Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Comic Book Marketplace Haul Part 4: The Batman

My initial goal when I went to the comic book marketplace was to pick up as many Batman comics as I could. For about a couple of years now, I have been stricken by a case of Batman-itis. I have read, watched, bought nothing but Batman related items. Anything that had the Batman logo or image was something I would either want or pick up. Everything except comic books.

I realized long ago that I wouldn't be able to have a meaningful run of Batman comics as most of the key books would be well out of my price range. So, I never really picked up any older issues. Most of the books I read were either the recent issues or trade paperbacks. Since I was going to the marketplace, I decided I was going to pick up some Batman books. I also wanted to grab as many 1970's issues as I could. Since I was not going to pick up books to collect, but to read, I figured condition would not matter to me. Well, thanks to my Spider-Man shopping spree, I failed on both counts. But fear not, I did manage to pick up a few Batman books to read. Unfortunately, none of them are from the 70's, but from the 80's and 90's.

Here is the Batman haul:

A little disappointed in my pickup, Batman-wise. I could have done a lot better. There was no entire runs on any book I bought, so when I read a book, I will be left wondering what happens next, lol. I did but back a ton of Batman books, but when I saw that I could add to my Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man collection, I abandoned my goals and went for it. Oh, well. Next time I will pick up more Batman books.

So, that is it. That is all the comics I picked up this past Sunday at the Hasbrouck Heights Comic Book Marketplace. I did enjoy the show, although I wish there was more dealers at the show. But, for what it was, It was pretty darned good. I do hope I can make the next show and more after. I can't imagine a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than to shift through boxes upon boxes of comics...unless it's staying home, lying on the couch with a drink on the table, music playing in the background, reading the comics that were bought at the show. Looks like I have plans for this weekend.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Comic Book Marketplace Haul Part 3-Yes, More Spidey Books!

Now, I probably should have used a John Romita Spidey or a Todd McFarlane Spider-Man picture considering the 2 trade paperbacks I bought feature their work, but damn, I love Steve Ditko's Spider-Man so much that I had to use a pic of it for today's blog.

I had decided to concentrate on buying more trade paperbacks and graphic novels than picking up single issues. My reasoning for that was for because my comics always seem to get harmed in some way. You can imagine my anger when I discovered a leak in my apt during a recent rain storm and that leak spilled rain water all over my comic collection. Luckily, my Spider-Man and what few Batman books I had were away from the leak but the damage had been done. Now, whatever titles I read are usually in trade form. Going to the comic book marketplace, I wanted to keep an eye out for any trades that caught my attention. I found these two books and took them home with me.

I did say I loved Steve Ditko's Spider-Man. I have to tip my cap off to the man who co-created Spidey and drew him for 38 issues of Amazing Spider-Man and one issue of Amazing Fantasy, but to me, the greatest artist to ever work on the Amazing Spider-Man is John Romita. Romita drew so many great Spider-Man stories and some of them are in this book: John Romita Spider-Man Visionaries. Romita drew my very favorite Spider-Man story. The 2 part story, titles 'How Green Was My Goblin" and "Spidey Saves The Day!" has the Green Goblin finding out Spider-Man's true identity as well as revealing himself to be Norman Osborne. The Goblin's origin is also revealed and there is an epic battle at the end of the story. Another great Spider-Man story, "Spider-Man, No More", which would be part of the basis of Spider-Man 2 as well as others stories are included in this trade. As soon as I saw it and flipped through it, I knew it would be mine. the 4.00 price tag helped.

I also picked up one of the great stories in the Spider-Man mythos. Torment was written and drawn by Todd McFarlane in 1990 to kick off the new Spider-Man title. It's the story of Spider-Man hunting the Lizard as the Lizard has gone off on a killing spree. The first issue alone would sell 2.5 million copies, solidifying McFarlane's popularity. It's a story, surprisingly, I never had a chance to read in it's entirety. Now I will be able to. Then, I can sleep peacefully at night without muttering "Torment, Torment". Another four bucks bought back my soul.

I cannot wait to be able to open up these books and lose myself in the world of Spider-Man. I look forward to seeing Spider-Man battle the likes of The Green Goblin, Kingpin and The Rhino. Then, I can go into the sewers and watch Spidey battle the Lizard in one of the great Spider-Man stories of the 90's. For the next few months, I will be overloaded on Spidey stories. I can't think of a better way to spend my quiet evenings.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Comic Book Marketplace Haul Part 2: More Spidey

When I went to the comic book marketplace yesterday, I really wasn't planning on picking up a lot of Spider-Man books. Batman had become the flavor of the month for me and I wanted to add some Batman literature to my comic book collection. In fact, I was determined to do so. I did pick up a couple of Batman books, but the bulk of my purchases were Spider-Man titles.

