skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)

Back in the early 1980s, I was in England for a while--more on that in another post. The main thing is that I managed to pick up a bunch of British comics, some of which I still have. One of these is Load Runner #3, from July 1983. Among other things, this was the time of the microcomputer boom, affordable home computers that sold like hotcakes. Naturally, the folks at ECC Publications saw a market for a comic of stories all tangentially related to computers in some way.

I don't know enough about the British publishing industry to know if this is an orphaned publication, though reprints seem unlikely. So the following scans comply as much as possible with the one-third rule.

Your thoughts? Amusing stories about your first microcomputer?
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Picked up several books and a couple of sketches I'm going to put in a United Way raffle basket at work.

One amusing find was the Beano Annual 2012. The Beano is the longest-running British comic book, full of mischievous children in silly gag stories. This was my favorite of this year's stories.

role reversal )
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
One of the most frequently reused plots of the Silver Age Superfamily titles was "supporting cast character temporarily gains superpowers, causing problems for the hero." Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane were the most common targets of this, but everyone got into the act, including some long-forgotten characters like the one we'll look at today.

This post contains what adds up to 7 2/3rds pages of 23 from the lead story in Superboy #157, "Get Lost, Superboy...Who Needs You?!" plus a special treat.

Continuing DC's long love affair with gorillas )

Your thoughts and comments?

skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
In my last post, we visited a potential future in which Kevin Keller can marry the man he loves and no one thought that was the least bit out of the ordinary.

But in the regular Archie comics, Mr. Keller must live in the eternal present. It's not quite as advanced a society....

Cover and four scans from Veronica Presents: Kevin Keller #4.

Previously, on Kevin Keller, our protagonist did well on Witmasters, a College Bowl-like TV show where he represented Riverdale. He's looking forward to a little less excitement.

Your wish has been denied! )

Your thoughts and comments?

skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Here's a list of the panels I've signed up for at ConVergence 2011-- actual schedule yet to be determined.

Comics and Manga - not just for Six Year Olds

Social Commentary in Comics

The Legion of Super Heroes

Beginning Gamemastering

Overexposed Characters

Femme Fatales of the Pulps

How the Pulps Saw the Future

Interesting Bad Guys

Terrorists of the Pulp Era


And one I suggested that may be scheduled if it gets enough interest...

_Retro and Historical Anime and Manga_

Description: Steam Detectives, Steamboy, Emma: A Victorian Romance and many other anime/manga titles look to the past, or a future that looks like the past. Come discuss your favorites, where they do well and where liberties have been taken.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Double Danger Comics, over on Lake Street near the Bryant-Lake Bowl, is closing. They opened last June or so in spite of the current economic climate, and have been forced to admit it just wasn't working out. Bummer.

Anyhow, everything is 50% off until they run out of inventory or Febuary 28, whichever comes first. You may want to stop in.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Title: Now Is The Time
Author: SKJAM!
Fandom: DCU
Characters: Kara "Supergirl" Zor-El, Barbara "Batgirl" Gordon, some OCs
Prompt: (Silver/Bronze Ages), Barbara Gordon/Linda Danvers , Clark and Bruce aren't the only Super/Bat team in love and war.
Rating: G
Summary: Supergirl and Batgirl fight time-travelers.
Warnings: None.

Written for the "Heroines Fest" community.

by Scott K. Jamison
(Disclaimer: Supergirl, Batgirl and related characters are the property and trademarks of DC Comics. No infringement is intended or should be inferred.)

history in the making )

Your thoughts and comments?
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
There is a new comics store on Lake Street, about a block down from where Dreamhaven used to be, near the Bryant-Lake Bowl. It's called Double Danger Comics & Collectibles, and I dropped in for a visit.

One of the first things I noticed, and really liked, is that the children's comics and books are in an alcove right at the front of the store, where the cashier can see them easily, and where the kids don't have to walk past any of the more age-inappropriate material.

The store owner tells me that they're also not planning to carry many "adult" titles, those will be pull-list only.

It's a small place, but open and well-lighted. A wall of current comics is followed by a wall of recent comics, with collectibles (almost all new or recent) on the opposite wall. The back issues bin is in the center--a fairly light selection, though the owner tells me they plan to bring in more Silver Age soon. At the back are videos and more expensive collectibles in a locked case.

