Saturday, July 14, 2007

Early Postings, and some Catching Up!

Yes, today's posts are much earlier than usual... Jessi's off to a doctor's appointment, and both the boys are taking naps, leaving it quiet in the house... a perfect time to blog!

It's been very busy here with the boys (which you know if you've been checking out the Building Our Family blog), which keeps me from posting much more than the usual daily stuff here... and it's also kept me from doing any scans for future posts, or preparing anything for eBay auctions!

It'll probably be even busier for me the first few days of the coming week... Jessi's going to be out of town on a work-related trip Monday through Wednesday, meaning I'll be handling the boys all by myself! The plan is that I'll get up early, get the boys ready, then I'll load 'em in the car and head towards Tacoma, where I'll meet my mom somewhere (location to be decided) and drop the older one (whom we refer on the blogs as T3, because his first name starts with a "T" and he's 3) off with her, then I run back down to Olympia, and drop the younger one (T1 - yes, his first name starts with a T, too) off at his daycare, and then I head into work. Sometime around 5 or 5:30, I'll leave work, pick up T1, and drive up to Tacoma to pick up T3, and hopefully get the boys home before they're too hungry to wait any longer for dinner.

Odds are, I'll probably end up going the convenience route at least once.

In other news... I've been kind of sending some feelers out here and there, considering perhaps changing jobs. Make no mistake about it; I love working at the newspaper... I like what I do, I like the people I work with... the only problem is that I don't feel I'm making enough money for what I do. I know I'm the most productive member of the team there (there are days I feel like I get more done than the rest of them combined, but that could be a false impression). This is the reason I started that samples blog I mentioned a while back.

Well, yesterday, I got a call out of the blue from a recruiting company in Gig Harbor, who say they found my resume on Hot Jobs, which I haven't used in years and years (and so that resume is severely out of date). The offer they had was for a job in Tacoma with a new company that needs a graphic designer... but initially it would only be part-time, and the hourly rate would be the same as what I'm getting now... and even worse, there would be no guarantee -- if after a month, they felt I wasn't the right fit, I'd be out the door, and really screwed, financially.

So I'm thinking I'll call them back sometime on Monday and tell them thanks, but no thanks... it doesn't seem to be worth the risk to me to lose the income I'm making now, even if it's not what I feel I'm worth.

I'm guessing that even if I do find something I'm willing to take, it'll likely take quite a bit of time... heck, it took me two years to find the job I'm at now!

In other matters, after the boys are up from their naps, and Jessi's home from her appointment, I'll be taking T3 to my local comics shop, Olympic Cards & Comics, so he can meet Gabi, the wonderful owner of this store. Gabi's been looking forward to meeting both the boys for a while now, but the timing's never been that great.

Tomorrrow is Jessi's and my anniversary... That's right, it'll be a year since we got married (also meaning Monday is the anniversary of my gall bladder surgery). And you know what? I haven't got a present, or even a card for her yet... Why? Mainly because of money. Thanks to one of my freelance clients not paying me yet for work I billed them on the 4th of last month, there's just been no extra money... and no matter what I try, I haven't been able to come up with any extra money out of my paychecks lately, either.

I really wanted to get her something really special... not that I have any real ideas there. I know the first anniversary is supposed to be "paper," but I never cared much about the traditions.

We'll probably end up actually celebrating our anniversary during our vacation in two weeks.


Classic Collectible of the Day!


Speaking of toys that should be reissued (which I've often done here, although not recently), here's the 1966 Batcave playset, featured in the Montgomery Ward's catalog.

I could well be misremembering, but I believe this was produced by Ideal, and that some of the same figures were previously used in their Justice League of America figure set. The Batmobile seen here is definitely original to the playset!

And don't ask me why the copywriters at Montgomery Ward's can't remember it's the BatMOBILE, not the Batcar.


Genre Image of the Day: The Lost World!


Unless I'm sadly mistaken, the still above was from the original, silent version of The Lost World, with stop-motion effects by the great Willis O'Brien, who later went on to do King Kong!


Comic Book Cover of the Day!


It's All-Winners Comics #1, featuring Timely/Marvel's top characters at the time!

