Friday, July 20, 2018

My Favorite Superhero

One of the topics I've never really gone on on here is the topic of superheroes. I'm running out of content nowadays so, here we go.

The past ten years or so have been flooded with all sorts of superhero movies being pumped out by Marvel and DC. Although the trend is dying down a bit, superheroes are still pretty popular.

I'm sure we all have our favorites. I know many like the really popular names like Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Captain America, etc...

My personal favorite has always been the one and only Static.

Virgil Hawkins is a young high school student in Dakota City who gains his powers of electricity due to radioactive gas. For the record I'm a sucker for heroes with electricity themes (after all, my username is Zippy Zappy).

I originally became aware of Static thanks to the early/mid 2000's cartoon by Warner Brothers called Static Shock. I loved that show growing up and still enjoy it today. In fact the 90's/00's era DC superhero cartoons were all great. Batman The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, all gold.

One of my favorite aspects of Static was how the stories dealt with issues that were pretty real. Racism, poverty, homophobia, gun violence, gang violence and many more rather serious themes were in it. The TV show was a lot less darker than the comics, but it got key messages out in it's own way too. Although to be honest, I haven't read every Static comic ever printed.

At the end of the day I like what Static represents, inclusion. Static is a key African American superhero, but his character was created by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis and Derek Dingle based on the idea of inclusion for pretty much everybody. I'm not African American but I've been able to put myself in his shoes more than any of the other heroes (even the supposedly Asian ones), which made the stories all the more enjoyable to me. I suspect that I'm not alone.

If you're curious who's behind Static, I'd round out the rest of my top five superheroes like this...

2). Green Arrow (Justice League)
3). Captain America (Avengers)
4). Batman (Batman)
5). Raven (Teen Titans)

This list largely skews towards DC because I grew up with the D.C. Animated Universe. I have no clue what the current (if any) reiterations of those characters are like in any modern day live action shows. This is all mostly based on the cartoons of my youth and in Captain America's case, the few movies I've bothered to see this decade.

Green Arrow was my favorite superhero on Justice League Unlimited (although that show did a lot of great things for lesser known DC heroes).

The Captain America movies were the only non-Deadpool Marvel movies I've ever cared enough to see. They were really good and boosted Captain America up to favorable status in my book.

Batman The Animated Series is the greatest superhero cartoon ever created. Bar none. He gets on the top five just for that.

I guess Deadpool would knock Raven out of the top five if he were a superhero but, honestly, he's Deadpool. He's in his own category.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Monday, July 16, 2018

Bat Blog Around: Top 5

So Dan over at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop introduced a new bat blog around idea, you are to (at least try to) shorten your collection to five entities. As a pseudo-minimalist collector, this idea intrigued me. So which five would I keep?

1). Luis Torrens

2). TTM autos

3). IP autos

4). New York Rangers

5). Chunichi Dragons

If you're wondering why "Yankees" or "Yankees Prospects" aren't on here, it's because they're pretty much in the TTM autos/IP autos category. My motto for most baseball cards nowadays is that if I can't get them signed then they're not worth having.

The Rangers are a very nebulous and broad category, but I'm a cheap motherfucker with niche wants and few trade partners who actually care about hockey, so as long as it stays that way and my collection doesn't get out of hand, it works out. I don't need every Rangers card ever made, all I could ever hope for is a sampling of what the entire spectrum of Rangers cards throughout the years has to offer.

As for the Dragons, I only get to add them every few years when I make my infrequent trips to Japan or occasionally through trades. And I'm okay with that. Like the Rangers, I don't need every Dragons card ever. I don't want every Dragons card ever. But a small sampling of what the entire spectrum of Dragons cardboard is all I could ever hope for.

