Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Atomic Junk Shop’s First Week in Review

Hey folks, Travis Pelkie here (or AtomicJunkShopTravis, as I’m trying to get used to calling myself).  Just wanted to post something here to say thanks to you all for showing up for our first week around, and to invite you to keep coming back as well.  We really appreciate all of you visiting us, especially but not limited to our old pals from CSBG (guess I was right in noting all those email addresses that kept popping up in my comment box…).  We hope to foster that same sense of community here at the Atomic Junk Shop with you, our friends. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Twitter with the clicky buttons on the page, too.

Thanks as well to all of the other comics media outlets that featured us this week.  The Outhousers went with the story first, and other folks followed, like the folks at the Classic Comics Forum, and Heidi Macdonald and crew at The Comics Beat (where we also found out that our old cohorts at Robot 6 are regrouping as well at Smash Pages).  Heidi Macdonald edited Midnight, Mass at Vertigo, and I loved that book — I’ll need to write a column on that one!  We thank them all for helping us spread the word.

I can’t forget to thank our pal Kelly Thompson for being very cool and tweeting about us this week as well.  Make sure you check out her upcoming Boom! comic, Mega Princess!

I’d also like to thank my fellow Junk Shoppers for doing the real heavy lifting here.  If I had to do blogging solo, I’d be curled up in a fetal position rocking myself as I cried!  Jim MacQuarrie is doing a lot of the computer stuff (and making everything look great!).  Greg Burgas is still letting me do Flippin’ Through Previews with him and was the guy to hook me up in this venture, and Greg Hatcher was good enough to second him and bring me along on this venture.  We’ve also got Spencer Keane doing his cool posts about toys, Al Kennedy will have House to Astonish here soon, Toni Adams brings her perspective to things that the rest of us aren’t necessarily looking at, and tomorrow’s first Crisis on Earth-T column from John Trumbull is pretty neato.  I peeked!

So what am I doing here?  I’ve been asking myself that.  I feel like this guy:

These guys don’t hit me too often!

But I feel like, since I have virtually no real credits myself, that I have to earn my keep otherwise.  That’s why the emails to you guys came from me.  It’s my way of contributing!

As for me here on the blog itself, I’ll be doing a column called “Confessions of a Comic Book Hoarder” on Wednesdays.  It’s about…well, it’s pretty self-evident from the title, but tune in Wednesday regardless.

In case you haven’t gathered, we do have a semi-regular schedule here.  John will be on Mondays, Greg Hatcher on Tuesdays, me on Wednesdays, Jim on Thursdays, Spencer on Fridays, Toni on Saturdays, and Greg Burgas whenever he feels like.  Heh.

I’d also like to pick your brains about what sorts of things you’d like us to cover.  If there’s a certain topic you want one of us to talk about, let us know in these comments.  Any crazy ideas, you can put out there.  We won’t necessarily DO anything about it, but you can throw it out there.

One odd idea I had for myself, and if you guys want to see me do it, let me know in the comments, is that with all the strange food flavors coming out, there’s got to be some sort of wacky fun to be had there.  If you want me to try different flavored Oreos, or potato chips, or other oddly flavored foods, let me know, especially if there are particular ones you have in mind.  Let me turn my ballooning weight into art!

There is no God!
But not these abominations, for the love of all that is holy.

Anyway, let me again thank you all for showing up, and we hope you’ll keep joining us daily here at the Atomic Junk Shop.


      1. Le Messor

        Travis, you only say that because it’s easily available to you!

        Though I don’t know what the Oreo versions are like… you both may be right.

        Is anyone else having Gravity Falls flashbacks?

      2. Le Messor

        noting all those email addresses that kept popping up in my comment box

        Oh… so you grabbed all of them you could? I wondered how you decided who to decide who to invite.
        Everybody. Simple. 🙂

  1. Simon

    – “noting all those email addresses that kept popping up in my comment box”

    What? Wotta creep! …Come to think of it, I also did that for a few days. Ahm.

