Kid Spider Adventures Beginnings Comic 13

Comic Books

July 23rd, 2017 by

Second time without a Brady Bunch related posting. Don’t worry, I still have more blogs related to the show to post. Amazing how deep the show really is and how much content one can pull from the show and comment. To quote Peter David, but, I digress.

It has been a while since I have been excited about comic books. For the most part, I went from being the super fan to the casual fan, and I was collecting three titles, one of which I seriously decided to drop. Because I still have some love for the hobby, I was buying first issues of a series to try. Since I am very skeptical, if the issue did not grab me right away, I moved on. It appears that the alternative presses are picking up and producing better quality titles, and Marvel & DC are now moving toward telling decent stories again, without being socially preachy. Actually more DC and Marvel. Then there is Image, which has gone into the mode DC and Marvel were into, though things have not hit Walking Dead hard.

Walking Dead has been one of my favorite comics, since I picked up Compendium #1, and read it. I was never a zombie comic guy, usually a superhero guy and some fantasy or science fiction. When I read the Walking Dead Compendium, I was engrossed. Go to the bottom of the page and there is Amazon links to order things. All the Walking Dead Compendiums are available. But, I digress.

Besides Walking Dead, I am currently reading ElfQuest: The Final Quest. It seems a bit laborious now, but I will let that go, since Wendy Pini is obviously setting things up for her to leave, and sell off to Darkhorse. From there, what Darkhorse does, is up to them. Wendy Pini, whom I consider one of the best artists to ever put pencil to paper, then ink, and her husband Richard, told one of the finest Elf related stories ever. Since I first bought a collected edition of the first ElfQuest series, I have been a fan. ElfQuest has been one of my favorite comics, for over 3 decades. Sometimes good, with some bad, but that goes with comic collecting and a long running, creator owned series.

My only major publisher series I am reading is by DC, which is Batwoman. DC reintroduced Batwoman with the New52, unfortunately the story went off the rails in my opinion, and I stopped collecting the comic after issue 10. If DC had held the creative team to a standard 6 issue story arc, for trade paperback purposes. I would have collected the comic to the end. Maybe. With the Rebirth launch, I was skeptical, and did not by anything DC, but then the relaunch of Batwoman, intrigued me. So far the comic has held my interest.

Batwoman was introduced back in the 1950s as a romantic interest for Batman to counter the accusations of homosexuality, brought about by the Seduction of the Innocent investigation. Just Google the stuff. In the end, Batwoman was cast off in a very short time, the campy 1960s Batman took over, and, Bat history took a completely different turn. Catwoman was always the romantic foil. Talia Head was eventually Batman’s lover, and mother of his child. In current Bat cannon.

When Batwoman was relaunched, as a possible independent, but related character, though a lesbian, I was happy. I thought an under utilized character was being mainstreamed. The relaunch was solid, except after issue 6, the story diluted, and I lost interest. Now Rebirth has cured all the ills so far. Batwoman is part of the Batman family, and yet independent. The stories are so far solid.

Another excitement from DC, is the whole Dark Days story line to run through many titles. The Forge, and The Casting have been interesting. The 6 issue miniseries The Metal seems to be really exciting in tying together the continuity issues DC always had with some characters. My guess is the Watchmen sting will be part of it, and the whole Doomsday Clock series will help finally merge the multiverse in a cohesive unit.

My biggest hope is maybe Geoff Johns will do Legion of Superhero series. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page, and order his one story so far from Amazon.

Then there is the “Uber Invasion” series from Avatar. I started picking up the “Uber” series, like I do with most alternative press series in trade paperback format. Collected editions of a six issue story arc in one book, you can get a better feel for the whole story, when you have it to read completely. Modern comic story telling is geared to a six issue arc that is collected into a more salable format. Salable to the general public, because any existing bookstores or chains these days do not carry comics, but do carry trade paperbacks. I love the whole alternative history concept of Uber. It involves World War II, a subject on which I have become highly educated and very interested in, especially the European theater. Kieron Gillen is an incredible writer. It asks the question of “what if” and expands to a very gross, but interesting concept. What if Germany developed super humans? It takes place just days before Hitler killed himself, and Germany ultimately surrendered. Due to the super human development, Germany turned back the tide. Creating a stalemate. But, Hitler or at least the man impersonating Hitler, read the story, was not going to be happy with a stalemate. The United States was capable of attacking Germany, and Germany could not respond if the US developed a super human army. So, Germany attacked the US with it’s superhuman force. Uber ended, and the series shifted into Uber Invasion. I decided to purchase the comic format.

It has been a while since I have been excited about comics, and I am now excited. I will see where things go, and I am cautiously optimistic.

