Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My Erlangen Diary Part 5

We´re having a heat wave......a tropical heat wave.....Like Fred Astaire used to sing, a heat wave seeems to sweep over all of us. Germany seems to be melting due to the state the ozone layer is in. The greenhouse effect is in " full effect " like we always said in the 80s.

This kind of reminds me of the Comic Salon in Erlangen which also was very hot. I guess I have already told you about the first three days which leaves only the big finale.

DAY 4 - THE LAST DAY

Today, like the two days before, I was awake at six o´clock in the morning. As this was the last day I wanted to take the opportunity for one last dip in the pool. Yesterday the visit to the pool had been very spontaneous but this time I took a towel, fresh clothes, a bag and showering gel with me. After a relaxing bath in the pool I showered ( the shower cabin by the pool were bigger than the ones in our room ), put on some fresh clothes and went up to my room. The day before I had to rush up the stairs in my wet swimming trunks because I had nothing to change and no towel. Ah, the entusiasm of youth ! After a quiet breakfast I packed my suitcase and waited for my brother to finish his morning routine. Then we went to the receptionist´s desk and paid. The hotel we stayed in had not been the one we originally wanted but I have to say that we could have picked a worse one.

We packed all our stuff into the car and drove to the convention center. If you have been to a convention for the entire duration you know that the last day is always special. You have already been basically everywhere and you try to go to the places which you may have overlooked. The dealers are a little tired and make a last effort to sell their stuff because they don´t want to carry everything back home. As the last day in Erlangen is a Sunday there are less visitors, only the hardcore comic fans who have come for the full four days and the wimps who couldn´t get here during workdays or even on the holiday and for whom this is the last chance.

Like the previous days me and my brother went seperate ways, he with his camera equipment and me with my suitcase. I already had my sketch by Humberto Ramos and since there were no other artists signing on the last day who I had any interest in I decided to just wander through the convention center. Strangely I saw Mr.Ramos on a few occasions during the last day but I didn´t want to leave the impression of a stalker. So I went up to him the first time, thanked him again for the sketch and whished him a pleasant stay in Germany since he said he had to do a few signings the next few days. I only passed the table of the SCHWARZER TURM quickly because I saw that Robi was engaged in a conversation with one of his artists, writers or future collaborators. So I forgot to get an issue of KATZE which had gotten an award the day before and which was a really funny and really small comic. Maybe I can get a copy at the COMIC ACTION in Essen but somehow I doubt that I can make the trip with my current financial situation.

I went to all the guys you only meet at conventions to say goodbye and till next time. Since I had already bought more comics than I initially had planned I took my time going through the comic boxes. I had already filled some gaps in my collection and I had tons of comics to read. The one thing I was still looking for where the german trades of the BENDIS DAREDEVIL run but I couldn´t find the ones I was still missing. At least not with a discount. Because I am curious if the storyline is any good but without a big discount it is just no within my price range. So right now the three trades I DO have are still on my desk, unread and unloved. I´m still not sure if I should wait till I get the other trades or just read them already. But that´s not a decision I have to male right away. There are still between 60 and 70 issues I have not read, 4 Naruto books, 2 DOLMEN and 4 trades. Plenty of time to find the missing trades.

But I did buy some comics. I found two issues of SHAMAN´S TEARS, a few issues of Sleepwalker and some issues of SOLAR and ETERNAL WARRIOR from VALIANT. Then I found the latest book by DANY which is a pin up / comic strip book. I hadn´t even known he had done a new one. After a few hours of looking for comics I sat down at the stairs and began to make the last notes of the comic convention. There were only 30 minutes left so I only managed to write one page. When the final announcement was made that the Comic Salon Erlangen was now officially over I went outside where my brother arrived a few minutes later. Then we put our stuff into the car and started to look for a restaurant where we could celebrate the final day.

