The wind was blowing, so Byrnie Bass decided to fly on in to Austin and check on his granddaughter. We went and had a killer happy hour at North (located about five minutes west, guess where) and, the next day, saddled up and went to the comic book store to get Her Majesty a Batman action figure, because that's the way things have been heading of late. I was thinking it would be like a $15 situation, and they had a few of those guys there, but they were designed by Michael Turner or just otherwise really not up to snuff, but then we found these two limited edition figures that are almost like Manga Boxer Batman or something, I mean, the guy's fists are way bigger than his head. Hulk Batman, really. They also had a two-figure set of Batman & Joker from Frank Miller's classic DARK KNIGHT series, which has always been my favorite Batman story of all time (always since 1988 when I read it, we pause here to qualify)(though, as long as we're all parenthetical, I should also say that a few months ago, I jammed YEAR ONE on a Friday night and DARK KNIGHT on Saturday and maybe now it's a tie, I mean, Mazzucchelli!) but at any rate, point is it was her decision, so we laid them out and let her make it, and right before she did, she looked up and I caught it.Too, full disclosure, while I was trying as hard as I could not to influence the decision, the sticker price on those limited edition Hulk Batmen was $79.99, which, you know, is insane for a piece of vinyl anything, no matter what it represents, whereas the DARK KNIGHT figures, Batman and the Joker, remember, were literally twice as nice at half the price, and even came with a reprint of the first issue of DARK KNIGHT on top of that, and not a little voice but really quite a large part of me, we're talking pretty close to the majority, was about to launch up from out back and take control and say, "Hey, this way she gets TWO figures, plus the comic, which contains at least one of the top Batman splash pages of all time, and if you really want to drop that much at this place, we can get these two guys and just blow the other forty real quick on comics and be out the door inside of five minutes, I promise, whadaya say?"
But, you know, her choice.
She went with the guy to her left. Classic Batman, they call him. Which is funny because he's got the little yellow circle over the insignia that they added in the 60s so that DC could copyright the bat-symbol for the Adam West show, but the guy they're billing Modern Batman is actually closer to let's call him Original Batman.
Whatever permutation, she loves him. He hasn't just completely wrecked all the other toys we've got lying around, but I'm pretty sure he's just biding his time, sizing up the opposition. Making plans.
And I'm sorry for harping on this, but I just can't deal with the inflation, you know, my head's still set for 80s prices, meaning that Batman we got = the cost of FOUR Millennium Falcons, and it's not that that wouldn't be a fair fight, the four of them swarming around the guy dangling from the bottom of Cloud City, but, you know, insane.
The one Batman figure I had before the Burton/Keaton explosion of '89 cost $3.99, $4.28 with tax, I remember the numbers coming up on the register of Toys Plus and I was a happy happy boy. Of course, same guy's going for $175 now, so I guess we got off cheap.
But this is not a Batman blog. Mostly. We also went to Sandy's Shoes, where Pa bought her this atrocious and wonderful pair of pink sandals with interchangeable bows THAT ACTUALLY SQUEAK EVERY TIME SHE TAKES A STEP. Really. They are not to be believed. Also, this pair.And when he left, he got added to the litany. Well, I guess it became a litany. Previously, whenever she would wake up from her nap, or during the day I guess feel in need of reassurance that it wasn't going to ALWAYS be just the two of us, she would ask, "Ma?" and I would of course say, "Your mama loves you, she'll be home soon," or something like that. But now, we're adding to the list. Dad only took the bronze, though, good ol Sally's got him beat, so that it goes, "Ma?" "Your Mama loves you." "Yaya?" "Sally loves you." Then, the grin, because he's such a silly guy. "Pa!" "Pa loves you, too. He wishes he was here right now." And so it goes.