Friday, August 26, 2011


I asked my friend Lee at Lee's Comics whether he wanted to advertise coming up in September and his answer was:


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dining with Old Friends

It's a San Francisco State reunion, along with other friends. It's me with Joe Silber, Lawrence D. Sander and Kristin Sideris, and also Joe with his wife Rachel and Joe with another friend whose name escapes me at the moment because I only met him last night. I was apartment roommates with both Joe and Lawrence back in college and Kristin and Joe also lived in the dorms with me. This was circa 1986-1990.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Frank Hill at the San Jose Toy Show

Who is Frank Hill? Not the guy on "King of the Hill"; that was Hank Hill. Frank was one of the many different artists who worked on the long-running "Dennis the Menace" comic book over the years. He tended to do the Dennis adventures where they would go to some local theme park like Frontier Village. He also worked on the "Tom and Jerry" and "Short Ribs" comic strips and did work for "Treasure Chest" among other projects. Anyway, my friend Greg Beda brought him to the Toy Show to do drawings and signings. Here's some pics of Frank, Greg, me and Frank's wife...

Lee's Comics at the San Jose Toy Show

Here he is...Lee Hester of Lee's Comics, unveiling some of his new collection for the first time at the San Jose Toy Show last Saturday!

Katy Perry Concert

I know, I know. What the @&$% is Mark going to a Katy Perry concert for? Well, I did enjoy myself. Katy is visually pleasing as were the thousands of teenage and early 20 something girls in attendance. Katy is not the greatest singer, but she does put on a pretty good show. Not great, but very good. Christina Aguilera has much better vocal chops, but Katy's not bad. She's better than Britney Spears in the vocals department. But really, does anyone really go to these things to listen to the singing? It's really a Cirque Du Soliel type of visual presentation complete with some magic and trapeze artists.

Katy, at two albums, doesn't really have enough material yet to sustain a two-plus hour concert, but again, that's not really the point. Both men and women are there to ogle the lovely Ms. Perry. She did have some funny moments, but there was a bit of a lull in the middle and strangely, she did all of her biggest hits in the first 20 minutes, saving only her "TGIF" song for the encore. It was Friday, naturally.

Anyway, to recommend or not recommend is mainly based on your liking of visual eye candy. If you are going for some solid singing and real showmanship, Katy doesn't quite have it yet, but is close. Give her a couple more albums with good material, assuming she's not a flash-in-the-pan and has some staying power.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Overstreet Price Guide is Out...

I posted this on "Richie Rich's Vault" and now on my blog...

I still buy "Overstreet" like a fool, but mainly because my name is listed in it year after year. I actually did send in some corrections this time out, and expect about half of them to be ignored. "Overstreet" STILL doesn't list all of the Harvey Comics produced by Jeff Montgomery, nor do they list ANY of the Harvey Comics that Marvel published.

I keep trying.

As far as values go, I do a spot check each year to see what they say "Casper" #1 (St. John), "Richie Rich" #1 (1960) and "Little Dot" #1 (1953) have risen to, just for kicks. Unfortunately, the "Guide" has not been a reliable source of information for years as far as values go. The last time I saw a comic value go down dramatically was "Howard the Duck" #1 (1976), but it has risen since, and is now higher than the original peak.

I work with Lee and Lee's Comics often and he says that except for the few key issues, most everything else is overvalued that has come out in the past 40 years, especially the lengthy runs of "X-Men" apart from #94 and "Giant Size" #1. Stuff like that hasn't sold for guide for years.

He does say that old Harveys do fly out the door at almost any price nowadays, something that never happened 20-30 years ago. He does, however, generally price them very fairly and when he does get them in, most can be had for $10 or less. More for non-Harvey World comics.

He does mail order too, if anyone cares and is a strict grader, which is why his prices are so good and he has a 100% rating on Ebay. Most comic book dealers overgrade and overcharge because they can.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Let's Hear it for Joe Shlabotnik!

Why not? Here's the best of those classic strips! This was Charlie Brown's baseball hero!

Marilyn Monroe Statue

I saw on the news today the new Marilyn Monroe statue now erected (heh-heh) in Chicago. It brings back memories for my of the "Eyesight to the Blind" segment of The Who's movie "Tommy" (1975) where Tommy (Roger Daltrey) is taken to a church by his mother (Ann-Margret) to get his deaf, dumb and blindness cured. Life imitates art again! Incidentally, that's Eric Clapton with the rest of the original Who performing the song.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Archie Art Show a Success

Here's some photos from yesterday's Family Fun Day at the Cartoon Art Museum. Archie co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit was on hand as was the brother of the late Jon D'Agostino, longtime inker at Archie. Current inker Rich Kozlowski was on hand to do sketches. Greg Beda, Alan Groening and I went up. Steve Leialoha and Trina Robbins showed up. Linda and Skeet Rose brought an Archie cake from Goldilocks. And my high school friend Andy showed up with his daughter.

Many more photos than this were taken as I and the others were minor celebrities for the day.

After a bit, Greg, Alan, Andy, her daughter and I went to eat at Mel's Diner.

At the end of the day, Nancy was dropped off and was heading back to her hotel by the airport. I asked if she wanted a ride back instead of a taxi, since we were going that direction anyway. Initially nervous because of her fearing headlines such as "Rapid Archie Fanboys Kidnap Archie CEO", she did agree to go and we dropped her off without incident at her hotel.

The Archie Art Show continues at the Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission, in San Francisco until December 4.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Surprise Guests at Lee's Comics

You never know who will show up out of the blue at Lee's Comics. Here's comic distributor Bud Plant, author Craig Yoe and author Jim Vadeboncoeur making a surprise appearance with Lee. The other photo features me in Bud's place.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Buster Keaton Film Festival Fridays at the Stanford

Every Friday this month is Buster Keaton silent movie night. Here's David Packard announcing the most recent showing. The shows all feature live organ accompaniment by Dennis James. The Stanford Theatre is located at 221 University in Palo Alto. (650) 324-3700