Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Post No. 665"


Going back through my inventory lists of my comic book collections I've found the following to be added to the previous post of comics for which I'm searching for the covers (ONLY). As before, I have nice photocopy cover on some of these, but prefer originals, so please go through those "junk" comics you have lying around and check them for me please. And, as before, I don't expect to get them for free; I'll pay a reasonable price for any I need (Thanks!)

Batman (DC) #142, September, 1961

Detective Comics (DC) #285, November, 1960

Detective Comics (DC) #305, July, 1962

The Flash (DC) #135, March, 1962

Mystery in Space (DC) #57, February, 1960

Mystery in Space (DC) #81, February, 1963

Metal Men (DC)#2, June-July, 1963

My Greatest Adventure (DC)#72, October, 1962

Nancy and Sluggo (Dell) #184, Sept.-Oct., 1961

Rip Hunter… Time Master #4 (DC), Sept.-Oct., 1963

Challengers of the Unknown (DC)#19, April-May, 1961

Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories (Dell) Vol. 20, No. 7, April, 1960

Getting right along now to other things...

I just realized that my next post will be the ominous #666! (brrrr!) So I guess I outta have some sort of approproiate "theme" for that one. Shame it's not closer to Halloween (since that'd worked out well).

I've had the past two days off from work and have been attempting to get things caught up around here again. Finished mowing my yard and my mom's yards yesterday, cleaned up the yard where the city had picked up and mulched yet another huge pile of brush I'd extracted from that large mound of such from the back yard, and I worked on that as well a while yesterday. Got some comics listed on eBay for sale (click onto the "My Auctions" link to the right if you're some inclined to check those out), got a much needed haircut, and actually slept in both days so I got a little extra rest.

Monday I was pretty sick with something like the flu or a virus and liked to never made it through the entire day at work, but the work I did around here helped sweat that out and, I wouldn't say I'm back in the "pink" of health now, but certainly feeling a whole lot better. My neighbor had it as well, and our local schools are let out from so many students missing from the flu that they won't go back into session until after Fall Break next week.

Re-watched the "Iron Man" flick yesterday. Personally I think that's the best Marvel movie that's been made so far. Everything in it just seems to mesh together well, the IM suit looks good, the actors were well chosen, and the story and special effects were top-notch. Would love to see a follow-up, but I hope next time they don't have IM fighting an armored villian. Myself, I'd like to see one where he battles "The Mandrian", but I think the whole thing is supposed to link into the upcoming "The Avengers" flick" (which I've heard now has been pushed on into either 2011 or 2012). Marvel's linking these flicks together decently with the Stark app. in "Incredible Hulk", and his mentioning he was putting together a team, so we'll just have to all wait to see where that leads.

As usual, I'm broke this week, which figures as my local (I say "local", but it's actually a good 35+ miles from here) comic book shop is having a 50% off back issue sale until Oct. 4th., alas. Haven't been there in over a year now. This year has hit us a little rough what with my wife getting laid off from her job, then those bastards at the employment services maing us pay back over $1,200. which should never have happened. Slowly though, we're recovering from that mess with debbie getting the part-time (25+ hours a week) job and us getting our gas line problems fixed.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Post No. 664"

I'm on a quest for a number of original covers I need to complete various comic books in my collections. Some of these I already have nice photocopies for, but I'd really prefer to find the originals (there's also a few centerfolds I've listed as well). I don't expect to get them for free; I'll pay any reasonable price for these as long as they're complete and in at least "Good" shape. So look through your junk comics and just maybe you'll be able to help me out. (Thanks!)

