Archive for alf

Thrift Store Finds: Rejected Finds!

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2014 by Christopher Pearce

Most of the time when I buy stuff from thrift stores, I manage to squeeze a couple hundred words out of those purchases for a Thrift Store Finds post on Saturday mornings. Sometimes I’ll buy things and… I don’t know, it’s just not meant to be. Here’s a couple of rejected (but hopefully still interesting!) finds.


This was perhaps my favorite find in awhile: A plush ALF toy manufactured by Coleco in 1987. You all know I’m a big ALF fan, so of course I owned one of these in the Eighties… although I owned the Wisecracking ALF which included a voice box. This is just your standard stuff animal, although it’s in pretty great shape for being over twenty years old. I scooped this up for $4 bucks and I consider that a bargain. I rejected this for a longer post because… man, it’s just a stuffed animal of a beloved 1980’s icon. There’s really nothing much to say about this beyond “I found it and I’m happy with it.”


Another square-sized collection of For Better or For Worse I found for fifty cents, Pushing 40 collects a bunch of FBoFW strips from the late 1980’s… so Michael Patterson’s just starting puberty and there are lots of armpit hair jokes. I rejected this find for a longer post because I already wrote about Lynn Johnston’s work back in 2011 when I looked at It’s All Downhill From Here. I was pretty thorough in that post about how much I like FBoFW and I remain fairly proud of that piece.


Finally, TWO Nintendo GameBoy finds: 1992’s Looney Tunes for the GameBoy and 1999’s Looney Tunes Twouble for GameBoy Color. Two licensed games featuring many of the same characters separated by almost a decade; if I asked you to pick which one of these two games was the better, sight unseen, you’d probably pick the one made in ’99, right? You probably would and you’d be DEAD WRONG because Twouble is HORRIBLE. It makes a stab at being sort of a three-dimensional puzzle games and it just bites. The ’92 Looney Tunes cart however, is a completely solid and fun side-scroller. I haven’t played all the way through but you start as Daffy Duck, making your way through several other characters.

I rejected this find because, as always when it comes to GameBoy games, I don’t have a great way to show you the game I’m writing about.

christmas comic cavalcade: super-sized alf holiday special #2 (marvel comics)

Posted in christmas comics with tags , , , , , on December 8, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

This week, we’re going to be looking at one of my all time favorite comic book series ever made. No, I’m not kidding!


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thrift store finds: cincinnati comic expo finds!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Ok, this is going to be a long one, folks. I’m just warning you of that now. Last weekend was the Cincinnati Comic Expo and I spent two days visiting the con; on Saturday I went solo and on Sunday, Ellen and the boys came to spend the morning. I thought this year’s convention built on the momentum CCE had coming off of the 2011 con quite nicely.

Let me walk you through some of my purchases!

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odds and ends: ipad comics, alf comics, lego haunted house

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

I wanted to make two awesome recommendations to those of you who read comics on your iPad or tablet devices.

Cartoonists Kevin Cannon (Far Arden) and Zander Cannon have launched Double Barrel, a digital comics initiative where the two are serializing their new comics along with a bunch of sketches and letters from readers. Double Barrel is effectively a streamlined comics magazine and it’s AWESOME.

I’ve already written here about my love of Far Arden; it was hugely popular with my students two years ago and I’ve been anxiously awaiting Kevin Cannon’s follow up, Crater XV.

For $1.99, you get 122 pages of content. This thing is gigantic and the creators are crazy talented. As much as I was looking forward to Crater XV, I think I enjoyed Zander Cannon’s oddly sentimental horror riff Heck just as much as the new adventures of Army Shanks. Download through whichever comics app you like (I prefer ComiXology, but there’s iBooks and the Top Shelf app, off the top of my head)

Also from Top Shelf, this week sees the release of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 2009 by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill.