    – “I’d also like to pick your brains about what sorts of things you’d like us to cover”

    What about the alien diva song from THE FIFTH ELEMENT, just to see if you have some range beyond ZZ Top? …Oh, not that sort of cover. Well:

    * Comics.
    * Mainstream comics. [e.g. Raina Telgemeier]
    * Indy comics.
    * Alt comics.
    * B&W comics.
    * Art comics.
    * Formalist comics.
    * Experimental comics.
    * Web comics.
    * Euro comics.
    * Asian comics.
    * Digital comics.
    * Graphic novels.
    * Graphic nonfiction.
    * A 16-part monthly about Cerebus.
    * An annual Top 100 poll. (Maybe cycling between “Best writers”, “Best artists”, and “Best something-else that changes every three years”.)
    * Prose from comics writers. (I almost ordered Warren Ellis’s novel NORMAL but it was yet another not-final-specs mousetrap, so fuck ’em if they can’t take a preorder!)

    As you can see, I have some range beyond them funnybooks!

  2. Jeff Nettleton

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit about comics other than the mainstream, both European and South American works and independents. Animation might be cool, or talk of Saturday morning tv. How about a bit of spy-fi, for fans of James Bond and his secret agent pals? Newspaper comic strips, weird fads, urban legends, cult movies; anything that is interesting to more than one person.

    The first week has been great; a return to what we once had, with a little bit of the new, as well. Definitely a good launch.

    1. How about a bit of spy-fi, for fans of James Bond and his secret agent pals? Newspaper comic strips, weird fads, urban legends, cult movies; anything that is interesting to more than one person.

      A great many of these are on deck, believe me. I can say with no false modesty that between me and Jim, there is no question about the post-Goldfinger explosion of spy-fi we cannot answer, and eventually it’s going to be a column. Probably about Bond’s often-overlooked contemporaries. Quiller, Harry Palmer, Matt Helm, Modesty Blaise, Derek Flint, etc.

      1. Jeff Nettleton

        Ah, good. Love that stuff. if it had underground fortresses, crazy gadgets and suave secret agents I watched it. Just recently started watching some of the Eurospy stuff, via Youtube (apart from the ones that hit MST3K). Fell in love with Modesty Blaise from a single panel and article in Maurice Horn’s World Encyclopedia of Comics. I’ve watched the movies (when will they do it justice?), from the campy 60s, to the Ann turkel pilot movie to the direct-to-video one, from Tarantino’s company (man, the lead actress looked like the anorexia poster-child). You’d think someone would figure out how to do this right, and on a budget that actually gets it in theaters.

        Send some loving the UK way, for some Avengers, Secret Agent and Callan. Funny enough, my intro to Callan was the movie, shown on USA Cable, when I was in college. I thought it was a Harry Palmer film, at first, as it had a similar vibe (criminal forced to be an agent). It was years before I saw the tv show (when it finally hit US dvd, though only the tail end of the series). I did get ahold of the episodes that weren’t released on Region 1 dvd. Somebody on IMDB once suggested that The Equalizer could be viewed as Callan, after he retired. It certainly fits, though there was a reunion tv special, showing Callan some years after the show, performing one last job.

  3. Filament

    I always find the 50’s work (crime, horror & sci-fi), war, western, romance) work of Silver Age greats very interesting. I’ll say Don Heck as an example. And there were the ones who found that they just couldn’t do the superhero stuff (like Joe Orlando, I believe).

    There are also the “old school” guys with failed attempts at psychedelic art. I remember a Frank Springer fill-in issue during Steranko’s Nick Fury run, also Bill Everett trying to somehow follow Ditco’s Dr. Strange. I mean this idea as not deriding their attempts, just what some artists were told to do during the deadline-intensive Silver Age.

  4. Hal

    Hey Travis,
    I think the site is pretty neat-o (isn’t that the slanguage the kids use these days? It’s like straight from the fridge, daddio! Yeah, I’m hip… ). Nice of you to take the time to thank the legions – LEGIONS! I tells ya! – of new followers for perusing the wares of the Atomic Junkshop and for asking for suggestions; I wouldn’t worry about your “credentials”, everyone has to start somewhere, and besides if you weren’t up to snuff it would only lead to some kind of Wicker Man/Hot Fuzz scenario so… Bwahahaha! Seriously, you’ll do fine chum.
    Okay, as to what people would like to see I’m sure that articles on Magnum, p.i. and The Rockford Files are on everybody’s wish list… What?! That’s just me?! Philistines!
    I’m not too certain that having you try different wacky and/or grotesque foodstuffs would be such a great idea, Traverse, as I wouldn’t want to contribute to your stomach exploding or you swelling to Orson Welleish proportions and carrying around a portable oxygen tank! I’m only half-joking about that as it would be worrisome…but then I’m a sensitive soul! (No, I didn’t mean an @$$hole! Really…)
    More in a while…

