Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Since the Weekend"

Okay. So it wasn't the first time I'd seen these Golden-Age characters. I had had glimpses of them in Index fanzines published by Jerry Bails and Roy Thomas, and small samples of them in a few issues of The Flash, or Jules Feiffer's "The Great Comic Book Heroes". But this was the first time I ever saw them actually featured on the cover of a comic book as such. And being an avid fan of The Justice League of America, it thrilled me to no end as an eleven year old to see that cover baiting me to spend my twelve cents on it at the local drug store magazine rack.

The first character I noticed was "Dr. Fate". Whether is was the mystery the helmet covering his entire face, or the dashing blue and gold costume, he immediately became my favorite of the team. I'm speaking, of course, of the legendary Justice Society of America.

It lead me to the two issues of DC's Showcase (#'s 55 & 56, circa 1965) being burned into my pre-teen mind as two of the finest issues of any comic book DC Comics produced in the 1960's. It lead me to The Brave & the Bold issues featuring other GA JSA heroes/heroines, and the later Showcase issues of "The Spectre". But Dr. Fate still remained my favorite, perhaps because he was a mystic and magic really interested me as a kid as much with him as over at Marvel Comics with those wonderful stories of "Dr. Strange".

I recently found a "reader copy" of the above pictured comic again on eBay for little of nothing and clamped down hard on a bid just to re-obtain it to relive a few childhood memories. The smell of newsprint worked as a time machine and once again I was in 1963. (It was indeed a gentler time.)

And being off from work this weekend I got a chance to watch both "The Legion of Super-Heroes" as well as "The Batman" animated shows this morning on the CW Network. The LOSHs was a new episode as was The Batman (or, "new to ME" as I hadn't seen either of them). The LOSHs revolved around the origin of "Lightning Lad" and tied into the original continuity of the character quite a bit, as it had him and both his brother and sister all obtaining lightning powers at the same time. His brother, of course, went on to become the villinous "Lightning Lord", and his sister was at first "Lightning Lass". In fact, in early Legion stories Lightning Lad got himself killed and the Legionnaires thought that he'd come back from the dead in one story, only to find out it was his twin sister disguising herself as her brother. (In later tales she lost the lightning power, or rather, it was transformed into a new power to make objects super-light-weight, and she renamed herself "Light Lass").

In this particular episode Lightning Lad lost his arm in a battle, and in the 1960's series of LOSHs he did as well when attacked by a space whale or some such thing, and it was replaced, just like in this animated version, with a bionic one.

But in the original series Lightning Lass was the same age as her brothers and here she gets turned into this energy cloud which she stays as for ten years until the combined forces of The Legion and L.Lord change her back into the eight or nine year old she was when the original origin of their powers happened. Also, "in the comics", Lightning LORD remained as a villian, where in this cartoon version he reforms. Anyway... it wasn't "too" off-base from the premiere storyline and was pretty damn good.

In The Batman episode, "The Joker" becomes cyber and enhanced with nano-shape-shifting-bots and is finally defeated with the aid of Bats and a cyber-version of "Nightwing" (the identity the adult Dick Grayson "Robin" took), and I blieve it's maybe the first time we ever see Nightwing incorported into the particular version of The Batman animated series. (I have no problems with this new Bats animated series save for The Joker's hair, but I'm finally getting a bit more used to this look.)

And today the temps here didn't get as high as promised by our local weather station. In fact, it was just barely in the 40's with a little snow (which didn't stick). Higher temperatures are supposed to move in this week with a little rain.

I really didn't do much today but rest (for a change). That and I took my elderly mother to the grocery store. I "tried" to chop out a few roots that had broken ground in this yard but the axe handle was rotten and after 5 or 6 licks that busted loose. Guess I'll have to try that next time with a chain saw.

Something I found a little downhearted is the fact that our local grocery store Houchen's Market, will soon be no more. In fact, there won't be a Houchen's chain at all as it's been bought out by IGA. This will end a long history of these stores here in the cave area of South-Central, Kentucky, first beginning in the early 1900's in a small store around 20 miles from here out in the country.

Their first location in this town was in the central area of our Main Street in the 1940's, then another location on Water Street in the 1950's. In the early 1960's a new store was built (right behind where I live, in fact) and it's been there ever since. (Saturday: 01/26/08)

With milder temperatures today I finally waddled outside after sleeping in until 9:30 AM (about 4 hours longer than I usually stay in bed), went down to my mom's and washed a load of clothes, started up the pick-up and let it run a while. I noticed that there was at least 8 oz. of anti-freeze in the passenger side floorboard. I'm not sure if this comes from a leak of some hose or was over-fill, but I cleaned that up and added more to it and come my next day off will try to check these hoses for repair.

