Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Some MORE Days"

Went to the "Customer Appreciation Day" at the Great Escape Comic/Record store in Bowling Green, KY.. They had 25+ tables full of "stuff" roped off on the far end of the parking lot near the HWY, a good distance from the store itself. Just table after table of old l.p.s, paperbacks, hc's, VHS tapes, some toys, etc., etc. The comics were all packed 5 to a bag and sealed, in three spinner racks, and a couple of tables of long boxes. There was so much there that it'd have taken forever just to look thru it all. Finally I just grabbed five of the 5 Pack comics that had some sort of interesting book on the outside and "let that go". Plus I signed up for a couple of drawings they'll have where you don't have to be present to win; one of which is for a $100. gift certificate in the store.

Then I mosied on over to the shop for their 30% off sale. Picked up the issues of the current title of Supergirl, All Star Superman and The Spirit I needed and bought the latest JLA Classified with the continuation of the "J'onn J'onzz: Year One" storyline. In their back issues I bought three comics: a Showcase #56, the second issue revival of Dr. Fate/Hourman where they battle Psycho Pirate (a pretty recognizable book), a real nice conditioned copy of Charlton's Strange Suspense Stories #31 (w/Ditko cover/art), and a 'Tec #487 (lst. regular comic book app. of "The Odd Man", also by Ditko). Got a pack of comic bags and boards, grabbed a couple of "Krystal Burgers" and a drink, and headed North. (A Good day that didn't cost me an arm and a leg.)

This was a extremely nice gesture for this comic shop today, as they opened an hour ahead of time and let under-priviledged children come in early in those giveaways and fill their bags full for free. I think of all the kids that couldn't afford comics and got a big bunch to read today, and how that may make them become comic book collectors as well, or someday, even inspire some hidden talent(s) among them to become a future great comic book (or, "regular" book) writer/artists. Or inspire them to become musicians (since there was a LOT of CD's & l.p.s), or actors/directors/producters of movies (with all of the VHS tapes). Not to say it didn't help the store as well since they have numberous locations running over with surplus stock they needed to move and give them some space.

Store owner, Gary Walker, and his wife was there as well, which was real nice to see him again after probably a good 20 years. Gary pretty much stays around his Nashville, Tennessee location and it's been at least that long since I've been down there.

This has been a very comic booky day for me. Went by the local flea market and bought 40 odd comics; over a dozen of which were issues of Jonah Hex I needed. Also in the lot, a few Gold Keys (including a Lone Ranger), and a 1957 Ajax issue of Swift Arrow. The most I've spent on comix in a while, but, "you know me"; just can't pass up a bargain.

"Just a Silly Piece of Trivia Department:" Was trying to find a drawing of Peter Parker's house for a sketch I was doing. Looked thru the first 20 some odd issues of Amazing Spider-man with no luck. Finally found the first actual app. in Annual #1(Summer,1964). For the first 2 years of Spider-man's run, all we ever saw were shots of various rooms inside the Parker house. (So if anyone knows of an earlier app., you'll have to tell me "where" and be real precise about it! (Saturday:10/20/07)

Don't think I mentioned this, but I won a DVD copy of the 1987 "The Spirit" made-for-t.v. flick recently. The only other times I've ever seen this was when it first aired (and then missed the first hour of it due to a misprint in the t.v. listings), then later when I borrowed a VHS copy my ol' bud "Johnny Bacardi" loan me (which he'd taped way back then), so I never had one for myself. This copy is a good, clean one that'd been sold as a special-type print at a comic con, so I'll be looking foreward to seeing it again and reavaluating how well it adapts Will Eisner's character. As I recall they did very well on capturing him.

Well...I was going to drive down to the local flea markets this morning and look around for a few minutes, but I just kept getting interrupted in my journey. First, my wife wanted me to go to the drug store for her, just as I started out the door. Then, just as I started to go again, she wanted me to wait until she cleaned up and got ready so she could go as well. By that time I was out of the mood and just stayed put. As late as it'd been by then, half of the dealers would have been gone, and, besides, I spent too much yesterday to really afford anything else.

