crazy colored glasses

Monday, June 30, 2008

Michael Turner R.I.P.

I just learned that one of my favorite artists, Michael Turner, unexpectedly passed away this past weekend. Michael was a huge influence on me. My art style owes a lot to him. In fact most of the art pieces on this blog are recreations of his pieces. He had a bold, very in your face graphic style. Heavy on the musculature for the men and very loose, thin and beautiful for the women. I am completely shocked and saddened by his sudden death. I will miss his work greatly.

I remember meeting him once for a signing at Midtown Comics. This was shortly after he formed Aspen Comics. He had a whole tour scheduled and my store Midtown Comics was the first stop. After meeting him and thinking he was the most down to earth comic creator I had ever met I wished him tremendous success. Aspen Comics would go on to successfully launch Fathom as well as a line of other comics. Shortly after the start of the tour and launch of his company he fell ill for the first time. He would battle his cancer on and off over the next 6 years before finally succumbing. Again all I can say is I am shocked. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Darth Vader—Mighty Mugg

One of my newest obsessions (and some of the best looking toys I've ever seen) are the new Hasbro Mighty Muggs. Pictured here is one of my favorite characters of all time... the bad-ass Darth Vader looking all cute and cuddly. This was the very first Mighty Mugg I purchased from the initial Wave of Star Wars characters.

The craze of these designs come from our friends in the Far East. Vinyl caricature type sculpts have been the craze their for years overseas. Recenetly they have started to take off in the U.S. As more and more imports became available through unique storefronts (such as Kid Robot here in NYC) and online carriers the trend has catapulted. Hasbro jumped all over this new trend and started the Mighty Muggs line. Now almost all their licensed action heroes are getting this treatment. There have been 3 Star Wars line (and will be more to come) as well as an Indiana Jones line and 2 Marvel comics lines.

The minimalist and rounded approach to each of these figures is very striking. As well as a stroke of genius from the folks at Hasbro. Great looking vinyl type anime takes on classic characters for $9.99. In the past you would have to pay roughly 5 times that to get an import. These are some of the best looking collectibles in the toy aisles... I'm sure you'll see some of these in my Top 10 List of 2009.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

The NBA Finals

So the NBA Finals ended this week. The Celtics (who had been touted to win the whole season) took home the title by beating my beloved Lakers 4-2. They displayed the whole series that they were a much more complete team than the Lakers. Their team defense was astounding. They showed the league why they were 10 games better than the Lakers in the regular season. Simply put they were the much better team, and they deserved the win. Congrats Celtics.

In fact, even though they lost, I was extremely proud of the young Lakers team. When the season started if you had told me the Lakers would be in the NBA Finals I would have laughed at you. Most nwes outlets had Kobe going to Chicago, so I did not have high hopes for this squad. Then something crazy happened. Kobe and the kids (you have to call them kids, because besides Odom Radmanovic, and Fisher, they are a bunch of 2nd and 3rd year players) found their groove. Bynum turned out to be a force in the middle. The triangle was working. Vujacic and Farmar off the bench were contributing big. Then Bynum goes down. Again I thought the season would go down the tubes. Then Mitch Kupchak made the deal (ahem.. salary dump) with the Grizzlies for Pau Gasol. The team ended up winning 34 of their last 42 regular season games. They were the hottest and best team going into the playoffs. That momentum kept going through the first 3 rounds of the playoffs. The Nuggets, Jazz and Spurs barely knew what hit them. Along the way Kobe also won the league MVP award. There was no stopping them.

Then they ran into the Celtics in the Finals. I wanted to believe they could get it done. They simply could not. They were completely outclassed. In fact I think they should have been swept. The games they won were both close. They nearly coughed up both leads. They needed sub-par games from the Celtics big three to even compete. The Celtics were simply better and it showed.

So although the season is over, I think you have to consider it a success for the Lakers. They now know what they have from some of these youngsters. Plus if Bynum is able to return healthy next year, think of that starting 5. Fisher, Bryant, Odom, Gasol and Bynum. That lineup creates matchup problems galore. That lineup is a 65 win team regular season team waiting to happen. One that I can easily see Big Chief Triangle leading to the championship next year. Lakers in 09... NBA Champs.



Usually my cooking posts have pictures attached to them. Not so this week. I actually made dinner twice this week. Both Monday and Tuesday. Why, I'm not sure, but I was just in the mood to give my baby a break.

Monday I made some over baked and breaded pork with pasta. Nothing mind-boggling. I had made it before and I'm sure I'll make it again. I thought it was pretty tasty.

