Youtube Channel Roundup : On Harlan Ellison, DC Comics, Brian Michael Bendis, and SLEEPYREADER666!

This blog post is on a recent video courtesy of SLEEPY READER, via his excellent Youtube Channel. Watched it courtesy of the Youtube Channel on my Roku streaming device

SLEEPY READER 666 Vlog #76 I like the fact that Sleepy reader covers diverse content, rather than just showing you the latest comics, or variants. I like that his stories are a little deeper than that and more informed.

In his most recent episode he discusses the late great Harlan Ellison, as well as Brian Michael Bendis, and kinda wags his finger at them for being too self aggrandizing. Based on a bad meeting he had with Harlan Ellison when he was 24.

And that got me thinking about the impressions we make of a person, the life long animus, or bad impression we somehow cement of a person, based on a cursory meeting in our youth. When you might have been catching your idol on a bad day.

Evidently seeing Ellison being bombastic and vocal, an impression of Ellison was created,  a definition of Ellison based on that one meeting, that some can carry through an entire life.

It is a common mistake that young people do (I have done it), imagining that one moment is the man. A lot of people go to conventions or meet their heroes, and because the hero doesn’t say what they wanted him to say, or respond how they expected him to respond that creator is suddenly for all time, and in all things, an asshole, or pompous, or whatever.

And most of the time it is that the person may have have a bad day, or a bad interaction, or a bad lunch, or a rude fan before you, or his mind is on a personal issue at home, so perhaps he doesn’t fully pay attention to the 200th person in the line, asking  him the same stupid question, or make the same inane joke as 50 people before.

Most of us barely are able to get along with the small circle of people who make up are 9 to 5. A celebrity mutiplies those interactions by the thousands arguably, and even if he is on most of that, 99% of that time, that leaves 1% he is not going to satisfy, or be at his best for.

I’m saying that basing your view of a person on one peripheral incident, that that person arguably has forgotten, five minutes after it happened, if he were to bump into you the day after he would likely not know know you from Adam, yet for you that incident of decades ago has become a defining , enlightening moment on that person’s personality for all time.

And all of us have done this at times. It is the reckoning of someone very young, and the mistake of someone very young. We who are older, who have been on both sides of that being disappointed, and disappointing a person, should hopefully grow to know better.

 

People have bad days. You call em on it, or you don’t. But either way you let it go, and you do not try and define a person you really do not know, based on just that one incident at a convention or party.

An idol doesn’t owe you the approval of his character, he produces work, an if the work speaks to you, he’s done his job. The judging of his soul or his character is not a part of that contract we develop with those who amaze up.

I’m one of those who grew up on the work of Asimov, Bradbury, Baldwin, and Harlan Ellison. Along with a good helping of Stan Lee, and Bill Cosby and Edgar Allen poe and Electric company.

What I gained from all those influences, those creators remain. I’m an immesurably richer person for the creativity of people I know only through their work for the most part.

And if later time finds them in places far from the heroic heights we met them on, it does not change the great things their work did for us, and many like us.

It’s the concept that is lost on a witch hunt America, that a man’s evil does not erase his good. No matter how our culture of championing falls, would like it to be so. 

I think sometimes, particularly in America, we raise people up, just to tear them down. That is arguably not the way, I’m not a bandwagon guy.   Judgement not by the consensus of the media or Social media, or one cursory interaction.

We all make up opinions on people, but perhaps those opinions should be as cognizant of our own… fallibility, as we can make it. And look at the supposed sins and failings of others, always in relation to our own sins and failings.

Something I absolutely do not think is currently happening in the media.

Was Harlan Ellison a prickly, abrasive, off-putting, and arguably contrary and combative person? As someone who has listened to just about all his recordings as well as read and listened to his writings… I believe Harlan Ellison would be the first one to say Yes!!!

He famously said, something to the effect ‘I’m a snake on a rock, don’t mes with me I’ll leave you alone. Mess with me i’ll bite you and hang on.’

That was Harlan Ellison. He suffered not fools. And he believed, he believed the wrong things should be railed against.

And that fire permeated his work, like the fire of invention. Harlan Elision changed the landscape of fiction, with an almost incendiary mirror to the fallacies of our age. His DANGEROUS VISIONS, written before I was born, and that I discovered as a teen, is (I think) for most who read it… the defining anthology of an age.

