The Return of WEDNESDAY’S WORDS: Must own books for week ending 31 May 2020

First, yes Wednesday’s Words is back— and I’m writing this on a Monday.

Get over it. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know what Wednesday’s Words was/is— do a search on this blog, and you’ll pull up the old editions. In a nutshell WEDNESDAY’S WORDS is where I tell you about writers and books I love. See — it is that simple.

Now into the mix!!!

Guys I told you like a year ago to pick up the Wolverston Bible, back then you could have bought it for like $40. Those of you who listened to me are quite happy, as to pick that book up now is $100 to $200.

The below books are others, that are either going to sell out, have a high chance of leaving amazon except for the digital version, or generally when they are gone, it will be a long stretch between reissues — if ever. And more than anything, all these books just deserve to be on your bookshelf. You are supporting great books, by great writers.

Never buy a book for appreciation value, buy a book because you want it for your bookshelf. However it does not hurt to also choose books that tend to, at the very least, over the long haul, hold their value. I’m talking about books like THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI that went from a $20 book when new– to now ,years later, being sold out and commanding $100 to $200… the same with the WRIGHTSON’S FRANKENSTEIN HC. So if you do, down the road decide you no longer want the book, you are going to at least get your $20 out of it.

Now nothing is guaranteed, as the stock market clearly shows us, but buying for enjoyment, and also being able to, when you choose, liquidate that item— that is a win-win. And the fact that you did get to enjoy the book, means you have got your purchase price out of it; even if you only sell it for a $1 down the road, you have done great. A great book, gives you your Money’s worth and then some. :).

And if you do use the below links to purchase, I would be appreciative; as the links generate very appreciated pennies for this site.

Okay onto this installment’s selections:

 

The Goon Vol. 1: Bunch of Old Crap, an Omnibus (The Goon (2019-)) by [Eric Powell] https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61F1yjYVDNL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgEric Powell is one of my favorite comic book creators, and i think his THE GOON series is genius, if you can afford to get the out of print Dark Horse editions go for it. But I think just insuring you pick up his affordable softcover reprint editions is a great idea. But his hardcover artbook is absolutely essential. A must own to be placed beside the stunning THE ART OF BRIAN STELFREEZE.

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Full disclosure I am a huge fan of Derrick Ferguson, and I know him, so I’m completely biassed here, but I love his work. And thing is, i am biassed on all the things I recommend. I love these books, and movies, and cds and objects that cry out to be added to my bookshelf, and I have no problem telling you that. :). This particular title, Amazon is starting to do that frightening thing — where it seems inventory is taking longer and longer to get out to people, so grab this one while still in stock.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/618qwUx17YL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgWhen you look at the racist caricatures people were doing in strips and comics for the first 3rd of the 20th century, by creators like Eisner and Windsor McKay, it is a tendency for people today to try and excuse it by saying “oh it was the times’ –no, it was a choice. Mac Raboy, golden age artist extraordinaire, lived in those self same times, yet his depictions of people of color were not those stereotypes.

Then as now, it is not the times that define our choices, it is our choices that define our times. I have been waiting years, for a great hardcover on this under-known golden age great. And though what I really want to see is an oversized collection of all his comic book stories, this artist overview is also welcome, and will go beside my Matt Baker book. As of this writing book is down to 17 copies on Amazon, this is one I’m going to pick up two copies of. One for me and one as a gift.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51vALLVZz8L._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgGuys this is not a cheap book. Selling on Amazon for about $90 currently, which is still less than cover price. If you have not picked this up, pick it up. Because when this item sells out (and it will, this is the 2nd printing) it is going to do exactly the same thing as the first printing. It’s going to become very hard to afford on the secondary market. For a long time before this latest printing this was a $200 book. So if you have an interest in this, get it while still in-stock.

 

That is it. I didn’t know i was bringing back Wednesday’s Words until the end of this installment. The post started as something else, but by the end of it I realized, like John Wick— “Yeah, I guess i’m back.” 🙂

If you enjoy this post you know what to do, like, subscribe and support by using the links. Thanks, and till next time— be well!!!

