Sunday, July 29, 2007

"Thoughts on Sunday"

Today the local flea markets yielded a bit better, finding 24 misc. Archie Comic Digests (Archie, Betty & Veronica, Jughead, etc.) for a dime each, and all from the 1990-2000's save for one from 1988 which actually had a DeCarlo cover. Pretty decent find considering that I got the lot for less than the cost of one new issue off the stands these days.

It's difficult not being an Archie fan of some sorts if you collect comics at all over the years, since they're probably some of the first ones your parents ever let you read (along with Harvey Comics). One thing I can say about Archie Comics is that they always tried to reflect current trends and keep up with the times. One of the covers on these had "Mr. Lodge" using a digital camera, and another had Archie trying to snow-board. It's always amazed me the number of one-line gags their writers have come up with over the years, or how many times they could have the Archie Gang get into some sort of fix. I sincerely hope that the company will stick with the classic "Archie look" and not eventually update all of their stories as they did here recently in a few issues of the Betty & Veronica DBL Digest.

Of course, it hasn't always been the "Archie" comic company since back in the early to mid 1940's it was rather "MLJ", which produced a good number of superhero titles with characters such as The Shield and Dusty and The Black Hood. Archie comics had superheroes really off and on well up until the late 1960's save for a few years producing such classics as the Simon & Kirby "Adventures of The Fly", The Jaguar, The Mighty Crusaders, The Double Life of Pvt. Strong, plus romance books, etc., even a romance-doctor title called :"Young Dr. Masters", and even reintroduced "The Shadow" in a super-hero series for a while. They also had misc. titles such as "Madhouse", and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch", and "Cosmo the Merry Martian", plus they gave us a simplier version of the "Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles" (which pretty much set "the norm" for those character from there on out).

Their stories got very camp in the mid 60's with the popularity of the Batman t.v. show, and they changed their superhero line logo to "Mighty Comics", much the tried imitation of Marvel Comics. (My favorite story from that time still remains "Too Many Superheroes" from The Mighty Crusaders V1 #4 where dozens of their 1940's super characters were all re-introduced in a single comic!)

We've had these various MLJ heroes around in some format or another off and on since, with the Red Circle titles featuring them, and then DC Comics with their new versions under the !mpact banner. And we've seen a lot of great artists such as Grey Morrow, Alex Toth and Steve Ditko work on these various strips. Archie even turned their own humor characters into superheroes for a while in the mid 60's with Archie as "Pureheart the Powerful", or Betty as "Super Teen", and Jughead as "Captain hero". In the 1990's they reprinted (as well as did new material) with those characters in a short-lived series which was fun.

It's about time again that the classic MLJ-Archie heroes were reborn by some company to the statis they had in the 1940's before the Archie characters finally pushed them out of their own titles and dominated the company. (I'd certainly buy them.)

And today I've been watching "Comicon Live" on G4. Was happy to hear that the "Jonah Hex" flick will be out fairly soon. Never could figure why that flick would be so difficult to make, I mean, it's a western using make-up techniques that have been around for 100 years??? Any way, let's hope "they" don't screw it up.

And as well, it was stated that the actors have been chosen for the upcoming "Watchman" film. (Once again, let's hope "they" don't flub it up!)

A new flick I'll be wanting to see is: "The Simpson's", who after 20 years and 400+ episodes definately have earned the right for the Big Screen. In fact, those who have seen it report quite positive on it and that it's a very funny flick! Then there's to be the yet to be released, "Iron Man", "Hulk 2", "Indiana Jones 4" and "Batman:The Dark Knight Returns", plus even a spin-off of the FF flicks with one on "The Silver Surfer". All of these are of interest to me.

The sci-fic channel's putting on a new series based on "Flash Gordon", using (obviously) the old Queen music from the 80's flick. Sure hope this isn't as "camp".

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I should really learn better than to be a Good Samaritan. Back last Thursday after I got home from work around 6:P.M., I noticed water seaping out from under the blacktop in front of my house, and running in a pretty steady little stream down my sidewalk gutter. So first thing I do is pop the top off my own water meter to make sure I didn't have a water leak, and when I saw it wasn't on my side, I figured it was coming off the main line. I find the emergency number for the local water company and called them to report the problem, and one of the workers came by a little bit later and decided it wasn't too bad to wait until Friday to repair.

