Just Doodling: Bottle and Cappy


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Comics Corner: Marvel Team-Up 33


Title: Marvel Team-Up
Issue Number: 33
Release Date: May 1975


  • First appearance of Jeremiah, and Ivan Carmichael
  • Reference is made to Giant-Size Defenders 4, as well as The Amazing Spider-Man 36, 144, and 145
  • The Looter official changes his name to Meteor Man
  • Interesting cliff hanger, and unique way to introduce it
Low Points
  • None
  • Editor's Day Off: Typo on cover, "Anyone here remember a guy called...Meteor Man!" Should end with a question mark
  • Story takes place in the middle of The Amazing Spider-Man 145
  • The classic Marvel heroes fighting it out because they're too dumb to use their big boy words to get each other's attention
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 146


Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 146
Release Date: July 1975


  • Reference is made to The Amazing Spider-Man 140, and 144
  • Lots of action
  • Aunt May tells Scorpion to watch his mouth or she'll slap his face
Low Points
  • Scorpion beats up guard dogs
  • Story ends abruptly
  • Jackal wants to talk to Scorpion, so naturally, he sneaks up behind him, and jumps on his back...Cause that's how you get people to talk to you
  • Spider-Man breaks into the parole office to find where Gargan (Scorpion) is staying, goes there and finds the money he stole, and then reports to the police where the cash is - But the police already knew it was Scorpion who stole the money, and apparently had his address...Why didn't they just go there themselves?
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 145


Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 145
Release Date: June 1975


  • New Comics Corner layout and logo (shameless plug)
  • Reference is made to The Amazing Spider-Man 122
  • Mac Gargan, AKA Scorpion, is let out of prison, having served his time
  • Reference is made to Captain America 152, the issue where Scorpion was apparently captured and sent to jail by the titled hero of that book
Low Points
  • See oddities below
  • Halfway through the issue, reference is abruptly made to Marvel Team-Up issue 33, which the events from that tale have apparently taken place in the middle of this current story
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man and Marvel Treasury Edition 28 (AKA Superman and Spider-Man)


Title: Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 1-Shot
Release Date: March 1976


  • Superman and Spider-Man meet for the first time, and team up to face Lex Luthor and Doc Ock
  • Almost one hundred pages of Superman and Spider-Man action
  • Spider-Man is hit by a red sun beam from Lex Luthor that gives him the strength to go toe to toe with Superman
  • It's epic in and of itself for the team up
  • Hero and villain bio splash pages that give readers an introduction to each character
Low Points
  • Doc Ock's involvement is so miniscule that it verges on unnecessary
  • Both Lois Lane and Mary Jane Watson equally serve little to no point to the story, the latter even less so
  • Story is ultimately considered non-canonical
  • Missed opportunity for DC and Marvel to collaborate on an all new villain more suited to be pitted against both heroes
  • Spider-Man being pulled through the skies on web skis by Superman
  • Spider-Man knows how to fly space ships?
  • Spider-Man says he's broken both of his hands, but promptly continues to battle throughout the remainder of the story without so much as a wince
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

Title: Marvel Treasury Edition (AKA Superman and Spider-Man)
Issue Number: 28
Release Date: January 1981


  • Sequel to the massive hit, Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man from five years prior
  • Superman and Spider-Man combine forces against Doctor Doom and The Parasite
  • Reference is made to the rare Superman power, super ventriloquism
  • Superman goes toe to toe with the Incredible Hulk
  • Hulk punches Superman so hard, he launches the caped crusader miles away
  • Peter Parker meets Jimmy Olsen
  • Peter sells his photographs to Perry White, and gets three times what J. Jonah Jameson would have paid him, and then joins the Daily Planet as a new staff member
  • Clark Kent goes to work for J. Jonah Jameson
  • Peter Parker asks Lana Lane out
  • Wonder Woman joins the story about 2/3 of the way in
Low Points
  • Non-canonical, just like its predecessor
  • Another missed opportunity to create an all new villain
  • Shameless promotion when Spider-Man is using a labeled Nikon camera
  • Spider-Man sings the lyrics to Frank Sinatra's Call Me Irresponsible while fighting
  • Pop culture reference overload. In addition to the above, the story references Big Macs, Kojak, Elvis Costello, and Star Wars
  • Story doesn't flow as well as its predecessor, nor is it as epic
  • Parasite feels like a third wheel, relatively irrelevant to the story, and reduced to nothing more than being a glorified battery
  • Superman and Spider-Man are definitely in this book, but they spend very little time on the same pages actually interacting with each other
  • Super ventriloquism
  • Spider-Man can easily clear his name with Wonder Woman by letting her use her magic lasso on him, but he evades her every attempt even after she told him why she wanted to do it, and yet he wants her to believe he isn't the enemy - Just cooperate!
  • Editor's day off - Three panels repeat themselves, and it is a very clear and obvious error
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Retro Spins: Leo Sayer - Living In A Fantasy

Leo Sayer is an artist who never seemed to get the credit or attention he deserved in the music industry. Even as I type this, I'm sure many of you are asking, "Leo, who?" His career seemed to hang out in the middle of the road, never garnering mainstream attention, but also finding a strong enough foothold to not fall into obscurity.

