Thursday, February 17, 2005

Cast-Off Characters

Here's a definite comics-related posting... One of my quirks as a comics geek has been having an appreciation for characters who don't regularlly appear in a comic, but have a long history... guys like the original Captain Marvel (although I know the Big Red Cheese is making another comeback -- hope this one sticks), the Blue Beetle, and so on. Over at Marvel, it's guys like Wundaar, Tigra the Were-Woman, and so forth. I have to admit, I'm a sucker when someone uses one of these characters!

Last night, I was re-reading the JLA trade paperback, "Justice For All," which had the first JLA-JSA team-up and lead into the current JSA series, and I got to thinking... DC has a lot of cool characters nobody's using, what if they gathered up some of them into a new team? I recall that when the JLA-JSA team-up one year featured the Fawcett characters, those characters were teamed as "Shazam's Squadron of Justice." Well, "Squadron of Justice" is a nice name... although if it was switched around, "Justice Squadron" would make for a nice placement in the racks with JLA and JSA (I don't know about adding "of America," because then they'd want to abbreviate it, which wouldn't work!). This could be a team comprised of some of DC's cast-off characters, if you will, headed up by Captain Marvel, and they could use Blue Beetle and some of the others in there, too...

I'm also a big fan of Archie's super-heroes... Shield, Fly, etc... one of these days, I'll be posting the idea I had for a revival... complete with a mock-up promotional piece. If only I had some comics writing credits under my belt, I could approach Archie about doing this, eh? Then again, Gail Simone got her writing gig by being entertaining on the 'net, so one never knows...


Other stuff I'm involved with...

One of the things I hadn't mentioned before is that, since about the first of the year, I've been on Weight Watchers. Yep, like a lot of comics guys, I'm overweight, but this is the year I'm doing something about it!

As of last Saturday's weigh-in, I'd lost nearly 20 lbs, and it just keeps getting better! I was worried when I first joined, feeling that I'd feel unsatisfied with the food I was eating, but it's a great program, and I'd definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to lose weight. You can really learn a lot about proper eating habits!

And you don't have to feel deprived... the great thing about WW is that you can eat what you want... you just have to keep track of the points! For example, at my current weight, I get 30 points a day, plus 35 "flex points" to use during each week. A bowl of "Carb Well" cereal and fat-free milk is about 4 points, and there are all kinds of microwavable meals (even pizza) that range from 3 to 7 points each. Plus, I've been discovering that the various meatless products (like Gardenburger) are very tasty, and also nicely low in points, too!

If you're on WW, and you're using the website as part of your program, I've even got a few recipies uploaded to there... a revised twice-baked potatoes that is very yummy, for example! But I do have a few tips for those of you who like cooking yourself!

1. Buy fat-free crackers... they work very well for breading! I've used them (crushed in my food processor) for chicken, fish and shrimp, and it works great... and it's much healthier than buying breadcrumbs!

2. Make sure you get some olive oil or canola cooking spray, and use that instead of butter for cooking.

3. Easy low-point french fries: Peel a large potato, slice it to 1/4" thick fries. Take a cookie sheet, place some foil on it, and then a cooking rack (a cooling rack works, too). Spray with cooking spray, place your potato slices on it, season to taste, spray the top with a light spraying of cooking spray, and bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes... remove from the oven, turn fries over, and cook for 6-10 more minutes, checking them as you cook them so they don't burn. If you use the cooking spray sparingly, you get lots of fries for only 4 points! Or you can use a medium potato for 3 points, or a small potato for 2 points.


13 days and counting...

krypto 8 weeks
Until Krypto arrives! This was the most recent photo sent by the breeder. I've been getting very excited awaiting his arrival, and started doing some preparation -- bought and read DOG TRAINING FOR DUMMIES, and already have a few toys for him (a small squeaky soccer ball -- boxers seem to like playing with soccer balls! My girlfriend's boxer, KO, loves 'em) and a small plus gorilla that makes noise when you squeeze it. Because KO isn't a year old yet, she's still on puppy food, so Jessi and I won't have to start buying different dog food. Later this morning, before heading into work, I'm hoping I can find a dog collar that looks similar enough to his comic-book counterpart's! It'll be an exciting time, and I'll likely be posting new pics of Krypto as he does all-too-cute things!


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A Bit About Me!

Figured now that I have at least one person starting to read this blog, I'd go ahead and spill the beans a bit more about myself!

I was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. Fortunately, I've recovered from that, thanks to my family moving first to Wyoming, and then to Tacoma. I more or less grew up in Tacoma, Washington, living there from the time I was 4 or so until I went into the Navy when I was 20. While in the Navy (I was a journalist), I was originally based out of Guam, and then San Diego... and I definitely prefered San Diego! After 5 years in the Navy, I moved back to Tacoma, and lived there until I met my wife, Barbara, over the internet (thanks to the Lois & Clark TV show mailing list!). To be with her, I moved to Greenfield, Wisconsin (just outside Milwaukee), and we spent five years together before she tragically passed away. I stayed in Greenfield for another year after that to wrap up loose ends before moving back to Tacoma! Then, a little over a year ago, I finally got my dream job, working at the Olympian, which is the newspaper serving Olympia. After a few months on the job, I moved to Olympia, to make my commute shorter! Not too long after moving here, I met a wonderful woman named Jessi, and we've been together since!