Lets be honest, I love Spider-Man just as much as I love Batman. I plan to get a Batman tattoo in the near future, but Spidey is the hero that is gracing my right bicep right now. In fact, as I am writting this blog, I am rocking a very sweet John Romita Spider-Man t shirt. So, I guess it's really no shock that I would pick up so much Spider-Man goodies.

Yes, as I was going through the boxes, my I was pretty much saying to myself, "Batman, Batman, I want Batman, Batma...ohh, here's a cool Spidey comic. MINE!" In fact, I had so many Spider-man books at one table put aside I had to put most away and just take the books I really liked.

Yesterday, I showed the Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man books I picked up for my collection, so today, I will show off the Amazing Spider-Man books I selfishly grabbed for my collection. Again, the condition is not the greatest,  but for a buck a book or in some cases, 4 for $1.00, I'm really not complaining about the condition of these books. Besides, I think the condition adds some character to the books.

Here's the Amazing Spider-Man haul:

This one is not an Amazing Spider-Man book, but the cover is so cool, I just had to pick it up for my collection.

Well, I guess I did start a Web Of Spider-Man collection with this issue.

That's all of the Spider-Man books I picked up. I do have a good news, bad news for my next blog. The Good news is, I don't have any Spider-Man issues that I bought at the comic book marketplace to show. I will be showing off 2 graphic novels I grabbed. The bad news? They're Spider-Man books. Ohhhhh, The Humanity!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ahh, I Love The Smell Of Old Comic Books In A Small Hotel Conference Room

Today my buddy, George and I decided to go out on a hunt for comic books. And not just any comics. We wanted old, cheap books to read. The kind of book that was read and re-read a few times before I got my grubby mitts on it. Luckily, George knew where we could find books like these. At a good old fashioned comic book marketplace.

At a Holiday Inn at Hasbrouck Heights, NJ there was a comic book marketplace that I believe is held a few times a year. It was one of those marketplaces that was held in a room where you walked in the front door and fell out the back window. Where people battled for elbow room and to check out boxes and boxes of comic books.

And I loved it.

My game plan going in was to go for books I just wanted to read. I wasn't looking for high dollar items. Just books to read and to fill holes in my collection until I can upgrade them. I also did not want to spend a whole lot of money either. Lucky for me, at a comic book marketplace there are a ton of books that could be had for very little.

After looking at the dollar and 4 for a dollar boxes, I came away with a ton of books. Now, the condition of these books are not the greatest, which is to be expected in dollar boxes. That said, I think I came away with some nice books. I will split the haul over the next couple of days as I don't want to write up a long, boring blog. I will have the next few days to do that. What? I keed. I keed.

I'm trying to put together a complete Run of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man. I would love a complete Amazing Spider-Man run as well as Batman, but with those titles, you're running into high dollar books that I will never be able to afford. Peter Parker was one of the first comic books I read as a kid because I dug the picture of Peter Parker pulling on his Spidey mask in the upper left corner of the comic, so I want to put that series together. Here are some PPTSM books I grabbed:

I cannot wait to start reading these books. Spider-Man is one of my very favorites and is always a good read no matter what title he is in. I also plan to start a Web Of Spider-Man collection when I can as that title was one of my favorites in the 80's. There was a ton of Web at the show, but I left those behind. Next time.

I bought home more Spidey, but I'll save those for the next blog. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Holy Likeness, Batman!

By now, I am sure you guys have heard the news and even seen pictures. Hot Toys unveiled their 1966 Batman and Robin figures and from all the pictures I have seen they look awesome. It looks like Hot Toys have the likenesses of Adam West and Burt Ward as close to perfection as anyone can.

The figures look like will come with multiple hands and bat-a-rangs. Not sure if they will be coming with anything else. I would have liked to have seen Batman come with a shield and Robin with maybe a bat communicator. But from what I see, everything else about these figures are awesome.

Now, the price tag hasn't been announced yet, but I'm sure they will be anywhere from $249.99 to $299.99. That will put me out of the running on owning these figures. As I have said in the past, I just can't justify paying that much for an action figure. I already have the NECA '66 Batman as well as the '89 Batman on pre-order and I think they look great from the pictures I have seen. They did push back the dates a month back, but I'm OK with that.

As much as I think these Hot Toys are super sweet, I won't be owning them unless they come down in price or I can get a good deal for them elsewhere. A few years back, Mattel put out a Christopher Reeves Superman figure that looks really good. I'm hoping they will do the same with an Adam West Batman. That figure wasn't too expensive and I would definitely pick up one.

