Grandma's Sword

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So, in Grieving For Grandma, I mentioned that I've been pissed off for the last two days, and I've had to think about why. It starts with my aunt. She's the executor of the will, she is in control of the trust, and when grandma was alive, she had the power of attorney. My aunt retired just before grandma died- thirty...two(?) years as a police officer. She was the city's first female president of the F.O.P. (Fraternal Order of Police) and she retired with a detective's badge. The detective's badge is actually why she retired. They were about to take it from her over something political, and she retired before they could do it, so that she could say she retired a detective.

That's kind of important, because my aunt has done a lot of things so that she could say certain things. She led my grandmother in conversations, getting her to say the words she wanted to hear, so that she could make changes and say, "That's what mama wanted." These included several questionable changes to the will. Even though grandma couldn't remember people, and couldn't remember things she said to you two minutes ago, my aunt refused to have her declared incompetent, because that way, she could legally say grandma was competent when she "requested" the changes to the will. My aunt steadfastly refused to ask for help with my grandma, and at times adamantly refused to let my mom or I help with grandma, so that she could say she did all the work herself.

Something else my aunt did while she had power of attorney was cash in every bond and CD that my grandmother had put away, and put them all in the bank account that she controlled. This includes CD's/bonds that grandma had set aside for me to inherit. I don't know how much money it comes out to- my aunt won't tell us- but it sure would have helped me with paying back taxes to the IRS, and generally getting out of the financial hole I have fallen into, thanks to our economy that is "not a recession." As far as I know, this money is now in the trust with everything else, slated to be split between my mom and my aunt, and it is not an inconsiderable sum. We're talking about somewhere between $250K-$500K. That's right: a quarter million to a half million dollars.

I don't care about that though. I really don't. Partially because the money's not real to me. It's never been in my hands, I've never had any control of it, and my aunt has effectively cut me off from it...although I'm not sure why. My assumption is that it boils down to "the love of money is the root of all evil" (take note: the love of money, not money itself- it's a considerable distinction). My aunt wants more of the pie, so she cut me out, and set up the will so that the split between her and mom is 55/45, in my aunt's favor. It's not just the cash though. My aunt is sifting through everything my grandmother has ever owned, trying to figure out how to get the most cash out of those things too.

This includes things that my mom and I were supposed to receive, and this is the part that matters to me. Before my grandmother died, my aunt asked my mom and I what we wanted, of grandma's stuff. My list was small:

  1. I had some things stored in grandma's basement, that got packed up and stored with everything else that was in her house. I wanted that stuff. It's not even grandma's stuff, it's mine. As far as I can remember of what was stored, I'm pretty sure I've gotten all of that back, but one box took awhile to show up, and I'm pretty sure that's because my aunt had given it away or claimed it for herself, and had to get it back.
  2. There were some things that I gave grandma as presents. I'd like to get those back. Most of those have come back to me, and can be seen in previous blogs. There's a few bird statues that haven't turned up yet, but I'm not sure I mind. There's a little cardinal that I would still like to find. It cost about two dollars, if I remember correctly, but it was all I could afford that year, and grandma wrote my name on the bottom of it, that it was from me. ...And she always seemed so pleased with it. It's a silly little item, but I remember her smile when I think of it. I'd like it back. These are items that I bought, and there has been no real objection to me getting them back, so I've mostly gotten them back pretty easily.
  3. I asked for a chance to go through grandma's books. I'm particularly interested in her dictionaries and encyclopedias- especially the ones she kept in her living room, and referred to often. So far, the only ones that have turned up were ones that were almost completely fallen apart, and ones that were musty and overtaken with mildew. I might be able to salvage them with some careful work. The good ones though- ones that could possibly bring money in a sale (i.e. a sale set up by my aunt, where she would get half the money)- have mysteriously not turned up yet. They're supposedly in one of the storage sheds we haven't gotten to yet- sheds that she hasn't let me or my mom see. The books are minor, really. They're just nostalgic items I'd like to have.
  4. One of the last two item's is grandpa's gun. My grandfather used to hunt, and when I was nine, he showed me a rifle, and told me that I could have it when I was sixteen, and he would take me hunting. My grandfather (both grandfathers, actually) died when I was ten, I never got the gun, and as dad didn't hunt, I never learned to hunt either. I've only ever fired a handgun once (at an old spray paint can) so it's not like I use guns. I just want the gun because it's something grandpa said I could have, and I don't have too many reminders of him. ...It's why dreams of him are so special.
  5. The last item is a sword that grandma said I could have. Something else my grandfather used to do was auctioneer at estate auctions. He was good- the fast talking auctioneer type that makes people laugh to hear it, but you can still understand what he had to say. He had a sword in the living room closet, likely from one of those sales, that I ran across as a child. It had a horse head on the hilt, and it fascinated me. I wanted it from the moment I saw it, but grandma wouldn't let me touch it, because she was afraid I'd hurt myself (or hurt someone else) so that was the end of it- I didn't play with it. Years later though, as an adult, I asked about it, grandma said she'd find it and give it to me, and I asked about it again later. She still said she'd give it to me, but it didn't happen before she started forgetting stuff. I want the sword mostly because grandma said I could have it, and a little because it's a connection to my childhood.
The sword my aunt is trying to pass off on me.

