All Good Things . . .

In a surprise posts (at least to me) on Facebook, Chris Latshaw of the North Texas Comic Book Shows stated that he is “hanging up his spurs.” I am saddened by this because his shows were always a true congregation of comic creators and comic lovers. Though I have not attended in the last few years, I used to be a vendor at the show well before I actually sold comics.

He’s stated that there will not be a summer show and he still doesn’t know if he’ll do another next February, but I’m hoping that he’ll slide in one more so that we can say good-bye in style!

HANGING UP MY SPURS

It has been a great run but I am beginning to think it is time to wind down. I have thought about this before but then a few of you will come up to me at the show and tell me how much you appreciate what we’ve built. The comments are always sincere and meaningful so it has been the catalyst to doing one more.

When I say what we’ve built I mean YOU and me. You folks have been the greatest! Your attendance and support of the North Texas Comic Book Show has truly made it what it is today. My appreciation for you as a fan cannot be properly expressed. The show has become a nationally recognized regional event and has a great reputation among the creator community.

The show, as it stands today, has surpassed anything I thought it would become when I got it up and running. The guests that we have been able to host have been a virtual who’s who of comics. Where it will go from here is yet to be decided. If someone emerges that wants to carry the torch forward then it may continue. Honestly, I’d hate to see the show die but I may not be capable of carrying it forward.

I will not be doing a summer show as I shared with a few of you this past weekend. I have not decided about doing another February show yet. I may try and blow it out one last time. I’ll keep you updated.

Chris

Want to be an astronaut?

Explorers Wanted: NASA to Hire More Artemis Generation Astronauts

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NASA is hiring new astronauts to explore the Moon and Mars! If you have what it takes to be an Artemis Generation astronaut, apply online March 2-31.Credits: NASA

As NASA prepares to launch American astronauts this year on American rockets from American soil to the International Space Station – with an eye toward the Moon and Mars – the agency is announcing it will accept applications March 2 to 31 for the next class of Artemis Generation astronauts.

Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronaut candidates for its increasingly challenging missions to explore space. With 48 astronauts in the active astronaut corps, more will be needed to crew spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and propel exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.

“We’re celebrating our 20th year of continuous presence aboard the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit this year, and we’re on the verge of sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “For the handful of highly talented women and men we will hire to join our diverse astronaut corps, it’s an incredible time in human spaceflight to be an astronaut. We’re asking all eligible Americans if they have what it to takes to apply beginning March 2.”

The basic requirements to apply include United States citizenship and a master’s degree in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics, from an accredited institution. The requirement for the master’s degree can also be met by:

  • Two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) of work toward a Ph.D. program in a related science, technology, engineering or math field;
  • A completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree;
  • Completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021) of a nationally recognized test pilot school program.

Candidates also must have at least two years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Astronaut candidates must pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical.

Americans may apply to #BeAnAstronaut at:

www.usajobs.gov

As part of the application process, applicants will, for the first time, be required to take an online assessment that will require up to two hours to complete.

After completing training, the new astronauts could launch on American rockets and spacecraft developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to live and work aboard the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth, where they will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and prepare us for more distant exploration.

They may also launch on NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, docking the spacecraft at the Gateway in lunar orbit before taking a new human landing system to the Moon’s surface. After returning humans to the Moon in 2024, NASA plans to establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Gaining new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.

NASA expects to select the new class of astronaut candidates in mid-2021 to begin training as the next class of Artemis Generation astronauts.

For more information about a career as a NASA astronaut, and application requirements, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/astronauts

New Digs

So, I haven’t posted in over two months, but I’ve had my reasons. Holidays, traveling, and a move. I’m now an hour and a half east of the metroplex, but I’m still tied to it for all my geeky needs.

This is how we roll!

I’m still in limbo on what I want for my website. The overall intention was to write about things geeky that I love and also about the local area. I’ve decided that the website will be about things that happen to me personally, geeky or otherwise. I actually geek out about a lot of things, and I will discuss those on the site. I will also start to make videos for my channel. These will be every day observances, a look at retro pieces that I used to own and have found online or own, and little snippets of my new community. The A Galaxy Called Dallas Facebook page will be about products, comics, books, movies and reviews of things that I think deserve exposure. The Galactic Daddy page will be more personal items about everything from my favorite books to being a widower geek and raising a pre-teen daughter. I’m always open to suggestions of topics that you are interested in, don’t hesitate to ask.

So, thanks for sticking it out and waiting patiently and there is more to come.

Watching: The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian connects with the Baby Yoda (for lack of a better name.)

