davemerrill: (Default)
I marked the calendar "A3" and couldn't remember why, and now I remembered .

So this Sunday is the last day the Kickstarter for Digital Manga's Wonder Three is open. The project got funded and it's going to happen, and so if I want some Wonder Three comics and also some Ambassador Magma comics, then I need to throw them some money before Sunday.

The problem is that I want Wonder Three comics and Ambassador Magma comics, but I don't want to support Digital Manga's business model, which is to use Kickstarter as a pre-order service. I understand why they're operating like this - they get a chunk of capital up front and they can pay their bills and deliver a product. What I dislike is that Tezuka's manga library is essentially pieced out a bit at a time in varying degrees of availability and cost, by a company that apparently intends to release every single thing Tezuka ever drew, to a readership increasingly tired of the endless promotions and emails and exhortations to spread the word. We just want to buy the comics.

They made one attempt to release W3 previously, as part of a big package of titles, in a KS campaign that failed. This current attempt is a much less ambitious package, and was financed relatively quickly.

Back when DM first started crowd-funding their Tezuka projects, there was a lot of goodwill among the classic anime nerds I know on Twitter and elsewhere, and their projects got a lot of buzz and discussion. But when EVERY project DM started wound up being a crowd-funding plea, when they started failing to deliver extras and goal rewards, and when their loudest social media backers started getting huffy and defensive, that's when I backed off supporting DM, and I haven't seen the same kind of signal boosting lately that their earlier projects got. In fact this latest one has been met with silence from people that normally would be mocking DM, and I suspect it's because this latest project is just the right size to actually get people to fund it, but they feel embarrassed supporting DM's Kickstarters. And it's OK, I understand. I've thrown my fair share of shade at DM and yet I'm really tempted by this one myself.

The package that would get me both the W3 and the Ambassador Magma print editions will cost me $66 US - that's $89 Canadian, which is a lot of money to lay out for two books. In fact, it's too much money for me right now. Ethical quandary solved. If they ever get released retail, maybe I'll pick them up. If not, I'll live. I like Wonder Three and Ambassador Magma, but I don't like them enough to spend $45 each for black and white softcover books.


Aug. 29th, 2016 11:51 am
davemerrill: (harvey)
We went to the Cambridge show! And it was OK! Very super heroey. Cosplayers front and center blocking the doors of the library with photo shoots of Dude Dressed As Dr. Evil (bringing the role back to Ontario, as it were) and Pink Power Ranger, and Guys Staring At Pink Power Ranger's Butt. We printed a lot of zines but only sold a few. The crowd was mostly People Who Bring Their Kids To The Library On Saturday Anyway - a demographic I support fully, but not one really in the market for self-published comics. Especially not self published comics that aren't very kid friendly. Other tables were a pretty typical mix of aspiring super hero artists, a smattering of edgy zombie monstery professional illustrators all chatting with each other about next week's Fan Expo, one table of people selling their board game.

On the plus side, the table was free, the event was well-run and provided coffee, pizza, water, and snacks to the artists. It was nice to table again, it's been a while. The zines and the promo stuff we produced for the show can, of course, easily be used for the next show. I brought the strip I'm working on and Shain brought her sketchbook and we spent most of the time working on our various projects, and having a solid block of time away from typical distractions was really helpful. We handed out a lot of postcards and met a few people and swapped comics with one guy.

The minus side was that this really wasn't our crowd, the event wasn't that well attended, and it's a solid hour of 401 traffic away from our place. If it happens again next year, and the tables are still free, then it might be a thing we think about. But it, and tabling in general, are such a commitment- gas money, supplies, and time - that I don't know if it's worth it. Certainly for a show that pretty much sucks up an entire day, for us the return on investment is dependent on many factors.

I think we'd sell more zines at a show like Con Bravo, at a larger, more eclectic convention. Of course those tables cost more money and demand a larger time commitment. There was a zine festival last Saturday in Toronto that we probably would have done fine at - "Zine Dream" - but one half of a table was $30, which isn't onerous, but still, it's more than zero. It becomes a question of, are you at the con to sell zines, or are you selling zines to be at the con? Are you making comics just to give yourself an excuse to attend as many conventions as you can? Because I've seen that mindset in action and it might be great for some, but I don't want to attend as many conventions as humanly possible. I'm 47. I value my weekends away from my actual job that pays my actual bills.