They have a frequent customer card--buy X amount of stuff for a 10% discount day.

I'd say it's worth checking out.

Oh, and I saw Toy Story 3 this weekend. Awww.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
I don't know if anyone outside my immediate family still reads these, but just in case, here's a slightly late look at my Fourth of July weekend.

Bring On the Bad Guys )

Good News!

Mar. 9th, 2010 09:19 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
My hotel reservation for ConVergence has finally come through, so barring some major recanting on the part of the hotel or the concom, I will be able to control my own timeline at the convention.

Speaking of which, ConVergence Programming has started taking requests for seating on possible panels. These are the ones I've penciled in as wanting to be on (as opposed to just attending.)

* Villains of Anime and Manga
* Gunsmoke and Bloodshed: Dark Heroes of the Pulps
(I suggested both these panels in the first place, so it was kind of mandatory that I sign up to help make them happen.)
* Disney Villains
* Giant Atomic Monsters
* Villains in Role-Playing Games
* Behind the Sofa: Villains of Doctor Who
* The Pulps
* Current Popular Manga
* Bring Me Up To Speed (a comics panel)
* Old Time Radio

I might sign up for more when the "on the bubble" list comes out.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Thursday was dinner at Aunt Judy's house. The food was quite good, and I was happy to catch up with that side of the family.

Friday, I took the bus up to Sandstone, where my siblings and I had an early supper with our folks.

I picked up some more of my British comics collection for the Scans Daily community--hope you folks like 'em.

I also spent a lot of time on the Neopets site--on dial-up, Keyquest just won't work, so I played that a lot and even won a couple of times.

On Saturday, we visited Lena's Gift Shop in Askov, which features Scandinavian and local gifts--and is "the home of the rutabaga malt." I do not recommend the rutabaga malt, by the way, but if you're feeling adventurous... I got quite a bit of Christmas shopping done.

I did a fair bit of yakking with the folks too. Won one game of Dominoes, lost two.

Sunday, we went to brunch at the Audubon Center, one of only two times they'll be open this winter. (Last year had disappointing attendance, so they cut back.)

On the bus trip back to the city Sunday night, McDonalds was unable to fill my order in time, so they refunded my money.

Back home, I found that the folks at Wish List and Holiday Wishes had been quite enthusiastic about the prospect of getting a surprise from me, so I've got a fair backlog. Will need to concentrate on overseas delivery first, but with luck everyone will get their stuff by New Year's.

Hope your weekend was tasty!
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
This first bit is for the folks who only read me on Dreamwidth--Scans Daily is moving into the neighborhood.

Speaking of that community, I've been posting to it lately; check the archives to see what's up.

And in researching for the most recent post, I discovered that RAF Upper Heyford, the air base I was stationed at in England with the Air Force, is decommissioned and being used to store Audis. Guess I won't be putting that on my list of places to go back to visit.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Unlike last year, there were no big surprises on Thursday morning, so I was able to get off to the convention in good order, despite again mistaking which bus goes all the way to the end of the line.

Registration and Harmonic Convergence (the music room) switched locations this year, and since I had my pre-registration card handy, that went smoothly. I never did spend much time in the music room, so I can't say if it sounded better than the previous location.

The first panel I was on was "Diversity in Comics", starring Dwayne McDuffie (perhaps best known to the general public for his work with Static.) Also appearing was M. Nicholas Almand, creator of "Razor Kid." I seized the moderator position (with the permission of the other panelists) and mostly spent my time getting out of Mr. McDuffie's way, as he was clearly the most experienced with trying to get diversity into comics.

I'd also prepared a handout on comics that did diversity well--I hope a few of them got kept. Most of the discussion was nothing new to anyone who's seriously looked at diversity issues in comics, but there were a few people there who hadn't done that yet, and I hope they learned something useful.

Then it was off to the Crowne Plaza so I could register, drop off my clothes, and rush back downstairs for the next shuttle back to the Sheraton. Still frustrated by the fact that you can look directly across the freeway from one to the other, but it's a couple of country miles to actually get there.

The shuttle was somewhat delayed, which was something of a pattern for the next four days. But I still managed to get back in time for the Mark Time Radio Show (a little off this year) and opening ceremonies. The pass-around game was "the Cone of Shame", which those of you who've seen "Up" will recognize.

