Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last day of 2008

Hopefully everyone has a safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve celebration, and had a great holiday weekend, this past weekend.

I was back to work on Sunday, and Monday. Both days there were fairly busy, but nothing I haven't experienced already. I hate the winter time at work, because a lot of sh*t-disturbers come out. At least I get my first New Year's Eve off in four years. I've missed the countdown every year I worked during that stretch, because of work-related crap. Screw it, let the new guys work. I deserve it off.

I did pick up that 26" Insignia LCD TV, and it's now hanging on my wall in my room. I'll tell you (which you probably already know), and hanging an LCD TV up, really adds a lot of space to the room. Ended up giving my little bro my 27" tube TV, and my old TV stand. In my little room, that cleared up quite a bit. The only problem I have now, is if I want to connect a DVD player/Blu-Ray player, or gaming system(s), I am going to need really long cables (RCA or HDMI), because I'd have to go around door frames on either side of the TV (bathroom door and closet door on either sides), or get a somewhat thin shelf to place underneath the TV. That's a problem for another time.

So, anyone head to a Best Buy to return stuff in the past two days. I went on Monday, to the Woodbridge location. Got there around 11AM... didn't get out of the line until about 1PM. I guess since some people are still on vacation, it's was really the only time to do the returns/exchanges. Yeah, that wasn't a fun line. Not because I had to wait (conventions train you into being patient, and standing in one spot for a long time). It was those people that whined, moaned, and bitched about it taking so long. Well sh*t, if there was 50+ people infront of you, it's going to take awhile. Get there earlier. Suck it up, and shut up.

Went to Wendel Clark's Classic Grill and Sports Lounge last night. Nice place inside. Outside still looks like crap, because of the original place that opened up there, Big Star Cafe. As for the restaurant, I gotta admit, I was disappointed. Service was slow and the food wasn't that good. Little siblings seemed to enjoy it, because burgers and fries are all the same to them, and they got to watch wrestling on the TV at the booth (probably the highlight of the visit... TV at the booth). Only reason we went, had a $50 gift certificate that expired that day.

Won't be heading out to the shop today, to get my books. Bro will be picking them up for me. He offered, and I am feeling the lazies, so it works out. Doubtful the B&T post will be done tonight.

Have a Happy New Year, and see ya in '09.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Lil' Sis Rocks!



Not saying that my little bro doesn't rock, but this is what my little sister made for me for my birthday. It was delicious! I ate about a third of it, while others devoured the rest of it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day 2008 (and I guess Christmas 2008)

Christmas is over, and I had a great one. Relaxing, purely playing video games for the day. My Christmas presents were all great, and very useful.

After getting home from my cousins' place Thursday morning around 2am (after taking local traffic from Mississauga to Maple, because of all the black ice and ice patches, etc. on the 401 and 400), the family got up around 10:30am to start opening presents. From my understanding, my little sister was up around 8:30am, back and forth from her room, to my parents' room, but still waited until we were all up.

My Christmas gifts for the year:
- 2 sets of pyjamas (something I was thinking of buying myself).
- fleece bedsheets (OMG, these are so comfortable!)
- dress shirt and tie
- cash (don't care what people say, I really don't mind receiving cash for Christmas).

Also got an early birthday gift from my bro:
- Fables Covers By James Jean (beautiful book)
- Walking Dead HC vol. 4



As for my Boxing Day shopping, well, it wasn't much. There wasn't really anything that caught my eye in terms of electronics. I do want a new TV (LCD), but because of the design of my room, I can't get anything bigger than a 26" LCD TV. The only brand that is at a decent price, is Insignia. I don't know too much about the brand, so if anyone has any input, please leave a comment.

My Boxing Day shopping was really just Cyber City Comix. Didn't really have anything in mind to purchase. Just went to see what caught my eye. So loving the membership discount, on top of the sale discount. Three items this year.

- Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite Limited Edition Oversized HC - Bro pointed it out to me. I was debating over the price when this was originally solicited ($80 US), but got this for less than $60 CDN (before taxes). This HC comes signed by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba.

