Showing posts with label Marvel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marvel. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

5 More 90's Gimmick Comic Covers!


It's June, it's hot, and it feels like a good time to be stuck inside reading comic books. Let's take a look at another 5 comics with gimmicky covers!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Ren and Stimpy Show #1!

It was a dark and chilly night in November 1992. I had ridden with my mom to A&P, and I was standing in front of the magazine rack while she was grocery shopping. I had started collecting comics the year before, and soon after I discovered the numerous comic books next to the Woman's Day and Redbooks. Frankly, their selection was amazing. They carried everything from DC to Image, with a mix of Archie and the rare Dark Horse comic. The issues would be lined up on the 6ft shelf, three rows deep. There was no real rhyme or reason to their arrangement, though I guess it didn't really matter. After a few days everything was mixed up anyway. I like to think it added to the experience. Who knew what books you would find behind that first row of comics?

Well, on that random November night in 1992, I found this issue:


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Punisher Holiday Special!

There are so many classic Christmas stories out there. You have the story of Ralphie and his wish for the elusive Red Ryder BB gun, the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge through the Ghosts of Christmas, and the story of how Clark W. Griswold and his family were almost arrested for kidnapping. However, none of them are as epic as the time the Punisher had to take on a bunch of goons in a shopping mall on Christmas Eve. This is going to be a long one, so grab some snacks and a cup of your favorite hot beverage while Mr. Stunt Zombie reads you a Christmas story.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Random picture post Summer edition.

One of the great things about the Eastern Shore in the summertime, there is no shortage of festivals happening around here. Even if it isn't listed in the newspaper, there's a safe bet that there's something going on involving food, music, and booze. Chelsea and I didn't make it to all the events this year, but we had a great time at the few that we attended.

Back in June, we made it to the Tall Ships Festival in Cape Charles. It's a yearly event, where historical sailing vessels dock in the harbors and allow people to take tours. Unfortunately, the two that showed up this year wanted about $45 a piece to take a look around. In the end, I was only able to grab a few shots of the ships before we went back to eating.






Every year, the Wachapreague Volunteer Fire Department sets up and runs a carnival in, well, Wachapreague. This year it ran from June 18th to July 12th, and it helps them raise funds for new equipment and operations. The Wachapreague Carnival used to be a regular summer destination when I was growing up. My cousin and I would spend hours riding the rides, and blowing our money on the somewhat shady games. Now, I mainly go for the food, since it's one of the only times of the year that I'll be able to enjoy a fried soft crab sandwich. 


There's my sammich in all it's glory. Soft crabs are definitely an acquired taste, and I can see how most folks wouldn't like them. It blows my mind that I've liked these things since childhood, since you're basically eating a whole crab. I know adults that would rather starve than put one of these in their face. Maybe it's the legs. It can be a little hard getting over the legs.

The fries were pretty good this year, though I always find it nearly impossible to finish them. This was a small, and Chelsea and I both gave up halfway through. It wasn't until I got up to toss them out, that I discovered the vinegar had soaked through the container and the paper, and into my jeans. I got to walk around the rest of the night looking like I had a very strange "accident".


I've never actually ridden the Spider. I have problems with rides that go in too many directions at once, so I tend to keep my butt off of them. I think it's best that I don't do my impression of a sprinkler, and shower the crowds with my recently eaten soft crabs.


The ferris wheel is still one of my favorite rides there. It used to be because it was one of the few rides that didn't make me nauseous. Now I appreciate it for the view it provides. It also allows me to escape the oppressive heat of the crowds, and enjoy the nice cool breeze blowing off the ocean.


Here's a shot of the carnival from one of the several parking areas. It's funny how much bigger it used to seem when I was growing up. I even remember getting lost a couple of times. Now, the whole area just seems cramped and overcrowded. I guess that's what happens when you get bigger; everything else looks smaller.


August 9th found Chelsea and I attending the Eastern Shore's Own Craft Beer and Music Festival. This took place in the lovely town of Belle Haven, next to the ESO Arts Center. This is only the second year they've had it, but if the turnout was any indication, it is going to continue to be an annual event. It helps to raise money for the ESO, which holds classes for everything from dancing to watercolor.


