Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Post No. 620"

After about a week, I finally was able to complete my yearly weeding of my comics to either sell as a "lot" or put in my upcoming May yard sale. I didn't get as many as I'd hoped, simply because I've gone through the same boxes at least 3 times before, but still managed to come up with over 1,100 comics and adding that to the 200+ duplicates I already have will give me over 1,300. About 180 of these I put seperate to list in lots of 50 or more on eBay; humor types (Whitman/Gold Key, Archie, Spire, Harvey, etc.) as they always seem to sell. (And if by chance you'd like to see these listings, click HERE.)

Then I eliminated at least 50 old l.p.s (mostly country music) for the yard sale, too. After removing everything from their bags and backing boards I had way more than I needed to finish getting my unbagged/boarded books I've kept in order and cleaning up my collections a bit, removing these from my inventory lists, etc.

Managed as well to list 7 items this week on eBay. At first they weren't showing up on my listings, but it appears that eBay was doing some maintenance and alls okay now.

Finally got to watch the "Watchmen" movie. What a sweet flick that is! It's definately up there in my opinion of fine efforts of adapting comic book material to film as "Sin City" & "Ghost World". (Hope to get to see "Punisher:War Zone" soon.)

It's now been just a bit over a year since my father passed away and I've been dwelling on what's gone down since then. Mom had that surgery back last July and had to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks, then in the nursing home for 3 months. She's still using a walker and no longer drives, but otherwise, she's okay and still manages to get to church and various other social events.

My neighbor and I have had a guy with a Bobcat dozer clean out the back lot where I used to have the brush pile and it looks much better. We plan on having the pile of debree buried on the spot (due to the high cost of a burning permit in city limits and its restrictions) just as soon as we determine exactly where our boundry lines run on the properties, and then I'll be hauling in at least one dump truck full of dirt to level out the area before we sew new grass seed and I put up a chain link fence across the back. The problem is now that I have to figure out what to do with all the leaves come this Autumn???

The business where I work is still steady, and I'll be getting more hours than I want probably very soon as one of the seasonal workers plans on returning to her Summer occupation for a good three months. Even so I plan on taking my vacation the first week in May.

Speaking of May... I see that yet another increase will be put on cigarettes and other tobacco products then, on top of the one that's just recently been added. I'm sure that the increased prices will eventually cause a lot of smokers to simply quit, especially when you add in , what many have, as the current economic "situation". Personally, I think the best statement those who wish to smoke and can't afford it, IS to simply quit. If everyone quit, then the state couldn't get all of those millions of dollars in taxes from them. Tobacco companies would be forced to either stop production or lower their prices. The state wouldn't have anything to bitch about regarding health care costs from smoking. In fact, they'd probably be really hurting for money and then be forced to stop picking on tobacco users when they, in fact, still have an optional source for additional income IF they'd simply tax it more. i.e., the state lottery system. Of course, then the state would start crying over all the health costs caused from non-smokers becoming obese from substituting sugar and food for their nicotine habit. I see further taxing tobacco users as simply a scape goat for this state as well as the government at large. The United States doesn't really care if people are harmed by smoking. They still sell many millions (billions?) of dollars worth of tobacco to foreign countries every year. IF they really cared about it harming people, they'd stop doing that, but they won't. They just want to make it harder on the wallets of people here in poor economic times, and obtain even more money to further finance another senseless war somewhere. Let's face it. This government is broke. If they weren't they wouldn't be printing more and more money, which makes it worth less and less due to not having anything to physically back it up. I don't care how much gold they say's in Fort Knox, it isn't enough to cover all of the present goverment spending.

And...that's my twice a year rant for the moment.

And finally...

While out today checking on my wife's craft booth at a local misc.-type store, I found copies of Superman/Batman (DC) #'s 8 & 9, which are the firth two app.'s of the current version of Supergirl. I didn't have the #9, and the #8 was a Variant Sketch Cover Edition (which I didn't have as well).

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Post No. 619"

"I Can't Believe It's REALLY BUTTER!" Dept.: I've dug up some unusual (to say the least) "things" from my yard from time-to-time, but This not only takes the cake, but could also probably be used to bake it as well! Found several inches under the dirt, still cold, while digging up my cactus garden (which didn't survive this Winter's ice storms).