    I would be interested in articles about any of the following: Seventies and later American sitcoms as (witty) progressive reflectors of social change (while post-early Sixties US drama was limited in what it could do up until the advent of Hill Street Blues/St Elsewhere and, later, Twin Peaks, the likes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Maude, M*A*S*H, Barney Miller, Soap, et al tackled the kinds of subjects that were central to the culture. F’r instance, the hilarious and apparently broad character of M*A*S*H’s Major Flagg was nothing if not a absurdist, acid, yet accurate portrait of the lunatic ultraconservative rightwing “superpatriot” who was abroad in the Seventies and, unfortunately, still are today. Why, some of them are even politicians… *Shocking*, I know!); Justice League International and why it is both the strangest and BEST incarnation of the J. L.; the mid-to-late Eighties creative renaissance at DC; the decline of adult movies (not *that* kind!) since the 1980s and the reasons why it isn’t only the studios or the megacorporations who own them who are to blame but an infantilized mass audience as well (!); why a single movie can still be preferable to and more indelible than an interminable tv series; looks at BOOKS; classic Saturday Night Live; a defence of Alan Moore from someone who is not necessarily a Big Fan but recognizes his importance and appreciates the excellence of his great works; why most of those who ape Eighties Miller and Moore suck and miss the point; Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels; perhaps this is for Greg Hatcher in particular: As a fan of “pulp”/action/adventure/espionage fiction, how do you deal with the fact that quite a lot of those works clash implicitly or explicitly with your own beliefs? (Ooh, *heavy*! Some books I violently cast aside!); appreciations of older Pop culture that is often cynically or ignorantly overlooked or rejected in the present; classic television title sequences and theme music… Um, well, that’s enough of that! I sincerely doubt anyone would find anything there inspiring but at least it might serve as a sleep aid!
    Good luck to all at Atomic Junkshop (Atomic Mutants? Junkers?! Junkies?! Shopkeepers?!?) and I look forward to your first Confession on Wednesday, Traverse. (Wait, that’s not right!)

      1. Hal

        Interesting. Baa Baa Black Sheep/Black Sheep Squadron with Jeff MacKay and Larry Manetti later of Magnum, p.i., story edited by Donald P. Bellisario who would create the latter, and created by Stephen J. Cannell who was also co-creator of… The Rockford Files, it’s all connected! Not only that but it had Dana Elcar and Simon “Vincenzo from Kolchak: The Night Stalker” Oakland (well-known for turning up at the end of Psycho for Basil Expositionish purposes and for countless guestshots as – mostly – villains), character actor tv entertainment of a high order. Yep, that nexus of television connections would be a good subject, certainly as a launchpad.
        I wonder if you have seen Robert Conrad as an assassin who operates on chance in the fifth season Mission: Impossible episode, The Killer? Worth watching, not least for Lesley (Ann) Warren, oh, and an amusingly tricky plot as well!

    1. Hal, I can tell you that I do have a complete DVD set of one of those sitcoms you mention, and I plan on eventually writing something about it. I won’t tell you which one!

      I do have a nearly complete run of the JLI/JLE Giff/DeMatteis, and someday when I unbury them, I’ll have to take a look.

      And I would like to do some Alan Moore stuff.

      1. Hal

        Excellent, Travis! I will be fascinated to see which of the sitcoms it is, Mr Mysterioso … Articles on JLI and Moore will be much appreciated. Get out the shovel to disinter those comic books!

  5. mrp

    As a regular of the Classics Comics Forum (ad co-admin emeritus) let me express our thanks for the shout out and link in the article. Congrats too on your first week up and running, you have a lot of great stuff to dig into and I look forward to seeing more. Long life and good reading.


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