16 November 2011

Comic Book Binding

As I finish the purge of most of my comic book collection there are a few series which I intend to keep. The problem is that in the future pulling out all those dang plastic bags with individual issues and trying to read them I'd much rather just pull a single book off the self instead.

That's where comic book binding comes in. Now pretty much every comic book from the last thirty odd years is just about worthless. I've been to enough flea markets and toy shows to see the dozens of long boxes with comics marked down to a quarter or less. I don't own any old comics anymore, the ones with any value got sold.

Since they have no value now there is nothing wrong with having them bound. I know some collectors will shudder thinking of messing with comics like that, but luckily many more feel as I do.

So why should I spend twenty-odd dollars binding a bunch of worthless crap together? Well since these are the comics that survived my final purge I plan on reading them again in the future, possibly several times over the years. Binding them in hardcover format will help protect them and make it nice and easy to read. They will also look really spiffy on a shelf - no more comic boxes.

The first series I plan on having bound; the poor series that will get experimented on; is The Champions. My copies are in rough shape. They are old reading copies. Covers are still attached, all pages in good order. Hopefully there will be no problems in binding them.

I also plan a couple more experimental things to do with this first project. It'll take me a few weeks to prep these additional details. I'll also have to find a book binder with experience with binding comic books. Hopefully they will give me some pointers and help me with the additional things I'll want done with this book.

As this project gets closer to becoming a reality I'll post some more details. When it is finally completed by early 2012 I'll be sure to post some pictures.

For more information on Comic Book Binding check out the Comic Binding thread on The Comic Forums.

Have you ever had comic books bound? What were your experiences? Any regrets?

09 November 2011

A funny thing happened on the way to my short story

Monday was a good day for me in terms of getting some writing done. The problem was I got inspired to write a short story instead of working on a 5,000 to 30,000 story I need to have written and polished by December 15th.

I did average about 1,000 words an hour and got the rough draft of the story done. The beginning needs a little work. I also have to make sure the foreshadowing in the story works as well as it seemed to as I was speeding along on Monday. I love the way the second half of the 5,000 words turned out..... it's just the first half that is giving me doubts.

The problem was research. Getting inspired late Sunday night as I was dozing off to having a finished draft 24 hours later didn't give me time to do proper research. I'll clean it up as well as I can this week. Hopefully at some point in the future I can interview someone with firsthand knowledge of some of the settings of the story to make it better.

A quick synopsis: A junior congressman gets assigned to the Ways and Means Committee and eventually uncovers a conspiracy. It has a good amount of action. I also personally like the climax and ending of the story.

If I can get it in really good shape I may even try to get it published. Failing that I'll be sure to post it to this blog - or at least post a link to wherever I end up uploading the story.

The Strange Thing About Inspiration
I wasn't planning on writing a short story. As I've said I have another writing project I have to finish over the next month. It's just the idea was so interesting to me and pieces seemed to fall into place I had to write it.

Some authors are asked where they get their ideas. I don't have a shoe box under my bed where I keep them. You just have to learn to recognize the idea for what it is and be willing to experiment.

The story I've finished does have a little bit more behind it. A friend of mine posted something on his Facebook page about some of the things he was planning to read. He mentioned a story by one of my favorite authors. I went to my self and pulled that book and then remembered there were other short stories in it.

I spent the night reading one of them. It was very creative and very well done. It got my mind wandering in some strange directions. Thrown into the mix was an odd concept from a Green Lantern comic I never read from 1985.

The quick bit of research I managed gave me some locations, ideas for interesting situations, and even the name for a supporting character. That same research forced me to change other things about the story. The main character is now from Colorado instead of Arizona.

Other bits came from writing dialog for the characters. You may have something planned when you start a scene but when the characters start talking and interacting with each other you realize something else should happen instead. It may sound silly, but when you are typing away at full speed you don't have time to plan out the dialog and consider the possible responses; your instinct takes over and your characters almost write themselves.

It's tough to get into that zone sometimes, but the results are usually very interesting. Typing away at a scene and not knowing how its going to end until your fingers stop clicking away on the keyboard.

08 November 2011

Another Election Day

Since I've been eligible to vote I've voted in every election except for one. Even back in the old days when I owned some stock (before I had to sell them to get the money for the down payment on a car) I would try to vote for the Boards of Directors and on any other proposals if the mood struck me.

Today before work I went out and did my civic duty. It was not one of the better years for choice. There were many uncontested races. Luckily someone from the other party ran for town supervisor an another for town board. Don't know how they'll do, but at least there was an option.

No real third party candidates in my area. The only so-called third party lines with candidates were the Conservatives, Working Families, and Independence parties... but the almost never run their own candidates, they instead keep nominating a Democrat or Republican.

If all those who didn't vote started voting for actual third parties it wouldn't be long before we actually had a third party. There is no way a third part can be legislated into existence. Also don't make the mistake I have in past years of voting on this alleged third parties that just nominate the D or the R, if no one votes on their lines maybe they'll give some real options of their own or go away.

At least the contested races on the county level seem to be going my way right now. I'll have to see about the town in the morning.
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