Favorite Purchase of the Day : NEGRO ROMANCE #1

 

Romance books as well as Comic Books in general really picked up steam in the post World War II years. The comics finding themselves picked up by everyone one from kids to teens to adults. GIs and their wives also making a regular audience for these comic books.

In the prosperous post World War II years America was riding high, and you can see it in everything from the cars to the boom in home ownership to the boom in the birth rate, to the boom in comic genres and publishers.

In an America where currently comics struggle to sell a 100000 issues, comics back then routinely sold upwards of half a million copies. The more popular titles in the millions.

Romance Titles were one of those lifted by the general explosion of comics. And mainstream comics, though another war had just been won, ostensibly for liberty and freedom, were still victim of an America cowtowing to Jim Crow restrictions. Books that had people of color,could not be sold in some southern states if those depictions were not jingoistic or demeaning.

Evenhanded or respectful depictions of people of color, would likely get your book banned from that particular retailer. It was an extension of the same restrictions movies dealt with, that led to the ‘race’ movies of pioneers such as Director/Producer Oscar Micheaux in the 1920s and the creation of Black Film Production companies, and more importantly a Black owned circuit of theaters.

However Comics, while more popular than today, were still a niche medium and attempts to break the Jim Crow mandated codes against people of color, while valiant and brilliant… were unfortunately short lived. Especially where legal protections against mob behaviour/lynchings were virtually non-existant.

So that the NEGRO ROMANCE comic  existed at all (much like the earlier ALL NEGRO COMICS) is down to the courage and talent of people who at the end of the day just wanted to tell good stories, without the Minstrel Show trappings of the time. That the book lasted two issues before being literally white-washed, removing characters of color and renaming it, is unfortunate.

But at least we had those two issues. And Thanks to Karl A. Therrian, after 70 years of being  lost from the light of day, these issues, along with ALL NEGRO COMICS are currently available.

I could not be happier to own these reissues, in FANTASTIC condition of these extremely rare comics. Get them while they last.

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https://amzn.to/2M5427P

I will cover the book in more detail in an upcoming post.

However, I would strongly suggest not sleeping on these books. Yes, you can buy them from various people, but it is apparent the love and care that Karl A. Therrian puts into his reissues that sets them above the competition.

Buy it while available.

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My Favorite COMIC BOOK Youtube/Roku Channels of 2018!!! Starting off with AFTA COMICS, MERCENAUT and HERB TRIMPE!?!

COMICS

  • TheGO2 Geeks
  • Silver-Aged Dave
  • AFTA Comics
  • Regie Simmons IFBB Pro
  • DS Comics
  • Earl Grey
  • Comics with Bueller
  • Wallace Ryan
  • ComicTom 101
  • Pop Culture Philosophers
  • SleepyReader666
  • Professor Thorgi
  • Metarog
  • Chycho
  • ETA Nick
  • Nighttiger
  • Comichyjinx
  • LeeKirbyDitko
  • CurtisCamron
  • Farley’s Nerdcave
  • Rwheatley0206
  • Saddle City Comics
  • Forest City Coins and Comics
  • BargainHuntersThrift
  • Area 51
  • Arkham Comics las Vegas
  • Comic Buying
  • Tony Sanders
  • Tony Tothe
  • Tom Ryan
  • DrVonChilla
  • CaptainStrangeLife
  • Simon Comics
  • UltimateChance
  • Thugie1
  • Comic Book Ninja
  • ComicHero77
  • Comic News Network
  • Gotham Comics
  • HeroHunter81
  • Longshanks_78
  • Master X
  • Lord Tatman
  • Symphonic-Elk
  • Knights_of_Old
  • Jerno’s Comics
  • YicketyYackety
  • TJ Watson
  • WhatCulture
  • Wiebes TV
  • Windy City Comic
  • Yanni Gogolak
  • Islord 372
  • Batzman’s Classic Cars & Comics
  • Mercenaut

I will be speaking on all these channels in more detail, regarding why they made my 2018 best of List.

