Tough Sh*t!

Heya folks. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

This week’s CBM focuses on a Kevin Smith signing at the Secret Stash. Let me tell you that these events are both nerve-wracking and exciting. Kevin always brings a special kind of energy into the store and even the usually taciturn Walt Flanagan is not immune.

Now on to the good stuff.

The Mecha-Kong suit. This thing was bad-ass. This gentleman, a huge Godzilla/Japanese monsters fan, had worn this two years previously to a G-Fan convention in Chicago. He really was as sweaty as he looked. I think he was losing about five pounds an hour in water weight just by wearing the costume. We got to put the costume through its paces as he slow-mo destroyed a tiny city we built in the store for him. Walt didn’t want to purchase the suit outright — it was a little too rarified for his taste…we aren’t a costume shop. Many man hours were put into the construction of the suit, and I just hope he finds the right buyer for it.

Geek Note #1: It’s still a bone of contention–about who truly won in Godzilla VS King Kong, as Kong is obviously not the same creature featured in the 1933 film bearing his name. It certainly fueled my imagination, however, back when I saw the epic battle on the 4:30 movie during Godzilla Week.

Next up, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, original artwork: This was a very cool piece of art, however, since it was signed by Kevin Eastman in 1986, a full two years AFTER TMNT #1 came out, there’s no way that this could have been a concept piece as the seller claimed. Walt made a more than reasonable offer, which was declined. There’s no way this guy is going to see the number he has in his mind for this piece.

Geek Note #2: TMNT was so big back in the 80’s that it spawned such blatant rip-off/parody titles as Adolescent Radioactive Blackbelt Hamsters and Pre-Teen Dirty Gene Kung Fu Kangaroos.

Kiss Comics was the next lot–sold by Walt. Kiss actually first appeared in comic books in Howard the Duck #12 and #13. Later that year, they were featured in their own magazine format, full color comic book. Marvel Comic Super Special!: Kiss. Blood was drawn from each member of the band and poured into vats of red ink at Marvel’s Borden ink plant. The blood, yes fans, was used to print the comics. There was a second Super Special, issue #5 in 1978 which came out with less fanfare. These are a must-have for any true Kiss fan, and due to their size, are much harder to find in good condition than normal-sized books and so scarcity plays a factor in pricing.

Last but certainly not least, the Marvel World playset that Kevin buys for Walt. If there’s one comic-related “Holy Grail” item that Walt has, it was this one. Many’s the time I’ve heard Walt wax poetic about the Marvel World playset. The verbal picture he paints of his childhood with this toy is an idyllic one, reminiscent of life in Mayberry (For all you young-uns, that was a show featuring a sleepy little town where nothin’ bad ever, ever happened and the worst you had to worry about were invasions of insane mountain folk. The late Andy Griffith was the star of that show…).

I think it was very cool of Kevin to pay that high a price ($600) for a chunk of Walter’s childhood. This set is next to impossible to find in good condition as the simple act of playing with it insures its destruction. It is, after all, only cardboard.

It was great to see Jason and Kevin again at the Stash. It’s always a good time when they drop by.

As always, thanks for reading. I welcome your comments and questions.

And there you go.


The Running Dead

Hey folks.  Sorry I’ve missed a couple of weeks.  But shit (named Superstorm Sandy) happens.

We’re back with a really kick ass episode.  I’ll try to catch up with blogs pertaining to the other episodes that I missed later on, but for now…The Running Dead.

Now before you ask, no, unfortunately, I did not train as well for this as I would have liked.  And yes indeed, I did hit the wall fairly early on.  But in my own defense, no one told me I’d have to run up the side of A FUCKING MOUNTAIN !  The three tiny heart attacks and mild stroke I suffered were nothing compared to the joy of finishing– despite Bryan Johnson’s obvious attempts at sabotage. 

Let’s talk about our transactions.  The first thing you almost didn’t see – The Bat Baseball. Very cool, one of a kind item signed by: Adam “Batman” West, Burt “Robin” Ward, two Catwomen, Julie Newmar and Lee Merriweather, The Penguin himself, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshen, The Riddler, and the oddest of all, Art Carney, who played The Archer.  You almost didn’t see this because, as Walt so eloquently puts it, “We don’t do sports collectibles.”  Thankfully, he made an exception in this case.

Geek Note: Walt and I did a count on the actors who were part of the show or played major villains –who are still alive–and we figure that we could, MAYBE, get six more signatures for the ball:  Yvonne Craig, Joan Collins, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Leslie Gore, Jill St. John, and Van Williams.  We haven’t started on that project yet.

 House of Secrets #92, which was the first appearance of Swamp Thing, is an actual piece of comic history.  Not only did it introduce a character who would go on to make the career of one of comic’s greatest writers, the extraordinary gentleman Alan Moore, it also cemented the career of Bernie Wrightson as the premier modern horror artist.  It would have been nice to acquire this book, but the seller didn’t leave us any room to make a profit.

The Batman cereal.  Just shows you that Ming will eat anything.

Finally, the Gremlin-walk, dude.  The Sheena comic, while interesting as a footnote in comics history, was in terrible shape.  There was absolutely not profit to be made and essentially, Walt paid the guy to leave. Weird walk, huh?  

Geek Note:  The Eisner connection to Sheena was cool, and while Eisner was a full partner in the Iger Studios, the bulk of the artwork chores fell on his shoulders.  One of the rarest golden age comic books, Wonderman, put out by Fox Comics, was such a direct rip-off of Superman that Fox was brought into court and Eisner testified against Fox stating that they told him to directly copy Superman.  As a direct of that lawsuit, they only put out one copy of the comic and it continues to be one of the most valuable, and elusive books on the back market.

That’s gonna wrap it up for this week.  Thanks to everyone who sponsored Ming and me in the race:  Mike Ciavolino of Shore Creative, our friends at Surf Taco, Jack’s Music, Tom and Readies Deli, Ken Kalada of Yestercades and Eric Silverstein.  Happy to have helped Kevin raise money for The Wayne Foundation.  Happy I finished.  Happy I survived.  

And there you go.