I finally got around to reading the first 12 issues of the Max-Marvel title, Supreme Power(2003), written by Brian Bendis and illustrated by Gary Frank. I was hesitant to read this series, thinking it to just be yet another of the dark tales Marvel (and DC, as well) has been putting out in the past few years, and felt it might fall into that catagory of Marvel's "The Ultimates", of which I didn't care too much about, but I must admit that I was wrong.

"Supreme Power" is, indeed, a re-telling of the origins of various Marvel characters, but these were always "sub" characters of the group rather than their main icons, so it didn't bother me. In fact, instead it well defined a group of "heroes" that for a long time now really needed the over-hauling.

The players in this series are based upon a group of super-villians that first had their roots waaayyy back in The Avengers V1 #'s 69-71, so they've been around, one way or the other now, for nearly 40 years. beginning as a group of villians created by "The Grand-Master" to battle The Avengers. Writer Roy Thomas based each of the characters on various DC Comics' heroes from "The Justice League of America" in a team called "The Squadron Sinister". It consisted, originally, of four characters: "Hyperion" (a take-off of Superman), "Nighthawk" (a take-off of Batman), "Dr. Spectrum" (who I've always assumed was a take-off of "Green Lantern"), and the other using the name of a Golden-Age Marvel hero, "The Whizzer" (The Flash).

In later issues of The Avengers we learn that The Grand-Master had produced these pseudo-villians after an actual super hero team living in a parrallel world called "The Squadron Supreme", and they appeared in this title in several issues over the years, most notably #'s 85, 86, 141-144, 147-149 & Annuals #'s 8 & 16.
They would continue to appear in other Marvel titles such as The Defenders #'s 112-115, Captain America #314, Quazar #'s 13-17, 19, 25, 28, 29, 50, 54, Avengers West Coast #97, Avengers V3 #'s 5, 6, Exiles 62-65, 77, 78, 81, Thunderbolts 46, 88, 93, 94, 96-102, 105, 106, as well as a 12 issue limited series in the mid-1980's of their own, and not forgetting various one-shots and, app.'s and limited series in more recent times, making them well-embedded into the MSU.

Brian Bendis caused these characters to be even more liken to their DC counterparts when writing the origin of "Hyperion" in the Supreme Power series, having a couple in the country discover the character as a baby in a crashed spacecraft ("lifepod") in a field, wanting to adopt it, but deciding to perhaps take it to an orphanage first to rid any ideas that they'd simply "found" the child and kept him, but this whole idea went astray when government agents, who had also arrived at the crash site, took the child instead and made him a ward of The United States.

There he was placed in a mock family of secret agents which pretended to be his actual mother and father, and was raised in a controlled enviroment until such time the government could use the child for their own purposes. With several super-abilities manifesting as the child matured, it may have been a better idea "realistically", especially when you have a baby with such powers as super-strength, "flash" vision (which he accidently incinerated a pet dog with), near invunerability and eventually, the power of wingless flight.

I, for one, could never figure out just how Ma & Pa Kent ever put up with all of the problems of raising a super-powered child as NON-super-powered parents with Superman. In fact, it reminds me of one of those old "Superbaby" tales that appeared in a DC comic in the early 1960's which told of the time before The Kents adopted him as their son, "Clark", and the infant was in an orphanage. The people who ran the orphanage had so many problems with a child of this nature (who I'm amazed didn't tear the other children from limb-to-limb) that they were HAPPY when The Kents came and wanted the child. A super-powered infant can have super intelligence as well, but intellect can only be achieved through experience, inviroment and tutoring from its parents (or some such teacher). It's a scenerio of being very smart, but not having the common sense God gave a dead goose (and I'm sure everyone knows at least one person in their lives like that). Even an adult might not be able to control God-like powers, as the saying goes, "absolute power corrupts absolutely". (DC tried to make this work a little different in modern updating of Supe's origin whereas his powers gradually appeared than having them "all at once".) But...nostalgically digressing aside...

As the child matures into a teenager he discovers his powers of flight, super-hearing, telescopic vision, etc., etc. All the time he's still kept in a controlled enviroment away from regular non-powered humans, which leads to complications of loneliness. He knows he could leave any time he wanted and there'd be no one to stop him, but he loves those he thinks to be his parents and respects their wishes. Eventually he's allowed to attend a school with non-powered teenagers, but feels like he doesn't fit it. As he finally reaches maturity, "the government" fakes his parents' deaths, making him rely more on The State as his authority figure, and brought up in the All-American Way, is very patriotic and does various things for the government without questions (like a good little soldier).

