Do you know what thinking is? It’s just a fancy word for changing your mind.

–The Doctor in Doctor Who “The Zygon Inversion”

 

  • Continuing with a previous post: Freedom of Speech.  I was thinking about the Bill Maher/Yiannopoulos interview and a point occurred to me.  I like to think that the whole point behind Freedom of Speech is the exchange of ideas.  Put forth new ideas that open people’s minds and get them thinking.  There’s a difference between trying to pick a fight and putting forth a new idea.  Ideas encourage thought and discussion.  Whenever I’ve tried to write seriously about any topic–guns, religion, relationships, politics, social issues, etc.–I’m really just trying to give people new ideas to think about.  I don’t necessarily overburden myself with a notion of being right or wrong.  And any of those ideas I usually think on more after I write about them and would be willing to have a discussion about.  I know that probably was never really possible for some people and probably never will be, but I wouldn’t mind discussion where possible.  Being challenged helps new ideas to form.
  • I’m pretty impressed that I’m holding steady at 175 pounds right now.  My diet and exercise routines seem to be working effectively enough and I’m ramping up the cardio lately.  Made it to 6.5 minutes on the elliptical machine.  Can’t wait to kayak and hike again.  I pretty much cut out cardio completely for the winter under the rational that I’m on my feet and running around for most of my eight hours at work every night so that should amount to something and I was trying to gain some significant weight.  Still not where I want to be in regards to sleep, but there’s always something to work on.
  • Trying to figure out how one is really supposed to celebrate President’s Day.  What is one supposed to do?
  • Lately, I’ve been giving more thought to bringing back Chlorine and Acid.  I almost did a special page about something that was going on at work, but events unfolded so it was unnecessary.  I feel like it is needed again.  Going to do some page layouts and maybe redraw some of the early pages.  Maybe even make some use of various reference pictures I took.

Right now the song “Battle of Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” from Hamilton has been stuck in my head for the last couple of days.

  • Getting political again.  I’m making plans to get more involved in some political stuff.  Looking into some local groups, going to try to help out.  Advocacy groups and the like.  Voices need to be heard.  Thinking of starting a new blog with more focus on politics.  Might help to organize and focus my thoughts.
  • I was watching Bill Maher’s season premiere the other night and he said something I found interesting.  Talking about the Clintons, he expressed the thought of, “Thank you for service, now I never want to see you again.”  When Bernie Sanders really began to pick up momentum in the primaries, I read that as a sign that the political world was changing.  The era of the Bush and Clinton dynasties was coming to an end.  For a number of reasons, I look at it less as Trump winning and everybody else losing.  Trump’s election was less the will of the people and more… backlash from the attempt to resist the natural direction our political landscape was trying to go.  Trump is very much an establishment figure.  Power is going back to the people, but Trump is not the champion of that.
  • Enough political talk.  Let’s talk about sex.  Was working on a comic script and there was a sex scene.  In writing it, I was going through a bunch of sex positions I had bookmarked at various times.  One stuck out to me.  This has intrigued me for some time.  I think there was a variation where the man and woman are reversed, but it makes me wonder how likely a back injury would be with this.  Admitted I’m in pretty good shape right now, but I’m not sure whether or not I have enough body fat to pad myself or enough flexibility.  It would be a hell of a reason to call out from work though.
  • After being sick for most the last two weeks, I did end up losing a bit of weight.  I had been hovering around 180 pounds.  Now I’m sitting at 175.  I was going to do a bit of a cut, not to serious of one because I like where my weight is.  Basically I’m going to use up what I have left for Serious Mass and maintain for the foreseeable future.  175 was right about where I wanted to be anyway.
  • Reading about how lack of sleep affects your stomach bacteria.  Hint: it isn’t good.  I have noticed I am more prone to upset stomaches and related issues lately, despite improving my diet.  One more reason it was a big mistake to make the jump to working nights.
  • Thinking a little further on the post I did on Monday, I’m going to make a bit of a declaration.  I’m going to think of myself in one word: Human.  Stop with seeing myself as a male, absurdist, romanticidal, feminist, nerd, athlete, artist, writer, loser, etc…  Just see myself as “Human.”  We’ll see how that goes.
  • I realized the other day I actually do have fifty-something followers on this blog.  I find that mind-boggling sometimes.  I mostly do this more for myself, so I’m never really sure how to feel about people actually reading it.  I hope I’m putting some good ideas out there.

