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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Parker: The score review

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score

In Darwyn Cooke’s third masterful adaptation of Richard Stark’s Parker series, we find Parker being enticed into doing a job so crazy, that he can’t say no to. Knocking over the entire mining town of Copper Canyon, in one night. He’s told of the job and how many men would be involved which causes him to scoff at the very idea at first, but rolling it around in his mind causes him to actually say yes to this impossible feat that seemed like a plot to a movie that would never work in real life.

Twelve men crazy enough to help Parker take on this monumental job and keep their wits about them while hiding from the law, yeah, it’s crazy. And you’re glued to this book for the entire time.

Never once do you feel like you’re not in the same room as Parker and his crew. Cooke keeps it close and intimate.

The 13 Eisner Award winner’s art mirrors Parker’s own personality in some ways, he doesn’t say much and when he does, he lets the man’s actions speak for him.

The character of Parker is one that Hollywood just can’t seem to leave alone, Stark’s master thief has been played by many actors over the years, Lee Marvin, Michel Constantin, Jim Brown, Robert Duvall, Peter Coyote, Mel Gibson, and Jason Statham.
But who could blame him? He’s a very complex but simple character that you can’t help but cheer on and hope that he makes it.

All these actors played Parker in spirit but would never allow Parker's name to be used. (until Jason Statham in Parker). Apparently Donald Westlake, (the real name of Richard Stark) was so swayed by Cooke’s adaptation that he gave him his blessing to use the moniker “Parker”.  He went on to adapt the first four books in the series, The Hunter, The Outfit, The Score, and Slayground

 “Strip it all down to essentials and draw the hell out of what’s let.” Alex Toth once said.
And Darwin Cooke’s followed that with an almost monastic Focus. His characters are simple yet elegant, you almost tend to forget how brilliant his artwork is because of the simplicity of it, he knows where to put lines, and curves. Everything is exact and nothing ever seems out of place for one moment.

He knows how to channel his art in that Toth-esque minimalist style in a way that no one has ever tried before. He has a way of delving straight into that vein that Toth started long ago in the ’60s.

And that's what makes this artwork so beautiful and so timeless when you look at it, you don't see art, you see the past, you see exactly what he wants you to see.

Parker is the proto character that other popular writers modeled their protagonists after, he‘s close to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, in that he’s this big animalistic brute that doesn’t say much. Parker is an unrepentant, thuggish, bastard and yet you can’t help but love him. And just like Stark, you’ll end up liking him for what he won’t tell you about himself.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Cybertronic Spree in concert!

"One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain." -Bob Marley

I left home with a friend of mine around noon on Friday and started on our trek to Spa-con, nearly 3 hrs away in Hotsprings.

Now, I have problems with anxiety and panic attacks and its hard to go about your day when you are fighting it. It was hard to get in my vehicle and start on the trip.

After a while, my anxiety started to dissolve and I began to relax, then we ran into dark clouds and very heavy rains. The air became almost solid and water as cars were pulling off the road with their hazards flashing, which caused my anxiety to creep back up. But I stuck with it and kept going, and the rain eventually died down to a drizzle.

Further on there was more rain and strong winds and then halfway thru the trip, I thought we missed our exit and had a detour that let us know that our phones stopped working. No phone calls, no texts, no google maps. Which for me was yet another trigger. Having a nonworking phone during bouts of anxiety is a very tough thing.

Luckily, I like to be prepared and I wrote down the directions just in case.

After getting to Hotsprings, I just wanted to know why our phones weren't working and being in a strange new city, you'd normally use your phone's map application or google to find your way around. I was wanting to find a Verizon store to ask them what was going on.

After asking a man at a gas station if he knew what had happened. He explained that the radio said the entire southwest area of the state was out of service with Verizon.

I was relieved to hear some news at least even though it was bad news. Eventually, service came back and I was able to connect with my wife who was in Texas.

