For whatever reason, we have a long discussion on fashion. Nerd fashion. <smh> Yeah, I don’t know why that became a complete discussion today. The Irregulars

The big topic today is the changes once again happening in the comic world. This time, Marvel has signed a deal with Penguin Random House to distribute their books. Not sure if this is good news for comic book shops or collectors.

We talk about some of our favorite comic book stores:

We also love comixology and hoopla:


Alan 0:39
It’s kind of funny, I don’t think I’m quite Seth Brundle. But it never matters to me what I wear, well, not never, most of the time is just flying pants and shirt that kind of match. They have a common color or whatever like that. But I’ve, I’ve worked on having both things in my closet not be special location, things are things I wear all the time. And so I select a pair of lounge pants and a shirt. And and I know I just like I said, I haven’t gotten to that point, if I have 10 white shirts and 10 black pants and you just choose the next one in a row. Right? Mind that.

Stephen 1:11
Right? I always said when I was younger. As long as I have a pair of jeans, I don’t care what my shirt is because everything goes with a pair of jeans.

Alan 1:22
You know what’s funny is all through college and African college. I wore jeans all the time. And then something just one day clicked over in me. And I said, you know, I’m going to try some Dockers because I don’t know, I don’t think I was going to like apply for a place that was of course the blue shirt and tan Dockers required uniform. But it’s at least I knew I’d be able to get other colors besides blue.

Stephen 1:43
Right. And

Alan 1:44
then also they wore very well. And I discovered that I liked him. So then I got you know, half my fault. The doctors didn’t fit me. And then I got half a dozen pairs of different colors. And I just kind of abandoned jeans. And especially when I started wanting to go on hikes. It was like well, I should have jeans on because they’re you know, invulnerable. You can get scraped on rocks and stuff. But then you read about cotton is rotten and should best be forgotten. And that, you know, jeans really are bad if you get wet because they will just suck the heat while they’re drying you where you’re drying them as a better way to put it. And so I don’t know now I have a couple pair, but I only kind of break them out when it’s I don’t even know it’s not like special occasion for jeans. I just turned my face away.

Stephen 2:24
Yeah, same thing. Yeah. cargo pants, I was big on the pants of holding

Alan 2:31
an eye boy, I used to love going to the Army Navy store, because not only did they have those kinds of pants, but they almost always have been my size. You know, there’s all kinds of big guys in the army. And so it’s

Stephen 2:42
all about kaitos.

Alan 2:44
And I loved camel and just regular green. And I don’t think ever went to the parachute pants where they were like white or things like that. But I really did love having even before phones I always had, you know wallet and comb back when I needed a comb, and pens. I used to carry three pens like a black, a blue and a red. And who knows why. But it just seemed important to be able to say well, I need to write something important. I should highlight it in red.

Stephen 3:08
And because of MacGyver, I used to always carry my Swiss Army knife and duct tape.

Alan 3:14
Absolutely. I never carry duct tape a Swiss Army knife. In fact, I might have talked about this before. When I got married, I gave away Swiss Army knives to all of my groomsmen and it had their name engraved on the half of the blade that night and a number of them. It’s just like a long time ago that they still talk about that’s like the one handy gift they’ve ever gotten. And of course they have fond memories every time that they pull it out there they’re reminded of Well, that was that was a fun wedding.

Stephen 3:40
Yeah, that’s a great idea.

Alan 3:42
I should also mention that the name is Oh, watch. I’m sorry, the knife brand was the super tanker, which is like, well, how mad I didn’t want to reveal that to anybody. Great. Okay,

Stephen 3:56
I always wanted the one that had every device that they ever offered on a Swiss Army Knife all in one knife. It was like too big to actually use exactly.

Alan 4:06
And the reason I got this one is because I actually went like you know, back before there was I don’t think it was website time. But it was where you could go to a catalog and see all the various different versions. And mine wasn’t one that had what I thought everything that was practical. I don’t know that I needed to have a corkscrew in there and a previous Swiss Army knife I had in college. The corkscrew was the thing that always got caught on your pants, if anything did. And so I you know how, but it had a toothpick and it had an all and it had all the different blades and stuff. And I just hadn’t proceeded. Oh no, it’s got a taser. I hadn’t gone the next observed place, you know. And

Stephen 4:42
so, lots of stuff going on this week. We had our great Live podcast with law cities.

Alan 4:49
Yes. I thought it really went well. Yeah, obviously we started we went to the last cities RG the regional gathering. And we started with that as a jumping point. But then we talked about like cool, geek travel And things were to us, you know, discoveries and stuff like that. And I don’t know that the audience really seemed to enjoy it. And we had no problem coming up with a good hour. All right, all the fun discoveries.

Stephen 5:10
And I thought there was a bit of a twist on the naming because wasn’t Dayton RG missing for a couple of years that they didn’t hold one?

Alan 5:19
Yes. Actually, there there might be one of the ones that has, I think that they didn’t do last year. Right. When the COVID bit yeah. But compared to in our Midwest region, you know, I think Columbus has taken a year or two off, but I think Dayton, Cincinnati, they’ve been very, very consistent. I think Pittsburgh almost had to take a year off because they had one of like the hotel contract fell through or something. But then one of the members actually had it out on they have a nice country estate, if you will, and they had an out of their place. And for what I understand it was really nice.

Stephen 5:50
So that was my first RG, adding on it. Bill Murray is and

Alan 5:55
Bill. Cool.

Stephen 5:58
How, what an intro to the people of Mensa instead of going to the RG at the hotel. It was at their house. We were in there. My kids were like 14 at the time. And I don’t know if you’ve ever been to bill and Bree as you walk in. And it’s wall to wall bookshelves everywhere. My kids jaws dropped and they’re like, Oh, my God, and build really, or go ahead, you know. So here’s this big house that has books everywhere. And my kids are just wandering around, like taking books off the shelf and looking at them. And it was very relaxing. And it was the perfect intro. And then they had tents set up outside. And Paul and Marty show up. And they’re introducing everybody to Exploding Kittens. And my daughter played kittens for like eight hours. And I heard her laughing so much all day long. And I’m like, this is so perfect. Yeah. And they have very fond memories of that whole weekend.

Alan 6:52
That’s good. I think we have been to Pittsburgh, like 10 years in a row. And for whatever reason we couldn’t make that year. And I always wonder what it was like, you know, I have, I’ve been to a couple things that we call own gatherings, right center being the floor. It’s got lots of hospitality, lots of programming, the whole thing that I said it’s just a group of two dozen people get together and they spend the weekend gaming and talking and staying up till all hours and, and the hospitality is kind of not haphazard, bad word. It’s impromptu you I mean, where we go to a big run to a Sam’s Club or Costco and get a whole bunch of stuff. And yet, it to me the gathering has never been about the food. I know people love it because there’s such a variety and a profusion of food. And yet, I’m okay with just having tough diet, Dr. Pepper and peanut m&m if you want I mean, I’m not anymore. But that used to be

Stephen 7:39
a great thing about all those it caters to just about every little quirk that everybody has. Yeah. Do you like the junk food? Do you like the good food? Do you like the drinks? Do you like the talk? Do you like the party or the games? You know, you’ve got

Alan 7:55
and also I love things where, you know, it isn’t only like hotel catered. It’s always that people have been baking for weeks, if not months leading up to it. And so you’ll get, you know, there’s always Buckeyes, because it’s Ohio, and you’ll get every kind of brownie and just the creativity of people where they make a soup, and they’ll tell you exactly the ingredients in it so that you don’t have to worry about I hope that there’s no MSG because I have a sensitivity to that. It’s so people are so incredibly generous and solicitous. And just like, you know that the hills em credo of you know, make sure that the morning after the party, everybody remembers that they had a good time. It really isn’t evidence at argies that the people who have been doing this for a long time, or that the example that they set for everybody coming in is you know, over serve, but don’t have it be only junk like you’re saying for every for every you know, box of cheese crackers, there’s also fresh fruit and fresh vegetables and that kind of stuff. Every variety of pop in case somebody’s still looking for tab.

Stephen 8:48
You know, you know what you missed at the one at bill embryos. chocolate covered bacon.

Alan 8:56
That might have been the first time that made immense appearance. That’s funny. Yeah, well, we are blessed in Cleveland to have had Nancy Heller for a long time. And she was always very good and current and experimental. And so we almost almost had all the regular stuff, but then just she would have chocolate covered bacon because hey, it’s all the rage. We’re gonna have some to I love

Stephen 9:15
and I I know I’ve heard some stories at Cleveland and mid Northeast Ohio. We used to be one region or one district region, whatever. Yeah, then it broke apart. And we’re like the only place around that doesn’t do an RG so I go to Cleveland. I go to Columbus, I go to Dayton, Cincinnati, I go to pa but I hardly ever do anything in eecom. You know, it’s Yeah, we’re in Columbus just started doing RGS again, the last couple years they had been doing them for a while.