And Friday when I came home I found one of the biggest messes one could expect; mud literally five inches thick stopping up my sidewalk gutter, along with much gravel and chunks of the blacktop just everywhere! It was such a mess that I worked another two hours trying to clean that up then, and two more hours today until I was satisfied that a rain or two would eventually clean it up. I took a shovel and a large, old cooler and put the cooler on a hand track and went down to the end of the gutter in front of my neighbor's place and scoopped at least 100 lbs. of red clay mud from there, hauling it to the back where I have a brush pile to dump it. Then I used all of the excess gravel and rock to fill in my own driveway where the water company trucks had made large ruts. I was pretty darn filthy from this job, and looked like one of my own cartoon characters ("That Krazy White MUD-Man!"*heh*)

When I first noticed the problem on Thursday night, there was a large amount of water standing so I scooped that into buckets and watered my flowers, thinking, "Hey! Free water!" But I used probably four times that much or more when I had to wash down the mess!

But, anyway... Got in a copy of Plastic Man #64 today from 1956; one I'd won for less than four bucks from an eBay auction due to it having the first page missing (pictured ABOVE). Didn't stop me from enjoying it, though! What a great comic and character! Had three different Plas stories plus a solo "Woozy Winks". Interesting is the fact that it was the last issue published by Quality in the 1950's (cover dated 11/1956), and had a sci-fi cover where Plastic Man battles "Invisible Raiders". Plas didn't make another comic book appearance until 1963-64 when Super Comics reprinted some Jack Cole stories, then in a main stream company book until DC did an app. in House of Mystery #160 (1965), and then a 10 issues series by DC in 1966-68.

Went by the local flea markets this morning, but it was just the "same ol' same ol'" at those. Actually stopped by the inside flea market for the first time in maybe three months to look around for a minute. Same old crap as aways, so I didn't get anything at either of them.

But while I was at the next door "Dollar Store" to purchase a new water hose (Oh? Did I forget to mention my old hose exploded when I was washing all of the mess away??), I noticed they had some Superman action figures on sale for $3. each. Got one from the "Superman Returns" called Heat Vision Superman (you press the chest emblem and his eyes light up bright red), plus a figure of "Darkseid" from the "Justice League Mission Vision" series.

Washed a couple loads of clothes, cleaned up around the house, went to the grocery, and was so tired I fell asleep for 2-1/2 hrs.

So went my Saturday off.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Things In July"

Well, I see where the "Marvel Superhero U. S. Postage Stamps" will be at the post office Thursday the 26th. Naturally I'll buy me a sheet and never use them, but frame them and hang them on my wall as a bookend to the DC Comics set I previously purchased. Looks like some pretty good choices of characters and covers this time around, though Lord knows "why" they decided they needed "Spider-WOMAN" in the set.

And, in keeping with my plan on eliminating my home phones completely and getting cellular phones soon, I purchased one of the "tracpones" for myself, just to get used to the idea. Not sure yet what my plan will eventually be on my pc, though. I'd like to eliminate the DSL connection and just go back to a dial-up since my pc's so ancient. However, IF I get a new upgraded pc, then I'll need it, especially if I plan on doing on-line auctions in the future. That's how the telephone companies sort of have one by the honchos. You need a connection if you wanna pc, but if you have cell phones you don't need a phone line for anything else. Any hoo, I think I'll see what sort of various plans the phone company in these parts have regarding such. Perhaps they offer a cell phone plan and I can just keep my high speed pc connection as well.

Finally got my push lawnmower fixed again. Two little pieces that fit in the head cover had come loose which turn the router, spinning/starting the crankshaft. I had been taking the whole unit off from the motor and replacing these each time just to get the thing started, but today I went by a local lawnmower repair shop and just bought a new cover, so now all is well again. Mowed my lawn, then went over to my folk's place and used their riding mower to do as much as I could with it on their yard, then brought it back home and finished mowing my large back yard. Still need to finish the trim at their place.

My birthday (back on the 17th.) went rather uneventful. Mostly used the day off to do many photocopies for a planned project collecting pretty much all of the "Elmo Jenkins" stories, strips, spot cartoons, ad use, etc., etc. I've done over the past nearly 40 years. I'm getting there with it. (More on that another time when things progress a bit with this project.)

