Tuesday, August 26, 2014

From the frying pan back into the fire again

Yesterday I didn´t post because I was too busy celebrating. Yep, just like I dreaded I was fired thanks to the usual antics of guys from the jobcenter.

Well, to tell the truth I was going to get fired in any case but I hoped to get a new contract where my employer would pay for my health insurance.

And I wouldn´t have to bother with the jobcenter again. So on Monday morning I got the good news that this new contract didn´t go through. My boss would have liked to do it but even he has a boss and that boss also has a boss. And I guess it´s a hard sell when you want to give somebody a new contract and the first thing he is going to do is go to the clinic in Markgröningen to get his knee fixed followed by 3 to 4 months of rehab.

What a marvelous way to start a week. The next thing I did was go to my health insurance company to tell them what was up and after that I went straight to the unemployment office. There I had to tell the complete story of my misfortune again and they sent me over to the jobcenter.

Now for those of you outside of Germany this is how it works when you are unemployed in this land of milk and honey. The unemployment office and the jobcenter used to be one thing. They did everything in regards to unemployment ( which was mainly get you a job instead of the paperwork that is their main focus now ) and you had one address where you could go to get everything. Then somebody - probably a community politician - had the brilliant idea to split it into two separate things. So one of them could always claim that they were not responsible and tell people that they had to go to the other building for that. " You could not go to the job interview we arranged for you because you had no money ? Sorry, that´s the other department. We only do job service here. And since you didn´t get to the interview you will not get paid for the next 4 weeks. Next ! "

So one hand can always claim ignorance about what the other is doing because they we tired of being the guilty party when things went south. 

Because let´s face it : in eleven out of ten cases the unemployment office is going to mess up things for you in worse ways than anybody else can or dares to imagine. Like my current predicament. But with the new system of being two separate entities they could always shirk their responsibility.

So you have two places you must go to when you loose your job and now it´s not as bad as it was because now the unemployment office and the jobcenter in Ludwigsburg are merely a few hundred meters apart. They used to be in different parts of town and I remember well how much walking from one building to the other and back was involved when you had to apply for things. I guess in a lot of towns that is still the case.

Anyway, there is still a lot of walking involved which isn´t exactly a walk in the park when you have an injured knee. I had to spend almost my last bucks to get there after my visit to the health insurance company and I hadn´t eaten yet. Lately I have made it a habit to get a small pizza after going to the health insurance company because there is a pizza delivery and shop right at the bus station. But as luck would have it they were not open and since I hadn´t slept much I was tired and hungry when I finally got to the unemployment office with my control slip. Of course they didn´t really have time for me because there was some construction going on and they were going to switch off the power so they were closed for the rest of the day. But at least I got an appointment for the next day.

Which was probably for the best because I´m not really the most diplomatic person - especially when I have been lied to and taken advantage of - and I was already starting to get into a mood.

Since there was nothing else to do for the rest of the day I went home and even forgot that I wanted to check if I had won the big lottery money.

That would have really helped me out of my misery. One big jackpot and all my troubles are over. It´s really unbelievable that in the 21st century money is still the big problem solver. The rich people also cry ? Dude, us poor folks do nothing else. So like I just said, I forgot to check the lottery ticket but I remembered that I had to buy a new light bulb if I didn´t want to go blind and I almost shat my pants because of that. No, not what you are thinking. I didn´t almost shit my pants because I remembered I had to buy a new light bulb. You hear of these things that old people get all exited and with all the drama they relieve themselves without noticing.

And that´s what I am now. One of the old people. But no, that was not it. And it also wasn´t that I leaned down to grab the light bulb and nature took its course. The thing was that before buying the light bulb I had eaten at SUBWAYS - since the pizza shop had been closed - and although I had been on the toilet right after it ( no pun intended ) just when I had bought the light bulb and was on my way out I got the distinct feeling that another toilet break was due and that is was getting urgent very fast.

Now I should have mentioned that I was doing my shopping at the new Wilhelms Galerie shopping mall and they have a chart with every shop on it. So all I had to do was look for the toilets and go there. That sounds easy. The only problem was that the toilets are not where they are on the chart. So I went up to the second floor, down again to the first floor and back all the while my business was becoming more and more urgent.

If a nice woman with a on the parking decks on the third floor hadn´t told me where to find the toilets I surely would have either shat into my pants or made my business in some dark secluded corner of the parking deck.

So, I had been sacked, I still had no health insurance, I wasn´t even unemployed anymore, I almost shat my pants because I was old so I did what everybody with almost no sleep would have done after a day like this : get a sixpack. And I´m not talking about bodybuilding here, buddy ( but you already guessed so ). When I got home I put the beer into the fridge, then I picked up my latest amazon package from the kind neighbour who accepted it while I was out fighting the elements and the world at large ( I don´t know when I´ll be able to pay those comics ), changed the light bulb in my room - the new one is like looking into a supernova compared to the old one - changed out of my sweaty clothes and got plastered.