I believe it would be another issue or three before the characters would actually be teamed up as the All-Winners Squad, Marvel's first super-team (and an imitation of the Justice Society -- but then, weren't pretty much all super-teams JSA knock-offs, more or less?).

And I'll tell you what... I certainly wouldn't have any problem with Marvel deciding to do an ESSENTIAL ALL-WINNERS COMICS volume... or even a Masterworks!


Friday, July 13, 2007

Classic Collectibles of the Day!


OK, we're now up to 1966, and here's some more of those Batman items... specifically, dress-up Batman items!

Where to begin? I've seen a few of those helmets at toy shows and comics conventions, but I never thought it was that great... I mean, it's a helmet, for crying out loud, and it's got the bat-insignia on it, too! Then again, it was probably easier to manufacture than a cloth mask would've been.

The rest of that Bat-suit looks like another of those Ben Cooper costumes, where they felt compelled to put the character's name on it, in case nobody recognized it!

That utility belt, on the other hand, is a thing of beauty and a joy forever... assuming one overlooks that gun, which all Bat-o-philes know that Batman would never use... most of the rest of it (with the possible exception of the cap grenades) are perfectly acceptable... I especially like the Batarang!

And don't overlook that Batphone, either! While it may not look like the one seen on the TV show, it's still a pretty sweet toy!


Genre Movie Image of the Day: The Land Unknown Poster!


As the title says, here's the poster for "The Land Unknown," another one of those dino-movies I don't believe I've ever seen!

But it's possible that I may have... was this ever shown as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000? A quick Google search shows a few stills featuring a Tyrannosaurus Rex that looks awfully familiar... and was a guy in a costume.

Then again, it's also possible the guy in a dino suit scenes were reused in something that was on MS3TK.


Comic Book Cover of the Day!


Here's Amazing Mystery Funnies, which I believe was published by Centaur Comics. You'll note that this cover has the distinctive signature of Bill Everett, creator of the Sub-Mariner on it. I'm not sure, but I suspect this was from before he started at Marvel/Timely.

This book's main claim to fame, however (unless my memory is faulty tonight), is the later introduction of Speed Centaur, probably the only centaur super-hero in comics history!


The Old Order Changeth!

Well, okay, so only one thing has changed... the name of this blog. Again.

Why the change this time? That requires a bit of explanation.

You see, a while back, I created a Google notification to help me learn when other sites mention this blog... any time a new page is indexed with "waffyjon," I get a notification. Since I changed the name of the blog to "Jon's Random Thoughts," naturally those stopped working (except for my Flickr photos, which are still identified with "waffyjon").

Today at work, there was a short slow period, and so I figured I'd do a quick Google search and see if there were any mentions of "Jon's Random Thoughts," and maybe find some other sites that've mentioned this here blog!

And then it happened: I found there was another blog using the name "Jon's Random Thoughts," and the person writing that blog has viewpoints that are decidedly different than mine! Since I didn't want anyone to think that was my blog, I figured it was time to change the name again...

And who knows? I may still change it one more time... I've been toying with the idea of renaming the blog "Jon's Esoterium" for a while anyway, and I may end up with that name some day.

"Esoterium", in case you were wondering, is a word I think I coined myself a few years back, but never tried to get it into general use at all. I had considered, after moving back from Wisconsin, looking into opening up a store that would deal with comics, sci-fi books and magazines, toys, records, and all sorts of other stuff that is, to the mainstream, esoteric. An emporium of esoteric stuff, if you will... or, as I thought about it more, an "Esoterium."

I do kind of like that word, you know... and let's face it, a lot of stuff I blog about here is pretty esoteric stuff!


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Amerca's Got Talent

It's summer time, and that means NBC's been showing the latest edition of America's Got Talent. And that also means that Jessi and I have been watching it, although sometimes a bit delayed (thank you, DVR!).

The latest episode had the judges (David Hasselhoff, Piers something, and Sharon Osbourne) narrowing down the contestants to 20, who will perform starting next week. Now, some of their choices I agree completely with... especially the magician and one of the singers, the band Johnny Come Lately (teenagers performing 1950s rock), and a few others I'm fairly happy they went through, too.

