Odds and Ends 2: Son of Odds and Ends
November 22, 2003
Has it really been almost 2 months since I've last visited my own web site? Apparently it has.
When I first moved to LA in August, my neighbor, Allan, told me a joke that I did not immediately grasp. This is how it goes:
Did you hear about the writer who moved to LA last summer so he could write? It happened 20 years ago.
Okay, I'm probably remembering the joke wrong. The point, Allan said, was that time flies when you're in LA. And he's absolutely right. Not that I haven't been keeping busy. I have. I've been busier than ever. But just as Saturn is a different kind of car, LA is a different kind of busy. And time moves faster on the west coast even though the pace is slower. I don't know how this occurs, but trust me, it does. Maybe Steven Hawking will write a book about it, but he probably has more important stuff on his mind.
But there are a few things going on that you may be intersted in hearing about, so please allow me to present the following announcements:
SGC MERCHANDISE: VERSION 1.0
For the last several years I've wanted to develop a few merchandising items. Well, after much procrastination, I finally did it. If you visit CAFE PRESS, you'll find a bunch of items including NYSS tee-shirts, s.h.o.p. tee shirts, an NYSS coffee mug, and a few other surprises. There is a lot more to follow. I plan to eventually offer SYNDICATE tee shirts for every major U.S. city. This week, I received my first NYSS tee, and I must say it's neato, keen, and cool. The quality is very high, and I received the shirt less than a week after placing the order. You will not be disappointed in this item or any of the items available for sale at the online shop.
THRESHOLD: THE FIRST TRADE PAPERBACK
I've often been asked, "What is your shoe size?" Sometimes I'm even asked, "When are you going to collect the early THRESHOLD comics? The answer has always been the same--someday, maybe. Well, it is finally happening, thanks to the good folks at TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS (namely Brett Warnock and Chris Staros). The early, out-of-print issues of THRESHOLD are being collected into a trade paperback to be published summer 2004. The collection will include 18th and Market Streets and The Stamp Collector, along with a few extras. I've spent the last few months touching up, and in many instances, redoing the artwork for the trade paperback. I think you will be blown away by the differences between the old and the new, particularly on the Stamp Collector chapters. In the coming months, I'll be posting old and new art on this site for comparison and promotion. Incidently, the collection is not being released as THRESHOLD (a name that has been tainted in the comic book realm in recent years) or as the s.h.o.p. What is the title? Three simple words that sum up the stars of the series: LESS THAN HEROES. I freakin' love this title--and I didn't even come up with it (credit rests entirely with Di on this one). Best of all, if volume 1 of LESS THAN HEROES sells, there will likely be future volumes that may even include a DEATH BY CHOCOLATE compilation. Start saving your pennies now, and be sure to buy multiple copies...or Cosmopolitan will send you to a very bad place.
Beginning this December, I'll be writing a weekly column for SLUSH FACTORY entitled RETRO REVIEWS. These will be much like the Bronze- and Silver-Age Flashbacks here at the SGC site. The December reviews at SLUSH FACTORY will each have a holiday theme, that is to say I'll be reviewing Bronze-age Marvel comics in which the stories occur during the Christmas season, beginning with an old MARVEL 2-IN-1 starring The Thing and Ghost Rider. You know, deck those halls and ho ho ho and presents for pretty girls. But I digress. Watch for the column, and if you like it, write to the folks at SLUSH FACTORY and let them know. Otherwise I might be forced to turn to a life of crime. You wouldn't want that, would you McFly?
MMMMM, THAT'S TASTI
I've always thought the old Marvel fanclubs--Marvelmania and FOOM--were cool. And I always thought, damn, I'd like to see the guys and gals of the s.h.o.p. offer a simliar type of fan club. Well, after a few long discussions with Malevolence, it looks as though it's soon going to happen. So far, we've agreed upon the fan club title: Threshold's Auxilary Super-hero and Terrific Individuals (or TASTI, for short). To date I've developed two prototype kits, and I think TOP SHELF is going to be developing about 100 or so promotional kits. Afterward, I'm going to produce about 50 to 100 kits for sale to interested parties. The fan club kit will include a poster, membership card, the official TASTI pledge, and various other items. Realistically, these will not be available for sale until the release of the compilation later next year.