Adventure Comics (DC) 88, 221, 229

Adventures of Bob Hope, The (DC) 1

Amazing Adult Fantasy (Marvel) 12, 14

Amazing Spider-man V1 (Marvel) 65

Atom V1, The (DC) 18

Avengers V1, The (Marvel) 7

Batman (DC) 121 (Also need first fold)

Beatles Life Story, The (Dell) 1

Blackhawk (DC) 167

Blue Beetle V1 (Charlton/1964) 1

Brave & the Bold, The (DC) 34

Bunny (Harvey) 4, 10

Captain America (Marvel) 107

Captain America Comics (Timely) 46 (Also need centerfold)

Classics Illustrated (Gilberton) 46 (1st.Print. ONLY)

Daredevil (Marvel) 39, 76

Doctor Solar Man of the Atom (Gold Key) 1, 3

Fantastic Four V1, The (marvel) 26

Fawcett Movie Comics (Fawcett) V3 #15 (also need centerfold)

Flash V1, The (DC) 145

Green Hornet (Harvey) 33 (Also need centerfold)

Harvey Hits (Harvey) 60

Haunted (Charlton) 1

House of Secrets (DC) 67

Jet Dream (Gold Key) 1

Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Pal (DC) 47

Journey Into Mystery (Marvel) 83, 85 (also need first fold)

Justice League of America V1 (DC) 9

Marvel Family, The (Fawcett) 16

Our Fighting Forces (DC) 76

Rip Hunter...Time Master (DC) 1

Roy Rogers Comics (Dell) 5

Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandoes (Marvel) 19

Shock Suspenstories (E.C.) 16 (Need centerfold ONLY)

Silver Surfer V1, The (Marvel) 1

Spirit, The (Quality/1st. Series "nn"/"Wanted Dead or Alive")

Strange Tales Annual (Marvel) 1 (also need last page)

Sugar & Spike (DC) 75, 83

Superboy V1 (DC) 37

Supergirl V1 (DC) 1

Supergoof (Gold Key) 52

Tales of Suspense (Marvel) 46 (Need centerfold ONLY)

Tales to Astonish (Marvel/Need BACK covers ONLY for #'s 35, 36, 38)

Thor (Marvel) 170, 171

Walt Disney's Comics & Stories (Dell) 11

World's Finest (DC) 143

X-Men V1, the Uncanny (Marvel/1963 Series) 87

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Post No. 663"

The above photo was posted with my good old friend, Johnny Bacardi (aka: David Jones) in mind as he does a segment on his blog posts from time-to-time called "Confessions of a Spinner Rack Junkie" and uses a "Hey Kids! Comics!"" photo from an old comic book spinner rack.

The above tins from such should prove nostalgic to him as they are the actual ones from the racks from the old Ben Franklin 5 & Dime Store we used to have in our home town that, not only Johnny and I bought many a comic off of, but I'm sure a lot more kids and adults.

The top tins are the complete set off of the one that sat in that store in the early to late1970's, and the bottom one is one of two sections which covered the sides of top of the Gold Key rack. I'm not sure what the date is of the top one, but the GK one first appeared in the store in late 1962 when that company began. (The "regular" rack contained D.C.Comics).

And today is the second of two days I had off in a row this week. Got a few things accomplished such as mowing both mine and my mother's yard again (Ghod, will the grass EVER stop growing this year???), weed-eating around her sidewalks and trimming her hedges, repairing her sidewalks with Quik-Crete as well as some bricks I had to loosen on mine last week when we ran the new gas line, hauling yet another large stack of brush up to the street for the city to mulch up, taking mom to the doctor today and around for a few chores she needed, and...myriad other things.

Seems like I missed at least one Charlton Comic that has a "Tales of the Mysterious Traveler" reprint and have since added it to my Want List, which is Ghost Manor #55. Looks like that issue is nearly ALL such Ditko reprints from that 1950's title.

Was digging around in some "stuff" I had recently and came across the 10 issue small press editions of The Mundane Adventures of DISHMAN, written/drawn/published by Canadian writer/artist John MacLoud from 1985-1990. Thought I still had a copy of the 1988 Eclipse Comics Dishman #1 as well, but that's "disapeared" over the years (so, if anyone has a copy they wanna sell me "cheap", let me know). Always really enjoyed that title. The Eclipse issue reprints the cover of the first one plus the interiors to (I think) issues 1 thru 3. (And if anyone knows what John's been doing since then, let me know as I'd be really interested.)

