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Dubba T's 2015 Reading Challenge

Since I moved from Texas to Mississippi in Fall of 2007 I have been reading way more books than comics. But last year thanks to finally taking the dip into digital comics I read way more comics than books. Which caused my backlog of books to get almost into the "Hey we might need to send Dubba T onto Hoarders." level.

So knowing how I am not one to back down from a challenge my girlfriend made me a deal. In 2015 she is going to read 100 books. And I have to read more than 100. If we both accomplish our goals we are going to take the vacation we have planned for 5 years and keep putting off. If she fails she has to pay for a year of the Marvel digital service for me. If I lose I have to finally sit my lazy rear down and organize and cull at least part of my 15 longboxes of stuff I have bought but not read.

I was just going to read a book,and write a quick review,take a picture of the book. Then post both to Facebook. I did the first two and didn't like them. So I have re-wrote the first two,and am going to post the reviews here and at my blog. I added small stuff like what format the book was.If this was the first time I read the book. And how much I paid for it.I am a bit OCD about books. So when I buy one I take a small piece of paper and write down what it cost me. Then put that paper in the book to use as a bookmark when I read it at a later date.

Maybe others will join in and we can all learn about books we haven't heard of.
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Comments

  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    edited January 2015
    2015 Reading Challenge Book 001 The Kryptonite Kid by Joseph Torchia
    image

    BOOK TITLE-The Kryptonite Kid a novel
    AUTHOR-Joseph Torchia
    FORMAT-Over-sized paperback
    FIRST TIME READING-No
    COST-Free

    Back sometime in the mid 80s one of my Aunts got me this novel as a birthday gift. She knew I loved to read and loved comic books,so thought this would be a great gift for me.I read that copy many times. But it was lost in the mid 90s when a now ex took lots of my comics and books and made a bonfire using them in my front yard. Back last year in August one of my Aunts asked me to make an Amazon wishlist with stuff I wanted for X-mas.One of the items I was looking at had a link to this book below it. I clicked the link and saw that a used copy was a bit over $2 with shipping. My original copy was a hardcover and had a white dustjacket.A weird thing about that copy. After having owned it for 2 years I took the dustjacket off. And inside it I found a letter some girl named Alisha wrote to a boy she was breaking up with.

    The book is a series of letters that two young boys in what I think is the early 60s write to Superman. They both goto the local Catholic School,love all the various Superman comics and of course the Superman tv show. Jerry,the lead,has a not so great homelife. His father can be abusive. His mother barely pays him any attention. And his older brother is a clone of Wayne from Wonder Years.

    Jerry and his best friend Robert believe Superman is a real person. That adds what starts off as an interesting touch to the letters that morphs into a very sad element. At first the letters are nice and happy. With the two boys doing reviews of stories from the comics they read. But as things get worse at home for Jerry,and after being caught reading a copy of Superman's Best Friend Jimmy Olsen when he was suppose to be praying at school,the letters become what feels like Jerry's cry out for help.

    Since Jerry believes Superman is real,he also believes he could maybe develop super powers. This starts off fairly innocently. With Jerry trying an old towel around his neck and jumping out of the local cranky old lady on the block's tree. He believes that by doing this he will be able to fly. Another time Jerry and Robert are off walking to their clubhouse. Jerry sees a rock on the ground and tells Robert he is sure it has Kryptonite in it. They break the rock open and something green oozes out. This causes Jerry to believe he has the super power to find Kryptonite and he dubs himself the Kryptonite Kid.

    It is also around this time that Jerry starts to notice that Superman and God seem to have alot in common. Which causes Jerry to believe that Superman might be God. He asks a series of questions about this to his teacher. Who with the school being a Catholic causes the nun who teaches him to freak out. Then Jerry writes a poem about how he loves Superman more than anyone,including Jesus. His teacher of course freaks out again and uses this to deny Jerry the chance to make his first Communion. Which sets off a chain reaction. Jerry's father starts to drink more often and beat Jerry and his 5 month old pregnant mother. The owner of the newstand Jerry buys his comics at,who is also the only adult that treats Jerry with respect,is caught having an affair with a married man.So Jerry is forbidden to buy comics anymore.

    Jerry gets fed up,and comes up with a plan. Since he already has the super power of being able to find Kryptonite hidden in rocks,he figures he should be able to fly any day now. The evening all his other classmates are going to make their first Communion,which Jerry's parents are forcing him to attend,right before the family loads up into the car Jerry says he has to pee. He runs into the apartment building,grabs his towel,which he has written KK on the back of. Gets on the roof of the building. Then jumps off.

    The last chapter is all about the aftermath of Jerry's attempt to fly.

    For a book that I assume is written for pre-teens,The Kryptonite kid deals with some heavy issues. From physical and mental child and spouse abuse. To the way Jerry's teacher,who is a very old school nun,instead of trying to answer Jerry's various questions about God,Jesus and Superman decides to berate him in front of the class.And also physically abuses him.

    The Kryptonite Kid gets a 3.5 outta 5.

    http://doubletsblogofreviews.blogspot.com/2015/01/2015-reading-challenge-book-001.html
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    2015 Reading Challenge Book 002 Pin me Pay me by Bobby Blaze
    image

    BOOK TITLE-Pin Me Pay me Have Boots will travel a memoir
    AUTHOR-Bobby Blaze
    FORMAT-Ebook file
    FIRST TIME READING-Yes
    COST-Free

    A friend bought this book recently and got a free ebook copy. So since he refuses to read ebooks he gave it to me. I just recently got to where I can enjoy ebooks. Normally I want to feel the book in my hands.I got a neat plug in for Firefox that allows me to read EPUB files in the browser. While it will never totally replace physical books for me. I can see myself reading more books digitally. Mainly for stuff I can get free or extremely cheap and I am not sure if I will enjoy them. Like my second book read in 2015.

