I had the day off on Friday, so we decided to take a little trip through the hinterlands to hit a few stores that we never seemed able to get to on the weekends. The weather was gorgeous, just right for a little road trip. We went down the QEW past Hamilton and Grimsby and at St. Catherines we hung a right onto the 406 for a while, and then we were in the Fonthill/Pelham area, home to De Ja Vu Collectibles.
There's a lot of neat stuff in this shop. Closes early on Saturdays, which is why we've missed it twice, so get there early if you can. Old Halloween costumes, dolls, toys, a Snuffy Smith board game, various diecast Batmobiles, books, furniture, that bowling game starring Buddy Hackett, and more. What we came out with was a toy from the UFO Commander 7 series of diecast Japanese toys.
It's a bit dusty but the treads still move and the drill bit still drills, so if you have drilling that needs done, call on Jeek Tunnellin!
Also picked up a figure of Lynn, from FIST OF THE NORTH STAR, from the Beidoshengquan Yonga Toy Company line of FOTNS figures. Creepy, ill-formed, trapped in plastic with a little dog.
Lynn seems slightly ill at ease. You would be too if you had giant metal bolts sticking through your shoulders.
From there we went westwards cross-country, through the rolling hills of south central-east Ontario or whatever they call the area south of the 403 but north of Lake Erie, until we got to Dunnville, on the mouth of the Grand River. There lies the Time Capsule!
This store has a helpful blog to assist out of towners in finding their location and hours. It's jam packed with neat stuff - 70s and 80s action figures, a well-curated selection of LPs, old comics, video games, books, furniture, Major Matt Mason's gear, Sonny Bono's "Space Prince" outfit, Big Jim's Action RV, old Mads, and more. Well worth a visit when you're in the area. We picked up a percussion LP with Don Martin sleeve art, a karate instruction LP that promises to teach us techniques developed by Buddhist monks 5000 years ago (which is a neat trick since 5000 years ago Buddha was still 3500 years away from being born), and some comics, including an issue of MARVEL TALES, not the Spiderman reprint Marvel Tales, but the creepy horror 50s Marvel Tales with a Bill Everett cover.
From there we kept the river on our left and headed north to Caledonia and the Oasis, home of chili dogs. Best chili dogs you'll get this side of the border, that's for sure, and you can sit down by the river in a little park and watch the geese herd their young while you eat.
Some disrespectful sleaze broke into the Oasis and stole their cash register so they had to calculate our tab the old fashioned way, with a Casio calculator, but the food's still great.
From there we took 6 into Hamilton, stopped by Big B Comics to drool at their collection of original art (yes, original Craftint Wally Wood spot illustration of Liberace from MAD) and dig through the room of $2 comics downstairs.
Once in Hamilton we meandered down Barton, a street that features unlicensed Warner Brothers and Hanna-Barbara characters adorning businesses every which way you look, and soon we were back on the QEW homewards. All in all a great little trip, it is wonderful to see the green finally back everywhere and the sun shining down on it all as we bounce through the farms and towns. Next weekend, of course, we will be spending it inside at Anime North. I bet nobody will be selling any UFO Commander Seven toys, either.
Here are some pix from an issue of "Foom" ... "Foom" was Marvel Comics' in-house fan magazine, and in the late 1970s they were making deals in Japan for things like the crazy Japanese Spiderman TV show, stuff like that.
Here's Stan Lee meeting Osamu Tezuka:
Here's Stan Lee meeting Go Nagai:
Best of all, they got Go Nagai (or Ken Ishikawa, or SOMEBODY at Dynamic Pro) to do some Star Wars artwork:
The best part about that Star Wars pic is thinking how Marvel fans would react, how Star Wars fans would react, and how anime fans would react. The article is more or less a hook to hang some publicity photos on, but Marvel's guy in Tokyo mentions how widespread the Japanese comics industry is, how the storytelling pace is a lot slower and more cinematic, how American style comics simply won't sell in Japan, and more or less demonstrates a firm understanding of the Japanese pop culture industry, which is interesting for 1978, because it took thirty years for anybody to actually put any of this understanding into practice in the US (and it wasn't Marvel). Also neat is the mention of all the other fantastic co-productions that were in the works for Japan, including a Japanese Silver Surfer. Don't hold your breath waiting for that one, 1978.
Also fun is the consistent use of the word "oriental", which is bar none still the cheesiest way to refer to anything Asian.