But then there's Boy Shakira (a man who dresses up like Shakira and dances like her), and some India man who dances in Bollywood style... and honestly, I do not understand one little bit what the appeal of those two "acts" are!

This happened last year, too... there were a few acts where I thought, "What the hell?" when they went on to the final 20, while other acts got bounced.

Not that anyone who reads this has any influence on things, but you know what I think? I think the winner of each year's competition should be given an hour-long special on NBC to perform on, showcasing themself, and then let them pick any five acts they like who competed to also appear, regardless of when they were knocked out.

One act I'm especially disappointed was kicked out in the Tuesday episode (when they went down to 35 acts) was this female ventriloquist... she was very talented, and cute as all get-out, too... I just hope that she finds success through another venue.


Comic Book Cover of the Day!


Yes, today's comic cover is Amazing Spider-Man #1, a landmark title if there ever was one!

On one of the Yahoo Groups I'm on (I forget which one), there was a discussion going on for a while about whether the reason there's two shorter tales here instead of one longer tale is because originally, Stan figured he'd plug Spidey into one of the existing titles (as they did with Thor, Iron Man, etc.) instead of starting him off in his own book... and I seem to recall the consensus was that it must've been the case.


Genre Movie Image of the Day: King Kong Poster!


Yes, it's King Kong, the 8th Wonder of the World! You guys should already know much I love this movie... it's easily one of my top 10 movies ever! So, I suppose I don't really need to say much more, do I?


Classic Collectibles of the Day!

It's time for more Joe -- GI Joe, that is, and his Buddy Charlie!


Yes, this is the second page of that spread from the 1965 Montgomery Ward's catalog, featuring Hasbro's GI Joe and Marx's knock-off, Buddy Charlie.

I still have no idea if that jet pictured here was a Hasbro item or not... seems we saw that in the Sears catalogs, too!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Classic Collectibles of the Day!


Yes, it's more GI Joe from Montgomery Wards, this time we're jumping ahead to 1965, with the first of a two-page spread of not only GI Joe, but also Buddy Charlie!

Who the heck is Buddy Charlie? Well, he's Marx's knock-off of GI Joe, and frankly, I'm amazed that Hasbro allowed Montgomery Wards to feature the competing lines on the same spread, much less right next to each other!

Unlike the Best of the West and other better-known Marx figure lines, Buddy Charlie was basically like Joe, and didn't come with clothing molded right onto him.

I wonder if either Marx or Hasbro had a fit when they saw this catalog come out? I mean, there's so many pics with both figures right next to each other, working together!

Well, at least Buddy Charlie didn't have a cheaper price on him...


Genre Movie Image of the Day: Invasion USA Poster!


Here's a poster for yet another sci-fi/monster flick I've never seen in my life, ever.

But you know, there are two things that strike me about this poster anyway.

The first is that the best quote they could get for the poster was from Hedda Hopper. Hedda Hopper, in case you're not aware, was basically one of the many Hollywood gossip reporters from way back when, who became a celebrity of sorts in her own right! Heck, she even guest-starred on some radio shows here and there!

Would you trust a movie review written by, say, the lead reporter for the National Enquirer or the Star?

The other thing is the blonde babe with the skirt cut up to here, displaying her shapely gams. Anyone want to bet there's no scene in the entire movie that has this happening in it?


Comic Book Cover of the Day!


Today's cover is America's Best Comics #1... and yes, that means it's from the 1-10 files, and I uploaded the first issues of most of the comics in those files!

Does anyone find it disturbing that the biggest stars featured on this cover, the Black Terror and Doc Strange, both have sidekicks that are dressed exactly the same as they are? I mean, did Batman dress up Dick Grayson in a mini-version of his own batsuit? Did Captain America dress Bucky up like a Corporal America, completely with scaled-down shield? Did the Shield dress up Dusty exactly the same way he was dressed? Did Green Arrow make Speedy wear the exact same clothes? (Okay, so Speedy's costume was identical, just with different colors)

Heck, even Barry Allen realized how much of a faux pas it was dressing up Wally West in a mini-version of his own costume, and changed it later on, and you know what a square Barry was, right?