That's the list: my stuff, my gifts to grandma, grandma's books, grandpa's gun, and grandma's sword. Not a lot to ask, and note that nowhere on that list do I mention the money that grandma was leaving me. The money really isn't important to me. It's just that it seems to be the basis of my aunt's deplorable actions, and that's terribly, terribly disappointing.

The gun and the sword are becoming a source of irritation that is pissing me off beyond all reason though. My aunt's boyfriend/ finace ...officially, he's the fiance, but my aunt has privately confided that she'll never marry him- they're screwed up like that... but anyway... he collects swords. And he wants mine. Actually, he has mine. My aunt started playing a shell game with it. First, it was, "We've only seen one sword, but it doesn't have a horse head on it, it looks more like a lion." Then it was (to my mom), "Well, ask him which sword it is, because we've found three." Then it was two, and two is currently where the story is staying.

NOT a Horse's Head

There's a similar shell game going on with the gun- there's three of those now too- but the difference is I can't really describe it to her, because I don't know enough about guns. It looked old back then, and I might know it when I see it. If the gun is as old as I think it is, it will probably sell, and I think my aunt has taken it to sell, planning to pass another shotgun off on me. That's frustrating, but ultimately, there's nothing I can do about it. I simply don't remember enough about the gun, and if she's hidden it, where would I find it?

She's given the sword to her boyfriend, and he doesn't want to give it up, so she's tried to pass off the sword with the lion head as the sword I am "misremembering." So I got that sword Tuesday night, and it's a cheap piece of crap that literally says "Made In India" on the blade, and bears no resemblance to the sword I remember. She gave it to my mom to bring to me, and when mom saw it, she even said it didn't look like the sword she remembered. My aunt immediately went to, "If he's going to piss and moan about it... bitchgripebitch." This has turned into my mom and aunt having it out over their own issues, and my aunt has displayed behavior so ludicrously childish that I don't even want to include it here. ...Family drama sucks.

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Grieving For Grandma

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After the last blog about my Grandma's Legacy - Grandma's Stuff, and Grandpa Visits My Dream - something just clicked. Maybe it was just the catharsis of writing about it, but I sat in my desk chair for about thirty minutes after I wrote it, and I found that I was just...more at peace. I knew that I wasn't done grieving, but I felt like maybe I had at least turned the corner in my grief. But for the last two days, I have been pissed off to no end, and I've really had to think about why.

I know what you're thinking: "There's five stages to grief, and one of them is anger." True: the Kubler-Ross model is: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The model acknowledges that this is not a complete list of the emotions someone can feel in grief (or other traumatic, life-altering event) and that they could occur in any order, but most people usually exhibit at least these five. I kind of went through denial and acceptance at the same time, before my grandmother died. I couldn't bring myself to visit her very often, because she's the strongest woman I've ever known, and it hurt me to see her in this weakened state. It hurt that she didn't remember me when I was standing in front of her. In an emergency room visit one day, she asked me who I was seven times- every time I walked out of and back into the room.

"Who are you?"

"I'm ___, your grandson. I'm [my mom's] son."

"Oh. Glad to know you."

Seven times over the course of...an hour or less? It was heart rending.

So yeah, I had a hard time visiting my grandmother, and I only did it a few times once she stopped remembering me. That was my denial of what was happening. At the same time, I was accepting it. Accepting that as sure as I had lost her, in that she didn't remember me, I was going to lose her to this awful thing that had taken her memory, and would eventually take her life.

If I did any bargaining, it was brief, just before the end, when I was sitting at grandma's bedside. It wasn't for "one more day" though. I just wanted her to acknowledge me. I just wanted to hear her say she loved me. I just wanted some sign that she hadn't forgotten me completely. And I got it. When everything else was painful to the touch, bringing about a weak, "ow. ow. ow. ow. ow..." she held my hand. I held one of her hands in both of mine, very carefully, so that she didn't "ow. ow. ow.," and then she put her other hand on top of mine, just patting it a little, or maybe her hand was just shaking. She did that for awhile.

When she was even weaker, eyes not even open, about to fall asleep, we went to leave, and I told her, "I love you, grandma."