(I did buy a zine from a guy at "Zine Dream" and chatted with him for a bit about zines and I mentioned the Cambridge comics show, and he lives in Cambridge and had heard nothing about the show. I think if you aren't an aspiring super hero artist, the Cambridge show just wasn't on your radar, if you aren't a super hero fan, the Cambridge show just didn't know how to reach out to you.)

Back in the 1998 daze, we knew enough people that we could send an email and get a free artists alley table at AWA, at ACen, at AZ, at A-Kon, you name it, we could get a table and camp at it for however long we wanted, selling whatever. Most conventions, with the exception of late Saturday nights at Anime North, do not operate like that any more, for several very good reasons. I'm good with doing the very occasional zine or comic show and distributing most of our published output on a one-on-one basis.

Anyway we did meet a guy at the Cambridge show sporting a t-shirt from the 1972 anime series Dokonjo Gaeru, the show about the frog squished onto the kid's T-shirt. He bought the shirt in a local thrift store. So jealous!!

Sunday we met visiting Twitter anime pal Dylan for lunch at a crowded, slow, brunch-filled Lakeview, and then we dropped him off and drove out to Grand Bend and got in some late summer swimming and beach time. The water was just about perfect. We got back to town really late and that was the weekend. Oh yeah, we stopped off at the antique mall in Stratford.

davemerrill: (milky)
I try to work up one of these posts early every year as a reminder to myself of events perhaps of interest. Usually these are antique/nostalgia/kitsch shows or record shows or comic shows (I prefer the shows that are more about actual comic books and less about celebrities or costumes) and the couple of Japanese animation conventions I attend mostly to screen weird clips and 40 year old robot cartoons.

There's a terrible habit of Ontario shows, at least the antique shows we like to hit, where the vendors are all packing up at 2pm to be out the door by 3pm. Well, first off, many people such as yours truly work crazy hours and aren't up at the crack of dawn standing in line at Tim Horton's. We just aren't. It's a pain for us to drive an hour or so out into the sticks, only to have the dealers all packing up because god forbid they spend an extra half an hour until their set closing time just to maybe make some money.  All I'm saying is these shows should run until at least 5pm, is what I'm saying. Think about it, won't you? Thanks.  And don't even get me started on how we have to drive out into the sticks to find interesting stuff because all the offbeat stores in downtown Toronto have closed and been replaced by condos, trendy gastro-pubs, and real estate brokers. Just don't even go there. And have you tried getting a decent meal out there that doesn't involve waiting an hour for a table at the Kelsey's by the Toyota dealership? Forget about it!


Sunday March 8: Guelph Record & CD Show Haven't been to a show in Guelph, not far away, a nice little drive, maybe worth it.

Sunday, March 29: Toronto Downtown Record Show these guys have been putting on a show at the Estonian Hall for years now. A good show, prices are a little north because vinyl is hip now or something.

Sunday April 12: Kitchener Collectibles Expo Never been to any sort of show in Kitchener. Might be worth the trip.

Sunday April 19Toronto/Mississauga Musical Collectables - Capitol Convention Centre  I've been to a few of these and there's usually a pretty good mix of stuff and prices aren't too bad.

Sunday April 19: Toronto Comic Book Show  We went to a mixed card/comics show here in '13 that was like 75% sports memorabilia. Who buys that stuff, and why? If this one's 100% comics we might give it a shot.

Sunday May 3: Ancaster Nostalgia Show & Sale  - This show has a good mix of stuff and prices are generally OK. Not too bad a drive either. 

May 9-10:  TCAF It's downtown, it's jam packed with amazing comics, it's free. Beat that.

May 22-24: Anime North  I'll be doing a bunch of panels and ANIME HELL

Sunday May 31: Ancaster Collectorfest

Saturday July 25 & August 29, Innisfill Roadshow Antiques North Outdoor Sales Event - 9-5pm at the Innisfill Roadshow Antique Mall. This is that antique mall on the way to Barrie. The mall's kinda picked over but some good stuff might be out in this open air thing. Their website isn't working.