- Myspace Dark Horse Presents - More of a spontaneous purchase. I kind of wanted this when it came out, but didn't want to really spend on it.

- Comic Book Cover Portfolio No. 1: Women of the DC Universe Collectible Print Set by Adam Hughes - Wanted this when it came out, but was broke then. Then I couldn't find it at during the last sale. Saw this a little while back at Silver Snail, at regular price, and debated then, which I opted to pass on. Got it today, discounted. Sweet!

After Cyber City, bro and I headed to Wal-Mart, to pick up some baking supplies for my little sister, as she took a crack at baking for the first time later on in the day. She baked me my birthday cake, which I get to try out tomorrow. I'm so excited about it.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and Boxing Day.

Boughts and Thoughts - December 24th, 2008

Beyond Wonderland #4 (2008 Holiday Chase Cover) - Truthfully, I bought it for the cover (see right). It was, uhh... festive. Umm... it fit the Christmas Holiday spirit? (*shrug*). It was the only one available, so I bought it. Right on top of the pile, so I immediately grabbed it. Didn't even know about it, until I saw it at the store. Really glad I have it. Okay, unless the next couple of issues have covers I like, I'm done with this title. And to be honest, I never read this issue. Just taped up the bag, and it'll be in my box, hopefully later (still haven't put away books from a couple weeks ago (been lazy).

Daredevil #114 - Kinda got bored during this issue. Needed more Lady Bullseye.

Grimm Fairy Tales #33 (2008 Holiday Chase Cover) - Another "festive" cover. Wasn't as good as the Beyond Wonderland cover, but it was available, so I bought it. Also, I never read this issue.

Grimm Fairy Tales 2008 Annual - I bought this not for the same reason as the other Zenescope books. I decided to continue with the Zenescope GFT Annuals. However, like the other two, I haven't read this one, yet. Been a busy couple of days since the new books were released.

Hulk #9 - Okay, I'm back to dropping this title. Damn the selling power of Frank Cho and Arthur Adams. When the hell are we going to find out who that hell Red Hulk is.

New Avengers #48 - Damn good issue. Reorganizing the team, with Bucky Cap leading. Spider-Woman trying to find her place. New Avengers beating up people looking for the Cage/Jones kid. Luke Cage selling out. Damn good issue.

Street Fighter II Turbo #3 - Haven't gotten to this one yet. Soon though.

Umbrella Academy: Dallas #2 - The cover is quite disturbing. Can't say I was fully awake while reading this.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I know, it's a day early, but I doubt I'll be posting tomorrow. Not sure when I'll get the B&T post up. I'm off of work until this Sunday, so this should be a nice little break for me.

Off to my cousins' place tonight, for our annual Christmas party, which this year, is taking place at their place. Gonna be playing some Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty tonight. Not sure if we're going to try to start our Boxing Day shopping online tonight, or not. Hopefully we do, because I really don't want to wake up early on Friday.

But, that's another post.

To all, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hump Day (today), Happy Wednesday, Happy New Comics Day, or Happy (whatever you respectively celebrate)!

And whatever you celebrate, if anything, all the best to you and your family, and be safe.

Monday, December 22, 2008

'tis the season

Hopefully, everybody was safe during Snowmageddon. I surely spent Friday and Saturday chilling at home, and painting my bathroom. Aside from the 30 minutes I spent going to pick up a pizza I ordered for the family on Saturday, I was a shut-in. But I got to spend the time with my siblings, before and after the painting.

Most of the free time away from painting, I spent playing Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii... holy crap, that is such a pointless game, but so addictive! It's also not the first experience with Animal Crossing. I started playing it when it came out for the Nintendo Gamecube. Even then, it was so pointless, but addictive.

I was quite glad to have Friday night off, as I normally work them. Funny thing was that I got a call from work, asking if I could come in, because none of the PM crew had showed up (one called off, one stuck on a bus to work, and one that they couldn't get a hold of). There reason for calling me, I live close. Even if I agreed to work, it would've taken me quite a long time to get there. But because I was painting my bathroom (a nice grey colour), I couldn't go in.

