Thursday, January 30, 2014

Local Business of the Week: Death Ray Comics

OK, OK, so it's more like business of the month or year, give me a break, I'm a busy girl.

Maybe you hear "comic book store" and think this:

or this:

And you'd probably be right.  There are comic book stores and comic book store guys like you see in those clips, but Death Ray Comics defies all these stereotypes.  Let me back up and tell you a little bit about my introduction to the world of comics.

Comics are a natural fit for me.  I grew up in a house filled with photos, art, and books of all kinds.  As a result I love having art in my home.  And I also love having books in my home.  Please see Exhibits A and B.

Exhibit A: My living room
Exhibit B: My computer room/library

Please note we're not even going to go near the precarious situation that is my bedside table because I have so many books stacked that the slightest movement may cause a landslide that could bury me for good.

When I was growing up it was not cool to be into comics.  Comics were for nerds, and no one wanted to be called a nerd.  The only comics I read were a few old Archie and Jughead books that I found at my grandmother's house, tucked away on her bookshelves among the golden books and coloring books.  Up until that point most of my early experiences with the comic format were the funny pages in the newspaper, and Saturday morning cartoons adapted from comic series.

Flash forward to 1999.  I was living in Ireland and my friends Cathy and Fiona introduce me to the authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and their works in the comic book field, Sandman and Mort Big Comic respectively.  Later I found and fell in love with Terry Pratchett's The Last Hero which was somewhere between novella and graphic novel.  My fascination with comics and graphic novels had officially begun.

Then one night last month I was introduced to Death Ray Comics while I working at the Persian Peacock in downtown Logan.  The mastermind behind DRC, Trent Hunsaker, stopped by the Peacock to pick up some old store fixtures that my boss, Jess, was giving away.  He gave Jess some awesome graphic t-shirts (Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and one with his store's logo on it) in exchange for the display racks, and my curiosity was piqued. 

I asked Trent a lot of annoying questions (like I have a tendency to do), and he was kind enough to answer them all.  A few days later I stopped by Death Ray Comics to pick up some books to keep at my house for my nieces and nephews to read when I'm babysitting them...

...and I walked out with more than a few items for myself (like I have a tendency to do).  Now I'm hooked.

DRC is located at 72 W Center St, Logan UT next to the Starsteppers dance studio, and
they are open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 11pm.  Prior to DRC, the building housed Logan Hobby, and before that it was Somer's Video.  The store opened in the spring of 2013 and is quickly approaching it's first anniversary.  And while customers pretend to be there for the merchandise, we all know the star of the show is Sherman.

Sherman is a Bernese Mountain Dog that belongs to Trent.  Sherman is so famous that the shop was almost named after him.  If you want love and affection go straight to Sherman, he gives it away free.  However, if you want sound advice from the resident comic book expert, go straight to Trent.

This store is Trent's baby and he knows comic books like no one else I've ever known.  Looking for the newest installment of your grandson's favorite comic series?  Trent will find it for you.  Need a birthday present for your Batman er, I mean husband?  Trent will walk you through comics, t-shirts, artwork, and action figures.  You're new to comics and not sure where to start.  Trent will talk with you about what you like and give you an awesome selection to choose from.  Special orders?  Trent to the rescue.  Basically, Trent is your man when it comes to the world of comics.

"What do you mean you haven't seen High Fidelity?!?  Get out of my store!  Just kidding, but no, really, go watch High Fidelity."
In addition to comic books, DRC also hosts trivia nights, movie screenings, a comic book reading club, and podcasts.  And Trent also makes wicked awesome mix "tapes", is a contributor and co-publisher of Pew!Pew! zine, and he also blogs here and here.  Oh and I almost forgot to mention that DRC also hosts the Logan Out Loud improv comedy group.

What I like most about Death Ray Comics is that I can walk in and shop in a friendly environment.  This is, sadly, not always the case with comic book stores.  I've walked into comic cooks shops and been glared at, ignored, or stared at in horror like I had leprosy and just asked the clerk to sew one of my fingers back on.  I've been in shops where I when I asked for help finding something specific I was mocked for liking that comic or graphic novel and told to leave.  DRC isn't like that, it's a judgment free zone, and that feels pretty great.

The kid section has something for just about every kid on your list.

You love Cervantes or Joyce?  Yeah, they've got a manga for that.
I love how Hellboy's fist looks like it's smashing Hawkeye in the face.

I can't go back into the shop until someone buys this hoodie, or else I have to buy it and bring it home to my excessive sweater collection.
This one's for Cordelia.
I still have no idea how I walked out of there without this one.
I own one of these shirts, guess which one and you win a free throat hug!
All I can say is: Heck.Yes.
Hmmmm I think I need a Sandman poster, yeah I definitely need a Sandman poster.

