Sunday, December 2, 2012

There is really no excuse....

     I have no excuse except business and laziness.  I have been working on things for church and then substituting a bit.  Otherwise I just have felt bad.  I made no really good pictures of Trunk Or Treat.  I did want to check in.  Church duty calls now so I need to post and go.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Been Reading More Than Posting

I have been reading.  I have read through my Kyle Rayner Green Lantern books.  Sat down tonight and made sure all were bagged and in order as I watched the Presidential Debate.  I seem to have some near the end missing from the box.  I have to hunt them down.  I am also in the midst of Trunk Or Treat.

That is where I coordinate the people at Church to come and sit in the parking lot with there vehicle decorated and hand out candy.  It is fun, especially for me because we have nobody coming by the house.  I get to see all the kids in costumes and dress up myself.  I have switched i think to an older costume I did one year.  I found some cardboard tubes and hope to transform them into a pipe organ.

So I might be a bit scarce on here.  I have a long lag time in-between being able to buy books from the shop.  I do have some thoughts on just where DC has been heading and how it might be better than we thought.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Flashback Friday: Marvel Fanfare #8

            I just picked this comic up the other day.  A new store called Five Below has opened in a nearby city and it is what it claims, everything is $5 or below.  This comicbook was part of a bundle that sold for $4 and contained four comics.  I picked up the DCnU Justice League #8 in this bundle.  Some will be given as Trick or Treat treats.  I saved on cover price as this book sold for $1.50 back in 1983.  There must have just been a price increase as the inside cover has a tongue and cheek apology/explanation as to why it was increased.  Better paper seems the main selling point, also the need to pay to get top notch writers and artist.  Whatever, not my concern as it was bought as a back issue.

            The book contains two stories.  The first is a tale of the Master of the Mystic Arts.  It starts out with a man named Jim Mandarin and his love Meredith.  They are a nice couple that seems ordinary enough, even if she is painting Jim as the true Doctor Strange atop a medieval stallion.  Soon Jim is checking out a new book he bought.  He tries to do a spell and thinks nothing happens.  It becomes all too clear that he has succeeded in summoning something and it captures him and they both disappear.

            That is when Meredith heads to find Doctor Strange.  It is interesting seeing her seek out the Sanctum of Dr. Strange.  If her plight was not so serious it would almost be comical.  She does arrive and the adventure begins.  Strange, Meredith and Wong end up drawn into a different dimension where Jim is the servant of an evil force of darkness.  It is even more powerful then Dr. Strange.  Thanks to Meredith the man she loves breaks free of the Darkness and she is able to bring her painting to life.  Dr. Strange combines Jim and himself to make a dual person that can face the Darkness.

            Jim had been turned away by Dr. Strange.  After this battle he begins to reconsider his decision.  All and all this is a nice little story.

            The second story is the beginning of what we all know as The Jungle Book.  Written by Rudyard Kipling and popularized by Disney, this is a familiar tale.  Gil Kane writes and draws the tale.  It really is beautiful.  This covers the initial finding and adoption of Mowgli by the Wolf Pack.  It is cool seeing realistic animals in the roles.  The society they have created is cool as well.  This is a great back-up piece.

A cool bit of art wraps up this comicbook.  It is a Bill Sienkiewicz portfolio that includes the following; Dazzler, Doctor Strange (conjuring a vampire bunny?), Hulk, Shanna the She-Devil, and Thor.  Thor as the goofiest smile on his face and I really dislike that pic.  These are really neat, plus they ran short a few pages so we get this instead.  Still, would have been upset paying full price and having six pages of filler.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Phantom Stranger #0

            The New 52 is a year old now and the new reality is forming.  The Phantom Stranger has always been a character of mystery in the DC Universe.  He is and has been around key moments and is very powerful, yet we are always kept wondering just who and what his purpose is in the cosmos.  The New 52 gives direction to this character.  It is an interesting and bold choice in many ways.  Unlike Marvel, DC has never shied away from writing about and using the Christian God for characterization.  In fact they are very mush a company that has acknowledged Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in their Universes.  Marvel of old acknowledged that many believed in a supreme being, but that its pantheons of gods and goddesses were not connected.  They were only superhuman beings that had been worshiped on Earth.