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

  • So this flu–going to call it that based on the myriad symptoms I’ve exhibited–has dragged on for about a week.  I’m getting tired of it.  Mostly I just want to breathe again.  Haven’t been able to bench for a few days, lying back on the bench when you struggle to breathe is quite the challenge.  Hopefully I will be back to doing a flat or decline bench at the end of the week.  Did a pretty decent workout today, which is a very good sign.
  • Got the last of my NYCC books back from CGC.  This round of books were the set I got signed by Jim Starlin.  I got a 9.2 on Avengers Annual #7 (Conclusion of the first Thanos Saga and the “Death” of Adam Warlock), Infinity Gauntlet #1 got a 9.4, Infinity Gauntlet #2 got a 9.4, and Infinity Gauntlet #3 got a 9.6.  Not a bad hull.  The Avengers Annual actually has Thanos’ first “death” as well as his assembling the Infinity Gems, although he does not use them as the Gauntlet until the series of the same name.  Very pleased, fits right along with my plans for these and the books I got signed by Stan Lee as well.
  • Trying to budget more time for drawing, optimize my abilities.  I’ve been doing a lot of side stuff, but I’d really like to get back to comics.  I’m going to try drawing more by hand, with actual pencil and paper.  I’m not necessarily a fan of being purely digital.  Definitely feel like I draw better in pencil first, then pretty it up in Photoshop.

Been thinking about doing a recurring thing about comics lately.  I still get my newstands mailed to me every month, so might as well do some review type stuff.  Right now I’m collecting the following titles:

Marvel: Thor, Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Hulk, Star Wars, Star Wars: Poe Dameron, and Star Wars: Doctor Aphra.  I’ve been cutting back on the Marvel a bit, mostly keeping the Star Wars titles.  I’ve really liked what Thor is doing lately and the first issue of Hulk was actually pretty decent.

DC: Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Scooby: Apocalypse, All-Star Batman, Batgirl, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, and the Flash.   I’d collect more DC titles like Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Superman, but there have been some need to keep to a budget.  Scooby: Apocalypse is fascinating if only for the reimagining of the gang in a post-apocalyptic hell-scape.

Others (Image, Dynamite, IDW, Titan, etc.):  East of West, Sex Criminals, Doctor Who (4th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Doctors), My Little Pony, My Little Pony: Friends Forever, Insexts, and James Bond.  Kinda kicking myself for not collecting the Torchwood series, but probably should cut back the number of books.  A lot of these are just odd ball series I collect because I’m intrigued by the creative teams, etc.  I used to get the MLP stuff for my ex, but I actually do like reading them and it is one of better all ages books out there.  Might try to complete the run and collect the series at some point.

 

I’ve collected others but there have been a few cuts of late.  Some were series that just came to their own conclusions–Darth Vader, Han Solo, A-Force, etc.–and others that just have lost me or had to be dropped for budget reasons.

The biggest one that’s lost me is Captain America.  I collected that book for a long time.  First there was Ed Brubakers run with the character and his spin-off work with the Winter Soldier, which was fantastic.  He did an amazing job of bringing the spy noir quality back to the character and much of his influence has been felt in the Winter Soldier and Civil War movies.  After that, the title was followed up with Rick Remender taking over as writer.  He brought it more to a traditional superhero story and played a lot more with the “Man Out of Time” aspect of the character.  That period also featured Sam Wilson becoming Captain America and a more team dynamic.