I am going to start with the last on this list MERCENAUT and work my way up.

https://www.youtube.com/user/mercenaut

Mercenaut is on this list, not for being a White Supremacist or Black Activist ( inside joke, watch his channel) but for a single show he did in 2018, where he showed off a copy of CAPTAIN BRITAIN #8. With that episode, this guy along with the Epic Marvel Podcast and Afta Comics, started my hunt and love for Herb Trimpe covers in 2018. The CAPTAIN BRITAIN mag sported a STUNNING Herb Trimpe cover which is shown below.

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Prior to that while i remember Herb Trimpe, I never really paid attention to how great of a cover artist he was. Between MERCENAUT’s showing, and the brilliant Trimpe Western cover’s that AFTA Comics showed, this year has very much been the year of collecting Herb Trimpe and Larry Leiber comics. Some of Trimpe ones I picked up this year are:

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https://i0.wp.com/www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/511/183423_20120804222034_large.jpg

 

As great as Trimpe’s Super Hero Covers are (With his work on the INCREDIBLE HULK being arguably his finest) his western work which I did not get exposed to until this year, I love even more. Just look how much storytelling he puts into those covers.

In an age where modern comic covers no longer tell a story, largely are just pinups having nothing to do with the content of the book, Herb Trimpe was able to tell a great story using just the cover.

Thank You Mercenaut, Afta Comics, and Epic MArvel Podcast for putting the late great Herb Trimpe on my radar!!

Okay quick rant on variant/multiple covers.

Darn you Variant Covers!!! You are diluting the medium. You can not have an ICONIC issue and multiple covers. Now again everything in moderation. A variant cover here or there is fine, but it has become the rule rather than the exception.

As a consumer, buy what you like. But as the publisher/producer of this content too much choice in a market can be as harming as too little, if it generates confusion, and stymies adoption by potential readers, in favor of courting speculators.

 

And that is just what is happening in the market place. In an effort to milk a diminishing audience, the mainstream publishers resort to the skankery of pimping multiple covers (yes I did just coin the word skankery 🙂 ) to the speculator segment, which harms the iconic nature of a work as much as alternative endings, to those of us who actually think books should be read.

To be iconic a thing must live memorable, in the shared consciousness and memory of the audience.

A memorable cover, or a memorable line, or a memorable poster, or a memorable ending. You think of Exorcist you think of a singular poster, You think of Casablanca you think of that ending, you think of Citizen Kane you think of that beginning, if you think of the original UNCANNY X-MEN 138, you think of the classic cover of Cyclops walking way from the X-MEN and toward the reader. And the background framed by all these beautiful UNCANNY X-MEN covers tinged in purple. For my money the single most beautiful and poignant X-men cover of all time, by John Bryne, another great artist,

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That… for an image, or line, or scene, to stay memorable not just in your memory, but in the memory of a generation,… is to be iconic. People my age have a shorthand, a shared pop-culture language, that makes us part of a shared conversation.

Unfortunately people growing up on comics today, have no such singular, iconic cover or image to define a moment or a book. Because that one clear vision is muddied and diminished by multiple covers so the publisher can try and milk the speculator market, rather than serve the longer and more far reaching nature of creating something singular and memorable.

It’s the same way mainstream publishers are diluting their most popular characters with these shoddy imitations/iterations that only help to eradicate what was unique about the original character. You have now 15 variations of wolverine running around, Including one that is part Hulk, part Wolverine. Really? This is fan-fic, being done by the publishers, with no real consideration beyond milking the speculator market. They have strip-mined their own effectiveness as a sequential platform. 

That and the price point of Marvel and DC Comics is why I have stopped getting them in periodic format. There is no reason the mainstream publishers can not hold their price point at $2.50 or $2.99 cents, and make a profit and sell millions of copies at that price point.

The movies and video games have done the hard work of providing name recognition to the masses,the publishers inability to translate the billions these characters make in other mediums to even millions in the comic medium, comes down to mismanagement and an outdated vision/model from the comic publishers.

So these days if I need a monthly comic, I gravitate to the Independents. If I hear good things about a mainstream storyline, I pick it up in collected format or rent it from my library.