How is this NOT a comic book unto itself?
Hey look, my dad's a comic book character!

You can visit DRC's website here:
Or their facebook page here:
Or follow them on twitter here:
Or my personal favorite, get out from behind your computer screen and visit them in person here:

Monday, January 27, 2014

I'll Take Things That Don't Exist for $100 Alex

I really love that there is a town in Pennsylvania named King of Prussia.  If I ever founded a new city I think I'd name it Queen of Ottoman Empire and be a sister city to King of Prussia, seeing as how we'd both be imaginary rulers of missing countries.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Important Safety Announcement

I have a few friends who are flight attendants or have been flight attendants.  Once upon a time one of these friends, let's call her The Sky Dragon, wrote her fantasy safety announcement.  I never did ask if she used this on her last day of employment in the friendly skies.

So my dear readers, whether you fly once a year or once a week, please read and enjoy.  And no, this applies to none of you, it only applies to other people...just like the regular safety announcements.

I think on my last day ever of employment, I'm using this.

Ladies and gentlemen, of sorts, welcome aboard HoJet, a member of the Sky Whore Alliance, flight number...oh who cares, you aren't listening anyway. As you get settled, please place your belongings either underneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin.

In order to accommodate everyone's steamer trunks, we ask that you place smaller items such as the small rollerbag you call a 'purse' or the combat sized backpack you consider 'smaller than the ones the military issue' under the seat in front of you. Oh don't worry about the weight limit placard in the overhead, we know that crate can't possibly weigh over 50 pounds. Besides everyone knows the FAA just makes up those silly rules so they feel like they're in control.

If you need assistance, please call on one of the flight attendants. We totally understand most 6' males have issues with '15 pound bags' even though they were able to get it into their car and schlepp it through the airport Our 5'6" flight attendants are happy to lift those into the overhead for you. I mean, why pay $15.00 to check your trunk when you can spend that money to buy liquor older than most distilleries and wine that Jesus of Nazareth made?

Now that the door is closed, please turn off all cell phones and portable electronic devices. We understand every one of you is has their PhD in physics or at least has watched "Myth Busters" once or twice. Therefore, you know for a fact, your cell phone or electronic device won't interfere with anything on this plane. We also understand that you are more important than the President of the United States and you need to be in touch at all times. However, again those whacky people at the FAA still have those rules we have to tell you about. Seriously, you'd think the FAA would tune into the Discovery Channel once in a while, right? Anyway, they do need to be turned off.

We're going to demonstrate some of the safety equipment on this aircraft so we ask for your attention. Oh yes, we know you are ALL seasoned flyers. Some of you even fly like twice a year, but we still ask for your attention.

There is a safety information card located in your seat pocket you may use to follow along. Please don't put your gum or chewing tobacco in it.

To fasten your seatbelt, insert the flat metal end into the buckle, tighten by pulling in the loose end of the belt. To release, pull up on the buckle. So easy, even a child can do it. However, we will be coming through the cabin to show most of you again.

Since everyone knows every single aircraft in the world has the exact same exits in the exact same places, we're not going to bore you by pointing them out to you.

All carry ons need to be stowed underneath the seat in front of you in order to ensure free access to aisle. Unless it's your purse, backpack or laptop. Then you can hold it on your lap. After all, just because it could become a cabin missile or hinder the escape of your seatmate, doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to have it on your lap. You're more important than your seatmate anyway, right? Hence the reason you were brilliant enough to pay $15.00 extra for that aisle seat even though you really don't get any extra room and are constantly being asked to move so we can get our carts up and down the aisle.

Your tray tables and seat backs need to be in the up and locked position. Unless, of course, you're tired and need to sleep on your tray table or having the seat back up is uncomfortable. Then you can leave it down. Simply because the tray table could seriously injure you or, as with the seat back, hinder other passengers in a rapid egress, doesn't mean YOU should be inconvenienced. This hardly ever happens and the NTSB sometimes goes a little overboard with their findings.

In the unlikely event the oxygen masks deploy, pull the mask toward you to start the flow of oxygen. Cover your nose and mouth with the mask and put the elastic band around your head. Tighten by pulling on the ends. Oxygen will be flowing to the mask even though the bag not inflate. Guess you'll have to trust us on that one.

Smoking is prohibited on this aircraft. This is not a new rule so you needn't look so shocked. Disabling smoke detectors in the bathroom is a Federal offense and you will be fined for it. Well, provided we can actually get back up from our management team on that.