Which brings us to the present.  After the “Secret Wars” event, Remender concluded his work at Marvel and the Captain America title was turned over to a new writer, Nick Spencer.  Sam Wilson was still Cap, as Steve Rogers had been aged after his encounter with a supervillain called the Nail.  This led to a more interesting take on the character that started out with Sam Wilson trying to take a more socially aware approach.  This involved intervening when a number of illegal immigrants were being abducted by members of a terrorist group called Sons of Serpent.  His actions put him at odds with Steve Rogers who is a high ranking member of SHIELD and he finds himself a bit more on his own.  Then the events of Avengers: Standoff! unfold and Steve Rogers is restored to his younger self and we go straight into the secret agent of Hydra nonsense.

The basic premise of Avengers: Standoff! was that somebody leaked the existence of a SHIELD black site, called Pleasant Hill.  At work there was a sentient cosmic cube in the form of a little girl calling itself Kobik who is essentially brainwashing and altering villains to live peacefully in the idyllic little town.  When all the heroes go to investigate she loses control and the villains revolt, led by Baron Zemo.  As events unfold, elderly Steve Rogers finds himself face to face with Crossbones who begins to beat him to death.  At this point Kobik intervenes and restores Rogers’ youth and strength.  Later it is revealed that the Red Skull has made contact with Kobik and when she restored his youth, he is altered to believe he has always been a Hydra operative in service of the Red Skull.

Even before the obnoxius Deus Ex Machina aspects of Kobik and the Red Skull having Professor X’s mental abilities–a completely different storyline that annoys me–the storyline has fallen off the rails.  Steve Rogers would trust Sam Wilson.  He would trust his friend.  This is before Kobik and the Red Skull did their thing.  Rogers would trust the judgement of his friend.  He would not come down on his friend in the ways he did.  Not even Old Man Rogers would do that.  If he was not going to trust his friend and back him up, why give him the Shield?

So yeah, that’s why I stopped reading Captain America.  For something trying to be socially conscious in its own way, it does not seem will to push things like it should.

Also got my second round of CGC signature series books back  They are as follows:

Fantastic Four #46: signed by Stan Lee, graded at a 5.0.  Came back a bit higher of a grade than I thought it would.  First appearance of Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans.

Fantastic Four #66: signed by Stan Lee, graded at a 7.5.  Hoped for a wee bit higher.  First part of the two part story that Adam Warlock appears in.  Gives his origin.

Fantastic Four #67: Signed by Stan Lee, graded at a 6.5.  Hoped for a bit higher here too, but still a nice book.  Second part of the first Adam Warlock story and his first brief appearance.

Thor #165:  signed by Stan Lee, graded at a 7.0.  First full appearance of Adam Warlock.

Thor #193:  I had gotten this signed at NYCC in 2015, by Gerry Conway and John Romita Sr.  Last issue of Thor that Stan Lee worked on in his original run on the character.  In 2016, I got Stan Lee to sign it.  Came back at a 9.4.

A new year.  Didn’t do one of these last week because of Carrie Fisher’s death.  Kinda hit hard.

  • Star Wars has been on my mind a lot lately.  I had been reading a couple of the newer “Canon” novels, rewatching Clone Wars, catching up on Rebels, saw Rogue One.  Even though the prequels did fail to live up to the hype in a lot of ways, rewatching Clone Wars does give me a slightly higher opinion of them.  Clone Wars really was a fantastic war serial and helps to raise some of the weaker aspects of the movies.  Still, Lucas did leave some gaping holes in the movies.
  • Star Wars was really my first fandom and always will be.  Like I said the other day, Princess Leia was really my first crush and I grew up with those stories.  I might have strayed a bit during and after the prequels, but it was always the true love of fandoms to me.
  • It occurred to me the other day I haven’t had Indian Food in forever.  I kinda miss the saag and mango curries.  Might have to remedy that soon.
  • Working on scripting a new comic.  Developing it into a blend of Final Fantasy and Firefly.  I’m just trying to avoid making it out to be like East of West or The Dark Tower too much.  Those are the real standard when it comes to fantasy/scifi western stuff.
  • The Tom Petty song “Won’t Back Down” has been my theme of late.  So easy to get dragged down by the negativity and bullshit of everybody’s drama sometimes.