Saturday Sept. 19: Aberfoyle Fall Special Saturday Antique Show Aberfoyle is a fairgrounds show on the way to Guelph. Sometimes the pricing here is nuts.

Sept. 24-27: Anime Weekend Atlanta I'll be doing a bunch of panels and YES ANIME HELL at this show in Atlanta, which I helped start 21 years ago

Sunday Oct. 18 - Toronto/Mississauga Musical Collectables - Capitol Convention Centre

Probably have to do another one of these in September or October. If you're reading this and know of some shows I should mention, let me know!


Jun. 14th, 2013 04:22 pm
davemerrill: (milky)
Wow, just read Mark Waid's review of MAN OF STEEL and it's got a spoiler in it and I'm glad I read the spoiler because it saved me spending $12.50 on the movie.

You can go read it for yourself, I won't discuss it here.


I'm not a big super hero fan by any means, but there are fundamental things that super-heroes should be, bottom-line reasons they exist, and it looks like the people handling those characters now definitely don't get it.

I was on the fence anyways; not a fan of Zack Snyder, am iffy on the whole ethics of how Warners acquired the character, and am not happy with the failure of both Warners and Marvel/Disney to adequately address their responsibilities to the creative legacy of their cash-cow intellectual properties.

So yeah, this was pretty much the third strike here. I may not ever see another super-hero movie in the theater ever again. Not that that is a problem, really. I'm a guy in my 40s; I also don't spend a lot of money on Charms Blo-Pops, baseball cards, Slurpees, or Snap 'n' Pops.

There's no Jimmy Olsen? To hell with you, movie.
davemerrill: (Default)
But by far the most charming and enjoyable parts of the book are those that present substantive artists like Mr. Ware, Jaime Hernandez ("Love and Rockets") and Jeffrey Brown ("Unlikely"). By a quirk of the comics industry, artists like these, who deal with the stuff of real life and whose work is treasured by people who read books that have spines, are tagged as "alternative" or "underground." It's amusing to see how, in "Leaping Tall Buildings," such artists come off as normal, thoughtful people, while contemporary superhero creators tend to come off as pretentious autodidacts or failed cult leaders. If anything is "underground," it's their insular, indecipherable comics.

Wall Street Journal tells it like it is.
Also great is the part where the University Of Chicago is described as "where fun goes to die."
davemerrill: (Default)
One of the problems of having a lot of comic books is that you have a lot of comic books and eventually you have to find somewhere to put them. So you get boxes and shelves and eventually the boxes fill up and you don't have anywhere else to put new boxes or to put shelves to put new boxes in. We're not at that point yet, but we're on our way. OR ARE WE.

Usually when you buy comics these days from shops or at a convention they're in bags, and the bags have boards in them to prevent spine slippage or creases or folds or whatever. And that's great for old comics, they're getting on in years and need the help. But for comics that aren't so old, say, 1970 or newer, do they really need the boards? How much space do those boards really take up? This much.

That is about twelve inches of space that was occupied by backing boards. That's a lot of space, especially when space is at a premium. So if you're facing our space problem, ask yourself - how many of your comics REALLY need backing boards?

And another question. Anybody need any backing boards? We've got some extras.
davemerrill: (Default)
Here's a cheery ad that's bound to get people to quit reading that stupid "manga" and back where they belong, reading superhero comics!!


Not only do we have Cyborg now called "Robama" - because he's a black guy, and the President is a black guy, and they all look the same, you know - but they have this amazing deal where you can trade in a volume of manga that you paid $10 or $15 for in exchange for a $2.99 DC comic starring AMERICAN superheroes! SUCH A BARGAIN! Better hurry though, because they are already cancelling some of those "New 52" titles which were going to revitalize the comic book industry and get those sales figures back up to ten percent of where they were when things were healthy, as opposed to the one percent they're at now.

Apparently this ad was approved and 75% paid for by a tone-deaf DC Comics.