I also have this coming Friday off (Boxing Day), but decided early to book that off, so I could potentially do some shopping. I'm actually off from Christmas Eve until this Saturday (my birthday). Back to work on Sunday. So I got two more nights of working, then off for four days to chill with my family. Sweet!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Boughts and Thoughts and the Faith Erin Hicks signing at The Beguiling - December 17th, 2008

Juniper by Faith Erin Hicks (2008)Chun-Li by Faith Erin Hicks (2008)So today I headed down to The Beguiling for the Faith Erin Hicks signing. Zombies Calling was a fantastic book, and I have been eagerly waiting to check out The War at Ellsmere, which I was able to pick up at the signing. I was also able to get a sweet sketch of Jun (the main character in The War at Ellsmere), and a quick remark in my Street Fighter Tribute of Chun-Li!
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight #20 - ... and I`m done with this series. It's not bad, but I'm just continuing with my cutbacks, and this seemed like the right time to end with this series. I did enjoy the artwork by Eric Wight.

DCU Holiday Special 2008 - Wasn't planning on picking this up, even though it had a sweet cover by Frank Quitely. But when looking at the contributors, I opened the first page and saw art by Karl Kerschl. Thought it was sweet, so I picked it up. Gotta say, that was a sweet two pages he did. He drew Stargirl on the last page! He also drew Stargirl for me back in April! Also enjoyed the story by Franco Aureliani, Art Baltazar, and Tim Levins. Great story with Nightwing, Robin, and Captain Boomerang. Kevin Maguire also provides artwork for one of the stories.

Simpsons Comics #149 - Spider-Pig! Harry Plopper! Templeton! Totally picked this up for Ty Templeton doing a story that introduces Plopper into the comic.

Supergirl #36 - Another enjoyable issue, where we see how Supergirl deals with the death of her father... well, kind of deals with it.

The War at Ellsmere - Great book! I've never been to private school, or an all girls school, so I wouldn't know the life. However, it was a great story, that you should check out. Yes, YOU!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz #1 (J. Scott Campbell Cover) - Campbell covers the Wizard of Oz. Had to get this. Sweet cover, and really like Nei Ruffino's colouring on the cover. As for the book, see last week's post (which should be the one below).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Boughts and Thoughts and the Hulk 100 Project Signing at Paradise Comics! - December 10th, 2008

The Hulk 100 ProjectStarting this off with the books, as I did make my regular trip to Cyber City Comix to get my books this week.

Action Comics #872 - Pretty good issue, dealing with the aftermath of the previous part of the story.

Justice League of America #27 - The only part of this issue that I enjoyed, was Black Canary ripping into the Trinity about them the back seat driver, of her leading the team. Didn't care for the rest.

Secret Invasion: Dark Reign - Gotta say, Alex Maleev's artwork was great and terrible in the same issue. Loved the way he drew Emma Frost, the current Loki, Dr. Doom, and The Hood. Hated how he drew Norman Osborn and Namor. Definitely looking forward to his Spider-Woman run, cause he draws sexy women. Leave Namor and Norman Osborn out of that book.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz #1 - The inspiration of The Wizard of Oz piece by Agnes Garbowska, which I picked up at Hobbystar's Fall Toronto ComiCON a week and a half ago. Great start to this interpretation of a classic tale. Some of Skottie Young's finest work, and his work is already fantastic.

Zatanna by Leonard Kirk (2008)As for the Paradise Comics Store Signing for the Hero Initiative, to promote the release of The Hulk 100 Project, I'd say that signing was very successful! Nearly all of the books sold. The hardcover edition did sell out.

Black Cat by Francis Manapul (2008)Contributing artists, Agnes Garbowska, Dale Keown, and Leonard Kirk appeared, along with Toronto-native, Francis Manapul, to sign and sketch for the fans, and for the Hero Initiative! From what I could see, a whole lot of money was raised for the Hero Initiative at this signing.