Read those back issues of Supergirl I'd bought. They were like #'s 18, 19, and the current 21. I really like the Guedes art that began in #20. It reminds me a bit of Gray Morrow's more realistic approach to drawing figures. I hope he has a long run on the title. What I didn't like is the way Kelly tied-up his storyline run in #19. I grow so weary of these symbolic, tie-everything-in final issues for writers. As much as I love Grant Morrison's writing, he did the same thing at the end of his run on Animal Man. It just seems like an easy out for them to do. Maybe they feel like, "Well, the hell with it! I'm thru with this title anyway so I'll just throw in a buncha crap and draw a paycheck!" Personally, if I was finishing up a storyline, I'd want my readers to remember my work to the end and "bang my balls" to produce an unforgetable conclussion.

I also read through that old 1957 issue of Charlton's Strange Suspense Stories #31, which has a couple of nice short stories with Ditko artwork and a Ditko cover. Although I find this era to have produced some of Ditko's finest work, he really should have stayed away from ever drawing cats of any sort. He never could draw them correctly. The first time I noticed that was in some fantasy tale he did for Marvel (circa 1962), and then later in Amazing Spider-man #15 (1964) when "Kraven the Hunter" sicked some large, jungle cats on Spidey. The cover of the SSS shows a lion, and, in usual Ditko fashion, just not drawn very well.

Speaking of Grant Morrison, I read the issue I was missing of All Star Superman (#3), which was a lot of fun! Superman gives Lois super-powers for a day just to see what it's like living in HIS boots, and it guest-starred "Atlas" and "Samson". Reminds me greatly of those early 1960's issues of Supes when you'd see on occasion "Hercules", "Samson", "Atlas", etc. in some really silly story at DC.

The "Odd Man" story in 'Tec #487 (1980) was interesting to me simply because it was his first "regular comic book" app. (the previous being in the VERY short-printed Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2 in 1978), and the first time it was in color. Not the best of Ditko's work, but passable for his later creations, and probably the last time he ever created a male-type character that wore a suit of sorts. The only other app. "that" I know of" for The Odd Man was in an issue of DC's 52 run (maybe sometime last year). The rest of the issue was only so-so. Nice artwork by the late Don Newton (and inked by Adkins; a good team up on art).

JLA Classified #44 still had the "J'onn J'onzz" story going for its thrid issue, and it looks like there will be a forth installment. Me thinks they are dragging this story on too long, now. (Tie it up, guys before you run out of ideas!)

The Showcase #56 (1965) I got is a wonderful old comic, of course. Greatly written by Gardner Fox and immaculately illustrated by Murphy Anderson. Really love those old silver-age re-introduction issues of Golden Age characters! (Such a classic comic!) It read just as well today as it did 42 years ago when I was a mere 13 years old and bought one off a local drug store comic rack.

Had a little bit of a mystery today while mowing with the push mower the trim work on my folk's back yard. I was mowing right behind their shop, and there was this piece of concrete block nearly flat to the ground that I'd previously been just mowing around it. But weeds had started coming up there and the block was just a little too high to simply go over. Thus, I grabbed the thing and moved it around until I loosened it enough to remove and lay aside. Underneath it was a quarter.

At first I figured that quarter might be fairly old, even a silver one (which would be pre-1965), but upon further inspection discovered it to be just from 1999. I thought a moment about how that got to be underneath the concrete block, and finally decided that my dad, still in his late 70's and capable of weeding or mowing, probably was back there one day and pulled something out of his pocket and the quarter came with it. His eyesight not being very good, he moved the concrete block for some reason, and laid it unknowingly on top of the coin, where it has laid undisturbed now for 8 years. And I figured it was more than likely a new quarter at that time since there's no noticable wear, and very little shine gone outside of lying so long in on the ground with said block upon it.

It got me further to think about how many newer quarters most likely can be found these days, simply because that amount of money means so little to people anymore. Had it been a silver quarter from 43 or more years ago, I'd felt sorry for the person who lost it. Because, you know, back then a quarter actually meant something in the way of money. I'm not really sure at what point a quarter came to mean little of nothing; probably sometime in the early 1980's. But the further back you go, just like any other coin or dollar bill, it was just worth a lot more.

To us comic book collectors it meant you could buy a comic book back in 1973, and still have enough to pay the sales tax. You could still purchase a Coke from a machine, or a candy bar, or a bag of chips. You could stilll get a load of clothes washed in a laundrymat washing machine, or do TWO loads of drying, with a nickel left over. You could still buy a 1st. Class Postage Stamp, and (I'm not exactly sure) probably at least a half a gallon of gasoline.