While down there I also went and looked over the 2,200 odd comic books and approx. 300 other items (scifi paperbacks, hardcovers, magazines, etc.) that I have in storage to decide just what to do with these. I've already gone back through this large lot a few times and pulled about anything that I thought would even possibly interest me to keep, so I think the next time that I actually have some time, I'll try to organize this mess into different companies and titles and even alphabetize them. Then I'll pull me some lots to put on auction of 40 books or so each. I can fit 40 comics into one of those $8. "ships all" sort'a priority boxes and mail it for a flat rate of $8.00, so I think this might be my best option since I've yet to find a dealer that wants the entire bunch'a boxes. When I finally get around to listing these I'll mention it here and post a link just in case anyone out there wants to pick up some cheap deals.

Then I went out to the shed and got the electric chainsaw and when I returned home and got my washed clothes into the dryer, went outside with that and a couple of prybars and chisels, hammer, etc., and worked on getting up some of these large tree roots that have broken ground. Not only are those a pain to mow over and good for nothing more than bending a lawnmower blade, but tree roots are a problem with blocking my sewer lines (which you may recall I mentioned having to pay a plumber around $70. just to clean out said lines for drainage here recently). I mentioned to my wife that we really need to just have these three large trees cut down.

The good aspect for having large trees is, of course, shade in the Summer and perhaps less expensive cooling bills. They attract birds and squirrels for which I have feed boxes hung. However...the bad aspects to having trees (at least to me) far outweighs that. For it takes me at least 8 weeks of off-and-on raking my yard in the Fall (as well as filling my neighbors' yards with such), the before-mentioned threat of clogging sewer lines with their roots, a constant picking up of various size limbs for disposal, plus a threat of a large limb falling either on my house and damaging the roof, or on power lines knocking those out (which wouldn't be very nice especially in the Winter). Besides, the feeder boxes can be hung elsewhere!

Anyway, getting back to the root of the problem, I cut out several (at least 6 or 7) from not only my yard but my neighbor's yard too, some that left holes the size of a shoebox. This is just a temporary fix on stopping those particular roots, though, but cutting them seperate from their source (i.e., the trees). There was one large knot that I worked on for some time and finally have to give up on, but at least I did damage it quite a bit and with cuts deep into it perhaps the rain will eventually rot that one out. I probably worked a good two hours on this project (and ruined two wood chisels) and plan on doing a few more at the rear of the house later on this week is the weather holds out. (Sunday: 01/27/08)

Last night we had quite a wind storm blow thru Kentucky doing damage here and there. Locally all I heard of was the roof twisted up on a motel and the Interstate exit and a few trees blow down, and here in the yard it had blown ovr some of our bird feeders and the like, but otherwise it seems everyone pretty much got thru it all okay. It did drop temperature-wise and from the 50's it's now in the 30's.

And in the mail yesterday I got in a copy of Rick Veitch's "Brat Pack" trade paperback which reprints the King Hell limited series from some years back and ties in with Veitch's "Maximoratal" series from the same company. After Veitch's dispute with DC Comics over a "Swamp Thing" story that they pulled (dealing with ST meeting Jesus) and he left that company for good, he went on to produce really even better work than was allowed in mainstream comic books , and I highly recommend any of his work especially for the independents. For those who have never read Brat Pack, perhaps you don't need to buy the original issues at all, in fact, as Veitch rewrote portions of that series and gave the whole thing somewhat of a different ending in the TPB collection (the way he really wanted it to end) and it ties into Maximortal. An "A++" in reading choices and a story which ranks well beside such classics as "Watchmen", or "The Dark Night Returns" in one's classic comic magazine collection library.(Tuesday: 01/29/08)

And I've been pretty busy here on my first of two days off this week. The number one thing I did was go down and go thru those boxes of comics and make me up 8 lots to put on ebay auctions. (HERE is a link to those interested in seeing what I'm attempting to sell at the moment, just in case you might be interested in some cheaper "lot" deals.) If these auctions do well then next week or so I'll go back thru them again and pull out yet another 6 to 8 lots for listing.

While I was down at mom's I also cleaned off her drainage grail, washed a load of clothes and started up the pick up for a while since it's turned pretty chilly. Came home, took photos of those comic lots after getting them in order and listed same, dried the clothes and did some other meger house chores as well as picking up a bunch of blkown down limbs from the yard and cleaning out the street gutter. 'Been a fairly busy day, and January is just about gonesville, daddio. (Wednesday 01/30/08).


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