Technology Review…………Dell XPS 12 Ultrabook

CRASH!!!!!

Now that the prelude is over, let’s get down and dirty with the details.

HANG UP!!!!!

I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY…………………………………….CTRL….ALT…….DELETE

Can I get a word in here, seriously?

OK.  Joking aside.  Here is my real review.  Yes, it has crashed a few times.  Yes I lost a document or two already.  But that isn’t really a tech review, is it?

I am a man spoiled rotten by Apple and their near flawless products…So I WILL take it hard on this machine.

To begin with, look at that name.  Dell XPS 12 Ultrabook—-They should add a few more words, how about “Tablet Laptop Computer.”  That would do nicely.  And that would almost fully explain the machine.  It’s a Dell, so guess what?  Windows.  Not just any Windows, but shiny new Windows 8!  (Should I use the word Surface, or Pro, or Metro, or Windows Phone Mobile?  I lose track after awhile.)

I am going to start with the machine, then move to a review of the operating system.  You might say, “But SpartanNerd, that ain’t fair!”  Keep yer “buts” down.  This is how I would review a Mac, no?  LEVEL PLAYING FIELD, Hub City Geeks.

To review the machine, just look at these pictures.

Yep.  This machine is a transformer.  It transforms from a laptop into a tablet.

In laptop mode, you can tell that it is clearly inspired by Appl….I mean Intel!  It is an ultrabook, meaning that it is inspired by the MacBook Air, literally, but by saying that it is inspired by Intel, they are skirting the truth that must be mighty uggly to them.  And that has two “g”s.  It has a backlit keyboard, which is cool, but the letters themselves don’t light up.  This takes away from the “jewelry store” effect you get from first turning on a new mac, but it works essentially the same in every other way.  The keys are also “chiclet”style.  As you can see my standard issue model from work that I am reviewing here has a black and grey color scheme.  There is some shinier places on it around the edges, etc.

The trackpad is frustrating.  I am really spoiled with the Macbook Pro’s trackpad.  The one on the XPS 12 isn’t as responsive, seems to want me to actually click it, and doesn’t mimic touchscreen gestures.  In other words, it is a different language than the tablet part of the machine.  Someone might say, “Big deal.  You know it is in laptop mode.”  Well, as you get to using this thing, you start to see that this IS a big deal.  You have to teach yourself two different ways of communicating with the same machine.

One more, sort of minor thing.  Backspace and delete are DIFFERENT BUTTONS.  Has it been like this, and I just forgot?  And the little things count, so here’s another one.  I like to be able to open my screen and the keyboard stay put, because the heavier part doesn’t move.  Any MacBook Pro user knows what I am talking about.  But this don’t happen with almost any other computer, including the XPS 12.

Other things, you turn the machine on via a little switch on the left side.  It has a glowing light, also akin to a Mac.  The USB ports are on the right side of the machine, for when you get frustrated with that trackpad and decide to switch to a mouse.  The USB jacks on mine are very tight.  I have to pull really hard to remove my USB chord from the socket!  There are also battery lights on the right side that activate at the push of a button.  Sound familiar?

So, while you are in laptop mode, you also have the touchscreen that works.  I might sound like someone who writes for Macworld when I say this, but it IS awkward to reach up and touch the screen while you are laptop mode. It just seems wrong.  After awhile, your hand does get tired.  Also, me and every other technology geek out there have trained ourselves…”Don’t touch the screen!”   Now that we can, we feel like, “Why?  I have a mouse attached!”

So, is it a workhorse?  Hardly.  Read the first couple of sentences.  I don’t know how much RAM it has, or anything, but I guarantee it isn’t enough.  MICROSOFT WORD HANGS UP!  Keep in mind nothing else is running besides Outlook.  I hate to think I was playing an intense game on this machine ….shudder…..

I told the SpartanMrs. I would try and be nice, so here goes….It is light.  It is kind of cool looking in laptop mode.  I already like it better than my Desktop Windows machine.  How’s that?  I can sit in my comfy office chair and check my e-mail.  And not walk 10 feet to the uncomfy plastic chair.

Now, let’s transform it.  The transformation is spiffy!  But I have to wonder how long this mechanism will last.  My boss assured me that it was tested hundreds or thousands of times by a sweatshop worker robot.  We’ll see.  I have my doubts, mostly because the springs that make it click in place are made of plastic.  You flip the screen around, and collapse it over the keyboard.  Now you have a tablet computer.

