Friday, March 13, 2009

The voice of Stan Lee

Today I was in Ludwigsburg to make some copies for my curriculums. I know I shouldn´t write any job applications without the proper form to get reimbursed but I was just sick of waiting for the job agency to get it´s ass in gear.

And I also wanted to use the Mc Donalds coupons that are only valid till the end of this month. The last few times I was in the city I went to a small diner because the burgers are cheaper there and better. And unlike at Mc Donalds you really aren´t hungry afterwards. But from time to time I just need my junk food. Not only to remind myself why I shouldn´t go to Mc donalds in the first place but also to cleanse the system. Sometimes it´s really hard to go to the crapper and if there´s one thing I can count on than that fast food also leaves the system fast. And since now everybody has to get his own food it brings a bit of variety to all the sandwiches.

Normally I want to get the most of my trips to the city because I can´t afford to go too often so I also went to buy some envelopes, a new tooth brush and other stuff. I was just on my way to buy the envelopes when I passed the AIGNER bookstore. Most of the time I just pass it or do a quick stop to look at the comics section ( which is smaller and smaller each time I visit ) but today I wanted to check out the new Gerhard Seyfried collections from Zweitausendeins.

For all my readers outside of Germany : Gerhard Seyfried is one of the bestknown comic artists in Germany and if the company that publishes his books had just promoted him a LITTLE bit he would be one of Germany´s greatest living comic artists today. Gerhard became famous during the 80s for his cartoons about cops, junkies and the german anarcho / kiffer scene. Always one of the comic artists / cartoonists who depicts the typical german everyday absurdities his work was in everybody´s library like INVASION AUS DEM ALLTAG which probably influenced whole generations of germans.

Because of the topics he depicted in his cartoons and comics his stuff was available in all the bookstores and so reached everyone. But like I said he never got much promotion and so people lost interest in his work once the novelty wore off. He did more comic books but only with mild success. Since I don´t buy much comics in the BD format ( I think I bought one of his but I have no idea where I have it or when I bought it ) I thought I could get all his stuff in a nice format. Because Zweitausendeins released two collections : one with all his comics and one with all his other works.

When I entered the bookstore one of the employees was talking to a customer about something and the only snippets I heard was something about " Zweitausendeins " and " the top floor " ( coincidence ? duplicity ? fate ? ) so I went there. When I looked through the books they had about comics I found the two Seyfried compilations but as they were really hefty books ( the " the works " compilation has more than 500 pages and the " the comics " book has more than 700 pages !!! ) and I was already a bit tired I left it for another occasion. If you want to check them out here are some links : gerhard seyfried the comics

gerhard seyfried the works

gerhard seyfried homepage

There was also a hardcover edition of one of Robert Crumb´s books which is one of the things why every comic fan should go to Zweitausendeins at least once in his life. Not only because they always have interesting comic collections at real discount prices. But because you can find Robert Crumb books there that you will get nowhere else and they always sell them at bargain prices. When a friend of me was preparing his comics to throw some of them away I was lucky to get the Robert Crumb sketchbooks and in Germany Zweitausendeins is the only store that has them. At least as far as I know. And these sketchbooks are really priceless !

Anyway, aside from the sketchbooks I have two or three other books of Robert Crumb that I bought at Zweitausendeins. They had a new one that was priced at 30 bucks that they were selling for ten but I guess I just wasn´t in the mood for Robert Crumb today. Another thing that caught my eye was a compilation of comics at 6 bucks but a big part of the pages were glued together so that you couldn´t read it. Bad luck. I looked around when my eyes fell on what might be the coolest Marvel paraphernalia / gadget / whatever. A thing called STAN LEE´S AMAZING MARVEL UNIVERSE by Roy Thomas and - of course - Stan " the man " Lee.

I´m saying " thing " because it´s not a book in the traditional sense. It does have lots of pages with words and pictures but it also has - an audio function. Yes, that´s right. Maybe you remember the BREAK THE CHAIN comic that came with an audio tape where you were supposed to listen to the tape while reading the comic and everytime somebody said " word " you had to turn the page. Well, this is the same principle. The only difference : throughout the book there are little icons ( that look like speakers ) through the whole book and whenever the icon appears you have to press play and you get additional audio commentary by Stan Lee himself !

It´s like a book with audio commentary by Stan Lee - how cool is that. And unlike BREAK THE CHAIN you don´t need an additional tape recorder because there´s a small speaker built INTO the book. Well, glued to the right side of the book. Originally the whole thing was priced at 50 bucks but Zweitausendeins offered it for a measly 7 EUROs so I just had to buy it. I mean no matter if the audio thing worked the almost 200 pages hardcover book alone was worth the seven bucks. So I bought it without a second thought.

As soon as I was out of the bookshop I opened it up and tried the audio function which didn´t work. I bought some new batteries ( most of the time the batteries are empty on such things that are on display ) and could finally listen to the voice of Stan Lee. Then I finished my shopping and went home. I haven´t had the chance to read the book but from what I saw it´s an interesting behind - the - scenes trip through the Marvel universe with Roy Thomas and Stan Lee as the tour guides. I did a bit of research and it IS available on but the new editon is sold out so you better buy the used versions that are priced lower than 50 bucks. I couldn´t find it on the homepage of Zweitausendeins but maybe if you go to the store you can find a copy.

If not there are a few of them available at I already heard from on reader that he got the H.P.LOVECRAFT´S HAUNT OF HORROR and was really thankful for the link. So if you want to hear Stan Lee talk directly to you here´s the link :

So today I managed to write a bit about german comics which I don´t do very often and Robert Crumb on top of that even if I DID come back to Marvel at the end. Originally I also wanted to write a bit about the recent developments with DIE ODER WIR ! in light of the massacer in a school in Winnenden but since my computer just crashed a few minutes ago and I now have to use two different browsers to work on this post it´s time to wrap this up and finish it as long as I can.

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