Thanks for stopping by.

Starting On Twitter

July 19th, 2017 by

Taking a break from the Brady Bunch posting. Will probably post another Brady post on Sunday with a new Kid Spider Comic.

I started a Twitter account to possibly generate some interest in this site, and because Facebook is becoming somewhat disinteresting. Being a graphic designer by trade, I want my designs and work to look good. Social media seems to not allow for that. Facebook and Twitter give artwork size for the background images, but do not give specifics. That is left up to third party sights. There is usually cropping, and scaling happening, along with header or footer areas, with indents that disrupt the art. The artwork for my current header is below.

twitter header

Twitter gives the size of 1500 pixels wide by 500 pixels high for the background art. The intent is for people in general to put something nice behind and then use the inset art for logos and branding purposes. The inset is 400 pixels by 400 pixels square with a circular overlay that crops out some of the art. In the main background art, there is opportunity to put logos and other information but it is tricky due to various ways the art is handled.

When I placed my first design, based on the simple 1500×500 it looked terrible. There was a scaling effect, and the header and footer, as well as the inset made the artwork look bad. After taking some screen captures and doing some redesign my main background image, looks like the image below on twitter.

twitter header

I was not too worried about the Kid Spider or Helper Monkey images, but I did want the Barstool Entertainment logo, Kid Spider Adventures logo, as well as the announcement of when the comic is published regularly to be unobstructed. I found that Twitter not only scales the art somewhat, there is a cropping for the header and footer. Also the inset can obscure any pertinent information. I found the best safe space for the branding information. In the graphic below, I covered over my main Twitter art with a semi opaque box indicating the area.

twitter header

As you see, the logos and announcement fall within the area. I put another image below giving measurements from top and bottom, as well as left and right in which the safe space floats. The measurements are not 100% accurate, but they will help.

twitter header

As you can see. The safe space starts 364 pixels to the right, this accounts for the circular inset. The safe space also starts at 62 pixels up from the bottom. This accounts for Twitter’s navigation. The maximum height of the safe space is 369 pixels. This accounts for the twitter header area. The width of 1106 pixels is to insure you are not cropped on the far right. I gave the measurement in from the right of 30 pixels, but it is not necessary if you keep your safe space totaling 1106 pixels. To be more safe a 1100 total pixels is better.

Hope this helps. If you are trying to include some branding into your Twitter header.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jobs Careers Brady

July 16th, 2017 by

In the Brady Bunch, as the children grew older, both the boys and girls decided to test the market for work to earn more money for various reasons. Greg being the oldest, started the trend. His first paying job was playing in a friend’s band, The Banana Convention. Typical Greg fashion, somehow, he managed to jeopardize that by smoking. One puff, and that was all it took, thankfully, his parents believed him when the pack of cigarettes turned out to not be his as was the coat they were in.

Mike got Greg a job in the architecture firm as an office boy. Greg was saving for a car. Greg also screwed that up because he stopped to by a magazine, and the drawings he was in charge of delivering to the printer fell out of the tubes and disappeared. That bit was used once again years later, under different circumstances.

Alice then got Greg a job with Sam as a delivery boy, because Greg wanted a surfboard. Greg did not screw that job up by leaving a pile of meat by the side of the road, but Bobby almost got them killed by locking them in the meat locker. Bobby managed to escape and call his parents to free Greg. Prompting Sam to make improvements to his shop and replace the meat locker door.

Peter was next into the working world. Wanting money to by a radio or something, he began working for Martinelli’s Bike Shop. Unfortunately Peter had ambition, no skills. Peter was fired, and lied to his parents, claiming he was promoted. The family celebrated with cake. Then the truth came out, and Peter learned a valuable lesson.

Though it would be some time before another job opportunity, it did not slow the Brady Bunch in attempts to make money. The kids turned to one career that might be lucrative, singing. Greg as a leader wrote songs, and played guitar. Peter’s voice changed, and could jeopardize that, but Greg made the best of it. The Brady’s would sing and dance on various television talent shows to win money or not. Then Greg’s dreams of being a rockstar almost came to fruition, Johnny Bravo. He fit the suit, but Greg had integrity. So that was that.

Eventually jobs became important in the Brady story line, Peter needed money to by a stereo, he rode all over town trying to find a job, but no luck. I guess Driscoll’s Toy Store was either out of business due to poor construction or did not employ heroes who reminded them of their poor construction. Peter could at least save little girls from being crushed by shelves improperly secured to walls. That would make a wonderful episode, lawsuits and osha reports. Peter Brady, Osha investigator.

