Shang Chi Omnibus Vol. 1


A couple of months ago I was thrilled to learn that Marvel was finally going to do what I thought it would never do and that’s to reprint the entire run of Shang Chi from the ’70’s. The reason it took so long was probably because Shang was supposed to be the son of Fu Manchu, who was created by Sax Rohmer and Marvel had licensed it from his estate.

Happily that’s worked out and they are going to finally reprint the whole 100 plus issue run and the B&W magazine he was in as well.

Shang Chi is one of the finest extended stories ever told in graphic form. It’s essentially a coming of age story mixed with martial arts and spy elements as well. Lots of philosophy involved as well of course. Naturally I don’t agree with a lot of what’s said in here, but I appreciate the depth and I love watching Shang struggle against his father and the world around him that he doesn’t approve of or fit into very well.

Well worth your time and is available at Instock Trades for less than it is on Amazon. Hint – if you are going to get it get the cover above not the other one. This is will increase the value of the book and is just better as well.


Shang Chi Omnibus Vol. 1

Lazarus The Second Collection


Since I praised the first collection of this amazing independent comic I just had to do the second one. Greg Ruka and Michael lark (with letters by Jodi Wynne and colors by Santi Arcas) continues to deliver in a huge way.

The artwork is perfect for this kind of story, but it is the story continues to keep me hooked. Starting with a premise that I consider very implausible at best Ruka develops it with a story peopled with characters that you really care about.

This collection drives things forward to a conclusion that I didn’t expect though maybe I should have. Truth is I was so caught up in what was going on that I wasn’t even trying to guess what would come next.

So I was surprised with that final panel and can’t wait for the next collection to to put out.

Yes I could buy the monthly (or there abouts) comic, but I like this format much better. It looks great on my bookshelf and as long as the quality stays at this level I’ll be a loyal and happy customer.

Highly recommended. You can get it at Discount Trades or Amazon of course.

Lazarus The Second Collection

Grand Canyon Follies Pt. 5 – Looking Back

Six days from now will mark one month since I hiked in and out of the Grand Canyon on the same day.  This will be my final post on this “grand” (sorry I couldn’t resist!) event in my life. I’ll share a few thoughts looking back and some comments on three pieces of gear that I used.


Was it Worth It?

If you had asked me this on the day of the climb or the day after I would have said NO! Once I realized just how badly I had underestimated the difficultly of going down and up in one day, I was not happy with myself. In fact I spent most of my way down and up giving myself stern lectures on just how stupid I was.

But I did make it now didn’t I? As I thought about it I realized that yes, doing it wasn’t the most prudent thing I’d ever done. But I had done it, and had done pretty well all things considered. I only met one other person that day doing what I did and he passed me by fairly quickly.

He was a lot younger than I am, as were most of the people I met on the trails that day. Considering all that I think I did pretty darn well. I’m actually glad I did it – something I couldn’t have imagined feeling that day.  Of course I’m not going to do it again! Even I’m not that crazy!

But I’m glad I did it because it showed me just how far you can progress with a little big of work applied regularly over a period of time. Less than two years after starting to lose weight and get in shape I managed to hike down and back. Not to mention that I’m  63 years old!

So yes, it was very worth it to me. It’s one of those things that at the time is painful but when you look back on it you are glad you were there.


Some Notes On My Gear

Three pieces of gear deserve mention here because without them I would have been in real trouble.

First of all my humble trekking poles. I bought them cheap at Walmart over a year ago and have used them quite a bit ever since. They are a bit beat up, and in fact I just replaced them with better ones. But thank God for them because without those poles I don’t think I could have made it.

My Osprey Manta 28. I really like this pack. It’s small but fits me very well. It has a nice camelbak so I had lots of water with me. It didn’t wear on me at all and was comfortable throughout my 12 hour journey.

However, as you can see below it has issues. I’ve owned it for less than 4 months and have had two parts break and one is missing. I’m in contact with Osprey about getting this fixed now. I hope they do because otherwise I spent a lot of money in vain and will have to go back to the drawing board to find the right pack for the my next journey.

Backpack issues

My boots. I wore Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II. They are water proof and leather, but broke in easily and worked very well. My feet stayed dry after going through the 4 or so streams you have to navigate on Bright Angel. The grips held me firm and even though I didn’t change my socks, which I knew I should do but just didn’t have the energy, I only ended up with 3 small blisters.

Not bad for a grueling 12 hour hike.

So there you go. In the fairly near future I hope to to put all my pictures up on my homepage ( I’ll notify everyone when I do.


What a trip – now onto planning my next one. More info on that later!

Grand Canyon Follies Pt. 5 – Looking Back