Monday, January 5, 2009

Is this thing on?

Well ... hello, there.

As you may have noticed (or not), things have been pretty quiet around these parts. The one-two punch of the holidays and a two-week vacation gave me the chance to take a nice little bit of time off. Now I'm rested and ready to reacquaint myself with this electronic addiction. In other words, I missed you guys and I missed talking comics, so let's get going.

So where was I for the past two weeks? I was lucky enough to spend the time in New York City, and let me tell ya, that's a happening little town. My wife and I saw nearly every museum, landmark and tourist destination while we there, and discovered 14 days is just enough time to realize it's not enough time. Still, we saw almost everything on our list and had a great time. And in case you're wondering, yes, a certain store was on the list:

Sorry about the photo quality — I was a half-block away, for God's sake! Anyway, I'm happy to report that Midtown Comics is pretty much everything you'd feverishly imagine. Friendly staff, plenty of floppies and books in stock, a ton of back issues, toys and statues ... all in all, fairly high on the awesome scale.

Fortunately for me, my wife was patient enough to let me drag her to both Manhattan locations. If you don't live in the New York area and have to choose only one during a trip, I'd recommend the Times Square store. It's bigger (two floors!) and it felt like there was more to gawk at and geek out over. On the other hand, the cozier Lexington location was hiring at the time and it's easy to fantasize about working there.

Another stop on my NYC geek tour was the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, which is hosting exhibits of Harvey Comics art and the work of Ryan Dunlavey (who's probably best known as the co-creator and artist of Action Philosophers). It's really more a gallery than a museum at this point, but it's nice to see someone giving unfiltered attention to comic art and MoCCA does a good job of it. Both of the current exhibits are great, and the Harvey art is particularly fascinating. Both the process and craftsmanship that went into these comics are on display, and it's a treat to see it up close. If you have the chance, you should go check it out and give your support to an organization that's supporting an art form we all love.

And this has nothing to do with vacationing, but I was sorry to see veteran character actor Pat Hingle died Saturday due to a type of blood cancer. Hingle played Commissioner Gordon in the first four Batman movies, and had a long career that spanned film, television and the stage. He was 84.

Huh. Well, nothing like ending on a depressing note to alienate whatever readers are still here, right? Again, thanks for your patience, and thanks for reading! As always, I appreciate your comments, and thanks for the e-mails asking just where the hell I was. Things will be getting back into the usual rhythm soon — I swear!


Bully said...

Midtown is a wonderful shop with lots of great stuff and a very friendly set of employees. Glad you found the time to visit them!

Scott said...

Yay! Glad to see ya back! :)

Ellen said...

Thanks for the great MoCCA Plug! Gald you enjoyed the exhibits.

Warm regards,

jehingr said...

So sorry to have to pick a nit, but the fabulous Mr. Hingle did not play Commissioner Gordon in the FIRST Batman move - that honor of course goes to Neil Hamilton.


But I love your blog nonetheless.

Maxo said...

Bully: Me too! It is a great store, and the staff is sincerely friendly. I felt comfortable there right away, which you'd think is how any store would want a customer to feel. I could have spent all day there.

Scott: Thanks - it's good to be back! (And thanks for the encouragement!)

Ellen: MoCCA was high on the list of things to do in New York, and it didn't disappoint. I just wish I could go to all of your exhibits. And I should have commended your staff, as well: There was one staffer in particular (a youngish, tall guy) who was answering questions for a family that was there and he was informative, interesting and obviously enjoyed what he was doing; the kids and adults were both completely drawn in.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Jim: Hey, if I'm wrong I'm wrong, but I'd rather get it right so thanks for your comment (and for being so nice about it!). I guess I should have specified that Hingle played Commissioner Gordon in the four movies that began with 1989's "Batman" and ended with "Batman and Robin" in 1997.

And thanks for the kind words!

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