Well, for those of you that know me, well personally, I am a big comic book guy.
It started for me back in the late seventies when we were visiting my Grandfather, Grandmother and Great Uncle at their cabin on Mount St. Helens. This was a few years before it blew its top in 1980. however, at some point, I think either my cousins or aunts and uncles had visited them and brought a Gold Key, Twilight Zone comic and left it behind. It was something new to me, reading, and having pictures to help fuel the imagination of the story. I wish to this day I had this comic, as it was my introduction. But every comic book collector has their “Holy Grail” of comic books that they search for their entire life, and mine is that Twilight Zone comic.
Shortly after leaving the mountain, and returning to Portland, where we were living for another year or so, so this would have been 1978, maybe the latest 1979, I went into one of the drug stores and saw, and looked at my first comic book spinner.
There in the area dedicated to magazines stood this tree like rotating stand with issues of comic books. I stood there with about 75 cents in the pocket, and looked at every issue on the rack. I was sure that I was getting quizzical looks from the staff, as I stood there alone, with my mother in the grocery store next door. Slowly I pulled three of the issues from the rack and made my way to the counter where a late seventies teenager was sitting with her charlies angels feathered hair, ala Farrah Fawcett. I placed the comics onto the counter, and paid my 75 cents for the three, then made my way with these three rolled up comics in my back pocket, sticking out over my Star Wars T-shirt.
I waited till I was home to read them, but snuck peeks at them on the short trip home, as we drove our station wagon with faux wood panel siding, the short distance to the house.
I wish I could remember the titles I had purchased, however one I will never forget, Mutants born with super powers, which in a way goes against everything super-hero comic books profess. Through one event or another every super-hero is imbued with their powers through seemingly tragic accidents.Superman was sent to Earth seconds before his planet of Krypton was destroyed (Turns out there were a couple other babies sent to earth at the same time, Super Girl, Super Boy, and even… Sigh… Krypto, the Super-Dog) Batman became a hero after his parents were killed, and he dedicated his life to avenging their death.
The Flash was hit by lightning while handling chemicals, giving him super speed. Hal Jordan was given a ring of power when he found a dying alien that had crashed to Earth. Steve Rogers was given a drug that turned him into Captain America. The list goes on and on, but there was this comic book that had heroes that were born with their powers.
The X-men instantly became one of my favorite stories. Following, at the time, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Banshee, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Charles (Professor X) Xavier, Storm and eventually Wolverine.
There were arcing stories that took the reader into an alternate present day that was littered with people who were born with such a wide variety of powers that the possibilities were endless. Some used their powers for good, as Wolverine often times did, some used them for evil, such as Magneto.
These stories had a single overtone of hope for people like me, who were living with few friends, seemingly outcast because were not living the “Normal” life. I was a big Star Wars freak, collected trading cards, and was very, very hyper active. The main basis of the X-men stories was that they were always fighting for acceptance of the mutant kind by the rest of humanity. Fighting to be accepted as they were by the rest of the world. This spoke to me.
I openly accepted the X-men into my life. I bought and read every issue which for a while came out bi-monthly even, so I could continue my exploits of the team of heroes.
Lately, after my mental breakdown of last year, I got back into collecting the comics again, I have been looking for American issues of comics for sale here in Germany on E-Bay, and making some amazing purchases.
I am looking into the Golden age of comics, and Silver age. These are the years of comic books that is considered by many to be the best time of comic books, based on the stories, and artists that were supplying the panel drawings.
Some of my recent purchases, now hanging proudly in frames on my wall , are to me, simply amazing for the prices I paid. There may be more personal worth to the comics than true worth, but I don’t care. They were bought for me, to remind me why I love comic books so much.
One of the purchases was The Mighty Thor number 135, from 1966. The cover of this comic is great, inked by Jack Kirby who was an amazing artist. He has been considered one of the most influential artists in comics in history. He co-created heroes such as The X-Men, The Hulk and even The Fantastic Four. This cover features Thor fighting against The Man-Beast. (It is listed as the Super-Beast on the cover for some reason) The Man-beast if a High Evolution evolved wolf that had been hit with an evolution ray that caused it to become so powerful, and have mental powers as well. The creature becomes a challenge for Thor, as the “God” of Asgard finally may have met his match in battle.
