Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Quickie Movie Review"

DRAGON WARS: The first 20 minutes or so of this flick pretty much explains the whole premise of the story, which revolves around two reincarnated oriental lovers. The woman holds the spirit of the good dragon, and her lover is her protective warrior. There's an evil dragon in the plot which failed to become the most powerful of its kind 500 years ago, and so, after 500 years, this dragon creature (more like a gigantic snake) appears again to do battle.

After the introduction sequences, this is mostly non-stop action, from the evil dragon creature tearing up a city, to dragon warriors battling the police and the army in the middle of a large city as they persue the reincarnated good spirit dragon (now in the body of a young caucasian girl named, Sarah), to the battle between the good and evil dragon at its conclussion. The story is a little cheesy, but it's well-worth watching just for the nice special effects. Had it better acting, I'd rate this movie with a better grade. But, as it is, I'd put it in the "B Minue to C+" Catagory. Probably a good date flick more than anything else. May not be worth your money to actually go to the theatre to watch, however (personal opinion).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Just Thinking Back"

I collect a lot of different comics, but there's specific sets that I'm always hunting to complete. Some of the stuff that mostly interests me are silver and bronze age "Giants", and not just the 25 cent Giants, but later items on into the mid 1970's.

And of these Giants of the 1970's, the DC 100 Pagers are probably the most interesting to me. There began in 1971 and ran until 1975 when the page count got cut back. And even though there were still "giant-sort-of" issues after that, they simply weren't "100 pagers".

As DC did with their 80 Page Giant series in the 1960's, the 100 Pagers began as a seperate title, but later became inner-mixed with the regular DC titles such as Detective, Wonder Woman, House of Mystery, Shazam!, Unexpected, Tarzan, World's Finest, (etc.). They even did several with a couple of their romance titles (which are actually the more scarce ones to find).

And a lot of there Giants contained Silver-Age reprints, but there were also many which contained Golden-Age reprints. DC had just reintroduced the Quality Comics' characters back into their own line around then (i.e., JLA #107), so they had plenty of inventory to use.

Probably the best thing to come out of there was the introduction of a new character, "The Manhunter" by Walt Simonson, which ran in several issues of Detective Comics(#'s 437-443). But by 1975 they were pretty much over with, dropping back to around 68 pages or so and with a lot more advertisements.

(I figured about 100 different ones of these were published, or which I have around 1/4 of that, so...that quest ever continues to complete.)

The early 1970's were a rather strange time for the main stream companies. At DC were had these Giants, and at Marvel it seemed like al they could do was create yet another new title every month that reprinted horror and fantasy stories from the 1950's Atlas titles, or from pre-hero issues of Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspense, Strange Tales and Journey Into Mystery. The cover prices kept driving collectors looney changing from 15 cents, to 25 cents, to fifty cents, and then eventually settling on a standard 20 cents eventually. For a couple of years in the mid-1970's nothing much was going on in comics at all, really, or at least, not in DC and Marvel. But it was the beginnings of the "independent" comic book movement, and then Marvel began the new X-Men series and things seemed to progress again.

In fact, the 1970's should have several different notations rather than simply "Bronze". There could be "The Kirby Era" , "The fantasy reprint era", "the 100 Pager" era, the "Giant-Size" era, "The New X-Men" era. Frankly, the 1970's had just as much going on in comics as did the 1960's.

But, there's a LOT of "other eras' I could mention, like the "treasury-size" era of DC & Marvel, the "digest-size" era (first beginning with Archie Comics but followed suit by other companies), or the decline of Warren Publications (which by the mid 1970's the bloom had faded).

DC introduced some of the more interesting characters in that decade. We got titles such as "Swamp Thing", a revived version of "The Shadow", "Hercules Unbound", the reintroduction of the original "Captain Marvel", and "The LOSHs" finally got their own title,etc., where at Marvel they introduced some of the biggest characters ever, "Wolverine", "Ghost Rider", and "The Punisher".

So---the 70's was a fun time with comics, even if perhaps, not as impressive as the decade before it. Every decade with comics has something good to offer. You just gotta dig thru the trash for the treasures.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"ELMO Says It ALL!"

Yes...I'm afraid that this is indeed Post #400 here on "Elmo's Junction" since I first began embarrassing not only myself but others first back on May 16th., 2004.


And what's even MORE amazing to me is that people still read this blog; some even on a regular basis!