Sayer hit the scene in 1973 with his debut album, Silverbird, and with the exception of 1981, continued to release new records consecutively through 1983's, Have You Ever Been In Love. His career was not devoid of chart toppers, having two hits reach number one in 1977 alone. In fact, even from today's album, Living In A Fantasy, the song More Than I Can Say, hit the charts in September of 1980, and eventually climbed to the number two spot by December. It stayed there for four consecutive weeks, kept from the number one spot by Kenny Rogers, Lady, which held that number for six consecutive weeks before being dethroned by John Lennon's, (Just Like) Starting Over.

With all this praise I'm throwing out to the artist, I'd be lying if I said Leo Sayer was one of my all time favorites. He has some good songs, really good ones, but for me, they're sporadically spread across the above noted era of albums. Even with that said, the majority of my knowledge, and opinion, of this falls within his albums from the 70's. Because of this, I thought today would be a good day to fire up his first contribution to the 80's and have a listen.

Here's the thing. As I listen to it, it's Leo Sayer. It has his distinctive sound, range of vocal points and a decent lineup of songs. It's his voice which drew me more so to his music than anything. Leo has a range to the notes he can hit. He can hit solid high notes, keep it smooth, or even belt out a raspy scream. It's when he mixes these various styles together that his music really stands out.

However, what it lacks on Living In A Fantasy, and what pales it to prior albums, is that it has no punch behind any of the songs. Nothing really stands out as a solid track. Even his chart topper noted above really didn't leave any form of impression with me. I've definitely heard better from him.

Out of all of them, You Win / You Lose, was the only one I ended up grabbing for my shuffle mix. The rest were easily passable. I think what ultimately cripple his career in the 80's was his inability, or perhaps desire, to move past the sounds of the 70's and step into the world of the 80's. His music never really evolved to stay current. Perhaps this is why nobody would see another studio album from him until 1990's Cool Touch.

Ironically enough, it appears that in this change of the decade that Sayer finally adopted a synth style pop sound. However, to do so in the dawn of the era of grunge was definitely a boat he jumped on way too late, only adding to his irrelevance in the industry.

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Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.

Big Lick NOVA 2023! Part XIV: Convention Book


We've finally reached the end of the road of my visit to Big Lick NOVA 2023, a two day convention where so much happened it took me three months to talk about all of it. We wrap this all up with a nice big bow, the icing on the cake, the big kahuna, if you will. 

In anticipation of meeting so many great creators of comics I've grown up with, I decided that I wanted to get a convention book to bring along to the show. A book that would ultimately become my souvenir that everyone I met would sign. Something that with each subsequent convention to come would just continue to gain more signatures.

There was only one book I could think of special enough to fit this bill, but that was far out of my price range in its original format. However, after searching and searching, I came across a wonder fan made version which was meticulously created using original scans from front to back, and even printed in the original size of this grail.

This fan made reprint of Amazing Fantasy 15 will become my center piece for all future conventions, having every creator I meet signing wherever they feel like on it. Front, back, inside, wherever. I only wish I had it when I went to Galaxycon 2023.

Art Suydam

Jim Shooter

Mark Waid

Michael Golden

Renee Witterstaetter

Rick Leonardi

Ron Marz

Even if I don't own something specific that someone worked on, this will serve as an opportunity to meet them, and get a signature. I can already see this book becoming my absolute favorite in my collection.

But, now we truly have reached the end. This completes my journey to Big Lick NOVA 2023. I hope those of you who stopped by each week over these past few months have enjoyed following me on this journey as much as I enjoyed going on it. The convention was amazing. A big thank you goes to all of the above signors of this book for being there, and for signing so many other books, as well as taking the time to chat. An even bigger and wholeheartedly thank you to Mr. Jim Shooter, the Stan Lee of my era of comic book reading. A truly generous man to his fans.

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Returning to the Estate Sale


While out and about running errands, we found ourselves arriving too early for one particular store to open. With time to obviously kill, we headed down the street back to yesterday's estate sale. It wasn't that we were necessarily looking for more things to pick up. Rather, we just needed somewhere to spend an hour.

With prices cut in half for the final day, it wasn't necessarily hard to find things to buy. However, the majority of what I picked up were intended to be for someone else. Still, there are a handful of things that will go into my collection, such as these sweet Batmobiles!

This DVD is one that I accidentally missed, and then forgot again when I returned the second time yesterday. It was still there today.

My plan is to put the smaller Mystery Machine on my cartoon DVD shelf. The figures and bigger one will be exiting soon to someone else's collection.

I don't know if there was a lot of stuff that was stuffed in boxes from the day prior that got spread out to compensate for empty spaces around the home. I swear I saw stuff that I didn't see the day prior. I actually had about five to ten graphic novels as well, but when I saw someone on the floor going through a stack in a different area of the house, I pulled them out and told him he could have the ones I was carrying if he wanted them. He was happy to take them. Saved me money.

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An Estate Sale Like I've Never Seen Before


If there's one thing I enjoy, but which isn't typically very fruitful, is a good ol' fashion estate sale. My girl and I will not only hit these and local yard sales over the weekends, but watch a select few Youtubers who specialize in picking at them. What we'll often say to each other while watching them is, "Why aren't there any sales like that around here?" Well...We can't say that anymore.

My usual checklist item I ask about is CD's, which when people do have them, are usually the same rinse and repeat country or classic albums. While this particular estate sale at 21 Halifax Court in Sterling, Virginia, didn't have any of those, the site we were about to behold was truly amazing.

Every room, and I do mean EVERY ROOM, in this house was stuffed to the hilt in toys, comic books, games, DVD's, and all sorts of nostalgia and collectibles in between. This house was the equivalent of a local toy convention unto itself! If you couldn't find something here you wanted, then toys simply aren't your thing.

It was almost to the point of overload with how much was there, and with this being the second day of the sale, impressive with how much remained. I can only imagine what was there the day before.

I fired off photos to George of G.I. Jigsaw, knowing that this would pique his interest. He loves him some toy dioramas, and this background piece would probably work well for him.

Prices were ridiculously cheap. Well, cheap for what they certainly could have been, and the woman at the table made sure to let everyone know they'd be even better on the final day tomorrow - half off everything.

This was the kind of place you really had to look in every nook and cranny, and dig through boxes to find hidden treasures. I ended up spending way more than I thought I would, but man oh man, was I happy when I left.

It's one of those things you don't know you need until you come across it randomly. G.I. Joe juice. Infantry Orange, Gung Ho Grape, and Platoon Punch flavors. Commando Cherry is the fourth flavor released in the beverage line, but this one was not among them. These are all brand new / sealed, with the juice still inside. They're not very common on secondary markets, so at $8.00 a piece, I was down with snagging them. The woman at the sale even gave me an additional empty Gung Ho grape for free.

Mail away G.I. Joe Colton still sealed int he bag with his gun and file card for $12.00? Yes, please! I already have this figure in my collection, but I wasn't about to leave it behind for that price. Not when it's worth $25 - $40!

Many of these super hero figures were purchased with someone else in mind. It was easy to drop the cash when the above were only $6.00 each, and the below carded ones were only $3.00 each.

I saw these 1989 Batman film candy heads and Ertl vehicle, and immediately yoinked them to come with me. These are super sweat and sweet, and will go great on my Toy Biz shelf!

All four of these figures were picked up for someone else, as I already have them in my collection.

The internet wasn't exactly a thing for many people in the early 90's, so when it came to collecting G.I. Joe figures, you either knew all about them, and what to look for, or you were among the elite collector's who had the Official Collector's Guide to Collecting & Completing Your G.I. Joe Figures and Accessories, volume I and II. These were in pristine condition, and though I don't personally have a use for the information inside, other than looking at the fantastic photographs, I was all in on grabbing these. Especially at $2.00 each.

This Flash Gordon movie adaptation comic piqued my interest big time. Mainly because Sam Jones frequents the conventions in my area, and I wanted to have this available to get signed should he come around in the near future.

When I saw the familiar cover below sitting on the corner of a table, I thought, "It can't be." Sure enough, it was. I have been kicking around getting this Treasury Edition of Superman and Spider-Man for months at this point. I never would have thought I would have found one in the wild, let alone in this pristine of condition, and for a mere $10.00! It's easily a $50.00 book in this condition.

I walked past this last piece multiple times, and even left the estate sale once, only to come back inside to look for something which George texted about when he got my photos. Even during my second visit, I picked it up, and put it down two additional times.

The treasure inside of this thing kept calling to me, not specifically for what they were, but because I could feel the love that the person who owned it had put into it. This was their personal collection of fan club memorabilia, and memories of Star Wars from their youth through a series of news clippings, photographs, and fliers, among other items. I ended up picking it up because I honestly felt drawn to give it a good home where it would be appreciated for what it was, and not necessarily because it had monetary value (if it even does).

When taking these photos and researching what everything was, I saw someone on ebay had paid $75 on ebay just for the above papers. I would have never guessed they would have had such value.

The packet has a mish mash of items from the original 1978 and 1980 fan club kits, the latter year and subsequent photos which I remember receiving as a child with my membership kit.

The first items I actually saw, and gravitated towards upon my arrival were animated DVD's. With a price tag of $4.00, and a promise from the woman that the more I buy the lower the cost, I went all in. At the end of the day, I don't need ALL of these, nor do I necessarily want them. But, at $2.00 a piece when it was all said and done, I'll take them, and figure it out later.

These Scooby Doo DVD's are what I initially started pulling. There were several on my want list, mostly the collection ones which feature the classic episodes. I've looked at these many times, and at the average five to ten dollar price (plus shipping), $2.00 each was a steal!

This was an amazing estate sale. I've never personally seen one like it before, but I am certainly glad we went.

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