This tablet is supposed to use the ol’ “metro” screen.  But it can switch to regular Windows.  See above for how well this works out.  The tablet stuff feels right here, but the desktop applications don’t so much.

This screen is NOT “oleo-phobic.”  It will pick up your fingerprints, streaks of oil and grime and dirt.  And because it is sort of big……much bigger than an iPad Mini (my preferred tablet,) you can’t easily wipe it on your pants legs.  So keep a hanky handy!  And did I mention elbow grease?

You press the “Windows” button at the bottom, to get a Home Screen effect like you would on an iPod or iPhone.  Other than that, I don’t know what to say, except that sometimes it gets stuck in an orientation that you don’t want, and it doesn’t readily switch the way you want it like an iPad would.  You have to exaggerate motions in the directions to get the re-orientation to trigger.

So what about this Windows 8 Operating System?  I would like to say a few nice things first.  I am glad it isn’t an IOS clone, like Android is apparently.  “Stolen product,” anyone?  The Windows Home Screen (formerly known as Metro, to techies out there) is kind of pretty.  I like how the “live tiles” update stuff.  This is arguably better than what an iPhone or iPad can do.  And the tiles don’t work like IOS icons.  BUT, they aren’t as easy to learn….not as intuitive.

I said a few nice things, but, it has the “I am going to make you work for it” philosophy that Windows has always had.  It isn’t an intuitive system.  I am afraid Apple took the easy ideas already, and patented them.  Not that I believe MicroSoft would have chosen the easiest stuff if they were first to the party.  Remember, they were the first people to market “tablet computers,” and were never able to bust the market open the way Apple did with their trained and groomed crowd of iPhone users.

Here is an example.  I was working in Microsoft Word.  I decided to switch and browse for some clip art with Internet Explorer.  I used the tablet version of the browser.  Then, I was like….”how do I get back to the desktop?  Well, the way this works, is you swipe from the top of the screen to the bottom to close a program.  I did that, which brought me to the Windows Home screen.  But I wanted to see the desktop….and I started to get frustrated, then I remembered.  Swipe from left to right to browse screens.

See what I mean?  If someone hadn’t told me how to do that, I wouldn’t have got it.

How about this, How do you make it sleep?  You flick the right side to make a menu appear, choose, “settings,” then hit the power button graphic, and choose sleep from the menu.  Isn’t that too much work FOR A BASIC FUNCTION?  I could transform it and close it clamshell style.  But that is too much work, too.

So what is my rating for this machine?

I give it a 5/10.  It is better than my old desktop (3/10.)  It isn’t a 9/10 like my MacBook Pro  (I mark down the MB Pro because the rubber pads on bottom come off too easily.)  What computer is a 10/10?  My desktop iMac.  (2006 model)  Maybe I’m going too easy on that one, the SpartanMrs. and I spent a long night replacing the hard drive in that one.

Maybe after awhile this tablet computer will become like “an old friend,”  But I have yet to really bond with it.

“Silly Rabbi,” said George, “Tricks are for Kids!”             (Nerdy quote from Captain Underpants #5)

I like putting these Nerdy quotes.  Comment people!

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More about Shadow Era….Dark Prophecies

Dark Prophecies expansion

I dropped some Shadow Crystals on some booster packs of Dark Prophecies today….Here are my thoughts about the expansion….


One thing that is new is the idea of weakness…..For instance, some allies might be resistant to Ice damage, but hurt more by fire damage. Certainly not a new idea in fantasy stuff, but new to Shadow Era.


I put some new cards in my Majaya deck.  “Meteor Shower” is one of my favorites, hitting someone for 3 damage and setting all of the allies on fire.  SCORE!  My best trick has always been to use the “Voice of Winter” as my weapon.  This thing freezes any new allies.  So they might be frozen and burned if the cards fall right!  But now there is another new card, “Kelvin’s Charm,” which allows you the chance to make any weapon have the ability to freeze things when they are hit.  Wicked touch for a weapon like the “Wrath of Summer,” which also sets things ablaze.


I won four matches in a row today, with a 40 card deck, In every case, my life total was whittled down to almost nothing, and then Majaya’s spells really started their work.  I made a poor calculation once, and was still able to recover.


One of the coolest tricks was the “Scrying Eye.”  You play this as a support item, and then you can see the next card your opponent has on top….and you can use a shadow energy to shuffle his deck.  Needless to say, at the end game when card advantage is key, this tips the scale for Majaya.  “Boris Skullcrusher” has “Kings Pride” up next, pay out and shuffle.  Then he gets “Rain Delay,” a useless card against an all support user!