Alan 9:48
Exactly. You know what it takes is a spark plug. It takes a couple a couple people to be the anchor that’s going to say we’re going to do this we really could use some help from all of our friends and sometimes it’s only Only a couple of people. So I know Indianapolis had an orgy for a long time. And they they burnt out the people that were doing it every single year, but with not enough assistance, right. But luckily, the Midwest in general, region three, really seems to have that spirit of now there are certain people that have always done hospitality that could help out each other’s groups. So it’s not only Virginia and Cincinnati, Nancy will do a meal. And you know what I mean? Like they share ritual, we’ll do a meal, whoever else are the biggies. When hills EMS was Skinner, and Yvonne and Robin, Nikki, you could count on them to always be doing like, yeah, we’ll run that like, like Eric and Heidi do now we’ll take care of the snacks if we do eat a meal. And so it takes care of the snacks. Nobody gets burnt out,

Stephen 10:40
right? It’s because I know I mean, I’ve done enough volunteer work. I know, you get sucked in. And it’s like, oh, it’s only a little bit of time. And then next thing, you know, you’re three nights a week for four months. And it’s very easy to lose, you know, I don’t have time for anything, and then you don’t enjoy yourself. And I felt bad because I haven’t done a whole lot of volunteering. So I tried to do talks, because that I can do. And I’ve tried to do the games, running some tournaments and stuff to help out with that a bit. Exactly. But I just know, I just cannot commit to let me help organize the whole thing for the next six months. And that’s a little beyond my capabilities at the moment. Yeah,

Alan 11:21
I it’s funny, I Kelly’s I got to a point. So at the Pittsburgh ag the annual gathering, which is you know, an RG times five. And since that much bigger. We we have been in Mensa for a long time. And I’ve made lots of friends. And lots of friends asked us to do things like you said, you know, can you run a tournament? Can you do a talk? I’m calling you love coffee? Can you handle the coffee? And we did so many volunteer things not objecting to any of them because they were our friends. But honestly, we sat down. And it runs from Wednesday to Sunday, we sat down like Saturday night at nine o’clock, and said, We finally don’t have what do we need to worry about next right, then we just said we won’t do this again. It will be that we have to disappoint some people. But I’m going to choose to do like one talk. And but in Pittsburgh, for instance, we did. I was running the smart life. It was an early social media website before Facebook was around. And so I got myself smartlife crew to come and help people we did like a six to 12 Saturday morning shift in hospitality. And it was really a lot of work. It was not only that we did it but that the Friday night people as you might imagine, Friday night is kind of the day whatever is a little bit letting go, or whatever refilling and arranging and cleaning, they should have done not done to spec. So the first thing we did there was like say oh my god, you’ll bring in, run the the river through here, clean the stables out. And we’re gonna have to kind of start from zero instead of being at 80 and going to 100. Well, like I said, I think I’m really you just paralleled what, what I usually do is I know that I can do a talk. And also, I tend to do things now that I don’t want to just be a pair of hands. I know that I’m I have good stamina, and I’m tall and whatever else might help us to load in and load out. But a lot of people have a fear of public speaking, they don’t want to do that. Whereas I have no problems with it. And so I try to do the things that are particularly me and other people can’t do it and not just be kind of faceless. I it matters to me that I think I’m really making a contribution instead of just being a drone. And so that leads me to I run a particular tournament or do a particular talk and things like that.

Stephen 13:23
And and I owe you an apology for this past weekend. I really did want to come to your talk at 130. And I have a mastermind meeting at 10. And so I went to the mastermind meeting and then Okay, I got a couple hours, I’m gonna go out and start working in the yard. I had my headphones on, and I’m working. And I didn’t even have my phone and I had the alarm set and all that, you know, come in. Oh, man, it’s like quarter after two.

Alan 13:47
L’s almost on. Exactly. Yeah. So I’ll tell you, you know, one of the joys like this is a new program, I had been working on this one for about a month and putting extra maybe in more doesn’t matter. But it was against the law cities theme. And so it’s It was fun to like, go back in my mind through comic books, and think about all the various different velocities and then kind of like what we did, don’t just stop with law cities, because there’s only so much you can talk about the jewel city of all power or ShangriLa. Let’s talk about well, comic books have done lost, you know, there’s not lost cities, there’s whole countries that they created. There’s whole dimensions, there’s whole world. And so it was just fun to kind of sprout out like a big old lack of us and say we need to talk about Legion of SuperHeroes because they have 50 different worlds, each of which somebody developed a particular power because hey, this was the magnetic planet or whatever else. And it was a lot of information to get through it. But I love doing a talk where if people aren’t aware of the cool depth and richness of comic books, I get a chance to like just splash them with all of the cool things that 80 years of comic books have brought to us. You know what I mean? So especially when they’re only only experiences they know about Wakanda because of the Black Panther and now the movie and it’s like wow, it’s been Marvel Comics since 65. So it’s 55 years worth of little reveals as to how did it come to be? And who has your size of Black Panther? How has it influenced the world? What about Vibranium? You know what I mean? it. I don’t know, I really love doing those kinds of talks. And now that I got this one kind of in the can, I can offer to other orgies and do continual updates and tweaks, fix my typos, stuff. And so I think I mentioned on Baldwin Wallace has an adult learning program that they’ve asked me to do a series for. And I’ve been on comic books. And because I’ve already done a number of interesting comic book talks about female archetypes about diversity, about history of comic books in general. Now, I have this one in the hopper. And I think I’m like, five out of six to the good. I didn’t even have to start writing and try to think of how would I organize six talks? It won’t be a complete thing about comic books, but each of them will have this interesting facet of the world of comic books that it’ll be fun to do an updated version of each of them

Stephen 15:57
something a little more than just let me tell you my favorite stories.

Alan 16:00
Yeah, exactly. And both of us are doing often speaking engagements, I’m happy to say, you know, end of August, I think, no, sorry, April, April 29. Or maybe I’m speaking again at Kent State, and it’s probably still going to be virtual. So it’s going to be a zoom presentation, like I just did, but it’s the one about female archetypes. And what’s a joy about that? One is I first gave that talk like 10 years ago. Well, as you might imagine, the world is kind of waking up to the fact that you know, ladies have been around for a long time a ladies are absolutely the equal of men. So feet this, I’ve had to update this program more than any other program that I’ve done, because they keep on like, hey, there’s another wonder woman movie, there’s a Captain Marvel movie. There’s comic books that are now absolutely introducing a female version of Thor or other things that have yet widened the field. And also whatever it used to be to kind of push for like for teen boys, it sure is wonderfully shifting.

Stephen 16:52
They don’t want the female Thor’s probably come into movies. There’s still talk that Sheree is going to be the next Black Panther. So a big changes there. And I know, Disney was Star Wars made a big push. And we’ve talked about this, you know, don’t fix things by going completely the other way, which brings it in different ways. But they did a big push, where they were focusing on a animated series on the women of Star Wars. They didn’t call it that. But it was Ray and Princess Leia and Ahmed, Darla and Kevin are saying and you know, different animations with stories with just the focus on the females, which I thought was cool and interesting. But it I don’t think it took off as well as it could have. I think it was exactly that. Well, we don’t really have a plan. But we’re just going to do all women because that’s what everybody wants, you know, and that’s not necessarily what everybody wants.

Alan 17:52
Yeah, you know, it’s worth I know, this comes up often because I guess it’s something that’s, that’s happening often around us. I really do like where they have a new series a new take on existing continuity, but I really don’t as much enjoy where they just say scratch all that scratch. 200 years of Sherlock Holmes, or 150, whatever it might be, and just say not we’re doing a whole new take. Well, so we just watched the first episode of The irregulars, it’s now on Netflix. It’s a it’s about the homes always had the Baker Street irregulars, which were versions and street kids that because they don’t get noticed by society, but they can be very much as agents out collecting information and doing little tasks for him. Well, the tenor of this series, unfortunately, is that there’s going to be a supernatural element really strongly. And so much a part of the Sherlock Holmes ethos is its logic. It’s Elementary, dear Watson. It’s it’s thinking through things not just saying it’s inexplicably. And we’re just going to have to ride the wave until we figure it out. So, and they portrayed Sherlock Holmes as being he’s not brilliant. He’s like an addict. And he’s, and they’re just, I don’t like, so much the rewriting of I know that one of the 7% solution by Meyer was actually a very cool book that talked about how, you know, you can’t do recreational drugs without them kind of doing you after a while. And so it was about his struggle, and it was his will going to be enough to overcome that. And it it. So my first take on the irregulars is that I don’t know that I wish they had done it without being Sherlock Holmes. They could have said, hey, it’s a rival consulting detective. And you know that and then

Stephen 19:32
how much is he in it? Because they don’t say a whole lot about it in the description. And that’s one of the shows I want to watch.

