Title: Navigating the Waves of Technological Evolution: The Retrograde and Novelty of the Amazing Spider-Man

Often, amidst the manic pursuit of novelty, we find ourselves longing for the comfort of the known past. Today’s conversation between Stephen and Alan stimulates the exploration of how this reciprocating pattern influences two special domains – technology and comic book literature.

Subtitle: The Omnipresence of Technology: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Stephen initiates the dialogue by sharing the obstacles he often faces due to insufficient USB ports on his Mac Mini. This becomes an interesting segway into discussing the paradigmatic shifts in technology and how it shapes society’s cultural fabric. We learn that the pressing need to adapt to new technologies often results in pushing us to discard the old, creating a sense of loss for older systems, despite their apparent antiquity.

A parallel is drawn between this technological progression and how one interacts with reading material. The availability of online platforms like Comixology presents users with ample choice of comic books, but it also takes away the pleasurable experience of reading tangible books. The latter often comes with a sense of nostalgia and connection that digital platforms fail to replicate. The growing affinity for ebooks and digital archives signifies a cultural leap, but also emphasizes our innate desire to revisit past comfort amidst progressing advancements.

Subtitle: The Evolution and Recurrence within ‘Spider-Man’ Issues

Alan and Stephen continue the conversation by meticulously exploring different renditions of renowned comic series, including ‘Spider-Man’. They discuss how narratives change as writers adapt the characters and their stories to modern sensibilities while maintaining the essence of their personalities and histories. For instance, the ‘Ultimates’ is highlighted as an exemplary series that reinterprets classic Marvel characters and endows them with more relatable and complex personalities.

They emphasize that the past significantly influences this evolution, as writers create stories that resonate with the audience’s engagement with real-life issues like political unrest, addiction, and discrimination. The importance of maintaining a balance between holding onto the traditional roots of characters and innovating them to suit current scenarios is underscored.

Subtitle: The Ultimate Saga Reiterated

Alan introduces a new pulse within the Marvel universe – the newly launched ‘Ultimates.’ This launches the duo into musings about the Marvel universe’s infinite cycle of creation, destruction, and re-creation. Alan elucidates the reshaping of renowned characters like Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, in this installment and how the new plot resonates with contemporary themes.

For comic book enthusiasts and even casual readers, the captivating ebb and flow between the old and the new invites a spectrum of engaging and often polarizing conversations.

In an ever-evolving world, the merger of past and present always results in unique amalgamations. The journey of a legendary comic book character epitomizes this intertwining pattern. At the same time, the interplay of technology and tradition in our daily lives unfurls the persistence of a delicate balance between novelty and nostalgia. Although technological advancements enhance our lives significantly, the warmth provided by personal hand-written letters, physical books and comics indulges our craving for familiarity. It’s the unique blend of old and new that helps script the narrative of our human experience.





Stephen: [00:00:00] Ellen is gone. Today on relentless geekery, we have the invisible man. I’m just going to have a bite of salad. Oh, Dave. Look.

Look. So must have worn off. I can see the invisible man.

Alan: What I’ve discovered is, my Mac Mini has 4 USB ports on the back, and that wasn’t enough. And so I had to get a USB extender for all my hard drives and all the peripherals.

And what I discovered, unfortunately, is that certain things, they don’t stay connected because it’s not the main port on the back. That must have some ESP, some sensing protocol that lets you know when it’s there. So I often have to change between my printer and my camera microphone because they’re in particular the ones that something I can’t print. And only if I can’t perform attached to my little extender. So Yeah.

I always keep track of what I was last doing, and I was indeed printing stuff off because I bought some tickets and needed to make sure I had the receipt or whatever like that. And that’s funny because that’s not [00:01:00] usually almost always now. I get things like everybody does if you have your phone with you all the time and you have the ability to bring the ticket with you with a little barcode or in your Apple Wallet or bring up the email that has it in, That’s what I do for everything. But though I complain, many people do, about Ticketmaster and how it owns the world, it really isn’t the only game out there.

There’s so many different TicketWeb and Axios and SeatGeek and whatever else it might be, and they all have their different protocols for hardly ever do will call nowadays because it’s just so much hassle to get into to get finally into a show and all that. You know what I mean? Even though I’m I it’s kinda funny. I don’t when oftentimes, when I buy shows, I buy them 6 months in advance because I wanna get in early and get good seats. But then you don’t remember, I couldn’t care less how I bought the tickets.

I care that I got the show for Todd Rungren. And is that, like I said, TicketWeb or Ticketmaster, whatever else it might be? So I’m continually playing this weird little game of, should I print something [00:02:00] off? Because I know if I have the thing in my pocket, it would be that I remember what site I need to go to. And it always work, it there’s just enough ambiguity, just enough confusion in my supposedly mighty memory, why remember something that’s trivial, and yet it demands it up?

Stephen: Back when we first started using GPS, you always printed it out so you had that printed copy to follow the directions.

Alan: Exactly.

Stephen: It’s I’ll tell you.

I was gonna say, today’s world, they don’t try and stop the phones. Remember back when, if you tried to get a recorder or a camera into a concert, man, you were booted. They got you.

But now everybody’s got the phone, and they’ve come to accept it. And then they went, oh my goodness. This is actually good because people come to see us more. That whole stupid crazy thing.

But here’s the problem. By the time the evening comes, the end of the day, and you get your phone out and they scan it for the tickets and stuff, and then you get into the concert to listen to it. You wanna take a picture, [00:03:00] maybe a little video. You look at it. 22 percent of my battery is left.

So you don’t even have enough to record hardly anything because you never remember to charge it.

Alan: That happen. Way early on, I really had to be conscious of battery use and make sure I didn’t run out before I when I really needed it, late at night and stuff like that. And nowadays, I don’t know. My the latest iPhones really have amazing battery life.

Often when I plug in to recharge at the end of a long day of use, I’m still at 60 percent or above. So I haven’t seen that. With my watch, I see it. And it’ll often sometimes, get down to 10 percent, and then it goes into low power mode, and you can do all of its watchy things without giving you the pretty watch faces and stuff like that. Anyway

Stephen: the new car has a thing that you plug your phone into the USB.

It’s got a USB port. It’s all ready for it. It automatically activates Android Auto. So it comes up on the little dashboard. It shows me the map, and I can just scroll right through there and say where I’m going.

It gives me plus then I got my music player [00:04:00] here and audiobook or whatever. Things come up when people text me, and I’m like, wow. I love this. I you know, who needs it built in? It’s on my phone.

