Friday, February 29, 2008

"The Once Every 4 Years Post"

I suppose I really ought to post "something" on this blog today. After all, the opportunity to post on February 29th. only comes around once every four years. And, who knows? Maybe this would be my only chance. Maybe I won't be able to post anything 4 years from now. The future is always uncertain, and life is fragile.

In fact, I may not have a whole lotta time to post anything at all this coming week as I have to work every day until next weekend. The boss and his wife are going out west on a buying spree for the store, and due to lack of extra help I'll have to occasionally work in the wholesale department checking out their customers. Since I'm the only one they deemed extra to train on their checkout registers, that means I'll have to be at work each day for the next seven days (eight, counting the one I worked today). So, not a whole lot of extra time there to do anything except work this week.

And there's nothing new for me to report today. No more of my current wins from on line auctions came in today. Nothing in the mail at all today. Just a drab ol' rainy day here in S-Central, Ky., with temp's in the mid 40's.

Well...there IS one thing I could mention. My boss has this mini-strip mall located next to the store, which has housed businesses of one sort or another off-and-on for years, but has mostly remained empty for the last year or better. Now a salvage/over-stock store is moving in that'll be open in a couple of weeks, which looks fairly interesting and something I for certain want to look around in just as soon as they do open for business. It's over-stock from stores such as Target, and there won' be any clothing articles. Just knick-knacks and paddywacks. Never can tell what I might find there.

It's still too cold and rainy for the outside flea markets to open here locally for the season. Maybe give that another month yet. I've seen a few diehards sitting up at times on the weekends, but not much and I haven't personally stopped by to look since sometime last Autumn.

And tomorrow is March the 1st. Time flies, and the first three months of the year always, to me, just jet on by...which is fine as I'm also looking forward to some warmer temperatures.

We did finally get an estimate on replacing ceiling tiles in this old place in the dining room, entranceway and bathroom. Something like $1200-$1300 including the labor. It's up to my wife to make that decision, however, as the money that'd be used is from her inheritance and I don't have anything to say about it. Don't want to. Don't look upon that as "my place" to say how her money is spent. If she wants to do it, that's fine. If she wants to look around for maybe someone cheaper, then that's fine as well. The material cost is from $800-$900 alone since we'll be covering around 1,300 sq. feet, but the labor, from $500-$600 for two day's work, does in deed sound a bit steep. But it would for certain improve the looks of this house.

One thing we definately want to do is put new shingles on the other side of the back of the house where we didn't get to from that hail storm damage from a couple of years back. We have a leak over the kitchen area that'll have to be stopped before it screws up the plasterboard ceiling. And we want to make sure we have enough still left to pay for it. If we could get back the, supposed, government rebate early enough, then there'd be no ploblem covering all of these costs. But who knows when THAT will arrive?

(And so, my friends, thus ends February, 2008.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"My Thursday Off Ramblings"

One good thing about tomorrow is that you don't have to worry about it after it's over for another 4 years. (Sort'a just like a presidential election.)

According to the silver-age history of Superman, it's also his birthday. So let's see...using 1938 as the starting point of his "birth", that'd make me something like 17 -1/2 years old. I think in the comics he's actually supposed to be a perpetual 28.

I got to wondering what I was doing on February 29th., 2004, or what I had written on this blog site, and then I remembered that I hadn't even started it yet. In fact, that 4th. year anniversary won't be until May.

But looking over some of my earliest posts I was waining over the passing of Kate Worley, and thinking about the passing of former President Reagan. In comics I had mentioned that I wasn't buying much in the way of modern titles due to their price and difficulty in locating, but was buying more TPB collections instead. Well....things change.

Since I've located such outlets as Waldenbooks and a Houchens Market which carry current titles, I do indeed purchase several of these again whenever the opportunity arises for me to stop by such places.

Let's in copies of Supergirl #75 (1996 series), and the DC-Vertigo Shade the Changing Man #62 in yesterday's mail. Two years ago I first started to seriously try to complete that '96 Supergirl series but #75 was a pretty "hot" comic due to its reintroduction of the original "Kara Jor-El". EBay auction listings had it going as much as $35. a pop, and with issues #'s 77 thru 80 in the $10-$15 range. Once again...things change, and what once was hot, now is not. Much like THOR #337 where Walt Simonson started on the series and introduced "Beta Ray Bill" back in the 1980's. A comic book store owner was offering me twice what I'd paid for any newstand issues in trade (which I believe back then was .75 each, so I got in trade $1.50 per copy). Seems like it was in low distribution where he had his store, but I had little difficulty finding copies anywhere alse. I probably got him at least 20 copies.

And I had another dealer giving me twice cover price for the first issue of the bagged/sealed Spider-man #1 (the McFarlane series) in the early 1990's. Both of these books can be had fairly dirt cheap anymore. That's what happened with the Supergirl 75, and I knew that if I waited long enough I'd find more reasonably priced copies, so I just bought a copy of the TPB which reprinted the 75-80 storyline to read.