Alan 19:39
So, it isn’t Sherlock Holmes except in, like peering through the door at him, knock out from his drugs, or him going into a medic something or other because of it. Watson is the main connector to the Baker Street irregulars. And from what I remember from the books that is not at all the case they were very much Holmes’s. And and so and They have made a point of it being us Victorian era London. And it’s a very diverse group. So they have, you know, Caucasian and Negro and Asian and when whatever else it might be nice. But having said that, there are some I’m colorblind, I and I want it to be that everybody has a chance to participate. But you can’t be that everything else about Victoria era London is there and kind of trying to be true of it, and then act as if there was an incredible prejudice, there wasn’t incredible danger, again to various different people, you know what I mean? Like, whatever, whatever they had an Indian character until the Raj was eliminated. They weren’t running around free. They were indentured servants, and look struck just for getting in some rich man’s way and stuff like that. And so maybe it’s only a stereotype from back then. But I think that stereotypes are around for a reason, people, the class system in England, treated horribly, anybody who wasn’t posh, who wasn’t of the landed gentry, if you will. And so there’s, there’s some off notes about them trying to inject modern sensibility and culture into it’s not only like, from 40 years ago, 50 years ago, it’s for when, boy, but what was not fair.

Stephen 21:14
Boy, I

Alan 21:14
don’t pity for poor people.

Stephen 21:18
And I don’t agree with any of that at all. But we also have a slightly different viewpoint, we would like to see it more accurate for the time period, whereas 19% of the rest of the world, at least in America doesn’t want that they want it to be the PC correctness of their viewpoint today, I guess Exactly.

Alan 21:38

Stephen 21:39
arguably, the thing with Holmes, it always, it wasn’t brought out strongly in the stories, him doing Coke, and his manic depressive illness and split personality at times. And I know spectrum

Alan 21:53
etc. Yeah.

Stephen 21:55
But I know a lot of researchers, a lot of whatever professors, and, you know, academics, they delve into the other dark side of homes. And I think that that does bring out even more so the character in an interesting way, you know, I mean, if not, then he’s just Sheldon, you know. So I do like, I think I’m gonna watch it. Now this week. You’ve intrigued me and want to see what they do do with homes. But it’s a good way to do something different with them to

Alan 22:30
exactly so it’s episodic, instead of being that they’re all out there. At least I’m not sure I’m not sure if they’re releasing it or whether it’s all out there for bingeing.

Stephen 22:38
Probably all day

Alan 22:38
watching one episode at a time, so then we have a chance to let it kind of like percolate.

Stephen 22:43
Probably all binged all out there. Probably Well, now I’m intrigued, because I mean, I know our viewpoints on supernatural are a little different. And I that was one of the things Gina and I said, Oh, that looks really good. And honestly, I know it said homes and my car homes. I never even put it together with the Baker Street gang. And I was like, oh, now that you said that done. Now I get it. A little slow. It um,

Alan 23:09
I love the fact that they it’s very cool. Like, there was a great series called Penny Dreadful, that was based in Paris. And they they brought in elements of vampires and werewolves and zombies and whatever else that might be. And they and they did that quite well with referencing classic literature, you know, is Kevin NEEMO going to make an appearance a little bit of what Alan Moore did with League of gentlemen really, really well. So I, I really, it’s a wide open thing for they can introduce so many different things I’m looking forward to what’s the real conspiracy, and you know, there’s always an interesting thread that runs through them all that it’s not just vignettes, there really is a looming menace is going to be that Moriarty is not just the Napoleon of crime, but that he’s actually the leader of a coven, or something like that. So I’m looking forward to the twist they put on it. Yeah, it’s, um, I it’s kind of funny. I’ve loved Sherlock Holmes. You know, back when I was young, it was a big thing to graduate from, like encyclopedia brown to Sherlock Holmes.

Stephen 24:08
I love encyclopedia Brown,

Alan 24:10
and something but you know what I mean, those are pretty kitty things. And they were short stories and you can get you know, okay, here’s the thing, that they’re that little secret that they’re trying to reveal. And I remember like, Sherlock Holmes might have been one of the first things where I didn’t read them as individual books. My parents got me the collection, you know, it’s a two volume set that has all the novels animal, the short stories, and just to sit there with something that’s like, there’s a little kid you kind of got to, like, prop it a certain way or it’s, it’s, it’s crazy to hold for regular reading. But I just loved that. I think I mentioned I love things that are have a certain sense of time and place. And these things haven’t been written, you know, to be serial, you know, they mean that they kind of like what Dickens wrote many of his books before they were novels. So the fact that Arthur Conan Doyle and that and this is kind of funny. I know that for all of what Arthur Conan Doyle made Sherlock Holmes to be this perfect logical creature, he had himself a very strong interest in seances and mediums and the supernatural. And so by having said, Oh, it’s not with canon, it’s actually kind of truer to what they are. If they if Conan had Conan Doyle had allowed himself to put himself into his books, not only the idealized self of Holmes, or that he was maybe the Watson character, that it’s kind of cool that they’ve, that they know enough about him that they’re saying, you know, he wouldn’t have objected to this, the estate is actually his think, at the end of credits. And so it’s like, well, that does make sense. They would kind of say, this is true to who he was, as a human being that he had interest in everything, including both of these elements, even though they seem to be different ends of the spectrum.

Stephen 25:47
It’s kind of cool. Yeah, that’s cool. And speaking of all this, one of our big topics, we were saying, talking about his, again, changes in the comic industry.

Alan 26:01
About Marvel, you know, and I mean, they are the big dog type book movies, and still the big dog in terms of publishing. But they, as you talked about, with your son working at the comic book store, they broke away from diamond. Yes, a long time ago. And what were they going to do without them biggest distributor? Kind of a rivalry kind of a? So you have news? What have they decided?

Stephen 26:23
So recap. Back when the pandemic started, DC went in a completely different direction, and they broke away from diamond and diamond has been the major retailer for over 20 years, in everything. In fact, almost a monopoly. I had a friend

Alan 26:39
of mine monopoly monopoly.

Stephen 26:41
I had a friend who couldn’t get his independent comic published because diamonds had now we don’t want it. So he had no abs. They don’t carry it. Yeah, there’s no way to easily get it to all the stores and all the BS right now, that’s changed in today’s world, but 12 to 15 years ago. That’s how it was. And diamond controlled all of that. And they did a lot with like magic cards and stuff. When I dealt with magic cards. I had to go through diamond and there were several times something special would come out and I’d order some and they’d say, Yep, we don’t have any for you too bad. And I wouldn’t get

Alan 27:15
because they were allocating it based on love sales.

Stephen 27:20
Okay, so during the pandemic, which we talked about a couple months ago, DC broke away from diamond and they went with a completely different distributor. Now, that is a good thing in that there’s competition. But the bad thing is that according to Adam, and Collin, it’s not that reliable. They’ve had to wait several weeks, sometimes for DC shipments. And there have been a couple times when a small book, they may have only ordered three copies of or something like that. They didn’t even get, you know, oh, it’s it’s waiting. It’s waiting. It’s waiting. Three, four weeks later, sorry, you’re not getting any of that. It doesn’t

Alan 27:58
even like reissue the reorder for it. They just drop it.

Stephen 28:04
And that’s not diamond. That’s the new company. And there’s a lot of times, it’s you know, when did comics, just you know, the comic book stores would be closed on Tuesday, because they’re putting out the new comics and going through the pool list. So you go Wednesday to get them? Well now. Well, we’ll send them to you on Monday, next week. Well, no, the following week, it’ll come on Thursday.

Alan 28:25
Do your scheduling for when your people usually come in right and do the evening thing to get ready for Wednesday? Right.

Stephen 28:30
So it hasn’t been the best thing. The good thing is, when I go in, there is a lot of independent comics now sitting on the shelves. So that’s a good thing. Well, now Marvel has made this big deal with Penguin Random House, who as you know, is one of the big publishers for sure. Sure. Well, I don’t know what all is going to happen. But here’s my take on it. And Collins had his way. He’s like, they’re a book publisher. They don’t have any inroads with small comic book shops, they deal with Walmart, they deal with books a million. They deal with Barnes and Noble and big places like that.