And in the decades since its publication that anthology and its sequel, continue to be the standard bearer by which all future anthologies are measured.

Harlan Ellison has been chastised for having been self aggrandizing, for his ‘look at me, aren’t I great’ attitude.

I, for one, think Harlan Ellison was a great writer. And his body of work will remain… great and essential, and oddly timeless.

He in many ways was some odd ying to Ray Bradbury’s yang, both of them being the voice for reason, in a world embroiled in madness. They both were masters of the cautionary tale, and their shadow looms large in the works of popular culture to this day. Like Poe they were the masters of the short story, and those short stories will only grow more beloved and adapted in the years to come.

Was Harlan Ellison self aggrandizing. It is the poor creator who isn’t , if he wants to sell his work.

Some creators are bad or uncomfortable with it, and hire others to do it for them. Some are great at it.

Harlan Ellison in addition to being a great writer, was arguably just as great a performer and showman. Like Jim Steranko he had the circus in his blood from a young age. Likely the way such men came up, kicking down doors is the reason the world knows their name today.

So to expect them to be something meek, because you are not comfortable with their breed of strong, is both inane and arrogant.

I love reading Ellison’s Books  for the very brashness of them. and their elegance, and the breath of his imagination, all  imposed by a hard early life, where dreams and the scraping, and shouting, and biting for them was all that made them real.

The very  ‘center of attention’ nature of Ellison, that so can put off others,  is the very thing that galvanizes me to him. And is one of the reasons listening to him perform his works makes them even richer.

He was a natural performer, and one of the best audio performers. Which is surprising giving his slightly nasally voice, but him performing was the audio equivalent of the energy Jack Kirby brought to his panel breaking drawings. It was raw energy and emotion and passion.

If you only know Harlan Ellison’s fiction from just reading, pick up the audio books.

He was one of the best audio actors of the 20th century, right up there with Orson Welles, Vincent Price, James Mason, Roddy McDowell, David Birney.

The thing about Ellison, he earned the right to be proud of his work. As did Bradbury, who had his own very good tv series. And there were plenty, and remain plenty to sing the praises of Ellison’s work. i own his 50th anniversary tome. An updated followup to it, containing the newsletter and other work he did prior to his passing, I definitely look forward to.

So to bring this back, if anyone does not like people who they feels push their importance’ that is their right.

But for every one who for whatever reason finds that behaviour bragging or pitiful, there are a lot that find it neither bragging or insincere, but simply informative, and the person’s personality.

And for me, Ellison, the personality I saw as a fan, was a great personality. And God knows we could use more of his take no bs personality  now, in a world of sheep meekly being bled to death by corporate gleed and malfeasance.

I’m sure he saw in this 21st century, everything he railed against in his fiction.

People also to do a sharp, awkward pivot off Harlan Ellison to accuse Brian Michael Brendis of disappointing publisher DC  Comics, because he misled them by , like Ellison, over-hyping himself.

That is to paraphrase some complaints I have heard. I like the work of Bendis, but he is no Harlan Ellison. The two do not fit in the same sentence. But you can get the gist of the thematic comparison Sleepy was making, by checking out his channel, and the video in question at the link below.

And to be clear, i like Sleepy Reader’s channel. I think it is very informative and you should subscribe. I have enjoyed just about all his shows and find him a highly intelligent, informed and informative person, providing a wealth of great information to this niche community of Comic Book fans on Youtube.

I take the time to write this post not to highlight how all of us in this talk show age, even the most intelligent of us, have started to internalize the sloppy thinking that has brought us to an America, that is regressing rather than progressing.

 

I am reminded of an Alan Moore line, that highlights the discrepancy between the truth of who we  were as angry young men, and who we hopefully grow into being.

As angry young men we have monologues rather than a conversation.  ‘Monologues  we have mistaken for the world’ to quote Alan Moore.

In closing HUGE FAN of Harlan Ellison here, as I mentioned, I hope they will releases a 70th anniversary anthology to follow up his 50th anniversary book.