Alan: It’s no. Apple has had SmartPlay for 20 years now, and some of the early adopters were Porsche, for instance, which is I don’t have 1 of those. And in fact, our cars are old enough. Both of our Priusis are now 8 and 12 years old or something like that, that it was before they had I have a I don’t know, a little screen, but it’s not it isn’t any better than having a GPS or my phone or whatever else it might be even though it’s aware when I hook up so that I can use it to dial and talk in the car and stuff like that. But I don’t get the full autoplay experience.

And I really when I’ve seen it in use, I really like it because it’s great to have I don’t know. At a glance, you can see things without having to really squinch and look because squinching, you’re not looking at the road. And so I really want it to be that it’s better. The Tesla, for instance, has a wonderful massive display. And, while you’re driving it, not only it shows you where the car is all around you, so it gives you kinda 3 [00:05:00] 60 cents.

But also all those things that it brings up when you’re doing phone type things. It’s wonderful to have all the room. I’ve always liked I you know, some people really still the little pack of gum sized phone. I have some people that don’t wanna give it up because they love having this little tiny thing, and the more screen real estate, the better. You know what I mean?

I really like having the I don’t think my eyes are gotten that bad. I just like having more on the screen so that I have more to choose from or something like that. It’s taste. But I like having multiple monitors.

And in fact, 1 of the reasons I’m gonna be getting the next Mac mini m 3 is because it has not 2 but 3 monitors.

Stephen: You could track it and all

Alan: that. Exactly. It’s got I know we talked about this probably early in the genesis of relentless geekery, our rig. And I like having a lot of stuff open at the same time so that with a glance, I can check my calendar, look at my email, check my browser, and my notes, like my to do list and that kind of stuff.

And on 1 monitor, when I was having to go to that on my laptop when [00:06:00] I was often out in California and, taking care of my mom, it really was I missed so much being able to glance through instead of having to click on things to bring them to the top. And even then when you try to arrange things on your screen, when you have a little pocket sized window for them on the screen. That’s not the same as being able to again, see it without reading in squinchy eye to, to see all of it and stuff like that. So I actually ended up getting a big monitor that I had out there that you even on a laptop, you can usually hook a monitor up by your USB port and stuff. And then I had all the screen real estate that I really needed out in California where I was kinda running lean and mean anyway.

It’s when people run their life off of the phone, it’s a whole different world, and I don’t prefer it. Some people really like having just that little bit, that amount in births burst and stuff like that. And I just like having more to scan. Kinda boy, do I risk reading a newspaper. Like, when you used to be able to look at the newspaper with a glance, say, by headline and [00:07:00] by whatever picture, these are the things.

Out of 16 things that are open on this 2 page spread, I’m gonna read only these 2 instead of having to scroll past them, instead of having to pay more attention to each 1 in order to dismiss it. It’s a different reading experience, and I really miss it when the plane dealer, the paper here in Cleveland, shot up in price. Colleen and I stopped getting it delivered because it went it was more for less. It was, like, delivered 3 or 4 days and for 3 times the price. And just out of how was that useful?

And yet that experience of sitting over the Sunday paper and thinking that you’re kinda getting a weekend review, if you will, and reading Dave Barry’s column and what are all the highlights, the bigger comics and stuff like that for a Sunday, I still miss that, and we’ve not been getting the paper for probably 20 years now. Oh, sometimes technology cannibalizes things that I wish they would have left enough alone. Maybe that maybe today that 1 of our themes today is the retrograde. I still read books.

I know I can put it on my iPad. I know I can have it on my screen. [00:08:00] Comic books nowadays, because I have Comixology, that’s most often how I read comic books, in collections and current stuff. And it is not the same. It’s like laying there in bed, all casual,

Stephen: wonderful Smothering yourself with planetary omnibus.


Alan: Some of them are a little large. That’s true. But just oh, I maybe and there’s also I’m pretty sure that the monitor, no matter how fine a monitor you are, it’s not it’s a higher level of eye strain than reading a static image on a piece of paper.

And so I know that when I do binging, I’m gonna read I just read The Ultimates, the first omnibus that is the first 13 issues plus the annual or whatever. And I had to do it in 2 goes because I noticed after 5 or 6 issues, it’s man, usually if I’m just glancing at things, I don’t get eye tired. And yet from really paying attention and really reading dialogue boxes and all that kind of stuff, it was just enough that I was the computer monitor is not the best medium for reading static stuff, cool stuff like

Stephen: comic books. Oh, [00:09:00] so so just think of the future where they got whatever the next thing is for reading or whatever, and the people are going, yeah.

Yeah. I know that it’s the new way to do it, but just reading on a screen is so much more natural and so much better for us.

Alan: It’s Exactly. They’re gonna be talking about comic books like hieroglyphics.

Why would you carve that in a star over a stone? And I can’t well, already, there’s all the things some schools dropped and then brought back cursive because they were just they thought that, hey. With everybody only typing and viewing things on screens and stuff nowadays, it’s kinda like, why are we wasting time on it? But they’re now finding out that the act of writing, it activates a different part of your brain and that you really do want to have the brain connection that says how I’m thinking about what I’m doing while I’m writing and creating connections between letters in words with cursive does much more for phonetic spelling and stuff like that you do things, in chunks instead of individual [00:10:00] letters.

It’s long ago, this is kinda cool. Mensa had a colloquium that was pretty much about how the different ways in which information is presented changes your brain and in a very, if you will, not only left brain, right brain, but in a feminine versus masculine way. And they went into a lot of research that I really had not been aware of how the more that we go from analog to digital, that everything is considered sampling, that it changes, like, how you view the world, kinda like when you watch a lot of TV and they give you 10 minutes on each of 3 different topics. So that implies that they’re each worth the same amount of attention, but sports headlines are not worth the same amount of a disaster where something blew up and killed people. You know what I mean?

So it Marshall McLuhan long ago said the medium is the message, and how we take things in, it really affects how we think of it and how we process and stuff like that. And so [00:11:00] that’s a little bit of I am loathe to give up some of the old ways because I became quite capable from doing those old things. And faster is not necessarily better and more fragmented. I’m really good at doing mosaics, but I don’t want to have to do everything as a mosaic where you get a minute blips of a hundred different things, and from that you put together the big picture. I don’t mind reading the long article where somebody has thought it out and curated the information and presented it in a way that each paragraph has, an opening paragraph and the substantive in the middle and then the next the connecting line to the next paragraph.