I realize this is only one comic shop behind this stroke of advertising genius (thousands of people otherwise ignorant of this comic shop's existence have now been introduced to it) but this is indicative of the attitude that is helping to put these businesses into the ground. Enjoy your failing industry, guys! (Top comic book sold in December 2011 sold 142,000 copies. That's about a sixth of what Superboy used to sell when it starred the Space Canine Patrol Agency. TIME TO DOUBLE DOWN ON THE STUPID, FELLAS)
davemerrill: (Default)
Last night we got up the last Mister Kitty updates of 2011 - if you aren't reading Shain's Element Of Surprise then you're missing out on a professional, entertaining modern romance-drama. Her work has never been better, and I'm not just saying that because I'm married to her and see how hard she works on it. The strip really does look great. On the other hand Zero Fighter is kind of blunt and ugly, but generally it's doing what it wants to do and I'm kind of along for the ride.

To be honest I'm kind of surprised I've been able to keep up the momentum of a weekly update. I need some kind of a deadline, even if it's self-imposed, to stay motivated to finish any kind of cartooning artwork, and it seems like a weekly strip that gets posted online where other people can see it - and I assume people are reading it, I don't look at the stats out of some kind of weird compulsion - is a good way to stay productive. I don't have the self discipline to lock myself in the studio and crank out page after page in a frenzy, my personality is much more do a little bit here, a little bit there. In many ways the strip has become a kind of therapy; I know whatever the week's been like, I will be spending two or three hours on Sunday listening to records and working on my strip. I actually get kind of antsy when I can't spend those couple of hours drawing.

And I know - "two or three hours for one page? One simple page?" But usually I'm going into each page with only the vaguest idea of what's coming next, which is something I borrowed from Shain when she was doing "Behind The Blue Door." What happens on Sunday is built right from the ground up, rough sketches, pencils, inks, the works.

Anyway that's it until sometime in January - we're heading South this week for Christmas, return after New Years, and then it's off to Anime Los Angeles where I'm FGOH and we're doing our Stupid Comics panel, among other things. We're not back until Jan. 10 so sadly, you will have to wait for your Mister Kitty fix until then
davemerrill: (Default)
Ostensibly this is an African-American themed superhero - the hero is clearly a black guy, even though the comic is set in the future on an artificial entertainment planet filled with high tech diversions and amusements. And drug dealers in flying cars.

It's one of those comics you kinda feel bad for making fun of, and then you get to the end and there's a big one page pitch for all the merchandise they were planning on selling the world based on their nonexistent characters, and then you don't feel so bad. Though as a real-world example of wishful thinking it is without peer.

We poke fun at the terrible self-produced adventure/superhero comics of the 90s, but really, these terrible comics are all made by people who had spent their childhoods reading terrible corporate adventure/superhero comics. They hadn't been reading Carl Barks or Tintin or Kirby anything, they hadn't been reading Jesse Marsh Tarzan or Prince Valiant or the Spirit or the Neal Adams/Denny O'Neil Green Lantern/Green Arrow or anything by Steranko. They don't know who Wallace Wood was or that John Severin ever drew anything other than covers for "Cracked". They hadn't been exposed to anything but terrible meaningless drivel filled with third rate copies of third rate copies, filled with "homages" and "references" and "swipes" of the talented people that had worked years before, edited by barely literate drones hoping for a piece of Hollywood action when the bubble burst.

Garbage in, garbage out.

So it's not their fault that their whole worldview is informed by subliterate trash. I don't know that it's anybody's fault. It's not like they were raised in a Skinner box filled with issues of X-FACTOR and YOUNGBLOOD, not deliberately, anyways. The reprints that we take for granted now weren't available in the 80s and 90s, you couldn't spend hours in the library reading nothing but world-class sequential art the way you can today. I think we're raising a generation now that is vastly more literate, visually - young people are exposed to more artwork in more styles and at more skill levels than ever before, and I think you can see the results anywhere young people are expressing themselves with artwork. So this week's Stupid Comics isn't a prophecy; mercifully, it's a dead end.

home again

Oct. 30th, 2011 11:00 am
davemerrill: (Default)
Another punishing three days of 12 hour shifts done with. Everybody's back from vacation so hopefully this is the last one for awhile. It's not the working for 12 hours, it's the combination of that, the getting up early, and the NOT keeping to that schedule on my days off that's making it so punishing. Getting home at 7:30 on a Saturday night and not having the energy to do anything more than get some dinner and hit the rack is annoying, especially in a city full of people in costumes going to parties. I think I saw a "Bob McKenzie", though those could have just been his normal clothes, it's hard to tell.