 

For those reading this who want more from the late, great Harlan Ellison, as well as some of the other greats mentioned please use the following links:

https://amzn.to/2KNsJDA

Originally published in 1962 and updated in later decades with a new introduction, Ellison Wonderland shows a vibrant young writer with a wide-ranging imagination, ferocious creative energy, devastating wit, and an eye for the wonderful and terrifying and tragic. Among the gems are ”All the Sounds of Fear,” ”The Sky Is Burning,” ”The Very Last Day of a Good Woman,” and ”In Lonely Lands.” Though they stand tall on their own merits, they also point the way to the sublime stories that followed soon after and continue to come even now, more than fifty years later.

https://amzn.to/2MDGrLa

 

https://amzn.to/2MeAHv9

A Lit Fuse is an unguarded, uncensored, unquiet tour of the life of Harlan Ellison.

In late 2011 Harlan Ellison the multi-award-winning writer of speculative fiction and famously litigious personality did two uncharacteristic things. First, he asked biographer Nat Segaloff if he d be interested in writing his life story. Second, he gave Segaloff full control. The result is the long-anticipated A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison. The expansive biography, which is the first such project in which Ellison has permitted large portions of his varied works to appear, is published by NESFA Press.

Segaloff conducted exhaustive interviews with Ellison over the course of five years and also spoke with many of his friends and enemies in an effort to get inside the man and pin down the best-known Harlan stories. Their wide-ranging discussions cover his bullied boyhood, his storied marriages, his fabled lawsuits, and his compulsive writing process with more depth and detail than has ever before appeared in print. But it also delves deeply into the man s deeply held principles, his fears, and the demons that have driven him all of his 83 (so far) years. Friends, colleagues, and admirers such as Neil Gaiman, Patton Oswalt, Peter David, Robert Sawyer, Michael Scott, Edward Asner, Leonard Nimoy, Ed Bryant, Alan Brennert, Robert Silverberg, and many other notables add their voices.

Along the way the reader is treated to an analysis of the Connie Willis controversy, the infamous dead gopher story, allegedly pushing a fan down an elevator shaft, and the final word on The Last Dangerous Visions. What emerges is a rich portrait of a man who has spent his life doing battle with his times and himself, always challenging his readers to reach for a higher plane and goading himself to get them there. It s funny, wise, shocking, and well, it’s Harlan.

https://amzn.to/2Me0vY7

Rediscover the Early Ellison. This collection restores to print fifteen never-collected tales from the first dozen years of his career. Hard-hitting crime stories like “Thrill Kill,” “Girl at Gunpoint,” “Kill Joy,” “Knife/Death” and “Burn My Killers!” share the table of contents with stories of betrayal, including “Death Climb,” “Riff,” “Mac’s Girl,” and “The Honor in the Dying.” And, together for the first time, Ellison’s three detective stories featuring insurance investigator Jerry Killian. Toss in the solo outing of a diminutive private dick named Big John Novak (of whom Ellison expected to write much more, but never did) and a sexy Western called “Saddle Tramp” and you’ve got quite an assemblage of tales from the seamier side of life. All that, plus “The Final Movement,” a never-before-published story from the mid-1950s. Better than a poke in the eye with a white-hot bone of Amenhotep, I think you’ll agree.

 

https://amzn.to/2Oyn6vw

Harlan Ellison is probably best known as a script writer for sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV series such as the original Outer Limits, The Hunger, Logan’s Run, and Babylon Five. But his range is much broader than that, encompassing stories, novels, essays, reviews, reminiscences, plays, even fake autobiographies. Essential Ellison includes contains 74 unabridged works, including such classics as “A Boy and His Dog,” “Xenogenesis,” and “Mefisto in Onyx.” Includes black-and-white photos.

https://amzn.to/2KQ2Z9I

 

 

Best to any one reading this!

 

Advertisements

BEST YOUTUBE CHANNELS TO WATCH

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCABwxPC4ugqDZYy8z_6VHNQ/featured

FENSTHE SPOOK- I enjoy this guy’s channel. He covers older books, and underrepresented genres like WAR and HORROR comics, that I really have gotten into.

He does not post often, but that just gives you more time to catch up with his older videos. Great content, and naturally personable. Great channel.

