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Skipping Wednesday

batmaninc009onipadFor the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long, I’ve actually “skipped” a Wednesday trip to the comic shop.

The last few weeks have been expensive. I’m pretty sure the entirety of my actual pull list is all $3.99 comics–Valiant, TMNT, All-New X-Men–and even some of the stuff I’ve been getting “on the side” withOUT officially adding to my pulls have been $3.99 stuff.

And along with the high pricing, it seems that things CLUSTER. Leading to weeks like this–where the only two issues I’d be picking up are not even part of my pull list–FF and X-Men Legacy; two of now-all-too-rare $2.99 books. As neither title seems to be particularly integral to any other title or ongoing events, and I’ve not had any trouble tracking either down, I figure even if I wait til next week or have to swing through another comic shop, not gonna be any real problem getting them. And though I’ve been passively enjoying both titles, neither has me chomping at the bit to read “the next issue,” so this MIGHT even be a test for myself if I even want to continue with them (I didn’t even notice I’d missed issues of Thunderbolts until 2 or 3 came out after my last issue, so I’ve let that one go).

I did (digitally) buy the new issue of Batman, Inc. to read. I’ve rather firmly opted to stick to digital-only for the Requiem issues, specifically AVOIDING the hassles of not being able to grab ’em off the shelf myself for “collectors” snapping them up cuz of the whole death-of-Robin thing (or just fellow readers also checking things out).

So…no comic shop this week, at least not the “regular” or “usual” comic shop visit. Maybe later I’ll touch on that issue of “clustering,” particularly where if the Valiant books were actually spread out more, even one more book planned for print-edition purchase would’ve justified the trip to the comic shop.

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Mid-March Acquisitions

A few more reasons I love my local comic shop: over the last couple weeks, got Ultimate Comics X: Origins, Ultimate Spider-Man vol. 10, The Iron Age, and X-Force vol. 1 hardcovers for 75% off.

Fitting right into that theme, I stumbled across X-Men: X-Cutioner’s Song for what worked out to 73% off cover price at another shop last week.

spines

I read the first issue of Ultimate Comics X a little over 3 years ago, and even having paid full price for that issue then, I still have not paid the equivalent of 3 single issues for this series…and definitely look forward to reading this to see if it’s worthwhile.

ultimatexoriginshc

Back in 2004-2005 or so, I tracked down X-Cutioner’s song after simply never having gotten around to it in years previous. I believe I found a cheap secondhand copy of an old edition of the paperback…but I’ve had my eye on this quasi-“Omnibus” edition for a couple years now…spotting it for $14 made my week!

xcutionerssongohc

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This Summer: a 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Man of Steel

Saw this in the facebook newsfeed the other day (and already ‘shared’ it via this site’s Page); Definitely something I’m looking forward to, especially given how highly unlikely as it is for me to make it to Metropolis, IL for the Superman Celebration there.

Loved the November Akron Comicon last year, looking forward to this year’s, and a Superman thing this summer? Heck, yeah!

akroncomiconmanofsteel

Batman and Robin and the Library

After the death of Damian Wayne a couple weeks back, I put several requests in with the local library system. A number of the books came in at once, and I’ve been really enjoying the recent read-through.

For “free” I’m getting to read the entire original run of Batman and Robin, as well as the first volume of the New 52 iteration of the series. I’d actually forgotten how short the first run was…later this year the New 52 run will match the original.

Sometimes I get so caught up in fleshing out my own collection that I lose sight of the fact of what an AWESOME resource libraries are. Of course, if you don’t turn the books back in by their due date, you open up a whole other kettle of issues…

batmanandrobinfromthelibrary

Digital Transition: Requiem and The Walking Dead

brucemourningI bought into the hype and had the foresight to email the local comic shop the Monday morning the week Batman, Inc. #8 came out.

However, I did not display the same foresight for any of the “Requiem” issues that have come out since then.

I’m not particularly interested in Detective Comics with a $3.99 price point, ditto for Batman itself.

Much more interested in the Batman and Robin title, but as stated…I managed to lack the foresight to request a copy of the latest issue be held, and it’s not part of my pull file.

But I’ve also been–increasingly seriously–considering a transition to “going digital,” and I’ve been somewhat experimenting with that. This weekend feels like it definitely bore fruit in that regard.

digitalbatman018I get tired of wasting time and gas running around to various comic shops for an issue I may have missed (I hate using the phone, but that’s an issue entirely its own), especially when it often leads to me buying other stuff I normally wouldn’t, out of some kind of “guilt” of spending a lot of time in a shop and not wanting to walk out empty-handed; or even simply of reaching a minimum  purchase price for using a card.

There’s also the “immediate gratification” thing as well as “convenience,” to say nothing of the mere fact of owning a tablet now and being able to view full-page comics at almost “normal” size.