The government then allows him to leave the secured complex into a place of his own, but, naturally, they're still keeping an eye on him. They send him to investigate another unusal person which has super-speed. This character, who eventually calls himself "The Blurr", makes his powers publically known after promises of large endorcements, but after a while, decides to use his abilities for "better things".

Yet another character emerges from this, which is somewhat like a very bad "Batman". That is, he doesn't have the basic morality The Batman has, and finally an ancient princess who may supposed to be a take-off of "Wonder Woman", but reminds me more of "The Mighty Isis". She relates to Hyperion his tue origin, and she's pretty much bad-to-the-bone when it comes to believing she's one superior being.

The last of the group is "Dr. Spectrum", whose powers are on the same par of Hyperion. This being has a gem stone embedded in his hand which can shoot out energy beams as well, and I would think this is a take-off of "Green Lantern".

I've read up to #12 in this 18 issue series, luvin' every minute of it, and definately want to finish the series. (An excellant effort from Marvel Comics.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Post No. 618"

Comic Book Reviews:

In me same ol' tradition o', "If I ain't read it then it's NEW to me!" (as usual), we start out this time with Amazing Spider-man (Marvel) V2 #38 (Whole #479) from 2002, and one of the issues written by a writer that's fast became a favorite of mine on the title, J. Michael Straczynski. This issue picks up where Aunt May had come in on Peter Parker, still wearing his Spider-man costume and had the realization that her nephew had been leading quite an adventurous double-life secretly from her for many years.

This is one of the best Spider-man stories ever written, although the tale is almost exclusively the conversation between Peter and May, and one that should have been written way before 2002. And, yes, it picks at the continuity of way back when Aunt May supposingly died (in issue #400, I think), when the readers were let on to believe that she already knew Peter was Spidey, but this tale stands on its own as a classic in the "web-spinner's" saga, with many a touching moment between these two, each blaiming themselves for the death of Uncle Ben, and Peter's reasons for not telling May about his secret I.D..

John Rominta, Jr. did, as usual, a great job on the artwork and captured the facial emotions better than any artist ever on these characters. The best single comic book story I've read this year.

Shame I can't say the same for Amazing Spider-man #534 (09/2006), but that issue, still written by Straczynski, was part of "The Civil War" tie-ins, and has Spider-man deciding he's on the wrong side of the fence perhaps by revealing his true I.D. (in an earlier issue), and siding against his idol, Captain America as to which side is "right". It wasn't all that bad a tale, but I just didn't care too much for the whole CW deal. Much like DC's various "Infinite Crisis" sagas they eventually bore me a bit and just drag on and on.

Captain Marvel limited series (Marvel) #1 (01/2008) has the return of the Kree warrior, who many are giving to a Jesus complex, and really, I always liked this hero, but with so many other Marvel characters such as Bucky, Gwen Stacy, the Green Goblin and Aunt May, once gone, BE gone. Marvel always prided itself with what they termed more realistic situations in comic magazines back in the 1960's, but over the years it seems to have forgotten all of that unless they pervert these characters into non-heroic types. If ya kill 'em off, let 'em stay dead.

Civil War (Marvel) # 5 (11/2006) was actually one of the more interesting of that limited series, where Spider-man goes against Iron Man and decides to change his allegiance against the government ruling of registering all super-beings. Unfortunately he runs into a bit of trouble with both "Jack 0'Lantern" AND "The Jester" after a whoop-size battle with Iron Man, and they sort of kick his ass. He's saved by the most unlikely of the Marvel characters, which I won't say "who", but then, do ya really know anyone else that wears a big, white skull on his chest?

The Unknown Soldier (DC) #1, by Hoshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticetti was excellant. The title character is really no where to be seen save for the spirit of such perhaps in the mind of the main character, "Dr. Lwanga Moses", a humanitarian fighting to save his people of Uganda from the diseases of war, he questions his own sense of morality throughout this tale that is best read by everyone than merely reviewed.

Vertigo Double-Shot (Vertigo-DC) #1(2008) is a "flip-book" with one side the latest version of "House of Mystery", and the other half, David Lapham's "Young Liars". The HOM book was great! Done by the team of Matthew Sturges, Bill Willingham, Luca Rossi and Ross Campbell, they captured the essence of a tale that chills and disturbs one with its ending.

The other half, "Young Liars", didn't impress me that much. There's this woman with a tumor and its affecting her sense of judgement, values, sexual drive, etc., and she doesn't know how long she'll have to live, so she's sort of a wild, krazy, party-person. reminds me too much of an old girl friend (*heh*)!