And if I really yearn for the days of great iconic covers, in mainstream comics, well thankfully there are always great Herb Trimpe comics to pick up in back issues!

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave your comments or send emails! I will be covering other channels in upcoming updates.

Excelsior!!!

 

 

 

Top Black Friday Shopping DEALS for Those Not in Debt! COMIC BOOK FAN Gift Edition!

If you are in debt, see my previous post. You should be using any free money to pay down or pay off your debt, not adding to it.

A simply essential Youtube channel for sensible money management tips is :

MINORITY MINDSET-

https://yt3.ggpht.com/CdRWgeqIDvjAWK7tus78G4gmmWc7sRRvr7wQaocxRQ02MEZS-iRz_CJCkEIP1S9DJg2S5sxCIQ=w1440-fcrop64=1,32b75a57cd48a5a8-nd-c0xffffffff-rj-k-no

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT3EznhW_CNFcfOlyDNTLLw/featured

https://theminoritymindset.com/

A lot of it is seemingly common sense, but if common sense was common, most of America would not be drowning in debt, and a person who did not win the popular vote would not be in the oval office.

So we can not have too many people… talking sense to us.

Obviously as a nation and a world, common sense bears repeating often. 🙂

 

Anything you buy, should not be bought on credit until any existing debt is paid on first.  If you can pay cash for it, after paying down on your debt, than go for it.

For the few of you who have done this, this list is for you:

For COMIC BOOK/GRAPHIC NOVEL/SLIM Fans:

First get the comic book fan in your life, quality bags, boards and tape. As a fellow collector I speak from experience, few things are as aggravating as a disorganized collection.

So let us start there, by helping the comic bibliophile in your life get more organized.

Every single comic fan needs comic book bags and backing boards, and typically never gets enough or the right kind for themselves.

I’ve done the hard work for you. Here are the ones to get:

Comic Book Bags AND BOARDS:

 

E. Gerber without a doubt is the name to trust in this hobby, and his MYLITES2 a must own. Get “standard size” as that will support not just today’s smaller comics but the older, larger bronze, silver and golden age comics. But plastic is not enough you will also need a backing board (preferably full back as it is acid free on both sides) to keep the books from getting damaged when stored or being moved.

Also with the board each bag can store two comic books, with the books facing out. Storing it this way actually better protects the books. Buy the bags and boards together and save money.

Get them here:

https://amzn.to/2TzXHES

 

TAPE:

Now, traditionally to close the bags a little bit of scotch tape was used, but that proved to be an issue as that tape would end up sticking and damaging the comic book, when it was removed or inserted into the bag. Some people use painters tape, but it defeats the purpose of having these books beautifully displayed in crystal clear mylar, if you are going to use unsightly blue tape to close the bags.

No, a good upgrade from both scotch and painters tape is two sided tape. There are several varieties one that works well for me is :

XFasten Double Sided Carpet Tape, 2-Inch x 30 Yards
All you need is 1 to 3 very small pieces, maybe 1″ x .5″, apply it not to the flap of the plastic bag, but the back of the mylar plastic bag, where the flap will seal, remove the film, close the bag, and tada you have an almost invisible, very non-obtrusive way to safely seal your comic book bags. And comics may be removed and inserted without risk of tape damage.
Get yours here:
Okay, we got you set with protecting the individual comic, now what do you store them in?

COMIC STORAGE:

There is arguably nothing more outdated about this hobby, than grown ass men and women filling their homes with these unsightly cardboard boxes. 🙂 Now don’t get me wrong, for many years I was one of these men. I think sometimes we go on inertia, and what worked for us yesterday, we continue with today and into tomorrow, unexamined.

And if you are still a kid, or even a bachelor, living by yourself, maybe that comic box fits your needs.  But maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you outgrow it.

The surest way to entrenched failure, is to not continually reexamine the constants of your life.

It is like people voting along party lines, or treating elections like a horse race, or a basketball game. Where we need our team to sweep, rather than putting the best person in the position. That is not the way. You have to always reexamine, on a case by case basis, who we love and who we hate, because everything changes.

Midterm elections, is an example.

