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  1. New Matt Baker - Going Steady 11 Recently I picked up this low grade but nice looking Baker. I'm torn between keeping it raw or sending it to CGC. The flaws are apparent but the bright cover looks better than its grade. One of the advantages of CGC is it puts the comic in a time capsule, in theory stopping it from further aging. These full cover, no caption covers are probably my favorite Bakers. Most have the romantic, slice of life theme. Here are others from my collection. Thanks for reading.
  2. Buying Fiction House Comics While on Vacation I made one buy from these boards while on the cruise. We finally had decent, unlimited internet when we docked in St. Thomas (since it's a US territory we have cell service from ATT). We stayed on the ship because we've been to the Virgin Islands a few times, including last year's spring break. This gave me a chance to catch up with work email, and also check out the boards. As it happens, @Ricksneatstuff was having a Fiction House sale thread, so I picked up these comics from him. The first is Kaaga 11. I always like looking at the house ads in Fiction House comics, both for historical purposes (i.e., to see what else was on the stands around that time), and also because the house arts don't always match the actual covers. This time the house ad showed the classic cover in Planet Comics 66 (it also has that classic Ghost cover which is on my want list). Below is the house ad and also my copy of Planet 66 (sorry for the glare). My next purchase from Rick's spinner rack were a couple Wings Comics, #73 and 97. The house ad in 97 is especially cool because it includes Sheena 4 that I recently bought (and talked about in a prior post). My last buy was Straight Arrow 22 which isn't, of course, Fiction House. But it has a great Frazetta cover. It has some flaws but the price was right and it'll do until I can upgrade. Thanks for reading.
  3. Spring Break Cruise on the Disney Fantasy #5 I'll finish this trip report by showing you my main vacation souvenir. I bought a lot of souvenirs but the total cost for all of them was around $400 (less than an in-grade Matt Baker comic). There were expensive Star Wars cruise collectibles on sale too, all labeled as "limited," but their scarcity is manufactured and artificial like variant covers. I ended up buying this Star Days Day at Sea print for around $30, and then going around to get the characters to sign it. Seeking out the characters once again made the cruise feel like a con. There was one signature I wanted -- Jack Sparrow -- but I missed him because the ship docked late at Castaway Cay due to the weather and it threw off the schedule. Because I'm anal, I had all the characters sign in purple (I had limited marker options in my back pack). You'll see there's a signature in the lower right corner. That's Commodore Tom, the ship's captain. I didn't have him sign in purple because he's, like, human. You'll see there aren't any Star Wars signatures. I asked the Disney handler if Darth could sign during the meet-and-greet, but he told me that none of the Star Wars characters were allowed to sign anything. Disney policy. I thought that was peculiar. Maybe Disney is still developing the style of signatures for the Star Wars characters (as they have with their other characters -- for example, Mickey, Cinderella, Donald Duck, etc. sign the same way no matter where on Disney you find them). Or maybe it's in the agreement with Lucas. It'll be interesting to go to the new Star Wars land at Disney in a couple years when it opens, and see if the Star Wars characters are signing then.
  4. Spring Break Cruise on the Disney Fantasy #4 (cosplay, Star Wars day and souvenirs) My 17 year old daughter (who is going to college next year) is really into anime and cosplay. She makes her own outfits, and for the Disney cruise she dressed as Moana and Ahsoka. She wasn't as happy with the Ahsoka, but the Moana was so good people came up asking for pictures and autographs, thinking she was the real Disney Moana. The cruise had 3 sea days (it stopped in Tortola, St. Thomas and Disney's Castaway Cay), and the last sea day was Star Wars day. It was like a con with tons of people dressing up as Star Wars characters and lots of Disneyified Star Wars activities. They also had special "experiences" you could choose from. You picked the ones you wanted and you got 2, depending on your priorities. We got the "Dark Side" and "Trusty Companions." They had little Star Wars touches like this, an ice cream sunday topped with Han in chocolate carbonite. Star Wars day ended with a party on the pool deck (deck 11). It included fireworks off the ship to the music of Star Wars. Before the fireworks they showed a series of Star Wars videos on the big Funnel Vision above the pool. I went a little crazy with Star Wars cruise souvenirs. But I figured, this would be the only time in my life I'd go on a Disney cruise with Star Wars day, so I better go for it. Here's the stuff I got.
