the U.S. didn't like that either. They felt that Nixon should have been tried like any other person that committed a criminal act. History will only tell for certain if that was for the betterment of only the government, or actually for the country at large, in the long run. There was only one statement Ford ever made that I can actually recall, and that was when he was taking office. In his speach he said, "I'm a FORD, not a LINCOLN!"

And on to other things... On Christmas Eve, my mother fell (again) as she was coming down the back stairs on her way to church. She put her left arm behind her to cushion the fall, and it took the jolt of the drop. She thought she wasn't hurt, and got in the car and started to drive on to church, but that sholder began hurting so much that she pulled into the emmergency room of our local hospital. There they x-rayed her to discover she had dislocated it. They RE-located it, and put her in a sling. This wasn't much of a Christmas Present, to say the least.

The hospital had called me right away, so I left work and was there within 10 minutes. I took the rest of the day off and drove her home in her car, and later my wife got there and drove me back to get my own vehicle. I stayed with her most of the evening, got her perscription and made sure she was settled in for the evening.

The next day, Christmas of course, we had planned on a family dinner with not just my folks, my wife and I, but my aunt and cousin. Mom said we should perhaps cancel that, but I decided I would do the cooking myself. So I got back over to their house about 11 AM and stuck the turkey in the oven for its 4 hrs. of baking, and started getting other items prepared. We ended up with a meal of turkey, dressing, mashed potatos, green beans, corn, rolls, apple pie, Watergate (! Speaking of Nixon) Salad plus a jam cake and orange salad (the latter two my aunt had brought). We all ate too much and a good time was had by all!

Mom goes back to a doctor Friday, so maybe he'll remove the sling. It's more inconvenient that anything else for her since she can't use her left hand (and she's LEFT-handed).

In "comic news"... 'Been thinking about completing sets of the DC-!mpact titles, such as The Fly, The Comet, Black Hood, etc. From my figuring, there were 104 issues total, and I presently need only 28 of those. Looks like it would be an easy and cheap collection to complete. (We'll see.)

Was looking at the newly released DVD collections and noticed that the whole first season (39 episodes) of "Have Gun Will Travel" is available! Used to love watching that show as a small child in the mid-1950's! Here locally it came on at 8:30 PM on Saturday night, which worked out well since my folks insisted that I hit the sack by 9 PM (which kept me from watching many episodes of "Bonanza" which followed it). I remember how I pestered my poor, late brother to death when I got a Paladin playset (holster/guns) for Christmas that next year. It came with some of Paladin's calling cards (see above illustration) and I'd go around handing those out. Such embarrassment for him! (oh, these things we do as kids!).

Now let's talk a minute here about Identity Thief, a VERY growing problem worldwide. We've personally experienced it here lately. My wife had her pocketbook stolen out of her purse at work, even though she had it behind the counter. She didn't notice it was gone for a day or so, at which time she called the Mastercard Company to see if anything had been charged to us. Sure enough, over $400. worth of merchandice had from someone traveling South, most of the charges being in Tenessee and Georgia. In fact, so many charges so quickly together were thrown on the card that the company had cut it off. One such purcase was for over one hundred dollars at a Verizon Cell Phone business. When we contacted the places that took her card, NONE of them would offer an explanation of "why" they accepted her card. Obviously NONE of them had checked for "I.D."; they just swiped the card to get their money. Now, see how easy ID thief is? It's not due primarilly to someone "getting" your numbers, but the fault of those who accept credit cards without absolute proof that the person using it is indeed the card holder.

This thief could have been easily caught the first time they used the card, had the clerk checked the ID! To me, this makes the stores that accept stolen credit cards just as responcible for the crime as the person who committed it. Where I work, checking the identification and verifying that the person who has it is the actual card user is mandatory! This not only protects the business from loss, but the true card user as well.

They also could catch this thief, or at least get a descritption of him by going back and checking their security cameras and comparing the time the card was used. NONE of the places where it was used have offered to do so.

Not only was her credit card stolen, but also her SS Card and Dr.'s Lis., both of which she had to replace. Wasn't sure if our bank numbers were in there as well, but we checked both our accounts and SS just to see if any actions had been used from them; thankfully not.

So, the next time someone asks to see your ID when you give them either a credit or debit card, THANK THEM. And, what cranks my case even more is that on the reverse of the card where she had signed it, she even noted "SEE I.D." (the clerks never even asked).

