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Category: Comics

Larger than Life LGBT Comic Book Characters in Rock and Pop Music

Posted on May 3, 2017  in Comics, Music & Musicians

Rock music, and consequently, popular music, plays a significant role in the LGBT community. In many ways, the LGBT community can even be credited with architecting the phenomenal movement that this rock music. The roster of iconic LGBT figures in the rock community is endless, with these icons often working to ensure that a stamp of themselves and their community is left to the materials they produce. Iconic rockers have added a fresh and LGBT-like aesthetic to the music they produce, which has helped to fight the misconstructions that cause the development of oppressive social norms.

See, rock music is a perfect ground to release the innermost expressions of artistic vision and individuality, as seen in countless rock stars who have lived comic book like characters not just on stage, in the personal lives, or in their music, but in their everyday lives.

This is why rock music, comic books, and the LGBT community have a common thread that unites them, and seemingly fights the norms that have been ingrained in our culture as a whole.

Without much further ado, let’s take a look at 5 iconic LGBT Figures in rock and pop music, and get those Spotify playlists rolling. So put your headphones on (or get them at iThingum), take them anywhere you go, and listen to an aural orgasmic experience of epic proportions.
Let’s go!

Janis JoplinJanis Joplin

If you scour the internet for stories about Janis Joplin, you will soon discover that the icon was known for a few things; her enormous appetite for sex, with both men and women, drugs and alcohol. Friends and acquaintances of the legend have confirmed that the revered blues-rock singer had strings of relationships with women such as Peggy Casserta. Unfortunately, Janis passed away from a heroin overdose in 1971.

Dave Davies

Dave Davis was one of the members of the band The Kinks. In the band, he was mainly on the guitar but he would also participate as a background singer. The band was started as a collaboration between his brother Ray and another friend known as Pete. His band successfully released albums all through the 80s, however, the band disbanded to pursue solo careers.

David Bowie

Ziggy Stardust himself in the flesh – and the man that almost singlehandedly changed rock music, and served as its master mind for decades until his untimely passing in 2016. David Bowie is one of those musicians that are famed for defining an era in music. Bowie rose to fame as a result of the 1969 hit Space Oddity. Bowie was famed for his flamboyant and sometimes androgynous personas, as well as for his unique taste and style in music. In the 70s, he and his wife admitted to both being bisexuals, which helped closeted people to be more willing and open to come out.

Sia

Well known for her hit song Chandelier, Australian artist Sia is one of the most successful artists today. She has helped to shape contemporary music by creating unique and expressive songs. Aside from collaborating with thousands of similarly successful artists, she has also written for superstars such as Rihanna (Diamonds) and Beyonce (Pretty Hurts).

Sam Smith

Sam Smith started off his career like many other artists; he was new to the scene and was relatively unknown. However, his amazing voice and incredible falsetto soon became a regular in the airwaves. The openly gay musician has won numerous awards and is critically acclaimed in the music scene.

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Category: Comics

Five Necessary Tools for Comic Book Restoration and Archiving

Posted on April 8, 2017  in Comics

Comic BookComic restoration and archiving are practices that have been carried for years; since the introduction of the world’s first comic. As soon as a comic is published and released to the public, environmental forces start working immediately to alter the original look of the comic. Environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, as well as human and manmade pollutants begin to destroy the ink and the paper. As such, many serious comic book collectors have to find ways to maintain and restore comic books that they have had for a long time.

The process of restoration requires the use of specialized techniques and equipment to make it possible. Not only will the repair supplies protect comics for personal enjoyment but they help to maintain the comic’s value for re-sale purposes. Luckily, most of the repair supplies are found readily in many local comic shops. Here are 5 Necessary Tools for Comic Book Restoration and Archiving:

Invest In Some Acid Papers – No, Not The Kind Jerry Garcia Likes

Paper deteriorates over an extended period to become brittle and yellow through a process of acidification. De-acidification paper, when interlocked into the comic book pages, prevents harmful pollutants from acting on the comic book. It also helps to neutralize the process of acidification, keeping your comics fresher for longer.

In the absence of de-acidification paper, one can also use a spray that delays the acidification process. The spray soaks into the paper and quickly evaporates leaving an alkaline buffer that protects the pages.

Bag It Up In Storage Bags

Storage bags are essential because they protect the cover of the comic book, keeping it safe away from the harmful elements. Most people prefer to use polymer storage bags because they are cheap and widely available. However, the best protection is given by Mylar bags that can protect the comic book for as long as 100 years.