She didn't open her eyes. She just said, "I love you too, sweetheart." I got to hear that two more times before she died, and...I think ...I'm pretty sure... that was the last thing I ever heard her say. Not a bad memory.

Grief and depression are not the same thing, so I'm not sure if depression has played into it. Certainly grief. The anger though? The anger is over the way my aunt has been handling things, and that has a lot to do with Grandpa's gun and Grandma's sword. I think maybe the thing that's going to get me through it is Grandma's Bible...but at this point, that surely needs to be another blog.

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Grandma's Stuff, and Grandpa Visits My Dream

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3910/24/13Grandma's Stuff, and Grandpa Visits My Dream(Blog) (Forum)Off-Topic(Back) (Next)

I've spent the last week going through all 137 currently existing pages on the Fan-Fic forum, just browsing for stuff to read, and I've found many gems. One that I've been thinking about the last couple of days is @razzatazz's Writers and Introversion/Extroversion. Mainly, the definitions she offered:

...an introvert can be more accurately portrayed as a thinker inside their head whereas an extrovert can be thought of [as] an outside thinker. Extroverts will fill a room with words, some meaningless, other[s] golden gems. They mostly vet their ideas by having others vet them for them. Introverts on the other hand vet their ideas internally. If you run across an introvert and ask them a question, they are likely to prefer to take a minute or two to give a response. An extrovert will probably start talking without really knowing the response and then move the discussion towards their answer as they talk. This is a fairly simplified version of the definitions.

I think I'm more of an introverted speaker. I generally don't like speaking to groups or people unprepared, so I much prefer to have my thoughts together before letting them out of my mouth. I was going to say that in my writing, I'm introverted for most things, but extroverted on my blogs, journals and personal e-mails- much more meandering when I do those. Which is really the point I'm getting at here: these blog entries I've been doing about my grandmother's passing and the things of hers that have been gradually coming into my possession...they're very much extroverted...sort of. By the time I get to the blog form, I've been thinking about it for awhile, but once I start typing, it's just me getting whatever thoughts out in whatever order, and hoping it makes sense by the end. I think I usually find my way, but I'm starting to have my doubts about this blog. So let me just say thanks for bearing with me while I get these thoughts out. If you got bored and moved on already, no hard feelings.

Yesterday, I did not spend the day sorting through the boxes of comics and other crap stacked up in my living room, as I had planned. Instead, I wound up spending the day helping my mom and my aunt go through boxes of books, magazines, old newspapers, and sundry miscellaneous paper detritus that my grandmother had squirreled away over her lifetime. Mostly, I spent the first hour or two going through some musty (some mildewed) books, and holding onto all of them probably for some latent fear that I'll lose some part of grandma if I let them go. The other four hours or so, I was watching my mom and my aunt go through boxes of paperwork, looking for anything that might be important, or that might catch their nostalgic fancies. I also found a box of plates and bowls I had been looking for, so hey, go me, the day was not a total loss.

I'm being a little bit flippant as a way of coping right now, in case that isn't coming through clearly. It was hard to go through those boxes, and that's only my third or fourth time getting to help. My mom and aunt have been having to do it for months since grandma passed, and really, they started before then, so I can only imagine how they're dealing with it. I mean, I ran across something silly sticking out of one of the boxes- a doll with a crocheted dress, made to cover a roll of toilet paper in your bathroom (both as decoration and for "emergency backup" purposes). It looked very much like the one pictured to your left, but the dress was red and black. Not the kind of thing I collect, but it took all that I had to leave it in the box, simply for the many memories of visiting grandma and grandpa's when I was little, which flooded my mind on sight of it. ...Isn't that silly? A stupid plastic doll that just couldn't look more girly, and I was seriously struggling with whether to keep it or not.

I picked up some other stuff too. Plenty of books. A set of encyclopedias and a few old dictionaries (love those for character ideas, as you may recall me mentioning in previous blogs). Some miscellaneous books that I just couldn't bear to get rid of. Something I was kind of excited to see: a set of encyclopedias on flowers. Flowers and other fauna have been a huge source of character inspiration over the years, so the more info I can have on those the better. Say what you will about books before the 1980's, but with the Internet not around, non-fiction books were, for the most part, very well informed on their chosen subjects. It's an excellent reference set to have, as far as I'm concerned.

