davemerrill: (harvey)
so what did WE do last weekend? I got a haircut. We drove out to the Pacific Mall and browsed among the home goods stores and Shain picked up a massaging heated chair pad at a reasonable price. We got Chinese food for lunch (yeah, Pacific Mall) and did a little snowy walking at a park out towards the zoo. Hit a thrift store on the way back and I picked up some cheap videos including a VHS release of the English language compilation film of the Zuiyo Eizo HEIDI that Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki worked on.

the "Alice" is a Rankin/Bass - Top Craft kind of thing, with the Paul Coker designs. Top Craft would later become Ghibli, don't ya know.

Sunday Donald and David came with us out to the Ancaster Nostalgia Show & Sale, which is a big antiques/collectibles/memorabilia show in a fairground hall on the other side of Hamilton. It was the busiest I've ever seen that show, the vendors had a good variety of stuff with a minimum of Funko Pops and three or four dealers with decent comics selections.

One dealer saw we were pulling out older Archie books and he dug out a copy of the recent Archie "zombie" book, saying it was "rare". Dude, the thing just came out. Everybody who wants one has one. It's interesting how this Archie zombie thing is the one thing every comic book dealer mentions after we tell them we are interested in old Archie comics. This has happened at comic book shows, at comic book stores, you name it, it's a piece of marketing on the part of Archie Comics that has really penetrated the collective knowledge base. I still am not interested in it, though. Sorry.

After the show we went into downtown Hamilton for lunch. "Jack & Lois" was jam packed with coffee klatschers, but we went across the street to a smokehouse place that had an interesting menu of all kinds of pork and chicken and brisket stuff, and everybody wanted something with smoked pork, and they were out of smoked pork, which was bad because half the menu relied on smoked pork. Anyway what we did get was good, and then we went up 6 to the Freelton Antique Mall and did a little more junking.

Here Ernie and Kamen Rider Super-1 share a moment. This just goes to show you that you can find darn near everything in antique malls. No, I didn't buy the Kamen Rider, because, to be honest I am not that interested in Kamen Rider. If you've seen one you've seen them all, and I have, in fact, seen one.

We got back to the city in the early evening and I spent some time gathering material for the next Mister Kitty podcast and generally goofing off, and we watched that Heidi compilation film, which is jarringly edited and mastered from a really dusty print, yet is nicely animated and has Janet Waldo voice acting.

And that was the weekend! And yes, I ignored the football game, which is OK as it would have probably been too traumatic an experience. This week, my plans are to dig up data on Dixie-Trek for the AFF blog and get the Mister Kitty podcast arranged (it's gonna be a telethon) and do Stupid Comics and do some drawing, and not a whole lot on the weekend, thanks.

davemerrill: (harvey)
Every year I try to put together a calendar of shows and sales and events that are of interest, just to have 'em all in one place for my reference. Here's 2017!

Jan. 22 - Woodstock Nostalgia Show & Sale http://www.collectorshows.ca/EN/home.php
Woodstock is a little far for us to get to. Probably won't make this one.

Feb. 5 - Ancaster Nostalgia Show http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/NOS_2017-02-05.php
Ancaster is just the other side of Hamilton and is much more 'doable' for us.

Feb. ? - Eyesore market, Eyesore Cinema 1176 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON
Eyesore Cinema is doing vendors markets and there's one in February we're going to be at selling Mister Kitty zines and kitschy junk!

Feb. 12 - Record Sale & Swap Meet, Guelph http://www.vibrations.ca/en/record-shows-and-fairs/icalrepeat.detail/2017/02/12/141/15/record-sale-swap-meet

Feb. 19 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/
This is the comic book show held at the hotel that hosted a few early Anime North conventions.

Feb. 19 - Anime North staff meeting (in Hamilton!)

March 5 - Ancaster Collectibles Extravaganza http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/TOY_2017-03-05.php

March 12 - Hamilton Record & Music Collectibles Show http://www.vibrations.ca/en/record-shows-and-fairs/icalrepeat.detail/2017/03/12/145/15/hamilton-record-music-collectibles-show

March 19 - Anime North Staff Meeting

March 26 - Toronto Downtown Record Show http://www.vibrations.ca/en/record-shows-and-fairs/icalrepeat.detail/2017/03/26/142/15/toronto-downtown-record-show

April 9 - Toronto/Mississauga Musical Collectibles Show http://www.vibrations.ca/en/record-shows-and-fairs/icalrepeat.detail/2017/04/09/98/15/the-toronto-mississauga-musical-collectables-show-sale

April 29 - Anime North Staff Meeting

April 30 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

May 7 - Ancaster Collectorfest http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/TOY_2017-05-07.php

May 13-14 - TCAF http://www.torontocomics.com/
This is downtown and free and we might just drop in!

May 22- Anime North Staff Meeting

May 26-28 - Anime North http://www.animenorth.com/live/
Going to be doing Anime Hell and some panels at this one!

June 4 - Ancaster Collectibles Extravanganza http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/TOY_2017-06-04.php

June 9-11 - Anime Next http://www.animenext.org/
There's been some talk about us attending this show, so stay tuned for further developments.

June 25 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

June 25 - Ancaster Nostalgia Show http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/NOS_2017-06-25.php

July ? - Liberty Village Yard Sale
No date announced yet, but this was a fun neighborhood thing we did last summer and hope to do it again this year.

July 28-30 - Con Bravo http://2016.conbravo.com/
We missed this one last year but we might swing by this year.

