Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dog of the Geek: 1-Rover-1!

1-rover-1Breed: Robot dog

Original Appearances: Battle of the Planets TV series.

Other Appearances: Presumably in the comics of the same name.

Biography: 1-Rover-1 is a small, golden-yellow robot dog with antennae for ears. He is owned by 7-Zark-7. 1-Rover-1 can't speak English, but his sounds can be interpreted by 7-Zark-7, and likes to tell his owner he's looking forward to biting Zoltar (the villain). He demonstrates the full range of human emotion. He eats Robot Puppy Chow and other items. 1-Rover-1 can do most of the standard dog tricks.

Powers: His tail can receive interstellar signals.

Group Affiliation: G-Force

Miscellaneous: Like 7-Zark-7, 1-Rover-1 was added to the original Gatchaman show for its Battle of the Planets incarnation, and was entirely missing in the G-Force adapatation.

Comic Reading Library: Forbidden Worlds 44!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Fandom Library: FAB #1!

Here's one for the UK readers of Random Acts of Geekery, as well as anyone else who's enjoyed some of Gerry Anderson's TV shows!

Character Collectible Spotlight: The Flash, Part Two!

First item in the Flash parade this time is this set of temporary tattoos from Argentina!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


As many of you know, I like to go to comic book conventions, and I like to check things out on eBay (and sometimes even buy from eBay). I also like to go to swap meets and garage sales. I'll also browse antique shops with my wife (and sometimes with my kids if they're behaving), looking for cool stuff like old toys, records, comics, and children's books.

Sometimes, I find really great deals at these, and I've talked about them here. But there are also times where I see something I'd be interested in buying, only to be put off by the price.

Now, if any of you guys reading this are dealers, I'm sure you'll be thinking, "Well, there's price guides out there, so they're probably just following the price guides."

And I have a few problems with that idea. Firstly, there's lots and lots of stuff that there are no price guides for. I'm a collector of Kenner's Give-A-Show Projector, and I've looked and looked, and there just isn't a book out there that has prices for any of them. The same goes for a lot of things. Secondly, it seems that if there is a price guide, too many people are looking at prices and not considering the condition of what they're selling.

But mainly, the biggest problem I have with being stuck on using price guides is this: They're guides only. You'll realize those kind of prices in the most ideal of circumstances, but honestly, you can't plan on getting those prices.

Here's my ultimate guide for what something is worth: It's worth whatever you can get someone else to pay for it. I don't care if you've got a mint condition talking Mr. Ed hand puppet and some price guide says it's worth $500, if nobody's willing to pay you that much money, it's not worth that much!

It's bad enough with toys and children's records, and I don't know where they come up with prices on old children's books... but man, have you ever been in an antique mall and found a box of comics? Most of the comics I've seen in antique malls are far from being antique -- they're usually from the 1980s, they're common as heck, I can find them at any comic book show for 50 cents each or less... and these people think they're going to get a couple of bucks each for them just because they put them in a comic book bag.

What I really don't understand is that when it comes to the antique malls, you'd think people would want to move stuff, because that's what brings in money (and gives them space to display new items), but since the people who are actually the sellers of items are very rarely (if ever) physically present in these stores, you can't negotiate anything. That's right, the people at the register basically run the overall store, but the booths have merchandise from different people.

This is why I tend to browse more than buy at the antique malls.

Garage sales are another matter -- you'd be amazed at how wide a range of prices can be found at different garage sales, if you don't go to them often! I've literally gone to one garage sale and found an item where they're asking $10 for it, and then later the same day gone to a different garage sale and see the exact same item for a dollar!

It's all buyer beware, naturally. And it is up to us as buyers to not spend more than we need to spend on anything, no matter how much we want it. Every time some antique dealer sells a comic book or toy or whatever for the price they think they're supposed to get, and that price is way out there, they're going to mark up the next item even more. It's the same advice I give to people about eBay: Decide what something is worth to you, personally, and don't pay more for it than that!

When it comes to old children's books, my top price I'm willing to pay is usually three to four bucks -- maybe higher if it's something I know is super-rare, but probably no more than six bucks, tops (none of my books on Children's Book Theatre has gone into that upper end yet). And I've found some very nice vintage kids books on the cheap, mind you! But I'm always looking for bargains, and will likely spend more money at a stop if there are bargains than if their prices are so high I have to get picky about what I'm going to get.

