Well, it's been a while since my last blog entry... I'm afraid Krypto has taken up a lot of extra time so far! But I'm going to get back to posting regularly now!
And I'm starting with this... 100 Things I Love About Comics. Yep, everybody's doing it, and now it's my turn!
So... in no particular order...
1. THE FANTASTIC FOUR by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Thankfully, most of these books are available in cheap reprints!
2. COMICS HISTORY BOOKS & MAGAZINES. Whether it's the various TwoMorrows magazines or the many, many books about comics, I love learning more about the history of this hobby!
3. STERANKO'S HISTORY OF COMICS. Yeah, this kind of ties back to #2, so sue me. For years, this was my "Holy Grail" of comics history books. When I was out of work for a while, these were the among the only books I refused to sell!
4. TONY'S ONLINE TIPS. Yeah, Tony doesn't always write *about* comics... but his daily column is great reading every day!
5. SPIDER-MAN: THE '67 COLLECTION. This DVD set of the classic Spidey cartoon reconnects me with my childhood every time I pop a disc in!
6. JLA/JSA CROSSOVERS. Thankfully reprinted (for the most part) in the CRISIS ON MULTIPLE EARTHS TPBs, I've loved these stories for years and years and years!
7. MEGO SUPER-HERO FIGURES. I had many of these as a child, re-collected them as an adult, sold 'em off... and wish I could afford to buy 'em all again! For my generation, these were *the* super-hero action figures!
8. JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED. This is fast becoming my favorite superhero cartoon... EVER!
9. ALL-STAR SQUADRON/YOUNG ALL-STARS/INFINITY, INC. Yep, it's a three-fer here, with Roy Thomas' wonderful Earth-2 titles, which I love reading over and over again! Throw in Roy's SECRET ORIGINS issues in there, too!
10. CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS HARDBACK. This was an anniversary present from my late wife, and it's a cherished possession. Even though some things happened after it that weren't great, I still love this story.
Back to the present again. I still love all those things, but in the interim since I posted this, I've sold off all of my TwoMorrows magazines, as well as my Crisis hardback and pretty much all of my Essentials. Haven't watched the Spider-Man DVD in forever, though, and I think it's about time to re-read the Steranko books.
11. PETER DAVID'S HULK. Some of my favorite comics ever! You never knew what to expect!
12. CORGI BATMOBILES. These die-cast Batmobiles are just freakin' cool, and they're on my shelf!
13. KRYPTO THE SUPER-DOG. Yep, the inspiration for my own Krypto!
14. ESSENTIAL _________. I love this format! It's great being able to read all these great old Marvels in a big chunk.
15. DC ARCHIVES. Admittedly, right now, I only own a few THUNDER AGENTS volumes, but I want to get nearly all of 'em.
16. QUARTER BOXES. When I hit a comics convention with quarter boxes, I love going through 'em and finding deals!
17. SIMON AND KIRBY COMICS. Name any of 'em, I love 'em!
18. GOOD MARVEL MOVIES. And it's about time, too! I hope FANTASTIC FOUR can be counted among them!
19. INTERNET MAILING LISTS. These have allowed me to connect with fellow fans in ways I'd never imagined possible!
Of course, since this list was done, Peter has been long off the Hulk. I'm not sure what the heck I was referring to with Corgi Batmobiles, though... I've got the Hot Wheels one, but never a Corgi one! Quarter boxes at conventions have given way to 50 cent boxes. While Fantastic Four wasn't a great Marvel movie, it was better than the reboot was, wasn't it? I think when I posted this, Spider-Man was still pretty recent in my mind.
20. BLOGS. Peter David's Blog is high on this list, but there are others I love to check out every day, to get insights into the minds of some of my favorite creators!
21. DIRECT SALES COMICS SHOPS. Thanks to them, I never have to miss an issue of any title I want!
22. JOHN BYRNE'S FANTASTIC FOUR. My second-favorite run on the title!
23. WALT SIMONSON'S FANTASTIC FOUR. My third-favorite run!
24. MARK WAID'S FANTASTIC FOUR. My fourth-favorite run (but a real close fourth!)
25. WALT SIMONSON'S THOR
26. DC'S GREATEST STORIES... TPBS. I know, they haven't done any of these in a long time, but those are great reprint sets!
27. COMICS ON CD-ROM. Something that should've been happening long ago! I've got the first Marvel set, and plan on getting the Spidey and FF sets soon! When will DC produce these???
28. WILL EISNER'S SPIRIT. 'Nuff said!
29. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN BY STAN LEE AND STEVE DITKO and STAN LEE AND JOHN ROMITA. All great Spidey books!
30. THE ESSENTIAL ANT-MAN. If Marvel will produce this, that means there's always a chance of other oddball essentials!
31. EMERALD CITY COMIC-CON. Finally, Seattle has a great comics convention!
32. MID-OHIO CON. Haven't been to one in a few years, but it's long been my favorite comics convention, even over SAN DIEGO and WIZARD WORLD CHICAGO!
