Friday, September 15, 2006

A Superman Crossword Puzzle

For everyone who didn't make it to SoonerCon 2007, here is the Superman Crossword Puzzle from the Program Book.
Try to solve it before I put up the solution in a day or so!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yes, Virginia, There Once Were Comic-Book Letter Columns

Long ago, when the world was less gross and more green (from the late 1950s through the 1990s), comic books devoted a page of their precious page count to letters from comics fans. People might ask questions about a certain storyline, or why a character did "Y" in this story when he did "X" in a similar situation last year.
As a big fan of Superman, I remember reading letters from a guy named E. Nelson Bridwell, who grew up and moved to New York to become DC's resident brain trust. I remember Clark Kent's Social Security Number being given in ACTION #340 (092-09-6616).
In the 1990s, the Superman titles began, just for fun, to hand out a "Baldy" Award to one letter each month. It might be for nearly any reason -- indepth analysis, a subtle observation, a wry joke -- and part of the "fun" and "mystery" was that, unless you won a Baldy, you didn;t know what it was!
Well, since then, the penny-counters have decided that the goodwill of fans was worth less than another ad page. Besides, let 'em use the internet, right?
I believe the folks who made this decision were never fanboys who wrote to lettercols. There is NOTHING LIKE seeing your name in print, on paper, in a favorite comic book!
Anyway, *sigh*, those days are gone, for now.
But I CAN solve the mystery of the Baldy Award. I won three, and they are reproduced herewith. As walter brennan used to say on the old TV show The Real McCoys, "No brag, jest fact." Of course, I also agree with you that it's a pretty small achievement. Yet it was a joyh to receive the things in my mailbox.
And to quote another great philosopher (Robert Browning this time), "Every joy is Gain, and Gain is Gain, however small."

Monday, September 11, 2006

The last poems of this summer

We seem to finally have broken the back of summer's heat. In celebration of evenings that are finally cool enough to sit outside, here are a couple of summer poems to say GOOD RIDDANCE to this past miserable, hot, sweaty, sticky summer...


Nature by trade -- a singer is
Of minstrel songs -- by day --
Her lyrics often lose the ear --
But not her melody --

At eventide -- she croons alone
With only few to hear --
Her music -- flees from chimney towns --
Just visits -- at the stair --

The morning -- is her overture --
Bright noon -- her symphony --
A ballad soft -- the afternoon --
The night -- her lullaby --

Her rondeau is not silent -- now --
Her waltzes still appear --
But none will read her posted bills --
And who will pay -- to hear --


A cloud marched down one summer’s day --
She stopped above my room --
She called me to come play with her --
To splurge the afternoon --

I cannot come, I said to her --
I cannot leave my chair --
You should not spurn me, said the cloud --
And left me cheerless there --

She curtsied shyly to the sun --
Please Sir, she said, to play?
The gruff but kindly gentleman
Said, Not till end of day --

I walked outside at sunset time --
Tinged purple -- touched with red --
There sun and cloud, in western skies,
Stole softly down -- to bed --
All original content
© by Mark Alfred