Friday, September 23, 2005

The lack of blogging this week hasn't been due to any personal issues. It's been because I recently joined up with the MMORPG City of Heroes.

CoH is an online game in which you can create a superhero based upon a wide array of options provided by the game designers. There are probably a million combinations of clothing, hair, gender, masks, color, armor, etc... in an easy to toy with user interface.

The game, itself, has a nice learning curve. While parts of it can be frustratingly slow if you decide to repeat the steps in order to create a new character, each new phase does take time to learn, and the designers were smart enough to create a "learn by doing" environment.

The character creation process is a darn good bit of fun on its own. Levelling up is mildly thrilling as well as each time you can earn a new power and enhance the powers you have. All of this is intended to prep you for some adventures I haven't got to yet.

What have I learned? If you make a mostly naked hero girl as a joke, guys will try to talk to your mostly naked pixel mass. Nobody wants to talk to StarSentry, but Mistress Tanya was very popular on her first outing.

I'm doubly excited as CoH is not owned by Marvel or DC. BUT, in 2007, DC is going to release a DC comics based game along the same lines. This could mean environments would include Gotham, Metropolis, Themyscira, Atlantis and a dozen or so other DCU based locations I can think of.

Anyhoo, I'm off to go fight some crime. If you're playing, look for StarSentry. (I had about a dozen other names lined up, but they were all taken. Give me a break. StarSentry was the best I could do).

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'M OSCAR!!!! (dot com)

A new season of Arrested Development is upon us. If you aren't watching this show but have never seen it, get the DVD series. If you have seen the show but didn't like it, you officially are on The League's "enemies" list. If you missed the first episode this season, well, you're probably going to be hopelessly lost.

BUT, the show picked up this season where it left off last season and is still fresh as a daisy in spring in torrential rain.

And I still think Jessica Walters may be the funniest actor on television. She had me at the wink in the first episode.

To catch up on Monday's episode, go here where Oscar Bluth asks the classic all blogger's must eventually face:

What does it take to get people to read my f’ing blog?! What’s more interesting, an innocent man in prison blogging for his life or “Snuppy” the first cloned dog?
Dispatch from the Texas Coast

Run, Jim D! Run as fast as your legs will carry you!

In all seriousness, Jim has split Beaumont and my folks have split from Spring, TX. It's very scary stuff, indeed.

Rita is headed right at the expansive Texas coast, and the computer projections for Galveston don't look all that different than New Orleans if worst comes to worst. If you've never read about the hurricane of 1900 in Galveston, I highly recommend visiting this site.

I never voted for the guy, but Rick Perry was on CNN last night, and the man watched and learned during the Katrina debacle. That much is clear. Folks are getting bussed out of gulf cities and towns to hubs set up a few hours inland. Perry has 5000 National Guard troops on standby and some Texas Guard guys ready to mobilize. (I say guys, but I am sure it is comprised of dudes AND dames).

Honestly, I don't really know where my folks are at the moment. I can't get through, and that's sort of spooky. I assume they're perfectly safe, but that automated message from Verizon isn't terribly comforting.

Of course at the center of all this are the New Orleans refugees. It's tough to try to even imagine what they're going through.

Monday, September 19, 2005


In case ye furgot, maties! 'Tis Talk Like a Pirate Day, says I!

go here, me hearties.

special thanks to the scurvy dog, Nathan Cone, fer the reminder.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Dispatch from Beaumont

So, a few weeks ago, Jim D. sent me another box of comics. After I had pleaded with him not to do so.

There's some good stuff in that box. Astonishing X-Men, some Avengers, some other comics which are worth picking up. We, here at League HQ, are not sure WHY Jim sends the comics, but he occasionally does send off a box. So, thanks, Jim, I guess... He's always looking out for me, even when I beg him not to.

The other day Jim called me at work.

Apparently Jim's local comic shop is an excellent shop, and Jim had called to impart the variety of knowledge which only a fellow comic geek finds ASTOUNDING.

"There's a copy of Avenger's #4 and X-Men #1 at my comic shop..."
"Oh my God."
"I got to hold them in my hand."
"You actually touched them?"
We are such geeks. Such terrible geeks.

