Monday, August 18, 2014

I've got the shirts, the shirts you want

After my dazzling performance as a shirt hawker a few weeks ago (we all remember it fondly, and I sold nearly one of them! Thanks, Mom!), I thought I'd create some nifty threads using some of the images I've collected over the years. There will be more to come and there is absolutely no theme to this. You won't find Marvel characters or Dr. Who stuff. Certainly no Star Wars/Trek or Game of Walking Guardians or anything else like that.

I dig vintage travel posters and old race car ads. Sometimes dead brands can be fun, as can the art deco/nouveau liquor promos one occasionally sees in your finer mall art stores.

Pulp magazines and public domain comics can have very interesting covers (if not totally lurid and a little sleazy...oooh baby), but they're hard to find in decent condition.

At the top of the page, you'll see a link for Pulpwear - clicking on that is what you want to do now.

Anyway, go take a look and if something strikes your fancy, buy it, tell yer friends, they'll buy more shirts, and then I'll be rich and won't have to blog for food anymore.

Hot Links!

Here's a few links about collecting and music I found recently. Read and enjoy! Tell 'em Zombie Cat sent ya!

Why Nerdy White Guys Who Love the Blues Are Obsessed With a Wisconsin Chair Factory

Yes, that's Robert Crumb at the top of the fold, his career as a underground comix icon very casually mentioned...

The American Band Championship Belt - Start!

The Brazilian Bus Magnate Who’s Buying Up All the World’s Vinyl Records - WTF?!

All you readers in my beloved upstate NY git yer asses over to the Shmaltz Brewery in Clifton Park

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Robin Williams story

In the winter of 1980, I was published in print for the first time. It was during my freshman year at Pinellas Park High School (Florida). Back in the olden days, schools actually used to encourage students to write and produce things like literary magazines. Ours was called Touch of Class. Below is a scan of my review of Robin Williams' debut comedy album, Reality...What a Concept.

I'd kinda forgotten about it until tonight. But I thought it would be nice to share.

RIP Mr. Williams and thank you.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Indiestarter update

In early May, I started randomly holding a spotlight over a few Kickstarter and Indiegogo comic projects that I thought to be sorta neato. Here's an update:

Save Kowabunga - ouch. The Kickstarter campaign didn't quite make it, however the boys at Kowabunga are fighting the good fight and recently posted on their website that they'll be open at least through August. If you're in America's Dairyland, stop by and say hi (with money).

Help Phantom Zone Comics Expand! - double ouch. Indiegogo didn't help much at all, but, like Kowabunga, they're still supplying the folks of Lynnwood, WA with sweet funny book treats.

Exquisite Corpse - Success! However I'm not sure where they're going now. I didn't see an acknowledgement of the Kickstarter win on his Facebook, twitter or website, so I'm really not sure what's going on.

Lumina - Wow! They crushed it, and I look forward to seeing the finished product. For more, go here and here

Skidmarks - Three in a row! And apparently, it's available now

The Dying Breed - Make that four straight. For more on EJ and the challenges he's currently facing, go read this now. Best of luck and congrats on the Indiegogo win!

So the Golden Shower of Zombie Cat Bacon love (note: reword that in final edits) has 4-2 score in crowdfunding so far.

Something new watch: Radiator Comics, a new distribution outlet for small-press creators.

That's all for now...

Monday, August 4, 2014

The sale

And, of course, when I wrote "More on that tomorrow...", I meant next Monday.

If you've been following along, I started this whole bloggy thingy to detail my adventures in selling my comics collection. OK, to recap for new readers so far:
1. I have a lot of comics
2. I no longer want to have a lot of comics
3. I made an effort to sell them through various online and offline channels
4. It was a giant pain in the ass
5. I really haven't detailed my adventures so much as I've just written about stuff I felt like writing about, with a large serving of comic related musings on the side

So after four months of multiple Craigslist posts, I finally sold my comics.


Yes, it is true. I should tell you that I am more excited about the sale than it may appear, and the transaction is almost complete (now, now, don't worry - all I have to do now is ship them - they're paid for, and the buyer is arranging the shipping).

In total, since March, I received about 100 emails and phone calls. I had one aborted sale (after a 2 1/2 hour drive each way). I had far too many questions about the Silver Age and/or Marvel content of the collection, (though the listings were pretty darn clear as to the comics contained therein). I had some hilarious lowball offers. I spoke to some colossal assholes. I was afraid I would never sell them, and concurrently afraid that I would.

