Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Post No. 720"

Got the above print (from 1977) in today's mail. It's titled: "The Wedding of The Phantom" and it's signed by both Phantom creator Lee Falk and the artist Sy Barry (who drew the newspaper strip for over 30 years). A whoppin' 17" X 21" in size, I plan on flattening it out a bit more (as it had been badly rolled), then having someone professionally mat and frame it for me. 'Course, then I'll have to figure where to ever hang it as my walls are packed already!

Great piece, though and I've always been a fan of "the ghost who walks" having read many a newspaper strip, Gold Key, King & Charlton comics (plus other companies) issues of him, and even some of the pre-Golden Age reprints (which I think were in King Features' Ace Comics). The Phantom has been around a llloooonnnngggg time. In fact, he was a costumed hero in newspaper comic strips (and in comic books, even if they were reprints) before Superman appeared in Action Comics #1, and some even claim that the skin-tight outfit he wore inspired the costume of the man of steel.

And, speaking of newspaper strips, I traded some stuff that I hadn't sold in a yard sale for several nice trade paperback collections. Got 5 different "Calvin and Hobbes", 4 different "Doonesbury" (2 of which were hardcover collections), a copy of "The Illustrated Roger Zalazny" (with Gray Morrow artwork), some "Bloom County" collections and even a MAD paperback that I didn't have (plus got shed of some stuff I didn't want).

Lots of good reading ahead for me!

I may try to get a copy of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes "sometime" (although I probably have most of it in some other collection), and I wouldn't even mind getting a C&Hs t-shirt eventually. There's a lot of nice designs for those from which to choose.

Been reading several issues of the 1987 DC Justice League/International/America, Justice League Europe and some of the last issues of the first volume of JLA here of late. I can see "why" DC decided to cancel the original JLA after a run of 27 years as it was indeed getting pretty stale. The first 60 or so issues of the '87 series were the best after the first run (even tho' the artwork seemed to suffer after a while), but we got to meet so many great characters in the title, like "Maxwell Lord", "Flashman", and the reintro of "Fire and Ice", and "Jack O'Lantern" (the last three of which were all introduced originally with various different names in, of all titles, "Super Friends"). After the first 60 issues or so, the title had just about lost any good humor and moved on to a more serious format. But there were some great scenes of the martian manhunter with his oreo cravings and conflicts between Guy Gardner/Batman/Ice (and just about everyone else as noby seemed to get along with Guy). Fun stuff!

Looks like my wife, aunt and I are going to have a big yard sale the weekend this town hosts the "DeaFestival"(a thing they're doing for awareness of the hearing impared). My wife wanted to set up a booth downtown during this but the commitee wanted $250. a space (!) Waayyyy too much! She'd be lucky to make $75. at such, so a yard sale permit's only six bucks and we can set up free in mom's front yard. The town always re-routes everyone right past the front of our house everytime they have some festival, so we'll just set up at mom's front yard and put a big sign in our own yard showing the way to it. I'm sure we'll do just as well (if not better). And I do plan on cramming the yard with everything I possibly can and marking it all down dirt cheap just to get rid of it.

"Heath-wise", I finally got rid of the poison ivy poisoning of a few weeks back by paying a rather expensive visit to a local doctor and getting a steroid shot in my butt, but now I'm not getting much in the way of a restful night's sleep due to severe leg cramps which wake me up numberous times (or my wife as as well as my legs "jerk" from the spasms). Which leads me to think that, at my age (now 59), it is always something. Probably poor circulation problems brought on from the many years of walking on concrete floors in the retail business.

Christmas arrives only FOUR MONTHS from today.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Post No. 719"

I went and got mom's "Living Will" forms and Power of Attorney for myself today. We got that noterized and all that's taken care of. She's gained back most of her strength since being in the hospital with a bout of flu last week, and the swelling in her legs has decreased as well.

Used the push mower on my front yard last night. Oddly, there's only one side I ever have to rake as it just seems to always be thicker there. (May be due to the fact that's where the sewer lines run.)