Must own Physical Media in the age of Digital : Blu-Ray Media Book Collection for Week 17 of 2020

 

I have spoken about this EXTREME PREJUDICE mediabook before. The Bluray picture quality is not hi-def quality.  While they come with a DVD and Bluray, the Bluray is simply the DVD dropped onto a Bluray, no mastering, no noticeable difference. So a perfectly decent DVD quality pic, just don’t expect hi-def quality out of the Bluray. Also it does not contain a Director’s commentary.

But despite the Bluray quality, this is one of my favorite films, and I love having it in Mediabook form. And I did translate the book itself, which includes very enjoyable coverage of the movie, and that cover art makes it a MUST OWN.

And it will do, until a quality mastered Blu-ray release (with commentary) comes out. And even then, I am keeping this Mediabook to house it in.  The art is just that good.

 

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This Mediabook contains the SENTINEL. As mentioned, even though most mediabooks offer a DVD and Bluray version, for the most part the Bluray looks like they did no mastering to it, and dropped the DVD transfer onto a Bluray. Not a noticeable uptick in quality from the DVD. That is a failing I see with a lot of these Mediabooks. Though this one is noticeably better than the video quality of THE EXTREME PREJUDICE mediabook.

It is a perfectly decent watch, a well mastered DVD can look very good. I have DVDs that look better than some Blurays. The mastering is what matters, but yeah perfectly decent, if not hi-definition picture.

Very good film from the 1970s, is part of that wave of films such as EXORCIST and ROSEMARY’S BABY, and while this one does not have the reputation of those two, I quite enjoy it. The commentary by Director Michael Wimmer makes this a MUST OWN. He has so much fun, reflecting on his time making this film, and the personalities, and stories. It is like being in the room with a charming filmmaker, telling you ‘inside Hollywood’ stories. Add to that, the artwork is STUNNING, and you have an easy must own.

 

This one, because it was ported from a recent remaster from a mainstream studio, actually looks great.

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While I have not been interested in the director’s subsequent films, this initial film… a masterwork. And this mediabook just looks great on the shelf. In process of translating the book portion. Also unfortunately this one does not come with Director’s Commentary. But despite that,this mediabook is a keeper for me.

Surprisingly fun movie, and enjoyable Brian Yuzna commentary.

That’s it guys. Not a huge mediabook collection, but everyone is a must own.

Pick yours up here!

Best Movie and TV Trailers of 2020! So Far!

 

 

 

 

Quick words on a few of the ones above:

GANGS OF LONDON- One of the shows I’m most looking forward to in 2020, just based on this trailer, and that it is by the director of the RAID films.

WITCH:SUBVERSION- Is right up there with GANGS OF LONDON (and DRACULA Netflix/BBC though that may be more 2019 trailer) as my favorite trailer so far of 2020. Again that does not mean it is going to be a good film, but it does mean based on the trailer… it looks FANTASTIC.

6 UNDERGROUND – I really loved the trailer for 6 UNDERGROUND. And this is one I have actually seen, and I have to say. I loved this film. While it is the bandwagon thing to bash on Michael Bay, with the exception of his TRANSFORMERS films (and I like 2 of them), I have been a fan of Michael Bay’s films. I love the two BAD BOY films he did, and I think 13 HOURS is a masterpiece. And 6 UNDERGROUND for me is another Michael Bay home-run. It has one of the best car chase scenes in film, right up there with the best ever done (films like his own BAD BOYS 2, as well as RAID 2, DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY, BOURNE ULTIMATUM, BULLITT to name a few)

WESTWORLD SEASON 3 – As someone who was not interested enough to watch season 1 or 2 of WESTWORLD, I am very intrigued by the trailer for season 3. The production values look cinematic.

EMPEROR- I praised this trailer previously. Awesome trailer.

The trailer for SERGIO looks phenomenal. The kind of political intrigue thriller that directors like Sydney Pollack and Sydney Lumet would have loved. The real selling point is in its star, who was on the show NARCOS, and just was amazing in that series.

ALL THE RIGHT PLACES – I don’t typically go for the romance, coming of age type film. Which tells you how good this trailer was, that it got me a grumpy curmudgeon, actually interested in this.