The Cover, as you see, is so simplistic, as was Kirby’s signature trait, the colors are beautiful, and the sense of the fight and plight of Thor is evident in the single image.
The next proud purchase is to date my absolute favorite. Uncanny X-men number 45, from 1968. This comic has two stories in the pages, both centering around Cyclops, “When Mutants Clash” is the story of Cyclops trying to free the rest of the X-men from captivity of Magneto, Toad and Quicksilver. One of the greatest lines ever told to the X-men which sums up the overall story between the evil and good in the comic books was spoken by Quicksilver to Cyclops in a battle that ensues when Cyclops stumbles into him trying to find Magneto in the stronghold.
“Enough! I will listen to no more of your Homo sapiens-sympathizing blasphemy! You have had your chance to join us — and declined it! Therefore — I can consider you nothing but our enemy!” -Quicksilver
The enemy, Magneto, has assembled mutants who want to eradicate the human presence from the planet, as he knows that they are afraid of the mutants and the powers they possess and want them eradicated from the planet as well. Having survived Auschwitz, and having his powers poked and prodded by the Nazi party, Magneto would rather kill every last human that make other mutants go through the same thing.
The cover is by John Buscema and shows a single sceen from the battle from the super fast Quicksilver (Think Marvel comics version of The Flash) and Cyclops, as he fired his ocular blast, just missing his opponent by mere inches.
These two comics are proudly displayed on the wall in my house, on my “Nerd Wall” to solidify myself into hunting and collecting these important comics from our past.
Being an american in Germany, and knowing that there has been a U.S. Army presence here in Schweinfurt since the end of the second world war, I know these comic books are out here, waiting to be rescued and collected by myself, and made available to the discerning collectors in the United States, or myself for my collection as well.
As time progresses I will update and share some of my collection with you all, for your pleasure, and if you have questions or have interest in one of the comics, please feel free to write me. I am open for all queries and thoughts.
To every one of you reading this.
I remember when I was young, around the time I was 13 or 14, I made a proclamation that I would never make it to 30. I was convinced that I would burn out my flame well before then, as I was sure I was going to have an adventurous life.
Well I did, and life had other plans for me.
I joined the U.S. Army a couple months out of high-school, after a job interview in Cherry Hill, New Jersey fell through, and I had a pretty terrible car accident. Now I was not 100% innocent of the accident, as I had just blown my nose and was looking for a place to put the tissue in my sister’s car. Now I was in the center lane of a 3 lane highway, so how was I to foresee that there would be a Philadelphia Inquirer truck parked in the center lane delivering to a gas station? Needless to say, a seat belt saved my life, and the Mitsubishi engine was designed to crumple away from the driver… Again saving my life.
So there I was, a freshly out of high-school soldier. Where did they send me? Germany, where drinking is legal at 18. The town I was stationed in was in the middle of nowhere. I had only a small pay check each month, and could buy beer and alcohol at 18, what it was I did at this point does not need a doctorate in psychology to figure out.
I pretty much spent every night I was there drunk, at least when I can. We did have training maneuvers, and live firing exercises that would often take us from our base and bring us to another for up to a month at a time. While on these drinking was highly forbidden. Me and a couple guys did occasionally find a way to drink a beer or two without detection, but never enough to possibly endanger the rest of the team.
My next duty station, where I actually began to grow as a human was Fort Bragg, in North Carolina. This was in 1992. Here in the land of the 82nd Airborne, soldiers are honed into killing machines. There is almost no place for the weak of will, motivation is a highly treasured friend and strength of character is built. Here I met probably the most influential friend in my life. Through him, I found how education and personal growth is more important than any party. I am not saying that I didn’t party, rather I just didn’t party every day.
In 1993 My unit deployed to the Sinai peninsula in Egypt. The town where we were is called Sharm El Sheikh, it is the furthest south you can go on the peninsula. It was here that Jeff and I both had a total blast with some of our other friends, Joe Gower was the greatest of them. We had our barracks, a dog named Gumba, and a barbecue pit, all with what I could describe and be honest with as the greatest in the world.