    Before I read this book all I really knew about Blaze was he beat Jerry Lawler for the Smokey Mountain Wrestling title in a major upset. I never got to see much SMW as it was happening so depended on the coverage of it the Apter mags published.Since I had also never seen a shoot interview with Bobby Blaze and knew he had worked for lots of southern territories and indies I picked this out of my stack of unread Ebooks.

    There is no co author listed,and the book reads well. No major grammar errors or sentences that flow badly. Most bios written by a wrestler without a co-author have been plagued with all kinds of errors. With Chyna's book being the main one that suffered from the easy to correct flaw. Blaze goes into lots of details of his career. With the stories of his time in Memphis,Smokey Mountain and WCW being especially entertaining. I never knew he worked a decent amount in Japan. Or that he faced Terry Gordy. After finishing the book,which is pretty short and I read over the course of one evening while bored what with was on tv,I wanted to go straight to Youtube and watch a bunch of Bobby Blaze matches. I love how Bobby went from "Hey it's that guy we made fun of cause he showed up randomly on some N64 WCW wrestling game" to "OK I must see lots of Bobby Blaze matches."

    Pin Me Pay Me gets a 3 outta 5.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    2015 Reading Challenge Book 003 David Letterman's New Book of Top Ten Lists and Wedding Dress Patterns for the Husky Bride by David Letterman and the Late Show with David Letterman Writers

    Now here's a book that I bet Pants owns.But can't find since from the way he talks his room and collection is even more unorganized than mine :wink:

    image

    BOOK TITLE-David Letterman's New Book of Top Ten Lists and Wedding Dress Patterns for the Husky Bride
    AUTHOR-David Letterman and the Late Show with David Letterman Writers
    FORMAT-Hardcover book
    FIRST TIME READING-No
    COST-25 cents

    Grabbed this in 2013 at a library booksale. I love those sales. I never know what I am going to find.It will be cheap. And the money goes back into getting more stuff for the library. How can I hate that.Books like this are what I call Toilet reading. In that they can be read in short burst while you are otherwise busy in the bathroom. So the first time I read this book it was over the course of many months.

    Earlier tonight I was wanting to distract my brain from various things. Saw this book sitting in a stack of books that I was getting ready to pack up and put in boxes under my bed. "Hey this book should be an easy funny read." Less than 2 hours later I finished it.

    I discovered Letterman when I was pretty young. My parents had went out to the annual Chevron X-mas dance. Mom's best friend's daughter,who I had a massive crush on from when I was 3 until I was 10,was babysitting me. Mom had said since it was the holidays and I didn't have school I could stay up as late as I wanted. Tonya told me I could watch whatever I wanted until The Late Show came on. I watched it with her and loved Dave throwing pencils through the window panes behind him. And all the other wacky stuff he did. By the following summer I was doing all I could each night to stay awake long enough to watch Letterman. With his Top Ten lists being the highlight of most episodes.

    Published in 1996 this book I must assume is a collection of Top 10 Lists that appeared on the show. But who knows they might have been created for the book. There are 160 Top Ten Lists,plus 4 pages of wedding dress patterns for the Husky bride as mentioned in the title.

    With a book like this if you enjoy Letterman's style of humor you will enjoy the book. If you don't I doubt the book will change your opinion.My only complaint about the book is it is a bit over 160 pages and the cover price is $16 bucks. They could have made it a trade paperback and lowered the price some.But my point is really moot since I got this for 25 cents at a library booksale.

    David Letterman's New Book of Top Ten Lists and Wedding Dress Patterns for the Husky Bride gets a 4.75 outta 5

    http://doubletsblogofreviews.blogspot.com/2015/01/2015-reading-challenge-book-003-david.html
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    2015 Reading Challenge Garbage Pail Kids Artbook
    image
    BOOK TITLE-Garbage Pail Kids
    AUTHOR-Art Spiegelman and John Pound
    FORMAT-Hardcover Book
    FIRST TIME READING-No
    COST-Traded some pre-record VHS for it.

    When the Garbage Pail Kids stickers first came out in 1985 I was already a non sports trading cards collector.It was before school started and my friend Casey "Da Beaver" Weaver came over to the table I was sitting at."You have to see this!" and he handed me series 1 card 13a Ashcan Andy. I was already known as the Star Wars nerd at Orange Lake Elementary. So this trading card/sticker that made fun of Star Wars was right up my alley. And from then until sometime in 1988 I was actively searching out the GPK cards. I went to see the film opening night. I would draw my own original GPKs based on my various friends. With Robert Hobert being one I drew the most. I have no idea what Hobert is,but it rhymed with Robert and the other kids thought it was funny.

    In the early 2003s when the cards came back I started collecting them. As a kid I just bought them. Never trying to build a complete set. Hell half the time I would peel the stickers off and put them on my notebooks and stuff. But in the fall of 2003 my local Target started getting them in. And each week when I got paid I would stop by the store and buy 20 bucks worth of the packs. Then I moved in fall of 2007 and forgot again about the GPK gang.

    It was 2008 I was in Rite Aid killing time before I had to be at work. I asked the clerk if they sold baseball cards. He showed me area they were in. They had a full wax box of one of the comeback series. But there was no price on the box,packs or even on the shelf below where they were racked. I grabbed the box and brought it up to the counter. The clerk had no idea what to charge. He called for the manager. She checked and it wasn't even listed in their inventory anymore. I had about 10 minutes before I had to be at work,so I said "How about I give your 20 for the box with the packs."She said that was fine. And I paid for them and headed to work. When I got home the following morning I had a blast busting open the packs and looking at the cards.

