Monday, October 18, 2021

I Tried Lily's Toaster Grills and Loved Them!

Grilled cheese you cook in a toaster. It sound insane, but Lily's Toaster Grills are exactly that and they are delicious. They are incredibly easy to prepare as you simply pop them out of the box and their plastic packaging, microwave them 30 seconds, put them in the toaster with it at medium-high, and then enjoy. They are as tasty as they are an ease to make and I was surprised how buttery and rich they were. I also was concerned about cheese leaking out of these into the toaster, but that did not happen at all (thankfully)!

I've only tried the grilled American cheese, but there are many other varieties. They've got ones with ham, turkey, other kinds of cheeses, and more! I also like that Lily's Toaster Grills donates a portion of all sandwiches made to those in need via their nonprofit, LuvFromLily. That's awesome too. I plan to try some more Lily's Toaster Grills in the near future as these were a delight.

Note: As I always add to assure people I wasn't asked to do paid content, this is a pure opinion post. I wrote this as I really loved Lily's Toaster Grills. I bought them at the store and found them to be a treat, I was not contacted by anyone to write a post or such. Of course, if Lily's wants to send me some coupons I wouldn't say no, however!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Saint Charles Quad Con Today was a Blast!

I had a blast today at the Saint Charles Quad Con. The Olympia event center in which it was held had a ton of space for the crowd that started out a little quiet at first and really grew once the afternoon hit. Here are some pics before it got a chunk more busy:

I started the show saying hi to some of the big guests of the con. I chatted with the talented Rags Morales, whose artwork on, "Action Comics," during the New 52 relaunch with Grant Morrison really wowed me. I also met Pixel Dan who had some awesome toys and a book about all the classic He-Man toys which was big and beautiful. Here's Dan:

I saw friend of the blog, acclaimed wrestler and actor Bishop Stevens as well. He was his usual friendly and fun self. We talked about how he had been doing since I'd last seen him pre-pandemic:

There were an immense number of vendors and creators too. When I entered the show I ran into my old friend Drew of CoMo comics. I bought a snazzy copy of the first issue of Spawn from his booth:

I chatted with my chum Spike of Lost in Space Toys and Collectibles, then had the chance to sell some things to as well as buy some items from John of Bigfoot Comics and Collectibles:

I met the acquaintance of Matt Cargal whose comic book about a stand-up comedian that gains superpowers, "The Comic," will be running a Kickstarter campaign for its latest issue soon: 

Author Cathy Jackson was the next person I had the pleasure of meeting. She creates what she described as, "Uplifting and encouraging romance." She had a great assortment of books in various sub-genres of romance and shared how it was actually the loss of her mother that inspired her to start writing more as a way to unpack her feelings and process everything. Her husband who helped to design much of her book, Matthew Jackson of Mad Celt Designs was at the show too! They were both great to speak with. Here is Cathy:

Justin Mosley of Wayne Kent Comics was at the show--on his birthday no less--cutting his usual stellar deals. I also so my buddy Bruce Reynolds who was kind enough to pose for a pic:

My friend Jack of Trade Up Comics was selling all kinds of cool books too:

James Doe of Cabal Books had a number of cool books. I bought some from him as you can see with this pic of him and some of his, "Wall books," as they are called:

I met Cosmic Comics for the first time and they were awesome! They let me snap a pic of one of their cool shirts and I have a picture of some of the snazzy books I got from them:

MWS Comics was new to me as well and they chatted with me about how they also clean and press comics:

I saw some really cool comics created by Biff! Bam! Boom! Comics. He was showing off a super-hero book that was a bit like the Justice League, a sci-fi one, and a title geared towards younger readers with a Teen Titans-vibe as he described it. I ran into Christa from Hearts Adorned Designs as well. She is very talented at creating costumes and cosplay with custom clothing alterations being something she specializes in too:

Larry of Bug's Comics and Games was present, and we discussed how I continue to be excited for the grand opening of his new store at the end of October--expect me to be there and report on it! Royalcomic had a bunch of cool comics too and I bought this snazzy, "Marvel Knights Wave 2, "comic with an early appearance of Yelena Belova:

I had a fantastic time at the Saint Charles Quad con today! There were tons of awesome comics for sale (and some I had the pleasure of buying, as I showed), stellar guests, impressive creators, and it was a stupendous day! I can't wait for the next show and will be sure to keep everyone informed of future events!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

DC Announced Assorted Things at its Fandome Today

Even though in-person comic conventions are coming back it is still popular to do virtual ones (which I think is good as they help those who can't always afford or physically access in-person cons). DC held its latest Fandome today and a whole lot of interesting things were revealed to the in-person and digital crowd. 

In terms of movies and streaming, there was a new trailer for the oft-delayed but now arriving in March 2022, "The Batman," movie. A teaser was released for that standalone, "The Flash," flick which will feature Micheal Keaton's return as Batman. "Peacemaker," got a hilarious trailer for its HBO MAX show. Dwayne Johnson showed off, "Black Adam," footage. Season 3 of the, "Harley Quinn," cartoon is being made with the animators hard at work too.

With comics it was revealed Superman will now say how he stands for, "Truth, justice, and a better tomorrow," as opposed to that last one being, "The American way," so expect pointless controversy over that. More Milestone titles are coming, and a Wonder Woman event, "Trial of the Amazons," will be released too. More than those things were discussed, but that is what caught my eye.

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Main Event in Chesterfield is Immense Fun!

My wife and I were able to visit a really cool location today. Known as the Main Event, they are located all around the United States and are incredibly fun. The one here in Chesterfield was a massive building full of over 150 arcade games, laser tag, bowling, a restaurant with a bar, billiards, gravity ropes, and more! Whether you're there by yourself, with your family, or booking a school event (or corporate gathering), the Main Event is really cool. 

We tried out a number of the arcade games and won enough tickets to get some baby shark plushes as well as a mug (shoutout to Shelly in the redemption area, she was really cool). Here we are in front of a crane game:

We did not eat at Main Event today, but we did try their speciality Shirley Temples (they've got alcohol as well but we weren't hankering for any booze). Served with ginger ale, grenadine, a piece of candy, and a blue sugar rim, it was as tasty to drink as it was fun to look at. Observe:

After playing some more arcade games we headed out, but we had a ton of fun at Main Event. Samii remarked how enjoyable it was and I agreed with her. The assortment of arcade games, activities, and menu loaded with delicious foods (which we will try in the future) shows just how great a time you can have at Main Event! Check them out online and if you live in this area or have another location near you I'd recommend you visit Main Event in the near future!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

For Everyone Confused, Superman's Son, Jon, is Bi and not Clark Kent

It was announced by DC that in an upcoming issue of, "Superman: Son of Kal-El," that Superman's son will come out as bisexual. People do not realize that Superman and Lois Lane have a son, that his name is Jon, and that he shares the title of Superman with his father. This led to countless confused new articles written in a clickbait-y manner about the Clark Kent Superman being gay. The general populace is confused, so as I clarified, this is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and he is bisexual, and that's perfectly normal and fine so quit whining online, or if you're going to pointlessly complain at least get the character you're bitching about right. Thank you and that is all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

October 2021 Links, News, and Stuff Like That

October Has Been Going Well

I don't know about you, but October has been going pretty well for me. After a slog of a September I'm enjoying being in this lovely month. I thought I'd share some interesting news and link with you all as I occasionally do. Here we go...

Links For You

In its earliest days, Adult Swim seemed like this weird secret that few talked about. It was quite a trip. I remember the first time I witnessed shows like, "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," and it blew my mind.

Before James Mangold worked with Hugh Jackman on one good Wolverine movie ("The Wolverine,") and one amazing one ("Logan,") they first worked together on the decent romantic comedy, "Kate & Leopold." I did not realize Mangold directed that movie so this article about it was interesting.

The Comic's Journal has a good article breaking down some of the legalese and drama surrounding the latest copyright wars between creators' families and Marvel/Disney.

I loved OutKast when it was putting out music. One half of the duo, Big Boi, is still out there rapping a lot. He appears on the new song, "Garden Party," and delivers a lovely (as well as saucy) verse. He's still got it!

While we're on the subject of music, I loved Kacey Musgrave's new album, "Star-Crossed," but observed it didn't sound too country in genre. I still thought it would count as a country album, however. The Grammys (which suck, but whatever) disagree. They are going to call it a pop album, I guess.

New York Comic-Con happened last weekend and it had winners and losers according to Comics Beat. Sounds like it was a fun show and they tried to keep everyone masked & safe.

That's it, go enjoy the Fall!

I don't have much news and links to share as other times, but quality over quantity, right? Get out there and enjoy the Fall weather, which lately seems to mean its abnormally hot or cold, but whatever.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

"Hob's Lane," #1 is a Striking and Dread-Filled Debut Issue

Blue Fox Publishing/Comics consistently puts out great indie comics, many with a horror-bent. Their latest upcoming title which will be running a Kickstarter campaign in the near future is the first issue of, "Hob's Lane." Written by Martin Hayes, with art plus colors by RHStewart, and letters by Paul McLaren, I found this initial issue to be instilled with a great deal of fear, dread, and those kinds of things you'd want from a horror comic! 

A mysterious murder in a neighborhood causes London cop, Doug Kendal, to run into an old friend who lives near the scene of said crime, John Tate. Tate's wife was murdered three years ago in a mugging and since then he's fallen apart--metaphorically and as the comic goes on it seems somewhat literally. Things start a bit of a slow burn but then towards the end of the issue, the body horror really ramps up and gets fascinatingly disgusting. As this is just the first issue a lot of questions are raised with answers probably to come later.

"Hob's Lane," is a great first issue for a horror comic. It's scary, suspenseful, and has some nice gross moments to really jar the reader. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to the Kickstarter campaign!
5 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Fry Sauce from Freddy's is Amazing

Up until recently, I had never enjoyed Freddy's restaurant. They seem to be expanding into the Saint Louis region, however, as a number of them are opening up around us and a brand new location just started serving grub a few weeks ago. Having heard it was good, I picked some up for Samii, Clarkson, and myself. The fries are almost like a shoestring fry and very crisp, Samii liked her burger, and I found the chicken sandwich to be lovely too. What really caught my attention, however, was Freddy's fry sauce. I'm not sure what's in it, but that stuff is amazing.

Honestly, I'm not even much of a sauce person. I usually am not into the texture of something wet on my food. I didn't even start sometimes dipping my fries into ketchup until I was in my 20s. That said, something about fry sauce just sets my taste buds alight with joy. It's a bit like ketchup but has a creamy tanginess to it that grabs your attention. It isn't overpowering and instead compliments whatever you're eating expertly. They sell bottles of fry sauce for you to take home at Freddy's and I plan to buy one soon and put it on an assortment of foods that would benefit from the yummy taste of fry sauce.

Note: This is an opinion post. I was not paid by Freddy's for writing about how amazing their fry sauce is, but if they want to send me some for free I would gladly accept it!

Thanks to Everyone Who Tuned in for my First Whatnot Show!

I just want to thank everyone who had a chance to check out my show on Whatnot today. It had a great number of viewers and I made some sweet deals with everyone! I hope to do more shows in the future with cool comics so if you have Whatnot keep your eyes peeled for the next time I schedule going live (I'll alert people on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook too, of course).

Sunday, October 10, 2021

I'll be at the Saint Charles Quad Con a Week from Today!

Next Sunday is the Saint Charles Quad Con and I'm excited to attend. I'll be there at the Olympia Event Centre located at 49 Lawrence Street in Saint Charles, Missouri  63301. It'll run from 10AM-4PM with a $5 entry fee (it is free after 2:30 PM plus kids 10 and under are free along with active military). There will be video0games, sci-fi items, role-playing games, board games, vintage magazines, posters, and of course comics upon comics! 

Also, Quad Con raises money for the Helping Hannah's Heart Foundation with a live auction at every con that takes place before the costume parade at 1:30 PM. With an assortment of vendors, there are pop culture collectibles from 1900 to today priced from $1 to rare and pricey stuff! Plus, I'm excited to report that comic artist Rags Morales is going to be at the show!  Rags will be signing, sketching, and giving a panel discussion with a quick Q&A around 11:00 AM. The show is sure to be a lot of fun and I am eager to go and report on it!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Bobby Flay is Leaving Food Network

I greatly enjoy watching Food Network and even read a biography of the channel itself--which was fascinating. There have been some major personalities at Food Network who have come and gone, or arrived and stayed. Emeril was huge but just didn't evolve with the network and found himself left behind. Now, someone who did a great job evolving with the network, Bobby Flay, seems to be leaving. He had been there since 1994 and after 27 years a deal could not be worked out for his contract to be renewed. There could be a last-minute change, but as of now, Flay will be able to go do a show somewhere else (I imagine a lot of streaming services would be happy to scoop him up).

People who watch Food Network seem to either love or absolutely despise Flay. I don't mind him. I also don't purposely seek a show out just because he is involved either. He's moving on though, and it marks the end of an era at Food Network. Guy Fieri isn't going anywhere though, it seems, so if you love the mayor of Flavortown you can rest easy.

My Review of, "Ballad for Sophie," is up on FOG!

I contributed another review to Forces of Geek; I shared my thoughts on the original graphic novel, "Ballad for Sophie," over on their site! Seeing as you're reading my website I assume you like my writing, so check out what I have to say about that comic over on their website. I'm just all over the internet!

Friday, October 8, 2021

Flashback Friday AND Film Friday: "Euro Trip," is an Underrated Gem of a Movie

Hey, remember how miserable the, "American Pie," movies were? They were just basically gross-out humor with little deeper jokes or meaning. Do you also recall the movie, "Road Trip," that came out and how it was basically an imitation? If any of that rings a bell you just might remember, "Euro Trip," from 2004 and how against all logic it is actually absolutely hilarious and clever. Yes, seriously, a sort of sequel to a pale imitation of something that already sucked is in fact often genius and funny. I know, it's weird.

"Euro Trip," centers on a bunch of friends going to Europe so a man can meet his internet pen pal after having a misunderstanding with her so he can apologize for being rude. They take this trip after he learns his girlfriend has been cheating on him when a band (fronted by a cameoing Matt Damon) sings a song all about how she's two-timing him titled, "Scotty Doesn't Know." That's clever, and it just gets sillier. We meet soccer hooligans with hearts of gold, witness a bunch of jokes about the strength of the American dollar in Eastern Europe at the time, and there is a surreally ingenious bit about the Pope and people thinking a new one has been appointed. There's still gross-out humor and sex jokes aplenty, but they're clever gross-out humor and sex jokes mixed in with the smarter bits.

I personally believe that, "Euro Trip," was dismissed before it could have a chance. It has tons of negative reviews, absolutely bombed in theaters, and plenty of folks still only vaguely recall it as even existing. It has fans though, as this article in 2014 observed when it turned 10 years old. Man, I saw this for the first time in theaters back in 2004? I am old. That doesn't take away from the fact that even if some jokes in the movie haven't aged well a lot of this flick still stands up today 17 or so years later. I will still always contend, however, that the, "American Pie," movies this somewhat sprang from are absolute garbage besides some diamond in the rough aspects--Eugene Levy is always a treasure, after all.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

It's Happening! I'll Be Selling on Whatnot

First off, thank you to my readers for helping follow me on Whatnot. As I got some more followers and submitted some funny videos showing off my cool comics I have now been approved to sell on Whatnot. They were impressed with my blog's popularity and how I have an exemplary selling history on sites like eBay, so here we are. I actually made a little video to promote my first show:

That's right, this coming Monday, October 11th, 2021 at 11AM Central I will be doing my first show. There are going to be all kinds of neat and hot comics from my collection and I have one awesome book given to me by my friends at Altered State Comics (shout-out to them), but that won't be revealed until later.  you were debating what time to take your lunch break Monday do it then. If you were going to sleep in absurdly late, wake up at that time. If you're spending time with loved ones tell them to hush up for an hour or so and tune in, etc. Even if you don't buy anything my sheer absurdity and general eccentric nature should entertain you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Penguin Random House Did Not Have a Good First Week Shipping Comics

As I and others have extensively covered, Marvel switched to Penguin Random House as its comic publisher/distributor. IDW is planning to switch to it too in June of 2022. PRH has a plum gig here and they just have to not screw it up. Hence, in their first week of actually shipping comics, they have screwed some stuff up. That's how things go sometimes.

PRH sent that first batch of comics out this week and some big shipments were outright lost. Ones that arrived where they needed to were often not packed that great and damages were extensive. Stores are upset, customers are mad, and PRH has a lot of comics to refund and/or replace. Diamond was known for not shipping comics the best, so when they look golden compared to you, that's bad. They need to get their act together quickly or this could turn into a major fiasco. Perhaps they should see how Lunar is packaging things with care currently and follow suit? I am quite sure there will be more on this as it develops.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Television Tuesday: You Really Ought to Watch, "Tha God's Honest Truth," on Comedy Central

I greatly enjoy the morning radio show known as The Breakfast Club. One of the reasons I enjoy it so much is it features Lenard McKelvey AKA Charlamagne the God. Every day he offers fascinating insights on topics ranging from race to religion, politics, sex, gender, popular culture, sports, and the intersection of all of these subjects. Recently Charlamagne got a show on Comedy Central; it airs Friday nights at 10PM Eastern and 9PM Central. Over the span of a half-hour, Charlamagne does a deep dive into a variety of subjects from how some Americans are obsessed with the losing Confederacy, to the FBI's racist history, to the most recent episode with Critical Race Theory.

Charlamagne holds many opinions on a lot of subjects, and I don't always agree with him, but I often do. He has this masterful way of taking a heavy topic, breaking it into easy-to-understand pieces, and then he excels at pointing out the hypocrisy and ignorance of others in regards to whatever he's talking about (just look at the boogeyman Critical Race Theory/telling the truth in history classes has become). Every episode of, "Tha God's Honest Truth," offers entertainment, education, and is sure to spark a lot of discussion amongst those watching. You can catch past episodes on Comedy Central's website or if you have Paramount+.

Monday, October 4, 2021

"Stones," by Nadine Redlich is Both Hilarious and Thoughtful

I have discussed loving the work of Nadine Redlich before. I adored her darkly witty, "I Hate You--You Just Don't Know it Yet." She has a new comic coming out which is published by Rotopol (disclosure: I am on their press list and get comics for the purpose of review), and I had the chance to read it. Simply titled, "Stones," I loved this comic!

"Stones," is very minimalist, focusing on a stone that looks and talks at us, the reader. It sometimes is nice, sometimes is mean. Various events take place around the stone from caterpillars turning into butterflies, to seasons shifting, and so forth. Sometimes mere moments seem to pass, other times eons. As the stone points out, it has existed basically forever, that probably makes it tricky for the stone to keep exact track of time.

Redlich illustrates the stone and everything around it in a suitably cartoony manner, with the fun appearance of everything almost disguising a slight sadness at the thought of being stuck living eternally, with little to keep you company besides passing insects or the occasional human accidentally (maybe purposely) giving a kick. 

Even with a hint of melancholy vibes, "Stones," is still very funny while also making you think. Redlich is a fantastic cartoonist and I thank Rotopol for letting me know about this latest work and providing a chance to read and review it! You can find your own copy of, "Stones," available for order on their website. I rate, "Stones," a stupendous...

5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

"Jinx Freeze," is the Weirdest Comic I've Read Lately, and I Love That!

When the opportunity arose to read, "Jinx Freeze," by comic-maker Lord Hurk, I took it as the comic sounded just plain odd. At first blush, it's a heist story about a golden arm being stolen from a museum. However, a variety of seemingly unconnected vignettes full of weirdness slowly begin to connect in little ways that tell a surreal story encompassing a lucid-dreaming cyborg superhero, a poet riffing on the World, a comic-themed podcaster, private detectives, Youtube streamers, a sci-fi space priest, and more weirdness I haven't even mentioned yet.

One of my favorite comics ever is the most bizarre I ever read--"The Filth." By Grant Morrison with Chris Weston on art and Gary Frank on colors, it too was full of random little diatribes, side stories, and general madness that eventually all combined into a beautifully grotesque and freakish yarn. Hence, when I say a comic reminds me of, "The Filth," in any manner I am paying it one of the highest compliments possible. This is a long-winded way of me saying, "Jinx Freeze," reminded me of, "The Filth," and that is a very good thing. Lord Hurk injects so much outlandish storytelling into this comic (along with a healthy dose of humor that resulted in me laughing out loud a few times) that it goes from confusing, to overwhelming, to a weird place of over-the-top serendipity.

"Jinx Freeze," is as beautiful to look at as it is at times hideous to gaze upon. That sounds like a paradox, but I'm trying to say that Lord Hurk has mastered the comic form in a manner where a couple happily walking down the street into a mysterious exhibit turns into a complex and amazing illustrative work, but it isn't, "Beautiful," because so many characters are ugly, in an extremely detailed and impressively unpleasant way. A detective named Shitplank (I told you the comic was funny) is a large, sweaty, and blatantly unattractive man (and not the best detective either). Even if he's painful to gawk at, you still want to stare as Lord Hurk has drawn everything with the twisted glee of a madman who refuses to let up for one second of this comic.

"Jinx Freeze," does eventually start to make sense as you keep reading it, with almost all the random beats finally synchronizing in a manner that is most impressive (some lingering plot threads beg for a possible sequel). Lord Hurk has created something amazing with his first full-length original graphic novel. I thank Avery Hill Publishing for having me on their press list so that I was able to read a copy in advance of its release this 12th of October. I would strongly encourage you to preorder a copy so you can read it for yourself!
5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

I Visited the Area's Newest Comic Shop, Altered State Comics!

Earlier this week I saw a sign advertising something called, "Altered State," in a business plaza on a road not too far from our house. I was curious what it might be so I got the internet (where you are now) and found out that Altered State Comics was going to be the newest comic shop opening in the Saint Louis County region!

Clarkson and some comics!

I visited their website and their Facebook page, telling them I'd be sure to stop by for the grand opening which occurred today! My wife and son came to the shop too and we met the owners, Brandon and Jon. Here they are after they were kind enough to pose for a pic:

Brandon and Jon told me how they were excited to get the store open and they showed me their back issues (which I enjoyed looking at). They said they would also have the latest weekly releases from Diamond/Lunar/PRH shortly too. 

Their store wasn't just stocked with comics, however, there were Funko Pops and a kid-area that featured a snazzy arcade machine! I greatly enjoyed visiting Altered State for its grand opening and would encourage anyone in the area to stop by as well at 671 Big Bend Road, Manchester, MO, 63021.