After that, I attended a panel on "The Horrible Humor of Joss Whedon." Got to see lots of Whedon-related hall costumes.

I made a short round of party rooms and then retired for the evening.

Unlike last year, my hotel room faced the parking lot, and the opaque curtains, unlike the ones at the Sheraton, turned out to be mere decorations, so the light level in the room was a bit much. Turns out I can't sleep wearing a mask, or at least not without being much much more tired, so it was a while before I dropped off.

First panel next morning I attended was "Free Online Games." I got a long list, and plugged "Billy vs. Snakeman."

A bit later, I was on the panel for "Gaming Etiquette." That was a mix of handy tips and horror stories. (When the *player* is using his hand crossbow to make his points, it's a bad thing.)

Then it was time for "Humor in Superhero Comics", which had the presence of Christopher Jones, the creator of ConVergence's mascot Connie, and artist on "Batman Strikes" and "Dr. Blink, Superhero Shrink." Lots of fun discussion of favorite funny bits.

I spent some time at the "Shiny New Anime" panel, but left early as I'd seen most of the clips at the last convention, and I wanted to get autographs from the Cinematic Titanic cast (formerly the MST3K cast.) In line I met a fellow who'd come all the way from northwest Canada specifically for the CT folks, this being his first SF convention ever. We whiled away our wait time by discussing conventions and I told him about some of the fun stuff to do. (Most of which does not require drinking alcohol, but some of which is presumably enhanced by it.)

Next up, it was time for the "Old Time Radio" panel, and the moderator graciously allowed me to open the panel with my prepared "radio announcement" bit. I got applauded for it, which is a nice feeling! One of the panelists had started working as a radio station engineer back in the 1950s, so he had some very interesting stories to tell. Other than that, it was mostly plugging favorite shows, and suggesting places to acquire OTR at least semi-legally.

And my fourth scheduled panel of the day was "Manga & Graphic Novels", where we talked about the differences and similarities of US and Japanese comics. I ranted a bit about the cancellation of Shojo Beat--while admittedly I wasn't always impressed with it, it did fill an important niche in the market.

Last panel attended for the evening was "Fan Fiction", which had as always a number of fanfic authors on it, some of whom have done this panel numerous times. The topic drifted off into slash perhaps a bit too often, but otherwise it was an interesting and informative discussion.

I had almost no time for parties before retiring, and was only halfway through the House of Toast line before I had to bolt for the entrance.

Saturday morning I attended the "Death of Saturday Morning Cartoons" panel. They're not completely dead, but they're in pretty sad shape at the moment, when most stations would rather show infomercials.

Next up, I was on the "Justice League" panel, again starring Mr. McDuffie, and also including Daniel Wallace, who helped write the DC and Marvel Encyclopedias. Naturally, the majority of questions fell to Mr. McDuffie again, and we drifted off into the sad state of the comic book industry overall for quite a while. I was moderator for this one too.

Afterwards, Mr. McDuffie was in the AV room, doing live commentary on a couple of the cartoon episodes he wrote. I'd seen the JLA appearance in Static Shock before, but not the JLU episode "Epilogue." Some tidbits about the former--it was originally pitched as a Teen Titans appearance, but their show wouldn't be airing yet by the time it was scheduled, and as you can imagine, there would have been some serious character design issues. And it wasn't an attempt to boost Static's street cred, but the other way around, since the Static Shock show was the second-highest rated cartoon at the time.

Then off to "Farewell David Tennant", as the panelists reminisced about their favorite Tenth Doctor moments and looked forward to the last few Tennant appearances.

That was followed by "Writing Horror in the Age of Saw." The panelist were mostly horror writers, natch. One thing pointed out was that the literary horror market and movie horror audience are actually not as overlapping as the SF literary and movie audiences. Which causes some difficulty for the horror writers when they attend horror movie conventions. The important thing, panelists agreed, was that you don't need to put in gore if the story doesn't call for it, but you shouldn't skimp on the gore if the story *does* call for it.

And "Silent Movies Worth Your Time", with several suggestions of merit, though it can be awfully hard to find one projected at the proper speed. While in theory the final lost reels of Metropolis have been found, the film stock is in such awful shape that it may not be restorable.