The Avengers V2 #'s 4 & 5 and The Invincible Iron Man V2 #'s 2& 3 (Marvel)1996-97) were, of course, all part of the "Heroes Reborn" experiment Marvel did some 10+ years ago where four different titles were discontinued & re-vamped by various Image artists. The best part of that whole thing is that it only lasted 13 months. Some of the Marvel characters involved looked just plain awful, especially The Hulk and Thor, and I recall "liking" the books at all in the order of Iron Man, The Fantastic Four, The Avengers and lastly, Captain America.

I'm not sure just what Marvel was thinking back in those days, but their editors and or those who were in charge of making the decision to do this revamping should have had their butts kicked for such seriously bad misjudgement. Origins of the characters were all changed around, continuity was thrown out the window, and costumes were so redesigned that they hardly resembled the characters that had graced the pages of comic books previously for 35 years. In fact, the only title in this mess that showed any promise at all was indeed, Iron Man, whose change in armor I could forgive simply because Tony Stark was always inventing a new design. I'm glad today's Hulk actually LOOKS like the Hulk again, and not some combination of The Green Goliath and Fabio, and their mainstream titles are back on track again. Time will make me forget all the rest.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Marvel) #1 (2009) is just that; a truely wonderful book! Closely adapted by Eric Shanower and delightfully drawn by Skotttie Young, it breaches any generation gap in the readers where anyone of any age would enjoy it to read. I think L. Frank Baum would have been extremely happy with this adaptation of his work, the first issue of such brings the reader up to the point of Dorothy landing in Oz, meeting The Good Witch of the North, The Munchkins and The Scarecrow. (I wanna read dem all!)

Stephen King's Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born (Marvel) #4 (2007) is also a faithful adaptation of the work. I'm personally not a big fan of King's work, or even most of the film adaptations, but this comic adapted by Peter David & Robin Furth and illustrated (in a lavish "painted" style) by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove has captured King's words very well. I also recommend TDT: TGB "Guidebook" published by Marvel as well as it gives a pretty comprehensive description of the various and complex characters throught this storyline.

Wildstorm Convention Exclusive 2009 was a short comic-book-like preview given away at a comic con' which shows the different titles being published by that company this year, including "Gears of War", "Prototype", and "Resistance". I confess to not buying any of those, but I did notice WS still publishes "The Authority" (which I haven't read in a couple of years, but still interests me), as well as "Stormwatch" (one of the better old Image series).

Still lots of reviews to come as I find time to read them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Post No. 617"

Best Wishes to fellow blogger, "Johnny Bacardi" (alias, Dave Jones) who's currently trying to recover with a boute of the flu! Hope you get better soon!

At the flea market this past Sunday I found yet another person with a stack of modern comics for sale, and, as usual, I bought the entire lot dirt cheap. Lord knows how many people went into buying comics in the early 1990's, but I usually find that their interest wained after about 4-5 years, so most of what you'll see in that sort of situation are titles from companies which published between 1993-1997 (some a little earlier and some a little later).

More than the usual amount of this stack got consigned to my yard sale quarter box, keeping just a handful this time around to read or re-read.

A few of the more interesting ones included a copy of The Advs. of Superman (DC) #546(1997), from the silly experiment of changing Supes powers and splitting him into the "Superman Red-Superman Blue" characters, neither of which had his usual powers, and quite a difference in his costume design. Thank The Lord this era didn't last very long, but I did like the artwork it contained by one of my favorites, Stuart Immonen.

Aquaman (DC) #19 was when Aquie still had that trident hand and long hair, and running around with "Dolphin", who confessed she was in love with him. This issue wasn't too bad as he fought The Ocean Master, and Garth (the original "AquaBOY") returned at its conclusion.

Bloodstone (Marvel) #1 (actually a comic published in 2001) wasn't all that bad from the Marvel crew, tying up some loose ends from their old bronze-age adventure hero & monster hunter, replacing him with a female version. The painted artwork seemed to fit the story well, but the over-all app. of the comic looked more like something an alternate company would have come up with at the time.

B-Movie Presents (B-Movie Comics,1986) #2 was, I'm sure, a valiant attempt at self-publishing ones own comic book, but the creators really should have kept their money in their pockets and waited a few more years down the line as their style improved. Interesting concept, however.

