Saturday, April 11, 2009

Vintage Central Florida, Part 2

Continuing with the photos of vintage Central Florida signs I shot back in 1998, here are a couple from Winter Park. They stand next to each other on North Orlando Avenue. A little exploring with street level view on Google Maps and it appears that the Tom & Jerry’s sign no longer sports the cartoon cat and mouse, and the Richie’s Economy Cars sign is now Signature Auto, but fronting a vacant lot. Time keeps on changing the landscape.

1117 North Orlando Avenue, Winter Park, Florida

1111 North Orlando Avenue, Winter Park, Florida

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vintage Central Florida, Part 1

I lived in Central Florida for ten years. And outside of all the touristy crap, beyond the Mouse and the princesses, there is a whole other world. Leftovers from a time before Orlando became a transients’ city and overflowing with displaced Northerners (myself included at the time). In 1998 I struck out with a camera, some black and white film and the intent to capture a handful of those roadside icons. I had them printed and framed in a couple of our apartments over the years, but here, 11 years later, I’m sharing my amateur photography skills with the World Wide Web. Enjoy this first installment!

2133 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida

Monday, April 6, 2009

Deus ex Weekend - April Book Signing and Convention

So the weekend of April 18 and 19 is shaping up to be a pretty busy weekend! Along with the in-store book signing I'll be doing on Saturday, April 18, at JC Comics & Cards in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, I'll be selling and signing copies of my book Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic Book Fan at the Toledo Comic & Sci-Fi Convention Sunday, April 19! So if you're in the Northeast Ohio area on that Saturday or the Northwest Ohio/Southeast Michigan area that Sunday, please come see me and say "hello!"

The book signing is from 1pm to 3pm at JC Comics & Cards, located at 2609 State Road in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The store is also having a one-day 20% off sale that day from 11am to 7pm.

The comic show is from 10am to 4pm at the Holiday Inn Express Conference Center, located at 10621 Freemont Pike in Perrysburg, Ohio. This is a Jeff Harper production. I met Jeff shortly after I got back into comics, and he puts on the nice regional conventions I mention in the "Pros and Cons" chapter of the book. They are small family-friendly shows designed for the collector and bargain hunter.

Also, promotional postcards for the book are now also available at two more Northeast Ohio locations: Kenmore Komics and Games in Kenmore and Comic Heaven in Willoughby (thanks to John and Jim for their support!) and display copies of the book are available at JC Comics & Cards and Rubber City Clothing.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Last Son

Friday night I made it out to the Akron Film Festival to catch a screening of Brad Ricca’s Last Son. Recently given a brand-spankin’ new addition, the Akron Art Museum was the site of the film festival this year. It’s a simply gorgeous facility and yet another reason to be proud of Akron.

Last Son’s 10pm screening time didn’t seem to deter folks from showing up, paying their six bucks and taking in the documentary about Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the Glenville, Ohio-native creators of Superman. The film has a very somber tone, befitting, I suppose, of the Depression Era origins of Siegel and Shuster that helped birth their legendary creation. Ricca also hints at the mystery around the death of Siegel’s father that is fictionally expanded upon in Brad Meltzer’s 2008 book, The Book of Lies.

Although the framing device being used to market the film is not quite as successful in execution as it probably seemed like in concept, Ricca does a nice job in the film itself of contextualizing the time and making some educated leaps into what may have influenced the young boys to create the world’s first super hero. Everything from the death of a father figure to the pulp fiction of the era to early use of the phrase “superman” are all explored. The film reminded me a lot of the types of music-related papers and presentations you see given at the Pop Conference. And from a pop culture perspective, Last Son was a successful, entertaining 65 minutes.