    It wasn't much longer after that ,that through a movie forum I met my buddy Devin. He collects VHS. Mostly focusing on horror,science fiction and cartoons.One of my neighbors had recently been given 5 bins of pre-record VHS. They told me I was welcome to come over and get whatever tapes I wanted for free. I offered to pay them for the tapes but they refused. One afternoon I went over and ended up grabbing every horror,science fiction and animated VHS they had. Typed up a list and sent it to Devin. He was super excited to get all the tapes and we were trying to figure out what I was getting from him. He told me he had a big stack of assorted original run GPK cards. Plus the book pictured above.

    The book is a collection of reproductions of the original artwork for the first 5 series of the cards. Pretty famous comic book artist Art Spiegelman does the introduction. Where I learned he helped create the GPKs.He explained how Garbage Pail Kids started off as a parody of Cabbage Patch Kids for the Topps non sport hit card line Wacky Packs. Someone at Topps saw the prototype card from Wacky Packs and greenlit and entire series based on that premise.And they were a huge hit from the start. I have no hard facts to back my theory up,but from personal experience Garbage Pail Kids were a bigger hit with the kids I knew than Wacky Packs every were.

    After the pages showing off the art of the first 206 cards in the long running series,there is an afterword from underground comix artist John Pound. Mr Pound did lots of the artwork on the GPK series. And he explains how lots of indy and underground comix artist did work on the GPK series.

    The cover price of the book is right at 20 bucks. Which is a good price for getting to see the artwork of the first 5 series bigger and cleaner looking than they ever were on the cards.But it is the other extras that Abrams Comicarts did

    . Like how the dust jacket looks,feels and even smells like the wrappers that were on the original run of the GPK cards.


    Or how when you take the dust jacket off,the front cover has what appears to be a piece of that bright pink hard as a rock "gum" that came with every pack in the original run



    .Then there is one added extra that I am sure is one of the main selling features of the book. Each copy came packaged with 4 GPK cards that you can only get by buying this book,

    Yep in a tiny cellophane envelope at the end of the book is 4 original cards.




    This is a very niche book. Outside of the forward and afterword there is no real reading in the book. And $20 is a bit much for a book that would take at the most 15 minutes to read. But if you are a Garbage Pail Kid fan this book is a must buy. I count myself lucky to not only have a good friend like Devin.But also lucking out and getting close to $500 in VHS for free.

    Garbage Pail Kids gets a 4.95 outta 5.

    http://doubletsblogofreviews.blogspot.com/2015/01/2015-reading-challenge-book-004-garbage.html
  • luke52luke52 Posts: 1,391
    dubbat138 said:

    2015 Reading Challenge Garbage Pail Kids Artbook
    image
    BOOK TITLE-Garbage Pail Kids
    AUTHOR-Art Spiegelman and John Pound
    FORMAT-Hardcover Book
    FIRST TIME READING-No
    COST-Traded some pre-record VHS for it.

    When the Garbage Pail Kids stickers first came out in 1985 I was already a non sports trading cards collector.It was before school started and my friend Casey "Da Beaver" Weaver came over to the table I was sitting at."You have to see this!" and he handed me series 1 card 13a Ashcan Andy. I was already known as the Star Wars nerd at Orange Lake Elementary. So this trading card/sticker that made fun of Star Wars was right up my alley. And from then until sometime in 1988 I was actively searching out the GPK cards. I went to see the film opening night. I would draw my own original GPKs based on my various friends. With Robert Hobert being one I drew the most. I have no idea what Hobert is,but it rhymed with Robert and the other kids thought it was funny.

    In the early 2003s when the cards came back I started collecting them. As a kid I just bought them. Never trying to build a complete set. Hell half the time I would peel the stickers off and put them on my notebooks and stuff. But in the fall of 2003 my local Target started getting them in. And each week when I got paid I would stop by the store and buy 20 bucks worth of the packs. Then I moved in fall of 2007 and forgot again about the GPK gang.

    It was 2008 I was in Rite Aid killing time before I had to be at work. I asked the clerk if they sold baseball cards. He showed me area they were in. They had a full wax box of one of the comeback series. But there was no price on the box,packs or even on the shelf below where they were racked. I grabbed the box and brought it up to the counter. The clerk had no idea what to charge. He called for the manager. She checked and it wasn't even listed in their inventory anymore. I had about 10 minutes before I had to be at work,so I said "How about I give your 20 for the box with the packs."She said that was fine. And I paid for them and headed to work. When I got home the following morning I had a blast busting open the packs and looking at the cards.

    It wasn't much longer after that ,that through a movie forum I met my buddy Devin. He collects VHS. Mostly focusing on horror,science fiction and cartoons.One of my neighbors had recently been given 5 bins of pre-record VHS. They told me I was welcome to come over and get whatever tapes I wanted for free. I offered to pay them for the tapes but they refused. One afternoon I went over and ended up grabbing every horror,science fiction and animated VHS they had. Typed up a list and sent it to Devin. He was super excited to get all the tapes and we were trying to figure out what I was getting from him. He told me he had a big stack of assorted original run GPK cards. Plus the book pictured above.

    The book is a collection of reproductions of the original artwork for the first 5 series of the cards. Pretty famous comic book artist Art Spiegelman does the introduction. Where I learned he helped create the GPKs.He explained how Garbage Pail Kids started off as a parody of Cabbage Patch Kids for the Topps non sport hit card line Wacky Packs. Someone at Topps saw the prototype card from Wacky Packs and greenlit and entire series based on that premise.And they were a huge hit from the start. I have no hard facts to back my theory up,but from personal experience Garbage Pail Kids were a bigger hit with the kids I knew than Wacky Packs every were.

    After the pages showing off the art of the first 206 cards in the long running series,there is an afterword from underground comix artist John Pound. Mr Pound did lots of the artwork on the GPK series. And he explains how lots of indy and underground comix artist did work on the GPK series.

