Wednesday, September 10, 2014

On track! New post alerts

SnackyPOP, Pulpwear AND Comicro posts are all available for your harsh judgement and sidelong glances.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

ZCB Industries - an exciting new direction in tl;dr

This long weekend has given ol' ZCB plenty of time for reflection, contemplation and experimental hangover cures (I still prefer a Bloody Mary). I thought long and hard about where to take this blogging effort next, now that the Collection has been sent to a better place (Ann Arbor, MI).

I have many interests and pursue quite a few side projects while keeping the airwaves safe entertaining for kith and kin. And I've dropped vague and cryptic hints along the way since March about a couple of these (Comicro? Pulpwear? SnackyPOP?!). While sitting on the back deck on a beautiful Saturday morning, it hit me: why not try to accomplish everything at once, while maintaining a full-time job and supporting a gorgeous wife and two wonderful, crazy kids (first day of school tomorrow...more excited than I should be)?

So here goes everything. Effective immediately, you'll start seeing new daily activity here on ZCB, and during the week, you'll be shown a pathway to a new different adventure. Your majestic ship awaits...

Monday - SnackyPOP: I'll be trying out a venture with a few craft soda purveyors and alternative snackmakers. Ya see, kids, the ZCB clan prefers to avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) whenever possible. The stuff is in everything, it seems, and while the jury may still be out on the effects of HFCS in the diets of the citizenry, I just think it's best to stay away from it if you can. And I like me some pop'n'snacks. So I'll point out a few nifty things you might be able to find on the shelf at your local groceteria or at least feature an online ordering option. If you enjoy eating and drinking things, then tasty treats are to be found within!

Tuesday - Pulpwear: Not just the finest t-shirt emporium this side of Steve & Berry's (wait, what?), but also a home for an overview of modern art. I said modern art. Over the past two to three decades, my love of comics has led to an appreciation for many styles of illustration from the past 100-150 years. And Pulpwear is my crass, overtly commercial way of celebrating that. We'll look at some fascinating examples of art nouveau, art deco, early 20th century advertising, cigar box art, produce crate art (!) and much much more. Seriously, this stuff is beautiful. You'll see.

Wednesday - The Comicro: This is where the comic book talky talk will reside. The Comicro will still feature my erudite musings on collectin' stuff, and we'll get back to the Indiestarter updates too. I have been enjoying the wonders of mini-comics and the small press much more as Marvel leaves me behind with it's rebootin' and renumberin' and what not. WAY back, I worked for Geppi's Comic World, and I've always been interested in the funny book biz too, so we'll touch on that. I still do have plenty of comics, so I might point out a few gems to faithful readers as well. And it all happens on Wednesday, cuz you know, it's Wednesday.

Thursday - The United States of Whiskey: Cheers! You've made it this far in the post; it's time for a drink or two. As we stagger towards to the weekend, we'll look at the amazing craft spirit industry. I don't drink the demon liquor too often, but I do enjoy bourbon (to be more specific, George Dickel #8), and rum, wine, beer, cider, vodka, gin, a growing selection of cocktails, and various new concoctions that can occasionally be found in the great state of Wisconsin. I've heard there might be a couple of drinking establishments nearby (I live near Lambeau) so access to booze is likely certain.

Friday - BBQHoney: I grill. A lot. The charred flesh of unlucky animals has always been a favorite among my tribe, and I've grown fond of developing my own sauces and marinades. Two things happened recently: I discovered all but one brand (Stubb's) of BBQ sauce at the local supermarket have HFCS as a prime ingredient. I also found out that Wisconsin frowns on people selling their own stuff unless made in a commercial kitchen. I don't have time for that, but I do make a kick ass chipotle sauce that, for now, will only be enjoyed on the grounds of the ZCB compound. Did I mention bees? They seem to be disappearing and that's bad. Very bad. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches rule! So I have a vested interest in bees proliferating. As do we all, really. See you Friday, TGIF and all that.

Saturday - Travelocirapture Voyage of the Darned: More of a personal sidelight, where I'll be looking back at my travels and looking ahead to places I've yet to visit. Over the past 25 years, I've been fortunate to live and travel throughout North America (with a few stops in the Caribbean and South America), and I have experienced some amazing, and some harrowing, events. Grab a cup o'joe, find your cozy place and then troll the living shit outta me in allcaps with all the cool/hip things I missed when I was in your town. Also, I couldn't think of a better name than Travelocirapture. I made a slight improvement. Suggestions are still encouraged.

Sunday - Zombie Cat Bacon: - Hey, that's right here! Yup, we end up back at the beginning to prepare for a new week of yammering on and on about things I find interesting. But as a treat for those of you that stuck with me, I tell you what movies, TV, and sports you should be watching. Music and games too. If you're well behaved, I'll share the tale about the time I saw Devo and Black Sabbath in the same week back in the 80's.

Can I pull this off? Can I blog every day? Do I have enough material? I think so.

Alright, I'll give it a try...

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?