I tried to do a new post later in the evening but the internet was acting very strange and I was not in a good mood. So I got rid of some of the things on my computer and prepared some of the pictures for my next posts. Last week I had been on the Comic Art Fans website again after a long hiatus ( I think I landed there looking for pictures for my MASTER OF KUNG FU MONDAY posts ) and I found a lot of pictures of original black and white art. As a blogger it´s always difficult to find good art - or art that helps you to illustrate certain points - and because of the many great original pages that collectors are selling or just want to show there I was thinking about doing a new feature that I could call BLACK AND WHITE ( fill in day of the week here ). Despite there being a lot of ESSENTIAL and SHOWCASE volumes being out there a black and white page is not the same as an original art page where you can see the pencil lines and the brush strokes the artist was making like in this page by Alan Davis.

Anyway, as usual when I fire up the laptop I got late so I had another beer and watched an episode of the MUPPET SHOW before going to sleep.

Which is SO much better, let me tell you. The Muppet Show is already damn funny to begin with but after a cold one it´s hilarious. Which brings us to Today. I never get much sleep before an important appointment and I tried to stay in bed a bit longer but once I´m awake there´s just no use so I went to the jobcenter very early. There were almost no people there including the ones that work there. My case worker was also not there and while I had taken the first volume of the John Sable Omnibus to read there ( always take something big to read if you have a doctor´s appointment or have to go to an office ) I was much too tired to read.

I had already bought the second volume a few years ago but I always kept off buying the first one. But now that I wasn´t sure what was going to happen to me I wanted to close as much unfinished business as possible.

You might remember that a few posts back I mentioned that I got the german SABLE album that has the first two issues but while it´s the same material I´m glad I had the opportunity to compare. The Mike Grell art looks really better in the bigger format although I must say that I was a bit surprised by how much of the art is still in the smaller format. When I first bought the second volume I was a bit disappointed by how small it is but if you want to read a big chunk of this series for a good price this is the way to go. Anyway, let´s get back to my adventure at the jobcenter.  

As much as I can´t sleep at home when I have to go somewhere as much I can sleep in every office, bus or toilet. Which was another thing that was like the day before. I had to walk up and down from the first floor to the second floor, back again and then to the third floor to find a toilet that wasn´t locked. For me that exemplifies the jobcenter to a t : there are toilets for the visitors but they are out of order. Then they tell you to use the toilets for the employees but they are all locked. You try to go to the women´s toilets as a last resort but they are also all locked. So that in the end you have to think outside of the box and use the toilets in the third floor unless you want to sit in your own feces for the rest of the day.

Man, Today I´m really talking a lot about toilets and taking a dump and the likes but I guess that´s what is to be expected when you talk about Germany´s great bureaucracy. So after waiting another long while my case worker arrived and we could finally start sorting this mess out.

I still don´t know what happened or why it happened. I don´t even know when exactly it happened. I know is that my case worker doesn´t know.

Or she´s just not telling. It doesn´t make any difference either way. It makes no difference that I always believed my case worker and followed the rules. Oh, you don´t get much money from the unemployment office so you should get a low income job. You will still get your monthly payment and you will ahve some extra cash. Oh, sorry, my mistake. Since you earn more in your new job than the meager pitiance we give you you won´t even get that anymore. But don´t bother. We´ll still pay your health insurance so that´s not a problem. And guess what comes next ? One day you find out that your unemployment status has been revoked, your health insurance was cancelled two years ago and your knee is effed up.

But like I said, without anybody to verify it that´s just my story and it doesn´t help me with my current situation anyway. I now have to apply again for the status of unemployed which means that I have to fill out a new application with all the paperwork and bells and whistles as usual. I had hoped that for once I would be spared the whole song and dance routine but who am I kidding here ? I´m much to old and too experienced to really believe that. Somehow I knew it was going to end like this. I knew I was going to loose my job because of those idiots from the jobcenter and I knew I had to fill out all the necessary papers all over.

The only good thing about this is that since it´s a brand new solicitation for unemployment money I will try to get help from some experts so that they have to pay me what they are obligated to pay by the law instead of the meager amount they tricked me into the last time. Momentarily that is the only silver lining on this big thunder cloud that is hanging over me.

And if that should really all come to pass - which is a big IF in capital letters - and the jobcenter pays once again my health insurance in two or three weeks time ( I guess I have to pay the monthly rates for the past two years until then out of my now empty pocket ) I can look forward to get a knee implant and months of rehab before I can work again. Yay !

You know, the more I think about it the more I realize that I´m in the same position as Walter White in BREAKING BAD. The only difference is that I´m not a chemistry teacher and I don´t know how to cook meth.

So now you know about my current situation and as usual I have to wrap things up here since I have to start with the paperwork Tomorrow. Sorry that we didn´t get to talk about comics but I wanted to explain why there may not be that many new posts the next few weeks. At least this post was not as oversexed as my last one since I had a few complaints. And the usual guys begging for more of that content. So for all the people out there who are starving for pictures of hot babes here´s a picture of Tatyana Ali in her pre show dress of the 2014 BET Awards. Little Ashley sure has grown up quite nicely since her FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR days.