Supergirl by Agnes Garbowska (2008)And to top that off, Leonard Kirk stepped it up, and stated for this signing only, any pages in his Marvel Adventures Avengers art portfolio was only $40, and all of that money would be donated to the Hero Initiative! Many pages did sell, including one to me, and one to my bro (he'll post it eventually).

Wolverine by Dale Keown (2008)I did arrive to the signing a little early, just because I knew it'd be busy. And I'm a sketch-whore, so I wanted to get their early, for the potential of getting some amazing sketches, which I did end up getting!

Thanks to Peter Dixon, Doug Simpson, Andrew Uys, Leonard Kirk, Francis Manapul, Agnes Garbowska, and Dale Keown for such a great signing event.

Oh yeah... one more book I picked up.

The Hulk 100 Project (Hardcover) - Gorgeous book! Great collection of those Hulk covers. Great book that benefits the Hero Initiative. Great book for Hulk fans. Pick yourself up a copy, if you haven't already. Hardcover or softcover. This book will only get ONE printing.

Friday, December 05, 2008

VISIONS OF AN ICON: SUPERMAN ART AUCTIONS - Rounds 3 & 4

The first two rounds of auctions ended earlier this week, and it was a success. Aside from the Todd McFarlane piece, everything else sold (McFarlane piece did not meet the reserve). Personally, I didn't win any pieces... which in a way, worked out for me, since I ended up buying a new computer on Wednesday. Bro, on the other hand, did win one, which I'll be picking up tomorrow. Nice piece too.

While those auctions were ending, new ones were being added. Here are the pieces for the final two rounds of the Visions of an Icon: Superman Art Auctions.

Ron Kasman Ron Kasman Ron Hobbs Ron Hobbs
Diana Tamblyn Diana Tamblyn Blair Kitchen Blair Kitchen
Mike Kitchen Mike Kitchen Drazen Kozjan Drazen Kozjan
Marvin Law Marvin Law Evan Munday Evan Munday
Noel Tuazon Noel Tuazon David Watkins David Watkins
Janet Hetherington Janet Hetherington Dan Kim Dan Kim
Raff Ienco Raff Ienco Noel Tuazon Noel Tuazon
Jim Zubkavich Jim Zubkavich Andy Belanger Andy Belanger
Diana Tamblyn Diana Tamblyn R.G. Taylor R.G. Taylor
Graham Annable Graham Annable Kurt Lehner Kurt Lehner
Superman Jam Piece by Marcio Takara, Michael Cho, Scott Chantler, Ramon Perez, Kalman Andrasofszky, Andy Belanger Superman Jam Piece by Marcio Takara, Michael Cho, Scott Chantler, Ramon Perez, Kalman Andrasofszky, Andy Belanger

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What a crappy day!

It's been a long and crappy day, though I can't say I did that much. My computer motherboard crapped out on me, again. This was the replacement one I picked up the last time my motherboard crapped out on me.

Sadly, that motherboard only lasted 13 months. This problem actually originated with the power supply fan running loud. I figured I'd put my old power supply in (the one that originally came with the computer), just so I didn't have to hear the annoying fan.

Power supply booted up, CPU fan started running. I got power to the integrated network adapter, but nothing else turned on. Thinking it was the power supply, I decided to use the power supply from my step-dad's crapped out computer. Same thing. Figuring it was just two dead power supplies, I put the annoying one back in. Same thing.

Kept trying some other things to get this to start, but no dice. Ended up leaving the house to get this week`s comics.

Also made a trip to Wal-Mart. Had to pick up those Christmas countdown calendars for my little siblings. You know, the ones with those little pieces of chocolate, each day from the beginning of December, until Christmas Day.

Picked up a variety of items, but mainly snacks. The weird thing was that I walked by a centre display with chocolate chips... and I picked up a pack. This was after I looked over the recipe, and saw I had pretty much everything on it.