As you can gather, comics is one of my many passions... probably #1 on the list! I'm also a huge fan of oldies rock (especially the Beatles and Elvis). There are more recent artists whose work I enjoy, but I'm always afraid to buy their CD's... seems I have a "curse"... whenever I buy a CD of a current musical artist I enjoy, their career comes to an end. Don't believe me? Let me drop a few names... Duran Duran. Huey Lewis and the News. The Pretenders. The Bangles. Sure, some of them have made comebacks... but I don't want to take the chance!

I also collect toys that relate to my many interests... my bookshelves in the living room are filled with a number of comics-related toys, as well as some superhero stuff, and (naturally) a few Godzilla items! You probably guessed I was a Godzilla fan, right? Not so obvious is that I'm also a big fan of Groucho Marx and the Marx Brothers, old time radio (especially Jack Benny, and Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy).

I'm also a big fan of "Factoid" books... chief among them the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader series, as well as the Straight Dope books by Cecil Adams. I'm a voracious reader, and if I'd never gotten rid of any of the books I bought, I'd probably need another apartment to store them in!

TV wise, I currently watch Smallville, Committed (very funny!), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Justice League Unlimited, and Teen Titans. I've also become a fan of Friends thanks to Jessi, who's been getting the DVDs as they come out, so I've seen the first six or seven seasons.

I'm a huge fan of classic animation, as well as super-hero animation. I'm a sucker for DVD collections of this stuff!

But most of my interests, as you might imagine, tend to have some connection to comics, however tenuous that may be! Comics have been a part of my life so much, I can rarely remember a time they weren't a part of it... which is probably why my head is so filled with useless trivia!

At least I've got an outlet for it, between the mailing list mentioned in one of my first posts... and, as of the recent Emerald City Comic-Con, I've been the MC of Seattle's own Fans Vs. Pros trivia contest!


Gigantis, the Fire Monster (aka Godzilla #2)

Originally uploaded by waffyjon.
Godzilla/Gigantis the Fire Monster #2

Here, Dell switched from doing original cover art to using the poster art for their adaptations of Godzilla movies.

Apparently, someone at Dell was smart enough to realize that Gigantis and Godzilla were one and the same character, just with a different distributor... hence the "No 2" on the cover.

I can't really tell for certain how close the writer and artist got to the original movie, because this is one of the few G-movies I've never seen, but it seems to capture the basic pace of the G-films.

Remarkably, the interior artwork is an improvement over the last issue... Godzilla/Gigantis looks more like Godzilla than he did in the first issue. Perhaps this was due to delays in the movie's release (they'd originally planned to film new scenes with Gigantis/Godzilla), giving Dell's artist
more materials to work from.


One more time... remember, this comic doesn't really exist! If you see someone's posted this or one of my other "Comics They Never Made" posts up for sale on eBay, let me know ASAP, okay?


Some Random Thoughts

So... I have no idea if anyone's been checking this blog out or not... but it occurs to me it's been a few days since I posted anything at all, so figured I'd toss out a few tidbits...

1. eBay has their new "treasure hunt" game going on as I write this... they give out clues, and you use the clues to try to find an auction to win $1,000. I've a feeling the prizes will be won by people who have no life, but live in front of their 'puter... because only they have the time to search! One clue was "Old Faithful." Well, I figured the clue related to Yellowstone, and did a search for Yellowstone, and there's 1,700+ auctions! I don't have the time to look at all of those! So I guess I won't claim that prize!

2. Krypto arrives in two weeks! I'm so excited... I'll post one of the more recent pictures the breeder sent sometime today.

3. In anticipation of Krypto arriving, I figured I'd work up a checklist of Krypto's comic book appearances. I usually use the Grand Comics Database ( when I'm looking for character appearances... except that when searching for appearances of Krypto, it also gets results from appearances of Green Kryptonite, and presumably other forms of Kryptonite, as well! OK, I know there were a few stories where a piece of Kryptonite narrated a story... but is Kryptonite really a character?!? And why doesn't their search engine know the difference between Krypto the Super-Dog and the rocks that have varying effects on Superman? Now I'll have to double-check every entry to see if Krypto really appeared in it! Sheesh...

4. DC Comics has some really cool-looking stuff coming out, starting with "DC Countdown" and the titles spinning off from it. I'm not sure what exactly they're leading towards, but I can't imagine it'll end up annoying me as much as the whole "Avengers Disassembled" thing did at Marvel! I used to be a huge Avengers fan, but the only Avengers book worth reading these days, IMHO, is the "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" miniseries that looks back at the early days of the team. Still, I'll be patient... sooner or later, someone at Marvel will slap themselves upside the head and realize that the Avengers shouldn't include Wolverine in their ranks, among other things... and they'll go back to the kind of team that I want to read about.

5. Speaking of Avengers Disassembled... I recently read the TPB of "Avengers Forever," and it looks to me as though that book gives us all the justification in the world for bringing Hawkeye back to life (none of the "future Avengers" who appeared seem to be surprised to find Hawkeye alive). So that would open the door, wouldn't it? I'm also certain that some day, the Scarlet Witch will be exonerated for what she supposedly did that caused the whole situation. Of course, it could be years and years before that gets fixed!

6. If you are one of those apparently all-too-rare people checking this blog out, let me know by leaving a comment or something, y'hear? It'd be nice to know I'm not just talking to nobody!