We had been to a few places in Erlangen before so we decided to go to a restaurant where we haven´t been before. Two days earlier we had passed a greek restaurant called MYTHOS and because we wanted to try something different we said : let´s check it out. We like to eat fish and you always get good fish in greek restaurants. After a quick look at the menu we both ordered some calamares which was the best decision we could have made. I have eaten my share of calamares in my 39 years. I have eaten calamares like my mother makes them, I have eaten calamares in restaurants, I have eaten calamares on street stand, I have eaten calamares in diners and I have even eaten calamares in fast food restaurants. I have eaten calamares in Spain, in France, in Italy and in Germany.

But this were the best calamares. Ever. Period.

Now I hope my mother never finds out about this and me and my brother have already taken a vow never to speak of this in the presence of my mother. But these calamares were even better than the ones my mother makes. Which up to this point were the be-all end-all for me concerning calamares. Naturally we found it at the last day. The last day. So we finished our stay in Erlangen on this high note and made a mental note that next time the MYTHOS would be our first station in Erlangen.

On the way back we took a slight detour which cost us about half an hour and there was a little traffic jam but nothing too serious. We arrived at home without any problems - at least no problems till getting to the door. Now I had to wait for the right moment to get my suitcase full of comics into the house. In my mind the theme song of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE ( the original version by Lalo Schiffrin not the techno version ) was playing while every fiber of my body was vibrating with anticipation. Now all the years reading LONE WOLF AND CUB and NARUTO finally paid off. Like a ghost I slipped undetected into my room where I buried my suitcase deep into the wardrobe. I waited a few hours before I started unpacking the comics and placing them in a new box on top of my secretary and in huge piles on the other table.

I took a shower and was just glad that I could sleep in my own bed again. It´s nice to come home !

So that was the last part of my Erlangen diary. Nothing too exciting happened but all in all it was a good convention. I got the sketches I wanted although there were not so many artists signing like the years before. And I should have shown a little more restraint buying comics but since 90 % of the comics I bought were from the 1 EURO / 50 cent boxes it wasn´t that big of a deal. Aside from the GREEN ARROW issues I collected quite a swag and I was able to close some gaps in my collection.


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  • And there came a day when Earth´s mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common thread. On that day the Avengers were born - to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand !

    Sunday, July 23, 2006

    Comic reviews again

    After my little rant about translations I wanted to write about some comics I have read in the last few days before returning to the last part of my Erlangen Diary. First up are two comics from my brother´s pull list :

    Birds of Prey 94 - Continuing the ONE YEAR LATER story I´m still baffled who the new member of the team is. Maybe it was explained somewhere but I have no idea who the woman with the strange powers is. For the story I don´t know what Black Canary wanted to achieve with her switch for Shiva but I fear it can lead to no good.

    Skye Runner 2 - Now, I never was much of a fan of fantasy comics to begin with. Most of them are too formulaic for my tastes and use the old cliches. Or they try to establish their own universe and are much too complicated. Skye Runner is the latter for me. The art is good but the story is just not for me.



    Now to the comics from my own pull list :

    52 Week 4 to 9 - Now, this series is much better for me. It´s interesting to see what happened in the missing year with twists and turns appearing now and then. It seems Booster Gold is about to find out what the repercussions of his altering of the time stream are. I think he has not realized it yet but when he helped Batman in finding OMAC he changed the course of history. The scene where Ralph was pissed at him because he never told him his wife was going to be murdered showed what I was thinking the whole time. I mean Booster means weel, but he COULD have prevented her death or the death of his best friend - Blue Beetle.

    Another interesting thing is what The Question is all about. He seems to know more than he let´s on and the reader is as frustrated as Officer Montoya because we only get bits and pieces.

    The new Batwoman was introduced in issue 9 but I think we will see her in costume in the next issue. Now the fact that there was so much hype about Batwoman being a lesbian is kind of weird. There are two gay members ( no pun intended ) in YOUNG AVENGERS but it never got the media attention as the new Batwoman.

    Which may be due to the fact that Marvel did not make a big announcement about it like - BATWOMAN IS BACK AND SHE IS A LESBIAN. Or that Marvel already knew they were going to get negative responses for trying to do Young Avengers and they thought it would be better not to tell that two of the Young Avengers are gay. Because that is not the main focus of the stories.