August 6 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

August ? - Zine Dream http://zinedream.com/
No date announced yet but our intention is to get a table & sell some zines!

Sept. 24 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

Sept 28 - Oct 1 AWA http://awa-con.com/
Gonna be doing Anime Hell and panels at this one too, obvs

Nov. 26 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

(edited to add Anime North staff meetings)
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!
davemerrill: (milky)
Lately the cat has been venturing out into the hallway. She likes to sniff around and sit on the carpet. We're hoping this will socialize her a little, but any sort of noise drives her back into the apartment.


Yesterday we were going to go to the Hobbystar Toronto ComicCon, but unlike previous years, when it was just a room full of dealers, this year they seem determined to turn it into a minature FanExpo. They have actors from The Star Trek and Lord Of The Rings actors and anime voice actors, and the one-day price was $25. That's way too much to spend for the privilege of buying comic books. Yes, the presence of "celebrities" actually drives me away; I realize that there is an entire nerd genre that can be marketed to and cashed in on, and whoopee for them, but just because I like old Harveys and weird giveaways and coverless Archies doesn't mean I have any interest in your space movies or your fantasy epics or your cosplay.

So instead we went out into the sticks to go junkin'. Went out to Courtland to an "antique warehouse" that is soon to close. And rightfully so. It's a big building that used to be an old grist mill; it's a large space and nicely refinished inside. What it doesn't have is antiques. There are lots of repro tin signs and modern stoves repro'd to look like old stoves, and fakey cottage decorative stuff, and precious little in the way of actual neat old stuff. Lots of great old signage that is not for sale. I'm sorry they're closing, but it needed more antiques and less warehouse. Luckily for our junking purposes, just down the road is another antique shop, also in an old industrial building, that is not as represented on the internets but has much better stuff. For instance, this horrifying clown mask.

they also had a whole little table full of those little fake antique finish pencil sharpeners. You know the kind, little coffee grinders and spinning wheels and telephones and clocks and fans. And Arcadias, from Captain Harlock.


How and why the Arcadia (and the saucer version of Grandizer) got mixed in with a lot of antique objects, die-cast, finished, and equipped with a pencil sharpener, is anybody's guess. This was the first time in a long time I'd seen one of these in the wild.

We also went to Waterdown and their antique mall is open until 6 and the one Chinese restaurant in their tiny downtown - every tiny downtown has one Chinese restaurant - it was jam packed. We did NOT repeat our Pizza Hut adventure in Simcoe, but instead just got Mickey D's in Hagersville and then went on home.

Speaking of antiques, last weekend we went to this "antiques and collectibles" show up in Mississauga. $6 to get in and a reasonable amount of dealers. Scored a reasonably priced bag full of 60s era Harveys from one friendly lady (that is where last week's Stupid Comics came from) and some other interesting, if minor, stuff from elsewhere. One table had an unmarked cardboard box with some comics in it, mostly Westerns. I dug through them and picked out 4 that were of interest - a beat up Dennis, a beat up Archie, some kind of weird educational thing, and a beat up Dell Ben Casey. Then I looked around for the vendor. Nowhere to be found. None of the neighboring vendors knew where he was. So I put the comics down and we shopped some more. Before we left, we hit the table again and the vendor was back. I pointed out the four comics and asked "How much"? "$35" was his reply. Seriously? $35? I countered with $10. It's at that point that the guy should say $20 and I say "OK". But no, he just said "Sorry." So I put Ben Casey back on the table and left. I was kinda interested in the educational thing, but seriously, when I have to hunt for you, and when I finally find you, you high-ball obvious junk, I am not doing business with you. Enjoy your Westerns.
davemerrill: (milky)
Feb 3 - Ancaster
Ancaster Nostalgia and Small Antique Show and Sale
Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds,
630 Trinity Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $5. Info: 519-426-8875, email Ian at toyshow@kwic.com or visit ancastershow.blogspot.com

March 3 - Ancaster
Ancaster Toy and Collectibles Extravaganza
Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds, 630 Trinity Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $4. visit ancastertoyshow.blogspot.com

March 3 - Mississauga
Toronto Nostalgia Show & Sale
Capitol Convention Centre, 6436 Dixie Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $6. Info: torontonostalgiashow.@gmail.com

Toronto ComiCON (Hobbystar)
March 9-10

Toronto Downtown Record Show
March 24, Estonian Banquet Hall, 958 Broadview $5

April 7 - Ancaster
Ancaster Nostalgia and Small Antique Show and Sale, Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds,
630 Trinity Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $5. Info: 519-426-8875, email Ian at toyshow@kwic.com or visit ancastershow.blogspot.com

April 14
Toronto Musical Collectibles Record & CD Sale
Capitol Banquet Centre
6435 Dixie, Mississauga

May 11-12

Anime North
May 24-26

Con Bravo
July 26-28

Zine Dream
August 12 @ Tranzac

Sep 7 2013 Dundas, ON
Canada’s favourite antique show. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. $10 admission.

Sept 27-29

Oct. 20
Toronto Musical Collectibles Record & CD Sale
Capitol Banquet Centre
6435 Dixie, Mississauga
davemerrill: (Default)
Apparently there is a comic book convention in Buffalo tomorrow, a one day thing. Well, no way I'm going to be sniffling and sneezing my way down there right now.


There was one in March called "Powercon" - if they have another one it might be worth a trip.