Probably one of the coolest books I ran across was the little beauty pictured to the right: In time of Emergency: a citizen's handbook on ...Nuclear Attack ...Natural Disasters. This is a March 1968 pamphlet of Cold War paranoia from the friendly folks at the Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and the Office of Civil Defense. Pretty awesome? Grandma still had it in the original Department of Commerce envelope it was mailed in, with the government form letter that started off, "Dear fellow citizen." lol

Other weird stuff that I just had to keep yesterday? A couple of old keychains from 1965, that had phone numbers on them that began with letters, rather than numbers (an old style phone number, used back in the day). A metal coin commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Reader's Digest (and a bunch of the RD issues, which I'm going to scan cartoons and joke pages out of). And a silver dollar from the year I was born, that was given to me by the grandfather on my dad's side of the family. Not sure how it wound up in the hands of the grandmother on my mom's side of the family, but whatever- it was a great find, and that was very special to get back. And lastly, an old white leather copy of the King James Bible, that had belonged to grandma, and needs to be wiped down for the mildew creeping across the cover.

There's probably a couple things I'm forgetting, but that's the gist of it. I don't know why I keep inventorying these things on Comic Vine. Some of it has been comic related, some of it hasn't. I guess I just need to get it out of my system. I have been surprised how much these little things turning up have just been tearing me up inside. Mostly, it's just books, for crying out loud. It's been very personal though- grief always is, I suppose- and I haven't wanted to share it all with my family. So I keep putting it up here for complete strangers to see, figuring at some point, maybe someone in my family will see it, and at that point, maybe it won't be so painful as it is now, but rather a wistful, wonderful reminder of grandma.

All this digging around through grandma's stuff brought up memories of grandpa though, and last night, I was dreaming about him. Those are always very precious dreams to me. Both of my grandfathers died when I was ten, so my memories of them are special, and when they show up in a dream- which is seldom- the experience is almost mystical. For one thing, when I see my grandpa in a dream, I usually know right away that I'm dreaming, so holding onto the dream is difficult, but it's usually etched into my memory when I wake up.

This one was helped by the fact that after the several hours at the storage shed with my mom and aunt yesterday, I stopped by the comic shop on my way home. Near the checkout counter, Ed (my LCS owner) had a stack of boxes of gums, and one of those gums was Juicy Fruit. When I was little, grandpa (on mom's side) always had a pack of Juicy Fruit in his shirt pocket, and every time we went for a visit, I was begging him for gum. I always got a stick or two of gum out of him before I left. And though I've kind of lost the taste for it over the years, Juicy Fruit holds a fond place in my heart as a symbol of my grandfather. That and "Toooo much Fonzie," but that's a story for another time.

So this dream last night. I'm at a doorway, and my grandfather is dressed in familiar colors: dark blue work pants, and a light blue button up shirt. Only instead of the familiar work shirts that probably had snaps instead of buttons, this was a crisp, clean, dress shirt. His hair was neatly combed (which is strange now that I think about it, because grandpa was bald at the top, with hair only wreathing his head around the sides and back) and he actually looked a little younger than I remember him. He was down on one knee, and oh how he was smiling at me, like he was so glad to see me, and God, was I glad to see him. I hovered at the doorway to get a good look at him, maybe half realizing that this was a dream and I'd better get a good look before it was done. But man, even though I was at adult height in the dream, all I wanted to do was run into his arms like I did as a kid, and bury my head in his neck, and soak up the smell of grandpa: Juicy Fruit, Marlboro cigarettes, probably a little sweat from work, and likely a hint of Old Spice [go ahead, whistle the jingle tune- it'll make you feel good]...

I woke up before I could do that. It's okay though- like I said, it's etched into my memory, and a little bit of grandpa's love goes a long ways towards shoring me up for the grief of losing grandma. Whether Divine gift or just a manifestation of my subconscious mind, I don't really care. I needed that dream. More than I knew.

As always, thanks for reading, and thanks for bearing with me in my time of grief. Hopefully, that'll draw to a close soon, and I can get on with the other business of life. Love you all, to one degree or another, even though we're just blips on a screen to each other. We're also fellow humans, and dangit, sometimes that should be enough. See you next time.

Until then, here's a few more of those odd things I found yesterday. Enjoy.

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Grandma's Comics 2: Superman & Batman: Generations TPB

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3809/24/13Grandma's Comics 2: Superman & Batman: Generations TPB(Blog) (Forum)Gen. Discussion(Back) (Next)

In the first Grandma's Comics, I said:

Honestly, I had forgotten that I had given her the first issue of the Superman & Batman: Generations mini-series. Upon seeing it again though, I remember explaining the premise of an Elseworlds to her, and telling her that if she liked it, I could get the other issues for her, or a collected edition.

If I didn't remember giving her the single issue, I certainly didn't remember giving her the trade paperback. Mom strikes again, apparently- I found it laying on my desk, when I got home from work- something that turned up when she and my aunt were going through grandma's things. I had to think about it, but I did finally remember giving her the collected edition. I felt bad that I had only given her part of the story, and I wanted her to be able to read the whole thing... I'm getting tired of saying this, but I don't know if she did or not. I like to think that she did, and that she enjoyed it.

