Thursday, October 31, 2013

A NYCC 2013 (...and Halloween 2013) Moment # 11. Ode (“Owed”) To Edith!

Do YOU know where YOUR old comics have been? 
Comic book collectors rarely, if ever, think about this aspect of their hobby, but there be GHOSTS within the dark recesses of your collections!

No, I don’t mean GHOSTS like this: 

Or, even GHOSTS like this: 

Though, one or both varieties might very well be found in many a collection.

Instead, let’s make the very likely assumption that you were not the “original owner” of every single issue in your comic book collection.   Clearly, some of your comic books were published before you were born, before you began reading and collecting, or you just might have missed one along the way, and picked it up on the secondary market. 

In every such instance, the comic book in question had an “original owner” other than yourself.  Perhaps even multiple previous owners.  …And, in ALMOST every such instance, those persons will remain forever unknown to us.  Just as YOU will likely be completely unknown to whomever ends up with the items in YOUR collection someday! 

But, occasionally, a tantalizing clue surfaces that may start you thinking…       

My Next-To-Last-Purchase at New York Comic-Con 2013 (some hours before THIS FINAL ONE) was this wonderful old comic.  WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 11, from 1941. 

Note the name "EDITH" hand-written on the cover!
As with everything else obtained at NYCC 2013, it was remarkably inexpensive, perhaps owing to the phenomenon of “Sunday Afternoon Discounting” among dealers – lest they carry too much stuff home with them.

But, if you step back and think about it… Isn’t it a wonder that such a book, from Pre-World War II 1941, still survives in 2013! 

And, we can assume that a primary reason that it DOES survive is a young girl named “Edith”… or one of her parents, or another member of her family.   It survived the patriotic paper drives of WW II, the outrageously contrived anti-comic book fervor of the 1950s, and the general apathy toward such items that would ensue until sometime in the 1970s.   

Good thing Edith didn't "turn her back" on this "back cover"!
Perhaps entirely thanks to “Edith” and / or her family who, for reasons long-lost to history, held on to this book despite every conventional reason (and some decidedly unconventional reasons) to dispose of it – is why it still exists today! 

If we were to assume “Edith” were an average of eight years old at the time this issue was likely purchased for her, she would be EIGHTY years old today.  Hopefully, she is alive and well somewhere, but I suspect she’ll never know the joy her old issue of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 11 has given me in 2013, and likely (given the book’s age) some others before me!   

...And, living (as I certainly wish) or otherwise, that also makes her one of the GHOSTS that inhabit my collection! 

I can say, this book is literally “Owed” to “Edith”, and I thank her for her crucial part in its continued longevity!   So, who are some of YOUR prized possessions “Owed” to, eh?  Whooooo!

While I’m at it… Thanks also to (Ghostly) “Gordon” and his peeps for this one – discussed in THIS POST

And finally, to unnerve you completely, there are comic books in the world with MY name and childhood address, on subscription labels that still remain, unfortunately, glued to the book itself. 

And, they spelled my name WRONG, to boot.  Yeah, it's my old address as a kid, but SOMEBODY lives there now, and they don't need the publicity, so the address is intentionally obscured!

This will make ME a GHOST of someone's future collection!  ...Scary thought, ain't it? 
...Or, maybe I'll really be a FRIENDLY ghost!  Feelin' LUCKY?
That wraps it for New York Comic-Con 2013!  I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of posts, and that you get to visit this great show next year!  
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 28, 2013

GHOSTS! (Boo!)

For Halloween, we'll present our FINAL New York Comic Con 2013 post -- and we'll also be discussing GHOSTS! 

...Though, perhaps NOT the kind of GHOSTS you might expect! 

One thing's for sure, it'll be an aspect of comic books (Boo-ks?) we haven't discussed before! 

Be here for it... and Happy Halloween! 

D-D-Didn't I see you at New York Comic Con 2013?