Won a copy of the Super Comics reprint Plastic Man #18 recently and got that in, only to win yet another of those; a #16, and an issue I really remember the most due to it's John Severin cover art. Haven't gotten it in yet, but anxiously awaiting it. Still looking for the other (and first) of those Super Comic reprints, a #11, which is easily found on eBay auctions IF you want to pay the price for it. The cheapest copy I've seen is in VG+ for $25., which is a bit more than it's worth to me, but maybe a cheaper copy will eventually turn up somewhere. Speaking of "Plas", I also won a copy of the original Quality Comics series, #64 (from 1956), which was the last issue they published. Got it very reasonably due to it having the first page gone (but otherwise complete). Don't know "why" I've been on a Plastic Man binge here lately, but I've really got most issues of the character that interest me outside of the originals from the 1940-50's, such as the 1966 DC #1 with Gil Kane art, House of Mystery #160 (which re-introduced the character in the silver-age and tested the waters for his return) and the first 10 or so that Kyle Baker did in a series of late. Later issues of the DC series didn't interest me as much due to the artwork. Oh yeah, and I have that DC Special which reprints Jack Cole stories (some fine stuff, there!)

Having some problems with my printer. It's one of those disposable Lexmark ones; a Z730. this makes the 3rd. such Lexmark 9and the LAST one, ever) I've had, with previous ones being the Z11 and Z25. Those printers worked "well enuff" for my needs, but when I'd go to get a new cartridge the store clerks would tell me each time that that particular model had been discontinued and I had to get a different one. This was pretty annoying. But I do have a HP printer around here that just needs an ink cartridge if this one goes out as a back-up.

As I was saying...problems...this time with a new ink cartridge, a black one, that prints dark GREEN! Oh least it's readable.

Things are work have picked up some, but they're still just working only one or two of us at a time. Makes it difficult at times to keep the place stocked, especially if they get in new tools.

Watched both the new "Fantastic Four" flick as well as "Transformers". I think what bothers me the most with these superhero flicks is that they wanna cram too damn much story into a single film. Here we've had 2 FF flicks and in the original storylines that'd bring us up to around #55 or so. There was at least one too many plots going on there. "Surfer" looked good, though. And the "Transformers" flick was actually well-made, but around 30-45 minutes too long. Too much crap thrown in there, but the special effects were excellant, and what I expected from such an adaptation. I give the FF flick a "B" and the Transformers a "B+". (Wanna see "Stardust" next.)

Also "tried" to watch "Diehard 4". Got into the flick for maybe a half hour before turning it off to finish some other time. (What I did see of it I'd give a "C-".)

Dat's 'bout it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

"Please...Don't Shoot."


At the risk of losing all readers of this blog, there are yet two more places that I need to post about regarding places I purchased comic books as a kid in Cave City. Yes, I know everyone's really tired of this subject by now, but please do indulge me just this last time and I Promise I will drop the subject and start giving you a different variety of material.

One of those two places in Cave City was a classic-sort of general store called Handy & Reynolds. It was torn down in the 1980's, but stood on the same spot (today occupied by two different banks) on the corner next to the railroad tracks since the latter 1800's.

It was owned by two different people: Mr. Handy (who also was president of the "People's Bank", right across the street back then on the opposite corner), and Miss Reynolds (who inherited her partnership when her husband, the original co-owner, had died).

It was a large, two-story, brick building. The general store occupied more than half of the space, but only used the downstairs as the store, leaving the upper part for storage. The other apartments to the building housed (either upstairs or down) for a number of years such things as a barber shop, an antique store (one of the first I ever remember, run by a Mr.'s Wimpee and Sullivan), and a beauty salon. When my family and I first moved to Cave City in the Summer of '61, I got to get a really good look at the downtown area. On such an adventure I discovered Handy and Reynolds, and the scene looked much like one would if you stepped out of a time machine into the 1930's.

Being a general store, they sold dry goods, had a meat counter and made sandwiches, had clothing, glassware and everything else you could imagine. Some of their merchandise had been there for years and years. "High-Button" shoes were still in their showcases, as well as those independent stiff collars men wore in the early 1900's. In one corner was a grandfather clock from the late 1800's, and a WWII "Buy Bonds" poster still up on the wall. The store was heated by coal, and towards the rear there was a huge pot-belled stove where local historian, Ellis Jones, would sit and relate stories about how they could have saved famous cave explorer, Floyd Collins (Jones was on the recovery team), had the whole thing not turned into a circus. The others would sit and listen patiently, as Miss reynolds rang up sales on an antique cash register from the turn of the century, and Ellis's wife (who also worked there) did the bookwork from her wired-in little desk area.

