Tuesday, June 28, 2005

If you got the money, honey...

Today was pretty typical. I have just been waiting in dread for the Fourth of July. I don’t even pretend that the holiday does not bother me anymore. I have also been looking into finding some sort of software for cataloguing and maintaining my comic book collection. Even looking into seeing what I am willing to part with at a garage sale. Quite a bit actually, but it also needs to be heavily mainstream. With little to no notice that comics are being sold though, I sincerely doubt anyone will give them a glance.

I need to suck it up and take my stuff to Ebay. I almost wish I did not have to, I wish a flea market or convention were an option. I have far too much that I am willing to part with for that to work though, let alone work successfully anyway. I just worry about the collector mentality, I know a lot about comics, but I am not even going to start to pretend I know anything about grading. With my collection now growing steadily from month to month, and the surge of about 900 comics that I bought and have not been able to rid myself of, I am more than convinced something needs to be done.

I am finally becoming accustomed to my budgetary restraints I put in place. I only hope that now they are working as well as I think. I find that having my own account, and “all” that extra birthday money, has meant relatively little in reality. I have not been able to keep an eye on it as well as I should. Silly me, I thought I would be the only one spending the money, why would I have to watch what I haven’t spent? Nevertheless, little bits go missing everyday, it does not bother me. It is just that I need to know how much I have to keep a good idea of how much I can spend, if I go one day thinking I can buy a TPB, only to find that after I bought it there is not enough to get through my normal month’s purchases… I mean my wife would most likely cover it or whatever. But then, what is the point?

I think my checking the account more frequently has made her realize that I at least want to be notified. I don’t mind missing out on a TPB if it means we avoid a fine this week… or some obscure charge the next week. In fact, the more things I want that I don’t get, the more pride it gives me really. I just don’t want my efforts to be for nothing, I want to know that I am being conscious of my obsession… er hobby.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Manga to Sink Your Teeth Into

So, you know this must be good for it to take me out of the Blogcave. I just got finished reading Love As A Foreign Language, and it was... it was a great many things. Most of all, however, is that it was completely and totally accessible, while also keeping the reader completely immersed in the "stranger in strange land" feel. While this is a fast-paced and rather small trade paperback, its portability allows for rereadability.

There is also something to be said about the author's mastery of conversation. And I don't just mean between two people. He mixes things up, you never hear the same thing twice, even if you may think you have. And the topic is truly universal (several of them are) I found myself nodding along with this victim of wanting one thing, and not knowing that it would come to be a place you detest. And you have friends, but when none of them are in the same frame of mind, they tend to find you a depressing bore.

The subtleties of learning new things about Korean culture, almost demand at least a quick glance back. But the constants of how one can relate to so much of this, means that it will be nice and snug in your back pocket. It doesn't read backwards, and it won't have you cursing about whether someone is male or female. But it will be an experience, and like coming home, all at the same time.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Emerging Factors

UPDATE @ 8:53 pm: Everything is fine. Now my fingers can rest easy, my boy just needs a few different antibiotics for an infection and a few thousand kisses from his dad. Best Father's Day gift I could get right now, really.

I tore through my comics with a ferocity. Not that the task is difficult by any means most read too fast anyway. Or in the case of Powers, barely read at all. This is one night, one time out of many I suppose where ignorance is far from bliss. I have never much cared for myself, whatever happened did just that. As long as nobody else was worse for wear... it just didn't matter. But someone, something ... saw fit to give me a child. And suddenly, a very precious being, he is mine to worry about. As if no matter how much I denied myself the ability to give a damn, I was always going to have to at some point.

I hate blink of the eye kind of stuff, seemingly strange occurances... just materializing from nothing. I hate it in stories, I hate in movies. But it happens in life, in reality. Quite a bit. My existence... your existence... it is blink of the eye kind of stuff. I got a call at 6:30 pm this evening from my wife, to say that she was getting off of work early. That she had gotten a call from her grandmother, that our son's neck was swollen, he was barely eating... and seemed to be in pain.

