Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weekend Nonsense

Doug:  Things have been "lulling" around here lately, both in the amount of posting coming from your favorite Bronze Age hosts, but also in the amount of comments we've been receiving.  Maybe it's just the "dog days" of summer -- I don't know.  Anyway, here are some random thoughts based on recent concepts that have come up, my life, travels, etc.  Do with this what you will.

Doug:  Tomorrow the 20-year old and I are going to take in the last day of Wizard World Chicago, located in Rosemont, IL -- just a stone's throw away from O'Hare International Airport.  It's been several years since we've gone, and here's the skinny on why that is:  our tickets were $35 apiece, and it will cost us probably $20 to park.  So for the low, low cost of only around $100, we get to walk in the front door.  I know these sorts of things obviously have huge expenses in their venue rentals, expense accounts for the big-name stars who will appear, advertising, etc.  But c'mon...  We have a great time being together on those days, and the 80-minute car rides to and fro are always a highlight.  But I can get about the same deals I'll find tomorrow on without the exorbitant entry fees.  I don't buy comics any more, just trade paperbacks and hardcovers.  Here's a peek at my shopping list, which I've brought over from my iTouch --  it will be in my pocket for quick reference.  You'll see I've made notes on cover price and the Amazon or In-Stock Trades price where applicable.  I'm hoping to spend around $150 or so -- it's a good idea to have a budget at these things!  Additionally, I try not to buy before 3:00, as I feel there are better deals when the dealers are thinking about packing up and making that one last sale (or lightening the load for their own ride home).

Legends of the Dark Knight: Marshall Rogers $50 ($35) -30%

Legion of Super-Heroes Archives #13 $60 ($37) -39%

Essential Defenders volume 2

Daredevil by Frank Miller Omnibus

Daredevil Visionaries Frank Miller volumes 2, 3

Chronicles of Conan (have volumes 1 & 5)

Capt. Marvel Masterworks #3 $50 ($33) -40%

Conan the Rogue GN $20-100 (?)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Power of Starhawk $25 ($15) -40%

Deadman Book One $20 (IST $12) -40%
Deadman Book Two $15 (IST $9) -40%

New Teen Titans Omnibus:
#1 $75 ($46) -39%
#2 $75 ($46) -39%

Secret Society of Super-Villains hardcovers:
#1 $40 ($31) -23%
#2 $40 ($30) -24%

Legion of Super-Heroes: The Curse $50 ($48) -3% {IST - ($30) -40%}

Marvel DVD-ROMs:
Captain America

Doug:  RE: the flap over the way our voting turned out in the Greatest Story of the Bronze Age brackets.  I don't know what to make of it, other than to say we'd never run a poll before that had over 100 votes, and we got nearly 350 on that championship round.  Additionally, as the totals were changing so quickly, something was definitely going on.  Karen and I had planned to begin another round of Bracketology around the first of September; now we're not so sure.  Unlike what Donny Osmond sang, one bad apple could spoil the whole bunch, girl!  Anyway, as a test, a means to stick my toe back in the water and see if it's safe, I've set a consolation poll on the sidebar.  Who knows how much controversy was secretly raging in our brackets voting?  So check it out, and vote only once -- I mean seriously -- we're just having fun with it.

Doug:  We'd like to welcome several new commenters and followers who've chosen to check us out over the past several weeks.  Many of our "long timers" have said we're a regular stop on their Internet start-up, and Karen and I certainly appreciate it.  Of course we do this blog for ourselves, but we'd lie if we didn't say that our satisfaction is directly derived from your satisfaction.  It's difficult for us (and for all bloggers, I'd imagine) to gauge if what we're doing is "working" or "good" or even "satisfying" to you if you don't tell us.  Now, having said that, I'll stand before our blogosphere friends and say that I don't always do a good enough job of dropping a compliment or getting involved in other conversations away from the BAB.  But I do check our blog roll every single day, and appreciate the variety of what gets posted.  It's obvious that some of our colleagues are putting in a tremendous amount of time providing all of us a little recreation.