Alan 29:09
So not individual comics, but like books, crappy cell versions and stuff. Oh, boy. That’s

Stephen 29:15
the thing. Colin says that. He doesn’t think they’re going to put too much emphasis on individual issues and focus on trades. So you know, if Marvel’s suddenly pushing a lot of trades and making money on that, what’s gonna happen to the single issues and and what’s going to happen to local comic book store and

Alan 29:34
local comics, our two biggest publishers are now difficult to deal with. Right? Not even dealing with them. Right. You know what I mean? That’s, they’ve been unfortunately sounding the death knell for local bookstores for decades. But it really this could be a big stakes in that particular coffin. Okay,

Stephen 29:52
and that’s just our predictions, but you know, it just doesn’t look good. You know, I look at gamestop were 10 years ago. If you want it used game or a new game, you went to GameStop. That was the video game store. I don’t know if you’ve been to a GameStop lately, but you have to like search for video games. It’s all pop culture, bobbleheads and statues and electronic this and all sorts of stuff. Because and this is another thing when the Xbox was first coming out that Microsoft said, we’re going to take out the disk drive and make it all digital. you’ll download all your games and people went berserk and said, That’s ridiculous. We never want that. Then once the Xbox was out, everybody started ordering thing from the digital store and it almost killed the sales

Alan 30:37
section was gone of those stores. Yeah. Because section one of the biggest that exactly

Stephen 30:43
that. So that was irritating, because it’s like you idiots, you’re doing exactly what you said you weren’t going to do. Anyway. So now you’re going to GameStop there’s not much there. So what’s going to happen? Are we going to have to go to Barnes and Noble to buy our comic books. And are there going to be individual issues at all? Are we going to have to wait till the Yeah, the individual issues are out there. If you live in a big city and go to one of the five stores that have it? If not, you know, or are we going to have to go to Walmart and pick it off the shelf with all the kids pie and through all of that.

Alan 31:17
And that’s honestly knowing that so I still go to Barnes and Noble important borders, books, a million books. And you know, so they usually do now have a comic book section, not only graphic novels, but individual issues. And I do have that same objection that they have a lot of people that have pored through it before you get there. So your chance of getting a mint newsstand copy is next to nothing. Yeah, that’s for so long. Why indeed, not only there but even comic book stores were not secure enough to me that unless I had a pull list there unless I started to buy them through mail order. I couldn’t get good copies of everything. Right. So hopefully the fact that at least there is that connection to bookstores, big ones. But but the the what’s going to happen with the kite bookstores Miss Kennedy, so sorry about this. We noticed that same phenomenon. This this weekend when we went to smuckers outlet, we went down to Johnson was to do a nice hike is the biggest old growth forest in Ohio. We went to the smuckers alder which is nearby. And two times ago when we were there. We got like, Wow, I didn’t know that smuckers also made these jellies, these baking mixes these Chili’s whatever else it might be. And we walked out with a bulging bag. They’ve gone that same weird route of is there smuckers food there anymore? No, it was Easter material. It was Ohio State Buckeyes clothing, it was things for your dog, they had like all of these various different sections had pulled out and pushed out all the various different sections of food things that we had, like where that was the only place that you could find lemon poppy seed quick read. And so now, the first time we went there, it was wonderful. And the last two times, it’s just nowhere near the same experience. And so we we kind of had that when we went to a place called Tamarack in West Virginia. It’s a big arts and crafts place where they actually have artists working on site. And again, we had such a nice what a discovery Look at all this cool stuff. And each time that we’ve been back since then, the selection has been worse. there’s not as many artists working there. It’s kind of like, Wow, we had one good experience. And now we get to watch it with her. And that hurts. So we kind of call that getting Tamarack. You know what I mean? That’s our term for that. So to come back to kind of bookstores, I wonder if that’s what it’s going to be like that a comic book store isn’t a comic book store anymore. It’s a pop art store. It’s got all the little figures and it’s got, you know, the ways in which they branched out that maybe they’re even more profitable than comic books. And so that’s why they’ve always had t shirts and plush toys and whatever else it might be. But soon, it’s going to be nothing. That’s going to be no way to get that like,

Stephen 33:55
like Adams and I know even Kenmore comics, they do a lot with the pop culture figures and toys and stuff from the 80s and 70s. But at some point that’s going to drop off because there’s gonna be less and less and there’s gonna be people wanting stuff from the 2000s. But, you know, there hasn’t been the same amount, same quality and people were like, Oh, well, the Star Wars figures are worth so much from the 70s. So I’m gonna buy all these toys at Walmart from the 2000s Well, the stuff from Walmart sack will be worth anything.

Alan 34:29
And you have to wait 30 years for some valuable 50 years for it to become a yes. That is it’s gonna be the the legacy for your grandchild because you’re not going to enjoy the wealth of it exactly.

Stephen 34:41
The funny thing is, and we’ve both talked about digital comics a bit, and I read digital comics, a great thing I love about Marvel is I can buy the issue, I get a code, enter in the store and now I can read the digital issue and just put the physical one away. For me. That’s perfect. You know, I’ll buy it and love get nowhere

Alan 35:00
on your physical item on your collect right? And, of course enjoy the content. So yeah,

Stephen 35:04
I’ve got 300 comics carried in the back of my back pocket, you know, so perfect. Collin has been, I’ve been saying to him, I’m like, you know, I think digital comics are going to start taking off more, because everything is music and streaming and the book publishing. And he’s like, No, no, no, it’s not going to happen. I might Yeah, I think it might. Well, semi recently, um, because Amazon purchased comixology. So they own comixology. And now they’re merging it. So you can buy stuff on Amazon, read it on comixology. And keep your collections tied together. But as a publisher, you can also publish your own comic books on Amazon, just like books. So if, if my friend could sit in his basement and working on comic after work, and be able to publish it right to kindle and comixology? Well, in that would Ted did. I mean, essentially, Ted Exactly.

Alan 36:00
I mean, you’re just that self publishing of books has been around on Amazon for a long time. And now comic books makes good sense. And there are already instead of having to do Kickstarter, it really could be that Amazon has smoothed the way for all that to happen, you know, so

Stephen 36:12
I think, you know, the next five to 10 years in comic books is going to be a little bit of a weird wild ride.

Alan 36:18
Yeah, I I am a recent subscriber to comixology. You know, maybe I don’t think it was because of the Amazon printing transition. It was because I really was, I had kind of tapped out on what I could get digitally, from hoopla. You know, they carry library books. And so as I put in all my favorite series, all my favorite creators, and then as I’ve been reading for a whole bunch of years now, I just wasn’t finding enough new often enough. And you know, you know how it is, if you like, browse through a bookstore and don’t find anything, you kind of like leave in a home. It’s like I have wide ranging tastes. And yet, really, there’s nothing new coming out, or there’s nothing on the back shelves that I haven’t already read. That’s one of the joys of being, you know, a longtime collector is really read a lot of stuff. And maybe. So I really am enjoying the fact that now comixology gets me relatively new and current, but they’re still, I’m still trying not to buy individual things. I’m trying to go with what they they always have kind of like, not even a loss leader, but it’s something that they issue that’s relatively new, not all of the new so that they entice you to go and look at the older stuff as well, I am because I have a gap in my collecting. It’s also been well, usually just by playing catch up on, I didn’t read anything after Atlantis attacks, you know, or whatever else it might be. And so, hole king in Black Series, it’s coming out now, like with all the symbiotes and stuff like that. I’m intensely curious, but I don’t want to spend $500 on curiosity, I kind of want to wait them in the same way that outwait Netflix or other services. But comixology is really being devious in terms of Oh, here’s three issues out of the 30 you want to read. It’s like Oh, don’t hook me Don’t get me.

Stephen 37:58
And I love also and I’ve run into that, too. Oh, look, they’ve got the amazing Spider Man trades. 1257

Alan 38:06
laughed about that before either things aren’t like when I was first reading books, I had to go to multiple libraries. It’s kind of funny, right around now, when spring was springing was when I’d often hop in the car, and I go to Avon lake. And you know, I go farther away than here to find out what are the libraries had good collections. And so then when you find out that Westlake has a good collection at the border library, it’s like, Okay, I’m gonna make this regular stop for like a year, because I’m going to work my way through all the Hawks I’ve missed, and all the doctor strangers and whatever else has come out that I couldn’t get to otherwise. And yet, the problem with any library or any digital service is indeed, I want to read these in order. And I got one and two, and then they jumped five, like you said, Yeah, am I gonna wait, I don’t want to start. I don’t want to start and get my appetite, wedded and then yes, kind of squirm about it. And I started to have a year between where I’m gonna forget of something that I just so it’s a little frustrating to not be the wonderful system that I had set up with, where I bought everything from m&m distributors and never missed anything. And I just was a completest

Stephen 39:06
you got to do is spend 12 $100 a month and you’re fine.