Not sure if I mentioned that I was recently able to pick up the first eight Archive editions of Will Eisner's "The Spirit" for a song (like, 25% of the cover price). The Volumes 5 thru 8, in fact, still had their shrink-wrap on them. Lotta good reading there. The last time I checked there was something like 26 volumes of those archives, the last one reprinting the two1960's Harvey Comics. Don't know if I'll ever attempt to complete such a set, but these give me the Sunday sections of the character from 1940-1944, or something like approx. the first 200 Sundays. Some, of course, are Lou Fine (since Eisner served in the Armed Forces in WWII).

Getting back to small press publications for a moment here, you may recall that back in 1985-1987 I published an annual porfolio of small press artists called Upperground. Over a three year period those issues contained the work of over 50 different SP artists (as well as a few pros). Well, oddly enough, it seems that they've become a little collectable now that they're in the 20+ age and I've ended up selling individual issues from my file copies several times. So much so, in fact, that I've made more off of those in the past couple of years than it cost to publish the first issue! Few people know that I hand-collated and hand-stapled and individually signed and numbered every copy of that (a 500 print run), just to save money back then. (As a matter of fact, I've got one of them up on my current auctions if you care to click on the link in the column to the right.) No extra copies of No.'s 2 or 3, though, as they weren't photo-offset or magazine-size, but photocopy and digest sized editions (which had smaller print runs are are much scarcer. I only have one of two each of those in my own files.) The cover to the second issue got me a little publicity when the cover of it was printed in Renegade Press's Ms.Tree's Rock N Roll Special (back in the 1980's), as it has an illustration of "Ms. Tree" by Gary Kato on its front cover.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Post No. 662"

DITKO - The Evolution of A Man With A Hat

Artist Steve Ditko was a child of the 1930s and '40's. It was an era of well-dressed people, especially in city locations as I presume it was in such an enviroment where he grew up.

In those days, men wouldn't be caught dead without a hat of some sort. Mostly worn were fedoras, with fairly wide brims, and, into the 1950s and '60's, a narrower type brim. Men wore nice suits, and ties, and the average man attempted to try to appear nice and neatly dressed. It was the same type of attitude women of the time had, who wouldn't leave the house without makeup, & earrings. For one to wear something like jeans indicated they were poor. Women almost never wore such items of clothing save for some of the teenage hipster crowd.

And thus, such clothing styles highly influnced the way Steve Ditko always drew his people. When he first started drawing male type starring characters in comic books, it reflected these clothing styles, and I would say that also, he was probably influnced as well by various newspaper heroes. One that comes to mind in particular would be Will Eisner's "The Spirit", with his own wide-brimmed fedora, red tie and suit.

So probably Ditko's earliest such characters to look as this were "The Mysterious Traveler" (who appeared in his own title) and "The Green Man" (who appeared in a title called This Magazine Is Haunted.

Both characters were well-dressed with their brimmed hats, dressy-type coats and the like. Their attire set the stage for other Ditko male characters to come.

And circa 1964-1965 we ran into several characters dressed in similiar attire in the pages of The Amazing Spider-man, such as "The Big Man" and "The Crime-Master".

In fact, The Crime-Master most resembles such characters as "Mr. A" and "The Question" (although he was a villian) in the style of suit, mask and gloves.

Who was the next to appear is sort of fuzzy, as BOTH "Mr. A" AND "The Question" first appeared in 1967.

Mr. A first showed in in Bill Pearson/Wally Wood's art/fanzine, Witzend (No.3), and The Question in the first issue of the revamped Blue Beetle title (published by Charlton).

Opinion has it that Mr. A is/was Steve Ditko wanted The Question to "be", but it just wouldn't fit into that time's Comics Code Authority guidelines. Probably, Mr. A was created first, and The Question was his answer to mainstream comics.

