NEW TODAY

April 19, 2010
Four straight weeks of comic shows (March 21-April 10) indicate that 2010 may be a better year for comic mongers than 2009 was. Charlotte was moderately successful, although a year-to-year comparison with 2009 might be skewed, since Dave and Rick have cut back from five to three shows this year. Charlottesville was also moderately successful, despite a lowly turnout of 21. The Rovacon in Salem, and the Childrens' Miracle Network show at the Gray, TN Fairgrounds were both up in sales over 20 percent (although a new inventory might skew that a little. Next up is Free Comic Book Day, May 1, and Heroes in Charlotte the first week of June.
March 20, 2010
Today is the first day of Sprihg, the official end of the winter that would not end. Tomorrow starts the Spring Comic season, as I have four shows in four weeks. Tomorrow: Charlotte Comicon
March 27, my Virginia Spring Show at Charlottesville, VA. April 3: Spring Rovacon at Salem Civic Center and April 10, the Children's Miracle Netword Show at the Fairgrounds in Gray Tennessee. Let the Comics mongering begin!
THE 2009 VINTAGE SHOW, Part 2
Monday, March 1, 2010
On Friday, the Floyd County High School girls' basketball team ended the season with a 46-40 loss to Glenvar in the Region C, Division 2 tournament semifinals at Northwood High School in Saltville, VA. The game marked the end of the career of Alan Cantrell, the all-time winningest coach in Virginia girls' basketball history. The Lady Buffs had mad five straight trips to the Group A state tournament, and won the championship in 2008.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Several vendors, myself included, reported sales declines from the 2008 show. Given the drop in attendance, that's understandable. But at least one, Dave's Comics, said his sales were sharply higher. The show started slow, but had a few surges. I did make a few purchases, but not as many as I would have liked to. WDBJ-7 did a brief piece on the show; I tried to get several dealers to do the interview but wound up speaking on camera. Hopefully, the economy will stablize and improve and future shows (not just the Vintage Show) will get better.
THE 2009 VINTAGE SHOW, Part 1
Sunday, July 26, 2009
This year's Vintage Comics Show attendance was down over 30 percent from last year's record. With the economy, and based on other summer shows I've attended, some decline was expected. Exclude the back-to-back record years of 2007-2008, and this year was maybe 10 percent off of average 21st century attendance.
The "fun factor" was probably off 30 percent or so as well. Given the zeitgeist, that too could be expected, but the show was bracketed by other downer news. Nancy's sisters, Kathy in Alabama and Celia in Texas, were planning to come to the show for the first time, but Kathy, who finished chemo treatments in the spring, got sick the day before she planned to leave, so both sisters cancelled their trip to Virginia. Then, on Sunday evening, Tom Sowers, age 89, died. We had lived in his rental house for eight years, and helped with hay for nearly two decades. Tom always had interesting colloqualisms, like "Let the rabbit sit," and "I'm going to take my ducks to another market." Tom indeed has taken his ducks to another market.
HOME FROM HEROES, Part 1
Tuesday, June 23
Hey, hey hay! The summer comic season started in conjunction with hay season, which means I'm physically pushed to the limit. Last year the two week (or so) hay season ended the day before I left for the Heroes Convention in Charlotte. This year, with all the rainfall, hay got a belated start the day I left for Charlotte. My first day back, Monday we did a modest 525 bales. I'll have hay this week, then a week's vacation in Alabama (first full week in 20 years).
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Today is the Lincoln bi-centennial; Abe Lincoln was born Feb. 12, 1809.
New today is "Life of Lincoln, the 1895 biography by Ida Tarbell, reprint 1900 edition, winered cover with gold print. Very good condition, with some pencil notes on inside front cover, still has tissue page. $40.
Monday, February 2, 2009
The Pittsburgh Steelers won their sixth Super Bowl. I saw tight end Heath Miller play in college (the 19-catches in win over Virginia Tech in 2003) and in high school. In his junior year, Floyd played at Honaker in the Group A state semifinals. Miller played quarterback and safety (he may have been the biggest high school safety in the nation). Floyd beat Miller's Tigers 35-34. We took Route 80 over Clinch Mountain, a drive everyone should take at least once but no one should ever have to do twice. It was hunting season, and hunters would park in the middle of the road, since there were no pulloffs on the switchback mountain road. Crossing the mountain was like going into another country, with the vertiguous banks and no guard rails.
New today is 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers media guide. VF $20.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Today the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals meet in the Super Bowl.
New today is 2008 New York Gianst media guide. VF $20.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today is the 41st anniversary of the Greatest Basketball Game Ever. UCLA vs. Houston at the Astrodome marked the first time a regular season college game went national. And it lived up to the hype.
UCLA, led by Lew Alcindor, was defending national champion, ranked #1 and on a 47-game winning streak. Houston was undefeated and ranked number two. A basketball court was erected on the floor of the dome and a record 52,000 attended. Alcindor had suffered a scraped eyeball prior to the game.