            Why go into all of this religious talk?  Because the identity of the Phantom Stranger has been revealed.  He is Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of the Son of God.  In the DCnU his is part of what is being termed the Trinity of Sin.  A council of Wizards passed judgment upon him and now he wears the thirty pieces of silver he was paid to betray Jesus as a necklace around his neck.  No mercy was given when he asked for it.  He is returned to the world a Stranger.  Vast powers are his to command.  He wears a robe, a simple robe of cheap cloth.  It is the robe of Jesus.  That is what his cloak is after being reshaped over the centuries.

            So the Phantom Stranger wanders the Earth, forever apart from those around him.  He is told that he will be called upon to aid those that will serve good.  We get to see his first assignment that has been thousands of years in the waiting.  It is the Stranger that aids in the events that lead to the creation of the Spectre.  Not sure if it is the main DCnU Earth, or Earth 2 where this is all happening.  It will be interesting to see which it happens on.  The kicker for the Phantom Stranger is that his help will always require him to betray those he helps.  A constant reminder as to why he wanders the Earth.

            It is a brave twist and I like how they are approaching this Trinity of Sin thing.  I forget who the Question was before, but he is one part of this group and Pandora is the other.  I have a feeling that Captain Marvel will be involved in the overall story.  I hope all the Phantom Stranger issues are as good as this one was to me.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Flashback Friday: Flash #29 (1989)

My comicbook addiction (as my buddy Chris terms our mutual affliction) is all my cousin's fault.  She gave me hand-me-down comics from her son.  I marveled at the Thing and read with vigor the exploits of garishly clad heroes.  This issue of FLASH is one of this books I was given.  Back then I probably thought it was my namesake Barry Allen in the costume.  Really this is a Wally West story.  It also is my very first exposure to The Phantom Lady.

This is the humorous side of comics.  Wally starts the book in a messy room in bed.  It also is how he ends the story.  He uses his JLI tele-transpoter for a bit of a vacation.  He thinks he is in Paris, but really ends up in Lisbon, Portugal.  In a hurry he heads for Casablanca.  Instead of Rick's, Flash ends up at Dick's All American Diner.  It is apparently Spies eat for a discount night.  That is a set up for a great assassination tale.

The villains are Merlyn and Syonide.  Each has a target.  The targets are together.  The Phantom Lady has a little elderly scientist that is defecting.  When you find out what he does and the twist ending involving an Estonian Secret Police Agent you will laugh.  Flash is outstanding as a hero here and just rocks the casaba.

All in all this is a great single issue read.  It provides two outstanding adventurers that have a great adventure.  Wally seems both goofy and smart here.  It is a nice style for a hero.  He exudes the hero we want while staying fun.  That is the best way to leave this Flashback Friday, just saying this is a fun read.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Flashback Friday: Sleepwalker #5 & #6

      This Friday we look at one of the weirdest characters from Marvel Comics Group ever.  It was early 1991 and someone thought up a character named Sleepwalker.  I have these issues because they were a part of two different "3 for a Buck" bagged comicbooks at a local just a dollar store.  I wanted the other books you could see and got these as part of the bargain.  This creepy guy was only able to appear when his host was asleep.  I I know is the guy.s name, Rick Sheridan, and that he had a dog named Rambo.  Sleepwalker apparently would seek out evil and fight it.

     In the 90's the deal was that a non-mutant book had the required appearance by Spider-Man within the first seven issues.  Mutant books it was a Wolverine appearance.  So, this is the time for Spidey to team up with Sleepwalker.  It is at first the standard fight because we don't understand who were are plot.  It has the major mob wannabe Crimewave.  By the time we get into part two of the story in Issue #6 we will have the Kingpin making an appearance.  It is a good story and has an added heavy dose of Spider-Man snark.

