Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Comics Gnome TIME MACHINE!

One of the things I love about Blogging is This:
finding an old funnybook and sharing the experience with friends, new & old.  
A comic published in the 1970s is one of the quickest nostalgia vehicles for me personally. 
Not for the stories but the Little Details like the adverts which are the real anchors to Space/Times in my pert-near 40 years on the Planet.  

The Comics Gnome found something while we were eyeing the aisle at the Funnybook Bodega.  It was a Saturday and there were children in the comicbook store!  Again!!  Holy Shit!!!  But iDigress...
On the New Release shelf was a bevy of backissues for a few bucks so I heeded the beckoning.  
One of my gripes about modern Superhero comics is that they're just not as fun as they were in Ages Past.  And I put my Money where my mouth is.  For a Whopping Two Dollars...
it's a Winter 1976 collection of late Golden/early Silver Age reprints.  Cover priced for Fifty Cents.
Three Tales of the Super Heroes fighting...well Super-Gorillas!  
a SUPERMAN tale from 1956, art by Wayne Boring.  A Classic look and feel to the Man of Steel.  
a FLASH from 1967, story by John Broome & art by legend Carmine Infantino.
and finally BATMAN & ROBIN from Batman #75, 1953.  
Each hero fights their own Gorilla.  Yup.  Not bad either.  Not entirely great but definitely had a but more fun.  And they were a bit preachy too with "The Moral of the Story" at the end of the Adventure.  

But what I liked the most were the advertisements!  Better than the dated stories (which were all tasteful & a little ridiculous) were the ads that were in all those publications at particular times.  
It was 1976.  It was a different America then.  
We didn't need to wear seatbelts.  Or have helmets when riding our bikes or rollerskating.  
There were only Four Big TV Channels. Hello, PBS? Mouthbreathers...sigh...anyhoo.  And we in Boston had a good 4-5 Little UHF stations.  
Speaking of Old Teevee, Tell me seeing an ad doesn't make you feel 5 Years Old Again?
(if you wanna be jealous, I had the Death Star playset in the second ad? haha -The Mngt)
Then How About This One...And Would It Fly in 2012 USA?  Hell No!  
Daisy Air Rifle, anyone?  
Then over here to the Proto IntrePoop...the Quintessential Ad Page!
On this Page, Charles Atlas and his Dynamic Tension Theory of Bodybuilding.  Skateboarders around the country could get new decks, trucks, wheels & bearings to build their own boards in '76.  Comics for Sale.  Special Investigator Kit for $3.95 (plus 35 cents postage) Not Available to NY State Residents!  GASP!!  
Then to the Back Cover, glossy paper stock, prime real estate for any ad in any magazine...held by Spalding Basketballs
Who out there knows who Rick Barry & Doctor J are???  
and in closing we get the opposite of the Back Page Ad, the Inside Cover Ad.
Same Glossy paper stock.  The first thing you see with our Western Eyes moving Left-to-Right is another ad with a story told in sequential panels of drawn art with narrative copy and dialog.  Comics!  
Here's a tale of normal police officers capturing the nefarious JOKER.
what's the Plug? Hostess Fruit Pies!  
Here's an Index of them (God Bless the IntrePoop!).  Currently there are 234 of them. WOW! 

I hate commercials. 
But nothing brings me back to slices of life quicker than The Ad or a Jingle I may have seen & heard hundreds of times, over & over & over & over again like a Hot Moment's Pop Song...yet that Hot Moment being Many Moons Ago.  
I wonder will I still get Bloody Drool when I hear "Call Me Maybe" when I'm 64?  
This Funnybook ended up being an artifact, a series of cave drawings.  A Psycho-emotional Archaeological dig finding in the Pyramid of Myself.  King Nut, aw'right?  ;)

Kriya Shakti,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Smoking PUCK!

Oh Shit...Spaceballs!

Get ready for a shorter season, ladies & gentlemen...I said it here first. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Retweet, Get In My Belly

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Are You Reading?