You get 10 different tastings for your admission price. There was a rather large selection of microbreweries to choose from, so you had to pick and choose which ones you wanted to try. Near the end of the evening, however, they stopped marking our wristbands. So, I ended up with a few extra tastings before the day was over.


Here's Chelsea modeling the mugs and the jugs.


I love these little mugs, if only because they make me feel like a giant. I like to use mine when I feel like stomping on a village.


The last even we went to this August, was the Church Creek Wine Club meet and greet. This is a shot of Chatham, the main house on the vineyard property. I've know the owners for a long time, and I actually worked inside Chatham, helping with the restoration. Once that was completed, I moved outside and helped Jon Wehner, owner of Church Creek Wines and Chatham Vineyards, start building what has become one of the best vineyards in the state. This event was sort of a "thank you" to the folks that joined their wine club. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the other members, and to try some wines that will never be available to the public.


Here's another shot from behind the house, this time over looking Church Creek. This is where Southeast Expeditions lands when they take people on their kayaking and wine tasting tour. It's also where we're planning on taking some of the pictures on our wedding day.


Why does it seem like there's almost always alcohol present in our photos? Hmm..


Here's a shot of the sitting room in Chatham. I wish you could have seen what this place looked like 16 years ago, because you'd never believe that it would look like this today. Every room is painted based on samples taken from the walls and woodwork.For the most part, it looks just like it would have back in 1818. Depending on your tastes, that may be a good thing or a bad thing.


Whenever Chelsea sees a piano, she can't help but sit down and give it a play. It's a shame she didn't discover it sooner, she could have provided some light music for the evening. 



August also saw the release of what has become my favorite comic book movie. I actually went into this movie knowing very little about the Guardians. I knew there was a raccoon and a sentient tree, but that's about it. It had the usual comic book movie plot issues, but they were easy to overlook because the movie was just....so...damn...fun. It also has the best soundtrack I've heard in ages. It's the first movie in a long time that I would be willing to go see in theaters again. That's about the best endorsement I can give any film. 

September is going to be another light month as far as posts go, but that's only because I'm trying to get some stuff together for October. Things haven't worked out for the past couple of Halloweens, so I'm hoping this year will be the one where everything goes as planned. Thanks to Eric, I already have an idea for one post this season, though I'm still trying to decide if it should be a video or a written post. A video post would probably work better, but it could go so very, very wrong. I guess we'll find out in October, won't we? 



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Some of you are a positive influence. Imagine that!

I've been following Brian, Mason, and Laura as they take part in the Minimalist Game. You start the first day by getting rid of one item. The next day two items, then three and so on. By the last day, you're giving up 31 things that were originally adding to the clutter in your life. Watching their posts on Instagram sort of inspired me to go through my stuff, and start thinning the herd. Here's what I came up with, 
















There's still a lot more to go, but this has made a visible dent in my office, closets and bookshelves. Next up, the dreaded garage!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

5 Awesome gimmick comic covers from the 90's, Part 1

It's a rainy, nasty day in July, so it's the perfect time to talk comics.



I didn't really collect comics, so much as accumulate them. I mainly followed the X-men titles, but I would pick up anything that happened to catch my eye. And if there's one thing that 90's comic covers were, it was eye catching. So here are five examples of some awesome gimmick covers, in no particular order.


Bloodshot #1 February 1993
Valiant Comics

Valiant comics weren't easy to find in my neck of the woods. Marvel, DC, and Image comics all made regular appearances on the magazine racks, but Valiant was sadly absent. I didn't even know the company existed, until I found this issue in a longbox on a flea market dealer's table. It was one of the most amazing covers I'd ever seen. It still is, actually. I love how the cover image is surrounded by the black border, it almost gives the issue a prestige format feel. As for the artwork itself, I'm still amazed by how the colors just pop off the cover. I don't remember exactly how much I paid for Bloodshot #1, but I'm just going to go out on a limb and say it was $12.99.  Even if that isn't the exact amount, I just remember it was the most expensive comic I'd ever bought. I didn't know it at the time, but this was actually the first chromium cover ever made. I had stayed up late, and was watching a home shopping show that was just selling comics. It sort of validated my purchase when I saw how much more they were asking for the same issue I had bought months earlier.The story wasn't too bad either, sort of a Punisher meets Wolverine with a little bit of The Fugitive tossed in.