    Now I´m curious to find out what happens in the next issue now that Luthor has cooked up his latest sceme of...well, you will find out if you read the issues.

    Maybe John Irons will be able to settle his differences with his daughter but for the moment it seems like Natasha is determined to do whatever is necessary to step out of her fathers shadow as a super heroine.


    Teen Titans 37 - It was already on the chopping block. This was supposed to be my last issue of the series. The art was not as good as when it began and the last few issues have been just about the new strange members of the team. But after reading the last few pages with Robin and Wonder Girl I will keep on reading. Great characterisation and a really heartwrenching scene. Robin doesn´t handle the loss of Conner very well and it may take him some time to get over it - if ever.


    Thing 7 - Now this series is on the chopping block all by itself. Many comic fans are complaining that they read to many comics and have problem cutting down on the number of series to read. My problem seems to be that I´m much too fickle and spoiled when it comes to comics. Because I find it difficult to add series to my list that achieve the high qualkity standard I expect. and when I have finally found such a gem in most cases that means it´s being cancelled in the next six months. Now it seems like spidergirl WILL be back but Dan Slott´s THING is definitely cancelled despite my pimping in this blog.

    Thankfully it ends only after the big poker tournament in issue 8 which should provide for a good ending in the trade. And maybe there will be a continuation if it sells well. Now issue 7 is drawn by Kieron Dwyer who is one of the artists I like but whom I don´t see in the mainstream very much. I kind of miss his art along with the likes of Kerry Gammill, Ron Lim and Mike Zeck. I guess now that the end of the series is coming Andrea de Vito will not come back but that´s okay for me. Now in the story Ben wants to give Alicia a special gift for her birthday since he´s jealous of her new boyfriend. I´m not so sure if I like the idea of Ben and alicia not being a couple anymore but things change. Which is the main focus of the story.

    One of the funniest things of the issue was the panel where there are all these signes posted around Reed´s time machine. Which obviously are there to prevent Ben from using it for his own crazy ideas. But if you have to live with a crazy brother like me you already know that it´s no use. My favorite sign was the one with the words " Remember the Alamo " which has a totally new meaning in this context. I wonder what Ben´s involvement in that historic moment was that Reed uses it to remind Ben of the dangers of time travel.

  • Thing 7


  • Fantastic Four 538 - And speaking of the everloving blue eyed idol of millions Ben is also the main focus of this issue of Fantastic Four. I´m not postin the cover because they just don´t look good. In this issue with much better inside art by Mike Mc Kone the repercussions of CIVIL WAR begins. With the Human Torch hospitalized and Reed and Susan on opposite sides of the issue Ben has to decide on which side he is going to be on. Will he fight with the people of Yancy Street or against them ? So far he has tried to be neutral but there is no chance to sit on the sidelines on this one. A very good issue.

    Secret Six 2 - We get to find out more about the attack on all the secret six members in last issue. Same art team which still is not too thrilling. The only thing that I found strange was to find Ragdoll whjere he was on the last page. Didn´t he escape the attack of IBAC ? Or was this supposed to be the first Ragdoll ? Confusing.




    Shadowpact 2 - Another pre-Infinite Crisis spin off so I can´t say too much about it after the second issue. Bill Willingham´s art pleases me much more than the art in Secret Six but for the story I will wait another few issues before making a verdict.






    Blood of the Demon 16 - Another series that vanishes from my pull list without any involvement from my part. John Byrne seems to gear up for his big finale in this one with the fight of the two Etrigans....or was it three ? I guess I lost count but I love it nonetheless. I definitely have to check out the first issues of John Byrne´s new Atom series when it comes out. I really enjoyed all series that john Byrne has been involved in so far.

    Sgt Rock - The prophecy 6 - And this series also wraps up. The end of the story was a bit strange but kind of what I expected. Great art by Joe Kubert but I think this series is more gered to fans of either Sgt Rock or Joe Kubert. Despite this I urge every reader out there to check it out. If you are not already reading it maybe you will find it interesting.