In my Bag O'Life, I'll usually be carrying a few tomes to pass the times.
I get a lot of reading done.  
My Golden Zones are Two: The AM & the Afternoon, to & fro, from here to there, on the MBTA, Boston's Subway & Bus System.  I'm funny that I can't even listen to music with lyrics while I read, I get so distracted.  So it's an aural feast of jazz & classical as I get a little reading done in the Afternoon.  
In the Mornings, it's the same old bag.  The Bhagavad Gita and its continued transformative effect on my life (See: Tao of Sully here at OCHO for More Details, -the Bullpen).  I still listen to the Gita sung in it's original Sanskrit.  15 Minutes of Spiritual Focus goes a Long Way in a Workday.  
In the Afternoons though, the Books Vary.  It could be a few Funnybooks, either a fresh stack of monthlies pooted forth by my old friend The Comics Gnome.  Or it could be a story or as we FanVolk call "Arcs" from the Longboxes, several bagged comics or their Trade Paperback/Graphic Novel counterpart.  
Although usually I got my nose in one of my Books more oft than a funnybook during the PM Commute.  I have a great bookshelf I keep armed with great go-to stuff.  Something I can Grab & Enjoy on the Way Home.  Got the Epics.  The Bard.  The Bible.  The Skeptic's Bible.  The Best Books on Cooking.  A Spectrum of World Religions to Catch Up On...I got Clusters of Classic Sci-Fi.  I have only One Star Wars Book but iDigress...
But all bibliophiles great & small, we all love the Brand New Book.  
And I've for Me, 2012 has pretty much been the Year of the New Book.  
I hear there are things called libraries & I can borrow books for free anytime I want!  
I've purchased 4 new books so far this year.  That's better than the One last year and the Zero in the previous few years.  Mostly books On Cooking*, I think I read about what I love.
And the past two...well this will come as no surprise.
Non-Fiction About Comic Books!  POW!  WHAM!  KA-POWWW!!!
How ya like them Apples?  
First Up was Batman & Psychology: A Dark & Stormy Knight by Dr. Travis Langley.  
I mentioned this a little while back and finished it the other day.  
Really interesting book.  It takes Batman & most of the people in his World and holds them up to the light of Real Psychology.  I learned a boatload of different Disorders and their Derivatives and how they applied to the Dark Knight Detective and his Rogue's Gallery of "Madmen".  Heck, I've been applying them to my workmates!! :)  In the End, I felt instead of explaining this fictional character's neuroses & psychoses, A Dark & Stormy Knight presented the World of modern Western psychiatry into an accessible land that uses the familiar Bat-Universe as a Map.  A great short history lesson on modern Psychiatry.  The essential differences between Freud, Jung & Eriksson.  How non-aging characters & archetypes cannot really be defined by the DSM-IV.  Is Batman Crazy?  You got to read it to find out...
I love how Dr. Langley plumbs Batman to his nigh-fathomless depth to his roots & history.  Also every other important character get a quick "Couch Trip" with my personal favorites Selina Kyle (Catwoman) & Jason Todd (Robin II--->antihero Red Hood).  Deftly switches sources from Comics to Cinema.  I can only hope in further editions, perhaps an extra chapter further examining the Batman through his Elseworlds & Multiverse variants, the different expressions of the same rich character.  Thanks, Travis.  A Good read and it's getting lent to the right people...deserves a re-read and a place on the bookshelf.  Huzzah, Good Sir!  

Upon finishing A Dark & Stormy Knight, I was Book-less.  
That sinking feeling when you got nothing to read on the way home except some awful rag such as the Boston Metro (yuk!).  So I bellied up to the bar or in this case hit the bookstore near the Bus Stop again.  And this "National Bestseller" caught my eye.  I noticed it a few weeks earlier when the Batman movie was released, the Batman books were all clumped together.  
With this cover, I see why it was on This Moment's Center Aisle Featured Crap Display.  
Supergods by Grant Morrison, softcover edition.
I almost picked up Supergods in its hardcover when it came out last year but something held me back.  I think it was the size & weight...so I decided to wait.  And Lo & Behold, it got smaller & cheaper.  ;P  
So far I'm a few chapters in and loving it.  Grant Morrison is one of my favorite living sci-fi writers and his superhero funnybooks are in their own class.  Morrison uses the choicest of action figures in the toyboxes of both MARVEL & DC to create unique, savvy, sophisticated & mind-bending adventure tales.  
He's really good at his job!  
I'm still on his History of the Comics World segment that falls under the first 3rd mentioned in the NYT review.  And it's fascinating.  It's not all about characters & make-believe but Creators and Publishing Magazines!  About the Pop Art Explosion and the grapple for the Marketshare.  And about countless repetitions of the same themes, basically Superman & his opposite the Batman.  
And I love Grant's Storytelling "voice".  It's 110% Grant and it does take a nimble mind to follow him. He is very kinetic and intends to give you a lot of information at once because we're moving on, very quickly to the next Idea any moment and yes...you will be getting quizzed later.  

So I'm keeping company on a Saturday Morning.  On the Couch, with a cup of coffee, my little dog snoozing in the crook of my arm as I turn pages on a good book.  Non-Fiction About Fiction.  
What about you?  What are you reading for pleasure?
Let me know...maybe we can start a book club.  

*S'funny...I don't dig Cookbooks.  Although Betty Crocker & the American Test Kitchen are invaluable resources for method, prep & execution of anything.  Webpages have replaced my Need of any cookbook.  All props to Epicurious Dot Com as well which has saved me a trillion times.  Yes, a Trillion!  