And his take on graded/CGC books is similar to mine. I do not mind them for select,  more valuable books, but I really find it more cost effective to just purchase the slabbed books I want, at the grade I want , rather than the expense and INSANE delay to get the book back from one of the grading organizations. And since I am a very good deal hunter, I find it typically more cost effective as well. Time is also a big factor in any purchase decision.

I hear some people on Youtube going on ‘Well I’ve wanted and searched for this book for three years, but I didn’t want to pay $10 for it but I found it today in a $1 bin. Yay.’ Now you do not have to be the smartest person in the world to figure out 3 years , of even semi-actively scouring and thinking of a book, gas, mileage, and TIME, adds up to a lot more than $10. P

Seriously I hear some of these people crow about finding a book after multiple years of looking, and having paid $10 or $20 less for it. I’m not an immediate satisfaction guy, but I am a cost analysis,time and effort factored in guy. And in no crunching of the #s, does that type of minor savings outweight the time and effort expended even just thinking about the purchase. Much less the multiple boxes scoured just looking for the book.

It is that kind of poor thinking, that has Trump in office right now. 🙂

People not being adequately able to see the real cost of one situation over another.

Okay, that was a pretty large diversion, rant I just went on, I do that.

It’s my thing. 🙂

Anyhow, getting this car back on track, for most of my books, especially new and newer ones, bagging them in Mylar and full back backing board is more than enough. And I can still read them if I choose. 🙂

So yeah, subscribe, or at least spread the word about Fens channel. It is good stuff.

Thursday’s Thoughts! Vol 1 Issue 1

dvd, bluray

‘ “Heart jim, Heart! The whole world’s crying out for a little bit of heart!”

— DETECTIVE STORY

RECOMMENDED DVD/BLU-RAY PURCHASE OF THE DAY

 

DETECTIVE STORY (1951) – Detective Story released in 1951, a time before most of your grand parents were born is a surprisingly timeless and always ahead of its time film. To call it the best film of its type is to damn it with faint praise, directed by William Wyler, a director”s director, and starring true powerhouse actors, it is a film, that in an age of streaming, an age of digital, it is a film that it is a crime not to own in physical format, as DVD. Leaving such a movie to the whims of content providers, or broadband access or licensing deals, for when or if it is available… criminal.

It is a movie that now 70 years after every TV show and every movie has ripped it off, should strike modern audiences as formulaic, but it doesn’t. Because here is where the formula was born, and here is where it remains the most staggering and damning.

The cover to the Spanish Blursy, hints at the smouldering intensity that Kirk Douglas and Eleanor Parker as his wife deliver, captive cogs in a city and a time and a place. Eleanor Parker is absolutely devastating in her performance, her reaction shots to a Kirk Douglas far beyond the edge, it is what people mean when they say star power.

You can say that of the whole cast. Ensemble acting in a time when that was not even a concept.

Watch it via streaming if you can; but then buy the DVD or BluRay. It deserves like most of William Wyler’s movies a place on your book shelf. It is art at 24 frames a minute.

 

What I’m Listening to:

I’m on the third audio book of the 8 book men’s adventure series from the 1970s BLACK SAMURAI. I pop the cd in on my way to from work, and it is SO FRIGGING GOOD! Each book is a writer, the late, great Matc Olden just at the height of his gifts. As a fan of all these men’s adventure books of the 70s, from BOND, to NICK CARTER, to THD EXECUTIONER MAC BOLAN to REMO WILLIAMS THE DESTROYER, Olden’s BLACK SAMURAI  is just more riveting.

An outgrowth of the pulps of the 20s and 30s, married to the pulp fiction and roman noir fiction of the 40s and 50s, the men’s adventures of the 60s and 70s would add a globe hopping sense of scale, mired in the cultural, sexual and idealogical battle grounds of the times. In terms of just great writing, this series is the tops. And that is coming from one of the biggest fans of Warren Murphy’s excellent DESTROYER SERIES.

Pick up the recently released MP3 CD Collections, fantastic performances by audio actor Kevin Kenerly, and all eight of the original 1970 Signet Paperbacks. The original paperbacks are works of art and should be in any bibliophile’s collection.

