Remembering the Golden Oldies with Digital Archive Websites

16 Dec

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

In the search for great comic books from the yesteryear, most aficionados will have to hit auctions and estate sales to find what they want. Titles from the Platinum Age (1897 – 1938) to the Golden Age (1939-1950), introduced the era of the superhero to more than just one generation of readers, but purchasing these comics now is near impossible. Unless you are rich, forget it.

Thankfully, not everyone is out to make an investment with an Action Comics #1 so they can wind up having a million dollar nest egg to retire on sixty-five years later. There are digital archivists actively looking to preserve this bit of the past for readers preferring online content.

To name a few, Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine and Fury Comics are two very good websites to start digging through. Another archival website is Comic Book Plus, along with the Digital Comics Museum (DCM), which boasts a wide variety of titles available for anyone to read for free (though the operators may ask for donations to help offset the costs of keeping the the website running).

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Reflections on Anglicon 2017 & A Photo Album

14 Dec

anglicon-2017By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Over the second weekend of December, the British media convention Anglicon proves not every pop culture event has to be super-sized. This intimate event offered to fans used to corporate shows a taste of what a typical science fiction convention is like. These smaller events offer the same amount of fun — an art show, an exhibitor space for craftspeople (and other similar conventions) to vend from, a space for board gaming, a short film festival and a dance. For the latter, there were two nights for attendees to rock the night away. Even the traditional staples (costume contest) show not all costumes have to be about Doctor Who. A few furries were seen running around, and we’re not talking about Bentley the Corgi, one of the three guests of honour.

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7 Guilty Pleasures for Christmas Time Viewing

12 Dec
Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

When looking at the television schedules during the Yuletide season, the shows offered is very predictable. There will always be the same set of movies or holiday specials to watch to get into the spirit. For some people, it is an eye roller and for others, it’s just tradition. Even I am just as guilty to tuning in to watch.

Try as I might to resist, there’s no denying these programs, be it made for the big screen or small, are a must. Presented in no particular order are:

Home Alone 2

If I had to choose between which one of the two films is the best, I feel the sequel is just a lot more fun and enduring. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is in a big city, and he does an amazing job of fending for himself.

The deeper feeling of isolation, a common theme in this series, feels more powerful. His mom loves this kid despite all his flaws. He befriends a homeless lady during this time, and just what they teach each other earns more sniffles than the previous, where that arc with Old Man Marley is nicely resolved.

Plus, how can anyone not like what Hector the Concierge (Tim Curry) had to endure? Even after successive watches, to see him deal with all the madness that ensues is still priceless.

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Novelty Sodas to Rule Them All?

10 Dec

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Strangely named sodas have been around for some time, perhaps dating as far back as 2005. Whether they come from globally recognized brand names like Pepsi’s Salty Watermelon and have limited distribution, how can I not resist the staple of my summer fiesta with Phillip’s Soda Works Smarkmouth Ginger Ale? This drink is tame when compared to the strange brews, namely Rocket Fizz’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda, there’s plenty more to discover on websites like the Vintage Soda Company.

My co-writer James Shaw (yes, he’s alive and living in a cave these days) and I were up in Sidney, BC over the Summer and one place we regularly visit is the Lilly Gobble Sweet Shop. They started carrying these novelty drinks early this year and when we discovered them, we were like kids in a candy store. I bought a couple to try out, and James … well, we were supposed to write this piece together. Sadly, he’s slipped into a sugar coma. Also, ever since the seasons changed, he’s put himself in hibernation mode and I believe he will never awaken.

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