Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blast from the past, West Coast style...

First off just wanted say this entry is a bit offbeat and won't appeal to everyone, but it does give a valuable insight into how my enigmatic mind works,The New Mutants #48 cover so stick with it if you can. As you all know by now, I love comics, specifically Marvel Comics.

I've loved them ever since I purchased my first issues in the WHSmith (when they were still like Aladdin's cave, rather than the tatty mess they've become) in Alpha Flight #43 coverCardiff one cold New Year bank holiday those many, many moons ago (incidentally it was The New Mutants #48 and Alpha Flight #43 that started my addiction, both featuring the Sentinels - 'mutant hunting robots', on the covers).

Though truth be told I do remember being bought UK reprints of The Uncanny X-men when I was very young, but I think that was mainly for the free toy on the front. Anyway I digress.

The West Coast Avengers #17 cover So what does this have to do with living in L.A. I hear you all ask. Well in a word (or four) THE WEST COAST AVENGERS.

By now I'm sure many of you may have given up, but there is a point, honest! The West Coast Avengers were an off shot of The Mighty Avengers, based in New York city and that was the main difference about this series.

Whilst other superheroes were swinging from the Empire State Building, tearing up Fifth Avenue or battling it out in Central Park, The West Coast Avengers (or WCA for brevity's sake) were as their name implied stationed on America's West Coast. They lived in a compound in Palos Verde, which is in the Los Angeles/South Bay area of Los Angeles.

The West Coast Avengers #20 coverAnd that's why I loved them so much, because their adventures were so utterly different from the New York based heroes. Rather than existing in a rain soaked cityscape of skyscrapers, yellow cabs and bustling streets (which were also very alien to me at the time), they explored sun drenched locales, exotic beaches, barren deserts and the over-the-top glamour of Hollywood.

When you're growing up in a small mining village in Wales, where the weather is mainly cold and wet, it was a joy to escape to a world of imagination which was so completely different and interesting.

Who'd have thought that almost 20 years later, here I am on that same West Coast, having slightly different adventures granted, but that's why they'll The West Coast Avengers #23 coveralways hold a special place in my heart and memories.

In other news, my driving lesson didn't go so well yesterday and I just couldn't get into the groove at all. It didn't help that so many people were making illegal right-hand turns on red where signs prohibited them, doing u-turns into the wrong lanes and generally being really bad drivers. Not very inspiring at all.

But as someone said, you don't have be able to be the world's greatest driver all of a sudden, you just need to be good enough to pass your test - then you spend the rest of your life learning how to drive! Let's hope my lesson today goes better.
The West Coast Avengers #44 cover

Plus it's good to know that the test is only about 15-20 minutes long. Although my instructor did tell me that the student she'd had before me that day had a seven minute test, because she had to get back to work!!!

A bit of good news is that after all my whirlwind world travelling, I've qualified for United Airlines Premier Mileage Plus, which apparently entitles me to all kinds of wonderful benefits (or that's what the marketing blurb says - those cunning marketeers). Basically what it means is that when I'm travelling cattle class in the future I'll be able to check in at the Business or Premier check-in Dancing with the Stars USA season 6 posterwhen I fly and avoid the riff-raff. Funnily enough though, until I get my visa sorted I won't be leaving the country, but at least America is a big place.

Finally here's my prediction for who will be voted off Dancing with the Stars tonight. My shortlist of three includes Cristian de la Fuente, Priscilla Presley (although doing the splits at 60+ has to be applauded) and Marlee Matlin, who all gave disappointing performances last night. I'll go for Priscilla being the next to leave the dance floor!

Before I sign off, Just to make you all feel warm and fuzzy (and to make you feel like you are reading an original Jason in Hollywood blog entry), here's another squirrel pic...Squirrel on garden fence


Yumyumcha said...

Although this entry is "offbeat", its actually what brought your blog to my attention (via blogging la). I was never a fan of wc avengers because I was a liked hawkeye the archer but not hawkeye the leader.

But I'd probably pick it up now because I'd like to see their interpretation of LA today.

Jason in Hollywood said...

Sadly they no longer publish the comic, it ended quite few years ago now (I was gutted at the time).

But if you're interested in other L.A. based comics you can read RUNAWAYS, plus also LONERS which was a spin-off from that series.

It's a fab series, also by Marvel, and you can buy as graphic novels in most bookshops.


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