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Classic Collectibles of the Day!


I've moved up to the 1964 Montgomery Ward catalog, and GI Joe makes his long-awaited return to this blog! I'm sure that John at This Is Pop Culture will be glad to see this page, and I'm sure there'll be more to come!


Genre Movie Image of the Day: Invaders From Mars Poster!


This was a very cool, very moody sci-fi movie... with an interesting twist at the end, which I won't spoil for you in case you haven't seen it!


Comic Book Cover of the Day!


So, as you can see, this is an issue of Blue Bolt, probably long after the title character was gone! I may have had this in my "holidays" files.


Monday, July 09, 2007

A Few Random Thoughts...

I noticed that my hits per day went way up (well, way up for ME) after the blog's mention in This is Pop Culture and Patrick Owsley's blog... to be honest, I was hoping for quite a bit more than that, but I can be patient, you know? Besides, I know there's still a lot more of you reading this blog every day than I ever expected, to be honest!

Haven't done a thing about putting up anything on eBay... those records are still sitting by my computer, un-photographed... and I realized that in order to sell some comics on the eBay, I really need to first read them, and then scan in the ads!

Unless I'm completely mistaken, the Montgomery Ward's catalog items for the Classic Collectible of the Day entries is the last group of pics I have for that... which means, sadly, that this particular daily feature will be going on a hiatus until I glom on to some new sources of photos. Maybe this will help prompt me to get those comics ads scanned so that can return?

For that matter, I'm not entirely certain how many more Genre Movie Images I have left in my files to share... I know the posters were the last things I scanned, but I don't recall if I uploaded other stuff with them or not (I suspect I did, given the interruptions with other movie stills, but that could just be bad Flickr set organization).

Both of those features came from scans of stuff from my local library. Now, if Thurston County had some kind of exchange deal going with the King County Library (which includes Seattle, I think), there'd be much more available for me, but I think I pretty much exhausted what's available to me there. Perhaps during the next few months, I can actually acquire some books with nice pictures for me to scan and share... but don't hold your breath waiting (my budget's pretty tight with the boys).

As tight as the budget is, though, my wonderful wife Jessi did cut loose some cash for me this past weekend so I could catch up on the new comics that have been piling up for me at Olympic Cards and Comics, so now I'm up to speed on Justice League Unlimited (which I still love... and have a story idea for that I'll probably write up and share it here sometime), Teen Titans Go (losing interest in that, to be honest, but Jessi loved the toon, so I'll still get it for her), Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century (first Legion book of any kind I've bought in years... based on the current cartoon, I'm loving it), Justice League of America, Justice Society of America (both involved in a crossover which, as I'm sure you've already heard, brings back to life a Flash, and I'm sure you know which one), Brave and the Bold (well, there was one issue in the stack, and I'm not sure what the current one is, so I'm guessing I'm current until I hear otherwise), the Spirit, and Countdown.

Well... not entirely up to date on Countdown. Somehow I missed issues 48 and 47, so I'm holding on to 46 through 43 to read after I get 48 and 47 (I read some issues of 52 out of order, and I'm still confused about what happened as a result).

On the one hand, I love the idea of a weekly comic book... I especially loved it when the four Superman titles flowed from one to the other every single week. The only real problem -- so far as I see it -- with 52, and now Countdown, is that I wonder if I'm buying them just to try to keep track with what's happening in the DCU... and if I would be better served just choosing four other regular titles to buy instead.

Oh, I also got the latest Franklin Richards one-shot... which is still pretty much the only Marvel book I'm buying these days. Still waiting for the Civil War/Planet Hulk/Whatever Current Thing is Going On deal to get finished up and for the status quos to be re-established more or less (and you know they will have to be, sooner or later... Iron Man/Tony Stark can't be viewed as a villain by the time the Iron Man movie comes out, or it'll confuse anyone who sees the movie and wants to read comics based on that character... and you know that Steve Rogers will be back as Captain America, too. I don't care how much the Marvel people say he's dead and buried).