We finally got a decent rain here locally both last night and today totalling over 2 inches. More in the forecast. We certainly need it since it's been so dry for so long, and it looks like mom's roof doesn't leak anymore (so I guess I actually fixed that knock-on-wood) and we can go ahead with the final repairs to her back room.

Temperatures have dropped as well. That day after day in the high 90's was really getting "old".

Stopped by the local book store today and bought 4 older comics: Spider-Woman V1 (Marvel) #'s 34 & 36, Hulk-Hercules Unleased (Marvel) #1 and The Huntress (DC) #1. The artwork in the Spider-Womans is by one of my favorites: Steve Leialoha. These, to me, was his finest work circa 1979-82 or so.

Haven't read the other two yet, but I'm sure I'll enjoy The Huntress. Been a fan of that character since the 1970's, and a Hulk-Herc' fest is always fun.

Also I won a lot of 30+ issues of the 1987 Justice League, including 10+ issues of J.L. Europe. Hope those come in shortly. It should give me close to half of the first 61 issues of the JL (which is as much as I care to collect).

One of the best things I've won this year in a 11" x 22" color print from 1977 of "The Wedding of The Phantom", signed by both Lee Falk and Sy Barry. Anxious for that to arrive so I can frame it for the pc/collection room wall.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Post No. 718"

Who th' heck is Johnny October???

Recently I was looking through around 300 or so 45 RPM's I had put aside for a yard sale (ones I'd picked up in "lots" here and there cheap over the years) and came across a 45 RPM photo sleeve for Johnny October. I thought I was pretty well up on the doo-wop-type pre-Beatles era singers, but this one I must have completely missed. I didn't have the slightest idea as to who he was/is?

So I looked through everyone of those 45's, but could never find the actual record for the sleeve, which intrigued me even more more. Next I went to Google and found a music video (a link to which is HERE), and finally to Wikapedia for some information (which did no good).

But, from what I have learned, he was from Philadelphia and was the lead singer for a group called the "Four Dates" (which I only vaguely recall) circa 1959-60 and recorded 5 singles amoung which were "Growin' Prettier" and "Young and In Love".

So there you have it. Major enuff to be a minor heart throb of the time, minor enuff not to be much remembered. Whether he's still alive or not I haven''t the slightest clue (unless someone out there can tell me more).

Saturday, August 07, 2010

"Post No. 717"

Well it began Tuesday evening. I had just been down to visit my mom after I got home from work about 2 hrs. earlier and she said she had a little "chill". She and I neither thought anything of it, but then a couple of hours later she called saying she was freezing to death and had no strength. When I got down there she was extremely weak and burning up with a fever and off to the emergency room we went. Her temperature was 103.

They gave her Motrine and IVs and within a couple of hours her temperature was back down but also was her blood pressure. All of that finally got back to normal and it was diagnosed as a slight case of pnumonia, but fortunately we caught it very early on and stopped it. However, she has a persistant cough and will have to stay in the hospital for observation at least until Monday. She feels otherwise fine and her appetite is good.

Work has been steady even with all of the great heat we've had of late. Today the temperature's somewhat better in the low 90's but I think we're expected another heat wave next week.

My riding lawn mower went ka-put on me again but I found someone that'll mow mom's yard pretty cheap and does a fine job. All I have to do down there is weed-eat now and, of course, mow my own yard (with a push mower), but now I'll have that extra mowing time to do so. It's been so dry here of late that that's been cut back considerably.

Got in a lot of 14 or so comic books, 7 of which were Charltons and the others Gold Key/Whitmans. The lot included a Lost In Space/Space family Robinson 49, Turok Son of Stone 120, 122, 124, Flash Gordon 22, Boris Karloff tales of Mystery 76, 92, 96, Space War 31 (2 copies, one in VG+ and the other in Fine), Space Advs. v2 #9 and a couple of Ghostly Tales.