Which is my crude attempt at an segueway for my first video Today. I´m a big fan of talk shows and some of them I can only watch on the internet. So I wanted to post this clip of the british Graham Norton Show where Will Smith and Gary Barlow perform the theme song to Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

For the second video I had to go to MyVideo since the GEMA has blocked in on You Tube - as usual. It´s the great Udo Jürgens with the unofficial anthem of the unemployed masses in tribute to my new social status.

Our last video is of a more comic related matter and as usual it has been - kind of - instigated by Terry Hooper who has been posting so many european comic interviews on his blog lately. This one is with the great Hugo Pratt about his CORTO MALTESE series and I chose it because you see a lot of his artwork in this one including the master himself drawing.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Busy with Markie Post post post production

It´s a weird title and you probably think I have lost it a bit ( or at least miscounted how often I used the word " post " in the post title ) but I assure you it´s correct. Because instead of doing a new post Today I spent a lot of time going over an old post - what you might call post production - about 80s cult siren Markie Post . So, yes, three times the word post.

When I first brought that post over from my old boob blog I had included some download links for clips of Markie Post from the cult show FALL GUY.

Because they were already in it and since only the first two seasons of FALL GUY ( Markie Post´s tenure on that show is a big part of the post ) were available in Germany and it didn´t look like the situation was going to improve on that front anytime soon ( and it really hasn´t in the more than 2 years the post has been up ) I kept them for my german readers.

Of course I knew that these kind of links never last long and while they have vanished over the years - except two very small ones - I have kind of ignored that since that is not what this blog is all about. It´s primary about comics and comic related stuff and then about everything else and I know that  I am always in danger of making this blog too oversexed.

The reason why I finally decided to give the post a much needed overhaul was that it is in the top ten of most popular posts and it has 9 comments. And because one video I had posted from YouTube wasn´t there anymore.

Now on my old blog I did this kind of " reloaded " posts a lot and I also did many of the posts like the one I´m writing right now to let my readers know that I added some new material and / or replaced some old material with other material of the same or a better quality. God knows where I found the time for all this but back then making a post was much faster. I have wrestled with the question if I should do an announcement post on this blog and even though I don´t want to turn this blog into a new version of my old boob blog I have decided to go with making this post.

Like I said, in part because it seems to be a very popular post and I could not find a lot of other posts on the net about this topic. Another reason is that while the post is in the top ten list and in my new " best of the best " link I know that a lot of readers don´t check out the top ten posts or the links at the bottom of each post. Because that´s simple logic and mathematics. People are lazy and if most of the people would check out the links at the bottom of the posts my top ten list would look different.

And of course I want to pimp the post a bit because cult sirens like Markie Post are a favorite subject of mine and I have put a lot of work into the post. I haven´t done nearly as much pimping as it deserves because with my erratic posting schedule I have missed most opportunities - like birthday posts - for that. So here´s my little reminder for all my old readers and a shout out to my newer readers ( I hope I still have those ).

So without further ado let us go into media res like the old romans used to say. What exactly is new about the post ? There are a few new pictures of Heather Thomas and one of Raquel Welch in better quality I added. Yes, I find it really sad when the best pictures can be found on my posts because I usually think that most bloggers on the interwebs are doing a much better job of it. So finding out that I have posted most of the best pictures is kind of sobering. On the other hand I should not complain because that is what I strive for. So mission accomplished on that front.

There are also no new download links because to tell the truth that always bothered me a bit on this blog and I wanted to get away from that kind of content anyway. If you are a longtime reader of this blog you have already downloaded the high quality bikini clips of Markie Post ( and sexy Heather Thomas ) I posted and if not then I don´t have any new links for that.
What I have added are more clips from YouTube and other websites. Because my posts have always been a kind of " show and tell " mix in the sense that I think it´s not as effective, it´s not good enough to just write about a comic. You also have to show some examples of the art to get your point across. And if you write about a poignant scene - or in this case a scene with a hot woman in a bikini - I think you should include a clip if you can for your readers. I think that there is always the one person out there who has no idea what you are writing about or hasn´t seen a tv show so I try to include anything somebody might need in these posts.

So for all those of you who have never seen Markie Post on FALL GUY or NIGHT COURT ( I finally found a clip from the episode where she wears a dress with a very Power Girl - esque cleavage window ) here´s your chance to see those scenes. And for all those readers who remember her on screen appearances you might also enjoy this trip down memory lane.  

Now there were some clips I couldn´t find on the net and which I uploaded from my from my laptop. The quality is not as good as I hoped when you go through blogger and for some strange reason blogger made a big thick black outline around the video so I had to make them really big to get rid of most of that. Well, as I found out just one hour ago the reason for that is that while the clips are in the new 16 : 9 format the part where there is actual footage is in the older 4 : 3 tv format. So that mystery is solved.

I have also included some new clips with Heather Thomas because you cannot talk about FALL GUY without talking about Heather Thomas. At least I cannot as long as I have not managed to give her a solo post.