I was exhausted and having all kinds of second thoughts about coming today, but again, I persevered and went on.

After we grabbed some fast food, we headed over to the convention center, went in and waited for the concert to start.

They say there's something magical about seeing your favorite band play live. You're not in the comfort of your home or car, but someplace better. You're not listening to a studio recording where everything can come out perfect, but you are in someplace better.
You're in a place where there are people with similar interests, people who've driven hours and hours to see their favorite musicians.

The moment the first song starts mind just cleared up. It was as if the sounds made my thoughts flutter away like a startled flock of birds and strife of the day dissipates.

I've been trying to see The Cybertronic Spree for years now. They have toured in Canada exclusively for a while and then they gradually started touring the upper east area of the USA, which started giving me hope that maybe one day I could finally get to see them.

I tried to save enough money to get up to Retro Con in Philadelphia but was never able to do it. I began to think they'd be a band that I would never be able to experience live.

That is until I heard they were coming down from the great white north, the land that they crashed landed in, and play in my home state. I was shocked and excited beyond belief! I haven't been this psyched about seeing a band in years!

The Spree started their aural onslaught with "The Transformers theme". My mind was still in denial of what was happening before me! The crowd around was feeling it too. I guess videos and pictures do not do this band justice until they are three feet from your face. They have this otherworldly power in grabbing your attention and keeping you connected with them and the rest of the audience. Yes, you were experiencing the concert subjectively, but also, because of them, the crowd also became a kind of hive mind. It was otherworldly.

Next up was the theme of One punch man, which totally caught the crowd off guard which is something this band has a special ability in doing! I could hear people behind me going, "what!!!???"

The familiar chords of the Stan Bush song, Dare was next. I've heard this version countless times and never ceases to give me chills. It seemed the crowd instinctually knew to echo Hot Rod's vocals of  "Keep Going"!

I wasn't prepared to hear them do their cover of Shuki Levy's immortal Thundercats theme. I grinned like a big old idiot thru the song.

I was so very happy about what they played after that. Hammer of the gods, for all you true Zep fans out there, or for the casual listener, The Immigrant Song. Hearing Arcee's howling vocals joined by Unicron's staccato riff is just pure magic! Also? Hearing her Valkerie like voice say, "We are your overlords", brought a boyish smile to my face. I wouldn't mind that at all!

There was a rather cute dance battle between two human girls, but sadly both were deemed, "Innocent" by Quintesson and they were promptly sent off to be torn to shreds by the Sharkticons and were never seen again.

Nothin's gonna stand in our way was just as amazing as hearing it the first time I listened to the soundtrack when I was 12. I just love how this band can pull all these emotions out of me and also rock my face off!

The Pokemon theme song got kids and teens, and adults singing along. And when you can get that from a crowd, you have something special!

The Doom Theme morphed into another Shuki Levy masterpiece which was The power rangers theme song, expertly played by the gang.

The Cybertronic Spree played their first original song Cybertronic Warrior, which I reviewed on this blog when it first came out. (I'm seeing a pattern here.) And it still rocks my socks off! It makes you want to become an Autobot wrecker and destroy some Decepticons!

Unicron's most disliked song, The Touch made famous by Stan Bush and also made famous by Hotrod, er...Rodimus Prime throwing Galvatron out of the planet eater's torso! He must not be that sore about playing it, because he slayed it on the eight-string guitar!

Weird Al Yankovich's Dare to be stupid is always a crowd-pleaser. There were guys beside that were belting out the lyrics almost as loud as Hotrod!

Right after that, they kept up the momentum with the Canadian Band, Spectre General's song, Hunger which Arcee's fantastic pipes were a highlight! She can belt it all the out to the cheap seats!

Encore where they powered down and but could only power back up by our applause. Trust and believe this dude yelled and hooped and hollered!

