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Favorites of Walt: The Comic Shops #1 – Capp’s Comics

favoritesofwaltcomicshopslogo

Capp’s Comics was the first comic store I ever experienced. I recall being amazed at its very existence, as well as the selection of comics available. There was a long row of tables covered with stacks and stacks of new comics. There was an aisle-length upright, double-sided rack of new comics. DC and Marvel on one side, Image and other smaller publishers on the other side. There seemed an endless selection of comics in boxes along the outer walls of the store. There were comics and the walls.

I’d never seen such a place. They had recent Superman and Batman comics, like what they’d have at Waldenbooks or Finast. They had older issues, including issues I’d missed years before. They had early issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, and they even had some of the Mirage-published issues.

After being introduced to Capp’s, Waldenbooks and Finast seemed second-rate. I preferred to get my comics at Capp’s…and over a period of several months, started going there more and more (thanks to Dad driving me, and buying my comics for me).

It wasn’t too long into going to Capp’s that The Death of Superman was announced. The store owner was offering a pre-order deal…you could pre-order however many copies of just "the death" issue, or the whole story. Dad pre-ordered 2…one for us to read and one for putting away. You could also choose to pick the issues up as they came out, or at the end–we opted for "at the end."

That’s how it happened that that day in November 1992, the family had one of our quiet nights in–and Dad and I both read the entirety of The Death of Superman in one sitting. Since the issues had been pre-ordered (and, I believe, pre-paid-for, too) we had no hassles with getting any of the issues.

I became a definite "regular" at Capp’s. Dad would take me most weeks, and I’d get a few comics. The latest Superman issue, definitely, and a bit of whatever else I was following at the time.

In 1999 when I went off to college, I started a pull box, and maintained that throughout my college career, even when I wasn’t following much.

And it was with a definite heavy heart of disappointment that I discovered one evening in early 2004 that the store had closed its doors permanently, after several years at a new location.

The comic shop was a regular part of my life for almost 12 years…at the time, that was almost the entirety of my comic-reading/collecting life. I went to that comic shop nearly ever week for nearly seven years, and on a regular basis those next five.

Now, occasionally I’ll bump into the store owner at local one-day comic events, and we’ll chat briefly; the usual sort of pleasantries.

Capp’s Comics was my first comics "home," and remains one of the most significant comic shops that’s been a part of my life.

NEXT WEEK: Comics & Collectibles.

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Dragonlance: Chronicles #6 [Review]

Quick Rating: Solid
Title: Dragons of Autumn Twilight (chapter 6)

Having been freed by elves from captivity, the companions find themselves witness to the decline of the Qualinesti elves; they also find their next quest in their journey toward saving the world of Krynn…

dragonlancechronicles006Story: Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Adaptation Script: Andrew Dabb
Pencils: Stefano Raffaele
Colors: Djoko Santiko of IFS
Letters: Steve Seeley
Editor: Mark Powers
Cover Art: A: Steve Kurth and IFS, B: Tyler Walpole
Publisher: Devil’s Due

This is another good/standard issue of the series. It has been thankfully consistent–the story and art continue to work well together, to provide a true adaptation to the original novel (Dragons of Autumn Twilight). Perhaps in contradiction to that, this issue features art by someone other than Kurth. While a side-by-side comparison will undoubtedly reveal difference, taken by itself it works well here. In light of a certain other publisher often combining artists of late on a single issue, that the entirety of this issue is just one is refreshing.

This issue takes the story up with the companions having just been freed from Fewmaster Toede’s slave-train. Their elven rescuers lead them into Qualinost (one of the Elven homelands, but not the original Elven homeland–but that issue doesn’t rear its head til later and isn’t overly relevant here). Once in Qualinost, we view some of the past come back to haunt Tanis, and get to see Tasselhoff marvel at what must’ve been (in his eyes) quite the childhood for the half-elf. The companions then take on a task from the Speaker of the Sun and head for Pax Tharkas.

The story itself is faithful at its heart if not word-for-word to the source material. The only real gripe I have on that angle with this issue is that here we see Tanis deliberately acquire a particular sword, whereas the original novel had him fumble for a weapon, and belatedly realize what he’d acquired, which added a bit more wonder to the weapon as well as what the companions face. Ultimately it is a minor detail, one that works well in prose format, but like a movie, not every minute detail can be adapted, and it’s better that detail is cut than something more integral to the story.

This is a fantasy comic/story, and based on what Hickman himself considers the weakest of these original novels. As such, you will find aspects of the familiar here. The creature the companions face seems drastically out of place given the sort of story here (I can think of no other examples of such a creature encountered anywhere else in the Dragonlance mythos–if anyone else can, I’d be interested in having that noted). However, from a story that was based strongly on a new Dungeons & Dragons module at the time, such a creature is just another generic sort that gives an excuse for a fight. In this story, it serves to introduce a new aspect to a just-met character that will serve a much larger role later in the Chronicles saga, if not this specific arc.

We’re six issues in, and have covered a lot of ground. As I understand it, we’ve two chapters left to conclude this mini/arc. If you’ve not followed along thus far, this won’t be a particularly good point to jump in. If you’re following it, though, don’t bail now!

Ratings:

Story: 3/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

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