33. EBAY. A way to buy comics from people all over the world!
34. FELLOW COMICS FANS. There's just something too cool about talking with a fellow fan about this hobby... especially when you connect on so many different levels about comics!
35. COMIC BOOK CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS. Whether they're from Hallmark or other manufacturers, it's very cool to me to be able to put super-heroes on my Christmas tree!
36. THE GRAND COMICS DATABASE PROJECT. Where else can you learn so much about who did what, and check out great cover galleries of almost any comics title you can think of? A labor of love, and it's free!
37. SILVER AGE SUPERMAN COMICS. They're weird, they're wacky, and more than a little mysognistic, but great fun!
38. DC 80-PAGE GIANTS/100-PAGE SUPER-SPECTACULARS. When I was a kid, I loved getting these!
39. THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN TV SHOW. Many of our first impressions of Superman were courtesy of this program!
40. THE FLEISCHER STUDIOS SUPERMAN CARTOONS. Still the best after all of these years!
41. POWER RECORDS BOOK AND RECORD SETS. In the 70s, all the kids wanted these, so they could read a comic while listening to the dialogue and sound effects! Great stuff... I wish they'd be reissued on CD!
42. BOOMERANG CHANNEL. Just because of all the funky superhero cartoons they show!
43. FAMILY CHANNEL. Just because they re-run more recent Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons!
44. CHAMPIONS: THE SUPER ROLE-PLAYING GAME. I used to run a group that played this game, and it was always a blast!
45. ADOBE PHOTOSHOP. Think this doesn't fit? You need to read DRAW! and find out how much this incredible software is used these days in creating comics!
46. WALLY WOOD'S THUNDER AGENTS. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Dynamo and the gang!
47. THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS. Ditto on these guys!
48. TONY ISABELLA COMICS. Yep, he's a buddy of mine, so what? I think his comics are good readin'!
49. JACK KIRBY'S NEW GODS. Need I say more?
50. AVENGERS/JLA BY BUSIEK AND PEREZ. It was decades in the making, and well worth the wait!
51. DC DIRECT FIGURES. These figures are just fantastic... the company just keeps producing figure after figure I never expected to see for sale, such as the Earth-3 Crime Champions!
Since posting this, I've been selling off all my DC Direct figures, and don't really plan on getting them repurchased.
52. THE KREE-SKRULL WAR. This Roy Thomas-written, mostly Neal Adams-drawn series of Avengers stories was just fantastic, and set the standard for cosmic sagas to come!
53. CHARLTON AND GOLD KEY COMICS. These two publishers seem to get a lot of short shrift from the magazines about comics... and yeah, Charltons especially were of variable quality, but there's some fun stuff to be found in these publisher's wares... and I'm not even just thinking of stuff like E-MAN, DOOMSDAY + 1, MAGNUS, or DOCTOR SOLAR! My personal favorite GK books, for example, are MIGHTY SAMPSON and DOCTOR SPEKTOR.
54. MARVEL REPRINT COMICS OF THE 70s. When I was a kid, this was a very cool way to get "up to speed" on the Marvel super-heroes!
55. THE MARVEL SUPER-HEROES CARTOONS OF THE 60s. The animation was god-awful, but the stories were taken nearly unchanged right out of the comics! I just wish things would get cleared up so these can be released on DVD soon!
56. TEEN TITANS/TEEN TITANS GO! This Cartoon Network series is introducing all kinds of kids to the Titans, and getting fans that wouldn't have ever picked up a comic book! Initially, I have to admit, I didn't care for it's unique blend of American comics and Japanese anime, but it's grown on me!
57. MCFARLANE TOYS. Okay, this is real peripheral... but if it weren't for Todd McFarlane deciding to create his own line of action figures, I'd never have been able to get Beatles action figures on my shelves!
58. ALL IN COLOR FOR A DIME/THE GREAT COMIC-BOOK HEROES. OK, I did mention books about the history of comics before, but these two books stand out for me... they were the very first two books I ever bought and read about comics history, and I still love 'em today!
59. GREAT COMIC BOOK SHOPS. There are good comics shops, there are bad comics shops, and then there are great comic book shops. Olympic Cards and Comics is one of the great ones, here in Olympia. Lady Jayne's Comics and Books was another one in Tacoma (but sadly not in business in a storefront anymore). So is Comic Book Ink in Tacoma.
60. CHEEKS THE TOY WONDER'S WEB SITE. I'll have to post the URL for this sometime, even if it's not quite in full operation any more. If you've seen his pages before, you know he loves comics, even when he's being critical of them!
61. COMICS TRIVIA CONTESTS. I used to participate in these, at MID-OHIO CON and other places... and now, I get to MC one at EMERALD CITY COMIC-CON!
62. MEETING COMICS PROS. I love it that thanks to comics conventions, I get to meet people who created some of my favorite comics and tell them how much their work has meant to me!
63. KURT BUSIEK'S AVENGERS. My second-favorite run of the title (the first is the Lee and Thomas runs... and yes, I count them as one... so sue me!). I can't believe Marvel has messed up the Avengers so much these days!