They were all great, friendly people, and Miss Reynolds bought those bundles of comics from Goodman Candy Company, just like my Aunt Katy did, and as well, sold them for a nickle each. The first comic I remember buying there (and I bought dozens over the next few years from her) was a copy of Fantastic Four #11, still a favorite issue of mine to this day with "The Day In The Life of The Fantastic Four" lead-in story, and the introduction of "The Impossible Man" story as a back-up (a rare thing, an issue of FF having TWO stories!). I purchased comics from her until they finally closed their doors around 1980. One of the last comics I remember buying there was a copy of Charlton's Abbott & Costello. Can't recall the number; just that it had an unauthorized app. of "Tarzan" in it.

(The only souvenier kept in my family from H&R was a set of clear glassware I bought for my mom at Christmas in the late 1960's, which she still has displayed along with her various colored depression glass, oatmill glasses and circa 1960-70's Avon perfume bottles.)

The other place I want to mention is Parkland Drugs Store, which to this day still is in operation and sits in its same spot on HWY 31-W going North through Cave City. In the 1960's (particularly the early 1960's), this was the "in" place to be in that town.

In the 7th. and 8th. Grades, we were dismissed from classes at 2:30 PM, but the bus that took us back home didn't come by until 3:PM. So we'd take the Jr. High bus to Cave City, which made two stops. Either you could get off at Parkland Drugs, or the elementary school. Well now, it just wasn't cool at all to hang around the elementary school if you were in Jr. High, so we'd all get off at Parkland Drugs to wait the remaining twenty or minutes for our ride home to return.

This was some dream-spot in the 60's. It sported a full marble soda counter with stools, and back then you could still get a nickle Cherry Coke or a nickle single scoop ice cream cone. Beyond the long fountain to the right and in the rear were tables to sit at, and next to that, their magazine racks. But you couldn't buy a 12 cent comic there. All they carried were magazines, or 25 cent Giants, OR...Classics Illustrateds. Some of the comics and mags I can remember buying there were the Giant Harvey The Spirit #2 (as I'd already gotten #1 of that at some grocery in Louisville a couple months earlier when my family was visiting relatives), another Harvey Giant, Fighting American #1 (by Simon & Kirby, reprinting stories from the 1950's), some classics such as The Time Machine, and War of the Worlds, and some magazines, mostly Warrens (but occasionally a copy of MAD), such as Horror of The Beach Party, Creepy, Eerie, etc. I think I may have bought my copy of Vampirella #1 either there or at Caverna Drugs in Horse Cave. And I also remember buying copies of Castle of Frankenstein from their racks.

The main thing I purchased there, however, was paperbacks, and I think I bought every original copy of ones like MAD, Doc Savage, The Shadow, Marvel , DC, Tower, MLJ, etc. super-hero collections, The Spider, G-8 & His Battle Aces, EC reprints, Famous Monster collections, Star Trek, James Bond 007, Fu Manchu, and...well ... ALL of my paperbacks probably came from there in the 1960's, including any SF and fantasy ones I read.

There were just certain places I bought certain things. Like all of my pbs from there, but all of the song books (Hit Parader, Song Hits, etc.) came from Cave City Drugs, and any plastic models came from either CC Drugs or Ben Franklin's. Some places just had a better selection of some particular items.

Sadly, Parkland Drugs is just a shdow of itself today, being mostly a pharmacy, with no fountain, or maybe not even a magazxine rack anymore. The last comics (which they finally started carrying some in the 1980's), have probably disapeared as well.

And...I think that's it. Join me next time for something Completely Different!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

"Once More With Gusto!"

Just a few more memories about The Old Days, and then I'll shut up, 'cause you'll be tired of hearing about my personal adventures as a kid collecting comics.

I was thinking back about when I bought comics from Cave City Drugs (as mentioned in my previous blog post), and some "other" memories came about. Such as when I wasn't yet 9 years old and still lived in Horse Cave, but my mother would on occasion go to Cave City to shop on a Saturday and make me tag along . My first memories of of that place and comics there was that they had a spin rack in the front left window. One comic that I seem to recall was Lois Lane #22 where she had x-ray vision. This date would have been right as it was cover dated Jan., 1961, meaning it was more than likely on the stands in November of 1960 and we didn't move to Cave City until around June of '61.

And I don't remember what the first comic was that I noticed after moving there, but by that time the store owners (the Longs) had relocated the comics to an aisle which ran the length of the center of the store, and comics were displayed in racks which hung on peg boards half-way down the right side of this aisle. It was probably in the early 1970's, maybe a bit before, that the comics were relocated again, this time hung in racks under the front right bay window, and behind this was a large magazine rack. They stopped carrying comics there sometime in the Summer of 1981 I know as a fact because I purchased the last comic book that was left on their racks; a copy of ROM Space Knight #22 (Marvel, dated Sept., 1981). I already had a copy of this, but simply wanted to be the last person to purchase a comic book at this store which held so many fond memories. I later purchased one of the peg board racks "just to have", and I still own it today.