So in one quick expense, I was able to–at about 10pm Saturday, long after any comic shop would be open, and from the comfort of the chair I was sitting in, having just finished an episode of Person of Interest–purchase Batman #18, Batman and Robin #18, and The Walking Dead #108.

digitalbatmanandrobin000and018With The Walking Dead, I decided after all the stuff with #100 that I was gonna go back to waiting for the collected volumes. But then decided I was going to miss the experience of the monthly single issues, of fully keeping up with the story.

So, since I was then grudgingly willing to consider an ongoing prospect of purchasing twice…why not try buying the single issues as digital, and saving the collected volumes to be my sole print purchase for the series?

I’ve yet to make the follow through on print–I don’t think I’ve bought a collected volume since 13, as I’ve been keeping up with the singles–but I’ve followed one entire 6-issue run of the series now digital-only, and don’t particularly miss the print.

digitalwalkingdead103to108Yet another benefit to going the digital route–the issues are basically “always available” and never “sold out.” I don’t have to race to the comic shop ASAP on Wednesday to buy a digital copy of whatever issue; and if I don’t decide til late Saturday night that yeah, actually I DO want to go ahead and read that after all…I don’t have to wait til Sunday, Monday, or Wednesday to get back to a shop and hope they even have the issue in stock TO buy.

Also keeps me clear of the speculation side of things. I want to READ the issues. If I was in it for the speculation, I probably would’ve sold my Batman Inc. #8 already–but having been spoiled, I wanted the actual issue as a piece of history in the Bat-story. I don’t yet know what all the Requiem stuff will be–so far it doesn’t seem to be a single arc or such, so it’s kinda nice to hold off on purchasing until I’ve thought about it.

Interest vs. Price

ultimateinfinitythumbScanning through my Facebook newsfeed last night, a posted image caught my eye.

Diamond/Previews had posted a cover image for Ultimate Comics Ultimates #25, which seems to show Ultimate Cap, Ultimate Thor, and Ultimate Iron Patriot (?) fighting from the grip of an Infinity Gauntlet.

Now, I definitely think Thanos is getting a bit over-exposed years now UNTIL the next Avengers film. And there’s that part of me with fond memories of the original Infinity Gauntlet story; that part of me that recalls Infinity War #1 that summer before the Death of Superman, and even the more recent Infinity Abyss (was that really over 10 years ago now???).

I also quite enjoyed Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet by Brian Clevinger, from a few years back.

But the more recent stuff involving the Infinity Gems–and Marvel‘s Illuminati–just hasn’t sat right with that kid in me, so I’ve mostly tried to avoid it. Contemporary writers are welcome to do as they will–but if I don’t like the new stuff, I’ll just revisit the old. My wallet, my choice.

That said…I often enjoy some of the “twists” or “re-imagingings” of stuff from the Ultimate line, and since the Ultimate stuff is not in-continuity with the “main” Marvel universe, I’m far more open to changes/etc. there.

So, back to the cover image. Ultimates (“Avengers”?) facing the Infinity Gauntlet or its Ultimate Comics counterpart. I could really enjoy this. It’s got my interest, my curiosity. Something that’s gotta be on a fairly grand scale, right?

If I knew the Ultimate Comics to be priced at, say, $2.99…the image alone would do more than any generic/mysterious “teaser” has done and I’d email my comic shop to request the issue be ordered/pulled for me.

But I know–like what seems the vast majority of Marvel‘s comics these days–these are at least $3.99. So, since I’m not currently following ANY of the Ultimate Comics titles and I am so sick of $3.99, right now I have no intention of buying in on this.

Sounds like a new creative team, probably a decent one-shot issue or jumping-on point…but the price, that extra dollar that Marvel just HAS TO HAVE serves once again to be an anti-sale for me. Had they “stepped” their pricing and perhaps spent at least a couple years at $3.25 or $3.50 BEFORE going whole-hog to $3.99…maybe I wouldn’t be so vocally bitter.

Sorry, Marvel. I’m intrigued, interested, and I’d be all over this at the $2.99 price point…but at $3.99/issue, I intend to pass on this.

ultimateinfinity

More Shiny Comics

After a momentary re-kindling of my fascination with “shiny covers” last week, I had the chance to raid bargain bins at a local Half-Price Books store as well as another comic shop, Comic Heaven a few days later over the weekend.

Got these six “shiny covers” at Half-Price Books:

moreshiny01

And then at Comic Heaven, snagged these as part of a 15/$5 deal:

moreshiny02

And while not of the shiny variety, found a full set of the Milestone #1s still bagged (I’ve seen these occasionally in bargain bins, both bagged and unbagged, but I don’t recall ever finding all 4 at once, bagged). I can finally build/complete the 16-panel poster now, as each of these comes with 4 panels of the whole.

milestone01s

Best part is, all the comics shown in this post, shiny covers, polybags, and all?
Cheaper than buying any 2 NEW comics today!

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