• December 2010
    S M T W T F S
    « Nov   Jan »
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728293031  
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

  • Advertisements

The To-Be-Read Challenge of 2011

To Be Read Challenge 2011 – from readerchallenges.wordpress.com

My List:

  1. The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson
  2. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  3. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  4. Dragons of the Highlord Skies by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
  5. Dragons of the Hourglass Mage by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
  6. The Wastelands by Stephen King
  7. Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
  8. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  9. Ancestor by Scott Sigler
  10. Vampire a Go-Go by Victor Gischler
  11. Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler
  12. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Alternates:

  1. Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
  2. Song of Susannah by Stephen King
  3. The Dark Tower by Stephen King
  4. The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
  5. The Innocent Man by John Grisham
  6. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham
  7. Under the Dome by Stephen King
  8. The Brethren by John Grisham
  9. The Summons by John Grisham
  10. World Without End by Ken Follett
  11. The Ultimate Cat Lover
  12. Expiration Date

 

This challenge will be tracked on the 2011 Reading Challenge Page in the navigation of this blog, rather than on this post itself.

The rules:

  • the challenge is to read 12 TBR books in 12 months — you can read those all in one month if you want, or one a month, or however you wanna do it.
  • you should have a list posted somewhere for others to see
  • you CANNOT change your list after January 1st, of the current year!!!
  • you can create an Alternates list of MAXIMUM 12 books, if you want, in order to have options to choose from (you can read these in place of books on your original list).
  • audiobooks and e-books ARE allowed
  • re-reads are NOT allowed, as they aren’t TRUE “TBRs”
  • you CAN overlap with other challenges
  • OPTIONAL: you can join the Yahoo! Group created for participants of the TBR Challenge, if you want to have a place to
  • keep your list, or just to share with others about how you’re doing!
Advertisements

A quick 2nd-to-last week of 2010 comics rundown

deadpool30 While making my usual trip to the comic shop during lunch on Wednesday, I–along with my pull-list books–bought a small stack of old Archies to give coworkers in place of Christmas cards.

The next day, I wound up at another comic shop in search of Vertigo Resurrected: Shoot (which I should have picked up several weeks ago when I saw it at a friend’s local shop in Michigan). After rejecting several cool/interesting-looking Marvel books due to the $3.99 price (I’ve lost track of how many sales Marvel has missed out from me on impulse sales alone, for that $3.99 point killing any impulse). I spotted Deadpool #30 and saw that it was a tie-in to the just-wrapped Curse of the Mutants story from X-Men.

Seeing the cover—DP’s grin and the label “Vampire Hickey”—was sufficiently amusing as to draw me in. And the book remaining at the $2.99 price point was enough to get an impulse sale there. (Not too thrilled that this 2-parter begins the same week the main story ended, though).

Continue reading

Christmas as a comic person

This is my 23rd Christmas since being introduced to comics.

supermanchristmas1992 And yet, comics have been a pretty rare “gift thing” for me. Which is quite understandable for a number of reasons (I’m resistant toward birthdays, and gifts, when they’re mine and I’m on the receiving end) and of course…when someone owns tens of thousands of comics…unless they’re vocal about some certain (probably highly expensive) issue they’re missing…what CAN you really get them that they don’t likely already own?

So, I don’t have very many comics-associated Christmas memories. But there are a few.

wolverine77 Christmas 1993, I remember Dad taking me to Capp’s Comics in Mentor, OH on Christmas Eve. In addition to the “usual” comics that week (whatever the new Superman issue was, among others), he bought me a number of other comics I had my eyes on. And then we “qualified” for some “free” comics the store owner had behind the counter. (For every so many dollars spent, one would (cumulatively) “qualify” for certain “free” comics—I remember the silvery and black Magnus: Robot Fighter #25 from Valiant, and other such overstocked “collector’s item” issues.)

And for some reason, I have this strong memory of Wolverine #77 from that year. Can’t forget to mention the “Christmas issue” of Superman that year, part of the “Funeral for a Friend” storyline.

sandmandreamcountry I’m pretty sure one year, my parents gave me a gift card to Capp’s; and though I don’t recall specifics, I am pretty certain they gave me a few comics one year.

Probably the most significant comics-related gift, though, was in 2001. For my birthday that year, my parents gave me The Sandman vols. 3 and 7 (Dream Country and Fables & Reflections). For Christmas, they gave me the other 8 volumes.