Both characters looked very similiar in the way of suit, shorter-brimmed hats, masks covering their faces, gloves, ties, and both had "calling cards" they'd give to their foes. With Mr. A it was the half black/half white one, and with The Question it was a blank cards on which a question mark would magically appear (something to do with a chemical reaction to oxygen, I'm sure).

This suited-man appearance continued with the secret I.D. of Ditko's "The Creeper", as well as many other characters appearing in the various Charlton horror stories Ditko produced in the late 1960s and into the early 1980's, and eventually be the template for Rorschach in the Watchmen series..

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Post No. 661"

Things may be finally looking on the "UP" side for us now.

Yesterday we got our new gas lines laid and the water heater hooked up. In fact, ALL of the new gas lines are now inside of the house, just awaiting next week or so when the plumber will be reattaching the heaters.

I also got the lines recovered with soil and that mess looking a lot better, the lines primed and painted with rust-proof white paint and braces for those attached, and the man from the local gas company came by this morning and inspected same and turned back on the gas, so now, no more heating up water on the electric stove for bathwater. Tonight I'll finally get my first good, hot bath without a all of that hassle in two months.

In other good news, my wife has found a part-time job (25+ hours a week) and begins this coming Sunday. It's min. wage, of course, but every penny will help. The past couple of months have been rough on us, but it appears that just maybe we've gone around the bad karma loop and back in a better direction for a while.

I'm still working on that large brush pile and have gotten it in my head now to make a path right through the middle of it to undermine some of the items that are too stuck for me to manually remove. I've been able to chop up all of the treated wood and such into very small pieces and bag those up for removal in the garbage pickup, as well as cut a couple of large sections of old carpet that was in this mess into strips, roll those up and bag them and get shed of those the same way. I've seperated out still four piles: large logs that need to be cut up, treated lumber, bricks and concrete blocks, and metal. There's a couple of pieces of large metal roofing that, IF I can flatten them out, I plan to recycle by attaching them with nails and/or screws to the bottom side section of my old garage where it needs repair, then repainting those.

The neighbor is taking any bricks and plans to build a BBQ from them, and I confiscated the concrete blocks since I'm always needing them for something. I was also able to get a few pieces of items from that I can actually re-use, and I've contacted someone that heats with wood in the Winter to come cut up what wood he can get from the logs to burn. The rest of the metal and treated lumber we'll probably just have to haul off to the dump, or, as I considered, I may just dig a large hole in the far back of the lot and bury that in the area in which I want to redistribute all of the extra dirt.

Coming Next: "DITKO - The Evolution of A Man With A Hat".

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"Post No. 660"

I'm getting a little closer all the time to finally having full sets of anything DC & Marvel published in the Silver-Age as 25 cent Giants. A copy of The Silver Surfer V1 (Marvel) #2 (1968) has come in, leaving me with only a number 4 & 6 having those. The only others I still need are Millie Annual (Marvel) 1 (1962), Strange Tales Annual (Marvel) #2 (1963) and Rudolph Annual (DC) "no number" (1962), so that's just 5 total. Considering there was something like 200 of these total from both companies, I think I've done pretty well.

A friend of mine (that could really use the cash) is selling his entire set of the Kirby 4th. World stuff from DC (early 1970's). I already have all of these, but for those who would like a full set at one time, Here is a link to his auction. The guy doesn't have a digital camera to post a photo, but I've personally seen these books and can vouch for them to all be there and in the conditions he lists, and he even has a copy of The Hunger Dogs graphic novel in the lot.

I'm down now to just two of those 6 issues I was looking for with Charlton 1950's Ditko reprints of either "The Green Man" or "Tales of The Mysterious Traveler". Still needed are copies of Scary Tales 39, and Tales of the Mysterious Traveler #15.