Then Marcia found a job slinging ice cream at Haskell’s Ice Cream Parlor. Taking pity on her younger brother, Marcia got Peter a job. Peter lost ambition, and decided to eat his weight in ice cream. Marcia fired him. Then came Jan. Hardworking, and capable. She got revenge on her sister, and became the assistant manager after Mr. Haskel decided relaxing was not for him. Marcia was upset at first, but realized it was better to not work and let boys pay for everything. Why none of the Brady’s ever got a job at a cake shop was puzzling. Cake seemed to be part of the Brady lifestyle. Maybe Haskell’s sold ice cream cakes?

The final bout of Brady Money earning happened when Bobby decided to sell hair tonic. Cousin Oliver was going to help, and take a cut. What percentage of nothing is the best? Bobby eventually whined Greg into buying a bottle. Turned Johnny Bravo into Bozo the Clown. In the meantime, Cindy decided to breed rabbits. Buying two boy rabbits by mistake, well, the effort might count. It was not until Bobby dumped his hair tonic onto the rabbits that both younger Brady’s got their money back.

Seven years later, a sequel movie was going to be produced, The Brady Bride’s turned into a short lived television sequel. Jan had graduated college, was an architect in Boston, and marrying a college professor. Marcia was doing something, but did not want to be outdone by her sister, so she married a sales man she barely knew. Marcia did not meet too many rich men, trophy wife would be a better career move. By then, Bobby and Cindy were still in college, Peter was in the Air Force, and Greg was a doctor. The show was cancelled.

Seven years after the cancelled sequel, the Brady Christmas movie reignited a possible new sequel. In the movie, Marcia was a stay at home mom with two children. Jan was working on getting pregnant. Greg had a child. Peter was out of the Air Force and working at a stock firm or something, and his girlfriend was his boss. Bobby had dropped out of grad school to race cars, and Cindy had graduated college. The math on Cindy did not really add up well. She was twelve when the Brady Bunch was cancelled. Nineteen when the Brady Brides was cancelled. Now she would be twenty six and finally graduating college. You can fudge a little in television.

Then the sequel, the Bradys came out of the movie. Bobby was prepared to be the best race car driver ever. Then an accident left him paralyzed. Jan, still an architect, and still working on getting pregnant, eventually adopting. Marcia, her dead beat husband, and children moved into the Brady house with Mike and Carol. Marcia never did seem to get a job, just before the sequel was cancelled, she did try to start a business. Mike moved from being architect to being in charge of the firm, and then giving it over to Jan to run. Mike became a city councilman, advocate for the handicapped, and in the movie parodies, president. Cindy was a budding morning DJ dating her older boss. Peter dumped his girlfriend boss, catted about, then became involved with Mike’s political opponent’s daughter. Peter just sold bonds or something. Carol was now selling Real Estate.

What about Alice? She worked so many years as a house keeper. Then once all the children left, she had married Sam the Butcher. Turns out Sam was a two timing cad, but Alice took him back. Apparently she got used to not working.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Lovely Lady

July 12th, 2017 by

She was everyone’s mom, the mom everyone wanted to have as their mom, and a woman of many mysteries. Carol Brady, played by the great Florence Henderson, was a sitcom mom whom everyone could identify with. Kind, gentle, and nurturing to a fault, but also one who knew how to lay on a guilt trip or punish wrong doing.

A widowed woman or at least that is what was implied in the Brady Bunch series, though some thought she might have been divorced, in the movies that would later come out, she was the spouse of another Sherwood Schwartz character, the Professor. Widowed because her husband was thought to be dead, only stranded on a tropical island with Gilligan. Very creative twist. We do know that her former husband’s last name was Martin, because she is referred to as Carol Ann Tyler Martin Brady.

Carol Ann Tyler Martin was living with her parents, Ma & Pa Tyler, raising her three daughters, Jan, Marcia, Cindy, as well as a cat, Fluffy when she met Mike Brady somewhere. Sherwood Schwartz stated in his book, Brady Brady Brady, he had wanted to show how the Carol met Mike in a flashback or actual show, but that was nixed. The two dated, fell in love, and married. The pilot episode involving a cake tragedy caused by Tiger and Fluffy going wild. Once settling into their home in the Los Angeles hills, the Brady Bunch began a five year run, several spin offs, and movie parodies. It also became a show that has never really been off the air due to syndication, and has world wide appeal, mainly due to Carol Brady.

The role of Carol Brady had been turned down by a few actresses, including Shirley Jones, who would go on to play Shirley Partridge in a competing, but different family sit com, the Partridge Family. Shirley stated she felt the part was too unrealistic, but recommended a fellow Broadway performer, Florence Henderson. The role and casting were perfect.