Comics They Never Made!

I was having a lot of fun creating the Drive-In Movie Classics covers, and here's another batch of them!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Monkees, Season 1, Episode 3: "Monkee Vs. Machine"

This episode, "Monkee Vs. Machine," was written by David Panich, and guest-starrs Severn Darden as Guggins, Walter Janowitz as Pop Harper, Dorothy Konrad as Miss Zuckerman, Elaine Fielding as the Secretary, but most importantly, Stan Freberg as Daggart!

At the end of the article, I'll go over some other geek-themed appearances by some of the guest-starring cast, some of which I'm sure will surprise you!

The Indexible Hulk #26!

Tales to Astonish 070Issue: Tales to Astonish #70
Title: “To Live Again!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Mickey Demeo (Mike Esposito), letters by Artie Simek.

Supporting Cast: General Ross, Major Talbot, Rick Jones, Betty Ross

Villain: The Leader

Hulk Intelligence: Oh, let's save it for a surprise!

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: After the apparent fatal shooting of Dr. Banner (last issue), the military, led by Ross and Talbot, invade the Leader's base. They're told that Banner's body is gone! We find that Rick Jones has taken Bruce's body in a truck to the hidden cave laboratory, because he figures that Bruce is really two men – Bruce and the Hulk – and if Bruce is dead, he'll just bring the Hulk back to life using Banner's Gamma Ray device. The ray turns Bruce into the Hulk, and he rises from the table... but something's different! Bruce Banner's brain is in control of the Hulk's body! Bruce decides that the only way he can stay alive is to remain the Hulk forever, and that they have to figure how to prevent him from changing back. Meanwhile, the Leader apparently had a back-up base prepared, from which he contacts the Red leaders he's working for. He tells them he has the ultimate offensive weapon, and it will cost them a billion dollars! The Reds tell him to prove its worth by destroying Ross' missile base. Even as the Leader prepares to unleash his 500-foot tall Humanoid android, he's already planning on turning on his Red employers! The Humanoid starts walking towards the base. Shortly, the Hulk/Banner leaps to Betty's cottage, where he overhears Talbot tell Betty that Bruce is dead. Bruce decides it's better if she thinks that's the case. Just then, the phone rings, and Talbot learns of the Humanoid attack! None of the base's defenses are doing any good, so the Hulk tries to lend a hand, accidentally getting in the way of one of the missiles (and leading the military to think they're in cahoots). The Humanoid grabs the Hulk in one of its hands, but the Hulk eventually breaks free. But as the Hulk tries to get back to the Humanoid to battle it, more missiles strike, sending him flying. Finally, one volley of missiles staggers the Humanoid, and the Hulk leaps up to finish knocking him over. But before the Hulk can renew the attack, a gigantic trailer pulls up, with the Sunday Punch Missile (yes, it says so right on the trailer!) prepared to fire at the Humanoid! Rick overhears the plan to fire it, and runs off to warn the Hulk!

Invention Exchange: The Leader's 500-foot-tall Humanoid android, the military's Sunday Punch Missile (perhaps invented by Tony Stark?).

Reprinted In: The Incredible Hulk Special #3, The Incredible Hulk (Simon & Schuster, 1978), Essential Hulk #1.

Notes: Adapted as episode 15 of the 1966 Hulk animated series. The indexer of this issue at the Grand Comics Database notes this is the first time the Hulk claims that the madder he gets, the stronger he gets. Interestingly, it's the Banner-controlled Hulk who claims this!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cover Redux!

The first Cover Redux for this time around features Amazing Spider-Man #94 on the left, and the Marvel Tales reprint on the right, issue 75! Now, at first,you might think, "No, that's not a reprint," but you'd only be half right! Of course, there's a complete change in emphasis -- the new cover focuses on the retelling of Spidey's origin (compare the Peter Parker figures -- same figure, same spider, all else is new), and then features Aunt May being taken by the Beetle as an afterthought (Beetle and May are from the original, Spidey figure is new). It is interesting that both covers used the mask close-up motif, with panels in the eyes, but in different ways! I also note that the Beetle was miscolored on the Spidey cover, but corrected for Marvel Tales!

Cool Stuff!

First up, it's a Mexican lobby card for the Flying Saucer!