Saturday, October 28, 2006

UPDATE: The Fox and the Crow

Last week I wrote about how great the Fox and Crow comics were, but I would hazard a guess that less than 1% of current comic book collectors have ever experienced The Fox and the Crow for themselves. Well, the hayfamzone is all about empowerment and opportunity!

I am happy to reveal that one of my ebay listings this week is a 1955 issue of Real Screen Comics featuring, you guessed it, the Fox and the Crow. The series ran from the mid 1940s to the mid 1960s, and this mid-run issue is a perfect example of how wonderful it all was. Please click here to see what my current ebay offerings are.

And, before you know it, I'll be back with a full-fledged non-update blog entry!

Friday, October 27, 2006

UPDATE: Art Baltazar

In my recent blog entry about The Chicago Comicon, I wrote that seeing the great artist Art Baltazar in the Artists Alley has been a highlight of the convention for all of us hayfamzonders the last few years. I told how we've been buying a little painting from him there each year and that I was going to set up a gallery room on to show the world these beautiful little paintings.

Well, I kept my word. The gallery room is up and running and all ready for your visit. Two of the paintings are on 4-inch by 4-inch canvases and one of them is painted right onto a compact disc! Click right here to go see these miniscule masterpieces, and once you're over there you can click on each piece of the artwork to enlarge your view of it. (We own one more of the canvas paintings, but it's currently hiding from us.) Click here to find out more about Art Baltazar himself and his comics.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Short Riddle

RIDDLE: What did Zero say to Eight?
ANSWER: "Nice belt!"

This is a joke I just had to share with the world. I first heard it on a recent network television show, but for the life of me I can't remember what show and it's driving me crazy. If you heard it also and remember what show it was on, please Comment the information to me.

Maybe you don't think this joke is funny? Then click here and get to work!

I like laughing, and I wish there were more humor comics being published these days. I own nearly complete collections of Real Screen Comics and The Fox and The Crow, and those are GREAT comic books I would highly recommend if you've never read them. Click on either link to see FIFTY covers of each comic.

It's been a short visit today, but I'll be back again soon!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Krypto the Superdog

Many people have asked me how I decide what to write about in the Hayfamzone Blog. (And when I write that "Many people have asked" you should feel free to parse that as meaning "Nobody has asked, but I wanted to tell you.") The answer is: I write about whatever I feel like writing about. It's great to have a blog!

Today, let's talk about cartoons on television.

I grew up watching the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons on the Ray Rayner show here in Chicago, so you know that my standards are way high. "Recent" favorites have been Batman-The Animated Series (back in the '90s) and the first season or two of Pokemon (what, five or eight years ago?). I look to see what the latest cartoon offerings are, but nothing has really snagged my interest for a few years now. That is, until two weeks ago when I got my first glimpse of Krypto the Superdog on Kids WB (that's right, that network hasn't been renamed as Kids CW).

Yes, this is the Krypto we know from the old Superboy comics, but now elevated to starring-role status. The characters in the cartoon are well-designed, the writing is wonderful in a welcome low-key way, and the voices are perfect. I'm liking this show and I find myself looking forward to it. Kids WB is showing a full hour of Krypto every week, which is a total of four stories. (Of course I watch the credits and at least one episode was written by Paul Dini, who you recall worked pure magic into Batman-The Animated Series.)

One of today's episodes is my favorite so far. It featured an aging firehouse dog named Smokey worried that he was going to be replaced by a puppy. A scheme was crafted in which Krypto, with black spots painted on him to make him resemble Smokey the dalmation, would stand in for Smokey for a day to show the firemen just how indispensible Smokey was to the firehouse. Don't worry, I won't give away the ending!

Streaky the Supercat from the old Supergirl comics is a regular supporting character. In one of today's episodes, Streaky's nephew asked why he was playing in a dumpster; Streaky replied that he wasn't playing, but that he was in his Dumpster of Solitude. There has even been an appearance by Ace the Bat-Hound.

The first issue of a DC Comics Krypto miniseries has come out, and I enjoyed the comic book very much also. For a look at Krypto on the Kids WB website, just click here.