I must admit during the encore I screamed my throat raw for them to play The Racoons' theme song, Run with us. I even got some of the guys around me to say it too! And yes, I cried when I heard it startup. That songs still has a hold on my heart and was the main reason why I wrote a rather lengthy thank you letter to The Spree that I posted on this blog some years ago.

The last song of the night was Ray Parker Jr's world-famous Ghostbusters theme. Which the crowd ate up and got them all moving and grooving. There was a guy my age next to me, that started the show pretty reserved. Taking random pictures and videos of the band, but by the time the concert was halfway in. This guy was a dancing fool! He didn't care if he was getting eye rolls by Millenials. He was having the time of his life.

On the way home, after seeing them in concert, the experience really quietened down all my inner turmoil of the day. I erased my feelings of the day and left me with a smile on my face that just wouldn't leave!

Even as I write this, I can't stop thinking about how approachable the band was after the show. How at ease they were with their fans. They talked to us all like we were great friends that they haven't seen in awhile, and that's only happened one other time in my 20 plus years of going to concerts.

Thank you Cybertronic Spree. For coming out and giving it full throttle, and showing a small town, the time of their life!

Oh, and also for giving this shy, transformer loving dork, a perma-smile that just might stay on his face for the rest of the year!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Hellboy in Hell review

Hellboy in Hell, first released in December 2012 started right up where Hellboy: The Fury left off. Hellboy in Hell was a 10 issue series. It also marks the return of Mike Mignola as the ongoing artist for the character.

Hellboy in Hell chronicles the stories of Hellboy's journey through Hell after the events of The Fury. Hellboy, after battling and ultimately defeating Nimue, the blood queen in dragon form, he gets his heart ripped from his chest by her in her ethereal form and his soul descends into hell while his corpus breaks apart and crumbles like dried soil.

In Hell, he learns from Edward Grey that the higher echelon of perdition have gathered up their armies and fled. Causing fighting in the ranks and almost all the higher demons to be killed by their armies and slaves, a revolt in Hell chaos and fighting amongst everyone and it’s all caused by the fall of Hellboy.

Hellboy’s destiny is more of a burden here than any time on Earth. Even though he has to fight a lot of his old fallen enemies, like Eligos from the Wild Hunt and The gambling Vampire of Prague and his ex-wife, his brothers, his Uncle, and his half-sister all want the right hand of doom for themselves.

This book is exactly what the fans needed as a send away and for just seeing Mignola drawing demons, monsters and skeletons.

Weighing in at a daunting 358 pages, Hellboy in Hell is a masterful achievement in storytelling, mood, atmosphere and Mignola’s art is still amazing! He hasn’t lost a step or slacked off. He is able to show us that he can still make us lose all track of time and devour this book in one sitting.

While you read his stories, you’ll catch yourself writing down the names of various people that you meet and you can’t help but think if these people in this story were real. There are so much back story and pathos to them. They’re so believable and odd enough to have lived on this earth. But alas, they were figments of his imagination and what a wonderful one he has.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Phantomotoi interview!

Hello everyone! Greeting from Zero studios. Sorry for not having a blog post in a while, but life gets in the way of fun sometimes. I just recently, I had the absolute pleasure to interview John Jenson aka Phantomotoi is his nom de plume on Instagram. His account is brilliant and should be seen by all retro toy lovers and toy collectors and makers. His affinity for Micronauts practically jumps out of the screen if you should visit his account. He even makes custom aftermarket parts for the figures to change them into something familiar yet completely different. 

Can you tell me a bit about yourself? 

B.A.M. (bit about me)

Hello, my name is John. I love life through loving what human beings create… ESPECIALLY toys and art (all mediums, all disciplines). I have been working in the art field since 1989 in a variety of mediums, mostly self-taught with the exception of LIVING at libraries and some college ‘art & design’ courses that were entirely traditional media (sculpture, serigraph, painting, life drawing), no ‘computers’ … yet. This was the 1980s traveling into the 90s, so good info HAD to be mined. I still read print a lot. I love the movie ‘Book of Eli’.