Since this blog began I've had well over 10,000 different visits from you folks out there. I guess "someone", somewhere must be getting a little kick out of what I have to say. This isn't really a "large" number of visits considering how many have visited other blog sites, but I still feel it's somewhat of an achievement, which makes it all worth while to me.

I've covered a lot of ground in these past 3 years and 4 months. It's difficult for me to think of anything I've yet to touch upon even if it was just a little. Seems like I've rambled (ranted) on about everything from my personal life to religion to politics to music to comics to films to UFO's. But I hope there's still a lot left in me to fill up (waste) a few minutes of both your and my life for a long time yet to come. So...Thank You for being around for this journey. (Thanks for reading this blog, as well as my other blog, "Beatles & Bizarros"!)

Hope you'll hang around.

Well, my wife and I went back up to the house of my late father-in-law's to do what is probably the last job of attempting to clean up the estate before the upcoming auction on October 6th.

We did more cleaning on the interior of the house, then went out front and worked for quite a while trimming trees, scrubs, weeds, etc. Wanted to stop by Waldenbooks while up there but we were really just too hot and tired from all of this work and passed on going anywhere else save by a Quik-Mart for something cold to drink and a snack, then returning home.

My neice (by marriage) told us that if we wanted anything else from the house that we'd best get it today because the auctioneer is coming tomorrow to start boxing up things. While my wife looked through momentos, I re-checked the old l.p.s and grabbed a handful more of the ones with "big band", jazz, and some others like beach Boys, Cream and Fleetwood Mac.

And either later on today or Thursday (which is my next day of and maybe with some cooler temperatures to work in), I plan on finishing up the walkway with the brick trim. I bought a trench shovel, so perhaps that'll make the task a little simplier. As far as I know, that'll be my last project for this year around the house on improvements. I did remove the frame-work from the walkway and it seems fine, save that I still see a little low spot, but there's no way I'm ripping up those stepping stones and redoing the whole thing again. In all, I used over 6 bags of Quik-Crete mix to do this 9 cubic yard project.

Even though I didn't buy any new comics, I did get a few older ones in that I'd bought; three bronze-age DC Giants, which were Superman Family #169 (the last 100 Pager issue in that title), and Super DC Giant #'s S-14 & S-15 (which were both westerns and released with the same cover date). I didn't recall that the SF's had "Tales of The Bizarro World" reprints, which tends to make me wonder if ALL of those did in the early issues of that title? Probably need to check that out and list it on on "B&B"s site sometime.

The SDCG's both have Joe Kubert covers with new Gil Kane artwork, plus kane, Infantino, and the like reprints mostly from the 1950's. A sign of a great comic book artist is their ability to draw just about anything, and Infantino and Gil Kane sure do fit that catagory as their western stuff looks just as good as their superhero. (And Joe Kubert's no slouch either!)

And finally today...I guess by now most everyone's seen this new commercial where a stoned teenage girl walks into the kitchen and her dog starts talking to her, asking her not to smoke pot because he likes her better when she's not high. Now---I'm sure that this commercial was done by some well-meaning folk out there hoping to get kids not to do illegal substances. However...they certainly don't know much about tokers, and this just isn't very realistic ("talking dog", withstanding).

Here's how the conversation would probably go between two people who smoke pot.

"Hey, Man? Last night I smoked some dope...and MY DOG talked to me!!"

"Wow, man! That sounds like some really heavy sh*t! Where can I cop a lid of that stuff?!?"

(*heh*) Good-nite, all.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall Begins"

Today is the first day of Autumn, but one could hardly tell it, due to our high temperatures still here in South Central, KY. (In fact, our leaves started falling over a month ago due to the Summer-long drought.) Today it's in the 90's, and it didn't take me long until I was nearly over-heated attempting to further repair my walkway leading out from the house to the sidewalk.

So after a rather uneventful trip to the local flea market, I returned home and pried up the four stepping stones I had inserted into the concrete yesterday, poured a layer of gravel a good inch thick in those holes and leveled that off, and replaced the stones. Then I got four 2"x4"'s I had in the shop and made a frame work for the further bags of mix I was to add trying to level the whole 12 foot+ project.

I worked on this a good three hours, making my time investment thus far at ten hours total. I'll let this dry a couple of days (which is one of the good things at least about our hot temperatures) before I dig the trench on either side of this walkway to add the bricks for trim. Adding the brick work doesn't sound like it'd be a big "thing", but I can assure you that it'll end up taking probably another four hours to accomplish.