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Smoking Puck

September 17, 2012

Hello and Welcome to the Smoking Puck!
My Grass-Roots Blog on Hockey with a local Spin being a Bruins fan.
I have a joke.  On the 8th Day, God Was Bored.  So God Created Canadians.
Hockey to me is the Ying & Yang of Sports.  of Sheer Grace and Utter Brutality.
A Sport indigenous to snowy places.  I grew up in the hockey-mad 70s & 80s in South Boston.  Everyone played hockey (except for me!).
But I remember it being the only sport I really cared about as a kid and growing up.

I was the kind of fan to wait on Causeway Street overnight for Tickets, in the "Great Darkness of the Pre-IntrePoop Daze". we call the late 20th Century.
And we'd play Wiffle Ball under the Old El in the wee hours of the morning.  I had a little money I'd brought with me so I'd only get about 4 pairs yet it was the experience of hanging with a best mate.  And the camaraderie with the other fans you'd see year after year.  
For me it was never about the fighting or the violence but who doesn't like a hockey fight?  It was about the horn sounding after a goal, followed by the crowds roar.  It was about running into past Bruins like Terry O'Reilly & Derek Sanderson and them being cool enough to sign the crest of your jersey.

Then came the New Building and the Old Garden was Gone.
Then came the IntrePoop and queuing overnight for tickets was now irrelevant.
Then came those Horrible Yellow Stripes down the sleeves of those 2nd rate uniforms  we were stuck with for most of the 90s!!!
Things Got Worse...
Then Things Got Better. A lot better.
And Welcome to the Future, to 2012.
As of Today, the Hockey Season is in trouble since the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Players Union and the Owners expired on Sunday.  Yikes.
People been asking me for the past few weeks.
Whatcha think of another Lost Season?
And it's tough to figure.  The Bruins just signed 4 of their star Forwards (as opposed to Defensemen); Chris Kelly, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin & Milan Lucic.  What does that even mean?  Sheeesh.
My advice to the Powers That Be is this: Find a Way.
Crisis does make one think of creative answers & solutions to problems.  Perhaps a great solution will appear soon.  Or as I like to say in a daily intention "Kriya Shakti", the ability to spontaneously generate Right Action.  The past 8 years of NHL Hockey has been great.
Some of the best hockey I've ever seen.
The rule changes & shootout works.
There is nothing broke and guess what, No One Is Going To Go Broke Either...
So Lace 'Em Up & Play!


Friday, September 14, 2012

I've never done any sky diving ... but maybe by the time I die, I can feasibly have my ashes dumped onto Mars ... just like this ... in a robot.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Joss Whedon Kicks Arse...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Hello Dear OCHO,

It is once again September 11th.  
You can check out previous years on the Tag.  
But this year's blog, I got inspired by Twitter, something that didn't even exist until 2006.  Both 9/11 & Twitter are 21 Century Experiences.  
The first I'm proud to say I follow the brilliant & kind George Takei, actor from the Star Trek series & films.  
This pic below comes from his 9/11 Tweet and I just think it really sums up what I am feeling This Year.  
Sidenote: On NFL Kickoff Sunday, Mike & I went to the Pub and sat next to two guys in Pats shirts...who of course gave Mike shit for his Broncos jersey.  
And after giving back we became chatty & friendly.  Nick & Keith turned out to be National Guardsmen back from their last Afghanistan tour only 6 months ago. 
Upon finding this out, we bought a round & all toasted their service...and my line was "thank you for coming home"
Thanks.  And Just remember where you were that day, what you were doing, how did you find out, how did you feel...and what do you think of it now
and for a Time Capsule, I got this from the Tweets.
From Comics Book Resources, a page I read everyday any way but this one slipped by me back then since well I didn't read CBR back then so Thanks to Alan Kistler for re-Tweeting this.  .
Written by DC Universe & Bat-scribe Gail Simone, the lady behind Batgirl's cowl & author of many fine stories.  Writes teams well & almost as good as Joss Whedon.
Thu, September 13th, 2001 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books, Gail Simone, Guest Contributor

In The Midst Of The Horror...

Something wonderful happened.

I found out that I'm not as cynical and pessimistic as I had thought. Here's why:

The passengers who chose to attack their hijackers, likely saving thousands of lives.

The policemen who haven't slept in two days.

The firefighters who pleaded from their hospital beds to be allowed to go back to the scene to help.

The endless line of people in New York volunteering to do something. Anything.

The people around the world donating money and blood, even from countries in desperate need.

The health care personnel who walked to the scene unasked, to help.

The emergency service workers who rushed back to the scene despite the danger of buildings around them in danger of collapse.

The non-Muslims who refused to give in to bigotry and racism.

The websites that started donation drives that are collecting millions, a dollar at a time.

The Red Cross, never more deserving, never more tested.

The journalists who occasionally worked through tears to keep us informed.

The grief counselors who took the savagely difficult task of being with the loved ones of the victims when it was most needed.