If you've never read it, Superman & Batman: Generations is an Elseworlds tale about a Superman and Batman that existed from the 1930's (when they were created in real life) to the present (1999, when the title was published). They're adults all the way through, so John Byrne had to come up with some creative ways to keep them alive and active for sixty-some years, and that's the fun of it. The story was well received enough to get sequels in Superman & Batman: Generations II, and the less well-received Superman & Batman: Generations III.

I have yet to find all the issues to SBG3, so I don't have a recommendation, but I loved SBG2 as much as the first one. This is probably linked to the fact that I think the DC and Marvel characters should be generational- living, dying, and having offspring that carry on for them. Mortal characters become immortalized to fans in a way that never-dying, continually merchandised characters will never know. Besides, you can always tell "untold tales," when you want to revisit bygone eras and characters. But letting old characters die or retire allows new ones to rise up and actually have lives that stand to reason.

So the Teen Titans would have replaced the Justice League, Young Justice would have been the Titans' sidekicks, and eventually YJ would have sidekicks of their own. Instead, we have immortal adults due to commercial considerations, and teen-turned-adult characters that can't stay sidekicks, but can't step into the roles they're meant for either. So they get shoved aside for newer sidekicks, becoming outsiders (literally Outsiders, at DC). It may be moneymaking in the short term, but it's very shortsighted about the possibilities for long term gains.

Imagine if DC had picked up on Generations, and did a Crisis-type story that left the characters in one, generational universe. We're looking at The New 52, trying to figure out how Batman had five Robins in five years? Imagine coming into a generational universe, and trying to figure out how many Batmen have succeeded Bruce Wayne, and who the current one is. Who's still alive, and who's dead? Superman would presumably be immortal, but what about Wonder Woman? Is she older, or is her molded-from-clay form immortal also? How long do Atlanteans live? If closer to human lifespans, who succeeded Arthur? What happened to Green Arrow, Cyborg, Black Canary, etc.? How many Flashes have there been? How many Green Lanterns? The possibilities go on-and-on. With the current DC, it just seems to be, "Okay, so how does their origin work in the modern era?" They wouldn't have to figure all that out if they'd go generational, for crying out loud.

...So...that was way off-topic, but that tends to happen with grief- you find things to use to distract yourself from it. Comics have certainly always been good for a distraction. I'm going to have to give this book a read through again, and enjoy feeling a little closer to grandma's memory. Thanks for reading, and thanks for bearing with me in my grief. I'm bearing up reasonably well, all things considered.

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Grandma's Books: Dictionaries and Tides of the Heart

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3710/08/13Grandma's Books: Dictionaries and Tides of the Heart(Blog) (Forum)Off-Topic(Back) (Next)

My mom has been at it again: going through my grandma's stuff with my aunt, and finding more things to bring home. Before Grandma's Comics and Mandrake the Magician, it was a copy of the American College Dictionary. I found it sitting on my desk, with a note from mom, saying she thought I would want it. I did, and it's still on my desk. Not long after, I found a box at my desk containing a large copy of some version of a Merriam Webster's- it's hard to know exactly what, because the cover and some of the first pages are missing. It's still in the box.

Grandma kept them for a different reason than I do. I look through them to generate ideas, and often find myself rabbit trailing through the pages, chasing down this or that word from another definition, branching out until I've got ten or twenty pages bookmarked with Post-Its or scraps of paper. She would actually read them for something to do. She'd just sit down and start reading, her finger trailing her way down the page as she went, and similar to my own progress, she'd soon be flipping to something else, and she might spend an hour or better on that. She just liked learning, and sometimes she'd be searching the hard way for an answer to a crossword puzzle. I love dictionaries- especially old ones, for their obscure and obsolete words. I sometimes find them useful for character ideas. I have several unabridged dictionaries, from different publishers, and now I've added grandma's to the collection. I'm hoping some of her others will turn up in good condition. As long as they're not mildewed, I'll probably keep them even if they aren't in great condition.

***

Tides of the Heart, on the other hand... that's something special. That one is mine. I didn't remember grandma having two copies of it, but there they were tonight, when I got home from work- sitting in my desk chair. She must have ordered them from me before it was printed, because there's no note from me in it. I bought several copies and gave them to friends and family, but they all had notes in them from me to whomever I gave them to.

The official name of the book is Tides of the Heart: The Best of Prose-n-Poetry, as it was an anthology published by that website. At the time it was a non-profit writing site. I don't recommend the site. Some very sketchy things came to light about its owner, and the non-profit broke up over it. The remainder of the books printed disappeared into the ether, supposedly donated (by law) to another non-profit, but personally, I've only ever seen the one royalty check for a whopping thirty-five dollars.

The book is a 212 page poetry anthology, featuring twenty-eight poets from the site. My section of the book is a mere five pages long, containing three of my poems. The cover is kind of meh, but as this is the first professional thing I have been published in ($35, remember? I'm a paid writer, baby!) it holds a special place in my heart.

Much like never asking grandma why she liked Mandrake the Magician, I don't recall ever asking her what she thought of my poems. I'm her grandson- of course she liked them. lol ...And she loved me.

And I love her.

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Grandma's Heroes: Mandrake the Magician

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3610/08/13Grandma's Heroes: Mandrake the Magician(Blog) (Forum)Mandrake(Back) (Next)

I came home one day last week, and found that my mom and my aunt had once again turned up something that I had given to my grandmother. This time it was a small statue of Mandrake the Magician. Sculpted by Yoe! Studio, it's #7 of Dark Horse's original Classic Comic Character line of statues. This one is #416 of 750, and was produced in the year 2000.

...I'm a bit overwhelmed. I want to tell you something about Mandrake the Magician, but I've got just a hundred jillion thoughts about my grandmother running through my head. She told me on more than one occasion that she loved Mandrake as a girl. Regretfully, I never really asked her why. To me, it was comics, so what's not to love? I guess I just assumed that to be her reason as well.

I think Grandma would have been tickled with this image.

Aside from the fact that Superman and company weren't around until a few years after Mandrake debuted, our Magician carries the classic look: black tuxedo with tails, black tophat, and black cape with red liner. He could fit in anywhere with that. On stage, at a high society party, in amongst gangsters, or he could even pass James Bond in a casino, and one might only take notice of the tophat. I call it "the classic look," but the fact is: Mandrake probably helped establish that design as the classic look. It was probably the normal stage magician's attire already, but the distribution of Mandrake through the papers of King Features Syndicate probably did a lot for cementing it in the collective pop culture consciousness.

His powers are basic too: a certain amount of detective skill, a super amount of hypnotic skill, and a strong hand at being an illusionist. What I loved about classic Mandrake is that it was always left to question whether the magic he performed was real, or just illusion. That frustrated me as a child, because of course it needed to be real, but I appreciate it much more as an adult. Yeah, I'd rather it be real, and just make Mandrake out to be a superhero once and for all, but who cares? We need a few questions in our lives, so if Mandrake can keep us guessing, all the better.

Probably the thing that fascinates me the most about him is that Lee Falk created him and The Phantom. Two- count 'em: TWO classic characters that have stood the test of time! Yes, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and company have created many, many characters that have stayed with us, but what fascinates me about the old newspaper strip characters is that they're not always in print. They fade into obscurity a bit, then someone dusts them off, they get licensed, and people. still. love. them. How cool is that?

...Pretty danged cool. God rest her soul, my grandmother loved Mandrake the Magician too, and it makes me a little warm and fuzzy inside to know that I do too. It makes me feel closer to grandma- or maybe just closer to her memory. And for that, I'm always going to love Mandrake the Magician, and the rest of grandma's heroes.

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Grandma's Comics

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3509/24/13Grandma's Comics(Blog) (Forum)Gen. Discussion(Back) (Next)

My grandmother died in July, and I suppose I'm only now starting to come out of the grief of it. Note: "starting to," meaning I'm still grieving- it hasn't stopped yet. That's probably partly due to the fact my mom, aunt and I (but mostly my mom and aunt, due to my work schedule) have been sorting through multiple storage units of my grandmother's stuff, ever since. In among all that stuff, I knew there were some comics I had given grandma. I had been waiting for them to turn up, and they finally did so today. My mom handed them to me just a couple of hours ago, not long after I got home from work (yes, I'm old enough that my mother lives with me). I almost choked up a little.

Grandma liked Mandrake the Magician as a child, and has always liked Superman, thus the selections you see above. She also liked Flash Gordon, and I had several collected volumes of that for her, but her eyesight had gotten too bad to read the small print of them, before I was able to move back to my home state to give them to her (I couldn't bring myself to trust them to shipping).

Honestly, I had forgotten that I had given her the first issue of the Superman & Batman: Generations mini-series. Upon seeing it again though, I remember explaining the premise of an Elseworlds to her, and telling her that if she liked it, I could get the other issues for her, or a collected edition. I know she read them all, because I had put them in mylar sleeves for her, and they were put back on backwards and/or upside down lol...

God, I miss her...

So...I'm crying quite unexpectedly now, and I've run out of things to say, though I thought I had more. I just wanted to get this out there, I suppose...

In the long pauses indicated by those elipses, I just came to a realization: grandma is the only person in the family that ever really showed any kind of interest in my interest in comics. The rest just tolerated it and shook their heads at my collector fervor. Grandma would actually read some of them, and tell me about the ones she liked as a kid. I think she also liked The Phantom (I know that I did).