In other things, I finally got the time to finish going through that lot of approximately 120 misc. Disney-type books I recently purchased as a lot. They are various late 1990's on up to around 2006 titles such as Uncle Scrooge, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, Donald Duck ("and Friends") and Mickey Mouse ("and friends"). After examining all of them I discovered that I did better than previously thought (even though I just gave $35. for this lot), because 20 of these contained work by Don Rosa, twice that many (42) had Carl Barks reprints, plus a LOT of issues had the work of William Van Horn, some with Vicar, and even one with Floyd Gottfredson.

Amazing how good Van Horn's work is; extremely close to Barks'. But I always did think that guy had talent. I had a little correspondence with Van Horn back in the mid 1980's when I was publishing an annual folio of various small press artists. Van Horn had an independent title at that time called Nervous Rex (See Above Cover), which revolved around the adventures of a little T-Rex and his nagging wife that was being published by the (now defunct) Blackthorne Publishing Company. Van Horn sent me a small signature sketch of his character and I ended up publishing it in one of those yearly issues of Upperground.
Speaking of comix, IF this one publisher that's been in touch with me doesn't print the anthology he's promised, I think that I might just give self-publishing a try again soon myself. I have several complete and previously unpublished strips that I'd like to get out there (in particular, the "Such Characters" comic). It all depends on whether he actually does publish this work under his own banner and he said he would by the end of this year.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"The Sidewalk Project"

And after 9 days straight at work, I finally got the weekend off.

It began by going down to the local flea market, which took me an extra 20 minutes and several miles out of my way to get to due to a "mini marathon" a bunch of people were running as one of the activities of that local town's yearly festival.

The flea market was a wasted trip.

So on the way back home I stopped by a housing supply center to pick up two bags of Quik-Crete, getting ready to pour my sidewalk. The first thing I did was unload said two bags of 80 lb. mix from my back seat near the walk, then out to the garage and tool shed for a number of various items I knew I would need. Then a quick trip down to my mom's shop to borrow a wheel barrow (the one item I really do need to purchase soon for myself), and grabbing some caution tape I banded off the area of walk-way to be replaced.

I then took my pry bar and stared lifting the various slabs, a lot of which were literally in pieces, from the pathway. Now...the plan was... that I was going to replace this walk way with those 100 bricks I had recently acquired from when they tore down that local old hotel. You know how plans go. Under this walk was yet another 4-to-5 inches of old concrete. And I do mean old; probably 70 years old from some long time in the past that they poured the original walk.

And after maybe 45 minutes to an hour and a little break, I finally got all of the old walk way up including the extra mess, leaving on either side two large piles of debris. I knew right then that I'd never get that area level enough to lie the brick flat to the ground, and decided instead to pour the Quik-Crete around several walk-way preformed circular stones I had kept for maybe such a use. I began mixing the concrete and pouring same and leveling it, but to my dismay, after two full bags of the mix I had only finished maybe 1/4 of the area.

So I bit the bullet and went back down to my mom's, borrowed the pickup truck and went back to the supply store where I purchased yet another 6 six bags. I was determined to get this job at least partially finished today.

When I finally finished what I could and got the walkway all the way to the house, I could tell that it had a low spot. In fact, the whole walkway will need raising about another inch to ground level. But, not today. Instead, I cleaned up all of my mess, put all of the tools away save for a rake, shovel and wheelbarrow, and started getting up all of the broken slabs. Knowing there was nowhere to dispose of these, I used the flatter ones in the rear of the house where I had planned to make a rock garden, and the ones with too much extra crap on them I turned upside down and put around the edges of the back of the house and around the cactus garden. (I'm surprized at how well they actually look!) The real small stuff I shoveled into buckets and dumped in the driveway, which is gravel anyway, so no big deal (it just blends in).

I guess my NEW plan will be to still use some of the bricks, but now I've decided that after I finally get the walkway leveled and the stepping stones up and level as well, I'll edge around the whole thing and line the bricks on each side "just for looks". I'll have plenty left over to use elsewhere in some future project.

Time spent on this today----at least 7 hours.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I must send my thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue
on envelopes because I now have to use a wet towel with every envelope
that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is
about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive
the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for
participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking
out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant
freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a
water buffalo on a hot day

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I
forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can
remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the
car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these
products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup of water in the
microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face...disfiguring me
for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be
pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a
perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually
Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support
our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer
the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I
will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus
since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can't use
anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking
under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up
$5.00 I dropped
in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester
waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain
gas companies! If you don't send this e-mail to at least
144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it
actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician...

Have a wonderful day....

Oh, by the way.....

A South American scientist from Argentina, after a lengthy study, has
discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their
e-mail with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.

(Thanks! And a Tip o' de Hat to "Blondie"!)

Monday, September 17, 2007

"The Middle of My Work Week"


It always gives me a kick to see something I've never seen before, especially some sort of animal or insect, which was the case today when I was at my elderly mother's house, just finishing up mowing her lawn, and right at dusk.

She had just come back from the grocery and I was helping her unload her grocery bags from the car, when I noticed what appeared to be a very small hummingbird flittering around in her garden drawing nectar from one flower, then the next. But, upon closer inspection, I discovered it wasn't an bird at all, but "something else". It looked like some sort of unknown insect.

So's....I do a Google search for "hummingbird-type-insects", and actually find a photo of it! And Here that is. We were seeing a hummingbird hawk-moth, which, although seen in the Americas, is native to Europe and Japan, and migrates occasionally. So this was sort of a rare sighting, which neither my mom or I had ever seen...which makes it pretty neat (at least to us!)

And the reason I haven't blogged as much the last few days it, of course, my work schedule. I'm in the midst of yet another 9 day in a role work week. I began this last Thurday and it goes thru next Friday when I finally get my first full weekend off this month. My wife and I are just ships that pass in the night here lately. Between my work shifts, plus my wife pulling some doubles, plus she's setting up at various craft shows the past few weekends, we have little social life together.

This past weekend here in this town we had a festival, and she did extremely well selling her craft items, so I'm not complaining, mind you. It was a good thing she did since today she had trouble with her van off-setting some of the profits she's made, when the starter went out, and that was over $100. to get fixed.

Haven't bought any new comics this week, but sure got hold of a LOT of old ones, or, at least old in the aspect of the past 10 years or so, when I purchased just at 120 misc. Gladstone, Disney and Gemstone titles such as Walt Disney's Comics & Stories, Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. 55 of these had a cover price of $5.99-$6.99, so for a mere $35., I did well! I counted 16 different issues with Don Rosa art & stories just in the Uncle Scrooge lot, and I know there's more in the WDCS lot. Lots of these had Carl Barks reprints as well, so there's a lotta good reading ahead for me in these.

Then I got in a couple of different lots of DC's 1980's title, Secret Origins V2, bringing my set to just needing a clean dozen to complete from its 50 issue run. One of the best efforts from DC in the 1980's with a multitude of great artists and writers and many different DC characters.

Finally, I got in a copy of Forever People V1 #11 just today, which leaves me with only a #1 to complete that set (and that should arrive soon, and which will also finally completing my 4 major Kirby 4th. World titles from the 1970's).

So I've been sitting here reading comics and listening to some of my favorite music, mostly jazz, the likes of Sarah Vaughn, Clifforn Brown, Errol Gardner, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Art Tatum, and others. Good stuff to relax to, especially after my 9-1/2 hrs., plus mowing day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Shopping Day"

I'd hate for this to sound like an outright plug for Wallyworld, but I must admit that they have a pretty decent selection of "super-hero-type" t-shirts currently for sale at $7.99 each.

Today I saw two different DC designs; one in red of "The Flash" logo and symbol, and another in green of the "Green Lantern" symbol. Plus many Marvel ones; a few of group shots and some of individuals. One of the group shots probably has around 50 different characters, and another maybe 30 different ones and has "The Thing" playing poker with some of the heroes. Then there's one with Jack Kirby artwork with large "MARVEL" letering and below it drawings of "Spider-man", "The Falcon" and "Captain America". yet another has 6 or 8 different squares, each with a different character and by various Marvel artists. There's one of "Spider-man" with Steve Ditko art, and another of just a red-outline of him against a black background. Also I noticed ones of "The Silver Surfer", "Wolverine", "The Ghost Rider", and (the above) "Iron Man" (which I purchased for myself).

All of these are authorized, and they carry many other interesting designs besides super-heroes, such as ones based on "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy", and rock stars such as Jimi Hendrix and The Doors. And, of course, various well-known logo types or unusual quotes and sayings-types. Shame their selection of super-hero action figures these days doesn't match the variety of the shirts.

I also bought today, the final issue of Weekly World News (dated 8/27). Sorta hate to see this silly newspaper-type rag go just because it always gave me such a good laugh while waiting in the checkout line at my local grocery. I must say that they really went all-out to make this final issue memorable. Even on the cover it's pretty funny where they stated, "Buy It Today; Sell it on Ebay Tomorrow!"

Hillarious stories in this last issue include such as Hikers who eat their own bodies to stay alive, a gigantic lobster being caught, a baby delivered inside of an avocado, a "fly-eyed" baby, an elev year old foiling aliens, ghosts that come out in the daytime, a "pet' tomato, puppies found on the Titantic, "Manigator" (1/2 man-1/2 alligator--What else?), a female superhero shattering a glass ceiling, God speaking to a tourist through a "burning bush", & a woman taking photos of Hell.

One of the funniest side stories involved a 55 year old fisherman who encounters the "abominable snowman". After the snowman shared his trout with the fishman and talked with him, the old man petitioned his government to change the name to the Congenial Snowman! LOL!!!

And this issue also has a full page of new artwork by Sergio Argones, and half page comic strips of "Spycat" by Ernie Colan and "The New Advs. of Bat Boy" by Danielle Corsetto. For $2.99, a lot of last-time laughs! Give dat puppy a "A+"!

In the mail today I got my copy of Mister Miracle #1 (1971) which completes my full set of 1 thru 25. I was amazed at the extremely high grade this issue was in as I sort of expected the regular VG/VG+. But this one was in VFN! Even in an Overstreet price Guide of 3 years past it graded as such for $50., so I did pretty good for my $9.00 investment. So good to finally have a full set of these again, and when some of the other Kirby comics I've won get here and complete those sets of his 4th. World stuff, I can concentrate on some other titles.

My father has been released from the medical center some 40 miles away and brought back to the local nursing home, making it much easier on my mother and myself to visit with him. He seems calmer and even a bit more coherent, but that may just be the medication of course. As usual, we've been taking this just a day at a time.

And finally, but not the least important, today marks six full years since the 9/11/2001 Attacks. Our country survives. Life goes on.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Gone now, the White Elephant"

If you'll recall sometime back I first started writing about The Owens Hotel, a structure built here in my hometown in 1908, but had been vacant for many years, and with no available funds that would actually cover the complete restoration of this building, it had fallen into much despair. So much so that earlier this year it was announced that the building would finally be torn down.

Then just a little while back I told you of how I went and got 100 or so bricks from the ruins to save to reconstruct my sidewalk, just to save a bit of that old place in my memories.

Well, today they finally got around to about completely demolishing the old thing. As I drove by there tonight, all that I saw still standing was one section of a wall. It's a bit sad to see this go as for my entire life I've always seen it stand there, and I know I'll miss it, but really, it was long overdue. In as bad a shape as this was and at an unimaginable cost it would have taken to restore and then maintain the building, these funds would be better spent on actually improving this town.

It was a shame, however, that The old Gorin Store building was completely torn down due to the front part of this building being reconstructible and restorable. Plus it was on the historic record as the oldest structure in Horse Cave, KY. (built in 1848) that was ever used as a business (a general store). Another shame was the destruction of The Towns Motel which was a decent livable shape when torn down this year just because the bank next to it wanted a larger drive-thru. one really cares about their heritage here anymore, making the upcoming "Heritage Days Festival" here (this weekend) seem quite hypocritical.

("And that's all I got to say about that.")

On to other things... I finally won a copy of The Forever people #11, completing my Kirby 4th. World titles from the 1970's. Still got a little handful of DC 70's Kirby stuff I want to look for, but the four main titles were the killer collections that have taken me around a year or better now to complete.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"New Comic Book Reviews of The Week"

Want to begin this review of new comics with Bongo's Futurama #32 which is a NEW Beatles mention in a comic book! (And has already been added to the list over on my other blog site, "Beatles & Bizarros". Futurama is a pretty funny comic, and this issue is a parady of "Dr. Who" (titled: "Dr. What?") where The Professor invents a new porta-potty which looks like The Doctor's Tartus time/space vehicle. And everytime the toilet gets flushed it speeds the inhabitants of the porta-potty to some new world or dimension.

On page six of this story the Futurama crew ends up on a world that looks like a scene out of "Yellow Sub-marine", complete with "Jeremy", "The Yellow Sub" itself, and a sea of holes. "Bender" refers to Jeremy as a real Nowhere Man!

