Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's "Totally Random Day" Here at the BAB!

Doug: Let's just rap today. First thing that pops into your head, lay it on us. No themes, no overarching questions -- just let it fly.

  • The bass guitar on the Monkees' Pleasant Valley Sunday is outstanding. It's attributed to Chip Douglas of the Turtles; the Monkees did all actually play on this hit. I'd suggest that if you're going to listen to this cut, however, that you slightly increase the bass output, as on a laptop or similarly-inferior speaker set-up you may not get the full enjoyment.
  • The Justice Society revival in the mid-'70's All-Star Comics was a lot of fun as a kid, but not quite as much on the adult re-read. DC employed artists who were often inferior (in my opinion) to Marvel's stable of pencilers. Nonetheless, we need to check out some of those stories here.
  • I am jazzed for this season's Chicago Bulls -- but they sure did lay an egg against Golden State on Monday.
  • My wife is a happy gal with the oldest home from college for three weeks. Life is "back to normal". Wonder how she'll do next year when we're empty nesters??
  • Not only could I never get into the Hulk when I was a kid, I also could never read Dr. Strange. Yet, I loved the early issues of the Defenders. Go figure.
  • Robert Plant's Tall Cool One is a cool homage to his Led Zeppelin years. Fun song!
  • Losing sucks.
  • I like my Cap with "obvious" chain mail - John Cassaday-style. I always thought Don Heck's depiction, while the one I grew up on in Marvel Triple Action, looked more like a baby bird's downy feathers.
  • It is so true that even if you budget for car repairs, they are never welcome or easy to take.
  • The ESPN commercial featuring Pittsburgh Steelers fans waving their Terrible Towels around the world is awesome -- T-Rex's 20th Century Boy is a great track for that ad!


Anonymous said...

I never want to go to parties. I always seem to have enormous personal inertia and strong desire not to bother. Then when I get there, I usually have a great time. But the mystery is this: with other things in life, where I can’t be bothered, I usually find it easy to talk myself into going to stuff (‘come on, you know you’ll enjoy it when you get there, you know you loved it last time etc.’) but for some reason that NEVER works with parties. Somehow my sofa never seems quite so comfy, re-runs of Frasier never seem quite so alluring, as when I have a party to go to.
Why doesn’t past experience inform present mood on this one? Is this jsut laziness, or is there something about that particular effort you have to make in meeting new people and getting the conversation going, that just seems too hard before you get there?

Why is it that all through the year I watch my diet, and as soon as I start eating crap at Christmas, I just carry on? Other stuff is not like this. If I slip on the ice, I don’t think, ‘oh the Hell with it, I’ve fallen over once, might as well fall over a few more times’....I walk more carefully. I don’t wake up with a hangover and think ‘yeah, what I really want to do is start drinking again right now’ but the more bloated I get at Christmas, the more I keep eating.

Do any of us know anyone who was not into comic books as a child, but discovered them later in life? We’re all proud readers of comic books and when people scoff, we talk about graphic novels, and movie adaptations, adult themes, Alan Moore, etc and insist that comics can really be proper grown up literature......but do we really believe that?


david_b said...

Monkees' Pleasant Valley Sunday bass line..? Try the entire album, 'Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones'. Nesmith found Douglas at a club and asked him to produce Monkee records. Chip said he didn't know how to produce; Nesmith said he'd teach him. The entire Douglas-produced album is outstanding. Very melodic bass lines, much like McCartney on 'Pepper', just 'youtube' the original studio tracks like 'Daily Nightly', 'What Am I Doin' Hanging Round', 'Going Down' and 'Love is Only Sleeping', very vibrant and rich. Douglas was the unsung hero of getting the Monkees out of their bubblegum corporate image that the band hated.

Nice thought on Defenders - Never got much into Hulk, Subby, or Strange separately, but together they're super. LOVED Hawkeye and Yellowjacket as members, but never liked the 'Son of Satan' stuff much. Loved Sal Buscema's clean drawing style..!!

Freedom. I love freedom, it's the riches of all things you can possess. Per Richard's mention of going to parties, the BEST time I have at get-togethers are when I can come and go as I please, not having to wait around for someone else to say all the goodbyes, etc. One time my wife and I took separate cars to a party (I was coming straight from work..), and I left early. It was AWESOME. Loved the party, had a great time, but said goodbyes and left when I felt like it. It's the little things, but it sure felt cool. Freedom, our greatest luxury.

Oh, and I miss the 80s izod shirts and all the girls I WISH I would have gone out with.

Medusa was the best fill-in FF member. She rocked in the 70s, and added some much needed visual pizzazz.

There's 'random' for y'all, LOL.