Doug:  Karen alluded to (in Friday's comments section) the amount of time we spend on our posts.  Now might be a good time to provide that "jumping on point" for new or relatively-new readers.  Karen and I met over at the Avengers Assemble message boards six years ago.  Along with several other users, we kept threads on writers, artists, comics from the Silver and Bronze Ages, etc. going for years.  But as that board a) had some nasty folks on it that b) caused many long-time users to drop off, we decided to satisfy our comics-discussing by starting a blog.  Our first effort was short-lived, but we've found a long-term home here at the Bronze Age Babies.  I live just south of the Chicago suburbs, and Karen lives in the Phoenix area.  We have never met; not even spoken on the phone.  Our relationship has been purely electronic -- all of the posts we do together are done either via email or composed right here on the blog.  We choose topics for review based on what we own; occasionally we will make a purchase based on what we'd like to do, but for the most part (thus far) we've worked out of our own collections/libraries.  We tell it like we see it -- those of you who have been around know we don't always like what we choose to comment on, and sometimes that's frustrating for us.  Time is, in some cases, not kind to our perceptions of certain books we treasured as children.  But that's the role of a critic, and I hope we do honor to that.

Doug:  We really, really want this to be an interactive place and part of the reason we spend so much time writing our reviews is we hope to spur some conversation, even debate.  I don't want to give off the air that we cry in our coffee, but there have been a few times this summer when we've put the finishing touches on a post, added the art samples, and then playfully suggested to each other that we've written a 20-comment, or 30-comment post.  And when that doesn't happen, we wonder where we missed the mark.  We're not trying to manipulate anyone by "making" our readers comment; but we are undeniably trying to be in that huddle at the racks in the comic shop.  That is what this blog is all about -- friends meeting to hash out questions and thoughts in regard to the wonderful pop culture we all grew up with.  The foci here lands on two things:  1) the writing of reviews of comics is what we do -- we don't just scan entire comic books.  We want to be conversational and have you react to our opinions, and 2) the topics we throw out in our Discuss and Open Forum genres are meant to elicit your own reactions and opinions -- really, it's you the reader who is expected to take the lead on those days and provide the criticisms and reactions.  When you don't, the post has failed to do what it was meant to do.

Doug:  Last thought for today:  My family did what we do in the summertime -- we saw a game in a Major League ballpark and then (usually) took the tour of the park while there.  Due to the boys' work schedules (as well as the 11 days I spent in Washington, DC in July) we were limited on when and how long we could get away.  So we took a quick-hitter to St. Louis Wednesday-Friday and saw the Cardinals play the Giants on Thursday.  Here's my question to you:  We've been to over 15 MLB parks for games and/or tours (tours of Busch Stadium III, Wrigley Field, Miller Park, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Kaufman Stadium, Fenway Park, Citizens Bank Ballpark, and Jacobs Field).  Do any of you have venues that you "collect", like ballparks or theaters or museums or national parks or Civil War battlefields?  I'd just be curious to know what other families do on their vacations.  Thanks in advance!

Doug:  Have a great rest-of-your-weekend, and come back on Monday for the conclusion of our Defenders/Squadron Sinister tilt!


Redartz said...

Hi Doug; hope you have a great time at WWC. Had hoped to go but it's been a rough summer on the budget (also why I haven't posted so much lately; working two jobs for awhile). You are quite right to look for bargains in the afternoon ; some of the best buys are found that way.

Hope you continue the occasional poll. Most of us approach it in the spirit of fun and debate you intended. We all have our favorite stories, whether they are top seeds or also rans.

Don't really collect a venue, but I like to visit different State and National Parks. A peaceful hike in the woods does great good for the spirits!

Thanks again to you and Karen, for providing such a civil, friendly and fun blog!

Garett said...

Love this blog! I check every day. You hit just the right tone--fun, intelligent, new comics or series to check out...I've gone to other message boards over the last few years, and they were either too snarky, or too much about buying/selling, or too complainy, or lacking content. The enthusiasm and love for comics (and movies/series) here is awesome!

I've also picked up many comics from the comments here. Someone mentioned Sword of the Atom by Gil Kane, and it's now my current fave. Finally picked up his Blackmark graphic novel, and it's actually very good once I got over the initial odd format. That Hulk annual by Byrne is another recent one I picked up due to this blog's review--great one, and I'd been away from Byrne for a long time. I think I even dissed Byrne in my first post here, yet I was still welcomed in! I appreciate the warm spirit here and varied opinions. Here's to Doug and Karen! They will defeat the evil lull-creature with their superpowers!

