Tag Archives: comic books

A Good Weekend and The Avengers

Happy Sunday!  This weekend was excellent.  Daniel and I went to the Duke Faculty Club pool with his dad this afternoon, so I took the opportunity to do a little swimming and tan, of course.  I’m still not used to the fact that there are just more beautiful days here than in Upstate New York.  Yesterday we went for a hike at West Pointe on the Eno.  It was a real hike that included climbing up rocks and walking on narrow banks next to the river.  I probably almost fell into the river at least twice.  It was a spectacular day and I did snap a few pictures.

The Eno River

A Daniel in the wild.

It’s not the Genesee, obviously.

The majority of this post is going to be dedicated to The Avengers.  Now, Daniel and I actually saw this movie a few weeks ago, but it’s one that I needed to write about.  I personally thought the movie was brilliant.  It was scripted and directed by Joss Whedon, who you may know as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I think few people realize how much involvement he has also had in the comic book industry, making him extremely qualified to write and direct a film like this.  Even if you didn’t know he wrote the script for The Avengers, I think it became pretty obvious throughout the film.  He made Tony Stark’s/Iron Man’s character entirely like his character of Xander in Buffy.  (This witty character archetype is one that he uses in probably all of his films and t.v. shows, and I believe that in interviews he has claimed it is based off of himself.)  And it worked perfectly with the previous film depictions of Iron Man, and matched the comics as well.

I’ve noticed he also likes to build up tension, usually during a monologue of a villain, but that monologue is then cut short by a protagonist beating the crap out of the guy trying to give his speech, followed by the protagonist saying something witty.  I feel like that was in every other episode of Buffy, and at least in the Angel pilot, which I happened to have watched recently.  If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know to which scene with Loki and The Hulk I am referring.  If not…well, WHEN you go see it, you will understand.  It was hilarious.

I think some previous movies based on comic books have failed because the writers couldn’t get the pacing right.  At least, this is what Daniel always says, and he would know, right?  This movie was unique because all of the back-stories of the members of The Avengers had already been established in four previous films, respectively:  Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger.  Whedon didn’t need to waste any time establishing the characters, but could jump right in to the assembly of the group.  And, like I said, he’s a comic book writer, so he just gets it.  The script sounded just like a comic book.  It was perfect for comic fans like Daniel for that reason, but it was also just really well written, which would appeal to the rest of the population.

Overall, I get why it’s been so successful.  If you haven’t seen it, go watch it, but not before you watch the other movies.  And be sure to stick around after the credits.  It was by far the best movie I’ve seen in a couple of years.


Some Exciting News

Last night I heard from the landlord Adam about moving into our apartment (townhouse?).  Originally, he had given us the date of June 1, but changed it and said that the space should be ready around May 15.  This is perfect because Daniel will actually be in Durham during that time and we can start moving some of our things into our new home.

Naturally, because I’m a woman, I love to decorate or design the spaces in which I will be living.  My first obstacle is the bedroom.  Daniel and I are getting a really basic bed frame from his parents’ house.  It does not have a headboard, so I’m trying to think of cool things to do in lieu of a headboard.  I’ve seen some interesting ideas on both Pinterest and Apartment Therapy, like painting words or a picture where the headboard would be, but realistically I can’t paint something on the wall, since we are renting.  I do love the idea of this:

A wood pallet headboard from Apartment Therapy.

But I think we would need something a little more…lightweight?  I also would love some creative ideas for night stands.  Suggestions are encouraged.

The other two “bedrooms” upstairs will serve as a study/work area and a music/comic room, respectively.  We just need to acquire more bookshelves for these rooms.  The music/comic room will also have a guest bed or a futon in it.  Basically, a place where guests will be able to live comfortably, provided Daniel doesn’t fill it to the ceiling with his collection of instruments and comics.

Since we are upgrading from 1 tiny closet of a bathroom to 2 and 1/2 bathrooms, bathroom space will not be a problem.  I’ve already decided I’m just going to use one full bath as my own and put all of my junk in it, and he can use the other for whatever bathroom things men have.  I really don’t know what you guys use, because when I moved all of my stuff out of the bathroom in Rochester, it was pretty much bare.

If there’s enough room in the kitchen, we would love to get a small island, or at least something that can be used as additional counter space.  If there is one thing I’ve learned, it doesn’t matter if you live in a tiny apartment or a three story house with two kitchens, there is never enough counter space.

Finally, the living room.  It is definitely bigger than what we had in Rochester, but I have no idea how to set it up.  For that, I’m going to have to wait until I can actually see the space and figure out how much room we have.

Obviously once we move in there will be lots of pictures.  We are just a short stroll from downtown and the farmer’s market in Central Park.  I’m sure we will be taking advantage of that very often.  Plus, there is a new coffee shop opening up just a block or two from where we will be living.  Not to mention Fullsteam and Geer Street Garden, both right in the neighborhood.

Forgive Me, Readers, For I Have Sinned

It has been 3 days since my last update.  I’m going through a bit of a weird time right now.  I did not discuss my last Saturday night, so I will do that now.