ALTERCATIONS 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO
I'm presently finishing up a short children's book that Dianne has written. That's right, it's being written especially for children who are vertically challenged. Well, not quite. It's a small project that we're doing for a person who has been incredibly nice to our dog, Chad. So we will likely only make two copies of this book--one to give to our friend and one to keep for ourselves.
After this project is completed, I'll be returning (at last) to ALTERCATIONS 2, a book that is so late it's becoming the Rip Van Winkle of graphic novels. But just as JFK pledged to put a man on the moon before the '60s ended, I will see this book to its completion before the end of 2004.
Hey, true believers, I'm channeling Stan the man here (or maybe Josef Stalin, I never can tell the difference), and am going to get up on my soapbox racer for a few minutes to run this one over you.
Have you noticed anything strange going on lately? I know I have. I'm not sure when it started. Maybe it started years ago with O.J. But here's what I see happening.
We've got this ongoing "war" going on in Iraq (despite the fact that we were told months ago it was over), and we've got a whole bunch of high-profile celebrity trials going on in the U.S. We've got American soldiers being killed in Iraq. And we've got Kobe and now Mikey Jackson being thrust into the media spotlight here at home. So, knowing that the media are controlled by big business, and knowing that we, as Americans, need something to distract us from the reality of the world, we are given Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson.
Let me pause briefly and define reality: reality = Americans being killed overseas; the U.S. government staging "dramatic" rescues to gain support in the war against terrorism; an escalating unemployment rate; a skyrocketing national deficit; the elimination of reforestation programs in the U.S.; solar energy programs taking a back seat to nuclear energy and fossil fuels; kids killing kids at school; women's rights to their own bodies becoming increasingly dictated by male politicians; our civil liberties being slowly eroded by a government that does not want us to have civil liberties; the city of New York and the multitude of cancers and other deadly diseases that will likely affect a large percentage of its popultion as a result of the deadly dust cloud that shrouded the city for days and days following September 11; and this is only the tip of the poison needle.
It is for these, and many other reasons, that the media are controlling what we see and hear. It is this very reason why we will be given nightly updates on Michael Jackson for the next year. The celebrity has become the scapegoat in the distration of America. Reporters will spend countless hours asking, "Is Michael Jackson a child molester?" rather than asking, "What are our leaders doing? Where are the alleged weapons of mass destruction? Why is congress passing energy bills that will aid those political leaders whose holdings are deep in the oil industry? Why do oil prices escalate prior to each Presidential election? Why does this administraton have no fiscal responsibility whatsoever? How did we just send $87 billion overseas so quickly and quietly?" These are among the questions that should be asked. But these questions aren't going to be asked. Our media will continue to offer 12 minutes of "news," 5 minutes of sports, and 5 minutes of weather. We'll continue to be spoon fed the world as if we were infants who cannot think for ourselves. We'll talk at the water cooler about Kobe and Michael as if they are good friends of ours (or bitter enemies, your choice). We'll paint murals proclaiming "free Kobe" as if our lives suddenly take on importance by stating our belief through our "art." We'll watch talk-show hosts make nightly jokes about Jackson, Bryant, and whomever else is in the spotlight. We'll sit glued in front of our boxes watching as news helicopters follow Jackson home night after night. And we'll tell ourselves that we've seen the news and, thus, know what's going on in the world.
Ask yourself a question. Ask yourself, who has the most to gain in this country? The answer is there and should be obvious: persons with holdings in energy (ie, fossil fuels such as oil) and big business (in particular the media and communications industries). Then think about what we're being shown every night on the news. Where is the accountability? Are you looking for it? Let me know if you find it. I'm off to root for my favorite football team, watch a few "reality" shows, sip a Starbuck's latte, and head over to the Gap while listening to Limp Bizkit on Power 99 FM.
Yeah, it's a great time to be an American.
Your comments and hate mail are always welcome. Write to: David
to voice your opinion.