See my earlier posts for An interview with Diane Crafford, Mark Olden’s partner who the books are dedicated to and who even shows up in one of the books

And I hope to bring you a new interview here on the 44th Aniversary of the series, and since the Marc Olden properties have all heated up of late, with names like Common and Idris Elba attached to them, it is a timely follow-up.

 

What I’m wztching:

Youtube.

I am watching a lot of great Youtube channels. I watch, via Roku, Youtube on my big screen. The Youtube shows are overall more interesting than regular TV.

This week’s standouts are:

FENSTHESPOOK – The quote at the top of this post about having heart, this guy has heart. I like his humanity, his acknowledgement of the fact that the hobby of comic book collecting, is a calling, and an honor. And his reminisces about those who have passed, I find touching.

Silver-Age Dave – one of my favorite Youtubers week in and week out. I have spent a lot of money recently on treasury books, because watching his collection reminded me how much I enjoyed these older treasuries as a kid.

Regie Collects – Always informative, as well as fun haul stories.

Mind Smash – Great channel that breaks down some of the best fighters current and past.

Earl Grey – Great coverage of European and Indie comics and books

Ok that’s it for this installment. Nearly 3am and have to be at work early.

Leave a comment or like if you enjoy this THURSDAY’S THOUGHTS!!!

 

 

 

This Week’s Favorite YouTube Channel : RANDY AND TAYLA 2 LIT

“I feel young… like when the world was new.”

STAR TREK II : THE WRATH OF KAHN – while credited to various cooks, what is best in the script to the best STAR TREK film, is vintage Nicholas Meyer. He brought a sense of literary grandness, along with the romance of heroism to WRATH OF KAHN that almost 40 years later still marks it as not just the best Star Trek films, but one of the best films, full stop.

And that wonderfully bittersweet and romantic line, I find myself recalling when I try to determine what attracts me to my latest Youtube discovery; the RANDY & TAYLA 2 LIT channel.

https://yt3.ggpht.com/cQfigw6U8E04iUkJ0ibzJ88rxA8yKsc8U5RwXWMaQVBNM3NY9dhgZoX3vB6neeZShVe-1v1Duck=w1440-fcrop64=1,32b75a57cd48a5a8-nd-c0xffffffff-rj-k-no

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0Q54zIX0OTqUDT4X9mijgA/videos

 

While a beautiful female form is perhaps the impetus to try this channel  for the first time, why you keep coming back is just the refreshingness of their relationship. A relationship that has endured longer than most marriages, and two young people who just love life, and love each other.

And in a world we tend to make so complex, and so cynical, and so venal, it is just very refreshing to see people so completely captivated to be in each others company, and to be alive.  In the moment.

For those of us who have felt what they feel, have known the beginning of love and the ending of it, it is nice to see it in such a pure state. Joy. to see Joy, so unencumbered by the baggage that time and life can bring.

While I come from an older age, less comfortable with this ‘share everything form of social media’, largely because I see so much negative with that approach. It is refreshing to see that approach used in a very positive and giving way.

Watching their channel makes me want to appreciate and enjoy life more, and to not be fed the stressed, half empty version of life, that too often passes for our interactions with other people.

I do feel their accelerating prank war, may be a recipe for disaster, however they are a young couple who have stayed together doing it their way, and so in that… they should trust.

It’s a fun channel, with two affable, likable and engaging people, a couple you enjoy just seeing them being in love. If only to put in perspective how openly you should also love.

While the truth this impermanent world sells us, that nothing lasts forever… is a truth.

Here’s the truth that matters, we can make it last… today. With a little work, and love, and laughter.

We can make it last today.

Life isn’t about the finish line, isn’t about the end of the race, it’s about the breaths we take while we run, and who we enjoy running with.

You string enough of those days and those breaths together, and the finish line will take care of itself.

A fun channel, that I wish only the best for.

 

I think the video to start with would be this one:

 

 

 

 

COMICTOM101 vs PGX and We Love Comics?!

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqRVhjeLzR4PErfe_jOqHMA

If you are not watching Youtube channel COMICTOM101, and are a fan of this niche hobby called comic/comic books, you may want to start.