    CIVIL WAR 2 - Unlike the last action packed issue this one was a litle slower paced as sides were taken and new alliances forged. The big surprise at the end was not that shocking due to the fact that it was revealed in Spider-Man. Or the Jay Leno show. Still a good read and the art by Steve McNiven looked better than ever.

    And that wraps up today´s comic reviews since my uncle will be paying me a visit in a few minutes because he has trouble with his laptop. And I have to cook.

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  • Vanish, vanish form of man
    rise the demon Etrigan.

    Saturday, July 22, 2006

    The old topic of translations again

    There is a heated discussion going on in the german PANINI messageboard concerning translations. Especially yours truly has been getting some flack because I posted a link to one of my earlier posts. I didn´t do that to spite anybody but I just wanted to say : " Hey, guys, that dude you all find so excellent is a pretty crappy translator. Don´t believe me ? Read this. "

  • My post about a really bad translation


  • And now the old arguments are brought up and people are called traitors or spiteful because of envy. But I already knew that before posting. It´s not the first time this discussion took place in the PANINI messageboard or any other comic related messageboard in Germany. And the result will be the same as all the other times. There are certain regulations the translators have to fulfill, the company doesn´t want to pay for quality work and it´s the best possible under the circumstances. That may all be right but if that is your line of argumentation then you have not read my post. I don´t know what you read but surely it was something other. Because nowhere in this post do I say that ALL GERMAN TRANSLATIONS ARE BAD, it´s just this one guy who keeps screwing up. Now I could have ignored the fact that 90 % of the translators are doing a good job and you have to be careful before buying german comics that you don´t get the 10 % but then what´s the whole point in writing ?

    All longtime readers will remember an earlier post with the title WHAT ABOUT GERMAN COMICS ? where I elabotated a little my reading habits concerning german comics. And it´s just the truth that....yes, I used to read a lot of comics in the german version....and no, I don´t do that anymore. So it´s my duty to not leave it at that cryptic remark and tell the reasons for it. That´s the first time mentioned it and being the positive guy I am I thought I could leave it at that. Which clearly was not the case. But before my brother bought the comic that I analysed in the blog I had no reason to make an indepth post about it which was partially because I have often gotten criticism for writing bad things without detailed proof about what was so bad. Not this time.

    Now some people may say that I´m only jealous because somebody has a job I would like to have. Now, that´s just ridiculous because for one I´m not that kind of guy. In fact I´m a fan of many translators like Steve Kups and I also give them props for good work. And second I don´t write this blog to kiss ass or get any medals so anyone who has a problem with what I write can go bark up a tree for all I care. The thing those people don´t understand is that the bottom line is not the fact that someone has a job I would like. There are tons of people who have jobs I would like to have. The guy who puts oil on Vida Guerra´s butt for the photoshoot. The guy who helps Janet Jackson squeezing her boobs into her tight outfits. The guy who gets to test the quality of Haagen Dasz icecream. The guy who gets to film Halle Berry´s nude scenes. The artist at Marvel or some other comic company who gets tons of comics for free although ( unlike myself ) he has the money to buy them.

    BUT the fact is that all those guys have one thing in common : they don´t suck at their work. And if they do I don´t know about it. Because I don´t know if Vida Guerra´s butt is oiled the wrong way or if Halle Berry´s nude scenes are filmed totally wrong. I´m no expert in these areas and I never had any reason to investigate any further. But what I know about is comics. Especially the ones I read may it be in the original or the translated version. I know them both and can make a professional analysis. And it is not that I do it because someone has a job I would like. I also would like to have many other jobs like you can see above. It is more the fact that somebody who is obviously the least qualified has a job I could do better without even trying. I have made a few translations myself and I can tell you after a while you can see the difference if somebody has tried very hard...or not.