Alan 39:10
Or, you know, five books are really expensive nowadays compared to them. But there was a time when I was spending between 305 $100 a month and I had the money, I was making good money, good job and that kind of stuff. That’s what I wanted to have pretty much more than anything else besides my mortgage and my car payment, that’s what I was spending the most on. But having said that, it is now 12 $100 a month because cuypers cost six bucks now,

Stephen 39:34
six bucks for 28 pages.

Alan 39:37
Exactly. As you know, they’ve ever tried to be not only a reader but a collector than they have. Well, here’s the foil variant and here’s the sketch variant. And I just did just in my cross, why bring it up off and I wish they didn’t do that as much because it makes it seem like that. It’s all about collecting instead of reading. Like I don’t want people to buy it immediately. Baggett never read it. I want people to enjoy the fact that it cool stories that is literature. Yeah, and yet, there’s such paranoia about Oh no, I breezed on it. And now it’s not you know, near mint plus.

Oh, well,

Stephen 40:12
that’s the funny thing is Collin has been for the last couple years. He Oh my god, he literally has been reading several 100 comics a week. He’s working his way door. Yeah, he’s working his way through everything Green Lantern has ever appeared in and working through Batman. I mean, like, you’re getting it online and reading it, and just, he is buying auctions of collections and stuff. And,

Alan 40:40
man, that’s cool.

Stephen 40:41
Yeah, you know, and everyone out the store. You know, he’s the expert though. Ask them and even Adam is like, I’m not sure what storyline is this concept. Oh, that’s so and so and, and he’s like, it was written by this person drawn by this person. And you know, just like, whoo,

Alan 40:55
good for him. Yeah, at a Comic Con. It’s very cool. There used to be who wasn’t there was such an expert. He Nelson Bridwell was the guy and DCs like 60s and 70s, where everybody that worked for the company went to him and said, I’m about to have this appear in a story. Does this fall in line with what’s happened before? Oh, yes, Mr. Mixon is yes. pitlick is from the fifth dimension, remember, not the sixth? And you know what I mean? He’s, he has these he’s had Yes, he had one. rivalry was bet might and whatever else it might be. And then I think Mark waid is another one of those guys that seems to just have an encyclopedic knowledge. He can name issue and creator and you know what I mean? All all the everything of it. And so good for that. Yeah, he coming that because I have a little bit of that I tend to retain Oh, yeah, that was ff 81 was where he does thing had to battle the gangsters. And I don’t even know if that’s true. But sometimes I can write those out, you know that the Galactus trilogy is 48 to 50. Because it’s famous, you know what I mean?

Stephen 41:55
The human, so he’s been reading, but he’s started reading some of the stuff digitally through hoopla through comixology. And I’ve told him before, he’s like, why do you read so much digital? I might, because it’s easy. I can sit in bed, you know, and I just take the issues and put them away. And so he’s like, No, no, no, it’s got to have the physical and the smell and the feel and the smell

Unknown Speaker 42:18
of it.

Stephen 42:20
And I’m like, I don’t disagree with that. Maybe I’m just getting old. So he’s he’s got he made a list of hundreds. Here’s all the Batman’s in order that I want to read. Here’s all the Green Lanterns in order I want to read. And he literally spent days to compile his list. So when he started like, okay, you have a little bit of mental OCD going on there.

Alan 42:41
It’s important because if the red cross references and back history, you don’t want to be like, well, they’re talking about like, he’s already fought this guy, but I’ve not read that issue, right? I don’t want to be out of order.

Stephen 42:55
There. It’s important to Uber geeks to most of the rest of the world, it is not important.

Alan 43:02
They’re not getting the full experience. They’re in Oh, my God. Yeah. If you read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, and you find out that of course, he he wrote them as it occurred to him, you know, pretty much he had various different characters and they’d appear in and out. But then there’s been all manner of different lists that now say, if you really want to read the history of Discworld either chronologically, or whether you won’t get any back references that you haven’t already read. Here’s the orders in which to do that. And there’s more than one if you

Stephen 43:31
get people argue about that. He found that he started reading some digitally just because he had an iPad and he can put them same thing I argued with them. I’ve got 300 on my iPad in order I just keep carry this wherever I go. Yeah. So he came up says, You know, I hate to say it, but I’m really enjoying reading them digitally. I could lay in bed and I don’t feel like an on the buses go crush my face.

Alan 43:57
Right, exactly. So it is, you know, everything right? I’ve actually done a cool talk about this. You know, as everything gets digitized. It’s amazing that they get a new life, you know, the long tail exists that things get to continue to sell, but they would never have had physical space or cost associated with it to carry anything but dark side of the moon. You know what I mean for various different music artists or books or something like that. You can in a big born bar, bookstore like Barnes and Noble, you can go and see what they don’t have every Stephen King, they have the ones that sold the best, or they have the most current ones. But if you’re looking at you have to like hit the US bookstores or hit Amazon and hope you find a copy that somebody didn’t let their dog chew on before they sold it. You know what I mean? And of course, they did. The dog didn’t choose the words off the page. It’s still readable. But if you want to have a nice, neat lineup in your shelf, you can’t have something that looks like it was in a war zone next to all the ones that are minty fresh. So it is kind of cool that there’s a whole side There’s a whole, like people that 25 years old, are getting to delve into, like Rhino used to do, here’s the whole back catalogue of this artist, and let’s capture their best stuff. And let’s capture the stories in a little booklet that goes with it, and get the live versions of certain things. Because this really was the bed at the height of its powers. And they were at the Cleveland, you know, auditorium, and then you can you can hear the first time someone said, Hello, Cleveland, you know, it’s just like, it’s so famous. It’s become like a rock, you know, stereotype in every movie, you know, I mean, so I love that. That hasn’t just been, as much as I love being the collector, and the one that finds those treasures. It’s very cool that there are people that are, have that same desire to not just let these things fade and even be lost, because nobody can find them anymore. I love that there’s still I can go back and listen to the best of old Genesis, because they keep on kind of finding. Yeah, we didn’t realize we had these live tapes that were from the radio simulcast. But somebody captured have been really good. Not, you know, a soundboard recording instead of a fan with a tape recorder in the audience. And they sound great. And they really are a slice of history, if you will.

Stephen 46:11
So bringing up the music. We missed this last week. What are you listening to? What have you been listening to this past week?

Alan 46:19
So I got a couple comedy albums. We we john pinette, we there’s a couple. This is so sad. People that kind of I used to really love a whole bunch of them died, like within the last 20 years. So we lost Richard Jenny. And we lost john pinette. And we lost Robert Schimmel, and very different styles, very different kinds of comedians, but they were the ones that when they came to our local comedy club, there’s no way we’re gonna miss them. You know what I mean? So, having just recently had that pang of discovered a Robert Schimmel book. And a quick sad story. Robert Schimmel, like, was a very revolved comic he talked about sex openly, very funny things about sex, if you will, well, he got non Hodgkins lymphoma, and fought it off, but like kept touring to pay for his cancer treatments. And so it was an incredible act of bravery and will to see like, he’s so gaunt. And yet, he would come alive on stage for the hour and a half that he was going to do his show. And then he’d like, take them off stage and give him his oxygen. And you and it’s just a weirdest thing to experience that he didn’t just leave stage after he got over it. He would like have conversations with fans afterwards for anybody who was also that I had my melanoma about. And so there’s like, you know, there’s a weird kinship, where you’ve been through hell together. You’ve been through tough times and stuff like that. So he survived all this stuff, and then died in an auto accident. And like, what, come on universe? Come

Stephen 47:48

Alan 47:49
you don’t want I mean, that’s not fair. That’s right. So having thought about that recently, and discovered a book called cancer on $5 a day because he had to make fun of that, too. I, I then went looking and I found a couple of those old things. And it’s just weird, you know, a person’s voice a person’s material can transport you back in time. And anybody who haven’t heard that material, it’s hilariously funny. So there’s, there’s just so I’ve been listening to some comedy albums. And, and, and that combination of laughing and crying because they’re gone. You know what I mean? Like, we can’t get any more from john. We’re not gonna get any more from Richard jetty who at the height of his powers where there’s nobody that’s ever made me gasp like please stop because I can’t catch my breath. Because you’re such a good Oh, good. And every line builds on the last one and it was just full he was he witty and perfect. So having said that, it’s weird to be like, all this laughter and at the end, you’re like, oh, man, you want I mean, I’m not used to having conflicting emotions is much death. But part of getting old is you start losing some friends fortunately. Yeah, you know what I mean? So

Stephen 49:03
Michael Stanley couple weeks ago, big Cleveland star. And they talked I heard that they were talking about him on the radio. I’ve listened to Michael Stanley obviously heard his music. He’s never been one of my go to Oh, I’ve got all his stuff type artists. I’ve know it you know, but they were talking about him how he could have moved to Hollywood or LA he could have went to New York or some big city and recorded and been a bigger star been in movies more done more producing and also he’s like no Cleveland’s my home. I’m gonna live Yes. So he was big in the way he wanted to be big and exactly very much honored and recognized for that. So that’s, I’ve been listening to a little bit of him lately just made me think of that.

