Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Taste in Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  This past weekend my brother Terry, stopped by for a two day visit and of course we stayed up late every night looking through...comics.

     I must say that we differ in our tastes, for he still likes the old stuff from when we were kids, as I do.  But he draws the line somewhere around the mid 1980's with his reading habits, while I become more discerning about my comic collecting from that time forward.  As Terry says, "Tastes change."  But I prefer to keep an open mind with my collecting.

     And maybe that's the key to really appreciating all sorts of comics...make sure that you do appreciate all different types of comics.  Not just super hero comics, but try romance, westerns, sci-fi, funny animal comics...all sorts.

     And remember to keep an open mind concerning your reading...tastes.

     Take care and adopt a comic (all different kinds) book today!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cold Comics a "Haven."

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I guess with all of the snow coming down, I should mention a comic about Captain Cold or Mr. Freeze.  Well I'm not.  But I am going to mention a Batman story that takes place in the snow.

     The tale concerns a violent man who had so many urges of anger that he found peace living in the mountains in a cabin by himself near the wildlife that he came to love as friends and soothing medicine to him.  But when crooks (and Batman) enter his domain, violence occurs which sets this man mountain off on a tirade once the bad guys kills one of the small woodland creatures for no reason.

     But the gentle giant goes berserk, hurting most of the bad guys, but dies in the process.  He tells Batman that he is happy to die since his anger will now be gone for good.  He indeed passes away with all of his furry friends surrounding him.  R. L. Stevenson is quoted from his verses about the hunter home from the hill at stories end.

     Writer Len Wein said recently that this was his favorite of all the Batman tales he wrote.  And with one of my favorite Bat-Artists, Don Newton supplying the art, this story of a violent man who took the name "Haven," is indeed a haven for someone who needs the warmth of a good, well-told  story.

     Take care and adopt a copy of Detective #314 (for the story I just described) today!  I have 2 copies myself.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Comic Cramps

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I've recently been talking about the large comic book collection I acquired.  Well I've finally sorted through all of them and started selling some, while trading a portion of the rest to friends.  But here's the major problem.  I kept too many for myself!  That's right, my collection just took a major hit...on the plus side!

     But where to put all of these four-color darlings of mine?  I've created new spaces for the brand new boxes.  But where did I create the space?  Straight up baby, it's the only direction left to me in my man cave (really it's the Bat cave).  Yes, I'm getting CRAMPED BY COMICS!

     My advice to everyone out there collecting comics (or anything for that matter) is to make sure you have the space, before you join the race...for completion of a collection that is.  Because remember, it's a jungle out there.  Actually not out there, but in my room where I sometimes feel like I need a machete to hack my way through the comic book jungle undergrowth.

     So yes, my den is so cramped that I can't swing a cat (woman) comic around in my room without hitting a five foot tall stack of comic boxes.  Help!

     Take care and adopt a comic book (but not too many at a time) today!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Orson Welles Play and Comic Tie-in

     Hello everyone, hope all is well.  Thursday, October 30th, (that's tomorrow) I'll be portraying Orson Welles at Barnes and Noble in the Great Lakes Mall (next to Max and Irma's) from 7-8pm.  I'll discuss the Martian radio hoax (it will be the 76 anniversary) and re-create parts of the original broadcast.  Hope you can make it and it's FREE!

     Back in the 1970's, Marvel Comics had a sequel to the H.G. Wells classic.  But this time they didn't perish from the common bacteria and cold germs that we Earthlings are used to.  Nope, this time they came back with some Zync Oxide and kicked our butts.  It was also an early art vehicle for Kent's own P. Craig Russell.

     Take car and adopt a (Martian) comic book today!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cosplay Show and Orson Coming

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Over the weekend, I attended as the main guest, the N.E. Geek Expo 2014.  It was part gaming, part comics but mainly Cosplay.  Over a thousand people attended and I, along with my publisher and my cover artist, Tim and David, had a blast for eight straight hours.  I gave a lecture and parts of it wound up in the Ashtabula Beacon newspaper.  I met some new friends too and all of them were dressed up equal to the event.

     Also for those who might not realize what time of year it is, I will be lecturing on Orson Welles and his "Martian Hoax," actually recreating some of the War of the Worlds radio segments, all dressed up as Orson Welles.  This event will take place on Thursday night, October 30th, at the Great Lakes Mall, Barnes and Noble from 7-8pm.  It is FREE and open to the public and everyone should have a great time.  See you then.

     Take care and adopt a comic book (about Cosplay, Halloween or Orson) today!          

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Finally, Kirby Gets Due

     After years of lawsuits, Disney, who owns Marvel Comics, finally decided to make the Kirby estate an offer to head off a trip to the Supreme Court.  The financial offer was not disclosed.

     I read the transcripts of the lower court hearings.  The lawyers for Marvel made everything seem like Jack, that as a freelancer who literally created or at least co-created every early character at Marvel, was nothing more than a pair of hands that dragged a pencil across a piece of paper on company demands.

     Yet the salaried "company" man, who worked out the stories with Jack, was none other than Stan Lee, who was on payroll and should not have been rewarded in anything other than his weekly paycheck, until his promotions kicked in, was rewarded with a contract about 15 years ago that gave him a deal that (according to the AP story) has benefitted him with over a hundred million dollars.

     Being a writer myself, I understand the unfairness of the "Work-for Hire" contract that most freelancers are forced to sign, so I'm happy for the family of Jack and Roz Kirby to finally get their financial recognition.  Oh, there's been recognition, especially after all of the hit Marvel movies lately have started with the credits, "Created by Stan lee and Jack Kirby."  But that line put absolutely no bread on the Kirby table at night.  So yes, it's good that the Kirby's are finally receiving the financial end of all those accolades. 

     Now you might say, "Jack and Roz have passed away, how does that help them?"  Well from the beginning, Jack stated over and over, that this legal battle was to leave a financial legacy to his grandkids and it has.  So it seems that one of Jack's heroic characters has won the day yet again.  Only this time the heroic character was...himself.

     Take care and read a (Jack Kirby) comic today!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

FF, Daredevil and Batman

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Both Fantastic Four as well as Daredevil came out yesterday and let me tell you, these are two great comics from Marvel that you've GOT to start picking up.  In both cases the art is pretty good but the writing is GREAT!

     Now that's my picks over at the House of idea,  but over at DC, do whatever you can to keep up with Batman.  More good writing and art.  But steer clear of Detective Comics, Batman's other title, it's not up to the quality levels of the other Caped Crusader comic.

     And if it's not sold out already, pick up the Weekly Thanos mini-series, and when it's all over, see if you don't think that it's another good one.  Man, the good comics coming out every month are really piling up.

     Take care and adopt a comic (any of the four I just mentioned) book today!