Together with Alice, Mrs. Brady made many sandwiches, cake, and navigated the blended family situation with grace. Trying not to play favorites and showing the Brady Boys she was just as much their mother as her daughters mother. She was not trying to compete with Mike’s old wife or even replace her, just being the best mother she can be. Carol showed her love for the boys when she kept Bobby from running away from home when she was mistakenly thought of as a wicked step mother. Prepared to leave with him. Carol with Mike became a force that guided their children through ego trips to become better human beings. Marcia’s boy crazy, narcissism. Jan’s many neurotic episodes. Cindy’s desire to grow up before her time. Peter’s wanting to develop a personality, and going overboard after saving a girl in Driscoll’s Toy Shop. Bobby’s always wanting to win. Greg’s music career desires culminating in Johnny Bravo. Carol made sure her children remained grounded while pouring on a helping of guilt.

She could sing, dance, and cook, but could not play golf, baseball or build a club house. Throughout the five year span on television, Carol Brady wore many a hair style and some became fashionable. After the nest emptied, Carol became a real estate sales woman.

Several times episodes were based on the possibility that Carol was pregnant. Jan mistakenly thought Carol was going to have a baby, and when the final season happened, she announced her nephew Oliver was going to join the family in a way that lead her children to believe she was pregnant. Though never toyed with, the idea of Mike and Carol having a baby would have been a great way to change the dynamics of the show.

Carol Brady will always be part of the pop culture, and the every mom children would want to have.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Man Named Brady

July 9th, 2017 by

Mike Brady was a father who guided his family with Solomon like, sometimes corny wisdom. A widower with three growing boys, Greg, Peter, and Bobby, a housekeeper named Alice, and a dog named Tiger, he worked hard as an architect to provide. One day he met a lovely lady, Carol Ann Terrell Martin, and fell in love. Together the blended family known as the Brady Bunch hit the airwaves, and became engrained in pop culture.

On his wedding day, he saved the cake from utter disaster, only to end up becoming buried by the cake when he lost his balance. Then he realized, like his wife, while on their honeymoon, that they were a family and should be together. This gesture was the first of many where Mike put children before himself.

Ruling from his den/office, he would meet out punishment, pay allowances, and have his space constantly invaded. He taught his boys how to camp, fish, play baseball, drive and become men. Though he was a disaster helping the girls do their thing, he taught them how to be wise women, and independent. Mike Brady was the serious foil to the comic antics of his family. This was due to Robert Reed, who played the character feeling comedy and the situations were not real enough. The serious tone did actually enhance the show. It gave a distinct difference to the light hearted nature of the family comedy.

Robert Reed would become notorious on the set, though he loved the children. Eventually the plan was to have him replaced after he did not want to be in the final episode, because he felt it was just too outrageous. As it turned out, the show was cancelled. Though Robert Reed embraced the character in various spin offs.

Mike Brady took his family on various adventures due to his being an architect. Hawaii was the most famous. King’s Island in Cleveland Ohio was another. His final adventure was being buried under the rubble of a construction project when he went in to aid two workers during the Christmas Movie. Mike took his children camping, then to the Grand Canyon, where he became known as the man of many children.

Plots revolved around his willingness to sacrifice plans and notes when Greg got a job at his firm or Jan needed a tube to protect a poster, then inevitably the plans would be lost or switched. Mike Brady put up with clients whom were wealthy and difficult. Cindy saving his hide when her sisters played a prank on her and made her think she was going to be cast as the next Shirley Temple only to bring back childhood memories of a wealthy client, who then bought the plans Mike had.

Mike was so generous, he allowed Carol to bring Cousin Oliver into the family. I am guessing Robert Reed saw the writing on the wall when that happened, and seemed less happy to remain with the show. Though Lloyd Schwartz wrote that had the show gone another season, they would have recast the roll. That would in my humble opinion ruined the show entirely. A better option would be Mike having to go to South America for a big building project in order to gain promotion in the architectural firm, thus explaining his absence. Then the following season or midway bring in a different actor.

Mike Brady was such a good father to Carol’s daughters from the start, Marcia nominated him for father of the year, when telling Mike why would have saved her possible punishment, she knew what was happening was just. Eventually, Mike’s love for his children would lead to a career change.

Due to his son Bobby possibly temporarily losing the use of his legs due to a race car accident, Mike advocated for handicap access to buildings. It was still the 1990s and many buildings were not handicap accessible. This lead to Mike running for office. In the movie parody’s this was taken to the extreme, and Mike became president. Though he was more portrayed as a bumbling idiot who needed Carol as a guide in life.

Mike Brady, like his wife Carol, would become the parent most kids would love to have.

Thanks for stopping by.

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