I think that might be why I took to old movie serials like I did- watching them made me feel a little closer to her, because I imagined how she might have watched them, when she was younger. I don't know if she did or not, really, but it's a nice thought. I know she watched the black-and-white Superman TV show, with George Reeves.

Liking comics was something that surprised me about grandma, because she was so no-nonsense about everything else. I mean, she absolutely despised The Three Stooges! (It's okay though- my dad loves them, so I did too as a kid, although their charm has worn off a little for me now.)

So now I get to read these trades (and the single issue of Generations [although I have the TPB somewhere, myself]) and while reading, I'll wonder how grandma liked them, and wonder how she reacted to them, and how many times she read them, or if it was only once each.

And oh. my. God. I am going to miss her.

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Comic Ads Index (categorized)

Welcome to cbishop's Comic Ads Index

How to View Index:HoweverYouWant
Comic Ads Index:(numerical order)(alphabetical order)(categorized)

All the Comic Ads I've posted, categorized (ads may be listed in more than one category):

AAU ShuperstarG.I. JoeSnoopy
A Dungeons & Dragons AdventureGritSpider-Man
Bill's LifeHostess Ad ParodiesSports Stars
Breakfast CerealsKennerSSP/ TTP
CIEMagic Snake PuzzlesVolto From Mars
Correspondence SchoolsMiscellaneous-

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AAU Shuperstar:
A Dungeons & Dragons Adventure:
#DateTitleAdvertiser
00709/25/13A Dungeons & Dragons AdventureTSR
Bill's Life: (The ads that chronicle the life of Bill [in life order]) ;)
#DateTitleAdvertiser
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03412/13/13Bill's Vacation Gift From Dad!Daisy Mfg. Co.
05201/24/14Margie gets FRee GIFTS for the whole familyConsumer Gazette
01910/04/13The day Bill told off his bossCIE
----
Breakfast Cereals: (see also: Volto From Mars)
#DateTitleAdvertiser
02911/13/13A Laugh A Minute With The Cuckoo Bird!Cocoa Puffs
01009/26/13The Amazing Spider-Man in the "Where's the Cap'n?" MysteryCap'n Crunch
03011/13/13How's Trix?Trix
03111/13/13Rocky and Bullwinkle - CheeriosCheerios
CIE (Cleveland Institute of Electronics):
#DateTitleAdvertiser
01910/04/13The day Bill told off his bossCIE
00409/23/13ElectromanCIE
02611/13/13"Get It All Together"CIE
Correspondence Schools: (see also: CIE)
#DateTitleAdvertiser
01710/04/13How Joe solved his "security problem"!Locksmithing Institute
02711/13/13How I Got The Tip Of My LifeUniversal Schools
01610/04/13Out Cold!International Correspondence Schools (ICS)
G.I. Joe:
Grit:
Hostess Ad Parodies:
#DateTitleAdvertiser
03211/27/13Blasto Pies/ Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death505 Games
Kenner: (see also: SSP/ TTP)
Magic Snake Puzzle:
#DateTitleAdvertiser
--Batman in "S.O.S.: Save Our Snakes!"Magic Snake Puzzle
05508/15/14The Incredible Hulk and The Magic SnakeMagic Snake Puzzle
--Josie's Snake HuntMagic Snake Puzzle
01310/03/13Spider-Man and the Mystery of the Museum Snakes!Magic Snake Puzzle
01210/03/13Superman in "The Case of the Snake Shapes"Magic Snake Puzzle
Miscellaneous:
#DateTitleAdvertiser
00809/25/13The Adventures of Sgt. Shark!Shark Power
05301/28/14Archie Gets All The BrakesBendix
02010/04/13Behind the Candy CounterBubble Yum
01510/04/13Lee Rider in "A Starring Role"Lee Jeans
01410/04/13Little PeteSilly Putty
02110/04/13Scottie in A Cracker Jack StoryCracker Jacks
02511/08/13Trucking Adventure With Tyco's US1 Electric TruckingTyco
00609/25/13The Weird World of AuroraAurora
Snoopy:
#DateTitleAdvertiser
04301/11/14Aha! Caught You Kids With Snoopy Again!Kenner
00509/25/13Snoopy Strikes Again!Monogram
04201/11/14The Whole Family Loves SnoopyKenner
Spider-Man:
Sports Stars:
#DateTitleAdvertiser
02811/13/13The Dingo Kids Meet O.J. SimpsonDingo
03501/09/14Pete Rose Batting PracticeTurco
00109/23/13Spalding Presents Street BallSpalding
SSP/ TTP:
#DateTitleAdvertiser
03312/11/13Bank Robbery In Progress!Kenner
04401/11/14Classy CrashersKenner
04501/12/14Smash-Up DerbyKenner
03701/10/14Tee-Tee Power Measures Up To The ChallengeKenner
04801/13/14Traction Action BulldozerKenner
Volto From Mars:
#DateTitleAdvertiser
--Volto From Mars (The Bear)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (The Boa Constrictor)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (The Bull)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Forest Fire)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Introducing Volto From Mars)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Jungle Rescue)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Kidnappers)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Meteor)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Mexican Bandits)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Peach Crop)Grape Nuts Flakes
02310/26/13Volto From Mars (Reform Mayor)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Rocket Plane)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Rocket Spies)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (The Roller Coaster)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (The Runaway Truck)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Shark)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Spy Ring)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Torpedo)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (Train Schedule)Grape Nuts Flakes
--Volto From Mars (The Wallet Thief)Grape Nuts Flakes

