Welcome to The Tribe.
Your Humble Ruler, Rajah Cheech Beldone, King of the Gypsies.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DON'T call him Bubbles Pt. 6

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.
Part 3 is here.
Part 4 is here.
Part 5 is here.

Worth the wait?

Seriously, if I were to walk in there, what kind of thing could I ask about where the staff would be telling each other and snickering about me behind my back for being a fucking humungous weenie (yourself excepted, obviously, I know YOU'RE far too well-mannered to ever behave in such a manner)?

(Here, I can only speak for my work, as I've heard horror stories from people shopping elsewhere)
Well, I can say there's really no QUESTION you could ask that would elicit that kind of response, behind your back or otherwise.  It's really more of when people cop an attitude, HOW they ask their question, or just acting like a douche-nozzle that will get you talked about.

You're welcome to ask whatever "silly" question you have, I will help you, just don't be arrogant or a dick about it, or I won't care to give you expert service.
This is comic books, man; we embrace the weenies and non-weenies alike. No, you shouldn't read into that last line.

Conversely, what kind of request on my part would have the gang mentioning to each other how cool I was?

For that, all you really need to do act like a friendly and engaging type, and get into an at least semi-in-depth conversation with whomever's assisting you who has a shared interest in said topic.  If it's not shared, you won't get turned away, it'll just be a very one-sided and possibly awkward conversation.
Ordering/buying a book one considers to be particularly awesome will likely pave the way.

Doubtless something along these lines...

Throwing back to my own collecting days, when you were still in diapers (figuratively), when I had a file at the no-frills comic shop on Stony across from the Sax,

Yeah, just up the road from here

roughly what per cent of your custom is based on hardcore file-owning month-to-month  motherfuckers? Or do people even fucking DO that any more?

People very much still do that, though that changes from store to store.  Some are more into doing so than others.
I'm not sure about a percentage as I'm not aware of full sales figures, but I can tell you we have more than 400 file customers.  That's people who have a box set aside and come by on a regular basis for the books (and other merchandise) they've ordered.  Then there's dozens of, maybe even another hundred, people who don't have a file but have books set aside for them.
That's not even touching on those that just walk in off the street to buy books on a regular basis, or those who are just one-off customers, here once and then never seen again.

Bats totally kicks Red's ass, for fucking perpetuity, right?

Assuming 'Red' to be the big red and blue boy scout, I'm willing to side with you on this.

Do you guys take much of a shitkicking from online trade and/or digital versions?

Not so much as I've seen, though it's often hard to track exact numbers on digital copies from what I understand.  There are still quite a number of people who want the actual books in hand.

Usually, people will just download the first issue or so of a series to see how they enjoy it, then if they do they'll go out and pick up what they can for it.
About the only real competition I've seen online are places like Amazon; they can sometimes offer trades for cheaper, and there's the possibility of getting free shipping with that.  That's a bit hard to top.

OK, the movie franchises. Are there a lot of aficionados who look forward to them and enjoy them as an enhancement to their comic reading experience, or have the studios pretty much alienated themselves from the real readers?

People largely seem to be all over the map when it comes to this.  Some hate them for changing things from the books

some hate them because they weren't what THEY expected them to be, others love them for both or either of those reasons.
And sometimes???

They're just pure shit on rollerskates
I can say this.  Marvel is by and large one of the few who managed to get into doing it right.  They're making their films, not farming them out to other companies, so they can control the quality and make them as best they can.

And as seen with the Avengers, they're making a cohesive movie world between wildly different films.

Wait, where's fuckin Hawkeye???

A huge undertaking that's never really been done before, and so far they've been able to pull it off.  The only problem is there are so many of their movie properties that are held by other companies, it may prevent those properties from ever being a part of that shared universe.  Want to see the Avengers fight Doctor Doom?

Not gonna happen for a long time, IF it ever happens.

Are there still cats out there that are sitting on rarities and checking the Buyer's Guide for how much elephant bucks their old issues are worth

or did Spawn pretty much fuck that whole deal up for everyone???

There are still the speculators who come through trying to get "choice" books, most often when a new highlighted/milestone book comes out, though they could very well never be worth more than their cover price, regardless of them buying 6 copies because they were polybagged.
Yes, there are those who still come in asking what such and such book is worth, or trying to sell their collection.  And yes, some still come through asking about how much their Spawn #1 will fetch (answer: not that much).

Sorry, I couldn't find one with Canook kwan

Though those who just come through with only questions often don't really know much about the industry, and just want their easy comic money.

Finally, and probably more important than anything else, in 2012, can being a comics geek get you totally sexed up?

That really does come down to attitude; a suave muthafugga is a suave muthafugga, regardless of what he reads or collects.
It's now officially a Two Tony Post!!! Yayyy!!!

Just play your cards right and watch for the proper lady signs.
I will tell you this though: when I was in high school and junior high, I wasn't embraced for reading comics, and may even have been looked down upon
Guess which one is Monsieur Raspberry??

if you transported Highschool Me to the present, more than a decade later, I could very well be mistaken for cool.