I don’t really know of anyone who isn’t a geek that isn’t watching The Mandalorian right now. Episode three just dropped this morning and it’s awesome. We see that a Mandalorian can be tough and sensitive and that they have each other’s backs. For eight dollars a month, you really can’t beat the Disney Plus subscription and access to all of the Star Wars, Marvel and Disney properties.

If you aren’t watching it, why not? Let me know in the comments.

Celestial Wonders

Being born in the middle to late years of the Space Race, I was enthralled with NASA and going into outer space. I remember watching the later Apollo missions launch and splash down as I got older. Amateur astronomy was a favorite hobby of mine and I can still recall the telescope that I got for Christmas one year.

This was serious stuff and my grandmother helped fuel that with a subscription to Astronomy magazine and a membership in the Planetary Society. One of the first books that I read was The Stars by H. A. Rey, the creator of Curious George. It’s probably geared toward twelve and up but if you have a precocious kid, I’m sure they will get something out of it as well. Armed with this and my sky chart, The Night Sky. It’s a wheel chart that I received when I took a physics course at the local college in sixth grade. I wore both of these items out while braving the chilly winter nights with a crick in my neck.

What got me to thinking about all of this was the events coming up this week in your local night sky. First, Mercury joins the morning sky after crossing the face of the sun only a week ago. That’s Thursday Nov. 21st.

Then Saturday and Sunday evenings you can find Venus and Jupiter getting cozy together just after sunset with Saturn watching nearby.

Both of these sights can be enjoyed with the naked eye or a inexpensive pair of binoculars. I had a large telescope but downsized due to it being a bear to move. Most of the time though I use binoculars.

The links below will give you some places to go for more sky watching info. Enjoy!

***AMAZON ASSOCIATES DISCLAIMER*** James H Pickering Jr is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Halloween Comic Fest 2019

There are two holidays that we get excited about in comic retailing and one is Free Comic Book Day in May. The other is just around the corner and that holiday is Halloween Comic Fest! Both days are celebrated with specially branded comic books that are free on that day. Most shops allow you to choose a set number of comics, which are available for all ages, or you can choose as many as you want. Some shops have costume contests and give away candy, but rest assured, you’ll have a great time.

Halloween Comic Fest has never really taken off like Free Comic Book Day has and that is probably because it has to share the hype with the day of Halloween. This year the day falls on the Saturday before Halloween, October 26th.

Below are links to help you celebrate and watch on our other media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for other links.

Halloween Comic Fest Main Website

HCF Costume Contest

Free Comics Available on Halloween Comic Fest 2019

Spooky Spectacle Hits Ft. Worth

What started as the Granbury Paranormal Expo has been transformed into the Spooky Spectacle which brings us a small Pet Sematary reunion. That’s right, actors Dale Midkiff and Miko Hughes who played Louis and Gage Creed in the 1989 movie will be in attendance as well as other actors, comic book artists, movie producers and cosplayers.

Two of the highlights for me are the inclusion of my Navy buddy and author Tom Bont and the wonder dog Tugg the Bull Terrier!

Tom Bont came to our shop a few years back to introduce us to his brand of werewolves with Howlers: Lupus Rex. Hollingsworth is the fourth book in that series and follows FBI agent Angela Hollingsworth as she is introduced to this supernatural world.

Author Tom Bont

Tugg the Bull Terrier is another friend that we look forward to seeing at the show. He and his owners, Blake and Kim Ovard, came to our shop and met with old fans and made new ones. He’ll be doing the same at the show and we hope you get a chance to meet him.

Blake Ovard and Tug the Bull Terrier

If you do go, be sure and share your photos with us on our Facebook page!

David Doub Kickstarts New Project

Local Writer/Publisher David Doub of Dusk Comics is out to kickstart a new project based on experiences he had when he was growing up. Dealing with bullying and the after effects David is asking for patrons to come forth and help him realize this forty-four page one-shot. There are funding tiers that will accommodate any budget.

Click the image to get more info on how you can support this local creator!



Girls Who Shred

Thanks to 91x, an independent radio station in San Diego, for bringing this video up. It’s an article that posted on Global Citizen in 2017 about girls in India who skateboard.

Skateboarding is not normally an all-male sport in other countries and Atita Verghese of Girl Skate India uses it to help break down gender walls in her country. In fact, twelve female skateboarders from nine different countries crossed India in 2016 teaching skateboarding and empower other Indian girls.

WILD BEASTS – ALPHA FEMALE from Sasha Rainbow on Vimeo

I always like to show my daughter great stories or videos about girls everywhere who break social norms and this one is awesome. Hopefully, it inspires her and other girls to go out and do the same!