The Space Advs. reprinted a non-edited version of the original Capt. Atom origin from Space Adventures v1 #33 (1960) as well as other stories from 1950's Sa's (all by Ditko). I had that already reprinted in Strange Suspense Stories #75, but when "the president of the USA" was shown, it had been edited to look like JFK instead of Eisenhower. This version is correct. The Space War has a cover reprint of Ditko from Strange Suspense Stories V2 #2 (an atomic bomb explosion cover)plus other 50's Ditko Charlton sf stories, and the other Charltons contained either/or both Ditko and Sutton work.

The Flash Gordon has Bolle artwork and the Turoks are original stories illustrated by Sparling (not one of my favorite artists, but acceptable work). The Lost in Space is a reprint drawn by Dan Spiegle. There was an odd book in the lot: a copy of the 1970's Kubert School Heroes World Catalog which I already had, but the contributors are interesting as it contains work by Rick Veith, Steve Bisette, Dursema, Kessel and Dorman.

Going back through my "quarter yard sale boxes" I pulled a handful to keep which included a copy of Marvel's The original Ghost Rider #8, simply because it reprints the 1973 Ghost Rider #1 (1st. app. cameo of "Son of Satan"), with a new Mike Ploog cover and a new Dick Ayes "Night Rider" (original western Ghost Rider, renamed) backup story, and the AC Comics print The Power of Strong Man #1 which contains 1950's reprints all with Bon Powell artwork and Gardner Fox scripts.

I also kept any Valiant comics from the boxes I didn't already have, just because I always liked the work from that company in the early 1990s.

At the local flea market today I found store copies of the 2008 (2nd.)Hulk flick (much beter than the first) and an unrated version of "Alien VS. Preadator". My list of store copies of various superhero flicks from the 1980's on has been reduced considerably due to flea market finds from the past year or so.

Monday, August 02, 2010

"Post No. 716"

One of these days I'll learn how to count. This is actually Post No. 716 as I numbered 712 twice. Too tired to go thru the hassle of renumbering it on the posts, but anyway, that's the reason for no #715.


Watched two new flicks recently: "Clash of The Titans" and "Kick Ass".

"COTTS" is a remake of the one from 1980, and although it has some very impressive special effects, it lacks the personaility of the original film. The original used stop-action photography and was Ray Harryhausen's last big hoorah, and it's just a whole lot more memorable than anything I've seen in this remake (although there is a cute cameo about a half an into the film). It's worth the watch on a rental, but nothing I'd recommend spending hard earned buck over.

"Kick Ass", on the other hand, was very enjoyable and is a light-hearted attempt at a super-hero flick, but that doesn't mean I'd recommend you taking your kids to see it, merely because of the excessive violence in the film. The plot involves a nerdy type teenage boy who wonders "why" no one ever wanted to be an actual super-hero, so he tries to be just that. An accident actually leads to enhancing his abilities to do such, and he meets up with a couple of vigilante costumed "heroes" who takes vengence to the extreme. Yes, you'd want to pre-view this one as it's a heavy PG-13 type that I think perhaps is more enjoyed by the adult comic book collector than children.

In other news...

I've already gotten probably 30 good tomatoes from the four "Early Girls" plants I put out early this year , but only one so far from the eight "Jet Stars" I planted later on (in fact, I accidently cut down one of the latter while weed-eating). The EGs are really delicious, but not as large as a store-bought tomato; about the size of a tangerine. They make a good "sandwich tomato" if you use a couple of slices.

I mowed my back yard with the push mower today as my riding mower tore up (again) yesterday while I was going to mow my mother's back yard. Not sure what happened. It just started smoking and I turned it off, and then tried to restart it (which it did) and I could drive it back home with the deck disengaged, but it makes a bad chopping sound if I try to cut with it. Not sure if that dinosaur is worth even attempting to repair for a third time this year.

I believe I've found someone that will mow her yard pretty cheaply though, so perhaps all I'll have to worry about will be keeping my own yard in shape for the remainder of the year.