I had several Democrats, a couple Republicans, a couple green party, because sometimes the label does not tell you who best represents your or your family’s or your community’s best interest. That is the problem with America, we are voting for the label, and not the measure or voting history of the specific man/woman.

All this highly political tirade, — hey its my thing, to say always be on the lookout for the better mouse trap.

And the standard comic book box or even the newer drawer box, may not be the better mouse trap for you.

 

ComicsDC: PR: Get $2 for your old empty comic box! Beyond Comics!Value of old comics | Comic book worth, appraisal & valuationOld Comic Books | eBay

 

Here in 2018 I have completely transitioned away from the standard comic book box for a variety of reasons. Cardboard is a nice home for bugs, particularly spiders, silver fish, etc.

I love watching those storage reality shows, and people grab these comic book boxes, and the boxes are stained and rotting away around the comic books. And even when brand new, it is not something for a more mature, tailored environment.

And while your comics may be safely bagged and boarded the cardboard box itself is a convenient home and meal and breeding ground for such pests. And whether a storage unit or your home, insects, particularly spiders, find a way. Especially if cardboard is involved. Now definitely keeping your collection in a temperature controlled location, with ceiling fans constantly gently moving the air, and dehumidifier material/desiccants (such as that derived from volcanic rock) helps. But until you remove the main attractant for humidity and moisture and pests, stacks of cardboard, you are fighting an uphill battle.

So what do you do instead? You replace the cardboard box. You put all that cardboard where it needs to be… in recycling bins.

There are 5 great options out there, to replace your outdated comic book box. Two display options and 3 portable options.They are:

IKEA Kallax 4 Shelving Unit Black-Brown

IKEA’S KALLAX is just wonderful for displaying books, graphic novels, and even bagged and boarded comics, to include certified CGC/CBCS sized comic books. I own six of the above Kallax cubes and they are one of the best purchases I have made.They look GREAT in any room, and display your collectibles beautifully as opposed to the horrendous traditional comic book box.

 

Price them here:

https://amzn.to/2S6U9bz

 

Another great and essential storage and display unit, that also resolves the cleanliness and organization and appearance issues with traditional cardboard boxes, is the above CASA PURA METAL STORAGE SHELVING UNIT. I have the 4 tier unit, that is rated to hold 155lbs per shelf.

 

Price them here:

https://amzn.to/2DUBYmi

 

Okay now while great for displaying your collection, the Kallax and Casa Pura storage units are not portable options. That is where the next options come in…

 

 

Muscle Rack MK131311-B2PK 11" x 13" x 13" Black Milk Crate (Pack of 2)

MUSCLE RACK BLACK MILK CRATE fits perfectly in the above KALLAX or is great stacked on the CASA PURA. Very reasonably priced and holds as many comics as the standard short box. Conservatively 150 bagged and boarded comics per milk crate. That means inserted into the Kallax you can hold up to 600 comics. And used 2 to the shelf on the Casa Pura you can hold at least 1200 comics with space in between for trades and hardcovers.

Made of hard plastic, you can toss away your stain and bug collecting cardboard box. As these MUSCLE RACK CRATES will not trap humidity (the enemy of paper based products) like your traditional comic book box.

Price them here:

https://amzn.to/2P1sRS6

Okay for strictly display needs, the above three items will handle everything you could want. They will turn your comic collection space, from a kids room, to an adults room, where your collectibles will not cause your significant other or guests to groan upon seeing it. The above items would be equally good for record or figurine or movie collections.

However, portability for the books you do not need displayed, but still want easy access to, and to be able to easily move them; you need something more. We will go over those last two options in the upcoming installment.

If you have found this post helpful, please like it up, spread the word, and use the associated links. You get great items and it generates helpful pennies for this blog.

Thanks! And more next installment!

 

 

TV Show Review : DAREDEVIL Seasons 1, 2, and 3!

cool-poster-art-for-daredevil-season-3-highlights-the-hero-and-villain1

The first season of DAREDEVIL, was and remains game changing , ground breaking TV. In terms of action choreography, and initial complexity of storyline, and some amazing performances.  It remains an astounding season of television, however it didn’t quite stick the landing.