Straighten Them Out With Boards

Backboards are used to prevent your comics from bending, cracking or folding. You must ensure that your backboard is sturdy enough and free from contamination otherwise, it will do the opposite of what it is supposed to do. Most primary boards are layered with a calcium carbonate buffer that offers protection to the comic book.

Keep It Dry

A desiccant is a material that absorbs moisture in a contained space. Desiccants are usually placed inside the storage boxes to absorb any moisture that may be trapped inside. They are available in small sachets and can be found readily in most chemistry shops. You may also look into investing in air compressors from Porter Cable and Campbell Hausfeld – to keep dust away from your archives regardless of where you store them.

Box ‘Em Up In Your Inner Sanctum

Any collection that you have must be stored in a box that is free of contamination. The box will not only help with the organization of the comic books, but it will also protect the books from physical harm.

There are plenty more things to learn in the realm of comic book restoration and archival – many of which you only learn after decades in the art.

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Category: Comics

Must-Watch Horror Flicks That Should be in Your List of Movies to Enjoy Alone

Posted on October 28, 2016  in Comics, Movies

A lot of people love that different kind of adrenaline rush that spooky, creepy books, movies, or even comic books bring. If you are one of them, who likes a good scare once in a while, you have to find the time to watch the following horror movies that have earned many high praises (as well as criticisms) from hardcore fans of this genre. As a side tip (since your muscles might get tense when watching horror), a relaxing massage from a massage chair with good reviews at shiatsuchairs.net will ensure that your back and shoulders won’t get into problems. If you’re not prone to tension, just get comfortable on the couch with the popcorn ready.

The Shining

Released in 1980, The Shining is based on Stephen King’s 1977 book of the same title. It starred Jack Nicholson (as the primary antagonist named Jack Torrance), Shelley Duvall (as Jack’s wife, Wendy), and Danny Lloyd (as the Torrance’s son, Danny). It is about a haunted hotel, the Overlook Hotel, and its terrifying secrets and mysteries. It was directed and produced by iconic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, who was also the man behind the critically-acclaimed 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1971).

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A suspense thriller about a serial killer known as Freddie Krueger, A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1984 and starred Heather Langenkamp, Ronee Blakley, Jsu Garcia, John Saxon, Robert Englund, Amanda Wyss, and Johnny Depp. It was so successful, earning more than 25 million dollars in the United States alone, that it got a number of sequels, a remake, and a television series. It was directed by Wes Craven, who also directed all the Scream movies.

Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living DeadDirected by renowned filmmaker George A. Romero, Night of the Living Dead is a zombie apocalypse movie released in 1968. It starred Duane Jones and Judith Smith, and grossed about 30 million dollars in the box office, with only a budget of 114,000 dollars. It spawned a few remakes, including 1990’s Night of the Living Dead, 2004’s Dawn of the Dead, and 2008’s Day of the Dead.

The Ring

A horror movie from Japan, The Ring (or Ringu in Japanese) is about a cursed video tape that kills anyone who watches it. It was based on Koji Suzuki’s novel with the same title, and was directed by Hideo Nakata. It starred Rie Ino (as the antagonist, Sadako, a long-haired monster dressed in a white gown and crawls out of a television) and Nanako Matsushima (as the reporter who conducts an investigation on the cursed video tape after a series of deaths). It had a number of sequels and prequels, including an American remake released in 2002, which starred Naomi Watts and was directed by Gore Verbinski.

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Category: Comics

Great Recycling Ideas for Comic Books You’ve Outgrown

Posted on September 14, 2016  in Comics

Ah, comic books. The collection of graphics with text that have made many a childhood the world over.

Where do old comic books go to rest?

Do they end up stashed up in your basement, consigned to a life of clutter and dust in a box?

Far too often, emotions get in the way of how we treat our old comics.

But the thing is, not all of us are rabid collectors, and not all of us have the time nor living space to accommodate our beloved literature.

To say that you will eventually get rid of them by selling them for their perceived “market value” is a cop-out; not all of our comics anyway are worth the mylar they are bagged into, for most of us.

Only a select few comics will actually be of any interest to most collectors, and if you expect that your comics will be flying off their dusty boxes and bins, you’re deluding yourself.

The reality of adulthood most of the time demands us to let go of these things.

Great Recycling Ideas for Comic BooksThe comic books we have read have served their purpose in providing us hours and hours of entertainment as children, as teens, as adults. Many times, repurposing them is a better investment than have them collect dust and attract vermin.