I remember we had a high school game that night at Meadows of Dan, and as the bus wound homeward through the mountians, someone's radio barely picked up the game. Houston is ahead, he said. But UCLA will come back and win, someone else said. When we got back to the school, coach Flick led us go to his classroom and watch the final minutes of the game on TV. Elvin Hayes, who had 39 points, got two free throws as the Cougars won 71-69.
Back then, UCLA was a totalitarian sports power (like the Yankees and Packers) that fans of the underdog rooted against. In the final four, UCLA beat Houston. But we did have that one moment.
New today is Houston basketball media guide, 1983, Hakeem and Drexler on the cover. Fine $50.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Nancy made it back from the funeral in Tennessee, on an icy interstate. One of the things Vickie thought to send me was an auction flier for the property surrounding her house in Willett. The flier announced the January 10 auction of the Cortez Adams property, in the family for a hundred years, and the Civil War headquarters of Gen. Braxton Bragg. The double platted (surveyed for six timber tracts and 50 building lots, to be sold seperately) expanse was 363.32 acres at Gibbs Crossroads, advertised (I assume without exaggeration) as the finest tract of timber in Macon County, red oak, white oak, walnut, hard maple, cherry, ash. Other Cortez Adams properties were advertised at auction in the previous month.
Vickie's house and lot show up as an island amidst that huge property. I've only been there a few times, but the quiet, isolated spot was one of my favorite when visiting the area. It is probably destined to have the timber cleared, and most lost turned into homesteads.
New today is 2008 Seattle Seahawks media guide VF $15.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Nancy is in middle Tennessee for aunt Mattie Parkhurst's funeral. Last night, I watched the Tennessee Tech-Murray State women's basketball game being played down the road from her in Cookeville, Tennessee. Tech has a storied tradition in women's basketball, but is suffering a 4-14 campaign at this point. Then today, I watch the T-Mobile high school tournament wrapup; the twins for Bob Jones High School have signed to Tennessee Tech! Talk about your Lost-style coincidences.
In addition to Kellie and Kylie Cook, Amy Brown has also recruited Katy Cooke from Marble Falls, Texas, who led her team to the Texas 4A final 4. They will join with Kellishai Cook, of Franklin Kentucky; talk about confusion! But I have the perfect slogan for the future:  Things are Cooking in Cookeville!
New today is Penn State Football Media Guide from 1981. VG $30.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
This is the 50th anniversary of Barbie, the doll that defined a generation of consumerism. I don't have the originial 1960s Dell Barbie and Ken comic book, but I do have some of the Marvel Barbie and Barbie Fashion comics. However...
New today is "Barbie In Television" hardback book. Good condition, $10. ABE lists only 11 copies for sale.
Friday, January 16, 2009
A rare high school basketball double-header at Floyd on Winter Homecoming,  girls varsity and boys' varsity (usually jv and varsity of the same gender) against Glenvar. On paper, a pair of pretty good matchups. For the girls: both teams 12-1, both teams with a 9-game winning streak. But Floyd girls, defending Group A, Division 2 state champs, won 72-52. Boys game was evenly matched as well, tied at end of half, end of third quarter, and again with 20 seconds to go. Brett Holman drew a charge, then took inbounds pass and made lefthanded drive the length of the court for layup and one. Buffs celebrate homecoming with 57-54 win.
New today is "They Call Me Coach," by John Wooden. Hardcover VG $20.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Patrick McGoohan died; he was the British actor in the 1960s TV cult classic "The Prisioner." McGoohan was 80.
He also starred in "Secret Agent", a mid-60s spy series which had one of the best theme songs in TV history (Johnny Rivers: "Secret" -brang- "Agent man, they've given you a number, and taken 'way your name..." That was pretty much the theme of The Prisoner, when Secret Agent John Drake quit, he was kidnapped and taken to The Village by some sinister agency (ours or theirs?) determined to find out why. The series was surreal and unlike anything else on tv ("I am not a number, I'm a free man!") 
New today is The Prisoner #1 (also known as Book A) VF $5.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Today Amazing Spider-Man #583 comes out, with president-elect Barack Obama on the cover. He teams up with Spider-Man (how many team ups does this make for Spidey?) on Inauguration Day. There have been several presidential comic books, including the Dell/Gold Key Eisenhower and Kennedy photocover comics, and the Great Society parody with Lyndon Johnson.
New today is another presidential comic, Reagan's Raiders #1, the 80s independent with Reagan as Rambo. VF $5.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Jodie Meeks hits 10 three pointers and sets a Kentucky school record, scoring 54 points as the Wildcats beat Tennessee in Knoxville.
New today is "Call Me Coach," the autobiography of UCLA coach John Wooden VG $10.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Philip K. Dick is one of the top science fiction writers of the 20th Century; perhaps the tops when it comes to dystopian, edgy futures. He was ahead of his time (as many sci-fi writers and artists are) and lived at the edge of poverty through his career. Several of his works were made into movies after his death, good for the estate but too late for Dick's bottom line. The first major Dick movie is Blade Runner, based on his novel "Do Androids Dream of  Electrric Sheep?" He died just before the movie was released. Other works were brought to screen, such as "Total Recall" and "Minority Report."