Heather Thomas played Jody and her role was to keep the male viewers hooked by providing some eye candy. Yes, fan service is not as new as some people might want you to think and Heather Thomas mainly got the part because of her absolutely amazing bikini figure. It did however take a few episodes before she could strut her stuff but once the tv guys got a taste of Heather´s " talents " it happened more often and the famous blue bikini scene was quickly added to the new intro of the 2nd season.

For generations of adolescent young boys the only highlight of the week was the short moment when Heather appeared in her famous blue bikini.

Markie Post played bail bonds contractor Terri Michaels ( who replaced previous bail bonds contractor Samantha Jack played by Jo Ann Pflug ) beginning with Season 2 and at the beginning she played a minor role.

One of the producers must have realized what a waste it is to have somebody like Markie on the cast without letting her " show off what her Mama gave her " like they say Today and the rest is 80s tv history. Markie Post got more involved in the stories where she stole the scene from Heather Thomas as soon as she donned a bikini ( mainly in Season 3 ).

But back to Heather Thomas . Thanks to her 37 - 23 - 32 measurements and the exposure in THE FALL GUY she became a famous pin up model during the 80s with posters in every boy's bedroom from that time.

She even replaced pin up godess Raquel Welch on the number one spot.

Careerwise she just didn't manage to cash in on her popularity because she didn't want to use her physical attributes to succeed and the high points of her career were FALL GUY and the screwball comedy ZAPPED.

But I see that I´m already going into too much detail on what is supposed to be a short announcement post. So for all those who haven´t already gone over to the new and improved Markie Post ( and Heather Thomas ) appreciation post please use the link for more of my usual ramblings and as many pictures, clips and links I could cram into it. I hope you enjoy it.

Well, there were almost no pictures with hot babes in my last post but I think I made up for that in this one. It´s nice to be able to keep it in balance here. Now, it´s obligatory to include a video that has something to do with the topic of this post so I thought about including one of the new clips and which would be more fitting than Heather Thomas in the blue bikini. If I know YouTube it won´t be there for very long so I probably have to do another post like this one very soon ( hopefully a lot shorter ).

Like in my last posts I´m going to include a few more videos ( which was another reason for making this post since I have more videos than I can post ) and the first one is a bit more comic centric. I had thought about posting Comicbookgirl19´s new lengthy Ghostbusters review video but I think I´ll save that for the right occasion. Instead here is a new one by Amy Dallen where she explores the literary roots of super heroes.

Now I also finally managed to watch the documentary about horror cult author Howard Phillips Lovecraft that I posted way back in June in my THE RETURN OF RETURN OF THE GODS post. Which lead me to this great video about J. R. R. Tolkien with great archival footage from the BBC.

And just for the heck of it and because I love a good song and dance number, here´s the opening bit from the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards of Jimmy Fallon doing " Born to Run " with Tina Fey and the cast of Glee.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

I´m no sexual siren. I see prettier girls than me in the grocery store every day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

See what condition my condition is in

I think it´s time to do another post after my last one - which was very melodramatic - to let my faithful readers know what I have been up to lately especially in regards to my health insurance and job situation.

It´s not something I want to focus too much on but since I already opened that particular can of worms in my last post I have to do the follow up.

And there has not really been a lot of progress since then. What I found out is that not only did the jobcenter cancel my health insurance without noticing me they also canceled my unemployed status. The last guy I spoke to at the jobcenter obviously lied straight to my face because he said they would still pay my health insurance as long as I would need it to keep the job at the Stadionbad. Which I shouldn´t have believed in the first place. Fact of life : the authority lies. They withhold information from you, give you false information or straight up lie to your face.

First you are told that you can get a small job and as long as you earn to up under 450 EURO this is additional money you get. Then you are told that because you earn more in this new job than your monthly allowance from the jobcenter you won´t be getting that anymore. But they will still pay your health insurance because if you earn under 450 EUROS a month your boss is not paying your health insurance. And when you earn under 450 EUROS you don´t have enough for private insurance. But you bite the bullet because you want to keep your job and you tell yourself that at least you are free from all the trouble with the jobcenter and you don´t have to take their crap anymore and those idiots can´t continue to ruin your life. And then one day you find out that the last guy you spoke with at the jobcenter lied right to your face because a few months later he canceled your health insurance and kicked you out of the unemployment statistic.

Now I still don´t know why he did that - well, I know they do everything to get people out of the unemployment statistic by any means necessary.

And like a wise man once said : if you´re not cheating you´re not trying. So all I know is that they did send me a letter which informed me that I would get no further monetary benefits which for me meant that they sent me a letter just to tell me what I already knew : I lost the monthly allowance from the jobcenter. Well, apparently everybody else BUT me would have known that " no further monetary benefits " does also include any payments for health insurance which is something that goes without saying. At least that´s what the woman from the jobcenter told me.

So where they are concerned they didn´t do anything wrong and I can´t expect any help from them. If I wanted something I would have to quit my current job and fill out all the paperwork to apply for unemployment again but keeping in mind the lenghts they went to to get rid of me I don´t think I have any chances in that regards. And I don´t want to quit my job.