Six-String Samurai (Awesome-Hyperwerks) #1 (1997) was an attempt by Rob Liefeld to adapt this cult movie where the USSR has dropped the bomb and America has fallen-back into a less technical time, and Elvis has been The King of Las Vegas for 40 years. According to the opening of this comic, "Every guitar picking sword swinging opportunist, including Death himself, hears the call echoing across the wastelands. Vegas needs a new king." I was always amazed that there wasn't a truck-load of really bad sequels made to the flick.

Starlord (Marvel) #1 (1996) is a poor shadow of the character from the 1970's, not that the script (by Tim Zahn) or the painted artwork (by Dan Lawlis) wasn't decent, but it's a title that just seems out-of-place with the rest of the Marvel U. If you like so-so written sci-fi, you might like this, but I liked the original versions better.

Strange Combat Tales (Epic-Marvel) #1 (1993) would have been more interesting had perhaps they picked a different artist than Dave Matthews, whose work seems lost amid some really bad coloring by Phil Felix. The story was fine; allied soldiers fighting dead germans turned zombies, but the art just distracted too much from the script.

Some of the other contents from this stack incldued fun issues of the Amalgam "Spider-Boy", "Bat-Thing" and "Dark Claw Adventures", which I wish DC & Marvel had continued a few more years annually.

Also there was some issues of First Comics "Grim Jack" which is always a good read.

That same morning I had several silver-age DC comics dropped off that I had purchased from a local collector, and they were real treats. The like of Showcase #37 (1962), which, of course, is the first app. & origin of "The Metal Men". The MM was a title I read all the way until it was finally cancelled, through every so-bad-it-was-good story, even through the time they were all turned into humans rather than robots, and into the 1970's when Walt Simonson took over the title shortly.

Then there was the first five silver-age app.'s of "Zatanna", starting with a copy of Hawkman #4 (1964), progressing onto copies of The Atom #19, Green Lantern 42, Justice League 51, and Detective Comics #355, all of which are classics from the 1960's featuring some wonderful artwork the like of Murphy Anderson, Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky and Carmine Infantino, and wonderful writing by Gardner Fox among others. It's sort'a neat to see how that character progressed, especially her hair style which started out rather curly, then went "wavy". (You just gotta luv dem fishnets!) Never did like the way she was later depicted in the new costume even with the artwork of Gray Morrow in the special on her. Just took too much of the charm away from those early tales.

In today's mail... was about 50 misc. modern comics, mostly Marvel, including such things as Amazing Spider-man 534 & v2 #38, Fantastic Four #'s 531, 536 & 537, and Thor V3 #6 (all written by Straczynski), Captain Marvel Limited series (2008) #1, Civil War #5. Invincible Iron Man #2 (Warren Ellis), New Avengers 2 thru 12, 16, 17 & 19 (all by Bendis), Secret War L.S. 1-5, Supreme Power 1 thru 12, Ultimate war #1, Wildcats V2 (Wildstorm) #1 (Morrison, Jim Lee & Scott Williams), and 4 misc. issues of V2 each of Iron Man & The Avengers. Plus a friend of mine that went to the NYC Convention recently sent me a package of freebies: comics, posters, cards, etc., so lots'a good reading and reviews ahead.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

"Post No. 616"

Went by the local flea market yesterday during my lunch break and saw some comics in one cardboard box on the ground. The seller first said everything in the box was a dollar each, but then said the comics were 2 for a dollar. Notice there was several and asked how much for everything and got a lot of 40+ comics and magazines for $6.

Obviously he bought them during the time that "the death of Superman" got some folks back into comic book interest, and after pulling at least 10 books from this stack to consign to my yard sale quarter box, I still ended up with approx. 30 comics and 3 MAD Magazines from the 1990's.

Now, the 1990's had some interesting titles published. Unfortunately it also had some of the worst stuff imaginable by both DC and Marvel. DC glutted the market with everything they could with Supes, and Marvel flooded it with Wolverine, Punisher, Ghost Rider and X-Men crap that it was hard to really find anything decent to read back then. But this stack did show just a little of the highlights.

Within this stack was copies of DC's Impulse #'s 1 & 2, an enjoyable character now "dead" in the DCU after taking up the mantle of The Flash for a while. These issues were written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Numberto Ramos. Even though this series didn't last too long I wouldn't mind having some other issues in the run since they're sort'a fun. (Geez! There were actually 90 of those things published?! Unreal.)