    The cover price of the book is right at 20 bucks. Which is a good price for getting to see the artwork of the first 5 series bigger and cleaner looking than they ever were on the cards.But it is the other extras that Abrams Comicarts did

    . Like how the dust jacket looks,feels and even smells like the wrappers that were on the original run of the GPK cards.


    Or how when you take the dust jacket off,the front cover has what appears to be a piece of that bright pink hard as a rock "gum" that came with every pack in the original run



    .Then there is one added extra that I am sure is one of the main selling features of the book. Each copy came packaged with 4 GPK cards that you can only get by buying this book,

    Yep in a tiny cellophane envelope at the end of the book is 4 original cards.




    This is a very niche book. Outside of the forward and afterword there is no real reading in the book. And $20 is a bit much for a book that would take at the most 15 minutes to read. But if you are a Garbage Pail Kid fan this book is a must buy. I count myself lucky to not only have a good friend like Devin.But also lucking out and getting close to $500 in VHS for free.

    Garbage Pail Kids gets a 4.95 outta 5.

    http://doubletsblogofreviews.blogspot.com/2015/01/2015-reading-challenge-book-004-garbage.html

    I got this book for my brother for Christmas. I had a flick through and loved it. The nostalgia was great. Side note, I read the fist issue of the new IDW series at the weekend. I'd give it a borrow rating. Was fun, but quickly forgotten. Bit of a shame really, was looking forward to it.

    Also, great idea for a thread. Will be following and may add the occasional review myself.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    2015 Reading Challenge Book 005 How Many Chances by Creighton Hobbs
    image

    BOOK TITLE-How Many Chances
    AUTHOR-Creighton Hobbs
    FORMAT-Over sized paperback
    FIRST TIME READING-No
    COST-Free

    A quick note,I have known the author of this book since I was 12 years old. From 7th grade until our Senior year of high school we were pretty close friends. Then his life took a downturn and we drifted apart. Since then we have seen each other maybe 3 times. And exchanged emails. So Creighton if you are reading this review,I am just being honest and telling things the way I remember them happening.

    Creighton was born as the youngest of 3 boys. He was a so called miracle baby.The doctors had told his mother that the chances of her carrying Creighton to full term were fairly low.I understand authors sometimes bending the truth some in their biographies to make the story more interesting. But here in what is the first or second chapter Creighton breaks the truth and it doesn't make the story more interesting. He talks about the day he was born. And how his father had to speed to get his mother to Mobile since that was the closest hospital to Escatawpa Mississippi.Creighton was born in the mid 70s and by then Pascagoula MS,which is less than 5 minutes from Escatawpa,had had a great hospital for almost 20 years.

    At an early age Creighton found out he had diabetes.Which caused him many health issues. One thing was it stunted his growth. When I met him,he was almost 13 and just barely 5 foot tall. And now that we are both around 4 decades old he is still 5 foot tall.

    The first 4 or so chapters deal with Creighton growing up. And they are fairly boring.The most interesting story is when he gets his first car. His grandmother gave it to him. And in two parts of the book Creighton tells the story of driving his first car to high school the first day he had it. But each time the story is different. Like in one he had went and picked up some friends and they had planned on driving to Moss Point High School.Picking up another friend,who was me,then skipping school that day. Creighton had found the key to his parents liquor cabinet and we planned on getting drunk. Well on the drive to the school he lost control of his car and crashed into a tree in someone's front yard about a block from the school. First time he tells this story it is him and a few other people in the car. And they are coming to school to get me. Later on he tells the story. In this version he drives to school. And someone he only ever calls "The blonde head kid" talks him into skipping school. And while leaving the school this is when he hits the tree. I must assume that either he didn't proof read his book. And the publisher didn't proof read it.

    Like I stated earlier we kind of drifted apart our Senior year of high school. I had stopped most of my partying and was getting ready to shipout after graduation to goto Army BCT. One day I got to school and one of Creighton and I's mutual friends,who Creighton dedicates a chapter too even though he never mentions this friend by name,comes to find me. "Hey Newt you ain't gonna believe what has happened to Creighton." First he had moved out of his parents place. And ended up renting a bedroom from someone.Our Senior year we had to write an at least 20 page research paper. Well after putting it off for 4 months Creighton said fuck this and quit school instead of having to do the paper. At the time he was working at a local grocery store. He got caught trying to steal beer and got fired. Well without a job he couldn't pay his rent. And he knew if he moved back into his parent's place he would have to go back to school and stop partying every night. It was at this time the "blonde hair kid" came back into Creighton's life. He lived at the same house. And him and 2 others planned on robbing a local burger joint. They talked Creighton into driving the getaway car. People who lived with them heard them planning this for months. But figured they would never do it. Well they did. And got caught. Creighton got a good lawyer,his parents are LOADED. And got probation and the judge suggested it might be a good idea for Creighton to leave the state. He did and last I heard he was running a junk/collectible store.

    Ok folks this review is way to long to post in one post so if you wanna read the rest click the below link.
    doubletsblogofreviews.blogspot.com/2015/01/2015-reading-challenge-book-000-how.html
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    2015 Reading Challenge Book 006 Ramones an American Band by Jim Bessman
    image
    BOOK TITLE-Ramones An American Band
    AUTHOR Jim Bessman
    FORMAT-Over sized paperback
    FIRST TIME READING-No
    COST-I really have no idea.There is no price on the book anywhere.

    Ever since I was 4 the Ramones have either been my favorite band or in my top 5.It was sometime in fall of 1997 and I was killing time in Walden's Books waiting on my girlfriend to show up so we could grab a bite to eat then go see a film.

