Friday, August 15, 2008

The Many Deaths Of The Spectre - Part 2

So, after roughly a twenty year absence, The Spectre returns in the Silver Age in Showcase #60, scripted by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Murphy Anderson in stories that are way more "cute" and gimmick-y than their Golden Age counterparts. Perhaps inspired by Ditko's Dr. Strange, there's a larger emphasis on the more fantastic inter-dimensional elements of the early Golden Age tales, rather than the grisly modes of justice dispensed by The Spectre on criminals, which is to me, the major appeal of the character, but since the ongoing debate as to whether there's any justice in life will probably continue long after we're all dust, seeing old white-face get all medieval on some low-rent gunsels is a satisfactory vicarious substitute. Instead, he meekly hands them over to the cops (although he does grow giant sized, so it is a very big hand). I don't have the first two Silver Age appearances (and budgetary constraints preclude me dashing out and scoring these pricey books, so no luck there, pdf-wise).

The ghost who stalks also appears in The Brave and the Bold #72 with The Flash, and JLA #46 and #47 and continues to appear in more JLA/JSA crossovers, which also begs the question, which Earth is the guy from. Earth 1? Earth 2? Possible, as the pan-dimensional avenging angel that he is, he's everywhere (like Chickenman... don't ask, just google that one), or perhaps DC's editorial staff thought us kids were dumb enough to not ask sticky questions like that. Well we all know how that post-code contempt for the smarts of the readership by DC editors worked out for the company in the long term - and let's put Julie Schwartz and Bob Kanigher aside, for while they may have been a bit on the odd-ball side (let's be kind now), compared to Mort Weisinger and Jack Schiff, they were sweethearts... and that's saying something!
Issue #6 sees another strange turn in the title as Adams heads off to "greener" pastures (get it?), and the art is turned over to Jerry Grandetti. Now, when I was younger, I really disliked his art, but now that i've been exposed to other artists outside of the confines of the realm of comics (try it, you'll like it), I have a much higher regard for his work (i'm still not 100% convinced about Manny Stallman though). Anyway, Murphy Anderson's inks soften some of the weirdness of his art when inking his own stuff, which was more often the case. I like this issue a lot, and have a much higher estimation of his work partially because of this very issue. See what you think.

Showcase #64

The Spectre #1

The Spectre #2

The Spectre #3

The Spectre #4

The Spectre #5

The Spectre #6

And now, Hyper Dave presents the first in a NEW series we can only call:


We have the Dewey decimal system, and the Periodic Table, and The Yellow Pages and....
Well gee, I dunno... All kinds of nifty systems for naming and filing data sequentially so we all know what the heck were all talking about and where we put the stuff we've been using so the next someone else can find it use it later, and so on. We collate my stuff with your stuff so we collectively have a better, more organized, coherent bunch-o-cool-stuff. We Encyclopedia. We Library. We Wiki. Caring is sharing, be kind, rewind and so on.
I mean to say, we wouldn't want to force the next guy to reinvent the wheel now would we? Well I wouldn't anyway.
And don't get me wrong, the vast storehouse and repository of all human knowledge that exists in multiple locations all over the world in all it's multiple formats is more organized than disorganized, and more available with ease than ever before (mostly due to the aforementioned Interweb), and this is fabulous. But the obvious seems to have slipped under the radar, as it were.

So here I stand on my beat-up soapbox yelling at no-one in particular.
Which brings us to the Oh-So-Veddy-Veddy-Boring and possibly anal-retentive topic of -

"A Unified File Nomenclature for the Internet"

Hopefully, this is going to be a quick note about some standardization of a form of titling for files - seems that we do need some form of standardization for audio and image file names that reduces the need for tagging (which is good, but not ideal). But things seem a bit random in some regards. Some file titles make sense, others are total rubbish. You KNOW I have a system (it's not really much of a system, but it's all I got).

Take this OTR mp3 which I have labeled thusly - "FaveStory470920DiamondLens2.mp3"
"FaveStory" which is the show title, "My Favorite Story" then the date "470920" which is Sept. 20th 1947. I thought about whether to put the date in a more conventional manner with the year last but this seems to progress the data more coherently in order of importance - ie: show title, then the year, the month, the day, episode title, episode number (where available) and finally file format [another reason I chose to do it this way is that it precludes any debate about the American or European convention prevailing regarding placement of date]. Then comes the show title and number - "The Diamond Lens" #2.

Simple huh?

Or how 'bout this OTR file - "TCSC520207TrainingMission.mp3"
Well, TCSC stands for "Tom Corbett Space Cadet", and the rest is self explanatory : Tom Corbett Space Cadet - Feb. 2nd 1957 "Training Mission".

Same with these jpg's of old pulp covers -
"Astounding4408.jpg" Is the cover for the August 1944 issue of Astounding, or "Unknown4004.jpg" is the cover for the April 1940 issue of Unknown.

Or this DC Romance comic page - "SecretHearts121Pg25.jpg" is Secret Hearts #121 Pg 25.

So that's how I do it. For all I know, someone may have come up with, and already be using it somewhere (and if so please fill me in True Believers), but I have seen some useless random junk passing for file titles. Lazy stuff too, digital camera file titles and scanner default codes "DSC-number-number-number-blah-blah-blah.jpg"....

I'm sure there are more aspects where some form of common-sense filing and nomenclature system could be evolved. It only remains to be seen by me if common sense is in fact common, or as I think sometimes, more uncommon than common. My Dad, who grew up on a farm, refused to call it common sense, and hated the term. He much preferred the term "horse sense", maintaining that horses had more sense than most people, because (as he pointed out to me more than once) - "The human is the only animal that will foul it's own nest". This was usually followed by an admonition to "Go clean up your room", but that's pretty typical Dad-esque behavior the world over.

So I think something standard-ish would be nice. We do have a limited number of characters in the file name, so tagging and such is good too, but something simple and easy to read and decode will make everything so much easier.

Guess i'm through channeling my inner Library Prefect for the moment, but i'm sure more frothing at the mouth Bibliomania to follow at some point, oh, i'm so sure.

In other news, damage control and stocktaking progresses regarding data loss progresses as time allows (HAH!), and i'm looking for those requests hither and yon, but as the ol' datajunkie has a LOT of data (and a lot of junk for that matter), this'll take a while, so I thank you all in advance for your kindness and patience.

Also, i've been listening to Brian Eno's first half dozen solo albums, and history has proved that while he almost single-handedly changed the course of modern music and art culture in many, many deep and meaningful ways, while that creep Bryan Ferry remains just another has-been zombie crooner in a cheap suit.....
So Mr. "Love Is The Drug"... can those poor teeth take so much kicking? I thought not.

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