Friday, October 25, 2013

A NYCC 2013 Moment # 10. Lost in Space Meets The Walking Dead!

In what were literally the final moments of New York Comic Con 2013, I made a “fun” impulse purchase, which was both “uncharacteristic” and, paradoxically, quite “characteristic” of me. 

As those last 3 or 4 minutes ticked-down to FIVE PM, on Sunday October 13th, and the Con’s official closing time (in a far corner of the room, where I tend to be at every show’s end, so the final walk out of the Con lasts all the longer), I spied something hanging on a peg board that called out to me. 

It was this…

Such cute toys have been a phenomenon among comic book superhero characters for a long while.  I’ve liked them from afar, but have been successfully able to resist them. 

But this was LOST IN SPACE!!!  And, it was LOST IN SPACE merchandise produced in 2013!   48 years after its debut!  Incredible how this wonderfully imaginative show manages to hang on to a pop-culture presence, now well into the 21st Century!  And, it was under ten bucks for my very own cute, articulated, interchangeably faced, mini-toys of Doctor Smith and The Robot!  

Of COURSE, I bought it! 

Before I got too far with my purchase, I spotted another, similar set for THE WALKING DEAD!  Imagine both LOST IN SPACE and THE WALKING DEAD linked in ANY way, much less by new, active merchandise! 

Two Zombies on top.  (One of 'em Shane?) Rick and Herschel on the bottom!
I suspect the only common type of merchandise shared by LOST IN SPACE and THE WALKING DEAD would have been DVD box sets.  But, even there, the last LOST IN SPACE set was released in 2005, and the first WALKING DEAD set was 2011… so there’s not much concurrency there.  

LOST IN SPACE Season 3, Volume 2 (2005)
THE WALKING DEAD Season 1 (2011)

Any comic books or graphic novels would have been too far apart in time for any such consideration.  

But these toys were out of the same product line… and in 2013!  So, as the clock struck five, I bought THE WALKING DEAD set too! 

Whoever designed the packaging really knew what they were doing, as each package actually “stands up” on its own, without leaning or being hung from a hook!  So, both now proudly stand atop a cabinet I use for holding comic book short boxes! 

Together they... "Stand"!
Tempting as it may be, I’ll probably never open ‘em.  But, if I did – and, if I actually was of a mind to “play with toys”, I’d probably figure a way to combine them like this…

Admit it!  They're great fun, aren't they? 
Doctor Smith, as most of you should know, was trapped aboard the spaceship Jupiter II in 1997, and spent virtually every day since scheming to somehow return to Earth. 

Let’s say that, after 13 years (in the year 2010), and purely by chance, one of Smith’s inept yet devious plans finally succeeded, and some unlikely set of circumstances deposited him back on Earth… just in time for THE WALKING DEAD’s “Zombie Apocalypse” of 2010!  …Just his luck, eh?   

Smith!  Give me a hand!

Imagine Doctor Smith’s first encounter with a “Walker”!  Could even The Robot save his bacon?  And, as if our band of WALKING DEAD survivors didn’t have it hard enough, imagine having cowardly, lazy, and scheming Doctor Smith in their midst. 

Let me assure you, Sheriff Grimes, I will be a MODEL CITIZEN... A singular asset to your little community... A veritable paragon of virtue and a staunch proponent of honest toil...  
Pre-Season 3/non-hard-ass Rick would have assumed the tolerant “John Robinson role”, of ignoring Smith, or somehow putting up with his antics.  Pre-Season 3/ non-hard-ass-Carl would have (very briefly) become Smith’s new “Will Robinson”.   Can’t you just see Smith holding young Carl in front of him during a walker attack? 

Hopefully, Smith would have missed meeting Shane – who, unlike the more restrained Major Don West, would have probably put a bullet through his brain – innocently claiming to Rick he thought he was killing a walker. 