  5. Alas, too late to the party .... what a great book, congrats to buyer & seller
  6. Spring Break Cruise on the Disney Fantasy #3 (cold brew, Star Wars movies, pre-cruise buys) Because this was a Star Wars day cruise, all 8 Star Wars movies were played in the big theater during the cruise. They played the newest movie, Rogue One, multiple times. The Force Awakens was played more than once too. But they only played the other 6 one time each. I've got HD versions of all the movies, but it's nothing like watching them on the big screen. I was looking forward to watching the original 3 movies, although in the end I only watched Empire Strikes Back from beginning to end (my favorite of the first 6 movies). Return of the Jedi was played late one evening; I was too tired to watch more than the first 30 minutes. I missed New Hope completely, as it was played the first day and we were all too excited to be on the ship to think about going down to Deck 3/4 to watch a movie. I saw the last 30 minutes of Revenge of the Sith before going to Castaway Cay, and we watched Rogue One and Force Awakens completely. The ship was also showing the new Beauty and the Beast movie, so the entire family (and what felt like most of the ship) watched that during one rainy sea day. With Star Wars everywhere, at times I felt like I was at a con. I felt even more that way when I chased after character autographs for my main cruise souvenir (more on that later). I wonder if this was how the Wizard World cruise would have felt, if it hadn't been canceled (a good discussion of that cruise is in the journal of @oldmilwaukee6er and @TheLadySpeaks.) Back to food, this is what they do to you on a cruise. You order creme brulee for dessert, and they bring you 2. This is actually my daughter's dessert. I told her the trick to creme brulee is to just skim off the top and leave the custard, but she insisted on eating it all as she hates to waste food (yeah, right). The biggest danger of gaining weight on cruises is eating between (or after) meals (ordering multiple appetizers or entrees at meals is bad too, but I've managed to get away from doing that). My wife usually went to bed after dinner. I like wandering around the ship, so after she went to bed, I'd go to the clubs or up to the top deck to watch whatever movie they were playing on Funnel Vision. They have a little food court up there that stays open late, and I usually treated myself to a slice of pizza and 1 chicken tender. Something I discovered on this cruise was cold brewed coffee. I knew about it before but this was the first time I'd really tried it. Cove Cafe, one of the coffee shoppes on the ship, had this cool set up. I ended up getting a cold brew each morning after breakfast. I liked it so much I got on Amazon after getting home and bought a home version. Before going on the cruise, I won a few things on eBay. In fact, I got the notices I won during the drive to Florida. First up was this Wizard Flash 1/2. The comic is notable because with it, I completed my Flash (2nd series) run. I bought this autograph of Gal Gadot. She is, of course, the new Wonder Woman. Can't wait for the new movie to come out. I was high bidder on this Saint #11. And finally, as I was browsing the bay, I ran across this custom Gwen Stacy Mego/J Scott Campbell figure. I snatched it up fast before the lawyers made the seller pull it. It'll go great next to my Gwen statue (at the bottom of this post, in my comic room).
  7. To get up to the loft you have to climb a wood ladder, and the distance from the top step of the ladder to the loft is too high for my dog. Here's a picture of the ladder about 2 years ago. It gives you an idea of the distance. Here's a recent photo of the ladder, where the room is more filled in. My dog actually likes hanging under the ladder. In fact, my dog keeps me company when I'm working in the comic room.
  8. Spring Break Cruise on the Disney Fantasy #2 One of the best things about our vacation was drinking again. My wife and I went about 2 months without drinking to try to lose weight before the cruise. This is a Blanton's Manhattan which I had pretty much every night at 7pm before dinner. We also brought on board a few bottles of wine (I collect wine in addition to comics). I probably sound like an alcoholic. Actually, the 2 months without drinking was enlightening (we didn't miss it as much as we thought we would), so probably my wife and I will cut down on drinking moving forward. Here's the Star Wars Day At Sea display for taking pictures. And below is Rey's speeder. I guess I didn't realize it until the cruise (never thought about it actually), but little kids just love Rey. There were more Reys on Star Wars day than any other character. I was still collecting (a little) while on the boat, although it was limited, mostly because there was more fun stuff to do, and also because of the extremely slow (and unreliable) WIFI. Here's a 4 book lot of golden age GGA I won on eBay. Here's my afternoon snack one day, a cheeseburger (no bun) and fried chicken tenders. The chicken tenders are unreal. So is the pizza. Both are served from fast food windows next to the pool and they stay open all day and late into the night, so it took a lot of will power to not gorge (at the end of the trip though I managed to only gain a couple pounds; if you're trying to lose weight, start with cutting out bread, pasta and rice and work out every day, and you'll be amazed at the results). If you're not into Disney you'll probably think this is a waste of time, but if you like Disney you have to check out this video. It's the ship's horn blowing during the sale away party. Thanks for reading.