Like I mentioned in previous posts I find myself watching Youtube channels courtesy of streaming platforms like Roku or Amazon Fire, more than I watch regular broadcast or cable programming. And while I watch a variety of topics and channels, from nature shows to woodworking to short films to cooking shows, the number one tyoe of channels I watch is the comic related ones.

This week’s 15 best channels, have changed a tad from my previous posting.

A mainstay WE LOVE COMICS, that has some good advice and tips on his channel, has been bumped because of his antics in PGXgate. As a channel that goes out of his way to speak about integrity, I think his very selective defense of his sponsor PGX is suspect. As is his silence on the subject in light of the questions COMICTOM101 brings to light.

PGX is a certification company that has been involved in suspect story, after suspect story, from (per Bleeding Cool) certifying fradulent copies of Walking Dead as a rare collectible,  to the well known grading issue stories, to the most recent claim of an ex-employee, of plans by the company to sell graded comics under a shill account.

It is that last story, that any user of PGX would be concerned about, that WE LOVE COMICS completely failed to address when bringing into question the claims, of a ‘possibly disgruntled’ employee.

Especially when WE LOVE COMICS goes out of his way to say he talks to the owner over the phone, and not to address that issue and other issues, such as the WALKING DEAD fiasco,  has to call into question any claims of impartiality.

And look, I don’t really have a dog in the certification fight.

While a long time comic book fan, I’ve always looked at slabbing of books (encasing them in plastic once graded) very skeptically, regardless of the company.

Only this year, 2018, have I really decided that for me, for select books that I already have in either a collected or reprint format, that having the original issue of a select, upwardly mobile, original bronze or silver or golden age comic, can be a smart addition to a long term collection or investment.

I still think slabbing modern day comics is suspect at best. But that is an argument for another day,

Anyhow, So from 0 certified comics at the beginning of 2018, I now have 10 of them. So still a very modest graded collection. Nine CGC titles and 1 CBCS title.

I went with CGC because of its long standing history, and the fact that the books are easily bought and sold on Ebay and other channels. Also because of their reputation.

Because especially when it comes to trusting someone to grade your comics, reputation is everything. CGC is not perfect, it has issues, as does CBCS. I prefer to just buy already certified books, than goes through the delay and cost of sending my own books in. A smart shopper can get a slabbed book at a very affordable price on the secondary market.

I’ve bought a total of eleven books, one I had to return for a refund, for obvious pressing issues visible from outside of the slabbed book. Pressing is another practice I have issues with, as it damages the comic long term, to get it to get a higher grade in the short term. That is also an argument for another day.

Back on track, the ten books i have that are graded with none of the books costing me over a $110 in already certified condition, is not a bad deal at all.

Now, the one company I actually sent books to, via a convention was CBCS, and I ended up canceling that order, because of the delay time, and was charged $28 to get my books back, and received one of them back water damaged. Possibly not innocently so.

And again I researched all 3 of the certifying companies, CGC, CBCS, and PGX, not content to listen to just rumors.

But yes from personal experience I have no plans to go through the hassle of getting anything certified via CBCS. If i get it via the secondary market fine, but me dealing with that process, not so much.

PGX from research one, had a lot of shady stories attached to their name, but they were older stories. That maybe you could chalk up to growing pains. But years into their business model and new stories of concern pop up to add to the existing story.

I recently just came across the Walking Dead story, and to follow that up with these pretty damning accusations of a ‘let go’ employee, is cause for questions. Especially when you see the questions the company should be answering they are avoiding.And i saw that video from WE LOVE COMICS where he did hint at drug use being the reason a PGX employee was let go.

And for WE LOVE COMIS and PGX to now backtrack from that when called on it by COMICTOM101, does not fill one with confidence in either the company PGX, or their ‘impartial’ spokesperson WE LOVE COMICS.

Based on CoMICTOM101’s great reporting, for me the PGX question is answered in regards to the question of whether graded items from them should be avoided.

Now can they right the ship? Absolutely.. But it would seem it would need to be an overhaul and transparency from top to bottom. With the leadership paying to staff the company with recognized and respected graders. Once that A team of great vetted graders is in place, and an established perhaps third party inspection of their grading and database process is in place, you do the hard part of restoring your name. You own up to perhaps not doing it right in the first place, and not planning it right in the present. But a willingness to correct it in the future. To own up to any incidents that could be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as an attempt to scam people. If the employee in question who was let go was correct, hire him (or them, since it sounds like it was more than one let go) back.