HOME BEFORE DARK – Another movie, that is not my type of movie, a family drama, this trailer moved me for some inexplicable reason.

 

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DEAL OF THE DAY!

 

Artbook of the Day : REBUS by James Jean! – One of 15 Best Artbooks of All Time?!!!

If my house, god forbid, was being evacuated, and after family, pets and other essentials, they told me “here is a box you have room to bring 15 of your artbooks” ; REBUS by James Jean, would be one of those books.

Now to clarify, I have a lot of artbooks, and if I do say so myself I only own what I consider GREAT and ESSENTIAL artbooks, so to narrow that down to 15… is difficult.

But here for your list reading pleasure, is one of those 15!

REBUS by James Jean

I actually love the design and construction of this book, more than the actual content. Don’t get me wrong, the artwork is great, very beautiful, and I like it quite a bit, but I do not love it. It is not quite my style, but the stunning construction of the book, with the red gilded pages, makes it such an art object in and of itself. It is the only James Jean book I own, and it is because of the beatiful construction and design of the book itself.

 

You can get your copy of REBUS here!

Rare, Sold-Out and Rarely AVAILABLE ON STREAMING – film of the Day : THE DUELLISTS by Ridley Scott!

Ridley Scott’s feature film debut, and arguably still his most beautiful film, THE DUELLISTS is a simply masterful film. For me Ridley Scott’s first 6 films, are just a director on fire. From DUELLISTS to ALIEN to BLADE RUNNER to LEGEND to SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME to BLACK RAIN, is simply a director crushing it from movie to movie, and genre to genre.

Now that said, after those first six films, I think he had a long period of films that I did not love; where the films just did not interest or appeal to me. In the last 20 years, while I like THE MARTIAN, arguably the only film of his I’m jazzed to rewatch… the way I am his first six films; is AMERICAN GANGSTER.

It is funny the careers of Ridley, and his late brother… the great director Tony Scott, are kinda like polar opposites. I Loved the films at the beginning of Ridley’s career, I think they are odd, intimate masterpieces, but have not been crazy about his later films. Tony Scott was the opposite, I wasn’t crazy about his early movies, but feel his films later in his directorial career really start knocking it out of the park.

Tony Scott’s partnership with Denzel Washington being a great and rewarding director/star relationship, reminiscent of other such acclaimed pairings… Ford/Wayne, Woo/Chow-Yun Fat, Lee/Washington, Leone/Eastwood, Capra/Stewart, Kurosawa/Mifune, Scorsese/De Niro, Hitchcok/Grant to name a few.

That partnership yielding one hands down masterpiece in MAN ON FIRE, and four enjoyable films in CRIMSON TIDE, DEJA VU, THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123, and UNSTOPPABLE (Tony Scott’s final film). So it is unfortunate for many reasons, that we lost Tony Scott so unexpectedly.

But thankfully we still have Ridley making films, and despite some of his more recent films being not for me (GODS OF EGYPT), when he sticks the landing, we are all the better and richer for it. His upcoming THE LAST DUEL, from an Affleck/Damon script, sounding a bit like him revisiting his 40+ year old film, THE DUELLISTS.

 

Get the Blu-ray or get it via Streaming HERE!

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Streaming VOD Movies, TV shows and Youtube Videos of Week 2 of 2020! SHUDDER Edition!

 

 

 

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These 4 films, which I have watched since starting my SHUDDER subscription (something like $2.49 for the month, for the next 3 months) are all FANTASTIC, films, in very different ways. But all of them have soared to the top of my MUST BUY List!

MANDY I raved about in a previous post is just a brilliant primary color tinged nightmare of a dream quest/revenge story committed to film.

THE HEAD HUNTER, is a claustrophobic, incredibly tense, incredibly rousing,  actioner/creature feature mash-up.

THE WAX MASK is one of the most sumptuously filmed and strangest Italian Giallo’s, being both a period piece and a Hammer studios homage, a stunning directorial debut.