The Longs also operated a gift shop in Cave City on HWY 31-W, (which was called: "Long's Gift Shop", "duh!"), and they sold comics there, too, which I sometimes would buy.

One other place in Cave City that's gone unmentioned was the Greyhound Bus Stop at the North edge of Cave City. They sold both comics and magazines, but at a little higher price. Instead of 12 cents, comics were 15 cents there and they'd stick a circular tag on the covers over the original price (I've still got a few of those around).

I've collected several mementos of my comic collecting days at various places. In Horse Cave they had two spin racks over the years in the Ben Franklin Store. Originally they had one which carried only Gold Key comics, and then, in the 1970's, they switched to carrying only DC Comics. After the store began to sell out preparing itself for closure (in the early 1980's), those racks were for sale at a mere $15. each, but I didn't buy them then. Later on, maybe a year or two later, I was at the storage area of a local guy that sold displays, and lo' and behold, there were both racks! I had my choice of either of them, but he wanted to keep one, so I opted for the DC spin rack, and was able to also obtain one of the metal tins from the top of the Gold Key one. I kept that spin rack for 2 or 3 years, but finally when I had to move from my apartment into a trailer I had no room for it, and (regretably) set it out for garbage pick up. However, before I did I removed and kept the metal tins from its top; the ones that say: "Hey Kid Comics", "Comics Merry-Go-Round", "The Best in Comics" and "Comics for All Ages", and I also still have both all of those as well as the Gold Key tin.

The other dime store in Horse Cave was run by the Stevensons, and was called "Stevenson's 5 and 10" (naturally"). They sold Dell comics originally, then later, just Gold Keys. Now back then the store owners could remove ("strip") the logo from the cover of a comic and send them back for credit on un-sold issues. They were supposed to then destroy the comics, but the Stevensons never did. Instead they simply roll them up in a roll of 3 to 5 comics, slap a rubber band on them, and throw them into a bin in the front and sell them for 25 cents a roll. I've got a couple of those "stripped" comics still that I know for certain came from their store. I also have several DC and Gold Key comics I know for certain came from Ben Franklin because they'd stamp their store stamp on the front cover. The rarest of the stamped comics I have is a copy of DC's The Atom #17 which still bares a faded store stamp from Dorsey Drugs, the "other" drug store that sold comics besides Caverna Drugs in Horse Cave.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Over on Johnny Bacardi's blog site he's been going down the memory lane about his earliest memories of buying and collecting comics. 'Thought it might be fun to add MY "2 cents' Worth" regarding the same.

Actually, if you'll click onto his link, the same stores where he bought comics are pretty much identical to mine, but there were a few differences due to my being a bit older than he.

The first comics I can remember were definately DC super-hero types, some Walt Disneys duck books, Classics Illustrateds, Marvel fantasy titles, and a few Archie and Harvey humor types. My late brother was 6 years my senior so when I was 6 years old, he was already 12 and had been reading comics for several years (and it's because of his interest that created my own). But the very first comic I can ever remember having as my very own was a copy of Classics Illustrated Special "The Jesus Story" ("3 Camels" cover version) from 1957. A copy of this was given to everyone in my Sunday school class room at Christmas in '57. Even at age six I knew what a comic book was, and I read and re-read that comic many a time.

And at that time I was living in the same town I live in now; a little burg about 80 miles South of Louisville, KY., called Horse Cave. Everyday my brother and I would walk to school (about a mile from our house), and many times we'd stop in at Caverna Drugs Store on the square where they had a large magazine and comic book rack. When I had that rare dime back then, I'd buy a comic. One of those was a copy of Action Comics #278 (1961) with the Super Perry White story. But I was already well informed of all the Superman Family by then having previously read probably every "Bizarro" appearance, as well as most of the early app.'s of "Supergirl". I don't remember originally reading the first "Legion" app., but I DO recall the second one. And there's one comic that puzzled me for years trying to figure out "what" it was? Finally I discovered only a year or so ago that it was a copy of House of Mystery #85. the confusion with that was it featured a story drawn by Jack Kirby about the statues on Easter Island coming to life, so naturally I thought that had to be an early Marvel fantasy tale (I was mistaken).

