Welcome! This is my personal blog, where I chat about whatever takes my fancy, reminisce about comics, Old Time Radio, and science-fiction fandoms, review what I feel like reviewing, and so on. It also archives scans of some of the fanzines with which I've been involved.
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Thursday, March 20, 2008



Friday, March 14, 2008

Found More: Newfangles!

Searches through a couple of filing cabinets and a stack on a bookshelf have turned up Newfangles #11 (Jun 68, including news that DC was about to cancel Bomba, Inferior 5, Blackhawk, and The Spectre) through #18 (Jan 69, more cancellations, including Doctor Strange, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Not Brand Ecch, Anthro, The Hawk and the Dove, Doctor Solar, and probably Bat Lash).

And A Decade of Comics Fan Awards: 1961-1970.

Oh, and #19 (Feb 69, reprieves for Doctor Strange, Nick Fury, and possibly Bat Lash) through #28 (Nov 69, packed with news and views, including Harvey Kurtzman's projects).

And #47 (May 71, opening with the exciting news of an upcoming 500-page comic selling for $2, DC's upcoming Blockbuster; no, doggone it, never published) through #54 (Dec 71, our final issue, including a nasty letter from Bill Griffith, who called us vermin -- ah, those were the days).

So, while I continue to hunt for #29-#46, there's some scanning in my future. Woo hoo!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Indexing That Is to Come

John Jackson Miller, who continues to walk me through this whole process, has suggested that I provide introductions to each "Fanzine Library" entry. This will (a) make it easier for me to find data in the increasing stack of back issues and (b) likewise enable Google searches to locate topics in what is otherwise merely a grainy picture.

So it'll happen -- but meanwhile I continue my search for the next 10 issues of Newfangles. Just saying ...


And Now Stephen's Hip-Deep in SXSW

The day began with a Morning Edition conversation between Renee Montagne and Stephen. Much fun, nice singers and songs. Great way to start the day!

And a quick visit to the website has the report of the live concert tonight that culminates with a performance by R.E.M. Don't you wish you'd followed my blog from Day One?

That's OK. Whenever you check out those links, the broadcasts should be there.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cornell Bread Recipe: Have You Tried It?

Not everything on this site is comics-centric, you'll note. Today, I'm wondering how many people today are familiar with Dr. Clive McCay's "Cornell Triple-Rich Flour Formula" bread. I first came across it in the 1967 printing of Joy of Cooking and have experimented with it off and on since. This week, it's "on" again.

Here's the deal: McCay experimented with rats to find a method of bread-baking that would provide a loaf that basically supplied nutrients needed for life. (He sweetly paid tribute to those rats in his publication of the recipe.) And it's pretty simple.

In the bottom of each cup of flour that you measure for whatever bread recipe it is that you use, put one tablespoon of soy flour, one tablespoon of dry milk, and one teaspoon of wheat germ. That's it. The result is a heavier loaf, and I hadn't tried it recently with my breadmaker.


I tried it Sunday with a quickbread recipe. That's one that doesn't use yeast to raise the dough. So it's easy and, yes, quick. Moreover, I used a recipe that already involved wheat germ, so all I had to add was the dry milk and the soy flour. It came out good enough -- but unexciting. Later this week, I'm going to try adding currants and diced dried apple. I like having a fast snack that's actually nourishing; we shall see.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Travel to the past with Newfangles

Thanks to the guidance of Kindly John Jackson Miller, I've just finished posting the first 10 issues of our Newfangles newsletter: a mimeographed publication that began as a bimonthly in 1967 and grew in size and frequency in 1968.

You can journey now to those thrilling days of yesteryear and join those who lived through the evolution of comics, when you could still acquire key comics without devastating your budget. (Or could you? With a growing family, we couldn't afford that pricey Action #1. Heck, it could set you back as much as $300. Who had that kind of cash?)

More to come!


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Son Stephen Is Preparing for South by Southwest

A lengthy chat on the phone today with Stephen (who's a music producer with National Public Radio) leaves me feeling exhausted merely at the contemplation of the things he has to do for the next week. Tomorrow morning, he's in the studio to prepare an interview that is scheduled to air on Morning Edition Wednesday, March 12. That's in the midst of preparing all the other material that will have to be done seamlessly while he's in Texas.

Noon Tuesday he flies to Austin and runs around for the next days, seeing to it that he (a) hears the bands he needs to hear, (b) helps preside (in one fashion or another) over the programs that will be available online, and (c) helps play host to a big NPR event on the 13th. When all is wrapped up, he'll fly back on the 16th to work up a report on the week that is scheduled to air on Morning Edition on St. Patrick's Day.

Sorta like Comic-Con International: San Diego -- if I were also trying to come up with some sort of coherent summary of the entire event (instead of my piece of it) the second it was over.

There's an audio preview for your audio enjoyment online now. Though I know no one is in the habit of checking my blog on this site as yet.


Don and Maggie 1983

Here's a YouTube post (taped and posted by The Buyer's Guide founder Alan Light) of the Thompsons in 1983. Alan had braved a Wisconsin winter to visit Iola and record this for our immortality.


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