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.)


1. COCA-COLA


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.


2. RAY-BANS

 

 
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.

 

3. KOBALT TOOLS (from LOWES)

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.


4. ADOBE SOFTWARE (with PHOTOSHOP, ILLUSTRATOR, INDESIGN, ACROBAT, etc.)


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.


5. APPLE COMPUTERS (with iPHONE and iPAD)

 
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 Ready-Steady-Collect.com "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.
 

7. STAEDTLER

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.


8. IRISH SPRING

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.

9. SLEEVE CITY (with ULTIMATE OUTER 5.0 RECORD SLEEVES)

 
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. 


10. PILLSBURY

 
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?



Monday, May 24, 2021

I just joined Instagram

I did a new thing that I thought I would never do. Last night, I joined Instagram.

I mainly joined so that I can see concept art and previews of fan-based work on custom vintage-style Star Wars action figures that a handful of individuals are producing themselves and offering.

If you want to find me on Instagram, I am at https://www.instagram.com/ryanscottmccullar/ .

Hello again, after a long hiatus...

It is late May as I write this and dust off my website again. I've had this domain now for 20 years and it has had many iterations. Right now, it has mainly served as a parking spot for the site as I've not really engaged anyone due to being a bit of a recluse of late.

I recently turned 50. I ask myself sometimes, how did I get here?

Spring Cleaning

 Time for some spring cleaning.

Monday, July 27, 2020

2020 Update

So, looks like I've gone about another nine months since I've lasted posted on my blog here at my website. Amazing how the world has changed in this span of time with COVID-19 hitting us and all the turmoil in the world. 2020 has been one heck of a challenging year. Since March, I've been working remotely from home in my studio and social distancing trying not to catch this disease... especially since I am in the high risk category with my asthma and Type 2 diabetes.

With social distancing, I've found that I do enjoy working from my home in my studio office where I feel things are more productive for me. Plus I can crank my music while I work. I hope that I can continue to work from home after the pandemic quarantine is over as I realize that I can fulfill all my duties from home without every having to step inside a cubicle again. We'll have to see.

As for what I've been up to? Well, I've been doing small renovations around the home with my wife Jennifer to spruce up things around here and make improvements. We still have much to do, but I am happy at the changes and fixes going on around here. One thing I've worked on during this quarantine is to organize and curate my comic book collection getting them out of deep storage and removing them from the white long boxes. I have a new system in which I am caring for the books and archiving them for easy access in a new system of bookshelves that no longer need the white long boxes. The process has allowed me the chance to re-read some classic comics and have them available at my fingertips instead of putting them into storage in a garage. More on this later.

I've also had lots of introspective time. I think I'm ready to come out of my hobbit hole and share some thoughts with future posts. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

According to HOLLYWOOD REPORTER... Favreau may be replacing Kennedy to lead Star Wars in the future.

Rumormongering Star Wars hubbub aplenty here. Feel free to read or move along... move along:

Seeing rumors from various sources (including from THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) that after that yesterday's cringe-worthy interview by ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE (online only) with Kathleen Kennedy in which she talks some backhandedly passive aggressive smack talk about George Lucas, says her future and Star Wars future is unknown (other than they're "ending the Skywalker Saga" with Episode IX next month) and states some untruths (especially about not having "source material"), Disney may be amping up quickly to say goodbye to Kathleen Kennedy and say hello to fan-favorite writer/producer/director/actor Jon Favreau to lead the direction of Star Wars in the future.

Lucasfilm Star Wars President Kathleen Kennedy, whose contract runs out in 2021, probably will not get renewed by Disney is what the hubbub is all about in reportings and rumors, and that instead, MCU Executive Producer Keven Feige's protege Jon Favreau looks like he may be Disney's choice to replace Kennedy and take over Lucasfilm and direct the future of Star Wars after Episode IX.

Fellow MANDALORIAN executive producer/writer/director Dave Filoni, the bearded guy always wearing the cowboy hat, has been the protege of George Lucas since THE CLONE WARS cartoons, is said to be rising up with Favreau to be his right-hand man. If you also read between the lines in various articles, rumblings, and sources, and look at the chain of events and start putting them together, looks like there are plans for Favreau are already subtly moving in place for "universe building" ala Marvel Cinematic Universe style. MANDALORIAN actor Werner Herzog recently touted that Favreau is already building us a Star Wars universe "...filled with new mythology."

Hint. Hint.

Now, most fans know first-hand that the Star Wars community is argumentatively torn in half about the controversial direction that Disney has taken the Star Wars franchise since acquiring the IP. Disney dumped Lucas's Star Wars Expanded Universe (and relegated to "Legends") and said no-thank you to the notes that George Lucas gave them for the future film direction of the series when he sold Lucasfilm to the House of Mouse (see Disney President Bob Iger's new book where he acknowledges Lucas felt 'betrayed' when Disney threw out the Lucas plans and went their own direction trusting Star TREK "Kelvin Universe" director to do his own thing and put his own stamp on Star Wars). Fans to this day either hate or love what Kathleen Kennedy, JJ Abrams, and especially what Rian Johnson have delivered with the franchise with Episodes XII and XIII. Disney's nervous their investment isn't giving the proper return on investment and has suffered some major backlash with the films, the direction, and the ancillary things like action figures sitting not selling like they used to or even the new Star Wars Galaxy's Edge at the Disney theme parks not hitting the numbers they expected, perhaps part of the backlash.

Well, it seems, Disney knows as well as all of us that THE MANDALORIAN on Disney+ seems to be the first real all around critical "hit" they've had with even the most cynical of fans who have lost hope with what Kennedy had done during her tenure. It seems like Jon Favreau (with Dave Filoni) may be everyone's post-Kennedy "only hope" at the moment. This stuff interests me being a longtime fan since opening day 1977 and my own vested interest in the success and continuation of the franchise. I believe in Favreau and Filoni. Personally, I hope the rumors are true.

May the Force Be with You. I have spoken.