Sunday, May 18, 2014

Farewell and Adieu, Building 19

The post five months in the making.

No, it's actually the post a year in the making.

Yeah, it's officially been one year since I first bored you to tears with my tales of trash. A whole twelve months of poorly constructed sentences, drag anecdotes and awful photographs of junk that only I could care about. We can only hope that the next year [and all the years that follow!] brings more highlights from my personal trash collection and so much more of my trademark self-deprecation.

Speaking of the trash collection, some of you might remember that the blog started with a single post that took a good look at the handful of goodies I was able to pick-up at my beloved Building 19. It would have been nice to celebrate the blog's first full year by returning to the place of its birth and partying down like Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan.

It would have been nice.

Unfortunately, Building 19 closed its doors for the last time back in December.

I know that for most people, this was not exactly upsetting news. There aren't many who gravitate to businesses like Building 19; liquidation outlets filled to the brim with long-outdated wares. The type of stuff that sat on shelves for months and years for a reason. But it's the bizarre and often surprising treasures that I frequently found lurking within that drew me back time and again during my lifetime.

Plus, it's the place that I, as a budding comic-book collector, was able to dig through dozens of long-boxes of books priced at a mere eight-cents apiece. They'd purchased the entire inventory of a comic shop that had closed due to the market crash during the mid-'90s, and so I was able to go home with a couple stacks of vintage comics for a few measly bucks. I owe my lifelong love of titles like Avengers Spotlight and Infinity Inc. to that one single back-issue buying spree.

Building 19 meant something to me, I guess.

Which is precisely why, only a week before its last day, I made a voyage to mecca. All for a chance to score big one final time. To share with you the type of stuff that will now be just a little more difficult to find out in the wild. It's the exact sort of trash that spawned this blogging monstrosity, and I'm glad to be able to take the time to pay tribute to the place where it all started.

My childhood was planted firmly in the '80s; double-digit ages hit pretty quickly when the next decade rolled around, but that didn't stop me from indulging in kid-oriented franchises even when I was well past the target audience's age-group. It shouldn't be too surprising that I was keen, even well into my teens, on animated programs like Double Dragon and CatDog.

The former should look pretty familiar to long-time readers, 'cause yes, that's another pack of Double Dragon pogs. Not entirely unlike the pack I bought and blogged about last year. And the latter, which is new to me, shouldn't be too surprising a purchase either. My love for decades-old party supplies is well-documented.

These paper plates, featuring the Biker Mice From Mars, certainly fall into the same category. I picked up two packs of them this time around, but it's far from the first time they've found their way into my collection. I probably have close to a dozen of these sitting in a box, waiting for me to throw the absolute greatest party ever. Maybe for next year's celebration.

Here's some random books?

Alien Encounters was published in the early '90s, and reminded me way too much of my brief obsession with Robert Stack and Unsolved Mysteries. The program terrified me whenever it moved into extraterrestrial territory or ghost stories, but that didn't stop me from constantly tuning in or wanting to be a paranormal investigator as a pre-teen.

Disney's Mighty Ducks was a cartoon series that deviated like crazy from the feature-film series that it owes its existence to. Instead of featuring Emilio Estevez and a hockey team consisting of scrappy, under-privileged youths and Pacey from Dawson's Creek, the animated series centered around the exploits of a group of anthropomorphic ducks from outer-space who, uh, also play hockey for some reason. The book also features a dragon!

Watch out, Chris Evans! The identity of the true Winter Soldier has been revealed, and it's Captain Canuck!

This coloring [not colouring, you weird Canadians!] and activity book features the premiere comic-book hero from The Great White North. I vaguely recall seeing random issues of his title as a kid, but I can't say I ever read about his exploits in the far-future of 1993. I imagine he protected the world from evil Americans who prefer their own beer to that of their northern neighbors. Like that cold-hearted bastard John Candy in Canadian Bacon (1995).

Man, I really splurged on terrible books, didn't I?

This is the novelization of The Reunion, a film produced and released by WWE Studios in 2011. Naturally, it stars the biggest name in all of professional wrestling, John Cena, who is joined by Ethan Embry wearing a fedora. I like to imagine the two of them teaming-up to dominate the tag-team division, and then going home and watching all thirteen episodes of Freakylinks while spooning on the couch.

Which is probably-definitely a million times better than the actual plot of the film.

I'm only now kicking myself for waiting so long to write about the wonderful and horrible discoveries made during my last trip to Shangri-La. While I was sitting around watching reruns of Night Court, some guy named Derek decided to rise from the ashes like a phoenix, and start posting again on his old blog, Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks. And, of course, the jerk decided to buy his own copy of Milk Mustache Mania and feature it in his latest post.


These were the final four copies of the Dick Tracy novelization that they had left on the shelf. It's pretty upsetting, because I had planned to grow old, visiting the store every year for the sole purpose of buying a copy. Now that dream is over and the insect is awake.

The insect's name is Pruneface, I think.

There was no way that I was gonna leave Building 19 this final time without a VHS in my pile of purchases. It was absolute slim pickings, though; a far cry from just a few years back, when I would have had dozens of titles to choose from. Still, I didn't do too bad. Alien Empire was a short-lived BBC documentary series from 1995 that took a look at the world of insects that weren't named after bad-guys from Dick Tracy.

I was huge into Sailor Moon when it first started airing in syndication here in the States. The years prior were spent trying to absorb as much anime as possible, which was a pretty difficult task in the days before streaming media and immediate internet access. So, when DiC Entertainment brought the program to American audiences, I immediately fell for it. Back then, I was known to buy anything related to Sailor Moon that I could find. That's not quite the case these days, but I still like to occasionally show some love to a program that was near and dear to a newly teenaged Trash Man.

The grand total for everything I grabbed that day came to a whopping three-dollars and thirteen cents. It's the exact type of thrifty shopping "adventure" that I'm going to find happening less, now that I've lost one of my favorite destinations.

So, here's to you, Building 19. Thank you for decades of "Good Stuff Cheap".


We're gonna need a bigger box of tissues.


  1. Congrats on the Anniversary Brian and sad here about Building #19 sounds like my kind of place.

    1. Thanks, John. I really wish that the store had remained open indefinitely, but that's asking too much, I guess. It was the type of place that I hope all my collecting-friends have one of in their neighborhood.

  2. I remember the Mighty Ducks animated series from when I was a kid. The name recognition suckered me into at least watching the first episode. Although even at that young age I wasn't taken in by its outlandish premise of crimefighting ducks from outer space for any further outings.

    Recently I found this behind the scenes video designed to pitch the cartoon. Even the creators sound like this projects passion came by force.

    Its most redeeming attribute was that the dragon was voiced by Tim Curry.

    1. I didn't realize that the dragon was a recurring character. Totally sold on anything that Tim Curry puts his paws on; even Congo (1995).

      Stop eating my sesame cake!

  3. Argh! Another saving Shangri-La ground into the dust! This would have been the kind of place that would have drawn me in like a deadly siren every time I wandered too near.

    And Ethan Embry! I really enjoyed Freakylinks. It was like the X-Files meets Empire Records. I was so excited when I saw that he was in Don Coscarelli's Incident On and Off a Mountain Road.

    Finally: MILK MUSTACHE KING!!!