It's Tom 2.0!

improvisingfatherhood:

A lot of parents are against letting their kids play video games. And I understand the reasons behind that attitude. Video games are very addicting and too much of anything can be a bad thing. But there is something that video games teach you that I think is very important to a child’s…

I like his view

comicallyvintage:

Sensible and proper girls.  A total waste of time.

This has been my mistake all along!

comicallyvintage:

Sensible and proper girls.  A total waste of time.

This has been my mistake all along!

angelophile:

Birds of Prey Cosplay by Ms.Mars and Amaya DeMorte (Source)

I love Canary!!!

angelophile:

Birds of Prey Cosplay by Ms.Mars and Amaya DeMorte (Source)

I love Canary!!!

The one in which I draw a bit

I used to be a bit of an artist. I suppose you could say i still am and that I just don’t practice my craft any more. As far back as i remember I’ve been drawing.  I have very clear memories of spending hours in my room or my friend Shane’s room just drawing and talking comics.  I spent many nights at our tv room’s coffee table drawing while everyone else watched TV.  I remember looking at Star Trek magazine and drawing pictures of the Star Trek The Next Generation characters posed within.  In 7th and 8th grade I had an agent!

Ok, not a real agent, but my friend Dan. I was pretty well known for drawing and having an EASY time in art class. Sooooo…. he talked to students who were behind in their art assignments and made “deals” for me. I’d do a project for them for so many dollars. I don’t remember how much it was, but I’m pretty sure each project wasn’t more than $5 or so. Yeah, cheating for them and not a good picture painted of me, but I LOVED drawing and if I could make some cash at doing it? If I could sort of live a dream of being a comic book artist? Well, why not, said my 7th grade brain.

Once I got to high school, I had to make choices. Running parallel to my love of art, was a love of music. I had been playing music for just as long as i had been drawing.  In high school, I couldn’t do both and give 100% in both fields. There was only so much time in the day and I had apart time job as well. How I came to the decision to choose music over art is a story for another post however.  All that is important now is to know I chose music over art and only recently have started wondering “what if?”

I have another post prepared for awhile now and in searching my past for THAT post, i found some of my old artwork and thought I’d post for all to see. Now, these ones here I am particularly proud of. These were from 9th and 10th grade I believe.  They were from the time AFTER deciding upon music, but knowing I still enjoyed drawing and would continue to draw whenever I had a moment. So enjoy the pictures. Ill be posting more from my past, in the future.

These are pastels of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The first, with the red bandanna, was done first and is true to the original comics.  For TMNT fans, all the turtles wore RED bananas. No multicolor fabrics to differentiate. Those comics were also in black and white so you can imagine why colored bandannas didn’t matter. Later, I did some new versions, based on the movie Turtles with the colored cloth. All of these were done with pastel crayons on regular ol’ typing paper.

Note that the little pinholes you see in the corners are from tacks.  Growing up, my room had the “lovely” fake wood paneling that was in vogue at some point. The walls were completely covered in various “girlie” pics, comic book posters, and my own art.

This last one for today shows how INTO the Marvel universe I was. I did read Batman at the time, but Marvel was king to me.  I was a fan of shots where artists worked as many characters as they could into one shot so this is what i was emulating here. I did one other of these if I remember correctly and I’m sure it’s somewhere in the pile of pics I found.  The first thing most people notice is the black line going all throughout the picture which is Mr. Fantastic’s stretched neck.  The other thing to note is the line of bubbles which was the trademark trail of a newer superhero called Speedball, who is still around apparently. I was into this superhero for some reason and was intent to get all of his appearances in the comics. Ah, the mind of a collector!

 CLICK THE TINY THUMBNAIL TO THE LEFT FOR THE FULL SIZE!

My mind was blown!

When I was a kid, about 6 years old, I had my mind totally blown.  There are those moments when you find things out that stick in your mind. Times like when you realize your parents are actually not gods and can make mistakes.  OR like when you realize that the hero you have been watching on TV is just an actor.

Hang on, this is not a deep emotional post, regardless of this little intro.  I just have a slightly humorous little childhood recollection here.

First, check this out. And I do apologize that this isn’t embedded. Apparently Tumblr won’t let you embed a video within a TEXT post. I could do a video post and embed, but then all the videos are at the top, with my text all below it, which sort of destroys the flow of the post. So yes, you’ll have to click out of here to the link, but please do, and come back to read the rest. Maybe Ill look into a different blog type site. Onward!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMV4Bnb-Jhs

Remember that? I loved Star Wars as a kid. Had a plastic lightsaber, had fake battles with friends, tried to breathe and talk like Darth Vader without passing out.  I don’t think i saw this clip on it’s first run as i would have been only 6 years old. I seem to recall it was a little later when i caught this epsiode, well after I realized that the characters on TV shows and in movies were not real, that they were just actors.  So when I saw this? I was totally confused.

Luke Skywalker, the gallant hero just went out a door and came back in immediately, IMMEDIATELY, dressed as a normal guy.  How… how could that be?  I reasoned in my head that it must have been that he was just a really fast changer.  This “guy” is the actor who plays Luke, right? So he must have had his normal clothes under his Luke clothes and just ripped them off. Yeah that’s it. Whew. Weird.

I continue watching. And then… this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkirEn0PC4o

WTF???!!! They’re both… they’re on screen… at the same … time???!!! I don’t.. what???

From that point on, I wasn’t sure what to think! Come on, cut me some slack, I was a kid!  I became convinced that Luke Skywalker was real and that this Mark Hamill guy WAS a cousin they had hired to come in and just pretend and make everything funny. 

This would come back to haunt me when Alice on the Brady Bunch went away to visit an uncle and her “cousin” came into help run the Brady household. She was a military officer of some sort, looked just like Alice except for a different hairdo and manner of speaking.  I believe I again marveled at how they were lucky Alice had a real life twin to play this part! I saw this episode recently and NOW I can see where they put the two shots together. I can see the wavering line in the wall where they stuck the too sides of the shot together. Heh.

Looking back now, i don’t know when I realized things like taking two shots and putting them together to make one or when I finally “got” how blue screen worked… but I think it was actually much later than earlier!  Yeesh. Gullible me! Can’t wait to see how my kids react to similar things.

Walking down memory lane…

 

So the kiddos and I went to Bookman’s tonight. I think just about every city must have some type of similar store where you can get used cd’s, dvd’s, books, records, games, other, etc. There are two Bookman’s in Phoenix, and three more two hours away in Tuscon. I try to hit up the local ones as much as possible, and take a trip every couple of months down to Tuscon to visit the other three.  You never know what you’re going to find as their stock relies on people bringing in their old, unwanted crap. Tonight, I decided to grab a couple of old comics ($.50 each only!).

I picked the comics based on the covers alone, and the first one is this one here. I’m a sucker for stories like this where there’s an evil twin with a beard (ala Star Trek’s mirror universe, or South Park’s friendly Cartman), or in this case, a split between the superhero and the secret identity (think Superman 3, which had many things I didn’t like, but the part with Superman fighting Clark? I really quite liked that!).

Anyway, moving on. This was a fun little story about some alien beings trying to win a bet so they split Supes into two beings and bet on which part will figure out what happened first, Clark or Superman.  Fun read, but that isn’t what hit me with this particular comic. What really got me, are the ads! They brought back wonderful memories of childhood, and so i thought, “Hey, maybe THAT is what i can post here on this tumblr thingie. At least for the moment. Some recollections of things from my childhood, spurred by the ads in these comics! That might be fun!” So here goes!

Ah the GOBOTS! I don’t remember the big battle between GOBOTS and TRANSFORMERS when I was a kid. All I really knew was that Transformers were much bigger (except for a few choice Super GOBOTS). Transformers had whole backstories/likes/dislikes/personalities to their characters! GOBOTS were just robots that turned into things. Transformers also required more manipulation for the transformations.  Take the Transformer’s Jazz for example compared to the GOBOTS Tank. Basically you stood Tank up and he was a robot. You bent him over and he was a tank. Yep. That’s it.

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I remember getting that Jazz figure from a friend for my birthday and promptly accidentally breaking the windshield while transforming it because, damn it, it just wouldn’t move the way it was supposed to!  He even apologized for getting me a hard to transform figure. Looking back, I feel bad that he felt bad. I didn’t complain, but he was really the type of guy who would feel bad if someone was struggling with something . He was one of the smartest ones in our grade (5th grade I think it was) and the most sensitive, so I know he really meant it.  Anyway, moving on.

Despite these differences in the two lines, I was happy with whatever I had in my toybox. I staged wars regularly between good guy Gobots (Defenders, I think they were called) and bad guy Transformers (Decepticons) and vice versa. Even He-Man and Skeletor and Snake Eyes would come to the rescue or enter the fray.  Occasionally, my sisters Barbie was the damsel in distress. Ah… Barbie.  Ahem. Well, that’s a post for another time.

One of my fondest GOBOT memories is from when I was probably younger than my previous story above. Maybe 4th grade. I had an ear infection and my mother and I had to WALK to the doctor’s office. Now, this was not a small town like Mayberry, but it wasnt a a giant place either. Still, we had to walk down Cherry Street which was our town’s BIG hill. IF you were bike riding, you rode the hell out of that hill going down, but coming up you’d hit another street that wasn’t quite so steep. My dad was working and my mother didn’t drive. We only had one car anyway. It was later, maybe 5 pm. The doctor’s office was still open, but like I said, we’d have to walk.

So we did. It was autumn, so the weather was a bit colder. We walked, and I’m sure I was complaining about my ear the whole way. I remember being uncomfortable. I don’t remember talking much, but after the appointment, we went to the local drugstore and got my prescription, and my mother also decided to get me something to lift my spirits. It was a generic version of the real GOBOT seen here.

The generic (Heh. Generic GOBOT. Oxymoron?) was all yellow, but it was so cool! I dont remember if it was my first one or not but I loved it and took it everywhere. Something about getting a toy I didnt expect, i hadnt asked about, it was a nice gesture.  Now, years later i came to realize (and we’re going deep into the psychological here folks), that giving gifts was how my family showed love and care. Not the best thing in the world sure, but absolutely not the worst either.  More on that in a future post maybe.

Anyway, I remember taking that GOBOT everywhere.  Going back to my realization about gifts=love, I realize now that the little boy with the GOBOT carried it around as a symbol. His mother loved him. Here was proof.  I still have this GOBOT, as I still have all my old transformers in a box out in the closet. It’s joints are well loose now from all the years of playing with it.  People have asked WHY. Why do you keep them?  I used to say it was because I wanted my future kids to play with them. Now though, I can see that I’m still holding onto them, because I want to hold onto the love they represented. My family and I have definitely come far, and we talk more now than we ever did. We’re somewhat more open than we used to be. Hey, it’s a work in progress.  

And now that I have kids, I try and make sure I’m actually talking to them and not just trying to keep them busy with things. Instead of always buying things for them, we go places and do things. We play together, something I definitely didn’t do too much of with my parents. I have a feeling they’re going to grow up being able to express so much more than I could at their respective ages. They’ll be able to grow up knowing they are loved despite a lack of gifts or “stuff”.  And THAT makes the little boy in me smile.

Back off man, I’m a scientist.
Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters

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Me and the kiddos at the zoo a few weeks back.

Me and the kiddos at the zoo a few weeks back.

IToy post

So it’s 1am and I can’t sleep. So I downloaded the iPhone/iPod Touch app for Tumblr to try it out. Looks good, easy to use it seems. Maybe I will end up writing more than I thought?

Starting out

Hi. Sooooo. Here I am. Not sure what I’ll use this site for just yet. Just signed up so we’ll see what happens. Should probably think about it a bit and go from there. Sooooo. Um. Stay tuned? Yeah. Stay tuned.