Vibrations Record Show
October 14, 2012
Capitol Banquet Centre 6435 Dixie Road, Mississauga, ON
Admission Price: $5

Canadian Toy Collector's Society Show
Sunday October 21, 9-3
Etobicoke Olympium
590 Rathburn Rd Etobicoke
This one is $10. That's a lot of money!

Toronto Downtown Record Show
Nov 4, 2012
Estonian Banquet Hall 958 Broadview

Nov 10 - Nov 11 2012 Oakville, ON
Gadsden's Oakville Fall Antique Show at St Volodymyr Cultural Centre, 1280 Dundas St W., Sat. 10 - 5, Sun. 11 - 4.

Toronto Toy & Doll Collector's Show
Nov 18, 2012
(possibly at) Hall 4 The International Centre,
6900 Airport Rd., Mississauga, ON

The next Toronto Comic-con is March 9-10 2013
davemerrill: (Default)
I had the day off on Friday, so we decided to take a little trip through the hinterlands to hit a few stores that we never seemed able to get to on the weekends. The weather was gorgeous, just right for a little road trip. We went down the QEW past Hamilton and Grimsby and at St. Catherines we hung a right onto the 406 for a while, and then we were in the Fonthill/Pelham area, home to De Ja Vu Collectibles.


There's a lot of neat stuff in this shop. Closes early on Saturdays, which is why we've missed it twice, so get there early if you can. Old Halloween costumes, dolls, toys, a Snuffy Smith board game, various diecast Batmobiles, books, furniture, that bowling game starring Buddy Hackett, and more. What we came out with was a toy from the UFO Commander 7 series of diecast Japanese toys.


It's a bit dusty but the treads still move and the drill bit still drills, so if you have drilling that needs done, call on Jeek Tunnellin!

Also picked up a figure of Lynn, from FIST OF THE NORTH STAR, from the Beidoshengquan Yonga Toy Company line of FOTNS figures. Creepy, ill-formed, trapped in plastic with a little dog.


Lynn seems slightly ill at ease. You would be too if you had giant metal bolts sticking through your shoulders.


From there we went westwards cross-country, through the rolling hills of south central-east Ontario or whatever they call the area south of the 403 but north of Lake Erie, until we got to Dunnville, on the mouth of the Grand River. There lies the Time Capsule!


This store has a helpful blog to assist out of towners in finding their location and hours. It's jam packed with neat stuff - 70s and 80s action figures, a well-curated selection of LPs, old comics, video games, books, furniture, Major Matt Mason's gear, Sonny Bono's "Space Prince" outfit, Big Jim's Action RV, old Mads, and more. Well worth a visit when you're in the area. We picked up a percussion LP with Don Martin sleeve art, a karate instruction LP that promises to teach us techniques developed by Buddhist monks 5000 years ago (which is a neat trick since 5000 years ago Buddha was still 3500 years away from being born), and some comics, including an issue of MARVEL TALES, not the Spiderman reprint Marvel Tales, but the creepy horror 50s Marvel Tales with a Bill Everett cover.

From there we kept the river on our left and headed north to Caledonia and the Oasis, home of chili dogs. Best chili dogs you'll get this side of the border, that's for sure, and you can sit down by the river in a little park and watch the geese herd their young while you eat.


Some disrespectful sleaze broke into the Oasis and stole their cash register so they had to calculate our tab the old fashioned way, with a Casio calculator, but the food's still great.

From there we took 6 into Hamilton, stopped by Big B Comics to drool at their collection of original art (yes, original Craftint Wally Wood spot illustration of Liberace from MAD) and dig through the room of $2 comics downstairs.

Once in Hamilton we meandered down Barton, a street that features unlicensed Warner Brothers and Hanna-Barbara characters adorning businesses every which way you look, and soon we were back on the QEW homewards. All in all a great little trip, it is wonderful to see the green finally back everywhere and the sun shining down on it all as we bounce through the farms and towns. Next weekend, of course, we will be spending it inside at Anime North. I bet nobody will be selling any UFO Commander Seven toys, either.
davemerrill: (Default)
Went out into the sticks yesterday to visit some flea markets and see turtles and raccoons and a horse out behind the flea market who totally was expecting us to have sugar or carrots. Sorry, pal. Picked up some junk including the dubs of the Gundam films (in slipcase, $1 each) and a 1971 issue of National Enquirer. I was expecting the Enquirer to be super trashy and lurid, but look what's inside!


An article from a United States senator dealing with his proposed legislation to tackle problems facing America. Can't say I expected to find that in the Enquirer. To be sure, there's plenty of ephemeral Hollywood gossip, but most of the newspaper is fairly literate and rather than the gory car-crash, axe-killer stuff I was expecting, was instead general interest stuff about heart patients, waste in Washington, teenagers working in hospitals, ex-cons going to college, real "good news" stuff. Compare that to today's Enquirer, which doesn't seem that concerned with enlightening Americans as to upcoming legislation, unless it involves celebrity supercouples. I would love to see the same attention given to, say, good Samaritans visiting heart patients. Also this issue has a psychic who predicts that Nixon will win a second term BUT LEAVE OFFICE DUE TO A "SERIOUS INTERNAL CRISIS" that will "result in him failing to finish his term of office." That's one for the psychics, I guess! Also, found an anti-smoking ad with this great illustration:


The rest of the weekend: hadda buy a new Blu-Ray player 'cause my old one died. Put some new silicone around the tub to replace the stuff that was starting to peel up, which meant I had to buy a caulk gun and some silicone. Learned the difference between Silicone and Silicone II. Watched a lot of the 2005 GLASS MASK series that Sentai Filmworks released last year to almost zero fanfare; I had no idea it was out until we saw it at the Beguiling's table at AN. Also saw the amazing "Sir Patrick" episode of HOARDERS. Apparently "Sir Patrick" was never knighted by Prince Charles but instead was registered as a sex offender by Charlotte County of Florida. Yeah, I can see where you'd get those two mixed up.