On a slightly different note: I recall back in 2006 or so, DC Comics solicited an “Infinite Christmas” one-shot/holiday special…something I found amusing enough, playing off the “recently”-concluded Infinite Crisis event’s title. infinitechristmasspecial However, when the book shipped, they changed the title from “Infinite Christmas” to “Infinite Holiday,” which I didn’t catch til I got home and went to read it. (Which, being incensed at the title change, I opted to NOT read, and have not bought/read any DC “holiday special” since.)

Of course…it should be noted that while this is all materialistic and self-indulgent…

Gifts do not—to me—represent Christmas. Even with the gifts of comics and such I’ve received…I associate them more with the time of year, and stuff going on—personal memories and feelings and such—at the time.

But I’m not going to get into my feelings over the perversion of the true meaning of Christmas in contemporary society, here.

I hope you’re having—or had—a very merry Christmas…comics or no!

Two decades since ‘Infinity Gauntlet’…

Well…2011 IS the 20-year mark since the original Infinity Gauntlet event. I’ve been wondering what (if anything) would be done to ‘celebrate’. Lo ‘n behold, I look at the Marvel solicits for March and find a solicit for Avengers #11 and a story involving it.

I just wish the title wasn’t $3.99/issue. I’ll keep an eye out for the inevitable collected edition, though.


AVENGERS #11

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by JOHN ROMITA JR.
Captain America 70th Anniversary
Variant Cover by ALAN DAVIS

The Infinity Gauntlet is in the hands of the most dangerous human being on the planet. But what can the Avengers do against a power greater than anything known on Earth? Another explosive chapter in this epic Avengers event by Bendis and Romita Jr. featuring the debut of a brand-new cosmic character that you won’t want to miss!! Plus: another illustrated chapter of the oral history of the Avengers!

32 PGS./Rated A…$3.99

via Newsarama.com : Marvel Comics’ MARCH 2011 SOLICITATIONS.

Another reason to “wait for the trade.”

Twenty-Seven #2 coverLately, I tend to “wait for the trade” on mini-series. After all, it’s not an ongoing series, so I might as well wait for the version of the story I’d prefer for a finite story.

Of course, for the times I might consider otherwise, any chance of an “impulse buy” are shot if the single issue(s) aren’t even available FOR said “impulse purchase.”

If I have to wait til issue 3 to get issue 2, even if I can get a (later) print of issue 1…I’m not even gonna READ the thing until I’m reading 3/4 chapters in one go…so why not wait the extra couple months, and read all 4/4 in one go, in one volume? (Or maybe by then I won’t have any interest, and will give the thing a pass as a whole).

Granted, if they already did an “overprint” and still sold out (in this case, on the 27 series), there’s less fault on the publisher. Doesn’t change the fact that this was a series I was kinda interested in checking out–and would have tried the first issue…but no one HAD the first issue, of the 5 or 6 comic shops I visited the week it was to have come out (and even the online purchase I attempted was canceled/refunded for not getting in what they’d ordered).


via Now 27 #2 Sells Out Weeks Before Shipping – And Gets A Second Printing [Bleeding Cool].

Looks like it was no one-off. Weeks before the second issue of 27 by Charles Soule and Renzo Podesta is set to ship, it has already sold out its overprint at distributor level and a second printing approved. Just as the second printing of 27 #1 is set to ship with 27 #2, so the second printing of 27 #2 will now ship with 27 #3.

So if you missed out of the first print of the first issue… yeah, looks like you’re going to miss out on the first print of the second issue too.

Ho ho ho.

Fantastic Four, death and the return of the polybag

ffdeathpic I’ve noticed the last issue or two of Fantastic Four having a running countdown on the cover, apparently counting down to a “death” of one of the core/original Fantastic Four characters.

And I’ve been noticing some comments around the internet—just enough to be what I’d count as “buzz” over the impending death of one of the characters.

From what I understand, the story is called “Three” and in ads, it’s being proclaimed that “One Will Fall.”

And the latest ad that I’ve seen (see photo associated with this post) I even see a notice on the ad that “This historic double-sized issue will arrive in a special polybag.”

Questions:

1. What makes this historic? Are you spoiling the story that literally? Is this going to REALLY be on the same level as The Death of Superman, the Death of Captain America, or some such? Is this going to TRULY, PERMANENTLY, for at-least-a-decade-or-so be the end of the story for one of the core FF members, whoever it is that “falls” or “dies?”

2. So it’s double-sized. Is it going to be double-priced, too? Along that line…what IS the price, anyway? $5.99? $6.99? Or is it less, and part of that double-size comes from reprint material, sketchbooky material, or what? Is the actual, main-feature top-billed story itself actually double-length?

