Sunday, May 07, 2006

It's Sunday morning, and I'm doing the gospel programming thing at the radio station, so I think I'll post a link or two found at other fine comics blogs as well as some random and arbitrary personal stuff (just because) to kinda warm up for the big review-a-thon I need to do today.

First, Sean (Hellblazer, Sleeper) Phillips has a redesigned website, chock full of excellent art, and a blog. Personally, I think Phillips is right up there, certainly with the greats of today, and should be highly ranked on the all-time list as well. In short, I like his stuff. He's as comfortable with depicting the mundane and ordinary as he is the outlandish and supernatural, and he's a master at chiaroscuro technique.

Yesterday was, as I'm sure you're aware, Free Comic Book Day, and even though I gave it some serious thought I decided not to make the 35+ mile drive down to Bowling Green just to pick up perhaps three freebie comics. I was interested in the Tokyopop offering because of the Alex De Campi story, of course I wanted the Owly, and the Adhouse offering looked good. Perhaps they'll have some leftover copies tomorrow when I'm back in BG for work. TwoMorrows Publishing has extended their online giveaway to today, so if you, like me, tried to get on their site yesterday and was unable to because the demand apparently crashed their server, you can score a free copy of one of their consistently fine magazines. I got a copy of Back Issue #8, because I've wanted to read that Trevor Von Eeden interview forever, it seems. I don't buy them on a regular basis because TwoMorrows publications, like Top Shelf's Comic Book Artist and of course The Comics Journal, just cost too much for me and my limited resources, even with the DCBS discount. Anyway, enough of my whining- go HERE to order your free TwoMorrows mag.

I did make a couple of foolish purchases yesterday: I picked up the new Flaming Lips album, At War With the Mystics, and not content with that, I also got a copy of Neko Case's latest, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, mostly because I really liked the cover. I had heard the occasional track by Case, but had never bought any of her recordings until now. See how visuals influence me? Anyway, I've only listened to it all the way through once, and it sounded pretty good in its low-key way. I'm sure further listens will yield further delights. The Lips CD is solid as well; less Proggish and more song/guitar-based but still full of diverse sonics, outstanding harmonies and vocal arrangements, and the wide-eyed grandiosity that made Yoshimi and especially the wonderful Soft Bulletin so good.

Mark Evanier's been Gong Show-blogging lately, and that includes this video link to Gene Gene the Dancing Machine! God I loved that crazy show...

Been checking out Van Dyke Parks' website, and I found a really nice remembrance of the late great Harry Nilsson, written for what the site describes as a "posthumous Nilsson tribute CD", which can only mean 1995's For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson. Why it didn't make the cut I cannot say. Also, here's an interview with VDP, in which he shares an amusing ancedote about a visit to Harry's grave, as well as discussing working with not only HN but Brian Wilson as well. Parks also refers to a documentary about Harry which is "soon to air on HBO"...first I've heard of it airing on HBO, but I'll definitely keep an eye out. And it better not give short shrift to the post-Schmilsson period...! Here's a WONDERFUL interview with the man who has put the documentary Who is Harry Nilsson...and Why is Everybody Talking About Him? together. It's accompanied by some cool pics of HN that I have never seen before.

I didn't get around to doing the Comics Reporter's Five for Friday this week, even though I'm not sure that Tom would have got it if I had- I think his email must be seeing my Gmails as spam. Hope that's not intentional! Anyway, in case you're reading this, Tom, that's John Severin inks on that Hulk cover- he was inking Trimpe at about that time, if memory serves. I emailed you about it, but got no response. Anyways, I thought I'd post my responses here for all to see. This week's topic was


(1) the first comic book you remember reading and its price
(2) the first comic book you remember buying yourself and its price
(3) the most recent comic book you bought and the price
(4) any particular big-time bargain you've stumbled across and the price
(5) the most you ever spent on a comic or comics-content book and its price.

And my responses, if I had sent any, would have been:

(1) I've written about this before, but the first comic I remember reading was Tales to Astonish #50, 12 cents cover price. There was also that comic that had at least two stories, one a recounting of the Native American Lady of the Lake folktale and another about the fellow named Talos that because ruler of the universe, that I asked about on this here blog several months ago and stumped everybody. I fully expect it to show up in one of those Boom! What Were They Thinking?-type books someday.

(2) This one's tough because I don't really remember. I started working for pay at age 16, in 1976 (at the late, lamented Carmen's Pizza in Cave City), so based on my buying habits at the time it was probably an issue of Brave and the Bold or Adventure Comics featuring the Spectre. I used to take my allowance before that and visit record and book stores when my folks would travel to Louisville, so it may have been one of the back-issue titles I bought at a short-lived comic book store off Broadway. Memory most definitely does not serve. At any rate, new comics were approximately 20-25 cents at that time.

(3) Another toughie, because I don't buy comics all that often at my LCS anymore. Most of my comics come in a bulk DCBS order, or from comps. But I actually remember the last comic I purchased at the Great Escape: X-Statix Presents Deadgirl #4, and the cover price was, I believe, $2,99.

(4) Back in the mid-80's I had the collecting bug big-time and I had set out to get as many Silver Age DC comics as I could- not necessarily the Superman and Batman books, but second-stringers like the Atom, Hawkman, and the Metal Men, and I actually managed to accumulate near-complete runs of all three of these titles, Showcase appearances included, and I was working on Green Lantern and Justice League of America as well...but finding myself in a money pinch a few years later, I sold most of these along with about 3/4 of my collection, which I regret to this day. Anyway, what got me started was finding a good-sized stack of those titles at a comics shop that was going out of business for about $50 after I traded in some Rolling Stone back issues, and that remains the best deal I ever made.

(5) Another tough one to remember- but I don't think I ever spent more on a single new comics publication than I did when I purchased the Spirit Archives #1 for darn near $50. I had foolishly thought I'd get these as they came out, but I lost my job a couple of months later and that plan went out the window. I'd still dearly love to have a set of these.

OK, that's it for now. Check back later for reviews.

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