So how should you dispose of your comic books? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to recycle them at no cost – let’s take a look at how we can repurpose the pieces of our childhood again.

And perhaps, in one way or another, be of similar purpose for someone out there.

Donate Them

The best way to repurpose your old comic collections cluttering your house is to donate them. Many establishments are only too willing to accept your donations; from public libraries, dental clinics (remember those Archie comics you read while waiting in the dentist’s office?), children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, barbershops, hairdressers, and orphanages throughout your area. This way, you could give the gift of countless hours of being immersed in Gotham City to a child somewhere waiting for the dreaded dentist’s appointment. Also check out charities that have literacy and education as their advocacy; this will ensure that your prized comic books will have been used for a noble purpose. Contact them and see if they will accept your donation; chances are, they will only be too happy to take those boxes out of your hands.

Use them in Art Projects

Feeling creative? There are countless applications for your comic books in the realm of art. Did you know you could use them to design footwear, such as comic inspired flats? Did you know you could repurpose their pages as wallpaper? The possibilities of using comic books for art projects are just endless; comics are a perfect piece for any design project involving snazzy design.

If All Else Fails, Ditch Them….Responsibly

Sometimes, neither donation nor design will provide a good way to repurpose your comics. Sometimes, people just don’t want them, and sometimes, you will need the space right away. Fortunately, you have plenty of options as to how you can dispose of the paper they are printed on. Simply send them over to your preferred waste disposal method; if you don’t already own a waste disposal machine, Down the Sink will have plenty of options for you that are
obviously explained on the website. Regardless of your preferred method, disposing old comic books will have the paper they are printed onto repurposed into new paper products, and in turn saving more trees.

Letting go is never easy; but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Take solace in the fact that there are many ways you can repurpose your old comics, and give someone else the gift of the fun that the same comics have given you.

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Category: Comics

Storing Your Comics in the Garage the Right Way

Posted on September 14, 2016  in Comics

How can you prepare your most prized tomes for the inevitability of storage in your garage? How can your collection of relics from eons past stand up to the test of time? How can you keep them in pristine condition within the excesses of that busy, dank, and grimy corner of your home, despite bagging and boarding them to the best of your abilities?

These are all questions that we want to help you answer.

The Problems of Storing Comics in Your Garage

The reason that storing comics in a garage is not advisable anywhere is one or a combination of the following things: humidity, temperature, security, and the possibility of pests making a safe haven out of your most valued, prized, and cherished graphic novels.

Humidity and Temperature Considerations

Comics in the Garage the Right WayAnother important consideration you need to keep in mind is that using your garage as storage is that it will pose a host of uncontrollable environmental variables that you are exposing to your comic books. Using Mylar or polyester bags will not completely protect your graphic novels from the ever-present threat that is humidity and heat. Although Mylar itself is impermeable, you need to ensure that they are fully air-tight.

Security from Burglary and Pests

Another key consideration to keep in mind is that of physical security. Generally speaking, garages are very easy to break into; and the fact that some garages are shared make them even pose more of a risk. Garages are also very prone to being completely forgotten about – how many times have you forgotten to shut the door on your garage (admit it; it happens to the best of us)? Furthermore, it’s not only the humanoids you have to worry about; you also have to worry about the varmints that get into said bags and boards. Ever have to purchase a box of rare comics only to find out that a family of mice has been calling it their home for 20 odd years? Yes, that happens. More often than you think.

If You Must…

Though nothing in this world can ever be completely safe, there will always be plenty of ways to mitigate your risks. Although storing your graphic novels in the garage is not the optimal choice of storage, sometimes there isn’t just a choice. If you have to do this, make sure that the temperature and humidity play around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% relative humidity, respectively. You can invest in a garage dehumidifier and a garage thermostat to ensure that you achieve these levels. Then, discourage pests from frequenting your storage unit with mousetraps and insect bait in and around it. Finally, improve your physical security – this is important not just for your high-valued collection, but also for your own safety. Granted, there are a number of “smart” garage doors that are automated and notify you if it’s been closed or opened (Garage Automatics has a great number of suggestions for this, if you’re the type – just login to http://www.garageautomatics.com/buyers-guide/).

After all, to a real collector, protecting that extremely rare Action Comics No. 1 issue is worth a king’s ransom. Even if you don’t own the rarest comic book of all time, the sentimental value that comes with your personal collection is worth the protecting just as much.

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