There was a copy of Batman #528, illustrated by Kelly Jones, whose work I like on everything "but" Bats. I never did like the way Jones did those way too long and ponted ears on the cowl. But I'll admit I did like some of the covers he did for that character along the time of Bats getting his back broken.

Several early issues of the Image Jeff Smith Bone, which are always a good read, and two Bongo comics: Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Terror #1 containing stories by Mike Allred and Jeff Smith, and my pick of the lot; a copy of The Radioactive Man 80 Pg. Colossal #1, which had a great parody of "Grodd the Super-Gorilla, Detective Chimp, Congo Bill", etc. (illustrated I think by Scott Shaw).

There was a Hulk 405, by Peter David and Gary Frank, from that horrendous time when we had a handsome Hulk, and even a Beavis and Butt-head #14 with a slight "Beatles mention" that I listed over on the "you-know-what" site. Haven't read the MAD Mags yet, but I expect the usual silliness from those.

I did also get in that set of those first 10 color editions of the 1984-85 Eclipse Comics' Zot! and re-read those, which are still as fresh and great as I remembered them from now 23 years past.

Went back down to the market today but all I found was one of those 1985 Marvel "Bendies". This time I found Spider-man, which stands along with others of Wolverine and Captain America on my shelf (I think I only need one of The Hulk to complete a set of those, actually).

Yes, the 1990's were certainly not the most inspired time of comics to me. What with "The Death of Superman", the Batman/Bane thingy and the Spider-man clone series, topped off with all of those Marvel "Heroes Reborn" titles and just a ton of one shot titles that I can't say I cared for 90% of, but as with every decade it gave us a little light in the way of comic book entertainment.

And today after taking my mom to do a few errands I came back and dug up the weeds from her garden, getting that ready for Spring. Already her tulips and lilies are beginning to sprout and bloom. Killed me a nice, big, female Black Widow spider while I was at it ("regular" spiders, Da! Black Widows and "Fiddlers", Nyet!).

Thursday, March 05, 2009

"Post No. 615"

No reason especially for the above cover of Marvel's Doctor Strange #49 save that I always thought it was one of the late Marshall Roger's finest efforts, truely showing a sorcerer supreme.

That copy of Mad About Millie Annual (Marvel) #1 (1971) came in, and surprize, surprize! It has a Beatles mention in one panel, which makes it a new listing for my "Beatles & Bizarros" blog (link to the right).

Went down to mom's on my day off, determined to finally get those old clothesline posts cut down enough that I could mow over those spots starting this Spring (rather than mow around them). After a few hours work I finally got that accomplished but not before I had to use two different circular saws, a gas powered chain saw, an electric-powered chain saw, two different pry bars and a sturdy machinist's hammer! What a job, but now, finally done. The posts were a good 5-6 inches thick and sunk in concrete right up to the top of the hole. A tornado wouldn't have moved them had it hit on them directly! I saved those posts, of course, to use someday as a couple of corner supports for a proposed deck I want to add onto the back of my house.

Had a lovely day to do it, weather-wise, with temperatures right up there in the 50's. Sure hope that's finally a sign that Spring's right around the corner. (And yes, I expect we'll get a LOT of rain just like we have in previous years).

Other things...our dining room light went out again. Some time back we had lights in both the dining room and bathroom. They were old fixtures so we had a guy come over and we went out and bought new fixtures to replace those. Unfortunately, my wife bought exactly the type that i didn't want; ones with special-type light bulbs rather than regular ones. So I didn't know if both of the bulbs in the dining room fixture had gone bad, or if the fixture (or wiring) is bad in there. Fortunately, it was just the bulbs that i found much easier than I figured at the next door Family Dollar Store. (Always sumthin'.)

Checked the confirmation code and it looks that that set of Eclipse Comics Zot! 1-10 (1984-85) will be here soon, as well as that lot of approx. 50 modern comics (mostly Marvel). I've made a deal with a local collector as well for several Silver-Age DC comics which feature early appearances of the character, "Zatanna", including her first app. in Hawkman #4 (1964). Another book in that lot is a "good" condition copy of Showcase #37(1962) which is, of course, the first app. and origin of "The Metal Men".

The Metal Men were always a favorite I read as a kid, and I really wish I hadn't let go of a full run (including all of the Showcase app.'s) the last time I sold a major collection (circa 1996). (Alas..."hindsight", et all.)

And now for something completely different.


