Archive - July 2006
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July 28th, 2006
Now here's something you don't see everyday--go on over to Quick Stop Entertainment and you'll be able to read the reactions to "Superman Returns" from probably the last two guys on the entire internet to chip in their two cents, as that's the topic for both The Fred Hembeck Show, Episode 67 AND Peter Sanderson's Comics In Context #139! (As a bonus, Peter throws in his musings on some recent reprintings of vintage Mort Weisinger Super-stories, a topic WE'VE been known to cover hereabouts upon occasion as well.) In the little over a year Peter and I have been working side by side--if on a distinctly parallel course--this is the first time we've wound up covering the very same subject within mere days of one another! Of course, from the esteemed Mr.S, you get a well reasoned, analytical examination of the film, whereas I offer up such keen observations as "Brandon Routh has flabby earlobes"...

Oh well--at least you won't feel like you're reading the same piece twice...

(And as an aside: during my "review"--such as it is--I make a point of mentioning that, prior to seeing the film, I steered clear of as much press coverage as possible, including reviews. What I want to mention additionally is that, in the ten or so days between actually viewing the movie and then finally getting around to writing up my thoughts, I still continued to avoid all other reviews. Only now that my piece is posted have I begun to look at other's reactions. I just didn't want to be influenced by other folk's opinions, and if I had what I considered a notable observation (i.e. see, "flabby earlobes"), well, I sure didn't want to read it elsewhere first and then be reluctant to include it in my ponderings. And I certainly didn't want to come across a clever observation (like Mike Sterling's nifty point about Luthor finally winding up exactly where he'd been longing to since way back in 1978 at film's end) and then be tempted to include it--fully credited, mind you--in my own review! Geez--I'd wind up reviewing reviews if I did that, so instead I purposely stayed ignorant of what everyone else was saying. When you go read my review of "Superman Returns", please then bear this in mind: those are the thoughts and feelings of an ignorant man! I am SO proud!...)
July 23rd, 2006
I'm happy to say that daughter Julie is a very good student, but if she has an academic Achilles heel, it's Spanish.

She's taking a seven week course this summer--Tuesday and Thursday nights, 6 until 9:30--at the local community college in an attempt to improve her language comprehension. Back in MY high school days, German class was my biggest problem (and unlike Julie, math and science weren't all that far behind), so I was impressed that the whole notion of taking this extra class was HER idea, not ours (even though WE'RE footing the bill). Look, back in MY teen years, I stayed as far away from the German language during the summer months as I could, so much so that I practically avoided my near complete run of SGT. FURY comics, due to the very real fear that I might encounter more than an occasional stray "Ach du lieber!" if I dared crack 'em open!

So anyway, we're sitting down for dinner tonight. Knowing her midterm is coming up later this week, I ask Julie if she thinks she's learned much of anything taking this additional course.

"Oh yeah!", she replies, so I ask her to prove it.

She pauses for a second, then looks over at my bare chest (hey, it's been awfully hot lately, okay?..), points, and says...

"Hombre tetas!"

Money well spent, huh?
July 21st, 2006

It's been a whole week since I last posted something here. I don't think, in the three and a half years Hembeck com's been in existence, I've ever gone that long without checking in. What can I say, but, like some some figurative jar of Hellman's, I'm in a big ol' blogging malaise (yeah, I know--even my puns are more awful than usual--sorry...).

Well, I just stopped by to let you know that another new (and I use that word advisedly) installment of The Fred Hembeck Show (episode 66) is up. (If you're left wanting more meatier fare, you might want to chew on Peter Sanderson's Comics In Context 137 and 138, in which the esteemed columnist takes a close look under the hood of the animated feature, "Cars".)

Beyond that, for those of you who might care, since eBay had another one of their special listing thingies (twenty cents a shot over the past two days), I just threw caution to the wind, and hoisted up ALL the Classic Cover Redos I currently had available, which was 25 of them! There are three new, never before seen ones, and here's the links their homes on this site so you can take a look even if you have no interest whatsoever in bidding on them: MARVEL TEAM-UP #100, SILVER SURFER #11, and--blame this one on BookSteve, as this item over on his page directly inspired me to do up my own version--SUPERMAN'S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE #111.

I'm not going to put up a link to all these auctions--just go to this one for FANTASTIC FOUR #1 and click on the link which lists the rest of my up for sale items if you're so inclined.

Sorry to have been such a stranger lately. Don't worry--I ain't going away for good, I'm just laying back for awhile. See ya--soon?

July 14th, 2006
This Date In History:

July 14th, 1956, Larry and Terry Moss of Buffalo, N.Y. announce the birth of their first child, Lynn Marie Moss.

HEY--I know HER! That's my wife, the mother of my child, my best buddy in the whole wide world! It would appear that today is in fact her birthday, and let's see now, 1956 up 'til 2006, that would mean--holy cow!

It's a BIG one!

Have a happy happy, sweetie--and hopefully you can hold out for ANOTHER fifty, if only so as to star in one of those insurance commercials focusing on centurians (or whatever they call 'em)!

Confetti, balloons, and noisemakers! Woo hoo! It's a blog party for Lynnie!

(And so much easier to clean up after, too!...)
July 13th, 2006
Over at Quick Stop Entertainment, the latest (if not the freshest) episode of The Fred Hembeck Show, number 65, is up. Take a look. (And check out Peter Sanderson's latest Comics In Context, number 136, in which the esteemed writer delves into animation's past.)

Posting has been a little sparse lately, you may have noticed. Any number of factors could be cited as the cause: summer, several need-to-finish assignments, and good old fashioned boredom (hey, it happens). Bear with me--if things get a little light around here, there's always The Al Wiseman Blog or The Roger Green Blog to get you through the day.

Been watching Kevin Smith's movies for the first time--so far, we've seen "Clerks", "Mallrats", "Chasing Amy", and "Dogma". They're...interesting, and I DON'T mean that as in "try to say something un-insulting about something you don't like"--they really ARE interesting, and pretty much unlike any other movies I've ever seen. And as someone who never encountered Jason Lee before becoming a regular viewer of "My Name Is Earl" last September, these things are a true revelation. I look forward to checking out the next few films in the Smith canon--and yes, even "Jersey Girl"!...

I've been re-watching "Freaks and Geeks" on DVD, exposing them to Julie for the first time. She loves the show, and why not? It's maybe the greatest TV to ever be cancelled before making it through an entire season. Hey, that's my opinion anyway. I do know that of all the countless programs that have had the figurative rug pulled out from under them, this one is definitely the one I miss the most.

Nice job by David Wright and Carlos Beltran in the All-Star Game--damn you, then,Trevor Hoffman, for denying the Mets home field advantage in the upcoming World Series!

Gotta go draw! I'll be back tomorrow, though--see ya!
July 10th, 2006
Last night, while reading the 59th (and most recent) issue of Roy Thomas's splendid ALTER EGO magazine, I came across this intriguing bit off information amidst the introduction to an interview conducted with long-time Silver Age Superman artist, Al Plastino--the man is still actively taking commissions, and he can be reached at 44 Pinetree Drive, Shirley, NY 11967.

The reason that this little fact caught my attention had nothing to do with potentially engaging the artist to draw me up a classic Superman--which would be nice, sure, but that's not an area of collecting I dabble in--but had instead everything to do with his address.

Y'see, when I was growing up in the small town of Yaphank on Long Island, we were flanked by such similar tiny burgs as Middle Island, Ridge, Rocky Point, and maybe closest of all, Shirley. But even more amazingly, one of my best buddies back in high school, Tony Contino--who I continued to visit regularly during the first two years of college while living at home--was himself located on that very same Pinetree Drive!!?! What exact number I can no longer recall--we're talking the decade of the early seventies here--but now I'm wondering how many times I may've swung by Tony's house to pick him up on a Friday evening for a night's outing, all the while unknowingly passing the man who drew the lead story in the very first issue of SUPERMAN that I ever bought? Okay, maybe Al Plastino wasn't even living in Shirley at the time, but then again, it's entirely conceivable he was. Granted, this may not've been much of a story to YOU, but hey, over here, believe me, the mind boggles...

(And Tony, if you're out there--drop me a line. It's been too long, old buddy. Then, um, ya think maybe you could introduce me to one of your neighbors?...)
July 6th, 2006
Who makes me laugh? Find out by zipping on over to the 64th episode of The Fred Hembeck Show!

And find out more of what Peter Sanderson thought of how the Scott/Jean relationship was handled in the recent X-Men movie (and novelization) by checking out Comics In Context 135.

The Al Wiseman Blog and Groovin' With Green (Roger, that is) are worth a look, too!

Bye for now!
July 4th, 2006
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!! you and to the horse you rode in on!

(Art provided by the generous but blissfully unaware Mel Ramos--I salute you sir! Filching images off the internet--it's the American way!)
July 3rd, 2006
Time for the obligatory recap of this season's second--and final--Subway Series Weekend.

Friday night, coming off their first three game skid of the year courtesy of the Boston Red Sox, the Mets proceeded to make it a four game losing streak by mustering but a lone hit against five New York Yankee pitchers (necessitated when an hour plus rain delay caused starter Mike Mussina to tighten up while waiting it out), and though their guy--Orlando Hernandez, El Duque, incidentally the first starting pitcher to take the mound for both teams in the now ten year history of mid-season inter-league play--threw well enough, he still lost, 2-0.
Saturday, the Mets were all over 42 year-old Randy Johnson, the so-called Big Unit (who they always seemed to have success against even when he was with Arizona), knocking him around for eight runs in less than five innings, rewarding Steve Trachsel with his fifth straight win, an 8-2 victory.

And the way things began early on in the third and final game Sunday night with the Mets scoring four in the second, forcing Yanks starter Jared Wright from the mound, it looked as if the Mets were gonna take two of three in The House Ruth Built just as they had six weeks earlier at Shea Stadium, but, oops--you know what they say about counting your chickens...

Because, before the Mets plated their fifth run in the fifth inning, the Yankees had already scored an unlucky (for the Mets) thirteen of their own! A Rod's Grand Slam in the third turned the score from 4-2 to 6-4, and after that, the Yanks never looked back. Hurler Alay Soler was ineffective (you think?...), and probably wished he was back in Cuba--well, almost--as the barrage of pin-striped hits whizzed past him, seemingly nonstop. It's official--the Mets still need another starter! (Soler was optioned back to the team's triple A farm team today, so that slot's up for grabs again...). Final score was 17-7--I think. For the first time in a decade, my attention drifted from a Mets/Yanks contest during the last four innings, while I was instead surfing the net and doing what not. I DID notice Carlos Beltran belted two homers, to no avail...

So, this season's totals wound up with the Mets winning three, and the Yankees winning three. More importantly, the Mets lead their division by eleven games with the best record in the National League, and are gonna send six representatives to the All-Star Game next week, their most ever. Not bad, I suppose. Still, sure woulda liked to have beaten the Yankees just one more time.

Oh well, maybe next year.

Or--dare I dream it--come October? Stay tuned...

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