    Now other people may think : Live and let live. There is one guy who constantly screws up the german versions of american comics, so what ? That´s not what this blog is all about. Sorry. I don´t cut no slack and I don´t beat about the bush or write half-truths. What do people think what goes into this blog ? There is a lot of consideration and thought about what I post and what not. I´m not writing my posts to show everybody how great I am by bashing other people. I´m not writing my posts to spit out venom and tell everybody what comics suck. I started this blog to be a more positive voice and to talk about all the great comics that are out there that I just love to read. About how great it is to read comics and what wonderful stories there are just lying and waiting to be discovered. There have been tons of cases where I decided not to write about certain topics because it would just get people angry, myself in trouble, it would not change anything and in the end I would have only wasted my own time and the time of my readers.

    But I also started this blog with the premise of providing a service for readers namely informing and entertaining. And the part of informing includes for me to warn readers if they are about to waste good money on a bad comic. I´m writing the truth as I see it because that is the only thing any of us can. I mean, can any of you write the truth like somebody else sees it ? Not me. If you want anything else there are enough hateful or sugarcoated blogs out there.So I will keep on writing about the topics I deem important without any regard if somebody else may find it worth his time. Maybe the are people out there who don´t care for a comparative look at various GREEN ARROW series or who don´t want to know which comic magazine is the best in my opinion - WIZARD, COMIXXENE or DOLMEN. But I don´t think they are readers of my blog.

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  • I WILL NEVER SURRENDER OR YIELD TO DESPAIR !

    Thursday, July 20, 2006

    My Erlangen Diary part 4

    It seems we are in an episode of Flash Gordon since scientists have now discovered that a death ray from mars is responsible for the devastating heat wave of the last few days. well, they didn´t call it exactly a death ray but that´s what it really is. And like always it just shows that german people really don´t know how to handle heat.

    You want heat ? You can´t handle the heat !

    Yeah, doing impressions via internet really sucks. Anyway, I remember this one joghurette comercial about putting the chocolate bars into the fridge so they don´t melt during summer. Dude, that´s like.....common sense. But there are lot of other things to write about. Luckily at work I´m at the moment cleaning up the basement where it is convieniently cool. Now, for this post I thought it is high time to wrap up my Erlangen diary. Maybe it is not so interesting anymore but it´s the duty of the chronicle to to leave no gaps in history and maybe some of the readers want to know how it all turned out. I don´t have very extensive notes for the last two days but nevertheless I´m trying to piece it together as best as I can. As you may remember we had finished with the second day where I had stood in line for hours without any success and now Saturday was coming. The day of the big comic flea market.

    DAY 3

    I awoke pretty early this morning and started to get my swimming trunks. Yesterday we met the MOSAIK fans from Leipzig and since we have a pool at the hotel we decided to meet there in the morning. To swim a few laps and get the body working. So I put on my swimming trunks and went down to the pool only to discover it was closed. I went to the hotel manager and he was kind enough to open it for me. At first the water was very cold but after a few minutes it was refreshing and relaxing. I swam a few laps and was just ready to call it quits when the MOSAIK guys arrived. So I stayed in the pool and we were fooling around and having a lot of fun. When I finally left the pool I was relaxed and wide awake. There are few better ways to start the day than taking a quick dip in a pool ( and very few that don´t involve Halle Berry or Beyonce, or both ) and the bonus is you can storage the experience. If you know that the day is going to be hot, just take one moment and stay absolutely still. Don´t move an inch and just float in the water. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Feel the coolness of the water around your body and make a mental recording. And during the day when it is really hot and you are standing in line and sweating like a pig just close your eyes for a moment and relive the moment. You will feel a little cooler and relaxed in a minute.

    After the pool we met at the breakfast table were we had a nice conversation. It turned out that the guys from Leipzig had their own MOSAIK fanzine but I don´t recall if it was their first time in Erlangen. I finished breakfast ( this time I ate some Nutella since I would need the calories later ) and went to our room to wake my brother. While he did his morning routine I prepared my suitcase for the day, taking out the comics I had bought yesterday. If you go to a comic convention you just need a suitcase with wheels because no matter how many comics you buy after a few hours they will weigh a ton. And you can keep all the important things for standing in line ( like a water bottle, some music and other comics to read ) in it. And stasnding in line was just what I had decided to do. Yesterday I had no luck with my sketch from Humberto Ramos but since the numbers we got were still good I took my chances. But the signing was not sceduled to start before noon so I had a few hours to waste at the flea market. Which is the first thing I did. My brother again took his camera equipment and split faster than you can say : Holy cameracrew, Batman !