Careful with that gun, Shane!
Careful with that crossbow, Daryl!
Not to mention the things Daryl could do to the overly annoying Smith with his crossbow!  Smith could have tried to cut a surreptitious deal with The Governor to betray Rick’s band, only to be betrayed himself and thrown into “The Walker Combat Ring” for comedic value.  Methinks, he would have been better off remaining “lost in space”. 

...Just how VALUABLE is your LIFE?!
Good heavens!  On Earth, these days, it appears you cannot even trust an eye-patched stranger, calling himself "The Governor"!   Perhaps I WAS better off with the Robinsons!  Oh, the pain!  The pain!

Doctor Smith is probably ENJOYING HIMSELF, back on Earth right now! 
…Ah, the fun places our imaginations go!  And thanks to two cute little toy sets! 

One more NYCC 2013 Moment post to go!  

Monday, October 21, 2013

R.I.P. Lou Scheimer.

Our series of daily posts on New York Comic Con 2013 will be temporarily suspended due to the sad news of the passing of Lou Scheimer, one of the founders of the Filmation animation studio, on October 17, 2013, days before his 85th birthday. 

Lou Scheimer, along with Norm Prescott and Hal Sutherland, changed the landscape of television animation with the premiere of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN in the fall of 1966. 


Other popular series of note include: FAT ALBERT and HE MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. 

And, in low-budget live action, Filmation also produced arguable delights like these...

Ghostbusters: Before the Movie and "The (supposed) Real Ghostbusters".
Uncle Crock's Block: Starring Charles Nelson Reilly and Jonathan Harris! 

Mark Evanier will tell you more than I ever could about Lou Scheimer HERE.  And be certain to take the links Evanier provides within his post, for still more information. 

Beyond that, I’m happy to report that Lou Scheimer and many of the stories behind the Filmation studios actually live on, thanks to DVD. 
There are at least FOUR appearances by Lou Scheimer on DVD Extra Features, of which I am aware.  All of them are worth viewing, but none more so than the last one listed below. 

THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (reviewed HERE) contains “Superman in ‘66” (Runs 15:28)  In it, Mark Waid, one of the very best comic book writers of the ‘90s, says of Scheimer’s Superman series:

THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN was probably the most faithful adaptation, thus far, of any of the DC Comics work.  The stories, while not taken directly out of the comics… the characters were on-model, they looked exactly like they did in the comics… and the feel of the stories was very much the same.” 

THE ADVENTURES OF AQUAMAN THE COMPLETE COLLECTION offers “Aquaman the Sovereign of the Seas” (Runs 26:11) Scheimer says a little about the show, as part of an overall look at the history of Aquaman.   

THE ARCHIE SHOW THE COMPLETE SERIES includes “Come On Let’s Go, With the Archie Show!” (Runs: 25:07) Lou Scheimer sits at a desk and discusses all aspects of the original ARCHIE SHOW such as the characters, voice actors (joking that Archie voice actor Dal McKennon looked as if he were 120 years old), the music, including the mega-hit “Sugar-Sugar”, and that THE ARCHIE SHOW was the first Saturday morning show with a laugh track.  [ JOE’S NOTE: Unless you count those endless Sat AM repeats of THE FLINTSTONES, TOP CAT, and THE JETSONS, that is!] 

DC COMICS SUPER HEROES THE FILMATION ADVENTURES (reviewed HERE) presents the true prize:  Animation Maverick: The Lou Scheimer Story” (Runs 40:00).  A lengthy documentary, profiling the man and the studio he founded.   Anyone with even the slightest interest in Lou Scheimer or Filmation MUST see this. 
Simon (The Pieman) says: You MUST see this great documentary feature!
Something I will be forever grateful for, from the “Golden Age of the DVD”, are Extra Features such as these, that allow viewers and fans the opportunity to see and hear figures like Mr. Scheimer while they are still with us. 

Now, sadly, such features are far less common than they once were, but aren’t we glad to have them – and, if only such things had existed years sooner than they did, imagine the wonderful moments we'd have on our shelves!