And the number one thing you to to restore your reputation, and this is going to hurt, you offer a recall and free regrading of every PGX book out there in the wild. Yes it is expensive, yes it is going to require real graders, yes you are going to put yourself in the red in the short term. And yes it is absolutely the right thing to do, to restore customer confidence.

 

Do i expect PGX to do that? Based on their history, absolutely not. I expect them to continue doing what they have been, making income where they can, however given the prevalence and the increasing number of negative stories around PGX’s name, it is not a path I see as sustainable for them.

I, to speak for myself, as i said the verdict is in. I’ll not be buying any PGX books or their sertification process. And I find any channel that advertises sending your books to PGX without addressing the issues, is not impartial, and has to be viewed as a paid commercial for the company, rather than anyone with any real concern for the comic book community.

 

I would like to be wrong in that assumption, but given how the ground currently lays, I do not see it.

 

That’s all for now, and come back tomorrow for my installment on this week’s recommendations of the TOP 15 Youtube Comic Book Channels!

 

 

Currently Watching: PANELLOGY 85 & 86!! Watch these episodes before buying your next expensive hardcover!

I have recently found quite a few great Youtube shows courtesy of the Youtube channel on Roku.

A new favorite is Earl Grey‘s simply superb PANELLOGY. Two of his older episodes that I just watched are episodes 85 and 86, and as someone who purchases quite a few hardcover books, especially of the graphic novel or collected edition variety, his two episodes are essential viewing.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/0/07/Batwoman_Hydrology.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20121218200628

Get your copy here:

http://amzn.to/2BQ8Qf4

 

And can potentially save you quite a bit of money as they point out binding issues/defects to be on the look out for

Earl Grey, you definitely should do more of these ‘issues with collected editions’ type shows.

Informative stuff!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ZtauWih38Lr1aVEXuZybw

 

 

 

 

Best & Favorite of 2017!!!

This is a bit belated but I think you will find a nice overview to 2017 and pointers to 2018 in the ramblings below.

Favorite movies seen in the Theater in 2017:

KONG:SKULL ISLAND

LOGAN

 

I only saw two movies in the theater in 2017, so looking to improve on that in 2018. Nothing in January had me jazzed to pay theater prices for, however I am looking forward to the following in 2018:

click for larger (if applicable) click for larger (if applicable) click for larger (if applicable)

EQUALIZER 2

click for larger (if applicable)

 

FAVORITE TV SHOWS IN 2017:

  • LEGION
  • TAKEN
  • POWER
  • AMERICAN NINJA
  • CHOPPED
  • AMERICAN PICKERS
  • LOVE IT OR LIST IT
  • LETHAL WEAPON
  • THE GRAND TOUR
  • GODLESS
  • RUNAWAYS

FAVORITE STREAMING TV CHANNEL IN 2017

The one two punch of AMAZON PRIME and HULU gets this award. NETFLIX that was riding high in 2016 with LUKE CAGE and other shows, had a disappointing 2017. With a non user friendly interface compared to Amazon Prime and a selection of shows and movies that weren’t as interesting or well curated as either HULU or AMAZON PRIME, I cancelled my membership at the end of 2017. The last straw being the overhyped and ultimately lackluster PUNISHER series, as well as news of the studios pulling their content from Netflix.

In 2018 the TV shows that I am or will be watching are:

CASTLE ROCK

GRAND TOUR

TAKEN (I think the new showrunner made a mistake getting rid of most of the cast from season 1, but hopefully he can course correct and fix it)

STRIKE BACK and ELEMENTARY return after long hiatuses

LONGMEYER went out with a bit of a whimper, so looking forward to YELLOWSTONE

JACK RYAN

LETHAL WEAPON

CHOPPED

IZOMBIE

BLACK LIGHTNING

AMERICANS

And lastly looking forward to Season 2 of what, without question, was the best, most inventive TV show of 2017, Noah Hawley’s LEGION.

And for those keeping score… LUKE CAGE tied with FARGO Season 2 (Also by Noah Hawley) were the best TV shows of 2015, and DAREDEVIL Season 1 was the best TV show of 2014.