Which is what I really feared most. The good news in all of this is that my current boss wants to keep me ( Yay ! ) and is doing anything possible to get me a contract where they cover my health insurance ( Double Yay ! ).

The bad news is that that´s easier said than done because getting back to my old health insurance company is not easy. If all this had happened in 2013 this would have been no big problem since the german government issued a law to facilitate the return to your old health insurance company. So if you were not covered by your old health insurance company or you didn´t have any health insurance you didn´t have to pay for any debts like doctor´s bills, medication and so on that had accumulated during that.

But that was a time limited offer and since it expired at the end of 2013 it doesn´t apply to me. You can call it bad timing or the health insurance companies waiting till 2014 to pursue this but it hit me right in the nads. I have applied for membership again at my health insurance company but the way it looks I´ll have to pay the monthly membership fees from 2012 to now - because accoring to german law there can be no gaps in the health insurance - and pay the medical bills from that period. Which for me sounds like I either have to pay for the same thing twice or at least I´m paying for the period I wasn´t a member without getting the benefit from that. I mean IF I have to pay for all those months shouldn´t I get something for it ? As it stands I´ll have to pay it off in small, monthly installments which should only last until I´m 60 or 70 years. No problem.

So right now I´m still somewhere in - between. Still in limbo as I said in my last post. My current boss is trying to prepare the new contract but it´s not ready yet. Just this morning I made another phone call to my health insurance company to remind them to send a membership certification to my workplace so they can wrap things up on that end.

So if all things go well I will still have my job and health insurance starting on the 1st of September. Which just brings us to the next big problem.

My knee surgery. This all started because of my knee problems and those problems are still not over. If I don´t get my knee fixed I can´t work very long for my boss. And if I get it fixed it means that I can´t work for at least three months. Damned if I do, damned if I don´t, my boss gets the short end of the stick. Which is why I´m not sure if they will get through with this. In any case I will probably have to wait until September to find out if I´m back at my old health insurance or not. Then I have to find out if I that means I can get to the doctor again with all benefits or if there is a waiting period. And then I have to contact the clinic in Markgröningen again to find out when the next available date is for surgery. Which I have to arrange with my boss, then there´s the surgery itself and the rehab.

But - as I said - right now nothing is sure and check the mail box daily.


Now, since that´s out of the way : last post was supposed to be about the Legion of Super - Heroes but instead it was about my personal problems.

As usual it´s too late to do a full Legion post now but I wanted to include some comic related stuff - links to other blogs - and cover homages. Our first cover is SUPERMAN 8 by with Superman going against the Legion

which is a cover homage by the man himself to FANTASTIC FOUR 249

where he not only re - used the layout but also replaced the characters with their Legion analogues. Most comic readers know that the Imperial Guard from the Shi´ar were created by Legion artist / fan Dave Cockrum as analogues for the Legionnaries so it´s no wonder that Superman takes the place of Gladiator who has the same power set as for Superboy or Mon - El. Furthermore Blok stands in for the also rocky hided Thing, fiery Sun Boy replaces The Human Torch, of course Invisible Boy changes place with the Invisible Girl ( she changed her name to Invisible Woman much later ) and the brains of the Fantastic Four, Mr. Fantastic becomes Brainiac 5.

The great Bob Layton also used it for this ARMOR WARS commission :


Since we´re on the subject of Superman, I wanted to post this variant cover by John Romita Senior ( which I found on the always excellent MAN OF BRONZE blog that I don´t visit as often as I used to because all the DC and Marvel news is just too depressing ) which shows why he´s still one of the great masters. Even burdened by the new Robotech suit Superman looks more like himself than since DC started the whole NEW 52 thing.


My next link is to an article about Adrienne Curry who defended a female Cosplayer from Sexual Assault at the last Comic Con. I wrote about her in this post in 2012 about the whole controversy if she was evicted from Comic Con way back in 2011 because her Aeon Flux outfit was too skimpy.

Going over the post I noticed that it also mentions that she was molested in 2010 after a STAR WARS convention so while some people may think this is a new problem it has been a while longer. I found the link on fellow blogger Terry Hooper´s COMIC BITS ONLINE and while the fact that this particular idiot got his just desert is heart warming it makes me sick that this still happens. When will people learn that Cosplaying in not consent?


On a brighter note, it seems my MASTER OF KUNG FU MONDAY post that was inspired by Ol Groove from DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND has in turn inspired him to start a new series which is - oddly enough - called MASTER OF KUNG FU MONDAY ( I wonder how he came up with that one ).

All joking aside, since Marvel will probably not reprint these stories in the near future here´s your chance to read one of the best Bronze Age Marvel series of all time. The first issue is MASTERS OF KUNG FU 78 , which starts the storyline that has it´s dramatic finale in the WARRIORS OF THE GOLDEN DAWN epic. Issue 79 just went online Today and Groove has promised to do the full length of this masterpiece ( possibly beyond ). Oh, before I forget, he also posted issue 76 and issue 77 - click the links.