Speaking of the Punisher..


Punisher 2099 #1 February 1993
Marvel Comics

The Punisher was always one of my favorite characters, so when I saw they were introducing a futuristic version of my favorite vigilante, I was ecstatic. The first issues of all the 2099 titles featured the same futuristic border, albeit in different colors, but The Punisher 2099's first issue was my favorite of them all. It was much more dynamic, with the action flying toward the reader's face. I'm fond of the way the color of the foil border and the title text reflect the colors of the Punisher's uniform. A couple of the other 2099 titles did this as well, but I think it works particularly well on this cover.

The story hasn't changed much, even 100 years in the future. Police Officer Jake Gallows family is murdered in front of him, pushing him off the deep end. After discovering a journal written by the late Frank Castle, Gallows decides to carry on his work. He amasses an crime fighting arsenal, as well as his own personal prison and execution chair, and sets out to prove not even the rich are exempt from punishment. It's your typical Punisher book, if a bit more brutal.

Wildstar March 1993
Image Comics

Foil embossing was one of the more prevalent gimmicks seen on 90's comic covers. I have to assume it was one of the cheaper enhancements, judging by the number of Marvel and DC comics that used it. It was also popular with Image comics, as shown on the first issue of the Wildstar mini-series. At first glance, it looks like just the title and the Image logo are embossed. What you probably can't tell from the photo though, is that all those little blood drops on the hero's face are raised as well. It's a little odd, and either gives the impression that Wildstar just got his ass kicked, or his super power is bleeding all over his enemies. That actually makes more sense than the story, which involves time travel and guys that rely on symbioitic space starfish for their super powers. Yeah, it's odd.


Batman #500 October 1993
DC Comics

When you kill a character as iconic as Superman, it gets a lot easier to take out some of your other popular heroes. With the big blue taking a dirt nap, it was only a matter of time before Batman met his end as well. Sure enough, Batman was taken out by Bane,a behemoth that proved himself stronger and smarter than the Dark Knight. The series continued, following the exploits of Jean Paul Valley, a former assassin chosen by Bruce Wayne to take over the mantle of the Batman. Unfortunately, Valley becomes more and more unhinged, and Bruce eventually has to recuperate and win back his place as the caped crusader. Batman #500 followed Jean Paul Valley as he tried to track down and take out Bane once and for all. After losing a fight, and nearly losing his life, Valley decides it's time to redesign the Batman costume.

The cover of Batman #500 already looked pretty cool on it's own. It's a great shot of Batman in an action pose. Flip back the die-cut section though..


and you get a good look at Batman's new costume. Sadly, not even the Dark Knight was immune to the dark and gritty super hero fashion trends of the 90's. You've got metal claws, bits of segmented armor, and of course, random pouches. You couldn't be a superhero in the 90's unless your costume had random pouches all over it. It's not enough that Batman had a utility belt with pouches, they had to add some to his thigh as well.

Given enough time, I bet they would have even given Superman pouches on his shorts.


Ghost Rider and Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #12 July 1993
Marvel Comics

I only loosely followed Ghost Rider comics. When it came to supernatural anti-heroes, Morbius was always my first choice. Still, there's a lot to love about a flaming skeleton riding on a fiery motorcycle. This series followed the team up between the former Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, and the current rider, Danny Ketch. It was sort of like Easy Rider meets Satan. This issue saw the introduction of yet another flaming headed rider, called Vengeance. Because, why not? For reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, Vengeance really doesn't like Ghost Rider, and intends to dismantle him in the most painful way possible. It looks like the new rider is about to get his revenge, when he is warped away by a friend of Johnny's. Then they have a funeral for their dead friends, and see you next issue.

Seeing as this was issue 12, and there was a new character introduced, of course we needed a gimmicky cover. But, what is it this time? It's not die cut or foil embossed....