Anyway this week we managed to scrape up some Found Sound for you in the form of an entire Funky Phantom LP detailing the exciting adventures of a Revolutionary War ghost and his ghost cat and the teenagers they hang out with.

And over at Stupid Comics we explore Chilling Tales Of Sorcery with Sabrina, the teenage witch.

Sabrina plays horror hostess, the Bible saves us from evil, what more do you want? It's all at Mister Kitty's Stupid Comics.

Other than that, and working, not a whole lot has been going on around the Toy Factory HQ of Dave And Shain. We did get out and buy Love & Rockets New Stories #4 which is probably the most emotionally moving comic book you'll read all year. If you're like me you've been reading Love & Rockets since you were 15 though the various incarnations and publication types - the magazine, the solo books, the comic, and now the annual book - and if you have any investment in these characters at all, the Jaime story in this latest one will ring your bell and leave you on the canvas looking at all the pretty lights.

To be honest I missed the last few issues of the comic book sized L&R. I'd buy it, read it, and then a week later I would be asking myself, hey, did a new L&R come out? Not this one, kids. The Beto story is great too - it looks like his inking is going from a brush to teeny tiny pen lines, which I don't know is a good choice ultimately, but hey, it's his book - but Jaime knocks it out of the park on this one, I'm talking 'Death Of Speedy' here.

If you have never read Love & Rockets, you have my sympathy. Get down to your local library and start reading. These are some of the best American comic books ever published, end of story.

I also got the new Black Jack which has some terrific stories, including one involving a tokusatsu actor.

That's one of the benefits of the 3-day shift, you have time off during the week to catch up on comic books and movies. We went to the cheap Tuesday movies and saw CONTAGION, the Matt Damon - Kate Winslet - Jude Law - Larry Fishburne - CDC movie about what happens the next time we get a really good dose of bird flu or SARS. At this point I think Soderbergh could make a great movie about people reading the phone book, and with material like this he manages a terrific movie, scary, moving, and tight. Not a wasted shot in this picture. This is the kind of breakdown-of-society film that Spielberg was trying to do in his WAR OF THE WORLDS, but Spielberg will always go for the "gosh wow" at the expense of the mundane. WARNING: this movie features an autopsy scene involving Gwynneth Paltrow, and she ain't one of the doctors, I'm just sayin'.

Today is going to be recovering from the work week, drawing, maybe going out to a spook house or junking. Tomorrow it's back to work!
davemerrill: (Default)
So I've been following the whole Rob Granito story - for those who don't know, he's this guy who made a lot of claims concerning his work for Marvel, DC, and, uh, Calvin & Hobbes. He used those claims to get invited to a bunch of conventions like Dragoncon, the Toronto Wizard Comic Con, and Megacon, where he'd sell original fantasy and superhero paintings that in some cases weren't so original. You can get started with the story here or maybe here or perhaps here. It's pretty amusing, particularly the poor grammar on display from anonymous commenters pretending to be DC editors defending Granito.

It's an old story - everybody went to school with somebody who had a desperate psychological need to impress everyody around him with amazing stories that never quite panned out. Additionally, the super hero comic book world is up in arms because Granito's work for super hero comics is, shall we say, swiped like crazy from other artists, and his other claims of employment haven't quite lived up to his big talk. (I say, superhero artists swipe from each other all the time. Every time you're drawing a corporate-owned character you're swiping. Some of these characters have been being drawn regularly for SEVENTY YEARS. Originality is not even on the table here.)

But there's a larger story here, and that story is this: why was he a guest at conventions AT ALL? This is somebody who has inspired fandom to ask "who is Rob Granito?" Obviously he's not going to be a draw. Nobody is going to look at your flyer and say "Hey, it's Rob Granito, I wasn't going to go to the con before but now, SIGN ME UP!!" Why was he a guest at Dragoncon? Why was he a guest at Wizard World Toronto and Wizard World Anaheim? Why was he at Megacon? Why was he at JACON?