Steve Does Comics said...

Ron Ely is my favourite Tarzan. I may have mentioned this on Twitter... ...repeatedly.

Kate Bush should be declared a British national monument.

Dolls scare me.

I love power pylons.

I didn't see Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham in last night's TV version of Great Expectations but I don't need to to know I approve. Just the shot I saw of her in the trailer was enough to convince me.

Carry on Cleo is the greatest British comedy movie of all time.

When I was a kid I thought we lived on the inside of the world, and the sky was the underside of that world.

Stonehenge is hopeless. They should spend some money on restoring it to its original condition.

Anonymous said...

" When I was a kid I thought we lived on the inside of the world, and the sky was the underside of that world."

Steve, you're probably a genius. Or a serial killer in the making. Too close to call really.

What I love about this statement of yours is the whole world picture that would have to be true to support it. Or maybe not. When you think about it, it just means everything is one layer closer to the middle. Simple really.


Anonymous said...

I loved the All-Star revival when I was a kid. It took some of the shine off the JLA/JSA team-ups, but that's okay. I would argue that the JSA had the better book at that point.

Power Girl was a great addition in the tradition of Earth 1-2 doppelgangers with a difference. Giving Star-Spangled Kid the cosmic rod improved him immeasurably.

As far as the art goes, I don't quite agree. Ric Estrada's work didn't do much for me, but Wally Wood did some excellent work. His Earth-2 Superman was magnificent.

I always liked the Defenders more than the individual mags more myself. Go figure.

James Chatterton

Doug said...

Man, some great and very random thoughts in here today!

Richard, I, too, always assume the worst when I have to go somewhere. I suppose in my twisted psychology it could never end up as badly as I think it will -- hence, the outcome should always be positive. I keep trying to therefore convince my wife that I am a positive person... all the complaining that I do ahead of an event doesn't really win her over, though.

Echo on the Ron Ely Tarzan. I am still waiting for someone to do Tarzan right on film, however. Christopher Lambert's ape man was good, but that movie never made it over the top of the mountain.

And speaking of Tarzan, Steve -- that's quite a Pelucidarian worldview you have!

James -- no complaints on Wally Wood's All-Star Squadron art. Estrada, yes. I'll have to revisit those books. Buckler's in there somewhere, and it was better. Of course when Joe Staton arrived I felt it really took on a wonderful life of its own.


Fred W. Hill said...

Regarding the Defenders, that was one of my faves from the early '70s. I also got the Hulk and sporadically collected Sub-Mariner (at least a few issues before it was cancelled) and Dr. Strange, although I did start getting that more regularly toward the tail end of Englehart's run. Dr. Strange became another favorite, the Hulk not so much but I kept collecting it out of habit. Interestingly, for a while Englehart was writing Defenders, Dr. Strange and the Hulk, while Steve Gerber was writing Sub-Mariner, but when Gerber took over the Defenders Subby was long gone from the team and to my memory he never included him in any stories, save perhaps one of the Giant-Size issues.

Doug said...

david_b --

I could sit at your feet and listen to you pontificate about the intricacies of classic rock all day long. I am serious.

Thanks for bringing that passion to the table.


Karen said...

My random thoughts:

- If I have to spend 90 minutes in an MRI machine, could someone not invent some way I could listen to my ipod while I do so?

- Those chocolate oranges they sell at Christmas that you have to slam to open are unbelievably delicious.

-I'm now writing my second book and I realize how hard writers of any kind of serialized medium, be it comics or TV or what have you, have it. I can go back and change plot points or characters or anything I want, as much as I want, because I have plenty of time to produce it. If I had to live with the mistakes I made in early chapters, I'd really be screwed. I have so much more respect now for people whose work is published on a schedule and have to learn how to live with mistakes or mis-steps. I also can see why guys like Steve Englehart or Gerry Conway only loosely plotted out story arcs -keeping some freedom gave them a chance to change directions if something didn't work.

William said...

I think the most dangerous job that ever existed was "third Stooge" - Curly, Shemp, Joe and Curly Joe - they all died young. I wonder if it was from being poked in the eyes or hit in the head repeatedly with a hammer? OR Maybe Moe or Larry was secretly a serial killer? Hmmmm.

I like Batman and all, but don't you think that the cops should really be able handle his villains themselves? I always picture a scenario where there is a seasoned Gotham City cop training a new rookie and they come up against the Penguin:

Senior Officer: "Oh my god, it's the Penguin! We'd better call in Batman, ASAP!"

Rookie: "Uhm, why don't we just arrest him ourselves? I mean, we are the police!"

Senior Officer: "What? Are you crazy? He has an umbrella that's also a gun. We can't go up against tech like that. We don't even have utility belts or anything."

Rookie: "But we have guns! He's only like five feet tall and he wears a top hat. Come on!!!"

Senior Officer: "Look kid, maybe you didn't hear me... he has a gun that looks like an umbrella for god's sake. Now, don't be a hero!"

Speaking of which, I am such a procrastinator. If I was Batman, I would never get around to avenging my parents murder.

"Ohhh man, I should really get in shape and start training for my quest of ridding the world of criminals, but... whoa it's like almost noon already. It's really too late to start anything today. Tomorrow for sure."

Hell's Kitchen is the reality show with the worst Grand Prize EVER! I mean, you spend weeks slaving away in a hot kitchen, getting yelled by this total a-hole… and your prize for enduring all that torture is??… you get to go work for the a-hole permanently. Gee thanks.

Edo Bosnar said...

Most people hate fog, but it's been foggy around where I live the past few days, and I've really been enjoying these long walks I've taken with my dog in a nearby forest - it adds character to the generally overcast gloom.
The late, great Phil Lynott was probably the greatest musician ever produced by Ireland.
Have the week off, doing some leisurely reading, and I just have to say that Tony Hillerman wrote some really engaging mystery novels.
"The King, the Mice and the Cheese" is a great book, and I wish Pixar or Dreamworks or someone would do a feature-length film version.
Speaking of great books, Karen's on her second book? Where's the first one? I want to read that, like yesterday!

Redartz said...

I, too, would be interested in hearing about Karen's writing.

I love being the first one up in the morning; the house is quiet, no distractions. Other than the dog, of course. Dogs are incredible, by the way. Even if you've had a rough day, the enthusiasm they show when they see you return can't help but bring a smile in response.

Am having a blast with the negative film converter I recieved for Christmas. Anyone who ever worked in a darkroom knows how many negatives you never print, so many photos are never seem complete. It's like a time capsule, seeing photos appear for the first time, years after being developed initially.

Just re-read most of John Byrne's Fantastic Four run. Even better than I remembered.

Anonymous said...

Hey Karen – chocolate oranges.....they put all that effort into making each piece like a perfectly elliptical segment of an orange and yet the best bit is still that craggy, random stalk in the middle that you’re left with. Am I right? Buy the kids a toy and they just want to play in the box it came in!

Doug – “Pelucidarian” ???........OMG, I just realised, your surname is McClure, right? I always wondered what happened to you! Kudos on Caroline Munro, mate!


david_b said...


Beautiful reflection on dogs. ALWAYS wanted one when I was single, but LOVE them now that I've been married. I typically tell the wife when the cable bill comes around, 'Why keep payin' for cable when watching our dogs play in the back's MUCH more entertaining..?'

We never had kids, but I love both our german shorthairs to bits (they were both rescued..). My wife's first dog lived to the grand old age of 20yrs, since I kept her running whenever I jogged and sprinted. She LOVED jumping around in snow..

Doug said...

Redartz --

Is the negative film converter a gizmo where you hook the device to a laptop, slide the negative (or photograph) in and it converts the image to a .jpg file?

We got one of those last year and converted many of our photos. We found that a) it didn't do as well on negatives and b) we had some difficulties with the integrity of the color when converting formats. Perhaps the one we bought wasn't a Cadillac, but it did cost us around $80.

Curious to know if we're talking about the same thing. I think we're back to scanning...


Redartz said...

Doug: Yes, sounds like the same kind of device. Many of my negatives are black & white, as I did most of my own developing back then. For this reason, I don't have the color issues you mention ( although I have tried a few slides, and the color does need some adjusting).

David b: nice to hear about your dogs! Snow and dogs always mix well...

Karen said...

I got a Marvel calendar from Asgard Press this year that is all comic covers from the 60s and 70s. I got one in 2010 as well. The great thing about these calendars is that the pages are perforated, so you can easily remove them and hang them up. I just discovered that Asgard Press also has posters of some of these covers available. Their address is

Regarding my writing: the first book, which is basically my version of a Universal-Hammer mash-up, is done, and I will start sending query letters out to agents next month. The second book, with some of the same characters but entirely different story, is in progress. Hopefully I can convince someone that there's an audience for such things.

Dougie said...

One from my own blog: if Wildcat had been the third JSA-er to move to Earth-1 (in about, oh, 1973 or 4) Hugh Jackman would be playing him now. Wildcat was THE Cult C-Lister of the Bronze Age.

I have an annual Xmas tradition of listening to Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds and I enjoyed it enormously this year. But I don't think I'd like to see the stage show.

Related Posts with Thumbnails