Let the spending begin!

Yes, I Like Pro Wrestling And Here Is My Favorite Wrestler

I don't discuss Pro Wrestling very much, but here's the truth. I love Pro Wrestling and have since I was about 12. It's not because I'm ashamed or anything. It just never really came up here. And boy, have I have watched it all since then: WWF then WWE, NWA, WCW, WCCW, Mid South, Mid Atlantic, Pro Wrestling USA, AWA, UWF, ECW and any other promotion that was shown on TV here in NYC. Technical wrestling, brawling, Fall Count Anywhere, Last Man Standing, Steel Cage Matches, Ladder Matches, Tag Team Matches,  I love them all.

I remember my first time watching it too. It used to come on here on WOR-TV Saturday nights after Racing From Aqueduct, which would usually be around 11:30 PM unless a Mets game either was from the west coast or went to extra innings. I don't remember what the date was or who was wrestling. What I do remember was Pat Patterson, who was working as a commentator next to Vince McMahon, went to interview Ivan Kolloff. There was a discussion regarding Russian wrestlers vs American wrestlers. Patterson defending American wrestlers vs Kolloff upholding the virtues of the Soviets. After a few minutes, Kolloff hauled off and slapped Patterson and stormed off set. Patterson gets up and rips his suit off and is screaming bloody murder and being bleeped after every second word. McMahon is screaming "Pat Patterson is angry and Ivan Kolloff better have left the arena" Me? I'm just sitting on my bed with my mouth wide open. I was hooked immediately.

I had seen wrestlers like the Masked Superstar, the Wild Samoans, Pat Patterson, Sgt. Slaughter,the WWF Champion Bob Backlund, George "The Animal" Steele, Andre The Giant, The Magnificent Muraco, who was the Intercontinental Champion, Rocky Johnson, Tony Atlas and colorful managers like The Grand Wizard, "Classy" Freddie Blassie and Capt. Lou Albano. I did have a favorite at the time. The "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka was a guy who had just turned face right around when I started watching, was having the first vicious feud I had ever seen with Muraco. I loved that rage he had when he was angry, but I loved his Superfly Splash off the top rope even more. But I wouldn't say I went GaGa over the guy. Then one show, there was a wrestler who was called "Dr. D" David Schultz. He was beating up a ham and egger (Bobby Heenan representing, yo!), so I wasn't too interested. Then I saw his manager. Here was a loud mouth who was yelling instructions, had a sneer on his face and was wearing a kilt. Who the heck was this guy? During the interview after the match, I found out he called himself "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and he was the best manager in the business. I found out much later he was managing only because he was recovering from injuries sustained during his vicious Dog Collar match with Greg Valentine at Starcade months earlier. He later added Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff to his stable and his career in the WWF was off and running.

Piper interviewing Frankie Williams right before pummeling him

Then, he started to host an interview segment called "Piper's Pit" and that's what made he's known for. At the time, it was pretty innovative. Buddy Rogers had a segment called "Rogers Corner", but it was boring as heck. I would have rather watched paint dry. "Piper's Pit" was anything but boring. His first segment, he insulted a writer for the WWF Magazine, who used to host a segment at that spot. The next week, he called an injured Eddie Gilbert's dad stupid for letting him wrestle The Masked Superstar. Piper was so funny as the host. He would complement the rule breakers and embarrass the good guys. He would assault wrestlers like Frankie Williams,  insult Rocky Johnson, and tell Andre The Giant he had a teeny tiny brain. His most famous segment was when he attacked my former favorite Jimmy Snuka by breaking a coconut over his head and then whipping him with his belt. That started off a feud with Snuka that lasted a year. Piper's Pit may have made Piper's career, but it made him my favorite wrestler and I watched everything and listened to everything he said as well.

I was there at Madison Square Garden the night he beat up Capt. Lou Albano, kicked Cyndi Lauper and power slammed her manager Dave Wolfe as well as the next show when he wrestled Hulk Hogan in the first wrestling match aired on MTV. It was called "The War To Settle The Score" and it was a classic. I realize that using the word "classic" and Hulk Hogan in the same sentence is stretching it a bit, but trust me, it was. The electricity in the crowd that night was so electric, you could cut the air with a night. By then, cheering Piper openly was becoming dangerous as I would have cups thrown at me or I would be cursed out. The end of the match had Piper disqualified when Orndorff and Bob Orton interfere in the match. They were about to beat up Cyndi Lauper when Mr. T made the save. Piper and Orndorff beat up on T until Hogan made the save. The interviews leading up to Wrestlemania was classic and Piper stole the show on Saturday Night Live. I wish I could have been at Wrestlemania. But my mom decided my grades weren't up to snuff, so I couldn't go. Back then, there was no pay per view, so I had to wait until the results were posted in the NY Post the next morning. I was crushed to read that Piper and Orndorff had lost. Piper and Orndorff feuded for a while and he "boxed" Mr. T at Wreslemania 2. After, Piper left to film "They Live", which is a Sci-Fi Classic.

