Friday, July 31, 2009

Recipe Friday Guest Blog

I have another Recipe Friday guest blog over at Journey of Will. Go check it out!

Uncle The Goog's All Purpose Seasoning

and for my last guest recipe...

Chicken and Vinegar with The Goog

Featuring "The Blogpost of The Future!"

Welcome to the second of my blogs spotlighting comics from my collection. This comic is the first from the books that belonged to my father. From here on to be known as "The Father Collection". These books my dad was able to put aside and save from my grandmother, who tossed out any she ran across them.
My father saved a few dozen, in various states of ruin. There are a good bunch that are in Good and Very Good condition and the rest are pretty bad. A lot have covers missing or writing on them, most of it from my dad.
He gave the comics to me when I was pretty young, they were kept in a brown paper bag for most of the time I had them, so I'm sure that didn't help to preserve them. I really didn't think too much of them until we went on vacation up to Vermont. Then I'd always bring the comics on the trip with me and I'd read them in the car and during the week.
I remember trying to convince my parents that the free passes to Palisades Park in NY were still good since there was no expiration date. I refused to listen to their outrageous statements of "but the tickets are over 30 years old" and "I'm pretty sure that the park isn't even there anymore". I was convinced they were lying because they just didn't want to take us.

Most of "The Father Collection" is DC, my dad was a big Superman fan, so on that note...

I bring you, Action Comics #256 from 1959! The unbelievable story of Ultra Superman!

The basic story is that Superman volunteers to be a test subject for this time displacement device, he is going to be sent to the year 100,000 AD for one hour. When the hour is up, Ultra Superman steps out of the tube and announces to the crowd that their Superman wanted to stay in the future for 24 hours so he came back to keep the portal open.
He then goes on to show off his new future powers by projecting a vision of the future and a warning about 4 disasters. He tells everyone about 3 then runs off to prevent them all. The 4th is revealed to be the assassination of the President! But even Ultra Superman doesn't know how to stop it, for just as we do not know much about ancient Egypt, his future knows little about the present!
This turns out all to be a ruse, because as the President's car blows up, Superman steps out and reveals that his big brain was all a costume! He was working with the Secret Service to flush out a spy! They knew about the plot against the President the whole time! The spy is, of course, the most obnoxious reporter that's been following Supes around all day.
So the President is safe and the damn commies are in jail! Huzzah Superman!

The extra Supergirl story is pretty much her trying to protect her secret identity. She's trying to be Supergirl and yet keep hidden. She blunders along almost revealing her secret identity a few times while trying to convince her friend that there is no such thing as Supergirl. In the end, Supergirl shows up to her school and performs some feats of strength in front of a surprised Linda Lee, then reveals that it was a robot sent by Superman as a demonstration...of something, being a super cool robot I guess. Superman was nice enough to leave a note for Linda explaining he saw her problems and sent the robot to help clear things up. Then he signed it...Superman. You'd think that the fact that since Clark and Linda are COUSINS that he's sign it Kal-El or at the very least Clark. Oh well, I'm not Kryptonian, so I really can't speak for their customs.

Next time, I'll show off one of the prizes of my collection. I hope you enjoyed the blog, let me know what you think!

I'm lookin at you, Gary.

(edit: fixed mispelling of Kal-El)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We're Best Fwends!

If you haven't seen Baman Piderman yet, you are missing out! Recently Attack of The Show on G4 has spotlighted these shorts on some shows, which is how Elise and I discovered them.

The videos are about a special Batman and Spiderman, who are friends. They have some adventures of a sort. The best part of them is that it's not offensive, the animation, while pretending to be crappy is actually very well done and it's hilarious.

Check it out!

Pwactice da Counting
Make da Band
Find da Sandwich
Hab da Pumpkin

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Productive Sunday

Every so often, Elise and I decide to put a day aside as a "Studio Day". This basically means we work on whatever art projects we have been planning, or procrastinating on, and get our butts in gear and do 'em...or at least start 'em.
Today was one such day! Elise spent most of the day sitting on the couch knitting a scarf she's been putting off completing and I spent a big chunk of the day at my drawing table. She got the better end of the deal, if you ask me...even if that scarf was as tedious as it looked.

So anyway, I mainly wanted to get some good sketches done for a tattoo that someone at work comissioned me for. When I took it on, it sounded like a lot of fun. She's looking for a Cupcake Mafia. I have no clue where this came from, but that's what they wanted (the tattoo is going to be a gift, I believe). There's a cupcake eating a canoli, a cupcake in a track suit and a Don cupcake petting a cat.
I though it sounded like a fun challenge, I was right about the challenge, that's for sure. It was really difficult to find the right balance of anthromorphic baked good with the stereotype and make it actually recognizable for something that no one's ever seen before (or at least I imagine so). I think I did a pretty good job. The canoli eating cupcake was easy. The track suit cupcake and the Don were quite a bit more difficult. Figuring out the frosting hair was driving me nuts. I eventually got the track suit but the Don's hair was not working out. I was trying to make him look like Brando in The Godfather, but since I was trying to avoid faces it wasn't working out well. I had to have the hair do most of the work. After wracking my brain, it finaly hit me. The Simpsons! I googled Fat Tony and viola! The perfect hair for my Don Cupcake!