I've never even SEEN these comics. These are huge collectors' items, no matter what condition these comics are in. And while the comics weren't alas, in perfect condition, they were there. And, as I said, I ain't never even seen those comics.

Both are Stan Lee written. Both have art by Kirby. Both are part of the Marevl explosion of the early 1960's.

Avengers #4 isn't worth as much as Avengers #1, but it's worth more than #2 as it's the issue where the Avengers locate Captain America frozen in a block of ice in the Arctic Ocean. Shut up. That's prime comic mythology where I come from.

And X-Men #1? Well, it's X-Men #1. I think I'm cool as I have a torn copy of #32.

Look, we all have our own Maltese Falcon. If you want to take the metaphor up a notch, the Holy Grail of the comic world is Action Comics #1, but people like you or me can't afford Action Comics #1, even with a torn cover. It's a $100,000 comic book in good condition.

So you sort of have to take the trickle down effect and say "okay, what comic is my Maltese Falcon? I strongly suspect the Holy Grail will turn me to dust and I'll be told by that old knight guy that I have chosen poorly. So, the worst that can happen with this Falcon is a lot of people could get shot and dames are gonna turn on you... Is that a risk I'm willing to take?"

Before Jim had even gotten to the shop, someone had called in and wanted the X-Men #1. It went for $300 or so, which is about right for this comic in "good" condition (I will not get into the comic grading scale here, but, believe me, it exists). Not a bad turn around for a $0.12 investment. In Near Mint? The comic fetches a few thousand bucks, I think. So bag those comics, Loyal Leaguers.

However, the Avengers #4 had a partially torn cover and was selling for around $100. Not a bad price, and it will probably just continue to increase in value, even in poor condition. If I were a wealthier man, I might even have had Jim pick it up for me.

Jim did consider buying the comic, but was faced with that cold dread that most comic collectors feel creep into their skulls during any expensive purchase. "What the hell am I going to do with a $100 comic book?"

I have Mr. Miracle #1 in a frame at home. But that's how I roll. The frame cost more than the comic. The League isn't alone in his admiration for Mr. Miracle, but the fan base isn't shelling out huge bucks for a briefly lived series from the early 70's. But that's not the comic I'm looking for.

The League's Maltese Falcon?

Action Comics #252: First appearance of Supergirl and Metallo

I could, possibly, afford a beat up copy of this comic one day. I've just never seen it in person, and eBay sort of makes me itch, so I don't even know how close to getting the comic I'll ever be. Not a big deal. It gives me something to look for.
So, long time no blog.

It's truth day here at The League.

As mentioned to Steanso, I've been considering shutting down The League. It's a massive time sink, and it's not like I've been making any money doing this. My time in the evenings is fairly limited, and this is taking up an hour or so almost each night.

I also sort of feel I've come to the end of the rainbow regarding topics I feel juiced up enough to spend time writing about. I would never turn this into an all-comics blog as I think others do that very well, and I would just as soon turn folks onto the likes of Return to Comics and Dave's Long Box than try to keep up with what those guys are doing.

I had even spent some time last week trying to figure out how to go out with a bang, but nothing is coming to me. I don't want for The League to be something that gradually dies off. If I'm done, I want people to say "Wow, now THAT'S how you end a blog!" Sadly, nothing really came to me along those lines. I had seriously considered taking a picture of my ass and posting it with "The End" written on my butt, but that seemed sort of hostile upon further review.

The fact is, not much goes on in my day-to-day life, and that leaves me without a lot of content ideas. And for reasons I don't really want to get into, it's been a pretty tough summer, and all of that hasn't left me in much of a mood to blog when I do have time. I'm trying to make time, but, as I said before, I'm not always sure what I should be covering, so when I do get some time, sometimes the gods of blogger don't really make it clear what's supposed to be filling the space.

Every time I go through this, I just need to remind myself I don't actually have to blog. It's not a requirement. And that helps.

I have no idea how long I'll keep this up, but I have scrapped any plans to shut the joint down. I will probably be blogging less for a while until I get into a cycle where I feel like blogging more often. Could be tomorrow. Could be in a month or three.

As always, I appreciate the readership, and I really appreciate you guys stepping up to the plate and announcing your presence and tossing out some ideas. We'll see what we can get to. Anyway, Loyal Leaguers, I'm always happy to have each of you lounging about the blog.