There is a new ZERO FIGHTER page up this week; actually there are two new pages, I re-drew last week's page because let's face it, it was terrible. The ink I'd been using, I'd been letting it get gummy and thick and it really makes a difference. Threw it out, got some new stuff from the big bottle, thinned that out a bit, we're back in business. Shain has been trucking right along with ELEMENT OF SURPRISE while I was slacking off with convention stuff. Comments on the latest strip: "My boyfriend sends me photos like that too sometimes."
davemerrill: (Default)
Trinity Bellwoods Park's Annual Yardsale 2011
Start: 06/18/2011 - 10:00
End: 06/18/2011 - 17:00

oh yeah!
davemerrill: (Default)
A few weeks ago we were out in the hinterlands and hey, there's a familiar sight:


A RCA Selectavision video disc player, AKA a "CED" player. CED stands for "Capacitance Electronic Disc" and was a home video format that flared up briefly in the early 1980s, much like a rash or some kind of epidemic. I bought mine at a pawn shop for five bucks and have had it ever since, enjoying the wide assortment of pan and scan feature films that litter the landscape of junk shops and flea markets at widely varying price points. It's a technological curiosity but quite useless these days; most films are available in other formats that are much better looking and much more convenient.

One thing the RCA Selectavision is NOT, is a laserdisc player.


But don't tell that to the crazy grandmas who price things at antique malls, who seem to think this useless boat anchor is worth fifty-five dollars. Good luck with that, chief.

On the other hand we did see this crazy looking rabbit!


Sure, $25 is probably too much for it, but it sure is crazy lookin'. Maybe HE priced that Selectavision.


(objects were seen at Market Road Antiques and the St. Jacobs Antiques Market, both in St. Jacobs.)
davemerrill: (Default)
Learn about the magical world of ice cream franchises, little paper hats, and the best school field trip ever!

Yeah, I know it's late. I was distracted by all the ice cream. You will be too at this week's Stupid Comics!!

Virus threat seems to be over. Yesterday we went out into the hinterlands - seems everybody was taking their car out for the first time this season, because there was a dead car on the DVP, and when we detoured onto Don Mills there was a dead car, and when we turned onto Eglinton there was a dead car. Droppin' like flies. Check your battery kids.

The hinterlands proved kinda barren though we did pick up a few cool LPs and some books in Peterborough's little stretch of shops. I think Peterborough is the closest to Athens in terms of being a college town with a lot of clubs, cheap parking and tiny stores crammed with neat stuff. I'm talkin' a store crammed floor to ceiling with books, dusty and badly lit - you've been in stores like that but it's nice to shop in one that actually contains books you might want to read, as opposed to JOURNAL OF THE WESTERN AGRICULTURE COMMISSION BOARD VOLUMES XVI-XVIII.

Later we watched SCANNERS. As I was 10 when this film came out I did not see it in theaters. Now, they talk about "the American AKIRA" that is in pre-pre-pre production, but for my money AKIRA is just the Japanese version of this movie, which concerns artifically-induced ESP producing bulging-veined telekinesis-powered soldiers for the New World. Secret conspiracies, battling gangs of assassins and ESPers, and Michael Ironside in what may be his most powerful role! I liked it very much.

Now: Anime North staff meeting. Later: Zero Fighter!
davemerrill: (Default)
So you know how occasionally you see on the news where people lose control of their cars and their cars go crashing into buildings? Well it happens more often than you'd think. In fact...

So we were out in the sticks digging through antique malls for weird stuff, as we're wont to do. Started to head back east on 3, towards 6 and Hamilton and the QEW. Anyway we were hungry and we decided to have a old fashioned go to the Pizza Hut and get a pizza and a pitcher of soda kind of dinner. It's been 20 years since I ate in a Pizza Hut. So we stopped at the one in Simcoe.

It took a while for our food to arrive, but it did show up. Place was full but it started to thin out as we ate. We were on our second piece of pizza when we spilled some drink and had to move to another booth. Hey, it happens. No sooner have we gotten settled in our booth when I look up out the window and notice a car parking in the spot facing our booth. Only he isn't stopping. I actually thought "hey this is like one of those things you see on TV where somebody loses control of their car and smashes into a building!" There is a loud bang.



Yes. The car, a fairly new Lincoln, just rode right up on the sidewalk and smashed right into the side of the Pizza Hut. The impact knocked the moulding out of the wall, knocked all the glassware and plates off the table, and knocked the table itself off its post and out of the wall it was screwed in. We were left sitting there with pizza in our hands and a table in our laps.



Our reaction after the initial shock is kind of a amused "what the hell just happened"? The staff rushed out to make sure we were OK. The car is still in the parking lot, manuvering around trying to park correctly! JUST SHUT IT OFF PAL, YOU'VE HAD ENOUGH DRIVING FOR ONE DAY.

