Saturday, September 27, 2014

Leonard Starr's Mary Perkins On Stage Vol 13 -- Exceptional!

I devoured this volume in about 3 days. I started on the first storyline Thursday night, the 11th.

This is the 13th of 15 volumes in the set. Usually I read Mary Perkins On Stage a little bit at a time. Evenings after dinner. Sometimes in the morning as I drink my coffee. Lotsa times I'll read a nice chunk on Sundays. I love Leonard Starr's artwork, and while some volumes have been more interesting than others, the comic strip has overall been a really terrific read. It's very much a soap opera, centered on Mary being an actress, so she gets to meet all kinds of people -- from drama queens to mobsters. Sometimes the changeover from storyline to storyline is so seamless that I continue just to savor the smoothness of the transition!

It was a hard work week, my September 8 - 12 was. And a bit frustrating in spots. I was exhausted by Saturday. And Saturday, as much as I had wanted so much to finally put schoolwork aside and draw another page of my own new comic strip, I was just tooooooooo tired. I really could only just sit down and read my Mary Perkins. And boy, did I!

It was worth every lovely minute I spent curled up on the sofa. This particular volume had several story lines or a story ending I didn't quite expect, and that was that so much fun!

From a "did she or didn't she?" involving a now-grown-up starlet's reputation, to a "did he or didn't he?" involving Mary's husband, Pete;  to a Mom's sacrifice for her kid (and loads of other storylines in between) this truly was an exceptional volume for Mary Perkins On Stage!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wizard World Comic Con hits Nashville in Late September

In 2013 Wizard World started a comics convention in Nashville. We've had smaller comic cons here, but they were definitely more comics/anime/and games centric. But nothing as consistently high profile/looks like big money gets spent/more general entertainment encompassing as what WW seems to present.

Tennessee's location in here in the mid-south makes it very easy for people from several surrounding states to get to us (OK, LA, AL, GA, SC, KY, IL for starters). We have loads of brand new hotels in the downtown area, and we have that new, beautiful, fancy-pants Music City Convention Center, to host it in, too!! So it seems a prime spot to start a major comics convention in. (Especially if you missed DragonCon over in GA!)

I'm super interested Wizard World showed up to start the big-name Convention hosting here. Never been to a Wizard World Con ... I do like what the New York Comic Con folks do -- been up for a couplea those. Can't go to this year's, but hope to again, 'cause they put in a good show.

Meanwhile, locally next week over the September 26-27-28 weekend, Wizard World will be in Nashville. Time to check them out.

Hope it's good!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Happy Birthday, Bob Newhart!

Happy Birthday, Bob Newhart, and many more!

We're so happy Seasons 5 and 6 of The Bob Newhart Show were finally released! (Big HUGE thank you to Shout! Factory for distributing!) We've been waiting a long time for this!

When we got earlier Seasons of The Bob Newhart Show, I'd mentioned how Chris and I were too young to appreciate his understated and dry sense of humor. We would watch the opening credits (we both liked the theme and the variations) but we didn't get the whole "being a grown up" thing so we didn't actually watch it back then. But of course, now we totally get it and love the show.

Season 6 is a little odd. I guess they hadn't expected to come back after Season 5. Bob is frequently out on a book tour (to explain his absences from the show, which apparently was a whole contract negotiation thing at the time) and Howard seems to be there for the amazing variety of zany jokey-misunderstandings that can he can come up with (which to be fair, are sometimes surprisingly silly and clever.) We also see how very, very dependent Howard is on Emily and how much time he spends keeping her company.

The weirdest episode has to be when Bob and Emily celebrate an anniversary and we see an "alternate reality" where what if they had not married each other. And while it's nice how they always end up together in the end -- because they were clearly made for each other -- it did get a little creepy for me. I don't know why they couldn't have cast a different person to have been Emily's alternate spouse in the what if sequence. It was a little stomach churning as the audience to see our stars in a "so completely with the wrong person!" scenario but also be expected to be okay with a "cuckolding the spouse" situation. That was not very cool to be put through.

But otherwise the seasons are a lot of fun: hijinks ensue with the group, Bob helps out some men getting out of prison and learns how to talk street, and Jerry, Carol and the in-laws all have fun bits. Thumbs up!

Monday, September 01, 2014

Comics and Celebrating Birthdays Hobbit-Style

We celebrated Chris' birthday recently and he bought ME presents.

We spread the celebration out over a weekend, which is always fun. We had two fun lunches, cake, I got him a card and we did go to a real bookstore and I bought him a copy of Gamify by Brian Burke,  a business book he'd been thinking about buying for a couplea weeks. (He really likes it.)

Gifts is SOOO not one of my Love Languages -- mine is Quality Time -- but it's one of Chris' primary ones! ACK! (Maybe I'll blog/rant about that someday.) So he kinda Hobbit-birthday-ed me and ordered me DVDs and COMICS!!! (Hobbits celebrate their birthdays by throwing big parties and giving others gifts.)

Darling knows what I like. The first comic he bought me is the terrific Showcase Presents: Super Friends!. I only recently discovered what an amazing artist Ramona Fradon is, and tangentally we'd also been talking about comics drawn for kids ... which got us on a whole nostalgic '70s Saturday Morning Cartoon train of thought which trailed to the '70s Super Friends cartoon and thus, this volume. So he got me Super Friends both to enjoy and as reference to strengthen and simplify my ink style for a new comic strip project I'm working on (and plan to upload to Comics Sherpa starting in September!!)

When we got Super Friends, I was thrilled to find out this first volume is chock-full of issues of Fradon's pencils with Bob Smith inks! He did a nice job inking her work (although I do prefer her pencils alone or when she inks them.) The artwork is luscious and solid for a clean cartoony style. I enjoy reading these huge reprint books without color because I get to savor the drawing itself even more thoroughly. It's educational to me to see the inks so clearly! I also love when I look at comics and I can "feel" the weight of the figures experiencing gravity on the page, actually standing and occupying the space they're drawn in ... I've skimmed the whole book a few times but have
only read through to issue #2 so far. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this volume.

The other two books Chris ordered for me were Leonard Starr's Mary Perkins On Stage Vol. 13, and Stan Drake's The Heart of Juliet Jones Vol 4: Sundays!!!!!  (Can I put more exclamation points on that sentence? Well, yes, but ...!) We've been collecting these two comic strips that have been reprinted in a terrific format by Classic Comics Press. (Thank you, thank you, so much Mr. Pelto!!)

It's in reading these two books that I feel a twinge of nostalgia for a time in which I wasn't even alive yet; where I feel maybe I was born 20 years later than would have been ideal (in my mind) because I would have LOVED to have created a comic strip and worked in a style much like these wonderful artists created in their comic strips ... Yeah, it would have been SO cool to have a comic strip in the newspapers back in the day, like these two, or like Brenda Starr, Reporter!!

But of course, I must remain peaceful that all works within God's timing. So I patiently "wait by the mailbox" -- these two new books haven't arrived yet -- and know I'll enjoy the loveliness of these two volumes when we receive them. And rave about them again, once I do.