Alan 49:51
But it makes good sense. And obviously I have to tap into you for what you would recommend because I did not know enough about him before coming to Cleveland. Colleen is always like Jim, but I have like one of his albums, and I think he’s got 10. And so, you know, I mean, I know that he was the guy that like elsewhere wasn’t as big in Cleveland, he would sell out three nights of blossom and stuff like that, you know, which is a big outdoor venue that it’s pretty impressive to sell out blossom. So I kind of want to, while while there is a lot of revival in him, and not necessarily in a ghoulish way, sometimes when someone dies, things prices go up, they become harder to find. I’m hoping that because it’s still mostly Cleveland that people are kind of like, honoring him and delighting in him instead of well, I can make a buck off of him, right? You know, that kind of,

Stephen 50:34
honestly, because I knew the kits that had been on the radio, you know, that’s about all I really honestly knew. I went to Spotify. And they always give the top five or 10 songs being listened to by that artist. So I just started there and listened to those. And then I went look through the list of albums. And you know, I looked a little round online now what’s the most popular Michael Stanley album? And I went to that one, you know, what’s the dark side of the moon for Michael Stanley? goddess?

Alan 51:05
That’s probably what I’ll do as well. Yeah, I mean, delve into the catalog. Exactly.

Stephen 51:09
Nice. Nice guitar work. Good. Good crunching guitar songs, you know, nothing outlandish or spectacular, but very solid rock and roll.

Alan 51:19
That’s In fact, that’s what I’ve heard about him. Like ever since I knew about him was he didn’t get the big break that Bob Seger did that john Cougar Mellencamp did that he didn’t get that one radio airplay thing that kind of took him to the next level. He didn’t move on to town, perhaps you don’t I mean, that kind of thing. So it really is, like Greg Kim, you know, there’s all kinds of people that really make music that I love, but they just were always one thing down and maybe that’s what kept them decent. And they didn’t go down the Hey, I’m making enough money to kill myself with cocaine now. Hey, you know, I know I’m an insufferable jerk. Because everybody’s telling me how great I am. Right, you know?

Stephen 51:56
Yeah, I mean, he wrote my town for Cleveland. And it’s almost an anthem where you know, going around Cleveland, so exactly that

Alan 52:05
I like that one was more than Cleveland rocks. You know what I mean? Which he always does from from sorry, Mott the Hoople. Who is it? How could I not remember his name is around to us.

Stephen 52:16
I want to say Rundgren, but it’s not Rundgren.

Alan 52:19
It’s not it’s he was part of Mott the Hoople. And then

Stephen Schneider 52:24

Alan 52:25
like I said, it’ll come to us. Yeah. Besides that, I’m still having great success with original album classics. You know, the big combines Warner and other places continue to say, Hey, here’s five albums from an artist for 20 bucks, four bucks an album, how can I resist? It’s really, it really is it presses every button checks every box on, he’s a collector. He likes getting the meat of the order from these guys. And they’re like, they seem to have not, they’re not. They’re not cleaned up. Like they’re not a Steve Wilson remix of something. But they’re also like, crisp, digitally good. They’re not just Oh, god, this sounds like scratchy vinyl. So I just got America, for instance. And I didn’t realize how much as often is the case. They have songs that were on the radio that everybody knows, everybody knows 10 man horse with no name. But on these albums, there’s so many other great cuts with like, they have Crosby, Stills, Nash and young level harmonies, they really sound great. There’s really against some talented guitar and stuff like that. And so as I’ve listened to it more than once, it’s like, I just didn’t appreciate them enough. They’re one of those things. I only heard them on the radio. I didn’t have either albums before this, but I kind of knew I wanted to have them in my catalog and my listening. And now I’m like, wow, I would have been more in support of them back then. I really only

Stephen 53:39
a few artists like that recently. Yeah.

Alan 53:41
Whereas there’s been things like we get the Black Oak Arkansas Greatest Hits. And it’s like, they have like one, they have one Greatest Hits. And everything else on the thing sounds like them, but it doesn’t sound memorably good. It’s sorry, Black Oak, Arkansas. This is so much. But there’s some things that just they’re not worth five albums. They really have a one album Greatest Hits things and there’s not more depth. There’s just kind of redo. Yeah, I don’t know, maybe. And again, my musical sensibilities not everyone’s

Stephen 54:09
and that could be different for everybody. But there’s definitely artists that, you know, we remember them, but they had one big hit.

Alan 54:17
Exactly. And somebody’s also in a garden divito of iron butterfly. You know, I really have liked them. And actually, I’ve seen them in a club, you know, before they were doing that last farewell tour and stuff like that. And another one where if you’re looking for psychedelic rock, you know what I mean? They were a particular genre. And they didn’t try to necessarily be that super melodic. They noodled around a lot, not quite jazz, which is kind of, but I really liked discovering things that I didn’t realize how good they were that there’s a lot of talented musicianship there, but they just got one song on the radio, and even then, how often did you hear that? That’s the song that DJs who put on so they can go to the bathroom because it was 18 minutes long. Go thing by over a get a cup of coffee and go back and say, Well, that was decent stuff from iron butterfly.

Stephen 55:04
I got that song on rock band, because most of my kids didn’t know it. And I’m like, Come on, let’s play this one song. I know, no, let’s do a lot. And like, why don’t we play this one first and see I do

Alan 55:15
exactly that at this later their fingers are burnt.

Stephen 55:20
Know, what we need to do is we need to play this and then the full 2112 suite, and be good for the night, two songs good to go.

Alan 55:29
Exactly. That’s I just. Um, so that’s what I’ve been listening to. But I have certain things that I return to because like you listen to the first maruchan album, because hey, there’s three cuts on each side. I love things where it’s not three minute little pop confections, I love it, where they’re seven and 10 and 20 minute songs, and sparks beer, beware of darkness. And in them. You know, they’re, they’re just every copy of that album makes me happy that these this group of musicians got together and they were so talented and they immortalized, you don’t mean like that there’s this, it’s really a perfect album where there’s no filler, there’s no bad cuts, from start to finish. It’s like, Man, this all sounds great. And I love the lyrics. And this is a little bit of like a gentle giant homage. And I just sticks Equinox is a perfect album where every single cut is archetypal perfect sticks. And if before they broke it big with grand illusion, but you want I mean, there’s so much good stuff.

Stephen 56:28
There’s a lot of albums that I heard as an album without having any known any hits or radio play. And I think of them as a complete album, that every song means something to be there’s not one or two that are special and the rest are filler. You know, and that’s what I think a lot of the kids are missing, with only listening to the biggest hits on Spotify, you know, exactly. And

Alan 56:53
it’s kind of funny, I, a friend of mine just posted about the neuroscience of music. And that, you know, humanity has loved music for a long time. But why another finally getting to where it was brain scanning and magnetic resonance imaging and stuff like that they’re finding out that music, it really does activate the pleasure centers of your brain in a very specific way. And then as you you can prove that it’s causal, because as they activate it with or without music and like try to overflow or underflow it, if you will, it really is that music is the thing that’s causing the pleasure. So I think that one of the reasons that I still don’t make my own playlists, I listened to albums all the way through is because I like that it’s gets you get on a train, and you take the train to the end of the line from start to finish. And what I do randomize my cuts, there’s all manner of things. We’re like, Oh, I wanted to hear the next cut after that one on the album. It’s it’s segues nicely. And instead now I’m my mood change too quickly. My expectation was there. However, having said that, one of the reasons I also still listen to the radio, when I’m in the car, instead of having my iPod and all my millions of songs is because I like that little spurt of incremental pleasure that comes from you don’t know what’s coming next. And then a good song comes on. It’s like, Man, it’s been forever since I heard she’s midnight runners doing Come on Eileen. Yeah, crank it a little bit. And it’s just a surprise. And I get a lot of my whatever serotonin and all the other good things come a little bit from surprise. So the combination of going to a concert, live music where you don’t know what they’re going to do. And they do that open and chord. And it’s

Stephen Schneider 58:36
like, oh, yes, yes, close

Alan 58:38
to the edge or whenever.

There’s a very cool thing about I’ve been programmed to anticipate, but then when you get a real cool surprise, and one of the things I hate was when they take a whole bunch of their good songs and they do a medley. It’s like no finish in the cage. Don’t go into another song. I want to hear it because the climax the crescendo, the song is so great. And now you took it from me.