Speaking of phones and my wife, I bought her one of those track phones (a Nokia) for Christmas, trying to get her used to a mobile phone since I'd like to go cellular this year. "Easy activation my white ass."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

"Best of Season's Greetings!"

Here's wishing everyone only the most wonderful blessings in this joyous time of the year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Autumn Ends"

Seems like all I do on these blog posts these days is report obituaries. This past week, as I'm sure most of you already know, we lost part of what e was about everyone's childhood memories with the passing of Mr. Joseph Barbera. There's way too many great cartoon memories to even touch upon produced from him.

And, here we are on the last day of Fall. Weather here in South-Central, KY. hasn't been that bad, so far. Of course, our worst times don't seem to arrive until January and February, but like most "adults" (who could care less than a rat's a$$ about snow), I'm hoping for a very mild and dry Winter.

In other things, I recently got turned down for a job at the local Marzetti Plant. I figured that I probably didn't have much of a chance of getting it . Such factories really want someone in their early to mid-20's, & extremely healthy (where they don't have to worry about actually paying out their health benefits). At my age (55 1/2) there's a considerable amount of age prejudice. They know that I can only work maybe 10-15 years before retirement, and there's possibilities of "something" happening to me health-wise. By not hiring me, tho', they lose an employee with an excellant attendance and work record. But...they just don't see it that way. Instead they hire some kid that works for a while, gets his wallet full of money (since he doesn't have any real bills save maybe that huge, expensive pickup truck he's in debt for), that most of the time isn't sober and will lay out or be late for work half the time, and sees all of his friends out loafing around and having a good time without jobs . They think that there's always another youngster that can easily take his place. This, of course, takes a decent job away from an older person who is responcible and really needs the affordable health care.

But...that's life.

Got off a little early from my own job the other day and decided to go by a new collectables shop here locally and look thru the guy's l.p.s. Found These two interesting albums. I though This was the most interesting thing about those. I consider this my "good deal" of the month. It also makes autographs that I have now of around 5 different people who were associated with "Star Trek' series.

Got a set...well...nearly a set of those Spider-man Collectible Series Newspaper Reprint Inserts that have been printed in the past few months: 1 thru 9, 11 thru 14. It takes me from Amazing Fantasy 15 thru Amazing Spider-man 6, plus half way thru #7 (as each issue reprints half an issue at a time). All Steve Ditko artwork, and when he was at his best. It's interesting to note that in #6 of this series the reprint is the first half of the "Doctor Octopus" battle from ASP-Man #3, and they've left the "typo" in it where Doc calls Spiderman, Superman!

And, well, Christmas, 2006 is nearly upon us. My wife went to see her dad today, but I stayed home waiting for a plumber to come fix a leaky bathtub faucet, and besides, I'm still about halfway puny from an on-going cold. Really it was good I didn't go. This gives her a chance to finish buying "whatever" she wants to get me as a Christmas present, and also gave ME the opportunity to wrap up hers.

So, I need to wish everyone Happy Holidays no matter what your choice of religion may be. I hope it's a great one for all.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"The Forgotten Crisis"

"When Earth-One and Earth-Two come together, their destruction will release the energy I need to make a perfectly spendid new planet--"

"Look, we know there are an infinite number of existences...countless worlds like our own existing simultaneously..."

"Again it happens...the dimensions brush, momentarily lock...and for a mind-chilling instant, the people of Earth-two waver into sight..."

Sound really familiar?'re aren't reading quotes from the DC Crisis on Infinite Earth limited series. This story all took place a good 15 years before in the pages of Justice League of America #83 (Sept., 1970 issue).

It's a bit of a forgotten "crisis" story these days. In fact, in the story it's actually mentioned AS a Crisis). The entire premise being that an alien called "Creator ("squared")" decided to do this, and it involved "The Black Canary" being its focus-point, so much so that if he succeeded, she would perish!

Naturally, this was a Justice SOCIETY cross-over issue, and "Dr. Fate" called upon the help of "The Spectre" to try to keep the worlds apart.

The end results: Dr. Fate destroyed the "Creator's" ship, Black Canary lives, but the force of the explosion destroys The Spectre ( it actually desolves and seperates his atoms and he's released finally into the "rest' of the unknown afterlife).

Of course, you can't keep a good ghost down and The Spectre was back haunting around in The DC Universe a couple years later in the pages of Adventure Comics.