So I paid a whoppin' $2.30 for a copy using the BIN on eBay, and have found the others either for cover price now, or less. In fact, when my won copy of #77 arrives, you'll finally not have to listen to me harping over trying to finally complete that set...'cause it WILL be complete!

The copy of Shade #62 also completed that partcicular set of 70 issues. Strange crap written by Peter Milligan, which brings up yet another title about to be completed which he wrote, when I get in a copy of Marvel's X-Statix #25, illustrated by an equally strange artist, Mike Allred. In fact, I think I'll have all of the Milligan/Allread X-Statix appearances, those being in their own title, X-Force and Deadgirl (unless someone tells me otherwise) save for a copy of Deadgirl #3.

Completing several sets as such gets me to wondering what I'll try to concentrate on now. Of course, I'd like to have a full run of Transmetropolitan, but there's some older stuff as well. I still need a #2 of ACG's title, "John Force Magic Agent", plus 5 or so app.'s of that character in Unknown Worlds. And I need to complete up to date such titles as the current Supergirl series, Supergirl and The LOSHs, and The Spirit. I'd love to have a full run of all of the Bongo app.'s of "Radioactive Man", too. Just too many damn comics....

One comic I'm looking forward to getting in is a Fantastic Four 16 (1963), which features an "Antman" x-over as well as ol' Doc Doom, and even though I don't actively seek out very many silver-age Marvels these days due to having most of the "Essential" reprints of such, the occasional original is a nice addition to "the collection". The one I'm getting is just a reading copy and I got it cheap. It hurts too much to think of all of the silver-age Marvel and DCs I've had over the years that I no longer possess due to needing the cash for other things (like paying bills!)

Well, today the temperatures are a bit milder. In the 40's, I think, which is a mite better than the norm for the past week, what with us having an ice storm earlier, then rain, then back to some snow. In the shaded areas I still see some ice hanging on. I'm really "antsy" for Spring to finally arrive. I have several outdoor projects that need to be done. One of which is cleaning the outside of my house which has gotten much dirt and mud splashed up against the siding. I also want to haul in some new top soil for the low-lined areas around this place, plant grass seed and the like. I've got an old stump my wife wants removed in the midst of her flower garden, and too, I need to get out into the shed and look around for some things.

And just because I'm sick of staying indoors these days, I ventured out today down town to a new consignment shop and looked around a while. Didn't really mean to purchase anything, but still bought $9. worth of "stuff". For one thing, they had an unopened MIB Marvel Legends "She-Hulk" (from 2005) action figure which was pretty nice. And I found a couple of different ones of those 2007 packages which has a comic book, temp' tattoo and a little action figure that grows larger in water in one sealed package. The comics in them were of Spider-man, one having a copy of Marvel Adventures #21, and the other having Untold Tales of Spider-man #3.

While there I got to talking with the store owner about maybe bringing some comics down to try to sell on consignment. I need to go through all of those books I've pulled first and I think I'll bring a couple of long boxes of stuff that I know for certain are duplication, "just to see how they go". If they sell well, I'll bring more later on. Might mean a few extra bucks for some books that I just have gathering dust and taking up space.

And today, just to kill some time and relax, I popped in one of my favorite flicks, "3000 Miles to Graceland" (2001), which is one of Kurt Russell's best and one of the few flicks in which I actually liked both Kevin Cosner and Courney Cox.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Cold Tuesday"

Wow...Superman is almost 70 years old.

I got to thinking about that yesterday when I got in a copy of Booster Gold #6 (DC/1988) which completed my run of all 25 issues from the first series. I pulled out my collection to put up this issue, and plastered on the first issue down where usually there's a bar code (but this being a direct sales' edition had a "blurp") it had that old logo about DC being 50 years old: 1935-1985). Since then, DC's turned 73 years old, and with Supes coming out in '38, he's reaching an iconic age, not just for the character, but the time since real super-hero types were introduced in comic books.

When I first read a Superman story, he wasn't even 20 years old...which makes ME feel a bit ancient these days. Probably the first one I ever paid attention to was when I was 5 or 6...maybe earlier since there were comics, it seems, always around the house from my older brother buying them. I know we used to get "Superman Popcorn" at the local Houchen's Market which came in a clear plastic bag and featured a Wayne Boring illustration on the package. And I already knew "who" the character was by then from both comic books and the
George Reeves live-action television show. Guess that's why the silver-age Superman will always be my favorite due to the time in which I grew up reading his adventures.

Also in the mail was a copy of ACG's Forbidden Worlds #114 (1963), which is a "Herbie Popnecker" issue; the 4th. app., in fact, but the first Herbie cover, and a classic issue with his story titled: "A Fat Little Nothing Named Herbie!"