Recovering from NYCC…

  • Been a bit burned out lately, but I think the NYCC trip has recharged me creatively.  At least a bit.  I’m hoping to do finish a few drawing in the coming days.  Want to finish those Catwoman and Black Canary drawings I was working on.  Going to try to do some shorter comics for the time being, rather than completely focus on longer works.  Might even bring back Chlorine and Acid for that.
  • Thinking of checking out some other gyms around the area, just see how they compare.
  • I did bit of a post about roles and responsibilities in relationships the other day, in part to sort out my opinions on Trump attacking the Clintons’ over Bill’s affairs.  May have gotten into some personal territory, but it felt like I accomplished my goal.  It was something I felt like I needed to do some delving into, if only so I can be a bit more clear headed on those types of expectations.  The issue of knowing how those roles and responsibilities are defined from relationship to relationship is one that I think has been hazy in my own life and in others.
  • I think over the next year I’m going to be moving along with my plan to liquidate my comics collection.  If all goes according to plan with the Stan Lee signings this year, I’ll have a considerable boost in revenue coming up as a result.  Planning to get moving on signatures for my New 52 Batman run, which I actually did pick up a couple more variant covers of.  I can get a lot of cash pretty quickly if I am smart about it.
  • I’m calling the going down to NYCC on my own experiment a success.  I didn’t die and I accomplished the majority of the things I wanted to.  I also got pretty well oriented to NYC.  Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind going with somebody next year, but I definitely want to make sure we’re all on the same page as far as what we’re down there for.

Thursday of 2016 NYCC…

October 6, 2016

Not a bad day.  Just got back to the room.  Not much going on after 5PM that held my attention.  Got a lot done though.

Signings:

  • From Stan Lee, I will hopefully be getting copies of Fantastic Four #46, #66, #67 and Thor #165 and #193 signed.  Those are some key issues for one reason or another–First Black Bolt, first Adam Warlock, Last Stan Lee on Thor–so I’m pleased to be maximizing the value there.  Almost went and got Tales of Suspense #75 with that lot, but I decided to drop that one from the list.  Mostly cost, although I do acknowledge there could be a bit of subconscious exgirlfriend nonsense.
  • From Jim Starlin, I got Infinity Gauntlet #1-3 as well as Avengers Annual #7.  Thanos stories basically.
  • The rest were Star Wars variants.  I had a couple of Poe Dameron variant covers I got signed by Charles Soule.  I also had a Millenium Falcon variant for Han Solo #1 that I got signed by Mark Brooks and Majorie Liu.  I might move one or two of those fairly quickly, I don’t know yet.  Still thinking it over.

Panels:

  • Went to this Creators Unite thing hosted by Charles Soule and Jim Zub.  That’s good panel, I liked it.  Learned a lot about the years it took for them to get working at Marvel.  Kind of a good experience just to sit in on this.
  • Went to the Creator’s Meet Up.  Wasn’t quite as chill as I had hoped, maybe a bit too much pressure.
  • The last panel I went to today was a preview of an upcoming Hulu documentary called Batman and Bill.  Talking about the creation of Batman and how Bill Finger’s contributions were fairly known but not necessarily acknowledged by DC Comics until very recently.  This sneak peek was a bit of tear jerker without seeing it in its entirety.

Also picked up a couple of prints, three t-shirts and a folio for larger prints.  Tomorrow will be my Tenth Doctor Cosplay, so I’ll probably have more pictures.

%d bloggers like this: