Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Past Heroes’ Glory

This isn’t the Marvel Star Wars ad I was looking for – it’s better.

I was actually flipping through the few old Star Wars comics I have looking for this Heroes World advertisement, but instead – ohhhhh, man, I found this one:

Seriously: Two movies and 39 comics in, and Heroes World doesn't know it's not "Hans" Solo yet?

Collect All 31 - or just click for larger versions.

From the horror-movie title font to the Epic Flying Landspeeder to the “Hell-With-The-Fourth-Wing-It’ll-Mess-Up-The-Composition” X-Wing Fighter, I challenge you to find a better collective piece of vintage Star Wars advertising art.

And just in case you missed them, please make note of Mighty Walrusman Snaggletooth (Totally Ripped Abs Edition!) –

Heeeere I come to drink blue miiiiiiilk!

The MightyWalruSnag.

and the Duck-Footed R5-D4, which presaged the Bloom County Banana Jr. aesthetic by a year or two!

This artoo unit has a bad motivator and three left feet.

Worst split-screen effects ever.

April 27, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, eighties, Film, geek, science fiction | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading worth sharing, part 2.

As promised, here’s the rest of the some-of-the-books-I-liked-this-year list that I started yesterday:

The Stepsister Scheme and its sequel, The Mermaid’s MadnessJim C. Hines. I’ve mentioned these a couple times this year, most recently back in November.

Looking For Alaska

by John Green

Looking for AlaskaJohn Green. A few years ago, my friend Katrina sent me this book out of nowhere, knowing full well it would just absolutely kick me in the guts in the best of all ways. It’s one of many re-reads this year, but it’s the only one I’m putting on this list because even thinking about it makes me want to go read it again right this damn second.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks E. Lockhart. I read this one at the suggestion of a fellow GeekDad writer with the intention of passing it along to my daughter to get her thoughts for a review. I have kind of mixed feelings about it, honestly, but it gets points because Frankie (a teenage girl at boarding school) is an independent geek at heart. My daughter started to read it, but then the school year began and she got caught up in her assigned stuff and this went back to the library.

The Android's Dream

by John Scalzi

The Android’s DreamJohn Scalzi. I’d had this one in my hands at the library a few times before bringing it home, only because the opening chapter was so, um … different from the feel of Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series (which I love), and I wasn’t sure what to expect. (Okay, look: The first chapter is one big fart joke – and that’s Scalzi’s own description, which, incidentally, my daughter recalled verbatim when she saw I’d checked the book out.) At any rate, I shouldn’t have worried, because I loved this one, too.

AnathemNeal Stephenson. The first Stephenson I’ve read since Snow Crash. And WOW. If you’re not a fan of steep learning curves when it comes to rich world building and invented vocabularies, this one will feel like teeth on pavement. Me, I got wholly sucked in pretty quickly, and this book became one of those reads that I carted around everywhere, just in case I had a minute or two to spare.

Scud: The Disposable Assassin - The Whole Shebang

by Rob Schrab

Scud: The Disposable Assassin – The Whole ShebangRob Schrab. So, back in the mid-1990s, I bought an issue of Scud because it was so freaking weird and had this villain that spoke in practically nothing but 1980s pop culture references. And I bought the next issue, too. But then its publication grew erratic, and since I was already ending my brief foray into comic book subscriptions, I lost track of Scud. Last year, I found one of the trade paperback collections on the super cheap and rediscovered everything I loved about Scud in the first place. Thanks to a gift card and a hefty discount coupon, I bought The Whole Shebang this fall. Ultraviolent and flat-out disturbing at times, it’s not for everybody, but I’m a sucker for a Heartbreaker Series 1373 every time.

Punk Rock and Trailer Parks

by Derf

Punk Rock & Trailer Parks Derf. Another “You’ve gotta read this” from Adam, another strange, sometimes shocking, sometimes vulgar and yet surprisingly emotional book. This one’s about coming of age around Akron, Ohio during the punk rock scene of the late 1970s. I missed that era by a few years – I mean, I was here, but I was in elementary school at the time – but having grown up here, I recognize the ripples and echoes.

Memories of the Future Vol. 1Wil Wheaton. Though I prefer Wheaton’s wider-ranging general 1980s nostalgia pieces, I’m enough of a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation to enjoy this mix of snark and recollection from his Wesley Crusher days. (And there is some serious snark: Even though it’s coming from a place of love, there’s more than a good dose of smart-ass 14-year-old in these.)

Whiteout Greg Rucka and Steve Leiber. …aaaand Mr. Besenyodi gets the Recommendation Hat Trick. Very little in this book was what I expected, other than – spoiler – the snow.

BoneshakerCherie Priest. A steampunk alternate Civil War history adventure with blimps, mad scientists and mutant zombies. The backstory alone is brilliant. The first Cherie Priest book I’ve read, and probably not the last.


by Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi and Karl Schroeder

Metatropolis Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, and Karl Schroeder. I’d been looking forward to this anthology since it was released in its original audiobook form, which wound up being nominated for a Hugo. I never did get to listen to that version, but thanks to the subsequent hardback edition and a birthday gift card from Jenn & Kelsey, I finally got to explore the stories this fall, and they were worth the wait.

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Books, geek, science fiction, writing | , , | 3 Comments

Reading worth sharing.

Around the beginning of the new year, I usually post my annual reading retrospective in a pretty basic list form.

This year, though, I was introduced to a fair number of authors and/or books that got me excited, so I decided that with still some shopping time remaining before Christmas, I’d share the love with handy links for anyone seeking last-minute geeky gifts.

(Yes, it’s a pretty nerdtastic list. But man have I had some fun reading in 2009.)

I’m presenting them in the order in which they appeared in my notebook,and since there are somewhere in the two dozen range, I’m breaking this post over two days:

You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on WritingJohn Scalzi. I read this in February, not knowing I was a little more than a month away from being thrown into my own freelance writing career. “Lots to think about,” I wrote to myself. “Inspiring in a practical way.” I was already a fan of Scalzi, and reading his observations on the nuts-and-bolts of the writing life – along with meeting him at Penguicon with my daughter a few months later – only solidified that.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan

by Brian K. Vaughan

Y: The Last Man series – Brian K. Vaughan. I actually started reading these in 2008, but I was only halfway through when the calendar flipped.

Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic FanAdam Besenyodi. I was never a comic reader when I was a kid – except for Marvel’s Star Wars stuff – but Adam’s book kind of makes me wish I had been. I like to think I’m making up some ground as a grown-up.

Now and Forever: Somewhere a Band is Playing & Leviathan ’99Ray Bradbury. Story-wise, Bradbury has never grabbed me again the way his stuff did when I really plowed through pretty much his whole catalogue in the early 1990s, but even past his prime, Bradbury’s writing can be just crazy heartbreaking, and at his weakest he’s still a master.

The Accidental Time MachineJoe Haldeman. The first Haldeman book I’ve read – yes, I know I lose points over The Forever War – and I found it extremely hard to put down. I’ll read more of his stuff.

Joe Haldeman - The Accidental Time Machine

by Joe Haldeman

Halting State by Charles Stross

by Charles Stross

Halting StateCharles Stross. Another new author to me – I picked this book up because the library didn’t have Accelerando, which I’d just heard of – and a challenging but kick-ass and rewarding read

The Astounding Wolf Man Vol. 1Robert Kirkman. On Adam‘s recommendation, since I’m a fan of Kirkman’s Invincible collections.

Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can ChangeBonnie Burton. Interviewing Bonnie and reviewing this for GeekDad was one of this year’s most fun writing projects, and as the parent of a middle-school-aged girl, I can pass along a strong recommendation from her, too.

Life of the Party: A Visual History of the S.S. Adams Co. by Kirk Demarais

by Kirk Demarais

Life of the Party: A Visual History of the S.S. Adams CompanyKirk Demarais. I am totally biased here, of course, because Kirk generously created the cover of Collect All 21!, but I’m not alone: J.J. Abrams thinks this book rocks, too.

Darwin’s RadioGreg Bear. I read Blood Music years ago but hadn’t read any Greg Bear since then. I have clearly been depriving myself of some great hard science fiction.

The Neddiad: How Neddie Took the Train, Went to Hollywood and Saved CivilizationDaniel Pinkwater. This author’s been on my radar for awhile, but it took finding this book in a freebie bin at Penguicon to get his work in my hands. I love books like this that aren’t afraid to be bizarre and ambitious even though they’re written for younger readers.

The Curse of the Blue FigurineJohn Bellairs. I was in fourth grade when I heard about The House with a Clock in its Walls, and when I was in college, I went back and rediscovered it, as well as several other Bellairs books, in the Wood County Public Library. I’d never read this one, though, which made it a nice find on our local library’s discarded “For Sale” shelves.

Adam Canfield of The Slash Michael Winerip. Read this one on the recommendation of my friend (and former Orlando Sentinel composing room partner in shenanigans) Sarah, who’s never steered me wrong in the book department.

More tomorrow!

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Books, geek, science fiction, writing | , , | 3 Comments

Tiki Two: Screaming Boogaloo

I really enjoyed last October’s inaugural Screaming Tiki Con in Niles, but with all that’s gone on the past few months, I’d pretty well forgotten that organizer Peter Smith was, even then, working on a follow-up for this summer.

It was only in mid-May that I remembered to check up on it, and in fact, the second Screaming Tiki is coming up this weekend near Playhouse Square in Cleveland. Another impressive guest list, too: This time, they’ve got Admiral Frakking Adama himself, Edward James Olmos, and Erin “Col. Wilma Deering and Hot Woman from ‘Silver Spoons’ whose Character Name Escapes Me” Gray.

They’ve also tied aspects of the con strongly to the successful effort to save the house where Superman was born, and will host not only a panel with members of both the Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster families, but a ribbon cutting ceremony at the house on Saturday.

Of course, I have plans this weekend which will most likely keep me from reaching the Screaming Tiki this year, but I had a blast last October and wouldn’t hesitate to tell anyone that Peter put together a good con on a relatively small stage. Hopefully he comes through even better on a bigger one.

July 7, 2009 Posted by | Books, Current Affairs, Fiction, Film, geek, Ohio, science fiction, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Mice and Clones

I met Sean Forney last summer at the Buckeye Comic Con and ran into him again at Screaming Tiki in October, when he showed me some designs he was working on for a possible Lucasfilm-licensed T-shirt. And a few months ago, he came to mind when I got a BGSU alumni newsletter mentioning him. (So, bonus points for being a fellow Ohioan and a Falcon!)

Click to enlarge.

Sean emailed me recently to share the final product, which he did for Disney’s Star Wars Weekends 2009 in conjunction with Blue Planet Gear, and though I can’t find any information on where these shirts may have been sold – I wonder if they were some sort of exclusives for the 501st or the Rebel Legion – I still think it’s awfully cool. (I particularly like the detail on the leftmost clone in the trio.)

Now that the shirt’s done, Sean, who grew up a Star Wars fan, told me a little bit more about the whole process in an email:

“I received an email from Bill at Blue Planet out of nowhere about doing a Stormtrooper shirt. The initial design was a Stormtrooper and two Clonetroopers for a shirt for the 501st. After that design I was asked to do a Mickey Mouse in Stormtrooper gear for the Star Wars Disney Hollywood Studios Weekends. I finished this design and Disney passed on the idea of Mickey as a Stormtrooper. So I was asked to re-do the first Stormtrooper design and it was approved for the Disney Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekends.”

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

“The idea for the design came from Bill at Blue Planet, but I came up with the poses through a series of sketches. Blue Planet was in contact with Lucasfilm and had the license to do the shirts. The final product came out just like the original designs and there weren’t many revisions.”

“It was thrilling. I have to admit it was a little nerve-racking making sure all the details were correct on all the troopers but in the end it was definitely worth it.”

To me, one of the neater aspects of the “new” Star Wars era – which is actually pushing two decades old itself, if you put its birth around the time of Timothy Zahn’s “Heir to the Empire” release in 1991 – has been seeing this incredible array of artistic takes on the saga and its inhabitants, as compared to the relatively limited number of interpretations in the original trilogy era.

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs, Fiction, Film, geek, Ohio, science fiction, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Akron-Canton Comic Con: Save the Date!

Thanks to West Coast comic book enthusiast Michael Hamersky for this nice weekend mention about the June 28 Akron-Canton Comic Con. I’m looking forward to setting up my table and catching up with Molly Durst (Symphony of the Universe Volumes One and Two now available on Amazon!) and, of course, hanging out with Adam, who’ll be there signing and selling copies of Deus ex Comica.

I’ll have copies of the shiny new edition of Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek on hand.

Jeff Harper does a fantastic job running these local shows and supporting independent creators, and since admission is just $3 (seriously – three bucks!), that leaves plenty of extra cash in your wallet to, you know – buy books and comics and stuff!

Chapparells Community Center is  just off Interstates 77 and 76 in Akron, so it’s ridiculously easy to find from just about anywhere – so come on in and say hello!

June 15, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, Current Affairs, eighties, Fiction, geek, Ohio, science fiction, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars 2: Re-revisited. Again. Repeatedly.

So, Bonnie Burton shares this Village Voice look at a December 1980 issue of Fantastic Films which not only includes the ever-present-for-the-era speculation about how the old Star Wars trilogy will wrap up but an article on “Thundarr the Barbarian.”

Ooooo! Inside Scoops!

Ooooo! Inside Scoops!

This makes me think of the November 1980 issue I have of Warren Presents: Empire Encounters Comix which offers the promise of spoilers for “Star Wars 2!” Stuff like Boba Fett leading stormtroopers, a Rebel assault on “Vader’s stronghold and Han Solo and Chewbacca prisoners of the Empire. Editorially, the magazine covers its tail: You’ll notice this publication is something like six months after The Empire Strikes Back came out, so this goofy article opens with a breathless “Whew! Aren’t we glad we didn’t publish these silly notions!” air.

Lots of great ads, too, particularly the full-pager for the Battlestar Galactica-inspired New Warriors Battle Jacket (“For Exciting Adventures from the Disco to the Outer Limits of Space!”)

I scanned and blogged about this issue last year when I was still on TypePad but discovered this morning that for unknown reasons, that particular entry has not made the trip over to WordPress.

On the one hand, this is an irritant. On the other, its an excuse to share it again. So here’s the whole set of Star Wars-related pages over at Flickr, articles and all.

June 6, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, eighties, Fiction, Film, geek, science fiction, Weblogs | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic Book Fan

I’ve been meaning to blog this all week, so hopefully I’m making up for my lateness (“I don’t feel tardy”) by putting it here now on Friday, where it will likely take up the top spot for a couple days while I’m traveling.

Deus ex Comica

Adam’s book is finally here.

I picked up my copy earlier this week, and seeing this thing in print after spending most of the last year watching it come to life (and even helping a little bit) is nothing short of fan-freaking-tastic.

I was never as into comic books as Adam was, but reading this collection of flashbacks and insights and pure love for the medium is just plain fun, and yes, this is a completely biased recommendation, but whether you – “or someone you love,” as they say on TV – are an avid comic fan or haven’t picked up an issue in decades even though you scarfed them up as a kid, you should read this book. I mean, Tom DeFalco wrote the foreword, for the love o’Pete.

I also owe Adam for this project providing me some inspiration regarding “Collect All 21,” but that’s for another post.

Now, go read “Deus ex Comica’s” intro and the first chapter at – it’ll be on Amazon soon, but seriously, why wait?

April 3, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, Current Affairs, eighties, Fiction, geek, Ohio, Web/Tech, Weblogs, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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