And even that question isn't the real question - we know why he was at those shows; he was at those shows to make money by selling "art" to convention attendees. I ask, why did the conventions not charge him for a dealer's table? Why let this big-talking fake talk his way onto your guest list? Are you that stupid?

He needs conventions WAY MORE than conventions need him. Let him shell out for a dealers room table and do his own promotional work. His name on your guest list only makes your convention look desperate, confused (JACON?) and now, clueless.

There are quite a few people who pad their resumes out in an attempt to work their way into the green rooms of conventions - it happens at anime cons all the time. For some I think it's an addiction; as long as they can find their name in a con guide or on a con website, as long as they get a panel room to talk at four or five people for an hour, as long as they can talk the con into taking them out to dinner three or four times over the weekend, all's well with the world. And there are plenty of conventions that are too polite to refuse, too ignorant of the true cost of padding their guest list out with nobodies, of taking one more room out of their room block and adding two or three mouths to their catering bills. At least Rob Granito is walking away from these shows with a pocket full of cash and business cards of potential business contacts, in addition to a belly full of free convention food.

AWA's taken some heat under Stan's administration for a pretty strict guest policy - there's always somebody desperate to see their favorite internet celebrity recieve a guest badge, or something, who takes offense at Stan's bias towards working industry figures - but it's avoided a lot of Rob Granito nonsense over the years, and I continue to support it fully.

I don't see this Rob Granito story as anything other than a slightly more extreme version of The Way Things Are; liars lie, hacks hack, suckers bite. Don't be a sucker.


Dec. 21st, 2010 10:57 am
davemerrill: (Default)
So Fantagraphics has laid Dirk Deppey off and tomorrow will be the last Journalista.

I've followed Journalista since pretty much day one, and with Dirk going, who knows what's going to happen to it? Dirk had the perfect mix of perspective, attitude, outrage and befuddlement at the frequently circlin'-the-drain world of comics. Also he namechecked Mister Kitty a lot, especially the "Betty mentioning Dan DeCarlo" thing. Unbelievable as it may look, I don't spend a lot of time sittin' in front of the computer, and without Dirk's ability to deliver links of note, I'm going to miss out on a lot of interesting stuff. I mean, Comics Reporter is well worth reading, but it's a completely different kind of blog; and most other comics blogs are uselessly obsessed with dumb-ass superhero comics. Well, one more tombstone in the internets graveyard, I suppose.

To be honest, my relationship with the entire field has diminished to the point where I get way more entertainment from the various blogs that detail the various stupidities the "industry" subjects itself to in attempts to wring the last dollar out of a shrinking, decadent market, than I do from anything that actually gets published. Maybe it's just as well I spend less time on such schadenfreudish endeavours.
davemerrill: (Default)
Shain got me a copy of Bill Mauldin's BACK HOME at a vintage shop on Queen a few weeks back - well, another copy, really. I've had a beat-up paperback for a while, but this one's hardback, I want to say first printing 1947. This is the book he wrote after UP FRONT, after he got out of the Army a decorated wonder-boy with cartooning talent, lots of press attention, a fat bank roll, and more than a hundred papers running his strip. After a year or so, it was all gone but the talent, thanks to the combination of the public's fickle attention being distracted from returning servicemen, and Mauldin's prodigious gift for getting into scraps.

Anyway there are a lot of great cartoons in the book, most of which haven't been reprinted anywhere else; the Fantagraphics Mauldin set is swell but obviously most of these strips are outside their purview. You can see his work kind of start to tighten up once he gets back to the States - particularly anything involving women, which obviously he hadn't had a lot of practice drawing in the past five years - but a lot of the strips aren't as clumsy as I remembered. And now that I have a hardback copy I can share.


This is what I love about his work - his ability to suggest mass with nothing more than silhouette, the casual, dashed-off nature of his line that gives you the wrinkles, the shapes, and the human form in a confident way.


I don't think this one's as successful - there's something fakey about the guard, hard to tell if they're statues or human beings - but the two walking figures have that great looseness, all wrinkles and loopy brush strokes.


Always a sucker for cartoons that show Hitler and top Nazis burning in Hell, and this one's no exception. Great dramatic low-angle lighting on all the figures, and Goebbels squatting like a little rat is perfect.


