Thursday, May 31, 2007

Trina Robbins & Neil Gaiman: just because....

I’m reading the current issue of Library Journal, with a nice overview of the career of Japanese manga artist Rumiko Takahashi (Return of Lum, Ranma ½, etc.). Along with this there reviews of a new selection of both manga translations and graphic novels from American publishers.

What caught my eye was a review of the book, “Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed!” by Arie Kaplan. Reviewer Martha Cornog mentions that while the book deals with well known creators like Stan Lee, Will Eisner, and the like it also discusses more recent folks like Kyle Baker and Ho Che Anderson. The striking thing is in listing some of the folks she places Neil Gaiman among the long-standing ‘grand master’ and Trina Robbins as a ‘recent notable.’

Maybe it’s just me but I seem to recall Trina having a nice career & fan following well before Neil’s name started showing up on the cover of a DC comic. I’ve been fans of both for years and have had the opportunity to actually meet both at some point face-to-face (ask me about exchanging e-mail with Gaiman sometime!). I realize that a quick mention in a book review shouldn’t be taken as a slight, but a quick Google search on Robbin’s name would not have been to much to ask.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Star What?

Has it really been thirty years since we all first saw STAR WARS (now known as SW: A NEW HOPE) in the theatres? Unbelievable!!

I attended the San Diego ComiCon in ’76, where there was a guy trying to get folks to stop at his table where he was promoting this movie by the director of AMERICAN GRAFFITI. He had a book full of production sketches and some photos of actors in costume. Sometimes that weekend he also did a slide presentation, with much of the same material and told us a bit about the project. No hint that it was going to be more than a single stand alone film.

Thirty years ago, give or take a week my father, who had no interest at all in science fiction, won a contest at work which included promotional material and a free ticket to the film. He was then working at King-Seeley Thermos which had signed a licensing agreement for SW themed lunch boxes and thermoses. I was working for the summer at Thermos, while attending college and he gave me the pass.

To say I was blown away was an understatement. Who knew when that huge spaceship filled the screen that it was only the beginning of a phenomenon?

Hats off to Mr. Lucas and the folks working with him. A light-saber salute to all the fan boys & gals at the “Star Wars” Celebration IV being held in the LA Convention Center this weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Where has all the time gone!

I used to live a very different life. I’m happy with my present one, but it continues to amaze me how different my life has been at various points.

I have been married to three very different women and have had several different careers. I’ve been working as a Librarian almost longer then all three marriages combined, if I count the months I worked as a Library Clerk even longer.

I have made cement urns for cemeteries; worked as an electroplater, motion detecting alarm assembler, short-order cook/dishwasher, and retail-store manager and fork-truck driver. I’ve served eight years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, plus reserve time. For several months I worked as a file clerk for a law firm in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. During all this I have written book, movie and comic/graphic novel reviews for both online & print newsletters, plus dozens of issues of my own publications for fandom.

In this time I have visited five continents, over a dozen countries and lived in eight cities in three states.

I have no reason to admit to all this, except noticing that between my two blogs I’ve written over a thousand posts since January of 2003. Whenever I think I’ve run out of things to write about I just think back.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The season so far!

It’s only the end of May, so you really can’t predict at this point which MLB teams will be ending their seasons in October and which will be facing each other in the play-offs (let alone the World Series). Still it’s nice to see at this point that both the New York Mets & the Boston Red Sox are leading their respective divisions in the East. The fact that both teams have beaten or led in the stats the Damned Yankees makes it even sweeter.

It is quite possible that by August the Sox will have their all too predictable slump and the DY’s will move up to the top spot, but at this point it doesn’t seem likely. The Bronx Bombers play and look old out there, while their track record for the past few years doesn’t make for much hope even in the most die-hard of their fans. Being out here I can’t see the headlines or tabloid photos that probably damn and then praise the Bombers on any given day. I just know in my heart of hearts that this is going to be another ‘also ran’ year for the Bronx Bumblers. How well the boys from Beantown come out is just gravy!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Joe Bob Briggs Reviews

They have finally begun posting a back-log of the book reviews over at the Joe Bob Briggs Report. You can see my review of "An Innocent Among Them" by Jack Allen (which I posted here sometime last year) if you click on over.

Use the above headline or the link over on The Right and see what else Joe Bob has in store.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Lying in the Gutters" with Rich Johnston

I've known Rich Johnston for over ten years, although it has been almost that long since we've actually been face-to-face. Back when I used to do the fan circuit with Elayne I'd get a chance to chat with Rich, even having him up to our hotel room for our pre-con parties a couple of times.

My introduction to him was when I spotted him selling his comic X-FLIES in an Artist Alley. This was when Fox TV's X-FILES was one of the most popular shows on network television. Rich's insect spoof of Scully & Mulder was a real treat whether you were a fan or not.

Every so often I'll hear about some rumor or story that Rich is writing about over at Comic Book Resources, but I keep forgetting to link to it. I'm now correcting that lapse and hope that you'll click on either the headline above or the link on The Right.

Glad to have you around Rich!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

JERICHO falls!

According to what I’ve just read online CBS is going to pull the plug on JERICHO. I’m really sorry to hear about this, as the show was one of the few ‘new’ shows from last season that Donna and I really enjoyed.
I'm going to guess that the show was expensive to produce and we do live in the age where 'reality' shows seem to be what the network wants.

If it’s true, and I have no reason to doubt it, I’m hoping that perhaps SCI FI or one of the cable networks picks it up or at least gives the okay for the show’s creators to put together a made-for-TV movie which would resolve some of the series plots.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

San Diego Comicon: Not this year!

Well, after checking my work schedule it's become obvious that I won't be able to make it down to San Diego this year. Needless to say I'm disappointed, as this would have been my first visit to that con in a decade. Next year, as I'll have Annual Leave available, I'm definitely going to be down for at least a couple of days.

On another note, I just want to let folks know that Donna and I are very much further south than the current fires in the hills near Griffith Park & the observatory. This should be the rainy season, but things have been very dry so the fire danger is throughout the Southland. We have hikers, bikers and even a paint-ball group that take advantage of the trails in the arroyo behind the complex on weekends, so I've taken to keeping an eye out for any open fires or smoke from the area.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

How to be a super-hero!

I missed Free Comic Book Day, but I wanted to share the latest installment of Sheldon.
He's got it down pretty well, doesn't he?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!

The new Spider-Man film may bring in some more folks to Free Comic Book Day, especially in those shops close to theatres. Still, I thought the decision had been made NOT to tie the annual event into a major comics-related film. It may be a coincidence this time around, or the film's distributors may be doing it to tie-in the day (which I really doubt).

It doesn't look like I'll be able to take part this year (for the second time in a row), since I'm working again this Saturday. I'll have to check to see if the closest store will be open after 6:00pm.

Anyway, even if I'm not going to be able to enjoy the freebies there's no reason all of you should miss out. Call your local shop or head over to and see where the closest event will be held in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In Denial!

Just in case you folks missed today's UNSHELVED.
The strip will occasionally throw in a comic reference or do a story arc dealing with Dewey's (the main character seen here at the computer) love of the medium. That's Buddy The Book Beaver, with the shield rug, by the way. He is actually wearing a costume, which he never removes for some odd reason.