The massive support of the governments of the world. If there was a sign of hope for the future, this is it.

Those common people in virtually every country in the world, who left flowers and prayed and lit candles and sent letters to the US in memory of people they'd never known.

The huge group of people cheering for not only the policemen, firefighters and EMTs at the scene, but for the Con Ed workers and those who handled the debris.

The politicians who suddenly rose above our expectations to do the right thing tirelessly and selflessly.

Those people who opened their homes to the stranded.

The National Guard, who know that they'll be called when things are at their worst.

The men and women in the towers and the Pentagon who aided those around them who had fallen, to get them to safety, at great personal risk.

The NATO leaders, who said we do not stand alone.

Voices in every language saying, "I'll give blood. I'll give money. I'll give support. I'll give food. I'll give a place to stay. I'll give my time. I'll give. I'll give. I'll give."

There can never be a full accounting, from quiet heroism that will never make the news, to those who sacrificed their lives after forty years of public service. I find myself with a new understanding of what it means to be an American, and what standards that means I should live up to. I find myself proud, not ashamed, to be a citizen of the world.

The list of victims is long. The list of those who want to help in any way they can has more than a billion names on it.

The people who committed this atrocity thought that they were striking at the heart of America.

They missed.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Pizza Rolls...and BEER!!

Compliments of OCHO's very own Doctor Hooey, Peter. Thanks!

For Crying Out Loud!

I am a Grown Man and I Sometime Cry at Good Fiction.
I think this is Perfectly Normal.  But I also think Perfectly Normal means Being Able Stand on one foot and chant my stress away but iDigress...

I am here to extol the good Doctor and his magic TARDIS.
The Current Series of DOCTOR WHO, the BBC Sci-Fi show going on 50 Years Old very soon, is one of the best shows Ever on TV.  I grew up on the 4th Doctor Tom Baker in the 70s & 80s on PBS.  So the good Doctor is an integral part of the sci-fi tapestry of my growing up right along with Star Wars, Star Trek and about a hundred other Things Geeky.

The Current Doctor Who show has done something to me that few shows can accomplish.
It makes me cry.  And I don't weep openly with sniffles.  More of a manly & reserved shedding of a few hot, huge tears that fall freely from my eyes in gracious admiration of the payoff in the story; they get quickly wiped away hoping nobody saw.
Emotional Payoff.  It is huge in this show.  It's one of the most gratifying shows a Sci-Fi fan can like.
So as any good geek does, we list!
In Chronological Order...
1.  Father's Day. 2005, 9th Doctor & Companion Rose Tyler.

When you travel back in time, it must be hard to resist the urge not to change anything.  So we get what happens here in this episode.  Against the Doctor's warning, Rose does the unthinkable.  Asking to go to the day her father dies in a car accident, by saving his life she dooms All of Space/Time!!!  This story is about people & choices & regret & doing the right thing.  It was my first hint that This New Doctor Who show was Special and Worth the Time & Attention deserving of the Best.
2.  Human Nature/The Family of Blood. 2007, 10th Doctor & Companion Martha Jones.

Funny thing is after this two part story, comes the Most Famous of the Modern Doctor's episodes called "Blink". Yet this is an awesome tale of the Doctor Hiding Out on Earth on the eve of the First World War and the friends he makes in that short time.  The end of this show set in the Now on Remembrance Sunday has more emotional payoff than the next & more famous story.  It was just a moment but when the old man veteran looks up to see the Doctor & Martha, things got a little leaky under my irises.
3.  Vincent & The Doctor. 2010, 11th Doctor & Companion Amy Pond.

The Doctor & Amy find themselves with Vincent Van Gogh in one of my all-time favorite episodes ever.  Can't describe it, you just gotta watch it & love it too.
4.  The Girl Who Waited. 2011, 11th Doctor & Companions Amy Pond & Rory Williams.

This one is a real tearjerker.  If this one didn't get the waterworks a-flowin' then you might have cauterized tear ducts.  Wherein the TARDIS returns to a planet in the future only to find an 26-years older Amy Pond whose been waiting to get rescued all this time.  Heartrending ending.
5.  The Doctor, The Widow & The Wardrobe. 2011, 11th Doctor.

The endings are where the Misties happen.  Such as in this really ridiculously flighty X-Mas Special but oh how they make a grand finish.  Wow...
Honorable Mention goes to The Lodger. 2010, 11th Doctor.

Such a charming Stand-Alone episode and really fun & nice.  Last time I watched it I got sentimental at the ending since again, it was the payoff and emotionally charged.

In Frank Herbert's saga "Dune" the Fremen of the Desert Planet consider it a gift of one's own moisture by shedding a tear.  Moving stories & art are supposed to generate emotional responses.  For me, this is sure proof that its doing its intended job and I guess I give as freely as I receive.  Thanks.

kriya shakti,