...or at least I hope so, I have to email this to the client on Monday.

The next thing I got to work on, around doing my laundry, was a new shirt for my Cafe Press Shop. I worked on one design but I think I was rushing it and I was only getting frustrated, so I put it aside and worked on the piece Elise has been after me to put up for ages.

This little guy came out of an old project at school. It was just a sketch for a book mock-up, but Elise LOVED it. Loved it to the point that I can pull it out and show it to her at any moment and she will squeel with delight at the sight of it :)

I redrew it larger, cleaned it up and uploaded it to my shop. I also added a couple of shirts to one or two previous designs.

Check it out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hiking of Herculean Hardships!

Ok, well the hiking wasn't really THAT difficult, but the title sounded pretty good, right?

As you may have seen on Journey of Will (you do read JoW, don't you, and if not, why not?), Elise, Sean, Mel and I went for a day hike up Mt. Monadnock in NH on Sunday. It was a beautiful day, cool, breezy and sunny. The perfect weather for a hike!

We set out pretty early and got to the trail around 8:30. There were already quite a few cars in the lot, so there were people already on their way up! Monadnock is one of the most climbed mountains in the world apparently, second to Mt. Fuji in Japan, at least that's what Elise's blog says and the internets don't lie!

The first 20 minutes were pretty rough, I quickly hit the "why the hell am I doing this again?!" wall, which I don't usually hit until a good hour or more into a hike, you know, just far enough in that you feel stupid turning back. This trail was one of the rockiest I have every been on, at least right at the start. Mt. Flume was the worst really, but that didn't get horrific until well into the hike, but the Monadnock trail did eventually smooth out a bit and walking was easier. Actually, the higher up we got the better the hiking was, which is contrary to my usual experience.

Once we broke the tree line, we got some great views:

As we got a bit higher, I came across some wild blueberries! I ate one, gave one to Elise and guarded the last two from some passing hikers, for Sean and Mel. It turns out that my diligence was not needed because about 5 minutes later we came across a nicely open area and a TON of blueberries, which I set to grazing upon. They were pretty tiny, but tasty!

Shortly after this little break we got to what we thought was the summit, only to find that the true summit was pretty far off...

If you look really closely, you can just make out some specks that are other hikers! We still had some trekking ahead of us. This part of the mountain was set ablaze a couple hundred years ago for some reason or another, then once that was done, they decided to do it again for good measure. So there are very few trees past the ones in the pic above. This made the top section of the mountain really windy. But there were more blueberries to give us the strength to carry on.

Once we finally got to the top, with the nearly 2 dozen others already up there, there were some astounding views!

...and one of me! So jaunty!

What you probably can't see in the pic is that there are dozens of names and dates carved into the stone at the top. Some I found dated to 1880! Many of them were too eroded to read anymore but it was pretty neat. The practice is discouraged now, but I did see one name in sharpie from 07. Sharpie? Really buddy? Guh.
Well anyway, we had lunch and rested then headed back down. The trail down was pretty decent, but there were a few difficult rock scrambles. Aside from that it was mostly uneventful.
We got back to the cars and had a long exhausted drive back home.

All in all it was a great day out, and a highly recommended hike! If you haven't checked out Journey of Will, Sean and Elise both have some alternate pics up.

Friday, July 17, 2009

At Last, You Will Learn What Lives Within...The Comic Box!

Welcome to the first in a series of posts (coming somewhat regularly, but I don't want to bore you with em) featuring some of the comics in my collection!

I have been reading and collecting comics since somewhere around 1993 or 1994. I had comics as a kid and if I was good my parents would sometimes buy me these grab bags they had in a rack at the supermarket. I still have a bunch of them, although I drew in some or got lollipop goo on em (I'm not kidding, I have an issue of the A-Team that I clearly remember drooling an orange lollipop onto accidentally), but I still have em.
My father actually was able to save a couple dozen comics from the wrath of my Grandmother by hiding what she didn't throw away. He put them away and eventually gave them to me, so I have some pretty sweet DC books from the Silver Age (which I will feature from time to time). I also had a great aunt that was something of a pack rat (which is a bit of an understatement) and she had a few silver age books I ended up with too, including what I consider the prize of my collection.
That particular book will probably be featured next time, but for my first post I wanted to go with the theme that got me into real collecting, not just visiting the local comic shop and picking up the new books, I mean real collecting, as in books that tend to be as old or older than I am.

