Tag Archives: flash

The Weekly Haul – August 27th, 2014

I have reached a disturbing milestone in my life as a comic reader.  I have done something — something that I once deemed TOO TERRIBLE TO EVER DO…

I sent comics to the CGC for grading.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the CGC, or Certified Guarantee Company (not Comic Grading Company, which I’ve always stupidly thought), is one of the largest (THE largest?) comic grading companies out there.  What they essentially do is take your comic, use a standardized method of describing the condition of your book, give a score of 0.5 (poor) to 10.0 (gem mint), and then (here’s the scary part for me) encapsulate the book in a clear container (to quote their website) “through a combination of compression and ultrasonic vibration”.

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Caution: A combination of compression and ultrasonic vibration may result in vinegar strokes.

Anyway, my big problem with the whole CGC grading/slabbing is that the comic becomes no longer readable.  To me, collecting comics has always (for the most part) been intricately tied to reading.   I like having my runs of titles, going back into the long boxes, and rereading old stuff, discovering interesting things that I may have missed.  I get that we live in the surging digital age of comics, where finding a book is as simple as going onto Comixology and downloading it to the iPad, but — call me an old man — there’s something about holding the book.

So why this time?  I came across two comics that I have relatively no interest in reading but — I’m no dummy — I understand their importance in comics history —

Incredible_Hulk_Vol_1_180Incredible-Hulk-181

 

 
Incredible Hulk #180 and #181 are the cameo and first full appearance (respectively) of the future X-Man, Wolverine.  Granted I am a HUGE X-Men fan and, therefore, having these issues are fun for me, but I am NOT a Wolverine fan.   These issues, while I love the original whiskered-Wolvie, are not special to me.  I don’t know if I’d ever sell them — and I’m convinced that people who slab their books are primarily interested in resale value — but I could part with these (over most of my collection) and be fine with it.

I will give the CGC this — I’m really excited to find out what grade they get.

Anyway…

To The Haul

The Haul Catchup – April 3rd, 10th, and 17th, 2013

Well, obviously things over here at The Weekly Haul have been pretty quiet for the past few weeks.  I should really just stop calling attention to my inability to keep up with reading my comics — is it a function that I’m buying too many books?  Or that I’m just not that excited in the titles that I’m reading?  I’m going to take a look at that very thing in the rundown.  But first…

Here’s something I got excited about the other day — another one of the fantastic (typed stuffed with sarcasm) Marvel-sponsored children’s prose stories based on their characters.  This time it’s not Namor in his panties, but rather good old Tony Stark AKA Iron Man!  He’s turning out to be one The Boy’s favorites (though he picked up a Mr. Sinister action figure this past week at the comic shop)

The Offending Object
The Offending Object
In the next installment, we learn about the villainous Mandy Mandarin.
In the next installment, we learn about the villainous Mandy Mandarin.

Anyway, past the jump, I’ll break down the past three weeks’ 51 (!!! so close to having DC sue me!) comics into my version of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.  For the sake of your sanity and my fingers, I’ll talk about only the highlights and lowlights.  And holy god, there were some real lowlights…

I also want to give a quick plug for a project over at Kickstarter.  Ray Sumser, a really excellent NY-based artist, is working on his newest adventure, an all-original all-ages comic called LYK and Bear.  Ray’s a real talent (and a nice guy), so go make his dreams come true, support his comic, and get some great rewards out of the deal.

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At the homefront, The Boy is still having a good time terrorizing his little sister, collecting Squinkies, and getting ready for his upcoming dance recital.  That’s right, he’s still lacing up slipping on his tap shoes and fa-lapping across the studio each Saturday morning.

This photo will certainly haunt him in his teenage years...
This photo will certainly haunt him in his teenage years…

And The Bull?  She’s also pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself…

cuddlemecrochet.etsy.com -- advertising at The Weekly Haul for your convenience
Hat by cuddlemecrochet.etsy.com — advertising at The Weekly Haul for your convenience!

