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Tuesday, July 06, 2021

I have something inside this month's GREEN ARROW 80th ANNIVERSARY 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR


This year marks the 80th Anniversary of my favorite comic book character, Green Arrow, who debuted back in MORE FUN COMICS #73 back in 1941. He's had an illustrious career and his own television series on the CW that recently ended.

This week, DC Comics published GREEN ARROW 80th ANNIVERSARY 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR that has eight variation covers. Pictured here is the homage to the 1940's Green Arrow and Speedy by artist Frank Cho.

I was surprised and I'm pleased to say that a small piece that I did nearly 20 years ago in GREEN ARROW SECRET FILES & ORIGINS #1 is reprinted in this issue. I was reading the book today and got to nearly the end of the book when I was knocked off my feet to see something very special that I contributed was reprinted with credit given to me. Thank you, DC Comics. 

You can find this book at quality comic shops on sale now!

Monday, July 05, 2021

Top Ten Brands that I am Loyal To Using in Daily Life

I thought this might be fun...

I think about things that I purchase, use, consume, etc. in everyday life. Name brands and products that I am loyal to and will only... or at least try to only use... over other brands. Here are the top ten brands that I am loyal to on an everyday basis in my life...

(Please note that these are not paid endorsements, but me giving my opinions of what I love best.)


For my entire life, my soda of choice has first and foremost always been Coca-Cola. I've consumed all the various varieties from Cherry Coke, Coke Zero, Caffeine-Free Coke, Lime Coke, Diet Coke, etc. Does that mean that I don't drink other flavored sodas? No. I drink Diet Dr. Pepper from time-to-time or perhaps a root beer, Sprite, or generic flavored soda like grape, orange, or black cherry. But the classic good ole' Coca-Cola is and will always be my favorite soda. I got that habit from my Granny.



The only shades or eye-glasses that I will wear are these classics. Thanks to my love of The Blues Brothers all those years ago when I was a kid, my first pair of "knock off" Wayfarers were given to me by my Uncle Mike. Finally as an adult, I could afford real RAY-BANS and I let them be my signature glasses. I have a pair of shades and a pair of regular prescription eye glasses that are Wayfarer style. I prefer tortoise shell and black colored rims.



This is more recent in my life, but I prefer to stay loyal and only purchase Kobalt Tools from Lowes. If I need a certain tool, I grab a Kobalt tool first and foremost if at all possible. Kobalt doesn't make every tool or instrument that I need, but love that blue! I love the quality of the tools, the uniform look, the price range, and the lifetime guarantee. Now that I am 50, I love my old man trips to Lowes wondering what new Kobalt tool I'm going to pick up each time I go into the store. My younger self would have never imagined that in my old age that I would love going to the hardware store.


My livelihood as a graphic designer owes so much to Adobe with the software they provide through their Creative Suite. I daily use Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Audacity, Acrobat, etc. in my work and also in my other hobbies and pursuits in the digital creativity and art that I do. They really have a monopoly on things because no other software brands can compare now, but for the past 30+ years, I have been a loyal consumer. Decades ago, I fought hard in some of my previous jobs not to have to use the competitor's complicated Quark XPress (yuck!) software back in the old days. I am an artist and graphic designer that uses Adobe Creative Suite software in his repertoire and couldn't imagine life now without it.


Decades ago when I was younger, I was an Apple Computer "Mac Addict". But sometime in the late 1990's, I switched over to the "dark side" and began using PC Computers with Windows by necessity with work and cost. Many of the applications were only available on PCs and Mac software cost three times as much. Basic economics had me leave Apple. Then, Steve Jobs and Apple introduced the iPod and then debuted the iPhone and iPad. While I still don't use a Mac computer, I do use these other pieces of hardware and the iPhone is the only smart phone that I will use.

6. E. GERBER  (with"MYLITES 2" and "HALF-BACK")

As a comic book collector, I want to make sure that I am archiving and preserving my comic book collection in an appropriate way. E.Gerber offers various sized Mylar comic book outer sleeve bags and acid-free backing boards. I choose to use the Mylites 2 and Half-Back backing boards together. For the past year, I have been changing out my old comic book bags (which you are supposed to do every seven years) with these Mylites2. They say that you'll never have to change out the bags ever again in my lifetime with these. I now won't use any other brand of comic book bags to protect my comics. They are a bit expensive, so I cut out the middle man and go directly to the manufacturer and buy in bulk. On a side-note, I use "Stick It" round clear resealable adhesive tabs on the back so that I can open up a book to read and then put it back into the sleeve for storage.


As an artist, I prefer to draw with Staedtler's variety of pencils and use their fine white Mars plastic art erasers. Yes, I have hundreds of other pencils manufactured by other companies and I have a variety of charcoals, ink pens, markers, brushes, and art supplies that I use. I do depend on and love my vintage Boston KS pencil sharpener, but Staedtler is still my "go to" first choice.


Well, this gets almost as personal as it is gonna get! For my entire life longer that I can remember going back to when I was a wee lad, I have always used Original Scent Irish Spring soap. Thanks to my father being a user of this soap also and thus growing up in our home with it, I have retained that use. I still do love that fresh Irish Spring scent and it has been the only brand of bathing soap and wash that I will use. Sure, I'll use whatever hand soap I have to at a sink to wash my hands, but when I get in that shower and bath tub to scrub up, I'm an Irish Spring man.


You might not have heard of this company, but as a record collector and music lover, I am very picky about the type of outer sleeves that I use to protect my record collection. I will only use Sleeve City made Ultimate Outer 5.0 super-thick virgin polypropylene outer sleeves to protect my covers for my 12" records and the smaller size ones made for 45 singles. The outer sleeves look crystal clear and make the artwork pop and sleeves resist scratches, punctures, tears, splits, water, and abrasions. I also will pick up other cleaning supplies for my records, inner sleeves, CD jewel cases, etc. from the Sleeve City website. This company is based out of my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. 


For over 30 years, my father worked for Pillsbury. They provided him a career and means to make a living and raise us when my brother and I were children. Of course, we grew up with the Poppin' Fresh Dough Boy and "Pillsbury's Best" in our home where I especially loved their Buttermilk Flaky biscuits. Whenever I shop at the grocery store and need to pick up biscuits, flour, or other pastry breaded needs, we choose Pillsbury first in our household as both a way of saying thank you for providing for our family all these years as well as we just love their products.


So, there are ten brands that I am loyal to using. What are yours?