This led to starting our (my brother David and I) own commercial art and design business, which we carry on with currently, with disciplines in mediums changing a bit due to client demands and evolving technologies. For me, it’s been a ‘labor o’ love’ really. I love self-expression.

What made you choose the handle Phantomotoi? 

I call what I do ‘Phantomoshop’ because what I do now in the present has the potential to out-live my own existence … like a phantom, and the ideas and objects we conceptualize and create hold that energy long after our own lifespan for one reason or another. An ‘unknown reality’ in a sense. This has a lot to do with my vintage and collector toy business ‘Phantomotoi’. The ‘energy’ of the past never dies.

I ask this question of everyone, but it really is an important question. What toy broke your brain as a child? How about now? Has there been one lately that you fell in love with? 

The toy that started all of this fascination was Mego Micronauts ‘Biotron’ - the U.S. version of Takara Japan’s ‘Robotman’ that my Dad let me pick-out for my birthday at our local toy store, ‘Uncle Tom’s Toys’. It was the first time I had interacted with a toy that seemed to be ‘piloted’ by a second intelligence, much like what Gundam, Transformers and many more toy-lines and animation series would eventually grow into & out of. The scale (3.75” - tall) of the figure that fit inside Biotron’s ‘chest window’, like a ’Time Traveler’ or ‘Acroyear II’ (The chrome heads knocked me out as well!) was something that has always resonated with me for some reason. Now, Star Wars had just come out around this time, but I was not attracted to any of those toys, being disenchanted by the limited articulation and hype. Besides, once I was shown what Japanese toy and model manufacturers were up to prior to ’Star Wars’ release, anything in the U.S. just could NOT hold my attention … except for Mego Micronauts which were originally an all Japanese-toy brain-child. Currently, not much has changed. I still gravitate towards Japanese toys, art, and culture. I have a massive fascination for the age of their genius.

Biotron aka Robotman

You are a true underground renaissance man. Toy collector, toy creator, artist, musician, you wear many hats. But what is the one that calls to you the most? 

Art or music?
That’s funny… my Dad used to ask me the same thing. It seems to work like this for me … the noises we (Brothers Jenson) create and the objects we make are a direct derivative unto each other… much like the ice cube is to water. One is a direct reflection to the other, only in an alternate state. I NEED to create an amalgam of these two states for what it is that I’m currently doing … otherwise, it doesn’t seem to gel. In many ways making your own music is the only therapy that can I can find to tame the human insanity. So, crank those JAMS and bust-out the epoxy resin!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration for ALL of this is my family, brother Dave, sister Antoinette and Dad. My Mom is an excellent dreamer and creator. I love to watch her hands while she crochets. She is also ‘Microkath’, the maker of all the micro-scale accessories for the ‘Phantomophigure’ toy-line that we have been developing and exhibiting since 1995. Without my family, NONE of this would have come to fruition.

what gets you out of bed when you've felt creatively dried up on occasion? 

When I don’t feel very inspired, I grab a Microman figure, put on some tunes and phreak-out!

Do you and your brother work closely together when it comes to art? Walk me through that process. 

Zee brothers Jenson. Dave and John

My brother Dave and I have been in the creative arts and music since 1993 … owning an art/design/illustration business together, publishing and showing large bodies of work, mostly in the commercial arts and print/publishing field, contributing many projects to several publishers, including Northlight publishing co. who was a leader in art & design ‘How-to’ books back then. Ahhh, ‘print’. Now, we have Youtube. ‘How’ times have changed!

So, the process of those ‘Brothers Jenson’ goes something like this:

Recognize the design-conundrum at hand, agree on a worthy concept that might show a ‘sliver’ of potential, execute towards a shared vision of solution and balance mutual critique through concept to project completion. Most importantly, HAVE FUN and LAUGH FREQUENTLY! Our parents were always supportive of our ideas … as long as we were NOT sitting around, watching the television or moping around being ‘the pessimist’. They did not tolerate ‘boredom’, telling us at a very early age ‘you make your own boredom’. Copy that. I think I’ll make my own ‘EXCITEMENT’ instead!

I have to ask you about the band Clutch. Do you have a favorite "old favorite album" and "New Favorite" of theirs? What was the first album that you bought from them? Neil Fallon has been called the Charles Dickens of Hard Rock. What are your thoughts on this?

I LOVE CLUTCH. I have been fortunate to have seen them LIVE 5 times, 3 when headlining. PURE POWER! Mostly definitely one of my favorite bands. The first album I got was ‘The Elephant Riders’ and my FAVE albums (there are two) are ‘Blast Tyrant’ and ‘Robot Hive/Exodus’. I got a body-full o’ goosebumps just TYPING those album titles!! Great stuff. Neil IS the Charles Dickens of Hard Rock! Indeed! I like when his gifted ‘word-smithing’ boils all that b.s. down to NOTHING! ESCAPE from the PRISON PLANET!!

You can find more on Phantomoshop, Phantomophigures, Phantomotoi and Brothers Jenson @

Also his instagram account @phantomotoi

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A confessional to StardonE

I know that in the end, a compliment or a good review does not help the musician write more great songs, but it's high time that I bring a certain subject to light or a certain song, rather. 

Your song "Space Romance" is one of the most brilliant songs that I have ever heard! For lack of better form of description, it hurtles me back in time to when I was 11 years old during Christmas and I got Voltron and two Saw Bosses . It was an epic Christmas that year....but yeah, the shimmery synth effect in the song is the thing that fills me with nostalgia. I don't know why or how...but it does. 

StardonE has created a time machine for me. Every time I want to visit the past, I just play this brilliant song.

Linke to Space Romance

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Balok Interview!!!!

Can you tell me your name and a little bit about yourself? But first...we drank Tranya! Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!

HaHa, yes! “I hope you relish it, as much as I !”
Charles Schultz, 51 & lucky to be living in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, with my lovely wife and 3 young daughters (who enjoy me right now, but will soon outgrow me as I reached peak cognitive development at age twelve). Thirty-nine years later, I still enjoy comics, toys, and any movie Ray Harryhausen worked on.

Clint Howard's alien in Star Trek is such an obscure name for your blog, I am actually very jealous of that! What made you choose that name for your blog/Instagram?

Thanks Tim! Clint Howard’s performance as Balok still stands out, doesn’t it? He’s one of those characters that hypnotizes kids with sheer weirdness…my own kids still react to the show in good ways that remind me that creative thinking (even low budget) can still beat CGI. The actor also seems humble, fun and clearly has a good relationship with brother Ron. During our annual family watch of ‘The Grinch’ (movie) my kids always say: “Hey Dad, there’s Balok!” In a nutshell, Balok makes me smile!

How long have you been doing your blog?

Started when I got this iPad…going on 3+ years now?

What was the first toy that just left a huge impression with you as a child?

In the early 70’s an older neighbor-boy’s Mom donated a huge box of his Mattel Major Matt Mason toys to my younger brother and I. I still know this fellow today and he hasn’t gotten over it, lol. The rubber-bendy figures were worn out, but everything else was top-quality and unique to anything at the time; soon the whole house became ‘outer space’ to us. The enormous 3-level Space Station was the very definition of PLAYSET. Over the years, the Space Station became the headquarters of various Fisher-Price Adventure People and… the Micronauts (mix in some Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and other 3&3/4” figures of the time).

What got you into toy collecting?

Never stopped. I guess I’m old enough to title my toy-buying habit a collection. The truth for me reads better as: ‘continued acquisition with the intent to play’. The dream of a glorious day when I set it all up on the living room floor and have the most epic play-time (as my younger self regularly did), is still with me. Also, I am like many middle-aged collectors who see toys as an artifact-link to happy, simpler times. We are all eager archeologists when it comes to our own pasts, be that through picture albums, cars, toys, etc.