    It was really hot outside despite the fact that a strong wind was blowing but a lot of people were kneedeeep in comic boxes nevertheless. I searched for a few hours and found some stuff. Some BATMAN ADVENTURES issues, the last missing issues of GREEN LANTERN - MOSAIC, some early Paul Pelletier issues of OUTSIDERS ( some of which I already had ), issues 1 to 16 of ATARI FORCE all for 50 cent each ( which has some fabulous early Jose Luis Garcie Lopez art ), the missing NEW AVENGERS issue, the first five issues of JUSTICE by Doug Braithwaite and Alex Ross and the JSA classified issues also by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez ( one of which was defect )- I already wrote about the story and art in an earlier post.

    Then I decided that it was time to go inside and the first thing I did was pass by the table of the SCHWARZER TURM. I sat down to relax a little since it had been exhausting to walk around in the heat all this time. No wait, this was the second thing I did. The first thing I did was to go to the booth of Andi´s Comic Express where I bought the first half of the JSA issues because the dealer outside had only the second half ( I had seen the first half of the story yesterday ). Then as I wrote I sat of the table of SCHWARZER TURM where I waited for the signing to begin and helped out a little selling comics and restocking issues on the table. After a while we ran out of change money so I went to look for a bank like the Kreissparkasse or Volksbank but being Saturday they were of course all closed. Luckily Holger Bommer from AMIGO COMICS changed some of the bills. We met during my brother´s first big comic project EINSAME SEELEN ( LONELY SOULS ) and he´s just a nice guy. I stayed at the table till an hour before the signing and then went to take my place in line.

    There is not much to tell about the time I stood in line. I was just reading some comics, drinking water and looking at all the cartoon books at the CARLSEN booth. But I finally got my turn to get a sketch from Mr. Humberto Ramos himself, who is much cooler than he appears on pictures. He made a sketch of Jenny Ognats a.k.a. XS, Impulse´s cousin from the future, for me and since he´s from Mexico we talked a little about his time in Germany and how long his stint on Wolverine would be ( for all who want to know : six issues ) and stuff. I had brought some comics to sign but since there were so many people in line and I was happy to finally have my Jenny sketch I gave him three comics to sign : the REVELATIONS hardcover I had bought to get the sletch, IMPULSE 4 which was the first comic by him I ever got ( he was a little surprised that it was not issue 1 I wanted signed ) and WOLVERINE 42 which was his latest work. I think he liked the idea to have them both signed, two issues from opposite sides of his artistic spectrum, so to speak. I thanked him and made way for the next guy in line. Man, I was a happy camper, let me tell you. The next thing I did was heading down to the stairs, listen to some music of RedJazzRadio on my new mp3player while taking a quick siesta and then to oogle at my sketch for the next fifteen minutes. I had finally done it. This had been the main reason for coming to Erlangen and I did it. So now I was free to do whatever I wanted. Wow. If I ever find out how to work the scanner I will put a picture of the sketch up. Promise.