In the mid 1980's, The Spectre was given a rather under-played role (I always thought) in the prevention of another Crisis; the one most fans know, but it's interesting that this idea was used, and played upon before, and then, in a more lengthly version, so many years apart.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"Remembering Even More"

Sadly after recently posting about the passing of two notable people related to the comic book industry (Dr. Jerry Bails and Dave Cockrum), we have now lost yet another, and this time, one of the pioneers whose work began in The Golden Age of Comics.,br>
On Dec. 9th., Mart Nodell, co-creator of the original "Green Lantern" passed away at age 91.

Mr. Nodell attended many various comicons well up into his years, and although I never met him personally, those who did always remarked on his kind personality and openess to all to spoke with him. He was also known for many other artistic creations, one of which was "The Pillsbury Doughboy" character used in advertising. The link will tell you much more about his many accomplishments.

This week is one of rememberance, with Dec. 8th. marking the 26th. anniversary of the murder of John Lennon, and December 7th.: "Pearl Harbor Day" (which was 65 years ago).

On the former, there's no need for me to elaborate on "why" anyone would miss John Lennon's work. He left a legacy of music that will be cherished probably forever, and in such, he will always be with us.

On the latter, when I was a kid there was still a LOT of people living who fought in World War II. But that was 40 years ago, and the number of WWII vets decrease by the day. (If you have a relative still living that fought in that war, you might want to call them up and say "Thank you" for your bravery and helping to keep all of the freedoms we enjoy in this country.)

On a happier note I'd like to say that my father-in-law is recovering very nicely from his broken leg and is back at his home now. He's one tough old goat and something like that just isn't going to get him down. Good for him!

Here as well I'd like to remember a friend and neighbor named Donnie McCubbin. I went to school with Donnie from the 6th. to 12th. grades. He lived just a few doors down from me, and every day or two I'd see him pushing his grocery basket over to the next door store, cane in his other hand where he had difficulty walking due to a stroke a few years ago. Nothing ever seemed to upset Donnie, even living several years on his own after both of his parents passed away.

His brother found him dead last Sunday when he came over for a visit. We who live in this town will miss seeing Donnie's constant smile and constant good attitude.

And finally, there's a New Adventure of "Mike Stripe" over on My Unpublished Work I hope all enjoy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


The DC Comics Limited Series (and, yes, I do have to call it limited since there's only going to be a specific number of them), 52 is probably the most important continuous storyline presented by this company.

Granted, that's quite a risky statement for me to make, but I'm going to go out on a limb here because I honestly feel that the changes to various characters will be far-reaching. I also feel that the recapping of misc. DC heroes' origins, plus their attempt to tie-in all of the previous history of the company and bring together the loose ends will not only eliminate some confusion for their readers, but acquire a good number of new fans as well.

There's simply a LOT of good writing going on here, with some unexpected twists and turns. Storylines include the following:

Animal Man, Starfire and Adam Strange's attempt to return to earth from an Eden-like planet, where they run into Lobo, who has now turned pacifist and is the leader of a religious organization.

The "Everyman" story where Lex Luthor is able to given super powers to any ordinary human.

The final saga of Booster Gold (and what's more interesting may be developements involving is robotic "helper") and the introduction of the character"SuperNova".

The physical changes that occure with John Steel and his relationship with his daughter.

Doc Magnus' attempts of reviving The Metal Men, and his abduction.

Ralph Digby (aka: "The Elongated Man") and his mental state, and his attempts to revive his dead wife, Sue. Plus his association with the helmet of Dr. Fate, and his meeting with The Spectre.

The introduction of the new Batwoman and her sexual preferences.

The involvement of The Question and his health issues.

The introduction of a new "Isis' and her marriage to Black Adam, the Big Red Cheeze's part in this drama and Isis's search for her lost brother.

And that was all just in the first 28 issues! So very much going on here, and hardly a sign of any of DC's big three (Supes, Bats or Wonder Woman) or the rest of the major JLA characters save in some flashbacks (although Clark Kent does play a role in some early issues). Which, to me, shows you can make any of the DC characters interesting given decent writers such as Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns and Greg Rucka.

If you're a DC fan and miss this series, you'll hate yourself. Buy up the back issues, or at least, wait for the proverbial TPB collections and snatch up those. It's fun!
(P.S.: Over on the "My Unpublished Work" link is a NEW "Mike Stripe"!)