You see, the way it was before the expansion, Majaya couldn’t do what I wanted her to do….to be an all powerful loner.  She was too weak.  Now it seems that there are enough offensive spells, weapons, armor, and support to make this happen.  And this isn’t a common strategy in Shadow Era.  Everyone seems to be all about the YuGiOh style “Summon Monsters.”  No one is taking the “Blue” magic approach like me.  And that is going to be my beat for awhile.  I am leaving “Gravebone” and “Boris,” along with “Ogloth the Glutton,” because this is not my vision for the game.  Finally things seem to be right.


He looks awesome!  King He-Man, anyone?




Another thing….The Shadow Era website has some articles about two LEGENDARY CREATURES. One is “Karlstrad, Ruler of Gaderi” and the other is “Scourge Colossus.”  I have not seen these two in the merchant….(the in game store.)  The article mentions people finding them in booster packs…I bought ten boosters today, and got three EPIC cards, but neither of these LEGENDARY creatures.  Did someone say one of them was 4200 in-game gold in the comments?  Wow.

Well, I haven’t seen them in action, either.


I wish you really could trade your cards.  If there is a way, I haven’t figured it out.  This might be a way of scoring one.

“Five card stud, nothing wild. And the sky’s the limit”


Shadow Era: Call of the Crystals and Dark Prophecies review

My introduction to Trading Card Games, (TCGs for those not nerdy enough to know,) was actually not Magic: The Gathering, World of Warcraft, of Pokemon.  I knew OF these, but did not play them.  Then one day I got the itch to start playing cards.  I had been playing poker and such as that on the computer, and somehow came across a Macworld article about Shadow Era when I was doing research about cards.

I began to play Shadow Era, which was still in beta testing mode.  I jumped in apparently after the second big update was pushed out.  I had a hard time figuring the game out.  I mean, I read the rules, and sort of knew what to click…the game lights up the available cards, and in about two weeks I had it down.  Before we knew it, I climbed the ratings ladder up to near 200.

Then, I would get knocked back down every time they updated the game.  This happened sort of frequently.  What struck me the most was that they were still evolving the game as people were playing it!  My favorite card then (and now!) is Majaya, but poor Majaya started out as too good of a card, then they weakened her too much, until finally finding the right balance…..

You see, I can’t really explain this game without just talking about my experiences with it.  Basically, you have your cards, you draw a hand, make a sacrifice, which becomes your “mana pool” (to use a Magic term, Shadow Era calls it Resources)  and you can play your cards with the resources you build up.  Only certain cards go together, so Human and Wolf  cards won’t share the same weapons and armor, etc.

The creatures you play in this game line up with their hero’s card type.  So Majaya can play “Shadow” creatures.  Boris, on the other hand must play Human creatures.  DarkClaw must play wolves, etc.  These creatures are called “allies,” and can attack.  Your hero, in my case Majaya, can’t do much of anything except use Shadow Energy, which builds up every turn….

So there you have it….You are confused already….But this game isn’t confusing.  Just hard for me to explain.  It is really very deep.

I ordered some of the physical cards last year….They had sort of a “kickstarter” thing going on, where you could pre-order the cards and you would get bonuses.  This was the GREATEST VALUE EVER.  These physical cards were great, and perhaps I will review them one day, but they sent two whole sets of foil cards in addition to all that I ordered!  And slowly but surely, I received even more stuff, both by mail and on my Shadow Era digital account.  I still have a ton of “Shadow Crystals” to spend, which brings me to the next point.

This game can drain your real money, for digital goods.  It is a FREE game to play, but if you want better cards, you have to either grind against the AI, (boring,) or fork over the cash for shadow crystals, which you can use to buy digital cards.  So warning there!  But this isn’t sooo bad.  In fact, it makes it more like the card games you can buy at the store!

Shadow Era was my jumping on point.  After I started playing this, I introduced the boys to the correct way to play Pokemon, then we went on to try YuGiOh (didn’t like so much) and Magic the Gathering. (Love it, but stink at it!)

So, get on over to this site and start playing!  They just recently released their first expansion to the game, called “Dark Prophecies.”

NEW JERUSALEM! SpartanNerd’s insight.

Turns out, the SpartanNerd is a believer!  You beleedat?

Yep.  Bana fide.  Jesus fills this nerd’s heart.

And so, the topic at hand, from a nerd perspective….