The driver comes in, he's an older man with a cane. Apparently he had had one of those moments when you're reaching for the brake but you hit the gas instead (?). He's all like "I'll pay for the damage, I just want to have dinner first!" He's not nearly as embarrassed and freaked out as *I* would have been, had *I* just rammed *my* Lincoln into a Pizza Hut. If he'd hit 15 minutes previously there would have been kids sitting in that booth. If he'd managed to get up a little more speed maybe he'd have made it all the way through the wall and we'd have been crushed. As it happened, he got up enough speed to get over the curb and 10 feet of sidewalk. Are there skid marks indicating a last minute panic brake? No sir.


You can see where his license plate holder left its imprint in the side of the building. I guess that cladding isn't too strong.


So, the destroyed pizza was taken off our bill, we assured everybody we were fine and accepted thanks from our fellow diners for being part of the evening's entertainment, and then we went outside to leave. Only we couldn't because the police and the fire department had arrived.


So we stuck around a bit and watched the bemused looks on the emergency personnel. I gave a statement to the police. The driver also had to come out and talk to the police. Once you smash into a building your evening's plans for a quiet dinner will not continue, sorry. Apparently this is not the first time our senior driver has failed to distinguish between his brake pedal and his gas pedal, and he will no longer be driving. Which is a good thing. I'll give you one crashed building; but two? You're done. BTW, damage to the Lincoln was minimal. Air bags didn't even deploy. So if you want a car that can stand up to some Saturday night Pizza Hut ramming, the Lincoln is the way to go!

Never even got a 'sorry' from the old guy. Throw the book at him, Simcoe PD!
davemerrill: (Default)
We threw caution to the wind and braved the cold and the traffic to go down to Hamilton and look at junk/antique stores. One in particular on Ottawa Street - Antique Avenue - is pretty awesome, being a basement filled with old comics, old books & magazines, old toys, and kitschy vintage this and that. I picked up a 'Humorama' magazine with Bill Ward & Dan Decarlo gag cartoons (& a cheesecake photo of Irish McCalla) and a Captain Future novel. They also had some kind of home stand designed to hold an Atari 2600, two controllers, and about a dozen carts - a professional piece of furniture I can't find a picture of online, sadly (no price). The other Ottawa Street shops were kinda just there. "Weird Stuff" on E. Main is worth a stop, though. Another shop on King St. has old LPs and movie posters and comics and a "Star Of The Giants" pachislot machine that I guess isn't for sale. I was very pleased with "Antique Avenue" though, that's the kind of mid-century kitsch, toy filled place that I love to shop in.

Got home, had coffee and dessert, watched our DVR of "Grizzly" which is a terrible film shot in Clayton GA (I called "Not the Rockies!" early in the picture), and had a lousy time getting to sleep because of the coffee, I think. I am mostly done with that Holly Hobbie book, and so far the resurrected ghost of Holly and her 13 year old modern-times pal have gone on a young teenage odyssey to Cambridge, New York City, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Mexico City (in the company of a punk rock band) and are about to use forged documents to enter Guatamala. It's the craziest book ever written about American Greetings characters, unless you count the book "Robotman & Charlie Manson Team Up To Fight Litter With Dinosaurs."

Today: I have to get the strip inked, and then we go see HOUSE tonight!!
davemerrill: (Default)
Like I did last year, and the year before that, this is a little listing of things I might want to hit in the upcoming year in the GTA and environs. Some of the dates are a little vague on some of these things, I will be updating as I get more info, so stay tuned!

Woodstock Nostalgia Show & Sale
Jan. 16
Oxford Auditorium and mutual/market buildings, Woodstock Fairgrounds, 875 Nellis Street, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $4.
(Depends on if we can drag ourselves out of bed in time to get to Woodstock before everybody starts packin' up.)

Toronto Comicon
Metro Toronto Convention Center
Feb. 6

The Old Book & Paper Show
March 27
Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adm: $6

Toronto Downtown Record Show
SUNDAY March 27, 2011 (11:00am until 4:00pm)
958 Broadview Ave
The Estonian House Banquet Hall

Toronto Comicon Fan Appreciation Event
Metro Toronto Convention Center
April 9-10

Toronto Musical Collectables Record & CD Sale
Sunday April 17 10am-4pm
Capitol Banquet Centre, 6435 Dixie Road in Mississauga

Meister Markt Collector Show
April 23
Markham Fairgrounds 10801 McCowan Road, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adm: $5. Free parking.

Toronto Comics Arts Festival
May 7-8, Toronto Reference Library

Anime North
May 27-29

Trinity Bellwoods Park Yard Sale
sometime in June.

Fantasia festival
Montreal, QC
sometime in July
(these are the people who showed the YAMATO RESURRECTION last year. Here's hoping they'll bring the live action Yamato film to the show this year.)

Con Bravo
July 30-31

Sept 30 - Oct. 2

Buffalo Comicon
even though I emailed these guys asking if they were having a show in 2010, and they did in fact have a show in 2010, I didn't find out about it until it was all over. Maybe we'll catch it this year.

Toronto Musical Collectables Record & CD Sale
Sunday October 16 10am-4pm
Capitol Banquet Centre, 6435 Dixie Road in Mississauga

Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair
Oct 28-30
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, 255 Front Street West, Friday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Info: torontoantiquarianbookfair.com

Toronto Downtown Record Show
SUNDAY Nov. 6, 2011 (11:00am until 4:00pm)
958 Broadview Ave
The Estonian House Banquet Hall
davemerrill: (Default)
Proof of our daring expedition into the hinterlands. Here's Lock 36, the Kirkfield Lift Lock, which is a part of the retro method of getting from Lake Ontario to Lake Huron, the Trent-Severn Waterway.