64. JULIE SCHWARTZ. I trust I don't need to say more!
65. GIL KANE. One of the masters of comics art!
66. STAN LEE. 'Nuff said!
67. GIVING COMICS CREATORS THEIR DUE BEFORE THEY PASS AWAY. Too many classic comics creators never received the proper recognition of their work before they passed away... and I think it's great that these guys can get their accolades at comics conventions!
68. CREATORS WHO USE ZATANNA IN HER ORIGINAL COSTUME. So I like fishnets!
69. THE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA. Thank goodness they have a regular title these days!
70. SMALLVILLE. I love this show! Yes, it has its clunker episodes... but even the best series have them (can you say "Spock's Brain"?).
71. LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. This was the show that was directly responsible for my meeting my late wife, Barbara.
If I were doing this list these days, I'm pretty sure I'd be dropping Smallville and L&C and replacing them with some of the more recent DC shows, which are even better than those two!
72. LITERATE COMICS OF THE 1970s. By "literate", I mean those books that expanded my vocabulary. I should include the books of the 60s as well!
73. SMART COMICS OF THE 60s AND 70s. I love it that I was able to learn all kinds of useless stuff from comics... like what a googol is, or the difference between stalactites and stalagmites!
74. TRADE PAPERBACKS. These great reprint collections ensure that I'll get a chance to read comics I can't afford to purchase the originals of!
75. KAMANDI, THE LAST BOY ON EARTH. Why nobody's developed an animated series of this for Cartoon Network is beyond me, because I think it would be all too cool!
76. BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. The program that showed how to *really* do Batman on TV and in animation!
77. SUPER FRIENDS. Seem like a contradiction? Well, for years, this show as the only way to get your super-hero tv fix!
78. DC DIRECT PVC's. Smaller and cheaper than statues, this line is a joy to behold... And thanks to the Smallville set, I could add another Krypto figure to my collection!
79. COMIC BOOK ADVERTISING OF THE 60s AND 70s. For me, a good part of the fun of reading old comics is checking out the ads! I find myself wishing someone would produce a nice book reprinting some of these!
80. COMIC BOOK LETTER COLUMNS. Another part of the fun of reading old comics is seeing the letter columns, and recognizing the names of people who would later work in comics! Too bad the trade paperbacks omit the letters pages!
81. MARVEL BULLPEN BULLITENS/DC DIRECT CURRENTS. These pages were always a kick when I was a kid... it let me, in a way, see the inner workings of the companies, like it was a secret shared with a small, intimate group!
82. THE ROCKETEER. Both the original comics and the movie... I loved 'em both, and still do!
83. MEGATON MAN/NORMALMAN. These two parody books are titles I always enjoyed reading, and probably the best parody books ever!
84. ARCHIE COMICS. OK, I don't read these, much... but they're out there, and are probably most kids' first exposures to comics... so they're on my list!
85. THE COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND. A great group, and a worthy cause!
86. CLAREMONT'S X-MEN. At least up to and including the issues with Paul Smith's art, these were great comics... and I've got 'em all in ESSENTIAL format!
87. CAPTAIN ACTION. The first super-hero action figure, and one of the best! I loved Playing Mantis' short-lived revival of him, as well.
88. ODDBALL COMICS. By this, I mean any weird and wacky comics title, especially those that lasted a very short while, mostly from the 60s and 70s.... whether it's the android Captain Marvel, or stuff like DC's titles that were cancelled in the DC IMPLOSION, getting my hands on these is always a kick... even when the contents are abysmal!
89. SUPERMAN THE MOVIE. I did believe a man could fly!
90. COMIC BOOK PROSE NOVELS. When I can latch onto one of these, I get it! Good reading, for the most part!
91. OBSESSIVE COMICS FAN SITES. I love it when I come across a web site that a fan has set up that's obsessive in its detail about a particular comics creator, title, or character!
92. HOMEMADE COMICS. It doesn't matter if these are drawn by kids (as I did), or teenagers, or adults... the fact that people would love comics so much that they'd create their own is something I love!
93. COMICS NEWS WEBSITES. Yes, some of these throw out rumors and state them as facts, but they serve my need for new comics news at least five days a week!
94. BIZARRE COMICS MERCHANDISING. Every now and then, I come across an item that's just too weird for words... such as the Spider-Man Workout and Fitness Video... where one wonders just what someone was thinking! But they're always fun when you find 'em!
95. ALEX ROSS. The guy shows us what super-heroes would really look like, and he does it so well!
96. JOHN BUSCEMA. One of the best comics artists, ever!
97. SAL BUSCEMA. Sal was probably one of my greatest art influences, thanks to his near omni-presence in comics in the 70s!
98. CHARACTER REVIVALS. When one of the comics companies brings back a character or group of characters I love, it's great... at least until I read 'em and find out they didn't get what made the character work for me! But at least there's always the chance that the revival will bring back what I missed!
99. FRANK MILLER'S DAREDEVIL. Best run of the title ever.
100. ALL THE STUFF I LEFT OUT. Yep, I'm sure that if I were to look over this list again in a few days, I'd discover there were all kinds of things I forgot... so this is a catch-all!