That huge pile of brush, junk, logs, treated scrap wood, dirt, (etc.) is starting to look much smaller these days since I've drug out two huge piles to the edge of the street for them to pick up, plus seperated a couple of piles of usuable firewood, and a pile of garbage from it. My neighbor and I have been working on it a little at a time so we can get down to just the soil there and spread that out over the back yards. Of course, we'll either have to haul off the garbage from it to the dump, or, perhaps (as I considered), digging a large hole ourselves and burying it back there.

I've currently been trying to just seperate the vines from the wood that the city will haul off, which is a considerable pile in itself. I'm thinking about stacking that at the sidewalk in a seperate pile and seeing if the city will haul/mulch that up as well as trimmings (which is allowed). A LOT of stuff in this pile is small enough that I can cram it into garbage bags and put it in the trash pickup. I may be able to chop some of the treated wood into small enough pieces to get rid of that, that way, too.

The "pile" started out at least 12 foot tall, and 25 foot around, and that's down now to maybe 4 or 5 foot tall and 18-20 foot around, and there's probably a ton (literally) of just dirt in that which can be spread across the backyard, or perhaps I can use in some of the low spots on my own yard as filler.
Another project I have for cooler weather is to get into my side shed where I store all my tools and clean that thing out again. It's getting where I can't get around in it again. much to do.

Closing Thoughts... read today that Warner's changing DC Comics to DC Entertainment. Hoo-boy. First Marvel's bought out by Disney and now the change at DC. Whatever happened to comic companies that had "fan" appeal??

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

"Post No. 659"

Life can be just filled with all sorts of "things" to make it interesting.

As I've stated before. my wife lost her job back in May when the place suddenly went out of business, giving her about 5 minutes warning that she was going to be unemployed. She'd worked there for six years.

She filed for unemployment benefits and received them for several weeks, then found a job (for less pay) at a local gas/grocery place. After a week of continuous sexual harrassment, her boss spying on her from his home pc, and other harrassment, etc., she had enough of that and quit. The next time she had to call in about her benefits she stated she had done so. The "head office" got a report that she left because of lack of work due to a blundering imbecile at the employment office. Never the less, the fault was all laid on her instead and she got a letter stating that she'd quit for "no good cause" and had to pay back benefits totalling $1,056.00. She appealed; the guy at the gas/grocery store lied out-the-a$$ (of course), and the decision went against her. She could re-appeal, but what good does it do? The Dept. for Social Services sides 99% with the employers. It'd just be a waste of time.

That same department never checked to see "why" a half a dozen employees before her had also quit. They never do. They never look at the history of the employer. They always think the employer's word is the Word of God. In the meantime, my taxes are paying to keep that government employee in their cushy job, sitting behind some desk making life altering decisions while taking their 400th. coffee break of the day and thinking of the people who come to them in distress only as a number, rather than someone who's been treated unfairly. They're some of the most over-paid for what they do people in the world.

If this sounds like a vendetta against those employees, you're right. I've seen this happen to people who were laid off without any reason being turned down for their paid in benefits in these counties many a time. The employees at said offices act as if it's their money, and not taken from the pay checks each week by hard working, honest individuals. In the meantime, over a hundred dollars is taken out of my check every week for taxes to support these lunes, as well as the hundreds of thousands of able-bodied people who don't want to work, but sponge off "the system" claiming false disabilities and popping out children like machine gun bullets to get free food, health care and housing.

If Obama wants to "change" something, let him change that.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

"Post No. 658"

With this being the 20th. Anniversary of the first serious Batman movie, I've decided to continue with my opinions of the four films prior to those starring Christian Bale.

This time I want to discuss Batman Returns, the second with Michael Keaton in the role (and his last as "Batman"), released in 1992 three years after the first.

One of my objections to the way Batman was protrayed in this flick (produced again by Tim Burton) was that the thing we've always been preached to in DC Comics;The Batman does not kill! In this film he kills at least two villians. One time he even burns a villian to death with the exhaust flames from the batmobile.