NEW JERUSALEM, as described in Revelation 21 and 22.  (Yes.  In the Bible!  Don’t freak, Hub City Geeks!)

This thing is a total square!  Literally!  (How else can a real believer take the Bible?)  It is a cube.  1500 miles long, wide, and tall.

So that is a major deal.  Some perspective, our planes fly no more than 50 miles above the Earth. The International Space Station is 250 miles above the earth.

A 1500 mile long square side would go from…well, check out this picture.  Link

Now if this isn’t SpartanNerd-y enough, sorry.  Let me know by comment!

That’s word we Pray!

Spider-Man #6 Vintage Comic Review!

Spider-Man #6 and #7, by Todd McFarlane

So this is going to be a two parter, oh faithful Hub CIty Geeks!  Feel free to comment on what I say about these two in the next couple of days!  I apparently have some readers, but no one has left any comments.  You can be among the first!

I fell in love with these two.  I read them over and over.  They are a part of my soul like the Bible is.  They are what I measure comics by.  They are the greatest comics ever published in my opinion.

I am going to go a little at a time through each one.  So here we go!

The cover of #6 features four CBG Fan Awards stamped across the top.  “Favorite Character, Favorite Penciler, Favorite Cover Artist, and Favorite Letterer.  Then the haunting dialogue box “Face it Spidey–Awards don’t mean #@*!! against the Hobgoblin!”  and a small bubble “…and wait till you see our surprise guest-star!  You also get the left hand box featuring Spider-Man under the Marvel Comics logo, and the issue number and “The Comics Code Authority” logo.  That probably shouldn’t have been there!

The cover itself features what I now know to be Todd McFarlane’s own style of posing Spidey, and this has been emulated by basically every other artist who draws him.  (I know now that Spidey was depicted as much less like a spider in the pre-McFarlane days.)  The Hobgoblin is throwing pumpkins headless horsemen style.  The pumpkins have what for a mouth?  Batman’s symbol!  What gives!  Well, Batman was super popular at this time because of his Summer blockbuster movie.  And Todd McFarlane was always sliding in humorous bits like this, (Batman being a DC character and all.)

Page 1 of this book got my attention right away…Hobgoblin removes his own face!  And all of these little purple word bubbles are hurling insults at him.  I don’t know if this is only in his mind, or if the people really are saying this stuff.  But he doesn’t like it one bit!

Pages 2 and 3 are a splash page, showing off the Hobgoblin to the reader for the first time.  On the cover, his face was blacked out.  Now you can see that this is someone demonic.

The Hobgoblin, a truly evil and powerful villain in 1990

Of note, my copy is really old!  When I was a kid, the blacks were deep dark.  These have faded.  I e-mailed Val Staples about this because he is a colorist and I heard him discussing it with Earl Norem on the Roast Gooble Dinner podcast.  Val says that the way they used to color comics was by using film, and that nowadays they are printed digitally.  So if different intensities of black show up, it is an artifact of the aging books plus the way that they were printed.

Page 4 we see the villain torturing a boy and his mother.  The woman stands out because she is so pretty.  The other women in the picture are fat, etc.  These people are “webbed” to the place by Hobgoblin’s powers.  It looks like brown goop that resembles his cape.  The scene is akin to something from “Aliens,” where people are cocooned to a wall awaiting the hatching of an alien baby!

Page 5 and 6, of course the Goblin kills this woman.  On page 5, she resembles Sigourney Weaver!  He shoves her into the goop.  He doesn’t kill her kid though….  He takes him and treats him as a favorite….He is going to make him into a disciple.

Page 7, we see a different setting.  McFarlane makes the Hobgoblin hugging the kid fade into a husband and wife…then you realize, OH!  This is Peter Parker!!!  And you see his costume thrown around the room.

Page 8 and 9….A different setting yet.  Spidey’s costume gives way to a real spider in a web with some fire around it and creepy speech bubbles…..We see the Ghost Rider hanging a criminal upside down from the top of a skyscraper.  I don’t think McFarlane had it a coincidence that this guy resembles Hobgoblin’s severed face.  He is also wearing a crucifix.  A lot could be said about this, and will be said on some other day by the old SpartanNerd.  Anyway, this criminal has been making child pornography apparently.