And then we come to Lucio Fulci’s CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD. I am not a champion of the nonsensical, gore filled films that most remember Fulci for, like THE BEYOND and THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY and this one, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD. I think all of these are the films he made when the audiences  neglected his true masterpieces, to some extent when he stopped caring about making great films, and just decided to pander to the lowest common denominator horror crowds. When Fulci cared, he was one of the most imaginative, talented and stylish filmmakers of his time. He made some of the best Giallos, some of the best westerns, one of the best Hitchcock homages, and one that was his stab at a serious film/period piece. It was that film’s failure that soured him on film and audiences, and made him a gun for hire, and by reports misanthropic to his cast, his crew and the audience, and a churner out of his gore films. That said while I do see these films as Fulci no longer being that filmmaker whose westerns would inspire John Woo’s Blood Ballets and dove motif, despite these films being set-pieces of gore… loosely supported by a story, they are despite all that… still very, very compelling and entertaining. He builds moments of tension and dread and horror, as well as a good smattering of WTF!. Just the audacity of these films, particularly CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, is impressive. So while not a champion of this film like I am of his earlier films, even lesser Fulci… is jaw dropping. This movie has story structure issues, it doesn’t hold together as a cogent film, it is haphazard and at times silly, but all that aside it is always visually arresting and cinematically audacious. And once seen, you want to own the BluRay to see the making of features and here the interviews and commentary because you definitely want to know what the cast thought of him, after making them do some of the things he had them do in this film.

I’ll be doing an upcoming piece on Fulci, but I guess it says everything about Fulci, is that even what I consider his ‘slapped together/whatever’ film phase, consists of many films, such as CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, that are must watch films. Even his films of derision, are dripping with imaginative talent.

 

Streaming TV Series of the 1st Week of 2020 and Quite Possibly the Year : NetFlix’s DRACULA

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Netflix’s DRACULA – I have been looking forward to this series ever since i saw the first teaser trailer a month or so ago. The series has finally dropped on Netflix, and I have to say… the first episode exceeds my expectations.

Smart. Lavish, Biting, Charming and Ironic and irreverant when it needs to be, and above all dripping with gothic athmosphere and horror, this adaptation of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA is off to a phenomenal start.

I’ve been underwhelmed by most of the new shows recently, 2nd season of JACK RYAN, WITCHER, even the 4th season of THE EXPANSE… not really wowing me yet, but DRACULA… yeah, I’m on board. Looking forward to upcoming episodes, and to see if the 3 episode mini-series sticks the landing.

Grade: A/A+.

This Week’s 3 Best and Three Worst Free Streaming VOD TV Services and Why!

Best and Worst Free Streaming Services for Week 48 of 2019!

 

Best

 

  1. YOUTUBE – For another Week Youtube is the number one free streaming channel. Content Provider’s such as THE JOHN CAMPEA SHOW , TOP 5 SCARY VIDEOS, WEALLJUGGLEKNIVES, NEAR MINT CONDITION, METAL COMPLEX, THE DELUXE EDITION, FILMSELECT TRAILER, RICH REBUILDS, NICK SHABAZZ, SCOTTY KILMER, CORD CUTTERS NEWS, ALTER, GQ, SILVER_AGED DAVE, SOCAL ATTRACTIONS 360, CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT, AMATEUR FILMIES, HAWAII KNIFE AND GEAR, REGIE COLLECTS, SINISTER CINEMA REVIEWS, WRANGLESTAR, THE COMIC COLLECTOR, CANADIAN PREPPER, TARAS KUL, FIRST WE FEAST, GOHAN THE HUSKY, CASI DAVIS, CEDRIC & ADA GEAR AND OUTDOORS,  SILVER HAIRED BRONZE AGE BABE COMICS, BAT IN THE SUN, BLURAY DAN, IAN CORZINE, OFF THE SHELF MOVIE NIGHT, MMA ON POINT, OMNIDOG’S VAULT, CINEMANIACSEVENTY7 and WILSONIAN MOVIE MUSEUM releasing between them just some very enjoyable and informative content in the last seven days. (p.s. It is a lot of channels and content, so look for an upcoming post that higlights the best, must see You Tube videos from each channel)