You know what I mean? There’s the science of writing about how we learn how people learn is all embedded in that kind of stuff. And I don’t know that we did equal amounts of study to see how it would affect how we learn when we adopted all these new things. So I’m so much a futurist. I’m so much I really love all the ways in which we’re moving into the future, and yet it’s it isn’t wholesale.

There are [00:12:00] certain things that I still I really like the old way, and I don’t I’m loathe to give it up because I can tell when I only do the new way for a while that I’m feeling restless or disconnected or I don’t know, various different things that it isn’t only a matter of, oh, I had a habit and I missed the habit. I really think it is that I retain things differently, and I synthesize differently based on if you had a whole bunch of information put together into a string instead of just not even just kinda scatter. Sometimes it’s really it’s like a movie that quick cuts too fast. You get the overall impression of there’s a big fight going on. But if you had to then recount exactly how did that fight go on, you’d be like I have a memory of all these different punches and kicks and moves and that kind of stuff, but I kinda couldn’t tell you who was doing what exactly or how long the fight really took because it showed it from you know what I [00:13:00] mean?

There’s a there’s I boy, that’s a I’m sure there are books out there that now I have to go read that have studied because this isn’t new. In the days of when people first had phones at all, when we’ve had email instead of physical writing, everyone has had the doomsayer saying, oh, that’s the end of civilization as we know it because we really shouldn’t do it. But now we’ve had time to study. Do video games really make kids exhibit more violent acts? And unfortunately, the act answer is yes, even though I really don’t wanna think that.

I wanna think that kids can differentiate between fantasy and reality. But there’s lots of evidence that says if you expose them to these kinds of things, they are more aggressive. They are less feeling. You can’t play a game like Grand Theft Auto and get the fun idea that if it’s a problem, shoot it. And if it’s that there’s levels of what do I care about these various different things?

Because of how much money I can get out of them, not because they’re a human being in their own right. You know what I mean? If the game [00:14:00] is all about just wanton slaughter, then the fantasy is I could go wanton slaughter too.

Stephen: I’ve had this discussion with parents before. They get upset because the banning of books.

All these books need bans going to influence our kids and blah blah blah. And I’m like, hold on. Your kids are in my scout group. I know your kids. They’re 10 years old, and they were talking about playing Call of Duty online.

Where do you think that Call of Duty play is a good choice, but reading To Kill a Mockingbird is bad?

Alan: Thank you so much. What a perfect segue. The it first seems that the people that how many people wanna ban something having no direct experience of it or having no rationality to their argument? If you really were looking to see how it affects people, you kinda have to go with science to see if you do this, then does this happen.

Not just, if you will, on faith, which is sadly behind a lot of these various [00:15:00] different things. They think that a naughty word is automatically gonna make your kid a killer. That’s absolutely not true. Language doesn’t really do that to you at all. There are different image types that really do have a more direct a line into your brain.

You know what I mean? They really cause the emotion and all that kind of stuff. But I and I often I don’t know. I’m gonna get tired eventually of talking about sense of proportion. But there’s so many people that really seem to like, look at the list of their books, and the things that they’re worried about are ridiculous.

And I’ll say this long ago, I discovered this, and I kinda couldn’t believe it. When videos be first came available and you had that all different topics covered. And they’d have a special little curtain with the naughty section because you might see people doing it, either making love or having sex depending on the whatever. But right within Billy’s reach, in fact, even lower, so to make sure he could reach it, were all the toolbox murder stuff, all the I abdicate that you can watch [00:16:00] whatever the hell you want. If you’re a latchkey kid, when you and your friends come home, there’s a big stack of videos, and I’m gonna look at the titles to see whether you should be watching Last House on the Left.

You know what I mean? So it you and your friend doing a horror movie podcast, you must occasionally discuss this, but that’s been around forever. America’s tolerance, if not embrace of violence compared to sex, has blown my mind since I became aware

Stephen: of it for 40 freaking years.

Alan: And we’re now we’re in this world of crazy gun culture and crazy razor wire in rivers to stop immigrants. How in the world do those ideas and then the actuality would become acceptable, and yet we’re over here worried about, Billy has 2 mommies?

That’s the threat. That’s the thing that’s gonna bring down civilization. People are ridiculous. They are fools. And yet, that sure seems to be a recurring thing through throughout.

When VBS’s first became available, it was [00:17:00] we gotta stop naughty pictures from being transferred. It’s like, how about not bomb recipes? How about not incredible white supremacist

Stephen: evil propaganda? How about corporates and CEOs taking advantage of our world and everybody to become richer? I like that.

Alan: I just it’s we don’t have a sense of proportion. We are told which boogeyman we should worry about, and it’s never the right ones. You know what I mean? And I don’t I think I might have said this the first time, but maybe there’s a great quote out there. The people who want to be your sensors are exactly the people that you shouldn’t let do it.


Stephen: There’s many examples of that.

Alan: Their desire to be the 1 that tells other people what to read and watch and think is just never a bigger picture, a better picture, a Star Trek future of infinite diversity and infinite combination. No. It’s always a throwback idiot image of you know what?

It’s always I don’t know many sensors from the right or from the left that [00:18:00] really have an idea of what makes things better, but they’ve got personal bugbears that they wanna stop. And in fact, this is a new phenomenon. Sometimes the things that they want to stop, you dig a little deeper. You find out that they like it. They’re doing this thing to stop themselves from having access to it.

You know what I mean? So you find out that if someone is really against, I don’t know, homosexuality in literature, that they have been fighting all their life because they have homosexuality in them, and they from their family, from their religion, from their whatever influence it might be, they can’t let that out. But because they kinda feel they can’t control themselves, they need somebody to ride herd on them. And then how about if everybody has ridden herd on? Wow.

That fucked up thing, that projection, that every accusation, a confession. Everything by my word.

Stephen: Everything will be just fine, though, Alan. As long as we can all get our gold high tops with the flag, then [00:19:00] everything will be just fine.

Alan: I’m especially delighted by the fact that they have that little extra bulge at the back so you could fit your bone spurs in there without discomfort.

Exactly. That it wasn’t that’s such a what a ridiculous thing that he’s doing that. But the celebration via memes of how ridiculous it is in just 1 day or 2, it’s always just so freaking impressive that people find so many different ways to mock an idiot, a ridiculous idea. And then not everybody’s doing it. Some people are pawning up hundreds of dollars.

It’s I guess that’s our country. Do you have people who can see right through the emperor has no clothes bullshit? And other people that are like, is there a way that I could get a 2 pair for me and my you know? Oh

Stephen: my god. I love the meme.

