Geek Stuff Graphic Design

Fantastic Four – and Craptastic Print Ads

I used to spend a lot of time at used bookstores when I was a kid in the 70’s. My mom loved to read, and passed that on to the rest of the family. It’s so funny that these places are, for the most part, a lost relic. There’s a unique smell in a used bookstore as the slowly decaying paper takes on its own odor. There were 3 different ones in Pittsfield that I remember, all three of them a big mess inside, but all filled with treasure. This was before the rise of the comic shop, so these were the only places to get comic books, and more importantly – back issues, because it was easy to miss issues that for some reason never made it to the convenience store.

I used to buy comics for a nickel that had no covers on them, it wasn’t until I was older that I learned that these are illegal copies, paperbacks and comics that were returned from the stores and were supposed to be destroyed. Through some gray market action they made it to the used bookstore.

One day I found a giant size Fantastic Four annual and was blown away by this story with Galactus, Gabriel and his Herald, The Silver Surfer. For years I wanted to get the issues but they are classics and one of them is over $150. The irony is that when they hit that price you don’t ever take them out of the airtight bag they are in. Marvel does have a reprint but it’s in black and white and that just never seems as much fun (the exception being material that was written and drawn with the intent of being in black and white.

In the last place I would expect to run into the power cosmic, I found a DVD at BJ’s (the local warehouse club) – 44 Years of the Fantastic Four. All of the issues, in the original format. It’s been fun to cruise through them and read the old stories, but much like when I finally found DVDs of The Six Million Dollar Man, the stories aren’t quite as tight and thrilling as the 12 year old John remembered, but Stan Lee tells and incredible story, and the artwork is classic. Even more fun has been laughing my ass off at all the original ads – here’s a couple classics:

Old Ads ’nuff said!

Daily Life

Fun Saturday

In a rare turn of events there is nothing planned this weekend. I’m playing around with a bunch of side projects and catching up with Galactica. Carin and I saw Little Miss Sunshine last night and she was laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe. I hope your weekend is as relaxing as mine will be.

Daily Life Geek Stuff

Zen and Gadget Jones

I’ve been itching to upgrade my phone, I have a Treo 600 and there’s so much more cool stuff if I were to go to the 700. The problem is that I have been thinking all week about something I read from the Dalai Lama (who has a rockin’ website by the way, but no RSS or podcasts that I could find) – pleasure is not happiness. Yes, I would enjoy the upgrade, but I already have a bunch of features that I never use. I would get the consumer’s rush but that would probably fade within a week.

Unless I also installed the 24 ringtone…

Brain Buster Podcasting Productivity Booster

Gettin’ Funky with Smart Playlists

Greg had kicked this over to me when I did a video on using smart playlists in iTunes. I was hoping to wait until my blog template was updated so I could show it in Revver, but that won’t be for another couple of weeks and I’m tired of waiting.

If you are going to sync podcasts across multiple machines or need to do some other funky stuff, check out: using Juice, Podnova and SmartPlaylists.

Brain Buster Productivity Buster The Marketeer


I thought this was cool:


Geek Stuff


So today was a boatload of fun. Winter has decided to make a last stand with single digit weather and 30 mph winds to drop the wind chill below zero.

I’ve been trying for quite some time to get the and Google AdWords integration working. Keep in mind that I gave up on coding before I got out of school, I can handle HTML and javascript but my PERL is good only for comedic relief. After banging my head for a few days I found out that Dreamweaver, the program I use to edit my scripts, actually corrupts the files while changing them. It has something to do with the FTP software putting them on the server…. blah, blah, blah.

The good news is that I’ve found the source of one of the problems so perhaps I can show some progress tomorrow…

Daily Life

Have you made a difference?

Today I was asked how I would like to be remembered. I always have an easy answer for that one – philanthropist. Someone who proved they could generate enough wealth to live well and then give enough back to make something positive happen.

I have tremendous respect for those who endeavor to improve the human condition. I even shop at Sears just because they sponsor EMHO.