Dorsey Drugs was on another corner in Horse Cave next to the Ben Franklin 5 & 10. Dorsey's carried just about any sort of comic book, and Ben Franklin, back in the 1950's, had a large comic rack next to the checkout counter in the front of the store. At that time they only carried Dell Comics. I bought comics from both of these locations, of course, on up into the Summer of '61 when my family moved 5 miles South to Cave City.

In CC there were two main places to buy comics at that time: Cave City Drugs and Willis' Drugs (oddly enough, "Johnny's" father-in-law now has a business in the location of the old Willis Drugs!). Some of the earliest comics I remember getting there were early #'s 20's Lois Lanes, Adventure Comics with first app.'s of "Mon-El" and "Tales of the Bizarro World" (among others). One in particular I bought there was a copy of Tales to Astonish #27, and I still own that battered and beat-up original copy today.

Willis's had a better selection of monster-type mags, though, and I got a LOT of issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland there, plus into the mid 60's I bought most of my issues of Charlton and Tower super hero titles from their racks.

There was also, for a short time, a little variety store in Cave City on the square next to their Houchen's Grocery which had back issues of various comics for a nickle each. Which brings me to a missing piece of my comics reading history: my Aunt Katy's Grocery back in Horse Cave.

In the 1950's and early 60's, Goodman Candy Company (which distributed dry goods, candy, etc. to local stores) would sell these shop owners stacks of retainer stock; mostly things like Archie and Super Comics titles. The store owners would then re-sell these books for a nickle each. My Aunt Katy would always buy a stack every week. So some of my fondest memories are from that time, sitting on top of her Coke machine (one of those old flat ones where it opened at the top and you just pulled out a bottled drink and paid for it at the counter), reading comic books from those stacks, drinking a RC Royal Crown Cola and eating a Honey Bun. What Days!

And...I traded comics with school mates, or children of friends of my mom, who worked at a local sewing factory back then. Which is "how", I think, I first met "Johnny". It was one'a those things like, "My kid and your kid BOTH collect comics" sorta thingy, so's I went over to his house and did indeed make him a trade for a copy of 'Tec that had that first app. of the Barbara Gordon version of "Batgirl". Funny thing is that we didn't really re-aquaint ourselves with one another for probably 10 years!

Occasionally someone would just GIVE me a big box o' comics. I remember one such gift of probably over a hundred, one of which I recall the best was a Rawhide Kid #25, drawn by Kirby.

A place I started going to in the mid-1960's was "The Magazine Exchange" at 642 East Chestnut Street in Louisville. I had relatives up there and I looked up comic books and magazine shops in a phone book while there once and my folks took me over to it. They sold back issues for six cents each. The first time I was there I begged my dad into giving me $6. to buy a whoppin' 100 comics! Over the next few years when I got a driver's license I finally started making trips up there 3 or 4 times a year, just to buy older comics. It was also there that I first met Don Rosa, a collector from Louisville, and struck up a friendship (Wonder whatever become of him???)

I continued buying comics regularly until 1970 when things like cars and girls seemed more important, and sold my original collection of over 5,000 comics for a pitance.

So if you read "Johnny's" comments about the 70's, it runs mostly along that same line. I re-collected, sold them all and re-collected again over the years. My last collection (which I've deemed as my last EVER) began in the mid-1990's.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


On or about June the 5th., I finally began work on enclosing the screened-in back porch of my house. As previously stated in a post, my wife had started using this as storage area for her crafts and supplies back several years ago, so it was never a place just to sit outside and relax in good weather. She'd gotten it so very junky looking that I got tired of all the neighbors seeing this mess and decided to cover it up somehow, which is when the idea of simply putting up walls came to mind.

(Now, I didn't take any before photos of this area, but, if you will, just imagine that prior to this work the area was nothing more than a large screened-in area with white posts.)

I had a good number of door skins that my late father-in-law had given me last year and planned on using these, but when I checked them around the first of June, I discovered that they were pretty dirty and moldy and slightly warped although they had been kept covered up outside with a tarp. Even so I decided to salvage this material by scrubbing them down with a hard stream of water and plenty of bleach to kill the mold, and repaint both sides.

I began with the back left side of the house. Instead of nails I used drywall screws and they went up easy enough. I then added lattice which I had repainted, and finally painted several long wooden poles a "hunter green" for trim work, to match the green metal roof of the house. I added some extra trim work here and there to cover the areas where either the skins, or new wood, had been added. Here below is the finished effect.