The summation of Moore and O’Neill’s Century storyline, this book has a bunch of people up in arms over Moore’s appropriation of a certain incredibly popular boy wizard character, refashioned by the author into the Antichrist. As far as I can tell, the work Moore does is all above board and not legally compromising, but I love the tightrope he and O’Neill walk with every new installment of LoEG. I get that a lot of folks are a little tired of the “winky winky” allusions to popular media, but I’m not and 2009 is my favorite book in the series thus far.

I opted to read 2009 on my tablet for three reasons. One, like I said, I’m a sucker for this series and when Top Shelf inevitably collects the first two books in the Century series (1909, 1969) with 2009, I’m going to buy that big collection. I don’t need the individual trades and the big collection. Two, for a book like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the “on panel at a time” format most comic readers use is ideal, because Kevin O’Neill packs SO much detail and hidden jokes within his pages, it’s nice to be able to appreciate each one up close. Three… you get 84 pages of content for $4.99; the print version is $9.99.


Folks who follow my Twitter feed might already know this, but I happened on a great Half-Price Books find this past Monday.

Fifteen issues of Marvel ComicsALF! I did a comic/sketchbook page about my love of ALF comics and how elusive they are to me. I’ve been looking for two years and I’ve happened on two… maybe three ALF comics in that time. To hit the motherlode like this? What a great day. I wish I was being sarcastic there.

I’m not going to go into any depth about my love of ALF today, opting instead to save those accolades for a later post… but I thought you’d want to see these comics in all their majesty.


I am seriously considering dropping $180 dollars on this.

Set for release this September, the Haunted House LEGO playset is a thing of wacky beauty. Part of the company’s Monster Fighters series, this is exactly the LEGO playset I wanted when I was a kid, but at that point the LEGO was just getting around to making castles, not elaborate Addams Family style abodes.

I can justify this purchase by saying it will become an annual Halloween decoration in our house, right?

thrift store finds- alf: mission to mars

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , on May 7, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool books I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood’s St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the things I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)

This might come as a surprise, but I try not to be overly sentimental in my thrift store purchases. I have criteria for books I buy that I rarely deviate from (comic paperbacks, movie adaptations) but I need to know when to say when. If I bought a book every time I waxed nostalgic, my bookcases would be awash in absolute garbage.

Some of you might argue, based on past Thrift Store Finds posts, that they already are, but I digress.

Every once and awhile however, nostalgia gets the better of me. Today’s Thrift Store Find is ALF: Mission to Mars, a picturebook published in 1987 by Checkerboard Press featuring the titular Alien Life Form in a for-kids adventure.

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not teaching comics: adventures in fan publishing

Posted in commentary with tags , , , on March 27, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

For those of you collectors out there who are looking for Chris Pearce’s first professionally published artwork (ha), you need dip into back issue bins no further that Archie Comics’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #29.The Archie TMNT series was a odd breed in the whole Ninja Turtle hierarchy- someone sensibly realized during the massive Ninja Turtles fad that kids would want to read comics featuring the Heroes in a Half Shell, but the original Eastman and Laird Mirage series was deemed (appropriately) far too intense for young readers. This book was the compromise.

The series operated in a weird grey area- it was nowhere near as gritty as the Mirage series, but neither did it kowtow directly to the animated series continuity. For example, Shredder and Krang, the main baddies on the animated series, didn’t make a whole lot of appearances in the Archie series after the first couple of issues. Instead, the Archie books mined their own continuity, which could be pretty rich at times… the book went out of its way to beef up the roles of some characters who were never seen on the animated series but had been immortalized in action figure form, including Wingnut the Bat and Manta Ray. Most of these toys were so cool, and so little backstory was to be had about the characters, that it was a welcome part of the comics. In fact, the Archie series did get a bit heavy at times- this issue here reveals that the Ninja Turtles’ rat sensei/mentor Splinter was present at the bombing of Hiroshima. Yikes. One of my favorite comic commentary blogs, Not Blog X, does a tremendous job giving a summary of the comic here.

All that’s pretty far afield from why I’m talking about an old Ninja Turtle comic… bring on the art!