Stephen 59:03
Well, you know, what I found is some of my most favorite albums that I think of as albums and listened to as albums and all the way through the work the end to one song I anticipate the beginning of the next because it’s, you know, part of the whole story. Most of those I got through Columbia record club. Right? Well, that’s interesting.

Alan 59:25
Okay, we have like your 30 albums for $1 of any or whatever it was

Stephen 59:29
that okay, cuz they would send you an album or two a month, and you would get those sometimes before they were doing the hits on the radio or before you heard them a lot. So I got to hear the album as an album without, you know, oh, I heard these three hits. And that’s what I focus on. So yeah,

Alan 59:48
I do find that there’s certain I like Alan Parsons project a lot. And there’s certainly iRobot is one of those albums that I almost always do. I listen to it all the way through. It’s got a lot of radio friendly cuts. A lot of them He’s been on the radio, but I like that. But then what I find is Alan Parsons also had the thing where he had a lot of the same musicians, but he had different vocalists. And he was really canny with the style of vocalist was good for the song. So you’ll hear this really is more of a ballad more of a rocker or more of a plaintive thing. It he, I don’t mind the dynamics of it’s not the same vocalist route. It’s actually I think of it as kind of a little collection of things. And he was really good at how to put them in the right order how to put them with the right vocalist and stuff like that. He’s such a great producer as you know, so yeah, engineer and

Stephen 1:00:34
Yeah, kind of like smolts from Boston.

Alan 1:00:39
Exactly. Exactly. That boy he was a technical wizard as well as we didn’t he reinvent like the Rockman amplifier. Yes, we could have his guitar sound like what he wanted it to sound like

Stephen Schneider 1:00:49
yeah, everything on

Alan 1:00:50
the market did is as well I’ll rig one up.

Stephen 1:00:53
Wasn’t is the first couple albums. He did everything himself like in his basement recording studio,

Alan 1:00:59
except for Brad Delp. And I think that him and the drummer know the vocals and the drummer were the ones that contributed otherwise, shorts was kind of a Rundgren guy where he could play everything. And so he did. So

Stephen 1:01:09
what do you what do you been reading?

Alan 1:01:12
That’s a so I just read a book called funny lines by a guy, a guy named Alan spy battle. And what it’s about is he’s a writer that has been around since the early days of Saturday Night Live and to date. And he’s that the subtitle of the book is how I helped funny people be funnier. And wow, it’s a cool like a background look at you know, he wrote for like, the here’s the original Saturday Night Live cast of Dan Aykroyd and john Belushi and Lorraine Newman and Gilda Radner. And a big sub run of the book is that he was good friends with Gilda Radner. They were very early on wrote and kind of like having a relationship but kind of platonic, but they they kept helping each other in the industry. And so it just the way that he talks about what it was like to be in the background, you know, hearing his words come out from someone who became famous become them. That’s very satisfying. He then worked with Garry Shandling on the Garry Shandling show. And he’s written with, like Dave Berry and Carl Hiaasen, you know, and so is it’s not a small claim to fame, he really has been involved with some very cool people and in some big projects, but he’s also humbly wrote north, which is one of the biggest tank movies of all time. You know, Rob Reiner, I think I just done The Princess Bride, and then maybe immediately did north or at least one movie soon after that. And it just was that this is the movie that Roger Ebert movie review was I hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated everything about this movie. And so that’s kind of what a career is, is that you get these wonderful transcendent moments, years, five years, and then the industry can turn its face for you. Because Wow, you wrote something that made law so much money, now you have the steak, the taint on you. And it takes someone that believes in you to bring you back in. And so very, very good. roller coaster ride, if you will love this guy’s cool career. And he’s a good writer. So you really have a good sense of, I would have been cool to be backstage with him. You know what I mean?

Stephen 1:03:16
Behind the scenes, but big behind

Alan 1:03:18
the scenes. Exactly. And I love reading. They’re just books like that about other books about started and live about National Lampoon about kind of being third the origin of things, you know, and I mean that these things didn’t just happen. They people really worked hard to make Monte Python work, and Second City work and things like that. So it’s cool to see those stories captured. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 1:03:40
exactly. Take some well.

Alan 1:03:42
I also have been reading the like Heaney’s trilogy, which Colleen actually got me this for Christmas. And I’m only on the second book of the three because each of the books is 750 pages. They are indeed like wrist. I’m strengthening my wrists while reading these books. And it’s your classic epic fantasy series. Good heroes, good villains system of magic. They’re traveling around the world, there’s mysteries, there’s reveals. The cool thing about this seems to be that characters have lived for a long time. And they’ve taken on different names over the course of time. And in some cases, they made themselves lose memories, because they had gone down a really bad path and they didn’t want to be that person anymore. So then they find out that they’re actually like, the heritage that they have is not always been good. And how do they come to grips with I almost destroyed the world, I really hurt friends, etc. And so there’s a whole bunch of not only the big sweep of things, but really personal considerations about like, can you change as a person you know, I mean, are you really always a hero or a villain Can you can you be push so far that you do bad things? Can you out of neglect anyway, they’re, they’re really good before they’re a big read. So that’s my, that’s my books that I’ve been reading. Like, maybe you know 50 to 100 pages each night. As I go to bed, depending on how good the section I’m reading is I read a lot or a little as I go before I go to sleep. So how about yourself? i? Well, I’ve

Stephen 1:05:08
been reading several things I don’t, I tend to not focus on one book at a time anymore, it seems, depends on I feel for the day, which is weird for me. But whatever. The big book I’ve been reading is called dead south. It’s actually by a friend of mine, Zach bohannan. It’s the second in a post apocalyptic zombie trilogy. So I actually got a copy of it early to review. And I’ve kind of let them down because the books been out for almost a month, and I haven’t finished it to ship my review yet. So I owe him. But it’s, I mean, it’s, it’s if you like The Walking Dead, and

Alan 1:05:47
sound Walking Dead is yes. Okay. Very much

Stephen 1:05:50
zombies everywhere. But the character is very interesting. JOHN, South is his name. But I mean, you know, if you like post apocalyptic zombie stuff, that’s a great book. nice, easy read. And I don’t want to take away from anything negative saying about it. But it’s not where you have to, like super stopping. Oh, let me consider that. It’s a zombie B rated movie type thing. You know, God’s fun and go ahead. Yeah. On the Run. Yeah. Okay. puts a lot of depth to the main character. And he’s expanding this character. So it’s got a little more than most of the zombie stuff. I’ve read it in the past. So it’s been it’s been a good read, but I owe him a good review. So I figured I’d mention it on the podcast, and maybe a couple people go get it to make up for that fact.

Alan 1:06:42
There we go. You know, I really, things tend to go in waves. And so oftentimes, when there’s a whole bunch of zombie books coming out, I’m looking for Okay, people who love zombie books, which are the three best ones out of these 10 so that I don’t want to drink from the fire hose. I want to read the best of multiple genres and that kind of thing. So okay, so dead self.

Stephen 1:07:00
Okay. Speaking of zombies and walkers. I don’t know how much you ever followed Kirkman Walking Dead comic.

Alan 1:07:08
It’s I’ve liked the first 30 issues. It kicks we’re starting to come out just when I was stopping collecting cars. Okay. Right. And one of the things that when I started watching the series was will that diverge pretty quickly? You know what I needed? It wasn’t at all just replaying a lot of things. Okay,

Stephen 1:07:24
well, I must say, issue 100 of that comic. When I got to that one. I had to stop reading for a while it seriously, I was so distraught and messed up. I couldn’t read it for a while. And

Alan 1:07:37
well, on his part to evoke such a reaction. Yeah.

Stephen 1:07:41
Wow. And recently, he ended the series. I don’t know if you heard that. It was not expected. After everything they’d been through. It was a sudden and surprise ending. And he decided he was gone. Yeah, I’m sure he talked about the reasons. I haven’t read any of the interviews. Right. Okay. But it was, it wasn’t like we’re leading up to this big climax and something’s going to happen. You know, it’s the end of the series is coming. Nobody knew. It. Just you read it. You’re like, Oh, my God, it’s over and, and he said, but the one he said the one death, because I was walking dead. You never know who was going to live and die. You could expect anybody to die. He said, the one death that nobody expected was the death of the comic book itself. I was like, well, that’s pretty good, man. I like that. Pretty

Alan 1:08:33
good. Exactly.

Stephen 1:08:34
But then re releasing the whole series colorized now, which I don’t care for. I liked it in black and white. So but they do have that.

Alan 1:08:43
So okay, I did see because he also wrote it that his invincible series just got made into an animated series. And so I was curious about that, because I thought that was a very good take on what it really be like to be like a visitor from another planet, and that you weren’t necessarily benevolent. You were kind of like, yeah, I’m the advanced guard, and you are all my pets until the comforters get out. I mean,

Stephen 1:09:07
binge watch almost all of it on Sunday, and he loved it. He loves the comic. So

Alan 1:09:13
no, I don’t want to binge but it’s good to hear that he liked it. There wasn’t like, after the first episode, he was like, Oh, this didn’t fulfill the promise.