New today is a Signet paperback first print of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" This is a relatively rare edition, and copies on Abebooks.com range from $20 for reader copies to $150 in better condition. This offering is VG, $40.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Among the shows we're looking forward to this year: the Gray, Tennessee Show April 18, operated by Michael and Teresa Stevens. It is held at the Gray Fairgrounds, between Kingsport ande Johnson City.
New today is Texas football media guide, 2003 (featuring Vince Young) VF $25/
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Another Clemson media guide today:
New today is Clemson mens' basketball guide, 2000-2001. VF $20.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Some of the most thrilling sci-fi art of the 20th century was the work of Chesley Bonestell. His space-scapes were unforgetable. Men in spacesuits beside glistening rockets, at rest on Saturn or one of its moons. It made the thought of being there someday not only desireable, but believable as well. Along those lines, is today's special:
New today is Frontiers of Space, by Philip Bono, originally published just after the first moon landing. This is a rare hardcover; abebooks.com lists only four other hardcover copies for sale world wide. Fine condition, $10.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Happy birthday, Elvis. As I post this, Florida and Oklahoma are tied 7-7 in the third.
New today is Clemson mens' baksetball media guide, 1998-99. VF $20
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Oil prices down sharply today, good comic book harbinger for 2009...
New today is Swell Looking Girl by Erskine Caldwell (Macfadden, 1965 paperback) VG A later Caldwell work, first print. Abebooks lists only five copies worldwide for sale. $5.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Christmas in July: the Virginia Vintage Comic Show in Salem, Va is July 25! Don't miss out!
New today is Kiss: Wizard Special Edition FVF $10.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Floyd County's boys' basketball team beat Rural Retreat for a season sweep. Five nights of high school basketball this week and wrestling tournament Saturday. Go Buffs!
New today is Web of Spiderman #1 VF $8.
Sunday, January 4, 2008
Is this the January thaw? Sunny and 60 degrees in Virginia today (while northen climes suffer Polar chill...We may do our first show of the year January 17 at Valley View Mall in Roanoke.
New today is Deadpool #1 (1993 limited series) NM $12.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
On the last Friday of 2008 (December 26) we went to the Floyd basketball game (first round of BB&T holiday tournament, beat Carroll County), came home and intended to go to bed early, but got caught up in the NUMBERS episode about comic books: a (small but major) comicon is robbed and rare ashcan (Unknown World) is stolen at gunpoint, worth $2 million. Ross Moore created it in 1962 (Jack Kirby), now he is a poor old artist...meanwhile robbers make 14 fake ashcans, which are auctioned...and apparantly days or weeks later the comicon is still going on...Some continuity problems, which we will attribute to Comic Book Logic. Anyway, the eve of the final show of 2008 (the next day at Charlotte, Dave Hinson and Rick Fortenberry's show. A pretty good episode.
New today is Deadpool #2 (1993 limited series) NM $10.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Welcoming the New Year yesterday, we got caught up in the SciFi channel Twilight Zone marathon, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the show. I sat through 11 consecutive episdoes (5 1/2 hours). Everything from a Buster Keaton silent (he lives in 1890 and uses a time travel helmet to zoom 70 years into the future, where he meets Otis Campbell's brother), to a Martin Landau old west gunfighter, to Black Leather Jackets (aliens on motorcycles). Some of the still have a punch, others were just 30 minute punch lines.
New today is Gumby 3D #7 FVF $3.00 Last issue, no glasses.
Friday, May 9, 2007
Racer X #1 VF $4
Racer X #4 VF $3
Green Hornet #1 (Now) VF $3
Wednesday, May 7, 2007
Florida State basketball media gide 2000-2001 $25
Satellites, Rockets and Outer Space paperback, 1958, Chesley Bonestell painted cover Signet  $12
Analog, November 1962 (spheroid spacecraft) $5
Friday, May 2, 2008
Auburn football program, September 3, 1998 (Virginia game) $5
Auburn football media guide, 1997 (spiral bound) $25
SEC football media guide 1994 $25
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Back from a vacation trip to Alabama, more media guides today:
Florida State men's basketball media guide 200-2001 (spiral bound w/tabs) $25
Alabama football media guide, 1997 $25
Perdue football media guide 2000 (Drew Brees sr. season) $25
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Adding a few items each day to get the hang of posting items:
Old Dominion, New Commonwealth (shrink wrapped hardcover history book) $40
Jacksonville Jaguars 2007 football media guide $10
Monday, April 21, 2008
Captain America #169 VGF $5
Space 1999 #1, F $6
Outlaw Kid #8 F $6
Outlaw Kid #10 F $6
Outlaw Kid #12 F $6
This is the first posting for the "New "Today" section, Sunday, April 20, 2008. Check each day for new listings. Items are listed here, then placed into inventory categories (Comics, Sports, Books) the following day.
New Today listings should be posted about 350 times per year (probably not posted on days of major shows).
April 20, 2008:
Nam #1, VF $3.00
Nam #2  VF $2,00
Merc #1, VF $2.00
Avengers #292, VG/F $2.00
Avengers #295, VG/F $2.00
Surge #1, VF $2.00
A-Team #1, NM $5.00