So, I baked some cookies, from scratch! I`ve never done that before, so this was a fun experience. I actually made a lot. We even put the cookie jar to use. We`d normally never use it, because the cookies we had, were store bought, and came in its own package.

Being my first attempt with it, I was quite happy with the result. My little sister liked them a lot, so it was all worth it. My little bro didn`t eat any, because of his egg allergy.

Anyways, I ended up using my little bro`s laptop for the bulk of the afternoon. Later in the evening, I hopped on over to Best Buy, and bought a new computer.

So the bulk of this evening, was transferring all the necessary files (and many more unnecessary files) over to my new computer, and re-installing all those programs I have been using.

This new computer has been sweet so far, but I haven`t gotten to explore it much, because of all the file transfers.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Boughts and Thoughts - December 3rd, 2008

Small week for me. Disappointed that my store didn't order any copies of The War at Ellsmere, so I'll just have to wait until a later date to get it. Aside from that, only two books... both of which I've been collecting since they began, and I don't plan on dropping them any time soon.

Justice Society of America #21 - Enjoyed this issue. Glad to see this story coming to an end, but we do see a transformation of one character.

New Avengers #47 - More of a flashback issue, but should be read after Secret Invasion #8. Has to do with Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The War At Ellsmere out TOMORROW!

Just reminding everyone that Faith Erin Hicks' new graphic novel, The War At Ellsmere is out tomorrow, Wednesday December 3rd, 2008. Go Buy It!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Hobbystar's Fall Toronto ComiCON Report

Hobbystar's Fall Toronto ComiCONThis past Sunday was the Fall Toronto ComiCON, put on by Hobbystar Marketing. The special guest of the event was Stephen Sadowski (Avengers/Invaders, JSA).

This is also the last convention in the great city of Toronto, for 2008. Upon arriving, the special guest for the first show in 2009 was reveal. Kevin Maguire will be appearing at the Winter Toronto ComiCON on February 1st, 2009.

As for the show on Sunday, it was busy. At times, there just seemed to be too many people rummaging through the bins, so I headed to the front lobby area, where most of the guests were seated. The Awesome Marcus Ninja team, and Iby of Digital Kontent were seated right next to the main entrance.

Bro and I did arrive prior to 10:30am. Once the doors opened, I headed straight for Stephen Sadowski. I ended up getting onto his sketch list for the day. I was one of the last ones on the list, so I had to wait until the end of the show to see if mine would be completed.

Decided to do a little bin-diving myself, and started with the always awesome, All New Comics. Definitely happy with my finds from that booth. Though I didn't pick up much, there were some great finds. Savage Dragon #137 (Barack Obama cover), Superman/Batman #1 (Batman cover, first printing), Superman/Batman #8 (first printing). Bro definitely picked up a lot more than I did, so you can check out his report, when he gets to it. Also, Milo (of Digital Kontent) picked up some books at the All New Comics booth.

You can find Milo's report here... he was on the ball yesterday! You can also find a picture of me that makes me look retarded. :D

Now, now, let's not make that insulting joke, that I totally set myself up for.

Wizard of Oz Piece by Agnes Garbowska (2008)Now this wouldn't be a convention report, without me posting my sketch/commission/original art haul. I start this off with the first one I received that day.

It's a Wizard of Oz piece, featuring Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and Toto, by Agnes Garbowska.

This wasn't what I originally was planning on getting, but while putting away the books I had purchased this past Wednesday, I found the sketchbook preview of the upcoming Eric Shanower/Skottie Young mini-series, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Marvel, December 2008), just sitting on top of one of my long boxes.

My brain starting processing an idea, which caused me to pass out for four hours. Upon awaking, it just seemed right. Shot the request over to Agnes, and picked this up at the convention. This is a piece I really like.

Black Cat by Alvin Lee (2008)During a point in the day, I decided to kick back, and not be the normal sketch whore that I am. The guests had small crowds infront of them, the con floor was busy, so relaxing sounded good. And, to top all that off, I didn't really have a game plan for the sketches.