    This Walden's had some great staff.One of them,who was named Tex,is a fellow comic fan. Who know I loved the Ramones and had put the one copy they got of the above pictured book to the side for me. I of course bought it. And all through dinner and the film all I could think about was the book. My girl invited me over to her place for ,well I am sure the people reading this can figure out why. But I turned that down cause I had a book about the best band to ever exist.

    Published by St Martin Press Ramones an American Band is the history of the band that most people believe help create the punk rock genre of music. Full of pictures,history of the band and the various members and even a complete listing of every show they had played as of January 19th 1993.And even a listing of every record,single and even the imports.

    Sure the books doesn't go into the dirt like Mickey Leigh's book. But even as diehard of a Ramones fan as I was in 93 there was plenty in the book I didn't know.Besides the glossing over of a few things,like the origins of their concert favorite song 53rd and 3rd,my only real complaint is I wish the pictures were in color.

    Ramones an Amercian Band gets a 4.80 outta 5
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    luke52 said:

    dubbat138 said:

    2015 Reading Challenge Garbage Pail Kids Artbook
    image
    BOOK TITLE-Garbage Pail Kids
    AUTHOR-Art Spiegelman and John Pound
    FORMAT-Hardcover Book
    FIRST TIME READING-No
    COST-Traded some pre-record VHS for it.

    When the Garbage Pail Kids stickers first came out in 1985 I was already a non sports trading cards collector.It was before school started and my friend Casey "Da Beaver" Weaver came over to the table I was sitting at."You have to see this!" and he handed me series 1 card 13a Ashcan Andy. I was already known as the Star Wars nerd at Orange Lake Elementary. So this trading card/sticker that made fun of Star Wars was right up my alley. And from then until sometime in 1988 I was actively searching out the GPK cards. I went to see the film opening night. I would draw my own original GPKs based on my various friends. With Robert Hobert being one I drew the most. I have no idea what Hobert is,but it rhymed with Robert and the other kids thought it was funny.

    In the early 2003s when the cards came back I started collecting them. As a kid I just bought them. Never trying to build a complete set. Hell half the time I would peel the stickers off and put them on my notebooks and stuff. But in the fall of 2003 my local Target started getting them in. And each week when I got paid I would stop by the store and buy 20 bucks worth of the packs. Then I moved in fall of 2007 and forgot again about the GPK gang.

    It was 2008 I was in Rite Aid killing time before I had to be at work. I asked the clerk if they sold baseball cards. He showed me area they were in. They had a full wax box of one of the comeback series. But there was no price on the box,packs or even on the shelf below where they were racked. I grabbed the box and brought it up to the counter. The clerk had no idea what to charge. He called for the manager. She checked and it wasn't even listed in their inventory anymore. I had about 10 minutes before I had to be at work,so I said "How about I give your 20 for the box with the packs."She said that was fine. And I paid for them and headed to work. When I got home the following morning I had a blast busting open the packs and looking at the cards.

    It wasn't much longer after that ,that through a movie forum I met my buddy Devin. He collects VHS. Mostly focusing on horror,science fiction and cartoons.One of my neighbors had recently been given 5 bins of pre-record VHS. They told me I was welcome to come over and get whatever tapes I wanted for free. I offered to pay them for the tapes but they refused. One afternoon I went over and ended up grabbing every horror,science fiction and animated VHS they had. Typed up a list and sent it to Devin. He was super excited to get all the tapes and we were trying to figure out what I was getting from him. He told me he had a big stack of assorted original run GPK cards. Plus the book pictured above.

    The book is a collection of reproductions of the original artwork for the first 5 series of the cards. Pretty famous comic book artist Art Spiegelman does the introduction. Where I learned he helped create the GPKs.He explained how Garbage Pail Kids started off as a parody of Cabbage Patch Kids for the Topps non sport hit card line Wacky Packs. Someone at Topps saw the prototype card from Wacky Packs and greenlit and entire series based on that premise.And they were a huge hit from the start. I have no hard facts to back my theory up,but from personal experience Garbage Pail Kids were a bigger hit with the kids I knew than Wacky Packs every were.

    After the pages showing off the art of the first 206 cards in the long running series,there is an afterword from underground comix artist John Pound. Mr Pound did lots of the artwork on the GPK series. And he explains how lots of indy and underground comix artist did work on the GPK series.

    The cover price of the book is right at 20 bucks. Which is a good price for getting to see the artwork of the first 5 series bigger and cleaner looking than they ever were on the cards.But it is the other extras that Abrams Comicarts did

    . Like how the dust jacket looks,feels and even smells like the wrappers that were on the original run of the GPK cards.


    Or how when you take the dust jacket off,the front cover has what appears to be a piece of that bright pink hard as a rock "gum" that came with every pack in the original run



    .Then there is one added extra that I am sure is one of the main selling features of the book. Each copy came packaged with 4 GPK cards that you can only get by buying this book,

    Yep in a tiny cellophane envelope at the end of the book is 4 original cards.




    This is a very niche book. Outside of the forward and afterword there is no real reading in the book. And $20 is a bit much for a book that would take at the most 15 minutes to read. But if you are a Garbage Pail Kid fan this book is a must buy. I count myself lucky to not only have a good friend like Devin.But also lucking out and getting close to $500 in VHS for free.

    Garbage Pail Kids gets a 4.95 outta 5.

    http://doubletsblogofreviews.blogspot.com/2015/01/2015-reading-challenge-book-004-garbage.html

    I got this book for my brother for Christmas. I had a flick through and loved it. The nostalgia was great. Side note, I read the fist issue of the new IDW series at the weekend. I'd give it a borrow rating. Was fun, but quickly forgotten. Bit of a shame really, was looking forward to it.