This is actually the highest point in the Trent-Severn waterway, 256 meters above sea level. Here's the sun setting over the canal:


It was actually a very pleasant day but as the sun went down it got chilly out there. Oh yeah, here's what we brought out of "Tombstone Town".


Big pasteboard 2-level (the heart is die-cut revealing a second board)display for Schrafft's candy, circa 1959. I've seen these selling for four and five times what we paid for it, so yeah, it was worth the trip. Now we want candy all the time.

that place

Nov. 6th, 2010 01:02 pm
davemerrill: (Default)
THIS is the Kijiji ad for that place in Fonthill. Apparently it's only open until 1 on Saturdays.


Good thing a random Google search uncovers their business hours, because they sure weren't posted on the shop's door! It's just a little irritating, we went past that place twice, in fairly normal afternoon hours, and it was shuttered tight. And I'm going to be honest about this, there's no way we're going to make it to Fonthill by 1pm on a Saturday. We work late, that's just how it is. So I guess if we ever want to see what's in this place we have to take a Friday and try to beat the traffic. I guess the rent on that place must be pretty cheap if he only has to keep it open for 3 hours on Saturday.

You know me, I like digging through old junk and the remains of 20th century popular culture. I waste a lot of disposable income on that stuff. Or I would, except it seems like the entire market is geared towards people who are up at 6am, have already had breakfast and their second cup of coffee, and are ready to get out the door and get on with their day. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about, if you've ever run a yard sale you know they will be out there at the crack of dawn watching you set up.

I had a conversation with one fellow who sells primitives at these shows, and I asked him why they always shut down at 4pm (meaning, everybody starts packing up at 3). He said that the shows open the doors early, the dealers have been there even earlier setting up, and by the afternoon everybody's tired and ready to go home. And I respect that, but where is it written that all this stuff has to happen in the early morning hours? You're not on the farm any more. You're not milking cows or feeding chickens. The old signs and toy cars aren't going to spoil or get hungry. I'm telling you people, relax. Sleep in for once in your life. Open for business a little later, stay open a little later, you'll make more money. The beer store is open until 9, you've got plenty of time until Hockey Night In Canada. Relax.

WE went out last night to the Scott Pilgrim screening at the Bloor. The show was at 7, we were there at 6 to see what the line was like. It was prodigious, is what it was. Around the block, and I mean that literally - down past the Bloor, past Sonic Boom, up Bathurst, and around past the discount furniture place and down the alley. THAT was ONE line. The OTHER line, the one for ticket-holders (contest winners, etc) went the other way, past the espresso bar, around the corner and up that street, and nearly connected with the first line. We saw Donald and David in the ticket line and chatted until their line was allowed in. Then we did some browsing in Sonic Boom and went back on the street at 7pm - the first line was still standing on the sidewalk hoping to get in. So we went down Bloor and got coffee and tiramisu, rented some crazy movies, talked with the guy at Suspect about SCTV, watched the DIRTY PAIR box set that just came in, ate popcorn.

What are we doing today? We're not going to Deja Vu in Fonthill, it's closing time.

davemerrill: (Default)
Went out last night to the POWERHOUSE OF TERROR, two haunted attractions down at Col. Samuel Smith Park and Humber College. Long lines, squealing teens, guys in hockey masks with chain-less chainsaws making the teens squeal. We filled out a survey about how we heard about the Charity Haunt and recieved a coupon for $5 off a Saw DVD at HMV. The survey guy asked "So, are you into the Saw movies?" and had no real response for my "Nope."

The line management was actually fairly poor. The line for one of the attractions was right next to the line to buy tickets for everything, so nobody knew which line to get into. Plenty of volunteers to get people to fill out surveys, but nobody wanted to stand in front of the lines and tell people which one was which. Another attraction line went through a tent which inexplicably had some kind of petition requiring signatures from the people in line, so you would have these giant lurches and dead spots while people painstakingly signed their names. This should have been something you do afterwards, I think.

The first one we went into was mostly a dark and annoying maze. It did improve with one of those spinning tunnel things and a combo black-light/bubble machine, which is a cool effect, and to get out you had to force your way through tarps being blown at you from both sides, which is a nice body-horror kind of touch. The second one went through the old powerhouse itself, which has been turned into a community center, and which used to be a mental hospital. AND IT'S REALLY HAUNTED BY REAL GHOSTS!!!!!1!1!1 Which, in terms of the Powerhouse Of Terror, means teens in hospital clothes and prison jumpsuits leap out at you and holler. And when I say "teens" I am using the word to include some 11 and 12 year olds. And they just aren't scary. Unless they're TP'ing your house. On the plus side, this attraction did have a swell 80s MTV effect with lasers and fog - you know, the laser spreads out and makes a flat surface and people hide under and pop up to spook you, that works really well - and there was one narrow hallway that used a mirror on one side to make it look like a deep pit. The mirror was set a few inches below the walkway so that when you try to put your toe on it, THERE'S NOTHING THERE!! A genuinely unsettling illusion.