Okay, enough child pimping.  Let’s get to these books.  Again, I’m going to do things a little bit differently this time.   I thought it would be interesting to see if my lifelong hobby is still providing a good ratio of excitement per dollar.

To The Haul!

The Haul – February 27th, 2013

You know what time it is???

919fb33d76920b8Fantasy baseball season is almost here!!!  As a Mets fan, the regular baseball season is one of ups and downs, moments of true excitement, but ultimately?  Typically a disappointment.  Don’t get me wrong — I love my team and I will stand by them each game of every torture filled season, but the mess that is the New York Metropolitans is obviously out of my control.

Fantasy baseball, though — I really get to beat myself up when my team underperforms.  It’s a ton of fun, if not a ton of work, but it keeps me interested in the dregs of the mid-season collapse.  I’ve placed 2nd for the past 3 years running — I’m hoping to finally get that top spot this year.  (Of course I’ll keep you posted…)

IMG_1962
Gotta buy ’em all!

These are the new hotness in the house.  For the uninformed, these are Squinkies.  And Squishies.  And other trade names that are basically explaining the same thing.  Which are, in reality, Easily Chokable Small Plastic Globs In The Shapes Of Things That Young Children Would Most Definitely Want To Put In Their Mouths™.

The Boy is officially obsessed with these things.  We’ve got them in the shapes of characters of superheroes (Marvel and DC, we’re an equal opportunity home), Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Star Wars, and some random animals.  He likes to stand them up, make them walk through his Sesame Street playset, and, of course, put them in a perfectly straight line.

IMG_1959
And how many times do you wash your hands in a day, Mr. Jacob?

Emma just likes to shove them in her mouth.  And give me a heart attack.

To The Haul!

The Haul – February 27th, 2013

You know what time it is???

919fb33d76920b8Fantasy baseball season is almost here!!!  As a Mets fan, the regular baseball season is one of ups and downs, moments of true excitement, but ultimately?  Typically a disappointment.  Don’t get me wrong — I love my team and I will stand by them each game of every torture filled season, but the mess that is the New York Metropolitans is obviously out of my control.

Fantasy baseball, though — I really get to beat myself up when my team underperforms.  It’s a ton of fun, if not a ton of work, but it keeps me interested in the dregs of the mid-season collapse.  I’ve placed 2nd for the past 3 years running — I’m hoping to finally get that top spot this year.  (Of course I’ll keep you posted…)

IMG_1962
Gotta buy ’em all!

These are the new hotness in the house.  For the uninformed, these are Squinkies.  And Squishies.  And other trade names that are basically explaining the same thing.  Which are, in reality, Easily Chokable Small Plastic Globs In The Shapes Of Things That Young Children Would Most Definitely Want To Put In Their Mouths™.

The Boy is officially obsessed with these things.  We’ve got them in the shapes of characters of superheroes (Marvel and DC, we’re an equal opportunity home), Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Star Wars, and some random animals.  He likes to stand them up, make them walk through his Sesame Street playset, and, of course, put them in a perfectly straight line.

IMG_1959
And how many times do you wash your hands in a day, Mr. Jacob?

Emma just likes to shove them in her mouth.  And give me a heart attack.

To The Haul!

The Haul – January 16th and 23rd, 2013

IMG_1788
Forced into Marveldom by his father

Let’s start off this post with an adorable picture of The Boy.  Yes!  Relish in his cuteness!  Soak in that Spider-Man pajama suit!  Be distracted that I am behind two weeks!!!

The Jacob Trail: You may not die of dysentery, but you will have to memorize pony names
The Jacob Trail: You may not die of dysentery, but you will have to memorize pony names.

