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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day!

Okay, I think it's tasteless to spec or do any kind of comic investing piece on Veterans Day, but that is just me and my opinion. When it comes to those who sacrifice and serve in the military, I do hold a special place for them in my conscious and heart.

There is a story behind that, and while it's not really an American story per say, it is one of the many reasons why I deeply respect my country's service men and women. Hmmm...I am an American, so I suppose it is kind of an American story but in a not so typical way.

While my grandfather was not a U.S. veteran, he is military and sacrificed his life for what he believed in. As most know since watching the newly launched Comic Book Brigade videos, I am Asian-American, born in Illinois and still a Chicago Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, and White Sox fan that transplanted to and grew up in NorCal.

My gramps was a two-star general for the Republic of China, which was the government of Taiwan until another party took over recently. Don't get that mixed up with The People's Republic of China which is communist.

He did fight against the Japanese during World War II, and my grandma does have pics of him with U.S. military advisors. Well, to make a long story short, the RoC used much of their energy and resources fighting against the Japanese while the commies were recruiting and building up their army. 

After WWII, the commies struck when the opposition was weary and weak. We all know the outcome, the commies won China and my grandpa was captured and died in a P.O.W camp while the leader, Chiang Kai shek, and others fled to Taiwan, including my parents' folks. 

Whatever the People's Republic says about them being the main force against Japan in China during World War II is complete garbage. My pops grew up without a pops and didn't really know him whatsoever. I obviously never met my gramps.

However, his presence was always felt. I grew up during a time when Vietnam war movies were hitting the theaters a lot more - Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Born on the Fourth of July, Good Morning Vietnam, Casualties of War and Hamburger Hill just to name a few. I was first introduced to Vincent D'Onofrio in Full Metal Jacket.

There were also comics like The 'Nam that I grew up on as well. I was all over the issues when Frank Castle's pre Punisher 'Nam stories were told in that comic series.

Anyway, I remember watching one of those movies (forgot which one) and there was a scene in which a veteran coming home was spit on and called a "baby killer". I was confused about it, and my dad told me that it was unacceptable and wrong.

He told me to always respect those who serve and the veterans of this country. Be grateful for what they sacrifice so we can live out our lives doing whatever it is we do.

He was stern about it and then told me of my gramps sacrifice and how he was shunned after making that sacrifice. So my gramps was sent to one of the last stands near the very end of China's modern civil war.

While he was basically sent on a suicide mission to see if he could hold that military position, this stand did give extra time for leaders and civilians loyal to the Chinese Nationalist or Kuomintang party to flee the mainland to Taiwan.

Now, according to military custom in most Asian cultures, capture was or still is considered disgraceful. It is expected that you die fighting rather than be captured by the enemy, so my gramps was not considered a hero but a disgrace.

I think the scene in that movie hit a nerve with my pops, and the story my pops told me about my grandpa because of that movie scene has stuck with me all my life. When I tell service men and women I am grateful and appreciative of their service, it is not contrived even if it sometimes may be taken that way. How do they know my family backstory?

But there is a story behind why I will always honor the men and women of the U.S. armed forces. Thank you for your service and happy Veterans Day! I hope you all come back home safe to your families and loved ones.


  1. Wow. I have read your posts for a little while now, learning as I go about comics (got started a few months bac - really late in life!), but never before felt the need or urge to post a reply myself. Your story, and your conviction and pride towards our service members and country, is at the very core, that feeling in all of us that makes this country so strong. Thank you for awakening that in me, we all need that reminder from time to time, and thank you sharing a very personal part of your family history.

  2. Hey Mayhem man,

    thanks for the in depth Runaways report!
    Still confused though which ones to get.
    I guess I will wait till a Vol. 1 Nr. 1 comes
    along... My recent snag is a Nova 1 for
    69 bucks in NM. Considering the recent
    ups and downs of that issue I was wondering
    if you could make a special market analysis
    considering just that issue. The gocollect
    meta indicates positive vibrations again...
    This really is a roller coaster comic ;-)


  3. Definitely issue #1, #2-#6 and #13. Issue #1, #7, and #27 from the volume 2 series.

    1. that's number 2 through 6 of the first series.

  4. Hey Mayhem,
    hey collector society,

    need your opinion on this one: Tales of Suspense
    50, first Mandarin. Do you think this is still an investment
    issue? After all the Mandarin in the Iron Man flick
    was rather lame. Still it's a top 5 villain for the Shellhead.
    I think a nice copy would cost me over 150 bucks...

    Max Rebo

    1. Hey Max,
      I think its still a good issue to grab. I bought a CGC 6.0 for $130 several weeks ago. If your looking for a copy under a $100 you might get lucky and find a nice raw copy from someone. Even though the character was misused in the MCU, he is still a solid popular villian. Can't really go wrong with Silver Age 1st appearance key issues.


  5. Thanx Nate!

    I think you scored a good investment. I will try
    to hunt down a decent 6.5 for 140 €...

    Max Rebo

    1. No problem Max.


    2. Heya Max Rebo, I have never been against investing in iconic villains keys and did not believe in the perception that they were "all" bad and should stay away. Forget that...Sabretooth? Magneto? Mandarin, Loki, Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, Mysterio, Kraven, Dr. Doom, Vulture, Sandman, Joker, Catwoman. I've always said the villain makes the hero and the more awesome the villainy, the more iconic the story line will be remembered. Mandarin? Absolutely, sir!

  6. So I just read that James Franco is in talks to do a solo Madrox Multiple Man film. Giant Size Fantastic Four #4 is already seeing increasing sales on Ebay. He's a minor villian. I'm a little weary on this book having the staying power in the market over time. It's strange that this news would come out a week after I sold a copy to someone as part of a bronze age lot I had. What's your take on this news Mayhem?


    1. Short-term spec..fizzle...fizzle...fizzle...once the G+ pump 'n dump are through. Pump...pump...pump...fizzle...fizzle...fizzle.

    2. Yes sir. I agree. One of the auction listings on Ebay is for good copy and it has over 30 bids and already over $30. That's just freakin' crazy. Not a great investment buying strategy if you ask me. The seller is probably laughing his ass off right now. Of course you never know if the winner will back out after it ends.
      Currently watching the first few episodes of The Punisher on Netflix right now.