Herbie was really some sort of god to me since he wore glasses, was fat and even had a similiar haircut as I wore as an early teen. I was also a fat kid who wore glasses, with few friends way back then, and Herbie was my idol since he was able to do anything: Walk on air, beat-up all the villians...loved by all the women...friends with all the rich and famous. In fact, in this story we have President Kennedy enlisting his help to battle some African idol. Jackie Kennedy , naturally, falls in love with Herb'! And even all of the animals knew
Herbie. In one panel two apes are whispering to one another....("It's HERBIE!") A tiger (yeah, I know...what's a tiger doing in Africa?) starts to attack Herbie until he realizes "who" he is and high-tails it away from him. And when Herbie's fighting a bunch of natives he calls on ghosts from the beyond for help. Was there nothing he couldn't do? (Nope.)

Great Fun!

Well I got outbidded on a lot of around half of the issues of the Warren Ellis/ Helix-Vertigo series, Transmetropolitan (as usual) and by a mere fifty cents (the rat bastard!). I keep trying to get a set of these in either originals or TPB's but they always go well beyond my current means...but I AM determined to get a full run "someday"as I've always really liked that series featuring "Spider Jerusalem". (Hey! Warren Ellis! You say you see all, so's how about sending a REAL fan of your work a FREE FULL SET, dammit!). What's worse is that I do have all of these issues on CD-ROM where a friend who has a full set burned me a copy and gave it to me just to read, but over the years I've had to delete the programs to open such for space in this old pc o'mine. Anyway...

I did in fact win full sets of City of Silence and Mek(limited series of three issues each), both of which were written by him and I shall count the days to get to read these books.

Okay. Is there any antique furniture people out there? I'm trying to get some information regarding an antique library table of my mom's. I know for certain that she's had this for at least 50 years as I can always remember it. The story goes that a great uncle of mine couldn't afford to pay his gas bill one time in the late 1950's, and my step-grandfather paid it for him. So, in graditude, my great uncle gave this table to my step-grandfather(who was a master carpenter). My step granddad professionally refinished it due to it having 5 or 6 layers of old paint on it, striping it down down to its natural oak. Here's a couple of shots of that library table (as you can see, my mom collects as much "junk" as I do!)

Photo 1

Photo 2

I've looked at literally hundreds of photos of antique tables on the net and can't seem to find one that looks just like it, so if by chance anyone has some info (or a link I could go to), I sure would appreciate it. (Thanks!

And today amid the cold temperatures and off-and-on sleet, a plumber friend of mine and I had to rout out that sewer line again. Fortunately we could do this outside of the house this time since I had located and dug out the clean-out valve. The cable fed at least 90 feet this time, all the way out to the main line, and obviously it had two blockages (tree roots). All is fine now with our drainage again. Next will be adding new shingles to the one side of the house we didn't get before, lowering ceilings and replacing panels and fixing overhead light fixtures. We are determined to fix up this old place.

And finally, today I won THIS. A bottom-feeder for sure, but still it's a Fantastic Four #16 (1963) and a two-for-one deal with Ant-man's first x-over and the fourth app. of ol' Doc Doom. (Just a nice old comic to have a copy of from Marvel's best silver-age years.)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Into The Last Month of Winter"

Hallelujah! Not only did I finally reach my 700th. Feedback today on eBay, but even SURPASSED it! Really, I figure I'm about 140 FBs behind since I've been on eBay for nearly 9 years. I really need to buy more from different sellers since my overall FB number is well past 1300.

In today's mail: Some of the auction wins have started coming in. Yesterday I got the full set of the 1984 DC reprint series of Kirby's original New Gods. Each of these 6 issues reprinted two stories (1-2, 3-4, etc.) of the 11 issue run, save for the last issue number 6 which has a reprint of the final published issue of #11, and then a new story by Kirby. (which is the main reason I wanted these since I have all of the original 11 issue run).

I'll have to admit that I was somewhat disapointed in the new material. Probably it's because these pages were done several years after the last published issue (1973). The artwork is more crude and unrefined. Looks like hacked or rushed Kirby, and just not enough dialogue. Maybe it's because it wasn't published on "newsprint" anymore like the originals. Whatever the case, it certainly wasn't Jack Kirby's finest achievement, but I still look forward to the time when I can finally own a copy of his Hunger Dogs graphic novel and see how "the king of comics" meant the story to be finished.

Also in, a full run of the 1994 Dark Horse limited series by Eddie Campbell, Hermes VS. The Eyeball Kid, which I did very much enjoy and have already read previously as serialized in various issues of Bacchus. Mainly I wanted these for the color covers which weren't included in the reprints.

Another comic I got was a copy of Action Comics (DC) #251 (1981), which is the first actual comic book appearance of "Vixen" (having only previously appeared in Cancelled Comics Cavalcade). Nice Curt Swam artwork as usual. Brings up an interesting point that, in a way, she's more powerful than Superman since her powers are based on a magic talisman. I'm afraid the Aquaman-Atom backup story was only "so-so" in that issue.

And the last one in so far is a copy of the 1984 DC Justice League of America Annual V1 #2(pictured ABOVE). This is a pretty inexpensive comic, but important in several ways to the JLA's history.

