Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Post No. 710"

Watched some of David Blaine's program recently. Like Criss Angel, Blaine I can't consider an actual magician as such, but rather, an entertainer. His programs (like Angel's) are created to entertain the viewers, but the illusions aren't really even that.

The best example of this would be the trick where he lets someone take a card and destroy it, then the card ends up as a book of matches in the man's hand that picked the card. Clearly, these people are already set up with the trick and are in on the illusion. How many people do you know these days that carry around a book of matches? Very few, but miraculously, every time he does this "trick" they have them, and if you'll look closely at the match book, it's the same type every time he does this illusion.

Then there's one where he has someone write down the name of someone that's really close to them on a piece of paper. He asks the person to stand several feet away from him so he can't see the name they wrote, and fold the paper very small. Then Blaine lights the piece of paper and blows it out and brushes the charred end to his shirt covering his chest. He then rolls up his shirt to reveal the name being the same. This is so pre set-up it's a no brainer. He knows the people of course; they're all just part of the show, much like the old carny guy with his crew or a snake oil vendor and the guy that can't walk swigging down a gulp to tell everyone that now he can dance.

The floating act? Pants split in front and a sewn on shoe as he steps on his toes onto a step (note they always show this trick from the back), and Chiss Angel's flight is done with wires suspended from a crain (which isn't shown on t.v., of course) when he does the trick. Everyone in the crowd's a part of the act.

But people just eat this stuff up. They love to watch people like Blaine and Angel do these things on t.v., and clearly they have a large following. And I'm sure that some of the illusions they perform are actually slight-of-hand which takes quite a bit of skill, so I'm not saying either of these performers shouldn't have their programs of followings, but be assured that when you do watch them (IF you do), that it's all just t.v., and there's very little on the idiot box that's real.

But then, in life sometimes, what is real.

In other news...

I see that the sales figures must be down on Wonder Woman as DC's changing her costume dramatically. Geez. Anything to sell more issues. Like we all know that this will last from now on...just like the Death of Superman or his being split into a blue and red figure, multi-colored version of The Hulk, a black costume for Spider-man, etc., etc., and I wonder how long it'll take until a story comes out where everyone forgets Spidey's Peter Parker (if that's not already happened since I'm so "out-of-the-loop" on new comics these days).

Course, we all know that these changes never stay because the companies are afraid of losing their trademark symbols. 'Would love to see them forget just one time and someone else grab one of them. In fact, the longest of any change I ever recall seeing on a superhero costume was the yellow circle put around Batman's bat symbol back in '64 which lasted until modern times. And with these companiy ploys, on down the road they'll retrun WW to her original costume and make a "big deal" out of that as well to sell even more issues. Perhaps someday those in charge of attempting to recreate some classic character in their own image will realize that it's okay to sometimes change the storyline or origin (most characters have already had this happen will no real effects) but leave the symbolism alone. Collectors eventually get tired of the crap they do.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Post No. 709"

This is the first year I've started having some decent luck with growing tomatos. We picked one ripe tomato last night and had it with our meal (Ummm-Ummm, Good!) and I picked another one today. The two plants I set early ("Early Girls") are 4 foot tall and really producing, and the eight others ("Jet Stars") are over a foot tall butr they'll be late bloomers, planted a few weeks later than the first group. Hopefully we'll have tomatos all Summer from these unless the blight gets them.

Was going to Elizabethtown today to stop by Peddler's Mall and a few other places and had my alarm set for 5:30 AM (they're an hour ahead of us) so we could get up there early and back before it got too hot, but as luck has it I had another one of those fitful nights where I didn't get to sleep until at least 2:AM. I fell back to sleep and didn't wake up until 10 o'clock.

So instead my wife and I walked down to mom's to visit a while with my Aunt Shirley who was down from Martinsville, Indiana. Stayed a couple of hours then back home where I'm contemplating going back down later on and trimming scrubs.

In other things....

I won 24 different issues of the 1988 DC series Checkmate recently so when those get in I figure I'll only need #'s 19, 21-24 (or, five issues total) having the full set of 33 issues of that title. Shouldn't be a hard one to finally complete, (although I've said the same about the 1980's Captain Atom series which I need the same number of issues now for a good four years).

I did pick up a half dozen or so misc. "modern" type comics the other day at the local book store which included a couple of those JLA Annuals Giffen wrote back in the '80's (fun stuff), and a Peter Parker Spider-man v2 #42 which had mentions of The Beatles and Yoko Ono (added to the listing over on the "Beatles & Bizarros" blog).

Read through those issues of Rocky Hartberg's Cole Black comics (published by Boardman Books) and enjoyed same. I got issues 6, 9 & 10, none of which I'd read before and it was great to read this series again after not seeing any around for 20 years or so. "Cole Black" was one of those alternate titles caught up in the great "comic book implosion" back around '88 and that's a shame as it was one of the titles that truely was worth buying and reading. I was also sent gratis a copy of The Art of Denis McLaughlin which reprints UK sci-fi hero stories from the 1950's. Excellant stuff there! All well-worth the recommendation to read.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Post No. 708"

Over the past few years, there's a personal attitute problem I've had to work on: That of not being a smart ass.