There was something rushed and not quite satisfying in the ending. Something that did not quite live up to the AMAZING buildup.There was always a slight worm in the apple, and that was what was best and most enjoyable and most likable about the series, what was really brilliant about the series, was never the main three protagonists, the great acting of the series was done by the so-called villains such as Wilson Fisk, Alexandra, Wesley  and by the supporting characters such as Ben Urich and Stick.

What was annoying about season 1, was Karen Page, and she got increasingly more annoying, like nails on chalkboard through the season. Her remaining on the show, when two other astounding characters met violent ends, really for me weakened the show going forward. Also Matt Murdock, his maudlin approach, begins to wear thin at the end of 13 episodes.  But all those caveats aside, the strengths outweigh the failings of that first season. A solid A- of a season.

 

Fast forward to season 2 , which has a strong first half, but disintegrates in the 2nd half, Karen Page gets more annoying, Matt Murdock gets more whiny and maudlin, and Elektra storyline doesn’t do much for me. Karen Page playing girl reporter, just emphasizes everything I find annoying about that character, and how much the character of Ben Urich is missed.  Season 2 has its moments, largely due to the Punisher in the first half, but overall is strictly fast forward material through much of the 2nd half of season 2. This season is the definition of uneven, coming in at a C+/B-.

 

Daredevil Season 3 Review

 

The DEFENDERS series plays very much as DAREDEVIL Season 2.5. Because we get to minimize exposure to the weakest parts of season 2, namely Karen Page. Even though the Elektra/Black Star storyline is largely nonsensical and uneven (she can take blows from Power Man, but is affected by blows from Daredevil. Nonsensical.) the series moves at a fast clip, and seeing these actors together, enjoyable. Overall, inane ending excepted, a fun series. Grade: B+.

 

That brings us to the just finished third season of DAREDEVIL. It starts off intriguing, But quickly, particularly in the later episodes, drowns in all the unlikeable characters.

Karen Page is show stoppingly annoying every-time she is on the screen. Also three seasons of watching Matt Murdock suck all the joy out of everything, is just tiring. “Ooh, I have special powers, to make up for being blinded, I have friends, a good job, a great apartment… Oh I’m so angry!” what the hell does he have to be mad about all the time? 🙂

Just a joyless, depressing performance. And I am not saying it is badly acted, the actor is good, it is just he is written with nothing to do but complain all the time.

By comparison all the so-called villainous characters are far more interesting, to the point I was rooting though the later episodes for Fisk and the Mystery Villain 🙂 to take out Karen Page (Again, a fine actress, she is just written with nothing to do but eat the joy out of every scene. And what works in a few scant panels in a limited story, over three seasons… tires), and beat Matt Murdock.

I felt the ending was very unsatisfying.  Matt Murdock/Daredevil just comes across as much a psychotic as those he fights, and a hypocrite on top of it. And again the character flaws that work briefly in panels on a comic page, does not wear as well over three seasons. Add Karen Page to the mix, and you have a season 3 that I lose interest in whenever the three so-called leads are on camera. (To be fair, I quite liked the character of Foggy. He was the one thing that worked in that triangle.)

Overall a very dissatisfying wrap up to DAREDEVIL Season III. Karen Page survives, where yet more good characters die in her stead. I bought the first DAREDEVIL on BLURAY,  I bought the first LUKE CAGE on Bluray, and will be buying the 2nd season when it is available. I might buy the DEFENDERS, its flaws aside, overall it worked very well, and what IRON FIST couldn’t do in his own series (be good) he manages to pull off in the DEFENDERS and LUKE CAGE Season II.

With Luke Cage having been canceled, I don’t see anything to bring me back to the Netflix/Marvel Properties.  Not a fan of PUNISHER Season 1, Jessica Jones I fell off of, Iron Fist show was a train-wreck, and DAREDEVIL can not get out of its own way. Should a MOON KNIGHT show pop up, or a WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, I would definitely give those a look, but for now it appears the great Marvel/Netflix ship of success… has capsized.