We were part of a force dedicated to ensure the peace treaties between Egypt and Israel was fulfilled. It was here that I enrolled in my first college course, Criminal Psychology, through the University of Texas. I did not realize at first, however the short time I attended the class, I had begun something that would change me as a human.
I started to understand there were other things to do with ones life, rather than look for parties, and drink all of the time. I started to learn that self education and the furthering of ones knowledge in whatever it is you like is more important. One of the things I liked to do was write. However for the most part I kept it to myself. Jeff’s mother was an English teacher, so he would often correct grammatical errors I was showing in writing. I learned that English is actually fun to write, and placing word to paper I was better spoken than I ever was orally. Soon after leaving Fort Bragg, en-route back to Germany, I started to explore story writing and journal writing.
However, back to Egypt, I found out many many truths about myself. It was often times when Jeff, Joe and I would make trips to a small hamlet town (Now a major tourist town) named Dahab. It was here that I truly understood how destructive I was toward myself. I would often find myself the brunt of many jokes of all my friends and people we were meeting who were back packing through the town. We often times would sit on the beach with many people we would meet, and spend days talking, swimming and partying. I would often be left out of many of the activities, as I was trying to find any way to garner attention from people, including belittling myself to be the laughing stock. This measure from me never gained me many friends. I know the friends I did have understood, and liked me for whom I was, not who I was projecting myself as.
I found myself in a moment in Egypt looking inwardly trying to actually discover who I was. The classes in psychology helped me actually understand myself. I realized, with my two friends help, that I was not an average person. I now knew that I was able to excel on my own, and that I did not need to look for others for acceptance. With time that would come, and if someone could not accept me for whom I actually was, I would not adjust to them. They like it or they don’t. It became that simple to me.
I did however get into the occasional trouble there though. I was an infantry mortar man. We tend to team up with the scouts of our unit more often than not, and Egypt was no exception. (Mortars are like a small artillery piece that was able to be carried around, providing almost instantaneous support when needed. Scouts are also infantry soldiers, who often try to go forward of the front line to call for our mortar fire, and also provide enemy intelligence to the unit.) The scout platoon, for one reason or another never liked me. On one occasion Jeff, Joe and I were having a party with a few other people in our barbecue pit at out barracks. It became a crazy night, but we had a blast, and I for the most part, am a person who becomes way to talkative when drunk.
The next morning I was summoned to the commanders office. Jeff and I had no idea what it could have been for. Standing in front of the commander, he looked me over really quick, and asked me why I had attempted to light a guard tower on fire the night before. I stared at him, and tried to make sense of what it was he was asking me. I could not swallow the accusation. I may not be the most intelligent person, but I do know, and I am sure 100% of the other people on the planet also know, metal does not burn. The accusations were unfounded. I called forward 2 witnesses, Jeff and Joe and they corroborated my story. We were talking with the guard on duty, but there was no way I was piling wood under the tower, attempting to set it ablaze. If I wanted to light a fire under it, there would have been no try, there would have been a done!
Eventually I also decided to soldier up, and become more than I was, a mediocre soldier. I decided to attempt to be better in my job. Follow orders more closely, and study the army way. There is a test of basic soldiering for the infantry soldiers. It is a difficult task, involving everything from 12 mile forced foot marches, carrying over 50 pounds of equipment, first aide events, weapons proficiency and many more tasks. It is called the Expert Infantry Badge. It is an elite badge of honor for infantry that places them slightly above other infantry soldiers.
For the first time I took this test studying all tasks with a renewed fervour, determined to make it and pass all of the tasks. I accomplished my mission. In the testing phase you are only allowed to fail three tasks, I made it only failing 1.
One of the most proud moments of my life, I wore the badge with pride for the remainder of the time I was a soldier.
Egypt was an enigma for me. It showed me who I truly was, and I began to aspire to become a better person from that point on. I think of my time within the sand and sun as being a place that turned my life around. It helped me learn to strive to become a better person. To not try to please others, to please myself. It taught me not become what other people wanted of me. If I couldn’t not accept myself for who I was, then I strove to become the person I wanted to be. But only for myself.
I thank Joe Gower, and Jeff Holloway for giving me at that moment what I really needed, Understanding and friendship. Because of them, and Egypt, I finally understood who I was. It was at this point I decided that I would allow my flame to burn as long as it could. I wanted to learn everything I could, and maybe share it with someone else out there who is a confused young adult as I was, maybe showing them how to finally understand who they were to become as well.