Next I worked on the back right side and painted the railing (composed on galvenized pipe) white to match everything else, and the concrete steps the same hunter green. I added lattice to the top and the upper part of the screen door, covering the bottom half with plywood. The skins went up next, then more trim work, and finally I painted the bottom green as well. I filled in several of the (open) rafters with calking where wood bees had bore, and repainted some of them as well. (Eventually I plan on "boxing in" the open rafters and painting that area white). So, here's what that looked like upon completion:

The rear of this room was more of a challenge as the rafters were not evenly set apart, and I could only use two door skins anywhere, but fortunately I had some fairly large plywood to use in the other spaces. I initially wanted the window centered and smaller, but it just didn't seem to work that way, and my wife suggested to off-center it, make it larger and a bit higher up. I covered this with white lattice as well, plus even more trim work. The last touch was painting all of the many screw heads either white or green so they wouldn't show and re-painting little areas where I messed up a bit, and hanging a wooden-framed "star" on a large spaced to break up that a bit, and then, it was completely done. It's at the base of this area that I'll be adding a "rock garden" soon in the dirt area in the shade where grass won't grow. Here is that result:

Like any artist, I'm never completely satisfied with any "art project" I complete, and this - to me - was such. It's not perfect, but I even amazed myself at what I was capable of doing when I tried.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Today we show the "firehouse favorite", the Dalmatian.

Originating in Dalmatia, Europe, before 1790 this dog was large and strong with lots of endurance.

Often found in firehouses, the Dalmatians are good watchdogs and faithful pets.
Dan's father is a fireman and his dog is a favorite with the men of Hook and Ladder Co. No. 10. His official name is Fearless Fire-Laddie, but Dan calls him Spotty.

Paste this picture down on cereal box cardboard and color with crayons. Dan wears a red helmet with white shield. His shirt and top of his boots are red, but his pants are dark blue. Spotty is white with black spots. The end of his nose and muzzle is pink.

Cut out the picture carefully. Fold the dog forward at the dotted line and fold the name panel forward as in the small sketch.

JUNIOR EDITORS pays $10 for any reader's idea that is used. Write your suggestion to "Junior Editors" in care of this newspaper; it cannot be acknowledged or returned and in case of duplications of ideas, the first submission will be accepted.


TOMORROW: The French Poodle


Sunday, July 08, 2007

On JULY 8TH., 1947, 60 Years Ago Today, the Roswell Daily Record (New Mexico) newspaper headlines read: "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region". (Click onto This link for the full story.)

Later on the same day the report was changed to state that the object was merely a downed weather balloon.

In more recent years the United States' government has issued a number of reports in an attempt to explain that this was merely a top secret military project to listen for atomic blasts from other countries. Either this is the most unsupported legend ever created, or the most important story of the 20th. Century still being kept from the world. YOU be the judge and draw YOUR OWN conclusions.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

"Weekend of The 4th."

And here we are beginning the second half of the year 2007. As usual, time has really slipped away and I know what everyone always told me when I was a kid, that "the older you get the quicker time goes!"

A lot has happened just since the first of the year with my family, with my father going into a nursing home and my father-in-law passing away. We're hoping for some better fortune in the second half of '07.

I'm off from work this weekend here before the 4th., and the work I'm trying to play catch up with really began on Friday night after I got off from work when I went by my mom's and fixed her outdoor swing and filled up a large gas container so I could mow her (and my own) yard.

So I got up about 8AM Saturday to begin the day and sat around the house trying just to wake up until around 9:30AM, watching an episode of the animated "Legion of Super-Heroes", which to my delight was a new episode (or, at least one I hadn't seen), then went down to the local flea market for a few minutes and walked around (didn't buy anything), stopped by and got gasoline for my next week's work travel and stopped by a yard sale on the way back home (didn't buy anything there, either).

Getting home I walked down the street to mom's, aired ("pumped") up a flat tire on her riding lawn mower and mowed as much of her yard as I could with that, then brought it back to my house to do the same.

Then, after eating a bite of lunch, got out the push mower and drug it back down mom's to do the trim work and used the weed-eater around her house, and drug the mower BACK to my house to finish up my own trim work to find that the mower had suddently died on me. The pulley was broken somehow (and this, being an OLD push mower, it'll be easier for me to either buy a new or good used one that to have it fixed). So I was going to look around for another mower, but got out the old thing and worked on it for 45 minutes and "lo n' behold" fixed it again, and finished the trim work on the yard.