    Also, great idea for a thread. Will be following and may add the occasional review myself.
    Thanks,can't wait to read more reviews. At first I was behind my girl on my reading. She was up to 4 books and I was at 2. But I sprinted past her recently. I a hoping we both hit our goals so we can go on the vacation.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    edited January 2015
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    Book 7 Wizards,Warriors and You volume 7 Challenge of the Wolf Knight

    BOOK TITLE-Wizards Warriors and You Book 7 Challenge of the Wolf Knight
    AUTHOR-R.L.Stine
    FORMAT-Paperback book
    FIRST TIME READING-Yes
    COST-1 penny

    Once the Choose your own Adventure novels became popular back in the early 80s,I got into the gamebook genre. Starting off reading the CYOA books and then branching off into all the other gamebook series.

    It was at one of the Scholastic Book Fairs while I was attending Orange Lake Elementary that I discovered what became my favorite series of gamebooks. That series is Wizard Warriors and You. And the first I read from the series was book 3 Who Kidnapped Princess Saralinda.

    What attracted me to this pretty popular series of gamebooks was all the little differences from the Choose your own adventure books I was use to. First off in the WW&Y series you got to choose if you would play the novel as the Wizard or the Warrior.If you chose the Warrior you were instructed to go to the back of the book and pick out 2 or 3 weapons that you carried with you on your adventure. If you picked the Wizard you were told to goto the back of the book and read up on all the spells you has access to. Another thing that made this series stand out was each book was connected to the previous one. With the CYOA novels most of the time you were a completely different person in each book. But you knew when you grabbed a WW&Y novel you were gonna be either the Wizard or the Warrior. The other two things that made this series stand out for me were,first off there was normally just one good ending for each of the heroes. Unlike the CYOA books where you could have many good endings. The other major difference was how the WW&Y added small things to randomize stuff. Like I can remember in one of the novels the success of a spell depended on what day of the week you happened to be reading the novel. I remember in another one of the books where you were chained up in a dungeon. And had to start a fire by throwing at match onto a pile of hay that was in the room with you. So the simulate this the book instructed you to get 2 nickels. You took one and threw it across the room. That nickel was suppose to be the hay. Then you had to take the other nickel ,throw it and manage to hit the nickel that was already on the floor. All these little touches made the WW&Y series really stand out from CYOA and all the subpar clones of that series. And these small things are one of the reasons why I consider WW&Y to be my favorite of the 80s era gamebooks.

    This entry in the series is about a werewolf knight that is terrorizing the kingdom that the Wizard and Warrior work for.From my somewhat crappy memory I seem to remember that while the WW&Y series was firmly set in the fantasy genre,out side of the Wizard's Spells there wasn't much else supernatural elements in most of the novels. Well book 7 more than makes up for the lack of spooky stuff. Usually with this series I prefer playing as the Wizard. Because you aren't limited to your sword and 2 or 3 other weapons. The Wizard has access to many spells. Sure some of them are pretty much worthless,but the variety of spells makes up for having a few duds.

    Looking a the list of the first 8 novels in the series I think I owned 3 of them before getting book 7.Like I mentioned earlier the only place I ever saw these was at the 2 times a year school book fair. The local Walden's book had a section in the kids books just for all the various gamebook series. But they either never ordered any WW&Y books. Or they sold out before I could get there.

    Another reason I loved this series as a child was because of the mild horror elements in some of the novels and the slightly graphic artwork it felt to me like I was reading something meant for people much older than I was at the time. I never got that feeling from Choose your own Adventure,The Time Machine series,Which Way Books or even the Super Choose your own Adventure books. With the latter being advertised as being written for an older reader. Honestly the only 2 series of gamebooks that had that mature feel to them like WW&Y was the various Marvel superhero gamebooks TSR published and the Lone Wolf series of books. I owned most of the Marvel books. But never saw or even heard of the Lone Wolf series until the mid 2000s when I discovered a great online resource for info on gamebooks.

    One neat thing about this novel is it is written by famous children's literature author R. L.Stine. I had just assumed that he started his career when he was writing the Goosebump series. And beside that series the only other series I knew that he had written was the Fear Street books. I am now wondering if maybe the novels in the WW&Y series that have supernatural elements are one written by Mr Stine.

    Anytime I am at a place that deals in used books I always go through the kid's section and buy any gamebooks they have that I don't already own.In the over 15 years I have been collecting gamebooks I have never seen any of the Wizard Warriors and You series in a store. Back in August my mother's side of the family asked me to make an Amazon wishlist loaded with items I would like for X-mas. Something made me remember Wizards Warriors and You. Since I never saw them in used bookstores I was expecting copies to be pretty pricey. But the ones I found went from as cheap as 1 penny plus shipping up to $8 a book. Which isn't a bad price range. In the fall of 2014 I had twelve bucks in Amazon gift cards. I was wanting some new stuff to read. Plus wanted to get as much as I could for the 12 bucks. I grabbed this novel for a penny plus $3.99 shipping. It was listed as used but in good shape. For the cheap price I expected the book to be in well read shape. When I got it in it looked to my eyes to be in really good shape. No tears on the cover. Very little stress damage on the spine. And even the corners were still fairly sharp.

    I started reading the book on the 2nd of January. With most nights after taking my sleep meds I would lay down and read this book until I hit one of the endings. A few nights I found myself falling asleep but forcing myself to stay awake so I could read one more ending and just maybe get the good ending for whatever character I had chosen. Once I got the good endings for both heroes I was very happy. The endings were satisfying and didn't feel tacked on like some of the endings in CYOA books do.

