Wednesday, May 28, 2008



so, a few weeks back, i went on about how i would like to, someday, be able to say that i've visited all four of the tv land commemorative statues located in various parts of the country. and, of course, if they make more, and they should, i'd wanna see them too!
this is the kinda thing i like. interesting and/or odd landmarks.
especially the odd.

about ten years or so ago, while taking the train down to nyc with fellow spider-man scribe, howard mackie, he walked me out of the lexington avenue exit of grand central station and bade me look up (this after i don't know how many times he told me to stop looking up on other visits to the city so i wouldn't look too much like a hick...!)
(and, of course, i was just looking to see if i could catch spidey swinging his way through those concrete canyons or daredevil battling stiltman atop one of those rooftop water towers...)

but what howard wanted me to see this one time was the rat entrance to grand central.

the canopy overhanging the entrance/exit to gst, features cables made to look like ropes leading onto a ship, and on these ropes the bells designed to keep rats from gaining access to the ship, and on the bells---rats.

here are a couple pics i took when i went down there last wednesday followed by a short write up i found on

New York, New York - Metal Rats of NYC
On the canopy above the entrance to the Graybar Building and Grand Central Station near the corner of 43rd St and Lexington Avenue are three cast metal rats just below the rat guards on the support rods. An architectural detail without an explanation. Evidently the architects (Sloan and Robertson) of the building had done prior buildings with a nautical theme; the reason for these rats has not been fully explained however.

A wonderful and enigmatic detail that most commuters pass under daily without noticing. [Phil Pasquini, 01/31/2007]


so, about three or four years ago, my pal, terry austin, and i got to talking about how reading old archie comics made us feel like kids again. i started buying up old copies on ebay and terry started gifting me with doubles that he had from his vast collection. these were mostly issues from the late 50's and early 60's, although i've also been picking up some copies from the early 70's when the comics were doing a phenomenal job of reflecting the changes that were happening with the american youth at the time. groovy!
about this time, last year, i had a conversation with kc carlson who was also looking for that wonderful innocent childhood excitement in some of today's comics and i told him that he needed to go WAY back to find that again. well, kc already knew about the archies, had a huge collection of his own going already, but now we had that in common and it was nice to have someone else to share that with.
a wonderful friendship was in the offing.

then, about a month ago, in response to my plea for some of you to fill in with a guest post here on the blog, kc sent me a couple of e-mails PACKED with jpgs of archie covers from over the past 50 years that feature weird and wacky creatures (or situations) on the covers!! like the paranormal issues of archie! these came with the suggestion that i could write up a post reflecting on these wild and wooly covers.

yeah, thanks, kc...!
i wanted to do less work!

: )

anyway, here are, i guess, the first in a series of archie covers from days gone by, courtesy of our pal, kc, featuring archie, jug, betty and veronica in some crazy, flipped out, and just plain bizarre situations!

(and no, i'm not really mad, kc.
it's funny.)


that's it!
i gotta get to work!
those of you who were not able to pick up PERHAPANAUTS 2 last week, can finally pick it up today!
and EVERYONE--please let your local comic shop know that you want it!!
(and that they should stock an extra issue or two...!)
smell ya later!


alison said...

Hey Todd, Love the Archie covers - especially the one with the girls in the phone booths - I consider that one framing and hanging on the wall worthy. Love it!

Also dig the rats - wonder how much more in above our heads in cities around the world that precious few are clueless to because of fear of looking like, well, a hick. :-)

Hope you and family enjoyed Jake's b'day and the bbq.

love and hug!

Brian said...

I had heard of the "rat entrance," but never got around to taking a good look at it, so thanks for the photos.

As for the folks waiting on Issue No. 2, just to add to the suspense, comics, at least in my neck of the woods, are a day late this week due to the Memorial Day long weekend.

I got my issue last week, and can assure those still waiting that it will be worth the wait.

Christian D. Leaf said...

Ha! Those rats are brilliant. Love little quirky things like that with a sense of humor to 'em.

Picking up my 'Haps today. Can't wait.

Cooper said...

Whoot! So I finally picked up and devoured the new 'HAPS issue today. Anyone else decide to decipher the Gremn-speak? I looked where it said for the thing that it said to look for but I didn't see anything. Maybe it was talking about another issue besides the current one?