  2. ROKU CHANNEL– Youtube was pretty enjoyable last week, so I didn’t really have the time or inclination to watch much of anything else on the free channels. Exception being the ROKU CHANNEL. It offers the first episode of some cable shows I have not yet checked out. So was able to watch the first episodes of WATCHMEN (loved it), GAME OF THRONES (yes, I have not watched a single episode of Game of Thrones, until this free episode on the Roku Channel. It was good. However, no real desire to catch up with it, but if other episodes turn up for free i’ll check them out) and the first episodes of DAVINCI’S DEMONS and AMERICAN GODS (didn’t like either one). So, for giving me the chance to check out these shows, with a minimum of commercial interruptions (CRACKLE take notes) ROKU makes it on this list. And finally…
  3. TUBI TV- These guys must pay attention to my viewing preferences, because they have a huge assortment of BIG FOOT movies. I’ve seen most of them, but I appreciate these films being available, and did catch up with a couple I have not seen before; 2017’s THE HUNTING (an interesting but flawed “monster in the woods” movie with a twist) and the un-watchably annoying and badly acted BIGFOOT COUNTRY and the simply awful THE MOTH. But I liked being able to at least check these movies out. And what I love about TUBI is they do not drown you in ads, you get to watch a good chunk of the movie before they interrupt it with 2 or 3 ads (not 6 ads, every few minutes, or every-time you try to rewind or fast forward… CRACKLE looking at you!!!)

 

WORST

That brings us to our WORST free streaning channel of the 48th week of 2019. It is hands down as if you could not guess…

  1. CRACKLE

  2. CRACKLE

  3. CRACKLE – the shame of it is… they actually have content worth watching, that is not available on other channels.  But their egregious overuse of advertising makes the channel unwatchable. I fool you not, it is like 6 ads, before they start the program, then 6 ads seemingly every 10 minutes or less. And you get ads immediately if you need to fast-forward or rewind. It adds up to more ads than actual runningtime of the movie, almost. I could not make it through 15 minutes of  being on CRACKLE. Just not worth my time… at all.  Hands down the worst streaming channel of week 48.

 

 

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Under $100 great office party and family/friend gift ideas!

 

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USB 3.0 Ultra Slim 3D 4K External Blu Ray Player Writer Portable BD/CD/DVD Burner Drive

 

I would LOVE to get either of these as a gift (especially at their sub $100 price). And I reckon so will that friend or family member you know, who still embraces CDs and DVDs and Blurays! Or just wants the ability to still burn read and burn disks. 🙂

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Gift – Purchase of the Day / Week : TWO SUN TS102 Knife

I was raised to believe there are a few things every working man needs.

  • A good truck.
  • A good hat.
  • A good book.
  • A good shotgun
  • A good knife.
  • A good goal.
  • And a good sense of value to others, before value to just you.

The seven goods I like to call them.

I think they help…  not guarantee, but help… set up a young man… to aspire to be a good man, and a man of use, to those around him.

I believe in the seven goods.

Today’s purchase recommendation of the day, revolves around good #5.

 

I’ve carried a good pocket knife with me for decades. Briefly in the boy scouts, than occasionally in the military, and relatively constantly in civilian life. It’s a daily carry and essential to me in my work and personal life. And I lump multi-tools in with knives.

Anyhow I’ve had a Spyderco knife for years, followed by a Kershaw Clash knife for years. They are both splendid working man’s knives. For me (even though it is out of fashion these days) an old fashioned  tip-down, half drop point, half serrated, blacked out blade, remains the height of functionality and usefulness. Open mail, open boxes, strip wires, get out of a stuck seat-belt, removing tie-wraps, even as a prybar in a pinch.

Kershaw Clash Black Serrated Pocket Knife (1605CKTST) 3.1" Stainless Steel Blade with Black-Oxide Coating; Glass-Filled Nylon Handle with SpeedSafe Open, Locking Liner and Reversible Pocketclip; 4.3oz

KERSHAW CLASH Get yours here!

 

I’ll do a list later of my top 5 KERSHAW knives, but click here to browse them yourself.