The MASTER OF KUNG FU series is also mentioned as one of the top picks in Comic Geek Speak´s Top Five Comics Based on Licensed Properties episode together with the great ROM SPACEKNIGHT series. Like MASTER OF KUNG FU, it´s probably never going to be reprinted but - once again - thanks to Ol Groove you can read issue 1 and issue 2 on his blog.

And since you´re on Ol Groove´s blog anyway, if you´re as tired from the current Avengers where you don´t recognize anyone anymore and they are constantly swiping Doctor Who ( with Doctor Strange shouting : " I´m the Doctor ! " every other issue, the old parallel earths wiping each other out schtick and now they even include random time travel ) as I am check out the post about WHAT IF issue 3 which is WHAT IF THE AVENGERS HAD NEVER BEEN ? Even as an WHAT IF story it still features the real Avengers and the art combo of Gil Kane and Klaus Janson is absolutely incredible.

We´re staying a bit on the subject of Bronze Age comics. One of the blogs you can find on DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND is the great BRONZE AGE REPRINTS blog. Lately there has been a lot more Marvel Bronze Age comics in my reading pile and most in the trade or hardcover format. Now if you have had the same experience this is the first address for you if you want to buy something besides the ESSENTIALS because not only are the comics rated based on the story and the art, the blog also examines how the reprinted version holds up to the original. It also includes a lot of pictures so you can decide if you want to buy it or if you better skip it.

Last but not least is a totally comic - unrelated post from Ed M Wood at BABBEL about seven of his most favorite german words . Ausgezeichnet !


Once again it´s time to wrap things up which brings us to the video at the end of the post - or rather videos in this case. I´m not going to post as many videos as I did in my last post but it seems the upwards trend on " clicks per day " continues as we managed to go beyond the 8,000 bar.

Today´s first video is for my german readers and once again it was inspired by COMIC BITS ONLINE. Latley Terry Hooper has posted some interesting stuff about german comics but I´m not going to post any of those. If you want to see them go to his site and here are the links :

the first video is COMICKULTUR - DIE WELT DER COMICSAMMLER , the german version of the COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE episode about collecting comics. Like the title says it´s mainly from a collector´s perspective and a lot of the tips don´t apply for german comic readers but it´s informative if you want to start collecting comics. You can see creators like John Romita Senior and Harvey Pekar in the video but you know that the guys who made the video are not comic fans themselves since they don´t know the difference between Green Lanterns Alan Scott and Hal Jordan or Marvel´s Captain Marvel and Fawcett´s Captain Marvel.

The same goes for PANORAMA - VON COMICS UND GROSCHENROMANEN , from austrian tv in 2012. You can probably find every bad cliche about comic readers in it but it is interesting because of the rare footage about old german comic books and pulps. It also features some famous people who were influenced by comics like Helnwein. One of these days I really have to start with my posts about recycled pulp covers like the one below, GESPENSTER KRIMI Band 474, titled DIE TOTENGLOCKE ( The Death Bell ).

It was later used as issue 455 of SILBER GRUSEL - KRIMI, SCHRECKENSHÖLLE HONG KONG ( Terror hellhole Hong Kong )

but the original from where they were swiped is WEIRD WAR TALES 32.

But as I have said, that is the topic for another post and I should get on with wrapping this one up. Besides the posts I already mentioned from COMIC BITS ONLINE Terry Hooper has already done two posts about Hansrudi Wäscher, one of the primary rocks of german comics ( you may remember that I mentioned it in my second Erlangen convention diary ).

This one with a video about the man´s artistic evolution from the 50s to the 2000s followed by this post that has more information about him. But what I am posting about Hansrudi Wäscher is another video I found on YouTube where somebody went to the all trouble of turning the very first issue of SIGURD " Die Falle " ( The trap ) into an illustrated audio drama.

Next is the french animated short ELECTROSCHOCK in which a guy gets super powers and tries to get the girl of his dreams ( english subtitles ).

So that´s all for Today´s collage and I hope there was something interesting in it for you and I can do a more comic related post very soon.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Letters from Limbo

There have been no new posts on the blog these last days because I was very depressed. The reason for this is that I was just informed on Friday that my health insurance was cancelled by the job center - in 2012.

So I wasted another one of my free days taking the bus all the way to the clinic in Markgröningen and back. I was all prepped to get the knee surgery I obviously need and now I don´t know what is going to happen.


By the way, now is as good a time as any to tell you of the first time I wasted one of my free days with going to Markgröningen. Lord knows I hinted at it enough and my readers are probably already tired of being teased by me. First I have to say that the clinic in Markgröningen is one specialised in knee problems so they are the best address for that kind of stuff. After I returned to the orthopedist with my MRI pictures he told me that I had to go to Markgröningen and the doctor there would decide what had to be done. So I made an appointment - which wasn´t very early thankfully - and was all set to go there because you can take a bus to Markgröningen. Now the thing is there´s only one bus line that goes to Markgröningen and there´s only one bus every hour. So if you miss the bus you have to wait an entire hour until the next one arrives. Which is not a problem if you have enough time, but taking into account time for going from the bus stop in Markgröningen to the clinic and time to get dressed and ready to leave the house I still had to get up pretty early.