It shows Al Bundy in Peg from Married with Children. It says, my husband’s a broke shoe salesman. That shows Ivana saying, so is

Alan: mine. Yeah. Tell me about it.

Exactly. That’s 1 of the ones that I really did share because I thought oh, man. Oh, man. I and the problem is, like, when you’re shameless that you don’t have a [00:20:00] problem with, as long as I’m making the money, they can laugh it up. They can do it anyway.

I know he hates to be mocked personally, but he’s done ridiculous things that any shameful person would have said. I’m not putting my name on that. I’m not getting affiliated with that. No. He the call of money is so loud to some people.

Stephen: No. No. You mentioned Shameless. Now if you’ve ever watched that show, that’s a pretty funny show. Which I have not, but that’s

Alan: not recommended to me.

Willie Macey. Exactly that. And a good supporting cast too. So is it still going, or is it done after I

Stephen: think it’s over, but it Okay.

It went for a long time 8 Okay. 10 years. I don’t know. But I’ve watched

Alan: list. Ozark is on my list, but there’s things like, okay.

I gotta make equipment to watching 4, 5, 6 seasons, and I just haven’t yet. Yeah.

Stephen: The rookie’s back. It just started up. We just tried to

Alan: watch it last night, and they said it wasn’t gonna be available until tonight.

Apparently, there’s a, know, how they do it nowadays. 1 1 station gets 1 streaming service gets the first thing, and then they release it to [00:21:00] others. So we have been watching it via Hulu, and I think we don’t have Hulu plus, and so we couldn’t watch it last night. It’s not until today. It

Stephen: because it premiered on ABC.

So Hulu gets it the day after it premieres on And that’s what it

Alan: is. The main Regular. The major channels still get nibs on things. I know we saw things on Paramount, but we wanted to watch Jon Stewart because he has returned to The Daily Show. How cool is that?

And that wasn’t available via Paramount until after the next day. Or and then they had that nowadays, there’s such contention. YouTube had it and Pluto had it, but you have to watch a lot of ads. And we’ve paid now for a couple services, at least Netflix, did not have ads. I’m not sure if Netflix or Amazon because, man, if you watch good TV, cable TV, and then you have to go back on Hulu to seeing all the ads injected into how we watch the rookie, I just I don’t wanna see any more drug ads.

I don’t wanna see any more political ads, especially as that heat you know, I’m no. [00:22:00] So much looking forward to the Olympics because we’re gonna watch it probably. I think that Paramount is gonna be how you do it again, and July is too close to November. It’s gonna be larded with ridiculous evil stuff.

Stephen: So so you mentioned some of the.

So if I my mother, couple years ago, we got her a Roku and she was just afraid to do anything with it. This was when my father was still alive. And, we tried to show her and have it all set up, so it’s my account. So she’s not messing anything up. I just gave her profiles and all that.


Alan: just I’m watching at the same time as she is because you wouldn’t be sharing words. Oh, yeah. Sure. Sure. Okay.

Stephen: Yeah. So yeah. That but we tried trying to show her and get her into it, blah blah blah, and set her up her own profile. We even set up a wish list to start with.

Now my father’s gone, so she’s getting to watch all the stuff she never got to watch before. Because he in the house.

Alan: That’s so sad, but I could it happens in couples.

Stephen: Yeah.

That’s a whole, discussion on a different generation. But Thank you. So she’s watching stuff. And I walked by yesterday. [00:23:00] I’m like, hey.

What you watching? She was, Northern Exposure. Oh, that’s cool. She says, I never got to see it from the beginning. They’ve got it on Prime.

I get to watch all of it. And I’m like, are you binging it? And she’s I’ll watch a few. And I laughed because That’s wonderful. She not only gets in she can now switch between all the different channels and search for things and knows where to go and can wish list them and knows how to keep going.

And and she watched a whole season and a half yesterday. It was, like, 11 o’clock, and I’m like, what are you still doing up? Are you tired? Yeah. But I just wanted to watch a little more.

And I’m like, you shoulda listened to me a decade ago, and you could’ve been watching this before. She’s yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Just

Alan: Sometimes they really do need to find a reason to learn about it, and they found a show that they really wanted to learn how to save it, how to go to the next season.

Yes. Let it say, if you like Northern Exposure, you’ll also and so it might have been that she kinda stayed away from it for 10 years, but now she’s making up for lost time.

Stephen: I had to [00:24:00] convince her to get rid of Spectrum cable. I’m like, we’ve got everything you need here. Okay.

You’re not getting live news, but you always record it and watch it the next day anyway, so who cares? And she misses some of the weather station stuff that she used to watch. But she found other things do go in there. But, Apps you can load and stuff.

Yeah. Yeah. I’m like, you’re paying a hundred 10 bucks a month for something you barely ever watch. It’s all right here. So we

Alan: dropped cable long ago.

We’ve cut the cord, honestly soon after I came to Cleveland, so 20 years. You know what I mean? It was what the infinity of stuff you get for Amazon and Netflix was most of what we were watching anyway. We were never were TV watchers and, episodic certain things, 30 Rock, but most of it was gonna be movies and things that they collected into curated things and stuff like that. Colleen is wonderfully smart, and it’s a very interesting thing between the 2 of us because she will often let me set things up.

And I will then explain. Here’s we have our new TV uses a Google TV. So this is [00:25:00] the remote that goes with that. But here you wanna pop out to the Roku box, which is what we’re using with our old TV, all you gotta do is touch something on the Roku remote, and it’ll at first, it was you had to actually go to the input menu, and there was also a little bit of and then we kinda discovered, nope. It’ll do auto activation and stuff.

They pop right over. And so she like, a little bit of your mom, it used to be that there were little procedures that she had to follow, and she would get a little frustrated if it was this doesn’t make enough sense. And then they listened to all the, not computer geek Al, but regular citizen Colleen, and they made it so that it works just like you want. If I wanna watch something on Roku, can I just hit the home button on Roku? And the TV and the remote and the soundbar all talk to each other, and everything is fine?

And finally, they seem to be getting to that. So maybe it’s the cool Hisense TV or maybe Roku you know, everybody keeps ratcheting upwards, and we are the winners as long as it doesn’t overcomplicate things. So It’s Go the other way. Alina has discovered last tango in Halifax that she really likes. There’s [00:26:00] still the guy and gal thing of Al watches the guns and explosions movies, and she will watch the not tearjerkers, but just human drama and stuff like that.

But she also likes history and documentary and stuff. So sometimes I’ll walk in and be like, oh, I would like to watch that with you, but you’re already 3 episodes in. So sometimes she’ll let me catch up. And so Let me catch up. Yeah.

Just let me make a note, and then I’ll be able to watch it on my own time even if she is ahead of me, that kind of thing.

Stephen: Anyway I you know? So we’ll see. We went

Alan: over

Stephen: you. Yes.

You mentioned the ultimates when we were talking about the omnibuses and stuff. So is this the old series of the ultimates in the ultimate universe that you’re

Alan: reading? It really is. This way, when they first did it in the early 2 thousands, Marvel did an interesting thing. They have tried doing reboots before where they had the new universe and things like that.

But the Ultimates was a retelling of classic Marvel stuff, but with modern sensibility. So there were characters that had slightly different personalities or how when [00:27:00] they met, how they interacted, and they did it with their flagship titles. So there was an ultimate Spider Man and an ultimate Fantastic 4, and the Ultimates was their version of the Avengers. You know what I mean? They actually called it the Ultimates.

And it’s funny. Really, I read it, 25 years ago. So it was I was very impressed with how Mark Millard, Brian Hitch, a writer and an artist, both that I really enjoyed. It kinda came. So I’m a subscriber to Comixology, 1 of those things where I know Comixology Unlimited.

I can watch this, read as much as I possibly want to out of their universe of stuff they have. And they don’t have everything. There’s all kinds of stuff missing compared to my collection, for instance. But when and they also play the game of things are around for a while, and then they kinda go off the service. So I gotta read them while they’re available, but then new things come on.

So it’s oh, I wouldn’t mind going back and revisiting preacher, revisiting the ultimates. And then new stuff where it’s oh, doctor Strange is back alive. I’ll catch up. Oh, now they’re gonna start charging me for them because they’re not part of unlimited because, [00:28:00] when they do a lot of manipulative, lost leader type stuff. Hey.

It’s 12 issue series. The first one’s free. The first 4 are free. And that’s especially insidious because now you’re into the overall plot line, and you really wanna find out what happens, but now it’s gonna anyway. So The Ultimates was really well written, and especially what I liked about it was there was a certain naivete that goes with the sixties moving forward, seventies, eighties, nineties, and how comic books themselves changed.

And then retelling those stories with, I don’t know, more modern sensibilities about, you name it, the lust for power, about mental illness, about the military industrial complex, about spying in general, what it takes to be a hero, what it takes to be a killer. It really captures tons of that good stuff. And so for instance, Hank Pym, there was a great sequence early in the Avengers, really breakthrough at the time, where he wasn’t quite well. He kinda went multiple personality disorder where he became [00:29:00] yellow jacket and multiple versions of himself. And it’s just the Soliere thing.

If you’re a really amazing smart inventor, but you kinda keep losing out to the Tony Starks and the Reed Riches of the world because you coexist in time when there’s galactic level geniuses. No matter how smart you are, you’re always feeling like a little inferiority complex, a little bit behind the 8 ball, a little bit of resentment. And this plays much to that he’s brilliant, but doesn’t have the focus or doesn’t have the look. And some part of that brilliance is you come home and kick the dog type stuff, and that’s really already terrible. But if you come home and hit the wife, that’s really terrible.

And, man, they capture that. You know that even while you’re trying to be a hero, people have frailties. They have vices. They’re you know? And they really were good about not just me getting black and white, that the wasp really loves him and puts up with it for a while until finally it’s too much.

And then the world knows, and how does the world treat them [00:30:00] now that, boy, it really was that the comic books Marvel has always been really good about the human drama of these things, not just the Biffman power hero versus villain stuff. And, man, the Ultimates was just really intense without it being about are we gonna be able to defeat the scrolls or not. You know what I mean? So very good with a better take on Thor. If you really were a god among mortals, how noble would you be, or how debauched would you be, or how would you be, like, continually, you can’t tell me what to do.

Stephen: He’s been all of those at various times.

Alan: Exactly that. And so as a version of Captain America, a man out of time, if you really were frozen ice in 45, 44, whatever it was that he fell into the Arctic or whatever, into the North Sea, actually, and then came back. And the whole world had changed, and everyone that you love had died or your best friend and your girlfriend got married because you were gone, you’re saying all kinds of well, that you know, this guy, for all of his nobility, he’s having to deal with some serious crap. [00:31:00] And I just it was really well done.

And I know that there’s an Ultimates 2 and 3, but I don’t think they’re available via Comixology. So now I have to think of am I gonna go back and reread them out of my boxes because I have access to all these things in the original paper format that I just talked about loving. But there’s a certain amount of that’s opening a Pandora’s box. If I really start to go tap into the collection for reading, I might just not read anything for the rest of my life except go back and visit my old buddies because there’s so many good comics. You know what I mean?

I would love to read in brief. And I once did this at a Comic Con here in Cleveland. There was, like I always use this analogy. It’s like I opened the furnace door. Someone asked a question about what’s the best thing being printed nowadays, and they talked about, honestly, a relatively lame thing involving maybe Ghost Rider and something like that.

And I, as an audience member, said, I’m the gray hair here, but if you wanna read the best [00:32:00] sustained burst of world building and creativity, you gotta read fantastic 4 30 to 50. During that period, they Stanley and Jack Kirby created the Inhumans, created Galactus, multiple doctor doom things the frightful 4. Every issue was a new I’m getting goosebumps over thinking back of how much cool stuff, issue after issue, that sustained burst of magnificent creativity, it’s so much better than anything going on in spawn. It’s so much better. You know what I mean?

There’s such crap that gets a claim nowadays Yeah. Compared to the Frank Miller daredevil issues. They’re like nothing else out there. And especially when it was Swamp Thing being written by Marty Pascoe, relatively good, but a lot of the same. And then Alan Moore shows up, and the world explodes with how cool his take on Swamp Thing was.

And so each of those things when the washman came out, and it really was a better take on superheroes and a little [00:33:00] bit of what I just talked about with the Ultimates. What if they really were more like people and if you’re gonna have sex, maybe you’d wanna keep the costume on because that’s when you feel you’re most mighty. You know what I mean? And everybody kinda laughs about

Stephen: sex. Viagra.

Alan: I guess. Exactly. I so I that thing at the Comic Con, they invited me up on stage to join the panel because I they could tell I really knew a lot about stuff. And then I as I think I mentioned, we’ve got a now it’s it was Comic Con, now it’s Wizard World, then it became a fan expo nowadays. And I put in to do a talk because it’s really close to the solar eclipse, and I’m gonna do a talk on, hey.

How about all the sun powered and moon powered heroes? Because they’re all litany. And I’m hoping that now that they’ve seen me do this, and I and the some of the same people, things change in an organization. So it’s not always the same person or whatever, but I was able to drop enough information about, hey. I’ve done this at past Comic Cons.

Look for my stuff I did on female archetypes or look for what I did on, the comic book the history [00:34:00] of comic book movies. And I hope I have a little bit of portfolio, a little bit of cache, but I don’t when I go to the Comic Con, I’m, like, the only guy doing it. They really don’t bring enough comic historians in or people. And it’s kinda funny. I really try not to be the Commodore back in my day, of course, blah blah blah blah blah.

I really don’t wanna do that, but there’s so much cool stuff to tap into. And if you’re able to just say go to the bookstore, go to the library Yeah. And get those collected things of early Spider Man, which is the same kind of thing. Issue after issue, it was, here’s this teen kid fighting against crazy villains. The green goblin is insane. Doc Ock is megalomaniac and stuff like that. And all those Stan Stan Lee created an entire another universe that he deserves. I know that there’s a little bit of backlash nowadays with was it really only him or was it Jack Kirby as well? And when you look at the body of work of him not only working with Kirby, but with Heck and Ditko.

And and [00:35:00] all the things that he created, just great ideas spinning out every single month. He really did create, the modern version of Captain America and the Hulk and the Avengers and Spider Man and it’s like it’s x men. It’s unending how much cool stuff he created, and I love being able to talk about that, that the version that you might get from the MCU is not necessarily even the best version. It might be that Stan Lee created something, but then when Chris Claremont picked up the wand, the baton Right.

He also did an amazing run, and so did Brian Bendis and whatever else some other writers that I Alan Moore that I’d be happy to be like, man, man, if you haven’t read and I know I’m getting I don’t mean to make it a rant, but it really is a cool thing that when there’s history, and maybe now especially this is a sad small thing, there’s so much political crap going on now that we talked about at the start of this about what we’re gonna try to ban. And comic books have always been 1 of those things that people think that they’re like a source [00:36:00] of juvenile delinquency, a source of they’re less literature. They’re gonna make kids stupid instead of smart. And my entire life, 59 on, has been that’s absolutely not true. And whatever they actually had congressional hearings in the mid fifties back when there was the Red Scare and communism and Estes Kefauver and the Seduction of the Innocent book came out, and people carried that forward for a generation while the Marvel universe was being created.

While it was not the lighthearted little lotta type stuff and the cardboard cutout DC stuff that there really was so much better. All those kind of comic was coming out, and I really kinda carry the torch for that, that I’m shaped very much as a person by how lucky I was to be born so I could participate in the Marvel world from age, 4 odd. You know what I mean? They came out at 63, and I’m 4 years old. And first time I’m seeing these things, I have some way old comic books destroyed, coverless, whatever else [00:37:00] it might be, but already back then.

The covers were so intriguing. The stories were so interesting. I remember using the word mutant in a class where the teacher didn’t know that word. And that’s a very powerful thing. When you’re reading something that the teacher doesn’t know

Stephen: You’re obviously possessed by the devil.

Alan: And luckily, missus Staley didn’t say we got give me that comic book. That’s gonna we’ll warp your mind and Let’s sit in the

Stephen: corner. Exactly that.

Alan: Avenger’s fine. Lose the war for the allies.

You know what they say? All the things about Mad Magazine having to go away and all the EC comics that were that isn’t it all ties together. That has been an unending thing where people will say these have to be removed because they’re hurting people, and they’re not. They never have been, but it’s a classic crusade that people can take up with. And they’ll always find the people who don’t read comics or don’t read books or don’t read period to take up the I’ll carry that torch at a [00:38:00] rally with you.

That’s always a good look. Let’s go to the book burning together. There you go.

Stephen: A right to carry as many submachine guns as I want and desire, but you shouldn’t be able to read any comic book. Where the heck is our world at?


Alan: can we as a society, can we at least say anybody who’s proposing, banning, or burning books, absolutely not the people that we should be listening to. You know that. You know that’s

Stephen: not the case.

Alan: So the things we’re seeing in Florida and Texas and now in Iowa, in Kansas, Oklahoma to try to make it so that they have new education standards that are rewriting the history of the United States because it’s uncomfortable to talk about we really weren’t a great country all the time. We really did slavery.

We really did internment camps. We really did Jim Crow laws. We really have had homosexuality attacked, though it’s been part of society for all of the world’s life. You know what I mean? It’s just weird to see [00:39:00] It’s like a knee jerk reaction.

You know what I mean? Really? We’re going through this again? Can we just finally say, whatever you thought about allowing gay marriage, how it’s gonna destroy society? How many years are we in now?

And society’s functioned just fine, and people get to love. So I guess you were wrong. Just admit that you were wrong all along,

Stephen: that there’s nothing I don’t know. I don’t know what you’re talking about. That why is that even a concern?

Look. Here’s the new thing that’s destroying the world. We gotta be concerned about.

Alan: Exactly. I’m not sure what the form is for doing that.

Maybe us, but I came here and they were smoking. Not I was spoiled by California. Came here and then finally did a smoking ban. And how many pronouncements of it’s gonna kill all the bars and restaurants because And, funny, they were all wrong. They were such addicts that their addiction spoke through them and said, if I can’t smoke, I’m really in trouble.

But, the whole world doesn’t smoke. And the fact that you’re hardened people through your addiction, apparently, that never occurred to you. And finally, society has acted in some cases. And [00:40:00] nowadays, what would that be labeled? Woke or some ridiculous, stupid, idiot term that says, oh, you have empathy?

Oh, you have science? Oh, you actually listen to rational argument? It’s really ridiculous to see how many times we’re having to go through some of these situations, these arguments. And do we not learn from it? You know what I mean?

The history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. You really can. The past is prologue. William Shakespeare said that. Do they watch any Shakespeare?

Do they read any Shakespeare plays? No. They do

Stephen: not. They banned it. They banned it.

It’s just Exactly. Shakespeare is going to destroy our society. We shouldn’t let anybody ever read Shakespeare. It’s just so okay. Wait.

We were

Alan: talking about find a Bible quote that you learned from the past. Yet there’s that’s not my Bible. What are you talking about? Oh, that’s right. You don’t like all the wrote it.

The ones that tell you who to hate.

Stephen: So we were you we mentioned the Ultimates. That universe the best part for me, and I think this is what really kicked [00:41:00] that universe was when they released the Spider Man ultimate Spider Man. Because that first issue just exploded, and it grew into a really good Spider Man series. Not my all time favorite personally, but excellent.

And that gave us Miles. And Miles has really been great for the past 15 years or

Alan: so. I think that initial run on ultimate Spider Man might be the longest sustained partnership between a writer and an artist. That’s exactly.

They even longer than Lee and Kirby on bunch stuff. There’s been Claremont and Burn, all kinds of things that were, like, years and years, but I think that ran a hundred and 20 issues. 10 years. That’s a long time to dedicate yourself to a character and not get lazy, not get repeaty, and that kind of stuff.

They did great work for a long time. Those are really worth the reread also. So maybe that’s something I’m gonna put

Stephen: into my queue. So there’s they didn’t kill, but they stopped the ultimate universe.

And they had several ultimate titles [00:42:00] throughout their back and forth a bit. It was, it’s old brand, you might say. They’re Right. They’ve started a new ultimate universe, a new ultimate beta series. That’s

Alan: not been out of my radar at all.

So please tell me about that because I gotta

Stephen: It’s new. Okay. They have 2 issues of Spider Man out and 1 of Black Panther with, tons more coming. I have not read Black Panther or issue to a Spider Man yet. I read the first issue of Spider Man.

They I mean, everybody’s oh, Spider Man, we know the history. He gets bit blah blah blah. My god. We’ve had that same damn history for 70 years. If you’re gonna do a new universe, I’m okay with doing a new history, but don’t think it’s stupid.

Alan: Is it a retelling? Is it a retelling of a retelling? So it’s ultimate’s 3, or is it a whole sweep the table and start over type of thing? New.

Stephen: Okay.

It’s not connected. Morales, not Peter Parker? It’s 40 year old Peter. Oh, okay. Okay.

And [00:43:00] it starts that’s where it starts. It talks about an apocalypse history, something that happened that changed the world Okay. That none of this has existed in any of the histories we’ve got. So this is its own separate universe, not tied to anything. Okay.

Yes. The same type of characters, but Spider Man doesn’t have his powers at the beginning. And Tony from the past sends a message to convince him to open this egg, and it’s got the spider, and let the spider bite you. And it’s wait. What?

But they do it very well.

Alan: Again So it’s very multiverse aware. In other words, this really is a separate universe where history took a different course, but now we need Peter Parker and his Yes. To see with those powers because there’s something really bad.


Stephen: Okay. It’s not the first time they’ve done this, but Peter’s really coming off as the linchpin character which there has been some back and [00:44:00] forth on that. But, seriously when guardians of the galaxy looked back at the history of Earth and the Martians were attacking Spider Man was the last fighting superhero, and they had his uniform honored on Mars in a museum. And when you look at 9 11, the issues for 9 11, the tower you wanna talk about powerful story.

That came out in December. September is when 9 11 happened, and that issue is Spider Man. It’s all black cover. And the superheroes show up. And at near the end, a double spread, the tower is falling, and Spider Man is zipping in and out of windows pulling people. Doing the old throw them out the window, and I’ll catch you in a minute thing, as it’s falling. That is probably the second most powerful Spider Man story for me right there. That 1 is Okay.

Pretty intense. But the this new thing, I’m very excited because I might have to go to the comic book store. I might have to Yeah. If not, you have to wait [00:45:00] till October or something for them to come out of the trade of the first 6. That’s a long time to wait because Black Panther’s out.

Spider Man’s continuing. Colin was telling me, yeah, every every other week, they’re starting a new title in that universe, and it’s all meshing together. And I’m like, oh, gosh. Dang it. And the principal do you

Alan: remember who the principal writers are?

Because I’d have to go look at certain people that have a good sense of what’s gone before and also a good sense of how can we jazz things up a lot. You know what I mean? So I’ll I’ll take a look. It’s worth going to a comic book store is a dangerous thing for me because I really don’t want to restart buying. I haven’t been buying for a while, and that’s how we got to retirement safety, and yet we’re safe.

Maybe it would be okay to start buying 10 titles a month. And would I be able to stop at 10? That’s the problem. You know what I mean? That’s I was buying

Stephen: a hundred by Colleen first.

Get a regulator going. When I

Alan: have talked to Colleen about I really miss him, and I’d like to start, and she [00:46:00] reminds you of how much I was spending per month. And I’d be like I think that the industry has contracted, and I think that I’d be able to also be more choosy in what I get. But I’ve always been a completest. I love reading every reference.

I get it because I read all the issues. I can see how things kinda

Stephen: So so find your local comic book store and just say, these are the ones I want, just these. Have them pool those, and then just stop and get the pools and walk out. That’s

Alan: kinda what I need to do is not browse the I don’t know. I’m like going to Carol and John’s, and they have big tables with all the new stuff out.

And, I just love going 1 of each, 1 of each, 1 of each, and that kind of stuff. And I don’t for I it’s kinda funny. We haven’t talked about this because it’s not current. I had stopped going to comic book stores because I found a buying service that I really like called M and M Distributors. And they were right in Chicago, but then they moved down to Texas, but they kept doing it. And they pulled everything that I wanted, including all the different odd small press titles and stuff like that. The boxes they shipped in [00:47:00] were double boxed. Everything all showed up in perfect condition. And I got, I bought so many that every Thursday was this box of treasure arriving, and that was what I kinda did.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday was You’re on Loot Crate. I wouldn’t necessarily put them in alphabetical order. I’d put them into the here’s the top half dozen that I have to read right now, and then I would work my way through. And it and sometimes, by looking at what did I not get to before the next box arrived, I kinda kept a list of that and said, maybe I need to let those go.

I don’t need to buy everything. If they’re not so good, then I make a point of getting them in before the next 1 arrives. It’s like I have magazine subscriptions that I crack 1 out of 3 issues. And they’re only a dollar each, so it’s not that much money. But there really is something about, boy, that’s wasteful.

I shouldn’t be getting that much stuff. And if I Yeah. Really know from history that I’m not gonna get to them all. Oh, I it’s a problem, and I think I’d let I wanna solve it because I really miss them.

And when I go to the I now I have Comixology. When I used to, [00:48:00] especially now, like, when it was the doldrums of January or February, I’d go hit the various different libraries because it was new stuff would come in over the course of the year that I hadn’t seen. And I go to Lakewood and kinda start an a to z and go look. What haven’t I read here? And then I’d finish with Lakewood.

So I’d go to Rocky River and Westlake and Bay Village, and I expand my spiral outwards and always add comic books in the house in the trade editions. But then that’s also wow. This isn’t everything I’m really missing. Oh, oh, it’s I’ll have to think about that a lot. Every week of Colin telling you what’s good, what’s coming up. Yeah. I

Stephen: oh my god.

Alan: People like that I would have caved long ago.


Stephen: Come to the store, and he has little signs up, Collins Picks. And they’re like, oh, and literally selling out of the things that he’s recommending. Because they come to trust his tech. Yeah. Great.

And so this ultimate, the new 1 the Spider Man issue, there were a lot of people that ordered it, a lot of preorders, and lots of but then Black Panther was the [00:49:00] second 1. And Okay. Nobody really preordered it because you gotta order these things sometimes a couple months ahead of time. And It was too much

Alan: advance if I remember right. That’s

Stephen: right.

Yeah. Okay. So not as many people preordered it. And then Spider Man came out, and people really liked it, and it sold everything and blah blah blah. So then everybody wanted Black Panther, and it’s oh, okay.

We already ordered these. Nobody wanted it. So we had 3 people that ordered them. We ordered 5 copies. And they’re getting That’s right.

65 people are asking about this issue.

Alan: Not stock in-depth because we don’t wanna have 60 copies unsold. No.

Stephen: And so they went back and they’re like, can we order more of these? And Diamond said, no. There’s no more to order. They’ve we’ve sold out completely. So it’s oh my gosh.

But is it a false thing? Is everyone buying it because, oh, that was really popular. Let’s buy this because we’ll be rich. Or is it that good?

I’m not sure yet.

Alan: See that, I’ve never dealt things like that speculation wise. I will say this, though. So I had 5 books in my basement that I moved [00:50:00] out because we’re reading the new HVAC system put in.

And I really didn’t wanna have any possibility of dust, water, anything get in there. But in the act of moving them out, of course, I cracked the box and looked, and it’s kinda funny. There was a time because I was making consultant money that while I was buying comic books, I speculated a little bit that if something came out new, I’d get 2 copies of the first 5 issues, maybe 10 issues. And so that’s kinda handy now to go back and say, wow. When they restarted X Men, when they, or did 7 different X Men, X Force, X Factor, x, spam titles.

It’s I really spammed them. That then took off and did well, I have extra copies of them. So it’s kinda nice to not only have the hundred dollar copy, but I got 2 perfect condition hundred dollar copies. And that happens a lot. I have a lot of those things.

So what I just yeah. 1 1 day, I’ll present the database in all of its glory, and we’ll see whether it’s something that Collins guy, Adam, might be interested in or [00:51:00] whether it’s gonna be heritage in brief, and we’ve talked about this maybe just a couple episodes ago. Am I really gonna become a comic book seller with all of the work that’s involved in that? Or am I gonna say I’m gonna get a quarter of the value of the collection, but I’ll be done? And then I’ll

Stephen: That’s a rough trips to Europe.

You know what I mean? And I were talking about that, and it’s it’s a rough decision, but it’s a totally different thought when you’re 40 as opposed to when you’re 60 as opposed to when you’re 75. That’s different thinking. It’s like you went those people that are 80 years old and win, 400000000 dollars in the lottery.

Alan: That’s right. What am I gonna do with my next it’s kinda funny. It really is. So I’m moving the boxes out of the basement, and, I think it was 8 boxes.

And as I’m coming up with the tight stairs and it’s I’m getting my knees are already tired of this. I really can’t sling around hundreds of boxes like I’d have to every time that I sold something. We’d have to have stacks of 5. And then [00:52:00] what if it’s the box second from the bottom? I gotta move the top 3, open gingerly the box, get out the 1 that I’m selling, all that kind of stuff.

I really think that my need for a trust is gonna overcome my desire to get every dollar.

Stephen: Checking and get

Alan: yeah. Yes, I you don’t need to be the guy in charge of the cough. I’ll go see the doctor about whether I really should abandon I think I already you know, when I was when I’ve been cataloging everything, I used to have them in long boxes. And those were like lifting a block of wood, heavy and dense.

And I have put everything now in short boxes so that at least it’s not every time that I work with the collection, my back hurts. But it’s twice as much. I’ll forget. It’s twice as many movements, but each movement is not, okay. You know what I mean?

You gotta

Stephen: kinda brace yourself. You need to find those young nieces and nephews.

Alan: This is kinda funny. When I got things from California to here, and they all came off the truck and we put them into the storage lockers, I did hire Colleen’s son, Tim, and his [00:53:00] friend, Spikey Mike, to help me, and they didn’t last as well as I did. They just weren’t used to lifting blocks of wood by the hundreds in and out of a truck and getting them in.

So I have some boxes that I had to go restack because they put them in you have to when you have cardboard boxes, you have to line them up on the

Stephen: sides.

Alan: Otherwise, it’s how they cave and fall and all that kind of stuff. I had to fix a lot of stuff that they did out of tiredness and out of we had no idea it would actually be this much work. It’s you’re working for once in your life.

You’re a little. So Yeah. Oh, but I’m built for it. You know what I mean?

1 of the reasons I’ve had a huge collection is because I’m the guy that can lift a hundred boxes and not feel it. Not everybody is like that. You know

Stephen: what I mean? So Yeah. That’s a whole another discussion.

That’s true. Hey, I gotta jump because I just had a notice pop up. I got a meeting to jump over to.

Alan: Okay. We need to get to your cool gaming and your cool Yes.

So next week, for sure, let’s focus

Stephen: on you. So quick question. [00:54:00] Maybe Friday, but probably Saturday. Are you gonna be around at all? Because I’m probably traveling up that way.

Saturday, there’s a prerelease event for the Star Wars card game. And it’s somewhere the west side ish of Cleveland. I gotta look again. So I’ll touch base. Maybe I can finally get your damn Christmas presents that I’ve been, like, drooling

Alan: to give you.

I will come to wherever you are, and we can grab lunch near your event, and Okay. And we’ll do the gifty thing. Okay? That’d be great. Let’s see.

We don’t have we have a show that night, but nothing during the day. Okay. Cool. Should be done today. Very Cool.

Okay. Take care of your business. Take care, Steven. Later, man. Alright.

I’m glad you’re

Stephen: feeling Yes. Thank you.