Nope, this time we got a glow in the dark cover. It's unbelievably hard to photograph things that glow in the dark, but I did it just for you guys. The cover image, with Ghost Rider's skull imposed over Vengeance's was already a little odd, but turn out the lights and it gets even weirder. I'm not sure what's supposed to be going on here, but I have to admit, it still looks pretty cool. Sadly, I think the glowing effect has worn out over the years. I remember leaving this issue on the floor next to my bed one night, and it freaked me the hell out.

And that is why you should always put away your comics when you've finished reading them. Otherwise, you might wake up to find a glowing skull grinning at you.


Friday, February 21, 2014

February random stuff post.

I hate that I've only posted a few times these past couple of months, but with work picking up, and just plain not feeling creative lately, I've neglected my duties as Stunt Zombie. It always saddens me when a blog I enjoy just kind of fizzles out, so I made myself promise that I wouldn't go out the same way. When I'm ready to give up, you'll all be the next to know.

-Speaking of blogs shutting down, it looks like Poe Ghostal is going on an indefinite hiatus. I haven't followed Poe for long, but I have to admit I've enjoyed visiting his site these past few months. The strange thing is, I had a feeling this was coming. Any time I start reading a new blog, it seems like they shut down shortly after. X-Entertainment, Eclectorama..yep, those were my fault. Honestly, I don't blame him. If you're not enjoying what you're doing, it's time to take a break or find something else. I look forward to seeing what kinds of projects he has cooking.

-Thanks to this post by Colbey Hooper on Random Toy Reviews, I think I've pretty much solved the last of my toy mysteries. I did a bit more digging on Four Star Toys, and it turns out they made quite a few of the Transformers knockoffs I used to own.

http://www.toyarchive.com/

This guy is called Hard Hat, and he was a Devastator knockoff, in that he was also made up of construction equipment that combined to form a large robot. I held on to this thing for years, before the individual robots just started falling apart. It wasn't a bad toy for what it costs. The other one that has been puzzling me for years was this guy:

www.toyarchive.com

This one was called Decept-A-Bot, and it was a knockoff of the Godaikan Gardian. It's kind of like the nesting dolls, except with robots. This version only had one robot contained in the shell you see here, but the real one had two robots and a rubber figure contained within the outer shell. I remember this one being pretty fragile, and I don't think it stayed in one piece for very long.

As nice as it is to finally know what these two were, it kinda makes me sad that the internet is taking all the mystery out of the world.

-I'm finding I'm really starting to lose interest in modern toys. The last line of G.I. Joe toys produced by Hasbro was pretty sad really. I find myself missing the bright colors and character of the older figures. Other than Snake Eyes and a few of the other figures, most of them look rather generic. After seeing how little Hasbro cares about the 50th anniversary of their most popular toy line, I'm beginning to think this may be the beginning of the end for our favorite soldiers. As for the Collector's Club, forget that. I don't have enough money to spend nearly $40 per figure, especially when there's no guarantee that I'll like them. I think I might focus on picking up some of the older G.I. Joes I used to own instead. Thankfully, they won't cost me much more than figures that came out 2 or 3 years ago.

-Speaking of wanting crazy amounts for action figures, I was excited to see Mattel was releasing a wave of Super Powers inspired DC figures with modern sculpts. Then I learned they were going to cost around $30 retail....$30, and we don't even get cloth capes for Batman or Superman? No Thank you..

- I was also feeling pretty excited for Funko's ReAction line, but after seeing the trouble they've had with their Game of Throne figures, I'm going to have to wait to see some reviews before I plunk down hard earned money on Snake Plissken or The Goonies.

- I still find myself interested in newer LEGO sets as well as the figures released by Onell Design.  I tend to get a bit intimidated when it comes to using pieces to build my own creations, but it's nice to know the option is there when I decide to stop being a wuss and feel constructive.

-I'm definitely psyched for the Guardians of the Galaxy. I enjoyed most of the Marvel movies, but for the most part, I find they take themselves too seriously. GotG kinda reminds me of A-team, except in space. With a raccoon. And a talking tree. I think it's hard to screw up with that combination.