For those of you who live in Kentucky you might find this
interesting. And for those of you who don't, YOU might also find this

Today's history lesson:
* The bloodiest civil war battle was fought in
Perryville , Kentucky .

*The first town in the United States to be named for the first president
was Washington , Ky. It was named in 1780.

*1792 -
Kentucky was the first state on the western frontier to join the

*In the War of 1812 more than half of all Americans killed in
action were Kentuckians.

*1816 - (first promoted) Mammoth Cave , with 336+ miles of mapped
passages, is the world's longest cave. It is 379 feet deep and
contains at least 5 levels of passages. It's second only to Niagara Falls
as the most popular tourist attraction in the US . It became a National
Park on July 1, 1941.

*The first American performance of a Beethoven symphony was in
Lexington in 1817.

*Begun in 1819 the first commercial oil well was on the
Cumberland River in McCreary County .

* Kentucky is the state where both Abraham Lincoln, President of
the Union , and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, were
born. They were born less than one hundred miles and one year apart.

*1856 - The first enamel bathtub was made in Louisville.

*In 1873, Louisville druggist John Colgan invented something that
you can find in any just about every grocery store in the world, chewing

*1883 - The first electric light bulb was shown in Louisville .
Thomas Alva Edison introduced his invention to crowds at the Southern

*1887 - Mother's Day was first observed in Henderson by teacher
Mary S. Wilson . It became a national holiday in 1916.

*The radio was invented by a Kentuckian named Nathan B.
Stubblefield of Murray in 1892. It was three years before Marconi made his claim
to the invention.

* Pike County the world's largest producer of coal is famous for
the Hatfield-McCoy feud, an Appalachian vendetta that lasted from the
Civil War to the 1890s.

*1893 - 'Happy Birthday to You', probably the most sung song in the
world, was written by two Louisville sisters - Mildred and Patricia Hill.

*Late 19th century - Bibb lettuce was first cultivated by Jack Bibb
in Frankfort , Kentucky.

*1896 - The first (known) set of all male quintuplets was born in
Paducah .

*Carrie Nation the spokesperson against rum, tobacco, pornography,
and corsets was born near Lancaster in Garrard County.

1926 - A Hot Brown is a hot sandwich originally created at the
Brown Hotel in Louisville , Kentucky , by Fred K. Schmidt.

*.1934 - Cheeseburgers were first tasted at Kaelin's Restaurant in
Louisville .

*1937 - The first Wigwam Village Motel, with units in the shape of
a 'teepee', was built by Frank A. Redford in Cave City .

The "Old Fashion" drink was created in Louisville KY.

*The world's largest baseball bat, a full one hundred twenty (120)
feet tall and weighing 68,000 pounds, can be seen at the Louisville
Slugger Museum in Louisville (Jefferson Co.).

*Chevrolet Corvettes are manufactured only in Bowling Green .

* Covington (St. Mary's Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption) is
home to the world's largest hand blown stained glass window in existence. It
measures an astounding 24 feet by 67 feet and contains 117 different

*The world's largest crucifix, standing at sixty feet
tall, is in Bardstown (Nelson Co.).

* Fort Knox holds more than $6 billion worth of gold - the
largest amount stored anywhere in the world.

*The JIF plant in Lexington is the world's largest peanut
butter producing facility.

* Kentucky has more resort parks than any other state in the

*Middlesboro is the only United States city built inside a meteor

* Newport is home to The World Peace Bell, the world's largest
20free-swinging bell.

*Pikeville annually leads the nation (per capita) in consumption of

*Post-It Notes are made exclusively in Cynthiana , Ky.

* Shaker Village ( Pleasant Hill ) is the largest historic
community of its kind in the U.S.

* Christian County is 'wet', while Bourbon County is 'dry'.
('wet 'sells liquor; 'dry' does not).

* Barren County has the most fertile land in the state.

* Lake Cumberland has more miles of shoreline than the state of

* Kentucky is best known for its beautiful blue grass.

* Cumberland is the only waterfall in the world to regularly
display a Moonbow. It is located just southwest of Corbin.

*Thunder Over Louisville is the opening ceremony for the Kentucky
Derby Festival and is the world's largest fireworks display.

*The only monument south of the Ohio River dedicated to Union Soldiers
who died in the Civil War is located in Vanceburg.

* High Bridge located near Nicholasville is the highest railroad
bridge over navigable water in the United States .

*The Lost River Cave and Valley Bowling Green includes a cave with
the shortest and deepest underground river in the world. It contains
the largest cave opening east of the Mississippi.