    The rest of the day I wandered around and looked at some comics and talked to some other comic freaks. I met the guys from Leipzig who ( of course ) were waiting in line at the MOSAIK booth to get some sketches and we talked a little. I passed the PANINI COMICS booth were they were doing their version of the circus games of the roman coliseum to decide who would get a sketch from Olivier Coipel or some other big name artist. The CASE CLOSED artist was supposed to have arrived but since there was no chance of me getting a sketch or something it did not pique my interest. At the PANINI selling table they had big softcoveer editions of the CROSSGEN comics which contained the first 15 ( !!! ) issues for ten bucks and they looked so good I almost bought them. I had to remind myself that I had already spent too much money and that I already owned all the issues - except the MYSTIC series. Maybe there will be another chance to get some of these trades at the COMIC ACTION because they just make perfect birthday or christmas presents. Later I wandered a little around and found the issues 3 to 12 of John Byrne´s SUPERMAN BATMAN : GENERATIONS III. Since I was in some kind of rediscovery of John Byrne at that time ( and still am as a reader of BLOOD OF THE DEMON and the FANTASTIC FOUR : VISIONARIES compilations ) I decided to buy them even if the first two numbers were missing. I had read the first two parts of GENERATIONS and although it was not the holy grail artistically it was still solid art and the stories were highly entertaining. I really like all tipe of Elseworld, What IF-, parallel world, mirror universe type of story. Later I got the first two issues from blackdog but I still haven´t gotten around to read them. So I can´t tell you how the story is. I also have read the Green Arrow issues I got but I will make a seperate post about them when i have read the issues of the new Green Arrow series so I can compare them ( maybe even throw in a quick analysis of the Kevin Smith / Brad Meltzer issues ).

    After the end of the convention day I drove back to the hotel. My brother went to the Max - and Moritz gala which is the big award gala of Erlangen so I had to drive myself. There was not much traffic so i arrived safe and sound at the hotel without too many detours. Since I had already gotten something to eat at the local Burger King I didn´t have to go out to eat. I drank a Coke from the hotel and slept till half past nine. I was really tired from all the latest nightly activities. After waking up I zapped through the cannels and finally decided to watch the second part of STEEL starring Shaquile o´Neil. Whenever I watch the movie I wonder why they let out his original origin story. It would be a much better film and if it was too expensive to mention Superman in the movie you can also do it without really saying or revealing that it was Superman who inspired John Irons to become a superhero. While I was watching the end my brother came back from the gala which apparently was not the highlight he had hoped. The show was very boring and afterwards you even had to pay for the food and drinks. Let me tell you one thing : if you pay 22 bucks for the ticket that should include food and drinks especially if the show sucks. Otherwise people will feel ripped off. We quickly went sleeping and that was the end of the third day in Erlangen.

    I´m off to make some food now. I don´t know if I will post some more of my adventures as we come to the last day in Erlangen.

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  • WHO KNOWS WHAT EVIL LURKS IN THE HEARTS OF MEN ?

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    I´M BACK !!!

    Wow ! The last two weeks have been very busy, so busy in fact that I didn´t get to post ( or surf at all ) just like I predicted. Since I was all alone I had to handle all the shopping and cooking and dish-washing myself which ate up almost all of my spare time.


    But I managed to get tons of things done. I labeled dozens of tapes, I finally have read all the comics I bought at the Comic Salon in Erlangen ( except a few trades ), I put all the comics from my secretary in order, I heaved two boxes of comics to the cellar, I put all the new comics into my reading box on top of my secretary and I even finished one of the tax forms I had to fill out. Now the first thing I want to do is a quick update :

    1. ) Okay, this is the biggest notice. FINALLY SOMEBODY POSTED SOME COMMENTS ! This proves that the comment function is not disabled so that excuse has expired. I guess that means I have now three readers. Welcome aboard. It seems my plans for worlddomination are slowly taking off. Nya-ha-ha-ha.

    2. ) Maybe you have already noticed but TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN has a new look. I don´t mean a new color or fancy features. Due to an unknown network / computer / digital glitch the whole link section - together with the archives and my profile - can now be found on the very bottom of the page. I have no idea why or how to fix it with my limited knowledge of HTML. So for the forseeable future you can find the links and the archive at the bottom of the page.

    3. ) Last but not least, I wanted to give a quick shoutout ( which is only two weeks late but nevertheless ) to blackdog comics who is now officially Germany `s fastest online shop. The last order I made was on a Monday and on Tuesday the comics were already in the mail box. That´s like a 24 hour delivery ! I knew you could get your photos done in 24 hours but I never knew that you can also get your comics in 24 hours. Awesome.