3. What makes the polybag special? Does it glitter? Is it resealable, so that one can take the comic out to (gasp! horror! shock!) READ it, withOUT “destroying” the comic (since “damaging” a polybag APPARENTLY is akin to the paper stock itself being dunked in turpentine)?

4. WHY a polybag? Is there bonus material being bagged with the issue? An obituary? Poster? Memorial armband? promo trading card? Is the cost of the bags, and the extra processing and such part of the cost? What extra value is brought to the comic by sealing it in a polybag?

4b. I’ve always wondered at an experiment: ship a comic with just a cover, and all blank interior pages, except for a pull-out coupon. If you have that coupon, you can send it in/trade it in for an ACTUAL issue with actual interiors…

Collected volume pricing

Disparate Pricing

marvelbooks20101211 While collected volumes of comics are priced based on their contents…I’m finding more and more lately that paper quality and format lend a different sort of visual perception to the mix.

Take The Heroic Age TPB. $24.99…yet, it’s about twice as thick as the $14.99 Deadpool: Secret Invasion volume. Twice the size, but $5 less than twice the price.

Compare that to Deadpool Classic vol. 1: The Heroic Age…roughly the same thickness is $24.99…yet Deadpool Classic is $29.99–$5 more.

hardvssoft Looking at Deadpool & Cable, there’s a similar thickness—a little more to it than the Classic volume, granted—but it’s $39.99…a $10 difference for not a lot of difference in size.

Those have different contents, though, by several issues at least. Bringing a hardcover into the mix…look at the Invincible Iron Man by Fraction and Larrocca vol. 1 OVERSIZED hardcover. 19 issues in this volume for $39.99…and 18 issues in Deadpool & Cable…which is a paperback, but also carrying that $39.99 price.

With all interests in characters/series (and consideration of quality) being equal…The Iron Man volume would seem to be a much better value for number of issues’ content and physical size/format for the price.

Of course, I do know there are reasons (which may not come to me off the top of my head or that I—in terms of simply purchasing books—don’t even care about) for the varying prices. Print runs, quality of paper, creator royalties, projected profits, and who knows what all.

While I lack a photo at present for the visual…another point of interest are the Vertigo $4.99 TPBs that collect the first issue of many of their popular series. (Additionally, Top Cow recently put out a $4.99 volume with the first issue of several of their soon-to-debut series). Of course, it’s a much different thing to have an “anthology” type volume with a single chapter from multiple series. These serve more as samplers, as opposed to a volume that collects an entire story.

Though Top Cow has recently hooked me with their bargain-priced premiere volumes of Witchblade, Witchblade: Redemption, and The Darkness, collecting an entire arc (5-6 issues) of each for only $4.99. That’s 4-5 “extra” issues compared to the $3.99 single-issue pricepoint of far too many comics out there these days.

Disparate Trade Dress/Editions

variededitions

On a much different note, but dealing with thick volumes and a little with pricing (getting more expensive through the years for successive reprints of the same content/volumes)…Knightfall, and Essentials.

I have all three Knightfall volumes…but each is a different printing. Vol. 1 is the original printing from the mid-1990s. Vol. 2 is from the later printing…maybe early 2000s or late-1990s. And the third volume is from the last few years, whenever it was reprinted after DC changed to their present version of the DC “star” and trade-dress.

The Essential Uncanny X-Men vol. 1 I bought the week before I went off to college, back in August 1999. After the Essentials’ trade dress was revamped, they continued reprinting those earliest X-men issues as Essential Classic X-Men, but numbered the volume as 2, picking up from Essential Uncanny. And finally, under the newest revamp of the trade dress (AND pricing), they put out a 3rd volume.

While the price that I paid was right—I got vols. 2 and 3 of both sets for at least half-off—I’m the sort of person who likes it when a series actually looks like it goes together…whether first editions, second prints, or 10th-print and beyond.

On The Shelf

dragonlanceshelfActually looking like a single series, my Weis/Hickman Dragonlance volumes sit together on a shelf. Ultimately, this is an ongoing series of core characters by these authors. The books all go together, and in this particular edition, they look like it.

Most of these books have seen numerous different editions in paperback with successive printings and even different publishers. Dragons of Autumn Twilight was originally published in the mid-1980s, while Dragons of the Dwarven Depths wasn’t published until about 20 years later.

I don’t collect books—or comics, or collected volumes/TPBs/graphic novels/whatever for value.

But I am very much a collector in wanting to read the stories (I prefer bookshelf editions to single issues these days, given choice and feasibility) and enjoying when the volumes that I get look good together, on the shelf.

%d bloggers like this: