GONE FOR AWHILE!
Well, so much for trying to keep this page timely. Turns out that I've been having some problems with my computer lately -- in fact, I've been offline for like the past 3 or 4 weeks due to my computer not working right. I luckily managed to get it working today, but who knows how long it will keep up... So, just in case, you've been wondering where I've been lately, the answer has been: offline.
-- September 17, 2004; 9:45pm
MY COMICS AND MOVIE PURCHASES TODAY
Got back a few hours ago from the local comics shop. Here's what I bought, with my comments:
ARCHIE AND FRIENDS #84 (Archie, $2.19)
Includes a 2-pger that appears to be penciled and inked by my favorite Archie inker, Jon D'Agostino (and written by John Workman).
AVENGERS #500 (Marvel, $3.50)
This is actually #85 of Avengers Vol. 3, the one that began with Busiek & Perez and Heroes Return. Hard to believe that I've had this series on my pull list, buying it faithfully every single month, for 7 seven years now (or, since mid-1997). There were a few times I thought about dropping it, including now, but I'm gonna stick with it for a little while longer. The art in this issue was decent, and the writing had a lot of surprises and tension. I really felt scared for the group when a group of Ultrons suddenly appeared. Having said that, I think a good story involves more than shocking the reader by killing off familiar characters and so forth. If that's all Bendis has got, then I'm outta here.
BACK ISSUE (TwoMorrows magazine, $5.95)
This issue focuses on superheroes on TV, with a big interview with Lynda (Wonder Woman) Carter. I found it more interesting than it sounds. Makes me wish I could afford to buy the recently-released Wonder Woman: Season One DVD set. But I don't think I was that much of a fan of the show in the first place.
BATMAN: THE 12-CENT ADVENTURE (DC, 12 cents)
I don't anticipate caring about this one much, but it was hard to turn down at that price.
BETTY AND VERONICA #202 (Archie, $2.19)
CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON #6 (Marvel, $2.99)
First issue of this series that I've bought, despite Cap being my favorite Marvel hero. (I haven't bought his series in two years either.) Bought this because the cover caught my eye (depicting Cap and The Scarlet Witch kissing) and the art inside looked okay and it seemed to be connected somehow to this whole "Avengers Disassembled" thing. (After having read it, I don't see how exactly, but it was nice to see Wanda and YJ show up in a Cap comic.)
DC COMICS PRESENTS: HAWKMAN #1 (DC, $2.50)
DC COMICS PRESENTS: SUPERMAN #1 (DC, $2.50)
Two of the Julius Schwartz tribute issues. Byrne drew a story in the Hawkman one which should at least offer some nice art (I'm less of a Simonson fan, who also has art in the issue, but at least he's a longtime pro as well). Stan Lee wrote the script for one of the stories in the Superman issue.
DOOM PATROL #2 (DC, $2.50)
Written and penciled by John Byrne. I tend to buy everything Byrne puts out, unless it's too expensive (such as the John Cleese Superman comic).
HAWKMAN #18 (DC, $2.50)
This was an issue from a year ago that I got for 50 cents today, found it in the cheap bin along with #17 and #20, but I put those two issues back in the box. Why did I buy this? Because the cover says that Garcia-Lopez did the art. 'Nuff said!
JOURNAL OF MADNESS Bonus Pack 2004 ($3.99)
This value pack consists of the MAD fanzine, The Journal of Madness issues #11-15 from 2001-2003. Pretty awesome bargain considering that any one issue alone carries a $3.99 cover price. The slip inside the bag notes "This set is limited to 130 copies" and I've got set #74 of the 130. Makes me wonder if more than 130 people ordered this set from the Previews catalog like I did, or whether they got less orders than that. If they got less, then that's a shame since this was an excellent bargain.
LOVE AND ROCKETS Vol. Two #11(Fantagraphics, $4.50)
SUPERMAN #207 (DC, $2.50)
The draw for me here is Jim Lee, who has been penciling this series lately. And also the fact that Supes is my favorite DC hero. I don't think much of the current storyline (too boring IMO) but at least I'm able to stomach buying "Superman" again, for now anyway.
THE LEGION #36 (DC, $2.50)
First time I've bought a new Legion comic since around 1998. I bought it solely because Dan Jurgens penciled it, and I like his traditional style of art.
THE PICTURE BIBLE Hardcover ($14.95)
Adaptation of The Bible in comics form, 800 pages in full color. Looks awesome.
THOR #83 (Marvel, $2.99)
Started picking this series up a couple months ago when Cap and Iron Man guest-starred, and I found that I enjoyed the art. (I think that it's by the same artist who does Brath for CrossGen, which I also buy.) Unfortunately it sounds like Marvel is going to be cancelling Thor or something. Great, I start buying it and they go and change it.
UNCANNY X-MEN #447 (Marvel, $2.25)
The final part of the arc written by Chris Claremont and penciled by Alan Davis. Davis was the draw for me here, since I hardly ever buy X-Men comics. Davis will also be drawing #450 and 451 apparently, so I'll have to decide whether I want to buy the intervening #448 and #449 (drawn by Olivier Coipel, whose work I'm unfamiliar with).
VERONICA #154 (Archie, $2.19)
My total came originally to $63.80, but since I get a 30% discount on all new comics, I ended up paying only $44.91. I also turned in my new order form (listed below) while I was there.
Afterward, my sister and I went to Value City where I noticed that they had a bunch of discounted DVDs and videotapes. I was tempted to get some Burns & Allen and You Bet Your Life DVDs for $2.99 each, but instead I bought two Josie & the Pussycats videotapes (containing 4 animated episodes per tape) and "Superman: The Movie." Those videotapes were $3.99 each.
Then we went to Big Lots and I bought a blank videotape for 98 cents (to record General Hospital tomorrow) and a videotape of "The Knack and How to Get It," a quirky 1965 B&W movie by Dick Lester, who had directed "A Hard Day's Night" the year before. "The Knack" video was only 2 bucks, and I got it at the last minute. I had remembered seeing it on TV back in the late 1980s and thinking it interesting, so might as well have the thing on tape to see if it holds up.
-- August 4, 2004; 10:50pm
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"If God had a voice, it would belong to Robert Plant"
-- Michelle Branch in a recent radio interview
THE REAL "PENNY ARCADIAN"
Neat little column yesterday by Diana West detailing the contents of an 1894 newspaper, which reminded me of the "retro Victorian" style of Ruse and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, only this was the real thing.
-- July 15, 2003; 2:15am
NO BAD BLOOD BETWEEN US
Got a phone call from my doctor's office this morning. I had gone in last week for a blood test, so they could check to see if I had any problems like diabetes. I've had some stiffness in my legs, below the knees, for the past year and I was worried that I might have diabetes since my mom has it. Well, everything checked out normal, no diabetes and normal blood sugar level. (Hmmmm, I forgot to ask about high blood pressure. Well, I'm sure that she would have told me if I had a problem there. She said everything checked out normal, so....) I'm happy now. Thanks, God.
-- July 14, 2003; 1pm
Got back from the Christian rock festival around 3pm today. I've written up an account of my experience here. I'll be putting up photos to accompany the article soon, once I figure out how to get my scanner working again! I'll post a note here once I've added the pics.
-- July 13, 2003; 10:10pm
HOW I'LL BE SPENDING MY WEEKEND
I've got to get offline now and start packing for my trip to Ohio. I'll be going to King's Island tomorrow for a 3-day Christian rock concert called "Spirit Song 2003." You can read the schedule here. The artists I'm most excited to be seeing are Newsboys (although I saw them in March), Skillet, Superchick, and ZOEgirl. I noticed at work today that we had CDs for sale of around ten of the artists that are going to be there -- and it's a secular store. I'm planning on bringing my new camera along (a gift from my brother) and hoping that cameras are allowed in the concert and that I can take some good pics. If so, I'll scan them and post them here on my website. (See why I need more webspace, like I talked about below?) I'm leaving early tomorrow morning, won't be back till Sunday. See yaz...!
-- July 9, 2003; 9:40pm
A NEW WAY TO GET OLD SHOWS
I began getting a little bit interested in old-time radio (OTR) shows again this year, even collecting them a bit again in a way. Here's what happened: I learned about a website called OTRCat.com where you could buy OTR on CD form for only $5.00 per CD. And each CD would contain several hours worth of shows, sometimes over 40 hours worth of shows on one CD! The catch is, the shows are in MP3 format which means that they will only play on your computer (using a player such as WinAmp) or on particular MP3 players and DVD players. Still, the idea was very intriguing, particularly after I bought a few CDs from the OTRCat website. (By the way, you can listen to entire episodes of various radio series on their website. Check it out!)