If you are able, perhaps you might consider throwing a few dollars towards the New York City MS Walk coming up in April. My friend C.C. is part of a team and you can donate through this link:

While I’m on the topic I’d also like to mention the fine work being done at The MATCH Charter Public High School here in Boston. And until finding worthy causes becomes a full time job, I’m back to work…

Brain Buster The Marketeer

Video Inflection Point

This morning I read Chris Baggott was asking whether video is deserving of the attention it’s getting. I think the short answer is no. I’ve always been impressed with Gartner’s Hype Cycle which is a nice model for explaining some of this (and predicted the bursting of the bubble, speaking of hype).

I was trying to find an image of Gartner’s and came across this post from Mike Slinn. I’ve never heard from him but this post completely kicks ass. In fact, stop reading this garbage I’m writing and go read that. Make sure you understand it and email me if you have any questions.

Ok, so if you bothered to come back (thank you),now we are on the same page and you can see that both Second Life and online video are starting to cross the inflection point on the hype curve. At podcamp Toronto there were some folks saying the SL emperor has no clothes (my absurd copywriting, but I think they would agree with the intent). And I and many others have joked about online video becoming one big “laugh at guys getting kicked in the balls” film festival.

I’m most fascinated with, and trying to come up with a theory about the viral spread of video – it’s something like viral intensity. Video does spread like wildfire, faster than blogs, which are faster than podcasts, but the impact seems to be just as fleeting (and, ergo, ROI). Look at the stories like the producers of lonelygirl, getting millions of hits but not generating anything for them as far as business (at least that’s the word on the web, I haven’t actually heard that from them so that could be BS).

More to think about, but I’m going to go back to laughing at guys getting kicked in the balls.

Email Marketing The Marketeer

Email State of the Union

Michael Seaton of The Client Side Podcast, and ScotiaBank sent off some questions about email to a group I’m in and I thought that they were interesting enough to share with everyone (along with my answers, of course). Just to set the stage, this year is my 10th anniversary of email (damn, I am so old!). I still have a can of spam trophy for my 1,000,000th email back in my days at DCI.

Here some of the issues/topics I will address with the panel:

1. Personalization – examlpes of good / bad.

The key here is not to screw it up. Not personalizing is no crime if the message is still relevant, and looks better than something that starts “Dear Pujabu (sp?),”

2. Is the audience listenting? Are email metrics on the rise or

Yes, many people think (and many pundits say) that email is dying. Nothing is further from the truth. Spam may be losing it’s edge, but relevant emails are more powerful than ever.

3. Net generation – when this huge cohort hits the workforce and
begins to emerge as a force in the consumer economy, will email fall
into the catagory of “my parents technology?

Not until there is a viable corporate substitute. Yes, some of those crazy kids use MySpace over email, but would you move your corporate website to a MySpace page? I didn’t think so.

4. Has any new technology (RSS, IM etc..) emerged as is the killer app
in terms of database targeting, personalization and measurement as
email brought to the table?

Nothing out there currently beats an email that has individually coded links to website landing pages. RSS is too early on the adoption curve and IM is more expensive as it is not asynchronous (2 people need to be on at the same time).

5. Is email now part of the traditional maketing mix – has it shed
it’s “new channel” status?

It has in the sandboxes that me and my buddies play in. Print is now a rare luxury.

6. How is it being used effectively as an integrated part of the
channel mix?

It easily substitutes for print at a greatly accelerated timescale (quicker to create, cheaper to send, instant feedback).

7. What are key trends / differences in B2B B2C that you have seen –
either good or bad?

I’d say B2B is more effective as it tends to be more niche. It’s very common to see smaller lists outperform larger ones by a factor of 3 or more. B2C can be tailored to niche customers, but if not then it’s just another broadcast that will be ignored.

8. Social Media and email – discuss…

Just another integration point. For those that are not yet living RSS the only way to stay involved as the conversation continues is to get pushed something. The easiest something is email.