On the second day of Christmas the MIGHTY Rosie gave to me: More matching but not identical Christmas socks.
I love Crisis On Infinite Midlives | Episode 163: Batgirl’s Gap Year, let’s play it!
I was a cynic when I was younger, disaffected and isolated and deep down I believed that I would always be alone, it was what I was used to and it was what I expected life to be.
I had relationships, but doomed to failure each one, I expected things to go wrong.
11 years ago, hope, love, happiness and joy entered my life and I found that in my heart was someone who believed in love still.
Two years later, my happy ever after started. Seeing her in white with a bouquet and a smile put a thought in my head, something new. It wasn’t her beauty, that was clear long before. It wasn’t that I loved her, I was her’s long before. It wasn’t that I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life. It was this ‘It’s going to be alright’.
It’s been an ‘eventful’ 9 years, but that feeling, that awareness of hope and of positivity is still there. I believe in myself, I value myself (well I am tryig, OK?) because she taught me. It has been quite a tumultuous ride, but here we are, 9 years in and I love her more now.
You’re my girl and I am yours, forever and always.
Prolific podcaster Michael R Bailey in an old promo for his show (one of many)Views from the Longbox, referred to comic collecting as a crippling addiction. As time goes on, I realise how right he was.
It’s a ridiculous hobby for a grown ass man, but comics have been part of my life for longer than most things. So as you can imagine, I have a lot of them, Seriously, it’s ridiculous. So last year I did what I needed to and bought some longboxes. It’s weird to think I didn’t use them before. I now have eight of them in use, plus another two or three for trade paperbacks and the like.
Part of the collecting illness is the organising of these comics. I have whole systems for that process, publishers, themes and so on and so forth and have for the last several months avoided sorting them out (I am good at avoiding, it’s a skill, not a good one, but a skill) and have begun the process of cataloguing them, comic by comic. Now given that a large percentage of my comic collection is digital these days, those eight long boxes are but a fraction of what I have to read, but there is something about physically holding the comics that makes the reading experience richer. But I digress and will not wade into the digital vs hard copy debate, because both have too many merits for me. The point is that organising them is a bit of a thing.
It’s a good thing. I have comics that date back to the 90’s from when I got them and the 70’s from when they were published and I have some really good stuff in there. For example, it would have been Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday last week, if he hadn’t passed away and i was able to find my copy of the Kirby Genesis series from a few years ago and I re-read it. It was awesome, in fact I plan to do a post on it later. I saw loads of comics that I knew that I had, but forgot how much I actually enjoyed. Re-organising those comics started as a chore, but re-affirmed my love for them. A bag of comics, read once for their new-ness still have the power to transport me to strange places and fill my mind with wonders.
The joy of comics is still with me, they do not overshadow the best things in my life (my son, the MIGHTY Rosie) but they do add something to them and if I hadn’t been such a messy sod, this wouldn’t be at the fore front of my mind right now.
So if you are a collector of stuff, have a butchers at it once in a while, read an old book, listen to an old CD, play an old game and remember, why it is you have those things in the first place.
Bit of a rambly one today, ta ta for now internet people.
Now as you cab imagine after last week’s post Thanks Jack I am a big Jack Kirby fan. The foundation of the Marvel Universe would be as sand without the striking visuals and fantastic ideas that came from a short scrappy man with cosmic dreams and a pencil that created universes. Other creators built on that foundation and it took on a life of it’s own.
That alone would be a decent legacy to be proud of, it has endured over 55 years and unless Marvel bugger it up, will endure for many more. But that early surge of characters and concepts wasn’t all he did. Here are just 5 out of the many more things created by the King.
Buddy Blank is connected to the orbiting satellite Brother Eye and under the command of the Global Peace Agency and when needed, can become the one man army corp OMAC who fights for justice in the nightmarish world that’s coming.
A dystopian future riddled with high concept sci-fi optimism that was unlike anything going on at that time and like much of his work, tons of fun.
2: The Eternals
Wherever he went the King created mythologies. When he returned to in the mid 70’s he created another one that was as far reaching as anything from his Tales of Asgard.
The basic idea was vast beings called Celestials tampered with human evolution millennia ago, with the results being baseline humans, the mutated Deviants and the super powerful Eternals.
The Celestials are due to return and judge the world and if it is to survive all three subspecies of man must work together.
An odd fit for the Marvel Universe, beings posing as gods and mutated creatures being rather superfluous in a world where Asgardians, inhumans and mutants are commonplace. But the mix of striking visuals and amazing ideas make this an excellent read.
3: The Demon
Gone, gone form of man, rise the demon Etrigan.
With these words we get one of Jack Kirby’s strangest protagonists. Jason Blood, a man from Arthurian times is bonded to the demon Etrigan who was caged within Blood by Merlin. He has walked the Earth since and Blood can summon Etrigan when evil needs to be battled.
One of very few purely mystical characters Jack did, he stands out for his look and the fact that he isn’t really a good guy and is restrained, not reformed. He’s endured well and still pops up from time to time.
There came a great disaster and the world as we know it was gone. In it’s ruins humanoid animals have conquered the diminished humanity. Kamandi is one of the only intelligent and free humans left.
Epic and more than a little reminiscent of Planet of the Apes and it’s again tons of fun.
5: Machine Man
Personally my favourite out of this 5, this is a very by the numbers alien amongst us story with an fugitive hero whom we identity with, but the bad guys treat as property or an obstacle. The difference here is the personality of the lead.
Android/robotic heroes in comics and sci fi are legion. Red Tornado, Jocasta, Vision, the android from Dark Matter, Data from Star Trek TNG and so on and so forth. Most of those guys had something in common, they were kind of nice, or naive. There was a pleasantness to them. Aaron ‘Machine Man’ Stack is not one of those, in fact, he’s a dick.
Raised to think of himself as human, Aaron is sometimes unpleasant, impatient and doesn’t put humanity on a pedestal. He was a human being, not idealised, not naive, not loveable. Like us.
This isn’t even his independent stuff (we’ll get to that) and won’t even consider talking about the Fourth World, but I wanted to recognised that even 15 years after he made his mark on Marvel, he remained the King.
Long may his legacy reign.
I love Council of Geeks | 90s Comics Retrial Episode 44: Spider-Man 2099 #1-3, let’s play it!
I love Journey Into Misery | Episode 115: The Fourth World (Jack Kirby), let’s play it!