 

 

There is a reason why the Kershaw Clash is one of the best selling pocket knives of all time. It’s not titanium, it’s not on ball bearings, it’s not the metallurgy composition of the moment,  it doesn’t have a rad pocket clip, but what it is… is easily one of  the best pocket knives ever made.

And no Kershaw is not paying me to say this (Hey Kershaw… Call Me! 🙂 )

In a day where pocket knives are undergoing something of a resurgence, and in large part because of social media, and streaming and youtube knife communities, knives today are being made as sought after collectibles arguably even more so than functional pieces. Knife prices are skyrocketing, as more and more companies, just like car companies, are gearing a segment of their market to those with more money than sense. So pockets knives these days can run hundreds to thousands of dollars.

I personally think once you go over the $150 mark, for a pocket knife, you are paying  for the wrapping paper, rather than the product. But each to their own.

As far as a pocket knife for hard use, after many years of hard use, I’ve found no pocket knife related job that a $30 Kershaw can’t do.

But a man does not live by utility alone.

Sometimes you get a thing, because it calls to you, and everything else being reasonable, the cost, the fit, the functionality… you answer the call.

There is no other knife I NEED besides the Kershaw

But I recently found a knife i wanted. Because it was a thing of beauty.

And it is not the HINDERER or THE CHAVEZ or the ABSTRUSE.

I’d no more pay hundreds for those knives, than I would pay hundreds of thousands for a car. Even should I have the disposable income to spend hundreds on knives or hundreds of thousands on a car, it always, being a working man, occurs to me, how you keep money, is by keeping value foremost in your mind regardless how much money you have.

According to articles, some of the people who aren’t just rich, but stay rich, are frugal purchasers. Every purchase has to sustain or keep its value. Very few of the people who maintain wealth through generations, buy without an eye to value.

So, when there is a Kershaw Clash in the universe, paying 10 times what the Kershaw Clash costs for a knife that is not ten times better, and may not functionally be better at all… does not compute.

That $150 limit, kicks in for me. And that limit amount is different for everyone. That price point where acceptable bumps up against a waste of money.

Chinese Knives, as China more and more embraces the benefits of capitalism in a socialist country, and as more and more of American production is off-shored , the quality and status of Chinese Knives has risen, to the point where they are making desirable quality knives at a great price point.

So it wasn’t the multi-hundred dollar Hinderer or Chavez or ZT knives that called to me with a combination of beauty and aesthetics that are beyond the Kershaw Clash, but also at an acceptable value point.

It was a company from China called Two Sun. And it was a specific knife.

The Knife below:

 

 

 

 

 

I think the pictures say it all.

And the price on that work of art? Not $700. You can get one today, delivered for around $70.

TWO SUN makes a lot of knives. In my opinion the TS 102 is the finest looking one they make, and the one that called to me.

Get yours HERE!

 

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Now the fit and finish on the knife are stellar. Beautiful in person. However it is not without minor issues out the box. It comes over oiled, which will need to be addressed. Also there was a minor speck, scratch on the blade. The one I received had a weak action/deployment, you have to give it a bit of wrist to fully deploy.Because of the extra oomph you have to give it the flipper tab can become rough on your index finger. The pocket clip, while stunning to look at, is so tight that out the box, getting it in to your pocket one handed, not so much, You’ll probably have to work in the pocket clip so it is a smooyh one hand seat and unseat into your back pocket.

The pluses do outweigh the speed bumps, visually it is a showstopper. the feel is solid metal, no plastic here, with a little muscle memory you can get the deployment to work consistently for you. I love the perfect centering and that the blade will smoothly drop shut. And lastly, out the box it is SCARY sharp. It is “you need to respect this knife at all times” sharp. My Kershaw which, functionally, as a pure work knife, EQUALS OR beats this knife in every area, can not hold a candle to the TS102s sharpness.

So report card: In terms of Quality Control, the TWO SUN could use a little work, making sure the blade arrives without any sign of wear, not over oiling it, making sure the action is set properly for reliable full deployment. Those issues taken into account at the $70 price point the knife is a no-brainer of a purchase.

It is today’S and this week’s recommended knife purchase!

Tell em HT sent ya!!!