Friday, June 01, 2007

Southside! RIP

Yesterday I went to my comic shop and saw the manager, Ty, standing in the doorway.

"What's up?" I asked. During most of my previous trips to Southside, Ty was stationed at the counter, balancing on the stool or sort of pacing behind the display cases.

"We're closing," he said, looking a bit nervous.

"Oh, I'll just grab my stuff and get out of your hair, then," I nodded, looking at my watch and seeing it was 5 til 7. I didn't want to keep him around if he was ready to go home...

And then I put one foot inside the door and realized... Ty was not closing for the night, he and the folks dismantling a few bookshelves were closing the doors of the shop for good.

I guess my expression said it all. "You didn't think we were actually closing," he said.

It was kind of weird. Southside doesn't even really have all that many fixtures. It had shelves on the walls and some folding tables for gaming in the back room, but that was about it. At some point Ty had made the decision to run the shop sort of lean and mean, so it was never littered with the usual unsold action figures and other comic-related merchandise madness that begins to fill a lot of shops.

I have no idea what was to become of the back issues I'd raided on FCBD, nor the comics lining the walls of the shop. I guess Ty is being transferred to the store way, way up North, so that's about the last I'll see of him.

He's transferring my subscription to Funny Papers, which is the same shop I used from Freshman orientation at UT in Fall of '93 until I moved in '02. It's actually about a block and a half from my office, so in some ways, it's more convenient than going to Southside, which was literally on the road on my way home. But, you know, Jamie wasn't too crazy about those hour-long delays I'd have on my way home when I'd address the issues of the DC Comics day with Ty and other comic geeks.

I think the shop I frequented in Tempe, Pop Culture Paradise, has also shut its doors.

The comic game is a tough one, from working as a creator down to keeping the doors open on your shop. And I can't blame folks for closing their doors when the rent goes up. Unfortunately, all those geeks who hang about all day don't actually spend all that much money to keep the place open.

At this point, I think the only comic shop left in South Austin may be Juniors Comics, and that's kind of sad.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The End of Humanity a Good Idea?

As much as The League wants to put on a happy face and love all of humanity, there often seems to be someone out there who wants to make me sort of think the inevitable rise of our robot masters is going to be for the best.

Or, you know, if LA did just fall off into the ocean. That would be a good start.

Because I love doggies and aardvarks, I don't wish for the doom of all life on Earth, but if there were to be a comet coming which was only going to smush humans, I just might think this clip informs my opinion of why this would be a good thing...

Thanks to Randy for both links.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Lameness Continues...

Hey, all. Welcome back to the lamest blog, ever.

Last night was surprisingly quiet. I caught up on some much needed Comic Fodder work (I mean, needed for me... not the general populace). With no Matt nor Doug and Kristen, the house was stunningly quiet. I think the dogs were just flat-out tired as they just weren't interested in harassing me at any point during the evening.

Really, not much to mention, which is why this is the lamest blog ever.

DC Rehabilitates the Supergirl Re-launch

The 2004 re-appearance of Supergirl wound up looking like this.

She will now look like:

here's the article.

In other words, Supergirl's flailing re-launch is going to make Supergirl into a girl once again and not a bratty LA party rat. Writer Tony Bedard is also a name writer with some good stuff behind him, so I'm looking forward to the new artistic and story direction. Not enough of a change to have to write a whole story around it, but also DC isn't insisting that they're giving the readers a version of the character we want, when, clearly it is NOT the Supergirl readers want. More than anything, it's a Supergirl that fits into 70 years of Superman comics and more than fifty years of Supergirl without seeming to alter the character so radically that it's no longer recognizably Supergirl.

the Astros' slide continues...

Blogging Countdown.

In addition to my usual Comic Fodder duties, I'm partnering with a gentleman from my office named Jason (no relation to my brother of the same name) to write a series of columns discussing DC's new weekly comic, "Countdown" and how it relates to DC, Comics in general, etc...

Check it out if you have the time. Hopefully the discussion will be entertaining.

I think I'm supposed to blog on some Jack in the Box commercials, but since I never saw them except on You Tube, I've not really developed an opinion of them. Sorry, team.

Lauren posted this, but it's so good, I must repost. Rejected Wii games.

Whenever I feel like comic geeks are weird, there's always Star Wars fans.

This weekend was the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars, which meant a massive Star Wars Celebration in San Diego, where they finally answered the question: No, you cannot have too many Princess Leia's.

More pics here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Memorial Weekend to Remember

Doug and Kristen have been here this weekend. Doug is, of course, Jamie's brother, and Kristen, Doug's ladyfriend.

It's been a really fun weekend, and I think we've done a good job of playing tour guide. I also have come to realize, in driving around town, how I have an anecdote for almost every 200 yards of vast stretches across town.

Saturday we took Doug and Kristen to the Alamo Drafthouse to see Pirates III. (Eh.) On Saturday night we took them out to "Esther's Follies", which I assume is an experience replicated somewhere in the Bay Area from which they hail, but, anyhow... it was fun and I think they liked it.

Sunday we rolled to Green Pastures for the Sunday brunch, which was amazing. Including the "Milk Punch", which should really be called "Satan's Secret Sledgehammer". Smooth, delicious, sweet, and then all of a sudden-like, you realize you'd best hand over the keys and let Jamie drive. Much like a pirate, I like my rum.

We tidied the house, hit the grocery, and by 5:00 we had a few people trickling in for a cook-out that wound up lasting until 12:00. Lots of folks came and went. A good time was had. Unfortunately, I also got a Wii this week, which meant Doug and I stayed up very, very late making disturbing Mii's and talking comics.

Got up today and Doug and Kristen suffered through Ryan's unofficial tour of Austin (which involved pointing out places that had caught on fire, and one place where I had caught on fire).

We wound up passing my old neighborhood where I grew up, so I decided to detour and pass my old house. The current owner was out in the yard, so I jumped out of the car to say "Hi". The guy happily welcomed us in to the house to see what became of the house where a young league had once spent many an hour pouring over his X-Men and Batman comics.

It was really, really weird going back in. (a) whomever lived in the house since we moved out in 89 has put in really nice fixtures, redone the kitchen, put down nice tile and put in wood floors in the foyer and all through the upstairs. (b) Hello flashback city. There was the corner Jason used to hide behind to leap out and terrify me. Here were the windows I totally forgot were at the top of the living room. And as much as had changed, it wasn't hard at all to see it as it was in my mind's eye. Except for the expansive backyard which now is filled with a pool.

Oh, and that damn hill in the front yard? That you had to mow at an angle? It's been cut up into tiers and turned into nice planters. However, the tree in the front yard, that was struck by lightning? I think it's gone. Or else it wasn't ever where I remember it sitting.

We also toured the Capitol, ran down by Lake Travis, zipped past the re-born Oasis restaurant (it's going to be pretty cool when they finish), and ate dinner/lunch at Hoover's off Manor. At Hoover's we saw a wheelchair bound Harry Knowles and at the Capitol we saw Rick Perry wandering out of the front doors and headed toward the governor's mansion. If he weren't on his cell phone, I totally would have flagged him down and made him welcome Doug and Kristen to the state.

I don't know how much Doug and Kristen got out of it, but we saw Austin from Slaughter Lane to Windy Point, and that's kind of cool. Austin's a small town, even when it's not, and even when it's growing.