One of my favorite characters, for some reason, is the B list Marvel character, Adam Warlock. He's a Stan Lee and Jack Kirby creation and his first appearance was in Fantastic Four #66 and #67 and at the time was only known as Him.
Him was created by the Enclave to be a perfect god-like being whom they could control and use to take over the world. The plan didn't work out. Recognizing them as evil and destroying their lab, Him eventually left for deep space, with some help from Ben Grim's girlfriend, Alicia Masters.

Adam has since gone on to be a Christ-like savior of Counter Earth, the keeper of the Soul Infinity Gem and a staple of Marvel's cosmic superheroes.
His main power, in my opinion, is his ability to regenerate when he's injured. Each time he forms a protective cocoon around himself and eventually he emerges with slightly different powers. It's a pretty handy ability to have because it means he can be recreated time and time again as each writer sees fit, so the character doesn't necessarily have to get stagnant. He can always be retooled to fit modern sensibilities and no one has a reason to complain about the change, unlike characters like Superman or Spider-Man. If you are going to go and change them, you better have a damn good reason. Often, that's reason is pretty paper thin and only ends with the characters reverting to their old selves, proving that there is no reason to change the character but that the companies should be looking to change the creative team on the damn books.
But I'm getting off on a rant here, back to comic collecting.

So the reason I chose this as my first comic post, was that over the years I had been picking up new Warlock stories but had never read his origin or his original series from the 70's. I knew the story, but not all the details. Some stuff was collected in trades but most of it wasn't. While at the Boston Comic-con I picked up a "Marvel Masterworks, Warlock Vol. 1" on the cheap. I enjoyed the early adventures but didn't expect to ever see a Vol. 2 (it actually just came out last week). So I gave myself the task to collect every appearance of Adam Warlock, as opposed to just key appearances. If I'm going to start something, I figure I might as go all the way.
This was partly inspired by the fine folks I see regularly at Comicazi in Davis Sq. and at gang at Graphic Novel Addict, the graphic novel book club we belong to and it was also just something I had been considering for some time any way.

I found that I quickly learned a lot about comic grades, which comics were more scarce than others and which comics I personally found desirable. This moved me into other characters and other stories and other creators. So far it's been a lot of fun trying to hunt down a decent issue of a comic for a decent price. I feel like I'm finally starting to have a real collection, instead of a crap load of modern age comics that I'll never or rarely read again, I now have a number of comics that are worth re-reading even if it's just to look at the art and that is kind of a cool feeling.

Hooray consumerism!

With that, I'll leave you before I start on another rant!

Fragged by Mother Nature

For the past 3-4 months we've been planning a hiking trip for this weekend. It was planned to be an overnight, but I took Monday off just to have an extra day to relax and recuperate, if recuperating was needed.

Mother Nature on the other hand, had other plans. It's looking like 80% chance of thunder storms up in NH this weekend.
Rain + Thunder & Lightning= Shitty Hiking.

It's pretty disappointing, we haven't had a chance to go camping at all this year due to various happenstances, so I was really looking forward to going. We even has a couple of new recruits to our little hiking club who have never been on a trip like this before.

To try to salvage as much of the weekend as we could and since Sunday is supposed to be the better part of the weekend, we all decided to not let our gear go to waste and we're going to hike up Mt. Monadnock. I think it should be a good day, it's going to be nice and sunny, there are no trees up there so the views should be pretty spectacular and if not, well I still have Monday off to catch a movie and try to forget the horrors we suffered.

So take that Nature! You can kick us in the nuts and we'll just take it and smile!

oh, I bow to your will oh great Gaia! Please bless us with your favors, I knew not what I was saying!

...we're doomed.

I'll put up some pics if we survive!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Copious Conundrums

I find myself in a bit of a pickle. I'm not sure how I feel about the blogspot blog, I don't know html so I can't customize this page to the extent that I had hoped. I tried to install wordpress onto my personal site, but it's not compatible. That boils down to the Frontpage files that are on there, so I'd need to completely redesign my website with another program to get wordpress on there.
At least, that's what seems to be the case.

I have been planning a website redesign for years, but it's a big project and a lot of work that I haven't quite found the time for yet. Also, I have no idea what to redesign it to. I have been wanting to update my logo, come up with some new and more accurate business cards, so I guess I should do that, then go from there.

I guess in the mean time, I'll continue to use blogger here. This will hopefully get me into some kind of blogger mindset.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, for anything website related, feel free to post em.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

Hey, welcome to the blog! I don't have anything fantastically special to talk about right now, seeing as I JUST started this up, but I plan on writing something up shortly. I can't guarantee perfect posting punctuality (but I can guarantee enough alliteration to make you sick) but I'll be posting as often as I have something worth sharing.
I'm currently planning on using the blog to talk about some of the comics in my collections. There aren't a lot of amazing pieces, but I've got a few that I'm proud of. I've got the collecting bug lately and I wanted to share what I've picked up and I'm hoping to get some discussions going in the comments.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Blog worthy post to be coming soon!