Lance M. Goolsby
I thought I would show some of the art work I have painted in the last year. Although I am relatively new to the medium of painting, I feel I am learning quite fast. I tent to do paintings over subject mater that matters to me, which I guess is important. I do allot of Star Wars paintings, mostly for me, and comic book heroes as well. I paint them with Acrylic on canvas. and on none of them do I have a frame. I painted them with the plan of not framing it. so the image actually continues around the edges as well.
Here are just a couple of the paintings I have finished over the year 2011, in order of making them.
This was my first, around March, I wanted to paint Darth Vader on a dark background, and only paint the highlights that reflect off of his costume. I didn’t know at the time many of the blending and color bleeding principals I learned later in other paintings, which usually came through trial and error. However, as a subject it is one of my favorite paintings so far.
This one came directly on the heels of Darth Vader, which I guess makes sense, the canvas is slightly smaller than vaders, and It is meant to go to the right of Darth Vader when hung. There will be a second storm trooper in the series, which will go to Vaders left side. The series will be repainted by me, in the styles I have learned through the series of paintings I have done, to make them stand out a little better.
This one was the beginning of me learning how to blend and bleed the colors together. I found out by total accident when I had a blob of black drip, when I was talking with the wife, that water could bleed the color down enough to use it for shading. This is the first that had no subject matter film or comic book related. However, as in the style of my paintings, it is a dark image, with little color.
This was the very next one, The bleeding principal I learned was used throughout this painting. The photo was taken while there was a spot still wet, thusly the wet area. I was happy with the painting, however not overjoyed. There seemed to be something missing from the subject that I did not see when painting it.
This is my favorite to date, I had fun doing this. Wolverine has always been, and always be one of my favorite characters in comic Books. He has a dual personality as being the hero, yet being more brutal than most other heroes in the comic universe. The antihero as people refer to him, does not look to fight evil, however it has a way finding him. No matter how deep he hides himself in the shadows of humanity around him. This one was based on a still from the X-Men Origines: Wolverine film, I however thought it would be better adding the comic book face of Wolverine, rather than the film recognized Hugh Jackman.
This is a painting that I was asked to do for my Sister In Law, for her husbands Birthday. This is my best painting , and the hardest I had to do, to date. I needed to make sure the detail I added to Yoda was on the money, and as realistic as I could do. The overall length of time taken to paint this was about 2 solid weeks. Making sure every wrinkle and gray hair was properly represented. Not to mention the field of depth needed to portray his arm coming at the viewer. This photo does not do this painting justice. Hanging on my in laws wall, you can stare in awe at it for quite a while.
This was another painting asked of me by an in law. He wanted to have a Darth Vader painted by me, and customized for him to hang in his apartment. So I added the AT-ST seen in the bottom right of the painting, the Death Star 2, in the upper left, and the star cruiser and TIE-Fighters flying above. I had a blast with this one, and enjoyed making it as well. Notice the light saber glow on the costume, that again was created with the color bleeding I figured out just a month or so before. I had not yet figured out how to thin the colors enough to create really fine details, while not loosing the strength of the color. as seen with the white reflecting off the corners of his helmet, or off the chain holding on his cape.
Again same Brother in Law, and this time he asked me to do something based of something completely different. This painting is a single frame in the Kick-Ass comic book, where the father is about to show the daughter how it feels getting shot while wearing a bullet proof vest. The hard way. I changed a small portion of the color scheme, as I didnt agree with the way it was originally painted, but it was my interpretation of an already painted scene… So my artistic input is ok… LOL
Well, there you go. A small view into the few paintings i made last year. And slightly after our move in the next few weeks, I will begin again painting. So expect to see a few more in the next few days.
I was looking at the amount of traffic I receive, and over the course of the last two months, I usually average about 4 hits on my blog per week.
Well, needless to say when I noticed how many of you have signed up to receive emails whenever I post something new, I was astonished. I never would have thought that around the world 153 people are reading my posts regularly. Sometimes I will just post what I think, or something I want to know, and thought maybe there was someone else out there who also wanted to know.