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Full Lists Index:(numerical order)(alphabetical order)(categorized: [numerically] [alphabetically])
2 Comments

Comic Ads Index (alphabetical order)

Welcome to cbishop's Comic Ads Index

How to View Index:HoweverYouWant
Comic Ads Index:(numerical order)(alphabetical order)(categorized)

All the Comic Ads I've posted, in alphabetical orderorder from last to first:

-A-

-B-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
03901/10/14Baby AliveKenner
03312/11/13Bank Robbery In Progress!Kenner
--Batman in "S.O.S.: Save Our Snakes!"Magic Snake Puzzle
02010/04/13Behind the Candy CounterBubble Yum
03412/13/13Bill's Vacation Gift From Dad!Daisy Mfg. Co.
03211/27/13Blasto Pies/ Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death505 Games
01810/04/13Boys! Earn $1 To $6 A Week Sell Grit in Your Spare Time (Earn big prizes too)Grit
01109/26/13Bulletman, The Human Bullet Blasts Into the GI Joe Super Adventure TeamHasbro

-C-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
04401/11/14Classy CrashersKenner

-D-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
01910/04/13The day Bill told off his bossCIE
02811/13/13The Dingo Kids Meet O.J. SimpsonDingo
00909/25/13Duke The Super Action DogKenner

-E-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
00409/23/13ElectromanCleveland Institute of Electronics (CIE)

-F--G-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
02611/13/13"Get It All Together"CIE

-H-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
02210/07/13Here Are Some Easy Steps For Proper Dental Care!Aim
05101/23/14Here It Is, Kids! Newest Kenner Fun CatalogKenner
01710/04/13How Joe solved his "security problem"!Locksmithing Institute
02711/13/13How I Got The Tip Of My LifeUniversal Schools
03011/13/13How's Trix?Trix

-I-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
05508/15/14The Incredible Hulk and The Magic SnakeMagic Snake Puzzle
04601/12/14I've Got Fred And Barney Up Here With Me!Kenner

-J-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
--Josie's Snake HuntMagic Snake Puzzle

-K-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
04101/10/14Kiddie FondueKenner

-L-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
01510/04/13Lee Rider in "A Starring Role"Lee Jeans
01410/04/13Little PeteSilly Putty

-M-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
05201/24/14Margie gets FRee GIFTS for the whole familyConsumer Gazette
03801/10/14Meet Dusty: America's Most Beautiful Doll!Kenner
04901/20/14My Hair Is A Mess!Kenner

-N-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
04001/10/14Nancy NonsenseKenner

-O-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
01610/04/13Out Cold!International Correspondence Schools (ICS)

-P-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
03501/09/14Pete Rose Batting PracticeTurco
04701/13/14The Pharoh's Secret SpirographKenner

-Q--R-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
03111/13/13Rocky and Bullwinkle - CheeriosCheerios

-S-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
02110/04/13Scottie in A Cracker Jack StoryCracker Jacks
04501/12/14Smash-Up DerbyKenner
00509/25/13Snoopy Strikes Again!Monogram
00109/23/13Spalding Presents Street BallSpalding
02411/08/13Spider-Man and Captain America Ricochet To Freedom!Ricochet Racers
01310/03/13Spider-Man and the Mystery of the Museum Snakes!Magic Snake Puzzle
05001/23/14Steve Scout And His Friend Bob ScoutKenner
01210/03/13Superman in "The Case of the Snake Shapes"Magic Snake Puzzle

-T-

-U--V-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
02310/26/13Volto From Mars (Reform Mayor)Grape Nuts Flakes

-W-

#DateTitleAdvertiser
00609/25/13The Weird World of AuroraAurora
04201/11/14The Whole Family Loves SnoopyKenner

-X--Y--Z-

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Full Lists Index:(numerical order)(alphabetical order)(categorized: [numerically] [alphabetically])

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#DateTitleAdvertiser
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2 Comments