     Sleepwalker has some interesting powers.  He has a sort of telekinetic eye beam power.  He even sews a faux Spidey suit to use as a misdirection near the end of the tale.  Spidey getting constantly blown up, dropped in the river, shot at, or knocked out adds a flavor of humor that just highlights how wacky Sleepwalker is in terms of a superhero.  There is a good deal of action in the book as well.

     This is a great two part story that holds up as a stand alone tale for those who love Spider-Man.  One thing that the creators did well was use the Spider-Man team up to have a hook that might gain some new readers.  The last part of the story has Sleepwalker returning to the apartment of his host and finding an empty bed.  This was a great way to make the most of possible readers that bought the book because Spidey was in it.  They have a way to try and keep these people.  It also was good because at the time the back issues were probably easy to find.  Sleepwalker is one you see around in long boxes at cons and flea markets.  Those that like the odd books might want to seek them out.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Comicbook Rescue Project: Ultraforce Spider-Man #1B

     I forgot to list this one when I wrote my big Comicbook Rescue Project (CRP) post.  It was in the Living Room where I had laid it down after reading the book.  I have been picking up back issues of Malibu Comics of late as those who read this blog know through the Mantra Mondays posts.  So I saw this one and bought it while at the Flea Market.

     Before I discuss this title I need to make sure you understand that Spider-Man is the Clone Ben Riley and the Green Goblin is whoever that was back then that had taken the mantle and used it as a Good Guy.  So this is not the time period I was loving Spidey in this book.  I also need to get this out of the way.  Spidey's webbing ignores the laws of physics in here as well when it flies down a wall and then makes a 90 degree turn.  What is that about?

     The plot is that a group of some creepy aliens are trying to instigate a war between the two worlds.  A future Prime comes back and convinces Ghoul that he will be dissected and tortured as many itty bitty pieces.  Oh, and Ultraforce has a traitor.  The individual that will kill every Ultra is this new Green Goblin.  Makes no sense I know, but it is what they used as a plot device.  Soon Ultraforce is heading to Marvel Earth to kill the Green Goblin.  Fights occur, misunderstandings explained, team ups, and the distrust is still brewing.  Mucho action to be read in the book.  Especially once you suspend disbelief and just read it as an adventure.

     Not really an ending.  This book had to be part of others that like it probably ended with a  "The End?" tag.  This was all part of Marvel throwing a bone to Malibu fans before just jettisoning the entire line.  I forgot to mention.  The Avengers Black Knight is a member of Ultraforce.  Kooky stuff when Marvel tried to fold these characters into their Universe.  Nice read, but it was not really worth the $3.95 it cost back in the day.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Comicbook Rescue Project

      A Blog or so back I used to have a series called THE COMICBOOK RESCUE PROJECT.  The forces that meant me harm both personally and professionally caused the Blog to be buried.  It was sad as the series was one of the fun things I wrote about.  Basically, this was where I told of those books I rescued from Flea Markets and Yard Sales.  Some of these books are not in well kept conditions.  Many are carted from place to place and subjected to all types of weather and are close to being caused to deteriorate because of lack of care.  It is a sacred duty (I say with tongue firmly in cheek) to pull these lost gems from the jaws of demise.  I make no claim that these are books those that attempt to make money from buying and selling would want or buy.  Sometimes they are in a banged up shape.  Still, they deserve to be rescued.  What follows are the books I purchased during the Labor Day Saturday trip to the Hillsville, Va. Flea Market.