These five would basically leave out set collections like T206 Highlanders, Sega Card Gen and 1979 Topps. Like I said I'm cheap, and T206 commons are more expensive than they should be now so I'm not finishing my Highlanders team set anytime soon. Sega Card Gen has been dead for five years now so it's not like I have much more to add there anyway. As for 1979 Topps, my interest in it comes and goes but recently it's barely come at all. That tells me all that I need to know about my "drive" to collect that set.

I suppose this top five would also leave out various player collections like Thairo Estrada, Hiroki Kuroda and A-Rod. Which I don't really mind since I can't remember the last time I bought a baseball card of any of them. I still love them all as players, but I'm fine with just appreciating them for free.

Also, while looking at other people's top fives, I noticed that a lot of people have a "cool cards to have" category. As in, cards that don't exactly fit into any of their collections, but they're too unique or special or something to let go of. I guess I have a few things that fall into this category, but over time I've come to realize that everything I acquire that falls out of the realm of my core collection(s) is just stuff to be used as trade bait to get me the stuff I really want. For the record my Derek Jeter auto and my A-Rod autos are always available for trade to anybody willing to trade me a really low numbered Luis Torrens autograph.

And that was my top five. Keep in mind though that it's limited to my sports-related interests. If I were to expand that to non-sports, I'd have to really think long and hard about which category gets the boot.


Sidenote, quick shout out to Dan again for nine years of blogging. Maybe this topic would've been better served being a Prime Nine list instead?

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bears (Mild NSFW)

The West Virginia Black Bears are in town you know what that means.

It's time for an old fashioned Zippy Zappy vs Bob Walk The Plank (RIP) Cup. A fierce rivalry between future trade candidates to clear Rule 5 Draft roster spots on the Yankees side and future trade candidates when they reach their second year of arbitration on the Pirates side. Dating all the way back to... um, 2015 I think?

Yesterday was a Saturday which meant that the Yankees were the Pizza Rats. I still think that Killer B's would've worked much better (WU! TANG!).

As always let's start with the autographs.

Until the team sets come out I am firmly in semi-hibernation mode right now. So all I really got baseball wise was this personalization on a certified autograph of Matt Sauer. I wanted him to sign the jersey piece but he signed the little corner instead. Oh well, thanks anyway Matt!

What really made the whole trip worth it was probably this autograph I got of Melanie Iglesias. She's a Brooklyn native who went to high school in Staten Island. She's a model/actress who might be best known for being on Maxim. She's made a few TV appearances here and there and according to her Twitter feed she's started to take up singing.

She graciously took a selfie with me (I blocked out my face to protect the innocent, which in this case is your eyes). She was super nice and friendly.

She also threw the first pitch (or one of them anyway).

She stayed around for an inning or two meeting fans and also stopping by the Yankees bullpen (she hugged Drew Finley). Then she saw the rest of the game from one of the private suites.

And that was my lone autograph. Thanks Ms. Iglesias! Extra thanks for the personalization and message.

As for the game it was cool too. The starter for the Yankees was Harold Cortijo. A guy I do not have any cards of. He was the Yankees' 14th round pick last year and he pitched super well. He went 5.1 innings pitched allowing three hits and zero runs. Amazing. The best part is that he was so quick and effective that the game was in the fifth inning before an hour had passed since the game started. The game finished in a very tidy 2 hours and 17 minutes. Somewhere Rob Manfred got a boner.
Speaking of which the nicest part of Cortijo's performance is that he pitched a total of 69 pitches. Nice. Very nice.

Also nice was that the other Yankees relievers did their thing and the Staten Island Pizza Rats shut out the West Virginia Black Bears 1-0. Pirates first rounder Travis Swaggerty went hitless, he is clearly a bust and the Pirates are doomed to another two decades of mediocrity. Take that Matt!

The only other notable thing was that the special giveaway promo for the day were these special pizza cutters. They were only given to guests aged 18 and up because duh. I love getting stuff that's practical.

And that was my latest trip to Staten Island. Hopefully the team sets come out soon so that I can blog about cards again.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).