    Wizards Warriors and You Book 7 Challenge of the Wolf Knight gets a 3.75 outta 5.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    Book 009 Arkham Woods
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    One "advantage" of having insomnia is I get more time to read. What else is there to do at 1am.Watch TV? LOL so I gave a manga I had read once before a second chance.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    edited January 2015
    2015 Reading Challenge Book 010 Abadazad The Road to Inconceivable by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog
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    I had heard of the short lived Crossgen series Abadazad. And heard that it was the main reason why Disney bought the Crossgen properties. Then Disney put out a few books that were a mixture of text and comic book pages. Found the first volume extremely cheap. So it became part of my 2015 Reading Challenge.
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    Hey @Adam_Murdough I got a good feeling you would love this book.It is clearly inspired by the classic Oz novels. And has the same feel as they did.
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  • Thanks, Newt. I'm sure I would love the Abadazad books, since I loved the Abadazad comics that preceded them!
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178

    Thanks, Newt. I'm sure I would love the Abadazad books, since I loved the Abadazad comics that preceded them!

    I need to get the comics. If I ever find another copy of the first book cheap I shall grab it for you. Consider it a thank you for the great episodes of Murd's time bubble you have give us.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    2015 Reading Challenge Book 011 The 50 Funniest Movies of All time
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    BOOK TITLE-The 50 Funniest Movies of All Time A Critic's Ranking
    AUTHOR-Kathryn Bernheimer
    FORMAT-Trade Paperback
    FIRST TIME READING-Yes
    COST-$1,45

    I have enjoyed movie reference books and books of best of lists from as far back as my memory goes. And over the decades of my life have built up a decent collection of both types of books. I own who knows how many books that are collections of reviews of horror films. Because the horror genre is my favorite film genre. After getting to know me most people just assume that the science fiction genre is my second favorite genre of film. But it isn't.My second favorite genre is comedy. As I mentioned a few posts back I was in Dirt Cheap looking at the various things for sale. Found this book that ended up being 90% off cover.

    These movie review books are hard for me to review. I prefer the ones written by one author. So that way over the course of reading the various reviews you get a nice idea of what parts of the genre the author likes,loves and hates.So when I saw this book had one author I was happy. I actually finished reading this book 4 days ago.But have been trying to figure out how to review it here at my humble blog. Finally deciding on listing the 50 films mentioned in the book. On the ones I have never seen I will say nothing since I haven't seen the movie. If it is a film I have seen I will say if I agree on the film being one of the 50 funniest movies of all time.

    The films seem to be listed in the book in no kind of order. So I will go with the order the films are listed in the book.
    1.Some Like it Hot-Seen this two times. And it is one of the only films I liked Marilyn Monroe in. I can see why people would consider it a comedy classic.
    2.City Lights
    3.Duck Soup
    4.Dr Strangelove-I am a huge Kubrick fan. So of course I have seen this dark dark comedy from Kubrick. And it would find a slot on my top 50 comedies.
    5.Bringing Up Baby
    6.M*A*S*H*-Being a huge fan of the TV show based on this mid 1970 classic I begged and begged my parents to let me rent it. It being R rated they rented it and watched it first.After seeing that there wasn't anything in it they objected to me seeing I got to watch it. And this is another that would make my top 50 list.
    7.Annie Hall
    8.Tootsie-Saw this in a theater back in 82. Remember it being funny. Haven't seen it since then.Once I read the review I went and put the dvd near the top of my netflix list.
    9.The Ladykillers
    10.The Lady Eve
    11.A Fish Called Wanda-I prefer Fierce Creatures,which has pretty much the same cast as this film. But Fish Called Wanda is a damn funny film.
    12.The General
    13.Born Yesterday
    14.The Producers-Once again this is the original. I enjoy the film,but think Mel Brooks has other films that are much funnier.
    15.All of Me-I can remember renting this mid 80s comedy with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin. But I don't think I have seen it since then. I am interested in watching it again soon.
    16.After Hours
    17.It Happened one Night
    18.To Be or Not to be-This is the original. I have only seen the Mel Brooks remake.Which was funny.I plan on giving the original a try one day.
    19.This is Spinal Tap-It might be that before I saw this movie I had already had all the funniest moments quoted to me numerous times. But I don't get why so many people call this a comedy classic. I laughed maybe 3 times when I saw it.
    20.The Pink Panther Strikes Back
    21.The Sunshine Boys
    22.Tom Jones
    23.Moonstruck
    24.Safety Last
    25.Harvey
    26.Raising Arizona-First saw this when it hit VHS and I didn't care for it. Was forced to rewatch it years later and found it to be a great comedy.And it is one of the few films with Nic Cage as the lead that I enjoy.
    27.My Little Chickadee
    28.The Full Monty-One of the funniest movies of the 90s. When this came out I was gonna take my paternal grandmother out to see a movie then grab us a pizza as her birthday present. I told her to look in the paper and choose any film. She chose this one. I knew going in what it was about. I thought my elderly grandmother was gonna have a stroke or something from laughing so much.I laughed a bunch but I never heard her laugh as much as she did while watching this film.
    29.National Lampoon's Animal House-Credited with starting the 80s trend for raunchy comedies,I have always enjoyed this film. Too bad that the National Lampoon name before a movie titled doesn't mean shit nowadays.
    30.The Court Jester
    31.King of Hearts
    32.Prizzi's Honor
    33.The Gods Must be Crazy-My older cousin Charles was always recording movies off HBO for me. We went to visit one weekend and he kept talking about how funny The Gods Must be Crazy was. So I begged him to record it for me. I held onto that tape until it finally got lost in one of my moves in the 2000s. This story about a small African tribe that discovers a glass Coca-Cola bottle and the strife it causes is one of the best physical comedy films I have ever seen.
    34.Monty Python and the Holy Grail-Like with Spinal Tap I had had most of this film quoted to me many many years before seeing it. I do enjoy the Monty Python tv show.But have never been much of a fan of this film. I can see why people would place it on a top comedy list.But it would never be on mine.
    35.The In-Laws-I didn't get to see this late 70s comedy classic with Peter Falk until the early 2000s.And it would easily get a spot on my top 50 comedies.
    36.When Harry met Sally-I have never been big into romantic comedies. So I skipped watching this film when it was the talk of the late 80s/early 90s. Finally watching it in the late 90s I did find it funny. But I doubt it would make my top 50 list.
    37.Soapdish
    38.Sons of the Desert
    39.What's up,Doc?
    40.It's a mad mad mad mad world-I can't think of another film as top heavy with comedians.While it does run a bit long,it is still a great and very funny film.It has a slot in my top 50.
    41.Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein-The first of the Abbott and Costello films I saw. And a very funny film. But not what I think is the funniest Abbot and Costello films. I prefer the one with Jekyl and Hyde.
    42.Cat Ballou
    43.Playtime
    44.The Bellboy-I do like physically based humor.Unless it is Jerry Lewis doing it.
    45.Harold and Maude-One of my favorite dark comedies. About how no matter what there is someone other there for everyone.Thinking about it after reading the well written review this film would make my top 50.
    46.Local Hero
    47.Airplane-My second favorite of the parody films.I have seen it dozens of times and each viewing I catch something I never noticed before.
    48.Beverly Hill Cop-Remember when Eddie Murphy was funny?While not his funniest film,it is one of the best comedies of the 80s.
    49.Bull Durham-One of the few sports I have any interest in is baseball. And Bull Durham is the funniest baseball movie I have seen. Normally I don't care for films with Kevin Costner. This is the exception.
    50.Smiles of a Summer Night