Maybe.  That's kind of messed up.

Well, that's it for this Stabchat.

We can't thank you enough for joining us and being so generous with your knowledge and expertise.
Take it easy, and good luck, man.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Damn, I hate it when that happens

It was recently demonstrated to me that, when given the choice between interpreting unpleasant behaviours in others as an indication that they are a big fucking asshole,

or that they just don't like me specifically,

that I generally tend to choose the latter.

This seems to indicate a vague, annoying (and, quite frankly, unwelcome) tendency to assume the best in people.

I fucking hate that shit.


OK, we don't normally do requests, but...:Me and Der Oberst Part Three

Part One is here.

Part Two is here

Sorry, duty calls.

Any fuckin ways, so I go through my Friday, with visions of scary Klink running through me head.

And, since it soon became Friday night, I headed over to Peach's place.
I'd like to stop for a second here, if you don't mind, because I'm hitting a bit of a logic blank.

Like I said before, I'm placing this incident at about 1975, so I was 14 or 15 at the time.
And I can't for the life of me remember from whence we got our fucking beer.
I do recall distinctly that we only drank beer when were over at his place.
And, while I had actually been going into the bar and drinking since I was like 13, I certainly wouldn't ever have tempted fate enough to walk down the fucking street carrying a case of beer when I was 15.
Sorry, you should note that, at this time, you could only buy beer in bottles,

Yeah, only the one shape and size, no matter the brewer

in a "case" of 12  or "half sack" of 6.
We didn't actually drink that much beer when I was a kid, since it was so hard to transport surreptitiously.
Rum or whiskey was much more likely, since you could walk around with the bottle under your parka.

Peach was a bit older than me, but he wasn't legal then either.

Well, whatever, anyways, I head over, and we're sitting down there smoking and drinking and all, and Peach's Ma yells down for us to come up for a moment, and we go up, and there, standing in the kitchen (and if you didn't see THIS coming, stop reading, go find a bigass jackfish,

exceeding one metre in length and preferably frozen solid, and whack yourself in the genitals with it. Repeat as necessary), is Herr Klemperer!

As he had that morning, he looked mad and mean.
And I can distinctly recall that he was wearing brown corduroy knickers (knee pants, not underwears, you dumb Limey bastards), for feck's sake.
And this  fucked up bright red cable knit sweater, with a zipper running from the neck to the shoulder, real fuckin Kraut style.
He looked like he'd just taken off his X-country skis and was heading off to stand by the giant hearth with a glass of schnapps.
As it was, he had a glass of whiskey in his hand, and I'm pretty sure he was smoking a cigar, although I might be making that bit up.
Still no monocle.

Anyways, Ma Peach introduces Peach and then me, telling us that he's in town to guest conduct the Symphony, hence his presence there, and he's just putting out this palpable vibe, like a nearly audible message, saying
"Mention Klink and I'll have you killed."
"Mention Klink and I'll have you killed."
"Mention Klink and I'll have you killed."

Needless to say, neither me nor Peach mentions Klink or Hogan's Heroes or anything else.
But I feel like I need to come up with something, so I say "You sat in on my Drama class this morning."

And he stares right at me and says, sounding a lot more like this:

Fräulein Ravenwood, he, he, let me show you what I am used to...

than this:


he tilts his head back and says

You see everything, don't you, hmmm???
Needless to say, me and Peach beat cheeks back down to The Hole.
I'd had more than enough Klink for the rest of my life, never mind one weird Friday.


Friday, September 21, 2012

OK, we don't normally do requests, but...: Me and Der Oberst Part Two

Part One is here.

So, if you recall, I'd just spent the last hour and change sitting well within farting range of Colonel Klink

Alright, technically it was Werner Klemperer.
Now, just for perspective, if you know anything at all about Herr Klemperer, you will know that his father, Otto, was a world famous conductor.
If you know a little more about Werner, you'll know that he himself was an accomplished violinist and vocalist, in both classical and Broadway performances. Later he was a popular guest conductor with symphony orchestras the world over.

But that Friday, he was just Klink.
Even though he was wearing civilian clothes, like a shirt and blazer or something.

No monocle, either.

But here's the weird part.
As you all know, his character in the show was a bumbling, ineffectual buffoon, right?
Legend has it that he insisted that the character be that way so there was no chance of the audience developing any meaningful level of anti-Kraut sentiment as a result of his performance.
I guess he didn't have any problems with every household in North America seeing the Rhine Monkeys portrayed as utter fucking halfwits who could barely cross a room without falling down, getting lost, or breaking something.

The weird thing was, sitting there in my drama class, he was scary as fuck.
Like, fuckin Raiders scary.
Fucking Mengele scary.

I don't really know what his trip was, but I imagine, it only being 3 or 4 years since Hogan's Heroes went off the air, and it having been insanely popular, he might have been trying desperately to shake the whole Klink thing, and put it behind him so he could go on with his career.
Sort of like the Alan Rickman Mr Spock guy in Galaxy Quest.