If you have not seen They Live, see it!

When Piper returned, he became a fan favorite and hosted Piper's Pit where he now complemented the good guys and insulted the bad guys. He also feuded with wrestlers like "Adorable" Adrian Adonis, Bob Orton, Ric Flair, Harley Race and Bad News Brown. He won his only singles title around this time when he beat the Mountie for the Intercontinental Title. He then had his best match when he wrestled Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 7 and dropped the belt to Hart. After, he would only wrestle sporadicaly, mainly serving as color commentator with Vince McMahon on WWF TV. He left and later showed up in WCW to feud with Hogan before returning to WWE after. He shows up every now and then to host a Pit which is always entertaining.

God, I still wish I had this

I really don't have much of a Piper collection. When I was a kid, I got the Piper LJN figure and had the poster that came with the figure on my wall. I also got the Hogan figure and had Piper beat him for the belt, which he wore. I also had a picture book that the WWE put out. I also had a cup that 7-11 had sold with a Big Gulp and the later Hasbro Piper figure from the 1990's. All of this got lost due to various moves and I hope to one day get them all back in my collection, as well as other things so I can have a shelf dedicated to Piper. Here's what I do have:

I have always loved the Unmatched Fury line. The figures were pretty realistic and had a base to pose them on. When I found out that Piper would have a figure in this line, I knew I had to have it and grabbed it when I saw it.

The Entrance Greats was a Christmas gift my buddy, George got for me. The figure also has a stand, but this stand plays a few seconds of his entrance music. I love this figure and was thrilled when I tore open the wrapper and saw Hot Rod underneath.

Speaking of Hot Rod, this was a t shirt I had wanted ever since I was a kid and saw him sporting it on Piper's Pit. Thanks to the magic of eBay, I now have this shirt as a part of my geeky wardrobe.

I had shown this pin off in a blog from last year. I picked this pin up for a buck at SuperMega Fest in New Jersey. There wasn't a lot to be had at the show, but I was more than happy to add this pin to the Piper collection.

One of my most cherished experiences was meeting Roddy at the Big Apple Comic Con a few years ago. I was extremely nervous, which I never get when meeting a celebrity. Waiting on line, I met his son, Colt and struck up a conversation with him until it was my turn to meet Piper. When I got up there, I basically spilled my guts to the man like a little girl meeting the Beatles circa 1964. Piper was the best. He listened intently to everything I said, laughed at a few comments, was genuinely pleased when I told him he was my all time favorite and even asked about my family. He signed these 2 pictures for me and posed for a photograph with me.

When I get my man cave, there will be only 2 photos of myself on my walls. A picture of me at the old Yankee Stadium and this picture of me and the "Rowdy Scott". I want to blow it up and have him sign it for me before framing it. I got Albano to sign the Piper's Pit photo at the same show. I just need Cyndi Lauper to sign it so I can add it to my future man cave wall.

I do have the Piper DVD that the WWE put out not too long ago as well as Hell Comes To Frogtown. I'm always looking for the Pit's burnt on a DVD as well as They Live, but I want that on Blu-Ray and I'm not sure its been released on Blu-Ray just yet.

I apologize for the long read. I guess when you admire someone for as long as I have, there's a lot you want to say about the individual. I know if he was a jerk when I met him all this would have been flushed down the toilet like when I met Graig Nettles. But when you know the man is as decent in real life as he's bad in the world of Pro Wrestling, then you know he's doing something right. Ether he's beating up someone or insulting them with his quick tongue or acting in a movie Piper is one of the most entertaining individuals to ever have stepped into the squared circle. He's as big a reason for the popularity of wrestling in the 80's as Hogan was. To this day, he is wildly cheered when he appears on Raw and that is a well deserved cheer for a man who gave his life to wrestling. He was Rowdy before being Rowdy was cool and that's a fact. When you can't throw rocks at a man who carries a machine gun, the only thing I can do is say thanks to for making my childhood a different, yet entertaining one.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

O.K. I Want This And That And That....

It's auction time for us members of the League Of Extra Ordinary Bloggers. A time where we wish each other good luck in adding new and glorious pieces to our collections and then figure out a way to blindside each other for the same piece. It's a war and we have our war paint and fatigues on as we zero in on the pieces we wish to add to our collections and make sure we don't give up our first born to get that piece. This is eBay on steroids and I'm about to drop a few elbows to get what I want. O.K, maybe it isn't that vicious, but you get the idea.

Hake's Americana and Collectibles is holding another one of their fantastic auctions and is sponsoring this week's topic. Here is the link to Auction #209 in case you would like to drool all over your keyboard like I have so many times:

Now, I have never participated in a Hake's auction. A lot of the stuff they have up for bid is a bit out of my price range, but I do love to browse through their inventory and just play make believe in my mind and pretend I was Ted DiBiase and make a mental note of what I would buy if I was loaded. Unfortunately, once Mr. Rogers enters the dream, I pretty much end it 'cause that's just plain creepy.

For this week's topic, we are to go on an imaginary shopping spree at Hake's current auction and list what we would buy if we had the funds. I decided to pick pieces for collections I collect or picked pieces to start a collection I have always wanted. In some cases, they were pieces I had or come across as a kid or pieces that I have always longed to own. What did I pick? Well, you my dear reader are pretty nosy, but I will show you anyway.

Let's start with 2 pieces I would love to own for my Batman collection:

This is an animated cell from one of my favorite episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. Entitled "Legends Of The Dark Knight", the episode follows 3 kids as they envision what The Batman is really like. One kid imagines the Caped Crusader as something right out of a Dick Sprang drawn comic book with a heroic voice and all. Another visualizes Batman to be like Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns, complete with mud fight with the Mutant Leader. I loved how the episode showed what Batman has looked like over the years and to add this piece to my Batman collection would be fantastic.

The Mego-head that I am would never be able to pass up the chance to be able to bid on and possibly own a boxed Batman Mego. The graphics on the box just pop out at you and the figure is mint and complete inside. This would be a great addition to the Batman shelf right next to the loose, not so mint Batman I do own.

I have never seen these before. Batman and Robin Jigglers from Fun Things. They're rubber figures with removable capes that you can hang on door knobs or other spots around the house. I'll just keep them carded and on my shelf, thank you. These pre-dated the Ben Cooper jigglers by about 7 years.

I didn't find much to add to my Luke Skywalker collection, but I did see this bad boy. As a kid, I had this and loved it. I would have lightsaber battles with the Darth Vader figure I owned, had him hang from his grappling hook or just sit on my desk looking cool as he was when he blew up the Death Star...ok, maybe he wasn't Han Solo cool, but he did shot at Stormtroopers, got into a cantina fight and blew up a couple of Tie Fighters. Makes him cool in my book.

For my Beatles Collection, I found this gem:

My vintage Beatles memorabilia is pretty limited and to be able to add this awesome lunchbox to my collection would instantly make it the crown jewel of my Beatles collection. This is a pretty expensive piece to own and right now its at a reasonable bid, although I don't expect it to be for much longer.

It even comes with the thermos. I want to say the picture has them in 1965. I think they wore suits similar to this at the famous Shea Stadium show on August 15th, 1965.

The last item I would bid on is a lot of DC Comics Hallmark statues, a couple of which would fit nicely in my Batman and budding Superman collection:

I simply love that statue of Batman and Robin running with the Batsignal displayed behind them. I have always wanted to add that statue to my collection, but either it's too pricey or I'm outbid on one. The Robin beside it is also a nice piece.

Can't go wrong with Wonder Woman, classic or modern. Love the vintage Wonder Woman piece.

I love this Superman statue which has him in that iconic pose from Superman issue #11 from 1941. A must have.

A very cool piece of Superman flying over the Daily Planet which would be a nice addition to the Superman Shelf. Plus, he is sporting a sweet mullet.

Speaking of Superman, I found a really cool piece for the Superman collection:

This tin piece was a toy that you would wind up and Superman would lift it up from the bottom and flip the tank over, then start over again.

I never got why Superman is wearing a yellow suit rather than the iconic blue uniform. I know I have seen an earlier version of him in the blue suit. Still, a vintage piece like this one would be a head turner in any Superman collection.

I would like to thank Hake's for allowing us use of the pictures from the auction. I have seen a ton of other pieces that I would love to have from Monkees to Green Hornet to even goodies for my baseball collection. I could go on and on and show off all the stuff I would love to own, but we all don't have hours to read the ramblings of a poor geek.

Now, go and bid, bid, bid!

Since you're still up, check out what my fellow League Members would bid on:

Tell them The Sexy Geek sent you. I'm sure they won't know what the hell you are talking about.