On Tuesday night we had Scrappy. In fact we were going to have Scrappy for the rest of the week. Scrappy's new favorite dish is Spaghetti and Meatballs. I'm not entirely sure when that started, but for a few months now thats what she's been saying. So instead of simply making and serving it, I had her help. It was more a lesson in common sense than cooking, but I had fun. The meal was relatively tasty although the spaghetti was a tad undercooked. Scrappy loved it because she helped make it.

So there it was. My adventures in cooking this week... without pictures.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Exciting Knicks?

I've started to see a lot of commercials trying to get people to buy season ticket packages for the New York Knicks. They are trying to drum up excitement over the arrival of Donnie Walsh and Marc D'Antoni. Both are incredibly gifted basketball minds who I'm sure will turn things around... just not this season.

The Knicks have a very flawed roster that is not suited for the up-tempo style of D'Antoni. I think they have a couple of good pieces in place that will flourish in the new offense (Jamal Crawford, Quentin Richardson and David Lee come to mind) but what happens with Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph. Both are overweight big men who play with their backs to the basket in a half-court offense. Not exactly Amare Stoudamire and Shawn Marion. The types of running bigs necesarry in D'Antoni's offense. My suggestion to Marc would be to play David Lee at the 4. Although he would be a small power foward (ala Marion) his speed and energy would cause matchup problems on the offensive end. He also has proven to be one of the better defenders on a team that views defense as an afterthought.

That lack of defense as well as a highly flawed roster will keep the Knicks out of the playoffs for another season. Who knows, maybe once they trim the fat (literally by getting rid of Curry, Randolph or both) and start running they can coax a solid season out of these guys. I just don't see it happening yet.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Congrats Junior!

One of the best players of all-time has just joined a pretty rare group. In fact only 6 people are currently members (4 if you discount the numbers of Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds). The very exclusive 600 homer club just welcomed it's newest member... Ken Griffey Jr.

We aren't too far removed from when people would talk about Junior as one of the best (if not the best) players in the game. He had it all. He hit for average, power, had great speed, and a great glove. He was a pretty rare talent. Hard to believe that the skinny 19 year old (who I clearly remember arriving on the scene when he scaled the wall in Yankee Stadium and robbed Jesse Barfield of two homers) is now a 38 year old. He still remains a class act. He still seems to enjoy the game immensely. Which would be tough for most 19 year veterans, but more so for a great player whose second half of his career has been beset by injuries. We could sit here and talk about all the possibilities that may have been. I mean, I for one was sure he would obliterate Aaron's homerun record. That no longer seems to be in the cards for him (although I do think he still has an outside shot at 700) but he should still be commended for being one of the all-time greats. Someone we can all look up to. Someone who has never had any steroid talk attached to his name. Someone who simply played the game right. Congratulations Ken. Cooperstown awaits.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

See it, hit it kinda guy?

During last nights edition of Baseball Tonight on ESPN host Karl Ravich was interviewing hitting phenom Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds. During the interview Karl asked Jay if he would describe himself as a "See it, hit it kinda guy" to which a befuddled Jay laughed and said "I guess". I thought the question was ridiculous and comical. Aren't all baseball hitters "see it, hit it" players. Isn't that fundamentally what you are supposed to do in this game. Hit the ball thats thrown to you when you are standing there with the bat. I can't wait for Karl's next interview when he asks a pitcher "So, are you a throw the ball for strikes kinda pitcher". Thanks Karl.


The Ultimate Warrior

Growing up as a wrestling fan in the 80's to 90's was great. I not only got to see a nearly monthly show at MSG, but saw some of the best names in the history of wrestling. Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Macho Man Randy Savage (my personal fave), Demolition (some more of my faves), LOD, but no one burst on to the scene quite like the Ultimate Warrior. He was a rare breed of speed, power and athleticism. He quickly shot up the ranks in the WWF.

I remember sitting in the crowd with my oldest brother during SummerSlam when the Honky Tonk Man challenged anyone backstage to come out and face him for the Intercontinental Title. The Warrior ran in the ring dispatched of HTM in 33 seconds and won his first title. After many more title reigns, the Warrior would come and go over the next 10-15 years. Never with the sustainability of some of the other greats of the era.

When the WWE started to release Classic Superstars through Jakks Pacific, I must admit, that the Warrior was one of the figures I was most looking forward to. He was released as part of the first line of Classic Superstars in 2004. The paint applications are perfect. The trademark Warrior facepaint, as well as the arm tassles and tassled boots are all included as well. This figure is easily one of the best ever for the Classic Jakks line. Easily one of my top wrestling toys of all time.

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