 

BEST MUSIC OF 2017

I loved everything binaural in 2017, adding many great CDs to my collection. THE HEAVY and GREGORY PORTER remained in heavy rotation. Gregory Porter being my favorite live performance of 2017. And I added new interests RAG N BONE MAN, Andra day and Brian Ferneyhough. With Spotify to allow me to try before I buy, I’m looking forward in 2018 to discovering more great music, both old and new.

BEST READS OF 2017

I didn’t read as many novels, or listen to as many audio books in 2017 as I did in previous years, so I definitely hope to turn that around in 2018.

I did do substantially better with Art Books, Graphic Novels, Reference Books, and comics in 2017. Some of the standouts:

 

MATT BAKER THE ART OF GLAMOUR

CREEPING DEATH FROM NEPTUNE

THE WOLVERTON BIBLE

ARTIST EDITION BASIL WOLVERTON (This and the other two previous books having to do with Basil Wolverton, I went all in on him in 2017. Still absorbing these three books here in 2018)

JACKIE ORMES

THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIANSTELFREEZE

SEX AND HORROR THE ART OF ALESSANDRO BIFFIGNANDI

In 2018 writers I intend to go all in on are Percival Everett, Victor Lavalle, Colin Whitehead and Walter Mosley, as well as revisiting work by Ligotti, Lebbon, Ellison, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Bennett.

 

In 2017 Marvel had a great POWER MAN AND IRON FIST series I was reading, the only thing I was buying monthly from Marvel Comics. And Marvel letting greed get in the way of common sense, killed a series everyone was loving, with a creative team everyone was loving, David Walker and Brian Stelfreeze, to instead both dilute audience attention and oversaturate the market with multiple books, almost all of which are ready to be canceled. So going into 2018, with Marvel sticking to their insane $3.99 price point per book, there are no titles I pick up from Marvel Comics.

 

In 2017 DEATHSTROKE by Christopher Priest was the only DC Comic I was getting on a monthly base. It’s arguably the one series that you can just pick up and enjoy without having to read any other title, or care about any other title. Priest has been able to just do… what he does best, create a fantastic read; month in and month out. So it is the only DC book I’m reading in 2018. However, greed rears its ugly heads and the idiots who get paid to make stupid decisions have decided to add DEATHSTROKE to their floundering team book… JLA,  basically gutting the standalone nature of the comic that allows Priest, to do his magic. Basically the same poor decision making that happened last year with POWER MAN AND IRON FIST.

 

I figure the conversation went like this… ‘man everyone is talking about this book, let’s put the characters in multiple other books, and then they will be talking about all those other books too.’ No, you EFFING morons! The reason people are enjoying POWER MAN AND INRON FIST or DEATHSTROKE is because it is well drawn and well written and not part of your insipid crossover infested universe. Your very attempts to duplicate that success, without understanding it, will kill the character in the new book, and kill interest in the character in the original book.

So yeah here’s hoping someone with brains over at DC, vetoes the horrible idea to put DEATHSTROKE in the JLA, because I’m not going to read the JLA, and you’re editorial interference will create a character that no longer works in his solo book. You have therefore killed the golden goose and have nothing to show for it.

 

The good news is when you get sick of the stupid decisions and overpriced ad laden product at DC and MARVEL, you have great content from other publishers to enjoy. Publishers that give you more for your money. Publishers such as IMAGE, AFTERSHOCK, DARK HORSE and many more.

As far as where to buy new comics from, a lot of people will steer you to DCBS. I personally in terms of pure customer service and ease or ordering prefer LONE STAR COMICS. You can order comics in advance from the at http://www.mycomicshop.com at a discount.

 

They are highly recommended, and I use them myself, and this is an unpaid recommendation. Tell them Heroic Times sent you.

 

And wrapping this up, favorite podcasts of 2017:

 

11OCLOCK COMICS

COMIC GEEK SPEAK

WTF with Marc Maron

BLACK TAPES

GEEK SYNDICATE

 

To name a few. Okay that is it for my 2017 Pop Culture overview. Thanks for bearing with it and if you enjoy, spread the word. Enjoy WEEK #6 of 2018!!!