Oh, and speaking of Galaxy Quest, I still don't know how they got Siggy's fuckin schmeebs to do that, but

I'd like to buy a pack of smokes for whomever was responsible.

Or, rather, I will after I get back from the bathroom, because...damn.

Anyways, you certainly got a sense that Werney Baby had a kind of chip on his shoulder. He was most definitely not emanating Approachability vibes.

Any fuckin ways, class finished and I went on about me day with a story to tell.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

OK, we don't normally do requests, but...: Me and Der Oberst Part One

It's kind of weird, you know, how, like, you can go through a real fucking strange experience, and it never really strikes you until much later how bizarre it was.
Some kind of survival instinct, I reckon.

There's a bit of a setup here, but I'm sure you won't mind.

So, despite starting high school as a Band Knob (yes, I actually marched in the 1974 Grey Cup Parade

although that ain't what this is about) and budding stoner, I soon reoriented myself as a Drama Jock, and sort of remained there for the duration.

At the same time, one of my best friends was this guy we called Peach. Peach didn't go to my school, in fact he sort of worked his way through a long series of private boarding schools, ending up, IIRC, at the notorious St. John's School, which was only marginally less fearsome than Alcatraz circa 1940. Peach's old man, or The Doc, as I called him (one in a long line of surrogate father figures), was a pretty famous cancer surgeon, well known throughout the country.
Needless to say, Peach's folks had some fucking dough, he lived in a pretty shwank neighborhood.
NOT that you'd know it to meet him, quite far from it.
No matter how much his (lovely, warm, and eternally patient) Ma spent on "nice" clothes for him, he perpetually walked around looking like a homeless dude. Jeans hanging off his ass and all frayed at the bottom from dragging on the ground, raggdy-assed blown-out untied Adidas (12 months of the year), and some crap nylon hockey jacket, and perpetually about 4 days past the due date on a shave.
Peach didn't give a crap about pretty much ANYTHING except smokes, beer, hockey, poker, and, for some utterly bizarre reason, Watergate.
This was around the time that Watergate was actually happening, no exaggeration, it wasn't the 6 o'clock news if Sam Ervin wasn't on the tube.

And Peach was totally consumed with the whole thing, he could give you a 2 -hour spontaneous dissertation on what happened today in the Hearings and what the ramifications were for the whole scenario.
Other than that, though, he couldn't give 2 shits about anything else at school, which was why he kept getting booted out of these high priced boarding schools and his folks kept bucking up to get him into the next one.
Of course the real kneeslapper in this whole deal was that his parents, in addition to being lovely and generous people, were, like, the fuck high society.
Peach would always come home for the weekend, and I would very regularly come over and we'd hang out in the basement, which was all furnished and everything and had been sort of given over to him as his domain.
So I'd come over with a case of beer and we'd drink and smoke and play poker and listen to music until one or the other passed out and I'd crash for the night.
It was pretty equitable, no one was driving anywhere, our folks knew where we were, and everyone was happy.

OK, here's where the story kind of starts tying in.
In addition to a large number of other associations and stuff, his Ma was the President of the Opera Guild. They were HUGE Opera fans.
This was sort of where my whole thing with Opera started, although I'd already been doing like concert singing since I was 7 or some fucking thing.

Anyways, in addition to having season tickets to the Opera, I was also privileged to be able to meet whomever was appearing in the current production, since Peach's Ma and Pa would have the entire company over for parties and stuff.
Me and Peach would get dragged up from The Hole, as his Ma called it, and meet whoever the guests were, hang out a little, maybe get a wee dram of The Doc's good Scotch if he was feeling benevolent, hit the hors d'ouvres, and then book back downstairs.

OK, so there's this one day, I'm going to make it like 1975-ish.
Regular Friday.
And I know that in Drama class, people are going to be doing scenes they've prepared, like monologues if you will.
And I've already done mine.
So I know I'll be looking forward to 90 minutes of sitting in a dark theatre in a cushy chair.

Now, as you well know, we do try on here to exercise a Zero Tolerance policy with respect to recreational abuse of any and all mind-altering substances.
So, you know, I'm not going to tell you I got high.
Got that?
I'm not going to tell you that.

So anyways, we all go in, the teacher's telling us about having a special guest and us being on Best Behaviour and all.
Like that's a problem for me at that moment, given that if you asked me where my feet were I'd have to call my Ma to find out.
Anyways, just before the lights go down, I look over, and there, a few rows away, is sitting

Colonel Wilhelm Klink.

And trust me, I know my Klink, Hogan's Heroes was one of the old man's favourite shows, we watched it ALL the time.
Now, if this was a BS Hollywood movie, right about now I'd be shaking my head and swearing to never get high again, like the drunk guy in Bewitched.

But, you know, life ain't Hollywood.
So after the scenes are done, the lights come up and the teacher starts critting the scenes and all, and I keep sort of sneaking looks over, and yeah, it's him.

Colonel Klink is sitting in my drama class.