On Saturday, after Roc Con, we went to Matt’s house for food, drinks, and poker.  I was ecstatic to hear that he was ordering pizza because Daniel and I haven’t had pizza in forever.  Salvatore’s is delicious, I recommend their business.  I will just throw that out there.  It was a pretty good turnout, considering that, for a few weeks, it was just me and Daniel showing up to their house and eating their food.  Jess’s brother Sean was there; we haven’t seen him since probably Park Ave Fest.  He is fun to hang around, so that was awesome.  Dan and Karen didn’t show up until later.  We haven’t seen them since Park Ave Fest either.  They don’t seem to come around the store as often now that they have moved out of the neighborhood, which is such a bummer.  But I want to give my very official congratulations to them because they recently got engaged!  He proposed while they were on vacation in Disney World.  It sounded amazing.  I’m so happy for them; they are two of the nicest people you could ever meet.  Also, Daniel and Dan get along really well because they can both nerd out together about comic books, more so than anyone else I know.

It was a great night, and I almost won the poker game.  Daniel pulled ahead in the end.  I’m so proud because I taught him everything he knows.

Tonight was Taco Tuesday which is always a pleasure.  I actually worked at the comic store this afternoon, but because it was a Tuesday, business was slow.  After Daniel finished his shift and closed up the store, we headed over to their house for tacos and a few rounds of poker.  Daniel won again!  Just another sign of Armageddon.  That, and the fact the Bills are 3-0.  I think I’m starting to believe that the world might end next year, especially if the Bills miraculously make it to the Super Bowl.  God help us if they win.

I’ll try to resume my regular updates again.  My life has been boring lately, so I haven’t had much to write about.  I hope that changes soon!

Yes, I miss when my life was like this every day.

This picture was taken literally moments before I dumped that glass of wine all over my Fantastic Four shirt and my newest bathing suit underneath it.  Awesome.

A Mellow Day, But Not an Uneventful One.

Today Daniel and I visited Kelly’s apartment in Oneonta for the first time.  It’s nice.  I personally love our apartment (except for our ugly green rug), so I did not fall in love with her house, but it was good.  I think she will have a fantastic time living there with her friends, and it is right across from campus.  We ate dinner at her house, some chicken parmesan.  It was delicious.  Daniel and I supplied the wine.  We played a game of Settlers of Catan and then a game of Cranium.  Dillon won the former, Daniel and I won the latter.  Poor Kelly.  It was a great night, and it’s always fun to hang out with those two crazy kids.

We went to Old Franklin Day this afternoon to check out the “festivities” and the sales.  Daniel found a copy of Daredevil #5 from 1964 at a yard sale.  He got it for only $10.  Then his computer died and he said bad words.  Tomorrow we have an appointment at the Genius Bar in Victor.

Tomorrow we  plan to leave for Rochester.  Everyone is very nervous about Irene.  I hope our plans are not deterred because of the weather.

Happiness and excitement.

My Last Day in Durham

Tomorrow we head to Unadilla, then on to Rochester.  Today was a good day.  I went on an adventure with Daniel in search of comic books (what else?) and he ended up purchasing a “game” for his Nintendo 3DS.  It’s not really a game, but it is a cartridge that you insert and it allows him to have his own handheld Korg synthesizer that can be played with the stylus.  And he did pick up some missing back issues.  We can’t go anywhere without him buying a few more comics.  We went to this great store called Sci-Fi Genre Comics & Games.  The best part of the store was how they stored their back issues.  They had a bunch of cubbies that were just big enough to hold long comic boxes and could be pulled out to view the issues or pushed in for storage away from light or other harmful environmental things.  Very creative.  We also tried to pick up some milkshakes at Cook Out, but as we were about to order, a man approached our car and said that their power had just gone out.  This, of course, meant no milkshakes.  How disappointing.  So we came back to the house and took a rest until everyone got home from school and work.  We finally got our milkshakes this evening, after dinner.  They’re not really milkshakes that you can drink.  And the Cook Out people know this, because they hand you both a straw and a spoon when you order.  I don’t know if they use any milk in their milkshakes, which is what makes them so damn delicious.

I am sad to be leaving Durham.  It’s a fantastic city.

Taken inside the chapel on Bald Head.

The Walking Dead

I tried to resist because I knew I would become hooked as soon as I started reading.  I couldn’t help myself.  Today I completed volume one of The Walking Dead series.  Daniel was kind enough to surprise me with it as a small gift.  It was amazing.  Some of you might know that I’ve been really into zombies lately.  They are way better than aliens, which just kind of freak me out.  I’d much prefer a zombie apocalypse to an alien invasion.  I’ve thought about it a lot, and if I have to choose…well, there it is.

I haven’t seen the TV series yet, although I’ve watched some clips online.  I can’t tell how closely they’ve followed the original story, but perhaps after I’ve finished reading more of the books I will try to watch the series.

I think what really got me hooked was the few paragraphs before the story even started where the writer explains that he wanted to make a comic book like a zombie movie, but with no foreseeable end.  I can certainly appreciate this.  You always want to see more when the movie ends; they rarely explain everything, nor do they always state what happens to all of the survivors.  I can’t wait to read more and see how the characters develop.