So, I had noticed that a local store had an MP3 player boombox and I ended up buying it. It came with a remote control, so I could lay down on my bed, and if I wanted to turn the volume up, I'd just reach over and use the remote; or if I wanted to skip ahead to the next show on the CD, I could use the remote for that, too. I'd barely have to move my body! Another convenience was that they saved on space. Every surviving episode of The Shadow, for instance, which comes to around 100 hours worth of material, fits onto two thin CDs -- whereas it would fill a few shoeboxes in tape cassette form.
Soon I noticed that some people on eBay were selling the CDs at cheaper than 5 bucks per CD, especially true if you bought multi-CD sets. One of my favorites to buy from has been Alexander Kent who, nearly every week, has OTR MP3 CDs for auction. The CDs are sent in clear plastic cases (many dealers send paper sleeves instead) and are attractively labeled using images and logos, many of them taken from old comicbooks. Plus, the postage & handling charge is only $3.00 regardless of how many you order. So, if you won (and no one bid against you) his "Shadow" auction (starting price at $5.99) containing all of the Shadow episodes, and his "Green Hornet" CD ($3.99) containing 90 episodes of that series, and his "Mysterious Traveler" CD ($3.99) containing 73 episodes of that, then your total cost for those shows, nearly 200 hours worth of material, would be a mere $16.97. Pretty cool, huh?
There are also some other good OTR dealers out there on eBay. Do some searching around to see if anyone is selling shows that you want. (My hope is that one day Alexander Kent will be selling CDs for NBC University Theatre, NBC Short Story, Columbia Workshop, CBS Radio Workshop, The Avengers, The Judy Canova Show, and some of the all-day broadcasts like Pearl Harbor day, VJ Day, etc.) Another eBay OTR MP3 dealer (who does sell a few of the shows I just listed) that I've ordered from before is email@example.com, who is a good seller despite the way his name sounds!
Anyway, if you want to acquire a lot of old radio broadcasts for really cheap, check 'em all out! Even my recent MP3 OTR CD purchases this year have educated me (a longtime fan) about particular shows. For example, I'd never heard of the 1980 series "Mutual Radio Theatre" until I acquired a few MP3 CDs of the series on eBay, and learned that it was on this series that Arch Oboler produced his new version of "Night" (later released as a "Lights Out" program, in edited form, in the late 1980s by Adventures in Cassettes).
AS FOR OLD TV SHOWS...
A website called Finders Keepers has some cool stuff. I keep meaning to order more from them, including their Witch's Tale book, which I've known about for years and still haven't bought. They have 1950s TV episodes of some of the old radio shows, such as Suspense, Inner Sanctum, The Shadow, etc. I never thought that I'd really get to see those old shows, and now I have, thanks to that website. I ordered from them, and when one of the videotapes turned out to be defective, I sent them an email, and they sent a replacement to me at no extra charge.
HARVEY PEKAR'S BLOG
He actually has one! I love reading what Harvey has to say. Check it out at -- where else? -- www.harveypekar.com
-- July 9, 2003; 9:30pm
Well, this is my first post on my own webpage in around NINE months! Actually, not too much has gone on since I last posted, back in October. I just got done updating the MUSIC section of this site, with some more tinkering around planned. If you want to hear what kind of music I listen to these days, check it out. Incidentally, this weekend I'm going with some friends to Ohio for a 3-day Christian rock concert, where some of the bands mentioned on my Music page (i.e. Newsboys, Skillet, Toby Mac) will be performing. I saw the Newsboys live at "Acquire the Fire" a few months ago. Incidentally, if you want to know what Christian bands will be playing near you, the website to check out is iTickets.com.
STILL ONLINE FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE
Be sure to check out my "Good Old Days" section while it's still up. The whole section takes up 7 MB, and Tripod only lets me use 20 MB, so I may have to be taking down parts of it within the next few months. So, if you want to save anything on there, do so now. I hate to take down the "Bringing Up Father" and "Ella Cinders" pages in there, but together those two images alone come to almost 3 MB.
Yes, I also get free webpage space (15 MB) from Geocities, but I've used up almost half of that already, too. So, I'm going to be taking down some images that I uploaded there, too, to make room for other stuff. For example, there are some Spider-Man newspaper strips which I attempted to compile together to make a kind of web-comicbook. As far as I know, these particular Spidey strips from November and December of last year, concerning Spidey's battle with The Lizard, are no longer online anywhere else. So check 'em out while you still can, before I'm forced to wipe 'em to make room for other material. I'll probably be taking that whole Spidey section down by August or so.
-- July 7, 2003; 10:13pm