At this time, we will be coming through the cabin to explain ALL of these things again since it was so important for your to explain loudly to the person next to you how stupid these rules and 'so called Federal Regulations' are and didn't hear the part about fastened seat belts, tray tables and seat backs to be up, all carry ons stowed and electronic devices need to be off.

Again, welcome aboard HoJet where the passenger makes the rules and we don't get paid enough to care. Enjoy your flight!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ellis Eagles Need You!

Ellis Elementary is the oldest continuously operating elementary school in the state of Utah.  Ellis turns 121 years old this year and while it has aged well, it is in desperate need of some remodeling.  Some of the renovations will require the removal of quite a few of the old growth trees on the property. 

Many of these trees are decades old and were planted to commemorate special events.  One of these trees is known as the sweetheart tree and was planted by two teachers who met and married during their tenure at Ellis.  Some of the students decided they wanted to help raise funds to replace the trees.  With the help of a great teacher, Greg Cox, they made a video.  Take a few minutes to watch.

They have entered this video in the Scotties Tissue nationwide competition Trees Rock! in the hopes of wining the grand prize of $10,000 to help replace the trees and provide paperless technology for the classrooms.  Now Ellis Elementary is one of the 12 finalists from across the country and they need your help!  They need people to vote for their video.

I can hear you sighing from here.  Yes, I know, being asked to vote for this or that in some random competition is annoying, I'll give you that.  But bear with me.  Voting is free, easy (just three steps), and it enters you to win a gift pack from Scotties.  So please take 2 minutes and vote for the Ellis Elementary Eagles and help them feather their nest for future Eagles.  You can get started here:

While I never attended Ellis, I still want to help out this great school.  The principal, Sue Sorensen, is a friend of mine, and 5 of my nieces and nephews have attended this school.  Please vote and then share this post with your friends and family and see if together we can make a difference.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Logan Winterfest 2014

Are you tired of being cooped up inside?  Are you bored?  Are you looking for an excuse to get out and have some fun this winter?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you should check out the 2014 Logan Winterfest this week.  Starting tomorrow Cache Valley residents and visitors can participate in the 4th annual Winterfest.  The fest runs through Saturday and includes both free and pay activities.

Events include discounted skiing at Beaver Mountain, museum exhibits, Soup 4 Support fundraiser, concerts, Aggie sporting events, ice skating at both indoors at the Eccles ice arena and outdoor at Merlin Olsen park, sleigh rides to see the elk at Hardware ranch, snowshoeing, and more.

For more information visit the official Winterfest calendar or check out the flyer below.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Imagination Has Turned Against Me

I was out walking the other night when I saw a tree.  The branches were growing up and around a light pole.  The street light at the top made the branches look silvery and delicate.  It reminded me of a giant spiderweb covered in frost.

But walking home all I could think about were the giant spiders from Lord of The Rings and the Harry Potter books, and when I got back to the house I had to lock myself inside armed with a giant can of spider killer and a hammer.  Then I saw this on twitter and thought it was the perfect solution.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's Like People Don't Trust Me - Or Something

The technicians at my day job received some chemical products that came with a couple of warning labels, but since we already have the warning signs from a previous shipment, they discarded new labels.  I saw them and asked my boss if I could have them.  This was his response.

A normal person would probably be offended, but really I'm sort of proud that he's learning.  One of the signs is going on the door that opens into the pool at my parents home.  The other sign is for Molly the Wonder Dog.

She probably wouldn't want me admitting this in public, but I think it's time we faced the truth.  She's got a bit of a drinking problem.  She's sort of a gremlin: Do not get wet, do not feed after midnight.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Not A Real Post

I don't really have anything new, interesting, or informative to share with you.  You've been warned.

I could share about how I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to get myself excited about cooking and baking again...but with the jobs and the winter duldrums I can't even be bothered to write a post about not being bothered to actually cook.  No, instead I just wanted to share this important video message about proper photo bombing.

I see that they neglected to list my 4 favorite styles of photo bombery.

The creeper:

The Zach Braff is in your wedding party, cause he's cool like that photobomb:

The stingray photo bomb:

And of course the Daniel Craig's Mustache photobombing a celebrity idiotic selfie with duckfaced friend:

One day I aspire to be photobombed by Tom Selleck's Mustache.  But that's probably a pipe dream since it's busy fighting crime on television again.  The sad part is that I can no longer waste time on my favorite time-suck website Selleck Waterfall Sandwich, since it apparently no longer has Selleck, waterfalls, or sandwiches.  It's a sad day my friends, a sad day indeed, so instead I'm practicing my "crazed fly fisherman".