Sunday, September 10, 2006

Anniversary Nigh!

Depending upon how one figures it, either our next issue (as closest to the original September 1986 first issue date) or our December one - #120 - will mark Legends' 20th anniversary.

From previous anniversaries I've learned that running around, trying to contact former members about possible contributions to the issue... isn't so adviseable. People who left the APA over the years did it for a variety of reasons, and regardless of what those were in any particular case, they decided to be elsewhere.

That said, if there are any former Legendaires out there who come across this and would like to be part of the anniversary, or - as always - anyone else who would like to join in, don't hesitate to drop me a line. Either leave a comment here or email me at

I'll likely make it extremely easy - almost trouble-free - to join in. Just let me know.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Announcing The Legends Benefit Auction

Starting March 16 and concluding March 23, I'm running a series of auctions of items contributed to provide funds for Legends APA. Proceeds from this will be applied evenly across the member accounts to help keep costs down for the bi-monthly issues.

The lion's share of items were donated by longtime member Grant Schreiber.

Up for auction are mostly trade paperbacks, a couple hardcovers and a few, limited edition Heroclix pieces.

Bid early. Bid often.

So, in no particular, we have:
Happy Endings,from Darkhorse Maverick. A 2002, 96 pg. trade paperback.

Cover by Frank Miller. Containing short works by Miller, Harvey Pekar, Brian Michael Bendis, Sam Kieth, Bernie Mireault, Mike Mignola, Jim Mahfood, James Kochalka, Tony Millionaire, Farel Dalrymple and others.

Each creator/team was given the simple theme of “happy endings” and left to their own devices.

Batman: The Cult. By Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightston. 208 pg trade paperback from 1991 – First Printing.

From the thick of the “grim ‘n’ gritty” era comes this controversial 1988 miniseries. Collected in a single, squarebound trade edition. This pits Batman against a religious cult leader, Deacon Blackfire, in a test of wills and visions. Blackfire, with sheer charisma and projecting the aspect of a messiah, has created an army among the city's disaffected and homeless, and that army expands as he seems to get results in fighting crime and making the streets safe at night. But... he has a hidden agenda, and Batman finds himself fighting not just for his life but his identity.

Next up is Dick Tracy's Sam Ketcham is Special Collector's Edition #3 is a square-bound trade collects ACG’s Dick Tracy Detective nos. 1-4, black and white strip reprints with color covers. Cover price back in 2000 was $12.95. These volumes were produced for a small but fierce audience of Dick Tracy fans, and this was was limited to 300 copies.

Then there's Justice League of America: Zatanna’s Search - First printing 2004.

Stories from 1964 to 1980, Collected for the first time ever, the Silver Age saga that introduced Zatanna to comics! This volume collects The Atom #19, Hawkman #4, Green Lantern #42, Detective Comics #335 and 355 and JLA #51, written by Gardner Fox with art by a veritable cornucopia of comics legends: Gil Kane, Murphy Anderson, Mike Sekowsky, Carmine Infantino, and Bob Kane! Showcased with a new cover by Brian Bolland. In this classic tale, the teenage mage seeks help from the heroes of the Justice League of America in rescuing her father — Golden Age great Zatara — from otherwise certain doom! Also included is a 10-page Zatanna origin story by Gerry Conway and Romeo Tanghal from DC Blue Ribbon Digest #5 (1980). 128-page trade paperback.

Next is a square-bound trade edition of Two-Fisted Tales volume 1, collects issues 18 through 22 of the 1950s EC series featuring “he-man adventure!” This collection was published in 1992, and includes a quick photo-memorial/dedication inside the front cover to EC publisher William M. Gaines, who had died that year.

Featuring striking, period work by Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, John Severin, and Will Elder, it includes stories of adventure on and off the battlefield, around the world and across the centuries.

Then we have a trade collection of The Golden Age, the 1993-’94 miniseries that, almost surprisingly, brought James Robinson to the attention of the comics mainstream. It’s a dark Elseworlds tale of the heroes of WWII and the years soon after, with a broad cast and a plot layered in events and agendas, both overt and hidden.

Illustrated by Paul Smith, this is a skewed take on the Golden Age heroes of the DC universe with selective changes.

Saga of the Swamp Thing collects the first seven issues of the Saga of the Swamp Thing series written by Alan Moore, issues 21-27. These are unquestioned comics classics – anyone who says otherwise is criminally ignorant.

A beautiful work of horror-bent science fiction with a blend of fantasy, these issues find Moore taking what was known and viewing it from a new angle… and having it lead things in entirely new directions. The stories feature conflicts with Jason Woodrue, Jason Blood/Etrigan the Demon, and guest appearances by the Justice League of America.

A very nice copy, it shows only light wear overall, slightly moreso on the front cover. The internal pages are bright, white and colorful… in a dark and forbidding sort of way, of course.

Next, from out of the night skies comes Silver Surfer: Communion, a
a squarebound trade edition from 2004. First edition.

It collects Silver Surfer vol 4 issues 1-through 6. Written by Dan Chariton & Stacy West. Art by Lan Medina with Milx & David Yardin.

Small children from around the globe are vanishing without a trace, and reports of the appearance of a gleaming alien figure at the time of their abductions are growing in number. For single mother Denise Walters, caring for her young autistic daughter has been the primary focus of her life – she never imagined becoming embroiled in alien abduction and mankind's possible Armageddon. But that's exactly what happens when the Silver Surfer appears in Denise's home and whisks her daughter away. As Denise delves further into her daughter's abduction, she begins unraveling the mystery of the Surfer's motives.