    So after this quick update what has been happening here in Germany ? Of course, the soccer world cup was big and I have to say that it was the first time after a long period that I became interested in soccer. Normally I only watch the games with Spain but this time all of Germany had soccer fever and I just got infected by the positive atmosphere. The team of J├╝rgen Klinsmann inspired everyone and I think the germans learned that it can be okay to show the flag of Germany and to be proud of your home country. Patriotism has been in the hands of extremists and Nazis for too long. In the end Germany made third place but everybody was celebrating like they had won the world cup. Which makes up a little for it. Now enough of soccer and back to comics and what is going on in my life.

    Yesterday my brother came home from Spain and brought some stuff. It is always frustrating to see how cheap some comics are in Spain. One of the things I knew when I started taking the SHANNA issues out of my comic bag was that I would regret it. And now I know why : the spanish version of the comic is an oversized hardcover edition for the price of 15 EUROS ! That´s right...the complete miniseries by Frank Cho, in hardcover and oversized on glossy paper for only fifteen bucks. That´s why Spain is one of the best countries to buy comics. Some editions are just a steal especially in the hardcover section. And there is a simple reason for that : because its a reader´s market and the publishers act accordingly. My brother brought an issue of X-MEN by Salvador Larocca and it sells for 1,70 EUROS. You won´t find such prices in Germany, man.

    Some other stuff is the BIGFOOT comic by Richard Corben, the missing NIGHTWING issues by Rick Leonardi, the newest issues of NARUTO ( one of the best Mangas published today ), the first few issue of Hero squared and two new issues of DOLMEN Spain´s best comic magazine. So I can finally make the big three-continental-comic-magazine-tournament which will compare comic magazines from Germany, Spain and America. For Germany starts COMIXXENE with two older isues since my brother stopped buying it, for America I wll take a look at the last two issues of WIZARD I read and for Spain I will make an indepth analysis of the two new issues of DOLMEN. I know there are more comic magazines in America than WIZARD but it´s the only one I get in my comic shop on a regular basis. I will write about other comic magazines when I have the opportunity ( maybe even a post about the ten must have comic magazines ) but for now that´s not an option since it wouldn´t be fair to play " best of " of the comics journal or such.

    And I just like to rub it in that although everybody hates the WIZARD it is in my opinion the best comic magazine - in America. But more on the subject when I make the post. Another comic my brother brought from Spain were the first issues of Hero Squared and there was one thing that bugged me the whole time. No, not the story. Unlike PLANETARY BRIGADE and the DEFENDERS mini series Hero Squared was actually funny. What bugged me the most was the art. I just don´t like this whole new " straight from pencil to color " trend in comics that´s all the craze. It looks awesome in 1 %, pretty okay in 9 % and just awful in 90 % of the comics it´s used in. And to keep the suspense to a minimum : yes, this comic falls into the 90 percent category.

    I know that there are a lot of arguments made for this new approach but it just doesn´t stick with me. I know, this is " truer " to the pencil artist and looks " much better ". Newsflash, bub : I don´t buy comics alone for the pencil artist. I buy them for the penciler - inker combo. If I want Jim Lee with Jim Lee only I buy a sketchbook. But in a comic I expect the Jim Lee - Scott Williams tag team. In fact it would be strange to see Jim Lee without him. Like Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, Siegfried and Roy or Batman and Robin there are some dynamic duos which are unseperable. In the comic field there are lots of examples where only the combination of an artist with the appropriate inker achieves the highest level of art like John Buscema and Tom Palmer, Alan Davis and Mark Farmer, Gene Colan and Tom Palmer, John Byrne and Terry Austin, John Romita Sr. and Bob Layton, Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino or Sal Buscema and Ernie Chan. So if it was good enough for the names on this list to be inked it should be good enough for everybody else. I mean if you REALLY would want to get the full artistic impact of the penciller just let him ink his own stuff like John Romita Jr., Walter Simonson or Arthur Adams do. But this whole penciled comics just look like unfinished ashcan editions to me. Like the comic company couldn´t bother to finish the comic. I mean you can say a lot of things about POWER FREAKS - but at least all pages are inked. But I think that´s enough on this topic. I see that I almost missed DR. HOUSE that I have to tape for my younger brother who is still in Spain. So I guess this waraps up today´s post.


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