Archive for August 15th, 2008


Where I Go Online: Todd Klein, X-Entertainment and Cooper’s Retail Blog

It’s kind of a lazy Friday evening, friends. It was the first week of school, I’m totally worn out, and don’t have much in me in terms of generating content for you guys.

But y’know, I don’t really want to go without posting either. When I launched this site, I warned you I wasn’t going to set the unrealistic goal of posting each and every day. At the same time, however, I don’t feel quite complete unless I’ve dropped in here and chatted with you fine people.

So rather than going cold tonight, I thought I’d tell you guys about some of the blogs that I visit. Clearly, Evertime Realms is the finest place you can go on the entirety of the Internet, but it’ll only last so long. Once you’re done here, where else can you go? Here are a few sites I’ve come to enjoy:

COOPER’S RETAIL BLOG: As I’ve opined before, there are very few comic strips left in the newspaper that I think are worth reading. One of them is Norm Feuti’s Retail, a hysterical strip about the workers at a Walmart-esque superstore called Grumbel’s and their struggles against the likes of irritating customers, an incompetent boss, and a corporate structure that makes no sense. Last year, Feuti did a storyline in which one of the characters, the sarcastic stockboy Cooper, won a few thousand dollars on a scratch-off lottery ticket and used the winnings to buy a laptop computer and start a blog. Lo and behold, the blog turned out to be real. “Cooper” posts frequently, sometimes giving his perspective on events that happened in the strip, sometimes opining about real-life news articles involving various retail outlets, and sometimes doing neat little contests for the readers. (Currently there’s a contest to name Cooper’s scooter, for instance.) It’s a lot of fun, especially if you read it along the comic strip.

TODD’S BLOG: The personal blog of comic book letterer extraordinaire Todd Klein has become a frequent stop for me. The site functions sometimes as just a personal journal blog, sometimes he reviews books and comics, sometimes he promotes upcoming projects. My favorite thing at this site, however, is when he does one of his Logo Studies. Todd will frequently spend several days choosing a comic book property like the X-Men, the Flash, Green Lantern or Spider-Man, and go through every logo the characters have ever used on the covers of their comic books. As a legendary letterer, Todd often had a hand in designing sometimes several of the logos, and provides us with alternate logos that weren’t used, shows us how they were developed, and critiques them all. You wouldn’t think reading so much about letterforms would be that interesting, but I’ve never been less than fascinated by one of his logo studies. He just announced that he’ll soon be doing a new study of the Justice League of America logos. I can’t wait.

X-ENTERTAINMENT: A lot of you probably already know this one. X-Entertainment, contrary to what you may expect from the name, is not an X-Men fansite, or even a comic book site. It’s a site where a guy in his late 20s waxes nostalgic over the cool stuff of his youth, with reviews of old toys, tons of old commercials to download and enjoy, and even commentary on forgotten Kool-Aid flavors. Hands-down, though, this is a site you’ve gotta visit during October and December. Matt, the webmaster, is as big a holiday geek as I am. October is always loaded down with creepy content, and December… ah, December… brings us the annual X-E Advent Calendar, which is actually an epic adventure/comedy series starring two Lego Stormtroopers named Knacks and Kuse and a Playmobil Angel toy that is named after B-list actress Mare Winningham. No, seriously. And it’s the funniest thing in the world. I look as forward to reading the annual Advent Calendar as I do watching Rudolph or Frosty every year. Matt is a couple of years younger than I am, so the stuff he’s nostalgic for often will overlap more with my brother’s tastes than my own (Ninja Turtles, anyone?), but it’s close enough that I can still draw a lot of enjoyment from his site. Now the front page doesn’t get updated too often, but if you click over to the blog, there’s usually some new stuff every couple of days.

More next time, friends!

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