This one isn't as dark as the others - it's a cartoon about the terrible state of cars in the immediate postwar period - but look at the great way he works that streetlight, the shading on the cab continues with that circular motion, it's terrific. Looks like it took him about two minutes, tops. I love the way the giant black spaces aren't completely spotted, either. You get a sense that there's actually a building there.

Mauldin actually gave up cartooning for a while, but once the 50s really got going he was back in the game, would rack up another Pulitzer. An American original.

davemerrill: (Default)
Today's CBC Rewind had a whole hour of interviews about comics - report from the floor of Cosmiccon'74, an interview with Memory Lane's George Henderson, Arn Saba on "Rural Route" cartoonist Walter Ball, and of course Lynn Johnston. Arn Saba sounds disarmingly like SubG cartoonist and San Francisco-based monologist Hal Robins.

davemerrill: (Default)
C/FO San Antonio old school champion Robert Gibson has a blog now where he discusses old-school anime stuff. He is even older-schooler than I am, so pay attention.


Grant got interviewed by The Comics Reporter in a fairly comprehensive, high-profile discussion about famous British comic 2000AD and why they never succeeded in the States. Some of the blame goes to Diamond but some of it is fairly placed on the shoulders of the current and past owners of the property. http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/cr_holiday_interview_171/

We will be putting on two pairs of socks and moving a bit of new furniture into the place today, so wish us luck that we come back with all our appendages. It's cold out there today.

Trip pix: Here are some more photos we took on our little trip southwards. First up is the Olympic Torch getting in our way in Windsor.


That little yellow blur passing the lamp post, that's the torch and whoever was carrying it at the time. Long exposure on that picture. Speaking of pictures, here's a picture of the greatest picture ever painted, capturing a historical moment that really happened, I swear to God.


That's right, one time Marilyn Monroe went on a rollercoaster ride with James Dean and the Marx Brothers were in the car behind them. This really happened. I love these paintings. It's a level of kitsch that one imagines is powered by some kind of atomic device attached to the rear of the frame. This painting is for sale in an antique mall north of Knoxville Tennessee, what are you waiting for??

Anyway on New Years we went to Gordon and Megan's house in Marietta and watched as Matt B. and Mike D. and Daric J. shot off a few hundred bucks worth of fireworks. It was a pretty impressive display for stuff launched from a driveway.


The streaks in the background are, I believe, the people up the street attempting to compete with Matt's fireworks. Nice try guys, but you got served.


Happy 2010 everybody!!

davemerrill: (Default)
Tread lightly, pilgrims... watch your head... LOOK OUT!! IT'S THE CRAZY GRANDMA COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE IN ACTION!!!

How much are you willing to pay for that copy of TUFF GHOSTS STARRING SPOOKY? Five dollars? Ten dollars? TWENTY DOLLARS? Think again, my pretty! Heh heh eh heh heh cough COUGH HACK COUGH OH JESUS PANT PANT pant.


Not ten or twenty or thirty or thirty-five - but forty whole dollars! Captured by the digital camera of intrepid explorers Shain and Dave as they delve deep, thrusting uncomfortably to penetrate the mysteries lurking within the caves - the CREEPY FREUDIAN CAVES starring HOT STUFF - of the World 'O Crazy Grandma Price Guide. You should probably go wash your hands now.

This was shot on Day One of this year's Xmas Odyssey at, obviously, the "L&K Antiques Mall" which is located on the 401 east of Windsor Ontario, north of Leamington (the Tomato Capital of Ontario) and somewhere within about a half-hour drive of Colasanti's Tropical Gardens, a farmer's market/roast chicken buffet/lawn and patio decor/petting zoo/tourist trap sort of place that's worth a stop if the weather's nice and you don't have anywhere in particular you need to be.

Other highlights of Day One of our trip include, um, getting gas, the US Customs guy being all attitudinal because the passports were not offered to him together in one simple motion, and being stopped by the Olympic Torch as it passed us in Windsor. And dinner at Bob Evans in Dayton and stopping for the night somewhere north of Louisville KY. Where Dave and Shain go, excitement follows!11!1!!! Can you feel it?

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