Unknown said...

Hey Doug,

I've definitely been busier for the past month, what with back-to-back vacations, and extra freelance work. But I still check in every day or two. Can't believe I haven't had time to comment on yesterdays Zany bob haney post yet. Blazes!

Keep up the good work.

James Chatterton

johnlindwall said...

Doug and Karen,

I adore the blog and look at the emails I get when I new post is made religiously as part of my morning routine. I usually am doing this as part of my "drinking coffee at work and getting my brain warmed up for my programming tasks" so I cannot read the post at that moment. I keep the email as a reminder and then enjoy reading it later that day perhaps or more commonly, a few days later.

Sometimes I feel like after a few days, it is "too late" to respond to the post. Like my comments won't be seen or appreciated as they are so stale. So I use this as a rationale not to post. I will make more of an effort to participate on the community here as is is one of my top-3 destinations on the web and I want to take part and keep it healthy.

Thanks again to you both for the awesome content!

That con shopping list looks AWESOME and I would love to get that stuff myself. I did get the LOSH Curse book for xmas from my in-laws which was fantastic! My family visits San Diego Comic Con each year. I look for $5 trades which get more common on Sunday; my minimum discount is 50% (e.g. TFAW is one of my favorites. They also tend to throw in an extra trade on Sunday (buy 3 git 1 free type thing) which makes it even more compelling.

At San Diego I chatted with Rand Hoppe of the Kirby Museum which was uber cool. I meant to return the next day to show off my awesome Kirby Dr Doom t-shirt but got distracted. I am on a big Kirby jag right now -- just read hardcovers of Demon, Kamandi I and II, and OMAC. Such sweet sweet dynamic art! I request some reviews of some Kirby-authored works from you two.

Have fun at the Con!

Edo Bosnar said...

Hmmm, I was wondering about the results to that last poll myself; even in those previous polls where there 50-60 votes, it made me scratch my head a bit (and think, "are there that many lurkers reading this blog?")
Hope you enjoy the WWC, by the way - you're certainly paying for it. And I truly hope you find great deals on those books you're looking for (and if so, I'm looking forward to reviews of some of your loot).
And, because it cannot never be said too many times, you and Karen are doing a fantastic job with this blog, and you have my heartfelt thanks for all the time and effort you put into it.

david_b said...

Doug, PLEASE let us know on your grabs at WWC.. Not sure I mentioned this or not previously, but I attended my 'first ComicCon' in Detroit back in May, primarily to meet/talk with Peter Tork, who healthwise has had some issues. And I ended up leading a surprise 'happy birthday' greeting to Yvonne Craig, talked Gibson guitars with Bill Mumy, candidly found out Dawn Wells was dating a MUCH younger man at the Pentagon (jeez, think of HIS bragging rights....), and sat with someone dressed as Jesus noshing on a snowcone.

Oh, I've been to one or two midwest sci-fi cons, a Beatlecon in Chicago, and the big 20Yarhen Galacticon in LA back in '98, but that's been it. Not a big goer primarily due to keeping my expenditures low. I too would typically just buy on-line, but in Detroit I did pick up the Masterworks Mar-Vell Volume 1 for $40, so THAT was a nice deal.

Like John, as as you can attest from my early posts, BAB is my 'go-to' site each morning. I'm sure I'm the ONLY one here, but yes, I watch the minutes tick by at 5:59 and check the new column every morning.

Doug, I believe one of the best aspects of this blog is just reading comments back from both you and Karen. You both have been awesome blog hosts. As of late, there have been occasional columns, either about an artist, movie, or just some Kirby or Buscema collection, that I frankly have no interest in, or really has no impact from growing up, so I find myself trying to devise some post; on those occasions, I prefer not to post than to come up with some meaningless pithy comment, displaying my ignorance. Other times I look back at some columns and discover every other posting was from me, so I try to limit myself, so as NOT to be a nuisance or know-it-all.