Now you go even further back to say, the earlier 1960's and that would have bought a whole gallon of gas with some change. Or two comics at twelve cents each, or at least 4 candy bars, 25 pieces of bubblegum, 5 packs of baseball cards, a hamburger, 3 or 4 Cokes,etc., etc., seperately; tax not withstanding.

I'm afraid that the quarter has now become yet another useless coin, much like it's smaller brothers and sisters, the penny, nickel and dime, all of which I find on occasion where someone has dropped them and didn't think they were worth bending over to pick up. No one wants change anymore. More and more people use plastic. At work, at least 1/2 of the sales are plastic, with the other part split between checks and cash.

Change, like people, work better as a unit. Small amounts of change seperately make little or no difference. However, when you get several small amounts together, you have a lot of change. In two months time I put all of my own change every night into a bank on the dresser. Last count it was $124.00, (or, 12,400 pennies if it were broken down into such) and with that amount, you can actually buy something pretty nice. You get 12,400 people together and have them work towards a better goal for this country AS a unit, and you'll see a better country. The more change in one place, the better the change in our lives. Remember that the next time you think politics and the upcoming presidential election in 2008.

Was reading today about how it's been discovered that there were maybe three different printings of Superman #1 (1939). The 1st. print advertises Action #13, and the second and third ones advertise Action #14, with little or no way to really distinguish the latter two printings apart. Since the first issue of Supes was a reprint anyway (from Action #1), that means that the second print would be a reprint of a reprint, and the third print would be a reprint of a reprint of a reprint! Still the most expensive reprint comic in the world, though (and nothing I can buy out of pocket change). You might even say that that there was a FORTH printing of that particular book in it's original-type format when they put one the same size in "The Superman Masterpiece Edition" in 1999. Save for a small notation on the bottom of its inside front cover it's nearly an exact duplicate (size and all) of the original either 2nd. or 3rd. print (since it advertises Action #14). I also wonder how many scums out there have tried to pass off either that reprint, or the Batman 1 reprint (from the "Batman Masterwork edition") to some unknowing collector as an original.

I've been thinking about buying a new pc. This one I've had since 1999, and so far, it's had a longer and more productive run than George W. (however, much the same it's running out of memory as I'm currently working on just 102 MBs). Like "Ol' Yeller", it's being faithful to the end...and then I'll have to take it out behind the barn and shoot it.

(Poor, faithful "Ol' Yeller"........I think I might need a moment here.)

Don't think i mentioned finally watching all of The Incredibles flick. Much fun! Glad I broke down and got a copy and sat thru it. Looks like a sequel would have been made?

And, my wife did well at her craft show this weekend, so I suppose her taking a week off just to prepare for it was worth it. She said there were so many people at the festival that they ran out of places to park. I have found comics for sale there in the flea market section during this particular show, which are usually over-priced. Maybe last year (or the year previous) someone had around 30+ comics, some from the early 60's and several from the 70's that interested me but we never could agree on a price. I recall issues of The Phantom Stranger, early 60's Marvel humor/romance ("Millie", and the like) and others in that lot. Guess I really should have paid him what he asked, but it was one of those cases where there was nothing actually on my "Want List" except maybe two cheaper comics, and the better issues were individually over-priced, so I passed on them. (Sort'a regreted it ever since.) (Sunday:10/21/07)

We're finally getting this lack of water level down locally. It had been as low as 18", but now is just a bit over 11, and with more rain in the forecast all "burning bans" have been lifted. Cooling down quite a bit as well. Today I was out in the drizzle most of the day and now have a slight case of the sniffles and a little chill. Time for aspirins before it gets too bad. I may get a flu shot while I'm off work this coming Thurday since I haven't had one in a few years.

My wife and I are supposed to go to Elizabethtown tomorrow as she wants to visit the cemetary, but that may or may not happen with this weather. Such a long drive there and back in the rain. We had in fact thought about driving on up to Radcliff, which is about 12 miles further north (and the town adjacent to Fort Knox Military Base; you know---The Gold Vault) as the Wallyworld there carried some craft items she needed that our local WM does not. I had thought, too, about visiting a comic shop there I've heard about, but that's all iffy at this time.

I DO have several more comic books to review here soon, including several issues of DC's The Spirit and the first 5 issues of Wildstorm's Desolation Jones as time permits me to read them and express opinions.(Monday: 10/23/07)


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