Marvel Tales Starring Spider-Man and Red Sonja #208

Spider-Man Unlimited #2 (Maximum Carnage Conclusion)

the Brave and the Bold Starring Batman and Zatanna Vol. 26 #169

Green Lantern

Green Lantern Our Worlds At War #1

Young Justice

Spider-Woman #3 (1978)

Iron Man

The Mighty Thor #353 (The Finale of the Surtur Saga)

Marvel-Two-In-One The Thing and Moon Knight #52

The Official Batman & Superman Adventures World's Finest (paid $1)

Daredevil:  Guardian Devil  TradePaperBack  (paid $5)


Friday, August 31, 2012

Flashback Friday: Elektra Volume:2 EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN

Getting back into the schedule I have picked a book that I grabbed to read this week.  Most of my trades are out in the new storage building.  This one missed the traveling.  I picked it up for less than five bucks if I remember correctly, at HeroesCon.  The reason was Elektra as a character and Greg Rucka as a writer.  I did not pick up this as a series.  It was just not what I had money for, but less than five bucks it made the buying cut.

The story is awesome.  Elektra was at the point in her life that she was sick of being violent.  It is a story of her coming to terms with the death that she has dealt over the years.  It is an enjoyable journey of a character that has had these stories written ad naseum.  Greg Rucka shows how he is at another level of writing here with these pages presented.

The only complaint is how the art shifts in the middle and then back to the type of art when we started reading.  I must say that in this formula of writing for the Trade it should be made a fast rule that art should be consistently similar throughout the story that we are given.  Here we have a very grounded and realistic form of art that for what seems to be about two issues becomes an exaggerated cartoonish style.  I thought it was ugly in comparison with the rest of the artwork.  It takes the reader out of the fantasy a bit.

It is a good trade that one should buy if they find it discounted like I did.  It is well worth it for the good story.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Sad News

Joe Kubert has passed away.  I don't even feel like writing how pitiful I am for not getting back on schedule.  Here is the link for the NY Times Obit;


Friday, August 3, 2012

I am behind a bit

I knew last week would be a bust as I was at Camp with the kids.  My hope was to get back on my Monday and Friday schedule at least, but I did not.  I feel and have felt really bad this week.  It is the diabetes and not having insulin right now I know.  I really hope to get back on track with this part of my hobby.  Just not had the energy right now.  I am also on a long wait between buying books.  I am enjoying some of my DC books greatly.  Some are in an I hope they improve.  Sadly, Birds of Prey are on that last list.  It has been a disappointing run so far.  I wish they would get the book back to the level it was before the restart.  I think I am gonna go to bed now.  My body just feels tired.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Flashback Fridays: The Ballad Of Beta Ray Bill TPB

     I found this Trade Paper Back at HeroesCon, at my own Comic Shop's booth.  It was well worth the five bucks I paid for it.  I have had one of the issues of this story for a long time.  It is the part where Odin creates the new Hammer Stormbreaker for Beta Ray Bill.  This is a cool old school Marvel tale brought to us by the excellent Walter Simonson.  His art and story are what I grew up on as a comicbook reader.  This was Thor in all the majesty and golden realm glamor.

     It starts with a threat from the stars and Nick Fury abducting Dr. Donald Blake to get Thor.  Soon Thor is enlisted to aid Fury and company.  From the initial investigation in space a battle in happening as a crash occurs and the alien craft now lies on Earth.  Thor meets  the craft's champion and in battle the Hammer of Thor changes the alien Beta Ray Bill.  A summons by Odin brings Bill to Asgard and strands Donald Blake on Earth unable to become Thor.

     This book has everything.  The Lady Sif plays a big part in this story and even a romance blossoms for her.  Odin plays a major part by realizing the honor of Bill and the dire need of his people in a space convoy.  These demons are chasing them after decimating the home planet.  Everyone except Bill is placed in suspended animation.  Beta Ray Bill is genetically changed and forever separated from his people, yet he is there to protect them.  All this leads to a great test of Thor and Bill as Odin decides if Mjolnir can belong to Bill through his twice defeat of Thor.  It is a great fight that shows the good being that Bill is as an living being.