Left to think what I will for the past hour and a half, it was all I could do to read comics. To write this blog even. This is a time when I would beg anyone who had information, for something... something to soothe not knowing. I hope that tomorrow, or tonight, I can leave that "Everything is fine." update that even now my fingers are fidgeting to type. Someone, something ... saw fit to give me a child. And suddenly, a very precious being, he is mine to worry about. And I can only thank that same force, that my son was not here with me. For what could I have done?

Almost Advanced Solicits Time

My Image Picks:

Written by Jeff Amano, art by Craig Rousseau and Wayne Faucher, colors by Giulia Brusco, cover by Jeff Amano.

The Free Comic Book Day sensation of 2005 is now in one complete graphic novel! Masterless after his Lord falls prey to treachery, samurai Oishi of the 47 Ronin leads his faithful few to vengeance. The time has come to defend their honor and raise their swords one final time.
96 pages, $9.99, in stores on Sept. 14.

Written by Eric Stephenson, art and cover by Jamie McKelvie.

Alone amidst a crowd of Southern California mods obsessed with scooters, soul and style, nobody takes Ken seriously. He mooches everything from rides to cigarettes to meals -- usually from his best friend, Steve. But that's all about to change. Ken has just met the girl of his dreams. Too bad she only has eyes for Steve. It's going to be a long, hot summer.
96 pages, black and white, $7.99, in stores on Sept. 14.

Written by Warren Ellis, art and cover by Ben Templesmith.

Detective Richard Fell is transferred over the bridge from the big city to Snowtown, a feral district whose police roster numbers three-and-a-half people (one detective has no legs). Dumped in this collapsing urban trashzone, Richard Fell is starting all over again. In a place where nothing seems to make any sense, Fell clings to the one thing he knows to be true: Everybody's hiding something. Even him.
24 pages, $1.99, in stores on Sept. 7.

My Dark Horse Picks:

Written by Mark Millar, art by Peter Gross.

Imagine you're 12 years old and suddenly discover that you are the returned Jesus Christ. You can turn water into wine, make the crippled walk, and perhaps even raise the dead. What do you and your family do, and how does it affect you knowing that you're destined to grow up and take part in a conflict that people have been waiting almost two thousand years for? Chosen has been described in the British press as Spider-Man meets The Book of Revelation. SFX magazine describes it as Harry Potter for Christian fundamentalists. Chosen is the latest graphic novel in the Millarworld line of books from writer Mark Millar.
72 pages, $9.95, in stores on Oct. 12.

Written by Marv Wolfman, art by Gene Colan, colored by Dave Stewart.

In the 1970s, writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan created seventy issues of terrifying tales in the classic Marvel series The Tomb of Dracula. Now, Wolfman and Colan are together again, offering a fresh take on the most enduring character in horror fiction and catapulting the Lord of the Dead back into comics stardom.
A mysterious and persuasive figure is moving amongst the circles of San Francisco's political elite. When Jonathan Van Helsing and his team of vampire hunters come to town investigating a string of grisly murders and stumble into a virtual pit of blood-soaked horrors, they know it's only a matter of time before they come face to face with the master of the dark.
80 pages, $9.95, in stores on Oct. 12.

Admittedly, I will have even more towards the middle of next week. When Marvel and DC reveal their products shipping in September. What draws me to most of these is the prices, which are relatively cheap. Warren Ellis' Fell for instance is only $2. I would have had the actual pictures to accompany these solicits. But I cannot figure out how to put multiple pictures in one post.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Batman Waits

I had big plans today. I was going to sit in a crowded theatre and enjoy my first summer blockbuster. It must be nice to be as delusional as I am some times. I should have known the closest thing I was going to see to a rubber suit, was a rubber room. My son was ill today, and it is not as if it took anything away from my day. We went along as normal.

I piddled at the computer, glancing at far too many auctions (I am still kicking myself for Ebay screwing up my sign in for a set of 11 Batman Adventures issues). Then I scoured the net for a new online comic shop, as a last resort I went to Mile High, and true to form, the prices there were as delusional as I can be. So, that went nowhere... slowly.

Even as my day started to gain momentum and meaning. It was really almost over. I plopped on the couch (the catty couch) with a half-read Human Torch digest. And an Incredible Hulk novel. And promptly fell asleep. Let me get something across at this point. I don't nap... I haven't in probably close to three years. Not since I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Upon waking I quickly finished Human Torch. Really a good book, not great. But I really enjoy it. Pull it out and reread enjoy it.

Then I cracked the Incredible Hulk novel, by Peter David. I have no doubt I will really tear into this. I love Peter's style and I was already off to a good start. And then Becky wanted to watch a movie. This was not a debate... so much as what do we want to sit through that we have already seen. Luckily Becky picked up "About A Boy" which I had bought for her in late January for her birthday. I was not immediatly drawn to it. I mean, it was Hugh Grant being a pompous lazy arrogant self-centered... well you get that idea. But the truth is ... I don't mind it. And this time, I could relate to his character so much it was scary.

Except for the rich part. But he feels because he does not work. He is nothing. In the beginning he is content with that. I think rather that it had become far too routine, but the point being he was going along watching other people's lives being defined by one aspect. His day was meaningless, and so he felt his life followed suit. I can't help but feel that way, no matter how those who truly know my situation say... there are 10 other people who think I am a lazy layabout deadbeat. And I cannot help but agree on almost every level.

So, it hooked me, I have to say though the ending was a bit too cliche. The classic neglectful person running to meet the neglected at a concert, dance, etc. and hoping against hope they are not late... Jersey Girl anyone? But all that aside, it was great... because on a lot of levels every guy is pompous lazy arrogant self-centered... it is all we can do to realize that a tenth of the time. So to those who help every day. Thank you.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Comics to Come

DAREDEVIL #74 $2.99- This is the title that constantly fluctuates from my top read spot. But I have to tell you that since the start of the current arc "Decalogue", I have been loving every inch of this comic. Despite the less than spectacular reception from fans, this is a breath of fresh air I needed. There are quite a few mysteries to be solved, but I most enjoy embracing characters, normal people who I have never met, whirlwinded into the world of Daredevil. And unlike promises from other titles... other writers, I know that these stories... had an effect on DD. I can't wait to see what that is.

GLA #3 $2.99- This is cliche in a very original way. A true team of misfits wants to make a name for themselves, of course they pick the enormous legacy of the Avengers to fill. It's senselessly heartfelt, darkly light, moodily hilarious, smartly silly take on an epic mini. You will either like it or you won't. How's that for a sell?

POWER PACK #4 $2.99- I can't say I am waiting for the conclusion. This is a series of one shots. If they cohesively tie together I would be surprised. I enjoyed last issue with the seemingly helpless Jack finding himself in the company of the seemingly helpless Human Torch. It stood as a reminder that adults and children can be very much alike, if they stop and think about it.

POWERS #11 (MR) $2.95- What's going on? Well, this is one wacky series... I wish I could tell you. But really I can't remember. Alot of people um... dealing with powers. Short as that description is, if you were reading the series, it would make sense.

WOLVERINE #29 $2.50- Wolverine continues his vengeance. And he has alot of catching up to do. Sheild is sitting on it's crashed wreck heap in Arkansas. It is safe to say every player in this book has bitten off more than he can chew. But only Wolverine makes it out on top. What do you mean how do I know? Classic comic know how... oh and it's his title.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Infinite Summer Goodies

So, it is official, I was never meant to have money. And I was probably never meant to look beyond the Marvel Universe from a buying perspective. Take for example, I have been enjoying finding this indy comic for my brother, CreeD... and then there is his favorite Darkhorse comic Blade of the Immortal. The thing of it is, he never said... look out for that for me. But I have ... and I do. It is the same with a friend of mine who enjoys Alan Moore.

Then there is the fact that I made a grave mistake ... I added Newsarama and Pulse to my favorites. It is one thing to get a weekly e-mailing stating in bland text what interviews and such they have. It is another entirely to be sucked in by a preview of promo art, or a nicely worded intro paragraph. Which more power to the indy guys... snagging me like never before really. I am getting a new Tick series this summer.... A Gargoyles comic from Disney and Slave Labor Graphics... Sam Falcon from Lucky Bamboo productions... and if I can get a hold of it online a TPB of Gunpowder Girl and the Outlaw Squaw. Nevermind of course that shipping will be outrageous going from several different sites.

I can thank my lucky stars that DC has very few titles that pulled me in so far. Oh, and speaking of trying new things. I was wondering if any of you out there knew of any comic book type movies, or where I could find out about some, I saw this one in an article this morning: The team of Martin and Lewis made sixteen more films, including ARTISTS AND MODELS (1955), which was set in the comic book industry. So, if you know of anywhere or anything that kind of indirectly involves comics... let me know.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Life is very strange. Fridays used to mean something to me at one point. It signified the end of a week, and I had the weekend (in theory) to fool around. And now it is quite the opposite. I love my week, I can take my time... sort through stuff. And the weekend is for scrambling to meet obligations. And in this way, I feel cut off from most of the population. I can no longer relate to those universal topics, I suppose I never could anyway, at least not in a whole conversations. But I could nod and be thankful when my dad would say, "Boy I am glad it is Friday..."

I guess in truth I will probably come back to a point of at least almost meshing with the rest of the world. But for now at least it gives me several days to be glad for... in exchange for two I am not so happy with. Not a bad trade off in the end, I guess.

Oh yeah, and just cause I know you can still find this if you look:

A Dozen Reasons To Buy Gravity, which Arrives In Stores Wednesday, June 8 (copied from McKeever's website)

1. GRAVITY is an action-packed, character-driven, cameo-lovin' look at Marvel New York through the eyes of a newcomer.

2. He's a brand-spanking-new Marvel hero--here's your chance to get in on the ground floor and support new characters!

3. Black Death is the coolest-looking new villain since Typeface!

4. Clean, crisp, candy-like art from Mike Norton & Jonathan Glapion and vibrant colors from Guru eFX.

5. Blue Beetle's goggles live on!

6. Remember back in the old days when Spider-Man was a single college guy? Me too! And I'm the guy writing GRAVITY!

7. GRAVITY has been pre-canceled at #5 for your protection!

8. The collection will be digest-sized, which is cool, but if you want to see Mike's wonderful art in its originally-intended size, you'd better buy the comics!

9. Joe Quesada will have your babies!*

10. Because Hawkeye would have wanted it that way.

11. My mom says it's "fresh"!

12. If you don't, I'll come to your home and cry, and that's something you just can't un-see, you know?

*If and when medical science makes this possible, and even then, probably not

In honor of the release of GRAVITY #1, I'll be at The Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio, on June 8 from open to close! That's eleven hours! Don't let me get lonely, okay? If you come in and don't see me, just ask--I'm there somewhere!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


There is something really neat being done on a title, that has a premise which allows neat things. It is essentially a book as limitless as the imagination. About a team of Exiles... all from different universes, and they set things right while hoping they make it back to their own time... their own worlds.

Now for those of you who get on the Marvel website may have noticed awhile back that there was a survey asking where fans would like to see this band of misfits travel next. Well in a (not so) surprising turn they picked them all. And I am pleased to add they picked well. For those of you who remember my excitement of MK 2099, and then my disappointment at the poor package. The Exiles will be traveling to the 2099 that I remember, the one I was hoping for.

For the first arc starting with issue #69 they will be heading to the universe of original Marvel... the Daredevil and Spidey hopping through New York. So I urge you fellow bloggers... start with #69, and stay as long as you can... as long as you like reading this. I can guarantee it will be worth it, but any boost along the way that can keep this Worlds Tour going will be great. I have favorites from almost all these Marvel timelines. Thanks for hearing me out.
Preview of The World Tour Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

But You Get What You Need

So, there is this thing about birthdays. I stopped knowing anyone or seeing anyone. Yet, people still want to hang with me... wish me wells, and that is all pretty cool. But in not knowing me, they shrug off a birthday gift in favor of that monetary paper. Really, I can't say I blame them. If I don't have it, I either get it, or I talk myself into not wanting it as much. Don't have alot set aside for anything but comics and impulse buys. Now when they give me money (bless their hearts) but it really screwed up my system of checks and balances.

Hmmm, I should never write a blog with music in the background. I have the Benny and Joon soundtrack playing in the background. Great movie (and I am finding equally great CD) but it is really screwing with my emotions... at first I would smile remembering silly bits to the movie... now it has all gotten to the crucial tear jerkers in the movie. And I have just remembered they played the "Balloon" song without the balloon. Okay, some of you out there must be going, "CDs he likes music." Well, I cleaned today and came across some.

Anyway, so I was on Ebay, and since I could not be there for the auctions (a blessing in disguise I assure myself) I set an amount and was outbid. It is not so much the losing as it is... losing by mere change. Now, I simply make myself happier by thinking they were willing too bid horrendous amounts to get past me... and God was asleep at the wheel and gave them the good fortune of getting a good deal. God and I have that kind of relationship.

Then I rush home for Comic Zone, only to have it crap out on me. Third week in a row, it is more aggrivation then anything, I should just wait for the archives... although don't be surprised if this one sounds like crap... I think they were having technical difficulties. But luckily, thank heavens, I called a friend and we kind of went back and forth releasing some burdens... very thereputic... and very appreciated.

So, if you couldn't tell from the title... sometimes what you wanted from your day, and what you needed are never exclusive.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Drawing a Blank

*wipes the dust off of the monitor* I am sitting here, in my office… in my kitchen (trailer-living dictates that some places must be combined) ~It would not be much of a stretch to say that this room is a kitchen/office/family room.~ And I am surrounded my comics… and clutter. Although, in defense, it is comic-related clutter. After birthday presents and my own spree it has multiplied. Still moreover, there is my small but scattered pile of drawings. As I scramble for something, anything to draw on my tablet.

This would all be fine, I suppose if my son and wife did not have a few of their favorite things tossed about. Many a groans have been made as yet again I run over a discarded toy or a favorite video tape, making it now useless. Even now I cringe as my son, gaining independence traipses across the kitchen with a plate of food looking back, and telling me bye. (I must admit I will miss him while he is in the other room visiting his mother dearest).

By far I am the main culprit of this chaos, and it is killing me. I try to be practiced in my organization of my collection. I have learned that an unprotected book will be in tatters at a moment’s notice. And it is not only my house that is disorganized. My mind seems to have followed. I can’t draw, I can’t write….

This being my third attempt at writing this blog. I kept telling myself that my life is the last thing I want to write about, but at the same time, I could think of little else. So by process of elimination, you get what seems like rambling, it is.

I feel like I am chasing inspiration. And that in and of itself feels wrong. Because every writer or artist I have ever heard asked the question about where there ideas come from or how they keep things so fresh will say the same thing, “I couldn’t stop writing if I wanted to. The ideas come and I have to write them down.” I just want to have the moment of escape that drawing and writing, to a lesser extent bagging and boarding comics gives me. I am easily content, and yet it has never felt harder.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Making Mine Marvel (Again)

UPDATE: For those of you with aggressive pop-up blockers This should be a more direct link.

So, Marvel has been my top comic company for a long time. I grump and gripe at times, but I put alot into the company that has been there for me. But one thing I constantly wish they would do is embrace the internet age. Their own site has been just good enough for a long time. And even that is a stretch, I want more than a face lift and a new article or focus once in awhile. That has been fixed of course, but through other sites such as Newsarama.

But admit fellow Marvelites, wouldn't you go to Marvel for interviews with creators? Even creator chats? Well, it seems after all this time, Marvel wants that too. And I have never been happier. Go to Marvel.com and take a minute to take their survey. You will be entered to win some prizes, and you might help make Marvel the website... something to sit up and notice of.

Make Mine Marvel (even in a virtual sense)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The More Things Change

Well, Blind Justice made a premature exit from my TV last night and I felt... robbed. I don't believe I have invested in a show this much. The only comfort I have is in the company of other miserable fans and even alot of folks involved in the show (near as I can tell). I am still wondering if it was aired as intended. It did not feel like it... it actually felt like a lead in to the show (new flavor) of the week.

And of course when it rains ... it pours. My phone service just out of nowhere cut off. I never realized the bonds I had made that depended on that communication. I felt stranded, and I felt I had left my friend stranded. Add to that, my gambling winnings of course went to quickly remedy my lack of a telephone. All of this is trivial... but I feel like at least it warrants some grumbling on my part. At the very least it is my birthday tomorrow...