Super Toy, Comic and Collectible Show, SJ 3/20/09

“There’s more people here then there are at the gun show,” a passerby complained seeing the crowd coming out of the Super Toy, Comic and Collectible show at the San Jose County Fairgrounds Sunday. It could be a prob for Quakers, deciding whether it’s less morally compromising to buy a vintage GI Joe Cobra rifle or an actual Glock for about the same amount of money.

Saw Lee Hester of Lee’s Comix, as well as former Metro man Mark D. Arnold; the former commenting on the entropic quality of the comic business, the latter currently preparing the definitive history of Cracked Magazine for publication.

The Saratogan Arnold previously did a book length history of Harvey Comics; when one remembers that Bill Clinton once thought of himself as “A Baby Huey type,” it’s clear that it’s worth while studying Harvey’s mark on years of kids who never could figure out why exactly Casper the Friendly Ghost died in the first place.

Talked to Dan O’Neill—his fellow Air Pirate Ted Richards of Los Gatos momentarily absent from the table. The venerable O’Neill, famed forever for Odd Bodkins comics, was telling the story he dramatized into a short comic Log of the Irish Navy (banned from eBay as Irish propaganda, O’Neill says). It’s the story about an elaborate act of, what I guess the authorities would call bio-terrorism schemed up back in Spring 1983..they’d call bioterrorism because everybody has to justify the importance of their job, I add.

It was a brilliant plan to dump tons of herring into San Francisco Bay just as the Queen’s yacht was to arrive, thereby causing the Queen and her entourage to be fouled by seagull guano when the birds were attracted to the fish.

The top-secret scheme, said O’Neill, had the backing of the notorious Mitchell Brothers. His personal score to settle was being one of the first Americans to witness the carnage left behind by Bloody Sunday. Unfortunately, O’Neill said, the word got out to the British when the Royal Party were parked in Santa Barbara; after what must have been a typically dreary dining experience with the Reagans, Her Madj went to San Jose and thence Yosemite, fooling the Seagull Terrorists by not showing up.

Newspapers of the time indicate it was the terrible March weather that year that accounted for the Queen not sailing up the coast, but we know better now, don’t we? Nice to know California gales can be too scary for English sailors. As for those sentimental about the old bag, remember we’re talking about the world’s biggest landlord, and think of how happy it would have made the seagulls.

On the subject of the aging Underground, was very sorry to hear that S. Clay Wilson was too unwell to show up. Wilson is the Kansas-bred creator of The Checkered Demon and reams of other debauched characters (including a gang of pirates I would have happily seen taking over from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise); he is currently recuperating from a bad fall he had on a San Francisco sidewalk; his wife is overseeing a trust to pay for the expenses of his lengthy hospitalization. Though she passes on the news that Wilson is drawing again, and may be in good enough shape for a quick trip to WonderCon.

How the hell did I miss Wildcard Ink.’s Gumby series, done by Metro illustrator Rick Geary and Bob Burden? I just did, despite it being published in Walnut Creek, and despite also being a devoted fan of Burden’s beautifully bizarre Flaming Carrot (and he’s also the originator of what became a cult movie, The Mystery Men; call it the Kick-Ass of its day).

In the long run, does it matter whether a great work is noticed at the time its published, so long as it’s noticed?

Obviously, yes.

It startles me how well Burden and Geary work together; Geary adding some necessary cuteness, Burden adding the strangeness, and how can one not applaud (in issue #2) an episode in which Gumby is hypnotized by a bad carnie and forced to perform as a Golem in the sideshow.

I saw on ET that today’s YouTube sensation is videos in which people who have raided the malls describe everything they bought on camera. Since I am tight with a buck, I only came home  with the paperbacks below:

The mess starts again in August with another Super Toy show, details to come.

Incidentally, The two Three’s Company ladies seemed gregarious. but I didn’t stop to talk. Too  busy shopping.

81 comments to Super Toy, Comic and Collectible Show, SJ 3/20/09

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