And in each of the various places they visit, "Zoidberg" accidently ends up being a hero and saving that particular world. They finally end up 25 years in their future which is now ruled by a clone of "Fry" and "Leela" who has detached his own head and stuck it on Bender's body. Oddly enuff, Zoidberg saves them all again, and they finally get back to their own time where The Professor sprays them with a gas that makes them forget the whole trip. Ian Boothby writes the script, and Mike Kazaleh/Andrew Pepoy does the art, which are fine jobs to the point that it's much like watching a Futurama episode (in fact, ALL of the Bongo titles are well-written and drawn to that point). Give dis sucka an "A+".

The other NON DC title I bought this time was The Last Fantastic Four Story #1 (Marvel), which is a one-shot by Stan Lee and John Rominta, Jr.. This has a bit steeper cover price of $4.99, but since I had that Border's coupon for $5., I got this one free (at Waldenbooks) and was glad I decided on it as my bonus comic. If this is indeed Stan's last "hoorah" on the F.F., he did a fine job. In this over-sized issue we have guest-stars galore, including The Avengers, Spider-man, Dr. Doom, Namor the Sub-mariner, The Silver Surfer & Galactus, The Watcher and The Inhumans.

It's one of those "undefeatable-aliens-about-to-destroy-the-earth" tales, which finally falls on the head of genius "Reed Richards" to save humanity. This was a fine read and a good release for Marvel, and I'll give it an "A".

And in the DC pile, Batman #668 is definately the best of the lot, with a Grant Morrison script and J.H. Williams III art. It's an "A+" issue and I don't want to ruin a single word of it for anyone simply because it IS so good. You'll find this creative team is nostalgic for newsprint (but, aren't we ALL???)

Detective #835 is another fine Batman book, and this issue deals with his old nemesis, "The Scarecrow", but with somewhat of a different approach to the use of that villian's powers. It's a continued tale, written by Rozum and art by Mandrake, and I recommend you picking this one up just not to miss anything. 'Tec has had some very nice covers here of late as well. a "B+ issue.

Superman 666 is, as one would guess, full of evil intents. IS Supes dreaming, or is it all real? Busiek keeps you guessing in this script with the distinct artwork of Walt Simonson keeping you glued to the panels. Special guest-stars and cameos this issue by Animal Man, Hawkman, Zatanna, The Phantom Stranger, plus some demonic versions of Supergirl, Batman and Wonder Woman, making this a "B+" in my opinion.

And finally, Wonder Woman #11 of this new series is the first issue of the 2006 run I've read so far. I like what I've seen in this, but just not enough history on previous issues to really "rate" it. As it stands on a one-issue-read, it was pretty good, and would give it a B".

And here in my new feature called: "Stink Loads", I give this award, NOT to a comic book, but a MOVIE (IF one can call is such), and this time it goes to "Balls of Fury". Please folks...if you haven't already wasted you money going to see this mess, then don't. It's really an unwatchable flick. Don't insult your own intelligence and don't waste 2 hours of your life with it. I can also beg Chris Walken to make at least one more flick before he dies because this is certainly not something to leave as his final legacy.

And lastly today...remember all of those old newspapers my late father-in-law told me to take? The majority of those were religious newspapers ( such as "Our Sunday Visitor" and "The Catholic Record"). But upon a closer examination of those there were several that I kept, mostly ones from the 1930's that were the Elizabethtown, Kentucky town newspaper. I also kept just a small handful of the religious ones with WWII notations, a couple of Courier-Journals from the 1930-40's with comic strips, and maybe a half a dozen copies of the Louisville, Ky. "The Record", which were dated 1881! (Don't worry; there were still PLENTY to donate to St. James Church's Library. Probably 200 such from the 1920-40's.)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

"How I Spend My Day Off"

I just got back from yet another day of trying to clean up that mess at my late father-in-law's house. While my wife vacuumed the interior of the house, I cleaned out a side shed which he had full of junk, old bee hives, wood, trash, etc. I finally found that box of old newspapers in the garage. It was in a wooden orange crate literally falling to pieces. As I figured, it wasn't much. Probably 100 old newspapers from the 1930-40's, but they were religious (Catholic) newspapers, thus no comic strips, and much of those in very fragile, brittle condition. In fact, had he not wanted me to have them, I'd probably would have just left them there. Some are interesting just on a historical nature with much WWII material. I did find 3 issues of Grit from 1964 with a few comic strips ("The Lone Ranger", "Donald Duck", etc.) still intact and in nice shape.