Mondo Gecko was my favorite ancillary character in the TMNT universe- a be-mulleted skateboarding gecko. Another one of the TMNT characters to become a kick-ass action figure but never actually get any airtime on the cartoon, I owned Mondo Gecko far before Archie Comics imbued him with a personality… so I was free to kind of make up my own outrageous Mondo Gecko persona while playing with my Ninja Turtle action figures.

Easily the best part about getting this printed was the HYPER professional coloring job that Archie did on my 10 year old black and white scrawlings- check OUT the highlights on that mullet!

In hindsight, I’m even more impressed that my drawing was printed in this comic’s Fantastic Fan Art section today than I was when I first saw it. I have no circulation figures, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Adventures must have been putting out HUGE numbers due to the popularity of the Turtles at the time when I sent my drawing in… and the editors must have been deluged with submissions. I had actually forgotten all about this fan art’s existence until a few years ago, trolling a gigantic flea market’s wares, I came across this gem. Now it’s for all to enjoy.

HOWEVER… if you care not for fantastic fan art and are looking for my first published piece of writing, well my friends, you must go all the way back to 1989 and try and find a copy of

ALF #21, which featured a fan letter to the editior penned by me.

I was a huge ALF fan, as I think many twenty-somethings were when the show first came out. ALF was the first TV show for which I was allowed to stay up past 8 o’clock to watch, which says much about both my exposure to television when I was a child and how strict my mother was about bedtimes.

The misadventures of a wisecracking puppet alien and the nuclear family he lives with, ALF had that wise ass personality that I loved as a child… you can draw a direct line through my childhood interests to my sense of humor today; Bugs Bunny to ALF to MAD Magazine and finally Peter Venkman in “Ghostbusters” cemented my smartass sense of humor.

You’ll laugh, but I love ALF Comics. LOVE them. Like TMNT Adventures, ALF Comics took advantage of the medium to do things that the TV show ALF could never do… like SHOW ALF’S FEET! OMG!

The book did a lot of digging into ALF’s background on his home planet Melmac every other issue, but by far my favorite part of ALF Comics were the parodies, which were something like MAD Magazine Lite, skewering areas of pop culture that an 8 year old kid wouldn’t normally be interested in, but God I thought it was great.

For example, this issue features an appearance from the MelMarx Brothers, Chippo, Oucho, and Burpo (it seems that Zeppo didn’t rate an ALF stand-in character). Issue 22 of ALF was the best of the lot, featuring a story about the X-MelMen, a team of ALF-related X-Men characters from the Claremont/Byrne hayday fighting a steak-and-poultry manipulating character called MagMEAT-O. It was that kind of comic. You can see a tiny ad for next months issue here in the somewhat disgustingly named letter column, Melmac Mail Sack:

Now, onto the letter:

Clearly written by an someone who hasn’t lost all his baby teeth yet, this letter addresses EVERYTHING that an 8 year old ALF fan could possibly want to know about the furry brown muppet.

The WOTIF simulator, by the way,  was another comic book only contrivance in the ALF universe- briefly explained, it was a machine on ALF’s crashed spaceship that when used, projected “What If” scenarios… like “What if ALF had crash landed in the Tanner’s annoying next-door neighbor’s house instead?” To this day I love “What If?” stories in comic books.

The cat allergy thing was true until a few years ago- after 12 months of living with my best friend’s cat Creature, I’m pretty well over my allergies… to the point where I bought on myself. The answer to my question about ALF’s other favorite foods lead to an interesting response though- the editors provide a list of things that ALF enjoys noshing on, including platypus eggs.

A few months after this issue, some pissed-off environmentalist wrote into Melmac Mail Sack, specifically referencing my letter and deriding ALF, who was clearly a role model, for eating the eggs of the platypus, which as everyone knows is a highly endangered species. For my part, I was just excited to see my name in print again, although I have yet to refind that issue of ALF comics in my back issue bin diving