The semi-triumphant, senses-shattering almost-return of Blog into Mystery
Things have been on hiatus here for a while, which has probably sacrificed the few regular eyeballs that surveyed these environs back when posts were being made regularly. Alas. There’s a lesson to be learned, though: Never ever move during the holiday season, as such folly is one of Dante’s unpublished levels of hell. In this instance a short trek from the old domicile to the new — essentially down the street – resulted in a drawn-out, arduous process that rendered the days when I could casually spend a few minutes hammering out a post (about a Charles Atlas bodybuilding ad variant or a dopey new movie trailer or a delightfully terrible comic, take your pick) a distant memory, something from another lifetime.
Oh, and having to jump through a thousand hoops and wade through the indecipherable, insufferable Catch-22 of foreign call centers to get internet service set up — that didn’t help matters either. THANK YOU, COMCAST/VERIZON.
But here I sit, once again able to type and comment and otherwise bark into the void. As Miracleman says above, or as Paul Newman punctuated at the end of The Color of Money: I’m back! Well, almost!
Just so that this post has another raison d’être besides an announcement that no one in their right mind cares about, here’s a nugget that no one in their right mind would care about. A late Christmas present to myself was some wall decoration for the new abode, a custom-made doodad that’s been rattling around in my brain forever. Last year I had the bright idea to order from AllPosters.com a large, wood-mounted print of the cover to The Amazing Spider-Man #33 — you know, the one where our titular hero is trapped under heavy machinery and water is pouring down on him (the latter as only Steve Ditko could draw it). It was badass, and I’ve never for a second regretted shelling out the cash for it. This purchase lit a delayed fuse, one that finally detonated late this past year: What if I had a cover done that wasn’t in the AllPosters pre-ready stash of prints? A custom job, one for a cover that I’ve always treasured, but one off of the beaten path? I looked at the scanner I’ve always used to digitize parts of comics for posts here on the blog, and like the ape contemplating the bone in 2001, the wheels started turning in the old noggin.
No, the alarm clock with the blue numbers was not chosen by happenstance.
My favorite Superman cover of all, my favorite cover of all period, now in all its 20×30 glory. Why do I like it? A web of factors. A few: He looks so tired, so slumped, so old, all accentuated by the Frank Miller rough edges and the blue color of Superman’s hair, usually just an accent, now dominant, lending it a gray, faded look. The mawkish ridiculousness of the Man of Steel saving a girl and her dolly from a runaway train –do little girls often play with dollies on train tracks? Was Snidely Whiplash involved? The old “WHERE LEGENDS LIVE!” puffery in the UPC box and the format of the mini-series banner at the top, both remnants of a treasured, formative comics-reading time. The recollection that I wasn’t fond of this cover when I was a kid — Superman didn’t look right, and the (soon to be forgotten forever) mini was called The Secret Years, “secret” implying something shameful, something to be kept hidden (mostly from one’s parents).
There’s more, but you (hopefully) get the drift. And the process of getting this mounted print made, in case you want one yourself? A high-res scan, emphasis on the “high” – detail is your friend. Running the image through a filter to get the blacks to really pop. Putting a black border around it so that it fits in the pre-cut dimensions (square or 2×3) that AllPosters uses with custom photos — otherwise it would be cropped at the top, the bottom, or both. (They might accommodate an odd shape on special request, but that was something I didn’t investigate.) Uploading it to the MyPhotos section of their site and making sure it’s centered. Then ordering it, and bingo, dream realized.
I’m getting no money and no discount from this modest promo — just thought others might be similarly inspired. The end product in this case was under $75 (including shipping), and you could get something even cheaper with a better promo code or special offer.
Hope to be fully back up and running here on the blog in the coming week. Or sooner. Or later. Whatever.