So, the first picture is obvious evidence that I’ve so far successfully brainwashed Jacob into becoming my comic protegee.  The Boy has really taken to his new role and is slowly amassing his own (and stealing my) superhero toys.  It’s even started to infuse into his reading habits.  Every night before bedtime, we read two stories — the routine since he was an infant.  Now that he’s picking out the stories himself, it’s been a pretty consistent 50% superheroics rate.  We’ve been into this one, an anthology book with about 10 or so different stories:

5 Minute Marvel StoriesWhich includes such great visuals for young minds, such as this one:

IMG_1793Looks like a great story, huh?  Classic Avengers (including, as Jacob calls him, the Huk) beating up on the obnoxious Namor, which in about 2 pages leads to the dramatic reveal of the frozen Captain America.  My kid?  Focusing on this panel:

IMG_1795To which my genius kid asks, “Daddy, where is that guy’s pants?”  I mean, if a 3 year old is questioning the validity of Namor’s fashion decisions, who am I to argue?

Oh, and so as not to show my obvious Marvel bias, he’s also learning about Batman and his rogue gallery, such as The Cat Lady (Catwoman), Two-Man (Two Face), and Crocodile (Killer Croc).  He’s getting there — give him another week.

The Joker and the Slightly Misnamed Gang "At A Picnic"
The Joker and the Slightly Misnamed Gang “At A Picnic”

Since it seems I’m blabbing a bit here, so I might as well go off on an even crazier tangent.  I need to vent on something that drives me absolutely crazy.  There’s no good place for me to do this but here, so if you don’t want to read the ramblings of a rabid lunatic, you can just skip ahead to the jump.

Plastic.  Clothing.  Tags.

Yes, those pieces of thin plastic that hold tags onto your clothing.  I don’t know if they have a better name — I really don’t care if they do.  All I know is that they are ALL OVER MY FREAKING HOUSE.  The floors, the couch, the table, floating weightless through the air — they are EVERYWHERE!!!  I haven’t bought new clothes in about a year, so I am EXTREMELY confident that they are not from me.  Dawn, the primary buyer of new clothes, and the kids, the primary wearer of said clothes, are my obvious archenemies.  Without fail, I’ll come across at least one piece a day.  I don’t think that there are even that many new clothes around to support this many tags!  There must be some, I don’t know, plastic clothing tag gremlin or something roaming the house in the dead of night, giggling and grinning while he (or she, hate to be gremlin-ist) plants them like crappy Afikomen at Passover (though both matzah and plastic have a similar flavor).

The evidence:

The Nightstand
The Nightstand
The Kitchen Mat
The Kitchen Mat
The Changing Table
The Changing Table

THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.  I AM LOSING MY MIND.

To The Haul!

The Haul – January 2nd, 2013

Happy 2013 everyone!!!  If comics have taught me anything, this year is one to be feared.  I know, you’re all just sitting there, happy that you survived the Mayan Apocalypse, but something is coming, something worse than you could have ever imagined…

THE DAYS OF FUTURE PAST!!!

No, not just the upcoming movie (though is it any conincidence?), but the actual event (based on true predictions, I’m sure).  Here’s the proof:

uncannyxmen141To call your attention to the top left panel: uncannyxmen141

Oh my god it’s really here they’re going to find and kill all the mutants!!!

Portrait of an artist at work
Portrait of an artist at work

We’ve been a bit busy at the homefront, trying to finish the can’t-believe-its-still-ongoing cleaning of the house in the post-baby room rearranging.  Jacob has found a new hobby outside of his equestrian pursuits — drawing!  The kid really loves to color and draw and leave marks on the carpet, God bless the little punk…

Freaking goofball...
Freaking goofball…

Oh, for those of you who couldn’t tell (you fools!), from left to right, that’s Jakey, Emma, Daddy, Mommy, and Oreo (our Shih Tzu and oldest “child”).

Baby...ATTACK!!!
Baby…ATTACK!!!

Emma doesn’t realize how old she is (6 months) and is now crawling.  I thought I would have a lot more time before I had to re-gate the house and put away all the small easily inhaled toys.  Guess she told me…

Oh, and this past week saw the birth of our second niece, Mackenzie Rose Slawitsky, born on January 7th, 2013 at 8:53 AM!  You’ve got a crazy long name, kid, but we love you anyway!!!