  9. Spring Break, Matt Baker and Sheena Last week for spring break, my family went on a Disney Cruise. It was on the Fantasy and we left from Cape Canaveral. This was our 6th Disney cruise, and we've been on all 4 ships. You board at lunch time, and when you first get on the boat they try to funnel you to a sit-down restaurant. We have learned though to go up to Deck 11, the pool deck. From there, you can hit the buffet at Cabanas, and take your plate outside to watch whatever they're playing on the big screen above the pool (they call it their Funnel Vision). I admit, something I like about cruises is the food, and I really like buffets (even though I know usually the food isn't as good at buffets, and I always eat too much). Here's my plate (actually, plates) from that first lunch: As you probably know, Disney now has the rights to Star Wars and this cruise had a Star Wars day. I'll talk more about it later, but let me just say that it was a blast! I made it a mission to get a nice assortment of Star Wars souvenirs that you can only buy on the Disney Fantasy (they're only available on the Fantasy because that's the only Disney ship that has Star Wars days). Here's the first Star Wars souvenir I bought, a hot/cold drink bag. A couple weeks ago (about a week before we left on the Disney cruise) I wrote about how it seemed like all the big guns were having golden age GGA sale threads in the CGC marketplace (@Ricksneatstuff, @Soft-Serve and a few others). To my regret I ended up having to be disciplined because I had some offers out to Tomorrow's Treasures, and I had to see how those turned out (which meant I wasn't able to throw down flags here). Coincidentally, a boardie was offering a Sheena 4 and that happened to be one of the books I had pending with TT. TT's accepted most (but not quite all) of my offers. By the way, I appreciate the advice I received from a boardie here, about making offers through TT's website. It's easy to navigate, user friendly and Richard responds usually by the next day. Here are the books I picked up from TT. None of them are perfect (2 have spine tape and the Sheena has some color touch), but those flaws help keep the price to what I want to pay. Thanks for reading.
  10. I'll take straight arrow 22 wings 97 and 73 kanga 11
  11. I follow your journal with a lot of interest. It's fascinating to read about life on your side of the table. Can you tell us what the set up and break down is like? For example, how do you get all your stuff to the con? From the con to your space? How long it takes to set up, and then break down? If it's a multiday con, how does the con staff make sure everyone's stuff is secure (I understand you might not want to answer this last question for security purposes).
  12. San Diego Comicon Open Registration - Ah, No I Don't Think So So I got this email the other day. A chance to contend for a ticket to the San Diego Comicon. I thought about going for it. For about 15 seconds. Let's see. Fight for tickets. Fight for a hotel room. Then at the con, fight through long lines. Fight through crowds at the con. Fight through crowds at restaurants and bars on Gaslamp. To be fair, there are benefits to the SDCC. Like, um, well .... what are they again? Oh yeah, I can wait all day to see the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones panels. Of course, on the other hand, I can wait a week and see them on youtube or download high def versions on iTunes (for free). I can shop for comics at comic dealers. But, well, there aren't a lot of those, and the list is shrinking each year. Also, the selection and prices are better on eBay and the CGC marketplace. I can get sketches from artists. Or just get them off eBay (for half the price). So no, I won't be going to the SDCC this year, or even contend for a ticket. I figure the cost of just going to the con is at least $1500 (flight + hotel + tickets + food). So rather than do that, I'll go on an eBay shopping spree the week of San Diego, and smoke a big rib eye and beef ribs and mushrooms on my Big Green Egg (ah, summer ... I'm so happy it's almost here). I still love going to cons. But I'm done with the artificial scarcity of the SD Comic Con. I'm going to the NY Comicon in October, and you know, it's easy to get tickets and a fairly priced hotel within walking distance of the venue. And I'll take dinner at Quality Meats in NYC over Greystone in Gaslamp any day. So to the SDCC planning committee --- good job at making your event "the place to be." Just not for comic fans. Here are some pictures from past SDCCs.
  13. Well, I hope not to be going anywhere. I would actually be okay with a blog-like format where replies and comments are attached to the original post, as I've gotten used to that with Facebook. But how would they do that with the replies in these old journals? I think the easiest way would be to treat all posts (including the replies) as "original posts" and only connect replies to posts moving forward, after the migration. My biggest concern with the new journals is retaining all my prior posts and pictures. As long as the new journals retain the old stuff, I'll probably be okay with them. I do understand @AJD though. As I said, I'd be happy if they left the journals as they are.
  14. Neither have I. A nice copy too, congrats.