Also I found some old l.p.'s, but nothing really special save for maybe the jazz ones (which I'm a fan of), and several "Big Band" types (Glen Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman). There were some others like Bread, Glen Campbell, Jim Croce, Jerry Lee Lewis, The BeeGees, etc. I kept. There was even a copy of "Everything's Archie", the jacket of which was in crappy condition, but the l.p. was there. The heart-breaker was the jacket to The Rolling Stones "Out of Our Head" (in mono), but look as I did, no l.p. It's probably there in that mess yet somewhere. I'd say there's probably 300 l.p.s still there (and maybe 200+ cassettes)and perhaps if they put them all in one big lot at the upcoming auction (October 6th.) I might bid on them.

On the way back I stopped at Waldenbooks and was able to use a $5. coupon Borders sent me on new comics. This week I picked up new copies of: Batman (#668), The Last Fantastic Four Story #1 (One-shot),Detective (#835), Futurama (#32), Superman (#666!), and Wonder Woman (#11). And, of course, I'll review those soon.

Then my wife and I stopped at a few yard sales on the way home (but nary a comic book in sight at those). September 6th. thru 9th. is a "200 Mile Yard Sale" stretching between Nashville, Tennessee and Louisville, Kentucky, so there's several people set up. I found one of those re-issues Revell did of the "Frankenstein: Monsters of the Movies" models still sealed and unassembled for a couple bucks, and a "Masters of the Universe" fold-out metal serving tray (for fifty cents).

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"Toying With Escher"

I thought This was an interesting use of Legos.

(Link courtesy of Win; A Thanks and a Tip o' the Hat to The Badger!)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"Rolling Right Along"

There was this movie made way back in 1941 called: "The Devil Commands", and the first time I ever saw it I was probably seven years old. It was shown on one of the three or so channels our old B&W t.v. set would pick up (depending on how one turned the antenna).

All about a scientist (played by Boris Karloff) whose wife dies in an auto accident, and he discovers that one of the experimental machines he's working on picks up the voice of her spirit afterwards. This leads him to grave-robbing and he puts the corpses in these "suits" with these oval type metal helmets with electrodes attached, and has them all sitting around a table.

He then has a medium sit at the end of the table with a similiar helmet on and turns on the power, and a vortex appears in their midst, pulling all of the dead towards the center of the table.

It was a pretty chilling, frightening flick to an eight year old mind, and contained scenes that I never forgot.

Got to see that again recently on AMC and it holds up really well for it's age of 66 years. Pretty much just as chilling (and, yes, a bit disturbing) to me as it was the first time I viewed it in 1958.

Let's I got outside and re-swept my street gutters again for the Brazilionith time since the local water company fixed a major leak under the road right in front of my house. You may recall that they left it in quite a mess, and then it rained that same day resulting in 4-5" of mud in that drain which has taken me now right at a month to get back in order. In fact, they've yet to repave that spot, having filed the hole with gravel and leaving it as such. I've been able to get 99% of the dirt back out and unclog it, but it's a job that I personally shouldn't have had to do.

Recovering from a little boute with some virus that kept me in the fascilities the better part of yesterday. Came home early from work and passed out on the couch for a couple of hours, and had the most realistic dream I've had in a bit. In fact, in the dream I asked someone IF I was, in fact, dreaming, and they told me "They didn't know". I slapped my own arm a few times in this dream and actually felt it. Then my wife called and woke me up. I must have really been tired because that nap didn't keep me from sleeping yet another 9 hrs. last night. Today I feel fine so I guess it was just one of those 24 hr. things.

Some bastard from the local garbage pickup turned me in to the company just becauI'd been throwing away some old wood in my can each week in an attempt to get rid of it. Just some of the warped thinking the locals have. They won't do a thing about a junk yard that's at the end of my property, filled with old cars leaking antifreeze, oil and God-knows-what-else into the ground and our water supplies, but they bitch about wood, which will eventually rot and is enviromentally safe. (If I can ever get moved out of this forgotten area I'll turn that place into the EPA myself and tell them that the town's known about it for years.) Anyway, I can be ingenious about getting rid of scrap wood. I'll just use it as shingles on my old garage. The wood on the sides of it has to be at least 70 years old and will no longer take to paint, but new shingles will, so there's where I'll use them.