Then, I worked more on finishing the back of the house where for the last month or so, a couple of hours after work each day (and for several hours any day I had off) I've been enclosing the old screened-in back room, which as I've stated before never became a sun room anyway due to all of my wife's craft "junk" and I got tired of the neighbors seeing all of the mess so I decided to cover it all up and make it attractive to the view.

Thus far, I've got ALL three sides of this room enclosed, and am currently working on the green trim to the back. The window on the rear has been framed and covered in lattise and everything's been painted. What I need to have the basics finished is the remaining green (against the white) trim and new wood at the bottom (and painting that), then painting the back concrete steps hunter green to match the trim.

Eventually I'm going to build an extended deck on the side where the back door is and have the steps come out from the side rather than the rear of the structure. These have always been narrow steps and difficult to get up and put things in the storage room there from the rear, and a deck would certainly make it much easier.

I also have this area where I used to have a work table at the back that's now barren earth which I want to cover "somehow". It's in the shade so I don't think anything would grow there (including grass), so I'm considering framing the area with bricks and filling it in with gravel and making a rock garden in that spot. I want the bricks to be special, however, and with them tearing down the old Owen's Hotel (which I've mentioned in previous posts) I thought it might be a good way to preserve a little bit of that history and use those bricks for the project. I've already gotten permission from the city to do so, and am just waiting for bricks to be available.

Yet another old historic structure was recently torn down; the old Town's Hotel that was on Main Street in in my home town. This was used as a hotel for years, then later as a bording house and finally just as a home, but recently the bank next to it bought the property and tore down the old structure just to make a parking lot. Quite an outrageous thing to do, I felt, as the building was structurally sound and looked really nice, and 'why" this bank needed yet another parking area is beyon me since they have a large lot in the back and even the city has a parking lot right next to them. But then, I discovered ong ago that no one IN this town really cares about their local heritage unless it has something to do with making money. Any hoo...they have loose bricks there now as well and I could incorporate those as well into my remodeling plans and preserve a little more history there, too.

In other things... I got in coverless copies of both the Brave and The Bold(DC) #34(1961: First Silver-Age App. of "Hawkman & Hawkgirl"), AND Rip Hunter...Time Master (DC) #1 (1961) (4th. app. "Rip Hunter" after his Showcase try-out issues) in the mail and was able to make some half-way decent color photocopies from scans of complete issues listed for sale on line. They'll make some decent filler "reading copies" now. I've discovered that if one decides to use someone's scans, it's always better to get larger ones and reduce them down that smaller ones and blow them up as enlargening the image loses a lot of detail. A silver-age comic's dimensions should be around 675x995 pixels, whereas a GOLDEN Age comic is more like 725x1005 pixel size. (Anything "modern" to me isn't worth making a cover for unless it's pretty darn maybe a Incredible Hulk 181, or somethin'...).

This makes two of the 4 different B&B "Hawkman" tryout issues before he appeared for a few issues in Mystery In Space, then finally his own title, my other app. being a B&B 36 (which is in pretty decent and complkete shape and was the image used on the DC Superhero U.S. Postage Stamp last year). That was certainly a wonderful time for DC Comics, from 1959 - 1963 or so, either inventing new characters from the Golden-Age counterparts or re-introducing the original GA ones. First we had "The Flash", "Green Lantern" and "The Justice League" (which was pretty much just a modern "Justice Society"), and "The Atom" and "Hawkman", and along the way both "Green Arrow" and "Aquaman" were given new origin tales, and then the GA characters like the original "Flash" and the "JSA" members were all brought back, even well up into the mid 1960's with characters such as "Dr. Fate" and "Hourman" getting Showcase issues. It was a great time to be alive and buying/reading comics as a kid, that's for sure!

Then, at the flea market this morning I picked up BOTH TPB volumes of Art Spiegleman's MAUS for a mere fifty cents each. Wasn't any way I was going to let those die the "flea market" death (and they'll be added to my personal collection even tho' I already have both volumes in hardcover).

And finally...over on my "Beatles & Bizarros" blog site (link to the right top column) I've added yet another 2 Beatles appearances in pre-1970 silver-age comics to the list (Thanks, Jerro!). This makes 92 different app.s, cameos and/or mentions of the Fab Four just in the silver-age issues/titles, and I'm sure that there are more (somewhere). Archie Comics definately has the most app.'s and mentions due to their titles being teen-oriented.

(And...I'm outta here.)