Secondly, although this movie was only 126 minutes in length, there was several draggy parts making it seem like four hours. Batman's a dark character, natch, but this is more than just "dark"; it borders on grossness. Blackish blood flowing from The Penquin's mouth, Danny DeVito in a "fat suit" (not that he's the thinnest actor around as it is) and him walking around in his underwear for half of this movie. I didn't put down an admission fee to the film to see DeVito's butt cheeks for 45 minutes of it, Mr. Burton, and this isn't one of your corpse flicks. It's a comic book hero, so please no more tries at such. Just stick with your animated films in which you excell. Had you learned a lesson from your excellant effort producing the previous Batman movie, this would have ended up being a much better production.

Which brings us around to Mr. DeVito's performance. Well...he had a script and followed it and acted like some sort of deranged mutant. It's not his fault. It's the fault of the one who wrote The Penquin "this way' in the script. Obviously they had never read a story in a Batman comic book title which featured "the bumbershoot villian".

The Penquin, if nothing else, always had class. He dressed very well (as did all of the villians created by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson) with a cut-away jacket, spats, dress pants and polished shoes and a topper. It was The Penquin's trademark appearance. Here he looks very sloppy...nasty, even. He may have liked sardines but he wouldn't be mesmerized by a raw fish and devour it like some beast. And The Penquin always kept his hair neat and short, combed back and not that straggly long mess. Someone needs to fire anyone remotely connected to the make-up department on him in this movie that created such a look. No. I didn't care for this version or "alternated vision" of The Penquin at all.

So let's move on to "The Catwoman". She's NOT a blonde. Movies such as these try to rely on "big name stars" to carry the film. Instead they need to rely on accurate use of original source material and at least try to remain true to basic concepts. On the other hand, I thought Michelle Pfiffer's acting was "okay". A bit overdone at times perhaps, but she portrayed The Catwoman much better than DeVito did as The Penquin.

And...some of the things I DID like.

Keaton did a satisfying job as The Batman again; shame he didn't do a third one in the series. I was pretty surprized when he pulled off a believable "Bruce Wayne" as I was very disapointed when I first heard back in '89 that he had the role. I mean, this was the same guy that portrayed "Beetlejuice", which was a fun film, but as The Dark Knight??? Common! Frankly he surprized the crap outta me to my delight.

Something else that I liked was that he showed me one thing in the film that The Batman is, foremost, a detective. His being a detective is part of his original history and I do applaude that being shown.

Another thing---"the batmobile", which looked much better in this film that that stretch limo version used previously that looked impossible to even turn around. This time it was smaller with those neat twin fins, and over-all, just looked much better.

The only other thing I DIDN'T like about this flick was that everyone always seems to find out Batman's secret I.D.. In the first flick it's Vicki Vale, in this one it's The Catwoman and Chris Walken's villian character, and later on in other films it's Dick Grayson, The Riddler, Two-Face, etc., etc. (enuff, already).

I actually went to see this movie when it first came to the theatre some odd 17 years ago because I had really liked the first one, but this one let me down.


It was world's better than the next two made after it.

In closing comments regarding The Batman movies, I feel that no one has yet made a decent adaptation of "the caped crusader"; not even the two most recent efforts. DC/Warner/"whoever", needs to start from scratch with actors that really look their parts and have taken a good, long study of the material on hand before they do another one.

And, finally.... I want to comment on the news that Disney productions has purchased Marvel Entertainment.

Personally I feel that Disney purchasing Marvel will turn out to be one of the very worst things that could have happened to their fan following. It will limit the freedom of their artists and writers causing their publications to lose any quality they have left and the films will certainly suffer from an ever pounding of political correctness that any true inspiration will disapear. To me, Disney has become a dictatorship over the years and just another huge corporation attempting monopolies by acquiring as much of the media as possible to sway The American Public and the world at large into "their way of thinking".

The late Walt Disney, himself, probably has turned over so many times in his grave that he's burrowed through the bottom of his casket and currently resides in China due to what's happened to his dream since he died.