I've always been a bit sarcastic, and my work has mostly always been satirical and full of parody, but I've found that, much to my dismay, those "attributes" have turned rather sour, especially during the past 5 or so years.

I could "blame" it on a number of things that have happened in my life, such as family problems, work-related issues, or just plain boredom, but I'll take full responcibility for my actions and the total blame, and all I can say is that I'll promise to work on my attitute and try to be a more cheerful and optimistic person. I need to always keep in mind that no matter how bad things are, things could (and a lot of times) can be worse.

With that said, on to other things.

Finished up that 3 issue mini-series I'd been working on. Haven't started back on "the-other-previously-mentioned-in-another-blog-post-series" yet.

Got in issues #'s 6, 9 & 10 of Rocky Hartberg's Cole Black indie published by Boardman Books, along with a copy of "The Art of Denis McLaughlin" (1950 UK comic reprints). Will review all when I can find the time to read them.

Went to a city-wide yard sale in a town about 45 miles from here last saturday, but only spent a total of $2.50, and that was a quarter each on a couple of modern comics and $2. (total) for 4 different MAD paperbacks I didn't have. Stopped by an antique store in another town on the way home and looked through probably a hundred latter 60's/early 70's DC and Marvel comics, but they were all so over-priced I passed.

Hotter Than Hell is the theme today, and even more so tomorrow. (Summer has arrived with a vengence!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Post No. 706"

R.I.P. Al Williamson. I'll never forget how your wonderful work for King Comics' Flash Gordon influenced my young mind.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

"Post No. 705"

Last couple of days been pretty hot here. I was out in the sun 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours yesterday, down at my mom's, trimming hedges, weed-eating and mowing with the push mower. Earned me a bad sunburn on my neck and sholders. Surprizingly, it's not too painful, but, yes, tender to the touch. Looks like it'll cost me $40. to fix the riding mower this time as that was a drive belt that broke just as I was finishing up the main part of the mowing on her front yard a couple days back.

Haven't done much today, though, save finally finish lettering and inking that 3 issue mini-series I mentioned earlier that I wanted to complete and have ready for publication. Turned out to be 53 pages total in length, but if I decide to publish it all at one time that can be trimmed down a couple of pages.

Now I can get back on the other series I've been working on for a couple of years, which lacks just a few pages being half finished, save for all the inking and lettering (which I figure would probably take me a good three weeks or better to do since I also work a full-time job and family business).

I'll eventually have all of that done. (And, if I don't, it's no big deal 'cause it may not ever see print or publication anyway.)

Anxiously awaiting three issues of Rocky hartberg's Cole Black series I ordered, #'s V 1 #6, & 9(V2 #4) & 10(V2 #5), none of which I've ever read. After getting that one issue to finish up the first 3 issues of Volume 2 of the title it just made me "hungry' for more. That's the only comics I've purchased in some time.

After being off these two days in a row, I now have a straight six I'll have to pull, the final one being just half a day. Won't get any rest the following day off though as I have to take mom for a check up on her pacemaker the 24th. in Elizabethtown. Fortunately, my wife is off that day as well and can drive one way or the other on the trip. I swear, I hate to drive any longer distances any more, even 35-40 miles (no wonder I never go "anywhere"). I think it's because I'm always so tired from all the other things that have to be done with what little time I'm not at my job, a place where I spend more waking hours than I do at home.

Friday, June 04, 2010

"Post No. 704"

Had the past couple days off from work, but nothing new really going on in my life.

I decided that I will indeed finish that 12 issue comic book series I'd been working on for nearly 2 years now, but currently I'm taking a break from it to finish up the inks on a three issue mini-series I worked on before that. Instead of 12 issues, however, I think I'll divide it into 2 books of six issue series each. (Keeps me from getting so burned out on doing one project).

On these hot sultry days here in S-Central, KY., it makes me not want to do a whole lot of outside work, but I have managed to knock down some weeds with a grubbing hoe, transplate a couple of flowers, weed by hand a little bit and cut down two small trees in my backyard that was preventing me from mowing easier with the riding mower (I've got plenty more where they came from). Otherwise it's the same-ol'-same-ol' 'round here. Keeping an eye on mom, helping my wife with her craft projects (she has a show tomorrow), my regular 9 hr. a day job at the retail store, and pittlin'.

I did get in a copy of a 1986 issue of Rocky Hartberg's Cole Black independent comic that I needed; even had a letter of comment in it from me that I'd forgotten about written o' so many years ago. This was really a decent title and there's a new issue of that available I noticed on auctions this week (#10) that I need to pick up eventually.

Dug out a "Bat Out of Hell" CD (by Meat Loaf) and listened to it today; one of my favorites from that time.

And that's really about it. Maybe something will happen (hopefully something NICE) that I can blog about more later this month.