But, being at a con, I can only hold off for so long, and got back to getting some sketches. The Black Cat by Alvin Lee, was something that I thought of while at the con, after remembering what characters I have been getting sketches of, and that Alvin did draw Black Cat during his issues of Heroes For Hire.

Brain Guy by Ibrahim Shum (2008)Now this, I definitely didn't plan out. Iby does have a creative mind, so I handed him my sketchbook, and let him decide on what to sketch in it. Not too sure what to call it, so I just went with what Bro titled it, when he saved the scan.

The sketch is creepy and cool at the same time. Look at the continents on the ginormous tentacle head!

Be sure to check out Iby's new webcomic, The Gan 5, starting in 2009.

Awesome Marcus Ninja vs. Snake-Eyes vs Storm Shadow by Shane Heron (2008)This was a request I sent Shane Heron (Awesome Marcus Ninja) a little while back. Unfortunately, we only crossed paths once since then, so I didn't get this totally awesome piece until this past Sunday.

It's a Ninja Battle, with Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, and Awesome Marcus Ninja. Though, AMN is chillin' in the back, picking the right time to jump in on the fight... which will be right after he finishes his drink. Totally wasn't expecting such an amazing piece like this... and with full background!

Remember the name people, Shane Heron. Check out the weekly webcomic he does with Joel Buxton, Awesome Marcus Ninja.

Zatanna by Marcio Takara (2008)I've been wanting to get a Zatanna by Marcio Takara, and figured now would be a good time. Caught him near the end of the day, and got this done.

Zatanna by Stephen Sadowski (2008)And finally, near the end of the day, I picked up this beauty. Got a Zatanna sketch from Stephen Sadowski. This was actually the third request for Zatanna (and there was two Silver Sable requests?!?!? How that happened, I don't know).

I did have other pick-ups during the show. I won one of the silent auctions at the show, and ended up with a John Romita Jr. Fallen Son sketch cover, CGC SS 9.6.

I also picked up the two CGC SS books that I submitted for Signature Series:
- All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder #10 (Recalled Edition, Frank Quitely variant), signed by Jim Lee, graded 9.6 (Thanks Raph and Will!)
- Green Lantern #1 (Alex Ross Cover), signed by Alex Ross, Geoff Johns, and Ethan Van Sciver, graded 9.8 (Thanks Kev!)

I also purchased two CGC SS books, both from Kevin Boyd.
- Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #23 (Adam Hughes Variant), signed by Hughes, Barry Kitson, and Mark Waid, graded 9.4.
- Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.S. #0 (first appearance of Stargirl/The Star Spangled Kid II/Courtney Whitmore), signed by Geoff Johns, James Robinson, and Lee Moder, graded 9.6.

And, I picked up the four Doug Mahnke pages that I had purchased last month, that Kev picked up and brought to Toronto.
- JLA #88 Page 19
- Superman: Man of Steel #110 Page 11
- Superman: Man of Steel #110 Page 12
- Superman: Man of Steel #114 Page 15

At the end of the day, this was a great convention. Was totally happy with the haul that I left with. Got to hang out with a bunch of friends that I see periodically throughout the year. Definitely had a great time, though the drive home sucked, but got him in one piece.

Thanks to Tiz, Kev, Aman, Ty, James, and any other HSM crew that I missed, or don't know, for putting on a great show.

Thanks to Agnes Garbowska, Alvin Lee, Ibrahim Shum, Shane Heron, Marcio Takara, and Stephen Sadowski for the wonderful sketches.

Thank you for reading.

Visions of an Icon: Superman Art Auction - Eleven Auctions Ends Tonight!

Just a reminder that eleven items from the Visions of an Icon: Superman Art Auction, ends tonight.

Those pieces are the following:
Francis Manapul
Scott Chantler
Jeff Lemire
Alexander Perkins
Sam Agro
Eric Kim
Ryan Snook
Colin Upton
Agnes Garbowska
Ed Northcott
Dave Sim