After sharing my story with so many of you (a surprising amount, considering my inability to maintain even the most basic writing consistency), I realized I was not alone in my contention that comic collecting, as I knew it growing up, is dead. I'm OK with that, I really am. My kids can read the same great Avengers tales and Love & Rockets comics as I did, albeit probably through a different medium and format.

Oh, what's that? How much did I get for the whole thing? It appears the going rate for 3900 bagged and boarded comics, dating from 1975 to 2013 from publishers as diverse as Marvel, First, Image, DC, Comico and Eclipse, in long runs and all sorted and chronological and neat and tidy (near mint to mint condition - sure I guess), is about a cool grand.

$1000. That's what I got. I didn't haggle. I wasn't insulted. I wasn't surprised. A guy in Michigan said he'll give me a grand, and I said yes, I'll take that.

By the end of this week, there will be a large 15-long-box shaped hole in my life. The $1000 I got for the collection won't fill it, but something will, and I'm sure it'll be something cool.

And, sure, Zombie Cat Bacon will continue. I enjoy the process and the interaction. Plus a Facebook page now exists here. Join me, won't you?

Monday, July 28, 2014

The post we've all been waiting for...

Or at least the post I've been wanting to write...I'll explain after a brief interlude.

First I want to bring this item to your attention:

Chuck Rozanski and SDCC
After 42 consecutive years in a row, it may finally (at long last...) be time for me to bid San Diego good-bye, forever.
The comic collectibles market is changing, we all know that. Ebay, digital, trade omnibus editions and a new generation of readers that don't care about ownership have taken the old paradigm (of long box diving and gap-filling back issue purchases) behind the woodshed and pumped a shotgun into the back of its head.

I do not weep for the past. I think collecting things is fun. However, it is no longer a necessary function of enjoying comics. If you want it, you can eventually find it on Ebay. If you have a reading device, comics are as portable as any other entertainment. I have a large bookshelf and I like the look of having it full of beautiful trades and omnibus editions (omnibi? nope, checked it, omnibuses...hmm, I don't like that).

And access over ownership is really the generational shift we're seeing. My kids loved Frozen (didn't we all? Especially that's it go again?) (By the way, AAAAaaggghhhh).

Though we did buy it on DVD (for our epic July cross-country trip these past few weeks, he says, explaining Zombie Cat's summer hibernation), we didn't need to. The kids use Netflix streaming, Time Warner on-demand and YouTube for 90% of their flat screen based entertainment. They rarely if ever ask us to purchase DVDs (or even to go to the local cinema). They have access to nearly anything they want 24/7 via multiple devices.

So why buy stuff like paper comics? "I love the feel/smell/permanence/physical object", you might say. That's fine, but you're in the rapidly shrinking minority. And if you're under the age of 30, you're weird.

Chuck's rant regarding this weekend's Comic-Con is focused on a specific category of collectibles, but the underlying theme regarding his business model shows how vulnerable enterprises like his really are. He has literally millions of comics in his warehouses. The supply will now always supersede the market demand, and as demand for physical objects like Marvel Two-In-One #39 stagnates and shrinks, the costs of warehousing and staffing physical plants will only increase over time.

"Doomed" is the word that comes to mind.

Interlude over.

So anyway, I sold my collection yesterday.

More on that tomorrow...

Friday, June 20, 2014

The shirt

Did you know you can design a product, have it manufactured AND shipped, with no upfront costs? And you can do it in about 15 minutes?

I just did it, and boy, is it stupid cool available now.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Pocket list

I like to read, and now, more than ever, it is just too easy to find cool/interesting/infuriating stuff to read online. So I save articles I want to read in an app called Pocket. Rarely do I have the opportunity to get to the saved articles in Pocket however, what with my DVR load and my DCBS monthly shipment of trades and my sports-watching, and my other book-reading and my bike-riding, and my, uh, whadduyacallit, family.

Here's a list of some of the recent saved articles. I haven't read any of them yet:

Perhaps my loyal readership could read these for me and give me a synopsis on each one. I would be grateful, and frankly very surprised if any of you actually did that for me. It would reek of awesomeness.

Quickly now - I don't have all day.