For one thing, it was the first new team. Their space HQ satellite had been destroyed (in JLA V1 #230), and Aquaman decided (as its current chairman, being the only original of the seven members who founded the team) to disband The League. However, "J'onn J'onzz" steps up and asks it's current former members to start a new JLA. This was important due to it being the beginning of The Martian Manhunter being much more a part of the JLA storylines & becoming the new chairman (an aspect which continued for some time (even into the animated series).

This is also the 3rd. app. of "Vixen" (after the before-mentioned Action 521, and her second app. being DC Comics Presents #68) and she joins the team. Plus we have the first app. and introduction of two new characters which join The League and continue as members pretty much on up until the cancellation of JLA V1 (Issue #261), being that of "Gypsy", and "Vibe".

In other mom made is back home today after her week in Indiana. She certainly didn't miss much around here save some bad weather (of which she had her share near Indianapolis). Nice to have mom and my aunt back down here safe and sound and perhaps things can get back to their norm.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Watched the total lunar eclipse last night. Our skies were crystal clear with a full moon and I can always watch the moon rise from my kitchen window, so I didn't even have to step outside in the cold to see it.

The eclipse began about 7:45 P.M. CST, and lasted until about 10 P.M. Pretty spectacular, and there won't be another such until 2010.

Looking at the night skies always gets me waining about how huge this universe really is, with the consideration that each of the stars are suns, and even our closet next star, Alpha Centauri (which is actually a system of three stars) is 25.8 trillion miles away from us! And there are billions... trillions+ of stars, many much older than our sun and some younger, and many quite larger.

Scientists once thought that the fuzzy stars were ones that were so far away they couldn't be properly seen, until new telescopes proved that it wasn't just a single star at all, but another whole galaxy far, far away.

Our center...just goes on and on and on...and even the combind light from all of the countless stars is but a tiny gleem in the eye of God.

Speaking of space...I hear that The Navy hit a "bullseye" on bringing down that decaying-orbit satellite. In fact, no pieces of it were found larger than a football!

I awoke this morning to a clear sky, but as I sat in the parking lot to listen to the radio for a few minutes before time to open up the store where I work, it began a light rain. Within an hour this turned into ice and made the day very trecherous for motorists here in South-Central, Kentucky. I-65 was closed for a stretch of around 100 miles, and numberous accidents were reported. Ice covered my car and windows 1/8" thick, as was covered the sidewalks and entrance ways. I scraped, and swept, and used probably 2/3rd.'s of a bag of salt to clear them.

It was so bad, in fact, that I thought I'd have to just spend the night there, but by 4:30 my boss told me to close the store due to the small number of people traveling about, and by that time the county had the roads in pretty decent shape. So, I had no problems making it home tonight.

My mother and my aunt, however, are stuck near Indianapolis where they went to attend the funeral of my cousin (their neice). They left on Monday to stay with their younger sister who lives up there and are now unable to get back home due to ice, which is being covered presently with a snow storm, and probably they won't even attempt to return until Staurday at the earliest.

Won a copy of the DC-Vertigo Shade, the Changing Man #62 today, which was the only issue I needed to complete a full set of the 70 issues. The original bronze-age series ran 8 issues---9, counting the one in Cancelled Comics Cavalcade. There was also an appearance of the character in Suicide Squad #16. Since I have a full set of the original series, as well as a copy of the CCC, AND the SS issue, this now gives me pretty much a complete set of appearances of this character (unless someone knows an odd one somewhere I've missed). It's nice now to put that set behind me and move onto completing another title. (Issues #'s 42-44 of the Vertigo series are of interest with app.'s of "John Constantine".)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random Afternoon Thoughts"

Looks like I've finally completed my bronze age New Gods collection by winning a copy of DC's Adventure Comics 459 (1978).

New Gods, as originally done by Kirby, of course, and it ran 11 issues, then went into hiatus until the characters were revived in First Issue Special #13, after which the title was continued with the original numbering up until #19 (witten by Gerry Conway and drawn by Don Newton).

However, when the title ceased, the story wasn't complete so an additional chapter was run in the before-mentioned issue of Adventure Comics.

The Kirby conclussion was published in the 1984 DC New Gods reprint limited series in issue #6 (which I also won recently won a full set of), so the only New Gods book it looks like I'll need will be The Hunger Dogs graphic novel (of which I'll eventually find a reasonably priced copy).

Into other things...let me tell you why it's good to pay the .65 and put a confirmation code on any package you mail of items you've sold, say, on eBay. The last lot of comics that I sold was paid for about three days later via Paypal, and I mailed it the next day. However, in my auctions I list that I'm not responcible for lost or damaged merchandise which is NOT insured. So's...I mail this package to Virginia on the 14th., the day after I received the payment. The seller hadn't paid for either insurance or even confirmation, but at my own cost and peace of mind, I went ahead and paid that .65 out of my own pocket just to "keep track" of the item if it got misplaced in the mail.

Yesterday, the 19th., I still hadn't received any word from the buyer that he'd received his books, so I emailed him just to see if he had. Today I get a reply that nothing had arrived. THAT'S where the confirmation code saves you. I went and typed that in to the locater for postal packages and it showed that it had indeed been delivered on the 16th. (4 days ago).

Even though I had no liability due to his not paying for insurance, this is the extra failsafe for a buyer since it did indeed show he had received the comics. In fact, putting confirmation on a package is really more important than insurance because if the code shows the merchandise has arrived, then insurance isn't much good (unless for some reason the items were damged in the mail, which, these being low-grade comics that'd been hard to convince the postal service for a refund on their worth).

Showing that the books arrived this also puts an end to any responcibility to the buyer (unless, maybe, he sends the wrong merchandice or not all of it). In fact, if a negative feedback is given to me, I could use this very heavily in my favor to have such removed. So if you sell something and they won't pay for the insurance, pay for the confirmation yourself as you may be very happy (like I was) that you did!

And in today's mail I got in those copies of CHARLTON PREMIERE (Charlton Comics) #'s 1 (1967) & 3 (1968). Re-reading those old silver-age issues leads me to think I probably liked the "Spookman" story the best in issue #1 with the Pat Boyette artwork, but it's a close tie with "Grass" Green's "The Shape". Steve Skeates' "Tyro Team" didn't do much for me. I found the Montes and Bache artwork on the story better suited for their other works such as later issues of Konga and Gorgo.

"Sinestro Boy Fiend" in issue #3 was...alright. I saw no credits attributed to the writer of this issue, but the artwork was by Henry Scarpelli, whose work I always enjoyed on the Charlton humor title, "Abbott & Costello". The most interestinmg aspect of this book is that it's a silver-age appearance of both the Ditko version of "The Blue Beetle", as well as "The Peacemaker" (and neither of which are drawn by their original artists). The ad page was also of interest as it reproduced the cover to Blue Beetle (V2) #6 with Ditko artwork, which was never published in comic book form (shown above, and I must apologize for the lousey scan but it's from the original newsprint page). And, in the letter's page, there's an loc from (I'm sure) a young Steven Gillespie (well-known, at least at that time, on the fan circuit).

#2 is still my favorite of this series with that great "Children of Doom" story. #3 was the last regularly published issue as it was 4 months (rather than 2) for the final and forth issue to appear.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Post #450! NEW Comic Book Reviews"

"Pucked" up some new comics recently:

FUTURAMA 35 (Bongo): In this issue, Fry, Lela and Bender regain their super-powers from a mysterious cream of Fry's (like in the animated episode), and they battle a villian called The Son of The Sun; i.e., they had battled previously a villian called "The Sun, and now they're fighting his son. The usual laughs for this well-written comic which reads much like watching an animated adventure. They go to "The Son's" Fortress of Sunitude (located ON the sun, of course), and we have a neat little Beatles' song mention (which has already been notated over on my "Beatles & Bizarros" blog, incidently) when as Fry approaches the planet in their rocket ship he states, "Here Comes The Sun, Here Comes The Sun and it's, land!" They end up convincing the villian that "darkness" is a pretty good thing as well (since he'd made all of these miniture suns to be positioned all around the Earth, keeping it constantly in sunlight) and the "Son" ends up opening a disco-type night club on Earth. Fun read! A+

MYTHOS: FANTASTIC FOUR 1 (Marvel "one-shot") has a story that revolves around a senate hearing over the events of the FF's origin. Although this version of the origin more closely resembles that of the movie, it was still a decent story and the painted-type artwork actually enhanced the story. A

FANTASTIC FOUR 553 (Marvel) finally ends the storyline where the future version of "Dr. Doom" comes back into the past to stop Reed Richards utopian plans for Earth. But besides the future Doc, the future FF come back as well to convice Reed that this is just all a ploy. Turns out that Doom was just jealous of Richards (par usual) and wanted the credit for a near perfect future civilization to go to him instead. And, as usual, the FF defeat Doom, but rather than punishing him, they send him to an alternate version of Earth where all of the super heroes had been killed, so Doom will be the most powerful being in that time line, and they gave him the challenge to perfect this dying world. It's not that this was "that bad" of a story, and somewhat different than some of the FF's over the past few years, but it'll be nice to finally see the team get into a new situation and be all together as the original unit. I'll give it a B.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA 17 (DC) deals mostly with "Black Lightning", and "The Horsemen of The Apocalypse" and various other super-villians, and although this book has a lot of "pretty pictures", there's little meat to this story. I found the backup feature with Vixen and Red Arrow much more enetertaining. B-

SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL 11 (DC) finally concludes the "Kryptonite" story which ran in issues 1 thru 5. A bit too anti-climatic for such a long wait, but still better than the usual fare, and Sale's artwork is always nice (he draws a pretty cute Lois Lane). A-.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


The continuity of one's day-to-day existence is a fragile thing.

You expect each day to be much like the last in the ways of normality, but occasionally the odds throw in a "monkey-wrench" to upset that. And usually that occures when there's an unexpected death in your family.

