Sunday, December 11, 2005

the national star

as a kid growing up, way back in the dark, energy-conscious '70's, i can remember pretty much right around when it was that i became hooked on...other-worldy things. the supernatural, the extraterrestrial, the extra-dimensional. i don't think the phrase 'paranormal' had been made a part of the everyday lexicon yet, but that's exactly what i'm talking about. weird stuff.

i say "the dark...'70's" because that's how i remember them. we were in the midst of an energy crisis and the president had come on tv several times telling every conscientious american that it was his/her duty to save energy. in our house that meant shorter showers, turning down the heat and wearing sweaters (and even hats and mittens to bed), and turning lights on only when absolutely necessary. so, yes, it was darker. and it was very easy for an adolescent kid with a bent toward the unnatural to imagine what be lurking out there, watching from the dark.

summer was easy. daylight savings. the sun stayed out longer. no monsters there.

but the winters...

so it must've been the winter of 73/74. living in a small farm town in upstate new york, and this was pre-cable days, of course, our tv networks were the four out of new york city and reception was crappy at best. but, after chores (splitting firewood) and playing outside with the only friend/adversary i could find within a one mile radius, my brother, i would eventually gravitate back inside and glom onto that softly glowing box for the rest of the evening. late afternoons channel 5 (wnew) would feature bugs bunny, woody woodpecker, spider-man, and the flintstones before suppertime. jeff and i would see commercials for stuff in the city that we would never see or care about. but at some point during this enchanted winter, a new newspaper devoted to articles of the unexplained decided that they would best reach their market by advertising on channel 5 out of new york. the national star did their first spot hyping a cover story on "the devil's triangle" (missing planes! missing people! what is the secret behind this unanswered mystery? is it a ufo landing area?) with back up features on a 'documented haunting' and bigfoot (with photos!). their commercial was meant to tantalize, meant to scare, and it definitely did it's job on this 12 year old. i was in! mom, i need a copy of this thing!

and i got one. i had to do extra chores for it, but i got it.
and i scoured it, practically memorizing it cover to cover. it was awesome.

i picked up a few more issues over that year, but eventually the national star was joined by other 'tabloids' like the national enquirer, and eventually began gearing it's focus more toward hollywood gossip and less on solving the greatest mysteries of the 20th century. the closest thing we have now is the weekly world news which, for my money, is worth picking up at least two or three times a year just to read dear dottie.

but that's where i got hooked. i had, of course, been fascinated (and a little afraid) of ghosts and ufos before then, of course. and had heard of bigfoot and the loch ness monster. but discovering that there was a whole world of bizarre, unexplained, could-be-watching-you-through-the window-right-now kinda stuff out there...well, i hadda get me some of that!

i've done my homework, i've talked to people, and i've even seen a few interesting things myself...and i've loved every minute of it. and hopefully, craig and i will be able to bring a lot of those mysteries and secrets to life for ya in the pages of the perhapanauts.

and while we have yet to procure a message board, there is a place to post your comments here, so please write back. maybe YOU'VE seen something weird and wanna share it. i certainly wanna hear about it!

i'll end the way mike does and say;
this is entry number 2.


Paul E. Schultz said...

I just had to send you a note regarding your first issue with Dark Horse. I love when simple, good ideas get the light they deserve! Aside from having one of the coolest team names, The Perhapanauts was excellent! I'd never heard of your little book til this one. I'm totally gonna pimp it on my blog when I can find ten minutes. It's awesome. Do you plan on attending any conventions in '06? Here's my website if you'd like to take a peek: Again, your book is great!

todd said...

thanks for the kind words, spacelord/paul! (very nice site, by the way...)
craig and i usually hit several shows during the year, can't tell ya for sure which ones right now, but we are regulars at heroescon in charlotte and the baltimore comicon every year. hope to see you at one or the other!
thanks again!

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