*The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in
the country. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville on the first
Saturday in May.

* Kentucky is the horse capitol of the world.

*Mohammed Ali, The Greatest and most recognized face in the world
was born in Louisville , KY.

*There are only three things that matter in the state of Kentucky:
(to some people) Bourbon, Basketball, and Horseracing.

And, finally...

We went and had our taxes done today. Actually having to pay in a little this year to the state, but getting more than usual back on federal, so I guess it all evens out.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

"Post No. 614"

A belated birthday to my dear wife of 20+ years, Deborah Ann Puckett, who I won't say "how old" she turned , but her birthday was yesterday on the 2nd.

Been one of those busy days off, what with taking my mom on a number of errands such as paying her house insurance, making a bank deposit, picking up her medicine, taking her to the doctor, going and getting both her and my weekly groceries. I started around 9 AM and got back home close to 1 PM.

At the pharmacy I did find two more J.T. Chick tracts I didn't have, which brings my collection of such to 90 or so counting the variations of printings and foreign editions.

Books in the Mail: Got in a copy of the 1985 DC Graphic Novel #4 (Jack Kirby's, "The Hunger Dogs"), which now completes my bronze collection of his "4th. World" stuff. This latter reindition of his 1970's characters lacked quite a bit of the magic he injected into the original New Gods, especially for something he wanted to do to tie up any loose ends.

Kirby's main objective being to finish the "Darkseid" tale as he originally plotted it. Other writers had already taken up this effort, of course, in particular, Gerry Conway, and in fact the rest of the original run of both the New Gods as well as "Mister Miracle" had been continued several issues after Kirby left (minus a couple of years of non-publishing) and been discontinued a second time before "Hunger Dogs" appeared, and there was even a couple of issues of Adventure Comics with such a storyline, plus an issue of lst. Issue Special.

(So one had to "pretend" that all of this post Kirby material didn't exist in any of the characters' continuity.)

As a graphic novel, and for the time period in which it was published, it's okay, but far from the fine craftsmanship we usually associate wih "the king of comics".

Weird Mystery Tales (DC) #3 (1972) proved a little more interesting in the way of Kirby's work, although it only contained one of his 10 page stories. Once again it's hosted by "Dr. Maas" and deals with the phenomenon of stontanious combustion, relating actual case histories.

One thing you may not know is that the material of Kirby's presented in WMT 1-3 was originally slated for publication in his Spirit World magazine (but that only lasted a single issue), so the style of his artwork's a bit "different-looking" from that done for a regular comic book (probably due to the reduction of the original page size).

The rest of the issue is pretty much just crap, save for maybe some efforts of the third story ( a reprint from House of Mystery #85 ).

Shazam!(DC) #1 (1973) was, of course, the reintroduction of the original Golden-Age Fawcett Publication's "Captain Marvel", ironically reinstated into comicdom by those responcible for his demise due to a 13 year lawsuit DC had against the character claiming he was too much like "Superman".

Several interesting tidbits about this issue.

The cover, for one thing, which has Supes introducing "the big red cheese" to a whole new generation of readers. The artwork: the wonderous C.C. beck (C.M.'s ONLY great artist). A Denny O'Neil script.

Although I personally was already pretty familiar with the Fawcett heroes by 1973, it still brought back that nice feeling re-reading this comic, one that thrilled me to see on the comic rack, now, 37 years ago.

I bought a LOT of comics off a spin-rack at our local Ben Franklin 5 & Dime and this was one of them. (Wish I still had that old spin rack as I bought that one when the store closed circas 1980, and then discarded it all save the tins when I had to move some years later).

Compared to comic books of today, well...there isn't any comparison. Nothing today is as naive as it still (somewhat) was in 1973 in "the comic book world", and a comic such as this would in today's market only survive as a novelty title, I'm afraid.

But it would be nice if such a comic could survive.

Books Not in Yet: include a Mad About Millie Special #1 (Marvel/1971), which for some odd reason I thought to be a Silver-Age, square-bound Giant when indeed it appeared a good two years after that.

Also in soon I hope is a run of those first 10 issues of Eclipse's Zot!, which are a great read. And finally, about 50 misc. modern comics (mostly Marvels).

Oh yeah. I've posted a new piece of artwork over there on "My Unpublished Work" link. As usual, scroll down to the bottom of the artwork and click that little red arrow that'll "pop up" to make it larger.