But I thought I had planned it right so there would be no problem. Of course I couldn´t sleep that night and overslept in the morning. Nowadays getting out of bed is a real fight especially when I can´t walk. I guess the days where I could haul my body out of bed even if I was dead tired are over. I´m much too old for that and if I try it my body doesn´t cooperate.

So I can´t get up when I want, I have to wait until my body has rested long enough to work again. Okay, I was already late although not too late. After visiting the crapper and putting the soothing oinment on my knee and getting dressed I went to the bus station where I saw the bus leave just before I arrived. Which didn´t exactly surprise me because that always happens to me lately. Either it takes a long time for the bus to arrive or it leaves right before my eyes. Since I already anticipated this I had some reading material with me - in this case the X - MEN : BATTLE OF THE ATOM hardcover I had just gotten with my last amazon order.

It´s one of the few good series left at Disney - or Marvel if you still want to call it that - and I think it was the only good thing that day. Because I had missed the bus to Ludwigsburg I was now pressed for time - a little bit - but there was still the possibility to get there on time if the bus driver didn´t go too slow. But as luck - or the gods who are a sadistic lot as far as my personal experience is concerned - would have it the driver stopped at all the stations and wouldn´t you know, I missed the bus.

There are some things that can´t be explained by logic but fall under Murphy´s Law like the fact that the bus you are trying to catch is always leaving on time while the one you have to take because you missed the previous one is always late. So I spent over an hour reading my X - Men hardback at the bus station in Ludwigsburg before I finally could go to Markgröningen. And before you say it could have been worse : it WAS raining that day. It ALWAYS rains when I´m traveling. Not to dwell too much on this I finally arrived in Markgröningen - although now already one hour too late - only to find out that the bus station was not really right at the clinic but rather a very long distance from it. Which is no picnic if you have a busted knee. But I managed to get there eventually and went to the registration desk to deliver my papers. Which is the part where things really got interesting ( and when I say interesting I mean f - ed up ).

So I gave my papers - my health insurance card, the paper with the appointment and the letter I got from the orthopedists office - to the woman behind the desk and she told me I needed an letter of referral. I had already anticipated this - usually I tend to forget these things - so I had paid my doctor a visit the day before to get one. But when I gave it to her she told me that the letter was from my doctor and I needed one from the orthopedist. Since I still have no cell phone - I know, I´m a dinosaur - I had to go take the lift to the bottom floor to use the public phone and try to call my orthopedist so they could fax a letter of referral. Why the woman at the reception desk couldn´t do this is still beyond me.

Anyway, after the walk from the bus station to the clinic my knee was already a bit sore but it couldn´t be helped. I went down to the bottom floor and tried to phone my orthopedist which is like trying your luck at the lottery because the line is always busy and it´s almost impossible to get a connection - which is the reason why most people go there in person even if it´s only to get an appointment. I was even lucky enough to get connected only to find out that I accidentially had dialed the fax number of the clinic in Markgröningen instead of the office of my orthopedist.

To make things worse the phone had just swallowed up my last coins so I could not try again. It was already 2 hours after my official appointment and I couldn´t get to Ludwigsburg, get a new letter of referral and make it back in time to Markgröningen. So the only thing I could do now was to make another appointment ( this one 2 hours earlier so I already dreaded how I was supposed to make it to that one in time ) and go home. Of course I had to wait a long time for the bus to arrive in Markgröningen but I read the complete BATTLE OF THE ATOM before I got home.

So I arrived in Ludwigsburg and although I was really tired and my knee was aching I decided to go to the orthopedist to get a letter of referral so I don´t have to make another trip to Ludwigsburg to get it. But when I spoke to the woman at the desk she said that they already gave me one. She had checked the computer and it said I was already issued one. Then she opened the letter I got from them ( you remember that it was with the papers I gave the woman at the clinic in Markgröningen ? ) and there it was all along. If only the woman in Markgröningen had bothered to actually open the envelope my complete odyssey could have been avoided.

And that is how Subzero spends the days when he doesn´t have to work.

Coming back to my health insurance that was canceled, I have no idea what it means. The plan was to get surgery on my knee on Monday, the first day when the Stadionbad is officially closed. They are shutting down for 4 weeks to do the usual repairs and initially I thought I could use this time for my vacation as usual. Then I was told that I needed surgery and I thought at least it´s on the first day when my work is closed so I should be finished with the first part of rehab. Afterwards there are two to three months of more rehab following until you can work again but at least I can start right away. But now ? I don´t know. First I have to sort all this mess with my health insurance out so on Monday I´m going to the personnel office to see if they can use their connections. That´s one of the perks when you are working for the municipality. And I think it´s better if I don´t speak with the jobcenter directly with the mood I´m in right now.

Right now I feel like Al Pacino in The Godfather : just when I thought I was finished with dealing with the idiots of the jobcenter......