It was because of you, I am now a featured writer for a web magazine called www.nerdlocker.com. I will be their Movie rumors and interviews, and collectable toys reviewer. My first article which is an in depth look into the years worth of rumors surrounding a 3rd instalment of the Tron Series.
I will be writing many more articles for them, as obviously films are something I love. I am also looking into the upcoming Wolverine sequel, as well as a possible interview with Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the new Star Trek series.
So what I wanted to say, is, to all 153 of you, THANKS, you make me feel like there is something out there I am writing for, and that there are people like me, reading stuff like this…
So, to you all: PEACE
Well, I want to first wish everyone a wonderful Holiday season. To each of you as well, a truly wonderful New Year!!!
I finished on Christmas Eve my first book. It is not the longest, but rather meant to be read in a single sitting.
I wanted to write a Christmas story this year for everyone. A story that was more updated than many of the others available out there.
A 21st Century Christmas Tale, is what came out.
It is the story of Thomas, a truly gifted business employee, and a truly egotistical person as well. He is driven by his business, and money, not caring about anyone around him, to include his family.
But when a tragic accident takes the life of his parents and sister, he is left with the one thing he hates the most in this world. A 14 month old child.
Can Thomas embrace the challenges of life with a child? Or will he turn her over to the State to be raised in a children’s home, because she interferes with his career, and life?
This is not a journey of self discovery, this is a journey of family discovery.
It will be made available on Amazon.com in the next week or two, for some unset low price.
I hope you will come and read.
When it is available, I will post more details here.
Just to let everyone know, that have been following me in the past few months. I have developed a video game idea called Neila.
Well I tried to get it out to the companies out there that make video games, and got a less than popular answer from each and every one that took the time to respond. There were a couple companies, which I wont name, that actually did not even bother to write me back and let me knot that their games were developed in house. Rather they just let the email die out.
Well, I have been absent in the past week or so, as I have been working on yet another idea, that may be of interest to many of my readers, and fans. I have decided to open an Independent Video Game Company.
I am working with a friend who is in the computer industry, Clayton Gray, in developing a Indy Game company, called Neila Games.
Now, don’t think we are going to be developing Neila first. Rather we are going to be developing a smaller game, the basis of it I can not divulge as of yet.
However, It is in the works right now, and expect to maybe see it within the 2012 year.
Here is the link to the facebook page for the group…
Lance M. Goolsby
Well, My family and I need to move out of our apartment after the new year. We weren’t kicked out, rather the company that owns our apartment flats has decided to finally renovate them after 40 years.
We are happy and scared at the same time. We are a family of 4, and the apartment we found through the company, that has recently been renovated, and meets our needs, only has 2 bedrooms… The square footage is slightly more than the one we currently occupy.
We are taking it though, with the hopes that sometime in the future, one of the boys will move out, freeing up one of the bedrooms. But we can only hope. For the mean time though, our new family room is in the shape of an “L” and we will turn the portion of the family room that is the bottom portion of the “L” into a temporary bed room.
My wife and I are not entirely too worried about it though. We agree that this is our second from last rental properties. The next place we move to, will be a small house, and we will finish our lives there.
There are some setbacks though.
although we are moving to an apartment owned by the same company that owns our current house, we still need to pay a deposit on the new one. We don’t need to pay the entire deposit, but rather half. This is still a staggering €700.00 or $900.00.
This is a staggering amount for us, yet there is still more problems we are facing as well.
I have never understood this, maybe it is the fact that I am used to how life in the Army was, or in the United States is. But in Germany any apartment does not come with anything installed. No kitchen, and by this I mean the only thing in a kitchen here is the hookups for the water, and the oven. No counters, no shelves, and no cabinets. Nothing.
Same can be said about any of the rooms in the place. There are almost no built-in closets anywhere in Germany. There are no cabinets in the bathrooms.
We will be bringing the furniture we have with us in our apartment. However our kitchen is approximately 40 years old. So I will need to re-work it to fit into the new kitchen, and also replace the counter top portion of it. This is not too expensive, however when we weigh the costs we need to already lay down for the deposit, we are pushing €1,000.00 or around $1,300.00.
This to me is an outstanding number, just to move apartments, at the request of the company who wants to renovate their own building.