Earlier in the day we set out to the Meister Markt, an antique sale at the Markham Fairgrounds. Last year it was all indoors but this year the weather was nice enough that some vendors set up outside. Some of the vendors were the same vendors we saw at the Milton show - lady, that's not Felix The Cat, and I'm not paying $22 for it- and most of the vendors were grumbly about the lack of business. I think Halloween weekend is a bad time for this sort of thing- people are getting ready for Halloween. Parents and grandparents are working on kids costumes, buying candy, getting the scary decorations ready, and child-free adults are working on their costumes, buying liqour, and getting the scary decorations ready. But a lot of the junk was overpriced and much of it was stuff you wouldn't want anyway. Shain did find one of those "sad kitty" paintings from the early 70s in a real wood frame, and I got a plastic Eskimo bank. So we got our kitsch fix.

After that we went up the road to Stouffville and to the "Country Market", which is a former fairground building turned into a modern style flea market, you know, discount footwear, cheap Chinese tools, As Seen On TV merchandise, bio-magnetic bracelets guaranteed to keep this river free of Viet Cong water-skiiers. One of the outbuildings was a used book dealer with tons of romance paperbacks along with the SF priced at five and eight dollars each (!!). Don't think so, pal. While we were in there I heard one guy saying to another guy that there was a library sale in Uxbridge. We got in the car and I saw that Uxbridge was just up the road, so to Uxbridge we went. The library sale actually was worth the trip- I got Tuchman's GUNS OF AUGUST and an actual Littles book and some other neat old stuff, all for twenty five or fifty cents each. One of the books was the Medved's HOLLYWOOD HALL OF SHAME, their third book detailing bad movies, and one that teaches us many things about the Medveds; their inherent racism (Wow, you made the "rotsa ruck" joke when mentioning Japan! Four times! In a book written in 1984!! In fact, you are unable to mention any ethnic group without trotting out a 1960s Don Rickles stereotype! Hilarious!!), their political conservatism, their homophobia, and their inability to Play Well With Others, as detailed in their sour-grapes review of the badfilm clip movie "It Came From Hollywood", which apparently bombed because the producers stuck a lot of un-funny Dan Ackroyd and John Candy skits into the film and MOSTLY because the producers ignored the sage advice of the Medveds. It's not often you see somebody throw a hissy fit in print, not in the 80s anyway.

Had an uneventful trip back and then went to the Powerhouse Of Chainsaws, thus bringing my little saga full circle. Tonight I think the plan is to go to Church & Wellesley to wander around and people-watch. Should be some crazy costumes, I saw plenty of people dressed up all over town as we went back and forth.

Tomorrow of course is the big day - Discount Halloween Candy day. Don't miss it!

davemerrill: (Default)
There is actually quite a bit of things going on in the area that is of attractive nature to such as myself. Right now I haven't the disposable income to waste on junk, but maybe I can save some pennies. Anyway, it's nice to see all these events happening, always something to do.

Aug 27 through 29 - Lakefield
Lakefield Antique Show & Sale, Lakefield Fairgrounds, Friday, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Info: e-mail LakefieldFleaMarket@cogeco.com
we went to this one last year and it was kinda cool. WAY up there in the cottage country, though.

Aug 28 - Aug 29 2010 Woodstock, ON
Ontario Toy Show and Auction Special 25th Anniversary Auction: Saturday - 9 am to 4 pm Show: Sunday - 10 am to 3 pm Quality Inn Hotel and Convention Centre Hwy 59 & 401 (exit 232 N) 519 537-5586 or 519 537-3753

The 4th Annual Friends of the Merril Collection Flea Market will take place on September 11, 2010 in the Beeton Auditorium of the Toronto Reference Library at 789 Yonge St., 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Phone 416-393-7748 for more information.
We will have a table at this show and will totally be selling a bunch of stuff, not just the junk that didn't sell last year, but more LPs, comics, books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, toys, you name it. COME AND SPEND MONEY.

AWA 16 will be held September 17 - 19 2010, at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel and Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia.
Of course I will be at AWA, and Thursday night is the Super Happy Fun Sell. Tables are still available so get a table and sell your old junk. I will have a table and there's a box full of anime VHS and DVD already down there already ready for me to sell to YOU so bring money!!

10 - October
Kitchener Toy And Collectibles Show, Bingemans Ballroom, 425 Bingemans Centre Drive, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Adm: $3. Info: Ian, 519-426-8875, e-mail toyshow@kwic.com or visit kitchenershow.blogspot.com

Musical Collectables Record Show & Sale Sunday October 17
Capitol Banquet Centre
6435 Dixie Rd, Mississauga

Oct 16 2010 Milton, ON
Flamboro Antique Shows at the Milton Fairgrounds. Antiques and collectibles dealers in a beautiful outdoor setting. Dawn to 4pm. Admission $5. Free admission after 2pm. 905-685-1225

Oct 17 2010 Toronto, ON
38th Annual Canadian Toy Collectors Society Toy Show and Sale at the 'New Location'- Studio 3 at Downsview Park, 75 Carl Hall Road, Toronto (south of Sheppard between Keele & Allan Rd),9am-3pm. 905-820-2697

Record Show
Oct 24, 2010 Barrie, ON
Super 8 Motel 441 Bryne Dr
10:30 AM - 4 PM
$3.50 Early bird - $20

October 30 - Markham
Meister Markt Collector Show, Markham Fairgrounds, 10801 McCowan Road. Adm: $5, children under 12 free with an adult. Special $20 early bird admission, 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Info: Call 416-427-8379, e-mail meistermarkt@hotmail.com or visit meistermarkt.com
went to this last year and it was kinda neat.

SpeakEasy’s Annual
Comic Book Show
Thursday November 4th
We hit this a few years back. Some great talent in this city, worth checking out.