The Seven Pound Eleven Ounce Bundle of Dynamite...
The Seven Pound Eleven Ounce Bundle of Dynamite…

To The Haul!

The Haul – November 28th, 2012

It’s strange to not go back to the theater this weekend — last Sunday was closing of Hairspray.  While I’m happy that I don’t have to live in fear of having a heart attack on stage while dancing anymore, I consider myself so fortunate to have been a part of such a great show with such a fun cast.  It had been a LONG time since my last show (you know, medical school, residency, children and all) so it’s been a while since I got to pretend to be a teenage heartthrob.  Most of the time now I’m pretending to be a 30-year old heartthrob…wink wink…

Now that I’m home this weekend, I figured it was time to pretend to be a responsible homeowner and clean up the house.  Laundry, dishes, action figure displaying; you know, the basics.  The biggest task of all is dealing with our den, which is the main room that we spend most of our time in.  It’s the TV watching room, family room, playroom, computer room, everything room.  When Jacob was little, his toys were easily contained, but now we’re showing the effects of three birthdays and Chanukahs.  Plus, all the “baby” toys that we put away are now all back out for the little princess.

IMG_1681Emma’s stuff gets tossed on top of itself, thanks to the absolutely selfless (read: terrible parental sarcasm) boy.  His stuff, a menagerie of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Hot Wheels, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, My Little Pony, Batman, the Avengers, and random Fisher Price playsets, is EVERYWHERE.

IMG_1683

photo(5)A word to anyone who is purchasing presents for children.  If it has multiple pieces, no matter how adorable, leave it in the store until they’re old enough to pick it all up and put it away themselves.  (Not to sound ungrateful for the 100+ piece Hot Wheels set from my sister and future brother-in-law.  It’s like a painful foot massage whenever I accidentally step on a piece strewn throughout the house.  A little slice of heaven on Long Island, for sure…)

photo(4)

Meanwhile, Emma is teething like a, well, 5 month old, and the sheer amounts of saliva pouring from her mouth could fill the bathtub in a few hours.

Two quick comic-related plugs:

There’s a pretty good article over at CBR about Bendis’ run on the Avengers titles over the past 200+ issues.  I was happy to hear about Bendis making the transition over to the X-books; I think that a large family of titles (Avengers, Bat books, etc) does better with a figurehead somewhat detailing the overarching plot points.  Hopefully we get a bit of a Claremont-renaissance out of Bendis…

Oh, and the excellent and under-represented website Sequart (short for sequential art), which takes a scholarly approach to comic books, has been giving away chapters from their books for free via their Facebook page.  I’ve purchased a few of their titles before — their Legion, X-Men, and Batman books sit on my shelf and live in the magical world that is my Kindle — plus I’ve sponsored their Kickstarter projects.  Go become a fan and scoop up their stuff.

To The Haul!

The Catchup Haul – DC

As I’m writing this post, we’re right at the end of DC’s first year of their New DCU enterprise, which also puts us right in the middle of their Zero Month, a temporal echo of 1994’s Zero Hour.  Similar to the use of the zero issue then, these modern zero issues are being used to tell origin stories (though the definition of “origin story” is pliable depending on the writer) of characters in this new universe.

This has been something that the fans, myself included, have been clamoring for.  Having followed DC continuity only for a relatively short while, I didn’t have that much invested when the universe was rebooted.  It doesn’t particularly matter to me if Tim Drake was ever Robin or if Superman and Lois are dating.  Now, if the same had been done to my beloved X-Men, you know I’d be dying to know which of the thousands of dollars I spent over the years still mattered for current continuity.

Overall, I really think that the DC reboot was a success for weak-minded DC fans like me and probably those people who had not been reading any DC at all.  For the die-hard DC-ites?  I’m sure that these #0 issues will reveal history — some of which will be fairly close to what it was before, some of which will be vast departures and alterations to prior continuity, but there is no way that a single issue can answer most of the questions that still circle around this new universe.

Anyway, on the personal life front, Dawn and I took Jacob to the Fresh Beat Band at the Beacon Theater this past week.  For those without kids or strange TV watching habits, the FBB is a made-for-TV Nick Jr. quartet that dresses in bright colors and sing songs about teamwork, friendship, and washing cars.  Seriously.  In all honestly, out of the stuff that I’ve needed to watch because of The Boy, the Fresh Beats are pretty entertaining.

Excited for the show to begin!
Excited that I didn’t have a seizure with the glowstick flashing in my face!

To The Haul!

The Haul – August 22nd, 2012

In what will likely be perceived as a well-deserved break from learning about the messy home I live in (which is actually finally coming together), I wanted to take a moment to speak directly to the comic companies.  Yes, those same companies that I willingly, gladly, and excitedly write a portion of my paycheck to every week.  Yes, those same companies that have provided me with almost two decades of joyful reading material.  And, yes, those same companies that infuriate me to no end.

Hi guys and gals.  My name is Jason.  In addition to being a ravenous fan of the comic medium and a mild amateur comics historian, I am also a physician.  I don’t say this to brag.  I say this to provide some perspective.  There is something that is still occurring, even in this day of instant information, that is just baffling to me.

Here’s a quick comparison to another pop-culture passion of mine — television.  If you were creating a TV show about, let’s say, a newsroom (not to name any excellent current shows in particular), you’d hire someone intimately familiar with the workings of a newsroom, right?  Someone to make sure that you’re doing the right things, saying the right words, not making those people sitting at home who know about this stuff completely embarrassed.  Same thing if you were creating a hit show that may take place in an ER or with people wearing Scrubs or things along that path, right?  Medical consultant necessary.

So why do comics writers and artists COMPLETELY MAKE THE MEDICAL REFERENCES UP???  And where are the editors?  A quick Google search would take care of most of these problems, for example, this one in this week’s Flash #12:

His “aortic artery”???  Really, guys?  This new volume of The Flash has been one of my favorite titles of the New DC 52 and I was reading this latest issue and — BAM — total dead stop once I hit this.

Comic companies — is this laziness?  Do you not care enough to do some research into the basic terminology?  How do you explain nasal canula and an ETT in the same patient?

How is it acceptable that you just depict random leads in random places and backwards IVs?

It’s offensive to me and I’m sure offensive the many other readers who have medical training and/or knowledge, like Scott over at the excellent, though under-updated, Polite Dissent.

Comic writers/artists/editors!  It’s time to change this embarrassing behavior!  For a small fee (I don’t even need benefits!), I will be available for any and all of your medical questions with regards to plot, dialogue, art, or otherwise.  E-mail me to discuss specific arrangements.

To The Haul!

The Haul – May 23rd, 2012

There’s not that much to say in terms of this past week’s books; it was a fairly light week but despite the low number of books, it still took me until Monday to read.  I’m really trying to make the issues last longer than a day or two, which used to be the norm for me.

As for the personal life, it was a pretty eventful week.  Not only was it Memorial Day weekend, which always ends up being a huge BBQing deal, but my sister got engaged and it was my final week as chief resident!  I guess I can blame the length of time it took me to get through 10 books on all the craziness, huh?

JB and Bear, lounging around

The BBQ was especially cool — an old friend from my past theater days came back up to NY with her husband, which was a prime opportunity to invite a lot of the old gang back together to drink, eat, and awkwardly reminisce.

Who put that kid there?

The boy did have a great time playing with his cousin:

If you cover up the bottom half of the photo, it looks like she’s sneezing on him. Awesome.

And macking it to the non-relatives:

The Ladies Man at 2 1/2 Years

Chief year is over (next stop: fellowship in July!), my baby sister is going to be a wife, parts of the old theater crew meeting back up after years apart; it’s a weird nostalgia blended with constant reminders of how far we’ve all come (and how old we’re all getting).  Every now and again it’s fun and/or bittersweet to be an adult.

To The Haul!