I love the humor, I love the interesting facts, and, yesssssss, occasionally I enjoy the trivia of movie production or music.., so yes you all HAVE to put up with my blatherings on production tales, what have you. What results is we all learning quite a bit about all us contributors, not so much comics and media, but our childhoods, spending habits growing up, what we'd put in our napsacks if we're running away from home, you name it. That's where the vibrancy comes in.., bringing us all back to a home we long to share and return to.

As Garett commented, BAB's also raised my collecting habits tremendously. I still love grabbing a COOL VF+ Steranko Silver Age cover, or waxing love over a great reprint, more so perhaps than the original. And as Garett also mentioned, it's great to diss the 'greats' of the comic business, and still be among posters who'll still welcome you back tomorrow, and the next day. I have to admit, I didn't have much interest in the last round of brackets and questioned it's relevance, but thankfully I wasn't verbally thrown in the bryer patch for it.

I especially love even going back to older posts, adding comments, and the cool surprise of finding someone else just commented on my late comments.

It's great to 'feel' the passion in some folks' comments here, either from the Avengers movie, to old cartoons, to 'Land of the Lost', to great bands. Receiving eye-opening comments back on my thoughts on the Monkees's impact after Davy Jones's passing was very reassuring and joyful, it really meant a lot to me.

All in all, I love the warmth and approach of our hosts, and it really resonates with all the contributors each and every day. I love the 'first poster picks the topic' columns, hopefully keeping those regularly. I'm glad you dip into the Suggestion Box for great ideas on topics.

So, until ol' Hulk gets a tailor, Make Mine BAB.

dbutler16 said...

Your 20 year old is into comics? That's great! It seems to be rare nowadays. I have a one year old, so I hope in 19 years I can go to a comiccon with him.

I just looked at the vote total from the finals of Bracketology and was shocked to see how many votes there were. It does seem rather fishy. It would spoil the fun to cheat, though, so I hope that didn't happen. Tough choices on the second chance poll, of course. A tossup between Dark Phoenix and Korvac for me, but I went with Korvac.

Anthony said...

Doug and Karen

BAB is definitely one of the first sites I hit when I get on my computer. I do find myself on many mornings counting down the minutes until post time. David_b you're not always alone ! That brings me to Edo's question. Yes I do think there are that many lurkers on this blog. I should know. I used to be one and I still am to a certain extent. The reasons for this vary but the two main ones are I don't know enough about the topic to comment or I am just enjoying the
post and / or the comments. Sometimes when you are with friends you don't always comment but rather sit back, relax and soak up the wisdom and knowledge.

I am exploring music I never listened to before based upon comments posted here and I am currently enjoying Batman The Animated Series based upon all the praise heaped upon it by some of your regulars. The only way I could see to improve this site would be to add a latest comment sidebar so that discussion can continue on old threads. johnlindwall's comment made me think of that. I have come across some older posts before I found BAB that I would love to comment on. I just signed up for e-mail updates but I don't know if they will alert me to comments as well as the initial morning post. Keep up the great work and Make Mine Bronze Age Babies !

Gray said...

I dont post often but I honestly check this post everyday, as soon as my laptop is fired up. I love the discussion and I love the commentary. And as many other posters have mentioned, BAB is the reason I now own so many volumes of hardcover collection and Marvels Essentials...I havent bought or read comics in years. You and Karen and all the folks that comment on this blog have reminded me and rekindled in me the love of great comics that I had for years. Thanks to you both, to all the posters, and keep up the good work.

Doug said...

Anthony --

I've just added a "recent comments" section to our sidebar, per your request/suggestion. Thanks very much -- other than some of the formatting within the text of the comments, I think we will like this added feature.



Matthew Bradley said...

Doug and Karen, as a relative newcomer, I appreciate your taking the time to offer a "mini-manifesto" explaining how the blog came to be and what you want it to be. Your reviews are nothing if not detailed and thoughtful, offering both a pleasant reminder of books I treasured in my youth and, as often as not, a new perspective on a story I might have read several times before. The subjects of the discussions are not all of automatic interest to me, but that's as it should be, since the range of material you cover--to say nothing of the time and space you devote to it--is impressive indeed. And, having participated in several stimulating discussions, I can say that the comments add a lot to the overall value of the blog. Keep up the good work, and for my part, I'll continue to weigh in as often as I can.

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