I find it amazing that they do not assist us, or offer us anything more than the cost of the truck we need to move, and they are basically only paying the cost for the deposit of it for the 2 days we will need. So again, look here. another cost added to the overall expenditures already building up.
I am not complaining. No. Rather I am excited to finally get out of the area where the teenage hooligans are slowly, unchecked by the police, taking over the area. In the past 2 years, they have constantly been spray painting the area with their horrible version of graffiti. Which is nothing more than spraying their “gang” logo, “Bergl 11” on every vertical surface they can find. I have even seen places where they have sprayed trees in the park behind our house. These Children hang out in an area in the park that is also a children’s play area. there are monkey bars, and a climbing ring there for them.
Every morning when I walk our dog through the park, I am only able to take him in a single direction, as there are smashed vodka and beer bottles on the ground. Trash litters every single inch of the grass, and the children’s play area where they occupy for the evening. I try to avoid it as much as possible, as there are constantly children meandering through the park in the mornings, on their way to the school located only a hundred feet away. It is an embarrassment that the children need to see this every morning on the way to the school, which by the way has also been spray painted with certain slogans popular with the “gang”. Ranging from “F**k the police”, “Bergl 11”, And various other colourful phrases.
I have seen the police often times called into the park to rouse a fight between them, or to see if there are any illegal drugs being used. But I never see them haul any of them away with them. This I find amazing.
They drink, smoke pot, and scream and yell all evening, by all evening I mean until at least 1 AM. I have often times even seen reminants of a bicycle they set on fire with lighter fluid the night before. There are also various other things they have burned, which I am surprised when they do, no one has called the fire department. They steal anything that is not locked up. There have been children’s tricycles from one of our neighbour children spotted in shambles in the park the next morning, when the 6 year old didn’t bring it back into the house when he went back inside. Scooters from his older brother often lie in pieces on the walkway in front of the apartments the next morning, as the “Gang” smashed it on the pavement as they walked by.(He has bought 3 to date)
When it rains, there is a tunnel through the apartment complex where we live, right below our bedroom window, and one of my son’s windows, and they then take up residence there for the course of the evening. They tear the plaster off of the wall, spray paint them, and light things on fire. Constantly yelling and screaming at each other. We have called the police no less than three times in the last year alone. There are over forty families living in this apartment building. So it makes me wonder how many other times they have been called to no avail?
With the state doing nothing about these children thinking they are so big, by the way, most of them are about 16-18 years old, There will be no change. No matter how many times my family calls the police, and other families call the police, there is no change. With no change will come the slow methodical transformation of the area from what at one point was a higher standard of living area. Now it is almost a ghetto. Sadly enough.
So the thought of moving excites me.
But I will need to work twice as hard to afford it, but I don’t mind, as it gets me away from “Bergl 11”.
Peace my friends.
When you watch the video I am posting below. there are two clues the makers of Tron Legacy were providing throughout the film, to show that Rinzler was infact Tron.
I however failed to see the second.
The first clue was the 4 boxes just below his neck line on his front.
a row of three, and directly below in the center a single.
such as this
This was almost always noticeable when Rinzler was on the screen, his visor did however sometimes cover them at times… However they did give the viewers another clue as to his identity.
In the following video, you will notice something I failed to notice the entire film, the first 4 times I watched it. When Rinzler activates his discs, you will notice that the outer ring, when they are not on, is the same shade of red as the rest of the disc, but when he activates it, it turns bright blue…
The makers left this in the film, as a clue that even though Tron was reprogramed and renamed Rinzler, somewhere within his identity Tron was still there.
The Discs in the Tron films, are called in actuality “Identity Discs”. upon these discs are the actual coding for the program it represents, and everything that it has encountered in its life.
It is my belief that the outer edge of the disc actually glows blue, as deep within Rinzler’s persona lied the program of Tron still. Understanding what was happening, and waiting for an exit from the Rinzler programming. So, when Rinzler activates his Identity disc, Tron is actually giving a sign that he is still there waiting, needing help.
But, This is my opinion, I do know they did leave the blue ring on his disc there on purpose. The reason, which I am sure I have figured out, Will and should be explained in the 3rd film…
I thank you for reading this…