You know, I'm beginning to think that the list of super-heroes who have died and stayed dead is really getting smaller and smaller... either that, or we just have to completely re-define what "dead" means in the DC and Marvel Universes. But I won't use this as an opportunity to try to list the heroes I know are "dead" at the moment, only to have someone point out that someone isn't dead these days, or someone else is.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I finished watching "Enterprise" the other week... while I can kind of see why Wil Wheaton says he didn't like what it became, I have to say that I rather enjoyed the last season of it... especially the Mirror Universe episode which had parallel Enterprise crew encounter a Constellation class Starship from the Original Series era, and explored the ship... and it looked JUST LIKE THE CLASSIC TREK'S ENTERPRISE, and it still LOOKED COOL AS HELL.

I have to say that I was rather disappointed in the overall plot of the last episode... suddenly, we jumped six years into the future to see the last mission before Enterprise was decommissioned, with the idea being that Ryker and Troi from Next Gen are experiencing this via the Holodeck of the Enterprise-D (giving us stuff that we didn't see from one of the original Next Gen episodes -- except that, I'm sorry, Jonathan Frakes and Martina Sirtis don't look as young as they did back then, so it's rather hard to buy it's stuff we didn't see before). It was rather cool at the end, though, when we got the classic monologue at the end, with Enterprise-D accompanied by Patrick Stewart's tones... then Enterprise NCC-1701 with Shatner... and then finishing off the monologue, NX-01 with Bakula's voice. Kind of sent a shiver up my spine, you know?

Oh, there were a few eps I ended up missing thanks to our erratic DVR... but I'm not going to sweat trying to catch them.



Genre Movie Image of the Day: House of Wax Poster!


Here's another of those posters for a movie that I don't believe I've ever seen, although I've read about it countless times in monster movie magazines and books!


Comic Book Cover of the Day!


Yes, it's another "A"-titled number one, and this time it's Aquaman's turn! If you don't know much about Arthur Curry, I recommend you click the link for Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog, and follow the link from there to Laura's Aquaman site. Laura (aka Tegan) is probably the biggest Aquaman fan around, and her blog is good readin', too!


Classic Collectible of the Day!


This item from the 1961 Montgomery Ward's catalog is one I was very happy to see... the Cape Canaveral playset! I believe this is another Marx item, and was issued later on as the Cape Kennedy playset, if I'm not mistaken.

A long time ago, I used to have one of these, purchased at a garage sale (oh, the stuff I used to have as a kid that I wished I still had). I had a lot of fun playing with this, especially the spring-loaded rocket that you could launch into the air!

Great stuff. They just don't seem to want to make toys like this any more!


Sunday, July 08, 2007

This Week's Cover Stories... another installment of Comics They Never Made, with four faked-up covers this time around, including two which are of recent vintage, made possible thanks to the assistance and kind consent of Patrick Owsley, whose blog you should be reading (and is in my links list)!


Genre Movie Image of the Day: Godzilla Poster!


Really, do I need to say much about this? You all know my love of Godzilla, right?


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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Here's Astonishing Tales #1, which was Marvel's first new split book in a long time. Well, actually, it probably debuted about the same time as Amazing Adventures (with the Inhumans and the Black Widow).

Interesting choice of features for this book... Ka-Zar had been guest-starring in titles from X-Men to Amazing Spider-Man to Daredevil and probably others for quite some time; of course you all know Doom's story!

When this series died, Ka-Zar still ended up getting his own title for a while (actually, a couple of titles, with some space between them)... not bad for a Tarzan knock-off, eh? Doom, however, still had to share a book, eventually appearing as one of the co-stars of Super-Villain Team-Up (and that was more or less a continuation of Sub-Mariner's title)!


Classic Collectible of the Day!

Here's a non-Batman item from the 1961 Montgomery Ward's catalog (I know, these are going completely out of order, and I'm not 100% certain why, except that maybe I just mixed things up in my Flickr photo group):


I seem to recall reading or hearing about this set before... I believe Marx produced it, and from even the black-and-white photo here, it's a pretty neat set -- and I'm not even that big of a Flintstones fan!


Classic Collectible of the Day!


I'm still looking at Batman stuff from the 1966 Montgomery Ward's catalog... and this precursor to the Kenner Give-A-Show Projector looks pretty neat, doesn't it?