Hard News by Russell Brown


Nerd Dad

The older boy was bored on Saturday, so I suggested that we hit the archives. He'd read Watchmen -- so why not Swamp Thing? Sure, he said. So we headed down under the house to fetch the large plastic box of comics resting there for the decade we've had the place, and essentially untouched since 1991.

Surprise! Under the house, on a dirt floor, turned out to be a climate-controlled environment. The comics were in excellent condition. We fished out the Swamp Thing back issues, as far back as #29, from 1984. One of them -- I haven't been able to summon my logic at the time, so we'll have to search for it -- is actually signed by Alan Moore.

But there, a layer down in the box, was a blue folder. Tucked inside its plastic sleeves was treasure: the original monthly issues of Watchmen, 1-12. Not only had I kept them safe, I'd been nerdy enough to file them in the protective folder.

The younger boy, Leo, as is his way, immediately wanted to know what they might fetch on Trade Me. It turned out that there was no such booty with which to compare on the local auction site, so we checked eBay, where it appeared that the Watchmen series might be worth two or three hundred dollars.

We won't sell them, of course. But it's nice to know. Against the (wholly sensible) objections of the only female person in the house, the big box is now resident in the kids' room. Any time they're bored, they can check out Nexus, and if they're really bored, they can set about sorting all those back issues of 2000AD into chronological order.

By the way, Leo finally relented (we did a deal) and set up a blog, which will count as a home educational activity. He wanted to go the blogspot way, so I watched him set it up and bring up the edit window, then popped out to the bakery to get some buns for lunch. It can't have been much more than five minutes I was out, but when I arrived back he'd knocked out an introductory post and a game review. I think he might be quite good at this.

Thanks to Bob Glancy at EA Games, who has put Leo on his reviewer list (Leo's relationship with the nice ladies who handle XBox games is already quite well established -- he can be quite the charmer when he needs to be). Any idea who I'd contact at Nintendo?


Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and our friends at Felt have a gorgeous prize pack for a lucky Public Address reader. It features a beaded heart by teribear, rose-scented teardrop candles by roseinthorns, a lavender heart by sweetmary and kimono fabric brooches by podflower.

To enter, you need to email renee (at) nzmusic.org.nz with Felt Like a Valentine in the subject line. She'll pick a winner by day's end, so the prize can go out promptly.

But hey! What if you don't win? Perhaps it would be safest to check out Felt's Valentine’s Day showcase and find a special something for a special someone.

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