Death itself is an aspect of life, and one that I can accept on many levels. If one is in poor health with an incurable disease, or a person that has an illness of the physical self and does nothing to refrain this condition from getting worse, you naturally expect them to someday succumb to death. My own daughter was like that. She had diabetes and didn't properly take her medication. She didn't want to be diabetic. She wanted to live a life like any perfectly healthy person would, and, because of that, her condition went too far and she died.

Even my knowing this myself, and urging her (uselessly) to stay on her medicine (but knowing she wasn't), I knew that eventually it would all catch up with her. Even so, when she died it was a shock. was an inevitability that I could understand.

The deaths I cannot understand are those who are senselessly murdered, or take their own lives. This was the sort of shock I received just yesterday when I was told that one of my favorite cousins, a mere 41 years old and with three children, took her own life.

This was a good person. This was a "fun" person. This was an intelligent person. This was a beautiful person. And I do mean that last one literally as well. Her half Italian ancestry gave her the features of one of the most beautiful women I'd ever known.

It's been said that the most powerful word in the English language is: "Why". Why did such a person with all of these things going for her decide to just tell everyone "good-bye", go into another room, and kill herself? "Why" were her problems so great that she couldn't face them by enduring life? "Why" didn't she just ask for help.

There's no answer. There may never be an answer.

Lisa, you will be very missed, especially by those that DID care.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Feb. 12-14, 2008"

As, pretty much everyone already knows by now... yet another great comic book writer, Steve Gerber is no longer among the living..(You'll need to scroll on down to Evanier's 2/12/08 obit post).

I can't remember a single title that he worked on that I didn't like when I read it. I was a huge fan of "Howard the Duck", bought every issue and at one time or another had full runs of both that title and the magazine version, plus any appearances elsewhere (such as in the "Man-Thing" tales from that characters "Giant Size" issues and Adventures Into Fear, many issues of The Defenders and a run of the original Omega the Unknown (which I still own today with an extra copy of #1 in my collection, signed by Gerber).

His work will indeed be VERY missed by me.

Sort'a funny story relating to this. I was very taken by the HTD character back in the 70's, and it was the only Marvel comic I ever took out a subscription to, then RE-subscribed to it following issues until its end. I went to the 1976 "Omnicon" comic book convention in Louisville, Kentucky on July 17th., 1976 (my 25th. birthday, incidently) and Frank Brunner was one of the guests, and I had him sign a copy of HTD (either #3 or 5, I forget), and he didn't even do that issue! Frank was just a little annoyed I'm sure by that. But he was nice enough to sign it anyway. I think he was doing work for Pyramind Publications at that time which was producing digest-size comic book graphic novels (the same people that pubished Jim Steranko's Chandler). I used to have ahave a photo I took of Frank actually signing that comic, but it seems lost now "somewhere" in this mess of a couple dozen various folders I keep of such things.

Well...I've tried to put my winnings from various auctions to good use as much as I can with what I've sold and got paid for thru Paypal. This week I've used the "Buy It Now" eBay option to purchase copies of the 1996 Supergirl series #'s 68, 75 and 77, thus completing that set. I would have already completed this but for a while there, #75 was getting such a premium price that the only way I could afford it was collected in a TPB of 75-80 of that series. Issues were floating around eBay at the $30.+ range. NOW I find one for around cover price, which just shows how a book can be hot, then NOT.

Other comics I've bought include a copy of Booster Gold (1986 DC series) #6 to complete that set as well, a run of the Dark Horse Comics limited series Hermes VS. The Eye-Ball Kid 1-3 by Eddie Campbell (which is actually reprinted within pages of various issues of Bacchus, but I wanted an original set), and from the silver-age, Charlton Premiere #'s V2 #'s 1 & 3 (circa 1967). CP was one of my faves of the SA Charlton lot although there was technically only 5 issues ever published. #19 of the first volume, was in fact, the first issue since Charlton was always changing titles somewhere in mid-stream of a title. Formerly (and for the first 18 issues) it was a war title: Marine War Heroes. In these four issues of V2, Charlton used this as a Showcase sort of book, introducing such as "The Shape" (by Richard "Grass Green"), "The Spookman", and "Tyro Team" in #1, "Sinestro Boy Friend" in #3 (a humor issue), and "Unlikely Tales" (fantasy-horror with Aparo and Ditko art) in the final issue, #4. #2 was the best, and considered by most (including myself) as a classic with the full-length story, "Children of Doom" with Boyette artwork. It was an experimental story, partially in B&W. To this day it remains as what I consider the best single Charlton comic of the 1960's "story-wise".

We "dodged the bullet" weather-wise here in SCentral, KY, with only rain today, whereas the northern part of the state is receiving much ice and snow. My wife and I had planned on going to Hodgenville (about 45 miles north-east) for opening day of the "Abraham Lincoln Celebration" at Lincoln's birthplace. The first lady is supposed to be at the opening festivities, but this weather will certainly give her a cold reception! (Tuesday: 02/12/08)

Already got in the copy of Supergirl (1996 DC series) #68 yesterday and was pretty happy that it was the first to arrive from my auction wins as this was the only issue from that series I'd never read. Pretty neat story with Supergirl fighting Mary Marvel, and it hosted a slew of cameos and app.'s of characters like The Demon, Jason Blood, Captain Marvel Jr., and the current version of "Comet". I'll be glad when the other two issues I'm missing in that run arrive so that I can finally, after a couple of years attempting to complete a set, put that particular title to rest.

I also received a full refund due to receiving the wrong volume of Swamp Thing 1-20 and have put my VFN lot of 14 duplicates on auction (in case anyone interested in those they can be seen HERE). I sat myself down and read those 6 issues from that series that I had never read before, and was happy to discover them to be some of the highlights of that set, featuring the "Red Harvest" storyline as well as one issue featuring Tefe's father, "John Constantine"(aka: "Hellblazer"). Nice Glen Fabrey cover on some of those as well. Now that I've read the whole set it certainly makes more sense "story-wise".

Not much else on my plate today on this last day off before I pull 8 days straight at work, save that in an hour or so I will be taking my mother over to a nearby town for her doctor's apointment. Perhaps I'll stop by a store there and pick up a handful of newstand comics if we have time.

"Happy Valentine's Day!"(Thurday:02/14/08)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"Rants & Reasons"

A lesson to be learned about selling on eBay. Always block any bidder that has less than 10 feedbacks (as they're obviously new to buying from on line auctions).

Case in Point:

Last week I sold two different lots of comics to one buyer. One lot consisted of 46 comics and the other had 10 in it. I stated $10. shipping for the 46 lot (as I didn't know for certain if I could cram that many into a $8.95 flat rate box) and $6.25 for the one with 10 comics in it (as, quite frankly, I wasn't sure how much that one would cost me to ship with that many but I figured more than $5.25).

As it was, I was able to fit all 56 comics into a flat rate $8.95 box, so I combind the shipping for the buyer and instead of charging him $16.25 postage, I just charge him $10. and even tell him that if the postage is less than what I charged him that I'd insure it and put confirmation on it at no extra cost.

When I shipped it, the total was actually $11.25, which was $1.25 more than I charged him, but I just ate that extra cost myself.

So I get a feedback, albeit, a positive one on this deal today, but he states in his feedback that the shipping costs should have been LOWER due to him winning multiple lots and that they were all shipped together! Then...I get an email from this buyer stating that he accidently left that statement on my feedback and that I did indeed give him a lower shipping fee, and that if I wanted to, I could remove that feedback! How can I remove that feedback?? The only way would be to remove the whole thing! (GGGRRRRRR.......!)

Oh least it WAS a positive feedback, and I guess I'll take 'em anyway I can get 'im!

(End of Rant.)

The house feels a bit warmer since we had insulation blown into the walls yesterday. Yes, we now have a fully insulated house at last, after living here nearly 7 years. Next will be a new metal roof and gutters, and then if we can afford it, new carpet and I want to replace some bad ceiling tiles. Things are slowly but surely finally shaping up in this old place (if only I could get my wife to clean up or at least straighten up and stack all of her "junk" neatly around here).

Watched "Smallville" tonight, which introduced their version of "The Black Canary". Can't say that I was too krazy about it. The shaded eyes reminds me of the makeup on the female android from "Bladerunner". The sonic scream was handled well, tho', and I like the way "Green Arrow's" costume looks as it's similiar to the later versions by Mike Grell. Looks like they'll have her in the junior Justice League on that show.

Big complaint has always been that this is just too much of a soap opera for me to really consider it a favorite. The whole "Lana-Lex-Clark-Lex's father" saga drags down this show. Clark just needs to completely dump Lana and start his relationship with Lois and try to save maybe just a little bit of the continuity from the comics.

In other things, work has been VERY steady here lately. Don't know if it's from people getting back income tax returns or just the first of the month, but sales have really picked up and we need extra help sometimes (but that just isn't going to happen). In fact, soon one of the off-season workers will be leaving for her Summer job elsewhere and there'll only be three of us working retail. Tools are the main selling point and it's next to impossible for me to keep up with them by myself. I pulled 5 pages yesterday and 5 today. That's 10 pages just in two days, and a total so far of 20 pages since Monday. Each page has 20 items to list, so that's 400 seperate items (of 1 to 6 each) I've restocked this week by myself, pricing and putting them on shelves plus rearranging for new items, etc., etc. I'm glad my weekend off from there approaches quickly!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"The Last Couple of Days"

I was very pleased with my eBay auctions this week (for a change). I listed 7 items; various lot groups of comic books. Some (4 lots) didn't sell, but three did, 2 of which were to the same buyer.

I can't say that I was surprized about one of the lots selling as it was 46 different, misc. "Archie" comics from the 70s-90s. I always see such lots sell, and have even bidded once or twice on some older lots (of Archies) myself.