I don't care how friendly he was. As a child, E.T. was very unsettling for me.

Dorking Out: A Very Special Guest Post By Daniel

So you may have heard that Christine and I took a special emergency trip down to Unadilla yesterday on account of that fact that her grandmother found a box of “Golden Age” Comics in a closet.  Now you probably know this by now, but I am a huge Huge HUGE comic book geek.  I even have my own (very infrequently updated) blog about them.  Needless to say I had a serious dork attack and may or may not have (read: most certainly did) peed my pants out of excitement.  At 8 P.M., after frantically packing comic book bags and boards, The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, and some adult diapers, we were off.  Three and half hours later we arrived to find Christine’s mother and sister thumbing through the comics as though they were a stack of three month-old People Magazine’s at the dentist’s office.  Doing my best to maintain my composure I uttered something along the lines of “Get your filthy hands off of those!  Do you realize what you are holding!?!” or something to that effect…or maybe I just wet myself again…I really don’t remember.  It was late, I was tired, and very VERY excited.

Sitting down at the kitchen table  with a small stack of the issues that Christine’s grandmother really wants to sell, I felt my body tense as I came to the realization that these would be the oldest comics that I have ever held in my hands.  Brow moist with nervous sweat, hands aquiver, I began to inspect the first comic, a little title called “Daredevil #1“.  Did you click that link?  Good.  Do you recognize that man on the front?  The swarthy looking one with the emo hair and the tiny mustache.  Yeah, that’s Adolf Hitler getting punched in the face.  Now, I can’t overstate how incredibly valuable “Golden Age” Comics featuring Hitler are because the confines of written language dictate that I use real words that you will understand, but take my word when I say they are extremely valuable.  For instance, this very same issue graded in Near Mint condition (which, mind you, would be very unlikely considering the comic is 70 years old) can fetch over $20,000.  Aw dammit, I just peed again.

I actually held this in my hands. How cool is that!?

This isn’t to say that Christine’s grandma’s copy is worth that much.  All things considered, it was in very nice condition, the colors are vivid, the paper is relatively white and odorless, there aren’t too many nicks and rips.  In fact, the only major defect is that the cover of the issue was detached from the staples, though I have seen coverless copies of the same issue selling for $600.  And while that certainly is the biggest highlight insofar as the value of these books are concerned, there were still several other really cool issues.  She has a copy of “Detective Comics #96”!  To put that in perspective Batman appeared in “Detective Comics #27”, putting #96 around 1943.  This issues was in incredible condition barring the slight curling on the right side from being stored in a box in a closet for at least the last 30 some-odd years.  According to The Overstreet, Alfred’s last name is revealed to be “Beagle” in this issue; his name, of course, would later be changed to “Pennyworth” but it is an interesting tidbit.

That's my thumb in the corner to flatten it out.

She also has a copy of “Captain America #38”, complete with racist cover and all.  This issue was one of the coolest to me because I am a total Marvel doofus and “Golden Age” Cap is the man.  Interestingly, this issue along with some others only feature one staple in the center of the spine as opposed to the two on either end that is more common today.  This may have been because of metal conservation for the war effort.  For this reason there was a sizable stress hole on the left side of the cover, but the cover has remained attached.  Sadly the bottom right corner of this issue had also served as a buffet for a family mice at some point in time.  Lastly, it would appear that the centerfold poster of Cap, purported by The Overstreet, had been removed.  Still the inside was very readable and the art impeccable.  Plus it included a short seven page story featuring the original Human Torch.  Unbeatable stuff!

I'm just not sure if this is more offensive or awesome...

Another interesting highlight was a copy of the “Cocomalt Big Book of Comics”.  This promotional comic from 1938(!) was put out by Cocomalt brand chocolate milk and featured reprints of classic funnies including Windsor McCay’s “Little Nemo”…it also has a racist cartoon on the cover.  Aside from a thumb sized hole on the right side of the cover, this issue was in superb condition.  While not nearly as flashy as a “Captain America” or “Detective Comics”, this is an extremely rare comic that shared in a long held tradition within comics during the 1930’s of reprinting newspaper funnies.  Also, this issue premiered in 1938, that same year during the month of June a certain colorfully clad alien do-gooder would appear in “Action Comics #1” changing the face of comics and American popular culture forever.

I know this is from 1938 but still, when did people start becoming sensitive to racism?

Aside from those issues there is a stack of around 20 more comics from the early 1940’s.  The majority of these are funny animal books, Mickey Mouse, Looney Tunes, Krazy Kat, just to name a few.  While these are not quite as highly sought after and therefore not as valuable as the ones listed above, they are still almost 70 years old.  Many of them are in good condition all things considered.  It is very interesting to see how the war effort was aimed at children by having Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny buying War Bonds and growing victory gardens.  Over the next few weeks I will go through these issues and grade them to the best of my ability.

Stacks of comics from the 1940s to look through--I gotta stop peeing myself...

Oh, and I forgot the best thing!  Christine’s grandma is letting pick a few to keep because my birthday is on Monday.

Best birthday ever.