All About P’Gell The Spirit Casebook Volume II. Kitchen Sink Press. Squarebound Trade paperback. 160 pgs. Color cover, black and white interior. (Look for this on and it’ll cost at least $50!)

The baddest of the bad girls. The ultimate Femme Fatale. It’s P’Gell, the beautiful, but deadly nemesis of Eisner’s classic, two-fisted detective, The Spirit. Collected here are 17 of the greatest Spirit stories, featuring that human black widow, P’Gell. Includes "The Portier Fortune" to "The School for Girls" to "The Seventh Husband," and 14 other classic comics noir tales.

Lost Cause: The True Story of Famed Texas Gunslinger John Wesley Hardin, a graphic novel by Jack Jackson. Kitchen Sink Press. Square bound trade edition 1998. 153 pgs.

Controversial historical graphic novel by writer/artist Jack Jackson, focusing on John Wesley Harding and covering the volatile period of American history, specifically Texas during Reconstruction.

His critics see Jackson as an apologist for the violence of the period, while Jackson was attempting to bring a fresh eye and an even hand to a situation where people found themselves suddenly oppressed by people coming in from the North in the post-Civil War era.

Fox Trot: The Works by Bill Armend. Published by Andrews and McMeel, 1990. 254 pgs. A squarebound trade paperback.

A collection of daily black and white and Sunday color comics, it collects the earliest strips from the long-runningseries, introducing the Fox family to the world. As with most comics strips it serves occasionally as a snapshot of its times, at least to the degree of noting various pop culture trends.

Wildly apart from everything else on the list is Superwest Comics #1 by Massimo Mattioli. It's an adult-themed, "underground" comic in the Funny animal genre.

Hardcover. 52 pages. English language edition (the original was printed in Spain), published by Catalan Communications in 1987.

It’s a collection of underground comics with strong sexual themes, violence and profanity, and is not intended for children.

Finally in the book portion of this sale is The Sandman Companion by Hy Bender – Hardcover, 1999. 273 pages

As the title suggests, this is intended as a companion volume to Neil Gaiman’s landmark Vertigo series Sandman. It includes interviews with writer Neil Gaiman and commentary from dozens of artists involved with the award-winning series over its historic run. As in any good companion; it includes a story-by-story analysis of each issue of the series. It collects anecdotes, reflections, and critical commentary from a variety of sources in order to reexamine the entire run of Sandman. Among the revelations are the origins of The Endless and other familiar characters from The Dreaming

Included are discussions with series artists, including P. Craig Russell, Jill Thompson, Michael Zulli, Charles Vess, and cover artist Dave McKean, illuminating the critical visual elements involved in the popular, award-winning series.

Also are comments from noted authors including Alan Moore and Harlan Ellison, excerpts from Gaiman's original proposal for the series and a 16-page color section including rare and previously unpublished illustrations by McKean, William Pacquet and Randy Bowen.

Then we have three Heroclix figures up for auction:

All three are limited edition pieces.

From the Marvel HeroClix expansion Mutant Mayhem comes the Hulk! This 120-point, translucent (except for his pants), green variant of the Hulk was produced to raise funds for the Red Cross’ Tsuanimi relief fund. This is piece #218 from that expansion.

From DC's Unleashed set is a version of Captain Marvel, who, for trademark reasons, is called Shazam! This is a 256 pt, flying, Hypersonic Speed piece loaded with Quake, Impervious, Exploit Weakness, and with some Super Strength and Outwit in the mix, too. This is piece #221 from the set.

Finally, we have a limited edition piece from the Icons set: Professor Zoom! Okay, well, that’s what they called him in this set, though Flash fans know this is supposed to be the Hunter Zolomon version of the character, who simply goes by Zoom.

This is a terrific, villainous super-speedster who gets a wonderfully craven villain’s twist on his final two clicks: a Movement of 15 with Phasing and Outwit. He may not be much good for fighting at the end, but being able to get almost anywhere on the board and turn off a critical power in an opponent’s piece either before or after the move is a handy trick.

There you have it. I'm trying to have no expectations, but that doesn't prevent me from having some hopes!

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

2006! Our 20th anniversary year!

Begun in 1986, we've just entered our 20th anniversary year.

Issue #114 was sent out to our members in December, and the deadline for contributions to #115 is February 4.

As mentioned earlier and in the sidebar, we're not looking to establish a web presence in an interactive way, but rather this is meant mainly to be another avenue for potential and former members to (re)discover us. We're really about print on paper, not cyberspace.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Setting things up.

As acting president of Legends, I decided to give this a try. While this isn't initially intended to be a true web log/blog, the structure is both simple and flexible -- moreso as I get my blogging legs. Replacing the banner image with the APA logo will hopefully be an early change -- I have to get the hang of adjusting sizes in the template first, which isn't as obvious a trick as I'd expected. Depending upon member responses, this might become a multi-user blog for each of the members to use. For the moment it's completely in my hands -- that's Mike Norton -- so the warts, moles and worse are my fault.

If you've stumbled by here and want to know anything more about the APA, leave a comment here or drop me an email. (Just in case you're using a different email setup than the one that tries to pop up on the computer you're using, my emai's

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