Stephen 1:09:20
One of the cool things that he said Kirkman did was after he got into the series and got further along, he’s like, and I made a couple mistakes in the first couple issues, things I didn’t think about. So he corrected it and did them the way he wanted to in the

Alan 1:09:34
show made it series. Yeah. So that is kind of cool when people get a chance to revisit it. And like you said, you know that Okay, I will look for it. I have many of them. And so I’ll look forward to seeing what he did.

Stephen 1:09:45
To fix them. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And one last thing. I don’t know if you’ve caught this. It’s based on a comic book. It’s a TV show on sci fi called resident alien.

Alan 1:09:57
So I’ve heard of it. It’s a big video game. All right.

Stephen 1:10:00
I’m pretty sure maybe I am. Maybe Okay, that I’m not sure about. But do you know who the star is of it? No. Alan tudyk

Alan 1:10:10
Oh my Yeah.

Stephen 1:10:12
You gotta go check it out. Right.

Alan 1:10:13
Absolutely. You know, I was happy to see him in the do patrol series. Yes, Mr. Nobody, because he’s one of those guys. He’s got a very distinctive look. And he’s got real acting chops. And I’m like, please don’t let them just language people use this guy. He’s ready.

Stephen 1:10:28
Yeah, I love them in Tucker and Dale. That was great. Yeah, exactly. Gina was watching resident alien. I didn’t know what it was, or whatever I walk in. And I see to tick I’m like, Oh, cool. And I watch a minute of it. I’m like, is he playing an autistic character? She’s like, No, he’s an alien trying to be human. And I was laughing because I’m like, Oh, my God, he comes across as autistic, which is a great take on aliens. Because I’m like, there’s so many things that that could represent

Alan 1:10:56
that they study others behavior and mimic it. Instead of having that they really naturally say I would like a dog now.

Stephen 1:11:03
He takes over for this doctor, and the police chief shows up says he’s just in a cabin on vacation. And the police chief shows up and says, I need you to come look at a dead body. He’s like, well go get your me. He’s like, it is the me. He’s like, Oh, so he goes and he walks over. He looks down. He says, Okay, I have looked at the dead body. Can I leave? So I was pretty hooked.

Alan 1:11:29
That’s very good. I will look for that resident alien. Okay. Yeah, I just kind of find out let me harken back to this. I one of the you know, sometimes you have an HD haven’t been able to scratch for a long time. When I stopped collecting comics. There’s a series called next wave that was coming out from Warren Ellis, one of my favorite writers. And what it is, is it’s a collection of kind of like second tier heroes. It’s machine man. It’s Elsa Bloodstone. It’s Captain Marvel, the Monaco Rambo version. They are a team that’s been put together by an organization called hate. Be like, I don’t know what the acronym stands for. But it’s, you know, supposedly one of those is trying to like police the world and make it better. But then you find out that they’ve actually been bought by the beyond Corp, and they have devilish motives. And so they break away and then they’re trying to but the cool point of the series is that the characters are all like, cheated world weary, you know, they’re not going Whoa, hey, let’s go beat up the bad guy. They keep commenting in the comic book about the absurdity of the situations they find themselves in, it’s like, really, we have to fight fin Fang foom I thought that he was just, you know, I thought he was only a legend like made up to scare children. And, and the, they meet all manner of villains that are also they got an inherent absurdity to them, like modak, you know, the big, super intelligent head creature, and that the wry sense of humor and the sorts of kind of a parody of comic books of all those usual justifications for we’re finding this out of nobility. It’s like, there’s a certain amount of mercenary there’s a certain amount of just get this over with just kill them. I just want to go home, have a beer, you know what I mean? And they, boy, they’re, they’re like, perfect honesty, a good comic books, the artwork is great. So I think the only lasted like 12 issues, maybe, you know, like, two, one to six, one to six, and seven to 12 are the two album editions that I got on. There we’re seeking out because they really will. They’re fun. They’re just so much dark humor fun.

Stephen 1:13:29
That sounds like something I’d enjoy. So I’m going to look that up. So have you seen the trailer for Suicide Squad too?

Alan 1:13:35
I just saw it as a matter of fact, you know, and of course, Harley and they have the whole, one of the joys of suicide squad is, you know, there’s a certain amount of return over because people get killed. So they have a chance to introduce some same characters. You know, I think Rick Flagg is still there, but a bunch of other characters. And it looks pretty good.

Stephen 1:13:53
It looks better than the first one actually. Yeah.

Alan 1:13:56
So I hope that if they’re really trying to build a franchise out of it, you know, they have the wall, Amanda Waller and they so that’s got all the right elements, right? It’s got a team of superheroes. It’s got government conspiracy, it’s got good villains. I, I think that the first one, the villain was the weakest part of it. And if they really haven’t be that they have, like, why would you get a whole bunch of Liesl people together to fight something? It’s not it’s got to be a really like almost like a world class or really psychotic type villain. And I think that’s what’s gonna happen for any hero. You have to have a good rogues gallery in order to be published hero. Yeah, Batman, flash and others are really good because of the bench strength of their rogues gallery.

Stephen 1:14:39
Right. You know what I mean? The problems with the Suicide Squad and I think we’ve talked a little bit was nobody knew any of those characters. The movie seemed a little rushed and disjointed at times. It’s like they weren’t sure what they wanted to do with it all. And I didn’t even realize what exactly is this bad guy that that? I mean, what’s the bad guy? what and why do they have to kill them? And it wasn’t super clear it was just kind of there.

Alan 1:15:04
Right? So remember, right? Wasn’t he like some kind of Mayan or Aztec God Catrice in the ancient but this is her brother. Yeah. So family relations, you know what I mean?

Stephen 1:15:15
thereafter her but the big fight was yeah her brother like huge statue Exactly.

Alan 1:15:22
It was like you and I read a lot and pay attention and still can’t figure out what the heck this movie was a testament to how shoddy it was with here’s the motivation. Here’s the characters, whatever they just did with Zack Snyder’s Justice Lee to give backstory to the various different characters and have you understand or care a little bit about the more instead of just throw six people at the screen, we’re going to put a bomb on your brains, you gotta do what we say. Well, thanks for the backstory, you

Stephen 1:15:48
know, this one, it looks like they realized what was good about suicide squad, and they’re doing more of that. Okay, you know, give me the comedy. Yeah, for a movie like Suicide Squad. It’s got to be humorous action. It can’t just, you can’t take it serious. I mean, come on.

Alan 1:16:06
I think we have seen that that certain series, they when they give it the first shot, they had to do the origin story, which is kind of like the way it has to be but the Iron Man two or Deadpool two or whatever, they got to take the next step. And I often enjoy that. Okay, now that you’ve got the necessary out of the way, what’s the elective? What’s the best story you can tell on of all the years of comic books they’ve got? And they’ve done a pretty good job of that. Not everyone, there’s been some number twos that weren’t that great. They were number two Haha, but you wouldn’t be I like when they like I don’t know, Thor has built well, Iron Man has built well, whereas the Hulk kept seeming to be like the same movie over and over. Right? Like it Oh, boy, gamma rays. You know, I just anyway, I will see. I’m so much looking forward to being in theater again. I was getting my second shot of the COVID vaccine this Friday, Colleen a week after me. Two weeks after that, we’re both going to be like, I’m able to go out into the world knowing that we’re 90% say, and we everybody has these fantasies kind of like the winning the lottery fantasy, what’s the first meal you’re going to have? If you can go out into the world now. And one of the things I want to go to a comedy club, as long as it’s one where there’s still some separation and some circulating air, I don’t know that I want to go to a concert because I don’t think you can have a concert without being pushed together through a crowd. And that’s not good. Whereas a nice like, we won’t be able to go to our favorite buffet, but we can go to the steak dinner that Colleen should have had three years ago when she got her big bonus and that kind of stuff you want. I mean, there’s all kinds of things and indeed, to see Suicide Squad in the theater. I’ve always loved a big movie in a big theater with the surround sound and the huge screen where it’s overwhelming. That’s the experience to me as much as I love them on the on my TV at home. It ain’t the same as being like I’m just overwhelmed by it. I love

Stephen 1:17:57
the chaos walking over the weekend. Theater, and that’s something maybe we can talk about next week to tell you a little bit about it. We didn’t hit anything on Easter. So maybe we talk about Easter after Easter

Alan 1:18:09
after Easter. Exactly. So as always a pleasure. Take care, Stephen, you too. Have a good week. You bet.

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