I just read the 3-part Titans East/Titans West story from Teen Titans Vol. 1 #50-52 in order for the first time, after working on doing so for…37 years? 38? Something like that. I knew how it ended as a pretty young kid, but never knew how it started until today.
I picked up #52 back in ’80 or ’81, got a second copy of it along the line when the first one got near-destroyed (its remainders actually got used by my spouse for the collage work they did on the cake trays and seating chart board for our wedding) over the course of childhood, got #51 sometime between the late ’80s and early 2000s (honestly not sure anymore when I got either that or my second #52), and finally picked up #50, the first part of it, at Zapp Comics when I was in NJ a week or so ago. There’s something really satisfying about finishing a run of comics, even for what’s a pretty small run and a basic story that, it should be said, is a FAR cry from what people watching the current Titans TV series are seeing (for better or worse), despite some familiar faces (this story has 5 characters in common with Titans season 1). The story does boast one of the biggest gatherings of Titans they’d had to that point, though…
Top Row: Dove I, Hawk I, Golden Eagle, Harlequin/Joker’s Daughter (Duela Dent, original version), Speedy (Roy Harper, aka Arsenal/Red Arrow).
Middle Row: Beast Boy (Gar Logan, aka Changeling), Gnaark, Lilith/Omen, Aqualad I (Garth), Mal Duncan as The Guardian.
Bottom Row: Kid Flash I (Wally West I, aka Flash), Wonder Girl I (Donna Troy), Robin II (Earth-1 Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing), Batgirl I (Betty/Bette Kane, aka Flamebird), Bumblebee.
(Art by Don Heck and Bob Smith.)
This first revival of the Teen Titans series (it initially ran from ’66-’73, then resumed in ’76, running until ’78) lasted for one more issue (that was kind of a “file” story about their origin, from what I gather; I haven’t read it yet), then they went into hiatus again for a couple of years before Marv Wolfman and George Perez did what they did to the book. My first exposure to them was actually through the Mego figures of them, then I found them in The Brave & The Bold #149 when it was on newsstands, and saw one episode of the 1960s Filmation Teen Titans cartoon (Episodes 1, 2 and 3 here, linking as much for me to watch later as I am to show you), but didn’t have any issues of Volume 1 until New Teen Titans had started. I should probably try to knock out the rest of this run (I also have #46, but that’s it from the revival, but it’s a whole 6 issues, only one of which is a big deal because Duela Dent joins the team in it), along with the other ten million series I’m trying to finish.
Thankfully, I did finish other runs of books in NJ, though. More on this soon…
So, on Christmas day, someone named Alex Vars on the Bunt.Digital group on Facebook had a contest, to try and re-invigorate interest in the group (and Bunt). Entering the contest was easy, so I gave it a shot, and wouldn’t you know it, I won!
2018 Measures of Greatness Vladimir Guerrero “autograph”!
As you can see from the card back, this has a population of 35 instances, which now makes it my rarest Bunt digital card. I have lower-population cards on the other Topps Digital apps (Huddle, I’ve got some stuff under 10 cards, I think), but my Mark Buehrle Limited from whatever year that was (I have every Buehrle card on there except for the 1-of-1), which was numbered to 56, was the previous record holder.
Like a lot of other time sinks, I’ve barely gone near the Topps apps this year, and I’ve had strong feelings about trying to get rid of just about everything I can on them at times (just sparing my player collection stuff and maybe a few insert sets), while I still can, but if this ends up being the last great card I get from them, I’m cool with that.
Are any of you still doing the Topps apps, or am I the last one left?
Yup, STILL alive. Have been free enough to start writing again for a little while now, but as I’ve had a great number of things to talk about, it was tough to decide where to jump in. Decision made: I’ll talk about as many of them as time permits in one go, in chronological order.