Now let’s stop a second…..I was 12 years old when I was reading this.  Besides my unfortunate incidence with the “WWIII” comics, I thought comics were all fluff stories.  But here, this is serious.  I am not reading a kids book at this point.  I felt I was reading an adult book, I was allowed to read it, and I was enjoying it.  This was one of the first times!  Now my family didn’t understand this still.  When my mom read this story, she just scratched her head.  Why was it such a serious subject matter?  This wasn’t “The Electric Company” Spider-Man, or the old cartoon version.  This was something entirely different.  I loved it.

Back to page 9… So Ghost rider drops this criminal!  and … on Page 10 he catches him.  Then I learned about The Penance Stare.  Ghost Rider has the power to make criminals experience the pain of their victims, by staring into their soul!  Then he rides away on that nifty motorcycle.

On Page 10 and 11, we see Peter Parker trying to sneak out the window without waking Mary Jane.  He is unsuccessful, however.  She awakes, wearing a neglige, and fussing at Peter for sneaking out on her.  Then we see a full page on Page 11 of Spidey shooting too much webbing!  (This was a joke reference to some of the criticism McFarlane received about his style.)

Peter and Mary Jane are presented as such an inseparable item, in the two pages that we have seen of them together.  Their banter, body language etc.  is so good, this aspect of Spider-Man became part of what makes him who he is, in my mind.  This is why “A Brand New Day” sucks.  “A Moment in Time” is a failure.  And this is why the “Dock Ock/Spidey” doesn’t live in my comics shelf.  At least during the clone saga, MJ still loved Peter.  In 1990, they would have been recently married.  I’ve heard the arguments for a single Spidey, and I say that Spidey should be single, for the movies and cartoons.  But he should have stayed married for the comics…..

Oh, but I was having a nerd tantrum again, wasn’t I!  So back to the story.

Page 12.  We nearly forgot about the Hobgoblin.  But here he is.  He decides that finding the kid was the purpose of his kidnapping all of those victims.  So he leaves them, takes the kid, and blows the place up!

Page 13 we hear the cops talking.  They are sort of blaming the heroes for whack job super villains.  Ghost rider is looking on the wreckage.

Page 14 features some art that McFarlane would imitate again later in Spawn….

Here we see Spidey on an antenna.  He is listening to different cable news anchors talk.  We actually see four little TV screens with talking heads and a speech bubble, each with a different “voice.”  All of them are discussing the tragedy that the Hobgoblin has caused.  It is striking that The Fantastic Four have said that Spider-Man would take care of it.  Why not them?  This was the first time I ever gave a thought to the fantastic four as well!  And they always seemed to be off the mark because of this page, in my mind.  (I like Ben Grimm.  The Human Torch is OK.  But I have never really liked Sue Storm or Mr. Fantastic.)

Page 15 and 16, a different setting.  An alleyway, where a drug user is about to snort some cocaine.  He has it in a little tube, and calls it his “angel,” in case anyone wonders if I know what I am talking about.  Spidey uses the criminal’s habit as a means of getting information about the Hobgoblin’s whereabouts.  I like what Spidey does here.  He leaves the drugs out of the criminal’s reach.  The webbed up drug-head screams at Spidey “What kind of Monster are you!!?”

Page 17 gives us a shot of how Ghost Rider gets his info.  He kicks the crap out of his information source!  His man is a gun runner.  Ghost Rider says he’ll come back some other time to deal with the guns.  This is the one page of the book I have not ever been fond of.  Ghost Rider is in the shadows.  But how can a guy with a flaming head have a shadow cover half of his face? DOH!

On page 18, we see more of the Goblin.  He’s talking more nonsense to his new kid “disciple.”  Page 19 is where Spider-Man shows up and gets called “The Devil.”  You see, Hobgoblin seems to believe he is Jesus….So of course Spider-Man is the devil.  Strategically, we don’t see part of the kid’s face.  Spider-Man doesn’t pay much mind to him either, focusing on Hobgoblin instead.  Of course, the Goblin throws some pumpkin bat symbol bombs at Spidey!

On page 20, we see how powerful Hobgoblin really is.  Rays of energy are zapping off of him everywhere.  Spider-Man says “What am I dealing with?”

Spider-Man says “What am I dealing with?”

The kid is screaming, “Stop!  Please Stop!” In my copy the Bullpen Bulletins cover the back of page 21………so when you flip the page you get a surprise!  The kid’s face is deformed, and is transforming so that half of it looks like the Hobgoblin’s faceless visage!  (Two-Face style, another Batman reference.)

This issue did not feature a letters column, so I won’t address what was said!  But Issue #7 does, if I am not mistaken.

This book captivated me so much!  I fell in love with the characters right away!  Back in 1990, the colors were very vibrant, and the art was unlike any comic art I had ever seen.  McFarlane’s take on Spider-Man was a revelation to me….I was largely unaware of the Spider-universe before this book.  The Hobgoblin was new to me.  I did not know about the Green Goblin.  I did not know about Philip Macendale.  I did not know about his dealings with the devil.  I only new that here was a villain.  A real bad guy that deserved getting his butt kicked.  And so far it seemed that the nut-job was winning!  I was inspired to find out as much about this universe as possible, which was why I began buying up Marvel comics by the dozen!

About the Comics Code…..I guess this book didn’t feature zombies…..I guess there were also no curse words…..but other than that there was 1) Violence, 2) Sex, 3) Religious elements, 4) Drug Use.  Todd McFarlane was pushing the envelope of what could be allowed under the rules of the Comics Code.  I got hooked on comics right at the end of an era, so it seems.  Nowadays, the only comics featuring that arcane logo are books like “The Adventures of the Super-Family,” “Spider-Ham,” and other similar “kiddie” titles.  Thank You Todd, for freeing the medium!

Next blog entry will feature my Vintage Comic Review of Spiderman #7, the “conclusion” of this story!

“Oh No!  I spilled Peanut Butter in my Chocolate!”

Spider-Man…The Birth of the SpartanNerd

What is my origin story?

Here goes!  My nerd life officially began with the purchase of a Value Pack of marvel comics at
Wal-Mart, in about….1990ish.  (Also….Wal-Mart was sort of new in Spartanburg at this time, on trivia buffs and historians!)

If you have been reading my blog, and some people have been apparently, (I am very grateful!), then in my post about “How I see comics…” I mention some of my history with the medium.  So here is a more detailed story, and how Spider-Man #6 and #7 were the official birth of the SpartanNerd!

1.  My first comics were without a doubt, the Mini-Comics that came with Masters of the Universe figures.  I was three or four years old at this point.

2.  I stumbled across the Sunday Funnies page at some point around six or seven years old.  It became a sort of ritual to read them every Sunday.  I remember reading “The Phantom,” as my first “serious” taste of comics, but to this day I can’t remember a single story.  All I remember was his swag.

3.  At about eight or nine years old, I got some collected editions of Masters of the Universe comics, and Transformers comics.  Oh if I still had these today!  But I remember them!  The He-Man stuff featured some nasty vine creatures.  To this day I have not seen this story archived or discussed on the internet.  The Transformers book had what was apparently the Marvel origins story of the Transformers…This was also my first Spider-Man book….It featured Spidey in the black costume, Pre-Venom!  So this was that brief stint of time between Secret Wars and Venom.  (I know this now….Back then I had no clue!)  Spidey mentions that the costume is a “cinch,” and that all he has to do is think about becoming Spider-Man in order to change.  I’m sure this was purposely reviewed so that non-comics regulars like me at the time might understand why he was in a black costume, and some of the powers it had.

4.  Knowing that I was trying to get into reading comics, my uncle got me some for Christmas at around the age of 8 or 9 as well.  I read them a few times, then my mom caught me.  They were “WWIII.”  Highly gory and lots of foul language.  She put those things in the garbage!  Sorry, Uncle!
This was my first awareness that not only kids were out there reading comics.

5.  So at around 12 years old I got this value pack of Spider-Man books.  This was a collection of five random books.  I’m pretty sure one of them was Wolverine, one of them was ghost rider, and then there were the real gems….Spider-Man #6 and #7.  There was also an re-print of a vintage crossover book that featured both Spider-Man and Ghost-Rider.  (You see, there was some rhyme and reason to this little packet!)

6.  I became a full blown comics addict, buying these value packs every time I could go to Wal-Mart, or off newstands when I could find them, eventually amassing a few hundred books. Eventually my interest waned a little and I sold them off to the Tangled Web for gas money, (which was a new store at the time.)

7.  Spurts of interest in comics would come and go.  I got all into “The Death of Superman,” and “Reign of the Supermen.”  I was allergic to the Spider-Man clone saga.  But I read it anyway, at least some of it.

8.  And now I am an old SpartanNerd who subscribes to lots of comics.  But I weigh every single comic I read against my two favorite comics, Spider-Man #6 and Spider-Man #7, either conciously or subconsciously.  To me, these are the pinnacle of the medium!

My next entry will be a review of why these two are so special to me!

“Gobbling like a Hobgoblin!”