    So lets add it up.Out of the 50 films I have seen 22. Out of those 22,twelve would make my top 50 comedies list. Out of the 28 I haven't seen there is 5 I want to see. With most of those being silent films. Silent era films are one of the huge blindspots in my film viewing experience.

    The lady that wrote the book did a good job on the reviews and picking out pictures to go with them. I doubt I would have paid the cover price for this book. But getting it 90% off it was worth it.

    The 50 Funniest Movies of All Time A Critics Ranking gets a 2.25 outta 5.
  • luke52luke52 Posts: 1,391
    This was maybe a forerunner to those '1001... before you die' books. Like you, I love a good reference book like this. A charity shop special I call these. Something you can pick up on the cheap, have an hour or twos fun with it, then take it right on back for someone else to pick up and enjoy.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    luke52 said:

    This was maybe a forerunner to those '1001... before you die' books. Like you, I love a good reference book like this. A charity shop special I call these. Something you can pick up on the cheap, have an hour or twos fun with it, then take it right on back for someone else to pick up and enjoy.

    Yeah I mostly get them cheap. I just found 3 of my horror or cult film reference books I had forgotten I owned.

  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    2015 Reading Challenge Book 12 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
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    Not only my favorite science fiction novels,but one of my favorite novels of all time. Warning this one is a long one. I ramble a bunch. Hope it is at least entertaining.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    Book 13 Dark Mountain by Richard Laymon
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    Richard Laymon is a author that while he is from the States,was better known in the UK. Well at least until he passed away years ago. If you enjoy b-horror movies. Then you might enjoy Richard Laymon. His novels are always full of blood,gore,sex and violence. And are rarely boring. Dark Mountain was so bad that even after I paid $1 for it I felt like I got ripped off for $5. Thankfully after I finished this novel right after waking up on Wednesday I checked my mailbox and had in a comic trade. Which I will be reviewing next and it makes up for how bad Dark Mountain was.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    2015 Reading Challenge Book 14 Eno and Plum by Terry LaBan
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    Growing up reading lots of Archie comics I have always had an affinity for Archie spoofs and parodies. So when I read one of the Eno and Plum stories in Dark Horse Presents I liked it. I even wanted to read Terry LaBan's Cud Comics. But I never saw any issues. Then I am looking around on Amazon for cheap trades. Saw this for $1 plus shipping and grabbed it. Got it in on Wednesday. Sat down after dinner,drank a beer and read the entire trade in about an hour.

  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    2015 Reading Challenge Book 015 The Dark Tower:The Gunslinger Born
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    Re-read this hardcover collection of the first Marvel Dark Tower mini series. Love the Jae Lee artwork. Never been a Peter David fan,but his writing on this mini is pretty good.
  • luke52luke52 Posts: 1,391
    dubbat138 said:

    2015 Reading Challenge Book 015 The Dark Tower:The Gunslinger Born
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    Re-read this hardcover collection of the first Marvel Dark Tower mini series. Love the Jae Lee artwork. Never been a Peter David fan,but his writing on this mini is pretty good.

    This is the book that got me into the wider world of comics. Love this series. Met Peter David and Robin Furth at LSCC last year and got my copy signed by both. This will always hold a very fond spot in my heart.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    Book 17 Succulent Prey by Wrath James White
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    Really gory really fun modern day cannibal novel.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    The Tick the complete Edlund collection
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    Yep the same book the geeks covered as a BOMC a few years back.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
    Harvey Comics 4 issue Back to the Future comic book
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    Got a complete run of the short lived Harvey Comics Back to the Future comics. Wanted a break from books so picked out a fun quick reading comic.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
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    2015 Reading Challenge Book 019 Ring of Hell

    One of the more infamous books about the life and death of pro wrestler Chris Benoit.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
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    Weekly World News Bat Boy comic strip collection written and drawn by Peter Bagge

    Book 20 completed. It was thanks to hearing Danielle Corsetto on CGS mention taking over this strip from Mr Bagge,that I found out it existed.Being a huge Bagge fan I had to get a copy.
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
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    Book 021 The Walking Dead Fall of the Governor part 01

    With the 3rd novel we get to the point where Rick,Glenn and Michonne end up in Woodbury.



  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,178
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    Book 22 Whacked!Skewed views of horror movies

    I love books of movie reviews. This one is the worst I have ever read. The author is a 8th rate Joe Bob Briggs. But without the humor,talent or brains.




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