Do you have a favorite toy company when you were a kid? How about now?

MEGO Corp. brought Micronauts toys to kids in North America, so that’s the big one in my memory (also enjoyed their pocket Super Heroes, Black Hole, Buck Rogers, etc. lines too). Today its Takara-Tomy who brings us Diaclone and not to bore anyone with the well-known historical link between Micronauts and Takara’s Microman, but there’s that lineage, it’s pretty cool.

Do you have a favorite Independent toy company that you would like to see get more publicity?

Onell Design  founders of the GLYOS connection system which has spawned a literal family (they treat each other and customers like a good family) of toy creators & companies. I’d love to meet founder Matt Doughty in person. He has created not just amazing toys and a rich ‘Glyoverse’  but a culture of kindness and respect in the GLYOS collecting community; never seen anything quite like it


Do you have a Holy Grail piece or are you still eagerly looking for it out there?

Many Grail pieces have passed through my hands over the years; I just can’t stay focused, haha!  Some of the original 1980 Dialcone items qualify (based on the regret I have for selling or trading them off, years ago); let’s say the original Diaclone playset: a boxed, clean, complete version of GREAT ROBOT BASE is the Grail item for me.

Did you have a favorite sci-fi movie as a kid? As an adult? Do you still feel like those things that were important to you then are still things you care about?

‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ (It’s partly SciFi, right?) was on TV often enough during childhood to really become a staple for me; still enjoy this movie today. A modern-day film I revisit often is ‘The Fifth Element’. Probably like yourself and most other SciFi fans, I could go on…for days, but to spare you, these two came to mind first.  Themes and stories that held my attention as a child often still do today; hence a favorite quote from Forrest J. Ackerman: “You can grow older, just don’t grow up.”

What are your favorite top 5 toys when you were younger?

Only five!?!? …(sulks)…ok

Late 1970’s/early 80’s had some big hits with me:

1)      MEGO Micronauts (Baron Karza ruled) and that Ken Kelly card-art for the Aliens!
2)      Mattel Battlestar Galactica (Viper & Cylon Raider)
3)      Mattel Space 1999 Eagle-1 Playset (often stood-in for the Galactica while playing with #2, otherwise it was piloted by Micronauts, of course)
4)      MEGO Black Hole Maximillian Robot, my first and only experience with cereal box-top mail-away figure, both a joy and disappointment (no articulation).
5)      LJN Advanced Dungeons & Dragons showed up without warning (if ran across a fully stocked toy isle when these guys came out, you’d remember).

With Sectaurs getting a revival, do you have a toy line that you would love to see get a second chance?

Sectaurs were awesome! Part of that whole He-Man & Black-Star genre that I admired from afar. Well, since Micronauts had a reboot (bless you Palisades Toys) and now seems forever locked in Hasbro’s vault of indecision, I’d root for a STARCOM comeback.
  This short-lived COLECO (later Mattel in the UK) line was ahead of its time with brilliant features at a tiny scale that allowed for epic SciFi play (by epic, I mean how a tiny 2-inch, articulated figure transforms a kids room into a huge landscape in a way that larger scale figures cannot). The magnetic feet used on STARCOM figures were done just a few years earlier by a TAKARA line that I feel shares many similarities with STARCOM, that being Diaclone. I often mix STARCOM vehicles and accessories into Diaclone scenes because they are such similar lines. Diaclone figures at only half the size of STARCOM at 30 mm tall, still look good in many STARCOM rides.

You have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the Diaclone line. When did you become so enamored with that line?

