It’s a cold/grey/wet day in Medina. I’m trying to get my Christmas
drama and shopping taken care of early this year, all the better to
live the life of a social pariah to which I’m clearly well suited.
Members of my family are somewhat upset with me over my reactions
to the mass e-mailing that inspired yesterday’s blog and, scoundrel
that I am, I don’t much care. Not going to air the family business
here, but there’s been some casting of stones by people who should
be themselves ducking.
People disappoint me, though likely no more than I disappoint them.
I was reading the comments to one of my favorite blogs and had one
of my eye-rolling moments when a poster complained bitterly about
the presence of Hawkgirl and John Stewart in the wondrous Justice
League cartoons. In snarky manner, the poster figuratively turned
up his nose at the concept of “Unity through diversity.” Really.
Such casual bigotry makes my heart sink.
In the local newspapers, The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer is behaving
more like Governor John “Creepy” Kasich’s public relations office
than a newspaper. They recently ran a front page story about how
Ohio residents don’t really know and, by extension, appreciate the
Governor. Of course, the thing is, we do know Kasich. We know his
many lies, we know he strives to enrich the rich at the expense of
working people, and we know he’s a former Lehman Brothers executive
who made millions from a company that played a pivotal role in the
near-collapse of the American economy. Of course, The Plain Dealer
doesn’t seem to know any of the above. They never mention Kasich’s
former employers (which include Fox News) by name. They’re giving
the so-called “liberal media” a bad name.
But the unpleasantries of some few aspects of my life aside, I’m a
pretty happy guy. I’m making great progress on my shopping for the
holidays. I could be finished by the weekend. Which would be very
cool since Eddie and Kelly will be coming home from The Ohio State
University. Their being here is really all the Christmas presents
I need or will ever need.
Let’s see what else is on my desk today...
I am slowly reading the 41st edition of The Overstreet Comic Book
Price Guide and, when I say slowly reading, I’m actually skimming
and stopping at the parts that interest me. Which doesn’t include
the many ads and most definitely does include the “About This Book”
comic strip by J.C. Vaughn and Gene Gonzales.
I’m currently into the latest market reports from comics collectors
and retailers. As you might expect, many of the entries make for
dry reading and many simply don’t interest me. I read them to stay
informed on this part of the comics industry.
Every now and then, one of the reports just plain tickles me. For
example, the one by Philip M. Levine and Jeff Rader of Paperpeddler
Rare and Esoteric Comics and Collectibles. It was enthusiastic and
informative. I wasn’t all about the economics of comic-book sales.
Made me wish I had the money to buy comics from them.
By the way, I have the Hero Initiative edition of the Price Guide
with the wonderful cover by John Romita, Sr, Tom Palmer, and Dean
White. It’s hard to resist picking up a book with that cover and
reading a few more pages. When I come across other things in the
Guide that catch my interest, I’ll write about them here.
Getting back to Christmas, Archie Christmas Classics [$14.95] would
be a fine and relatively inexpensive gift for the comics reader in
your life. It’s nearly 200 full-color pages of holiday heart and
humor by great writers and artists like Frank Doyle, George Gladir,
Harry Lucey, Dan DeCarlo, Stan Goldberg, and many more. Not one of
the book’s two dozen stories is less than clever and entertaining.
Several of them are incredibly moving. One of them - “It’s Not The
Gift” - made me a little misty. If you’ve wondered why I’m such a
fan of Archie Comics, this collection should go a long way towards
answering that question for you.
I never know what spiffy surprises I’ll find inside an issue of the
164-page double digest titles published by Archie Comics. Case in
point: Archie Double Digest #222 [$3.99; November 2011]. There was
good reading a’plenty in the issue, but three items deserve special
George Gladir’s “Feeling Fuelish” is a fun parable about conserving
finite resources. Drawn by Stan Goldberg with inks by Bob Smith,
the tale first appeared in Archie #569 [November 2006]. The only
downer part of the story is that, five years later, we still don’t
seem to be able to shake our reliance on fuels that damage the very
air that we breathe and which we buy from sellers I would prefer we
didn’t do business with.
Maybe it’s time for a 1960s protest. Nope, not talking about the
courageous Occupy Wall Street movement. I’m talking about the kids
from Riverdale standing up for something they believe in. That’s
the premise of “Mustang Sally” by writer Hal Lifson, penciler Gene
Colan, and inker Rudy Lapick. I don’t know when and where it was
originally published, but it features the Archies singing classic
songs like “Eve of Destruction” and “I’ve Got You, Babe!”
Digging into the Archie archives, this digest also reprints a pair
of Wilbur stories by Joe Edwards. Wilbur is similar to Archie and
predated our favorite waffle-scarred redhead, but never reached the
same level of fame as the Andrews lad. Still, these two tales are
great fun. Both come from Wilbur Comics #89 [October 1964].
Even if you don’t buy the Archie double digests on a steady basis,
you should always make a point to flip through them at the comics
shop or supermarket. At least until the person behind the counter
reminds you that you’re not in a library.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2011 Tony Isabella