 

DAREDEVIL Season 1 A-

DAREDEVIL Season 2 C+

DAREDEVIL Season 3 C+/B-

Overall Grade: B

 

 

 

 

Streaming VOD Channel Review -BLACK NEON- And a review on WOLF and the films of Robert Bresson!

So while I advocate always keeping things you LOVE in physical media, DVDs , Blurays, CDs, etc; the benefit of Streaming and Digital is that it is GREAT for exploring, and finding out what out there is worth having. Most things are not worth having or keeping. So Streaming is great for a try before you buy methodology, or simply finding new things to watch right now.

This installment, the channel that is up for review is…  BLACK NEON.

BLACK NEON  – first thing that strikes you about this channel, is unlike the hundreds of options of other channels, this one has a very limited number of movies. Many I have to confess to being unaware of or not having seen on other channels. Always a plus in my book.

To avoid the mishap of doing a lengthy listing of its titles, only to determine the actual streaming service is crap, or ad infested. I decide to pick a movie and test it out.

Wolf (2018)

My eyes gravitate to a film called WOLF, a thriller of some type seemingly, and without reading the description I just start the film. From frame one I’m captivated. And over sixteen minutes in and not a single ad.

I’m loving the movie and the channel so far.

BLACK NEON may be a home-run. I’ll update after finishing the movie and looking around a bit.

***UPDATE*****

Okay I just finished watching WOLF courtesy of the BLACK NEON channel. Do a search for new streaming movie channels to add and you will find BLACK NEON.

Wolf (2018)

They do not have much content, maybe a dozen movies.But it is worth getting the channel just to see WOLF. What an incredibly strange film. Very off kilter, and always has you on the edge and not knowing where it is going, which I find refreshing.

It is very Bressonian. Robert Bresson was a French director, little known, and unfortunately little remembered today, but he used most effectively and most notably the idea of the pregnant frame. An empty frame, and the emptiness, the waiting for it to be filled would create tension.  And while not a horror director, his films such as A MAN ESCAPED and PICKPOCKET (both absolute masterpieces) build incredible amounts of tension by using the empty frame, and our desire to have it filled.

It has been used by directors since, and is used here in WOLF to great effect.  It is a slow burn movie, and has a WTF turn, that you never quite recover from, and is never truly made clear. You leave the film arguably with as many questions as you came, the final meaning of the film, and of what actually happened left up to individual interpretation.

Wolf (2018)

That can be frustrating to some, however I really liked it. I loved it actually, the patience of the film, and its willingness to court confusion.

That does not always work for me, sometimes it is the sign of a lazy filmmaker. But I do not think that is the case here, the filmmaker and writer Michael Jones has crafted a compelling story and wanted to let it finish cooking in the mind of the viewer.

Love it or hate it, I do not think it is a film you will easily dismiss.I fall in the camp of being very impressed by this raw nerve, of a movie.  

WOLF (2016 Australian release/2018 VOD release)

A Michael Jones Film

Grade: B+.

Recommended! This is definitely a movie that deserves to be owned on DVD and/or Blu-Ray.

Artbook of the Day : THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIAN STELFREEZE

 

http://amzn.to/2FwbB3o

 

 

This book, THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIAN STELFREEZE, i think I mentioned before , was hands down in a very crowded field of great artbooks last year, was easily my best artbook of the year. Three months into 2018, and it is still my favorite artbook of this year as well.

Boom did a FANTASTIC  job of putting togeter this very large and exquisite looking tome. The design and construction of the book is a work of art, befitting of the art inside.

I love, LOVE, gilded pages on a book. The James Jean REBUS book from 2011, was one of my favorite artbooks of 2011 for many reasons, chief among them the use of just beautiful red gilded pages.

http://amzn.to/2tyCSkf

THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIAN STELFREEZE sports simply astonishing purple gilded pages that makes this book, even before opening it, a work of staggering beauty. Designers Scott Newman & Michelle Ankley should be applauded for such a wonderfully crafted tome.

Huge and imposing at 12″ by 12″ this tome should be on everyone’s coffee table or book collection. If you don’t have it (or REBUS) use the links above. You will be glad you did!

Highest Recommendation.