THE RECORD GUYS http://www.therecordguys.com/show.html
SUNDAY November 7, 2010 (11:00am until 4:00pm)
LOCATION: 958 Broadview Ave
The Estonian House Banquet Hall
(near the DVP, just North of Danforth)
the dealers at this show need to knock about twenty-five to fifty percent off their prices. I'm just sayin'.

Record Show
Nov 14, 2010 Oshawa ON
Oshawa Legion 471 Simcoe St. S
10 am - 4 pm $3.00 General

Record Show
Nov 28, 2010 Burlington, ON
Burlington Seniors' Centre 2285 New St.
10:30 AM - 4 PM

davemerrill: (Default)
Last night we got back from an ultimately frustrating secret mission into the Welland Canal area for, you know, junkin'. Most of the stores were closed, even the place in Fonthill which from the sidewalk looks pretty awesome. Fonthill used to be called "Temperance", until they opened the Beer Store, I guess. Anyway, after we got back I went to update Zero Fighter and realized that I'd moved a strip three weeks ahead so when I thought I had one in the can, I didn't, so I had to get to work. And that's where the 20 year old mix tapes come in. Lots of college radio stuff like St Etienne, Lloyd Cole, Jazz Butcher, the Connells, Teenage Fanclub, Inspiral Carpets, and somebody called 'Strawberry Zots'. I saw the Connells a few times and they were a good solid band, unpretentious and hardworking. No place for guys like THAT in the music industry, I guess. The new strip is up and I agree with Shain in that I could probably break those word balloons up, but once it gets past midnight I'm going with what I've got.

Saturday I got up early to brave the impending rain and hit the Trinity Bellwoods park yard sale - not as busy as previous years, mainly because everybody thought it was going to rain - but I got a 45 single box and a Little Lulu coloring book and a 1952 government booklet about raising children and what I believe is a hardcover first printing of the first Dennis The Menace collection. Then I went over to the Cowan street sale; they blocked off the street and everybody hauled out their CDs, computer software, VHS tapes, and other assorted junk to sell. One woman had a fairly nice Hitachi deck and two boxes of home-taped movies, completely indexed in a little book. The deck was tempting but there is no way I am bringing two more boxes full of VHS tape into this house. Cowan is a surprisingly classy neighborhood considering it's hard up against the Gardiner on one side and some not-so-classy parts of Parkdale on the other. It was a really friendly sale, all neighbors chatting, a couple jamming on guitar and banjo, kids chalking the sidewalks, lots of cats and dogs wandering around.

We did wind up getting some rain later Saturday; wound up going out into the hinterland to Glen Williams, took a wrong turn down a dirt road which led to a misty, secluded valley where a big turtle was just sort of hanging out on the side of the road next to a pond. Sunday we didn't get a drop; not where we were anyways. On our way back we stopped off at the Arboreum in Hamilton to walk some trails. Saw a lot of rabbits, got lost a bit, didn't get too bug-bit. Totally didn't go to the small press show at the Reference Library or the screening of Blue Velvet at Toronto Underground Cinema, the new movie house that's where that Golden Harvest theater used to be in Chinatown. We fail at being urbanites, I guess.

We're going to be going through the Niagara region again next month on our way south, so I suppose we'll postpone our return visit to Fonthill until then. Unless we get bored and feel like another road trip.

davemerrill: (Default)
For the last half of 2010. This is mostly for my own reference and should not be taken as indicative of future earnings or performance. Do not use with alcohol or mind-altering drugs.

June 5-6
Toronto Comiccon Fan Appreciation Show
Metro Toronto Convention Center
(could be.)

Sunday, June 6th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Oxford Auditorium and Mutual/Market Buildings
Woodstock Fairgrounds
875 Nellis Street, Woodstock
(Long way to go, it's iffy.)

Trinty Bellwoods Park Yard Sale - June 12
(We can walk to this one.)

G20 summit
downtown Toronto
June 26-27
(good weekend to get outta town.)

Con Bravo
July 3-4
Holiday Inn, Argus Rd
Oakville ON
(new anime con, I might be doing some panels)

Meister Markt
10801 McCowan Road
(NW Corner of McCowan and Elgin Mills)
8:00am. to 3:00pm.
(if they don't close the DVP we might make this one)

Jul 17 2010 Milton, ON
Flamboro Antique Shows at the Milton Fairgrounds. Antiques and collectibles dealers in a beautiful oudoor setting. Dawn to 4pm. Admission $5. Free after 2pm. 905-685-1225

Jul 17 2010 Hamilton, ON
Military Fair - 250 dealer tables of all military antiques. Displays to include vehicles, airplanes and re-enacting groups. All ages event with lots to do and see for adults to children. Event held at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Show Hours 9 am - 5 pm 416-559-7228 - Richard

(I've been wanting to go to the Cdn Warplane Museum for a while, this is a good excuse)

July 30-August 2
Barrie, Ontario
(I think we'll be out of town for this one, but they have a lot of antique dealers. Last summer I bought a bunch of old comics there for $1 each. I'll drive to Barrie for $1 Josies any day.)

July 30-August 1
(Plans are to swing through Baltimore on our way down South!)

August 7-8 is a big outdoor garage sale in Woodstock Ontario. Probably going to miss this one unless we take the long way around on our trip back.

AWA 16 will be held September 17 - 19 2010, at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel and Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia.

Musical Collectables Record Show & Sale Sunday October 17
Capitol Banquet Centre
6435 Dixie Rd, Mississauga


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