And I had to work from 1-5:30 PM today; a "1/2" day. I really hate those. I'd much rather work from 8AM till 1PM and get off and be able to get something done with the rest of the day. As it was we were pretty busy still with customers, plus my trying to fill the tool section back up , then coming back home to use the riding mower on mom's yard. (I still have to go back down there tomorrow night and finish up the trim work with the push mower).

And lastly, my wife's neice called and told her that she'd finally found that box of old newspapers from the 1940's my late father-in-law had promised me. We're going up there to do some more clean up work Thursday, getting the place ready for the auction oct. 6th., so I'll pick those up then. I'm hoping they're in fairly decent shape still and have some nice Sunday sections with comic pages. If nothing else, they might have some good WWII headlines. I plan on stopping by Waldenbooks and picking up what new comics I want as well.

Monday, September 03, 2007

"Some Very Quick Movie Reviews"

"Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig! Does whatever a Spider-Pig does! Can he swing from a web? No he can't; he's a pig."

Ah, yes...The Simpsons Movie. I was pretty amazed that it didn't look like it was just a 3-parter of the regular animated series. But for a prime time cartoon show that's been on since...when? The end of The Civil War now? It was pulled off pretty decent.

The best line in the film was by "The Comic Book Shop Guy". I'm sort'a surprized that there wasn't an appearance by either "Radioactive Man" or "Bart Man", or even a sneaked-in cameo of "The Futurama" gang, but I suppose that's what sequels are for. Naturally I'm giving this a high rating. Maybe not enough to go and pay big bucks at your local theatre, but maybe. Probably a good "date" flick. (Geez, what IS a "date" flick anyway? Been so long I can't recall having been married almost 20 years.)

I'm afraid I don't have as many kind words regarding the "Stardust' flick, though. It's been a good ten years since I read the original material on which this Neil Gaiman story is based upon, and these days don't have a complete set of those originals around to do a decent comparison, but I DO know that there's a bunch'a changes from it.

As a fantasy flick, it stands on its own and has a decent story, fine performances and pretty good special effects. It does have some rather funny scenes, intentional or not, when the ghosts make various comments. But worth going to a theatre to see? Just wait for the rental.

Oh yeah...watched part of the first episode of History Channel's "Digging for the Truth". They've got a new guy hosting the show. He's not very good at all, or, I should say, didn't "impress" me as much as its former host who is out-right a better entertainer.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

"September Begins"

Ah yes. The first day of September, 2007, and the real beginning of The Labor Day weekend.

Was watching the news recently about the republican candidates for the next presidential election, and the thought came to me about what a terrible waste of money and effort that will be. It's time for the ol' switcheroo on a political pary as president, and I think just about everyone really knows that. A republican doesn't have a snowflake's chance in hell of getting elected next time, so why even bother? The democrates could simply draw straws to figure out which one will be our next president. Come on! You KNOW that's true. And this is coming from someone that's registered as an independent, but favored the republicans in the last presidential election.

Such a waste of money that could be used towards some sort of national health care program for those who aren't poor enough that the government just gives that to them, or the very rich who can afford it.

Seems like a lotta money is wasted or misused these days. here in Kentucky, our Governor Fletcher keeps stating that he'll block any efforts for casinos, but he makes no mention of the legalized gambling they call: The lottery. Go ahead and let them have casinos. We've got the lotto, scratch lottery tickets, and gambling on horse racing, so why stop there? And, once again, WHY isn't some of this tremendous amount of money being spent on various gambling not being taxed and used toward either a national OR state-wide health care program??? Screw education. We've given millions already to that here in KY. and it hasn't educated anyone enough to know that the lottery, horse racing bets, etc. aren't just a losers' game anyway. The lottery, for one, should be taxed out the butt. At least 10% of every dollar won playing it should go into such a fund to help the dying middle-class who aren't growing any younger.

And enuff o' dat.

Mowing my yard today was sorta a mute point. It was just tall in small areas, and the rest was dead. Where it was needing a mowing it took me less than a half hour to do. I think this makes 33 days here 'bouts with less than 1/2 inch of rainfall. The temperatures are a bit milder, however, and looks like perhaps the days of three-digit degrees are over for this year. (But you never know.)

We were busy at work today, but I could tell a definate drop in the number of people on the road. Most of our sales were good sales, and some high dollar ones, but it's a decrease from last years' figures I can tell. It may get better; we still have Sunday and Monday to go yet.