I was sort'a surprized at a lot of 45 different issues of Marvel's "G.I.Joe" going for nearly $30. All of these books are from a huge lot I pulled last year to try to sell collectively but had no offers, and even seperately I wouldn't have asked more than a quarter each for them. At $30. these averaged .66 each. And the 46 Archies plus 10 misc. low-grade SA misc. went for $18.51 (averaging .33.5 each); all more than I would have asked out-right. So collectively I sold these (minus eBay fees for listing and Paypal fees) something like $44. Divide that by a total of 101 comics and they sold clear for around .44 each. Since I listed right at 200 comics this time in lots, 1/2 of those sold, so I'll put the unsold ones back into the larger lot after I pull yet another 6 to 8 lots tomorrow for listing for the next time. I may even decide to keep a few of the ones that didn't sell back in my own collections. Eventually everything will have been listed at least once and the remainder will be lotted out to some dealer, or end up in a yard sale for a quarter "a pop".

And, as usual, the deal I made with my wife long ago regarding such sales is if they pay me with Paypal I can use it to buy ME something from on-line auctions, and if they pay me with a money order then that goes right into the bank. Guess I'll be a'buyin' me sumethin' new, ehh? (*heh*)

Actually, I did win one fairly cheap lot recently which will be nice to read when it arrives. A full run of the 2004 series of Swamp Thing V4 #'s 1 thru 20 complete, and just for ten bucks. Even with the postage it only cost me around .55 a comic, which beats the hell out of its original $3.99-2.99 cover prices (a third or so of retail). I wanted to read this series but never had a chance to pick them up as they came out, and then figured I probably never would since I'd have to buy 20 issues from a comic shop. But getting them as a lot will be nice! (Monday: 02/04/08)

Today I'm not as pleased with those lots I sold on eBay as I thought I was, as my margin for profit (after some refiguring) wasn't as much. I had it in my mind that those packages could be mailed at an $8. flat rate, when instead, they were $8.95 each. Throw in the free insurance which I thought the stated postage costs would cover along with confirmation, and the shipping costs ended up being $22.50. And since my final selling fees hadn't been stated yet they ended up being $11. (rather than $8. 'something"), so already we have a total of $34.50. Minus as well the Paypal fees and what i received was around $65.50, so for all of this effort I only am clearing something like $30. (and of course that doesn't include my time listing, writing descriptions, emailing buyers, packaging the stuff up and taking it to the post office, etc., etc.).

I can see selling on ebay an alright thing to do for those that aren't doing anything else, like the retired or maybe just those that can't find a "regular" job. It does indeed bring in money (IF the items sell), but if someone lists multiple items, say 20 or more, and only one or two sell at a low minimum bid, the seller could easily go in the hole trying to make a living from on-line auction sales.

In fact, today I went back thru the lots and ended up pulling only one lot of 17 misc. comics from the 1940-70's and listing it. If it sells at just the minimum bid I've started it at ($9.99), I'll probably lose money on the comics as I'm sure I have at least .50-$4. each in them. Problem there is that if one starts it at a higher price, many buyers shy away from the auction, plus the fees are higher. (I even pass on putting a "gallery" photo on such just to save a few pennies.)

Well...I was up at 7 AM today. Just couldn't sleep any longer. I've already had a guy from the local sewer company come out to see if he could give me a clue as to where a clean out valve might be at this old place. Plus I had a guy come by to give an estimate on insulating the house. The cheapest we can have that done is $1,200., so he's supposed to start (and probably finish) that tomorrow. I also have a guy coming by this weekend to give an estimate on putting us a new metal roof on the joint. All of this cost is being footed by my wife from her inheritance, of course, and if it helps our house heat better, etc., it'll all be worth the money involved, plus make our house more desirable if/when we ever sell it.

I also hooked back up the washing machine so we could do a few loads of clothes and not have to drag them either down to my mother's to wash or the dreaded laundrymat since we are experiencing some unusually warm weather here without fear of frozen water pipes at the moment. And went down and fixed the door seal at mom's, so it's been a busy day.

Looking thru some of those boxes of books I came across a handful of Continuity titles from the late 1980s-early 1990s. Since there was only a half dozen or so I pulled those to keep and re-read. I guess I was one of the few that actually liked that Neal Adams company. My only complaint was that everyone seemed to have to draw in a Neal Adams house style. Two of these comics are Toyboy, one drawn by Michael Golden and the other by Trevor Von Eden. Of these two artists, Mike Golden's artwork certainly shines thru the Adams trappings much better than Von Eden's. It's difficult to disguise Golden's work, or, at least to someone like myself who have followed his work since the 1970's thru a few dozen Batman Familys, The 'Nam, Micronauts, etc. It's always distinctive, clean and bold with defined borders and usually enhanced well by various colorists with brighter colors. (I seriously doubt if I'd like his work even half as much in some B&W format.)

And this post is ramblin' on a bit too much. (Tuesday: 02/05/08)