Anyway, sorry that there´s not much comic related content in this post but look at the bright side : thanks to the jobcenter I might have to quit my job so there might be an increase in blog posts in the near future. Or at least until I get my health insurance back and a new surgery date.


And speaking about important dates, I was so preoccupied with all this stuff that I totally forgot about POPCULTURE ICON BETTY BROSMER´S birthday on the 2nd of this month. It´s the fourth popular post of all times on the blog and the one that gets the most spam in the comments section. The other two are GREATEST COMIC ARTIST EVER : JEAN GIRAUD and THIS WAS MY SECRET WARS with COMICBABE BATTLE ROUND 4 - SPIDERBABE WINNER - PART 1 ( NOW FINALLY FINISHED ) becoming a serious contender. Man, I really gave them some long titles back in the days. Many happy returns and check out her post for a real pin up icon.

Before closing the post for Today I have to mention that the cover at the top of the post is an altered one. But I just found it fitting for my current mood and here is the original cover, LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES 30.

The reason why I had this cover handy is that I was going over my material of the Legion since I have finished volume 10 of the Legion Archives thanks to the many trips to Markgröningen - successful or not.

Originally the plan was to write about some of the really strange things that happen in the Legion stories I read but I guess this will have to wait for another day. Another thing that has been keeping me busy are the many cosplay pictures I have collected for future posts. Some readers think that I have already given up on my big Yaya Han post since I didn´t write the follow up to my intro post but that´s still in the pipeline.

I just don´t know if I want to do that first or a post centering on male cosplayers. In this whole thing that cosplay has become the boys often are forgotten and I have found some that are really awesome or characters you never thought one could pull off. Or both. And I want to give props.

Speaking about the cosplay thing and giving props I´m also planning on a solo post about cosplay sexbomb Jessica Nigri. There are going to be a lot of her costumes involved in the cosplay post about doing female versions of characters - even Marvel is a big fan of that since they are doing it in their comics now - because let´s face it : she really does a lot of those. I know there are people out there who critique her for not keeping it real ( in my opinion an oxymoron in itself ) but since I mostly don´t know that much about the characters in the first place I can´t really comment on that. As long as it looks good ( and Jessica looks REALLY good ! ) and she´s having fun doing it - which she seems to have - it´s okay with me.

And let´s not overreact here. Some of the costumes are from Pokemon of all things. So you have to take into account that she had to watch ( suffer ) it in the first place and then she was still willing to be publicly connected with it. A cartoon show for kids that´s basically all about souped up cock fights ( yes, I used the words cock and fight in a sentence about Jessica Nigri and it was without any double meaning behind it ). Anyway, here´s a picture of the always astonishing Jessica and to avoid any polemic I picked one where she´s not in a cosplay costume. I think. Massitaaa !!!

So I thought about picking a Jessica Nigri video for this post but right now there seems to be a problem with YouTube and the only ones I have bookmarked are one with the breast moments of her videos and another one that is a 25 minute loop of Jessica exposing her cleavage ( there´s also an hour long version of that available but if you need that long it´s already hopeless, dude ) and you can probably find them on your own.

What I´m posting instead is this video because of all the talk about female cosplayers getting a boob job. Not that I´m against it, I think everybody should decide it for themselves. But before people start crying " boob job " they should think about the fact that there might be other reasons why a female cosplayer´s chest area looks much bigger all of a sudden. They might have seen this helpful tutorial by Stacey Brennan.

I also want to continue with the Muppet Specials and Today´s video is THE MUPPETS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD from 1990. As someone who grew up outside of the United States I have never been to Disneyworld ( I know that in America you have failed as a parent if you haven´t been with your kid to Disneyworld at least once ) but I have seen most of the movies.

It´s an especially interesting video from Today´s point of view because Disney now owns The Muppets. And Lucasfilms. And Marvel. Some say this is a good thing since certain seasons of The Muppets couldn´t be released on DVD because of rights involving Lucasfilms. While that´s something that might happen I think Disney is pretty much ruining Marvel - at least as an intellectual property - in the comics and possibly in the movies ( I still haven´t seen the latest four Marvel movies to be sure ).

So here are the Muppets paying a visit to their future bosses. Enjoy !

Okay, a few more videos that are more comic related as a special " Thank You " to my readers since we managed to crack the " 1,750 hits per day " mark with this post which is - fittingly enough - my 470th post . If you have listened to the Comic Geek Speak guys spotlight episode on The Fantastic Four in the Bronze Age you might have heard about the radio show episodes that were produced in 1975 in which Bill Murray spoke the part of the Human Torch, Johnny Storm. You can listen to the episodes right here and here is the video of THE COMING OF THE SUB - MARINER. 

Of course there was a Fantastic Four cartoon show before that in the 60s and here´s the episode with the title THREE PREDICTIONS OF DOOM.

And one you might be more familiar which was broadcast on tv in 1978. I picked THE FINAL VICTORY OF DOOM for this one. I hope you enjoy it !

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Life´s like a movie. Write your own ending.