Since I’ve Been Gone

summer comicsHello, hello, Internet and Ideal Comics faithful! I know it has been several months since you last heard from me. And though I have been away from the keyboard I have not been idle. I’m sorry, what is that? What was I doing? Well, I reckon I do owe you something–some frail thread of explanation or excuse. In short, I have been busy.

So the last time I was here, I had just returned from ‘Free Comic book Day’ with a stack of comics six inches deep, including 45 free comics and a few not-free ones. While I am still trying to work through the freebies, i have had a great time with several of the DC Convergence titles, especially Aquaman and Batgirl featuring Steph Brown (some day I will write about Steph Brown but not today); as well as Lucas/Disney/Marvel‘s Kanan: The Last Padawan!

Of course I had much more than a few free comics to take my attention and time. I had these:

Gametime haul

See, Game Time, the local game shop (downtown Scottsbluff, NE), has been selling a bunch of old comics at cover price. COVER PRICE! It was been a great chance to fill in holes in my collection, or taste something new. Me, I have had the chance to sit down with stuff by Ostrander, Breyfogle, Dixon, Wien, Grant, Balent—just a few of my old ‘friends’ (for the record, I’ve met none of these guys, just read LOTS of comics)

In the middle of all this, I discovered Mr T and the T-Force, the short run series from Now Comics in 1993. Allow me a tangent to talk about Mr. T. I was a young child in the 1980’s, and my favourite show was A-Team! Now, I was little, and I was not permitted to watch it all the time, but Mr. T and his mohawk (Yeah, I know it not actually a mohawk, but I was six then) was the coolest guy this little white kid had ever seen. He was tough, took ZERO crap and always helped out his friends!

2191410-03In 1988, we moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Scottsbluff, and with my dad’s new job we got a little swag—Cable TV. This was about the same time as Mr. T teamed up with the Family Channel to bring us the crime drama T and T, where the tough-as-nails T was showcased with his heart of gold! Now, I don’t want to just go on to a litany of Mr. T‘s roles, but this storied tough with the noble soul has always been a special memory, memories brought back by a decades old comic I had never read! One last story, though.

A few years back, Mr. T was in a reality show called I Pity the Fool. The premise—the eponymous hero met real people with real problems, and used his resources (toughness, hard work, sound advice) to help out. It was a little silly, highly entertaining, and possibly the most truly important short run program in the history of television. Maybe.

Of course, not agering miniconll of this summer has been reading and reminiscing. Across the river from my sleepy little hamlet is the city of Gering (which is sleepier yet). In June I took my boys down to the Gering Library to participate in the summer reading program. You see, nothing against the ‘Bluff library, Gering is just better. It is warm and friendly in there, like a living room, not an institution—it is like a home.

Anyroad, this year’s theme was comics, and I could not help but put a word in for our products and blog; and in turn was honored to be asked to help with their teen program mini-con! Barry Tetz and I were down to the mini-con to teach a mini-workshop on making comic-strips. It was a lot of fun. We got to talk to a few kids about the craft and why we love it, AND I drew this:minicon sketch

Well, I suppose that’s about it. I am hoping to have some time to hammer out a discussion of The Spirit over then next few weeks. We’ll see how that goes. We as a company have some plans cresting over the near horizon, so we will have to see how that comes. But, hey, see you when we get there.

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Mathew D. Rhys

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