To see what auctions I have currently running on ebay, please click here.

And I'll see you right back here next week.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Paradigms of Blogworld

Here in the Palace of Hayfamzone, we consider blogging to be a win-win activity. I enjoy writing down my opinions and disseminating information, and hopefully you find something of value (sometimes) when you read what I've written. All good!

Well, I'd like to tell you about two blogs that I take a look at on a regular basis and I recommend that you visit these blogs yourself.

One is named News From Me and is written by Mark Evanier. Yes, this is the Mark Evanier that you know from comic books. In his youth he was an editorial assistant to Fourth-World-vintage Jack Kirby, and the Blackhawk issues he produced with Dan Spiegle in the 1980s are my favorite Blackhawk stories of all time. Mr. Evanier is an early-and-often blogger, often publishing multiple posts in a single day. How does he find the time?! He writes about comics and television and politics and et cetera, and one of his posts in September was a photo of a possum eating Friskies Ocean Fish cat food from a bowl on his back porch. I am not making this up! Click here to be whisked away to the News From Me blog.

The other blog I want to tell you about is Notes from a Final Frontiersman and is written by Bob Greenberger. Yes, this is the Bob Greenberger that you know from comic books. Back in the early 1980s when he was the editor of the first incarnation of the Comics Scene newsstand magazine, Mr. Greenberger was kind enough to publish some of my drawings. He went on to work as an editor for DC Comics, and these days he writes for Weekly World News among many other projects. His posts are very personal, and I feel like a friend of the family when I read his writings. Click here for a visit to Bob Greenberger's blog.

Do you have a blog you can recommend? Please leave a comment and tell me! Don't think of the Hayfamzone Blog as a castle on the hill that you can only longingly point to from afar. NO! Instead, instead think of the Hayfamzone as a meadow in the glen where we can all frolic and dance together!

Would you like to see some of the artwork that I've drawn? Click here and I'll show you.

And I'll see you right back here next week!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Great Ben Oda

Quite a few excellent comics have been coming out lately, and I've been so busy reading them that I forgot to make any blog entries for the entire month of September. Whoops! I'm back now, though, and I'll be posting AT LEAST one article every week. If you check back here every six or seven days there should be something new and great for you to read.

One of the great comics in September was the new Justice League of America #1. The writing was great and the artwork was also great, but what especially caught my attention about the issue was the short flashback to a 1970s issue of JLA. It was a pleasure to see some Dick Dillin artwork in print, but the high point of that flashback was seeing lettering by Ben Oda appear in a comic book again.

Those of you who have followed my auctions on ebay have already heard me sing the praises of Mr. Oda, my favorite comic book letterer of all time. Mr. Oda worked with Simon & Kirby in the 1940s and 1950s, did title lettering for Mad and other EC Comics in the 1950s, and I got to know his steady hand from his DC work through the 1970s and into the 1980s. For a reminder of Mr. Oda's great lettering style, click here to see an image of a Legion of Super-Heroes splash page I used to own.

And now I have a gift to share with you. In the hayfamzone we are nothing if not generous! There is a FREE computer font named OdaBalloon whose design is based on the hand lettering style of Mr. Ben Oda! I use it on a daily basis, and I hope you will also. Click here for more information, and be sure to tell Mr. William Oda at that site that you were referred to him by the hayfamzone!

I can anticipate that your next question will be, "All well and good, your favorite comic book letterer of all time is Mr. Ben Oda, but which letterer in the comics of today is doing work that you favor?" In the hayfamzone we will always answer your questions, and that even includes anticipated questions! Though he letters only sporadically, Mr. John Workman is my favorite currently working letterer. His style blends in so organically on any Walt Simonson page he touches, and I have appreciated his work since way back 29 years ago when he lettered the Englehart & Rogers run in Detective Comics.

This week, the hayfamzone's six-week hiatus from ebay screeches to a halt. Click here to see what great comics and other interesting items are currently up for auction, and I'll even whet your appetite by telling you that one of this week's auctions is for a copy of the 1960 version of Justice League of America #1.

And I'll see you right back here next week!