Monday, July 08, 2013

Welcome to the Fortress of Markitude! #2

NOTE:  all of these pictures were taken a few years ago when the place was less cluttered.  All text is in the present tense anyway.


This view is the first thing you see if you are brave enough to stick your head in.


The grey file cabinet contains issues of magazines like Scary Monsters, Famous Monsters of Filmland, MAD, Enterprise Incidents, UFO Universe, and the like.  STARLOG issues are boxed up in the attic, several hundred of ’em.


Atop the file cabinet is a DC Wonder Woman figurine diorama, a boxed Superman figure, and a small (kiddie) safe, made of metal, with the caption “Saving is powerful!” embossed below the Superman art.


On the right side of the file cabinet (the side you can see) is a poster from Burger King advertising their Superman The Animated Series kids’ meals.  (In the attic is a life-size animated Superman cardboard stand-up from the same promo)


At the back of the file cabinet, stretching towards the blue wall, is a shelf unit with some of my  (presently) 1152 CDs.


One of the things atop the shelves is the Superman Record Player.  It’s copyright 1978 (to cash in on Superman: The Movie, I’ll warrant).  Our next instalment of “Welcome to the Fortress of Markitude!” will feature this record player.


At the far right edge of the photo you can see the east entrance to the Comics Closet.  (On the left side of the photo you can see the west door.)  Above the two doors, about sixteen feet in length, is a continuous row of shelving holding action figures, glasses (the drinking kind), Thermoses, etc.


Below that shelf, between the two doors into the Comics Closet,  is a fishnet holding (via bent paperclips) various unopened action figures, a Viewmaster page or two, and the like.  Below the fishnet and mostly hidden by the grey file cabinet is the stereo rack.


Sticking out from the back wall (as a  mirror leg to the shelves/grey file cabinet leg) is a double-sided shelf that holds paperbacks.  This wooden shelf was present in a Salvation Army thrift store about five blocks from home and when they began to close down, I offered 25 bucks and they took it.  I stained it and added a bottom edge that sits on the floor.


On the front edge (facing us) of the paperback shelf are, top-to-bottom, a Darth Vader Halloween mask; a Cylon face that came with the Battlestar Galactica complete series DVD set ( I mean THE REAL Battlestar Galactica); and a ten-inch-tall Superman figure -- hollow, made from an injection mold.  He’s hollow because he needs to be -- his shoulders are attached to strings running to a parachute made of filmy plastic.  You fold up the parachute and wrap it around his waist; toss him into the air; and wait for the thing to unfold as he sails gently to the ground -- often in a neighbor’s tree or a nearby roof.


Atop the paperback shelf, at the end nearest to us, is a clear plastic case that once held pastries at a convenience store, now containing some die-cast metal Star Trek ships, another Viewmaster reel, and the like.  Some other knick-knacks are in between, but on the far end of the top of these shelves is a double yellow-plastic shelf bearing other memories, such as a finger bowl from Beverly’s Restaurants (Google “Chicken in the Rough” to know more); a teacup of the golden harvest wheat pattern that came as a premium in laundry soap in the 1960s; and other stuff.  Unlike the photo below, I don't have a saucer for my teacup.


Between the paperbacks shelf and the fishnet-covered wall is a book spinner for DC graphic novels, bought from Oklahoma City Atomic Comics owner Jerry Wall for ten dollars.


Against the outside wall on the far left are more bookshelves.  Sitting atop the books is a Dr Pepper cooler. The black box-shaped thing on the wall in the corner close to the ceiling?  That’s a SPEAKER, children.  I know that most of you don’t know what that is, but it’s from a time when you heard music in the air.


Left from that and a bit closer to us is another bookshelf crowned by a wonderful bit of technology, whose designation is a Sony CFD-S39.  It’s a CD-player/cassette-player boombox, with a clock inside, and a remote control.  This thing was made in 1999 and is still a workhorse and a jewel.  It’s my alarm clock.  When I was opening a store for my employer around 2003, an eight-foot tall metal upright post ( for gondola shelving fell across it. I imagine the thing weighed 15+ pounds.  The pole fell across this boombox and glanced off.  The top plastic of the boombox is cracked, but it’s otherwise unscathed!



To contrast, two or three years earlier an identical pole fell across my right foot.  It broke my big toe knuckle and required surgery to remove bone chips.


On the wall above the Boombox of (Figurative) Steel are two fan-art works of mine, a copied panel from the Batman story that flashed back to Joe Chill’s murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne (the story that named Joe Chill and was reprinted in Batman 198).  You can see the panel I imitated on the cover in the below repro of that comic-book cover.



Below that is my version, in pencil and black-light paint, of Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery album cover, from 1973.


Hanging from the AC vent in the ceiling -- toward top center -- is an eight-panel spinner of Alex Ross art from 1998, also courtesy of Atomic Comics.  And from it, a foam-filled plastic pillowy thing plugging Superman The Animated Series.


Whew!  That’s enough for now.  See you next week!
All original content
© by Mark Alfred