     Events are foreshadowed here for a major Asgardian battle with a creature of their mythology.  It is also the start of another Loki  scheme that will play out to the heart break of the Lady Sif in some ways.  She is great here.  She even takes on a quest for Odin while Bill and Thor are laid up from their battle to decide who gets the Hammer.  Odin however has another idea.  When Sif wins her challenge, Odin is granted the making of a second Hammer.  The Dwarves fire up the metal works and Odin provides the power and Stormbreaker is created.  Now there are two beings with the power of Thor.  They take off in Thor's chariot pulled by his two rams.  I kid you not.  That is how Sif, Bill, and Thor take off to battle.

     Soon Bill's ship Skuttlebutt finds Sif fighting hordes of demons and the two make a desperate stand to protect the convey.  Bill and Thor travel to Bill' planet to find a portal has been created out of the planet and these demons are flowing from it.  It is a cool fight and way to win the battle.  This is just a great and well told story.  So many twist and turns while laying the groundwork for future stories.  You also read this book.  Lots of words.  It is really one of the classic stories and classic styles of Marvel back when it was just an amazing place to visit.

     This was a great buy at HeroesCon.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Mutant X Mondays: (Double Feature) Mutant X # 6 & Mutant X #7


     I wanted to catch up a bit and decided that I should give you two issues today.  It works because the focus of the book focuses from here own out around the rise of the Goblin Queen.  Madelyne has become possessed it seems, at least we are hoping that is the case.  She is seen as the powerful evil Queen and then in glimpses we see the loving mother of little Scotty.  She has manipulated the Brute into taking the fall for her murder of the Green Goblin and Man-Spider.  Now the world is having tension around the Mutant issue that had been settled in this Universe.

     This issue is wordy and moves the plot along, but is is quick and disjointed.  It does show us some old Marvel mainstays like Matt Murdock (lawyer), Bullseye, Electra (Nanny extraordinaire!), and an alive Man-Spider (Spider-Man).  What we see is how the Goblin Queen can humble the haughty Fallen (Warren Worthington III) and bring him under control.  It shows how brutal this character can be.  That will lead into what follows in the expanding story.  Her evil even brings about the Brute speaking as Dr. McCoy and asking to be executed as a murderer.


    What?  Last issue we had the Brute ask to be executed.  We open here to Alex, Scotty, and Electra in a convertible cruising down a desert highway.  This is standard in this book, pulling a time shift and letting the reader fill in the gaps, but this one seems too much.  When collecting the issues like I am and have it makes you wonder about the continuity.  Still, it is a cool issue.

     One can see that Electra and Alex are forming a bond.  We also can tell the depth of Electra's devotion as protector of little Scotty.  Some awesome artwork is shown here when Electra has to throw down, but I am ahead of the story.  What we get is a shifting tale of Havok on the run and the rest of the Six facing an enemy of great power.  Bloodstorm is taken down easily by we will learn is the Goblin Queen.  As Iceman enters the scene and tries to aid Bloodstorm, she claims that there is an evil stronger than we the readers suspect.  She urges Bobby to run and warn Havok for the sake of every soul on Earth.  He doesn't and soon there is a group of Five waiting to be Six again.

     Yes, I said Five.  Apparently Havok and Electra saw Hank be executed and yet he is alive and sent by the Goblin Queen for Scotty.  The employees of the Diner the trio stop at turn into demons and then hordes of demons attack.  That was the fight scene I mentioned earlier.  Brute doesn't take Scotty, but reminds Alex what happened the last time someone tried to take Scotty from her.  This is something that happened before our Alex landed in this Universe.  It is also the time and place that Madelyne made the deal that has now come to be her undoing as payment comes due.  She is now controlled by the Goblin Queen and the world is in big trouble.  I will say, the explanation of what the Goblin Queen is makes one really like this alternate world.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

HeroesCon 2012 Small Prints

     Here are scans of the prints that fit on my scanner bed from Heroes Convention.  Below is Annie Ammo which you will get information about later when I discuss the new venture by so awesome artists in the industry.  The most exciting thing about that venture for me is that Randy Green's Dollz is back as well.  Annie is brought to us by the outstanding Richard Case.