I skipped the Masquerade to check out the Cinema Apocalypse room, which showed "Ip Man", a heavily-fictionalized biography of the man who would eventually teach kung fu to Bruce Lee. It's pretty good, but the version shown did not subtitle the intertitles that gave historical background, so I couldn't spot more than what year the next scene was taking place. (Mind you, "the Japanese invade" was pretty obvious from the action.)

I had just enough time to finally get some toast (and for some reason sushi) from the House of Toast before I needed to be ready for the shuttle bus. Which was then ten minutes late as it had swung by the megamall first. The other passengers were interested by the costumed people hanging out and smoking.

Sunday morning, I packed up and checked out of the Crowne Plaza, and after breakfast in the Consuite went to the anime room to watch the Detective Conan movie. It wasn't too much of a mystery, although one minor recurring character was a red herring. (Behavior very odd for that person.)

I picked up my winnings from the Art Show and Silent Auction (since several items are scheduled as birthday/Christmas presents, I won't talk about them here.) Speaking of the art show, I've said in the past that I don't really buy a plain photograph of a nude woman as SF/fantasy "art." I've come to the conclusion that just slapping a color filter on it (with a "fantasyish" caption) isn't really that much more of a qualification. Having her hold a sword is more of a step in the right direction.

The first panel I managed to drag myself to was "Tieflings are Not a Player Race", an examination of 4th Edition D&D. As you might guess from the title, this was not a completely optimistic panel, though it was admitted that the latest edition is a fine miniatures tactics game. (And as one of the folks in Alarums & Excursions mentioned, it simulates the Voltron Blazing Sword Effect well.)

After that, "Epic Storyline Fatigue", with the encyclopedia writer mentioned above. Please let "Final Crisis" be it for line-wide universe reboot events for a while, okay DC?

I dropped in on "TV Shows on DVD and Blu-Ray", which had a bunch of release dates. Sadly, you should probably stock up now while you still can, as it looks like discs are on their way out to be replaced with digital media.

And finally, my last panel, "What's Wrong With Japan?" As moderator (yes, again, let's face it, I like being moderator), I declared that the title of the panel was incorrect, and it would be "Different and interesting things about Japanese culture" instead. No one got up to leave the room, which I was pleased by. We had several people who'd spent extended periods in Japan, thanks to teaching jobs. (Our token Japanese-American panelist admitted he'd only gone for brief vacations.) After the first general question, "One thing you find interesting about Japan not directly connected to manga or anime", the anecdotes easily filled the time with minimal need for more prompting.

Between all of this, naturally, I spent a lot of time greeting and conversing with old acquaintances, making new ones ("Wait! I know you, you're on the internet!") and people watching. My nephew had managed to get the weekend off at the last moment, and got to see his first SF convention ever--perhaps he'll post about it in his own LJ. (hint, hint :-)

Sadly, the Sheraton itself was not running shuttles to the airport or Mall this year, so I skipped closing ceremonies to be able to catch the bus downtown. Still, I had a grand old time. (Next year, I do need to have a room in the hotel proper or Sofitel.)

And this morning, I went in to have my filling installed. Still can't bite anything until the crown is put in later this month.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
I'm off to ConVergence tomorrow!

It looks to be a busy weekend, with seven panels to be on.

3:30 PM Thursday: Diversity in Comics--First panel slot of the convention, but I am bringing a handout prepared with the help of the folks at One of two panels I'll be sharing with Dwayne McDuffie, woot!

12:30 PM Friday: Gaming Etiquette. Should be a very polite panel.

2:00 PM Friday: Humor in Superhero Comics. A long historic tradition.

5:00 PM Friday: Old Time Radio. I hope to do my radio announcer voice.

8:30 PM Friday: Manga and Graphic Novels. Compare and contrast.

11:00 AM Saturday: Justice League Past, Present and Future. The other panel starring Mr. McDuffie. This one might be a bit awkward.

3:30 PM Sunday: What's Wrong with the Japanese? A look at some of the more...interesting aspects of Japanese entertainment culture. This is in the A/V room, so will have pictures! And it's the last panel slot at the con, so everyone will be pleasantly exhausted.

In between times, I'll be attending other panels, checking out the art show and huckster rooms, and if I am very lucky meeting old and new friends. I won't be around in the wee hours though, as I have to catch the shuttle bus over to the Crowne Plaza to sleep.


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