-I need help spending Amazon money! Between a gift card I received for Christmas, and some points I already had on my card, I have a total of $34.07 to spend on Amazon. The only problem, I can't figure out what the heck I want. That's where you fine folks come in. You've seen what I've written about on here, so I figure I can crowd source my next purchase(s). I'm a Prime member, so that free shipping may come in handy.

I've been tempted by this guy since I first saw him mentioned on Battle Grip, but I'd hate to blow most of my money on one figure.

-I have to give thanks to Eric over at Toyriffic for the care package I recently received from him. It was unsolicited, and his offer to send it was quite unexpected. It was greatly appreciated, and will help give me more to write about. Honestly, with the amount of stuff I've received from Eric and John Gaither of The Clawful Punch over the past couple of years, I probably have enough to write about for the next 10 months.

 I'd like to make it a regular thing, where I pick a couple of blogs that I enjoy reading, and share them with the rest of you. So, who do I want to acknowledge this month? Well, I've already mentioned Eric and John, so I'll have to pick a couple more.

First up, is Kim from Fully Jointed Play Figures. This is what I consider a "feel" good blog. I can't say I've ever seen Kim type a negative word about anything. I think my favorite thing about his blog is seeing his son's enthusiasm whenever he gets a new toy. It gives me hope that not all kids are just interested in apps and video games.

Next up, is Hobgoblin238 from Monster Cafe Saltillo. I might not always agree with him, but you can't fault the man for speaking his mind. He runs a Universal Monsters themed cafe in Mexico, and still manages to find the time to make a blog post almost every day. He's commissioned some amazing WWE and WWF custom playsets as well as custom clothing for many of the figures. Hob's also one of the hardest working commenters out there. If you have a blog, there's a damn good chance he's posted at least one comment on it.

So, that's it for this month's random post. I'm hoping to get a few more posts in before the month ends, so keep your eyes open.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stocking Stuffer Madness- Marvel Universe Spiderman.


I love Christmas stockings. I used to love the plethora of candy and toys that my mom somehow managed to stuff inside. It's almost as if she was able to bend space and time, because just when I would think the stocking was empty, more stuff would fall out. Stockings have always been the best way to give Christmas candy, but they also work well for those small gifts that would otherwise get lost under the tree.  They also work well for giving gifts when you don't really know what to get someone. Just load a stocking full of candy, throw some Amazon or Itunes gift cards in there, add a couple of small toys, and I doubt you'll hear a complaint. This was a common practice whenever we went to one of my uncles' houses for Christmas dinner. A stocking full of random items was all it took to keep me quiet the duration of our stay.


As you can see, I was able to pack quite a bit in this stocking, and I still had a ton of room to spare. I could easily add another pound or two of candy to everything else that was in here. The best part is that everything in this picture cost me just over $10 bucks. You could make every child in your family happy with one trip to Dollar General and a 50 dollar bill.

Today I'm going to look at a stocking stuffer that is sure to please even the brattiest kid; Marvel Universe Spider-Man!


Hasbro produced a line of cheaper figures for sale in Dollar General and Family Dollar stores. These guys only have 5 points of articulation, but they also cost much less than the regular Marvel Universe figures.


The back of the card is pretty barebones, and shows off the other two figures in the series. I'm assuming it's just these three, because they're the only ones I've ever seen offered for sale. You'd think they would offer a villain or two, but most toy lines seem more focused on the heroes these days.


The sculpting on DG Spider-Man is very well done, and I was surprised they actually went through the trouble of painting the back of the figure as well. Not bad at all for $3.50. The only complaint I can lodge against the figure is that his limbs are molded in a rather odd pose. His feet are very close together, which makes it a bit tricky to get Spidey to stand up without falling. His arms are curved inward, and it makes Spidey look like he's driving an imaginary race car. I don't think those are issues for the target audience though. This Spider-Man is meant for playing, not being posed on a shelf. It's the type of toy that can be slipped in a pocket, without worrying it's going to disintegrate into a million pieces.

I'm kind of tempted to do just that myself.

P.S.

I was asked by the Trash Man if I could give a sneak preview of the Wrestle Rampage toy. So, here ya go buddy.


Oh yeah, these are going to be fun.
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