Urban weirdness

Inner city living comes with a variety of positives and negatives. You have to accept the negatives like a certain level of noise, etc, but there are lines to draw. One of those lines is the weird bloke staring at your window  as shown in the second clip in the video below.

I’ve had this happen a few times. Most of the times I wrote it off as someone casing out the place and they’re normally gone when you turn the lights on or open the window. Sometimes though they don’t. Sometimes they carry on staring at your window at 3am and don’t get put off by anything.

Once this happened in a flat I lived in when I was still in Bristol. Started at a weekend and carried on over a few weeks to the point the police were called and it was freaking out some of the other people in the flats. Latest was just yesterday when someone was staring at the flat window from the car park out back that caused me to call the police only to be told they couldn’t send anyone round as nobody is doing anything wrong. True, but hiding behind cars in the dark staring at windows doesn’t strike me as a wee bit suspicious if you ask me.

Anyhow, all this urban weirdness has got my mind bubbling and I’ll be going more into it in future blogs.

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Superman died 25 years ago

1992 was actually a bloody good year. Things were nowhere near as depressing as 2017 but as the Justice League film vaguely entertains people and DC’s piece of Watchmen necrophilia, Doomsday Clock, is due to be released it’s worth looking back at those days 25 years when DC Comics killed off Superman in an event which summed up those times in comics.

Some context; 1992 was a year when comics were still caught up in a massive wave of popularity, and the speculator bubble hadn’t yet spectacularly burst so things that had been building up since comics became noticed by the mainstream in the mid to late 1980’s were now in it’s late capitalism phase. By 1992 Image Comics were a very, very, very large thing with Todd McFarlane’s Spawn proving itself to be simply gigantic in terms of sales which left Marvel and DC trailing in their wake. Marvel decided to pump out mountains of new titles each with variant/gimmick covers (sound familiar?) while DC also did variants, their main tactic was the Big Event and the biggest of the Big Event was the death of Superman. To say DC milked this is an understatement. When Superman #75 was released it came in the standard cover not to mention the bagged edition which came with a Superman black armband.

There was also the scare platinum edition which was exactly the same as the bagged edition but a different colour…

Comic shops were rammed full of people buying the issue just because they thought this was a special issue, but of course us fans knew that it was a gimmick and that Superman would be back. He was back within the year.

The news reports at the time tell the story of a massive possibly profitable comic for collectors and this piece is all about the cash.

And this piece featuring former Marvel editor Jim Shooter and John Byrne hits the nail on the head.

The death of Superman was always a cheap gimmick; probably the cheapest and biggest in an era of cheap gimmicks, but it gave DC enormous publicity, not to mention when the speculator bubble burst, it’d picked up enough readers for it to sail through the worst days of the 90’s in better shape than Marvel who came close to going out of business.

At the time I was working in the industry in Bristol in the vaguely legendary Comics and CD’s on the Gloucester Road, and we had so many copies of this we thought we’d have to eat them. We had boxes upon boxes of them. Some we even had shipped sea-freight (I need to do a blog about how comics were shipped to the UK in detail soon) to us, and we shipped them back to the US where dealers had run out. It was lunacy. In 1993, DC Comics broke Bruce Wayne’s back and gave us a new Batman and the lunacy carried on.

In 1994 the comics bubble finally burst. The speculator boom imploded, comic companies died, shops went bust, and as said even Marvel teetered on the brink yet here we are 25 years on still talking about a cheap gimmick and how the ripples from that event can be seen today.  Last weekend in Kilmarnock I sold a set of the death of Superman that had been lurking for 25 years in a box somewhere because for all the horrible blandness of the comics, they’re still a part of history that’s still ongoing and we have no idea how it’ll end.

The forthcoming horror of Christmas

I popped into a shop today. This is what it was like.

The horror, the horror…

 

For more comics like this please follow John Cullen here as he’s quite simply one of the best cartoonists working today. Chuck him some dosh too because good artists simply need support.

Come to the Kilmarnock Comic Con and give me your money

Having dipped my toes into the water with the abortive Barrowlands comic con back in April I now roll my trouser legs up and go in deeper with the Kilmarnock Comic Con this weekend.

There you’ll be able to buy from me such wonder such as this…

To this if you want a key Silver Age issue featuring Marvel’s pisstake of the Justice League..

Or all the real Justice League comics you can eat…

And lots of quality Silver Age like this wee beauty drawn by Wally Wood…

So come along. Tickets are only a quid for entry which is so cheap that means you’ll have lots of money to spare to spend on my wonderful, and reasonably priced stock of comics. You never know, I may have even settled on a name for my wee operation by then…

 

One year later…

This time last year I’d just returned to Glasgow from Bristol to recuperate, recover and take stock after a stroke/cancer/slipped disc/general falling apart. Basically I was in a mess this time last year and needed time out to get things together which meant doing things like learning how to deal with post-stroke pain, a slipped disc and everything else which made my first few months back in Glasgow hard.

I’d essentially fooled myself last year I was in a fitter state than I was. I was, to put it bluntly, fucked. Readjusting to the darkness of a Scottish winter didn’t help either, as mornings are a glum vision of twilight.

But thanks to the doctors, nurses and physios of the Scottish NHS I was able to pull enough of myself together to make the idea of living a life viable again. The mornings are still dark though.

So a thank you to Bridget, Hal, Andy, Mike, Lauren, Sloane, Steve, Janet and dozens of other folk that’ve made the last year easier than it could be as I now start to work out where to go next. I’ve not posted much on my current events as nothing much has happened barring being in work since July but with the comics side of things being slowly ramped up I can start to think about the future.

Loads needs still to be done. I’m still in lots of pain, and the phrase ‘pain management’ is an affirmed part of my lexicon. and my walking is slow but I’m walking which is something this time last year I couldn’t do without heavy painkillers. Rebuilding hasn’t been easy but once I work out exactly where I’m going I’ll be sure to let you all know…

A quick word about people who are blind to the disabled

I am quite clearly disabled. I walk with a stick, move like a glacier in reverse gear and am clearly in substantial pain at times. I want to try to be as independent and able to get around as possible but there are times when pulling myself on a train or bus that I appear to become invisible. I’ve probably encountered more disabled bags taking up seats in the last few months than I’ve seen in my previous non-disabled life and loads of people think their seat is more worthy of a seat than someone walking like I do with a stick, or pregnant women, or anyone is obvious distress at having to stand when seats designed for the likes of us are taken up by someone’s shopping or laptop bag.

Every fucker seems to do it.

Of course it isn’t everyone, but if you’ve woken up after a bad night, the painkillers aren’t doing their normal job & all you want to do is get to work ASAP it is a pain in the fucking arse to struggle onto a train/bus to find someone so engrossed in their phone, or holding their poorly bag/enormous pursething tightly on the seat next to them.

What I’m asking for is basic humanity not to mention some awareness of what exactly is going on around them. Essentially don’t be a prick and give folk like me the seats intended for us. It actually means a lot and can help make my day a wee bit better so thanks if you do, got to hell if you don’t.

Have a nice weekend all…

Halloween is dead…

For another year at least which means that tsunami of Halloween inspired clickbait washing over you like spooky waves of green scariness is over.  Websites with lots of videos like this;

Is over for another year and here in the UK at least we start the road to Guy Fawkes night where we celebrate burning a Catholic and David Lloyd and Alan Moore make some loose change as V For Vendetta masks are sold to students around the country.

All that stuff gets packed away as the looming blood-soaked horror of Christmas comes looming towards us like Jason Vorhees wrapped in tinsel but next time out I’ll unleash one last tale of Halloween this year…