  What’s a Diaclone? LOL. Too much credit, in fact I kinda avoid knowing everything about Diaclone because a touch of mystery allows freedom to make up my own stories around these little guys. Take Star Wars toys for example, everything is cemented into a role, no room for a kid to speculate different stories for the figures; they never become a part of the kids own creative play-mythos if you will. I remember our first Storm Trooper figure (before seeing the movie 150 times) and assigning him all kinds of powers (like Iron Man’s armor); but knowing too much…he’s demoted, just another clone who can’t shoot straight. I think that’s why Boba Fett held power for so long…he was mysterious! Fett is diminished (in my opinion) by too much back-story.
  Diaclone:  Must have been 1980-81 when I chanced upon a tiny figure in red plastic & shiny metal in a schoolyard, trampled into the grass/dirt. He remained a mystery for years, but his chromed head reminded me of Micronauts (had no idea of the relationship); thought he was some kind of vending-machine trinket or candy-

 The tiny scale and puzzle of what he was, stuck with me and he rolled around my belongings until getting lost (as I gather many of these tiny Diaclone pilot figures were lost). Within a couple of years, I acquired the remains of a Great Robot Base at a flea-market! This was it…still not knowing the name of the line, yet two of the (similar) tiny pilot figures were still manning their posts inside the main control room (a work of art among toys)…I had found his home! It was quite a thrill to stumble on this toy! Pretty sure I turned my early-teens room upside down searching for that schoolyard Dianaut, but he left behind the ability to spot his brothers, haha.
  A long period followed before even the name Diaclone became known; they didn’t show up in Canadian stores to my knowledge.
  Finally, the Internet!  By the late 90’s via online trades and eBay, gathered a respectable Diaclone collection and foolishly sold it off (except my beat-up Great Robot Base) to help pay for a move.
  Now... back in, and what a reboot this line is enjoying from Takara-Tomy!  What a surprise to see this line reappear (found out on YouTube, thanks to Knerdout) and I think it was towards the end of 2015 that I dug-up my Great Robot Base to help celebrate and anticipate the arrival of Dia-Battles V2. Since then the line has blown up!
  My advice on Diaclone collecting: Pace yourself and don’t buy every repaint, otherwise your spending could become more like military-spending ;)

Could you also give me links to websites and other places that you would like to advertise?

This website is in Japanese only, but it’s the best archive of original Diaclone toys I know of:

The Onell Design blog, a gateway site with links to everything Glyos:

Here’s a link to Shapeways 3-D printing service, remarkably a good source for original Dianaut (and enemy Waruder) figures in the original 80’s style (search under INCHMAN):   

You can follow Charles at these sites:

Friday, November 23, 2018

Dellamorte Dellamore

I used to work with a lady at the Public Library that would challenge me to work out my writing muscles daily. 
We would write Haikus every day. I don't really know how it got started. She knew that I was a writer and decided that we both should some kind of exercise daily. She wrote mostly funny ones about food, and I would write weird, shocking, or creepy ones. Sometimes a cute or romantic one would slip through, but for the most part, I just mainly wrote creepy ones. 

We would alternate who would come up with the subject every other day. Our daily ritual would usually start with one of walking by the other and saying, "Today's word is..." and then the word that we would either use in a haiku or write about. I usually did both. 

One day I went above and beyond writing one haiku when she walked by my desk and said that the word of the day was Cemetery. 

My brain reeled with possible things to conjure up! The only thing was, I kept seeing Rupert Everett's face in my mind. Seeing him in the 1994 Italian Horror classic, Cemetery Man. So I submitted to Rupert's guile and wrote what you see below. Enjoy.

Cemetery man.
He buries the walking dead
never to return.

Cemetery man,
Haunted by his one true love.
Who came back from death.

Cemetery man.
Works tirelessly all night
burying the dead.

Cemetery man.
Keeps his secret from everyone.
The dead keeps rising.

Cemetery man. 
Doomed, but remains a staid man.
Just on the outside.

Cemetery man.
Carrying out his sentence.
With help from no one.