     The "Cats" here are drawn by Danielle Soloud.  A funny drawing of these two on her Sketchbook last year was the reason I purchased it.  I got her new one this year and she made me a deal to get the print here instead of last years sketch book as she was pairing them.  I scanned last year's card so you can check her website out(Some Mature Content, so just know that.  It is artsy, but still felt it needed saying).

       Christian N. St. Pierre was selling these three prints, the last two that were harder to scan, and they were really affordable.  I loved the Dragon.  He had about five or six different Dragons, but I liked this one best.  Rocket Raccoon....c''s ROCKET RACCOON!  Why wouldn't I buy it for $1.  The Wonder Woman is just really regal in the way she is presented.  


Monday, July 2, 2012

More HeroesCon

J K Woodward has the greatest idea ever.  It is placed on the back of the below card.  This would be the combining of two of my favorite characters.  Space Ghost I grew up on during Saturday Mornings.  Batman Beyond was a character of my college days.  This idea would just rock.  Oh yeah, I bought this at HeroesCon.


K-9 Sketch Card

Friday, June 29, 2012

Flashback Friday: HeroesCon 2012 Report

      It was last Friday that I had gathered my pal Big Daddy Rich and headed off down the Interstate to Heroes Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  This is my vacation.  I get to the beach, as I take the kids to Summer Camp this year.  I would rather be in the Mountains, but that was nixed this year.  No, this is my time to be at rest in the world of my people, Comic Geeks.  It was a shock this year as the date was a bit later and the crowd on Friday was increased.  The best part of that was the number of kids.  There was bunches of tykes there on Friday and that gives hope for the future.  I bought some stuff and scan works for the rest of the weekend.  There was some great stuff to see and an awesome atmosphere in the air.  Sadly, Shelton Drum, the man behind the event was not as visible to me this year.

     That lack of Shelton might have lead to some of the "non-family friendly" products being out there in some places.  The only complaint I had is one I figure Shelton has little control over.  I did not like that beer was being sold on Friday and Saturday.  It bothered me as this has always been a very safe and family friendly event.  I know I am not in the majority with views on drinking, but I would rather it be sectioned off to the after hours events as it has been in the past.  Otherwise, this had to have been the biggest and best HeroesCon ever.  Probably Stan Lee had some effect.

     Saturday I dressed up again this year.  I brought my Green Arrow garb and decided to not buy much on Saturday.  I was sought after more for pics this year I think.  I thought I was the only Green Arrow, until I saw someone's pic list and there was the more professional looking cosplayer as Ollie.  I never saw him.  There were many of the costumed people I never saw.  There were that many people there Saturday.  It was enough of a crowd that I limited myself to the Indie Island side to keep from poking a person in the nose with my quiver of arrows.  Dressing up is fun when you can make the little kids smile as they see you and get a picture with a character they recognize.

     The Stan Lee Experience was something I passed upon.  I looked at the cost of being able to see him or get and autograph and decided that my money was better suited to the rest of the Convention.  Thinking back now I realize I probably did better giving cash to the people I did than the Desert Winds Promotion people that made the bucks off of Stan Lee.  I bought a bunch of prints and art books.  I will try and scan what I can later so you can see what I have bought.  It is just awesome to get favorite characters in the various forms.

     All said the 2012 HeroesCon was just fun and worth the sore legs and feet i carried home.  Adventure Time was the popular fad of this year, but Doctor Who still held a bit of swagger.  I went to two panels, the CosPlay and the Sunday Wonder Woman discussion.  Maybe that is why my feet hurt, I never really went to where you can sit down.  I am now working on collecting and saving for next year.


Heroes Con 2012 Sunday Pictures

Heroes Con 2012 Saturday Pictures