Despite some questionable character naming on my part (I did not know it would automatically name my horse “Dong’s Horse”, but I ended up making up a song about him and everything…oh, and naming my main fantasy baseball team “Dong’s Horse” this year, too…we won, by the way!), and a whole lot of allegorical racism in the dialogue that seemed to come a little too easy to the developers, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim for Playstation 3 was $5 that quite literally saved my life over the winter. I ended up getting the flu in early January (flu shot, which I still strongly recommend, did not exactly work for a bunch of people last year), and the secondary respiratory issues I had after the flu damn near killed me. Had this game not given me something to occupy myself with as thoroughly as it did, I may not have rested enough, and we might not be here to read about my dirty horse name. So, warts and all, thank you, Bethesda, for helping to keep me alive this year.
I had a good day at the Digital Press store in March. Pictured are Atari 7800 Space Duel, Bally Astrocade Clowns/Brickyard and Dog Patch, XBox Blood Wake and Panzer Dragoon Orta, and XBox 360 Beautiful Katamari and Project Sylpheed.
Then, this happened.
For reasons I’m still trying to process, a near-complete (just need #95 Gene Tunney) 1951 Topps Ringside set, complete with a wrapper, was sent to me by one of my frequent benefactors. I still have not gone through my half-full Ringside set that I was working on before this happened, to see if I want to merge the sets (upgrading some, etc.) or whether I just want to keep the gift together. Whatever I end up deciding, I will likely have a bunch of Ringsides for sale or trade in 2019.
A near-complete Batman joined the crew in late March, once I dug him out and put him together from two partials.
…then, a complete Superman joined them the very next day, after a similar process!
After years of owning this oddball signed piece, I finally worked out that the signature on the baseball was not, in fact, Dave Kingman, but rather, Jimmy Key. I’d call that an upgrade.
I made it to the Hartford Yard Goats‘ opening night just in time to get this picture of New England Fisher Cats 3rd baseman Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. standing on 1st base after a walk in the first inning. I got to see an impressive legacy infield of Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., Bo Bichette and Vlad Jr. that night, and while that didn’t bode well for the Yard Goats, it was nice to see their ballpark, Dunkin’ Donuts Park, for the first time of what I hope will be many visits.
That trade I mentioned, when I posted my early Mego picture, yielded a replacement for my long-lost Falcon figure and, for the first time in my life, I got a Mego Aquaman figure!
My local comic shop (full disclosure: I host their website) had an amazing thing happening on Free Comic Book Day this year, in addition to the free comic books (not pictured).
A decent amount of my stuff found new and much better homes this year. My friend Licky Oats bought Bettie and King Kong Bundy from me after seeing them in pics of the garage sale, and this happened.
Another cursed object from my local flea market.
(Sorry. I had to.)
Had a few nice DC Direct adds this year, too! My better half got me my old pal Etrigan for my birthday.
The scene I happened upon at the Toys R Us closing. (Yeah, I got one.)
Ideal Toys did such great stuff. This is a replacement of an old childhood friend, by way of my friend Max (Thanks again, Max!).
July Brimfield. I don’t know, either.
Every time I post a picture of a pile of vintage lunchboxes like this, it can be anywhere from 5 minutes to a few years afterward, I get deluged with people asking me how much they are, and if I can pick them up for them.
I don’t do much in the way of fashion in my old age (I’ve kinda traded in fashion for comfort), but this piece by Mia Vesper, who was set up in Brimfield in July, is amazing.
Not my area or my era of vintage toy, but what a cool looking piece.
…and another cursed object. Actually pretty cool composition, feel bad about not getting the seller’s info now.
HA HA HA HA HA! HA HA HA HA PEEK-A-BOO!
Again, I do get out sometimes. Janet Jackson for free-ish because of the class action settlement against LiveNation? DONE. This was a great show.
While waiting for the new Megos to show up, I remembered that I had these fellas in a Sterilite somewhere in my basement, so…
…the posse expanded!
Had a really nice RPG/non-sport card/CCG find in August. At some point soon, I’ll get into more detail on the CCG stuff, but in the meantime, if anyone’s looking for ’90s Star Wars, Star Trek or X-Files CCG stuff (I’m starting to amass more mass-produced Magic: The Gathering stuff than I’m comfortable with, as well), talk to me before it gets sent to COMC.
First sighting of the end cap!
First full end cap!
My picks from the first batch…
…and they join the crew!
I got this awesome specimen of humanity, too (he’s a Marvel Select, just an amazing figure).
I met Oil Can Boyd in August! Nice guy, even better dresser!
I started moving some of my old cassettes on Discogs a few months ago (Sorry, the Type O’s gone now…), and that’s not been half bad. Check out my stuff if you still like/buy/collect cassettes, there’s some real gems in there.
Chekov snuck in a few weeks after the first new Mego purchases.
Another well-loved lunchbox, spotted my local market. The Angels would come up a few times this year.
Rough, but still super cool.
Added my oldest comic to the collection, with a classic Mac Raboy cover where Captain Marvel Jr. prepares to beat the crap out of some Nazis. Back cover’s toast on this, but it’s still so cool to have.
Had a nice day in September at the market, netted me a bunch of TCMA stuff and a couple of cheap update/traded/etc. sets that I needed.
Then, I headed back to Brimfield for the last trip of the year.
In looking through my pictures from this year, I realized that I photographed this beauty of a chair multiple times. I wonder if the dealer still has it (I’ll find out in May, I suppose), and what they’re asking for it.
I wish this game hadn’t been on the pricey side (I think they wanted $60-ish for it). Note the cameo from the Evel Knievel bike underneath it.
There was a dope-ass vintage Halloween vendor at the September show.
I normally don’t go in too deep for sp00p, as the kids call it these days, but this was quality merchandise.
This was from them, too. Tons of black cats and pumpkins.
One of the coolest, best buys I’ve seen at any of the markets here, and I’m still kinda kicking myself for not getting in on it. Sadly, even though the sign told me not to be, I was a dummy.
Brimfield, home of antique furniture that’ll bring a tear to your eye…
There are also giant Playmobil pirate men there.
There were people who saw this set and got a different kind of tear in their eye, but I kinda loved it. It has that “bedroom of a teenaged girl who did a lot of psychedelics” look to it, and I spent time with those types in my misspent youth.
Another “Why didn’t I buy this?” piece. I don’t know why it spoke to me kinda loudly, but it did.
Another dealer in September had a ton of ’40s-ish magazines, lots of The Ring and such.
But also some dope-ass nerd shit!
Rough shape, but these covers are absolutely to die for.
I mean, COME ON.
There were Aurora models…
Micronauts like you wouldn’t believe…
Extremely questionable electronics…
…and, as the season wrapped, the 1970s came home to roost.
Bela Lugosi did, as well.
So did Tootie.
I’m still on the lookout for one of these rascals, though, as the card on this one was all sorts of messed up.
Norm, on the other hand, showed up, as did a coffin for Bela (the first of 2).
As did Mott The Hoople (a local flea market find).
I call this picture “True Detective Season 3”.
The Gorn and Frankenstein’s Monster arrive! If you haven’t been keeping count, we’ve gone from 4 to 19 so far.
But, like clockwork (or at least a slightly malfunctioning clock), I was back at the flea market the morning after the wedding. I did not buy this beast, but figured y’all would want to see it, just the same.
A wild Samantha appears!
It’s a reissue, but it was still one of my grails. Got it as a wedding present, thanks, Rich.
Pidey-Man! Another wedding gift, this great condition figure came from Etsy. I’d been missing him since about 1981.
Here he is with the rest of the crew, along with Bela in his newer, larger coffin (which will come into play later).
We picked up this light for the wedding, which, because of the lighting in the room, was a dismal failure, but man, does it make my bedroom look pretty.
Greg Brady and Alice arrive! (I told you the coffin’d get more use. They look so happy together.)
Jo from The Facts of Life shows up to keep Tootie company! (Yes, this habit got out of hand in a hurry.)
On our last visit of the season, my local flea market was brimming with good will!
Also: Bowman Chrome! (This box is a keeper.)
So’s this card, which was in the box, despite not being Chrome.
Honeymoon time! Lest I bombard you with general honeymoon pics, as much as some of you would love them, I will do my best to keep them collecting hobby-centric, particularly as there are already 498,310 pics in this post!
Armchair Books, Edinburgh, Scotland. One of the best used book stores on Earth.
Traveled a few thousand miles, thought “I’d maybe like to get a cool edition of some Poe” before I got there (despite him being an American writer; just occurred to me before I left that I didn’t have much in the way of hard copy Poe), and there it was on the shelf. I paid more than nine shillings, but not that much more.
Look at this beauty! The first computing I ever did in school was on a PET. This was in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, which is one of the best museums ever. Again, I could bombard you with hundreds of pics just from this museum, as we spent close to 6 hours there over 2 days, but I’ll do my best to keep it collecting hobby-centric.
These platforms were not in the National Museum of Scotland (I saw them at a thrift shop around the corner), but goddamn it, they should’ve been. If these shoes could talk, they’d have some stories, let me tell you what.
Gerry Rafferty featured heavily in my mind on this trip, as part of it involved taking the train he’d take back and forth from Edinburgh to London during the period of time post-Stealers Wheel when he was fighting with his record label, and just because he’s an extraordinary, underrated musician, so his case at Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop was an essential stop. (I wrote a little more about Gerry and one of his better known songs here. I am also reasonably sure that there are other Gerry Rafferty fans from the card hobby reading this.)
Alex Harvey is another pretty incredible, underrated Scottish musician (who I’m still just getting started on the music of), and while I wish more of the exhibit featured him, I was still glad to see him here.
The only One Laptop Per Child laptop I’ve ever seen in person (at left). Granted, that’s a good thing in a way, because these were supposed to be deployed to places where, logically, I wouldn’t have seen them yet, but still, something else to see one in person.
What, did you think I was going to a foreign country and not hit the flea market? Found a Fields of the Nephilim EP I needed here, too. (More on them in a bit.)
Yes, despite there being very little of a visible card collecting hobby in the UK, I did buy packs of trading cards there! Match Attax is still very much a going concern, so I grabbed a pack of those, and I also got a pack of Lego Incredible Inventions cards, as well. Fun stuff, and if there’s demand, I can scan some up in a separate post.
Onto London! This was a really nice, if pricier than I like my funny books, piece at Gosh Comics.
Orbital Comics are another solid store in central London, and they’ve got a great sense of humor.
I present Exhibit B on that, in the form of the section of their back issues devoted to Captain America one-shot issues.
Some of my London comics haul. First issue of Son of Satan’s Marvel Spotlight run, Captain Britain #3, some Marvel Two-In-Ones, and, while unspectacular by comparison, I was missing the first issue of Mike Allred’s Silver Surfer run, so I grabbed it.
So, we went to London (and grudgingly left Edinburgh, which is one of the most amazing places ever) for a specific reason, which was kind of the centerpiece of the trip, as planned anyway.
(Photo Credit: Alexander Milas. If you look at the picture, dead center, the person directly behind the pains in the ass with their arms up appears to be me.)
Well, the good news was that both bands were brilliant.
The bad news, not to go to another town and talk trash on the people there or nothin’, but the bad news was that the crowd was…I’ll be extremely polite and describe them as “uncooperative on all fronts”, and try to leave it at that. I’ve been going to concerts for 35 years, in multiple countries, all kinds of music (including hundreds of shows where mosh pits were the norm), all kinds of people, and while they’re lauded as loyal, devoted, intense fans, the London Fields of the Nephilim crowd was…I dunno…let’s just go with what I said above, but also use that “intense” word twice, then drop it. The band were good enough to largely overcome whatever we experienced down there in general admission.
If you feel like watching the show we saw…have at.
This was the first time I’d seen the Lego Voltron, at Westfield mall, which we stayed near, and which we spent entirely too much time in, even though we were, in fact, in London, and probably should’ve been anywhere other than a mall, particularly one quite as Black Mirror as Westfield. In our defense, we’d done the overwhelming majority of the touristy, sightseeing kinda stuff when we were there in 2017. Anyway, they did a nice job on this.
The Space: 1999 dolls, along with the Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Mork, etc. toys, were in a place called Monkey’s Emporium in the Stables Market in Camden Town. Prices were…about what you’d expect from a place with high tourist foot traffic and probably excruciating rent, but they had some neat pieces. Camden Market in general was a lot of fun, stuff to look through everywhere, felt endless but in the good way, even though I’ve heard that they lost a lot over the course of several fires in the last decade.
Last time I was in London, I forgot to check the dice at The Orcs Nest Game Shop. I would not make this mistake twice.
Back home, I added the new Marvel Legends Thing figure (left) to my rock shelf.
I also started adding Mego Wave 3, as the Cowardly Lion showed up!
We got a PS4 as a wedding present, and I’ve been enjoying this awesome, awesome game. If you’re playing, let me know, I’d love to add you to a game, even if we start from scratch.
This finally happened. When the $5.00 Blu-Rays turn into the 3 for $5 Blu-Rays and Point Break is there…well, it’s time to see Point Break. (My other 2 from that grab were Better Off Dead and Sid and Nancy.)
Serena and Endora from Bewitched join the party! Two of the best new Megos to date!
Told you there’d be more Angels! Finally got some Hasbro Angels (Sabrina, pictured here, and a pretty rough Kelly, who you’ll see later) after 40 years.
And just like that, Kelly, Jeannie, Major Nelson, and “Mirror, Mirror” Kirk and Spock join the party, too! This year just got completely out of hand on this front, and I love it. Mego collecting has turned into “make the coolest, weirdest crowd scene ever” for me, and I’m down.
I got a few CDs when I was in NJ. If you put $1-3 CDs in front of me, and it’s stuff I want to fill holes in my catalog, I can’t be responsible for my actions.
I did not, however, buy the Kenny Rogers picture disc. (The Mighty Lemon Drops record behind it, we won’t talk about. The Wiseblood record underneath it, I already had.) It is with a friend, though, and I have visitation rights!
GIANT-SIZE MAN THING
(Anyone got a spare issue 2 for me?)
It’s the blue whale in the Museum of Natural History! The lighting is weird in here, I think, because of the holiday party they were having in the whale room that day. (I barely got in to take this pic.) Thanks to my friend Sola for bringing me to see the whale, and other natural history-like things!
So, that’s it for now. (I know, not a lot to digest or anything, right?) This is what happens when you’re working on house renovations, planning a wedding and a honeymoon, and dealing with multiple illnesses (in addition to the flu and flu-related fun, I got another one of my famous concussions the night before my wedding…the wedding was in October, and I’m only just now getting to where I’m about 90% back from it): you take a bunch of pictures of cool things to write about, and then don’t get around to writing about them. We won’t even get into the stuff I’ve scanned, or need to scan. So, my choice was to either plan to write 20 posts that I, of course, wouldn’t write, or to bomb you all out with one very long post that will melt your brains. Predictably, I chose the latter!
I will be back very soon with an update on how I did on 2018 collecting goals that I had (it was busy enough over the last year that I didn’t even write the ’17 year in review post properly, or go into my ’18 collecting goals), and what I’m looking to do (spoiler alert: put a bunch of my stuff that I’m not enjoying enough into good homes) in 2019.
Thanks for being patient with me while I’ve been off living life, and I look forward to your comments!
I got married a week ago, we’ve got a honeymoon happening relatively soon, and most of this year’s been eaten by the planning of either those two things or home renovations.
I’ve been out at the markets plenty (Brimfield was fun this year, as was my home market’s season; I actually brought people there the morning after the wedding), I’ve got a bunch of stuff to share from those excursions as soon as I can properly come up for air, I even somehow managed to finish 2000 Topps Football in the middle of all of this chaos, and I’ll be trading again over the winter (Bo and I are trying to sneak one in as I type this, of course).
Between heat, rain, travel and the one time that the parking lot was literally too full to get into, I haven’t managed to get out to my local flea market a lot this season, but I was there today, and there was some good stuff. Here’s some of the highlights!
The 2nd Naked Eyes album! I’m sure copies of it are around, but I don’t think I’d ever seen one in person. Happy to grab it for a buck.
I think this is like my 3rd or 4th copy of Metal Gear Solid. I may actually try keeping this one. Looking forward to playing it again.
This one, I’ve never played, but people have spoken very highly of it, and the price was right.
I just recently got the awesome hardcover of this entire series, and have been buying and enjoying the revival of the title (which, unfortunately, like most Dynamite titles, is due to last long enough for about 1 trade paperback), but I’m still picking away at originals of the first series, and as the graphic novel that launched it is just amazing, I had to.
Speaking of creator-owned Marvel/Epic titles, I’ve had the only other 2 issues of Void Indigo (created by Steve Gerber of Howard The Duck fame) since way before it was really proper for me to be reading that messed up stuff. I never had the GN that launched this, either, and now I do, so it should be interesting to 1. re-read this as an adult and see if it makes more sense to me than it did when I was a kid (I feel like starting with the regular series made it really hard to follow) and 2. see exactly how much of a mess it is by 2018 standards. For some perspective, this seems to have only really gotten published, as legend has it, because Standards and Practices weren’t paying attention, and it got canned 2 issues into the regular series, as Marvel/Epic (either Archie Goodwin or the higher-ups) weren’t happy with how seriously Gerber and Mayerik had taken the word “graphic” in “graphic novel”.
Starting to very slowly pick away at this pretty long Silver Surfer run.
Kirby of any kind, in any condition, is a good idea!
Short mini-series that I’d sold, like a fool, once upon a time, but I’ve got it again. Love me some Paul Smith X-Men art.
Working toward rebuilding my Sienkiewicz New Mutants run, too, before it becomes very difficult to afford. The Legion appearances have gotten to be a little bit of a pain in the ass, but they’re not out of reach yet. Bill’s art on these books, covers and interiors, changed not only comics but art itself. As much as people say about this run, it’s still underrated.
Love the cover for this first issue! Carmine Infantino pencils with Alex Nino inks!
Over most of my life, when I’ve come across Red Circle/Archie hero books from the ’80s, I’ve picked them up. I’m gradually getting to where having all of them, without actually putting effort into getting them, is probably a pretty reachable goal. This Comet series (with, as mentioned, Infantino pencils, inked by Alex Nino on the main feature and Rudy Nebres on the Hangman backups) was supposed to go 6 issues, and it only ran for these 2 issues. Paging Michel Fiffe…
An overlooked ’80s key in multiple regards. The origin of Red Tornado (or one version of it, anyway), and also the first appearance of the All-Star Squadron!
I got one more pretty solid key from that era…the issue of (not “Superboy and the”) Legion of Super-Heroes when Superboy leaves. I’ve actually made some nice progress on old Legion books lately. I feel like, while I’m definitely not going after the Adventure Comics originals (too expensive; maybe I’ll get trades at some point), it’d be really fun to build a full run and read from about #197, through to the Baxter series and eventually the Five Years Later run, and then stopping right before the reboot.
No cards worth buying at the market today, but I did get this fella, for free, no less!
“Get some cold cuts!”
“Get some cold cuts!”
Bless you, Ickey Woods.
Now, I do not collect trains as an adult, but as a kid, I had a lot of fun with HO Scale trains (the only one I’ve kept is my Shazam! box car, which I’ll have to show off here eventually…), and let me tell you, if you were at my local flea market today, you would’ve found a TON of HO Scale stuff. I took a picture of this piece, because I can remember it 1. being fun and 2. rarely working correctly, despite being pretty fun.
I didn’t buy this, either, but I had to get a picture of it, so it could haunt you, too.