Monday, October 31, 2011

Favorite Halloween Comic

     Now ther's lots of spooky comics that I collected like House of Mystery, The Witching Hour and Tower of Shadows to name a few.  But my alltime favorite Halloween comic was Secret Origins #5 from the mid 1980's.

     That issue featured the origin of an obscure DC character named...The Crimson Avenger who made his comic debut in October, 1938.  Writer Roy Thomas came up the the idea of having the Crimson Avenger attend a Halloween party of the rich and famous.

     But crooks heard a rumor about a radio program designed to scare the populace.  As the rich are listening to the "War of the World's" broadcast, the crooks barge in dressed like Martians.  Meanwhile the comic cuts away to Orson Welles directing the radio program in the sound booth.  Very clever indeed!  Coincidently in real life Welles had just passes away that month, but considering the cleverness of the script and the fact that it was drawn by my late friend, Gene Colan, to me this comic is the tops.

     Eat lots of candy, and adopt a comic today.

     PS: Boo!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Organizing the Collection of Sorts

     Well with the colder weather coming, I've been stuck in the house having fun going through my comic collection.  And if you're thinking of doing the same, here's some tips for you and your collection.

     1) Sorting is (I feel) the key to managing a large or getting to be large collection before it gets out of hand.  Several ways to start is to consider what you want to keep and/or favorite heroes, artists, companies ect.  These can all occupy their own boxes and fit nicely into whatever storage plan you might have in mind.

     2) Boxes of course will be the next step once you decide what to keep.  Here's a major tip.  Everyone gets old quicker than you think, so use the short boxes that many comic shops offer.  The long boxes eventually collapse on themselves and will give you a hernia trying to lift.  Plus if there are short runs of books in your collection a short box won't be giving up the extra space that a long one will.  Don't forget the proper shelving for the boxes since if you stack them, you have to unstack them to pull out a book.  They do sell new drawer type comic boxes that hold up to stacking but I still haven't personally talked to anyone that has tested them.

     More on this space and collection problem that we'll "sort" out shortly.

     Take care and adopt a comic today.  And then store it properly.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hanging with my Bro

     My brother Terry stopped by for a visit last week and the first thing he wanted to do was visit my Bat-Cave where I keep all of my old, beat-up comics.  These books aren't worth anything on the open market, but ahhh the memories.

     So well into the night we sat up like we were six again, looking at old covers, saying stuff like, "Do you remember this cover?"  If we weren't teasing one anothe with those phrases it was with, "Did you collect this book, I can't remember?"

     It was a great visit and certainly made me appreciate the fun part of my hobby if not the historical aspect of it.

     PS: Check out the new John Byrne book out this week entitled, "Cold War."  It's a quick read, but great stuff on the subject of the late 40's and early 50's.

     Take care and remember to adopt a comic today.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Comics Off the Rack

     I was at a major bookstore chain Saturday and I thought I'd spread the wealth.  You see, every so often I buy a comic or two from every local store that I can.  Darned if it wasn't time for the regular bookstore that happens to carry comics to get a visit from "that comic guy" as I used to be referred to when I wrote a comic column for the News Herald. 

     So I bought Aquaman #1, took it home and read it.  Did I like it?  Well let's just say that when I passed on the Sea King's magazine the first time around at my own store, somebody turned out to be all wet, and it wasn't the guy holding the trident in his own monthly comic.

     Take care and don't forget to adopt a comic today.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Birth, Death and Comics

     Did you know that just a few days ago was my sister Tamara's birthday.  Also a few days ago was the anniversary of my Mother's death, well over two decades ago.  Now my sister never cared much for comics and my Mom plain out hated (due to the fact that I had so many in my collection getting underfoot) them.  But they both tolerated my hobby.

     Now my Mother did live long enough to see my contribution to "Superman at Fifty" come out.  It was one of the first critical comparison books on superheroes since, "The Great Comic Book Heroes," by Jules Feiffer written during the 1960's and Jim Steranko's pair of comic history tomes in the 70's.  Too bad she did not live long enough to see my weekly column on comics (and later humor and movie reviews) that ran in the News Herald for almost a dozen years.  I think she would have gotten a kick out of seeing my picture in color on the front page of the "Life" section every Sunday and then later Friday.  I don't have a large family left so I have to say that I guess I'm now just writing for myself and for you readers out there.  And that's plenty enough for me.  Hope you're enjoying it.

     I can't remember if comics got me through the passing of my Mother, but my favorite hobby sure is getting me through this summer (and into fall) of near heart attacks and angioplasty operations.  The New DC is suprising me and I'm agitated (not good for the ol' ticker, mind you) as I wait from week to week for the next batch of new comics.

     Last week I thought Superman #1 was a tad rushed and jumbled, expected more from George Perez, but Blackhawk was better than I expected and Batman #1 was a good first issue.  Just so you don't think I'm a shill for DC, try "Cap and Bucky," a pretty good book from Marvel.  I've been so busy with the New DC that I've let my Marvel connections (about as fast as my health has been sliding) slide.

     Hope I bump into some of you readers out in the real world.  Of course we'll talk comics, but don't get me started!  That last bit was a humorous nod to the title of this column.  And don't forget, adopt a comic today.